Category Archives: DIY

Building Your Own Dream Home

If you have decided to build your own home you are among an elite few. While it’s most everyone’s dream to build their own home, there are few who actually get to enjoy the stresses and the experience of doing so. Building your own home can be a combination of pure joy and sheer agony, but whichever way you look at it, it is sure to be a tremendously rewarding experience.

No one else can design your home the way you want it to be and the more involved you are in the process the more proud you will feel when it’s done. You will make the decisions about the roof, the flooring and everything in between.

Photo By: Martin Pettitt

Once you have found a lot to build your home you will need to locate a contractor to do the actual construction. This is the most important decision you will make, so don’t enter into an agreement lightly. Make sure you investigate the contractor’s background and verify his license and insurance with the area in which you live. A bad contractor can destroy your dream home.

There are some things you can cut back on to save money; however, your roofing, your heating and air conditioning and your flooring are not among the ones you can save on. You will be much better off if you allow plenty of funds for these items and probably appliances, because these things will save you so much over the long run. Your roof will save your home from the weather, your heating and air conditioning will save you money on energy costs over the years and the longer your flooring lasts the longer it will be before it needs to be replaced. If you choose brick or stone flooring you will have something that will last you forever. Stone is probably the most resilient flooring you can buy. While your HVAC or heating and air conditioning system won’t last you forever, you will enjoy savings on energy costs for the life of the unit.

Once the lot is secure, the builder understands exactly what you want and the design is decided, it will soon be time to start picking out things like kitchen cabinets, vanities, appliances and fixtures. Naturally the more energy efficient they are the more you will save over the long run. You will need to decide between wood, laminate or carpet for the living areas and possibly the bedrooms in your home. Your family room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry room will do well with stone or laminate floors depending on your own desires. Appearances are everything when it comes to floors and most people know exactly what they want. For some, hardwood floors is all they will consider while others are afraid they will scratch the wood with animals, children or moving furniture and the acoustics of a room are different with carpet. It is completely up to you and what you prefer.

You have probably been looking at furnishings since before you started the construction. The decorating for some is the fun part while for some others it’s time to call in an interior designer.

Log Home Repair and Reconstruction

Log homes are a classic part of culture and history in countries like the United States and Canada. These should be preserved for future generations to witness and enjoy. Log home repair and reconstruction will make sure that the structure stays strong for a long time. There are different reasons and causes why homes tend to break down over time. Reconstruction will improve the overall look and function for the long term.

About Timber Frames

Classic and antique timber frame structures are generally numbered, tagged and disassembled to be reconstructed on a different location. This is usually the process with log cabins and homes. The structure can also be anywhere between 1 to 3 stories high. The best floor plans and designs can be made collaboratively by the homeowner, the contractor and the architect. Reconstruction nowadays takes less time and effort because of modern method and materials. Years ago, people had to rely on traditional tools and materials. The entire reapir and reconstruction process usually takes several weeks and months.

Timber frame construction is usually done with the help of wooden pegs that hold the wooden braces and beams together. A timber frame is created without any metal parts. Modern additions are also made depending on the goals and objectives of the homeowner. The homes become extra-insulated in the process, because of the wall and roof construction. Homes also become rich in character after the right changes and improvements are made.

On Reconstruction

Reconstruction your home will require complete disassembly, especially if you’re moving to a new location. In some cases, log homeowners like to change a certain area of the house. You will need fresh logs for the project. Log home renovation will require a contractor and architect to make sure that the new section you add will suit well with the rest of the house. It’s vital that you also consider how air will flow through the house. The new area should still retain the temperature you’re looking for and stay protected from insects, pests, mold, mildew and the like.

Photo By: Billy Bob Bain

Do-It-Yourself Tips

Beginners might wish to try DIY or do-it-yourself methods that are relatively easy and cheap. Approaches like staining and sealing can be done by amateurs. You can get a contractor or hire an expert to help show you how it’s done properly. During your log home maintenance routine, you can do the sealing yourself or with the help of a friend. Also find out more about caulking and chinking to ensure that draft and moisture cannot destroy the wood and lead to rot and decay.

There are books and websites that give you a step-by-step approach on how everything is done. When buying materials, also bring an expert with you to show you how to make comparisons and see the special features that might be needed for your home. There are plenty of brands available nowadays. You can read reviews online and find out more how these are used properly to save more money.

Final Tips

Consider the type of alternative you will go for, just in case the log originally used on your home is no longer available. There are plenty of sources and suppliers online. You will have to wait a number of days or weeks to have these dried and prepared. Logs are either milled or hand-milled. There are also other products that you can find in the market that will supplement other methods like log chinking and caulking. For classic houses, always go for traditional products. Although these take more time and effort to accomplish, the look is a whole lot different compared to modern goods. Compare prices and quotations. Allow your contractor to give you sources and maximize your budget.

The Three Advantages of Building Your Own Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Did you know that very often, the men and women who made hardwood floors used to scrape up the wood with a scraping tool before they sanded the wood down for staining?  Back in the day, there were no tools to make the tongue and groove slats that we enjoy today.  They also had no way to cut the wood so that the ends would meet well and had to use planks that were as long as the length of space they needed to cover.  This meant running wall to wall.  Once the floor was laid, they would hand scrape it to give it the wonderful rustic surface that we can still enjoy to day.

The Difference between Then and Now

The art of hand scraping hardwood floors is not only practiced by flooring companies that lay down your floor.  If you are a DIY kind of person, (Do It Yourself) then you will appreciate the hand scraped hardwood flooring that you can purchase online and at your local flooring stores.  The only difference is that they hand scrape each plank individually rather than scraping the floor after it is laid.  This is not to be mistaken for distressed hardwood flooring, which is done with a wire brush attachment on a machine.  The uniformity and small close scratches are beautiful, yet somehow, they are not as beautiful as hand scraped hardwood flooring.

Check Reviews on the Internet

Photo By: Nancy Hugo, CKD

Hand scraped hardwood flooring reviews can be found on the Internet along with unfinished hardwood flooring for sale reviews.  Be specific when typing your query into a search engine.  This makes it much easier to find the best website for your hand scraped hardwood flooring.  Be warned, however, that there are hundreds upon hundreds of flooring websites so the more specific you are, the better.  Prepare to spend a little time on this undertaking.  With so many websites, articles, and blogs to choose from, you are bound to learn something that you did not know before.

Three Advantages of DIY Flooring

Of course, you can always save a little money by purchasing hand scraped hardwood flooring wholesale.  There are quite a few of these websites.  In fact, if you are really into saving some green, purchase unfinished hardwood flooring wholesale and an old time hand scraper.  Scraping the floors yourself gives you three advantages that you would otherwise miss out on.  First, you get to experience the joy that our ancestors felt in doing this yourself.  Second, you can scrap the floor after it is laid, which means an even prettier effect, and finally, you save some dough on your genuine hand scraped hardwood flooring.

DIY Fireplace Surrounds: A Great Alternative

Fireplace surrounds can be expensive to replace, costing an average of $400 for a simple wooden facing, to over $1,000 for a stone or metal design. For those wishing to upgrade an existing fireplace on a budget, DIY fireplace surrounds offer an inexpensive, unique alternative. Designs can be as simple or elaborate as desired, and the use of creative materials can save both time and money. Here are some easy, fun ideas to dress up an ugly or boring fireplace.

Cover a plain brick facing with a coat of stucco, and embed sea glass, shells, and interesting pebbles in the cement. For a fossilized look, work in small sections, and instead of embedding the objects, use them to stamp the stucco. Overlap the objects, and vary the pressure used when stamping for a more authentic effect.

Photo By: Wonderlane

Terra cotta tile can also make a beautiful DIY fireplace surround, especially when combined with brass or wrought iron fireplace doors. Simply set the tile in mortar directly over the existing surround. If the existing fireplace has a wood or metal facing instead of brick or stone, remove it, install masonry board, and lay the tile on that instead.

Another option is to refinish the fireplace with paint. Painted surrounds are the easiest and most inexpensive way to update a room; just tape off the edges, including the fireplace doors, and paint. For brick or stone, clean the areas you wish to paint with a weak turpentine wash; for wood, consider sanding the surface before painting.

In contemporary homes, metal sheeting creates a modern, sleek look without much effort. Sheeting can be installed over the current surround, or directly to the wall. For more visual interest, try using two types of metal sheeting-stainless steel and copper, for example, or textured and smooth sheeting. Woven metal strips are also a fun, unique look for modern fireplaces.

Before beginning any DIY project, always make sure to review the instructions, materials list, and skills needed to finish the job. It is often better to leave a project undone than to do it badly. If in doubt, hire a professional, or attempt another project.

Why Are Glass Room Dividers So Useful?

There are many kinds of portable room dividers to choose from and they can be used for a variety of purposed apart from room partitions. One of the most popular kinds of room dividers evident in modern houses are sliding glass room dividers. They are preferred over screen dividers since they have a lot of uses and their function and style surpasses those of other room dividers.

Glass room dividers are usually set up for privacy reason and this is very true if you live in a small apartment with only one main room. Using glass room dividers will create separate areas to give you the mount of privacy you need whenever you want to change or sleep.

There are times that large room spaces are wasted or not put into good use because there are no functional room dividers to divide the space. Room dividers come in different types and you can explore your creative side by playing with your imagination. Using glass room partitions doesn’t only limit you to using plain see through glass. You can choose glazed, frosted or etched glass as your room dividers but they would also be great as decorative accents as well.

Glass has always been a timeless material and it is no wonder that home with sliding glass doors help increase the value of the house. And thanks to sliding glass door window treatments, covering sliding glass door is an easy and fun task.

Glass room dividers are not only evident in house but in work places as well. The most common type is the clear glass version that is enough to create a sense of separation without completely limiting your interaction to your co-workers. As mentioned, glass room dividers can be made from different types of glass and you can choose the amount of opacity you want on your glass. This way, you will have control on how much privacy you would want.

Everything You Need to Know before you Order a Prefab Garage Kits

A prefab garage is simply a structure made out of metal that can be pre ordered and manufactured to a customer’s desired specifications. Once the order is made, it will be readily shipped to be assembled on site. The kit should include all the basic components that make up the structure plus an exterior metal siding and metal roofing.

The basic components of your prefab garage kit should be ready to put up on any existing concrete plane on your structure. Once the structure has been built in place it is then covered with a highly sturdy metal siding that is specifically engineered to stand common adverse weather conditions. The metal roof decking is then added to complete the basic structural shell. Just like any typical old fashioned garage, you can opt to add rough plumbing for utility sinks or compressed air lines and even conduits and boxes for electrical circuits and lighting.

Photo By: SteelMaster Buildings

Openings should be good enough to accommodate any size of door or window so long as you specify what you need when you order your garage kit. Take note though that these kits do not include garage doors, electric openers, windows, skylights, or any other interior or exterior doors for that matter.

Other things to consider when planning to build a prefabricated garage would be the sufficient equipment and manpower needed to off load and erect the structure. These are definitely very essential elements and will be determined by the size of the pieces and the final, overall size of your building. A hydraulic crane is recommended for larger structures while a simple fork lift would actually work for smaller buildings.  You should be able to hire this equipment for the weekend or day, or however long it takes you to put your structure up. Just make sure, when hiring it, that you familiarize yourself with how to use the equipment properly beforehand.  Learning as you go is not recommended in this case!

All it takes to build one of these structures is simply a basic knowledge of how concrete attachments and structural connections work such as 20’x20’ two car garages. For larger structures though, it is best to hire a professional contractor who specializes in putting together pre-engineered structures. Even for the smaller, more manageable structures you may want to enlist the help of others for either all or part of the constructing. It can be very difficult to manipulate the larger sheets and pieces that come with the kit on your own–it really is much easier to have someone on hand to help you.

It is very important that you plan out any necessary plumbing and electrical wiring or system before you have your garage ordered and assembled. You also have to make sure that you have a steady, stable, concrete slab for foundation in place. If you are to replace an existing wood framed garage, just make sure you leave the concrete slab in place. Even the existing plumbing and electrical installations could be used. You just have to make sure that you have carefully planned these things before you get your garage installed so your garage will fit in perfectly.

Just like most things these days, searching for a manufacturer can actually be done online just by simply typing in the right keywords such as prefabricated garage or pre-engineered buildings. Make sure you look for a reliable manufacturer who will discuss every single aspect of the project and will specify the equipment and manpower you will need to complete your building. Most shippers do not include assistance in either unloading or receiving loads. This stage of the building project should be handled by either the property owner or the contractor or both.

Before you receive any shipments, one last thing to make sure of is that the site should be cleared to provide ample space for trucks, equipment, and manpower and also to ensure a conducive work environment. As long as you keep in mind all the tips mentioned, putting up your prefabricated garage can be accomplished in no time.

Easy To Implement DIY Solar Panels

Solar energy is all the rage at the moment with sustainable renewable energy really coming to the fore of power generation in mainstream society. No longer just the realm of a few isolated environmentalist doomsayers, solar energy has become a cheap source of power easily accessible by everyone. A few simple tips can save you money, and contribute to a sustainable source of energy which is environmentally responsible. It’s not that complicated to make the most of solar energy in your home, and here are a few tips to make it happen.

Solar lighting

Not limited to garden ornaments, solar lights are a great way to improve visibility around your home without having to call in the electrician. Solar lighting can be moved around easily, is relatively cheap, and places no further drain on the power grid – and therefore incurs no ongoing costs for you. A few lights along a path to the front door of your home improves safety and visibility to you and visitors alike – and the applications are basically endless, limited only by your imagination.

Photo By: Christine

DIY solar projects

Buying pre assembled solar equipment is a good option, but it can be expensive. A great way to save even more money is by building DIY solar panels – a great weekend project which is not too difficult. A few basic tools and materials which are easily sourced will allow you to assemble a solar panel on your own, which will gather energy for you to use as you wish. There are any number of applications for the energy you gather – and it is great fun!

Solar power is not complicated – and it is so easy to take advantage of it to make your life better and easier. Most people will be familiar with a solar pool cover which have been around for awhile now – but there are many more options for people to take advantage of solar power in their homes. It saves money, resources, and is better for the environment.

Attractive and Simple Home Renovation Ideas

Renovating your existing home can be a good alternative to buying a new house, firstly because it is more affordable and secondly because you can pick up new skills and have a lot of fun while working on it. When renovating, it is a good idea to identify which areas of your home need the most attention and also what the most cost-effective way will be to achieve a fresh new look. Below are some ideas that you could use when planning your renovation.

Adding More Living Space

Adding a patio or a deck to your existing home can be an excellent way of creating a new space for your family to enjoy. It does not have to be very expensive to build, in fact you may be able to build it yourself. Timber decks do not require extensive foundation work, and by simply adding some shade umbrellas and tables you can quickly establish a great outdoor entertainment area. You can also find fairly inexpensive canopies or canvas coverings that will not only add to the recreational appearance of the area but provide you with relief from both sun and rain should it be necessary.

Replace Light Fixtures

Updating all of your fixtures and light fittings can also be an effective way of improving your home. Sleek modern lampshades are often not very expensive, and by replacing all of your fittings or fixtures at once with the same style it is easy to achieve an excellent result. You might be surprised how much brighter and cleaner your home looks with new lampshades and possibly some energy-efficient down lights installed in the kitchen, living and dining areas.

Photo By: Bruce Berrien

Other Ideas

There are many other things you can do to freshen up your house. You could repaint your walls and ceilings, install some nice basswood blinds, update your carpets, or install solid wood flooring. The most important thing is to plan out your entire renovation before you start, and establish a budget that you can stick to. At all costs you must avoid overextending yourself financially, as this will result not only in stress but also a half finished project which will neither add value nor make your home more comfortable. If your planned improvements will cost more than your budget allows you can take out smaller loans at reasonable rates, should your financial situation allow you to do so. You can then enjoy a fully renovated home which you are gradually paying off over time. The advantage to this is that it will also add to the resale value of your home which can offset expenses in other areas.

Spice Up Your Kitchen With Simple Makeover Ideas

Everyone loves to have a great looking kitchen.  If yours could use a little spicing up then there are some simple and affordable things you can do.  Lets face it, kitchens can become outdated fairly quickly.  There is nothing like a little makeover to revive it and give it a new look you can be proud of.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.  You really don’t have to spend a lot of time either.  Here are some ideas that are not only affordable and easy to do, they will make a big impact.

1.  Update what you have hanging on your walls —  Whether it is pictures or paintings or any decorations you currently have on your walls, a change will do wonders.  Maybe it is something as simple as changing the frames.  You could also check out different ideas for coming up with your own home-made wall decor; it’s really not as difficult as you may think to create unique wall decor.

2.  Fresh fruits or vegetables add a touch of freshness to your kitchen —  If you have not done this in the past you will be surprised at the difference it makes.  Give it a try.  This may seem too simple but place a bowl or two of fresh fruit on your counters and you will see what I mean. Another idea is to keep fresh flowers on your counter or table, or have small pot plants with herbs growing in your kitchen.

Photo By: Army Arch

3.  Find a nice style of wallpaper —  New wallpaper can do wonders for a room, especially the kitchen.  Black and white wallpaper is a great choice and will really add a lot to the look of a kitchen.  Remember though, if using wall paper in your kitchen you will need to find something that will not become damaged with steam or humidity and preferably one that you can wipe clean.

4.  Some new light fixtures can also make a difference —  This is something that you can do yourself, believe it or not.  Go to your local Home Depot and have a look around the lighting section.  There are tons of choices and many of the models, such as those by Hampton Bay Lighting, are designed for you to install yourself.  There may be no better way to improve the look of your kitchen than to update the lighting. You could also look into installing recessed lighting for evening dinners. A simple chandelier hung over a dining table or kitchen island can also be very effective and classy.

These are all very simple things that can be done and none of them cost a lot of money.  You can easily do them yourself and will feel even better about your new look when you do it yourself–or at least as much as you can do.  Make it a weekend project to give your kitchen a little makeover and enjoy the results.

Plumbing Companies Dallas on Building a Basement Bathroom

First in a series of articles all about plumbing — Building A Basement Bathroom

If you are short on bathrooms in your house and you have some basement space, building a basement bathroom is a good idea.  Adding a basement bathroom will not only provide you with convenience and comfort; it will also serve to raise your property value in the event that you would like to sell.  According to plumbing companies Dallas, building a bathroom in the basement does not need to be complicated.  You simply have to choose your location wisely.  If you place it directly underneath another bathroom, you will save yourself a lot of money and trouble.  A basement bathroom can be an exciting DIY project.  Plumbing companies Dallas shows you how.

  1. Photo By: Scott Feldstein

    Measure your available space.  Building your basement bathroom directly under a ground floor bathroom will allow you to use the existing sewer lines.  In addition, it will prevent future problems concerning pipe elevation and rise.  You will be saving money by not having to buy as many plumbing materials.

  2. Work on a layout sketch so that you can plan accordingly.  Once you are done, transfer the layout to the actual basement flooring using chalk lines to indicate walls, entry points, etc.
  3. Start building your walls with metal studs and moisture-proof drywall.  Moisture-proof drywall is a bit more expensive but you will need it because basements and bathrooms are generally damp.
  4. Purchase the plumbing fixtures you have outlined in the plan.  This is the fun part, as you get to choose how you want your bathroom to look.  At this point, it would be a good idea to consult a professional plumber to see which fixtures would work with your plumbing and which would not, especially if you intend to install special fixtures such as wall-mount faucets, etc.
  5. If your basement is below the level of your sewer pipes, you will also need to install a sewage ejector system or an upflush toilet since waste water will be fighting gravity in its way out of the basement.  Again, your plumber will be able to provide you with advice on this.
  6. Handy DIYers can install the fixtures and run all the piping, but in most areas, building codes require that a licensed plumber make all the final connections.
  7. Lay down the tiles, paint your walls, and add all the touches to make your bathroom space your own.

A Few Tips to Clean Tile Grout

Cleaning your tiles and grouts can be a very hard work if you approach them immediately without knowledge of how to deal with them correctly. If you don’t want to waste your time then you might as well consider the following tips below;

  • First of all, in tile and grout cleaning, you will need to choose the best grout cleaner for your tiles and grouts. There are a lot of grout cleaners available in supermarkets. You can freely ask salesman for specific grout cleaners for different kinds of tiles. Most of the time grout cleaners can be used on common tiles.
  • After choosing the grout cleaners, you will need to have a partner tool for your grout cleaner. An old toothbrush will be a very good partner compared to your rags or sponges.
  • In cleaning your tiles and grouts, apply or spray your chosen tile and grout cleaner to your kitchen and bathroom tiles. Take note that, you will need to give an allowance of 15 minutes before brushing all the loosened dirt, grime and mildew build ups in your tiles and grouts , or else you might have a hard time trying to remove them. The 15 minutes time allowance is important for the grout cleaner to see its maximum effect.
  • While waiting for your grout cleaner for its’ maximum effect. You can listen to music or do the dishes or sweep the floor. It is important to stay away from the tiles and grouts because you might risk your health sniffing all those strong chemical odors.
  • When coming back, prepare your old brushes as they will have to do the finishing touches. Brush all the loosened dirt builds ups in your tiles and grouts. Brushes are more effective than sponges and rags because their bristles are more capable of reaching deep and edge parts of your tiles and grouts.

There you go, with all those tips on how to clean tile grout. You will never ever have to worry about doing the job again.

Aggregate Concretes for Amazing Looking Dallas Stone Landscaping

While concrete generally presents a rather smooth and polished surface on the exterior, the interior is quite the opposite.  Natural, inert materials such as crushed stone, sand, or gravel, along with Portland cement and water comprise the interior of any concrete surface or structure.  In some cases even recycled concrete is used as an aggregate. These materials are what provide the concrete with load bearing capacity and strength.  At the turn of the twentieth century, decorative manufactured and organic aggregates became popular as a way to add flair and distinctiveness to the existing finishes of the time.  The same method endures today as one of the more unique ways of finishing concrete.

During the installation process when the concrete is setting, the outer layer of plaster paste that is usually smoothed and polished is stripped away, exposing a decorative combination of stones that is either mixed in with the concrete as it is poured or applied directly to the outer surface as it is drying.  The resulting surface is simultaneously extremely durable and skid resistant, enabling sure footing under even the wettest or iciest conditions. Due to this, aggregate is commonly used in outdoor applications where traction under any circumstance is necessary, such as pool decks, side walks, and driveways.

However, its used effectively in decorative retaining walls and accents as well, making it one of the more versatile concrete finishes available.  The method’s ease of installation allows even the novice installer to relatively master the desired application method, making uniform and attractive finishes easy to achieve, and is more cost effective than landscaping stone Dallas. Once sealed, the finished product requires almost no maintenance save for an occasional cleaning, and its inherent rugged durability ensures it will stand up to decades of heavy foot traffic. Its multifaceted appearance can be differentiated to match even the most selective of customers, and contrasts vividly to existing smooth-faced structures and surfaces.

Using Unfinished Furniture

For those looking to make their home decor a little more personal, buying unfinished furniture can be the start of a fun and rewarding project that can involve the entire family.

Unfinished furniture is completely crafted but has yet to receive the finishing stain that gives the piece its own unique look.  That leaves you a little room to become creative.  You can find any variety of wood stain you want at a local hardware store, or you can opt to paint the piece instead.  This allows you to creatively craft your piece or match them to furniture you already own.

Photo By: MacAoda8

Using unfinished furniture can also be great for children’s furniture.  Kids like having a sense of control over their own room, and letting them help finish their furniture can give them a great feeling of accomplishment.  Choosing a bookcase or a dresser to let them paint in their own style can be a fun project and make their room more uniquely their own.  As they grow older they can paint over their earlier work and create something new.

Another advantage is that unfinished furniture can typically be found at a lower price than its finished counterpart.  The cost of labor adds significantly more to the final price tag than a can of varnish from the store would run.

The lack of varnish also gives you a chance to examine the piece up close for any flaws, scratches, or weak joints.  Without the concealing layer of color, you get a chance to fully see what you are about to purchase and make a better informed decision.

Unfinished furniture can be a unique twist on the typical furniture purchasing project.  It allows for more freedom and creativity while saving you money and letting you see what kind of value you are truly getting.

How to Tile up Your Lavatory

The bathroom is the place where you perform most of your cleaning rituals. As its user, it is your job to maintain its functionality and its beauty so that it would remain useful and appealing even after you have used it for quite some time.

Most of the repairs that you would encounter in your bathroom concern the plumbing. If you would like to lessen your expenses, you could just do the repairs yourself. You could get a plumber’s guide and a plumbing diagram so as to serve as your guide. When another problem occurs in the future, you would be able to attend to the problem without having to call on the plumber.

If you would like to make your bathroom better looking, you might want to consider placing tiles inside it. Again, tiling might need the attention of a professional, but with the proper guide and tools, you would be able to do the job yourself. If you are going to undergo a tiling project in your rest room, then you must buy bathroom tiles that are appropriate for your lavatory.

One of the things that you have to consider when you are out to buy bathroom tiles is size. Larger tiles require less time in their installation, whereas smaller ones would require precision and patience on your part. Also, small tiles are more costly. Another thing that you would have to consider is the shape of the tile. Tiles come in various shapes, with squares as the most popular. Pick one that matches your taste and also, your bathroom’s overall style. They also come in different colors. If you would like to make your bathroom appear brighter or larger, use white or light colored tiles. There are other factors that you might want to consider when it comes to buying tiles. You could surf the Internet for further information about these.

Taking Care of Black Mold in the Home

Capable of causing serious breathing problems, memory loss and concentration difficulties, illness and even on occasion death in the young. A dire list of consequences for something as subtly invasive as black mold. It’ll grow into wet areas of a house without any obvious signs at first. Often the side effects listed above are the first things you see, though often without knowing why they’ve become prevalent. So what’s to be done if you identify that black and green musty smelling patch as black mold? Well one has to get rid of it obviously. Though less obvious may be the how of it.

Black mold removal in itself isn’t really that unintuitive of a process. It’s the nature of black mold removal that makes it a more harsh task to deal with. It’s so virulent that doing it wrong is almost more dangerous than just leaving it be. If there’s any doubt about the matter it may be best to look through the phone book for a cleaning service. Otherwise keep a few key points in your mind on the matter.

Molderizer 100% Organic Mold and Mildew Remover

Dry the area out first. Use heaters or dehumidifiers. Or both if the job so requires it. This will stunt the growth of new spores. Once it’s fully set in you want to actually clean out the body of the mold itself. This is where the problems set in. You can’t let the spores escape into the rest of the house, which is exactly what disturbing the mold will do if you aren’t careful. Keeping the area you’re working in air tight is paramount. So is keeping yourself protected. Most notably your eyes, lungs, and hands.

Cleaning the mold itself isn’t too hard. The dangers there are mostly associated with what you choose to do it with. Don’t carelessly mix cleaning agents. Beyond that just keep the area air tight and dispose of all your resulting materials responsibly. Once again, if you aren’t sure about something there are professionals you can get in touch with for this kind of thing. Don’t take black mold removal lightly or may not only be risking the overall condition of your home, but your own health as well.

General Information on Bathroom Wall and Floor Tiles

Having bathroom tile designs that are enticing and appealing adds a spice to the overall look of your bathroom. Begin with decorating the main wall rest room tile that may be created using materials such as ceramic, marble, limestone or porcelain. Smaller sized tiles had been in style, however currently even the bigger ones are principally used and you’ve got a large variety of patterns to be selected.

Ornamental bath room tile for the walls nearly has limitless choices to be accomplished. You’ll be able to design the wall tile holding a selected theme such as an ocean design exhibiting on the borders of the tile the characteristic of a sea shells, floral designs with flowers, etc. Any pattern you may have in your thoughts for a tile with a certain style and look, you will search for it, and such are the choices for a toilet wall tile.

Overall touch of the tile additionally makes it more appealing. Glossy finishing was a most widely utilized wall tile. The recent trend is searching for extra matte or rustic finish. Toppled type of marble or polished limestone not only shows a casual look but also a remarkable quality.

Ceramic tile designs go nicely with the natural ones. Granite can be a better choice as well. For a more elegant look, you may select a tumbled marble. On the other hand, for borders or accents, that is positioned randomly. However, for an entire wall, take into account metal or glass tiles.

Right mixture is always necessary while you use varying materials. Shades, textures and hues are the important thing to this blend. You selection might include varieties from pure, ceramic supplies to glass or marble until the color and work appear in balance. Have the pattern planned very properly in advance in order that you’ve got the correct mixture of the required supplies.

Home Improvement By Attic Stair Insulation

Considering the various steps taken to be energy efficient, these days to not only save money but also to improve the environment, attic stair insulation is one of the areas that can make a difference in the efficiency of energy used. From protecting the loss of heat to preserving the cool air from the air conditioner, this is an area that can be addressed. Attic stairs were not always a priority but the more focused owners get on energy efficiency homes, the more ways to improve are discovered.

Weather-stripping the stairs is an important step toward the insulating process. The tight seal created by insulation is what protects the air coming in and out of the attic. Hot air escaping to the attic can create mold and mildew. Cold air that escapes here is a waste of electricity. The opening for the stairs obviously creates some problems discussed here. However, those can be addressed with the proper insulation.

Manufactured by different companies, attic stair insulation can be installed by professionals. Having a representative from a chosen company come to inspect the area and see what specifics are needed to correct the problem is an option. Free inspection to give an estimate of the service work required should be available. There are different things a representative may see besides the obvious that would make sure that the money invested is well spent.

There are different companies online that can be reviewed and information gathered on the installation process and the associated fees. Consumer reviews are a great way to dispel anxiety about a company, whether well known or little known. Consumers that have used a company and have had installation can share how well the job was done and how the insulation has fared over time. This can be a real revelation source for the person looking for direction.

Should You Use A Wet Or Dry Cutter for Cutting Travertine Tile?

When cutting travertine the professionals recommend using a wet cutter or saw. Stone tile may be more prone to breaking when cut dry.

In the UK and the US, one of the best cutters that tile installers use is made by Rubi and is a rail saw that’s belt driven. The Ribi DX-350 is a professional version that can cut a thickness of about 5 inches. However, it is one of the most expensive saws for cutting travertine tiles that exists on the market. It costs almost $2,400 even when on sale.

In the UK, the Rubi Diamant DW-250-N is a wet saw that’s designed for cutting stone, like travertine, and the unit costs about £670. Also in the UK, the Rubi Diamant ND-300 is used for wet cutting travertine tile and stone and costs a little less, about £540. It’s actually a portable version of the Rubi electric saw that is also designed for res, marble, travertine, ceramic and even glass. It can cut about 3 inches thickness (which equals 75 millimeters) and there are no length limitations. It has a guide system and a thermic switch for security as well as a water cooled blade.

In the US, the Imer Combi stone saw is an option for cutting travertine tiles, although it’s not a more affordable choice at around $3,000, but it is a belt driven saw with a blade plunge of 14 inches, which means it can cut over 4 inches deep into stone or tile. The Raimondi Zipper is another rail saw that is very powerful for cutting travertine, but it is also close to $3,000.

There is a Rubi wet saw that seems quite affordable and it’s model number DW200LPS, which is an electric saw suitable for cutting travertine tiles and mitering ceramic tiles as well. It features a powerful motor (1.5 hp) and a guide as well as a platform , pump and thermal protection. Cut tiles straight or diagonally. It’s possible to find this unit for around $800.

Building a Walk In Shower

Each year, hundreds of home owners spend thousands of dollars in small bathroom remodeling ideas mainly because not much thought was given during the initial bathroom design. Walk-in shower designs are fast becoming a substitute for bathtubs due to the outlook and functionality that they add to a bathroom. Provided herein are basic steps for installing a walk in shower with ease.

1.  Start by removing the existing bathtub or shower from the space. Ensure that all the debris has been removed from the space where the new walk-in enclosure will be placed. The place should be thoroughly cleaned inclusive of any reaming tiles.

2.    The drain needs to be realigned. To avoid complications that may rise later on, leave the exiting drain in its place but ensure that the show pan is run to the appropriate center point of the walk-in shower and then connected to the existing drain.

3.    Start by constructing the walls of the shower. The walls can be constructed in such a way that they run from the floor to the ceiling or to slightly six feet above the floor. The walls can be constructed using a 2×4 lumber spaced 16’’ on the center to allow for wall studs. To complete the construction of the wall, sheet it with water and mold resistant tile.

4.  Using a concrete slab, complete the floor of the shower by covering the show pan and the drainage line. The slab should be allowed to set and cure before carrying on to the next step.

5.  Before installing the shower heads by tapping into the water lines, ensure that the main water supply has been turned off. The shower heads should be thoroughly tested to make sure that there are no leaks before embarking on the next step.

6.  Ensure that damages made to the walls and ceilings during the installation of the shower heads have been repaired.

7.  Finish by laying the floor, wall and ceiling tiles. Give the grout 30 minutes to settle before wiping with a damp cloth and another 24 hours for it to settle.

Easy to Install Shower Bases and Kits

Installing a new shower does not have to be expensive or difficult. A modest investment is required, but the process can be simplified with shower surround kits and pre-fabricated shower bases. Both products speed up the installation process and reduce material and labor costs.

The Old and New

A custom shower was once the only option. This process entailed gutting the existing space, possibly replacing plumbing, sealing and waterproofing the space and installing tile or stone piece by piece. A shower kit eliminates the need for these extra steps. Plumbing may still have to be replaced, but a kit can go into place as is.

Kits include all four walls, each constructed of a single solid panel, thus eliminating the need for additional waterproofing. These walls are typically made from acrylic and have no grout lines and need no sealing. Clean up is fast and easy. The shower bases, or pan which you stand on are included as well, and install directly onto the sub-floor.

The units can be customized for additional stability, but are designed to be ready-to-go out of the package. Manufacturers drill holes for faucet and shower valve installation, and some companies will make custom holes for additional needs. The last element of the surround kit is the door or enclosure. Depending on the design, this can be made of glass or plastic, or left open. Custom options are always available from third party vendors.

Spa Kits

The term shower surround kit usually refers to the complete unit without faucets or hardware. Spa kits such as those made by Hansgrohe come complete with shower head, controls and massage jets in various configurations. These units are easy to install and plumb. Fixtures are hooked up to existing pipes and the unit is ready to go.

‘Spa’ models have options for multiple massage jets, rain heads and hand showers, to name a few. Steam showers are another possibility, and can be added after the unit is installed.