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Will Barbossa

Blue and White Kitchen

Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets are classic style seen in most kitchens. They are preferred by homeowners because they offer a flexible styling that can be modern, classic or traditional. The clean lines and square corners are easy to work into any design. White shaker cabinets are the prime choice for the blue and white kitchen. The choice of white means that the homeowner or builder will have a clean palate upon which he or she can add colors and the blue and gray ranges.

Even going a little bit more into the realm of stains, one can choose a stain of blue, grey or white shaker cabinets that allows the wood color to shine through a bit. This gives more of a rustic feel.

In addition to white shaker cabinets, blue and gray can also be used. Then, the decorator can add pops of color throughout the kitchen as they so desire. Blue, white and gray are easy colors to work with. When it comes to choosing knobs or pulls for the white shaker cabinets, one should go with metal finishes for a modern kitchen and perhaps glass, ceramic or bronze for a country or classic style.

Appliances

When it comes to choosing appliances for the blue and white kitchen trend, most go with stainless steel. This is due in part to its previous popularity that hasn’t waned much, but also because it’s in the gray palette of colors. There are two other options for appliance finishes, they include basic white and refrigerators that mimic cabinetry.

Decorative of clients panels that match cabinets are very popular choice this year. They offer a great way to conceal your appliances and create a seamless look of cabinetry within the kitchen. We’ve there are some specifications of the appliance when it comes to the trim kit, so one should make sure all is compatible before investing.

Backsplashes, Flooring and Counter tops

Other important elements of the blue and white kitchen include backsplashes flooring and countertops. When choosing these finishes, it’s important to look at what’s already there and keep in mind the overall theme.

The backs plashes the perfect area to add a little color. For example, one can choose a plain white tiled backs plash that add some blue glass. This is just one idea, or course. The sky is the limit for backs plashes and they actually play a very important role in adding interest around white shaker cabinets. Another idea is to match the backsplash to the knobs or pulls. Popular counter tops include marble, granite, concrete and other simple materials; the same goes for flooring.

A blue and white kitchen carries simplicity with subtle decorative items as well. As long as the designer keeps in mind that it shouldn’t feel cluttered, then it will will turn out absolutely perfect. Fun can be had with statement lighting, some bold wallpaper, whimsical window dressings and more. The decorator can easily capture their personality in the design when working with basic elements to include white shaker cabinets, simple backs plashes and solid colored counter tops. Explore the options by browsing online or picking up some interior design catalogs.

Install an Interior Stone Wall

Backer preparation

On concrete block walls or unpainted brick walls the stone can be stuck directly to these surfaces without any additional layers needed.

On wood or drywall add a layer of tar paper starting at the bottom and working upward over laping the paper by 4″. The paper can be attached with a stapler because a layer of expanded metal lath is the next layer needed. This should be installed from the bottom working up and over lap by a couple of inches. Use nails or screws that will go into the studs by an inch and half. A tip here would be to add a washer to you nail or screw to help hold on the lath. Fasten the lath on every stud and not more than 8″ apart. Wear gloves to work with the lath it will chew up your hands as you work with it.

Surface Preparation

Cover the lath with a ½” coat of mortar or scratch coat and allow to dry for about an hour. When applying the scratch coat use a course brush to form grooves in the mortar so you next layer has something to grab on to. The mortar should be one part type “N” cement and 2 parts mason sand. Mix with enough water to form a putty consistency this formula can also be used to set the stones and grout the joints.

Applying the stone

Most stone veneer is easily shaped or cut as needed. Cutting or shaping can be done by using a circular saw with a masonry blade, a wet saw, or grinder with masonry cutting wheel or diamond edge. A hammer and chisel will cut the stone, tap the chisel on the stone until it splits.

Butter the stone by adding about a ½” to ¾” of mortar on the back of each stone before sticking them to the wall. Start at the bottom and firmly push the stone into the wall causing the mortar to squeeze out on the edges of the stone. If the stones are shifting when you let go of them your mortar may be too thin and you will need to add some more cement and sand till it is sticky. I have found that adding some masonry lime to the mix will make the stones stick better.

As you work up the wall you can use some wooden or plastic spacers to help hold the stones until the mortar dries.

Be careful not to be too messy with the mortar and get it all over the show side of the stones. You need to keep them as clean as possible for the best finish.

Getting your joints right

After about an hour, when the mortar has dried a bit, push the mortar into the joints this can be done with a jointing tool or a rounded stick. I have found and old spoon or even a kitchen knife works good for this.

After the above has been completed, wire brush any excess mortar from the face of the stone, and clean up joints with the wire brush and a whisk broom.

Grouting

Now it is time to grout the joints and for this you will need a grout bag. Mix the mortar until it is a little runny and fill the bag half way roll the bag and squeeze with your other hand forcing the mortar into the joints. The hole in the bag shouldn’t be more than ¾”.

If you don’t grout the same day make sure you leave your stones clean and wire brush any mortar off of the face of the stones before the mortar hardens.

Types of Self Storage Units

Climate controlled units

These units are extremely popular nowadays due to the type of things people tend to store. It helps to control certain features such as the temperature and humidity levels and this is very important for items such as electronic appliances, art pieces and jewellery. In Singapore, the temperature fluctuates and there is high humidity, accelerating corrosion and growth of fungi and mould. Using a climate controlled unit will help to significantly reduce those from attacking.

Furniture storage units

Furniture storage units are a relatively new concept and the size of the unit is up to the size of a HDB bedroom. As the name suggest, customers rent this unit primary for the storage of furniture and furniture related items such as beds, wardrobes and tables.

Drive up storage units

This is possibly the most convenient storage unit available. The size of the unit is generally large, being roughly the size of a small garage. The good thing about this unit is that trucks can simply drive to the back, unload your items and drive off. This will eliminate the need to carry your items for long distances and risk damaging them.

Vehicle storage units

Vehicle storage units offer unrivalled security features meant for the storage of automobiles such as your luxury cars, antique bikes and personal yacht. Rental cost for berths are extremely expensive and truthfully, your yacht will spend most of its time at the berth, chalking up huge bills. It can offer an alternative solution at a fraction of the price but with top notch security features such as CCTV, fingerprint access and wireless controls.

Log Cabin Roofing

Now that you are clear on what’s acceptable and what’s not, you can get cracking on the decision-making process. Have a look at some of the determinants that can influence your design, stability, utility and costs and the reasons why.

In this case, you can go for a flat roof or a pitched one. Weather conditions play a crucial role in this decisions as well as what you find pleasing to the eye.

A pitched roof is any roof with a gradient larger than 10%. The steep of the roof affects how fast rain and snow slough off the roof, thus making steeper roofs more suitable for wet weather conditions. With this kind of a roof, it is less likely that rain and snow can get caught in the roofing materials, resulting in low maintenance costs.

The downside to this kind of roof is that the steeper the gradient, the more expensive the construction becomes. You will incur a lot of expenses on labor and materials and may experience objections from local authorities on the same.

Take caution when constructing such a roof in an area prone to strong winds as they can move under the overhang and lift off the cabin roof. This roof is quite aesthetically pleasing and will be a great addition to your surroundings.

If you have a tight budget, this kind of roof is more suitable when compared to the former option. Not only will you use fewer materials but you can also cut your construction time in half. You can even put up this roof in a day if you wish.

Though often referred to as flat roofs, these kinds of cabin roofs have a slight gradient to them, allowing water and snow to run off smoothly. The extra room you get on top upon installation can come in handy when installing solar panels, putting up a living area or other improvements in the future.

These roofs do have their limitations as they are more prone to water leakages when compared to pitched types. Leakage often occurs in wet regions, hence the need to factor in location when putting up a roof. Flat roofs can also cave in under the pressure of snow weight during winters.

They are also quite unstable when used to roof large sections, and they are more suited to small spaces. All, in all, these roofs are excellent options for small cabins located in dry regions.

When it comes to roofing a log cabin, you have a wide array of materials at your disposal. Feel free to let your imagination fly. Determinants that come into play include energy efficiency, the cost, individual preferences as well as appearance.

In my tips, I will take you through the six conventional roofing materials and the suitability of each for your home.

Wood shingles

I find this material to be aesthetically pleasing, thanks to the traditional feel that it gives to a cabin. Shingles made of cedar are by far the best as they are long-lasting. They also go through a series of stages as they age which see them change hues from red to grey.

Metal sheets

Most commercial log cabin projects make use of metal sheets in their construction. If you do decide to go down this road, pre-insulation of the metal sheets is an excellent idea for temperature regulation and prevention of disturbance from the rain.

However, some people choose not to insulate as they do love the sound of rain as it falls hard on the metal sheets. Once again, preferences come into play.

Rubber Roofs

This kind of material works best for flat roofs and is very easy to use. With this material, you have options to play about with it to fit your required dimensions, thus making leakage very hard.

If you are a DIY diehard, you will love the fact that you can do the roofing with just the rubber and suitable glue paste. As long as you brush out the air pockets and nail down the edges, you are set to enjoy a durable roof for a reasonable price.

You will be happy to know that you can schedule repairs every five to ten years.

Thatch

If you are going for a stunning look, this material will give you just that. Though shunned by many for its complexity and high expenses, it will provide you with durability and aesthetic appeal.

With this kind of roof, be sure to have a slope of at least forty degrees to ensure that snow falls off. Otherwise, things could go very wrong during winters.

Felt

For a cheap yet long-lasting option, felt is a great idea. It lasts an average of between five to ten years, depending on the maintenance, and is very easy to replace. They come in various hues, enabling you to choose one that matches your home.

The downside to these roofs is that they require a lot of maintenance and have low resale values.

Felt shingles

This roofing material is much thicker than felt and can last up to two decades before the need for replacement. They come in various dimensions and colors, allowing you to have a wide range of choices.

Green roof

If you wish to blend in with the environment altogether, get this done. Though not easy on the pocket, it pleases the eye and is energy efficient.

Take caution when it comes to roofing with this material as the weight of the soil can pose a threat to stability. Ensure that your design makes room for dirt saturated with moisture during wet seasons.

Selecting The Right Home Builder

Finding the right builder is not a decision you should take lightly. They are responsible for building your home and making your ideas and concepts come to life. The truth is that there is no shortage of builders to choose from and spending some extra time finding a builder that is well recommended, easy to work with and is skilled in home construction is worth its weight in gold.

To help you with your search for the right home builder, here are some tips for selecting the perfect home builder for your home:

  • Reputation is very important: The reputation of a builder is very important. It is a good idea to read as many reviews as possible. See if the builder has built homes similar to what you are looking for and get a sense of their overall reputation within the industry and with previous customers.
  • They need a track record of good customer service: There is a lot of back and force communication between the home owner and builder as part of the home constriction process. Therefore, it is essential that a builder is known for good customer service. They need to respond quickly to inquiries and must be known for fixing issues in a timely manner.
  • Experience cannot be overlooked: Experience is important, especially if you are looking to build a custom home. You want to take peace of mind in knowing that your builder has the experience and the resources to during your idea into a reality. You want a builder that will offer ideas and work with you to produce the best home possible.
  • Make sure they are legit: Before agreeing to anything, make sure the builder is properly licensed, has proper insurance in place and offers warrant and service plans that are comparable to others in the industry.
  • Take a look at previous work: You need to take a walk through either model homes, current projects, or previous home builds to get a real sense of what the builder can do for you. Make sure that what you see on their website on in their brochure matches what you see in person.

Info of Curtains and Drapes

One form of curtains and drapes are those with tab tops. Tab tops are very popular because they really highlight the decorative hardware used to hang them. Decorative hardware is a huge part of decorating, and tap top curtains and drapes are a great way to bring focus to those little decorative details found in your window treatment hardware.

Tab top curtains come in many styles including: valances, café style, and drapes and other forms that can be used in every room of the house.

Another popular form of curtains and drapes are tiers. Tiers are also called café curtains; they come in several different styles to meet just about everyone’s needs, taste, and style. They are short in length and are often used in kitchens and baths for decorative purposes. Basically, tiers cover the lower half of the window using a tension rod and can be beautifully combined with a swag, valance or top tier for a better, more decorative look.

Basic curtains in most homes are full-length rod-pocket or pole-top panels. These can be constructed with different sized pockets to accommodate varying rod styles and sizes. So, you can use basic or plain curtains and dress them up with rods. They can hang straight or be tied back using fabric ties or decorative hardware. You can change the look you get a lot with what you choose to use in accordance with your curtains and drapes.

There are plenty of curtain and drapery options, from layered sheers with a scarf, to valances that hang across the top, this option is often used to hide drapery hardware.

Curtains and drapes can be as plain or decorative as you want. Some people prefer to use plain curtains and dress them up with decorative hardware. Decorative hardware can breathe new life into old curtains or drapes, and really change the whole look and feel of the room. Hardware comes in so many assorted styles, colors and finishes that you can coordinate them with your home. You can use the same materials and get a different look, by using layers, decorative accents. Combining vertical blinds and draperies will require drapery brackets that project far enough over the blind so both are operational.

Live Without Waste

It is not that hard to avoid plastic or, at least, to cut it down to the minimum. Unfortunately, everything we buy these days is packaged in it. That applies to appliances, batteries, clothing, and most other things. The plastic on most things is extremely hard and not able to be recycled as, say, drink containers.

Sauces are also now packaged in hardened plastic as are many of the supermarket items, including bread. While it is necessary to prevent contamination by other touching or soiling them such products cannot be avoided.

There are, however, ways around other waste. My garden, where my vegetables are always on hand, it is conditioned with compost made from fallen leaves, weeds, and kitchen scraps. Some manure is added and occasionally blood and bone or lime. This not only recycles what would otherwise go into the garbage bin but turns it into a useful resource.

The worm farm is also an asset and kitchen scraps are also deposited there. The run off is used for fertilising plants and when the build up is too much it is shovelled out and put straight onto the beds.

While my neighbours put out their garbage bins filled to the brim every week my bin is rarely put out. The only stuff it contains is that which can’t be recycled and as there is little plastic or other things to go to landfill from this address it might be emptied every two to three months or so.

Living without waste should be on everyone’s agenda. Landfill is not the place for things that can be recycled and made useful. We all need to think about that and what we can do to lower the height of the mountains of waste in the landfill.

Reasons to Have Energy Efficient Homes

  • Save Money
    Buying energy appliances, having home improvements, and working in a way can help save hundreds of dollars every year. If you use energy efficient appliances, you can save up to 30% on your electricity bills. Energy efficient light bulbs like CFLs, halogens and LEDs can help save 30-80% on energy bills. Using cold water to wash clothes and keeping your tires inflated can also help save considerable money annually.
  • Help Improve the Economy
    Apart from helping the individual in saving energy costs, energy efficient homes can also enable people to save the country’s money and that too, on a large scale. The figure can go up to $500 billion a year amongst citizens and businesses in energy costs that have been avoided. Energy saving projects also create jobs, be it in terms of building construction, improvement and repairs.
  • Help the Environment
    If and when we utilize less energy, natural resources are saved and can help reduce pollution. We all know the ravages of burning fossil fuels and how they can negatively impact the environment. If we use energy efficient homes, less of this would happen and the earth would be a much greener and cleaner place to live in.
  • Improve Quality of Life
    Insulating your house can keep the AC inside during the summer and heat outside in the winters. You will have to change lesser light bulbs and your environment will be more relaxed and hassle free. Businesses can improve their bottom line by having energy saving features in their buildings. Those housing projects that incorporate energy saving features have easier way of getting around in terms of transport and also get access to electricity consistently.
  • Better Performance
    Energy efficient homes have thermal regulators that maintain the temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius. This is the WHO’s recommended temperature because it optimizes health and comfort between individuals. In a thermally regulated home, the air will be dry which is healthier and safer for vulnerable individuals like elderly people, people with allergies and small children. These homes are also free of condensation with may be irritating because it may require paint maintenance and other jobs.

Strip Lights

In addition to considering the area, you should also consider other factors when purchasing the units. Some of these factors include:

The quality of the lights: What is the quality of the lights? For the units to last for long, you should go for high-quality lights. One of the signs that tells you that the lights are of high quality is the warranty. Manufacturers offering a guarantee on their products are confident in the product. This gives you peace of mind as you know that the product will last for a long.

Another sign of quality strip lights is the material used in making them. As rule of thumb, go for products made from high-quality materials as they will not only look good after installation, but they will also last for a long time.

The size of the lights: Just like other products in the market, strip lights come in different sizes, and it’s up to you to choose the size that is right for you. The size you choose should be informed by the area you want to install the lights. If planning to install them in a large area, buy large units and vice versa.

Color: The units are not only of different sizes, but they are also of different colors. As you know, different colors give different experiences and create different emotions. You should choose the color that gives you the experience that you want.

For the units to give you a great experience, you need to install them properly. If you have the skills, you should install the units on your own but if you don’t have the skills, hire a contractor to help you out. For peace of mind that the work will be perfect, hire an experienced professional.

This is what you need to know about strip lights. Buy high-quality units and always have them installed by an experienced expert.

Minimise the Cost of Home Extensions or Additions

Granted you need more space. Still, you need to carefully consider your plan before you make any decisions. Would it be better to just build an addition, or is it better to just create an extension? If your house sits on a small block, an addition will definitely help you get the space that you need without causing any change to your present landscape. This is why an addition is perfect if you need new bedrooms.

On the other hand, if you would like to keep your projects as minimally disruptive as it can be, then you would probably just opt for an extension. An extension won’t require you to remove the roof of your home. You would also be able to minimise the cost of construction. You can also live in your house while you are having it extended. This is not something that it is easy to do when you are doing an addition. Of course, an extension will eat up your outdoor space. This is the one drawback to this project.

Once you have carefully weighed your options and made your decision, you need to look for the right renovation builder to handle the project for you. Your builder should be able to design the extension or addition and he should be able to construct it. Aside from that, your builder should be able to help you secure the necessary approvals or permits from your local council. Contrary to what you may think, modifications to your property may need council approvals. This is especially true if the structure will create a significant change to the building.

Aside from the builder, you could get the assistance of an architect or a structural engineer. He could prepare the blueprints for you. You could review these blueprints with your builder and submit them to your local council for approvals. You definitely should consider having a structural engineer draw up the plans for you. This will help ensure that your extension or modification is structurally sound once completed.

Do not enter into a contract with any builder or contractor without first requesting for several quotes from several contractors and comparing these quotes first. Like any wise shopper, you need to compare quotes and costs before you make your decision. This will help minimise the cost of building an addition or extension to your home.