Archive for October, 2009
Every proud homeowner wants the land around their property to be as aesthetically appealing as the rooms within, but achieving that goal is not always an easy task. With Spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about hiring a landscaper to help you achieve the garden of your dreams.
Hiring the right landscaping contractor can be tricky. Anyone can buy a second hand van and some gardening tools in order to tout themselves as a landscaper. It is just as important to ensure the landscaping company you are considering is properly licensed and insured as it is when you are hiring a remodeling contractor to work on the interior of your home. It is fine to have the high schooler from down the block mow your lawn once a week, but do you really want an amateur digging around your property which is full of buried water lines, or an untrained person spreading dangerous chemicals all over your backyard? The simple answer is no.
Just as you would for any home remodeling project, obtain estimates for your landscaping project from at least three suitable licensed contractors and consider them carefully before you make a decision. Request references and take the time to actually check them.
Once you have selected your landscaping contractor make sure you get a written contract that details the work to be done and the timeline for its completion before the work begins. The weather can cause delays in an outdoor project of course but something that is projected to take just a few weeks should not drag out into months just because the landscaping contractor you hire finds themselves a little busier than expected.
In the case of the majority of landscaping projects there are planning considerations to be taken into account. If you have neighbors it is essential that you know ahead of time exactly where your property begins and ends. Many an unprepared homeowner has had to remove their beautiful new ornamental fence or dig up a recently planted set of hedges because they have been accidentally placed on someone else’s property. You should also check with the local utility companies to determine the location of any essential underground piping or wiring that cannot be disturbed.
Vessel bathroom sinks sit on top of the counter instead of being sunk under the counter like traditional sinks. This is a modern, cutting edge trend. However, with a little innovation you can make your investment last and coordinate with a lot of different design styles. Here are some tips for using vessel sinks as the focal point of your room and the inspiration piece of your design.
Use the vessel sink to bring in color. You might want to go with neutral tile, toilets and flooring. This makes the most of your investment simply because when you go to resell your house, home buyers will relate better to basic colors. You can use a vessel sink as a way to get your favorite color in the room without making a costly error. Still, you’ll probably have this sink for a few years so go with a color that you really love.
You want to make sure that you invest wisely in a vessel sink. Sure, you might think that you just have to have the latest trends. This is an actual bathroom fixture, it’s not as easy as changing a pair of blue jeans. If you do want to change out your bathroom a lot then just spend less money on the sink. This way you’ll have money left over when you want to change it out or you get sick of it. Glass vessel sinks are typically a lot cheaper than copper or stone.
Get your vanity in on the act. Once you change out your sink and countertop your old vanity might look a little shabby. Vanities are expensive. You can try using a piece of furniture as long as it’s the right height to save money and get a one of a kind look. Refinishing the wood with a dark espresso or ebony stain will update it and give it a contemporary feel.
Vessel sinks come in all different designs. For instance, you can have your choice of blue sinks. For an elegant bathroom that has the feeling of a high end hotel suite then go with a granite. If you want a traditional bathroom with a modern edge then find one that looks like a china bowl. If modern or contemporary bathroom decor is your thing then find a vibrant blue or one that looks like frosted glass.
Whether you choose a glass, stone or copper vessel sink it will definitely get noticed. This will be the “wow factor” in your room that all of your guests comment on. It’s also a relatively inexpensive update that will really give your room a designer high end touch.
The exterior painting for residential homes is more than just painting the home itself. It is about painting all the little details like the shutters, house numbers, outdoor furniture, mailboxes, planters, light fixtures and the porches. The most important part of painting these items is proper preparation before painting.
The same kind of preparations you use for painting the exterior of your home should be used when you paint the other parts of your exterior decor. Drop cloths should be use in the areas where you are painting to protect things that you do not want painted or damaged. Any surface that you plan to paint should be free of cracks, holes, nail heads that may be exposed and the surface should be smooth and free of dirt. Any nails that protrude can be countersunk and the hole filled with wood putty. If there are places where there is old caulk this needs to be removed and new applied. Any really shiny or glossy places can be sanded lightly with fine sandpaper so the paint will adhere easier. New siding will have some mill glaze that needs to be sanded away so the paint will adhere properly.
Salt residue may have gathered under the eaves and this will need to be removed before painting. Also any places where there is mildew this will also need to be removed. After all the preparations are completed, the surfaces need to be cleaned with a soft brush of clean cloth with water so that all the dirt and dust has been removed. Then it is time to do priming. Any areas you are painting that have peeled, worn thin or blistered will need to have a coat of primer. Be sure to let this dry thoroughly before continuing.
Some items that you will be painting, like previously painted downspouts and gutters, will need to have peeling paint and rust that needs to be removed by using a wire brush or scraper. This will leave edges where the old paint was removed so the edges will need to be sanded to make the surface smooth. The garden hose with a strong stream can be used to clean under eaves. After all surfaces are clean and very dry, a primer for metal and wood should be applied. Sometimes galvanized downspouts and gutters were coated with fabricating oil when they were new so this will need to be removed before they can be painted. This will require using a grease and oil emulsifier to remove the oil and then a latex primer has to be applied.
If you have a masonry or brick surface that needs to be painted any efflorescence that has accumulated can be removed with your scraper or wire brush before painting. If the surface has been streaked, there is a problem causing this that needs to be corrected or the problem will return after the new paint is applied. If you are planning to paint stucco or block that is newly constructed you will need to wait a month or two before priming and applying your paint.
Painting your porch floor is an opportunity in incorporate a decorative touch to the look of your exterior by painting the floor in a checkerboard type design. This has been a technique used for years and the look carries timeless appeal. The paint that you apply to porches, steps and patios can be made safer by creating a surface that prevents slipping by adding a small amount of fine and clean granular sand into the each gallon of paint that you apply.
Everyone would love to redecorate their home with a limitless budget, but for most people, this is just not possible. It is possible, however, to redecorate your home on a budget and still give every room in the house a great new look. With some tips and tricks, your home can look like a professional decorator stepped in and created the latest look in home design right in your living room.
Paint is a miracle substance for decorating a room on a budget. A new colour can transform a room with just a few coats and a very small amount of money. Changing the colour palette in your home gives you a new design without having to throw out your old furniture and replace it with new items. Paint can also be used on furnishings to give them new life. Consider the old beat up pieces that you have in your home right now and the change that a fresh coat of paint can give.
Fabric is another way to create a fabulous look in your rooms without spending a lot of money. If you are talented, you can make new window treatments for your room or even use fabric on the walls for a textured look to the walls.
Shop the second hand stores if you really want to change the furnishings in the home. When you are shopping in the second hand stores for new furnishings, consider what the piece can become with a little bit of work on your part. Not every piece will be in the best shape, but you can get a great deal on a piece of furniture that looks a little rough. Give it a fresh finish when you get it home and you will give that old beat up piece of furniture new life. Make sure that the furniture is structurally sound and that it will not cost an extreme amount of money to restore the piece.
Small accessories can do wonders to a room design. Look for some unusual picture frames to use in your home for a low cost way to add personality to your rooms. Take some of the photos that you have in your home and update their look with some brand new frames. Decorative throw pillows are another low cost item to add to your rooms without spending a fortune. It is amazing what some new throw pillows can do to an old sofa.
Plants and flowers are a wonderful decorative touch that will not cost a lot of money. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can find some great artificial plants that will fool everyone who comes in your home. Shop carefully for artificial plants though. A plant that is blatantly artificial will take away from the look of the room.
HD DVD players are defined as the high-definition DVDs, which has a better storage capacity when compared with the standard DVD. The player has the capacity to record and playback HD videos when compared with DVDs, where it can contain twenty standard videos. It has higher storage capacity of 15 GB where the standard format has the storage capacity of 4.7GB. Both the DVDs and it stores the data in the form of pits and the arrangement of the pits and tracks determines the recording quality.
HD DVD generally used the blue laser beam to read data from such minuscule pits and it has a diameter of 12cm and 1.2mm thickness. The various types of are the HD-DVD ROM, RW, R and RAM. The more efficient MPEG4 is used in the device rather than using MPEG2 which is the regular compression of DVDs. 720p to 1080i resolution is the output signals used in the HD-DVD which has HDMI.
Some of the various other factors that have to be concentrated are the drive speed, backward compatibility, Blu-ray combo players. It is not that, because of the introduction of high definition DVD players, the old model of DVD has gone obsolete. Where the high definition DVD formats are capable of increasing the resolution of the DVD. The other formats of this DVD is the Blu ray disk, which offers the same quality video files.
People are now opting for the new models, to enjoy better picture quality when compared with the standard model. High definition DVD with the drive speed of 1X is capable of sending video outputs with the rate of 36Mbits/s which completes writing the double layered disc in 90 minutes and 2X drive works faster with the data rate of 72Mbits. The drives are also used in the computers supporting all types of operating systems like Windows Vista, Linux, Mac and Windows XP.