Cleaning the House

Earlier this week I noticed how messy my home was. I decided that over the weekend that I was going to spend all day Saturday cleaning everything up.

I woke up early to get a head start on cleaning the house. I wanted to be finished with everything by 3pm.

To start, I wanted to take care of the Kitchen. I began by cleaning and putting away all of the dishes to get those out of the way. I then began to wipe down all of the surfaces to remove all the crumbs, dirt, and stickies. Once everything was wiped, I pulled out the stove and fridge to sweep up all the dirt that had been trapped underneath. I finished off the kitchen by sweeping and mopping the floor.

Next, I started on the living room. I started by putting away all of the clutter that had been left out over the past weeks. Next, I began dusting all of the surfaces including the tables and entertainment center. Just doing those two things made a world of difference! Next, I got the vacuum out and used the upholstery attachment to remove dirt and crumbs that were trapped in the couch and recliner cushions. While I had the vacuum out, I went ahead and vacuumed the floor.

I was amazed at how everything looked just seeing at the two rooms that were now organized and cleaned. Seeing how great this all looked gave me energy and motivation to clean the upstairs bedroom and bathroom.

I decided to start with the bathroom. First, I cleaned up everything that was laying on the sink surface and found a home for everything. I then did a thorough wipe down of everything, including the grimy shower walls. I finished off by wiping down the mirror with Windex and mopping the floor. It really looked so much better than before!

Finally, the last room I wanted to tackle was the master bedroom. I wanted to save this room for last because it was least messy of everything and I knew I would be running out of ‘cleaning steam’ by the time I got around to it. Thankfully, the only major things to do in this room were to fold the laundry, vacuum the floor, make the bed and wipe the end tables. It took no time at all!

Boy, my home looks so much better when its cleaned. In the future, I’ll make sure to clean more regularly in order to prevent long cleaning days like this. Well, since the day is over, I went ahead and booked a massage at my favorite local Richmond massage parlor. I figured this would be a great ending to a long and hard working day.

Post Party Carpet Cleaning

Well, I have really put myself in quite the predicament.  I had decided last minute to have some friends over to my parent’s house while I was watching it and all H-E-double-hockey sticks broke loose.  It started with just a couple people, and then in a matter of minutes the get together turned into a party.  My parents own a large mansion in Northern Virginia that seemed to attract people from all over including the Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, and Sterling VA area. I didn’t even know half the people there.  There were people everywhere jumping off the walls, dancing on the tables, and “acting a fool”. They totally made a mess of my entire house but I was most distraught from the enormous amounts of red wine spilled across our plush white carpeted floors. Gosh darn hoodlums!! I knew that I was partydesperately in need of a superior carpet cleaner as soon as possible.

I spent the entire following morning hitting the internet up for the best carpet cleaning all across Northern VA which is when I came across Absolute Carpet Care. There was a lot of competition out there but when I visited their website I was very impressed with all of their prior experience and knowledge they were eager to share. I decided to give them a ring which was probably one of the best decisions I made since throwing that little shin dig. I spoke with the representative and told her my store of how my carpets were ruined by massive amounts of red wine being saturated into my white carpets. They responded by confidently saying that this would not be a problem and they promptly set me up with an appointment for the following day. My parents were coming home in 4 more days so this was perfect time to allow for drying .

wine carpet I had scheduled the appointment for 8 PM and they were not a minute late. Our carpet cleaning service technician came fully prepared and he was really an all-around great guy. He knew a party had gone on and jokingly asked why I hadn’t invited him. He also filled me in on how safe the cleaning solutions. Evidently they are all made from plant based proteins with no added perfumes, VOC’s, phosphates, or hazardous chemicals. This is good to know next time I throw a party and have people passed out all over my floor.

After our carpet cleaning technician had left, I was relieve to find myself with a fresh and new looking carpet. I was so glad I contacted Absolute Carpet Care and hope this post helps you!

Pet Waste Cleanup Made Simple

Eww. No. I won’t do it. All winter, Roscoe, my dog has been doing his dirty business in the back yard and it’s just been too chilly for me to get out there and clean up after him. Now that spring is just around the corner and it’s beginning to get warm outside again, I’m becoming more active and getting outside more. Consequently, it’s becoming a never ending struggle trying to avoid all of his messes while walking around back there. And having big back yard I just can’t work up the motivation (or the stomach) to spend all day trying to pick up all the waste that’s scattered about. It’s disgusting! I’d rather have someone else do it.

Dog-wasteI thought about hiring the neighbor kid to do it for me, but rather than trying to convince (he’d flat out refuse and probably ruin my yard if he tried), I decided to find a professional. While researching pet waste removal services, I came across Doody Calls. They seemed easy enough to work with – they show up while I’m away and clean my lawn. Score! I’ll leave for work and come home to a freshly cleaned yard. No hassle!

I decided to give them a shot. Just as they promised, they showed up while I was off working away my life (so it goes), and did a thorough sweep of my yard. When I got home, being the skeptical person that I am, I wanted to make sure they actually delivered on doing a full cleaning of my yard, and to my amazement, it was spotless! I was so impressed with the job that they did I decided it would be worth having them come back every week to clean my yard.
Best decision of my life! It’s been three weeks now and I couldn’t be happier. My grass is clean and green! I no longer need to worry about trudging through Roscoe’s poop when out playing fetch with him or have to suffer a messy cleanup when playing a pick-up game of football with the guys when they come over. This is such a convenience. I love it!

I would definitely recommend a pet waste removal service for anyone who just doesn’t have the time or stomach (like me) to go through and pick up their dog’s waste every day. It’s such a convenience! However, always look for online reviews to find a quality service, or you might just be in for a smelly surprise the next time you go out in your yard!

How To Prepare Your Home For Natural Disasters

Getting Ready for Earthquakes in California

If you live in certain states, it’s important to find a home that is equipped for natural disasters or build additions yourself. In Kansas, for example, it would be ideal to have a safe place to go in the event of a tornado. Having a first aid kit on hand and rope or ladders in rooms for quick escapes are other ways to make sure you are as prepared as possible.

In California, you need to prepare for earthquakes. First of all, most homes are already built to withstand the underground waves. The force of an earthquake should pass through the house and leave the foundation and entire building intact. Another key element is to make sure your gutters are functioning properly so that it catches the water. When the soil around a home’s foundation absorbs water, the softened soil will move easily and cause more damage to a structure.

One of the main ways that people prepare their homes for earthquakes is by anchoring tall shelves, tables, and heavy items to the wall. This would mean ensuring that cupboards are locked shut so dishes cannot come flying out and TVs and bookcase are fastened to the wall. Other items that you would not primarily think of tying to the wall would be water heaters and other utilities. Water and gas pipes should be flexible so they do not rupture as the ground moves.

And don’t forget about those who can’t take care of themselves. For instance, those receiving elder care in Alameda CA will need some extra help in the event of a natural disaster. Seniors may not be able to evacuate quickly, and they could need some help with the handy work involving earthquake proofing a home.

Following all of these precautions can help keep your home safe and sound. Fortunately, most places in these areas come equipped. It’s important to make sure all of your needs are met to keep you out of harm’s way in an unfortunate situation.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful, but My Tub Is So Delightful

It’s snowing this afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, and Vermont’s roads are no place to be. But I couldn’t be more relaxed. I’m as prepped as can be for tomorrow’s feast, and the house is neat as a pin. And in a moment, I’ll be sinking into a warm bath where I’ll enjoy a hot tea and watch the snow fall. I just might stay there a while.

I’ve been spending more time in my bathroom lately, and particularly the tub. Part of that has to do with the season: Days are short. After a long day at the office, I walk outside to pitch black skies. The hour seems later than it actually is, and I seem more inclined to wind down than I do on long, bright summer days. I discovered that the tub is a great place to wind down – especially when it’s cold and dark.

I also recently updated my bathroom pretty extensively, so everything is still a novelty to me. I like looking at all of the lovely work that was done – and there’s no better place to do that than from in the tub. Here I can enjoy the tilework up close as well as the craftsmanship of the new glass enclosure.

The glass enclosure in particular is what has made my tub more inviting. I’m a little embarrassed to say that, when soaking in my tub not so long ago, I’d be often confronted by a bit of mold and mildew on my shower curtain. My place wasn’t dirty, and I’d replace the curtain at least semi-regularly, but the image would stay with me. The idea of enjoying a good long soak would lose its appeal for a while.

I’d wanted to get rid of that curtain for years, but I didn’t want to cut the tub off from the rest of the room. And I didn’t want to be completely surrounded by glass while I bathed. But on a lark I visited a nearby glass retailer that specializes in tub enclosures. I discovered that even an enclosure could retain an open feel. I also discovered that I could continue to enjoy the view from my second-floor window.

I hadn’t lived in a home with a tub enclosure for years – not since I was a teenager. So my perceptions of enclosures hadn’t really changed since then. If you asked me to imagine one, I’d have envisioned something a little clunky, with ungainly metal frames supporting nearly opaque glass that closed off natural light and isolated you from the rest of the room. While I wasn’t a fan of owning a shower curtain, it didn’t seem like a bad alternative to the enclosures I knew.

When I arrived at the local showroom, I discovered that enclosures had evolved since the last time I encountered them long ago. The frames were lighter, sleeker, and more stylish than I’d remembered. Even more interesting was the glass that didn’t require frames at all, wrapping tubs and showers in a transparent, elegant wall; once I saw a frameless tub enclosure, I wanted one of my own.

Now, a couple of months later, I’ve got the clear enclosure that I wanted. No frames, no rails – just clear glass. When I open the amply-sized door, I’ve got the view I wanted and the openness that I needed.

Sometimes I take a shower in the enclosure instead of a bath. I leave feeling just a little cleaner than before, as there’s no unsightly blemish of mildew anywhere to be seen. In the interests of full disclosure, I do need to mention that I clean the glass’ interior each time I use the tub or shower. But it takes no more than a minute, and it’s already part of my routine.

I enjoy that enclosure every day – and even more when I can sink into a hot bath. Outside the snow is falling, people are scrambling, and cars are honking, but I don’t have a care in the world.

What to Look for When Choosing a Home Service

Choosing which company to hire for an in home service can take a bit of research if you want to make the best choice. Of course you want a service that is going to be friendly and treat you and your home with courteously and respect, but this is really only the beginning. It all comes down to the quality of work you are receiving for whether it’s a repair, painting service, a fence builder or cleaning. Basically, did they fix the problem you needed them to handle? This, along with how I feel when the work is over (did I get a good deal for my money) is how I judge the quality of service im receiving.

But sometimes, there is a bit more to it that how the work looks from the naked eye. For example, when you hire a carpet cleaner you may not know exactly what you are getting even though your carpeting may appear cleaner; let me explain. Basically, depending on the company you use, they will use a difference process to clean your carpets. These can vary by the chemicals (or lack thereof) used, how powerful the machines are and how much water is being put down, something that can affect how long it takes your carpets or rugs to dry.

With an increased focus on doing my diligence before hiring anyone these days I found the below comparison chart showing the Chem-Dry carpet cleaning process on the left and traditional steam cleaning on the right. You can find the location I personally use here. It was the reason I chose them over steam cleaners. After you read the chart you will probably understand why.

chem-dry vs steam clean comparison

If you were thinking about using them to or simply need a good home cleaning service I would definitely give them a try. I found them to meet my first criteria of being friendly, professional, and respectful (my dogs even liked them). I was very satisfied with the results of the cleaning too especially how quickly it took for my rugs to dry since I was having family over that same night after they cleaned them.

Anderson Window Company in San Francisco

bay window in san franciscoWhich is the best possible Andersen window replacement in San Francisco? The answer is simple: it is the company with the best reputation and the highest quality backing its work. Now it’s time to go to work identifying the company that fits that description. It’s not light work but it will give you the consumer edge well before the project is underway. Here is the sequence of activities you must go through in order to identify the most eligible company to do your replacement windows.

Targeted Research

What this means is that you must use a specific approach each time you review a company. That is the only way to accurately come up with the one name that will be awarded your contract for replacement window installation. Andersen is a big name in replacement windows, and any contractor that is associated with it is likely to know more than a little about the various types of window options; more importantly, they are likely to know what might be the best option for you.

Online Methods

You can find a surprising amount of information on just about any company on the planet when you use the internet for your research purposes, but you should make sure that the information you get is reliable. You should only be opening reputed sites such as consumer forums and professional review sites. Don’t go by the random rant or the occasional applause that you see about a company. Make sure that you see a pattern of good – or bad. Any Andersen window company in San Francisco that cares about its web presence is likely to be engaged in some sort of digital marketing initiatives, even if it’s merely hosting a blog and putting in informative articles about the industry that will help guide customers towards the right decision.

Use these two approaches to find a short list of two or three companies that are your final contenders.

Top 5 Reasons to Build an Addition

Do you have a charming home but feel you are outgrowing it?

If you have you been thinking about ways to add functional space to your home, an addition can be just the extra bit of room your family needs. However there are still quite a few things to consider. For those who are set on having more space, there is pretty much only 2 options. First you can sell your home and move into a larger one. Or you can hire reliable home addition builders like I did recently.

So what circumstances would cause someone to want to choose to have an addition built onto their home?

Here are the top 5 reasons people decide to add onto their houses:

  1. a-growing-familyA growing family. Maybe you bought your home before you had kids and now have another on the way. Kids value their space just like you do and additional allow them to have their own rooms. Many people also build on to their homes to add space for an aging parent or other relative.
  2. Larger incomes. Some people love the home they are in but are in the situation where they can afford more space. Maybe you want a den with a fireplace or have always wanted a sunroom or master bedroom with a bathroom attached.
  3. growing income to afford home addition
  4. increasing the value of your homeIncreased value. Adding an addition id not just an investment in your short term happiness but also in your home’s value. Especially when housing prices are on the rise, a home addition can pay for itself when it comes time to sell.
  5. changing the use of your homeChanging uses for your space. Some people decide they have different needs for space than they once did. For instance, you might need more storage because of some recent purchases or want more entertaining space in the form of a larger living room or kitchen.
  6. Custom design. When you have a home addition built, you can design the space any way you want. This is a major advantage over simply moving because how often do you get to have a space that you designed yourself? Many people know what custom designed home additiondimensions they need for their new space and take great joy in using this to add a big personalized touch to their homes.

Adding onto the current home you love can often be much simpler than packing up and moving somewhere new. You can avoid realtor fees, finding a buyer, and worrying about paying 2 mortgages. While a good deal of time, money, and effort goes into the add-on for your home as well, with the right home builder and a solid plan, your addition can be that new space you have always wanted for your home but have never been able to have.

4 Steps to Prepare Your Home for a Weather Emergency

When you talk about home ownership one of the most important things to keep in mind after purchasing your home is protecting your investment. Burglary and natural weather disasters are two of the most common and costly losses a person can experience in regards to their home. Depending on which area of the country you live, you may be more prone to specific weather issues. Nashville TN in particular has a higher probability of being devastated by a tornado compared to other states across America. The specific facts and figures about tornadoes that have historically hit Nashville and the surrounding Tennessee areas can be found by clicking here.

We are here to help you be more prepared. Below we have listed our four steps to prepare your family and home for a tornado or severe thunderstorm.

  1. Properly Protect Your Property

Some things you want to definitely get done before the storm hits is to add hurricane shutters or outdoor plywood boards to all of your home’s windows. Be sure to install anchors and pre-drilled holes ahead of time. This is as a precaution in case of an emergency you can board up your windows quickly and easily. Also, if you are looking into replacement windows in Springfield or Nashville TN be sure to ask to have tempered or storm resistant glass installed. In addition, consider adding hurricane straps that connect the roof to the walls of your home. Lastly, when the storm hits be sure you have a basement or interior room to gather everyone together until the storm passes. Broken glass and flying debris are two of the most common sources of injury turning a tornado.


  1. Stock Up

Ever notice when there is a big storm forecasted to hit your hometown that your local grocery store always runs out of bread and milk? That isn’t the kind of stocking up we are talking about. If your power goes out that milk isn’t going to do you any good. You want to make sure that you have enough basic survival items to get you through. You will want to have at least a two week supply of bottled water as well as ready-to-eat non-perishable foods for both the humans and the animals in your family. Also, be sure to have a bag packed in case you get orders to evacuate your home.

You are going to want to pack the following:

-          A manual can opener

-          Medicine

-          Hygiene products

-          Clothing

-          Tennis shoes

-          Battery powered flashlight

-           First aid kit

-          Two coolers: One with ice and one with food

-          Blankets

-          Sleeping bags


  1. Take Inventory and Make Sure You’re Covered

Do a quick inventory of your home to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario. Take pictures, or better yet video, of expensive items that if damaged would need to be replaced through an insurance claim such as electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture. Also, when making large purchases be sure to file the receipts to prove their value. Check your insurance coverage and make sure it reflects the current value of your home as well as the items within your home. Consider taking on additional coverage that will cover living expenses and valuable items should your home be classified as uninhabitable following a tornado.


  1. Have an Exit Strategy

This is one of the most important steps that will safe valuable time and reduce stress should it be deemed necessary that you leave your residence. If you don’t have your own vehicle, be sure your coordinate communication and transportation arrangements prior with family members or friends. You want to make sure your whole family has a place to go, and this includes your pets. Never leave your pets behind at home. Also, make sure you have the proper paperwork packed in the car in case you cannot return to your home. This includes your social security card, proof of residence, wills, birth certificates, driver’s license, insurance policies, and a personal checkbook. You do not want to take risks when it comes to mother-nature. If your area is under instructions to evacuate, you should do just that.

Products to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Do you every stop to think about off of the items you have accumulated in your home over the years? You have clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, and more. I know it can be overwhelming. It seems like every week, or maybe even every day, you find that there is something you need and you make another trip to the store. There are a lot of products on the market to consider, but we’ve compiled a list of 4 energy efficient products that every homeowner should know about.

colorado home 4Window Tinting
According to Business Insider, Colorado was named one of the top ten healthiest states in America. So why wouldn’t you want your home to be healthy and efficient as well. Make the investment in home window tinting in Colorado Springs and your home will thank you. Residential window tinting can reduce 99% of harmful UV rays from the sun. Also, window film can protect the items inside your home such as furniture, carpets, and other fabrics from fading. Most importantly, you will see window tinting begin to pay for itself once you see that savings on your next electric bill.

Rain Harvester
Having a rain harvester is a great way to recycle water that is provided free of charge from Mother Nature. Collect the rain runoff water from your roof and recycle is to water your lawn or even wash your car. It is important to remember that for safety reasons, this water is not for human consumption. However, you can still cut down your water bills dramatically and not feel guilty about shining up your vehicle. To learn how you can start harvesting rain water for your home, click here.

Power Circulating Pump
The average American household will waste around 17,000 gallons of water down their drain while waiting for hot water to travel from the water heater to the faucet. Investing in an efficient circular pump will eliminate the wait time for getting the water temperature you desire. The best part is, the circulating pump only uses about as much energy as a night-light.

Foam Insulation
We all know that insulating your home is essential to maintaining a comfortable temperature and saving money on your energy bills. When you weigh your options consider putting in spray foam insulation instead of the traditional fiberglass insulation. Foam spray has a higher R-value which means it has higher insulation properties and increased thermal comfort. In addition spray foam offers benefits of being mold and water damage resistant. Lastly, with foam insulation there are absolutely no air cavities or pockets for heating or air conditioning to escape.