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Going Green With Granite

As one of nature’s hardest stones, granite is made to withstand the test of time. Generally, homeowners decide to purchase new granite countertops or other stone features when they are redesigning or renovating living spaces. Therefore, the majority of granite is in a decent condition before it is replaced. Often, stone fabricators and installers have relationships with recyclers and will make arrangements to haul away an old countertop when installing a new one. Some cities have recycling centers that will pick up materials such as granite and additional home improvement items. Charities that focus on home improvement and renovation will accept countertop donations. In the unlikely event that a fabricator cannot provide details, information about recycling programs is readily available online.

Although it is rare, some companies will refurbish stone countertops and resell them at a reduced cost. This gives homeowners the opportunity to enjoy the luxury of granite even if they have limited budgets. Homeowners will most likely have to refurbish countertops purchased from charity outlet stores. Refurbishing requires carefully sanding the surface, sealing and polishing it before it is ready for use.

Fabricators will also have remnants after making countertops from natural stone slabs. Across the nation, granite recyclers are accepting these unwanted pieces and transforming them into a wide variety of features. One of the most popular “reuses” for granite is stone pavers. Since stones have variations in color, striation and veining, recycled pavers can enhance the look of driveways and walkways. Recycled granite is also converted into tiles for outdoor patios, fountains, and fire pits.

Of course, just because granite is recycled doesn’t mean it is only useful for outdoor living spaces. In fact, the granite remaining from countertop fabrication may end up as tile for flooring designs and backsplashes. Designers can use recycled stones cut into pieces as decorative facing features for wall applications, fireplace surrounds and even tops for tables and accent furniture.

Along with the increases in home buying and selling is a renewed interest in remodeling and renovation to raise home values and beautify living spaces. Cities are embracing plans and programs that give their citizens the chance to go green while reducing the amount of materials designated for landfills. Homeowners looking for new granite countertops have options to not only recycle their old countertops, but also to recycle the surplus stone after installation. Instead of becoming trash, granite is being refurbished into treasure for the next generation of living spaces.

Metal Window Blinds

Usually, the metal used for this kind of blind is aluminum. It is light in weight and it is cheaper than other metals without rusting as quickly. Many homes and offices today use aluminum window blinds to provide them with the perfect blend of privacy and elegance. Another great benefit of metal window blinds is that they are cheaper than blinds made from other materials. The simplicity of aluminum window blinds is the main point of their elegance. They are considered to be classy yet simple blinds that will enhance the look of the room and also provide you with enough privacy in your home.

Metal window blinds come in a wide range of colors as well as different types of colorful designs, which show while the blinds are completely closed. These special colorful designs can be custom made to your choice of view while the blinds are closed. For instance, you may choose a beautiful sunset design that will be proudly shown off while the blinds are completely closed, or perhaps you would rather prefer a view of the seaside. You can choose any window blind design you like to give a realistic scene for your viewing pleasure.

You can even get metal window blinds to match the color of your walls or other items in the interior of your home.

Even though aluminum is lighter in weight than other metals, it is still heavy enough that a breeze blowing in through the window will not make it sway and open up. Unlike plastic window blinds, metal blinds are more durable and can serve you for many years. It is even likely that you will first experience trouble with the mechanical system of the window blinds before you even experience having problems with the slats themselves.

There are many metal window blind manufacturers available today. In fact, blinds are available for purchase through the internet where ordering is just one click away. Most window blind manufacturer websites will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to properly measure your windows. The measurements will be sent to the manufacturers and they will be the ones who will deliver and usually install the blinds for you.

If you want great looking window blinds that can complement the look of your interior and provide you with privacy and beauty while looking for a way to save money, you should consider purchasing metal window blinds.

Decorative Window Shutters

Shutters typically coordinate with a home’s design to bring out a certain style in its appearance. For example, you can get shutters that are rectangular-shaped, or those that come in other forms. Here are some things to consider when selecting shutters for your home.

  • Does the home’s exterior paint or paneling come with matching shutters? If so, consider using these to match the existing design, even if you had the siding done first and now want to add shutters. If not, check with the home supply provider for suggestions about the type of shutters that will go well with your current outdoor siding. You may be able to look at a print or online catalog, or view samples at the store. Some stores provide references of previous customers who have purchased these shutters, and you may be able to talk with them about their level of satisfaction or drive by their homes to have a look.
  • Choose a coordinating design and color. If your home’s siding or finish does not come with matching shutters, check out several possible options before selecting one for your home. Popular styles are made of aluminum and vinyl, along with other materials that are weather-resistant, so find out what’s available, along with the merits of each.
  • Compare styles to find one that suits your home’s design and structure. Some shutters come with two matching panels, while others have four. You can get louvers, but keep in mind these can collect dust and may be difficult to clean. Even when operational shutters are not needed, some people choose to install them for special effect on their homes.
  • Find out all you can about the product’s quality. Ask the sales associate about each product’s durability and lifetime expectancy. Also ask about how to clean various shutter types, and what type of special cleaning substances will be needed, if any. You might also want to know about any particular conditions that afflict certain products. Wood shutters, for instance, may tend to get dry rot, termites, or other wood-associated conditions. Any type of shutter might attract insect nests, and aluminum shutters may be prone to rusting.

Outdoor LED Lamps

These lights have been used both for general lighting and for decorations; examples are in the interior lighting of club houses and restaurants, street and parks. The outdoor lighting is a common trend since the camp fires and torches in the stone age. However, it has been used more for enhancement and decoration purposes. The type and the color of lighting used depends on the use.

Advantages of LED lamps

  • The diodes usually produce light of a single color; this allows these LED bulbs to be perfect decoration tools mostly where colored lighting is required.
  • The light beams generated are more focused and more taper.
  • The LED bulbs are more durable and therefore best to use in both indoor and outdoor lighting.
  • The led lamps have higher electric energy efficacy, in that they generate more light with the similar amount of current, compared to other bulbs.
  • LED bulbs are more compact and smaller in size, allowing lighting fixing and well even apportion in a room or outdoor.
  • The diodes light up immediately and do not require warm up time.

Types of outdoor LEDs

  • Street lighting, LED lamps are better over the other model of light bulbs due to their energy saving abilities.
  • Landscape lighting, this is where it is used outside like in parks sites or picnic sites or gardens. it’s commonly done for decoration reasons and to create ambiance in this places.
  • Floodlights, these are used to light up areas such as sports arenas and work stations at night. Led lamps are best at such sites due to their brightness and focal light emissions.
  • Security lights, these are where these lamps are mounted on the walls or gates of a building to ensure security and safety by discouraging unwarranted intrusions.
  • Underwater lighting, mostly used for decorations in pools, fountains, and ponds. These sorts of lamps must be water proof and water resistant.

Use LED Bulbs In Decorations

There are different types of LED bulbs based on various aspects such as colour, which is the different light colour emitted by the bulb, the lumen, which is the level of brightness as perceived by the eyes, shape size and energy consumptions among other differences. However, each lamp comes with its advantages aligned with its best use. The strip-shaped LED bulbs are more common for the decorative purposes, as they fit all the necessary features to create different indoor and outdoor decor.

Tips on how to decorate with them.

  • Outline the area of interest that you want to give that new look, the most common areas are the door area, the foyer and the window frames. These are likely to draw attention and indeed shed a whole different look to the room as create the aspect of view.
  • Choose a more infusing color shade, and that is calmer. Flashing lights and brightly colored lights are obnoxious to the eyes unless it’s a club and you looking to give the occupants some sort of a high. Use colours that blend with the entire look of the house and that encourages calmness.
  • These bulbs are flexible and can be turned into any shape which is the most significant advantage with this kind of lighting. With this feature, you can use them to create words and other coloured creations that you may like.
  • Lastly you can use these strips to decorate other home installations like Christmas trees and any other object that can hold them in place and not lose its beauty and meaning like plants in the house.

LED bulbs are the best decorative lighting available on the market right now, get them and experiment with all the creative ideas that you have. Ensure that you purchase genuine and quality bulbs to avoid dangers such as electrical malfunctions that may lead to fire outbreaks.

Steps To Determine Door Handing

  • First start with a fresh mind. Go back to basics.
  • Look at the door; it should be pretty easy to tell what side of the door is the outside, and what side is the inside. Outside of a bedroom door you would be standing in the hallway, if you are in the bedroom you are looking at the inside of the door. If you are standing on your front porch looking at the front door, then your are looking at the outside of the door. Know this before installing door levers and handles.
  • Door handing is always done from the OUTSIDE of the door. Whatever side the hinges are on, when viewed from the outside is the same as the door hand. If the hinges are on the right, it’s a right hand door. If the hinges are on the left, it’s a left hand door. It does not matter if the door pulls towards you or opens away from you. If you don’t know your left from right, ask someone. You only need to determine what side the hinges are on from the OUTSIDE. Forget the “reverse bevel” term.
  • Now you are ready to install your doors handles or door levers.
    Note: There is one exception to this rule…single dummies. When handing a single dummy you stand on the side of the door that you are mounting the dummy on, not the exterior side.

Secrets to Protecting Home From a Flood

  • Understand the risk – By reviewing your home or property, you will not be surprised when the flood does hit. Check to see if your home is in the flood zone. Ask the following question: Where can water get in our home? This applies to both what can be seen and unseen. Many times, it is the unseen damage, like what is in your crawl space, that we don’t think about.
  • Be prepared – Take the time to prepare as much as possible ahead of the rising waters. Is your flood insurance up to date? Do you have flood vents and have you checked them to see if they are working correctly? Many times, you can save a substantial amount of money on your flood insurance if you have flood vents in your foundation.
  • Understand the power of water – If the water is imminent and could be fast-moving, leave your home now and get to high ground! When it comes to fast-moving water versus humans, water will win every time. Get to high ground as fast as possible.
  • Think about Your pets – Pets are like your family. And just like your family, you need to protect them also. Make sure to bring your pet’s food, bedding, and medicine to the new location. Put them in a pet hotel that you know will not be affected by the flood. Possibly leave them with relatives or friends that will be far away from the flood area. If you need to, take them with you to high ground and away from the flood. Remember, do not allow your pets to walk through or drink the water. There are many contaminants in the water that can make your pet sick or possibly kill your pet.
  • Build your sandbags before you need them – If you have the resources to do so, sandbags are a great tool for holding back the waters.
  • Backup your data – Backup your computer data as soon as possible. You can use a variety of resources to back up your data to a free or low-fee backup service far away from water damage. Services like Dropbox, Box, Microsoft Drive, Google Drive, and many other services allow for you to never lose your data due to flooding.
  • Turn off your electricity and gas – Turn off all utilities to stop possible explosions or electrical shock or damage.
  • Move your valuables upstairs or raise them off the floor – By simply raising your valuables (this includes computer systems) off the floor can save you thousands of dollars in damage and heartache. If you can take them to the second floor, that is even better.
  • Charge your phone ahead of time – You don’t know how long the flood will last and when power will return. Make sure you charge your cell phone so that you can still have an open line of communication.

 

About the Backsplash Tiles

  • Arabescato Carrara with 1×1 Honed is a perfect pattern for your kitchen. Here you will get a perfect mixture of interlocking Pattern with keystone. This style also comes in different shades of white and gray.
  • Arabescato Carrara with a herringbone pattern is also a nice design tool to make your kitchen more attractive. This is available with 4 x 4 honed with the different shades of soft white. By using this design it will surely make your kitchen and bathroom more attractive.
  • Arabescato Carrara marble is available with hexagonal style and this style is also available with black and white shades. These tiles are just perfect for all types of floors and countertops etc.
  • For your kitchen and bathroom, you can surely opt for Arabescato Carrara with and marble and black bend glass finish. This will definitely give your kitchen a classic look with utmost modernity.
  • Arabescato Carrara Splitface is available at a measurement of 12 x 12 x 10. This is also mesh mounted marble mosaic tile. Hence, if you are opting for this tile, then this is surely going to make your light more exotic and gorgeous.
  • If you love to give your kitchen a look of brick pattern then it will be nice to select tiles known as an arctic storm with the designer brick pattern. Within these patterns too, you can get the styles like an interlocking pattern or Crema Marfil marble.
  • Another famous backsplash tile design is arctic ice subway glass design with a measurement of 2x4x 8mm. This style is also available with the interlocking pattern or marble look with silver slate etc.
  • Aspen interlocking glass with ivory travertine has become a famous design style for your kitchen and bathroom. Within this design, you will also get more designs such as Tuscany walnut, basal blue bamboo etc.

Apart from those mentioned above, there are different types of styles are available for perfect designing of your kitchen and bathrooms. So opt for those and go for the best designs today.

Making the Right Choice of Decking

TYPES OF DECKING

Wood plastic composite (WPC) decking is the most commonly preferred type of decking and is made of recycled polymers, like HDPE or PE, with the most percentage of natural product being sawdust.

Also, WPC decking has greater movements or torsions compared to other types of decking; hence you need to decide carefully depending upon the climate and the area in which the decking would suit your home.

Composite decking is considered to be the fastest growing and the most popular wood decking alternative available in the market, and it requires much less maintenance and has a longer lifespan when compared to wood decking.

ADVANTAGES OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT DECKING

Recent advancements in products for decking have allowed manufacturers to simulate the physical features of many beautiful hardwoods to provide buyers with various design options. Composite decking is a man-made product that has approximately an equal mix of recycled plastic and fibers. They are extremely durable and resistant to rotting which gives them a much longer lifespan than wooden decks.

Composite decking does not require sanding, staining, board replacement or sealing, which is necessary in case of wooden decks. Although composite decks are costlier than wooden ones, in the long run they turn out to be more cost effective due to their higher durability.

As it has the desirable properties of being insect and mold resistant and lower maintenance costs, composite decking is considered as the most durable of the decking products available in the market today. The more recent varieties of composite decking available today are also fade and stain resistant, hence, it is easier to clean them and it also has extremely high color retention properties. To maintain the composite deck, one requires for it to be cleaned at least semi-annually with a household cleaner.

Installation of composite decks requires the same tools as used in traditional wood decks, plus the added benefits of installing side grooves for putting hidden fasteners in place. This keeps the deck planks smooth, without any screws visible and allows for no splinters, warping or twisting.

Composite decking is a good investment for your home, as it stays beautiful for many years and requires very little maintenance, providing a good return for the initial investment made into it. Exotic woods can also be used for decking purposes to provide a beautiful outdoors for your home.

Porous Paving

As its name suggests, porous pavement has small holes as part of its overall composition. While this might seem like it weakens the pavement, it actually does the contrary. One of the main draws of porous pavement is that the small holes provide a way of ‘naturally’ letting water drain through the pavement and directly to the soil.

The benefit is pretty obvious; while stone pavements are strong, they are not indestructible and can easily be weathered down through exposure to water for example. This also makes it relatively low maintenance, since there’s not that much water that needs clearing.

Beyond innate surface water management, it also reduces the amount of irrigation you need to do. This is especially true if you’ll be setting the pavement down on your garden. Because of its porous nature, the water goes through the soil really easily. This prevents unsightly and uneven grass and terrain. You’ll also be cutting back on your water usage, which is great for your wallet as well as for the environment. Basically, you’re going Green!

Finally, porous pavement is aesthetically very attractive to look at. It comes in a variety of styles and colours and prices, ranging from the traditional light asphalt to sand-coloured resin pavement.

Porous pavement is a green alternative. As mentioned before, its porous nature allows rain to penetrate the surface and flow beneath the ground naturally, and more importantly, can be instrumental in preventing dangerous flooding.

The reduction of storm system basins isn’t the only reason this type of paving is green. Porous pavement actually requires less energy to manufacture, which means less emissions, odour and smoke. It’s attractive and environmentally friendly – both during its manufacturing process and installation.

Quite new on the market, porous paving is definitely a product of the future.