HOW TO BRING LIFE BACK TO OLD WOOD FENCE!!

Lisa with Ready Seal walked through the process of restoring life to an old wooden fence! It’s pretty simple!

Here’s what you need

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  • Water

  • Bleach

  • Dish Detergent

  • Pump Up Sprayer

  • Protective Gloves

  • Ready Seal

  • Paint Brush

  • Paint Roller

 

Step 1: Create a mixture of water, bleach and dish detergent. You want to start with a mixture of 70% water and 25% bleach with a small amount of dish detergent.

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Step 2: Put your protective gloves on before using the pump up sprayer to spray the fence with the mixture.
Note: If you don’t see the wood lighten enough, strengthen the mixture by increasing the percentage of bleach to water until wood lightens immediately after application.

Step 3: Let the fence sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing off the fence with a hose. Let fence dry completely before applying Ready Seal.

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Step 4: Once fence is completely dry, apply Ready Seal with either a paint brush, paint roller, or a pump up sprayer.

Note: Ready Seal is self leveling so you don’t have to worry about applying it perfectly even. The important thing is to get the stain on the entire fence. It will soak in and create a lasting protection.

Step 5: Enjoy your fence! Once the Ready Seal is applied to the fence you don’t have to worry about it getting rained on because water will bead off the fence within minutes of application.

The Essential Guide to Texas Lawn Care

By Francesca Singer

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For a state known for being tough, Texas lawns sure are tender. Most Texans have a soft spot for the luscious, green yards that seems against all odds in this thirsty state. The trick to an enviable lawn is pretty straightforward: You’ve got to treat your lawn with TLC. Here’s the essential guide to Texas lawn care.


Build on a Solid Foundation

If you’re just getting started installing a lawn, you can ensure success from Day 1 by laying the right groundwork. Applying a layer of compost and tilling it into the top few inches of topsoil provides an ideal base for sod. If your established lawn is looking a little patchy, rent a core aerator and poke holes in the sod to help the soil breathe. Then, topdress with a healthy layer of compost. Rake it in well and give it a deep watering and see how fast your lawn thanks you.

Know Your Type

Your turfgrass type will have a lot of bearing on how you mow, so don’t overlook this critical detail. Most Texas lawns are Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, or Zoysiagrass. St Augustine has a recommended height of 2½ to 4 inches while Bermuda should be cut to 1 to 2 inches. Know which grass type you’re working with and set your mower blade height accordingly.

Mow Like it’s Your Job

The truth is, mowing in Texas can feel like a job, because unlike up north, we have to mow for much more of the year. Texas grass goes brown and dormant during winter — even the mild winters of the Gulf Coast — but those winters are much shorter. Mowing is the key ingredient in a healthy lawn. It helps to control weeds and create the density we want. Never take more than one-third of the total height off at one time. Anything more stresses the grass and can leave it vulnerable to disease.

 

During midsummer peak growing season, you’ll need to mow at least once a week. In the summertime, raise the mower blade height to cut to the highest recommended length to help the grass survive the long, hot, dry months of summer. Also, take care to keep those mower blades sharp so that they cut, rather than tear the grass.

 

Water Right

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Source

 

Watering can be a touchy subject in drought years during watering restrictions. The truth is, most lawns don’t need to be watered as frequently as you might imagine. Your lawn will benefit from a long, deep watering once a week, far more than it will from two short, shallow sessions. The reason is simple: A long watering allows water to penetrate deep into the soil, and the grass roots will grow deep to chase it. The deeper the roots, the healthier the turf.

 

Most folks program their irrigations systems, but that doesn’t mean you can just forget about them. Do an annual water audit at the beginning of spring to make sure all the sprinkler heads are in good working order, there are no leaks in the line, and that water covers your lawn without wasteful overspraying. If you don’t have an automatic system, wait to water until you see signs of dehydration. If you walk across the lawn and the grass doesn’t immediately spring back, it’s time for a drink. If you’re not sure about watering, the extension office in your county has a daily update on water data for your area to help you calculate your irrigation needs.

 

Seasonal Care & Feeding

Most lawns in Texas need a little overseeding in the fall or early spring to fill in any sparse patches. Annual aeration can help to spruce up lawns that have had a lot of traffic. A little fertilization at the right time also goes a long way. If you use a 4-1-2 fertilizer, spread it sparingly twice a year. For the organic route, broadcast fine compost instead.

 

The goal of lawn care should always be the same: to spend less time working on our lawns so we can spend more time enjoying them. Get the lawn you want by sticking to some basic care routines, and then pull up a chair and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

 

Francesca Singer is a former farmer & landscape architect who is passionate about plants, DIY home restoration, and travel. When not writing, she can be found working in the garden, wrangling her toddler, or wielding power tools in Texas or rural France.

 

IF JIM WAS BUILDING A NEW HOUSE...

Frequent questions to the show include recommendations for Texans building a new house. Jim sat down and listed the key areas he would focus on when planning a new-build.

First, I would have a soils test done to determine the best type of foundation.  Too often we decide what we want the home to look like then try to make it happen on the lot we have.  You really need to find out from the soils engineer if it should be a slab on grade,pier and beam or block and base type foundation and then design the home from there.  If it is a slab on grade,I would use conventional rebar instead of post-tension in most cases.  I know most new slabs are post-tension, but I prefer the stiffness that the rebar gives me versus the cables.  Make sure to build the foundation up if it is a slab, too often the slab is put in and by the time the yard is finished you really do not have enough height to slope the soil away from the home adequately.

On the walls I would use standard 2x4 on 16-inch center constructions with plywood on the entire outside to provide stability. I would use a radiant barrier that is multi-layered over the plywood. When using siding instead of brick or stone, I would install furring strips then the siding leaving a gap on the bottom and top for air flow which is called skin venting. That will keep the walls cooler - just like being under a shade tree.

For insulation I would use spray foam in the walls and fiberglass bat insulation in the attic areas.  This allows me to have a good seal in the walls which have limited space. And, I can achieve the highest R-value and in the attic with fiberglass where I have ample room, and this will allow the home to still breath yet be energy efficient. Homes that cannot breathe must rely on the A/C to bring fresh air into the home and in too many cases you start getting sick home syndrome from mold because of higher humidity. If the A/C does not run enough to dehumidify you can have this problem.  Additionally, the A/C system must be sized properly for the insulation, types of windows, doors and the direction everything faces.

On the A/C system the current minimum rating allowed is 14 SEER, but I would get  an 18 SEER variable speed system. They ramp up and down according to the load and do a really good job of dehumidifying. Another system to consider is the mini-split where each room has a head unit and you can control the temperature room by room.  These systems have been in Europe for decades and are growing in popularity here in the last 10 years. The mini-split or ductless systems work fantastic and are the most energy efficient systems you will get right now.  

For a water heater go with a tankless. When looking at them you want a very efficient system, I like the heaters that use PVC to vent instead of stainless steel because you have less heat loss and that means increased efficiency. 

My water lines would be PEX. They are easy to install and very durable. They really have no down side.

On the roof again it would be 16-inch centers on the rafters decked with plywood, not chip board, and again a radiant barrier. Then the finished home’s outside would be protected by a radiant barrier for energy efficiency all the way around. The style of home and the weather patterns where I was building would determine the type of roof I would put on the home.

The windows are pretty much regulated by the government for energy efficiency, so you would be making your selection based on what is esthetically pleasing.

When you plant your trees keep them as far away from the home as you can. Remember the trees will grow and so will the root system which can cause problems for your foundation later.

These are the basics I would start with…….Happy Building!

If Your Screens Can't Do This.....You Might Need To Get New Ones

We’re excited to be partnering with Tommy Davidson at Security Screen Masters because they aren’t just great screens, THEY KEEP YOU SAFE!

These screens are seriously strong! They can withstand a major league fastball and it would take special equipment to cut them. But they aren’t just strong, they can also stop up to 66% of the sun’s heat. This helps cut your energy cost.

Tommy will create custom screens for your windows, doors, and outdoor patio enclosures to make sure they fit your home perfectly!

Get more information here!

Where Can You Buy STIHL Tools?

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So you’re looking for the right STIHL tool and you’re looking for the the right place to buy it. As you probably know you can’t buy STIHL tools online and you won’t find them in box stores. So where do you go to find the STIHL tool you’re looking for? An authorized STIHL dealer.

 

You’ve probably driven by many of these dealers every day without realizing it. Most of them are smaller shops and don’t stand out like the box stores. The reason STIHL works with these dealers is because they are the best of the best when it comes to power tools. Most of these shops have been around for decades and have seen just about everything when it comes to equipment.

 
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STIHL works with them to make sure that their customers are taken care of the right way. It has ensured that STIHL continues to be the best. So how do you find the right dealership for you? Well if you’re in DFW you’ve come to the right place. Texas Home Improvement has partnered with a select number of STIHL dealers in the Dallas and Ft Worth area. Wherever you are, we have one near you. You can find the nearest dealer by clicking here.

Are STIHL Battery Powered Tools Any Good?

Battery powered power tools are taking over the homeowner market. STIHL launched a line of battery powered tools specifically designed for homeowners. The AK series in particular is designed for the weekend warrior and has a battery that works with the entire line of tools. I’ve tested out most of the tools in this line and I think they are carrying on the STIHL reputation really well.

One of the most important parts of buying a power tool is making sure you’re working with someone who knows the tools. That is one of the most valuable aspects of buying a STIHL tool. You can only buy the tools from an authorized dealer. These dealers know all of the options available for homeowners and can help you decide which one is right for you.

We’ve put together a select group of full service STIHL dealers in DFW that are the best of the best. You can find a dealer near you here.

STIHL AK Series Tools Reviewed
- RMA 460 Lawn Mower
- FSA 56 Trimmer
- HSA 56 Hedge Trimmer
- BGA 56 Blower

HAIL TEST OF F-WAVE REVIA SHINGLES

The F-Wave Revia Synthetic Shingle has a 5 year hail warranty. That means it is designed to stand up to class 4 hail without needing to be replaced. We wanted to see what class 4 hail does to other things around the house. Turns out the F-Wave Revia Synthetic Shingle is pretty impressive. Check out the hail test!

The Revia shingles were designed to change the roofing industry and they are living up to that plan. You won’t find a more well designed shingle for the Texas weather.

If you’d like more information on how to get this shingle on your roof. Check out the F-Wave website!

STIHL FS 56 RC vs FSA 56 STIHL TOOL BATTLE!!

I put a gas powered STIHL trimmer up against a battery powered STHIL trimmer. The gas trimmer is the STIHL FS 56 RC. The battery powered trimmer is STIHL FSA 56 which is part of the AK series of homeowner tools.

The test I put together was pretty straight forward. I cut opposite sides of an overgrown drainage ditch with each trimmer. I wanted to see how they handled the same job. I was looking for a couple of things with this test.

1st - Does the FSA 56 battery trimmer have enough power to do the job.
2nd - How comfortable are the trimmers to use.
3rd - Is the FS 56 RC significantly more powerful than the FSA 56.
4th - Which is easier to use.
5th - Which would I pick for a homeowner

At the end of the test I came to a pretty clear answer.

Let me know what you think about these tools!

WE FOUND THE ULTIMATE SHINGLE FOR TEXAS!!

We are so excited to bring on the team at F-Wave! They have created what we think could be the ultimate shingle for DFW weather.

Revia shingles are truly hail resistant and have the warranty to back it up! They have a great wind rating as well. These shingles look like a high end slate shingle without the heavy price tag.

This is what they say about their product.

We didn't just refine the shingle
We redefined it.

Our REVIA premium synthetic residential roofing shingles are far superior to traditional asphalt laminates, wood shake or slate. The secret is a commercial-grade polymer that makes our shingles stronger, lighter, and easier to install and maintain. Available in a variety of popular colors and classic styles, our shingles have the same beautiful curb appeal as traditional shingles and roofing tiles. But with the ability to withstand high winds, Class 4 hail and other extreme weather, they’re designed to outperform any other shingle on the market.

The Right Way To Do A Major DIY Home Remodel!

Frank Shelton with UBuildIt talked to us about how you can do a major remodel yourself.

There is a great option for doing a major remodel on your house that most people don’t know about. Instead of grabbing a hammer and doing it all yourself or calling an expensive general contractor to do it for you, you can split the difference.

UBuildIt has a fantastic program for remodeling that allows you to be in control while giving you the peace of mind of having the expertise of an experienced contractor.

What Are Some Benefits

  • Save up to 30-40% off the cost of working with a general contractor

  • You have more control over how the project turns out and can make adjustments as you go.

  • Planning, advice, and site visits during the remodel from the UBuildIt team to make sure everything is going correctly.

The UBuildIt system is a fantastic option that you need to consider before you start your next major remodel!

Stihl Chainsaw Battle - Electric vs Gas

Stihl MSA 120 C Electric Chainsaw

vs Stihl MS 180 C Gas Chainsaw

In Episode 1 of our TV Show we had our first Tool Battle!

We wanted to see how the Stihl MSA 120 C Electric chainsaw stacks up against the Stihl MS 180 C Gas powered chainsaw in a homeowner sized job.

A lot of people have questions about whether Electric tools can keep up with their gas counterparts. This is magnified when it comes to chainsaws. We wanted to see for ourselves how it stacks up.

The battle consisted of cutting up a couple of small trees and seeing if the MSA 120 C could keep up. The results were a bit surprising.

Ghosting Doors and Cracks In The Concrete - Jim's Got The Answers

Check Out Two of Jims Segments From Episode 1 of Texas Home Improvement the TV Show!

 
  1. How To Fix Ghosting Doors

If you’ve got a door that won’t stay open you might have a “ghosting door.” Jim explained how to easily fix this issue with a couple tools and a garage floor.

2. Do Cracks In Concrete Always Mean Foundation Problems?

A lot of people think that if they see cracks in their concrete it always means foundation problems. But that’s not actually the case. Jim explains how some cracks are absolutely normal and nothing to be worried about while others can mean problems exist.

Chris Put A Garden On His Roof!!

Did you know you could turn your roof into a garden?

Chris Arrington with Arrington Roofing talks about how the roofing industry has changed in the last few years. The technology has grown to the point where you can put a garden on your rooftop which is exactly what Chris did at his Dallas office.

He turned his roof into a place to entertain, relax, as well as make money because of the solar panels he has next to his garden. It really is amazing how much has changed in the roofing industry and what is possible now.

Want more information about rooftop gardens? Or maybe you just need an experienced and trusted roofer.

Either way you should contact Arrington Roofing here!

Episode 1 of Texas Home Improvement the TV Show!!

Check out episode 1 of Texas Home Improvement! This episode has a series of quick segments on a variety of topics!

Get In Contact With The Experts From Episode 1!!


Topics Covered!

  • Radiant Barriers

    • Jim explains how radiant barrier works and why it’s a great DIY for home owners!

  • Rooftop Gardens!

    • Chris Arrington with Arrington roofing talks about how the technology in the roofing industry has changed dramatically allowing for some pretty exciting options. Including a rooftop garden!

  • Hawthorne Tables

    • Jacky Hawthorne talks about how he started Hawthorne tables and what makes them a unique and beautiful kitchen island option.

  • Cracks In Concrete Driveway

    • Jim answers a question about whether you should be worried about the small cracks in your concrete that show up over time.

  • Stihl Chainsaw Battle

    • We put two Stihl chainsaws up against each other. One electric and one gas. We wanted to see if the electric saw could hang with the gas powered saw.

  • Tankless vs Tank Water Heater

    • Thinking about getting a tankless water heater? Jim explains why he is such a fan of tankless water heaters.

  • DIY Home Remodeling

    • Before you hire a contractor for that major home remodel, check out what Frank Shelton has to say about the benefits of being your own GC.

  • Fixing A Ghosting Door

    • Have a door that closes itself? It might be a ghosting door and there’s an easy fix for that!

  • Design Challenge

    • We challenge Shellie Stewart with Floor and Decor to help us fix a hypothetical design problem that many homeowners face when updating their bathrooms!

  • Is Aluminum Wiring Dangerous?

    • Jim explains why people think that aluminum wiring is dangerous and what you can do to make sure that you don’t have any problems if you have aluminum wiring in your home.

50% OFF BRITA PRO WHOLE HOME FILTER & SOFTENER!! Saves You Almost $2,500!!

We have 10 systems that we can offer for 50% OFF

the retail price! THis is a first come first serve offer!

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LIMITED OFFER $2495 + INSTALL!

Brita® PRO Water Softeners and Filters can improve the quality and taste of your household water. Whether you have hard water or some other concern, we have the solution.

DFW Water Experts at BP Lone Star is a full service company that are licensed by the state of Texas and insured.

WHY CHOOSE BRITA PRO WATER SOFTENERS & FILTERS?

-MAKES YOUR WATER TASTE BETTER

-EXTENDS YOUR PLUMBING & APPLIANCE LIFE

 

-MAKES YOUR CLOTHES & SKIN FEEL BETTER

-SAVES YOU MONEY & TIME


Fill Out the form below and BP Lonestar will reach out to you with all the information about this offer!!

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The "Before" - Stihl Robot Lawn Mower

The “Before” Video

I wanted to create a video to show you what my yard looks like “before” I’ve really seen the benefits of the iMow. I’ve already had the iMow for a couple weeks so it’s already changed my yard a bit but this process is really about how it helps my yard going into next year. There are some pretty big potential benefits that I’m hoping to see so I wanted the before videos to be as honest as possible. No crazy overgrown yard or anything like that.

This journey will take a while but hopefully you’ll stick around and watch! For more information about the iMow contact Plano Power Equipment!

For more information about the Stihl iMow please contact Plano Power Equipment!

I Got A Robot Lawn Mower!!

Stihl iMow

Recently Stihl and Plano Power Equipment came out to my house to install an iMow robot lawn mower in my yard. I will be documenting how the iMow handles the uneven landscape and sandy soil that exists at my house. This is not a paid endorsement they gave me the iMow to test out and I will be sharing my real life experiences with it!
Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions about the iMow or you can reach out to the amazing staff at Plano Power Equipment (972) 423-5220

STEP ONE - THE INSTALLATION

I have been push mowing my lawn for the last year and a half and it’s meant 2-3 hours a weekend spent sweating out in the yard. I didn’t get a riding lawn mower because the undulation in my yard would mean scalping it or uneven grass.

The installation process with Plano Power Equipment was incredibly smooth and straight forward. They came out to my house, we walked the yard and decided exactly where I wanted the iMow to mow. Once we had that decided they began installing the perimeter. This is done with a cable laying machine that installed the perimeter wire in the ground around my yard as well as two trees. This process took approximately two and a half hours. We hooked up the docking station to a power source and the iMow was ready to start learning my yard. I will be adding new posts as I watch how the iMow handles my yard.

Get more information about the iMow by contacting Plano Power Equipment

These Designer Tables Are Incredible!

When we saw these tables we knew we had to work with Jacky Hawthorne!

Hawthorne Tables Has Created A Generational Piece Of Furniture That Is More Than Just A Table.

Jacky Hawthorne took his years of experience creating aluminum staging and other products and turned that into the base for these beautiful designer tables. Each table is built on a frame that simply put will last your grandchildren a lifetime. On top of these aluminum frames sits a variety of style options to fit your home. Each table can be customized for your specific style. These tables have more versatility than almost anything else on the market because they can be used as an island in your kitchen or used outside on the patio. The wheels are incredibly strong and durable and have a locking system to keep the tables exactly where you want them.

This is not your normal kitchen island. This is a generational piece of furniture that will become the centerpiece of any kitchen or outdoor entertaining area. Get your designer rustic table today by filling out the form below! Jacky will reach out to you personally to create the perfect table for you!

Name *
Name

A Quarter of the Drinking Water In North Texas Might Not Be Safe!

This story is from our sponsors at BP Lonestars website.


1/4 OF DFW WATER IS EITHER UNHEALTHY OR UNTESTED

ACCORDING TO A CBS 11 REPORT IN APRIL OF 2018 A STAGGERING ONE QUARTER OF THE WATER IN DFW IS EITHER UNSAFE TO DRINK OR HASN’T BEEN PROPERLY TESTED.

See the whole story here: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/04/26/north-texas-cities-fail-to-test-safety-of-drinking-water/

While this might come as a surprise to many of you, we’ve seen the problems with DFW drinking water first hand for over 20 years. We’ve seen all kinds of contaminants in the drinking water across the area. Even the “safe drinking water” has been found to have high levels of contaminants that have been shown to lead to adverse health problems. That’s why we are so passionate about providing safe drinking water to our customers. We believe it is so important to their long term health.

22 HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING CLEAN WATER

  • reduces headaches

  • helps mental alertness

  • benefits digestion

  • helps with constipation

  • replenishes skin tissue

  • anti-aging properties

  • regulates body temperature

  • maintains healthy fluid

  • levels in the body

  • flushes out toxins & waste products

  • increases energy

  • helps with weight loss

  • bathes the cells of the body

  • may help with asthma & allergies

  • boosts metabolic rate

  • reduces risk of dehydration

  • serves as transport for nutrients

  • helps kidneys

  • helps maintain normal bowel function

  • moisturizes air in the lungs

  • helps with joint & muscle health

  • may help with lower back pain

More information on benefits of clean water can be found at this website.



The Stihl Robot Lawn Mower Is Amazing!!

"I was really excited to follow up with Rodney Behrends about how his iMow robot lawn mower had been working for him. I couldn't have been more impressed!"

I went over to Rodney Behrends house to follow up on a previous video we did showcasing the Stihl iMow robot lawn mower. Rodney is the regional sales manager for Stihl. He had the robot installed so that he could see for himself how the mower worked and if the benefits really did meet with what Stihl was saying about the mower. 

Some of the benefits that are supposed to come along with this mower are.
- Healthier Lawn
- Less Watering Needed
- Fewer Weeds
- Thicker Grass
- Less Time Spent Maintaining Lawn

After a full spring and summer season Rodney was ecstatic to let us know that the iMow has been as good as advertised. You can see for yourself how healthy and strong his yard has become this year. 

The Stihl iMow Retails for $1,299 for the smaller option and $1,999 for the larger mower. 

You can get more information about the iMow at your local Stihl dealer.