How Homeowners Know They Have a Termite Problem

Termites are most likely to show up in the spring, after the winter weather has damaged homes with its moisture. This is why homeowners should be on the lookout for these pests at this time of year. They should know the signs that termites are in their home, because if they can catch the problem early enough, they can call in expert pest control Greenville, SC services and not have to suffer a lot of damage to their home.

Termites cause as much as $5 billion a year in damage to buildings around the United States, according to an estimate from National Pest Management Association, and it is not something that most homeowner insurance policies will cover.

Probably the only sign that most people will ever notice of a termite infestation is that of discarded wings. These are often found near windowsills and doorways, where termites have crawled to make their home. Wood may look dark or blistered where termites are digging in, and it can sound hollow if tapped on.

Another sign that termites may be present is uneven pain tor paint that has bubbles in it. That is a sign of either water damage or the presence of termites.

Termites also leave behind droppings that are light-colored, about the same hue as sawdust. These can be found inside or outside the home.

Certain kinds of termites will create mud tubes to get into the home’s foundation, and these will be found on the ground at the base of the house.

When homeowners see any of these signs of termites or suspect that they might have an infestation, they should call for a pest control Greenville, SC expert right away. Contacting a service such as Pest Control Services in Greenville SC by Commander Pest Solutions as soon as the problem is identified can minimize the damage and ensure that the infestation is eliminated. Waiting to act can lead to severe damage in the home and make it far more time-consuming and costly to get rid of the termites. The longer they are allowed to stay there, the more they will multiply and the deeper into the structural materials they will dig.

Transform Your Spare Room With a Little DIY This Year

it is a great idea to make space useful throughout the home

reclaiming unused room spaceThe New Year is the perfect time to get on with those DIY jobs you’ve been putting off – however big or small. This is because January is traditionally the time many of us review our finances and get our money in order following our festive season splurges.

Once you’ve switched your utilities to a cheaper provider or found a credit card with a lower rate of interest, you’ll be able to work out how much cash you’ve got left over to spend on DIY. Add this to your savings and you could have enough to transform a whole room or install some new furniture and fittings.  Redecorating a spare room could be a good job to get stuck into this year, especially if your children have recently left home. The numbers of people who live in your home can go up and down over the years as children are born, grow up and eventually fly the nest. And the time might have finally come to turn your son or daughter’s old bedroom into a guest suite.

Before you start this task, however, you should carry out proper planning. For a start, you’ll need to decide which furniture you’re keeping and which will be replaced. It’s probably a good idea to consult with your departed son or daughter to make sure they’ve got no use for it at their new place – or whether they want it kept for sentimental reasons. Next you should decide what you’re going to replace the old furniture with and colour schemes for the walls.If the room is to be set up as a guest room, then going neutral is often the best bet – think whites, greys and pastel shades.

Once you’ve taken a trip to your local DIY store, it’s time to set aside a weekend and get to work. It could be fun to involve the son or daughter whose room it was previously – allowing them to give their old stomping ground the proper send-off it deserves!

Energy Saving Begins With Boilers


Looking after the planet and keeping an eye on the purse strings are two trends which have become increasingly popular – and intertwined – in recent years.
Saving energy is one of the best ways to cut your household bills while doing your bit for the environment – but not everyone is clear on the best ways to reduce their usage by doing a little DIY or calling in the experts.

keep up maintenance on your boilerThere’s a multitude of ways you can make your home more energy efficient – and caring for your boiler is a good place to start.

Having a yearly service with a Gas Safe-registered technician is essential for making sure your boiler is running as efficiently as possible. It’s also important you get your boiler looked at for safety reasons – knackered old boilers can leak carbon monoxide, which can be lethal.

If your boiler is over 15 years old, you be thinking about buying a replacement – this can cut hundreds of pounds off your annual heating bill. When shopping around, look out for highly efficient gas condensing models, as these will help you make the biggest savings. Also don’t forget to insulate and lag your pipes, as this will help to boost your boiler’s efficiency.

However, looking after your boiler doesn’t begin and end with the equipment itself. For example, leaving clothes to dry on radiators will force your boiler to work harder, potentially reducing its lifespan. The same principle applies when covering radiators with curtains or furniture. For this reason, the layout of your room is important – try to place sofas and beds away from radiators to ensure you get the maximum circulation and benefit from their heat.

The way you live in your home can also have an effect on your energy usage – the key is to do as many things as possible to reduce the temperate and how often you need to put your heating on. Draught excluders are essential, while you should consider getting a thicker duvet during the winter rather than leaving the heat on high throughout the night.

Even just the way you use your curtains can have a significant effect on your energy usage – opening them in the day will allow sunlight to naturally heat the room. However, as soon as day turns to night and the dark and cold sets in, close your curtains to keep the heat in.

By carrying out a few simple DIY jobs and making a few targeted investments, you’ll soon be cutting your carbon emissions – and feeling the financial benefit as a result.

Don’t Be Left Gutted By a Guttering Gripe

get your gutters cleaned out

make sure waterflow is not inhibited by leaves and debrisDuring the winter, many of us rarely venture into our gardens, unless it’s to build a snowman. For this reason, we rarely get chance to have a look at our guttering during this part of the year, especially if we leave and return to our homes in darkness.

However, out of sight should never mean out of mind when it comes to your drainage system – and in fact they may need the most attention at this time of the year. Clogged gutters can cause water to backup in the house, leading to problems with damp or even wall and ceiling damage.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to set aside some time aside one weekend as winter sets in to give your guttering a going-over to ensure you don’t encourage any drainage disasters.

Autumn and winter brings more wet and cold weather – and plenty of leaves and other debris which can block guttering. Therefore, you should get in a routine of regularly going up to check that water can drain through the pipes.

This starts with getting out a ladder and climbing up to look at the outer part of your guttering. Make sure you’re wearing thick workman’s gloves, as you’ll need to manually remove anything which could block the pipes by hand. It’s a good idea to have your garden waste bin set up next to the ladder, where you can drop in any leaves or sludge as you go along. A stiff brush and trowel will come in useful for removing excess dirt.

To ensure the guttering is as clean and debris-free as possible, finish up by giving the pipes a good spray with the hosepipe, ensuring that the nozzle is set to the highest pressure possible for the best cleaning results.

If you think there’s a blockage downpipe, you may need to invest in some DIY tools to get the job done. One option is to use a wire coat hanger, which can fed into the pipe to loosen any trapped articles.

Some could decide that installing a gutter guard is the best way forward – this is a piece of wire mesh metal that can reduce the amount of debris that collects in your guttering. It’s important to note, however, that putting this onto your gutters won’t mean you never have to clean them again – it may just reduce how often you need to carry out this job.

If you fail to carry out these simple jobs, you can be left gutted if your Christmas money ends up being spent on putting a drainage disaster right – so make sure it’s pencilled into your DIY diary this winter.

Putting Up a Shelf: Some Handy Hints

installing a shelf

With floating shelves now all the range this is the chance to prove to your friends just what a dab hand at DIY you are – little do they need to know how easy it can be. Just follow these simple instructions and you’ll be clutter free and have the smartest shelf in town in no time (well probably about an hour!).

What you’ll need to put up a shelf

For this job you’ll need: a spirit level, a pencil, screwdriver, a drill, a hammer, and screws and fittings (although these will normally be provided with the shelf). For safety reasons it is also advised that you should wear safety goggles and use an AC electrical detector.

Fixing your shelf: Getting started

Firstly, safety is paramount. There is a risk of major electrical shocks from any drilling into walls. Reduce this risk by using an electrical detector – it will either make a noise or an LED will flash when passed over an electrical current. If a good electrician has been used in the wiring of the house then wires should only ever run horizontally or vertically straight from sockets and fittings but it is advisable to always check before starting the drilling.

Getting your shelves straight

level the shelf before affixing itOne of the easiest mistakes to make is to rush the job and end up with wonky shelves. This can be solved with a small amount of preparation time at the start. Place the shelf bracket on the wall in the desired position and mark under the bottom left and right corners – then check with a spirit level that the lines are dead straight. If not play around with it until you’re there. Once correct, the positions of the screws can now be marked on the wall. Make sure you rub out any previous pencil marks to avoid confusion!

Drilling your shelves brackets to the wall

You are now ready to drill. The drill bit used should be slightly smaller in diameter than the screws which will be used. It is a good idea to wear safety goggles when performing any drilling in order to protect from any flying debris. Start drilling slowly in a straight line into the wall. This should be repeated for all screw positions. Remember that plasterboard walls will require hollow wall anchors but if drilling into solid brick then rawl plugs are more appropriate.

Fixing the shelf to the wall

The shelf can now be fixed to the wall – simply attach to the screws in place in the wall and slide the shelf onto the clippings. It’s a good idea if you’re planning to place a heavy load on the shelf to fit butterfly / spring toggles – these will require a bigger hole being drilled. But be warned, these are so strong they can’t be removed from the wall once in place.

Tighten any screws or nails one by one – leaving them all slightly loose for one final tighten at the end.

Now all that’s left to do is pick out your favourite cds, books or dvds and give them pride of place before your friends arrive!

The Good, the Bad and Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen cabinets

Painting unfinished kitchen cabinets is really a tedious job, which might stretch over a couple days. New kitchen cabinets may add value to your own residence and totally alter the atmosphere of the room. So should you have opted to adopt the clean, simple appearance, take a look at the contemporary kitchen cabinets that can continue to become a joy for many years to come.

Kitchen cabinets are truly the most critical component in the kitchen. You should plan out as well as think of the top kitchen cabinet design suited for your own kitchen. Creating a wise decision while selecting a kitchen cabinet is vital! Kitchen cabinets were not any longer an afterthought or perhaps a secondary need. Another large benefit of unfinished kitchen cabinets is that they’re cheaper compared to the pre-finished kitchen cabinets. Additionally, This is true with kitchen cabinets.

Repainting kitchen cabinets have become the most cost-effective means to provide your kitchen area an excellent new appearance. Whenever choosing new kitchen cabinets, it is crucial to think about the form of wood species that you will also use. You may possess the kitchen cabinet doors, for example, in a certain style that you really want. The mentioned kitchen cabinets above are just a number of the huge selection you may choose from, that could provide you some assist in finalizing your kitchen design. Kitchen cabinets, specifically, come in varying styles and materials, providing you a fat possibility of finding one which fits in perfectly to your own kitchen design. You don’t have to have expensive instruments to build your very own kitchen cabinets.

White kitchen cabinets are used for several different decor for example contemporary, traditional, nation, French nation, English, shaker and a whole lot more. There are quite a few kitchen cabinets to pick from. These kitchen cabinets aren’t openly available from ready stock and also would require in order to be specially built according to the purchase. Kitchen cabinets can be found in a huge variety of prices and designs. These are only a number of the most recent options for a modern kitchen so far as cabinetry.

Cabinets are among the primary focal points of the kitchen. There’s a particularly substantial demand for unfinished kitchen cabinets. There are a large variety of reasons why people would rather change the kitchen cabinets. The setup of kitchen cabinets is a significant contributor to the total arrangement of the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets ought to be as aesthetically pleasing as they’re functional if you’d like to produce a particular appearance for your kitchen interiors.

Kitchen cabinets refacing is among the less expensive property improvement projects you might tackle that could considerably make an impact to your property. Replacing kitchen cabinets can end up being a costly option. Third, you can simply enhance your kitchen cabinets with the most recent environmental conditions. If you’re planning on inhabiting your home for quite some time, don’t skimp on your own kitchen cabinets. So, should you be searching for a simple and quick fix to your own kitchen cabinets problem, then employ these professionals for the renovation of your own kitchen. If you really need to cut costs, then it’s essential to purchase cheap yet good-quality kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets are thought to be the most essential portion of a kitchen. An enormous portion of a kitchengeneral feel is the kitchen cabinets type. Refaced kitchen cabinets give clean, fresh and current look of the kitchen area. Wholessale kitchen cabinets are regularly disguised and are just regular cabinets that seem to be marked down.

Seven Ways to Avoid Locksmith Regret

looking for a licensed locksmithIn general, when you need a locksmith, there’s a bit of a crisis duration at hand. And not surprisingly, there are people who would take advantage of customers who find themselves locked out of a home or car at what always seems to be the worst possible time.

Most locksmith companies are completely legit and aboveboard in how they deal with customers, but we have put together a list of seven important tips to help you make sure that you have the best odds of a positive transaction.

When you telephone a potential locksmith, pay attention to how they answer the phone. It’s not uncommon today for your online search queries to lead to phone numbers that are manned by nonprofessionals. Often, these phone banks are trying to find opportunities to sell your potential job to unscrupulous locksmith entities who will mark it up by finding things to fix that might not even be necessary.

Always request an estimate up front based on your understanding of what the issue is. Even insist on it if you are attempting to schedule a locksmith to come out to your house.

Make sure to clarify any extra charges that might result over and above those described for doing the work. This can include service call minimums, mileage beyond normal coverage area and certainly emergency hour response.

And when the locksmith arrives at your home, make sure they are driving a clearly identified truck that matches the name of the business with whom you had the phone conversation. Only nonprofessionals drive around in unmarked work vehicles and this is a big red flag that you might be about to do business with someone who does not have your best interest at heart.

And don’t let the locksmith into your home without some form of identification. There are some states where locksmith must be licensed, and you can certainly ask to examine that license or a copy of it. At a minimum ask for some identification that firms that the individual is an employee of the locksmith company that you set up the appointment with.

Review the job with the locksmith after his arrival. Note carefully any differences from the estimate you arrived at on the telephone, and make sure that any additional cost is completely clarified before any work begins. It is your right to dismiss any contractor who has changed the terms.

Finally, be wary of a locksmith who insists on either replacing or drilling out locks before they have been thoroughly examined. And even when this is suggested, have an in-depth conversation with the locksmith about the necessity. Very few professional locksmiths lack the ability to unlock pretty much any door or even window.

What Are Your Options for Siding a Home?

Of all the material decisions involved in the process of building your houses, selecting the siding is among the most important. Siding is the first line of defense against the elements, and it’s a vital part of the wall assembly. But it’s also, quite literally, the skin of the building and the first thing that people see from the curb, so it’s key to the home’s aesthetics. It can also take up a significant portion of the budget.

The siding landscape is vast, consisting of a wide variety of options that include vinyl, brick, fiber cement, cellular PVC, various types of wood, stone, manufactured stone veneer, stucco, synthetic stucco, aluminum, stainless steel, composites, ceramic tile, and more. So, which material do you choose? Which one is right for the type of houses you build? Which best suits the climate? Which one blends cost, looks, ease of installation, and durability?

For many builders, the answer to those questions appears to be vinyl—for the 20th straight year—according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report, “Characteristics of New Single-Family Houses Completed.” In that report, vinyl ranks No. 1 for siding in 2013 (the most recent data available).

Vinyl, for Durability

worker installs vinyl siding on a single story home“Vinyl siding was the predominant exterior wall material on 
31 percent of the 569,000 homes built, compared to 25 percent for brick, 22 percent for stucco, and 16 percent for fiber cement,” says Kate Offringa, president of the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), a trade association in Washington, D.C. “Seventy-six percent of the homes built in the Northeast and 60 percent of homes built in the Midwest were first and foremost clad in vinyl siding.”

The material hits many touch points. Builders love it because it’s affordable and offers a variety of options and accessories. Subcontractors like it because it’s easy to install. Homeowners choose it because it’s affordable, requires little maintenance, and seemingly lasts forever. “The popularity of vinyl siding is driven by consumer demand,” Offringa says. “Builders build what homebuyers want: curb appeal, low maintenance, and long life.”

Brick Is Enduring

Not surprisingly, the Reston, Va.-based Brick Industry Asso­ciation (BIA) claims that brick is the ultimate material. “What began as a building essential in the Near East and India more than 5,000 years ago,” the association says, “wound its way through the ancient Egyptians, the Indus Valley civilization, and the Romans and today has amazingly become the all-American building product throughout our country’s history.”

Brick won’t rot, dent, or need to be painted, and it will never tear or be eaten by termites, the BIA says. Multiple studies, the association claims, also show that genuine clay brick beats competitive exteriors in wind, moisture, and earthquake resistance, and protection from wind-blown debris. The group adds that several studies prove that genuine clay brick offers greater sustainable value over its top competitors—including vinyl siding, concrete masonry, manufactured stone, fiber-cement siding, and synthetic stucco (also known as exterior insulation and finish system or EIFS).

There are numerous other siding options to consider and this report was put together by our preferred home remodel/home construction partners operating out of Greenville SC. Choose wisely, not just in picking your siding, but in selecting a contractor to perform the install. After all, this is where you’ll lay your head and it should be done professionally.

FAQ to Properly Repair Your Vehicle’s Damaged Windshield

a technician pulls a damaged windshield from an SUVWhen the cracking is in the middle of the windshield, you can be sure of the spread of the crack in time. When the motor vehicle is placed in drive, the vibration of road and engine block will induce the crack to widen and spread through the glass. Once such spidering has happened and visibility is ruined, it’s best to get a windshield replacement as quickly as feasible.

Timing plays a great part in determining this. You can opt for a dealer if the warranty is still valid, clearly the less costly option.  Failing that, telephone an auto glass specialist who will no doubt have the latest and most sophisticated tools to put in a new windshield for you.

Car windshields are a vital component of the vehicle and also an incredibly important security consideration. Here are some answers to a few of questions we get from folks who have called about  Windshield Chip Fix Services.

Do windshield chip repairs truly last?

Yes windshield chip repairs are effective, but not all chips in windshields should or can be fixed.

How long will a windshield chip fix last?
A windshield chip repair could last for a incredibly long time. This is dependent on several elements, like what sort of crack it is? How much has the crack spread?

A chip repair (simplified) is effected by putting a liquid resin into the chipped or cracked area and this resin fills in the chip or crack, and can be virtually invisible.  Most importantly, a strong resin application will keep the damage from spreading. If the chip is small, this is enough to avoid a full replacement.  Once the resin dries the chip isn’t visible any more, while you might see a slight variance in the glass close to the repair. This is fine if the blemish does not impact the ability to see while driving. This sort of repair is often less than $150, even if the repair technician travels to you.  You’ll want the windshield to ‘set up’ for a couple of hours, preferably in direct sunlight.

Repairing a windshield has one other significant advantage compared to a total replacement.  Repairing a chip or crack doesn’t put the watertight seal made in the factory assembly at risk, and secondary windshields often leak over the course of time.

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Truck bed covers will secure the contents of your truck bed. Soft is the most affordable way to cover up, but hard is more durable. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our Tonneau Cover Buying Guide Here you can find everything you need to know for choosing the right truck bed cover for your pickup.

These include hard, soft, and retracting covers, roll-ups, hinged assemblies, folding and soft top canopy covers. These do offer attractive covers for your truck bed and its cargo contents. Extang folding and soft tonneau covers are the number one selling ones in America and are available in a number of styles and designs to cover your pickup truck bed.


You Can Reduce the Cost of Car Repairs

a mechanic works underneath a truckLife doesn’t always involve smooth rides; and bumps and wiggles in car health are natural occurrences along the way. Car problems or maybe even accidents are sometimes inevitable, and these will require minor or major repairs. Therefore, it pays to be familiar with the cost of maintenance today so that you won’t have to spend more than the appropriate amount.

Being Involved

When going for a car problem diagnosis, there are a few things you must remember to ensure that you are on top of the situation and not simply on the mercy of your mechanic.

1.) Know the specific defect of your car. Do some research and ask other drivers. If you’re not so definite, you can further inquire from an auto mechanic to confirm your suspected trouble.

2.) Compare the prices of at least three repair shops to find the cheapest. This will entail effort, but it’s worth the savings.

3.) When you’ve finally chosen a shop, ask for the details of the repair and ask for a cost estimate. Be aware that some shops already charge fees just for simple diagnostic and estimate of cost. So, you have to search for auto repair centers that offer these services for free or you can ask friends or relatives for reference.

4.) You can also surf the internet to look for software that offers a standard estimate for various car repair works. However, know that these are only guides—the remedy and the cost may still vary according to the model or brand of your vehicle.

Cost control is imperative, especially if you’re dealing with a major repair or if the cost is significantly large. This is especially true if many of your car’s parts happen to be assembled not individually but by one whole unit—instead of replacing only the defective part, the whole section of your car will have to be replaced when a damage occurs.

Cost Reduction

To save on the cost of car repairs, you can opt to do some vehicle tinkering on your own. For simple or standard repairs such as replacing an oil pump or alternator or changing oil, you can study how to do it yourself by referring to free online demos or by asking those who are familiar with the process to show you the step-by-step procedures. Your owner’s manual will also be a great help when doing repairs or maintenance on your own.

You must also be proactive by regularly following the maintenance routines required by your car as indicated in the owner’s manual. And if you sense, smell, or hear anything unusual or defective while driving, attend to it promptly to avoid a bigger problem.

Lastly, you can also assess whether it would be practical to purchase an extended warranty for your car.

Reducing the cost of car repairs and maintenance is possible. Just follow the above-mentioned tips and you will likely be spared from incredibly disruptive and expensive vehicle situations like a blown engine or a transmission repair. Follow these simple tips and you can add miles to a more peaceful ride and enjoy your vehicle more.