DogGoneHandy Blog

Fireplaces seem to be a focal point during the holidays, either providing warmth in the cold temperature, decorative elements, and of course, the old fashioned present delivery system. Your fireplace, the most low-tech piece of equipment in your house, may seem like a simple load-and-light operation, but ignoring annual maintenance can impair its performance, leading to heated air (and dollars) blowing out the chimney, harmful smoke inside, and possibly even a chimney fire.The average number of annual U.S. home fires caused by fireplace, chimney, and chimney connectors between 2003 and 2005...
Garage organizing is one of the easiest, and most neglected, home improvements tasks for homeowners to tackle. In fact, if you're like most homeowners, the terms "garage," and "organize," never occur in the same sentence. If you're tired of that black hole sitting on the other side of the mudroom door, however, garage organizing is easier than it looks. The key is installing a good garage storage system, so that everything in your garage has a home to call its own. Garage Storage System Basics The three main types of storage systems out there for homeowners to choose from are garage cabinets...
We've got a cold snap heading to Atlanta and that means it is time to think about draining your outdoor hose spigots. In most cases, this is fairly straight forward and can be accomplished by following these simple steps:Locate the faucets on the outside of the house.Go inside the house and find the corresponding cut off valve - an example is pictured. Typically there is one valve for each faucet located just inside the basement or crawl space, but sometimes you might have to follow the pipes until you find the valve.Turn the cut off valve(s) off by turning clockwise.Go outside the house and...
When you first move into your new home, you wonder how you are going to fill up the large, empty space. Pretty soon life takes over — and before you know it, you are wondering where all of that space went.If you find yourself struggling to find room to store everything you’ve accumulated over the years, see if these storage options might work for you.Before you invest a lot of time deciding where things should go, look through your closet, files and drawers to determine what can be thrown or given away. For clothes, it is a good rule of thumb to get rid of items that you have not worn in more...
Winter is coming. Freezing temperature can mean large utility bills and a huge waste of energy if your home isn’t insulated properly. Adding insulation to your walls and attic isn’t hard and it can pay off immediately in energy and cost savings. Here are some great tips that will show you fast and easy ways to insulate your home right. Manufacturers now produce batts with higher fiberglass densities, so you can buy 3-1/2-in.-thick batts with R-11, R-13 or R-15 thermal resistance values. The higher the number, the better the insulation. The high-density R-15 batts are best, but they cost...
The summer heat seems to be gone and cooler air is upon us. Now is a great time to take a hard look at your lawn and start thinking about next year.  Here are some types to review before you get started. The regimen right for your situation will vary, according to whether your lawn is composed of a warm season turf grass or a cool season turf grass. Cool-season turf grasses are so called because they thrive in the cool weather usually associated with spring and autumn. Examples are rye grass, the fescues (both "fine" and "tall" kinds), Kentucky blue grass and bent grass.By contrast...
A replacement window is a window that is installed in an existing window opening as replacement of the existing window. Old weather beaten windows deteriorate and become loose and drafty. They need replacement not only to improve the appearance of the house but also to take advantage of modern energy efficient windows that bring about an overall improvement of the ambiance of the house at low recurring cost of heating and cooling.Replacement windows are designed for a variety of installation situations and techniques.In a full-frame installation, trim around the old window (...
Fall is in the air. Even though the drop in temperature is slight here in Atlanta, it's enough to get folks thinking about colder months ahead and toasty fires. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about getting your fireplace ready for the season. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireplaces and chimneys cause more than 25,000 house fires every year, resulting in at least 10 deaths annually. Some of the dangers of fireplace operation include the following:Sparks popping into the room and setting fire to rugs or furnitureCombustible materials...
Not only does a wet basement feel and smell nasty, it poses a great risk to your home’s value. Left unchecked, basement moisture can ruin floors and walls, encourage mold, even damage roofing.Some wet basements are easy to cure simply by cleaning gutters and by diverting water away from the foundation. But if the problem comes from other sources—water flowing toward the house on the surface, seeping in from underground, or backing up through municipal storm drains—you must take more aggressive action. Here are some strategies to keep water out of your basement.If downspouts...
Kitchen and bath facelifts are some of our favorite projects at DogGoneHandy. So many homeowners have dated or worn out kitchens or baths that don't function as well as they could. But with the average cost of a kitchen remodel hovering around $50,000 and up, many of us don't have that in the budget. By changing a few key pieces, we can give you the feeling of a new kitchen or bath without feeling the pain in your wallet.CabinetryWhen doing a facelift, it is important to look at what you have to work with. What can you live with? Maybe the terra cotta floor tiles that were installed by the...

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