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Bathroom Remodel

How to Buy a House

As part of the home search process, after looking at many houses, you may find one that that you like. How do you determine objectively whether you should make an offer and how much to offer? How do you know what kind of offer makes sense? The answers to these questions will be a mix of careful study, professional support, and your own subjective concerns. In this article, we will consider how to evaluate the condition of the house, in light of considering making an offer to purchase a residential property.
When you walk through the house, if there are significant problems, these will often present themselves if you pay attention. For example, if the floors seem uneven, you should suspect that there might be foundation issues. If you see rust stains in the sink, there may be deteriorated galvanized piping. If you notice 2-prong outlets, you can be pretty sure that the electrical system is antiquated.
We do not suggest that a homebuyer try to develop the trained eye of a professional property inspector, but your real estate professional should be able to help you locate an experienced one for you. But the more carefully you look, the more likely you are to see issues to which you can direct your attention when reading the disclosure reports that will be provided by the seller. In a complete set of disclosures, in addition to the disclosures that are mandated by law (such as those concerning water heaters, smoke detectors, etc., and the transfer disclosure statement and its supplements) you will typically find reports that give you a good general picture of the condition of the house. The most common ones are structural pest control reports (or termite reports) and general property inspections (which typically includes all the major elements of the house structure, inspected in general depths). For those who want to cover additional grounds, they may get other inspections such as structural (typically foundation and the structural integrity-related issues), structural pest (termite report), roof, chimney, soils, septic system, water quality (for wells), and others, especially when you suspect there may be something wrong with a specific part of the property.
The inspection reports, coupled with what the seller discloses about the defects of the house in the transfer disclosure and its supplements are very valuable information. The seller is required by law to disclose to you what they know about any material defects the property has. As a practical matter, you should not expect a lot of detail in the transfer disclosure, so carefully note any faults that are indicated, and consider the potential implications. If you learn to interpret the information from the seller and the inspectors, which your real estate agent can guide you with, you can often gain a pretty clear understanding of the physical condition of the property. Not always, though. Frequently, the most important inspection reports are absent, either because the seller doesn’t want to pay for the reports, or because the seller believes a better price may be achieved if the defects of the house are not too explicitly defined. It is good real estate practice for sellers to fully disclose any defects they know, so they can avoid future liabilities. Where full disclosures are not available, we strongly suggest that buyers either enlist the help of their own inspectors or take extreme care when bidding on such properties, especially in overheated markets where non-contingent offers are common. You could be acquiring problems that are not explicitly known to the seller (who therefore cannot be held at fault for not telling you). Whatever it takes, in most situations you need to have a clear sense of the magnitude of the defects in the house you are buying and what it will cost to fix them.
Based on the finding in the different inspections, a structural inspection for example, it may be clear that the foundation is not performing adequately. Depending on the specifics, you might get a bid from a foundation contractor or consult with a structural engineer. An indication that the roof was near the end of its life may warrant getting a roof report, or if the contractor is willing to do so, a bid for repair/replacement (which is usually free).…

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Bathroom Remodel

Top Tips For Maintaining Your Wool Carpet

The carpet that you picked for your home was not an easy decision. You had to match the decor of your home, search for the best price, and get it installed. The quality of the carpet may be high-caliber but if it isn’t maintained properly it will not last. You need to ensure that your carpet will last you a long time. Here are the top tips for maintaining your wool carpet.
If you carpet is located in a high traffic area it will collect dust, dirt and trash. One must constantly vacuum to keep it clean. The longer it sits on the carpet the greater it has a chance to become trapped within it and make it harder to clean. This can also cause stains which might not come out.
If you see any dirt, liquids, or food particles on the carpet immediately remove them. This helps to eliminate it from getting worse. Many stains that are stubborn can be cleaned easily when they are fresh. Because the carpet is made from wool material it has a chance to break down and damage the look and quality of the rug if stains are allowed to remain for a long period of time without being cleaned.
Any stain is best removed with a liquid solution that has been combined with water. This helps to lift the particle from the wool. You only need to then allow it to dry after rinsing the cleaning agent out with water. Pat the area with a towel to remove excess moisture.
For any serious stains that aren’t getting relief with regular cleaning agents try steam. You can hire a professional company to perform the service for you for a small fee. Or you can rent or purchase a steam cleaner to do it yourself.
Make sure that you check the label of any chemicals you decide to apply to the carpet. Some contain harsh chemicals that cannot be used. Any oxygen cleansers are one such type that does not mix well with wool material. It erodes the material which may leave it discolored or disfigured. Do not use bleach on the carpet. Even if the carpet is white it is not a good idea.
Wool does not do well in high heat. That expensive wool sweater that you purchase must be dry cleaned. It states to not wash it in high heat. The same is true for your carpet. It cannot take excessive heat as well. It will shrink.
If you take great care of your wool carpet it will last you the length of time that you live in your home. You may decide to change the decor because you want to, not due to any replacement from damage or stains. By using the correct cleaning agents, removing dirt, grime, and stains as they happen you will keep your carpet looking new and fresh. Steam cleaning is the method of final choice that can help you in the case of a dire cleaning emergency.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Define Your Style – Home Design Ideas

Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and when it comes to interior design this can often by the best route to take if you don’t trust your own design instincts. There is a danger however, that your house will blend into every other Magnolia drenched, carbon copy home that we see cloned on every street in Britain today. Why do we practice such safe design? Is it because we suffer from a lack of imagination, or are home owners up and down the land just not brave enough to experiment? Maybe in this difficult economic climate we cannot risk straying from that safe colour palette of cream and white?
I say, why create a ‘blank canvas’ (just in case you move home), for someone else to put his or her stamp on. Look for inspiration everywhere and don’t fear your own style. There are several ways in which you can experiment without breaking the bank and below are a few ideas and tips, which could inspire you to create your own unique groove. Firstly, do a little research. Websites such as housetohome have a fantastic gallery of pictures and suppliers that can inspire you and are less likely to be found in the house next door.
Create a mood board. Collect images, colour swabs and fabric samples in order to focus your ideas and inspire you. This way you will be able to see which colours and styles go together and it will also help you commit to only buying what you need. Steer clear of the plain and create simple elegance by choosing a simple colour palette but also experimenting with different textures of paint and fabrics. B&Q have a paint colour mixing service, which can match any of your favourite items.
Add a splash of colour by adding cushions and throws or curtains. Cushions, and more surprisingly curtains, are easy to make if you have a bit of time on your hands and you can get quality designer fabrics at greatly reduced prices online. Stores such as sell designer fabrics at £10 a meter instead of the recommended retail price of £30 to £100 a meter. If you don’t fancy making curtains yourself, Digby & Willoughby can get these made up for you. Alternatively breathe life into a favourite chair with new upholstery with Fabrics from Digby & Willoughby.
Accessorise with one or two unique pieces such as a beautiful free standing mirror or a piece of artwork. To save some pennies you could visit auction houses such as lotsroad or criterionauctions. I recently found a fantastic seascape oil painting in a charity shop and a beautiful art deco bedroom suite on so keep your eyes peeled. Love the traditional? Experiment with mixing the traditional with the new to avoid being old fashioned. Choose classic wallpapers with a funky twist from companies such as Cole & Sons and Zoffany to create a feature wall. Visit reclamation yards such as wellsreclaimation or sites such as to find beautiful antique wooden furniture and natural materials to create a classic and unique vintage look.
A statement piece of furniture can be the inspiration for the design of your whole room. Cover an old chest of drawers or table with fantastic hand printed wallpaper, protected with layers of clear varnish and jazz it up with new or antique handles. Try for hand printed wallpapers. Go off piste, I recently purchase antique music scores from a local bookshop, which cost me 30p each and they make the perfect vintage wall coverings. If you religiously follow modern styles, what is the buzz from the world of interior design, what are the hot colours for 2010?
Colours from Mexico such as, burnt oranges, sunny yellows, gingers and taupe’s are on trend. Various shades of midnight blue with greying whites are in vogue and as well as being chic and ultimately classic, they would be a good long-term investment. Soft vintage colours, such as neapolitan pinks and yellows reflect the current boom in homemade crafts and reclaimed materials. Other colours in style for 2010 will be natural hues, soft beiges and nudes with green or purple accessories. There are plenty of ways to create your own unique style and to update your home. And remember, to play on the words of Jim Rohn, ‘if you don’t design your own style, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!’
Helena Searle
January 2010…

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Bathroom Remodel

Karndean Flooring – For a Unique Feel

The decision regarding the flooring of any construction, whether residential or commercial, is one of the most critical. The decoration of the home, like the colour of the walls, the colour of the furniture, the materials used, home decor items, and so on all depends only on the kind of flooring that you have installed. In addition, the job plays a vital role in determining the overall look and style of the room. A floor, which has too many scratches, or which reacts too easily to the claws of pets and to high heels is certainly not one of the ideal ones. Yet, wooden floors, which come in this category, are often loved for their beauty and earthiness.
About Karndean
Karndean flooring is one of the most important brands that are available today. Every flooring contractor recommends this brand to people who love natural materials, but cannot use them in all rooms for various reasons. With the help of this company, you can have some of the most beautiful looking floors and some of the most unconventional too. So if you love timber, you can have it anywhere – in your bathroom, or even in your conservatory. These floors are able to provide you with the authenticity of natural materials, and yet are made of a material which is completely different from what they look like. The materials used for this kind of flooring are very resistant to various kinds of conditions and are much easy to maintain.
Amtico floors
Amtico flooring is yet another choice for flooring contractors who have been given the task of decorating commercial buildings. This kind of flooring is very famous for its superb design and its splendid stylishness that makes it a very popular choice for all kinds of commercial complexes. These flooring companies specialise in the use of vinyl as the chief material for raw materials. The overall look is very stylish, and gives the onlookers a distinct feeling of luxury. The main advantage of using this kind of work is that you can save an enormous amount on maintenance costs. These floors are extremely easy to maintain on a daily basis.
Need for safety
When you contact floor contractors for your commercial complex, make sure that you mention the need for safety flooring. This is a form of flooring which includes introducing special materials as laminates on the surface of the floor, so that people do not slip and fall easily. Rubber is usually one of the main choices, although these days, there is a wide variety of materials available. You can go for materials which provide a good amount of friction between the highly polished heel and the floor, and at the same time, is quite easy to clean and maintain. Your floor company must be made to understand the need for a safety floor very clearly, since not providing one can lead to unnecessary lawsuits in the future.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Septic Tanks – Ensuring Water Quality

Understanding septic systems capabilities and limits is needed to ensure water quality. A septic system is a type of On-Site Sewage Facility and is a self-contained, underground waste-water treatment system. By using natural processes to treat the waste-water on-site, septic systems do not require the installation of miles of sewer lines, making them less disruptive to the environment. A septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution system and a soil absorption system, also called a drain field. The septic tank is a watertight box, sometimes made out of concrete or fiberglass, with an inlet and outlet pipe. The septic tank treats the waste-water naturally by holding it in the tank long enough for solids and liquids to separate. The waste-water forms three layers inside the tank. Solids lighter than water float to the top forming a layer of scum.
Solids heavier than water settle at the bottom of the tank forming a layer of sludge. This leaves a middle layer of partially clarified waste-water. The layers of sludge and scum remain in the septic tank where bacteria found naturally in the waste-water work to break the solids down. The sludge and scum that cannot be broken down are retained in the tank until the tank is pumped. The layer of liquid flows from the septic tank to the drain field. A drain a series of trenches lined with gravel or sand and below the ground. The drain field treats the waste-water by allowing it to slowly trickle from the pipes out into the gravel and down through the soil. The remaining impurities are trapped and disposed of in the soil. The excess water is eliminated through percolation into the soil, and eventually returning to the ground water, through evaporation, and by uptake through plants and transpiration.
The Center for Watershed Protection notes that septic systems can be effective methods of water treatment, however failures are common in many areas. Even properly functioning septic systems can leak and are not designed to effectively deal with most of the phosphorus and nitrogen load found in the water it treats. Pathogenic fecal bacteria are also a concern. The primary concern for a municipality is proper maintenance of septic systems, and in some cases the total load of partially treated pollutants that can impact local drinking water and wildlife. A solid understanding of septic systems capabilities and limits, and a good government plan is needed to ensure water quality.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Affordable Septic Tank Cleaning And Pumping Service At Your Door Step

There are millions of people residing in the rural areas who install septic tanks in their houses. Most of the people are not aware about what exactly a septic tank does and what should be done to maintain it in a good way. Septic tanks are of two types; cement septic tanks and plastic containers. Cement sewage containers are in huge size and are carefully installed under the ground.
Plastic septic containers are of light weight and these sewage containers are mostly installed in houses where there is no space for large tanks. Drainage containers main job is to collect the waste materials that exit from lavatories, bathrooms, washing stations, and kitchen. Most of the house owners don’t know how to maintain the septic tank effectively. Maintenance is very important for its successful functioning.
Sewage tank is to collect all the unwanted waste materials, but all the waste material should not be dumped into the sewage tank. Dumping heavy solid waste materials can block the leachfields or drainfields and lead to clogging. Every container should undergo cleaning or pumping for at least once in a year. Septic tank cleaning and pumping schedule varies according to the size and number of people staying in the home.
Drainage tank holders should not dump heavy solid waste materials like toilet paper, paper towels, sanitary napkins, tampons, cigarette butts, and cotton balls. You should also avoid dumping cooking oils and grease. This will cause damage to the entire system and increases the cost of repair. The cost of cleaning and pumping can be affordable if the tank is maintained effectively.
Generally, a sewage tank pumping typically cost around $75 to $200. Cost also varies according to the size of the container. If size increase, cost also increases. For large containers, service providers will cost around $200 to$350 or even more. If the tank is completely damaged, then they have to replace it with a new one. The cost of replacing and installing a container depends on the local service providers.
You must be cautious in selecting a service provider. There are many agencies that offer all septic services at affordable cost. Before choosing a company, you much enquire about their quality of service from your neighbors. This can help you in selecting the right agency. You can also browse on the Internet and know about the agency. Do not forget to ask them about the discount and offers in the agency. This can save you some bucks from your pocket.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Landscaping For Your Location – How To Choose The Right Plants

Can you transform your yard from a dull, boring expanse of grass into something more lively? What do you need to do in order to come up with a landscape that impresses your friends and family? This article will help you answer these questions by giving you some great tips on landscaping.

Fill your yard with native plants. These are easier to tend to since they are already used to your climate. Thus, they are a great choice for anyone who is unwilling or unable to spend a lot of time on maintenance. Information is readily available at any local gardening store regarding which plants may be native to your location.

There are many things to learn before beginning a landscape project. For example, you will need to know which plants work best in your climate and location. Seasonal variations are an important consideration as well. All of these factors combine to determine whether your landscaping efforts will be a success or a failure.

Select your plants carefully, as they have a big impact on your overall landscaping project. Don’t plant sun-loving plants in shady areas. If there is not much room for plant growth, it is not wise to place a tree in that location. When you decide on an area to plant a plant, make sure it can thrive there.

There’s much more to landscaping then simply planting some grass and trees. To add texture and substance, look for opportunities to include wood, cement or iron structures. Adding other structures like birdbaths and birdhouses, or an archway in a flower bed will really add complexity and intrigue to your landscape. No matter what your price range, you can find many accent pieces that can fit into your budget.

You can save money by timing purchases. Lumber is usually less expensive in the winter months. Mulch, shrubs and trees can be quite a bit less expensive later in the season. So if you can, you may want to wait to make your purchases then. Try to wait a couple of years to purchase a plant if it is something that is new to the market.

It really isn’t necessary to hire a professional to do all of the work on your landscaping project. The end result will be excessive expenditures. You may want to ask them for advice, and pay them for the service, but doing the work yourself will save you a lot of money.

Spending less is not always the best idea. While you can locate inexpensive supplies, the quality can be below what you want or need. Specialty stores may be a little bit more expensive; however, for newcomers to the subject of landscaping, they can provide a wealth of information and support.

Be sure to carefully estimate your costs when doing your own landscaping. Make a complete list of all the plants, soil, rocks, fertilizer and tools you will need. Next, figure out where to purchase all these materials. Prices can vary widely from place to place. Try to look for the lowest price available on good quality materials.

The information you’ve just read is filled with great advice that every homeowner should have. No matter what sort of project you have in mind (e.g. pool house, backyard redo, installing a pond, etc.) you’re ready now having read these tips!…