Office Design: 3 DIY Projects from 1 Bag of Concrete

Want to refresh your office? Create these three concrete pieces that tie a room together!

Office design isn’t just about looks — although I do like pretty things! It’s also about getting work done.

A lot of studies show a connection between a comfortable work environment and increased productivity. Of course, if you’re like me, a comfortable work environment means an attractive one!

I like to design rooms with character, and my latest concrete creations take three home office essentials — drawer pulls, the pen cup and the phone stand — and gives them some personality.

Cute and functional? That’s my kind of project. Follow along if you’re ready for an office refresh!

Materials

  • Quikrete Countertop Mix
  • 5-gallon Bucket (1)
  • Small Masonry Trowel
  • 60-, 80- and 120-Grit Sandpaper
  • 2 Chemical-Resistant Gloves
  • Ice Cube Trays for Water Bottles (2)
  • 1/4″-20 Coupling Nuts
  • Rubber Mallet
  • 2 Plastic Cups
  • Paper Clips
  • Coupling Nuts
  • Safety Glasses
  • Duct Tape

Notes: Always wear pants, a long-sleeve shirt, safety glasses and gloves while working with concrete mix.

Also, I created all three of these projects from one bag of concrete mix. I mixed the concrete and prepped each project’s form, one after the other, to stay efficient.

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Meet the Hummingbird Moth — A Valuable Pollinator

The hummingbird moth is often mistaken for its namesake. (DepositPhotos)

Picture this: You’re enjoying an afternoon on your patio or porch and, suddenly, hear the telltale buzzing of a hummingbird. But upon closer inspection, you realize it’s not a bird at all — it’s a hummingbird moth.

Meet the Hummingbird Moth

People initially mistake this bug — which the British call the bee hawk-moth, from the Hemaris genus of Sphinx moths — for the hummingbird. That’s because it acts very much like the bird it mimics.

This moth shimmers, sips, hovers and darts and — yes — even hums! Males have a flared tail, just like a hummingbird. And their wings beat faster than the eye can see.

In fact, wing beating is where these moths outshine their namesake. Hummingbirds hover at 50 beats per second, but the hummingbird hawkmoth almost appears motionless, flying at 85 beats per second.

Of course, there are some differences that set these critters apart.

While hummingbird moths don’t have a long beak, they do have a straw-like, long proboscis that unfurls like a garden hose to draw nectar from garden flowers.

And, of course, the hummingbird is a bird, and the hummingbird moth is

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Pivotal Home Solutions Review (2020)

Nice and comfortable neighborhood. Some homes on the empty street in the suburbs of the North America. Canada.
Pivotal Home Solutions coverage is unique to the industry. See if we think the setup is worth the money or if you’re better off with another provider. | Photo Credit: Shutterstock © romakoma

Homeowner’s insurance is there to cover your home systems and appliances in case of a catastrophic event. But in the likely event of a breakdown from normal wear and tear, you’ll want a home warranty

Choosing the best home warranty company is critical. When researching, you’ll want to look into plans, coverage exclusions, cost breakdowns, claims process and customer ratings. If that seems like a lot, don’t worry. The reviews team has done it for you.

One of the many home warranty companies we looked into was Pivotal Home Solutions®. Below, read our review and see whether we think this provider is a good choice. We ranked American Home Shield as our top pick. 

To get a free quote from American Home Shield, call 844-529-9298 or fill out your information online.

In This Article:

Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions. The reviews are always independent. For transparency, we may be

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Our Review of Whirlpool’s Warranty (2020)

Interior of modern kitchen with black granite counter, refrigerator 3d render
Whirlpool covers its products for the first year of ownership. See why you might want a home warranty after your Whirlpool warranty expires. | Photo Credit: Shutterstock © Vadym Andrushchenko

Home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool is a familiar name to many households across the country. Whether you are a current owner of Whirlpool products or are considering upgrading to this brand of appliance or system, it’s essential to understand how the warranty works. You should also have a plan in place for the next steps to take once the Whirlpool warranty expires.

A home warranty provides coverage for a variety of systems and appliances, regardless of their age or brand name. Purchasing a policy is a cost-effective way to maintain the equipment you own while protecting your budget from unforeseen expenses. The best home warranties also offer peace of mind that repair costs for the appliances you rely on most are covered.

We’ll explain how Whirlpool’s warranty varies among its appliances, the limitations of coverage, how to make a claim and what customer reviews say. We will also offer our recommendation for a better provider to cover your Whirlpool products: American Home Shield.

To get a free quote from American

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4 Types of AC Units to Consider

Friendly American Standard HVAC technician, who is wearing a cap, smiles, holds a clipboard, and stands beside a condenser unit
There are many ways to keep your home cool — a central air conditioning system is just one of them.

Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, an air conditioner can keep you comfortable during every kind of weather. If you don’t know the different types of AC units on the market, here’s a quick guide.

4 Types of Air Conditioners

Window air conditioner unit mounted directly in a window.
A window air conditioner unit mounts right on the window. (©tanvirshafi, Adobe Stock Photos)

1. Window Air Conditioner

A window air conditioner is one complete unit mounted on the window. There is no ductwork involved; one part of the unit faces inside and the other faces outside the room.

This single unit has all the components it needs, along with a double-shaft fan motor.

Here are some of a window air conditioner’s outside components:

  • Condenser
  • Propeller coil
  • Condenser coil
  • Fan motor

Here are some of its indoor components:

  • Cooling coil
  • Fan blower
  • Capillary tube
  • Operation panel
  • Filter drier
  • Drain pan

A ‘ton’ is how much heat an AC unit can remove in one hour. A window air conditioner, on average, is 1 to 4 tons.

Woman controls mini split air conditioner with her remote control in a white room
The split air conditioner has long been a favorite due to its slim
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How to Choose Air Conditioner Filters

Danny Lipford shows the selection of air conditioner filters available for purchase
A quality pleated air conditioner filter, pictured at the left, will catch more particles than a cheap grocery store filter, pictured at the right.

How well your central heating and cooling system cleans the air largely depends on the quality of your air conditioner filters.

Filters are rated from 1 to 16 on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value scale. The MERV scale is based on the percentage of particles, from 0.3 to 10 microns in size, that the filter catches. The higher the MERV number, the better it filters the air.

The Microparticle Performance Rating measures very small particles between 0.3 and 1 microns. Ratings on the MPR scale range from 0-2200. The higher the number, the smaller the particles that a filter removes.

Mold spores and pollen are usually in the 10-30 micron range; bacteria, 2-3 micron; and tobacco smoke, 0.5 micron.

Understanding the MERV Scale

Here are some guidelines to consider when choosing air conditioner filters:

  • MERV 1-4 Air Filters: These inexpensive fiberglass mesh filters only remove particles over 10 microns in size. They do little to improve the indoor air quality in your home.
  • 5-8 Air Filters: These medium-quality pleated air filters can remove particles down
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