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Home Repair

Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Kitchen Renovation (Part 1)

Whilst the idea of completing a kitchen renovation can be a highly exciting one, there are a lot of things that you will need to take into account and understand before you even think about getting work underway. As with any renovation, there are a number of things that can go wrong in a kitchen, so it is always best to be as prepared as possible.

Settle on a budget before doing anything else But this is only part of the problem – the other (harder) part is to stick to it. When you’re completing a kitchen renovation, you’ll come across a range of items and styles in magazines and showrooms that you will be tempted to buy. Give in to these temptations and you will soon find your renovation fund empty.

Plan your kitchen renovation Whilst this seems like the most obvious tip of all, it is actually one that a lot of people tend to neglect, opting instead to just launch right in and take it by ear. You need to think about how you use your kitchen and what you hope to achieve with the renovation – is it a family space or are you an aspiring chef?

Kitchen cabinets tend to account for half of your budget The cabinets should always be one of the first things that you decide on as a part of your kitchen renovation, as they really do take a considerable chunk out of your budget.

Don’t neglect the floor There seems to be a misconception surrounding kitchen floors, pertaining that they have to be ugly in order to be functional. This really is not the case! There are plenty of kitchen flooring options out there, just ensure that you also choose one based on its durability.

Pick a theme or style This is another area that a lot of people tend to neglect during a kitchen renovation, and the result is a mish-mash of styles that is really unattractive. Decide on a theme or style for your kitchen from the beginning (such as ‘country’ or ‘modern’ and stick to it).

By accounting for all these things before beginning your kitchen renovation, you can ensure that your finished design is one that fits in with the existing style of your home, is highly functional and meets your needs to a tee. Forget or neglect to consider these things before starting, and you may find that your kitchen renovation turns into a disaster.…

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General Article

Which Type Of Dog Fence Is Right For Your Dog?

Which Type Of Dog Fence Is Right For Your Dog?

Do you live near a busy highway in a rural area, in the city where neighbors are close by, or have another type of living situation that requires that you have a fence put up for your dog? You might want to consider your options for what type of dog fence will be most appropriate for your dog and living situation.

Electric Dog Fence

An electric dog fence might be a viable option in a number of situations. Perhaps your dog likes to roam and requires a fence, but you don’t want to put up a visible fence or simply cannot put up a fence because of the rules of your neighborhood. In this case, a wire dog fence would be the perfect solution because there is not physical fence installed, just a wire that runs beneath the ground. These types of fences are very effective when it comes to keeping your dog contained within a particular area.

Basic Chain Link Fence

One of the simplest types of fences, the chain link fence can be used to contain your dog effectively in the area that you choose. This type is perhaps one of the more popular types of fences that are installed for dogs because it is typically the least expensive. One thing to keep in mind when installing your fence is to make sure you install the proper height. The required height will be determined by the type of dog that you have. If you’re dog is able to jump high, then a four foot fence might not do the trick. In this case, you might consider installing a six foot fence instead.

Wood Privacy Fence

Another option that you have when it comes to a dog fence is one that can serve multiple purpose. The wooden privacy fence is one that can help keep your dog contained as well as provide you with a great deal of privacy. The wood privacy fence is more expensive so it may not be the best choice if you have a larger than normal yard. These types of fences are most popular in heavily populated neighborhoods where lots are smaller and more privacy from neighbors is needed.…

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General Article

Home Improvement – It’s Not As Hard As It Seems

Home Improvement – It’s Not As Hard As It Seems

Home remodeling can be a very expensive process. Once a person makes the decision to go ahead and spend their hard earned money on home improvement, they would like it to come out exactly the way they imagined. Many times since it is such an expensive project, they choose to spend the extra dollar here and there to buy the more costly and nicer materials that would make their home look as gorgeous as possible. At the end of the day, it is a project far more expensive than they had in mind in the first place.

However, home remodeling can be a fraction of the price if you choose to do it yourself. The question is how is it done? Doesn’t a person need to go through extensive training to learn how to do remodeling? The answer is quite simple. Home improvements can be done by almost anyone; but one must keep in mind that it requires a tremendous amount of time, effort, and most of all patience. If you are the type of person that gets bored quickly or has a hard time finishing tasks, then this is not for you. But if you have patience and think it is something you might enjoy, it is worthwhile to investigate and do proper research on how to remodel you home yourself. There is no shortage of books which provide a various ideas and tips as well as step by step instructions on how to go about it.

Before you make your decision to do it yourself, there are a few things you must keep in mind. Firstly, make sure you are really motivated to do it. It is a good idea to begin with a small area of the house and see how it goes. If you found it to be enjoyable and not too stressful, then you can move on to bigger projects. Additionally, you should check that your schedule allows the time for these projects. If you begin a project in a certain part of the house and realize you do not really have the time for it, you are in a little bit of a bind.

It’s a good idea to try to get someone to work with you on it. It is usually more pleasurable to work with a friend or family member than by yourself. Moreover, when you are feeling overwhelmed, or feel like you want to give up, there is someone there that can encourage you and push to the finish line.

So do a thorough investigation of what it takes to do home improvements by yourself. Read books, surf the web, and speak to people who have done it in the past to see if it something you can and would enjoy doing. If you decide to go ahead with it, be confident in your decision. When you look back at a completed job, it will be the be’ gst feeling in the world!…

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Kitchen Remodel

Kithen Cabinet Refacing – Cutting Costs But Not Quality

A couple things need to be considered when dealing with cabinet refacing. First of all, what conditions are your cabinets in? If the shelves on the inside are perfectly fine then you might not want to replace the whole cabinet because that can be a very expensive process. You will most likely want to hire a professional to do that job. If they’re in pretty good condition you could possibly do some resurfacing yourself through a paint job.
If you’re cabinets are already painted then you get the proper materials to strip the paint so that you may apply a new color. If your cabinets are currently a light color than you may be able to just paint over the existing paint. This can help eliminate any stains that may be on the cabinet and be able to change your kitchen just enough to make the difference. If you do decide to paint your cabinet a different color you might consider doing the walls around the kitchen as well. If you have wooden cabinets then you might consider refinishing the wood to give it a newer and cleaner look.
Cabinet refacing doesn’t have to be a major, expensive project. If you repaint or refinish your cabinets go to your local hardware store and look to replacing the handles on your cabinet. A nice brass handle can really be an upgrade from a simple cabinet that many homes have.
As you start your cabinet refacing project don’t feel that you have to do it on your own. Talk to some experts at the hardware stores or don’t be afraid to hire a professional to do the work for you. It’s more of a hassle to try a job yourself and do a poor job and have to hire a professional to come fix your cabinet resfacing attempt. From the beginning you might want to find the best professionals around and get the job right the first time.…

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Home Repair

Bathroom-ology – Design a Healthy Green Bathroom

Once considered purely utilitarian, bathrooms are increasingly places for rest, renewal, and self-pampering. Plan your bathroom remodel to achieve both looks and luxury; incorporate “Green” design components to contribute to a healthier setting that is more environmentally friendly and that also carries lower ongoing costs for you.
Health-focused designs maximize fresh air and natural light. This focus serves to reduce the risk of injury, as well as to identify and rectify such potential problems as molds, allergens and toxic chemicals. Green remodeling techniques are specifically designed to be durable and to create a safe environment with materials that are made from manufactured products with as few toxins as possible.
The Dangers of Mold
Mold is the number one problem for household contamination, infection and disease and the bathroom is the primary source of mold contamination.
Mold, a simple fungus, adheres to and grows on surfaces where there is a high degree of continuing moisture — often on damp floors and unsealed grout lines. Mold spores can float on mild air currents caused by simply walking into the room. Inhaled mold and fungal spores produce allergic reactions, as well as hypersensitivity to other lung irritants and infectious diseases. “Some forms of mold found indoors produce toxins which can be carcinogenic, induce birth defects, and can affect the immune system,” says David Johnston, a certified LEED contractor.
If your remodeling project is precipitated by a mold problem, pay attention to more than just the latest trend in vanity counters, shower systems, and faucets. Be sure to eliminate all mold-infested materials in the bathroom and adjacent areas after tear-out and before you begin installation.
Environmental and Expense Factors
Although bathrooms are usually smaller than kitchens, bathrooms are the largest user of critical resources – the place where most of the indoor water is used in a home, and where the highest percentage of energy is consumed.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person in the United States uses 90 gallons of water per day. Most of the water used is for bathing and showering. Additionally, a leaking faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons in a year, and a leaking or running toilet can waste 200 gallons a day. Green remodeling offers the opportunity to consider attractively designed products and materials that reduce water consumption.
Creating a Green Bathroom
Begin your bathroom remodeling project with a design that incorporates your family’s needs. Prepare a checklist of the improvements you’d like to include.
Assess how you will most effectively reduce humidity in the bathroom. While your window may meet code requirements, is it really open all winter long, or do you need a supplemental exhaust fan?
Carefully evaluate the materials you choose. For the vanity counter, choose materials where surfaces are manufactured to resist absorption of bacteria and which can easily be cleaned without harsh chemicals.
For the shower, consider a one-piece shower pan rather than a tile pan, to reduce the possibility of mold building up in tile pan grout. Similarly, give thought to single-panel wall shower and bath surrounds.
For the vanity cabinet, select woods that are renewable and certified by the Forest Service Council.
Examine your water usage and identify ways in which you might conserve. Flow reduction devices for showers and faucets don’t interfere with good water pressure.
The newer low-flow toilets have improved greatly since 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets first became law in 1994. No longer is it necessary to flush multiple times. The Toto Aquia dual-flush offers one button to flush liquids that uses only 0.9 gallons, and a second button for the now-standard low flow of 1.6 gallons for solid wastes. Even newer in the market are several High Efficiency toilets which only uses 1.28 gallons per flush.
A significant way to reduce energy usage is with a tank-less water heater. Tank-less or “on-demand” water heaters don’t waste the gas or electricity used to constantly keep traditional 40-to-70 gallon tanks of water at 120 degree temperatures. Another bonus is that there is no large storage tank taking up space.
Ventilating fans should be installed with timers, to enable a departing homeowner to leave the house before properly venting excess, damaging humidity — knowing that the fan will turn off in a set period of time. Consider a humidistat-controlled vent fan in rooms that don’t have adequate ventilation otherwise — the control will automatically sense the level of moisture in the bathroom and run the vent until reaching selected degrees of dryness.
Green Bathroom Remodel Check List
Consider which of these steps can work in your setting:
• Donate or recycle fixtures being torn out
• Insulate pipes that can be exposed to cold
• Install tank-less water heaters
• Install low-flush toilets
• Install low-flow, high-performance showerheads
• Install low-flow faucets
• Install compact fluorescent …

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General Article

Top 5 Tips For Herb Garden Design

Top 5 Tips For Herb Garden Design

Can you identify the different herb garden design themes? For new gardeners this idea is very difficult to understand. Let this article guide you in creating a stunning herb garden design that is simple for any beginner, yet has a formal look that is aesthetically pleasing.

Here are the top 5 things that you should keep in mind when designing your herb garden to make sure that it looks exquisite:

1. Depending on the preferences of designers garden designs may vary. Your herb garden design would largely depend on your preferences, needs and tastes. In Europe and other countries of the world, there are new gardeners who hire the services of many gardening experts to design their gardens in the backyard, windowsills, or anywhere in the house.

2. The purpose and functionality of the design is very important so that the designer can let his creative juices flow during the design process. The designer may be very creative but that is not enough to create a superb garden. The designer must also consider how the garden will be used beforehand and plan accordingly. This means knowledge in gardening is very vital for a very successful garden design.

3. For basic garden themes, you should identify the proper use of plants, colors, and even in aromas of the herbs. Typically, some herb plants are chosen depending on the themes selected by modern herb planters. For example, you can group herbs that share a specific color, while placing aromatic herbs in a different area or you can fill a section of your garden with Italian herbs such as parsley, rosemary, basil and oregano. These are just some ideas to get you started.

4. If you prefer to design your garden in a formal way, you can use geometric designs like squares or circles. In a formal garden design, the herbs’ colors are properly selected; are arranged by height; and has a good symmetrical design. Good examples of formal design gardens are Knot gardens and Spiral herbs.

5. There is also the so-called Container Herb Garden Design. This garden is made up of different plants placed or planted in containers. Container gardening is considered as a good alternative for gardening in small areas. This design allows for more flexibility, as you can group them nicely and move them as needed.

Let your creativity shine through, and have fun making your garden a magical place!…

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Remodeling

Lighting Tips for Your Bathroom Remodel

No bathroom remodeling design is complete without a plan for improved lighting. Lighting serves many functions in the bathroom, from highlighting the decor to helping you accomplish your daily grooming and hygiene routine to complementing your reflection in the vanity mirror. By installing the appropriate lighting in your bathroom, you can both make the space feel larger and create place for personal retreat.
Here’s a look at the types of lighting you should include in your bathroom remodeling plans:
Task Lighting
Task lighting in a bathroom is one of the most important types of light to include in your bathroom remodel, as it gives you the necessary illumination for applying makeup, shaving, showering and performing other essential tasks.
When designing your task lighting, pay extra attention to the illumination around your bathroom vanity, which is essential for grooming and applying makeup properly. A common mistake homeowners make is placing a single light directly over the mirror, which casts misleading shadows on your face. If possible, surround the mirror with vanity lights or add sconces on either side of the mirror to create more even lighting on your face.
For additional task lighting, place a waterproof, recessed light above the shower or tub.
Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is a stand-in for natural light, enhancing the mood or atmosphere of a bathroom. If you’re fortunate enough to have a window or skylight in your bathroom, take advantage of the natural light as much as possible by removing blinds or curtains and using a thin shade or frosted glass instead. If your bathroom lacks natural light, you can simulate it with a lamp or chandelier on the ceiling. You can also create a soft glow by concealing, rope lights around the perimeter of the room behind molding that sits up to six inches below the ceiling.
Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is typically used to illuminate an aspect of your bathroom you want to highlight, such as artwork, a unique tile arrangement, a beautiful tub or an interesting sink. To create accent lighting, add a recessed spotlight with a beam aimed at the element you want to highlight.
Other Bathroom Remodel Ideas
Once you’ve designed your bathroom lighting scheme, make it work in harmony with the rest of your decor by using color and decorative elements to enhance the lights. A large mirror above the sink will reflect your bathroom’s light and make the space appear larger. For a small bathroom remodeling project, artistically arrange a collection of smaller mirrors. Adding a soft, light color to the walls and floors will also help reflect your bathroom’s light. You can also include a light-colored rug.
Finally, attach your different lighting elements to various dimmer switches to give you total control over your bathroom’s ambience. This will not only help you create whatever mood you desire, but it can help you save energy and lower your utility bill.
Although bathroom lighting is often neglected, good lighting is essential to any functional bathroom. As you begin plans for your bathroom remodeling project, make sure you include the one element that will help make the space look its best — and make you look fabulous.
~Flora Richards-Gustafson, 2010…