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home improvement tips

Posts Tagged ‘home improvement tips’

Real Estate News- 5 upgrades under $1,000

Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Real Estate News Tracy CA

Real Estate News

Real Estate News
5 upgrades under $1,000 that give you the most return on your investment!

1. Simple kitchen remodel
– Replace knobs and faucet
2. Upgrade the bathrooms
– Replace knobs and faucet. Add a modern backsplash!
3. Paint rooms
– Choose a neutral paint color
4. Flooring
– Have all floors professionally cleaned and polished.
5. Curb appeal
– Repaint or replace mailbox. Not sure how to landscape…? Try filling blank spaces with decorative rocks! And don’t forget to purchase a new welcome mat; remember you only get one first impression.
Tony 4 Great Homes has access to cutting edge technology, as well as a marketing coordinator and support staff. We are on top of the latest real estate news and aware of the current rental market trends, conditions, and buyer preferences. Let Tony 4 Great Homes be your Real Estate team!

If you would like to speak with one of our Realtors or if you have other questions, please call our office @ 209-610-3431 or email us at info@mkrealproperties.com We will be happy to provide you with our service package for you to review. Your Realtor Tracy CA.

For exclusive offers, current rentals, and inside news like us on Facebook! Go to Facebook.com/MkRealProperties and click LIKE!

Serving Tracy, CA and beyond.
Like us @ facebook.com/MkRealProperties Call us @ 209-610-3431 Visit us @ MkRealProperties.com

Buy, Sell & Rent With Us! Property Management Tracy CA

Saturday, April 30th, 2016
Property Management Tracy CA

Property Management Tracy CA

Property Management Tracy, CA

Looking for an income property? Can’t sell your home? Need help??? Call Tony Martin @ 209-610-3431 !

Buy, sell and rent with us!

The MK Real Properties Team Members are experts at handling properties and tenants. Call us today to request our free service package and see why the decision to employ our professional property managers is a no-brainer!

If you would like to speak with one of our property managers about managing your rental/income property or if you have other questions, please call our office @ 209-610-3431 or email us at info@mkrealproperties.com We will be happy to provide you with our service package for you to review.

For exclusive offers, current rentals, and inside news like us on Facebook! Go to Facebook.com/MkRealProperties and click LIKE!

Serving Tracy, CA and beyond.
Like us @ facebook.com/MkRealProperties Call us @ 209-610-3431 Visit us @ MkRealProperties.com

Homes for Sale Tracy CA

Saturday, March 19th, 2016
Homes for Sale Tracy CA

Homes for Sale Tracy CA

Homes for Sale Tracy CA

Looking for a Realtor? Call today @ 209-610-3431

Tony 4 Great Homes has access to cutting edge technology, as well as a marketing coordinator and support staff. We are on top of the latest real estate news and aware of the current market trends, conditions, and buyer preferences. Let Tony 4 Great Homes handle all your real estate needs!!

For exclusive offers, current rentals, and inside news like us on Facebook! Go to Facebook.com/MkRealProperties and click LIKE!

Serving Tracy, CA and beyond.
Like us @ facebook.com/MkRealProperties Call us @ 209-610-3431 Visit us @ MkRealProperties.com


Having a difficult time selling your home?

Friday, March 18th, 2016
homes for sale tracy ca

homes for sale tracy ca

Can’t sell your home?

Try renting your home with MK Real Properties located in Tracy, CA!

Let us here at MK Real Properties take these responsibilities away: update the property inside and out, determine the rental amount, promote and advertise our home, screen potential candidates, collect monthly rent and manage all repairs!

If you would like to speak with one of our property managers about managing your rental/income property or if you have other questions, please call our office @ 209-610-3431 or email us at info@mkrealproperties.com We will be happy to provide you with our service package for you to review.

For exclusive offers, current rentals, and inside news like us on Facebook! Go to Facebook.com/MkRealProperties and click LIKE!

Serving Tracy, CA and beyond.
Like us @ facebook.com/MkRealProperties Call us @ 209-610-3431 Visit us @ MkRealProperties.com


You Can Save Lots of Money Refurbishing the Kitchen

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The kitchen, for many families, is the main gathering place of the home. You cook, talk, and probably eat there as well. For such an intensively used area, you want to ensure it is the focal point of your home. A kitchen refurbishment has the potential to be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of owning a home. Getting the kitchen to look and function the way you want it to can be a terrific gift that you can give yourself. All too often, unfortunately, redoing the kitchen can involve spending more than you want to spend. A kitchen remodel can be easily thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Unless your family name is Gates or Walton, you could benefit from some ideas to save money on the kitchen job. Why should you spend all your money on the kitchen when you could just as well use part of it for something else in addition? Hey, after all when you’re finished with all that work and worry you’ll be ready for a vacation trip anyway. In order to help you get on the right track with saving on a kitchen job, here are a few tips to consider when you’re faced with doing the kitchen without breaking the bank.

Find a good handyman who does small jobs. Find a person who is a “jack of all trades” instead of hiring out the various tasks. If you hire a cabinetmaker to do the new cabinets, a flooring contractor to do the floors, and a painter to do the painting, you will pay more than you planned on paying. With a good handyman, they will be able to do it all and usually charge you less money for the work. Ask around and see if a friend can recommend someone that they know. A competent handyman will be able to help you get the necessary local permits. This is a good way to keep costs down.

Consider getting second-hand kitchen appliances. Brand new appliances can add up the cost really quickly. Instead of just picking out the newest, most expensive top of the line stainless appliances, consider getting some that are used. Most of the time, you can’t tell the difference, but you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.

Do a lot of research and shop around. Materials for your kitchen makeover can be affordable or surprisingly expensive. Depending on what you settle on, you could just about pay however much you decide. Just as an example, you can find a nice type of plain ceramic tile for under $1 per square foot, or you could find one for as much as $50 per square foot. Start by getting a general idea of a price/quality range and decide what level of quality you are aiming for. Then, once you decide on the quality level of materials you want, look for the material around at specialty stores. If you go to one with sales personnel on a commission basis you are in a good position, comparatively speaking. Salesmen have to sell in order to get paid. The sales people probably only get a few opportunities per week to sell to a qualified customer come in, ready of buying. That is why they really want to sell something when you come in the door. Go around and get quotes from other stores and use them to press for an break. Retail places such as appliance and flooring or tile stores usually have a good profit margin to work with and they will do everything they can to make the sale. Don’t give in easily and they will usually give you some good savings that can help you get more satisfaction out of the job.

Whatever money you can save on your kitchen job is money you can put to work on much more attractive and worthwhile pleasures and amenities of life — so be smart and enrich your life in more than just having a remodeled kitchen.

When you want to check out real estate in Broomfield, try the Colorado real estate specialists, Automated Homefinder.

save money remodel kitchen
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Curtains, Draperies And Other Window Treatment Ideas

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Author: Business Local

Finding the right window treatment for your Tampa home shouldn’t be too hard. There are about 5 important considerations when it comes to decorating your windows, and they are: (1) your interior design scheme, (2) privacy, (3) climate, (4) budget, and (5) maintenance.

Let’s start with curtains and draperies. Curtains are the basics of window treatments. It’s only a matter choosing the right curtain for your home. Tampa has a very tropical climate and heavy and dark curtains would be your worst choice. If your want heavy curtains, make sure you choose a color that is light or at least one side that has a lighter shade. Lighter colors bounce off sunlight which helps keep room temperature cool.

Bold colors are the trend for 2010, so choosing curtains, or any window accessory with splashes of color instantly updates your house’s interior design. Match your curtain’s color scheme with your beddings and you already have a cohesive look. For Tampa, sheer or light fabric draperies best compliments a tropical mood to the room. You can also choose to match heavy draperies with sheer curtains to give a balance to the windows.

Maintenance of curtains and draperies is relatively low, unless you’ve chosen ready expensive or delicate fabrics.

Blinds and shutters are becoming more and more popular because of their designs. Bamboo blinds should fit in perfectly with your Tampa home, especially if you’re going for a more relaxed look. Blinds are also very effective insulators of heat during the summer. Timber blinds and shutters are classics and they never get outdated. They are also very durable and easy to clean. Vertical blinds, on the other hand, look very modern and are quite ideal for larger windows. In terms of cost, blinds and shutters are cost-effective choices because they can be used over and over for a long time. Furthermore, blinds and shutters can provide greater privacy for rooms, especially for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hunter Douglas has a wonderful line of blinds and shutters which are readily available for Tampa residents. Artistic Windows, Inc. of Tampa carries Hunter Douglas products for all types of window treatment and accessory needs.

There is a smorgasbord of window shade designs you can choose from if they is more of your preference. Shades are practical options for a house in Tampa because it serves several functions—insulates heat, elevates privacy, and enhances any interior design. Choose from honeycomb, woven and fabric, pleated, roller, or solar shades. Roman and solar shades are one of the most popular types in Tampa since 2009. Solar shades, in particular are popular for its anti-UV function, which is perfect for a hose with children. Maintenance for shades, however, requires more time and effort.

In order to make the right choice of window treatment and accessories, make sure do the following:

1. Know the measurement of your windows.
2. Choose materials that match your house’s interior design.
3. Determine if your priority is for aesthetic or functionality.
4. Make a list of your top choices for curtains, draperies, shades, or shutters.
5. Know your budget.

Lastly, choose a window treatment that is durable. Windows get a lot of abuse—more than we know, so investing a little on the good stuff isn’t such a bad idea. Constantly having to fix or replace shutters or blinds costs more than spending a little more money on good treatments.

Try Artistic Windows, Inc. for all your window treatment needs for your Tampa home.

Artistic Windows Inc.
Contact: Scott Sowder
Address: 4004 W Neptune St #102, Tampa, FL 33629
Phone: 813-835-8805
Email: awindows@tampabay.rr.com
Website: www.artisticwindowsinc.com

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window treatment ideas

How to Build a Porch Swing

Monday, July 12th, 2010

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Few things beat the relaxation of sitting back in the shade passing a cool spring evening in a porch swing. For those who have some basic power tools and skills to use them, here are the steps to building your own wooden swing.


  1. Determine the appropriate size for your swing. This includes the overall width, which may require locating the centers of porch ceiling joists to give optimum anchoring locations, but also will require you consider how deep the seat will be, and how tall you prefer the back.
  2. Choose the materials you will use for building your swing. This article describes building with treated southern yellow pine, but cedar, fir, cypress, juniper, or even birch will work equally well, so long as the thickness of the components are adjusted so they are strong enough to support the weight it will carry.
  3. Gather all the tools, fasteners, and lumber you need for the project. Here is the list broken down by type, see Things you will need for dimensions and sizes.
    • Tools: circular saw, jigsaw, hammer, tape measure, square, and drill with bits.
    • Fasteners: wood screws, eye bolts.
    • Lumber:15-1X4 (50 × 100 mm) by Ten foot (2.4m) boards.
  4. Set a table up to work on. The illustrations show a pair of metal sawhorses with a sheet of plywood as a make-shift table, but any flat surface that provides a workspace at a comfortable working height will do.
  5. Measure 7 2X4 boards the length you will want the finished swing to be. The one used as an example here is 5 feet long. Cut these boards to length, being careful to make all cuts square (90 degrees).
  6. Set blocks on the table to support the boards, then attach a stop for keeping them from sliding while you rip them to width. The seat slats are 3/4 inch (1.9cm) thick, the back slats (which support less weight) are 1/2 inch (1.25cm). For a seat 20 inches (51cm) deep, you will need about 17 slats, for a back 18 inches (45cm) tall, you will need 15.
  7. Rip the number of slats of each width you will need, depending again on the height of the back and width of the seat you choose to build. Again, the illustrations show a swing 20 deep and 18 inches tall, which is comfortable for a fairly tall individual, but may not be as comfortable for a person with shorter legs.
  8. Drill through each strip one inch (2.5cm) from each end with a 3/16 drill bit to keep the wood screws that will attach them from causing the strip to split. Drilling for the center support is optional, depending on how hard the lumber you choose to use is.
  9. Mark a pattern with a curved edge, rounded over then curving back out of a 2X6 board, similar to the one in the picture. The amount of curve depends on your preference, the seat and back can actually be straight if you prefer.
  10. Carefully cut three identical pieces of the curved back and seat boards with a jigsaw, leaving the narrow end a bit long for trimming to fit the joints together.
  11. Cut a miter at the ends of the back and the seat board so they join at the correct angle for the amount of slant (recline) you want your seat to have. You can start by cutting a 45 degree angle on either piece, then lay it on top of the opposite piece, and judge the amount of angle you want. Mark the angle by scribing to the piece previously cut on a 45 degree angle. The length of the two angles will probably not be the same, but it won’t matter, since they are on the bottom rear of the swing, out of sight.
  12. Drill pilot holes for the screws which will join the seat and back boards together, then fasten them with 3 1/2 inch, #12 gold plated wood screws. This is a critical connection, since the screws are the only support for this joint, and it will have a good bit of pressure in it, so depending on the length of the joint, use two screws set at opposing angles and tightened securely.
  13. Set the three completed frame (connected back and seat) pieces on your table, and lay the strips of wood you ripped earlier across them. Screw the ends to the outside frames, then center the middle one and fasten it, also. It may be easiest to attach one strip to the rear of the seat first, then another at the front edge, lastly attaching one at the top of the back.
  14. Use a framing square to check the angle of the back and seat to make sure it is square, and rack (shift sideways) it if needed. Space additional strips across the seat, leaving a 1/4 to 3/8 inch (6 – 9.5mm) space between them. You can tack these temporarily or go ahead and fasten them securely, but you may find it necessary to adjust them to get your spacing to work out uniformly. Take note that you are using the thicker (3/4 inch, 19mm) strips for the seat, and the 1/2 inch (13mm) strips for the back.
  15. Cut a wedge shaped 2X4 board about 13 inches (33cm) long, tapered from 2 3/4 inches (7mm) on one end to 3/4 inch (19mm) on the other for each (two) armrest support, then cut another board 22 inches (56cm) long, tapered on one end from 1 1/2 inches (3.8cm) to full width in 10 inches (25.4cm) for each armrest itself. Generally, the armrest will be about 8 inches (20cm) high, and 18-20 inches (approx. half a meter) long.
  16. Locate the height you want the armrest on the back frame, and locate the position you want the support on the seat portion of the frame, and attach these with 3 inch (7.5cm) #12 wood screws. Fasten through the top of the armrest down into the support board with two more wood screws.
  17. Drill a hole through the armrest support and the seat frame for the eyebolt that will attach your swing chain to the swing, and drill through the back frame for another eyebolt for the back chain. Install your eyebolts, using washers to keep the nuts from drawing into the wood frame, and tighten them with a wrench.
  18. Locate the position and height you will install your swing, install eyebolts or eyescrews for the overhead connection, and measure the length you will need your chains to hang your swing. You may find you need to adjust the chains to get the swing tilted back the proper amount to be comfortable for you.


  • Sand any edges smooth to prevent splinters or other injuries which may occur from the wood.
  • Curve any edges that may need it to prevent children from bumping into them and injuring themselves.
  • Finish with an exterior coating such as polyurethane or paint to make your swing look better and last longer.
  • Use galvanized or coated fasteners to prevent corrosion. Galvanized fasteners are not recommended for cedar wood, however.
  • Consider making the length of your planks 8 feet when you buy them. Typically, 8 foot lumber is least expensive, and scrap may be used for other projects.


  • Use safety precautions when operating power tools.
  • Connections must be secure for safe use of the finished swing.
  • Never let small children play on this swing unattended, they may fall off, and it may swing into them.

Things You’ll Need

  • Fifteen 1×4 boards as long as the width of your swing
  • One 2×6 board, 8 feet long
  • 30 (approximately) 3 or 3 1/2 inch, number 12 gold plated screws
  • 180 (approximately) 2 inch, number 8 or 10 gold plated wood screws
  • Two 3/8 inch by 3 inch galvanized eye bolts with nuts and washers
  • Two 3/8 inch by 2 inch galvanized eye bolts
  • Length of chain (3/16 inch) to hang swing
  • Power tools and hand tools described in project steps

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Build a Porch Swing. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


6 Ways You’re Wasting Water And May Not Know It

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Did you know that the majority of wasted water in households is through the bathroom? It’s true. Here are a few ways your bathroom habits may be running up your water bill, as well as a couple other things you’re doing to waste water that you may not even be aware of.

1. Leaking Toilet: Of the more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted by households each year, the majority comes from the toilet. If your toilet constantly runs, check the flapper valves and the inner parts. To check for “silent” toilet leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank; if the coloring makes it to the bowl within 15 minutes, your toilet is leaking.

2. Trashcan Toilet: Even if your toilet isn’t leaking, improper use of it can lead to unnecessary flushing, which results in wasted water. Do not use the toilet as a trash can – if you have a tissue, throw it away or compost it. Flush nothing down the toilet except bodily waste and toilet paper.

3. Asleep at the Sink: When you’re standing at the bathroom sink shaving, brushing your teeth, or even washing your face, turn off the water when you’re not using it. Simple as that. Also, taking showers uses much less water than taking baths.

4. No WaterSense: In an effort to make your home as water efficient as possible, look for the WaterSense label when buying or replacing appliances. Working with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the WaterSense program makes it easier for consumers to identify water-efficient products.

5. Overwatering the Lawn: Reports show that more than 50% of residential water – water treated to be drinking water – is used to water the lawn. To help conserve water without having to let your lawn die, do not water it during the hottest part of the day so you’re not losing water through quick evaporation. Also, avoid watering when it’s windy so the water isn’t blown away before it hits the grass. Lastly, make sure the water lands only on what you’re watering – don’t let it water the driveway or street.

6. Small Loads of Laundry: Only use the washing machine when you have a full load of laundry. Combining small loads will minimize the use of your machine, which means less water is used.

Do you have any other ideas on how to stop wasting water and saving money at the same time?? I would love to hear them…..


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Planning The Landscaping Of Your Garden

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Author: Owen Jones

Landscaping techniques allow the gardener to transform a simple backyard into a lovely garden. There are many paths to having a beautiful garden, because there are many types to choose from and there are different tastes too. Chacun a son gout. Some types of garden need a great deal of maintenance and others less so, but even a slabbed or concrete backyard requires some maintenance.

The best way of going about making something beautiful out of your backyard is planning and perhaps the easiest way of planning is to create a plan or a drawing of your garden.

If you decide on this route, the first thing you will have to do is obtain some graph paper and plot the exact size and shape of your garden onto it, using as large a scale as will fit on the sheet of graph paper.

When you have done that, put in in unmovable objects like a brick shed, a drain or septic tank, a fish pond and doorways et cetera. Then you should photocopy it, maybe five or ten times. This is so that you can make mistakes, change your mind or even allow everybody in the household to make their own design from their own investigations and imagination.

If you consider that this is beyond your abilities, you are probably wrong. It really is not difficult, kids draw on graph paper all the time in maths lessons. Nevertheless, if you do not want to do it this way, then you will have to rely on plans cut out of magazines.

So, collect all your ideas from magazines and place them in a file. Similarly, if you are making a diagram on paper, save your ideas in a folder, but also draw them on your graph paper.

Set yourself or your team a deadline of say, a fortnighy or a month, but you do want to do the majority of your work in the spring or the summer, when the weather is warm. On the appointed day, get together and combine all your plans into one.

Put all the superfluous material aside and forget about it. Do not overcomplicate the situation by having all the designs in the active file. Now you are ready to go to work and instigate the ideas.

The choice is now whether you do the work yourself or whether you get a contractor in. A builder will have experience, and so will be able to get the work done quickly. They will also be able to offer practical suggestions, if what you want to accomplish is tricky. The other side of the coin is that it is a great deal more expensive.

If you decide to do it yourself, you might find it a good idea to divide your plan into segments. It could be done in quarters of the garden at a time, if that is feasible, or you could do all the groundwork first, followed by the brick and blockwork, then the pond etc. Depending on your plan. The only thing that should to be done last is the planting of the plants

Owen Jones, the writer of this article writes on quite a few topics, but is at present concerned with outdoor accent lighting. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Outdoor Wall Lamps.

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About the Author: [Owen Jones has traveled extensively for many years and has various websites]

landscaping your garden

Is Composite Decking More Eco-Friendly Than Cumaru?

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Author: gwatson

You definitely have choices when it comes to quality decking. By far, wood decking is the most diverse and offers advantages that are unique to each species. Cumaru wood is one species known to be the most superior decking material available. It is a high quality natural material that is grown as a sustainable wood. Its durability, strength, versatility, and density make it the perfect option for any outdoor project. Cumaru is naturally durable and has a flame spread rating of Class A, the same as concrete or steel. Cumaru wood offers a lifespan well over 40 years without preservatives. If you do treat it, you can expect an average lifespan of over 80 years. Due to its strength and high density, it is also naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage from wood boring insects like termites. Its versatility makes it a great choice for both commercial and residential decking. Cumaru makes the most beautiful longest lasting decks in the world. Its density helps make Cumaru remain smooth and splinter free. It doesn’t absorb water, twist, splinter, or bow like softer woods.

Cumaru wood is also extremely rich in color and appearance. Its color varies from a golden tan to reddish brown with some dark grain accents throughout the wood. It has an irregular, slightly interlocked grain which is coarse and wavy in texture. Unlike most exotics, Cumaru endures very little color change due to sun light. Its color will slightly mute over time into a more consistent color. It is also very low maintenance and easy to work with. Cumaru wood is far greater than most composite decking products.

Composite decking tries to compete with high end decking materials, but is unable to when it comes to quality. It is made of a mixture of recycled materials and glue. The recycled materials typically consist of a 50/50 mixture of wood fibers and waste plastic. This plastic includes high density polyethylene and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Many people think that because composite decking uses recyclable resources it is eco-friendly. That is not the case because PVC is known as a toxic plastic and is obviously not good for the environment. Due to the manufacturing process of composite decking, it is extremely porous and soaks up water very easily. This causes it to be prone to rot, decay, mildew, mold and fungus. Also, it will expand and contract according to the temperature, causing loosening of screws and plates. Many of the cleaners for composite decking are extremely dangerous and clean only the surface.

Composite decking products claim to be cost competitive, but they are actually significantly more expensive than real wood products. When you factor in installation costs, maintenance fees, and possible replacement costs, it turns out to be much more expensive than a wood deck made of Cumaru.

Most composite decking materials haven’t been thoroughly tested, but it sure has been thoroughly marketed. This causes home owners to think that composite decking is a great choice. However, with some research, you can find complaints and problems about the quality of the product. You can avoid all this and simply build a deck with Cumaru. Cumaru wood is the ideal choice in decking.

Discover why wood decking such as Cumaru and other species of Brazilian Hardwood is superior to composite decking materials. Grayer Watson enjoys building decks, installing floors and working with people to make their homes better.

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deck building