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    Working from home and renovating how to cope

     

    As we have been renovating, we have some tips on how to cope with living and working in your home when you have builders pulling your house and lifestyle apart! Move everything out of their way and store it in an enclosed space. This way your precious possessions won't get broken or covered in "building dust". Pack away most of your children's toys. This does sound mean, but it is a lot easier than having crying children with broken or lost toys from leaving them under your builders feet! Don't plan to work while the contractors are going to be doing major noisy jobs, ask them the night before what they will be doing the next day, this way you can sort out when to make your phone calls and when to leave the house for lunch! Make sure you put protective coverings over your carpet or hard flooring. It is amazing what gets dropped by accident even by the most prudent of workmen. Building dust can really scratch hardwood floors, so make sure you keep it covered and taped down Take all your pictures off the walls, as the contractors carry timber and plasterboard sheet through your home they can easily be knocked, or your pictures could be on the other side of the wall that is being worked on and may fall off with the banging of hammers etc Try and vacuum every night. It sounds like a nightmare, but you simply do the area around the work and this will reduce long term damage to your home. Dust can engulf your entire house, but taking away as much as you can each day, when the work is finished you will have less of a disaster on your hands. Let the contractor know before they start that this is your family home and you have children or pets that have to be considered. That way they will be aware of leaving doors or gates open, and reduce the risk of you losing something precious. Don't set yourself unachievable work goals each day. Remember that there will be constant noise, which upsets your concentration, and you will feel more tired with the home being in disarray. Do what you can while they are working during the day and sneak in some extra work at night to keep up, remembering that this is only temporary! Arrange to meet with clients away from your home office. You won't be able to be professional in your home with renovations happening. Make sure you look after your contractors, a cup of tea or coffee, some cake occasionally. This way they will like working for you and hopefully stay to finish the job! Make sure you have a agree date that the project needs to be completed by, you want to get the work done as soon as possible, reducing the amount of disruption in your home and office. Otherwise you could find yourself living in turmoil until the builder decides he is ready to finish your job. Make sure that you have one "sane" place to go in your home. An untouched area. This way, when you feel you have had enough of the constant mess and noise you can go to the place and feel slightly normal. Don't forget to enjoy the finished product, you've earned it!

         
    Workbenches building options

     

    Workbenches are an essential tool for the handyman or the do-it-yourselfer. Just as an artist needs organization for quick access to a paintbrush, a builder needs a workbench for efficiency and to easily locate his/her tools. Workbenches can be built from scratch, purchased in prefabricated kits or purchased as already complete and ready to use. The problem is that these previously assembled models can be very expensive, so many choose to build their own version. Workbenches are perfect for the basement, garage or a workshop and can usually be built over a period of one weekend. Before strapping on your tool belt, take a moment to decide exactly how you want the finished project to take shape. Do you want a simple workbench or do you want drawers and other amenities? The next step is to determine what type of wood you will be using for this project. The majority of professional workbenches feature beech wood. For standard workbenches, birch wood is often the material of choice because of it’s combination of firmness and that fact that it is lightweight compared to beech wood. Finally, choose the desired dimensions for your new workbench. Make sure that it will fit in the designated space that you have selected and, if not, make room before proceeding. Workbenches are heavy and you do not want to continuously move them around to find the perfect spot. You can save yourself the hassle, and the backache, by measuring and making room before beginning to build. Unless you are fortunate enough to envision the perfect workbench and build it without directions, then you may need to purchase a workbench plan. These are available at many home improvement stores or online at a variety of specialty woodworking websites. Each kit generally features multiple pages depicting diagrams, photos and step-by-step procedures to help you build the perfect tool haven. If you would like to take convenience one step further, consider purchasing a complete workbench kit. This type of product features all hardware, along with detailed instructions. More often than not, workbench kits will even include a list of places to purchase any additional needed hardware and a detailed parts list. Building a workbench can be an intimidating, and difficult, task to undertake. Previously assembled workbenches are often expensive, so many do-it-yourselfers would rather build their own. If you are uncomfortable doing the job yourself, a professional builder may be able to step in and complete the workbench with little inconvenience to you. Because of scheduling conflicts, we are often unable to finish every project on time. This is where a contractor can step in and assist in getting the job done quicker. You will save money if you are able to source the material yourself, which will enable you to only owe the contractor only for labor costs and not the added charges for materials and other incidentals. On the other hand, if you are determined to complete the task yourself, remember to protect your hands with work gloves and always wear safety glasses at all times. After long hours of construction, you will be proud to hang your tools and tool belt on the handsome new workbench that sits in your workspace. There’s nothing like a job well done and especially if that job is a labor of love.

         
    Wool carpeting for your home

     

    There is nothing quite as luxurious as having wool carpeting in your home. Although is a definite luxury, wool carpeting is also a lasting value. A wool carpet will cost more at the time of installation, but over the years a resilient wool carpet will prove itself to be a lasting value far superior to other types of carpeting. No man made fiber rug can come close to wool superior rich look and feel. Wool is a prized natural fiber that has many attributes that lends itself to quality carpet making. Wool is non allergenic, which can be a very important consideration to some who may deal with allergies or children with asthma. It does not promote the growth of dust mites or bacteria and has no harmful emissions as do man made carpet fibers. It is naturally soil resistant. Wool is naturally flame retardant. The fibers of wool have a natural superior long term appearance retention which is why wool carpets don't age as quickly as man made fiber carpets. The wool fibers don't crush or break down under use as man made carpet fibers do. Along with the above natural attributes of wool over man made carpet there is also wool's natural ability to absorb and retain colors. As it is a natural fiber wool is able to capture clearer colors than synthetic fabrics. Also as anyone who has a synthetic carpet knows, synthetic carpets requires frequent cleanings, and, after cleaning some man made fibers such as olefin, nylon and polyester actually develop graying in traffic areas and actually look worse than before they were cleaned. This will not happen with wool carpeting. As with any carpet, a cleaning schedule will help to extend the life of your wool carpeting. Many different methods can be used on wool carpeting such as spray extracting, rotary shampooing or foam, use of dry powder or factory cleaning (in the case of area rugs, such as oriental rugs). You may want to consider a wool carpet when buying new, or replacing existing carpeting. If you can't afford to carpet your entire house with wool then carpet the room that will receive the heaviest traffic, such as your living room or family room. You'll be glad you did.

         
    Woodworking tools a detailed guide

     

    Woodworking is a popular and relaxing hobby. When you get started, you will need a variety of woodworking tools. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get started. By purchasing what you can used and shopping for discount tools you can build your collection without spending a fortune. Chisels: Look for high quality, durable chisels, as these will get a lot of use. Rockler woodworking chisels are durable and affordable. You will need a variety of chisels in sizes from ј to 2 inches wide, depending on the project. Chisels can be used by hand or you can tap them with a wood mallet. Clamps are needed for gluing projects together. A wide variety of sizes are available. These are generally inexpensive, so pick them up whenever you find them. These can often be found used in good condition. Pick them up whenever you find them cheap to build your collection. Squares are important for accurate measuring. You will need a framing square or a carpenter square. A try square is often used in furniture making. These come in sizes from three to twelve inches. Look for squares that are marked in inches and metric. A combination square has two pieces: a head on a steel blade. These are a great tool for measuring 45 or 90 degree angles. Drills come in corded or cordless models. Corded drills work well and are less expensive. Great features to look for include reverse, variable speed controls and attachments for a drill press. If you want a cordless drill, look for high voltage batteries to be sure it will have adequate power. Look for a model with two batteries, so one can be charging while you work with the other. You will need a variety of drill bits for woodworking projects. Hand planes are made of steel or wood and are used for a variety of purposes. A jack plane is used for rough shaping and comes in twelve to fifteen inch sizes. A block plane is used for trimming. Smoothing planes are good for fine cuts and are eight or nine inches long. Other tools you will need include: o 16 ounce claw hammer o wrenches o screwdrivers o tape measure o safety glasses o sand paper o level o hack saw o pliers o hand saw Finding Woodworking Tools Don’t rush out to buy the cheapest tools you can find to supply your workshop. Wait until you can afford quality items that will last. Buying cheap tools is a decision you could well live to regret. A good set will last for years, unlike cheap tools which will have to be replaced many times over the same time period. The internet is a good place to search for discount woodworking tools. Look for well known names, such as Rockwell tools, Sears tools, Hitachi tools and Ridgid tools. Rockler woodworking tools are well known for quality. By purchasing major brands that are known for quality, you are more likely to end up with a product that will give you years of dependable use. One way to find quality tools at an affordable price is to buy them used. These can be found at flea markets, yard sales, antique auctions or your local classifieds. Tools are often in good shape, particularly if they got little use. Hand tools are almost always a good bet when purchased used. Be careful when purchasing used power tools. They are generally good if they were gently or rarely used. Check them out thoroughly and try them to be sure they are in good condition. Ask about how often they were used and when they were first purchased to get a better idea of the overall condition.

         
    Wooden window blinds as part of a home improvement project

     

    Wooden window blinds provide a great solution for a window treatment as part of a home improvement project. They offer a relatively inexpensive way of giving a room a real feel of luxury and warmth. They also bring a touch of nature to the inside of the home. Wooden venetian blinds are probably the most popular and practical kind of wood blind available at the moment. They consist of a number of horizontal slats (or louvers) that are connected together using a ladder tape which allows the slats to be rotated through about 170 degrees, giving great control over the amount of light entering the room. This control over the slats is not only a good way of filtering the sunlight but means you can have as much or as little privacy at the window as you require. They can also be raised or lowered as desired using the lift cord. They are generally made from basswood which is an ideal wood for manufacturing blinds as it is a lightweight yet durable wood. It also lends itself very well to being stained in a number of attractive colours due to its natural grainy texture. These blinds are available in a wide range of colours and sizes. The most common slat widths are 1" (25mm), 1.5" (35mm) and 2" (50mm). Some of the more popular colours include pine, beech, tawny, honey, chestnut, auburn, hazel and white. When deciding on which size of slat to choose, the obvious thing to bear in mind is that a blind with 1" wide slats will have twice as many slats as a blind with 2" slats, and it's purely a matter of opinion as to which looks better. The fitting of these blinds is a fairly easy job, particularly for someone with DIY experience. They should come with all the necessary instructions, mountings and matching valance. The tools you will need are a drill, a pencil, a screwdriver, a saw to cut the valance to size and a spirit level. Cleaning the blinds is again an easy process. The best thing to do is dust them on a regular basis, and then once every couple of weeks give them a wipe over with a damp cloth. In conclusion wooden venetian blinds are a great way to enhance the dйcor of any room and will give an elegant, luxurious look and feel to your home for many years to come.

         
    Wooden hot tubs review

     

    The wood tubs are not a new concept; they were used for centuries all over the world. It was during the Second World War that the Americans noticed the wood soaking tubs in Japan. They converted the wooden wine vats into wooden hot tubs. So the Americans experienced the social bathing with wooden hot tubs. Today though acrylic spas are more prevalent, wooden tubs are also being purchased mostly on personal preference. However, there are many reasons for choosing a wooden tub over a plastic spa. Features of wooden hot tub 1. Wooden tub are assembled on site and can be carried through any door way whether its wide or narrow. There is a greater effect of massaging and buoyancy for the bather as the tub is deep and the vertical walls are bit higher, also more water surrounds the bather. There is also greater leg space so tall bathers are comfortably stretching their legs. The wooden hot tub gives a rustic and traditional appearance to your bathroom. 2. Natural resistance to decay is a concern while choosing wood for wooden hot tubs. The wood used should be decay resistant and maintain that resistance in warm water. The woods that are mostly used are teak, cedar, cypress and jarrah. 3. The wooden tubs do not crack, chip or blister like the plastic spa. To clean the wooden tub, drain the water, rinse the tub and scrub using a soft brush. The out side of tub will turn gray if the natural wood is not varnished. So give a finish to the tub as you per direction of an expert. 4. There is a misconception that wooden tubs harbour bacteria and hazardous to health. Improperly sanitised, both wooden and plastic spas can represent health hazard. So regardless of the material proper sanitation is the key. Wooden tubs and leakage Wooden tubs do leak initially for few days after they are assembled. This is so because the wood may expand to its full saturation point. Even after few days the leak continues, it could be due to manufacturing defect or assembling defect. It could also be because of the overuse of water sanitizers like chlorine or bromine. You need to be careful while using these products as they can cause the individual wood cell to shed their lignin leaving only the husks of the cell. The visible sign is the white marks on the walls or the floor of the tub. This substance does build up in the normal course of time, but very slowly if the levels of sanitizers are correct. There are over-counter products that will mend the leaks. Do get the help of the professionals for maintenance or leak prevent tips.

         
    Wood vs. metal loft beds bunk beds

     

    If you are in the market for loft beds or bunk beds, a major choice is wood versus metal. Depending on the overall look and size you desire, you will want to choose a differently constructed bed. Although both materials are both sturdy and safe, many individuals choose either metal or wood when searching for the optimum bed to fit the room. Most older bunk beds are made of wood, and are generally easier to make safety modifications and enhancements. Also, the price of wooden bunk beds may be more economical, especially if you are shopping at second hand stores or using a bed previously used by a friend or family member. Furthermore, wooden bunk beds can be easily repaired, painted, stripped, or stained to create a completely different look for differing tastes. Metal bunk beds are usually made of tubular metal and thought to be a classic kid’s type of bedding. How many times have you seen a red or white metal bunk bed in a child’s bedroom? Metal bunk beds made in recent years are built to the set safety requirements, but if any safety requirements are not up to par, emendations are much more difficult to make. When looking at loft beds, the newer, stylish beds are made of metal. Additionally, metal loft beds take up less space so that tight spaces will not be further infringed by bulky metal creations. Also, metal beds allow a greater amount of decoration than wooden beds, so these are quite popular with the feminine crowd. Additionally, a change in style requires nothing more than a can of spray paint in the new and improved color. Wooden loft beds are most associated with college dormitories, where loft beds built of raw two by fours are king. These beds can be found around every corner of campus come move-in day, so keep your pennies for things like books and purchase a used loft bed. You may even gain a couple new phone numbers, since most college co-eds use their loft beds as a huge message pad. The plus side of a wooden loft bed is that you will save a great deal of money on paper! Whatever type of bunk bed or loft bed you choose to purchase, ensure the bed is safe. It does not matter if you are two, twelve, or twenty, safety is still important when entrusting your bodily safety while you sleep. A teenager can roll out of bed just as easily as a toddler, so be sure all beds have the proper guard rails and safety precautions. Generally, the choice between wood and metal bunk beds or loft beds is completely personal and depends on the space and the style.

         
    Wood railings elegant and stylish

     

    The article will give you the information on wood railings. The information is necessary for installation of all wood products and railings in particular. It will also give you tips on wood care to make it long lasting. Wooden railing is the first choice for any owner or the builder as the elegance and the style that you get from wooden railings is nothing compared to other materials. Some time the light reflection from all sources disturbs you. Wood does not reflect light as much as steel does, a kind of sereneness, and tranquility that you get from use of wood, you cannot get from any other material. - Advantages Of Wood Railings There are many advantages of wooden railings particularly indoor railings. 1. The elegance of wood is unmatched by anything else. 2. Contrary to popular belief, wood railings are maintenance free, particularly those used indoors. A nice polishing, a coat of lacquer while installing, is all that is required, and no further maintenance is required. 3. Another advantage of wood is that it massive in construction and will last for several decades if not centuries. 4. With its wide top, children (and some times grown ups too!) enjoy the wood railing sliding down the railing for coming down instead of coming down by steps. Oh what fun! - Choice Of Wood For Railings Wooden stock rails, balusters and newel can be made in Burma teak, Cherry, Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Walnut, Mahogany, Poplar, Beech, Yellow Pine, Ash or Cedar. Many manufacturers can give you the top rail design that you desire or dream. Manufacturers use CAD systems, CNC machinery, and hand artistry, to give you any rail profile, baluster turnings or newel post. Care Of Wood In General, Railing In Particular Wood when properly treated and cared for requires no maintenance. The major enemy of wood is the life forms capable of living and thriving on wood. The microscopic life starts first and then it is like a jungle, where the food chain starts. Therefore if you treat wood with chemicals to stop the growth of micro-organisms and keep water away from it, the possibility of wood rot gets much less. Regular cleaning, annual polishing, waxing when the wood railing looks dull is all that is required for caring the wood articles and railing in general. Out-door railings may require painting to keep them looking new.

         
    Wood pellet vs corn stoves the choice may be out of your hands

     

    The most popular alternatives for whole house or supplemental heating are corn and wood pellet fueled stoves. These appliances are easy to operate and the initial capital outlay is significantly less than solar, wind or geothermal systems. A vital question to ask before you start evaluating the merits of pellet vs corn stoves should be: "Which fuel, corn or wood pellets, is the most readily available in my locale and therefore the cheapest to burn?" For instance, in Massachusetts corn for fuel is virtually non-existent. The closest Agway store I contacted (3/2/06) had only eleven, 50 pound bags in stock at aprice of $9 each or $360 a ton. Over the course of a New England heating season, a stove will consume 3 tons of fuel. If you compare this to $260 a ton for wood pellets from a well stocked Connecticut supplier, the wood pellet stove becomes your only choice. Likewise, if you live in Iowa, why would you buy a wood pellet stove? In some regions of the country, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota there is usually an abundance of wood pellets and corn. The obvious benefit is the ability to switch between fuels when one of them becomes scarce. A perfect example is this year's wood pellet shortage. Do you think Wisconsin pellet stove owners had to think real hard about where to get corn? However, Nancy Koval, owner of Woodburning Warehouse in Watervliet, New York, warns that when burning corn in a wood pellet stove it is best to use a50/50 mixture of wood pellets and corn. The problem is clinkers. When corn is burned it leaves behind a substance from the sugars it contains that when cooled is very hard and stays in the burner. The clinkers must be regularly cleaned out of the stove. Some special corn stoves are designed to automatically clear clinkers, Koval said. Wood pellet and corn stoves have much in common. They are comparably priced at around $2000 for a unit large enough to heat 1200-1500 square feet, and share an efficiency rating of approximately 80%. Corn and wood pellets also produce an equal amount of heat per pound of fuel. Please note: Since most house layouts do not allow the free movement of air through the house, a centrally located stove will not heat the whole house. If your home doesn't have an open floor plan, size the stove to heat the room where the stove is located. Both types of stoves require electricity to run fans, controls, and the auger that feeds corn or wood pellets into the stove's firebox. Under normal usage, they consume about 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or about $9 worth of electricity per month. Unless the stove has a back-up power supply, the loss of electric power results in no heat and possibly some smoke in the house. In addition to weekly ash disposal, both corn and wood pellet stoves have an annual maintenance regimen that must be followed to ensure your stove continues to operate as efficiently as the day you bought it. The storage of corn, as opposed to wood pellets, can be problematic. Owners of corn burning systems who store corn inside their homes need to use tight storage containers, clean up corn spills immediately, and avoid storing corn for long periods of time to prevent problems with rodents and stored grain insects. A third option to consider is a multi-fuel stove. Typically they are advertised as corn stoves that also burn wood pellets or vice versa. A stove popular with consumers that burns corn and also wood pellets is the Dansons Group Cheap Charlie Model HCCC2GD corn burning stove.

         
    Wood pellet stoves the future is heating up

     

    If you are tired of hauling and splitting loads of cordwood, storing it and then carrying it again into the home, but still desire the ambience and radiance of a wood burning stove, then it may be time to check out the benefits of a wood pellet stove. Although on a direct cost comparison basis, the pellet fuel works out more expensive, it does come ready to use, and the wood pellet stove takes considerably less effort to operate and clean. Using pellets of compressed sawdust, that provide obvious benefits for the home and environment, woodburning pellet stoves come in a wide variety of styles, both traditional and modern, as well as size, finish and heating output. More clean burning than traditional stoves, some wood pellet stoves are equipped with fans and thermostats for distributing the heat output more evenly within the room. As a rule of thumb most wood pellet stoves store about three days fuel, and require on average cleaning once a month; a simple job of just emptying an ashtray. Whilst freestanding wood pellet stoves offer greater design positioning flexibility, fireplace insert models are available as well as wood pellet furnaces that can be installed in basements or outhouses to heat the whole house. Depending on the manufacturer such as St. Croix stoves or Lancaster pellet stoves, these appliances can provide a heat output of anywhere between 10000 and 50000 BTU per hour. As noted earlier, wood pellet stoves come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and finishes, but the first important decision when making a choice is the basic configuration of the stove. Freestanding pellet stoves offer the greatest flexibility in installation choice. Supported by a pedestal or on legs, freestanding pellet stoves are designed to be installed in almost any living area of the home, but they must be installed on a non-combustible floor protector. An added advantage is that wood pellet stoves can be installed much nearer to combustible surfaces than is required by more traditional heating stoves. Wood pellet stoves that are designed to be fireplace inserts can be readily installed into existing fireplaces and decorative panels are available to cover the space between the fireplace insert and the fireplace opening. Some wood pellet fireplace inserts are approved only for use in masonry fireplaces, whilst others can also be installed in approved factory built metal fireplaces. Built-in wood pellet stoves are an economical choice that offers homes without an existing fireplace, the look of an insert in a fireplace setting. Non-combustible materials such as brick can be applied to the area around the front of the wood pellet stove to give the appearance of a fireplace. Once again a non-combustible floor protector is required, sometimes with additional spacers to provide an air space under the unit. Pellet furnaces are larger appliances designed to heat an entire house through ductwork. They are usually installed in a basement or outhouse and like all wood pellet stoves require efficient venting to the outside through an approved vent or flue. As with all types of heating stoves, it is important when installing wood pellet stoves to ensure that they have an efficient means of expelling the waste gases and smoke, usually a chimney or compatible flue. It is advisable to seek advice from a certified dealer/installer who will advise and if required supply and install a suitable venting system. Indeed most suppliers of wood pellet stoves offer a complete installation service.

         
    Wood pellet stove heating a practical alternative

     

    A wood pellet stove is now a viable alternative to modern methods of heating your home, and is itself a surprisingly recent innovation. During the 1980's this form of heating became quite popular, and has recently enjoyed a resurgence in interest. But what are the advantages of a wood pellet stove, and why should you consider one for your home? Firstly what exactly is a wood pellet stove? Generally free standing but also available in fireplace insert form, a pellet burning stove simply uses special hardwood pellets and is designed to offer the same convenience and cleanliness expected of modern appliances, including safe and clean operation, thermostatic controls, and most importantly it is self feeding so constant attention is not required as with traditional wood burning stoves. Simply fill with pellets switch on and set your thermostat and the stove will burn for hours or days at a constant regulated temperature with no intervention from you. An important distinction between wood pellet stoves and traditional wood burning stoves is that due to the construction and burn properties of the wood pellets they are consumed at a steady and predictable rate with virtually no creosote buildup. In addition they are incredibly safe, posing much less risk to the surrounding environment such as walls and furniture than traditional stoves. Wood pellet materials and construction are integral to the safety and predictability that exemplify modern wood pellet stoves. Wood pellets are constructed from timber and other timber by-products often unused for other purposes, making them inherently environmentally friendly. They burn with almost no smoke and critically do not contribute to greenhouse effects and consequently global warming. Just as importantly no wood chopping is required making the process of heating a home much easier and certainly more pleasant. Another huge advantage is that the wood pellet stove outlet at the back or top of the unit does not become hot anywhere near to the same degree as a traditional wood stove, which means a masonry chimney is not necessarily required in your home. If you have one then it can of course be used, but if not the stove can be installed wherever a metal liner or flue can be positioned through a wall or out of the roof. This is often impossible using a wood burning stove. It must be noted however that a wood pellet stove is not as useful for remote locations where a traditional stove may be the better choice. In remote homes with no electricity for example a stove which burns chopped wood may be the only available option as most pellet stoves require electricity to run, in particular to power the electronic thermostatic controls. Remember this is a modern appliance designed for modern convenient living, but with the advantage of being particularly clean and environmentally friendly, it is not designed for rugged outdoor living. Interestingly the fuel costs associated with a wood pellet stove are comparable with oil and natural gas, much lower on average than electricity prices. So to answer our question, is a wood pellet stove a viable and practical alternative for heating your home, the answer would appear to be yes.

         
    Wood or vinyl blinds

     

    The market for blinds have expanded past those traditional aluminum mini blinds the bend, break, and warp. Many homeowners are electing to install a 2 inch blind made of either wood or vinyl to add a more sophisticated touch to a room. Much cheaper than wooden shutters and able to allow in more light, these blinds combine function and design to produce a look that is sure to suit everyone’s needs. In years past, the purchase of these two inch blinds would literally break the bank, but fortunately, there are a great many options available for those on all sizes of budgets. There are pros and cons for choosing either wood or vinyl. The main difference in the material of the blinds is the color and the price. Typically, wooden two inch blinds are a great deal more expensive than vinyl blinds, but are available in more colors. If you have stained wood trim and molding around your windows, consider continuing that color to your window treatments. A rich dark wooden blind or a refreshing honey hue wooden blind can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the look of your home. For a price, you can create a fantastic look that makes the difference between a ho-hum room and a spectacular room. Keep in mind that wooden blinds tend to be lighter than the vinyl variety, so they may be the best choice for double or even triple windows to prevent bowing in the middle of the blind. Also, wood blinds—just like vinyl—can be custom cut to fit the exact specifications of your window. Vinyl blinds; however, are a great deal less expensive and easily be mistaken for the wooden variety. Especially if you choose a bright white or soft ivory for your shades, vinyl shades are probably your best bet if you are on a budget. Additionally, vinyl blinds tend to be easier to clean, since water can warp wood or cause the finish to bubble or crack. If you are in the market for wood of vinyl blinds, consider visiting your local home supply warehouse. Quite often, the selection at these stores is surprising and the cost may be a great deal less than those purchased from special blind stores. Another alternative are catalogs and websites that sell blinds direct. Wholesale options are excellent for keeping your price at a minimum, but you must do the measuring and installation once the blinds have been shipped to your home. If budget is not a problem, then look to a special window treatment shop in your area, where professionals will come to your home and will complete the measuring process and the installation.

         
    Wood or metal playground equipment

     

    What better surprise for a child than a fantastic playground in your own backyard. There are few things children love more than slides, swing sets, and playgrounds in general. Instead of making the trek to your neighborhood park, installing a playground in your own backyard is a great solution. There is a spectacular selection of quality playground equipment on the market, but the main choice you will have to make is between the actual materials. There many reasons why to make a backyard playground, but evaluate the differences between metal and wooden sets carefully before your purchase. Regardless if you choose a piece of wooden or metal playground equipment, be sure that it follows all the proper safety standards. Also, keep in mind that children each year are injured by improperly playing on playground equipment without appropriate supervision. Even though this playground is in your own backyard instead of at the neighborhood park, your children should still play under adult supervision. Years ago, most playground equipment was made from metal. Even today, most swing sets are still made from metal tubes attached to which is a chain. Metal equipment, although still available, has been far surpassed by wooden equipment. The main reason for the rise in popularity of wooden playground equipment is the customizations options. Also, many individuals choose wooden playground equipment since it can be built for less money than the purchase of a metal play set. If you are the handy type looking to build your own fantastic outdoor playground creation, then wood is the best way to go. There are numerous kits that allow you to combine different types of slides, swings, climbing walls, and a variety of other aspects to customize the set. The planning and construction process required in creating wooden playground equipment is a great project for the entire family. Involve your children and allow them to express themselves in creating a custom set. Let your imagine roam wild! Picking up a hammer and nails not sounding so attractive? Look to pre-made sets instead. Although you will not be able to customize the equipment, there are many fantastic options available in both metal and wood. Keep in mind that metal equipment should be regularly inspected to avoid and prevent rusting. If necessary, apply a rust-preventative paint or topcoat. Also, wooden playground equipment should also be evaluated for potential splits or splinters. Just like metal equipment, those made out of wood should have the proper weather coatings to keep the wood looking fresh.

         
    Wood floors contribute to better air quality

     

    Allergy season is in full swing and an estimated 35 million Americans suffer from health problems as a result of allergens. In fact, statistics from the Allergy Consumer Review show that allergens account for 10 million missed workdays each year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is one of America's top environmental issues, with pollutants such as chemicals, mold, dust, dander and pollen contributing to various ailments. To help cut down on allergens caused by poor indoor air quality, many experts suggest adding wood flooring to a new or existing home. Wood floors contribute to better air quality because they don't collect the dust and dirt that are often embedded in carpet. As an added benefit, a new wood floor can last three to six times longer than carpeting. Further, carpet can hide the harmful bacteria, mold spores and pet dander that researchers say could be responsible for the increase in asthma cases in the U. S. "Over the years, we've seen a number of allergy and asthma cases attributed to poor air quality in people's homes," said Dr. Neil Schachter, professor of pulmonary medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A recent EPA study also found that hardwood floors greatly reduce the accumulation of toxins. To help improve indoor air quality, Schachter offers these simple tips from his book, "Life and Breath." * Check your air conditioner. Check the ducts in your central air-conditioning unit once a month to remove extra water that may have accumulated. * Inspect your walls. Wallpaper is a potent food for dust mites and mold, both of which can grow behind the wallpaper. Use flat, washable paint instead. * Avoid carpet in the bedroom. It is estimated that the average bed contains 10,000 dust mites, which usually burrow deep into carpets. "Wood floors are not only beautiful, they're also renewable and extremely durable," said Kelly McCloskey, president and chief executive officer of the Wood Promotion Network. "And by installing wood floors in their homes, consumers send a signal to the industry to plant more trees, resulting in more forestland."

         
    Wood floors buying tips

     

    Just like wooden wardrobes, wooden tables, wooden chairs etc, add value to the overall look of the house, wood floors too have an elegant and sophisticated charm. Wood floors can make a dull room look great. The use of wooden floors has been going on for centuries. The floors last long and can be maintained easily. Wood floors are cheaper compared to other floorings. You can choose the wood floor according to your specifications. There are lots of varieties and designs available. While buying the wood for flooring make sure you choose the right ones. Here are some tips to help you. You can buy different wooden paints for the flooring. Try to buy the best one, which would suit the look and feel of your home. You can easily unfurnish and impregnate the wood floors without much time and money, and this is one of the main reasons why people love having wooden floors. You can install wooden floors in the rooms of your choice. There are various ways you can install such as gluing or nailing it to the ground. You can laminate the wood floors and make it look more polished and shiny. Most people think that wood floors do not last long, but this is a myth and it is a one-time investment and enhances the look of your home. You can decorate the wood floors with many designs and also paint with the colors of your choice. You can buy oak, maple, teak wood, etc, for your flooring. The color of the flooring depends on many factors like the colors of the wall, curtains, ceiling etc. Most people prefer darker wood floors and lighter wall colors. If you have a casual room then you can go for light colored wood floors. Hand painted wood floors look very attractive and artistic. You can design the floors yourself or hire a professional wood painter, who would design and paint according to your specifications. If you have any doubts on what type of wood to use for your wood floors, designing, painting, etc, then it is advised that you contact a wood flooring professional. A wood flooring professional has experience and knowledge in creating wood floors, so you can contact them and get a quote. You can search for a wood floor professional in yellow pages or on the Internet and hire them for your work.

         
     
         
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