Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Kitchen and Bathroom Taps Buyers Guide - All You Need To Know About Buying Kitchen And Bathroom Taps

Taps Buyers Guide

As a Managing Director for an online kitchen and bathroom website, I am often asked my advice about the different types of taps available for kitchens and bathrooms.

Clearly, kitchen taps and bathroom taps should match your overall design scheme, but taps also need to fulfil the function you require in the kitchen or bathroom. With so many design, styles and finishes to choose from, it's important to keep practical factors in mind and aim to strike the right balance between design, ease of use and durability. After all, a tap is something most of us use every day.

Also, if you're planning a complete bathroom or kitchen refurbishment, you should make your choice of taps at the planning stage, as it is far easier to make any adjustments necessary to pipe work before, rather than after, fitting sinks, basins, bidets or baths.

Pillar taps for the kitchen sink, basin or bath

Suitable for two-hole baths, bathroom basins and kitchen sinks, pillar taps are supplied in pairs, one tap for the hot water and one for the cold. They are inexpensive, simple to fit and are available with traditional cross head handles or lever handles.

Mono Bloc Mixer Taps for the kitchen sink, basin, bath or bidet

With a mono bloc mixer tap, a single lever controls the hot and cold water flow, so there is no need for separate hot and cold handles. Mono bloc mixer taps are very neat, offer ease of control and are ideally suited to today's minimalist bathroom designs. As with standard mixer taps, you need to check your water pressure before fitting, as mono bloc taps will only work if the pressure in hot and cold water supplies is more or less equal.

Bath Shower Mixer Taps

A bath shower mixer tap comes with a diverter mechanism to direct the water supply to a showerhead fitting. For a period look, the showerhead can be mounted over the mixer tap, telephone style, or it may fit into a bracket on the wall over the bathtub. A bath shower mixer is a very economical option for a bathroom shower, as no additional plumbing or shower pump is needed. An ideal choice for family homes, the shower mixer fitting is great for bathing children or washing hair. However, shower mixer taps require a higher pressure to work properly. If you're unsure of your hot water pressure, contact a plumber or your local water supplier for advice.

Pull-out Spray Mixer Taps

Similar to a shower mixer tap, but featuring an extendable hose, a pull-out spray mixer tap is ideally suited to the kitchen, as the pull-out dual spray head gives unbeatable control that is useful for removing food from dirty plates and rinsing. These taps are often used in professional kitchens.

Advice on fitting taps

There are two basic options for fitting taps. The most conventional is to mount taps on the sink, basin or bath. But, for a modern look, taps can be mounted on the wall above the fixture or on a mount behind the fixture. This has the advantage of giving a clean, uncluttered look to bath and basin surfaces. Generally, fitting taps is a job for an experienced plumber and only the most competent DIYer should attempt it.

Keeping taps clean

To make sure that your taps keep their shine, use only a soft cloth and warm soapy water to clean them. Rinse and wipe dry using a dry clean soft cloth. Do not use abrasive compounds, pads, cloths or creams, as these will damage the tap surface. From my experience I believe the best product to use to clean your taps is the 'e-cloth'. The e-cloth compromises of two cloth, one of which you use wet to clean the tap and the other dry which is used to dry and polish the tap.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Why Consider Having Roof Installation/Repair?

The harsh fluctuations in the weather have a detrimental and deteriorating effect on the roofs of houses. It is quite easy to imagine how continuous snow fall or other extreme weather conditions affect and influence the composition of roof. This is one of the reasons why we have leakages and other damages. This is a natural process and there is no one to blame in it. In this regard, people can definitely opt for roof installation/repair to deal with this problem. Many people remain oblivion of effects of weather conditions on roof unless some damage is done and end up breaking the bank. The purpose of this article is to explore different aspects of roof installation and repair and why it is important.

A lot of money could be saved if one is careful and cautious about the structure of one's house. In other words, roof checkup is highly advisable for house owners living in any kind of area. In this regard, one should be extra cautious with the older ceilings owing to the fact that they are extremely vulnerable. Phrasing it in a different manner, roof installation/repair is of utmost importance and something which is mandatory.

Reputable and respected company

If we delve deeper of how ceiling gets damaged, it is noticeable that missing shingles owing to the extremities of weather may need repair. Worth noticing here is the brittle nature of these shingles in cold weather conditions. One of the questions that come across mind at this point is cost?

On average, roof installation/repair could cost you two hundred to four or may be five hundred dollar. The key here is to find a reputable and respected company that could provide you with a suitable estimate or quote. Moreover, one must ensure repair references as they are quite significant. Customers should try bargaining on the checkup costs.

Have it done in spring

As it has been iterated earlier, it would not be wise to consider ceiling repair only when the signs of damages are quite visible and evident. A better idea is to preempt such damages by having a ceiling checkup. In addition to that, it is also important to know for every household that the whole process of fixing may take some time so it would be better to plan accordingly. So far as the ideal of time of having this task done is concerned, spring is the ideal choice because of the fact that the weather is calm and there is no hurry. If you are one of those people who are looking for some savings then this is a major way to do this because people end up spending hundreds and thousands of dollars more.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Benefits of Building a Small Home

If you are shopping for a home, you have most likely walked through some of the 'McMansions' that are currently on the market. During the most recent housing boom, thousands of these track-built monstrosities were 'thrown-together' and sold for top dollar.

With the economic collapse of the late 2000's came a wave of foreclosures and plummeting real estate prices, in effect lowering the selling prices of these lavish homes and making them a viable investment for the average American.

Now that these large homes, which have become the 'American Dream', are finally within your reach, should you consider buying one? Do you really want to commit to living in a home that is 2,500 SF or more and the financial burden that comes with it?

The 'Small Home' movement has been growing rapidly in the aftermath of the recent economic decline and the benefits of this movement have been championed by best-selling author Susan Susanka beginning with her book "The Not So Big House".

While the popularity of this movement has grown in recent years, the concept is far from new. Historically, smaller homes were the norm in the United States and have always been the norm in Europe and Asia. The average American home in 1950 was just less than 1,000 square feet, while in 2004 the average was about 2,400 square feet. This gigantic increase in living space is a direct result of the rapid rise in wealth that blanketed the US during the economic boom. Recent data proves that the average size of new homes is dropping once again and it makes you ask yourself, should I buy a smaller home?

The Benefits
First you must analyze the benefits of building a smaller home and determine whether they outweigh your 'need' for space. The list of benefits is long and they are definitely worth contemplating. Let's take a look:

1. Cheaper to Build, Higher Quality
The fact of the matter is that the cost to build a home is relative to the size of the dwelling. Not only is it cheaper to build a smaller home, but also the money saved on raw floor space can be incorporated into the finishes of the home.

When building a large home, homeowners often have to sacrifice quality for quantity. Building a small home allows you to incorporate efficient, healthy and high-quality materials into your house that you otherwise wouldn't be able to consider with a larger floor plan.

Your siding, flooring and finish materials will increase in quality, increasing both the character and durability of your home. In other words, luxury is more attainable and your options increase by ten fold.

In addition, your loan amount could be smaller and the percentage of your down payment will increase, affording you a lower mortgage payment and a better interest rate, saving you tens of thousands in the long run.

2. Lower Property Taxes
With building a smaller home comes the benefit of lower property taxes. A smaller footprint often translates into your home being viewed at a lower value, offering you a more favorable assessment on your property than neighbors with larger homes.

3. Energy Cost & Consumption
With a smaller space, come lower energy bills. Studies show that heating and cooling costs alone are 13-20% lower in a home that is 1,500 square feet compared to a home that is 2,500 square feet.

4. Environmental Impact
A small home simply uses fewer natural resources in construction, maintenance and energy consumption. The efficiency of a small home helps the environment and helps you live responsibly.

5. Maintenance & Cleaning
The smaller the home, the less maintenance you have to worry about. Think about the cost to replace siding on a 2,500 SF home compared to a 1,500 SF home or the amount of money that can be saved when installing new flooring or tile. There are fewer windows to replace, walls to paint and gutters to clean.

Regular household chores will be cut in half and if you hire a cleaning service, their rate will be lower.

6. Less Clutter
Less space equates to less room for items that aren't necessities. We all know that the more space we have, the more 'junk' we accumulate. Having a smaller home forces you to become more organized and avoid the accumulation of unneeded possessions. Think of all the unused items you'll be motivated to donate to charity or sell on eBay and Craig's List.

7. More Financial Freedom
When living in a smaller home, the savings you'll accumulate from having a smaller mortgage, lower utility bills and overall reduced consumption will add up quick. You will be able to free yourself from unneeded expenses and become more financially secure.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Tips for Working With Adhesives

Adhesives are used in almost anything you can imagine - from sealed packages to machinery. They have become an easy and safe way to repair or bond products to other surfaces. Adhesives are not new to the market place as they have been around for decades, but the advancement in adhesives makes them even more versatile. No longer affected by the elements, they are able to maintain their strong bond without cracking or hardening. Adhesives have over time replaced the old methods such as welding and soldering. Since adhesives require no tools and little preparation they are able to be used by just about anyone.

Adhesives are generally very inexpensive to other traditional methods of bonding. The secret behind adhesives is that they are able to distribute evenly avoiding any stress on the object. This allows the objects to be repaired without further breakage. Adhesives also do not add an abundance of weight to the object making it easy to secure. Once something is secured by adhesive it generally stays in place unaffected. There are many purposes for adhesives - it's an all-around handy thing to have when you need to glue wood, plastic, or just about almost any substance together!

What Can I Use Adhesives On? How Are They Used?

Adhesives can be used on many surfaces such as metals, rubber, glass and plastics, which add to its popularity. They are most times waterproof and nonflammable, as well as easily painted over.

Some common household items - Liquid adhesives have been very successful in the bathroom for replacing caulking around the tub, sink and shower since it is clear in color and waterproof. Pottery also benefits from this strong bonding agent and with adhesives being easily painted over you can even change the color of your pottery too.

Adhesives are not just limited to indoor use. Since they work on both wood and metals, adhesives can used to repair items outside the home as well such as window sills or exposed piping.

Before using any substance containing chemicals always read the packaging instructions for proper use. Also read the warning label for best storage. Always keep any potentially harmful products up and away from children and animals.

Adhesives can be found in your local hardware store year round. Since there are many variety's and forms of adhesives out there make sure to read the labels before purchasing to ensure you have the one that works best for your immediate needs.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Art of Decorating Your Home With Unique Accessories

Decorating a house is a tremendously exciting process for new home owners. However, it can also turn out to be very stressful trying to make up their minds on what color themes and what kind of furnishings to decide on. Interiors contribute a major portion to the overall beauty of the house. It is essential that it conveys something about the owners and also leaves a lasting impression on people who visit. It has become increasingly common to avail the services of subject matter experts while deciding on interior decorations for the house. The importance of choosing the right items for you and using them uniformly all over the house is essential as it will give a common theme and look to the entire house.

Accessories make this possible with a wide range of different products for the many areas of your house and also the vast range available so you can choose something to suit your styles. You can find various designs and patterns including one that is always popular of having patriotic items with the national flag embossed. This portrays their pride towards the history of their country and as they usually come in different colour combinations can add a real flair to a room. This could be anything from a cushion to a sign or some wall art. The wide product ranges enable everybody to own whatever they like from modern contemporary to traditional, and much more in between.

A new and upcoming craze is the 'keep calm and carry on'. There are a number of products that have this slogan imprinted on it. The colorful tea towels create a spark in the kitchen. Shopping bags that are reusable and having edgy comments on them are ideal for shopping groceries and show their contribution to the green revolution.

Interior design is of utmost importance to every home. The right design will not only make the house more attractive but also equally comfortable for the people who live in it. It will give them the feeling of belonging there. Interior design is not only for external beauty. It must have a functional value to make it a proper design for the house. Products and accessories ensure both an aesthetic and functional appeal is brought to your home.

Decorating the house with a theme and possibly products for the same place, or a key color is a great idea. You can carry this key idea through into different rooms. It is sure to tie everything together at the end and you will be look with a gorgeous home.

Monday, 28 November 2011

How to Choose the Right Roof Truss Design

The roof is the most important structure in your home. This is an undeniable universal truth that you would regret were you to forget it. As such, ensuring that your roof has the right framework support should be your first priority. There are two methods through which this may be achieved: traditional roof framing methods and the roof truss method. Of the two the roof truss method offers far more benefits as it is more technologically advanced. Once you choose to go with the roof truss option, you will now have to choose the design that you think would best suit your property.

There are a number of truss designs which might make the final decision as to which design to go with slightly difficult. However, this may be looked at as being advantageous in that you can also make custom truss if you wanted. The first thing that you should do when choosing your truss design is to ensure that you have the right knowledge on roof trusses and the different designs in the market. Within your research ensure you go to forums and read on the opinions provided by the experts in this field. There are hundreds of such information sources as well as a number of blogs written by the experts themselves on their own experiences.

The general classification of roof trusses is made of two groups: flat and pitched trusses. Flat trusses are so named due to the parallel chords that make its top and bottom. These are generally simple truss structures with some variants such as the sloping flat truss which is slightly diagonal than the flat truss.

The pitched truss is so named due to the pitch or inclination involved in its design. These types of trusses are steeply inclined though the level of inclination may change from one truss design to the next.

Lastly, when choosing your roof truss design, try to think of the big picture. Take the time to examine your house from the exterior and envision which truss layout would best fit it. Also be sure to examine the structural layout of the design and whether or not it would be feasible to go with the design you have in mind or choose another. If you are still unsure check with an expert to give you the best advise.

After checking all these, all that is left is the actual construction of the truss and evaluating which manufacturer should do it for you.

Finding the best roof truss design will make remodeling your roof very inexpensive and cost effective. Make sure you find a local roof truss manufacturer with experience and the knowledge to get the job well done.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

3 Reasons Why You Need Outdoor Furniture

When it comes to furniture, people would normally talk about furniture which is only found indoors. Home designs in the past may only include furniture types which are used indoors but nowadays, outdoor furniture is also in demand. Though many people put little value on this furniture, it actually could be as useful as those used inside our homes. Below are 3 reasons why you need this kind of furniture.

1. Spending time outdoors is fun - Spending time outdoors with your family or a group of friends could be more fun as compared to staying inside your homes. There are a lot of fun activities that could be done outside and what could be more fitting than having great outdoor furniture while you are having a good time outdoors. It is also great to relax outdoors during weekends or whenever you have a free time. Good outdoor furniture could provide you the comfort that you need while you rest. There are different types of to choose from and could be ideal whether you are putting it in your patio, or any place that serves as an outdoor living area.

2. Adding design to your house - The outside part of your house is the first thing that people see. Whatever type of design you want for your house, adding furniture definitely helps a lot. There are vintage and modern types that you can choose depending on the design that you prefer to have for your house. As long as you are creative enough, you can even use simple sectional outdoor furniture to add more design to the overall appearance of your house. Mixing different types of furniture helps you set your preferred ambiance. Outdoor furniture could be available in plastic, wood or metal so you definitely have a lot to choose from.

3. Functionality - Outdoor furniture could be very useful if you want to hold special occasions or events outdoors. Whether you are having a picnic or a pool party, having furniture is important especially if you have a lot of guests to accommodate. Even a basic setup of chairs and tables would help a lot. Make any event more special by incorporating different furniture to match the theme or type of occasion you are holding. It would also help your guests feel comfortable while they are having a good time.

The real value of outdoor furniture is not realized by a lot of people these days. Indoor furniture is usually given more priority but both could actually be used for a lot of different purposes. Adding furniture is not very hard to do. Just make sure that you choose ones which are durable and those which are designed to be used outdoors. You may either experiment using different designs yourself or you may seek help from professional house designers if you want to. The purpose of this type of furniture is valuable and the design depends on your preferences. Outdoor furniture could be simple, it could be colorful, and it could be fun.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Different Types Of Futon Beds

The modern day futon comes from the country of Japan. This very popular design was necessitated by the country's space problems. They needed to have something that was as comfortable as possible but could be moved out of the way when it was not being used. The different types of Futon beds spawned a revolution in the United States as a space saving alternative to heavy mattresses.

The relatively small mattresses that were Japanese gave way to the many different models that are the offering in the United States, UK and around the world. These would include several treatments, yet, still keep the main idea of a simple sleeping pad as their main focus. This is the idea to keep in mind as you are looking for the right one for your home. Size and function are what brought about this bed in Japan.

The different types of frames are made from a variety of materials. They are made from metal and those look modern and trendy. The frames made from wood are made from many different woods. Oak, Mahogany and Teak are very beautiful indeed. The many different tones produced by these woods help enhance the look and functionality of the bed.

A simple Flatform Bed is the basic style exemplified by the Japanese model. This is a no frills platform, built of wood or metal, holding the futon mattress at a comfortable height. This is still a very popular type as the others require folding or setting up and tearing down to accommodate the entire range of positions available. This basic model is a popular one in the UK and across much of the globe, today.

A Wall-hugger is another type that will fit snug against the wall without having to pull it out when deploying it for night time. Depending on the frame type, these models will be able to expand and accommodate a sleeper, yet still keep a wide open space around it. This is one of the best types for a small room that requires the futon to be a couch during the day.

Another type of futon is often called a Click Clack. The name seems to have stuck although the actual name is probably lost or it is substituted for a store brand. This type of futon will have several different positions. It can be dropped down for sleeping or raised to be a couch or even a straight-back, wide chair.

There are also those, mattresses actually, that are placed on frames that were originally used for regular beds. These are those that are designed as bunk beds or other frames. The flexibility of this can be imagined as a cost saving measure. These are often used when a larger than normal sleeping area must be utilized.

As you are in the market for one, go into a store and lie down on one of the different types of Futon beds to feel the comfort. Imagine lying on one of these each night and how you can sleep and how it can be changed from bed to couch in one fluid moment. Look at the prices, check out the warranties and make an informed choice.