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Kitchen Remodel

Beauty In Utility Travels With Colored Concrete Flooring

What better way than adorning your floor with colored concrete? Considering the fact that the modern lifestyle today seeks exclusivity, the options available with coloring concrete are endless.
Today’s colored concrete flooring is nothing but an elegant, wearable and a reflection of your personal style. You need the right contractor to describe the imagination you want to have with your flooring. However, note that color matching is not an exact science. Each contractor applies different techniques for coloring the countertops and employing different types and amounts of cement and aggregates to achieve great results.
Therefore, coloring the concrete surface throughout the remodeling schedule is the best way to enjoy the atmosphere in your place. A beautifully adorned place, with a dull and lifeless floor is like a bride covering a stained old coat over her spectacular wedding gown. No matter how lovely the space, the bad flooring kills the entire effect-and it is the first thing clients will notice. Similarly a home’s curb appeal soars when its image is complete. Shine on a floor is the pinnacle of clean, a symbol of a company’s attention to detail, and the best foot forward for your clients. You should remember that the floor is the basic foundation of your room and floor and d?�cor should go hand in hand. The function of a floor is twofold: it should be pleasing to the eye as well as practical.
So, you can enjoy that special feeling in with color surfacing. Color surface comes with assured exclusivity, and elegance; and the success of your business is built on the foundation in which it is handled. Just because concrete is underfoot, do not overlook your floor to be a style-maker. Take a look around. You will be surprised at how much plain and dull concrete is actually there.
It can hide future stains
When pouring new color on concrete, you can add colorant during the mixing process, which will provide a uniform tinting. There are also plenty of options for using color concrete mostly on driveway, parking lots, sideways, and other parking areas. With color concrete you can watch your concrete becoming stained with oil and grease, tire marks, and dirt.
It has chameleon like qualities
Colored concrete flooring has some rewarding qualities that will give you decades of service when properly installed and maintained.
Colored concrete remains a staple in the world of decorative concrete. While the technology has changed gravely in the past few years, its uses and popularity continue to grow. Bringing the beauty of colored concrete flooring into your place is a great way to instantly change the look of a business and home.…

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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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Basement Renovations

Don’t Leave Home Without This Checklist – How to Buy Car Battery

Cars are a very important part of our modern lifestyle – we use them to go to work, to visit our loved ones, to go to the grocery, to spend leisure time. Our hectic days are very dependent on our means of transportation, so it is very important to make sure that our cars are in tip top shape and always running well.
The car battery, of course, is a very important part of car maintenance. There is no definite time span when you should change your car battery, but if you buy car battery of high quality and the right kind, then it should last for a very long time and serve you and your car for many miles. Here is a simple checklist for things you should remember before you go out and buy car battery again:
Check the size that your car needs. Consult your vehicle’s manual so that you would know what size of battery it requires. Car batteries come in four basic sizes: 37, 75, 34/78 and 65.
Check the shelf life – it is better to buy car battery that hasn’t been sitting on the shelf for a long time (this greatly reduces its warranty and actual life span on your car). Get one that has been there for at least twelve months. (tip: to know when the battery was manufactured or delivered, check the label on the bottom for the shipping date code. The letter stands for the month is was manufactured, and the number stands for the year. So a battery with a M8 label means that it was manufactured on March 2008).
Check if the auto battery comes with a good warranty. Warranties for car batteries will usually have two warranty periods: the free replacement period and a warranty coverage period. The warranty information on a battery usually comes in the form of two numbers, i.e. 24/84. The first number is for the number of months for the free replacement period, and then the second number is for the warranty coverage. It is usually better to buy car battery that has a higher free replacement period.
After you have purchased your auto battery, it is up to you to take care of it and prolong its life. Most people make the glaring mistake of leaving their headlights on in the garage, and then coming back to a dead battery and a car that would not start. You can install an alarm in your car to prevent these kinds of mishaps. Also, check if the car battery you buy is designed for extreme heat or extreme cold, so that you can choose one according to your usual driving conditions. Buy car battery with these things in mind and you can enjoy longer trips and a safer ride on the road.…

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Remodel Kitchen

Home Remodeling Tips – For The Smart Homeowner

Home remodeling can add value to your home, along with making it more comfortable and beautiful. However, a good home remodel, that gives you the most return on your investment, is not as easy as just opening the phone book and picking out the first name you see. This article is meant to help homeowners confidently get through the worst roadblocks of a home remodeling project with ease and comfort.

Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into

First thing’s first-before you start picking out hand towels and door handles, you must figure out exactly what you want to have done. It is amazing how few homeowners take the time to really establish their wants and needs before they call their contractors. From upgrading your kitchen, master bedroom, to bathrooms, just start with one area you think needs the most work.

Sketch your ideas down on paper after you have figured out which room you want to remodel. Try and determine exactly how you’ll use the space and what your goals are with the room. Is it optimized for relaxing? For entertaining? These questions will make your planning stage with the contractor much easier. Also consider asking other people-friends and neighbors-what their experience has been and where their problems have occurred.

Next, plan your budget. It is always the safest to work in an additional 5-10% above what you tell your contractor you can spend, in order to cover any inevitable added costs (these can include high material costs and increased labor costs).

Make sure you have researched and know which permits you will require. Any structural change (like a room addition or a porch) will require permits and inspection, to make sure everything meets local building codes and safety regulations.

Do not over-improve. Once you get started, you can be swept away in the possibilities, but to really get the most out of your home remodeling, do no overdo it. Take a look at home prices in your area, and try not to exceed, in one room, what the general neighborhood values would be. If you spend half the estimated value for your neighbor’s house in your master bath, you will never be able to sell!

Lastly and maybe most importantly: Prepare yourself for problems! Yes, even the most thoroughly planned project can head into unexpected trouble. Using a professional, reliable contractor can ease these issues, but ultimately weather or other unforeseen circumstance can always put a snag in your plans. Remember your extra budget and keep calm, and you can make it through any obstacle.

Getting the Most Out of Your Home Remodeling Dollar

There are, of course, certain home remodeling projects that are going to offer the best return on your investment. Remodeling magazine published the following list to show where you get the most bang for your buck:

Bathroom Addition: 89%

Kitchen Remodel: 87%

Two Story Addition: 84%

Attic Bedroom Conversion: 83%

Master Suite Addition: 82%

Bathroom Remodel: 73%

Siding Replacement: 71%

Ultimately the best tips come on the job, from the experienced professionals. Pick a contractor that is knowledgeable and helpful, work together, and you will end up with your dream home remodeling project.…

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Renovation House

Do Your Bit for the Environment With Timber Flooring

Are you planning to renovate your house and refurbish its floors? This is a good opportunity to do your bit for the environment. You must be surprised by the connection between the two. What can possibly be the connection between decorating your floors and making a positive difference to the environment? The answer lies in timber flooring. This is because in this form of flooring, recycled timbers are used that are sourced from forests thereby encouraging more and more tree growth. We all wish to contribute something to the cause of a greener world but our super busy lives hardly give us a chance to fulfill them. Here, we can easily achieve that just by opting for timber while going for a flooring renovation. There are many individuals who feel that if something is environment-friendly, it cannot be good looking. However, this is completely untrue in this case. Timber looks really classy and colorful so that you can increase the style quotient of your house to a considerable extent.
This is not the only reason why you should go for timber. There are other benefits too that it has to offer. Firstly, it is a cakewalk to clean floors made of timber. While renewing your floors, you have to think of the practical side too. You cannot concentrate on appearance alone. It is true that the look will play an important role in defining the overall appearance of the house. However, that does not mean you should sacrifice on the practical aspect. In fact, it is something that you have to take into account in the initial stages of choosing and selection itself. Timber floors are better equipped to battle dirt and dust. Since they have a soft covering, you can easily eradicate dust mites. This is definitely convenient since now-a-days, nobody has the time to spend hours on cleaning floors and tiles. Moreover, it is not possible to spend a significant part of your savings on flooring frequently. You do want it to be a long-term investment. This can be guaranteed in this flooring type.
If you are an Asthmatic patient, you have one more reason to go for timber flooring. The simple reason is that timber has anti-allergic properties. Owing to this feature, timber is also used by professionals in their workspace such as offices, showrooms etc. The eclectic variety of colors facilitates a more inspiring work environment.
However, if you find this option to be too costly, you can go for regular hardwood flooring. Though it has been there for decades, you have no reason to think that it is outdated. There are certain things that never go out of fashion and it is one of them. When it comes to class and culture, hardwood truly scores. Moreover, if you ever sell your house in the future, you can get a slightly higher price just on account of wooden flooring. The best thing about it is that in spite of offering so many benefits, it is highly economical. All these reasons should prompt you to go for it.…

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General Article

The Top 4 Creepiest House Pests

Homeownership is the best, but it’s also a big responsibility. While taking care of your castle, you might come across some eerie things that you weren’t expecting, like rodents or insects. It usually happens when you least expect it. Here are four creepy house pests that you might discover and what to do about them.

Common House Mouse

Some people think mice are cute while others are terrified of them. One thing is for sure–you don’t want them playing house inside of yours spreading disease. Finding mouse droppings is upsetting and means a lot of cleaning. Where there’s one mouse, there are usually more, so it’s important to contact a rodent exterminator Staten Island to assess the situation.

Cockroaches

Imagine you’ve just purchased a home and decide to visit the kitchen for your first midnight snack. You turn on the lights and see something run across the counter. Nothing compares to that feeling of disgust. Unfortunately, a cockroach problem isn’t one you can fix by yourself. You’ll definitely require expert help to eradicate the problem swiftly.

Bats in Your Belfry

If you’ve ever had a bat in your house, you know capturing it can be a scream-fest. A bat fluttering around your home is what nightmares are made of. If this happens frequently, there’s a chance you could have a colony living in your home. Bats are illegal to kill, so you’ll need to call on a professional to perform an exclusion.

Hornets

Attics can be scary places which is why people tend to stay away. Sometimes they putter around the attic and make the horrible discovery of a large hornet’s nest. If you’ve noticed more than the normal amount of errant bees in your house, or discover a nest, don’t touch it and seek the advice of an expert immediately.

Frightening Discoveries

Owning a home can be a wonderland of discoveries, some of which are frightening. The good news is that there are solutions. Seeking prompt, professional help will get you back to enjoying your investment.…

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Home Renovation

How To Fix Your Laminate Floor

Even though a laminate floor is extremely durable and is created to be able to withstand a high amount of foot traffic, from time to time it needs to be fixed. There may be nicks or scratches that need repaired or perhaps an entire board needs to be replaced. Many laminate floors will buckle or peak and this may be what the problem is. No matter which one is causing your laminate floor to look less than perfect, there are ways that you can fix the floor yourself.
You will need to purchase a laminate flooring repair kit and have that on hand. You will also need a hammer, screwdriver and the laminate flooring. The repair kit can be purchased at a local or large hardware store. Bring along a sample of your laminate so that it matches perfectly.
The easiest fixing would be the nicks and scratches. You can simply read the instructions on the repair kit and easily eliminate those unsightly scratches.
If you need to replace part of the laminate flooring boards, you will need to do more than just read repair kit instructions. Using a screwdriver or a hammer, loosen up the molding around the floorboard. Be very careful to not damage the molding because it needs to be put back once the floor board is replaced.
The next step is to remove the floor boards that are beside and that lead up to the board that needs to be replaced. Once you have taken up the board to be replaced, simply click the new board right into it’s’ place. After the new board is correctly positioned, the other floor boards that were taken up first can then be put back in their places. It is then time to hammer the molding back in it’s’ place. Pound it carefully to avoid accidentally harming the molding.
If you have the peaking or buckling problem, you need to reduce the tensions of the boards. The age of the boards and the weather can expand the flooring and that is what causes the buckling. Once again, it is necessary to take out the molding with a hammer or screwdrivers. Do this carefully and save it because it will need to be put back down. Then take out the spacers from the original installation of the floor. These are the units that give support between the wall and laminate board.
To replace the old ones by putting in much smaller ones. Then very gently, push down on the peak. If the peak does not go down right away, don’t panic. The floor may just need to settle on its own and without any force from you. It will have to expand by itself at some point. Then you need to carefully put back the molding by using the hammer.
If there is a gap that has formed between the boards themselves, this will also cause the buckling or peaking. In this situation you will need to put larger spacers in right along the wall and this problem will be solved.…