Category Archives: Home Improvement

Starting a Janitor Service

Most people would love to be their own boss. Unfortunately, there maybe a few obstacles that may stand in their way. Most of the obstacles may just be a figment of their imagination. However, there sometimes can be real concerns. Some of the concerns can range from raising capital to start the business, and having the proper knowledge and information to run the business efficiently. However there is one type of business that requires very little capital and information to start.

A cleaning service can be started with very little money, knowledge, and information. All that is needed to start a cleaning service is a vacuum, disinfectant cleaner, mop and bucket, toilet bowl brush, towels, and a propensity to work. The chances are high that one already possesses these items. However, if you do not have these items in your possession, the total cost to start a cleaning business can be as low as $150.00 if you have ever cleaned your own apartment or home; you have all the knowledge, training, and information you need to clean for a customer.

There are many other services within the cleaning industry that can also be performed to generate revenue. Carpet cleaning is just one task that all residents and businesses will eventually need. Carpet cleaning requires specific equipment to offer this service. The equipment needed to clean carpet is an extractor or a low speed floor maintainer. These machines can be bought either new or used in the price range of $300.00 to over $3000.00. Renting a carpet cleaning machine is also an option. Machine Rentals start around $25.00 per day.

Another cleaning service that can be offered is stripping and waxing. Stripping and waxing is the process of removing dull and dirty wax from a hard surface floor and replacing it with a fresh coat of wax or finish. Stripping and waxing leaves an unsightly floor clean and vibrant. There is a large market for companies that offer stripping and waxing. Therefore, businesses will compensate handsomely for this needed service.

There are many levels and areas of business within a cleaning service. A basic cleaning service provides general cleaning services such as dusting horizontal surfaces, sweeping and mopping hard floors, vacuuming carpeted floors, and cleaning restrooms, which includes cleaning sinks, mirrors, and toilets. Starting a cleaning service is one of the simplest businesses a person can start. Starting one requires very little capital and has very little overhead to maintain. That is why cleaning businesses continue to be one of the most popular businesses started in America.

Janitor Services Cooking Up Clean Restaurants

When it comes to commercial cleaning, every building and workspace has its own set of needs and requirements to appropriately maintain a sanitary and pleasant environment. Just like medical office cleaning must comply with requirements such as those from HIPPA, restaurants have their own set of standards that must be followed in order to meet government health department requirements and keep customers safe and pleased enough to return.

Keeping a consistently clean dining environment for patrons of the restaurant and a clean and sanitary kitchen and preparation area for employees is a must in the restaurant industry. Having organized routines and systems in place for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks will help make keeping the restaurant constantly clean an easier task. Many restaurant owners choose to stick to what they are good at such as recipe creation, food preparation and customer service and leave the cleaning tasks to a professional commercial cleaning service.

Many cleaning tasks must be done throughout each shift at a restaurant, especially in the kitchen. Brushing grills between cooking poultry, red meat, and fish, wiping down prep areas and food line, switching out cutting boards, sanitizing and changing water and cleaning tools and emptying trash bins are all things that must be done throughout the operating hours of a restaurant. Employees must be trained to do these things in order to pass health department standards.

Commercial cleaning companies often come into restaurants after hours each day to do daily cleaning tasks. Daily restaurant cleaning tasks include things such as cleaning out grease traps, changing out foil liners of grills, flattops and ranges, washing floor mats, sanitizing all surfaces, washing appliances such as can openers, and cleaning ovens and fryers. These are just a few of the many areas that must be addressed when keeping a restaurant clean. Having a janitorial company come in at closing time each day allows restaurant owners to outsource some of the responsibility that comes with maintaining a restaurant.

Dining rooms must also be kept up well. Obviously, tables are cleaned between each customer and often floors around tables must be cleaned as well. Maintaining cleanliness is necessary to keep customers happy and healthy. At closing time, the dining room will need much more attention to get it cleaned and sanitized for the following day’s business. Once customers are gone, dining areas can be swept, mopped, and vacuumed without disturbing the dining experience. Tables and other surfaces in dining areas can then be cleansed as well.

Regular cleaning chores done weekly and monthly are a great time to bring in commercial cleaners who are professionals experienced at getting cleaning done right. Deliming of sinks and faucets, cleaning ovens and floor drain cleaning should be done weekly. Some areas that can be handled monthly include cleaning freezers, washing ceilings and walls, and washing behind oven, stove, fryers to cut down on grease build up.

Keeping a restaurant clean is a non negotiable requirement. Dropping the ball in this area can lead to disasters anywhere from bad tasting food to dangerous food poisoning. Either scenario will certainly lead to a quick end to customer satisfaction and likely the demise of the restaurant. Consider adding to your budget funds for a professional cleaning service to come in and help your staff maintain a clean and healthy place for your staff to work and for your customers to dine.

Quality House Painting Tips

Before I give you house painting tips, let me say that if your last set-to with a paintbrush involved the use of those old-fashioned oil base paints, you’re in for a jolt. The new coatings that have arrived on the market go on like no paint you’ve ever handled before. They’re available in a range of colors varied enough to confuse an electronic brain (but not a housewife). What’s more they set new records for durability, washability and beauty.

Since you are after house painting tips, you’ve probably found out about the latex or alkyd paints that are on the market under quite a few different brand names. Most of these do an excellent job. However, when you buy paint don’t try to skimp on quality.

Foremost of my house painting tips is that for the most part this is one field where you get precisely what you pay for. Top quality paint put out by a reputable firm is not cheap.

While not one of my house painting tips, I have to say the strangest and, to a large extent, the most fantastic paint that has come along in a good many years is the new Lucite wallcoating. This stuff isn’t a liquid and it isn’t a paste. It’s a sort of jell about the same consistency as mayonnaise. Lucite paint is ready to apply directly from the can with no stirring or thinning.

Before I go on to painting techniques for my house painting tips, I have to say that with Lucite wallcoating you can dunk a brush into this glop and pick up a tremendous portion at one time without having the paint run down your elbow. An odd thing happens when you touch the brush to the wall and start to flow on the paint too. It goes on with a sleek smoothness that seems almost unbelievable.

Painting Techniques

On to some useful house painting tips concerning painting techniques – with a brush, paint the areas along base_boards, trim and corners. These are tough to cover with a roller. Paint the ceiling first. Your best bet here is a paint roller coupled to an extension handle. DuPont and several other companies put out a special paint for ceilings that has added hiding power so that one coat will often do the job of two.

Here’s one of my handy house painting tips: the trick to handling most of the new paints is to first concentrate on slobbing the paint onto the wall, then, before you move onto another area, smooth the coating with several side-by-side roller strokes running in the same direction.

You’ll find this next set of house painting tips helpful: take care of the walls next. The job will be easier if you plan to work in a series of vertical panels about as wide as you can comfortably reach. Roller coat the top part first. Your extension handled roller makes this job simple. Finish up the rest of the panel with a standard roller. Most of the new paints can be touched up even after the coating has dried – just be cautious.

This is one of my simpler house painting tips: if you notice a spot you missed, even days later, just give it a quick swipe with a brush or roller.

Many of the new paints dry so quickly that a second coat can be applied even an hour or so later. This means that by the time you’ve finished painting your way around the room you’re back to the starting point and all set for the second coat. Because of this, a two-coat job can be a one-evening job – you’ll be able to apply all of your house painting tips in one go!

You’ll notice that in my house painting tips, little space has been devoted to the subject of primers or undercoating. Most of the new paints are their own undercoat. This varies from brand to brand, however. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on the label and if a primer is required use the right type and apply it as detailed.

Above all, have fun with your painting!

DIY Painting Tips

Painting Tip 1. Buy top quality paint when you can. It will apply better, last longer and be so much easier to clean. Instead of painting every 5 years, you will only be painting every 10 years.

Painting Tip 2. Preparation… Preparation is the key to everything. This is where you want to pay the most attention and where you should be spending the most time with your project. Use quality fillers and give them plenty of time to dry and then spend the time for proper sanding. It will all pay off in the final look, especially where you are using gloss paints.

Painting Tip 3. Brushes and Rollers! Don’t skimp on the brushes and rollers that you are going to use. Cheap brushes and cheap roller covers, will you give you a cheap looking finish. Buy the best you can afford, and if you wash them properly, they will last you for many DIY painting jobs.

Painting Tip 4. Mold. If you have mold problems, which will normally happen in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries. You will need to treat the walls of the room with a mold killer, or household bleach will do the trick too. Wipe down all the walls, not just the areas where there are visible mold spores. Once you are finished make sure you wipe everything down with clean water.

Painting Tip 5. Not sure if you have water based or oil based paint on your walls? There is a simple test to find out. Put some methylated spirits on a cloth and rub it over the paint. If you get color on the cloth, then the paint is water based, if you don’t get any color then it is an oil based paint.

I hope you have found these DIY painting tips useful.

Flooring Services Available

Flooring services in Austin cater to different industries which include the hospitality industry, custom homes, health care industry, commercial and retail buildings, and schools. They offer hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring, cork flooring, bamboo flooring, and laminate flooring. Now you can easily hire a professional to install the flooring of your choice whenever and wherever you want.

Not only installation, but subsequent sealing, cleaning, and refinishing services are also provided by these companies in Austin. The following are some of the services that they offer:

Hardwood floors installation and refinishing: If you are not adequately skilled to install hardwood planks at your home you can seek professional help. This helps you to save a lot of money, because if you go wrong with the installation process you might have to redo it all over again. A professional will know how to fix the planks to the subfloor. Also, if an old floor requires refinishing it is always recommended to get it done by a professional. Many a times it happens that the old one does not actually require refinishing; only a top coat finish might be enough. A professional can best advice you on the maintenance of the floors.

Cork Floors Installation: These are growing in importance these days. Their installation is not an easy process. It must be made sure that the subfloor are absolutely dirt and moisture free. It is also important to make them smooth and leveled, or else the installation might not take place properly. Finally sealing and cleaning of these types of floors are very important. To make them water resistant, optimum amount of the sealant should be evenly spread. It is better to hire a professional and remain on the safe side with the installation process.

Vinyl or Laminate Floors Installation: These types of floors are usually glued to the subfloor. Hence it is very important to trim the edges of these properly. It might get difficult to trim the vinyl sheets around fixtures like, a sink, that can’t be removed. So for perfect measurements it is best to get it done by some company providing professional services. Another point here is that these sheets must be glued properly, such that the surface does not remain uneven. Only a professional can guarantee such an error free result.

Hence, it is better to hire professional services when it is available at hand. This ensures that you don’t have to waste unnecessary money in redoing your floors if anything goes wrong.

Flooring Services for Unfinished Wood Floors

When deciding between floorboard materials and wood types, home builders and engineers have to decide between 2 kinds: finished and unfinished wood floorboards. Depending on the specificity of the project, an unfinished wooden floorboard might be needed. There are projects that require a certain angle of sanding. Some projects might require a specific wooden surface texture. There are a lot of variations that contractors can make when it comes to their projects.

Features Unfinished Wood Floors

These floors are sometimes a better choice for home builders because they are easier to match with already existing flooring. They are much more useful when it comes to partially replacing floor surfaces. This happens a lot to those who need flooring repairs in only some parts of their houses or buildings. Unfinished wood floors are also easier to match with already existing furniture and wooden accents. When following a specific design of a room, it is important for contractors to stick to the requirements. These floors allow them flexibility regarding the floor’s design and appearance. This means they can control the level of polish of the floor, and even the color of the floorboards. Some designs require custom color staining because they need colored floorboards that are not available in the market. Overall, unfinished floorboards are particularly useful for custom-designed houses and buildings.

Professional Care vs. DIY

There is no doubt it is much better for home builders and contractors to hire professional floor service providers to provide unfinished wood floors sanding. The disadvantage that most homeowners have in this regard is the lack of experience and the necessary equipment for the job.

There are DIY materials available everywhere on the internet. There are articles that guide people to sanding unfinished wood floors step by step. Experts have also created videos that instruct people how to sand their own wood floors. But are these enough preparations for the task of unfinished wood floors sanding? The fact that a non-professional has never had any experience with sanding equipment still remains. The quality of sanding that he/she will accomplish may not match that of a professional’s.

Experts know exactly what to do with these floors. Tell them the specifications that you want done and they can get right on it. Besides delivering the perfect unfinished wood floors sanding services, they can finish the job efficiently. This means that they will take less time to finish and make the least amount of mess. Some flooring service providers even offer a dustless sanding service.

The effort, time and money a home builder will commit to sand unfinished wood floors on his/her own might go to waste if he/she fails to meet the right sanding specifications. Lack of experience is the biggest factor. Professionals are more than happy to sit down and discuss with you the specifications that your home or building needs. Furthermore, they are flexible with their deals and price ranges. This is why it is much more efficient to hire expert floor service providers.

Kitchen Design Tips to Increase The Value Of Your Property

A well designed kitchen can greatly enhance the appeal and hence value of your property. When developing a property, you need to have a good plan in place. Each room in your property needs to have its own work schedule and budget. This is especially true for the kitchen which in a lot of properties is the most popular room in the house.

When designing your kitchen, you must consider:

1. storage space

How many cabinets are needed for the size of the room? How many shelves are required in the cabinets? What will be the locations of these cabinets?

You must also decide how these cabinets will fit around essential appliances in the kitchen.

2. lighting

The kitchen needs to be bright and airy. A dark and musty kitchen is not only unattractive but can also be unhygienic.

Kitchens need specific lighting for the purposes of food preparation. Ambient lighting serves as general lightning that gives the overall kitchen illumination. The best thing to use here is some sort of fluorescent tubing arrangement.

You can obtain direct lighting, for example aimed at the cooker and kitchen sink, by using conventional recessed lights, surface lights or light fixtures that are on a pendant or chain.

3. appliance space

In addition to the major appliances such as cookers and refrigerators, you also need to design in the locations of microwaves, televisions, telephones etc. These additional items can increase the beauty of your kitchen and help you to sell a lifestyle aimed at the upper end of the market.

4. the work triangle

This connects the three major points of a kitchen: the cooker, refrigerator, and the sink. The longer the distance between these points, the greater the effort required by the potential user.

There are 5 basic shapes to any kitchen design:

1. Single wall

The one-wall or single wall kitchen has all the work centres along one wall, which gives the least efficient plan. This type of kitchen is best for small homes and apartments.

2. L-shaped

The L-shaped kitchen gives a huge amount of continuous counter top space. In this style of kitchen, the work centre is on two adjacent walls, a natural triangle is formed and the traffic bypasses the work area. Space permitting, this design allows for the inclusion of a dining area.

3. U-shaped

In a U-shaped kitchen, a continuous countertop and storage system surrounds the cook on three sides providing maximum efficiency. Traffic flows around the work area not through it and simplifies the cooking process.

4. G-shaped

This is generally a modification of the U-shape but adds an extra wall of cabinets and appliances as a peninsula or fourth partial wall.

5. Corridor/Galley

This plan offers a single cook-efficient workspace with closely grouped work centres on parallel walls.

When designing your kitchen, you should consider the above as a minimum to ensure a quality final product that not only provides a great working environment but also adds value to your property.

Designer Kitchen

On the Sunshine Coast there are a lot of kitchen designers to choose from, getting the right one for you is a major decision in achieving the look and style you want.

Being spoilt for choices makes the time you spend researching the many designers, of paramount importance. Getting what you want and within the budget you have allowed will take time. One of the first things to do is, find a designer you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can work alongside. A new kitchen is a big investment in your home and getting the right one for you needs a designer that has a sympathetic understanding of your needs, getting a pushy designer whose only interest is in selling the most expensive kitchen he can, will make the whole experience a nightmare you will wish you had never started. Someone that will come to your home, sit down with you, and go through all your options is a must. A designer that claims to be able to remodel your kitchen from its measurements alone is kidding you. There are so many different things to be taken into account, things such as:

• Natural light, a must in your kitchen
• Structural details, maybe a door would need to be moved
• The plumbing, in your new kitchen you may not want your appliances in the same place
• The electrics, re-wiring for your work-top gadgets

A good designer will come to your home, evaluate your kitchen, and tell you the best way to get what you want into the space that you have. They should also be able to tell you who their suppliers are, that way you can also investigate the company, making sure you are getting quality made kitchen cabinets.

Things such as kitchen fitters and builders are very important, your designer should be able to give you the names of reputable tradespersons that he/she has worked with before, and knows that the work they undertake is of a high standard, finished on time, and within your budget. Work on your new kitchen that has been rushed and is badly installed, will turn what should be your pride and joy, into something you would not want your friends to see.

Ask your designer for names and addresses of past clients, if he/she has nothing to hide they will supply them to you. Do not be afraid to contact these people and ask if it is at all possible to go to them and see what they got for their money, there is no better praise or recommendation than seeing the finished work first hand. By doing this you may also pick up some nice ideas you never thought of. Do not be fooled by glossy magazines and photographs, just because they say it’s their work does not mean it is.

A good designer will be able to stand by his/her reputation, and should not take offence that you would shop around and, get back to them once you have made your decision.

Tips That Will Surely Make Your Yard Attractive

People are very conscious about the looks of their house that is why many are doing their best to make their house look great. And when it comes to home beautification, the yard is one of the most important parts of the house that needs attention, as it is the first area being seen by visitors.

If you are in the process of beautifying your yard, there are many landscaping tips that you have to follow in order to achieve the result that you have always wanted.

The Internet alone offers hundreds of tips based on the type of landscape that you will be doing. But out of the many landscaping tips, there are only few universal tips that can be applied in every type of landscaping project.

One important landscaping tip that one should always remember is to make your yard look great at all times. This may sound impossible because during winter season, your yard may look dull and ugly. To get rid of this situation, it is important that you choose the right plants that will still bloom and bring beauty to your home even if it is winter or summer.

Finding this type of plant for this landscaping tip may require several tasks. First you have to make a little research on what plants will thrive in your area. Some plants may not be able to survive the climate in your place.

Plants may bloom only in some seasons of the year so you need to have plants that look attractive when the other plants do not do well. You can ask the gardening store area about these kinds of plants. They are able to answer your queries about plants that can make your yard beautiful all year round. You can also check on gardening and landscaping books from the library and make a research on the type of plants that are best for your yard.

Layering your planting beds is another important landscaping tip. This can give balance and harmony to your entire yard. It can also add a different feel and texture to your yard.

To realize this landscaping tip, you should use repetition in your design. You can do this by having the layers repeated throughout the yard and you will have a yard that looks great that will even attract attention of the passersby.

Quick Landscaping Tips

Getting the home of your dreams is always one of the most rewarding experiences for every homeowner. Finally, they have the upper hand in doing everything to make this place their own comfort zone. That is why there is always a challenge to keep everything neat and in order all the time. A lot of homeowners find it easy to do when it comes to arranging the interior part of the house. But how about when you go outside? How can you manage to do the same to your garden? Here are some quick landscaping tips for busy homeowners like you:

Make A Sketch Of The Garden That You Want

This is where everything starts. But this can be as simple as getting a pen and paper to write everything down. Make a simple sketch of what you want your garden to look. You can even label parts of the landscape materials accordingly if you want. The more specific that you can get with your plan, the better. The purpose of doing this is for you to have a clear idea of what you want your garden to have after the makeover.

Your spouse or kids can help you elaborate on your plan by going online for some sample designs from landscaping companies. They can also cut out some pictures from home, gardening and modern landscaping magazines to get the desired look according to plan. But for a busy homeowner like you, making a sketch will do.

Set A Budget For Your Landscaping Project

Most landscaping tips remind you to do this so as not to break your wallet for your other needs. In order to make an informed budget, you have to quickly do a research online for suppliers that can give you an estimate. Garden landscaper websites usually have links to their suppliers, so check those and refer to your sketch so you can finally set on your working budget.

Know The Best Time To Get Best Deals

This is the same thing as waiting for a sale. If you did this when you purchased other items before, then you can also do the same when it comes to sourcing your landscaping supplies. You can even clip coupons if you get hold of some to get additional deals for the basic gardening tools and landscaping materials. You can even score deals on trees, shrubs, perennials, plant varieties, soil among other supplies especially if you are planning to do this landscape renovation project with your family on a weekend. But if you are planning to have someone do this for you then check out the next tip on this list.

Call Your Landscaping Professional

Only a professional landscaper can provide you with a team of trained gardeners to bring your desired project into reality soon. They already have handled landscape management services for a lot of clients and this will definitely help a busy homeowner like you. You can always ask for referrals from your neighbors or relatives and they will definitely be happy to give their contact details so you can get in touch with them right away. Who knows, your neighbor or relative can even give you some hints on how to get a better deal with these sources so it is always good to ask for their recommendations.

Just remember that a well-kept home means taking care of both interior and exterior parts of it. So aside from making sure that everything is well-organized inside the house, it is better to take action and check out if your garden is something that also needs a makeover soon. Read these quick landscaping tips to finally have the beautiful garden of your dreams.