Tips and tricks on installing exterior wood shutters

Many families implement wood shutters to prevent harsh sunlight and rain from coming in and also allow privacy. Shutters make your home look good from outside. Installing wood shutters is a complicated process and you should try hiring a professional for the same.

You should first coat the window edges with basic primer. It acts as solid support base for shutters. Keep them varnished and stained to be absolutely restrictive to sunlight. Cedar, oak, fir, pine, sandalwood, and many other wood materials work out fine as shutters.

You need to measure your windows from all sides. Leave half an inch for ventilation purpose on four sides. If there are multiple windows, use softwood. If this is not the case, you can pick any wood.

Place the shutter neatly on the window and check where the holes need to be made. Then drill those holes and fine-tune them. Place wood strips into these holes and then put in nails. Then clamp your shutter on these nails.

You will need hinges in the middle for a smooth shutter. Place these hinges well and post measurement. Then hand them support through saw horses. Make sure that the shutters open up easily. Lubricate them with mustard or olive oil. You may also need them to be open sideways. If there is torque or resistance while doing this, it means that the work has not been well done.

Use wood oils on the edges for smoothness and let the shutter slip through. This will make the shutter cooperative within days. Do not use much wood oil in the kitchen as that may cause fire.

Wood shutters are enough for window decoration and you will not need frosted or colored glass panes. You can even bid goodbye to curtains on the window with wooden shutters.

Bolts and sliders are other appliances that you may add on your window shutter for better use. They will specially hold well in case of severe thunderstorm, a common occurrence in many places. Wooden shutters will not work well if the windows are too large. In this case, proper grills are the best option. You can even use Roman blinds to serve the windows.

You can have these window shutters in any style or color you like. Try to get them in texture with the exterior coloring. Add a bit of tan to get rid of dampness and pests.

Be perfect with measurement or else the entire operation will look awkward and cumbersome. It is better to take both inner and outer measurements and then leave spaces accordingly. Remember that it is a clamp-on and so it should be easily removable. Wooden shutters are a smart way to let your house breathe in freshness.

DIY painting pointers essentials

Painting the house is not a simple thing. It requires methodical preparation. Generally, you should go for expert help, but if you are a DIY – Do It Yourself – fanatic, you should take care of certain things. You have to paint the ceiling and then the four walls. Get the interior furnishings removed. If they cannot be removed, cover them with plastic sheets. While painting the ceiling, put paint tapes at the edges to prevent any seeping of colors underneath.

If the ceiling is acoustic, get it down softly and bit by bit. Don’t meddle with the inner heating equipments and hidden wires. You may as well texture-paint the ceiling with airbrushes. You will also need solid wooden portable platform to cover the entire ceiling. First shower it with sufficient water and then allow the paint to cover the ceiling. Once that is done, leave the area for a day to dry up. Then get to the walls.

Walls are easier to paint and you should make sure that you have the coloring materials at hand. You may also need a ladder if the walls are high. Apply smooth rollers for painting if the walls are vinyl or wooden. First, you need to prime it well. Sand the walls well and get good riddance with all stains, molds, and other impurities. Use sander and scraper and scrape out the previous painting slowly but surely.

When you have applied primers on the walls, leave it for another day. Then wash the primer with pressure hoses and see if the primer is coming out. With good work, the primer will stay. Now apply paint by small sections. Don’t leave gaps. Also check the texture of ceiling for choosing the interior coloring. Cover the alcoves if you have separate arrangements for them. Once again paint tape the wall-floor edges.

It is necessary to leave some space near the edges. Keep them spliced with wood or metal. This is because paint has a tendency to spill in capillary manner. Leave the space for that and your color will be brighter for a good enough time. Even if you are doing it, you may have a knowledgeable person by your side for guidance. If the walls are dry walled or plastered, you shall not put paint directly. You will first need to peel the plaster off before painting. This is a pre-primer step and not post-painting. Also, keep gloves handy and a suitable mask on your face. This will prevent ant viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes, the edges may be rough and while smoothening them, it may hurt. Don’t let it get into the skin.

Keep the whole thing within the estimated budget. Take acute measurements and get guided on the exact amount of paint you will need.

Brick Exteriors To Keep Your Home Cool

Research conducted by the National Association of Home Builders and other real estate organizations indicate that more than 60% of homeowners prefer to use bricks for their exterior walls. This does not really come as a surprise. Aesthetically, while brick buildings look imposing and grand along with the old-world charm, they are also a symbol of stability and permanence – aspects that any homeowner would seek and hope for one’s family. Brick homes are considered to be more strong and durable and as per Marshall and Swift’s Residential Cost Handbook, brick homes provide a 6%-10% higher resale value over homes that have other exteriors. And for the environment conscious, brick is certainly the best go-green option. It also keeps your home naturally cool and acts as a natural sound insulator. Brick exteriors are inexpensive to maintain than the others and with a little pre-emptive monitoring, they can serve as durable exteriors for homes.

Most problems associated with brick exteriors circle around moisture. Since bricks are porous, they can retain water and moisture. Some of the signs that indicate that your brick exteriors might be deteriorating are cracks, stains like white blotchy spots; also called efflorescence and corrosion in mortar joints. However, these can be prevented by using the following precautions during construction.

Mortar, the material that bonds the bricks together, should be softer than the bricks otherwise, they can lead to disintegration. This may result in wear and tear of the mortar. Therefore, homeowners should periodically, say every 15-20 years repoint the mortar joints.

Change in temperature/moisture can cause the brick to contract and expand. Installing expansion and control joints in the wall will allow for movement of bricks as well as minimize the stress caused due to these movements. All brick buildings should have small holes, known as weep holes, along the bottom row that will drain out any condensation that is built up inside the wall. It is advised to seal the brickwork with a waterproofing agent to minimize any water infiltration

It is recommended not to grown any creepers on the bricks as they may cause a wedge through the wall and if not monitored, may cause serious structural damage.

During the design of exterior walls, water/moisture infiltration can be restricted using the “drainage system”. Drainage walls involve building a cavity between the exterior facing brick wall and a back-up wall made up of steel-stud or wood. When water is absorbed in the brick wall, it will drain to the flashing and move out of the wall through the weeps.

There are several colors available for brick wall lovers including brown, chocolate, copper or sand. Neutral colored brick superimposed with other colors is another trend that is catching popularity amongst the urban junta.