Author Archives: Juliana Woodrof

Skylight Windows: The Pros and Cons

It’s undeniable that a skylight brings a special kind of atmosphere into a room. Not only do skylights add natural light to a room during the summer season, but they also give an exclusive viewpoint of the falling snow and starry sky during the winter season.

And, if you’ve ever seen first-hand the beauty that a skylight brings to a room, you are probably not surprised that these have featured in architecture for centuries. This is why people are ready to pay the extra money to have them installed in their homes, regardless of the potential problems that skylights are prone to.

Before you commit to having a skylight installed, consider all the pros and cons that come with it:

Skylight Windows: The Pros

As stated above, skylight windows are aesthetically pleasing, can change the whole appearance of a room and can provide a beautiful view of the sky. But skylight windows are not limited to only those benefits, they also provide additional functionality and benefits that you may not even be aware of. And to make an informed decision it would be good to know more about those benefits before looking at the cons and the cost implications of having one installed.

1. They Offer Better Ventilation

Venting skylight windows can provide fresh air to a room and are perfect for certain areas of your house that tend to be darker or in those rooms where moisture builds up and needs to be circulated. An example of such a room would be the bathroom.

In warmer months, a venting skylight can provide additional, natural cooling and can help in lowering your utility bills.

2. They Increase Natural Lighting in the House

In addition to offering better ventilation, skylight windows also provide extra lighting and are perfect in areas of the house that are usually dark and dreary. The light that it allows in interior rooms that otherwise don’t get light adds aesthetic appeal. This can be done by installing it in an area of the room where it can provide a spotlight onto a showcase area, or a beautiful vista into the sky above.

3. They Can Give Indirect Solar Heating

When installed adequately and in the proper place in your home, a skylight can introduce additional indirect solar energy into your house. Moreover, if installed on the northern side of your home, it can bring you pleasant warmth in the winter month while if installed on the southern end of the house can provide indirect solar heat in the winter.

Skylight Windows: The Cons

Now that you are aware of the benefits conferred by the installation of skylight windows, let’s look at the cons. While there are several advantages to having a skylight fitted, there are just as many drawbacks which we believe you should be aware of before you dive in head-first. We’ve included those because we not only want to help you make an informed decision, but we also don’t want to you be unpleasantly surprised by the ongoing costs involved with the installation of one.

1. Roof Damage Risk

The installation of a large skylight in your home could potentially compromise the structure of your roof. You run this risk especially if you have a truss roof. If you don’t know what it is, talk to an experienced roof installer. Because it is not easy to modify a truss roof, it would be better to skip skylights altogether. On the other hand, if you have a standard roof frame you can go ahead with the fitting of the windows.

2. Risk of Interior Damage

Skylights can cause interior damage in three ways. Firstly, it can damage your furniture, curtains, carpet, and floors because of the extra light that’s entering through the window. Secondly, the furniture and floor can be damaged by water because of roof leaks. Finally, if the installation is not done properly, the skylight will become a hazard to you and your family as it can fail at any moment.

3. Expensive Installation and High Overheads

The cost involved in getting a skylight fitted is not the only thing that’s sky-high. This type of window is expensive to maintain and will also affect your utility bills. Besides, they can gradually create wear and tear in your house leading to even more expenses.

Takeaway

If you ask us, we are all for window skylights. We believe it is worth the investment as long as the installation and maintenance are done properly. So, now that you are ready to commit to the undertaking, remember to start by contacting an experienced roofing contractor to find out what kinds of costs you are looking at. This will enable you to budget accordingly.

Also, do not hesitate to ask for feedback from their previous clients to ensure that they know what they are doing and that you get only the highest quality of service.


The 5 Best Duvets 260 X 240 CM

Your duvet is a little old and you want to change it? You can consider different criteria according to your desires and needs. If you are looking for a duvet measuring 240 x 260 cm, Homemyinfo has selected and compared 5 models of duvet from amazon.fr according to their characteristics and the opinions of those who bought and used them. All you have to do is find the ideal model for your nights!

Best Duvet 240 X 260 CM: The Top 5 Homemyinfo

The Duvet from Recycling:

Abeil Couette Douceur Absolue Chaude

Translation: Duvet Bee Softness Absolute Hot Duvet

This microfibre duvet ensures you a peaceful night, with a feeling of softness linked to the “peach skin” touch. Note: the fiber of the filling comes from the recycling of water bottles. Its stitching is made in a star shape; the texture is therefore well maintained, and the heat distribution is optimal. This model is recommended for winter or for people who are sensitive to cold. Those who bought it appreciate that it is hot… and light at the same time. Finally, for more convenience, this duvet is machine washable at 40°C.

The advantages:

– Very hot

– Fiber from the recycling of water bottles

– Peach skin” effect pleasant to the touch

– Machine washable

– Star stitching

The disadvantage:

– Fragile stitches

– the fragility of the seams.

The All-Season Duvet:

Bleu Câlin Couette 4 Saisons 3 couettes en 1

Translation: Blue Hug 4 Seasons Duvet 3 Duvets in 1

This 4-season duvet is based on originality and flexibility. It is composed of 2 separable duvets: one light for the summer period and one temperate for the mid-seasons. By keeping them connected, you can enjoy a duvet warm enough for winter. ISOLANE technology ensures better air circulation and provides pleasant warmth.

Some of those who have chosen it, while recognizing the practicality of the double duvet, regret that the hanging system is not more straightforward (4 knots at each corner). Finally, note that the stitching is done in straight lines, which is not the optimal solution to ensure fiber retention.

The advantages:

– 3 duvets in 1

– Good air circulation

– A well-maintained heat

The disadvantages:

– Stitching in straight lines

– Hook system that can be optimized

The Anti-Dust Mite Duvet:

Abeil Couette Chaude Acaristop

Translation: Duvet Bee Hot Duvet Acaristop

This is another model from Abeil, which also offers an ultra-soft “peach skin” feel. This duvet is ideal for people with allergies, as the Acaristop treatment provides optimal protection against dust mites.

Here again, the star stitching ensures the fiber’s good hold.

Although warm, some buyers note that it is not suitable for too cold winters.

The advantages:

– Anti-mite treatment

– Star connection

– Ultra-soft touch

The disadvantage:

– Not hot enough for icy winters

The Duvet for the Shivering Ones!

Dodo 29443 Arizona

Translation: Sleep 29443 Arizona

This duvet is made from recycled bottles and provides you with all the warmth you need if you are sensitive to cold. Its 100% polyester filling with siliconized hollow fiber guarantees the excellent elasticity of the duvet.

Note: its stitching is longitudinal, which does not necessarily ensure optimal fiber holding.

The advantages:

Very hot

Filling from bottle recycling

The disadvantages:

Not thick enough

Stitching in straight lines

The 3 in 1 Duvet:

My Lovely Bed – Couette 4 Saisons – 3 en 1

Translation: My Lovely Bed – 4 Seasons Duvet – 3 in 1

With this 3 in 1 model, you are sure to enjoy a temperature adapted to the season. This duvet has 2 separable duvets, which can be attached via a fastening system along the edges:

– A duvet with a density of 200 g/m² perfect for summer nights;

– A 300 g /m² duvet more suitable for mid-season.

By combining the two, you will enjoy optimal density during the winter.

The envelope, 100% microfiber, allows you to have a lightweight design while being warm.

The advantages:

3 in 1 model

Usable in all seasons

Lightweight duvet

The disadvantage:

Fastening system that does not hold well

Comparison of 240 X 260 CM Duvets: The Selection Criteria

Choosing the right duvet is not a matter of chance. It is essential to analyze different elements before making a decision carefully. Homemyinfo gives an overview of the criteria for choosing a duvet.

Dimensions

If this is a reasonably obvious criterion, it should not be overlooked. Choose a size that fits your bed and will cover you well during the night.

Material

You can choose between synthetic, artificial, and natural.

In bed linen, the most common synthetic material is polyester, often combined with other fibers such as wool or cotton. While synthetic bed linen is generally less expensive, it has the disadvantage of containing traces of chemicals.

The most common artificial material is viscose, also known as artificial silk. This material offers a very soft touch, but it should be noted that it is still not very widespread.

Natural materials, such as flax, coconut fiber, or bamboo, are becoming more and more common. They have interesting natural properties (antibacterial, softness, and do not require chemical treatment. Be aware, however, that these are more expensive models.

The Weaving

It is an essential element of the duvet cover. This one contains the filling and therefore ensures the excellent maintenance of the duvet. It is then necessary to consider the density of the weaving (number of yarns used per cm²).

For natural duvets, choose a weaving between 20 and 150 threads/cm²

For synthetic duvets, a minimum weave of 90 threads/cm² is recommended.

Envelope material

Cotton, silk, bamboo… the options are numerous. The best choice is an organic cotton envelope, tightly woven.

The Stitching

The quality of the stitching determines the durability of your duvet and the good maintenance of heat. Encourage a checkerboard stitching, or tiles, so that the filling stays in place.

The Grammage

It corresponds to the weight of the duvet upholstery. It varies from 180 g/m² for lightweight duvets to 500 g/m² for winter duvets. The heavier the duvet, the warmer it is, but it shouldn’t bother you either. A duvet that is too heavy can be uncomfortable for some people.

For natural duvets, start with a weight of 180 g/m² for a summer duvet and 270 for a winter duvet.

For a synthetic duvet, choose a weight between 200 and 250 g/m² for a summer model and 300 to 450 for a winter model.

Hope the above presentation and comparison help you out in choosing the duvet that best suits your needs. There is a plethora of articles to discover here: https://www.homemy.info/. Don’t forget to share your views in the comment section below.


Ways to Decorate Your Living Room for Halloween

The time of the year is here, where the world of the living meets the one of the dead. Halloween is the time where the dead are remembered; it is originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain that have pagan roots. Halloween has changed over the years, as more and more people have accepted this festival around the world. So are you ready to dress up your house in the holiday spirit of Halloween? Get your house ready by preparing it in a decrepit dwelling! Here are creative ways for Halloween decoration ideas that are easy to make and will surely embellish your home.

Mantel – No need to spend a lot of money to create a Halloween mantel around your house! Look around for books, vintage accessories, and candles, add a few Halloween-specific accents like stuffed owls or skeletons to complete the look. You can also add a small trunk in the display along with a few vintage finds, such as moss, netting, and toy animals. These make it even creepier. The mantel is another place that can make a statement in the room and make it bolder. If you have a fireplace that is just for decoration purposes, then add carved or painted pumpkins.

Console table – Try creating a Halloween-themed vignette on a console or side table that is in your living room. If you have one which is black or white colored, then perfect, you can add some jewels and a black pumpkin and add up some wall arts to accentuates the art on the space.

Coffee table decors – Style your coffee table for Halloween by choosing colors that are somehow in harmony with the rest of the space. Don’t go too bold, especially if you are not going to make the coffee table a centerpiece of the room. You can decide what elements you will place and how many there will be. If you are still figuring out, here are some ideas, you can use spiders, skulls, skeletons, dark candles and candle-holders to make the scene creepier.

Gallery wall – Add up to the Halloween theme by adding some DIY wall arts, which you can make from scrapbook paper and a plastic spider that can be spray-painted to any color you want. Add some fake crow from the craft store to enhance the eerie feeling in the hallway.

Add pillows – A fun way to add style and elegance to your living room is to add bronze and other metallic pillows along with black and white ones. You can create a haunting look by adding up a pile of pillows of the same color to increase the eerily atmosphere in the house. Throw in some white powder and some spider webs to make it more real.

Reusable Jack o’ Lanterns

Jack o’ lanterns are staple Halloween decorations, but some of us would rather not deal with cutting and carving pumpkins every year. Hobby and craft stores sell artificial pumpkins you can carve and light. Best of all, you can store them for next season.

Directions

  • Purchase an artificial pumpkin from a hobby store. They come in several different shapes, colors, and styles, so pick the one you think will look best at your front door.
  • Use an Exacto knife to carve a small hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, and to create a design on the front.
  • After you finish the design, use a small piece of sandpaper to sand down any rough edges gently.
  • Place a small flashlight or electric candle in the bottom to make your design glow, and pop your Jack o’ Lantern on the front porch.
  • If you use small reusable Jack o’ lanterns, you can place them in the windows of your home, to cast an eerie light on your front yard.

Pro Tip: If you’re not artistically inclined, you can use a stencil to create a Jack o’ Lantern design. A few websites offer free stencils you can print.

Floating Hands

You can turn clear plastic gloves into severed hands, and then place them around your house, sneak them into a chip bowl, or even make a garland out of hands. Whenever possible, use a fake hand to shake hands with arriving guests, and then release the hand and feign dismay.

Directions

  • Fill a plastic glove with tissue paper, popcorn, or small shredded paper waste. You can also open up the gloves and fill them with freshly mixed JELL-O, for jiggly, realistic-feeling hand.
  • Tie the open end of the glove with a clear elastic band to secure its contents.
  • If you want to hang your hands slide a paperclip through one loop of the elastic band.

Pro Tip: You can fill the plastic glove with shredded red scrapbook paper to create a “bloody hand,” or tan or brown scrapbook paper to create a more realistic-looking hand. You can also fill these hands with candy corn to create Halloween-themed treat bags.


Creating a Harmonious Space Using Feng Shui

You might have come across the term ‘feng shui’ a lot of times, and you might have been oblivious to the fact that ‘feng shui’ is a thing. Prominently famous in the Asian continent, ‘Feng Shui’ is an ancient Chinese philosophy that is about maintaining wellness and balance. It is believed that a house that has ‘feng shui’ maintains a good flow of positive energy. In the last few decades, ‘feng shui’ has been adopted by mostly everyone in the western world. Architects, interior designers, and homeowners are now keener to have homes and buildings that embrace the magic of ‘feng shui.’ So what is needed to create a harmonious space? Well, here we go!

Clutter-free your space – It might be old news to keep a clutter-free home, but it is vital to maintain a serene environment. Clutter creates stagnant chi energy and prevents life vitality from growing in your home. Just establish a few simple house rules that will ensure your initial feng shui efforts are on the right track. You can also keep a decluttering checklist that you can cross as you remove clutter from your home.

Define your home’s energy map – The Bagua or energy map of your home serves as a blueprint or a clear map as to what colors are used in specific rooms, what images are the best in your home, and how to position each furniture for the best flow energy. It is important that you have a knowledge of Bagua in order to create a successful feng shui decoration. Alert to remember always

Use colors and elements in all rooms – Selecting the color and element for each room should be based on compass direction. Each compass direction has several assigned colors, and one element and incorporating these into any room designs is how you create a harmonious room. One exception is the use of water elements in bedrooms as it is not recommended to place water in a bedroom.

Focus on your master bedroom – The master bedroom should be a retreat and start by using bedroom colors assigned to each compass direction. Add some of the right elements for the compass direction to boost the chi energy. Don’t overpower the room by adding too much of the component. Creating a balanced design is the key to a successful feng shui design.

Pay attention to your kitchen location and designs – Your kitchen is the yang room, and it is not always a serene setting since it is filled with fire and activity. The right way to include your kitchen in your home is through organization and layout.

Harmonize your living room – The most important place in any house is the living room, where everyone gathers to spend time together to relax. To achieve this goal, you can do these few things:

  • Furniture placement is a vital part of a feng shui layout of any room.
  • Do not place furniture in natural pathways between doors.
  • Always place the sofa against a solid wall.
  • Be sure to allow enough space between each furniture for chi energy to move through the room.

Centralize your dining room – It is important that you make your dining room the center of your home as it is the place where there are more wealth and abundance of a family. Add these few things to create a flow with the rest of your house design to ensure a sense of comfort and calmness.

  • You can place a wall mirror, so it reflects the table and the food, it is believed that your fortune is doubled. There is also a feeling of satisfaction and abundance.
  • Do not have your dining room near the front door as it sets an uneasy feeling that will cause your fortune to slip away and cause stress slowly.
  • Remember to always keep the dining room and the kitchen on the same level.
  • If your dining room is located in the southeast or north, then place a water feature in the garden as it offers a tranquil view. Make sure that the water flows toward the house!

If you do not have enough space to have separate space for eating, then designate one in your home, it can be either the kitchen or living room.

Start by creating the ideal home office work environment – Another important room for a feng shui home design is the home office. Create a restive work environment with a few feng shui additions and the ideal office layout. Do consider feng shui when designing your business office, as well.

Focus on the front entrance and exterior of the house – As much as the interior of your home is essential, the exterior also requires much attention, especially when it comes to feng shui. You can give your home exterior a stunning curb appeal. An aesthetic gives a peaceful effect and invites you to enjoy the beauty and serenity that only nature can provide. Some of the aesthetics include:

  • Create a private garden space or a meditation space.
  • Always keep the entrance clutter-free.
  • Sweep the walkways regularly.
  • Remember to maintain and manicure your yard and shrubbery.
  • Gather and keep all your tools in the gardener’s cabin.

Now you know what to do to create the perfect feng shui home!


Factors to Consider Before Buying Your Mattress and Bed Base

The purchase of the mattress and box spring is essential for the quality of sleep. It is, therefore, better to take the time to find out beforehand, and always choose one according to the other. Here are some tips to help you.

Mattress and box spring: an inseparable couple

Why do you need a box spring under the mattress?

It is strongly discouraged to place a mattress on the floor:

– for hygienic reasons: the floor will encourage condensation, which will allow mould to settle under the mattress;

– for comfort reasons: the box spring contributes to the support, and therefore to the comfort of the mattress. The seat height of a bed with a box spring makes it easy to get out of bed;

– for a longer service life: the box spring acts as a shock absorber, saving the mattress from wear and tear which otherwise would set in more quickly on hard ground.

Mattresses and box springs: group purchases

It is advisable to buy the box spring at the same time as the mattress. Indeed, the unbalanced support of the mattress on a tired box spring will quickly deform it.

In addition, it is better to choose a box spring of the same brand as the mattress because the related box spring will reinforce and support the mattress technology.

It is obvious that the life span of a rigid box spring is longer than that of a box spring actively involved in support. But an active box spring gives hope that the mattress will last 10 years, while a firm box spring will exhaust the mattress more quickly.

For self-contained waterbeds, a box spring with balanced support does not need to be changed.

The right mattress for you is an important investment for your well-being. Therefore, you should choose a comfortable box spring according to the mattress.

This may not seem obvious, but it is advisable to choose a box spring according to the type of mattress you have (or vice versa). There are 3 main types of box springs.

The slatted bed base

The slatted bed base consists of a wooden bed base and wooden planks placed perpendicular to the length of the bed. It can be of the monolithic, biblast or triblast type. Plastic studs (with or without firmness adjustment) can also be fitted to some slats to improve local flexibility, or to all slats to increase the morphological adaptation capacities of the bed base.

Covered with foam and fabric, the box spring with tapestry slats (often with large rigid slats) is available with a spring mattress, as it is cheaper than the box spring. Its association with a latex mattress is not recommended for ventilation reasons.

This type of box spring is suitable for:

– classic foam mattresses;

– foam mattresses with shape memory foam;

– latex mattresses;

– autonomous waterbeds;

– spring mattresses in the upholstered versions.

This box spring balances the support of the mattress you have chosen. The slatted bed base can be rigid, flexible or have more flexible or adjustable areas of rigidity (at the shoulder and lower back)

For autonomous waterbeds that are air-conditioned, the sole function of the box spring is to allow easy lifting.

The spring base

The spring base is a base that has springs inside and is naturally suitable for spring mattresses and wool mattresses: it will enhance the suppleness and softness of your mattress.

This type of box spring is suitable for:

– all spring mattresses;

– classic foam and/or shape memory mattresses if they are not curved or hollowed out for more balanced support;

– latex mattresses to a lesser extent, due to possible ventilation problems;

– autonomous waterbeds.

The electric box spring

The electric bed base will allow you to raise the top and/or bottom of your bedding by using a remote control.

As it rises, the surface area of the footboard section is reduced. Therefore, the minimum recommended length is 200 cm to prevent the user’s feet from protruding from the mattress.

Designed for a single bed (a mattress), there is a width of up to 140 cm for one person. In a double bed (two mattresses), the minimum recommended width is 160 cm (2 × 80 cm). Few manufacturers offer mixed double berths (a motorized bed base and a fixed bed base).

The types of electric box springs are equipped with:

– 1 motor for the back part and a mechanical lifting of the feet without the possibility of bending the knees;

– 2 motors with a fixed zone at the pelvis, two or three zones at the back and head (fixed or two-part headrest) and two zones at the bottom of the bed to bend the knees;

– 3 motors, the third motor allowing to lift the box spring like a hospital bed;

– 4 motors, these top-of-the-range slat bases allow a personalized adjustment of the different parts of the slat base.

The electric box spring is suitable for:

– relaxation mattresses made of classic foam and/or memory foam;

– latex relaxation mattresses;

– foam mattresses of all types that are not too rigid (recommended thickness 14 to 20 cm);

– spring mattresses, but only with the model proposed by the mattress manufacturer.

The electric box spring is not suitable for stand-alone waterbeds, unless it is used as a fixed box spring.

So, hope the above will help you out in deciding which type of bed best suits your needs. You may wish to visit Atlantic Fine Furniture and check their line of adjustable bed foundations.

For more information and tips, do not forget to share your experience in the comment section below.


Part 2 of the Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Renovation: Sprucing Up the Windows

Now that you’ve improved your kitchen, you may be looking at the end product and still not feel totally satisfied with it. This could probably be because your old windows do not match your new décor. And what’s the point of renovating your kitchen if your windows do not match the new style and architecture of your kitchen? Since it is one of the most used rooms in your house, you want to choose windows that not only look great but that also enhance the room by adding more natural light to it.

But there are a lot of things to take into consideration when looking for kitchen windows. These may include location, ventilation and amount of light. While it’s okay to have more than one style of window for your home, there is such a thing as having too many different styles. If you don’t take into account the overall design of your house when choosing windows for your kitchen, you may end up with an exterior design that looks disjointed.

Read on to find out more about window options that are available to you!

The 4 Best Styles for Kitchen Windows

There are generally 5 window types that go well with almost any kitchen. These include:

  1. Garden windows
  2. Sliding windows
  3. Casement windows
  4. Double-hung windows

Window type 1: Garden Windows

What are the garden windows?

Garden windows are windows that extend past the façade of your home and that look like a glass box. The sides of the glass ‘box’ connect at the rigid and straight front of the window.

Pros of having garden windows installed:

  1. Since it sticks out, it creates space for additional storage.
  2. As every side is made of glass, it can be used to grow herbs all year round.
  3. Its dimension gives the impression that the kitchen is bigger than it really is.
  4. It brings in the perfect amount of light in the kitchen.

Cons of having garden windows installed:

  1. Most windows need thick vinyl or wood frame to be really energy efficient. Garden windows do not come with these thick frames, meaning that cold and hot air is more likely to escape through the windows or pass into the kitchen.

Window type 2: Sliding Windows

What are sliding windows?

Sliding windows are made up of side-by-side windows that open on a sliding track. Mechanically simple, it can also be designed to have both windows or just one window slide horizontally.

Pros of having sliding windows installed:

  1. Sliding windows do not take up much space.
  2. They are easy to open.
  3. Sliding windows tend to be cheaper due to their simple designs.
  4. Since you get to crack the window open just a little bit or open it all the way, this type of window gives you better control over air circulation.
  5. They are very durable.

Cons of having sliding windows installed:

  1. The tracks are not that easy to clean.
  2. The design is not necessarily modern.

Window type 3: Double Hung Windows

What are double-hung windows?

Double-hung windows are quite possibly the most popular type of window. It is very similar to sliding windows, except that in that the two large sashes slide up and down within vertical tracks instead of horizontally.

Pros of having double hung windows installed:

  1. You have the freedom of opening them as wide as you want.
  2. You have a wider selection of styles and sizes when compared to sliding windows.
  3. The springs or weights used in the design make the windows easier to open and close.
  4. The vertical tracks do not accumulate dirt easily.

Cons of having double hung windows installed:

  1. Their design makes them dangerous for little children.
  2. This type of window needs maintenance to ensure that the springs or sash cords do not wear out.

Window type 4: Casement Windows

What are casement windows?

Casement windows are very popular windows that open outwards. They open outwards horizontally via cranks mounted on hinges. These hinges are located on one side of the window and are found both at the top and bottom of the windows. Essentially, when you open the window, it will open like a door with one side of the window staying stationary.

Pros of having casement windows installed:

  1. They probably offer the best over control airflow than any other type of windows.
  2. Since its seal is pretty tight, it is very energy efficient –  it can easily keep out drafts.
  3. Their design allows a lot of light in.

Cons of having casement windows installed:

  1. Casement windows are vulnerable to strong winds.
  2. Because of its cranking mechanism, it has greater chances of breaking when compared to the other window types mentioned in this list.

Part 1 of the Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Renovation: Can I Remodel My Kitchen on a Budget?

Sprucing up a kitchen generally costs a lot. In fact, a kitchen renovation can cost significantly more than the renovation of a small bathroom, the living room and bedrooms. But if you plan properly, make wise decisions and stay hands-on, you can give your kitchen the remodelling it desperately needs without draining all your savings.

The good news is that we are here to help you look at all the options available to you. You do not have to follow every tip in this post- you can pick and choose to follow only a few of those and compromise on others. Regardless, these tips will help you cut costs when it comes to the renovation.

Ask yourself these following questions:

Question 1: Is the budget I prepared foolproof?

And by this, we mean have you accounted for “hidden” costs?

Hidden costs can quickly add up and cause you to go above budget or lead to you having to compromise on other things– things that would give your kitchen just the look you want – down the road.  These hidden costs include the cost of labour, materials, delivery as well as taxes.

Question 2: Is this a need or a want?

You may already have an idea of what you want to do for your kitchen. But before going shopping for furniture or thinking about hiring a contractor install that new flooring you really want, evaluate what your idea really is: Is it a want or a need? If it’s a want, will it cost a lot? Can it cause us to go over budget? Or can we afford it?

Not only will this line of questioning force you to stay realistic, it will also discourage you from buying unnecessary items.

Question 3: Can this be a Do It Yourself type of project?

Going the DIY route means you will be able to save on labour costs. Sure, you won’t be able to DIY the project, but there are a few parts that you can complete on your own! For those that are relatively easy, consider doing them yourself. These include changing outlets and lights, painting the walls and hanging drywall.

Question 4: Can I skimp on materials?

No. Absolutely not. You want to aim for quality. Even if the materials come at a cheaper price, the chances of it being faulty are way higher. Instead of saving you money, it will inevitably lead to you spending more.

Good quality materials are relatively expensive. The best solution when you are on a budget is to buy the best quality you can afford. Do not systematically choose the cheaper alternative.

Question 5: Cabinets – replace or refresh?

It’s true that new kitchen cabinets can cost way more than just painting over your old ones. Although a classic method, your existing cabinets may not be as modern or as efficient as newer ones.

If anything, unlike flooring, the benefits of getting new cabinets are two-fold: it not only completely changes the look of your kitchen, but it can also create better storage spaces and organization solutions for you.

Question 6: What about appliances? Refurbish or replace?

If replacing appliances means moving plumbing, gas, or electrical, it would be a better idea to refurbish. Replacing them will cost too much and will not really be worth all the troubles you will have to go through.

Question 7: Will a New Layout Make My Kitchen More Modern?

A new layout can definitely change the whole look of your kitchen. BUT, and that’s a huge but, changing the layout of the kitchen is the surest way of driving up your costs.

Bear in mind that there’s a lot you can change in your kitchen to modernize it. A change in layout is not compulsory.

Question 8: What kind of flooring should I get?

First thing first: Do you need new flooring? Also, remember that kitchens are high-traffic areas that need easy-to-clean, stain-resistant flooring. And these do not come cheap.

If your floors already look good, you may not have to replace them at all. In fact, the less you replace, the less you will have to spend.

Question 9: What kind of countertops do I need?

You don’t need to get that concrete or stone countertops. Really. Yes, we know, they look cool. But a stone countertop will be just as effective as a modest ceramic tile one. And you won’t have to break your budget!

What you may want to splurge on though is the size of the countertop. The more you can fit in your kitchen, the better. You do want enough space for food preparation and your sink.

Question 10: Am I using lighting smartly?

You don’t have to go overboard when designing your new kitchen. Simply hanging a well-designed pendant can change the look in your kitchen. You can also add accent lighting that can be plugged into wall outlets. This can be attached to the underside of your cabinets to update their looks.

Getting LED bulbs is also a good way to save on money in the long term –  these energy-saving bulbs will cause your utility bills to decrease.


Rendering: Everything You Need to Know

This blog post will tell you everything that you need to know about rendering if you’re not sure what it is.

Are Rendering and Plastering the Same Thing?

The short answer? No. They are not at all the same thing.

While they are both processes of covering walls and are both made of the same building materials, this is where the similarity ends. These two practices differ from each other in various ways. The main difference between them is that plastering involves coating the interior walls of a building whereas rendering refers to the coating of exterior walls. Moreover, even if the materials used in both processes include cement, sand, water and lime gypsum, plastering and rendering do not produce equally strong finishes.

1. Rendering

Meant for coating exterior surfaces of buildings, rendering contains a higher percentage of cement within its composition when compared to plastering.

2. Plastering

Since plaster is used to coat the interior walls and ceilings of buildings, its composition is made up of less cement than render. This consistency gives plastering a smooth and flat finish that is ideal for painting or wallpapering.

Why Apply Rendering on Exterior Walls?

Needless to state that no one can go past rendering if they are looking for an attractive, cost-effective exterior finish. However, rendering serves two additional purposes other than only making the outside facade of a building more visually appealing:

Rendering increases the safety of a building by providing both waterproofing and fireproofing efficiencies.

Types of Render Finish?

Before the invention of modern renders, concrete renders used to be widely used.  But with the leaps and bounds made by technology, modern renders are able to compete on almost equal footing as concrete renders.

Since different types of render create different types of finish, it would be ill-advised to make a choice before having looked at all the types that exist on the market. From smooth to textured and patterned, you can find several types of finishes that also come in a wide range of colours.

Below is a list of the most common types of renders:

1.      Lime render

Since lime hardens slowly, it is an easily workable material that is also less brittle and less prone to cracking when compared to concrete renders. Even if there are cracks, these areas can mend over time by absorbing carbon dioxide.

In fact, the process that makes lime hard and waterproof is called carbonation. While it sits on the wall, it continuously absorbs carbon from the atmosphere for several days. With a textured or patterned finish, lime renders are perfect for old homes and old, historic buildings. Because it is so flexible and breathable, it helps to alleviate damp problems that are common in old buildings.

2.      Cement render

Consisting of three main components (lime, sand and cement), cement render is the standard choice for external walls. Not only can this type of render be mixed on-site, but the materials used to make it are quite cheap.

However, this type of render require at least 2 – 3 coats of render and needs frequent repainting for it to look as good as new.

3.      Polymer render

In addition to having cement or lime, this type of render also have polymers and some types of plastics added to it. These polymers are added to help prevent cracking, increase flexibility and/or to provide better waterproofing features.

Polymer renders are generally pre-mixed, hydrophobic, vapour permeable and can resist even high impacts. This would explain why this type of render is gradually gaining in popularity.

4.      Acrylic render

This is a wet, thin-coat render which is often used as a topcoat over existing finishes. It comes in a wide variety of colours and can be purchased ready to use.

Acrylic renders stand out when it comes to colours because it can not only be mixed into any shade but with its ability to bond well to colour pigments, it can give very intense colours that last much longer than other coloured renders.

Advantages of the Most Common Type of Rendering: Concrete

There is a reason why concrete rendering is the most popular out of all the options out there: although usually applied to bricks, it can be applied to just about any masonry surface.

On top of that, it also has several other advantages

  1. By just changing the application technique, several types of finishes can be created. These finishes can range from very smooth to very textured.
  2. Because it is comparatively cheaper than other rendering option, it is possible to apply it to larger areas of wall without breaking the budget.
  3. It can be painted over and at any time once the render has set and dried.
  4. Since any outdoor-rated pain can be used on concrete render, you have a wider range of colour to choose from.

How Can I Keep My Bathroom Clean and Fresh?

Bathrooms smell. All bathrooms smell. It’s usually the room that smells the most in a house. And it’s quite normal considering what everyone does there… As much as we hate talking about it, this is where we go to do our business – which is pretty disgusting and smelly. But again, these are bodily functions and cannot be stopped – it’s totally normal, everyone has to go!

But it is not easy to clean the bathroom on a daily basis. We all have busy schedules, and we can’t spare hours every day to clean the bathroom from top to bottom. We hear you. But it’s also crucial that this high-traffic room stays clean.

So, to help you out, we’ve come up with a few simple ways to keep the bathroom clean for longer, keep the odours at bay and ensure the bathroom smells fresh naturally. Read on find out how to get more mileage out of your efforts:

Step 1: Keep moisture away

The leading factor to pungent smell is bacteria growth. And the best way to have bacteria grow in your bathroom is to let moisture sit in the bathroom for a long time.

Moisture can accumulate in a bathroom after a shower. Notice how condensation covers the tiles, mirrors and bathroom counter after you get out of the shower? This condensation is caused by the steam of your shower. In addition to making the bathroom smell, this moisture can also cause mildew stains to form in your bathroom.

Solution:

Ensure the shower stays dry. There are a few ways of doing that:

  1. You can wipe down the walls, tub, faucets and shower doors with a squeegee once you are done in the shower.
  2. Use bathmats and dry the floor once you step out of the shower.  (Wash those rugs on a regular basis so they do not harbour any smell.)
  3. Crack a window or the door open while showering. This will help dissipate the moisture.

Step 2: Keep plumbing fixtures and faucets clean 

While hard water deposits do not cause any odour, it does not look attractive, makes the bathroom look dirtier than it really is and, worst, impairs the function of your fixtures.

Because of the high moisture rate and water collection in bathrooms, faucets tend to quickly accumulate hard water deposits. No matter how new the faucet is, these deposits will make it look old and dingy.

Solution:

Everyday cleaning won’t cut it when it comes to hard water deposit – You can’t remove buildup with just water. While you still need to clean the faucets and fixtures regularly in a specific way, you don’t need to get any special cleaning products.

To keep them looking nice and working correctly, do the following:

  1. Pour regular white vinegar in a container.
  2. Soak a clean piece of rag in the vinegar.
  3. Carefully drape the rag over the faucet so the rag covers the areas that have hard water deposits.
  4. Wait 30 – 60 minutes before removing the rag.
  5. With the help of a non-scratch sponge scrub vigorously, while focusing on areas with the most buildup.

Step 3: Keep the grout clean

We can all agree that well-installed tiles can make any bathroom look modern and classy. They are also ideal for bathrooms since they are very resistant to moisture. But there is one downside to having tiles installed, and that is Grout.

It is used to keep the tiles together and looks beautiful when fresh. But because it is porous, it absorbs dirt, debris, and liquids easily and is more prone to staining. If it is not cleaned properly, it will become stained and mildewed, and can even crack. Dirty grout can have a certain smell to it and can make your bathroom smell strangely.

Solution:

To maintain grout in the bathroom and extend its life, follow these simple steps:

  1. Use a squeegee to wipe down the tiles on the walls after your shower. It will help remove excess water.
  2. Lightly spray the tiles with a mild shower cleaner.
  3. Every two weeks rub water and baking soda paste on the grout using a grout brush or an old toothbrush.
  4. Rinse with clear water.
  5. Dry using a squeegee.

Step 4: Keep the shower curtain free from buildup

Since shower curtains are in contact with water from the shower on a daily basis, they can develop mildew and odours if not scrubbed regularly. 

Solution:

  1. If you have a vinyl shower curtain, spray the bottom of the liner with a bleach-containing all-purpose. Do this several times a month to keep soap scum, water minerals, and mildew at bay.
  2. If you have a cloth shower curtain, put it in the washing machine every month.
  3. Coat the shower curtains with a water repellent.

How To Choose Your Feather Mattress Topper

A feather mattress topper is the epitome of coziness and sometimes the essential part of a warm and comfy bed. However, selecting the correct mattress topper can be quite confusing because of the large variety of designs and prices. Below you will find some useful advice for selecting the best topper for your night’s sleep.

1. Materials

Choose an acceptable thread count.

The thread count refers to the number of threads per area unit of cloth. A higher thread count topper relates to a tightly woven cloth that is softer, finer and cozier than one in a relatively lower thread count.

A topper made up of muslin can usually have a low thread count between 100-180. Prime quality cotton features a thread count of over 250. Any fabric with a thread count of over 400 is accounted for as a luxury.

The material utilized in the development of a topper is the barrier weave.

A barrier weave stops the down from slippy out of your topper. Many times more leak-proof than alternative materials, the tightly-woven barrier weave conjointly mutes the sound of feathers moving within and keeps your topper in perfect condition.

2. Design & Construction

The construction and style of a mattress topper affect how the heat is distributed throughout the topper and the way it supports the fragile down feathers packed inside.

Down that slips to the sides of a topper traps heat on the sides, keeping the heat distant from the body. A system to keep the down in place is needed to keep you snug and warm during the progression of your sleep.

A common topper style is the baffle box. It ensures that the down is not clumped or shifted to the corners but lays smooth.

Baffle refers to the fabric that runs perpendicular inside a topper, making boxes from top to bottom that hold the feathers in place. A baffle-box style keeps the down firmly in place with the assistance of pockets sewed throughout the topper.

However, since the handicraft goes from top to bottom – these toppers do not offer the best insulation and do not seem to be as downy.

3. Size

A comfortable mattress topper must be of the proper weight to suit the temperatures in your bedroom and must be of the correct size for your bed.

Is your bed queen size, king size, Californian, single or a double?
The size matters because a topper is intended to fit on your mattress.

The other thing affected by the scale of your topper is that of the cover. Some covers are smaller than the mattress topper designed for the same size of a bed. Measure your topper accurately to make sure it’ll fit inside the cover. You will use a cover to keep the topper clean.

4. Weight

A light-weight topper is ideal for people who slightly need to feel warm at night.
A regular-weight is appropriate for those who like to cuddle in warmth and like comfort in bed.
Summer-weight toppers are ideal for hotter climates, during summer or for people who feel their bedroom is hot.
Ensure that your mattress topper is not too heavy or too warm. Each factor has a major impact on the quality of your sleep.

5. Comfort

The factor affecting your comfort is the warmth of the mattress topper. Choose a warmth level that’s suited to the room temperature of your bedroom. The fill power indicates the level of warmth. A light-weight warmth topper with more fill power will not be as warm as a winter weight topper. The quantity of down inside a topper affects the warmth more than the fill power.

6. Avoid Triggering Allergies

The cleanliness of the feathers plays a major role in the comfort of the topper. An allergic reaction is normally the cause of dust, dirt, and allergens in bedding and not from the feathers in the topper. A quality mattress topper is stuffed with feathers that are washed, rinsed and dried many times.

7. Care

Frequent laundry causes the down clusters to separate. Instead, use a cover to keep your topper clean. Later on, you will be able to remove the cover and wash it.

Although the topper is safe for washing, most home laundry machines do not seem to be large enough to accommodate it. So, it would be best to bring it to a professional.

Why Will You Choose a Mattress Topper?

It can turn your bed that is too firm into plush, comforting bliss. You will feel like you are sleeping on a brand new bed without having to spend thousands of dollars. The purpose of a topper is to make your mattress softer – the focus is on providing an extra layer of comfort. You will get the effect of sleeping on a cloud! I hope the above will help you to choose your mattress topper. Remember to share your views in the comment section below!



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