Home Improvement

10 Tips To Get You Through Your Kitchen Remodel

10 Tips To Get You Through Your Kitchen Remodel

By: Lee Dobbins

Most everyone wants a new kitchen but few people realize the work and inconvenience that goes into a kitchen remodel. A big remodel can take months and you won't have access to the room while the work is going on. While this can be a trying time, once you have your beautiful new kitchen in place it will be well worth it!

Here's some tips to get you through the remodel and on to your new kitchen:

1. You will need to set up a temporary kitchen in another part of the house. Make sure it is a convenient location with have access to water and a space to keep food cold as well as a place to heat up meals. Sometimes portable appliances like a crock pot or electric frying pan and a small dorm fridge and microwave work good for a temporary arrangement if you will be replacing your old appliances.

2. Make sure you really think about how long the job will take. Most jobs run take longer than expected. This can be frustrating for everyone, so it's in your best interest to set a realistic date and that way you won't be disappointed.

3. Make sure you know what you are going to reuse. Whether you do some of the work yourself or hire it out make sure that it is very clear what things are going to be reused. The cabinets, counter tops and flooring can become damaged during a remodel and if you are planning on reusing them this can be a huge problem and expense. Remember to be careful around these reusable items.

4. Make sure you seal off the room properly so you don't get dust and debris all over the house. If you have hired someone to do the job, they will probably know just what to do but if you are doing it yourself, invest in some plastic sheeting and make sure you secure it around the doorways as good as possible.

5. Get everything out of the kitche. Box up everything that will not be used in your temporary kitchen. Label the boxes and store them out of the way.

6. Remove anything that isn't nailed or screwed down. This includes drawers, lazy susans, spice racks, wall clocks, ornaments, etc. Place a protective cover over anything that must remain in place while you work.

7. Make arrangements for the removal of any refuse that may accumulate during the remodeling. if you must rent a dumpster, do so in plenty of time or have a pick up truck on hand for hauling the rubbish to the dump. if you plan to salvage the old cabinetry for a workshop or donation to a charitable cause, have a place ready for them to go as you take them out of your work area.

8. Think safety and remember to turn off all utilities b efore removing any major appliances, turn off all utilities. This can be done at the individual shut off valves for gas and water. If there are no shut off valves, you will have to turn off the main valve. The main gas valve is usually located near the gas meter. Remember that, once you turn off the gas to the whole house, ALL pilot lights will have to be relit before they will work again. Without careful planning you may find yourself without hot water when you're ready to clean up after a hard day's work.

9. In older homes, the wiring may have been modified over the years and it may not be clear which circuits or fuses control specific areas. If you are unsure, turn off the main power or get professional assistance. Never take a chance with electricity! In addition, tape over the breakers so they won't be turned on inadvertently. If you plan on upgrading your electrical system and adding new outlets and fixtures, it will be necessary to dismantle all existing outlets and fixtures.

10. Remove all light bulbs. Then, dismantle each fixture by using a screwdriver to unscrew the plate and the receptacle and pull the receptacle out of the box. Put wire nuts on any exposed wires for the interim. The bare copper wire is the ground and does not need to be capped.

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for A Kitchen Decorating Idea where you can find more tips on kitchen remodeling and decorating on a budget.

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Add More Storage To Your Bedroom Without Remodeling

Add More Storage To Your Bedroom Without Remodeling

Add More Storage To Your Bedroom Without Remodeling

By: Lee Dobbins

Everyone can use more storage and one of the best places to add storage to is the bedroom. What with all your clothes and personal items cluttering up the closet and bureau, the bedroom can sometimes seem like a messy catch all for all your household clutter. Here's some ways you can clean up the bedroom and get some extra storage space too boot!

Your Closet
One way to gain a ton of space is to install a closet organizer. It doesn't have to be a fancy expensive one (although feel free if you want one). You won't believe how much extra space you can get from when you use one of these systems.

The metal rails systems for closets are great. You can get acrylic shelves, chrome baskets and special slotted pieces for shoes and hats. The slotted systems are good as they provide ventilation which helps your clothes to breathe and are easy to maintin. These adjustable components come with a non-chip and non stick coating.

When choosing a closet organizer, make sure you pick a system that allows you to double up your rack space. This way you can hang shorter clothes like shirts and skirts on top of each other and literally double your closet space!

Hidden Storage In Your Bedroom
You might already have some storage space in your bedroom that you don't even realize you have! Do you have space under the bed? Are you using it to it's fullest? Clean out all the dust bunnies and throw away the socks and junk that has accumulated under there and use this for long term storage. You can put off season clothing, camping gear, toys or whatever under there when it is not in use. Store the items in Tupperware containers (you can buy the low ones on wheels for easy retrieval) or space bags to protect the items and create a neat storage space.

Another overlooked storage area is a room divider. If you have one sitting in the corner as a decorative item, you might want to look at the space behind it. This can be used to store items that you don't need to get at every day like craft supplies or maybe even cleaning supplies.

Storage Baskets
Storage baskets are a great place to store various objects and can also add decorative touches to your bedroom. You can use them for small stuff like keys, holding bills or correspondence, toiletries, towels, jewelry and just about anything else that will fit in the basket. You can buy large baskets for your laundry and smaller ones to use as catch alls.

When buying baskets to use as storage in the bedroom, make sure you pick ones that match your bedroom décor. There are many types of storage baskets available in the market in many different sizes and shapes and colors, and in different materials. Some are utility oriented, while some are meant as decorative items. You can choose from willow, woven ash, rope, wrought iron, woven sea grass, bamboo, woodchip and a variety of other types with all different kinds of embellishments so you should be able to find a basket that matches any bedroom décor.

Adding more storage to your bedroom can help you get better organized and even help you remove some of the clutter from other rooms in the house. Now you just need to remember to put that stuff away in the right place!

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Bedroom Designs And Decorations where you can find more tips on decorating your bedroom.

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Design Tips For Your Master Bathroom

Design Tips For Master Bathroom

Design Tips For Your Master Bathroom

By: Lee Dobbins

When you redecorate your master bedroom, don't leave the master bath out in the cold! You can add some zing to your bathroom too and create a cohesive theme between the two rooms that will give you a real sweet master suite.

One thing you need to do when redecorating your master bath is to be sure to tie in some of the elements from your bedroom. You don't have to make it an identical match, but using a common color or theme will really unite the two rooms. If your bedroom has a cottage theme, carry this over into the bathroom by putting out some shells in dishes on the vanity. If your bedroom is more shabby chic with big floral wallpaper, then think about carrying the color of the flowers into the master bath.

One of the big design elements in the bathroom is the hardware. Faucets and spigots, in addition to tubs and toilets are made in a variety of shapes and materials which can be the centerpiece of your design. Open showers are currently popular with the younger upwardly-
mobile crowd, and claw-foot bathtubs are almost always considered to be classic and
attractive. When selecting hardware and figuring out a floor plan, think about privacy issues and don't put the toilet and tub too close together.

Another big element in the bathroom is the tiling. The more expensive tiles
should have durability, aesthetic value, and a non-porous surface. Make sure your tiles can be easily cleaned and sanitized, and that it is easy to install and does not require special adhesives which can become costly. When choosing tile, think out of the box. You don't have to use only porcelain tile, consider marble, clay and anything else you see in the store that catches your eye.

Once you have the design down and selected the major elements, focus on decoration accessories to bring out personality and individualism. The bathroom doesn't have to just be functional and putting interesting items on the walls or shelves is a great way to give the room some character. Don't be afraid to use your own ideas and put what you want into the room when redecorating your master bathroom.

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Bedroom Designs And Decorations where you can find more tips on decorating your bedroom.

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Is Your Home Security System Protecting You

Is Your Home Security System Protecting You

Is Your Home Security System Protecting You

By: Jamie Snodgrass

Home Security Systems
Monitoring your home security system has never been easier but there are several things you need to consider before committing yourself to a long term monitoring agreement with any alarm company.

Alarm companies don't make the majority of their profit from selling security systems; it comes from accumulating a large base of alarm-monitoring contracts. If fact, these monitoring contracts are so profitable that they are frequently bought and sold like mortgage notes.

Tip #1
Ask if they are an authorized alarm dealer or represent a marketing company.
Marketing companies have learned to flood a market with fantastic offers on security systems with the sole purpose of selling the contracts at a profit. They often use any sub-contractor available, which can lead to poor customer service once the marketing company leaves town.

Once you find a reputable alarm company, ask them to come out to your home and give you a quote. You'll find that most will quote you a basic security system at a reasonable price. These basic security systems generally include a control panel, keypad, motion detector, a couple of door contacts, inside siren, a yard sign and warning decals.

Tip #2
Make sure the equipment can be monitored by any alarm company, not by just the one selling it to you. If they use proprietary security equipment, you could be left in a bind should you become dissatisfied with their service for any reason. Ademco, DSC, & Caddx are well known manufacturers and can be monitored by any one.

Some companies offer a low installation charge of $99.00 or will give you a "FREE" security system. Many do so if you put a security sign in your yard for advertising purposes and commit to a long-term alarm-monitoring contract.

Since the installation charge doesn't cover the true cost of the equipment and labor, you are charged a substantial monthly fee to recoup their investment. These "deals" or equipment leases aren't necessarily bad but make it hard to evaluate the true cost to you over time.

 

Author Bio
Author is marketer for sites such as :
Home Security
www.healthresourcesonline.net

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Create A Lounging Area In Your Bedroom With Floor Pillows

Create A Lounging Area In Your Bedroom With Floor Pillows

Create A Lounging Area In Your Bedroom With Floor Pillows

By: Lee Dobbins

If you want to add another dimension to your bedroom but it is too small for a separate sitting area, you can create a lounging area in less space by simply using floor pillows. Not only will this create interest in a boring corner, but the pillows can help add to the design elements already in the room.

A floor pillow is simply a large cushion that can be used for relaxing on. They are great for sitting on to chat with friends or reclining on when reading a book or watching TV. They are taller than regular pillows and make great foot rests as well as decorative accents.

The color combinations and the patterns used in floor pillows almost fit any decoration, any style. They come in a variety of fabrics as well. Wool, cotton, polyester and chenille are the primary material used to make floor pillows and floor pillow covers. These pillows are plump, soft, comfy and fun - a perfect look and use for any bedroom.

Floor pillows can also be custom made. You can get them to match your other fabrics and furniture which will help give a sense of completeness to the room by repeating fabrics throughout it. They lend a casual look to the room when used in a bedroom but you can get a more formal looking pillow if you prefer that type of look. These pillows are generally sturdier and firmer and do not flop. They are more rectangular or slightly squarer and used primarily for seating purposes only.

Floor pillows with removable covers are great for the bedroom. The covers can be taken off to change the look or to be washed. These floor cushions usually have zippers but may have other types of closures such as Velcro or snaps.

Since they need to be more durable than regular pillows, floor pillows are filled with tougher stuffing. This is to ensure that the shape of the pillow does not get distorted easily. One type of floor pillow that is seeing a resurge in interest are ban bags. These are great for sitting purposes, for playing, for lying and mould to ones posture easily. Bean bags are capable of being refilled and are washable.

Floor pillows are a great choice for the bedroom since they are soft and fluffy, like your bedding and bed pillows. They are decorative by nature and can add a little pizzaz to your room while not taking up too much space. They make excellent, inexpensive alternatives for extra seating as well as add an element of whimsy to your bedroom décor.

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Bedroom Designs And Decorations where you can find more tips on decorating your bedroom.

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Tips For Removing Linoleum

Tips For Removing Linoleum

Tips For Removing Linoleum

By: Lee Dobbins

When it comes time to get new flooring you can save money by removing the old flooring yourself but if you have old linoleum on your floors you might be in for quite a challenge. Depending on how old the linoleum is and the type of adhesive that was used it can be extremely difficult to get up.

First of all, it's unlikely that you'll be able to just remove the linoleum and adhesive all at once. The surface under the linoleum and the damage you might cause it needs to be considered - especially if that surface is wood. Concrete floors can take a lot more in the way of rough treatment. The type of scraper you use has a lot to do with your success as well as the damage to the floor underneath. Many people use paint scrapers but those with a razor blade are usually more efficient. Be prepared to break some blades it if the adhesive is hard, and you're working on concrete.

Try cutting the linoleum into strips or sections instead of removing the whole chunk at once. This will make it easier to get an edge to pry up. Of course, the linoleum probably won't come up in nice neat sections so be prepared to deal with a lot of left over backing and glue that is still attached to your floor.

One way to deal with those remnants that just won't come up is to apply some kind of solvent or remover. A popular brand is Krud Kutter, which appears to work very well from the customer feedback comments. Follow directions on the label of whatever product you employ, and wear gloves to protect your hands. Do a small section at a time, and then move to the next one.

Another technique is to use boiling water and pour it directly on the backing and adhesive. Let it soak and then scrape up. If you don't want to use water, you can try to heat up the glue with a hair dryer or heat gun. Pick a very inconspicuous area, such as behind a door, to try it. Heat the adhesive with the hair dryer and scrape it up with a straight-blade scraper (like a stiff putty knife with a beveled edge). Move the scraper in the direction of the grain of the wood if you are uncovering a hardwood floor. Have a pan or some other container handy to drop the scrapings into - one that is unlikely to either melt or ignite when coming in contact with hot materials. Be very careful if you are using a heat gun as this can easily damage the floor underneath if it is wood.

If worse comes to worse and you are left with some stubborn adhesive on the floors, it might be time to sand. Of course, if your floors are wood and you plan to refinish them you would need to sand anyway, but during this step you must be careful not to damage the particular area by keeping the sander on it for too long.

Once you finally get the linoleum and all traces of adhesive up, you are ready to seal the floor as recommended for the type of flooring and apply the new floor as recommended!

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for A Kitchen Decorating Idea where you can find more tips on kitchen remodeling and decorating on a budget.

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Wood Counter Tops, a Consistent Choice for Modern Kitchens

Wood Counter Tops, a Consistent Choice for Modern Kitchens

Wood Counter Tops, a Consistent Choice for Modern Kitchens

By: Adrian Laza

Wood countertops are becoming popular again in modern kitchens. We now know that wooden countertops, when properly cared for, are both long lasting and sanitary. The modern adhesives are strong enough to keep the wood staves bonded together even the butcher block is submerged into the water. The finishing oils (mineral oils) are safe in contact with food products and preserve the wood surfaces.

The solid wood, as a material of choice for counter tops, exhibits incontestable advantages such as:

Aesthetics
Imparting a warm, relaxing feeling, the wooden top is the natural complement of any solid wood or veneered cabinetry. The wooden tops will wonderfully go together with hardwood floorings, moldings, cornices and mantels, conferring a genuine sense of balance to your kitchen space.

Functionality
A hardwood top is very easy to cut to templates and even easier to install. Unlike the solid surface or laminate, wood tops have a minimum of chemical components, which make them extremely safe in contact with foods. Unlike the other countertop materials, any occurring scratch can be easily removed by sanding the area; the wood tops actually constitute the only known surface that can be renewed without employing special tools or requiring special skills. Hardwood surfaces can be used as kitchen island tops, inserted sink covers, sections of countertop, or as butcher block hidden under the countertop that can be pulled as drawer or cart. Your imagination will surely find plenty of other interesting, visually attractive applications.

Durability
If properly sealed and installed, a wooden top can literally last a lifetime. Unlike marble, granite or tile, the wooden tops have a great shock absorbing capacity that further assures considerable life span.

Hygiene
For a quite few decades, the plastic and laminate surfaces, due to their non-porous structure were considered much safer than wood for applications such as chopping meat or slicing vegetables. The wood, because of its porosity was thought an ideal surface for harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococus or Escherichia coli to thrive. However, a study undertaken in 1993 by the microbiologists of Wisconsin Food Research Institute and another one carried out in 1998 at university of Florida discovered the strong antibacterial properties that wood surfaces exhibit, properties that no other cutting surface appears to possess.

According to these studies and to others that followed them, on wood surfaces, bacterial populations disappear quite fast, without external intervention, while on plastic surfaces they persist and actually multiply. Although these properties vary among wood species, the wooden cutting surfaces are increasingly accepted as the first choice of health-conscious individuals.

Price
Hardwood is usually priced higher than laminate but are far less expensive than stone, granite, solid surface, tile or steel.

The butcher block counter tops supplied by Lafor Wood Products (www.hardwoodcountertops.com) come in beech wood, cherry, walnut, oak, whitebeam (hickory look), acacia (black locust) or hard maple with a large variety of dimensions and grades. Mineral oil is supplied for free along to the purchase and helps to finish and preserve the butcher blocks. Availability is immediate and they offer samples of butcher blocks free of charge. Details at www.lafor.ca

 

Author Bio
Adrian Laza, Sales manager at Lafor Wood Products www.lafor.ca

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Home Protection, What Your Security System May Not Detect!

Home Protection, What Your Security System May Not Detect!

Home Protection, What Your Security System May Not Detect!

By: Mr. Green

In many cases, most people feel pretty secure with a basic/standard home security system, but with today's criminals/robbers its shocking to know how many of them know there way around a security system. There are a couple of small inexpensive things you can do for you and your family that may prevent that awful robbery.

A. Window Alert is home security device that attaches to windows and set off by vibrations if someone tries to break through. Installs easily on any window, There is so many cases that robbers use there window cutting device that can not be detected from a basic Security system. This little window alarm was an essential in saving the millions of lives that were threatened by a robber.

B. A Home Security Device such as the Watchdog is ideal for home protection, because it accomplishes what even the best living, breathing watchdog cannot do. Rex's electronic radar eyes, the Electronic Watch Dog Home Security Device can "see" through thick doors, walls and glass. And once his cord is plugged in, he'll stay on duty around the clock, indefinitely. The Electronic Watch Dog Home Security Device can protect homes, apartments, mobile homes, RV's, jewelry stores, factories, warehouses, public and private buildings of virtually every kind. For example, most apartment complexes do not have a security system in the apartment units. You only go in good faith that the apartment is safe. Rex, the electronic watch dog, what an easy solution to cure a robbery scare.

  • Barking gets louder and more frequent as the intruder gets closer.
  • Switches from the watchdog to the tranquil sounds of nature with the simple switch of a button.
  • Variable distance sensitivity (up to 30') as well as volume control.
  • Supplements your regular home security system by detecting robbers before they attempt to break into your home.

C. A Nightmare Situation There are preventive solutions!!!
1. The Big Jammer is a home security device that is a strong 20 gauge steel adjustable door brace that installs easily under door knobs and provides added security. Adjusts easily to fit most hinged doors. End caps can be removed to allow for use on sliding glass doors as well. Clean, baked enamel finish makes it attractive for in-house use.
2. The base of the alarm is bolted to door or window frame, the actuator is connected to the window or door. The alarm is activated by opening the door or window. Great for any door particularly those hard to protect sliding glass doors.

 

Author Bio
Mr. Green - Self Defense - Home Protection at www.protectionsmart.com

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Add Warmth To Your Bedroom With An Oriental Rug

Add Warmth To Your Bedroom With An Oriental Rug

Add Warmth To Your Bedroom With An Oriental Rug

By: Lee Dobbins

When it comes to the bedroom we all know that bedding and accents are important, but a key area of bedroom design that is often overlooked is the flooring. Many people have wall to wall carpet in their bedroom and, therefore think that they are "stuck" with that color or design. The truth is that you can jazz up your flooring by simply laying a carpet on top of your wall to wall carpet.

Beautiful and durable, oriental rugs can add warmth and charm to almost any bedroom. This type of rug goes with many bedroom design styles, romantic, Victorian, shabby chic, Tuscan, Morrocan, oriental and many more.

Oriental rugs come in many different designs and colors so you should be able to find one that suits your bedroom décor. You can buy them in different sizes so you can add a splash of color and elegance to any part of the bedroom. You can buy them in a variety of price ranges as well, but as with anything else, the more you spend the better quality your rug will be.

A real oriental rug is hand tied - that's right each piece of wool is tied onto the backing by hand. These rugs are really works of art, and you might think they are fragile but they are actually quite durable. I have been to many antique auctions where rugs that were over 100 years old have survived to look almost as good as they day they were made.

When selecting an oriental carpet for your bedroom, you should only look at carpets that are 100% wool as these will be the best quality. To determine if the carpet you are looking at is hand or machine made there are a few things to take into consideration. First off it's good to be able to compare two rugs - one you know is machine made and one you know is hand made. Look at the backs - the hand made rug will be much more colorful than the machine made. The machine made rug will have an overall stitch pattern across the back and you won't see any knots since only hand made rugs are knotted. Another thing to look at is the fringe. On a handmade rug, the fringe is made up of the wrap strings from the end of the rug, on a machine made it is simply sewn on.

When selecting your oriental rug, make sure to choose colors that go with the colors in your bedroom. If you are placing the rug over wall to wall carpeting, it is best to choose smaller throw rugs that you can use as splashes of color around the room and avoid putting furniture on them unless you buy a large rug that covers almost the entire room.

Love the look of oriental rugs but don't want to put them on the floor? Why not try using one as a wall hanging? You can use it to jazz up a large boring wall or hang it behind the bed in lieu of a headboard.

No matter how you use them, oriental rugs add warmth and character to your bedroom or any room in the house!

 

Author Bio
Lee Dobbins writes for Bedroom Designs And Decorations where you can find more tips on decorating your bedroom.

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10 Important Things to Consider Before Designing a New Kitchen

10 Important Things to Consider Before Designing a New Kitchen

10 Important Things to Consider Before Designing a New Kitchen

By: Harvey Juric

Here are 10 important guidelines for your kitchen design project.

1. For efficiency, the work triangle (the space between the sink, refrigerator, and stove) should measure 26' or less with no single side longer than 9', or less than 4'.

2. In kitchens smaller than 150 sq. ft., opt for at least 13' of base cabinets, 12' of wall cabinets, and 11' of countertop. In kitchens which are larger, go with at least 16' of base cabinets, 15 1/2' of wall cabinets, and 16 1/2' of countertop.

3. For convenience, plan work aisles to be at least 42" wide for one cook, and at least 48" wide in multi-cook kitchens.

4. Specify a minimum of 24" of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 18" on the other.

5. To create the most accessible landing for unloading groceries, allow at least 15" of counter space on the handle side of a standard refrigerator; on both sides if it's a side-by-side model. Or include a landing area directly across from the refrigerator, but no more than 48" away.

6. For cleanup ease, install the dishwasher within 36" of one edge of the sink and allow for at least 21" of standing room next to it.

7. For microwaves and ovens, provide at least 15 " of counter space nearby, at least 16" deep.

8. For optimum clearance, no entry, appliance, or cabinet doors should interfere with another.

9. For comfort and to help avoid repetitive-motion injury, plan for work counters of different heights; between 28 and 36" off the floor (easier for chopping and seated-use access), and between 36 and 46" for general tasks (higher counters accommodate taller cooks).

10. To install a cabinet unit above the cook top, make sure the clearance is at least 24" for a fireproof surface, 30" for an unprotected surface.

Designing a kitchen is as much a science as it is an art. Knowing the recommended measurements to use when planning the project can make all the difference in the final outcome.

 

Author Bio
Harvey Juric, is a veteran custom home builder in Southern Ontario. If you like this article, there is more at: www.ontario-home-builder.com

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