Friday, February 28, 2014

American Standard Bathroom Sink Review

In my house there are three bathrooms. I don’t really care about how they look as long as the plumbing is correct and everything is working. I just get in to get the job done and get out. But my wife thinks that bathrooms have to look nice. I’m not sure what that means but I don’t argue.

Recently she wanted to update our guest bathroom. I thought it looked fine but she insisted. She wanted new faucets and tile. She wanted an update on the paints and the decorations. I just handle the plumbing part of things and she does the rest.  My wife got it in her head she needed a new sink for that bathroom. 

We looked around at your basic sink but she wanted something a little fancier. There are a variety of sinks on the market now days.  They come in almost any color and materials such as vitreous china, fireclay, enameled cast iron, acrylic sinks and even tempered glass.  If you are looking for bold colors Enameled sinks come in all shades as well as earth tones and grays. As we were looking I was surprised to see stainless steel sinks becoming more and more popular in the bathroom. My wife is much more tradition material and color. After looking around for weeks we settled on an American Standard bathroom sink(s).

The thing my wife loved about this sink, that she felt set it apart from a “regular” sink, was that it is an above-counter sink. It is a basin type and very spacious. I wasn't sure about it at first but after experiencing it for quite some time now, I am glad we got this sink.

We chose this sink for a few reasons. Of course my wife chose it for looks – she liked the look of it, round above-counter and all. She also liked the bowl shape with no faucet holes or overflow. I’m glad she liked it for looks but I didn't buy it just for looks.

I really like the vitreous china and the spaciousness of the basin. At first I was worried with it not having an overflow but the depth of this sink makes up for it. The faucet is not installed direction on the sink bowl.  Previously in that bathroom we had an under-counter sink; however we were replacing the counter tops with granite so that was not much of a problem. If you are considering an above-counter sink you made need to do some adjusting with some decorative plates to cover the holes.

Although above-counter sinks are becoming more popular in high-end homes and mater bathrooms, I was afraid that I would have to pay a lot more than I was wanting. I actually found a great deal on this sink that was not all that much more expensive that buying one similar to what we originally had in the bathroom.

My wife and I have had the new sink in that bathroom for a month or so now. Both of us have been pleased with our purchase and would recommend this sink to anyone looking for this particular style. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Painting like a Pro

I recently repainted a few rooms in my house.  I have had some experience painting, and through the years have picked up a few tricks of the trade. If you are considering painting a room in your house here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking for a more “professional” finish.
1.     Always use a primer. It is tempting to skip this step but a primer helps provide a good surface for the paint and it also helps bring out the paint’s true color.
2.     When painting, use an edge pad for clean lines around door-frames, ceilings and corners
3.     Choose a day to paint when the air is dry (or dryer).  Moisture in the air keeps paint from drying.
4.     To keep paint from getting in places you don’t want it, put a small plastic bag over doorknobs and tape the edge.
5.     Scrap any old paint that is coming off the walls and sand the wall smooth. You want a clean surface for the best result.
6.     Wash your walls from top to bottom. Paint sticks best to a clean surface.
7.     Once you have painted an area and it has started to dry, leave it alone. If you paint back over it, you make create marks and color streaks.
8.     Cover your floor with a drop cloth to keep from spotting up your floor.
9.     Use a roller for large walls
10.  Before you start, remove all the wall plates, tape off light switches and electrical outlets.

The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Remember to make sure your wall is sanded, clean and dry and you are ready to paint! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Peerless Kitchen Faucet

When it comes to buying faucets, I do not really care about the look of them. I have a hard time spending money on something I only use to wash things that are dirty. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to change the kitchen faucet but, like I said I am not in to looks and fancy extras. I just want a faucet that gets the water off what is ever dirty, whether it is my hands, dishes or my dog.

Although I did not need or want the faucet to be fancy, I wanted a faucet that had a side spray. I know that most houses these days have a side spray or a spray built in to the faucet but I have not had one since I have been in my home a few years now. I just had no need to update my faucet when the one I had works perfectly fine.

Then I started having problems with my faucet. There was a constant leak and no matter what I did I could not get it to stop. I probably would not have cared if the leak was a drip from the faucet itself; however, the leak was at the base of the faucet which causes all kinds of problems.After a few weeks of trying everything I could, I decided it was time to look for a new faucet.
It took me awhile to find what I was looking for. I wanted something fairly inexpensive yet reliable and I found that in my peerless kitchen faucet(s). This faucet was exactly what I needed and I did not have to pay a ridiculous price for it! I have been using it for a few weeks now and could not be happier. Here are a few reasons why I decided on this particular brand and faucet.

The part of the faucet I cared least about was the finish but I am pleased that this finish is stainless steel. That makes it easier for cleaning (which I do not really like to do) and the faucet still looks nice.  I chose the single level control so I do not have to use two hands. I seem to find myself with dirty hands a lot and I do not want to have to move two levers. This lever also is very smooth as it moves side to side.

The spout swivels 360 degrees which is very convenient especially since I have a double sink. My last faucet did not have this feature and it is most annoying not to be able to move the spout where I want it and now I do not have that problem. And this particular sink came with a side sprayer. This is the first time where I have had a side sprayer in my own kitchen. I will never go back to the alternative! The side sprayer makes it easier to fill pots, clean off crusted food, clean hard-to-reach parts on the sink and the clean-up around the sink.

In all, I am very pleased with my new faucet. If you are like me and don’t care much for looks and you are not looking to pay too much for a new faucet, I recommend checking out this product.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Rain Bird Sprinklers - in review

When I put in my first sprinkler system, I didn't really pay attention to what I was doing or what product I was buying. I struggled with dry brown spots and seemed to have long watering times with low results. The next sprinkler system I put in I paid more attention to details and products. I found the Rain Bird series and have found that some of my old problems have gone away. If you are putting in a new sprinkler system this year, here is a little information about why I chose Rain Bird Sprinkler(s): 
The first thing I noticed about these sprinklers is that they are made with heavy-duty materials. Sometimes you can find sprinklers for inexpensive but that is just what they are, inexpensive and cheap. If you want a good, reliable sprinkler pay the extra couple bucks for a good one. With a patented stem seal (which keeps debris out) and a heavy-duty stainless steel spring you know you are getting a good product.  Depending on what you are looking for, this product has a lot of different pop-up heights and nozzle combinations. You will most certainly find the sprinkler that works for your yard or garden. 
Most Rain Bird sprinklers come with a Dual Spray™ nozzle.  This nozzle is designed to improve close-in watering coverage and eradicate brown spots, with a spray distance from 6 to 15 feet.  It is also supposed to reduce watering times by more than 30 percent. There are also a variety of spray nozzles to choose from such as full circle, part circle end strip, side strip, center strip, square and adjustable patterns. You can purchase this nozzle as pre-installed or as bodies-only if you are looking to customize your own nozzle patterns and throw distances. Also, certain series, such as the 1800, have an adjustable pattern nozzle that can water any part of a circle from 0 degrees to 360 degrees – no tools are needed for the adjustment and the water is dispersed evenly regardless of the pattern set. 
If you are looking to water shrubs, small lawns or irregularly shaped planting areas, Rain Bird has a line sprinklers that allow for precision watering and head-to-head coverage. They offer multiple pop-up heights from two inches to twelve inches which maximizes your flexibility.
However, if you are like me and have a large lawn, I suggest taking a look at the 5000 series. 
5000 series

Designed for large lawns, the 5000 series are rotor sprinklers that can reach areas from 25 to 50 feet.  They are engineered to distribute the water evenly in a uniform spray pattern, which I have found gives a consistently green lawn. This is also done by larger water droplets that prevent misting and airborne evaporation.

Like other Rain Bird models, this series it equipped with a heavy-duty retract spring (which assures positive pop-down), arc adjustment (only requiring a flat-head screwdriver) and a radius adjustment screw that allows up to 25 percent radius reduction – without changing nozzles.

In all, I have been pleased with my switch over to these sprinklers and if I ever end up putting in another sprinkler system I know what I will use!