Monday, 30 July 2012

DIY Pool Fence

If you have just purchased and/or installed a pool in the privacy of your property, it is usually required to have a fence installed as a safety measure. Pools are a prime attraction for children and although fences are not 100% foolproof, they do provide a measure of safety in keeping kids, pets, and uninvited guests away. Depending on the style, size, and work involved in getting your new fence installed, you can end up paying a tidy sum to get the job done. There are, however, alternatives that will save you quite a bit of money if you are willing to put in extra work. If you are one of these people, then you might want to consider investing in a mesh pool fence.

Mesh pool fences are optimal for self-installation because they are relatively easy to install, and they are harder for children to climb over. Most mesh fences are either 12 feet across and 4 feet high or 10 feet long and 5 feet high. It is common to install the taller fence, as most children who could hop over a fence that size will know about pool safety standards. The fence consists of a thick thread that, unlike a chain fence, makes it hard for kids to climb onto and over into your pool. Installation can be completed in three steps as follows.

Measure where posts will be drilled
Before you drill holes into the ground for your fence posts, determine how much space you’d like between your pool and the fence, and measure out the appropriate distances between fence posts so that there is no slack in the fiber thread.

Insert post sleeves into ground
Once you have drilled holes into the ground, use your hands to place the post sleeves about 80% into the holes. Afterwards use a hammer or mallet to inject the remaining sleeve into the hole. If the sleeve gives you trouble, remove it and check for anything blocking it and perhaps drill again to make proper room.

Set posts securely in sleeves
For your final step, unroll your mesh fence one post at a time and fit smugly into the sleeves. Ensure that the fence is secure and that there is no lack in the thread, or that the integrity is in doubt. Once you have done this, then you have successfully built a do-it-yourself pool fence.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Cheap Furniture - How To Go About Getting It

Just as the fullness of the stomach is food, the fullness of any home is its furniture and there is always that belief at the back of the mind of every homemaker that good things are expensive. For a family that wants cheap furniture for their home the phrase cheap is expensive might hurt but the truth of the matter is that cheap simply means buying something at the lowest price possible.

The first and best place to search for cheap furniture is the internet. This is because you will be able to save a lot of time that could have been spent on going from one store to the other. Another thing is that using the net you can be able to view different types of furniture and compare their prices in a very short period of time.

The next best thing to do after viewing the furniture online is to go and see them physically remembering the saying that not all that glitters is gold. When you see them in person, you will able to tell how genuine they are in terms of quality and also avoid paying a lot of money in terms of shipping fee. A visit to the warehouse will also surprise you as you can get amazing deals there and save some cash

Hurry hurry has no blessing and that would be a wise advice to all those who want to buy cheap furniture because you will have to be on the look out hunting for deals that are out there. You simply need to hunt for them in the local dailies, in the windows of your favourite furniture stores or even just by being a keen listener to the discussions people make. When you identify a piece of furniture that you love do not think with your heart but with your head and ask yourself how long will that piece of adorable furniture last once your toddler shakes it. This is what now will lead you to the next step of every person who wants to purchase cheap furniture successfully and that is checking on how the condition of the furniture like the corners and the finishing.

Numbers are an important thing and measurement matters when it comes to furniture. This is because you might see something you like but you do not have enough room for it and what a disappointment it will be when you have already bought it. To avoid such circumstances measure the size of your rooms so that when you see furniture that you deem suitable you can check its measurements and compare them to yours.

Now after getting what you want the next step is getting it to your house, which means you have to plan for transportation that will deliver the furniture safely and on time. Before you leave the shop, get to know the warranty period and have it put down on paper to act as a point of reference in the future. Therefore, you will have cheap furniture in your home by following some cheap but very reliable tips.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Watch Dawn Come Alive from Your Customized Balconies

When it comes to home décor, one of the focal points for any designer is the balcony. This ubiquitous feature in most classical and contemporary houses has gone through a metamorphosis through different design epochs. Today, it behooves on you to get an insight into the platform before selecting one both for its aesthetic and utility value. To appreciate how these designs can work for your household, it is imperative to understand some of the main contemporary balconies and their concomitant features to make the best purchase.

Basic Design Features of Balconies

Most of the balconies in contemporary homes are external and project conspicuously from the wall. However, you can still get a professional designer to build one that does not project but still offers the exquisite functionality. Once you have made up your mind about the nature of the balcony, the next feature is the grill or railing. These are the most important features because they enhance the safety of your household. Moreover, the railings used can also greatly enhance the appeal of your house depending on the material chosen.

You can opt for the classic iron or stainless steel for the grills though some exterior designers opt for balustrades made from glass, wood and other materials. Balconies are supposed to be safe but you can blend functionality with beauty by using a qualified exterior designer to select the material and other fittings. Additionally, you can also select canopies for your balcony to complement the balustrades and even make the architectural fitting even more magnificent.

Manufacture of Balcony Designs

Due to the centrality of a balcony, its manufacture of materials and building should always be done by a professional. There are critical areas including the floor and flooring materials and their laying because they determine the strength of the balconies. In addition, the manufacture of these structures should be done based on color matching with the rest of the building and enhancements such as flower and bird displays. This will make your balcony stand out from those of the neighbors but it all depends on the type of materials you use.

Choosing Balcony Designs

With this hindsight on balconies, you need to decide what to order from your designers. There are some common types in the market from French, Maltese, decorative, Juliette among others. Moreover, you can also get designs based on the origins from French, Mexican, and Spanish among others. Customized designs are also popular and as a home owner, you should always look for a manufacturer who can adapt their design to fit your unique needs.

Whether you want an overhanging wood design that you saw while on vacation or a glass outdoor structure, your designer will be able to customize and create a version that suits. As such, you should look for a balconies designer who has experience in the field especially in dealing with the material you have selected. In addition, these designers can provide a plethora of options in terms of locations which you can set up a balcony and their advice is invaluable. If you always enjoy theatre plays where the belles speak from the balconies; why not invest in one and always have the pleasure of watching every dawn come to life?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Adding Glass - For a Touch of Class.

Glass is a wonderful medium and it will do wonders for any room of your house if you chose the right piece.

It could be singing from a sunny window sill or a centre piece in the quiet hearth throughout the warm summer
months, or sparkling from a stand in a bright sitting room or study.

The type of glass you decide to buy is all important. There is absolutely no point buying a cheap Chinese piece of tat
or some Venetian tourist trinket that are banged out of a press nineteen to the dozen. They will look exactly want they
are – cheap, factory made, mass market glass.

A real piece of art glass will not only enhance any room, it is also a great investment if well looked after. Imagine
making 15% a year on a piece of glass appreciating in value when the banks are paying next to nothing in interest.
Just remember to put it out the way when the children are young.

Top quality crystal art glass that has been hand blown by a master glass craftsman is the ultimate glass with class.
A Glass vase that has been made with real care and attention to detail is what you are seeking. Once cooled and
sat proudly on the glass studio workbench the quality will be clear immediately. It should ooze style and finesse and
be both colourful and shapely. The quality of a glass piece should scream out at you and will leave the other factory
produced glass languishing in the distance.

There are even pieces of art glass now that are an infusion of metal threads into molten glass which builds up in
layers and gives a wonderful reflective surface when finished.

An ornate glass sculpture can really make a room, drawing attention to a sunny window sill or mantelpiece. Or a large
glass vase can make a fabulous centrepiece to a large table, stand or fireplace.

A dazzling glass paperweight will enliven a dark bookshelf and an art glass crystal bowl will look so delicious on your
dining table you will be loathe to put any fruit in it.

Choose wisely and you will have a glass artwork that will add a touch of elegance to the room and give you much
pleasure over the years.

Barnaby Kirsen runs Boha Glass – an online shop specialising in hand blown art glass from Bohemia and beyond.
You can read more about glass on his blog :

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Garden Gates

Garden gates which are also known as simple sides are the focal points of our homes. They mark the border between public and private around our homes. They always give the first impression to everybody visiting our homes and it is very important that we select for them designs that will secure your property and at the same time also enhance your property. This depends on the following factors. The first one is how the surrounding area has been designed and the second factor is the function that the gate is going to perform. Construction of garden gates is very simple. Garden gates that are meant to be installed at the entrance of the gate or at the side of the house usually measure six feet in height. They must be made using materials that are weather and corrosion resistant since they will be able to endure the vagaries weather will present. Use of the correct material prevents wearing or tearing and also weakening of gate posts. Garden gates are constructed using metal, wood and bamboo which has become popular lately. For example, for a six feet tall gate, five by five lumber posts which have been cut to a height that is suitable are required. These posts have to be bolted to a structure that is fixed or to beams or headers which are for stability and for holding the posts. Holes which these posts will be concreted into should be of a size of one foot squared and two feet deep. For extra support, a concrete bridge or timber can be run below the ground between the two posts. This will also keep them straight. The gates width is required to be proper, and it should also be given enough space on any side of the gate that you will choose. An inch has to be removed from the width present between the posts to allow for a half an inch clearance. The frame of the gate should be made on level ground using two by three lumber pieces. This frame should be squared by adjusting it till the two diagonal measurements that are opposite are identical. This helps in ensuring that the corners of the frame are at right angles and that the frame is square. For extra support, use galvanized nails to nail a two by three lumber piece on each corner of the frame. The vertical boards of the gate should have fence boards measuring one by six and two and a half inch nails (galvanized and flat headed to offer stability) should be used to nail them. They should be overhang the bottom and top of the frame equally at the same time lying flash using its edges. The last board has to have its width deducted to maintain what is known as the flush fit. The gate is then hung two inches above the ground between the posts. Parkers or wedges are used to jam the gate into place while installing hinges on the inside of the gate.

Why you Need a Professional Plumber

Sooner or later you are going to find yourself in need of a professional plumber. You never know when you are going to wake up and find yourself ankle deep in water due to a busted pipe. When this happens, you will certainly want to make sure that you have the name and number of a professional plumber in your area who responds quickly to plumbing emergencies.

A professional plumber will be able to come to your home and repair your busted pipes to help you get your home back to normal as soon as possible. Being able to respond on a moments notice is so important especially when your home is flooded. It's so frustrating to you and your family to have to deal with plumbing problems, but a professional plumber can have you fixed up in no time.

Perhaps you are experiencing clogged pipes and nothing in your home will drain. This could be the result of something as simple as a grease clog in your pipes or something as difficult as tree roots in your pipes. No matter what the cause is, a professional plumber will be able to get to the bottom of the problem and have your drains flowing freely in no time.

Just knowing that you have a professional plumber that is highly knowledgeable, bonded and insured, eager to help you and fast to respond can take a great load of stress off of your shoulders. Many plumbers will offer 24 hour service for emergency plumbing needs, this is a great comfort knowing that you can call anytime of the day or the night and get a professional plumber to help you.

Maybe you just would like to have some new faucets installed in your home, with a professional plumber, you can easily have new faucets installed throughout your home. It's a great way to give you home a minor make over and to insure that you won't have to deal with leaky faucets any time soon in your future.

If you're planning to build a new home, you will definitely need a professional plumber. It's a great idea to have a professional plumber from the time that you begin planning your new home. Many plumbers work first hand with the contractor that will building your home to make sure that all of the plumbing needs of the home are taken care of efficiently and that everything is going to work perfectly when you are ready to move in.

If you don't have a professional plumber on your speed dial at home, you really need to find one in your area. Talk to your friends and relatives and see if they have a professional plumber that they recommend. You can also contact the Better business Bureau and check out the plumbers that they have on their list.

Don't wait until you need a plumber before you find a plumber that is going to provide you with excellent customer service and have the knowledge and experience that you need.

Sustainable Ideas For Home Improvement

he market for home improvement products continues to grow every year. Part of the trend towards sustainable home improvement is being driven by businesses implementing practices that can then be followed by consumers. Many sustainable ideas for home improvement also allow the homeowner or tenant to save a great deal of money.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Many people forget the garden when talking about home improvement, however in terms of sustainability this is perhaps the best place to start. There are many initiatives you can undertake outside of your home which will be equally as lifting to the building itself.

The biggest change you could make immediately is to make your garden completely organic. Grow your own vegetables, use a water butt, and buying a composter are three huge steps you could take to add to the sustainability of your garden.

ETFE foil is a material widely used in the design and construction industries for making buildings with greener credentials. It is now possible to construct a greenhouse using ETFE foil. ETFE weighs only 1% of the equivalent area in glass, and will give a much more pleasant look to your garden. ETFE also works as a natural insulator, so the “greenhouse effect” inside will be much greater, excellent for keen gardeners looking to grow warm climate fruits and vegetables. Much more light can also get through ETFE in comparison to glass, so the plants growing inside will benefit from a vastly increased brightness level and be able to grow quicker and larger.

Heating Your Home

No doubt you have had a salesman from the energy company at your door at some point trying to sell you “cheaper” electricity or gas. Do this yourself by investing in either cavity wall or loft insulation. This work will have been carried out on many new homes as standard, however if you live in an older building you will most probably need to check.

Everyone is familiar with the “energy maps” which show the vast majority of a buildings’ energy lost through the ceiling, so starting at the loft will be the best idea. This will make your home much more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions, and save you a truckload of money in the long term.


This sounds a strange one, but there is a huge and still growing market for environmentally friendly paint. This spreads from your normal, decorative paint that you would use around a home, to specially formulated and engineered paint which can be specifically applied to wood to make it last longer. This can be especially useful to those living in country-style homes with exposed wooden beams, or those with natural wood floors.

Make your home better, be greener and save money, with such a desirable combination, what are you waiting for?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Prepping Up Your Bedroom With Some Summer Additions

Summer is all about fun. It is the time of the year that creates spaces for you to live leisurely. Sure you
might be thinking of crafting a long weekend and head on to the nearest lake or ocean to unwind. But,
what if you just want to enjoy some lazy summer afternoons inside your bedroom? Have you dressed
up your own retreat to complement the season? If not, this is the right time to refresh the look of your
space and let it emulate the warmth of summer. With some tweaks and addition of a few key pieces,
you are sure to have a fab bedroom that will remind you of the little pleasures that summer brings.

Add a dash of color

Adding a fresh coat of paint to your bedroom walls is one of the best ways to embrace summer. Aside
from the fact that it is an inexpensive solution, you can easily finish painting within a day or two
and be able to achieve a new looking space. Choose light colors that will give your bedroom a hint
of vibrancy. Yellows, greens and blues in lighter shades are definitely ideal selections that go well
with the season since they are reminiscent of the sun and sea. You can also never go wrong with earth
tones. Create a color scheme according to your preference and start painting your walls following your

If you are little skittish about painting your entire bedroom walls because you feel that you would be
changing your design in the future, then just paint one accent wall. To achieve the best impact, choose
the wall behind your headboard and paint it with your desired hue.

Use breezy fabrics

Your bed is certainly the very first thing that you and other people see when walking inside your
bedroom. So change the sheets and pillow covers. Opt for pieces that wick moisture away and they
should come in lively colors. Or, pull the overall look of your bedroom by picking sheets and pillow
covers that blend well with the color of your walls.

The same advise goes to your curtains, window treatments and rugs. Tuck away the heavy fabrics in
your closet and decorate your bedroom for hot summer nights by hanging two layers of sheer curtains
in complementary light hues on your windows. These curtains will not obstruct natural light and will
flutter in the summer wind. You can then place bamboo rugs on both sides of your bed for that added
summer charm.

Cool accents

Put on the glitz of summer fun to your bedroom by using cool accessories. You can hang a wind chime
from the outside eaves or inside frame of your bedroom window. The sound that your wind chime will
produce will certainly lend a soothing mood to your bedroom.

For your bedside tables, you can drape them with woven beach mats. On one table, arrange glass
candle holders of varying sizes. You can even choose to decorate the candle holders yourself. Simply
wrap each of them with decorative papyrus. Join the edges together using a double-sided tape. Then,
wrap around a length of twine or linen thread. For the other table, choose pictures of yourself and your
family during one of your summer vacations. Pick frames that adhere to your bedroom's summer theme
and arrange them accordingly.

If none of the said centerpieces appeal to your fancy, you may simply opt for small potted plants, or
pour tinted water inside a high vase and add a tropical foliage for a beautiful centerpiece.

Summer evokes both enjoyment and relaxation. Hence, your bedroom should channel these
characteristics to adhere to the season. When you are able to design your bedroom accordingly, you
will be able to drift off to sleep, dreaming of piña colada in hand with the sweet sound of a nearby
rolling sea and white sand between your toes.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Avoiding Indoor Air Pollution with Clean Air Ducts

People usually associate air pollution with smog, factory emissions and exhaust from vehicles.
However, it is also possible to get air pollution indoors due to accumulation of dirt and poor air duct
maintenance. You need to get your air ducts cleaned especially if there are moulds in your cooling
and heating system, your air ducts are infested with pests and your air ducts are clogged with dust and

How does it work: air duct cleaning

Air duct cleaning is the process of cleaning of the parts of the cooling and heating system which
includes air ducts, grilles, drip pans, fans and the housing. The cleaning process is a meticulous one and
it involves plenty of procedures and equipment. Some of the paraphernalia used in cleaning air ducts
include industrial vacuum cleaners and scrubbing tools. The places where air exchange occurs is also
cleaned and sanitized.

Why clean air ducts are important?

The air quality inside your home can affect the health of all the members of your family. Accumulated
dust, dirt and debris in your air ducts can circulate around the house which can cause asthma and
trigger allergic reactions. Filthy air ducts are also perfect breeding ground for mould and bacteria that
can become airborne and will eventually enter your system and cause adverse health reactions.

Proper maintenance and cleaning of heating and cooling systems can also improve the efficiency of
your home cooling and heating systems. This translates to a lower electric bill and more savings for
you. Lowering your energy consumption is also beneficial to the environment.

Selecting a professional air duct cleaning service

Experts recommend that you get your air ducts cleaned by professionals instead of doing it yourself.
When selecting a professional air duct cleaning service, do not take for granted that all professional
cleaning service providers have an idea of all there is to know about air duct cleaning. Contact several
companies and inquire about their services and the products they use and if they can give you an
estimate if they charge their clients by the hour. Ask them if they could provide you with references
from their other customers as well. Once you select your service provider, make sure that there is a
contract that states everything you and the company agreed on.

Air duct maintenance tips

Even if you get your air ducts and cooling and heating systems cleaned by professionals, you should

also do preventive maintenance so contamination, mould growth and dust and debris accumulation
are lessened. You should purchase high quality filters for your cooling and heating systems and you
need to clean and change them regularly. Make sure that the parts your cooling and heating systems are
cleaned when they undergo maintenance. Keep your home neat and regularly vacuum the floors and
the areas where dust tends to accumulate. Never let your air ducts collect moisture. Watch out for any
leaks or water damage in the duct system and have them repaired immediately. Lastly, replace old air
conditioning units and ascertain that your new one can manage condensation efficiently.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Furniture Online

If purchasing new furniture is in your future, you are going to love all of the great furniture deals that you can find online. Furniture online will offer you such a large variety of the best pieces of furniture for your home. You will be able to choose great furniture for any room in your home.

Perhaps you are looking for something in oak; you will find plenty of great choices of well crafted oak furniture to choose from. Finding a great solid oak bedroom set is going to be so easy when you shop for furniture online. The dining room may be the room that you would like to add new furniture to. You can choose a beautiful solid oak dining room set that is going to offer you and your family great memories around the dinner table.

Maybe a more rustic pine is the type of furniture that you would like to gift your home with. Pine is a beautiful type of wood and creates really beautiful pieces of furniture. Choose a pine bed frame and chest of drawers to go in the children’s room. You are going to love how durable it is and they will love the way it makes their bedroom so cosy.

Purchasing your furniture online is not only going to allow you great prices, it’s also going to allow you great affordability. You are going to be so pleased with all of the money that you are able to save when you purchase your furniture online. You’ll save enough that you can place great furniture in another room in your home.

Placing a new sofa and recliners in the den will make it so much more comfortable. You will find a large variety of colours and fabrics to choose from for your new sofa and recliners. You won’t have any problems choosing the furniture for your den that is just perfect.

It is always nice to be able to put a beautiful bedroom suite in the guest room, you want your guest to not only be impressed with your style and taste, but you also want them to be comfortable. You’ll be able to place high quality and beautiful furniture in the guest room by purchasing furniture online. Perhaps a nice cherry set with the bed, dresser, night stands and a chest of drawers would give the room and warm and welcoming style.

You can also find great furniture pieces such as microwave stands, shelves and hutches just to name a few pieces that will also give your home just the look that you want. You can choose from so many different styles that your online furniture shopping experience is going to change the way that you have always purchased furniture.

Purchasing furniture is an important detail in life; you want the best furniture that you can get for your money. You want to be sure that it is going to hold up to the real life that your family is going to throw its way and you want it too look great. Furniture online can fulfil all of your needs and meet all of your expectations when it’s time for new furniture. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Easy, Breezy Tips to Redesign Your Bedroom

Tired of your topsy-turvy bedroom? You can turn it into a place conducive to optimum comfort by creating an ambience that facilitates exceptional relaxation and tranquility at the end of a stressful day.

Give your bedroom that elegant and sophisticated look with simple, practical remodeling concepts. The manner of which you manage and maintain your bedroom will create a significant influence on the intrinsic value of your home. Consider these easy tips to help you achieve a satisfactory output when renovating your bedroom:

  • Play with Colors

The color scheme that you use in your bedroom can have a remarkable impact on its general atmosphere. Using a color wheel as reference can help you decide on the theme you want for your bedroom. It is suggestible that you choose colors that invoke an aura of peace and relaxation in order to help you get the most benefit from your bedroom. Think of the ambience you want to create in your bedroom. Mixing and matching dark colors with bright or earthly ones allows you to determine the kind of mood you want to set.

  • Choose the Best Mattresses

Your choice of mattress is one of the most essential aspects in creating the ideal sleeping environment for you. Acquiring a comfortable and stable mattress is a definite must. Doing so offers your body the chance to experience the quality sleep it deserves and craves. If your mattress is feeling lumpy and worn-out, don’t you think it’s about time to get a new one? A busted-up mattress will do absolutely nothing for your aching back.

Selecting the right type of mattress can be quite unnerving, considering the extensive variety of mattresses on display in the market. However, with the right amount of research and preparation, you can still get the perfect mattress for you. You can find various models such as double mattresses, single mattresses, pocket sprung mattresses and memory foam mattresses available for you to choose from at your local department store.

  • Less is More

You don’t necessarily need to buy new furniture in order to give your room a new look. Rearranging old furniture can change the whole appearance of your bedroom in a low-cost and effective manner.  On the other hand, if you are desperately in need of new furniture, consider getting something to sit on and relax besides your bed. You can furnish your room with seating areas as simple stools, chairs and beanbags, or you can even go all out with a brand new sofa.

Refurbish your bedroom with various accessories that bring out your personality. You can add paintings, flowers, and lighting that go well with your bedroom theme. Remember, less is more, so don’t over-decorate the place!
There is definitely a multitude of ways to redecorate your personal refuge. All you need is preparation and some creative juices to get your job done. Sky’s the limit!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Simple and Effective Ways to Make Your Living Room a Haven that Inspires Wellness

Having a living room that offers a retreat from everyday stress is something that every home owner
would want to have. It can help one relax and forget about personal and professional worries and it can
also lend a sense of confidence that allow for a better outlook for the days ahead.

As a home owner yourself, it is likely that you also want to have a healing living room. After all, you
would want to arrive at a space with a positive atmosphere that can help ease the tension that you have
probably felt during a hard day's work. If your budget is what restricts you from having a living space
that inspires overall wellness, fret not because there are a number of cheap ways how you can create
such a healthy space. Let peace, happiness and tranquility reign within your living room with these
simple and effective suggestions.

Declutter and Detoxify

A healthy living room should be easy to maintain. Although your living space should not be spare, it
should be free of clutter, bulky cushions and heavy fabrics. Keep your display of collections and other
decorative elements at a minimum.

Once you have hauled away the unnecessary stuff inside the room, do some detoxification. Make sure
that the living room itself is not making you and your family sick. The smooth surfaces in the space
should be kept clean to make them inhospitable to allergens, microscopic particles, dust mites and their
droppings. If you have a furnace, take the time to install a carbon monoxide detector to prevent carbon
monoxide poisoning. Nevertheless, set a cleaning schedule each week to ensure that your living room
and the rest of the house would always be free from clutter.

Remember that in addition to preventing physical ailments, a clutter-free living space also yields deep
psychological rewards: living in a healthy space that liberates the mind and lightens your mood and

Eliminate distractions

There is no doubt that technology is a blessing that allows majority of people to stay in touch with
their loved ones and do almost anything at any given time. However, this same gift can also be the
cause of unnecessary stress inside the home. Being called by your boss, client or a pending project is
not healthy. As such, it would definitely do you good if you minimize the use of technology inside the
living room.

Try dedicating a space inside your home where you and your family could work, but make sure that it
is not in the living room, as doing so can distract you from enjoying the company of your loved ones.
Care should also be taken when placing television inside the living room. At the most, it should be at
least five feet away from the seating areas.

Bring in the Greens

Plants are not just decorative elements grown in the garden. In fact, they should be allowed to grow
inside the home as well. The addition of indoor plants inside your living room can do wonders in
improving the air quality in the said space. Thereby enhancing your health and that of your family's by
replenishing the room with oxygen that aids in the reduction of negative physical symptoms and can
also make you feel calm. There are also evidences showing that some plant species can help absorb
toxic contaminants like formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene and other harmful fumes inside the
home. Wondering what plants to incorporate in your living room design that will help you breathe? Try
choosing from Chinese evergreen, bamboo palm, English ivy and pot mum just to name a few.

Let the Light In

To achieve a healthy living room, try to combine natural light with carefully chosen energy-efficient
artificial illumination. To invite the sunshine inside, open up some of your windows and you can also
free them up from curtains or shades. Doing this will help you achieve several results: have a full-
spectrum light teeming with vitamin D that helps regulate hormones, wards off depression and boost
the immune system; have a clear view of the panoramic vista outside your home; and allow natural
ventilation inside your living room.

As for the selection of artificial lighting, opt for full-spectrum incandescent fixtures that imitate the
natural rays of the sun. To maximize their illumination, carefully place mirrors in some areas around
your living room.

Integrate Soothing Scents and Sounds

Research has shown that even low-level noise inside the home can trigger stress. With this in mind, add
more pleasing sounds inside your living room by integrating a set of wind chimes. You may also opt
for a tabletop fountain that will emit the sound of a flowing water.

On a similar note, you might also want to place blooms of hyacinth and jasmine in a deep bowl, as it
has been found that the scent of these flowers can help improve mood and lower anxiety levels. Other
aromas that were proven to perk your spirit include cinnamon and peppermint. If none of these are
available, you can opt for an essential oil diffuser or use cinnamon sticks as your centerpieces.

Establish a Space

If your living room is small, one of the best ways to make it healthier and at the same time looking
wider is for you to carve out a space. Aside from decluttering, you may create a sense of openness by
transforming closed cabinets and bookcases into an open shelving system. To mimic the feel of an airy,
open outdoor space, try painting your ceiling with a color lighter than your living room walls.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Gutter Maintenance

Your gutters are very important in keeping your home safe from rain water and moisture. But, in order for gutters to do their job, you will need to make sure that they are not clogged or leaking. If this happens it can cause considerable damage to the walls and foundations of your home including cracking foundations and bulging walls. This is why it is important that you make sure that you perform proper gutter maintenance.

Cleaning your gutters is one of the first lines of defence in keeping your gutters in proper working order. When cleaning your gutters do not use a water hose to remove debris. Instead use a small garden shovel to scoop out any debris that may be stuck inside the gutter. Leaves, sticks, seeds, berries and more may have gotten caught inside the gutter so make sure that you check the gutter and remove as much debris as possible. Once the larger debris has been removed, you can use a garden hose to wash the rest of it out. After flushing the gutters with the water hose, check for any pools of water. These pools indicate that there are low spots. Proper gutter maintenance requires that gutters are sloped one inch each for every fifteen horizontal inches that they cover. This will ensure proper drainage of water and debris. Once all of these steps have been performed your gutters should be in perfect draining condition.

Make sure that you fix any problems that your gutters may have. Install new hangars so that your gutters remain intact and in the correct place. If straps and spikes have come loose or need to be replaced, replace them with hangars instead as the process of replacing straps and spikes is a long and hard process that requires removing roofing materials. Gutter screws are very strong and can be used to replace spikes. Use a silicone sealant to repair any holes or cracks within your gutters. If gutters need to be replaced, it is best to replace them with steel gutters. These perform longer and are more study in the long run. They can last for as long as forty years in all types of weather conditions. Aluminium and vinyl work well but require more maintenance than steel gutters do.

Gutter maintenance is very important. It is a simple process that can be done by nearly anyone and it will not take you a full day to perform it. Gutters do require regular maintenance if you want them to do their jobs. Leaky gutters can do considerable damage by creating pools next to your home's foundations. If you see pools then you know that your gutters need to be fixed as soon as possible. If you follow the simple procedures listed above, you can ensure that your house is being protected properly from elements such as rain, sleet and snow. This can be a messy process so make sure that you dress for the job. You will also need to use a ladder for this process so make sure that you are safety conscious during the gutter maintenance process.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Best Roofing Materials for the Environment

Roofs are critical structures that cover and protect a house. There are several different materials that roofs have been made out of over the years including wood, asphalt, metal, and tile. Each roofing material has different advantages and disadvantages, and some are better than others for the environment.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing has many environmental advantages. First of all, it is a recyclable material; it won't sit for centuries in a landfill never degrading. It is also environmentally friendly because it reduces waste. Many times, metal roofs can be installed on top of an existing roof. This erases the hassle of tearing off the new roof and spares the environment the waste.

Metal roofs are naturally safer for the environment when it rains. Some roofs have chemicals and contaminants that will run off the roof and pollute the ground when it rains. Metal is free of chemicals and the rain that slides off the roof is cleaner as a result.

Metal roofs are good insulators when installed properly. This insulation can help keep the house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, reducing energy costs. The less energy used heating and cooling, the better for the environment.

Foam Roofing

Certain types of foam roofing can also have environmental benefits. Newer foams are made without chemicals that could be harmful to the ozone layer.

Foam roofing causes much less waste when compared to asphalt roofing. This type of roofing also lasts a long time and doesn't have the dangerous asphalt chemicals or odors.

Wood Roofing

Wood roofing has obvious environmental benefits because it is truly a renewable roofing choice. The wood used is natural and won't harm the environment. The processes of manufacturing the wood roofs use much less energy than other manufacturing processes and as a result produce much lower amounts of greenhouse gases.

Wood roofing is also very good at insulating a house and keeping the environmental cost of heating and cooling down.

When searching for a roofing choice that has environmental benefits, metal, foam, and wood roofing all have their own advantages, but metal is perhaps the best choice.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Tips to Help you Buy the Right Rug

Rugs have been around for more than 3000 years; so buying an authentic rug can be rather difficult without some knowledge and these tips to help you.

Before you actually start looking for your rug, it is better to learn some terms that help identify the different parts of a rug. The background of the rug is called the field while a round or diamond shaped motif in the middle of the rug is called a central medallion. If you plan to asymmetrically arrange your furniture on the rug, its better buying a rug with an all-over design.

Measure your room and rug space

It is also important that you measure the rug space and the room dimensions so that you don't end up buying a rug that is too big for your room.

Look for both sophistication in its design and the manner the rug's design was designed. If you find that the rug doesn't have any sheen or polish, it means the rug isn't of a good quality.

Take a look at knots

Another tip for choosing the right rug to buy is to take a look at the kind of knots in it. While some rugs have about 30 knots in an inch, others have as many as 290 knots per inch, which produces an extremely fine and intricate design on the rug. Rugs with fine knots have aesthetic designs on it.

While choosing rugs, you also have to decide if you want to buy a rug with a modern design or a rug with ancient designs like Persian designs. It is always better to decide based on the interiors of the room where you plan to place the rug. No point in buying a rug with ancient designs if you have modern interior decor in the room.

New rugs are not investments

Take a look at various rugs till you finally reach a few favorite options. The new rugs are generally sold by the square foot while antique ones are sold by piece. New rugs are considered investments as you can easily find similar types in the future. New rugs should be bought only for its decorative value and usefulness and only old rugs as an investment.

Never buy a rug till you fall in love with it after carefully examining it. Though bright colored rugs may look attractive at first, they may not seem so appealing after some time and may reduce the rug's value if you plan to sell it in the future.

Buy from a reputed dealer

Most dealers will let you take your rug and try it at home for a day or two as the lighting and character of your room can affect the rug's look. Buy the rug only if you are happy with its result in both daylight and at night.

Last, but not least, make sure you buy your rug from a reputed and reliable dealer. You know the best dealers as they readily show samples of all the types of rugs they have and will happily give suggestions to help you buy a rug of your budget and needs. Don't buy rugs at customs auctions and closing down sales as if the rates of these rugs seem too good to be true, it usually is.

Home Improvement to a Rental Property - What You Should Do Before Changing Someone Else’s Home

Renting gives you the freedom to pick up and move on a month’s notice, and if
problems arise with the property, you can give your landlord a call. It’s an easy way to
keep your life simple. But at the end of the day, you’re living in someone else’s home.
And as a renter, there are limits to what you can do to a property. Granted, some
landlords are easygoing and they allow tenants to make changes or improvements to a
property. This is your home, and understandably, you want to make the property as nice
as possible. But before going into your pocket to make home improvements, consider
four tips.

Does It Make Financial Sense?

Think past the moment and look into the future. Realistically, do you see yourself living
in the property in one, three or five years? Bringing in new furniture, home accents and
wall art are simple and quick fixes to a boring house. But if you’re tired of old carpet, a
dated bathroom and worn equipment, improving these areas with your own money isn’t
always cost effective. Your landlord isn’t going to reimburse you for these expenses,
any changes that you make to the property remain with the property when you move.
You can maybe justify home improvement projects if don’t plan to move in the near
future. But if your goal is to buy your own place, save this cash and put it toward your
down payment.

What Are Your Landlord’s Plans for the Property?

After renting a property for several years, you may start to feel comfortable and take
liberties with the property. Maybe your landlord stated that he would never sell the
property, or that you could rent for as long as you needed to. Understand, however, that
situations can change rapidly. For example, your landlord may stumble on hard times
and need to sell the house for extra cash. Before spending your money to make home
improvements, talk to your landlord and ask about his plans for the home.

Do You Have Permission?

Read your rental agreement very carefully before making an minor or major home
improvements. Your landlord likely included a clause in the agreement regarding
changes to the property. This clause may clearly state that changes are not allowed,
or your landlord may allow certain changes as long as you obtain permission. But even
if home improvements are allowable under the lease agreement, always contact your

landlord before making any changes to the property. There’s a possibility that your
landlord may only allow minor improvements. Furthermore, your landlord will likely want
to review your plans for the property. This isn’t your house, therefore, you landlord has
the final say in the matter. For example, your plans might include ripping out the carpet
and laying porcelain tile, yet your landlord prefers carpet in the house.

Jeff covers topics for people who rent for the Renters’ Insurance Blog (linkto: http:// for the Consumer Media Network.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Typical Demolition Waste Issues

When beginning a small or residential demolition project many homeowners gloss over the disposal of the waste they will be creating. This is not to say homeowners are unaware that they will need to deal with garbage created from the demolition; but rather that they may not know of the long list of regulations that needs to be reviewed prior to the disposal of their waste.

Many municipalities have strict rules as to what can be put into a landfill. Some of them are common sense like car batteries or toxic oils and greases. Others would not seem as sensible such as tires, paint cans, and computer monitors. Also, do-it-yourselfers can often get in trouble by not knowing that the items they are dealing with are hazardous. A perfect example of this is asbestos shingles. Used as a roofing material up until the 1970's many homes still have these shingles. As you may have heard asbestos fibers can cause a good bit of trouble when they are released into an open air environment. However, since most of these shingles aren't stamped with the word asbestos on them many people don't consider the regulations in place to deal with them. In New York State a homeowner is allowed to pull these shingles off themselves without any issues. However if they choose to employ a contractor for the work, the area must be sealed off and attended to by trained, equipped workers. Thus adding significantly to the expense. The next hurdle to clear for homeowners is the transportation of them. If not secured correctly the asbestos fibers present a real danger, and you will likely receive some for of a penalty. Once at the landfill site, there will be a special section for the shingles, and you must have a signed waiver regarding either if it was a self-done project or contracted.

That is just one brief outline of the disposal of one type of hazardous waste, and that is if you are savvy enough to notice it. One of the best solutions for your demolition project is to pair up with a knowledgeable waste management or dumpster rental company. By doing so you'll have a source familiar with the regulations, and one that assumes all liability in the transport and eventual disposal of the material.

Although this will add to your bottom line of the project by a small margin, it also insures you against the much larger costs of fines and citations. Also, a drop off dumpster rental service does make life a lot easier. But if you are going to move ahead on your own, first make sure you know what it is that you will be working with, the potential risks, and how your community has chosen to deal with its removal. Good luck!

Author Thomas Farley is the head of the waste management firm WNY Dumpster. He has successful navigated dozens of bureaucratic pathways to properly dispose of potentially hazardous material.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

What You Should Know About Buying Commercial Properties

Commercial property deals typically involve an enormous amount of capital. For that reason, you have to ensure that you obtain utmost value for your investment. You can incur massive financial losses if you take wrong decisions in this kind of property deals, and it may not be easy for you to sell it to another person later on, which may further complicate your problems.

It requires immense expertise to deal in landed property, particularly to purchase commercial property. You might have the funds to purchase a property, however you may know little or nothing regarding the market conditions. In cases like that, you are better off engaging the services of a professional. You will find many licensed professionals who have been in this business for several years, and made a great deal of money from it. These people are in a very good position to provide you with sound counsel about real estate matters within a particular locality, at a specific time. However, you also need to be very cautious because several criminals are out there who are capable of making you incur losses for their own gain. Therefore, your best option is to deal with a licensed professional.

You should first do some planning before getting into any kind of property transaction. Even though things can sometimes not work according to plans, you will definitely achieve success if proper planning is done in the beginning. Carry out a bit of research within the locality where you intend to purchase a property. Speak with the inhabitants of the area regarding the accessibility, problems, and the like. Find out the amount land goes for in that region. Enquire about the owner's motive for wanting to sell off the property. Could it be that there are some shortcomings for landed property investment with the locality?

One other thing you need to take into account when buying commercial properties is the legality of the deal. Ensure that you have examined all the laws that have to do with commercial properties in that administrative region. If you find it difficult understanding the legal process, seek advice from an attorney who specializes in issues about commercial properties. You are better off dealing with an attorney who is accustomed to the laws of the region. Laws are constantly being altered; your lawyer should be able to give you good advice regarding the legal issues involved. You should be prepared to spend substantial time taking care of the legal formalities; because it is a very important part of property transactions.

You have the option of obtaining a property loan if you do not have sufficient funds to purchase the commercial property. Before you commit to purchasing any property, confer with a property valuator in order to calculate the approximate worth of the property. If the estimate given by the property valuator is lower than the price quoted by the seller, it is an indication that you will incur a loss. Also, if the estimate given by the property valuator is much higher than the price quoted by the seller, then you have to carefully re-examine the property. If the property has no problems, the seller would most likely not sell it at a low rate.

In recent times, commercial property investment has become a broadly used means of retaining capital. You are always at an advantage if you are informed about the whole process, because it ensures that you take every necessary safety measure to guarantee an easy cruise through the transaction.