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Basement Remodeling

How to Select the Proper Garbage Disposal and Take Care of It

If you are considering redesigning your kitchen, you no doubt will spend a great deal of time thinking about your cabinets, the appliances, the countertops and the flooring.
How about the lowly garbage disposal? You should not be disdainful of your disposal. The fact is that many of us do not ever think about what is going on under the sink when we flip the switch for the disposal. That is, we do not think about it until it stops working.
It is much more likely that you will have many years of trouble free use of your disposal if you buy the right one for your needs, and then you take care to use it properly. Below are some guidelines to accomplish both of these tasks.
Buying the Right One
When you are working on that new kitchen space, you should remember that you can buy a garbage disposal of many different sizes and lots of varying features. Of course, the disposal that came with your house was probably an inexpensive, builder quality unit. It probably has a motor with a 1/3 horsepower or so. That may work fine for awhile, but this product was not designed to last year a lot of years.
A disposal that is of a deluxe quality will have a motor with one horsepower, and it also will have inner components that are made of stainless steel. It’s very important that your high quality disposal have stainless steel parts, because that means you will never have rusting problems. Some higher quality products will have a function for auto reverse. This is very helpful in getting jammed food and other items out of the disposal. This will increase the motor’s life by years. Overheating the motor is one of the biggest causes for a garbage disposal to fail.
There are a lot of disposals that can be purchased that fall somewhere in between 1/3 horsepower and 1 horsepower. If your house in on a septic tank, you can buy a special unit that will shoot an enzyme into the bottom of the disposal. This will assist in breaking down your septic tank waste.
Taking Care of the Disposal
When you have your new disposal, you should do your best to care for it so it will last you many years. You can do this by making sure you run the water all the time when you are turning on the device. Many people tend to shut the water off too soon after they have turned on the garbage disposal. This is bad because the sludge that the disposal made may still be stuck in the drain line from the unit.
To prevent problems, you should let the water run for at least 10 seconds or so after you shut it off. This will allow the water to flush out the lines. A really great way to do this is to clean your pots and pans in the sink full of water. Then let the water out of the sink and turn on the garbage disposal. This will really flush out the lines of unit, sort of like when you flush the toilet. All that water rushing down into the unit will flush out the insides of the device. The line that drains out the disposal also is filled up with water. All of this moving water will wash out the sides of the drain lines and take out any of the food sludge that was created when you ran it a few minutes ago.
A garbage disposal can give you many years of service without any problems if you purchase a good one and use good common sense when you use it.…

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Basement Renovations

Water Butts For Septic Tanks Are Affordable and Easy to Find

Water butts for Septic Tanks are containers used as storage for rain harvesting. It is 200 liters in capacity and made of lightweight material. It can be carried easily anywhere you would want to place it. Most often it is situated at the back of the house near the garden where stored rain from the butts is used for gardening. Instead of using hose getting water from the main water line water butts are useful source of watering the garden. You can install one or more containers connected together by storage connector available at the hardware store. Connecting five 200 liters water butts is much cheaper than building 1000 liters storage tank capacity.
Water storage are useful especially in arid areas for storing rainwater and used for domestic purposes. Rainwater from water containers can be used for washing the clothes, watering the plants, flushing the toilet, cleaning the cars and other household use. Butts must be covered to prevent it from breeding ground for larvae since any clean water is what mosquitoes prefer for their breeding grounds and also to prevent it from being contaminated. Water are usually installed above the ground and the material is usually opaque to prevent sunlight exposure thus decreasing the bloom of algae.
Butts have been around for some time. They are durable and dependable. Installation of butts in other areas is mandatory especially if there is a community wide program for conserving water. Since it is affordable and simple to install any household can easily have it. They position the butts in houses’ downpipes for collection of rainwater. Water butts are provided with taps and they will give you direct access to all the rainwater you harvested. The complete kits for water butts include water butts itself, stand for water butts and rain diverters. These are all easy to fit and once the butts are connected to your downpipes they are ready to use and to collect rainwater right away.
Water storage is really essential for small to medium scale storage for rainwater harvesting. They are compact and will not require a large space. They are also durable since water containers are made of high grade quality materials and can be used for long life. This is a good remedy if you have a small patio and you need to save on water. Recycling water for future use is a great solution when there is shortage of water and butts is the simple obvious answer. Water butts are hard wearing and resilient that is why it is most desirable for storage of rainwater.
Water butts for Septic Tanks are a good way to save money. People nowadays are aware of the importance of saving and you can start it by saving water by means of butts. This is very practical approach and also time and energy efficient since you will only need to place the water butts from the source of your rainwater. This is also a very good solution in preparing especially if there is drought season.…

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Basement Remodeling

Home Warranty Plans For Home Sellers

The uncertainty of purchasing a home that isn’t new can be a bit unsettling. Is everything working? Will it all keep working? Even with a thorough home inspection, you don’t know how long the appliances or systems will last. More and more home sellers are turning to home warranty plans to persuade buyers to buy, and this is why:
To Avoid Disputes
Once in a while, after the sale of a home from seller to buyer, something will break soon after. This may or may not be the fault of the seller, but often times, the buyer assumes it is. It then turns into a dispute over who has to pay for it. Purchasing a warranty plan helps avoid this because the plan covers the costs of most repairs and replacements.
To Reassure Buyers
Buyers don’t know if they can trust the seller. They don’t know the history of the home or what’s inside it. Home inspections can help with this, but there’s still the uncertainty of how long everything is going to last and if the buyer will be able to afford the cost of maintenance for the home-which can be expensive. Warranty plans can resolve all of this and give the buyer peace of mind, knowing they’re covered in the event of maintenance problems.
To Protect the Seller
It’s not too common, but sometimes things break during the listing and escrow period. Then what? The seller then has unexpected and unwanted extra costs-on top of the costs of selling a home. It’s an unnecessary stress that can easily be avoided by getting a warranty plan. Do yourself a favor.
To Give Buyers Confidence in Buying a Previously Owned Home
When buying a new home, everything is new, and buyers aren’t so worried about breakdowns and maintenance. This is an extra appeal for new homes. But what about homes that aren’t new? For a seller with a previously owned home, you want to give buyers every added confidence you can give them that your home is the right home for them. Home warranty plans are the way to do that. That way, buyers can trust that even if something does break, it will be okay. Home warranty plans are a great option for sellers and buyers.…

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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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Basement Renovations

How to Determine the Most Efficient Design For Your Home

Design efficiency is often overlooked and not discussed very often by buyers and builders alike. Over years of home design and building I have had to review countless house designs in order to economise the building to achieve a target budget. There are a few simple rules when going through this review which I have outlined below.
Economise wasted space
This is the most simple step for someone with a high level of spatial awareness. A quick overview of a floor plan will highlight areas that are larger than required or excessive. Examples may be significant lengths of passageways, odd sized areas where rooms don’t connect or flow properly or simply oversized rooms. Last year a client came to me and showed me a house plan he had designed through a so called architect that had a master bedroom 8.5m x 3.0m and the client didn’t identify the room as being odd until I pointed it out. If you’re familiar with viewing architectural plans this process is quite simple, however for most home buyers it’s very difficult to visualise space just by looking at a scaled drawing. A simpler way that I recommend to buyers is to take a blank piece of paper and cut out scaled sized furniture that they have in their current home, then position it on the home design plans where they think it will go. This will then help them to assess proportions of room sizes in relation to their furniture.
Remove excess engineering costs
When designing and building two storey homes the main factor in price efficiency is with engineering costs. Large spans of open space on the ground floor could cause the engineer to increase the depth of the suspended slab from 172mm to 257mm, which adds significant costs. Keeping enough structural walls beneath the slab in key positions will remove the need for this cost and can still mean you have a fantastic open space.
Minimising suspended slab extensions is also critical, something that an experienced architect or house designer will do automatically, but often overlooked by novice designers. This poor design feature will make a house have a concrete slab where it is underutilised, and hidden in the roof space which just means it’s a very expensive ceiling.
Reducing the need for structural columns is also a factor. Since the supply and installation of a structural column can cost $400-$500 each you want to reduce the number used in a house design. Clever use of internal walls can easily save $3,000 – again a cost that will never be seen once the home is completed.
This step by step analysis was performed recently on a cheap two storey home design that highlights changes made to the elevation and style of the home saved significant building costs.…

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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 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.…