Where Getting A New Fence Can Go Wrong

If you are deciding on a getting a new fence, then there a few things you should try to keep in mind to make sure that you get the best looking fence that you need.  If you don’t follow some basic advice, then you might not get the best fence for your property.  Fences are such big projects that it would be very hard and costly to go back and try to fix a mistake.

Where do new fence installation projects go wrong?  Well, there’s any number of ways that this is possible.  We’ll go over a few of those here.

You Pick The Wrong Fence Contractor

This is a big one.  A lot of people assume that all fence contractors are about the same.  That is simply not the case.  The best way to make sure you hire the right one is to do your research.  You should find someone who has experience working with the type of fence you are looking to get installed.  Someone may be good, but they may only focus on aluminum fences, for example.  If that’s the case, then they may not be best at installing a wood fence for you.

You also want to find someone with lots of reviews.  If the person has no reviews to speak of, then it would be hard to be assured that they are going to do a good job.

You Don’t Do The Right Upfront Thinking

You really want to make sure you do a lot of thinking before you ever get started with the installation.  If you don’t, then you might end up with a fence that you regret.  Make sure you understand all the different fence types and really think through which one you like the best and which one would be best for your property.

You Go Too Cheap

We understand trying to save money.  If that’s the case, however, a lot of times you really get what you pay for with fences.  Try not to go too cheap, because then you might end up with an inferior product.

Poor Maintenance

A lot of fences could last a lot longer if the owner would just put in a little bit of time every couple of months to maintain them.  Poor maintenance is a poor decision.

If you are looking to get a new fence, try to follow this advice and you’ll be well on your way to getting a fence that really adds a great look and value to your property.

Tips On Choosing A Great Fence Contractor

If you have decided you want to get a new fence installed on your property, the next decision you are going to have to make is which contractor you are going to choose to do the job.  You can always try to get the materials and install the fence by yourself (info from Lowe’s here), but we’re not sure we would recommend that unless you really know what you are doing and want to undergo a fairly large effort.  How should you go about deciding which fence company you should choose though?  We’ll go through a few things you should think about when trying to make the decision to find the best fence company.

Reviews

There should be a number of reviews for each fence contractor available online.  You can go to places like Yelp or Angie’s List generally to look for reviews.  I would be careful when assessing reviews that you see online.  A lot of times the contractor might have people they know write a bunch of good reviews for them.  So, generally you should read reviews but also take them with a grain of salt.  It would be a red flag if you don’t see any reviews available.

Website

It’s safe to say that any legitimate business in the fencing industry should have a website up.  While you shouldn’t completely discount someone based on their website, if they have a terrible website then you have to wonder how that translates over to their fencing work.

fence company

Previous Work On Display

If a fencing contractor is good, then they probably would want to show off some of the work that they have done in the past.  If they are unwilling to share with you work that they have done in the past, then that to us is also a major red flag.  Ask to see some of the work that they have done in the past.

Experience With Fence Type At Hand

If you have decided which type of fence you would like to go with, then you should make sure that your contractor has lots of experience specifically working with that type of fence.  They may be experienced, but if they haven’t worked much with the type of fence you want, then I would consider other options instead.

This was a good quick list of what to look for.  If you do these things, you should be on your way to finding a great fence contractor.

How Often To Clean Parts Or Your Home

I came across an interesting article recently with a cool infographic (see it here).  It goes through all the major parts of your home and says how frequently you should clean those things.  I thought I would comment on a few of the things that they mention.

Mattress

A lot of people don’t realize that they should clean their mattress.  You spend so much time in your mattress that there are just bound to be all types of things accumulating on top over time.  You don’t want to be prone to allergies because you don’t clean it up enough.  Cleaning it every few months is a good idea.

Bath Towels

I’ve noticed that a lot of people, especially guys, tend to neglect washing their bath towels with any sort of frequency.  This can be harmful because mold and mildew can easily build up.  Mold and mildew love heat, dark, and wet areas.  That can easily happen with bath towels.  As a result, you should definitely wash your bath towels once a week so you can avoid this situation.

Refrigerator

Once again, I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t realize that they should even clean their refrigerator at all.  If you put fresh fruit or any type of fresh produce out in your refrigerator, then it is critical that you clean it out fairly often.  There are so many ways that the surface can get dirty.

man cleaning a carpet

Carpets

The thing about carpets is that sometimes it’s really difficult to tell just how dirty those things can get.  It would be disturbing if you really knew how dirty carpets can get.  Trust us when we say that you should do a deep cleaning of your carpets at least once a year, if not more frequently.

Dd you check out the link?  If so, definitely let us know in the comments what surprised you the most.  I think it’s really good advice.  Overall, it’s better to be cautious and clean more often rather than less often.

Lawn Care

In order to make sure your home is as beautiful as possible, it’s very important that you take care of your home.  You can buy a $10 million property, but if you never take good care of your lawn, the overall property is going to look terrible.  If you are ever trying to sell your home, it’s important that you present it as well as you possibly can.  What would you say if you were looking to buy a home and the lawn had weeds everywhere and the grass was a dirty shade of brown?  You probably wouldn’t want to buy the place I would imagine.

Lawn care is important, so what are you supposed to do to make sure you keep it in good condition?  Well, the number on piece of advice I could give is to make sure you do regular maintenance on it.  A stitch in time saves nine has never been more true in the case of lawns.  This means during the warmer months that you make sure you mow your lawn regularly.  If you let that slip, all sorts of bad things will eventually happen.

Outside of that, we thought we would post this video that was put out from the EPA.  It shows how to do basic lawn care and how to do it in a way that keeps your impact on the environment to a minimum.  If the EPA comes out with a video on something, you can probably guess that they think it is really important.  Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments.

What To Put In Your Game Room

If you are fortunate enough to have a game room in your home, congratulations.  That is really cool and people will really appreciate it.  Not all game rooms were created equal, however, and we have noticed that some game rooms can be really fun while others can be less so.  What should you put in your game room?  Here are some thoughts.

Pool Table- Everyone loves playing pool.  It’s the perfect activity when you just want to do something chill and relax and catch up with a friend.  It is a perfect leisure activity.  It can be costly, so that is definitely a consideration.

Shuffleboard– Shuffleboard is an extremely fun leisure game that is very underrated in my opinion.  If you go to a bar that happens to have shuffleboard available, you will find that it will be pretty busy all the time.  This will also be pretty costly, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind as well.

Video Games– If you have kids in the house or you just happen to still want to play them, video games can be a lot of fun as well.  I wouldn’t make video games the center of your room, but they can be a great addition to an otherwise cool game room.

Pinball Machine– Pinball machines are always fun, but I have noticed that they don’t end up being the most social of games.  I would be cautious about investing in a pinball machine for your game room.

Ping Pong– I have noticed that people love having a ping pong table in game rooms.  I have also noticed that people can get pretty competitive, so keep that in mind as some people might get carried away.  It will definitely take up a lot of room, but usually the tables aren’t as expensive as pool tables or shuffleboard tables.

There are lots of other possibilities for a great game room.  Let us know if you think that we missed anything!

Major Plumbing Tip- Know Where Your Main Water Valve Is

We are not necessarily plumbing experts here at Maple Grove Hot Springs.  However, we do know some of the most basic things about plumbing and your home that can really make a difference of some sort of plumbing situation arises at your house.  If you’ve ever had a ruptured pipe in your sewage system, you know how terrible that situation can be.  There are other situations where you might have a fairly big leak and you need to get it to stop temporarily in the meantime before the plumber can get out to your place.

There are a few basic things you should know about your plumbing that can be critical in preventing problems with your plumbing from becoming disasters.  One of the most basic things is simply knowing where the valve to your main water line is.  Why would you want to know where this located?  Well, if you have a ruptured pipe or if you have a major leak, then the only real way to deal with that in the short-term is to shut off your main water valve.  The time to learn where that main water valve is before a disaster strikes, not when it happens.

Instead of us trying to describe where the main water valve is and how you can locate it, you should check out this video instead.  It gives a good overview again of why you would want to know where you main water valve is located, and it explains how you can find the valve in your house.  Let us know if you have any further questions about this issue.  Trust us when we say that it is important!

To Get A Fence Or Not Get A Fence

A lot of people wonder whether they should get a fence for their property.  They might have a specific reason for doing so, or they might just feel it’s a natural thing to do.  We thought we would put together our thoughts on the issue and list out the main reasons why you would want to get a fence in the first fence.  You would then need to balance these reasons against the cost of getting a fence, which varies but can be quite expensive.

Looks

A big reason people get a fence is because they think it adds a really nice look to the property.  Different fence types look better or worse on certain types of properties.  If you were getting a fence mainly for security purposes, you probably wouldn’t select a fence type that looks amazing too.  There are trade-offs when selecting a fence, and looks usually comes at the expense of functionality.  Also, a lot of the best looking fences can be the more expensive types, so that’s another consideration as well.  If you are looking to get a fence because of looks, then you might have to pay a decent chunk of change for it.

Security

Fences are good deterrents to potential burglars.  If someone is determined to get into your house, they will probably be able to figure out how to get past your fence.  However, a fence can still be a big deterrent to some people.

Privacy

A lot of people don’t want others to view them while they are hanging out on their front lawn.  A good way to make that happen is by putting up a fence in the front yard.  It is one of the more popular reasons why people choose to get a fence.

Pets

Some people have pets that roam outside.  Fences can be the perfect way to make sure pets aren’t able to leave the property.  If you have a dog or another pet that spends a lot of time outside, this may be a consideration for you.

There are plenty of other reasons why you would want to get a fence.  You should assess why you really want to get a fence and then see which fence type would best fit that purpose.  From there, you should see how costly it would be to get that fence type onto your property.  Then you’ll have a judgment call as to whether you want to proceed.  See here for more information on the installation process and our article on choosing the right fence type.

Let us know if you need help deciding.

Essential Tools For Your Home

A lot of people don’t know their way around their house when it comes to fixing things.  A lot of problems that arise at your home can be fixed if you have some basic DIY knowledge and some essential tools.  There are certain tools that we definitely recommend that you have.  We’ll go quickly through that list here.

Screwdrivers– A lot of problems that will arise at your house can be solved simply with a screwdriver.  Maybe a nail gets loose and you just need a screwdriver to tighten it up.  We suggest getting a set of screwdrivers because there are so many situations that will come up that will call for screwdrivers of different sizes.

Pliers– You’d be surprised at how often you will have to use some basic pliers.  In fact, just the other day my doorknob came loose and fell off.  I would have been stuck inside if I didn’t have a set of pliers to reach in through the knob hole and pull out the metal that the knob gets attached to.  That’s just one easy example where a handy set of pliers can get you out of a jam.

Tape Measure- It goes without saying that there are so many situations where you could use a tape measure.  This isn’t so much about fixing things than it is planning for things.  If you want to see if you have space for a new desk, it is very helpful if you have a tape measure to see exactly how much space you will have.  Don’t go without having a tape measure.

Duct Tape- Duct tape serves a lot of purposes and probably way more than you would ever realize.  We won’t go through any specific situations here, but trust us when we say that you should always have duct tape available and around just in case something happens.

Drill- It’s great and very handy to have a cordless drill.  This can be more effective than a screwdriver in certain situations, so it is a great complement to having a nice screwdriver set.

This is just a quick list of the bare essentials.  Let us know if you think that we missed anything in the comments!

Tips On Hiring A Remodeling Contractor

Let’s say you have decided that you want to go ahead and do a home remodeling, whether it’s a small bathroom job or a huge kitchen renovation.  Either way, the most critical factor for your success is the contractor that you choose.  As you can imagine, not all contractors were created equal.  If you make the wrong decision, you could be out a lot of money and you might have to redo the whole thing.  In order to avoid having to go through that nightmare scenario, you should do some upfront work to make sure you hire the right person.  Here a few things you should keep in mind when you are looking at who to hire.

Look For Reviews/Referrals

If the contractor has been in business for even just a small period of time, he will have a number of customers that he has worked with in the past.  There are now a plethora of websites that have pretty credible reviews of different service providers.  Angie’s List is one in particular that comes to mind.  On those sites, you should be able to read some reviews of how the contractor performed for other people.  If there aren’t any, then you should ask the person for referrals.  If he is unwilling to provide any referrals, that would be a major red flag in my opinion.

Interview

We suggest interviewing each contractor.  Ask the person what the exact plan is and what the exact schedule would look like.  If they are providing an estimate, ask them to explain in detail why the costs are what they are.  Ask them the tough questions.  If you do, it should be pretty apparent how legitimate the person is and also how honest and fair they are as well.

Ask For Everything In Writing

The biggest disputes in remodeling projects happen when there is no agreement in writing.  You should avoid that situation entirely by getting everything in writing.  It would be a major red flag if the contractor doesn’t agree to put everything in writing.  It’s the best way to avoid any disputes.

Those are just a few ideas for how to select the contractor for your next remodeling job.  Good luck to you, and certainly let us know if you have any questions in the comments!

Bathroom Remodeling Inspiration

We have noticed that it takes a lot of time for people to decide exactly what they want from a bathroom remodel.  If you want a total renovation, it’s hard to conceptualize exactly what is possible with your specific bathroom, given that it is going to end up being so much different from its current state.  With that being said, it is always helpful to look at remodeling jobs from other place to get inspiration for your own bathroom remodeling.  We’ve put together three quick pictures of what we considered interesting and potentially inspiring remodeling projects.

bathroom remodel

This is a very elegant look.  It may not seem like it at first, but the color scheme that is at work actually matches fairly well.  Some people might say they don’t like the blue tiles around the bathtub matching with the dark brown wood color around the sink, but I think it looks pretty interesting.  Adding the shelves on the right is really classy and it adds a lot of extra function and space to the whole bathroom.

bath remodeling job

This type of look for a bathroom is probably best fit in a house that is more western.  Perhaps somewhere like LA or Phoenix would fit best for a bathroom like this.  It is a totally different look from the first picture that we posted.  What makes this look pretty cool to us is the symmetry.  It adds a bit of class and order to the bathroom while also still looking pretty cool.

another bathroom

This bathroom is huge, so it might not be possible to replicate for everyone, depending on their budget.  If you did have a big bathroom space that you wanted to remodel, this is a really cool bathroom that shows you what is possible if you think big enough.  They even have plants in there!

We wanted to provide a variety of pictures here so that we could cater the highest number of people possible.  What do you think of these bathrooms?  Do you like them?  Let us know in the comments!