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Landscaping Advice & Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know!

We're Here To Help Answer All Your Home Improvement & Landscaping Questions

We expect that this section will be very popular amoung our website visitors. So come back often and see how we plan to grow this area.


Home Improvement Tips

DoitBest.com Home Improvement Encyclopedia

Do you have a dripping faucet, peeling paint or maybe bugs in your lawn or garden? Or perhaps you need some ideas to decorate or beautify you home.
The Do it Best How to Encyclopedia is a great resource to help you with all of your projects.

Need some help with plumbing tools or deciding which hand saw to use?
Get Tool Advice for DoitBest.com.

Time To Get Ready For Winter!

Keep your door shut to cold and wind: Adding weather- stripping and caulk around your windows and doors can help reduce your heating and cooling bills by 10%.

Sealing the door bottom: If you can slide a heavy cardstock under the doorway, you can also expect to see and feel cold air, rain, dirt and insects come in the same doorway. You can remedy the floor level draft by installing a new door threshold. You can even install easily a new door bottom to seal the openings.

Insulate those pipes: A least thought about area, insulating pipes, ducts and water heaters can maximize efficiency and minimize energy loss. Slip pre-slit tubular foam onto copper or iron pipes of any diameter. Pipe insulation is available in fiberglass, fiberglass/foil or self adhesive plastic foam/foil. Insulate your water heater with a vinyl-backed fiberglass water heater blanket and your window air conditioner with a cover or weather seal.

Seal drafts and save on energy bills: The easiest and most popular draft solution is self-sticking weatherstrip tape. You can chose from open cell foam that seals very narrow open- ings; closed cell foam, a versatile waterproof product that a little firmer; high-density sponge foam, a firm foam can be used on car trunks and boat hatch covers; EPDM rubber, a premium weatherstrip that won't harden or crack, even at 40 degrees below zero.

Stop by Henry Bierce Company and check out our True Value Hardware winterizing supplies. Help reduce your heating costs now. Help is right around the corner.

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Painting & Caulking Tips

Want a paint job that looks great?

Then watch your P's & Q's

Prep, Prep, Prep
Quality, Quality, Quality

So many factors play into getting a great paint job One of the most important steps is the prep work YES, the prep work! Making sure the surface to be painted is properly prepared is 90% of a great finish.

  1. Bare wood and metal should be primed.
  2. Previously painted surfaces should be cleaned and lightly sanded — this gives the new coat of paint something to grip.
  3. Using good quality roller covers and brushes make the job go quicker and smoother!
  4. Make sure to use the right size roller nap or the right type of brush as recommended for the job.

Remember the P's & Q's will give you the kind of job you'll be proud of!

Why Should I Use Caulking?

It's been reported in "The Friendly Handyman" magazine, that most houses have enough leaks in them "equivalent to leaving a 2-square foot window open all winter long! By caulking, you can close that window and save money on heating and cooling costs! By having a caulk- ing gun and a few high quality caulk cartridges and heading for your doors and window, you can make your home cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and more resistant to moisture and bugs all year long.

Learn the 4 Steps in Applying Your Caulk Properly. As always, our knowledgeable and trained staff is ready to answer any of your questions. Stop in today!

Four Steps to Applying Caulk Properly

  1. Cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle. Place in caulking gun. Make sure to punch the foil patch at the base of the nozzle with a nail.
  2. Test caulking on newspaper or paper towel to get a feel of how the product flows. You need to get the feel of keeping the caulking gun moving smoothly as you complete one stroke of the trigger and begin the next.
  3. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle parallel to the joint being filled. Orient the nozzle opening so that it forces sealant into intimate contact with the joint surfaces. Relieve the pressure inside the tube by releasing the trigger and pulling back on the rod to stop the flow of caulk. Apply only 2-3 feet of caulk bead at a time so that you will have enough item to get it ''tooled" before it begins to "skin" over.
  4. "Tooling" the bead ensures good adhesion and a good look. Tooling is the process of gliding over the entire length of the applied beads in order to smooth it out and further force the caulk into enough intimate surface contact to establish good adhesion.
    Tooling can be done with a finger either covered with a latex glove, wetted with some water or solvent or bare, or with a spoon, a shaped piece of wood or a foam paint brush depending on type of caulk used.
    Don't scape an excessive amount of caulk out of the joint during tooling to avoid starving the joint for sealant and wasting caulk. Keep rags handy for clean ups and clean right away before the caulk dries.

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Advice on Choosing the Right Building Materials

When you want the best, build with BRICK!

Your home is a reflection of your personality. Each design detail is important. Brick allows freedom to create the subtle details and interesting patterns that define your home. Brick can provide a warm inviting pathway, entrance landscaping and add privacy with class. Whether you're planning a Victorian, Colonial, Tudor, Neoclassical or Contemporary—choose brick!

The Henry Bierce company offers a broad palette of colors, exciting textures and attractive finishes for you to choose. Call today and discuss your options with our residential construction experts, Todd Fassnacht and Mike Gerbetz.

What's Hardscapes mean?

Plan a few shrubs, throw down some mulch and your landscaping is done. Or is it? Your landscaping project isn't complete without enhancing it with "hardscapes." What's hardscapes? This is the new term for paving brick, retaining wall block or natural stone. This spring, why not install a sidewalk, patio or driveway made of pavers and planting beds constructed of the latest in retaining wall systems.

The showroom and Garden Center at the Henry Bierce company features:

  • Belgard Interlocking Concrete Pavers
  • Celtik Wall
  • Versa-Lok Retaining Wall Systems
  • Unilock Concrete Pavers and Retaining Wall Systems

All in many beautiful colors and styles. Let our friendly, knowledgeable hardscapes experts help you plan and explore all your material options. Our one-stop shopping makes your project easy - we have the hardscapes materials plus crushed limestone, sand, gravel, topsoil and mulch!

Your project can be completed by an "authorized intaller" or you can undertake the task yourself. Either way, we're here to help!

Pavers Advantages Over Treated Wood

  • Belgard Pavers have a lifetime warranty. Treated wood ultimately succumbs to natural wear.
  • Belgard Pavers provide design options. Treated wood can hardly accommodate curves.
  • Belgard Pavers are available in a wide array of colors and textures. Treated wood comes in fewer colors and offers no texture features.
  • Belgard Pavers require no maintenance. Treated wood requires waterproofing every 2 to 4 years.
  • Belgard Pavers are in no way toxic. The high toxicity involved in treated wood means strict restrictions must be taken.
  • Cost per foot (excluding labor):
    Belgard Pavers $4 to $8
    Treated Wood $5 to $10

For expert advice ask Scott, Dan or Jeremy.

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Advice for Landscaping & Gardening Projects

It's hot the garden is dry.
How do you keep your garden looking fresh and colorful?

Here's some tips on keeping your garden looking good all summer long!

  • TRIM the spent flowers and their stems on the perennials, annuals and some flowering shrubs.
  • FERTILIZE regularly using Miracle Gro or miracid every 14 days. This helps promote new growth!
  • TURN YOUR MULCH. This keeps it looking fresh and keeps fungus from breeding.
  • WATER! The best time is early in the day, giving the plants time to dry off before night time. They need 1" of water a week to keep them in good health.
  • Don't forget to water your lawn!

5 Perennials that are drought resistant:

  1. AGASTACHE BLUE FORTUNE — blue flowers in July & August, attract the butterflies
  2. RUDIBEKIA GOLDSTURM — Black Eyed Susan
  3. LAVENDAR — an herb with blue flowers
  4. SALVIA'S — comes in blue, pink or white
  5. YUCCA — a shrub or large perennial

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Tips for Using Rental Equipment

Ladders

Knowing what type of ladder to use and why is important information. Our hardware experts want to help you pick the right tools for all your needs.

Ask Yourself These Five Questions:

  • What style - stepladder? extension?
  • What material do I want?
  • What duty rating?
  • How high do I want to reach?
  • What is the maximum standing height?

Ladder Materials: Pros & Cons:

  • Wood: traditional material; economical; can crack, warp or suffer wear and tear very easily.
  • Aluminum: popular material; strong even though lighweight in nature; strength/weight ration is real advantage for longer-length extension ladders; can dent easily; conducts electricity so can't be used in electrical settings.
  • Fiberglass: most popular; strong and durable; doesn't conduct electricity; costs more than other two types.

Identify the duty rating for right selection:

  • Type III, 200# - Household-grade ladder
  • Type II, 225# - Commercial-grade ladder
  • Type I, 250# - Industrial-grade ladder
  • Type IA, 300# - Heavy duty industrial grade ladder
  • Type IAA, 375# - Extra heavy duty industrial grade ladder

NOTE: The ladder industry recommends the combined weight of the user and any materials and tools not exceed the duty rating. The color of the label on the side does not signify the duty rating.

Ladder safety:

To avoid mishaps:

  • Never use ladder on uneven surfaces
  • Never stand above recommended highest standing level
  • Never climb a closed stepladder
  • Never exceed the duty rating
  • Never stand or sit on top shelf or rung.

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The Henry Bierce Company in Tallmadge, Ohio, offers a wide range of building materials, hardware, and tool rental services. Homeowners can sign up for do-it-yourself seminars showing the basics of installing concrete pavers and retaining walls. For all your yard projects, we have the right lawn and garden equipment available to rent or buy. Stop in and see why we've been doing business in Tallmadge, Ohio for over 90 years!

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