Home and Garden Decor

How to use todays realistic faux plants in home (or garden) decorOregonLive.com One option for your patio is a Michaels outdoor vase with an artificial floral arrangement. Jo Pearson, a creative expert with Michaels Stores, says people should feel free to opt for any faux plants they like, whether they are native to the region or not.

Among all decorating items, LED Tubes are the best compliment to holiday decor. If this holiday, you are looking forward to spend a romantic time with your dear one, then give your best start with LED Tubes. Installing LED lighting undeniably will be fabulous. However, you need different plans and different ideas to make it all delighting.   In this article, I have sort listed few tips and suggestions which will help you to decorate your house for holiday party or celebration.   Tips and suggestion – LED tubes are great for indoor home lighting. You can certainly use LED lights in order to set the mood of the party. You can also use some fancy colors to make the room’s paints look more decorative. In outdoors, you can use LED spot light, LED high-bay lights on the yard stuffs like garden swings, outdoor terrace etc.

This will absolutely create a comfortable mood for sure. Alternatively, if you want, you can also bend the lights on tree trunks to make its edges dazzling for a fancy outcome to keep it more than the way it meets to your eye. To give more advancement to your decoration, you can use these lights to the flight of stairs, hallway floors etc. Well, if possible, you can also install LED lighting in bathroom as well to give safety from possible accidents. Depending on the recent holiday, or party theme, you can twist your lights and can make variations to get into the mood of the season.   So friends, these are the decoration tips which you need to follow every time you plan a romantic or fun evening.    Note, LED spot lights are available in all colors, which are undoubtedly great for holiday seasons. You can use them but for low lightening purpose. But if you are looking for some sensible lighting, then you can use some different types of LEDs that are also available in the market.   Mo matter what kind of LED lights you use, it will give you a wonderful feeling for sure, and can make your holiday evening dazzling, even more exciting. So what are you waiting for then? Head on to any reputable online retailer and find, LED tubes for decorating your house to celebrate your holiday with your dear one.     LED models are specially used for setting the mood effects. So if in this holiday, you are all set to decorate your house with some fancy lights, go for LEDs only.

How can tax credit for home buyers benefit our recession/economy?

I need a some POSITIVE arguments for the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and how it can benefit our recession/economy. Thanks! =)

It will get some of that deadwood foreclosure homes off the market. That will improve the banks financial positions, and it will bring the values in the rest of the neighborhood up. Foreclosed homes arent maintained and are magnets for crime and vandalism, enough of them and the neigborhood loses value, so the people still living there suffer futher losses in their homes value.

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Refinishing Furniture

If you’re like most homeowners, saving money has become a necessity rather than just something desirable. For that reason, a lot of homeowners want to do anything they can for themselves, and this strays into a lot of different areas. One of those is the way we buy furniture.

If you’ve shopped for tables, chairs, bed frames, dressers, or any other items of furniture recently, you probably have an idea of how much you’ll pay for a finished item. But that cost can be cut considerably by picking up furniture second-hand and refinishing it yourself.

When you shop for furniture to refinish, look past the surface. If the paint flakes or the stain is poorly applied, that’s not important. If there’s unsightly structural damage, something that changes not just the color and sheen but the shape and texture of the item, pass it by. In this way, you can get some very nice bargains by choosing items that aren’t necessarily attractive – as long as the poor appearance occurs for the right reason.

The same applies to your own existing furniture that may need a makeover. Doing it yourself can save you money either for buying new furniture or for having your old furniture refinished professionally.

It’s also a good idea to develop a plan: a general theme or look that will be pleasing to your eye and your family’s, and that will go well with the interior décor. This will determine whether you want to paint or stain, and what colors and shades, and how natural and rustic or polished and refined you want your furniture to appear. From this follows how much stripping you need to do, and what tools and finishing supplies you will need.

The following are some of the items you will absolutely require, no matter what your decisions:

  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrushes (you will use these for almost any type of finish)
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Cotton rags (lots of these!)
  • Sandpaper – generally 120 and 220 grit up to 400 grit
  • Wood filler for holes
  • Very fine steel wool

Other materials and tools will vary depending on the type of finish that you prefer.

As always when working with potentially hazardous materials, follow proper safety precautions. This includes keeping the work area well ventilated and making sure that no sources of flame or sparks are in the area (and of course, smoking while doing this work is absolutely out of the question).

For details on how to refinish furniture, here are some good on-line resources: furnitureknowledge.com; refinishingfurniture.net.…

Replacing Putty on Windows

What happens when the putty on your window glass wears out and needs replacing? Note that this is completely separate from (and, thankfully, cheaper than) having to replace the window itself. The assumption here is that the window glass itself is fine. Actually, this same method works when you do need to replace a window, but there is more to that.

The putty is what creates a seal against the elements between the window glass and the frame. Without it, or when it develops holes and gaps, you lose effective insulation and make your home less energy-efficient, and also let in cold drafts.
Luckily, replacing the putty is fairly simple and requires only a few tools, including: putty, a putty knife, a heat gun or hair dryer, and glazier’s points and a glazing tool.
First: remove the old putty. Use a putty knife, and for really stubborn spots a heat gun or hair dryer to soften it. Work on small parts at a time, breaking the putty into chunks with the putty knife and removing it. Go over the window to remove all of old putty; you want a clean surface to apply the new.
Next: remove the window glass. Press it carefully from the opposite side from where you removed the putty from to lift it out of the frame. Set it aside somewhere that it won’t break.
Third: go over the frame again after removing the glass and remove any remaining putty that you couldn’t get to because the glass was in the way.
Fourth: spread a light coat of linseed oil on the frame to keep the putty from drying too quickly.
Fifth: apply a coat of putty to the frame in the slot where the window pane came from, to a thickness of about 1/16 inch.
Sixth: press the glass into the putty. Using even pressure, push it down firmly.
Seventh: insert a glazier’s point every four or five inches all around the frame. To do this, lay the point down flat with the point towards the frame, and drive them into the frame with the glazing tool. This holds the glass in place.
Eighth: apply more putty (again not very thickly) atop the glazier’s points. Smooth the putting with the glazing tool, not allowing it to spread more than about ¼ inch over the glass. From the other side of the window, the putty should be invisible; if you can see it, it’s too thick.

Finally, paint the putty to match the décor and seal it against the elements. You can find some more about replacing old putty here.…

Basic Roofing Maintenance


As a crucial functional part of your home, your home roof needs regular maintenance. It’s exposed to the weather, and serves the purpose of keeping the weather off of the people and property residing under it. Debris can fall onto the roof from trees, animals, thrown objects. Rain can wash debris into gutters, resulting in clogs that allow water to stand in pools, creating the possibility of damage. Packed snow can damage a roof, as can hail, plant growth, bacterial growth under certain conditions, and simply the effects of old age and weathering.

Performing basic maintenance on a roof can prevent having to replace it when the damage progresses beyond the point where it is easy to fix. The maintenance can be time consuming or, when professionals are called in to perform it, somewhat costly, but not nearly as costly or time-consuming as putting on a whole new roof, which can cost thousands of dollars and require vacating the house while the work is done.

Most of roofing maintenance consists of inspecting the roof for damage, and then dealing with anything that’s found. Here are some of the things that a smart home owner will do on a twice-a-year basis:

  • Check for openings between shingles, shakes, etc. – split seams, holes, or other gaps in coverage requiring patching.
  • Inspect the flashings. These are places in your roof where it connects to breaks for chimneys, skylights, and so on – gaps in the smooth roofing material necessitated by function. This is probably the spot where damage is most likely to occur.

Read Jack Dahlgren‘s to Skills: What are some of the basic things a handyman should know how to do? on Quora

  • Check for standing or stagnant water. Never underestimate the damage that water can cause! It can freeze in cold weather, expanding and splitting materials. It can also provide a growth medium for both bacteria and plants, either of which can damage your roof.
  • Check caulking for decay or gaps
  • Check for debris on the roof: plant matter, animal waste, objects left or thrown onto the roof by humans
  • Seek out broken, missing, or badly situated shingles and shakes. Repair them or replace them as needed.

If you do these things twice a year – and although they do take a little time, it’s only twice a year and none of them is terribly difficult – you can avoid a lot more hassle and expense down the road, and extend the life of your roof.

Cleaning Gutters and Downspouts


Rain falls on the roof so that it doesn’t fall on you, your furniture, or your floors. But after hitting the roof, the water doesn’t disappear. It has to go somewhere, and that’s what your gutters are for. The gutters are an important part of your roof, channeling rainwater and snow melt to downspouts where it can harmlessly flow to ground.

Over time, the gutters can become clogged with debris: plant matter, soil, animal droppings, and items chucked up onto the roof by the neighborhood kids (of all ages). A clogged gutter fails to sluice water to the proper downspout, eventually allowing it to overflow and fall in a sheet from the roof edge. This is a problem if that falling sheet of water requires you to walk through it on leaving the house, obviously, but it’s potentially more than a nuisance. Water seeping into the ground can affect the foundation of your home, damaging the basement and rendering the house less stable. For this reason, gutters should be cleaned twice a year as part of your roof inspection and maintenance.

Cleaning gutters is an easy task and requires only a few tools:

  • Work gloves
  • A ladder
  • Something to scoop leaves with
  • A bucket (optional)

Cleaning the gutter basically involves climbing up the ladder and scooping the mess out with the scooper. Variations involve what to do with the gutter crud as you scoop it.

One easy method for cleaning the gutter requires that your bucket have a wire handle and be made of plastic. Cut the handle in two and bend the halves into hooks so it can perch on the side of the gutter. (Failing the wire handle requirement, you can still make this work by bending coat hangers into the appropriate shape and attaching to the bucket. The plastic bucket part is de rigeur, however, as a metal bucket will be too heavy.)

Hang the bucket from the gutter and scoop leaves and other debris into the bucket as you move along. Empty the bucket frequently.

Another alternative is to spread a tarp or ground cloth under the gutters and simply drop the debris onto the cloth. As you move along the gutters, simply scoot the cloth along so it remains under where you’re dropping stuff. Empty the cloth into a compost pile or trash can as it gets full.

It’s a messy job, of course, but highly recommended. Here is some more detailed information on cleaning gutters.