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what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting

What Are The Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting? Everything You Need to Know for Free?

By admin | Home Improvement

There are reasons consumers are resorting to lighting up their homes in this manner; Ranging from as a way of circumventing a pricey electricity supply, improving the lighting of the house to enhance the deficits of artificial lighting. Solar tube lighting is a very convenient way of providing natural light in your home. 

So what are the drawbacks to solar tube lighting? Although the solar tube lighting offers some advantages such as its ease of installation, its ability to cut costs compared to the conventional electricity, its design flexibility and a lower risk of leaks; there are some drawbacks to solar tube lighting which are as follows;

What is Solar Tube Lighting?

The solar tube lighting is a pipe that is about 10 to 22 dm, which runs from the ceiling of the house to bring the light from the roof up to the rooms in the house. It works without using extra energy and save money on your electricity bill. 

What Are The Drawbacks to Solar Tube Lighting?

Before delving into the drawbacks of solar tube lightings, there is a need for some information about the product. 

High Initial Cost 

Aside from the overall low cost of solar tube lightings, the initial costs accrued when setting up the solar system is very high. It is not out of the ordinary as it would generally be an expensive move to change from regular power supply to natural solar energy. A high level of investment is required to get the standard power generation wrought by conventional electricity.

It is not suitable for all houses 

One can assume that an innovative device like solar tube lighting can be installed in every household. However, as usual, as this thought may seem, this is not the case. Some consumers have to cope with its lack of usability.

Solar tubes can only be installed in houses with conventional roofs, and if your roof is flat, you might have to take your time to look for other compatible designs. Come to think of it, with a roof which is A-frame; it is difficult to mount a solar tube.

It requires a big space 

Space is one of the factors to consider when deciding to install a solar tube lighting device. It can be very challenging to install a solar tube in a home with no space; as the more space you make out for the invention, the more solar energy you get.

There are more requirements if you need to illuminate a more significant area with solar tube lighting.

Ventilation is not possible 

For the solar tube lighting, ventilation cannot be installed with it. This lack of ventilation implies that you cannot open the lightings to allow for heat release or to catch a gentle breeze as you would do with standard skylight.

Do note that the longer the tube, the less light they can provide; hence, they may be ineffective in some areas.

One Cannot Control Solar Tube Lighting 

Unlike other sources of light or other light bulbs, the solar tube cannot be controlled as it does not have a power feature.  You can only have a say in controlling the amount of lighting it can provide, by going for any of the two types of solar tubes available.

The product comes in 10-inch and the 14-inch diameter, and you can also make use of a diffuser or a window film to control the lighting. You are likely to get irritated by this single factor, as you might suffer from exposure to extreme sunlight.

It is only one source of energy

One inherent disadvantage of solar energy; you will only provide enough energy if there is a steady supply of sunlight. In the case of unpredictable situations of bad weather, you might have to store energy.

The Issue of The Water of Condensation 

This is one commonly reported issue amongst users of the solar tube lighting. The problem of water of condensation happens in humid weather where moist air finds its way into the tube.

This accumulated water can affect the lifespan of your lighting, and it can even be more severe if it starts leaking into your rooms. This water of condensation can also change the walls, ruining the paint.

Benefits of solar tube lighting

Although a brief mention has been made of the benefits of solar tube lighting, it is only ideal we fully highlight the inherent advantages of installing this innovation in your home; these advantages include:

  • It is convenient and inexpensive
  •  It is a suitable alternative to natural light.
  • It is effective
  • Design flexibility
  • Lower risk of leaks.

Generally, solar tube lightings are employed to complement the artificial light in homes with structural defects, and more individuals are adopting it in recent times. It is to supplement; it does little to enhance the design of the house. As the populace is gradually discovering the potential offered by solar energy, it is becoming expensive, and even solar companies are not helping by providing their services at an increased cost.

Conclusion

Finally, there is nothing out of the ordinary in knowing the drawbacks inherent in what one wants to invest. It is all in a bid to fully determine if this is going to be a good investment or not. Although it might be helpful to note that the benefits of this latest innovation, such as it is a cost-effective solution, not raising the temperature of the room, they are in every way like standard lighting in both the shape and size and overall a consistent source of sunlight.

These benefits far outweigh its drawbacks in specific contexts. Knowing the drawbacks of a product also gives a sort of awareness of what you are likely to encounter if you decide to choose the product. It would be useful if we get some constructive feedback from esteemed readers, and if there is still a need for further clarification, kindly get in touch with us. Cheers!

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint To Dry

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint To Dry?

By admin | Home Improvement

Acrylic paint is one of the easiest art materials to find in stores out there and easy to use too. It’s so versatile it could be used in canvas, for home décor, DIY arts and crafts. And because it can be used on almost everything, many are wondering about how long does it take for acrylic paint to dry?    

In common, it will take 20 - 120 minutes but the exact time will depend on the types, the drying time of the paint, plus more other factors. I will show you my experiences when using this paint. 

What is Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic is a water-based type of paint, it’s water resistant, polymer-based, making it very suitable for projects, such as paintings on a canvass, for home décor, and arts and crafts. It can be applied to various surfaces, and can easily be blended or layered to other acrylic paint films and quickly dries without problems or side effects. 

They are also lightfast, which means the paint will not fade easily when exposed to light. Another unique property of an acrylic paint is that it is not reliant on solvents so you could use it as it is, but you can still modify the paint’s consistency with the variety of gels, pastes, and mediums.

How Long Does It Take for Acrylic Paint To Dry

Depending on my experiences, thin films of acrylic paint would dry as fast in 10-20 minutes, whereas the thicker films could take up to an hour or more, and some would take days before it becomes fully dry to touch. Let me show the drying time of Acrylic Paint in details: 

Types of Acrylic Paint  

There are three types of acrylic paint, the fluid, Heavy-Bodied Acrylics and Slow-Drying Acrylics

1. Fluid is mainly used in acrylic pouring which has a watery and runny consistency. The Fluid type of acrylic is best-suited for pouring techniques, and if you would add enough water, it could be used like a watercolor, which is amazing for painting as a wall décor in your home.

Because its film or consistency is thin, it will dry just as quickly, about 5-10 minutes. LIQUITEX BASICS ACRYLIC is one of the best choice for this quick drying paint. 

2. Heavy-Bodied Acrylics: This type of acrylic paint has a thick and buttery consistency that resembles oil paints. Its thickness helps the paint maintain brushstrokes, and make the blending or mixing of colors smooth and flawless.

You can buy Heavy body acrylics in either tubes or jars - paints that are in tubes are paste-like, while paints that are in jars are thick but flattens out eventually when it's poured on the palette. Heavy body acrylics can be workable after 10 minutes after application, then dry to the touch in 30 minutes, and “locked down” in 3 days or so. 

3. Open Acrylics are a slow-drying paint, but it has slightly softer consistency than our Heavy Body paints. This paint takes long time to dry, can remain wet for 60 minutes after using. 

Factors That Affect Acrylic Paint’s Drying Time

There are some main factors at Affect Acrylic Paint Drying Time, you should check them before using it in order to get the best results: 

  • The consistency or thickness of the paint also plays an important role in the paint’s drying time. The thicker consistency will need more time to become touch dry, and two types of Acrylic has different viscosity or consistency. The thicker the paint, the longer it needs to dry.
  • Your environment can also affect the drying time of your piece, you must take note of the temperature, humidity, and airflow. These are environmental factors could influence the drying of the acrylic paint. 

Tips to Make Acrylic Paint Dry Faster

One of the unique properties of acrylic paint is its fast-drying ability, but just like what I stated above, there are types of acrylics that need more time to become touch dry. But here are some few ways that you could practice to naturally reduce the drying period of your acrylic paint.

  • Place your acrylic-painted piece in a warm room, make sure that the humidity is low, or place it near a fan. This helps draw the moisture from the surface of your piece. 
  • Make acrylic paint dry faster is by placing the piece under a heat lamp, or a lamp with an incandescent bulb. Make sure that the lamp is not to hot and not too close to the paint, for the painting might bubble or crack. 
  • Dry your acrylic paint faster naturally, by blow-drying it. Set your hair dryer on low heat setting, but you must be careful not to get the painting too hot to prevent the paint from cracking.

You may follow these tips if you want your acrylic paint to dry quickly and naturally, but make sure to do this with caution, so as not to damage or ruin your painting, or project.

There are a lot of factors that could affect your acrylic paint’s drying time, it depends on the type of paint, the viscosity or consistency, and more once you add a medium to the paint and how thick your paint film is. But aside from these paint properties, some other things could also be a component of the paint’s drying period. 

There’s heat, humidity, airflow, materials used, painting surface, that can negatively or positively affect your acrylic paint’s drying time. You should also be mindful with how long you are going to expose your paint, for there are circumstances that your paint might crack or form bubbles.

It is very important to get as much information and tips as you could to further help you properly use your acrylic and successfully dry your project. On the other hand, you may seek assistance, tips, and more information from the personnel at your local art supplies store, for they are more knowledgeable of the materials you’ll be needing. 

best gfci outlet

Best GFCI Outlet in 2020 and How to Choose the Best One

By admin | Home Improvement , Tools

If you’re in the US, you’re probably aware of the National Electric Code (NEC). It requires the use of GFCI outlets for many appliances and parts of a house. The problem, however, is that not all such outlets can detect abnormalities fast enough to save you from electrocution.

So to help you pick a suitable model, I’ve prepared a detailed guide on buying the best GFCI outlet below.

Best GFCI Outlet Reviews


The Leviton GFNT1-W is a 15-amp GFCI outlet that stands above the rest because I never had any issues with its multi-layer safety features — and safety should be the No. 1 consideration for GFCI outlets. And while other entries on my list did well, the GFNT1-W managed to excel both in looks and performance.

For one, the Leviton GFNT1-W can blend into almost any household. If you don’t like the typical white color, you can choose six other variants. And they’re not all neutral: The options include white almond and red. Also, I like the use of two LED colors, both of which are reasonably sized and not too bright.

But going back to safety, this GFCI outlet has a genuine UL certification, which means it’s been rigorously tested for its safety and quality. You can rest well knowing that Leviton complied with the NEC and gave the GFNT1-W an auto-test mechanism. Thus, it takes away the burden of regular checking from the user.

PROS

  • Compact design takes 25 percent less space than regular-sized models
  • Green and red LED indicators aren’t distracting or overly bright
  • You can easily know if your clamping was right by looking at the rear wire clamps
  • Reset Lockout feature prevents resets if the outlet is damaged
  • Two-year limited warranty


CONS

  • Installation pamphlet could be better written
  • Some may not like the matte finish of the white variant

My second top favorite came from the same company, which is a testament to its competence in this product category. The Leviton GFWT-1 has the safety features I liked in the GFNT1-W such as auto-test, a UL certification, and sound LED indicators. Plus, both have reduced depths, which eases installation.

But what distinguishes the Leviton GFWT1-W from my top pick is the overall build that makes it a suitable outdoor pick. It’s not just about resistance to hot and cold temperatures: The PC board has a conformal coating, which safeguards crucial components from dust, moisture, salt, and corrosion.

Moreover, GFWT1-W has a shutter feature. This is particularly useful for areas where children are often around, including houses and schools. With this feature, kids can’t just access the contact since they’ll need a specific plug. Thus, they’re protected from electrocution due to the insertion of small items.

PROS

  • Easy to install thanks to the slim profile
  • Weather-resistant mechanisms for optimal outdoor performance
  • Interior shutter feature to protect kids
  • Faceplate and buttons have resistance to cold impacts
  • Steel strap and screws feel they’ll last for many years


CONS

  • Some screws may have fit issues
  • Has fewer color options than the Leviton GFNT1-W

My first two picks from Leviton cost between $17 and $21, which may understandably seem expensive for an outlet. In contrast, the TOPELE CECOMINOD039819 costs $11.99, making it the most affordable option. A few things are lacking here, but the basics of a good GFCI outlet remain present here.

For one, the TOPELE CECOMINOD039819 doesn’t have a UL certification. Instead, it’s ETL-listed, which some people may not prefer over UL. Personally, either certification is reassuring: They’re just different NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory). And second, it only uses a single, green LED indicator.

But even with those differences, this TOPELE GFCI outlet keeps safety in mind for everyone, especially with its shutter mechanism. It’s similar to the one in the Leviton GFWT1-W, so this should protect kids. Also, I love that it includes both a regular and a screwless plate — taking user preference into account.

PROS

  • Relatively light at just 3.2 ounces
  • Quick and simple installation process
  • Two sturdy wall plates included for free
  • You can use it without ground wire
  • Tamper-proof outlet for kids’ safety


CONS

  • Not everyone likes a non-UL-certified GCI outlet
  • No other color options available other than white

For at least $19 and up to $25.99, you can get the Leviton GFNL1-W, which is the most expensive Leviton model on my list. Is it worth it? For the most part, yes. This is a UL-certified GFCI 15-amp GFCI outlet that hasn’t failed me with its self-test and tamper-resistant mechanisms — even after months of use.

And here’s the cool part: The GFNL1-W serves as a night light as well. It becomes a two-in-one essential household device, which saves you both electricity and space. What’s even better is that a sensor checks the ambient lighting to automatically turn the guide light on and off — it’s such an innovative feature.

I just wish it had more than four color options. Likewise, it’s disappointing that the Leviton GFNL1-W has no included wall plate despite its relatively premium cost.

PROS

  • Unique guide light feature with ambient light sensor 
  • Looks great as countertop outlets with the cool lighting
  • Space-saving profile
  • Can check false triggers to stop itself from working if the wiring is incorrect


CONS

  • Replacing your old outlet may not be as simple if they have different wirings
  • No free wall plates even with its price

My final pick is the only 20-amp GFCI outlet, which comes from TOPELE. If you need a 20-amp receptacle for your business or heavy-duty machine, this might be your best bet. Plus, it costs just $12.99 — a mere dollar more than the TOPELE CECOMINOD039819. But like that 15-amp outlet, this is just ETL-certified.

Other than the same lack of UL certification, this TOPELE model has temper resistance as well. But like the Leviton GFWT1-W, it’s also made with outdoor use in mind. I used it in my yard for a few weeks, and neither the sun nor the rain ruined its reliability.

PROS

  • Includes wall plates, stickers, and screws
  • Effective weather resistance for constant outdoor use
  • Quick setup thanks to recessed ports for hot and neutral wires
  • Directions are easy to understand


CONS

  • Tamper resistance may be too difficult to surpass using prongs
  • Location of the LED indicator could’ve been better

Best GFCI Outlet - Buyers’ Guide

What are the benefits of a GFCI outlet?

In simple terms, a GFCI outlet safeguards users from electric shocks. But how? First, it identifies the level of two current types: input and output. These connections should remain stable for safety and utility, but leakages can happen when you least expect it. Luckily for you, GFCI outlets can spot them immediately.

Once the GFCI outlet detects the leakage or any electrical abnormality, it stops power coming in. It shuts down the outlet before possible electrocution happens. All its mechanisms are meant to address ground faults, which is when electrical connections reach the ground instead of returning to its power source.

Combined with surge protection devices or surge suppression systems, GFCI outlets help keep individuals and businesses alike from costly and dangerous electrical issues, whether they’re outdoors or indoors.


Required by Law

Even if people don’t mind the valuable and life-saving advantages of GFCI outlets, they’re bound by law to use them. As stated by the National Fire Protection Association, the 2017 National Electric Code (NEC) requires GFCI protection in areas such as bathrooms, crawl spaces, boathouses, and kitchen countertops.

Thus, areas that are either often damp or are near water should have GFCI protection. Thankfully, it’s not hard to differentiate between regular and GFCI outlets: The latter has two rectangular buttons. These are for resetting and testing the outlet, and they’re sometimes colored red and black, respectively.

Also, homeowners are required to install GFCIs not further than six inches from sinks, shower stalls, and bathtubs. And protective measures aren’t just for certain areas in and out of the house: The NEC applies to appliances like dishwashers and drinking fountains since they’re likely to cause electrical hazards.


What should I look for in bu​​​​ying a GFCI outlet?

Ideally, GFCI outlets should perform as expected at all times. You can’t always predict the likeliness of ground faults due to water leaks, hot wires, and devices and appliances with poor insulation. Thus, you have to consider many factors.

1. UL or ETL Certification

Like any crucial household device, GFCI outlets are much better when they’re vouched for their quality and safety features by reliable safety companies. In this case, look for outlets with a certification from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global leader in the safety testing of retail products.

Picking a certified GFCI outlet is more than about its reliable safety measures — it could also help you save money in the long run. Why? Not all insurance companies will cover for property damages caused by a fire from a GFCI outlet if the device didn’t have a UL certification.

Moreover, don’t just trust what companies say. UL itself has had problems with items bearing fake UL labels, which puts consumers at risk while affecting the company’s reputation. The entity is doing its best with the implementation of several anti-counterfeit measures, but you can do something about it too.

Search online if the outlet has a genuine UL certification. If you can’t find any official news about it, look for verified buyer reviews. If you don’t see the label on the device, it may be in the manual. Aside from UL, you can also look for the ETL certification from Intertek, a British product inspection company.

2. LED Lighting

Most GFCI outlets have LED indicators. It’s a convenient way to inform people about whether electrical connections are stable or currently unsafe. Some outlets only use a red or green indicator while others use both.

For example, a green light means that the GFCI outlet is working properly. If it shows red instead, you have to fix it. Either do another self-test or seek a replacement if it still has a solid or blinking red light.

Sometimes, the outlet will show neither LED light, which could mean it identified a ground fault and has shut down or that it can no longer conduct self-tests, among other reasons.

3. Durability

As much as GFCI outlets are a necessity indoors, they’re also important outside, especially when you consider natural elements like rain and fog. For outdoor installations, an outlet should have sufficient weather resistance, particularly against water, heat, and cold.

4. Essential Accessories

The best GFCI outlets come with the accessories you’ll need for installation. Such packages save buyers not only money but also time spent on searching for the appropriate screws and faceplates. 

Ideally, the outlet should come with both. Some only have the faceplate, which means you have to look for the right-sized screws. On the other hand, outlets that don’t require screws for the plate exist, but they’re usually more expensive. If you prefer not seeing screws on your wall, it may be worth the price.

5. Installation Process

Even if you’ve never installed a GFCI outlet before, you should be able to do it properly if the device has a well-written user manual. The text should ideally be simple and accompanied by illustrations. Also, it helps if the outlet is designed for a few wiring options, like behind and on either side of the outlet.

6. Power Output

GFCI outlets come in 15-amp and 20-amp variants, with power output being their significant difference — the latter is more powerful and suitable for heavy-duty or industrial applications. If you have a 20-amp circuit, you can safely install either of the two. But a 15-amp circuit will only work with a 15-amp outlet.

For most residential homeowners and commercial establishments, a 15-amp GFCI suffices for their daily needs. A 20-amp model can detect more subtle changes in currents, but these rarely happen in ordinary (i.e. non-industrial) applications.

Conclusion

All in all, the Leviton GFNT1-W is what I’d recommend first to anyone looking for a GFCI outlet. Sure, its design isn’t the best for outdoor use like the Leviton GFWT1-W and the 20-amp TOPELE variant, but this particular Leviton model is already excellent for regular household and commercial requirements.

First, the GFNT1-W has the most color options, which means it caters to more homeowners than the rest of the list. Second, it genuinely passed the UL standards since it’s from Leviton. I know some won’t mind the lack of a UL certification in place of one from Intertek, but most people are familiar with UL.

Third, the LED indicators just have the right amount of brightness — and they work as intended. Add in the two-year warranty, compact design, reset lockout mechanism, auto-monitoring, and high torque resistance, and I can say that the Leviton GFNT1-W is a top-tier, reasonably priced GFCI outlet.

Best Step Ladder for Elderly

Best Step Ladder for Elderly — 2020 Buyer’s Guide

By admin | Home Improvement , Tools

Step ladders are essential to home maintenance, but not all of them are safe for everyone. With this in mind, I’ve scoured the market for the best step ladder for elderly people. I made this buyer’s guide with the hopes of helping people find variants that don’t compromise safety for durability.

Read on below to not only check my top favorite senior-friendly step ladders but also my tips for picking one yourself.

Reviews - Best Step Ladder for Elderly


Best Step Ladder for Elderly

The Delxo WK20161B-2 3-Step Ladder ticks nearly everything I was looking for in a senior-friendly step ladder. It’s well-designed but doesn’t go over with flourishes, which kept its price tag to a reasonable $59.99. Simply put, Delxo focused on what’s essential — and they delivered with the WK20161B-2.

I have a couple of elderly relatives that weigh upward of 150 and 250 pounds, respectively. Neither had any bad experience stepping onto the step ladder, thanks to its 330-pound max load. Yet that’s not the only reason why: Delxo included a metal lock to further stabilize the ladder.  

Granted, the Delxo WK20161B-2 doesn’t have handrails. The next best thing is the handgrip, which feels comfortable even with minor tearing after a few months. None of my rooms had damaged floors —  the non-marring shoes worked. Add in the wide, anti-slip steps, and Delxo has done superbly in user safety.

PROS

  • 330-pound maximum capacity more than enough for most elderly
  • Curved handgrip adds more standing and even sitting room on top
  • Has GS (Geprüfte Sicherheit) certification for product safety
  • Lightweight, portable design for easy storage
  • Extra-wide steps with anti-slip grooves and smart spacing in-between


CONS

  • Handle cover has minor tearing after months of light use
  • Locking mechanism underneath can have better placement

The Cosco 11880PBL1E feels like a better option if I was evaluating it in terms of general appeal, but as it is, the Delxo step ladder is the prime choice for the elderly. Still, this Cosco model features a top tray that removes the need to go up and down when removing fixtures and/or handling a variety of tools.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) checked the Cosco 11880PBL1E and gave it a Type II certification, which means it can hold up to 225 lbs. That’s a far cry from the 330 lbs duty rating of my No. 1 choice. It won’t be able to support even elders who are just slightly bigger in weight than average.

On the other hand, the Cosco 11880PBL1E has a better locking mechanism than the Delxo step ladder: You can use the latch with a single hand, which is great news for the elderly. The handgrip has grooves for a stronger hold. And lastly, it’s a solid long-term pick since it has a 10-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • ANSI certification gives its duty rating more credibility
  • Rigid, multi-compartment top tray doesn’t bend when carrying numerous items 
  • Lock/release latch can be used with a single hand
  • Anti-slip steps don’t feel hard on the feet even when used for an extended time
  • Grooved and padded handgrip


CONS

  • 225 lbs weight capacity greatly limits the number of people who can safely use it
  • Total weight of 17 lbs is a little more than the Delxo WK2061B-2’s 15.18 pounds

The Best Choice Products SKY1906 3-Step Ladder has a few advantages over my top pick, but it’s also got room for improvement. I love the top tray, which was also in the Cosco 11880PBL1E. However, I wish the tray in this more affordable step ladder was sturdier and big enough to hold a standard-sized paint tray.

Also, this step ladder is a little shorter than the Delxo WK20161B-2 that has a top pedal height of 28”, but 26.5” isn’t bad at all. Both sport the same 330-pound weight capacity and anti-skid ladder shoes, and my older relatives had no qualms about balance. The step ladder was solid even without a lock feature.

Unlike the usual step ladders, the SKY1906 folds and opens smoothly throughout, no friction whatsoever. I wish the top handgrip had padding all around it like with the Delxo step ladder, but the covered space is alright. And despite being just as light as my top pick, the steel frame hasn’t budged one bit.

PROS

  • Highly efficient simplified folding mechanism
  • The top tray eases the need to balance oneself and hold items
  • The steel frame hasn’t shown any structurally inferior sections 
  • Comes fully assembled from the feet to the top tray
  • The depth of each step offers more than enough for both feet


CONS

  • Handgrip at the top should’ve had a full cover to ensure comfort
  • The tray on top needs a sturdier, more ergonomic design

If you’re willing to spend more than $100, I suggest the Little Giant 10310BA. It sets itself apart with its aerospace-grade aluminum construction, and I have a guess why Little Giant chose this tough yet light material: If it used steel for the frame, it would’ve been much heavier than it already is at 21.5 lbs.

Instead, Little Giant utilized the tougher but heavier steel only for select parts like rivets and brackets. Yet this may have affected its overall weight capacity, which is at 300 lbs, 30 lbs lower than the Delxo and the Best Choice Products models. Still, Duty Rating is suitable for more elders than the Cosco 11880PBL1E.

If you fold it, the depth is reduced to a mere 5.5”, so you can store it in small spaces — and there are wheels so that the elderly can move it without much effort. The tool tray is durable, and it even has hooks for hanging buckets. It’s much thinner than other trays, but you can use it as a handgrip as well.

PROS

  • Ultra-compact design with a depth of 5.5” when folded
  • Two wheels for easy transport regardless of surface
  • Wide rubber anti-slip steps
  • Sleek tool tray with hooks servers as a safety bar


CONS

  • Releasing the top bar can be difficult for the elderly even with both hands
  • Relatively heavier than most three-step ladders at 21.5 lbs

Weight is a significant factor in picking a step ladder, especially if you’re an elder. The second Little Giant model in my list, the Flip-N-Lite 15272-001, weighs just 9.48 lbs. It doesn’t have wheels like the 10310BA, but it’s not a necessity since it weighs less than half — and yet it has the same 300 lbs Duty Rating.

Unlike the 10310BA, you don’t need extra hand strength to open or fold the Flip-N-Lite  15272-001. But the compromise is evident: The lower step and top tray are too narrow, and the platform is only as wide as the steps of the rest of the entries. You’ll have to be a little more careful when stepping up or down.

Neither the step nor the platform has rubber treads — just grooves. This isn’t good if your shoes have smooth soles or the ladder gets wet. Thankfully, the latch and the rubber feet work as intended. 

PROS

  • Significantly lightweight at just 9.48 lbs
  • ANSI Type IA certification for heavy-duty use
  • Slim design
  • Duty rating of 300 lbs despite its weight


CONS

  • The relatively narrow step makes it risky
  • Platform and step have no rubber treads to effectively prevent slipping

Step Ladder for Elderly - Buyers’ Guide

What are the benefits of using a step ladder?

As much as you want to rely solely on your height, a time will come when a piece of furniture or ceiling is too high to reach. You’ll need a ladder sooner or later to get the job done. Particularly, step ladders are a favorite choice among household owners due to their safety and reliability.

With a decent step ladder, you can clean the top shelves or replace lighting fixtures on your own. People who live alone are then better off with this type of ladder: It’s designed with a solid base to stop shaking as you step up and down or move to either side. 

Likewise, its A-frame structure gives it amazing stability. Unlike extension ladders or telescoping ladders, you don’t need to climb up with your hands and feet, one step and one hand at a time. You just use your feet as if you’re just walking up the stairs. What does this mean? You can climb with tools in both hands.

Plus, a step ladder doesn’t always have to be short. Step ladders aren’t limited to two steps: Some have three, four, five, and even more steps. You can easily go well above six-foot-high step ladders. With this variety in height combined with a self-supporting design, homeowners can fix things as soon as possible.


Why look for a step ladder for the elderly?

Step ladders are convenient, but they’re not all suitable for the elderly. Even with the base support, step ladders still have other characteristics that require discernment vis-a-vis the use by senior citizens. They need more than a good foundation to stay safe, especially if they’re alone.

But is there any danger to climbing ladders? Yes. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the World Health Organization (WHO) noted over 164,000 emergency injuries in the US due to ladders. Worse, around 300 people die each year because of ladder falls.

As much as you want to stay safe at all times, accidents still do happen. Since the elderly have weakened muscles, slower reflexes, and are prone to geriatric syndromes (i.e. health conditions associated with aging), they must be wary of which tools and equipment they use — and this applies to step ladders.

On a related note, here’s a quick video on how to safely use ladders:


How to choose a senior-friendly step ladder

Step ladders have a ton of features worth considering, but these are the ones you need to take note of the most if the elderly will use them.

1) Step Size

A good number of senior citizens have significant balancing problems, which is why they should never use a step ladder no matter what. 

But for elders who can still stabilize themselves relatively well, they can use a step ladder if it has wide steps and minimum gaps. Each step must be a little wider than their feet. This ensures that they won’t stumble or fall even if they step a little too forward or backward, or to either side.

2) Anti-Slip Surface

You want the steps to feel rugged so that an elder won’t slip even if the surface is wet or they’re wearing footwear with smooth soles. Check the steps carefully: They should have non-slip features such as rubber treads and grooves. 

Ditch any step ladders with completely smooth surfaces — you want textured steps. The ladder shoes or feet should be made of rubber, ideally.

3) Handrails

A typical step ladder doesn’t have handrails since it removes the need to use your hands to climb up and down. In contrast, the elderly need something to hold onto, so handrails are essential to them. If there’s no model with handrails on both sides, you should at least look for step ladders with handrails on top.

Handrails step ladder

4) Safety Certification

Don’t just listen to hearsay when buying a step ladder. Instead, look for advice or recommendations from experts and safety organizations. You want a product that’s been thoroughly examined for its utility and safety, among other factors. Always check if the model has a safety certification from a reputable entity.

5) Durability and Materials

If the elder lives alone or prefers to do things by themself, get a lightweight yet durable step ladder. This allows them to carry the ladder from room to room with relative ease. Check if it folds as it should. Still, don’t sacrifice durability for a light ladder — pick models that are stainless, waterproof, and/or rustproof.

6) Weight Capacity

Always check if the Duty Rating is more than your body weight. Why? If the maximum weight capacity of the ladder is below or exactly your weight, it may become dangerous for you to step on it while carrying tools or items and wearing extra layers of clothing.

Conclusion

My top pick for the best step ladder for elderly people is the Delxo WK2061B-2 3-Step Ladder. It doesn’t have a tool tray like the Cosco 11880PBL1E, but it excels in all other aspects. First, the lock mechanism enhances stability for any seniors stepping up and down the latter.

Second, all three anti-slip rubber steps are as wide as entire platforms of other step ladders. My feet didn’t hurt standing on them for extended periods, and I could always grab onto the padded handgrip, which had a curved design to offer more standing space on top. 

It’s not as light as the Little Giant Flip-N-Lite 15272-001, but its weight is just enough given its safety features the former had to compromise for. It’s still very much portable, and even the two-tone look serves a function: It helps the elderly discern the steps and the handgrip quicker.

All in all, the Delxo WK2061B-2 3-Step Ladder is an excellent pick. Its design has a clear focus on safety and stability, which matters a lot more than portability and convenience for this target market — and its GS product safety certification from the global certification body TÜV SÜD is proof of this.

How Long Does It Take to Paint A Room?

How Long Does It Take to Paint A Room?

By admin | Home Improvement

Putting a new, fresh paint to change your old room can be fun to do, but it could also be time-consuming and requires a little bit of elbow grease to get the job done. One question I always have in mind is how long does it take to paint a room?

So here are some guidelines and rough estimates for an average-sized room, so we could have an idea and help us plan on painting our rooms.

Time for measuring and planing

Rooms vary in sizes and measurements, and it's essential to know how big the room is that you are going to paint. So, the first thing you have to do is get the size of the room you're going to paint, this could help determine how much time you're going to need to paint your room. 

The average size of  a bedroom measures 432 sq. ft. and that's about 13' x 13' bedroom with a 8' ceiling, if your room has little or intricate details, it will be easier for you to follow simple steps in painting and take less time. 

While an average medium-sized living room measures 20' x 15' x 8' which is a lot bigger and has more details so it could take more time to paint.

Some other things that need to be considered before you start your project, is planning ahead of time. With a carefully laid plan that lets you work smoothly, you may consider making a list, and finalize what needs to be painted. If the ceiling doesn’t need to have a fresh coat, you may skip it and that has saved you a couple of hours.

You will spend 10 - 15 minutes for this work. 

Hours Needed in Painting / Rolling Walls

You will have to check if some need repair before you could start painting. Are there any holes in the walls? Pinholes, and how big they are. If there’s no major repair needed, you may prepare your mud work and fill nail holes, so the wall would look smooth and flawless once the paint is applied. Mud work would take approximately 10 minutes for a normal-sized room. 

Next in the process is cleaning the ceiling, and wall trimmings, you can either sweep it with a broom and/or wipe it with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust and grime, also to make the tapes stick properly in place. You can use a step ladder for easy access to the ceiling or the top of the walls. 

Then you may tape the floor trims, window trims, ceiling, GFCI outlets, and switches. The time consumed in these tasks may take you approximately 30 to 40 minutes and may still vary depending on your skills and efficiency. 

Walls should be smoothed out for the application of paint to turn out well. You can either use a sanding sponge or sanding pole. After this, you will have to clean the dust off the tapes and the walls and could take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.  

Lastly, move your furniture. If you're about to paint your ceiling, move your furniture away and cover them drop cloths, but if you’re just painting the walls, you can just move your furniture to the center and cover them with drop cloths, as well as the floor. To prevent paint drippings on the floor or to your precious furniture.

Also, prepare your brush and roller, and paint tray. This could take 20 to 30 minutes to put everything to place, and prepare your paint and tools.

Estimated time to paint the room

You may want to cut in along the ceiling first, then the windows, doorways, corners and the edges of the outlets and switches. Make a line with a paintbrush; you could actually use an angled brush of 2.5”-3” for easier cutting, and this could take approximately 40 to 60 minutes for an average person to finish the first coat, while it could take 30 minutes for the second coat.

This should be easier to finish since you’ve already taped the trims and covered some parts, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting some paint on your outlets or trims.

Now to the real task, rolling out or painting the walls. Painting your walls should come out quickly and easily if everything else was done right and accordingly. If there are no more quick fixes that should be done, you could finish rolling out quicker than expected.

You also might want to take a pause from painting and check your work to see if there are runs, streaks, sags, or light spots that you might’ve overlooked. So, you can immediately roll back to that area and paint until it’s smooth and evened out.

This task can be done by an average person at approximately 40 minutes for a normal-sized room.

Related post: How Long Does Primer Take To Dry?

Time needed to Clean up and Last Touch

You can now admire your newly-painted walls, you may pull the tape off the trims, clean up the dust, put away the drop cloths, and put your furniture back to their places, putting everything away could take approximately 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to check the room for missed spots, light areas, or if there is paint on trims and the ceiling, so you may give it a last touch up. Then admire your new beautifully-painted room once the furniture is back and set up.

Here's the summary of How Long Does It Take To Paint A Room.

  • Measuring and planning - 15 minutes
  • Prep Work - 110 minutes ( 1.8 Hours)
  • Cutting In - 60 minutes (1 Hour)
  • Painting/ Rolling Walls - 40 minutes
  • Cleaning Up - 30 minutes
  • Total Hours: 255 minutes (4.25 Hours)

Certainly, the time we will consume in executing this task will depend on our skills and efficiency. There are a lot of factors that we should not overlook when we are about to do this task, and we need to be patient and careful with our home details such as window edges, trims, ceilings, etc., to prevent any more unnecessary tasks, also to save us time.

If we want our project to turn out well, we need to plan out everything, the type of paint, the right shade you want, and the tools you need. We should be fastidious when we’re planning for this home project, because one mistake and it’ll be our precious time and effort that will suffer. 

These are just some guidelines and rough estimates of the time that can be consumed in doing the necessary tasks when you paint your room.

You need to know: How to Paint A Staircase Railing? 9 Steps from Start to Finish. 

How Long Does Primer Take To Dry?

How Long Does Primer Take To Dry?

By admin | Home Improvement

Are you looking to renovate your room? Do you prefer to do your renovations yourself? Are you contemplating whether using a primer is necessary? Are you worried about how long does primer take to dry?

Your worries are valid. We all know how beneficial using a primer can be. I also understand that planning ahead is very crucial when it comes to renovations. To be able to effectively plan ahead, you should have a rough estimate of how long each section of the renovation will take (even if it is just a paint job).

I will answer your question in detail in the article below.

Why should You use A Primer? 

Before we go on, here is a quick explanation of what primer is and why using it is important:

A primer is a protective overcoat applied before painting to ensure better adhesion of the paint to the surface of the wall. This way, when the painting is done, it has a more vibrant finish. Priming also makes the paint last longer and provides some protection for the material being painted. This is why priming is essential. 

Now, to answer question, how long does primer take to dry?

Normally, primer takes to dry after 1 to 24 hours. The reason why there is no actual figure is that the figures may vary based on the type of primer used and the painting conditions.

There are two major types of primers - Oil-based and Latex based primer. We will be taking a look at each of these primer types. I will also be pointing out how some certain factors can make these dry faster or slower. 

Oil-Based Primer

Oil primers are perfect for painting over wood. However, they have a longer dry time than latex-based primers. 

Kilz oil-based primer and Rustoleum Primer are great choices. These 5 factors can determine the dry time of your oil-based primer.

  • Mode of Application: Using spray paint will give a significantly lesser dry time than if you use a brush or a roll-on. The reason is that spraying on primer creates thin coats that will dry out in about one to two hours in ideal conditions.
  • Humidity: Primer dries much faster in low humidity areas than in high humidity areas. This takes longer for the paint to dry indoors when rain is falling. The issue of humidity can easily be solved by using a dehumidifier.
  • Temperature: The higher the temperature of the room, the faster the drying time of the primer. The ideal temperature of the room is 75 Fahrenheit or 24 Degrees Celsius.
  • Ventilation: Rooms that are highly ventilated will have a significantly reduced dry time. However, make sure there isn’t much dust floating in the air. If they get into your primer, it could bring an unpleasant result. 
  • Exterior or Interior Project: Your primer is exposed to the elements when you paint outdoors. The conditions outdoors will determine whether dry time will be fast or slow. For instance, a sunny day means a faster dry time than a humid, wet, or rainy day. When painting outdoors, choose your days wisely.

Latex Primers

Latex Primers are water-based. Generally, they dry a lot faster than oil-based primers. It takes about 1 to 2 hours for a latex primer to dry, all things being equal. They also do not give off as much VOCs and odors as oil-based primers.

They produce virtually the same results as oil-based primers. However, they do not offer the same level of protection of the material from the elements as oil-based primers do. 

Another factor that can determine the length of dry time is the type and number of coats used. The more coats you use, the longer it takes for your primer to dry. Generally, thin coats produce better results. They reduce the chance of getting uneven edges.

It is much better to use multiple thin strokes than a singular thick coat. Remember, 1 or 2 thick coats < numerous thin layers.

How Long Does Primer Take to Dry On Wood?

The primer dry time for wood takes no more time than it does for other surfaces like furniture, metal, or drywall. For the most part, dry time is determined based on the primer type.

While oil Primers will take about 12 to 24 hours, latex primers will take 1 to 2 hours to dry on wood. These figures are only possible in ideal conditions. Factors like high humidity and low temperature will definitely reduce dry time.

How Can You Make Primer Dry Faster?

You can make our primer dry much faster if you follow these tips:

  • Low humidity reduces dry time. Run a dehumidifier in the room or area you painted.
  • Thin coats dry faster than thick coats. Using a paint sprayer will result in thin coats.
  • Put on your heater. Primer dries faster in rooms or areas with high temperatures. 

Additional Notes

When it comes to priming, the patient dog gets the best results. You can wait for up to 30days after priming before you paint. So do not be in a hurry to paint your room.

If you paint your room before the primer dries, you will get a very terrible outcome. The tackiness may even force you to pull out the paint and start all over.

Conclusion

Priming is essential to get the best results after painting. Not only will you get an excellent finish, but your paint will also last longer, and you will be giving the material you are painting more protection from the elements. 

However, for everything to be perfect, you need to patiently wait for your primer to dry. Based on the primer type and other elements, it takes between 1 to 24 hours for the primer to dry.

Remember, patience is essential. If your primer sits for long before you paint over it, you are likely to get better results.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below. Thanks for reading. 

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

By admin | Guest post

Sometimes people complain about the shoulder pain after waking in the morning. The pain can be for various reasons but it is something that you should never ignore. Sometimes the pillow that you are using right now might not suit you and it’s the time to choose it that is suitable for you.

Now you might be thinking that how come we will know which pillow will go best for us. Well, if you are facing any problem like this then I am going to cover the ways through which you can choose the best pillow for your shoulder pain in this article. Let’s proceed with the topic.

Now the question arises that why the shoulder pain occurs? The reason for this pain involves various factors. For better and peaceful sleep, your dark and chilled room in summers and cozy room in winters are not enough.

Your pillow matters a lot regarding your best sleep. If your pillow is not making you comfortable then how can you sleep peacefully?

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

How to Choose the Best Pillow?

Now let’s come to the main topic that how one can choose the best pillow if they are suffering from shoulder pain. Are you one of those who often complain about their shoulder pain and don’t know the reason behind it, are you one of them?

If Yes, then it is due to your pillow that you are using. One should know which pillow will better suit them. As there are a number of pillows to sleep upright and if you consider a few important things while choosing a pillow then you can easily choose the best pillow that will also relieve you from shoulder pain.

Some doctors suggest not to sleep on your side as it causes a lot of pressure to your body that also tends to have shoulder pain. If you are a side sleeper then you should change your sleeping position for your better health.

If you are having a good sleep at night then you will be able to remain fresh and active throughout the day but if you can’t get enough sleep due to any reason then it can surely affect your health. Don’t take your shoulder pain lightly as it can create a big problem gradually. Now let’s talk about those factors that can help you in choosing the best pillow for shoulder pain.

1- Types of Pillows

There is a wide range of different types of pillows from which you select what suits you best. Let me explain to you a few types so that you know which one is suitable for you. It incorporates:

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

Feather Pillows

Let’s talk about the first type of pillows that you might have used ever. But wait are they worth using? or are they enough to stop the shoulder pain? They are the softest pillows that let you sleep peacefully. The material used in these pillows incorporate the coarse outer plumage of ducks or geese and the softer inner plumage.

However, the feather in the pillow can cause allergy to a few people who have sensitive skin so if you are one of them then you better stay away from such pillow for shoulder pain. If it doesn’t harm you then it can go best and suitable for you. You might consider it once.

Multi-Leveled Pillow

It is another pillow that will not let your shoulder pain and you can sleep peacefully and comfortably in the night. This multi-leveled pillow highlights different degrees of the slant just as a lot of alcoves and crevices. All things considered; these highlights permit you to limit Shoulder Pain.

You may choose multi-level pillows whenever you thought to buy any. If your experience goes well then you may start using it forever to avoid any shoulder or any other pain.

Contour Pillows

You might have heard that Contour Pillows solve the shoulder pain and let you sleep peacefully without any discomfort. Apart from shoulders they likewise give support to Neck, Spine, Legs and other parts of the body. In short, they are best for any type of body pain.

The sleeping posture is the main reason behind your sleepless nights so this pillow will help you to stable your sleeping posture and will let you sleep in a better way without any problem. Try to experience Contour Pillow and save yourself and your body from any pain.

The Split Pillow

Now comes another best pillow for the shoulder pain that helps you to deal with your shoulder pain and assist you in sleeping peacefully and comfortably. If you are a side sleeper then this pillow is best for you as it gives support to your shoulder and avoids any kind of shoulder pain so that you can sleep well. It is one of the worth considering types of pillows.

2- Material of Pillows

Once you are done with the type, now the next step that involves in this category is to choose the best material. The materials play an essential role in letting you sleep in a good way without any pain. The material used on the pillows or their covers should be of high-quality. Otherwise apart from shoulder pain, it can cause other damages to your skin.

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

Some people prefer to use cotton pillows while a few prefer to have silk pillows. Everyone uses it according to their feasibility. The cotton cushion cases that you go through douse a ton of soil and oil from your skin and can obstruct your pores, if not changed all the time. Unclean pillows can cause breakouts on the back and the shoulder area, and can even become a reason for wrinkles to show up right on time.

The shoulder support pillow silk pillows can be very useful and it doesn’t cause any damage to your skin or any part of the body. Now the choice is yours which material you prefer most. There are various other materials used in pillows from which you can select after having complete knowledge of its advantages and disadvantages.

When it comes to anything related to pillows then you should choose wisely because you have to deal with them or use them daily and pillows play an essential role in giving you healthy sleep and keeps you active the next day.

3- Pillow Sizes

Now you might be surprised that how can the size of the pillow contribute to your body or shoulder pain? Well, the pillow size likewise matters a lot in giving you a shoulder pain that can result in a severe problem. Some people have the habit of moving on their bed at night so if your pillow complements your bed size then wherever you move on the bed you will have the support of the pillow.

Three common sizes of a pillow incorporate Standard, Small and Large now you can decide which pillow size will go best for you according to your bed size where you sleep. The perfect size of the pillow plays a vital role in providing you with a night of good and healthy sleep. Apart from the type and material of the pillow, next time don’t forget to choose the pillow in keeping in mind the size of your bed.

A Guide to Choose the Best Pillow for Shoulder Pain

Advantages of Choosing Perfect Pillow

Many people think that having a pillow under your head at night is enough for you. You don’t need to go in-depth for choosing a specific pillow. Well, let’s now talk about a few characteristics or benefits that better depicts the importance of having a perfect pillow for shoulder pain as well as for your better health and peaceful sleep. The advantages incorporate:

• One of the biggest advantages that it provides is giving Support. During sleep, your shoulder, head, and neck need support during your 8 or 9 hours of sleep. If they will not get enough then it will result in body pain that can exceed if it goes unnoticed and untreated so better to give support to your body instead of paying it later.
• It let you sleep peacefully and without any discomfort. Having a sound sleep at night is very essential for a human body. If they don’t get enough then they won’t be able to work actively the next day. Moreover, less sleep can make humans sick.
• Your sleeping position also matters a lot. The pillow lets you have a good sleeping position to avoid any type of pain. If you have a habit of sleeping on your back then keep a pillow at your back as a support. Or if you sleep on your left side then keep a pillow according to that sleeping position.
• It is proven that good sleep helps you in giving relief if you suffering from any pain but if your pillow is not perfect then instead of giving you the relief it will create more pain. Better to choose a pillow that goes best for you.

Conclusions

Now say goodbye to your shoulder and neck pain by changing your pillow and have the best one that is suitable for you. I have mentioned a few essential factors that better help you in giving a peaceful and sound sleep at night. Before buying any pillow pay special consideration on the type, material and size of the pillow so that you won’t disappointed in the end. I hope you will find this article helpful and informative.

Tiny House Inexpensive Lap Siding Alternative

By admin | Exterior Decor

Learn the advantages of using an engineered wood siding product to create the curb appeal and look of traditional wood lap siding for your tiny house.

As noted at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company website, since 1997, company owner and founder Jay Shafer has championed the idea of tiny houses as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly housing alternative.

Shafer’s company markets construction plans for homes that range from an austere 65 square foot micro house to a comparatively palatial house of 874 square feet to those interested in self contracting or self-building their own home. After purchasing a plan, owner-builders make the decisions about what types of materials to use to finish the small homes inside and out.

In anticipation of retirement in late 2010, Shafer’s tiny house concept captured my imagination. Confident that a small house would meet my needs for housing during retirement I began construction on my own, self-designed 384 square foot tiny house.

Once the house was framed, sheathed and roofed it was time to choose the exterior siding. Cost, durability, and curb appeal considerations were the primary factors that led me to choose an inexpensive yet sturdy engineered wood product for the exterior siding. The means of use and installation of the product selected were altered to meet my own personal preferences and it occurred to me that others might benefit from using this material in a similar way for home construction projects.

Lap Siding Options

Tiny House Inexpensive Lap Siding Alternative

While there are many different options for finishing a home exterior fewer choices exist for those seeking the look of traditional wood lap siding. Some commonly used options include:

  • Traditional wood lap siding
  • Cement fiber siding
  • Vinyl siding
  • Aluminum siding

Each of the listed options has unique pros and cons with respect to cost, durability, the complexity of installation, and ease of maintenance.

Real wood offers the most authentic traditional look but with the wood of course termites, maintenance considerations, and rot pose potential problems.

Cement fiber siding, a relatively new but increasingly popular siding option offers a look that closely resembles traditional wood lap siding. Manufacturers also claim that cement-fiber siding holds paint better and needs less maintenance than wood. The material presents challenges however for do-it-yourself builders.

While cement-fiber siding can technically be cut with a regular circular saw, doing so creates considerable silica dust that requires respiratory protection. As illustrated at the James Hardie website, one manufacturer of cement fiber siding, it is recommended that specialized cutting tools and methods be used to reduce exposure to the silica dust. The cost of such tools would be difficult to justify for a one time installation by an owner-builder.

Although reasonable in price, cement fiber siding turned out not to be the least expensive option. Using the prices for cement fiber siding available at my local home improvement stores, cost for the material averaged about $7 per 8-1/4 inch x 12-foot plank or about 85 cents per square foot.

Vinyl and aluminum siding, while popular and cost-effective siding choices, presented some drawbacks for me. First, these materials have a more unnatural, imitation wood look. Living in an area where some fairly extreme weather commonly occurs including thunderstorms with large, damaging hail, the susceptibility of vinyl and aluminum to impact damage and weathering were major durability concerns. Installation can also be too complicated for an inexperienced owner-builder as a number of specialized tools, techniques, and components are required.

Another Lap Siding Smart Choice

Tiny House Inexpensive Lap Siding Alternative

After discarding vinyl and aluminum as options I estimated the cost for the material I was leaning toward for my project, cement fiber siding, arriving at an estimated figure of $1,000. While visiting a retailer to price that option I happened to discover another option to consider in a siding product called SmartSide®. This engineered wood siding material offered some similar advantages to cement fiber at a lower cost. It could be installed without the need for any specialized tools or silica dust concerns.

According to the website of SmartSide® manufacturer, LP Building Products, the material is termite and rot-resistant. It is easy to install with common tools and fasteners. A quick inspection revealed that the material even closes up, offered the authentic look of real wood. The 5/50 year transferable limited warranty offered by the manufacturer gave me confidence that the material would likely prove durable.

Cost, the final factor I considered, made the decision easy. Priced at about 51 cents per square foot, I estimated my total project cost using SmartSide® at just over $500.

Installation Of The Siding

Tiny House Inexpensive Lap Siding Alternative

SmartSide® was available in my area only in 96″L x 48″W x 3/8″D sheets. The primer painted sheets had six, 8 inch on center planks delineated by grooves between each plank. As manufactured, the siding sheets were designed to be installed as a unit either horizontally or vertically. Desiring lap siding, I easily altered the product by cutting the sheets with a common table saw between the grooves to produce six individual 96″L x 8.25″W x 3/8″D planks.

Since the sheets were primer painted on the front side only, to guard against water absorption, before installation I applied a good grade paint primer to the backside and cut edges of each plank. The planks were then fastened with a 6 inch exposure, just like traditional wood lap siding planks over plywood sheathing covered with 30# builder’s paper using 8d galvanized, ring shank nails. The result was a pleasing, authentic traditional wood lap siding appearance.

Those looking for an attractive, durable, easy to install lap siding option for a tiny house or backyard shed building project should consider SmartSide® siding among the available alternatives, especially where cost is a prime consideration.

What Everyone Should Know About Home Improvement

By admin | Interior Decor

Ideas and tips for helping people to successfully remodel their house to improve their home’s comfort and utility or seek a good return on their investment.

Home improvement is the process of adding to or renovating interior or exterior rooms of a home. Typically these renovations and remodeling projects are completed by professional contractors or a handyman; however, many people prefer to make these improvements themselves. These people are called do-it-yourselfers because they have enough basic skills or ability to learn the necessary skills to complete improvements themselves.

Often homeowners confuse home improvement with home repair. A home repair is a process of fixing or correcting problems within a home. Home improvement is the process of upgrading and improving things in a home. Examples include:

  • Turning a basement into a family room
  • Adding a sunroom
  • Upgrading kitchen appliances
  • Wallpapering rooms
  • Installing new carpets

Budgeting: A Crucial Step to Save Money

What Everyone Should Know About Home Improvement

Home improvement can be quite expensive; however, budgeting avoids wasting money on unnecessary or costly items. This is a critical step to avoid running out of money before a home remodeling project is completed. Budgeting helps keep track of where the money is spent, along with making sure the cost of all necessary items for renovation is identified. One example is purchasing or renting the required tools for installing tile or carpet.

This does not mean that purchasing the most inexpensive items is the best method for staying within budget. Budgeting is best used to ensure funds are not wasted and are available for purchasing the best items where possible. One tip is that price is not everything, quality is critical to long term happiness with a home improvement project.

Obtaining estimates from contractors for a home renovation project is a good way of preparing a budget. It is important to obtain at least three estimates from potential contractors to ensure the best deal possible. Even for someone who plans to do-it-yourself, contractor estimates provide a good idea of expected costs. Another tip is to allow an extra 15 to 20 percent of the renovation cost for unexpected expenses.

Research: Finding Ideas and Materials For A Home Remodeling

What Everyone Should Know About Home Improvement

Often home improvement projects result in unhappy homeowners and confused contractors. This is best avoided by ensuring the homeowner and contractor are on the same page regarding what is expected. Tips for reducing confusion include:

  • Home Remodeling Magazines – use these magazines to find ideas for designs and colors.
  • Catalogs – use supplier catalogs to find the exact materials wanted for the project.
  • Books – remodeling books provide ideas, designs, and colors.
  • Internet – use the Internet to find a wealth of renovation ideas and materials to complete a project.

Use pictures found in these resources to give to contractors so they can view exact designs, colors, and materials desired for completion of the project.

For the person who plans to do-it-yourself, these resources are great for helping determine what is needed and finalizing project ideas.

Remodeling Tips: Additional Ideas And Recommendations For Success

What Everyone Should Know About Home Improvement

The following tips help take the worry out of starting and completing a successful home improvement project.

  • Computer Programs – there many reasonably priced computer programs available in stores that carry software. These programs provide three dimensional and two-dimensional views of a renovation project. Good programs include design specifics, colors, and cost estimators.
  • Contractors – always verify that a potential contractor is licensed and bonded. Ask for references and to see previously completed remodeling projects. Also, do not forget to check the Better Business Bureau for complaints and lawsuits regarding a contractor.
  • Do-It-Yourself Videos – home improvement DVD and online videos provide lengthy and intricate details on the way that home improvement projects should be carried out and offer the best advice regarding project completion.
  • Tools – investment in tools is expensive. Limit tool purchases to those repeatedly needed for a remodeling project and used in future projects. Rent tools that are only used for specific tasks, such as cutting tiles or laying carpet.
  • Best Return on Investment – although many projects add value, not all home improvement projects increase the value of a home.

Home improvement projects are sometimes challenging depending on the level of renovation being attempted. Budgeting, selecting the right contractor, purchasing the right materials, do-it-yourself remodeling, and communication are all critical to a successful remodeling. Planning and research are critical to success and long-term happiness.

Get Rid Of Clutter – Clutter Solutions

By admin | Interior Decor

Workable clutter solutions are necessities for people undertaking organizational projects. They are an effective way, not only to get rid of clutter but to manage it as well. Clutter management focuses on eliminating clutter build up in the future by implementing a clutter solution tailored to people, lifestyle, personality and space. By developing a feasible system and strengthening decision-making skills, knowing the things to keep and to let go is easy. Organizing home, home office and office is feasible with a carefully thought of clutter system.

Home Clutter Solutions

Get Rid Of Clutter - Clutter Solutions

Organizing home space goes beyond the usual colorful containers, posh label stickers and well put together shelving units. An individual’s home can have all the storage space in every nook and cranny of the house but can still end up with a cluttered space. An effective clutter solution is a clutter system. Here are a few clutter control tips to create a clutter system from. 

1.    Go room-by-room and section-by-section within a room, to find items that can be donated or sold.

2.    See if a yard sale or garage sale can be held. 

3.    Look in different sections and areas of the home to see if anything can be stored and organized more efficiently. For ideas, scan a home organization store.

4.    Find someone (or a group of people) to help cut clutter. Try to make it fun or entertaining — it does not have to be labeled as work. Just supply your friends with beverages, music, music, and socially productive time. Making an event out of tidying will make it more enjoyable and make the time go quicker. Just return the favor later.

5.    Organize piles into keep, throw and recycle. You can always separate the keep pile at a later date into two separate piles labeled keep and store, but for the moment let’s keep it simple. If you are roping in friends to help, be sure that they know exactly what can go and what can stay.

6.    Once everything is clear of clutter, try to organize things back into your home the way you want them to stay. For example, shoes should all be kept together so why not invest in a rack to go at the bottom of your wardrobe? Not only will it keep them nicely together but it will also make it easier to pick them out when you come to wear them. There are many different organizing tools that you can use for practically anything from your clothes to your recycling. They are a worthwhile investment if they mean that the clutter wont pile up again!

7.    Finally, make sure that the house doesn’t end up full of clutter again because of old habits. Create new routines and stick to them. For example, by immediately cleaning up after yourself, you can eliminate most of the clutter from your daily life. In addition, try to do a little bit of picking up every day, so that that small piles of clutter don’t become a huge daunting disaster of clutter. It’s much easier to stick to keeping up with clutter when routines are maintained and better habits are formed.

Some houses, however, are beyond help. This is where the professional’s home organizers come in. In this scenario, instead of asking friends and family to help eliminate clutter in the home, a professional organizer with help instead. They can teach how to cut the clutter and then teach home organization skills to keep it that way. If the correct home organizing skills are learned, then having a professional organizer help could be a worthwhile investment.

Clutter Solutions for Office and Home Office

Get Rid Of Clutter - Clutter Solutions

Productivity, whether in a home office setting or traditional office setting, can be largely affected by the condition of the workspace. Get rid of clutter and avoid future clutter build-up by following some of these clutter-busting tips.

•    A well set-up filing system and strategy of effectively handling paperwork and deadlines can spell the difference between cluttered and uncluttered.

•    Stock up on boxes, labels and folders. Invest on a filing cabinet.

•    For home office, designate a specific work area. By doing so, important office items are contained in just one location.

•    Choose a work table with lots of drawers to put papers, documents and other paper supplies in. This avoids clutter build upon a work table.

•    Items that should just be on the work desk are those that are used on a daily basis. Items not frequently used should be in designated storage bins.

Professional Clutter Organizer

Get Rid Of Clutter - Clutter Solutions

Some people opt for hiring a Professional Organizer instead of doing the dirty work themselves. This is an alternative clutter solution for people who have neither the time nor the energy to do the de-cluttering. Professional organizers specialize in de-cluttering and establishing a clutter-free system.

When implementing a clutter solution, it is important to not just focus on the short term way of getting rid of clutter, but it is also important to come up with strategies to prevent clutter in the future. For more clutter solutions in de-cluttering specific areas in the house, visit Good Housekeeping 30-minute Clutter Solution.