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Home Remodeling

Guide to Flooring Options

The home d?�cor world has revolutionized extensively. One of the areas where real changes are continually being made is in flooring designs and options. Today, flooring that was traditionally used in the kitchen can be used in the living room and vice versa. We have wooden flooring in kitchens and tiles in the family room. What this means for you is that you can now experiment a lot more flooring choices. If you have been to the local hardware store lately or browsed through online stores, you have seen for yourself the wide array of flooring materials available. How can you pick flooring material that is suitable for your home?
Well, to help you make the right choice, you will need to consider several factors. The usage of the room is of utmost importance and will determine the kind of flooring to install. Wooden flooring, for instance, would not be appropriate for the bathroom or laundry room because of the constant/high water content in contact with the floor. Instead, tiles or concrete are better choices for these rooms.
Consider also the amount of traffic the room is exposed to on daily basis. Do you have kids and pets in the room? These two factors will have an effect on the maintenance of the flooring. If the flooring has a propensity to staining, it would not be ideal for a room dominated by kids and pets. Furniture also has an effect on this. Choose flooring materials based on where you intend to place your furniture. Let your choice of flooring add color and warmth to the room. Do not line your hardwood flooring with a colorful area rug only to move your huge settee over it, completely obscuring its beauty!
Whatever flooring you choose should coordinate well with the rest of the house/room. Often, when looking at the flooring, we do not see the bigger picture, which includes the walls and pieces of furniture put together in the room. Factor in every aspect of the room, including walls, ceiling, furniture, accessories and draperies when thinking of flooring ideas. Determine how the flooring option you have in mind will look in view of the rest of the room.
If you are unsure of what colors to use or even what type of flooring to buy for a particular room, take a picture of the room and carry it with you when going shopping for flooring. The hardware experts at the store will be able to help you choose the most appropriate flooring for you. Or you can consult a designer first before making any purchase. Their input will be informed and they will advise you on the best options for you. You might have been considering wood flooring but after talking to an interior designer, they might show you just why laminate flooring will look better than the wooden one.
Consider also the kind of care and maintenance the flooring needs. Some types of flooring are easier to maintain than others. Be sure that you can meet the demands your flooring choice has when it comes to cleaning, repair and maintenance.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Log Home Maintenance For The Best Protection Against The Elements

A brand new log home looks really great if it is finished properly, but if you leave it without maintenance for too long it will start to deteriorate and start to look weathered. Maybe you are experiencing the effects that the weather has on your logs or it could be that you are new to this type of home and you just want to learn what needs to be done to keep it looking great. Whatever your issue is you may want to read this article to avoid the pitfalls of owning a log structure.

Many new log home owners see their homes as indestructible building due to the strength they perceive by looking at the solid log wall. Many time people forget that it does not matter how large a block of wood you have it can still break down over time through the process of decay if it is not protected. IF your home is built using a wood siding you need to paint or stain the surface every 3 to 5 years. This same process needs to be done with logs as well.

Effects of Weather on Logs

Mold and Mildew – This type of damage does not really affect the structure of the home, but it does leave your logs looking unsightly by staining them.

Ultraviolet Light also known as UV rays – This type of damage does not affect structure either, but it will turn your logs from the beautiful color you fell in love with to an unsightly greyish color.

Insects and fungus – This type of damage is the worse type you can have. Not only does it make your logs look awful it can in fact cause structural damage over time which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

To keep these things from attacking your logs you will need to use the proper preservatives and sealers and apply them at the right time. If your log home is new, it may have been already done for you by the builder, but in 3 to 5 years you will have to apply it again. If you wait longer than that there is a really good chance that you will have to take more drastic measures to get the look back you had at the beginning.

If you chose the wrong product you will soon find that it did not protect your logs like you would of liked it to. A log home restoration specialist can help you pick the right supplies for your climate and get you off to a great start with your maintenance schedule.…

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Remodeling Contractors

Repairing Windows At Your Home

Windows have to be able to keep all of nature’s elements outside when you don’t want them in and at the same time, give you the ability to welcome them inside when you do. That is a lot to ask from any structural element. And yet windows are a defining feature of any home’s appeal.
How well your windows perform this function is somewhat dependent on how old they are. Window technology has come a long way since the 1950’s. Given that, there is a limit to how much improvement you can get from your windows through maintenance. When I was in college in Boston, I rented this great old apartment. Gumwood floors, old radiators and double hung windows with a rope mechanism to raise and lower them. You know what Boston’s climate is like. How many of those windows do you think were working? Let me tell you – not many. If your windows are older than dirt, I seriously recommend that you consider replacing them.
But meanwhile, what should you look for during your home maintenance check-up?
What to Look For
1. Check for window integrity. You want to see if there are any obvious cracks or broken glass; be sure to look for loose putty while you are at it. Also check the weather stripping if you have it to make sure it has not been damaged or come loose.
2. Trim. Make sure the trim fits tightly and is not working loose on your windows. Pay special attention to boundaries, anywhere that the structural elements change. For example, where the trim meets the siding, your foundation or a corner.
3. Screens, locks and hardware. Make sure all of these are in good repair and that they are in working order. This is a good time to lubricate any moving parts.
4. Proper closure. A window can’t perform its function if it doesn’t open and close properly. Best to find this out while the sun is shining than in the middle of the first downpour. Remember that all those little leaky spots add up. Fix them!…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Shopping for Flooring – Wholesale or Retail?

Of course when you’re shopping for flooring for a job or contract you want to be sure that you’re getting the best deal. For years the thought was to just go to your local hardware store and pay what you pay. Then when big box chain stores and wholesalers came around, the thought was that buying wholesale was where you would get the best deal.
Since the advent of the Internet the playing field has been somewhat leveled. Yes, you may get a deal on flooring wholesale which may be slightly cheaper than your market rate retail price, but what are you giving up in quality? Where can you go to find the best mixture of value and quality?
It was not long before websites began popping up promising contractors and designers the best mixture of wholesale value with boutique retail quality. Many online sites provide the perfect mixture of luxury retail names and rock bottom wholesale prices. You just need to seek out the best name websites which are going to offer you the best name flooring at the lowest prices before you commit to one website or another.
Another thing to consider before you go opening up your purse strings for a flooring retailer is you need to be sure that wherever you decide to buy from, the outlet will have all the colors and styles that you need. One of the things about going to a wholesaler which really earns demerits is that you can spend all your time finding the best prices, settle on the one with the lowest price, and discover that they don’t have the style of products you need.
For carpet you know you need to consider types of finish, color, and whether you can get this carpet cut to the size you need. If not watch out; there’s nothing worse than taking 8×10 squares and having to have that fit your space.
Hardwood floors run much the same risk as the carpets. If you need cherry birch laminate finish and you can’t get exactly the shade and the finish that your customer wants you could lose the job. You should always be mindful of what your customer wants and make sure you deliver this product at the lowest cost. Make sure your retailer or flooring wholesalers. has what you need before you quote a price. There’s nothing homeowners hate more than last minute price adjustments.
Flooring wholesale and flooring retail have really sort of melded thanks to the introduction of the World Wide Web. If you’re looking to make a statement on your customers floors with a flooring retailer or wholesaler for quality and price you should be sure that your customers are willing to spend what they need to for one and able to sacrifice what they can afford for the other.…

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Renovation Contractor

In Depth: Corian Countertops

Corian, developed by Dupont in 1967, is an artificial material that is solid, homogeneous, and non-porous, making it the perfect surface for a kitchen countertop. To make Corian, simply mix one part of the acrylic resin Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) with two parts crushed natural minerals (try aluminum tri-hydrate, derived from bauxite ore). Add some catalysts, pigments, stabilizers, and UV absorbers. Heat, mix, and let harden — you’ve got Corian. Using a temperature of 300A�F (150A�C), you can thermoform Corian after it’s hardened, and create, let’s say, custom-sized Corian countertops for your kitchen remodel.
Besides Corian’s primary use for bathroom vanity tops, kitchen countertops, and shower cladding, the material has hospital and lab uses, mainly because of its hygienic properties. Besides using this material for home kitchen countertops, Corian is also perfect for surfaces used in commercial food preparation, health care, testing facilities, and chemical laboratories.
First sold in in the late 1960s, Corian countertops were intended from the start as an integral part of the new industry of kitchen remodeling, though the material was only available in a couple of shades of beige and white. Today, there are well over one hundred colors and patterns of Corian, including patterns that mimic granite or marble. Quite a few purchasers of Corian countertops for a kitchen remodel have said they prefer the Corian to granite not only for the appearance, but also for the easy maintenance and the non-porous surface.
A cross-section cut of Corian will show you the homogeneous distribution of particulates and color throughout the material. This even homogeneity comes into play when actually building Corian countertops for a kitchen remodel — the joints can be completely sealed with the two-part color-matched acrylic Corian epoxy as the adhesive. Once clamped and left to dry, and then sanded down to remove excess adhesive, and then polished, the countertop joint will be completely invisible. In the same manner, a seamless backsplash can be added to a countertop.
One of the problems with Corian is that it scratches much easier than granite, making the material vulnerable to knife cuts (although any scratches and nicks can be buffed to smoothness with an orbital sander). Corian, being a heat-formed material, is vulnerable to scorching from hot metal, such as a frying pan or a pot. And then there’s the cost — although Corian is one of the most affordable of the “high-end” countertop materials, Corian countertops can still cost more in a kitchen remodel than the traditional choices for countertop materials, such as wood.
On the other hand, there are many patterns and colors from which to choose with Corian. Seams can be made that are nearly invisible. The surface is easy to clean and non-porous, and, therefore, does not support the growth of bacteria or fungi. Corian is inert and non-toxic — even when burnt, Corian emits only CO & CO2. Corian is a “Green” material, manufactured in compliance with strict standards to limit waste and energy consumption, and has low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.…

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Renovation Contractor

Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors – Why Are They So Great?

Brazilian cherry hardwood floors are one of the most sought after types of flooring in the United States. One reason it is so popular is because of how hard the wood is. This means that it is very durable and will hold up extremely well over a long period of time. We all know that hardwood floors are very popular among many people all over the world. Their beautify, durability and ease of cleaning make them a great choice for most people.
This particular wood is taken from a Brazilian Cherry tree which is also called the “Jatoba” tree. The durability of this wood is really showcased when you consider that it comes from Brazil where it is accustomed to very hot temperatures. Because of this you do not have to be concerned about the wooden planks heating and warping which would damage your floor. Today Brazilian Cherry hardwood is the #1 import from Brazil to the United States which just proves that people are excited and pleased with the quality of wood they are getting.
Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring features a deep brownish red color. The color works well for a home environment or a professional office. It is a soothing, rich color that will make everyone feel at home and comfortable. Many people are choosing this wood specifically for its unique color. It will match any neutral colored wall paint that you can find. It will also help to bring out other colors in your decorating patterns. There is no doubt that you will receive many compliments on the beautiful color of your new floors. Plus, if you have children or pets, this floor will hold up very well. We all know how kids and animals can really scratch up hardwood floors, however you will likely not have these problems when you are talking about Brazilian Cherry wood.
This wood is so durable that it really does not need to be retouched or repaired as many other woods do. It does not fade easily because it is so dark in color. The planks are cut from various parts of the trees so the color can actually become a little more intense after it settles for awhile. The wood is very dense, which is one of the reasons why it is so durable. The thickness of the wood also prevents the warping issues that you can have with many other types of hardwood flooring.
If you are looking for hardwood floors that will truly last a lifetime, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors may well be your answer. Plus, you will have floors that have one of the most beautiful color combinations available. The colors you will see in these floors are not something that can be manufactured by man because they are made by Mother Nature. The different tones and hues you will get in each plank is a magnificent example of the amazing features you can expect. This is why this hardwood flooring is the #1 export between Brazil and the U.S.…

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Home Renovation

Why Buying a Kitchen Or Bath Remodel From a Big Box Store May Not Be a Good Idea

Have you ever went into a Lowes, Home Depot or Costco and asked to see the owner? Of course not; that’s ridiculous. It does however shed some light on why purchasing services from the big box stores frequently ends in disaster. Let me say at the outset that I have nothing against the box stores. In fact I spend several thousand dollars there every year. If I need an item they carry I pick it up, take it home, plug it in and use it. If it doesn’t work properly I return it for a replacement or my money back. No problem. Have you ever tried to return a kitchen or bath remodel? Of course not; that’s ridiculous too. That’s another reason why the big box model doesn’t work well for complicated design/build projects. Make no mistake the box stores want very much to provide top quality services as well as off the shelf products. It’s not for lack of desire that they fall short. Why would a homeowner consider buying a kitchen or bath from a store like Home Depot or Lowes?
There are 3 primary reasons:
1) We assume the price will be better since we benefit from their leveraged buying power.
2) We assume they will be around in case we have any warranty issues in the future.
3) They offer financing and/or other incentives.
Let’s examine these one by one. First, while it is true that large chains buy more volume than most retail outlets, they also obtain some products (eg cabinets) from name brand manufacturers that are not of the same quality as those the manufacturer provides their retailers. This provides the box store with better margins but at the expense of the homeowner who is getting a product of slightly lesser quality marketed under the same brand name. Secondly, while most large chains have very good return and warranty policies, once you add outside subcontractors and the subcontractor’s subcontractors to the equation it becomes extremely difficult to resolve any of the myriad issues that can come up during or after a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Finally, the offer of financing or some other token incentive will never compensate for the complications and frustrations often associated with box store construction projects of any size. Also, most retailers have access to third party financing and are willing to throw in a sink or some other item to close a sale.
Let’s go through a simplified example of contracting with a box store to have a kitchen remodeled. First the homeowner visits the kitchen department of the store either with dimensions of their own or to arrange for the store to send someone to their home to gather the necessary information. So the first person the homeowner has contact with is the salesperson in the store. Next a second person visits the home and sketches a floor plan which is taken back to the store and given to a designer, which may or may not be the original salesperson.
The designer works up a kitchen design and invites the homeowner to the store to review it and look a cabinet and countertop options. If other decisions are to be made, such as plumbing or lighting fixtures, the homeowner will need to work with people in those departments to make those choices and get the items required. Assuming that the homeowner approves the design and agrees to the price they then pay for the full price of the cabinets and perhaps the countertop material as well. The project is then turned over to the expediting department to order the materials and select the subcontractor to give the job to. This subcontractor in most cases has never seen the job and is working off a pay sheet that dictates what they get paid for each task of a project.
It is worth noting that the primary subcontractor, rarely if ever, works on the project himself. They pass the project to one of their subcontractors who in turn uses whatever labor is at their disposal to do the job. None of the subcontractors who actually do the work want to continue working under this arrangement any longer than they have to. For one thing, the pay isn’t that good. The box stores squeeze the primary subcontractor so they can offer attractive pricing to their customers. The primary subcontractor in turn squeezes his subcontractors so that he can make as much as possible on each job. The subcontractor who does the work will quit as soon as he has a better offer or can get a job of his own. Sometimes this happens in the middle of a project. It’s not hard to imagine what kind of problems that creates. The cabinets are shipped directly to the customer’s home where someone …