How to Choose a Kitchen Worktop

It’s always great to look at the variety of worktops and what the advantages of them are. In this article we will like to look into 3 worktops and see how they compare with one another.

Stainless steel

When looking at a worktops it’s good to think about the use and the environment around it. If you have young children then you are more likely to take something more resistant.
Stainless steel is ideal for our OCD driven hygiene freaks. Its a great surface which can be cleaned very easily. The worktop is hard and the best thing is the easiness of the clean. Stainless steel does however scratch across time but none can deny it looks really good.

Hardwood

Best used: Always best used for our chefs and cooking maniacs. Its ideal for cooking purposes. Also if bought with water resistant quality then can become very handy in and around sinks and areas which deal with oil.

Best look: Best thing is it suits all kitchens. It looks greatif mixed with a few materials such as glass or stainless steel.

Upkeep: Maintenance of this is slightly harder. If something spills you have to be pretty quick to clean up otherwise it may leave a stain.
Sealing required: These hardwoods need to be painted with a special oil to start with and then one coat every month at least. This has to become a habbit otherwise you can say good bye to your hardwood.

Durability: Hardwoods can last a long time but you will have to apply that oil. Also dont use it as a chopping board or put a hot pan on it. These surfaces can get scorched very easily.

Flexibility and fitting: The best thing about hardwood is its flexibility to fit perfectly in any shape. Make sure the carpenter is correct though.

Granite

Best used: Used on surface worktops. The shiny glossy look has proved very popular in recent times.
Best look: Its a granite worktopsat its best. It suits every look, call it modern or traditional. The worktop has been described as timeless.
Upkeep: Maintenance out of all the surfaces is the best. Get a damp cloth and wipe away. Its that simple.
Sealing required: You would apply a sealer first time when putting it on and another one after 10 years.
Durability: Out of all the surfaces it is the best in durability. It can with stand heat and is water resistant. Wine and citrus must be wiped away at once though.
Flexibility and fitting: Granite again is very flexible. It is cut very easily into any shape or size.

A Look at Kitchen Bamboo Cabinets

Selecting wood based products is harder these days since we want to find products made from sustainable produced raw materials. What can bamboo do to fulfill these needs? Can it really work for your kitchen decorating needs?

One of the main things we have to consider when choosing a wood species for any wood product is how it looks in our home. While making responsible choices for the environment is attractive, it loses some of its appeal if the final result is no the look we had hoped for. But bamboo can come through with the look that your to create the aesthetic appeal you are looking for.

Bamboo is grown in many areas of the world, but like any harvested products some growers are more concerned with using a sustainable process, while others are just in it for a fast buck. Some areas like Costa Rica have a fairly good record for sustainability in the overall process of growing and cutting of bamboo. Bamboo can usually be cut when it is about five or six years old. It is a member of the grass family, so it will grow back quickly.

Bamboo wood products are quite hard, harder than many conventionally used hardwoods like oak. After it’s finished it has good dimensional stability as well, so the smooth functioning of your cabinet doors and drawers will not degrade over time. Bamboo is so hard that its nickname is green steel.

As you may expect, many retailers for bamboo products have locations in California. But this is not just a west coast idea, and as their popularity increases it is easier to find retailers in other major cities like Chicago and New York.

There are a number of companies that will fashion custom bamboo cabinets for your home. In addition there are manufacturers who manufacture modular cabinet units in sizes that will fit most homes, so you can get a custom look for a much lower cost.

Bamboo cabinets will be a featured part of your home decor. These cabinets are good looking, you can get them in a variety of finishes, and because the wood is durable they will last for a long time, yet they come from a sustainable resource, so you can minimize the impact on our environment.

Extreme Home Improvement Tips Hardwood Floor Installation

hardwood floor photoHome improvement can add that special something to your home environment, help you make use of your space and of course often add value. If your budget will allow, you may wish to pay for experts to come in and do the job for you. On the other hand you may be somebody for whom home improvement is an enjoyable and rewarding project to undertake yourself.

Of course some tasks are more difficult than others. For instance hardwood floor installation is not as straightforward as you think. Installing quality, durable flooring requires some preparation and if you choose to install it yourself it is wise to get as much support as possible. Many internet sites offer advice in detail.

Below are some brief, useful tips for hardwood floor installation:
Hardwood is a natural product and may have defects. When ordering wood check for defects, either natural or from the manufacturing process before buying. To be on the safe side order an extra 5 10% to allow for any overlooked problems.

Remember some urethane cured hardwood glues come with bond only warranties but there are glues that do not have moisture protection warranties. Check whether you need glue with moisture protection.
Ensure the site is structurally sound and completed before beginning work.

As hardwood is a porous material and will contract and expand, all attempts must be made to control the humidity of the room. Painted walls should be dry. Exterior drainage should be pointed away from the house. Wood should be delivered as early as possible before installation to allow it to acclimatize to the air. Although the product is engineered to withstand moisture, it is advisable to check moisture levels prior to working and consult manufacturers recommendations re: acceptable levels of moisture.

Ensure that you prepare for your own safety and the protection of the wood during installation. Protecting your eyes with goggles is a must! Use a back brace for lifting. Soft rubber pads or cushion knee pads prevent abrasions to the floor surface.

Wetting the painted area first before scraping it off will help to keep dust to a minimum. Wet paint causes less dust than flaky paint.

Open all boxes of wood before starting to lay the wood to check for defects but also insures you get a picture of the color and texture variation before you start.

Establishing your baseline and the direction of the floor is a crucial step. Be meticulous in using measuring and marking lines. Remember the longest outside wall gives the best visual effect.

Floor boards are initially laid using a “staggered staircase method i.e. 3 boards fitted closely together with boards 2 and 3 being 6 inches shorter than the first board and placed above the first board. To ensure the boards do not lose their tight grip use 3-M blue tape 2 inches thick to secure them and ensure that excess glue is cleaned off the boards and your shoes before you go on to add more boards. Being meticulous with details can make the process quicker and easier.

Professional installers recommend rolling the floor with a 75lb roller. The advantage of this often overlooked process is that you can quickly remedy any air pockets or hollow spots before the glue has dried and apply additional needed pressure to deal with them.

If you have taken the time and money to invest in hardwood flooring it is wise to make sure you take care and maintain this material. Common-sense tells you to keep the floors clean particularly from water, food and grease. Use only leading brand cleaner made for pre-finished hardwood floors and do not use polish or oil-based wax. Reduce damage to the flooring by using floor protectors underneath all furniture and avoid walking on floors with footwear that will damage it like stiletto heels. The above points are by no means comprehensive but are aimed at highlighting the small details to bear in mind when installing your hardwood flooring. When looking for extra support particularly on the internet, look for a reputable company who not only offer guidelines for installation but who offer a hardwood floor installation video online to help you do as professional a job as is possible.

Environmentally Friendly Home Improvement

home photoBettering your home in an eco-friendly way plainly refers to improving your home is a way that is showing responsibility to the environment and are energy effective. You might have to come up with more money in the beginning but it is a matter of fact that energy amounts will be lessened. Below are some simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly while you’re making improvements.

When trying to be green a very good area to take a look at is your home furnishings. Sometimes the best way to be green is also a way to save money, as in repairing or reupholstering old furniture rather than buying new pieces.

Looking out for some quality used bits of furniture is a good option if buying really is a must. It is easy to come across appealing and fascinating furniture and accessories at antique auctions which can be found everywhere. You can pick up some good furniture that has plenty of character at a good price at auctions, so long as you’re not buying a high end antique. Although windows could be used for decoration and to give light in your house, they are also great for keeping the heat inside and for insulation. And, the form of windows you have can be a big determinant when looking at the cost to heat your home. Purchasing two-paned or three-paned windows could assist you in making your home better efficient with energy. Reducing your heat loss by close to fifty percent is possible when coating your windows with Low-E (low emissivity). Therefore exchanging your windows with ones that are more efficient with energy will be costly in the beginning, it will be cost effective eventually. Also, you will feel cozier in the winter.

You can enhance the aesthetics of your home and what is around it by practicing green friendly living in your landscapes and gardens. An easy thing to save energy is to carefully plant trees around the circumference of your home to give you better coverage in the summer and padding from the wind in the winter months. A garden where you grow edible plants and vegetables is a great way to get nutritious foods into your diet and save money on groceries. To settle on what plants you want surrounding you, the ones that are the most eco-friendly are the ones that do not need as much work to keep them healthy and those are the ones that area regionally native. The last point is to use natural alternatives to pesticides to keep insects and animal pests away from your plants and garden.

You can make your home a lot more eco friendly and energy efficient as there are a number of ways to do this. You’ll find it much easier to think up of creative green ideas as you start getting into this mindset. In addition to many of these ideas being good for the environment, they are also good for saving you money.

Elementary Home Improvement Concepts You Should Know

home concept photoIt can be very trying to wiggle a little extra time into your busy work and life schedule for a home improvement project. Of course, with such little time available there are many more enjoyable pursuits for your weekends. In the end, you need to deal with these problems when they arise or they’ll become bigger problems to handle in the future. The thing about repairs is that when they aren’t made in a timely manner, the problems will only intensify. It will take you much longer and require a larger investment to make those repairs in the future than it will to simply handle them now. Don’t put yourself through costly delays when you can fix the problem much easier right away.

Every home owner wants to have more space for living and just enjoying their environment. You will need to take a look at what is available in your home, of course. One idea would be to transform your basement. If you own an attic that isn’t full of all sorts of stuff, that is another area you could improve.

If your budget and zoning allows, you can always put an addition on your house. Some people have turned their ranch houses into two storey buildings. You really are only limited by your imagination and resources. If you need some help to come up with ideas, then you could use some design software. If you have been chronically experiencing power interruptions, and it only affects your home, then you may be exceeding the capacity of your breakers. Another possibility could be with a degraded circuit breaker either individually or elsewhere in your system. Or it could even be a small appliance that is past it’s prime. These are times when an electrician might be your best solution. If you are comfortable with it, sometimes you can isolate these problems if the same breaker keeps tripping. But just be sure to proceed in a safe manner.

Automating different areas of your home is a very interesting, enjoyable and high tech home improvement project you can undertake. This is something where there are many options to choose from but also can be pretty costly for most people’s budgets.

Some of the factors that will influence the cost include the size of your home and what you want the system to have. If you are pretty handy with electrical components, then you can undertake the project yourself and save quite a bit on costs. Actually, when you step back and look at what is done with automation, it really is not difficult to figure it out – plus there is a lot of helpful information online and in books.

Any home improvements that mean automation are attractive because the results are amazingly fun. You can do almost anything and the only limit is how creative you are.

Reasons Why You Should You select Pro America Security Alarm System

A lot of consumers are aware of Pro America Security in terms of protection from burglars, fire, and the like. It really is grown to be a household name for many; but with all the different companies that also supply alarms and such, why select Pro America House Security for the residence? What tends to make them the best burglar alarm system?

Twenty-four Hr Supervising

There are numerous organizations that can supply supervised security systems. What this means is the fact that when an alarm within your residence is tripped, it’s noticed by a real live individual at a monitor within the office of Pro America Security, and they right away respond. A lot of folks value this kind of assistance as they could become flustered and distressed when an alarm is tripped, or may panic and freeze if there is an intruder inside the house. By having someone there at Pro America that will call the police for you, there’s added peace of thoughts in knowing that you’re taken care of.

For some people, it might be the opposite problem – they are so afraid of setting off an alarm that they do not use it, thinking that they do not need to bother the police in case of a false alarm. Understanding that a person from Pro America House Security will immediately call and reassure them that every little thing is okay may truly encourage them to use the alarm on a constant basis. Either way, a monitored alarm method is actually a welcome relief for a lot of people.

Simple to Use Method

Even the smartest math wizard can be confused when wanting to determine and remember a number of the difficult keypads and systems that include some alarms. Pro America House Security prides itself in the usability of its keypads; even a kid can discover how to use it. Their keypads also include one-touch emergency responses, which means that if there’s a break-in or other emergency when the alarm isn’t set, a person can just hit that panic button and set off the alarm. This is good for emergencies throughout the day when you’re much less likely to set the alarm or when the youngsters are house alone or just having a babysitter for whom you do not need to give the code.

Trained Staff

When was the last time you talked having a salesman who knew less about their item or retailer than you did? Sometimes even those operating behind the counter of a fast food restaurant do not know how you can work their very own equipment! But with Pro America Home Security, their staff are thoroughly competent in not only the monitoring services, but in emergency circumstances as well. Whilst not being paramedics or emergency medical technicians, they are trained to remain calm and to manage emergencies regardless of their nature.

It really is no wonder that Pro America Home Security has won J.D. Powers & Associates prestigious “Outstanding Customer Service Award” for numerous years in a row. Pro America House Security takes their accountability and their commitment to you and to your family’s security very seriously.

How Can You Benefit From Solar Panels Photovoltaic

Solar panels photovoltaic are becoming increasingly popular because they enable you to save big on electricity bills by making the best use natural resources. Whether you are a business owner or home maker, you can greatly benefit from installing solar panels in your property and in this article, we will tell you how.

The biggest motivation comes from the various state-government run programs that offer attractive incentive and rebates to those who have installed the solar panels in their homes or offices. Thus, you not only save on the monthly electricity bills but also qualify for attractive tax benefits from the government.

Increases the value of your property:

When you install the solar panels photovoltaic in your Laguna Niguel house, it greatly enhances the overall property. Installing these panels means that those living in the house will be able to use the suns natural and renewable energy to illuminate their homes, and this energy is also used for the heating and cooling systems. The electrical equipments and gadgets also use this renewable energy, thus you do not need electricity for your day to day activities,

There are some homes that choose a hybrid system, which means that they use the stored suns energy for heating and cooling purposes, and electrical energy for other activities. And there are other houses that choose to turn green completely and this implies that all electrical needs are fulfilled by the energy produced by the photovoltaic cells in the solar panels installed.

Having solar panels installed in your house will greatly enhance the value of your property and if you consider selling your home, you will get a much better deal for it. These attractive incentives, perks and benefits have encouraged the house owners in California to opt for the installation of solar panels in their property.

Raises the visibility of your brand:

Going green is the new buzz word in the industry and almost all companies today are trying their best to reduce the carbon footprints and gain visibility as an organization that is sensitive towards the environment.

When you install solar panels to reduce the consumption of energy in your manufacturing unit or corporate house, it instantly adds value to you brand as you are identified as an ideal corporate figure that is environment conscious and makes effort to reduce any adverse effects on it. Thus, you not only save in energy consumption but also boost the value of your brand.

How a Bathroom Remodeling Contractor Can Save Time and Money

Many would-be amateur bathroom remodelers find out the hard way that this can be one of the most challenging types of home renovations. When dealing with a washroom or bathroom, not only does the plumbing need to be addressed, but so does wiring, fixtures and flooring come into play. This is especially true if the room has sustained water damage, has outdated plumbing or even worse, outdated wiring. Few amateur renovators are up to this type of challenge, which is why so many people choose to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor.

The bathroom is one of the most important areas of the home. Not only is it the one room that gets used daily by everyone who lives there, but it is also one of the rooms that adds the most equity value to a property as well. When these factors are taken into account, it really does illuminate the need for a properly updated and functional powder room. Unfortunately, the external appearance of a room may look fantastic, but it can still have wretched wiring or plumbing and few homeowners are aware of this fact until a renovation project has been started.

Before adding a dent into a home department store credit card and launching on an ambitious solo project to completely renovate a bathroom, first sit down and decide what the finished results need to be. Next, decide the actual amount of materials needed, the hours it will take to complete the job and the potential setbacks that might occur during renovation. This will give a clearer idea as to the level of commitment involved in a remodeling project of this nature. This also gives a reason to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor; they will be the ones to deal with all of these aspects and will have the tools, knowledge and contacts to get the job done.

If you’re looking to save a few bucks on your next home renovations project and think it costs too much to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor, first look into the option of getting free estimates from local contractors in the area. This will help place an average cost of the materials, labor and construction when done professionally. Next, add up your personal potential costs and labor if you do the renovating yourself and compare the two. Once the saved time and labor is factored in, it may be far more affordable than initially thought to get professional services to speed up a renovation project.

Home Improvements In Missouri – Upgrade Your Home with Siding

As the second major snowstorm of the season covers the state of Missouri in a blanket of snow, you cant help but wonder if it will ever end. The rolling meadows and grassy fields are far from sight beneath layer upon layer of snow. Dont give up hope. In just a few months, the beautiful weather will return. It will then be time to revisit that list of home improvement projects from last year. One of the most cost-effective upgrades to any home is replacing the siding. Your home is your largest investment. Why not improve its look and value simultaneously with new siding?

There are many businesses that offer this service. The best place to begin is to get referrals from trusted friends. Talk to your neighbors and find out who installed their siding. Additionally, you could perform a search online to find reputable contractors in your area. After you choose the company, obtain an estimate including all costs and labor. Make sure you get this in writing, so they are not able to make any changes later on during the job. It is customary to pay fifty percent of the cost up front and then the remaining amount when the installation is complete. That way, should there be any complications, you will have the upper hand.

When choosing the style of your new siding, be aware of the many options available on the market nowadays. Vinyl siding is very popular due to the array of colors and styles. It is, for the most part, maintenance-free and will last for years to come. Additionally, when a layer of insulation is added, your vinyl siding becomes an energy-efficient choice. Missouri residents can also benefit from polymer seamless siding. One piece can extend the entire length of the home, thus eliminating unsightly cracks and seams. Manufactured in Missouri, this material looks beautiful after installation is complete.

Other product choices include:

Log cabin siding
Shingle siding
Shake siding
Vinyl stone or rock siding
Vinyl brick siding

No matter which look is chosen, it is sure to increase your homes curb appeal. Log cabin vinyl siding is the perfect selection for those who prefer the outdoors. Shingle siding is beautifully crafted from cedar and will give your home a look of sophistication. If you prefer stone, then vinyl stone looks magnificent. Whichever vinyl siding you choose, it will maintain its beauty for many years.

Reuse,repurpose,and Repair!

Reuse, Repurpose and Repair. Repurpose, if you dont use that L shaped dining room maybe it would make a great computer area. The back bedroom will make a good office. The entertainment center can become a great craft closet in the den. Take those forty-inch tall office bookshelves, back them up to each other, bolt them together and use them as a room divider. The tall bookshelves can be stuffed with toys, piled with sweaters or refurbished with hangers for hats and coats in the mudroom. Repair paint or decoupage surfaces (frames, boxes, walls and furnture). Paint your old coffee table, upholster the top and you have an ottoman. Take the old secretary desk into the bathroom and have it hold linens and soaps. The old toy box can become a footlocker in the kitchen for storage and setting. Be creative and youll enjoy your home more and will get compliments from your friends and family because YOU did it. Many home improvement shows go thru the excruciating pain of throwing things away. Sell them or dump it mentalities can be heartless and disruptive. Better to avoid this by starting with a plan. Take advantage of your kids moving out to upgrade your livingroom set. Yes Sonnie boy you can have my old set! Hey kids, do you want your yearbooks, please take the Barbie dollhouse. Unload that extra set of dishes that pink dresser and even the highboy in the basement. If youre moving donate and gleam your closets of those extra boxes, Christmas decorations, Vhs tapes, and board games and puzzles from Aunt Nellie

Good style doesn’t have to be exspensive! So you want to save money, who doesnt. Today with all the things were locked in to paying for (insurance, medical, tuition, mortgage) its nice to have some control. Depending on your allotted budget we can do some pretty amazing things.

PICK IT UP! Have you seen any of the organizing shows on television? Guess my mother would have made a fortune consulting. In her day a stay at home mom was dubbed Mrs. Clean. Today my cleaning technique is more of a putting out fires style”. Laundry, dishes, bills and daily tasks fill most of my efforts. Eventually I can decorate a little at a time after all the mess didnt happen over night. Make a schedule. Get some help and attack the task a little at a time. When Im waiting for something to finish on the stove I wash that bowl I just used or put away the spices you are done with them. by the time dinner is ready youll have half the dishes done. Get a mobile phone and work while you talk on the phone (I know you do but I had to say it). When youre at the store buy the things you need for that weekend project. Youll be able to get more done when you have everything at hand. Set aside a block of time to work on your project and allow your self a real break to refresh yourself so the task doesnt become overwelming. Keep the dream( vision) alive in your head so as you can get past the realism of the intermediate mess.Once again have fun and enjoy the project, long after its over you can talk about your adventure. Remember when we talked?