Tips for Easy Vinyl Siding Installation

As a homeowner, you do almost anything you can to protect your investment and keep it looking beautiful. One way to do both is by updating your siding with vinyl. It’s a great way to change the entire look of your home and add value to your curb appeal. If you already have vinyl siding and want to move a window, door, or add an addition don’t worry overly much about your vinyl siding being your biggest issue; vinyl is one of the easiest types of sidings to deal with and relatively easy to take down and reinstall. When you’re buying your siding, most manufacturers offer complete instructions on how to install your siding so be sure to read and follow those explicitly.

Here are a few extra tips on installing vinyl siding to make sure that the project goes as smoothly as possible:

Removing Your Old Siding

Removing your siding is a simple process that only involves one extra tool that you might not already have in your toolbox—a zip tool. This tool helps you unlock the vinyl pieces from one another so you can remove them. If your siding is very tight, move the tool around the locked edge and look for a loose area or go to the end of a piece. If your siding is old, it will be more brittle so be careful in the removal process if you plan on rehanging any of it.

Rehanging Your Siding

If you removed your siding to update a window, a door, or to make any other repair, but plan to rehang the same siding, make your process organized by numbering the pieces as you remove them. Label the position where they were on your home as well so you know where the pieces go when you’re ready to put them back up. There’s no need to make a simple update to a confusing puzzle with a few quick organizing tips.

Matching Your Siding

If you already have existing vinyl siding on your home and you are looking to match the color to buy new pieces, bring a small piece of your siding to a retailer; they should be able to identify the color and brand and direct you where to get more. Realize that siding color will fade with age from being exposed to the elements so you may not get an exact match.

Anatomy of Siding

Siding is meant to hang a bit loosely on your home to compensate for the changes in temperature making it expand and contract. Hanging your vinyl siding too tightly to the wall may make it buckle and break after a few years of wear. Also, be sure to have building paper behind your siding to prevent water damage from the elements and repair and holes in your building paper that is already up. It’s also safe to leave a ¼” gap on the ends as your trim pieces will be there to cover the ends and keep your job looking professional.

With these tips, help from family and friends with experience, and by following the directions outlined by the manufacturers, your siding project can be done in no time. The benefits of the beauty and protection vinyl siding will give your home will last for a long time.

Using Construction Scheduling Software To Improve Performance

If you have ever run a major project that involves construction planning and scheduling, you will understand the challenges to bring the project in on time and budget. With the multiple dependencies between project work, the scheduling of labor, the planning for contingency, and the need to organize tasks sequentially, keeping track of the project manually can be a daunting task. That’s why most professional firms use construction scheduling software. The use of construction tracking software provides a seamless way to organize, schedule, and report on completed tasks. It is an indispensable aid for project managers who are required to bring projects in on time and budget. For firms that adopt this software, you can expect to see measurable results to your bottom line.

The task assignment of construction scheduling software allows you to keep on top of everything that needs to be done. Completing product schedules is not the only functionality provided by construction scheduling programs. When you need to enter additional tasks, the software provides the flexibility to do so. When you need to know which items are outstanding, you can create reports or to-do lists. You can even print out lists of work orders and use one-touch clicking to fax or email work orders that need to be conveyed to third parties.

Construction and scheduling software also provides an integrated customer and sub-contractor database. This includes storing names, phone numbers, job numbers, lot numbers, addresses, lockbox combinations, customer details, site directions, and special requirements. You can also use the software as a communications center to coordinate staff, issue work orders, track outstanding orders, and record notes about the project for future reference.

With the professional reporting functionality, project managers will be able to print off professional and customizable reports to assist with deliverables and briefing senior management. Your completion times will be reduced because you are more organized, your communications are streamlined and your work orders and subcontractor schedules are centralized. When project completion depends on being on top of every step that comprises the construction process, construction scheduling software empowers construction professionals with greater efficiency.

Whether you’re doing a home remodeling project, a developer, real estate professional, or a project manager, construction scheduling software can help you plan your work and work your plan. With the ability to publish schedules over the internet, companies that are involved with remote projects can facilitate greater collaboration and project tracking by using centralized construction project scheduling software. Download a free trial today and discover how you can improve your work performance and bottom line.

Some Simple Tips to Keep your Home Secured

There are a good number of reasons why the security of your home should be one of the major concerns for you. Burglars and thieves will only be too glad to break into your home and lay their hands on your belongings.

Therefore you need to consider how vulnerable your home may be, and what the first steps are towards making your house more secure against burglars and robbers. Most of the older houses do not have the modern security systems to stop these people from entering your home. Here is some information to go through if you want to enhance the security of your home and get things under control.

Doors and Windows

The first thing to consider is getting the doors and windows secured. Make sure they are strong enough to resist unwanted trouble and keep them shut and well secured at night or when you are away from your home.

If you can install a strong lock on the windows, you can expect even more security.

Lighting Instructions

If you can keep the surroundings of your home well lighted, you can expect even more security. Thieves will think twice about breaking into a house if they are visible in such lights.

Using the lights that come with the motion sensors can be a good idea. These can light up when they detect any movement within a specific range.

When You Are Away

If you are planning to be away over the weekend, or are going away for a long vacation, take some extra precautions to ensure the safety and security of your house. First of all, make sure you lock all the doors and shut all the windows properly.

Make sure you inform your neighbors that you are going to be away so that they can keep an eye on your house till you are back. You can also ask someone reliable to stay in your house through that time, and hence avoid leaving the house empty for the thieves to break in.

Use of Equipment

Finally, if you check the stores that sell home security equipment and other home improvement accessories, you will come across cameras, alarms, and a host of other gadgets that can add to the security of your home. Check such items and see if you should be using any of them.

Here are some of the tips to provide wholesome security to your home:

Break-in is generally attempted at the front door. To install a security alarm at the front door to prevent burglary and theft. You need not install those throughout the house. Make sure that those are battery operated so that you need have to bear the burden of increasing the electricity bill.

Instead of small security locks install death bolts at both the front and backdoors. This would provide you more security assurance than those lightweight locks. You can put those death bolts at the windows too. Apply the same security concept for office partitions.

If the front door of your house is a sliding one then also you can install a death bolt along with it fix locks at the top and bottom of the door to be extra secured. You can use anti-lift devices for these doors.

A dark house attracts the burglars more. So make proper arrangements for lightning up the house and compound. To avoid the increased electric bill you can use the solar panel as the electricity source.

Construct a good fence around your house that would be the first line of your defense which would be quite difficult for the burglars or the thieves to breach. You can use a thorny fence and barbed wires for fencing the compound.
It is not necessary to sacrifice the beauty of your house for the sake of safety. For fencing the compound you can use thorny plants that too have aesthetic looks. Rose or holly is good examples of such plants.

Making The Most of Your Garage

I’ve heard countless people complain about a lack of living space in their homes and yet in many of them there’s a garage that is completely unusable and overwhelmed by “stuff.”

Why is it that people don’t view their garage as a livable space that is an extension of their home?

Well, let’s put a stop to that foolishness right now…

First of all, you need to determine what function your garage will serve. Do you need storage space? Do you want to use it as a craft or hobby area? Maybe it has to serve multiple functions for the different members of your family. Once you have a game plan, your next step is to clear it out and get rid of anything that no longer has a use.

Your garage isn’t a dumping ground so throw out or donate any items that you no longer need or want. Now that you have a great blank canvas, walk around a little and try to visualize what it can look like. While it’s empty, you may want to consider putting down some type of garage floor coating that will not only clean up and brighten a tired old floor; it will also protect it from damage or stains going forward. Garage flooring comes in many different forms so it’s important to pick one that suits your needs. Your garage floor coating should be determined by visual, durability, and installation requirements.

Once you have your garage flooring sorted you can start looking at making it a user-friendly area. Think about your storage needs and decide on shelving or cupboards, or even ceiling mounted racks for larger items. Making sure that you have adequate storage is a huge part of keeping your garage clear and clean and functional. Any home improvement store can provide you with nearly endless storage or workbench options; it’s simply a matter of picking the pieces that will work for you.

Now that you have your space tricked out from the garage flooring to the functionality of the storage and work areas, you need to keep it that way. Don’t look at it as the dumping ground that it may have been previously.

The more you use the space and appreciate the extra square footage in your home, the easier it will be to maintain it because once you understand how much space is available to you, you won’t want to give up!

Spring Into The Season For Home Improvement

If you’re like me, you’ve been sitting around the house all winter keeping a mental list of the home improvement projects you want to start. Now that spring is here, it’s time to get started. Not only will home improvements beautify your daily surroundings, but they also add to the resale value of your home. So, there’s no time like the present to pull out a paintbrush or two and start making home improvements.

The easiest and least expensive way to dramatically improve both the exterior and the interior of a home is with paint. A fresh coat of paint breathes new life into a tired-looking living room. Nothing says curb appeal like a gorgeous exterior color. To get things started, buy some masking tape, tarps, rollers, brushes, paint, spackle, and sandpaper.

Touch up any cracks in the walls with the spackle and sandpaper, tape off your carpeting and sideboards, and get to painting. Remember to select a neutral shade that will suit a wide range of tastes if you intend to sell your home anytime soon.

Once the walls are gleaming and gorgeous with their new paint jobs, take a good look at your old lighting fixtures and hardware. Does the brown stained-glass chandelier in the kitchen look more like it belongs in the local pizzeria than in a high-end home magazine? Perhaps a trip to the hardware store is in order. You can replace a light fixture and modernize a room for less than $100 and an hour of work. It will change the ambiance of the room. It can even change the atmosphere of the whole home if the fixture is in a highly visible spot. The same is true for hardware; changing doorknobs and drawer hardware can shave years off the appearance of your home.

Now that you’re seeing your home in a new light, so to speak, let’s give some attention to your cabinetry and countertops. Are they still looking like a country kitchen from the 1980s? Well, installing new cabinets is a lot of work and costs a pretty penny. What about paint or new hardware for the cabinets? It’s possible that painting them a dark gray and adding some glass panels will change their look entirely.

Try to improve your cabinets without breaking the budget. Then, use the money you save on your cabinets to renovate your countertops. Granite has dropped dramatically in price in recent years and looks dynamite. Have professional installers give you an estimate on the cost for new countertops per square foot. If granite is still a bit out of your price range, laminate countertops are an affordable option that will make your kitchen shine again. Even putting tile over your old countertops is a viable option if you’re trying to keep your home improvements on a budget and renovate your kitchen on the cheap.

Spring is in the air, and it’s the perfect season to get started on home improvement projects. Plant some new shrubs, paint your bathrooms, change old light fixtures and add some spice to your kitchen. You’ll benefit from the beauty of your home improvements every day, and all of your hard work will ultimately add to the resale value of your home.