Home Improvement

In these economic times, it will be a good idea to look for more ways to make your home energy efficient. One way you can do that is to hire a spray foam insulation company to fill the nooks, walls and crannies in your house with spray foam. For energy efficiency to be maintained in your house, the outside air has to be kept out while the inside air has to be kept in. But if the home is not insulated, the air can travel through even the smallest holes, cracks and seams and escape from the house. The air can still be able to escape even with the traditional fiberglass insulation. But since spray form insulation does not shrink, sag over time or settle, it provides a tight air seal that will give you energy savings year after year.

Another reason why you will need a spray foam insulation company is for the sake of your health as well as the health of other family members. Since the insulation prevents the outside air from flowing inside your house, it equally prevents outdoor pollutants such as pollen and smog from penetrating into your house – not to mention rodents and pests. Since the insulation also creates a seamless barrier, it prevents growth of bacteria and mold that could cause diseases. You will therefore be sure that your home is safer and healthier for you and your loved ones if you use the insulation.

Hiring a spray foam insulation company to install this insulation will make your home to last longer. The insulation will give the home added structural integrity and it will not require regular insulation upgrades in future. The application of the insulation is a cleaner process, and therefore it will result into less waste and a smaller mess. There will also be no depletion of the ozone layer when you install this insulation in your home.

Another benefit you will get from hiring a spray foam insulation company is having a quieter home. Besides the insulation creating a barrier that will keep air out, it will also help to keep noise out. This will be made possible by millions of semi-rigid cells that the insulation is made of which will absorb the sound waves that are coming from outside your home. The insulation is proven to reduce exterior noise by up to 20 decibels.

The framing structure of your house is going to be stronger if you spray the insulation into the stud wall cavity. This is because the two liquid components that the insulation is made of will become chemically bonded, and as a result they will create a rigid plastic-like material which will tie the exterior sheathing and the studs together. This will create a monolithic wall barrier that does not have voids or gaps, and as a result your house will have added protection against harmful elements.

Home Improvement

Commercial InsulationResidential and commercial Insulation can help you a great deal in saving energy and reducing heating and cooling bills. Unfortunately, many home and commercial structures are usually built without or very little insulation in the floors, walls, roof or attic. You should therefore take the initiative to insulate them if you want to increase their comfort level and reduce your energy bills.

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Home Improvement

TopsoilWhen it comes to successful gardening, nourishing your topsoil is very important. And with so many different types of dirt, it can be hard to figure out what nutrients to add.

1. Chalk

Chalk is found over limestone beds. When wet, chalk becomes quite sticky and hard to work with, but it also dries out very fast under the summer sun. Plant growth tends to be stunted due to the high pH of 7.5 as well as the lack of moisture.

In order to grow plans successfully in chalk, you need to add acid-rich minerals. Peat, compost and manure are great options. They help to neutralize the pH balance and improve water absorption.

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Home Improvement

Your kitchen cabinets serve an important purpose. They store many of the things you need to cook, clean, and entertain family and guests. They are also a part of your home, so you want them to fit in with the overall design and style.

Fixing Up or Buying New?
You don’t have to buy a whole new set of cabinets to upgrade your kitchen. Sometimes, all it takes is updated hardware, maybe new stain or paint, or even a different door style to give them a whole new look. If you need more space, modifications can be done to what you have such as additional shelves or turntables. If you are buying new, think about all the different items you will have and how much space you will need.

If you want a cozy, warm feeling to your kitchen, you probably want to consider wood options. They are available in a wide variety of wood types such as oak, pine, walnut, cherry and more. You can also choose to stain the wood for added luster and beauty. A painted style can look traditional or contemporary, depending on other features in the design.

Where to buy?
You have a wide variety of options when purchasing kitchen cabinets. Many home improvement stores have cabinets on display to give you an idea of how they might look like in your home. Some selections may be in stock and ready for you to take home. Other styles may need to be ordered but are readily available to be shipped to the store or your home. Most of these stores will install your cabinets for a small fee.

There are businesses that specialize in building kitchen cabinets. If you have special needs or want personalized attention, this may be your best bet. Look for a company that has experience, and talk to past customers if you can. The professional staff at these businesses should be able to come to your home and talk with you about options and costs.

Putting it all together
Envision what items you will use and how often you will need them. For example, your family will likely use drinking glasses everyday. You don’t want them in a place that is hard to reach or far away from the refrigerator. If you have fine dishes or anything special you want to show, consider putting those items in a cabinet with glass panes. If you have spices, cans or other non-perishable goods to store, one with a turntable may come in handy so you can fit more inside a single space.

You will probably spend a lot of time in the room with your kitchen cabinets, so choose a design that fits you!

Home Improvement

Remodeling a home comes with many decisions. One of the first decisions you make will be if you are going to hire a general contractor or work as one on your home remodeling project. No matter which way you go, there are some tried and true tips that can help you along the way to make sure the job goes just the way you want it to.

Make Decisions
If you want a home remodeling project to go well, you need to decisions before any work even starts. While you may think choosing a faucet is a small thing, not having the proper faucet when it is time to install it can throw the whole job behind. Now, what if the medicine cabinet door hits the new faucet once it is installed? That could mean even more delays as you have to find either a new faucet or new medicine cabinet.

Don’t Change Your Mind
It is hard to make a decision and stick with it when you know you have to live with it for a long time, but during a remodel, it is best if you try to keep things the way you had them planned. Each time even a small thing is changed, it can throw a big kink in the plans. Not only can one single change delay the job, but it will add unnecessary costs, too.

Let The Builder Buy The Materials
While it may seem like you can save a lot of money buying what you need on your own, that is not always the case. Many times a builder can get materials for a better price than you can. Then, the builder will usually mark up the cost. You will pay the same price either way.

Keep A Contingency Fund
While you may have a budget for your project, unfortunately, most home remodeling jobs go over the decided budget. It is best to have some money set aside just in case you find things are going to cost more than you planned. This will give you money to work with. Just be careful not to dig into your contingency fund to stretch your budget. If you make all decisions before starting, you will likely only need 5 percent of your contingency fund.

Remove Distractions
While it may be hard, try to keep your pets and kids out of the way. It would be best, too, if you are not a distraction. If the workers are trying to work around your kids or are busying talking with you, they are not doing the job that you are paying them to do.

Remodeling a home is not always an easy process. The payoff is a good one, though. In order for your job to go as smoothly as possible, use the tips shared in this article and before you know it you will have the changes in your home that you desire.

Home Improvement

Bathroom remodeling can be done for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have an outdated lavatory that needs a face-lift with new tile, cabinets, and paint. Maybe you want a different style altogether and are looking for a new tub and other fixtures as well. Or, maybe you have challenges that require you to make easier mobility updates to the room. Whatever your reason, you are probably working in a relatively small space, so it is important to carefully plan out the essential, as well as the aesthetic, features of the room.

What is Needed

There are certain features of your bathroom that you need. A place to shower or bathe, a sink, and a commode are required for full baths. However, you have a lot of design options for each of those. Do you have room for a free-standing tub? If so, you may need to get new fixtures that will work with it. Sinks can come in cabinet enclosures or may also be free-standing. They can be made of porcelain, have a clear design, or be composed of many other materials. For the commode, you can choose from longer or taller models, as well as color and shape.

You will probably also want some cabinet space and how much is up to you. This often depends on how much space is available and what you want to store in the room. Bigger areas may have room for towels, but smaller spaces may only have room for a few personal products.

Flooring is also an important consideration in your bathroom remodeling project. Besides the popular vinyl or laminate flooring, you have the option of tile, marble, or many other materials. Some floors can even be installed with heaters so you never have to step out of the shower onto a cold floor again!

Design Options

Search the Internet for tools that will help you plan out your project. There are websites that can help you with placing fixtures and trying out colors and patterns to see what looks best in your space. Visit different showrooms to see staged bathrooms setups for more ideas.

Professional Help

If you are doing significant additions to your bathroom, such as expanding the space, you will definitely need the assistance of an experienced contractor. They will work with you to design the entire room, including supporting walls and any other architectural changes that may be needed.

If you are updating the floor with tile or marble, you may want to consider a professional service as well, since they will have all the necessary tools to cut and lay the material in the correct manner. For your fixtures, you will likely need the help of a plumber when you are working with the shower, tub, sink, and toilet area. And if you are updating the lighting in the room, you may also need a qualified electrician.

Certainly, there are some parts of the project you can do yourself. But don’t overestimate the value of using a professional to talk through your design, recommend the parts that might need specialized attention, and provide proper installation. Take time to do your homework before your next bathroom remodeling project and you will be glad you did!

Home Improvement

Before you set up a time for your wheelchair ramp installation, there are several aspects to consider. How many stairs and thresholds are in your home? If you or your loved one requires the assistance of a scooter to get around the inside of your home, you may need to purchase multiple inclines. What size incline should you purchase for the home entrance, for the threshold between your dining room and living room, or for the threshold between your bathroom floor and your shower?

Where Will You Need to Fit a Wheelchair Ramp?

Installation can be a lengthy process, so you’ll want to make sure that you consider all areas of your home. You don’t want to be calling the technician out multiple times to fit various inclines in different areas of your home!

Here are some of the most common areas:

– The steps leading up to your porch, front door or back door
– The steps taking you from your garage into your home
– Any doors within your home that have raised thresholds
– Exterior doors that feature lips
– The raised threshold between the bathroom floor and your shower
– Your vehicle’s threshold, especially if it’s a larger vehicle like a van or SUV

How Long Should the Incline Be?

Higher entrances require longer ramps. Once you get steeper than a 9.5-degree slope, the incline is no longer safe for an occupied scooter or wheelchair. Ramp installation experts suggest a 4.8-degree slope for maximum safety.

To reach a 4.8-degree slope, the height of your staircase in inches is directly related to the length of your ramp in feet. For instance, if you have two 5-inch stairs – a total of 10 inches – you can expect to have a slope that is 10 feet long.

As you can imagine, higher staircases necessitate longer runways. You may find that your slope needs to wrap around the house or go in a zigzag pattern rather than a straight line. What if you have a small front yard and four 5-inch stairs leading to your front door? Somehow, 20 feet of runway needs to make it up to your home.

Within your home, you may need very small inclines to get over thresholds or into your shower. These can easily be installed or you may consider a portable option. It all depends on how many of your doors have raised thresholds.

How Wide Is Your Wheelchair Ramp?

Installation experts suggest that the width of your incline be slightly wider than the wheelbase of your chair or scooter. Obviously, the device needs to fit onto the slope, but you should also have a safety margin on either side. That way if you weave a little from one side to the other, you won’t go flying off!

Final Considerations

No matter what size of your wheelchair ramp, installation experts highly recommend options that are stable, firm (no sagging as you ride over), and slip-resistant. You also want to find a model that sheds water easily.

Home Improvement

Are you considering installing a retaining wall? It’s important to draw up specific plans so that you can create a barrier that has all of the positive benefits without negatively impacting your landscape. Depending on your location, special considerations must be taken before developing a design for such a barrier. We’ll outline the process here so you can feel confident in your project.

Gather Necessary Materials

To begin creating a retaining wall, you need to first ensure that you have all the necessary materials. For any DIY project, you should purchase safety glasses for eye protection. You will also need a chisel for splitting blocks, wooden stakes, some kind of tool for compacting, and of course, the stones that you are planning to use to build the wall. There are also many other materials that may be needed to complete your project, including brick pavers, aggregate base material, and sand. From there, you’ll need to do some careful measurements to make sure the barrier you are creating will be a snug match for the environment you are planning to build into. It’s good practice to contact your local utility company to ensure there aren’t any utility cables that may be in your way as you are digging into the area where you plan to install your barrier.

Dig & Excavate

When you are creating trenches where the stones will be placed to create the retaining wall, you want to remember that the bottom row of stones or blocks should be buried in the dirt. You should expect the bottom row of stones to be buried under about one inch of dirt for every eight inches you are planning to stack your wall. So, if you are planning a barrier that is two feet high, or 24 inches, you should plan to bury the bottom layer of stones under three inches of dirt. As you are digging, it is important that the trenches are an even level of depth, so that the wall does not become crooked.

Put Retaining Wall in Place

Once the trenches have been dug, you are ready to put the material for the wall in place. To begin, you should insert base material. Base material should not be round, as this can sink into the ground under pressure. You’ll want to use sharp, angular particles that can be broken up and easily spread into the area. You’ll want a four to six inch layer of these smaller pieces and then compact them sturdily. Throughout this process, keep a close eye to ensure the entire structure stays level. This is very important. From there, you can begin laying the stones in an ordered way to build up your wall. Depending on the type of material you use, you may or may not want to use mortar.

There are many tips and tricks out there that can help you build the wall you need. To learn more about how to build your own retaining wall, just do a quick online search and you will find a wealth of information.

Home Improvement

When you invest in a residence, you want a property that will retain its market value for years to come. Even if you think you’re investing in your forever house, it’s still smart to consider how its value will fluctuate in the years to come. Many on the housing market are looking for similar things in properties. They want enough bedrooms and bathrooms to live comfortably, and they want to live in a location that is ideal for their lifestyle. While the market value in a certain neighborhood or town can fluctuate greatly over time, what people look for in a house is less likely to change. As a result, it’s a good idea to invest in a property constructed by professional home builders.

These professionals design and build houses that are customizable in nature. However, they all follow basic design templates and schemes. These designs have been developed to offer key amenities homeowners find attractive. Whether it’s a spacious kitchen with well-placed countertops and appliances, a bathroom that features a luxurious bath, or a recreation room that’s perfect for the kids, these types of features will always hold value. Of course, everyone is looking for a property that has great features but also fits within their budget.

When you partner with home builders, you’re likely to get the most out of your dollar. Designing a property from scratch takes a good deal of time and money. You’ll have to consult with architects, construction contractors, and others to bring your vision to life. Few people are in a position to afford these services so easily. Professional home builders offer all these services. As a result, you’ll experience a streamlined design and construction process. More likely than not, your property will be finished well before it would have been otherwise. In addition, the experience these professionals have in working with specific templates and designs means the quality of work will be exceptional.

Home builders are more than happy to accommodate any unique requests or ideas during the design phase. While some think that developers don’t allow for this type of customization, it often isn’t the case. If you’re looking at template designs and fail to see anything that meets your exact needs, contact the company to see if your request can be accommodated. When working with professional home builders, you’ll still have the opportunity to consult with builders to ensure the final product meets your expectations. While there’s no guarantee which way the housing market will develop, you can invest wisely and make smart decisions about your assets. This is one of the key reasons many homebuyers choose to partner with professionals companies when it’s time to purchase a new residence.

Home Improvement

One of the many memorable scenes of the movie “Old School” is Will Ferrell’s character explaining to his friends that his post-wedding weekends are now comprised of trips to home improvement stores and maintenance projects. Home improvement projects can be expensive and eat away at a perfectly good weekend. However, there are a number of quick, inexpensive projects that can refresh the look of your home and increase its value if you decide to sell it.

If you choose to take on a project, improvements near the front of the house may have the most impact. A few simple projects can help organize an area that is easily overcome with clutter. The front of your home may be a convenient place to leave mail, backpacks, and keys. Create a designated drop spot for mail and keys using a pegboard, hooks, and a small basket attached to the inside of a cabinet door. If you have a little more room, install a bench with built-in storage for each family member’s items, a coat rack, and cubbies.

Adding shelving and repurposing bookcases are easy ways in which you can increase storage, and creatively display items. Floating shelves can provide a place to store books, photos, or movies, without taking up space on the floor. In the kitchen, floating shelves can be used to store cookbooks, mugs, or small plates. Modular shelving is a good solution for small spaces. You can store books, pictures, or small sculptures for a colorful and interesting display. Cubby-style shelving can accommodate baskets to help you store small items. Finally, you can change the look of built-in shelves by painting the back, or applying scrapbook paper or fabric in an eye-catching pattern.

In the kitchen, matching the doors and face panels on your appliances can improve the look of the room. Many customers are surprised to learn that dishwasher doors are white on one side, and black on the other. Simply unscrewing and turning around the panel to the opposite side can instantly change the color. Contact the manufacturers of your oven, microwave, stove, and other appliances to ask about ordering matching panels. Adding extra storage is an inexpensive way to make your kitchen more functional. Corner shelves with decorative brackets can be used to store cookware, plates, or spices. Mounting a wine rack to the wall is also another storage solution for homeowners who entertain regularly, or who have an extensive wine collection. Over-the-door wire organizers are also good solutions for storing freestanding bottles of dish detergent, countertop cleaners, and sponges.

The outside of your home can also benefit from a few small projects. Painting exterior doors in a bright color like cherry red or cobalt blue can instantly update the front of the house. A fresh coat of paint applied to the trim can also create a welcoming exterior. Changing any broken hardware, adding a knocker, or replacing address numbers are also subtle, but noticeable upgrades.
Home improvement projects do not have to be as expensive or time consuming as painting entire rooms. Use these simple ideas to transform your home with ease.