Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tips to Help You Install a Hardwood Floor

When choosing flooring, people often opt to choose materials that are long-lasting, durable and easy to clean. Ceramic floor tiles and porcelain floor tiles are a popular choice for rooms that are likely to become wet, such as the bathroom or the kitchen. For other rooms where water is not an issue, hardwood flooring is the perfect choice.

If you are not confident at DIY, then most joiners and builders have experience of fitting this type of flooring. However, if you are willing to try fitting it yourself, it is not as difficult a task as you might expect. Here is a step-by-step-guide to completing this task.

1) Measure the Room
Measure the room at the longest and widest points. Multiply these two measurements and this will give you the square footage. You need to know this to buy the right amount. Remember to add on 15% to this figure to allow for wastage.

2) Choose Your Flooring
Choose the flooring that best suits your needs and matches the style you are trying to create.

3) Check the Current Floor and Prepare
Look at the existing floorboards in the room. Are they even? Also, look for squeaky floorboards and nail these down. Next, prepare the floor by removing any shoe-moulding and sweeping through thoroughly.

4) Lay Vapour Barrier Paper
Allowing a 4" overlap, lay out the strips of vapour barrier paper and staple to the floor. While you are doing this, mark along the skirting boards where the joists are located in the room.

5) Layout the Boards
It can be helpful to lay out a few boards before beginning to install them as this helps you to visualise what they will look like and where they will go.

6) Fit the First Board
It is important to start in the right place. This should be at the longest wall with no obstructions. Next, you need to snap a chalk line 3/8" out from the baseboard as this will allow for expansion. You should then choose a longboard to begin.

7) Place the Boards
Align the board to the chalk line and drill a pilot hole through the board and the sub floor. At the point of the joists, face-nail the board and then use a nail-set to set the nail. The boards should be laid perpendicular to the floor joists.

8) Hand-Nail the Rolls
Once you have installed two rows, drill a pilot hole through the tongue of every board and then hand-nail the boards. You will only need to do this until there is sufficient clearance for a pneumatic nail gun.

9) Staple the Boards
Next, you will need a pneumatic nail gun. Position the lip of the gun over the edge of the board. Strike firmly with a mallet to drive the nail through the tongue of the board. There should be a nail approximately every 10".

10) How to Cut Up To Skirting Boards
Choose pieces that will fit in the space and then leave between 10" and 12" and cut off there. Use the other piece to start the next row you lay.

11) Clearance Problems
Using the pneumatic drill when you get close to the walls is tricky because of the clearance issue. Instead, drill pilot holes and face-nail the boards in these areas.

12) Last Boards
Sometimes there is only a narrow space for the last boards. If this is the case, you will need to cut the boards lengthwise to fit. Remember to leave room for expansion.

13) Use Wood Putty (plastic wood)
Buy wood putty that matches the flooring and then fill all the nail holes with this. By doing so, you will create a better finish to the job.

With a little patience and by following these step-by-step instructions, you should have wooden flooring that looks fantastic. If the skills needed are beyond your capabilities, then seek the support of an expert and remember you can now buy realistic wood-effect porcelain floor tiles instead if you need to tile a kitchen or bathroom floor.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How To Design Your Dream Home

They say home is where the heart is. Imagine being given a chance to design your dream house, right from scratch, adding your personal touch. You can design it however you'd like, be it neo-modern or traditionally quaint. Here are 5 simple ways which will help you do just that.

Start Simple

Don't let the design process intimidate you. It's quite simple, really. All you have to do is jot your ideas down on paper. Even a rough sketch describing your ideas would help your design team understand your requirements.

Observe Your Surroundings Closely

Visiting the locality and plot, and familiarizing yourself with the surroundings, will help make designing your home much easier. For instance, if there is a lot of greenery on one part of the property, then you can design the living area facing the greenery, or if the area is close to a stream or river then you can build your bedroom facing it, in order to enjoy the picturesque view.

Reflect on Light

Make sure there is enough light entering the house. Light is powerful because it can brighten up your day, literally! In addition, you could also install skylights, maximizing the natural light coming into your home. Also, if you want to enjoy the natural morning light in your dining area, then make sure you place it towards east, the direction in which the sun rises.

Think About the Future

Keep in mind that early planning is always beneficial. Design your home in such a way that you can accommodate the changes that would eventually take place in your life, be it extending your family or accommodating office space in your house. In addition, you could also make room for some extra space in your house in case you would want your friends and relatives to come over during the holidays.

Prioritize Features

It is important to identify the most important features of your house. This will help you keep your budget under check. Otherwise, while designing your dream house, you might get carried away with the wide range of options you could choose from, resulting in over-stretching the budget.

Following the above steps can help you design your dream house. Make sure you take your time while designing it, sit with the design team and discuss your queries with them if you are unsure about how things are going. Remember, it is much easier to be upfront and discuss all your requirements in the initial stages than miss out on something important which would require you to remodel your custom home later.

I am an avid writer, whose focus is more towards highlighting civic issues our society faces on a daily basis. I provide tips on property investment, write on real estate market price trends in India, and provide an insight on the latest residential projects. For more property related queries, you can visit

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Interior Design Ideas For Your Home

is really great to be in a place where you can relax and be really comfortable. Whether it is your bedroom or the living room, it is always such a nice feeling to stay in a place that looks calm, beautiful and relaxing. This is why, creative interior design is very important.

And when you think about interior design, there is a popular city that always springs to mind with its spectacular infrastructure and design forward homes. You can't walk into any establishment or any home in the emirate without being floored by the interior design. These designers recently unveiled several trends making their way into interior spaces.

Most offices are starting to recognise the benefits of doing away with the corner office. Instead, expect to see more brainstorming spaces that bring teams toward better collaboration and dynamic creativity. Custom lighting, fluid layout for better movement, spacing and ambiance are all key to introducing a closer atmosphere in most offices. This has already become a trend.

Sustainability is also becoming a consistent element for interior designers. Design pieces are reclaimed or recreated, adding an entirely unique vibe to any space, from homes and offices to retail stores and hospitality establishments. By no means should this indicate throwing a piece of wood around the house or your place of business. Expert interior designers recommend going for sinuous lines, textured palettes, natural colours, and basically, using nature for inspiration. This is not only great to look at but very calming and comfortable.

Monochromes and colour blocking are out. Optical geometrics, illustrated prints, and other patterns are in. Designers are looking to meteorology and climatology for fresh, inventive, and a new generation of styles that highlight molecular and abstract forms. You'll also find contemporary design will be alluring to the eyes as well as decadent to the skin. This is design and comfort in one.

Another creative interior design idea is making use of wallpapers. Wallpapers are making a comeback. Colours, prints, and patterns on walls add eye candy to any space. Reduced deign is also a very popular one. This concept will never go out of style. So you'll still find this design idea a hot trend. Free up your interior spaces with lighter palettes and forms, and keep it pure and simple. This minimalist style is often viewed as trendy, chic and sophisticated.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Number One Tips For House Extensions

Having house extensions is a more sensible option than selling your house and buying a bigger one. With the housing market not stable, selling a house would take longer time. Buying a house would probably cost more. It would be more practical and more convenient to hire an architect to design for your house extension. Having House extensions is more advantageous than having to move to a new and more expensive house.

Having a house extension will add value to your house. This you could sell for better price once the market condition has become more stable. The usual home extensions are adding a new kitchen or a lounge. Older homes usually have not given much priority or attention to their kitchens. Or you may choose for a lounge extension considering you have a growing family. You can have quality time together or entertain guests at your extended lounge.

If you prefer to add another bedroom with its own bathroom, it could be possible to have it over your garage space. Or if you have a large backyard, you can have your house extension there. The space would be great for your children who might need more privacy or for guests and relatives who visits you occasionally. There are certain limits or boundaries you can build your extension without needing for a planning permission.

You may want a conservatory for your home extension and this can be built in just a few weeks. You may also be considering having a playroom or study room based on your needs.

But before proceeding with building your extension, you must ensure the foundation is strong enough to allow the extension to take place. Your foundation must be placed directly under your walls and position them properly to avoid having problems with it in the future. Aside from the foundation, you also need to check your damp proofing. Checking this will help you prevent future related problems.

Electric cables should have proper protective coverings. This actually is very important primarily for safety purposes. The floor should have the proper height so that your doors and windows will have the proper height too.

An experienced and reputed builder knows which mistakes to avoid, but if you are the one doing the extensions, it is best that you also take note of these and have them checked. It is advisable to order adequate materials before the start of the construction of your house extension. If you run out of materials, you might be faced with difficulty finding similar materials.

A house extension will not cost you as much and will increase the value of your house. A good company is capable of handling the project from start to its completion. The company's representative can determine whether your extension design will be feasible or not. Your specific needs and preference will be discussed with you and necessary recommendations will be given to the feasibility of the project. The company will provide you with full transparency for the management system of the project. You will be provided with constant updates as the construction of your house extension progresses. You will be provided with a detailed breakdown of the estimated cost so you could manage your budget well.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Electricity Prices Are the Lowest This Year

This past cold winter caused electricity rates to skyrocket and they remained high well into 2014. Usually these rates moderate during the spring and remain low through the early fall. However this year, prices stayed high during the spring and they are just now starting to moderate in July. Almost every day in July has seen lower prices.

Two main factors that cause prices to rise and fall are: 1. the price of natural gas and 2. geopolitical unrest.

Natural gas prices typically go up each winter and geopolitical unrest can happen anytime. The typical scenario is that electricity prices go up in the winter when natural gas prices rise and come down in the late spring and summer, when natural gas prices fall. This year the combination of high natural gas prices remaining well into the spring with the unrest in the Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, electricity prices continued at high prices into the early summer.

Now that prices are coming down, it is time to examine your electricity bill and your term commitment. If your contract expires in the next 120 days, you should be able to shop around and sign a new contract with a provider that can lower your cost of electricity each month.

You should look for electricity rates for the energy itself at or below.060 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). This is the deregulated or competitive part of your electric bill. The other part of your electricity bill is the delivery part, which encompasses reading your electric meter and delivering the electricity to your home or business. This part is the regulated part of your bill and it is not subject to competitive pricing. There are also associated taxes and fees included here.

All in, you should strive to keep your total electricity costs below 10.0 cents per kWh. When you find that prices are extremely low, you should select the longer term contracts, 24 or 36 months. If you are not sure about the current prices, then you should select the shorter term contracts, 6 or 12 months.

In any event, you should take a look at your electric bill and determine how much you are currently paying per kWh and how long is your term contract. If you are paying in the 12 to 16 cents per kWh, you are paying too much. Once you have determined when your contract ends, you should actively shop prices and lock in a low rate.

In the future, keep tabs on the prices of electricity and the time your contract expires. This will prepare you to be ready to keep your electric bills at the lowest rates possible.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What we Inspect Home Inspection

Home Inspection
Whether you are buying or selling your home, West Coast Home Inspection can provide an easy mind and assist you an effortless transaction with the other party. West Coast has been serving the County areas for over 10 years and has countless inspections under their belt. Our home inspections include everything from the top to the bottom including: Roofing, Foundation, Electrical, Plumbing and more! We have been trusted by our home owners and seekers with home inspections due to our commitment to kind, courteous service and thorough reports that tell you exactly what's going on in your home.

Home Inspector: It's crucial to find a home inspector in  that you can have confidence. Picking the best  Home Inspection company does not come without it's possible pitfalls. Here are some tips about how you can be sure you're choosing the best home inspector to handle your affairs.
  •     First, never hire an inspector who provides repairs along with his or her home inspection report. This is a big conflict of interest and could leave you paying out more money than you actually need to for your home inspection of your  property or home.

  •     Secondly, be absolutely certain you're hiring an established inspector with many inspections under their belt. Many inspectors are brand new out of training and certification and they don't necessarily know the ins and outs of every home they inspect especially if the inspector has never apprenticed anyone in the past.

What we Inspect in your home

At West Coast, our inspectors analyze over 400 items and work meticulously to identify the possible problems of the home. We leave no stone unturned in our home inspection process. When our home inspectors are finished with your home, we prepare a report specifically tailored with the details of our home inspection purchase.

New construction home inspections in are carried out upon the fininshing of the home, but just before one last walkthrough using the builder's customer support representative or agent. It is usually smart to verify that utilities (gas, water and electric) happen to be switched on, either on your part or even the builder with respect to the constructor's policy. The home inspection ought to be scheduled just a couple of days before you decide to final walkthrough using the builder. This can make sure that most, if not completely, last second products happen to be completed just before your inspection. Following the inspection West Coast in Los Angeles, a completed report is going to be given to you. It is wise to keep your home inspection on file.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Improving HVAC Performance in Your Home

HVAC Heater
Whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer, you probably want to keep outdoor temperatures at bay. Of course, maintaining a comfortable climate inside your home or business requires energy, and it also requires powerful HVAC equipment that is ideally suited for your property. No matter where you live, you'll face months where you pay high rates on energy bills. In some cases, you may find yourself paying high amounts all year long. Fortunately, there are ways you can invest in your property to improve energy efficiency and the performance of your heating and cooling equipment.

It all starts with the HVAC appliances themselves. You'll want appliances that are powerful enough to effectively heat or cool your entire property. Wear and tear is normal on heating and cooling equipment, so you'll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they're working at an optimal level. If you've noticed a significant drop off in the effectiveness of your heater or AC, it's time to call a technician to have your appliance serviced. In addition, you should have the ducts in your property cleaned regularly improve efficiency and the quality of air in your home. Of course, it's also essential to change air filters on a regular basis. An inefficient appliance will cost you money unnecessarily, so consider the investment in tuning up your heater or AC a worthy one.

If your house is poorly insulated, you'll have a very hard time maintaining a comfortable temperature. In fact, during particularly hot or cold months, you may be unable to reach a desired temperature at all. When you invest in insulating your floors, walls, and attic, it can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your HVAC systems. Even if your house has old insulation, it may be a good idea to replace it with newer, more advanced materials that are well rated. Improving insulation will save you money for years to come, and it will even increase your property's value. A lot of air can travel through windows and doorways as well. Use doorstops and caulk to get rid of leaks at thresholds, and consider investing in double-paned and treated glass to make your windows more efficient.

When you've invested in your property to reduce your energy consumption, you'll be amazed at the results that show up monthly on your HVAC bill. While the cost of investing in insulation or you think that an upgraded heating and cooling system may seem steep now, you'll experience the benefits for years to come. In addition, your home will be much, much greener when you invest in quality building materials. As you can see, there are several benefits to reducing the amount of energy you consume.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Office Design - Decor Ideas

Decor Ideas
Office decorating ideas can not be an easy task, especially if you have not delivered to him throughout life. Although many small business owners find the Small Office Home Office (SOHO) concept that works for the offices is a must for large companies. And internal office to look attractive and candies, whether at home or in shopping malls, you must innovate med office decorating ideas.

These smart ideas can really make your home office a place where everything would look amazing especially reassuring to work vigorous. When designing TheOffice decorating ideas, you must remember in the office area at your disposal. Remember that too many ideas did not work once the art, especially if you have a small office space. You can cover the walls of your office with a beautiful tapestry, or if you do not need there would be the easiest solution is to paint the office walls with light colors graceful. Next in line would be adorned with antiques, which may be placed in conference rooms and reception on the ground.

Office decorating ideas, such as indoor lighting and decoration of the walls of the paintings you can still add a touch of grandeur and delicacy office. Even in this case would be one of the great sumptuousoffice and decorating ideas to decorate the corners of conceptual models, arts and crafts, evaluated, shells property and more.

In addition, you can go for office furniture and compatible chip that not only takes up less desk space, but also creates a clean environment in the office interiors.Office decorating ideas for the furniture should include credenzas, filing cabinets, desks , chairs, hydraulic, and more. It would also be a good idea to decorate the interior corridors Walking with ornamental plants.