Monthly Archives: March 2016

Read This Before You Finish Your Basement

“The steps to basement finishing can be different for everyone.  Starting in a newly constructed home meant you didn’t have to worry about basement waterproofing, mold removal, or repairing cracks.  But don’t worry, this site  is created so that you can find all the resources you need in one place. One of the most important steps can be preparing your basement properly, and if you don’t follow the steps to waterproofing your basement or removing mold it can mean more money out of your pocket later.”

a basement living area

How to Create the Perfect Bonus Room

Even if it’s currently cold concrete and crammed with boxes of off-season duds, the lowest floor of your home probably has loads of potential. Treat it just as you would any of the rooms aboveground, and it might just become the most popular spot in the house—for a lot less cash than adding on. Here’s our bottom-line advice for turning this underutilized space into a place you’ll be eager to spend time in.

The Layout Puzzle: Where to Begin

a) Put the main socializing area in a spot that gets the best natural light, to draw people in.

b) Bedrooms need a window for egress, so they’ll need to be located at the perimeter.

c) The TV-viewing zone can be in a darker spot, to reduce glare and create a home-theater feel.

d) Store snacks and beverages in an area you can access without crossing in front of the TV.

Read more: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20557080,00.html

How to Paint Your Hardwood Floors

“Knowing how to paint wood floors can make the difference between a stylish statement and a mess. The thought of painting wood floors can be scary, but if your hardwood floor is damaged, painting the floor can make it look great again. Painting older solid wood floors can give them new life without the expense and mess of refinishing them. It can also make your floors a beautiful design element in their own right, particularly with interesting patterns. It takes some time and patience to paint hardwood floors, but if you know how to apply nail polish, you already know the basics.”
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1. Prep the surface. Start by scuff-sanding the floor with 150-grit sandpaper, advises Christopher Comer of Noble Pro Painting in Chicago. This hand sanding is not to make the floor perfectly smooth but to rough it up enough so the primer will adhere well to the surface.

2. Clean the floor. Vacuum up dust; wipe using clear water if necessary to get it all up and then wash with a wood floor cleaner. The most important part of this step is to let the floors dry after they are cleaned — ideally two days and possibly longer. If there is moisture in the floors when you paint them, the primer and everything on top of it is likely to bubble up.

3. Put on the primer. Time to roll or brush on the primer — but what kind? “We recommend a penetrating, oil-based primer that can really seal the surface up tight, but a good latex primer could work well too,” says Phillip Storey of Redhill Painting in San Francisco. This is a good time to consult your local paint store about the right product to use. You will generally want the color coats to be paint made specifically for floors. If that paint is latex, use a latex primer. If oil, use an oil primer. Let it dry at least overnight, and if it’s an oil product, give it 24 hours or a bit more.

Read more: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/7140096/list/how-to-paint-your-hardwood-floors

How To Select the Right Paint and Color For Your Home

“You do not have to spend a lot of money on an interior designer to redo the look of your house. With a little paint and a lot of imagination, you can easily change the look and feel of a room. Look for highlights of your rooms and think of ways to make them stand out. Think of how you want to feel when you are inside that room. Choose vibrant shades. Do you want an air of elegance and serenity to a room? Select neutral shades or cool light greens. The point is, you can quickly feel the way you want with a can of paint or two, a paint brush and a little imagination. “
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inting is a quick and cheap way to give an old room a breath of fresh air or to make your house more sellable if you are putting it on the market. Find out all you have ever wanted to know about selecting paint.

Which paint should you choose?

Paint comes in a variety of sheens as well as in either oil or latex. Latex paint is the most commonly and preferred paint type to use because of its ease of clean up and long lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. I recommend using a latex paint for most of your walls and household uses. However, oil based paint is great for priming real wood moldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint wood. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time. I personally use an oil based shellac primer on my trim and then opt for a latex paint as the top coat. There are a variety of brands on the market, but my top preference is Behr paint.

Which sheen should I select?

The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will however make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.

Semi-gloss would also be a good choice for kitchens and baths as well as trim providing you with ease of wash-ability and less shine than the gloss. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish to them and could also be used in kitchens, baths and hallways. This may be a good choice if you really want some gloss and paint that can clean easily without the shine of a gloss.

Read more: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/skills-and-know-how/painting/how-to-select-the-right-paint-and-color-for-your-home

Color Trends: What’s New, What’s Next?

“Each hue has unique traits, and knowing how to best use individual colors will create a room you’ll absolutely love. Plus, color can set the mood for a room and lay the foundation for a space’s style and personality. Every room in your home has several opportunities to introduce color,  including paint, window treatments, linens, furniture, accessories, wall art, flooring, and more. If you’re not sure where to start, take our color personality quiz and get a color palette customized to your tastes and personality.”

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While you’re still deciding where to spend next year’s summer vacation, color forecasters have already predicted what color your bathing suit will be for the year.

Color forecasters are part designer, part sociologist and part predictor. They draw information from the runway, auto manufacturers and the housewares industry; they scour showrooms, trade shows and magazines for trends; they consider what’s happening culturally and how this impacts our national mood. Then they take all of that information and translate it into what colors we’ll be wearing and decorating with in the next year.

The Colors Are Coming

The housing crisis, ongoing war, historic election and economic downturn have combined to shape Americans’ color tastes. We’re searching for the color equivalent of mac and cheese: safe, traditional and comforting. But the pops of bright colors, from crimson to acid yellow, suggest that we’re ultimately hopeful about the future.

Neutrals are now, especially in larger purchases like cars, sofas or carpet. “For those big-ticket items, we’ll make the safer choice such as neutrals, from rich gray to camel,” says Emily Kiker Morrow, Director of Color, Style and Design at Shaw Industries. And, she continues, “We’re using trendier colors, like acid green or amethyst, as accent pieces.”

Read more: http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/color/color-trends-whats-new-whats-next

Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns

“Bermudagrass is a warm season turf grass and is best planted in spring to late spring or early summer. Bermuda grass care is not difficult. A light daily watering is all that is necessary while the grass is establishing. Once the grass is established, the watering frequency can be decreased, but the amount of water per watering session increased. The grass will need one inch per week if there is not significant rainfall. It has a good tolerance capacity against insects and diseases. Bermuda grass can grow in coastal areas as well.”

Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns

Bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) are among the most widely used warm-season grasses. Improved, fine-textured bermudagrasses are used throughout the south on golf courses, athletic fields, and in high-profile residential and commercial landscapes where a fine-textured, dense ground cover is desired. Because of the high maintenance requirements of the improved bermudagrasses, however, they are not generally recommended for use as a home lawngrass. Common bermudagrass varieties are often found as pasture and roadside grasses; these coarse-leaved varieties do not provide the high quality nor do they require the high maintenance of the fine-textured types.

Advantages

Bermudagrass produces a vigorous, medium green, dense turf that is well adapted to most soils and climates found in Florida. Bermudagrass has excellent wear, drought, and salt tolerance. It establishes rapidly and is able to outcompete most weed species. It is readily available as sod or plugs, and some improved cultivars are available as seeded varieties. Common varieties are available as seed, sod, or plugs.

Disadvantages

Improved bermudagrasses require high levels of maintenance. They have poor tolerance to many insect, disease, and nematode pests, which limits their use in home lawn sites. They grow very aggressively from stolons (aboveground stems) and rhizomes (belowground stems) and can rapidly invade flower and landscape beds. This aggressive growth also fosters thatch buildup. Bermudagrasses generally have poor to medium cold tolerance and relatively poor shade tolerance. Since bermudagrass performs best with higher levels of fertilizers and chemicals than other Florida lawngrasses, a professional lawn care company may best handle maintenance of this species.

Read more: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh007

Using Chicken Manure Fertilizer In Your Garden

“Chicken manure is composed of concentrated nutrients. This means it is very strong and should not be used in raw form on vegetables or flowers, as the strength of the nutrients, especially the nitrogen, can burn the roots of the plants. When composted correctly, however, it becomes an excellent fertilizer or amendment for soil, earning it the nickname of “black gold”. While it takes over half a year to properly compost chicken manure, the benefits are well worth the time and effort.”

chickens When it comes to manures, there is none more desired for the vegetable garden than chicken manure. Chicken manure for vegetable garden fertilizing is excellent, but there are some things you need to know about it in order to use it correctly. Keep reading to learn more about chicken manure compost and how to use it in the garden.

Using Chicken Manure for Vegetable Garden Fertilizer

Chicken manure fertilizer is very high in nitrogen and also contains a good amount of potassium and phosphorus. The high nitrogen and balanced nutrients is the reason that chicken manure compost is the best kind of manure to use.

But the high nitrogen in the chicken manure is dangerous to plants if the manure has not been properly composted. Raw chicken manure fertilizer can burn, and even kill plants. Composting chicken manure mellows the nitrogen and makes the manure suitable for the garden.

Read more: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/manures/chicken-manure-fertilizer.htm

Important Tips On Buying Comforters

Purchasing a mattress is definitely an important furniture piece you should make since you spend 1 / 3 of your time on a mattress, unless you tend to sleep most of the nights in the living room’s sofa. When you are considering of procuring a new one, you should thoroughly select the best one that suits your need so that you’ll be comfortable as you sleep. You need to recognize that there exists wide range of mattresses available in the market. You can find many different brands, kinds of as well as different prices. And so, here are several guidelines that can help you get the mattress that fit your individual needs bests.”

Photo by contentinjection.com

If you are finding it difficult to sleep in an old and uncomfortable bed, then perhaps it’s time for you to obtain a new one. Just imagine the time you spend in your bed, absolutely it can affect the sturdiness and functionality as time passes. Furthermore, as the person ages, he or she could have a different demand in terms of mattress. For children, they can be more pleased with cushiony and soft mattress whilst the older ones may opt to go for the harder ones. There are many options available to you when you go shopping, so it’s important to determine what you are searching for. This post was written to serve as a guide for you when shopping for your next mattress.

In case you are waking up feeling tired or going through low back pain, it might be time for a new mattress. When selecting another one for your bed, you should think about the size and type mattress that’s good for you as well as finding the top quality mattress to satisfy your budget.

Second, if you’re really serious with your mattress hunting, then you has to be willing to invest some time and effort to try and examine the mattresses. Don’t be lured by the offer of department shops on their products since they could be made also by major manufacturers. Department shops have higher mark up prices so if possible, check out manufacturer outlet as they can also provide you with large discounts. The salesman could possibly tell you who manufacture the type of mattress so you can then pick-up the identical or similar mattress at a discount outlet.

As much as possible, you would like your house to become aesthetically pleasing. When you buy a mattress, visually it really is unnecessary to select a lovely mattress since it will be covered most of the time. Instead you just need to ensure the mattress exterior or frequently called ticking is sturdy and well-made and not prone to ripping. The higher quality ticking is made of material that’s knitted or woven utilizing cotton or viscose yarn. Less costly mattresses are made of polypropylene or polyester.

The mattress must be comfy enough and can provide the right support so as to relax the mind and body in sleeping. There are numerous sorts of mattresses which is well suited for different physical conditions. Say for example those who go through back pains; they may decide on a latex foam mattress. Or perhaps for those with Osteoarthritis and Spinal stenosis, I suggest you obtain the adjustable one. It is crucial so that you will have a great sleep!

Above you will find some great tips and resources for buying the next mattress. We devote approximately one-third of our lives in bed, so the decision you are making regarding which mattress you buy must be well-researched and informed. Get a premium quality mattress which fits both your needs and your budget.

4 Types Of Backyard Patio

Patios are now popular not just for for the beauty it gives to the property but they also serve as the hub for various family routines for example barbecuing, eating, recreation or simply unwinding. The beauty of patios further increases to the curb appeal of the property which can be best for future plans of selling it. Moreover, patios have different styles that you could choose from based on a person’s preference and the design of the home. Listed here are the four most common designs and styles.”

Photo by www.installitdirect.com

A well setup patio has the potential to raise the functions of the outside area while increasing the market price of the property. Patios provide a good place to observe nature, eat meal dinner from the grill, or simply just de-stress with the family. These come in different types and designs to make it much easier to complement the outside of the place. The following are 4 widely used patio choices:

Dry-Laid Patio

A dry-laid patio is a popular option for the competent DIY  passionate. Adding a dry-laid patio needs minimum skills and experience. This is a basic procedure for digging up the site for the patio, putting a bed of sand and positioning preferred kind of paving stones at the top. It is also required to have proper drainage in place to ensure rain water will be able to escape. The preferred stones for this type of patio contain cut and natural stones.

Mortar Patio

Mortar patio is actually the same as dry-laid style but rather than sand and gravel, it utilizes mortar. If you are living at a location where it often rains or the weather conditions varies from mild winter to hot summer, the sand tends to wash down then turns into irregular. This mortar is ideal to seal the stones and fill the gaps within the stones. It is far more long lasting in comparison with dry-laid patio.

Slap Patio

Slab patios are created with an enough ground and can support significant heaviness that means it is stronger compared to the two stated earlier. Although this type is wonderful, they are also very expensive. You have to use a professional contractor to get this task completed particularly if you do not have experience in construction works. They also can establish the preferred size and shape for that patio and get the concrete put to the shaped area. The concrete is continually leveled and smoothed until finally it is completely set and dry.

Raised Patio

A raised patio is normally utilized if you’d like the patio floor to be on the same level as the house floor from which it is connected. Usually the whole seating area, furniture or other components are elevated, boosting the sights of the encompassing property. This style also has a retaining wall made. The retaining wall could be developed directly onto the concrete foundation. Guide lines are to make certain that every course is level as well as the lines are straight.

Currently, there are already plenty of design and styles that you can get ideas from but at the end of the day, it is still your preference and taste that should prevail. Online sites, home improvement blogs and magazines presents a a number of choices that you will definitely love. However, prior to deciding on it, be sure you have the plan and the set funds to ensure you will get no issues when the work is happening.

The Right Maintenance For Your Tiles Tips

Maintenance for almost everything really should be regular, prompt and up to date. This activity is essential in order that the home is maintained exciting and can look brand new. And once we talk of tiling at your house, maintenance is additionally important to be sure its long life and enhance the home as well. Follow listed below Do’s and Dont’s.”

Photo by carpet-cleaning-in-tampa.com

Regular home upkeep is essential in each and every house. This will assist you in keeping it lively and beautiful for long. The Do’s and Don’ts to tilling may help you go a long way together with tiling practices.

Do’s

Thoroughly clean all of particles and dust, just before flooring arrangements.
Conduct test in scouring pads in a small area first before you proceed on applying in the target area..
As soon as the tile has been cleaned, grout joints has to be treated with a silicone sealer.
Make use of a soap and water mixture to eliminate all the residues and completely clean the surface.
Pick only a qualified tile remover to get the destroyed or cracked tiles replaced and removed.

Don’ts

For routine maintenance, it is not necessary to regularly use bleach and acid.
Avoid the use of wax based cleaners, oil-based detergents or sealants to maintain your tile (sealants can be utilized on grout joints).
Steel wool pads and scouring pads containing metal should not in any way be used as cleaning aids.
Avoid using a cleaning agent that contains color (unglazed tile only)..

Cleaning Solutions

There are several cleaning solutions available that can safely clean tile and take unsightly stains and dust right after the installation of tile. Dish detergent works efficiently as a tile cleaner as it is mild enough to avoid yellowing the tile or perhaps the grout. Oxygen bleach is a non-toxic cleaner, it’s more widespread chlorine as counterpart. It’s available in a powdered form that may be spread on the tile and grout that must be cleaned. Another excellent cleaning solution, particularly for greasy floors, is a mix of distilled white vinegar and warm water. Avoid this solution on marble floors since the vinegar can erode them.

Mopping

A ceramic floor must be mopped damp one or more times in a week. For commonly used areas, this has to be done quicker. Utilization of detergents, soaps and also any other chemicals should not be done. The mopping must be started out only 72 hours following the initial grouting and joining is performed.

Prevention

Floor mats are certainly one way of preventing any scratches or marks on your floor tiling. It is actually helpful in minimizing any type of spots or marks. Utilization of mats in front of vanities, ovens and drain is additionally necessary, as these are parts of continuous pressure. These accumulate and trap all elements that are corrosive such as sand, dirt, grit, asphalt, and oil and driveway sealer.

And lastly, use protective padding to conceal sharp edges and corners of furniture along with other things at your home in order that as you move them, there’ll be no scratches and the tile won’t be damaged.

These straightforward points will help you have shining tiles throughout the period of time.

Buying Your Down Comforter Guidelines

Comforters are bedroom staples year round, but when winter sets in, you can utilize the extra comfort and warmth a down bed comforter can provide. Down comforters are offered in different materials, filling and sizes. For anybody who is quite new to the specifics in down comforters, allow this posting take you step-by-step through the different considerations in purchasing your own down comforter.”

Photo by www.viaggiaconhermes.com

To obtain the perfect mix of both style and comfort, nothing beats a quality down comforter for your bedroom. Down is the soft inner plumage of waterfowl just like ducks and geese. It has long been recognized as an superb fill material for comforters, pillows, and coats. In this posting, we will give you some simple points in buying a down comforter for your bedroom.

Material

Not like ordinary quilts and covers, down comforters are usually made of goose feathers that are responsible for its softness and fluffiness. The feathers come from an old goose’s undercoat, well-known for their insulating features over the winter season. Even so, take note that not all down comforters come with pure goose down. Try to look for the percentage providing just how much down the comforter is made up. If it is not pure down or “all down,” it may comprise plain feathers, impacting the comforter’s capability to insulate.

Fill Power

When looking for a down comforter the # 1 consideration to find is the fill power. Good quality fill power is between 500 and 700. The higher the fill power, the warmer the down comforter can be. High fill power does not always mean a heavy comforter. With a high fill power, less down is necessary to fill the same amount of space, thereby making the down comforter lightweight.

Thread Count

This describes the number of threads were used in a sq . inch of the down comforter. The larger the number of the thread count, the better. A down comforter of good quality is tightly-woven and gives off a silky and comfy feel. Down comforters with thread counts lower down 180 are called muslin, greater than 250 are high quality cotton, while down comforters with 400 to 600 thread count are considered first-class. The thread count is a crucial concern mainly because loosely-woven down comforters tend to allow feathers to escape the outer fabric in the long run. If you’re looking at down comforters as major bedroom investment, it is best to choose one with a higher thread count since it has a tendency to last longer.

Size

Additionally, you will wish to remember the size you want. You’ll want to be sure that you’re down comforter fits well on your bed. The comforter must not be either too big or too small for your bed. You will not want to buy a king size comforter for a adult size bed. In assuring the size is correct you will basically be assuring the comfort that you need.

Quality

Numerous comforters can feature sloppy workmanship, which can cause down shifting or escaping the comforter. A fast approach to make certain you are getting a quality down comforter is to see good stitching. The stitching should be consistent the whole way around the comforter, and must also be firmly in place. This will keep your down comforter serving the purpose for a long time.