Posts Tagged ‘preparing for seasons’
When it comes to taking on new DIY projects, timing is everything. It can make the difference between your project being a success or a total flop. For example, you wouldn’t want to start renovating your landscaping if there was snow on the ground because it would cause too many problems. Like this scenario, you could be faced with many issues by choosing to tackle a DIY project at the wrong time. So, take a look below to see when the best time of the year is to start your next DIY job.
Interior DIY Projects
The time in which you take on interior projects isn’t as dependent on weather inclemencies since your home shields you from the outdoors. However, weather can still affect interior projects in a variety of ways. For instance, tools or materials may cost less at a certain time of the year, and temperature often impacts the overall outcome of certain projects as well. So, take a look below at a few interior projects and suggestions for the best time to get them done.
Interior Painting: Fall/Early Winter
Interior painting can really be done at any time, but the fall and early winter are the best times to refresh your home’s old indoor paint. Colder temperatures could help to cure your paint more quickly, but be weary of drastically low temperatures as they can affect the quality of the paint and prevent proper drying. Also, if you do decide you need some assistance, painting professionals are usually slower in the colder months and may even offer special deals during this time.
New Flooring: Spring
When it comes to installing new flooring in your home, the spring is the best time to have it done. That’s because hardwood floors don’t react well to hot and humid climates. These types of environments can cause the wood finish to cure too quickly which results in the sheen drying improperly. Instead, try installing floors when it’s a bit cooler out.
Kitchen Updates: Summer
Kitchen updates such as painting, installing new cabinets, or redoing the countertops are best done in the summer months, but this may depend on your specific lifestyle. Because most people utilize their kitchens frequently during the holidays, winter isn’t a good time to start a major kitchen renovation. However, summer may be a good time to do this because you’re able to grill food outside and typically aren’t limited to only being indoors.
Exterior DIY Projects
Exterior DIY projects need to be done during optimal weather conditions. If it’s snowing, raining, or freezing outside, your project will likely be ruined by the poor weather. In order to prevent an avoidable disaster, try to plan exterior projects around your climate. So, take a look below to see when is the best time to take on various exterior projects.
Deck: Early Winter
In order to have your deck finished in time to use it for the spring season, you should start building it by early winter. Fortunately, if you do need some assistance, contractors are less busy during this time of the year and you may be able to save money on materials such as wood. Because it’s generally pretty cold and wet during the winter months, most people don’t enjoy being outside too much, so you also won’t be disrupting any outdoor events you may have planned. And, believe it or not, the cold, cloudy weather you typically experience in early winter is perfect for helping pressure-treated wood dry and reduces the risk of warping or splitting.
You want to refresh your yard right before it gets too warm out. So, the best time to start a landscaping project where you plant shrubs, trees, plants, or grass, is in the spring. This will give your plants the best chance to grow and acclimate to their new environment.
Exterior Painting: Summer
Exterior paint is best applied in the summer months. The type of paint used for the exterior of homes perform better when there is less temperature changes between night and day. This will allow for proper drying to occur and results in a better appearance.
Get Prepared for Your DIY Project with Louie’s Home Center
At Louie’s Home Center, our expert staff members can easily help you find the right tools and hardware needed to complete your project. Here, we’ll use our knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction and get you through your project at each phase. Whether you’re looking for the best hammer or the best power tool, our team is here to help. Connect with us today or shop our products to learn more!
While it’s too cold to actually start gardening in winter, this is the perfect time to start planning for your spring garden. And of course you could simply buy seeds, soil, and other gardening tools right before you decide it’s time to plant. However, planning for your spring garden in the winter will help you create the best garden you’ve ever had. You’ll be better prepared, better equipped, and more confident in your gardening abilities. So, check out some of these helpful tips for planning your spring garden in the middle of winter.
During Winter, Start Preparing for Your Spring Garden
To get the most beautiful garden, you should start preparing yourself and your yard during the winter months. Start by assessing the weather you’ve had this past winter. Was it colder than normal? Did it snow more than it typically does in your area? Is it more mild than usual? All of these things may affect the longevity of your plants life and should be dealt with before you start gardening. If it’s especially cold this winter, you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your plants from freezing temperatures.
Also be sure to assess the area you intend to plant your garden. Look for any damage to your yard that may need to be fixed before you start digging your gardening tools into the ground.
Order Seed Catalogs and Get Your Gardening Tools
Gathering all of your materials, such as seed catalogs and gardening tools, will help get you excited about your future garden. Since it’s still too cold out to begin planting right away, having the tools you need before hand are a good way to start the process. Also keep in mind that seed catalogs provide a great advantage to gardeners. Using seed catalogs to find the plants you’ll use in your garden will usually ensure that you’re getting high-quality seeds. And don’t forget to stop by Louie’s ACE Home Center for all of your gardening tools! We have a great selection to choose from and our friendly staff is always happy to help our customers find the right tools for their projects.
Consider Using Cold Frames
Cold frames are very popular in areas, such as Reno, that experience severe cold weather. They’re transparent-roofed enclosures that are built low to the ground and help protect plants from excessive cold or wet weather. The transparent roof allows sunlight to enter while also effectively trapping in heat. The roofs can be taken on and off and are perfect for controlling temperatures and climate that your plant will have to endure. Essentially cold frames help the gardener extend their growing season.
Perform a Seed Germination Test
A seed germination test will help you determine if the seeds you’re using for your garden will produce thriving, beautiful flowers and plants or not. To do this, start by taking a few seeds from the package and planting them in small pots. Next, place those pots in conditions that will most likely make your seeds germinate. Lastly, watch them as they grow to determine whether or not they grow healthy sprouts.
Check Your Grow Zone and Pick Your Plants
After all of the prep-work you’ve completed, you’re finally ready to start planning your garden and picking out your plants! This is easily the most fun part of the preparation process and will help to bring your garden to life – literally. Be sure to check the grow zone of the area you live in. This will help you determine which plants will do better in the type of living condition they’ll be in. This tool will help your garden thrive, and prevents you from having to buy more seeds and other gardening materials later on.
Connect with Louie’s Home Center to Get Your Gardening Tools!
At Louie’s Home Center, we have a wide variety of gardening tools available. From soil and fertilizer, to shovels and rakes, we have just about everything you need to get the garden of your dreams. Our knowledgeable staff is always willing to guide you in the right direction when you come into visit. Connect with us today!
With winter upon us, our homes are much colder and our electricity bills are skyrocketing. Turning up the heater is the first thing we do as soon as we feel the cold, but there are other alternatives. If you invest in the appropriate window coverings, you won’t have to run the heater as often and will save a bunch of money. Although, purchasing blinds can require a large upfront payment, you are making an investment in your home and it will pay off.
Does It Really Work?
Of course it does! Windows are the greatest source of cold into and warmth out of your house. It has been said that windows account for 40% of heat loss in homes. You spend all this money on a heater, just to lose almost half of it to the outside. Installing blinds wouldn’t allow this loss to occur. If you are able to trap a layer of air in between blinds and the window, the heat won’t be able to escape and cold won’t be able to enter.
How to Make the Most of Your Blinds
Making the most of the newest addition to your home is actually quite simple. The best way to control the temperature in your home without touching the thermostat is to time the opening and closing of your blinds. During the day, you are going to want to open the blinds to let in all the sunlight and warmth. However, when dusk falls, close the blinds to keep the natural heat inside and the cold out.
The Right Window Coverings For You
Because every home and customer is different, there is not a one-size-fits-all window covering. The perfect window covering for you depends on the style you are looking for, the size of your windows, and the cold protection you desire. Louie’s Ace Hardware offers a wide variety of mini-blinds and basic rollers to fit any need. In addition, at Louie’s, you are able to special order products from Hunter Douglas. Whatever your style, we have you covered!
For other home projects, we also offer ACE hardware rentals if needed. Contact us 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. Properly sealing these areas is extremely important, 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 helps 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. However, when they are filled, can make a noticeable difference. Don’t skip out on this winterization tip.
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. Another 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!
Stop by Louie’s ACE today to pick up all the supplies you need to save on energy costs this winter. We have everything you need and more for home winterization.
When it comes to lawn mowers, there are a surprisingly large number of options available. Mowing the lawn can be a pain, so when it comes to choosing your tool it is important to choose the one that can help you tackle your yard the best.
Electric and gas mowers each have their own benefits that largely depend upon the type of yard you have, your personal choices, costs, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to take on.
When you think of lawn mowers, it’s likely that a gas mower is what first comes to mind. These mowers provide the power needed to easily tackle tough grass and mow larger areas without troublesome cords or having to re-charge a battery. A little gas can go a long way! Gas mowers also can be more durable and long lasting in comparison to some electric models.
If you’re looking to be environmentally friendly, a gas powered mower is not the top option as it emits carbon monoxide and dioxide into the atmosphere. They also tend to be much noisier than electric mowers. Due to the additional mechanisms and pieces, gas mowers tend to be heavier as well.
A popular alternative to gas lawn mowers, electric mowers a great option for those looking to avoid some of the downsides to using a gas powered tool. Not only are electric mowers quieter, you also avoid the frustrating pull-to-start process of turning on a gas mower. Electric mowers also don’t require sparkplugs or fuel filters eliminating the additional accessories needed with gas powered mowers. While they can be pricey up-front, electric mowers also can become cost effective over time.
Despite these benefits, electric mowers are not the best option if you have a large area to cover because they either come with cords or rechargeable batteries that last for only about an hour. They also can be dangerous when used in wet conditions as the electrical components can cause electrocution if they come into contact with water. An electric lawnmower isn’t the best choice for lawns with tough grasses or for someone who may wait for their lawn to look like a jungle before taking out the mower.
Looking to upgrade your mower? Keep an eye out for Louie’s ACE Home Center’s “cash for clunkers” program this September! If you need other lawn care equipment for a short period of time, check out our ACE hardware rentals.
Long a tradition for some families, canning has seen resurgence in popularity alongside the growing admiration for mason jars. Food that has been canned can last for years, extending the life of your food and preventing waste, and now even more so than ever there are great ways to add personal touches to your canned food making them great gifts for friends and family.
Methods of Canning
There are two methods of canning, each corresponding to the type of food you are looking to can. It is important that you choose the correct method for what you want to can. This can be crucial in ensuring your food isn’t susceptible to bacteria.
Water Bath Canning: This method is used for foods and vegetables with acidic content. This is what you use for jams and jellies as well as for pickles. The process of water bath canning is fairly easy, and is a great starting point for beginner canners.
Pressure Canning: Using the pressure canning method is for foods with low acidic content including vegetables, meats and poultry, and seafood. This particular method requires a lot of attention because if the process is done incorrectly, this food can spoil very easily.
Protect your Canned Goods
While there are two different methods depending on what you’re planning to can, there are things to keep in mind with both methods that are important to making sure your food is properly canned, thus making sure your food is optimally protected.
- Make sure the jars you’re using are free of cracks and that the lids and bands are a snug fit to the jar. If you notice any discrepancies in the seal or jar, don’t use it as it may have a leak that will leave your food susceptible to bacteria.
- Be sure to wash each jar, lid, and seal thoroughly with soap and hot water before adding your ingredients.
- Keep your jars warm at all times prior to adding ingredients. This helps prevent the jars from breaking when adding hot contents later on.
- Fill a pot half way with water and bring it to a simmer. The water should be hot, but not boiling. To keep jars from floating, add water inside them.
- An alternative to this method is running the jars, without lids, through the dishwasher. Keep the dishwasher closed until you need the jars.
For both methods, be sure to select your favorite recipe and follow those instructions carefully. It is important to reduce the entry points for bacteria before the food is placed within the jars. When done correctly, food is edible for one to five years depending on what you’ve canned.
With the Mason jar trend at a peak, there are more options than ever to add a personal touch to your canned foods. Lots of DIY elements including chalkboard paint on the lids or die-cut labels are great ways to add a personal touch, especially when gifting things such as jams to friends and family.
One thing we have here at Louie’s ACE that we love are the purple heritage jars; they resemble desert glass and are special edition, which means as soon as they sell out, they’re gone!
Visit Louie’s ACE today to see all of our food canning supplies!
The Debate is on!
Summer means two things; charcoal or gas grills. Whichever you lean toward, there are a couple of things to consider on your to-do list before shopping for a grill. Before heading down to Louie’s ACE consider the cost, convenience, safety, and flavor.
- Charcoal- having to mess with briquettes, inhaling starter fuel, and having to wait for the coals to turn orange can be a hassle. After the grilling has been done, the clean-up can be very messy with all of the ash left at the bottom of the grill.
- Gas- gas grills start with a simple knob turn and the heat source is adjustable. As for clean-up, turn to off and a scrub with a metal brush.
Grill and Operating Cost
When thinking about basic models, charcoal grills will be less expensive than gas grills. When considering the operating cost between the two, it is less expensive to have a gas grill. Gas grills run on either natural gas or propane canisters and it is less expensive to operate a gas grill than a charcoal grill since charcoal is an expensive fuel type.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more accidents happen with charcoal grills than gas grills but serious injuries are said to occur with gas grills. Charcoal grills are light in weight and tend to tip over more often than gas grills. For the most part, injuries occur due to the use of starter fuel.
Fuel the Flames Responsibly
When starting the grill, people tend to put too much fuel on charcoal causing huge flare ups. Avoid adding more fuel to the charcoal after it has already been lit. Also, buying charcoal that has already been soaked in starter fuel can reduce the risk of injuries with charcoal grills.
As for gas grills the use of starter fuel is out of the picture but there are some things to consider. Always read the user manual before operating your grill and learn basics like how to turn it on and off properly. Be mindful of leaving the gas on too long before pressing the ignition button could cause a flare up. Make sure there are no leaks coming from the gas container or hoses before you start the grill.
For more on safety ask the good folks at Louie’s Ace for assistance.
Flavor- It is all up to your taste buds
This part is really up to you and your guests. If you are looking for the smoky taste, then charcoal grills are the way to go. This type of grill is considered to have a more natural flavor. By adding flavored wood chips to charcoal grills, you will have everyone asking for seconds and maybe thirds! Charcoal grills are more convenient for red meats whereas gas grills are better for chicken, fish, and veggies.
Which side are you on?
If it still seems like a tough call, contact Louie’s Ace or come on in and ask one of our friendly staff members.
What’s Cooler than Being Cool?
For those on the fence, we put together a list of the best reasons to buy a swamp cooler this summer.
Monthly Operating Costs
Let’s be honest, sometimes one of the best reasons to get a swamp cooler in Fallon is to save money. According to ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, swamp coolers use up to 75 percent less energy than air conditioning, saving on average about $150 a year. Use those savings for the next vacation with family and friends.
Choose Where Cool Happens
An air conditioner will generally take longer to cool the house and it may take a while to meet your level of comfort and satisfaction. Mobile swamp coolers eliminate that problem by targeting your area of recreation, cooling the air in a few minutes.
This benefit is for those choosing a mobile swamp cooling system.
Big Swamp Coolers are Much Cheaper than a New Air Condition System
For those considering a big swamp cooler to replace an air conditioning unit, you’ll find the savings to be worth it. According to the National Association of Home Builders, a big swamp cooler costs between $700 and $1,000, whereas central air conditioning units tend to cost several thousand dollars.
Better for a Dry Climate
Simply put, swamp coolers use moisture to produce fresh, clean air. Nevada has always been a dry climate, but adding a little moisture to your room can benefit your skin’s complexion.
If you’re ready to join the swamp cooler revolution, come in to Louie’s ACE Home Center today and ask us how we can keep you cool this summer.