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General Article

Important Home Remodeling Tips

Important Home Remodeling Tips

Many people who have the luxury of owning a home usually tend to take part in an event known as home remodeling. All of us who have a house and want it to look better tend to do so that their houses look nice and better than before. The trends and style tend to change on a continuous basis and in order to keep in line with what is the latest fashion and style, home remodeling has become important for many of our lives. There are certain things that you need to keep in mind apart from ensuring that your house looks nice and a better place to live in.

Looking at the design of the house is very important and something that you need to consider. This way you know the design that best suits the structure and model of your house while making sure that when home remodeling, your personality is represented by the new design. It is always better that you hire an architect or an interior designer who can best create the ideas. Home remodeling is never an easy task and especially when we think that we can remodel a house. We do not have the knowledge or the expertise to do this, which is why always hire a professional who knows what to do and how to go about making sure that the ideas are present in the house design. It is always a good idea to have a certain understanding and level of communication with the contractor about the budget. Assign a budget and try your level best to stick with it at all costs.

Choosing a design that suits your house is always the easy task as you have an idea of what you want and what exactly you are looking for, but planning and implementing the design is always a challenge that can turn out to be a handful if not carried out to perfection. Always keep in touch with your contractor about the plan and the budget so that you have these things under control. It is always better that when it comes to choosing materials, choose those materials that you need right away that will be used immediately. If possible, try and come with a schedule whereby you have divided the tasks accordingly and with this you can plan ahead as to how to go about remodeling your home.

When remodeling your home, it is always good to consult and meet with every single person who is involved in this project. This includes the home owner, the contractor, the supervisor and the architect. All these parties have a huge say when it comes to remodeling and it is important to consult with them at all times and make sure that thing are under control. If you feel that there are certain changes that need to be made, take down some notes and make sure everyone knows the changes that you are considering to the original plan so that everyone is on the same page and level.

When home remodeling, it is better to take care and move as many personal belongings as possible so that nothing happens to them. Make sure that you have a temporary kitchen and have trash bins all over the place to make sure that the house remains clean no matter what. Always be prepared for any changes or alterations that may happen and be ready for any uncertainties.…

General Article

How Window Regulators Work

How Window Regulators Work

Reduced to a basic concept, the purpose of a window regulator is to control (or “regulate”) door glass movement while opening or closing a window in a vehicle. From a design perspective, the geometry, physics and customer requirements of each vehicle vary in complexity. The level of glass control a well-designed window regulator can provide allows engineers to overcome the technical challenges associated with these complexities.

Basic window systems allow for the use of simplified regulator designs. Doors of many full-sized vans and trucks, for example, contain a full frame around the glass. Such designs generally do not utilize complex glass shapes and the front and rear edges of the glass are guided by the door frame at all times. In such systems, the regulator must only facilitate the up and down movement of the glass and provide security by ensuring the glass cannot fall or be forced downward when it is in a partial- or full-up position. Basic systems like this are made of inexpensive stamped-steel components, have few moving parts and are controlled by either a manual hand crank or an electric motor.

More complex systems may involve the use of frameless glass such as what is commonly seen on sports coupes and convertibles. In this kind of system, the regulator must maintain positional stability of the glass in the absence of a frame. In the case of a convertible, movement of the glass may also need to be coordinated with other pieces of glass (e.g. the rear quarter glass) or even other moving objects, such the convertible top itself. Systems of this moderate complexity are generally driven by an electric motor and contain a greater number of moving parts which are also more complex and require a greater engineering effort.

In high-end systems, the window regulator may be required to have electronic control systems which provide one-touch express-down and perhaps even express-up function of the door glass. Federal regulations require any vehicle equipped with an express-up feature to also be equipped with “anti-trap” or “anti-pinch” technology. This technology senses when something such as an arm or finger becomes trapped by the door glass while the glass is in an express-up movement. When such an obstacle is detected, the system reverses the direction of the door glass, preventing physical harm. These systems are always electrically operated, and include the use of microcontroller-based electronic modules. Two glass guidance rails are frequently used, with each being connected to the other through an intricate cable-drive system with controls glass position with exacting precision.

With the push to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, window regulator technology is continually evolving through the development of new materials and new technologies.…

General Article

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas For Every Budget

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas For Every Budget

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? Great idea! Estimates vary, but most sources agree that you can expect to recover at least 75% of the remodeling cost for a kitchen through the increased resale value it contributes to your home. Whether or not you are planning to sell your home anytime soon, here are some remodeling tips to make your kitchen a room the whole family will enjoy spending time in.

Install an Island – If you do not already have a kitchen island, this is a great multi-purpose addition. Islands add counter space for food preparation or decorative objects. They add extra drawers and cabinets for storage – and you can never have too much storage! Add some stools, and you have a great casual dining surface. A kitchen island can become a family gathering point, with mom or dad chopping vegetables on the counter while the kids sit on the stools finishing homework or playing games on a laptop.

Include Plenty of Light – No matter how beautiful your kitchen is, you won’t be able to fully appreciate it without good lighting. Try to maximize the natural light in your kitchen with windows, even skylights, if possible. Skylights, or roof windows, are a wonderful way to bring light into your kitchen while preserving wall space and privacy. If it is not possible to add windows to your kitchen, make sure you have enough lighting fixtures to thoroughly illuminate the room. One popular trend is the lighting dimmer, which allows you to change the intensity of the light, creating a different mood and atmosphere.

Create a Live-In Kitchen – One current remodeling trend is the idea of the “live-in” kitchen. Most people like to be around food, and the kitchen can be a great family hang-out spot. A television, comfortable seating, and internet access can make the kitchen a perfect place to entertain friends or spend time with family. If your kitchen borders your living room or den, consider opening the space between them, perhaps even tearing down a separating wall and installing a bar in the transitional space.

Little Changes Make a Big Difference – If you do not have the budget for a full-scale remodel, there are still several small things you can do to give your kitchen a new look. Repaint your cabinets and adding new handles or knobs can give the effect of replacing your cabinets without the cost. A new sink or lighting fixture can also help to refresh your kitchen’s appearance.…

General Article

Home Renovations – Proper Communication Channels During Construction and The Unexpected

Home Renovations – Proper Communication Channels During Construction and The Unexpected

It is extremely important that you, as the owner, never, ever give any instructions during the construction (or the pricing) process to anyone other than the general contractor or his designated (in writing) representative. Here is why: If a subcontractor or workman advises you that there is a problem and he needs to make some sort of change, etc., to remedy it, you must contact the contractor immediately rather than OK the “fix” with the subcontractor or workman. Otherwise you will likely end up getting a change order (or other form of additional cost bill) later for the work.

The subcontractor and/or workman does not care whether the change will cost more or not. He is most likely being paid hourly.

His boss will be informed at some point (usually much later) that the additional work was done and that the owner OK’d it. Then the contractor will get a bill and then you will get one.

This sort of situation has cost owners lots and lots of money, has caused untold hard feelings and has generated an untold number of law suits. It is surprisingly easy to avoid but takes a degree of self discipline.

Give this serious thought because there is an excellent chance you will be faced with the situation.

The bottom line here is that if a change is needed (even one which should save you money) it is extremely important that you take the time to communicate this explicitly to your contractor in written form. This can be a hand written memo, typed correspondence, email or any similar form of correspondence which will give you a “paper trail” if there is a conflict or misunderstanding later.

It is important that you (or the contractor) describe the work to be done (again, in writing), acknowledge that it is a change and include some estimate of the cost (additive or deductive) which will be involved. At the time this will seem like a major hassle but rest assured the process will end up saving you much bigger hassles later.

Expect the unexpected! It is important that you, as the owner, realize that a renovation to any existing building is likely to contain at least some situations, items, etc., which end up costing the owner money but which nobody could have foreseen. Consequently it is vital that you keep some amount of money set aside for these eventualities. Just like there is no crystal ball which allows us to see the future there is no ‘magic’ amount or percentage of budget that will ensure covering these potential unknowns. Our observations indicate that in most cases something on the order of!0% (minimum) of the budgeted construction cost should be realistic. On significantly older homes and buildings (esp. historic situations) this figure might need to be a good bit higher. The arguments about what should have and should not have been expected or anticipated are unending. However if you define your project carefully in your agreement with the contractor these arguments will be minimized.…

Remodeling

Maximize Space in a Small Bathroom

One of the smallest areas in most homes is the bathroom. This creates a challenge for home owners and renters alike when it comes to storage, aesthetic and functionality of a bathroom. However, there are a variety of ways to make your bathroom appear larger without the high renovation costs or lengthy construction time of an expansion.
Pay attention to colors. It is commonly known that white and lighter colors can make a room appear larger and cleaner. Choose white cabinets, proper lighting fixtures and a calming color palette. You also want your bathroom to be a place of peace and relaxation, and lighter colors tend to create these feeling more than bold or darker ones. Mirrors are great for making a room feel bigger, and the bathroom couldn’t be a better place for a large mirror. Put plenty of lighting above the mirror so it can be as wide, or wider, than the vanity. This will open the space up significantly.
Choose the proper fixtures. The majority of bathrooms feature a shower or a tub and sometimes they are combined in one. Think about which one you really need and if possible remove the other. For example, if you prefer showers and rarely take baths, it makes sense to remove the bathtub to create extra space.
Re-organize everything. If you’re lucky enough to have a built-in closet in your bathroom, re-organize it to get maximum space. If you don’t have a closet, bring in items such as shelves, towel racks and storage units to store all your necessities like towels and bath products. If it’s at all possible, store only what you need in your bathroom- sometimes people end up making their bathroom a medicine cabinet or laundry room as well. Stick to keeping just what you need to shower and get ready for the day in your bathroom. Cleaning out your under the sink cabinets that you haven’t touched in months can also free up some unused space.
Ready to assemble cabinets will maximize the useful space in a bathroom and provide a built in look. These cabinets can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes and will help get you the most bang for your buck.
Keep it simple. Avoid heavily patterned wallpapers or trendy lighting- it will only distract the eye and make your space appear chaotic. Opt for simple colors and decor, remember with a bathroom, less is more.…

Home Contractors

Thinking Outside The Box With Duravit Plumbing Fixtures

Designer plumbing fixtures are hardly new on the scene. Plumbing fixtures that designers use are a totally different beast. Duravit fixtures are being utilized throughout the world in the top spas, hotels, public buildings, and ultra-modern residences. The company boasts of a “tradition of innovation.” Since the company has been around almost 200 years, they’ve earned their longevity, but what about innovation?
When a manufacturer transforms designer plumbing from its humble indoor uses to the outdoors, they are certainly thinking outside the box. Duravit doesn’t believe that spa living should be confined to the inside. Their Blue Moon and Sundeck line of pools and tubs install wherever there is a hot water connection. Suddenly, you’re not just going for a dip in the hot tub, but a luxurious excursion to a garden spa, all without having to leave home. The only limitations of such fixtures are your own or your designer’s imagination. Such innovation alters the concept of the bathroom from the mundane to the magnificent.
Duravit also has changed the idea that bathroom fixtures, accessories, and furniture are separate entities. Anyone who has gone through the bathroom remodeling process knows that plumbing fixtures are chosen from one retailer; then the cabinets–bought from another source–must be matched to the style of the fixtures; and finally the customer either goes back to the original retailer to pick out the accessories, or perhaps, by that time, the whole enterprise seems just too complicated, and the homeowner settles for just about any old product that “kinda matches.”At Duravit, the plumbing is the furniture, and there are accessories to match. Instead of making remodeling or new construction more difficult, the company simplifies the procedure.
Designing a bathroom with Duravit products changes the idea that your own bathroom has to suffer in comparison to the bathrooms at a top hotel. Want a steam shower? They’re available. Want a tub for two? No problem. How about a whirlpool style bath; real wood bathroom furniture; over-sized basins; ultra-modern toilets; or even a kitchen sink? Duravit has them. There’s no need to settle for second best. A company doesn’t last two hundred years by making a product that fails to satisfy its client?�le in both design and function.
So, if you are considering remodeling a bathroom, building a custom home, or a commercial building, and you want a product that not only operates seamlessly, but is beautiful, think Duravit. Their fixtures are being used today in hotels and public buildings throughout Europe, the Middle-East, and Asia. Whether it’s a new concert hall in Iceland, or a hotel in India, designers know a quality product that stands out. The possibilities are unlimited. Don’t worry about thinking outside the box or outside the home, Duravit is on board.…

Basement Renovations

Kitchen Renovation Includes Light Planning

When it comes time for a kitchen makeover, keep in mind that any kitchen renovation should include planning for additional lighting or light restructuring. The modern kitchen has transformed into a multi-functional area where numerous activities, besides preparing meals, have become commonplace.
Many modern kitchens are now used as family gathering areas or as entertainment areas for guests. They often contain corner nooks which are utilized for meals, reading areas or playing cards with friends. Some have built in snack bars that separate another room for added openness in conversation, or stools seated around a kitchen island for chatting while preparing a meal. Adequate lighting should be a top priority in providing for these needs in any plan for a kitchen remodel.
The highest consideration in planning kitchen lighting is in its functionality. Kitchens are generally busy places where a lot of slicing, dicing, shuffling and reaching take place. Having sufficient light to accomplish the task at hand is a necessity. Installation of overhead fluorescent lights is standard kitchen issue. However, there are some other creative ways to light up work areas that may be blocked or positioned farther away from overhead light.
Under cabinet lighting is a popular addition to a modern kitchen, providing a bright illumination to work areas on countertops and around cooking areas. Dome lights or sconces positioned on either side of a sink are other popular uses of lighting fixtures to give that extra splash of brightness to a heavily used area.
Once the main lighting has been planned, consideration should move to areas where other types of light might be needed. Recessed puck lights could be a good option to illuminate a corner nook, or strip lights positioned above a breakfast bar might do the trick for those areas.
Take into consideration also, the blending of natural light with indoor lighting. Throughout the day, various amounts of outdoor light filter into a kitchen area to produce different indoor lighting needs. Placing dimmers on a couple of light sources could assist in maintaining sufficient amounts of light for various tasks during the day. This will also help in conserving energy when full artificial light isn’t needed, say on a cloudy day for instance.
Today, technology supplies a vast array of energy and cost saving lighting products, both in the bulbs themselves and in the housing fixtures. It’s never been easier to adequately provide for all the lighting needs of a kitchen while conserving energy and saving money at the same time. So, the next time kitchen remodeling is on the agenda, sufficiently plan for all its many lighting requirements before getting started.…