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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Bedroom With Fine Linens

Instead they cross their fingers and hope the colors will work or that the bed sheet’s thread count really is what the label says it is. And your fingertips can tell the difference between fine linens, (it’s called ‘the hand of a fabric’) and cheaper knockoffs that are blends of combed cotton and synthetics.

The market for bedding, linen and bath accessories by specialty household furnishing stores has grown significantly with the recent housing boom. These customers have disposable income, a passion for luxury in their homes, and the need for design direction to recreate the interior styles they see in design magazines. The real art of interior design is helping these customers figure out what they really want, what will work, and what is affordable.

Limited design projects may be your ticket. You can easily accomplish a bedroom makeover – for instance sheets, duvet cover, shams, and punch it up with tossed pillows to match your rugs. You can even do a custom headboard or a window treatment with drapes that fits your style and budget.

Right Ladder for Home

Aluminum Ladders

Ladders made with Aluminum offer a lightweight and strong alternative to other ladder types. The benefits to this are obvious, allowing for transportation and use of the ladder with ease. The aluminum ladder is also resistant to most normal wear and tear gained by ladders made of other materials. Aluminum also does not need coating and will not crack like it’s wooden counterpart.

Disadvantages: Aluminum ladders can’t be used in situations involving intense heat or electricity due to its conductive nature.

Wood Ladders

The wood ladder is the traditional ladder type. Most wood ladders are made of a combination of hardwoods and softwoods, which result in a very strong ladder. Wood ladders also do not conduct electricity, so they can be used in places where aluminum ladders cannot.

Disadvantages: Wood ladders tend to get very heavy compared to their aluminum counterpart. In addition, they need a varnish to help preserve the life of the wood. Wood ladders are also susceptible to aging such as cracks and rot.

Fiberglass Ladders

Fiberglass ladders are the newest form of ladder. Fiberglass is a man-made material that, like wood, doesn’t conduct electricity when dry. Fiberglass is also a very dense material, and can be exposed to high temperatures for short periods of time without weakening and will generally regain its previous strength once removed from the heat. Fiberglass also doesn’t crack or rot such as wood when left outside in certain weather.


While fiberglass seems to combine the advantages of both aluminum and wood ladders, it also has unique disadvantages. The density of fiberglass makes these ladders very heavy, heavier than wood and aluminum. In addition fiberglass can crack when under great pressure or impact.

Information of Types Carpeting

The first material I will discuss is Olefin or Polypropylene. Olefin is generally a lower end carpeting but it does have several good qualities. For example, it absorbs very little moisture, less than 1%. This can make it hard to stain. Olefin is also usually solution died which means that the color runs all the way through the fiber and it can not be bleached. It unfortunately has many drawbacks as well. One of which is the fact that Olefin is a soft fiber. This may sound good, since everyone wants a nice soft carpet, but it is not. Olefin being soft, will crush and wear easily giving it a shorter life than other fibers. It also attracts grease like a magnet. Within a year or two an Olefin carpet will often develop dark traffic paths that are difficult or impossible to clean. Choose this type of carpet if you only need a carpet that lasts a few years or if you will be putting it into a rental.

The next fiber and probably the most popular is Nylon. Nylon is more expensive but it doesn’t have the drawbacks of Olefin. It is a harder fiber and thus resist wear better. It also does not attract grease as much so you do not get the dark traffic areas as quickly as Olefin does. Nylon does absorb moisture however making it possible to stain. It is also usually died after it is made so it can be bleached. Choose this type of carpet if you are looking for a long lasting carpet. Clean it often and apply a carpet protector to prevent stains.

The last type of fiber I will discuss and the most expensive of the three is wool. Wool is of course a natural fiber and has many good qualities. It is both soft and durable. It is not uncommon for a good wool carpet to last twenty or even thirty years. One of the negatives of wool is that it can be stained easily so if you get it, be sure to have a carpet protector applied. This type of carpet is probably for you is price is no option and you want a beautiful and long lasting carpeting.

Ceramic Tile Underlayments

Plywood- just a single layer of plywood isn’t rigid enough to stop floor deflection. It needs to be covered over with an additional layer of exterior-grade plywood to achieve a total thickness of at least 1 1/8 inch. You can either (A)- Cover the plywood with a cement backer board (more on these below) or (B) Cover the existing plywood with a second layer of exterior grade plywood. Under either of these, a thin-set mortar is applied to eliminate air gaps. Additionally, in bathrooms, it’s recommended to lay a “shower pan” over your wood subfloor. This refers to thin rubberized materials that protect the tile from floor expansion and contraction due to moisture, temperature and humidity.

Cement Backer Board – These are prefabricated, lightweight concrete sheets used to cover wood subfloors. It has a dense Portland concrete core and fiberglass surfaces both sides and is able to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture. Brand names include DUROCK, UTILICRETE, WONDERBOARD and GLASCRETE. Joints of the backer board sheets should be staggered such that they don’t fall directly over the wood subfloor joints.

Mortar Bed- Mud beds, or mortar beds, are used by professional tile contractors mostly. They’re composed of a layer of thick roofing felt, then wire mesh, followed by a layer of mortar. The reason it is used mostly by the specialists is that it takes a high level of skill and practice to ensure the mortar bed produces a sufficiently level surface. The other reason is that it is the best foundation possible for a ceramic tile floor. Okay, but why? Because the mortar bed has a built-in reinforcement against floor deflections in the form of the wire mesh. Translation- less cracked tiles and loose grout, and longer-life flooring.

Concrete Slab-
You can lay your ceramic tile directly on concrete slab, but all cracks and holes need to be refurbished prior before the installation of a tile when it’s directly bonded to the concrete. Some concrete slab has been coated with curing compound to help the slab set without cracks. This compound should be removed before tile installation to ensure a long-lasting mortar bond, since the compound helps the concrete retain moisture and in some cases affects adhesiveness. It is also important that the slab be as level as possible, especially with the larger tile sizes in use today. Cleaning the concrete completely of debris and dust will also contribute to a higher quality installation. In short, preparation of the surface is key.

Caring For Your Floor

We use and misuse the floor in our house in a number of different ways. Some of which are, not cleaning them regularly, rough usage and improper usage of acids and detergents. Floors need specific care, and not many people are aware of how to do it. But there are a number of floor care techniques that can be followed for a healthy, long lasting and durable floor under your feet. You should be very careful while making a choice of how to clean your floor by being material specific. For instance – if you have marble flooring, the care measures will be completely different, than those of a mosaic floor. Also if you are not too much into house keeping, it is recommended that you choose a material that requires minimal care and maintenance.

Following are some floor care tips according to flooring materials that are used for flooring –

1. Hard wood floors – All you have to do is protect your hard wood from direct sunlight, dents and hard cleaning detergents. Also regular dusting is very essential.

2. Marble – Marble is the most beautiful and rich looking flooring material. Marble can be blackened very quickly, if not taken care of properly. So it is important that the floor is mopped and swept daily with a lightly acidic detergent.

3. Ceramic tile – Ceramic tile care and maintenance is best done with an electric polisher or scrubber. You can also use washing soda and any low sudsing detergent with lots of water too.

4. Mosaic floor – Mosaic flooring is very hard and durable and hence very low maintenance too.

5. Vinyl – If you have vinyl flooring, you must make sure that you wipe up the spills as quickly as possible. Do not use detergents and highly abrasive scrubs, use polish once in a while.

Take all these care precautions and you will be assured of a long lasting, durable floor under your feet. If you have painted floor, make sure you give a fresh coat once in a while, as paint tends to loose color and become dull fast. Also don’t paint your floor in a light color, as stains remain stuck.

About Room Additions

The walls of the room should be installed with straight sections that are built on correct centers. Correct centers will insure that the insulation and wall covering that you select will fit properly. Care should be taken on existing foundations and the correct methods should be used to correlate with those foundations. A slab or an extension of the foundation must be built to coincide with the size and weight of the room. Correct roofing materials should be purchased to coincide with the rest of the house. Knowledgeable workers must install the roofing material to protect the room from water damage.

It is a good idea to weather proof the room as soon as possible. That entails putting on a roof and installing the walls onto the foundation. Doors, windows and ceiling panels can now be added. Once this is accomplished you can begin electrical work. Installing air conditioning systems can be next in accompaniment with the installation of the ceiling. Different materials are offered to the consumer for this purpose. After the electrical wiring has been installed in the walls and ceiling insulation can be added to the room. The location of electrical outlets, ceiling fans and lights have to be planned in advance. It is best to do this work while the walls are bare. Wall coverings can now be installed. Sheet rock, wood paneling and other decorative materials are offered for your convenience. Edging and molding can now be added along with the finished electrical parts. The flooring can be next. Carpet, tile, wood flooring and other products are offered to the consumer. If carpet is desired for the flooring a carpet pad should accompany this installation.

Cure for Kitchen Clutter

In a kitchen-only kitchen, countertop clutter may not be offensive or objectionable at all. It serves a purpose and we get used to seeing it and having it in our lives. But clutter can destroy the look of a kitchen that is trying to blend into another room. The chaotic look of clutter is generally an unplanned assault to the eye, typically the same eye that chose the cabinetry, appliances and countertops to blend so well together in the first place! Clutter however, should not be mistaken as a form of accessorizing, where everything on display is specifically chosen to create a desired theme. Accessorizing can actually enhance the room blending process, but it is difficult to maintain over time as our daily lives change. On the other hand, real countertop clutter that accumulates over time is so diverse that it is obvious that it is completely unplanned.

Clutter can be just about anything that sits on the countertop. Most common are food canisters and condiment containers for salt and pepper, vinegar and oil etc. Clutter can be a basket filled with car keys and notepads, boxes of cereal, an assortment of spices, crockery filled with cooking utensils, or collections of all sorts that show off the owner’s personal conquests at the flee market. But the biggest pieces of clutter are all the small appliances that we need to use so often each day as well as those that we only use occasionally. In period design, where the kitchen design theme tries to emulate a certain historic time period, modern appliances can completely spoil the desired effect. The ‘appliance garage’ nestled between the countertop and the top cabinets has addressed this situation with some success, but in many cases it has just added itself as another form of clutter.

The Working Pantry to the Rescue! A Working Pantry is simply a modestly sized, two foot deep (or more) countertop that is hidden behind bi-fold doors. Above and below the countertop area is storage in the form of open shelving and/or cabinetry. When the bi-fold doors are open, the countertop can be used to store clutter and can be used as dedicated workspace too.

Working pantries can be created in the form of a closet or as full height and depth cabinetry or even as freestanding furniture (similar to a bedroom armoire with a countertop in it.) The least expensive pantries typically are closets with a plastic laminate countertop and exposed shelving hidden by full height bi-fold doors. A walk-in closet style pantry can become a working pantry as opposed to just a storage pantry simply by adding a real worktop. Full-height cabinetry, with bi-fold cabinet doors above the countertop can be retrofitted into most kitchens at the end of a long run of cabinetry. And a freestanding piece of furniture like an armoire/working pantry can truly ease the visual transition between the world of a furnished family room and a utilitarian kitchen. Pocketing flipper style doors can be substituted for bi-fold doors in cabinetry or furniture when it is desirable to keep the doors out of the way when the countertop is exposed.

But in all of these configurations, the main feature is that the interiors can be kept neat and orderly or completely chaotic, and with the doors closed, nobody knows the difference. Visual order is restored!

The Working Pantry does a great job hiding clutter while providing extra workspace and storage space. But it can also become a dedicated workspace to handle specific tasks. For example a baking center can have a marble top and special areas to store the mixer, chopper, baking pans and everything else that’s needed for baking. It can even have bins for flour and sugar built right in, just like the old Hoosier cabinets. Another version can be designed as a wet or dry bar with areas for liquor bottles, a stemware rack, wine bottle rack, a sink and even an undercounter refrigerator. A built-in bar/working pantry can even be used as a partition between two rooms, with bi-fold doors front and back so that the bar can be accessed from either room, but closed off when it is not desirable to be seen from either side. Or it can become a breakfast/snack bar that accommodates the coffee maker(s), toaster and a small microwave along with the breakfast/snack foods and dishes. The breakfast/snack bar is especially nice as a piece of furniture located in the breakfast area/transition space between the kitchen and family room. It becomes a hard working alternative to the decorative hutch style cupboard found in many dining areas.

Info of Quick Home Maintenance

Fixing a chair

Are you trying to fix an old chair? If so, we suggest drilling pilot holes and driving screws via the rungs bottom and into the chair legs.

Vinyl Door or Window

If your vinyl doors or windows don’t open properly, the channels may have accumulated gunk. At times, even clean doors and windows may bind. You may spray dry spray lubricant on the target areas and then use a rag to wipe it off. Using oil lubricants is not a good idea as they can catch dirt damaging the vinyl.

Repairing a Shutoff Valve

If the shutoff value is faulty, you can get it replaced. But if you can’t, you should go to the nearby hardware store to buy a good replacement washer. Remove the grit from the valve and fit the new washer. This will fix the problem.

Loose Showerhead

If you want to fix a problematic showerhead or a wobbly pipe, you can use some expanding foam. With the foam, you can encase the pipe and fix it. This will remove the wobble.

Use a Smoke Detector

If you don’t have enough time or money, you may want to cover the ceiling hole with a smoke detector. You don’t need to patch the hole.

Cabinet doors

If your cabinet doors don’t stay shut, all you have to do is use a magnetic door catch. You can also go for a roller-style one.

Build Simple Potting Bench

Tools: A screwdriver, a small box wrench or crescent wrench, or if you have a 1/4″ drive socket set that’s even better. A tape measure, a small square, a drill, and a power saw.

Materials: One full sheet (4′ by 8′) of 3/4″ treated plywood. Make sure it is treated so it will last a long time. Untreated plywood does not hold up well at all outdoors.

15 dohickeys (you know, those little metal angle brackets, or corner brackets used to connect two boards together at a right angle.) These metal brackets are bent in a 90 degree angle and have two holes drilled in them.

30 bolts with nuts 1-¼” long, and the correct size to fit the angle brackets you buy.

60 flat washers that fit the bolts.

“Mike’s Legless Potting Bench”
If you use this article you can use the photos that accompany the article, as long as you leave the reference to on the photos.

Notice in the above referenced photo that one end of the bench is resting on the potting soil pile, and the other on concrete blocks. Not having legs is really an advantage because you can get the potting bench much closer to your potting soil pile.

Before you start, draw this out on paper so you know exactly what each piece of wood is supposed to look like before make any cuts. This way you won’t make a mistake that will ruin your piece of plywood.

Lay the plywood on a flat surface, like your garage floor. From one end measure in 16″ and draw a line across the sheet of plywood. With your saw, cut along this line. The piece that you are cutting off is 16″ by 48″.

Now draw a diagonal line across the smaller piece of plywood. (The one you just removed from the sheet.) Cut along this line. You should now have two triangular pieces that measure 48″ on one side and 16″ on one side.

These pieces should be in the shape of a right triangle. Now you are going to remove a small piece from the pointed end of the triangular pieces. To do this, measure 24″ from the right angle, along the 48″ side and make a mark. Using a small square draw a line from this mark across the pointed end of the plywood. This line should be at a right angle to the 48″ side of the board. This line should only be about 4″ long. Cut along this line, removing the small piece from the pointed end. Discard the small piece you cut off. The piece you have left should be 16″ on one end, 24″ on one side, and about 4″ where you made the cut to remove the pointed end.

The two smaller boards you have left should be identical. These are the sides for your potting bench.

Now back to the larger piece of wood. This piece should now measure 80″ by 48″. From the long side measure over 16″ and draw a line from one end to the other. Cut along this line. The piece you are removing should be 16″ by 80″, leaving a piece 32″ by 80″.

These two pieces will serve as the bottom and the back of your potting bench. Take the back piece and stand it on edge, on top of the piece that will serve as the bottom of the bench to get an idea of how your potting bench is going to fit together. Make five marks where you will mount the angle brackets that will hold these two pieces together. Just space the five brackets along the two boards, making sure not to put any too close to the end so they don’t interfere when you install the two end pieces. Just keep the brackets about 1-½” from each end.

Note: Once you have the brackets installed and the bolts all tight you might want to cut off the ends of the bolts and file them smooth if they are sticking out so far as to be a hazard when you are handling the potting bench.

Once you have all five brackets installed and the back of the potting bench mounted to the bottom, you can then install the two side pieces. With the two side pieces installed you are now the proud owner of a legless potting bench. You can install legs if you’d like to, but I like mine without legs because I can get it much closer to my pile of potting soil.

What I do is rest one end of the bench right on the pile of potting soil, and then support the other end with a saw horse, concrete blocks, or milk crates. By placing one end right on the soil pile, it is very easy to shovel the soil onto the bench. Not having legs also makes the bench easier to store and move around.

All about Inspiring Home Designs

Another idea could be to make an ‘outdoors’ house, taking inspiration from your garden in how to design your home. This means lots of greens and blues, lots of plants, outdoor fragrances, lots of windows – a real outdoor feel indoors.

Indeed, the best way to design a home yourself is often to just pick a theme and take it as far as it will go. I know a couple with a ‘space house’, complete with portraits of rockets and black ceilings with painted stars – it sounds silly, but it’s really interesting to look at. Whatever you’re passionate about, make your house show it.

Don’t forget, though, that redecorating doesn’t have to be all about tearing things down and buying new stuff. You can get a long way with a few posters, ornaments, or just reorganising or repainting your furniture. You really don’t need to break the bank and hire a handyman to get your ideal home, as a little work can go a long way.