Cover Your Outdoor Furniture (the Cheap Way!)
No space to bring outdoor furniture inside in bad weather? Make sure to keep them covered during the winter months. But instead of buying pricey furniture covers, protect lawn chairs and tables by covering them with large plastic bags. If you have metal deck furniture, apply a bit of petroleum jelly to areas where they’ve been known to rust to prevent them from rusting during the winter—and beyond.
Skip the Rock Salt
Icy sidewalk? Throw cat litter down instead of rock salt. It won’t harm your grass, stain your clothes, or hurt the environment, but it will provide plenty of traction for safe walking and driving.
Guard Outdoor Light Bulbs
While you have that petroleum jelly out, apply a thin layer to the threads of all your outdoor light bulbs. It will prevent them from rusting and make them much easier to replace when they blow out.
How to Get Rid of Drafts
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a well sealed home can be up to 20 percent more energy efficient. Most leaks occur in the basement or attic—look where you feel a draft or around wiring holes, plumbing vents, ducts, and basement rim joints. You’ll be able to seal lots of leaks with a simple caulking gun, but for instructions on how to plug larger holes, check out these tutorials from EnergyStar.gov.
Clean a Fireplace With Cola
Try an old masonry trick to brighten up soot-stained brick. Mix a can of cola with 3½ fluid ounces all-purpose household cleaner and 3 ½ quarts water in a bucket. Sponge onto sooty brick and leave for 15 minutes. Loosen the soot by scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush. Sponge with clean water. For a stronger solution, add more cola.
With the joy of the season surrounding us, we’d like to wish all of our cherished clients a Happy Thanksgiving. We’d also like to extend a special congratulations to our CEO Kent Ravaioli and Renee Harrell on their recent engagement.
On behalf of the entire Newgen Restores team, Kent wants to extend our warmest thanks and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019! Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and we are grateful to all our clients and customers that use our service, it is a great honor to have worked for so many wonderful people. Thank you all for a wonderful year, wishing you blessings in 2019. Thanksgiving is a time of year for Kent to reflect on all the blessings he receives each and every day in his life. To him, Thanksgiving is when family and friends join in laughter with no pressure to go out and buy or be distracted by the holiday, it’s just a time to sit and relax and spend personal time, being a family, playing games, eating etc.
While highlighting the things he’s most grateful for Kent also expressed his gratitude to God for placing such a beautiful woman (Renee) in his life, whom he adores and looks forward to many cherished tomorrows with. “Renee is just a tremendous blessing in my life, she completes my life and makes me extremely happy. I find such tremendous peace in her presence.” – Kent Ravaioli.
So in this season of thankfulness, we wish you all a happy, laughter-filled Thanksgiving with great people, great food, making great memories. We also extend heartfelt congratulations to the engaged couple, Kent and Renee. May your marriage be filled with all the right ingredients: a heap of love, a dash of humor, a touch of romance, and many spoonfuls of understanding. May your joy last forever. Congratulations!
If you are planning to have a holiday party, you have a lot of things to think about. Below are six things that you can do when hosting a holiday party to help manage and prevent stress.
Have a Menu
The first thing you want to do is know what you are having to eat. You want to make a list of what you are having for appetizers, main course, dessert, and drinks. This will help you know ahead of time what you have to shop for, what you need to buy, and what you have already in your house.
If you have people who offer to bring things to your party, accept the offer and let them know what you want them to bring. Whether it’s a dessert, an appetizer, or something else, there’s nothing wrong with accepting help if people are offering. Get a Headcount but Prepare for Extras
It’s a good idea to get a headcount of who is coming so you know that you have enough food and drinks. Even if you have an idea of who is coming, make sure that you have a contingency plan and extra food in case others show up. Even if other people don’t show up, you’ll have lots of leftovers!
Prepare Ahead of Time
If you are making a turkey, there’s nothing wrong with cooking it the day before instead of cooking it the day of your event. Things like potato salad, macaroni salad, pies, and cakes can all be made ahead of time. This will cut down on the things that you have to worry about the day of your party. You can also set your table ahead of time.
Make Sure You Have Enough
Along with having enough food and drinks, make sure you have enough plates, napkins, flatware, and seats. Think about how many people are coming and if you have enough chairs.
Make Things as Simple as Possible
Depending on what you are having to eat, it is usually acceptable to use plastic utensils, paper plates, and cups. This way you have less cleaning up to do and more time with your guests. Everything except your pots, pans, and serving dishes can go in the trash.
These are six things that you can do to help your party be less stressful for you and more enjoyable for your guests. Use these tips and you’ll find that parties are much more enjoyable.
Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in bamboo as a flooring choice due to it’s eco-friendly properties and sleek design. Many people gravitate toward wood flooring and bamboo provides the perfect low maintenance and low cost choice. Here’s why you should choose bamboo:
Bamboo is considered the most sustainable wooden flooring choice because its made from a renewable grass and not a tree! Bamboo can reach maturity within five years and once the bamboo plant has been harvested the root continues to grow, which means no deforestation or replanting.
Strong and durable
Bamboo flooring is extremely strong, enough so to rival the strength of some of the better known hardwood types such as oak. Bamboo flooring can also cope with changes to temperature and humidity, meaning it can be installed virtually anywhere.
Bamboo offers the luxurious look and durability of hardwood floors at a fraction of the cost. Hardwood flooring (especially the exotic kind) can cost anywhere from $5 – $10 per square foot while bamboo is consistently priced at $2 – $5 per square foot.
Lots of options
Bamboo flooring is available in three different styles (horizontal, vertical and strand woven).
Its available in two main colors, natural (golden and pale tones) and carbonised (coffee coloured brown), but it is also available with a rustic appearance, in a Stone Grey color and with a brushed texture to the surface.
Bamboo also handles different types of finishes really well. They can either have a Satin-Matt or Matt lacquer added to the surface.
Some types of bamboo can even be found with additional features such as UV protection, anti-slip lacquer and anti-scratch lacquer.
Easy to install and maintain
Bamboo flooring can be installed in one of three ways. It can either be:
glued to the subfloor,
nailed/screwed to the subfloor; or
floated over an underlay.
Whichever method is utilized, it’s almost guaranteed that the process will be half the timeline of installing hardwood floors.
Long life span
Similar to hardwood, if properly installed and cared for, bamboo floors have a long lifespan of decades. Their long lifespan is partially due to the fact that they are easy to care for. All you have to do is sweep your floors with a soft bristle brush and clean them every week with a PH neutral wood floor cleaning spray such as Valspar wood cleaner.
Many persons that suffer with allergies or asthma, find bamboo flooring to be the ideal choice because they don’t harbor dust and dust particles like carpet. Bamboo flooring is more resistant to water damage and it’s also resistant to mildew and mold that can grow and thrive in deep pile carpets and rugs.
So if you’re about to move into a new home or you’re in the process of building/renovating your own and you’re considering your flooring options, you now have a better idea of why you should go the green way with bamboo. If you’re still unsure about what’s the best flooring choice for you, give us a call. We can help you steer through the unnecessary to find what will work best for you and your family.
Which will it be: solid hardwood flooring or engineered wood flooring? Wood flooring manufacturers once styled engineered wood flooring as a reasonable, but not entirely adequate or worthy, substitute for 100-percent solid wood flooring. Solid hardwood was viewed by consumers and even some makers as still being the one and only true wood flooring, with engineered a pale second.
Times have changed, and engineered wood comprises a majority share of the wood floor market.
Neither floor type can be called best in a global sense. But each has strong points and a few deficits in individual categories.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Solid Wood Flooring
Engineered wood is a layered product made of an actual but thin slice of hardwood on top of a base of high-quality plywood.
Solid hardwood and nothing but hardwood, a homogeneous product from top to bottom and side to side.
Thickness can range from 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch. Standard widths are 3 1/4-inch, with plank sizes starting at 5 inches wide.
Thickness typically is 3/4-inch. The standard width begins at 2 1/4 inches wide. Plank width begins at 5 inches and can go up to 11 inches wide.
Pre-finished vs. Site-finished
Most engineered wood floors are pre-finished, though some companies do make site-finished engineered wood flooring.
Pre-finished is increasingly the finish of choice for solid wood floors. Site-finished (also called unfinished) accounts for about 25-percent of solid hardwoods today.
Sanding is one of the greatest differences between engineered and solid wood flooring. Engineered wood can be sanded but only once or twice lightly, before the thin upper layer wears away.
Solid wood can be sanded numerous times. Eventually, solid hardwood will become too thin after years of sanding, compromising its structural integrity.
Engineered wood is easier than solid hardwood as you have a greater range of installation methods, including stapling or nailing, fold-and-lock, or glue.
Solid wood flooring is nailed or stapled down. It is never installed on a floating basis.
Because engineered wood floors are real wood, they can be advertised as such in real estate marketing materials, making them more attractive to buyers.
As long as the floor is in good shape, it is on equal terms with engineered wood flooring in terms of resale value.
Engineered wood floors are durable, but not comparable to solid wood. Because the surface is thin, it can become chipped or de-laminated if stressed beyond normal conditions. Yet its ability to hold up to limited moisture helps bring up its durability rating.
Well-maintained solid hardwood flooring will last for decades. Moisture is the enemy of this organic product. Wood floors do stand a chance of being salvaged after flooding, but they will never perfectly return to their former shape.
Engineered wood is better than solid hardwood at dealing with moisture. Its plywood base is dimensionally stable, meaning that it warps and flexes less easily upon contact with moisture than solid wood. Fibers in plywood run in cross-wise layers, a far more stable structure than solid wood’s parallel fibers.
Solid hardwood is never recommended for bathrooms, basements, or other areas where moisture is prevalent or even expected. Still, solid hardwood can resist some moisture. Site-finished wood flooring (as opposed to pre-finished), though, does have a sealed top layer that can shed some moisture.
Hard hardwoods are the most durable, including many of the South American or Indonesian exotics, as well as birch, maple, and walnut. Soft hardwoods such as pine will not be found in engineered wood format.
Solid hardwood encompasses a greater range of wood hardness than engineered wood. Hardness ranges from extremely soft and appropriate only for utility areas (such as Douglas Fir for workshops) to extremely tough hardwoods (for example, Brazilian Walnut).
While it is best to avoid any kind of organic material in kitchens, engineered wood can can be made to work with proper precautions. Powder rooms are fine. Engineered wood can be installed below-grade with a proper subfloor and as long as the basement has absolutely no moisture problems.
Solid wood works best in living areas, bedrooms, hallways, dining rooms. While it’s wise to avoid solid wood in kitchens, installation can be acceptable if waterproof mats are placed near sink and dishwasher. You should avoid installing solid wood flooring in bathrooms, though would be fine in a powder room. Never install solid wood floor below grade, in basements.
Should You Buy It?
Engineered wood is for those who want the look of wood but who have a practical bent. Engineered wood lets you install it in a few more rooms of the house than you can with solid wood. It will return value, but will not have the longevity that solid wood has.
Solid hardwood is for purists who have long-time prospects in mind, yet do not mind installing different types of flooring in different parts of the house, according to need. Solid wood will return value many years down the road.
There’s no black or white answer for the question of refinish or new. Many different factors will determine whether the better option for your floors are a refinish or completely new hardwood. Factors such as age of the floors, condition of the hardwood and how much you’re willing to spend will all help you answer the question of refinish vs. new. Generally, it is usually cheaper to refinish floors than it is to install brand new hardwood. That said, if your floors have been refinished multiple times before, it might just be best to bite the buck and have new hardwood installed. Other factors that might make you lean more towards new floors include:
Changing the type of hardwood
If you wish to change the species of wood or the width or direction of the planks, then installing new wood would be the only option. Popular hardwood species choices include Oak (red and white), Maple, Hickory, Black Walnut, Brazilian Cherry, Beech and Ash. Whether you prefer wide or narrow planks depends completely on personal preference.
Refinishing hardwood floors is a lengthy and dusty process. It can take several days and during that period no furniture can be placed on the floors and you cannot walk on them either. Added to that, the refinishing process produces a lot of dust and obnoxious fumes. On the other hand, it is quite easy for you to still stay in your home as the new floors are installed and they wouldn’t produce nearly as much dust or fumes as refinishing would.
At the end of the day, whether you choose to have new hardwood floors installed or you decide to refinish your existing flooring, the choice is all yours. Both methods have their pros and cons. If you’re moving into a new home, refinishing your hardwood floors is a lot easier than if you already live there. And of course, refinishing floors is less expensive than replacing them. Whatever option you decide, Newgen Restores has you covered. Visit our warehouse or our website to learn more about creating your perfect floors.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi
Newgen Restores bids farewell and good luck to our Director of Communications, Elizabeth “Liz” Ravaioli as she pursues her dream of becoming a firefighter. Liz’s last day at Newgen Restores was last Thursday and she begins her new career as a firefighter tomorrow (Monday).
Here are some shots of Liz at Newgen during her last week:
The entire team at Newgen Restores is extremely proud of you Liz! We wish you a long and successful career as a firefighter and we thank you for your service to Newgen and our clients over the years!
Joseph and Natosha met and fell in love in high school back in 2011. They love to fish, camp and simply explore the world together. They plan to have a fully functioning farm together and have a Godly, healthy and happy family.
Joe’s proposal was one of Natosha’s most memorable moments. In her own words, here’s how she describes that day: “Joe was acting a little strange a few days prior to the big day, but I truly didn’t think anything of it. I enjoyed a nice morning at church on January 7th, 2018. Joe had been texting me that morning asking if I wanted to go out somewhere. I had been googling tickets to Sea Life for quite some time, so, I decided on the aquarium. I was mesmerized by all the fish; I absolutely love aquariums! The final destination was not too dark but dark enough for a little privacy and is surrounded 360 degrees by schools of beautiful fish. I was amazed and in heaven! I was almost pushing my face on the glass when Joe says “Hey, I have a question?” and barely getting my words out of my mouth, he’s down on his knee, and asked “Will you marry me?” I was in shock and the first thing I said was “Really?” Haha and then of course, Yes!”
And that is their story!
The happy couple enjoying a moment in the great outdoors.
From all of the Newgen Restores family (team members and clients alike) here’s wishing that…your marriage be filled with all the right ingredients: a heap of love, a dash of humor, a touch of romance, and many spoonfuls of understanding. May your joy last forever. Congratulations!
If you’re thinking of putting in wood floors, you can’t go wrong. All types of hardwood floors have unmatched natural beauty and go with any decor — modern, traditional, country, you name it. Hardwood flooring goes in any room, although kitchens and basements warrant special considerations..
Image courtesy: Cure Design Group
Unfinished or finished?
Unfinished hardwood flooring is a good option if you want a custom stain applied before the final finish, or if you want to match the color of existing flooring. After hardwood flooring installation and staining, the flooring is given several coats of protective finish. If you’re thinking of adding hardwood flooring in your kitchen, unfinished flooring is a good choice because the finish will penetrate and seal the seams between boards, helping to prevent water from seeping between boards.
Prefinished hardwood flooring comes from the factory already sanded and sealed, meaning the whole installation job goes quickly. There are no odors and VOCs from finishing on-site, and the floor is ready to walk on immediately.
Image Courtesy: Dacian Groza
Solid or engineered?
Solid hardwood flooring is all wood and comes 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Because it’s solid wood, it can be sanded and refinished many times. However, it’s susceptible to changes in humidity, and isn’t recommended for below-grade basements.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a veneer of real wood glued to several layers of wood underneath, like plywood. This gives engineered wood excellent stability over time and makes it a good choice for any area of your home, including below-grade basements. Depending on the thickness of the hardwood’s “wear” layer, engineered hardwood flooring can only be sanded and refinished once or twice during its lifetime; if the wear layer is not thick enough, we do not recommend having them refinished.
What species is best?
The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available and — you guessed it — very hard. Oak flooring, maple flooring and cherry flooring are all good choices. Other species include bamboo (which is actually a grass), walnut, ash and mahogany. You’ll pay a premium price for more exotic species, such as teak, jarrah and mesquite. Check to make sure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.
Another option is reclaimed hardwood flooring, which you can find at salvage yards. It likely has some signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for comparable new flooring. If they don’t have what you’re looking for (and you have the time), ask to be put on a waiting list. Salvage flooring is an especially good choice if you’re renovating an older house.
Summer is probably the ideal time to have your hardwood floors refinished because you’ll be on vacation and out of the way of the noise, dust and strong odors. Aside from that, if you’re one of the 3 million Americans moving this summer, you might want to refinish your floors before you move into your new home.
The refinishing process at NewGen Restores begins with the removal of furniture, rugs and other loose items from your floors. Next we gently sand the floors down and expertly apply the stain/color of your choice. After that we add not just one, but actually 3-4 coats of protective finishing, also known as polyurethane, in a sheen of your choosing. It comes in Matte, Satin, Semi-Gloss and High Gloss. The end result is a beautifully refinished hardwood floor that you can enjoy for many years to come.
When refinishing hardwood floors, you absolutely cannot have people walking on the floors during that time. The process can take anywhere between 5 – 7 days to complete, and even then heavy furniture can’t be moved back right away and may need a few more days. Getting your floors refinished while you’re away, or better yet, before you move into that new house is perfect timing – furniture can be moved without a hassle and no one/nothing is there to trample your newly finished floors. Aside from timeline concerns, it can get pretty loud with all of that sanding equipment. Even with recent technological advancements, sanding down floors can still be a noisy and dusty process. Some types of hardwood floor finishes can also carry a strong odor. The good news though is that choosing to refinish rather than replace hardwood floors can cost less than half the price of installing new flooring. This makes summer moving or vacationing the time to get this done.
There are a few scenarios where a hardwood refinish might not be ideal, for instance, most engineered hardwoods have a ‘wear’ layer they are manufactured with. This is the layer of real wood that is at the top of engineered floors. If this layer isn’t thick enough, we wouldn’t recommend you refinish it. Additionally, if you have hand scraped wooden floors, refinishing might not be the best option as you will surely lose some of the unique characteristics of the wood. Also, another consideration is that every piece of wood is unique and they all show stains differently. We suggest you have us try out a few different stains on a small section of your floor before you decide which of your finalists best suits your home.
Refinishing your hardwood floors is usually a great choice for many of our customers. The process will remove any scratches and bring the color and sheen back to your floors. If you’re ready to give your home an upgrade this summer by restoring your floor’s character and shine, then give us a call. NewGen Restores… where excellence never stops at the basics.