Choosing The Right Finish For Your Hardwood Floor

Your hardwood floor may have its in-built resistance, but a proper finish is still needed to protect the wood from a house’s routine elements. Besides durability, a good finish can also enhance the hardwood’s texture and color, based on the finish variety chosen. Floor finishes have varying traits, which is why it’s important to pick and choose thoughtfully when considering a finish for your floor.

Gloss or Matte?

Most finish options offer choices in terms of sheen. Scuffs or scratch marks on your floor are more likely or visible with glossier or shinier finishes. A matter or smooth finish reflects little light and is high on practicality. Before picking between the two, consider how the room is used and the look you want your hardwood floors to attain. A matte floor is also more traditional.

Penetrating or Surface?

A surface and penetrating finish are two of the most popular or common hardwood floor finishes. A penetrating finish, which comprises oils, enters deep into the wood grain. It can be renewed easily, but needs special polishing and waxing care to ensure the floor stays clean and strong.

Here in Chesterfield, owners of old houses with pine or other softwood floors usually side with oil-based penetrating finishes; that’s because the finish provides the wood a vintage appearance that doesn’t look plastic and shiny. Oils help highlight the natural wood’s texture and grain. This is why fine furniture makers use this finish.

A surface finish, including polyurethane and varnishes, creates a rigid surface atop the wood. The finish provides improved protection against stains and scratches and can be easily cleaned. Such finishes are common in newer houses and gym floors. In fact, the plastic-looking, super durable gym hardwood floor refinishing is polyurethane. A surface finish is removable, but the stripping and refinishing process will take some time.

Oil or Water-Based?

Traditional hardwood finishes are usually oil-based. However, there are a few challenges to oil-based floor finishes.

Compared to a water-based finish, oil finishes take time to dry. This not just prevents you from using the area quickly enough, but an oil-based finish’s snail-paced drying time also increases its susceptibility to dirt and dust. Also, an oil finish needs mineral spirits, instead of water and soap, for cleanup.

Water-based finishes were, in fact, born owing to the aforementioned limitations of oil-based formulas. Since water evaporates fast, the drying time of water-based finishes is negligible. This also means the decreased likeliness of dust and grime getting entrapped in the floor finish. Also, there are no dangerous fumes to water, thanks to its evaporating mechanism.

A water-based finish, however, trails oil-based finishes in the durability department, but the difference isn’t too big.

Floor Finish Buying Guidelines

The hardwood finish is as important as the floor. Therefore, don’t make choices based solely on price or attractiveness. Look into what your requirements are and how durable the finish will be, having considered the amount of footfalls the floor is likely to be subjected to.

If you’re stuck between a water- and oil-based finish, consider the period (time of the year), time available for the project, drying time, and the project’s impact on the family before making a choice. Once you have a more clear idea of what kind of finish is right for you, you’ll be ready to start evaluating potential local floor refinishers – you’ll find several good ones in Chesterfield. Good luck with your floor!

women and lights

How to Install an Electrical Receptacle without an Electrician

So you have just moved into your new home and you realize that there is only one electrical receptacle in your living room. With your extensive supply of electronics, this will just not work with your current digital lifestyle.  There is no way you’ll be able to bus your surround sound, T.V., cable box, router, video game consoles, and all of your lighting. This is when you decided that your room needs a couple more outlets. You can either call your local San Jose electrician or you can try and tackle this job yourself, saving yourself hundreds of dollars in the long run.



Luckily for you, the areas that you most need a new receptacle have another one on the other side of the wall. This means that you can bridge off of the outlet that sits across from where you want the new one. By doing this, you will not need to run a wire but a few inches, opposed to running a wire from other outlets across the way or all the way to the electrical panel.

Shut Off the Main Electric Supply

Before doing any electrician work, make sure that you first turn off the main power supply and disconnect the breaker that is connected to the outlet that you intend on doing work from. You don’t want to end up having to take a trip to the emergency room. If at any time you don’t feel comfortable doing a job like this then stop and call a professional electrical contractor.

Cut Away the Drywall and Wire it up

drywall tools

When the power has been shut off, you can then begin to cut away where you intend for the receptacle to be installed. Once you have the hole cut your next step is to install the receptacle box on the stud. Take your electrical cable and strip it to expose the white, black, and ground wires. Screw them in the appropriate sides of the outlet. It should indicate where they go on the outlet, but black is usually on brass, white is on silver, and the ground is usually at the lowest or highest point. When attached, run the wire out of the box and drill a hole in the stud if needed to reach the other outlet box that we need to bridge the power from. Next, you will then unscrew the outlet that resides on the other side of the wall. Here you can pull out the outlet and expose the wires to be worked on.  Now you can attach the wires on the bottom sections to create a loop and thus gain the power to the outlet.

drywall repair lady 3

When everything is connected, you can then put everything back in their boxes and secure tightly. The next step is to put up more drywall to the hole you made. For more stability, you may want to attach furrings to the back side of the surrounding drywall. When the furrings are in place, start to secure in the drywall. Finish with some drywall tape and some spackle. Let it dry then sand it smooth. Add some primer then finish with the paint color of your choice.

Congratulations! You just finished installing an electrical receptacle without the help of your local San Jose electrician or a trip to the hospital.

The Premium Replacement Window Company

windowsAfter a few years, windows may show signs of wear and tear that compel owners to replace them. This is an excellent opportunity to switch to beautiful units of higher quality and efficiency that can last for almost a lifetime. That’s what customers get with Renewal by Andersen window replacement service.

Custom-made in the USA

This respected window installation company is a subsidiary of Andersen Corporation, the biggest name when it comes to windows and doors in the country. It was founded as far back as 1903 by Hans Andersen in Hudson, Wisconsin. It has since grown into a global business with a production facility in Bayport, Minnesota covering 65 acres of land. On the other hand, Renewal by Andersen’s custom built windows are made Cottage Grove, MN. High standards of quality are imposed to ensure customer satisfaction.

Unique Fibrex Composite Material

Most windows on the market are either made of wood or vinyl. Both materials have their pros and cons, forcing consumers to make a compromise at every turn. That is why the company developed the exceptional Fibrex composite material that combines all of the greatest attributes of wood and vinyl: insulation, low maintenance, resistance to decay, structural rigidity, and phenomenal durability. People can now get the best of both worlds thanks to the advanced engineering prowess of Andersen.

Superior Energy Efficiency

The company offers different variants of High-Performance Low E4 glass. Each of these can provide the home with increased energy efficiency during temperature extremes for lower consumption. They also block ultraviolet rays to protect furniture, artwork, and drapes from damage. A tinted version is available for reduced visible light. Customers may choose between four patterns including Fern, Cascade, Reed and Obscure. Those who are looking for stronger glass may opt for the heat-treated type. Energy efficient windows can save families significant sums over the long run.

Different Styles to Choose From

There is no singular style to fit all homes. That’s why Andersen carries multiple windows including casement, double-hung, sliding, bay & bow, picture, awning, and specialty windows. Choose what’s best for each case. Then pair it with the right color and stainable wood interiors for the perfect match with vintage architecture. Here are eleven available hardware finishes such as polished chrome, bright brass, and oil-rubbed bronze.  Add grille patterns and insect screens for protection if required. These are all high-quality additions that extend window functionality without taking anything away from their beauty.

Impeccable Customer Service

happy audience

One of the reasons why Andersen has been around for over a hundred years is its commitment to deliver impeccable customer service. Interested parties can schedule a consultation with window replacement experts free of charge. They will visit the house to learn its needs up-close and suggest appropriate solutions. The project will be completed on time and within budget. Customers will never have to worry as the lines of communication will always be open and free-flowing. Experienced craftsmen will install the windows, clean up the site, and exceed expectations with their incredible work.

Window Replacement Warranty

Renewal by Andersen provides the best-limited warranty in the business that covers parts, labor, and original installation services. The company stands by the quality of its glass and ensures customers that they will be free from defects in workmanship, materials, and manufacturing for 20 years. There is also a 10-year warranty on parts other than glass and a 2-year warranty on installation. For more information about their replacement windows, go to the official website or call the company today.

elegant living room

Is Hot Water Extraction the Best Method of Carpet Cleaning?

Carpet Cleaning For Elegant Homes

Based on studies, abrasive and gritty dry particulate matter such as dirt that accumulate on carpets may damage it substantially. Apart from this water spills, dropped food particles, and pet excreta also play a major role in damaging them. Left untreated, the combination of water and dirt binds the dirt inside the carpet knots. The amount of damage increases proportionately to the density of the knots.


Prevent Damage

All of these factors can damage your precious rug beyond repair if you do not take timely and preventive action. Never try to undertake this task by yourself unless you have the knowledge and the equipment required; else, you might end up damaging its fine fabrics. Remember, once dirt goes deep inside the carpet, it does not easily come out. Most people, in an attempt to save money, try to follow do it yourself methods mentioned online that suggest them to wash their carpets and dry it in sunlight.

living roomSunlight Can Bleach

They are unaware that the ultraviolet rays of sunlight act as a bleaching agent, which damages the color of the rugs. Most carpets, particularly the costly Oriental ones, contain water-soluble vegetable based dyes. Therefore, trying to remove spilled water from them by wiping the wet areas with dry and absorbent cloth can cause the color to bleed from one part to the other, especially if you use the same cloth for wiping different parts of the rug, damaging its beauty permanently.


Salvaging Water Soaked Rugs

The extent of damage is much more in the case of water saturated rugs. Trying to dry them with hair dryers or by keeping them in an air conditioned room shrinks their size. Instead of taking the risk of cleaning a soiled rug on your own, entrust the job to a professional Northern Virginia carpet cleaning company. They will send  an experienced carpet cleaner to your home to evaluate the damages to your rug, clean it, and restore it to its pristine glory without shrinking its size or damaging its colors.


Steam Versus Hot water Extraction

While most professionals employ steam cleaning to dry rugs soaked with water, only a few, such as Absolute Carpet Care use the hot water extraction method. Unlike steam cleaning, where water needs to heated to a temperature high enough to transform it into vapor, the hot water cleaning method employs water heated to a temperature that removes stubborn stains as well as preserves the dimensions of the carpet. Apart from this, the former method is best suited for rugs woven from artificial fibers.

carpet cleaning by handCarpet Care Advantages

Unlike hot water, steam never acts as a rinsing agent. Therefore, it cannot remove soil or detergents used during the cleansing process. In the hot water extraction method, the carpet cleaner applies cleaning agent on the soiled area, rubs it with a soft brush (to protect its sensitive fibers), then follows it up by rinsing it with clean water. He repeats this process several times until all the dirt and grime are removed. Once the procedure is completed, the specialist compresses the moist area with blotting paper or lint-free cloth to remove excessive water and dries the carpet in an air conditioned room. On an average, the carpet cleaner completes the cleaning and drying process in about six hours. Instead of taking any risk with your precious carpet, seek the help of a professional carpet cleaning company in Northern Virginia like Absolute Carpet Care.

Custom Replacement Windows in Long Island, NY

Benefits of Investing in Replacement Windows

It is wise for Long Island residents to consider replacement windows for several reasons. Many homeowners understand that inefficient windows lead to unnecessary expenses, especially in cities that are exposed to harsh weather. However, there are more reasons to consider replacement windows besides energy savings. Those reasons include design, noise, protection, functionality, and value. Click here for a replacement window dealer in Long Island that offers each of these benefits.


Windows are an important element of a home’s design. Windows are a huge focal point of a house, both externally and internally. In some homes, windows are the central design factor. Updated windows can update an entire home’s design, and the opposite is true as well. Modernizing one’s windows is important for ensuring a home’s design is not outdated.


Windows are necessary for bringing sunlight into a home, updating design elements, and of course, seeing the world outside. There is another purpose of windows, however, especially in an area like Long Island. That purpose is reduction of noise. Up-to-date windows maintain a home’s serenity, privacy, and the ability for its residents to sleep adequately. Outdated windows, on the other hand, can cause stress and sleep deprivation due to noise exposure. It is important to consider replacement windows for noise reduction to maintain a homeowner’s health and privacy.


Another purpose best served by updated windows is protection from outside elements. Storms can harm inhabitants and inside property if windows are outdated. Also, many newer windows offer UV protection that older windows do not provide. UV rays are damaging to people and belongings. Replacement windows can be an effective way to reduce or eliminate such damage while in the home.


Another benefit of newer windows is functionality. Commonly, older windows are painted shut or unable to open for other reasons. Sometimes, simply because of age, older windows do not operate as well as they did when new. Poorly functioning or inoperable windows are frustrating and lower the value of a house. Installing updated windows is oftentimes the best way to ensure optimal window functionality.


Updated windows tremendously increase the value of a home. Windows have a huge effect on energy costs, design aesthetic, noise, protection, and functionality. Unsurprisingly, the quality of windows largely affects a home’s value. From an investment perspective then, updated windows are an effective way to increase the value of a home.

Due to the weather conditions they encounter, Long Island homeowners would be prudent to consider replacement windows for efficiency purposes. Yet, there are many reasons to install new windows besides energy savings. Design, noise, protection, functionality, and value are likewise important considerations to a modern homeowner. Often replacement windows are a beneficial investment that is long overdue. It takes minimal time to research replacing windows, and the benefits of doing so are often well worth the effort.


Avoid The Nightmare Of Water Damage Repairs

Moisture and water can substantially compromise a home’s structural integrity. It can damage window frames, roofs, siding and personal belongings within the home. For this reason, it is wise for property owners to contact a siding contractor or water damage restoration company to evaluate their home after water damage has occurred.

Roofs, siding and windows can all be ruined or damaged by moisture, but a homeowner may have no idea how to go about the cleanup process without water damagedaccidentally causing further damage. Additionally, faulty plumbing, burst pipes or similar issues may be discovered by the property owner, but he or she may need advice about the type of repairs that must be completed. For example, a person may not know whether window repair is an option or if the home requires replacement windows after water damage has occurred.

Similarly, a roof repair may be necessary, as water damage to a roof creates an emergency situation. This is because water could make its way from the roof to electrical wiring areas and potentially cause a fire. Because it can be difficult to determine which repairs are necessary, a general contractor is the best resource for those whose homes have sustained water damage.

Avoiding Costly Renovations


Timely water damage restoration is essential if a homeowner wishes to avoid expensive renovations. If moisture is permitted to seep into other areas of the dwelling in addition to the original problem site, permanent structural damage may occur. For instance, if water has warped a wood framed window, it may have to be replaced before the moisture seeps from the frame to the wall. The same is true of water damaged siding or insulation.

Mold and Health Problems


moldThere is a substantial risk for the rapid development of mildew or mold following water damage. These substances are fungal growths that not only ruin personal possessions, but can also cause medical problems for those living in the home, such as acute asthma and allergies. Individuals are also at risk for certain respiratory infections and neurological problems if mold is inhaled for a significant length of time.


If individuals residing within the dwelling are already afflicted with allergies or asthma, they are at risk for complications. When mold has begun to spread, it will not stop until its environment is changed. However, once its water source is taken away, it can be eradicated.

Contacting a Professional Contractor


With the exception of very mild cases, water mitigation is generally a complicated task. This is especially true if the moisture has seeped into floorboards, drywall or insulation panels. Specialized tools and protective gear are frequently required to work in contaminated areas. However, most consumers do not possess the appropriate equipment to make repairs in or around water damaged properties. Therefore, such tasks should be placed in the hands of professionals.
Because water damage can threaten a home’s structural integrity and harm its residents, procrastinating is never wise, even if the problem at first appears to be mild. If such damage occurred due to a fire, flood, defects in the house, or negligence, a professional contracting company should be called. Individuals who work for such companies are experienced in all types of repair and they have the proper equipment to effectively remedy a moisture-damaged environment. Homeowners faced with such problems should contact a water damage professional like Metropolitan Contractors in Northern Virginia as soon as possible.

nice kitchen

High End Home Kitchens


chefWhen I think of the characteristics of a high-end home, I imagine walking through the entire place; through the entry door, into the living room, the bathrooms, dining room, and then into the kitchen. I’m a chef at chop house in Richmond VA and cooking is my life so my imaginary walk through usually stops here at the kitchen. If I were designing a high-end home, I would put the majority of my focus in here because I would most likely be spending most of my time here.


A luxurious kitchen should have top of the line appliances, gadgets, & tools, the finest granite countertops, a great ventilation system, and a very extensive lighting system. One of my favorite stores to shop at is Williams-Sonoma for all of my helpful gadgetry. They have everything from a Paderno Spiralizer to Rosle’s Collapsible Colanders. For all of my cutlery, I have nothing but Shun brand knives. They are made of Japanese steel, with the highest of quality standards.


Kitchen Appliances

8 burner gas grillAll of my cooking appliances would be top of the line starting with my oven and stove. I would need two double wide stoves that could be automated from my phone and a gas, open-flamed stove with eight burners. When I cook, I do it up! I would also need a commercial dishwasher to get a quick and efficient clean. My sinks would be huge so I would have plenty of room to work with my food preparation. I would also imagine great big chopping block so I could butcher all my meats with the greatest of ease. A kitchen would also not be complete without a Vitamix, the best blender and emulsifier out there.


Granite Countertops

I would have nothing but granite countertops within my kitchen. This stone is great for cooking preparation because it is very easy to clean, allowing contaminates like bacteria and mold to easily be wiped away and sanitized. Granite countertops are also very heat resistant, meaning that if I were to set a hot pan on them I wouldn’t have to worry about it ruining my surfaces. There are many options of stone to pick from and that would probably be the hardest part to decide on. I know I would like a light colored granite, maybe with a simple design. Some selections that I had checked were Pegasus White, Vetrazzo Bretagne Blue, Zodiaq Coarse Carrara, zodiq papyrus, and Andromeda White.


drop lighting ripLighting Systems


My lighting system would be comprised of many fixtures that will provide the best light for food preparation. This is a must if you want to thoroughly examine your foods and efficiently work with them. Placement is key. Having the fixtures above all workspaces will make the work easier so drop down lighting across all islands, rope lighting beneath cabinets, and properly angled track lighting is a must.




When you cook, there will be smoke and oils that escape into the air. To prevent the carbons & oils from getting all over your walls, cabinets, appliances, and your lungs, a powerful ventilation system is needed above your stove unit. Having a wide hood can help capture all of the smoke so it can be sucked up and sent outside so not to contaminate your home.


These are just a few of many options for designing your dream kitchen, but I feel these are the essentials. When building out your high-end home, make sure to fulfill all of your personal needs and wants.




50 Shades of Tint

nice modern roomA high end home doesn’t come cheap. It takes careful planning and a keen eye to detail. Before any renovation, you must first try and visualize your new improvement. Is this a spontaneous decision or is this something that you will enjoy for a lifetime. I love my home, especially the view I have of Colorado Springs’s lovely mountain range. Through careful consideration, I have decided to purchase an upgrade that will not only enhance my already wonderful view, but save me lots of money on my energy bills. This wonderful product is home window tint. I was first introduced to this great stuff when I was browsing through 3M’s website. I scrolled through their many window film options and gave myself much time for research.


Another great benefit that window tint will provide is its ability to block out harmful U.V. rays. Most people don’t realize that the sun can still be harmful when you are inside your home. By blocking the U.V. rays, you can reduce your risk of certain skin cancers.


window kitchen tintSome may also have security and safety in mind when purchasing window tinting for their home. 3M makes a security film that adds an extra layer of support in the event that the window pane is struck. When it is hit the window fragments are held together, making it hard for an intruder to break in. This allows more time for police enforcement to arrive to scene and may help in deterring the robber. This is also great in the safety aspect in which someone may accidently drop or throw something into the window. This way no glass will fall on the floor and the hazard of cutting your foot is no longer a problem.


Decorative and privacy purposes are yet another benefit that certain models of window tinting can add to a home. Let’s say you have glass shower doors in your bathrooms. You can apply the frosted window tint to them, providing a privacy screen so no one can look in. You can even put this stuff on windows in which you want light to come in but still block out luring eyes. In terms of decorative purposes, you can buy or customize themed tinting that can project a floral theme or even a business logo if you plan on advertising your company.


There are so many reasons to get home window tinting. What’s holding you back?

Protect Your Home From Disaster

DryerDryer vents get clogged up quickly and that can present serious problems to you and your family. Keep in mind; a clogged dryer means that your dryer is not operating as it should and it also could be a safety risk when it comes to a fire.


Professional dryer vent cleaning can remove the buildup of lint, improve the efficiency of your dryer and protect your family from a potential fire. Of course, cleaning the lint trap in your dryer is good; however, it is not enough to prevent a fire from starting in your dryer vent. Some may not know it; but when the venting system in your dryer can’t exhaust as it should, it overheats. If you choose, you can clean the dryer vent system yourself, but if you are unsure how to do this, ask a professional dryer vent cleaning service for help and they will do the job for you.


There are certain signs and signals that it’s time to clean your dryer vent such as: your clothes not getting completely dry after a normal drying cycle, noticing a musty odor after the drying cycle is over, clothes being unusually hot after the drying cycle, excessive heat in the room where the dryer is located and excessive odor from dryer sheets that are used in the drying cycle.


Another sign that your dryer vent needs to be cleaned is if your dryer gets hot on the top. If your dryer gets hot on the top of the cabinet during a drying cycle it usually means that the air flow which helps keep the dryer cool is restricted.


Professional dryer vent cleaning companies say that the dryer vent should be cleaned at least once every two years; sooner if you notice a buildup inside the dryer. (This, of course, depends on your laundry habits.) In addition, there are tips that will decrease the buildup in your dryer vents such as:


  • Limiting the use of dryer sheets when drying clothing
  • Only operating clothing dryers for no longer than 40 minutes per batch of laundry
  • Hanging heavy pillows, bedding and other large articles

outside to dry in the sunlight


Another preventative measure is to use a vacuum to clean the inside of the dryer; especially around the lint trap.


There are several benefits in cleaning your dryer vent besides preventing a fire such as: lowering your energy bill, preventing unnecessary repairs to your dryer, clothes drying quicker, less lint on your clothes and not overheating your dryer. Most importantly, dryer vents that become clogged prevent carbon monoxide from ventilating as it should. This is critical because carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. In addition, the buildup of lint can also lead to the growth of harmful mold. Mold and mildew grows quickly in warm and moist environments.


To conclude, lint can quickly build up inside a dryer vent and cause fires and other health concerns; however, to prevent this from happening, have a professional dryer vent cleaner come and clean out your dryer vent. Having this done once every two years will keep you and your family healthy and may prevent a fire from occurring in your home. Dryer vent cleaning is essential for many reasons and is an easy thing to do. Talk with a dryer vent professional today!

Beautiful Living room

Make Your Home Look High-End

You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your home look like a high-end home.  All it really takes is a clean home and a good eye for design.  My old Brentwood TN home used to look bland, dirty, and just plain sad.  Tired of that look, I set out to create a more elegant and beautiful home.

Below are some things that you can do to make your home look like a million bucks!

New Carpets

If your home has old and worn out carpets, go ahead and replace them.  Your flooring is one of the most noticeable aspects of your home, and it can set the tone for the appearance of everything else in the house.  Replacing your old carpets will make your home feel newer and cleaner.  If you don’t have the budget for a full carpet replacement, consider a professional carpet cleaning.  I trust a local Brentwood carpet cleaning service whenever I need to freshen up my home’s flooring.

Add Art Work to the Walls

bedroom-artHaving a large piece of art to add as the centerpiece of your home can add to your home’s wow factor.  However, large pieces of art are typically very expensive.  One way around this is to search for a free piece of art on the internet and have it printed at a local print shop.  You can then use an inexpensive frame to hang it where you see fit.  This is one of the best ways to make your home look high-end for cheap.

Clear the Clutter

Clutter in your home can make your home seem messy and unfinished.  I recommend getting rid of any and all knickknacks that don’t add anything to your home.  Adding a minimal style with a few personality pieces is a wonderful way to make your home seem stylish and well put together.

Make Your Space Look Larger

Small rooms don’t have to feel small.  You can make a space feel larger by adding one large mirror or a collection of smaller mirrors to a wall.  Also, by placing a large rug in the middle of the floor you can make the room feel larger than it actually is.

Keep it Clean

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Keep that phrase in mind when you’re revamping your home.  Having an overall clean home can make your home look and feel more expensive than it really is.  You’ll always love the way a clean home looks over a filthy one and you’ll always wow any guests that come into your home.