Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Must-Know Safety Tips for Hanging Holiday Lights


It’s almost Christmas, which means it’s time to decorate for the holidays! Before you grab a ladder and head to the roof, keep in mind health care professionals treat approximately 13,000 people each year due to injuries sustained from holiday decorating mishaps. 
As specialists in building supplies, decks, patios, and porches, Maze Lumber understands how dangerous hanging holiday decorations can be. Luckily, you can improve your safety while decorating with these tips.

Safety Tips For Holiday Decorating


Christmas Trees

No matter where you place your family’s Christmas tree, it should be positioned away from fireplaces and radiators. Heated rooms tend to dry out live trees faster, so keep the stand filled with water if you have a live tree. This can cut down on fire risks.

Outdoor Lights

You should only use lights that are labeled for the outdoors, have fused plugs, and have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check the lights for frayed wires, loose connections, and burned-out bulbs. They should only be plugged into grounded outlets or outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters.

Ladders

porchesIf you want to apply holiday lights to the top of your porch or roof, you’ll probably need a ladder to reach these areas. Make sure you have a person spotting you while you’re adding lights to the roof. They should hold the ladder still while you’re working. 

Porches, Roofs, & Decks

The most common places to hang holiday lights are roof lines, porches, and deck rails. Before you start hammering or attach clips to these places, check to see if there are any visible signs of rotten or decaying wood. Damaged sections of wood can be unstable, causing the lights or wood itself to fall and hit someone. Replace any areas that cause concern.
No matter where you hang your holiday decorations — the porch, along some deck railing, or the roof — always use caution to avoid injury and fire risks.
Call Maze Lumber at (815) 223-1742 or visit us online to find more information about their building supplies and other services. You can also connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Prevent Slips & Falls With De-Icers


Dealing with icy sidewalks is a fact of life in northern climates where snow and winter conditions are common. There are many different ways to deal with ice, whether using one of many chemical compounds to melt it or using more environmentally friendly products to provide traction and prevent slippage.

De-icers

How Do They Work?
Ice melt products attract moisture to themselves to form a liquid brine which generates heat and melts ice. The product must reach the pavement to become effective. Once on the pavement the brine can spread out and break the bond the ice has with the pavement. As the ice is loosened, it can more easily be shoveled away.
Kinds of De-icer
Every year there are more and more choices when it comes to de-icers. A lot of the choices are very similar and differ only in marketing with each product claiming to be the best. 95% of all de-icers are made from one, or a blend, of five products. Typically blends are made to try and combine the best advantages of each chemical.
Calcium chloride - This is basically traditional ice melt. It will melt ice to temperatures of -25˚F. It gives off heat as it dissolves which melts the ice quicker but leaves a slimy residue. It is corrosive to metal and can be damaging to vegetation if over-applied. Magnesium chloride is a very similar product and becoming more popular. It is less corrosive and safer on concrete and plants.
Sodium chloride (rock salt) - Rock salt is the least expensive and very efficient. Will melt ice to temperatures of 20˚F. Effective at drying out icy surfaces. Not as harmful to concrete as other products but can be damaging to vegetation and is corrosive to metal.
Potassium chloride - Is more expensive than other products. Works well when mixed 50/50 with rock salt. Will melt ice to temperatures of 12˚F. Relatively safe but can still cause plant injury if over-applied.
Urea - Commonly used as a fertilizer but is also an effective ice melter. Will melt ice to temperatures of 15˚F. Over application can harm vegetation.
Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) - Is made from dolomitic limestone and acetic acid (main compound in vinegar). It has little affect on plants and concrete but it's performance decreases at temperatures below 20˚F. It works differently than other materials in that it does not form a brine like salts. CMA helps prevent snow particles from sticking to each other on the road surface. It prevents re-freezing more than it melts ice and tends to leave a slush.
Are They Harmful?

Given the alternative of dangerous conditions, the benefits can outweigh the potential disadvantages. All de-icers have the potential to damage vegetation, concrete, and corrode metal. Moderate use combined with adequate rainfall to dissolve and wash away product should be enough to protect vegetation and hard surfaces. Damage to concrete occurs not from the effects of the salt but from the effects of the freezing point of water. When the freezing point of water is lowered (by creating a brine), the number of freeze/thaw cycles increases and the expansion of freezing water (hydraulic pressure) can exceed the strengths of concrete.

Natural Alternatives

Other, more natural, products can be used to treat icy sidewalks and driveways. Although they are generally less effective, they pose less harm to the environment and pets. Natural alternatives like sand, sawdust, wood shavings, and kitty litter are mainly effective for their gritty, anti-slip qualities. They provide better traction to walk on the ice but do not actually melt ice. They are often mixed with ice melt products as a way to use less chemicals.

De-icer Precautions

  • Do not over apply, follow instructions on the label.
  • Do not try to melt everything. Clear snow first.
  • Wear gloves. Ice melts are an irritant.
  • Do not use on new concrete that has not fully cured.
  • All products have some effect on the environment. Flush area with water if over-use is suspected or damage appears on plants.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Winter is Coming: How to Prep Your Deck


True Story: Decks go into hibernation.
Fall is here- The kids are back to the school routine, pumpkin spice lattes are lining the counters of your favorite coffee spot, and you can break out your favorite cable-knit sweater. The cooler weather is officially on its way and depending on where you’re located, it may be here sooner rather than later.

The little woodland creatures start to gather up the food to store for winter. We humans should take their cue and start preparing for winter too. You can start by prepping your outdoor deck for the elements. Your deck receives a lot of use during the summer with foot traffic, summer storms, scorching heat, and high humidity. The fall and winter bring in a whole other slew of wearing elements with ice, dryness, wet slush that sits on the wood until it melts, gray winter days that don’t help with the drying time, the list goes on… Your deck is going to need some pampering.

Here are simple but effective ways to prep your deck for winter.
  1. Clean it. This may be stating the obvious, but before you can do anything else, your deck is going to need a thorough clean to remove dirt, mold and mildew, and all the other standard grit that builds up over time.
  2. Protect It. Adding a protective finish will prevent water and moisture from seeping down into the wood and damaging or warping it. For those dreary winter days when the sun refuses to come out and everything just remains a bit wet, this finish will preserve your wood.
  3. Regular Maintenance. Don’t let standing water build up – shovel snow regularly, empty buckets/pots/planters if the water might spill over or leave a stain, and pay attention to what gets left on your deck.
Fall is truly one of the most magical times of the year and not only do you have to protect your body from the elements with hats and gloves, you need to care for those important investments on your home. Follow these three simple steps to keep your deck healthy and it will be last as long as your favorite sweater.

Maze Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior service.


Don't forget!!!
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MAZE LUMBER
1100 Water Street
P.O. Box 449
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: 815-223-1742
Fax: 815-223-1752

Hours:


Monday-Friday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00Noon
Sunday: Closed

Monday, October 17, 2016

CURB APPEAL: INVEST IN A NEW ENTRYWAY DOOR

Don't let your front door be the spookiest thing in your neighborhood this Halloween! When they say 'You never get a second chance at a first impression', that doesn't just mean people. The front of your house is the first impression for any visitor, and the front door is an important part of that impression.

When you walk up to someone’s home, what you’ll notice right away is the entryway door. What does your door say about you? Is it unique? Does it add character to your home?
You’d be surprised what adding a new entryway door could do for your home. There are many reasons why you should invest in a new entryway door, but today I’m going to hit on three main reasons to consider it for your home. Investing in a new door can lower your utility bills, is easier to maintain, and it also gives your home more curb appeal.

NEW ENTRYWAY DOOR – ENERGY EFFICIENT

These days we are all about energy-efficient everything. Replacing your entryway door or any of your doors for that matter could lower your energy bill significantly. With our doors at Maze Lumber, you’re getting a sturdy construction of steel or fiberglass that will be more durable during Midwest weather. New homeowners want to know they are going to stay warm and cozy all winter long. One of the main things people look into when buying a new home is if they are going to have to pay an arm and a leg for their utility bills. If they know one of these bills will be much lower, you are a shoo-in for a buyer.

LESS MAINTENANCE


Investing in a new door could also help reduce the time you spend on maintenance. Fiberglass doors are almost completely maintenance free. It would be extremely wise as a homeowner to replace your old wood door with a new fiberglass or steel door. We know that as homeowners you might not have alot of time to maintain to your home. Take some of the stress out of your upkeep and invest in an entryway door that will make your life a whole lot easier.


ENTRYWAY DOORS ADD CURB APPEAL

Last, but certainly not least, is greater curb appeal. Adding a new door makes a statement about your style and there are so many beautiful doors. Choose a decorative glass door with full or half sidelites for a sparkling entrance. Perhaps a simple or subtle door design that allows for more privacy. The door is the first impression. When people are looking for a new home, they are greeted at the front door. Make them excited to enter your home! A new door adds value and appeal to your home. Make the best first impression possible and spruce up your home with a new entryway.



Maze Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior service.


Don't forget!!!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterCheck us out on Instagram!

MAZE LUMBER
1100 Water Street
P.O. Box 449
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: 815-223-1742
Fax: 815-223-1752

Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00Noon
Sunday: Closed

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

13 Hacks to Winterize Your Home – and Trim Your Heating Bill

Fall is an excellent time to make repairs that will make your home more energy efficient.

It's officially fall, which means winter is not far behind. The good news is that winter weather in much of the country is expected to be milder than last year's frigid conditions, and heating costs are also projected to be lower, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But the cost of heating one's home should still be a considerable expense in most parts of the country.
Heating is expensive enough already, so you don't want to pay for heat that escapes out windows, doors and cracks rather than staying inside and keeping you warm. A lot of time we're generating energy that we're sending out into the air.
Fall is an ideal time to make repairs that will make your home more energy efficient, both saving you money and keeping you warmer. Even if you can't afford major repairs, such as a new furnace or new windows, there are small things you can do to save big bucks on heating costs – and you can handle most of them yourself. Homes can lose heat in a lot of different areas and there are a lot of things that can be fixed in someone's home.
Here are 13 hacks to winterize your home while also trimming your heating bill.
Caulk around windows. Warm air can escape and cold air can enter your house if the area around your windows has cracks. Caulking needs to be replaced periodically, and you should check every fall for holes that need to be patched, as well as holes anywhere outside your house. You want to make sure your home's envelope is secure.
Replace weatherstripping around doors. If you can see light around the edges of your doors, you need new weatherstripping. A small weatherstripping costs you five or six dollars, and it will save you hundreds of dollars in electrical bills.
Close up your fireplace. Make sure your flue closes all the way, and check whether you can feel air coming in when it's closed. Glass doors around your fireplace opening are another way to keep warm air in and cold air out of your house.
Put up storm windows and doors. If you have older windows and doors, adding storm windows and doors can help considerably. Window insulation film is another option to provide a layer of protection.
Add heavy drapes and rugs. Changing light summer drapes for heavy winter drapes was common in earlier times, and it's still helpful. Drapes can keep the room warmer, while putting down rugs provides a layer of insulation above the floor.
Improve your insulation. Insulation deteriorates over time, so you may want to add more material in your attic. Other places to add insulation are in crawl spaces and exposed areas of decks. Its also recommended to create a false ceiling in unfinished basements and insulating between that ceiling and the living area. An insulating cover over your attic opening also helps trap in the heat.
Cover your water heater. You can buy a water heater blanket for around $20 at the hardware store that will keep the tank from losing heat as quickly, saving you money on your heating bill.
Get an energy audit. Many utility companies will provide a free energy audit and give you suggestions on improvements you can make to your home. You can also pay for a more extensive energy audit where they'll look at all the places you're losing energy.
Change your furnace filters. If the filters are dirty, your furnace has to work harder. In most homes, filters should be changed monthly in the heating season. You should also have your furnace serviced periodically to make sure it is working properly. It's easy to overlook but it can mean your system isn't working efficiently.
Get a programmable thermostat. The newest thermostats can learn your family's habits and set themselves to keep the house cooler when no one is there and warmer when the home is occupied. You can also purchase a more basic programmable thermostat. Prices vary considerably, depending on how sophisticated you want your thermostat to be.
Lower your water heater temperature. You can lower it from 140 degrees to 120 with no ill effect. And 120 degrees is the temperature recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Replace less efficient windows and doors. Adding double- or triple-pane windows, insulated doors and insulated garage doors will significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Lower the thermostat. It's actually more comfortable to sleep in a colder home, and you can always add more blankets. When you're awake, wear a sweater or sweatshirt to stay comfortable with a lower thermostat setting.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

4 Fall Home Improvement Ideas


With cooling temperatures and the kids back in school, fall is the perfect time for a variety of home improvement projects. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a weekend warrior, Maze Lumber has all the building supplies you need in the Illinois Valley.
The months before the holiday season are ideal for either small-scale projects or major upgrades. Here are four ideas for updating your home:
  • building suppliesPatch, Paint, & Protect The Exterior: Now that the heat isn’t as severe, there’s no better time to address any exterior surface issues. Patch up any holes, dents, or scratches in your home’s finish, and repaint or reseal as needed.
  • Upgrade Windows & Doors: If you have single-pane windows, you might want to change them to double-pane before winter hits; they provide significantly more insulation. New doors can also add insulation to your home while bringing better aesthetic appeal and soundproofing as well.
  • Replace Weatherstripping: If upgrading the windows and doors are out of this year’s budget, you can still make some energy-efficient improvements with a quick trip to your local building supplies provider. Look for any cracked or brittle weatherstripping and replace what you can. It will make quite the difference in keeping the cold out and the heat in.
  • Repair The Roof: Before freezing temperatures and snow arrive, have a professional inspect your roof. Even if you don't have leaks, it’s beneficial to repair or replace broken shingles to prevent any further issues.
For more home improvement ideas this fall, visit our website &check us out on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

3 Signs You Might Need a Storm Door

Installed on the outside of the regular door leading into your home, storm doors are an easy way of adding an extra layer of insulation and protection to your home. Offered in a number of different styles and custom options, storm doors often include sliding glass panels and screens to keep your home cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.
It’s important to make yourself aware of the signs that your door might be in need of some extra protection before you invest in this feature. That’s why the window and door experts from Maze Lumber are here to help with three signs you might need of a storm door.

You Might Need A Storm Door If...


You Experience Cold Weather

Saving money while keeping your home warm in the winter is no easy task. The gap under your front and back doors can let warm indoor air escape into the cold winter outdoors. This small gap can let out as much air as a 2.4-inch diameter hole in your wall. By installing a storm door from a building supplies store, you’re adding an extra barrier to keep that warm air inside, lowering your energy bills in the process.


You’re In Need Of Protection From Inclement Weather

The Illinois Valleywindows-and-doors-Cincinnati often experiences thunderstorms and rough winters. With a storm door, you are adding an extra layer of protection from rain and snow. Without this extra protection, your primary door is directly exposed to harsh elements that can ruin custom designs. Unless you have an overhanging roof that will protect your door, it will be exposed to the accumulation of damaging snow, ice, and rain.

Your Home Lacks Security

No matter where you live, home invasions are a real possibility. By installing a storm door with a keyed deadbolt or multipoint locking system, you are giving your home an added layer of security to keep your family safe.
To learn more about storm doors and other products and services offered by Maze Lumber, including custom decking, kitchens & baths, as well as windows and doors, visit their website or Facebook page for more information.

Maze Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior service. 
 

Don't forget!!!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterCheck us out on Instagram!

MAZE LUMBER
1100 Water Street
P.O. Box 449
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: 815-223-1742
Fax: 815-223-1752

Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00Noon
Sunday: Closed

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Choosing Your Entry Door


You know they say, "You can't choose your neighbors..."

But you can choose a quality entrance door that defines your style. In today's marketplace there are many choices, from wood to fiberglass to steel. So how do you know what's right for your purpose? Here, we outlined the key features of fiberglass and steel doors from Waudena Millwork, so you can better understand the true value of a quality door.

 
FIBERGLASS ENTRANCE DOORS

STEEL ENTRANCE DOORS
DURABILITY
Fiberglass entry doors are strong and won’t crack, dent or warp.

Tough enough to withstand the elements and are ideal for harsh or humid climates.

Adjustable hinge plate system allows for easy adjustment and alignment for a tight weather-seal.

Smooth Fiberglass Entry Door

BEAUTY + STRENGTH
Replicates the authentic look and texture of real wood doors with the inclusion of deeper shadow lines in the door panel.

STYLES + OPTIONS
Choose from smooth fiberglass or a wood grain texture, with a variety of stain or paint finish colors to select from.

Available wood grain textures: Cherry, Mahogany, Fir, Oak, Knotty Alder
 
ENERGY PERFORMANCE
Advanced polyurethane foam core enhances sound proofing and has insulation properties that meets or exceed 4 times that of wood doors.

Manufactured to meet the requirements of ENERGY STAR.

       

PEACE OF MIND
Steel doors are engineered for strength and durability, and provide maximum security.

Fire-rated steel doors help provide protection during a fire.

Composite lock block provides secure mounting of door hardware.

STRENGTH + DURABILITY
Full steel-edge perimeter provides additional strength and a Grade 40 security rating.

Hot-dipped galvanized steel provides superior durability, won't crack or warp.
STYLES + OPTIONS
Choose from smooth steel or a wood grain texture.

Add the finishing touch with a factory applied finish, which is available in many colors to match your home’s d├ęcor.

Stainable Steel Entry Door 

ENERGY PERFORMANCE
Fully insulated with an inner core of polyurethane foam for more energy efficiency than wood doors and meets ENERGY STAR requirements.

Adjustable hinge plate system allows for easy adjustment and alignment for a tight weather-seal.




Maze Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior service. 
 

Don't forget!!!
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterCheck us out on Instagram!

MAZE LUMBER
1100 Water Street
P.O. Box 449
Peru, IL 61354
Phone: 815-223-1742
Fax: 815-223-1752

Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00Noon
Sunday: Closed

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8 Mistakes To Avoid During a Home Renovation



8 Mistakes Everyone Makes
During A Home Renovation
(And How To Avoid Them)





EXPAND
Taking a sledgehammer to your outdated living room may sound like fun, but realistically, reviving your home is a process that requires a lot of time and care. Deciding to gut the bathroom and add a master walk-in closet is a great idea until you realize you need to do a plumbing update throughout the house and you already blew your budget on a heated floor, clawfoot tub, and those lighted closet bars you had to have. Focus is key, as is a bit of thoughtful planning. Today, we'll explain the eight most common mistakes that nearly everyone makes before and during a big renovation, and share how to avoid them before making that huge, gaping hole in the wall.
Overlooking the most-used rooms.
People often do not invest in the rooms that are the heart of the home, like the kitchen or living room. It’s important to prioritize these spaces. Its extremely important that functional spaces like the kitchen and bathrooms are up-to-date, especially when considering resale value. Only after these rooms are in great shape should you move onto less-crucial spaces like the bedroom or an office.


Spending too much on the wrong things.

If you’re going to invest in higher-priced items like kitchen appliances or bathroom fixtures, you can always balance it with more affordable items somewhere else. Just avoid doing the reverse: spending a lot on an accent wall and then economizing by installing laminate floors instead of hardwood. Think about what will make the most impact when you go to sell the home. It’s a give-and-take process.

Ignoring the bathrooms.
It is so important to renovate the bathrooms in your home so that they are always up to date—this is very important for resale value down the line. You can keep the renovation super simple by replacing outdated tile with classic stone or swapping in beautiful new fixtures. It doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul.




Forgetting about the landscaping.

This is the prelude to the interior. It sets the mood and creates an atmosphere. It should tie into what is happening with the interiors. There should be a point of view in regards to the landscape, no matter what room you are sitting in. They all relate to create the most dynamic spaces inside and out.

Not respecting the bones of the house.
Mixing and layering different styles and time periods is great, but you should always know and understand what the bones of the home are and respect the original architecture. Not sure what to do with your space? Hire a designer or architect for their expert opinion.

Choosing a contractor on a whim.
People who are renovating often choose a contractor too quickly. It’s best to take time to research and go with a referral. If you don’t have a referral, make sure you bid out a few and compare prices to find the best match for your budget. Also ask that contractor to speak with previous clients of theirs or try to go see their work in person. If you need a place to start, let us point you in the right direction with a list of local contractors we know & trust by clicking HERE.

For major renovations, hire an architect or designer.
Having an architect or designer on board will help to streamline the project and give you the best version of what you’ve envisioned for the home. They will also have relationships with vendors to make buying fixtures and furniture both more affordable (with a designer discount) and less stressful. DIY is great in theory but you never want to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to home renovations. All hired help should be welcome.

Setting a budget without overages.
You should budget for approximately 10-15 percent in overages. But don’t tell anyone in your camp—push your “hard” number, but know that you have a bit of room if something goes wrong. Things will definitely run over—there are almost always unforeseen issues once you start to tear down the walls!


Maze Lumber is dedicated to providing our customers with superior service.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, thoughts or ideas you may have.
We are always appreciative of our customers' input!

Don't forget!
LIKE us out on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!
Check us out on Instagram!


MAZE LUMBER

1100 Water Street
P.O. Box 449

Peru, IL 61354

Phone: 815-223-1742
Fax: 815-223-1752

Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8:00AM - 12:00Noon

Sunday: Closed