How to safeguard a Leather Couch From sunlight

Leather’s look and feel was prized for centuries, but leather will not have environmental enemies that may greatly shorten its useful life from decades to just years. Chief among these enemies is the sun. However, there are things you can do to secure your fine leather couch and other furniture.

Keep It Shaded

The surest way to protect a leather couch and other leather-upholstered furniture from sun damage is to put the furniture at a spot that’s out of direct sunlight. Strong sunlight can fade dyed leather in as little as four to six weeks. Direct sun also causes leather to dry out and crack since the sun’s heat causes the leather’s natural oils to disappear.

Close Blinds

If you can’t move the couch or other leather furniture to a shaded spot, close the drapes, shades or blinds, or cover the piece with a decorative blanket during the sunniest, hottest aspect of the afternoon. As an alternative, you might employ commercial tinting film to the windows to prevent the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which cause the maximum harm.

Wash and Protect

Regular cleaning and conditioning assist your leather upholstery withstand the sun. About every 3 months, clean the upholstery with a commercial leather cleaner. Don’t use ammonia-containing products, furniture wax or abrasive cleansers. Apply a commercial leather conditioner twice a year to help keep leather from drying out.

Leather Forms

Leather upholstery comes in three types that differ in their opposition to sun damage. Most furniture manufacturers use “fully finished” leather that’s dyed with opaque colours and ended with a surface layer which strongly resists sun damage, stains and wear. Some furniture is covered with aniline leather that’s colored with a transparent dye that emphasizes the grain of the leather but has no surface layer. Additionally, there is semi-aniline leather which uses transparent dyes and has a thin surface layer. These leathers are softer, but much more vulnerable to damage from sunlight, scratches and stains.

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The way to repair the Temperature Control on a Single Handle Faucet

The temperature on your hot water heater can be as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s important to have guards in your faucets to keep you from receiving a blast of scalding water. When producers deliver this kind of shield on a single-handled faucet, it’s usually in the shape of a plastic disk that prevents the knob from turning too much in the hot direction. Some faucets have a fever limiter on the cold side too. Although tap designs vary, you can generally alter the alignment of the disk by removing the faucet handle.

Look for the screw which holds the handle into the valve stem. If you do not see one, then it may be concealed below a decorative cap. Pry the cap off with a flathead screwdriver. In addition, it can be concealed under the lever, if you’re operating at a lever-style faucet.

Unscrew the screw with a Phillips screwdriver or Allen wrench. In case you have trouble turning it, then spray lubricant on it to loosen the threads. You may strip the mind if you try to drive the screw.

Pull the handle to reveal the temperature limiter. It is usually a plastic or metallic disc using a nub or superior which catches on the grip. The disk may not be attached to anything else, and if not, you ought to be able to pull it straight off the valve. If it doesn’t come off, the producer has designed it so you could simply turn it in place.

Consult the tap manual to determine the exact method to modulate temperature. On some models, you need to rotate the disk counterclockwise to increase the fever, and on a few you have rotate it clockwise. Some disks are notched, and each notch corresponds to a stationary change in temperature, usually 6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pull the disk (if it comes off), then rotate it at the proper way and replace it. If the disk in your tap is not removable, then simply turn it in the correct way to make the adjustment. There can be another limiter to modulate the cold side. If so, rotate it in the proper direction.

Replace the handle when you’re finished adjusting the temperature and then snap the cap back into place.

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How to Update the Electric in a Two-Story House

Updating the electrical wiring in any house can be hard. Updating the wiring in a two-story home is particularly challenging and frustrating because the new wiring has to be fished through the walls on the first floor, through the wall header plate and into the wall cavities on the second floor. This is not a project that a beginner must also consider undertaking. It’s a project for the experienced DIY electrician.

Get a condom Permit

The National Electrical Code (NEC) and many local building codes permit the residential homeowner to do nearly everything a licensed electrician can do. The homeowner should conduct the job under a wiring license and have the very same evaluations completed on his job, the same as the professional. Some communities allow you to apply for a license on the web, but some ask that you apply in person at the Office of Codes Enforcement. Be prepared to submit a drawing showing where you intend to install receptacles, switches, lighting outlets and fixed-in-place appliances. The drawing also needs to demonstrate how they’ll be connected. A listing of the materials you’ll be using will be required with the program.

Two Approaches to Rewiring a Two-Story House

There are two approaches that you can take when rewiring a two-story house. You can make each of the “home runs” — the cables going to the breaker panel — to your main service panel, or you can put in a subpanel on the second floor and create the second floor “home runs” to that subpanel. Installing a subpanel on the second floor is the perfect approach because it saves time and substances. When installing a subpanel, you want to run just 1 cable — the subfeeder cable providing power to your subpanel — to the second ground. That means it’s not necessary to run 1 cable for each circuit to be set up on the second floor. What you save in the cost of cable will more than pay for the cost of the subpanel. Ensure to put in a main-lug subpanel with its disconnect breaker in the main service panel.

Installing a Complete Service Upgrade

If you’re performing a complete electrical upgrade which includes a higher ampacity service panel, you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician to install and connect the new service entrance mast, meter and also service-entrance cable. The electrician also will create the links to the new service fall the utility company will install.

Lessen Frustration With the Electronic Stud Finder

Always expect the unexpected when performing any electrical work on old homes. Building codes that have standardized construction practices have changed over the years, and many residences were constructed before there were any true construction codes set up. It isn’t uncommon to encounter extra fire stops — horizontal bits between the wall studs — in homes built before 1950. They’re even more common in homes that were constructed by their first owners. It’s the encountering of these blockages that make rewiring a house such a struggle and also makes it so frustrating at times. An electronic stud finder eliminates most of the frustration from pinpointing the exact location of all of the studs, fire stops and the other obstructions hidden from view by the wall finish. Modern electronic stud finders have also characteristics that allow them to be used to find plumbing and electrical wiring inside the walls.

Leave the Old Wiring Intact

When doing a complete service update, leave the old wiring intact while installing the new service panel, subpanel and division circuits. By leaving the old wiring intact, you’ll have the electricity needed to operate power tools and work lights. Once you have installed the brand new service panel and its related wiring, have the expert electrician complete the installation. When the new service is linked to the utility company’s service fall, it is possible to transfer some of the original circuits that will nevertheless be used from the panel to the new panel. After that, remove the old panel and some reachable wiring that is no longer being used.

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Yard Sprinkler System Parts Explained

The normal yard sprinkler system does a lot of its work underground and out of sight, but despite its cryptic nature, the performance of a fundamental sprinkler system is not intricate. The system consists of just a couple of distinct types of parts, all of which have the simple objective of transferring water to the perfect place at the ideal moment.


In most modern yard sprinkler systems, an electronic timer controls the flow of water from the main water supply to the system. It determines when the system turns on and off, and it controls the valves which determine which regions of the system function at a given time. A normal timer permits you to decide on a regular watering program, and some timers allow various areas of the program to follow unique schedules. Advanced timers may have moisture sensors to automatically determine when to close the system off and to suspend the watering program when it’s raining.

Control Valves

A collection of valves control the flow of water through the sprinkler system. Because water pressure is generally inadequate to run the whole system at the same time, the following valves have been utilized to split the system into zones that are run independently of one another. In systems using an automatic timer, the timer controls the valves, opening and closing them according to the programmed watering program, so that every zone is watered when required. The valves are connected to the timer with wires through which the control signals have been transmitted, and the valves are often grouped together in an arrangement, referred to as a manifold, to minimize wiring and make maintenance more convenient.

Pipes and Risers

A system of horizontal PVC pipes carries the water from the primary water supply to the control valves and from the valves into the sprinkler heads. Short vertical pipes called risers extend upward from the concrete pipes at places where sprinkler heads have been needed, and the heads have been attached directly to the risers.

Sprinkler Heads

Sprinkler heads have been positioned around the yard to provide full coverage of the lawn and planting beds. The most frequent types of sprinkler heads retract to sit at or slightly below grade level when they aren’t functioning, but when the mind’s zone is activated, water pressure causes the head to pop up and spray water. Sprinkler heads come in a selection of types designed for various applications. Oscillating heads rotate as they function and cover a huge area, while stationary heads spray water at a pattern which may vary from a full circle into a hammer that is narrow and can be told to cover a specific place. Low-flow or drip heads have been designed to deliver modest quantities of water straight into planting beds to reduce waste.

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How to Install Recessed Lights, Before or After Painting?

Although it is possible to paint the ceiling following the installation of recessed lighting fixtures is finished, the painting will move faster and easily if it is done prior to the installation of their fittings. The paint job will also be neater and much more professional-looking if it is done ahead. Some work needs to be performed before painting, however, to avoid sullying a brand new paint job.

Make the Cutouts from the Ceiling

Turn off the breaker to the lighting circuit you’ll be joining the new lights to, and check with a noncontact voltage tester to be sure you switched off the right rims. Painting the ceiling prior to installing recessed lighting fittings is the preferred plan because you would need to remove the fittings complete trim to paint right up to the ceiling opening. Preparing the ceiling for painting begins with locating where the lights are to be set up and cutting the gaps in the ceiling’s finish. The recessed lighting kits that you buy will include a template that makes outlining the area to be cutout a snap. Running cable through a ceiling may also be dirty work, so run the new cable between lighting locations and in the lighting places to the switch before painting to keep from getting fingerprints in your freshly painted ceiling.

Paint the Ceiling

Apply two coats of latex paint on the ground. Latex paint dries in four hours, which means you need to be able to cut the holes, then run the cable and implement the two coats of paint to the initial day of the two-day project. Of course, the period you may need depends on your expertise, the size of this room as well as the amount of lights you are installing.

Installing the Lights

Combine all the lighting fixtures in parallel by attaching all the black and white fixture wires to the black and white wires in the newly installed cables using plastic wire nuts. Use a cable ripper or utility knife to remove the cables’ outer coats and subsequently strip 3/4 inch of insulation in the sealed wires. After you have put the covers to the lighting fixtures’ junction boxes, then you are ready to put in them in the ceiling gaps. The method of securing them in the ceiling will be contingent on the fittings you buy, but generally they will snap into position.

Finishing Touches

Next, set up the lighting fixture’s trim and bulbs and flip the electricity on. The method used to secure the trim to the recessed fixture will vary slightly from one style of fixture to another, but this normally involves spring clips of some sort. Fortunately, all these lighting kits have detailed instructions about how to install them.

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How to Pick the Best Feather Pillow

Getting a fantastic night’s sleep is also an important part of maintaining your health. A key part of this is picking a pillow that permits you to break your head in comfort. For those seeking a fluffy, soft pillow filled with natural materials, pillows filled with epoxy fit the bill. To pick the ideal pillow for you, look for one with high-quality materials and a manufacturer’s warranty.

Feather Types

Pillows are stuffed with feathers or down, or even a combination of both. Down is the insulating material beneath the masks that retains a bird cozy and warm. Down feathers are very soft and fluffy, while the bird’s outer masks are more difficult with sharp quills. Better feather pillows include all down or a majority of down feathers. In general, pure down pillows are of higher quality than other feather pillows and tend to last longer and be resilient through the years. Some higher quality pillows come with a warranty from the manufacturer, so you’ll have peace of mind if your pillow doesn’t function well.

The Fluff Factor

How fluffy a pillow is depends on the fill power of the pillow. Fill power indicates the amount of space that the ounce of the downward will fill in cubic inches, according to the Down & Feather Company. A higher fill power indicates that the pillow contains down from a mature bird. This down is larger than that by a younger bird. Larger down masks mean more height or loft to the pillow. Normally, pillows using a higher fill power are fluffier. They also tend to last longer and wear better than pillows with a lower fill power, making them a better investment.

Thread Count

The thread count of a pillow indicates the tightness of its fabric. A higher thread count ensures that the fabric is more tightly knit than fabric using a lesser count. Tightly woven fabric doesn’t allow the feathers or down within the pillow to escape through small spaces in the material. This is especially essential for pillows filled with feathers, whose quills can easily poke through fabric using a low thread count. These quills are sharp and can scratch your skin if they come through the fabric, which is something that you definitely don’t need when you settle down for a night of rest. A pillow with higher thread count will also feel smooth and soft to the touch.


How firm you would like your feather pillow to be will decide which pillow is best for you. This is something special to each sleeper. A feather cushion’s stability is determine from the amount of feathers or down stuffed into it. The more ounces of feathers a pillow comprises, the firmer it will be, while fewer feathers lead to a softer pillow. If you are a side sleeper, you may prefer a heavier feather pillow, but if you are a back sleeper, then a slightly softer pillow could be your best bet, according to a report by CBS News. Stomach sleepers tend to need cozy, soft pillows that don’t elevate the mind too much.


If you have allergies, look for pillows filled with hypoallergenic feathers. The filling of the pillows is cleaned of any dust mites, dander and bacteria in the birds. While you may believe that a knitted pillow would include more allergens than just one with artificial fill, the contrary is actually true. In a study published in the June 2004 issue of “Clinical & Experimental Allergy,” pillows featuring artificial fibers included many more dust mites than feather pillows. A similar finding was published in the May 2000 issue of “Pediatric Allergy and Immunology,” showing feather pillows develop fewer allergens over time than other types. That is because feather pillows have tightly woven covers to keep the masks intact.

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Five Traditional Mortgage Prerequisites to Consider When Buying a House

A mortgage is a mortgage. These entities underwrite traditional mortgage products, which means that they create the rules and regulations related to these products. The federal supervision for these programs comes from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Down Payment

Traditional mortgage products require a down payment of 5 percent of a home’s cost. In a refinance, the 5 percent equity rule is appropriate as well. A borrower should have a minimum of 5 percent equity in the house to have the ability to refinance a conventional mortgage. Furthermore, a greater down payment may be required if the debtor has a credit score under 620. This down payment requirement may be as high as 20 percent.

PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance or PMI is charged to a debtor when he has less than 20% equity in the residence. This insurance covers the lender in the event that the borrower defaults on the debt. Therefore, the only party in the trade is the lender. To avoid this charge, a borrower should either make a down payment of 20 percent or more, or procure subordinate funding to pay for the required funds.

Credit Score

Credit score requirements for conventional mortgages vary by lender; however, generally the minimum credit score for a conventional mortgage is 620. Some creditors, however, will underwrite mortgages with credit scores as low as 580; it’s only up to each lender as to what score is the cutoff. A borrower with a lower credit score is considered to be a greater risk than a borrower with a higher credit score.

Credit Report

A borrower’s credit report is assessed by the lender to determine his willingness and ability to repay a new mortgage debt. If the borrower has any liens or judgments on his credit file, they need to be paid in full before procuring a conventional mortgage. Furthermore, conventional mortgage requirements say that a borrower has to be a minimum of 2 years discharged or dismissed by a bankruptcy so as to meet the requirements for the new debt. Last, any late payments on a recent mortgage of 30 days or after in the last 12 months automatically disqualifies a debtor from a conventional mortgage, even if other requirements are met.

Debt to Income Ratio

The debt to income ratio is utilized by creditors to rapidly decide on the amount of a borrower’s income that is strictly dedicated to debt repayment. The greater the debt to income ratio, the more likely that the borrower is over his head . The preferred debt to income ratio for most conventional mortgage companies will be less than 30 percent, but with specific cases creditors will qualify a borrower with a ratio around 40 percent. This is a lender to lender decision and case by case scenario, however.

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Difference Between Loft & Studio

The open floor plan and spaciousness of a loft is significantly different compared to comfy quarters of a studio. There are also structural differences that differentiate a studio out of a loft. Price is also a factor, with a loft usually priced a great deal higher than the studio apartment. If trying to decide between a loft and a studio, then several characteristics set them aside.


The difference between a studio and a loft would be your dimensions. A studio apartment is simply one or two rooms; a loft is much larger and may be broken up into smaller spaces. A contractor produces a loft apartment out of an old business property, including a factory or warehouse, then breaks the space to apartment-sized units. A warehouse has architectural differences in the standard residential space that lend it additional room, like higher ceilings and an open floor plan. This openness, together with basic structural variations that give additional space, make a loft larger than a studio.


Loft apartments are very popular in urban settings where space and housing is at a premium. Rather than tear down an old mill in the center of New York or Pittsburgh, it makes more sense and accumulates more profit as a loft apartment construction. Lofts appeal in those settings because spacious living is a rarity and comes in a greater cost. In this instance, loft living is a sign of wealth and status. Studio apartments are common and pop up anywhere. A homeowner who wishes to rent may readily convert an attic to a studio, and a programmer may fit more profit into a construction with the addition of a number of studios. Studios are also popular in big urban areas where rents are expensive and economy necessary. For a young man just starting out in a big city like San Francisco, a $750 a month studio is more affordable than a one bedroom apartment for up to $2,000 a month.


Since a studio apartment is small and intimate, it is a good alternative for a single individual or couple. A studio probably does not fit a woman who’s keen on throwing dinner parties, but suits a young professional just nice. However, a loft may have quite a few applications. Folks use attic space for offices, living spaces, dance studios, retail shops, stages and much more. A attic has enough size and so little formal structure that it is a blank slate. This simplicity of design allows the renter free rein to craft the space into what they see fit.


A studio is cheap and thrifty. There’s less room to warm in winter and cool in the summer, and it takes a little bit of furniture to fill a studio and make it homey. The appliances may also be smaller, which saves even more. A attic, on the other hand, is a heating and cooling system pit. Lofts are usually older buildings and may not have the ideal insulation. It also takes a great deal of electricity to light a loft, together with a good quantity of furniture to fill it. As stated before, attic living normally qualifies as luxury dwelling and comes in a higher cost. A loft is quite a bit more expensive than a studio.


For those who are interested in finding something comfy and simple to manage, a studio apartment will suit. The small space and low utility bills mean manageable prices for a tight budget, and the quarters means efficient use of space and resources. A attic is fitting for a person who loves space and gets the creativity to use the structure to its fullest. Loft living is totally free and allows the renter a complete array of expression whilst still maintaining a spacial border. For those who can afford the prices, a loft space can do double duty as both a commercial and residential space. There are only a few limitations when renting or purchasing a loft, aside from the creativity and budget of the renter.

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VA Mortgage Options

The VA guarantees mortgage loans for veterans to make it simpler for them to purchase houses. The VA encourages lenders to make loans with conditions and interest rates by guaranteeing around 25 percent of the purchase price. If they qualify, Realtors could borrow 100 percent of the purchase price . Even the funding fee charged on each VA loan could be financed. The selection of mortgage loans includes adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, graduated payment and equity loans. A range of VA mortgage options possess few primary-market counterparts.

Joint Loan

There has been A loan issued to a veteran and another person. The person may be a partner or relative, but doesn’t need to be. The person may be an additional veteran, whether or not he is also using even a non-veteran, or his entitlement benefit. A joint loan, even when issued to two eligible vets, may be used to purchase a home with up to four residential units and one business unit. Credit and income requirements vary according to whether or not the next person is a veteran, but generally speaking is weighted. The VA will ensure that a loan that is joint up to the amount of the professional veteran’s interest in the house.

Construction/Permanent Home Loan

A construction/permanent mortgage guarantees funding of purchase, and the construction, of a home that is new. The loan closes before construction. The sum is applied to that purchase, and the rest is held in escrow. As each phase of construction is finished, the creditor draws some of the capital and pays . The debtor needs to sign off on each draw, before construction is finished, however he doesn’t start paying the loan back. The VA requires that the construction/permanent home loan be amortized in a way which produces the payments about equivalent over the life span of the loan and reduces the balance at least once each year, to prevent negative amortization.

Energy-Efficient Mortgage

This sort of VA mortgage finances improvements that are energy-efficient. It can be used for the material and labor prices of heating or cooling, weatherstripping and -sealing, upgrades to an present furnace, insulation and windows. The vet may do the work himself, but when he does, the mortgage will pay only for materials. Though this loan must be a first mortgage, a loan onto an present home can be raised up to $6,000 for energy-efficient improvements so long as the VA deems the enhancements reasonable and decides that the veteran could afford the increased payments.

Supplemental Loans and Loans for Alterations and Repair

Supplemental loans and loans for repair and alterations both finance the cost of improvements into a home the veteran owns and occupies. The loan for alteration and repair might coincide with a loan to purchase the home; the supplemental loan is for improvements to your home already funded using a VA-guaranteed mortgage. The supplemental loan must be used to enhance the basic habitability of the home, and only 30 percent may be used toward refrigeration, cooking and heating equipment. The loan for repairs and alterations is less restrictive.

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How Do I Get a Rental House HUD-Approved?

If you are looking to get your rental HUD-approved, you will want to go through the agency’s Section 8, or Housing Choice Vouchers, application. When HUD accepts your home into the application, you can sign a lease using a renter household receiving Section 8 assistance. Since the GoSection 8 website explains, this amounts to a lease guarantee from the national government; HUD pays Section 8 landlords the portion of lease, generally, that exceeds 30 percent of a Section 8 family’s income.

Contact your regional public housing agency (PHA), commonly called”the housing authority.” Search HUD’s website to locate the PHA that insures your area.

Inform the housing authority that you want to rent your home via the Section 8 application. While your PHA can supply you with guidance regarding the procedure, itgenerally will not reevaluate your unit until after you discover a Section 8 tenant that you would like to sign an agreement with.

List your rental property as you would any other. Notice in your advertising that you take Section 8 tenants. It makes sense to contact your PHA early in the procedure, as it may be able to help you market your unit. Organize your vacancy at the GoSection 8 website, too.

Display interested tenants. You don’t have to provide special treatment receiving Section 8 assistance.

Forge a verbal agreement with a Part 8 renter you hope to rent your property to. Speak to your PHA and, being the GoSection 8 website advises, ask for a”Request for Tenancy Approval form.” Fill out this form.

Prepare to get a HUD inspection. For the PHA to take your own unit as a Section 8 lease, it must meet HUD’s quality standards. Since the GoSection 8 website notes, this includes a kitchen sink, a bath sink and a bath tub or shower with hot and cold running water and satisfactory systems for disposing of waste. In general, HUD’s standards strive to make Section 8 units sanitary and safe.

Sign a lease with your Part 8 renter upon reaching approval. You will need to have your property re-inspected by your PHA on an annual basis if you want to maintain it as a Section 8 lease.

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