3 Tips for Gorgeous Landscaping

The winter months make it hard to imagine your yard as anything other than a vast, empty field of white, but you still have plenty of opportunities to think about landscaping. The exterior of your home is defined by landscaping, even in the winter. While you might not plan on having your home on the market until spring, there are still things you can do to get better landscaping. Planning the landscaping work ahead of time will help you save money. One way that a lot of contractors make money is through confused, distracted homeowners. They prey on the fact that you probably don’t know what to do with your home’s exterior, so they bill you a lot of time for visualization and planning to make up for this fact. In a way, they’re justified; it takes up a professional’s time when you don’t know what you want. On the other hand, you can cut these costs down dramatically by having solid ideas for landscaping ahead of time. There are essentially three main tips for gorgeous landscaping; following these tips will help you save money and truly unlock the vast opportunities your home provides.

1. Have a Purpose

Do you have a purpose for the space that you’re working with? If you don’t have an idea of what the space will look like, it’s time to draw things out. You need to set a purpose for the spaces around your yard. Will you entertain on a deck? Have you considered building a better gardening space? Part of the joy of owning a home is that you have full control over what you do with it. If you’ve always wanted to have a big garden but you lived in an apartment, now’s your chance to live out your dream.

Landscaping

2. Have a Theme

Just like you need to have a purpose for your landscaping, you also need to have a strong theme. Feel free to look through old photos of homes from different eras. You never know when your next idea is going to come from. A theme doesn’t have to last forever; if you get bored with the way the exterior looks, you can always change it again. Why not look through some “lookbooks” before your next project? In the winter months, it’s not like there’s much that you can do to the outside. Looking for inspiration can help you cope with the long winter ahead.

3. Have a (Recurring) Plan

If you create a theme with your landscaping, don’t just let it stay the same all year round. Have plans to keep things fresh and interesting. If you think back to great looking homes you fell in love with, they most likely changed as the seasons changed. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. It allows people to see something has changed, and try to get a closer look at your home. Ultimately, if you want to sell your home in the future, you’ll need to have a decent plan well ahead of time. Building a theme allows you to execute your plan, look at the results, and then change things up on a schedule. part of the reason why so many homeowners stay in their homes isn’t because they like them. The problem is inertia: nothing changes, so people feel like they’re stuck. They worry that no one is going to like their home as much as they do, so they don’t even bother putting it on the market.

The truth is that as long as you take exterior design in mind as you enjoy your home, you’ll be able to sell when you’re ready. Until then, why not enjoy the space day by day? It’ll be a lot easier to stay happy when you’re in a space that makes you feel great!

Now You Can Smoke and Still Have the Cleanest Home Around!

Smoking is a pleasurable activity, with millions of people enjoying a smoke on a regular basis every day. However, when you’re trying to make your home look good inside and out, it’s very difficult to keep things from smelling like smoke. The smoke gets into the upholstery, on the curtains, and even on the walls. There has to be a way to enjoy smoking without necessarily destroying the cleanliness of your home, right?

e_cigs

Thankfully, there is. You can get a good e zigarette system that doesn’t cause the walls of your home to turn yellow and smell like smoke. Cleaning the baseboards of your home every month will be easier once you don’t have them clogged with smoke as well. A lot of respiratory distress symptoms get triggered once you have a lot of cigarette smoke lingering around in clothes, upholstery, and everywhere else.

Make sure that if you’re going to go with a good e cigarette system that you do a little bit for homework. You should know that we’re talking about a smoke free system. All you have is a harmless vapor that will evaporate quickly from the air, leaving behind very little scent. You can also get your e-cigs in different flavors. So you might have one flavor for when you get off work that relaxes you, and another flavor before work that gets you ready for whatever the day will bring.

remove smoke smell from furniture

To keep on using your e-cigarette, it’s important to keep it charged. Since you already have electricity in your home, this is as simple as plugging in a small charger and hooking the cigarette into the charger after it’s been set up.

As long as you charge the e-cig often and avoid getting it wet in the rain, you’ll be able to enjoy smoking this way for a very long time. The other nice thing about this system is that you can even get nicotine-free e-cig “juice” that just gives you the feeling of smoking without necessarily the addiction factor. If you’re not fully ready to quit the nicotine, you can always customize how much nicotine you’re getting in each vial.

Notice how everything sounds straightforward? That’s because when it comes to enjoying a good smoke and having a clean home, you can finally have it all without compromise. Just check out the e zigarette system today; you won’t be disappointed!

Decorating your nursery when the new arrival is a surprise!

Nowadays, many expectant parents will find out the sex of the inhabitant of their ever growing bump at one of their ultrasound scan appointments. Knowing whether their baby is going to be a boy or girl, they say, makes shopping for its impending arrival easier. Just as many mums and dads to be, though, want a true birthday surprise and do all they can not to find out the sex. I’m of the opinion that what babies need in their very earliest days is no different whatever the sex. In fact, and this may be a bit controversial but I’ll say it anyway, you can make more stylish choices without the pink or blue burden upon your shoulders and here’s how.

Decorating nursery

Neutrals

This is the easy option. As in any room, going for neutrals for your nursery furniture makes for a restful and calm room. Of course, once you know if baby is Johnny or Joanie, then you can add more gender specific items as he or she grows. It’s an easy look to achieve and transform.

Here are some of my favourite nursery neutrals:

Monochrome

This might seem like a radical choice for a nursery but randomised controlled studies of even very young babies have shown time and time again black and white, high contrast images are the ones the little bundles love best. As baby grows into a toddler you could paint an area of the wall first with magnetic paint then add a top coat of blackboard paint. He or she will have a magnetic blackboard to play with that will take up zero floor space.
Just like neutral schemes, this is one that would be so easy to jazz up with additional colours over time.

Bright and bold

Now this is a look you can really have fun with and it’s almost impossible to get it wrong. Choose key pieces in bright, primary colours to create a fun and lively space for baby to enjoy. This would also work overlaid on a monochrome scheme. This has to be my favourite!

Just a note on safety

Whatever scheme you dream up or choose please bear in mind the following safety points:

1. Always put baby to sleep on his or her back, preferably with a dummy (pacifier);
2. Make sure curtain cords, light pulls, bunting, etc. are way beyond baby’s reach;
3. Get a nursery thermometer to ensure baby doesn’t over heat;
4. Don’t let baby sleep with its head covered (that includes hats)
5. Babies do not need to sleep on cushions or pillows until at least a year old;
6. The best place for baby to sleep for the first six months is in a crib next to mum and dad;
7. NEVER, EVER let baby sleep for even short periods on bean bags or cushions.

Best Interior Paint

Painting and decorating can sometimes be challenging especially when you want to make different choices. It is even more challenging when you have to choose the best interior paint or do it on your own. There are so many colors in the market and if you are not certain on which color you want to use, you can end up making a mistake.

You can also spend large sums of money to paint the interior, but with right guidance you can reduce the cost. Always make sure you have the right materials and people to work for you before you start painting or decorating.

Interior Paint

Cleaning up the surface will always improve your work results. It helps to reduce the amount of paint used. Painting on a rough surface can consume a lot of paint than a smooth surface. The color you use in a room will always speak more about you. Some people like primary colors; others like secondary ones. it all depends on personal choices.

Here are some points to note when choosing the best interior paint for your house:

• It is always good to be patient when choosing the colors you want to use in your house. Always make sure you wait until the entire house is finished. By doing this you will be able to make good decision on where to paint and with what color. Paint is the most important element when it comes to house decoration. If not properly chosen, it may end up making your house look ugly and lifeless. Paint is easy to change. By choosing the best interior paint for your house, you will ensure that your house remain attractive and warm.

• When choosing on what paint you want to use in your house, it is good to consider the color of your furniture; try to harmonize you walls and the furniture. Make sure before you leave home for paint shopping you have all the relevant information to avoid buying colors you had not planned for. Continue reading “Best Interior Paint”

Best Exterior Paint

When choosing the best exterior paint, you must make up your mind first .You need to know which colors you want and also enquire the cost of the paint. You must also know about the quality for good results.

It is also important to budget before you go shopping for your paints. The exterior area to be painted needs to be prepared. You cannot paint without doing the required repairs on the outdoor area. Make sure all the surfaces to be painted are smooth for easy application. Getting the exterior house ready for painting, should be the first expense on your list. Then you can check the other expenses like paying the painters and buying the best exterior paint.

There is variety of exterior paints and the choice is yours. You can consult a professional painter to help you choose the best exterior paint for your home. A painter will be able to tell you about different paints available, and then you can chose depending on your taste and money.

Exterior Paint

When choosing the best exterior paint, you must consider the area that you want to paint. Some outdoor areas are very dull and they need to brighten up. Do not make a mistake to paint your exterior without asking for help from painters as this can make your home look bad and unprofessional.

Here are some tips that can help you make sure that you use the best exterior paints:

Wooden home exteriors – The best paint for this kind of surface is Acrylic latex. Normally, it is mixed with water to make it thin. When applied, it usually dries very fast. It is also easy to use any time you want to use it for your painting. You should always use primer on the wooden surface. For best results, always insist on buying the genuine paint for your work to avoid bad results which can mean damage to the wood.

Vinyl-clad exteriors – When applying this kind of surface, the best paint to look out for is pure acrylic latex. Primer is not needed here, hence making it easy to apply. It is directly used to the surface. Continue reading “Best Exterior Paint”

3 Tips for Taking the Hassle Out of Exterior Design Plans

Curb appeal a concept that we can all relate to as homeowners, landlords, and real estate fans. We want to make sure that we’re presenting the very best image to everyone that derives by. This is critical if you’re trying to build up a home’s value. Everyone cares about a nice looking home. For landlords, getting the most rent for a property is based on its visual appeal. Sure, you could argue that the way the inside of the home looks matters a great deal to tenants. This is true as well, but they won’t take a look at the inside unless they start falling in love with the outside.

Setting the Scene for Better Exterior Design

You have to have a steady and stable plan for development if you want to see things come together on the outside of your home. Because everyone will see the changes, it’s important to build a solid foundation. Planning isn’t as fun as the actual renovation process but it can save you tens of thousands of dollars if you do things properly. The last thing that you want to do is find yourself being unable to pull off the full renovation because you went over budget. By the way, that’s the first thing that you need to think about: budget! If you don’t have a set budget in place, you’re bound for disaster. The worst projects usually stem from big dreams and a small budget. If you don’t keep your plans in line with your budget, you won’t finish. Getting top notch talent for a small project is better than trying to get substandard talent for a larger project.

Exterior Design Plans

If you already know who you want to work with, that makes your budget a lot easier. But if you don’t know who you want to work with, it can make things complicated. Are they going to be able to handle the job, based on their experiences? Will they be able to stay within budget? Get a list of references from any company that you decide to go with. References allow you to call people that they have worked with and ask very specific questions. If someone says that they had a problem with the company, try to get them to explain it. Sometimes things do go wrong on a project, and it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault.

Be ready to write down your plan and discuss it for a while with the company you contract. You will also want to let them be the experts on the scene and give you solid input. Professionals love to showcase their knowledge in a way that helps you. As their customer, they want to make sure that you have your vision come to life in a way that’s budget friendly and appealing.

From Planning to Execution: Bringing the Design to Life

Bringing your design to life might take a few weeks, or it could be a few months. It depends on how large your project truly is. If you’re just trying to clean up the landscaping, it’s something that can be done in a few days. Sometimes you may even need to take a week to tie things together. That’s perfectly acceptable. Continue reading “3 Tips for Taking the Hassle Out of Exterior Design Plans”

What You Need To Know About Vinyl Windows

Ever since the introduction of vinyl windows in the mid-60’s, maintenance has become a breeze. Vinyl windows come in a variety of colors – and are the most inexpensive windows on the market. They are relatively energy efficient, having mid-range to high R-values, a measure of resistance to heat flow. The higher the number, the better insulation. And the beauty of vinyl windows is you can create any style – plus there’s a wide variety of standard sizes and styles. The experts at Otto’s Exterior say “Vinyl windows reduce noise, are easy to clean and add value to homes.”

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

Durable
Strong
Low maintenance
Energy efficient
Customizable to a variety of styles and shapes
Available in a variety of colors
Low cost – available in a wide range of prices

Vinyl Windows

Limitations of Vinyl Windows

Cannot be painted. If you decide to change your house color scheme, you’ll need to work around the color of your vinyl windows

Stats About Vinyl Windows

In 2005, Remodeler Magazine reported in their Cost vs. Value Report that a “mid-range job (replacing 10 existing 3-by-5-foot double-hung windows with vinyl-clad double-glazed replacement windows and not disturbing existing interior or exterior trim) had a national average cost of $9,424 and the cost was recouped at 74 percent.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “windows with Energy Star labels are energy efficient all year long and are twice as efficient as the average window produced 10 years ago. They’re available in aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl and wood, and include design styles such as single-hung, double-hung, casement, horizontal slider, fixed and picture, as well as patio slider.”

When shopping for windows, understanding the difference between different window materials will help you find the windows that are right for your house style and climate. Doing a little homework in advance can also help you with the best price and the right contractor to install your new windows.

Wooden Exterior Doors

Exterior or front doors are of utmost importance when it comes to your home since they tend to create the first impression on the onlooker. A maintained, elegant, and high quality entry door would not only endow a welcoming look on the entryway of the home, it would disperse a certain aura of grace, and elegance all around.

With due regard to such aspects, wooden exterior doors are looked upon as a suitable door solution for your entrance that inculcate a truly traditional experience, yet also withhold the element of class, and style. They can be customized in a variety of features like paints, varnish, hardware, etc, and thereby are high in demand by the US consumers.

wood-exterior-doors

Moreover, wooden doors can be hardly resisted when you want to endow your home with elegance, beauty, and style. More so, one can thereby imagine the profound impact they may have as front entry doors. Wooden exterior doors for home are available in the market with a variety of options for the consumers.

It is hence suggested to look thoroughly into the kind of wooden exterior door you would want to have in your home. For example, you would have to select between the choice of softwood, and hardwood. Other than that, you would also have to select any offered finishes to work as a perfect medium to enhance the door’s theme.

In addition, one appreciable quality about wooden exterior doors is that they can be added with any complementary door furniture to give them a customized touch. In the same course of action, you are likely to cross your budget. Thereby, it is important to keep your budget in mind, and select wooden exterior doors accordingly.

However, at the same time, looking for doors that may fit into your budget plan does not mean that you should not even hesitate investing on cheap wooden exterior doors. This should certainly not be the case since you would be disappointed with the door’s performance, and poor features.

Wooden exterior doors for sale are always available in ample variety of finishes ranging from deep to rich tones like mahogany, and warm honey of pine. Due to this, retailers offer all consumers with multiple choices, and thereby consumers are able to select from choices of treated, or unfinished exterior door, the stain, or varnish of their choice to further augment their home’s beauty, and appeal.

Lastly, the reason why you are suggested to refrain from investing on cheap wooden exterior doors is due to numerous issues with such doors. When it comes to wooden exterior doors, budget has to be kept amongst the priority aspects. However, if you desired selection is beyond your budget, you may look for a discount package instead of going for a cheap one, since it would not last for long. Before you would even start caring for its maintenance, it would start deteriorating. Not only it would be vulnerable to harsh weather conditions, it would fall victim to rotting, and cracking easily. You may even want to go for a used wooden entry door, but then you would have to look deeply into the matter.

Good Canopy Awnings Are a Good Investment For This Upcoming Summer

Canopy Awnings are retractable, economical, and a great addition to the exterior of your home! Canopy awnings provide comfort from the hot sun and protection from pouring rain. Shielding the house entrance, decks, and patios from harsh conditions makes your home more attractive to buyers, should you decide to sell your home someday.

As stated above, canopy awnings are generally retractable, allowing the owner to extend the shade during the summer and adjust it in the winter time. This may not make sense for a house entrance, but for the deck, it’s ideal. The shade opens the great outdoors to those that stay indoors due to the heat and sunlight.

Using a canopy awning is very economical. They lower summer cooling costs, leaving you with money to spend on things you truly want to spend money on. When you use it, you spend less on air conditioning. They also lower summer heat on windows, lessening heat the most on eastern and western facing windows.

canopy awning

If you’re an indoors person, canopy awnings have benefits for you too! They reduce sunlight, and therefore reduce the glare that falls upon computer monitors and television sets. The use of canopy awnings over windows helps lower air conditioning bills for the interior of the house as well, as they will reduce the amount of sunlight (and heat) that flows through the window.

Installing canopy awnings over your doors and windows also help protect the interior of your home by reducing the amount of sunlight that touches your furniture. Exposure to sunlight causes the fabric on the furniture to fade, reducing the value of your furniture. In addition, exposure to sunlight increases the heat that the furniture absorbs into its seats and cushions, making seating uncomfortable during the summer months.

Like other consumer products, homeowners have a good deal of choice when it comes to their canopy awning. They are generally made with either outdoor fabric or aluminum. Aluminum canopy awnings are great because they are sturdy and do not require a lot of maintenance. However, they do not range very well when it comes to shape and color. Yet if the canopy awning is made from fabric, it requires a lot more care and higher maintenance, but more colors and shapes are available to the consumer. On the positive side, canopy awnings that are made from fabric come in a wider range of colors and shapes.

When purchasing a canopy awning, one must prioritize their wants. If you prefer a large awning to maximize protection and coverage, you may have to sacrifice some of your choice as far as the decorative quality. But if utility is your topmost priority, then by all means buy a larger canopy awning.

What You Need To Know About Selecting Vessel Sinks

For the home owner looking for a fresh, innovative look for their bathrooms, vessel sinks are worth consideration. Vessel sinks come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, making it a valuable addition to any home. Vessel sinks can either be bought from a retailer, or purchased from a small designer that will create a custom vessel sink that truly represents you! With so many options to choose from, deciding what vessel sink to own can be difficult. Below is some more information about vessel sinks, purchasing vessel sinks, and even comparison of the materials most commonly used in vessel sinks.

Is a Vessel Sink the Best Fit?

Vessel sinks are popular because of how customizable they are. Indeed, buyers can choose them in various colors, shapes, and sizes. They sit on top of the counter, though some vessel sinks are recessed slightly into the counter. They are ideal for those without small children or special needs, as they may not be as accessible to those groups.

Vessel Sinks

Choosing the Best Material for Your Vessel Sink

The main materials that vessel sinks are made out of are clay, glass, and metal. These materials all have their strengths and weaknesses that should be understood before purchasing a vessel sink.

Clay materials are the oldest material used for creating sinks, and vessel sinks are definitely no exception to this rule. Examples of clay materials are earthenware, ceramic, and Vitreous China. Vitreous China is a type of earthenware, but it far more fragile. However, Vitreous China is very glossy and smooth, which is often a higher priority with some buyers. Don’t count out earthenware, though – earthenware is prone to developing a crackle appearance that is highly prized. Also, earthenware is very porous, making no two pieces of material alike. This adds to the unique qualities of the vessel sink.

Clay materials are beautiful and durable. However, they can be broken or damaged very easily, so they must be treated with care. Compared to glass materials, vessel sinks that are made from clay are much more durable than glass. Glass is not as fragile as most buyers would think, however. Glass materials have evolved from their early counterparts. Glass sinks can handle small accidents, such as a small plastic bottle or brush falling into the bowl. Heavy objects will naturally cause breakage. The strength of the glass stems from both the type of material used in the creation, but also the production.

Glass sinks are generally made from either soda-lime or lead glass. Soda-lime is a very common, inexpensive material, which makes it perfect for vessel sinks. The material can be etched and shaped into many intriguing designs. For those that are looking for an even higher premium grade glass, the lead glass is the best choice. Lead glass is soft, has a brilliant shine, and can been enhanced dramatically by cutting. Many buyers often choose lead glass over soda-lime for vessel sinks, but if the price difference makes a difference for your budget, the substitution of the cheaper glass does not reduce the beauty or quality of your vessel sink.