What is Window Tint and Why Do I Need It?

Everyone recognizes tinted windows when they seem them. You might have only noticed window tint on car transporting celebrities or politicians and assumed it was only used for privacy purposes, but window tint has so many more uses and benefits than just privacy. Before talking about what window tint does, you might be wondering, what is window tint in the first place?

Window tint, or window film, is a transparent sheet of laminate that is applied to the interior or exterior of windows. The thickness of the film can vary, and you’ll find that different states have different regulations about how dark window tint is allowed to be. Window tint can be used for more than just vehicles. It’s also a popular option for home and office windows.

Now that you know what window tint is, you might be wondering, what’s the purpose of window tint? When you invest in window tint, you’ll get a wide range of benefits. The first is that window tint is specifically designed to block UV rays. In fact, if you choose a high-quality window tinting company like Sun Control Center, you can get 3M tint that blocks up to 99.9% of UV rays, which are the type of sun rays that cause skin cancer.

Window tint can also extend the life of your furniture and vehicle interior by preventing fading. It reduces glare, so you can work on your computer in your office or watch TV in your home without dealing with annoying glare from the sun. It also protects your eyes from glare from oncoming headlights while driving, which can help you avoid accidents due to impaired vision.

One of the best things about window tint is that it actually strengthens windows and makes them shatterproof. That means that if you’re involved in a car accident, your windows won’t shatter. Pieces of airborne glass can be extremely dangerous in a car crash, and window tint prevents this from happening. In addition to increased safety in the event of an accident, window tint can also help prevent theft. If thieves can’t see what valuables are in your home or car, they’re more likely to move on to another target.

Because window tint blocks the sun’s rays, it also reduces the heat coming into your car, home, or office, which can lead to huge savings on energy costs. With less heat coming in through your windows, you’ll have to run the AC less in the summer, which will reduce your monthly energy bills and extend the life of your cooling system. There are so many benefits that come with window tint that once you know about all of them, investing in window tint from a reputable window tinting company like Sun Control Center is a no-brainer.

Carpet Cleaning: Should you DIY or Hire a Pro?

Cleaning all the carpets in your home might not be the most thrilling weekend activity you can think of, but it’s crucial to maintaining a clean, healthy home. Getting your carpets deeply cleaned is about more than just removing stains and the surface level of dust and grime. It’s about getting rid of allergens, dust, and even bacteria that are hiding deep within the layers of your carpet.

Annual carpet cleanings can have a dramatically positive effect on the overall health and cleanliness of your home. The question is: should you rent a machine and do it yourself or hire a professional carpet cleaning service?


When it comes to giving your carpets a truly deep, long-lasting clean, the DIY method simply can’t touch the pros. Professional carpet cleaning services use cleaning machines that are vastly more powerful than the machines you can rent yourself. As a result, they’re able to get deeper into the layers of your carpets and extract more dirt, dust, and allergens from within the individual carpet fibers. While do-it-yourself machines will clean the top layer of your carpets, they’re simply not powerful enough to reach all the way to the bottom. Plus, do-it-yourself machines can’t get the water as hot as professional machines, so they won’t clean and disinfect your carpets as effectively.

Dry Time

The last thing you want to do is get your carpets clean only to have to avoid stepping on them for days at a time because they’re taking so long to dry out. The machines that professional carpet cleaning services use to extract the water from your carpets are so powerful that your carpets will be left only slightly damp, and they’ll be able to dry out much sooner, so you can get back to freely enjoying your home faster. The quicker dry time you’ll get with a professional service also means that mold and mildew won’t have a chance to grow in and underneath your carpets like they would with a long dry time.


There’s no doubt about it – hiring a professional carpet cleaning service is vastly more convenient than doing it yourself. Professionals clean carpets every day, and they have the expertise and experience to perform the job effectively and efficiently. They can have your whole home clean in just a couple hours, whereas if you try to tackle it by yourself, it may take the whole day to figure out how to work the machine and get every room clean. It’s an extremely labor-intensive project to handle on your own, and even though doing it yourself is more cost efficient, it may not be worth the extra savings at the ends of the day.

Simple Steam offers expert carpet cleaning in Kirkland, WA. They used advanced carpet cleaning technology and natural, non-toxic cleaning solutions won’t leave behind any unpleasant chemical residues like other cleaners will. They guarantee straightforward pricing and will give you an accurate, honest estimate every time. For upholstery, tile, grout, and carpet cleaning in Kirkland, WA, Simple Steam is the place to go.

What New Kitchen Cabinets Can Do for Your Home

It’s not uncommon for us to become unsatisfied with how our home looks every once in a while, and it’s only natural to want to do something about it. However, unless you’ve been saving up for home renovations for a while already, chances are that you don’t have unlimited money to spend on updating your home’s aesthetic.

If you’re looking to revitalize your home on a limited budget, investing in new kitchen cabinets can have a surprisingly big effect on the overall look of your home. Cabinet replacement is a quick, cost-effective way to get one step closer to the home you’ve always wanted.


Cabinets will inevitably start looking dull and worn down after years of use. Grease, dirt, and dust slowly build up and leave layers of grime on the surface of your cabinets that can be almost impossible to get rid of yourself. By getting brand new cabinets installed, you can make your entire kitchen look bright and refreshed. Try out all-white cabinets for a light, airy feel, or go with all-black cabinets to add a touch of elegance and drama. Or, you could choose to go with a natural wood finish, so you have something timeless and classic.


If food preparation has become more of a hassle than it’s worth due to a cramped kitchen, new cabinets could be the answer to your problems. Well-designed, well-crafted cabinets make the most out of the space you have and exponentially increase your storage capabilities. With new cabinets, you can effortlessly store all the bulky appliances and cooking tools that are crowing your countertops and making it nearly impossible for you to cook a meal without being frustrated by the lack of space. Good kitchen cabinets will free up your counter space and make cooking fun again.


Installing new cabinets in your kitchen is one of the highest returns on investment when it comes to selling a home. If you’re trying to sell a home with old, outdated cabinets, prospective buyers are going to be distracted from your home’s advantages because they’re worrying about the cost and inconvenience of redoing the kitchen once they move in. Old, dingy cabinets can make an otherwise stylish kitchen look worn down and out of style, but new kitchen cabinets can revamp the entire space.

Cabinets in Richmond, VA

If you’re looking for new kitchen cabinets in Richmond, VA, Panda Kitchen RVA offers a range of cabinets made of high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. Panda Kitchen RVA will help you add value to your home, whether you’re looking to sell or hoping to stay there for years to come. Their high-quality natural wood cabinets look beautiful and stylish and will maximize your kitchen’s storage space, making cooking and food prep a breeze. You’ll be shocked at how fresh and beautiful your kitchen will look with new cabinets from Panda Kitchen RVA.

3 Fall Cleaning Tips to Get You Through Winter

Fall is the perfect time to give your home a thorough cleaning before winter sets in and all you want to do is curl up with a blanket and a hot beverage and spend time with your loved ones. After all, you’ll likely be spending more and more time inside during the winter months, so why not invest some time in making sure your home is in great shape?

    1. Declutter1. Declutter. Start by going through your closets and drawers to get rid of any clothing that no longer fits or that you haven’t worn in six months or more. You can give it all away to charity and feel good about decluttering and helping people in need at the same time. Then, spend an afternoon going through your attic, basement, or garage and get rid of anything you don’t need. If you haven’t thought about it or touched it in a year, chances are it’s time to let it go. Next, take a few minutes to sort through your pantry and throw out any expired food. If you find that you have extra non-perishable food items that you won’t use, take them to your local food bank. You’ll feel so much better after you get rid of unnecessary clutter and free up some space in your home.


    1. Clean Gutters2. Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can have serious consequences for your home. They can cause your roof to sprout a leak and can even cause water damage to your walls and foundation. Cleaning your gutters every few months – or more often if you live around a ton of trees – will save you from facing far more costly repairs in the future. Clogged gutters have also been shown to attract pests like rodents and wasps because the leaf debris is perfect for building their nests.


    1. Simple Steam Steam Cleaning3. Steam clean your carpets. Getting a professional carpet cleaning can make your entire home feel clean and refreshed. Simple Steam Carpet Cleaning is one of the most trusted carpet cleaning services in Bellevue, Washington, due to the fact that their carpet cleaning method removes 99% of bacteria from your carpets, eliminates pet odors, gets rid of stains, and uses natural, non-toxic cleaning solutions. Plus, their advanced carpet cleaning technology can eliminate 90% of the moisture left in your carpets after cleaning, so your carpets will be able to dry in just a couple of hours. A professional carpet cleaning from Simple Steam Carpet Cleaning will leave your entire home looking new and feeling refreshed as you head into winter.

Central Air Conditioning v Ductless Mini-Split: Which HVAC System Is Right for You?

With summer just around the corner, many are discovering that their air conditioning systems are no longer up to the challenge. Inefficient systems can be too expensive to run or unable to keep homes comfortably cool. If it’s time to consider replacing your air conditioning system, you’ll be reassured to know that you’ve got many options. The trick is finding the one that will best meet your needs.

Let’s take a closer look at two of today’s most popular household air conditioning systems: central air and ductless mini-split systems.

Central Air Conditioning

These systems generally feature two main components: an outdoor unit with a condenser coil and compressor, and an indoor evaporator coil. As both of these units are located outside of living spaces, they’ll work hard to keep you cool while remaining out of sight and out of mind.

Central air conditioning systems are a great investment to make in your home – especially if you plan to stay a while. The only negative of central air conditioning systems is the cost – particularly if there is no existing ductwork. If you already have ducts for a heating system in place, your new central air conditioning system can use them, too.

Another benefit of central air systems is air quality: These systems draw air through a filter that – if regularly replaced – will pull unhealthy substances and allergens out of the air; this is of particular benefit to anyone suffering from allergies.

While central air systems aren’t inexpensive, it’s worth noting that new central air systems can reduce your cooling costs by between 20% to 40% of what you’ve been paying; you’ll be making good on your investment throughout spring and summer.

If you’re planning on purchasing a central air system, take care to choose one that’s the right size for your home. Air conditioning systems work most efficiently when they’re not too big or too small for the job.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems

As mentioned above, central air systems require ductwork. As their name suggests, ductless mini-split systems do not. If you don’t already have ductwork in place, the time and expense of duct installation could be a major consideration – especially if you live in an older home or one with thick walls.

While ductless mini-split systems are often easier to install, they’re not inexpensive. In fact, they can be more expensive to install than central air systems – particularly if you’re installing systems in several rooms. Like central air systems, new ductless systems are an investment. Ductless systems are even more efficient than central air systems; over time, you’ll save more money on energy.

Ductless mini-split systems have the advantage of requiring less maintenance than central air systems. While ductless systems require little to no maintenance, central air systems require annual inspections and tune-ups from an air conditioning expert (such as my local go-to guys at Bradley Mechanical).

Ductless systems have the advantage of being even more quiet than central air systems, but they’re not invisible. A wall-mounted air handling unit will need to be installed in each room you intend to cool.

Again, it’s worth noting the importance of selecting the right system for your needs. With central air systems, you need to select the properly-sized system for your home. With ductless mini-split systems, you’ll need to select a unit for every space you’re planning to cool; you’ll definitely want to work with an experienced technician when choosing each unit.

Renovating Your Home For Senior Safety

There may come a time when you decide you’d prefer to have a senior relative or friend move in with you, whether for health or other reasons. In most cases, homes aren’t equipped to be safe and dependable for aging seniors, especially if they happen to have any health conditions that could affect their overall mobility and well-being. In general, there are a few actions that you can take to prepare your home’s interior and exterior for an elder to easily be able to navigate and maneuver. One good preemptive step you can take before a senior citizen moves in is to contact a Senior Care Agency to check out your home and make any suggestions or recommendations for renovations.


  • Check the height of all of your cabinets, shelves, and other areas where a senior may need to go – this can be one of the most simple, yet helpful things you can do. Ensuring that all of your food items, medical supplies, and general products and items around your house are easily reached can help prevent any accidents, slips, or falls. In addition to lowering the height of the various objects, you can also look into purchasing a small step-stool, made for seniors (generally has a rubberized stepping pad to prevent slips, along with a hand-rail), to help them reach any out of the way items. Another thing to ensure you check the height of inside your home is the steps and the distance from one step to another or to the sidewalk. One of the biggest causes for injury within the senior community is because of falling or slipping – which can be prevented with the proper precautions.


  • Look into installing slip-resistant pads on your flooring and stairs, especially if you have hardwood inside your home. Hardwood can be extremely slippery when walked on with socks and can be a big factor in causing slips or falls. Ensuring hand-rails are located on each stairway will help immensely as well.


  • One great addition to any home is also various quality of life (QOL) improvements, such as a memory-foam or cushioned mat in the kitchen – especially if your senior family member prefers cooking and being in the kitchen area often while baking or hanging out.


  • If you have a bathroom that isn’t very senior-friendly, that is also another area that can use some basic upgrades for a huge improvement. Some examples of bathroom additions include a simple hand-rail in the shower, to a more complex, complete renovation – such as installing a sit-in shower or bath. For some seniors, they aren’t able to stand up while they shower, so they either have to use a bathtub or sit down somewhere.

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Hosting a Christmas Party? Here’s How to Protect Your Carpet From Spills

It won’t be snowing here in Phoenix anytime soon, but there are other signs that Christmas is coming. Holiday classics are on the radio, colored lights are adorning the houses on my street, and invitations to my annual party are in the mail. Another sign that Christmas is coming: I’m getting ready to tackle holiday-party spills on my nearly-white carpet.

If you said that it wasn’t a good idea to install an almost-white carpet in my home, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. I do have to take great care to keep my carpet looking clean. I vacuum twice a week, and have my carpets professionally cleaned twice a year. (And if you’re invited to my party, I’ll be there to take your shoes at the door.) But probably the most important thing that I do is attend to every spill and stain as soon as it happens.

If you’re committed to stopping whatever you’re doing to deal with a spill or a stain, the battle’s half won. Winning the other half of the battle requires you to know how to tackle the most common kinds of stains. Once you know what kind of tools you need, you’ve also got to keep them on hand. Want to do as I do this holiday season, and keep stains out of your carpet? Here’s how to deal with some of the most common stains.

Red Wine

White carpeting and red wine may not be a match made in heaven, but you’ll always find them together at my Christmas party. (Hopefully not too close together.) That’s why I’m always ready for a red wine spill. After a spill, I immediately start blotting up the wine with a plain white paper towel. I work gently, because the idea is to pull the wine up, not pull it down. I keep blotting until the towel is pulling up very little red. Next, I mix equal parts warm water and white vinegar with a dash of dishwashing soap.

I continue to blot, gently, until the stain is gone or until the blotting is no longer pulling up any red. If part of the stain remains, and you can’t pull any more out, stop what you’re doing and call a professional. (I call Dr. Chem-Dry – the company that already drops by every six months for a cleaning.) The earlier a professional cleaner can attend to the stain, the better the chance it will be removed. Wine is among the toughest stains, but this course of action has never failed. Sometimes, I’m even able to get the stain up without any help.


Another staple at my home as well as my party is rich, dark coffee – something that definitely stands out against light carpet. Tending to a coffee spill isn’t much different than dealing with red wine. You’ll need a plain white paper towel. You’ll want the same mixture of warm water, white vinegar, and dish soap. You’ll want to gently blot stains until they disappear. And you’ll want to call your cleaning pro right away if you can’t handle that stain.

For whatever reason – probably because my coffee mugs are bigger than my wine glasses – coffee spills tend to be bigger than wine spills. So it’s worth mentioning here that, should you have a lot of liquid to pull up, be sure to swap out paper towels once they’ve been blotted down. You won’t want to push wet towels into the carpet. Plan on having a lot of paper towels on hand before any party.


While I hate to use the term grease in relation to the food I serve at my parties, the shoe fits. And when guests are walking around with meats, cheeses, and all of those other saucy or oily foods that I serve, some are bound to end up on the floor. While the basic ingredients for dealing with grease stains on carpet are almost the same, there are a couple of key differences.

First, you’ll want to swap out the vinegar for more dishwashing soap in your cleaning solution: Plan to mix one part soap to four parts warm water. You’ll also want to apply the cleaning solution to some paper towel, and press it into the stain for five minutes before beginning the bottle process. Both the extra soap and the extra time are needed to loosen and break down the grease to the point where it can be blotted away.

While I’m no carpet cleaning expert, I have managed to keep a white carpet looking great for a few years now. Do as I do – and quickly – and both you and your carpet will do just fine the next time you host a Christmas party.

Choosing the Right Siding for Your House

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to replace the siding on their homes at some point during the life of the home. Over time your home’s siding takes quite a beating. Constant exposure to the sun, heavy storm winds, hail, rain, and general exposure to the elements will eventually cause your siding to crack, warp, or just simply start falling off in places.

As a homeowner, it’s important to maintain your siding to avoid water damage, pests, and other types of damage that can result from not having the outside of your home properly sealed against the elements. But with so many different siding options, how can you know which one is right for your home, your climate, and your budget?

There are three main types of siding that are popular options for modern homes. These are wood siding, vinyl siding, and fiber cement siding. Each of these has different pros and cons, and offers a different look for the exterior of your home. Let’s take a deeper look at each option:

Wood Siding

For a classic feel, wood siding is a great option, and allows for all kinds of customization in terms of color and finish. Unlike other siding options, wood siding can be painted any color, or even stained to retain the natural grain and texture of the wood.

On top of aesthetic appeal, wood siding is incredibly durable and more eco-friendly than other siding options. Depending on your region’s climate, the manufacturer, and how well you upkeep your siding, you can expect wood siding to last anywhere from 10-50 years.

The main drawback to having wood siding is the large amount of maintenance that you’ll have to perform to keep your siding looking nice. Wood siding requires regular treatment for insect prevention, in addition to regular restaining and repainting.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the most affordable siding option, and is installed on more than 30% of homes in the US. In addition to lower prices, vinyl siding also requires far less maintenance than wood siding. Vinyl siding will never rot, fade, warp, or crack unless it is struck by an outside force.

Depending on what kind of siding you get and your regional climate, you can expect vinyl siding to last you 50 years or more.

If you’re looking for a great product at an affordable price, vinyl might be your best bet, though it is easily damaged by falling branches or hail storms, meaning you could end up replacing it long before it reaches its 50-year lifespan.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement is the most recent technology that’s breaking into the siding industry, but it’s rapidly gaining popularity with homeowners across the US. Fiber cement siding is made of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers, and is generally molded to mimic the look of wood siding.

This type of siding is the most durable siding option available, and can be expected to last 50+ years. It is also flame retardant, highly durable, and never needs to be repainted or refinished. It’s also completely resistant to termites and other pests that can wreak havoc on other types of siding.


When making your choice for new siding, take each different option into consideration to determine what is the best choice for your home. Think about your local climate, the amount of upkeep you want to be responsible for, the aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve, and your budget. While there isn’t a huge difference between the three most common options, some have benefits that outweigh the others. Talk to a contractor in your area, like Metropolitan Contractors, to get the latest information about your siding options. Make sure to put in your time for research so you aren’t stuck with more work than you bargained for after installation.

Make a Carpet Cleaning Toolkit This Holiday Season

Holiday season is just around the corner – that wonderful time of year when we open our homes to friends and family and good cheer. It’s also the time of mulled wine spills, tipped mugs of eggnog, cranberry stains, and grandchildren tracking dirt indoors. In other words, it’s the season of carpet stains. Thankfully, just a little advance preparation can keep a little mishap from becoming a permanent stain.

Start by assembling a carpet cleaning kit. Many of the items below are probably in your cupboard already:

  • Plain white cloth, or plain white paper towels
  • Vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Club soda
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt

Plain white cloth – Witness a spill, and you might be tempted to use whatever towel you have at hand. Instead, take a moment to grab a plain white cloth or paper towel. After a spill, your goal is to transfer any color onto the cloth; use a colored cloth or patterned towel, and you may just end up transferring more color onto your carpet.

White vinegar – It’s no accident that vinegar is so often mentioned in homemade stain removal solutions. Vinegar is a mixture of acetic acid and water. When mixed with water, the components of acetic acid break down; the remaining components are very effective at weakening and breaking down stain-causing substances. And because acetic acid also mixes easily almost any kind of liquid, it’s a great teammate for other cleaning solutions.

Dishwashing liquid – This common household ingredient helps water to spread more easily over surfaces and penetrate deeper into carpet fibers. If your stain is water soluble – think holiday fare like food, gravy, and alcoholic drinks – a little warm water and dishwashing liquid may be enough to release the stain. If you need a little more stain-fighting power, add a little vinegar into the mix.

Club soda – The carbonation in club soda lifts stains and prevents them from penetrating carpet fibers; this home remedy is particularly effective at removing stains from red wine – a holiday season staple at my house. In fact, the professional carpet cleaners that I use – Rainier Chem-Dry – uses carbonation as a key component in their own cleaning solution. In addition to being effective, club soda also evaporates without a trace.

Baking soda – First, baking soda can act as a chemical catalyst for improving the effectiveness of vinegar. Baking soda is absorbent, and able to soak-up stain-causing liquids. Baking soda is abrasive; it’s slight grittiness can help to pry stains out of carpet fibers. And finally – it’s a natural freshener and deodorant. Apply a baking soda and vinegar mixture to a stain, and let it sit for a while; after it dries, circle back with a vacuum cleaner to pull up the soda and the stain.

Table salt – Baking soda is one kind of salt; table salt is another. If you don’t have baking soda handy, table salt may do the trick.

No matter which cleaning solution I try, I work slowly. I use each cleaning solution sparingly, to avoid spreading the stain. And I’ve had pretty good luck using each of the above ingredients, or combinations of them. That said, they don’t always work. The last item you should add to your stain-removing toolkit is the phone number of a professional carpet cleaner you can trust. You’ll want one handy, because time is of the essence when dealing with stains; the earlier you deal with them, the better your chances for complete removal.

Prepare for carpet stains in advance, and when the inevitable spill occurs, the fast cleanup won’t dim your holiday cheer.

The Lesser Known Advantages of Replacing Your Home’s Windows

Investing in Replacement Windows
Thinking about investing in some new windows for your home? There are a lot of benefits to doing so. Not only will it enhance the curb appeal and functionality of your house, but if you purchase high-quality modern windows from a reputable dealer, you’ll save money on your monthly energy bills, and the savings definitely add up overtime. Modern convenience, energy savings, and aesthetic considerations are all things that might spring to mind when you think about getting new windows. But what about some of the lesser known advantages?

Additional Security & Increased Surveillance
New windows can certainly bring you a greater view on your surroundings – but they also allow for greater visual communication between people inside and outside of your home. When you add new windows (or increase their size) in your home, you’re giving yourself more room to view things on the outside. You can more easily monitor your kids playing in the front yard, or more readily see anyone or anything approaching your home. Want to see whats going on in the backyard? Add some new windows in the kitchen so you can check things out in the backyard while working in the kitchen.

Bridge Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces
Windows can do wonders for a room – they can brighten up a space and visually connect the indoors to outdoor spaces surrounding your home. This can improve the aesthetics of both areas, maximizing your view of the outside. Adding large windows to your home as opposed to several small ones makes it easier to achieve this affect – and pairing them with sliding glass patio doors can take it to the next level.

replacement windows

Get More Privacy
Windows are one of the primary things that separate public areas from private ones. This is why they should absolutely provide the level of privacy you want inside your home! One way to increase indoor privacy is to strategically place windows inside your home. For instance, placing a window up high in a wall allows you to see the outdoors from the inside and get sunlight into the room, while restricting the view from people outside. There are other ways to aid in privacy, like window treatments, textured glass, and privacy film – but if you want the best way, you should consult a reliable window installation company that can offer you a free consultation.

If you’re in along the east coast, Mr. Rogers Windows and Doors is easily one of the best companies to work with if you’re looking for replacement windows in Virginia or North Carolina. They offer a huge variety of high-quality glass packages that can increase the privacy and aesthetic appeal of your windows. Better yet, all of their windows are completely customized for your home. Nothing is pre-fabricated and every order is a custom-fit. They offer free consultations for anyone interested in replacing their windows or patio doors – just reach out to them to learn more.