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Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

Leaking Roofs & Cold Can Take Away From the Enjoyment of Your Outdoor Living Spaces

Leaking roofs

An outdoor living space can extend your home and give you more space.

Many homeowners are extending their usable square footage by turning a deck, patio or overhang into an outdoor living space. During warm weather months, some furniture and decorative touches can make your space the perfect place to relax or entertain guests outdoors. For cooler climates, however, winter brings challenges with the use of an outdoor living space.

When temperatures drop and ice and snow invade, sitting on the deck or patio can be the last thing on homeowners’ minds. But some simple additions can make your outdoor living space a go-to destination for your family all year round, relieving some of that boxed-in, stir-crazy feeling winter can bring.

Roofs Provide Protection From the Elements

If your outdoor living space has a roof, the . . .

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Thought Leader Series: Gardening for Seniors: Amp Up Your Home’s Value with a Great Hobby

Gardening

Stephan Baldwin is the Director of Business Development for Assisted Living Center, a resource for senior care communities.

Creating a garden offers seniors more than a basket of fresh vegetables and herbs or a vase full of colorful, fragrant flowers; gardening canĀ enrich the body and mind. In addition, tending a garden provides seniors with an enjoyable way to stay active while upping their home’s value.
GardeningGardening is a popular and rewarding hobby for seniors.
Keep Safety in Mind

With careful planning, anyone can create a safe, inviting garden. To prevent falls, make sure pathways and steps are or have:

As level as possible

Smooth

Free of hazards (ice, tools, hoses, tree roots, cracks, etc.)

Easily visible

Handrails on steps

Avoid:

Pointed features throughout the garden (stakes, canes, etc.)

Gravel

Grassy areas

Bare earth

Create an Easily Accessible Garden

To allow for wheelchair . . .

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Things You Need to Know When Buying Replacement Windows

Replacement windows

New windows can pay for themselves at least partially in savings on heating and cooling costs.

If your older home is drafty in winter and steamy in summer, there’s a way to be more comfortable all year round: buying replacement windows. At some point in the life of a window, tiny cracks and deteriorating materials begin to let in enough air from outside to noticeably affect homeowner comfort.

Replacement Window Options

There are several options in replacement windows that provide varying levels of protection from extreme weather and can save homeowners on their heating and cooling costs.

–For houses inhabited by young children, double-hung windows provide safety, since they can be opened from both the top and bottom.

–Double-pane windows have two pieces of glass with air or inert gas between them, providing better insulation from the . . .

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Leaking Roofs and Other Causes of Ceiling Stains

Leaking roofs

Stains on the ceiling may be caused by a leaky roof.

Ceiling stains are a major cause for concern for homeowners, whether they appear out of the blue or have been there for years. Home inspectors zero in on these unsightly blemishes as a sign of trouble that may possibly need repairing, and homeowners who are seeing new stains fear that they will need to spend big bucks to make things right.

Causes of Ceiling Stains

Leaking Roofs. Whether it’s from an old leak that has been fixed long ago or a current situation, the most common cause of ceiling stains is a leaking roof. One way to tell the difference between an old leak and a current one is to use a moisture meter to test the stain. If it is old, moisture won’t register on the . . .

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Evaluating Roof Costs: Are Metal Roofs a Cost-Effective Option?

Metal roofs

Metal roofs can be attractive and offer many benefits to homeowners.

Replacing a roof is a major expense. If your roof requires replacement, you have many options for roofing materials from which you can choose. Asphalt shingles have been the norm for many years, but metal roofing has become more popular in many areas.

When evaluating the costs of a new roof, it soon becomes clear that metal roofing has a significantly greater cost for initial installation than its asphalt counterpart. There are different types of metal roofing to choose from, including aluminum, steel and terneplate (soft metal treated with a coating of lead and tin).

When deciding whether to install a cheaper asphalt roof or a metal one with a much higher cost, it is important to consider the cost in a broader way . . .

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10 Creative Uses for Used Clean Gutters

Clean gutters

Gutters can function in many ways besides funneling the rain away from your house.

When you finally replace your old, basic rain gutters with something more modern and functional, don’t be too quick to resign them to the scrap heap or the recycling pile. Here are a whole bunch of ideas for how to give those tired gutters new life with a good cleaning, some metal cutters and a little bit of paint.

1. Bookshelves

By fastening the gutters to the wall, homeowners can display picture books with covers facing out so that kids can easily find their favorites at a glance. If your kids are older, you can mimic expensive photo frame shelves with some clean gutters and make a stylish focal wall.

2. Planters

Whether attached to a wall, a fence, or a window, . . .

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Choosing New Roofing: What Colors Work Best?

When it is time for a new roof, one of the last things you may think is important is the color you choose in roofing, but it is a valuable decision. Your new roof will be something you live with for the next 20-30 years and the color should complement your exterior, improve your curb appeal, and the shade you choose may even help your home stay cooler in the summer.

According to thelandofcolor.com, there is no perfect “neutral” color you can choose that will go with absolutely every color scheme available for your exterior. The trick is to pick a color that will coordinate with the fixed, permanent elements of your home and not blend in with them.

New roofing

Consider more vivid shingle colors if
your home’s exterior is monotone in appearance.

Essentially, if the rest . . .

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FAQs About Gutter Protection

Gutters are the unsung heroes in home protection. Though you may not think about them often, your gutter system may be one of the most effective protective elements of your home’s exterior and vital to keeping you on a solid foundation. Basically, if you care for your gutters, your gutters will take care of you. But what is the most effective preventative step you can take in caring for this important system?

Regular cleaning of your gutters is something you must do at least twice per year to keep them free of debris. But there are other alternatives to climbing that ladder and being assured the gutters are well maintained 100 percent of the time.

Gutter protection

Cleaning your gutters must be done twice
per year, unless you invest in gutter protection.

The simplest solution is to attach a . . .

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Expert Interview with Heather Kinkade on Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting

For thousands of years, collecting rainwater for daily use was a common practice; but over the last century, wells and municipal water supplies have taken over as primary water sources.

Today, the diminishing supply of fresh water in wells and aquifers as well as concerns of quality and population growth have lead to a resurgence of rainwater catchment, according to the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA).

We recently caught up with Heather Kinkade, executive director for ARCSA and champion for rainwater harvesting, to learn more about the organization, how rainwater harvesting works and the benefits to homeowners. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us about the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. Who are you and what do you do?

In 1994, Dr. Hari J. Krishna of Austin, Texas founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) . . .

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How Rainwater Harvesting Can Help You Make the Most of Outdoor Living Spaces

Homeowners today are expanding their living space by moving it outdoors. The type of outdoor space can depend on a number of things. One of the most popular home improvement projects you can take on is creating outdoor living space designed for entertaining guests and additional space for the family to gather.

What outdoor addition is right for you? Well that depends on your budget, because you can choose from adding a simple patio or deck, ideal for family dining and enjoying a glass of wine while you watch the sunset, or something bigger, like building a gorgeous outdoor kitchen where you can create far more than just a simple barbecue.

Rainwater harvesting

Homeowners today improve their outdoor living space to provide more room to entertain.

Upkeep of outdoor spaces is relatively easy. Because most outdoor furnishings are made . . .

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