• How To Winterize Motorcycles

    28 November 2015 by
    winterize motorcycles

    Roaring around on your custom hog all summer may give you great delight, but for those of us who prefer to preserve our hearing, nothing makes us happier than wintertime when even the toughest of bikers will trade in their motorcycle for a ride with four wheels and a roof. (more…)

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  • Moving a Piano – Doing It Right

    Moving a Piano

    In order to retain the quality of your piano, you must take exceptional care of the instrument. Keeping the piano tuned and cleaned are just a few aspects of the care needed to ensure quality sound and performance. Like most other instruments, the piano is made from select materials which require proper care.

    There are other aspects of owning a piano that must be taken into consideration as well, such as moving. Moving your piano is not a job to be taken lightly. In fact, moving pianos can prove to be complicated and detailed. Incorrect moving can lead to injuries to the movers, damage to the instrument or damage to walls and floors.

    Whether you are moving from one room to the next, from one apartment to the other or from town to town, there are certain precautions that must be taken. Knowing the proper steps and hazards to avoid is important for a successful move. Those who have experience in moving pianos can offer vital tips to make, what can be, a difficult move much simpler. These tips vary according to the type of piano, location, obstacles and abilities. With that being said, a great deal of preparation and thought goes into moving pianos successfully.

    Before the Move

    Moving pianos may seem simple. It is obviously a common occurrence. But meeting the main objective of moving the instrument safely, without injury or damage, requires proper planning. Before the move, make a list of all factors included in the move – navigation in and out of both locations, weight, transport and weather conditions. Deciding whether you want to hire a professional, with years of experience or do the job on your own requires an assessment of your personal resources and the challenges involved in the move. Will you hire a professional or will you do the job yourself? This has to be a personal decision made by you, the owner of the instrument.

    Asking the opinions of others who have tackled the challenge can help you make a wise decision. The experiences of others can reveal all the downfalls and mistakes which may be made during the move, some of which, you may not have thought of yourself.

    Professional Movers

    Choosing a professional should be a no-brainer. They have experience in this area and can even be termed an expert at moving pianos. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take many professionals to move a piano either. When movers are completely aware of the how a piano is put together and what the challengers are in moving one, it takes less manpower to make the move. The numbers then depend on the style and size of piano in question. A major concern when hiring professional movers is the knowledge and experience of the actual individuals performing the task. Don’t just ask if the ‘company’ has experience moving pianos, ask whether the specific individuals being assigned to your move have piano moving experience and how much. There is a drastic difference between ordinary movers and piano moving experts. You will want to make sure you hire the right people.

    Professional piano movers know they need more than basic information and should demonstrate that by asking you to provide those important details. For instance, movers need to know the to and fro of the move, this entails exact locations and obstacles related to entrance to the building and interior placement of the piano. If stairs or steps are involved, the movers will need to know if the steps are straight or spiral and how many steps are involved. Different angles mean different moving strategies which can determine a successful move rather quickly.

    Jason Martin of Braymore Piano Movers gives this statistic, “Over 60% of people don’t have a clue how many steps are in front of their home and a surprising amount of people don’t think this is an important thing for the piano mover to know.”

    Piano MoversTypes of Pianos

    Movers will also need to know if you have a grand piano or upright piano. While Upright pianos need more room height-wise, Grand pianos are longer and need to be accommodated for length. It makes all the difference, since size and weight can be related to the size of openings and the equipment and manpower required. Size is a major factor, with most pianos weighing anywhere from 300 pounds, as with small uprights, and Grands up to 1,000 pounds. These variations in size and weight can require completely different moving tactics.


    As far as Upright pianos are concerned, there are many versions. There are Spinets, which are the smallest specimens. These pianos are in the 300 pound weight range and stand approximately 3 feet tall and 4 feet long. Console pianos are a bit taller but do not weigh as much as a Spinet. Studio pianos are next in line, weighing around 400 pounds and stand just a bit taller than a Console piano. The Classic Upright piano, being the largest upright version, usually weighs around 500 pounds. Make sure to include the exact specifics as to the type of upright, its measurements and weight to your piano movers.

    Grand Pianos

    The first type of Grand piano is the Horizontal Grand Piano. This piano has a unique shape and will have to be given special attention. In most cases, this instrument will have to be disassembled. True piano moving professionals will be prepared for this scenario if they have been properly informed ahead of time. Even the smallest Grand piano, such as the Horizontal Grand, will take at least four expert movers.

    Baby Grand pianos have to be handled in much the same way, with legs and pedals removed before transition. These pianos are usually 500 pounds in weight and around 5 feet in length. Parlour Grands are only a little bigger and can usually be moved with the same number of people. Larger versions, such as Ballroom Grands and Concert Grands take more movers and detailed precautions. Ballroom Grands take up to five movers while Concert Grands can take up to a dozen people to make the move. The utmost caution must be taken as these larger versions comes with large price tags, as well, usually $50,000 or more.

    In many cases, pianos have to be disassembled before the move. Grand pianos can easily be taken apart while upright versions, generally have few removal parts. Professional piano movers will know how to disassemble the instrument in order to get around staircases or other immobile structures of the home.

    If you are purchasing a new piano, be sure to ask the instrument to vendor about the delivery policy they have for their pianos. Do they provide delivery of new purchases and will the delivery costs be included in the price of the piano or are those additional charges you must pay? If you must hire or provide your own piano movers, will the business owners provide any assistance in moving the piano out of the showroom or warehouse? While some business owners are more than happy to lend their help in moving the instruments from the shop, others believe that moving is an additional job and ask for compensation for their help. Expert movers also sometimes have stipulations. Some movers only relocate pianos while some are more than happy to move purchased instruments to their new home. The more information you provide the better. This keeps things moving smoothly.

    Pianos are prized possessions, owned by musicians, celebrities and collectors. True professional piano movers will have strong reputations for moving instruments for celebrities, piano companies and other distinguished clients. They build their reputation by carefully considering all the factors of the move. Well known individuals such as the musician and artist, Prince, Stephen Harper and the Prime Minister of Canada, have employed the services of professional piano movers. They wouldn’t trust their valued instruments to someone who wasn’t highly experienced.

    “Moving a piano is hard! Hiring movers with sound experience will mitigate any concerns with going about it alone,” says Joe Devost, Operations Field Manager with You Move Me.

    So appropriately, these movers have experience beyond most traditional movers. If you have questions about certain situations, types of pianos or moving areas, these piano moving experts are more than happy to answer your concerns. This is the basic difference between a professional job and a “do it yourself” situation.

    Moving a PianoDIY Piano Moving

    Although there are many pros about professional movers, you may find it more affordable to stick with your own manpower. While using movers to complete the task is preferred, you can do this on your own with a few instructions and the proper equipment.

    Planning ahead is just as important or maybe even more important, when you are coordinating the move yourself. In order to have a successful move, there are several things that must be done beforehand.

    One little known, yet important detail of moving a piano, is knowing how many people will be needed for help. Since this is a “do it yourself” move, you should be prepared to use more people than the professionals might use. Considering the size and weight of the instrument, there will need to be people on all sides of the piano to provide ample support. You will also need to make yourself familiar with the type of piano you will be moving. Size and weight make all the difference in how you move your piano and how to avoid damage to the instrument, the movers and the property.

    Javier Odom of Walt’s Jewelers, has made many moves that involved moving their piano as well. He offers this advice from his experience:

    “I verified that every single person moving the piano could lift a portion of the piano by themselves prior to movement. This was to weed out the weak and unreliable. Then we would move the piano like a bunch of ants carrying the queen herself.”

    Check Surroundings and Maneuverability

    The first thing to do when getting ready to move your piano is to observe your surroundings. Will you be able to move the piano with little maneuvering? Will anything get in the way of the movers? There are many questions to ask and observations to take in, making sure the instrument has no direct contact with other structures or objects that have any negative effect on the move. Just like professional movers, you will need to understand the angles of the stairwells, sizes of doorways and what degree of corners you will navigate in the building. Make sure to have the proper tools, such as tape measures to compare the size of the piano with the size of the moving space, especially the doorway. Make sure to measure height, depth and width to be certain. The last thing you want is for the piano or the door frame to endure scratches or other damage. In some cases, door facings have to be removed to ensure smooth transition from room to room.

    Tie Down

    Next, you will want to make sure the instrument is tied down properly. Just as home structures will have to be prepared, so will the body of the piano. Closing the lid and using the lock, if you have one, will ensure the ivories are protected during the move. After the lid is closed, you may want to wrap the instrument in padding, if the whole ensemble will still fit through the doorway. The best padding could be old quilts or moving blankets secured with tape. Both these options work. Again, measurements, after wrapping, will ensure you have the needed room to maneuver through tight spaces.

    Moving Equipment

    When you are ready to actually move the piano, you may need a dolly. Especially if you are lacking in the number of movers. A mover’s dolly is required to move the immense weight of the piano in these instances. Without this equipment, you may experience pulled muscles or injuries to your movers and damage to flooring due to the weight of the instrument. When you load the piano and start to move, make sure you take it slow. Move with short strides allowing a good visual of what is directly behind and around you.

    After the Move

    Not only do you have to be concerned about the move, you also have to take into account the after care of the move. So many people do not understand the maintenance required after moving a piano. Weather conditions and the shifting of positions can cause a piano to become out of tune. As humidity increases, the sound board swells causing a higher pitch because of stretched strings. If conditions are dryer than usual, the soundboard flattens out, loosening the strings and dropping the pitch. During the move, you can experience one or both of these conditions.

    These conditions will have to be adjusted before you can enjoy playing the instrument again. If your piano is of great quality and has been tuned every four months or so, you will want to wait a few weeks after the move to tune the instrument again. If your piano is an older version, you can go ahead and get the instrument tuned right away.

    Moving pianos will never be an easy job, but you can avoid frustration by doing the proper preparation and research beforehand. Music lovers around the world will agree that making the successful move is well worth the trouble in order to enjoy the widely appreciated music of the piano.

    Before the move, make sure you weigh your options. Are you ready? Do you have the right equipment? Maybe it’s time to call a professional. Whatever you decide, make sure to discuss your options, do your research and take your time. After all, the most important aspect of the move will be the planning. You now know the keys to a successful move. The reward will be music to your ears.

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  • Easy Tips on How to Store Power Tools

    18 September 2015 by
    how to store power tools

    If you’ve recently purchased some power tools, you know they are an investment to your life as they usually cost a little more than a hammer and nails. Because of that, we wanted to share tips on how to store power tools so they last you a long time.

    Brian Prince is a small business owner and self-called “jack of all trades” at Refinishing {RVA}

    Proper power tool storage

    “I am 35 and I mostly take my tips from my Grandfather, David J. Genz. He was a master carpenter, hydroelectric engineer and a true salt of the earth, practical guy. I still have his Craftsman Plane from 1951 wrapped in the box. This tool is still sharp as they day he purchased it,” shares Prince.

    Prince also tells us that the success of storing power tools is greatly affected by the material of the place you store these.

    “Proper tool storage depends greatly on breathable storage containers (cardboard, laid or hung neatly in a cabinet, cloth or canvas padded bags, etc.),” says Prince.

    Here are some tips to help you find the perfect place for your tools.

    • Gently clean your tools with air dusters or damp rags after each use
    • If you use these tools often, you can use a self or hanging surface like a peg board to hang them but make sure they are clean after each use
    • You may also use a 3 in 1 household oil if necessary (see manual for your tools)

    “I specifically store my DeWalt 20v tools in foam padded canvas bags, heavy duty Rigid boxes with cut foam for transport or in my work bench drawers,” explains Prince.

    • If you have newer tools feel free put them back into the plastic bag they came in to prevent scuffs
    • Remember to label packages where your tools are stored (if for a long period of time) as fragile or with specific labels so you remember where they are but also to be careful when handling them if you’re moving or relocating their placement

    Prince says to remember that your power tools are valuable and they can keep that value if stored and kept properly. You never know when or if you’d like to sell these so you want to make sure they last you in great condition for as long as possible.

    Whether you have one or many power tools, they are considered a must –have in every household. By following these simple tips you can enjoy them for longer and keep them in tip-top shape.

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  • DIY Living Room Décor Ideas

    17 September 2015 by
    DIY living room decor ideas

    In most homes, the living room is the central room where families spend time and guests are received. (Unless you’re Ron Jeremy, of course.) So even if the rest of your abode looks like the set of Hoarders, you ought to make some effort to make this room welcoming.

    Sure you could spend tons of money at Williams-Sonoma—if you want to look like every other classy domicile in town. But if you really want your living room to look homey, you’re going to have to do it yourself. That’s right, folks, here are some great DIY living room décor ideas (and by “great,” we mean “kitschy.”) (more…)

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  • Finding Easy Girls Room Storage Ideas

    girl room storage ideas

    If you’re looking for girl room storage ideas we’re here for you. We wanted to share some simple tips that could help you get your girls organized and their room looking shiny and clean so we listed the top ideas that can help you get started today. (more…)

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  • Organization Tips: Make More of Your Garage Space

    5 September 2015 by

    You will seldom find a garage that serves only as a shelter for vehicles. Our garages often serve as storage areas for lawn care equipment, sports equipment, gardening supplies and any excess items that haven’t found a spot inside the home. In addition, your garage is often used as a work area and includes the various hand and power tools you use on your projects, whether vehicle related or not. Some of our garages have gotten so filled with other ‘stuff’ that we don’t even have room for our vehicles any more.

    Do you need to get rid of the things filling your garage? Should you rent a storage unit to keep it in? Both of those suggestions may have some merit, depending on your particular situation. Before you go to either of those extremes, why not just try making better use of the garage space you have? Organizational experts like Angelica Holiday from Organize Rescue have found that often times the issue isn’t too much stuff. Many homeowners just need to learn how utilize their storage space better, to make it more efficient.

    Develop Storage Zones

    Holiday suggests by creating zones for storing related items. This helps to maintain an organizational system. Everyone can quickly learn that all the sporting equipment can be found in one area of the garage and that is the same area it should be returned to. Lawn and garden tools and supplies are kept in another area. Occasional use items like holiday decorations and that big roaster you only use for large family gatherings can be kept in another area.

    Get It Off the Floor

    You generally are limited on floor space in a garage. They are designed to fit vehicles and allow for space to open doors, but don’t always have a lot of extra floor space on either side. If you do have some extra floor space, it will generally be along the wall that is opposite the overhead door. The solution, of course, is to use wall space for your storage areas.

    “Hooks and hangers are a plenty at hardware stores,” Holiday reminds us. “Overhead storage bins are a super place for things you don’t have to get to on a regular basis.”

    Hang bikes and sporting items on the walls. Garden tools can be kept neat and easily accessible in the same way. Pegboard has been the go-to item for tool organization for decades. Everything has its place and is easy to find at the same time. Add labels or draw a silhouette around each tool to be sure that each item gets returned to its designated spot.

    Shelves placed high up on the end wall will work perfect for bins filled with holiday decorations, craft supplies, the tent and sleeping bags. Anything that doesn’t need to be accessed frequently and isn’t too heavy. Label the outside of your bins with large lettering so it is easy to determine what is in each one without taking it down and opening it. Using clear bins can also help solve the problem of identification.

    For those smaller things and items you might want locked away, narrow cabinets can be placed below the shelves with a work counter on top. Keep fasteners, paints and hand tools put away and out of site.

    It just takes a little thoughtful planning, and you will find that you have a lot more storage space available in your garage than you realize. Plus, plenty of room to park your vehicles too.


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  • Transform Your Attic

    Transform your attic

    The attic occupies a special place in folklore—a place that’s mysterious, full of secrets and unknown entities and, somehow, always dusty. What stories does your attic tell? Do you even know? Have you been up there to check out the treasures and potential that wait, just above where you spend your days and nights?

    Sure, there are lots of stories of ghosts, secrets and even flowers in the attic. But what if we were to set those aside and take a brand new approach? Imagine the possibilities of reclaiming your attic and using the space to add a new room to your home.


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  • Recessed Shelves: Your Key to Extra Space

    Recessed shelves.

    There’s more space in your home than you realize! Whether you are a homeowner or a renter, you can create additional space with recessed shelves or “inset shelves’’—even faux recessed shelves. If you love the concept of hidden treasures, then learning how to build recessed shelves will be like finding a treasure map to the gold that’s right there in your home.

    Let’s take a look at different types of recessed shelves and how to build recessed shelving. It’s probably a lot easier and less expensive than you could imagine.


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  • Yard Sale Pricing Guide for Newbies

    Yard Sale Pricing Guide

    You’ve finally decided to have that yard sale you’ve been talking about for the last couple of years. You’ve collected all your ‘stuff’ that has been cluttering your home. Now you’re ready for that finally stage – pricing the items.

    As you look at piles of clothes, the decorative glassware you don’t use, the boxes of books and random pieces of art and furniture, it can be quite overwhelming. You want to price low enough for things to sell, but you don’t want to undervalue items either. (more…)

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  • Need a Bigger Food Pantry? Storage Units Could Be the Answer

    food pantry storage units

    The affordable extra space available through self-storage units is being used to accommodate all kinds of lifestyle needs. Why rent or buy a larger house or apartment when all you need is extra closets or garage footage? With a little creative thinking, you can come up with all kinds of different ways to utilize the space of a storage unit. (more…)

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