Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tips for Green Living in the Home

Do you care about the environment and your health, but want to be stylish with your home décor at the same time? Luckily, there are plenty of green living options that can be implemented in your home in order to create a great look while remaining eco-friendly.

Making Sustainable Choices

Making sustainable choices are an important component of green living. Making sustainable choices means purchasing products that don’t cause a negative impact on the environment and that will not make it more difficult for future generations to continue to sustain themselves. Making sustainable choices during the design process is referred to as 'green design' or 'sustainable design'. Some great sustainable choices to consider when decorating include:

Natural stone counter tops
Cabinets and other products made from woods such as bamboo, eucalyptus, or recycled wood
Carpet made from natural fibers, such as wool and cotton, or made from recycled materials
Green-friendly paint and home wallpaper, which is being offered by a growing number of manufacturers
Antiques – after all, they are being recycled!

You don’t have to create a bland and boring home décor in order to enjoy green living. In fact, there are numerous options out there that will allow you to make your home look great while still protecting the planet.

Appliances for Green Living

When it comes to green living, a great place to start is in your kitchen. Remodeling can add a great deal of value to your home, can make it more functional and attractive, and can help you make your home more eco-friendly.

When buying for your kitchen, look for modern appliances to help bring your home up-to-date. By purchasing those appliances with the Energy Star rating, you can potentially cut the amount of energy you use to power those appliances in half. Adding faucet aerators to your kitchen and bathroom faucets will also help reduce the amount of water you use while still providing you with a high pressure stream of water.

Obtaining Green Products

Fortunately, green living is rapidly growing in popularity. In response, many manufacturers are offering lines of eco friendly products that can be used for decorating purposes. In addition, a growing number of online and offline stores that are dedicated solely to green living are becoming a more common occurrence.

One great resource for green living products is This site carries only eco-friendly products, including furniture, bedding, and home furnishings. Home furnishings offered at include candles, picture frames, tableware, home accessories, clocks, lamps, rugs and carpet. Another great online resource for green living products is Here, you can find wall coverings, furniture, flooring, and more. Go to for fabulous green gifts for the home and garden.

Although it may take a little more time and effort to find and purchase eco products for your home, the effort will be worth it. Not only will you be doing your part to help conserve and protect the environment, green living is better for your health and can save you money in the long run.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Ceramic Floor Tile Installation And Maintenance Tips

Ceramic Floor Tile Installation And Maintenance Tips

Ceramic floor tile is a great choice for many types of rooms. It comes in a large variety of styles and sizes and is durable and easy to clean.

When choosing tile for your room, be sure to pick a size that goes well with the dimensions of the room. A large room will look too busy with small sized tiles. Large sized tiles will overwhelm a small room. Tiles come in sizes ranging from 1" to 2 feet so you should be able to find a size that looks nice in your space.

Also, you should consider your decor before choosing your tile. If you have a formal looking space then a polished marble tile might look great. If you have decor with a southwestern, Mexican or Italian flair then a rustic natural looking tile is best. A smooth, polished type of tile will be slippery when it gets wet so you might not want to install that in a entry room or bathroom. Also, tile gets very cold so if you are installing it in a basement, you better invest in a warm pair of slippers.

Don't forget to select a grout that compliments your tile. A dark coloured grout is best as a white grout will tend to get dirty looking very quickly.

Tile Installation

Installing ceramic tile is not too difficult, but if you've never done it before and aren't very handy to begin with you might be better off with a professional. There's nothing worse than spending a bundle on tile only to have it look crappy because you didn't install it right!

If you do want to try it yourself, take your time. Measure your floor precisely and map off the exact middle, then lay your tile out in advance to see what it might look like. You can buy little plastic tile spacers that you put between each one so that you can be sure they are spaced evenly. Since no room is a perfect square, you will eventually have to cut some tiles to fit around appliances or jogs in the shape of the room. Make sure you have the right equipment for this and the job will go much smoother.

Once you have the tile in place, put in the grout as per the manufacturers instructions and seal accordingly. It helps to buy a good quality grout and sealer and will be well worth the added expense in the long run.

Tile Maintenance

Ceramic tile is one the easiest types of floors to clean and when properly cared for will maintain their shiny, new appearance for years to come. To clean your tile you don't need anything fancy - just water and a floor cleaning product. Vacuum the floor first then use a sponge or mop to apply the cleaner and water mixture. Rinse off with water and let dry.

Other than that your ceramic tile does not need much care. You will have to be careful about dropping heavy objects on it particularly in the kitchen where heavy pots can slip and fall. If your tile does become cracked or chipped it will be very difficult to replace it without having to dig up the rest of the floor so tread carefully on your new ceramic tile floor.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Renovating That Moldy Old Bathroom

Renovating That Moldy Old Bathroom

However much you may have thought through the options while making that dream home of yours, it seems that there are always improvements that can be made at home. Taking a decision to renovate your apartment is not an easy one since these projects can cause havoc with your daily routine. One such project that can really disrupt your entire household is bathroom remodeling. This is especially so because once the project begins this room will need to be off limits for several days. 

Although the bathroom is often the smallest room in your house, it is one of the most important rooms. Many aspects make bathroom renovating a serious project. You can save money as well as avoid undue hassles if a bathroom makeover is handled methodically.

The first thing required to be settled is to prepare a schedule for bathroom use to accommodate family members and plan for guests if any are coming over during the renovation.

To avoid overshooting your budget it is recommended that you finalize the fixtures that you would like to put back again and the ones that you need to replace before actually beginning the process of remodeling. Once you list the fixtures you will realize why bath remodeling often takes more time than anticipated and disrupts budgets. The main fixtures involved in bathroom remodeling include the tub, shower, toilet, sink, cabinets, lighting and flooring. 

Storage is another aspect that needs to be kept in mind as certain decorative fixtures, like a pedestal sink, leave no room for storage under them. For a well functioning bathroom it is essential that there be storage space for storing towels, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

While going in for expensive fixtures like whirlpool tubs it will be better if you talk to friends, neighbours and relatives who might have installed these, as they take up a lot of space and are expensive to repair.

Lighting and flooring are two aspects of the bathroom that are often over looked. If you have natural light it will be better to go for lighting that will complement it and still retain privacy. In the absence of natural light, try to create one using the kind of lighting that you prefer. You could chose to have a bold, strong lighting environment or a relaxing, dim environment for your aroma bath.

Easy cleaning should be the foremost consideration when completing the bathroom renovation project. Although they cost more than other surfaces, natural stone or ceramic tiles are the easiest to clean and last a life time. Bathrooms are messy and in turn can mess up the house. Being able to quickly clean up surfaces is a great time saver and can also ensure that you avoid slipping on wet surfaces later.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Air Quality Tips for the Home, Breathe Safe and Easy

Dangers of Poor Quality Indoor Air

Indoor air quality is important for many reasons. We spend a good amount of time, including the time that we are asleep, in our homes. Poor air quality can aggravate asthma and other lung conditions, particularly in the very young and the elderly. In a worse case scenario, poor air quality that is the result of a home with little ventilation heated with a combustible heat source can lead to death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

In addition to the health concerns that can occur because of poor air quality, it can also affect the structure of the home. A home with poor ventilation that also has a moisture problem is likely to develop mildew, which, in addition to causing respiratory problems, weakens the structure of the home. Damage due to mildew can be just as extensive as water damage.

Poor air quality is a serious concern. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is the fourth largest environmental health threat to our country. Americans are spending more time inside, and, encased in our energy efficient homes, we are not getting the fresh air that we did even a decade ago.

Eliminate Sources of Pollution

Common sources of pollution in the home are heaters that use a combustible fuel source, such as gas or kerosene, and asbestos containing building materials. You can improve the quality of the air in your home by reducing the influence of these preexisting hazards. You can enclose or cover asbestos containing materials, and adjust your heaters to reduce emissions. If your home is an older home, you may have areas of damaged asbestos that should be replaced, or a natural gas furnace that is inefficient. The benefit of an older home is that they have better ventilation than new homes, but the materials they contain are sometimes harmful.

Consider the products that you use in your home. Aerosols, such as hair spray, are not good for the quality of the air in your home, and there are few products that cannot be purchased in a pump action bottle. Choose your cleaning solutions carefully, and use them wisely. Many commonly used household cleaners are very caustic and can result in irritating fumes. Always use the least amount of a cleaning solution possible. You can use less of a product if you work on the soiled area while it is still fresh and let the cleaning solution set for a few minutes before you start cleaning. Also, it never hurts to try water first.

Improve Ventilation

Ventilation is important in a home. Modern homes with central heating and cooling systems are notoriously efficient. While this is good for your utility bills, it is not the healthiest condition to live in. If you have a newer, more energy efficient home, there will be even less ventilation. The lack of fresh air in the home is a contributing factor in poor air quality.

Mold and mildew also contribute to poor air quality, and they too can be controlled by increased ventilation. The increased ventilation helps to keep the area dry and reduce the ability for mold and mildew to grow.

To improve the ventilation in the home, let some air in. Clearly you are limited by the time of year and the weather conditions, but any increase in ventilation improves the air quality. Open windows when possible, run attic fans and bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans. Increased ventilation is particularly important when you are participating in activities that decrease the air quality, such as sanding, heating with a natural fuel source, such as a kerosene heater, and painting.

Keep it Clean

The most important thing that you can do to increase the air quality in your home is to keep it clean. IF you have a pet, decrease the dander carried around by washing and grooming it often. If you have old carpets, consider pulling them up and replacing them with hard flooring that can easily be wiped clean. If you have plants in your home, check the soil. Over watering can lead to mold growing on the soil. You should wash or replace your shower curtains often to prevent them from growing mildew.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Before Undertaking A Bathroom Remodeling Job

Things To Keep In Mind Before 
Undertaking A Bathroom Remodeling Job

In times gone by, the bathroom was little more than a closed in area to get into and out of as quickly as possible. Today, however, realtors will tell you that the bathroom, next to the kitchen, is what buyers look at the most. You can add thousands to the value of your home if you undertake 
bathroom remodeling.

Before you jump in with both feet, test the water, so to speak. You must have a budget and stick to it. If you just go shopping, you may end up spending more than you had planned. Also, decide on the space you are working in, are you going for a full bathroom remodeling or just staying with redecorating? Also, keep in mind how much stress this it going to put on your family. If you go from 2 bathrooms to 1, it may be more stress than you realize. 

One of the first places people look to when doing complete bathroom remodeling is the shower or tub. If this is the way you are looking to go, do your homework before you begin ripping out fixtures and walls. There is a large assortment of products available from cast iron to porcelain; glass doors on the shower or a curtain? Try to stay with the current plumbing set up you have. If the showerhead is in the same place in the new shower as the old, you won't have to tear out plumbing. This will save you hours and money. 

Another thing to consider in bathroom remodeling is, if you are going to replace tiles, you want to have the entire room flow together. Also, if you are looking to get a new look for your bathtub or shower, but not go through the expense of replacing it, having an acrylic molded over the existing bathtub will give you the best of both worlds. 

It is important to do your shopping before you start your bathroom remodeling project. There is such a wide variety of fixtures and materials on the market today that it may be overwhelming. There are a few things to keep in mind while you shop.

As with any major home improvement project, make sure you get the correct permits and restrictions in your area with the local government. That is important to do if you are going to do major bathroom remodeling changes including electrical or plumbing work, such as installing heated floors or moving the sink from this wall to that one. 

If you are thinking of undertaking the electric or plumbing yourself, make sure you know what you are doing and spend time doing your research. In most cases, hiring a contractor may be your best bet. They know what they are doing and will know what to do should they run into something unexpected. You should find a bathroom remodeling contractor that shares your vision of the your plan and is willing to work within your budget. Let him 'do his thing'. Then you are free to paint, wallpaper and decorate to your heart's content.

When making your plan for bathroom remodeling, here are some things that you may want to think about. 

Making sure the shower head is comfortable for everybody who uses it. Also, choose easy to clean fixtures. You want to make sure you have tempered glass for the shower door; if that is the way you are going.

Keep in mind that you want to be able to reach the soaps and shampoos, so keep them in easy to reach areas. Another thing to keep in easy reach are the towels and washcloths. Don't forget that bathrooms are high humidity areas, so be sure to have enough ventilation to keep mould at bay. 

It is very important to make sure that all outlets are grounded. This is going to help prevent eclectic shock from plugging in appliances such as hair dryers. 

To create a stylish yet functional bath room, be sure you pay attention to detail. With your time and effort it will be another part of your home, other than just another room in your house.

In times gone by, the bathroom was little more than a closed in area to get into and out of as quickly as possible. Today, however, realtors will tell you that the bathroom, next to the kitchen, is what buyers look at the most. You can add thousands to the value of your home if you undertake bathroom remodeling.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Your Classified Trades Network

Your classified trades network…Simply post your job and find local, rated and recommended tradesmen who are interested in your improvement project...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Why A Remodeling Contractor Is Important

Why A Remodeling Contractor Is Important When Planning A Renovation Of Your House

Everyone has a room in their home that they want to remodel. That one room that is an embarrassment and you close the door when you have company. If you are planning a total remodeling of a room or your entire house, you may want to consider hiring a remodeling contractor. If you try to take on a project that is too big, it will cost you a lot of time and money.

A remodeling contractor is a person who has skill in both carpentry and building. He or she will take consult with you on what you want the outcome of the project to be. A remodeling contractor will also help you design what you want.

He or she has the sub-contractors that you will need to remodel you home and they are already figured into the estimate that you will receive. If you do it yourself, you will be paying huge fees to each sub-contractor. A remodeling contractor can get the job done in a shorter amount of time with fewer errors and for a lower cost then you can do yourself.

Another benefit to hiring a remodeling contractor is that they get special discounts from supply companies and pass the savings on to you. They can also buy used materials that are still in good condition to save you more money. A really good contractor may even be able to sell accessories and fixtures from your project.

The process is really very easy. A remodeling contractor will sit down with you and discuss exactly what you want to do with your project. He or she will ask you for your ideas and suggestions. He or she will ask you what your budget for the project is and advise you if what you want can be done within that budget.
A good contractor will have years of experience and will be able to add touches here and there to enhance your home.

Plans will be drawn up for your approval and estimate will be given. The contractor will also give you an estimated time of completion.

The contractor, upon your approval and acceptance will get everything in place to start your project.

If you decide to hire a contractor for remodeling your house, do not choose the first one you interview. This is a highly competitive field and you may find cheaper rates with someone else. Make sure that you have all of the paperwork and estimate when you apply for financing, your lending institution may require proof that you are remodeling.

If you have decided that remodeling is right for you, check out the services of a remodeling contractor. He or she may be able to save you thousands of dollars on materials.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Critical Tips For Installing Gutters

Installing Gutters: Critical Tips
If you have decided to replace your gutters, your next decision is whether to do it yourself or pay for professional installation. If you decide on installing gutters yourself, there are a few things you should consider before installing them. Decide exactly where the gutters will go before installing them. Many people place gutters in the front and back of their homes. Depending on how much rain an area receives, a person might only have to install gutters on the back of the house. 

You most certainly will want to consider the look of the gutters on your house. You may want simple replacement but gutters can also be a decorative accent on your home. Measure carefully how long the back and front of the house is before buying gutters. Installing gutters can be frustrating if the wrong amount and the wrong size is purchased. They will need to be custom cut to fit any poor measurements which can take up valuable time and waste your energy. 

There are many different styles of gutters. Be sure to choose the appropriate style for the specific area of the house. If the house is surrounded by trees, then installing gutters that will not trap debris as easily is a smart decision. If the house is not surrounded by trees, then choose gutters that can handle the amount of rainfall an area typically receives. Some gutters are deeper and wider than others. Be sure to purchase gutters that will be able to hold the right amount of water that typically falls in your geographical area. Installing gutters should be done every few years depending on the gutters condition. 

When installing gutters, take the time and effort to make sure you do it properly. If a gutter is not attached securely, it may fall off during a heavy rainstorm. Wind and other weather could also cause the gutter to become loose. This could cause water to build-up and create puddles. A gutter that is attached securely will not be damaged by heavy rain. Gutters should also be attached correctly and should not bend or be attached at an angle. This will not allow the water to flow freely through the gutter. If a person is not able to install gutters themselves, there are many companies that can. These gutters should come with a guarantee. This will help if the gutters are damaged during a heavy rainstorm. If you have any doubts about installation and your skills please hire a qualified tradesmen.

If leaves are clogging your downspouts, rain will collect, build up and freeze causing gutters to tear away from roofs can cause costly damage. Installing gutter protection can protect your home’s gutters from winter damage. Gutter guards are installed over you're existing gutters to prevent gutters from filling with leaves that can clog downspouts.

The number one enemy of your house is water, and 

gutters are a first line of defence.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Best Basement Remodeling Tips

Tips for Refinishing Your Basement

Is your basement being put to good use? While you may be storing furniture, canned goods, or tools downstairs, why not refurbish your home's lowest level and add living space to your family home? It really isn't terribly difficult or expensive if you start with basic changes that will let you enjoy this extra space.

Start by taking an inventory of the usable space in your basement. How many rooms could be converted to accommodate daily activities, and which ones would better serve occasional events, like holiday celebrations or kids' parties? If you are storing things in the basement, can these be moved to another area, or will they need to be kept downstairs but perhaps in one of the rooms rather than all? You also will need to work around heating and cooling appliances like the furnace, air conditioner, and hot water tank, as well as laundry equipment if you have it. When you have an idea of how much area you can afford to remake, you can start to shuffle storage and appliances to make room for you're remodeling plans.

Then decide which improvements you would like most to have. If you can't afford them all at once, you can do the repairs in stages. Do a survey of the basement to list every needed repair, update, or improvement, including the simplest as well as the most demanding. Work out a budget to see which ones you can afford to start with. You may have to contact local home improvement materials suppliers for the cost of supplies needed for the repairs. If you need to hire the work done rather than do it yourself, calculate this cost as well, estimating on the high rather than the low side.

Begin with the most pressing needs. For example, water damage or leaks, mold, cracked windows, and radon or carbon monoxide testing should be done to eliminate safety hazards and problems that will only get worse with time. You may need to have your appliances inspected, repaired, or replaced.

When these have been addressed, the next step will be to take care of structural damage. Plaster holes, cracked concrete floors, electrical updates, and plumbing overhauls should be the next set of repairs. These will bring your basement up to code and prepare it for the aesthetic level of improvements that go hand-in-hand with home decorating.

If your budget holds out, you may next want to look at adding air vents, replacing window frames or the windows themselves with glass block, and installing floor tiles, rather than carpet, since they are easier to clean and maintain. You can even put up wallboard or panel siding to make the rooms more homey and inviting. Lighting fixtures or track lighting can brighten dark or dim areas of your basement.

From there it is just a matter of adding furnishings to complete your renovation project. To cut costs, you can buy these second-hand at garage sales or thrift stores, or buy seconds at furniture stores, since these items won't be used everyday.

Follow these tips and you'll be enjoying a new space in your home and added value.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

5 Remodeling Mistakes - avoid them at all cost

5 Home Remodeling Mistakes

Lucky are those who already have their own homes because they can consider them as investments. No matter how old the home is, there is always an option and an opportunity to make the home as good as new. This can be done by introducing changes in the home design or in the home facade or color.

Some people renovate their homes because they have lived there for several years already and they have gone tired of the look of their homes. Of course, there are people who renovate their homes with the view of reselling them at higher prices.

Owning a property or a home can be very useful not only as a dwelling place for the owner and his family. Some people who have extra money invest in foreclosed homes and either live in them or remodel them for a higher resale price. Buying and remodeling homes is starting to become a very good business provided the investor has a keen eye for good locations or areas.

Some people who have owned their homes for several years already get tired of the design and the aesthetics of their homes that they resort to remodeling their homes. In most cases, the homeowner who sets out to remodel his own is always on a tight budget.

Remodeling a home is not an easy task and it is very demanding. Remodeling a home is just like constructing your home all over again but this time, it can prove more difficult because there is already an existing structure. Building a new home is said to be easier since it is like drawing on a blank canvas and any idea is possible. Remodeling an already existing home can be more challenging because the designer has to contend with an existing structure.

While home remodeling can add up to the resale value of a home, it can also lower the price and sometimes lessen the chances of the home being resold. This happens when remodeling mistakes are committed, destroying the aesthetic and functional aspects of the home.

Any homeowner planning to remodel his home should watch out for these 5 remodeling mistakes that have been committed by other people over and over again. These may be simple mistakes but they can ruin the home value so it is recommended that every homeowner be aware of these mistakes.

1. Starting a home remodeling project without considering and estimating the costs involved

- Every homeowner who is planning to remodel his home should first take into consideration his financial capacity. Home remodeling can cost more considering the high prices of construction materials today. Prices of cement, paint, and other materials to be used in the home remodeling should be checked first before touching or destroying any part of the home. The homeowner should be prepared to invest money in home remodeling and finish the remodeling project. Or else, he can end up with a debased or devalued home instead of having its price or value improved.

2. Implementing remodeling projects without creating a remodeling plan

- This is one of the most common mistakes committed by most homeowners. There are times when a homeowner notices the faded paint of a room, or the damaged blocks in a certain part of a home. Then and there, he decides to have the room or that part destroyed as he wants to convert it into open concept. He contacts a builder to destroy the room and when the job is finished, he finds out that turning the room or area into open concept can cause problems in the overall structure of the house. 

By failing to create a remodeling plan, the homeowner has just destroyed a still-useful room and expended money in the process. He now has to spend more 

3. Selecting a contractor and starting the remodeling project without researching on the reputation of such contractor 
- Any homeowner who hires a contractor should make sure he gets referrals for the contractor. If not, he should check on the background and work ethics of the contractor to make sure that he gets his remodeling project done quickly and efficiently. There are homeowners who are so excited about their home remodeling project that they commit the mistake of hiring a contractor without knowing his background. This can cost the homeowner a lot in terms of time and money especially if the contractor produces inferior work or leaves the work without finishing the remodeling project.

4. Embarking on a very expensive and impractical remodeling project making it impossible to resell the house at a profit

- Some homeowners become overzealous when starting a home remodeling project that they commit the mistake of spending more on the remodeling project than what is reasonable. Sometimes the expenses for the remodeling project becomes too much that the owner can no longer resell at a price within the range of the real estate rates in the community. Of course, if the home is an inherited home and the homeowner intends to preserve the home to his family for a long time, then such expenses may be justified. 

5. Veering away from classic design and turning to color and design trends when remodeling a home

- It is always good to keep up with the times especially when remodeling a home but following the trend too much can cost the homeowner in the end. Classic home designs are still the ideal for home remodeling projects because such designs never go out of style. Following a certain color trend or design that will last only for one or two years will require another home renovation project when the trend has passed.

The goal of home remodeling will always be to improve the value of the home for whatever purpose. To achieve this goal, homeowners should consider the 5 common home remodeling mistakes and avoid them at all cost.

Monday, 7 November 2011

What's Consider To Be A Home Improvement Project?

What Do You Consider To Be A Home 

Improvement Project

Home Improvement is a popular tem these days but what is it really? What does a project have to include to be termed a home improvement project? Home improvement can be anything from just repainting or wallpapering a bathroom or kitchen to a total home remodel and makeover. Any home improvement project can be shared with everyone in the home taking on some responsibility in the event.

There is no reason to pay contractors the outrageous rates they charge when you have able bodied people in the house to help out. I know what you are going to say, "I can't even get my teenager to take out the trash!", but when you give them the choice of helping or selling everything in their room to help pay for a contractor they will change their tune! You will find that family and friends may be willing to help as well, kind of like people used to pitch in back in the day.

Whenever you are thinking about starting a home improvement project you should talk to everyone in the house about it because the turmoil and disruption concerns everyone. Some projects like painting are easy enough that anyone can do them. All you have to do is protect against spills and make sure you don't get paint on items you don't want painted. Often you can repaint and entire home in just a few days. A fresh new color can go a long way to changing the look of a house.

If you are planning a large project that requires carpentry skills and renovation of rooms then you may have no choice but to hire a contractor unless you are skilled in that area, try The Trades Network for any tradesperson. Another consideration is money, do you have enough money to pay cash for the project or will it require financing?

If you are seeking out help from friends and relatives for your home improvement project don't even bother calling up those that don't take care of their own house. If they don't care about their stuff they surely won't care about yours and all they will do is sit around and drink beer giving arm chair advice and criticism. You should schedule a home improvement project so that you can complete it during a short vacation or long weekend.

Another thing to consider is storage. If you are remodeling your home and need to empty a room, where are you going to put everything? If you are like me, your garage is already full. You should consider getting a temporary storage container. If you think that you could possible reorganize the garage you may want to buy some garage storage containers to help you with the organization and make room for the items you need to remove in the house.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Furnace Tips You Should Know About In Canada

What You Ought To Know About Furnaces In Canada
 by: Addison Colb

Natural or gas from an outdoors source is piped towards the furnace where it's burned to create warmth. Often a fan-driven forced-air distribution system blows the warmed air through ductwork that vent in to the various rooms of the home. Older gas furnaces make use of a standing-pilot ignition. Maintenance involves turning from the pilot each spring and relighting it each fall. More recent, more effective gas furnaces make use of an electric spark to light the gas as necessary. 

So What Can Fail? 

Most gas furnaces are very reliable. Do you know the signs and symptoms of problems? The furnace might not produce warmth or might not produce enough warmth. The pilot light might go out frequently or won't light. The thermocouple might be faulty. The pilot may sensational looking not ignite the burners. The furnace might be noisy. You will find some maintenance along with a couple of minor repairs that you could make. However, major service ought to be left to some trained specialist. 

Fix-It Tips

To reduce issues with your gas furnace, take some time every month to determine the air conditioning filter and clean or change it if required (make sure your filter is the right size for the furnace). Annually, clean the blower rotor blades, lubricate the blower motor, and inspect the belt. 

How Do I Identify the issue? 

If there's no heat, look into the electrical service panel for any burned fuse or tripped breaker. Relight the pilot light. 

If there's insufficient warmth, adjust the burners air shutter (see below) and clean the burners ports (see below). 

When the pilot light doesn't light or doesn't stay lit, clean the pilot hole carefully having a toothpick, test the thermocouple and change it if it's faulty.

When the flame flickers, adjust the pilot (see below). 

If there's an overflowing seem once the burners ignites, adjust the pilot to some greater setting and clean the pilot hole and also the burners ports. 

When the burners takes greater than a couple of seconds to ignite, clean the pilot hole and adjust the pilot light. 

When the burners flame is uneven, clean the burners ports. When the burners flame is extremely yellow, clean the burners open vents within the furnace room to supply more air adjust the burners air shutter. 

When the air is simply too dry, clean or replace the evaporator pad for those who have a humidifier test the humidistat and adjust water-level float to boost water level. 

If some rooms are extremely cold yet others too warm, the distribution system may need balancing. 

This maybe the time to call an expert heating and mechanical contractor. 

Find one now at

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Getting the Best Deal on Your Home Improvements

Getting the Best Deal on Your Home Improvements

There aren't many families out their at the moment that have a great deal of disposable cash floating about. The global recession has meant that everyone is watching their money more closely than ever.
Some jobs just can't be put off however. If for example you need to fit a new door to your property, then it is not the kind of project you can put on the back burner - if it needs replacing then that's all there is to it. As any homeowner knows, it's worth paying for a good company to carry out work on your property, but that does not mean you need to pay over the odds. By shopping around and asking for quotes from a number of companies, you greatly increase your chances of getting the best deal that is available.
At one time, the only way to find building companies in your area was to pick up the yellow pages, circle a few local firms and start making calls. Not only is this time consuming but you really limit yourself by only making contact with a fraction of the companies that are out there that are qualified to carry out work on your home.
Thankfully, the internet has changed the way we find workmen forever. Many businesses now have their own website, but even this way of contacting firms can take time. That's where online price comparison sites come into their own. There's also internet companies that are dedicated to finding the best Tradesmen and contractors for your improvement project, just post your job and get matched at TheTradesNetwork.
You don't need to go near a phone, in fact all you need to do is fill out a quote form and your requirements will be automatically forwarded to a list of approved suppliers in your area who will be happy to provide you with quotes. Stress free and easy, using a price comparison can certainly save you an enormous amount of time and will most likely leave more money in your pocket.
When the time comes around to carry out improvements to your property, then make sure you don't pay over the odds. Log onto the internet and search for The Trades Network.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Top 5 Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid

Kitchen Planning - The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid By Stuart Heyes

As many people are aware, the kitchen can often become the social hub of the home. Where children stay in their rooms and parents sit about in the living room, the one place they all congregate is the kitchen. So any poorly made choices in the design stages can make for a poor social space.
Remember the Kitchen Triangle! Unless you are a big kitchen design fan, you may not have heard the expression, but basically, the triangle represents the route around your sink, fridge freezer and oven. The idea is that the routes between these should be as short as possible and completely unobstructed.
If you're rushing around cooking a meal, and you keep catching your hips or thighs on a jutting island or counter corner, you'll want to tear it out. This is why these routes need to be wholly accessible at all times, you'd be surprised just how many times you move between this in one session.
Islands! They look great and fancy, but can sometimes be unwieldy and impractical in smaller spaces. Islands work better in one wall and L-Shape kitchens with plenty of footfall space. In U shape and more complicated kitchens, you need to ensure that you have the space, otherwise you'll violate the aforementioned 'kitchen triangle' rule and you'll find yourself becoming incredibly stressed when cooking larger meals.
Lighting! This is possibly the most common mistake in kitchen design, more specifically the absence of task lighting, the lighting that allows you to properly see what you are doing. Sometimes the best task lighting comes from overhead task lights and under-cabinet spot lighting. As long as it is a bright light source that is not obscured by your own shadow, you should be able to work comfortably at the task at hand. Ambient lighting can bring a kitchen design to life and add that wow factor to impress your friends, but do not splash out on this at the expense of task lighting; otherwise you'll be left with a pretty, but impractical cook space.
Consider the bin! Not something you typically associate with amazing kitchen design, but you'll be glad you considered it. First of all, recycling is becoming increasingly common, so you would do well to cater for it by installing a sectional trash cabinet that allows you to divide up your rubbish; otherwise you'll be doing it by hand, outside and in the rain for much longer than is strictly necessary. This should also be placed closest to the door. If your kitchen backs out onto a garden where you keep your bins, place it close by. If you keep your bins out front, place your rubbish cabinet nearer to the door, so you have less distance to travel and thus, less space within which to make a mess if a bag splits.
Keep it comfortable! When you're not cooking, you're sat down eating or drinking. So if you have an island, consider turning part of it into a breakfast bar; then you can pair it with space saving seating, such as leather bar stools or stackable chairs.
Kitchen Planning is critical, if you get it wrong at the planning stage, the entire project will likely go awry... Or in the very least you'll gradually become disheartened with the amazing, yet dysfunctional space you have created.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Four Ways to Reduce Home Heating

Four Ways to Reduce Home Heating Bills During the Fall and Winter 

By Samantha Walton

There are a number of simple yet effective ways to save energy and money when it comes to heating your home. Continue reading to learn four ways to reduce home heating bills during the fall and winter months.
1. Ensure Sufficient Insulation
Installing insulation is one of the best ways to reduce heating bills, because it works to protect your home's interior heated air. How? Insulation limits heat transfer through a home's ceiling, attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl space. A home that is sufficiently and properly insulated will experience far less heat loss than an uninstalled home, resulting in significantly lower home heating bills.
The recommended insulation R-value ranges from R30 to R60 for an uninsulated attic and R19 to R30 for floors. Speak with a certified NC insulation contractor about your home's insulation needs. Remember that different homes and climates require varying R-values and types of insulation (e.g. spray foam, rigid foam, blown foam, fiberglass). But in general, when it comes to insulation, more is better!
2. Seal Cracks Along Windows and Doors
Many homeowners assume that having sufficient insulation will solve all air leakage problems in their home. Wrong! Even a home with the best insulation will incur hefty heating bills if the cracks along windows and doors are not properly sealed. In an unsealed home, your costly heated air will leak outside through cracks, while frigid outdoor air seeps into the space. This results in massive home heating bills and an uncomfortable, cold house.
If your home often feels "drafty," contact a certified air sealing contractor as soon as possible! Doing so will drastically reduce home heating bills during the fall and winter months and make your home feel much cozier and comfortable during the winter.
3. Repair Leaking or Clogged Air Ducts
When it comes to costly home heating bills, leaking or clogged air ducts are often the culprit. If your home has a forced-air heating system, it uses air ducts to transport the heated or cooled air throughout the home. If, however, the air ducts are clogged with debris or are poorly connected, you're wasting a lot of energy and money. In fact, clogged or leaking air ducts can cause up to 35% of a home's heated air before it even reaches the air vents. This means you're paying a lot of money for heated air that you aren't able to enjoy.
4. Install an Energy-Efficient Furnace
Similar to the relationship between insulation and air sealing, an inefficient furnace will continue to wreak havoc on home heating bills even if your ducts are in a row. Such interlocking systems perfectly illustrate that a home is a cohesive unit -- each part dependent upon another to reach maximum energy-efficiency.
If your furnace is more than 10 or 15 years old and/or has a low AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating below 85%, it's definitely time for an upgrade. You'll notice an immediate difference both in your heating bills and in your home's air quality. To ensure maximum efficiency and savings, though, remember that your home's air ducts must be working properly!
To increase comfort in your home, use less energy, help the environment, and reduce home heating bills, contact a certified home heating contractor today