Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Useful Home Improvement Suggestions

Before remodeling or renovating a home, take time to go through all the useful home improvement tips suggested by various online sites. Look for money savers and do not be in a hurry to rush through the jobs. Browse through books, catalogues at stores, and consult with technical people before employing anyone. Make sure you have an estimate of your plan and requirements and then hire a professional architect or designer who can assist you with your ideas.

Source out suppliers and supplies from manufacturing outlets

A useful home improvement suggestion offered is to buy furniture from manufacturing outlets directly rather than from departmental stores as this works out far cheaper generally. If you are planning to do the job yourself, you can order the components from a hardware shop or through a catalog. Rent out sanders instead of buying them to refinish your wooden floors. Save on kitchen cabinets if you want a face look by fixing new cabinet doors on old cabinet frames. You achieve a new look and can change the design effectively.

Take on do-it-yourself projects and save money

Mix and match old with the new by making your own bedspreads and swags or simple window curtains. Materials purchased at linen stores or thrift stores have all year round bargain counters. Stick to simple window treatments. Use bright colors and pretty designs to make the rooms come alive. Use dividers to carve out a new room if you want a change. Use mirrors strategically to create a feeling of space. Successfully use glass blocks to separate one area from another without detracting the light factor. Use fluorescent lighting strips to illuminate the area that needs highlighting.

Select the right paints.

Ceilings reflect surface defects easily, so make sure to use flat finishes on ceilings. Use primers and sealers as per instructions found on the containers. Avoid bargain basement sales, which generally sell over thinned paints. Buy paints from a reputed store. Use latex for walls and ceilings in bedrooms, living rooms and formal dining rooms. Latex gives you the flexibility of understanding the effect of a color or faux finish in a room. This is a useful home improvement suggestion as durable paint is more expensive and consumption is less when used over latex paint for the final touch. Use Oil-based paints and alkyds in bathrooms and kitchens where there is more wear and tear with frequent handling. Use glossier finishes where there is heavy traffic like kitchens, bathrooms, handrails stairway etc.

Thomas B. Chuong is currently writing about topics related to home improvement & decor, personal fitness, and home & garden. Find out more by visiting these sites Platform Bed, and Entertainment Center.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Thomas_B._Chuong

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Bird Proof Your Home For Spring

Spring is a busy time for birds. Warmer temperatures increase food sources, and birds are on the look out for new nesting spots, and mates. Whether they are returning from a winter migration or resident birds weary from a long winter hall, they have a lot of work to be done before autumn.

Birds are in survival mode in the spring. In order to get through the next winter, they will be searching for spots that provide the elements needed to survive. Most homes and gardens provide the three elements necessary for a birds' survival;

· Food
· Water
· Shelter

Whether you anticipate birds returning to your home, or are dealing with a pest bird problem now, addressing these three elements will make it easy to bird proof a home for the spring. Taking away food or water sources, and blocking off ideal nesting spots like dryer vents and eaves will help send pest birds packing.

Doing a quick check around the home in the beginning stages of spring can mean the difference between successfully deterring pest birds or not. Have you had a recurring problem with nesting birds? If yes, treating these spots with deterrents before the birds return will yield better results than waiting until they have come back. Once they begin to build a nest, birds will be more persistent about keeping the spot.

Common places pest birds like to nest:

· Dryer Vents
· Eaves
· Open Attics
· Garages, Barns or Boathouses
· Under roof tiles
· Under A.C. units

Checking these areas for nesting materials will clue you in as to whether this may be a problem spot. Birds like to nest high, so check beams, ledges, and rafters. If there are nesting materials, a cleanup is essential. Bird droppings and nests can host disease and parasites. A good cleaning will not only protect you and your family from any disease, but also eliminate scents that help a bird identify their old nest.

There are many different bird deterrents available in today's market that can be use for a wide variety of problems. Bird Deterrents usually fit into Four categories;

Visual Bird Deterrents

Visual deterrents are meant to been seen by birds, to frighten or scare them away from open areas. Visual deterrents will have shiny reflective surfaces, or mock predator features. Visual bird deterrents include Mylar flash tape, Scare Eye Diverters, and Balloons. There are also decoys like owls available. These items work best when hung right in front of a problem area. When the bird fly's towards the spot, they will see the visual deterrents and get confused or frightened, and want to avoid the area.

Sound Deterrents for Birds

Sound deterrents use recorded bird calls to deter pest birds from large open spaces. A mixture of predator calls, and distress calls can be used to alert birds in the surrounding area of danger. Most sound deterrents are weatherproof and designed for outdoor use. These are ideal to use when you have a large open space to treat. Sound deterrents include the Bird Chase Super Sonic.

Physical Bird Deterrents

Physical deterrents are used to block or prevent birds from gaining access to the area they desire. Physical deterrents include bird netting, and ledge products like the Bird Spike 2000, Bird Slope, and Bird Jolt Flat Track. Bird netting is installed as a screen to block birds from entering areas. Bird Spike, Bird Slope, Bird Gel and Jolt are all used on ledges to prevent birds from landing.

Liquid Bird Repellents

There are also a few liquid repellents used for discouraging birds. Pest control companies can work with fogging machines, or Misting units to deter birds from large open spaces.

Used in these two types of devices are a non toxic grape extract that irritate a birds mucous membranes. If you had a large tree in your backyard where hundreds of birds were congregating, you could call out a pest control company to fog or mist the tree to repel the birds.

There are also live bird traps, and a few other types of bird deterrents available. Knowing what type of bird you are having a problem with, and considering the area that is being affected will help in choosing the best product for the situation. Contacting a bird control company like Absolute Bird Control or Bird-B-Gone can also help ensure that you have chosen the right product. You also have the choice of calling a local pest control company, most pest control companies can help with a pest bird problem.

If this is the first year you are having problems with nesting birds, or had caught the problem too late, there is still hope. As long as you address the bird problem as soon as you notice it, and continue a campaign of harassment, you should have good luck in ridding your home of pest birds.

Need help to get rid of pest birds? Contact Bird-B-Gone, Inc. the experts in bird control solutions since 1992. Call today 1-800-392-6915 or visit us at http://www.birdbgone.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Fran_Prisco

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Home Improvement Federal Grant - Tips to Qualify For Federal Home Improvement Grants

The Obama 2009 Stimulus Package has several grants some of which are quite unexpected. One of these is home improvement Federal grant. The Federal home improvement grants are available for no down payments and are not biased with your income or the credit scores.

Tips to Qualify for Federal Home Improvement Grants

Here are some tips to qualify for home improvement grants as prescribed by the Federal Government:

· Your work begins with locating your local government office in the area. They shall guide you on the eligibility criteria for the same. These can also be found out in detail on the Federal Government websites.

· Most likely, they would require you to prove that you do not have money to get the home improved. Also they would ask as to what sort of improvements are you looking forward to.

· At times they require you to quote based on some specific company as to what would be the expenses that must be incurred for the required task.

· They do all these inquiries for the key reason that these grants must not be misuses by any of the individuals.

· You may also qualify for a loan for this requirement. All you have to do is search for it on the Internet just like a car or a home loan. There are some companies who do provide special packages for such purposes. The best part is that they come for a lower rate of interest.

· Usually the home owners use this loan to add another room to the houses, change their electric equipments or may be repair the roof and / or windows of the house.

· You must understand that without proper documentation, the Government work can not go ahead. So before approaching the office, make sure that you have all proper documents and proofs on hand. For instance the proofs of monthly income and the monthly expenses. These would make your case very strong and help you proceed faster.

To know more about Home Improvement Federal Grant and to check if you qualify for that

Click Here --> Federal Home Improvement Grants

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_Banks

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Optimal Ways of Arranging Furniture

Ever noticed how some rooms seem cozy and comfortable, whereas others have an indifferent and frosty look? Many attributes such as color and lighting contribute to a room's ambience; the way the furniture is arranged also influences the atmosphere. Whether you are refurnishing or setting up a new room, or enhancing the level of comfort in an existing one, it helps to understand, first and foremost, how to arrange furniture in a way that suits your needs and helps in creating enjoyable and comfortable spaces.

Furniture arrangement needs to start with understanding and analyzing the space of your room, how many people use the room, what is the room used for and so on. Balanced rooms are more pleasing to the eye and make more effective use of the available space.

Many people simply set up their furniture haphazardly throughout their house. This can be quite understandable; after all, furniture can be heavy and awkward to move, and many homes simply aren’t friendly to furniture arrangement. However, by taking the time to arrange your furniture creatively, you can gather many advantages. Proper furniture arrangements can help to increase your comfort, define spaces, make smaller spaces look larger and vice versa. Most often people are so overwhelmed with the potential and insecurities of furniture arrangement, they are often left wondering where to start? One way out is to hire an interior decorator who will typically set their prices based on the number of hours, square footage of the home, etc. This may work out very expensive though. By using the services of an interior designer, you receive the benefit of their expertise to help you refine your selections and avoid costly mistakes. However, hiring the right decorator with great money saving tips can definitely help.

If you know exactly what look is required for your rooms, you can decorate your home yourself. Ask yourself these questions about the room you want to redesign: what is the basic shape of the room, and what are its dimensions? What is its inherent nature? What are its problems? What are its plus points? Make a floor plan to help you visualize where to place furniture, how many pieces will fit into the room? Start with one room at a time. If you need brainwaves, check out model homes, furniture stores, decorating TV shows, furniture magazines and books, catalogs, and so on. Although it is difficult to point and say this is where this piece is to be put, some guidelines can be provided which will help you think about how you will use your space.

Choose furniture that serves the room’s purpose. Ideally, a small room should have small pieces of furniture and large rooms should have heavier ones.

Clean out the room before moving in the furniture

Carpets and rugs help bring color and interest into the room.

Visual interest can be enhanced by using “out of the ordinary” objects that could serve as décor.

By arranging your furniture in new and exciting ways, you can help to redefine your rooms and make your house a real home. As mentioned earlier arranging furniture is a huge task and there are no hard and fast rules but with the right décor tips, furniture can be suited to fit your family better.

About the Author
Lillian Esquival writes about interior design and other home improvement tips for HowToDoThings.com.

Published At: www.Isnare.com
Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=359324&ca=Home+Management

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Looking for a French antique desk chest of drawers?

With a large range of antique dining furniture, you can choose a fine antique dining table or a rustic dining table. We stock everything from fruitwood farmhouse kitchen tables to elegant mahogany dining tables. We also stock a wide selection of antique buffet (sideboard/dresser) to compliment the antique dining tables collection.

For antique bedroom furniture, your French bedroom could be finished with gilded antique mirrors, French antiques chairs, a beautiful painted French antiques mirror, a Louis XV antique chest of drawers and of course one of our fabulous French antique beds !

Our antique office furniture range has beautiful antique desks and occasionally we find antique writing desk chairs to match. Not forgetting our French antiques furniture sofa and chaise collection. We guarantee our pieces will be of a superior quality and better price than anything else you will find in Australia.

Trading since 1989, we have sold antiques through interior design partnerships, retail showrooms, trade & private fairs, auction houses, and most recently, the internet - which we now focus on exclusively. Every piece is hand selected in France by ourselves, before being shipped directly to Australia for certification by customs.

We really hope you enjoy our current collection and should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via phone or email. Urban Maison works closely with Allied Pickfords, Wridgways and various other international and local firms, who offer very reliable and cost effective solutions for delivery.

Whether you require a dining table delivered to Perth or Sydney or even container shipping to America, Asia or Europe, Urban Maison can arrange a quote on your behalf.

To give you an idea of price, the average cost of shipping most pieces of furniture with Allied Pickfords to all Australian Metro destinations is $350 (with the exception of Perth, which is $450).

However, single chairs, some beds and other smaller items can be delivered by courier. For example, the average cost of shipping a single chair to all Australian Metro destinations is $120 (with the exception of Perth, which is $180).

When you have decided which piece(s) are of interest, please provide us with the product number(s) plus your postcode, so we may provide you with an exact quotation.

About The Author:
Looking for a French antique desks, chairs, mirror, vintage bed, rustic dining table, bedroom furniture, antique chairs, buffet or chest of drawers? Call Urban Maison for all French furniture antiques.


Friday, 13 March 2009

Modern Siding Options - High-Tech Solutions For Home Exteriors

Selecting siding for your home can be a confusing process, with the numerous materials available from hundreds of manufacturers. Most homeowners know right away that they don't want flimsy aluminum or high-maintenance wood for their homes. But with all of the other high-end, high-tech siding options on the market today, it's hard to know which is best for your home.

Since each type of siding has definite benefits and disadvantages, it's important to do a little research before selecting a product for your home. Even if you're planning on using a professional installer, you'll want to do some preliminary reading, just so you have a base of knowledge to build on. Once you've learned about the differences between types of siding, you can select the perfect one for your house: By picking the siding that's most compatible with your needs, you'll end up with a beautifully sided home and eliminate potential hassles down the road.

Cement Fiber Siding

Many consumers shy away from cement fiber siding simply because it is a relatively new product that they don't know much about. However, cement fiber siding is growing in popularity because of its extreme durability and extended life span. As homeowners learn about its unique construction and benefits, more choose to have cement fiber installed on their homes. Cement fiber is actually made from compressed layers of concrete so it is tremendously strong and essentially no-maintenance. And, in addition to its resilience, cement fiber typically looks very similar to wood siding. You get the attractive appearance of wood, but cement fiber will never rot or develop insect problems. Like vinyl siding, cement fiber comes in a vast assortment of colors and finishes. When compared with vinyl, cement fiber siding is more expensive, but it is definitely more affordable than brick. And, keeping the low-maintenance and long life span of cement fiber in mind, many homeowners consider it great value!

Vinyl Siding

Originally developed in the late 1950s and popularized during the 1970s, vinyl siding has been on the market for decades. However, that doesn't mean that it's become a stale, stagnant product. Today's vinyl still has the same low-maintenance appeal, won't dent or rot, and will never need to be painted. In fact, it's so popular that a stunning 62% of homes in North America have vinyl siding. But it has come a long way since the '50s. Improvements in coloration and composition mean that vinyl doesn't have the brittleness or fading issues of the past. It is available in a vast rainbow of colors with coordinating trims and soffits for a beautiful, finished look.

Some of the most popular vinyl siding products available today are molded to look like wood: with grain lines incorporated into the vinyl, these products mimic the traditional look of wood siding. Available in both board and shake styles, this wood-look vinyl gives you the easy maintenance of vinyl and the elegant look of wood! With hot options like this, it's no wonder that American homeowners are still choosing to have vinyl siding installed on their houses.

Insulated Vinyl Siding

A step above other vinyl sidings, insulated vinyl is one of the latest trends in home exteriors. Combining the low-maintenance and attractive looks of traditional vinyl with built-in insulation, insulated vinyl siding is a solid construction panel perfect for putting the finishing touch on your home. Installing insulated vinyl siding gets you all the benefits of vinyl, plus a whole lot more! The most obvious benefit is that the added insulation decreases draftiness and reduces energy costs by increasing your home's R-factor up to 20%. Insulated vinyl also makes your home quieter by limiting the penetration of exterior noise. Finally, it is more rigid than traditional vinyl siding, increasing the impact resistance of your home and reinforcing the building!

Armed with this information, you can make a more knowledgeable decision about what type of house siding you want for your home. To find out even more about the products available in your area, visit your local home siding showroom.

Matt Gallo is a home improvement hobbyist and the Internet marketing manager for Prospect Genius, a leading provider of online local advertising solutions.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Matt_Gallo

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Free Grants For Home Improvement Repair Costs

If you would like to fix or repair your house, home improvement grants provide free money to Americans who can use some financial assistance when it comes to covering the cost of home repair. These grants are typically provided by the government. More specifically, your local government has the greatest interest in helping you finance your home improvement projects, as they are the ones to benefit the most.

The home owner, also benefits greatly from these programs. Home improvement grants provide free money that never has to be paid back. As long as these funds are used for the purpose agreed upon in your grant application, the cash is yours to keep.

Once you access the grant database to find the government grant programs that you are eligible to receive, you'll realize that there are a number of grants to choose from. Some provide money for home repair, others provide free grant money to expand your home, while others offer the cash you need to upgrade your appliances to energy efficient equipment. It all depends on what government programs are specially available in your community and how much funding is left for you to claim.

When you apply for home improvement grants, you do not have to worry about your credit score, collateral or down payment money. Because these are not loans, the government is not interested in this information. What you will need, however, is the details on your project, an estimate as to how much it will increase the value of your property, and a good idea of how much money your project will cost.

Instantly access to the database to get your real estate grants. See how much you can qualify to receive and obtain your check in as little as 7 days just by asking for free grant money.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Austin_Warty

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Why Buy an Electric Fire Suite?

Electric fire suites have been growing in popularity over recent years. In this article we take a look at that increase in popularity and why it is that you might consider buying one of these products. If you're not familiar with what an electric fire suite looks like then let's start by describing these products and the way in which they work. They basically consist of two aspects. The first is a fireplace surround, which can be made from a range of materials.

The second element is an electric fire. This appliance is integrated within the fireplace surround to ensure that you have one single unit. Electric fire technology has improved considerably in recent years and modern fires do a really good job of creating a flame effect similar to that produced by a gas, coal or wood burning fire. As you'll hopefully have gathered from this description, what these products do is to create something that has the look and feel of a more traditional fireplace. They also give out the heat that you need in order to heat a room.

So why are people choosing to buy them? Why not, for instance, simply opt to make use of a coal fire?

There are a number of advantages to fire suites. The first is that they require a lot less hassle to use. There's none of the mess that you get with a coal or wood burning fire. They're also extremely easy to install - most require nothing more than simply being plugged in.

Another major selling point is that they're ideal for those who don't have a chimney or open fireplace. Since they are placed against an interior wall, they don't require an open fireplace. In this respect, they differ from inset electric fires. This is particularly good news for those living in newer properties. In effect, you are purchasing something that creates the look of a fireplace but for a fraction of the cost.

They also offer a good deal more flexibility. If you're intending to move home in the near future then that's no problem - you can simply take your electric fireplace suite with you. Considering all of these advantages, it really comes as no surprise that these stylish, contemporary products have become so popular.

More on fireplaces and electric fire suites is available online, as discussed by Keith Barrett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Keith_Barrett

Thursday, 5 March 2009

A Match Made in Home Repair Heaven: Choosing the Right Contractor

Finding a contractor who is well qualified, reasonably priced, and has a good reputation may seem like a challenging task for homeowners.

"Holmes on Homes" is a home improvement television show that follows general contractor Mike Holmes, who fixes up houses that have been negatively impacted by shady or incompetent contractors. The program details not only the physical consequences of shoddy workmanship, but also shows the emotional and financial toll that hiring the wrong contractor can take.

Fortunately for the homeowners featured on the show, Mike and his crew repair all items that were bungled by the previous contractor, for significantly less than other contractors would charge.

This white knight of home repair can't come in and rescue every homeowner who's been swindled, so it's up to homeowners to do thorough research before signing a contract with anyone about to work on their biggest asset.

If thinking about having work done on your house, it's important to line up at least three contractors to interview and receive estimates from. The first thing to watch for is how they present themselves when they first meet you. Do they have business cards, a cell phone, and stationary to take notes on? Do they look reasonably put together, and seem to care about making a good first impression? If they're late for their appointment with you, or they seem unprepared, take that as a bad sign. If they're careless during the interview process, it's almost guaranteed that they'll be lax on the job.

When the contractor comes to your home, ask them to provide a written estimate for the work you'd like done. Most companies will do this for free, so be cautious of places that charge. You want the estimate to be detailed—not just a number pulled off the top of their head.

There is certain information other than the estimate that you're going to need from your potential contractors as well. These include the company's physical address and contact information. These pieces are necessary to run a credit check on the company, and to make inquiries about the contractor at the Better Business Bureau.

You want to gather financial information because the last thing you want is to hire a company that's on the verge of bankruptcy. If you hire someone, and their business goes under, you could end up with a half-completed job. Even worse, you could lose money in the deal if the contractor disappears.

The Better Business Bureau will be able to tell you if there have been any complaints made about the company, and if any lawsuits have been filed against them. In addition, you need to contact your state licensing board to make sure that the contractor is licensed for the work they're about to do on your home.

You should also obtain proof of insurance from your contractor by calling the insurance company directly. In terms of insurance, both the contractor and any sub-contractors they hire will need liability insurance and Workers' Compensation coverage in case an accident occurs on the job.

Finally, it's imperative to not only see photographs of work the contractor has completed on past jobs, but you should also visit homes that the contractor has worked on. If he or she will not provide you with names and addresses of former clients, then consider that a red flag and hire someone else.

In addition to seeing the actual work done, talk with the homeowners to see if they were satisfied with the job the contractor did. Was it done on time, and according to the terms of the estimate? Speaking with former clients will give you valuable insight into the reality of working with the company, and protect yourself from hiring the wrong one.

About The Author:
Philadelphia Real Estate Guide: Find Society Hill condos and homes in Center City Philadelphia. Easy-to-use search and neighborhood info from Todd Levinson, Philly Buyer's Agent.


Sunday, 1 March 2009

New Front Doors Can Improve the Look of Your Home

You don't need to furnish your home interior with expensive furniture. To enhance the look of your home, you just need to change your front door.

If you want to make your home look appealing to friends and family, impress them at the doorstep. Nothing beats a good looking door, especially when they enter your home. Impress them at the very beginning and they will be impressed with everything else inside. This is the power of 'first impressions'.

If you are able to spend a lot of money furnishing the interior of your home, why not spend some money on the purchase of a better front door - and, a door is what secures your home from intruders. The door is the most overlooked feature when it comes to home designing. There is really no reason why you cannot spend money on a better quality door. With a good entrance, it offers a warm welcome to your visitors as well. Besides, a door also represents your personality - so you can show off your home with personality: yours!

The truth is, you can get a great looking door that secures your home at an affordable price. There are many choices when it comes to picking the right door for your home. Whether you need a classic door, such as a Victorian style, or a modern door, there is a 'right' door for every home. An important tip when it comes to choosing the right door is to find a door that matches your home's design. Apart from that, you should also look for a door that fits your home securely, for security reasons.

Wooden doors would be the most common door, since almost all new homes are being furnished with wooden doors these days. You might want to consider an aluminium door, or a steel door for better protection of your home. Composite doors are the latest addition to the types of doors available. A combination of wood with glass, or steel with glass, would make a door that is unique and one-of-a-kind. No matter which door you need, remember it is best to get a handyman who is an expert in hanging doors to help you sort out the type of door you need before you get one. A good tradesman can also help you hang the door professionally.

Once you have a new front door, you might want to consider changing the door knobs in your home, perhaps so that all the door knobs match from the inside out. This is another way to change the appearance of your home without having to spend too much money changing all the doors. Even a front door knob can be different, and make the entire house look unique and appealing.

Look out for other ways to enhance your home without having to spend much time and money to refurnish your home. You can even do it yourself! Just get the equipment you need at any hardware store, and you can start changing your own door - or furnish your door according to your desires.

About the Author

Lawrence White is a freelance writer who specialises in providing information about home improvement techniques and DIY. Find out more about improving your home with a new composite door by visiting the website.

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