The Summer Without AC

Drab to Fab: Painting to Perk Up Your Basic Bungalow

Posted by on 1:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Drab to Fab: Painting to Perk Up Your Basic Bungalow

It was the classic single-family home style in the first half of the 20th century—and now it’s yours. A bungalow built with good old-fashioned construction methods and sturdy, traditional building materials is a smart investment for first-time buyers and small families. There’s nothing fussy about its boxy shape, standard windows, low-pitched roof, and two to three bedrooms. Compared to sleek, contemporary houses with higher prices, you might even call a bungalow mundane. But you don’t have to settle for the dull, drab look. Instead, give your house a facelift. Because bungalow architectural style is uncomplicated, without a lot of embellishments and flourishes, the budget for painting the house will be reasonable. Your investment in a great painting contractor and good color selection will be rewarded by the increased curb appeal of the house. And when you come home from a long day’s work or a short errand run, you’ll enjoy that special inner glow of knowing you’ve made the house your own through color selections that resonate with your personal style. Choosing Classy, Comfortable Colors Take your own sweet time figuring out which color seems the most suitable for your house. You’ll be living with your final choice for several years, so don’t rush the decision. Draw inspiration from magazines, online browsing, and wandering through neighborhoods in your own town where there are a large number of bungalow style houses. Focus on the main color for the exterior walls first, but don’t forget that you’ll want a secondary color, too, for the wood trim and eaves. Pairing the secondary color with the main one can help you refine the shade and tone you want. You may love blue, for example, but when you match it with a gray for the trim work, you may decide to go with a lighter shade of blue than you’d originally pictured. Test your dream colors using a online tool available on the websites of most major paint manufacturers. Classic combinations to start your experimentation with include: Soft green walls with cream-colored trim. Try shades ranging from olive green to deep, rich forest green. Pewter-gray walls with white trim. Experiment with darker and lighter shades of gray to see whether you like the combination when it has greater or lesser contrast. Yellow walls with tan or white trim. Play with a variety of yellows ranging from a deep mustard yellow to a light, buttery shade. Coordinating with Your House Painters When you’ve decided on the right colors for your bungalow makeover, it’s time to turn the project over to your painting contractor. There is likely to be prep work involved before you see the transformation begin, especially if the existing paint is old and worn. Expect at least a full day, probably more, for the necessary preparation, which includes: power-washing to remove dirt, stains, and peeling paint patching and repairing damage from insects, weather, and general wear and tear sanding to smooth out rough spots a final wash-down to remove dust and debris Now the real fun begins. The exterior of your home will be a hive of activity as the primer and main color is applied with a sprayer, paint rollers, and brushes to ensure thorough, even coverage. You’ll have a sense of the final outcome at this stage, but you’ll need to be...

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How To Address An Asphalt Driveway Bowl Or Dip

Posted by on 8:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Address An Asphalt Driveway Bowl Or Dip

If you have a paved asphalt driving leading up to your home, then you can expect the asphalt to remain in great shape for about 12 to 35 years. If you want your driveway to last for closer to 35 years than 12 years, then you need to make sure that you deal with maintenance issues as soon as they arise. The ponding or pooling of water on the surface of the asphalt is one thing you should address.  Fill In Bowls Asphalt pavement will sit on top of both a gravel and a dirt sub-base that will hold the weight of your driveway. The layers of material can sink or fall over time, and the asphalt will also shift. A formation called a bowl will then appear, and water will gather in the bowl after a rainstorm. Standing water can cause the sealcoating across the surface of the asphalt to deteriorate. Water then infiltrates the asphalt underneath the sealant and interacts with the bitumen binder that holds the driveway together. As the binder breaks down, the asphalt forms cracks. These cracks can fill with water, freeze in the winter, and widen over time. To prevent cracks and general deterioration, you can fill in the bowl with an asphalt patch material if it is no deeper than one or two inches. You will need a cold-pour filler material for the job. Some cold-pour patch products contain rubber, vinyl, acrylic, or a mix of the three polymers. These fillers are often used to fill in cracks, and they can be layered to make repairs to bowls in your driveway. Clean debris from the bowl and then pour the cold filler into the depression. Fill about one-quarter inch of the bowl and allow the filler to cure. It typically takes a few hours for the material to harden. When the filler no longer feels spongy to the touch, add another one-quarter inch of material. Keep layering the asphalt until you reach the top of the bowl. Use a squeegee to smooth the filler material once the top layer is added. Have Drainage Installed If you notice large or numerous bowls across the surface of your driveway, then you may have a hard time filling in all of the indentations. Hot and solid asphalt patch material should be used to make repairs. Speak with your asphalt specialist about installing the patch. Large bowls signify a drainage problem, where large volumes of water interrupt the sub-base underneath the driveway instead of flowing away from the area like it should. Adding a french drain to your property can help to collect excess water and move it to a distant location on your property or to a storm drain along the road. French drains require the digging of a ditch, the placement of gravel, and the installation of a perforated pipe. Dry wells and extended gutter spouts can help you to deal with drainage issues as well. Once the overall ground drainage issue is addressed, you can install a drain directly in the asphalt driveway. Channel drains are the most common type of driveway installations. The long and narrow drains are typically added to the top portion of the driveway that sits close to your garage. However, they can be installed closer to the middle of the asphalt.  The placement of...

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Air Conditioning Costs: Taking Your Energy Savings To The Next Level

Posted by on 3:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Air Conditioning Costs: Taking Your Energy Savings To The Next Level

As summer nears, many homeowner’s thoughts turn to the increase in costs that their air conditioner will require. These people aren’t mistaken in thinking this issue is important –air conditioning accounts for 5% of all electricity produced in the United States each year and costs approximately 11 billion dollars. That’s why it is always a good idea to utilize a programmable thermostat and to always turn off your air conditioning unit when not in use. However, for the environmentally minded homeowner, this might not be enough. If you’re a homeowner that would like to take more significant measures to decrease the amount of energy that you use during the warmer months–for the sake of both the environment and your wallet–there are some tricks you need to know when making your summer preparations.  Trick #1–Plant More Trees Spring is a wonderful time to plant trees. The hard work of planting and landscaping is made much more pleasant by the presence of warmer weather after a long winter. That said, spring trees are also a great way to reduce your cooling costs in the summer.  Studies show that a single shade tree can reduce your cooling costs by as much as 9%. Trees of the evergreen variety are perfectly suitable for this purpose, but leaf-bearing trees are better for the cash-conscious homeowner. That’s because the leaves that shade your home in the summer disappear every winter–allowing the sun to shine through and help with heating needs. Trick #2–Purchase Blackout Curtains Sheer, stylish drapes are a wonderful way to add a dramatic visual effect to the interior rooms in your home. However, they do little to block the sun. Direct sunlight will raise the temperature of your home–and these curtains will not provide much protection. Instead, purchase seasonal curtains that block all sunlight out of your home. When you aren’t using a particular room in your house, make sure that you draw the curtains. The room’s temperature will be naturally lower as a result, and your central air conditioning unit won’t have to work as hard to keep it cool. Trick #3–Don’t Neglect Your Roof The roof of your home, under normal conditions, shouldn’t need to be replaced more than once every 20 years or so. Depending on the age and condition of your home, you might not be thinking about taking on this expensive home improvement for some time. But if you live in an older home–or if hail is a normal weather event in your area–a new roof can help with your cooling costs as well. That’s because cool roofs can be manufactured for almost any type of existing roof. Typically, these roofing materials utilize reflective coatings and other technology to keep the sun from impacting the climate of your home as much as it would normally. Also, since your roof should last a very long time, it’s likely that the added initial expense for this type of roof will yield significant energy savings over the life of the roof. Trick #4–Love Your Barbeque When you’re trying to keep your home cool, very few things can cause larger problems than a box in your kitchen that’s heated to 450 degrees. Unfortunately, for both health and taste considerations, most food should be cooked. As a result, many families end up running...

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Choosing The Best Blades For Your Lawn Mower

Posted by on 2:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing The Best Blades For Your Lawn Mower

If your lawn mower is simply not cutting your grass as cleanly as it should any longer, then it may be time to opt for new mower blades. Mower blades are made from high-carbon steel that makes them hard and durable. Mower blades can be sharpened every few months so they cut better. However, the blades can bend, warp, and become nicked after several years of use. It is wise to purchase a new blade when you start to see noticeable wear. Most mower blades cost less than $50 at most, so replacement is relatively cheap. If you purchase a new mower blade, then you will have two different options available to you. Keep reading to learn about them to figure out which is best for your lawn.  Lifting Blades Lifting lawn mower blades are typically called standard blades, and they are the common or all-purpose blades installed on most lawn mowers. These blades are slightly curved on one side and flat on the other. The flat part of the blade is the sharp cutting surface. When the mower blade spins, the curved edge moves air up and away from the blade. This helps to pull up the grass so the flat part of the blade can cut it. This helps to cut grass efficiently and quickly. This means that this standard blade is a great choice if you like to cut your grass in a timely manner. However, you should keep in mind that the grass will be cut in longer pieces. This can cause grass to clump up on the lawn after it is cut. If you like to rake after mowing or if you use a collection bag, then this should not be an issue. Also, lifting blades work best when used on lawns with fine or medium textured grass. Bermudagrass, fine fescue, and ryegrass are a few examples of these types of grass. The common lifting blade will cut the grass when a few inches need to be removed. If you like to cut your grass less often and need the mower blade to work through more substantial growth, then make sure to purchase a high lift blade. These blades are angled more on the sides, and this helps to increase air flow to pull up longer pieces of grass. The increase in air flow also assists with the movement of cut grass into attached bags. If you often cut grass when it is damp or if you find that the grass chute clogs easily, then this will help to eliminate clogging issues.  Mulching Blades If you do not collect grass in a bag and if you do not like raking after you mow, then it is wise to opt for a mulching blade instead of a lifting one. These blades have several curved metal teeth and a number of different cutting surfaces. The curved part of the blade lifts the grass so it can be cut, but it keeps the grass underneath the blade. This allows the grass to be cut several times so small pieces are left behind. The grass can then easily fall to the ground instead of sitting on top of the newly cut grass. Mulching blades are also a good choice if you have grass with thick and dense leaves like centipedegrass, bluegrass, or .zoysiagrass If...

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5 Add-ons to Ask About Before Ordering Gutter Cleaning

Posted by on 8:46 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Add-ons to Ask About Before Ordering Gutter Cleaning

Experts say that a standard gutter cleaning usually costs between $125-$175. However, this price is dependent on several factors such as the size of your gutter system and the slope of your roof. It is also important to note that different companies include different services in the cost of a cleaning. Below are five services you should ask about when you order gutter cleaning.  Gutter Flow Assessment  One of the main reasons to clean your gutters regularly is to help ensure proper flow of water through your gutters and away from your home. Usually, once a company is done cleaning your gutters, they will run either water or compressed air through your gutter system to make sure that your gutters do not have any additional debris caught in them. At this time, some companies will also perform a flow assessment. During this assessment, they will look for leaks in your system that are caused by small holes or cracks in your gutters and let you know if you need to complete repairs. If your company of choice does not perform a flow assessment after completing a cleaning, you should ask for them to add one on. You may have to supply water from an outdoor spigot for a flow assessment.  Attachment Inspection  During gutter cleaning, your company may complete an assessment of your gutter system. They will check to make sure that your gutters are securely attached, and they will check for rotting or water damage on your fascia that could cause problems in the future. After they finish cleaning, they will generally provide you with a thorough list of any repairs that need to be made.  Although this type of inspection is generally included in your cleaning, you may pre-approve small repairs, up to a certain amount of money, to avoid having to call out the contractors a second time to complete repairs.  Debris Removal  Most companies will place any debris found in your gutters into plastic trash bags. These bags will then be tied and left on your property. You can then use them for compost or dispose of them on your own. Some companies will skip the bags altogether and place the debris loose in your compost area. However, you should discuss this with them ahead of time and plan on being there to let them know where to place the debris.  If you do not want the debris left on your property, you can usually pay an extra fee to have the bags removed from your property.  Installation of Screens or Guards  Most companies can install screens or guards on your gutters after they finish cleaning them. Although it is still recommended that you have regular gutter cleanings, between 2-4 times a year, screens or guards can help prevent build up of debris if your gutters are beneath a tree. They also prevent small animals from accessing your gutters. Having this installed at the same time as your gutter cleaning will prevent you from having to make two separate service calls and can also lengthen the amount of time between gutter cleanings.  Emergency Cleaning or a Specific Hour  Generally, gutter cleanings are scheduled on a specific day but without a specific hour. This is because it can be difficult to estimate the exact amount of...

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Considering a Water Recycling or Collection System? What Are Your Best Options?

Posted by on 7:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering a Water Recycling or Collection System? What Are Your Best Options?

Whether you live in a drought-prone area and are required to ration water during hot weather or are simply trying to reduce your home’s water consumption to lower your utility costs, you may be considering installing a water recycling and rainwater collection system in your home. With the average American family using 400 gallons of water each day, reducing your water consumption by installing water-efficient appliances and reusing your “grey water” can significantly cut this number, while installing a rainwater collection and purification system can help you further diminish your reliance on public water supplies. Read on to learn more about the steps you can take to reduce your water consumption after you’ve already invested in low-flow shower heads, toilets, faucets, and other fixtures. Recycle your home’s grey water Grey water (or the water produced from bathing, doing laundry, washing dishes, and using the sink) can often be collected and recycled as non-potable water. Although this water may have traces of dirt, hair, and grease in it, it won’t contain urine, feces, or most other pathogen-carrying waste. You’ll then be able to use this recycled grey water to water your lawn and even flush your toilets, eliminating the need to use fresh water for these activities. The simplest grey water collection systems use gravity to simply pipe this water outside into an irrigation system. Those with some plumbing experience should be able to install a simple laundry drum or drain that allows you to pump your wash wastewater directly outside, either manually moving a flexible hose to water plants or creating an underground irrigation system with PVC pipe. To pump water from your showers, you’ll use a branched drain to pipe this water from your shower drain to a mulched area downhill. Installing grey water recycling systems in houses without a downhill slope is also possible—however, you’ll likely need to install a central collection basin in your basement or crawlspace beneath your drains and use a pump to pipe this water outdoors. Collect rainwater from your roof If you live in an area that doesn’t regularly receive a large amount of rainfall even during non-drought times and have a roof that isn’t conducive to a roof-wide collection system, you may not want to focus on collecting water in this manner; the initial cost of replacing your roof and installing collection gutters is unlikely to be recouped considering the small amount of water you’re likely to collect each year. However, if you live in an area with moderate rainfall, you may be able to combine existing water conservation efforts with a rainwater collection system to further reduce or even eliminate your reliance on public water, allowing you to live “off the grid.” Homes with galvanized metal roofs and gutters are ideal for rainwater collection systems, as they are easy to clean, provide great drainage, and are less likely than many other types of roofing materials to become contaminated with environmental pollutants or leach chemicals into the rainwater as it passes over the surface. While they may seem like unlikely contender, asphalt or rubber roofing shingles can also be good materials for rainwater collection. Because of the slightly uneven surface of asphalt and rubber roofing tiles, they’re less likely than some other materials to accumulate soot from auto exhaust or bonfires,...

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Vinyl Or Wood? See How These Two Common Privacy Fencing Materials Compare

Posted by on 1:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Vinyl Or Wood? See How These Two Common Privacy Fencing Materials Compare

If you’re looking for a sturdy fence to enclose your yard and enhance your property, you have several choices. Two of the most common privacy fence materials are wood and vinyl, largely because it is easy to make a solid structure out of these materials. Both vinyl and wood have their pros and cons. Here’s a look at how the two compare when it comes to common fencing features and considerations. Appearance: Wood prevails (usually). It’s hard to beat the natural, stately appeal of real wood, especially if you have a home with a more rustic exterior or one made in a more traditional architecture tradition like the Craftsman style. While there are vinyl fences that are made to look like wood, you can tell the difference when you’re close up. Of course, appearance is a matter of opinion. If you happen to think that vinyl looks better than wood, then this gives vinyl another leg up on the competition. Maintenance: Vinyl prevails. There’s a great deal of required maintenance for a wood fence. You’ll need or paint or water seal it regularly to keep rot from setting in. You’ll need to keep an eye out for insects and treat the fence with insecticides if pests like wood bees decide to call it home. Boards may also warp, requiring replacement. Vinyl is much lower maintenance. You don’t have to stain or paint it, bugs stay away from it, and when it starts to look dirty you can just spray it down with a hose. Cost: Wood prevails. The cost of fences varies widely based on your region and the specific style of fence you choose. In general, however, wooden privacy fences tend to be less expensive than vinyl privacy fences. You can expect to pay between $7 and $15 per linear foot for a standard wooden privacy fence without any special ornamentation. A standard vinyl privacy fence typically ranges from $12 to $25 per linear foot. Safety: Vinyl prevails. If you don’t have kids or pets, safety might not be on the top of your list of concerns when it comes to privacy fencing. However, if you do have kids or pets, it is important to note that vinyl is safer or several reasons. It won’t splinter like wood does, so you don’t have to worry about your kids or pets coming in with splinters in their flesh. Vinyl does not need to be treated with stains or insecticides either, so you don’t have to worry if your child or pet decides to chew on it. Ease of repair: Wood prevails. Both wood and vinyl are pretty durable, but if your fence is going to break, a wooden fence is a lot easier to repair than a vinyl fence. Vinyl privacy fences are typically made from just a few big sheets of vinyl. If one breaks, the whole sheet must be replaced — and typically, you’ll need to have a professional do this. Wooden privacy fences are made from stacked boards or boards placed side by side. If the fence breaks, usually just a board or two break, and you can replace the broken boards yourself with just a few basic DIY skills. Lifespan: It depends! The average vinyl fence will last about 20 or 30 years. The lifespan...

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Spring Cleaning Time—Spalling May Cause You Squalling If You Don’t Take Care of Your Concrete and Brick Surfaces

Posted by on 4:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning Time—Spalling May Cause You Squalling If You Don’t Take Care of Your Concrete and Brick Surfaces

The winter months can be very harsh on the exterior surfaces of your home. Freezing and thawing can be especially brutal on your concrete sidewalks, pool and patio decks, and driveways. Then there are the de-icing chemicals, which can potentially save your bones from a nasty fall but also wreak havoc on concrete. Severe winter weather can also take its toll on your brick surfaces, including your chimney. Unfortunately, ignoring damage caused during the winter months could end up costing you a lot of money in expensive repairs down the road. This is why an inspection of the exterior surfaces of your home should be on your annual spring-cleaning checklist.   About Spalling  That weathered, chipped look you see on your concrete and brick surfaces is called spalling or scaling and is most common in areas of the country that experience freezing temperatures during the winter. Why? Because if rain or melting snow gets into your bricks or the capillaries of your concrete surfaces and then freezes, it causes them to expand and then contract again when they thaw. Eventually, this freezing and refreezing process can cause these surfaces to weaken and to crumble away, especially if they were not properly sealed or—in the case of concrete—not properly installed.   In regions of the country where heavy-duty de-icing chemicals and salt are used on the roads, spalling will be most noticeable in the areas of your driveway where your cars are typically parked. When these chemicals drip off of your car, they can cause the snow or ice on your driveway to melt and enter into your concrete surface. And salt actually attracts water, which means that by spreading it on the concrete surfaces around your home, they may actually become extra saturated with water.  The Inspection When the weather finally cooperates, start by taking a long, slow walk around your home. Run your eyes over the concrete and brick exterior surfaces of your home, from the top of the chimney to the foundation, and check for the following signs, which could indicate that you have a spalling problem: Cracks Large chunks crumbling away Pitting Flaking Note that not all cracks in brickwork in particular are related solely to spalling. For example, if during your inspection you notice that your brick chimney has cracks on the masonry and the rain cap appears discolored or distorted, you may have had a chimney fire. This is potentially a very dangerous situation, and you should call a professional sweep to inspect your chimney before you use it again.  What You Should Do about Spalling in Concrete If your concrete surfaces are showing signs of spalling but are not seriously deteriorated, it may be time to have them resurfaced. This will cost you a lot less money than having your driveways, sidewalks, or decks completely replaced. In resurfacing, an experienced contractor basically removes the top layer of the concrete and replaces it, leaving you with what appears to be a brand-new driveway. If you do decide to resurface, you may also want to upgrade the look of your concrete by adding a decorative overlay or by adding color. Some popular overlay options include stamping your concrete to make it appear as if it is actually made of bricks or stones.  What You Should Do about Spalling in Bricks If...

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5 Tips For Preparing For The Arrival Of Your Ready-Mix Concrete

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If you are ordering ready-mix concrete for a large DIY project, such as installing a new walkway or driveway, it is important that you are fully prepared when the concrete arrives. This is because concrete, even with additives meant to slow the hardening process, needs to be placed and set soon after it is mixed. Also, most companies charge an extra fee if their concrete mixer stays at your site for longer than a half hour or hour. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your site is fully prepared for the arrival of your concrete order so the truck can pour the concrete and go.  Plan for the Site to Be Totally Ready One or Two Days Before Your Concrete Order Arrives  You should have your site fully prepared by the time your concrete arrives. This involves leveling and compacting the base and creating any timber frames that you plan to use. By planning to have these steps completed one or two days before your concrete is scheduled to arrive, you will have extra time in case something goes wrong. You do not want to be scrambling to finish timber frames while your first order of concrete arrives.  If you fall behind schedule on your project, you should call your concrete provider as soon as possible to reschedule your delivery and avoid cancellation fees.  Be Sure the Truck’s Access Point Remains Clear  While you are preparing the project site, it is possible that you will end up blocking the access points that the concrete trucks will use to reach your site. This can result in you having to pay more to have the concrete pumped to your site or have the truck wait while you clear a path for it, costing you time and money.  Ideally, you should request a consultant visit your site before you order the concrete and discuss possible access paths with you. When you determine which access path you will use, you should flag the area and make sure it remains clear while you prepare your work site.  Be Dressed and Ready to Work When the Concrete Arrives  Once the concrete leaves the trucks, you will have limited time to lay the concrete before it begins to set. It is important that you are ready to work immediately. This means that you and anyone else working on the project should be dressed in work clothes and have your safety gear and tools nearby, ready to go.  Designate Someone to Accept Delivery While Other Workers Get Started Laying the Concrete Immediately  If you order small shipments of concrete to be delivered in multiple trucks, you should designate one or two people to accept the concrete while everyone else working on your project continues to work on the previous concrete delivery. Ideally, one delivery will be fully finished before the next one arrives. However, designating someone to accept each delivery and get started on the next part of your project will allow you to continue working if you fall behind schedule.  Space Your Orders Out Longer Than Necessary  If you are spacing your delivery out in multiple loads, you should order deliveries further apart than you think you will need them. This will allow you to have a short break...

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Protect Your Home By Having A Locksmith Install Specialized Locks On Your Back Door And Inside Garage Door

Posted by on 2:15 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Your Home By Having A Locksmith Install Specialized Locks On Your Back Door And Inside Garage Door

Without strong locks, doors give thieves easy access to your home. Most homes’ front doors have deadbolts that provide good protection, but the locks installed on back doors and doors that lead into the garage are often inferior. If your home has only basic locks on these latter two doors, here’s how having a locksmith install specialized, higher-quality deadbolt locks on these doors could better protect your home and family. A Grade 1 Deadbolt for Your Inside Garage Door The door that leads from your house’s garage into the rest of your home is one of the weakest entry points of your home. According to HomeAdvisor, the garage is the second-most-common point of entry for thieves. From your garage, they can easily get into your house through this door by either picking its lock or kicking down the door. These doors tend to be weak interior doors, and they usually don’t have deadbolts. There are two things you can do to protect against this risk. First, you can upgrade the door that leads from the garage to the rest of your home to an exterior door. Exterior doors are thicker and sturdier than interior doors, and they are much more difficult to kick down. Second, you can have a locksmith upgrade the lock to a deadbolt that’s particularly hard to pick. Because a garage provides concealment for thieves, they may spend some time trying to break or pick the lock on this door. Thus, it’s especially important to have a strong, difficult-to-pick lock installed on this door. For the highest level of protection, ask your locksmith to install a Grade 1 deadbolt. Locks that are rated Grade 1 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) can withstand 10 strikes that have 75 pounds of force. They’re often used in commercial settings but will provide excellent security for your home. A Double-Cylinder Deadbolt for Your Back Door Your back door has different security risks than your garage door. The strength of the lock on your back door isn’t as important, for your neighbors will be suspicious if they see someone striking your back door multiple times with 75 pounds of force. If your back door has windows in it, however, a thief could break the glass, reach in and unlock the door from the inside in just a few seconds – before your neighbors have a chance to come and investigate. To protect against this risk, have a locksmith install a double-cylinder deadbolt. Unlike single-cylinder deadbolts, double-cylinder models can’t be unlocked without a key. They have slots for keys on both sides of the lock. They don’t have a switch that can be twisted to unlock them. Thus, even if a thief broke the glass on your back door, they would still need a key to unlock the door’s double-cylinder deadbolt from the inside. You’ll need to use a key whenever you want to unlock the door and go into your backyard, but the inconvenience is minimal when compared to the additional security the lock provides. If your home’s doors have only basic locks, don’t wait until after a thief breaks in to upgrade the locks on the door that leads into your garage and the back door. Contact a locksmith in your area today who can install a Grade...

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