Home Repairs: Maybe They’ll Just Go Away, Right?

Nobody enjoys honey-do lists. Nobody wants to spend their entire weekend re-roofing a house or fixing the kitchen sink. So the tendency is to let these projects go, put them off, procrastinate. There’s always that age-old philosophy: there’s nothing to do today that can’t wait until tomorrow. And it’s not because you’re lazy, but more because of the exact opposite: in this busy day and age our to-do lists always runneth over. However, these are necessary chores that have to be taken care of right away. It’s a responsibility that comes with owning a house. Don’t think of this advice as a guilt-trip, but instead a firm warning for the future. The problem won’t just go away. And the more you sit on home repairs, the worse these problems are going to get. And this means that more time and money will eventually have to be spent to put right what was once a quick and affordable fix.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
There are several reasons we put off home repairs, but try not to let these excuses get in the way. Here are some common ways we postpone the inevitable and some additional tips about how to get around these rationalizations:

“It’s Not a Big Deal!” Yes, it is and you know it. It’s easy to be forced into fixing your home. Believe it, when that furnace breaks down in the middle of a cold winter night, you’ll be calling that HVAC guy ASAP. But don’t let it get to that point. Avoid that inconvenience and shelling out big bucks after the fact. Stop the problem early and you’ll never have to deal with future disasters.

“I didn’t know it was broken!” A lot of problems do go unnoticed because they’re hidden from view: on top of roofs, inside the walls, up in the attic. This is why you have to occasionally inspect your house to make sure things are running well, and if you don’t know what to look for then hire a trained inspector to look things over. If you’re having trouble with your toilet, call the plumber, and while he’s there have him look over other areas of the house to make sure everything is up to snuff.

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How to Prevent Flood Damage

Flood Facts
According to HomeAdvisor.com (an online resource matching homeowners to contractors in their area), when compared to the figures for this time last year, requests for water removal service have increased by 447.8 percent!

The Insurance Information Institute states: “Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies.”

A 2005 article on CNNMoney.com states that: “Every year, flooding causes more than $2 billion of property damage in the U.S.” and “In a high risk area, your home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9 percent chance of fire.”

Since floods and flash floods occur in all 50 states, homeowners all over the country can benefit by making sure their homes are as prepared as they can be!

Retaining Walls
Residential retaining walls are generally meant to hold soil in place and prevent erosion. When properly placed and designed, retaining walls can also deter flood water and protect your property. Their cost (installing a masonry retaining wall averages over $5,000) can be prohibitive for many homeowners; unless you have experienced lots of trouble with flooding, it might be better to consider other options first.

Clean Your Gutters
On the cheaper side of preventing water damage and flooding is gutter cleaning. Gutters, though often overlooked, can be a great benefit but only if they are properly maintained. Clean gutter systems are designed to carry water to an area where it will create the least damage. On the other hand, clogged gutters don’t just perform poorly, they have been linked to erosion, basement flooding, and even foundation damage. At an average cost of $191 nationwide, having your gutters cleaned is one of the most affordable ways to reduce th

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Fast Track to Home Fitness

Modern Americans seem obsessed with good health. Not only are we doing our best to get more exercise and eat better, we’re also concerned about the purity of our water, as well as the air we breathe. We even have fitness programs and health food for our pets! With all the work we put into keeping our bodies healthy, it stands to reason that most of us are also concerned about how healthy our environment is. Though home improvements can’t make you a star athlete overnight (if they could, we’re sure you’d see a lot fewer gyms and a lot more bathroom remodels), we can say that implementing some of the following tactics can make your home a more pleasurable place to live in!

Hire Professional Cleaners
Most homeowners take pride in their properties, and keeping them looking good is a priority. However, while doing your own day-to-day cleaning is just peachy, hiring a professional periodically isn’t a bad idea. The primary objective of daily and weekly chores is, of course, to keep things clean and sanitary; if we’re honest with ourselves, however, the most common secondary objective when doing chores is to get the job done ASAP so we can move on to more desirable activities. This ulterior motive unfortunately leads to cutting corners. When you hire a professional to clean windows, carpets, drapes, furniture, or any other part of your home, their objective is to make you a returning customer; this often leads to a more thorough job in itself, but when you couple this motive with the best equipment and cleaning products on the market, the end result is something that few homeowners can achieve on their own.

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Copper Kitchen Sinks

Copper kitchen sinks offer many advantages that simply can’t be matched by other sinks. A classically American sink, copper goes well a wide variety of decorating schemes. The process of hammering the sinks into shape gives each one a personal touch of the particular artisan. High quality sinks are easily maintained and will most likely outlast their homeowners. Resistant not only to stains and discoloration, copper is inhospitable to many forms of bacteria, helping to keep your home a healthy one.

Spend a Little Extra for a Thicker Copper Sink
Many copper sinks will look the same, even though they rarely are. First, like most metal fixtures and installations, there can be a variance in thickness or gauge (the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the sink). Kitchen copper sinks will generally range from 18-14 gauge. The thicker the sink the more expensive it will be, but the extra cost is usually worth it. Thin sinks have a tinny sound and will dent more easily. If you do choose a thinner sink, they can be fitted with sound insulation to minimize the inferior sound effects. The cost of copper sinks has a fairly large range and you may not need to go to one extreme or another. Quality copper sinks can range to just a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand.

Copper Sink Finishing
Copper finishing is a huge component of copper sinks and copper installations in general. Most copper sinks have a living finish, where the texture and appearance of the sink will change over time. This is not a defect, but a quality of the copper. The process is called patination; the resulting finish is called the copper’s patina. If the word sounds familiar, it may be from sculpting. Patina also refers to the green color taken on by aged bronze. Even standard quality copper sinks should not turn green, however. Copper patinas have their own quality that many homeowners actually covet.

Higher end copper companies will speed this process along to create various and distinctive looks for their sinks. Don’t be sucked in by shiny, new copper. This is not a sign of superior copper, but rather copper that will have its patina left to the elements of your kitchen. Before you buy a sink, make sure you’re aware of what treatment the copper has already received and what it’s likely to look like one, five, and twenty years from when you buy it. If you disdain the look of aged copper, you will be able to regain much of the copper’s original look by sanding and polishing, but this process, too, is temporary.

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Dry For Racks Of Plate

While many modern homes are now equipped with that most wonderful invention, the dishwasher, a dish rack is still necessary if you want to keep your kitchen as clean as possible. Though a plate rack is generally a very simple apparatus, finding the perfect one can be a bit more complicated.

Though many inexpensive models will hold a few plates at a time, a dish rack for a large family might be harder to find. In addition, many models aren’t set up to accommodate silverware or mugs and glasses. The amount of space in your kitchen and the style and number of sinks in it will all come into play when choosing the right rack for you. Plate Racks for Small Kitchens
If you’ve already got a cramped kitchen, adding another item could seem like a bad idea. There are, however, some interesting dish rack designs that could be just the right fit. To start off, those with a fair amount of mugs or stemware should really consider an under cabinet drying and storage system. These are incredible space savers, creating extra room in the plate rack, as well as in cabinets. They are usually not very expensive and only require the most basic skills to install. Those who are looking for something even more interesting could try a custom plate rack above the sink. This will save space during drying time, but can also serve as a permanent storage space, too. Dish Racks in Larger Kitchens
In a big kitchen, the problem is less about space to put a rack and more about space in the rack. While the simplest solution is to have multiple plate racks, it is often not the most appealing. Larger racks are difficult to come by in many department stores, but can be found online from the manufacturers.

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New Kitchen Remodel with a Capture Your Own Essence of Emeril

If you’re one of the few Americans that still doesn’t know who super chef Emeril Lagasse is, then it’s probably about time you come out of the cave you’ve been hiding in. After all, the reigning king of Creole cooking has risen from the status of an up-and-coming culinary artist to become one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs in America. Just how did he do it? Talent, ambition, and a few good breaks didn’t hurt any, but you could make the case that his knack for innovation has had more than a little to do with his success. That said, if you’re looking to harness a little bit of chef Lagasse’s magic for your very own, you’re going to need a kitchen to match. Here’s a list of 7 of the most innovative kitchen design trends in the industry to help you capture your own Essence of Emeril the next time you cook up dinner!

Layered Lighting: Kick it Up a Notch!
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) knows more about kitchen and bath remodels than anybody else in the industry, and they are not afraid to show it off at their annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and Conference. According to the NKBA, it was kitchen lighting that stole the show in 2008. You name it, they had it, including under cabinet lighting, interior cabinet lighting, task lighting, recessed lighting, dim accent lighting, and over cabinet lighting. Throw it all into a single package and you’ve got one of the hottest trends in the industry: layered lighting. As Emeril would say: Aw, Yea, Babe!

New Appliances (Smaller is Better)
Anybody who watches Emeril on the Food Network knows he loves his kitchen appliances, be it his food processor, or the wall ovens that he’s always pulling delicious looking culinary creations from. Apparently Emeril’s not alone. According to Kitchen and Bath Business (also known as KB&B), studies show that new, professional grade appliances are number one on most homeowner wish lists, beating out even custom cabinetry and premium countertops for the top spot. Throw a new generation of space saving, high efficiency appliances into the mix, such as induction cooktops, microwave drawers, French door wall ovens, and horizontal dishwashers, and it’s no wonder that homeowners get excited about appliances when remodeling time rolls around.

Organization, Organization, Organization
Besides lighting, the NKBA also highlighted the wonders of modern custom and semi-custom cabinetry design at the 2008 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and Conference. The days are long past when a lazy Susan got all the buzz. Hidden pantries, slide out organizers, and tiered cabinet designs allow homeowners to store more stuff in less space than ever before. If you’re going to cook like Emeril, you’re going to need plenty of extra room for storing all his signature spices and cookbooks!

Get Granite
Everybody knows that Emeril loves garlic, garlic, and more garlic when he’s cooking up a storm. But what about the other “g” that’s a must have in the kitchen? The Kitchen Bath and Business study that we mentioned above found that 94% of kitchen designers named granite countertops as the most sought after countertop material in the business. Doesn’t matter whether you go solid slab, or cut your costs with granite tile, the winning combination of great looks and unrivaled durability make granite the cream of the crop when choosing a countertop material.

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Making a Green Kitchen a Reality for Green Home

Green is the most recent catchword in the home improvement industry, a synonym for all things new, innovative, and environmentally friendly. It’s an interesting development, especially when you consider that the color green isn’t exactly a stranger when it comes to kitchens. Take fried green tomatoes, for instance. This southern tradition has been around as long as the Whistlestop Cafe, inspiring a best-selling novel and a hit movie in the process! And it’s exactly that juxtaposition of old and new that can make going green in the kitchen such a conundrum for homeowners. Whether you’re gearing up for a complete kitchen remodel, or just want to make some eco-wise upgrades, here’s what the experts are saying about going green in one of the most important rooms in the home.

Lots of Green Potential: Energy Savings
Just as the character Ruth Jamison always believed in the potential of Idgie Threadgood in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, the reason kitchens get so much attention in green circles is because they’re so full of possibility from a green perspective. According to Kirsten Ritchie, Director of Sustainable Design for the consulting and advising firm Gensler, “the kitchen is the most energy-intensive room in the house.” Why? In an article for GreenHomeGuide Ritchie answers that question, noting that the American addiction to excess is often to blame. “Do we really need refrigerators that can store 12 different bottles of barbecue sauce, eight different salad dressings, 14 containers of leftovers, etc.?” asks Ritchie. “And how big do we really need that microwave to be? Are we using it to defrost 30-pound turkeys (a bad idea), or simply to reheat small containers of leftovers? Bigger is definitely not better in this area.” In other words, when it comes to an area in your home where simple lifestyle changes can reap big green results, the kitchen is a great place to start.

Green Kitchens are Healthier Kitchens
Of course, vastly improved energy efficiency isn’t the only place you stand to benefit by going green in the kitchen. Just like Idgie Threadgood had a sensitive side to her rough exterior in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, going green in the kitchen has more than one face to show the world, as well. According to green remodeling consultant David Johnston, the medium density fiberboard and interior grade plywood that many cabinets and countertops are made of can release dangerous amount of carcinogenic urea formaldehyde fumes into indoor environments, while the VOCs created by paints and stains further contaminate indoor air. David Linzer, a Certified Kitchen Designer and green advocate, concurs. “Having written articles on ‘Finding Responsibility,’ ‘Greenwashing,’ and ‘Green Kitchen/Bath Design,’ and doing seminars to educate professionals and consumers, there needs to be a constant reminder that toxic indoor air quality contributes to asthma, allergies, attention deficit disorders, cancer and many other illnesses,” writes Linzer. “While the media typically covers energy, water, light and recycling, there is little discussed about sick air syndrome. Building, designing, and living in a healthy home should be high on the priority of lists for going green.”

What Can You Do to Go Green?
What is the best way for you, as a homeowner, to embrace green in your kitchen? According to Forbes magazine, appliances are the best place to start. “The typical refrigerator uses 4.6 million Btu per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy,” cites a Forbes article on the rise of green kitchen appliances, a figure that adds up to “nearly 5% of total household annual electricity consumption.” Contrast those statistics with a refrigerator highlighted in the same article that cuts electrical use at that appliance by over 30%, and you get the idea. Other energy-saving appliance choices include induction cooktops that can reduce stovetop energy use by 90%, new dishwashers that reduce the energy you use to wash dishes by as much as 41%, and microwave ovens that can cook food using 80% less energy than a conventional oven.

On the health front, things get a little more complicated. Green remodeling guru David Johnston recommends in his book, Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time, that homeowners choose formaldehyde free cabinet and countertop materials, low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and stains, and water based adhesives rather than those that use petroleum based solvents. He also stresses the importance of good ventilation in the form of range hoods and lots of windows, just to be safe. In short, don’t let reducing energy consumption dominate your green kitchen goals. Taking steps in a positive direction when it comes to creating a healthy kitchen is equally important.

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5 straightforward room Remodels for Kitchen

Along with obtaining an excellent come back on your investment, creating the house work for your desires is vital once considering a room rework. the foremost stunning room can solely produce stress for a home-owner if it’s not designed properly. take into account the following tips for a room rework which will alter your daily routines.

Kitchens
Probably the busiest space within the house, a room will serve a large number of functions these days: change of state, eating, amusing, and family hangout.

1. rework by the work triangle.
Designers are victimization the room work triangle to form economical kitchens for several decades. The work triangle refers to the arrangement of the 3 basic work areas: the white goods, sink, and stove. you do not wish these to be too way apart otherwise you can pay a decent deal of your time back and forth. Click this link to browse additional concerning work triangles.

2. Consolidate room contents with a stowage.
Walk-in pantries became very fashionable as they permit a home-owner to quickly soak up the kitchen’s contents while not having to go looking through the cabinets. If you are tight on house a pull-out stowage will be put in into areas as little as many inches wide. A room stowage could be a good way to stay the room traffic localized to 1 space, in order that you’ll cook while not interruption.

3. do not waste house.
Install cupboards that go all the high to the ceiling add baskets and shelving within to maximise cupboard space. Add a dangling rack for pots and pans to release some cupboard house.

4. Let appliances do a number of the dirty work.
A dishwasher with a 3rd rack will slow down on the quantity of times you’ve got to load that dishwasher. Self-cleaning ovens area unit everyplace nowadays. If you’re within the marketplace for energy economical appliances, take into account a dishwasher or perhaps a white goods with the Energy Star rating. Click this link to browse additional concerning Energy Star Appliances.

5. produce areas for your youngsters.
A couple of stools at the room counter produce a straightforward, informal place for teenagers to eat. Also, take into account keeping your kids’ snacks and beverages on lower shelves wherever they will simply access them.

Read more: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.5-Simple-Kitchen-Remodels.13260.html#ixzz3PAOLQByo

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Small room Solutions For Your Kitchen

Kitchen transforming ranks among the foremost fashionable transforming comes annually, as kitchens became the purposeful and social hubs for several families.

Almost each room includes a style flaw or one thing which will be modified to create the house a lot of feasible. However, no challenge is sort of as tough as transforming atiny low room house.

If you’re on a decent transforming budget, have building restrictions, or own a condominium wherever you need to work with the house assigned, you are doing have choices to rework your room.

Appliances
New appliances will serve to update and unify a space. All stainless-steel appliances are getting a lot of fashionable, and not simply in up to date homes.

Energy potency may be a key issue to stay in mind once getting home appliances, however the energy potency of comparable appliances will vary considerably. it’s typically cheaper to get home appliances with high efficiencies.

Built-in ovens, microwaves and storage for tiny appliances can create your room seem less littered.

For householders UN agency entertain frequently the room wine icebox has become highly regarded. These appliances will accommodate from twelve to three hundred wine bottles betting on the model. There ar even tabletop fridges to stay simply many bottles at a time properly chilled.

Counter house
Even giant kitchens ar tough to figure in if there’s not enough counter house. decide to cowl the maximum amount of the realm not occupied with appliances with countertops. If the distinction in floor house may be a matter of many sq. feet, arrange your style with deeper counters.

Granite, marble and stainless-steel ar the foremost costly choices, with laminate on the lower finish of the spectrum and everything else falling somewhere in between.

For householders UN agency use their kitchens oft, totally different materials can alter a far better change of state setting. for instance, marble and granite provide cool surfaces for handling dough whereas the slab permits one to simply chop and prepare food. And, if you prefer each, you do not need to opt for. It’s changing into a lot of and a lot of fashionable to mix counter choices to make a singular look and a a lot of purposeful room.

Ready to rework? Click here to rent one in all our authorizedĀ  and insured execs for your room remodel.

Storage
Squeeze as several cupboards into your style as potential. deem the position of cupboards in reference to appliances, also. Deep cupboards which will hold plates ought to be placed close to the dishwasher, and huge cupboards with slide-out drawers ought to be placed close to the kitchen appliance. the less supererogatory steps required to complete a task, the electric sander the perform of your room are.

Waist-high slippy shelves that hold mixers and toasters will quickly get little appliances out of sight, however keep them simply at hand. integral storage for foods like potatoes and onions, and bread storage cupboards will offer the room a cleaner look.

Roll-Out larder
If there’s not enough area for a closet larder, several cupboard makers currently create roll-out pantries. These may be force bent read the things you’ve got, however rolled into an area regarding eighteen inches wide and 5-1/2 feet tall. If there’s not area for any sort of larder, think about changing a closet outside of the room to a cargo hold for fine china, giant pots and sometimes used things.

Lighting
One simply unnoticed style part is sweet lighting. Under-counter lighting and clean grouping lights will create the house seem larger and more well-off.

Sinks
A small room doesn’t need to have atiny low sink. {a giant|an outsized|an oversized} sink can create it easier for you to wash large pots and pans, and may be a excellent place to stash the dirty pots before you’ve got an opportunity to rinse them. If you’re in Associate in Nursing flat or atiny low house, an outsized sink within the room will serve double duty as a utility sink, too.

Some other concepts to extend the potency of your kitchen:

place a wire basket on the within of the cupboard to carry trash luggage and alternative oft used things. These boughten product ar cheap and simple to put in on the rear of the cupboard door or beneath the sink.
Mount a second plight heater on the sink. this can be one thing little that creates a giant distinction. putting in such a tool can typically replace the sprayer or soap. this might be very helpful if you derive pleasure a cup of tea or instant occasional daily.
Install a tile back splash on all the walls on top of the counters, stove and sink. this will quickly modification the planning of the room and create it easier to wash.
modification the cupboard and drawer knobs. this can be a really easy and cheap possibility which will offer the room an additional special bit. There ar plenty of distinctive styles out there, therefore be ready to use your inventive aspect.

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The niceness of Great Rooms

Great Rooms area unit one in all the foremost widespread style trends within the homebuilding and reworking trade permanently reason. With the agitated schedules of contemporary families, the standard family meal within the eating area is quick changing into a issue of past. And since we have a tendency to area unit thus busy, several families don’t need to segregate themselves to totally different components of the house so as to jot down the bills, do preparation, watch tv and eat meals. the answer is that the nice area, a large, usefulĀ  living space during which a family will congregate, share time along, nevertheless still have enough house for every member of the family to try to to their own issue.

Tailored to Your desires
The benefits of a good area area unit several. For starters, you’ll style them to suit your modus vivendi. This would possibly embrace a area, a part for looking tv, and another with a table or table for doing everything from preparation to the family finances. The sky is that the limit. With their giant size, they’ll accommodate exercise instrumentality, sitting areas for secluded reading, very no matter your family will to pass the time.

Before planning your area, sit down together with your family and take inventory of what’s necessary to every friend to incorporate. Remember, the goal of those usefulĀ  living areas is disbursement time along, though your busy schedules do not permit you all to be doing constant issue. That being the case, it is important that every member family has a part wherever they’ll pass the time to their feeling, nevertheless still be a region of things. Advance coming up with is that the best thanks to make sure that you’re going to all be disbursement some time reception along.

Other ideas
Besides your individual preferences, there area unit many parts of those widespread additions that became modern across the board. Fireplaces area unit widespread additions, as nothing brings folks along higher on a chilly day than heat and therefore the calming presence of aflicker flames.

Built in bookshelves are common, as they supply straightforward and engaging areas for your family to show necessary family photos, books, kicknacks, heirlooms, and art.

Architectural options like domed ceilings and huge, image windows will build these rooms feel even larger, adding a spacious feeling that brings along a space that usually incorporates a various vary of areas.

Read more: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.The-Greatness-of-Great-Rooms.13586.html#ixzz3PAMDoCGZ

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