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About Exotic Hardwood Floors

Exotic hardwood floors are made from hardwood species that are not found in the United States. They most commonly come from Australia, Africa, Brazil and Asia. Types of exotic hardwood floors include bamboo, eucalyptus, cork, Bolivian mahogany, Bolivian teak, Bolivian rosewood, Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut, Brazilian maple, and Brazilian koa.

Installing exotic hardwood floors is a project of low to moderate difficulty that many homeowner will be able to do themselves.

First, you’ll want to decide where you want to install the exotic hardwood floors. Do you want to install them in the entire home or just in select rooms? Then measure the square footage you will need.

Once you know the square footage you will need, do some research online and in local home improvement stores to find the type of exotic hardwood you want and the best prices. When you find the type you want and a good price, buy however much you need. You’ll want to find out from the merchant what methods of installation are feasible with the particular type you buy.

Tropical Wall Murals in Home

Tropical wall murals can be difficult to lay out and paint because, to make the scene look lifelike, you’ll need to use perspective and complex coloring to capture light and shadow. To start easy, you can incorporate small tropical elements throughout the room, like small fish darting out from behind a couch, a palm tree in the stretching on one wall with colorful butterflies flying around it. You could buy a tropical print, hang it above your couch, and then paint crisp white shutters around the print so that you now have a fantastic view of the beach from your living room.

Online retailers sell various tropical wall mural stencil kits. They send you a stencil you trace to transfer to your wall, and then you paint by numbers. These kits cost between $40 and $150.

Most professional mural painters have done tropical wall murals. Commissioning an artist to paint your tropical mural will save you time, but not money. Depending on the size and complexity of the mural, you can expect to pay between $30 and

Give Home More Space

It is a procedure that can be of great service to you if you are starting out and you are about to move into your own home.

Or if you already own a house full of furniture and are willing to sell or donate what you no longer want in order to purchase a better version.

It will work in many situations from great to small.

The greater your willingness to get rid of the old and bring in the new, the bigger space difference there will be in your home.

You may not want to exchange out many items in your home but decide on a few select items that will make a big difference once you’ve gotten rid of them.

The most beneficial part of the top-to-bottom-strategy is that it can be customized to your preference.

That’s what makes it very opportunistic–it can be adjusted according to your desires.

The top-to-bottom-strategy is a simple three step procedure that will help you reevaluate your thought process.

This strategy deals

Information of Home Furnishings and Shelving

Adding shelving to a room can do more then create a place to store books. It can be a great focal point as well. Imagine walking into a room and being drawn to a wall of shelving displaying your favorite treasures? Of course, shelving does have some great advantages. It allows for a place to display your items, store a multitude of things, or so many more functions.

Home furnishings, like shelving are easy to find and install. It does not have to be something that causes panic. Many times we worry that the smallest project involving shelving will take us too much time or aggravation. In fact, shelving units have become much easier to install. They also come in all different types to allow you to find the best option for your area.

Whether you are planning to install shelving in a closet, in the garage, or a decorative unit in your living room, there are plans and designed shelving units you can choose. Many of these shelving units are even carried in your local home improvement stores. What’s more, if you can’t find just the right shelving unit for your home, you simply need

Power Washing Siding

ashing the house from the top down or letting chemicals dry on the house, which may leave streaks on the siding.

Using a ladder to clean the upper areas of a house can result in serious injuries and death from slipping off the ladder.
These are the types of mishaps that many people have when attempting to do a quick power washing of their home. If you decide to use a power washer on your home, here are some general guidelines to use.

Make sure the machine your using puts out a minimum of 4 gallons of water per minute and less than 1000 PSI.

Most homeowners will buy a machine from a hardware store that puts out 1,000 PSI but only uses 2 gallons per minute of water. While this machine may work, it will triple the amount of time to do the job properly.
Be careful if your making your own house washing chemicals. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can create a poisonous gas.

We suggest that home owners buy a siding wash that’s available in most hardware stores and follow the manufactures guidelines for the product. Leave the stronger agents

Gutter Cleaning

In summer, trees lose leaves from heavy storms and high winds. In early fall, you should remove leaves that have fallen early to keep your gutters flowing freely. At the end of fall or early winter, you want to make sure everything has been properly cleared from the gutter system to help prevent ice dams or buildup of ice in your gutters. The extra weight of frozen water in your gutters can easily cause them to pull away from the fascia and in many cases, fall off the house. Improper gutter maintenance will lead to clogged or damaged gutters and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your homes foundation, exterior trim and basements.

To clean your gutters properly, rent a sturdy ladder and get your a neighbor to give you a hand. Ladders can be rented from most local rental centers for as little as $40.00 a day. When using ladders, make sure you stay away from power lines, trees and windows. It’s a good idea to use a ladder stabilizer to make sure the ladder doesn’t crush your gutters or slip while your doing the cleaning. Ladder stabilizers can be purchased at most hardware

About CCTV for Home

Another important development is that CCTV also facilitate remote monitoring i.e. you do not have to be on site to view the images. So it is possible to view real time images of what is happening back home from your work place or on holiday, you need to type in the URL of the server that controls the wireless cameras from any browser. You can see these images just as easily on your mobile phone. Some security companies will also provide a service that monitors the premises for you, so you effectively are renting the equipment. That way you can keep up with any major technical advances.

Speaking of advances in technology, CCTVs now provide a new level of sophistication, such as infrared night vision. The ability to monitor in the dark is obviously fundamental to a comprehensive home security system. Another development is the Passive Infrared motion detection facilities and Pan Tilt Zoom cameras. These cameras are able to rotate horiszontally through 360 degrees, vertically through 900 and have zoom lenses capable of giving more than ten times the current optical zoom.

Adding a further level of security are the covert CCTV cameras available in

Information of Basement Waterproofing Advice

Some ways to keep your basement dry may seem rather obvious. Ideally your basement has a good surface grading to drain surface water away from the house. Exterior waterproofing and keeping wall cracks sealed are two other first-step methods. If you have tried these methods and still have water build-up problems in your basement, you may have to resort to other methods.

A sump pump is another common method of drying out a basement. Some professionals recommend this as a last resort, do-it-yourself attempt at water removal. There are two kinds of pumps available: submersible and water-powered. The submersible pump is electrically powered and is placed underground. They are more expensive than other pumps but are much quieter and can last for two-to-three times as long. The water-powered sump pump is fueled by your home’s plumbing pressure. These pumps are usually slower at draining water but require no electricity and are often used during a power failure.

Many professionals install basement-waterproofing systems. If your home is at risk for consistent or extreme water build-up, it might be wise to seek the services of a competent professional. One professionally installed basement waterproofing system helps to alleviate underground

Gel Fireplaces

Gel Fireplaces burn an all-natural, jelled alcohol that is 100% efficient and ecologically sound. Each can burns for two to three hours and can be reused until empty. They are safe and completely smokeless and even provide the romance of the traditional sound of the “pop and crackle” found in a wood fire… without the mess. Each can of jel produce up to 3,000 BTU’s an hour and one may burn up to 3 cans at a time. Since there is no chimney heat stays in the room though these are primarily decorative and not designed as a primary heating source. They will certainly help keep the chill out on a cold day. Cost of a can of fuel is approximately $.80 per hour, most people burn 2-3 cans for a wider flame. Fuel can be shut down and saved for another time by replacing the can lid.

The product has been tested by a number of independent research laboratories and found to be perfectly safe. The air quality of the product in a room when the fuel is burning falls within the standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A.) and the Environmental Protection

Wood Panels

Once a tree is fell the free water in the wood is lost rather quickly but the bound water trapped in the straw like cell is slower to dissipate. As the level of bound water is reduced these straw like cells get narrower in diameter but maintain their length. This is the fundamental reason that wood expands and contracts across its width but has almost no expansion length wise.

When working with wood it is very important to allow the wood to expand and contract with changes in humidity. As humidity rises the straw like cells expand in diameter with the opposite effect occurring as the relative humidity falls.

Ways to accommodate expansion

Lets use a cutting board for the first example. A solid wood cutting board with a bread board edge secured with a tongue and groove joint. One edge has the bread board edge secured on both ends with a dowel through the tongue The other bread board edge is secured with the same tongue and groove joint but this end only has a dowel in the center of the piece.

The end secured with two dowels will develop a crack in

Injection Waterproofing

In most foundation cracks, a polyurethane injection can seal the opening. In some smaller cracks it may be apparent that a sealant was used because it may be difficult to evenly inject the compound. Single caulking style cartridges and the dual side-by-side cartridge systems are the types of injection waterproofing compounds available for retail purchase. Both of these are manually injected and easy to pump.

When using an injection waterproofing method, it is important to keep the area dry. Temporarily block any flowing water to the area, and clean and dry the area as needed. Experts say that in the case of water flowing through a hole, you can temporarily caulk the hole with candle wax, modeling clay or plumbers’ putty. If the cracks are in narrow or hard-to-reach places, you can use a flexible hose attached to the injector nozzle.

Whatever waterproofing system your leakage problem requires, be sure to do your research. If you choose to make this a do-it-yourself project, make sure you know where your leaks are coming from and the proper method to repair them. When purchasing waterproofing materials you should make sure you are buying the appropriate product for your

Adjustable Bed

An ideal position while sleeping or sitting is one where your body muscles are not under tension resulting in complete relaxation. This position can be achieved where the legs and the upper back are slightly on a raised level which distributes the body weight in harmony with gravity. It is here that an adjustable bed will be highly beneficial as a flat bed will not ease your body tension completely leading to tossing and turning. A bed that can be adjusted will allow you to sleep and relax in any position that you desire with over 1000 positions to choose from for purposes ranging from sleeping, reading, watching TV, eating or for pure relaxation.

These beds come in two basic types’ latex foam and Innerspring and both types offer the same comfort in different ways. An adjustable bed is highly recommended for people suffering from back pain, poor blood circulation especially in the legs and night time heart burn or acidity. All these problems can be solved with an adjustable bed which would elevate your upper body in the desired angle thus freeing you from circulation and digestion related complications as compared to a flat bed.

Asbestos in Home

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used for a variety of different applications. Many homes may have this material in their insulation, as it is a fire retardant. Once exposed, individuals can inhale the microscopic asbestos particles and take them into their lungs. Once there, the fibers can cause lung cancer. If prolonged exposure occurs, an individual can also develop cancer in the chest cavity and abdomen.

It is important to note that many individuals have experienced brief exposure and been just fine. The fine asbestos particles are difficult to see and get rid of, so it is common for them to remain in their air for long periods of time thus increasing the risk of cancer. Smokers are at an increased risk for side effects due to exposure.

If you think that your home may have asbestos there are several places that you want to look. It is important to remember that products today do not contain the fiber, only things built in the 1970’s or earlier.

– Steam pipes, boilers, and furnace ducts could be insulated with an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape. If the fibers become damaged or are

Wet Basement

Your rain gutters should be cleaned of leaves and debris at least once per year.
Downspouts should direct water runoff from the roof to a discharge point at least several feet away from the homes foundation. Use a splash block at the end of your downspout to avoid soil erosion. Never bury your downspout lines unless you can empty them out to daylight.

Buy a good dehumidifier to lower the natural humidity level in your basement. Make sure your dehumidifier is the proper size for your basement. Ask for a drain hose attachment so you don’t have to empty the water collected every day. Get a unit with a built-in de-icer. Dehumidifiers are actually refrigeration coils and can freeze up and stop working.
Keep the doors and windows to your basement closed, year round. Opened doors and windows allow extra humidity to enter your basement, causing condensation. Your dehumidifier will also run less.

Waterproofing Paints and Sealers There are several good waterproofing paints and sealers on the market today. Waterproof paints and sealers can work well for minor dampness on walls and floors. Pay special attention to the preparation instructions from the products manufacturer. Be aware

Hardwood Floors Shine

If an oil based cleaner is used on polyurethane finished floors, it leaves an oily residue on the surface which can not only make cleaning the floor more difficult, but after a period of time, when the floor is showing signs of wear and needs to be buffed and recoated, this residue can present adhesion problems. When cleaning any hardwood floor, or furniture, minimal water should be used. In other words, wipe with a dampened, not wet cloth. Adding a capful of vinegar can help and is suggested by the National Wood Flooring Association.

However, I have heard one floor finish manufacturer dispute this, believing the vinegar is too acidic and can break down the finish eventually. The absolutely simple and safe way to clean any sort of wood that is finished with a urethane is to use polyurethane cleaners which are manufactured by both hardwood flooring manufacturers and manufacturers of polyurethane. I use Squeeky Cleaner from Basic Coatings. Any hardwood flooring supplier near you should carry this or similar product. Also, Home Depot is a likely place to look, since they do sell hardwood flooring. This cleaner is usually blue in color, and is mixed 4

All about Fixing Old Wooden Chairs

If you know what the wood is in the chair such as Oak, Maple or Pine, buy some 2″ x 2″ lengths in the same kind of wood to be turned on a lathe. Cut the 2 x 2s , 1″ longer than the post to be replaced in the chair back. Better too long than too short.

Turn the 2x2s down to match the posts left in the chair, when you have enough for the back of the chair, then cut the posts to the right lengths according to the height needed for each.

Next if you need to replace rungs between the legs, you will need to turn them to match ones that remain in the chair. If you can get one of the good rungs out, match the new rung to the old one for length and design. If you need to cut any off the new one, cut the same amount off both ends of the new rung so the design remains centered when placed.

Now we are ready to glue the rungs in place. The glue I like is called Titebond ®. The glue is clear and waterproof when it

Tricks Create Joyful Home

Houseplants are natural air filters, and can remove up to 70 percent of indoor air pollutants. Plants such as English Ivy, scheffleras, spider plants, and philodendrons absorb large also quantities of formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene. The most effective plants at removing air pollution are spider plants, pot mums, snake plants, and aloe vera. They’re so effective, in fact, that environmental scientists recommend one plant per 100 square feet in your home and office.

Plant lights, in canister fixtures placed on the floor, can highlight a houseplant while casting dramatic shadows on walls and ceilings. Uplights, placed under palm trees cast magnificent line-type shadows, while plants with holes in their leaves, such as Swiss Cheese Philodendron, will cast lace-like shadows.

You can use houseplants to make a uniquely individual statement. For instance, one of my friends has only spiked-leafed plants in her home — spider plants, snake plants, corn plants, cast iron, and bromeliads. My cousin could only seem to get pothos to grow in her home, so she filled her entire house with them.

Delicate houseplants soften your space, while spiky plants add interesting texture. Collections of African violets, ferns, or trees of all

Home Air Filters

Mechanical Filters – One of the best types of mechanical filters is the HEPA filter, which forces air through a special screen that traps allergens such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander. If there are any smokers in the house, a HEPA filtered device will also trap smoke and other airborne irritants. Those devices which are unable to trap at least 90% of these particles are ineligible to qualify as a HEPA filtering device. When shopping for mechanical filters of this type, be sure that they truly meet HEPA filtering standards, and that you’re not purchasing a cheap imitation that will offer substandard performance.

Gas Phase Filters – This type of air filter is not used for the removal of allergens in the home, but rather for removing odors and other types of pollutants, such as gasses from perfume, cooking, paint or building materials. In a home that needs to eliminate allergies which are triggered by exposure to certain odors, this would be sufficient, rather than the HEPA filter, which is designed to remove absolute allergens that are not gas based.

Electronic Filters – Of the different types of electronic filters, the most effective at

Working With Contractor

1. Plan your project carefully. Clip pictures, make sketches, write a description. This will help you accurately convey to the contractor what you want the finished product to be.

2. Make a list of contractors. Ask your neighbors or friends for the names of reputable tradesmen. Contact material suppliers — lumberyards, for example — and ask for recommendations.

3. Get at least three written bids for the project, but don’t give in to the temptation to automatically accept the lowest bid. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. If you get a very low bid, the contractor may have made a mistake or forgotten to bid on everything you wanted. If they have deliberately low-bid, they may use cheaper materials or take shortcuts to make a profit.

4. Many states and provinces require registration and/or licensing.  If licences are required in your jurisdiction, be certain to ask to see your contractor’s licences and be sure that it’s not expired.

5. Ask for references and then check them out. Look at the projects and ask the previous clients if they are satisfied with the quality of work done,

Easy Renovations

There are no Contractor Fairies (and I refer here to the magical ones! Ha,ha,ha!) who can slip in the middle of the night and have the project done by the morning, although that would be good! (I’m guessing that there’d be some really loud dance music, anyway, which would just keep you awake…!) Have your Contractor include a probable time frame with the quote.

Have a clear idea of what you want before your contractor comes over. You don’t have to sketch out the changes, but you should be able to tell him or her what changes you would like to see. Many good contractors will have done so many renos that they will immediately know what needs to be done, the approximate cost and time-frame. When a contractor tells you that ‘the little bathroom’ will cost about $3,000.00, don’t think that your job will secretly only cost about $20.00, maybe a little less…then be shocked and dismayed when your bill comes in at…$3,000.00. You’d be surprised how many people have notions like that. Try not to fall into this trap, or to think that any changes you make once the job has started won’t affect the