Retractable screens are specifically designed to retract by rolling up into a protective housing and are invisible when not in use. The best and most functional retractable screen systems can be retro-fitted into your porch, over a deck, a door or window. The housings fit within or around a window or door frame in a way that they are hardly noticeable.
The screen unrolls up into a protective housing when the door or window is opened, protecting you against flying or crawling insects. At the same time, the retracting allows homeowners like yourself to enjoy some cool, fresh and natural ventilation. When you close the screen, it retracts back into its housing conveniently.
Is a retractable screen suitable for you?
Retractable screens are the new screens that are gradually replacing the old traditional patio screens. With retractable screens, you get the flexibility of having screens that you can roll out and use whenever you need them and then, later on, tuck them away when you don’t.
But even with the convenience and functional aspect, it can get a little tricky to figure out whether they are the best option. It’s therefore recommended that you find out more about the screens to help you decide on the best choice. Below are some questions to ask before determining whether a retractable screen is suitable for you.
Which size is best for your home?
They are available in all shapes and sizes to fit into your door or window. Every manufacturer has their set sizes and each applies to different kinds of openings. Most of the maximum sizes are usually for garage doors and such while the smaller ones are for doors and windows.
Is it made from durable material?
Retractable screens can have different appearances and are made from different materials. A brand like Go Retractable ensures retractable screens of the highest quality. Find out which type of materials has been used to make the screen. Depending on how strong the material is, this will help you to know how the screen will hold up over time.
You can also ask whether the screens are locally made to know if you’ll be able to get assistance fast whenever you need to make any repairs. Apart from the material, retractable screens come in different finishes, textures, and even colors. Check them out before you decide.
How is the screen installed?
A retractable screen can be mounted in different locations so always get the details about the installation process. Can it be done the DIY way, if you already have a toolbox or is it possible to get a customized product made specifically for your home?
Even if it’s possible to do the installation yourself, it’s not recommended especially when it comes to custom screens. It’s best to have a professional handle the installation. Find out if the company provides professional installation and for how long the installation will take.
How protective is the screen mesh?
Screen mesh is available in different types to help protect from different things. The major function of a retractable screen is to keep bugs out and let fresh air in. But, there are those who install them for plenty of other reasons like shielding from certain weather or provide a shady spot to escape the sun.
What is the level of maintenance?
One of the top advantages of using a retractable screen is that since it retracts when not in use, this protects the fabric from harmful UV rays, dirt and weather. The fact that it self-protects from the elements when not in use makes it less prone to dirt.
While you might have to clean the tracks to keep them fairly clear of debris and dirt to ensure that the screen operates as expected, this is a quick and easy job. Apply some silicone-based lubricant on the tracks once in a while to keep it running smoothly.
What’s the price?
The screens come in varying prices. But, you can still settle on a price that is within your budget once you find the right company. Get in touch with one of your local dealers and find out more about an estimate and options.
Is a motorized better than a manual retractable screen?
Most people prefer the manual screen, especially those with no electricity on their decks. The motorized version is also quite pricey. But, a motorized retractable screen is much better than a manual one. Even if you still use the manual screen, consider upgrading it to the motorized version. Motorized screens come in handy, especially if you do not want to use your arm strength.
Does it have a warranty and what does it cover?
For any purchase or installation of a product, there has to be a warranty. Always check the long term aspects of the retractable screen you intend to buy. If you are buying from a reliable manufacturer, the product and installation should have some kind of warranty or guarantee.
Read the warranty and ensure that you fully understand details on the duration of the warranty and what it covers. This is because different manufacturers have different warranties from covering all the moving/working gizmos, the ability to cover defects in materials and workmanship to replacements. Once you’ve read the entire warranty and are familiar with all the details, ask all the questions you might have before any final purchase.
The best and quality retractable screen can serve you for many years of enjoying spending time in your outdoor living spaces. Apart from the convenience that they offer, retractable patio screens can also go without using them whenever you want. Different retractable screen companies provide different options for how it looks. Ensure that you ask the right questions to get what you need. Ask more about the options available. Most companies should be able to find the best match that meets your needs.
How landscaping can add thousands to your house value
When trying to sell a home, curb appeal is a significant success factor. Making the outside of your house appear welcoming and attractive to potential buyers is more than just weeding the garden and mowing the lawn.
Landscaping can actually increase the resale value of a property by around 15%, but it’s not just curb appeal that landscaping benefits. Strategically placed plants and trees can also improve the energy efficiency of a property – and if there’s one thing we know about home buyers, it’s that they love an energy-efficient home.
So what landscaping trends are worth the investment?
A home buyer that is looking for a period townhouse probably isn’t expecting a modern or Japanese-themed garden. Likewise, someone interested in a minimalist, modern interior isn’t going to want a fussy and flamboyant outdoor space that requires continuous upkeep.
Creating a theme, or a level of consistency that can be seen through the house and garden, might be worth the investment. Create a cottage-style garden with vegetable patches or large planters may work better and draw on cultural or historical influences that appeal to the type of buyer you’re looking for.
Have a plan
Proper landscaping can really add thousands to your house value, with a lot of the work being pretty easy and affordable. The fact landscaping can increase house value doesn’t mean you should immediately buy up all the plants you see, though. Those who are serious about making a difference to their outdoor space should sit down and create a plan. Take your time to think about what you need to improve the landscaping and gardens and seek inspiration from experts such as arbourlandscapesolutions.co.uk. You can learn exactly what each product can be used for and how it can help boost your garden’s appeal. For instance, planters from this supplier can be used for specimen trees, vegetable gardening, or ornamental planted arrangements. Knowing what you want to do can help when it comes to buying what you need.
The most appealing outdoor spaces typically offer a low-maintenance lawn, year-round planting space, and a seating area so that the new owners can enjoy the garden as much as possible.
Less is more
As open, outdoor space is a hugely desirable house feature, less is often more when it comes to planting. Providing a few shrubs and perennials around the garden is fine, but try not to overshadow the lawn. By keeping the garden simple, you can ensure viewers get the full picture of how much space is on offer. Piling in the plants and trees can make the garden seem much smaller and reduce its appeal.
Create seasonal balance
As the average house sale can take several months, it would be silly to plan your garden with a single point in time in mind. While potential buyers might view the house in summer while flowers are in bloom and wildlife is flourishing, by the time they move in, everything will be dead and drab.
Choosing evergreen plants can help provide seasonal balance and leave the garden looking great all year round, with very little maintenance. That gives buyers the option to move straight in or make their own mark on the space.
These simple landscaping tips can really add a more desirable feel to your home and its outdoor space. For larger projects that will make a bigger difference to the house value, you can also try adding a patio, alfresco kitchen, or firepit.
When You Should Clean Your Chimney
There isn’t an exact rule when you should get your chimney cleaned, such as cleaning after you’ve used it 100 times. But it’s still something to keep on your list; a fire without sufficient oxygen emits ‘creosote’ or tar vapors that can cling to your flue and eventually cause a fire. The last thing you want is to be sitting by the fireplace hearth and need to call the fire department!
It’s possible to reduce the buildup of creosote in a fireplace by ensuring there is enough air and making a hot fire that burns clean.
How Do You Check For Creosote?
You can do this yourself. First, you should double-check that there isn’t a downdraft from your chimney. If you put your hand in the fireplace and feel air moving, you need to open a window or door until it stops.
With a dust mask and goggles, shine a flashlight and scratch the area just above the damper with your fireplace poker. If you scratch creosote and it’s as thin as a piece of paper, you don’t need to worry about cleaning the chimney right now.
However, if it’s ⅛” thick, get a chimney cleaning soon. But if it’s ¼” thick, don’t use your fireplace until you have it cleaned. A fire could start at any time.
Creosote that’s easiest to get rid of is dull gray, brown, or black. The next-easiest type is an accumulation that is black and granular, which can be scraped off with a chimney brush. Another type is a tar-like substance that is challenging to remove.
The most dangerous and challenging creosote is shiny and glaze-like. It’s almost impossible to get rid of this creosote.
Getting Rid of Creosote
It’s possible to clean out creosote yourself (if you have a dust mask, flashlight, and goggles), but for the best job, it’s wise to contact a chimney sweep. Make sure the Chimney Safety Institute of America accredits them.
Also, be sure the chimney sweep you bring in does the job. A good chimney sweep knows building codes, what deterioration looks like, and when there’s a venting problem. They should be able to give you a detailed description of your chimney’s condition.
Note that the National Fire Protection Association advises that fireplaces, chimneys, and vents get an insection every year.
Try a Chimney Sweep Log
Another thing to try when it’s time to get that chimney cleaned is to buy a chimney sweep log. Also known as a fireplace cleaning log, this product can help avoid chimney fires by eliminating creosote stuck to your chimney’s walls.
Remember that creosote that sticks to the chimney over many years builds up and can burst into flames. Removing creosote is essential to your and your family’s safety, so be sure that your chimney is cleaned regularly, one way or another.
Here are some additional safety tips for your fireplace:
- Have a carbon monoxide detector: These are common and inexpensive today, but many people still don’t have one. A dirty fireplace and chimney can release lethal carbon monoxide into the home.
- Ash benefits: Having about an inch of ash in the fireplace can make the coals keep heat, which lengthens burn time.
- Beware of smoke: A fireplace that is working right shouldn’t emit smoke into the home. If it happens, something’s wrong.
- Check the temperature outside: This affects how the chimney drafts. It’s recommended to open the damper 100% if it’s above 45 F outside. If it’s below that, keep the damper open about 50%. This keeps airflow at the optimum levels.
Now that you know more about operating and cleaning your fireplace, you can enjoy it more because you know it’s safe.
5 Things to Remember When Buying Artworks for Your Home
Not all of us are naturally good at choosing artwork to add more style to our home. Many of us still find it challenging what piece of art looks great or not to hang on our walls, which puts us in a difficult situation considering that artworks have a hefty price tag most of the time.
And while questions such as “how do I pick the right colour combination or right size that fits my home’s space?” and how can I combine different artworks that complement each other? Questions like these are very common, and most of the time, it’s very difficult to determine where to begin.
If you’re stuck on making a decision what kind of artwork best fits your home, or you already have an idea but don’t know where to begin, here’s our simple but very handy guide towards choosing art pieces that perfectly fit your home and style.
1. Always Consider the Available Space on Your Wall
Before anything else, you must determine the amount of space available on your wall before purchasing any Original Art online. If you want to get the exact sizing, you must grab your measuring tape right now. Having a larger wall is a plus since you have a lot of space to fit in one or more art pieces. You can buy a huge painting or choose smaller ones to create a gallery wall.
An excellent starting point is to combine and complement different styles and colours for a more wonderful appeal. You can also assess what you currently have on your wall so that you can decide and choose what piece of art to add that fits there perfectly.
2. Consider Your Current Decorations
Before deciding on a new painting for a specific section of your home, you must get an overview of your current furniture and decor. If you have neutral and simple furniture and decor, go for a colourful and rich art piece to wonderfully complement the environment. If that section of your house has enough texture and colour, choose a more subdued and simple art piece to prevent overcrowding.
3. Combine Complementary Colours and Styles
Wall art has different style categories that will help you identify different pieces that you’re attracted to. You can boldly combine different styles and colours or perhaps stay with your preferred genre if it feels right for you. You can also choose Original Art that is sold as a set or a pair.
There is no exact formula of combining artworks through their colour and styles, but make sure they complement each other.
4. Focus on Your Home’s Focal Point
When shopping for artwork for a specific section of your home, always keep in mind where the focal point is. For example, if you have a large amount of space on your wall, always choose a larger artwork with captivating design and colours so that your guests can easily distinguish which part of your home is the focal point. Also, you can create a gallery wall filled with smaller framed artworks.
5. Base It on Your Interior Theme
If your home’s style or design follows a specific theme, it would be appropriate that the artwork you’re trying to add matches it. Try buying a wall art that fits your home’s theme so that it won’t look awkward. For example, if your home’s theme is modern, it’s best to choose a simple artwork with minimalist pattern or abstract. Or perhaps, if your home has that rustic and traditional theme, go for classic artworks.
Lastly, always remember to shop for artworks with an open and creative mind. Choose what your heart desires because it will always look great in your home.
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