In terms of accessories, renovations and upgrades to homes and houses fireplaces rank out near in front. People seem to want fireplaces whether it’s a grand hearth in the living room to put your feet out like a country squire and read the daily newspaper or a simple gas or electric powered fireplace for the basement recreation room that is the choice for installation by many do-it-yourselfers.

Yet a lot of negative things could be said as a deterrent for installing a fireplace in one’s home. Safety. Fire hazards. An unnecessary source for lost heat in a home – resulting in increased monthly fuel bills in the dead of winter are but a few most valid reasons for not getting a fireplace put into your home or summer vacation cottage.

Still people want fireplaces, cannot be talked out of installing them no mater what a heating expert, contractor or even home insurance agent advises? Why this and what is this the apparent allure of the fireplace.

In some cases its style and even majestic style. In some cases it’s an accessory for the home in most cases and situations, after the home renovation contractor has thrown his hands in the air after trying to talk the home owning couple out of this renovation upgrade it is simply that people like fireplaces. Why is this so?

Fireplaces and especially real wood or token real wood gas propane fireplaces add an aura and ambiance that nothing else seems to fill. On top of that fireplaces fill a basic human need – it goes all the way back to early mankind, their encampments. Fireplaces were the community centers, the source of food and safety against the nighttime. They gave out warmth, nutrition and safety. Thus most human beings feel intrinsically good and comforted in the presence of a roaring fireplace or even hearth.

Though housing has changed over time from one room to a series of rooms – all very larger overall. Heating needs and systems have evolved up from a simple fire for warmth to central air furnace systems and steam water boilers the quaintness and feeling of comfort that a simple fire exudes remains the same. Hence the solid attraction of a fireplace or even fireplaces installed or upgraded as renovations in any home or household.… READ MORE

Cleaning your gutters is very important, as blocked gutters can be the cause of many worse problems. Imagine that your gutter is full of leaves and sticks, and it gets blocked up when it rains. What happens next: your gutter gets too heavy for the supports to hold up and it ends up breaking.

Rather than allowing your drains and gutters to get so full that they break, why not just spend some time cleaning them out? It’s really not all that hard, and you will find that you can do it quite easily if you take the time to do it regularly. If you can spend even just half an hour on the weekend cleaning out dirty gutters, you will find that you won’t have to worry about them becoming clogged ever again.

Here are some tips to help you as you start your cleaning:

Tip 1: Get someone to help

When you are climbing up onto the roof to get at the blockages, you will have to use a ladder. Many accidents have happened when people try and climb up a ladder on their own, as the ladder slips or rocks. Rather than allowing yourself to have an accident due to negligence, take the time to get someone to help you.

Sure it may feel silly getting someone to hold the ladder for you, but imagine how silly you would feel if you fell and injured yourself just because you didn’t want to ask for help. Get one of your kids, your spouse, a friend, or a neighbor just to help hold the ladder as you climb it. It can help to make it easier for you, and will prevent accidents.

Tip 2: Use your hands

It sounds awful, but using your hands to scoop out all the junk from the gutters is the best way to go. Your hands are thin enough to easily fit inside the gutter pipe, and you can easily get all the junk out of the drain that way. It may be icky, but remember that it’s just leaves, sticks, and water that has congealed into an icky, sticky mud.

Tip 3: Consider pressure washing

Once you have scooped out all of the muck, why not spend a few minutes to wash down the gutter with a pressure washer? It will take an extra 10 minutes to get the washer up on the roof and hooked up, as well as another five or ten minutes to wash it all down. However, you can leave your gutters sparkling clean, and they won’t need another thorough cleaning for a long while thanks to the pressure washer.

Tip 4: Don’t forget the downspout

Many people clean out the gutter and make it look sparkling clean, but they forget all about the downspout. The fact of the matter is that clogged gutters usually mean that the downspout is clogged as well, so take the time to clean it as well. You can usually unclog it … READ MORE

For many people, adding a SCREEN ENCLOSURE to either the pool area or patio is one of the best improvements that a home owner can make. There are several advantages and benefits that come from adding this structure to either of the above mentioned locations. Here is a short list:

  1. Screen enclosures are esthetically pleasing and offer durable protection from various forms of weather.
  2. They dramatically keep out mosquitoes, hornets, horse flies, wasps, flies, and other insects out and away from your family. This includes the possible harmful substances that are carried by the mosquitoes.
  3. They can save you thousands of dollars each year in costly pool maintenance. This extends the life of the pool equipment and other important electrical devices.
  4. They also extend the life of patio furniture and other pertinent pool area materials.
  5. They reduce harmful UV rays that can cause different health problems.
  6. They are custom designed to complement any style of home.
  7. They increase the security of the area and provide a level of privacy.
  8. They provide an area to entertain company and/or family.
  9. They increase the usable existing space of the home.
  10. Screen enclosures allow the home owner to barbeque without the hassle from all insects.

So as you can see, adding a structure such as this really pays for itself. No matter if it is protecting your children from possible harmful mosquitoes to keeping your pool clean from debris; a screen enclosure has you “covered”. Now that you are ready to add this new addition to your home, what do you do? It is time to look for a quality company to handle the installation. Make sure that they have the proper documentation as well as a good list of references of satisfied customers. Once you get your very own, you can start enjoying all the benefits that comes from owning a structure such as this.… READ MORE

Many life partners look at house plans and see things they like, but they don’t seem to be altogether in one house. They may decide they need an architect. There are two trends of thought about architects. Some believe they’re hugely expensive. Others don’t have any idea. Neither camp speaks from experience and has only a glimmer of what architects really do.

Having a basic idea of floor plans and building size is a good place to begin before calling an architect.

Learning about price per square foot in the local area should narrow down the choices for size. Searching house plan magazines and plan rooms should help develop room location and size preferences.

Next, pull these items together.

If the ideal plan doesn’t exist, it may be time to speak with an architect. Before you call the architect, first make a sketch that both agree satisfies needs and wishes. Here’s what the architect wants to see: outside dimensions of the house, size of each room, and if there’s a second floor, make a list of rooms and rough sizes to go with the first floor. Note the outside finish of the house, i.e., brick, stucco, lapped siding, etc.. Will you want a fireplace? Will you need closed-in garage or a carport? Make as many decisions as possible now as you look through plans.

When you speak with the architect be clear about what you want in the way of services.

Architects have an exhaustive list of services, and you will be charged for them. If you want the full treatment, ask the architect what is considered a full range of services and the fee attached to each. For instance, the architect can assist with a site plan, which shows where the house is located and the orientation. If the only interest is in is acquiring a set of plans, have the architect explain what that means, and what services are performed in that process. Understand also exactly what you will receive when the architect has finished designing the plans.

How architects structure their fees.

An architect can charge several ways for services. Depending on the range of services, it may rely on price per square foot or a percentage of the construction costs. With fewer services, there are other choices: phased fee structure involves an up-front fee, a design fee, and a drawing fee. An hourly fee may be more suitable; the architect provides a log to show time spent in preparing all drawings submitted to the home owner, whether they are approved or not. In most instances, architects will present the finished drawings on a DVD or flash drive. The owner should be prepared to have the drawings printed. The blueprint company will charge a set-up fee, and then charge a price per page for each set of drawings.

It will be more expensive for an architect to assist with plans. The question is whether it is worth the price to achieve the results owners have … READ MORE

Laminate Flooring - Durable and AffordableDistressed Wood Flooring – Old Style Charm With New Flooring

Hardwood is utilized in a wide array of applications, for example furniture, flooring, cabinetry, musical instruments, boat making, etc. Mahogany hardwood is the most expensive among every one of the hardwoods; yet it is easily the most desired wood by furniture makers and customers alike. Anyone who want a little class and luxury and value for money will like the deep colored, durable mahogany over other hardwoods. Some of the exquisite furnishings produced from mahogany hardwood include tables, dining set, cots, antique clock, mirror frames, dressing table, etc.; interior and exterior doors, kitchen cabinets and shutters, fancy window shutters, etc. can also be carved away from mahogany.

– Using this kind of flooring will give you warm environment as it gets the natural grains and growth patterns inside the boards

– This item is able to provide comfort and warm so that you are able to enjoy your life living there

– Besides giving improved, this unit also provides strength and durability so that it cannot break should your children are running using your pet

– Also, it’s going to go on for quite a while so you have the ability to save your money

Pick The Right Type Of Home Flooring For Your Needs

1) Which style matches my decorating tastes? – You are going to have to walk on and look at your hardwood floors each day for countless years, which means your decision about which type of wood is essential. One kind of wood flooring is parquet. Parquet is wooden flooring this is a group of pieces that creates some sort of geometric design. Plank wooden flooring are linear in design and therefore are usually wider than every other style. Plank widths normally run between 3 to 8 inches. Strip hardwood flooring is just like plank in this it’s in the linear pattern. Strip hardwood flooring is generally narrower, from 1.5 to three inches in width. – Ultraviolent sunshine exposed to hardwood surfaces for too long durations, fade and dry-out, crack and cut wooden flooring material at accelerated rates

– Direct rays of the sun often produce extreme temperature build-up on hardwood flooring material surfaces not blocked by modern advanced engineered glass of today’s windows

– Closing of drapes to shield wood material contradicts the first intent of installing such flooring material, to reflect light in an otherwise dull and dark room

– Adequate using an approved wax, protects the most notable and under-lying surfaces, blocking all harmful expose to sunlight, maintaining and protecting the flooring surface by having an coating of the very best layer continuing the warmth and relaxing nature that hard wood floors provide to your interior room

But, prefinished floors would be the less costly option involving the two. Not only will you be paying less for prefinished wood, but will also cut costs should you opt for installing the flooring on your own. And even in case you do plan to get … READ MORE