Archive for the ‘Paul Martin’ Category

Adding Value to Your Home with a Steel Building – guest blogger Paul Martin

 Yes there are people who don’t have garages.  This could be an alternative option.  Joan Parcewski   Woods Real Estate   

A carport is a home improvement that can also improve the good looks of your car or RV and adds value to your property. When a vehicle sits outside in the elements, it takes a toll on the paint and finish. Having a car parked outside can also be a nuisance, or even a hazard, during bad weather. Steel building carports are a simple, fast and inexpensive solution for creating shelter for your vehicle and upping your property value.


A regular garage has its advantages as well. A garage is enclosed all around and can double as a storage place for personal possessions, as well as a place to store the car. A garage can be locked and the contents are not visible to a passerby. If a house already has a garage, then no solution is needed, except maybe cleaning it up.


A homeowners who has a house that does not have a garage but would like a sheltered place for a vehicles, has a decision to make. They must consider the pros and cons of constructing a garage, or building a carport. Each type of structure has its place, and different people will be happiest with one or the other. It comes down to personal preference, personal needs and budget.


If storage space in the house is slim, or the homeowner also wants a little shop space for household projects, then a garage might be the best option. Construction of a regular garage can be expensive, however, and it will definitely take more time than the carport option. Steel buildings are increasingly popular as carports due to the low cost of the building, speed of construction and low maintenance costs. Depending on the size of your property, you may even want to consider something bigger. If you own farmland, something like a pole barn may be in order to protect equipment and livestock. Some companies can deliver steel barn kits for you to construct yourself or have them construct for a fee.


Steel carports come in ready to assemble units of many designs, sizes and colors. They can be built on top of a concrete slab, or over a gravel or dirt driveway area. A regular garage needs a slab and a foundation and this adds considerably to the expense.


Steel buildings are pre-engineered. This means that the company that sells and installs them already had the design checked for compliance with local building codes. Getting the plans and permits approved by the building department will be quicker as a result.


Steel buildings can also be manufactured to a customer’s specifications. For example, the pitch of the roof can be built to match the house, or, the back of the building can incorporate an enclosed space for a workshop or storage area while leaving the front and sides open for maximum ease of getting to the vehicle.


A steel building can also be used for an enclosed garage, although if the building has walls all around a foundation of some kind will be needed. If the temperatures are extreme, a steel building garage can have the interior walls insulated and finished with sheet rock for more temperature control. Steel buildings are very versatile and can be used both for a traditional garage or a carport.


If you are thinking about a carport or garage addition to your home, you might consider talking to a steel building manufacturer, or looking online. Simply searching online for the type of building you are looking for in addition to the area where you live can often yield good results. For instance, if I lived in Louisiana I might do a Google search for “carports Louisiana”. You might be surprised by how many possibilities exist. Because of the versatility of prefabricated metal buildings, they can be prove very useful to a homeowner and also help increase the value of your investment over time.

Paul Martin

Methods Of Summer Pest Control Around Your Home

The following blog post about summer pest control (something we probably all need) is being submitted by guest blogger Paul Martin

Pests can become out of control in the summer. They can enter your home and bite you while you sleep. They can also cause damage to the structure of your home by eating wood and burrowing their way into your walls and floors. For this reason, pest control becomes increasingly important during the warm summer months.


There are many ways to tell if you have an infestation of pests in or near your home. Termites will leave sawdust droppings around the places where they have been munching on wood. If you see small piles of sawdust around then you likely have a problem with termites. You may also want to check the wood in the areas around where you have found the sawdust. To test the wood, you simply knock on it with your hand. If the wood sounds hollow, then it is a sure sign of a termite problem.


One way to help and repel bugs and pests away from your home is to plant and grow certain plants. Window boxes can be installed below windows in order to hold plants that can help and repel insects. Pennyroyal can help to repel fleas and mosquitoes as well as flies. Lavender is effective in repelling ticks and moths as well as mice. Marigolds are effective in keeping away asparagus beetles and tomato worms as well as mexican bean beetles. Planting the tansy plant can help to eliminate ants and flies as well as japanese beetles and moths. Mint can help reduce the amount of ants and aphids and fleas around the home. Basil is also effective at getting rid of flies and mosquitoes. Catnip will cut down on ants and aphids as well as cockroaches and beetles. These flower boxes will also provide a nice decoration for around your home. Basil can be grown in window sills and then used in recipes as a fresh spice.


Another way to spot signs of pest infestation is to look for items such as wings and legs of flies and other creatures. If you find these signs then you will want to search for nests around the outside of your home. Hornets will build their nests below gutter lines and other areas that overhang off of the roof of a home. Their nests can often be found under decks and porches. Hornets will slowly eat the wood away from an area and then regurgitate a paper like substance that they will then construct into a nest. It is best to take great care when attempting to destroy the nest of hornets. Wear protective clothing and be certain that you have an escape route after attacking the nest. Hornets will not normally attack but they will if they feel like their nest is in danger. There are certain poisonous substances that can be used to eliminate hornets. Using these substances in conjunction with destruction of the nest is the best way to eliminate these creatures from your home.


If the problem is simple ”over the counter” solutions aren’t enough, hiring a professional company might be the right thing to do. It is usually not hard to find a good company like Rove Pest Control by searching online. Also, it is usually easy enough to tell if a company services your area by looking around their site for a “locations” page like found here on Rove Pest This makes it easy to find the right office location and phone number to talk to the right person.


Thanks Paul for some great info.  —  Joan Parcewski  Woods Real Estate   978-376-3978

Choosing Shades to Suite the Function of Each Room

I know if you are like me I think of “shades” as on size fits all room so to speak.  Given the different options available on the market I am guessing that is not true.  Welcome to guest blogger, Paul Martin, home improvement specialist, who will set the records straight 

How To Choose Various Kinds Of Shades To Suit The Function Of Each Room

Shades are a great way to control the lighting in the room. These are also useful if you want more privacy especially in the bedroom. Unlike heavy curtains, shades are easy to install, easy to clean, and easy to open and close. Shades now come in a variety of colors and designs so you can fit them with the existing color treatments in the room.


However, not all shades will work on every room. Shades are also constructed differently so that they can allow a certain amount of light and even none at all. This means that you may have to choose a particular style of shade to suit the purpose of a particular room in the house. Here are a few tips on how to choose shades to fit the practical functions of each room in the house.



Most shades suitable for kitchens must be made of material that can withstand constant exposure to heat and moisture. You can opt for bamboo shades in the kitchen. You can draw the shades up halfway from the bottom to allow just the right amount of light in. Bamboo is great for kitchens since it can hold its form and shape even when exposed to humidity and heat. Bamboo also comes in earthy neutral colors, which means that it an easily match the interior décor that is going on in the room.


Living Room

Living rooms require more options in lighting. Most living rooms have wide windows to let the most amount of light in. However, you can control how much light you let in to the room depending on the kind of shades you use. You can opt for shades made of translucent materials. These are great for diffusing the amount of lighting that comes in to give the room a warm glow. You can also choose shades that come with built-in insulation properties. These shades keep the warm air in during the winter and keeps the room cool during the summer. You can also use shades of darker colors if you want a constant subdued lighting effect in your living room during the day. Dark shades will also  provide more privacy during the night.  You can often go online and do a search specific to your area and find a provider near by. For instance, if I lived in LA, I might do a search for Los Angeles Roller Shades to find a supplier that services my area.



For those who prefer total blackout when they sleep, blackout roller shades are the best options. A lot of people cannot sleep when the lights are all out, and some may even stay awake because of the light coming from the streetlamps outside. Blackout shades are designed to prevent any light from coming in, which results to a totally dark room. This makes it perfect for bedrooms and even darkrooms. Most blackout roller shades are inexpensive and you can opt for shades made of 100% soil and dust resistant polyester for easy maintenance.


Shades are a creative way to control the lighting in any room in the house. The various colors and designs also means that you can change the overall look and feel of any room when you install shades. You can also choose different colors and  designs of shades to suit the practical functions of each room.


Paul Martin is a home improvement specialist. When he is not working on a project of his own at home with his wife & kids, you may likely find him writing about related subjects and/or writing for companies that provide quality home improvement products.

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