Wednesday, 29 February 2012

10 Things To Think About Before Installing Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors can add beauty and warmth to any room in your home and can be a wise choice if you are remodeling or building an addition. Hardwood floors can last for decades so selecting the best hardwood floor for your particular needs is important. Here's some things to think about if you are considering installing hardwood floors in your home.

1. Type of hardwood flooring. Believe it or not, there are countless types of hardwood floors. The first thing to do is to choose amongst the various types.

2. Price. Not everything that is expensive is of the best quality. Most often than not, the price of flooring depends on the cost of materials from which it is made and how it was transported from the manufacturing plant to the present store. If the flooring is imported from another country, chances are it might cost a lot, but is not necessarily sturdier.

3. Maintenance. Various types of hardwood floors require different forms of cleaning to maintain the original look. Though the usual sweeping and waxing will do, specially formulated cleaning formulas are available depending on the type of flooring and different kinds of woods may have different cleaning restrictions and needs.

4. Repair. Not all wood floors lasts forever. Proper repair and maintenance of damaged floors can preserve the original grandeur, but you must be sure that the appropriate materials will be on hand years down the road.

5. Method of payment. If one is short in cash, look for stores that accept credit card payments. Since there are still some home depots that do not accept specific types of credit cards, it would be best to check first if ones credit card is acceptable from where one has decided to purchase. If the only place where ones preferred hardwood floors is available does not accept credit cards, it would be best to first save the needed cash since it would be unlikely that they would run out of stocks until such time that funds are accumulated.

6. Not all hardwood floorings are of the same colour. Choose the shade that best suits the general motif or shade of the house and its furniture for a more coordinated look

7. Consider the rooms where the hardwood floor will be installed. Naturally, if one prefers their bathroom floor to be made of wood, this would entail a special type one since it is common knowledge that wood and water don't mix.

8. To purchase unfinished or pre-finished wood flooring. Hardwood floors can be bought in its unfinished (not subjected to any treatment) or pre-finished (has several coating of UV-cured polyurethane) state. Installation of pre-finished hardwood floors would result in lesser odours and dust, thus requiring little time for clean up.

9. Installation. Hardwood floors may be nailed down, glued or floating. If the current floors are covered with ceramic tiles or vinyl the floating form is the best. This also cuts the cleaning time since it would only be assembled on top of the old flooring Choose which best suits the type of under floor one has or the capability of the one doing the task.

10. Choosing between engineered and solid woods. Engineered ones are much easier to install since they can be glued or nailed down. Solid woods on the other hand cannot be subjected to sub-standard installations.

Whatever type of hardwood flooring one chooses, you are sure to end up with a handsome element for the room that is both functional and durable.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Role of Lighting in Interior Decorating

The types of lighting used in a room can dramatically change the way that room looks. Lighting can be a complicated issue, so let's start by defining some lighting terms.

Incandescent lights. These lights give a nice, golden glow to a room. They are much nicer to use than the cheaper looking fluorescent lights.

Down lights are round or square canisters, usually metal, that are recessed into or mounted onto the ceiling. These lights could be used as spotlights, floodlights or for general lighting.

Table lamps can be used as task lighting or for general lighting.

Up lights are normally one-bulb lights that are placed on the floor behind furniture, glass shelving or plants to give them a dramatic accent.

Strip lighting can be used behind shelves and on stairs and platforms for a dramatic result. The platforms lit this way can appear to be floating above the floor.

Track Lighting. A track makes it possible to use one electrical outlet to supply electricity to many lights along the track's length. The track can be surface mounted or recessed. Track lighting is one of the most versatile lighting systems available and can be moved around to accent different areas of a room.

Track lighting and recessed lighting can be set to produce an effect called wall washing which, as it sounds, washes an entire wall with light.

Dimmer switches give the ability to provide a different level of light by turning the knob. Dimmers save electricity and provide mood lighting for special occasions.

Different rooms in the home need different lighting. Halls and stairs should be well lit to prevent accidents. Living rooms need a mixture of lighting options: background, task lights and accent lighting. The best lighting for kitchens is bright overhead lights and extra under-counter lights for task lighting.

All types of lighting fixtures can be found for whatever your needs may be. They can run from very inexpensive to extremely high cost fixtures.

There are special considerations when using lighting for art or wall hangings.

If you are lighting a single picture or painting, try to place the light so that it does not show a reflection on the glass of the art piece. There are special picture lights made especially for lighting pictures but some of these are not very effective since they can only highlight the top or bottom of the picture. Down lights are a good alternative.

When lighting a group of pictures, it's better to use individual lights in track lighting that can be positioned towards the pictures.

Lighting sculptures can be particularly challenging. You can use up lights, down lights or even strip lights, depending upon the sculpture and its placement. Experiment with different lights and their placement to get the best effect.

Creative use of lighting can really enhance your decorating project. Make use of all of the different types of lighting to make your home a beautiful showcase.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

6 Best Ways To Better Home Improvement

Have you always wanted to learn how you can improve your home? I have some tips for you so that you know where to start:

1) In home improvement, getting help where you need it is a good idea. If you are not sure how to do electrical work, you can ask the professionals for help. There are many places where you can seek assistance with just about any project at home that you may have in mind. Hiring a professional often help. This is a good idea because you want your home (and yourself) to be safe and everything to work the way that it should. You can also ask your friend who may know how to do it and they can lend you a hand.

2) Paving your driveway is a great place to start. You will be able to see the difference when compared to your neighbour. In the end your home will look more inviting and also it should raise the value of your property. Remember that first impression counts. If you are tired of replacing gravel each year and muddy shoes when you get out of the car, this should be a great idea for anyone.

3) There are many things that you can do to improve the way your home will look. A simple piece of lighting from a store or a nice touch up to your door with ornaments can help a lot to improve your home. You can do on your own or do it with the help of someone else.

4) Other than paving your driveway, replacing your windows is another good way to add value to your home. You can replace your windows on your own or hire a professional to do the job for you. There are many places that you can find cheaper windows and it will also add the same beauty to your home. Here's a tip: You will also save money on your heating costs because of the new insulated windows.

5) Adding a new carpet or improve the flooring to your home is a great way. You can make a huge difference in the way that your room looks by changing the flooring or a new carpet. There are many different types of carpet and flooring that you can use and you can choose the ones that you like the best.

6) Finally, remember that home improvements can be done all year long. During the the summer months, do the work that has to be done outside the home. During winter, you can concentrate on the internal home improvements. It will even out and you will not waste time because of the opposing weather.

The ideas presented to you are now all in your hands, only you can take these tips and ideas, and put them to use to improve your home. Good luck!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Trendy Furniture Can Make Or Break A Room

Some say that you are what you eat. The same can apply to furniture. You are as cool as your furniture is trendy. The type of furniture you choose, the colour, style and look can make or break a room's appeal. But more than that: the furniture you choose to place in your bedroom, the furniture you sleep on or dress in front of, can truly impact on your mood, self esteem, relationships and general lifestyle.

The trendier a piece of furniture may be, the trendier you will feel. Of course, one piece of trendy or cool furniture doesn't always solve the problem of a nondescript looking room, but one piece of furniture will automatically change the feel of a room, be it the bedroom or the kitchen. You'll immediately feel that there's something special in your room and that will automatically improve your mood and help you better enjoy the time you spend in that room.

If you are seeking to impress someone, your trendy furniture will attract their attention and curiosity and create the mood for a friendly conversation. Good conversation makes visitors much more comfortable and relaxed and opens up the way for new and exciting opportunities.

What to look for in trendy furniture?

Most trendy furniture pieces these days tend to combine older styles in a new look. An old chair may be revamped with modern materials and fabrics. It's that blend of old and new that makes trendy furniture what it is. Such pieces often come in bold and confident colours and lines. The odder a piece of furniture looks, the trendier it is and the more interest it will attract. Folks visiting your home will enjoy your interesting furniture and you'll enjoy living with your trendy furniture.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

5 Reasons To Choose Blow In Insulation

Insulating your home is pure and simple the number one way to save money on energy costs. In the old days floors and walls were lined with just about anything to keep the moisture and cold air out of home. Renovations have revealed that even old newspapers were found packed into wall and floor boards.
Today insulating is a science all its own. There are R-factors assigned to different material and methods of insulating that give homes and buildings an appropriate amount of protection for their geographic region. The higher the R rating, the better insulated the home.
One of the top rated insulations is relatively new to the industry and probably no more than a couple of decades old and that is blow in type insulation.

The Benefits of Blow In Insulation 
There are several benefits to blow in insulation over rolls of fibreglass insulation. The benefits include the method of installing it, its energy efficiency and where it can be used. Here are the top 5 reasons to consider using blow in insulation:

1. Blow in insulation is adjustable. Depending on how much material is used, it can create a protection with an R value of 15-38.

2. Only virgin materials are used to create most blow-in varieties of insulation. This means there a reduced chance of allergies.

3. Blowing the material into the crevices allows for a tighter fit and seal. It can be directed around corners, beams, or wiring that may already be in the walls.

4. Installing blow in insulation is fast. A barrier, referred to as a blanket is stapled to all of the 2x4s to keep the material from floating away and adhering where it isn't wanted. Then a small slit is cut into the blanket. A hose is inserted and measured amounts of the insulation are blown into place.

5. This type of insulation is extremely energy efficient. As it is blown in it expands and adheres to the surrounding surfaces. It fills even the tiniest of cracks as it does this.

The Complete Installation Process 
After attaching the blanket to the surrounding boards, the small opening cut into it allows the hose to be pointed in all directions around the wall or ceiling. After the material is in place the blankets slit is closed and taped. This blanket does not act as a moisture barrier, it just control the spray. The material itself resists moisture.

Drywall or other wall materials are then installed right over the insulation blanket. In a renovation project this means that an entire wall would not have to be removed in order to insulation. Take an extremely old home for example. There may be no insulation at all. Instead of removing layers of plaster wall, you could simply make a hole, position the hose and fill the walls will energy efficient insulation. Then patch the wall and the job is complete. The blow in insulation is more expensive than traditional insulation. However, experts estimate that energy savings is so great that within 2 to 4 years those costs are recovered.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Home Improving Walls and Ceilings

If you're seriously interested in knowing about home improving, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about home improving walls and ceilings.

Removing stains, mildew, or peeling paint, as well as repairing your home is great for preserving the homes equity. When you take the time to repair or remodel ceilings or walls you are conserving energy while blocking outside noises that pollute the home.

If you have holes in the walls or ceilings, you will need plaster, or else materials for repairing the entire area. Sometimes you merely need replacements. Plastering is time-consuming, thus if you have larger holes replacements may be worth your effort rather than consuming your time filling in the holes. As far as tools, you will need paint-scrapers, sandpaper, glue and heat guns, adhesive type, tile pliers, stud finder, utility knives, wall-cover roller, wallboard saw and knives, syringe and awl.

Removing stains will require solvents. Generally, you can purchase the good stuff at any home improvement stores. For tuff stains, you may need to reapply new paint. If you need to remove mildew use water and dish soaps or other soaps for removal, unless the walls have spores, then you will need a bleach solution.

If you are peeling off old paint, you will need to patch the areas peeling by reapplying new paint. Use a putty knife to peel off the old paint. You can also use a paint-scraper to remove the paint peels from the wall area. Spackle the around the edge of the chipping paint and once finished using sandpaper, sanding down the area; Once the patch area is dry sand down the area, clear the area free of dust before painting.

If you have dents in the walls or ceilings and/or holes, you will need to have scrapers, plaster, knife, spackle, cloth, sandpaper, and paint. Once you have the proper tools and materials you can start the procedure to fix dents, cracks and holes. You will also need the patches that come with plastering kits in the event some of the holes require additional attention.

Those of you not familiar with the latest on Home Improving now have at least a basic understanding. But there's more to come.

Before you start with the spackling, make sure the area is clear up dust and crud. Apply a coating of sparkle to the area in need of repair and wait until it dries. Once the area is dry using your sandpaper sand the area where the patch and spackle was applied again dust the area freeing it of dust.

If the wall or ceiling area has, large holes you may need larger patch to insulate the area before plastering the area. Again, you will need to clean the area before applying the plaster.

Improving walls and ceilings will bring back the life of your home. The materials for repairs are cheap, and the process is simple, thus hiring contractors will only cost you a fortune. The price you will pay for repairing the home on your home is less the price you will pay to have someone else do the job for you, and in turn, equity of your home while increasing will bring you far higher rewards.

The equity of homes is essential for maintaining, since lenders will consider this first before issuing you a loan. If you have around 95%, equity on your home you can get a loan near the estimate value. Likewise, if you consider selling your home you can sell the home for what it is worth, rather than lower the price and taking a loss.

The kits purchased for home repairs and/or improving often have instructions included. Thus reading the instructions can help you move along with the process of fixing your home. The instructions are important; since following the instructions will help, you get the most out of money and work.

It is important to remove any nails or other sticking up objects before starting repairs or improving of your home. If the wall area has nail holes, you can fill those in with the plaster. Making sure the surface is smooth is important also before applying plaster, paint, or other repairing solutions to walls, floors, ceilings, et cetera. Furthermore, when you apply new coatings or repair the areas damaged it will help prevent deterioration of the home.

Now you can be a confident expert on home improving. OK, maybe not an expert. But you should have something to bring to the table next time you join a discussion on home improving.

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Have you ever considered replacing your old-fashioned hot water tank with a tankless water heater for your home? Although "instantaneous" or "demand" water heating systems may seem like a novel idea that couldn't possibly work as effectively as a tank, you may be surprised by the various benefits that have led many homeowners to make the switch. Here are some of the reasons why people prefer the tankless system.

One key reason for making the switch is to save space. At a typical size of 20"x13"x3", the tankless water heater can free up considerable area in your home for other purposes. A smaller size unit can fit into smaller areas and be less obtrusive than the older style.

Another reason that hot water customers prefer the tankless system is for safety purposes. The smaller unit reduces your risk of getting scalded, since huge amounts of hot water aren't stored in a tank, but rather are processed as needed. You needn't worry about an accident or explosion sending gallons of steaming water throughout the area to harm people or pets. Kids won't be attracted to the inviting spigot, since the unit looks more like a computer than a hot water processor.

An especially significant motivation is the 50% reduced heating costs over using a hot water tank. This is due to the fact that hot water tanks store water that can experience what is called "standby" losses, when heat evaporates through the flue or sides of the tank. Another related benefit is the fact that the tankless systems don't leak like tanks do, thereby further reducing potentially high costs associated with drips or maintenance. Furthermore, since it doesn't have a tank that can run out of water, your hot water supply is undiminished. Imagine never having to wait again for a hot bath or shower.

At nearly 100 percent efficiency, a tankless water heater makes good sense. NASA experts make some units, which underscores their reliability. Most of the parts used today are easily replaceable. With almost 200,000 btu/hour, you can plan on having enough hot water available for two or three showers without running low on hot water. Many customers can choose between gas and electric-operated systems.

Possible detracting elements are that you will need to find a service provider who has worked with this type of system and knows how to conduct maintenance and repair for it. Another potential drawback, depending on the quantity of hot water you use at any given time, is that the water may heat more gradually and emerge a little more slowly than you are accustomed to (size and model will be the factor).

Look for tankless hot water system providers in the telephone directory's or visit online sites that sell these products. Compare benefits as well as disadvantages to both types of systems before making your purchasing decision. If you decide to buy a tankless system, compare prices among several dealers to get the best deal. Once you find your product needs or have made a decision to up grade, The Trades Network has many qualified tradesmen and contractors available for installation.