Author Archives: Juliana Woodrof

Home Design: Installing Your Master Suite


– What is a master suite?

– Why create a master suite?

– How to install a master suite at home?

– How much does it cost to install a master suite?

Your house has several bedrooms and a bathroom, but you would like to create a world of your own by having a true master suite dedicated to bedding, clothing storage and equipped with a separate bathroom. In this post, you will discover the characteristics of the master suite and the solutions that exist to create it in your home.

What is a master suite?

A master suite is an area reserved for parents and isolated from the children’s world. It generally includes a bedroom and its dedicated bathroom or shower room, a dressing room and sometimes an office. It is often proposed for constructing a new house but must be specifically designed during a renovation.

Its layout and decoration must be thought of in a global way to keep harmony between the different spaces when the doors are opened.

The area dedicated to the bedroom must be at least 9 m² to be considered as such, but it is agreed that in the case of a master suite, a surface of at least 12 m² and even 14 m² facilitates both the installation of a large bed and the access to the different areas.

The different configurations


Most often, the master suite has the following configuration: 

The bedroom, the dressing room and the bathroom are in a row. The last 2 rooms are only accessible from the bedroom and never by a door giving onto a corridor.

It can also happen that the dressing room and the bathroom give directly to the bedroom by 2 separate doors, without any enfilade system.

A final solution consists of a large room of at least 20 m², with a bathroom and dressing room created behind a low wall serving as a bed head. The result is a master suite with open spaces, a style adapted to contemporary constructions, and a design decoration.

Why create a master suite?

Creating a master suite is a way to add value to your home, especially if it has several bedrooms intended for a family. It also saves time in the morning when the whole family is getting ready. Besides, it allows you to safeguard a couple’s privacy, letting them sleep and get ready away from the children.

How to install a master suite at home?

If you didn’t plan for this room when you built your house, installing a master suite can be problematic. Let’s consider a home with convertible attic space, for instance. It may be worthwhile to study the possibility of creating the master suite in that space, as you will be able to position the different areas according to what is below and thus recover, for example, the plumbing system of a first-floor bathroom without significant work.

The bedroom area

The bedroom will be treated classically, with the decoration and bed type that you will have chosen. The furnishing could be made of a headboard, and 2 bedside tables, the presence of a dressing room integrated into the master suite allowing to do without imposing furniture like a wardrobe or a chest of drawers.

The bathroom part

To limit costs as much as possible, it is necessary to install the bathroom near a room such as the main bathroom or the kitchen to benefit from the water supply and drainage without having to do too much work. In most cases, it is not feasible to run the plumbing system through every room in the house to supply a new bathroom.

Suppose you want to install a toilet in addition to a bathtub or shower pan and basins. In that case, a macerator may be the most economical way to do so. However, it is not essential if you have a separate toilet in another part of the house.

It is necessary to provide a ventilation system in the bathroom of the master suite so that the moisture produced during its use does not deteriorate the coverings (mould and sanitary problems). Also, too much humidity is likely to cause unpleasant odours, as well as physical discomfort. Therefore, it is essential to provide efficient controlled mechanical ventilation (CMV) to avoid inconveniences.

Good to know: The shower room’s surface doesn’t need to be extensive; you can create a comfortable one in 2 m².

The dressing area

It should be as large as possible to allow you to store your future clothing purchases. A minimum surface of 4 m² seems to be a prerequisite to installing a dressing room worthy of the name. Suppose the installation of a dedicated room is impossible and your room is large enough. In that case, you can opt for a well-equipped wardrobe that will compensate for the absence of a specific room.

How much does it cost to install a master suite?

The price varies according to the work to be done. It is a simple adaptation of an existing volume easy to connect to the central plumbing or a complete creation with significant work. In any case, if you have this work done by a professional, a detailed estimate is essential.

The cost will depend on the quality of the materials used in the bathroom, the fittings made in the dressing room, and the complexity of the work. Calling on professionals and an interior designer will allow you to find the ideal solutions according to your house’s configuration.

7 Simple Home Decor Ideas With Great Results

Sometimes we feel ready for something completely new or different in our home. We’re willing to add new furniture, use different colours, put everything in a different place and so on. Other times, we want to renovate the whole interior. However, we don’t always have the time to make significant changes, and very often, the budget doesn’t allow us to do complete renovations. Fortunately, there are other ways to achieve the desired effect of change without transforming the entire interior to make room for a new one!

1) Buy a Mirror

It sounds so simple, but sometimes it doesn’t have to be that difficult. A mirror can make a room look completely different in an unexpected way. For example, a mirror gives the illusion of a bigger space and the reflection allows you to see your interior from a different angle. It seems too good to be true, but it may be the change you need.

2) Buy an Object That Catches the Eye

An eye-catcher is an item that draws attention to itself. Therefore, a good eye-catcher can influence and completely change the mood of a room. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant and overpriced work of art. It can also be very simple, such as a beautiful wall-mounted television, a unique floor lamp, an unusual clock, or an old gramophone.

3) Change the Arrangement

Sometimes changing the arrangement of furniture can give excellent results. For example, change the reading corner and the TV corner in the living room, or put the bed in a different bedroom. These are all small changes that can give a significant boost to your interior. This way, you can get the change you want without making a single purchase.

4) Accent Lighting

If you have an item in your home that you want to illuminate separately, you can do so with accent lighting. Think of a painting, an image or a photo wall, for example. You can easily make this stand out by opting for spotlighting. Spots give light in the form of a light beam, which is often easy to direct. Pay attention to the width of the light beam; too wide can create unpleasant overlap with neighbouring spots, while too narrow can create noticeable underexposure on your item.

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5) Keep It in One Aspect

Do you need a renovation? This can also be achieved without making a big investment. Stick to one aspect first. This can make a big change. Think, for example, of new wallpaper, or a different colour on the wall or buy new curtains or the other type of window decoration. You can also go for new furniture, such as a new sofa or a new bed. These relatively small changes can already give your interior a completely different look.

6) Change the Floor

A new floor gives an entirely different atmosphere to the house. For instance, you can opt for a thick pile carpet floor if you have always had a laminate floor or vice versa. The result will surprise you. If you also choose a different colour than the one you already had, you can achieve a total change. For example, choose a floor with a warm colour.

7) Filling the Space

Many small changes can be equal to or even more prominent than a significant change. Fill in the room you are changing with, for example, plants and flowers. This can give your interior a charming, almost natural feel. Another option is to fill the space with artwork. For example, hang a collection of miniature paintings or photos in that empty place on the wall. Again, the result will surprise you!

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If you’re still having trouble with your home renovation plans, contact EASTCAD DESIGN in Melbourne. Their team of highly experienced and qualified draftsmen can help you decide and draft the best design for your home interior and exterior.

9 Kitchen Cleaning Tips

We sometimes dread it a bit, but cleaning the kitchen doesn’t have to be so hard. These tips will help you transform your favourite cooking spot into a wonderfully fresh space in no time. To keep it from being too complex, we’ll focus on the outside of the kitchen.

 1) The Countertop

It’s the place where you chop all the vegetables or put dirty dishes aside, hence cleaning it regularly is a must! It’s a good idea to remove everything from your kitchen countertop before cleaning. The microwave oven, the kettle you can’t put in the cupboard or the small kitchen utensils. Clear the surface thoroughly to clean it properly.

-Take a clean dishcloth or sponge.

-Choose a mixture of water and soda or detergent. This will remove grease stains from the surface.

Be careful with a granite or natural stone surface. Choose a neutral pH detergent for those and do not use household vinegar or diluted all-purpose cleaners.

2) The Sink

Want to get that extra touch of shine on your sink quickly? Add a splash of all-purpose cleaner or white vinegar and let the water sit in the sink for an hour. Then, you can polish the sink with a liquid abrasive.

3) The Tap

Besides dishcloths, faucets are the most unsanitary items in the house. How do you clean them?

– Pull up that old toothbrush so you can easily scrub all the little dirty edges around the faucet.

-Use hot water and a cloth with some all-purpose cleaner to rinse the faucet first. It’s just as annoying, but you’ll be so pleased with your shiny faucet afterwards.

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4) The Stove

Of course, it’s best to clean your stovetops every time you cook, but if you still have old or stubborn stains, you can always use soda, detergent or an all-purpose degreasing cleaner. Be sure not to use a scouring pad or abrasive with a ceramic or induction cooktop.

5) Kitchen Hood

-Replace the filter if necessary.

-Clean the cooker hood with soapy water and detergent.

Do you have a stainless-steel hood? Then you can also clean it with oil.

-Rub a drop of olive or sunflower oil on the hood with a paper towel.

-Then rub it very well with a clean piece of kitchen towel; otherwise, you will only attract more dust.

6) Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

There’s nothing that water with dish soap or all-purpose cleaner can’t dissolve. By itself, cleaning kitchen cabinets takes no time at all. What can be annoying? The handles. Focus on that for a while, it’s well worth that extra scrubbing because it’s teeming with bacteria.

Kitchen, Counter, Room, Chairs, Home, Interior, Design

7) The Kitchen Floor

Preferably opt for a microfiber mop and hot water. Is your floor very greasy or sticky? Then you can also opt for a degreasing cleaning product. Also, pay special attention to the corners and edges of the underside of your cabinets. It is best to clean the kitchen as thoroughly as possible.

In addition to the fixed parts of the kitchen mentioned above, there are also appliances that you should clean.

8) The Refrigerator

The refrigerator is, of course, a piece that you should not forget. It is essential to keep it clean, as it is not pleasant to store food and drinks in a dirty fridge. Don’t forget to clean the rubber seals. Taking good care of your refrigerator regularly ensures a longer life.

9) The Dishwasher

The dishwasher is often forgotten. The dishwasher can be adequately maintained as follows:

-Regularly clean the filters.

-Don’t forget to clean the rubbers.

-Eliminate unpleasant odours by running the dishwasher once on the hottest program without any dishes in the dishwasher.

Let us know if these few tips have helped you, and if you’re planning for a kitchen makeover, you can contact the experts at Best Assembly in Melbourne. Whatever you wish for your kitchen, their kitchen installers can assemble it professionally and on time while ensuring that your home is left spotless.

Tips for Cleaning Ceramic Tiles

After laying your ceramic tiles, you will naturally want to keep them as beautiful as possible. Ceramic tiles require very little maintenance. After the first cleaning, regular vacuuming, and weekly mopping are sufficient. However, it is best not to use just any cleaning product for this. Let us explain how it works!

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Cleaning Ceramic Tiles After Installation

Once the tiles have been installed and grouted, you should clean the floor after a few days to remove the cement residue formed during grouting. This residue must be adequately removed; otherwise, it will be impossible to maintain the ceramic tile floor properly.

Tip: Rent a wet vacuum cleaner. This will save you a lot of work.

The best results are obtained with a quick cement haze remover with diluted hydrochloric acid. Be careful with stainless steel, chrome, bare metal, wood, plastics, painted and lacquered surfaces. These acids present in these products are not suitable for chalky types of natural stone. If you have such types, make sure to use a good brand of acid-free cement residue remover for this purpose. Such products are usually less aggressive than quick cement scum removers.

Depending on the type and severity of the cement veil present, you can dilute the cement veil remover to 1: 4 – 1:20 and apply it to the pre-moistened floor. Ensure that the floor heating is turned off and that the ceramic tiles have reached their natural temperature. Allow the product to act for a few minutes while scrubbing the floor. Do not let the floor dry and absorb the contaminated water with a mop or, better yet, with a wet vacuum cleaner. Then rinse the ceramic tiles thoroughly with clean water.

Tip: Put a defoamer in the wet vacuum cleaner to reduce the formation of foam.

Maintenance of Ceramic Tiles

To maintain the tiles after the first deep clean, the best thing to do is clean the floor with a product that is as neutral as possible. You can look for ceramic tile scrubbing wax. This product usually has a double effect: On the one hand, it cleans the floor thoroughly without leaving a greasy film and, on the other hand, it improves the colour and shine of the ceramic tiles. Besides, it makes the floor a little more resistant to dirt. A good splash in the mop water is enough. You can polish the floor after drying it with a clean, dry cloth to give it a shine.

You mustn’t use a cleaning product with soap (green), or oil components, because these form layers on the ceramic tiles. Every fingerprint becomes visible, and dust, hair, and crumbs also stick to the tile. Dirt will easily stick between these layers, and in the end, your floor will look like it was never spotless, even if you have just mopped it.

Removing Dullness or Dark Stains From Ceramic Tiles

If you have that dullness on your ceramic tiles, it’s essential to remove it. You can look for products specially developed for fast and thorough removal of old and stubborn dirt, as well as old wax and polymer films. It is essential that the floor heating is turned off and the ceramic tiles are cool before starting. Depending on the type of dirt, you can apply the cleaning agent pure or diluted 1:5 on the ceramic tiles. Let it act for about 10 minutes, but do not allow the floor to dry. Then scrub the floor thoroughly and absorb the diluted solution with a damp mop or vacuum cleaner. Then rinse the floor again and re-absorb this water in the same manner.

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If you’re looking for tiles for your new construction or renovation project, you can visit The Tile Gallery in Montmorency for an endless collection of tiles ideal for the kitchen, bathroom, and any other surfaces around the house. Do not hesitate to contact them!

Craziest Things Found During a Home Renovation

Renovations are exciting projects that make you experience what archaeologists or relic hunters do on a daily basis when they hunt down buried treasures. Today, you will learn some of the unexpected things that people discovered that will blow your mind.

A Human Foot

Bones of the Foot and Ankle | This is a real human foot, the… | Flickr

If “Pet Sematary” or “The Exorcist” are enough to scare the living daylights out of you, then I wonder what would happen if you would discover a human foot? Yes, a real human foot!

It all started when a woman was renovating her house and her friend came to help her. In the process, the later discovered a human foot under the floorboards. The bones were not separated when the foot was moved as it was all wired together. The local police were able to trace the foot back to a local university and hence it was concluded that maybe the foot was used as a teaching tool for students. However, who knows if it’s the leftover foot of someone that Dr. Hannibal Lecter ate?

War Items

Gladiator, Warrior, Gear, Weapons, Arena, Roman

Honestly, there have been so many wars around the world that I used to think that the rivalry between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump really would unleash World War Three.

During the renovation process, a homeowner came across an old army footlocker which included contained a machete from the Philippines, detailed war documents that had the signatures of General Patton and dozens of military insignia.

Mummified Baby

Baby, Birth, Baby, Sleeping Baby, Newborn

No, you didn’t read it wrong. During the renovation project of an apartment in Paris, France, the homeowners indeed found a mummified baby from a wall’s interior.

Initially, the owners of the apartment were the main suspects and as a result, were charged with murder. However, forensics later revealed that the baby existed even way before the couple. But who was the baby? How did it die or rather who killed it? Nobody knows. This mystery remains unsolved.

Witch Bottle

File:Witch Bottles Curse Protection.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Who knows what a witch bottle is? As the name suggests, a witch bottle is prepared by a witch when she wants to curse you and this practice is believed to have startedback in the 17th century. So, what she does is she takes the victim’s hair, nail clippings, urine and some red thread from sprite traps and place them all in a bottle. Later, rosemary, needles and pins, and red wine will be added. Other types of witch bottles may also contain sand, stones, knotted threads, feathers, shells, herbs, flowers, salt, vinegar, oil, coins, or ashes. The bottle is then hidden in the victim’s house itself. Hard to believe that such things can exist, right?  Well, during a renovation project, a homeowner in Greenwich discovered one such bottle in his house.

A Treasure Map

Adventure, Treasure Map, Old World Map

Now, whether you are a kid or a grown-up, who wouldn’t like to find a treasure map hidden in a wall or under the floorboards?

But this really happened with a couple in Arizona and you will be amazed by the story. During the renovation of their kitchen, the couple found some clues to the whereabouts of a treasure which they thought was the “Fenn Treasure.” Now, for all those who never heard about this treasure, let me tell you that it is the cache of gold and jewels belonging to Forrest Fenn, an art dealer and author from New Mexico. It was believed that he hid the treasure in the Rocky Mountains of United States.

The first mysterious code that the couple found was hidden inside a kitchen cabinet and after following some other clues, they came across a safe buried under a couple of the floorboards and using the combination in the cupboard, they managed to open the safe.

Unfortunately, it was not the real “Fenn Treasure” but it was still a lucrative find. According to you, what was inside the safe? A $50,000, a bottle of bourbon from 1960, a book with circled letters, a bingo card with just three numbers and a map of the town, Mesa, Arizona, with a big X over it. There was no gold but could the X on the map lead to an even bigger treasure? Who knows?

So, whether it’s bling or some weird things, aren’t you excited to discover what lies behind your walls or under your floors? Please share your comments below!

10 Showers You’ll Want to Ditch Your Tub

Nowadays, we find ourselves more and more frequently with bathrooms that opt ​​for a shower instead of a bathtub. In addition to the obvious saving of space that the shower supposes compared to the bathtub, they also have the advantage of being able to incorporate a multitude of design elements to achieve a modern and very current shower space. And not only finishes and decorative accessories for showers have undergone a great advance in recent years. The technology applied, for example, to the taps can make this shower space a real pleasure for the senses. Do you want to see some examples?

#1. Oriental inspiration

The first shower that we show you are located in a bathroom that chooses an Asian-inspired aesthetic for its decoration. In a bathroom of this type, the shower space is, if possible, even more, important due to the symbolism that water and natural elements have for these cultures. In this case, the shower area is lined with natural stone and incorporates wood through a floor platform. 

#2. A bathroom with all the comfort

The bathroom, once almost reviled, deserves more and more attention from interior designers. It is an important place in a home, and it is the space where we pay more attention to the body and mind, as it is the place dedicated to hygiene, care and relaxation.

#3. A special shower

The space of a modern shower can become a relaxing and comfortable spa. To achieve this, we have to pay attention to the materials and the type of shower tray and the combination of colours, finishes and textures and include massage jets and adjustable pressure showers.

#4. Mosaics

Light is, without a doubt, the main element in this bathroom. In addition to a good lighting design, the colour palette, based on nuanced whites and beige tones, contributes to creating that sensation of luminosity and shine that the proposal has. In this case, the shower is located in the corner and is closed with an angled glass partition that provides transparency, lightness and dynamism to the whole.

#5. Colors and decoration

The use of colour and decorative effects are the strengths of this bathroom that we show you here. The chosen design and decoration highlights the eclectic taste and originality of its owners. Red is the one selected for the shower area, a colour rarely used for this type of space, which undoubtedly gives the proposal a great personality.

#6. A rustic shower

Yes, you can also design a rustic-style bathroom without it having the traditional bathtub. Every time we find more examples of rustic bathrooms that do not give up the comfort of a shower. In this space, decorative elements typical of rural designs can coexist with rabidly modern pieces or accessories that incorporate the latest technology. 

#7. The shower as the protagonist

It is not frequent to find that the shower takes over the bathroom’s role and chooses a central position to become the most prominent element of the bathroom. But creativity applied to designs quarterfinal current bathroom We also show spaces opting for this provision, as we show in the picture: a shower which highlights the grey wall, wooden base and an enclosure ‘ minimal’ of glass.

#8. A tectonic bath

The current pace of life is getting faster and faster, so the house spaces that we use daily must also be considered from a practical point of view and an aesthetic one. The bathroom that we show you in the image fulfils both functions: a walk-in shower, very easy to clean, and colours that guarantee easy maintenance while providing a tectonic and very sophisticated look to the bathroom.

#9. Urban style

The ‘subway type’ wall tiles are a classic that has become a trend in recent years. They are being used more and more, not only in the bathroom but also in cosy environments with an industrial touch. It is also a cheap material, easy to maintain and clean and never goes out of style.

#10. Comfort and design

We say goodbye with an original proposal: two sinks on a wooden countertop, a small and luxurious shower and a decoration with white as the protagonist but with black touches to create contrast. 

As you can see, the shower can be present in the most varied bathroom designs, and it is a very topical element. And you, are you more of a shower or a bathtub?

5 Benefits of Owning a Home

If you’re wondering whether buying a home now sounds like a good idea, you’re not alone. While the saying that this is a great time to buy a home rings so familiar, many people question if there are still benefits to being a homeowner. You’ve probably heard that property values have declined or that it’s much better to rent than buy, yet the truth is that purchasing a home still forms part of the dream of millions.

Here you can see a list of the benefits of buying a home. Indeed, this is also a purchase that comes with obligations. This is why before you decide to buy, you should evaluate whether being an owner would be beneficial for you and your family and whether it fits your current reality.

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1) It Gives You Stability

When you buy, the moves are over year after year, the activities that impact your wallet and the stability of your family. Besides money, it also saves you the time you have to spend picking up your things in the old house and putting them in the new one.

One of the most significant advantages is that if you have children, they won’t have to change schools, except to do so with their group, and they can continue to participate in everyday activities with their friends.

2) You Will Feel Safe Having a Roof for You and Your Family

Being able to call the area you live in “my home” will make you feel confident, entitled, and most importantly, proud. Owning a home will give you a real sense of accomplishment, knowing you achieved one of your most desired personal goals. This will, in turn, contribute to a better quality of life for you and the whole family.

3) Plan for the Long Term

Maybe your house doesn’t look like those in magazines when you buy it, and you dream of changing the interior or even the layout. Even if you can’t do it right away, you can plan numerous improvements for the future. As long as you consider the building codes or restrictions that apply in your community, you will have no problem doing so.

Sometimes the improvements are minor and purely aesthetic, such as having some curtains custom-made for your living room. If you live in a rental house and move, you will probably lose that investment because the dimensions may differ from where you live now.

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4) The Purchase Is an Investment

It is true that, unlike a few years ago, in most cases, you will not see an immediate increase in the value of your property. But in the long run, real estate remains a safe investment, and many experts believe that the worst part of the economic crisis is over and view the future with optimism.
In any case, you must have realistic goals regarding your income. Again, these will not materialize immediately, with few exceptions.

5) Ownership Gives You Independence

You can make your own decisions and eliminate problems with landlords. Many of them are used to inspecting the properties they rent out, which sometimes creates uncomfortable situations for residents.
Being an owner also means that you can paint the interior walls the colour you want, you can keep pets and even replace the carpets and put in that wooden floor you like so much, or you can even build a terrace or an extra room.

If you’re planning to build a new home and need help from experts, the Elite New Homes team has over 16 years in the residential construction industry. They also employ an independent building inspector to review work at lock up and other stages of the building process, and more! Do not hesitate to contact them!

Common Myths About Home Remodelling

Home renovations can be quite fun, but there still are many homeowners that cannot handle home remodelling projects by themselves, and often fall for certain home-improvement myths. Therefore, we will debunk some of these myths for you today.

#1. Always Go for Big Renovations and Improvements

When we think of home renovations, instead of thinking about something big and extravagant, why don’t we go for more realistic ones? For instance, what is the use of making huge renovations such as demolishing, installation of new flooring and new fixtures when these improvements only represent additional costs to your budget and do not satisfy you?

#2. Home Remodelling Is a Fast and Easy Process

What made us think that renovation is an easy and fast process? The answer is

DIY Network shows! These televised DIY shows’ illusions of reality have given viewers the impression that renovation projects can be easily accomplished and within a short range of time. However, that’s not how things usually happen. Compared to real-life situations, a reality show is scripted and along with the small crew shown on TV, a large group of people carry out the lion’s share of work when the cameras are not rolling.

Home remodelling is a complex project which requires a large amount of thinking, planning, research, time and arduous effort. Without these factors, home renovations don’t go as well as planned, more problems can arise, including higher than anticipated costs. That’s why it is recommended to hire professionals.

However, even then, you will need to discuss your budget and your expectations with them. Once they have inspected the house, they will decide where to start first, what materials will be required, what types of problems can arise and how much it will cost. So, overall, remodelling is a quite challenging project.

#3. DIY Is Cost-Saving

Suppose that with some DIY tips provided by the Internet, you have been able to unclog a toilet, repair a faucet or paint a room. However, it doesn’t mean that now you can do your home remodelling project yourself. Certain tasks require the expertise of professionals, such as major roofing projects, carpentry work, some electrical repairs, installation of flooring, and other structural work.

#4. Follow Trends

Many homeowners tend to go with the latest design trends for their home remodelling projects. No, it’s not necessary! It is not because Sherwin-Williams named naval blue as the colour of the year that you should paint every room of your house with this colour.

Instead of going with the trends, you can try to go for some more retro style. For instance, if you want to add the 1970s touch to your home, you can integrate the art of macramé in your house. And, if you still want to try trends, stick only with one room instead of the whole house.

#5. Green Is Expensive

Green living has now become a tendency in the 21st century. However, a common myth is that “green” home renovations products can be more costly than traditional ones. This is not totally true. While green living does have higher initial costs, whether you will be installing solar panels or using other green building practices, you will reap the benefits of your investment in the long run.

#6. Swimming Pools Add Value

Many people tend to think that a swimming pool can increase the value of your house. However, there are certain factors that you should consider. First, you should take into consideration your location. For example, if you live in a hot part of the country, a pool might help. But if you live in very cold regions, adding a swimming pool will be like adding a liability.

Now, do you have a more realistic view of home remodelling? Please share your comments!

Having an Aquarium at Home: Everything You Need to Know

Category : Home Renovation

For many years, it has been possible to reproduce aquatic ecosystems within a house. In fact, with the technological advances of recent decades, it has evolved from a small fishbowl to a huge aquarium. However, it is not only a decorative complement to the different spaces of the home. And, deciding to have an aquarium at home can be a challenge at first. Although it is an excellent alternative for contemplating and enjoying a small natural space at home, there are some considerations for its maintenance. And it’s not just a question of where it will be located; it’s also essential to know in advance how it will work, what care it needs and how the fish will receive an environment that is suitable for their lives. Are you considering acquiring one? Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Consider the Space Available

First of all, do you already know where you will put the aquarium? This is very important because the size of the aquarium depends on the available space. Whenever possible, the most suitable option should be chosen; moreover, depending on this, the choice of fish and their quantity will also be made.

Pick Your Fish Type

You need to evaluate the types of fish you wish to have in the aquarium. It should be clear whether you prefer cold water or warm water. The difference between these fish varieties is that cold water fish are more resistant, have slow movements, and are generally peaceful.

On the other hand, those with warm water must stay in an environment between 23ºC and 25ºC. They are preferred because they have bright colors; however, they are more territorial and can trigger fights for their space.

The Water Option Matters

There are several alternatives for conditioning the water before using it to fill the aquarium. First of all, it can be boiled and left to stand. Another option is to let it rest for a day in the sun. Finally, rainwater could be recovered.

If the fish are warm water, you will have to buy a heater and a thermometer to monitor the water temperature. Otherwise, the environment could be degraded, which would lead to the death of the species.

Think About Soil and Plants

Soil and plants are an excellent complement to have a more attractive home aquarium. The ground is almost always made of gravel, i.e., small colored stones. However, some add moss and organic matter. Plants become a refuge for fish. Although artificial plants can be used, we recommend using natural plants to benefit the fish.

Feeding Your Fish

It is essential to keep in mind that fish cannot be fed “just anything”. Inappropriate feeding can shorten your life. Therefore, it is best to give them a unique concentrate of fishmeal, eggs, vegetables, and vitamins. Also, they should only be fed twice a day, following the five-minute rule. This means that food will only be provided during this period. Giving too much food is also dangerous for them.

Light It Up

We must take into account the importance of lighting the aquarium. Unique artificial lights are almost always used, as direct sunlight can cause algae growth. These lights are turned on for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Don’t Overlook Maintenance

When you have an aquarium at home, you must consider the time required to maintain it. Remember that it must be cleaned regularly to keep it in good condition. Water changes and care will depend on the number of fish and the amount of food provided.
– It is best to clean it twice a month (every two weeks, for example). Changing the water can be done in a simple process. Only water can be removed from the bottom using a hose and a gravity tube.
– The habit of removing fish for cleaning is a thing of the past. Some devices allow the removal of waste without altering the environment in which it is found.

You now know what to do before and after purchasing an aquarium for your home. Do you have any other useful tips in maintaining an aquarium? Remember to share them in the comments below!

How to Prevent Soil Compaction on Your Plot (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of Part 1 on How to Prevent Soil Compaction on Your Plot. Lately, we have gone through 

– Context of compaction

– Compaction events

– Sources of compaction

We will now cover:

– Preventing compaction to avoid possible disorders 

Prevention of compactions to avoid possible disorders

Soil investigation (geotechnics) and foundations are closely linked and are the essential basis for preventing compaction. Soil investigation and the study of the building’s structure make it possible to assess the pressures exerted.

Adaptation of the foundations

In a building, the foundations ensure the transfer of forces: vertical compression, the building’s weight, overloads, and they respond to the reaction forces of the ground (its bearing capacity).

The type and dimensions of the foundations are thus determined. They imply knowledge of the soil’s nature: a soil study (geotechnical) is therefore strongly recommended. Ignorance of the soil’s geotechnical properties can lead to the construction of foundations that are not deep enough or built on unstable fill or heterogeneous soils of different bearing capacity.

Foundations take various forms depending on the geotechnical study: superficial when the hard ground is close to the surface, deep when the resistant layer of foundation is at a significant depth, special to meet particular criteria such as in marshes.

Good to know:  Earthquake-resistant building regulations must also be complied with depending on the construction region.

Points to watch out for

The depth of the hard ground for the foundations should be determined in the following ways:

    • the cleanliness of the excavation bottoms should be checked to ensure that the footings are poured adequately on the hard ground (clean soil and fill falling to the bottom), 
    • the pouring of the foundations should be postponed in the event of heavy rain (stagnation of water at the bottom of the excavation).

It is also necessary to highlight a soil’s heterogeneities requiring specific adaptations (such as constructing a foundation in wells and long lines to pass an area of unstable embankments).

Good to know: when you build on a subdivision, a soil study linked to the development permit for this subdivision is available and can provide you with information.

Expansion and Compaction Joints

As soon as the masonry walls reach large surfaces, it is necessary to intersect them with joints that respond to:

    • the expansion or shrinkage of the materials, 
    • the difference in load brought by the construction on the foundations,  
    • the presence of heterogeneous ground and therefore different foundations, 
    • the antiseismic protection (antiseismic rules).

The spacing between the joints is determined according to several criteria.

The first is the building’s location: in dry regions on shores, the joints must be provided with every 20 metres, whereas in wet temperate areas, it is every 35 metres in the case of load-bearing masonry.

Then comes the building’s general design, the nature of the masonry materials, the masonry function (load-bearing or not), and the joint’s role.

Good to know: the joint must be regular over the entire height (without contact points) and at most 2 cm wide. On the facade, it must be protected against infiltration by a watertight bead and a joint cover. On the inside wall, the joint can be made with a flexible product with good fire resistance.

 That’s it. All you needed to know about soil compaction. Thank you for staying posted on our new blog posts. Hope the posts from Part 1 till here would be of any help to you. Remember to leave your comments below and share these posts in your network.

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