Patio Decorating Ideas

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

outdoor-patio-waterfallPatio Decorating – Ten Simple Patio Decorating Ideas

When Mother Nature begins to warm, thoughts of outdoor entertaining, including B-B-Qs, poolside parties, lunch (or brunch) on the patio, tend to get us thinking of decorating ideas, specifically deck or patio decorating ideas. Decorating doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor to spruce up an outdoor patio; a few simple changes can do the trick without breaking the bank.

With a plethora of decorating magazines on the stands, interior/exterior decorating websites and design blogs, it’s easy to want more than what the budget will allow. So it is always a good idea, as you formulate decorating ideas for a patio, to determine what your budget can afford.

patio-decorating-seatingAs you assess the outdoor area in need of a makeover create a list of things that need attention. For example, is the patio furniture looking a bit tattered? Are decorative plants healthy and thriving? What patio decor items could be added or replaced?

Maybe a coat of fresh paint to outside walls or a trellis with climbing vines to make an unattractive area more appealing.

Reviewing visual resources such as garden and patio magazines and interior design websites can help generate ideas; use photos to assemble a theme or style suited to your desired effect.

If you, a friend or a family member, have a talent for crafty work, do-it-yourself (DYI) instructions are readily available for almost every type of patio, or deck, decorating project such as an in-ground pond or water fountain, a stone path or a mosaic tile table top. The options are endless. It helps to have a general plan before you begin to keep the entire project manageable.

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How to Avoid Painting Disasters

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

home-painting-tipsHow to Paint a Room Quickly and Problem-Free

In most cases painting a room is a fairly simple task, even for the most inexperienced people. Depending on the size of the room, painting the whole room can take only a few hours, a full day, or even days on end.

However there are some techniques and methods you must learn before beginning to paint which will greatly speed up the process.

Furthermore, you will need to learn how to make the job as problem free as possible, and learn how to avoid any ‘painting disasters’.

To begin, let’s go through the tools and items you will need before you begin the paint job.

house-painterEssential Tools and Items For Painting

The most obvious tool you are going to need for a paint job, is a paint brush – of course. Paint brushes come in many different forms and sizes, but as in this case you are painting a room, a large paintbrush should do fine. Although having a smaller one for some of the corners and more precise parts of the wall would be beneficial.

The next most essential tool you will need is a paint roller. If you have never used or seen one of these before, it is a large roll with a handle which you dip into paint, and then roll across the wall back and forth. A paint roller makes painting one hundred times easier and quicker, and unless you want to spend ages painting the wall, you are going to need a paint roller. When you buy a paint roller you should also get a tray as well where you would pour some of the paint into.

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Outdoor Storage Solutions

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Outdoor Storage Sheds and Benches

Every homeowner knows it’s hard to enjoy time at home with things strewn about. Whether it’s garden tools, children’s toys, or other things – your home’s exterior is a breeding-ground for messes and missing items. Find storage benches, containers, and deck boxes that organize and complement your landscape and patio designs tastefully and efficiently – all at Martens True Value Online Store Page today.

As a home owner, you know that no matter how many improvements you have made to your home, a mess will quickly detract from the visual appeal. Address these situations with guidance from Martens True Value in Reedsburg. Stop in today, and let our knowledgeable staff introduce you to the storage benches, shed accessories, and other containers for convenient organization inside and outside of your living spaces.

From spring cleaning to building closet organizers, we have the tools and supplies you need to get the job done right. Realize the potential of your home with space-savings solutions and order your organization tools today!

storage-shed-suncastSuncast Glidetop Storage Shed, Resin, 57.5 x 79 x 58-In., 98-Cu. Ft.

$419.00 – Online price. In-store price & availability may vary.

Assembly required. Please contact your local store for assembly availability/charges.

FREE Shipping to: MARTENS REEDSBURG TRUE VALUE- Reedsburg WI
Will arrive in store in 3 to 8 business days.

This heavy duty sand & chocolate shed with glidetop slide design is perfect for storing bikes, mowers, patio furniture and more. The sliding lid allows for walk in access and it’s reinforced flooring adds excellent support for tractors and other heavy duty machinery.

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How to Save Money on Home Heating

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

programmable-thermostatEight Ways to Save Money on Heating Bills

As temperatures drop, heating expenses begin to rise. Most American households rely on natural gas, electricity, or a combination of the two to keep warm in the winter, and it isn’t always easy to budget for the costs. These tips help to lower bills without sacrificing comfort.

Clean and Replace Filters

Forced-air systems rely on filters to clean and circulate the air. Clogged, dirty filters cause the system to work harder, resulting in higher energy bills and unnecessary wear on the unit. Most filters require monthly replacement, although some offer three months between changes.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Consumer Reports recommends setting the temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during waking hours and decreasing it to 60 degrees overnight. A programmable thermostat automatically takes care of these changes based on the user’s preset specifications. It also makes it easy and cost-efficient to schedule temperature changes to suit household activities, such as work or family vacations.

Take Advantage of Other Sources

Some routine tasks around the house, including cooking, drying clothes, and showering, generate warmth. Morning showers are great ways to boost overnight temperatures, and oven dinners allow homeowners to turn down thermostats early without losing significant amounts of heat.

solar-panels-energy-savingsWarm Up With Sunshine

When it is available, sunlight is an excellent home heating source. Homeowners who open their blinds and curtains during the day usually run their furnaces less often than those who keep their blinds closed. Covering windows as the sun goes down helps to retain the warmth into the evening.

Weatherproof Doors and Windows

As a house ages, tiny cracks and holes often create drafts that result in heat loss. It is not uncommon for a household to waste up to one-quarter of its energy through unseen air leaks. Weather strips minimize loss, and installation is fairly simple. Homeowners can also schedule professional tests to detect other leaks and losses.

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A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Love For Tools

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

hand-tools-pliersA Love for Tools

I believe that I inherited my love for tools from my father. I do know, at least, that he taught me and my brother what each tool he would use was.

He did this because, when he would work on our car or something in our house, he would ask for the tools by name as he needed them. “Hand me the pliers, a 3/8 drive socket, a ratchet, a phillips screwdriver”. You get the picture.

We knew that we better hand over the correct tool, or be prepared for getting chewed out. Sometimes, we would anticipate what tool was needed and hand it over before he even asked. I guess one could say we were like surgical nurses, and Dad was the surgeon.

power-tools-drill-bitsAs I got older, I started accumulating tools as I would come to need them. These times were usually when my pick-up truck broke down, needed an oil change or a tire rotation.

For me, there is no greater feeling of accomplishment than succeeding in fixing a problem with a car or any mechanical ‘thing’. Having tools to do the job is a necessity.

Everyone, men or women, should have a basic tool set so that they are able to do basic repairs, install screws, hammer nails etc.

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Easy Tips to Choosing the Right Paint Color

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

easy-care-interior-paint-true-valueTips for Selecting the Right Paint Colors for Your Home

Sometimes all you need is a splash of color.

Do you think that your home has become dull? Do you think that the faded walls are casting a gloom over the entire home? Well, you can make your home bright and new again. And, that too with just a little bit of investment.

Painting the walls will brighten up your home and provide it with a renewed sense of energy. But, to achieve the desired results, you must choose the paint colors wisely. The color of walls has a major impact on the entire design of each room. It also affects the emotional reactions that you and your visitors experience in the home. Here are a few basic tips to consider before buying the paint colors at a local home improvement store:

touch-up-painting-tips· Creating the Right Atmosphere

Different color combinations elicit different emotional responses. If you are painting a room where you plan to host guests and encourage lively conversation, consider bold, bright and contrasting colors. If you are more interested in creating a relaxing atmosphere, choose light and neutral tones. For a more elegant feel, choose deep and rich hues.

Think carefully about how you will feel about these colors over the long-term, especially before you choose more extreme color combinations. For example, you might be tempted to use bold and contrasting primary colors in a child’s playroom to inspire imagination and creativity. But, it may prove to be overwhelming and distracting for your child in his teen years.

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Electric Fireplaces: Pros and Cons

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

electric-fireplace-insert-dimplexThe Wonders of the Electric Fireplace

Fireplaces have been objects of both functionality and beauty.

Fireplaces provide heat and ambience to a certain place in the house. The evolution of the fireplace has taken great leaps in the recent years as we have seen the ascendancy of the electric fireplace.

During the old days, people only had the option of having a wood-fired fireplace. As time went by, gas-powered fireplaces gained popularity as they were relatively cheaper to maintain. But due to technology and the need for fireplaces which can be installed quickly and can be maintained easily, the electric fireplace was born.

Electric fireplace simulate the flames of traditional fireplaces. Literally, nothing is being burnt and the illusion of burning is achieved through the use of audio and visual effects. Electric fireplaces can be installed quickly where there is access to electricity.

Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of electric fireplaces that should be considered by those people who would want to avail of these modern-day fireplaces.

electric-fireplace-stove-dimplex- Easy to install

The electric fireplace is very easy to install as compared to the traditional fireplaces. There are models today that can be installed in less than an hour. Electric fireplaces don’t really need additional space because many of them are mounted against walls. Some of them can be installed in places where previous fireplaces are located.

Electric fireplace kits come with easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow installation kits. Installing electric fireplace also require the basic tools such as screwdrivers, glass cleaners and the like.

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Ten Tools Every New Homeowner Needs

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

claw-hammer10 Items Every New Homeowner Needs From the Hardware Store

Moving from an apartment to a home is more than just a change of address. Because renters merely pay to use someone else’s property, they are not responsible for maintenance and repairs. But when you purchase your own abode, you become the handyman. With that in mind, here are ten things every new homeowner should buy at the hardware store.

1. Claw Hammer

Even if you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll need a hammer to handle the most basic home projects such as hanging pictures and assembling furniture. Be sure to buy one that has a claw end for removing bent, damaged, or unwanted nails.

2. Screwdriver

Actually, you’ll need to buy two of them from your local hardware store: a flathead and a Phillips screwdriver. These indispensable hand tools can be used to open paint cans, assemble toys, and for general household maintenance.

3. Tape Measure

Whether you need to know the size of your windows before putting in new blinds or how high the door frame is, a tape measure is an absolute must. Trust us; they are far more convenient than carrying around a yardstick!

electric-drill4. Electric Drill

Many of the most popular home projects require the creation of new holes for new screws. Replacing a doorknob, lock, or broken hinge can be completed in no time with the help of an electric drill from you local hardware store.

5. Crescent Wrench

Even if you aren’t a licensed plumber, you can use a crescent wrench to complete minor repairs like tightening a loose faucet handle. More experienced home handymen can use the tool to open up a U-bend and remove an object that’s clogged the sink.

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How-to Keep Your Home Warm this Winter & Save Energy

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

home-heating-tips6 Easy and Energy-Efficient Tips for Keeping Your Home Warm in the Winter

Keeping your house warm in the winter without watching your heating bill go through the roof is a task that nearly everyone can relate to. We often forget that a few small, everyday tasks can contribute to a lower bill each month.

Here are a few common sense reminders for how to keep your bill as low and your house as warm as possible during the winter months.

1. Open your curtains and shades. Let a little light in! Remember, on a sunny day, nature can handle a little of the work of warming your home. Get up early, and let the sun permeate your house throughout the day while you’re at work. Remember to close them again at night, when the temperature will drop.

ceiling-fans2. Reverse your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans have a setting specially designated for the winter months. The switch will reverse the direction that the fan blades move in, causing the cool air to rise, and the warm air to fall-like pennies into your pocket. Again, you will want to be sure to remember to switch your fan back to the regular setting when the temperature changes.

3. Move your furniture away from vents. Heating vents may seem unsightly, or bothersome when thinking about the layout of your rooms and furniture. However, with a little energy-focused redecorating, you may find that one of the secrets to heating your home more efficiently lies in the arrangement of your furniture. Give floor and wall vents plenty of room to push the air out into the home without any obstacles to hinder its work.

4. Cover your hard floors. Where you don’t have floor vents, rugs can work to both store heat by preventing warm air from escaping through the floorboards. It can also make your wood or tile floors feel warmer to your feet. Just as a pair of socks will keep your toes nice and cozy, so will a few smartly placed rugs.

programmable-thermostat5. Programmable thermostats. Programmable thermostats are designed to make your central heating work more efficiently while your home and when you’re away. For a small installation fee, you can lower your energy bill considerably each month by lowering the temperature of your home while you’re away.

Keep it just warm enough while you’re at work to make your pets happy. It will also feel inviting when you get home, and you can raise it to a more comfortable temperature while you’re at home.

6. Seal air leaks around your home. The great thing about this energy-saving tip is that it will make your home more efficient year-round, not just in the winter months. Some may want to invest in a professional to help detect where large leaks are causing heat and cool air loss, but many leaks can be spotted visually. Leaks usually occur in places where siding, foundation, and chimneys meet floors or other surfaces. A caulk gun and caulk are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to use. Make sure to clean all your surfaces before you caulk, and enjoy your savings!

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Wood Deck Maintenance Tips

Friday, August 26th, 2016

wood-deck-careOutdoor Wood Deck Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

The outdoor deck is vulnerable to the elements of nature. For this reason, it needs frequent upkeep.

Here are some tips that can help you maintain your wood deck.

Sweep the floor thoroughly. Remove the fragments wedged between wooden planks with a putty tool. This special knife has a wide and flat blade made of metal for scraping and applying cement.

Mold can cause the deck to deteriorate quickly. Wash on a regular basis. Use the right cleanser.

deck-cleanerThe typical deck cleaner is appropriate for wood. Just make sure to follow manufacturer’s guidelines. A specific formula is needed if your deck is made of composite material.

Standard de-greasing substances can eliminate oil stains. The vinyl deck can be cleaned easily using mild soap and warm water.

The best time to wash your deck us when the day is cool. Sunlight can dissolve cleansing chemicals. Thus, avoid cleaning during hot days.

For wooden verandas, apply the cleaner using a brush with stiff bristles, paint roller or garden spray device. Scrub the flooring before the deck dries up. Douse the floor with the cleaner for at least 10 minutes before rinsing.

Clean the wood rails from the bottom going up to avoid leaving stubborn marks. Scrub composite materials using a soft brush. Refrain from using a pressure washer. This can damage the deck permanently and cancel and warranty.

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How to Repair and Seal Your Driveway

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

How to Seal Your Driveway

Tips for repairing your driveway by True Value Hardware

Not only is repairing your driveway easy to do, it will last longer and look better.

Here’s what you’ll need: water-based acrylic filler/sealer, a chisel, a caulking gun, asphalt sealant, a brush applicator with squeegee, crack filler, foam backer rods if necessary, cold patch blacktop, knee pads, gloves and safety goggles.

Start by chiseling along the cracks. Do this at an angle so they’re wider underneath than they are on the surface.

Then clean the driveway with a garden hose, a bit of laundry detergent, and a scrub brush, removing all weeds, grass, and other debris. Make sure it’s completely dry before continuing with your repairs.

Fill cracks with the acrylic filler and a caulking gun. For wider cracks, fill with foam backer rods before applying. Smooth away excess with a putty knife.

For larger potholes, you’ll need to shovel packaged cold-patch blacktop into the well-cleaned hole, until it is slightly overfilled. Then place a piece of scrap plywood over the patch and drive your car back and forth across it to further compact it.

Let patches cure for at least one day. Mist the driveway with water, then spread the sealant with the squeegee, several square feet at a time. Allow the first coat to dry between 4 to 12 hours before applying the second.

Keep off the driveway until it is completely dry — at least 24 to 36 hours.

Need more expert advice or driveway repair and sealer supplies? Stop by Martens True Value hardware store in Reedsburg and ask one of our Hardwarians.

True Value. Start Right. Start Here.

Pest Control Tips for Your Home

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

pest-problem-ants-spiders-cockroachesThe Four Most Important Pest Control Tips to Protect Your Home

Many animals and bugs that a person finds around their home may be classified as undesirable pests. Several examples include ants, spiders, termites, wasps, roaches, and some rodents such as rats. A person that notices these creatures around the home should not take their presence lightly as they can be more than just a nuisance. These uninvited house guests, while small in size, have the potential to cause extensive damage to property and can also cause diseases and allergies that can be life-threatening.

This is why it’s important for a homeowner to consider several pest control practices to prevent an infestation. Critters will be less likely to be attracted to the home if garbage is properly closed off to them and disposed of regularly. A person can keep unwelcome animals from entering the home by sealing any cracks and gaps. As some creatures are attracted to water and moisture, a person should keep the home dry, cool, and free of any standing water.

home-pest-control-tipsStore Garbage Properly

Of course, a large portion of what you’ll find in a garbage bag is leftover food and table scraps that were discarded after dinner. Unfortunately, animals such rats and ants are attracted to the leftover food, and they will shamelessly dig through garbage bags to scavenge for free and easy food. Keep garbage bags inside a sturdy a trash can, and keep it tightly latched with a secure lid. Trash should be kept a safe distance away from the home.

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