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Basement Renovations

Simple! Home Improvement With a New Entry Door

What do you want people to see when they approach your home? Do you want them mentally to take note that yours is a house that stands out from the rest? Maybe your desire is to let the entryway to your home set the tone for visitors to feel relaxed when they enter your domain. Whatever your motivation, the entryway door needs to be welcoming and pleasant to view. As trite as it may seem, the front door is what someone sees first when coming up to the house. If it is colored coordinated and well built, then the person arriving at the front entry knows they are entering a home of quality and value. It makes sense to have a new door and even a custom door for the entryway. So let us look at some of the reasons a new door is a value adding measure to a new home, or even one that has been around a while.
One of the true value aspects to a new door is the security issue. Hundreds of homes are broken into every year in this country. Experts’ state that sometimes the front door is the point of entry because it offers a quick entrance and many security measures is minimal at best. A well-built custom door, utilizing safety locks can be a strong deterrent to someone considering breaking in. Does having a solid new door make it full proof? of course it doesn’t. However, it does mean you may be making someone think twice before trying to enter your home.
Another value to a new door is the energy savings. When a custom door is installed, it usually is made to fit just right and have weather rated strips to go around the door Considerable heat is lost through the edges of doorways and need to have good new doors in place to retard that heat dissipation.
Now it is a forgone conclusion that the entryway door is a value adder just through the color scheme and design possibilities. Some people consider putting stain glass windows (or even frost ones) to add a little more esthetic appeal. The same thing can be done by adding good quality hardware to the door. An appealing doorknocker and gold or silver door handles make quite a statement, even to a smaller home or one that is not extravagant.
Finally, let us look at the door make-up itself. Many people love solid wood doors…whether it is oak, mahogany, or some other fine hardwood. Solid wood doors add more appeal to a home by presiding over the entryway as a portal to a fine home. Custom wood doors speak to individual tastes as well. New and custom doors create the landmark to a home and lets the visitor know they are about to step into a house that highlights taste. What do you want your home to say to say to others?…

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Basement Renovations

Analyzing The Sustainability Of Polished Concrete Flooring

Polishing concrete flooring is a mechanical process that involves polishing and grinding, utilizing industrial diamonds to crush concrete surface down. The process involves leveling impregnating hardeners and sealers, polishing, densify and sealing the concrete floor.
Concrete flooring is one of the most economical and innovative flooring options available today. Finishing up your flooring by simply polishing its concrete not only decreases environmental pollution but also is one of the most cost effective strategies. The popularity of concrete floors are increasing rapidly, spreading its charm on decorated facilities, warehouses, retail outlets and other constructions across the nation.
Concrete is a fundamental part of every construction project irrespective of the project being a remodeling or a new construction. Any addition of extra material to the construction results in greater expense and environmental stress such as manufacturing, refining and transporting it to the job site. Hence, finishing the flooring by just polishing the concrete reduces the expense to a drastic extent.
A recent study has proved that up to 30% of the population is suffering from chemical sensitivities. The 1970s has certainly seen the “sick building syndrome” among people and today focusing on green construction is the ideal mission. Hence, resorting to polished concrete allows the benefit of no noticeable airborne contaminants and VOCs, enhancing the indoor air quality.
Yet another benefit derived from polished concrete is that it reduces the amount of artificial illumination inside the home. The smooth shiny surface on the concrete floor after polishing maximizes natural light by reflecting it, hence saving you a lot on your electricity bills. Polishing your existing cement based floor keeps your house illuminated throughout the day.
This flooring option in combination with passive solar design methodology increases thermal mass and moderates the fluctuations of daily temperature inside the house. This reduces a lot of load from the HVAC systems inside the house.
The advancement of different methodologies in concrete floor polishing has led to its skyrocketing demand from industrial plants to show rooms, retail facilities to government buildings. Dry and wet polishing methods with latest technological machineries have made it easier for people to carry the process.
Hence, choosing to resort to concrete flooring not only gives you an economical strategy to cut down your expenses, but also gives you an opportunity to enhance the air quality inside your home and lead a healthier life. Concrete flooring is also a good way to go green, as it has no ingredients that harms living orgasms, making it easier for you to contribute to the environment.…

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Basement Renovations

Finding the Most Attractive Lighting For Your Home

As we enter a room, we first look at the furnishings, then the eyes sweep across the details and the accent pieces, like a large vase, the flooring, or a painting hung on a wall. When this happens we can feel instantly the ambience that the room exudes just by the combination of unique style elements. Whether an area is determined to be of a rustic, modern, classic or contemporary theme is done in this fashion. Aside from the furnishings and design pieces, another important element that helps to set the mood is illumination. With ideal lighting, we can transform any space into a cozy and warm place using ambient lights, or lend it an architectural ambience with a clean and modern lighting system.
The role of lighting is so important to enhancing ambience within a space that knowing which type of lighting to use can really enhance the style of the room. Please look over these tips to aid you with this job.
The current requirements for lighting should be taken into account. Of course, the main purpose of installing light fixtures in a room is to illuminate it; they are not just installed for decorative purposes. The most important determination that should be undertaken in regards to lighting are the needs for the specific area. For example, a living or dining area might have a chandelier because these areas call for cozier ambient lighting. In the kitchen area, recessed lighting can be placed underneath the hanging cabinets and over the countertops for more focused task lighting. You should add different lighting fixtures in the nursery that can address different needs that you might have for this room: the baby’s room generally needs ambient light during the early evening, but during night feedings, a warm glow that is not too bright is optimal.
Take consideration of the size of the space. In order to determine the specific kind of lighting that will effectively illuminate the entire room, you may use this widely accepted formula as a guide:
Width of the room x length of the room x 1.5 = needed wattage.
For smaller spaces, two 60-watt light bulbs should be adequate to light the space well. In rooms that require brighter lighting, such as a bathroom, kitchen, or home office, replace 1.5 with 2.5. Because there are so many new products on the market, this formula is a vital tool; each offers differing wattage options. A easy to use guide like this will allow you to select the best combination of lighting to meet your requirements.
Consider the existing design of the room. Aside from the capacity to illuminate the room, the next important consideration is of course, to complement the existing design and decor of the room. Complementing a specific theme is as simple as experimenting with various textures, designs and finishes. A contemporary style is more aptly suited for a modern lighting system while a country design would be more adept with elements like sconces and wrought-iron chandeliers.
Take into consideration efficiency and convenience. Seek out eco-friendly choices that are more efficient and that need less electricity. In modern times, CFLA bulbs have begun to replace typical incandescent light bulbs because the former uses less electricity than the latter. Implementing these in your household will not only reduce global electricity needs, they will also help you save money on your personal energy bill.…

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Basement Renovations

American Standard Toilets – A Full Review

When homeowners decide it’s time to remodel their bathrooms, the question “which toilet should we buy?” becomes inevitable. However, savvy homeowners routinely go with American Standard toilets. Their products exceed expectations in various capacities.
Aside from toilets, American Standard has a vast array of products that are designed to match the needs of every consumer. American Standard toilets separate themselves from the rest of the pack with a trendy, fashion-forward appearance that will spruce up any bathroom. An identifying attribute of these toilets is the elongated oval shape.
Besides their physical appearance, American Standard toilets deliver on the customers’ demand for functionality. One innovative technology, “Everclean,” delivers on the most important aspect of toilets; the ability to stay sanitary. Installed within the piping of the toilet, “Everclean” technology is becoming more desirable by many. It shields them from common contaminants. The benefit is that your toilet will remain clean, and be easy to clean, no matter how much time has passed. These toilets come in a wide array of colors, which allows you the ability to mix and match to create the perfectly-coordinated bathroom.
American Standard goes farther, though. Most of its toilets meet the requirements of the EPA’s Watersense credentials. So your purchase of one of these toilets not only looks stylish in your bathroom, but it does wonders for the environment!
For a sleek one-piece toilet, consider the New Savona. If you’re going with a trendy, modern look for the bathroom, look no farther than this toilet. Best of all, this toilet has a 10-year warranty so you can sleep easy at night.
After over 130 years in operation, American Standard’s reputation precedes it, and rightfully so. Their products are far-reaching, ranging from personal residences to airports. The resiliency of their goods is not only an attribute upon which they pride themselves, but also is part of their legacy. Their products are present in the majority of U.S. residences.
Special care and scrutiny is given to ensure that these toilets conserve natural resources, not to mention money. You do not need to sacrifice to conserve water. One of the most frustrating things about toilets is when they clog. Fortunately, these toilets have been through a thorough design and testing process to minimize the occurrence of clogs.
What it all comes down to is performance and appearance. And for a toilet that gives you both of these, go with an American Standard toilet.…

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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.…

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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.…