Home Improvement Tips – Waterproofing Your Basement!

Basements, sadly, are subject to a number of negative stereotypes ie they are dark, dreary, damp and humid. Well, you can take care of the dark, dreariness with a few well thought out design flourishes, but the damp and humid part is a little more challenging. Waterproofing is imperative if you are going to use your basement as any type of occupied space.

The process of waterproofing involves a combination of sealing and finding drainage solutions. If you start too late, you will also have to include water damage restoration in this process. When properly protected from water, your basement can function just like any other part of your house.

Understanding Water Leakage
The first step towards any recovery is admitting you have a problem, and a water leakage problem is no different. Usually leakage is caused by a number of different factors. As your home ages, your basement begins to settle and form tiny cracks and fissures in the walls and floors. These tiny openings can let water into the space. Basement walls and floors are made out of concrete, which is a porous material. Also, most basements are built below the water table so the ground water causes hydrostatic pressure, which pushes on the basement walls and can soak through the pores and cracks in the concrete. Other leakage may also occur at the footers where the walls and floors meet. This is usually because the hydrostatic pressure is pushing on the basement walls with more force than it is pushing on the floors. This causes the walls to start cracking slightly at the footer, and it allows water in to the basement.

Devising a Plan
In order to devise a game plan for fixing your leaky basement, it is helpful to understand the basics of water seepage. Cracks in the floors, walls, and joints must be sealed as soon as they are visible. You can also seal the entire interior of your basement (walls and floors) to prevent water from being wicked to the inside space. Slightly more drastic measures can also be taken. You can install French drains, sump pumps, and drainage systems that are on the exterior, interior, or below the slab. All of these systems help reduce the hydrostatic pressure on the basement walls, which cause the majority of basement leakage.

Call in a Basement Waterproofing Contractor
When it comes to waterproofing your basement, you are better off letting the pros handle the job. You might be tempted to tackle the project yourself, but note that fewer then 20% of homeowners are successful at waterproofing their own basements. With odds like these, it is wise to call in a professional basement waterproofing contractor. This professional will have the skills necessary to identify the source of the seepage, and determine the best way for addressing the problem. Hiring a professional before trying it yourself will end up saving you time and money in the long run. A dry basement is a pleasant basement, so save …

Using a Shop Vac to Unclog Your Kitchen Drain

Your kitchen drain is clogged, and you don’t have the money to call the plumber. You’ve tried using the plunger, but you’re not having any success. What are you going to do, no money to hire a plumber, and the plunger doesn’t seem to be working effectively?

If you own a shop vacuum that can be used to suck up water, you could save yourself a couple of dollars. The first thing you’re going to need to do, is to remove the filter from the shop vacuum. The filter is normally used when vacuuming dry materials like sawdust or dirt.

If you don’t remove the filter, there’s a good chance that you will ruin it, once it becomes wet. Make sure that you clean the shop vacuum out thoroughly and turned it on outside to make sure that it doesn’t blow any dirt or dust out the exhaust vent.

With all that done, it’s time to bring your shop vacuum into the kitchen and try to unclog your kitchen drain. I would imagine, since your kitchen drain is clogged up, that there is water in the sink. Simply place the shop vacuum hose end to the drain that is clogged and turn it on. Get as much of the dirty water out as possible and then refill the kitchen sink with clean water, enough to cover the clogged sink drain opening.

This time you will place the end of the vacuum hose into the sink drain, while using your hand to block off the rest of the kitchen sink drain opening. This will allow you to cover as much of the opening as possible. Now you will need to turn the vacuum cleaner on, while blocking the opening to the sink drain off, to the best of your ability.

This might not work the first time, so continue to add water, and repeat the process. If this doesn’t work, and you have a double kitchen sink bowl, you might need to cover the other drain opening and try this again.

The purpose and objective here is to try to reverse the clogged object that is located with in the kitchen sink trap or pipes that take the kitchen waste to the sewer.

If you do this more than four times and it doesn’t work, you tried, now it’s time to call the plumber. However, if it works, you saved yourself a couple dollars. Don’t forget that you can use this method for unclogging drains on bathroom sinks, toilets and even bathtubs.

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Ask An Expert: Interior Design

Over many years as an Interior Designer, what would be 3 major shifts in consumer preferences during that time?

One thing that comes to mind right away is the shift from stain grade cabinets to paint grade cabinets. White kitchens are back! Clients are trending more towards lighter and brighter over the red/orangey tones of the last decade. Flooring has changed quite a bit with more clients opting for LVP (luxury vinyl plank) throughout their house. LVP has come so far, and is now super durable, easy to maintain and looks crazy real. Thirdly, quartz countertops are now becoming the standard. I rarely spec granite anymore. Quartz is so easy to maintain vs granite and the colors and patterns that are available now mimic everything from natural marble to exotic granites.

What are some future ideas and predictions going forward? Any new trends that may be taking place in 2018/19 and beyond?

Natural woods are very popular right now: hand scraped, wide plank barn board flooring as well as overtly distressed furniture pieces. What is also starting to come forward in design is more of a traditional style again. Details on everything and the use of rich jewel tones are hot right now along with warm metal tones (yes brass is back but in an updated way!).

What are some of the challenges to face in helping customers realize their dream renovation?

A lot of clients are afraid to trust their style intuition. They often fight between their heart and their brain over what they want. Often, they are trying to force themselves to change color palettes or styles from their last house and sometimes its way out of their comfort zone. I always tell clients to listen to their gut. Their home is their sanctuary and they need to feel comfortable, relaxed and love being home.

Are there certain types of renovations that tend to bring the greatest value to the selling price of a home?

Kitchens, Ensuites and basement developments are always the spaces people use the most, therefore increase the value of your home. Those rooms are the ones potential home buyers are looking at predominately because they know those are the areas they will spend the most time in.

How does one get ideas or inspiration to help guide them when considering renovation options?

I will often suggest that clients send me photos of homes, rooms, styles, products that they find on home d├ęcor sites. Often clients don’t know what their style is, so if they can show me pictures of things they like, then I can usually understand them better. Visiting showhomes is also an excellent way to find inspiration and new ideas.

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Coiled Garden Hoses – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Some people don’t give much thought to things like a garden hose, but if this is something you regularly use during the growing season it is worth giving some thought to it. Anything that is used on a regular basis can make little day-to-day jobs easier or more difficult based on that item’s design. A garden hose is one of these things.

While the familiar green version is an old standby for many there are other choices available, one being the coiled garden hose. A coiled hose looks a bit like an old-fashioned coiled phone cord. It is a fun change from the old stand by for many however it has it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

One of the fun things about this type of garden hose is that it comes in a variety of fun, bright colors like blue, purple or even translucent yellow.

While color may be fun it won’t or shouldn’t be the main reason to choose this style of water hose. The main benefit of a coil hose is that it is fairly small, but it will stretch as you need additional length then recoil back to its normal shape when you are finished using it. It basically retracts on its own after use so you do not need to spend additional time coiling it neatly to put it away after each use.

They are also lightweight but still durable. Many of them hold up well in the sun, are resistant to abrasion and they don’t kink.

Disadvantages

Probably the biggest disadvantage of coiled hoses is that they aren’t as multifunctional as the more familiar style. They work better for smaller spaces like patios or balconies. If you have a large yard this style may work well for you patio but probably not for all of your watering needs.

Because they don’t rest on the ground like a regular hose they can also have a tendency to bump into or knock over taller planters or plants.

A coiled hose works well for certain jobs and spaces, but it may not be a one size fits all type of garden hose. Before you make a final decision think about how you use this garden tool most to see if this style would be a good choice for you.

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5 Reasons to Remodel Your Bathroom or Kitchen Today

Remodeling can be a bit expensive, but there are times when the benefits will out-weigh the costs of the project. However, with the right advice, you won’t need to drain your bank account or go deeper into debt just to end up with the perfect kitchen or bathroom. Here are the top reasons why you would want to remodel these rooms today. Also included are some tips if you’re searching for a good kitchen or bathroom remodeling idea.

Increase the value of your home

Your home is most likely one of your biggest investments. Unfortunately, its value can decrease over time, especially if it’s not well maintained. However, simply maintaining your home will still not guarantee that its value will increase over time. One way to ensure that it will is to remodel some of the rooms, especially the bathroom and kitchen.

These two areas affect buying decisions. A well-executed kitchen remodeling project will result in a great looking kitchen that attracts buyers, especially women who love well-designed kitchens. This goes the same for bathrooms. Well-designed bathrooms are spacious and easily customizable to fit the desires of any homeowner.

Low Interest Rates

If you haven’t exactly saved up for a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project, you might want to take advantage of the low interest rates. These won’t stay low forever, so check with your bank to find the perfect loan for a remodeling project.

Save on Energy

Some people don’t realize it, but energy costs can build up over time. Kitchen appliances, lighting, and other energy dependent devices use quite a lot of energy. Kitchen remodeling contractors know how to make these areas energy efficient. This can be accomplished by maximizing the use of natural light, using energy efficient light bulbs, and replacing old appliances with newer energy efficient ones.

An excellent bathroom remodeling idea to increase energy efficiency is to install water saving taps or faucets. Another one is to use the correct heating and ventilation equipment. There are plenty of new ways to make a bathroom and the whole house energy efficient.

Lower cost of materials

Cheaper building materials are now flooding the market. While many are cheap because they are mostly low quality, some materials are actually high quality but cheaper because they are lesser-known brands. Improvements in manufacturing technologies have paved the way for the production of low cost quality building materials.

Start creating a smart home

Smart homes are increasingly becoming popular. Right now, building a smart home from scratch can be quite expensive. However, if you start small, like the bathroom or kitchen, you’ll be able to incorporate technology that will truly make your home more efficient. A modern bathroom remodeling idea is to install remote controlled showers and baths. With technology, you’ll also be able to get the perfect water temperature without having to be in the bathroom.

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The Benefits of Attending a Home Improvement Trade Show

One of the most direct methods companies use to get in front of their customers is by exhibiting at trade shows. Trade shows are extremely valuable for both exhibitors and attendees. Home improvement shows are conventions where several companies come together to display their best products and services related to home design, decor, improvement, and remodeling.

If you are a homeowner remodeling your home, attending a home remodeling show can give you essential insight on available and trending products as well as which company can serve your needs best. If a company has a new product or service, they're likely to disclose it for the first time at a trade show. This is a great way for you to have access to the most up-to-date and innovative home remodeling products and services.

Show attendees say that one of the greatest benefits of participating in a trade show is abbreviating the purchasing process from weeks to a single day. According to a survey conducted by Skyline Exhibits and EXPO Magazine, "trade shows and conferences are an important part of product sourcing and buying process" said 88% of the people polled, while 91% said that "trade shows are essential for comparing products and meeting suppliers in person. " Surveys also show over and over that prospects and customers attend trade shows with the intention to learn and gather information.

Trade shows can also provide you with greater confidence in your purchase. You will have an opportunity to see and compare the products first hand. This is a great way to test them out before making the final decision. Even just seeing something in person can change your mind. For instance, you may have your heart set on a lovely marble floor, but when you see under bright lighting, learn about the qualities of natural stone; Such as absorbing liquids and leaving permanent stains, it just doesn't feel as appealing as you thought it would. It's better to make such discoveries at the show than after having it installed in your home!

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A HOME REMODELING SHOW

Know what you need or are looking for: do your homework before the show and look into the exhibitor list and floor plan. Based on what you are looking for, you should be able to prioritize a list of vendors or products that you want to make sure you get to see. This approach should help and guide you, as there will be a lot to take in, but also remain flexible. You may come across a new feature or product that you weren't aware of before which may be just the solution you need.

Have a list of questions: if you are looking for a particular product or solution. Make sure you know what to ask in order to compare the best options.

Take business cards: make sure you take a good amount, as anybody you encounter is most likely going to ask for your information. You are also going to receive …

Chest Refrigerators for the Crowded Kitchen

In a fast-paced commercial kitchen or a tightly-packed concession stand, upright refrigerators with doors that swing outward and block employees' paths are simply not a workable option. The solution is a chest refrigerator, which opens from the top. Chest refrigerators are a great option for facilities that need a commercially approved refrigerator for business purposes.

Chest refrigerators are available in a range of sizes to suit your specific needs. This means chest refrigerators can have the same space as the upright refrigerators found in household kitchens, the larger storage volume of commercial refrigerators, or less refrigerator space to reduce the refrigerator's footprint in your business. Standard sizes include those from 5 to 24 cubic feet of refrigerated storage.

When purchasing any refrigerator, it's important that it cools items evenly and remains frost-free. Look for a chest refrigerator with a fan inside to ensure even cooling to keep your items looking and tasting fresh when defrosted to room temperature. The quality of the defrosting system will impact the quality of your food and the volume of storage space available. A strong system that keeps your chest refrigerator frost-free will protect your food from reaching a too-low temperature and keep your chest refrigerator spacious. A frost-free refrigerator is also easier to clean!

Chest refrigerators also come with several practical features. Just as upright refrigerators rely on shelving systems to better organize the food within, chest refrigerators should have baskets to aid in organization within the refrigerator. Often these baskets slide or can be removed to ensure easy access to the food stored below. Chest refrigerators will also often have counter-balanced tops so that the door to the refrigerator will not stand open letting cool air escape, and they should also have a lock so that the door latches when closed.

If a refrigerator door is standing in the way of smooth operation of your kitchen, concession, or medical office, a quality chest refrigerator is the perfect solution for you.

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Expert Advice: Choosing Paint Colors for Interior Walls

There’s something magic about painting your home. First, it’s incredibly inexpensive. You can almost completely transform the way guests feel when they step through your front door for a less-than-$100 investment in paint and needed materials.

And, second, paint is powerful. When you choose the right color, it makes everything in your home sing. But that’s the hard part. Choosing paint colors for interior walls is difficult, and you often feel like you’re flying blind standing in front of a slew of swatches at the hardware store.

To help you make the best decision for your home, here’s a guide to choosing paint colors for interior walls in different rooms.

Oh, one final note: Different homes open into different rooms. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing paint colors for interior walls. Whatever room your visitors first step into, you want it to be bold and beautiful without going over the top. That room is typically the living room, so that’s where we’ll start – but pay the most attention to the first-impression room in your home.

Living Room

What matters when choosing a paint color for your living room? Start with these three things:

  1. Natural Light
  2. Furniture Color
  3. Spacing

If your room is full of natural light, you can get away with earthier tones that add a dark complement to the rays of sun pouring through the windows during the day. If you have next to no natural light, go for something lighter.

Also, use your living room paint to balance with your furniture. You want your living room to include a primary color and two accent colors. For example, you may have a large, bold area rug that creates the primary color. Then, use your furniture and walls as accents. Or, you may have a beautiful painting over your mantel that creates a nice accent. Then you can use furniture as another accent and wall paint as your primary color. No matter how you divvy things up, balance is key.

Also, consider spacing. A lighter paint color can make a small, tight living room feel larger. You definitely don’t want a cramped living room with little natural light to also feature dark, earthy paint colors.

Kitchen

You have lots of opportunities to provide pops of color in your kitchen: wall hangings, curtains, dish towels, granite, even a fun mixer. That’s why I typically prefer a nice, neutral gray for my kitchen. (I’ve always been in love with Dorian Gray, but that’s just me.) Find the right gray, and you’ll have a nice palette on which to add fun pops of color.

Not into neutral? OK, that’s totally understandable. Bolder options for the kitchen might include yellow, green or blue. Green is pretty versatile when pairing brighter accent colors, and yellow is like bringing the sun into your home. Blue is good if your kitchen is full of neutral dish towels, granite, curtains, etc.

Looking to go really bold in the kitchen? Pass on the paint and take …

Bible Trivia for Kids: Questions and Answers About the Garden of Eden

Have you ever taken the time to imagine how incredibly beautiful the Garden of Eden must have been? I have seen amazing artwork that takes a stab at picturing this awe-inspiring place, but I have a feeling that no one has any idea of how magnificent it truly was. The beauty alone must have been breathtaking, but the fact that Adam and Eve had unhindered and intimate communication with their Father must have been the greatest part of that one-time garden. The Garden of Eden can be a place that many children will enjoy imagining, but it is also important to point out the tragic history of mankind’s beginnings. I believe it is crucial that our children have a handle on the basics of the topic of the Garden of Eden and here are 11 Bible trivia questions that you can easily integrate into any lesson on Adam and Eve’s first home.

Bible Questions and Answers About the Garden of Eden:

1. Question: Who was the first man’s name?

Answer: The name of the first man was Adam.

2. Who was the first woman’s name?

The name of the first woman was Eve.

3. Where did Adam and Eve live?

Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden, which God planted for them.

4. What was the garden’s name?

The garden’s name was Eden.

5. What was in the Garden of Eden?

In the Garden of Eden there were beautiful flowers, and fruits that were good to eat, and beautiful birds.

6. Did Adam and Eve always live in Eden?

No; Adam and Eve were forced to leave Eden.

7. Why did God force Adam and Eve to leave the Garden of Eden?

Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

8. What did God put in front of the Garden of Eden to stop Adam and Eve entering there again?

He placed an angel and a flaming sword in front of the garden.

9. Were Adam and Eve happy outside of the garden?

They were unhappy because they sinned against God and He punished them.

10. Does God always punish sin?

Yes, God always punishes sin.

11. How should we behave then if God punishes sin?

We need to obey God in all that He asks of us and love Him because He is so good.

These questions are based upon the text entitled Primary Bible Questions for Young Children by S. Root, published in 1864 (in public domain).

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Modernize Your Bathroom With A Professional Remodel

The bathroom is one of the main rooms of the home that significantly influences the quality and value of your property. Outdated bathrooms can be an eyesore and make it difficult to feel comfortable in the space. If you are ready to update your bathrooms then it’s time to find a qualified contractor for the new construction in your home.

Following are some ideas to consider while remodeling the interior or outdoor bathroom in your home.

Use Metallic Tile Accents

Accents of metallic tile in brushed stainless steel and copper can brighten up the space by allowing it to look chic with a unique look. Use the tiles on a decorative backsplash that can draw more attention to the sink. These tiles can be used to enhance the design of your shower or floors. Subway tiles have a timeless look and will continue to look classy in the space for the neutral shape.

Create a Doorless Shower

Doorless showers look sleek and provide easy access for children and elderly. Make sure to check out the new trend of multiple showerheads and adopt it by building an open shower that displays this feature. Doorless showers are especially functional for an exterior bathroom remodeling project near a pool.

Add Dramatic Lighting

When you’re beginning your new bathroom remodeling project, consider updating the lighting fixtures to make the room appear modern. Install sconces on each side of the mirror above the sink or hang a dramatic chandelier that works as the centerpiece of the bathroom. Bronze or copper light fixtures will also look decorative and can transform the room.

Use Marble or Quartz Countertops

Marble is a popular material to use on the countertops, which will allow the setting to appear luxe and regal with its clean design. The white countertops make the room look spacious while creating a light and airy environment. If you’re on a budget, consider adding quartz countertops, which has a similar design and is just as beautiful. The high level of durability will allow the material to last for many years without chipping or cracking with frequent use.

Install a Pedestal Tub

Installing a pedestal tub during a new home construction project will transform the room and will work as the focal point of the space. The claw foot pedestal tub can be placed under a window or underneath a light fixture to create proper balance. The feature can also be painted with a shade of color that can be the accent in the room.

While all of the ideas may not appeal to your taste, feel free to pick and choose the once that speak to you. Use them as whole or accents for the new look for the bathroom in your home.

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