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WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN MY VINYL WINDOWS?

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN MY VINYL WINDOWS?

Vinyl windows are not glass windows and should not be cleaned as though they are glass windows. The biggest mistake homeowners make when cleaning vinyl windows is treating them like they’re glass windows and using cleaners with harsh chemicals like bleach to clean their vinyl windows.

When it’s time to clean your sunroom’s vinyl windows, skip the glass cleaner, bleach, ammonia, or any other harsh, chemical-based cleaners. These types of cleaners will break down the integrity of the vinyl. Stay away from abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads that can scratch the surface of your vinyl windows, exposing them to further damage.

 

To properly clean your vinyl windows we recommend first removing your vinyl window panes and rinsing them off using your hose, but gently. A full pressure spray or power washer can damage the vinyl. (You can also hose them down in between cleanings if you want to freshen them up a little.) This will remove any loose dirt and help in preventing scratches during cleaning. Spray the vinyl with a vinyl window cleaner and wipe clean using a microfiber or lint free cloth. (We use Custom Window Systems Vinyl Window Coating, but any cleaner specifically for vinyl windows will work.) You can also use a mixture of 1/4 cup woolite and 1 gallon of water. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly with clean water after you wash with the mixture.

Clean both sides of the vinyl window and the aluminum or vinyl frame. Vacuum the dry track, and replace the panes.

 

Cleaning vinyl sunroom windows on a hot, sunny day can cause the cleaner or mixture to dry quickly, likely before you have a chance to wipe it off. For best results, wait for an overcast day so you can properly clean and shine the panes, ridding them almost completely of any residue.

New Thanksgiving Tradition?

ENTERTAINING DINNER GUESTS WITHOUT A FORMAL DINING ROOM

Formal dining rooms are out and additional living space is in! Most of us don’t have a designated dining room anymore but we still need somewhere to sit and eat dinner when we host our family and friends. Enter the perfect INformal “dining room”, AKA, your enclosure. There is nothing more relaxing than enjoying a home cooked meal outside without having to worry about bugs, leaves, or dirt ruining your food. Dining outside of the traditional spaces of your home can really bring a casual and cozy approach to mealtime.

So how can you transform your backyard living area into a place to enjoy meals with family and friends quickly and with little effort? Simple, add a table, some chairs, set the table, and add food! Really though, it’s that simple.

Most enclosures and covered patios run the length of the home making them longer than they are wide. For this reason I usually suggest a long table rather than a square or round table, especially if you are hosting more than four people. This will allow you and your guests to move around more comfortably without feeling crowded. (But any table will work! You don’t need to rush out and buy a new table.) Creating an elegant dining table is as simple as a collapsible table covered with linen. If you don’t have a tablecloth that you’re in love with consider looking through your linen closet and picking out a sheet that has textures you like or colors that match your theme or the season. A textured sheet or one with a bold
color is a creative way to add character and charm to your outdoor dining area.

Once you’ve selected a table cover you can set the table. I always choose plate chargers rather than placemats to class the place settings up a little. Each setting should also include a napkin and silverware. Keep the cleanup easy and use disposable for both of these. You can find disposable linen napkins at your local party supply store.

A good host knows their guest would rather spend time with them as opposed to watching them do dishes after dining together. Even as the host, you should still enjoy your company. After all, your guests have come over to spend time with you!  Keep it easy!

A few finishing touches and you’ll have the perfect space to host dinner without a formal dining room. Grab a vase and fill it with flowers and plants you are able to find in your yard. It doesn’t have to be perfectly designed to make for the perfect centerpiece.

If you have extra space and want to add another centerpiece, do it! And don’t be scared to use some flowers, vines, or pieces of twigs in your place settings or silverware to tie it all together.

One last thoughtful detail that goes a long way is personalized place cards for each guest. These can be simple and don’t require a whole lot of effort on your part – Let’s face it, you’re already really busy hosting your dinner party!

(Place cards are a great way to get the kids involved too! The little ones will love decorating personalized cards for each of your guests.)

Don’t be scared to have fun and get a little creative. Make it a themed event and decorate your table to the theme. The time and effort it takes will be worth the smiling faces and lasting memories!

 

Interested in Outdoor Kitchens? #LIFETIMEliving

OUTDOOR KITCHEN

 

Outdoor kitchens have exploded in popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Adding an outdoor kitchen is a super practical and luxurious feature that your entire family can enjoy together for many years to come. Not only are you creating a great space to entertain family and friends, you are also increasing the value of your home.

 

One of the perks of living in a warm climate is that you can practically use your outdoor kitchen year round. That being said, there are some important things to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen and dining area. Spend some time thinking about what you really want and need in an outdoor kitchen and how you will actually use the space.

 

Consider how often you will use your outdoor kitchen and how many people you will be preparing food for. Will you be feeding large groups often? If so, you may want to consider a grill with a larger cooking surface so that you are not stuck at the grill preparing in small batches to feed large numbers of people rather than being able to sit with and enjoy your guests.

 

What types of appliances will you want to include in your outdoor kitchen? Will you be exclusively grilling or would you like to prepare other dishes outside as well? If so, a side burner would be a convenient accessory. Would you prepare breakfast in your outdoor kitchen if you could? Well you can if you have a griddle installed. Everything from pancakes to eggs and bacon! Do you want to keep hot foods warm? Including a warming drawer in your outdoor kitchen will allow you to keep already prepared food warm while other foods are still cooking.

You may also want to add a sink for the convenience of preparing food and washing your hands and not running back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchen.

You’ll enjoy your outdoor kitchen for many years to come so investing in quality appliances is worth it. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances work great for all weather conditions, are durable, and low maintenance. It’s always best to buy outdoor products that are designed to withstand the weather and outdoor elements. You will replace appliances intended for indoor use sooner and more frequently. Do not install cooking and cooling appliances right next to each other. Plan your zones accordingly for proper ventilation and cooling.

 

What types of things would you like to be able to store in your outdoor kitchen? Most outdoor kitchen designs include a refrigerator to keep drinks cool and cabinets for dry storage. A built in trash can and built in paper towel holder make prep work and clean up easy and convenient. If you enjoy hosting with cocktails, a built in icemaker might suit you just right! You can even add a drawer to store tools and utensils so you don’t have to run back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchen.

 

Do you plan to eat outside? Pay attention to how the wind typically blows and position seating and dining areas to compliment the prevailing winds. Nothing is more annoying than trying to enjoy a nice evening outside and constantly having smoke from the grill blown in your face.

 

Do you want your outdoor kitchen to be close to your home or distinctly separate? It’s a good idea to consider the views both from inside your home looking out, as well as from your outdoor kitchen. You likely wouldn’t want to position your outdoor kitchen in a way that it would block a good view from your back porch or the inside of your home. And just the same, you probably don’t want to be enjoying your outdoor kitchen while staring at your neighbor’s jacuzzi. So consider the view when positioning your outdoor kitchen. If you plan to use your indoor kitchen for any food preparation or storage you will want easy access to the inside of your home from the grilling area. Where are your gas lines? If you plan to install a gas grill, and you do not want to have to run new lines, it’s best to build your outdoor kitchen close enough to access your existing gas or water lines. Building close to your home allows for easy extending of the roof overhang to provide shade and shelter. Just make sure the grill is positioned near the end of the overhang and away from doors that lead to the inside of your home so that there is plenty of ventilation and smoke isn’t being pulled into your home every time the door opens.

If you choose to position your outdoor kitchen further away from your home keep in mind you may have to run gas, water, or electric, which will add to the overall cost of your project. And remember to plan for shelter from the elements. Pergolas, umbrellas, and patio covers are all great options.

 

Choose easy to clean and waterproof counters and cabinets. When choosing flooring for your outdoor kitchen choose floors that are grease, fire, and stain resistant. This will reduce accidents and keep clean up easy.

 

Will you be wanting to use your outdoor kitchen after the sun goes down? Outdoor lighting extends the length of time you can enjoy your outdoor kitchen and offers safety for walkways, staircases, and grilling areas. And aside from the practical purposes of having lighting during the evening and nighttime, outdoor lighting will create a relaxing ambiance for your family and guests.

 

You will consume less energy cooking in your outdoor kitchen since you’re not heating up the inside of your home to cook and then cranking down your A/C to cool it off. An outdoor kitchen is the perfect space to entertain friends and family. Taking the cooking outside usually means more space to work, which means more room to include family and friends in cooking. Hosting around your outdoor kitchen keeps everyone outside during events resulting in less traffic throughout your home and easier clean up.