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Home Remodeling

Time For A Little Bathroom Remodeling?

A bathroom is supposed to be a room of comfort, for some a sanctuary. Just like all of us, after years of use, we start to look and feel a little worn and out dated. Think of a bathroom remodel as an eye lift for your home. How should you go about it?
The first thing you’ll want to determine is budget. Unfortunately, most of us have to be concerned with this factor, as it will dictate the extent and limitations of your improvements. Next, you will want to formulate a plan of attack for the renovations you would like to see done in your bathroom remodeling. Then you should locate a good contractor that will do the job for you.
The size of your bathroom is one of the most critical elements in deciding what to do, because it will determine the types and sizes of sinks, shelves, and fixtures that will be placed inside. Believe me, you don’t want to feel too cramped in your bathroom. If you have a small space to begin with there are opportunities to create the illusion of a larger space with a more open and uncluttered feel. The proper choice of fixtures should do the trick to create an illusion of openness. Choices like using a pocket door to save more space. If you have linen closets installed, you can replace them with wall cabinets.
You can actually purchase complete bathroom suites if you don’t want to purchase bathroom items separately. You can check your local showrooms or view them online. If you are working with a contractor, often times they have access to these types of assets for you to review as well. Try to find out which one will suit your taste and budget. Choosing a whole suite, if it works with your budget, can make a bathroom remodel project a little quicker and easier.
If your personal style requires you to get the items separately, you my want to analyze what current items could potentially work with your new vision. For instance; if you have a great bathtub already and a toilet that works, you could maximize your dollars by updating the floor, counter tops, mirror and lighting at a significantly lower price. You can often shop locally or online for great deals on these items yourself.
You can choose between different types of toilet seats and hinges and cisterns that are hidden or mounted on the toilet itself. Cisterns may also be operated by a push button or a lever.
Sinks come in different sizes and shapes and materials. Some are over-the-counter, some are under-the-counter, some are wall-mounted, and some are on a pedestal. You would be surprised at how much your bathroom space would change with a new sink and counter space.
Bathtubs are usually rectangular or circular and if space allows, you may have a shower room in the bathroom. You can pick your choice on the different kinds of standard and handheld shower heads.
The color of the wall and floor and material for the tile should be carefully chosen. Let it give an ambiance of cleanliness in the room, while not dating the look within a couple years.
A home remodel of a bathroom is not as daunting as it may seem if you proceed with proper planning. You may just feel comfort inside that you may not have felt before for a long time.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Versatility: From Dance Floor to Athletic Flooring

If you operate a dance studio and are looking for addition revenue streams, you might consider opening your space for other purposes, such as aerobics, pilates, yoga and more. The latter two in particular are done on the floor, which requires some “give;” fitness flooring may be just the answer.
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It is true that many such exercises are done with the use of soft mats; however, sprung flooring such as specialty athletic flooring can add that extra bit of safety and comfort.
Like better dance flooring, athletic flooring has at least two hard layers with a soft, cushioning layer in between. This is known as a “sprung” floor; the middle layer offers a little “give” that is much easier on the joints when it comes to repetitive movements that involve stepping and jumping.
On the other hand, such specialty fitness flooring differs from dance floors in how slippery it is. While a ballroom dance floor should be slippery to a degree so as to allow dancers to “glide,” this is something that is not so desirable when it comes to athletic flooring. This characteristic is known as “speed;” a high-speed wooden dance floor has a type of urethane finish that allows a fair amount of slip. For sports however, such as an aerobic floor or yoga flooring, it’s better to have a low-speed finish that allows for more grip.
Durability
Yoga floors as well aerobic flooring also require durability in order to stand up to frequent use. Better athletic flooring is made from hardwood, such as ash, birch or especially maple. Such natural hardwood fitness flooring offers an aesthetic value as well; the attractive grain and warm tones provide visual appeal in rooms where they are used.
Another popular choice is the “marly” topping. This is a type of vinyl surface that is economical and extremely durable, able to stand up well to all kinds of dance and most types of athletic activities for many years.
Versatile
Sprung wood athletic flooring does not need to be permanently installed in one large mass. In fact, one can purchase yoga floor and other types of fitness flooring in various sized panels that can be configured to fit almost any room – and unlike permanent dance, athletic and yoga flooring, can be removed and stored when not in use, adding greater flexibility for a dance or aerobics studio.
Such portable dance and sport-activity floors are an excellent investment that can pay for itself in only a few years by offering more to clients.…

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Home Contractors

The Importance of Bathroom Design

Families are spending more and more time in their bathrooms than ever before, thus, they desire their bathrooms to be functional as well as inviting. If you are ready for a new bathroom look, take some time to consider ideas for the bathroom design and investigate remodeling your bathroom to suit your needs and style.
Several questions need to be asked prior to the start of any design process. It is critical before you decide to renovate to make sure that there are no underlying problems with the core of your home. Sound plumbing, heating and electrical service should be inspected before demolition begins. When talking to a designer, consider a few things: Do you need more storage? Are the fixtures out-dated? Do the vanity and faucets need replaced? Are you able to work around the existing fixtures such as the tub and/or sink? Do you want a separate tub and shower compartments? It is an important factor also to determined the style of bathrooms choices, you can choose from modern, traditional, contemporary or transitional type of bathrooms.
Once these questions are answered, sit down and work within a realistic budget. Determine how much you are able to afford. The focus on your bathroom improvements will also depend on the type of bathroom. If your remodel is for a guest bathroom, it should be useful, inviting, and even impressive for your guests. A children’s bathroom should be bright, colorful and even fun. A master bedroom bathroom can have a resort style, relaxing, or perhaps a sexy feel.
Making the correct lighting choices, such as decorative or accent lighting add elegance to a bathroom, or adding softer dimmable lighting can give you more of a cozy feeling. Another focal point in any bathroom is the vanity mirror, giving the area a bigger feel and a chance to show off your individual style with a decorative frame or a uniquely-shaped mirror. Incorporate your family’s own taste and fashion with accessories to complete you bathroom remodel. Tile designs, the color of the walls, and open shelves for display items add character to every bathroom as well.
Bathroom design should be attractive and just as comfortable as any other room in your home. Remodeling is also an ideal time to make your house healthier for you, the community, and the environment through the use of environmentally-friendly products and recycling or reusing existing materials.…

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Home Renovation

Home Renovation During a Recession Can Make Lots of Cents

Buy a home, then renovate it – it’s a natural progression for many American homeowners. The recession may have put the brakes on many remodeling plans, but there are signs that the situation is beginning to turn around.
The peak of remodeling activity in the U.S. came in 2007, when $146 billion was spent on home improvement projects. According to a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, just over $118 billion was spent in the year ending the first quarter of 2009. But the center predicts that the spending decline will moderate through the remainder of this year.
“Remodeling spending by homeowners shows early signs of stabilization,” says Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the center. “While the housing recovery has been erratic, a strengthening economy could produce spending increases on home improvement projects by the second quarter of next year.”
Consumer Reports” latest poll on home remodeling supports that prediction. More than half of the homeowners surveyed are planning a remodeling project in the next 12 months.
Choosing to remodel now means a homeowner can take advantage of a down market. A recent story in The Wall Street Journal reported that consumers are paying up to 20 percent less for their home remodeling projects than they would have during the building boom. Contractors who have seen projects evaporate are willing to bid less for a job just to keep busy, and some building materials, including lumber and insulation, are cheaper due to lower demand.
Herb and Eileen Longware, an upstate New York couple who just completed a long-anticipated, 1,300-square-foot addition to their home on Lake Champlain, capitalized on special retail offers and sales tax incentives to save on their project.
“We went across the lake when Vermont was having its Tax Independence Day and bought thousands of dollars worth of hardwood flooring and a wood stove, so we saved six percent right there,” Herb says, adding that he bought all his insulation on sale locally during a promotion at a home improvement center and received a $100 gift card for opening an account.
There are other pluses that work to the advantage of renovation-minded homeowners, including favorable financing for those with access to credit. The Longwares say that the four-percent interest rate on their home equity line of credit ( HELOC ) made financing their addition much cheaper than it would have been when they started planning it six years ago. They expect to pay off the loan at an accelerated rate to avoid future increases in their variable rate, saving themselves even more money.
The couple will also take advantage of federal tax credits for some of the energy-efficient products they purchased, including windows and doors, insulation, asphalt roofing and a water heater. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, qualifying products must be placed in service in a primary residence between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010.
Now that the workmen are putting the finishing touches on the new addition, Longware is happy with the outcome.
“Every year that you delay, the price of labor and building materials go up. But I think we built at a good time,” he says. “We got a good builder, we got pretty good pricing on building materials, and our HELOC rate is very attractive. All in all, we’re very comfortable with our decision to tackle this project at this time.”…

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Home Contractors

How To Get The Best Deal From A Polished Concrete Contractor?

Polished concrete is one of the cheapest flooring options you can have and it’s one of the most long lasting flooring options out there. The trend of polished concrete was down for a while but today, it has been a strong comeback and a lot of contractors are moving into polishing works. Since there is a lot of competition in the industry, it’s important to understand how to find the best deal. You can follow these simple tips to make sure that you’re getting one of the cheapest yet best deals:
• Experience – This is extremely important, especially when there are cut-throat competitions among merchants. A lot of people only look for the cheapest quote but forget about enquiring about the experience of the seller. Workers who do not have proper experience in doing polishing work will not be able to produce the desired results, which will lead to utter disappointment.
• Referrals – There is no better way to understand the quality of service from a service provider than asking for referrals. This is the best way to understand whether the service provider will listen to your suggestions, show up on time and finish the job on or before deadline.
• Some contractors focus only on undertaking commercial flooring works while others focus on residential works. If you’re looking for someone who can do the polishing of your home, it’s a good idea to hire someone who is experienced in managing household works.
The best thing about polished concrete is their extensive lifespan. They need very little maintenance and the maintenance costs are incredibly low. Modern-day polishing tools are very sophisticated and can bring exceptional results based on the diamond they use for polishing. You can achieve different types of finishes according to the room and personal preferences. Moreover, polished concrete is tremendously energy efficient and it’s possible for you to produce solar energy your concrete flooring.
A lot of people use polished concrete for effectively heating and cooling their floors with the help of solar energy. If you are interested in doing energy conservation works, you can go for specialized energy conservation tools that can be easily installed on concrete slabs. By polishing your floor, you can also control the dust exerted by the inside pressure of concrete slabs. The polish fluid repellent will ensure longer life for your concrete slabs by bringing down hydrostatic pressure. Since there are multiple advantages and the pricing is so low, concrete polishing is a very good flooring option.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

5 Tips to Improve the Look of Your Bathroom

You might be thinking of giving your aging bathroom a new look but don’t know where to start. The good news is that it’s easy to improve the look of a bathroom just by changing a few items and accessories. Here are 5 tips that you can use in your bathroom renovations:
1. The most significant change in your bathroom design would be your wall tiles. Obviously this takes a bit of work and renovation work to hack and replace existing tiles could be noisy and relatively costly as well. However, the change is worth it if you choose the correct tiles to suit your theme. If you do not wish to hack and replace the tiles, an option that you can explore is to spray paint them.
2. Another obvious area to look into would be your wash basin and shower area. The size and shape of your basin and bathtub (if you have one) can contribute significantly to how your bathroom looks. Your table top also says a lot about your personality. A luxurious dark granite top would have a much different effect from one with a minimalist design.
3. If you don’t want to make major changes, a shower curtain can do wonders for your bathroom. Curtains such as retro shower curtains or those with special prints can bring character to your bathroom at a low cost and can be installed easily without the help of a contractor or handy man.
4. Accessories such as mirrors, towel, soap and shampoo holders can also add a lot of character to your bathroom. If you want your bathroom to look like one from a luxury hotel, you’ll be surprised how changing small items such as installing an overhead rainforest type of shower can help.
5. Finally, an often under looked factor is the lighting in your room. Most people don’t even give a thought to the lighting as the bathroom area is so small, but lighting plays a big part in how a room looks. For example, try picturing any room with soft while lights and then imagine the same room with warm lighting. That’s quite a bit of a change right? The bathroom is no different and you can enhance the effect further by having features such as lamps or recessed lighting.
I hope these 5 tips help you get started in your bathroom renovations. A beautiful bathroom remodel project need not be costly, just get creative and let your imagination run wild.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Loans to Consider For Financing Home Improvement Projects

If you are reconsidering large home improvement projects to enhance the value of your home but the credit crunch has bitten, then you may want to consider a home improvement loan.
If you are looking for a loan for your home improvement project at the cheapest rates then secured loans are the best option. A secured loan is a loan that is secured on your property and can be either on your main residence or in some circumstances a buy-to-let property. By providing the lender with some sort of security means that you, the borrower, will be offered a far lower interest rate with this type of loan than with an unsecured loan. This is because there is less risk for the lender. Since secured loans are secured on property, most lenders will consider your application even if you have a bad credit history, although a person with a bad credit history may pay a higher rate if you do have a bad credit history.
Many Finance companies will consider offering you the opportunity to secure your loan against your property only when you have an existing mortgage. If you do not have a mortgage at the moment and the property is your main residence, legislation does not allow for a secured loan to the be the 1st charge on your property. Loans secured against property that is already mortgaged are known as second charges, whereas loans secured against a property owned outright with no existing mortgage in place are known as first charges.
In terms of repayments, a secured loan often has a lower interest rate and more favourable repayment terms than an unsecured loan. Furthermore, with a secured loan it is more likely that you can borrow a larger sum of money and pay it back over a longer period of time. For instance unsecured loans may be restricted to a maximum £25,000, whereas secured loans can be considered up to £250,000 with some lenders.
And of course the loan can be used for any purpose, not just home improvements!…