Celebrate Spring with a Fabulous Concrete Patio or Deck

Hard Work But Built To Last!

A patio and stairs made out of concrete provide a durable way to have outdoor space. The patio and concrete can last for years and you don’t have to worry about the outdoors destroying them. Building a concrete patio and steps can be a challenging endeavor and that’s why many homeowners hire someone to do this job. You must dig a foundation and install wooden forms to retain the concrete. After that, then it’s time to pour and finish the concrete. It’s a backbreaking task and you’ll feel great hiring a professional to carry out the job for you.

Options, options, options!

The job of creating a concrete patio or steps is a daunting one. But the results can last longer than a stone or wood surface. With colored stains, stamps and different finishes available, you can embellish a concrete surface to look like stone or give it a unique design and texture. When pouring concrete, you must work with speed to smooth and form the surface before the material hardens. Building concrete patios requires some planning. A professional contractor will buy materials and tools ahead of time and have an automatic cement mixer.
You will love the look of a concrete patio or steps when it is done properly. It’s effective and a hardscape element in landscape design but it can be a disaster when botched. That’s why it’s important to have a professional complete this job. From purchasing supplies and excavating the site to applying the finishing touches, an expert can lead this project every step of the way. Concrete patios are durable and with some landscaping imagination, can complement garden, entrance or other landscaping. When designed creatively, concrete patios can be attractive. Patio steps can be as elaborate or as simple as you like, but the foundation must be secure. Concrete reinforced with wire netting provides an ideal, durable foundation.

Find the patio of your dreams, today!

A poured concrete patio can be just a boring gray slab or a highly decorative focal point of your backyard. By including a decorative finishing technique in your plans such as etching, your design options are unlimited. So don’t take this job into your own hands. Have the backyard patio that will make you the envy of your neighbors. Let wwwThisHandyman.com help you today! Fill out the form on this page to be contacted by a team of
professionals that will start you on your way to have the patio and steps of your dreams!

Introduction to Evaporative Coolers and Swamp Coolers

A brief history…

In the deserts of Arizona in the early part of the 1900s, people didn’t have air conditioning readily available. Instead, they would sleep outside on their screened in porches during the summer. On really hot nights, bed sheets that had been soaked in water would be hung inside of the screens. Electric fans would cool the room by pulling the night air through the moist cloth. Evaporative coolers uses the same idea as a low cost, low technology, alternative to refrigerated air conditioning. An evaporative cooler produces cooling by combining water evaporation with an air moving system. Outside air is pulled through moist pads where it is cooled by evaporation and circulated through the house by a large blower. The temperature of the outside air can be lowered this way by as much as thirty degrees. Both evaporative and swamp coolers work different than air conditioning units and there are specific circumstances for each to make them the most effective. Unlike an air conditioner, which can work in any environment, alternative cooling products work with the dryness or humidity in the air to increase the efficiency.

How to cool your home in a arid environment…

These air cooling devices are sometimes known as swamp coolers. They can work wonderfully well, as long as the outside air they are drawing in is dry and desert like. If the humidity increases, the ability for them to cool the air decreases. Don’t be fooled by their name, swamp coolers were not designed to work in swamp like conditions. They work best in dry and arid environments, which is why you see them most often in deserts, high deserts, and the midwest. While they are used around the country, they are not as effective as other means when there is more moisture in the air.

How to cool in an more humid environment…

Evaporative cooling adds moisture to the air, which helps to keep wood furniture and fabrics from drying out. The moist pads through which the outside air flows are also efficient air filters, trapping some dust and pollen. Trapped particles are flushed out and trapped in the bottom of the cooler. Swamp coolers need outside air and blow it into the house, so one window must remain open. the cooled outside air comes through open windows or doors, pushing hot inside air outside. Any smoke, odors or pollution will go out with the hot air as well.

Installation options:

In terms of installation, small evaporative coolers can be placed in windows, like a small window air conditioner. This part requires very little installation. Larger units will require ducts to distribute the air. Allow a professional to guide you with this process. For a newly installed system, a short duct can direct the cooled air to a central point in the house. From there, air can be directed through the various rooms by simply opening and closing doors and windows to allow the cooled air to flow.

Ready to Find a Contractor to Install One Today?

When you are in the market for a swamp cooler or evaporative cooler, you can get started by filling out the form on this page. The referral from ThisHandyman.com will lead you to experts that can answer your questions and help you select the model that best suits your needs. When you have a swamp cooler or evaporative cooler installed, you get an economical, reliable and efficient cooling solution that requires less frequent maintenance. Enter your zip code to find quotes and reviews from local pros and talk to one today!

Get Your Deck On

Time to Enjoy Spring!

There is no greater pleasure than enjoying the outdoors without leaving the confines of home. With spring on the way, now is the time to think about expanding your home into the outdoors with a backyard deck. There are limitless options for making a backyard deck into something as personal and special as the inside of your home. The only limits are your budget, your imagination, and whatever is permissible in your neighborhood.

Your first task is setting your budget and deciding what you want. What do you want to achieve with your deck? What do you want it to look like? How much do you want to spend? Once you have decided these important details, you will be well on your way. The more research and planning you do in the beginning, the better your deck project will go. You’ll save time, money and frustration by thinking through what you want to do ahead of time.

Choosing Your Material

Traditional woods such as pine, cedar, redwood and mahogany have been among the most popular for deck construction. But traditional woods certainly are not your only decking options. Composite materials are gaining popularity. Most are made from some combination of recycled ground up wood and plastic resins. The material that you choose is highly personal. The decision has to be what is right for you and your home. There is not one right material, just as there isn’t one right shape or size for each deck. Decks should be designed and built of materials that complement your home and those in your neighborhood.

A backyard deck is a popular way to extend living space from inside to outside. It can be a go to place to relax, enjoy a cool drink or spend time with friends and family. With patio furniture, plants and a grill, it can be a top notch getaway. Let a professional referral from ThisHandyman.com help you find an expert crew to assist you in the design and building of a backyard deck. A contractor can take your vision and bring it to life for you. A professional will be able to tell you the advantages and disadvantages of various deck surfaces. Fill out the form on this page to get expert advice on getting started with your deck.

Contemplating Size

It’s always best to err on the size of too big for a deck, however, taking specific measurements of not only your space but also items for your deck is important too. Think about how many people you would normally have on your deck and then how many do you want to have. Consider lawn furniture, barbecuing, and outdoor activities and how much load that the deck may have to hold. These are all factors to think about before you decide on how big you want your deck to be.
Once you have crunched the numbers, you will have to consider deck shape, placement, and the true possibility of your yard space. If you are wanting an oversized deck, often partitions or levels are a good idea.

If you are planning on wrapping around the deck, you will have to take into account siding and gutters for your deck and if there will be damage with the current placement of these items. It would be ideal to not have to move the gutters or drains and your size can also be affected by this.

Regarding size and decks, it is important to consider the maneuverability of your space. Avoid making traffic areas too narrow and think about the number of ways to enter or exit the deck area. Many large deck plans have been nightmares because there were not ample ways for people to move around. This causes your lovely custom deck to be a pain when it should be a joy.

Final Thoughts…

With a new custom deck, you will be spending a lot more time outdoors and you’ll want your yard to measure up to the deck. So don’t forget to spruce up your backyard at the same time. Clean up the yard and compost dead leaves and branches. Prune trees and plants so they will grow more healthy. Then you will have two things of great beauty, the deck and your yard.

To get started on the deck of your dreams, it’s easy. We provide you with all that you need to find a company that will begin on your deck construction.When you work with www.ThisHandyMan.com for your referral we also offer reviews from other members so you can choose a contractor that you’re comfortable with, competitive quotes to watch your budget, and background checks so that you feel secure. To begin, simply fill out the information request form on this page or check out our links to the left for more home and garden contractors for anything you could possibly need in your backyard planning!

Painting – Exterior Painting or Staining

Improve the look of your home with a new coat of paint!

Whether you live in a rainy area or a dry one, certain times of year the weather can very easily turn a nice paint job into something less than desirable. If you live in Oregon or Washington, you are going to want to look into getting a new paint job practically every summer. But no matter where you live, it can be helpful to spruce up the look of your house by adding handling an exterior painting or staining job. And remember, you don’t have to do it yourself.

In fact there are a number of reasons for NOT getting all DIY on your home’s exterior! Painting a home is more than just slapping a coat of paint on the house and making it look better. Here are just some of the things you need to consider when having your home painted:
Gaps or fillers needed: Any cracks or gaps need to be properly sealed before adding new paint.
Old paint can’t just be covered: When you have older paint that is peeling or rough, this will need to be removed by chemical or sanded down.
Wood or brick damage: Any damage that you find while removing paint needs to be properly prepared and repaired before applying paint.
Primer: Most paint, even those with primers included, will benefit from an initial primer being painted on. This can require additional work.
Safety: Painting a home can require precise maneuverability and isn’t always easy. Saving a few bucks is not worth the potential fall off of a ladder or roof! [Read more...]