Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category
As we are all preparing for the cold by putting away our summer clothes and pulling out our winter clothes, we also need to start preparing our homes for the changing weather. Before it gets too cold, it’s a good idea to do some seasonal maintenance on your home. Performing a few simple maintenance tasks can save you from costly repairs later on. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for fall and winter:
1. Check Roof, Chimney, & Fireplace
Nobody wants a leaky roof when the rain comes. At the very least, make sure to do a visual inspection of your roof from the ground. Look for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and be sure to replace or repair them. If you can, get a better look at the roof by climbing up there and inspect every shingle. Also, if you have a flat roof, remove any debris to prevent blockage of drains and other damage. You should also check your chimney and fireplace to ensure that they are ready to be used. It is best to hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney.
2. Clean Out Gutters
It is very important to clean out the gutters before it starts raining. You can hire a company to do this or do it yourself. Either way, leaves, nests, and any debris needs to be removed. In addition, you should check for leaks in the gutters and repair them.
3. Winterize Irrigation System
Preparing your irrigation system early can save you from disaster later. You should drain and check the system prior to the cold season. If you live in a place that gets snow, be sure to mark your sprinkler heads so snow removal equipment doesn’t run them over. It is also wise to bring any hoses inside so they are protected from the cold.
4. Prepare Landscaping
There are many precautionary steps you can take to protect your landscaping from the winter. First, inspect your trees to ensure that they are healthy for the cold weather. You don’t want any tree limbs to fall on your home, car, or power lines. Also, trim back any bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended in your climate zone. If you have any plants in flower pots, bring them inside to protect them. It is also very important to fertilize your lawn to prevent damage from the cold and weeds in the spring.
5. Bring Seasonal Furniture Inside
If you have any lawn chairs or other seasonal furniture, it is best to bring those things inside your garage or shed. Remove the cushions and wash them, so they are ready to go. And wipe down the furniture and store it in a dry place.
6. Check for Drafts
Looking for drafts in your home can help you stay warm and save energy this cold season. Check all of your doors and windows by feeling for drafts. If you feel any air coming in, you may need to replace the seals or repair caulking. A great way to check for drafts is to hold a lighted candle near the crack and if the flame flickers, there is probably a draft.
7. Winterize Air Conditioning
No matter what kind of air conditioning system you have, you should prepare it for winter. If you have an outdoor unit, it is best to cover it. Covering the unit protects it from the cold and prevents any water from entering the unit. If you have a window unit, bring it inside so that you can close the window for the fall and winter.
8. Prepare & Inspect the Heating System
Prior to firing up your heating system, perform an inspection or hire a professional to do so. Test for leaks, check the heating efficiency and replace the filters. In addition, it is a good idea to check out all of the vents in your home. Make sure all of the vents aren’t blocked by anything and are free of dust.
9. Inspect Home Safety Devices
Be sure to perform an inspection of all of your home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all of the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors and make sure they are working properly. If you do not already have a carbon monoxide device, I would recommend getting one for your home.
Louie’s ACE Home Center Can Help!
Here at Louie’s ACE Home Center, we know how to prepare your home for fall and winter. Come on by to pick up anything you may need to get your home ready or to ask any question you may have. We are happy to help, so contact us!
Although mason jars were originally created as a means to preserve food, these molded glass jars have a wide range of uses. Over the years, the number of different uses has grown exponentially and will continue to grow. Mason jars have been used in every area of the home, for parties, given as gifts, and so much more. Louie’s ACE Home Center has a great selection of mason jars for all of your home decor needs!
1. Canning Produce & Jams
Canning produce and jams are one of the most popular uses for mason jars. From pickles to peaches, you have the ability to can just about anything. Homemade jams are also a great thing to store in mason jars because they are portable, easy to store, and stay fresh longer.
2. Spice Shaker
Make cooking a breeze with a magnetic spice rack comprised of mini mason jars. To re-create this magnetic spice rack, simply attach a magnet to the top of the mason jar, fill with desired spices, and label it. You can either add a stainless steel piece to any wall in your kitchen or place them on any stainless steel appliance.
3. Desk Organizer
Mason jars can serve as a quick fix for desktop clutter. You can have one mason jar for all of your writing utensils or several depending on your level of organization. Not only is this a great way to de-clutter your workspace, but it also adds a decorative touch!
4. Reusable Soap Dispensers
Ditch the plastic soap dispensers and opt for a homemade mason jar dispenser. It’s an environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and simple way to store and use soap. So rather than purchasing a new soap bottle every couple of months, you can buy a large quantity of soap and refill your jar when it’s running low.
5. Bathroom Storage
Add chic, rustic vibes to your bathroom by building your own bathroom storage unit. All you need is a wooden plank, wood stain, a few mason jars, and metal picture hangers. This is a creative way to decorate and store your bathroom necessities!
6. Herb Garden
Similar to the DIY bathroom storage shelf, you can use this same technique to create your own herb garden! All you will need is a mason jar, wooden plank, metal fixtures, soil, and the herbs of your choice. Simply hang the wooden plank up on the wall, attach the mason jars to the wood with the metal fixtures, and plant your herbs!
7. Floral Centerpieces
Whether you are hosting a party, planning a wedding, or just want to spruce up your home, a floral centerpiece is a go-to choice. Using a mason jar, pick or purchase your favorite flowers and you’re good to go!
8. Drinking Glass
Reusable cups and mugs are the newest trend in drinkware. Mason jars are the best option, the removable lid is ideal for hanging out at home or taking on the go.
9. Snacks To Go
Mason jars are a great way to take snacks on the go! There are endless possibilities for these snacks; they are portable, easy to make and quick. A few of these include salads, parfaits, and overnight oats.
10. Bird Feeder
Building a DIY bird feeder can be a fun and affordable activity for anyone. The best part is you only need a few supplies! You’ll need a mason jar, twine, a round chicken feeder, and birdseed. Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary supplies, you can begin to assemble your bird feeder.
11. DIY Snow Globes
With a few simple supplies, you can create a cute decoration or gift! Using a mason jar, glitter, glycerin drops, water, and your favorite figurine, you can make your own DIY snowglobe. This is a great activity for the kids to do during the holidays.
12. Candy Jars
Once you open a bag of candy, it is always difficult to find a container that will keep it fresh. Mason jars are a great solution to this problem! They come in all different sizes to fit a wide variety of candies and seal in the freshness. In addition, these candy jars are great for parties, gifts, centerpieces, and more!
13. Oil Lamps
Oil lamps are a great way to decorate for an outdoor event or simply to spice up your backyard! All you need is a mason jar, lamp oil, and a cotton wick. Simply fill the jar two-thirds of the way with lamp oil, puncture a hole in the lid, and thread the cotton wick through. Let the wick sit for about an hour and then it is ready to light!
14. Holiday Gifts
Hot chocolate, cupcake and s’mores mix are just a few holiday gift ideas. You can place the ingredients inside of a mason jar, attach a label and a bow and bring it to any holiday party or gift exchange. Your friends and family will love it!
15. Decorative Lighting
Why spend up to hundreds of dollars on outdoor or decorative lighting, when you can make it yourself! Whether you want to string lights, candle holders, or table lighting, a mason jar can help bring your vision to life.
Now that you know all of the uses for mason jars, you’re ready to try them out for yourseld. Louie’s Ace Home Center has a great selection of mason jars, so come on by our store to get your own. Contact us today!
Are you bored with your kitchen? Is your kitchen in need of a change? When it comes to refreshing your kitchen, the possibilities are endless! And kitchen cabinets are a great place to start. Depending on your budget, there are many options to refresh your kitchen cabinets. From simply polishing your cabinets to replacing them all together, Louie’s Ace Hardware has tips and supplies to help you along the way.
Option #1 – Simply Clean Your Cabinets
If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money or invest a lot of time, simply cleaning your kitchen cabinets can make a noticeable difference. Removing the dirt and grease that builds up over time and restoring the shine will make your kitchen cabinets look and feel like new.
Contrary to popular belief, kitchen cabinets are actually one of the dirtiest areas in your home. There are few others that are more exposed to grease, dirt, and bacteria than your cabinets. With some of them being at children and pet level, germs can collect quickly. And with food being prepared above them, spills are not uncommon and the food can leave a residue even after wiping it up. Properly cleaning your kitchen cabinets will give them an improved look and keep your family protected from bacteria and disease.
Here at Louie’s Ace Home Center, we offer two great cleaning products for your kitchen cabinets: Magic’s Cabinet & Wood Cleaner & Polish Spray and Murphy’s Oil Soap.
Magic’s cleaner works to get dirt, dust, food stains, grease, and water marks off your cabinets. After removing the unwanted stains and dirt, your cabinets are left with a protective coating to resist more stains. Magic’s is recommended for all wood surfaces and can be used on painted and laminate cabinets and cabinets with a lacquer finish.
Murphy’s Original oil soap works great on wooden cabinets, floors, and furniture.
Option #2 – The New Trend: Painted Cabinets
Over the past several years, painted cabinets have become extremely popular. This new trend gained its popularity because it is modern, simple, and low cost. When painting your cabinets, there is a set of steps that can be followed to ensure the best results.
- Preparation → The first step is to remove all of the cabinets. A useful tip would be to label your cabinet doors and the inside of the cabinet. That way when the job is done, you know exactly where each door should go!
- Clean, Clean, Clean → After you’ve removed your cabinet doors, you’ll want to thoroughly clean them with a degreaser. This ensures that the paint will go on smoothly and create a longer lasting finish.
- Sand Them Down → Once the cabinets have been cleaned, you’ll want to sand off the existing paint. By sanding down your cabinets, it allows the primer and the paint to stick to the cabinet, giving you a cleaner result!
- Tape Off The Area → Using scotch tape, tape off the area that you will be painting around to avoid getting paint anywhere outside of the desired area.
- Prime → The most important step in painting your cabinets is to prime them. It is recommended to apply not just one, but two coats of an oil-based primer to your cabinets for the best results.
- Paint → The time is finally here. You can begin painting your cabinets. Louie’s Home Center sells a wide variety of Valspar Optimus Paint & Primer Interior Semi-Gloss Paint for all of your home refurbishing needs.
Once the paint has dried, you can re-attach your cabinet doors and enjoy your beautiful, new kitchen cabinets!
Option #3 – Add New Knobs & Pulls to Create a New Look
Looking for a cheap and easy way to change up your kitchen? Simply add new knobs and pulls to your kitchen cabinets and notice the difference. I know this trick almost sounds too good to be true, but it really works!
Cabinets are a significant part of homes because they take up so much space. If they are plain, they can make the whole room feel dull. Kitchen cabinets are no exception to this, as cabinets usually take up the majority of the space. People usually think to change the lighting or the cabinet color or appliances, but the simple fix is usually forgotten. Because knobs and pulls are a small, inexpensive part of your kitchen, they are often overlooked.
If you take advantage of this minor change, you won’t regret it. Stop by Louie’s Ace Hardware to check out our selection of knobs and pulls and thank us later. Once the new accessories are installed, your kitchen will be given a whole new look.
Option #4 – Completely Replace Cabinets
Out with the old and in with the new. Sometimes, the best way to go when it comes to your old kitchen cabinets, is to simply replace them. Although painting them or changing the hardware will make a significant difference, replacing them might be necessary. You can change the color and knobs, but you can’t change the cut of the wood, the size, or the design.
If you are looking to completely replace your current kitchen cabinets, Louie’s Ace Hardware can help! We carry products of the leading cabinet manufacturer for over 50 years, Wellborn Cabinets. Wellborn offers a wide variety of options to choose from with 6 individual product lines. We provide their products because Wellborn has high quality, durable cabinets.
Whatever you decide to do, Louie’s Ace Hardware wants to help! We have the best cleaning materials and paints, a wide variety of knobs and pulls, and the highest quality cabinets to choose from. If you have any questions about the products we sell, please contact us!
After the summer fun is done and the last camping day of fall has passed, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your RV. Winterizing your RV may seem like a daunting task. But at Louie’s Ace Home Center, we have everything you need to get the job done. If you are staying in your RV, you are going to want to keep your water lines functional. Be sure to wrap your lines with foil and open your faucets slightly if you are planning to stay in the RV. If you are storing it, follow these simple steps to winterize your RV.
- Mind the water lines: You will need to drain and dry your water lines before storage. How do you do this? First, open the “petcock” and allow everything to drain except the water heater. What’s the petcock? The petcock is a small valve used for draining. It’s usually located by the water tank.
- Drain the holding tanks and open the faucets: Flush both tanks simultaneously. Some RVs come with a built-in tank system. If yours doesn’t, clean your tanks with a wand. Take the refuse to a dump station. Toilet, shower, sinks, open them all to winterize your RV. Flush the toilet until you are sure all the water has emptied out.
- Blow out the lines and seal them up: Purchase a compressed air adapter or blowout plug. Attach it to the water intake fitting and use a standard air compressor (like the ones you use to inflate the tires on your car) to blow out your water lines. This gets rid of excess water and prevents the dilution of your anti-freeze. Do this at a maximum of 50 psi. Replace your caps, close the faucets, and close the petcock. As a reminder, the petcock is the valve you opened to drain your water in the first place.
- Detach the compressor and add anti-freeze to your lines: Make sure to detach the air compressor. This is an important step! You can add pink RV antifreeze from the inside with a hand pump from outside. You can also choose whether or not you want to use a bypass (note: bypasses require more anti-freeze). Do not drain the water heater before you have added your anti-freeze. You will use 2 to 3 gallons of anti-freeze. If you can’t bypass your water heater, you will need 6 to 10 gallons. After the anti-freeze is in, turn on your fresh water pump and let it run. This video demonstrates this process thoroughly.
- Turn on your faucets: Turn on the faucets and test the systems until they run pink. That’s how you know the anti-freeze has filled up your lines.
- Don’t forget about other appliances or to re-connect your lines: Toilets, washing machines, icemakers, and showers need anti-freeze too. Make sure they have anti-freeze to winterize an RV. You will drain your water heater last. Take it out of the anti-freeze jug and reconnect it to the fresh water tank.
To fully winterize your RV, be sure to remove any perishables, laundry, trash, and valuable items. Fix anything that is broken as it will make it easier to use the RV when its time. Cover all your vents and holes so pests don’t see your winterized RV as a place to get warm. Cover your RV with an RV cover, and don’t forget your tires, too. Some people lift their RVs to take the pressure off the tires as well.
We hope these tips help winterize your RV. Visit Louie’s Ace Home Center for all of your RV supplies. Have a great winter!
Spring has definitely sprung, and for those of you who are desperate to get out into the garden and get started, here are some top tips to help you make the most of the longer days and prepare a garden to be proud of all year round.
Have a Tidy Up
It doesn’t matter if you’re a green-fingered expert or a complete beginner, all gardens need a thorough tidying up after the winter. Mulch your borders with compost or manure and stop any young weeds in their tracks. All your hard work will pay off when it’s time to sow seeds and start the most fun part of gardening- planting!
Plant Trees and Shrubs
Definitely most people’s favorite part of gardening! After all, that hard work tidying up and removing unwanted plants, it’s time to get planting. If you didn’t manage to plant trees and shrubs during the fall, the ground should now be free from frost and therefore soft enough for you to get planting now. That way, your new plants will be fully established by the time winter hits again.
Pack Down Exposed Roots
Ground frost can cause roots to lift out of the ground during cold weather. It’s important to pack them back down again during spring. This will give your plants a fighting chance of survival!
Collect Fallen Leaves
If you have any deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves in winter), make your own leaf mold by putting the fallen leaves in trash bags with a little water. Tie the tops of the bags and make a few small aeration holes in the side before storing them in a sheltered part of your garden. By summer, you’ll have nutritious leaf mold ready to pamper your plants with. It can be added to soil and pot plants and actually reduces the need for watering: no bad thing here in the desert!
Sow Summer Plants
Sow summer bedding plants indoors in early spring. They can then be moved outdoors in late spring/early summer, once the weather warms up and there’s little chance of frost damage.
Plant Veggie Crops
If you planted vegetables last year, remove any old crops completely before sowing new seeds. Prepare seedbeds and fertilize your soil ready for this year’s crops, then look forward to all those delicious homegrown dinners! We hope this post has inspired you to get out in the garden and get busy. At Louie’s ACE Home Center, we have everything you need to fully embrace the joys of spring gardening, so pay us a visit today!
As the colder months are approaching, so are hefty energy bills if the proper preparations are not taken. Winterization is a key step in ensuring your home stays nice and cozy without spending a pretty penny.
We’ve compiled a handy checklist of easy ways to reduce your energy bill this winter, and ensure your home is winterized and ready to withstand dropping temperatures.
Weatherstripping and Draft Guards
Your doors and windows are major culprits of letting cold air into your home if they aren’t properly sealed. It is important that these areas are properly insulated, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that drafts in your home waste 5% to 30% of energy. Weatherstripping is great for drafty windows and can be easily applied and measured to fit any window. Draft guards can either be purchased or made yourself, and are adjustable depending on the width of your door, and its clearance from the ground.
Believe it or not, ceiling fans are designed to go in two different rotations, one is for hotter weather, the other for the cold. Make sure your ceiling fan is going clockwise during the winter months. This ensures warmer air is being pushed downward towards the center of the room and the walls, pushing cold air upwards.
Much like draft guards and weatherstripping, caulk can help you close up cracks that are letting a draft into your home. Use caulk to fill cracks or holes in non-movable components in your home like cracks in siding, or along windows that cannot be opened. Cracks can be often overlooked as a cause of drafts and cold temperatures within the home, and when filled can make a noticeable difference, but this is a winterization tip you shouldn’t skip out on.
Replacing the filters in your home will help to make your central air and heating system work a little less. When filters are clogged, it requires a lot more energy to push out your desired heat levels. An added benefit; you’ll be breathing much healthier air with a brand new filter as well.
Believe it or not, the glass on your windows themselves can be letting cold air through. If you’re looking to save extra money on energy costs, or you’ve taken other winterization measures and they’re still not helping, it may be worth it to consider window insulation. There are many kits containing film that you can easily place over the glass surface of your windows that are designed to help insulate. If you’re not concerned with the appearance, bubble wrap also works well and provides extra insulation these film kits do not provide.
Outdoor Faucet Covers
A crucial step in ensuring your pipes don’t freeze, and subsequently burst, outdoor faucet covers are one of the most important winterization steps. It’s first important that you drain these faucets and detach any hoses or other attachments. Afterward, attach a faucet cover and you’re set for the rest of the winter!