Types Of Home Improvement

Posted by admin on Nov 13, 2007

Types Of Home Improvement
By Virgilio Vallecera

While it most often refers to building projects that alter the structure of an existing home, home renovation can include improvements to lawns and gardens and outbuildings like gazebos and garages.

Home improvement projects generally have one or more of the following goals:

Beautification and added features

* Wallpapering and painting walls or installing wood paneling.

* Adding new flooring such as carpets, tiling, linoleum, wood flooring, or solid hardwood flooring.

* Upgrading cabinets, fixtures, and sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.

* Replacing siding and windows

* Improving the backyard with sliding doors, wooden patio decks, patio gardens, jacuzzis, swimming pools, and fencing.

Comfort

* Upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)

* Increasing the capacity of plumbing and electrical systems. More info about plumbing and electrical systems

* Waterproofing basements.

* Soundproofing rooms, especially bedrooms and baths.

Maintainance and repair

Maintaince projects can include:

* Roof tear-off and replacement.

* Concrete and masonry repairs to the foundation and chimney.

* Repairing plumbing and electrical systems.

Additional space

Additional living space may be added by:

* Turning marginal areas into livable spaces such as turning basements into recrooms or attics into spare bedrooms.

* Extending one s house with rooms added to the side of one s home or, sometimes, extra levels to the original roof.

A residential area is a type of land use where the predominant use is housing. In areas that are zoned residential, buildings may include single family housing, multiple family housing such as (apartments, duplexes, townhomes (or similar configurations), condominiums) or mobile homes. Zoning for residential use may permit some services or work opportunities or may totally exclude business and industry.

It may permit high density land use or only permit low density uses. Residential zoning usually includes a smaller FAR (floor to area ratio) than business, commercial or industrial/manufacturing zoning.

In certain places there is a lot of partying situations residential areas may consist of quite large tracts of land which have no services whatsoever requiring a trip to town in order to fulfill basic needs. Because of the large distances involved most of these numerous trips involve using a motor vehicle.

In the case of a land development the pattern of development is usually set forth in the restrictive covenants contained in the deeds to the properties in the development, but may also result from or be reinforced by zoning.

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mainglobe.com/home-improvement" target="_new">many of whom may not live in the area) may need to be obtained to effect a change

Virgilio Vallecera
Home iimprovement

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Light Control Systems - More Than Mood Lighting

Posted by admin on Nov 12, 2007

Light Control Systems - More Than Mood Lighting
By Harrison Brooks

Light control systems are a lot more than a dimmer switch on a dining room wall. They also do a lot more for a household than set the mood for a romantic dinner. Light control systems are used by homeowners and commercial users to keep lighting costs regulated. They re also fantastic for convenience. Did you know that you can rig your house so you can turn off all of you re appliances and your bedroom light at the same time? Yes, you can do this from your bed too! This is why light control systems are so popular in the modern household.

In the Home

Light control systems are great for home use, especially if you often find yourself thinking, “Hmm, did I turn off the coffee pot?”

You can tie all of the outlets and light switches in your home to a light control system. Basically once the house is outlined in the control system, you can use one control panel to turn all lights and outlets on and off. So, if you re worried about the coffee pot, add its outlet to the button you power off before you leave the house.

Using light control systems, you can apply this same concept when you go away for the weekend. Lots of people feel obligated to leave a light on when they leave town. However, they either worry the light s constant shine will draw attention to the fact that no one s home or the light itself will start some sort of fire. You can rid yourself of these worries by using a light control system. With this system you can program certain lights to go on at a designated time. You can also program them to dim at a certain time. This will help give the illusion that someone is in fact in the house.

You can also use your light control system to keep burglars out. You can program your outside lights to go on as soon as someone steps within a certain area of the house. Lots of security companies use light control systems to help keep their clients safe.

In the Office

Light control systems are also great for an office. Employees tend to leave the office at different times. Some remember to turn off their lights, some don t. You can use a light control system to make sure all the lights go off when the last person leaves. Light control systems can also be used as safety systems at an office just like they re used in a home.

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com/" target="_blank">My Lighting Pro is one of the leading lighting information resources online. We cover everything from low voltage lighting to portfolio lighting.

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A Twist On The Traditional Water Garden

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

A Twist On The Traditional Water Garden
By Christopher W Smith

A Japanese water garden is a place of serenity. It is a place that one can go to appreciate nature, gather one s thoughts, and relax to the humble sounds of nature. You can create this type of garden in your own back yard and enjoy it s offerings for years to come.

If you live in a crowded noisy area, but have a backyard to work with, you can still have this type of garden. For you, proper placement and some natural sound barriers are important. Boulders can create a sound barrier that will drown out the sounds of passing traffic or noisy neighbors. Certain plants can also do that job such as the arborvitae variety of tall bushes. These bushes are typically inexpensive and create a nice looking natural sound barrier that can do the same job that boulders can do. These plants may start smaller, so it may take a few years before they become effective, or you can choose to purchase the taller, more established plants, but these will cost a little more.

For those that have a little more land to work with, this will not be a problem and unless you want to create a natural barrier for privacy, you will not need to take that first step.

Once sound barriers have been decided, locations will also need to be decided. You want your utopia to be away from traffic and neighbors, but within the confines of your land. This will allow you to have some privacy and gain the feel that you are truly “away” from the humdrum of everyday life. It should be a place that you can “escape” to, not one that enhances the stresses in life.

The next decision will be whether or not you want to raise Koi fish. These are typically found in Japanese water gardens and will require some care. If caring for fish, remember to dig deep enough so that the water won t freeze in the winter. Also be sure that the pond is large enough for the fish to reproduce without being cramped.

In order to enhance the feel of your gardens you will need a few decorative elements as well. You will probably want to use various stone steps throughout the garden and some boulders for decoration. Many people put bridges into their gardens and use lanterns to light up the water garden. You may also want to use bamboo, dwarf pines, and some benches throughout the garden as well.

A Japanese water garden is one that will require some work and research in its creation, but the benefits are unparalleled. For many years you and your friends and family will watch the pond thrive and bask in the serenity that it creates.

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Design Your Landscape in 3D

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

Design Your Landscape in 3D
By Andrew Caxton

We live in a computer age. Practically every household has a computer, and every big town has a computer store where one can go to stock up on software or all kinds of games. There s software for everything from learning a foreign language to correlating your recipes… to designing your landscape.

The traditional way to design a new landscape is to sketch out a scale model of your front or back yard on a sheet of graph paper, with each block equivalent to a certain number of feet, depending on the size of your yard. Over this grid you place sheets of tracing paper, on which you play around with the different kinds of features you d like to see in your landscape, and where they d best fit.

You can now do the same thing with a computer program - only with the software you ll be able to see things in 3-D which will aid greatly in the visualization of your finished design.

Of course even if you use landscape software - there is still information that you need to research on your own, which you ll have to input into the program, in order to use the software effectively. You ll have to have exact measurements of the width and length of your yard. You must know the pH balance of the soil, and the soil composition - sand, clay, etc. You must know where it slopes and where it s level - which effects water runoff.

There are only a few landscaping programs on the market - you ll want to do a little research on each to find if one suits your needs.

Competing programs include the Better Homes and Gardens Landscaping and Deck Designer, Instant Landscaping, and Your Complete Landscape and Garden Designer.

If you decide to purchase a landscaping program, of course do the common sense things of making sure you have the right operating system and enough memory to run the program. Make sure the company offers technical support. Surf the web to get an idea of any feedback or complaints on any of the software before you buy it.

Features to look for:

Landscaping templates - the more the better.
A library of more than 4,000 components for your project ideas - try to get software designed for your particular area - so t hat it s library will contain plants you re likely to use.
A feature helps you seek for plants based on drought tolerance, climate deer, resistance, etc.
Ability to design and visualize your areas in 3D.

The drawback to landscaping software is that it can be difficult to use if you are not computer savvy. But if you re not averse to reading manuals, this software can make your landscape designing even more enjoyable.

Andrew Caxton is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics like lawn care for Landscape Lighting Design
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You can find more information and resources on landscaping at his website.

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Installing A Soapstone Countertop To Update A Kitchen

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

Installing A Soapstone Countertop To Update A Kitchen
By M. Jedediah

Renovating a kitchen begins with an idea or design theme and involves choosing those materials that will further the design. Of course, it is most effective to choose those elements that will maximize design dollars. Countertop materials come in all varieties and within all budgets and choosing the material that makes the most sense comes down to the type of lifestyle that you live and the tone that you want to set in your home.

While granite and ceramic tile continue to be popular choices when it comes to countertops, the soapstone countertop is another viable and effective option for outfitting your home with the best in form and function.

Soapstone - much like marble or granite - is harvested from quarries it is considered a satellite stone and is made up of mostly magnesite, dolomite, chlorite, and talc. Soapstone has enjoyed a long life on this planet its origins date back three to four hundred years ago. Its properties have lent it to a variety of uses throughout the generations and for many of the same reasons it is still commonly used today.

As its name suggests, soapstone is soft to the touch and resembles the smooth feeling of dry soap. It is an easily pliable material that has been used in the making of everything from vases to sculptures.

Today, the soapstone countertop is another common household material that utilizes this flexible stone. The natural properties of soapstone make it the perfect material for the making of countertops. Because it is a natural stone it is durable and resilient against heat, scratches, most stains, and even impact.

Because soapstone is inert, alkalis, as well as acids, do not affect it. This is not the case with granite, marble. or slate and for this reason the soapstone countertop has been widely used. Its longevity is another of its major advantages and experts agree that owners can support that longevity through the use of sealants.

When the countertop is first installed, therefore, it is important to seal the stone with mineral oil or a stone sealant which will bring out the dark richness to the stone s natural color and also work as a protective layer on the stone s surface.

But however resilient it is, the soapstone countertop should still be cared for meticulously in order to maintain the integrity of the material. Spills should be mopped up immediately so as not to allow any moisture to permeate the stone. And daily maintenance should include the wiping down of the countertops with only mild or natural cleanser and warm, clean water - using a soft rag to wash the surface.

Another option for taking care of the soapstone countertop is to use standard mineral oil that can be obtained from any pharmacy. Rubbing it onto the stone will darken the stone to nearly black and even after the passage of time one may easily return the soapstone countertop to its original grayish blue color by using sandpaper.

Like other natural stone material, the soapstone countertop - when cared for properly - can offer many years of beauty and durability.

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DIY Conservatory Construction Guide

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

DIY Conservatory Construction Guide
By Tony Wiggins

Building a self build conservatory is actually quite a straight-forward task and if you are a competent DIY enthusiast you will find adding a new conservatory to your home is relatively easy and not as daunting as it may first appear.

The following is designed to provide a general guide to the process of installing a new DIY conservatory and whilst not intended to be a detailed construction guide should provide you with the basics.

1) CONSERVATORY BASE

You have two choices with regard to the type of conservatory base. You can either select a traditional excavated base or you can use a pre-fabricated steel base which will speed up the installation process.

Traditional Base

If you choose the traditional base route you may prefer to employ a local builder to build the base for you as the accuracy of the brickwork is vital in ensuring that your new conservatory can be installed easily and efficiently. Your DIY conservatory supplier will provide you with the base plans to suit your selected conservatory and the base must be constructed exactly to these plans. Using an experienced builder to build the base should ensure that the base is built square, to the correct dimensions and that the footings are excavated correctly. If drains need to be re-routed your builder will have the necessary experience to do this for you during the course of construction. Always agree the cost before work commences and ensure you check the base yourself when the builder has finished to make sure you are happy with the finished result. It can be difficult to get a builder back on site once he has moved onto his next job and any discrepancies in the brickwork could cause problems during the conservatory installation.

Of course you can construct the traditional base yourself and many of our customers have done so but it is time-consuming and very hard work so the savings you will make here by doing-it-yourself will need to be justified against the amount of free time you have to do the job and your expertise in building the foundations and laying bricks.

Steel Base

Installing a pre-fabricated steel base is much quicker and easier than constructing a traditional base as there are no large excavations to undertake so there is minimum disruption to your garden and no need to move any drains. These bases are normally made to order, delivered in kit form and are quite straight-forward to install by two persons over a couple of days or so. If your conservatory features dwarf walls, these will normally be provided as steel cassettes with a variety of external finishes including brick tiles or alternatively, supplied ready for rendering. The base itself is fixed to the wall of the house and sits on adjustable legs that are seated onto concrete pads making it very easy to level the floor which will normally be supplied with insulation and often comes complete with flooring. A steel base can be a cost effective alternative base for your new self build conservatory, especially when you compare construction times and the fact that there is little disruption to your garden. Once completed, these factory built conservatory bases are often very difficult to tell apart from a traditional constructed base. You could even take the conservatory with you when you move house!

2) INSTALLING YOUR NEW DIY CONSERVATORY

Most DIY conservatories are supplied complete with installation instructions that are designed for the novice installer and will cover fixing the walls of the conservatory, installing the conservatory roof and glazing the conservatory structure.

In general terms these instructions will walk you through fixing the French door, the welded cill, the conservatory windows, the corner posts and the conservatory roof. The most important factor to continually check when installing any conservatory is to ensure the frames and cill remain plumb and level throughout the construction. All screw fixings and their positions should be in accordance with the guidelines provided by the DIY conservatory supplier.

The roof structure will include an eaves beam that will sit on top of the window and door frames, a ridge beam or wall plate that will be fixed to your house wall and glazing bars that will connect between the ridge or wall plate and eaves beam. All components should be supplied factory cut, marked and pre-drilled ready for fitting and apart from trimming the guttering to size there should be no need for you to cut any of the roof components. The roof layout plan will enable you to identify which component and which glazing panel should be fitted in which position. Where the conservatory joins the house you will need to fit lead flashing to form a weatherproof seal.

3) FINISHING THE CONSERVATORY INSTALLATION

With the conservatory walls and roof installed your next task will be to glaze the roof. If you have chosen polycarbonate roof glazing this is a relatively simple task and involves placing the glazing into position and knocking on the PVCu cappings to form a weather tight seal. The roof plan will indicate the required position of each panel. If you have chosen a glass roof the process will take longer due to the additional weight and nature of the material.

Budget DIY conservatories may be supplied with the windows and door factory glazed but made to order conservatories are generally supplied with windows and doors unglazed. Not only does this help to ensure that glass is not broken during the installation process but the windows are generally supplied much longer to provide slimmer sightlines and there could be health and safety issues if the frames were supplied glazed due to the considerable weight of a glazed window.

Most windows and doors are now internally beaded using a “knock-in” glazing bead and the glazing process should become relatively easy once you have glazed a couple of apertures.

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If you are glazing during cold weather it is a good idea to emerse the glazing bead in warm water which will help make the bead more flexible and easier to position. Your installation guide will detail the exact process used.

Finally, silicone sealant will need to be applied to all joints in accordance with your installation guide and the internal PVCu trims will need to be fitted to the roof eaves beam, ridge beam and glazing bars.

Your new self build conservatory should now be structurally complete and weather tight ready for the finishing internal touches.

You will find much more information on installing a DIY conservatory by visiting our web site.

This article written by Tony Wiggins who is a director of Trade Conservatories 2 U Ltd leading UK suppliers of self build conservatories. Visit Buy Conservatories Online for detailed information and resources on all aspects of DIY and self build conservatories. You may reproduce this article providing you display the above links.

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Landscape Design Books

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

Landscape Design Books
By Eric Morris

It is not always possible to take professional help for landscape design of the garden, as it is quite expensive. Also, a professional tends to go by some set patterns, and designs already tried and tested for other customers, which gives a common look to them. However, a person may not want to go by the conventional designing patterns and opt for some new pattern. In this case, referring to a book can be the best possible option. The guidance taken from books can then be combined with individual imagination to get the desired effect.

A large number of books can be found as a basic guide for landscape designing. These books start from the basics a person is required to know, before planning for a designer landscape. The entire book is usually divided into chapters describing and explaining the individual sections of the subject matter. The ways of drawing an outline for the design, taking measurements of the plot along with understanding the positive and negative aspects of the plot, are all covered in these books to assist a beginner.

The other elements and how to make best use of them, according to personal preferences are explained in detail chapter wise, with diagrams and pictures to give a clear idea. The books also give a clear idea of what tools and equipments are needed, to customize the garden landscape, and what extra features can be added to enhance it. Sometimes, they even provide information about the cause and effect of various design patterns, and how each affects the construction of the house, including which to avoid. The maintenance of the garden varies according to the design patterns, and it is very essential to know the process involved. The beauty of the garden is lost if not properly maintained. The books also provide guidelines on proper maintenance.

A person can buy a book directly by placing orders online or visit retail stores. The books are divided according to the purpose and subject. A book can cover the whole process through a general discussion, or deal with discussions on separate sections. Prices may vary depending on a lot of factors such as publication, writer, volume, and topics discussed.

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Why Do People Neglect This Vital Part of Their Homes ?

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

Why Do People Neglect This Vital Part of Their Homes ?
By Guru Bhakt

If there was one part of most homes - one vital part - that most people seem to overlook when designing their interiors, it possibly would be the ceiling. People get new furniture for their living rooms, nice wall hangings for the walls, redo the kitchen, but when it come to the ceiling, most people buy just a pretty chandelier and feel they are done …

And considering how important ceilings are to nice looking interiors and how much can be easily done to make them a lot better looking, that is a pity …

Ceilings reflect light and sound and contribute a great deal to the acoustic characteristics of any space. The ceiling plays a great role in determining how your home looks and feels …

Types of Ceilings

The type of ceiling you choose for a room may greatly determine what the room will feel like, so you might want to choose the ceiling type with some care. That said, here are a few types you may want to consider …

. A cove ceiling : This will have rounded corners and may most often house diffused lights, creating a sophisticated look.

. Suspended ceiling : this is a lowered flat ceiling and may have decorative cornices on the edges.

. Coffered or Box Ceiling : Wood grids are used to create a feeling of the ceiling being recessed, and this most often creates a dramatic, antique appeal. This type of ceiling is most often used in family rooms, home libraries and home theatres.

Creating False Ceilings

False ceilings can give a room a clean and smooth look from below as all the ducting, wiring and lighting insets could be hidden. But that is not all - the air gap between the false ceiling and the actual ceiling acts as an insulator.

Easily available low density fibreboard tiles may be used to create false ceilings. This is also a very good thermal and sound insulator.

False ceilings are most often used in auditoriums, movie halls and recording rooms, but it can be used in home theatre rooms as well.

The Ultimate Ceiling Makeover - Using Fabrics

Now, if you are the type who loves class and want your home to ooze with style and class, then one thing you might want to do is drape fabric across the ceiling to create a exotic and dramatic look and feel. Sure, this is high maintenance, but people who do this do it because of its unique and rich appeal.

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Linoleum Flooring Is the Best Choice

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

Linoleum Flooring Is the Best Choice
By Tom Turner

Linoleum flooring has been around for well over one hundred years. Linoleum flooring has been the choice for many schools, churches and other business for its durability, ease to maintain, and cost effectiveness. If you re considering installing some linoleum flooring in your home or business this article will guide you on many of the good and bad points to this type of flooring.

Available In a Large Range of Colors

The most recognizable advantage to installing linoleum flooring in your home is the ability to choose from so many different styles and colors to fit most home decorating ideas. You can find linoleum flooring with very unique designs that might nicely with several types of themes that you may chosen for a certain recreation room or bathroom.

Linoleum is Very Durable

There really is no such thing as a bad place to install linoleum flooring around your home. This type of flooring is very durable and works well in low traffic or high traffic rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen.

Linoleum Flooring is Water Resistant

If you are considering a flooring surface for the bathroom then linoleum flooring will be a great choice since it can endure water and not harm it. You will want to make sure that the edges around your bathroom flooring is well sealed, but once you have taken that precaution you are good to go.

Linoleum Flooring is Easy to Repair

If you should decide to install linoleum flooring in your kitchen you will be pleased to know that it is very easy to repair. If you should make the mistake of dropping a sharp knife and it happens to stick into the floor or if you drop a heavy glass bowl that leaves a gouge in the flooring surface you can repair it easily.

Linoleum Flooring is Easy to Clean

Everyone enjoys something that is easy to clean and linoleum flooring is just that. You can often get by with just some water to wipe up most spills. This one feature is a major seller for many linoleum flooring dealers.

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6 Spring Cleaning Safety Tips for a Healthy Family

Posted by admin on Nov 11, 2007

6 Spring Cleaning Safety Tips for a Healthy Family
By Tena Fanning

Playdate Kids need to live in safe and healthy homes. Spring is the best time to make sure you do the best you can to keep your home safe and clean. Here are some spring cleaning chores that you can do to keep your family safe and improve their health:

1. Change the batteries in your smoke detector and make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector if you haven t already.

2. Dust your home thoroughly and always remember to clean or replace your air conditioning filters. This will decrease your family s exposure to pollens among other dander and allergens. Also, remember to vacuum regularly.

3. Check your garage and other storage areas for paint, thinners and other forms of “toxic” products that are dangerous to have around your home. Find a waste drop-off center near your home. Do not throw these toxic materials in your trash can.

4. Organize your medicine cabinets. Throw away any expired medications (some say you can be safe as long as they are not over 3 months old) and old prescription medications that are no longer needed. This will lessen the chances of you or your children taking something they shouldn t and you will also gain more space for new products and medications.

5. Clean all mold and mildew with non-toxic cleaning products. Mold and mildew are very harmful to your health.

6. Assess the products under your sinks and cabinets for expired or toxic cleaning products. They are harmful and dangerous– dispose of anything that is unsafe for your children and family.

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