No Picture
Basement Renovations

Is a Green Bathroom Remodel in Your Future? It’s Easier Than You Think!

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel in the near future, why not explore the new products and materials designed and produced to save money and save the environment? No longer in the expensive category of only a few years ago, these new products and materials compete very well with everything else out there. And when you compare the cost advantages over time, the allowances offered by manufacturers and the government, its crazy not to at least consider a green bathroom remodel.
Toilets, for instance, have come a long way, baby! Today you can’t even buy one that uses 3-plus gallons of water to flush. And, if you recall the buzz about the inefficiency of the newer “low flow” models of a couple of years ago, you’re operating on a false premise. A green bathroom remodel wouldn’t be complete without looking into a new toilet! New designs, larger discharge and smarter manufacturing provides toilets with operations that match their older counterparts flush by flush. In fact, you probably won’t even notice you’re doing your part for the planet when you flip the lever!
Your bathroom vanity countertop can also now be made to be both beautiful and Earth loving with the use of recycled materials. These include recycled glass, scrap aluminum, concrete and (if you can believe it) old recycled paper. Some very attractive countertops today are made by combining paper, fly ash-a by-product of coal combustion-and an eco-binder, such as epoxy. You may have even had a morning cup of coffee at a favorite bistro on a paper countertop and not know it! Some are made entirely of recycled glass, with a new unique look and are comparable in cost, strength, heat resistance and durability to granite.
The bathroom floor is getting some attention, too. Linoleum, invented in 1863 (think Civil War) now has some real competition. New types are so healthy for us and our environment that they cover the floors of many large Health Care facilities and hospitals. There are even floors made by using a pressed combination of burlap, canvas, linseed oil and flour! Almost makes me hungry. Laminate flooring can be manufactured to look like almost anything and tiles are made in a wild array of planet friendly styles and textures. Even the rugs have gone green!
What about the walls? Your green bathroom remodel could even mean painting the walls… er… green. How about soy based paint? Clay paint, which can look like adobe is a natural choice and one that will give the room a rustic or Tuscan feel. You can have your milk and paint it too… by using all natural organic milk paint. Not only do these paints look beautiful, but they last as long or longer than regular latexes. Also, new paints are coming on the scene all the time to not only make your home brilliant, but many are made to fight germs and reduce mold and mildew!
Low flow, water saving faucets and shower heads are designed now to feel just like the old kind, but use much less water. This is due to atomizers and pulsators that mix air and H2O and reduce the actual amount being delivered. This not only saves water, but the energy to heat the water as well. And, the new designs are very cool, with new materials and finishes to match anything!
So, before you start in on that bathroom remodel, think about making it a green bathroom remodel. Take a look around your bath and see what you can do to bring that room into the twenty first century! Then go spend some time in a big box retailer or plumbing or bath fixture store. See what they have to offer and how you can save some money and the planet while you’re there.…

No Picture
Basement Remodeling

Carpets – Bring Your Home to Life

Do you love the warm and soft feeling you get when you dig your toes into a comfy carpet? Everyone likes the plush feel of carpets because they are just so comforting. And not only that, they make your home look more sophisticated along with furnishing it stylishly.
Nothing is quite like a lush carpet reaching from wall-to-wall. Its incredibly soothing feeling gives your house a classic look. Moreover, they keep your body temperature low, keeping you warm and cozy. It gives you a cooler sensation, and superior thermal comfort, while being gentle on your skin.
Heavier carpets are usually more luxurious and with their velvety texture they feel so good to touch. As these are woven from rich yarn, they have the ability to make you feel like you are walking on petals. Good carpeting has an irresistible charm to it. It not only gives your house a comfortable look, but also makes you want to lie down and even sleep on it.
For people living in colder regions carpets can be a source of great comfort as they keep the rooms warm. Carpets are known as natural insulators, and for that reason they are always preferred by children and pets especially, who love playing on the floor.
Carpets can also help you in energy savings by keeping the rooms warm in cold weather and driving your electricity bills down. Thus, they help in cost savings through their insulation properties, while giving the homeowners comfort as well.
Additionally, research has proven carpets to be healthier than other surfaces because they act as traps for dirt and allergens. Since they are made of fibers, dust can easily settle down in them, keeping the air clean and consequentially, lowering disease rates. However, proper cleaning of your carpets is required.
To sum up, carpeting offers great value by safeguarding your family’s health and also lowering your energy bills. The icing on the cake is the fact that carpets are more durable; they last for years if well-tended to.
To add to the attraction of carpeting is the research-backed fact that it doesn’t allow dust and allergens to be airborne. Carpets have the capacity to hold considerable amounts of dust and allergens without looking dirty for a long time.
They come in myriad beautiful designs, styles and types. So that you can outfit your floors with the carpeting of your choice and revamp the whole look of your house. The only thing to be kept in mind while carpeting your house is that you should absolutely like the one you have chosen because it is going to stay with you for years to come.
If you are looking for unparalleled comfort and style then carpeting is the best way to accessorize your house. They are ever inviting and soft, and can be chosen to complement your taste and home furniture. They are ideal for medium-traffic and large family homes.
There is a wide variety of materials available for carpeting your floors, like woolen, polyester, acrylic, nylon, polypropylene, and velvet, Flooring America carpet so that you can pick whatever appeals to you. Besides that they have a fair assortment of textures as well, including, cut piles, Saxony, Frieze, cut and loop pile, level loop pile, multi-level loop pile, and Berber.…

No Picture
Basement Renovations

Vinyl Tile Flooring – The Challenge

If you’ve ever tried to install vinyl tile, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say, “It’s not as easy as it looks”. While vinyl tile is a very good flooring choice, it’s good looking, very sturdy, warmer on the feet then regular tile (ceramic), and can be installed without a rigid subfloor (unlike ceramic). When installed and sealed properly, it can last for years, giving a warm welcoming look to any mudroom, basement, or laundry room.
Now let’s talk about the installation process. First of all, you must have the floor perfectly flat, no exceptions. The vinyl floor melds itself to the existing floor, whether that floor is flat, or bumpy and uneven. Once you have the floor perfect, then you’ve got to make sure you’re able to put all the glue down, only to have to leave the job for a few hours, so you can come back and finally install the tile. After the vinyl tile has been installed, you need to rent a roller to press it tight to the floor, than clean all the dirt and grime that may have accumulated during the installation process. Now you’re ready to seal the tile. Going over it twice is recommended. Mop the solution on, wait for it to dry, mop the solution on again; finished.
I remember my first experience with vinyl floor tile. I had just purchased a house with some other family members with the intention of fixing it up and selling it, in other words “a quick flip”. The laundry room in my basement of my house really needed some sprucing up, so we decided to install vinyl tile. Good idea, poor execution. First off, we didn’t realize that by just mixing the floor leveler to a wet/soupy consistency, instead of a hard paste consistency, that we could save a lot of head and back ache. As well, I’m sure the floor would have come out a lot smoother in the end.
Now the installation; we had purchased the house on October 15th and we were planning on a three and a half month time frame to flip it. This left us to finish the job right in the middle of Christmas holidays, not a good decision. It ended up that we had to start the flooring on Christmas Eve morning and finish up Christmas afternoon. Not a great way to spend your Christmas holidays. The good news is that it turned out great, at first.
Unfortunately with time, we found out where we hadn’t leveled the floor as well as we should have, the water softeners salt didn’t help matters either. But our biggest problem was when I was away the next winter (yes, I decided to keep it in the end), there was a flood in the backyard that found its way into the back door, and down the steps into the laundry room. Did that ever make a mess! After that, the tiles were never the same and a lot of the glue now does not stick properly to the floor. Fortunately the floor still looks good; it just pops and crackles in certain spots when you walk on it.
So the moral of this story is, always look before you leap. Or, make sure you know a products limits, strengths and weaknesses before you install it. Not that the vinyl tile is necessary a bad choice for that application, I just think that there are better products for that room. I guess I’ll chalk it up to another lesson learned.…

No Picture
Basement Remodeling

Ceramic Tile Removal in a Bathroom Remodel

On this step of removing the ceramic tile it’s going to get dusty so what I did first was remove everything that I could so I wouldn’t have to clean it when I was done. Even though I was not going to reuse the tile, I wanted to be careful because I wanted to put the tile on Freecycle or Craigslist so someone else might be able to use them. The only tools I used were an old flat tip screw driver, hammer and a box cutter.
I should say that the tiles that are offset from the wall about 1/2″ with a mortar mix. The way that the mortar stays on the wall is a wire mesh that is attached to the wall with staples and nails. I started by cutting the bead of caulk around the top edge of the tile being careful not to cut to deep and into the drywall. Now the first tile off is the most critical so you have to be real careful. I just started the screwdriver back behind the tile and pried a little bit at a time at tile I could remove without damaging the wall or the tiles next to it. From that point it gets easier. I worked a line straight down to the floor and then made my way around the room.
Being how we are still using the bathroom I had to work around a few things. The first was the toilet. The tank of the toilet was real close to the tile so it made it difficult to get the tiles off around it. The next thing was the vanity. I should tell you that when they built this house they custom built the vanity and everything before they put up the tile so there is allot of things to cut around. I would have to say that when I got to the mirror I had to be real careful because the mirror was resting on top of the tile. Now I am the kind of guy that if something can go wrong it probable will. I got lucky on this part and didn’t break the mirror.
Another nice thing about doing all the work myself, I get to see how thing’s are built. I am a project engineer for a manufacturing company and I am always looking at how things are built. Okay I better get back to the tile work. Now I mentioned that the tile was about 1/2″ off the wall with a mortar mix. When I got to the door way there was the mortar mix on one side and on the other they built it up with a piece of plywood and used liquid nails to hold the tiles up. Needless to say, I couldn’t save any of the tiles that were glued to the wood. Then I found an area that the tile was glued straight to the drywall. I have to replace some drywall now. Luckily that was the end of removing the tile.
I stacked all of the good tile in a box and threw out all bad ones. Swept up all the debris and put everything back in its place. As I mentioned at the beginning I am going to list the tiles on Freecycle since they are in good condition and hopefully someone else can use them instead of them going into the land fill. As I remodel I’m always looking for ways that I can recycle materials instead of throwing them into a land fill that is already overloaded.
In the next article I’ll be removing the mortar mix and the wire that was attached to the wall.…

No Picture
Bathroom Renovations

Small Bathroom Remodels – Using 24″ Bathroom Vanity Styles

Taking on home remodel projects is a fun and creative way to express your DIY self and bring in your personal style. If you are working on a small bathroom, give it a nice open feel and create an appearance of a larger space by using specific items and a some special techniques. Use light colors, the right mirror, and the perfect size of bathroom vanity and your small bathroom will look better than ever.
Open up the Space: When working with a small bathroom, you want to make the most of the space wherever possible. A great way to do this right off the bat is to choose a new vanity that has a good amount of under sink and counter storage space. By using a vanity that has good storage space, it will eliminate the need for things like over-toilet shelving units and multitudes of towel racks and hooks. Another way to create additional space is by using a built-in shelving unit. If you already have one, great; if you don’t, then consider installing one, they are great for storage space and because they are flush against the wall, it gives a clean appearance. Pedestal style vanities pair well with this type of shelving, because they are also great for creating the look of a cleaner and more open space.
Create Illusions: Add the feeling and look of additional space by playing with angles and reflection. Another option is to utilize mirrors for the purpose of creating the illusion of space within the small bathroom. And if you are lucky enough to have a window in your bathroom, then you can use mirrors to add the illusion of more light too, which also helps with the look of more space. Adding a large mirror to your bathroom will create the illusion that the space is a little larger that it looked before. If you’re going to repaint the walls, make sure to use a light color palette. Cool, lighter tones tend to make the space seem more open and less closed in than darker colors, thus making the room feel more spacious. Light colors will also make your bathroom brighter, especially if you have natural light coming in.
Toss the Clutter: No matter what you do, if there’s a lot of stuff in your bathroom will still feel small and claustrophobic. Cut back on decorative objects and go for a minimalist look. Toss anything you don’t really need; if you can’t remember the last time you used it, it goes in the trash. Limit decorative elements to the walls and try to add interest through the frame on your mirror and the light fixtures.
Start your small bathroom remodel creatively by getting some paper and pencil to illustrate a diagram of what you want for the bathroom. Make notations of the room’s dimensions and the estimated dimensions for necessary items you plan to shop for, like a 24″ bathroom vanity and shop for 30″ square mirrors, for example. This way, you’ll have some idea of the existing floor plan as well as the floor plan you desire for the completed project.
Please remember that safety is always the number one priority when working on home remodel projects. If you are unsure of any part of the project, consider speaking with a professional.…

No Picture
Bathroom Remodel

Choosing the Ultimate Gutter Guard for Your Rain Gutters

Cleaning clogged debris or stacked water could be an irritating job for every house owner. And if you are not doing this, then it can lead to clog and water back up also. If you are still unable to clean this, then there a chance of water damage in the roof and wall, and sometimes it could be a most expensive repair for you. To resolve this issue, you must use a gutter guard, which reduces the amount of damage of the roof caused by water back up, and it will save more money, time and efforts. If you are still unable to get an idea, then you need to take valuable suggestions from relatives, neighbors, and friends.
There are so many models and different types of gutter guards are available in the present market, and you need to select ultimate one based on your money. The manufacturers of these guards are boasting so much about their products, and it is an important point to check the facts before taking decision to purchase. Here one thing we need to understand that the usage of this guard will depend upon the issues you are having. If you are experiencing issues related with snow and ice, then a nylon gutter would be the best and suitable in those harsh conditions.
If you decide to install this gutter guard yourself on behalf of calling a professional, then you need to check for a self installation of a branded one. In this situation, there are so many gutter brushes are ideal as you can lay them out on the guttering rather than having to attach them to the roof singles. If your house is in a colder environment, then the ice clogging is common and a nylon guard is perfectly suitable to your needs. If you are still confusing about this guard, it is a better idea to visit a website to compare other brands and models.
In most of the times, you can be avail five years of guarantee on all of these brands. And warranty is the widest ranging factor among all other gutter guards. Most of the manufactures are saying so much about their products, but the comparison websites will give a clear indication on what is best for your home needs. And some of the products are offering useful five year warranty and some of them offering life time guarantee with insurance included. However, there are so many reviews in the internet from different kind people will help you regarding this product. After getting a clear cut idea about this product, you need to select the ultimate one for your needs, which reduce tedious cleaning job.…

No Picture
Bathroom Remodel

How to Remove Excess Moisture From Your Home

Many people have the problem of having too much moisture in their homes. This can be a problem especially if you have young children, elderly, or sick people in your home. Excess moisture in the home can cause mold problems which can make people sick and people who have asthma will have an even harder time with a mold problem. There are precautions you can take to avoid an excess of moisture and mold in your home.
You want to keep your home as dry as possible. The best way to do this is starting in the rooms that you need to keep the most dry. These rooms would be the kitchen and bathrooms. Your kitchen makes a lot of moisture especially if you are cooking in there a lot. Moisture from the steam of cooking can start to enter into the walls, creating a moist feeling. The bathroom too can be a hotbed of moisture. The bathroom becomes moist when you take a shower or bath. The best way to deal with moisture in these areas is to have a fan running while you are in the kitchen cooking, or in the bathroom, and even after you are done, it is good to let the fan run.
It is good to air out your house in general, for home improvement purposes. In colder, moist climates, it is good to open up your windows. You can even keep them opened up when you are out of the house. It is important to get good circulation in your home to prevent moisture. You want to be especially careful of dark rooms that don’t get exposure to sunlight, as that is a perfect breeding ground for mold and moisture.
So what do you do if you already have excess moisture or a mold problem in your home and need some home improvement? There are air machines you can buy, for not too much money, that suck out the moisture in your home. You simply put the machine in one room and it begins to filter in new air, and suck out the old moist air from your home. You can also start by getting at the mold yourself. It is very important to have air circulating when you are trying to remove the mold yourself, and also to be wearing a mask on your face, as to prevent yourself from breathing in those toxic fumes.
You can just by a scrub brush from your local drug store, a bottle of bleach or mold remover, and a pair of sturdy plastic gloves to attempt to remove the mold on your own. Vinegar sometimes will also do the trick. If you are scrubbing away and the mold just doesn’t seem to be going away, then you have to turn to your next option.
Your last resort would probably be calling up a company that will come to your home to remove mold. This can be costly so that is why it is best to leave this option until last, or unless you are extremely sensitive to mold or chemicals, and in that case, you would have probably called the mold remover company much earlier on in this whole process! You don’t necessarily have to do a whole new home remodeling, as home remodeling can be quite costly.…