Home Improvement

How to Shop for a Cuckoo Clock

How to Shop for a Cuckoo Clock

How to Shop for a Cuckoo Clock

By: Donna Somerkin

Cuckoo clocks make great gifts, souvenirs, and timepieces that will add charm and character to any home. If you are in the market for a cuckoo clock, carefully consider your options before purchase. In addition to scouring your local antique and clock shops, turn your search to the World Wide Web to find that perfect clock. Since cuckoo clocks are traditionally made in the Black Forest area of Germany, consider picking one up on your next European holiday or purchasing one from a store based in the country. There are countless places to find the perfect cuckoo clock, so start your search today.

When looking for a cuckoo clock, you should first assess your budget and expectations. Cuckoo clocks are sold in all budgets, from modest pieces with little decoration and moving parts to colossal works of art that can occupy an entire wall. Additionally, consider the space for your cuckoo clock. When finding a place in your home, ensure the clock's weights and chains will have plenty of room to move, since obstacles that block the movement would prevent the clock from properly working. Also, consider the look you want for your cuckoo clock. Although the traditional look of the clocks may be similar, different makers offer different styles of clocks, from the more modestly decorated to the king of kitsch.

By far, the best place to look for a cuckoo clock is in Germany. Although a European visit may be more than a hop, skip, and a jump away, if you are planning to visit the country in the near future, keep in mind a cuckoo clock is an excellent souvenir. Many manufacturers open their shops and workshops to the public, allowing you to chat with the men and women that created your personal timepiece. In addition to learning about the history of the clocks, the experience is one that is sure to be remembered.

If international travel is not on your itinerary, look to your local shops for cuckoo clocks. Most shops that sell clocks will have at least a couple styles of cuckoo clocks. Also, if you are interested in purchasing an older clock, check out the antique stores in your area or visit local flea markets to see what your search will reveal. In some instances, you may be able to pick up a clock for less money than in a store, but keep in mind the clock may need to be repaired or restored.

For a greater source of cuckoo clocks, turn to the World Wide Web. The internet is a veritable treasure trove for anything and everything under the sun. A quick internet search will produce countless dealers that sell every imaginable version of cuckoo clocks. However, keep in mind when using the internet as a shopping tool that scams can be more difficult to detect. In order to not become separated from your hard earned cash through a tricky internet scam, ensure you purchase a cuckoo clock from a quality, reputable dealer with a sterling reputation.

Looking for an antique cuckoo clock? Turn to internet auction sites like Ebay! Ebay is a fantastic tool for finding anything and everything under the sun and unites the world through a single forum that serves as a gigantic flea market. Again, the word on Ebay is "buyer beware," so only purchase clocks from sellers with positive feedback from previous buyers. Also, keep in mind that older clocks may need more work, which results in costs associated with hiring a clockmaker to fix your newfound treasure. Although they may need a bit of tender loving care, antique cuckoo clocks are truly unique creations.

 

Author Bio
Donna Somerkin specializes in Cuckoo Clocks www.cuckoo-clocks-u.com

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Unlocking Your Dungeon: How to Finish a Basement Without Finishing off Your Checkbook

Unlocking Your Dungeon: How to Finish a Basement Without Finishing off Your Checkbook

By: Donald Lee

One thousand square feet, fifteen hundred square feet, three thousand square feet-however big your home is, you know it could always be a little bit bigger. Whether you're in the throes of parenthood and trying to find spaces to stash your kid's toys, or you're starting a home business, you could probably use an extra room or two. One way to get more space is to buy a whole new house. For those of us in the real world, though, a far more economical and practical solution is to finish the basement.

Yes, that creepy, crawly dungeon can be turned into a playroom for your children, a home office for your bustling new business, or an entertainment room for the weekend's big game. You'll just need to cover over the cold concrete floors and the gray foundation walls. Then there's the pipes hanging from the ceiling that you'll want to hide, and the washer, dryer, and storage boxes that you might want to section off.

OK, maybe this project isn't sounding so practical or economical anymore. But actually, despite the time and effort that goes into it, finishing your basement is basically easy and cheap-if you know how to go about it the right way. There are eight key considerations you ought to make if you're down with finishing your basement. They'll help you figure out how to go about it, as well as help you decide if you really want to go about it in the first place.

No. 1: Just how much value will the basement add to your home. Chances are, a finished basement will make a "cellar" want to offer more to buy your home. But by how much? To be worthwhile, make sure the increase in your home's value will over-compensate what you spent to finish your basement. Talk to neighbors who have finished their basement, or do research online or with your real-estate agent to see what houses are worth in your area, with and without finished basements.

No. 2: Have a good sense how long you will be in your home after you finish the basement. Sure, a finished basement will bump up the value of your house, but you also want to be sure you will get some value yourself out of all that new space.

No. 3: Be realistic about costs and work time. Depending on your basement, finishing it could be more intensive than you first imagine. Can you really spent (or borrow) $10,000 at this time? Do you want contractors in your home for two weeks?

No. 4. I don't need a contractor to do work I can do myself! (Oh, really?). Even handymen or women can get themselves in over their heads when it comes to major projects like finishing a basement. And don't get us wrong. You may be capable of doing all of the necessary work. But are you able-meaning, do you have the time and energy after your 9-to-5 job, your children's sports practices, and a few hours of sleep?

No. 5: Local laws may have something to say, too. Hiring a contractor or doing it yourself-whatever way you decide, you may have to comply with local or state codes for such construction. Again, a neighbor who's recently done a similar home renovation could be a wealth of information, as well as municipal or state Web sites. Following such regulations may seem like a pain, but they may help you prevent real pain that comes from injuries if you carry out your project without safety codes in mind.

No. 6: Sure, it's a good idea to finish the basement-but exactly how? Here's the fun part. Once you determine that it will be worth it to go through with the project, now you need to figure out what sort of room you want down there. Will the theme be a spare bedroom, a playroom, work-out gym, office, home theater, etc.?

No. 7: Are you being realistic about the basement's new theme? OK, it would be great to have a fitness room down there, but do you really have the room for the treadmill and the weights? Do you have the square footage for two couches and a 60-inch high-definition TV? Will you have the ceiling height to fit your 7-foot-tall bookshelves?

No. 8. Your basement can handle your vision of finished glory-great, now make it happen. Start shopping around for all your necessary appliances and furniture. Do your research on price and selection and get your best value. In many cases-such as with office furniture or fitness equipment-buying used is the way to go. Used stuff can be none the worse for wear, and at online classifieds or auction sites, you can more often than not--get great deals on it.

Steps 1 through 8-just like that, it's simple to make your house that much closer to being that figurative castle, or that is, to turn your castle's dungeon into the king's (or queen's) court!

 

Author Bio

Donald Lee is the public relations manager for Buysellcommunity.com. Buysellcommunity provides free classified listing services. Buy, Sell and trade: auto, computers, household items, real estate, pets and much more. For global and localized classifieds, please visit http://www.buysellcommunity.com - Free Buy & Sell Classifieds

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How to install hardwood floors

How to install hardwood floors

Installing hardwood flooring is very much like putting a puzzle together. There are three main installation methods. These are nail-down installation, glue-down installation, and floating installation. It is assumed that you have a level subfloor that is wood for nail-down installation. Glue-down and floating installations can usually be done on both wood and concrete subfloors, but it must be level also.

Nail-down installation

1. Remove any baseboards or shoe moldings. Baseboard is used to hide the gap that you must leave for expansion and contraction of wood. So, you will want to make sure your subfloor is clear to the walls in order to have a place to come back and install the base and shoe molding later. The standard gap between the flooring and the walls is 3/16" to 3/4" depending on your manufacturer and style of flooring.

2. Screw down any loose or squeaky boards and undercut any door jambs to allow for the wood to be installed underneath. A helpful tip is to use the backside of one of your boards to determine the height needed to be cut off of your door jambs.

3. Start laying out the first row. Try to run the boards perpendicular to your floor joists if possible. You will need to either pop a chalk line or stretch a line parallel to your first wall. Make sure and account at this point for any out of square issues in your room. Once you start running boards they will appear as straight as the first board. You usually would measure from one side of the wall to the other and adjust any discrepancies with this first row. Make sure and predrill your first row or two for nails and face nail them into joists if possible.

4. Dry fit the next 3 feet or so. Make sure you are pulling your strips or planks from three separate boxes randomly so that the natural graining of the wood will vary slightly. This way your installed floor will have a more uniform look. Now you can layout all your boards for 3 feet or so and make your length cuts accordingly.

5. Nail down the next rows. Use a flooring nailer to nail through the tongue of the board. These are usually available for rent at most tool rental outlets. Using a rubber mallet to shoot the nail through the tongue. Make sure you adjust the nailer so that it countersinks the boards. Keep alternating nailing and dry-fitting boards to assure a proper fit.

6. Nail around any obstacles in the floor such as cabinets or pipes/fixtures that come out of the subfloor. Make sure you leave the appropriate gap around any of these obstacles.

7. Face nail the last few rows when you come to the edge of the room.

8. Next install your transitions and base moldings. Make sure you allow for a gap inside your transition. Also, make sure that you do not nail down the transition or moldings to the wood floor. You will need to nail the base moldings into the wall and the transitions into the floor in a place where it will not come into contact with the wood. Sometimes it is helpful to add some construction adhesive to the bottom of the transitions as these are usually high traffic areas. Over time this will prevent squeaking.

Glue-down installation

1. Remove any baseboards or shoe moldings. Baseboard is used to hide the gap that you must leave for expansion and contraction of wood. So, you will want to make sure your subfloor is clear to the walls in order to have a place to come back and install the base and shoe molding later. The standard gap between the flooring and the walls is 3/16" to 3/4" depending on your manufacturer and style of flooring.

2. If installing over a wood subfloor, screw down any loose or squeaky boards, Undercut any door jambs to allow for the wood to be installed underneath. A helpful tip is to use the backside of one of your boards to determine the height needed to be cut off of your door jambs.

3. Start laying out the first row. Try to run the boards perpendicular to your floor joists if possible. You will need to either pop a chalk line or stretch a line parallel to your first wall. Make sure and account at this point for any out of square issues in your room. Once you start running boards they will appear as straight as the first board. You usually would measure from one side of the wall to the other and adjust any discrepancies with this first row. Glue down this first row.

4. Dry fit the next 3 feet or so. Make sure you are pulling your strips or planks from three separate boxes randomly so that the natural graining of the wood will vary slightly. This way your installed floor will have a more uniform look. Now you can layout all your boards for 3 feet or so and make your length cuts accordingly.

5. Apply glue a foot or so out from the board and glue down the next few rows. Keep in mind the larger the room the less area away from your board you will be able to glue at a time. Make sure and keep some cleanup rags to try and keep the glue off the wood. Most manufacturers sell these as accessories. You can also use Acetone on a cotton or cheesecloth rag.

6. Glue around any obstacles in the floor such as cabinets or pipes/fixtures that come out of the subfloor. Make sure you leave the appropriate gap around any of these obstacles.

7. Glue down the last few rows when you come to the edge of the room.

8. Next install your transitions and base moldings. Make sure you allow for a gap inside your transition. Also, make sure that you do not glue down the transition or moldings to the wood floor. You will need to nail the base moldings into the wall and glue the transitions into the floor in a place where it will not come into contact with the wood using some construction adhesive to the bottom of the transitions.

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Author Bio
InstallGuru is the founder of InstallHowTo.com and a construction industry professional with 15 yrs of experience.

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Dog Training - Early Training Is Essential

Dog Training - Early Training Is Essential

By: Declan Tobin

Dogs are a fantastic edition to any family but like all youngsters they need training. If you do not train your puppy now it will take a serious amount of help from a training school to get him to be obedient later on. Puppies just like babies learn mostly in their early years and unfortunately will also pick up the bad habits also. Early attention will save you heartache later on and give you more quality time.

House Training:

Dogs have to go to the toilet, everybody has experienced a new puppy making a mess on the tiles or carpet, not a pleasant experience but one that allows you begin training. You should allow your dog out on regular intervals; he will learn that this is the time to go to the toilet. If he happens to go in the house let him know that this is wrong by using a familiar word such as "No" and put him in the yard for a few minutes. Do not hit your dog, by doing so you will only break his spirit and make him nervous of you and others. It can by very frustrating at times but words work better long term and hitting. Never ever put the dogs nose into his urine, so many people do this thinking it is a good way for the dog to learn his lesson but in actual fact all you are doing is burning the animals nose, this is equally as bad as hitting.

Furniture and your puppy:

Teething can be a bit of a nightmare but you can eliminate the damage caused by puppies to furniture in a number of different ways. Boredom is a common cause for dogs to get up to mischief. Make yourself available for about 20 minutes playtime per day (excluding walking). Playing ball in the yard is a great exercise for the dog and apart from exercise it bonds you and him together. Toys are ideal in the house and will occupy the dog, if there are no toys such as a chewy bone the dog will find other ways especially if you pop down for some shopping and leave him alone - the furniture will get it. Different types of sprays are available to spray on the furniture and can be very effective. Remember to change the toys around from time to time as the dog will become bored with the same toys month in month out.

Walking:

Starting your puppy on a lead can be comical. It will take some time for them to get used to being on the leash but once they do it will be no problem. A dog will try to pull you along as this is in their nature. Do not run with the dog as this is giving in and they will expect this all the time. Put the dog on a short leash (not to short) and it will discourage them from trying to dictate the pace. After a week or so both you and the dog will be at ease with one another on the walk. Remember to bring the doggy bag with you. Starting off expect the dog to be curious of other dogs and new surroundings. Do not drag him along on the lead as this is his time for enjoyment.

Feeding:

Your dog has a different intestinal setup to you. So many people feed their dogs the same type of food as they eat themselves along with the dog food. Obesity in animals is common place along with humans. Do not feed your dog chocolate or other sweet foods as this will only lead to bowl problems. Dog food is designed to give the dog all the nutrients he will need to live healthily. Dog treats are available; they do not need our junk food. Check with your local vet or seek advice online for the amount of food your dog should consume on a daily basis.

Dog Treats:

Dog treats should be used as an incentive for obedience. Training a dog can be hard work and patients are needed. Basic training such as the command to sit should be rewarded with a dog treat. The dog will begin to understand that this is a good behaviour move and will do it less reluctantly with time.

Remember dogs will obey you more lovingly if treated properly without hitting; simple words will work much better than smacking. Make time for your dog, leaving a dog out the back yard day and night is no life, do not get a dog into the house under pressure from children, it has to be a well thought out decision.

 

Author Bio
Declan Tobin is a successful freelance writer providing advice on purchasing a variety of Pet Supplies which includes Dog Training, Pet Food, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information for all of your Pet interests.

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How to Clean a Cuckoo Clock

How to Clean a Cuckoo Clock

By: John Marcus

When it comes time to clean your cuckoo clock, it is essential that you take the proper steps to ensure any potential damage to the timepiece. Clocks that are cleaned by improper methods can cause these items to shift, break, or become damaged so that the clock will fail to keep the proper time or stop working completely. If you are concerned about the status of your clock, consider taking it to a professional clockmaker or a jeweler who specializes in clocks for a cleaning or repairs so you can be certain your clock will last to cuckoo again.

When it comes time to clean you cuckoo clock, consider the clock itself is two actual pieces. The first piece of the clock is the case. Typically made of solid hardwoods, the case of your clock should be properly maintained to keep the beauty of the wood. Additionally, most cuckoo clocks are decorated with heavy carvings or wooden figurines, so you should take great care in cleaning the more decorative clocks due to the fragility of these items. Finally, clocks that have painted details or decorations should be carefully cleaned, since some cleansing agents can remove or damage the wood's finish or the paint itself. Turn to products that will gently remove and dirt, grime, and build up accumulated over the years of display or storage. For general cleaning, avoid using furniture polishes or waxes that can add to your problem. Instead, consider dry dusting or use products made with natural oils like lemon oil or orange oil to keep the wood properly nourished to prevent cracking.

The main workings of the clock are held within the case. These workings are often tiny and intricate, proving to be easily lost or damaged, so take the cleaning process with the utmost care. Before you begin the cleaning process, assemble the necessary cleaning tools. Often, the best tool you can use to cleaning clocks or any other items with small working parts is a simple Q-tip and soapy water. Take care not to soak the clock or any materials with water or any other liquid. Also, use a gentle touch to swab the piece instead of scrubbing the items. Although dirt or grime can stop a clock from running, the workings of a clock do not need to be scrubbed clean in order to work. Unless you have experience working with clocks, it is strongly suggested that you leave the heavy cleanings to the professionals.

A cuckoo clock is a great piece to add character and beauty to any home. Having a clock in clean and working condition is essential for any owner of a cuckoo clock, especially if you are looking to keep the clock as an heirloom piece for future generations.

 

Author Bio
John Marcus specializes in Clocks www.1-cuckoo-clocks.com

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Home Theaters Give You an Escape From Reality

Home Theaters Give You an Escape From Reality

By: Heather Peters

There's nothing quite so satisfying as being able to immerse yourself in total darkness before seeing a crystal clear studio logo pop onto the big screen while a blast of 5.1 digital surround sound overtakes your senses and rumbles beneath you. You are experiencing the rush of watching a movie in a theater. But not just any theater, it's your home theater.

That's right. No one kicking the seat behind you, throwing candy at your head or talking on the phone during the best scenes; if they do you can kick them out yourself!

In many ways the home theater experience far surpasses the big screens of movie theater chains. Not only the annoyances listed previously, but there's also the factors of cost and convenience.

With the price of a movie ticket running somewhere around $10, plus the cost of snacks, you could easily afford your own home theater just by skipping those evenings out for a year or two. Depending on how expensive your tastes are possibly even sooner than that. And there's no need to wait for the 7 o'clock showing or stand in line; you can start, stop and schedule your movie showings whenever it's convenient for you.

As true home theater enthusiasts we'd been designing our perfect escape since before we bought our house. We were just looking for the perfect house to fit our dreams. We found it a few years ago and proceeded to design our dream theater with gusto. We had most of our cinema equipment (just needing a few finishing touches like the 5.1 digital surround and more monster cables) so we dug into planning everything from seating arrangement and style, to carpet color and decor, to the large hinged wall with secret escape route (doesn't every kid want one?)

By doing most of it ourselves we saved thousands of dollars but it also took about a year to "finish." Well, it's finished enough for us to enjoy, we are always working on the little touches here and there. Many people hire professionals to design and build their theater's, which saves a lot of time (but not always money.)

After a long hard day at work, or an evening of frustrating parenting, the need to escape reality can become overwhelming. Being able to drop ourselves into complete darkness and seclusion and then immerse ourselves in a full senses banquet of sights and sounds from Hollywood we can quickly forget our own headaches and get wrapped up in the big screen. Those two hours are sanity savers without ever needing to leave the house (or get candy thrown at our heads).

 

Author Bio
Learn more about the world of home theaters at home-theaters.diyhomeremodeling.com You can have your own theater experience without the theater headaches.

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Mobile Home Repair - Ceiling Stains

Mobile Home Repair - Ceiling Stains

By: Paul Krause

Ugly, brown stains are a common feature of mobile home ceilings. They develop when roof leaks or condensation cause water to drip onto the ceiling tiles from above.

They persist because because removal is not as simple as painting over the stain. The stain "bleeds" through paint leaving it as ugly as before. In addition, many mobile home ceilings are made with a sprayed on acoustical texture which is VERY fragile. Painting it with a roller or brushing on a heavy latex paint is a good way to pull off some of the texture, leaving a bare, untextured area. Fortunately, stains are easy to cover if you have the right materials.

There is no point in doing the repair until you are sure the leak is fixed and your ceiling has dried completely! Then go to your local paint store or home improvement center paint dept. and look for an aerosol can labeled "Stain sealing ceiling paint" or something close to that. Two brands I know of are "Kilz" and "Zinsser". It will be made to spray straight up and only comes in one color. Hopefully, the color will be a good match for your ceiling tiles.

While you are shopping you may also want to buy some of the blue masking tape. It costs more than standard masking tape, but comes off when you are done, without leaving adhesive behind or pulling anything off when it peels away.

At home, mask the area you plan to spray and put an old sheet or something on the floor. Then follow the directions on the can to do the actual spraying. Two light coats with adequate drying time between them is better than one heavy coat.

In most cases the color of the new area will be close enough to the old that no additional topcoat is needed. The fact is, people seldom look up. With the really obvious stain gone there will be nothing to draw the eye to what is probably a very subtile difference in color.

The repair described here will cover water stains on ceiling tiles or wallboard anywhere, not just in mobile homes.

 

Author Bio
The Mobile Home Doctor has been providing mobile home repair information since 1999. There are more than 100 pages of advice to help mobile home owners repair their homes. Directions are written so readers with little repair and renovation experience can be confident they can do the work themselves.

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Make the Right Move

Make the Right Move

By: Donald Lee

America is always on the move-literally. Experts estimate that one out of five households move to a new residence each year. If you do the math, that amounts to a whopping 1.5 million moves every month. Those are some amazing stats, especially if you consider how trying and stressful such moves can be. It's a wonder that one household-let alone millions!-can pull it off.

If you're part of this statistic and on the verge of a big move, though, don't be daunted by the whole process of packing up your stuff, loading it, and dragging it to your new home. There is a way to move without losing any valuables, too much money, or your mind, whether you're moving across town, or across the continent. With some common sense, some help from professionals, friends, and loved ones, and the essential "Do's and Don'ts" list in this article, you can be successful and avoid all of the mishaps and stress that usually come with moving.

We'll start with the positive-the Do's on our list. Make sure to check off all of these before you even start stuffing boxes with your stuff. Do:

  • Line up help for packing and moving your stuff. It depends on your budget whether you hire professional movers or call in the volunteer brigade (your friends and family). Either way, round up somebody.

     

  • Have a chat with your post office, making sure they know to forward your mail to your new address. In many cases, you will need to fill out a mail-forwarding form.

     

  • Purchase brand-new moving boxes from your moving company or truck-renting company. They're worth the money. Bugs and vermin can stow away in old boxes. No need to give them a free ride to your new digs.

     

  • Sort through your stuff for old valuables you don't need anymore to sell. Be honest with yourself, and you may be able to pay for your move with the money you make-especially if you sell them at convenient and easy marketplaces like online classified sites.

     

  • Drop off old valuables that aren't worth selling at a Goodwill or other charity thrift shop.

     

  • Think comfort and safety on move day. Pack a first-aid kit with medicines and hygiene products, as well as a change of clothes and light snacks.

     

Now onto the Don'ts. Avoid these missteps, and your move will feel like an exciting adventure, not painful torture. So don't:

  • Take on the entire move without any help and worse, without any planning.

     

  • Forget to find out your local post office's rules for transferring mail. And while you're at it, don't let it slip your mind to change your address, as well.

     

  • Move without your kids and pets or leave them home alone during trips to and from your old and new residences. For pets and small children, your best bet is a sitter.

     

  • Grab a few used vegetable boxes from the supermarket or grocery store. They may be cheap, but bugs and dirt may be hiding inside them. You want to start in your new home with a clean slate, not an infested one.

     

  • Haul old kitchen junk, like worn-out plastic containers and chipped glasses, with you to your home. You can save yourself a lot of heartache, and muscle aches, if you use the move as a chance to get rid of this kind of stuff.

     

  • Pack expired canned foods, leftovers, and perishables. Anything that can spill, go rotten, and cause a mess in any way is not worth the effort. Again, think clean slate.

     

  • Throw a garage sale, sell what you can, and save the leftovers for the garage sale you tell yourself you'll have next spring. Truth is, this stuff will probably be clogging your storage space for years to come. If you want to sell it, try an easier and more profitable way, such as online classified ads.

     

  • Forget to unpack box after box after you move in and then when you can't find something (because it's buried in a box somewhere), go shopping for it. Unpack as quickly as possible. You won't feel at home in your new place until you do.

     

These Do's and Don'ts will help you have a "moving" experience when you settle into your new home. But instead of tears of frustration and anguish pouring out your eyes, they will be tears of joy.

 

Author Bio
Donald Lee is the public relations manager for Buysellcommunity.com. Buysellcommunity provides free classified listing services for individuals and businesses to market their products and services online. For global and localized classifieds, please visit http://www.buysellcommunity.com - Free Buy & Sell Classifieds

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Radiant Floor Heat: It Warms Your Soles But it Doesn't Empty Your Pockets

Radiant Floor Heat: It Warms Your Soles But it Doesn't Empty Your Pockets

By: Harvey Juric

There is no doubt that radiant floor heating is a superior method of heating your home. Its popularity is steadily increasing as people discover that not only is it the most comfortable form of heating, but also the most cost efficient.

Though comfort and cost are the two biggest benefits of this heating system there are many others:

  • Silent operation - no hum or whistle of a forced air system.

     

  • Inconspicuousness of the system - you don't see vents or air blowing.

     

  • A healthier home - forced air systems can spread dust, pollen, and germs.

     

  • Even, quiet warmth: even with wood, tile, or uncovered concrete floors.

     

  • Also, radiant heat is less likely to dry out your breathing passages and skin.

     

The warmth of the floor on a cold winter morning would probably be enough to convince a lot of people that radiant floor heating is the best thing since sliced bread. However, after discovering the cost savings, there is usually no going back.

Radiant floor heating concentrates the heat in the lower half of a room where the human body needs it most. Since heat is evenly distributed in the floor, the thermostat can be set 2 - 4° less than a forced air heating system. This can reduce energy cost by 10-30%. Homes and building with high ceiling will save even more in heating costs as heat generated by forced air systems quickly rises to the top of these structures, where it is of little use.

Whereas a forced air system delivers heat which quickly rises to the ceiling - a radiant floor heating system radiates heat from the floor and delivers the heat evenly throughout the rooms.

In a radiant floor heating system warm water circulates through tubing beneath the floor. This turns the flooring into an efficient, low temperature radiator.

Though Radiant Floor heating is not a complicated system, there are components which are required, and that the homeowner should be aware of - The Heating Source, The Boiler, The Pump and the Tubing.

The heating source can be electricity, solar, natural gas, propane, oil, wood, or any other heating source.

The boiler, with a certified efficiency rating houses the water to be heated. This same boiler can also be used to heat the pool, snow melting, heating a hot tub, or and domestic hot water needs.

A Pump is required to circulate the water though the tubing located under the floor.

The tubing for a radiant floor heating system is located either in the concrete, under wood subfloors, or on a subfloor of wood, precast concrete or concrete slab-on-grade, then covered with gypsum.

Once a homeowner makes the decision to install radiant floor heating system, contacting the right installer is imperative.

Some companies who design radiant floor heating systems may also install the system.

A qualified System Designer and a qualified System Installer will work together and know which components work well together, capacities of various systems, special considerations for installations in your area, and manufacturers' warranties and reliability.

The designer should do a room-by-room heat loss analysis of your home or building done as well as a step-by-step system sizing process.

 

Author Bio
Harvey Juric, ICF Consultant and CEO of ICFhome.ca is a custom home builder in southern Ontario. He has been in the home construction industry for the past 30 years performing a wide variety of tasks related to the building trades. As one of the pioneers of the Insulated Concrete Form industry, he formed ICFhome.ca to take advantage of, at that time, emerging new construction techniques that promised stronger and better and more energy efficient homes. For more information about the model home, Insulated Concrete Forms or Radiant Floor Heating contact ICFhome.ca by telephone 519 843-7612, e-mail info@icfhome.ca, or visit their web site at Ontario Home Builder

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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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