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The Front Door

The front door is a standout feature of any home. It’s one of the first features that can grab attention and make a statement. It can also be used to serve as an introduction to the theme that carries through your entire home.

It’s no surprise then front door replacements are popular remodeling projects, and just as important of a consideration when building a new home. The hardest thing homeowners will decide upon when choosing their new door, is settling on which material to use. Different materials carry their own benefits and character.

Let’s take a look at today’s most popular options and the arguments for each one.

Wood

As a material, wood provides invitational warmth that no other material can compete with. The main benefits of wood come in the design options that are available. Wood is perfect for ornate features, and can be coupled with glass panels for an elegant yet homely look.

Where wood is versatile it’s also strong, but it can degrade over time. Exposure to the elements can cause warping or cracking of the door. In extreme cases this can lead to a degradation in the seal that the door creates, making it a less energy efficient insulator.

Composite / Fiberglass

Doors manufactured from either composite plastics or fiberglass are a more durable alternative to natural timber doors. They increase longevity and are better insulators too.

These types of doors are manufactured using outer shells that are filled with either fiber or foam insulation. They have a more uniform structure than wood and will stand up to the elements better. It’s almost impossible to dent or break a fiberglass door in any normal situation, so it’s this durability that sells many on a plastic or fiberglass option.

Composite and fiberglass doors are precision engineered. This can lead to inflated costs when compared to wood, but the investment makes sense over time due to the longevity of the product.

Metal

While many perceive metal to be a less personal building material, it can actually work wonders on both modern and period home designs. On timber constructions, a metal door can be used as an accent feature to create a striking look.

A door made from aluminum or lightweight steel alloy allows for clean looks in a durable and practical package. Like composite and fiberglass doors, metal doors contain insulation layers, making a home more energy efficient. Metal doors are another precision engineered product, so when they’re coupled with an aluminum frame they will create a perfect seal.

Metal doors can be expensive when compared to the other two options. There’s also less choice when it comes to design and finish. But for some tastes they will create the perfect aesthetic, and the durability and energy efficiency are factors that can’t be ignored.

If you’re a homeowner looking for a door for your new home or remodeling project, always keep this in mind: Aesthetics first, budget second. Make an effort to achieve the look that you desire, but don’t let yourself get too far ahead of what you can afford.

Whatever you end up choosing, your front door is what welcomes you and your guests in to your home. Make an impression that lasts.

Plaster Walls

hole in wall Plaster Walls

Plaster finished walls are usually found in older homes and while they look great, they’re not the strongest interior walls around. If you’ve ever knocked furniture while moving things around, or even if you have kids playing around the house you might find a hole in your plaster wall before too long.

According to the guys over at The Log Home Inspector, Fixing a hole in a plaster wall is relatively easy once you know what to do. It can be accomplished by anyone with a little bit of patience and the right tools. The best part is that if you follow our instructions carefully, you’ll be able to achieve results that look as good as those from a professional.

  • What You Will Need
  • Plaster (specialized plaster can be purchased for patching).
  • A Sponge
  • A Chisel
  • A Hammer
  • A Box Cutter (Retractable Utility Knife)
  • A Putty Knife (Plaster Spatula)
  • A Carpenters Square
  • Drywall compound
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • A small wood block
  • Repairing Your Wall

Plaster walls will have a backing on them known as lath, usually made of thin plywood. Using your chisel and hammer, remove the excess plaster from the damaged area. Pull out any debris and then using your utility knife, cut the inside edges of the hole to achieve a uniform shape that is slightly wider at the base.

Mix your plaster by following the manufacturer’s instructions, and then dampen the inside of the hole on the lath surface with your sponge. Now, taking a small amount of plaster at a time, fill in the area with your putty knife. At this stage you are building up a foundation layer, leaving around a 1cm recess to the surface of the undamaged wall. After applying the plaster, leave it to dry for 24 hours.

For the next step, mix a new batch of plaster. This time dampen the foundation plaster with your sponge. You can now apply another layer of plaster, this time filling out the rest of the recess. Once the hole is filled, use your square (or a metal ruler) to level the plaster to match the undamaged sections of the wall. Once it’s smoothed off you’ll need to allow another 24 hours for drying. read more »

Built in Pantry

kitchen refrig built in pantry Built in Pantry

Lovely looking kitchen design centering around this refrigerator and built in pantry.

 

 

Decorating for the Season-Winter

living room decorating for winter 300x228 Decorating for the Season Winter

It’s winter and it’s time to make the inside of your home feel warm and welcoming.  An it’s time to welcome the winter season in style.

Some ideas:

1) Use soft and fluffy throws to make the room feel cozy. You can easily, and cheaply, change the look and feel of a favorite bed, chair or couch with throws.

2) Use warm colored pillows and cushions to add comfort and warmth. Colors, dark reds, burnt oranges, and softness of pillows create a cozy environment. Select dark colors and patterns.

3) Decorate using nature as your guide. Earthy touches of stone, wood, and floral create an inviting environment.

Don’t forget to light a nice warn glowing fire when you have company, or when you are alone for that matter.

Worry less about clutter and make your rooms inviting and warm.

Snuggle up with a warm cup of coffee and enjoy the winter season.

Carpet Tiles-Squares

Man Cave Racing Carpet Tiles Squares

This is a post from Best Carpet Value–Discount Carpet Tiles and Squares

Carpet tile may not be something many people think about using in their home there are applications that make sense.  They are great for a play room, a garage, a game room, media room, or a man cave.

Carpet tiles are pieces of carpet that come in a tile form, allowing them to be installed individually. In most cases, they require no padding underneath and are easily kept in place with the use of adhesive or an interlocking design. While carpet tiles have been popular for commercial use in the past, they are now becoming a popular choice for residential homes as well. Whether you are installing new flooring in a playroom, family room, home office or a bedroom, carpet tiles can work well in any area of your home. Of course, before you make your final decision, it is important to take a closer look at these tiles, their pros and cons and other important considerations.

The Pros of Carpet Tiles

If you are considering carpet tiles, you’ll quickly find that these tiles come with many great pros. One of the main pros to consider is how easy it is to replace a single tile. If a carpet tile is stained or damaged, you can easily remove that single tile, adding in a new tile to fix the problem. Traditional carpet is all one piece, so you would end up placing the entire area of carpet if you had a stain or damage to one area.

Ease of installation is another pro to consider. In fact, installation is so easy that you can easy take on this project without the help of professionals. If you go the do-it-yourself route, you’ll also be able to save quite a bit of money. Since you are installing the carpet tile by tile, it makes it easy to create unique designs with your carpet. The easy maintenance is also a big pro to consider, since you can easily keep the carpet clean with regular vacuuming and spot cleaning.

The Cons of Carpet Tiles

While carpet tiles offer many pros, a few cons must be considered too. One con is the cost of carpet tiles. They can be more expensive than purchasing traditional carpeting, especially if you have the tiles professionally installed. However, you can offset this higher cost by doing the installation on your own. Another problem is that these tiles often wear faster than traditional carpet, especially in areas that get a lot of carpet. Once tiles get heavily worn, they may begin lifting a bit around the edges, which can be dangerous and displeasing aesthetically.

Important Considerations

Overall, carpet tiles make an excellent choice for homeowners, since the pros seem to outweigh the few cons. However, if you decide to go with these tiles, a few things must be considered. Before making your purchase, always consider the density and thickness of the tiles, since the dense, thicker tiles usually last longer, although they may cost a bit more. Also, pay attention to quality when making your purchase. The cheapest tiles may not offer the best service, so it is better to choose quality over a low price.

Reused Springs for Bar-stools

spring bar stools 234x300 Reused Springs for Bar stools

I like ideas that reuse old items and keep them out of the trash. These old truck springs make great bar-stools and look great in this kitchen

Be Gone Winter Blues – Use Bright Color Accents

 

Use color in your home design to defeat the winter blues. Use vibrant colored upholstery, curtains, bed covers, pillows and vases. There really should be colors everywhere. Acquire a colorful painting for the residing space to liven it up. Some people even paint walls brighter colors for the winter months. I think that’s a little much but to each their own and if makes you feel better, go for it.

Lack of sunlight and the lack of color in the sky contribute to the “winter blahs.” You can help brighten your mood by using these colors:

  • Red – Red is a very intense color that has been proven to increase blood pressure and raise the heart rate. Introducing a little red in your home design for accents will do wonders for those blues.
  • Yellow – Yellow is associated with happiness and optimism. It should be used for accents and not in primary color designs.
  • Green – Green is a cooler color but shades of green can be relaxing and even induce cheerfulness.

Use accents of bright color in your interior design and rid yourself of the winter blues.

I love the red chair in this picture and I think the fireplace helps too!

Save On Your Energy Bill Through Simple Air Conditioning Maintenance

Keeping your air conditioning system properly maintained helps your home’s heating and cooling system last longer, operate more efficiently and just as importantly to most of us, keeps energy costs lower. There is no substitute for annual maintenance by a professional air conditioning repair service, but, according to Conditioned Air Solutions (www.conditionedairsolutions.com) there are some things that you may be able to do yourself to keep your home’s air conditioner and heater working properly in between regularly scheduled service.

Change Your Air Filters

This is the easiest HVAC maintenance task of all and is one which you can (and should) do yourself. If your air conditioner sees a lot of use in the summer, the filters should be changed at least monthly; in especially hot weather where your AC is running almost constantly, you may want to check the filters even more often.

Clogged air filters force your system to work harder, which can reduce the lifespan of your air conditioner. They also mean higher energy costs, so don’t neglect to check your home heating and cooling system’s filters regularly and change them when necessary.

Clean Your Condenser Unit

Central air conditioner systems which have an outdoor condenser unit need to be cleaned as needed. Opening up the unit to clean the cooling fins may void your warranty – check this beforehand and if this is the case, leave this job to the professionals. However, leaves, dirt and other debris can and should be removed from the exterior of the condenser unit. Like a dirty air filter, a dirty condenser can’t cool your home as efficiently, placing strain on your AC system and resulting in higher energy costs. read more »

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