Month: February 2020

Paint vs. Siding Cost

Re-finishing the outside of your home can alter its whole appearance, including a lot to the “curb appeal” that raises property value value or just making you proud of a home you plan to keep on living in. Some of the most common options for an exterior update are painting the exterior or installing siding. As with the majority of home improvement projects, cost is a significant deciding factor between the two methods.

Price of Materials

Siding is a significantly larger up-front investment than painting. Vinyl, the most common type of siding as of 2013, can run from $2 to $7 per square foot, depending on style, quality and place. Paint runs between $1 and $2 per square foot. If you plan to do the work yourself, siding requires specialized tools which cost up to $100. Most homeowners have basic painting supplies available, with replacing gear costing closer to $50.


In case your house now has siding, a contractor will remove and dispose of the old cover for $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the size of your home and your area. Preparing a painted house for new paint necessitates cleaning and scraping, a process most painters can do for $500 to $1,000. In either scenario, you might receive a discount on preparation if you buy it from exactly the same contractor you hire to employ the new paint or install the new siding.


Installing vinyl siding on a one-story, three-bedroom home costs as low as $3,600 as much as $13,000, depending upon your area and which contractor you hire. A specialist paint job on the exact same sort of house costs between $1,500 and $3,000. Although the real prices on any given house will fluctuate widely from this instance, it clearly illustrates the difference in price between either sort of home improvement.


High-quality exterior paint jobs last up to eight years until they start to visibly chip and fade, with most paint jobs showing wear four to seven years. Material data reports on vinyl siding claim lifespans of 20 to 50 years, although vinyl siding for a product is less than 50 years old, so no data confirms the long end of that claim. At three to five times the lifespan, the cost efficacy of vinyl siding can be approximately the same as painting your home if you plan to remain in it for a long moment.


Vinyl siding comes with integral insulation and is rated at 25 percent more energy efficient than paint, which can mean long-term energy savings and short term green energy tax breaks. Although this won’t benefit you at the cash register, it is worth considering when comparing the total cost of both alternatives.

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How to Clean Brassy Cabinet Fixtures

Manufacturers typically coat metallic in lacquer to keep them shiny, but over time, the lacquer can erode and lose its luster. Some brassy fixtures are solid brass, while some are only brass plated. A magnet test will let you know that one you have as the magnet only sticks to brass-plated items, not good brass. Once you decide which kind of fixtures you’ve got, you can choose the suitable cleaning technique.

Solid Brass

Eliminate the brass fixtures in the cabinets with a screwdriver.

Spread a paper over your work surface and put the fixtures on the newspaper. Ventilate the area.

Don a face mask. Dip a soft toothbrush to lacquer thinner and brush the fixture to remove the coating.

Scrub the fixture with 0000-grade steel wool to remove any remaining lacquer. Instead, scrub with baking soda on a toothbrush with half a lemon dipped in salt.

Dip another soft toothbrush to warm water, apply a drop of brass cleaner or mild liquid soap to the bristles and bathe the fixtures. Rinse with warm water.

Dry the fixture by wiping it with a chamois cloth.

Take the fixture outside and apply a light coat of spray lacquer, holding the can 6 inches away. Allow the first coat to dry before applying a second.

Reattach the fixtures to the cabinets following the lacquer dries completely.

Brass-Plated Fixtures

Eliminate the brass fixtures in the cabinets with a screwdriver.

Add a few drops of mild liquid soap to a huge bowl of warm tap water. Swish the water to mix in the soap. Soak the fixtures for 30 minutes to a hour.

Eliminate the fixtures in the water, apply a drop of mild liquid soap to the bristles of a toothbrush that is soft and gently wash the fixtures. Rinse with warm tap water.

Dry the fixtures and buff them to a glow with a chamois cloth.

Reattach the fixtures to the cabinets.

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Wattage vs. Surge Wattage to get a Window Air Conditioner

You may be wondering what the difference is between wattage (also called running or ranked wattage) and surge wattage (also referred to as start-up wattage). Running wattage indicates that the electricity a motor-driven appliance uses once it reaches normal operating speed. Surge wattage represents the power the appliance consumes as its motor begins and gets up to two-thirds of its operating speed.

Surge Wattage

Depending on the operating efficiency and the power factor of the air conditioner’s hermetic motor-compressor unit, the surge wattage could be as few as 1.04 to 2.0 times its running wattage. In most cases the surge wattage won’t be an issue for you, but if you’ve got an older home in which the division circuits are already operating at their maximum safe capacity, the additional surge wattage might cause sporadic tripping of a circuit breaker.

Typical Surge Wattages

A 10,000 BTU Unit has surge wattage of 1800 watts along with a running wattage of 1200 watts. A 12,000 BTU unit has surge wattage of 3950 watts along with a running wattage of 3250 watts.

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Test Procedure for an Electric Water Heater Element

Electric water heaters have been intended to perform for many years with little if any attention in the homeowner. Ideally, the whole process of obtaining hot water consists of turning on the suitable tap and waiting a few minutes for the heated water to make the trip from the reservoir tank to the faucet. When turning to the hot water tap does not produce the anticipated results, you may have the ability to repair, or at least locate, the issue yourself.

Turn off power to the water heater in the primary service panel. Never repair or service any electrical appliance while it is plugged in or getting power.

Set the multimeter to the appropriate transmission range. Most residential electric water heaters function on 220-volt current. But some smaller electric heaters use 110-volt circuits. Match the range setting on the multimeter to correspond to voltage on your heater.

User a screwdriver to remove the entry panels covering the heater’s power link and heat elements. Power connections are most frequently found on the cover of the heater near the water intake and output pipes. Upper and lower heating elements are found close to the bottom and top in the side of the heater.

Press and hold one of the multimeter’s probes from the bare ground cable of the main power connection. Insert the remaining probe alternately to the cable connectors to your black and red power leads. If you get any reading other than zero for both of the results, then stop immediately and contact an electrician. The presence of electric current after the power supply is shut off in the primary service panel signals an issue requiring immediate professional attention. If you have a reading of zero on both leads, then proceed to another step.

Set the multimeter reading selection to “Ohms.” The elements within an electric water heater generate heat by passing current through a conductor with a resistance set to coordinate with the heater’s wattage and voltage.

Determine the appropriate ohm reading for your own heating elements. The voltage and wattage ratings are published on the foundation of each heating element. These are numerical values followed with a “W” for watts and “V” for volts. You might need a flashlight to get a fantastic view of those readings. To find the anticipated opposition, measured in ohms, to get the element, use the formula, voltage times voltage divided by watts; the consequence of the calculation is that the anticipated ohm, or opposition, reading for your element. On a 240-volt/3500-watt element, for instance, the formula looks like this: 240 times 240 equals 57,600 divided by 3,500 equals 16.4 ohms. The opposition reading for this element needs to be 16.4 ohms on your multimeter.

Press one of the probes against each of the heat element’s connecting terminals, and evaluate the multimeter’s ohm reading together with the consequence of the calculation in Step 6. A variant of plus or minus 2 percent between the component’s calculated opposition and the multimeter ohm reading is ordinary. Bigger variations indicate problems with the element.

Press and hold one probe against the bare metal of the reservoir tank. Press the remaining partition temporarily contrary to each of the component’s connecting terminals. Any opposition reading other than zero indicates a brief and means the element ought to be replaced.

Press and hold one probe against the bare metal of the reservoir tank. Press and hold the remaining probe against the steel collar around the base of the heat element. Any opposition reading other than zero indicates that the presence of a brief. The heating element ought to be replaced.

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Can You Plant Zuchinni Squash Next to a Better Bush Tomato in a Planter Box?

Not only are you able to cook zucchini and tomatoes together in a ratatouille, put them in a salad or add them to pasta, you can plant them together, also. Both the squash along with the tomato are warm-season vegetables with similar growing conditions. Both plants may grow rather large, so plan ahead when you choose a planter box.

Planter Box

Tomato origins move approximately 3 feet deep into the ground and also produce lots of feeder roots near the top of the dirt. Zucchini has a tap root that needs room to grow. The planting box should have sufficient space for both great drainage, since neither tomatoes nor zucchini like soggy roots. A box that is 36 inches deep and broad would work.


Rich, loamy soil with lots of organic stuff is best for the two tomatoes and zucchini. Produce your own by laying a few layers of papers in the base of the box. Cover with 6 inches of dirt. Add in vegetables scraps, eggshells, chopped up leaves and trimmings. Chop the bits small so they decompose faster. When you have about 12 inches of material for compost in the box, sprinkle 1 tsp of balanced, granular fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Fill the box with potting soil. At the time the origins of the zucchini and tomato have attained the compost layer, it’s going to have decomposed.

“Better Bush” Tomato

“Better Bush” tomato is a determinate variety that’s been demanding for growing in pots and planter boxes. It grows to 3 to 5 feet tall. Normally, determinate tomatoes don’t need staking, but since it’s sharing its box with a zucchini bush, it’s a fantastic idea to bet the plant to provide the zucchini more space.


Zucchini squash comes in several varieties. Choose one that has a bushier growth habit. The word “bush” ought to be in the name or in the description. Zucchini is shaped like a cucumber as well as the skin may be dark green, light yellow, green or a combination, depending on the cultivar.


Tomatoes, including “Better Bush” are self-pollinating. The flower has both male and female components and does not require the wind for pollination. Zucchini is a different story. It’s male flowers and female flowers on precisely the exact same vine. The male flowers grow on a short stem. The female flowers have a baby zucchini right supporting the blossom. The pollen from the male flower has to be transferred to the feminine. If insects are not doing the task, help nature in addition to removing the petals in the male flower and rubbing the pollen against the stigma of the female blossom.

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How Long Does It Take for Tomato Plants to Have Tomatoes?

The length of time between tomato seed germination and harvest varies with the kind being grown. Information on the number of days from planting to harvesting is listed on seed packages and in seed catalogs; it’s roughly the number of days from the time the plants are put into the soil to the period they create their first ripe tomatoes. Generally speaking, the larger the tomato dimension, the longer it must stay on the vine until it can be picked.

Early Varieties

Botanists and tomato specialists always breed varieties that will be immune to infection, able to withstand temperature extremes and to boost growing times and yields. Of the two plant types, determinate or compact tomatoes are generally prepared sooner than those grown on indeterminate or conventional plants. Rumors together using the shortest maturity period do best in areas with short growing seasons and cool summers. Harvest time for Sub Arctic Plenty, a determinate selection, is roughly 45 days in the date, and each tomato weighs about 4 ounces. Early Girl and Early Cascade are ready to pick in about 55 days. Mountain Spring and Champion produce larger tomatoes weighing 9 to 10 ounces and require 65 days of growing time to be ready for picking.

Main Crop Tomatoes

Main harvest tomatoes possess the very best yields of high quality fruit and also do much better in the backyard than their early-season cousins. Determinate varieties comprise Celebrity and Floramerica, ready in 70 to 75 days. Better Boy, Burpee’s Big Girl and Mountain Pride are prepared in roughly 74 days and create fruit weighing 10 to 16 ounces. Gardeners choosing to grow supplementary tomatoes ought to be prepared to wait around 81 days for varieties like Beefmaster, Supersteak and Delicious till they have the ability to harvest fruit which can weigh up to 2 lbs.

Modest Varieties

Smaller tomatoes like cherry or grape grow on vigorous plants and typically make high yields. Ready in 65 to 70 times, the little fruit measuring 1 to 1 1/2 inches is marketed as Super Sweet 100, Yellow Pear and Large Red Cherry. The sweet-flavored fruit grows on either determinate or indeterminate plants. According to the University of Illinois Extension, a few can be selected as complete clusters, eliminating the tediousness of having to pick each pulp separately. Certain plants, like Tiny Tim, Red Robin and Pixie Hybrid, are suited to container growing, because they create extremely small plants which grow to no more than 6 to 12 inches tall and possess tomatoes prepared to select in 45 to 50 days.

Miscellaneous Varieties

Orange, purple, purple, white and green tomato varieties like Mountain Gold, Jubilee and Golden Boy weigh roughly 8 ounces and are ready to select at 70 to 80 days. Pink Girl, prepared at 76 days, produces 7-ounce fruit on indeterminate plants. The two White Wonder, that produces white 8-ounce fruit at 85 days, and the yellow-green Evergreen, are ready to harvest in 85 days. Paste strawberries best suited to canning and creating sauce contain varieties like San Marzano and Roma whose little oval fruit is ready to select in 75 to 80 days. Heirloom or old tomatoes have not been crossbred and their seeds produce plants which closely resemble the parent plant. Generally prepared to pick later than hybrid strawberries, varieties like Brandywine that produce large hot pink fruit can take as long as 100 days to harvest.

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