The House is Looking Pretty Good Now

It took us a bit of work to get to where we are, but right now we have the place looking really nice. I had to do a lot of repair work on the exterior woodwork of the house, and I put up a bigger set of plantation shutters. The older ones did not look right. I noticed it last Christmas while we were trimming the outside of the house, putting up the Christmas lights and the wreathes. I guess that they were trying to save money or something when they made them or put them up, but the shutters do not have the right size for the windows. At least we did not think that the look was right and we got some newer ones. It was a lot better looking when we put up the new ones, but the color was not exactly right. We shall try to remedy that some time I suppose.

I put up some vinyl siding on the trim of the house after I fixed up the woodwork. Read more…

Posted by author - August 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Categories: Home Improvement   Tags:

Planting A Perennial Garden That Is Low Maintenance

In the world of organic gardening, there are plenty of great resources available to both new and experienced organic gardeners alike. There are many e-guides, books, videos, and other resources available. This set of tips contains some of the best advice for helping a good organic gardener become a great organic gardener.

Home improvement contractor

To make your garden more productive, allocate space based on what grows best in your area instead of simply choosing your most favorite crops. Although you may love beets, if tomatoes grow better in your climate then give them more room in your garden and make your beet plantings smaller. Ask your neighbors or take a look around your area to see what grows best in your region.

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Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

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Quick Tips For Being Your Own Handyman

If you’ve got a spare weekend and want to do something to improve your home, take a few seconds to read the advice that follows. While not everyone can do it themselves, even those who are hiring a professional, will benefit from understanding a few of basics of home improvement.

woman gardening

When you are a seller wanting to make your home look its very best for buyers, one of the most common things that you can do is to work on your yard and outside appearance. Check your light fixtures to make sure that they are clean and working and replace them if you need to. Maybe try making a small vegetable garden in your backyard since most people enjoy some type of gardening.

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Posted by Michele T. Ricks - June 30, 2012 at 4:25 am

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Simple Steps To Help You Better Understand Furniture

Have you spent hours shopping for furniture but been unable to find what you want? Are you sick of having to buy items which don’t match your decor? Are you anxious to learn how to shop well for furniture. Keep reading to learn a great deal of useful information.

modern furniture

If you have small children, you should avoid purchasing furniture with sharp edges. Little ones tend to trip and fall often which can result in a trip to the emergency room if your furniture has sharp edges. Instead, when shopping for sofa tables and end tables look for furniture with routered curved edges.

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Posted by Michele T. Ricks - April 22, 2012 at 2:39 am

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Want To Learn More About Home Security From The Experts?

To make a better home security decision, you need to take the time to familiarize yourself with the various options. You must plan carefully before making this decision. Go over this article to learn more about home security and how you can protect your home.

Your home should always look like it is occupied. You could purchase timers which make lights and TV’s, as well as other devices, power on or off at varying intervals. In this way, it will always seem that someone is in your home. This will help to deter burglars.

Does your canine stay in the yard while you go out? This pet may be an excellent storing spot for your spare key. Fasten the key to your dog’s collar to hide it from view. If your dog does not like strangers, this can help ensure consistent access to the house.

When in the process of purchasing a home-security system, be sure to comparison shop. Prices can differ a lot among companies for the same type of protection. Make sure to obtain quotes from a minimum of three companies prior to deciding on a final one.

If you do not know the person at your door, don’t open it. People often think of ways to trick others into letting them in so they can steal from them. Make it a habit to only open your home’s door to people you were expecting.

In the summertime, you should rid your yard of dead bushes and vegetation. This sort of thing is a fire hazard in the heat of summer. Keep your yard clear of debris to keep your house safe.

Avoid coming across as overly shy. Talk to your neighbors. Ask them to look after your home, and in return, look out for theirs. Don’t disregard gossip either. You could learn important security information, such as if strangers have been lurking around the neighborhood.

Put up motion activated lighting. They will illuminate your property if they sense any movement near your home. The lights will notify you of motion and also deter would be burglars. However, make sure to put in fresh bulbs every now and then.

When it comes to securing your home, start by changing your locks. Maybe you had a roommate move out or have a disgruntled ex-lover, changing the locks is the best way to keep yourself safe. This doesn’t usually cost much, and it can be accomplished in less than a day.

After bringing home a big-ticket item, such as an appliance or electronic device, avoid leaving the packages on the curb before trash day. Having these boxes nearby can tell robbers what kind of merchandise you’ve got in your house.

Check each spring for any rotting frames on your doors and windows. Replace them immediately if you spot any problems. It is simple for a robber to pry away rotting wood and enter your home. Therefore, replace rotted wood with fresh wood to ensure your home’s safety.

Before you give a security company employee access to your home, make sure they’re in uniform and that they present acceptable identification. You would be surprised how many thieves will impersonate security representatives to get into your house. This leads to danger. Be careful to avoid any potential dangers.

Be certain to read the entire contract when you hire a home security firm. Look out for hidden charges and surprises, especially if you need to cancel the contract early. You’ll definitely want to avoid these types of fees if you can, so read carefully.

Inquire as to the different lengths of contracts offered by your security company. They probably each have their pluses and negatives. With a longer contract, your monthly payment is likely to be lower. The downside is you might be stuck for a longer period of time if you decide you don’t like the service or want to move. Short contracts leave you with freedom, but also a larger bill.

Steer clear of locks with spring latches. These locks are very easy to pick with something as common as a credit card. The lock can be triggered to open by simply wedging the card in the lock. Add a deadbolt if you do not want to replace your spring latch locks.

If you keep a spare key outside, make sure it is not kept in an obvious location. If you place it under a rock, a good robber will find it. Under your doormat is also a common place burglars will look. It’s best to ask a trusted friend or even a neighbor to hold the extra key. If you have no choice but to hide a spare key, apply some inventive, out-of-the-box thinking when you do it.

An automatic device can control your lights, turning them on and off at the time you set. This makes it easy for you because you do not have to turn the switch. It also makes the lights go off and on even if you are not at home.

If your current door is anything other than solid wood or metal, swap it out for one that actually is. This sort of door will deter intruders. If a thief tried to kick the door, he would not be successful in doing so. Make sure to replace exterior doors for the cheapest amount possible.

A house alarm is a great option, as long as you call the cops when it alarms. The wiser investment is in centrally monitored security systems. These alarm services ensure that the police will be called whether anyone is home or not. It is not safe to assume the neighbors will call the police.

Homes that have sliding glass doors can be more of a security risk. These can become unlocked very easy by burglars. If your security system is not connected to the doors, cut a board or pipe the exact length of the door channel, and drop it in the space to secure the doors. Doing this will help keep your door closed tighter, making it more difficult for burglars to break in.

You should now know more about home security systems. There is no reason for you to be unaware of how to secure your home. You want to make your family’s safety your priority. Remember these tips as you formulate your home security plan.

Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

Categories: Home Security   Tags: , , ,

Make Yourself At Home With These Interior Design Tips

Big design projects, tackled all at once, can often seem very time consuming. It can involve huge changes – lots of fabric, paint, and flooring. You do not have to immediately jump to a big project, however. Ahead are some changes that, when made, will begin to enhance your living space.

Buy versatile pieces of furniture for small rooms. An example is to make ottomans do double duty as sofa or chair substitutes. The ottoman can be used for seating or table space, thus making the most out of your limited space. Anything that you can find that can be used for more than one thing can make your room worthy of many purposes.

Make sure you have the finances worked out before you begin an interior design project. It feels awful to get halfway through a project and find out that your funds have dried up. This will help you to reduce stress and anxiety while designing.

Many experts have advice when it comes to designing your home. You should consider what they are saying, but you shouldn’t completely rely on them. You can’t make a home you really enjoy until you start trusting yourself and designing something that really reflects who you are.

If you are redesigning your kitchen, think outside the box when it comes to counter tops. Less traditional materials like wood, cork or concrete can really make a statement. Some other options are cheaper, and will make your kitchen unique from others.

It is crucial that you focus on small details. You could create a wonderful looking room simply with color patters or using smaller elements of decor. For example, new cabinet knobs or window dressing may be just as effective at transforming the look of a room as purchasing big-ticket furniture.

If you are framing a picture, use creativity and imagination. Do not forget that they are a part of the design of a room too. You shouldn’t just simply hang photos in a straight line. Hang pictures in uniquely planned angles or patterns. Using the empty space around your photos provides a nice contrast, giving your room a unique look.

A lot of people have smaller homes that they want to make look like it’s comfortable to be in. To make small rooms look bigger, try painting the walls using light colors. Dark colors absorb available light and can close a space off.

It is a good idea to use popular elements in your design. Doing so makes a room have a more modern feel to it. Use trendy pieces only as accents though. When a certain element goes out of fashion, replacing it will be easy. If you go with a trendy design for a couch or TV cabinet, it will be harder to replace those items just a couple of years from now when they are out of style.

Be creative when painting. Resources online are numerous and can provide a wealth of information and design ideas. With a creative feel from these online tutorials you can figure out how to truly improve the interior of your home.

If your room has a fireplace, make sure you decorate it properly. It can help to ensure that the items on your mantle are balanced properly. Your entire room can be thrown off if the items on the mantle are unbalanced.

Create some form of collection. You can do this by collecting three of the same type of art work. If you have three vases, that is a collection. More than two pictures is a collection. Group collections together into an interesting display to have a fascinating conversation piece.

Reducing the amount of clutter in a room can make the room seem even bigger. Try getting some nice containers to put things in for storage that will work in decorating your room. It doesn’t even matter what you use, as long as it hides your stuff and fits the overall look of the room. Even just a plain box is better than having your things scattered about the room.

Planning any type of interior design project requires a lot of work and preparation. The first thing you need to do is think about how much space you got in your home. Seek out furniture and accessories that have more than one use. Finding the correct lighting scheme can increase the perceived size of your room.

For some great tips on interior design, you may want to check out The Home & Garden Channel. The shows on this channel will give you some ideas on how you can decorate your home, as well as tips for doing it on a budget.

Making sure you are consistent with your design is an important interior design tip. For example, you probably would not want to mix hot colors with neutral colors. You must pick a theme and set a mood for your design so everything meshes well together.

Before you buy any interior design products, think about what you want the room’s mood to be. Think about what you want the room to accomplish. Is it a place where you can hide from the world at the end of the day? Would you like to use the room to work? Is this area a place that you will use to entertain guests? Whatever you are thinking is what will determine the space’s theme and mood.

Combine items that you may not initially think go together. For instance, zebra print pillows can make paisley chairs look more whimsical. You may find that the living room seems more fun by placing a blanket that’s lime green on a sofa that’s purple. Combining and matching many times creates looks that are better than what you imagine!

When picking out a coffee table, there are many creative types out there. Get rid of that old traditional table and use large books, an old chest, or just about anything else that will work in the space you have. You maybe surprised at the items you have around your home to use as a coffee table, as well as what you could find at an antique store or flea market.

When you knwo what you want to do, it’s easier to get the materials. You may even find home decorating to be a fun activity. Take tiny steps and you will enjoy the transformation as it occurs.

Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 19, 2014 at 7:03 am

Categories: Interior Design   Tags: , , ,

Need Help With Home Security Issues? This Article Is For You

If you have valuables like jewelry, art or lots of money, don’t assume that only you know about it. Secure your home to prevent theft. Read on to find ideas about home security.

If someone comes to clean your home, only give them a key if they’re trustworthy. If they will be there over an hour and you are thinking of giving them your home key, be certain they are honest, reputable and hard-working. Make sure you verify all references. If the house cleaner is employed by a company, check with the BBB of your area to determine their reputation.

Look at the prices for all of the security systems that you are interested in. Several different firms may offer similar protection for wildly divergent prices. Make sure to obtain quotes from a minimum of three companies prior to deciding on a final one.

If you like to have a key hidden in case you lose yours, place it in a safe place. Never put a spare key under a doormat or above a door jam. Hide your alternative key on your dog’s collar.

Solicit word of mouth recommendations from friends, colleagues and family members to find a great home security company or system. You can learn a lot from people who have already dealt with these companies. Keep asking to get the advice that will help you make the right choice.

Turn off your phone’s ringer when you go on vacation. If the phone continues to ring while you’re gone, this lets an intruder know that the home is empty.

Don’t let strangers enter your home. There are some people who are very convincing and good at getting you to let them into your house. Some people just want to know if there is a security system so they can plan on coming back later or not.

You should clean your yard of vegetation and dead wood. These items have a higher chance of catching fire during the hot months. Always clear the yard to ensure safety.

Be bold. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Keep on eye on their home and ask neighbors to return the favor. Don’t ignore the gossip. You never know what sort of security issues you might become privy to.

Listen to your intuition as to whether your system is being installed by a trustworthy home security company. You are giving someone unlimited access to your home, so be sure the installer doesn’t give you a bad vibe. You can decide to use a different company, or ask for a different person to install it. The system and the company should put your mind at ease.

If you live more out in the country, you may think that you’re not at risk. People who live in the country may even be more vulnerable because they do not have nearby neighbors. That said, stranger things have happened.

Do you have skylights? If so, you should keep them in mind when protecting your home. Although a skylight can bring light into one’s home and look good, it’s also a common entrance way for burglars. Skylights need to be installed correctly and safely, with hardware that will keep intruders out.

Regardless of how long you plan on being away from your home, always lock all the doors and windows whenever you leave. A lot of times, burglaries happen due to carelessness. Thieves can steal a lot of valuable stuff in mere minutes.

Before letting a home security representative inside, ask for identification. Thieves may say they are from a certain company to get into your home. This represents a danger to your possessions and your family. Be cautious to stay safe.

Criminals are much less likely to target your home if it’s well lit. Thieves don’t want to be visible. When you have a well-lit home, crooks won’t be able to hide and it will be hard for them to break in undetected. Keep lights on in the evening for a safer home.

If you get home and see the door is slightly open, don’t go inside by yourself to investigate. This is dangerous since the thief may still be on your property. Instead, wait outside until the police come, after calling them on your cell phone.

Try to stay away from spring latch locks. These locks are the simplest ones to breach, since they are able to be opened by using just a credit card. Burglars just slip a card between the latch and the door, causing the lock mechanism to open. If you already have spring latch locks, install a deadbolt for added security.

Home alarms are a good investment, but only when someone who hears it calls the cops. This is why it’s a great idea to consider a centrally monitored system. You can’t necessarily rely on the neighbors to call.

Try not to get sliding glass doors in your home if security is a serious issue. These can become unlocked very easy by burglars. If there is no security system on it, you should place a pipe inside the door channel. Doing this will help keep your door closed tighter, making it more difficult for burglars to break in.

Second floor windows have to be locked tight, too. People often overlook their second floor windows, assuming that thieves won’t check them. Oh, but they will. Many home-security plans neglect this step, and unfortunately, many burglars know this.

There are some obvious benefits to having a big dog with an intimidating bark. Burglars don’t want to put themselves in the position of being attacked. A big dog can be a great burglar deterrent for your home.

It is always best to not put your expensive belongings on display in the windows where everyone can see. By not taking steps to conceal expensive items, you leave yourself open to becoming the victim of a robbery. Use drapes, curtains or blinds to keep prying eyes from seeing inside your home. If you cannot do this, place your valuables in another room.

Instead of thinking that your house will never be threatened by a criminal, always prepare for the worst. This is why it is important to always be proactive when it comes to your home security. Keep these tips in mind to boost your home security, so that you can keep your family and home safe.

Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 19, 2014 at 2:28 am

Categories: Home Security   Tags: , ,

Tips For Any Gardener To Use In His Garden

Just about anyone can become an organic gardener. It’s a fun, relaxing hobby that has a lot of benefits. But, when a person begins organic gardening, they may feel overwhelmed. Therefore, how should a newbie get their first garden started? Well, a great place to start is with the following helpful article!

Put sod down the right way. Before you lay the sod, the soil has to be prepared. Pull all the weeds and loosen the soil so the new roots can take easily. Lightly, but firmly compress the soil, making certain it is flat. Afterward, you want to make sure the soil is moistened. Be sure to stagger the rows of sod. The joints should be offset like bricks in a wall. Press the sod down firmly so that the surface is flat and even. If there are gaps remaining, fill them with a bit of soil. Water the sod for two weeks and then you can safely walk on it as it will have had time to properly root.

Use both biennials and annuals to add color to your flower bed. These flowers grow quickly and can be planted at any time during the year. If you want to maintain a flower garden all year or you want to add new flowers to reflect the changing seasons, annuals and biennials are for you. They are very useful for filling in the gaps between perennials and shrubs in a sunny area. Some plants to get you started include petunia, marigold, sunflower, rudbekcia, and cosmos.

A garden needs the right type of soil to grow properly. Have a soil analysis completed so you can know what you need to add to have soil which will fully support your garden. Ask about this service at a local university or the county Cooperative Extension office to improve the soil and insure fruitful crops.

Whenever you are planting a veggie garden, it is vital that you place them in a location where sun shines down on them for six or more hours per day. Proper sunlight is a prerequisite for proper growth. Some flowers also need six hours of daily direct sun in order to grow and blossom well.

Aerate and dry your plants each day. Plant moisture is a big attraction to both parasites and plant diseases. A fungus is one of the most important and debilitating parasites for plants. You can rid your garden of fungi with fungicidal sprays. However, it is best to treat your garden before there are problems.

Spread a little bit of organic mulch, around two inches worth, in and about each vegetable plant. The mulch will keep the soil around the plants moist a little longer. In addition, mulch will help you to prevent weeds. This will save you tons of time from pulling out tons of weeds.

Your garden can really benefit from evergreens featuring berries. These will help give your garden a burst of color, even in the winter months when most other vegetation has lost their colors. These plants come in several different varieties, including the Winterberry, American Holly, Cranberrybush, and Common Snowberry.

An English garden mixes plants of various kinds and sizes close together, which helps to give it a more multi-dimensional feel. Using plants that all grow the same height result in a flat and uniform looking bed.

Water containing some aspirin helps your plants fight illness. Dissolve one aspirin and a half for 2 gallons of water. Spray your plants with the water if they have a disease. Use this solution once in every three-week period.

It’s crucial for you to protect knees when doing gardening work. It is not good to bend from a standing position for a long period of time. Kneeling allows you to reach your plants easily and is healthier for your back and legs. You can use knee pads to kneel without the pain.

Seeds that have sprouted don’t require the extra warmth that was needed before they sprouted. You can begin to move them further from the heat source as they become seedlings. Also take any plastic films off of your containers, so you can keep the warmth and humidity out. Keep an eye on your seeds in order to know when you should do this.

Organize your gardening so that you can work efficiently. Do not spend half an hour looking everywhere for a tool. Prepare them all ahead of time and have them handy before you need to garden, and then put them back in their place when done. A good way to keep your tools at hand is to buy a tool belt or utility pants with many large pockets.

Paying attention to spacing is important. You will most likely underestimate how much space plants will need as they grow. The plants need space due to sheer size and also for air circulation. Plant the plants appropriately when it comes to spacing the seeds.

Get more value from your property. Landscaping has a powerful home improvement return. A few select plants can raise your property value dramatically. Different plants thrive in different environments, so be sure to invest in plants that are low in moisture, and will flourish in your garden.

The simple beer trap is still one of the best methods of ridding your organic garden of slugs. Dig a hole just deep enough for a glass jar to be placed in it while the jar still has its rim in line with the surface of the ground. Next, add beer to the jar until it’s about nearly full, with somewhere around an inch of space remaining. Beer attracts slugs and then they’ll get stuck in the jar.

If you sell or use organically grown produce in a commercial setting, you should communicate your commitment to natural growing by becoming certified. Having certification will increase your sales and verify to your customers that what you are selling is the best produce available.

Reading this article has hopefully given you some great ideas to begin your experiences in organic gardening. Properly growing your garden can involve serious relaxation and even some fun. With the tips presented above at the forefront of your mind, you can begin to grow delicious organic produce like a professional.

Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Categories: Gardening   Tags: ,

Home Improvement Tips And Tricks To Help Your Increase The Value Of Your Home

Many homeowners are afraid of home improvement. It might be messy, expensive or time-consuming. Getting information beforehand can alleviate some of the fear. In many cases, all it takes to make a home improvement project a snap is to read a few handy tips. These are some tips that should put you on the right path.

It is crucial that you always change your air filters when needed. Not only is it healthier for the air that you breathe inside your home, but it is better for your heating and air conditioning unit. A lot of the time, when these units do not work properly, the repairmen will say that it was due to the dirty filter getting into the machines.

To keep electric costs down while illuminating your yard, change out your regular porch light for one that has a motion sensor. With the motion sensor on most models you can make adjustments to the sensitivity, and they can be manually turned on.

If you’re renovating tile flooring, try getting radiant heat tiles. These tiles give heat by using electricity and can be very breathtaking. If you follow the instructions, you could even do it yourself. That makes it something you may add onto, whether or not you do it yourself or hire a professional. Once you step onto that warm floor on a cold morning, you will be forever grateful that you installed heated floors.

As time passes, ceramic tile loses its shine and becomes dull. A safe, but effective method is by mixing vinegar and water together. Fill a bucket with the solution and easily mop your floors. Dirt will be eliminated and your floors will once again shine.

Home improvement doesn’t have to be aesthetic only. You should work on home safety measures as well, like plotting escape routes in case of a fire or other disaster. When things go wrong, people can panic easily, and end up injured because of not doing anything. If you have a good escape plan in place, people in your household will know what to do in the event of fire, flood, or other disaster. This will help ensure their safety. Discuss and make a plan for every possible experience imaginable.

Newer flat screen TVs can be mounted on the wall to save space. You can do a project like this in just 30 minutes as long as you stick to the directions.

If you want to paint a room, choose a no-VOC paint. These paints are friendly to the environment, and they lack the dangerous chemicals in other paints. They cover just as well as traditional paints, and only cost a little bit more.

Are you tired of waking up to the same old dresser every morning? Why not bring your old furniture back to life by sanding them down and refinishing them. By refinishing, you’ll save money and end up with a great-looking piece of furniture. There are many different colors you can stain your furniture.

A lot of home renovation projects can be done by yourself. If it is a really extensive project, it’s important to hire a professional. Certain drywall jobs, simple plumbing repairs, and interior painting can be done without professional experience. When you do home improvement repairs on your own, you will save money.

The bristles in the brush will become warped and your broom will age more rapidly. The best thing to do is to hang it up. This allows the bristles to remain straight so that the broom works well for a longer time. Your mop must be hung up so that it can dry after each use. This also prevents the formation of smelly mildew.

Before you decide to paint a wall that was previously covered with glossy paint, you should first use a good primer to prime the walls. This will ensure that the paint will not peel. Using primer will make color changes easier if you are going from dark to light and cut down the number of needed coats of paint.

Planting a tree for tomorrow is a common phrase most people have heard. Well, you can also plant a tree in order to increase the value of the property of your home. Each full grown tree increases the value of your property by approximately $1,000.

Liven up the room with new accessories. A few new pillows or a new wall decoration can create a huge difference in a room. Hang colorful new drapes with texture, a matching vase, set of throw pillows and lamp, and suddenly, your home looks like you hired a high-priced designer.

Prior to starting home improvements, it’s helpful to write down everything that needs to be done, from beginning to end. Get another opinion from someone you trust. Make sure you didn’t leave out any steps. Also be sure that you have planned out the project’s timeline so that you do not run into any surprises.

When a home is updated, the speed at which it sells, and the amount it brings, are greater than others that are not as improved. If you have any rooms that are dated or are dark and dreary, it is incredibly important that you update them in some way before trying to sell the house. The money you spend on a new kitchen will certainly come back to you when it’s time to sell your home.

With a small investment in extra insulation now, you can see long-term savings for your home. Older homes especially are way under insulated. Adding extra to your attic or crawl space can lower your utility bills and save you money for years and years to come.

If your home improvement project involves improving the exterior of your home, make sure that your project and theme work well with the rest of your neighborhood in terms of character or theme. If you make your project too personal and it becomes an eyesore to the neighborhood, you will have trouble selling your property down the road.

A well-informed homeowner does not need to fear home improvement. Use advice, like what what was in the article you just read to get projects done in a timely manner for less money. A little knowledge can go a long way when it comes to improving and adding value to your home.

Posted by Michele T. Ricks - September 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Categories: Home Improvement   Tags: , , ,

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