Saturday, 29 November 2008

Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel For Every Holiday

There are many advantages that you have when owning a fireplace with the beauty and warmth that it gives along with a wonderful decor focal point that it brings to the room it is located in. But you can also add to the rooms decor by taking advantage of the decorative fireplace mantel and mantel shelf from many brands such as Linden Street, Chris Madden, Studio, and Dale Tiffany that surrounds your fireplace.

There are many ways that you can add accessories to this area in order to make your fireplace stand out and get noticed. The most popular use of the decorative fireplace mantel and mantel shelf are around the holidays when everyone is hustling and bustling around to decorate their homes and bring the beauty of the season out in their decor.

There are many decorations that are on the market today that are specifically made for the mantel piece such as pine garland that is used for Christmas. It hangs from one end of the mantel shelf to the other end in any type of swag form that the owner wants.

The mantel shelf is usually 7" to 8" wide which gives plenty of room for the decorations. Other popular decorations for the Christmas holiday include organizing a Christmas town such as Thomas Kinkade's Christmas scenery, sitting atop a cotton skirt with Christmas lights enter-twined to light up the houses of the town.

Some people also put small Christmas trains that run from one end of the decorative fireplace mantel shelf to the other end in a very thin oval circle with a similar Christmas town scenery in the middle. There are so many possibilities for decorating the fireplace mantel for the holidays.

These decorations will put a twinkle in the eyes of your children who are not only engulfed in the wonderment of the flickering fire below in the fireplace, but will excite them even more with the idea of their visitor bringing them their special gifts.

The decorative fireplace mantel can give a warm feeling of memories even during normal times of the year by placing family pictures in very special frames on the shelf surrounded by flowing ivy to accent the framework of the mantel itself.

Mantels can start at $200.00 and can be as much as $1500.00 or even more but the style and decor that they give the house rather it be during the holidays or not, are well worth the price that you pay.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Foundation Repair

The foundation of a home serves as a means to transfer the weight of a structure to its underlying soil and rocks.Improper foundation settling is one of the factors that brings about the need for foundation repairs.

Improper foundation settlement can devalue structures and can also make them unsafe.Some of the major reasons of improper foundation settling are building on expansive clay,compressive or improperly contracted fill soils and improper maintenance in and around foundations.Another reason for improper foundation settlement is undetected or unsuspected air pockets in the ground below the area of construction.These may cave in and cause the integrity of the foundation to be compromised.

Warning signs of a structure needing foundation repairs are bulging or cracked walls and doors that don't close properly.Building on expansive soils is the main culprit for foundation settlement.When only one part of the foundation either settles or heaves,cracks are formed in the foundation.The exterior warning signs of improper floor settling are rotation of walls,displaced moldings,cracked bricks and foundation and separation around doors and windows from the walls.Interior warning signs of improper floor settling are cracks on the floor,sheet rock and misalignment in doors and windows.

There are many ways of doing foundation repair.Cement,stone,steel or wood were used extensively in past techniques.They would be forced into the ground in a bid to salvage the strength of these foundations.However,this type of repair work has been known to be futile. Two of the most successful ways of foundation repairs are slab jacking and the Piering method.Piering is also known as hydraulic jacking.

Slab jacking is the process of adding grout beneath a slab or beam.This produces a lifting force and restores the said beam or slab to almost its original elevation and adds to its strength.Care should be taken that the amount of sand should be perfect while adding grout.During Piering,steel posts are driven through unstable soil.Hydraulic jacks are used to stabilize concrete slabs that are weakened due to the changes taking place in the underlying soil. Steel beams are used in the Piering method because concrete has great compressive strength.

The strength of your foundation is dependent on the soil to hold it up.However,if you already have foundation problems,this means the soil has proven to be unreliable.You will need to have piers installed to help support the home from further damage. The type of pier you need to use will depend on the type of soil underneath your foundation. The contractor will need to determine what type of pier to use, as well as how deep it will need to go.There are two main types of piers being used today for foundation repair,friction and point bearing piers.Friction piers are dependent on the type of soil it is surrounded with to hold it in place, whereas point bearing piers is dependent on the load bearing strata beneath the foundation in order to hold it in place.

The most important thing you can do is to get different quotes and opinions from different contractors and engineers.They will be able to tell you what is best for your home and situation.

By: Jonathon Lester

Article Directory:

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Learning To Buy A Good Bathtub

Get The Right bathtub
There are different types of bathtubs available on the market that caters to different styles of interior decorations. One has to know certain factors to find the right kind of bathtubs for their bathroom. These factors are mentioned below in details.

When you are buying a bathtub you will be deluged by the large variety of bathtubs that are available on the market. There are Japanese soaking tubs, custom tubs as well as space savers which are really great for changing the look of the bathroom. The Japanese soaking tubs are known in Japanese as ofuro that has more depth in it in respect to the length. This helps to fit the bathtub in lesser space, thus providing more space around the bathroom. No doubt as the meaning goes, the bathtub is meant for soaking and relaxation.

The custom tubs are however a newer concept and is comparatively expensive. In this kind of bathtub, one can ask for their own specifications regarding your choice of spa features that you would like to have in your bathtub.

The Space saver tubs are smaller bathtubs that also take up less space for itself. One can select a corner model in this category so that the complete wall is not taken up by the bathtub. One can add more features to this kind of bathtubs like massaging whirlpool jets.

It is beyond doubt that a bathtub is the largest single item that is present in the in the bathroom. This makes it necessary for the bathtub to conform to the design of the bathtub. In the following, details of some popular bathtubs are given for you to check out.

The Cast Iron Bath Tubs are meant to bring luxury and elegance to your bathroom. This kind of bathtub is expensive and the antique ones among them are even higher in price. These bathtubs have a resale value that makes the older ones easier to sell for a good price in any second hand store or else selling through garage. One can also renovate their old cast iron bath tub instead of replacing them. One can do this at the home itself or transport the bathtub to a service station. However, taking the bathtub to the service station could pose a problem due to its weight.

One can also fit Modern Bath Tubs in their bathroom. These bathtubs are found as steel, plastic or acrylic. This kind of bathtubs is quite light and also very durable as well as tough. As these bathtubs are made up of plastic and acrylic materials, they are light that makes it easier to carry them around. The steel bathtubs however require two persons to carry them. These bathtubs are available in different colors and shapes.

The Circular Bath Tubs can also be fitted in your bathroom, provided they are larger in area. Having circular bathtubs make your bathroom take an elegant look. You have to conform to the interior designs.

By: Victor1 C.1

Article Directory:

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Hottest New Features in Luxury Homes and Home Improvement

Have you ever seen the inside of a multi-millionaire's home? They usually have the most spacious and beautiful d├ęcors as well as the most up-to-date luxury features. Do you remember when Microsoft creator Bill Gates had a special computer system installed in his large home? According to a few reports, the walls would turn different colors depending on who entered and that individual's favorite type of music would even start playing. Today people are making their homes ever more spectacular. They may not have the whole home programmed inside and out, but it is much more common to see a computer that runs the security system, controls the thermostat, and turns on and off the lights. Here are some more great luxury features for new homes as well as home improvement projects:

1) A steam shower. The two rooms in the house that have seen the biggest changes over the last decade are the kitchen and the bathroom. Many people are turning their bathrooms in home spas. These luxury showers are enclosed and include steam options, water massage jets, rain showers, and even aromatherapy controls! You can get luxury shower columns with jetted panels that give you the ultimate shower. It is the ultimate spa experience brought home for your convenience!

2) Screening rooms. It used to be that only rich Hollywood producers had private theaters in their homes but now more and more people are making an evening out of watching a film. Recliner movie-theater style seats set up in front of a large screen makes watching a movie great fun for your family and friends.

3) Outdoor kitchens and dining areas. More and more people are installing stainless steel kitchen islands with stove top burners and refrigerators on the outside patios so that they can prepare professional meals while still spending time with their guests. These elaborate stone seating areas look beautiful especially if they overlook a landscaped garden or a pool.

4) Custom wine cellars. If someone is a wine connoisseur, then it is a dream come true to have a state-of-the-art wine cellar in his or her home. These rooms can look modern and chic, which is a huge step up from the dingy basements many people used to have. The homeowners can even display their best wines and use this cellar as a showroom!

These features are just a few of the many luxury home additions that have been made over the years. Steam showers and personal wine cellars are just some ideas for your next home!

If you would like more information on steam showers or shower massage columns for your home, please visit the Unlimited Showers website.

Article Source:

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Blah And Bad Sofa? Throw In A Sofa Throw, Change The Look Instantly!

You can think about this when you hesitate on buying those furnishings for your home: "A home without a blanket is a home without warmth. A sofa without cushions is a sofa without charm."

And if you might add, a blah and bad sofa (read: boring, old, worn, eyesore, offending monster) is in need of immediate rescuing! But of course, home decorating rescues can mean home mortgaging nightmares if you get carried away. Just imagine the waste of money you will be making if you decide to throw out the offending sofa and the money you will be spending if you opt for an upholstery job.

Instead, why not just throw on a sofa throw every day of the week and instantly change the atmosphere of the room? After all, it is one that you can interchange and swap, mix and match as easily as you do with clothes. (Think of it as the clothes the sofa wears to convey its mood, or rather, your mood)

Blah Sofa to Fab Sofa

Even the best of interior decorators and professional furniture hunters make the mistake of choosing the plainest sofa ever to grace the house of boredom itself. However, you can change the plainness to fabulousness in just one throw! Make that one nice sofa throw.

When you chose a sofa that is too plain, too neutral, too bold, too anything unfavorable to the room's intended character, do not go whining to the upholsterers.

If your sofa is plain-looking, add in a boldly-patterned throw to offset the plain Jane look. Depending on the new look you want to achieve, you can either complement the color of the sofa for a harmonious feel or you can contrast the colors of the sofa and the throw for more pizzazz.

If your sofa is too neutral, add in throws in bold and bright solids. You get a perkier sofa that looks more inviting than the drab one you mistakenly took home to dull reviews. Add in complementing cushions and voila! Neutral to beautiful!

Indeed, with the right sofa throw and some throw pillows, you have transformed a blah sofa to a fab sofa. Now, if only your hubby and kids will stop those throw pillow fights.

Worn Sofa to Wow Sofa

If you have a sofa that has seen better days yet you are reluctant to throw it away for whatever reason, baby blanket comfort and good memories among them, and you cannot afford to re-upholster it, then a sofa throw is the best option you have. After all, the cost of the throw itself is unlike throwing a whole lot of money the upholsterer's way!

You can even opt to purchase both cheap and luxurious sofa throws, the former for everyday use and the latter for special occasions. Or you can buy all kinds of sofa throws to suit your mood and the season and set the ambiance at the simple change of a sofa throw!

You can hold on to your sofa for as long as you want in this way. Unfortunately, you will also be tucking, nipping, fixing and straightening the dang sofa throws for as long as you choose to use them but hey! What is a little housekeeping when you can hold on to the sofa for what it is worth?

Indeed, with a strategically positioned and appropriately styled sofa throw, you can transform your blah and bad sofa into a classy and fab sofa!

By: Ainsley Howard

Article Directory:

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Tricky Home Improvement Projects

As homeowners, we have all gotten in over our heads and found ourselves overwhelmed by those tricky home repairs and improvement projects. Deciding we are fully capable of accomplishing a project, we often find ourselves wishing we had hired more capable hands. Contractors are skilled and experienced in their respective fields and are always on hand to provide excellent service to those in need.

Home improvement is often riddled with unforeseen problems that an inexperienced homeowner cannot anticipate. Contractors, with their abundance of experience, can often anticipate problems before they occur and find solutions to any problem that may arise. This is the difference that many homeowners do not consider before making the decision of whether or not to hire a professional.

With a great deal of problems that may arise, more complex projects such as home exterior painting should always be left to professional contractors. Sometimes, a homeowner will be skilled and experienced in a certain field, such as home painting, and in these cases, doing the work oneself may prove to be a better option. However, these skilled homeowners are few and far between, so for the majority of you homeowners, hiring a professional to do the home improvement work on your house will pay dividends in the end. Not only will the project look much better upon completion, but having a professional do the work will allow you to relax and trust that your project is in excellent hands. With so much experience and training in the field, contractors are valuable assets to any project.

More information on College Works Painting home improvement for your home is just a click away.

Article Source: