The advantages of building in winter

Building in winter months may bring to mind images of tradesmen shuddering under sub zero conditions and falling behind building schedules. In reality, though, perceptions and technology have improved so much over the years that building in winter is now being embraced more, as people find ways to make it a success.

With so many advantages of building in the winter, I really would encourage people to put all their negative perceptions aside and pick up your tools and get to work. Here are three key advantages of building your home in winter:

More builders and tradesmen available for you to choose from

It is well known within the building industry that there is less work for builders and contractors during winter. This is because of perceptions about the winter months and people not wanting to build their homes during winter. What this means for you is that you will have many more tradesmen available to choose from during winter than you would in warmer months. When it comes to building your home, this is one advantage you really cannot overlook. [Read more…]

Pre-Finished, Unfinished, Veneered – Explaining The Lingo of Internal Oak Wood Doors

Oak wood doors have become ever more popular within the home and are often the wood of choice used in construction. The thing that makes oak doors so attractive is the versatility, whether you’re after a traditional look or feel or something modern and design lead, there will be an oak door to suit your requirements. The wood itself gives a nice warm and radiant feel, and can be finished to a variety of shades.

Oak doors are perfect for both internal and external use, and can be purchased un-finished or finished. We are going to explain some of the lingo, and offer some tips and advice surrounding oak doors.

Oak Wood Doors

Pre-Finished Internal Doors

A pre-finished door will have already been oiled, waxed or varnished, and you should be able to ask the manufacture which products and shades have been used. This may be important if you ever decide to change the finish or maintain the door for wear and tear. Keep a note of the information.

Unfinished Internal Doors

Unfinished, or natural doors, come as a blank canvas. There are a huge variety of products available which will offer alternative looks and shades, from varnishes and wood oils to waxes and stains. It’s important to read up on any products before applying them, as some can dry darker or lighter than stated, but the tin should let you know if this is the case.

Veneers

Veneered wooden doors are often hollow, or consist of a cheaper wood being used which is then coated with a layer of oak to finish. The quality of the door will depend on the thickness of the veneer (the oak layer) and the wood used within this. The hollow versions are often very light, and can be prone to damage. You may find that veneered doors come with advice stating that certain products should not be used on them, this is in case they seep through and interfere with the glue bonding the two woods together.

The Natural Look

A lot of people love the natural wood look an internal oak door offers, and want to keep this within the home. It isn’t just a case of using clear products, as clear products will bring out the natural colours of the wood, leaving a darker and more golden feel. A great way to check how your oak door will look if you use a clear products is to apply some water to a small area, as wet wood looks very similar to wood treated with clear products.

The closest you’ll be able to get to a fully natural look will take some experimenting, as clear products will make your doors darker, you’ll need to add a little white before applying them. It’s essential to do a patch test, as how much white will depend on the wood.

Another option is to use a clear wax polish. If a clear wax polish is used on a natural or bare oak door, the colour should stay pretty much the same. The only problem and consideration is whether the wax will be durable enough over time. As internal doors aren’t often exposed to the elements, and it’s only really the handles which are continually touched, a wax finish can be perfectly fine.

Modern Radiators, where design meets efficiency

Radiators can often go unnoticed. It’s commonly accepted that though they can be a little uneasy on the eye, and sometimes that they get in the way of a room’s layout, often finding themselves behind sofas or other furniture, that they are essential within the home. Although they are a much needed heating source for the home, they no longer have to cause upset. There have been significant improvements in the offerings available, allowing flexibility and a personal touch.

More and more people are choosing to rip away the old radiators and replace them with vertical models, designer units, or antique ones. Whether you’re considering changing your radiators due to wear and tear, or you’re just sick of your current ones and want something more suited to your home, there are a few things to consider.

modern radiators

Most modern radiators work independently of the gas central heating and are powered by electricity, making them easier to move and install than ever before. There are no pipes or waterworks to be considered, allowing you to change the position of radiators to utilise the most space within your room. These are great for their flexibility, but can cost a little more to run.

If you already have a central heating system in place and your current radiators are plumbed in to this, it can be a little harder to start moving the location of the radiators. You can still change the look though, by simply replacing the old unit with a newer model. You’ll have to plumb this back into the original pipework.

When it comes to choosing a radiator you’ll need to consider what it is made out of. Some metals are going to stay warm for a lot longer than others, making them more cost efficient to run, however, they will often be more expensive to buy. Aluminium is the most effective, but steel and iron models look great, especially within traditional decor homes. You’ll also have to choose between single and double panel units. Single panels are great for saving space and looking sleek, but they won’t generate as much heat as a double.

Having said all of this, modern radiators will often work almost identically to the older models, the main selling point is the design aspect. With a vast range of models and colours available from companies like CNM Online, you’ll be able to tailor your radiator to the look and feel of your home. Designer doesn’t always have to mean expensive, some of the radiators available won’t cost you much more than a standard model.

How to pick the perfect Hand Knotted Oriental Rug

When it comes to purchasing the right hand knotted oriental rugs, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you get exactly what you are seeking. Hand knotted rugs by their very nature are not going to be machine perfect, but that is part of their charm. The advice here is primarily for oriental rugs, but it can also apply to Persian rugs as well.

The Characteristics of Hand Knotted Oriental Rugs

There will always be a little irregularity even in the best hand knotted rugs. This is because the time honored process which is done by hand uses devices that are not precise, but actually add the character of the creator into the process. These irregularities are not defects, but merely the characteristics of the hand-crafted process that was used.

Hand Knotted Oriental Rug

Lies Flat on the Floor: A good rug will lie flat and straight with no raised areas or knots that create bulges in the rug itself. This means that you should get a high quality product when purchasing a hand knotted rug.

Lively Appearance: The materials used will create a warm, lively look to the rug is unlike its machine counterparts. The colors will be very balanced with no fades or bleeding and it will be finished in an intelligent manner so that it does not appear either washed out or unnatural in its look.

Sophistication: Finally, the best type of oriental rugs will have a sophisticated quality to them that is unlike any other. You see the quality and craftsmanship that can only come from a hand-made rug.

How to Choose the Right Rug for Your Home

Now that you know what the general characteristics are for hand knotted rugs, the next step is finding the right one for your home. [Read more…]

Understanding House Foundation Problems and Fixing Them

The best way to protect your investment in your home is to fix problems before they grow. Yes, that means that you might have to put off other purchases. You might be dreaming about a new car, and taking advantage of several deals in the marketplace right now. But the reality is that you have to start looking deeper into any and all problems that are in your home.

Your foundation, for example, could be problematic without you even realizing it. Like the name implies, foundation is necessary for your home to continue taking care of you. A bad foundation weakens the entire structure of your home.

House Foundation

There are plenty of signs indoors that will help you identify what’s going on in your home. For example, have you noticed a door that seems to never shut properly? You might have tried to oil the hinges to push it in a bit better, or you’ve gotten used to just slamming it shut. But this is one of the biggest warning flags that all might not be right with your foundation. Some people might tell you that you’re overreacting about your home, and it’s nothing to worry too much about. They’re half right, so to speak: houses do indeed settle and shift a bit over time. You’re not going to have a perfectly even house for very long, so worrying about every little thing is a bit much. But this isn’t a little thing: it’s something that can weaken your entire home. If you end up filing a home insurance claim over structural problems, your insurance company may not pay out until they feel satisfied that it wasn’t caused by your negligence.

Another thing to notice would be any cracks that pop up around doorways and at the junction between the wall and the ceiling. Cracks around windows can also reveal foundation problems with a home. If you have problems with closing windows, this could also reveal problems with the home. [Read more…]

Adding a room to your home

In our lives, there will always be that time where we feel as if we should drastically change something about our lives or the spaces in which we live. A lot of the time, people have found that changing their homes is something that they need to do, whether it’s a way to appreciate the value of the home or just to make it more enjoyable. In whatever case, it can be pretty beneficial for both of those reasons, and this has sent a lot of people out on the hunt to find something that will really work out for them. This can be one of the more difficult things for a person to do, and that’s exactly why people take a long time to figure something out. It’s definitely not one of those things that you’d make in a rush, as it is really expensive, and it would be pretty hard for a person to revert any of the changes they’ve made after the fact.

Adding a room

With this being the case, you’ll be really good off selecting something that you’ll genuinely enjoy. While budgeting may be a big issue, it’s important that we pay for quality work. We want any addition to stand the test of time, and shoddy marksmanship should not really be even taken into consideration. There are quite a few options that are available to a person if they are on the hunt for a room addition plan from a plethora of different resources. If possible, consult these plans to see if that is something that you would enjoy, and if need be, mix and match some of the plans to create something all of your own. Depending on what kind of financial resources a homeowner may posses, they may be able to find something completely amazing.

We all love to do some amazing things to our home. Adding a room to your home can really make everything come together, and on top of that, it will give you a whole new room for the people you love most to enjoy.