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The 14 Best Home Service Contractors In Orange County

Whether you’ve just moved to Orange County, or have been living here a long time, it can be hard to find the right home service company for your home. At American Empire Garage, we have been working in the home service industry for over 30 years. In that time, we have found the very best contractors in the Orange County area. And instead of keeping this priceless information all to ourselves, we figured we’d share it with you, our valued customer, so you can benefit from these amazing companies as well! Talega Lawn Care - Tim from Talega Lawn Care does everything from repairing sprinkler systems and aerating lawns, to installing lighting and designing landscapes. He is local, honest, and always gives a fair price. If you need help with your lawn or landscape, Tim is the guy to call. You can reach him at (949) 492-7521 and check out even more of his awesome reviews on Yelp. The Tradesman Electric - For anything electrical, Tradesman Electric is the company to call. They are fast, professional, and organized. They can turn an electrical mess into a color-coded, organized wiring system. For the best in the business, at a reasonable price, call The Tradesman Electric at (949) 378-8334 and check out more of their reviews on Yelp. Robert Fischer Plumbing - Robert is the only plumber you’ll ever need. He’s honest, hardworking, and always on time. If you’re dealing with plumbing issues, and you want straight answers, without a huge price tag, call Robert Fischer Plumbing at (949) 492-7200. For more proof he’s the best plumber in Orange County, check out his Yelp reviews. Jose's Painting - Jose's Painting has been providing Orange County with flawless painting

Garage Sale Tips & Tricks

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Creative Summer Ideas For Your Yard

Summer is the best time to get out in the yard and complete a couple of fun projects. Since we’re spending more time outside, it’s nice to have something decorative to look at. We’ve found a couple of projects that will spruce up your outdoor space. From lighting ideas to garden tips, you’ll add something fun, creative and green to your yard this summer. Dollar Store Clay Pot Lantern This simple DIY project only costs about $5 and takes just a few minutes to make. Pick up a clay pot, chain, wire, LED light and hook from the dollar store. Wrap the chain around the LED light with the wire. Place the light inside of the pot and pull the chain through the drain hole in the pot. Hang the chain on the hook that you’ve attached to your fence. Voila! You have a beautiful lighting addition to your yard. Not every summer project needs to take the entire summer!  Seashore Wind Chimes Looking for a project to use up with those old seashells that you’ve been collecting for years? All you need for this project is some old seashells, beads, buttons, a piece of drift wood, string and a thin rope. Thread the string through holes in the seashells. Tie knots where you need to to keep the shells in place. Scatter buttons and beads throughout the seashells to create a varied look. Make about five strings and attach them to the drift wood. Attach the thin rope to the drift wood and hang it outside. You’ll get a beautiful, natural sound from these wind chimes. And it adds some personality to your yard with leftover scraps you had lying around the house.  DIY

Top 4 Farmer’s Markets In Orange County

Supporting your local Farmer’s Markets is a great way to connect with your community. From local produce to craft vendors, Farmer’s Markets have a little bit of everything. Plus, they are a great way to get outdoors and spend some time with friends and family. There are many Farmer’s Markets in the Orange County area, making it hard to decide just where to go. Luckily for you, we have create this list of our 4 favorite spots. Irvine Farmer’s Market One of our absolute favorites, we had to put the Irvine Farmer’s Market at the top of the list! We love it for it’s amazing selection of organic produce, specialty treats and local craft vendors. Our favorite place to grab some local produce is the Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store. Their fruits and veggies are always perfectly ripe and fresh. The market also features donuts, hummus, juices, soap, cheese and so much more! You really have to see it to believe the selection they have. The market is held every Saturday from 8am-12pm at Mariners church on the corner of Bonita Canyon and Turtle Ridge Road. We love this new location too because there’s plenty of parking and shade. Grab the kids and pay a visit to Irvine Farmer’s Market this Saturday.  Costa Mesa Farmer’s Market The Costa Mesa Farmer’s Market is a little on the smaller side, but we love how friendly everyone is when we stop by, that it doesn’t matter much. Their fresh fruits and vegetables can’t be beat, but what’s truly special about this market is the fresh fish from Dry Dock Fish Co. They have a fantastic selection and package it for you to take it home easily. They also

Faux Wood Garage Door Makeover

Upgrading your home’s curb appeal can add personality to your home and increase it’s overall value. However, you don’t want to spend too much time and money on upgrades, that’s why DIY projects are so valuable. You might not realize it, but upgrading your garage door adds great curb appeal to your home. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many DIY projects out there to help you make over your garage door. However, some are complicated and take more skill than they let on. Luckily for you, we found a great DIY painting project from Prodigal Pieces to add a rustic, country flair to your home. If you love the look of faux wood, then this one’s for you! Most garage doors come with the standard wood grain texture, which is perfect for this project. If your garage door does not have the added texture, you will have to take extra steps to get the desired look. With this simple paint job, you can update your garage door and make it look like a custom job! What You’ll Need: Burnt orange/caramel flat exterior paint - as long as you have a color within this family, it will look good Dark brown flat exterior paint - preferably a deep contrasting brown Old cotton rags or t-shirts Gloves A paintbrush - possibly painter’s tape or an artist’s brush Steps to a Faux Wood Garage Door: Clean the surface of your garage door. Thoroughly wash it with warm water and soap and allow for adequate drying time. Decide the best time to start painting. You don’t want to paint in direct sunlight. If your garage faces the sun during the day, you will want to paint

The Newest Technologies For Your Home

Technology is changing the way we operate on a daily basis, specifically changing the way we live in and manage our homes. Forever we have been fascinated by the “house of the future”. Well, the future is here and growing faster than ever. With many advances in technology over the past 10 years, our devices and capabilities are only continuing to increase in complexity and design. With so much available to us now, we wanted to highlight some of the best home technology devices on the market. These devices help enhance our creature comforts and make us more efficient in everyday life. In the second half of the post, we found some futuristic concepts and technologies for our homes to give everyone a small glimpse into the future. We are sure that you will like what you see! Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door Opener: This opener allows you to open or close your garage from anywhere through your smartphone. You are guaranteed the feeling of safety knowing that you can open or close your garage door from anywhere in the world, with just Wi-Fi and your smartphone. The company also plans to add geofencing capabilities in the future, so the device can sense when you’re near your driveway to automatically open the door and then close it when your car is safely inside your garage.   Nest Thermostat: As one of the newest energy efficient products on the market, the Nest Thermostat can save you a lot of money on energy bills every month. This handy little device adjusts itself to your and your family’s home routines and schedules. It will never cool or heat an empty home, meaning you no longer have to worry about

Turn Your Garage Into A Man Cave

Caves are cool, right? We all love them - lava caves, ice caves, “The Bat Cave”! And the coolest cave of all - the man cave. One of the most treasured parts of the house, where neither women nor children shall pass. The walls are covered in sports memorabilia, wild animal mounts, pictures of dudes doing cool things, mega screen TVs and blow-your-ears-off surround sound. Not to mention, the bottomless kegerators and cool leather couches that are staples in the perfect man cave. Have we just about covered it all? Oh wait, one more thing, the sign on the door must read MAN CAVE!!! Below is a step-by-step guide to convert your garage into the perfect man cave, that you have always dreamed about. Step 1: Find your inspiration. Tucked back in your imagination is a perfectly constructed man cave just for you. The greatest fact is that you already have an empty room to do with what you want. The major things like insulation, plumbing and electrical (for the most part) are already taken care of. Step 2: Use your hobbies. What do you like? Sports, outdoors, golfing, hunting, NFL, eating, the list could go on and on. Choose your top 4 or 5 hobbies to help you determine your man cave theme. Decor ideas will really help bring your man cave theme to life. Step 3: Clean out the garage. Determine what can stay and what needs to go. Keep anything that will contribute to your overall man cave theme. Donate anything that you decide to get rid of to your local shelter. Step 4: Create a plan. What does the flooring, siding and celling look like? Determine where you’ll want extra light,

DIY Garage Door Makeover

There are many simple DIY projects that you can do around the house to update your home and add value to it. These projects don’t have to be time consuming or expensive. Doing some upgrades and makeovers can help you get the highest return on your investment at resale. Giving your garage door a makeover can have an especially big impact by increasing the curb appeal of your home. According to Remodeling Magazine's most recent Cost vs. Value report, homeowners can expect to recoup nearly 84% of their investment with a new or updated garage door. Replacing the garage door ranks as one of the top five most important home improvement projects for a high return on investment. Homeowners are often surprised by the many options they have when choosing to replace or makeover their garage doors. Options range from practical solutions to preferred styles. For example, you could choose insulated garage doors to increase your home’s energy efficiency or a styled garage door like the pictures here.    Here’s a simple, inexpensive DIY project to give your garage door a facelift. After many years of weather and direct sunlight, garage doors fade and need a new coat of paint. Using a gel stain adds a beautiful color and an updated look. Supplies: 2 synthetic brushes - $1 each, a quart of gel stain - $15. (Miniwax’s Walnut Gel Satin was used in this project, but you can use any color or brand that you like.) Step One: Choose a pleasant day to do your project. The gel stain dries quickly, so it’s a good idea to paint when your garage door is not in direct sunlight. Step Two: Make sure the garage door is

5 Simple DIY Home Projects

We’ve found some fun and creative DIY projects to improve your home. With a few simple and easy steps, you can give your home more personality and flair. And it only takes a small amount of your time and money. The best part of these DIY projects is that you get to recycle your old furniture and knick knacks by upgrading them into something useful and beautiful. Recycle, reuse, restore that old furniture you’ve had lying around the house for a year into your next DIY project. Here are some of our favorite DIY projects, for your inspiration. DIY Rope Basket Jump start your DIY adventure with this simple project. It’s easy to accomplish, without much experience, and a great way to brighten up your home. What you’ll need: Regular laundry basket Hot glue gun 5 packs of cotton rope, colors of your choice Time Begin by flipping the basket upside-down and gluing the rope under the lip of the basket with the hot glue gun. You then simply continue to wrap the rope around, gluing every inch or so, until you have wrapped the entire basket. This will take you about 3 hours. But after that, you have a beautiful rope basket that only cost about $20. What a steal! DIY Clipboard Picture Hanger Pictures, pictures, pictures! Today, taking pictures is an easy way to express yourself, your life and what you love. With cameras on all of our phones, we have the ability to capture life at any moment. But what do we do with all of those pictures? Instead of leaving them on your phone to be forgotten, use this DIY project to display your favorite photos! Step 1: Cut a 6

How To Maintain Your Garage Door

When it come to maintenance, garage doors are not typically at the top of the list in most of our minds. It’s not surprising that the latest study conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of the International Door Association (the world’s largest association of professional garage door dealers and installers) shows that 82% of Americans take their garage doors for granted. This rarely thought of home maintenance check is something that we all should be doing to avoid costly repairs in the future. Expensive repairs usually come when our garage doors are not maintained. These simple monthly and yearly checks can keep you from a devastating repair bill or a complete door replacement. Knowing what to look for can prevent a small problem from turning into a bigger problem. Monthly Visual Inspection: One of the first and easiest tests you can perform is the eye check test. All this test requires is an opening and closing of the garage door several times, while you watch closely to ensure that the rollers are on the tracks and the brackets are holding the components in place. This will give you a good idea of how your door is tracking. You will also be able to see if there are parts of your garage door that need a little extra grease.This test should be performed monthly to ensure that you catch any possible issues before they become huge problems. Monthly Door Balance Test: Another test you can perform is the door balance test. First, unplug and unlock your garage door. Lift the door manually to ensure that there is no tension and the door tracks smoothly on the tracks. This test should also be completed once a

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