Category: Up Your DIY Game

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Are you a homeowner who wishes that there were something different about your kitchen? Although most homeowners love their homes, including their kitchens, it is relatively easy to get bored of something, especially a room that you visit multiple times a day.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

kitchen, remodeling, professional, looking, internet, ideas, improvement, home improvement, kitchen remodeling, home, countertops, online, stores, improvement stores, decorator, home improvement stores, kitchen countertops, displays, search, new,

Are you a homeowner who wishes that there were something different about your kitchen? Although most homeowners love their homes, including their kitchens, it is relatively easy to get bored of something, especially a room that you visit multiple times a day.

If you are looking for a change, particularly with your kitchen, you may want to think about remodeling your kitchen. A kitchen remodeling project may be just what you and your kitchen needs.

Kitchen remodeling; sounds fun doesn’t it? If the idea of remodeling your kitchen sounds exciting, there is a chance that you may want to get started right away. Of course, you can start remodeling your kitchen whenever you want, but first you must develop a plan. That plan should not only include what particular parts of your kitchen you would like changed, but also how you want them changed.

For instance, if you are making the decision to replace your old kitchen cabinets and countertops with new ones, you need to choose a new set. In fact, you must choose a new set before you start your project; otherwise, you could be left with a mess. The only problem is that many homeowners, just like you, have a difficult time determining exactly what they want.

If you have decided that you would like to have your kitchen remodeled, but you don’t exactly know to the full extent how yet, you may want to seek assistance. If you are looking for professional assistance, you may want to think about acquiring the services of a professional decorator. Professional decorators are individuals who have not only had training, but they also have experience in the art of decorating.

A professional decorator could not only advise you to replace your kitchen floor, but they could also offer you suggestions on what your flooring replacement should be. The only problem with this is that professional decorators charge money for their services; therefore, if you are looking to remodel your kitchen on a budget, you may find hiring the services of a professional decorator difficult or even impossible; however, there is an alternative.

If you are looking for kitchen remodeling ideas, such as the latest trends in kitchen countertops and so on, you are advised to use the internet. Perhaps, what is best about the internet is that it is free and the information is about the same as the information that a professional decorator would have provided with you. In addition to being free, the internet is quick and easy to use. This means that you don’t have to wait until you get paid or wait until an appointment becomes available; you could easily familiarize yourself with the latest trends is kitchen remodeling, whenever you want.

Perhaps, the best way to use the internet is to perform a standard internet search. The internet search used should depend on what you are looking for. For instance, if you are looking for kitchen countertop ideas, performing a search with the words kitchen countertops may be best. You may be diverted to a website that offers free kitchen decorating or remodeling ideas, but you will likely be directed to an online website that sells kitchen countertops.

These types of online websites are most commonly the websites of online home improvement stores. Professional home improvement stores will not just show you their products, but they will likely have online picture displays, just like the displays that you can find in most stores. These picture displays may help to give you remodeling ideas, such as which kitchen countertops would look good in your kitchen and which ones would not.

If you do not want to shop or examine kitchen remodeling products and designs ideas online, you could also visit one or more of your local home improvement stores. Most large home improvement stores sell the products, supplies, and materials that are the most popular; therefore, even if you are looking to have a trendy kitchen, you could get remodeling and decorating ideas by visiting your local home improvement store, but as previously mentioned, the internet is a lot easier and a lot quicker way.

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Hurricane windows were first developed in response to the disaster of Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in August of 1992. They are effective for protecting your home from high winds and flying debris. They can be installed during construction or added later as a home improvement project. The cost of these windows is comparable with other high quality windows.

Benefits of Hurricane Windows

Obviously, the biggest benefit is protecting your home form the wind and water…

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

hurricane windows, storm windows, hurricane, protection, shutters, house construction, remodeling,

Hurricane windows were first developed in response to the disaster of Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in August of 1992. They are effective for protecting your home from high winds and flying debris. They can be installed during construction or added later as a home improvement project. The cost of these windows is comparable with other high quality windows.

Benefits of Hurricane Windows

Obviously, the biggest benefit is protecting your home form the wind and water during a powerful storm. Most damage done to homes during hurricanes occurs as a result of broken windows. Flying debris breaks the window and high pressure air enters the home. This high pressure air can either blow out the window on the opposite side of the home, or blow the roof right off your house.

Shutters are often used to protect windows. Other people board up the windows with plywood year after year. These are both expensive and labor intensive. Windows designed for hurricanes are always in place, ready to protect your home. These storms change course quickly and it will benefit you to be ready all the time. Some people can’t take shutters on or off the house, due to physical limitations. These windows eliminate the need for this extra work.

There are other benefits to these windows. They add a degree of security to your home. Because they are constructed to withstand enormous pressure, they are difficult to break into. The construction of the window and the method of attachment to the home make it hard for someone to enter your home. Many insurance companies offer a discount for this extra measure of security. Contact your agent to determine if a discount is available.

The film in the inner layer helps protect your home from ultraviolet rays. The UV rays of the sun can fade your carpets, curtains or furniture. In addition, the material helps reduce sound entering the home as well as sunlight.

Construction of Hurricane Windows

The windows are constructed of two layers of laminated glass. The glass has a strong, plastic film between the layers. In the event the window shatters, the film layer stays in place, protecting your home from wind damage and your carpet from the driving rain. The inner layer of the window varies according to the size and style of the window.

These products must go through rigorous testing to ensure their effectiveness. Impact test are conducted to simulate both small and large impacts that may occur during a storm. These tests simulate the flying debris that is typical in hurricanes.

These windows can generally withstand wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. They can withstand debris flying at these speeds as well. In addition to windows, the glass is available for sky lights and patio doors to protect the whole house.

Installation Procedures

Proper installation is essential for these windows. The best window in the world will not protect your home, if it isn’t installed correctly. The method of installation depends on the window and the materials used in the exterior of the home. In most cases, professional installation is required. Your warranty may be voided if an inexperienced person installs them incorrectly.

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Moving can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. It is especially important to find the best moving company possible so you can concentrate on the fun aspects of moving and stop worrying about what is happening to your possessions. You can concentrate more on where to put the furniture as opposed to wondering if you’ll get it in one piece.

It is important to find a moving company that will come to your home to give you an estimate. This will not only assure y…

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

moving, moving company, movers

Moving can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. It is especially important to find the best moving company possible so you can concentrate on the fun aspects of moving and stop worrying about what is happening to your possessions. You can concentrate more on where to put the furniture as opposed to wondering if you’ll get it in one piece.

It is important to find a moving company that will come to your home to give you an estimate. This will not only assure you there will be no surprise expenses, but will also allow you the opportunity to ask a few questions to get a feel for who you will be dealing with. Make sure you discuss all aspects of the move including packing, shipping, distance charges and unpacking. Have the estimator do a complete walk through of your home and give a detailed quote. Get several quotes from local companies so you can compare prices and services.

Always look for an experienced mover. Remember these are your possessions and you want them in the best possible care. Moving companies that have been in business at least ten years are the best bet. Look at their facilities and trucks to ensure they are in good condition and have their name painted on them. Ask for and verify proof of licensing requirements and insurance. Do not be afraid to follow up to verify these things. Department of Transportation licenses can be checked and get an insurance certificate.

As with other service providers, get referrals and contact them. A company with a solid reputation will likely treat your belongings with care. Get a feel for the person who comes out to do an estimate. Ask questions and see if you feel comfortable. Trust your instincts and if you have any doubts at all, don’t use them. The Internet is a valuable tool to search for companies with a history of problems or to find known scammers. Also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints.

Any moving company that comes to your house should supply you with a copy of the booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. There is a law requiring moving companies to supply this information. If they do not have it, do not choose them. Many scammers will not carry this with them because they do not want you to know what your rights are.

Choose a moving company that you feel comfortable with and that has a history of verifiable, good customer service. Do not sign anything until you are sure of your decision. Make sure to read the entire contract before signing so you are fully aware of your rights and obligations as well as theirs. Moving can be an enjoyable experience if you work with a reputable company.

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The internet revolution has changed practically every industry. Home improvement wasn’t spared either. (In a good sense, that is).

Going through your local Yellow Pages book now seems to be quiet outdated. Instead, the internet now offers a multitude of opportunities of finding a contractor to take care of your repair and home improvement needs.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

home improvement

The internet revolution has changed practically every industry. Home improvement wasn’t spared either. (In a good sense, that is).

Going through your local Yellow Pages book now seems to be quiet outdated. Instead, the internet now offers a multitude of opportunities of finding a
contractor to take care of your repair and home improvement needs.

First of, there are many online telephone directories which offer generic information such as company name, address, and phone number. Such sites are usually very easy to use and let the user select a detailed field of contractor service that they need. Furthermore, the users may use the ZIP code option and have the site show only the contractors that are located within a certain mileage from their home. While online yellow pages are easy to use, they don’t provide any information about the company itself.

There are also websites that actually “pre-screen” contractors, making sure that they are licensed and insured. The ease in this case is that you type in your project details and information and have the site do all the work. The minus is that these sites sell the information you give them to contractors and depending on how many such sales they make, you may end up getting phone calls from more contractors than you wish to talk to.

The last, but not least popular methods of finding contractors are contractor directories. Contractor directories enables contractors to post their own business description, capitalizing on their expertise and users leave feedback on their experience with the contractors, serving as a recommendation or a warning for further dealings with the contractor.

All of the above methods are good in some sense. However, it is the consumers’ responsibility to make sure that he/she isn’t being serviced by someone who will defraud them or damage their property. After all it’s always possible to pay to be included into websites and have multiple accounts to leave yourself a good feedback.
If you are looking for a contractor online, make sure to do some due diligence. Go to your local state or city website and check if the contractor indeed has a valid license number. Your local Better Business Bureau should be good places to check if any complains have been filed. Finally, talk to the contractor yourself. Don’t be shy about asking for references and do check them out. Discuss your project as detailed as possible. Make sure that you’re both agree on a date when the project will be completed and put it in a contract. The reason is that you don’t want the contractor to stop working on your project if he gets a more profitable gig. As for the payment, don’t pay upfront. Break it up into a few payments, one being a deposit and others should be paid upon completion of certain parts of the project.

Always remember, it’s your money and your house. If you’re paying someone to work for you, you have to make sure that you’re getting your money worth.

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Finding a qualified professional contractor for a home improvement project doesn’t have to be a difficult task. By following the guidelines stated below, you will help ensure that the selection process is easier and that you are prepared to make an informed decision.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

home improvement, electrician contractor, plumbing contractor, painting contractor, HVAC contractor

How to Find a Contractor

Everyone has heard horror stories of contactor projects gone wrong. There are many contractors dedicated to the highest standards and committed to the success of individual projects. Finding a qualified professional contractor for a home improvement project doesn’t have to be a difficult task. By following the guidelines stated below, you will help ensure that the selection process is easier and that you are prepared to make an informed decision.

Where to Find a Contractor:
o Get referrals from friends and family. They are the best place to start because they will give honest feedback about the contractor’s performance. Before rushing into a job, make sure the referred company has experience with the project. For example, some contractors may be experts in kitchens and baths but lack experience in building new additions.
o Use online resources that provide certifications and references from previous jobs. Also, contractors listed with online sites show that they take pride in their business
o Ask for referrals from engineers and architects. They work with contractors everyday and know the industry very well.
o Source multiple bids. It is always a good idea to speak to as many contractors as possible. This will not only help you find the best person for the job, but will also ensure that you are being charged appropriately.
o Avoid using the yellow pages and bulletin board ads.

What to Ask For:
o When you think you have found a good contractor, ask for their credentials. They should be bonded and insured (general liability and worker’s compensation). Ask for the name of their insurance agency, look up the number yourself, call the insurer and ask for a copy of the Certificate of Insurance.
o Ask for the contractor’s portfolio and references. Keep in mind that a contractor will probably only show you their favorable work and comments.
o Call the local Better Business Bureau and make sure no complaints have been filed against the contractor.
o Find out how long the contractor has been in business and how long they have worked with their crew.
o Find out if the contractor will be working on simultaneous projects. If working on multiple jobs, will they be able to devote enough time to your project.

When Starting Negotiations:
o Begin by making a list of projects that need to be completed. Then do research online to find out the average cost of that job. Make sure the jobs done fit into your budget and make allowances for unforeseen situations.
o Create and sign a contract. Make sure to include the following:
 Completion date. Some contractors do not like completion dates because weather can be unpredictable. Take into consideration their concerns and come up with a reasonable completion date.
 Budget: be sure to take into consideration overages that might occur due to unforeseen situations.
 Negotiate terms, for example: 30 percent up front, 40 percent due at mid point, 20 percent due upon completion, and 10 percent due upon inspection.
o Federal law requires a contractor to give you written notice of your right to, without penalty, cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
o You may also want to consider a binding arbitrations clause, which may enable you to resolve disputes without litigation.
o Also consider a warranty, which may cover materials and workmanship. The warranty must be identified as either “full” or “limited.” You must include the name or the party that will insure the warranty, as well as, the period of time the warranty is guaranteed.

Remodeling your home should be an enjoyable experience. Make sure you follow the steps above, leverage online resources that certify online contactors, and ensure that they are experts in their field.

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Porch swings are a great way to enjoy your porch environment. They offer an excellent location for a great summer read, a refreshing drink on a hot day, or a slow evening with a loved one. Teak porch swings come in many shapes, sizes, and styles.

There are many variations in porch swings.

One difference among porch swings is size. The standard porch swing size is five feet in length. While they can be special ordered to come as small as two feet or as long as ten feet, …

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Teak Porch Swings, Teak Swings, Teak Porch Swing, porch swings, porch swing, outdoor porch swings,

Porch swings are a great way to enjoy your porch environment. They offer an excellent location for a great summer read, a refreshing drink on a hot day, or a slow evening with a loved one. Teak porch swings come in many shapes, sizes, and styles.

There are many variations in porch swings.

One difference among porch swings is size. The standard porch swing size is five feet in length. While they can be special ordered to come as small as two feet or as long as ten feet, you will typically find the four to five foot model in your local supply store.

Another variation among porch swings is back style. Some porch swing backs are straight from top to bottom. This is, perhaps, the most traditional style for a porch swing. Another back style is straight from the bottom to the base of the top. At that point, the top rolls toward the back. Another type of back offers decorative carvings along the top rail. Another variation in back styles is the carved back. In this case, shapes like hearts or ovals replace the traditional rectangular back. One final, yet important, variation in back styles is slat placement. Slats can be either vertical or horizontal, and spacing can vary from swing to swing. Some people find the variations in slats more or less comfortable depending upon the body style of the individual.

One final difference among porch swings is construction material. Most swings are made of vinyl or various types of wood. Both materials offer different benefits. Vinyl or plastic porch swings are a great maintenance free option. They are ecologically friendly in that they are usually composed of recycled materials, and after the life of the swing has ended, they can be recycled again. Moreover, they never rust or rot. They also do not require paint, and they are available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Several different types of wood are also used to create porch swings. One of the most popular types of wood for this use is cedar. A cedar porch swing offers a traditional look with very little maintenance. When you first purchase a cedar swing, it might be beneficial to coat it with some type of sealer, as it might extend the life of the swing. Cedar, though, naturally repels wood rot even in wet climates. Moreover, cedar resists bacteria and fungus quite well. Porch swings are a nice addition to any porch area.

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You just brought your first home, and you are going about your daily routine, when all of a sudden, something breaks, what do you do? Well the first thing comes to mine is to locate the problem and call someone in to fix it.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

Home Repairs Yourself

You just brought your first home, and you are going about your daily routine, when all of a sudden, something breaks, what do you do? Well the first thing comes to mine is to locate the problem and call someone in to fix it.

But remember, you just brought your home, and you can’t afford to hire a service man to come out and fix your problem. Having a toolbox in your garage is as handy as having a first-aid kit in your bathroom.

There are a couple of handy tools, you should keep in your toolbox, such as;
Pliers, an adjusted wrench, a set of allen wrenches, electric tape, a cordless-drill, a tape measure, a good hammer, a small handsaw, a plunger, a chisel, a level, duck tape, a screw driver set, a utility knife, a flashlight, and screws and nails.

Depending on what the probleum is, you can usually do the repairs your self, or if it’s too much for you to handle, ask your friends or neighbor to recommend someone to you.

Sometime it can be difficult to find a repairperson that is honest, that won’t ripe you off. Finding someone from out the phone books can be very scary too. Your repair can go very smoothly, when the right steps are taken from the get go.

As a new homeowner, maintaining your home goes with the territories. From time to time, something will go wrong like the plumbing or the electrical that can be easily repair.

Sometimes the washers in the faucets might just need to be changed, and the electrical breaker may need resetting. Door lock are common ware and tear on any home, you must be prepare for unexpected emergency when and if it happens. Be aware of the inner-workings of your home, and you will be ready for the next repair.

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Could you imagine how much time and money you can save if you could do your own home repairs yourself. Well you can, if you have the right tools and some time on your hand.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

home repairs yourself

Could you imagine how much time and money you can save if you could do your own home repairs yourself. Well you can, if you have the right tools and some time on your hand.

But most people are too busy or have no idea on how to fix simple things around the house. If you have a house, things will brake over time, which is only natural wear and tear. Your home will need regular maintaining to upkeep the value.

When you first buy a house, it will need minor repairs, that you can do yourself. Some of the repairs may be; changing window blinds, doors locks, and painting. In most cases when you move into your new home, it might need a fresh coat of paint on the walls to make you feel at home.

If that’s the case, you should paint the house before you move-in any furniture’s. Before you start to paint, cover the floors with drop cloth, to prep the house for paint. Fill any dents and holes in the wall with sparkle, allow it to dry, then sand and prime the spots.

If you are painting the entire house! Paint the ceilings first, and the walls second. Cut-in the corners with a brush and paint the large areas with a roller. After the house is painted, it’s time to move-in to your freshly painted home.

Do not neglect the outside of the house, because if the outside is poorly maintained, it could bring down the value of the property. When something breaks and needs fixing, attend to it (ASAP) as soon as possible or it can get out of control.

If you cannot do the repairs, call someone that can. In some cases, it only takes a couple of minutes to repair things around the house; like changing out a door lock, replacing a blow-out light-bulb, or resetting a breaker switch. They are all simple repairs that you can do. Having a home needs a lot of care, if you keep-up with the repairs.

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Learn how to clean your bathroom in fifteen minutes or less.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

homemaking, bathroom, house cleaning, organizing, housework

by Martha Matthews

I used to absolutely loath cleaning my bathrooms. It was so much work (or so I thought) that I would procrastinate until my husband would threaten to call the health department. One day, a friend of mine showed me this routine that has helped me maintain my sanity by getting this dirty job done quickly. She introduced me to the “15 Minute Bathroom Cleaning Routine” and my life has never been the same.

I was finally free from the drudgery of mildew and soap scum buildup. No more tooth paste petrified on my faucets. Gone was the black ring around the tub that looked like a well placed pinstripe. I was finally free to let the door stay open when company came over. Wow! My family didn’t even recognize the room. They were stunned. I can honestly say that this room is now my pride and joy. Now my friends marvel at my cleaning prowess.

My bathroom was so bad that it took a little extra effort the first time I used the routine, but after the initial deep cleaning, it was a breeze. You too can overcome the bathroom blues by following these simple and effective twelve steps.

1. Remove the knick knacks and place them in the hallway.

2. Remove the throw rugs and shake them out. Put them in the laundry to be cleaned if needed.

3. Sweep or vacuum the floor.

4. Spray the counter top and let your cleaner do the work.

5. Spray the mirror and wipe it down.

6. Spray the toilet with cleaner inside and out. Let the cleaner sit.

7. Go back to the counter top. Scrub and wipe it down.

8. Spray the bath tub and shower down (you may not need to do this every week if your bath tub doesn’t get that dirty).

9. Scrub the inside of the toilet with a brush. Flush the toilet to rinse the bowl. Wipe down the seat and rim of the bowl. Don’t forget the place behind the seat and the outside of the toilet bowl and base.

10. Scrub the tub down and rinse.

Hint: if you want to clean the shower curtain you can wash it by itself in the washing machine in cold water on the delicate cycle. Throw in a bath towel to help scrub the curtain clean. Remove it promptly and hang it back up in the shower to drip dry. Never put it in the dryer.

11. If you have linoleum or tile, mop the floor. If the room is small, you can spray your cleaner directly onto the floor and wipe it up with a sponge or cleaning cloth. Let dry for ten to fifteen minutes.

12. Put back the rugs and knick knacks. Check your toilet paper supply. Put out fresh towels.

The whole process should take fifteen minutes, not counting the time to let the floor dry. It will take even less time if you don’t have to clean the tub and shower. I only clean ours once a month because it doesn’t get that dirty because we use an after shower spray that keeps the soap scum from stick to the shower surface.

There are two keys to a fast clean up: 1) Let the cleaner sit long enough to loosen up the dirt and disinfect the surface. 2) Clean the bathroom every week. Pick a day that is your bathroom cleaning day and just do it. When you keep up on your cleaning it doesn’t become such an insurmountable project.

Cleaning supplies.

1) Utility caddy to carry your supplies. The dollar store usually has these.

2) Rubber cleaning gloves.

3) Scrubber and sponge combination designed for cleaning the bathroom.

4) Window cleaner.

5) All-purpose cleaner.

6) An old toothbrush to get at those hard to reach areas.

7) One roll of paper towels.

8) Pumice stone for hard water build up in the toilet bowl.

9) Toilet brush (unless you keep one in each bathroom like I do).

That’s it. Happy cleaning!

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When cleaning windows it’s not always what you see is what you get! Some window cleaning chemicals won’t leave streaks right away but after a good drying period a dull film will start to appear. This usually occurs if the window cleaning solution has added chemicals that won’t evaporate and are left as a residue on the glass.

Guest post today from Active Paving – Dublin patio specialistsfor many years.

window squeegee, window squeegees, window cleaning tools, window cleaning, cleaning windows

When cleaning windows it’s not always what you see is what you get! Some window cleaning chemicals won’t leave streaks right away but after a good drying period a dull film will start to appear. This usually occurs if the window cleaning solution has added chemicals that won’t evaporate and are left as a residue on the glass. When purchasing a good window cleaning chemical or solution it is usually best to purchase products that are ammonia based. Ammonia based products will evaporate quickly and not leave any residue. Concentrated glass cleaners are great for use in climates where the temperature changes, especially if you are using them outdoors. A concentrated glass cleaner can be diluted with the correct amount of water for the amount of moisture in the air and the ambient temperature. Mix in more water for hot and dry climates and less water for cooler moist climates. By using this method you can really cut down on those window streaks.

Another good tool to use when cleaning windows is a window squeegee. Window squeegees don’t leave lint and can quickly remove any cleaning solution from your glass. Window squeegees come in many sizes and styles. For residential window cleaning a disposable window squeegee is the way to go. Disposable window squeegees do a great job and are very economical. When the rubber squeegee blade starts to break down and disintegrate just throw it away, and purchase a new one. Professional window cleaners and janitorial personal are likely to use a professional window squeegee with a replaceable squeegee blade. On these types of squeegees when the rubber blade starts to disintegrate you can just replace the rubber, retaining the original handle and channel. Professional window squeegee handles are made from many different materials such as stainless steel, plastic and brass. Brass will usually hold up better than other materials and won’t rust. Window squeegees come in many sizes ranging from 12 inches to four feet. Some companies have tried to produce window squeegees over four feet but they are too hard to control and are too heavy for one person to use. Most professional window squeegees come in three sections, the squeegee handle, the squeegee channel, and the squeegee blade.

Window washers are great for cleaning stains on windows such as bugs, bird droppings, and tar. Window washers are basically a semi abrasive towel attached to a handle and shaped like a window squeegee. The pad or towel on a window washer is usually made from cotton enclosed in a nylon net. The nylon netting is made to quickly remove the toughest of stains.