How to Clean a Stained Deck?

how to clean a stained deck

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There is almost no difference between cleaning a stained deck and an unprotected one.  This is primarily because the wood stain placed on wooden deck planks are considered permanent, which means there are essentially few commercial cleaning solutions that can remove the stain on the wood.  Therefore, when you think about cleaning stained decks, you should focus more on retouching or protecting it again.  The most basic concern therefore in learning how to clean a stained deck would be its protection and the cost it takes.  Here are some important things you must consider when cleaning.

how to clean a stained deck

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1. DIY or Professional Cleaning

Protection from stain, ultraviolet rays, and mildew can be considered as some of the most vital benefits of stained decks.  There are many sealer products in the market that can deliver all of these through tinting, coloring, and UV protection.

If you consider cleaning the deck yourself, supplies can run from $20 up to $250 based on the brand, quality of the stain, and of course the size of the deck to be treated.  Pressure washers can either be bought or rented, and will set you back another $40 to $200.  Be aware though that some professionals believe that high-pressure washers can actually damage your deck.  You also need to dedicate some time and much patience to complete the cleaning process.

The cost of hiring professionals to do the cleaning would depend mostly on the size of the deck.  Some professional fees start for as low as $0.50 a square foot and can go to as high as $2.50.  The condition of the deck will also come into play because of the amount of preparation work that has to be done.  Staining cost can run from $2.50 up to $7 per square foot or sometimes even more depending on the complexity of the work and other features to stain.

These figures of course do not include any repair work that must be done or if any additional handwork should be included in the project.  Sometimes the costing of professionals can vary depending on your actual location.  These amounts can give you a fairly good baseline of just how much it will cost to clean your stained deck.

how to clean a stained deck

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2. Scope of Work

When cleaning a stained deck, you will need to remove all furnishing that are on the deck.  This is of course to allow for proper preparation of the deck and to do any repairs or sanding if necessary.  The stained deck must be cleaned with water and allowed to completely dry for about 48 hours before a fresh coat of stain is applied.

Unless you are fairly skilled at handling a power washer, it is highly recommended that you wash by hand or hire experts to do the power washing.  This is to make sure that you do not accidentally damage the stained deck and cause additional expense.  If you have plant decorations that cannot be removed, make sure that plastic sheeting is used to cover them before applying stain.

Direct sunlight can help to shorten the drying time, but it is not always the best for your stained deck.  Normally, temperatures not more than 80 degrees would be the most ideal.  This means that you should schedule this type of work either in the fall or during springtime.  Make sure that the stained deck is completely dry before using it again.

how to clean a stained deck

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3. Cost of Washing

On the average, having a 100 square foot deck pressure washed would cost about $325 up to $400.  This would normally include washing the partition, if any.  Re-staining the deck will take much time because of the preparation process involved.  Any rotted or broken boards must also be replaced.  All of these would add to the timeframe including the drying time after power washing.

If you hire a professional to do the power washing, deck staining, and repairs if any, plus labor and materials, you are looking at a cost of around $325 to $500 on the average.  The work can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.  This price can vary depending on the area you are in.

All of these should be carefully considered on how to clean a stained deck.

Consider This before Converting Deck to Screened Porch

converting deck to screened porch

source : www.structurallyspeaking.com/

If you are using your deck more often than usual and would love to be outdoors regardless of the weather, then maybe it is about time to convert the deck to a screened porch.  This will not only improve the outdoor area of your home but also make it more usable for you and your entire family.  The screened in porch cost may not be that substantial when you weigh in the benefits.  Take a look at some of the essential factors to consider.

converting deck to screened porch

source : www.tuitionmanagementsystems.com/

1. Your Options

Before computing the cost of screened in porch conversion it is important to have an understanding of your options.  First you need to look at your design options based on the current setup and size of your deck.  The great thing about design options is that they are limited only by the imagination.  Look at different samples in books and online to see what type of look you want for your deck as well as the features you want to put in as an add-on.

After you have chosen your specific design for the screened in deck you can now concentrate on the type of screen material to use.  There are many types available to you including pre-manufactured screen panels and frames.  You also have the option to use wide-rolled screen materials that have to be tacked to the foundation.  The cost is about $4.74 up to $6.83 a square foot, but features will determine the final screened in deck cost, which we will look into later.

There is likewise a need to select the appropriate roofing material for your screened porch.  The common choice is fiberglass panels because they are clear and lightweight.  This type of material allows for maximum amount of light to come into the screened porch to help you save on energy bills.  There are also composition roofing materials that will allow you to blend the roof of you porch with that of your home.

converting deck to screened porch

source : www.fcs-inc.com/

2. Costing Factors

For an existing deck, the cost of materials is one of the major factors that go into the total expense.  The cost of screened porch will naturally increase as the square footage grows.  Materials will normally go from $470 to $680 without installation.  If you factor in the cost of installation you would need to add about $296 to $345 depending on the amount of work and size of the screened porch.

With an average cost of $4.48 a square foot, you can be looking at anything from $766 up to $1,025 for a 200 square feet deck conversion.  If you choose more upscale materials expect the price to spike up to $860 or even $1,070 and an add-in cost of $297 up to $304 for the installation.

This will bring the overall cost for the conversion of a deck to a screened porch to roughly about $6.33 a square foot or around $1,157 to $1,374 depending on the size and complexity of the work.

converting deck to screened porch

source : www.educationkonnect.com/

3. Additional Features

The screened in porches cost much more when the cost of additional features are eventually factored in.  For example, you want to put in a gas line to feed your grill, you will need an additional $275 on the average to have a line run to your grill.

Of course you can choose to haul tanks instead and save some money, but, you have to ask yourself if the task would be worth it in the long run.  If you use your converted screened porch often for entertaining guests and serving food, then having a gas line would be the better choice in this case.  The price of the grill would depend on the number of burners, brand, and model that you choose.

For added convenience many homeowners choose to install ceiling fans.  The cost would normally be about $159 per unit, which can include the wiring and installation work.  The final cost would depend on the number of fans you want to put in.  You may also need additional electrical outlets installed if you want to put in more lights, fans, or other amenities.

These are the factors that would go into the cost of converting deck to screened porch

Understanding Types of Light Switches

types of light switches

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The basic function of switches is to open and close electrical circuits.  This means that they control whether power is allowed to flow thorough to the lighting fixtures or not.  A long time ago switches were pretty basic and simple, however, as technology progressed and the focus on energy efficiency became more prominent, different types of light switches found their way into the market.  Let us look at the different types of toggle light switches regardless of brand or model.

types of light switches

source : www.legrand.fr/

1. Single Pole Switches

By far still the simplest and most commonly used light switch today.  By flipping the toggle switch the circuit is completed and the lights turn on.  Flipping it downwards will break the circuit thereby turning off the light or cutting off the supply of power to the receptacle.

These types of switches are normally fitted with two brass screws that serve as terminals.  They are positioned on the side to attach the black and white wires that will complete the electrical circuit.  More modern versions of this light switch has a green screw to connect the ground wire of the circuit.  You can easily find these switches in your local home center or hardware store and usually priced from $3.97 to $15.90 depending on the brand and model.

types of light switches

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2. Double Pole Switches

These light switches are commonly marked with an on and an off text or symbol.  Its function is similar to that of the single pole switches in terms of its ability to control the powering on and powering off of the lights in your home from a single location.

This type of switch though has four brass terminals compared to the two for the single pole switches.  This light switch is capable of handling two hot wires that will power up a 240 volt electrical circuit.  There is also a grounding terminal that is normally colored green.  Priced from $8.40 to $17.99 it provides the functionality of controlling at least two lighting fixtures.

types of light switches

source : www.schneider-electric.com/

3. Three Way Switches

Light switches that make use of this particular configuration gives you the functionality of turning on or off a lighting fixture or receptacle from two different locations in your home.  Unlike the double pole switches, these types of lighting controls are not marked with an on and off text or symbol.  This is because the positions to complete and break the electrical circuit can vary depending on how it is installed and used.

These switches have three terminal screws where the black wire (hot) goes to the darkest terminal that is usually marked as COM.  The remaining two terminals are for the leads or what are commonly referred to as the travelers of the switch.  The wires for the traveler or lead terminals can be interchanged.  The switch also has a ground terminal represented by a green screw.

Priced at around $15.98 to $22.23, three way switches must always be used in pairs.  When replacing old switches of this type the COM must be properly marked before putting in the new switch.

types of light switches

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4. Four Way Switches

This type of switch is positioned between two three way switch configurations.  It serves as a control for the lighting fixture or receptacle from three locations in your home.  This type of light switch gives you control from four or more locations in your home.  The three way switches should be installed at each end of the electrical circuit.  To have control over more locations simply put a four way switch in between the three way switch circuits.

Four way switches have no markings and look almost like double pole switches.  There are four terminals that are brass colored.  The main functionality of this type of switch is to serve as the switching device for the traveler wires of the three way switches in the circuit.  Four way switches usually cost about $17.96 to $33.39 each.

types of light switches

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5. Light Dimmers

In a sense light dimmers do not toggle the light on or off, but rather controls the intensity of the light in the room.  This type of light switch is used to adjust the light levels to extend the life of the light bulb as well as save on energy use.  Priced from $12.97 to $54.00, it comes in single pole, three way, and multi-location models.

These are the most common types of light switches you will find in the market today.

Is the article helpful? don’t hesitate to comment.

How Much does it Cost to Rewire a House?

how much does it cost to rewire a house

source : www.megatecelectrical.com.au/

The answer to the common question of how much does it cost to rewire a house is roughly around $8,000 to $15,000 depending on the square footage of your home.  A more precise estimate or computation takes into account not only the size, but also the age of the home including how easy it is to access the old wiring components.  Let us take into consideration the following details.

how much does it cost to rewire a house

source : www.rchelectrical.co.uk/

Do You Need Rewiring?

Before computing the cost to rewire a house you must first establish if it is what you really need.  There is no question that this power delivery system to your home is one of its more important components so you must take time in deciding and seek professional advice.

In general, homes that need rewiring are those that are at least 50 years old.  You need professional electricians to do an on-site inspection of your electrical components to make an accurate determination.  Be on the lookout as well for red flags like frequent tripping of circuit breakers, blowing of fuses, recurring burnt smell, sizzling sounds, or discolored outlets or switches among others.

The good news is that the cost of rewiring a home is not a regular expense homeowners have to deal with.  It is however, something that is extremely important to consider in light of the fact that in the United States alone there are approximately 26,000 residential fires occurring every year.

how much does it cost to rewire a house

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Cost of Rewiring

How much to rewire a house?  Let us begin with the copper wire, which can be anywhere from $400 to $3,000 depending on the type of wiring upgrade to be implemented.  If you know your way around electric circuits, you can do the rewiring yourself for about $2,600 for a home with 2,300 square foot area.

The rates of electricians would vary mostly depending on your area.  Most of the time they take into account the complexity of the project as well as the number of circuits to rewire.  On the average electrician fees can be anywhere from $65 to $120 for each device like an outlet, light fixture, or switch for example

An upgrade from a 100 amp to 200 amp electrical panel will cost you around $800 up to $3,000 more.  Bring in the cost of labor and materials into the computation and you come up with $3,500 to $8,000 for a medium-sized home that has easy access to electrical circuits.  Easy access usually means about an 18-inch crawlspace clearance for the electrician to work with.

Large houses that have more complex electrical circuits can cost from $8,500 to as high as $30,000 for a complete rewiring job.  Additional costs that must be factored in are the drywall repair or plaster, which can be equivalent to about 30% of the entire rewiring project cost.  If you want to rent a storage unit for your furniture and valuables while work is being done in your home that would be another $40 to $230 per month.

how much does it cost to rewire a house

source : www.obj.ca/

The Rewiring Process

When we talk about rewiring the electrical system of a home, we are referring to the process of removing most of the old wires and replacing them with newer non-metallic wires that are considered easier to work with and minimizes the possibility of fires because of better insulation.

Normally, the walls of the home need to be opened up to expose the old wires and allow access for rewiring.  Once the wires have been replaced, the walls need to be repaired and sealed again.  This is a very time consuming process that can jack up the price of rewiring.

An alternative is if you have crawlspaces that will allow the electrician to work with your existing electrical wires without having to open up your walls.  This not only preserves the integrity of the home but also eliminates the inconvenience of having to patch up walls.  The rewiring process normally upgrades the service capacity of your home to the current 200 amps minimum standard.

Now that you have a better understanding of the rewiring process, you will be able to appreciate further the factors to be considered on how much it costs to rewire a house.

How to Solve Huge Plumbing Backups

Once of the biggest headaches that any homeowner can encounter is to have a clogged sewer line. This is because it can lead to huge plumbing backups that will be both annoying and expensive to deal with. This is why it is important to be aware of the telltale signs that can give you a hint on what to do when your plumbing has backed up.

You May be Headed for Huge Backups

what to do when your plumbing backed up

Source: rickyeade.com

Although the sewer line is unseen, this does not mean that you should be caught off-guard when clogging occurs. In fact, you do not have to wait for raw sewage to appear out of your drains. Here are some red flags that can signal you are headed for big backups:

  • Flushing the toilet makes the water back up to your tub drain;
  • Bubbles appear in the toilet when you empty the bathtub;
  • Water stops flowing and bubbles appear as you drain the tub;
  • You observe the sink water backing up into the toilet as you empty the kitchen sink;
  • As you flush the toilet the water backs up to other drains found at the lower portion of your home like the driveway or the patio drain; and
  • Soapy water appears in your toilet or floor drain as you are running a load of laundry.

Relieving the Pressure

plumbing problems backed up toilet

Clogging that occurs within the main sewer line or any of the secondary lines leading into your property can put pressure on your plumbing system. If the clogging is within the main line you will experience backups in every part of your home.

However, when the clogging is on the secondary line, the problem would be isolated like for example having plumbing problems like a backed up toilet only.

To make sure that potentially expensive and destructive damage to your plumbing system and property is averted, there is a need to relieve the pressure, initially by cutting the water supply from its source. Next is to locate the sewer cleanout line, which is normally placed outside the home somewhere around the yard.

It has a rubber cap affixed to a short, round, and white pipe. Removing the cleanout cap will relieve the pressure created by the buildup and release the water from your plumbing system and out of your home.

As a preventive measure it is a good practice to fill the sink to the top and allow it to completely drain. Doing this about twice a month will help to clean your pipes of any waste sitting within the line and ensure that waste water would properly flow to the sewage without backing up to your home.

Professional Camera Inspection Service

Professional Camera Inspection Service

One of the best ways to solve huge plumbing backup is to invest in preventive measures. Since there is no way to visually inspect the insides of your sewer line, the professional camera inspection service of cleaning companies will serve you in good stead.

Costing around $150 on the average, an auger-like device fitted with a camera will be sent through your plumbing system to get a firsthand look on the actual condition of the interior of your pipes. This process should however be done only after proper declogging of the pipes has been done.

Initial declogging is usually done using a drain snake in an attempt to dislodge any material causing the backing up of sewage water. This cutting device will open the drain to make sure that proper water flow is achieved. If this measure fails, camera inspection can be done to get a more accurate information on the cause of the blockage.

Get to the Roots

Get to the Roots

Professional sewer line cleaners would agree that one of the leading causes of sewer line blockage are the roots of trees that find their way into the plumbing system through cracked pipes. Broken pipes compromises the integrity of your plumbing system that can possibly result in flooding of your property.

Usually, slow flow or gurgling noises when you flush your toilet are common indications of roots creating blockage in your sewer line. Take immediate action by calling on professional such as plumbingirvine.biz help to remove potential cause of damage and more expenses.

The next time you observe water backing up into your toilet, do not dismiss the problem immediately; call for professional help at once.

How Much does the Cost of French Drain Installation?

cost of french drain

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For many professional contractors, there are two questions that they are commonly asked by homeowners; first is what a French drain is and the second is how much would it cost to install one.  On the average the cost of French drain installation is around $6,000 inclusive of a sump pump.  This is normally for basement that is 25 feet long and 25 feet wide.  Let us take a look at this cost of installation in a more detailed manner.

cost of french drain

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Understanding the Computation

In general, basement waterproofing contractors would compute the pricing for the installation of a French drain based on the actual size of the basement.  This means that the French drain cost per foot is calculated by measuring the number of feet representing the basement perimeter.  If the basement is 24 feet wide and 36 feet long then you have a perimeter footage equivalent to 120 feet.

The average French drain cost per foot inclusive of a sump pump is around $60 for a 100-foot basement perimeter, which is equivalent to $6,000.  The price can go down to $50 a foot for a 200-foot basement perimeter or $10,000, which includes two sump pumps.  Normally from 130-foot basement perimeter contractors would recommend putting in two sump pumps.  These figures of course are mere references because of the differences in every project.

cost of french drain

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Cost of Installation

The construction of the French drain makes use of rock or gravel to help it direct any surface groundwater away from the area of your home.  Perforated PVC pipes are equipped with installation and buried underground to preserve the beauty of your home.  French drains are installed mostly outdoors except when there is an urgent need to deal with soggy basements.

Indoor installation cost by professionals are commonly in the range of $10 to $30 per linear foot but can average out at about $25 depending on the size as well as the prevailing local rates.  If you have a French drain that is anywhere from 30 to 50 feet long, be prepared to shell out around $300 up to $500.  Prices can average out at about $750 to $1,250 though based on your area.

It is also possible to install French drains as a do-it-yourself project.  You have to be aware though that there will be substantial amount of digging involved, which can require you to rent the necessary equipment to make the trench.  You have to buy the PVC pipe and necessary fittings, which are comparatively cheap and widely available from your local home center.

The rock or gravel will run you for $2 to $4 per square foot while the rental price for a compactor is normally in the neighborhood of $65 to $85 per day.  The trencher rental would average out at about $90 to $105 per day, but more expensive if rented out on a half-day basis only.  The rental price for small backhoes are commonly at $150 up to $200 per day.

For interior French drains that are part of basement waterproofing, you have to budget about $2,000 to $6,000 and can run up to $10,000 up to $15,000 depending on the number of sump pumps to use as well as the basin.  For installation of interior French drains you would have to cut a channel around the basement perimeter and fill it with gravel and the perforated PVC pipe.

cost of french drain

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Additional Costs to Installation

There is no question that directing water from your home to an open area will help prevent unnecessary damages.  However, there are some recommended add-on installations that will help hold the water until it reaches the point that it naturally seeps into the soil.  You can construct a dry well for about $5 to $50 or buy a prefabricated one made from plastic for $90 to $380.  Professional installation of a concrete dry well is normally priced at around $300 to $500 while a rain garden can be anywhere from $100 to $750 depending on its size.

These are all legitimate considerations that will have an effect on the overall costing for the installation of a French drain in your home. what do you think about these suggestions? don’t hesitate to comment below.

How to Decorate a Deck with Budget Friendly Ideas?

deck decorating ideas on a budget

source : www.remodelaholic.com/

It does not matter if you have $3,000 or $300 in your budget, there are plenty of ways that you can do to makeover your deck.  Deck decorating on a budget is made easier with simple and easy to implement ideas that will eventually allow you to enjoy those bright blue and sunny skies.  With a little bit of creativity and commitment, then you eat, lounge, and entertain outdoors in luxury.

Here are some ways to consider how to decorate a deck on a budget.

deck decorating ideas on a budget

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1. Add Some Lighting

There is nothing like beautiful lighting to make your deck come alive just when the sun begins to set.  To make the whole ambience better, consider using solar lights for your deck.  The advantage is that these lights do away with the installation of on and off switches.  These lights are designed to immediately light up as the environment goes dark and takes care of itself by shutting off in about 6 hours.

You do not have to plug them in or layout wires, the batteries can be renewed daily, and more importantly, they are designed to be placed outdoors allowing them to deal with harsh weather.  Typically weatherproof synthetic lanterns go for about $20 to $30 and can be hanged from different portions of your deck.  They also come in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

The rope lights that are made up of small LED bulbs are usually sold in lengths of 25 feet that costs $25.  These come with their own solar charger and stand for easy deployment and use.  You can also shop around for replicas of old mason jars that are solar illuminated.  These can be positioned on virtually any flat surface and can be bought for $35.

For railings, posts, or pillars, there are carriage lights that go from $45 to $150.  These go on top for better illumination of your deck.  When properly positioned, these will not only give ample lighting, but also create a beautiful ambience for your deck.

deck decorating ideas on a budget

source : www.cordinglandscape.com/

2. Stone Landing

Installation of stone landing is another one of those deck decorating ideas on a budget.  When placed at the foot of the stairs leading to your deck it helps to increase the beauty of the transition from the yard to the deck.

Because of the natural beauty of the stones, they complement the wooden decks to increase its aesthetics.  Functionality wise, the stone landing helps to prevent mud from being tracked onto the deck, helping you maintain its cleanliness.

You may spend anything in the neighborhood of $60 to $100 for a 12 square foot landing.  This can be done in less than a day, even shorter if handled by a professional.  Hiring professionals for the installation of a stone landing will be another $150 to $200 in labor costs.

deck decorating ideas on a budget

source : www.concreteflooringlakeozark.com/

3. Faux Floor Decks

Painting your deck with a faux floor not only makes it more interesting but also allows you to decorate the deck at a fairly low price.  You have to make sure that you have to completely clean the deck and allow it to dry properly before you apply the paint.

You can buy the paint from your local home center for about $15 to $20 a quart.  You will not be using much stain for each color.  You have to make sure though that you properly measure the area of the deck to be painted so that you have enough paint.

Aside from the basic cleaning supplies need before painting, you also have to prepare to clean up any paint or stain drips and spills.  Make sure to coat your entire deck with a deck sealer once the stain is completely dry to allow the finish to last.

deck decorating ideas on a budget

source : www.maagraphics.com/

4. Washing and Refinishing

One of the cheapest way to decorate your deck and make it look more beautiful without eating too much into your budget is to make sure that it is periodically cleaned.  This means not only washing it regularly and allowing it to dry properly.

It is important to schedule the application of a new coat of deck sealer and stain if possible.  At about $15 to $25 to a gallon, it is comparatively cheap to have a 300 square feet deck looking clean and shiny new.

These are just some deck decorating ideas on a budget that every homeowner can do, what do you think about these ideas? do you have any other decorating ideas? don’t hesitate to comment below.