House & Home

4 Things To Check Before Calling an Electrician

There’s nothing worse than a power outage, especially if the lights are still on at the neighbor’s place next door. If you seem to be the only one on the block without lights, your house may have an electrical problem.

Contact electrical trouble shooting Bergen County NJ to find the source of your electrical problem. Keep in mind, however, that there might be a minor issue causing that nuisance outage. Before you call an electrician, here are some things to check first.

Check the Light Bulb

The issue may be as simple as having the wrong-sized lightbulb in a fixture, causing the bulb to burn out. Replace the bulb with one requiring a different wattage and then check your lights again to see if that was the problem.

Check the Power Strip

Is your light plugged into a power strip or surge protector? If so, then check it to make sure it wasn’t accidentally turned off. It could also be burned out, so plug your light fixture directly into the wall socket to see if it works that way.

Check the Circuit Breaker

Your circuit breaker might have tripped, causing the lights to go out. Check your circuit breaker panel and flip the breakers all the way to the left and then switch them to the right again. Also, check the fuses to see if any are burned out.

Check the GFCI

A ground-fault circuit interrupter, also known as a GFCI, is typically installed in areas that are close to sources of water, such as a kitchen or bathroom sink. A GFCI can be easily tripped, so check if it’s working by pressing the red button.

The next time your power goes off, check these four things before calling an electrician to turn your lights back on and to save you both time and money.

Choosing the Best Fruit Trees for Your Yard

Many people dream of growing thriving orchards in their backyards. Nothing sounds better than to walk out the back door and pick a piece of ripe, crisp fruit right off the branch. However, extensive research is required to choose the best fruit tree for your geographical area. The following guide will help you pick popular fruit trees to grow based on your location.

Midwestern Fruit Trees

The climate of the Midwestern states varies significantly throughout the year. Therefore, you will need to plant hardy trees that can withstand hot summers and harsh winters. Apple and pear trees are perfect examples of trees that will grow well in a state that experiences four seasons. Visit a landscape company or nursery to find out the best way to plant.

Southern Fruit Trees

The South offers a more forgiving environment for growing all year long. Many of those stuck in the Northern states envy the 12-month growing period of their Southern neighbors. However, this vast growing season doesn’t mean that just any fruit tree will thrive in this warmer climate. Citrus trees such as lemon and peach trees thrive in the Southern states.

Pacific Northwest Fruit Trees

When it comes to planting trees in the state of Washington, you may assume that apple trees are the best option. You would be correct. A business that provides a landscape service Marysville WA can help you choose the best variety for your location. It may take some work and maintenance to grow your orchard, but the benefits will outweigh the cost.

Remember that doing your research is essential to growing a successful orchard. Even if you only want to plant a few trees in your backyard, consulting local experts will benefit you in the long run. Purchasing fruit trees is a significant investment, and you’ll want to collect all the information you can to be sure that you are setting yourself up for growing success!

Renovating on a Budget

Time takes its toll on everything. It’s no surprise, then, that no matter how well you try to take care of your household, the signs of wear and tear it displays are going to increase as time goes on. Thankfully, there are simple steps that you can take to improve the look of your home without breaking your budget.

Invest in Some Paint

Paint is an inexpensive way to really spruce up your household in an inexpensive way. A simple solution such as cabinet painting Lynnwood WA can cover up a lot of the damage that you see on your kitchen cabinets, for example. Although the damage may look extensive, the truth is that a lot of times the type of damage seen on appliances like this is only superficial in nature. This means that you can easily cover up the damage by applying a new coat of paint over the existing one.

Start Dusting!

Another easy, cheap way to improve the look of your home is to dust it more frequently. If you don’t already have one, buy a duster! Although you may feel that dusting is unnecessary due to the environmental conditions around your area, the fact is that a lot of dust is actually dry skin that flakes off of people. This is a normal process in the lifecycle of your skin, but what it means is that you should be dusting your home even if you feel like the area you live in isn’t particularly dusty. Dusting your house and possessions regularly is sure to extend their lifetimes since being covered in heavy dust for extended periods of time negatively impacts their longevity.

Renovating your house doesn’t have to be an involved, expensive process. You can take small steps to greatly improve its appearance and that of the possessions you keep inside of it.

3 Facts about Pond Enzyme Treatments

When you have a body of water on your property, it’s important to give it the care and maintenance it needs to be a safe and healthy environment, including keeping it clean without hurting its ecosystem. Here are three facts about one cleaning option, enzyme treatments.

1. It’s One of Three Treatment Classes

An enzyme treatment is one of three types of water treatment options. The other two are bacteria treatments and herbicides. Sometimes there is some crossover between the three, such as imazapyr treatments, which are herbicides that inhibit certain enzymes in algae and other plants to control their growth and spread.

2. Different Jurisdictions Have Different Laws

Before you decide on a type of water treatment, check your jurisdiction’s laws regarding the treatment and cleaning of natural bodies of water. Depending on your country, state and local jurisdiction, there may be certain laws regarding what types of treatments are allowed, restricted or prohibited. For example, in Pennsylvania, you need to contact the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the PA Fish and Boat Commission to apply for a state permit approving your use of herbicides.

3. You Need To Be Careful Using Them

Remember, all three water treatment classes need to be handled with utmost caution. While many of these treatments aren’t considered dangerous to humans, some can be, particularly to small children. They can also pose a great risk to the ecosystem and animals in the area, both wild and domesticated, if used improperly or excessively. Unless you are a professional or have extensive experience in using these types of treatments, it’s a good idea to hire aquatic management professionals, who will know how to safely and properly treat your water.

An enzyme treatment is only one option available to you for cleaning bodies of water. Carefully research and talk to professionals before choosing a treatment type.

Mistakes That Can Damage Your Residential HVAC Unit

Keeping the temperature inside of a home comfortable is no easy job. If a homeowner wants to avoid uncomfortable indoor temperatures, then keeping their HVAC unit functional is crucial. As time goes by, the HVAC unit in your home will start to show signs of wear.

Homeowners in the United States spend millions of dollars annually on HVAC repair and maintenance. As a homeowner, you need to educate yourself about how to properly care for your HVAC system. Read below to find out about common mistakes that can affect how well your HVAC unit functions.

Failing to Change Dirty Air Filters

A residential HVAC unit has a variety of different components. As your HVAC unit pulls in air from outdoors to heat or cool it, lots of dirt, dust and pollen will enter the system. It is the job of your air filter to catch these allergens and remove them from your indoor air supply. Eventually, your air filter will get clogged with debris.

Failing to change your air filter once every two months can create lots of problems. If your unit is unable to get the airflow it needs, it will start to get consistently overworked. This overworking will eventually lead to the need for emergency AC services West Columbia SC. You can avoid these airflow issues by checking and changing your air filter routinely.

Ignoring the Need For Condensation Drain Cleaning

The condensation drain attached to your HVAC unit performs a very specific and important job. Over time, this drain can become clogged with dirt and other materials. If the drain is unable to empty, then the water in this area will start to come out of your vents. Instead of dealing with the water damage, this can cause, you need to have your condensation drain cleaned a few times a year.

By avoiding the mistakes mentioned in this article, you can avoid damaging your HVAC unit.

What Is Involved With Being a Maintenance Man?

You can become a maintenance man at an apartment complex without having a lot of prior experience. A side benefit is that you don’t have to pay rent on your apartment being a maintenance man. Most of what you need to know can be gained by on-the-job training.

If you find out that your apartment complex is looking for a maintenance man, you have to go see the property manager Melbourne FL and apply for the job as it is usually a no experience required type of job. After you have been hired, you no longer have to pay rent on your apartment.

You show up at the rental office at a predetermined time, usually around 8:00 AM, and the property manager will give any number of work orders that were written up by the office after receiving a tenant’s complaint. 

The work orders are usually a mixture of minor and major complaints. One example of a minor complaint that doesn’t take a lot of time to fix is my garbage disposal is not working. This can usually be fixed by inserting a special tool into a hole in the middle of the bottom of the disposal and turning the tool until the impeller within moves freely.

More major complaints can include repairing or replacing an appliance, like a garbage disposal, a refrigerator, a stove, or a microwave oven. If all you need is a part to replace a defective one, there is usually a vacant apartment full of appliances that were replaced for some reason that you can remove the part from. If the appliance is beyond repair or if the part is not available, there is probably another vacant apartment full of new appliances. You just uninstall the defective appliance and install a new one in its place.

3 Items To Consider Before Buying an Investment Property

Purchasing an investment property can be a good financial decision that pays off in the long run, but this decision does not come without risks. The more you consider all the factors that go into this purchase, the better you can plan and the higher your chances are of being rewarded for making a wise investment choice. Here are three items to consider before buying an investment property. 

1. Location

First, consider if you want to lease your investment property out to a business or individual renters. Some locations might be zoned such that they do not allow business or multi-family properties. If you decide that you want a commercial rather than a residential investment property, make sure that you buy in a location where a business would want to establish itself, such as in a business park or a fast-growing part of town. 

2. Finances

Investment properties tend to have stricter requirements for securing financing and require a larger down payment than personal properties. Some factors to consider when deciding on a budget include your income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio and how much you expect to make from your investment. Have some idea of these figures if you decide to go the route of acquiring commercial lending Hoboken NJ for your property. Be sure to leave enough money for variable and fixed expenses like:

  • Property taxes
  • HOA fees
  • General upkeep such as landscaping and cleaning
  • Unexpected repairs

3. Time Commitment

Do you want to own a single investment property or multiple properties? Do you want to hire a property manager or would you prefer to be a more hands-on landlord? The answers to these questions depend on your finances and the amount of time you have to maintain the property. 

These three items are important to consider before embarking on the venture of becoming an investment property owner.

3 Ways to Save Big Bucks on Energy

The costs of heating and cooling your home can add up without you even realizing it. A few more dollars on your bills each month can make a big long-term impact. Is your house’s furnace or air conditioner unit old? It may be losing efficiency, and hvac contractors Hollywood FL can help you look for a new unit that works more effectively and helps you save. Try these other tips to keep more money in your pocket, too.

1. Put Up Some Curtains

Window coverings can help keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Not only do they keep the sunshine out on hot days, but they also help keep your heat inside. Plus, they are easily changed if you want to redecorate. Try the light-blocking variety in the bedroom so you can sleep in on Saturday mornings without being disturbed by the sun’s rays. Not only are curtains functional but they can be a nice indulgence, too!

2. Use Light Timers

Put these handy devices on your lamps and other fixtures to avoid leaving them on at night or when no one is normally in a room. You can program them to turn on and off at certain times. Pick a few up at your local hardware store and stop wasting energy today!

3. Program Your Thermostat

How often is your furnace working overtime while you are at your job or school? Get a thermostat that you can set to automatically change the temperature at certain times of the day. Some newer models can even be programmed from your smartphone, making cutting costs effortless!

A few changes around the house can really add up. Just think of what else you could be spending your money on. Before you know it, you could be putting those savings towards a new vacation or another treat for yourself. The sooner you start, the quicker that will happen!

Reasons To Build a Garage on Your House

Have you been thinking about reasons to build a garage on your property? Many older homes were built years ago before the invention of automobiles. Having a safe structure to store your car can help you extend the life of your vehicle and help you add value to your property.

Avoid Weather Damage

When you have a garage to store your cars, you can avoid costly damage caused by weather incidents. If you leave your car uncovered during severe storms, you could end up needing to have hail damage repair Denver CO. Hailstones not only damage the paint on your vehicle by causing dents, but they also can break the glass. Broken auto glass that’s left untreated can grow and spread throughout the entire pane. Other weather like snow and ice can pile up on a car causing the glass to break under the pressure of the weight.

Preserve the Paint on Your Car

Having a garage helps keep the luster and quality of the paint on your car. Vehicles that are left to bear the elements outdoors can end up with fading and oxidation on the colored finish. When part of the paint begins to erode, it can leave your finish more susceptible to rust and further degradation of the surface. Keeping your car in a garage makes your paint last longer and helps preserve the value of your automobile. Cars that have a better-maintained finish often sell better than ones that are rusted or oxidized. 

Avoid Costly Break-ins

A secure enclosed garage keeps your vehicle away from the prying eyes and hands of thieves. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies to this principle. When you have a garage attached to your house, this then becomes part of your real estate property. Burglars are less likely to take the chance of breaking into your house to get to your car if it’s not left outside. A car that’s left outside is easier to access by bandits, and by building a garage you can increase the safety of your property. You will also avoid possible costly damage due to vandalism and other criminal acts.

Building a garage in your home has many advantages. By keeping your car and other items securely inside this structure, you will save money and hassles. You will also enjoy the benefits of increasing the monetary value of your property, and your home will be easier to sell in the future.

Making Exteriors as Comfortable as Interiors

Back in 2020, everyone learned the true value of a comfortable and safe outdoor space. As we all move forward with our lives, those safe and comfortable outdoor spaces will continue to play an important role in our everyday lives. However, there is a reason that humanity invented housing. The outdoors are not always naturally comfortable. So what can you do to make the exterior of your home as cozy as the interior?

Temperature Control

The outdoors are not climate controlled, and in most places, that becomes uncomfortable at some point. You can’t change the thermostat when you’re outside; you have to find a workaround. If you’re in a warm, sunny area, you may need to look at landscape plant installation Boca Raton or your area to find shade-creating or shade-loving plants, in order to protect yourself from the sun and the heat. In extreme situations, a pool is a great way to beat the heat. If cold is what makes your outdoor spaces uncomfortable, a firepit can go a long way towards fixing that problem, if it’s done safely. 

Safety and Privacy

Safety is another factor to consider. Protecting yourself from the weather is one thing. Protecting yourself from bugs, wildlife, allergens, and nosy neighbors is another thing. Fences can make your property more private and secure. Citronella candles and bug repellants can make your space more comfortable from that perspective. Learn to identify the plants you’re allergic to, especially plants like poison ivy and poison oak. 


However, comfort isn’t just about not being miserable, it’s also about, well, comfort. What have you done to make your outdoor spaces as warm and welcoming as your indoor spaces? People like to have places to sit and things to do and something to look at, whether they are inside or outside. A comfortable seating area, perhaps even an outdoor dining area, is a great start. What activities do you do outside, and could you add more? Nature is already interesting to look at, but you can add to that with beautiful plants, interesting landscaping, and even outdoor art pieces. 

Spending more time outside is always a good thing. Humans need sunlight, and fresh air makes most everyone feel better, especially after a long day inside. So the next time you’re thinking about sprucing up your outdoor areas, don’t just think about what looks good from the curb. Think about what feels good and comfortable when you’re actually in the space and enjoying it.