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Tips for Buying Home Siding

If you are building a new home, or perhaps upgrading your existing one, then it is likely that you have looked at a variety of siding options. Be it making the transition from composite to vinyl, upgrading to brick or using a more natural choice like brick, it is a big decision to change or replace the siding of your home.

But, how do you determine what type of replacement siding should be used? Especially, if you have never done this before? Here are some tips for dealing with siding replacement.

Tips for Buying Home Siding

· Have an understanding of what type of siding will be best for your home and region. You can find this out by talking to local builders or home improvement professionals.

· Ask an installer to come out and determine how much siding your home will need. Or a simple way to get an estimate is to simply multiply the height times the width of each rectangular section of your house in feet, going by what you can measure from the ground, to determine its area. Multiply the approximate height and width of gables and other triangular surfaces and divide each total by two. Then add all the totals. To allow for waste, don’t subtract for doors, windows, or other areas that won’t be covered. Finally, divide the total square footage by 100 to estimate how many squares of siding you’ll need. A square represents 100 square feet.

· Take into consideration the amount for upkeep and cost for the chosen siding. Plastic siding can resemble cedar but will cost more than vinyl and require little to no upkeep. Fiber cement siding is fire and insect proof, but can be subject to water damage; it must be repainted from time to time, though less often than wood. Vinyl siding requires less work of the three and won’t warp or twist, and is lower in price.

· Think about the desired finished appearance of your home, then choose siding appropriately. For instance, on a clapboard-style home, vinyl that is raised ¾ of inch will deepen shadow lines and give the appearance of wood.

· If you want to add more rigidity, then be sure to plan for more foam backing for the insulation.

· You can sometimes minimize how many pieces if siding you need, by choosing to use vinyl siding that comes in 16-foot or longer lengths to reduce the number of seams on long, unbroken walls.

Choosing a replacement from your home’s siding does not have to be stressful. But it will require you do some homework. By using these tips, you can simplify the process. You can make things even easier by talking to local home siding experts and learning what to expect with a particular siding option. Don’t put off getting new siding. Talk to a pro today.


Top 8 Home Improvement Tips

When it comes to home improvement, you have a lot of things to do, such as upgrading fixtures, adding on your existing square footage and so and so forth. No matter what improvements you have on your mind, you can use the following tips throughout the process.

1) Look at the Condition of Your Home

First of all, you need to have a good idea of the existing condition of your home. This will help you come up with some bright ideas that you can implement. You can make a wish list by walking through your home.

2) Get inspiration

For inspiration, you can check out local magazines, color swatches and your local paint stores. Don’t just think that it is a waste of time. As a matter of fact, spending a good deal of time for planning is a great idea.

3) Set your budget

Don’t worry if you are on a budget. You can spend a few months in order to plan your budget and then set a budget. As a matter of fact, planning your budget ahead of time can save you a good deal of money.

4) Ask for help

You can make your home improvement project inexpensive and easier by asking your friends and family members for help. So, you should not waste your time and ask for help instead. You have no idea how helpful they can be for your project.

5) Seek out permits

If your project requires plumbing, electricity and structural that may include permits, you should get them ready beforehand. You can hire a general contractor if you have no idea what permits you need to get.

6) Be flexible

For instance, if you want to get your project completed in 2 months, you may want to be flexible and extend the deadline to a few more days. The same applies to the resources and budget as well. This will save you a lot of headache later on.

7) Talk to Your partner

In the start, you should talk to your partner about the project. Make sure he or she knows the roles they have to perform. Next, you should allow them to do what they want to do. You don’t have to assign duties. The fact of the matter is that this will take the pressure off of both of you.

8) Use safety precautions

Like any project, you have to use some safety precautions in order to make sure you and your home don’t get hurt or damaged. All you have to do is follow the instructional manuals on each tool you use throughout the project. Aside from this, you may want to use tutorials and advice from the rental store for help prior to starting the project.

So, we suggest that you follow these tips while planning your project and working on it. As a matter of fact, if you get inspiration and tips beforehand, working on the home improvement project will be a lot easier for you. All you have to do is bear patience and keep moving.


Staircase Design – Five Top Trends

Home interiors, like clothes, shoes and even cars, tend to evolve with the times as particular styles fall in and out of favour according to the fashion of the day. The same can be said, up to a point, of staircase design. Obviously, you can’t change your stairs as easily as your decor, so it’s important to pick the right style first time.

So what’s hot and what’s not in stair design at the moment? Here are five trends to look out for:

1. Glass

More than any other, this feature has seen a huge surge in popularity lately. Glazed stair balustrades are becoming increasingly sought-after as people look to maximise the feeling of light and space that they can bring to their surroundings. Although glass stair panels used to be mainly the preserve of modern homes, nowadays they are often used in traditional interiors to give a contemporary twist and boost the flow of natural light around the property.

Of course, you don’t have to stop at the balustrade. If you really want to make your neighbours jealous, you can have the treads and risers made from glass for a stunning 21st century effect.

2. Clean lines

The general consensus in the field of interior design at the moment seems to be that less is more. In my line of work I have noticed a recent shift away from decorative stair balustrades to simpler, cleaner shapes. While ornate turned spindles, newels and caps are still selling well, there has been greater interest in sleek, minimalistic designs such as square and stop-chamfered styles.

3. Curves

As manufacturing techniques have improved over the years, the demand for curved stairs has been gradually rising. These staircases need quite a bit of space but can provide a wonderful focal point. With their classic flowing lines, they are suitable for modern and traditional homes alike. Spiral stairs, too, are proving popular – especially with owners of smaller properties, and those looking for a secondary staircase. They can still look stunning, but don’t take up as much floor area.

4. Mix of materials

Another rising trend is blending different types of material together for an individual look, known as fusion (also popular with foodies!). When choosing a handrail you are probably best off sticking with timber, as this is the most comfortable material to grip. However, when it comes to the balustrade infill there is much more choice. As well as glass panels, you can experiment with spindles made from metal, wood or a combination of the two – and mix and match with glass if you want.

Metal spindles have become particularly popular lately, thanks to the wide variety of designs now available. Most are made from mild steel shaped to resemble wrought iron, which helps to keep both production costs and spindle weight to a minimum. You don’t have to stick to just one style of metal spindle, either. Alternating two different designs can be a great way to give your stairs an individual touch.

5. Storage

As the square footage in new homes has generally shrunk over recent years, storage space has become an important issue. It’s no surprise, then, that more home owners are asking for integral storage to help keep clutter out of sight. This can be achieved by fitting shelves or cupboards underneath the staircase, or even by incorporating drawers into the actual steps.


Best Trees for Indoors

Trees are great things to have in your yard. They clean the air, they give shade and privacy, they are great for climbing and they are beautiful to look at as well. While many trees are just too big to think about growing inside, there are many trees that make wonderful accents to the inside of your home. Here’s just a few:

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colours and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.


Building the Best Home Office for Freelancers

Freelancing is the new definition of grind in today’s modern workplace. Gone are the days when all the person can do is work in an office to make a living – today they can offer their services right at the comfort of their own home. However, there is more to working at home than meets the eye. As a designer, there is a need to really create the area to ensure that they are able to meet their business objectives and deliverables on a timely basis.

Here are some pitch ideas to win freelancer clients:

1. Create the overall look from the get go

The thing about freelancers is that they are more into getting the job done as usually, they are paid by the hour by a client from a different time zone. To maximize their time, always be ready with your visual pegs and plans. Using 3D rendering software can quickly make this happen and make the edits easier as well. For example, if they choose to go for another shade for the walls, you can both edit it on the spot to speed up the decision process. Remember, these people do not have time on their side.

2. Be clear when it comes to the budget

No matter how great the overall look is, there will still be a problem if the client cannot afford it. Discuss the design and the amount of money to help in getting there. From there, you can set expectations and already focus properly on the items that will really add value to the freelancer as far as the project is concerned.

3. Make it really conducive to working

Once the design and budget are out of the way, it’s time to talk productivity. Ask the client as to the nature of his business. Is the person a virtual assistant? Then it is important to make sure the person has easy access to calling implements. The internet connection should also be kept strong so there should never be barriers that should get in the way.

Is the person a writer? If so, the table and chair combination is important as well as the source of light. More so is the case if the freelancer is an artist since he or she will be spending a lot of time seated and the level of comfort or discomfort will have a big impact on their productivity. The lighting can also help the freelancer save on energy costs. Is there a way for air to come in naturally too? All these will play a big role in the ability of the freelancer to do his or her duties.

4. Think of the little things

When it comes to working at home, the little things really count. For example, putting a fridge or water dispenser nearby lessens the need for the person to go up to the kitchen just to be able to eat a few bites. Placing a lock too on the doors can ensure privacy or having sound proofing can help in keeping the atmosphere professional during calls.


Tips on Choosing New Staircase Parts

Stairs are a prominent feature of most homes, so getting the design right is important. A beautiful staircase can make a fantastic centrepiece to impress your guests, as well as serving a practical purpose.

But looks are only part of the story – safety is another vital issue. Many older staircases fall short of modern standards, so replacing your stair banisters can help bring your home up to scratch. Here are a few decisions you will need to make:

Which materials?

Most household staircases are manufactured from wood, but metal and glass are becoming more popular. Timber will probably still be part of your stairs, at least as far as the treads and supporting structure are concerned, but you may decide to combine wooden staircase components with glass panels or steel spindles (also known as balusters) for a more contemporary look.

Wood is a beautifully warm, versatile material that will suit any setting. It is ideal for a wide range of designs, including curved stairs, turned newels and different styles of handrail. Wooden stair spindles, in particular, can be readily worked into all kinds of decorative shapes – or left plain for a minimalist look.

Which timber is best? Pine, hemlock and sapele are worth considering if you’re on a tight budget, especially if you are intending to paint or stain the staircase. At the other end of the scale, ash, walnut, southern yellow pine and oak stair parts offer premium looks and durability, but come at prices to match.

Metal stair balusters shaped to resemble wrought iron are extremely popular nowadays, with a wide choice of both traditional and contemporary designs on the market. Durable and decorative, they can easily be painted to match the rest of the decor if required. You can also get chrome or brushed nickel effect stair spindles for an ultra-modern feel.

Glass panels can look stunning on a banister rail, and are ideal for poorly lit spaces as they allow light to flow freely around the room. They can be combined with wooden or metal handrails and newels – and even glass treads, for anyone keen to add a touch of contemporary glamour.

Which handrail design?

There are two main types of handrail system: post-to-post and over-the-post. The strongest, most popular and economical design is post-to-post. In this system, the handrail runs between the newels and is fitted into the sides of the newel posts with traditional mortise and tenon joints.

In an over-the-post configuration, also known as a continuous handrail system, the rail runs over the top of the newel posts, often ending in a decorative swirl called a volute. This design is more eye-catching and elaborate, but a little less sturdy than the post-to-post system. However, it can look stunning and is regarded as a sign of quality by home buyers.

Staircase safety

When revamping your stairs, you can take the opportunity to bring them up to date in terms of safety as well as style. The most important modern regulation, brought in to prevent small children becoming trapped, is that no gap anywhere on a staircase should be large enough for a 100mm sphere to pass through. This applies to every stair part, but the main thing to look out for when replacing the banisters is the amount of space between spindles. In order to comply with the 100mm rule, the distance between the spindles (or glass panels if applicable) must not exceed 99mm.

The measurement is taken from the smallest part of the baluster, so if you buy turned balusters you will probably need to order more of these than the square or stop-chamfered varieties. Staircase manufacturers will be able to help you calculate the number required to meet the regulations (usually two spindles per tread).

The rule also applies to the space between steps on open-tread stairs. If it is greater than 99mm, you’ll need to install riser bars at the rear of each tread to reduce the size of the opening.


Rubbish Removal Service

Cleaning is a daily task. We all love to see our home and everything inside it to be sparkling clean all the time. We maintain proper rules and other etiquettes to maintain it. The major problem comes when we have a big event in our house, or we change or residence. We have to deal with a lot of unwanted garbage and rubbish that is generated in the process. There could be rejected items, or leftover things which needs to be thrown away as soon as possible, but don’t have any clue about how to get rid of them. We obviously cannot dispose them off to anywhere we want or throw them in our backyards. A proper rubbish removal service can come to your rescue at this time.

The rubbish that is generated that requires such service can be of various natures. Some are toxic; some cannot be recycled while other can get rotten and produce foul smell or litter that would disturb the people around it. A proper service team can help you to identify the types of waste while they remove it. They take proper precaution so that no harm can come to you or your belongings while removing. The wastes are also collected without any spillage and to the last remaining bit so you don’t have to worry about the residual waste.

Another thing to remember while selecting such services is to look for what is the technique they are using to dispose of the waste. You should also have a conversation about the dumping area where they are going to take the wastes to avoid any future harassment. The different types of wastes need different handling and carrying containers too, so you should keep your eyes open about that too. Whether it is bio-degradable container, or a steel one, if you are in any doubt feel free to ask them.

One of the most important types of waste that we come across nowadays is e-waste. It is nothing but the unused or rejected components of computers, printers or laptop or even mobile phones. These can create a lot of environmental hazards if not disposed off in a very controlled manner. The e-wastes are known to wreck havoc for the soil fertility to our health, thus these cannot be dumped with the general rubbish. Be sure to ask for their accountability while disposing such wastes.

Once you have all of these covered there are a few things that you should be checking first before allowing a rubbish disposal team on your grounds. You should always ask for their certifications and authenticity in the profession and check for the reviews before-hand. Consult them before-hand and ask them about the techniques and methods they are going to employ. Ask for the cost heads and the material costs that you have to bear. Also be clear about the charges they will present before you and must always compare before you finalize one. Checking with the local government authority for the same could help you to choose the service perfect for your requirement.


7 Home Improvement Tips For This Winter

The winter is approaching, and you need to be ready for it. You need to get your home ready for the cold season, which is important if you want to make your home energy efficient and comfortable. Check out the following home improvement tips that will make a difference this winter.

Go For an Energy Audit

You can hire a certified professional to get your home rated. The energy rater will conducted an “audit” and test your residence for possible energy losses and other safety issues. Based on the detailed report he will give you, you can make important repairs and make your home more energy efficient.

The professional will also give you some tips to address the common issues with your home. You can then take necessary steps to solve the issues.

Seal The Walls

The seals in the walls allow the air in, which causes fluctuations in the temperature inside your house. You can make a plan and use a tube of caulk to address the problem areas. Aside from this, you should seal the areas where you can find electric boxes on the drywall. Make sure all the tiny holes on the backside of the boxes are sealed.

Seal The Can Lights

Air leaks can occur in the ceiling as well, especially the area on the ceiling where the recessed lights are located. Some can lights are vented so that they don’t get overheated due to the light bulb. What you need to do is remove the can and then seal the perimeter of the can with quality caulk. In the same way, the internal area of the can should be sealed with aluminum tapeto or caulk.

Fill The Insulation Gaps

To find insulation gaps, you should check the outside faucets and air vents for big gaps. These gaps will allow the air to escape from the room in winter. You can use expanding foam to seal these holes.

Your Heating System

Before the arrival of winter, you can get your furnace tuned up. According to experts, the energy costs of an average house are affected by the heating. If your boiler system or furnace is inefficient, your heating bills may rise. Make sure you buy a quality filter.

You can replace the filter to make the boiler more efficient. While this may seem an unnecessary expenditure, it will pay back down the road.

Check Your Windows

Your windows should be suitable for the climate of your home. For instance, if you live in an area where it’s very cold in winter, you may want to invest in windows that feature double-paned insulated glass.

Buy a Smart Thermostat

You can consider installing a smart thermostat. Some advanced models can be operated with a smartphone as well. Programmable thermostats are available in different designs and price levels. These devices allow you to enhance the energy efficiency of your home.

So, you can use these 7 tips for home improvement before the arrival of next winter season. This way you can save some real cash on your heating bills.

Top 7 Home Improvement Tips You Should Know

Do you have a condo or an apartment? If you have one, you need some home improvement tips. These tips will help you maintain your home or apartment saving you some real cash in the long run. Aside from this, it will also increase the value of your home. Read on some of our tips for improving your home.

Tackle the Important Projects

Some home repair projects are urgent. If you do them in time, you can prevent a lot of damage. But if you ignore these projects, you may end up paying a huge sum to fix the damages later on. Therefore, don’t wait for the winter to approach and get these projects done as soon as possible.

Consider Professionals

Even if you love doing DIY projects, not all home repair projects should be done by you. Some repair jobs are better left to professionals. You have to be in your limits. If you are a beginner, you should start small. If a project needs the expertise of a professional, hire a professional.

Hone Your Skills

Whether you are going to work on a small or big project, you can learn some good home repair skills. You can make use of some good resources and start off from some projects. With the passage of time, you will be able to handle bigger tasks as well.

Find Inspiration

If you want inspiration for your home repair tasks, you can head to Pinterest. Over there you can find a lot of profiles showcasing project photos along with cost estimates. This will give you a pretty good idea of how you should go about handling these chores.

Get the Tools

You can’t do all your home improvement tasks with your hands. You need to have some essential tools at your disposal. They will help you with both minor and major tasks. For instance, for plumbing jobs, you need some essential plumbing tools in your tool box. So, you should invest in some common repair tools.

Choose the Right Contractor

Finding a good contractor is as important as finding a good doctor. In other words, you may want to hire only a reliable contractor or handyman. Hiring an inexperienced professional can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Save Money

If you save money on one project, you can spend it on another. What you need to know is to decide on the project that you can save some cash on. For instance, you can spend a bit more on items that can’t be replaced so easily, such as your bathtub. On the other hand, you can spend a bit less on the faucet. Another good idea is to head for a reuse center to save some cash on appliances and other stuff.

So, if you follow these simple home repair tips, you can get the projects done more easily while saving some cash. Remember: never try to do a project that you know will cost you thousands of dollars if done the wrong way. In this case, you had better look for a good professional.