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Basement Renovations

Helping Your Kitchen Designer Figure the Best Plan For You

The first step to finding someone to help you with a great kitchen design in Toronto is to figure out your style and budget. The next step is to find a kitchen designer who will work with you to reconcile these two important aspects of your build or remodel. You need to find someone who knows how to tweak a design to fit your specific needs and preferences, and not just someone who will have to choose a design from a showroom.
When you first see a model kitchen that looks bright and immaculate, and is staged to seem homey and lived-in, it can really draw you in. But you need to keep in mind that this exact model may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. You may be attracted to certain qualities of the kitchen, but it might not suit your functional needs. You need to take into consideration how much counter space and the number of cabinets you will need. There are other such things to decide on, such as types of appliances and task lighting.
An important question to ask yourself is this: how much will you be using your kitchen? If you are an avid cook and entertainer, you will need more preparation and storage space, and you’ll probably want state of the art appliances.
A great way to figure out all of these aspects is to stand in the middle of your kitchen with a notepad and pen in hand and take inventory of what you have right now. What do you love about your current kitchen? What do you hate about it? What are the biggest must haves when you think about your dream kitchen? What are the things you would like to have, but are negotiable?
Include in your list the types of activities your kitchen serves. Is it a gathering place for friends and family? Should it be child safe? Maybe you are a professional chef and would like to have state of the art accommodations at home as well as work.
Having a list like this to present to your designer will be a huge help to them in assisting you in finding the design and materials that will best suit your needs and wants. This will clue them in to what is most important to you and your lifestyle. Being on the same page as your designer when it comes to these details will save a lot of time in asking questions and making decisions.…

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Basement Remodeling

Benefits Of A Laminate Floor

Make no mistake I love carpet, indeed I do not know many people who do not like the feel of a deep pile carpet to put their feet on when they get out of bed in the morning. Yet carpet is not for everyone, and many people who work long hours, and lead busy lifestyles outside of work do not want to be spending time Hoovering carpet every few days to keep it clean. As a result, other forms of flooring have begun to challenge carpets, for market share.
One other reason for this is that fitting a carpet is a job for a professional. If a carpet is fitted by anyone other than a professional, the results can be disastrous and an expensive carpet can be virtually destroyed in the process.
However in comparison, any competent person can lay down a laminate floor, or put down floor tiles. Indeed all the tools you need to put down either of these floorings are available in any good Do It Yourself (DIY) shop. Investing in the tools to put either of these floor coverings down will be money well invested, as you will undoubtedly use them again in future.
Laminate flooring wins over carpet in many ways. Firstly it has dropped down in price such that it is now often cheaper than carpet per square metre. Secondly it is very hard wearing; indeed in tests some laminate floors have proven to be harder wearing than solid wood floors.
It also very easy to keep clean, with any liquid spills such as black coffee, red wine or even paint being easy to wipe up, with no stain left to show. Just think of how difficult gloss paint would be to remove from a carpet – a spillage could result in your carpet being totally written off! As a result, this is a big advantage held by laminate floors over other types of flooring.
It now also comes in a wide range of styles. Whereas most of us just think of laminate flooring as being “wood effect”, it is now available in numerous finishes including mosaic and mock brick or tile effect, making it suitable for a wide range of uses.
So to re-iterate; it is very hard wearing, low cost, and easy to install. Even if you hire a professional to install the flooring, the cost will be low as the time taken to install is minimal, with a competent fitter able to lay a laminate floor for an average room in around half a day.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Cork Flooring – The Advantages to a Natural Cork Floor

There are many advantages to natural cork flooring and this article will review all those advantages to help you determine if this flooring product is right for you. Homeowners make quite an investment when installing a new floor. It’s smart to understand everything that is available to you and try to figure out if it’s right for your house. Hopefully, this guide will help make your verdict on natural cork as a flooring product. If you’d still like to know more feel free to follow the links at the end of this article.
The primary advantage to natural cork floors is the fact it’s a sustainable, natural renewable resource. This means if you choose this flooring solution you’ll have a green floor and be helping save the environment. The reason this flooring type is sustainable and naturally renewable is because it’s entirely made out of cork. Cork material is retrieved from the bark of Quercus suber (cork oak tree). This process of removing the bark simply involves cutting off a thin layer. The process itself is totally harmless to the cork oak tree. In fact, after a cork oak tree matures it can be harvested every 9 years throughout its lifespan, which is around 150 to 200 years. Commercial producers of cork material do not need to cut down trees and disturb the habitat. You’ll be glad to know this is completely, 100% a green flooring product.
Being green has its advantages to the environment, but I’m sure you want to know about the advantages to the homeowners. Natural cork flooring has quite a few benefits that you need to know about. A waxy type substance called Suberin is a naturally occurring substance in cork. This substance gives cork the ability to resist things such as pests, moisture, mildew, mold, bacteria and allergens. This effectively makes this flooring type suitable for rooms like the bathroom, kitchen and basement, along with the normal rooms such as the living room, den or bedroom. Being hypoallergenic gives cork some excellent health benefits to people with allergies, along with resistance to mold, mildew and bacteria.
However, we can’t forget to mention three more things, the beauty, the durability and the comfort of natural cork flooring. When you actually see cork flooring installed in your home you won’t believe how beautiful it is. Cork really rivals every other type of hardwood flooring in terms of beauty. The natural color, pattern variation and shading are remarkable. With its beauty you also get comfort and lets face it comfort is a requirement when it comes to most flooring solutions. Due to tiny honeycomb air filled cells in cork material’s cellular structure its amazingly comfortable. These air filled honeycomb cells allow cork to absorb pressure from feet and cushion joints along with the feet. These little tiny honeycombs also make cork very durable. You’d be amazed how much strength cork has. Not only can it compress up to 40% without damage it can also absorb heavy shocks and impacts. This makes it suitable for heavy traffic areas or even your work den.
If you like the idea of natural cork flooring we invite you to learn more. Feel free to follow the below links and educate yourself more on this amazing flooring solution. Below you can learn more about cork’s benefits, view pictures, install guides and so much more. We hope this article was helpful and steered you towards consider cork as your home’s flooring solution.…

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Basement Remodeling

Simple Methods to Locate and Fix Drafty Spots Where Heat Can Escape

We want our homes to be as comfortable as we can. That is the why we want to make sure that our home is cool inside when it is hot outside and warm enough inside when it is cold outdoors.
The cooling and heating system works well when our house is free from any gaps and leaks that may release unwanted energy. No matter how well we maintain our homes gaps, cracks and leaks will result and not necessarily due to the elements. That is why it is important that we always make time for a regular inspection inside and outside our homes. Do not be so relaxed indoors and neglect signs that may tell us that there are gaps in our walls letting the cool breeze inside.
Have a feel on the wall. Walls covered with wall paper can easily hide cracks. Once in a while, touch the walls and feel any cracks beneath it. Do it from side to side bottom to top. This way you can cover a big part of the wall. If you think that there is a crack, work your way from where it starts and end. Mark the part where you feel the gap and you can tear just the part where there is damage. You can also use light to see if there are cracks on your walls.
Another spot where draft might come in is the electrical outlet. Look at gaps where the outlets are. You can place outlet sealer that is easy to attach. Simply place them behind the plate cover over top the receptacle helping create an air tight so that air cannot come through. The holes in the outlet sealers are made in the exact specification of a standard plug.
If you prefer something even much easier, a can of Styrofoam spray may just do the job. Once you found the crack or gap usually in door panels and window sills, simply spray the can over it and clean the excess with acetone.
The location of your attic stairs can also be a source of air infiltration. It can really affect your heating and cooling system. You can take a foam weather strip that you may use on your doors or windows and install it right along the perimeter where the door of the attic stairs folds up against the opening. This will seal a lot of that air infiltration. Also, some people have used foam board or insulation itself and tried to position it over the attic stairs and that can be a mess. Instead, homeowners can opt to use an attic tent that is also easy to install right by following the attached instructions on the pack.
Making minor repairs on the small leaks in and around your home can be menial, but it can save you a lot of money in the future. Doing a regular inspection and maintenance also assures your home stay in top shape and increases its value in the long run.…

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Basement Renovations

Taking Care of Your Wood Floors

It can be hard to decide which type of flooring is right for your home. There are so many options that it can feel overwhelming. If you are considering hardwood flooring, it’s a choice that will add beauty to your home. It’s also durable and will enhance your home’s resale potential. Probably one of the best aspects of hardwood flooring is that’s easy to care for. Here are are some tips on how to best care for your hardwood floors.
Dirt and grit are your floors worst enemy. These tiny particles can behave like sandpaper and scrape the finish off your beautiful floors. They will leave behind tiny little scratches and marks that will make your floor look old before its time.
Probably the best thing you can do for your wood floors is to sweep them daily. Use soft-bristled broom. It’s a good preventative step that will help you keep you wood floors looking great. It also helps to put floor mats at the entry to prevent excess dirt from being tracked into your home. Be sure to use only manufacturer-recommended cleaners on your wood floors about once a week. Alternately, you may use a damp mop. This will keep dust and grit from becoming embedded and doing damage. The wrong kind of floor cleaner can ruin your finish or may cause ugly build-up. Sunlight can also damage your hardwood floors. Direct exposure will cause fading and make your hardwood floors look tired. Keep out direct sunlight by shutting your curtains or blinds during the sunniest times of day. If you don’t have curtains or blinds you may want to install them to protect your floors and something spills don’t let it stand. Clean it up quickly. Standing water is dangerous to wood floors because it can seep under the flooring and hurt the finish. It may even warp the boards. You may want to take extra precautions like placing no-skid pads in high traffic areas. This will prevent you floors from trackingA? and leaving areas of uneven wear. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of types of woods and finishes. It can add value to your home if you care for it properly.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Industrial Flooring Surface Preparation

There are different types of floor surface preparation types that concrete services contractors use to start any project. An important point to remember is that the company hired must have the experience in carrying out the industrial flooring preparation process. These methods have specialized equipment and contractors don’t usually offer a service not unless they are equipped to do the work. The floor surface preparation process is a vital step in industrial flooring.
More common surface preparation processes are:
1. Shot Blasting also know as Captive or Dust Free Shot Blasting
This is the most commonly used method because it is the most effective and cheapest of all preparation methods. The machine used is attached to a dust extraction unit. This prevents dust from circulating in the area and will not disrupt what is going on around the work area.
2. Scarification
This is a mechanical process wherein the deteriorated surface of the concrete is removed or “scarified”. The objective is to get to a sound substrate which the flooring system can be placed. The process can be of two methods – diamond grinding and STR machines.
The method removes thick mill coatings, overlays and as much as 1/2 inch of concrete with several passes. The equipment ranges from 8, 12 and 13 inches wide and is powered by electric power or by gasoline. They are always equipped with a dust collector.
3. Scabbling
The scabblers are used prior to shot blasting weak industrial flooring substrates. This is a more time consuming process but good for removing of thick flaky coatings & oil contaminated floors.
4. Grinding
The floor preparation process may take more than one method to complete. Another method that is seen often is the grinding process. Floor Grinders have ability to remove coatings, glue, and other particles while leaving the surface clean, smooth & ready for the application of thin mil coating & stains.
5. Acid Etching
Etching the when the area to be prepared is hosed carefully with acid. This is a two-man process with one man operating a nylon grit brush and the other is responsible for pouring the acid evenly and working with a broom. This is a risky process so only those experienced with such method should make the application. Contractors would have the necessary safety measures and outfit to do etching. Never attempt to do this yourself to avoid accidents and improper application of the acid.
It is good practice to know the different industrial flooring surface preparation process to be able to monitor effectively the progress of your project.…

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Bathroom Remodel

Discover The Secrets To Having Great Curb Appeal For Your Home

Even if you have just moved into your home and presently have no intention of selling it, maintaining the curb appeal of your home is very important. Read this to find out why it’s so important and ways to ensure that your home scores high. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is curb appeal? When people drive by your home what is their impression? You can tell when a homeowner focuses on curb appeal – the home looks well maintained, both the home itself and the grounds surrounding the home. When a home looks uncared for there are tell-tale signs. For example, signs of neglect may include chipping paint, a gutter along the front of the house that has become detached and is hanging, overgrown bushes, or overflowing garbage cans in the front near the garage. You may have moved into a home that suffers from these problems, but the sooner you fix them the better. Let me explain why.
Why is curb appeal important? The average time that a homeowner owns a home is 5 to 7 years, so it’s likely at some point in the future that you will be selling your home. If your home always looks unloved with the lawn not cut, the front door looking shabby, or screens missing people will take note. Their impression will probably be ‘if this is how the homeowner cares for the outside of the home, then what is the condition inside the home? ‘ They’ll never know for sure, but they will wonder.
When and if you do decide to sell your home and put the ‘for sale’ sign out front, wouldn’t it be great if people who have driven by your home all those years were excited. It may be that your home has been their dream home, the one they always felt they’d love to move into if it comes up for sale. Maybe they know someone who’d like to move in.
On the other hand, a home that has been uncared for over many years and all of a sudden has been “fixed up” to sell just doesn’t create the same excitement to a passerby. If you keep your home well maintained all along you’ll be spending less money to get it ready for sale. This is true because it is much more cost effective to take care of things that need fixing when they are small problems, rather than letting them become big problems.
What can be done to have great curb appeal? Here’s the principal behind great curb appeal for your home. At least twice a year, perhaps in the spring and fall, take a walk around the exterior of your home and complete a checklist of anything that needs attention. Items to assess include the condition of paint, doors, windows, roof, walkways, and landscaping.
Then prioritize your list, with any structural items going to the top of the list. These structural items are the things that will cost more to fix as they get worse, so take care of them sooner rather than later. As you conduct this twice a year inspection, take a critical view of your home as someone driving by might do. You’ll find that some of the things will cost little or nothing to address, you may just not have thought about them. For example, finding a place for your garbage cans so that they are not visible in the front of the house may be as simple as moving them to the back, or may require installing a small fence to shield them from view.…