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Winter Holiday Decorating: Making Your Windows Merry

Christmas is coming up, and you’re excited to get decorating. You think you may want to try something
different this year. While your Christmas lights have a fun and classic feeling, you want to show more unique
decorations.

Windows are a perfect setting for beautiful and playful winter decorations. In this blog, we give you some
ideas for Christmas decorations that will fit wonderfully in your home’s windows.

Indoors

You can place window decorations either inside or outside, depending on the nature of the decorations.
Indoors, you can take advantage of the window’s structure by placing items artfully on the sill or hanging
them from above.

Indoor decoration options include the following:

Hung Ornaments

Have too many ornaments to fit on your Christmas tree? Hang them in your window instead.

Stick some hooks underneath the top window sill and hang the ornaments either directly from the hooks or
with some ribbon. Use different lengths of ribbon to give the ornaments a more uneven and free look.

Ribbon

Use various colors and sizes of ribbons to decorate your windows. Curl the lengths to give them a fun,
bouncy look, or drape them nicely like curtains.

Mix and match different types of ribbons, tie them together, and have fun with them. Let your kids help
out too for an exciting family activity.

Paper Snowflakes

One of the easiest and most classic winter decorations is the paper snowflake. Take your time meticulously
cutting beautiful snowflakes or make it more festive by including the entire family.

Use tape or sticky tack to attach the snowflakes to the window. You can also attach all the snowflakes
together to make a lovely homemade curtain.

Candles

Whether it’s real or fake, a lovely, warm flickering candle in the window gives your home an Old World
charm.

You can find flameless candles with flickering bulbs at any craft store if you have pets or kids, or you
can use those beautiful candles you got for a wedding present.

Seasonal Plants

Place a couple poinsettias in a line on the window sill or a couple of small fir trees. Pinecones also
make lovely winter decorations, especially if you cover them with glitter or fake snow.

You can also incorporate these plants into other indoor decorations. For example, you can put ornaments on
the miniatures trees or hang pinecones with ribbon.

Outdoors

Outdoors, you can attach decorations to the window itself, as well as the shutters or siding around the
window.

Ideas for outside window decorations include the following:

Fir Tree Branches

If you’re using a real tree this year, cut off a couple boughs and use them to decorate the bottom of the
window frame.

Include pinecones, ribbon, or ornaments to give the scene a little more color. This addition to your
decorations gives your home a cozy, old-timey feel.

Wreaths

Collect or make a couple of smaller wreaths and put them in your windows.

Decorate the wreaths with pinecones and ornaments to give them a little more pop. Hang them at different
heights to make them more dynamic.

Bundles of Ornaments

In addition to putting ornaments on boughs and wreaths, you can also make boughs and wreaths out of
nothing but ornaments.

You can even make other bundles of ornaments of various shapes and sizes. See what you can put together
and go for it.

Window Painting

Of course, when you’re talking about decorating your windows, you have to mention window painting.

Give the windows frosted edges or paint a whole Christmas scene. Make it elegant or make it fun. If you’re
having a particularly wet winter, you can do your window painting indoors.

Be the talk of the neighborhood this holiday season with your fun and one-of-a-kind Christmas window
decorations.

5 Home Improvement Projects to Complete Before Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and you can’t wait to carve pumpkins and hand out candy to delightful
ghosts and vampires.

But what’s this?

Your house already looks like it fell out of a classic horror film: broken windows, flickering lights, and
missing shingles. Although the look certainly suits the season, you don’t want to scare potential visitors
too soon.

If you want to invite happy haunters to your home, make sure you complete the following improvement
projects before All Hallows’ Eve.

1. Repair Cracked Windows

Broken glass poses a hazard to you, your family, and your guests. Furthermore, even the tiniest cracks
allow air to flow from your home, which means your heating and cooling system has to work harder to maintain
a comfortable temperature.

Hire a professional to replace any cracked panes or swap out old windows entirely. If you want to save on
your utilities every month, don’t forget to ask about energy-efficient window selections.

2. Oil Squeaky Doors

Do your doors creak and groan whenever you open them? Wear, tear, and settling may be the culprit.
Fortunately, you can usually fix a squeak with minimal effort. Simply tap a nail at the bottom of the hinge
to push the hinge pin up and out. Then lightly lubricate the pin with petroleum jelly and dab a little into
the pin slot. Replace the hinge pin, pull out the nail, and wipe off excess lubricant.

Have a different door problem? Perhaps your door mysteriously closes on its own, or you have a door that
sticks whenever you open it. In these cases, talk to a contractor about repairs or replacement options.

3. Wash Dirty Siding

Dirt, dust, and other debris build up on your siding and age your home’s appearance by several years. To
make your siding look like new again, use your garden hose to rinse away the outer layer of muck. For more
stubborn stains, dampen a wrap or soft-bristled brush with warm soap water and wipe each panel, starting from
bottom to top (to minimize streaking). Rinse often.

As you clean your siding, look out for dented vinyl or cracked wooden panels, since these tell-tale signs
allow water and condensation to collect inside your home. Have an expert replace these damaged sections as
needed.

4. Inspect for Faulty Wiring

Flickering lights not only look spooky-they also pose a safety hazard. When you frequently notice multiple
lights flicker at the same time, you can usually blame power arcing. Power arcing occurs when wire
connections sit close to each enough to each other that they generate an electrical current.But arcing also
creates heat, which increases the likelihood of a fire.

Talk to an electrician as soon as you notice multiple lights flickering at once. He or she will pinpoint
and fix the problem, as well as point out other electrical hazards such as a failing switch or abnormal power
load.

5. Replace Missing Shingles

If an early autumn storm ripped out a few of your shingles, don’t wait until you see the next dark cloud
to replace them. The longer your roof stays exposed to sun and bad weather, the greater the likelihood of
mold growth, rot, and leaks.

Fortunately, you can replace and refasten asphalt shingles with the right tools. To start, use a
screwdriver to take off shingles directly above the missing patch. Then position the replacement shingle onto
the bottom row so it overlaps the one directly beneath it. Make sure your shingle aligns with those on either
side before hammering it into place with a galvanized roofing nail.

Apply a little roofing cement to the nail hole, and then repeat the entire process. When you reach the
last shingle, use a utility knife to remove the nail strip, apply roofing cement to the underside of the
shingle, and then carefully place the shingle beneath the shingles on the row above.

If you don’t feel comfortable making the repairs yourself, feel free to hire a roofing contractor to do
the job for you.

 

Once you’ve made these five repairs, go wild with your Halloween decorations and enjoy a spooky good time.

Christmas Light Decoration Safety Tips

It’s only been a couple of weeks since you put away all of your Halloween decorations (or perhaps, they’re still hanging up outside) and your neighbors have already begun to hang their Christmas lights. Every day you see a new candy cane pop up in front of someone’s mailbox or the shadows of a Christmas tree silhouetted in another neighbor’s window by the light from their television. You might feel a little anxious about having to dig out all of the Christmas lights, unknotting them, testing them, getting on a ladder to hang them up, nearly breaking your neck in the process, and losing your temper when a strand doesn’t work a la Clark Griswald in Christmas Vacation. But relax, by remembering a few holiday-decorating safety-tips, things should go smoothly.

One of the biggest dangers posed by Christmas lights is that of a frayed or damaged cord. Exposed wires can cause electrical shock or even fires, so be sure you put your eyes on every inch of the cord before you plug it in. While this may seem like a daunting task, it really isn’t if you take things one strand at a time. As you unwind the cord, run it through your hands and check the wiring for tears, as well as ensuring each socket has a light in it (usually the strand won’t work otherwise) with no signs of being burnt out or damaged. After you have checked the strand, plug it in to be sure it turns on. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to have that strand running along your roof, only to find that it doesn’t work when you’re done placing the lights? I’ve never made this mistake before… Honest!

That brings me to the most obvious tip when hanging lights- make sure they all work before you even start hanging them. If you begin hanging lights and then come across a burnt out strand, you will have to put everything down, head to the store to buy a new set, and then come back only to find another set of lights that isn’t working further down the line. Go ahead and test all of the lights before you start decorating. It’s much easier to have everything ready ahead of time, rather than having to start over, pause, or take shortcuts because you don’t feel like running to get more lights. Also, I recommend getting all the tools you need to hang the lights ahead of time. Try using these or something similar to assist with hanging the lights from your roof or gutter; they are much easier and safer to use than a hammer and nails. The insulated clips are also safer than nails or staples, as they do not become electrified if they somehow breach the insulation of the strand of lights.

There are a few other more obvious things that you should not forget about when hanging Christmas lights. First off, be sure to tape your extension cords or any excess length of cable to the ground to prevent someone from tripping. A broken neck is no way to spend the holidays! If your lights are older, make sure they have fused plugs. This will prevent fire-causing sparks if something short circuits. I also recommend taping the plugs where they connect to prevent moister from getting in. You should also consider elevating the plugs off of the ground in case of ice or snow. It might also be a good idea to make sure that the outlet you are using to plug your lights in is a GFCI, as it will shut off the power to the lights if it detects current flowing through water or a person. The most obvious tip I can give you for decorating safety is to not take risks. Don’t get up on your roof if you’re not 100 percent sure that you can get back down. It is also very important that you have someone help you any time you are using a ladder while placing lights. Absolutely do not ever hang Christmas lights on your roof alone!

There are some other, smaller, things that I recommend doing to make your holiday decorating go a little smoother. First off, if you have wooden decorations, wear gloves when carrying them out of your garage and placing them. Sometimes they can be full of splinters around the edges. Always use care when going in and out of your attic if this is where you store your decorations. Every year it seems like I hear about someone in my family or one of our friends falling through the attic while trying to retrieve something. Also, use care when bringing stuff down from the attic. Don’t take shortcuts by pulling down multiple items at a time, just take it slowly and no one will get hurt. When taking down your decorations (yes, the holidays leave us as quickly as they arrive), take care to do it in an organized fashion. You are only making your next holiday season that much more difficult by rushing the cleanup process. Label all of your boxes and wrap up all of your cords neatly. Save all of the clips you used, they will come in handy when the holidays show up again in 10 or 11 months.

So there, take a deep breath, relax, put on a warm coat and go make your house look awesome!

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Morgan Exteriors, Inc. is a home remodeling company that services most of Tampa Bay Area. We are general contractors, however, we specialize in what we know and do best - Energy Efficient Replacement Windows, Doors, Solid-core Siding, Eaves and overhangs, and most exterior improvements.

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Morgan Exteriors

5122 W. Knox Street. Tampa, FL 33634

Tel: 813-931-4663 or 727-502-5300

Morgan Exteriors - Lutz Location

15915 N Florida Ave, Lutz, FL 33549

Morgan Exteriors - Orlando Location

1966 West New Hampshire St, Orlando, FL 32804

Tel: 407-730-7443