Sunday, December 12, 2010

Extra Seating With Bar Stools

by: Kathryn Whittaker

Today’s kitchen can become a complete entertainment center thanks to a sleek kitchen and bar furniture, including a breakfast area with a stylist breakfast bar and bar stools. Many people remodel their kitchens to accommodate a small bar area where they can grab a bite to eat before work or entertain friends with cocktails at a dinner party.

The kitchen has become more than a place to cook due to new technologically advanced appliances and less traditional furniture. Space-saving appliances such as ovens and microwaves combined not only reduce cooking time but save a lot of space too.

With more space, smart homeowners have more space to accommodate an additional seating area to satisfy their entertaining style. It could be another table, a counter with stylish bar stools, or even a couple of lounge chairs.

If you decide to create a little bar area in your kitchen, you need to find the best location for it. Many people disassemble one wall and install a bar counter instead, or leave two pillars and a four-foot riser to be used as a counter. The bar area should not block the traffic in the kitchen. That’s why the best location for it is near the wall, or if that’s not possible, then on an island in the middle of the kitchen.

A bar counter in the middle of the kitchen requires some space around it for comfortable seating and allow the kitchen to function properly. Don’t fall prey for tricky salespeople who may try to sell you a counter with cabinets bigger than your kitchen can accommodate! The access corridor around the bar area should not be less than 3 ft wide.

Luckily, contemporary bar stools require much less space than their traditional counterparts usually seen in restaurants and pubs. Bar stools for home use are much lighter and more artistic in color and style. Since people spend less time at their home bar than behind a table, contemporary bar stools are usually backless or have a very low ergonomically designed back. The most popular ones are swivel, with sturdy legs. Contemporary bar stools can be made of aluminum, fiberglass, or metal.

There are many bar stool options available on the internet. Customers can choose specific heights, colors, wood color and type and seating fabrics for bar stools creating full custom sets. Customers can also choose from free samples of fabrics and other upholstery types, finishes and wood samples. This way, you can have a set of bar stools to perfectly match your current home style. There are web sites that allow you to send in your own fabric to be used as upholstery for the bar stool set.

A great finishing touch to your bar area is to install a radio or small TV in to watch while you cook, eat a quick meal or relax over drinks.

About The Author


Kathryn Whittaker writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on Bar Stools please visit http://www.bar-stools-guide.com/ and for additional Bar Stool articles please visit the following article page http://www.bar-stools-guide.com/barstools-articles/.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kitchen Bar Stools - Not Just For Breakfast

by: Regina Dewall

The kitchen bar stools in your home may be among the most used seats in the house. It’s not uncommon to see a child sitting there doing their homework while mom or dad is preparing breakfast or dinner. Often, while leaving the "at work" mode and entering the "at home" mode, the kitchen bar stool is a convenient place to sit and sort the mail while having a snack or drink. Good friends will often sit on the bar stools in the kitchen in order to converse with us better as we finish getting a meal ready, and then the children will take over the bar stools as the adults move to the dinning table for the meal.

As homes with larger kitchens have become more and more popular, many homes now have a kitchen/dining area with overhang counters. Thus the kitchen bar stool has become increasingly more popular.

There are many designs to choose from. In fact, there are so many different kinds of kitchen bar stools, that it can become a challenge to decide which style is best for you. How tall should they be? Should they have a back? Should they have arms? Should they swivel? Should your kitchen bar stools be made of wood, metal, wrought iron, or something else? The answers to some of these questions are easy to determine while others are purely choices of preference.

Here are a few tips on selecting the "right" kitchen bar stools:

As mentioned above, most kitchen bar stools get a lot of use, and that means a lot of abuse! So you may want to select stools that are made of materials that can withstand the inevitable. For kitchen use, avoid stools that are made from soft woods, this is especially true if the stools have a back or arms. With the high volume of traffic that many kitchens get, these stools would get scratched very quickly. You might consider wrought iron, stainless steel, aluminum, chrome, or a hard wood.

Generally, it is recommended to allow 12 inches from the top of the stool cushion to the bottom of the counter or table. If you select kitchen bar stools with arms, make sure the top of the arms will slide under the table or counter. The cushions for your stools should be able to handle regular use. If you choose either leather or vinyl for your kitchen bar stool cushions, avoid the temptation to get a thin grade.

When choosing kitchen bar stools, think outside the kitchen. In other words, where else might the stools be used? Might they be used in the TV or game room on occasion? If this is something you expect to happen, select a stool that is light enough to be easily moved. The heavier they are, the more likely they are to be dragged over your floors.

In our fast paced lives, we don’t often sit down at the table to eat. Instead of carrying food to the table, we grab the nearest stool and have a quick bite on our way out in the morning. We often do the same thing when we are coming home in the evening, since we often have to turn around and go back out.

Truly the humble kitchen bar stool isn’t just for breakfast anymore!

About The Author

Regina Dewall writes about tips on selecting kitchen counter and bar stools. To read more tips from Regina, visit the Bar Stool Buying Guide.

LuxuryBarStools.com



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Budget Kitchen Remodeling Tips

 Kitchen remodeling is a great home improvement investment and can be done on a budget. Update kitchen light fixtures, cabinets and countertops with tips from a professional home repairman in this free video on home improvement.



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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to Change a Ballast in a Fluorescent Light

 Change a ballast in a fluorescent light using an electrical tester to check for safety, and by twisting it 30 degrees to loosen the light fixture. Find out how to change a ballast with tips from a handyman in this free video on home repair and maintenance.



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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Build Your Dream Home – Part 3 of 3



by: Mark J. Donovan

Exterior Framing Continues

With the home’s sub-floor down and the exterior walls framed and up, the framing crew was on to the roof. Though the roof was rather simple in structure with just a 12/12 pitch and no valleys it was a significant framing undertaking due to just the size and height of it. The house was 32 feet wide by 44 feet in length, and the exterior side walls stood 11 feet tall in the great room. This exterior wall height of 11 feet translated into a roof ridge that was 27 feet off the floor of the great room. Consequently staging was required to install the ridge pole and roof rafters. In addition, since the span from the top of the walls to the ridge was so long, heavy 2x12s were required for the roof rafters. Within a week, however, the team had completed the installation of the roof rafters and the house began to take on real shape.

I should comment briefly about the sub-floor and exterior walls before I move on.

I decided on using ¾” tongue and groove plywood for the sub-flooring rather than OSB/particle board as I was concerned that the OSB was too sensitive to moisture. I was concerned about this, both from the construction phase and from normal home use. I was concerned that during the construction phase that snow and ice could potentially lead to damage such as warping. I have seen this before when OSB was used on sub-flooring. I was also concerned that during the life of the home, that there could be water incidents, e.g. a leaking dishwasher or washer machine that also could also lead to water damage to the floor. I also believe that plywood is stronger and that it would provide for a more solid and rigid floor.

Regarding the exterior wall framing I used 2x6 construction. This is typical in New England as the additional wall depth allows for higher insulation factors; a must in colder climates.

Sheathing the Outside of the Home

In order to get plumbing and electric contractors onto a site typically they want the home “buttoned up”. This includes the roof shingled and the doors and windows on. Thus my framing crew moved onto the exterior sheathing once the walls and roof framing were complete.

As with the sub-floor, I again chose plywood for the exterior sheathing for the same reasons mentioned earlier. On the exterior walls ½” exterior grade plywood was used. On the roof 5/8” exterior grade plywood was used. I know many builders today use OSB for both the walls and roof, however, I still believe for stronger construction plywood is the way to go.

The sheathing effort took about a week to complete. During this time exterior doors and windows showed up on the site. Staging the delivery of material reduces theft and insurance risk as well as keeps a less cluttered construction site. However, as I have indicated earlier, communication is critical when you are doing “Just-in-Time” material delivery.

Installing Exterior Doors and Windows

The installation of the doors and windows was a major undertaking for this project as the lake side view of the home was literally a wall of windows; 32 feet in width and 27 feet in height. A great deal of engineering had gone into the window design so that the 10 large custom windows would fit together like a jig saw puzzle. This said, when the windows arrived on site and were inspected, it was determined that some of them were not built correctly to the dimensions specified. After much debate with the framing crew, the window vendor and me we reached a compromise on sharing the cost of fixing the windows. The window vendor took back the improperly sized windows and the framing crew began the installation of the doors and what windows they could install. Fortunately the window vendor was able to return to the site with the properly sized windows within a few days and the construction phase did not miss a beat.

Completing the Interior Framing

With the doors and windows installed, the framing crew proceeded to complete the Interior Framing. This was an exciting time, as the rooms began to take real shape. You could now walk down hallways and into bedrooms and closet areas. Within just a few days the interior walls were complete and the framing crew proceeded onto the roof for the shingling.

I should note that 2x4 construction was used on the interior walls as insulation was not required on the interior walls.

Shingling the Roof

The last task to complete before the house could be classified as “Buttoned Up” was to install the shingles on the roof. Fortunately my framing crew was also able to do this task, thus eliminating the need for yet another subcontractor.

I chose a 30 year architectural shingle due to the quality and look I was trying to achieve on the home.

Though relatively a simple roof, it was quite large and the weather was less than hospitable. Consequently it took nearly 2 weeks to complete this task. However, with the roof complete, my electric and plumbing contractors were now able to begin their work.

Also, with the main house now structurally complete, the framing crew moved onto the garage framing and construction phase. As a result of staging the garage behind the main home construction phase, I was able to have subcontractors work in parallel without getting in each others way.

Rough Electric and Plumbing

With the house “Buttoned-Up”, my Electric and Plumber subcontractors showed up to begin the roughing in phase of their respective tasks.

Rough Electric

I had met a few days before on site with the Electric subcontractor to discuss the placement of all the wall outlets and switches, as well as where the light fixtures would be situated. During our discussion he marked the wall studs for the placements of the electric wiring boxes so that we could visualize the entire electric wiring scheme. We also marked where the telephone and cable boxes would reside.

During the electrical rough in wiring phase, the electrician installed all the wiring boxes and ran wire from the boxes to where the main circuit panel box would reside.

Rough Plumbing

As with the Electrical Subcontractor, I had met several weeks earlier with the Plumbing Contractor. During this meeting we discussed the form of heat for the home, as well as where the bathrooms and kitchen were to reside in the home. We also discussed types of bathroom fixtures including tubs, sinks and toilets. Consequently, when he showed up on site he new exactly where to run main drain and supply pipes and vent stacks. He also roughed in all of the plumbing for each bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixture.

Within a week both the Electrical and Rough Plumbing contractors had completed their tasks and had successfully passed their respective inspections.



About The Author

Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit http://www.homeadditionplus.com and http://www.homeaddition.blogspot.com.



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Replace Cracked Tile

Replace cracked tile floor tiles using a grout scraper, pry bar, hammer and safety glasses. Learn how to replace cracked floor tile using the home repair tips in this free video.



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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Build Your Dream Home – Part 2 of 3



by: Mark J. Donovan

Razing the Cottage

With new house plans and permits in hand, subcontractors hired and a Septic Design in process, it was now time to raze the existing cottage. I considered employing the local fire department to burn it down, however I chose the demolition route instead. Though I did not contact the Fire Department, I was convinced that this route would have led to multiple delays and pitfalls, as I would have been at the whim of several town employees and weather conditions. The demolition route required only the excavator subcontractor and had less weather related schedule risks. In addition, the demolition cost and effort was very reasonable. Within two days, it was as if the cottage never existed on the land. It is important to note, however, that the cottage was relatively small. It was 22’ x 30’. If the cottage had been significantly larger, then the Fire Department route may have made more financial sense.

The demolition effort itself basically consisted of three parts. First, all of the furniture and appliances needed to be removed. Most of these items were old and musty and were not worth saving. Next, the excavator used a large backhoe and tore apart and crushed the building into small pieces. Finally, the excavator loaded the debris into several 20 cubic yard dumpsters, which were then hauled away by a dumpster company. Finding the appropriate dumpster company was a little bit of a challenge, as there are strict regulations on the disposing of certain home construction material. In addition, the dumpster costs can dramatically increase depending on how far away their facilities are from the construction/destruction site.

Breaking Ground

After the cottage was razed, and the stakes were placed outlining the boundary of the new home, it was time to break ground. This was a very exciting time as my dream was about to begin to take shape. I was building a large contemporary home with a wall of windows facing the lake front. Admittedly it was only a hole in the ground, but this hole represented the rough footprint of my future house. Seeing the hole, I could begin to more easily visualize my future home.

Digging out the hole and preparing the site for a foundation is one of the most critical aspects of building a new home. As a result, I spent several occasions with both the Excavator and Foundation subcontractors reviewing the house plans and the site prior to, and during the excavation. It was imperative that all of us were on the same page to ensure that the foundation walls, with all its jogs and step ups/downs would be located and installed per the plans. During these meetings a few adjustments were necessary to the foundation plans, however with all the team members involved the changes were minor and absolutely necessary. The changes helped prevent more serious problems later on and ensured that the outside aesthetics of the home were maintained.

As I already indicated, the foundation is extremely important to any quality home. If the foundation is not built upon a solid footing, nor constructed of the appropriate concrete strength, the foundation walls will crack in short order. These cracks can lead to water in the basement, settling in the framing, and eventually cracks in the finished walls and ceilings. Consequently, it is imperative that the excavation site not only be properly dug out, but also backfilled with crushed stone and sand to provide for a stable base and to enable proper drainage underneath and around the home. In my case I had the excavator dig out sufficiently to enable 18” of crushed stone to be backfilled into the hole and still meet my foundation plan requirements.

Once the site was prepared for concrete, the foundation crew installed concrete footings 18” wide and 12” deep. In addition they installed several cement footings in the middle of the house footprint for lally columns. The footings represent the base of the home and support the concrete foundation walls and the home itself. Due to the fact that it was winter, Calcium Chloride was used as an accelerator to speed the curing time of the concrete. In addition water had pooled in a portion of the hole, so constant pumping was necessary during the curing time.

After a couple of days, the foundation crew installed forms for the concrete walls. A day later the foundation walls were poured. Three days later the forms were removed and the foundation walls were in. I then had my excavator subcontractor return. After tarring the outer walls, just up to the level of where the finished grade would be, he installed a perimeter drain around the foundation and then backfilled the foundation with clean sand and fill. It is important that boulders and clay not be used as backfill material. Boulders can crack the foundation walls while being pushed into place, and clay can lead to improper drainage around the home.

With the foundation in and backfilled I was ready for framers.

The Framing Stage

The framing stage is probably the most exciting part of building a home. In a relatively short period of time, literally days, a house begins to take real form. Within less than a week knee walls were up, floor joists were installed and a plywood sub-floor was down. After a couple of weeks, the first floor walls were up and ceiling joists were being installed. I was so impressed I was convinced my new home was a month ahead of schedule. Boy was I wrong.

Before I elaborate on my misconception I should jump back for a minute. While the excavation work went on, I was also engaged with the Framing subcontractor. The Framing subcontractor needed to order framing material including lumber, doors and windows, shingles and siding. Inevitably there were issues with the availability of material and delivery dates, and as a result, we spent a fair amount of time resolving these issues. Fortunately, due to constant communication and quick problem solving we were able to have the initial delivery of lumber arrive on the site within a day after the backfilling of the foundation.

It is important to note, that it is at this time of the project that the large outlays of money begin to occur. Lumber costs for a home construction are quite large, and final payments are due to the Excavator and Foundation subcontractors. Excavation/Sitework and Foundation installations are a significant portion of the cost of building a home. In addition, the Framing subcontractor requires a portion of his labor to be paid in advance.

Also, it is very important that Homeowner Construction Insurance be obtained prior to the construction phase. This insurance protects the Homeowner/Builder against material theft and job injuries. All of your subcontractors and their employees should be insured but don’t count on it. During any building project, subcontractors are bound to hire extra help for short stints and I would be surprised if these temporary employees were added to the subcontractor’s insurance policy. The homeowner/builder insurance policy is small change compared to the risk of theft or the threat of injury lawsuits.

As I indicated earlier, I was in for a surprise with the framing phase of my home. As mentioned, the initial framing moved quickly. However it was still winter and frequent snow storms and extremely cold weather began to hit. This dramatically slowed progress. In addition, with the fresh supply of snow it quickly became apparent that my framing crew had an affinity to snowmobiling. So even on the sunny days my framing crew was frequently absent. No matter my level of complaining or prodding I was unable to control my framing subcontractor’s work ethic.

Consequently, I had to contact my plumbing, electric, and fireplace subcontractors to inform them of the delay. This was extremely painful to have to do, as I had no definitive date on when I would actually need them and each of them had very full calendars. As a result, to be able to call them at the last minute and expect for them to drop what they were doing to come to work on my project was highly unlikely. Again, through regular communication with these other subcontractors I was able to mitigate some of this problem, however my project did experience significant schedule slips due to my framing crews shenanigans.

In retrospect, I am not sure what I could have done to have prevented this problem. Reference checks on the Framing subcontractor had been positive. I guess I should have asked what his hobbies were and made sure they did not correspond to the season I wanted the work done. It is also a fact that unexpected things do happen on any project and one should expect it and plan accordingly. For example, put some contingency dollars and schedule into your project for events such as mine. Also, I can not stress enough to establish a rapport and regular communication channel with all of your subcontractors. Do not assume anything during a project of this size.

To Be Continued ….

In Part 3 of “Build Your Dream House”, the Framing continues and Rough Electric and Plumbing begin. Stay tuned next week……………

About The Author

Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit http://www.homeadditionplus.com and http://www.homeaddition.blogspot.com.



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Easy Drywall Repair a typical home improvement

An easy way to repair holes in drywall. With this method of repair no nails/screws wood required!do it youself and save dollars!



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Build Your Dream Home - Part 1 of 3

by: Mark J. Donovan

For most of my adult life I had thought about someday building my Dream Home. Several years ago I finally got the chance. I had purchased a lake front lot with a small cottage on it. My initial intention was to use the property “as is”, and someday raze the old cottage and build a new home in its place. After a couple of weekends in the musty old camp I came to the conclusion that I needed to speed up my timetable.

Part of the dream in building my own home was to act as the General Contractor and to personally supply a great deal of sweat equity. I accomplished both of these goals, however it was not easy. There were many roadblocks and bends in the road along the way. In the subsequent parts of this chronology, I will review my experiences in hopes that others may gain from my experiences.

Determining the Home Style and Size

After making the decision to raze the cottage and build a new home, I had to first determine what type and size of home to build. My lot was limited in size and required careful planning to ensure that I would meet all of the setbacks governed by the town I lived in. Although I had these concerns, I decided to forgo the Architect route. I deemed it too expensive and probably not necessary for the style of home I wanted to build. Instead I picked up a handful of Home Plan magazines and surfed the internet for home designs. I also picked up an inexpensive software package for designing homes and floorplans. After a week of reviewing home plans, I found one that met most of my requirements in terms of a floorplan. The footprint was smaller than I wanted, but I concluded that I could redraw the floor plan accordingly using my newly purchased

Home Design Software Package.

The Home Design Software package was not as simple to use as the instruction manual implied, however after a couple of weeks I had a floorplan with all the dimensional information.

Assuming the role as the General Contractor

As I had indicated earlier, one of my goals was to assume the role as General Contractor on this project. I quickly learned that banks frown upon lending construction mortgages to everyday homeowners and to folks who have little professional building experience. I got around this issue by deciding not to use the banks for financing. However, from what I learned later, it may have been possible for me to assume a construction mortgage if I had quit my day job and applied for the loan as a “full time General Contractor”. Indeed, I would have needed to complete a full proposal to the bank with all costs and subcontractors identified, but this is necessary anyways.

As the General Contractor I developed a build schedule and task list. Some of the top items included: Identifying subcontractors, pulling permits, and having a septic design approved.

Carefully Pick your Sub-Contractors

Identifying the right subcontractors is the most important task a General Contractor performs. Poor selection of subcontractors can lead to delays in schedules, cost overruns, poor workmanship and strife between the various subcontractors on the job. Prior to hiring subcontractors, it is important to visit their current jobsites. Review their work on existing jobsites and mingle with the other subs to judge the working relationship. In addition get two or three reference checks on the subcontractors. If there are poor workmanship, personality issues, or references move on. Do not settle for second rate subs, even if it means slipping your schedule or costs goals, as you will more than likely suffer even larger schedule slips or higher costs by hiring the wrong people.

Pulling Permits

Once you have selected and hired your excavator, chief framer, and foundation company, review with them your plans. Make sure you walk the site with them, and carefully stake out the house footprint, paying careful attention to lot setbacks, septic tanks, leach fields and well location. Once all are agreed upon with the house plans and the location of the home, contact the building inspector and review with him/her your plans. You will need to submit a very thorough package to the building inspector prior to getting approval. There are frequently town and state forms that need to be filled out regarding wetlands, and home thermal analysis. In addition, detailed engineering drawings of the proposed home may be required. In my case the Framer was able to assist in developing additional sketches of the house plan to ensure structural compliance to local, state and federal building codes. If I had used the initial home plans I had obtained, those would have been sufficient. I also could have contacted an architect with my selected plans to provide additional details, however it was not necessary in my case.

After about a week and several hundred dollars later I had the permit to build a new home.

Septic Design

My home required its own septic system on site. As a result, I required a septic design and an associated permit for the new home. I recommend pursuing this as early as possible in any new home project as this can take up to 2-3 months to complete as both town and state approvals are required, not to mention site and engineering work.

Without knowing exactly where the septic system and tank will reside, it may be difficult to locate the exact position of the home and in many cases the building inspector may not approve the building permit until the septic design permit has been obtained. I was fortunate in that the property already had a small septic system on the lot, so the building inspector gave me approval. I was at financial risk, however, in the event the new septic design was not approved or needed to be repositioned from the proposed location. Fortunately that was not the case and I was able to move forward on razing the cottage and beginning site work.

To Be Continued ….

In Part 2 of “Build Your Dream House”, I will cover razing an existing building, performing site prep work, and pouring foundation walls. Stay tuned next week

About The Author

Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit http://www.homeadditionplus.com and http://www.homeaddition.blogspot.com.



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Use a Rivet Gun



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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Caring for Your Plants

by: Janeth Duque

One of the best things you can do to save money on your landscape is to properly care for your plants. This is very important to keeping a healthy yard and an attractive landscape. If you properly care for your plants, you will save money in maintenance costs, and you will save money in having to replace plants that succumb to disease or other problems associated with poor care. Caring for your plants is not only good for the plants, but it is also good for you. You can get good exercise, escape from the stale air of your home, and get a little bit closer to nature. Not only do these things have positive physical benefits, but they have mental and emotional benefits as well. When you care for your plants you are saving money, helping your over all well being, and preserving a beautiful landscape.

Keeping your soil in good condition is essential for the care of your plants, whether the plants are part of the lawn, or whether they are trees or flowers. Having good soil is essential, as good soil provides nutrients to the plants and also offers moisture, as good soil preserves water and can act as a reservoir of moisture. Keeping your soil healthy is the beginning of caring for your plants. You can keep the soil healthy in a number of ways. Check the acid and alkali contents and make sure that they remain at levels that are good for your plants.

Also, it is a good idea to add organic material to your soil at least once a year. Using organic mulch is a good way to keep your soil in good shape. In shrub and flowerbeds, and around trees, wood chips can help the soil retain moisture and they will break own and provide nutrients as well. Reducing compaction is also important, as it allows air down into the soil and frees up room for beneficial organisms like earthworms. There is also more room for the roots to grow (any kind of roots — grass, tree, flower, etc.), giving them a firmer foundation and better health. Annual aeration will help your grass and the trees and shrubs that you have planted on your lawn. Turning the soil each year and adding special potting soil to the garden and flowerbeds at fall planting can also help.

Efficient watering techniques are also very helpful with plant care. These techniques include things like watering deeply and not terribly often. For the most part, people water their lawns too frequently. This keeps the roots shallow (shallow roots mean less healthy grass) and much of the water either runs off or evaporates. Watering in the early morning (before 10) and in the evening (after 6) can reduce losses to evaporation and increase the amount of water that is actually absorbed into the soil. When watering flowerbeds and trees and shrubs, make sure that rather than simply letting a sprinkler run, you take care to use the hose to water deeply. For established plants, there is no need to water more than once a week. Even the lawn does not need to be watered more than once or twice a week. This type of watering schedule forces the roots to go deeper into the soil, looking for moisture and creating healthier plants that are more tolerant of drought conditions.

Other good care practices include pruning woody plants and inspecting for pests and diseases. Not only does this help with the health of the plants, but it also contributes to their attractiveness. You can help your plants look fuller (especially evergreen shrubs) by pruning yearly. Blossoming plants also benefit from such care, as they will have more blooms when properly pruned. Additionally, when you inspect regularly for pests and diseases, you can catch problems before they get out of hand. You can properly treat the issue as needed, and save time and money in replacing the plants later.

While many people make use of fertilizers, pesticides, and weed killers, these are not necessarily essential for good plant care. It is true that these chemicals can contribute to the health and the look of your landscape, but if they are used improperly they can also cause damage. Make sure that you carefully read the instructions in full before applying any such product. Then, make sure you fallow the directions exactly. Too much of these chemicals can actually harm your plants.

About The Author

Janeth Duque of Geeks On Steroids. Janeth is well-known in the world of web design and search engine optimization.

Web Site: Geeks on Steroids

View their website at: http://www.geeksonsteroids.com

janeth@geeksonsteroids.com



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Feng Shui In The Home



by: Andrew Jones

The Feng Shui masters have provided you with the technical know-how for evaluating your home. Implementing the Feng Shui Design - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/feng-shui-design.php and cures in your home has a profound effect on your life. Based on the ancient knowledge and practices, Feng Shui - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/spiritual-feng-shui.php is a spiritual way of life that helps you to imbibe the positive forces of the universe. All the spiritual principles of the Feng Shui also have a strong scientific foundation underlying it.

When you first start looking around spaces in your home you would not be in a position to decide what changes to make, or there can be many areas that you might wish to change; especially if you live in a larger house. But when you let Feng Shui in the home it only tells you where to start, it also tells you the significance of doing so. Bringing Feng Shui in the home design is just not about making physical changes, it is about giving significance to each and every object in your home so that it has positive effect (or positive Chi as it is called in Feng Shui) that particular space, your home and off course your life.

A Feng Shui house is a house where all the objects are in perfect harmony to each other whether we talk about the Feng Shui Elements contained in them or the particular colors that have been used to enhance the space. The Feng Shui is about balancing energies, of animate with inanimate and that of the soul with that of the universe, so that you get the positive energies of the universe flowing through the entire spaces in your house.

Believe it or not, every single household or decorative object in your home is just as imbued with life energy as the natural wonders beyond your front door and it has a scientific basis for it.

Bringing Feng Shui in the home does not ask you to throw out all your furniture, renovate your home, or move to new living quarters as you may have perceived the Feng Shui would lead you to. In quintessence to The Spiritual Feng Shui such upheaval could actually create turmoil rather than correcting imbalanced energies. Similarly trying to fix everything at once is a recipe for confusion and chaos, because in that case you will be throwing the relationships between objects out of whack.

Remember, Feng Shui is all about the connections and energy flow between objects and people, so proceed gradually, in stages, testing out how each small change influences the Chi of the space. Before practicing Feng Shui in your home try to understand its principles, its essence and most importantly its spiritual nature; then and only then you can envision and bring about the specific changes in the objects, environment and quality of life that you desire.

Each area of your life (health, reputation, family, travel, and so on) is strongly associated with various parts of your home. These associations may be determined using the bagua map.

The beauty of Feng Shui is that it suddenly makes visible to us all these things in our home or home design that we have been living with for years, and that have gone unnoticed. We tend to get tunnel vision, so that we are accustomed to our way of life and don’t see how it could be any different. But when we view our homes through the lens of Feng Shui, we begin to see the ways in which our surroundings, different objects or the clutter in our house are placing a burden on our spirits. The Feng Shui helps us to be able to identify and pinpoint specific areas in our home that have been letting us down. The spiritual Feng Shui opens our spirit to the whole universe and we learn to recognize elements that have remained invisible to us for so long.

A Feng Shui house is a house where any change that you make, any cure you introduce into your home or home design is a conscious and deliberate (and well thought out) action that you have taken specifically with the intent of improving your life. It is important know that Feng Shui in home works only when the practitioner puts full mindfulness into each task along the way. A careful Feng Shui Study - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/feng-shui-study.php

Before making any changes in the home design the Feng Shui beginners have to first know about the various Feng Shui Elements - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/feng-shui-elements.php, Feng Shui Color - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/feng-shui-color.php and then start practicing Feng Shui in the home design.

When you get the insight into what is Feng Shui - http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/what-is-feng-shui.php you are able to balance the negative energies of the elements that may be present in the objects of your home with using Feng Shui in home design. Similarly practicing Feng Shui in home using color and other enhancement allows the positive Chi to flow through your home and let you have a better and happier life.

About The Author

Andrew Jones is an expert author on Feng Shui related topics. For Details visit Feng Shui in the home : http://www.thespiritualfengshui.com/feng-shui-in-home.php

andrew@orientinfosolutions.com


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How A Filterless Air Purifier Works

by: Ken Morris

If you watch television late at night, you are probably familiar with a filterless air purifier called the Ionic Breeze. These systems have benefits and drawbacks. Lately, there has been some controversy over their safety. Some consider them to be unsafe, while others swear by the results.

How a Filterless Air Purifiers Work

A filterless purifier works by giving the incoming air an electrostatic charge. This charge also charges particles in the air. The air is then moved past an oppositely charged collection grid. The impurities in the air are attracted to the grid, like a magnet. The grid must be removed periodically and cleaned of the impurities. This is easily done with a damp cloth. Once the grid is completely dry, replace it and turn the machine back on. These systems can be installed on a forced air heating system to treat the whole house, or can be purchased in portable units.

This process creates ozone in the air. If you have been outside after a thunderstorm, you have smelled natural ozone in the air. These systems clean the air the way nature cleans the outdoor air.

However, some feel the ozone that is created can be a health hazard, particularly if it is highly concentrated. If you are using a portable air cleaner, be sure it isn’t too big for the room in which it is being used. The square footage is listed on the box and in the owner’s manual. Another option is to run it for a while and then turn it off before using the room.

Benefits of a Filterless Air Purifier

There are no filters to change with this type of purification system. Replacement filters can be expensive and not having one saves money in the long run.

They use a collection grid to collect impurities, rather than a filter. The impurities stick to the grid and are wiped off with a damp cloth. Once the grid is clean and dry, place it back in the machine and turn it on.

The filtration process leaves a fresh smsell in the air that many people find vitalizing. You won’t need to use air fresheners with these systems.

They are nearly silent when running. This is great for night time use. Some air purification systems can be very noisy and may need to be turned off at night.

Drawbacks of Filterless Air Purifiers

The safety of these filtration systems was called into question a few years ago when Consumer Reports gave the Ionic Breeze a bad review and called it hazardous. The reason is the ozone that is a by product of the purification process. Ozone is a pollutant and can be irritating to people with asthma or other respiratory disorders. Sharper Image responded by adding a component called “Ozone Guard” which is said to convert most of the ozone into oxygen. On a later review, Consumer Reports still gave the machine low marks, but said the ozone output is now in acceptable levels.

These systems are more expensive than other air purifiers. However, when you add in the cost of replacement filters, this price difference diminishes over time.

The collection grid must be cleaned frequently. If it isn’t clean, it won’t work. The frequency depends on the number of impurities in the air. Homes with pets, smokers, a lot of dust, etc, will need more frequent cleaning.

About The Author

Ken Morris releases many articles for http://www.air-purifier-and-cleaner-guide.com. Amongst his works he is featuring http://www.air-purifier-and-cleaner-guide.com/filterless-air-purifier.html and air cleaner.



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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Repair Holes in Drywall for Home Improvement



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Water Damage in the Kitchen


by: Terry Allen

The kitchen is often neglected even though it is often cleaned and warning signs of excess moisture and impending water damage are overlooked. Inspecting the following moisture sources will help in preventing damage where it is likely to happen

Refrigerator

The area behind the refrigerator is hardly ever inspected because it is relatively hard to reach. Inspecting this area will reduce the chance for water problems. water behind the refrigerator is a sign. Do not ignore it, fix immediately or hire an appliance technician. If you detect mold growth, clean it immediately. Locate the moisture and fix it. If you have an icemaker, check the hose to make sure it is sealed and attached to the water supply.

Sink and Countertop

The sink and countertop are highly watered areas in the house. Check regularly under the sink and remove the trash can and other stored items to search for leaks. A drip in the trap under the sink means drain problems and must be repaired fast. Look around the sink, slow draining pipes indicate a blocked drain. A dripping faucet must me repaired promptly. Pay attention to the countertop. If tiles are cracked or grout is missing, fix it to prevent water from pervading. Stained walls and floors around pipes indicate an internal leak that must be fixed to prevent additional damage.

Dishwasher

If the dishwasher doesn’t empty after use, the main filter may be blocked and must be released promptly. When the sink overflows, it is usually due to back-ups. This problem usually occurs when the drain line is clogged. Clean the drain line regularly. Look under the base of the dishwasher for leaks. If you find any leaks, there could be an unsealed joint or a damaged hose. Check the connection and fix as needed. Check the dishwasher hose under the sink for signs of leakage and fix if necessary. Consider installing steel-braided hoses on appliances such as the dishwasher.

For more information visit www.RestorationSOS.com

Free guides are available

About The Author

Terry Allen is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS™, a leading restoration services provider for water and fire damages.

To learn more about water and fire damage restoration, visit http://restorationsos.com.

terrya@restorationsos.com



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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Your Home Protective Coatings

by: Jeff Martin

There are several areas of your home that suffer from extensive damage, whether it is due to poor weather, physical damage or simply because of old age. Protective coatings are a great way to help these areas remain durable and resistant against negative elements. One of the most delicate surfaces around your home is the driveway and garage floor. You can use some tough protective coatings to protect such spaces – simply brush or roll the coating in an easy but effective action that will protect your driveway from all sorts of damage. For concrete floors, choose a high quality epoxy coating – this is an excellent addition to the floor’s structure because it soaks in and becomes part of the concrete matrix. High chemical and fuel resistance also recommends such coatings for garages and workshops. Most top grade protective coatings are engineered to self level and have different characteristics such as being resistant to chemicals, spilled fuel, brake fluid and acids, is impact resistant to 500 PSI, heat resistant to 350 + degrees, color-fast, non-chalking and resists cracking, chipping and peeling.

Due to recent advancements, several top class products appeared on the protective coatings market. Choosing a silicone based epoxy ester single component epoxy product, for example, will guarantee excellent resistance and unsurpassed flexibility, two very desirable elements of any coating system. Such products are reinforced with alkyd and urethane, two special components that augment the qualities of the protective coating. The interesting thing about such a waterproof floor coating is that it is the same product used on aircraft carriers. This means that, originally, it was designed to withstand extreme damage, such as jet fighter landings and take offs, fuel leaks, flaming jet exhausts and so on. Imagine how resistant such a protective coating would be on your driveway!

Epoxy coatings are also used in protecting other materials, such as wood, concrete, metal, fiberglass… and the list goes on. Not only do they do their job with military precision, these epoxy coatings are also lead-free, making them safe for the environment. When they dry, the protective coatings are completely harmless and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about your pets or children. You can top the coating with a clear finish, especially if you purchase one with UV inhibitors that guarantee a long life. Such a finish would make the protected surface look even better than it originally did, plus with the extra protection it brings. When properly applied, such protective coatings do not chip or break and most good manufacturers and retailers offer guarantees that extend up to 5 years.

About The Author

Jeff Martin writes articles for many well known newspapers and is currently writing a book that is set to be released at the end of March 2006.

support@blackwoodproductions.com



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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Your Home Bar Furniture



by: Sari El-Dajjani

Looking for stylish bar furniture for your home? This article will provide you with information on picking the right barstools and bar table for your home.

Need home decorating advice? Looking for stylish bar furniture for your home? Then you have come to the right place. The addition of bar furniture in homes is becoming more frequent. Everyday people are looking for bar furniture to buy so they can add more fashion to their homes. What can bar furniture do for you? It could be a place where you can take a break from everything and relax with friends and family and enjoy a drink. Having bar furniture in your house, you will be able to entertain friends and guests more easily. Socializing becomes more fun, especially with a great bar table and relaxing bar stools for everyone to enjoy. The sheer beauty of bar furniture with stylish glassware and spirits will add class to your home for the holidays. Imagine stirring a martini in your home with the look of bottles and glassware all lined up on your bar table! Buying the right bar furniture for your home, will definitely keep you and your family entertained this Holiday Season. It would be perfect for the kitchen counter, the family room, game room or anywhere you desire.

How do you pick the right bar table and barstools for your home? Well, the size and the design of the bar furniture you are looking for should depend on the available space you have at home and the budget you want to spend on your bar furniture. If your looking for something simple, then a bar table with a couple of barstools would be sufficient. A bar table and a couple of barstools are not very expensive and they would make a great addition to your home. But how do you pick the right bar furniture? You can choose from contemporary, chrome, swivel, metal and more. What’s important is that it fits with the overall decor of your home. If you decide to set up your bar in the living room, then make sure that the bar table and the barstools don’t change the whole design of your living room. There are also several colors and styles to choose from, so finding the right one won’t be a problem. You just need to decide which style fits your home best.

Let me first start with the contemporary bar furniture. Contemporary bar furniture will add a modern look to you home because they are sleek and stylish. Usually contemporary designs can fit with the existing decoration of your home very easily too. Another advantage to contemporary bar furniture is that they are very easy to clean and because of the aluminum or chrome design, they always look good. So if you’re looking for something that is stylish and comfortable, then contemporary barstools and a bar table would be the right choice for you. Contemporary bar furniture will give your home an exciting and appealing look, creating a great atmosphere for the holidays.

What kind of barstools would one recommend? I would highly recommend swivel barstools because of their decorative element and sense of style. Swivel barstools are great for homes because they have a swivel mechanism in their design that allows for one to save on space by allowing the person to sit and turn in the stool very easily. They are lightweight, practical and durable. They are also built of the highest quality of metal and fabrics and best of all they are inexpensive when compared with our barstools. Finally height adjustable stools allows you to set the size you need. This way the adjustable stool can be converted from table height to bar height very easily. So if you need another seat at the table, you can easily adjust the barstool. Our Modern Barstool is a swivel barstool made of a chrome base, and a metal footrest. This barstool is ideal for your bar, kitchen, counter or table and is easily adjusted. We also carry the bar chair, contoured barstool, high back barstool, and L barstool. All our barstools are swivel barstools built to add joy and comfort to your homes. They also come in a variety of colors to choose form. So finding the right swivel barstool won’t be a problem.

What kind of bar table should one order? Since individual preferences differ, it is highly recommended that one measure the space available before ordering or deciding on a certain style. According to One Way Furniture, it is usually most comfortable to have between 9 to 13 inches of leg room space between your barstool and the height of the bar table. There are a variety of bar tables to choose from when shopping for bar furniture. We carry the modern bar tables that are sure to spice up any room. The mirror finish chromed metal base and high gloss tabletop enhance its beauty, making it perfect for game rooms, the bar, the kitchen or anywhere else you can imagine. If your looking for a bar table that will set your home apart with style, then the modern bar table is the right choice. The table is contemporary, versatile and sophisticated.

Our barstools and bar tables are innovative and stylish. The swivel barstool has an adjustable gas piston that allows you to adjust your seat easily. They also are available in several colors, so you can mix and match when picking out your bar furniture. Our modern bar tables will set your home apart by adding style and elegance to your home. Throughout our site, you will find a large selection of barstools and a couple of bar tables to compliment your home. Currently, our web site is running a promotion for the holidays. Buy a bar table with 2 barstools and save $50 off your purchase. Visit the special’s page for more information. If you do not find what you are looking for on our site, then shop around to constantly compare prices, in order to find the best deal. Good luck!

http://www.coconutzhomeandgarden.com

About The Author

My name is Sari El-Dajjani, marketing director for Coconutz Home and Garden, your source for inexpensive home and garden products from around the world at reasonable prices. I currently live in Orlando, Florida.

coconutzhomeandgarden@hotmail.com



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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thanksgiving, A Time For Gratitude And Giving


by: Jeanette Joy Fisher

Get new holiday decorating ideas for Thanksgiving and Autumn. Start a new family tradition. Your home will look fabulous and your guests will love you.

Turkey and Cranberries! Yeah!

Before you dig into that turkey, take a moment for each person to say one sentence beginning with...

"Today, I am grateful for..."

You will be surprised at what children say, so keep a notebook handy to write down the gratitudes, or, better yet, record the event.

Thanksgiving Decorating Tips

"Welcome to Our Home" Ideas

Holiday decorating isn't just for Christmas! Door wreaths welcome all to your home and set the stage for celebrating. Make a simple wreath to hang on your front door with Thanksgiving colors--brown, russet, olive green. Use tree branches from your garden; attach a few gourds, nuts, and ribbons.

Place a gorgeous mum by your front door. You can plant it later and get flowers next Thanksgiving to use inside. It just takes one bright spot near your front door to attract the eye of arriving guests.

Wrap your front door with gift wrap appropriate to Thanksgiving.

Make a "welcome to our home" banner. Add your ribbons and fall leaves.

Group vines, pumpkins, and mums for display impact near the front entrance. Adjust the vines to add height and movement.

Fall Leaves make great interior and exterior decorations. Be sure to hose off any bugs!

Interior Holiday Decorating Tips

Tie ribbons around your candle bases and around your floral arrangements.

Set fall-color leaves under your decorations. Safety Tip: Keep leaves separated from melting candle wax.

Extend your flower arrangements with fall tree branches. Just one flower package makes a huge impact when you divide and spread it around.

Use copper, bronze, and gold spray paint to dress up plain gourds. Fill a glass or crystal bowl with the gourds, oranges, and nuts.

Display vegetables and mini pumpkins on a tray. Fill in any gaps with fall leaves, moss, straw, or wheat.

If orange clashes with your home's interior, use green apples and spray paint the mini-pumpkins.

Did I already say leaves? Here's another way to add fall color: Place the leaves in your green potted-plants.

One beautiful way to kick off your holiday season: Wrap tiny gifts in gold foil; top off with brown and russet ribbons, and place the gifts on the dinner plate. Your table will look fabulous and your guests will love the thought.

Happy Thanksgiving!


© Jeanette Fisher


About The Author


Jeanette Joy Fisher


Free holiday decorating teleclass "Interior Design Secrets to Glorious Holiday Decorating" and more holiday decorating tips: Joy Holidays Decorating http://JoyHolidays.com



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Holiday Decorating Tips: Christmas Candles

by: Jeanette Joy Fisher

How to Light Up Your Home for Joy

Do you love the winter holiday season or does this time of year cause you stress? One way to lower your holiday stress, using fewer decorations, decreases your "just have to much to do" list.

However, you still want to display Christmas candles because these decorations bring smiles to you and your loved ones. As days grow shorter and cooler and the suns sets earlier, people naturally crave the warmth and comfort of light, especially natural sources such as a bonfire or the flame of a Christmas candle.

Christmas Candle Tips

Luminaries

Save your energy and your money. You don't need to line your entire sidewalk with luminaries. Get a similar effect with four large candles in clear glass containers near your front door. These glowing candles will welcome your guests without all the work of gathering bags, buying votive candles that just burn up fast, and shoveling all that sand.

Window Candles

Many cultural holiday traditions include placing a lighted candle in front windows to be seen from the outside. Pamper yourself. Place a candle in any dark window at night. Rather than peering into a dark void, you'll focus on the cheerful flame and feel comforted and uplifted.

Gift Yourself

Create a nightly quiet ritual for yourself in a quiet place away from distractions and the hustle of the holidays. Place candles around your bathtub and unwind, or by your favorite reading chair and instead of reading sit in the quiet and reflect upon the brightness of a single candlelight. Listen to quiet music or simply enjoy the peace and stillness. Ponder the joys in your life and express gratitude. This quiet time may be your most treasured gift to yourself.

Candlelight Carol-Sing

Recycle last year's greeting cards by cutting each into a disk or rounding the edges, punch a hole in the center, and slide a taper candle half-way through the hole. Gather your friends and family around the piano or hearth and sing familiar Christmas carols as each person holds their own candlelight. Pause to reflect upon the fact that each individual brings their own special light to the world and recognize the common spiritual light in each of us.

Candle Night-Night

When it's time to settle the children down to bed on Christmas Eve, calm them with a soothing candlelight ritual. My daughter’s children walk to bed, each carefully carrying a lighted candle through a dark hallway, singing "Silent Night."


Happy Holidays!


© Jeanette Fisher


About The Author


Jeanette Joy Fisher


Free holiday decorating ideas teleclass, "Interior Design Secrets to Glorious Holiday Decorating" and more holiday decorating tips Joy Holidays Decorating http://JoyHolidays.com.



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pool Table Lights Guide


by: Richard Aubin

The proper pool table lights is critical to playing your best game of pool. The ideal pool table light fixture is attractive, unobtrusive, and provides just enough illumination without creating a glare. Choosing the right pool table lights for your home need not be difficult. Just keep a few points in mind.

The Best Pool Table Lights for the Job

The most effective pool table lights cover the entire length of the table. Measure your pool table before you start shopping. The majority of pool table lights fixtures available have multiple globes in order to direct several points of light at the table, usually two, three, or four globes. Multiple globes on your pool table lights fixture also help to eliminate any glare. Some fixtures contain multiple globes within one larger fixture.

Traditional vs. Contemporary Pool Table Lights

Pool table lights come in a wide variety of styles and finishes. Traditional, Victorian, Tiffany-style lights are popular pool table lights. These fixtures, modeled after designs by the famous glass artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany, are made of small panes of glass joined with lead piping. These colorful glass pieces are put together to form all manner of designs, logos, and slogans.

Tiffany-style pool table lights are available in one long shade with several bulbs inside the globe or in multiple shades along a single, metal bar. They may be elaborate, multi-color showpieces or relatively simple, one-color pool table lights fixtures.

Other traditional fixtures of pool table lights come in black or brown wrought-iron fixture with alabaster glass shades. Most often the pool table lights fixture is crafted into a scrolled design with multiple glass shades. This style of light fixture is also widely available in bronze, brushed pewter, and brass finishes. pool table lights made from ooden fixtures, too, can lend a warm and homey touch to your poolroom.

Contemporary pool table lights can give your room a clean, sleek, modern look. Bar pool table lights in chrome and brass with simple, smoked glass shades can create such a look. Some pool table light fixtures insert a vibrant touch by adding green, red, and blue colored glass shades.

Something a Little Different

Customize your pool table lights by adding a college or professional sports logo. Tiffany-style lights often incorporate the logo into the glass motif whereas solid glass shades can be etched with your favorite team’s logo. Cheer on the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame, the Colorado “Avalanche” Hockey team, or the New England “Patriots” right from your recreation room.

Military logos are also popular designs for pool table lights. The Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force insignia are all available, both in Tiffany lights and in solid etched glass shades. Also consider “Jack Daniels” logo pool table lights or perhaps one with the “Harley Davidson” logo.

The Technical Stuff

Installing your pool table lights should be relatively easy for the weekend home remodeler. There must be a secure place onto which to mount your pool table light fixture and that it has its own separate electrical box. As with any electrical project, turn off the electrical current before you start working on mounting your pool table lights.

The correct light bulbs go a long way to ensuring your pool table lights fixture is safe as well as creating the right mood. 60-watt bulbs are recommended although some of the pool table lights with multiple shades might look better with 40-watt bulbs instead.

Where to Shop

The Internet has made shopping for pool table lights much easier. A typical search yields hundreds of online retailers of pool table lights. Browse through thousands of pool table lights, right in the privacy of your home. Many Web merchants even offer free shipping and live online customer service. Expect to pay from $150 for simple bar pool table lights to over $1000 for an elaborate Tiffany-style light fixture.

The right pool table lights can give your poolroom that ambiance of casual elegance or rustic charm that you desire as well as providing the lighting necessary to play your best game of pool. Shop carefully; consider all your options, and you’ll enjoy your pool table lights fixture for many years to come.

About The Author

Richard Aubin runs and maintains the Kicking And Banking Secrets website. You'll find free video previews and information on a complete home study course for diamond systems mastery. Visit http://kickingandbankingsecrets.com for more details.



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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Purchase the Wrong Bathroom Vanity - 10 Ways



by: Bob Williams

The bathroom vanity is the sink-cabinet-mirror combination. It's the showpiece of your bathroom. Here are ten things to avoid when choosing a vanity...you might be surprised.

You are redoing your bathroom and there are a zillion details. After getting lost in the practicalities, you stop for break. Something catches your attention. You take a careful look at the new mirror you've just installed. You notice that you're looking straight at...your chin. You wonder if they delivered the wrong size. Then you remember that you were sitting in a chair at the showroom when you decided that this was your dream come true. Why didn't you think to check if you could use it as well standing up?

Choosing the Floor Model's Sizing.

Many, maybe most people choose style and design without considering height. Height is often a more important element of the vanity for daily use. The common 30 inch size bathroom counter is just not optimum for people over 63 inches tall. However, vanity size is not at all standard. Some floor models are even lower than the usual 30 inches which might be ignored in the quest for the perfect design. Such a decision means you may end up having to bend down to wash your hands. This is only poor planning and completely avoidable.

Just remember that the height of the sinks, mirrors and cabinets should be customized to their users, according to their actual size. Not that they have to be custom made. Customized only means chosen to fit the bathroom at a user friendly height. If it takes going to 6 stores to browse, do it. Drive the salespeople crazy with your questions. If what you want is not there, ask to see more.

If you can't find a vanity according to your proportions, don't give up. Even kitchen cabinets might provide workable alternatives if bathroom cabinet selection is limited. And don't be afraid to improvise.

For instance, if you are a tall family and the style you love only comes in 33-inch size, create simple inexpensive solutions, such as installing 2 or 3 inch glass bricks under the cabinets to add height. One designer suggests wiring in fluorescent lighting behind the glass bricks for an extra special finish.

The same lesson can be applied to shower doors, spigots, towel racks, tubs, etc... Decide if you need taller, shorter, wider, or longer. Remember also that two heights are better than one if you have the space to accommodate users of different proportions.

Buying For Looks Not Function.

You're a guest at a friend's house in the Pocono's for the weekend. You're in the bathroom and you need a towel. You check to see if a fresh towel is in the cabinet and... Oh no! The cabinet handle comes off in your hand! The cabinet door didn't open because it's not there. It's an imitation cabinet just for show, hiding the plumbing.

While standing there holding the handle in your hand along with some of the veneer board it was screwed into, you look at the stylish row of drawer handles. Maybe one opens all or maybe none open at all. You're afraid to guess. Isn't there some kind of truth-in-labeling rule that applies even in the bathroom? This type of cabinet is an economy choice and is often used in industrial settings such as hotels and office buildings. Its dubious charm has become passe;. However, the style is still frequently seen in trade journals and must have a market somewhere.

If you are going to the expense and bother to replace your bathroom sinks and cabinets, choose a vanity that has storage space, not just a plumbing camouflage. If you really don't want cabinets, put in a pedestal sink or a wall hung sink. The general rule is don't try to fake it. It could be embarrassing.

Settling For Less.

Maybe you want a stone counter over your vanity instead of the traditional laminate finish but you don't have the extra money for stone? Install it yourself using the best local home improvement store to take you through the steps. They love to help, so use their expertise. This way you will get the counter you want at a price you can afford. There is always a creative solution to most bathroom design problems. Don't settle for less.

Forgetting to Customize to Floor Plan.

There are only a few standard bathroom shapes. Each type accommodates different styles. Corridor shaped bathrooms look best with all the fixtures on one wall. The L-shaped bathroom is designed for a discreet place for the toilet with the roomiest area reserved for the bath and vanity. The U-shaped bathroom is the most spacious and can fit extra large or customized fixtures in a choice of locations.

There are also other sizes such as small rooms converted to extra large bathrooms. Such a space takes as much extra planning and design as the space needs. Don't just throw in the same fixtures you might use for the standard spaces. Large round or double kidney shaped counters look nice in large bathrooms but are definitely not appropriate for the corridor or L shaped plans.

Losing Out on Details.

Most of us want to make the most of our bathroom space, and hate to feel like a bull in a china closet. Detailing can make the difference. Suppose you have a tiny corner bathroom that you added to your Victorian gingerbread house by eliminating the closet under the eaves. You still want a vanity but the roof slant really limits you space. Create a sweet bathroom which maximizes the confines of the space by installing a giant mirror along the long tall wall at an appropriate angle, i.e. not facing the toilet, over a small colorful sink. Add elaborate rococo corners to the mirror for definition. Corners are much less expensive then frames.

Add a narrow cabinet under the sink, or wire wall units or carve a cabinet into the wall itself to save space. Toothbrush holders and soap holders can also be carved out of the wall. The facing of the cabinet should be in a paintable surface for remodeling ease. Paint the walls white for a feeling of space but if you need color, paint just the ceiling. The large size mirror together with the small sink fools the eye and actually creates the illusion of space. Remodeling such a bathroom is inexpensive as well. Just change the mirror corners, the cabinet facing, the ceiling or border paint, and, if you have extra money, the color of the sink. Buy a white toilet because it goes with everything. Tenacious attention to detail makes the difference in solving complicated design problems.

Using the Wrong Lighting.

Lighting your bathroom is one aspect of design that really needs a thoughtful and creative touch. You've decided on a lavender bathroom off the master bedroom. It's finished and everything looks fabulous. The extra large lavender tub, the lavender toilet, the lavender sink are even nicer than you imagined. The hand painted border around the ceiling is really elegant as well. You've ordered fluorescents for the ceiling and hand-blown sconces in the same lavender shade around the vanity. You are very pleased. You switch on the sconces and look in the mirror. Oh no... Your skin has taken on a brownish purple hue; you look again. You're sure you're not sick. Horrors! It's the lights! Be very careful with your lighting.

In general it is best not to use colored lighting in the bathroom. Think to enhance and soften. There are so many options available to give personality to your bathroom and the choices in style and material are endless. Choose carefully with an eye on ease of maintenance and upkeep. Remember that the cheapest fixtures are often the most difficult to maintain.

Under Budgeting.

A vanity is an expensive bathroom fixture. Expect to pay 600 dollars for a good quality counter top, sink, and faucet. Add to this the cost of your cabinets underneath, which depending on size, materials and customization, could easily cost more plus installation. Don't put your whole budget into other fixtures of the bathroom without saving some for the vanity. It is the focal point of the bathroom and a cheap one will reflect the same. Even if you can't afford anything else, a new vanity will spruce up an entire bathroom. Make sure to match it to any preexisting fixtures you decide to keep.

Awkward Door Swing.

Because bathrooms require special attention to detail, don't neglect the amount of space you need to open and close your vanity cabinet doors. Make sure they can even open at all. Provide at least 30 inches in front of the sink for an average person to get down on the floor and into the cabinets. Keep the toilet at least 14 inches away from the cabinet sides to accommodate door swing. More if you have extra wide doors. If the vanity is installed along a wall near the bathroom door, make sure the door swings away from the sink. A little planning with a tape measure and some thought avoids this nuisance and saves your cabinet doors from unnecessary wear and tear.

Faulty Installation.

You've picked the perfect vanity with beautiful cabinets for the main bathroom in your 8 bedroom Victorian built in 1863. It's ordered and delivered and the contractor is scratching his head. It's not designed for the "wet wall" which is the location of the original plumbing. Extending piping around the inside of walls is not a minor consideration and the cost could outweigh the convenience.

Better to coordinate the sink and vanity fixtures with the rough plumbing. Especially in an older home, where plumbing is always an expensive and tricky business and could even be a recipe for disaster. Try to finesse your exquisite taste around the plumbing that's already there.

Of Course It Fits!

Remember to be exact in measurement and to coordinate everything on paper. You don't want to redesign things in the middle of installation. For instance, be careful to pick the right size sink to match your cabinet, especially if the cabinets are already built-in. Our consultant master carpenter advises that many unexpected costs in installation can be avoided by taking the drafting stage seriously.

Finally, don't wait to find out if your vanity cabinet can actually be put in its place. Measure the path, especially the bathroom door. Your installer may not be prepared or even able to disassemble and rebuild the vanity quickly to get it in place. Our advisor had to laugh remembering how often people measure the bedroom door but not the bathroom door. "It happens all the time," he chuckled.

About The Author

Bob Williams - UncleBobsTips.com offers practical advice so you can save time and money on all of your home improvement projects. http://www.unclebobstips.com/.



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spa Design Floor Plan for relaxing


by: Martin Smith

An architect design floor plan can be found on the internet and in architectural magazines. One set of plans located on the web, Sage Springs Club and Spa, show a luxuriously appointed club and spa. The first floor of this spa/gym has a large luxurious lobby and reception area., a spa and fitness store that sells exercise clothing and various other spa products. Also on level one of this spa are a relaxation lounge, massage therapy rooms, wet room with vicy shower and a pedicure/manicure room.

The second floor of this architectural design spa floor plan has a conditioning room with a glass wall overlooking the tennis court below. This room also has Precor cardio equipment, cybex strength circuit, four screen television theater music channels with wireless headphones. There is also a movement studio for aerobics, yoga and stretch and toning exercises. At every station in this spa, you are treated like royalty. Membership in spas like this are costly, but well wroth the expense.

On the ground level the floor plans show five full size regulation Tennis courts and 3 lane indoor lap pools and spa.

There are lots of floor plans for different spas and gyms available on the internet. Almost all have some of the amenities of Sage Spring Spa and Club but this one had the most interesting floor plan of them all. Before joining an expensive spa or gym, check the ones you are interested in. Compare services, amenities, and prices before you sign anything.

Floor plans for detached condos are laid out similar to a ‘home’ not part of a condo complex. One floor plan for a detached condo in Michigan has a large family room,/dining room area, master bedroom with private bath, small kitchen area with an island, a powder room, and second-floor bedroom. There is also a garage on the first floor. A basement which can be finished has the potential for at least two more bedrooms. Detached condos are ideal for people who don’t have the time or inclination for yard work. It would also be good for elderly people no longer capable of cutting grass or shoveling snow.

About The Author

Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for homebuyers on purchasing a variety House Plans, his articles provide a resource of interesting and relevant information. http://www.1st-4-house-plans.com.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-
improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Solar Cooling - Air Conditioning From the Sun



by: Hans Dekker

At first glance, solar cooling looks like an oxymoron. However, the same energy that can provide heat in the wintertime can also provide cooling during the summer.

Several passive cooling systems have been developed and tested. At their simplest, they rely on a coolant that absorbs and dissipates heat from the house. This could be a pool of water on the rooftop which absorbs seat from the inside of the house as it evaporates on exposure to the sun.

More sophisticated passive solar cooling systems have a solar collector which is shaded during the daytime. A storage medium collects heat during the day and dissipates it at night by exposing the solar collector to the cool night air.

Since the solar collector must be shaded, a retractable awning or overhang extension can be installed. Since the system can be reversed in the winter months, it is important that the solar collector can be exposed to sunshine if needed.

Solar panels can also be used to operate traditional air conditioners. As it happens, the periods of intense heat correspond to the periods of peak electricity production from photovoltaic cells. As long as you have solar panels which generate sufficient to electricity, you can operate air conditioners at no cost.

Solar cooling that does not take advantage of high technology is another possibility. The Romans used a system of running water to cool down exterior walls of their houses. The heat of the sun causes the water to evaporate and dissipate the heat within the house. This kind of system can be used on walls or on rooftops.

Heating and cooling are two of the biggest expenses for most households. Using solar energy to reduce this expense makes sense financially as well as ecologically. The less dependent we are on fossil fuels for heating and cooling the cleaner the environment will be.

About The Author

Hans Dekker is author at http://www.alternative-energy-guide.com/ the energy site for "non techies".

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Prevent Water Damage in the Laundry Room


by: Terry Allen

The washer and drier are usually located in the laundry room and create heat and moisture. Simple maintenance is required to help avoiding water problems and mold.

The Washer

The washer is connected to both cold and hot water lines. Check them frequently. Start with the joints and fix a leak if you find it. Be sure to check both ends of the water lines. Clean or replace the filters once in a while. A blocked filter will slow the water flow into the washing machine, and may cause some malfunctions. This problem is worse in areas with “hard water”. Inspect the shut off valve by looking for drips into the washing machine while it is not in use. If you detect a leak, replace the valve.

Hoses & Filters

Like in most appliances, problems often start in the hose. Keep at least 4 inches between the water connection and the back of the washer. This space will prevent the hose from kinking and bursting. Check the hoses and replace them if old. Consider installing steel-braided hoses.

The Dryer

The dryer is connected to a ventilation hose. Check it carefully. The dryer ventilation hose must be connected to the outdoors. Search for lint behind and under the dryer and make sure the vent pipe is not clogged. Make the exhaust short as possible for the dryer to vent efficiently,

Utility Sink

The utility sink is sometimes the source for water related problems. Search for leaks under the sink. A drip in the trap under the sink can be a sign for problems and should be repaired immediately. Slow draining pipes may indicate a partially blocked drain. A constantly dripping faucet must me repaired promptly. Replace sink seals if they are cracked or loose. Damped or stained walls around plumbing pipes indicate an internal leak that must be fixed before additional damage occurs.

For more information visit www.RestorationSOS.com

Free guides are available

About The Author

Terry Allen is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS™, a leading restoration services provider for water and fire damages.

To learn more about water and fire damage prevention, visit http://restorationsos.com

terrya@restorationsos.com

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

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