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Remodeling Your Kitchen 

 

Who doesn’t love a freshly painted, shiny new kitchen with gorgeous new appliances? No one! That’s why it’s one of the most bang-for-your-buck renovations a homeowner can undertake. If you’re considering remodeling in 2018, you’re not alone. As you start dreaming about that kitchen you’ve always wanted, it’s smart to begin planning a budget as well.

According to HomeAdvisor.com, the national average that homeowners are paying in 2018 for kitchen remodel is $21,988, based on broader range of $12,000 to $33,000. That said, the website reports that remodels sometimes run as low as $4,000 or as high as $50,000, depending on a variety of factors, from size of kitchen and cost of materials to scope of project and potential design fees.

A lower end remodel may include the basics, including resurfacing or custom painting cabinets, installing a tile backsplash and new sink and faucets while a higher end remodel may also encompass new high-end appliances, granite or marble counter tops, custom cabinetry and tile or hardwood flooring.

As you begin budgeting for your new kitchen, below are a list of line items for you to consider:

  • Flooring
  • Paint
  • Appliances
  • Lighting
  • Cabinetry
  • Countertops
  • Backsplash
  • Sink / Faucet
  • Island/Bar
  • Plumbing
  • Electric
  • Gas Lines
  • Chairs/Table
  • Design Fees

While some people get excited about all the possibilities and love to do the work themselves, you may be someone who doesn’t have the time to deal with narrowing down 20 types of granite or 10 types of flooring. If you need someone to run the show or if you are overwhelmed with the scope of the project, hiring an interior designer may be a good option.

An interior designer’s job is not just to help design the kitchen you want, it’s also to coordinate the project’s timeline and manage subcontractors. Granted, it’s another expense, but the reality is that they can save you a tremendous amount of time and energy – and sometimes even money.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It

Trending Kitchen Faucet Types and Features

 

What’s the latest in kitchen faucet trends? Read below for some great ideas for your kitchen.

Hands-Free Faucets. The faucet gods have delivered a solution for any person who’s ever made hamburger patties and didn’t want to touch the faucet handle to turn on the water with their raw-meat slathered hands. Yes, it’s true. The hands-free faucet is motion activated and will turn on with the motion of your hand in front of the sensor. If you’re in the market, look for hands-free faucets that a) have placed sensors at the front of the faucet instead of underneath or behind and b) have an option to switch to manual.

Tap-Only Faucets. Its name says it all. Meet the kissing cousin to the hands-free faucet. These tap-only faucets require just a tap to get the water flowing, making your time in the kitchen not only more convenient but more sanitary.

Pot-Filler Faucets. This is the faucet for those who are serious about cooking or for anyone who dreads carrying that big pot of water from the sink to the stove for fear there will be an accident – whether from tripping over your four-year old’s misplaced toy or your own feet. Basically, it’s a wall-mount faucet placed strategically over the stove to enable you to fill pots with water without leaving the stove.

Bar Faucets. These faucets have become much more popular with the rise of the kitchen island. A bar faucet in your island, or in a corner can be a huge help when more than one cook is in the kitchen, or if you need that extra space for food prep.

In-Faucet Filters. Tired of filling filtered pitchers or purchasing water bottles? This may be your answer. The In-faucet filter is exactly what it says – and will deliver filtered water to your cup or pitcher from the kitchen sink.

Soap Dispenser. Every sink has to have soap, the question is from where. If you want to reduce clutter around your kitchen sink, a soap dispenser may be something to consider. You can refill the dispenser under the sink, allowing you to keep product packaging out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

Hot Water Dispenser. With water dispensed at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a cup of hot tea is just moments away with a hot-water dispenser – what could be better?

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Fall Home Maintenance Part Two: Your Home’s Exterior

 

While indoor home maintenance is critical as you prepare for the fall and winter months, your home’s exterior is equally important. There are key items that need to be checked to ensure you and your home are well-cared for this winter.

Clean your gutters and downspout. If this isn’t on your annual to-do list, it should be. If the gutters or downspouts are full or clogged, rain water doesn’t flow as it should through your gutter system, thus it will overflow from the gutter straight to the ground below which can mean trouble for your foundation. Too much water at the base of your foundation is a breeding ground for many issues, including a cracked foundation.

Inspect the roof. Now’s a great time of year to identify and replace any missing or damaged shingles. If you are comfortable doing this, great. Otherwise, hire a trusted professional.

Weatherize windows. Again, a good time for making sure screens and weather-stripping are in good shape and ready for cold temperatures.

Inspect the perimeter of the house. Take a stroll around the house to inspect your foundation and grading. If soil has washed away from the base of the foundation, now’s the time to refill it, making sure the grade declines away from your home.

Repair and seal driveway. Before cold weather hits, you need to inspect your driveway and walkways for cracks and damage.

Clean the deck. After a summer full of activity, including small kids, family gatherings and pets, your deck deserves a good cleaning. Break out the pressure washer and make her shine.

Cover and store outdoor furniture. Take advantage of the beautiful weather to clean your outdoor furniture and store what you won’t be using this winter. When spring arrives, it will be ready to be put to work.

Bring latex paint inside. Many people don’t realize that freezing weather can and will ruin latex paint.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Fall Home Maintenance – Part One

As you say goodbye to August and hello to September, now is a good time to begin preparing your fall home maintenance list. With school activities, football games, holidays and family gatherings, there’s little time to complete these important tasks. To lend you a hand, the next few posts are dedicated to important tasks to schedule and complete this fall. So mark this page and read on!

Your Indoor Checklist:

Clean your refrigerator. Fall means family and friends’ gatherings. You’ll want to make sure you refrigerator is doing its job. So break out your favorite cleaners and some old-fashioned elbow grease. You can do it!

Clean your stove and oven. From baking pumpkin pies and chocolate chip cookies to roasting that turkey and Grandma’s favorite casserole, your oven will be seeing its share of activity this fall as well. Get it ready to shine!

Inspect the furnace. Have a heating professional inspect your furnace to ensure there’s no damage and that all is ready for the chilly weather ahead.

Clean your clothes washer. If you haven’t already done this, now’s a good time. Just check your owner’s manual for any specifics related to your model and get cleaning.

Check your dryer exhaust tube and vent for lint and debris. Clothes dryers can be a hazard if they aren’t well maintained. If you aren’t sure how to complete this task, contact a professional who can make sure your dryer will work safely into the next year.

Clean out your laundry room. Because dryers can be a hazard, keeping your laundry
room clean and free of extra clutter is another positive step in making sure your home is safe.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is a no-brainer. You can test them if you’ve recently replaced batteries. However, if you’re not sure you last changed batteries, toss the batteries and install new ones. A few extra dollars could save your family and your home.

Clean out your mudroom. This one’s simple. Remove all the summer items like pool towels, sunscreen and flips flops and make room for gloves, coats and hats.

Clean your chimney. Contact a professional who can ensure your chimney is ready for the first fire of fall.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Preventing Damage to Your Foundation

 

When was the last time you thought about the health of your home’s foundation? Unfortunately, until there’s a problem, many homeowners don’t give it much consideration. However, the state of your foundation can directly impact how well your home ages.

In order to keep your foundation strong, there are a few things that you can do. First, the soil grading around your home should decline away from your home. This prevents pooling of water around your foundation. If you find that the grading angles toward your home, call a professional to assess your options.

Next, your downspouts and gutters are critical components in the battle to keep your foundation healthy, yet they are often taken for granted. Their job is to move rain and roof water away from your home rather than allowing it to sink into the ground at the base of your foundation.

And, with fall approaching, it’s important to plan a time to remove the leaves from your gutters. Why? Gutters full of leaves keep the water from running through the gutters to the downspouts, taking the water away from the home. Instead, the water will overflow from the gutters directly to the base of your foundation, potentially creating serious issues.

Especially during a drought, keep the soil immediately your home moist enough such that it does not dry out completely. If clay, for example, dries out and then is soaked in a rain shower at a later time, the clay is apt to expand and put tension on the foundation wall.

Next, plant those large shrubs and trees a slight distance away from your home. By doing so, you can help prevent the competition for water between the plants roots and the soil around the perimeter of your home. If the roots of your shrubs are competing with the moisture needed to keep the soil moist around your home, you may identify damage to the foundation via cracks in your dry wall and windows and doors that won’t open and close easily.

In conjunction with all of the above, scheduling regular plumbing and foundation inspections with a professional is always a good idea.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

10 Ways to Conserve Water Indoors This Summer – Part Two

 

While many homeowners make a point to install water-conserving features in showers, faucets, toilets and even dishwashers and clothes washers, there are everyday processes that can either use or conserve significant amounts of water. This post, which is a continuation from the last, offers 5 more ways to reduce your water usage indoors with suggestions for new processes.

6. Thaw meat in the refrigerator. If your dinner plans require you to thaw meat, make sure you’ve taken the meat out of the freezer the previous night. This way, you can avoid wasting water by running cold water continuously to thaw your meat.

7. Begin composting. While garbage disposals are convenient, they tend to be water-hogs. The fact is, to keep them running efficiently and properly, a great deal of water is required during their use. Instead, start a compost for your food remains – not only will you save water, but you’ll be creating your own fertilizer too!

8. Limit your water usage when washing dishes by hand. When you are washing dishes, it’s tempting to let the water continuously run to rinse each dish. However, this is a big water waster. If you have a double sink, fill one tub with soap and water and the other with clean rinse water. If you have only one tub, wash the dishes and set them aside on a dish drying rack. When you’re done washing, place the dish drying rack in the sink and use a faucet spray to rinse them all simultaneously.

9. Pay attention to your toilets. Is your toilet leaking? Is it running constantly? Or do your children tend to use the toilet as a wastebasket? By staying on top of needed repairs and maintenance ¾ as well as monitoring what goes into your toilet, you can save a significant amount of water. Call your plumber immediately if you suspect that your toilet needs repairs or a thorough checkup.

10. Wash Rover outdoors. While the weather is warm, wash your pet outdoors in the sun and on the lawn, giving you a clean dog and a green lawn!

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintaining Your Water Heater 

 

Did you know that most water heaters last for more than ten years? The key to making it last even longer? Keeping yours maintained properly. So, two questions: first, how do you make sure yours is in good condition and second, how to know when you need a new one?

Dial it back. To keep your hot water heather working smoothly and efficiently, dial the temperature down. Besides saving you money each month, keeping your water temperature lower is an important safety precaution if you have small children.

You will find the temperature setting dial on a knob on the gas valve or thermostat behind an electric water heater panel. Once you have located it, turn it to between 115 to 120 degrees. With that simple adjustment, you’re not only reducing your energy output, but also protecting your tank from overheating.

Test the Temperature and Pressure (T&P). Simply lift the lever part way and let it go so it will snap back. When you do this, you should hear the water being released into the drain tube. If you do not hear this water release, your water heater probably should be replaced.

Perform a mini flush. It’s a good idea to perform a mini flush annually—just add it to your spring or summer cleaning list. Why? Any sediment that has gathered at the bottom of the tank can lead to rust and/or inefficiency. Simply place a bucket under the drain valve (located near the bottom of the water heater tank) and turn the valve counter clockwise. When you do this, the water heat will release a few gallons of water into the bucket. If you prefer, you can do a full flush, but know that it requires more time and work as well as shutting down your water heater.

Assess your costs. Ultimately, if your water heater does not heat efficiently and/or you find yourself constantly calling a professional for repairs, look for a new one. While a new water heater is typically about a thousand dollars or less, if your current water heater isn’t working properly, it’s probably costing you more than you realize.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

Common Summer Plumbing Issues To Avoid

Now that summer has arrived, the last thing you want to deal with is plumbing issues. Unfortunately, there are some issues that arise more often during the summer months than others. Below you’ll find a list of those most common summer plumbing issues and how you can avoid them – and move on to more important issues – like vacation.

Clogged Disposal. With fresh produce at the ready during the spring and summer, homeowners can put extra stress on their disposals and not even know it. To avoid it clogging, limit – or avoid altogether – disposing of hard produce such as melon rinds or corn cobs in your garbage disposal. Also, be sure not to pour used cooking oil or grease into the disposal.  When you are using it for appropriate biodegradable items, run cold water briefly before and after you use it help flush the food through the disposal.

Sewer Line Backups. Summer is the time for late afternoon thunderstorms and rain. While we need rain to make our flowers and gardens grow, an abundance of rain can enter into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. Tree roots that spread underground can also cause cracked pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away. He or she may recommend a sewer line replacement if the damage is extensive.

Washing Machine Maintenance. Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer as well. With children out of school and more time spent outside, including days at the pool or the beach, there’s more laundry to wash, consequently more stress on your washer. And note, it’s best to stay at home while the machine is running, so that if a problem arises you can stop the cycle immediately and call a professional if needed.

Clogged Toilets. Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to children using the bathroom during the day. Most clogs are fairly simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional.

Sprinkler Issues. If you have sprinklers embedded in your lawn, be sure to inspect and clean the heads before the season begins. When you are mowing the lawn, be careful to do so when the sprinkler heads are lowered to avoid damaging them.

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Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Caring For An Outdoor Water Fountain

 

 

With warmer weather, most of us look for ways to spend more time outdoors.  Relaxing on your patio or deck can be a perfect way to unwind after a long day or week.  Many have found that adding a water fountain to their deck or patio can add to the calming effect.  But once you have it all set up and installed, what do you need to do to keep it working well for a long time?  Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain your water fountain:

  • Keep an eye on your water level. When the heat rises more water will evaporate, so you will need to add water to your fountain regularly.  This might be required daily during the hottest parts of the season.  This helps in keeping your water fountain cleaner.  It is best to  completely change out the water in your fountain every month if possible.
  • Your water pump is really the life of your water fountain, so take steps to keep it in good working order. Remove any leaves or debris from your fountain to avoid damaging the pump.  Placing a protective cloth screen over the pump is a good idea to keep debris out of the pump.  Keeping your water level at the proper level is also necessary to keep your pump working properly.
  • If the water is not running properly from your water fountain, and the pump is working good, then you need to check your water tubing. Use a water hose to flush out any debris that may be stuck inside.
  • To remove algae or buildup on your fountain, drain all the water, then using a mixture of white vinegar and warm water scrub until clean. Rinse thoroughly before refilling.  There are also commercial cleaners available.  Check to be certain that any cleaner you use is safe for any birds or wildlife that visit your water fountain.  An algae removal or inhibitor can be used where the water is not changed every day to keep it clean and non-stagnant for your feathered friends.

Following these few steps will keep your water fountain clean and working well for a long time.  Then you and your family can enjoy the relaxing, soothing effects of your water fountain for a long time as well.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

How to Maintain a Rain Barrel

 

Over the past several years rain barrels have become extremely popular.  It’s a new take on an old idea that catches rainwater to be used to water flower gardens and landscapes.  Just buy a rain barrel, set it up, and enjoy the benefits of a greener landscape, and happy plants.  Simple, huh?  While rain barrels are a great way to recycle water, there are some things to know to keep your rain barrel in good shape.

One of the first things to consider is where to use the water from your rain barrel.  You know the water collected is not suitable for you or your pets to drink, but is it OK to use everywhere else in your landscape?  If you know your roof material contains no asbestos, tar and gravel, or is not treated cedar shakes, then it should be safe for your landscape and flower gardens.

However, some prefer not to use water from their rain barrels for watering fruit or vegetable garden since there is limited research on pollutants in the gathered water.  And, if you have your roof cleaned or treated for pests you should unhook your rain barrel for a couple of weeks to avoid contaminating your water.

Another thing to remember, like with all things, your rain barrel will require some maintenance.    To help, don’t allow water to stand in your barrel for more than 5 to 7 days.  For a rain barrel in direct sunlight, algae growth can be an issue.  If so, empty the barrel, wash with a solution of 3/4 cup of bleach per one gallon of water, and rinse well.  Remember to dispose of the bleach solution in a household drain to avoid damaging your lawn or garden areas.

Summer is the season for mosquitoes, and your rain barrel can become a breeding area for them.  Placing a fine mesh screen to the lid of the rain barrel can prevent adult mosquitoes from getting in and laying eggs.  Otherwise, you will need to empty your barrel every week so mosquitoes don’t have time to breed.  Check monthly and remove any debris that accumulates on the lid.  Clean your barrel on a regular basis, and check over-flow hose and connections to make sure all is working properly.

Having a rain barrel is a great way to conserve your water usage.  Keeping it clean and in good working order will help you get the most out of your rain barrel, and benefit both the environment and your landscape.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!