Thursday, 20 July 2017

Remodeling your House: Safety Considerations

You have made a wonderful decision to remodel your house! It is certainly a great idea! There is, however, one aspect that you need to think about carefully, before starting the project: ‘safety of your family’! Depending on the scale of remodeling, you might have to make a few related crucial decisions like the following.

To stay, or not to stay?

Major projects might require you to move out to a temporary residence until the remodeling is complete. This is advantageous in many ways for both your family and the workers.

However, you can stay at your own house by making minor adjustments if the remodeling work is confined to a couple of areas like a bathroom or bedroom. It is always a good idea to seek advice from a reputed remodeling contractor in this regard.

Moving out temporarily

Moving out temporarily to a new place will ensure complete safety of your family and your pets. You would avoid a lot of air and noise pollution and be comfortable without any hassle. Neither your family nor your pets would cause any hindrance to the work in progress and the project will take considerably less time for completion.

Major remodeling projects like roof remodeling or repainting indoors would definitely take a while to finish. It would be best for you to move to a temporary residence and leave the entire house in the care of your contractor.

Staying at home

Staying at home while the remodeling project is in progress has its advantages too. Primarily, you can save money if your option is to move to a rented place. You can observe more closely how the project takes shape and you can caution the remodeling contractor if you feel something is not right. Saving some money, however, should not be at the cost of the safety of your family and pets.

Remodeling your kitchen and bathroom would pose a problem if you decide to stay. You can of course make a few adjustments by taking out essential appliances from your kitchen and setting up a temporary kitchen in the living room or outdoors in your garden.

You can shower at the gym since water supply might be cut off for a significant amount of time. You can remodel one bathroom at a time and keep at least one bathroom functional at your house.

Keeping your family and pets safe

Having toddlers and fluffy puppies in your house running around can be an issue while remodeling your house. Moving out would be a good option, as toddlers can stumble into dangerous situations when left unattended. Keep your pets chained to the fence or kennel temporarily, although it is going to be difficult for you to see your loveable pets chained.

For your elders, air and noise pollution will indeed be too much to bear. You could buy them air masks and earplugs to minimize the disturbance. Alternatively, you could move them out for the duration of the remodel.

Just remember! Safety and security of all your family and pets should be a major consideration when you plan a remodeling project.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Delightful Ideas for a Country Kitchen Makeover

If a kitchen makeover is in the cards, turning it country style is one charming renovation you can think of, with no big fuss! You can either redo your whole kitchen to evoke memories of big family meals in grandma’s home, or just sprinkle a few flourishes to whip up the rustic charm.

Bring on the classic rustic appeal

A good mix of hard wood/stone floor tiles, ceramic wall tiles, exposed cabinets, wicker accents, flea market finds and vintage lighting will make up an eclectic mix; together they will typify a country kitchen with an air of permanence, though imperfect. Potted herbs, botanical prints or hanging garlic strings bring the country kitchen to life.

To evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia, fashion a kitchen island and shelves out of distressed wood to exude a lived-in look.

What’s a country kitchen without roosters, duck, or geese? Look for them on glazed platters, sugar canisters and coffee mugs. Line them up on wooden shelves coated in milk paint.

For a truly country theme, set up deep, old-fashioned, porcelain or stainless steel kitchen sinks; they would absolutely be stylish and functional.

Open shelving in white is sure to carve out the charm of a country kitchen. Make up the open cabinet space to show off your collectibles and antique shop finds.

Choose a scalloped hood for a bit of chic country charm.

Position a hanging rack above your prep island to keep things up and away, with easy access. Let your pots and pans go in there. A wrought iron pot rack can add character to your kitchen with a subtle element of drama. You get to free up extra cabinet space too.

Accent the natural look, playing with certain fabrics and patterns for curtains, table spreads and placemats. Gingham and plaid are commonly used patterns to recall fondly the farming traditions of country kitchens. Fresh floral printed fabrics round off the country flavor.

Contrary to widespread perception, country kitchens are equipped with appliances such as range cooker, double oven, vintage toaster and refrigerator for a sense of luxury; that will enhance the look of your kitchen space in truly retro style.

Go big on natural elements

Construct kitchen furniture from intricately carved wood. Cherry, maple, oak and pine are top picks. Pine is the topmost choice for its uniquely knotty and natural look.

Copper colored pots and pans blend to keep up the rustic theme.

Look for a vintage table in distressed look or an antique butcher-block countertop to serve as a prep island.

Coordinate honey colored wooden units with wooden beams on ceiling to jazz up the look.

Accent with colors

Choose colored stove to pop out against the white cabinetry. Make liberal use of your favorite color to make a happy working spot for you and for the family to unwind together. Throw in a bright patterned rug to heighten the impact to your white kitchen.

For a quirky charm in the country kitchen, choose an assortment of old, colored stools with interesting carvings.

Go for soft and muted tones in earthy colors to replicate the colors taken from a rural backdrop.

Wallpaper the back of open cupboards with folk-inspired prints. Show the world your collections of handmade ceramics and pottery in true style.

Vintage bar stools, brushed pendant shades and a mix of colorful artwork hung on the wall are fresh and fun additions to keep the rustic theme going in an instant. If you are interested in more customized ideas that suit your personality, check with a reputed professional remodeling firm.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Redesigning Your Kid’s Playroom

A playroom is where your child spends most time in the early stages of growing up. Maintaining a neat and clean playroom is of utmost importance for the healthy growth of your child. Keeping the playroom orderly would be a mammoth task if it is not designed properly, and your child would not be comfortable there. Listed below are a few ideas to keep a playroom tidy and well maintained.

Planning the room

The first thing you are required to do is to clear the room completely of all furniture, wall hangings, fancy clothes, toys etc. It would indeed be very difficult to organize an annoyingly littered room. Once the entire room is empty, you can think of ideas for rearranging all your kid’s things.

Having your child by your side when you redesign the room would be great because your child would feel more attached to the room if involved in the setting up of the room. Repainting would make the room look new and bright; let your child choose the colors for the room and mix them up a little to suit taste and appeal.

Optimizing the room space

Before you put back all the toys and furniture into the room, you need to make a few adjustments. Throw out all the old toys that your child rarely plays with, or put them in the attic if you feel that some of them may have sentimental value. Having a mix of closed and open storage would save a lot of space.

For example, toys can be kept inside a drawer that closes into the bed, and books can be arranged on shelves that are easily reachable to your child. Having books in the open and toys stashed into drawers would make the room look bigger and brighter.

Floating shelves can also be added to the room to house books or a few toys on them. It would give the room a unique look and help the child have easy access to playthings. An expert remodeling contractor can suggest great redesign ideas for optimal use of space available in the room.

Organizing the room

Arrange artistically all the toys, other playthings and furniture in the room, but make sure that you do not ‘over fill’ it. Have a diverse mix of shelves and furniture in the room and make them all child-friendly. You could have there adjustable play tables, bean bags etc.

Wall hangings of your child’s favorite cartoon characters or food items would make the room even more appealing. The main objective of redesign is thus to make your child feel secure and comfortable in the playroom.

The cost of the redesign depends upon the extent of modifications of the existing design. Customized tables and shelves will cost a little extra but a reputed and much experienced remodeling contractor will always give you the best available options and rates. Should you hesitate to spend a little extra to make your child smile brighter and have greater fun?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Brighten your Home with Skylights

A skylight is a window in your roof or ceiling that can bring natural light into your room and transform it completely. As the use of tube lights during the day will be minimal, you can save on your electricity bills and more importantly, your mornings will be brightened up the natural way. If you want to install a skylight, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Is your roof suitable for a skylight?

You might generally use the roof as attic space, or a channel for electrical and plumbing networks. You need to make sure that the roof area is entirely cleared before setting up a skylight. Now, your expert remodeling contractor can make necessary changes to your roof by adding required trusses, and a chase for rearranging the pipelines and electrical lines.

You need to check with him if the addition of a skylight would or not suit the architectural design of your house; in most instances, it would blend into your house naturally. However, there is a slim chance that you lose the natural look of your house.

Location is crucial

Know exactly where you are going to place your skylight. Do not use approximations; consider as many factors as possible before choosing the location for your skylight. For example, placing a skylight facing the street would make it look out of place. The skylight in different rooms will have a different effect on your house.

A window and a skylight are not interchangeable and so the placement is very important. Keep the sun as a reference and position your skylight accordingly. Remember that the sunrays are most intense during the evening and you do not want to be caught in them.

Wooden floors and cabinets can be bleached under direct exposure to sunlight. You can add certain features to your skylight like blinds to modulate the sunlight entering the house. Certain skylights also have UV isolating and insulated glasses.

Installing your skylight

Skylights come in different designs and sizes. Pick out the skylight you love and be generous with the size you choose. In many instances, the size would be inadequate, giving a very bad look to the house. It’s all about the feeling you get when you look at your ceiling and realize that there is more to your house than just a solid block for a roof.

The skylight should seem to be a part of the original design of your house. It should not give the impression of a thoughtless addition that is out of place. Seek advice from your remodeling contractor on a variety of designs to choose from.

How much would it cost?

A skylight kit with the minimum features would start at a price north of 180$. Adding extra features to your skylight would cost more and the price varies with the size of the skylight. Your contractor will provide you with the best deals and cut down your expenses, making the new addition a pleasant experience.

Bring beauty and natural light into your house with the best option of a skylight!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Optimizing the Use of Your Terrace Space

A terrace, especially in a city, is hardly ever used in most houses, and it IS unutilized premium space! That space is suitable for conversion into a spacious room for unwinding, especially for recreational activities at low cost. The important thing is to watch the burden of additional weight on the building structure.

The foundation of any house has a maximum load-bearing capacity, which should never be breached.  A professional remodeling contractor with experience and expertise should be able to conduct a feasibility study and suggest the best designs and options. Metal fabrication forms the super structure of the room. Here are a few tips to get you started on your terrace room.

Constructing walls and roof

Bricks, the usual material for building walls are rather heavy; during masonry, they can be time consuming and messy. You may like to use instead pre-engineered lightweight structures for building walls. Insulated vinyl sidings, sandwich panels containing fly ash etc. are quite low in bulk density, and they offer an exceptional finish too.

User-friendly slabs of sandwich panels may be attached to each other, used as walls, and held in place by metal fabrication; the joints need to be filled with silicone gel to avoid seepage of rainwater. Lightweight single layer as well as multi-layer PUF-filled roofing materials of required length are available in different colors and can be easily fitted on to the metal fabrication.

Your remodeling contractor will be able to advise you on the best-customized lightweight wall/roofing materials and designs to blend with the existing fa├žade.

Leveling the floor

Typically, the sloping floor of a terrace allows rainwater to flow into the drainage/water harvesting system; therefore, the floor needs to be leveled. A paste made out of white or grey cement can be used to level the floor. Depending upon the type of flooring material you plan to use, you can either place a wooden base over the cement mixture or strengthen the cement paste, and lay your flooring material directly on it.

Waterproofing your walls and roof is of utmost importance. Suitable paints are available and you need a coating of 3-4 layers of paint. Using sealants in tiny gaps improves the efficiency of waterproofing.

There is a wide range of flooring materials: polyvinyl flooring is quite prevalent and its color options can add an aesthetic touch to the room. The major advantage of this type is that it is very light in weight. Tiles or wood can also be used, and it is all a matter of your taste!

Add-ons to your room

When your room is ready, the interiors need to be taken care of. Firstly, the room should have a stable power supply. Electrical lines to switch boards and appliances should be of good quality. You need to ensure that the room is properly ventilated. To keep the room cool, install thick blinds and keep them closed when you’re not using the room.

The entire process can be fascinating and the outcome depends, of course, on the contractor, who undertakes the work. So, discuss your ideas and needs with the contractor; sit back, and enjoy the stage-by-stage shaping of your new room!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Converting a Room into a Recording Studio

Putting up a studio at home would be the greatest thing a musician or a hardcore music lover would ever want. A home studio would let you record anytime, and it would be a source of income as well if you would rent it out. Building a studio requires effort and time if you do it yourself, but a professional remodeling contractor would get it done quickly and efficiently. Here is how you get started.

Choosing an appropriate room

When you choose a room for your studio, you need to make sure it meets certain standards. The bigger the room is, the better will be the studio. If you want to have a vocal ensemble, space would be of utmost importance. A bigger room provides space for newer equipment that you buy over the years.

Choose a room that is most isolated from external noise. Microphones can pick up faint noises and amplify them a hundredfold. The room should be wholly soundproof and free from external noise to achieve complete audio purity. A lower floor room is generally desirable to minimize noise.

The room flooring is very important. Hardwood, tiles or concrete in general is the preferred flooring material. Carpets absorb only high frequencies and ignore the lower ones, leading to an acoustic imbalance; moreover, they tend to wear out easily.

Clearing out the clutter

Clear out all clutter before the modification project begins. Ensure that the room is completely empty and no wall hangings are present. Any unwanted item will cause undesirable vibrations in the room and ruin sound quality. Ideally, you need a large room that has asymmetrical surfaces but you can work with the space available.

Acoustic treatment for your room

A great recording experience is virtually impossible without proper acoustic treatment. The first step is to soundproof your room. You need to prevent completely penetration of external noise and reduce all sound within the room. Soundproofing is indeed the most important part of acoustic treatment.

You need to put in place absorbers that will contain all the frequencies within the room. The extent of absorption of various frequencies depends upon the material and quality, and the cost will vary accordingly. 

A reputed remodeling contractor can surely build the remodel the way you want, and guide you to get the best sound proofing material within your budget.

Setting up your workstation

Now that your contractor has put up the room, the next step is to set up all your gear. The biggest problem now can be the messy wires. Due to lack of organization, all the wires connected to different units will create a clutter and the room will be disorderly.

However, the contractor can organize the wires through a concealed passage so that you wouldn’t move them or disturb the units. A few wires are bound to be visible still, but would not cause you any hindrance.
With a few finer placements and arrangement of your consoles, you will have an exceptional recording studio. Go ahead and create the magic of music at home!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Is Smartphone-Controlled Home Automation the Way to go?

Maybe you already know about the amazing advancements and next generation technologies involved in automating your home. Perhaps you are aware how they can make your life fantastic. Nevertheless, do you really want to take all that trouble and get all your household functions fully connected to your cell phone? You need to consider a few issues of home automation before making a decision.

Complexity

Not everyone is comfortable with change! There are people who prefer everything to be exactly in the same, old-fashioned way. Connecting automated things to your phone involves some technical knowledge about the app installed and its operation. If you aren’t tech-savvy enough, you might press something accidentally, and cause unwittingly major complications that might be difficult to undo.

In such a situation, you might feel turning off a light or fan with just the flick of a switch would have been a lot easier and more sensible than doing the same thing through your phone by carrying out a series of steps on a touch pad. Therefore, it is important for you to discuss with your remodeling contractor what types of automation you require or not.

Incompatibility between systems

For your comfort and ease of access, you need to automate your house to one centralized operating system. In today’s automation market, not all applications are available on a single platform. Your security system might operate on one platform and your temperature control on another; this could turn out to be very complex and difficult for you to comprehend and operate them.

Current research is engaged in developing a single integrated platform for every conceivable home automation app. That would take time and might be dearer to install.

Installation cost

Installation cost can be the biggest factor against home automation. The initial software and hardware costs together can vary from moderate to expensive, depending upon the extent of automation. In addition, you may have to spend more if you desire higher quality of the hardware and more sophisticated functions of the software.

Furthermore, security cameras with both audio and video recording and live streaming tend to cost more than those that provide only video recording. You also need to keep in mind the resolution of the camera. Apart from the security system, thermostat sensors and motion sensors will be another factor.

Just remember that the fancier the settings, the greater will be the cost. On the contrary, you do have the option of going in for automation of only what you consider essentials. You can always ask your remodeling contractor to give you guidance regarding the products and costs. Your experienced and never-failing contractor with expertise in such matters will get you the best available hardware and software at a very reasonable price.

All said and done, it is indisputable that home automation makes your life very comfortable, and does take care of your security concerns. Now that you know the pros and cons of smartphone-controlled home automation, you are in a much better position to decide if the pros outweigh the cons or the cons outweigh the pros.