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Bathroom Renovations

Purchase a Home Warranty – Things To Watch Out For Before You Buy

A home warranty service contract will allow you to have peace of mind and save you tons of money. It will basically cover the replacement and repair of your homes “moving parts” or home systems and major appliances. There are some things you should do prior to buying a warranty.
Before purchasing, you should estimate the level of coverage your home will need. You don’t want to dish out too much money on coverage if your house is brand new because it’s highly unlikely certain things will break during that time period. However, if your home is more than 10 years old you should spend extra money to get additional coverage.
Research the Home Warranty Company
One of the biggest nuances with some companies is that they are really slow about replying to your claims and they take ages to come by to your home and conduct repairs. Some companies may even deny your claims and not come over to your house at all. If you are dealing with a bad company, it won’t be uncommon at all to have to convince their representative that your replacements and repairs are listed on your contract. This is why it’s so crucial to do some research and find a trusted company that is straightforward and fair. It’s important to find one with good customer service.
Make Sure Your House Needs a Home Warranty
One of the disadvantages to purchasing any type of insurance is that you may not end up using it. You may end up wasting hundreds of dollars every year on a home warranty that is never utilized to repair your home. In the end when you do use it, it may be for a small appliance that doesn’t cover all the costs in premiums you have paid. It’s important to take a look at your home and judge whether you need a warranty plan; if your home is in great shape then you might just be throwing away your money. Remember most homes that are 5 years or younger don’t usually have any major problems; however if your home is older than 10 years old you should probably look into buying a plan.
Compare Prices
Before you invest any of your money, you should compare the prices of the best companies. Find a reputable company that covers all your needs and falls into your price range.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Flooring Is an Equally Important Aspect of Home Decor

The one aspect that most people tend to overlook while giving a makeover to their homes is flooring. Somehow, we have an assumption that it is not a very crucial part of home renovation and there is no need to waste time and thought over it. However, that is a completely wrong notion. When you think of your home, you have to consider it in totality. Each and every aspect of it is vital and you cannot afford to ignore any part. Why do most people spend so much money and energy in decorating their bathrooms then? When a guest comes in, he would not straightaway walk into your bathroom. But, in case he does, he will definitely deduce conclusions about your taste based on it. Therefore, you can understand you have to give equal importance to every nook and corner of your house.
People have really begun to concentrate on flooring and are looking for bankable options like hardwood flooring. This particular type of flooring comes in both unfinished and prefinished has its own features and advantages. For instance,one of the most prominent qualities that differentiate pre-finished flooring from the rest is this type of flooring, you do not require for unfinished flooring, the most advantageous aspect is that the seal is much more is because the finish is not applied board-by-board but on the whole flooring surface at a time. This easily seals the minute gaps existing between the flooring boards thereby protecting the floor against moisture.
Another reason why hardwood flooring enjoys considerable popularity among consumers is that it offers so much variety in terms of stain and surfaces. It does get exciting when you have a lot to choose from so that you can settle for nothing but the best. For instance, some flooring is evenly planned at the mill so that you get a refined and smooth surface. Again, there are hand scraped ones where the plank is hand worked in order to create a seasoned, contoured is mainly done for the purpose of giving a lived-in impression. The same variety can be found in the sphere of stains as well. This flexibility works strongly in favor of this particular form of flooring.
However,if you want to be a bit different, you can go for other options as well. For starters, there is timber flooring type appears homely and that is one strong reason why it appeals to a wide range of consumers. Add to it the rich colors they promise to offer. On one hand, you have species like Karri and Jarrah which are dark-colored while on the other there is Tasmanian and Blackbutt of the light-colored ,again,the Wandoo species boasts of honey present, recycled timber are also being used for flooring purposes thereby making a positive difference to the you want to do your bit for the environment, you can go for them and install them in your house.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Detoxing Your Space’s Space

The following is an excerpt from the book, Designing the Life of Your Dreams from the Outside In, by author/eco-shui design consultant, DeAnna Radaj. Enjoy!
Did you know that the air you breathe inside your house is more polluted than the air you breathe outside? In fact, the EPA considers poor air quality a top risk to human health. Indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air. But DeAnna, you’re thinking, I live in a quiet suburb not near a factory, so how can my air be bad? Carpeting, paint, household cleaners, fabrics, even the candles you light for ambience are all culprits in polluting your indoor air. Many of these things were created to make your life easier, however, they also give off vapors or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause allergies (or make existing ones worse,) compromise respiratory problems, cause headaches and make life miserable for those with environmental sensitivities.
Over the last 30+ years, houses and office buildings have been constructed with energy conservation in mind. Doors fit tighter, if they open at all, and window drafts are a thing of the past! At the same time, a new wave of chemicals has been invented and injected into building materials, cleaners and household supplies. There are about 75,000 chemicals being used in everything from carpet pads to dryer sheets, window cleaners, dish soaps, hair products, air fresheners, bedding, aromatherapy products and pet supplies.
We talked previously about off gassing, but what exactly does it mean? Molecules break down and pollute the stale air inside our tightly sealed homes and offices. People often complain about “canned, dead air” inside airplanes, sick building syndrome at offices, or colds passed back and forth between family members. According to the National Institute of Health, we are “marinating in a broth of invisible toxins that cause everything from headaches to cancers.”
***The best way to get rid of “dead” air-open a window! Even in winter, opening a window or door for even a few minutes will help clear the dust and energize a space and it’s occupants. ***
What’s one of the simplest least expensive ways to clean the air in your home? Plants. In fact, one of the best ways to breathe clean air in your home is to have one plant for every 100 square feet of space. Plants clean the air by breathing in dirty air and trapping pollutants, and then expelling oxygen-rich clean air. Substances such as formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia (the afore-mentioned VOCs) are transformed, while keeping humidity levels steady. This in turn helps to keep allergies at bay. “If you are bothered by mold, stop it from growing by putting an inch of aquarium gravel on top of the potting soil. This will also help stop cats from digging in there as well,” states Avery Hurt in his article Freshen the Air from the March, 2006 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Although any kind of plant is beneficial, some plants do a better job of cleaning the air than others. They are known to be easy to grow and tough to kill. Fortunately, many of the best plants for cleaning the air also are traditional household favorites. These are a few:
Bamboo palm Boston fern
Rubber Plant Peace Lily
Spider Plant Corn Plant
English ivy Janet Craig dracaena
Did you realize that candles are one of the biggest indoor air polluters because of the materials they are made of, scented with and the prevalent use of lead-based metal wicks? If you burn a candle with a lead wick, every time it burns the lead is deposited on the walls, furniture and floors. Even these low levels of lead exposure can lead to lack of coordination, low-level fatigue and behavioral disorders.
In 1973, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission asked candle manufacturers to replace lead wicks with zinc. However, compliance is voluntary and often not checked. It is up to you, the consumer, to be informed and make smart purchasing decision. The best choice for wicks is organic, unbleached cotton wick.
***Australia succeeded in banning lead wicks in 1999. ***
Did you know that paraffin is a petroleum by-product obtained from oil refineries, and there are at least seven toxins (including benzene) in paraffin? Most fragrance oils used in candle making are also petroleum based. There are some good options however; candles are now made of palm wax, soy and beeswax. Also, when purchasing a scented candle, or any other aromatherapy product, look for items scented with essential oils and botanicals. These candles are available at most locations that sell this type of product. You may pay a little more, but these candles tend to last longer, have a longer lasting scent and don’t cause the sooting, smoking and blackening that can occur …

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Bathroom Renovations

Creative Up-Cycle Ideas For Home Design

Upcycling is trendy, green and economical, but all too often, upcycled projects look – well, upcycled. We’ve all seen those oh-so-crafty projects that use old CDs to make artwork on the walls, or repurpose old sweaters into sofa cushions. While some of them look great in any apartment living room, the typical “saved from the trash” decorating project really does look like it was saved from the trash. It doesn’t have to be that way! 

It is possible to turn trash into treasure that really looks like treasure. It takes attention to detail and a careful eye for professional finishing of your project. These tips will help you create beautiful furniture and design accents for your home from throwaways that you find in your own garage or at a local yard sale.

Start with quality materials. The best way to end up with a high quality upcycled accent is to start with a well-crafted piece that needs cleaning, repair and updating. Keep your eyes peeled for items at yard sales and on the side of the road that fit your design scheme, and that are basically sound.

Use the right tools. Good tools can make the difference between a frustrating, time-consuming project that looks slapped together and a fun, easy-to-finish new piece of furniture or decor for your home. The tools are dependent on the type of project, of course. A decent sewing machine is a must for sewing projects, for instance, and an electric drill with a full set of bits will make woodworking projects so much easier.

Start with a plan. Before you lay a finger on your project, decide exactly how to tackle it. Have a clear idea of what you want your finished piece to look like. Examine your starting piece to figure out what needs to be done to make it look the way you want it to look, then follow through on your plan step by step.

Clean and repair first. Any redesign or upgrade needs to start with a clean, sturdy base. Sand away any rust from metal pieces, and clean all surfaces of your piece. If joints are loose or rickety, tighten them up. Repair any parts that need repairing. Don’t let your eagerness to dig in overcome your good sense. This is a vital first step that will ensure a quality result.

Pay close attention to finish and detail work. The difference between a “craft project” and a striking piece of home decor is in the detail and finish work. Finish all seams on sewn work. Countersink screws on wood pieces. Clean up any corners and edges. Install the right hardware. Do whatever it takes to give your finished piece that finished look.

Creativity is great. Having an eye that can see a gorgeous planter in a paint-dripped old wooden ladder is a gift. When you couple that funky, creative side with meticulous crafting and attention to detail, you can truly lift a “home made” piece into the realm of “hand crafted design”.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Marble Applications In The Home and Office

Marble has been used within the hotels, commercial establishments and a variety of residential applications for many years, however the increase in popularity is nothing short of phenomenal when one considers the explosive growth of sales of marble for home and office applications of the natural material of marble and related products within the home improvement context.
One of the most popular additions of marble within the home and office is that of flooring and flooring tiles. This provides the setting with an air and grace in terms of d?�cor, and is practically second to none when it comes to those wishing to create that grand look within an entrance hall and even a staircase, that is normally the first sight that greets the visitor to the home or office in question. In so far as design of the marble itself, there are so many different options available that one is really spoiled for choice and can practically select an option that matches the exact look and feel required within any desired setting within which the marble will be installed or applied.
Specific to the flooring designs and options when it comes to marble, one can choose from the marble tile options, which allows for a relatively easy installation process, as well as replacement repair when a specific tile is broken, although this may not occur easily based upon the strength of the materials in question. In so far as the actual design options, and going beyond that of the availability of colours of marble, some of the most common designs include that of the inlaid medallions. These are ideal at the entrance of the home, and often times even complimented with an overhanging chandelier or similar type of attention grabbing light structure. The inlaid medallions can be as complex or as simple as one wishes, and the application of this certainly requires the services of expert within such marble applications. Common medallion designs include the square marble medallion and the round option, with additional more sought after options including complete floor design, bordering and subtle design options for those seeking a slight change to the neutral approach.
Marble is additionally incorporated into the home with columns and pillars, almost recreating the scenes of ancient Greece or Roman influences within the home or office setting. This also makes it ideal for implementation around a large fireplace or hearth and additionally providing that timeless classic look and feel to the setting within which it has been applied.
In so far as the selection of the marble itself, it is often times best to do so with the guidance of experts or specialists. This will allow the discerning shopper to realize the actual requirements of any treatments or related care of the marble which in turn will allow for extended longevity, beauty and durability regardless of where this natural material has been installed within the home or office environment.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Simple Ways to Cut Your Hot Water Bill

Your hot water bill can be reduced by making use of some simple tricks that will permit you to consume less water and thus pay less. The first thing you need to know is that the water pipes in your home need to be in good condition and free of leaks to avoid water losses. A dripping hot water connection is literally money down the drain. It is a good idea to do a visual inspection of the piping in your basement every two years or so.
Another good way of saving on your hot water bill is to use other types of water heaters, such as a tankless water heater that heats water on demand. It will save you plenty of energy, because the water gets heated only when needed. This is in contrast to a conventional tank that works to keep the entire tank of water at a constant temperature at all times.
Some other ways of reducing the bill is to make some changes to your shower. The new models of energy efficient shower heads help to save energy and water without reducing pressure. Low flow shower heads use up to 70 per less water than normal ones. Some models provide adjustable spray jets that reduce heat loss and improve comfort. An energy efficient shower head consumes about 5 liters per minute, as opposed to a traditional one that averages about 14 liters per minute.
The reduced flow results in a reduction of water consumption, so you will save on your water bills and sewer bills. For those of you who have septic tanks and wells, it makes for less wear and tear on your pumping equipment and the number of times you will need to have your septic tank pumped out. To further reduce your water consumption, consider installing a shower head with a stop button, or a single handle faucet, which you can press to interrupt the flow. The advantage of this button is that you can interrupt the flow while you soap or shampoo, then turn it back on and rinse at the same rate and temperature as before.
A large number of shower faucets are fitted with safety devices such as valves to regulate pressure and maintain the water temperature at a constant level. In a household with small children or elderly folks, this is an essential way to keep everyone safe from burns that can result from scalding hot water.
You can also save more water and energy by taking quick showers instead of long baths. You will consume as much as 50 per less hot water depending on the shower head you use. For example, a shower of 5 minutes with a flow rate of 9.5 liters per minute, consumes approximately 47.5 liters of water while a bath, half full, requires an average of about 100 liters of water. A timer, such as an hourglass or a manual timer, can help to control and reduce the time spent in the shower. Even if you decide to shower a little longer than usual now and then, your low flow shower head will save you money.…

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Bathroom Renovations

Advice On How To Repair Your Roof

Nobody can argue with how important your roof is to your home. However, many homeowners have little experience when it comes to roof repair. Looking at the tips that follow will have equipped with roof repair knowledge.

If you find out that your roof is leaking when the weather is bad, wait until things settle down before doing any repairs. There is not one quick way to patch your leak, and you could get hurt if you try to work on a wet, slippery roof. Therefore, don’t climb on your roof until it quits raining and it is completely dry.

Leaks come from having damaged shingles, but you should also inspect your roof’s foundation. If the sides of your home have dry rot, water can enter your home there. It is important to examine every potential water entry point, like rotting wood, so that you are really resolving all the problem areas.

Always take the time to check the references and credentials of any roofing contractor you want to hire. Follow up on the reference you are given and contact them for their experiences with the contractor you are considering. You should also go and check out some of their previous work. Check out the work and see what it looks like for yourself.

If you’re getting pitched to by a high pressure roofing salesman then you need to tell them you’re not interested. These people are generally shady and try to make you sign a contract that has you losing out on things so it’s a good idea to not allow yourself to work with them.

If you’ve called a roofer, but their visit isn’t for another couple days, use a type of temporary fix on the leaky roof. Nail heavy plastic over the leak. This isn’t the best way to handle a leak, but it will hold you over for now.

Investigate the credentials and reputation of a roofing contractor before signing a contract. Talk to your family, friends, coworkers, etc. for suggestions on roofing contractors. This is crucial since you want to avoid poor roofing work that could be expensive later on.

Have you checked the contractor’s credentials? They need to have a license, so check that it is valid. You should also check that they maintain a policy for full liability insurance, as well as workers compensation.

You need to think about how long a contractor has been doing business. Those who’ve been around for years must have satisfied customers. Anyone that is new to this could be trying to scam you.

Using cheap materials on your roof may seem like a good idea, but usually leads to problems later. Even if the materials are very cheap to buy you need to think over the fact that if they were to wear out quickly you may have to fix things, costing you more money.

There is no questions as to the importance of a roof to the safety and protection of you, your family and the rest of your home. Many homeowners don’t know how to care for their roof. With any luck, this piece has helped to increase roofing knowledge and has offered good tips everyone can use.…