Category Archives: Home Improvement

Discovering the Fancy World of Fences and Gates

Are you looking for a new fence? A gate can make or break the usefulness of a fence. Whether you’ re installing a gate in a new fence or an existing fence, you’ ll probably want an opening that is user-friendly, durable and aesthetically pleasing. Choosing a fence gate can be tough, but if you keep a few things in mind, you’ll definitely opt for the right gate every time. Here’s what you need to bear in mind to avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse after your new gate is installed. Simply follow these tips and enjoy the final result.

Before Choosing Your Gate

Before you can think about the types of doors, you need to consider a few preliminary details. Consider these decisions and actions before you begin the process of choosing fence gates.

Check With Your HOA/POA

Before you do anything, check with your local government to see if you live in such an area. Nothing spoils your plans faster than getting a buzz now that you’ve chosen your fence. It’s time to get some parameters and avoid a world of disappointment. Fences can come in a standard size.

Inspect Your Property

You may decide to opt for a manual portal, but in case you fall in love with something fancy, it is useful to know where your power will come from. Inspect your property and determine if you have a power source, and if not, where you will get it. While you’re at it, you can also evaluate the type of space you have to determine the best kind of gate opening.

Check Out Your Options

Are you looking for a remote control option? Security features? Electronic key codes? Consider these options before purchasing the first item you see in your neighbourhood’ ’s big box stores. Those include the types of gates and styles that match your home.

During Your Decision-Making Process

Once you’ve conducted your preliminary research, it’s time to start choosing your fence gate. While there are plenty of things, you should consider as part of your decision-making process, reviewing your options will help you determine what you really want.

Types of Gate

There are many types of gates, but it is essential to choose the right kind. If the material of your gate is highly dependent on the fence material (a vinyl fence has a vinyl gate), you may also choose a gate style. A wooden fence will probably have a wooden gate or a complementary material such as metal. Aside from these, here are a few types of gates.

  • Standard gate – A standard gate matches your fence entirely. It’s usually the same material and the same height so that it blends in.
  • Ornamental gate – a much fancier option, this style has some type of ornate design that really stands out. Some are even custom to include things like your initials or crest.
  • Speciality gates – Speciality gates serve a distinct purpose. They provide space-saving features, for example, if you don’t have room to swing a gate. They go over a larger driveway or help provide security in a specialised fashion. Often, they’re specifically made for your unique situation and to your specifications.
  • Security gates – these sometimes fall under the speciality or ornamental category, but they offer an extra layer of security for your property. They’re often powered and provide keypads, electronic locks, or video access in some cases.
  • Hidden gates – Hidden gates blend into the fence itself, giving your house the impression of an impenetrable fortress. These gates are helpful if you live in a high traffic area, especially foot traffic.
  • Double gates – If your fence goes across your driveway, you may need a double gate to make the best use of the space. These will require bracing and could be a lot to maintain in the future because of their size and weight. They’ll need a mechanism to prevent gaps from developing and something that allows you to open the sides independently if necessary.

Types of Opening

Depending on your space, you may decide to use a different type of gate opening. Not all gates have to swing open, and that can be inconvenient for some areas.

  • Swing gates – the typical gate style is on a hinge and diagonally reinforced to prevent sagging. Most secure with a latch and come in a variety of materials.
  • Cantilever gates – Cantilever gates slide open rather than swing and provide access when you don’t have space for a swinging gate. They use a counterbalanced system and free float of the driveway or entrance. These are good for areas that see a lot of debris or snow.
  • Rolling gates – Rolling gates also slide rather than swing open, but use wheels on a track embedded in the ground for support. These have a small footprint and are suitable for wider spaces where your gate will need a lot of help.

Features and Specialities

If you only want a standard fence gate size, you’ll need to decide how you’ll latch it. Other options include security features like keypads or automatic openers. You’ll need to find power sources and ensure that your gate is fully supported before you choose.

Your installer can also help you with unique security features and any loose ends you need for your gate. These final touches can happen in the planning process so that the installation goes as smoothly as possible. Want a fancy gate for your yard? Contact Chainmesh Security Fencing in Melbourne. They provide high-quality chain link fences that are engineered to improve the security of your property.


Decorating with Tiles and Laminate – What Goes Where

There’re no home decorating challenges quite so frustrating as old, worn-out floors. You can paint the walls, add accessories, and even replace furniture on a budget, but replacing an entire floor is a much bigger – and costlier – job. That doesn’t mean you just have to live with your ratty old carpeting or scuffed-up vinyl. These days, there are lots of different flooring options, including several that are very affordable.

However, you can’t just pick up one of these cheap flooring choices at random and expect it to work in any space where you plunk it down. This article focuses mainly on tile and laminate, with pros and cons of each flooring type.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of clay and shale that’s fired in a kiln like pottery. It’s a hard material that comes in a huge variety of colors, shapes, and patterns. Not all ceramic tiles are tough enough for flooring, so it’s important to make sure the ones you buy are rated for use on floors.

There are four main types of ceramic tile:

  • Glazed Ceramic: This type of tile has a glass-like coating that can give the tile virtually any color or texture. Glazed ceramic tile is practically maintenance-free.
  • Porcelain: This tile is fired at very high temperatures, making it extra-hard and durable. It’s available either glazed or unglazed. Both types are stain-resistant and work well in outdoor rooms.
  • Quarry Tile: This unglazed ceramic tile has a slightly rough texture, making it more slip-resistant than glazed tile. However, it’s not available in as wide a range of colors.
  • Terracotta: This unglazed tile comes only in earth tones. It’s less durable than other tiles and needs regular sealing to prevent stains.
Advantages

Tile comes in many colors and shapes, so it can fit in with any style of home. Thanks to modern printing technology, it’s also possible to create ceramic tile with virtually any pattern. It can mimic the look of natural stone or even wood, though it won’t feel like wood underfoot. Tests have found porcelain tile to be the most durable type of flooring, resistant to scratches, dents, and moisture. It’s also very easy to clean. Glazed ceramic and porcelain tile require very little maintenance, though other types need more.

Disadvantages

Tile feels cold and hard underfoot, and it makes footsteps sound louder. Glazed ceramic tile can also be slippery unless it’s coated with a special anti-slip finish. Durability varies depending on the type of tile you choose. Terracotta tile requires regular sealing. Glazed tile is easy to clean and maintain, but the lines of grout between the tiles can stain if you don’t seal them regularly. And although tile is a durable material, it’s not that easy to fix if a single tile happens to crack.

Best Uses

Porcelain tile is the best choice for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens and mudrooms, as well as for wet rooms such as baths and laundry rooms. It’s also ideal for an enclosed porch or sunroom.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is constructed much like engineered wood, with a thin veneer over layers of plywood or compressed fiber. However, the top layer is not wood but a photograph under a clear plastic coating. That means laminate can look like wood, stone, tile, or just about any other material. Laminate comes in either planks or tiles. Most of them are floating floor systems, which you can install right over your old flooring with no glue or nails.

Advantages

Laminate can mimic the look of wood or stone for much less money. It’s also easy to clean and requires very little maintenance. It’s a hard material that resists scratching and scuffing better than real wood. Laminate is easy to install over an existing floor, saving you time and money on your flooring project. That being said, it takes patience and ingenuity to fit the planks around corners and through doors, so you’re better off getting help from experts like the ones at AtoZ Kitchen & Bath.

Disadvantages

Like tile, laminate can be slippery when wet. Also, if water stands on it for any length of time, it can get in between the layers of the material, causing the planks to warp. Unlike real wood, laminate can’t be refinished when it wears out, only replaced. That can make it a less cost-effective choice than wood or tile over the long term.

Best Uses

Laminate is a good material for high-traffic areas, such as kitchens, foyers, and playrooms. It’s also a reasonable choice for basements as long as they have no problems with leaks or standing water. It’s best to avoid this material in wet rooms, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

I hope you find the information in this article useful. Stay tuned for more updates and suggestions in future posts.


Installing a Skylight in Your Roof

Skylights let natural light stream into your home, bringing warmth and a feeling of spaciousness. When properly selected and used, they can reduce your need for electric lighting and minimize your heating and cooling costs. There are also health benefits to this wonderful sunlight that shines on us. 

If you lack sufficient sunlight on your skin, you will suffer health effects. That is because the human body was designed to be exposed to sunlight on a frequent basis. We evolved, after all, under the natural sun, not under fluorescent lighting. Our environment was one with plentiful sunlight.

Skylights can provide up to 30% more natural light than vertical windows while making a small space seem bigger.

A skylight is like a window which has been placed in your roof. It has a frame specially designed to withstand rain and prevent leakage from rain and snow. To maximize a skylight’s use of natural light to illuminate a room or its passive solar heating potential, you will want to take into consideration how a skylight is positioned.

We have found many ways of introducing light into our houses and homes. These range from complete conservatories made from glass in a narrow framework, through custom built, atrium roofing sections, to smaller fixed or opening windows fitted into an existing roof.

No matter how much light you want indoors, it is important to know how to go about it. Some skylights require relatively inexpensive and small-scale installation work; others involve large-scale, tailored fabrication and design work. Although planning permission may not be required, the work should comply with the building regulations, so consult your local buildings regulator.

A skylight is a great way to let heat, light, and air into a room. The addition of roofing lights can effectively turn a roof into a grid running between the squares of light.

Opening roof windows solve ventilation and sunlight problems associated with the average building. Particularly in the case of attic conversions where standard windows are not an option, an opening skylight turns a roof cavity into a useful and pleasurable space.

Always consider ceiling geometry when you are thinking about skylights. Narrow shapes running down to the line of the eaves create the effect of slots of light internally. When all the surfaces are plastered and painted, the skylight looks even more attractive.

Installing a skylight

A skylight is a fantastic way to let light and heat into dreary rooms. Putting in a skylight, especially if the shape of the ceiling mimics the slope of the roof, is certainly not beyond the capability of the average DIY hobbyist.

First, decide how large a skylight you want; two, three or four smaller windows might be better than a large one. Discuss through your needs with manufacturers or suppliers. When it arrives, carefully read the installation instructions. Bear in mind that you are going to put a hole in your roof, which could let in the rain if there is a hold up because you don’t know exactly how the unit should be fitted or there’s a few parts missing. Have tarpaulin and e ropes to hand, in case.

Drive a large nail into the ceiling where the skylight is to go. Wearing shoes with good grip is essential. Climb onto the roof and locate the desired position and remove the roof slates. The skylight must not interfere with a ceiling hanger or a purlin.

Cut the tiling battens and mark out the frame size that will hold the skylight. Cut the rafters and put in trimmers in compliance with the manufacturer’s directions. Look out for any wiring or cables. Cut away the plaster with a saw and take the skylight from its box and remove the flashings and trims.

Mark the position of the skylight on the ceiling and make Sure that one side of it fits next to a ceiling joist. Drive a large nail through its middle. Remove the tiles and keep them close by. Cut the battens with a circular saw or a handsaw and then cut the rafters until they are trimmed correctly. Frame joints must be well nailed – use a minimum of four 90 mm nails in each case.

Before sawing the hole in the plasterboard, cut deeply into the sheet from underneath with a knife. This will lessen the likelihood of the lining paper tearing. If you have made the opening the correct size, the brackets of the sides of the skylight should stand on the framing members.

Stand the frame in the recommended position and fix it to the rafters and trimmers using brackets which should be provided. It must be level across the roof at both ends.

Fit the bottom flashing, bending it to follow the contours of the tiles. Fit the side flashings, the top flashing and so on. Refit the tiles around the skylight. You could use tile cutters, or a carborundum wheel fixed in your circular saw for this. (If the latter is used, make sure you wear goggles and long protective clothing.) If you have followed the steps correctly, the room below will not become water damaged. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully, then position the roof window and, after double checking it is correct, temporarily fix it to one of the rafters.

Use a spirit level to check that the skylight is flat. If it is not, pack it up on the low side and then, using screws or nails, fasten it tightly into position.

The flashings are very important, they are there to stop leaks and water damage developing between the skylight and the roof covering. They must be installed correctly and without damage. When you are fitting the flashings to the roof slates, a wood block can be used for beating the metal into position. Do this until it fits the contours of the slates exactly. When fitting the side and top flashings, proceed carefully. Check each step.

The final step to the exterior is to replace the roof slates. This will involve cutting. Once the job is done, be sure to clear away all the debris that could block the downpipes. Measure the exposed area between the edge of the skylight and the ceiling and cut the plasterboard to suit. Nail the plasterboard into place, using plasterboard nails. Metal corner angle joints strengthen the join and give a precise line to work on when you are plastering. Cut them with a hacksaw and nail them in place. Using a mortar trowel, apply the cement in separate layers, each one getting wider and wider. Make sure that you smooth each of the joints away to nothing.

Plastering

Measure and mark the sections as required. Make sure the top side (unmarked) faces outwards. With a sharp knife, cut deeply along the edge. Turn the board over and, holding one side in your hand, give the sheet a thump with your fist. This should cause the sheet to bend and break. Using a sharp knife, cut along the edge on the back of the sheet. This will ensure that the lining paper does not get ripped. Cut and fix plasterboard around the skylight. Cut and fix the metal angles that strengthen the corners. Plaster the corners. Sand, dry, prime and paint them.

Job done!

If you are considering a skylight in your attic or roof, contact a professional skylight installer and get some good advice on all aspects to take into consideration. Daylight Skylights is a professional company with over 35 years’ experience of skylight installations.


Shower Towel Bars: A Stylish Update to Your Bathroom

One of the most ignored accessories in the bathroom is the towel bars, we tend to take it for granted and just see it as the simple thing that should be in the bathroom no matter what. It is kind of surprising to see that we ignore the thing that we use the most. Well, there different types of shower bars that exist and yes, I did not know about them until I wrote this! Shower towel bars are the ultimate bathroom accessory that we might think it is not important, but it is. Even the small details can make a big difference in the outcome of your bathroom’s look. With so many of these fixtures to take note of, you have to realize how important it is to have a stylish and durable shower towel bar.

Like most of the bathroom fixtures, shower towel bars can come in different shapes and sizes, all of which have been designed to accommodate your needs. There are a lot of types that a shower bar can come in. They will differ in form and materials used rather than the color.

Here are some of which the different types or forms of shower towel bars:

Single Bar

This is more applicable for bathrooms which does not have much space and are seldom used by a lot of people. Basically, the single bar is great for those that only have one bathroom in their house. It is a lot more economical compared to those multiple barred ones and quite easier to install and maintain.

Double to Multiple Bar

It is pretty clear that the single bar is the basic choice for most people today. Double bars, on the other hand, are for those bathrooms that are much bigger in size and have more than one person using them. You have to be particular in the design of these bars since they will be more noticeable compared to single bars.

Wooden Bar

If you check out most of the bathrooms out there, you will not really see a wooden bar. This is due to the fact that not a lot of people think it is practical. But like steel bars and other artificial counterparts, a wooden bar can be dependable especially if it is crafted from a sturdy type of wood. Plus, a smooth wooden finish makes for a great addition to your bathroom’s accent.

Stainless Steel Bar

Basically, stainless steel is the most common material that a shower towel bar can come in. Aside from the nice chrome finish that it provides to your bathroom, stainless steel bars will not rust. Rusty bars can really make your bathroom unappealing, and of course, you do not want your towels to be blemished by the rust. Plus, this material is also quite easy to clean.

A stylish shower towel bar can be just another small way to improve the appearance of your bathrooms without spending a lot of money. Most local home improvement stores, including the large box home improvement stores, do not have a large selection for you to choose from. The best place to start your search for the perfect shower towel bar for your bathroom is the Internet. You will be able to find all of the different styles and kinds and you will also be able to buy them at discount prices!

Before starting on the adventure of choosing the right piece of hardware for your towels, there are several features that should be taken into consideration.

Design

A towel rack differs from a towel bar because it may be much more than just a single bar. Often, they have some sort of shelving system on top and then a bar or two underneath where towels can hang. Other times a rack might be a unit that sits on the floor rather than attaching to the wall. Overall, a rack tends to have more function to it than a simple bar that hangs on the wall. Just think carefully about how you will be using it and what kinds of towels you intend to hang on it. Also think about what you would use the shelves for if it does have shelves. Storing extra towels there is ideal, but that is not the only possible use. Just make sure that the design of the rack you select is something that you will find very useful and functional.

Placement

The next important thing to take into consideration when choosing a towel rack is placement in the bathroom. If you plan to hang it on the wall, measure and mark the placements of the studs in the wall and use them to your advantage. Racks can be very heavy because they are much more than a simple bar, so you especially might need to hang them on studs rather than just anywhere in the wall. Measuring the space, you have to put the rack in is also very important so that you can make sure that the area is large enough for the one you want. You should avoid getting a towel rack that is too small for the space too. If necessary, purchase two racks to take up all of the space. Depending on the design, this might be a great way to have room for both his and her towels. Just remember that if the rack already has room for two large towels, having two of them in the space may be redundant. Think instead about filling the extra space with some other type of decoration.

Material

It is also very important to think about what kind of material the rack should be made out of. Chrome is extremely popular, because of its extreme durability and because of the clean look it lends to any space. Bathrooms are meant to look especially clean, and polished chrome can help your bathroom really shine and look as clean as possible. Polished nickel is also very popular because it is durable and because it adds a little bit more class to a space than chrome does. Just remember to match the color of the hardware with the rest of the room, and then selecting the best material will usually fall right into place. Do not feel like you are limited to silver tones because some hardware can have a yellow or black finish and still be made of these very favorable materials.

Get the best selection and discount prices on bath towel bars and also you can get more information on bathroom towel bars at Milobath & Accessories.


Quick Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Remodeling a kitchen is not always the best of ideas and sometimes not within the budget as it takes a lot to do a kitchen renovation. Well, that is how most of the people think! They think that kitchen remodeling with consume half or most of their budget. Lest, there are easy and quick kitchen remodeling companies like Desire Home Deco, that caters to each of your needs when it comes to remodeling projects.

A kitchen remodeling can be stressful as you will need to change your routine and adjust your life according to the new kitchen style. It is surprising to see how easy and practical kitchen remodeling tips are.

Kitchen Renovation can be an exciting, creative project, and you can create your dream kitchen. But where do you start? There is a bewildering array of choices available – from faucets to flooring, kitchen cabinets and countertops, appliances, lighting – you have unlimited options available, and you are really limited only by your budget. Still, kitchen renovation is a big job, and mistakes are not only costly, they are time consuming. Here are 10 tips you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation.

The first of the 10 tips you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation, is decide on a budget and stick to it. Once you start going through magazines and catalogues, and visiting stores you are going to be sorely tempted, so you might want to add a little leeway into your budget, but unless the sky is the limit, give your budget a limit and stick to it, or your kitchen renovation will drain your cash reserves far more quickly than you could ever have anticipated.

The second tip may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people skip it and launch right in, to their detriment later on. It is simple, plan, plan, and plan. You have your budget, now look at your kitchen, the space you have available, how often you use your kitchen and think about what you want to achieve with your kitchen renovation. Do you use your kitchen as a family room, for snacks and breakfast? Then you may want to include entertainment options such as a wall-mounted television, and a sound system in your kitchen renovation plans.

The third tip you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation is a good one – heed it. Kitchen cabinets usually account for about half the cost of the budget of the average kitchen renovation. Decide early what you want, how much you want to spend, and then plan around that. It is advisable not to skimp on quality when it comes to kitchen cabinets – rather go for the best you can afford.

The fourth tip you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation is not that obvious to many – pay attention to the flooring. Just because it is a kitchen, does not mean that the floors have to be ugly. There are many great options available – just make sure you look for durability, along with looks.

The fifth tip you need to know before you start is to decide early on what kind of a look do you want for your kitchen, and stick to it, or you will end up with a mish-mash design. Unless you are going for an eclectic look, you would be better off sticking to a theme, so all the elements blend together seamlessly.

The sixth tip you need to know before you start your renovation is to follow-on from the last tip. Make sure your kitchen design is timeless and fits in with the rest of your home. You may want to redecorate the rest of your home long before you get around to renovating your kitchen again, so make sure you can live with the kitchen design you choose.

The seventh tip you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation is that lighting has gained prominence in modern kitchens. The old fluorescent bulb not only looks unattractive, it gobbles electricity. Where possible consider the use of LED’s and layered kitchen lighting. Lighting can be expensive, so it is something you need to think about early in your planning stages.

The eighth tip is important – if you are going to choose a contractor, choose wisely. Look for someone reputable, and do not hesitate to check up on references – many people have had terrible experiences with contractors who did not do what they promised or disappeared halfway through the kitchen renovation.

The ninth tip you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation is that there is a lot of kitchen design software that you can make use of when you are planning your kitchen. Do not grab the first option – look at reviews, so you can find something that will work for you.

The tenth tip you need to know before you start your kitchen renovation is keep in mind your existing kitchen, how big it is, and what shape it is – if you are renovating your kitchen, you are not going to alter the basics – so work with what you have.

Visit Desire Home Deco for all your remodeling projects! Serving all New York, they excel at providing professional and reliable services to residential clients.


Types of Landscaping Lights

Outdoor landscape lighting is an important consideration in trying to illuminate your patio, entrance, yard, landscape garden or deck. But, sadly though, outdoor lighting is often ignored. Homeowners should remember that outdoor lighting can give the sense of “completeness” in their homes. Therefore, considering very detail of its decoration is essential to achieve a completely beautiful and presentable area that will surely catch every guest’s wandering attention. Landscape lighting tips will help brighten your gardens and landscape during the evening hours. Some landscape lighting tips are meant to show off different areas of your garden landscape. Landscape lighting is not only popular to homeowners but also business owners to highlight the business building during the evening. Everyone enjoys low voltage lighting and solar lighting because they are inexpensive and easy to install and are available to purchase almost anywhere.

The outdoor lighting you chose to have will not only add an important aspect in the appearance of the area and in helping you light your place rightly, but it will also give you a sense of safety and security for your house. All that you needed to do is to make the perfect choice of the lighting that will just be fitted for your house and your taste, and then you will all be set in achieving beauty and security. Consider the following types of landscape lighting:

1. LED (Light Emitting Diode) Landscape Lightings – these are one of the possible great choices for outdoor spaces lighting. Since, at the present time, many homeowners are enjoying spending time outside their houses, LED lightings can accentuate any outdoor space that may need lighter than the others. This type of lighting can come in different voltages so that finding the perfect one that will meet your standards for intensity, color, and brightness, or any of your personal needs will be made easier. This can be used in illuminating your patio, driveway, or garden. Not to mention that this is also one of the few lighting that can also be environmentally friendly since they are an energy saver type of light. People even in businesses choose LED so that they will save their resources, especially in paying their electric bills, and to do their part in saving the environment.

2. Solar Landscape Lighting – is a perfect way to bring forth light to your pathways around your house or business areas. Different manufacturers have come up with different styles that are also environmentally friendly and will not require the use of electricity in order to make it work. Solar lighting makes us of the sun’s full light so that it can operate at night. It makes use of small solar cells to charge the batteries that are already built in. This is so when you have fully charged it the whole day, it will provide the all the needed light in the night. One thing to consider in purchasing this type of lighting though is the PV panel. The PV panel is important because it is needed in the charging of the battery; it needs to be located somewhere it will be conducive to have more sunlight on it, otherwise the battery will not charge properly. It would also be wise to find out if there are available replacements for the batteries and bulbs also. Take note that the best types of this lighting are those that are that are weather resistant, durable, and stainless steel.

3. Garden Lighting – having a garden at home enhances the beauty of the place even more. And having a garden should be enjoyed at any season or any time of the day. And to make the garden even more attractive even at night, adding lighting on it can really make all the difference. Planning will also make the big effect on the goal that you would like to achieve. Garden lighting can be used to accentuate the general layout of your garden. If your garden has a seating area on it, it would be wise to put the lighting there; while adding a touch of green will be better if you use solar lights accompanied with lampshades. But if you have a pond on it, it will enhance it even better if lights will be placed underwater. Putting fountain lights can also add effect and offers another option you can take. Garden lighting can also be solar powered so even if your garden is located far from an electrical source, it would not pose any problem. Highlighting some trees can also be dramatic in the different seasons of the year.

4. Low Voltage Landscape Lighting – if your discretion is to save energy efficiency, using low voltage landscape lighting that will illuminate outdoor spaces can be ideal for you. Low voltage lighting can be very economical and practical in times like these. And no activity will be hampered just because of the lack of light; low voltage lighting can also provide spotlights for you on times when you needed them most. Three types of low voltage lighting can be considered as good options for this purpose. One of them is pathway lighting; this can be the lowest voltage of all and primarily designed to give a downward or even an outward glow. Then there are mood lights that can cast a soft or warmer glow appropriate for a romantic dinner or even just to have a personal conversation. And finally, there are also the accent lightings which can draw your guests’ attention to whatever special and unique features that your garden is offering. They can be your ponds, any outdoor sculpture, waterfalls, or trees. Securing and ensuring that these lightings will last for several and all types of seasons will be the topmost consideration here.

5. Deck Lighting – since decks are most likely to be used during nighttime rather than the day, any lighting arrangements done here will complete the beauty and grandeur of the place. Lighting here will give the deck a more appealing look especially after sunset; it will make your deck dazzling and even more strikingly pleasing. Opting for low voltage lighting along your deck will make it also shine. There are post-cap lightings having removable lid or cover that will enable easy access to the bulbs in there. In fact, there are enough choices of low voltage lighting for decks that add that scintillating effect.

Get in touch with Aqua Spray Irrigation Inc to install your landscaping light that will enhance the beauty of your garden in the best way possible.


Knocking Down to Rebuild – Benefits and Considerations

Do you feel like you’ve outgrown your home? Or maybe it’s gotten shabby and no longer suits your needs? While renovating, buying a new home or building elsewhere are three possible solutions there’s a fourth option that many people are now turning to: knocking down your house and building a new one in its place.

Given the many advantages of tearing down your home and starting afresh, it’s not hard to see why this is an increasingly popular solution. If you’re curious to see if it’s the right option for you, have a look at some of the benefits and concerns listed below for a fuller picture.

1. It can be a smarter move financially

One of the main draws of opting to tear down your existing home and rebuild is that it can be more cost-effective than renovating.

Experts state that it is not uncommon for extension and renovation projects to be 50 per cent more expensive to build than new homes on a square meter basis, partly because renovations often require a lot of time-consuming demolition and alteration work before the new work can even begin.

Also, some costs associated with renovating and extending a home are difficult to determine during the design stage. Some examples are when new subfloor, underpinning or plaster rectification are required. Allowances for such costs need to be built into the contract. It can be tricky to determine the exact level of allowances to be made.

This obviously won’t factor into your financials if you choose to knock your house down and rebuild, since your existing home will be totally demolished, allowing you to start afresh.

2. There are fewer surprises

While everyone loves a good surprise, you’re not likely to encounter many of them when renovating your home. Unforeseen problems like leaky pipes, damaged wiring or undetected asbestos can put a dampener on what was initially an exciting home makeover project.

Knockdown-rebuilds, on the other hand, don’t have as much uncertainty around them in terms of cost and budget blowouts like extensions and renovations do.

3. You can stay in the same neighborhood…

While demolishing and rebuilding your home has plenty of financial benefits, this building approach has a positive impact on your lifestyle, too. KDRs are a great option for families who love where they live and are loath to leave but are in desperate need of a new home that fits their lifestyle better.

4. …Or buy a house to raze and rebuild where you love

A shortage of land in and around metropolitan areas has been a driving force behind the popularity of knockdown-rebuilds. However, properties in well-established areas can be pricey, no matter how dilapidated they are, so it’s worth weighing up the cost versus the lifestyle benefits to make sure the price of the purchase, demolition and rebuild is worth it.

5. You start with a clean slate

Another advantage of a knockdown-rebuild is the creative freedom you can enjoy, not being shackled by needing to work around existing structures. While you still need to consider the general site layout, it is refreshing to have a clean slate to explore new ideas and challenge the previous layout. Building a new home gives you more options in terms of the style and size of the home, sustainability and the use of technology and modern building practices.”

6. Improved site access for a quicker build

KDRs also enable your builder to have unlimited access to the construction site, which will increase productivity on-site and could reduce your overall build cost and, ultimately, build timing. Efficient programming means you can move in faster, reducing the cost of other out-of-pocket expenses such as rent and storage costs.

7. You can go green(er)

Starting from scratch means that you can optimize the orientation and layout of your home and the placement of windows, to allow for maximum sun exposure in winter; shade and coolness in summer; and cross ventilation.

Knockdown-rebuilds give you the opportunity to construct your new home from the ground up, using sustainable materials and incorporating the latest smart, eco-friendly fixtures, features and gadgets too, which will improve your home’s carbon footprint and reduce your household energy spending.

Some Things to Consider

Sold on the idea of a knockdown-rebuild? Here’s some extra advice to take on board before you take the plunge.

  1. Get Advice Early – speaking to experts early can save you money in the long run. For example, working with professional home builders like Elite New Homes can guide you through the process; help answer the difficult questions; deal with the local council, builders and tradesmen, etc. Finding the right designer is key, and it’s a task that should not be rushed. Make sure they can demonstrate experience in meeting similar budgets and briefs to yours and ensure that you understand the fees and services delivered.
  2. Size up the existing structure – Check the existing foundations and the state of the existing building. For instance, if there are a lot of cracks in the walls, you may need to have some engineering work done to the foundations before you begin building.
  3. Have a buffer in your budget – while unforeseen conditions are less likely on KDRs, it’s always worth being prepared if something crops up along the way.
  4. Decide where you are going to live during the renovation – unless you are ok with living on a construction site, it’s likely that you will need to rent a property for the duration of the rebuild. This will add to your project cost and needs to be accounted for in your budget.

Have you embarked on a knockdown-rebuild project? Do you have any advice to share for people who are considering this building approach? Tell us in the comments below.


Decorating Tips for the Whole House

Every now and then, we want to show off the beauty of our house to people who would love it. It’s not done in a way to make the other person jealous but to show our hard work in decorating something we love and gain appreciation from them. Decorating tips and basic design principles to follow when adding accessories to a room.

Identify the focal point of the room. It could be the major piece of furniture in the room or an architectural element in the room like a fireplace.

It is usually the first thing that dominates when entering the room. Dress it up to capture the feeling of the room.

For example if the focal point of the room is the fireplace, the mantel could be accented with a painting hanging above it and something tall like a vase on one side and a shorter bowl or sculpture on the other.

If the focal point is the bed, dress it with beautiful bedding, or with a sofa, you can accent it with pillows with loop or brush fringe and a glamorous throw.

The windows of the room could be focal with beautiful treatments that supports the style of the space.

After establishing and playing up the focal point, anchor the main area of activity with an area rug that will also define the space.

Area rugs should be thought of as accessories since they provide an excellent opportunity to add warmth and embellish an area with color, texture and pattern. They also can establish a style that your other accessories can support.

Area rugs can be used to define seating arrangements or to differentiate and separate areas of a large room. And the best part? They can be changed and easily moved within the same room, or to other areas of the home. Try them on an angle to open the room up.

After the focal point has been established and the rug in place, add more interest to the room with other accessories but keep your displays simple to avoid a cluttered result.

Emphasize and create interest to certain areas in the room by being purposeful with your accessories. Accessories should balance with each other and the other elements in the room.

Wide with Wide, Tall with Tall, and Narrow with Narrow are easy decorating tips to remember for the scale, weight and proportion of your accessories.

Fill your wide spaces with fat accessories, accent the narrow spaces with pieces that are thin, and fill up the tall areas with tall accessories or accessories that are layered for height.

For example when addressing a wide wall space use artwork that has wider frames, a tall narrow wall space between two windows calls for a tall and narrow piece. It could also be two smaller prints hung one on top of the other, or a wall corbel with a tall vase on it.

Leave breathing room around the items. This way the eye has a chance to process the display and you avoid having it appear cluttered.

Other accessory decorating tips are to leave the chunky pieces together and the same goes for the more delicate items you may be using.

A pair of delicate figurines would go nicely on an antique sideboard of a delicate scale.

Each display should have its own focal point.

Add interest by using a variety of elements with different textures, shapes, colors and sizes and vary the heights for both wall and your table top displays.

Mix in horizontal shapes with vertical lines and throw in a round shape to balance all the right angles and squares.

Decorating tips for accessory groups, is to use like items together. Don’t spread out your collection, instead create more impact by using an odd number of items in small clusters.

Groups of three works well but in formal settings where symmetry is an important factor using pairs is more effective.

Plants are some great calming accessories to add to your interior. They are cost effective and bring a bit of the outdoors in. They also help to clean the air and they can sometimes add a subtle fragrance.

Even authentic looking artificial plants can beautify a space and provide relative calm to a room. Look for artificial plants that have quality leaves and stems and invest in the best quality your budget allows.

Place tall plants behind sofas, chairs and tables to create a sense of depth. Situate a tree in a corner and smaller plants for on the top of wall units, armoires and on shelves for texture.

Fragrance is one area of a room design that is sometimes overlooked but adds a great deal to the overall mood of the room.

Candles are an inviting way to perfume the air and decorating tips for factoring fragrance into your space. As well as room diffusers, and essential oil rings you place around a light bulb.

Accessories make your home beautiful but avoid using too much.

It is easy to start gathering these wonderful home jewels and wind up with too much of a good thing. Keep it simple and start small in an area you feel needs a new look and use what is meaningful to you.


Choosing a Color Scheme That Matches Your Home

If you are building or decorating your new home, the interior design and color scheme can be quite a daunting task. This is because there are so many color combinations to consider, and determining the best one is not easy. The house has different sections, and each of these sections is unique in their way as they are used for various purposes.

It would be best if you considered the living area, the bedrooms, the kitchen, and even the bathrooms. The most important parts of the house are the bathrooms, the living room, and the kitchen. This is because these are the areas used most around the house, and your guests access these areas every time they visit. However, this does not mean the other areas don’t deserve great color schemes; they do.

Color schemes for the living area

It is essential to select your living room’s color scheme carefully. You need to determine the feel you want to bring to your living room. It would help if you decided whether or not you prefer a warm cozy feeling, a bold or neutral feel, or a simple homely feel. Once you determine the feel you want to accomplish, you are halfway through to settling for the most appropriate color. You can also choose a color scheme that reflects your personality.

Kitchen color schemes

Getting the ideal color scheme for your kitchen can be tiresome. There are thousands of kitchen color ideas to look at, and they will all seem great for your kitchen, but not all of them are. The color scheme you go for will be the difference between having your dream kitchen or a disastrous makeover. The most important aspects to consider are your preferences, the kitchen lighting, and the size of your kitchen. It would help if you were daring; do not fret about using bright colors as they can work perfectly in a kitchen. Find a great way to blend several bright colors.

The size of your kitchen is also of importance when it comes to lighting. Figure out whether you depend on artificial or natural light most of the time. Dark colors are not ideal for small kitchens as they make them look even smaller. You can go for intimate colors like red, brown, or gold to offer an intimate feel to your kitchen. If your kitchen does not get much natural light, you can use bright colors to make it brighter, even with the lights off.

Bathroom color scheme

The bathroom is the other part of the home, mostly used. With the right color scheme, the bathroom can have a very calming effect. It is important to select colors that you love. If you are clueless, try bright aqua colors like ocean blue and even snow-white or even other bright colors like lime yellow. A bright color insinuates cleanliness and comfort. Dull colors, on the other hand, can be uncomfortable for bathrooms. You can also choose bathroom lighting, toilet bowls, sinks, and even bathtubs that reflect the wall and décor of the bathroom. However, be careful not to overdo the colors as too many colors can be uncomfortable. Choose a maximum of two colors and blend them.


Tips in Decorating Your House With Warm Colors

Winter is all about staying in and enjoying the comfort and beauty of your home. As much attention is given to the furniture and accessories, the same should be given to the walls and ceilings and also to the colors that are added to the décor. Adding warm colors to your existing décor is a step that will change the overall look of your home. Warm colors are often the combinations of reds, yellows, oranges, and yellow-greens. These colors are known to increase adrenaline and breathing rates, as well as raises the blood pressure, and body temperature, thus making you feel warmer. One of the best ways to work with warm colors is to turn into a statement piece that will bring more attention to it.

If you are planning to have a warm color added to the palettes of colors in your home, then here are some tips that you will need when decorating your home.

Add colors in more layers

Having a colorful centerpiece in your room is great, but more often than not, you will find that one piece is not enough. To truly bring a sense of warmth in a room, you will need to layer your warmer colors into the spaces that you want to accentuate. You can create layers of colors that might sound complicated, but it is simple, as all it requires is that you use similar colors in different ways in different parts of the room. Remember, layering allows different elements into the room to relate to each other, thus creating a unified and cohesive look.

Consider darker colors

If you think that dark colors make your room look a bit on the juvenile side, that is a valid concern. It might be a bit risky, but looking a little deeper at the darker shade, you can expect that the décor will turn out to be one of its kind. To start with dark colors, opt for green colors as it is the perfect choice for bringing a warm touch to space, particularly in a dark and moody tone. A tip is to have green paired with a neutral black and a warm brown to create a more sophisticated and warm environment.

Level with wall arts

Bringing warm colors in your living room or any part of the home should not be limited to furniture only. Do consider hanging wall arts that have warm colors in them as it brings a variety of colors to your space. Create a gallery wall to give your home a higher level of visual interest.

Go for dark-colored wallpapers

One way of adding warmer colors is to add wallpapers that will accentuate the beauty of the room in a more visually pleasing way.


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