Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY is it for me?

DIY is trending in the home improvement industry. Television and the Internet instructs us how easy home improvement can be.  It is really so simple?  Can DIY really save you money?  These are some good questions you should be asking yourself when you take on your home improvement projects.  Investing in your home improvement is a important decision that can be rewarding or a money pit if you are not prepared or have the proper skills to do it yourself.

Here is a couple of quick questions you should ask yourself to see if you are ready to tackle a big project as home improvement.

1. Are you a hard worker that is patient and enjoys physical labor?

2. Do you have the skills and tools to complete the project?

3. Are you familiar with the city codes and building permits that are required?

4. Will you be able to get all the materials you need?  If not will your supplier deliver?

5. How long will your project take to complete?  Do you have the spare time?

6. What happens if you have a mistake, do you have the extra funds to get it fixed?

If you could answer "yes" to all these questions, you might be ready to take on you home improvement project. If  "no" was your more common answer you should consider hiring a contractor.

You have looked at your home improvement project and decided it is time to hire a contractor.  Hiring the right contractor for you can save you money, time and stress. Here is some crucial questions to ask a contractor before you hire them for your home project.

1. Do they have creditable references?

2. How long have they been in business?

3. Do they pictures of the work they have completed?

4. Do they have the proper licences for their business?

5. Will they give you a written agreement outlining what work will be done?

6. Will they give you an exact price or just an estimate?

7. Will they take care of the permits and inspections?

8. Is the work they do guaranteed?

Weather you decide do it yourself or hire a contractor, do your homework.  Be prepared, do a budget, and know the project you are going to tackle.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Window Cleaning Tips

Spring is almost here.  We are getting that itch to open our windows and get fresh air back into our homes.  When you go to open those windows, what do you find but a winters worth of dust and grime.  So, the spring cleaning bug has begun.  

Washing windows can be a daunting task. To help you with this chore we have tested out some techniques that may be useful for you. Take a look and let us know what time saving methods you use in the comments below.  

In our first test we tried the store window cleaner.  As seen in the picture above after wiping down it seemed to leave streaks.  Next, we used store dish washing liquid.  The dish washing liquid left no streaks.  

We tackled glass windows, but what if you have a vinyl window? What can you use?  Extreme care must be taken when cleaning the vinyl window.  Do not use any harsh cleaners or detergents.  Bleach and formulas containing bleach should be avoided.  It is important not to use a pressure washer.  We recommend a special vinyl cleaner.  This has been specially formulated for the vinyl windows.  This cleaner can be purchased from Styleline just call 1-888-323-0594.

For best results, your windows needs to be cool before washing.  Make sure all dust and loose sand and grit has been removed from all areas of the frame.  Best way to do this is use a soft brush attachment with your vacuum cleaner.  

Give us you opinion below. Let us know what you use for effective window cleaning.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Preparing for Storms

Protect your home from extreme elements with storm windows!

Every change of season we can experience a variety of extreme weather. One day it will be an ice storm or a thunderstorm, the next, extreme wind (possible tornadoes and hurricanes).

Severe storms can cause large destruction to our electric systems.  It takes a while to clear away debris and repair damage.  People could be without power for a few days. Take the necessary steps ahead of time to be prepared.

Another reason is flying objects and high winds. These conditions can be havoc on your home. Taking action now to protect your home and your family can save lives and reduce damage.

How to Prepare for Power Outage and Wind Storms

1. If power goes out you need to report it right away.  If you smell gas call your gas company immediately.  Have your power and gas company phone number available.

2. If someone in your household has to depend on a life support device have your special 24 hour hotline number ready.  Have an evacuation plan for all locations. Consider home, work, and school/daycare. Check in your area and see if you have any neighbors with special needs that may benefit from your assistance.

3. Learn how to manually open your garage door, security doors, or any electronically operated devices.

4. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

5. Keeping the refrigerator and freezer door closed helps keep your food cold. Turn off stoves. Unplug any devices.

6. Make sure your gas is filled in your car, in case you need to travel to a safer location.

7. Fill your bathtub with water and any other buckets or containers you can find.  You will need this to flush your toilets and have spare water for cleaning.

8. Get cash.  It is always good to have emergency cash available unexpected expenses.  And with the power out you might not have access to buy items with your debit card.

9. Plan your family food and lodging needs.  If you are unable to use you electric stove have a gas or charcoal grill with matches available. Plan an alternative destination if you need to evacuate your home.

10. Put together a disaster supply kit, include garbage bags, duct tape, put matches and important papers in plastic bags, disposable wipes, batteries, flashlights, battery operated radio, candles, tools, first aid kit, pet supplies, manual can opener.

11. Find a safe room in your home,  pick a room with no windows preferably a in basement.  If evacuated  because of a hurricane find a alternative location away from the storm.

12. Plan one week of  meals. In your safe room put canned food, water, paper plates, cups and silverware, and a garbage can. Put these items in totes for easy travel if evacuated.

13. Conduct a safety check of your home.  Fix any torn roof shingles.  Keep gutters clear of debris. Consider replacing windows or protecting them with storm windows to protect against flying objects. Windows should be weather tight and trimmed. Put away any lawn furniture or loose objects outside your home, like potted plants and shovels. Repair any broken fences.

Stay calm, be alert and stay up to date on weather conditions. Taking these steps helps you get peace of mind that you and your family are ready when the extreme weather hits.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Screen Enclosures vs Big Box Screen Enclosures

Before you decide on a patio enclosure, know that every porch is unique.  We want you to choose the room that will fit your family and lifestyle.  Comparing the total costs, materials, and work associated in both choices will help you get into the space you have been dreaming of.  We have put together a comparison chart for you to make the best choice for your needs.

      Enlcosure Options

Styleline Screen Enclosure

Big Box Screen Enclosure
Aluminum roof and panels
Maintenance free
Galvanized metal with vinyl roof  may need replacing within a year from tears and shrinkage
20 year limited
1 year against normal wear and tear, no warranty against acts of nature
Aluminum Pan Roof
2 Ply Vinyl Roof
Sturdy in heavy weather
Never has to be disassembled, may add glass windows for a 4 season effect.
Has to be taken down during heavy weather
Unlimited possibilities
Limited sizes, rectangle or square option only
10 colors
3 colors

Cost (144 sq. feet room)
Aprox. list $4000.00
With labor

Aprox. list $1800.00
Self install and $400.00 + per year for replacement of roof or parts damage from weather.
Customer service
One on One design and personal service
Limited knowledge from a part time employee

At the end of the day do you want to spend your time taking down and putting up your room and replacing the roof every year? Or, would you like to enjoy time in your room and with a good book and a warm drink? The decision is yours. Dream about the unlimited possibilities.

Call us for more information and a quote at 1-888-323-0594.