Best Home Improvement Company In Branson Missouri

People who love their homes take good care of them. The investment you put in your home to ensure that it is up and running efficiently is worth your effort, but there is nothing as discouraging as watching your beloved home dismantle apart because of lack of proper care. The more you don’t take notice of small matters like clogged gutters or a cracked window, the more money you would spend in repairing damages in the long run.

But this is exactly why Tri-Lakes Exterior Home Improvement is concerned with your home improvement needs. Having been in existence for more than 20 years now, the Missouri-based home improvement company has accumulated lots of experience in the home improvement business. They know your pains, they also understand that no one will do a splendid job for you without ripping you off.

Particularly, I am intrigued at the vast array of services you can find at Tri-Lakes Exterior Home improvement. You can find almost every home improvement solution ranging from exterior painting, Vinyl siding, to power washing, replacement and installation of windows and shingled roofing, plus many more.

At Tri-Lakes Home Improvement, they understand that harsh weather conditions can fast deteriorate the outlook of your home. The Ozarks is known for its harsh climate which can easily damage your home. But when that happens, Tri-Lakes Home Improvement are always ready to rectify the problem within your budget. Some home improvement companies claim to give first class services, but the truth is, they will over-charge you and even when you think that you have found the best bargains, only shoddy work is presented to you.

But Tri-Lakes Home Improvement gives solution to your home repair needs in a holistic way. They are concerned with the environment as well, which is why they have a variety of home accessories that save both energy and the eco-system in the long ran. Think about the leaking gutters that send large volumes of water seeping into the ground. When you choose Tri-Lakes Improvement, you don’t have to worry about anything because they will take care of your home. As for the walls, Tri-Lakes will give you a number of choices to choose from ensuring that your house has structural integrity. The vinyl siding that is used to clad the walls will reduce outside noise significantly and give you four times more of insulating power, yet it is cost effective and attractive to the eye.

The best investment you made in life is when you acquired a new home, don’t let it waste away. Like other happy home owners that have sort the services of Tri-Lakes Home Improvement, you could join them and be a proud owner of a smart home that glows all year long.

Vinyl Fence Buyers Beware! Home Improvement Chain Store Prices are not what they Seem

You see them advertise on the TV every day, orange aprons fluttering down the aisles at Home Depot, “You can do it! We can help!?”, the warm voice of Gene Hackman telling you “Lowes, lets build something together”. These big names spend big bucks to convince you that if you want to improve your home you need to do it up big time at their big name, big box, home improvement chain stores.

Whew, thats a mouthful and in a lot of ways very true too. Except for vinyl fencing. Oh, they sell vinyl fencing and their prices seem to meet the big box standards but everything is not always as it seems.

One of the first questions clients always ask me is, “How do you compare to them?” or “Why was our fence more expensive then theirs?” (If it was more). I found the best way to respond was by simply telling the truth. Sometimes our prices were more and sometimes they were less but one thing was certain. We always delivered a higher quality product.

I have nothing against them and have even advised certain people that the H. I. C.S. might better suit their unique needs. For example, I had a guy who was flipping a property and needed the cheapest fence he could buy. He wasnt concerned with how long the fence would last, he just wanted to sell the property. I suggested, Home Depot.

The key to big box store shopping is to know, what you are getting for the price you are paying. I highly urge you to go and look at their fencing first hand. Feel it, touch it, push it and you will see that it gives quite a bit. The panels are thinner and are generally hollow with no internal ribbing and reinforcement.

They also utilize a bracket system which is an inferior way to assemble vinyl fencing and requires external hardware which distract from the clean lines of vinyl. Their fencing usually comes pre-assembled.

Oh, I hear you out there, “Isnt that more convenient?”

Yes, assembled sections do provide more convenience but always remember that lower quality residential grade vinyl fencing normally comes assembled, as fence panels, while prime quality commercial grade vinyl fencing always comes unassembled.

Why? To be able to ship your order more securely so you receive it, complete and undamaged. It also allows you the opportunity to personally attend to each stage of construction, insuring the lifetime strength and durability of your fencing investment.

Keep in mind that the slide and pop assembly of commercial vinyl sections are very similar to “legos”, making them relatively easy to assemble. I, personally, am not a very handy man and I can tell you, from experience, they are not hard to put together.

One last thing to realize when evaluating prices between the H.I.C.S. and a vinyl fence dealer. The H.I.C.S. s panel pricing, generally, does not include the costs of posts and caps. This is very misleading.

They get you in on the appearance of a lower price, which is usually for the fence panel only. Then they add in these costly but essential items at the time of sale. Right when you have reached that point when you are ready to buy.

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

Bathroom or Kitchen facelift- Im not talking about a major remodel here just a simple facelift can totally change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new paint and wallpaper, replacing a toilet, or maybe even replacing that old bathroom or kitchen facet can greatly improve and update the look of any home.

Install new lighting- Installing new lighting can not only brighten your home but give a room a totally different look. Whether installing a light kit on a ceiling fan or replacing that old outdated fluorescent light in the kitchen with some of the new kitchen lighting on the market, installing new lighting is a weekend project thats relatively easy and comes with a big return.

Install tile- whether a kitchen floor or backsplash or new tile in the bathroom, installing ceramic tile is easier than you think and is a great weekend project for weekend warriors. Most home improvement stores have everything you need for professional looking results, one tip: Be sure to rent a tile saw, it will save you a lot of time and is well worth the cost.

Changing the color of a room- Color is in! You will be surprised how a splash of color can totally change the look of any room. Many homes have either white or off-white walls but many homeowners have found adding color to a room can brighten and warm up a room and is a great weekend home improvement project for anyone. As with any painting project the time you spend in preparing before actually painting will speak volumes as to the results.

Staining Garage Floor or Patio- This is a great project for weekend warriors. Perhaps you have a garage with oil spots, old paint, and other unidentifiable stains on the floor. Staining your garage floor can bring new life to any garage and look great! Some of the new epoxy products on the market offer numerous color choices and colored flakes that you wont find in most home improvement superstores and will give your garage a unique and customized look.

Being a weekend warrior when it comes to home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding. Be sure to do your research about the best products and techniques before starting any home improvement project, but dont be scared to try something you have never done before. There is an abundance of information and how-to books on just about any project you decide to tackle, so go ahead and conquer that weekend project.

How The Cheese Making Procces Has Changed Through The Years

The many different types of cheeses available mean there is something to suit every taste. It is generally believed that cheese was first made in the Middle East. Legend has it that a nomadic Arab made cheese by accident when a saddlebag filled with milk fermented due to the hot sun and the galloping movement of his horse.

Early cheeses were not the solid products we eat today. They were simple curds and whey, like what Little Miss Muffet ate. The curd is the solid part while the whey is liquid.

Workmen making cheese are depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics. In ancient times, the whey was eaten immediately while the curd was salted or dried for preservation. The Roman Legion helped spread the art of cheesemaking throughout Europe and England. The monasteries and feudal estates of Europe made great improvements in cheesemaking during the Middle Ages. Many of the classic varieties of cheese enjoyed today were developed by monks. During the Renaissance, cheese decreased in popularity because it was considered unhealthy. By the nineteenth century, sentiment had changed and cheese production moved from farms to factories. No one involved in the early history of cheese could have imagined that today people would buy cheese online.

While most cheeses are mass produced today, some artisanal cheeses are still made by hand using old-fashioned techniques. When you buy cheese online, it is possible to deal directly with the people who make the cheese.

How cheese is made today

Cheese can be made from the milk of cows, goats, sheep and even buffaloes. The basic principle involved in making natural cheese is to curdle the milk so it forms into curds and whey. Contemporary cheesemaking methods stimulate the curdling process by using a starter, which is a bacterial culture that produces lactic acid, and rennet, a coagulating enzyme to speed up the separation of liquids and solids. Different bacterial cultures are used depending on the type of cheese being made.

The least sophisticated types of cheese for sale are the fresh, unripened varieties like cottage cheese. These are made by warming milk and letting it stand, treating it with a lactic starter to help the acid development and then draining the whey. The cheese is eaten fresh. This is the simplest form of cheese.

For more complex cheeses, bacterial cultures are used to lower the pH or acidify the cheese. It is important to make sure the right amount of acid is produced or the cheese’s texture will be poor. At this point, the cheese will begin to coagulate and form curds and whey. The process is enhanced by adding rennet.

The curd is then heated and cut, allowing whey to escape. The curd hardens before it is salted, shaped and pressed. Depending on the variety, the cheese will then be aged or ripened for different amounts of time. Bacteria are still growing in the cheese, resulting in flavor and texture changes.

Cheese rinds are formed during the ripening process, often naturally. The rind’s main function is protecting the interior of the cheese while allowing it to ripen harmoniously. Its presence does affect the final flavor of the cheese. Every variety of cheese for sale has gotten to market after being made through some variation of this process.

New Technologies Increase the Power of Solar Power Panels

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise and climate change begins to take hold, there is an urgent need to turn to renewable methods of electricity generation. Solar power is one possible way of meeting our energy needs. Solar power panels are constantly being improved to make them more efficient at converting sunlight into energy. Lets take a look at some of the recent technological improvements that are helping solar panels to become powerful devices for generating electricity.

Wasted Potential

Solar power has great potential for generating huge amounts of electricity. The amount of solar energy that falls onto the Earths surface in a single year is more than the total amount of energy stored in all the worlds fossil fuels and uranium. If we could only collect this energy and convert it into electricity, all of our energy problems could be solved. However, current solar panels only manage to convert about 15-20% of the suns energy that falls on them into electricity. Researchers all over the world are working to improve this figure so that solar panels can make a bigger contribution to meeting the worlds energy needs.

Turning Up the Heat

In 2010, engineers at Stanford University announced that they had come up with a way of using not only the suns light, but also its heat, to produce electricity. The traditional process of converting light to electrical current, which is known as the photovoltaic effect, is less efficient at high temperatures, but this new technology becomes more effective as the temperature rises. The addition of this technology to solar panels could help them to work effectively under a wider range of temperature conditions.

2013 Breakthrough

Researchers at Sharp Corporation announced in June 2013 that they had made an astonishing breakthrough. By changing the structure of a solar cell, the researchers managed to increase a record-breaking 44.4% efficiency for the conversion of sunlight into electricity. This remarkably high efficiency is achieved by using lenses to focus concentrated sunlight onto the multi-layered solar cells.

Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

One problem with solar panel efficiency is that the impressive performance that is achieved in the laboratory is rarely matched by experiences in the real world. Solar panels have to cope with changing weather conditions as well as everyday wear and tear. Even seemingly mundane issues such as dust can cause serious problems with solar efficiency.

A team of researchers at Boston University, led by Dr. Malay Mazumder, is addressing the problem of solar panels gathering dust and therefore becoming less able to perform at their best. The solution the researchers came up with uses sensors to detect when the panels are becoming dusty, and then electrifies the panel with a wave of electric charge to fling away the dust. The panel can be cleared of ninety percent of the dust in just two minutes.

The first application of this technology will be for solar-powered spacecraft that have to operate in the dusty environment of the Moon or Mars. However, the researchers say that it could also be very useful for solar panels down here on Earth.

Maximizing Solar Efficiency

In order to make solar panels work as well as possible, they have to be installed in the most effective possible way. Professor Kleissl from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has been studying how to use solar panels to the best of their potential. One important consideration is the direction that the solar panels face in; Professor Kleissl says that panels facing southwest, rather than due south, perform better because they experience a longer period of exposure to the sun. This orientation also means that solar panels are working at their maximum capacity during the late afternoon, when electricity demand is often at its highest.

Going Solar

By helping solar power panels to work more efficiently, these new technologies can make solar power a more realistic option for generating power all over the world, even in countries that dont receive as much sunlight as others. Scientific research into solar power is ongoing, which means that using the suns light and heat to generate electricity is likely to become more and more effective over the coming decades.

Are vent free gas fireplaces safe

Fireplaces emit a variety of potentially toxic substances including carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. The vent free gas fireplace offers no venting capacity so byproducts released from the fireplace remain in the house. It should be noted that vent free or ventless fireplaces are also available in electric and propane models. Because of its popularity we will focus on the vent free gas fireplace.

With advancements in insulation efficiency and the improved methods in which it is installed and the new technologies applied to the exterior of new homes, today’s homes are airtight. If you add to this a vent free gas fireplace where do the toxic byproducts go? They are released directly into your home.

Vent free fireplaces are banned in some U.S. states and are not approved in Canada. They maybe promoted as easier to install or just as safe as other fireplaces, but I would recommend that you consider a direct vent fireplace. Equipped with a sealed firebox the direct vent fireplace is generally safer. It works by drawing in combustion air from the outdoors directly into the firebox through a pipe, while another pipe exhausts its combustion products to the outdoors. The sealed glass panel on the front is critical in maintaining the quality of the air in the home and providing high energy efficiency.

What Is So Good About Amtico Wood Flooring

Amtico flooring is just about the most hardwearing and practical alternative to real wood.

A huge selection of Amtico flooring in the latest natural wood designs that are available These range from the softest grains such as white maple, to the mid toned classic oaks, and on to the darkest colour in our range Wenge Wood.

All Amtico woods are genuine British made commercial grade (not the Asian made Spacia or Karndean) and are manufactured in ‘tick’ finish in the standard 114mm x 915mm standard size.

Choosing an Amtico floor means you don’t have to worry about long term maintenance- your floor will never need sanding or re-finishing. The tough hardwearing surface will repel stains and moisture making it an ideal choice for wet areas such as bathrooms and shower rooms, and heavy wear areas like hallways and entrance lobbies.

Amtico wood authentically replicates the natural product and it’s true characteristics. The Stripwood is highly variable in grain and decoration. Please consider this in your product choice as online images only display a small section of the material.

Installing Amtico wood flooring can be undertaken by any reasonably competent DIYer with little in the way of equipment. If you are laying onto an existing wood floorboard, chipboard, or MDF sub-floor, it is always good practice to install a new plywood base first. This ensures long term wear, it will also prevent undulations showing through your new flooring.

If your sub-floor is reasonably flat, 6mm exterior grade moisture resistant plywood is adequate. This should be fixed at 15-20cm centers with screw nails. If your sub-floor is old and extremely uneven, a thicker grade plywood 9mm or 12mm should be used. However before fixing this, level off any hollows with a latex screed compound. Otherwise the plywood will never be completely flat.

After installing the plywood, spend as much time as possible filling any gaps in the joints, and knocking down nails flat. Then take down any high spots with a medium grade sand paper. More Time taken on preparing the sub-floor will produce huge dividends when you have installed you new Amtico, so do not be tempted to cut any corners.

Depending on how flat and smooth you have managed to make the prepared sub-floor, it may be necessary to apply a further leveler such as Ardex “Feather Finish” which can be applied thinly without the risk of de-bonding

When you are installing over a solid floor e.g. concrete, asphalt, quarry tiles, stone flags etc. it is important that your do a thorough check of the moisture content of the sub-floor. Even a minute amount of moisture in a sub-floor will cause Amtico flooring to start lifting within a very short period of time. Your investment will then be wasted, as the floor will be beyond repair.

Check in the first instance for the presence of a dpm, which should be visible on your outside, walls maybe the first or second line of brick or stone. If there is none evident, and your house was built before 1960, then it is wise to assume that there is no damp proof membrane in the sub-floor.

Home Improvement Strategies That Are Easy To Do

Since homes began being constructed, home improvements have existed. Everyone wants the best possible home. The article below will give you some solid advice on how to keep your home up to date and in line with the modern world.

Driveway

When it comes to home improvement, it is important to know which types of improvements will add to the value of your home and which will not. This will be important when it does come time to sell your house. Such general maintenance such as sealing the driveway and replacing the roof will not add to the value, however, an additional bathroom or a patio may.

Ugly driveways and concrete can be repaired without having to spend the time and money to replace them. Concrete refinishing has become a new alternative for that cracked driveway or walkway. They can apply a new topcoat, stains, imprint patterns or other design elements that will give your home a whole new look for less.

Ugly driveways and concrete can be repaired without having to spend the time and money to replace them. Concrete refinishing has become a new alternative for that cracked driveway or walkway. They can apply a new topcoat, stains, imprint patterns or other design elements that will give your home a whole new look for less.

When repainting the exterior of your home, use plastic sheeting and masking tape to avoid getting paint on unwanted surfaces, such as your windows. Use drop cloths to protect your driveway, porch, and shrubs from dripping paint. You will also want to use 3-inch masking tape to protect the trim while you are painting the siding on your house.

When thinking about replacing your driveway and you are considering brick there are some pros and cons. The look of a brick driveway is very appealing and you can certainly design the driveway in the way you would like. The cost is a very big disadvantage, brick driveways can be a very costly expenditure.

If your driveway is asphalt, regularly inspect it for cracks. Do repairs as soon as you can. To help with this, make sure that debris doesn’t accumulate on the driveway.

If you have chosen to have a gravel driveway and you have weeds growing through your stones there are some ways to prevent this from happening. A weed barrier is a good way to go about getting rid of the culprits. You do not have to get rid of all of your gravel to do it, you can put it over existing gravel and add new!

If the outside of your house isn’t appealing to you, then chances are your neighbors feel the same way. Look at your shutters, and see if they could use a new coat of paint or need straightening. Make sure your driveway is not in disrepair as this is what welcomes visitors to your home. You want it to be inviting.

Look for cracks or shifting of your home’s concrete slabs or driveway. Slabs on the exterior should always be positioned so that any drainage that occurs faces away from your home’s foundation. Use crack filler to fill in any cracks, or use a silicone caulk. Next, power-wash and then seal.

If you apply an asphalt sealer to your driveway, (if it is asphalt) you can protect it from cracks and other damage. Damage to your driveway can occur from both heat and wet weather, particularly when water collects in cracks, freezes and thaws. Applying a sealant will lessen the effects that weather and other elements will have on your driveway, which naturally extends its useful life.

Hopefully the information that you have just read will help you realize that home improvement isn’t as scary as it can seem. There are wrong choices that can be made, but if you stick to these tips, you will have the information you need to make good choices and have a great and valuable home.

Prevention of Over Budget Home Improvement

Planning home improvement projects takes into very careful consideration the figuring out and setting aside the money needed.

Some people ask contractors on how much are the estimated cost of the planned home improvement. The estimated amount of money mentioned by the contractor at times is eclipsed by the actual cost of the home improvement project.

There are several factors that were not considered during the early planning by the homeowner or the contractor. These are something we consider as hidden cost.

When a contractor is hired or to be hired, that person gives an estimate of how much the cost to have a particular job done including materials and labor. Sometimes, when the job is started, the contractor finds out that there’s more work involved than what was thought.

An example of which is when a roofing contractor started replacing shingles found out that the wood beneath the tile is completely decayed and needs to be replaced. With this, the contractor would ask the owner to change the wood to maintain the integrity of the roofing and make the work more durable. The purchase of the materials needed for this was not included in the estimate.

Or a contractor during the course of the job found out that a new equipment was needed to finish the job and this was not seen before. The rental would be additional cost to the project that will be shouldered by the owner.

Some hidden costs might not be so hidden if you understand the contract.

Sometimes homeowners are directly responsible for unexpected costs. For example, halfway through the task of having your kitchen renovated, the owner suddenly decides to upgrade the sink and plumbing fixtures to more expensive ones. Unless the owner chooses brands or products within the budget, this would not be a problem.

Another factor that can cause over the budget renovation is the continuing fluctuation of construction materials and building supplies. If the job is one that will take a long period of time, or if the owner received the estimate several months before the actual work, there’s a chance that the price of supplies that will be used to complete the project will increase. If this happens, the bill may rise accordingly. If the contractor includes the cost of supplies in the estimate, ask the contractor before you sign the contract whether those costs are subject to change or how many months will the price be good.

The best way to prepare for hidden costs is to ask the contractor upfront which costs is expected to rise.

To prepare mentally, owners can ask the contractor’s references whether the final costs of their projects exceeded the estimates, and by how much. Those references can also tell the owner what the hidden costs were. If a contractor has a history of estimating too low, the owner can either find another contractor, or anticipate and prepare for a higher final price.

Also, the owner should make it clear at the beginning of the project that contractor must let the owner know if the project will cost more than expected so there would be time to get the finances ready.

Is It Possible To See Bed Bugs

Can you see bed bugs?

Awakening with itchy, red bites on areas of your skin is not a nice experience. You then begin questioning just what led to the problem? A skin condition, fleas, mosquitoes, BED BUGS?

These types of symptoms will most likely have many causes and it can be very hard for a doctor to pin down the exact cause so if you suspect bed bugs it makes diagnosis a great deal faster if you can actually find the culprits!

Ok so, the major question is can you see bed bugs? The answer is yes!
An adult bed bug is reddish brown in color and has a flat, oval shaped body and six legs – great for fitting into the smallest of hiding places! In terms of size an adult is going to measure around 4 to 5 mm in length and 1.5 to 3 mm in width. Quite often the adult bug is compared in appearance and size to an apple seed.

A newly hatched nymph or “baby bed bug” looks exactly like a tinier version of its parents. You can see juvenile bed bugs with the naked eye. They only measure about 1 mm and are translucent. I have heard nymphs likened to poppy seeds in size!

Both the adult and bed bug nymphs “grow” in girth after a nice blood meal. When engorged their normally flat bodies will become more “puffed up” and their color changes to red because the blood within them is visible. The color only changes to the more usual tan or reddish brown as the meal is digested. Therefore if you see what resembles a moving blood spot on your bed sheets it is most likely a bed bug!

Finding and eliminating bed bug eggs is a vital element of any bed bug treatment because an adult female is going to lay eggs at a rate of around 1 to 5 each day that’s up to 500 in her life time. Can you see bed bug eggs? These are frequently described as looking like grains of rice in shape and color It is possible to see them with no magnification due to the fact they measure roughly 1 mm. You will most likely discover them “stuck” to the surface of a mattress or a headboard.

As they developed bed bugs cast their skins a total of 6 times before they develop into sexually mature adults. This process normally takes in the region of 5 weeks. It is quite possible to see bed bugs skins that have been cast during this process. Basically they look exactly like a bed bug but are in fact transparent, empty skins. If you do find these when hunting down bed bugs in your home they are a sure sign of an active infestation.