Six Simple Ways to Declutter

Decluttering your home can make it a much nicer space, clear up the messes you have left behind, and generally make it an easier space to use. However, knowing how to declutter is important since there is not a single exact method that works best for every individual space.

Here are six ways to make your decluttering process much easier to simplify the process for yourself.

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Tackle Individual Rooms

One of the most common reasons for a decluttering project to stop is because the homeowners end up overwhelming themselves. Instead of cleaning the whole house all at once, slow down and tackle individual rooms at your own pace.

This can be even easier if you start listing out items that you want to get rid of, keeping track of the things that you are throwing away and the things that you want to keep. Not only does this reduce the stress you are placing on yourself, but it gives you a good starting point to work with.

If you tackle each room as a separate project, you are not going to overwhelm yourself with information that you can’t even use yet, making the process much smoother each step of the way.

Follow a Timeline

Creating your own timeline can give you a set goal to reach without putting yourself under any unnecessary pressure. Many people get into the mindset of wanting to clean a space completely in an hour, but it is perfectly reasonable to set yourself a longer timeline instead.

Cleaning a space within a day or two can be a much more relaxed way to go about it, especially if you plan out the times you want to take for individual sections. A timeline can also help you see situations where you are overworking yourself without a chance to take a break and rest.

Rooms do not get cluttered instantly, so you can’t expect to clean them instantly either. Take your time and approach things slowly – it will make everything a lot simpler and reduce the chances of you making a mistake.

Set Things Aside

One of the hardest parts of decluttering is organizing your clutter. It might be easy to pick out things that you want to throw away, but where do you actually put them once you have figured it out? If you do not have a place set aside for items you want to throw away, then you will just create more clutter.

It helps to have multiple piles, not just one for items you want to get rid of. Having a container or pile for items you want to keep can ensure that you are not getting rid of too much – and you can use a smaller container to try and limit how much you keep, preventing you from hoarding it.

Some people even make a distinction between “keep and display” and “keep and store.” Not everything has to be on your shelves, but if something is not being used, is it really worth keeping it? An item needs to have some practical value to be worth storing away long-term.

Be Careful

It is important not to get frustrated or hot-headed when cleaning. While some people can get incredibly tense in a dirty space, it is still a good idea to take things slowly and think over each decision that you make – you might throw things away without realizing how much they mean to you.

If you want a space to be completely clean, then you should do it in a controlled way, rather than just dumping everything that looks messy into one big container. If you throw something away and then want it back later, you would have to buy it again – if you even can buy another one.

This is often the thing that gets people annoyed about cleaning since they might flip-flop on the exact items they want to throw away. Decluttering is about making a space comfortable, not purging your home of personal possessions just because you are stressed out.

Build Habits

Building a consistent tidying and decluttering habit can really make a difference in the long run. Even if you are only cleaning for twenty minutes each day, that is well over two hours of cleaning in a week. It might not make the space perfect, but it will prevent new clutter from building up.

This is a great way to prevent your clutter from “snowballing” into something much more extreme and annoying. Even a basic set of cleaning habits can prevent you from piling up things in the corner or cluttering up your bed with things that you do not have shelf space for.

If you can give yourself consistent cleaning habits, or at least build up a pattern for doing it every other day, then you can usually create a system where you are cleaning up more clutter than you are creating. Eventually, that will help you make each room look clear and comfortable.

Use a Dumpster

A dumpster rental – like one of our many options – can be very practical for decluttering. If you throw something in a dumpster, it will stay there until the dumpster is collected – then you can always change your mind and take it back if you need to.

Dumpsters also provide the perfect place to store trash that you are throwing away, meaning that it does not have to clutter up your home in bags. Most dumpsters are also quite high capacity, so there will usually be plenty of extra space for throwing away household waste as well.

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Remodeling Your Kitchen: Simplified

Trying to remodel a kitchen can be a pain, but it often sounds worse than it actually is. Many people forget that some of the basic steps can be deceptively simple and that there can be easier alternatives that they might not have considered – especially with a professional company involved.

Here is an easy way to simplify the process of remodeling your kitchen, keeping yourself on track and focused instead of worrying about the specifics of the project.

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Prepare your Ideas

Always start with an actual idea. The more you know about what you want, the easier it becomes to explain that to a company that you end up working with. There are also cases where you might simply want a point of reference to help you map out additional changes or visual tweaks.

A kitchen can seem complex, but they are often simple spaces, especially if you are planning to keep all major appliances in the same place. Drawing up several different kitchen designs, even in a very basic scribbled form, might make a big difference when it comes time to actually translate that plan into a design.

As an added note, remember that you have plenty of room to make decisions in situations like this. If you know you want a certain addition or feature, include it in your notes and plan. That way, you can refer back to the plan if you ever feel like the design has gone off track.

Consider Budget and Timeline

Your budget is going to dictate the kind of work that you can afford to get done, and the timeline of your project might change the amount of work that can be done within a set period of time. These are both very important things to remember in the long term.

If you are not completely sure of either of these things, then try to work out your comfortable limits before you proceed with the project. Not having a clear understanding of your expected budget can really hurt in longer projects since you might not have an easy way to total up how much you are spending.

In terms of time, this can be especially relevant for situations where you need a working kitchen again. Some things, such as installing cabinets, are not time-sensitive – but other things, like getting a working refrigerator, can end up becoming a problem if these things are not dealt with quickly.

Be Efficient

It can be tempting to remodel a kitchen by throwing everything away without thinking about it, but efficient and carefully-planned kitchen redecoration and remodeling are always better. Some items can easily be reused, and others may be health hazards that you would overlook at a glance.

Throwing away things like broken or damaged appliances is important, as is having a dumpster there to actually collect them safely. However, you might want to keep furnishings or decorations that you could reuse. If you decide you do not want them once the project is done, you can just throw them away or give them to somebody else.

When you are breaking down unwanted furniture, be sure to take everything apart and separate it properly. While you can throw entire pieces of furniture into a dumpster, it is better to dispose of individual materials, especially if some of them can be recycled and others can’t.

Take Individual Steps

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when taking apart an entire kitchen, especially if you have been hopping between different tasks without actually completing any of them. While some are going to be important (or necessary) for other future steps, they can still be completed one at a time.

Keeping track of what has and has not been done is a very effective option. Not only does this help you focus your efforts on the things that have not been finished yet, but it stops you from accidentally tearing apart the entire room and then not knowing how to put it all back together.

Even when working with a professional company, it is important to make sure that they are not spread too thin doing multiple things at once. Even if you want the project done quickly, it is better to let them focus instead of demanding that they handle several unrelated things.

Clean Up

Remember to clean up anything that you know you are not going to use again. While you might not want to throw away furniture that could be reused, it is still a good idea to have a reliable way of removing excess debris and scrap from your home both during and after the project.

Take your time and try to throw away anything that is getting in the way, making sure to keep the floor clear and remove any obvious safety hazards if possible.

A dumpster rental like ours can be perfect for keeping your debris out of the way in the long term, and you can rent one for the duration of the entire project to ensure that it is always there when it is needed. This also gives you plenty of time to change your mind about anything you have placed into it since it will not be disposed of until the rental is up.

Even if you are just dealing with spare materials, a dumpster is a more efficient way to clean up than loading it all into your car and driving it somewhere yourself. This is simpler, cleaner, and quicker and will not cause you to struggle with the pile of debris that gets left behind once the work is all done.

When to Replace Your Subfloor

Subfloors are extremely important, but they can also be easily damaged under the wrong circumstances. Not only can this cause major durability problems, but it might require an entire subfloor replacement – which can be a costly and time-consuming process.

While it is easy to get your subfloor repaired or replaced by a professional company, it helps to know when you should get it repaired and what kinds of damage are the most serious. Here are some signs that your subfloor might be wearing out or breaking faster than expected.

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Sinking

One of the most obvious signs of a worn-down subfloor is spaces where the floor feels sunken or uneven. Since most subfloors are installed as a completely flat surface, and deviation usually means that there has been damage, wear, and tear in those particular areas.

Rotting wooden boards tend to soften easily, which can be a very common problem with subfloors. If one board is rotting, it is a good idea to replace it and all of the boards around it. This stops the rot from taking hold of other parts of the floor.

Bad Smells

A musty, humid smell usually means that your flooring is being worn down by water damage. However, the smell itself will not usually direct you to the damaged area – it is a good idea to try and look for softened or loose areas around where the smell is strongest.

Remember that bad smells are not always related to the flooring. There are times when it might be something else entirely.

Squeaking

A squeaking floorboard means that the nails holding the boards in place have come loose. This is not too hard to fix, and there are multiple measures you can take to minimize the squeaking, but it is often better to just replace or repair the damaged parts of the subfloor.

If the entire room has a squeaky floor, then it is likely that the entire subfloor has started to warp. In this instance, it is best just to replace everything.

Bouncing

If the floor seems to be bouncing every time you step on it, then it is probably because the boards have worn down and become a bit softer and looser. In this instance, you should just replace it all as soon as you can since it could lead to even more damage later on.

The more your floor is flexing or distending in odd ways, the worse the damage is. Be careful you do not leave it in that state too long, or something could snap apart while you are walking on it, causing possible injury and an even higher amount of repair work.

Cupping

Hardwood cupping – an issue where the boards start to expand and buckle against each other or form one bug mound – usually happens if water has started to warp the subfloor materials. This can often mean that there is a leak or some way for water to get into the house.

Repairing this damage is possible since you can dry out the wood with the right tools, but it is often easier to just replace the whole area of flooring. If the wood is too damaged or warped to re-use, even when dried out, then you should just toss it into one of our excellent dumpster rental options instead.

Leaking Ceilings

While a leaking ceiling does not actually result from subfloor damage, it can often mean that the subfloor beneath that ceiling is going to suffer problems anyway. Cupping is just one of the many examples since outside leaks can do a lot of damage to different parts of your floor.

Remember that the ceiling of a first-floor room will also be the floor of a second-floor room. If something is leaking into the first-floor ceiling, then it is likely coming from the room above, which could mean that the subfloor or supports there are starting to warp or break down too.

Cracking Tiles

If a tiled floor starts to crack, then it is because the subfloor underneath it is starting to wear out too quickly and is not strong enough to hold it steady. Given that tiles are solid items without any real ability to bend or flex, they will simply break if they are placed under that kind of stress.

This can often require immediate replacement since broken tiles can be dangerous and incredibly hard to repair in any effective or convenient way. You also do not want them to shatter while you are walking on them, especially not if you have pets or children around the house as well.

When should you replace the subfloor?

A subfloor tends to survive between 20 and 30 years of consistent exposure to moisture and other forms of potential damage, although they can last a lot longer if they are kept safe and dry. However, it is important to remember that a subfloor is not always going to hold up to modern standards.

Some homes have subfloors that are decades old, and they may not be up to the same level that you want your home to match. There is nothing wrong with pre-emptively replacing an entire subfloor to make sure that you are not leaving any potentially vulnerable points in your flooring design.

There is no need to rush into replacing your subfloor, but it can help to be aware of how long your current one has been installed. If you have the spare time and funds, then arranging a replacement can help you avoid furniture problems or even just keep your home up-to-date and squeaky-floorboard-free.

Finding Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood can be a great opportunity to do something creative with your home, whether it is making your own specialized decorations or adding some flair to a room with a little reclaimed wood trim. Not only does it look great, but it means that you are not unnecessarily buying freshly-cut tree wood.

However, you need to find reclaimed wood to actually use it. Depending on where you live, it can seem quite hard to get hold of any usable amount of the stuff, especially if you want a highly specific type. Here are a few places where reclaimed wood can be a little easier to find.

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What counts as reclaimed wood?

Before you can gather up reclaimed wood, it is good to think about what the term actually means. In general, reclaimed wood is wood taken from a structure or building that was demolished or refurbished, meaning that the wood was literally reclaimed from the building.

Salvaged lumber is not quite the same – that is wood that has been sitting there without being used for a while. Instead, reclaimed wood needs to have been taken from an existing (or former) property, which usually means building materials that were never actually thrown away.

Dumpster Diving

There is nothing wrong with sneaking some reclaimed wood out of construction dumpsters, although you should probably talk to the owner first to make sure that they are not planning on using it. This can be a great way to get free reclaimed wood, especially if you are near any large construction sites.

Most of the time, construction teams will simply give these materials away since it reduces the disposal or recycling costs that they will have to pay. If somebody was planning on using it themselves, you might still be able to buy it cheap, so do not hesitate to approach them.

This is a good way to find: floorboards, door and window frames, spare beams, plywood, and even entire pallets.

Looking for Sellers

It is not hard to go looking for people selling off their old wood, either in local classified ads or online stores. Some of them may even be giving it away for free, usually if it is debris that they do not want to re-use. A quick check can help you find people selling plenty of different materials, all ready to use.

If that does not work, consider posting your own ad – seeking to buy the specific materials that you need. This can be a nice way to find materials that you have been looking for specifically.

This is a good way to find: basically, any kind of wood or even other materials that you might want. It all just depends on luck.

Broken Wooden Structures

If you see broken wooden structures on somebody’s property, like a collapsed shed or broken fence, consider asking them if they would be willing to part with the wood. If they are (either for free or for a small fee), then you can walk away with a big supply within a single afternoon.

The best part about this method is that the wood will probably all be the same type, allowing for some consistency when you are doing future DIY work. If you want all of your custom-made decorations to look the same, then using wood of the same color and style is important.

This is a good way to find: ‘outdoors’ wood, usually in the form of fences, gates, slats, posts, and larger fence walls.

Independent Farms

Farms – especially long-standing local farms – probably have a lot of excess wood that they no longer need. A lot of farms will be slowly upgrading away from wooden barns and sheds as soon as they can, meaning that all of that spare wood has to go somewhere.

They might also have old wooden fences just lying around or even a pile of scrap wood that has not been used in years. You could even ask them if you can go around certain parts of their property to pick up any scrap wood that has been lost in fields or nearby walking trails.

This is a good way to find: barn parts, floorboards, planks, posts, poles, ridge beams, fence pieces, and all kinds of assorted scrap wood that may have been forgotten about.

Reclaimed Wood Sellers

If all else fails, you can always look for businesses that are heavily focused on selling materials like this. Some companies make part of their profits out of reselling older materials or even acting as a central selling hub for spare materials that hobbyists and DIY fanatics will want to get hold of.

These can be a very reliable way to get large amounts of the same material all at once, even if they are more expensive than some other options. The best examples of these companies are the ones who will go out and retrieve wood from derelict barns, homes, and other structures.

This is a good way to find: almost anything, especially from larger companies.

Remember that this much reclaimed wood can be hard to manage, and you might end up with more than you can handle. It is not a bad idea to have a storage and/or disposal method lined up for larger projects, such as one of our many dumpster rental options. 

The more prepared you are, the better, especially with an excessive amount of wood. It can be hard to manage a large stack of planks if you are cutting them down individually and trying to store them safely until the project is done.

8 Kid-Friendly Basement Ideas For All Ages

If the thought of having the kids home all summer long is filling you with dread, you are not alone. Kids can become restless quickly, and you will soon find yourself running out of space and ideas as the summer goes on.

Renovating your basement could be the solution you have been looking for, as this can be an incredible space for children of all ages to enjoy.

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The basement could become a designated play area that allows the little ones to keep their bodies and imaginations active at any point in the day while giving the adults a much-needed break elsewhere in the home.

Top 8 Playroom Ideas For Your Basement

Before you can jump into using your basement as a playroom for the kids, you need to make sure this room is finished. If you are working with an unfinished basement, there are some DIY tricks that you can use to get it ready for this kid-friendly transformation, as a finished basement is going to be easier to turn into a playroom. 

When transforming the basement into a playroom for your kids, make sure to use transitional colors and themes so it will last for years to come and stay with them as they grow.

  • Sensory Play Table

Age Group: 0-3 years 

A sensory table is a great thing to bring into your basement playroom when your kids are young. This kind of play table will introduce little ones to all of the textures in the world and gives them opportunities to work on their motor skills and concentration – all while getting messy.

If you have carpet in the basement, you will want to consider a washable foam playmat to go under the sensory table as protection. You could also put the table in a plastic baby pool for additional protection from spills and mess.

While you can buy sensory play tables almost anywhere, if you are on a budget, you can also try making one or using an outdoor water table. 

  • Kitchen Play Area

Age Group: 1-5 years

A play kitchen is a great playroom idea for children of varying ages as it allows them to mimic your everyday activities and develop some essential skills. 

As well as being great for their development, a kitchen play area can keep kids entertained for hours on end. A play kitchen will get kids away from the screens and encourage imaginative play instead.

  • Dress Up Station

Age: 2-10 years

Having a dedicated dress-up station in your basement playroom is ideal for children of all ages and encourages unstructured play, which is great for their development.

Dress-up stations can be fun for children to use alone or when they are playing with others, encouraging imaginative play and making them creative. You do not have to deck out your dress-up station with specialized costumes, as imagination is the key here. Some old clothes and costume jewelry can help kids come up with their own stories.

  • DIY Climbing Wall

Age: 3-10 years

Instead of trying to stop the kids from climbing the walls with boredom, encourage them to do so with a DIY climbing wall. This is a way to burn off a lot of that unused energy and can help them keep active even when they are stuck at home.

Making a climbing wall in the basement is easier than you think. All it takes is clearing a corner, getting a folding gymnastic mat, some tools, and climbing holds. 

As the climbing wall is in the basement, it can’t get too high, making it safe for even the smallest toddlers.

  • Media Corner

Age: 5-18 years

Kids of all ages can appreciate some TV time, so why not play up to that by making a dedicated media corner in your basement.

Here they can watch their favorite movies or even play video games without disturbing the adults in the house. As they get older, this will be a great hangout spot for their friends where you can keep an eye on them from a distance.

  • Homework Station

Age: 5-18 years

While it is never going to be easy to get kids to do their homework, having a dedicated space in the home that is welcoming and fun can make things easier.

Create a homework station with a desk in the basement playroom, making sure they have all the stationery and tools they could ever need in one place. This makes sure there are no excuses when it comes to homework time, as well as keeping the rest of your home tidy.

  • Reading Nook

Age: All ages

Children are interested in books from a very young age, and you can nurture this by creating a fun, comfortable, and safe reading nook in the basement for them. This is very easy to make, as all it takes is a good lamp, some cushions, and perhaps a beanbag in any corner of the basement.

A reading nook can also be a great space for adults when they need a break too.

  • Chalkboard Wall

Ages: All ages

While you may discourage the kids from drawing on the walls anywhere else in the home, a basement playroom is ideal for this kind of creative expression, and it works for kids of all ages. 

Paint one wall using chalkboard paint and make sure always to have chalks nearby.

How To Redo A Flower Bed

A new flowerbed can transform your garden and become a wonderful focal point, but after months of cold temperatures and harsh weather, it is unlikely that your flower beds are having this kind of effect.

If you are dealing with unkempt and dying flower beds, it is possible to redo them.

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Many homeowners will redo their flower beds seasonally, with the main refresh taking place in spring when the plants are at their best, but if it has been a while since you have gotten out your green thumb, it may require some more effort.

While it may seem like a daunting task, it can be fun and easy to redo a flower bed, and we are going to show you how.

How To Prepare A Flower Bed

To transform your old, worn flowerbed into something new and worth showing off, then you need to start with a clean slate. 

This means there is a lot of preparation that goes into this task, and it cannot be rushed. You will need to remove everything that currently exists in the flower bed, including weeds, so that you can start again.

Preparing the flower bed for its new lease of life means you need to get rid of the existing dying plants and old perennials, although you can re-pot anything that is still healthy, as well as doing a good dose of weeding.

As well as removing plants and weeds from the flower bed, you also need to prep the soil.

A flower bed is used to improve soil drainage and fertility, so you need to make sure that this is what yours offers before planting anything new. Once the weeds have been removed, you can turn any organic matter (actively decomposing plant or animal matter) into the soil to improve the quality and fertility. You can also buy compost or manure for this step.

The aim of preparing the flower bed is to make sure you have a clean space to work with and a healthy environment for the new plants and flowers you are going to bring into your garden.

While the preparation can take a long time and a lot of effort, it will be worth it when you see the new flowers blooming in your backyard. 

How To Redesign Your Flower Bed

Now that you have a clean slate to work with, it is time to consider what you will be using your flower bed for.

If you are going to be putting in the work that is required for redoing your flower bed, such as the weeding and fertilizing of the ground, you might as well consider a redesign as well. 

After all, you will want to make great use of this new space in your garden and make sure it looks better this season than it did last year.

There are various ways that you can go about redesigning a flower bed, but the main aim is to ensure all plants and flowers will be healthy in this space. This means considering what you will be growing in the flower bed and where plants should be placed for optimum health before making any final decisions.

It may be a good idea for you to sketch out your flower bed and the ideas you have for it, including any change in the layout and shape of the bed as well as the plants you want to grow.

Garden Design Tips

  • Find The Best Layout

If you are building a flower bed from scratch or moving the location of any existing plants, make sure to consider the focal points of your garden. 

Focal points will be the largest parts of the garden that attract the eyes first, such as large trees, shrubbery, and even garden furniture.

Plan the placement for all of these items before deciding where the decorative flower bed should go, so it has the right effect when everything is in bloom.

  • Size Matters

If you are limited on space in the garden, then you should consider changing the shape of your flower bed.

Flower beds with curved edges will appear longer than those with straight edges, so consider making these changes before planting anything new.

With a longer flower bed, you will have an overall better design of the garden and create more space for your plants and flowers. 

  • Direct Sunlight Hours

You will need to take note of how many hours of sunlight your flower bed gets every day before deciding what plants to use and where they should go. 

The location of your flower bed is important for both the health and beauty of anything you grow inside of it, so use sunlight tracking to make sure you are doing the right thing. 

  • A Cohesive Design

It is a good idea to plant flowers in odd-numbered groups, such as in groups of three or more, as this will give a fuller and more cohesive design when they are all in bloom.

  • Avoid Allergies

When deciding what to add to your garden, you should consider whether your family members have specific allergies to plants and avoid these at all costs.

Likewise, avoid using pollen-producing plants if you want to invite people over to your garden during the warmer months. If these kinds of plants cannot be avoided completely, make sure they are placed away from the windows and doors of your home.

How To Prepare Your Home For a Hurricane

Living by the coast means that you will experience hurricane season regularly. While this season comes around every six months or so, it is important to get yourself well prepared ahead of time. 

There are several things you should do to prepare your home for hurricane season, and in this guide, we are sharing the best tips for every area of the home.

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Common Costs of Hurricane Damage

If you are struggling to find the motivation to prepare your home for hurricane season, thinking about the costs that the damage can cause is a good way to get moving.

The strong winds and heavy rainfall that come with a hurricane are more likely to target the roof, windows, and siding of your home. This causes significant damage and causes homeowners across the US to spend an average of $9,073 for repairs.

To prevent this kind of damage and the expense that comes with it, there are some DIY tips that you can use to prepare your home for hurricane season. It is best to do these ahead of time and make sure your home is ready to tackle the bad weather before it is too late.

Five Steps For Getting Ready For Hurricane Season

Following these five steps can help get your home ready for a hurricane and limit the damage that this weather can cause.

  • Prepare Your Roof

When: Before hurricane season, with a final check a week before the weather turns

Before hurricane season approaches, roof protection should be your number one priority as your roof is more prone to wind and water damage than any other area.

A strong gust of wind could tear shingles from the roof and eventually tear at the entire structure, so you need to prepare it well through these steps: 

  • Secure loose shingles
  • Reinforce gables
  • Reinforce soffits
  • Install hurricane straps

This work can be done yourself, but you can also call in a contractor for the biggest tasks to make sure it is done right.

  • Install Impact Doors

When: A week before hurricane season

To make your home hurricane-proof, the exterior doors should be made of wood or hollow steel. If this is not the case with your home, and replacements are not possible, you can secure them further by installing a third hinge.

However, the best protection against hurricane damage is by installing impact doors, so this is something you should strive to do with your exterior doors as soon as possible.

You can install impact doors using these steps:

  • Remove your old door and make sure to scrape away the old coating
  • Measure the width and length of the door 
  • Determine the jamb depth to ensure the new door will open and close properly once installed
  • Measure the door’s outswing
  • Install the impact doors

Like the roof, exterior doors are prone to damage during hurricane season, so make sure they are solid and sturdy.

  • Prepare Your Yard

When: The day before the storm

Getting your home ready for a hurricane is important, but it is just as important to take care of your yard as well. Outdoor fixtures like trees, gravel, and other debris can cause serious damage to your home during a storm, so these need to be addressed before the weather turns.

You can prepare your yard by:

  • Removing decorative items, including all loose items that can get blown away
  • Cut down threatening trees 
  • Get rid of gravel and other loose stones
  • Anchor outbuildings or heavy garden furniture that cannot be removed

It would be best if you did not neglect your yard when preparing for hurricane season, as a lot of damage can happen here too.

  • Brace Your Garage Door

When: Right before the storm

When the heavy winds come, your garage door should be secure to protect everything inside of it as well as your home. It is fairly easy to prepare your garage door for an upcoming storm using the following steps:

  • Turn off the power, if you have a powered garage door
  • Make a base for the door, which can be done using plywood 
  • Extend the top ledge of your garage using plywood and nail this into place in an L shape where it aligns with the hinges
  • Take another piece of plywood and attach this to the upper lip of the garage door
  • Connect the braces using more plywood over the front of the garage door 
  • Steel brackets can be attached to the plywood you have installed in the hinges for additional security

You want to make sure that your garage door will not move or open during the heavy winds, so the more secure you can make the braces, the better.

  • Storm Proof The Windows

When: Right before the storm

Much like working on the garage, it is best to secure your windows right before the storm appears. Windows can also cause a lot of damage and can be very dangerous, so they need to be secured. 

You can stormproof windows by:

  • Measure the windows for accurate dimensions
  • Gather materials for storm-proofing, such as sheets of plywood
  • Cut the plywood to fit the windows, making sure they will overlap the glass 
  • Locate and measure the window studs, which can be found inside the windows, so that you can screw the barriers on at these points
  • Secure the plywood to the window, making sure it overlaps the glass 

How To Tile Your Bathroom

If you are bored with your bathroom or feel like it is looking outdated, you can easily redecorate the space using bathroom tiles. 

Instead of paying for a complete renovation, changing the bathroom’s appearance using tiles can make such a difference to this space and is something you can do yourself.

In this guide, we are going to share the easiest way to renovate your bathroom.

 

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How Much Do Bathroom Tiles Cost?

The average cost of tiling a bathroom is between $886 and $2,868, including labor charges.

The price that you have to pay can vary based on the contractor costs, as well as the kind of tile you are using, how big your bathroom is, and, therefore, how many tiles you need. The two more common kinds of bathroom tiles are ceramic and porcelain, with the latter being the most popular but also the most expensive. 

Where Should I Tile?

You need to make sure your bathroom walls and floors are even to prevent loose tiles. 

If you find that any surface in the bathroom is sloped, even by a small degree, you should install a baseboard before tiling. This will make sure that you have a solid base for tiling and will help the tiles stick, preventing them from becoming loose in the future.

A bubble level can be useful when doing this task to ensure everything is straight.

  • Flooring: Bathroom tiles should be laid on either a plywood or concrete base to keep them secure and protect the subfloor
  • Walls: Wall tiles should be applied to drywall, cement, or a backboard of some sort for a smooth and accurate fitting. A backboard can protect your walls when tiling

Basic Tile Installation Guide

Once you have found the right tiles for your bathroom based on your style and budget, it is time to start preparing to tile. Figure out where to lay the tiles in the bathroom and have your toolbox handy.

You should remember that tiling is not an easy job, but it is one you can do yourself with some care and consideration. 

Doing the tiles yourself means the job will not be perfect, and it is likely that some of the tiles will crack before you get to lay them. This is why we recommend getting around 15% more tiles for your bathroom than you need, so you are prepared for everything.

What You Need

Before you can start tiling the bathroom, there are some tools you need.

  • Wet saw
  • Notch trowel
  • Narrow margin trowel
  • Chalk line
  • Tile mortar
  • Tile membrane
  • Bubble level
  • Tile spacers 
  • Rubber grout float
  • Safety goggles and gloves

Where To Start

Before you can add new tiles to the bathroom, you need to get rid of your current décor.

Take some time to remove all old tiles, wallpaper, decorations, and other materials that will get in the way. Strip the bathroom to the bare bones, so you have a blank canvas to work on. 

If you are only working on one part of the bathroom, such as retiling the walls but not the floor, make sure to cover anything that is left behind for protection. 

Tiling The Bathroom Floor

  1. Spread the tile mortar over the floor using the notch trowel 
  2. Lay down your tile membrane in sections until the towel mortar is covered
  3. Use the chalk to create a reference line across the tile membrane so you can keep the tiles straight
  4. Put down the tile by spreading another layer of tile mortar over your desired membrane and placing the tile on the chalk line. Use the spacers to keep the tiles consistent
  5. Tile the perimeter of the bathroom using half an inch of the tiles and going around the floor with them first before moving into the center
  6. Clean the tile mortar from the tiles as you work to prevent this from sticking
  7. Start grouting 24 hours after the tiles have been laid and use the rubber grout float in diagonal motions 
  8. Apply a silicone sealant after 72 hours to keep the tiles in place

Tiling The Bathroom Walls

  1. Measure the walls to determine how many tiles you need and find a stopping point if you are not covering the whole wall
  2. Use the bubble level to make a line at the top of the wall you are working on so you have a stopping point
  3. Determine how many rows of tiles you will have as you want to make sure there will be a full row going down the wall. If this is not going to work, you can use the work saw to cut any tiles that need to be altered before installing them, making sure everything is even
  4. Make a grid using the chalk and the dimensions you have taken so you know where the tiles should go on the walls
  5. Install a wooden plank halfway up the wall that you can use as a batten. Make sure to use the bubble level to keep it even, as this will help make sure every row of tiles is straight
  6. Spread the tile mortar on the walls or baseboard of the walls, creating an even covering
  7. Start at the wooden plank you have installed and apply tiles to the walls, working your way up first
  8. Continue tiling until you have covered the wall 

When Should You Replace Your Driveway?

Likely, you do not spend a lot of time thinking about your driveway until something goes wrong. As soon as you notice cracks, potholes, and general wear and tear, you will not be able to stop thinking about your driveway and how to repair it.

There are many causes of driveway damage, and it will happen over time. Whether your damage is caused by motor oil, gas, de-icing materials, freezing temperatures, and even the weight of your vehicle, it is time to think about what to do next.

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Some of the damage that your driveway suffers can be repaired, but there will come a time when you need to replace the entire thing. 

How Long Does A Driveway Last?

The standard lifespan of a driveway can vary based on many different factors, including the climate and overall maintenance it has experienced.

However, the main factor that determines the lifespan of a driveway is the material.

  • Concrete Driveways

Concrete driveways can last around 30 years if they have been installed correctly and maintained well over the years. Concrete driveways in colder climates are likely to last around 20 years.

  • Asphalt Driveways

An asphalt driveway can last between 15 and 20 years with the correct care.

It is possible to extend the lifespan of your asphalt driveway with regular maintenance.

Six Signs Your Driveway Needs Repairing

If you are wondering whether your driveway needs repaired, there are some signs you can look out for. Noticing changes in your driveway means it is time to consider the repairs that you need to do, whether this is replacing, patching, or resurfacing.

You should look for repairs if your driveway has:

  • Small cracks that don’t connect

Cracks that are less than ¼ of an inch wide should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading. If water lands in the crack and freezes, it will expand the crack, making it deeper and wider, which will make it more difficult to repair.

  • A pothole

One pothole can be easily fixed if it is noticed quick enough to prevent further damage.

  • Sunken areas

If you have noticed that your driveway is sinking lower than the garage floor, it is time to patch it and make it level again before it gets worse.

  • Faded color

If your driveway is a different color from what it used to be, this can be easily repaired by patching and sealing. While this is a sign of aging, your driveway should still be safe to use if repairs are done quickly enough.

  • Crumbling edges

Crumbling at the sides of an asphalt driveway is usually a sign that the edges were too thin when it was first installed, but this will get worse over time. 

To prevent further damage, add more edging to the driveway.

  • Signs of wear before the driveway is 10 years old

Most driveways should last around 15 years, so if you are noticing signs of wear before this point, it is time to start doing repairs.

Repairs done on time can extend the life of your driveway.

Should I Repair My Driveway?

Repairing your driveway is the right choice to do to the driveway if you are dealing with minimal damage. Damage that covers less than 50% of the surface can be repaired easily and should be done to extend the life of your driveway.

If the top of your driveway requires extensive repairs, but the foundation is intact or if you are concerned about the appearance of your driveway, then resurfacing it is the best option.

Resurfacing involves replacing the top layer of concrete or asphalt driveways to give it a new look without a complete replacement. This is a good idea if you are dealing with a lot of wear and tear where patching small portions will not make a difference.

How Much Does It Cost To Resurface A Driveway?

The average cost to resurface or repave a driveway varies between $1 and $3 per square foot.

This is why resurfacing is a cheaper option than replacing your driveway, but it does cost more to resurface the whole area instead of repairing or patching specific areas. 

Five Signs Your Driveway Needs To Be Replaced

Replacing a driveway is a big decision to make because it is a big investment.

However, there are some occasions where this is the only option, and you should consider replacing your driveway if:

  • There are multiple potholes

A large number of potholes that are deep enough to impact the foundation of the driveway is a clear sign that it needs to be replaced.

Potholes can cause further damage if left unattended as they can collect water and will be more expensive to deal with individually.

  • Alligator or spiderweb cracks

Cracks that are interconnected will look like scales or cobwebs and cover the majority of your driveway. These cannot be repaired individually, so you need to replace the driveway. 

  • Aged more than 20 years

Most driveways can last between 15 and 20 years with correct maintenance, with many concrete driveways lasting up to 30 years. However, after this time, you should consider replacing the driveway. 

  • Drainage issues

If your driveway or the yard around it is not draining properly, causing water to be directed to your home’s foundation, then this needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further property damage, so replace your driveway. 

How To Get Rid of Old Tires

It can be difficult to get rid of old tires because many waste management services will not accept them.

Tires are usually rejected from curbside pickup because of their shape and the fact they hold a lot of air. Holding a lot of air makes tires difficult to get rid of because it means they migrate to the surface of landfills.

However, old tires do have recycling value as long as you can find a service that will accept this material.

In this guide, we are sharing the best ways to get rid of old tires, whether you want to recycle or reuse them. 

 

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How To Recycle Tires Near You

Although it can be difficult to get rid of old tires through your standard curbside pickup waste removal service, there are specialized recycling organizations that accept this material.

These organizations can be found across the country, with many even offering a pickup service where they will come to your home and collect old tires for you. 

It is important to note that there is usually a fee associated with these specialized recycling services. This may be a standard pickup fee for call-outs, but some organizations will also charge you when you drop off old tires as well.

What Happens If You Do Not Want To Pay?

Most, if not all, specialized recycling centers will have some kind of charge for collecting old tires.

There are no free ways for getting rid of old tires unless you are looking to reuse them in a DIY project. The process of recycling tires is complicated, but they can be reused in many ways by the recycling center.

Recycling centers will take old tires and use them as fuel, paving material, and mulch, to name but a few. There is a good range of applications for old tires, but a specialized process is required to get them to this point.

When taking old tires to recycling centers, you not only have to consider the costs associated with this but also the fact you may require a license. Some states will require you to have a license if you are getting rid of a large number of old tires and this number can vary based on your location.

How To Find A Recycling Center Near You

  • You can search for tire recycling near you
  • Call your local recycling center to ask whether they accept tires. They may be able to recommend other locations
  • Check with your regional EPA office for tire recycling centers and facilities
  • Call your city’s service department for resources
  • Call your county’s solid waste district
  • Search for a community-hosted tire collection. May communities will host events where they will collect hard to remove waste, such as old tires, for free or at a reduced cost

Check With Local Auto Repair Stores 

Many auto repair shops will offer to recycle or take your old tires whenever you buy new ones from them. 

If a repair shop does take old tires, they will likely hand them to an EPA-certified recycler.

This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of old tires in the US, as the hard work is done for you and will be completed at the same time as getting new tires on your vehicle.

Find Creative Uses For Old Tires

If you do not want the hassle of recycling old tires or do not have access to these services, there are some fun ways you can reuse them instead.

There are many ideas across the internet for old tire DIY projects, but here are some of our favorites that you could try:

  • Upcycled tire ottoman

This is a great project that can be used both indoors and outdoors as it transforms old tires into a side table. It can also be used as a footstool, depending on the space you have. 

This is a fairly easy DIY, making it suitable for beginners, but at least one power tool is required.

  • Recycled tire ladder

This can be a great addition to an existing swing set or playground as you can use old tires for the kids to climb on. It is possible to make ladders that are suitable for children of all ages and sizes to use, depending on your skillset.

This is a more involved DIY project making it best suited to those with more experience.

  • Tire flower planter

This can be a cute addition to a rustic patio and offer a unique way to bring more color into the backyard.

You can use your old tire as a unique way to display your favorite potted plant, opting to leave it as it is for a rustic appearance or paint it in bright colors for a fun focal point.

Tires can be great for all kinds of flowers, but they should not be used for anything edible because of the chemicals they contain. This is a great DIY project that is incredibly easy and, therefore, suitable for everyone.

  • Tire swing

This classic DIY is something most of us will have experienced, and you can bring the excitement of a tire swing to the new generation.

Make sure that you are using a strong and durable frame for the tire swing, along with some sturdy rope so you can keep everyone safe.

This is an incredibly fun and easy DIY that anyone can try out.

Should You Build an In-Law Suite?

In-law suites are a great addition to any home, providing a new living space for parents, guests, or anybody else that needs to stay – either in the short or long term. However, it can also take some time to plan everything out, so you want to consider things carefully before rushing in without a plan.

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What does the suite need to be?

An in-law suite is often a completely private space attached to a home, usually custom-built if they are not converted from an existing space. Some can also be private standalone guest houses, which are often made from other buildings already on the same plot (but not always).

The suite itself basically has to be either an extension of your existing home or an entirely new building. In most cases, they are meant to be completely independent, meaning that they do not share anything in terms of kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. 

Personal preference also matters a lot here. Some people will love having easy access to the suite from the main house, and vice versa, while others will want them to be mostly isolated, like completely separate homes. Neither is the wrong choice, but it will influence the design.

Unfortunately, this tends to be expensive. Understanding the costs is an important part of getting the design ready, and it can be difficult to know how to start – since they are built around the original property, every single in-law suite will have a very different design, layout, and set of features.

How much does a suite cost?

The cost of a suite like this can vary, and it also heavily depends on the size and scope of the project. Since the space usually needs to be liveable on its own (i.e., operating as a separate space entirely), the costs can come from having to get this all set up properly and safely.

A space with all of the core elements, such as a kitchen and bathroom, will usually cost somewhere between $40,000 and $120,000 or more. Of course, this can sway in either direction quite dramatically depending on the project itself, so these are just average estimated figures.

If this seems high, remember that the cost of a room in a nursing home can be just as expensive, If not more so. This makes it a great investment for any family that worries about taking care of older relatives in the future and also gives them a new space to use for various purposes even before then.

Do building codes matter?

Building codes are always going to influence a space like this. Understanding how to build the addition properly is important since you need to be within local building codes to even get planning permission, let alone the go-ahead, to actually create the space.

It is important to look up your local building laws and restrictions since these will dramatically influence the kind of work that you end up doing and the kind of compromises that you have to make. Every state is different, and no two have exactly the same rules.

However, some are very common and shared between multiple states or even in other countries. For example, the suite will usually need an entrance so that the inhabitants can quickly leave the entire building and head outside if needed, rather than needing to head through the main house to leave.

In many places, you will also be legally required to have separate water and sewage connections for the two buildings that are intended to be used independently. This is to stop repair work or damage in one from impacting the other, meaning that you will have a backup connection if one set of pipes breaks.

How should utilities work?

It is often best to split utilities completely between the two spaces. This not only allows you to turn one building’s utilities off if it is not being used but also makes it much easier to calculate the total bill for anybody living there alongside you.

This also has the same benefit as the water supply issue mentioned earlier – if one fails, there is a high chance of the other working, meaning that you are not completely stuck and can still rely on the other building until the problem is fixed.

Doing this also means that repairs are easier to handle. For example, an electrical fault that requires a power shutoff to fix will not shut off power to both spaces, which would be incredibly disruptive, hard to manage, and possibly even dangerous for older family members.

What about guest needs?

Remember that guests, whether they are elderly family members or just friends staying over for a while, might have more needs than your own. Building your space correctly means planning ahead for the people who are going to be there: for example, installing elderly-friendly furniture and comfort aids.

Going beyond the bare minimum is always the best option because it prevents problems with the space not being reusable later on. On the other hand, you might want to stay away from making the area too specific. Otherwise, you might struggle to refit the space when its original purpose is no longer required.

Think ahead and take your time with the planning. The more thought you put into a space, the better it will suit your needs, so do not rush ahead to create something that just barely meets your requirements. You want to get value for your money, so you want something that you are happy with.

4 Quick Tips for Creating a Green and Sustainable Garden

A green garden is a happy garden, but aiming for something sustainable can help the entire planet keep its green glint. Gardening can often do a lot of damage to the environment if you are not very careful with what you are doing, and anything to counteract that can really help.

Here are four quick ways to make your garden more sustainable without compromising its look and feel, no matter your level of skill as a gardener. It only takes one or two small changes to make a huge difference.

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Compost Waste

Composing things is one of the best ways to reduce your own waste while also creating natural, easy-to-use soil conditioner and fertilizer. Not only does this remove the need to use synthetic alternatives, but you can often make plenty of it using just household waste.

You can compost almost any food (except meat scraps) as well as random things from your garden, allowing you to quickly and easily build up a solid supply of conditioner. With little more than a decent compost bin or pile, you can have an endless stream of fertilizer ready to use at a moment’s notice.

There are countless ways to approach this, but many people simply keep a compost bin near their house, throwing food scraps into it along with the garden waste. It can take a while for everything to break down, but you can just keep adding to the pile on a daily basis, keeping it all topped up.

Recycle Everything

Recycle almost everything you can. It sounds easy, but many people misunderstand what they can and can’t recycle – or forget that you can reuse things that can’t be recycled. Making mulch out of leaves and newspaper or turning egg cartons into seed containers is just the beginning.

For example, you can skip getting a watering can entirely and just use a large water jug – which might have more capacity than your average watering can. Perforating some holes in the cap can even give you that sprinkler spread pattern that normally requires a specialized end cap on a normal watering can.

You can even conserve and recycle water to reuse that instead, allowing you to save on using your own water while also keeping a solid supply of it available. While a grey-water waste system can work, you can also simply collect water from unfinished drinks or even keep a bucket under you in the shower to let it fill up each morning.

This makes the biggest impact on hotter climates, states, and seasons, where water can be at a premium and natural rainfall is not as common. The more water you can store away, the less you will waste when you actually need to water your garden.

Avoid Powered Tools

One of the best ways to avoid harming the environment is to handle everything yourself – cutting the grass using manpower-based mowers or trimming hedges with physical tools. There is no perfect way to approach each problem, but it can be a lot better for the environment than burning fuel just to cut the grass.

This also gives you an excuse to spend more time outside in your garden, something that can really motivate you to keep working on things out there. A simple session of pulling up some weeds can spiral into an afternoon-long full clean-up of the area, which you will definitely be happy to have done.

A push mower is a good example, as are things like cutting up weeds by yourself instead of using specialized tools. Having a dumpster available can make a big difference, too – rather than shredding garden waste or making multiple long fuel-consuming drives to a disposal point, you can put it all into a large dumpster that can be emptied in just a single trip.

Electricity can at least be generated through solar energy, but fuel can just be wasteful. There are many cases where using a fuel-powered tool would be overkilled anyway, especially those ridable mowers that are only really meant for much larger areas. A simple push mower can do the same job for free with less noise, pollution, and set-up time.

Stay Organic

Try to use as many organic, natural methods and items as possible when caring for your garden. For example, climate-appropriate plants require less attention and care, meaning that you are using less water to hydrate them and are not having to spray specialized pesticides their way.

Companion plants can be a great trick, too. Some plants protect others from particular pests (either warding them off or diverting their attention away), which can mean that a well-organized garden is basically immune to most pest-related hazards. This saves on pesticides and helps you grow a larger variety of plants.

As mentioned above, with composting, using natural fertilizers and other materials is also the way to go. This ensures that you are not putting chemicals into the ground that will lead to increased environmental issues and also gives you the satisfaction of doing it all yourself. You might even feel that it makes the fruit and vegetables you grow taste better, too.

Whether or not it impacts the quality of what you are growing, relying on natural solutions to problems can save you a lot of money and help the environment heal. The more natural your garden is, the nicer it will be to spend time in it, especially without the smell of chemicals being sprayed into the grass every few days.

How To Remove A Tile Floor: A Step By Step Guide

There are various reasons why you may need to remove a tile floor at home, whether you are doing larger repairs or simply want a change of scenery.

Whatever the reason may be, it is a good idea to learn how to properly remove tile floors, so you do not cause any damage to your home or yourself. In this guide, we are going to be sharing how to remove a tile floor yourself with a step-by-step process. 

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How Much Does It Cost To Remove Tile Flooring?

Many factors can contribute to the cost of removing a tile floor, such as the size of the room you are working in and whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor. 

It is always going to cost more to hire a professional because you are not only paying for the work to be done but also the labor on top. If you choose to do it yourself, you only have to pay for the materials.

As it is fairly easy to pull tiles up, this is something you can DIY, but you need to be aware of how time-consuming this task will be. It is also physically demanding work, so this is something you need to be able to handle before starting it yourself.

What You Need For Tile Removal

There are plenty of tools out there that you can use when removing a tile floor, with options for power tools and manual tools depending on your skillset. 

Depending on the size of the room you will be working in and the kind of tiles you are removing, which determines the difficulty of the task, you may need additional tools. But as a starting guide, these are always needed for this kind of work, so gather them now:

  • Hammer 
  • Pry Bar
  • Long-handled floor scraper
  • Chisel or Air Hammer with chisel set
  • Screwdriver
  • Shop-Vac
  • Shovel
  • Buckets
  • Tarps and/or plastic wrap
  • Painters tape

Along with these manual tools, it is important to consider safety gear such as goggles and gloves.

How To Remove A Tile Floor

  • Prepare The Area

Before you can start digging up the tiles, you need to get the room ready first. This includes:

  • Removing freestanding items
  • Take off any baseboard trim around the room
  • Seal the vents in the room to prevent them from becoming clogged with dust
  • Cover whatever cannot be removed from the room 

The more space that you can create in the room you are working in the better. This means, even if it takes a bit more effort, try to get rid of everything from the room you are working in first.

  • Create A Starting Point

A good starting point is where there is already a missing tile. For example, you may have a blank space where the vanity used to sit, so this is a good place to get started, and it will make your work a little bit easier.

If there are no missing tiles, try to find a damaged or cracked tile to mark your starting point.

Even if you do not have these starting points marked out for you, the work cannot be delayed, so you will just have to create your own marker. A good place to start is the corner of a room or in the doorway if the tile does not continue into the next room.

  • Start Removing Tile

Now that you have a starting point, there is no use delaying the work. It is time to start removing the tiles from the floor.

You should do this by:

  • Break apart the first few tiles in your starting point using the chisel and hammer
  • Remove all broken parts and place them out of the way in a bucket. You will not be able to get every piece of broken tile along the way, but collecting the bigger pieces as you see them will keep your work site safe
  • Inspect the underlayer of the floor once the tile has been removed to ensure there is no damage, as this will need to be addressed before new flooring can be added
  • The pry bar can be used to pull up stubborn tiles

Removing tiles is a tough and time-consuming job, so make sure to go at your own pace and clean as you go to prevent injury.

  • Continue Removing Old Tiles

Removing tiles is not a complicated task, but it is a time-consuming and physically demanding job, so this is where the bulk of the work will take place.

Once you have removed enough tiles from your starting point, you should be able to use the long-handled scraper or air hammer (from the chisel set) to lift the tiles away. However, if this is not possible, you can continue using the crowbar.

Some tiles will be more stubborn than others, so take care when removing them.

  • Inspect The Underlayment

Now that you have removed all the tiles, it is time to see what is underneath.

In most cases, there will be an underlayment, but the tiles may have been applied directly to concrete or wood flooring, depending on where you are working in the home. 

Regardless, it would be best if you took some time to assess the quality and whether it is suitable for a new flooring layer.

How To Organize The Junk Drawer In 25 Minutes or Less

No matter how clean a home appears on the surface, there is most likely a junk drawer somewhere that is never organized. Every home has one, but that does not mean you have to keep a junk drawer if it is causing you stress.

Learning how to organize a junk drawer is part life skill and part art, but this does not mean it has to take a long time to do.

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In this guide, we are sharing five easy steps that can help you clean out the junk drawer in 25-minutes or less. So if you have some spare time during the day or after work, take notes and get started.

What You Need

  • Washcloth
  • Wood cleaner
  • Drawer liner
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Tape
  • Containers, baskets, or premade junk drawer organizers

How To Organize A Junk Drawer: Minute By Minute

It is possible to organize the junk drawer in 25 minutes or less, and we are going to show you how:

  • Dump Out The Junk

Time: One minute

This is a quick and easy task to get you started, as you simply have to take out the drawer and dump all of the contents elsewhere. Make sure you have enough surface area to hold everything and space to assess what has been hiding in the drawer, so use the kitchen table or counter for this task.

  • Wipe Out The Drawer

Time: One minute

Before you can organize the items in the junk drawer, you need to give yourself a clean, blank slate. Take your washcloth and some cleaner to wipe the bottom of the drawer and remove all dust, dirt, and debris.

  • Sort Through The Junk

Time: Around 8 minutes

This is one of the biggest tasks you will have to do, which is why it takes longer. It is time to tackle the junk you have removed from the drawer and decide what you want to keep.

All junk drawers contain three categories of stuff: things that belong, things that do not, and trash. Gather your items into these three categories and make sure to work as quick as you can; otherwise, you could spend all day deciding whether an old wire charger ‘sparks joy’ instead of getting on with the task at hand.

These three categories will come into play once the junk drawer has been organized as well, as they determine what needs to go in this spot and what goes elsewhere, so it will be easy to keep on top of things.

  • Give The Drawer Structure

Time: Around 12 minutes

Now that you have organized what needs to be kept in the junk drawer, it is time to structure the drawer, so everything has a place.

Here are some ways that you can structure your junk drawer to keep it clean and organized:

  • Line The Drawer

Lining the junk drawer will protect the wood from any damage and make it easy to keep clean. 

You can find stylish patterned drawer liners, which can be quite cheap, but you can also make something yourself. A custom-cut sheet of metal can look sleek and is a great drawer liner,  but there are many other materials that you can use. 

As long as the lining can withstand the wear and tear of the junk drawer, it is suitable.

  • Choose Your Containers

When structuring the junk drawer, it is important to consider containers that will hold all of the items of a specific category and also fit into the drawer.

It is a good idea to keep like items with like items, such as all phone cables in one container and batteries in another. This will keep you organized and make it easy to keep the junk drawer clean over time.

You can also buy containers, like drawer liners, from any store or DIY them using old food containers or Tupperware you have at home. 

  • Put Items Away 

Time: Three minutes

Now that the junk drawer is organized, it is time to put all of the essential items away in their designated spots and admire your hard work.

Keeping the junk drawer organized is a family effort, so make sure to inform everyone in the house of the new rules you have set. Ensure everyone knows where items are being kept and what belongs in the junk drawer so you can all work to keep it organized. 

What Belongs In A Junk Drawer

The key to keeping a junk drawer organized is to only use it for the odds and ends that you need around the home but that have no other place. You need to carefully consider the items that you will keep in this drawer, and they should all have a purpose; otherwise, you are simply collecting trash.

Items that are useful to keep in the junk drawer include:

  • Stationary (pens, pencils, erasers, and paper clips are good to have on hand)
  • Notepads
  • Keys
  • Flashlight and the necessary batteries
  • Other batteries for appliances and remotes
  • Spare change
  • Screwdriver and a set of screws
  • Matchbooks and small lighters
  • Sewing kit
  • Rubber bands
  • Breath mints, lip balm, and salves
  • Phone chargers and earbuds

All of these can be kept organized using small, separate containers or junk drawer organizers. 

Anything that is not on this list should be kept elsewhere in the home and systematized in its own way. 

How To Build A Home Compost Bin

Compost is known as ‘black gold’ because it can be a lucrative fertilizer for your garden. If you want to take better care of your outdoor plants and flowers while also tackling food waste from within the home, then a compost bin is something you need.

However, a compost heap is not exactly an attractive thing to have in the yard, and even if you opt for a store-bought container, you may still have to compromise on style.

You can get the waste management services you need at a rate customized for your project’s unique needs.

Luckily, it is incredibly easy to make your own compost bin at home, and you can make it fit into your environment in only a couple of hours.

In this guide, we are going to share two kinds of compost bins that you can make in a few hours giving you options based on the style you want and the available space you have.

How To Make A Wire Compost Bin

To make this bin, you will need:

  • 10 feet of chicken wire
  • Heavy-duty wire to use as ties
  • 4 wooden posts
  • Wire snips
  • Hammer
  • Pliers

You should consider using galvanized chicken wire for this project, as this will last longer.

Once you have gathered the materials, it is time to start building:

  1. Find an appropriate spot in your garden for the bin and place the chicken wire in a circle to see if it will fit here
  2. Use your wire snips to cut the heavy-duty wire into ties. It is a good idea to make more than you think you will need for additional security
  3. Go back to your chicken wire and use the pliers to bend around 3 inches of it back on either end of the circle. After you have bent the ends, clamp them into a sturdier and cleaner edge so they will be easier to tie
  4. Use the ties you have made to attach the two ends of the chicken wire circle, and use the pliers for a tighter fit
  5. Take your four wooden posts and place them inside the circle, spacing them as evenly as possible so you can maintain the structure as well as a good circumference 
  6. This step will require an additional person to help you, as you will need someone to hold each post tightly against the chicken wire while you drive the post into the ground with a hammer

This is a fast and easy DIY for a compost bin at home, and it can be done in all kinds of gardens. It is a great place to store food and plant waste, although you may find it difficult to turn the waste due to the shape of this bin.

However, as long as you keep a good mixture of green and brown waste in the pile, as well as work to prevent it from becoming too dry, then you should still have rich compost in this bin.

How To Build a Wooden Slat Compost Bin

To make this bin, you will need:

  • 7 pieces of 3-foot 2×6 lumber
  • 4 sturdy wooden stakes that are 3 feet long
  • Galvanized nails that are at least 2 ¾ inches long
  • Hammer

When making a wooden compost bin, you need to use untreated lumber so it will be free from chemicals.

With these simple materials, it is time to start making your wooden slat compost bin:

  1. Begin to construct the side of the compost bin by nailing the 2×6 lumber to the stakes. You should use at least two nails on either end of the lumber
  2. Two of the 2×6 lumber will be used for each side of the bin, with one being used for the front to leave an opening. This will make it easy for you to turn your compost
  3. When securing the wooden slats, make sure to leave around 3 inches between them and leave several inches of stake free at the bottom of the bin so it can be driven into the ground
  4. Once you have nailed everything together for a solid structure, set your bin into place within your garden and use the hammer to drive the stakes firmly into the ground. 

As this is such an easy DIY, you can repeat it to make two compost bins that can be installed next to each other in your garden. This will make turning your compost incredibly easy, as all you will have to do is shovel the compost into the other bin and repeat this every time.

How To Test If Your Compost Is Ready

Before you can make use of your compost, you have to make sure it is ready and will offer your garden the nutrients it needs. Without this, you will simply be adding garbage to your garden with no benefit.

It is easy to check whether your compost is ready to use, as you simply have to gather a handful and plant several bean seeds in it. If the bean sprouts fail to come up or do not last long, then you will need to leave your compost in the bin for a bit longer.

Compost is known as ‘black gold’ because it is rich in nutrients and microbes that can help plants flourish. This is a great and cheap way to keep your garden healthy and thriving. 

Having a DIY compost bin in the garden will make this even easier to do.

 

Preparing to Move House

Moving house can be exceptionally stressful; there are so many things to consider, arrange, and do to execute a move well. To make this process less stressful, you can make a step-by-step list of what you need to achieve and how to do this. 

Including timelines and time limits on your to-do list is an excellent way to stay focused and not fall behind. We recommend that you create your list in a logical order that follows any deadline dates that you have too. 

We take pride in providing the lowest prices on all roll-off dumpster rentals while also maintaining the highest standards of quality and customer service.

 

Beginning to Plan

When to start planning is an important first step; you should not leave it too long to plan for obvious reasons. However, you should also be wary of beginning to plan too early. Excessively early plans can become redundant closer to your moving date if something changes. We have found that the optimal time to begin planning a house move is around 2 months before your expected moving date. 

It should be noted, though, that there are a variety of reasons you may need to start planning a little earlier; if you work away from home, have a peak period of work leading up to the moving date, or you have a young family. Any of these reasons may mean you have less spare time to begin the moving process, and so additional time should be factored into your plans. 

During this beginning stage, we recommend you make a list of everything that needs to be done before you move. This should include steps such as: 

  • Decluttering each room
  • Cleaning each room 
  • Decorating/ touching up paintwork (if necessary) 
  • Hiring storage (if required)
  • Hiring a removal company/van
  • Packing your home

There may be additional tasks that we have not listed here, but this stage of the moving process is the time to list everything you need to achieve.

 

Create Your Timeline

Once you know you have written up all of the tasks you need to complete, you can begin to create your timeline. The most important thing when doing so is to be realistic about how long each task is going to take you to complete. If you are unsure of this, we always suggest you include the maximum amount of time you think it could. If you plan for the maximum, you are only going to be ahead of schedule (great for anything that pops up last minute). The last thing you want to do is fall behind schedule on the first task and then have to rush to catch up at a later point. 

Decluttering should always be your starting point when moving house, and we always advise you to do this at your old property. Decluttering before a house move will mean that you have less to pack, saving you time, and less to physically move from one property to another only to decide you do not want it later. 

Depending on the size of your rooms, one day per room should be enough time to decide what you are going to dispose of before you move. There are various methods of decluttering, so pick one that works for you and apply it to each room. 

We recommend that you do not plan to declutter all rooms one day after another as it can become physically and mentally draining. You could declutter one day and then use the next to organize the remaining items into those that can be packed straight away and those that you will need before the big moving day. 

 

Budget Accordingly

When you have your timeline in place, you can begin to budget for moving house. The first decision to make is whether you are moving your possessions yourself or if you are hiring a firm to move for you. 

When moving your possessions yourself, you will need to include the following in your moving budget: 

  • The cost of packing materials
  • The cost of hiring a van or U-Haul
  • Insurance for your belongings and the van
  • The cost of gas
  • Any equipment you need to move your possessions safely. 

You will also need to work out who will be helping you to move and their availability before beginning to arrange to hire a vehicle or equipment. 

If you are hiring a professional company, you will have less to worry about but will incur more costs. You will need to pay for the loading of belongings at your old home and unloading at your new home. Also, add in the cost of the company’s moving fees, and finally an incidental amount for lunch and drinks for the movers and possibly a tip when the job is complete. 

We advise you to get some quotes before you make the decision but also have a look at what you have to move. If you have several large and heavy items that you know you will struggle to move, even with assistance, a professional company might be the safest and most sensible option. 

 

Packing

When packing, it is important to be organized. You will need to know what you need to keep out of boxes to use in your final weeks in your current home. Once you have separated this, you can begin to pack items into boxes. 

We recommend that you work one room at a time and label each box with, at a minimum, the room that it is for in the new house. This will make it easier when unloading your possessions, but an additional tag of what is in the box is always helpful, such as, ‘Bathroom – toiletries.’

You should also ensure that anything valuable, sentimental, or heavy is packaged well and known to you to avoid upset if something is lost or damaged. 

After all of the packing is done, you can complete any touch-ups needed on the property and relax until moving day. 

E-Waste and Where it Goes

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your devices when they eventually break down? The short answer to this is that there are two things that could happen. The first is that they can be recycled, or they can go to a landfill. A landfill is a concerning option as the pollutants emitted by broken-down electronics can have a long-lasting negative impact on the environment. 

As new electronic devices are constantly released, and society and social media encourage people to have the best and newest available, the number of discarded devices is increasing. However, so has the drive to recycle the old devices. Often devices are disposed of while still working due to upgrading when out of contract. 

You fill up the dumpster with any unwanted debris, then we pick it up and dispose of everything in a nearby landfill.

Manufacturers and recycling companies are beginning to offer more incentives to recycle electronic devices. This is to allow them to reuse parts as the creation and distribution of parts have become increasingly expensive. 

 

How Bad is the E-Waste Problem?

The volume of E-Waste is increasing at an alarming rate. In the 5 years from 2014 to 2019, the volume increased by 21%, increasing to 53.6 million tons in 2019. The concerning part of this data is that the amount of e-waste being recycled in the US has decreased. 

In 2013 the United States generated 3.1 million tons of e-waste but recycled 40.4% of this. In 2019 the United States generated 6.9 million tons of e-waste, of which only 15% of this was recycled. 

Not recycling e-waste is not just damaging to the environment, it is damaging to the economy. The value of the materials included in the e-waste of 2019 was almost $7.5 million, which was thrown away. 

With less than two in ten electronic devices being recycled annually, there is a huge amount of toxic waste being leaked into the environment. 

 

How is E-Waste Handled?

If you take your e-waste to a designated recycling center, it is not a totally transparent process. The regulations for recycling devices are not strictly enforced, and current recycling companies do not always give clear information about what they are doing. Although some companies do recycle materials from your devices within the United States, with the correct machinery to separate components. However, a large portion of the e-waste produced is sent abroad. 

Regulations abroad are enforced with less scrutiny, if they exist at all. This means that, unfortunately, not all of the e-waste sent for recycling actually is recycled, adding to the amount of toxic waste. 

Getting into the habit of recycling electrical devices can only be a positive act for the environment. Making recycling the first option under all circumstances is a good first step. Changing habits is the best way to improve the rates of recycling globally. 

It is important that if you are planning to recycle devices, you should use a company with a good reputation. This may require some research on your behalf but will be worth it. To do this, you can look at company reviews online and the FAQs on the company’s website. You should seek out information about what will happen with the recycling of your device and also what they will do if some components cannot be recycled. 

You can find companies near to you using online search engines, and some companies will offer bespoke services. You can decide which points from each company are important to you. Some companies will offer to use recycled components locally, while others guarantee that 100% of all materials will be recycled and reused. 

Whichever company you choose to use, you should ensure that you factory reset all devices before sending them. This will remove all personal and financial data from your devices. Although most companies will offer to do this for you, it is beneficial to do it yourself in case any of the devices are lost in transit. 

Companies are realizing that convenience is a motivator for recycling electronics. This can include offering pick-up services, free postage options if you are sending your devices, and even monetary incentives. With different offers available, it is worth checking several companies before deciding which company you wish to recycle with. 

 

The Future of E-Waste

With the amount of e-waste being produced increasing at such a high rate each year, we can all collectively make such a difference to the future of e-waste. There is no way to undo the damage already done by sending e-waste to landfills in the past. However, we can stop this situation from worsening. 

As the population increases, so will the number of electrical devices produced and used each year due to the trend of upgrading devices regularly. A robust electrical recycling plan and protocol are needed to stop toxic waste from increasing and damaging our environment. The consequences of electrical waste are not yet fully known, although we do not know that the damage is permanent. 

If you choose to use a recycling company, we implore you to ensure, as far as you can, that they are reputable and will do what they say they will. If speaking to friends and family when they are upgrading devices, encourage them to recycle. Only by making the process easier and more transparent can we improve the percentage of e-waste that is recycled globally. While it is unlikely that you can impact the global situation yourself, encouraging a small number of people who then encourage more people will have a wider impact than you might expect. 

Maximize Your Home to Sell

When selling your home, it is important to put your best foot forward. Staging your property in the best way possible will maximize the amount your house will sell for. It is proven that staging your property in a way that allows potential buyers to see themselves living in the property will help it to sell quickly. 

In order to stage your house in the best way, you will need to remove the day-to-day signs of your life inside your home. This is not always an easy thing to do without a professional involved, so we have gathered some top tips for how you can achieve the best presentation of your home. 

They have a great Open Space program which strives to conserve undeveloped land as well as maintain and acquire new open space.

 

Stage Outdoors

The first thing any prospective buyers will see of your home is the outdoor area. Therefore, it is extremely important that you give the best impression of this area. This can be achieved no matter what type of outdoor space you have. 

The first step is to ensure that your front yard is clean and tidy. Ensure that your lawn is cut and green. If your lawn is damaged, we recommend you take steps to improve this with lawn repair techniques. 

All stones and pathways leading to your home should be cleaned. There is nothing worse than mud-splattered paths with weeds poking through. A power washer is a great way to get up any grime and dirt that has dried into the stone. 

Finally, if you have bushes or trees that line the walkway to your home, we recommend you cut them back and remove any dead branches, so they look tidy also. 

Now that your prospective buyer has reached your property, they will be looking at the exterior of the house. If you have a porch or terrace, we recommend this receives the same cleaning treatment as the walkways. A pressure washer will remove any dirt from the flooring and also from any railings. 

We recommend a new coat of paint for any railings that surround your home. This will help to freshen everything up. If you have wooden sills and window frames, you should paint them also. 

Any outdoor furniture should be arranged to maximize the space and set up as if there was a group sitting outside enjoying the afternoon sun. Cleaning the upholstery of any garden furniture will help to give a great first impression. Also, we have found that houses with bright plants or flowers outside are more attractive, so adding those can be a big draw. 

For your backyard, you should give the same areas attention as in the front yard and also make it look tidy. Remove any toys, clutter, or tools so your prospective buyers can really imagine their own belongings in the garden. It will also help them to see the size of the garden. 

 

Moving Inside

 

The first thing to do in every room is to ensure that the room is clean. Wipe down all surfaces and windows to remove finger marks and other smudges, clean all of the floors, and ensure the paintwork is clean too. 

 

The Kitchen

When staging a kitchen, it is best to make sure that the items in the kitchen are tidy and remove any half-used jars of food or boxes of cereal. Ensuring that your cabinets are clean and tidy may not seem necessary, but prospective buyers may want to see how much they can fit into each cabinet. If you have extra items that are kept on worktops, we advise you to store them elsewhere, so you do not give the impression of the house not having enough space. 

We recommend that you leave some items out, essentials that you use regularly, such as a coffee maker and microwave oven. This will avoid the house looking too clinical and help your prospective buyers to see themselves living in the house. 

 

The Living Room

Ensure that the room is not cluttered. If you have sentimental items in your living room, it is helpful to store them with friends or relatives to keep the space cleaner. Furniture should be clean and arranged in a way that shows buyers how they can use the room for conversations. We advise that you pull your furniture away from the wall to give the room the illusion of more space. 

You should then add some decoration to make the room feel like a home. We like a nice vase of flowers or a plate of baked goods. These items have the added benefit of welcoming smells. Sensory touches like this will help to make prospective buyers see this as somewhere they can live. 

 

Bathrooms

Bathrooms generally only receive a cursory look at the surface items, so the surface items must all be pristine. Ensure that all tiles, woodwork, and grout have been cleaned to a sparkle. There is nothing worse than seeing a dirty bathroom with stains.

Removing any personal items is a must. Half-used bars of soap or prescriptions will ruin the look you are aiming for. However, nice touches like candles or low lighting will show the room as somewhere you can relax. 

 

Bedrooms

In each bedroom, you should maximize the space by having the minimum amount of furniture. Furniture should not be pushed close together or pushed into each corner. Large mirrors help to spread the light and increase the impression of space.  

Clean every inch of the room, dust, and vacuum all surfaces and flooring, making sure you get into the corners and below raised furniture. 

Additional touches you can add to bedrooms are a book on the dresser or bedside cabinet. Ensure this is only one to make the room look attractive and not a pile that looks cluttered.

 

Once your home has been staged, we are confident that you will see offers flying in from people who want to live in your beautiful home. 

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

If you are looking for a way to grow more plants, flowers, or vegetables in your small garden, then you have come to the right place. A raised garden bed is a great way of making more space in your garden that can be used to plant anything you want.

Whether in the hart of Cookstown or anywhere else in New Hanover Township and Burlington County, you can trust our team to deliver unparalleled quality on all roll-away container rentals in Cookstown, NJ and area.

While you can buy raised garden beds from any garden center, you can also make them yourself using these simple steps.

What Is A Raised Garden Bed?

A raised garden bed is a raised box that can be used as a gardening plot for growing plants.

Using a garden bed allows you to save space in the yard, which is why they are ideal for small gardens. Fill the garden bed with quality soil and place them where they will get a lot of sunlight to grow all kinds of plants, flowers, or vegetables.

Benefits of a Raised Garden Bed

There are many benefits to using a raised garden bed, such as:

  • Easier weeding without bending and kneeling
  • Fewer weeds to deal with than in a traditional garden
  • Better drainage for plants
  • A higher ground temperature during the growing season
  • Creates a concentrated area with more fertile soil
  • Minimal space requirements

If you are going to make your own raised garden bed for these reasons, it should be a maximum of four feet wide. This makes it easy for you to weed the center of the box without having to step into it.

In terms of depth, stick to around six inches but the deeper, the better, depending on what you are wanting to plant in the garden bed. A maximum of 24 inches in depth is recommended for a comfortable working height and healthy plant roots.

What You Need To Make A Raised Garden Bed

  • Two 2-inch x 12-inch x 8-foot longboards 
  • Two 2-inch x 12-inch x 4-foot longboards
  • 12 4-inch decking screws
  • Electric drill
  • Tape measure
  • Speed square
  • Hoe, shovel, and rake
  • Pencil
  • A compostable fabric, like newspaper or cardboard
  • One 1 1/5 cubic yards of dirt and compost mix 
  • Plants of your choice

How To Make A Raised Garden Bed

  • Prepare The Ground For The Garden Bed

The perfect location for your garden bed should offer enough light and shade, which will vary based on the kind of plants you are wanting in your garden.

If you do not know what you will be using your garden bed for, consider a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.

You can place your garden bed on concrete, but dirt or grass is better for the drainage of plants and can allow for longer roots. Whatever area you choose, make sure it is level and is big enough for your garden bed.

Using the hoe or shovel, remove the grass from your chosen area and loosen the dirt, all the while leveling the ground. Make sure that the ground allows for the garden bed to sit flush on the edges, as this will keep out weeds and vermin.

  1. Frame Garden Bed and Set Screws

To start making the frame of your garden bed, lay the longer pieces of wood parallel to each other and the shorter pieces perpendicular to the edge of each.

On the broad side of the 4-foot boards, take the tape measure to mark one inch from the end and three inches from the top for a screw. Mark a second spot three inches from this one.

Repeat this step once more and repeat it all on the other 4-foot board. 

Now you know where they need to go, use the drill to sink the screws one-third of the way into the wood. 

  • Build the Bed

Next, attach the four-foot boards with the screws to the 8-foot boards to make your frame.

Using the help of a second person, hold one of the 8-foot boards on its side, making sure the outer edge is flush with the edge of the 4-foot board, so they overlap. Use the speed square to make sure the boards meet at a 90-degree angle.

With the boards flush against each other, use the drill to finish sinking the screws in and attach them. Repeat this process on the three other corners of your frame.

To extend the life of your wood, you can also use a staple gun and a heavy-duty sheet of plastic to line the inside of the garden bed frame. Cut the plastic into 12-inch wide sheets and attach them to the inside of the bed by stapling every couple of inches.

  • Place and Fill The Raised Garden Bed

It is time to move your completed garden bed to your desired location. If there are any gaps between the garden bed and the ground, then fill them with dirt.

Line the bottom of the bed using newspaper, cardboard, or another compostable fabric to further reduce weed growth. 

Fill the bed with your dirt and compost mixture. The amount may vary based on the size of the garden bed you have made, but fill the garden bed until there is only half an inch left at the top.

If you plan to add mulch to the garden bed after planting, you will need to leave more of a gap to accommodate this. Level using the rake, so you are ready to add your plants. 

How To Remove Roof Shingles: A Step By Step Guide

To extend the life of your roof and protect your home from water damage, you need to periodically remove and replace roof shingles. While this is something all homeowners are aware of, we do not usually do it on time because it can be an expensive home maintenance task to complete.

However, replacing shingles as and when they need to be repaired is a cheaper task than a full re-roofing project, so it is worth it if you have the time, and removing them yourself is a way to make things even cheaper.

Whether in the center of Clinton, NJ or elsewhere in the greater Hunterdon County area, you can rely on us to deliver a dumpster as soon as possible (even today) to keep your project moving forward smoothly.

In this guide, we are sharing step by step instructions on how to remove roof shingles yourself so you can protect your home from water damage while also saving money.

What You Need To Remove Roof Shingles

To remove the roof shingles yourself, there are some tools you will need. 

Most of these will be things you already own if you are a homeowner, but they can also be found at your local home improvement store if necessary.

  • Sturdy ladders
  • Hammer (one per person)
  • Hammer tacker (at least two)
  • Roofing nails
  • Staples
  • Pry bar (at least two)
  • Adjustable roof jacks
  • Plywood sheets (enough to lean against roof jacks, plus extra)
  • Chalk line
  • Tarps
  • Garden fork/roofing shovel (one per person)
  • Push brooms (at least two)

You may also want to get roofing felt and an ice/water barrier.

When removing roof shingles, make sure you are wearing the correct safety gear, such as thick-soled boots with good grip, long pants, and work gloves to protect your skin.

Goggles should be worn to protect your eyes as shedding roof shingles causes granules which can be dangerous.

How To Remove Roof Shingles

  • Prep Your Property

When removing shingles from the roof, you will need a reliable waste disposal method like a dumpster from Eagle Dumpster Rental. As well as preparing for the waste, you will need to protect your home when doing this work.

Any shingles that fall from the roof or do not make it to the dumpster can cause damage to your property, so you should be prepared for this. Place plywood sheets over any outside units, such as the air conditioner (after turning the unit off first), against windows, and near the bin. 

Use tarps to cover surrounding shrubs or other landscaping elements that you want to protect around the perimeter of your home. Set up your ladders in a stable and safe place before getting to work, ensuring they will remain in place throughout.

The last step here is to set up roof jacks, which are steel anchors that fasten to the roof and can hold the planks for you to walk on. These are vital for safety, so make sure they are secured properly and that you have used solid planks that can hold your weight.

  • Start Tearing Off Shingles

Start at the peak of the section of your roof that is farthest away from your dumpster and move inwards as your progress.

Using the shovel or fork, work under the ridge caps (the shingles at the peak of the roof) and pry them loose. Once they have become loose, allow them to slide down to the jacks so they can be collected later.

After you have pried the caps, you will need to work down the roof removing shingles in two to three-foot sections. Use the same method on all of the caps, prising your shovel under the shingles and felt paper and allowing them to fall onto the jacks. 

Do not worry if some of the nails remain on the roof, as these will be dealt with later.

  • Toss The Shingles As You Work

When you have worked your way down to the jacks, gather all of the discarded shingles and throw them into the dumpster.

Shingles are heavy, which is why a dumpster is the best solution for this kind of waste. Make sure to collect small groups of shingles to dispose of at a time so you can do it yourself. 

Having a dumpster on site makes it easy to throw away heavy shingles as you work, so they do not become overwhelming to deal with.

  • Evaluate The Flashing

Once the shingles have been removed, you will be able to inspect the flashing. 

Flashing is the thin pieces of material that direct water away from your home, and flashing can become damaged over time or throughout the process of removing shingles. Signs of wear, such as cracks, rust, or holes, will need to be addressed, but flashing without this can be reused with your new shingles.

If you are going to keep your flashing to reuse, take some time to remove the nails that remain. Once this is done, bend it up and back using your crowbar so you can get the shingles underneath.

  • Remove Valley and Vent Flashing

Once you have removed all of the shingles, it is time to remove the flashing that remains.

To do this, start at the top of the valley and pry the flashing loose by pulling up, working your way downwards. Make sure to remove the lashing from all vents too.

  • Repeat On All Sections

To remove all shingles, repeat these steps on each section until the roof is completely bare.

Once the roof is bare, you can move on to replacing the roof shingles as needed.