How to Remake Your Garage

Is your garage a one-trick pony or cluttered with miscellaneous items? Then it’s time to streamline the space to increase the efficiency of your garage. Besides adding shelves to the garage, painting and cleaning the garage, you can re-design and add more functionality to your garage with the following gear:

Purchase a Workbench

A garage is incomplete without a proper workbench. A sturdy workbench will not only store tools, but also create space to complete those do-it-yourself projects. Most come with built-in-drawers and are equipped with a light to tackle projects after the kids have gone to bed. There are many options available, ranging from the sophisticated to simple.

Install Lighting

To take full advantage of your space, your garage must come equipped with plenty of lighting in order to allow you to work at convenient times in your busy schedule. Poor lighting hurts the quality of the work you are trying to accomplish and if a project requires small parts you don’t want to spend your time searching for tiny items on your hands and knees. If you prefer not to install a mounted light on your ceiling, invest in a portable light, a less-expensive option to create the lighting you need.

Buy a Tool Chest

A garage with tools on the floor and scattered across different surfaces isn’t the best for productivity. This haphazard approach leads to buying multiples of the same tool because you keep losing them in the clutter. A tool chest will keep items organized and save time whether you are working on a small repair or a long-term DIY project.

Purchase Spare Tires

How many times have you realized you have a flat tire and need an immediate replacement? For convenience, always keep a set of spare tires in your garage. Order a reliable tire brand from Tire Buyer to ensure your backup set of tires is of the highest quality. With a little preparation, a flat tire will no longer have to be a major setback in your day.

Add Garage Storage

Is your rake and broom in one corner and your bike on the ground? A functional garage needs proper storage options, like a peg board affixed to the wall. This storage option will accommodate your small tools, larger items and any miscellaneous tools unable to fit in drawers. If you prefer not to splurge on this expense, at least add sturdy hooks on the wall to store a garden hose, lawn equipment or other tools. With items hung up out of the way, your garage will appear clean and neat.

Invest in Proper Safety Gear

If you like home improvement projects, keep appropriate safety gear in your garage. Invest in protective goggles, gloves and masks to protect your face. Keep a small first aid kit handy for minor emergencies.

Upgrade Your Flooring

To give your garage a polished looked, consider adding an upgraded finish to your floors. Coat the cement with epoxy or tile – this will give your garage an instant face-lift and make it look more appealing.




Source: Realty Times

Signs of Mold in House?

Mold: four letters, one syllable, a world of anxiety and stress. It’s such a simple word with the potential to cause so many problems. Why is mold so troubling and what should you do if you find mold in your house or discover it while you’re house hunting?

There are five facts that you should know about mold:

Mold grows quickly: It only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to grow and spread in wet, warm conditions.

Mold is undetectable: Excessive moisture behind walls, under floors or in cabinets or closets are perfect breeding grounds for mold. This is mold that you often can’t see or smell but it can make you and your family very sick.

Mold issues are expensive: Mold damage can cost as much as $10,000, and most insurance carriers will not cover the cost of mold removal.

Know the symptoms of mold exposure: They include severe body aches, joint pain, nausea and chronic, sometimes serious respiratory issues. These symptoms can develop quickly or over time.

Know the people at risk: The very young, the very old and people with compromised immune systems are most likely to be affected by mold. Mold can even be deadly among these groups of people.

How do you know if mold is present in your home? Mold usually has a green or black color and it smells musty or earthy. While you might be able to fix small mold spots, it is best to have mold remediated by a professional.  When you come across mold in a home, it should be understood that you have a moisture issue first and a mold issue second. You need to address the problem and not just a symptom of the problem. Scrubbing surface mold with mold killer will not be effective if you do not address the moisture issue.

Mold can be tricky and dangerous. More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so that issue needs to be fixed first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, have a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see that’s the cause of the mold. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.

If you are planning to go house hunting, you should know where to look for mold. Check dark, damp places for mold, like under cabinets and in basements, crawl spaces and attics. If you didn’t find mold, but your home inspector sees that mold is present during your inspection contingency period, this issue should be addressed prior to closing. If mold is discovered within this time period, mold removal can either be negotiated or you can cancel the contract and walk away from the home.







How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Interior Designer?

Home décor is a top priority for many new homeowners. Most newly married couples want the interior style of their home to closely match their personalities. Most interior decorators evaluate their clients’ needs and expectations, and set their prices to cover the expected costs to purchase the materials and complete the job.

Interior Decorator vs. Designer

Do you need an interior decorator or an interior designer? They may seem like interchangeable terms, but they actually describe two different professions. Before you start shopping for quotes, you need to know your project requirements and what services you actually need. Understanding the different skill sets decorators and designers bring to a project makes it easier to make the best choice for your needs.

Decorators don’t design or build spaces, but they dress them stylishly, introducing new color schemes and decorative elements. Interior designers are qualified professionals who become involved with projects at the construction stage. They often work with architects, using their skills and knowledge to create functional, quality interiors that match a homeowner’s requirements. Designers have knowledge of building codes and regulations. Their level of training and their ability to help plan, schedule, and execute a project make their services more expensive than those of a decorator.

How Much Does an Interior Designer Charge?

Designers may have just one method of charging for their services (such as an hourly rate), but more often they’ll have multiple ways they bill. When you’re considering a few different professionals to work with, be sure you understand the details so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison of their fees. Generally, designers use one of four ways to charge for their services: cost plus, fixed rate, hourly rate, or square foot. There may also be additional charges, such as retainers (usually a percentage of the project cost) or consultation fees (a flat fee for the designer to visit the property ranging from approximately $200 to $300).

Cost Plus

Designers using the cost plus method purchase necessary products and then bill you for the total, including a markup you agree to when drawing up the contracts. The markup is usually around 20 percent and pays for the designer’s services. So, if the work costs $10,000, the designer bills for $12,000.

Fixed Rate

A fixed rate, or flat rate, is a single price that covers all of the work, materials, and other expenses. This is the simplest way to cost up larger jobs, and it’s helpful for you as the customer because you know exactly what you need to pay.

Hourly Rate

Some designers charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $50 to $200. Because the total fee depends on the amount of time the project takes to complete, designers often reserve this method for small projects where there is less risk of complications and spiraling costs.

By the Square Foot

Commercial designers often charge by the square foot. This is effectively a flat rate based on the size of the property. Some designers implement a minimum charge to cover the amount of work involved for a small room, so you pay the minimum fee, or the fee based on the actual room size (whichever is greater).

No matter how great the person you are hiring is, remember to stay in charge: Designers are trained professionals with a keen eye for detail, but only you know what you love. If a designer is coming up with suggestions that don’t match your tastes, say something. It’s a good idea to express any strong opinions you have on sustainable and organic materials, animal skins, “Made in America” products, upcycling, and child safety features.




Top Five Upcoming Fall Activities around Arizona

For many people, autumn is the best season of the year. With cooler temperatures, the changing of the leaves and plenty of occasions to celebrate, fall is one of the best times to get out and spend time with both family and friends. 

In a place such as Arizona, fall is especially enjoyable. Both residents and visitors alike are offered a reprieve from the long hot days and are afforded the chance to get outside without feeling the intense heat of the desert sun. The state has a plethora of activities to choose from, ranging from adventurous trips to the mountains or desert, golfing at one of the state’s many courses, or enjoying a collegiate or professional sporting event. If you are looking for something to do, check out these suggested top five upcoming fall activities around the state.

Fall is Football Season!

As the home of a number of collegiate teams and the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals

, Arizona offers football fans plenty of opportunities to spend an afternoon cheering on your favorite teams and players. Both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University field very competitive teams within the Pac-12 conference and are sure to put on a show. If the pros are more your style, the Cardinal’s University of Phoenix Stadium is an excellent sporting venue to visit. With plenty of choices of food and drink and some of the most affordable ticket prices in the NFL, a Cardinals game is a great fall activity.

Leave town and watch the leaves change!

Flagstaff, Arizona is located at just under 7,000 feet at the base of the San Francisco Peaks and is a great place to view one of the best parts of fall. The changing leaves on the numerous Aspen trees are a sight to see and very worth the easy drive from the Phoenix metro area. While in Flagstaff, Snowbowl Resort offers recreation opportunities such as sight seeing, hiking, and biking. Flagstaff is the perfect weekend trip for those looking for fun and adventure.

Release stress and relax in Sedona

Tucked away in a desert canyon is the city of Sedona, which offers visitors a true southwestern experience. Sedona is home to some of the best mountain biking in the nation, so renting a bike from a local shop and experiencing the area via bike is well worth it.  

Sedona is known for its spiritual and wellness

offerings as well. The city is home to a number of resorts and retreats that are designed to keep you healthy both mentally and physically. Sedona is a great destination for a stress free and relaxing weekend. According to many locals, a visit to one of the nearby “energy vortexes” will leave you feeling inspired, recharged or uplifted.

Get scared!

Halloween, one of the best holidays of the year in the eyes of people everywhere, can be celebrated throughout the fall season with a visit to one of the many ghost towns in the state of Arizona. Located throughout the state, many of the towns were founded during the mining booms of the late 1800s and early 1900s, but are now shells of their former selves. Though some, such as Clifton, Arizona, are still home to thousands of residents, others are far less inhabited. The town of Oatman, Arizona is known for its four-legged inhabitants more so than the people that remain. Burros that were abandoned following the mining crash and ensuing desertion of the region have since taken over the town and outnumber it’s human residents!

Autumn is Pumpkin season!

Pumpkins are a crucial part of any fall experience. The large, orange vegetables are used in food, drinks and celebrations throughout the season and can offer a variety of associated activities. A visit to your local pumpkin patch is a great way to spend an afternoon. Enjoying a wagon ride, trying your hand at a corn maze, then heading home to carve jack-o-lanterns with friends and family is a classic fall tradition for many. Be sure to scope out discounted tickets online

to bring the kids and their friends.

For those who are of age, a brewery tour followed by a pumpkin flavored beer tasting is a great way to get out and enjoy the season. That Brewery, with locations in both Pine and Cottonwood, Arizona, features their Skellington Pumpkin Ale, which is a local favorite! 

Fall is a wonderful time of year and should be fully taken advantage of. Cooler temperatures allow plenty of chances to get outside and enjoy a variety of activities throughout the state. Arizona has a wide variety of things to do, especially during autumn. The activities mentioned throughout this article are a great starting point to help you plan the perfect fall weekend. Whether you are hoping to get out and enjoy a relaxing weekend in the high desert or cheering on your favorite team, Arizona has plenty of upcoming activities to choose from!


By: Jeremy Alderman, ZOG Digital