4 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter

by Gail Brumfield

Winter Leaves

The days are shorter, the leaves are falling, the weather is colder, and your ideal Saturday night plans have suddenly become curling up by the fire with a mug of tea and a good book. Winter is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather, so you’re not surprised by problems when all you want to do is relax at home.

  1. Check for Cold Air Leaks and Install Weather Stripping

Start by checking your doors and windows for any cracks that may be letting in cold air. One way to test this is by holding a lit candle up to the door or window frame and seeing if it flickers at any point around the edge. If it does, that means cold air is making its way into your house, and you’ll need to invest in some good weather stripping to seal any cracks. You should also consider attaching door sweeps to your doors. Door sweeps are flexible pieces of rubber or plastic that are held to the bottom of your door with a strip of aluminum and prevent cold air from coming inside.

  1. Get Your Heating System Checked by a Professional Heating Company Robertson Electrical Heating Repairs

There’s nothing worse than having your heating system break during winter. Most people wait to call in a professional heating company until their system breaks down completely, and by that point, you’ll be last in line for service during the busiest time of the year for heating companies. The best thing to do to prevent this frustrating situation is to call in a professional heating company before the weather gets cold so they can check your system and perform any necessary maintenance. A heating company like Robertson Electric can perform a quick routine check that could save you a ton of money and inconvenience down the road. They’ll perform any and all necessary maintenance, so you can go into winter confident that you’ll be able to stay warm all season.

  1. Check & Clean Out Your Gutters

Clogged or malfunctioning gutters might not seem like a big deal, but they can cause a huge amount of property damaged if left unchecked. Clogged gutters attract pests and can cause water to back up and damage your roofing, siding, and more. Get your gutters cleaned by a professional – or do it yourself if you can do so safely – before winter sets in. Check that your downspouts are properly fastened and extend away from your house by at least five feet. This will help prevent flooding and water damage to your home due to snow melt.

  1. Prep Your Fireplace 

If you’re lucky enough to have a working fireplace in your home, it’s crucial that you get it regularly checked, cleaned, and maintained to ensure proper functionality and safety. It’s best to do so before it gets cold, so you’re not tempted to use your fireplace without knowing if it’s safe. Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney and check that your flue is working. It’s also a good idea to make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are working properly in case of emergency.

Stairs In A Day

by Gail Brumfield

Stair Remodeling on a Budget

When you come home at the end of a long day, you want everything in your home to look and feel beautiful and inviting. Stairs have a surprisingly significant effect on the overall look of your home. Carpeted stairs are still extremely common in homes that were built in the past several decades, but recently, they have quickly fallen from popularity. Carpeted stairs and stairs with damage or excessive wear can make your entire home look outdated and drab. If you’re looking to replace your stairs on a tight budget, NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond is the perfect option for you.

Handyman Matters of Richmond offers a range of expert handyman services and can complete an entire stair remodeling project in just one day. That means minimal inconvenience for you and your family and a home that looks dramatically transformed in a single day. They’re able to accomplish this because of the amazing innovation of NuStairs. NuStairs are American-made, expertly crafted stairs that can fit right over your previously carpeted stairs. Whether you’re remodeling your stairs, restoring damaged stairs, finishing a basement, or building a brand-new staircase, Handyman Matters of Richmond can take care of everything from start to finish.

remodeled stairs

Instead of ripping out your stairs and building new ones from scratch – a project which could take weeks and a big chunk of change to complete – Handyman Matters of Richmond will leave you with a perfectly installed, beautiful hardwood staircase in just one day. NuStairs come in a range of different finishes, so you’ll be guaranteed to find something that matches your home’s existing décor. And, since they can be installed over your existing stairs, you can feel good about choosing a greener option and keeping waste out of your local landfill.

Handyman Matters of Richmond is proud to employ true craftsmen who take pride in completing every job to the highest standard. Their passion is to help improve their customers’ daily lives by giving them more beautiful, functional homes at a great price. For stair remodeling on a budget, there’s no better option than NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond. Their handyman services take the hassle out of home repairs, improvements, and remodeling, and leave you with gorgeous new stairs in just one day.

5 Benefits of Window Tint

by Gail Brumfield

It’s no secret that window tint makes any vehicle look a little more stylish and high-end, but what you might not know is that window tint also comes with a range of other benefits that can affect your wallet, your safety, and even your health.


Window tint that’s properly applied by a professional window tinting company can actually keep you safer in the event of an accident. When glass shatters during a car crash, the glass shards become airborne and can cause serious injury to anyone who’s in the car. Window tint holds glass together even when broken and prevents glass shards from becoming airborne.

Tinted windows can also help prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Accidents are caused by blinding glare from the sun and oncoming headlights every day. Window tint significantly reduces that glare, so you’ll be able to maintain full visibility at all times while you’re on the road. In addition to these benefits, window tint is also a surprisingly effective theft deterrent. People looking to steal from cars or homes will likely check out their target before committing the crime to make sure it’s worth the risk. If they see valuables like cash, laptops, or cell phone in plain sight, they’re more likely to go through with the theft. If they can’t see if there are valuables in the car, they will probably move on to another target that offers a guaranteed payday.


Window tint is specifically designed to block UV rays. UV rays are what causes sunburns and ultimately skin cancer. If you’re someone who commutes to work or spends a lot of time in the car, window tint is a must. With un-tinted windows, you can easily get sunburned even if you keep your windows rolled up at all times, and each sunburn increases your chances of getting skin cancer. Window tint will greatly reduce the amount of UV rays your skin is absorbing and keep you safe from the harmful rays of the sun.


Investing in window tint will actually end up saving you money in the long run. Window tint on your home, office, or vehicle’s windows can reduce the heat entering through your windows by over 60%. That means that you won’t need to blast the AC as often or for as long during the hot summer months. This will save on energy costs and gas mileage, and it means that you won’t have to replace your AC unit or AC system as often.

If all these benefits have convinced you to look for a window tinting company, consider checking out Solar Concepts. Solar Concepts provides the highest quality window tinting services available. They offer all kinds of window treatment and window sun solutions for residential and commercial clients as well as for all sorts of vehicles. Their years of experience in the industry give them the knowledge and expertise to perform each and every job to the highest industry standard.

Where to Go for Carpet Cleaning in Manhattan Beach, CA

by Gail Brumfield

There are a lot of carpet cleaning services to choose from in Manhattan Beach, CA. If it’s your first time hiring a professional carpet cleaning service, it can be confusing to know what option is best for you and your home. Some major things to look into are dry time, cleaning products, cleaning method, and any other special concerns like allergen or bacteria removal.

You’re probably most familiar with the steam cleaning method. Steam cleaning has been around for years, and it used to be one of the only carpet cleaning options available to consumers. However, there are a few significant disadvantages to steam cleaning your carpets. The major downside of steam cleaning is the long dry time. Because steam cleaning services spray so much water into your carpets, it could take up to two full days for them to dry out completely. That means you’ll have to avoid all the rooms in your home with steam cleaned carpet for days after cleaning, which can be a pretty major inconvenience.

When carpets are left soaking wet for days, it also means that mold and mildew have a better chance of growing underneath your carpets. Mold and mildew growth can cause permanent damage to your floors, and they can release harmful spores into the air that you and your family breathe every day. Plus, using so much excess water to clean your carpets isn’t particularly environmentally friendly.

The next major disadvantage of steam cleaning is the cleaning solutions these services tend to use. Most carpet cleaning services will rely on cleaning products full of soap, detergent, and harsh chemicals to get your carpets clean. Many people simply don’t want harsh cleaning products used in their home, especially if they have kids and pets running around. These kinds of cleaning products also tend to leave a sticky residue on your carpets that lasts for days and can actually attract more dirt and dust to your carpet’s surface after cleaning.

Luckily, there’s a better option for carpet cleaning in Manhattan Beach, CA. Instead of the steam cleaning method, Curtice Chem-Dry uses a proprietary carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE), which works better than steam cleaning and sidesteps all of its major disadvantages. HCE is a low-water cleaning method that’s kinder to the environment and uses 80% less water than typical steam cleaning services. That means that your carpets will be able to dry in just two hours, not two days. With Curtice Chem-Dry’s ultra-fast dry time, mold and mildew don’t stand a chance.

Curtice Chem-Dry is the best Manhattan Beach carpet cleaning service around because their process is specifically designed to clean for your health. A study conducted by a leading independent laboratory found that HCE removes an average of 98% of common household allergens like pet dander and dust mites from carpets and upholstery. HCE was also found to remove an average of 82% of bacteria from carpets and 89% of airborne bacteria from the home when a sanitizer is added to the process. Curtice Chem-Dry doesn’t use any harsh chemical cleaners to get your carpets deeply clean. Instead, they use an all-natural, green-certified, non-toxic cleaning solution that gives your carpets a deep clean that lasts longer without using any soap, detergent, enzymes or harsh chemicals. Curtice Chem-Dry is proud to offer Manhattan Beach, CA, a better carpet cleaning option that leaves you with an overall healthier home.

How to Choose the Right Fencing for Your Yard

by Gail Brumfield

When you start the process of choosing fencing for your yard, you’ll quickly find out there’s a lot more to consider than you originally thought. You have to think about what kind of fence you want and need, what fencing company to go to, the cost of fencing installation, and so much more. These tips will help make the entire process a little easier.

Think seriously about cost

Take a look at your finances and create a realistic budget for your fencing project. Fencing costs can vary widely, with the average cost of a new fence typically falling somewhere between $2,000 and $8,000. Do some research to find out about how much the kind of fence you want will cost and be sure to pad your budget for installation fees. Also, don’t forget that your fence will likely need at least a little maintenance over the years. Different fencing materials require different amounts of maintenance, so if that’s a concern for you, go with something that won’t require a lot of upkeep.

Decide what you need out of your fence

Are you looking for a fence that will give you complete privacy? Something to make it safer for your kids and pets to run around the yard? Or do you simply want to increase the curb appeal of your home? Your needs and wants will dictate what kind of fence you should purchase. If privacy is your main concern, you’re going to want something tall and with little to no space between slats. If you want to make sure pets don’t escape, you’ll need something that they can’t dig underneath or jump over. If you’re simply trying to increase your home’s curb appeal, aesthetics will determine your decision.

Choose the right material

Wood, vinyl, and aluminum are among the most common materials used to make residential fences. They each have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s all about striking a balance between what you need and what you can compromise on. Wood can be a good material for privacy fences because wood fences can be built with no room between the slats. However, wood does typically require a little more maintenance than other fencing materials. Aluminum fencing is another popular choice and can give a classic look to your yard. Vinyl fencing is a great choice if you’re looking for something highly durable and weather resistant. Vinyl fencing won’t rot in wet or humid climates, and it’s cost-efficient and requires very little maintenance. Plus, vinyl fencing installation is generally quick and easy, so you’ll save money on labor costs.

If you’re looking for fencing in Chesterfield, VA, Fencing Unlimited offers expert commercial and residential fencing installation services. They’ve provided customers in Central Virginia with high-quality fences built above industry standards for over 40 years. Fencing Unlimited is a fencing company that values professionalism, attention to detail, and excellent customer service. They offer all kinds of fencing, including wood, chain link, aluminum, and vinyl fencing. Their team of experts will talk you through the entire process and help you choose the style, material, height, and type of fence that’s right for you. They’ll even help you determine the best layout and gate placement. Fencing Unlimited has been a trusted fence company in Richmond, VA, for decades, and they’ll make sure you’re satisfied with the end results.

Deep Clean Your Home for Fall

by Gail Brumfield

Autumn is the perfect time to invest in deep cleaning your home. You can get everything looking spotless before the craziness of the holiday season sets in, allowing you to head into the last few months of the year with a clean home and an uncluttered mind. However, when you start thinking about giving your home a deep cleaning, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to put it off for another time. Start with these three things, and you’ll be well on your way to a clean, healthy home.

Carpet Cleaning

Why not tackle the biggest job first? Carpets trap a ton of dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria in their fibers, which can make them look dull and dingy over time. Plus, if carpets aren’t cleaned regularly, they’ll stop being able to trap these contaminants, and they’ll be left to freely circulate throughout your home. Call in a professional carpet cleaning service that has high ratings and all the special features you want, and your carpets will be looking fresh and new in no time.

Upholstery Cleaning

Just like your carpets, your upholstered fabrics and furniture are constantly working to trap contaminants in their fibers that would otherwise be moving throughout your home’s air and being inhaled by you and your family. Furniture is meant to be used, and it’s only natural that it will collect stains, dirt, and dust over time, particularly in homes with pets and kids. Getting your upholstery professionally cleaned will make a world of difference. You might not even have noticed how dull your furniture has become until you see it looking clean and spotless after cleaning.

Stone and Tile Cleaning

It’s all too easy to ignore stone and tile cleaning in your home. After all, they’re not soft surfaces like carpets and upholstery, so how much dirt and bacteria could they really collect? Unfortunately, stone and tile floors get dirtier than you might think. Bacteria gets trapped in the porous surface of stone, tile, and grout, and can grow and spread unbeknownst to you, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Upholstery, Stone, Tile, Grout, and Carpet Cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida

Chem-Dry of Jacksonville offers professional upholstery, stone, tile, grout, and carpet cleaning in Jacksonville, FL. Chem-Dry uses a unique low-water cleaning method that allows soft surfaces to dry in a fraction of the time of steam cleaning. Their cleaning method has been shown to get rid of an average of 98% of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery. Their pledge is to leave homes in Jacksonville spotless and to give carpets, upholstery, and floors a deep clean that lasts. If you’re looking to get your home clean this fall, call Chem-Dry of Jacksonville, and their cleaning experts will take care of everything for you.

Choosing the Right Siding for Your Home

by Gail Brumfield

When it comes to choosing siding for your home, there’s a lot more to consider than you might think. First, you have to choose siding made of high-quality material that will last a long time. Once you choose the material you want, you have to pick a brand that has great reviews and a great reputation. Then, you have to make sure you’re working with a trustworthy company that will install your new siding flawlessly. What may have seemed like a fairly simple project quickly turns into a confusing headache, but with these tips, you’ll be sure to choose siding you’ll love.

Types of House Siding

The first thing to think about is what material you’re going to choose. If you didn’t want to spend a ton of money on expensive materials like brick and stone, there used to be only two main choices for siding: wood and vinyl.

The use of wood-based siding is declining in the United States, mostly due to the fact that it’s not particularly durable or long-lasting. Wood-based siding can rot when exposed to excessive moisture, causing your home to look worn down and neglected. Moisture can also cause wood-based siding to shrink and swell as the humidity goes up and down, which will then make your paint to crack and flake off. Because so many pests are attracted to organic material like wood, wood-based siding will attract more pests to your property than other materials.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is still an extremely common option because it’s affordable, easy to install, and usually requires little maintenance over time. However, vinyl siding does have its disadvantages. Vinyl melts and burns when exposed to extreme heat or flame, and in cold weather, it becomes extremely brittle and is more likely to be damaged by hail or debris from winter storms. Plus, you won’t be able to change the color of your vinyl siding after it’s installed. If your vinyl siding ever needs repairs, you’ll have to make sure the new material matches perfectly, which is made even more difficult by the fact that vinyl siding fades extremely quickly.

James Hardie® Siding

Blue Ridge Exteriors wanted to offer a better option for house siding in Richmond, VA, which is why they carry James Hardie® siding. It’s flame-resistant and non-combustible, so you won’t have to worry about your siding melting or burning due to exposure to extreme heat. James Hardie® siding can be painted any color you want, and it resists shrinking and swelling, so the paint stays looking new and fresh longer. James Hardie® siding from Blue Ridge Exteriors is weather resistant and won’t attract pests to your property like wood-based siding will. If you’re looking for long-lasting, durable, beautiful house siding in Richmond, VA, Blue Ridge Exteriors will work with you to help you choose the perfect siding for your home.

How I Keep An (Almost) Spotless Carpet

by Gail Brumfield

I’ve always been comfortable with the idea of spilling things on the carpet. Spills, I think, are part of a life well-lived with kids and get-togethers with friends and family. But while I’m comfortable with spills, I’m a lot less comfortable with the idea of a stained carpet. So, I’m always ready to deal with stains as soon as they happen. Despite the occasional spill, my carpets look (almost) spotless. Here’s how:

First of all, I don’t wait to take care of spills. If I have guests over for a party, I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to attend to the spill right away. My plain white paper towels are always ready to come to the rescue. And so is my trusty carpet cleaner. I’ve been using the same type for years, and I know that it won’t discolor my carpet. Before you use any carpet stain remover on your carpet, be sure to test it first.

Given the number of spills I’ve picked up, I’d say my technique is spot-on. (Pun intended.) I work outwards in. I blot gently, so as not to push the spill deeper down into the carpet. In fact, I try to keep the liquid on top of the carpet as much as possible.

My carpet cleaning solution doesn’t always work. While it’s great for most liquids (and yes, dog accidents), it’s not the most effective cleaner for dry or especially greasy spills. In these cases, I’ll use warm water with a little dish soap. Most of the time that works well.

That said, you should probably have a professional cleaner in your rolodex that you trust to handle any spills that you can’t remove. I prefer my local Chem-Dry. I’ll call them the same day the spill occurs to arrange for a stain removal; attending to stains before they set is one of the most important things anyone can do to make sure that they can be completely removed.

Here’s another trick: Have your local professional cleaner refresh your carpet stain protection. Over time, your carpet’s factory-applied stain protection will wear off. Any spill will soak in more quickly and will be harder to remove. My local Chem-Dry applied a new coat of stain protection to my carpet, and it helps. Liquids don’t soak in as quickly, and you’re able to blot more liquid away with your towel.

Enjoying Your House For Years

by Gail Brumfield

Did you just move in to your “forever home” or know a loved one that did? Perhaps you are still finishing renovations, but it will be completed in a few years. However, as humans we keep aging. Why do most people leave their beautifully renovated homes to stay at a nursing home? There is a solution to age peacefully at the comfort of your own home. That is with in-home caregivers. From specialty nurses, to trained individuals there is someone out there available to come help you or a loved one.

Depending on what obstacles or health issues you may come across, senior care agencies can provide someone to assist. For example, Seniors Helping Seniors is a franchise that offers senior in-home care by seniors! It provides a comforting feel knowing that an elder person has a companion, and the caregiver can understand more closely what they are going through. Not only is it beneficial for the senior, but also for the caregiver to be helping their community and helping them accomplish their day to day activities.

Some of the services that Seniors Helping Seniors provides is, light housekeeping, cooking and shopping, pet care, medication reminders, escort to appointments and events, and running errands. For more severe patients, they also cover Dementia and Alzheimer’s care, overnight stays and 24 hour care, and respite care. Lastly, this location provides personal care and help with daily living activities including dressing, eating, bathing, etc.

Regardless of the degree of help needed, it is a wonderful thing to consider calling a senior care agency so you can forever enjoy your home. Having the comfort of your hard work, renovations, own bed, etc. is always a perk when trying to balance the difficulties of aging. You can continue taking care of your garden, or sit on your favorite chair while you enjoy a good book. Don’t forget about your beloved pets who can’t come to a nursing home with you. Having an at-home senior caregiver allows you to keep your fur friend as your companion.

Decorating Your Home Windows

by Gail Brumfield

Congratulations on being a home owner! You may know how expensive owning a house can be. Whether you were able to get replacement windows mentioned in a previous blog post, or not.. your windows may look a little bare without blinds or shades. Luckily, there are companies, like Mann Kidwell, out there that are specifically designed to help decorate your home and provide the best solutions for each individual room you have. Depending on the amount of sunlight that comes in those windows, you may need a lighter or heavier shade to enjoy that space.

Here are a few of their products and services that may be beneficial to the next step in your house project to-do list. Your local window treatment dealer should be able to provide the similar help when it comes to costs and products available.


Plantation Shutters

Wood Blinds

Hunter Douglas Window Treatments

Horizons Natural Shades

Solar Shades

Porch and Roller Shades

Drapery and Soft Treatments


In-Home & After Hours Consultations

Repair Service & In-Home Repair

Ultra Sonic Cleaning

Take Down & Rehang Service


Ship Direct

No matter what type of window treatment you are looking for, or the degree of help you need with choosing and installing, companies will be willing to help you. Fortunately, most of these companies provide free estimates as well, so you can see what it takes to hire them vs. installing them yourself. Some people may be able to sew their own valances or curtains, but no one can DIY solar shades and benefit from these specially designed window treatments that places like Mann Kidwell offer.