Author Archives: mimin

Designing with the Economy and Efficiency in Mind

Are you in the mood for a new home? Perhaps you feel like it is time to redesign your current residence.

No matter where your design ideas may be taking you, designing your home with economy and efficiency in mind is always a good idea.

For starters, you may have a fair amount of money to spend, but that doesn’t mean you should pour it all into one project.

In designing your new home or redesigning an older one, work with design professionals to determine how you can get the most for your dollars.

Remember, the products you use in your home designs should be able to last for several decades (if not longer).

One consideration may be going with a timber frame home, one that offers both efficiency and an economical component at the same time.

Such homes can include a variety of looks, some of which includes cabin homes, ranch homes, mountain homes, lake homes and much more.

So, how do you get both efficiency and economic savings in your designer home?

It all starts with picking out the right home design company from day one.

Some of the best ways to go about that if you are considering timber frame home plans includes:

  • Internet – With many home design companies having a presence on the worldwide web, it certainly makes sense to use the Internet to learn more. By doing a simple Google search of the home design builder you are looking for, you can discover a wealth of information about what each company has to offer. Not only is there information on each respective site, but many sites includes images and even videos. Both pictures and videos can give you a better idea of what you want (and can afford) with the home you are designing or redesigning. More and more businesses also have a “chat” feature available when you first go to their websites. With this feature, you can be placed in contact with a company representative shortly after you sign-on the site. This will make it easier to direct you where you want to go on the site, saving you time and possibly some frustration too. Also look to company social media pages. In many cases, you will see the representative icons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. right on a company’s home page. Visiting the social sites can also be beneficial, allowing you to see how companies interact with consumers. For example, a home designer will want to discuss the latest in design trends, how materials used to build many of today’s home are friendly to the environment, and how consumers can save money in designing and constructing homes;
  • Referrals – Since it is not uncommon for home designers to work on homes for family members and friends, you may end up going with a company that has done work for someone close to you. If that is the case, was it the referral that got you to go with them? Many people will end up trusting what a family member or friend says to them regarding a business, but it is up the former to always decide what is best for their wishes and of course finances. Keep in mind that just about everyone has different tastes when it comes to their home design requirements. Some people may love the city look, something that might be a little smaller and not feature open, spacy rooms. Others, meantime, may opt to build a bigger home out in the suburbs or even in the countryside or mountains. Those homes are typically designed with more space in mind.

 

When designing the home of your choice, do it with the idea that you may end up selling it one day.

Yes, while it would certainly be nice to stay put in one home for many decades, the truth of the matter is, countless individuals and couples (including those with children) end up moving several times over their lifetimes.

As you design the home of your dreams, make sure the company you hired to do just that comes highly recommended, has the materials you need at reasonable prices, and provides stellar customer service.

When that is the case, you will have designs on better living.

 

Satisfaction Of Owning An In-Ground Natatorium

Although usually occupied during the warm months, a natatorium lends itself well to winter time as a heated opportunity to engage in water therapy and cardiovascular exercise. Property owners need only decide where to build one based on the size and contour of their land, and the number of frequent guests they expect to entertain. To assist in decision making, here are a few details to consider for a place of your own to splash and appreciate the wonderful power of water.

One choice of building your own cement pond is the opportunity of customising it to fit the yard and preferences. Some of the standard models include grecian and various l-shapes that accommodate elegance or multiple activities, respectively. Also, a version of the l-shaped, known as the kidney, and the figure eight or guitar provide many years of aquatic exercise and entertainment.

In addition to airborne particles, human beings constantly shed skin, and a filtration system is a must in preventing contaminated water. Such systems are available in three types of focus including automation that requires little maintenance; energy efficiency for power users of water exercises; and a salt generator that implements the cleansing power of saline. Each of those options works well with the addition of a heater for cool climates.

Visualize the available aesthetics of a waterfall recreating the sound of naturally trickling brooks or fountain bubbles and jets of water creatively forming artwork with color lights and water slide against a vanishing edge. Include a fireplace or fire pit with an outdoor kitchen for memorable parties that friends and family speak of for many years to come. Add an attached hot tub and never leave home again for the best in romantic settings.

To complete this wonderful fantasy paradise, choose a decking that makes a personal statement of obvious pride. A few of the possibilities include poured concrete in any color and perhaps with decorative additions. Also a natural stone for that back to nature look, or even various types of pavers from elegant to rustic. Customise the dream to please desires for a lifetime.

After a week of grueling days, and the pressure that goes with them, a person dreads repeating the routine, day after day. What better way to relax, stargaze, cook on the grill, and take a dip in cool refreshing water than a place where all conveniences are right at home. To quench that thirstiness for your tropical paradise just dive into the freestyle world of custom swimming pool design.

Home Insulation at Different Climatic Conditions

sbAttic insulation is one of the home improvement processes which are done to keep the temperature moderate inside the house. The insulation is done most probably in extreme hot and cold climatic conditions. The purpose of insulation is the same but the types and style of insulation employed is entirely different. Insulation is also done for secondary reasons like pest resistant, noise barrier, energy saver, reduction of utility bills, etc… The below paragraphs shows the type of insulation based on the seasons. The insulation is done either in the hot climatic region or cold climatic region.

Insulation in hot climatic areas: In a hot climatic condition, the hot air enters and accumulates into the house through wall, attic, etc… and lets the cool air to pass out. This happens despite using the electronic cooling equipment which in turn increases the usage and shows rapid increase in the utility bill. Insulating the house will prevent the let-out of cool air. As the radiation level is more in hot temperatures, the insulation also serves as the radiation barrier. The types of insulation used in a hot climate are listed below.

Blown-in attic insulation: As the name suggests, the insulation is implemented by blowing the insulation in the wall or roof in high pressure with the special equipments. Blown-in insulation is done in all types of insulation materials like fiberglass, cellulose and rock wool. There are three main type of blown in insulation used, they are loose fill, wall cavity spray and stabilized type. Blown-in cellulose insulation is the eco-friendly process of insulation, as the material is made from the recycled paper. They are cheaper and can easily fill into the small air spaces and this insulation is implemented in the walls, attic floors and small and tiny places.

Rolled-in insulation: Unlike blown-in, this is the flat piece like insulation materials available in layers. The small layer of materials is taken and the space is filled. This comes under the blanket category. The insulation material used in this type is the fiberglass and rock wool. They carry negative effect in filling the small spaces. This type is very expensive and can be handled easily even by the less experienced workers. Rolled-in insulation doesn’t require the special type of equipment for the installation. They can be implemented in walls and flat floors and ceiling which are devoid of gaps and wires.

Insulation for cold climate: In a cold climatic condition, the reverse reaction happens (i.e.) the cold air let in and hot air let out will be more. Folks attempt simple things like using a furnace to produce heat, use of hot ACs and other electronic devices to keep the temperature warm but the insulation serves the purpose well, as they seal even the small minute portion of the house. In case of cold climates, it is wise to opt for the solar paired with the insulation, which doubles the benefit. The insulation implementation type varies depending on the architecture of the house and certain other factors. The most used Insulation type adapted in cold climate is explained below:

Loose fill insulation: Loose fill represents the flexibility of the materials used. The loose fill cellulose insulation is always preferred for the type of insulation for the winter season. The loose fill is blown with the special equipment that they can stick and get filled in the small spaces. This used most often in crawl spaces and the knee walls of the attic. They can be applied to the spaces till the specified thickness is reached. This is a very inexpensive type of insulation and required skilled labor for the installation. This type of insulation is not recommended for the finished buildings and attics.

These are some of the insulation types used in the attic insulation installation process at different climatic conditions.

5 Things to Keep in Mind Before You Build A Conservatory

dvIf you want to add value to your house, you can consider adding a conservatory. But it’s important that you find out what you need and what your budget can allow. Conservatories can be simple and complex. The simple ones cost less but the advanced structures like orangeries cost more. If you want to build a conservatory on your own or by someone else, you may want to keep the 5 things given below in mind.

1. Purpose

You can build one on your own, but you can also hire a tradesman to do the same for you. But first you need to decide who it is for and what purpose it will serve. Do you want to build it to be used as an outdoor room? Or do you want to use it as an extension of your home? Another important factor that you should keep in mind is safety. Make sure you answer all these questions.

2. Planning Permission

Usually, you don’t need to get planning permission; however, in some cases, you may have to. For instance, you may need to get permission if your conservatory is going to cover most area of your land, or if it is higher than the top-most part of the roof of your property. Aside from this, you need to apply for permission should you want to include balconies, raised platforms and verandas, just to name a few.

3. Design of the conservatory

Make sure your conservatory matches the design of your house. In other words, the design of the conservatory shouldn’t be entirely different from your house. If you want to be on the safe side, you may want to match the design of the conservatory with that of your house. Keep in mind that the conservatory is not attached to the backside of your home. What you can do it have it wrapped around your house in the shape of L.

4. Direction of the conservatory

Direction of your conservatory matters a lot. If it faces south, it may get too hot in summer; therefore, you may have to buy blinds and make arrangements for ventilation. Moreover, plaster ceilings below the glass may be a great option for making this little “house” habitable. In the same way, if the conservatory faces north, it may get cold in winter. Therefore, you may want to choose the right direction for it.

5. Material and cost

As far as the cost goes, you can get one built for as little as £10,000. However, it can cost you much more based on the kind of conservatory you need. If you are on a budget, your best option would be PVC. On the other hand, if you are looking for the highest quality one, you can go for wood. All you need to do is choose an option that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

So, these are 5 important things you may want to keep in mind if you want to get a conservatory built for your house.

Home Improvement Inspiration, Tips and Solutions for Home and Business Owners

dvAre you looking to add a little pizzazz to your current abode? Of course, there are some projects you can handle yourself, like adding a new splash of colorful paint to the walls, or changing up your decor. If you really want to make a change, it might be time to look for a reputable home improvement contractor. First things first: you should only hire a company that is licensed, bonded, insured and certified to perform home renovations, additions, and remodeling. That way you won’t have to worry about losing money or losing sleep. What else should you look for?

1) Do some research and see if they are accredited by organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List.

2) Visit the company’s website, and look for examples of their work. If you’re looking for specific improvements such as masonry, kitchen and bath, siding, roofing, drywall, home repairs, and additions, make sure they have experience in those areas, and check out pertinent photos and references.

3) Verify that they offer free home inspections and estimates. It shouldn’t cost you anything to talk to their experts and make decisions about what work you need done before you make a financial commitment.

4) Find out what kind of warranty and guarantees they offer. Are they running any specials or promotions?

5) Look up their building contractor’s license using the state’s website, and make sure their license is current and valid.

6) Follow your gut instinct, and only choose a reputable company. Ask to see any customer surveys or ratings they may have.

It can be fun and exciting to transform your home office, bedroom, living room, or driveway. Your home is your castle, so why not show it off? If you are not a licensed contractor, it is not wise for you to attempt plumbing, construction, electrical or cement work. It can be dangerous. It’s better to hire a company that has the proper training, safety gear and equipment needed to get the job done right the first time. An upstanding home improvement organization should offer affordable financing plans, loan options, fast service, and quality materials for your renovation project. It’s amazing what a few changes around your house can do to improve your quality of life. Getting started is easy, start doing research now and you will find the perfect construction firm to give your house the “wow” factor.

Strategies For Creating Individual Space In A Shared Bedroom

Many parents have to put two or more children in a single bedroom in order to conserve space. People share bedrooms all throughout the world. Unfortunately, however, most kids are eager to have their own space. When sleeping quarters fill cramped, fights can ensue. The good news is that you can turn a shared room into a peaceful and productive space so that siblings can get along and everyone can enjoy their own, private sanctuary.

It is first important to note that everyone needs a way to get away. Having a small amount of personal space where you can relax and clear your thoughts absent of interruption is essential for maintaining a positive and healthy mindset. This is especially true for teens and preteens who often have a lot of social and internal angst that they need time and space to work out.

One of the most effective strategies for creating individual spaces in a shared room is by investing in bunk beds. These conserve the available area for recreation by capitalizing on the vertical space. They also supply a nice little private niche that each room occupant can use to relax in while reading, sleeping or engaging in quite activities such as drawing, coloring or puzzle making.

You can take this strategy a bit further by installing curtains or a canopy to create a sheltered, quite environment for the individual. There are countless companies that sell canopies for top bunks. You can make a similar covering for the lower bunk by simply fashioning a piece of fabric between the two dividers. Kids love the flexibility that these provide given that the can tuck themselves away when the want to be alone or they can open their curtains wide when they’re ready to interact with each other.

Consider adding small-sized tents or teepees inside of kids’ rooms. These can be free-standing and wholly unconnected to bunk beds or platform beds. They can also be folded up or taken down when there is a need for greater free space. With this level of flexibility, kids can alter their living areas as often as they want to according to their moods or their activities.

Each child can have a study area that has its own walled partition at the edge of his or her desk. This is important for giving kids a sense of independence and privacy while they do their homework, socialize with friends on the web or play games. Although small, they can be very effective at supplying autonomy.

Consider dividing the room in half with a cloth or bead curtain that is hung from the ceiling and travels the length of the room. Not only are these options a very functional way to get the job done, but they can also be aesthetically pleasing. You can purchase options that blend well with all other room dividers or decorative elements.

It is additionally possible to invest in a privacy screen. This is a standing partition that can remain upright on its own due to folded leaves or that is bolted directly into the wall. It blocks children from viewing each other in a shared space and can give them the senses of each having their own individual rooms. These units can be especially beneficial for dressing and undressing. Best of all, they are relatively low in cost and flexible enough to fit with a broad range of room designs.

All You Need to Know About Junk Removal and the Professional Removalists

Waste or junk as we commonly called is something that is extracted from every living being. Humans are the ones who extract the maximum amount of waste on a daily basis that is retrieved from households, manufacturing units, offices, etc. The first place where we can start with is our houses and the premises around it. You would notice that the waste retrieved from our homes consist of paper, food wraps, broken glass, vegetable waste, unused electrical appliances etc. These wastes are often put into categories like perishable, non-perishable, recyclable, etc. and accordingly treated.

What is Garbage treatment?

When compared to the time several decades ago, people dug pits and treated their garbage but with every passing day, digging holes is not a solution. Due to the dearth of space, the wastes are often treated in special treatment centres and accordingly recycled or disposed. It is a task that requires professional interference and is conducted in the most professional manner where the use of modern technology brings out the goodness of the waste by allowing it to serve other purposes.

Reasons to hire professionals for junk removal

The task of domestic waste removal is something that is best left with the professionals. While you have a contract with them, they would regularly come over to pick domestic garbage as well as the garden garbage and treat them accordingly. Here is a detailed explanation of the reasons to hire them and the benefits you would receive from their services.

• Takes away all types of garbage – You would notice that in the skip bin placed at your neighbourhood doesn’t allow you to dispose electrical appliances, clothing and impose several other restrictions. The professionals who would come over with a disposal bin of their own would take away all types of garbage extracted from your house. You can dispose old carpets, broken appliances, wood, broken tree branches and every possible thing you do not need anymore.

• Saves time – While the professionals are hired by you, you get to save up on time and not worry about personally visiting the skip bins to dispose the junk. The professionals would come over on time and take away all that you want to dispose and treat them in the most environment-friendly manner.

• Keeps your premises clean – The accumulation or dirt and garbage often leads to the production of harmful gases and also attracts pests which have ill effects on the health. While the professionals come over on a regular basis to remove your garbage, there are no chances for health issues. This would allow you to stay healthy as well as have a safe environment.

What You Need To Know About Joinery

Before you start screening candidates for joinery works, you may want to conduct some research so that you will be knowledgeable when you interview them and be better equipped to make an informed decision. Of course, in case you ever come across a shady company, what you learn from your research will prevent you from being taken in by their scamming. Most homeowners are usually curious about timber so that they can be better versed when it comes to the suitability of the wood suggestions of the different joinery companies they’re considering.

Oftentimes, hardwoods like Oak, Sapele, Iroko and Idigbo are the best kinds to use. They have distinct qualities, of course, and these will help you or your joinery contractor to determine the right kind for your project. For instance, Oak is best used in cooler and humid climates. Idigbo, on the other hand, is a great wood for staining. If you’re not a fan of hardwood and would prefer a softwood such as Douglas Fir, make sure that you opt for a reliable timber. You need to take steps as well to provide it at least with basic protection, such as a VAC treatment. Many joinery projects involve windows, so you may want to ask what window styles you can select from.

There are basically three styles that joinery companies frequently use: traditional, storm-proof, and sliding sash windows. Traditional windows are common among older buildings. These have sashes that are flush with the frame. Storm-proof windows, on the other hand, have sashes that wrap around the frame. These not only provide better protection against bad weather, but lend a modern appeal as well.

Finally, sliding sash windows are usually found on period structures. They’re fitted with ornamental details on the frame. Of course, if you’re looking for a joinery company, you should ask, before anything else, what you should look for in one. All the companies you’ll encounter will claim to have great qualities, so the best way to sift through them is to find ones that are happy to answer your questions and show you their portfolio.

 

Common Types of Siding for Homes

Updating your house with new siding is one of the most exciting home improvement projects. It can really transform the look and feel of any property, making it a more enjoyable place to live and relax. Here are a few materials to choose from when renewing the outside of your home.

Vinyl

Vinyl, originally introduced in the 1950s, is easily the most common type of material used today. It is popular because it is highly versatile, inexpensive, and resistant to various kinds of damage. For those on a tight budget, vinyl is oftentimes the best choice. Also, a basic cleaning is all it takes to make it look like new again.

Aluminum

Aluminum is excellent for any structure as it is extremely durable, lightweight, and resistant to severe weather and insect damage. In terms of maintenance, it does not get much easier than aluminum. All a person needs to do is clean it once or twice a year with soap and water. Aluminum is also a great insulator, which can help reduce energy usage; and it is perfect for use in any home design, from rustic to modern.

Brick

For homeowners who are interested in choosing a siding solution that is built to last a lifetime, brick may be the perfect way to go. In addition to being structurally solid, brick can withstand insect damage and is one of the most fire-resistant building materials available. It also offers a highly distinct feeling of permanence and status, which is what drives many to this material as they think about the overall atmosphere they would like to achieve with their property.

Wood

Wood is a time-honored siding choice that has been popular for countless years, and for good reason. Wood offers unlimited flexibility in terms of design. It is easy to customize with any shade of paint or stain, all without taking away from that beautifully natural look that only real wood can create. While it requires considerably more regular upkeep when compared to other common materials, this bit of extra work is considered to be well worth the effort by many.

While there are certainly other types of siding on the market, these are a few of the most popular choices among modern homeowners. What makes these options so impressive is that each type of material offers such different and exciting benefits to homeowners when it comes to design, functionality, and price.

 

Installing Aluminum Siding

When using aluminum siding it can give your home more curb appeal and make your home all weather proof. Using aluminum for house siding began after World War II and since that time people have preferred it over other different types of siding. The surface of the siding is often coated with enamel and enables it to have various looks. One look is an artificial wooden surface. Weather plays a vital role in aluminum siding installation making spring and summer the best seasons for installation. Before the work begins it is good to check the weather report because rain will make it a difficult task to do for several days.

One reason that many like aluminum siding is that there are many advantages of using this particular siding, which include:

• It is water and fire proof
• It requires little maintenance as it has few problems such as minor dents and scratches. You can fix these easily by repainting or sanding surface of the siding.
• Unlike steel siding it does not oxidize
• Using aluminum siding installation the exterior walls of your home does not come in direct contact with snow or rain and protect them from algae or fungal growth.
• Aluminum siding is more effective as insulation for your home when compared to vinyl siding and because of this your air conditioner and/or fireplace work throughout the year more efficiently.

Yes, it is possible for the homeowners to do the aluminum siding installation themselves but it would take at least two people to do it correctly and safely. When you purchase the aluminum siding the manufactures will give you an instruction manual as to how to do it, including all the tools you will need. Because the backing surface has to be even you will also have to purchase some type of underlayment like foam board, which is considered the best material to use. You will first have to install these, making sure that you are keeping them straight, with any two adjacent ones overlapping at least two inches.

To finish the aluminum siding installation you will put the sheets of siding on the walls and nail them to the house using the factory-made holes. You need to use only aluminum nails to prevent damage to the siding. Do not fix the siding too tight and on each wall you need to leave a gap of three-fourths inch to fix the corner caps. Once you have installed the siding fit the corner caps on each corner of a wall by sliding the rims under the edges of the panels of siding and then fixing them with nails.