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Basement Renovations

Discover the Beauty of Cork Flooring With Cork Flooring Reviews

With its many benefits and overall beautiful appearance, cork flooring should either: be high on your list of upgrades to your current home, or be one of the options for your soon-to-be-built home. The bottom line is that natural cork flooring, although not as well known as other floor materials, is fast becoming one of the most popular wood floors being installed today; and for good reason. The remainder of this article will discuss the many advantages of cork; from cork flooring tiles to floating plank patterns and other variations in between. Thankfully, there are many cork flooring reviews you can consult regarding many of the features and benefits of a cork floor. Let’s begin with a few advantages of discount cork flooring.
Durability and Cushioning Effect:
One of the primary benefits of cork as a flooring material is its ability to be long-lasting under years of use as well as its capacity to cushion the feet while being walked, run, or hopped upon. Let’s face it. Sometimes landing on a solid wood floor is not the most comfortable of situations. With cork as your base, that landing is much softer and safer. Even though you might relate cork such as lisbon miro, as being too soft, it’s just the opposite that is true. A real cork floor, when applied and finished correctly, is extremely durable and strong; and only requires routine maintenance to keep clean, such as a gentle whisk broom.
Cork Flooring is Warmer and Safer:
By reading various cork flooring reviews, you will come to realize just how happy thousands of cork floor customers are in two primary areas: warmth and safety. It’s true. A cork floor, due to it intrinsic structure, is a top insulator; which subsequently means a warmer floor. In addition, cork is one of the best materials available for the reduction of certain types of allergic material. Cork floors are hypo-allergenic and better yet, powerfully mold resistant; a pair of features that only increase the benefits of cork. And if you are concerned about the environment and how cork wood is harvested, take ease because cork wood is harvested primarily from the bark of trees which themselves are highly sustainable and replenishable.
To conclude, cork floors are being seen in more and more homes due to its beauty, durability, mold and allergy resistance, and lessened impact on the environment. It’s also available at a very reasonable price, usually costing as much as cheap laminate flooring. Read the latest reviews about cork floors and you, too, will fall in love with the natural beauty of cork floors.…

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Renovation Contractor

How to Take Care of Your Sewer Lines

There are many joys in home ownership, but like everything else in life there are also some challenges and the occasional issues. One of the more daunting tasks of the homeowner is dealing with sewer or plumbing concerns. After all, there is not much fun to be had dealing with clogged pipes, line back-ups, and obstructions. Fortunately many of them can be prevented by adhering to the following do’s and don’ts of sewer and septic tanks maintenance.

Tips for Avoiding Sewer Problems

Some of the best things you can do to prevent sewer backups and blockages are:

Always collect cooking grease, fats, and oils in a container to be thrown in the garbage. Do not just rinse these items down the drain.

Be sure to throw away diapers, sanitary napkins, the garbage-NEVER flush these items down the commode!

Install a sewer backflow preventer device (BPD) to prevent backflows or backups from the sewer.

When it comes to landscaping, be sure that plants with spreading root systems are not planted near sewer laterals as the roots can invade the sewer lines causing blockages, backups and even result in burst pipes.

In the case of slowing draining in bathtubs, sinks, showers and toilets use a plunger and then a plumber’s snake to see if you can remove the obstruction. If this doesn’t work, call a plumber as they have tools especially designed for this type of problem.

Preventative Maintenance for Your Sewer System

On a weekly basis, use a mixture of 1 cup each of baking soda and salt plus A� cup of cream of tartar. Stir up the solution then pour into the drain followed by 1 cup of boiling water. Wait 10 seconds then run cold water down the drain.

At least once month clean the drain. Pour a A� cup of baking soda down the drain followed by A� a cup of white vinegar. Allow the mixture to set for 3 hours before rinsing down the drain with hot water.

If you believe grease accumulation to be a concern, pour A� cup each of salt and baking soda down the drain then flush with a teakettle of boiling water.

These chemical reactions work like the commercial products available a superstore, but cost a lot less!

Tips for Avoiding Septic Tank Problems

Be sure to pump out the septic tank on a regular basis. However, do not use septic tank additives.

Keep surface water from upslopes or roof drains away from disposal fields.

Do not let grease or related products, as well as items such as chemicals or plastic enter the septic system.

Never drive or park heavy vehicles on the disposal fields as this can compact the soil and crush the pipes.

Don’t overload the system with high volumes of water.

Don’t wait for there to be a problem before checking or cleaning your septic tank or sewer lines; as Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”…

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Remodeling Contractors

Finding Modern Housing Designs Online

Over the years the way that home owners like to decorate and remodel their properties has changed quite substantially, especially with the younger generations. Most new home owners like to opt for a more modern and contemporary design, rather than the more traditional housing designs. There are much more houses around the world with open plan living spaces, minimal furnishings and light bright colourings on the walls. This type of home design helps to gibe your home an open and spacious feeling which is particularly useful if you have a relatively small property as many young people do.
Locating the perfect modern house design
There are a number of different ways that you can attain inspiration and ideas for the design of your dream home. Many people will opt to simply come up with the ideas themselves, but this does mean that you have to a relative amount of experience with home design to make a good job of things. It is also possible to employ the services of an expert interior designer or an architect to help you with your plans but obviously this can be rather expensive, especially if you want the best. As we are suffering from one of the worst global recessions that we have seen for many years this is not always an option for many home owners, especially first time buyers. Undoubtedly the cheapest and arguably the best way to attain your ideal modern house design is to use the internet. There is now a plethora of different websites that will provide you with everything that you could ever need to design and complete your perfect home design. The various sites that are on offer will tend to differ in the way that they work but you should have no problem finding one that suits your needs. You will be able to search through the variety of different house plan options that they have and then pick out the one that you feels fits your requirements. Once you have chosen one you can then download it in whatever format you prefer. Generally it will either be PDF or CAD format.
Completing your modern house design
Once you have downloaded your chosen modern house design you will be able to begin making it a reality. If you have building experience then you will obviously be able to carry out the work yourself. However, if you do not then you will need to employ the services of a professional. It is important to attain a number of different quotations so that you can sure that you are getting the very best value possible. Prices for labour and parts can vary quite substantially so it is vital to attain at least 3 different quotes to allow you to make an educated decision.…

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Home Repair

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

One of the best types of flooring is hardwood flooring that enhances the beauty of the interior of a house and adds style and attraction. It is one of the top used flooring systems because its material will lasts for many years and it is easy to clean. Using a vacuum cleaner is a most common way to clean the wooden floors but there are also some more good ways to clean hardwood floors. It is not at all a difficult task to clean hardwood floors but it is important to know the correct techniques in order to do it easily and quickly.
Following are some of the best ways of cleaning hardwood floors:
It is claimed by many experts that washing a hardwood floor with water is the simplest and easiest way and it usually does not cause damage to the wood. But you have to make sure that the floor should not be wet for a long time after cleaning. It should be dried out sooner rather than later. If there are holes or aberrations on the flooring, the water should not be allowed to go into these holes so it cannot start destroying the wood.
The floor ideally should not be made too wet or the water should not be splashed on the floor. In its place a mop could come to salvage. A wet mop would be a good option to have the dampening effect on the floor. It is important to remove the dust and debris before pulling the mop on the whole floor. Use a broom if it is manageable to clean off the dust or a use a vacuum cleaner.
Using a mixture of vinegar and water would also prove very helpful in cleaning hardwood floors. It is quite convenient and easy to do and it provides a great shine and cleanness to the floor.
Cleaning hardwood floor with wax also required at regular intervals to give shine to the lacquered floors. But some people tend to use it too many times, which is undesirable because it would mean spending a lot of wax to remove later.
There is also another effective way to clean a hardwood floor which is to boil some water and dip few black tea bags in it. Wait for the water to cool down and then dispense it in a cleaning bucket, take a mop, squeeze it and clean the floor.…

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Remodeling

Where To Find Discount Laminate Flooring

Whether you are remodeling your home or building a new home you will inevitably have many decisions to make regarding the kinds of materials to use. And if you are like most homeowners one of your main objectives will be to save as much money as possible. One of the best ways to make sure your costs are as low as possible is to use discount laminate flooring.
Many people are very happy with their decision to save money on this area of their homes as no one can usually tell the difference between this type of floor and hardwood. If you are unsure about using this cheaper alternative, visit some stores to see what kinds are on the market. There are many different shades to choose from so almost everyone can find something they like.
Home improvement stores are great places to do some research on the different types. Even if you decide not to purchase from these stores shopping around to compare styles and prices will mean you can get the best deal on what you really want. Another way some people go is to buy their materials online.
A benefit to purchasing anything online instead of from a traditional store is that you may be able to get a better price. Some people may be hesitant to do this because they will not be able to see the product before it arrives. Remember that you can visit stores to see similar products or sometimes even the same product in person before you buy them online.
One of the great benefits of this kind of material instead of real hardwood is that it is easier to take care of for many people. Besides being a cheaper alternative, it will also save you time while cleaning. If water is spilled on it, there is no chance that it will be damaged unlike real hardwood.
These materials are also easily installed with a little practice. Even if you are not a professional, if you are doing other household repairs or installations, you should have no problem doing this as well. For those of you not quite so inclined to take on this project remember that there are many options for contractors who would be happy to do this job for you.
Using discount laminate flooring is something every homeowner should consider when replacing this part of their home. This is especially true if saving money is at the top of your list. And without even trying you will have great looking floors as well.…

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Home Maintenance

How To Make The Most Of Your Septic Tank

Disposal of sewage has been a problem for hundreds of years – ever since man ceased to be nomadic.
From outside privies to earth toilets to septic tanks and now, sewage treatment plants. Our first house was an old house with an outdoor earth toilet. Even my primary school had outside earth toilets and that was as recent as 1964. Many drained the liquid effluent directly into ditches and caused massive pollution. Even London did not have a sewer system until 1869
Common sense can maintain a septic system very easily
Here are some of my tips for septic tank care.
Don’t flush anything that is non-degradable or anti-bacterial.
Spread out the laundry over several days of the week.
Use the correct amount of water and detergent for each load of laundry.
Don’t have your rain run off, guttering and drainage drain directly into the septic tank.
Scrap food scraps into the waste bin or compost instead of down the sink.
Don’t overload the water supply into the system.
Or don’t use the washing machine, dishwasher and drain a bathtub all at the same time. Soakaway field failures are incredibly common and can cost thousands to replace.
Being kind to the septic system keeps it healthy and relatively maintenance free.
Avoid planting trees in the leach field. Roots will block drainage system.
Be very careful of the chemicals and additives you add to your system. If you have a problem, read the labels and make sure you are using the correct additive for the problem.
Regular emptying will remove the solids (and is usually more frequent on systems with unhealthy or dead bacteria) this allows you a chance for an checkup of the condition of the tank.
One of the things to avoid is allowing grease and fabric detergents to accumulate in my septic system. This is easy to do. Grease and fats are disposed of in the rubbish bin. Detergents are another matter. If you are going to use a laundry detergent, read the label and use the correct amount. Clothes do not get cleaner with two scoops. The alternative was my discovery of the laundry product ‘Eco-Balls’, this eliminates the need for any laundry soap or detergent, also a side benefit is you don’t use hot h2o any more (a significant saving).
Should you have problems with your septic tank, consider installing a sewage treatment plant instead. These can discharge directly into a ditch, stream or river and are a far cheaper alternative to installing a new soakaway.…

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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.…