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Knowing When To Ask For An Estimate

October 31st, 2010

Finding repairmen and home improvement experts you can trust is a challenge, but it will be easier if you work with potential professionals ahead of time and secure a written estimate for the work you need. While you may face an emergency situation where you need to call on the services of a professional for immediate needs, there will also be times when you can think through the services you need and choose from a variety of options. When getting an estimate, use the time to get to know the professional, determine if they are confident in their ability to complete the work you need, and finally, to get an approximate cost for the work. Determine if each estimate is locked in or if there is a variance in what you may pay. Some contractors guarantee their work will not be more than the estimate and they eat the cost should it go over. Others promise their work will be within a range and what you pay will be no more than a percentage of the estimate. Make sure you understand this before signing on the dotted line. One of the instances you may want an estimate is with pest control services. If you have a termite problem, call in two or three options and see who works best for you.

Another instance when you want to get an estimate is when you are having new windows installed. Rates for windows vary a great deal and choosing between a local or nationally owned company can make a big difference in what you pay. If you can find a reputable, licensed, local company, you are likely to pay less than with a national chain. However, it is tougher to determine if a small local company will stand behind its product. On the other hand, larger companies may contract out for installation, leaving you hanging if there is a problem. Be sure to ask these questions during the estimate meeting.

If your furnace should need replacing, be sure to get a few estimates on a new furnace and on installation. Installing a furnace is a challenging job that should be done by an experienced professional. When interviewing professional installers, be sure they have done the work before.

Getting new carpeting in your home is exciting, but it takes a lot of work. You need to choose the right carpet for you and then you must make sure it is installed by experienced professionals. If you are buying your carpet from a large chain store, ask if they use their own installers or if they contract out. Knowing this in advance can save you a lot of headaches.

Finally, the interior in your home is not the only place where improvements will require an estimate. If you want to improve the outside of your home with landscaping changes, it is important to call on a few options to determine what will work best for you. If you have ideas in mind, choose a landscaping service that seems most capable of achieving those results. Those with no ideas who just want things to look better should go with the vision that most impresses them during the estimate meeting. When getting an estimate for anything, price is important, but should not be your only consideration.

Stewart Wrighter is an expert in the field of exterminating and contributes articles about what to look for in pest control services and how to hire the best. He is very knowledgeable on the subject of termite infestation and how to get rid of the problem.



Moving to a Beachfront Condo? Make Sure You’re Prepared

October 31st, 2010

If you’re getting ready to move to a beachfront condo — especially if you’re moving a long distance — make sure that you take all the necessary steps for a smooth move. Here are some suggestions to make the process easier:

1. First Things First: Make Checklists

Make lists of everything you’re bringing with you and everything (if anything) you’re putting into storage. Anything else that’s left over you can either donate to charity, try to sell or give away to family or friends. Then, make a list of all the phone numbers you’ll need: realtors, movers, storage companies, etc. Having lists of everything you need to do will make it much harder to forget anything.

2. Prepare Your New Condo

If you think you might want to do any sort of major upgrades to the interior of your new place, such as putting in/remove carpeting, painting the walls or anything else that will require a room be emptied of furniture and decorations, make sure it’s done well-before you move in — moving furniture is enough of a chore; having to do it again will be much worse.

3. When You’re Packing

Make sure you have enough moving supplies (i.e. boxes, tape, packing peanuts, etc.). While you’re packing, group things together by room, so when you get to Florida and start to unpack in your beachfront condo, all the kitchen items will be together, all the bathroom items will be together, and so on. Write whichever room the box belongs to on all sides of the box so you or the movers will know which room to bring it straight to. When you choose a moving van or truck, figure out what size will hold all your belongings, then go up a size, in case you decide at the last minute to bring a few extra things with you.

4. If/When You’re Storing

Whether you’re storing things in the town you’re moving from or the town you’re moving town, make sure beforehand that the unit you’ve chosen will actually fit everything you need to store. As with the moving truck, it would be wise to get a slightly larger unit, just in case you realize you don’t want to bring certain things along. In terms of organizing the storage unit, put more valuable belongings in the back, heavier, larger boxes and furniture on the very bottom, and make sure you leave space for an aisle for easy navigating. And again, label the box on all sides to make it easy to see what’s in which boxes.

5. When You’re Moving In

When you’ve arrived at your beachfront condo, have a strategy in place for bringing everything inside. Bring large things like furniture in first, starting with the rooms farthest from the entry door and working your way in so you don’t have to try to maneuver past everything in the front room.

Following these steps will make what could be an extremely stressful situation much easier, and even allow you to have fun with it. Don’t let your move to a beachfront condo turn into a nightmare!

www.PlazaOceanside.com is your source for the most luxurious beachfront condos Florida has to offer. If you’re considering a Florida beachfront condo, visit www.PlazaOceanside.com today.



Lighting A Room Perfectly Adds Extra Impact

October 30th, 2010

We all love to decorate our homes in some fashionable way, moving furniture here and there until we get it just in the right place. On top of this though, we often like to decorate the walls too with a beautiful work of art or some lovely photograph of a loved one. Getting the illumination right though is a whole new ball game and this can make or break the whole effect. Indeed, picture lighting is very important since it leads the eye to just where the artwork is. For those who want something a little extra, led picture lights are just the thing and fit just about anywhere.

A lot has been said about getting the room lit just right. Some decorators charge inordinate amounts of money just to advice people on what will look good where but the easiest thing in the world to do is to try it out before opting to put it in permanently. Artwork can be hung just about anywhere but having the electrical outlets nearby often causes some problems.

For example, corridors or stairs which have a line of photographs of the family or pieces of art perhaps from the same artist are notoriously difficult to illuminate. One could opt for ceiling fixtures with halogen lamps that are directional but these will throw a shadow when someone stops to admire the piece. It is better to get a fitting that hooks on directly to the frame so that it throws illumination only where it is intended.

For those who do not want to have expensive electrical work done, there is a range of battery operated fittings which can be attached to the frame. Because they have no dangling cords either, this gives a much cleaner look and will make the whole thing look like it was professionally done.

Moving the photographs or art around to different points in the room or house is also another way to figure out if the ‘balance’ looks right. Brightly colored pieces will stand out while those in more muted shades will fade into the background a little so getting this balance correct is important if the room is to look good.

Also, just having a photograph dotted here and there also looks a little strange so try grouping them along a wall or up the stairs for added impact. It is not always necessary to have them all in the same frames but finding a similar color will surely make the look more cohesive. This is also a great way to show family history to anyone who is interested.

Finally, as already said, the way a room is illuminated will really show if the householder has any artistic flair or not. Try looking in some rather up market decorating magazines if ideas are needed. It is not necessary to copy exactly what someone else has done, rather, pick out the parts that are liked and fit them into the home that way. The trick is finding a style that fits the home, the family and any artwork which is treasured.

Stewart Wrighter is an entrepreneur who runs a large group of websites that specialize in high end items such as led picture lights. He offers a large selection of picture lighting on his website.



Why You Should Have a Display Showcase

October 30th, 2010

Glass showcases have been cropping up in residential homes for years. If you have a lot of something you want people to see, consider investing in a showcase. Check out the following reasons why you might want a showcase for your home:

1. For your trophies

Pride is the most common reason people have glass showcases in their homes — and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’ve earned a significant number of trophies, you’re clearly good at something, whether it’s bowling, baking, sports, what have you, and there’s no harm in reminding yourself of that by showcasing your winnings.

2. For your collectibles

Everybody collects something. Some people collect bottle caps; some collect those little toys that come with Happy Meals; others still collect burnt-out light bulbs (this one’s less common). Whatever your collection, why not display it the right way, in a glass showcase?

3. For your jewelry

There’s a reason stores keep so many accessories in jewelry showcases (apart from theft prevention) — it makes everything look so inviting. Recreate that quality with a showcase of your own, especially if you have a lot of jewelry and not enough places to keep it.

How To Choose a Display Case

Take inventory of what you plan to display. Spread it out in the manner you want to display it; try a few different ways so you have some options when you go to choose a case. Think about what you’re displaying — if it’s jewelry and you’re buying a glass case, you probably want to invest in some kind of fabric to rest the jewelry on, so it doesn’t get washed out against the glass. Similarly, if you’re displaying something opaque and solid, or something that comes with its own mini-display (like coins, which are usually stored in albums or folders), you can skip the backdrop. Also keep in mind that if you have small children who like to get into everything, you should look into a lock for the showcase.

Once You Have the Display Case

Now that you have a glass showcase, it’s important to keep it clean. It’ll probably accumulate some smudges (especially if you have kids), and definitely dust. To keep your glass showcase looking shiny and new, try these glass-cleaning methods:

1. An E-cloth and water

E-cloths have walls of tiny fibers, which are perfect for picking up equally tiny dirt particulars.

2. Vinegar, water and newspaper

It’s not the most ideal mixture, as it’s messy and doesn’t smell all that great, but it works great. Dilute the vinegar with the water to make a 1:4 ratio and then wipe it on the glass with a lint-free cloth.

3. Diluted dishwashing liquid

Apply the soap with a sponge or squeegee, and buff with a lint-free cloth or crumpled up piece of newspaper.

4. Rubbing alcohol

3/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and cup of water make a great glass-cleaning solution. Just wipe it on with a lint-free cloth or newspaper. Another solution is mixing a cup of rubbing alcohol, a cup of water and a tablespoon of white vinegar.

Now that you know the perks of having a glass showcase and how easy it is to keep them clean and shiny, what are you waiting for? Go out and get one!

www.sturdystoredisplays.com are manufacturers of showcases and retail displays, and the home of the ever popular Streamline Showcases. We present complete standard lines of glass showcases, jewelry showcases, wrap counters and trophy displays, as well as Freedom Towers, the Bold Series and the Basic Series.



What You Should Know When Finding Cool Mist & Warm Mist Humidifiers

October 29th, 2010

If you are looking for a humidifier for your home or office to add moisture to a dry environment, why not try Holmes Cool Mist & Warm Mist Humidifiers? Holmes humidifiers are quality products that can be used in any size room or even for the entire house. The variety of size, design and style will complement any décor, as well as adequately humidify your home.

Humidifiers in general can be divided into two classifications: cool mist or warm mist. Within the cool mist category, your options extend to using an evaporative, ultrasonic or impeller model. Both cool mist and warm mist humidifiers discharge moisture into the air, however, the method in which they work are quite different. Warm mist humidifiers contain a heating element used to heat the water inside to a boiling stage that then releases steam into the air. Cool mist models function without a heating element.

The size of the Holmes Cool Mist & Warm Mist Humidifier you choose determines the amount of water it holds and how much moisture it will disperse into your environment. You can choose from compact units that are effective in smaller environments to medium/large size models for bigger areas. A cool mist humidifier is usually used in climates that are warm and dry, as they also help to cool down temperatures along with releasing moisture into the air. Warm mist humidifiers operate better in cool, dry climates. Both warm mist and cool mist humidifiers are available in an array of designs and colors to match any décor. Portable models can easily be transported from room to room for convenience and ease of use.

People use humidifiers for different reasons, but most utilize them in relation to their health. Living in an indoor environment where the air is hot and dry can often produce any number of health problems including dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, irritations in nose and throat which can lead to respiratory problems, increased allergy and asthma attacks and in some cases can activate bacteria and viruses. In addition, dry air often affects furnishings in your home in an adverse manner. Wooden furniture or floors can warp or crack due to excessive exposure to dry air and wallpaper and paint can crack or peel. If you own musical instruments such as a guitar or piano, you may note that dry air causes cracks in the wooden structures as well. Adding moisture to the air helps alleviate all these negative effects, as well as provides a more comfortable environment in which to live. Humidifiers help keep your home at a very comfortable level of humidity and can also help save on your utility bills.

These benefits and more can be attributed to the proper use of a humidifier in your home. Holmes Cool Mist & Warm Mist Humidifiers offer your home and office the best performance, varied selection and quality construction to last.

Have you been struggling to find the right kinds of evaporative humidifiers for your home? Visit the following website and you will surely find the right ones you need including an excellent: Ultrasonic Humidifier



Condo Living Security

October 29th, 2010

Almost any city located in the eastern coast of the United States may be densely populated. Nevertheless, even though it has a lot of residents, the city’s growing economy allows them to gain one of the highest standard of living averages. Normally, this has an effect on the crime percentage in the place.

Boston prides itself with having an admirable peace and order situation. With an efficient juvenile justice and crime prevention strategies, city residents enjoy relative peace and security more than those who reside in prime urban centers. This is one major reason why the city is a desirable place to live in.

If you want to live here and take one of the many available condo units, one of your most important concerns would be security. Questions about this are expected. It is natural for people to seek assurance that their homes are not threatened by felons or other criminal elements.

Anyone would not prefer a home where he could not sleep well at night, worrying about the possibility of people breaking inside and stealing valuables. However, with the city’s low crime percentage, the possibilities are not as high as that in other places.

Nonetheless, building owners whose host condos have put up strategies to ensure the safety and security of people residing on it. Almost all of the buildings are manned by competent security personnel who diligently patrol the entire premises to make sure that no possible criminal would be able to gain entry to the building and to the units themselves. Such personnel are also equipped with the latest security systems. Electronic systems of alarms, cameras, CCTVs, and detectors enhances more the capabilities of your security force. All the condo units are highly accessible to the police department in case of emergencies.

Fires and natural disasters have also been considered in setting up the security systems in the condo units. You can find sprinkler systems in all units too and water hoses are strategically placed in the entire buildings. Of course, each of these condominium buildings has passed the strictest standards of the city’s building inspectors and the local fire department.

Fire escapes have also been set up and made accessible to the residents in case there is fire from any part of the building. Having these guarantees, anybody who desires to relocate in a condo unit in the city will surely realize his decision to be right.

Savor the wonderful life of living in Boston Condos. Check this site for more information: http://wesellboston.net/



The Way to Maximize Square Footage and Escape the Heat is Remodeling the Basement

October 29th, 2010

Copyright © 2010 Gerry Stringer

The depressing fact is real estate sales have sunk to an average of 24.5 percent lower than last year across America. More impactful than that to current homeowners are figures indicating values in real estate are off nearly 30 percent. Meaning if home purchases were recent, mortgages with 10 percent down at closing are already 20 percent underwater.

So the question for those homeowners who aren’t ready to fold and want to hold onto their credit ratings and real property until the economy recovers is whether to remodel.

The basement is, of course, the natural place to deploy smart expansion. Interestingly, the appreciation in a home’s value by remodeling or finishing the basement can offer energy savings vs. the expense that inherently comes with raising the roof (adding a second story) or expanding the footprint of the home.

How’s that?

Well, a basement with exposed ducts allows valuable heat to be lost. The R-value of concrete’s measurement is as low as 0.08/inch. When you multiply that by the standard eight-foot height of a basement, you still save by merely filling in walls with insulation and drywall. Uncovered heat ducts in an unfinished basement are the worst energy abuser, the heat dissipating into the cold basement through conduction.

Potato cellars may not be remembered by even the youngest baby boomers. But those come from America’s Midwest will recall the cool dampness of the cellar and the function of that cool temperature to preserve food (okay, potatoes) that otherwise would go bad sooner than later. That same cool can be turned into a welcome summer retreat when used as an entertainment room, in-home theater, a peaceful corner of the house for homework or even a home office. Sans cold potatoes.

Besides rooms in which to live, homeowners are in dire need of storage space in 2010. One in 10 U, Wikipedia states.S. households rent a self-storage unit in the year 2010. On average, a household spends $1,200 a year on a modest-sized storage unit, a cost that is repeated annually for many. You could fill an 18-foot long wall with 6-foot high Metro shelving for $1,200 and pay it completely off in a year with the money spared in storage costs.

And when it comes to rooms that can enhance the value of one’s home from a 2010 economic perspective, top on the list is the home office. Now what does that tell you about employment trends? The number of self-employed people working full time and individuals with more than one job, one day job and one hobby/venture job operating from home is increasing as well as remote workplace opportunities.

Quality finishes in a basement can make the difference between truly usable square footage. By the same token professional basement remodeling company can convert space that was once a basement into luxury square footage that would otherwise go unused.

Real estate man Gerry Stringer is in the business of buying, fixing up and reselling homes in the Denver, Metro area. Lately, the down economy has pushed him to explore basement remodeling, which has automatically increased the value of each home. Because of their commitment to quality detail, he always uses Chase Custom home builder. http://denvercustomhomebuilder.com/

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