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Exterior Door Buying Guide: Shopping Tips

March 13th, 2012

By Keith Pollow

A first impression takes very little time to be made, yet it creates the biggest impact on the owner of a house as well as visitors alike. It is for this reason that shopping for the perfect exterior door is important for a homeowner.

There are certain criteria that should be researched and thought about thoroughly for those wishing to shop for these types of doors. Factors such as door types, materials and accessories, and security should be taken into consideration when looking to invest into an exterior door. Weighing the options needs and necessities that come into play when selecting an exterior door, ensures that the best option will be made when purchasing a new door.

There are several types of door that are available in the market of exterior doors. The purpose that a door will serve, including beautification or an architectural element, should be evaluated. Flush paneled doors can be comparable to the benefits of having a paneled door. There are endless different types of door finishing available that can be chosen for the perfectly selected door. Some options include different types on painted finishes or even stained finishes.

Convenience in the door market is found in the various ways a door can be hung, such as a slab door or a prehung door. Some doors may be chosen to swing inward into a house, as opposed to swinging away from a house. This of course goes back to any chosen preferences and depending on the space of a typical foyer in which the exterior door will eventually lead into. In this day and age of customization, even exterior doors can be installed based on whether an owner is left-handed or right-handed.

Not all exterior doors are created equally. This is especially true for the wear and tear that a particular exterior door may go through, when being continuously exposed to the elements day after day. Both rain and sunshine can take a negative toll on the wrong type of exterior door. This is why the appropriate type of door construction material should be selected when buying the perfect door. Things such as warping may occur when the incorrect material is used for an exterior door in the wrong type of climate.

Doors can also be energy efficient and very effective at keeping the heat of a house indoors, where it should be. Options such as double-layered glass can be chosen and installed in order to reduce the amount of potential heat loss that may occur through the exterior door. Of course this would assume that the option of even having glass in any part of the exterior door would be explored. Insulation can also be added to increase the energy efficiency ratio of a house, in all of the year’s seasons.

A door is not just simply a door panel. This is why options such as hardware and hinges choices as well as the finishes for all of these accessories need to be selected. What may meet one shopper’s need will not always meet another, as the needs of consumers in the market for new or replacement exterior doors vary greatly from one buyer to the other.

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Choosing Garage Doors To Suit Your Home

July 29th, 2011

We are the kings and queens of our homes and so we should be making our castles as beautiful and comfortable as we possibly can. That means that every opening and every nook and cranny should be addressed thoroughly, a well-chosen, well maintained, and so on. Choosing garage doors to suit your home is a very important part of this and below you’ll find tips on how to do so properly.

The first thing one has to do is look at the budget they have to deal with. Like this, certain models, designs and materials may be chosen. Next, the homeowner has to consider the style of the structure. Doors and windows play a very important role in keeping with the architectural style of the structure. For instance, a period home requires certain materials and certain styles to ensure that the final result is both appealing and appropriate.

On the other hand, a very modern architectural style will require a more modern solution, otherwise the two will end up clashing, providing unfavorable results and reducing the value of a property. Of course, size has to be considered, but these are usually quite standard. If there is a very large opening that calls for a double door, this option can be chosen, or to help of a division, two smaller ones can be installed instead.

Color is the next thing that one has to consider. Although most homeowners will often choose the same color as their entry door, it isn’t the correct way to go about it. The best way to choose color depends on the design of the home. For instance, if the garage protrudes, it may be best to tone it down rather than show it up.

For example, if the brick work or exterior finish of the home is a dark color, then a bright white garage door will be in your face. Instead, a darker door that will match the exterior finish would be a better solution, making it somewhat disappear. The focus should be on the entrance which is where you want your guests to be led to.

When it comes to color, white is the most popular and is the quoted price by all manufacturers. That means that if another color is chosen, there will be a higher cost involved, which is one reason why white is the most popular.

However, even if it is the most economical color, if it isn’t the right on suitable to the property, it will only backfire on the overall look and even on the property’s value. Of course, a homeowner can paint these themselves, but it will need maintenance because such paint will chip as opposed to the techniques used by manufacturers.

Aside from these, the consumer will also have to consider the materials. There are many to choose from, each coming with its own set of pros and cons. One thing the homeowner will have to consider is the maintenance involved in the upkeep of such a material. Aluminum, PVC and vinyl are long-lived and require no maintenance. Wood is beautiful, costly and requires a lot of upkeep.

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Backyard Landscaping Can Increase The Value Of Your Home

July 28th, 2011

The market value of a home is a very important to any homeowner, but so is the comfort and beauty that comes with all the special things we put into them. Very easily, you can increase the value of your home with backyard landscaping regardless of the budget available. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a little hard work on the part of the homeowner, and other times it’s a matter of calling in an entire crew with tractors and all.

For those who work on a budget and still want the better things in life so that they can enjoy their outdoor spaces, there is much that can be done. One of the most expensive parts of doing any landscaping has to do with demolishing what already exists or digging out ground and such. Therefore, if the homeowner is willing to put in the hard labor to do this either manually or through renting some equipment, the savings can be huge.

Before anything begins however, one has to have a thorough plan. To do this, especially for someone who doesn’t have the experience, it’s necessary to look around at other finished projects to get better ideas of what is suitable and what is not.

After that, drawing up plans is an absolute must. This will give a brighter and clearer picture to the homeowner as to what looks best and still fit the budget. Therefore, the consumer has to be prepared to look around or shop around for the best prices. Although this may be a time-consuming, in the end it will bring the best results to the project so that the home can be enjoyed more and will increase in value.

Many people prefer the do-it-yourself jobs, but they aren’t always the best solution because the inexperienced individual doesn’t have the ability to foresee into the future, the changes that will occur naturally with the growing plants and trees. If that’s the case, perhaps hiring a professional to prepare the plans for you may be a better solution and still be in keeping with the budget at hand.

What makes backyard landscaping incredible and stand apart from the rest is bringing all the elements into a particular space, such as shrubs, flowers, trees, rocks, wood and water. These are all natural things that exists in nature and will beautify the outdoor space, but at the same time they have to be put together in the best way possible.

Research, as mentioned above is necessary for this to happen and can be done through magazines that are dedicated to the subject. Also, people can find exceptional examples that they can copy from online resources. With the right research and planning, the backyard landscaping can not only turn a bland outdoor space into something incredible, but also bring a wonderful return on your investment.

However, homeowners must consider that they should make this investment wisely without overextending the investment beyond the value of the home. In other words, an average home must have an average investment in order to provide the boost in value, and anything over that will end up being a loss.

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Creative Landscaping Ideas For Your Home

July 25th, 2011

As the old saying goes, your home is your castle. Which means what your home looks like on the outside is just as important as what it looks like on the inside. This is true, regardless of the size of the space you have to work with. Fortunately, there is no end to the landscaping possibilities for your home’s exterior.

Obviously, when we think of yards, we think of plants. It is best, when choosing plants to consider the environment in which you live. Just like dressing well, matching the plants to the rest of the total environment is one of the easiest ways to a well-tailored lawn. However, some plants are more universal than others. A weeping willow tree, for instance, can add an enigmatic spice to drier, sparser landscape, just as much as it can add a haunting air to a moister, flourishing landscape.

However, how one fashions their chosen plants can be just as important as the plants one chooses. For those that like the well-manicured lawn look, cleanly trimmed hedges and grasses are key. The best of such looks usually institutes harsher angles and symmetrical curves in order to achieve a tamed, orderly architecture. Though, for some of us, a wilder, chaotic look might be better suited. This, being the easier of the two, utilizes plants like wild flowers and prairie grasses without much trimming.

For the more industrious, stone architecture might be a worthwhile possibility. The simplest constructions are the configurations of bricks and stones. Paths and walkways can be laid with little effort, as well as building small walls. For those that are working with flat land, enclosures made of short, brick walls and filled with rich soil can be made and planted with flowers and bushes to give that varied effect.

For those that like to spend time in the outdoors, constructions like gazebos can be a great add. Make a gazebo a centerpiece in which you tailor the rest of your yard for and make the outside of you home a sanctuary those balmy evenings or bright spring days. Gazebos can, also, make for nice alternatives to indoor kitchens, just add a grill.

If you like art, it is hard to go wrong with the addition of a choice sculpture. Often, angels or animals from nature are chosen for premiere spots. Sculpture that is incorporated into fountains are, also, pretty universal. But, with anything, take care to keep such outdoor accoutrement down to a minimum so as not to leave your yard looking too crowded and busy.

Of course, there are some embellishments that go beyond sculpture. Wind chimes and ornate pottery are nice possibilities. Though, noisy additions, like wind chimes, might be best left to those that own large tracts of land so as not to disturb the neighbors.

Regardless of what you choose, the right landscape will be a welcome sight after a long day at work or a leisurely day at home. Thinking up new ways of using materials to create your favorite scene may, also, in time become a most rewarding hobby. All you have to do is imagine.

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A Furniture Store Can Offer Great Design Ideas

July 18th, 2011

A furniture store offers a wide array of home furnishings. Furniture suites for you bedroom, dining room, children’s room, office, living room and game room can be found at a home furnishing store. When purchasing a new furniture suite, one must verify that the it will fit in the room of your choice as well as if it will match the decor of the room.

Before leaving to purchase new furniture, measure the space where your new furnishings will be placed. Measure end to end. Take a tape measure with you to the store and measure the piece that you are interested in before purchasing in order to make sure that it will fit in the space allotted at home.

While planning your next purchase, take into consideration the paint color of the room as well as the paint color of the home. One does not want to purchase something that will clash with the wall color. If necessary, take a swatch of the paint color with you to the store in order to compare accurately.

Colors should ideally coordinate tastefully, but sometimes it is helpful to pull in one piece that is of a contrasting color. For example, if your room appears to be drab or washed out because of the wall color, try to bring in a color piece that is on the opposite side of the color wheel. For example, if the room is inundated with yellow, it may be helpful to bring in a light blue piece or even a dark brown piece.

Keep in mind any paintings, drawings or themes that you have in the room. When choosing a sofa, loveseat or sectional, you do not want to purchase something with a pattern that will clash with the theme of the room. For example, if you have pictures of sailboats hanging throughout the room at home, the last thing you want to do is buy a soft with a flower pattern. The two would essentially clash and create an awkward look and feel.

Consider textures as well. If the majority of your room is decorated in wood, it may not be a good idea to purchase something with plastic outlines or borders. Similarly, if the furnishings of a room are of glass such as chandeliers, tables, and lamps then one is safe to purchase any type of texture.

One is safe buying leather, suede, or mircrofiber. Consistent textures are appealing to the eye. However, sometimes it is appealing to have one or two items that are of different texture in order to create a comfortable contrast that makes the room pop.

A furniture store has great ideas for your next remodeling project. One will encounter amazing deals as well as ideas for designing every room in your home. One can encounter deals on items that may be from last season or items that may have a small scratch or dent on them. Ultimately, the item looks brand new and the scratch is usually located in a place where one cannot notice.

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A Look At Some Of The Characteristics That Define Luxury Furniture

June 24th, 2011

This article is going to be taking a much closer look at some of the characteristics that define luxury furniture. This article is also going to be looking at a few important things that people should consider as they shop for this particular type of material in their town or on the web.

Style will often vary a great deal when it comes to the luxurious pieces. In the majority of cases, style will be in one particular category classic or modern. Some of the pieces look very modern while some of the others look as if they were taken from a king’s castle. Which one of these styles a person goes with is typically going to rely heavily on the design of the rest of their home.

A very important characteristic that defines some of these luxurious pieces is the type of material that they are made from. A lot of them are going to have very solid frames and many of the sofas and chairs will have an exterior that is made from exceptionally valuable material such as silk or leather. Most of the dining room tables are made from the hardest type of hardwood.

Solid craftsmanship is yet another characteristic of these luxurious pieces. Many of them were not put together overnight. A lot of time, skill and effort goes in the creation of these pieces. This is why they look the way that they do and also last as long as they do. Some of the pieces are actually antiques that still hold up as well as the day that they were first sold as new.

The country of origin is another one of those characteristics that will sometimes define a luxurious pieces. There are many pieces that come from various parts of Europe. Italian pieces are very popular among many of the collectors out there. Please note that many collectors will choose a particular country whose designs they like and collect all of the pieces from that particular country.

A person does not have to outfit their entire house with luxurious models in one sitting. This is why many people start with one room at a time and go from there. There are many luxurious models that are designed for the living room and many other that are designed for the kitchen. Many others are designed for bedrooms where people sleep. This is why people should choose a room to start with and outfit it first and worry about others when they get the cash.

There are some dealers that specialize solely in luxurious pieces and these dealer might be the best place to turn when seeking additional information. These dealers might also be the best place to go when seeking a particular piece that proves to be tough to find.

It does not matter if a person is shopping around town or on the web there are certain characteristics that define luxury furniture. Sometimes it is not only the materials used of the nature of the design, but the actual country where the furniture was made.

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A Basic Guide To Shopping For Furniture

June 23rd, 2011

For new home-owners and those who are looking to redecorate their homes alike, shopping for furniture is an exciting task, but can become overwhelming if a thorough plan is not laid out beforehand. There are so many different variations when it comes to interior decor pieces, in every color and style. The first thing to ascertain is therefore, the overall style of the space or apartment that is being furnished.

Those with a more contemporary style flair will often prefer a minimalist space, which avoids clutter and uses simple colorings to accentuate the shape and openness of the space. If the space is relatively small, settling for a minimalist look may be the best option, to avoid clutter and overcrowding. Colors like white, stone, tan and sand, are often used in minimalist design, to reflect light and create an illusion of space.

Minimalist furniture is often simple and symmetrically shaped, using gentle contours and lines to make bold statements. The phrase, “less is more”, applies to this design style, which means selecting a few pieces such as a couch, a coffee table and a lampshade, and spreading them throughout the room where they become focal points of the space. A retro feel can be added to this style by selecting pieces that are brightly colored usually with only one or two shades.

On the other hand, there are those inhabitants who prefer to be surrounded by a living space that is filled to the brim with unusual ornamentation and quirky design pieces. This kind of eclectic style is expressed through pieces which are somewhat disjointed or awkwardly positioned. Those with a taste for a more eclectic flair, are usually anti-traditionalist, and prefer to collect pieces of any shape, color or style.

Eclectic pieces can be bought from thrift stores, antique shops and second-hand stores, where it is often possible to find old, yet valuable pieces. These can include whitewashed picture frames and tattered/frayed sofas which have been well maintained but have a weathered look about them. The options for this design style are seemingly endless.

Others may wish to create a space that reflects the culture or style of a certain country. Asian-styled design is a popular example of this and includes pieces which are red, black and forest-green in colour, to reflect a more traditional sense of style. It is important for these decorators to research the style in order to create an authentic feel.

In an Asian-styled space, an emphasis may be placed on fabrics and the Eastern materials used for curtains, sofa pillows or throw blankets. These elements can be easily and affordably replaced each season, to highlight a particular Asian theme, by including pillows with different motifs and symbols on a sofa for example.

Other decorators may prefer period furniture which represent a specific era in history. Victorian pieces like four-poster beds and ornate dressing tables often feature in these spaces, and are mostly carved from wood with perfectly varnished finishes. Once the overall style of the space has been decided upon, one’s search for the most appropriate pieces becomes much simpler and shopping for furniture becomes a pleasure.

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Wrought Iron Is Resilient And Stylish

June 14th, 2011

The word wrought meaning worked on dates back to medieval times when blacksmiths worked on iron by hammering the heated metal into a desired shape. The crafted metal of the blacksmith was known as wrought ironwork. The word wrought was the past tense for work. The wrought iron we get today is not necessarily the same product that was crafted in those days. The name has survived for a specific type of iron that is currently manufactured using modern metal alloys.

Today this type of ironwork is forged from a composition of mild steel. It has two notable properties in that it is very easy to forge and resistant to rust. It looks exactly the same as its namesake of a bygone era.

However, it is easier to forge as it can be heated to much higher temperatures. It is also softer when hot which facilitates the forging process. A greater variety of products can be made by using this more malleable metal. It is also highly resilient to corrosion and can stand up to harsh climatic conditions.

Gates and fences made of this metal have stood for years and years. Many eighteenth century Victorian buildings and five hundred year old Tudor bridges are physical proof of this. Like any ferrous metal it can corrode in certain conditions, but as we look around our countryside, we see many structures of this metal that have survived many years with minimal or zero maintenance. They age well often look better than ever.

Household furnishings and decorations made from this type of iron are trendy and popular. In many homes it is seen as a modern day status symbol that has a desired impact on guests. The resilience of this alloy appeals to homeowners as it can be passed on for generations to come. Furnishings made from this metal look attractive inside as well as on the porch or in the garden under shady trees.

Iron fences and ornaments can enhance the visual aspect of a garden. French doors made from this metal are a popular addition to stately homes. The panes in these doors can be stained glass for additional visual appeal. Apart from the beauty of these doors, they can be practical in adding privacy where needed.

Stair rails manufactured from this material are very fashionable. They are simple to install and can blend in with most interior or exterior architectural themes. Lighthouses and other tall buildings with limited space made use of spiral staircases made from this alloy. Soon the idea to have spiral stairs in homes caught on. These staircases have their own elegance and charm and look better as the years go by.

The manufacturing process of wrought iron has changed and developed over the years. The materials used are better to work with than those used many years ago. The look of end product has not changed. Fences, railings, garden decor and staircases made from this metal all look elegant and at the same time are strong enough to last for many generations.

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Custom Drapery For A Custom Look

May 26th, 2011

Custom drapery creates a frame for your view and completes your room. They will give you a tailored look as they create treatments for your windows with the fabric you selected and sewn to the exact dimensions of your window. Store bought window treatments are a standard measurement which does not always look the same on your windows.

What to Expect from Custom Drapery

A look which is made to order for you has adapted to your specifications from hem allowance to stitch length. Another sign of a customized look is the fullness. A customized look provides as much as three times the fullness, whereas store bought looks are skimpy looking and measure in at two times fullness range. The tailored look will also match patterns across seams to ensure a continuous flow of birds, bouquets, or any other pattern that is used. The length is also customized to provide necessary clearance of any furniture items, exact skimming of flooring material, or extra long to create the puddling look. Any pleating is deep and can be extra long as needed. Personalized lining will protect the fabric while adding body to any design.

Types of Window Treatments

Now that you have decided to have personalized treatments made it is good to be familiar with all the terms and selections that are available to you.

Cornices. Cornices are created from a piece of wood which is cut into any shape you desire and then material is applied to it. Padding can be added prior to the material to create a softer look. They can be created with a handkerchief, swag, or pleated finish.

Lambrequins. These are cornice boards with long extensions resembling a jabot going down the sides.

Valances. A piece of fabric is sewn with a fabric pocket on the back through which the curtain pole goes through. They are usually paired with curtains to provide coverage at the top.

Swags and Jabots. This window treatment term refers to fabric which is looped over a decorative pole and allowed to drape gracefully down the sides. The decorative material which hangs down is known as the jabot.

Drapes and Curtains. This is known as a piece of fabric which hangs from a pole and pulls to the side to let light in. These are available in a variety of lengths to allow any furniture or heating placements to remain uninterrupted.

Shades. Shades are an additional layer which can provide privacy if the window treatment is more decorative than functional.

As you are working with an experienced consultant to create your unique made to order look keep in mind other items they may be able to provide you with as well. They also can usually offer many other accessories for you as well such as bedspreads, comforters, duvets, dust ruffles, decorative pillows, decorative table covers, table runners, place mats, shower curtains, or any other fabric enhancement you may want in your home. The best thing about a specially made item is being able to select your materials in the colors you want to complement your home.

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