Spring Chores at the CabinWritten by Elly Kendall
Whether you live in your cabin year round or it's been closed up for winter, it's time for spring cleaning. It's hard to get motivated. We'd all rather be out playing in sun and enjoying spring after long cold winter. I thought I would share my "to do" list and some helpful tips to get you started so we can both get chores done.
I like to start with my fireplace. Hiring a local chimney sweep is not always possible in very rural areas such as we live. I have a heavy 25' chain that works very well. From roof I remove spark arrester then slowly drop one end of chain down chimney, holding onto other end. Slowly rotate chain so it rubs firmly against inside of chimney. Keep swirling chain for several minutes, pull out chain, clean spark arrester with a soft brush and replace arrester. Keep in mind 2 things: 1. make sure pitch of your roof is safe to stand on and 2. Your chimney must be straight with no elbows for this technique to work. If pipe has an elbow use chain technique then disconnect pipe at elbow to clean it with a wire brush and remove ash and pitch. Reattach pipe. All that's left is to clean inside of fireplace or wood stove, remove all ash and pitch residue that has dropped from chimney cleaning. I use oven cleaner, a Teflon scrubby then window cleaner on heat tempered glass when pitch has built up that awful amber film. My wood stove gets a new coat of black stove polish too.
Now that fireplace and wood stove are clean and all ash has settled I dust and vacuum entire cabin thoroughly. I use lemon oil on my log walls and a small pan of water stays on my wood stove to put some moisture back into dry air from wood heat. Next I tackle windows.
Okay, so everyone knows how to clean windows but don't forget window runners, check for any leaking that may have occurred during winter and clean all window treatments. Drapes, curtains, louvered blinds, cornices, screens and sunscreens all get a thorough cleaning. It's a good days work just on windows but it's worth it as I love to open my blinds and enjoy beautiful spring sunshine and blooming flowers.
An Affordable Shortcut To Designing Your Dream HomeWritten by J. Terrence McDermott
You have likely been making mental notes for years. Every book or magazine that you read and each home that you visit has become a source for pieces to puzzle that can become your new home. You don’t know a thing about architecture, designing or drafting but that shouldn’t stop you from taking dream house that you have pictured in your head and making it a reality.
There are two ways that you can approach creation of new house plans from which a builder can work:
1.Hire an architect 2.Make alterations to an existing house plan
There are many benefits to working directly with an architect. You will be able to sit down with an experienced designer and review, very specifically, all of ideas and requirements for home that you have in mind. The architect can give suggestions and help you to avoid problems that you may not have anticipated. However, be prepared to pay handsomely for this service. A good architect does not come cheap.
An economical compromise is to modify existing new house plans. There are hundreds of publications and websites that specialize in developing house plans that are available for purchase. These packaged plans are designed by professional architects and are available in a variety of styles, sizes and price-ranges. In many cases, you can visit a website and enter various criteria for home that you desire and an internal search engine will match your specs with plans in inventory.
You should be looking for companies that will allow you to modify existing house plans. Not all of them will. When you find one that has a large enough inventory of plans, take specifications that you have developed for house that you want to build and use site’s search engine to find compatible designs. You will likely be indicating basics such as: