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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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Bathroom Renovations

Premade Kitchen Cabinets VS Custom Design and Manufacturing – What’s Right For You?

Once you’ve decided to remodel your kitchen, it’s not long before you’re dreaming of the new kitchen look and design. Cabinets are a vital component of your new kitchen, as they set the tone for the entire room. For those with an open concept, the look of the cabinets carry through to the design of adjoining dining and family rooms, as well!
OPTIONS, OPTIONS, OPTIONS
Before you settle on a design and style of cabinetry, you need to determine if you’re choosing pre-made cabinets, or if you’ll opt for an entirely custom design. Both options have their pros and cons, and before you can decide, you must weigh them for yourself.
PRE-MADE ADVANTAGES
Those who choose pre-made cabinets often have budget constraints that make that option attractive. Because these cabinets are made in various standard sizes (by manufacturer), they can be mass-produced, resulting in a lower price point. Even if one has the budget for custom cabinets, they may choose pre-made simply to devote money to higher grade flooring or countertops.
Pre-made cabinets are ideal for those kitchens with an open concept and flexibility in design space. These rooms often have two to three walls with an open flow to the dining area, which makes hanging cabinets not custom-designed easier.
High-quality pre-made cabinets can be engineered to be just has moisture-resistant and strong as their custom, solid-wood counterparts. These cabinets are made in solid wood as well as press board, so you can take your personal preferences into account.
CUSTOM DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING ADVANTAGE
It doesn’t take too long to explain the advantages of opting for custom cabinets, manufactured to your exact specifications and preferences. After all, you get cabinets that are specially designed to fit and flatter your kitchen space. You can specify specialized shelving and cabinetry that meet your family’s needs.
Companies that specialize in custom cabinets should be vetted for the quality of work they perform. You can ask for photos of previous work, as well as testimonials attesting to their expertise in building and installing custom cabinets.
THE BOTTOM LINE: WHICH TO CHOOSE?
The factors to consider when choosing between custom cabinets and pre-made are several. Take into account the size and shape of your kitchen, and understand what kind of flexibility you have in choosing pre-made cabinets. If you have limited space and flexibility of design, you may be better off choosing custom cabinets to optimize your space and functionality.
If budget is your primary concern, then pre-made cabinets are hard to turn down. Additionally, choosing pre-made cabinets makes budget room for higher-end finishes like granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
Well-made custom cabinets are a fine option for those who truly seek an absolutely unique kitchen design. There is something to be said for demanding the highest-quality, and some will be thrilled to pay extra for the custom experience. Handsome custom cabinets will definitely stand the test of time.…

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Remodeling Contractors

The Best Ways To Design The Small Room in Your House

The most obvious way to claim back some valuable toilet floor space is by changing from a having a bathtub to just having a shower. This might not feasible for every toilet, though – and every owner. You may still find ways to reduce the level of real estate your bath occupies, though. Should your tub be built in a wall alcove, there could be considerably more space to be gained through pulling the tub and its framework out. You will be able to replace the built-in the bathtub with a free-standing one. This not only saves space, but in addition, looks classier.
In the event that there are no issues stopping you from replacing any tub with a free-standing one, there’s still a great deal that you can do to minimize the quantity of space the bath takes up. For starters, you should use the smallest shower accessible to you. If you have the money to stop using a one-piece fiberglass bathtub, you can still make a small shower appear quite luxurious. Among the best ways to do this is by actually making a wall-to-wall shower on one end of the bathroom. Use lustrous tile throughout the bathtub alcove and separate it from the whole room with frosted glass. This will make even a reasonably narrow shower really feel spacious.
You can make space-saving alternatives with your other key bathroom fixtures, as well. Consider using a wall-hung tank-less bathroom instead of a free-standing one. Don’t be concerned about these kinds of commodes getting institutional; a quick look through a new plumbing catalog will disclose that there are a number of small wall-mounted toilets that are really classy. When it comes to your current sink,
consider a wall-hung unit or a free-standing a single. Both options are huge space-savers when compared to sinks installed in countertops.
And decorative mirrors, as you probably recognize, can make any area larger. You can deploy full-width mirrors over your current sink, or even full-height kinds (one of the advantages of a free-standing drain). Some people aren’t more comfortable with so many reflections inside the bathroom, though. Never build yourself a restroom you don’t like in your pursuit to maximize space. In the same manner,
you can remove just about any partition walls that separate your sink from the toilet – if you are comfortable with the level of closeness and openness this can produce.
Consider replacing the bathtub or bath with a newer style. Prefabricated shower houses are easy to install. Building a single unit be enough for all your needs. This consists of one with bathtubs fitted into the bath structure as well. When you are planning with a single stand-alone bath tub, look at the newer styles of vintage styles a real Victorian claw foots, or the more contemporary Asian-influenced imaginative designs. Bathtubs by yourself can give an immediate stimulating element to any restroom.
Find out if there are any plumbing issues, as well as take the time and effort to correct or replace water lines and fixtures when needed. It is far better to try this before they actually commence to give you problems, mainly because it will save a lot of money in the end. Get estimates from your qualified plumbing service provider, and then determine whether or not you are
able or willing to do the job yourself. At times hiring an experienced service provider can end up pricing less than making several mistakes on your own which need re-doing.
These are just a number of the ways you can add space to a constrained restroom. Making your bathroom experience a more wide-open one is identical in part with psychology. If you commit a little attention to the task, you can create a bathroom that truly feels much larger compared to what its actual sizes would suggest. Short of actually expanding the room, there aren’t many better ways to make a bathroom a more pleasant destination to be.…

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Basement Remodeling

Money Saving Kitchen Design Tips

So we have compiled this money saving kitchen design tips feature to help you update your kitchen on a budget. And keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we add more to the list.
1. Do not automatically head to your kitchen retailer for new cabinets. Instead, sand them down and using thinned white house paint brush it over the surface. Wait a few moments and then wipe the surface. This will give you a fantastic mottled paint look that brings out the grain in your wood. Seal it with a wax for that quality finish
2. Pick up packs of Christmas Lights during the January sales and remove the coloured covers. The remaining white bulbs can then be tacked under cabinets and in hidden alcoves to add some cool new kitchen lighting.
3. Purchase some clear glass jars and store dry food in them such as pulses, nuts and seeds. This can add colour, texture and a ‘foodie’ feel to your kitchen design.
4. Create a kitchen wall border or some texture to your kitchen cabinets with a small piece of sponge and some paint. You can even add it to the hem of your curtains!
5. Create your own wooden cutting board by heading to the local builders’ merchants and asking for an off cut of pine or oak. Take it home a carefully sand it down using various grades of sandpaper. You can then varnish or stain it and smooth off any edges to create an ‘expensive’ cutting board.
6. Repaint the kitchen walls. It is amazing what difference a lick of paint can make. Think carefully about adding a new colour to the theme too as this can really bring your tired kitchen alive.
7. Add some fabric to the mix by looking for a new tablecloth or curtain design as this can be a very cost effective way of reinvigorating your kitchen space.
8. Create a fake stone look for your kitchen worktops by learning how to create a fauz stone finish using paints (Google: Faux Stone Finish). To do it you need to prime your worktops with a special primer and this needs to dry for several hours before you can then start painting over the top. The results can be very impressive.…