Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chemiluminescence


Chemiluminescence

by: Gagandeep Dhaliwal

A glow stick is a sheer plastic tube that produces a brilliant light. A glowstick is also known as glow tube or light stick or glow light stick.

A glow stick is typically a plastic cylindrical rod about four or five inches (10 to 13 cm) long and less than an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. The transparent stick contains two chemical fluids in two different compartments. The outer compartment of the tube carries one chemical fluid and the inner compartment carries the other. The inner compartment is brittle either made of glass or brittle plastic.

The inner brittle part breaks on bending the glowstick and helps inter mingling the two chemical fluids. A fierce chemical reaction takes place emitting bright light but not necessarily heat.

The glowsticks are used in the military, recreational driving at night, marching bands at night, entertainment parties, raves, concerts, dance clubs, Halloween eves etc. The glowsticking is the use of glowsticks in dance.

Chemistry:

The phenomenon of the chemical reaction in the glow sticks is known as “chemiluminescence”. The chemicals used to create the reaction in glow sticks are usually hydrogen peroxide and a mixture of phenyl oxalate ester and the fluorescent dye. The fluorescent dye gives the glow stick its color.

The outer compartment of the tube contains a mixture of the dye and a derivate of phenyl oxalate ester (cyalume) and the inner brittle part contains concentrated hydrogen peroxide.

A ferocious reaction takes place on mixing the peroxide with the phenyl oxalate ester. The ester is oxidized, giving out 2 molecules of phenol and 1 molecule of peroxyacid ester. The peroxyacid decomposes spontaneously to carbon dioxide, releasing energy that excites the dye that then de-excites by releasing a photon. The wavelength of the photon depends on the structure of the dye.

Different dyes can be used to produce different color lights. The 9,10-bis (phenylethynyl) anthracene gives green light, 9,10-diphenylanthracene emits blue light, 5,6,11,12-tetraphenylnaphthacene emit red light. The glowsticks dyes usually emit fluorescent light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore even a spent glowstick shines under a black light.

The other chemicals used in glow sticks may include sodium salicylate as a catalyst, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DCHP) as a solvent, bis (phenyl) oxalate, bis (2,4,5-trichlorophenyl-6-carbopentoxyphenyl) oxalate (CPPO).

The chemical reaction gets accelerated on heating a glow stick and the glowstick glows brighter, but for a shorter span. The cooling on the contrary decelerates the reaction that helps a sick glow longer, but dimmer.

About The Author

Gagandeep Dhaliwal owns the website http://www.glow-sticks.org/, a comprehensive guide on glow sticks, offering volumes of info and tips on buying glow stick, cheap glow stick, rave glow stick, giant glow sticks, military glow sticks etc. For more info on glowsticks, visit, http://www.glow-sticks.org/subcat/Glow-Sticks/.



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Tips on Picking the Right Humidifier


by: Gary Nave

During the winter heating months in colder climates your home will need extra moisture. A humidifier replaces moisture that is lost from heating your home. The proper humidity is essential for your maximum comfort. Not enough humidity can cause itchy dry skin, stuffy noses, static build up, frizzy hair and a chilly feeling. The proper humidity is a personal thing. It is best to start around 60% and adjust up or down until you find the best comfort level for your needs.

So, what kind of humidifier are you going to buy? There are several things you need to know first before purchasing a unit. How much space are you adding moisture to? If you want to do your whole house and have hot air heat, I recommend having a whole house humidifier installed by a heating contractor. This type will connect to your water line and automatically add moisture to the heated air within your furnace.

If you only need to moisturize a few rooms or you do not have hot air heat, then a stand alone unit is required. There are 4 types available: evaporative, ultrasonic, steam, and cool mist. Here is what each type is good for.

Evaporative:

This is the type I prefer. Several gallons of water are stored in a tank in the unit. Water is pumped through a wicking material (should be anti-bacterial coated) and a fan quietly blows through the wet wicking material evaporating the water and adding humidity to the air. This type uses the least amount of electricity and provides 1-2 days before needing a tank refill. Larger console units of this type can allow you to go more days between refills. There is also a UV light option on some units that kills airborne viruses or bacteria that pass through.

Ultrasonic:

Ultrasonic units use sound vibrations to add moisture to the air. The draw back of this type of humidifier is that it leaves a white dust on every surface in your home. The white dust is minerals naturally occurring in your water. It is a real pain to clean up. If you want to prevent the dust you can buy distilled water which is inconvenient and expensive. I do not recommend this type of unit.

Steam:

Heater type units literally boil water into steam. They cost the most to run. No white dust is left behind because steam is pure water. A build-up of minerals are left behind on the heating element. These minerals can cause popping noises and inefficient operation. Removing the mineral deposits can be done by soaking the heater part in white vinegar weekly.

Cool Mist(impeller):

This is the type I remember my mom putting in my room when I had a cold. They are the least expensive units. They work by spinning the water into tiny droplets and blowing them into the air. For a few days use they are ok. Excess water can build up around the unit from unevaporated droplets so do not place it on wooden furniture.

I remember having to change a few wet socks from this extra water on the floor.

Overall the best type for long-term use is the evaporative wicking type. They cost the least to operate and do not leave white mineral dust everywhere, and only need attention every few days for water refills.

About The Author

Article written by Gary Nave of http://www.goto-humidifiers.com.



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Overwintering the Garden Pond


by: Doug Green

It seems that there are always questions in the fall about winterizing plastic ponds. To begin with, clean out all the gunk (composed of fish and plant waste) at the bottom of the pond. Specialist garden catalogues have a little gizmo that attaches to a hose and when the hose is run, the gizmo acts like a vacuum cleaner, sucking debris from the bottom of the pond. Or you can put your pump on the pond bottom and point the discharge into the garden. If you don’t remove the plant debris, it will continue to decompose. Decomposition uses oxygen as one of its primary fuels and this means that oxygen will be taken from the water to fuel plant decomposition. If there is an ice-layer over the pond, and there will be shortly, the water will not be able to replace that oxygen and the pond will go into an anaerobic (without oxygen) state under the ice.

Now, you’ve never quite smelled something until you’ve taken a whiff of a pond that’s in that state. It is basically your very own backyard sewage system. Aside from getting rid of the smell, the reason you remove the bottom layers of material is so any fish you’re leaving in the pond will have enough oxygen to survive the winter. And survive they will as long as you stop feeding them when the water temperature is less than 50F. At that temperature, it is really too cold for them to feed and any food will simply rot. The fish will survive as long as the water doesn’t freeze solidly to the bottom of the pond. If the pond is three to four feet deep, it will not freeze and your fish will be fine. Shallower ponds will either have to have a bubbler, a pump left running to keep an open area open or the fish removed to an aquarium for the winter. But start with removing the gunk.

About The Author

Copyright Doug Green, an award winning garden author who answers pond questions in his free newsletter at http://www.water-gardens-information.com.



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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

3 Simple Home Improvements For Under $100

by: Richard Rigor

It seems everyone is applying for loans so that they can make improvements to their home. Some individuals will burn through thousands of dollars to improve the look if their home. Major improvements such as new flooring or a deck can require a significant amount of money. However, you don't have to go to those measures to make improvements to your home. There are three key areas of your home that can make the most difference in the appearance of your home - the entrance, kitchen and bathroom. Just doing one of the ideas listed below can make a huge difference in your home. But why not do all three when it can be done for less than $100?

Entrance

The old saying that, "First impressions are usually the last", can easily apply to the way people react when they enter your home. Has your welcome mat lost its welcome appeal? It's time to spice up your entrance so what you hear are "oohs" and "ahhs" when people cross your threshold. If you have a spacious porch, a potted plant in a metal planter can create a pleasant atmosphere. Contemporary planters are about $10.

If you're really adventurous, a coat of brightly-colored paint on your front door can create a splash. If you take on this challenge, it's a good idea to make sure that the paint complements your home. For example, if your home is mostly red brick, a red door would make a dynamic look. A gallon of interior/exterior gloss enamel in red or any other bright color will set you back no more than $20.

Kitchen

When you look in your kitchen, what catches your eye first? Probably all those nifty cabinets that discreetly tuck away your dishes, right? After a number of years you might crave a different look. For starters, you might want to give them a good cleaning. This one step alone can make a difference. You would be surprised the amount of dust and grease that can accumulate on cabinets. Depending on the material that your cabinets are made of, simply removing the cabinets from their hinges and wiping them down with the damp cloth is sufficient. There are chemicals on the market, but you need to make sure that the chemicals are made for your cabinet material.

Once your cabinets are shining again, you can then add or replace knobs. Knobs range from simple unfinished versions that cost as little as $.50 to decorative insert pulls that costs around $3. With the average kitchen containing about 12 cabinets, your cost won't go over $36.

Bathroom

Guest bathrooms are usually confined to a small space. Why not give this room a lift? You undoubtedly have a nice set of guest towels and matching accessories. These items are not necessarily cheap so unless you want to go over your $100 spending limit, you can leave those items as they are. What you can add are wallpaper trim, artwork, and color. There are numerous styles of wallpaper trim that you can choose a new look for your bathroom. You can go as conservative and as creative as you want. To complement the wallpaper trim, you can add artwork. You don't have to go out and purchase expensive artwork. You can use your imagination to come up with some ideas. For example, a few seashells, colorful fabric, and an empty picture frame are all you need to become your own favorite artist.

If you have any leftover paint from your door, you can use this to paint a wall in your bathroom, as long as the color doesn't clash with the other elements of your bathroom.

About The Author

Richard Rigor sells real estate in Birmingham, Alabama. He is a REALTOR and mortgage loan consultant and can assist you in buying or selling your home. http://homebuyersreview.com - http://homesellersreview.com.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

The History And Health Benefits Of Hot Tubs

by: Julie-Ann Amos

For many years, hot tubs and home spas were the exclusive luxuries of the wealthy. They were expensive to buy, expensive to operate and not very reliable. With the onset of better manufacturing and better materials, and lower prices, however, the popularity of hot tubs and home spas began to soar.

Spas Throughout History

History gives us many examples of spas being used as integral parts of life for many civilizations. The Romans are perhaps the most famous for their bathhouses, which became centers of social life and a common daily activity for the elite classes. Other cultures made use of spa-like hot baths as well, including the ancient peoples of China and Japan.

What did these civilizations know that others didn’t? Setting aside technological differences, some of the earliest spa enthusiasts appreciated the health benefits of using hot water to relax the body, open the pores of the skin, and generally promote better health. Cleanliness was considered healthful and a sign of prosperity – after all, you had to be pretty well off to afford the bath facilities themselves and to have the leisure time to partake of their benefits.

Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

As medical science has advanced, there has been an increased awareness of the benefits of hot tub hydrotherapy. Many medical conditions, injuries and other health problems can be eased or improved with regular hydrotherapy treatments.

For example, people with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and other conditions that involve deteriorating range of motion benefit from time spent in a hot tub. The warm water helps ease aches and pains, while loosening joints and making them easier to move and keep mobile.

Joint problems, chronic back pain and other painful conditions resulting from injuries are also helped with regular hot tub hydrotherapy. Those seeking stress relief, general relaxation, and quiet opportunities for conversation commonly experience significant hot tub benefits as well.

Modern Spa and Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

Modern technology, materials and production processes make it possible to design and build home spas and hot tubs with highly specialized hydrotherapy features. These features are typically based on a combination of seating position, jet position and jet function. Let’s look at each of these aspects in turn.

Seating Position – Traditional hot tub seating was bench-style, typically in a round shape and at a uniform depth so that everyone sat at the same level in the tub. This made it challenging for people of different heights to fully benefit from hot tub therapy.

With the development of molded fiberglass spa shells came the development of different shapes and sizes of seats. Manufacturers began to include lounge seats, where the bather reclines in the water, as well as seats to accommodate bathers of different heights. Some also included deeper seats, designed to fully immerse the bather and allow placement of jets in specific positions for specific benefits.

Jet Position – Moldable shell manufacturing made it possible for the first time to place jets in nearly any position within the tub. Manufacturers began experimenting with placing jets in places where they would focus on specific areas of the body, such as the back, neck, shoulders, arms and legs.

The earliest jets were single-action nozzles with limited ability to adjust where they were aimed or the intensity of the jet action. This made it difficult to use them in positions where they would affect more tender areas of the body, such as wrists, forearms, ankles, feet and knees. As manufacturers developed more advanced jets with a wider variety of functionality, though, the technology of hydrotherapy advanced significantly.

Jet Function – Modern hot tubs and spas can be customized with a surprising variety of jets that range from multi-purpose to highly specialized. Buyers often are able to select exactly which jets to install in specific locations within their hot tub or home spa.

The most common types of jets available today include:

• Swirl jets – water swirls in a circular pattern, with a massaging action that covers a wide area

• Whirlpool jets – a large, round jet that concentrates pressure in a specific area

• Mini jets – smaller than standard jets, they are often grouped together in clusters, especially in massage and therapy seats

• Pillow jets – combines massaging action for the neck with a pillow designed to let the bather rest their head without going under water

• Shoulder jets – positioned above the water line to focus attention of specific parts of the shoulder

• Moving massage jets – this oval-shaped jet moves back and forth in a sweeping motion to provide pulsating therapy

The benefits of different jet types have grown substantially with the development of independent seating control. In older spas and hot tubs, one set of controls ran all of the therapy jets, but independent seating control allows each bather to control the strength and intensity of therapy in their own individual seat.

Hydrotherapy for Fitness

The latest technology in hydrotherapy involves using jetted tubs for fitness purposes. This new generation of home spas is elongated in shape and allows the bather to choose traditional spas functions or switch over to functions that allow for a vigorous vorkout. They are commonly referred to as swim spas.

A swim spa has powerful jets that set up a strong resistance current that allows the user to swim as if in a full sized lap pool. The elongated shape allows even the tallest people to stretch out into a full-length stroke and the center depth is such that even a full arm extension will not bump into the bottom of the spa.

Adjustable current jets make it possible to adjust workout intensity depending on the user’s fitness level, and increase intensity over time as the level of fitness improves.

Summary

Spas and hot tubs have been around in one form or another for centuries, but only in the last few decades have technology, materials and manufacturing improved to the point where a home spa is affordable enough and reliable enough to be within reach of most people.

Hot tub hydrotherapy is one of the most popular and effective ways to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, injuries, or simply promote relaxation and stress relief. Once you have experienced the benefits of a home spa or hot tub, you will wonder how you ever lived without one!

About The Author

Julie Ann-Amos is a freelance writer for http://www.hot-tubs-n-home-spas.com, providing consumer information on portable hot tubs and home spas.

Copyright 2005 Hot-Tubs-N-Home-Spas.com

Permission is granted to publish this article on your site only if the author's byline is included and all 3 links are hyperlinked.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Electrical Outlet or Light Switch Frame

by Madoline Hatter

Decorative Electrical Outlet Frame

Here is simple home decoration project to spruce up your walls or sides of cabinets that have an electrical outlet or light switch plate. This electrical outlet pictured to the right is in a conspicuous place in our house and I found the yellowish white plastic color rather offensive, so I came up with the following easy solution for turning an ugly necessity into a decorative piece.

How to decorate an electrical outlet or light switch plate

  1. Find an old unused picture frame or buy a small picture frame from a dollar store or thrift shop
  2. Make sure the inside of the frame fits around the outlet or light switch plate
  3. Take out the glass and save it for other crafts
  4. Clean and paint the frame if necessary or desired (The one pictured above was painted with gold enamel spray paint)
  5. Paint the electrical outlet if desired. You can use small bottle of acrylic paint from the craft or hardware store, usually about $1.79)
  6. Paint any wall area that will show inside the frame, if desired
  7. Glue the frame onto the wall

This treatment is suitable for electrical, cable, and phone outlets as well as light switch plates.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Instant Carpet Stain Removal Tips

by: John Murray

Carpet stains are inevitable. At one time or another you will be faced with having to remove a stain from your carpet. Always follow any directions supplied by the carpet manufacturer. Carpets made from natural fibers or certain dye types may require special treatment. If you are not sure check with a cleaning professional for help. But for most common stains if you follow these carpet stain removal tips and you'll have your stain lifted in no time.

Beer, Wine, Cola, Coffee

Blot with a paper towel to remove as much of the stain as you can, then neutralize with a white vinegar solution made up of 1/4 cup white vinegar in 3/4 cup of water. Soak the spot with white vinegar solution then blot to remove the excess moisture. A spray bottle works well for applying the solution. If you the stain has still not lifted mix 1 teaspoon of dish detergent such as Joy into 1 quart of water and apply to the area. Blot to work the detergent into the stain, then blot again to lift the stain. Repeat until the stain is gone. Then rinse with water and blot excess water up. Do not use dish soap that contains bleach or lanolin as it will damage your carpet.

Berries or Fruit Juice

Remove as much of the spill as you can by scraping the excess up with a dull knife. If you have a wet vacuum it works well for sucking up the excess. If the spot has already dried you will need to saturate it with water so that you can lift the excess. First try removing with water by spraying the area and then blotting with paper towel. If that doesn't completely lift it then apply a small mix up ½ teaspoon dish soap in 1 quart of water and apply the mixture to the area. Continue blotting to lift the stain. Continue applying until the stain is completely lifted. Then rinse area with water using a spray bottle, and blot to remove excess water. If the soap mix did not lift the entire stain then moisten the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let stand for on 2 hours. Blot and repeat the hydrogen peroxide treatment until carpet the stain is gone. When exposed to light hydrogen peroxide returns to a water state so you don't need to rinse just dab up the excess moisture.

Blood, Catsup, Vomit

Blot up as much of the stain as possible then neutralize with an ammonia solution made up of 1 tablespoon ammonia and ¾ cup of water. Using a spray bottle saturate the spot with the ammonia solution but make sure not to get the carpet backing wet. Then blot with a white paper towel to remove excess moisture. All solutions for removing blood should be cold. First mix up a solution of 1 quart water and ½ teaspoon dish soap. Then apply a small quantity of detergent solution to the spot. Blot to work the detergent into the affected area. Continue applying and blotting until the stain is fully removed. If the soap mix did not lift the entire stain then moisten the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let stand for on 2 hours. Blot and repeat the hydrogen peroxide treatment until carpet the stain is gone. When exposed to light hydrogen peroxide returns to a water state so you don't need to rinse just dab up the excess moisture.

Candle Wax

Take a piece of brown paper or a terry cloth towel over the area then gently run a warm iron over it. The wax will be absorbed into the paper or towel. You can remove and residue using alcohol or dry cleaning fluid.

Chewing Gum, Contact Cement, or Glue

First take an ice cube and apply to the gum. This will freeze the gum. Shatter the frozen gum with the handle of a knife then vacuum up.

Chocolate

Remove as much of the spill as you can by scraping the excess up with a dull knife and the blotting with paper towel. Blot up as much of the stain as possible then neutralize with an ammonia solution made up of 1 tablespoon ammonia and ¾ cup of water. Using a spray bottle saturate the spot with the ammonia solution but make sure not to get the carpet backing wet. Then blot with a white paper towel to remove excess moisture. If the stain has not lifted mix up a solution of 1 quart water and ½ teaspoon dish soap. Continue applying and blotting until the stain is fully removed. When stain is gone rinse with clear water and blot.

Crayon, Paint or Makeup

Remove as much of the crayon by blotting with paper towel. Use a dull knife to scrape up what you can. Then apply rubbing alcohol to a white cloth or cotton ball and blot. You may have to apply extra if the crayon goes deep into the pile but make sure the backing doesn't get wet. First mix up a solution of 1 quart water and ½ teaspoon dish soap. Then apply a small quantity of detergent solution to the spot. Blot to work the detergent into the affected area.

Continue applying and blotting until the stain is fully removed. If the soap mix did not lift the entire stain then moisten the area with 3% hydrogen peroxide and let stand for on 2 hours. Blot and repeat the hydrogen peroxide treatment until carpet the stain is gone. When exposed to light hydrogen peroxide returns to a water state so you don't need to rinse just dab up the excess moisture.

Remember always follow the manufacturers instructions for stain removal. Combined with these carpet removal tips you should have no problem lifting the toughest of stains.

About The Author

John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit: http://www.carpets-guide.com.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bathroom Rugs For Functional Decor



by: John Murray

Many of us spend a great deal of time creating a relaxing atmosphere in our bathrooms, after all this is the room we head to take that long luxurious bath to unwind and the atmosphere is important! You can use bathroom rugs for functional decor adding beauty and function all at once.

There are many choices available to you in bathroom rugs. From the traditional styles you find in your local department stores that often come in a package to complete your whole bathroom, to more unique and beautiful bathroom rugs that are plush and rich.

Most bathrooms have either a linoleum or a tile flooring which looks real good but can be cold to the feet. Bathroom rugs can let you show off that flooring while adding decor and warmth for your feet.

Bathroom floors also tend to have water splashed on the floor which can make them slippery. Bathroom rugs can give you a comfortable place to stand when you get out of the tub or shower and provide a safe spot to stand where you won't slip.

The right bathroom rug can turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa. Imagine that deep plush pile in a rich jewel color. The right bathroom rug can also make the bathroom a fun place for the kids. How about the Muppets or Spiderman on your floor? Add a shower curtain, some matching toothbrushes, and you'll never again be fighting with your kids to brush their teeth and get cleaned up.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a bathroom rug is that the bathroom is as important as every other room in your home. So take some time to decide what style you are trying to accomplish in your bathroom. Luxury, fun, functionality, contemporary? Then you'll easily find the right rug. Your bathroom decor can also get a real boost from the right rug!

Bathroom rugs are the easiest way to give your bathroom a stylish unique look. You don't even have to repaint or retile to get a whole new look. Just add the right rugs and a few accessories and everyone will think your bathroom had a total makeover.

Remember you don't need to stick to traditional bathroom rugs. You could add an oriental rug, a braided rug, a Persian rug, or any other rug that catches your eye and works with your decor.

Of course there are few things that are important to a bathroom rug. You need to be able to easily clean it. It should not be susceptible to mold or mildew because of the high moisture content in a bathroom. The dyes need to be firmly set, and a rubber backing is great to prevent rotting and slippage. But remember a rubber backing will be ruined by the dryer so you'll need to hang to dry.

So whether you want to make a new home decor statement in your bathroom or give it a cheap makeover bathroom rugs are an excellent choice!

About The Author

John Murray makes it easy to go through the carpet buying process and provides tips to keep your carpet lasting long. To learn more and receive your free mini-course visit: http://www.carpets-guide.com.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Home Improvement – New Solar Technology

by: Rick Chapo

Solar panel systems have always been criticized as bulky and unattractive. New solar technology is beginning to make such criticisms a thing of the past.

Solar Advancement

While everyone agrees solar energy is a clean, cost-effective energy source, there has always been one problem. The solar panel systems tended to be large and rather bulky. Frankly, they don’t add to the beauty of a home. While solar panel designs have improved over the years, a new development involving shingles is getting a lot of attention.

Photovoltaic shingles are a major design breakthrough for those who have a distaste for large solar panel systems. These shingles are, well, shingles. The replace the shingles on a roof, but have the physical appearance of a regular roof. Although they are black, they do not standout from the roof in the manner of panels. Instead, the they simply look like a regular roof and many people cannot tell the difference. Obviously, this seamless design is much better than the bulky designs of panel systems.

The technological breakthrough that makes this new technology possible is the invention of thin film photovoltaic cells. Known as “amorphous silicon thin alloy technology”, the designers essentially stepped back from traditional solar panel designs and did some thinking. What they realized is the materials used in panels were not the only ones that could be used. Without getting overly technical, the design team came up with a solution where more efficient cells could be built on a steel substrate. Each super thin cell was tailored to capture different spectrums of the sunlight. When layered on top of each other, they became extremely efficient at producing power.

The ultimate result is a system that can sit directly on the roof of a home or building, is more efficient than regular solar panels and far more appealing from a visual perspective. If you’re excuse for not using solar in the past was the bulky system, you need to rethink solar.

Will this new technology become the breakthrough we have been waiting for in solar power? It already is if you consider just the following:

1. The United States Army is building a solar powered community using it.

2. Museums in Beijing, China are converting to it.

3. Habitat for Humanity is using the system on many of the homes it builds.

4. Lockheed Martin is experimenting with the technology as a power source for high altitude flights.

In the opinion of many experts, this new technology represent a major breakthrough in solar energy. With energy prices exploding, solar represents the best solution to decreasing our dependence on limited oil and natural gas resources. Fortunately, the sun will be providing free power for the foreseeable future.

About The Author

Rick Chapo is with http://www.solarcompanies.com – a directory of solar energy and solar power companies. Visit http://www.solarcompanies.com/articles to read more solar electricity articles.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Planning For Moving House

by: Joseph Kenny

If you have just bought or are considering buying a new home, then you will also need to plan the process of moving home. While there are many things that you have to remember, planning them in advance will make the whole move easier and less traumatic. So it is a good idea that, as soon as you know the completion date for your move, that you start planning.

There are certain things that take quite a bit of time and should be arranged at least a month in advance. You will want to inform your landlord or any flatmates, if you have any, of the date that you are leaving. This can mean the difference between getting your deposit back or not, if you are renting, so it’s a good idea to let everyone know your plans as soon as you know them yourself.

You should probably also inform the gas and electricity companies of your knew property that you are the new owner. By doing this, it can avoid mix-ups later on. This would also include calling your telephone company and arranging to have your phone number transferred.

You can start packing up your things or getting boxes together. There are some things like books and photos that can be packed in advance and will save you hassle later on when the move gets closer. You may want to book some time of work, especially if you don’t think you’re going to be able to arrange the move in a weekend. Another good idea is to have a clearout and get rid of some old things that have been gathering dust. In fact, moving is the perfect chance to get rid of some of the belongings that accumulate over the years.

As the move gets closer you should book the removal company and arrange for transit insurance if you decide you need it. You can tell the post office to redirect your mail and you can also notify the local authority of the change in address for council tax purposes.

You should make sure that all your utility bills are paid up by the date of the move. You don’t want the new owners to be hounding you for unpaid bills once you’ve moved and now is the time to make sure they are accurate. If you have services like milk deliveries, newspaper deliveries and the like you should have these cancelled.

Before you leave, make sure all doors and windows are locked and appliances and utilities are turned off.

About The Author

Joseph Kenny writes for the loan comparison sites http://www.selectloans.co.uk and also http://www.ukpersonalloanstore.co.uk. At the Personal Loan Store there are cheap http://www.ukpersonalloanstore.co.uk/compare_personal_loans.html with in depth reviews.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to Really Declutter Your Home for Buyers

by: Bob Lipply

Your real estate agent has come to your house to assess what needs to be done to sell it the quickest. The word, "declutter," continues to come up. You assure your agent that you are a very neat person and that everything will be clean when the potential buyers come to view it. Many sellers encounter the same situation each day. What agents wish their clients would understand is that decluttering is more than just keeping the baseboards dust-free and the countertops wiped down. Try some of the following tips and wow your real estate agent, and especially, your buyers.

With pen, paper and clipboard in hand, tour the outside of your home, then the inside. As much as possible, pretend that you don't own the house and even that you've never seen the place. You will quickly see what your real estate agent meant by decluttering when you use this new perspective. Write down anything which is the least bit offensive to the eye, including unruly hoses, toys in the front yard, a busy mantle above the fireplace and newspapers stacked up in the laundry room. The list will seem longer the more times you go through the process. However, the more you notice, the more prepared your home will be for eagle-eyed buyers.

The biggest stumbling block for sellers preparing their home for the market is their lingering attachment to their house. From repainting a room neutral, to taking family photos off the wall, sellers must accept that their time in that particular house is coming to an end. To counteract this mental block, take your most personal items out of rooms first. Get plenty of clear plastic tubs, or boxes to store your items. Treat the decluttering process as if you are preparing a model home for viewing. In order to sell your home, you have to give the buyers room to imagine their personal belongings. Little forward-thinking daydreams about decorating your new abode should also counteract those strong attachments.

A good round of decluttering will often leave you with a pile of boxes and bins to contend with. Although stacking them up in a closet seems like a nice, out-of-the-way option, this may not be the best choice. Consider that closet space is often one of the key selling points for a home. Closets should look as impeccable as possible. This will aid greatly in creating a spacious feeling. If the closets are crowded and messy, the buyer may think that your home is just not big enough, even if it has the square footage they want.

Your garage is the most acceptable place for storage in the mind of the buyers. Of course, not everyone has this luxury. If you can convince a family member, friend, or even a neighbor to let you store those boxes and crates, then take advantage of the opportunity. However, if you really need or want your storage items in the house, then try to stack them up in the least conspicuous place you can find. A playroom or basement can usually stand to have a few of these bins stashed in the corner. Better yet, think about renting a temporary storage facility to house these things.

Despite all your efforts, be prepared to hear your Tampa Bay Florida real estate agent tell you that you still have too many belongings cluttering the house. If this happens, just remember that they're on your side and that they're the expert. Also, remember that a well-decluttered house is your quickest ticket to a "Sold!" sign.

About The Author

Bob Lipply is a licensed broker associate with Remax Realtec in Palm Harbor, Florida.

He has many years of experience in selling Tampa

Bay Florida Real Estate and has helped many families relocate to Florida and

find their dream homes. Visit his website at http://www.lipplyrealestate.com

or contact him direct at 1-888-423-5775. e-mail address is info@lipplyrealestate.com

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Friday, March 28, 2008

Candle Scents To Enhance the Season: Fall Into Winter


by: Lisa DeClue

To decide on just a few candles is like choosing between eating chocolate and having lots of chocolate to eat… With so many scents to choose from, it's next to impossible to choose just one. This is part two of several articles to follow on choosing candle and fragrance scents for your home.

Having the perfect scent can vitalize my day and scents can improve one’s mood. Citrus scents rejuvenate and create energy, lavender scents are calming, and “holiday” scents are reminiscent of home. And then there’s the primordial magic of the flickering flame and poetry in certain scent combinations. So what do I use to renew myself? Home & Garden Party.

Here are some suggestions for scents that "fit" the months of November through February.

Blueberry Muffin:

Along with Hot Cinnamon Rolls, this one will make you hungry! Soft, warm and delicious.

Christmas Memories:

A little spicy, a lot warm and wonderful, this scent is a must for the holidays. I enjoy it burning with after dinner coffee!

Bahama Breeze:

This breath of fresh ocean air is most welcome during the doldrums of winter.

Crème Brulée:

This is perhaps my favorite fragrance because it is soft and creamy with a warm custard smell. Yummy!

Relax, Spearmint & Eucalyptus:

Fresh, calming with a hint of mint, this is a very soothing scent to have going in the background.

Of course, my favorite way to diffuse scent throughout my home is to use the Home & Garden Party Fragrance Lamp. The lamp uses an alcohol-based “oil” and is wicked up to a heating stone. After allowing the stone to warm for about three minutes, you blow out the flame and enjoy pure, clean fragrance that will permeate an entire floor of your home. It is very useful ridding the house of the stuffy, heated smell of winter indoors and really adds a pleasant aroma.

With refills in spiced apple, lavender, creamy vanilla, citrus infusion, floral medley, woodland breeze and passion flower, there’s at least one to please your nose and your visitors!

Need more suggestions? Read other articles on the Decorating with HGPgal website at: http://www.HGPgal.com/articles.html.

About The Author

Lisa DeClue is a WAHM and Owner of Decorating with HGPgal – an information & resource site devoted to beautifying your home. Grab your FREE decorating report by subscribing to her newsletter at: http://www.HGPgal.com/newsletter.html. View the entire Home & Garden Party candle line at: http://www.homeandgardenparty.com/Products. Then return to HGPgal.com to order and join the DecoForum.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Buying a Home - What is a Home Inspection?


by: Raynor James

Any Sally and Sam Homebuyer can look at a home and decide whether it is attractive. They might notice it is freshly painted in pleasing colors, has the requisite number of rooms, a cook’s kitchen and is located in a location with top schools. But what about less obvious parts of the house?

It takes special expertise to determine if the functional parts of a home are in good shape. If you attend an open house, how do you determine if there are plumbing problems, electrical problems, structural problems, drainage problems, the condition of heating and air conditioning equipment and the condition of literally hundreds of other items that could cause concern?

Enter the home inspector.

A home inspector is trained to be a detective in regard to the construction and working parts of homes. It is not an exact science.

The home inspector cannot tear into things, so they can’t always see everything they’d like to. They do, however, come equipped with ladders, strong flashlights, and devices to measure various things related to plumbing, electrical and other necessary home items. Importantly, a home inspector will also typically bring a digital camera to photograph problems such as roof shingles not lying flat, signs of mildew from leaking pipes and construction that doesn’t comply with building codes. They don’t miss much.

It’s a good idea for the buyer to be present during the home inspection. If you ask them to, home inspectors will usually explain how things work to you. This is important as they can show you where cut off valves are, how to remove filters for cleaning or replacement and tell you how often various maintenance chores need to be done. This information can be very valuable if you ultimately purchase the property.

It’s also a good idea to ask the home inspector if there are any particular tests they would perform if they were buying the home. For example, radon gas (a colorless, odorless gas which is a carcinogen) can be a problem in some parts of the country. It can be detected, measured, and, if levels are above EPA standards, there are procedures to deal with it successfully. A home inspector can help identify such issues for you.

It’s easy to see that a home inspection can provide a wealth of valuable information. While it is easy to fall in love with a listed home, a home inspector can be the key to avoiding disastrous discoveries down the line.

About The Author

Raynor James is with http://www.fsboamerica.org - an online site providing national exposure for sellers listing properties and a database of properties for buyers.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stained Glass Can Add Elegance To Your Home


by: Sarah Peters

If there is one way to throw a new light on your home, it's through the stained glass you put in your windows. Whether you want to enhance old windows by replacing some of the panes, or are complementing the new Pella windows you've installed, stained glass can lend an air of grace and quiet elegance to a room.

Where and how you incorporate stained glass into a window treatment depends a great deal on the style of windows you have, and what you want to spend to achieve that multi- colored glow.

In an older home that has wood framed windows with six or nine panes, it's possible to take out the upper row of glass, and replace those panes with new ones cut from older stained glass that can be salvaged from yard sales, flea markets and auctions.

New stained glass that is handmade, can be quite costly due to the craftsmanship that goes into it. That's why cutting old panels of stained glass is a cost-effective alternative, that can give you several panes from one sheet. Even if the glass has small cracks or separations in the colored sections, they are easily repaired.

If you have installed a Pella casement window in your kitchen, a semi-circle of stained glass framed and set into the wall over top, will add jewel tones to the warmth of morning sunlight. Or you might choose to replace the entire bathroom window with stained glass, making it a decorative way to preserve your privacy.

The old and the new can come together in harmony. Take a look at your home and consider whether you'd like to warm up the house with stained glass, or combine it with the sophistication of new Pella windows. It's a pairing guaranteed to create a unique new look.

About The Author

Sarah Peters works at home, and spends most of her free time on various home improvement tasks. Over a few years, she had all her house windows replaced. In this series of articles, she shares her experience and advice.

sarah_article@yahoo.com



Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Selecting The Right Drapes For Your Home

by: Ciara McNamara

Practically every house-proud homeowner wants to make the most of their home in terms of décor, and an integral part of achieving the perfect look for your property is getting the right drapes for each room. Because the theme and décor in a home can vary from one room to the next, it is important to consider a number of factors before selecting your window coverings. Some of the factors you need to consider when selecting drapes is the type of room you are buying for, the size of the windows, the type of ambiance you wish to create for the room, and the design and décor of the room. For instance, if you are buying drapes for your kids’ bedrooms, heavy elaborate covering would look a little odd and could work out quite costly, whereas lighter coverings with simple designs could prove ideal. On the other hand, if you have a room that is reserved for entertaining, where the décor is rich and elaborate, the heavier window treatments could fit in nicely. A family room used for relaxing might benefit from simply designed and easy to maintain coverings, whereas a kitchen might fare better with café style drapes or even blinds. Each room requires careful thought and consideration before you make any firm decision with regards to the right coverings for the windows.

Enjoy a great choice of fabrics, colors, and designs

Whatever the design and decoration of each of your rooms, you should have no problem finding the ideal coverings for the windows amongst the vast choice available. From simple, easy to maintain coverings designed for rooms with heavy traffic or children and pets to rich, luxurious coverings with elaborate patterns and sumptuous fabrics, you can the right covers for every room in the home. Having the perfect drapes to complement the décor in a room can really inject life into the room, helping you to achieve both the look and the ambiance you are looking for. If you are carrying out a home improvement program, finding window coverings to suit each individual room can really make a difference to the overall finish of your improvements, and can give each room a whole new look.

Choose ready made coverings or create your own

For those confident when it comes to sewing and design, you can get some incredible drapery materials at really affordable prices, and these can be used to make your own coverings depending on your needs. If you are not confident enough to make your own, you will find a vast choice of ready made coverings designed for all sorts of rooms in the home, from bedrooms and living rooms, to dining rooms and kitchens, so you can ensure that every room in the home boasts the perfect drapes to complement the décor. You can often get excellent deals on both ready made coverings and a wide choice of materials online, giving you an even better chance of finding the ideal window treatments for use throughout your home.

About The Author

Ciara McNamara reveals for http://www.curtains-drapes-coverings.com, a source on tips and tricks. The writer is writing on subjects such as drapes ( http://www.curtains-drapes-coverings.com/drapes.html ).

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grosfillex Resin Patio Furniture Sets


by: Cat Greenbriar

Getting quality patio furniture sets of Grosfillex resin.

When shopping for patio furniture, many people are looking for furniture that is elegant, but is also convenient and long lasting. These factors are even more important for commercial settings, where saving money and retaining value are paramount. Grosfillex is one of newest advents in patio furniture material, and is quickly becoming one of the most popular.

Grosfillex Resin patio furniture sets are made to look just like wicker or metal chairs, and adds elegance to any outdoor patio seating. They come in amazing colors that make it look like real wood, even bronze or wrought iron. Resin patio chairs are built with a contoured design that makes them ergonomically comfortable for the back. Resin chaise lounges are built in a solid one piece construction, designed for comfort, support, and adjustability. The sling and resin frame constructed with elastic cords offer excellent shape maintenance. Upholstered fabric can even be embroidered with the company logo for an official, elegant look.

Grosfillex Resin furniture has many great advantages in maintenance that make it perfect for commercial settings. Designed and engineered for commercial resorts and food service business, Grosfillex resin furniture is resistant to salt air, chlorine, and common environmental and food stains, and cleans easily with warm, soapy water. Grosfillex resin furniture is also constructed with UV stabilizers that keep the plastic color from fading in the sunlight. Fabrics used for resin patio furniture are also built for strength and color fastness, and are also treated for mildew resistance.

All the advantages listed above make Grosfillex resin furniture an easy choice for any commercial patio or outdoor setting. The furniture meets the guidelines of the American Society of Testing and Materials, which set standards for plastic furniture and make it safe to use in any commercial environment. Grosfillex patio furniture sold at retail furniture stores is very different than the commercial line of Grosfillex patio furniture. Therefore, any business owner interested should know that their business needs will be better met purchasing their outdoor furniture through the commercial line.

Whether purchasing for the home or for a business, Grosfillex is an excellent choice, supported by it brand name, which you can trust to uphold guarantees for a long lasting and low maintenance patio furniture set.

About The Author

Cat Greenbriar writes for PatioStuff at www.ettflorida.com. Please visit the site at www.ettflorida.com/resin-patio-chairs.html for some of the greatest deals on Grosfillex resin patio chairs and also at www.ettflorida.com/resin-chaise-lounge.html for some great selections on Grosfillex resin patio chaise lounge chairs.


Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

Six Carpet Care Tips


by: Steve Gillman

Which is the most important of my carpet care tips? You'll find it at the top of the list below. Use the five other tips as well, and you'll get years more use from your carpet.

Top Carpet Care Tips

1. Keep your carpet clean. Sand and dirt act like thousands of little razor blades that cut carpet fibers. Damaged carpet stains more easily, and it's harder to remove the stains from it as well. Vacuum often to remove dirt, and your carpet will last longer.

2. Use rugs. Put rugs outside and inside the front door, and any other entrances. They can catch much of the dirt that people bring in on their feet. That means less vacuuming and longer carpet life.

3. Remove shoes. This is a sure way to make carpet last longer. If you have a nice home with nice carpet, people usually aren't offended by this policy.

4. Clean stains quickly and properly. If using a cleaning solvent other than water, apply it to a cloth first, and work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don't spread the spot. Apply the cleaner, extract (blot), rinse, extract, and repeat until you can't get more of the stain out. Extract solvents completely, and dry the carpet quickly when you're done. If there is any stain remaining deeper down in the carpet, quick drying prevents it from wicking up to the surface.

5. Use a shop-vac. It's a great help when cleaning stains. You can't just suck out the stain, but you can repeatedly wash and rinse the area, and suck the solution out each time. It's more effective than blotting up the water with cloth, mostly because you won't have the patience to wash, rinse and extract enough times if you're using paper towels or cloth.

6. Vacuum before cleaning. If you use a portable machine, at least get the water as hot as you can, and dry the carpet quickly, using fans to move the air around. You won't match the results of a good truck-mount hot water extraction unit. However, if you want to save money, doing your own cleaning can lengthen the time between expensive professional cleanings.

Want carpet clean enough for the kids to play on? Do you want it to last for years longer than normal? Just use these basic carpet care tips.

About The Author

Steve Gillman has worked in the carpet cleaning industry for years. For more on carpet-care, carpet stains, and specific stain-by-stain removal instructions, visit http://www.HowToRemoveCarpetStains.com.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Glass Deck Railings – Where Class Should Be Visible


by: Adam Peters

Add Sparkle To Space – Use Glass Railings

Glass railings with some transparency and a lot reflection from glass can create a different kind of atmosphere to a place that has been lit up brightly. If you see a Dubai gold mart for example, you will be able to see lot of glass railing in market. The well-lit mart becomes alive with reflection from gold and the use of glass everywhere, including the railings, accentuates the feeling of fun of shopping.The complete reflection from all surfaces adds to the glitter of gold there. If you use wood or any other railings there, the effect will not be as electric.

Customized Solutions - Glass Railings

Glass railings are never available as ready made material that can be cut and fitted as required. When you wish to use glass railings, the idea is to accentuate the atmosphere of the whole place and hence you may have to consider the all the factors including the lighting. The holistic approach has to be applied to the whole place rather than just fitting the glass railings.

Advantage Glass Railings – No Maintenance Absolutely

The main advantage of the glass railings is that it requires no maintenance at all. There is no requirement of polishing or the possibility of mildew formation or and degradation of quality of the installed railings. Apart from the general cleaning, the glass railing continues to look as good as new all the time. Replacements unless the glass breaks are not necessary.

Advantage 2 - Tender Handling By Customers

Because of the perception of glass as breakable material, everyone handles it carefully even when tender handling is not required. Therefore, when children try riding the railings, immediately the parents come in and prevent the children from doing so. This happens, as the glass is feared to be breakable even when it is not and this prevents any undesirable incidents in a shopping complex.

Advantage 3 - Inviting Atmosphere

The glass with its openness results in a place where the shoppers feel invited and indulge in more shopping than may be warranted by their capacity and the shop owner gets the advantage of higher turnover.

About The Author

Adam Peters is a freelance author who contributes adding interesting articles to a deck and porch railings website. Adam publishes ideas for railing plans and designs at http://www.deck-porch-railings.com. Reach more articles on modern glass railing designs at http://www.deck-porch-railings.com/glass-deck-railing.html.

Improving your home and your life only at http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Make Your Room Magical And Fascinating With Rustic Curtain Rods


by: Adam Peters

The simple but elegant rustic curtain rods work well with a rustic country setting and contemporary urban home scenes. Whether you want to give a typical modern or wild countryside touch to your windows, doors or the entire home, the rustic curtain rods are simply unique for all purposes. So get some rustic iron curtain rods to hang your curtains, your home décor will get an old life touch.

Advantages of using rustic curtain rods

The rustic curtain rods are advantageous, for they are available in real low prices. Sometimes you can choose the best of the curtain rods and get them in discounted prices. You can either go shopping personally for the curtain rods or order them online after doing a thorough research of the designs and patterns available.

You should use rustic curtain rods when the décor in your home has a typical countryside flavor. The curtains with wildlife prints and patterns will go perfectly with the rustic curtain rods. These rods are sometimes available in various shapes of animals, maple leaf, tiebacks, and scroll and ivy leaf. The rustic iron curtain rods are great works of art and craftsmanship. All of these rustic curtain rods are available hammered on an anvil and brushed to increase the natural polish of the rustic rods.

The main advantage of the rustic curtain rods is that they do not get rusted. This is because the artisans protect the rods from rusting by applying a coat of protective oil over the entire rod. Since each of the rods is handmade so the sizes often vary. However, whether you want small, mid-ranged or long rustic rods, you will get all perfect sizes that will suit the door and window frames of your homes. The normal size of a rustic rod is 24 to 36 inches but even larger sizes like 36 to 60 inches and 60 to 90 inches are also available for perfect fitting.

The rustic curtain rods are available in packages of custom length drapery rods, several finials, perfect hand forged iron mounts, iron rings, mounting and placement hardware and with a typical iron patina finish. Even extra long rustic iron rods up to 20 feet are easily available in the market. Although the rods will be shipped to your home, you have to pay a reasonable amount of shipping charges for the home-delivery of the rods.

Smarten the vibrant look in your home with the rustic curtain rods.

About The Author

Adam Peters adds regularly articles to http://www.home-decorating-reviews.com. A free decorating magazine, where you will find reviews on different decorating and design ideas. More about rustic curtains rods.

Improving your home and your life only at http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Friday, March 14, 2008

Luxury Bathroom Suites


by: Shelley Murphy

Remodeling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing your dream of having a luxury bathroom. If you have a weekend and the know-how, changing the look of your bathroom without breaking the bank can be seamlessly achieved. The money saved in not having to hire a contractor will free up funds to spend on other bathroom additions such as replacing the bathroom suite. The rich confluence of newly painted walls, some updated bathroom accessories and a new bathroom suite can all be attained by anyone working with moderate finances.

The main ingredient in transforming the bathroom and bringing character into the space is the installation of a new bathroom suite. Homeowners choosing to upscale their bathrooms now have a broader selection of bathroom suites to choose from featuring contemporary and traditional designs. Modern bathroom suites have a minimalist look with clean chic lines, while traditional bathroom suites carry a European flavor with all the influence of Victorian times. With some imagination, a creative design, you can give your bathroom a crisp clean inviting look.

Shopping for a bathroom suite

Shopping around for a bathroom suite that accommodates your budget and taste is an essential element in creating a balanced look. Contemporary infused with traditional styles can bring back old-world charm; pedestal basins fashioned with decorative basin mixers taps provides a look of antiquity, while deep-set corner baths add panache for that modern look. One primary reason for the correlation of the two styles is to allow for bold hues and textures to be incorporated into the bathroom in the form of tiles, paint and wallpaper, but also the fusion of the two bathroom styles won’t date itself in a year’s time.

Finding a bathroom suite to suit your taste

Partnering historic classics with modern amenities such as a claw-foot roll top bath embellished with a Victorian hand-held bath and shower mixer, brings in all the characteristics of the bygone eras and evokes a vintage disposition within the bathroom. Modern frameless backlit bathroom mirrors and wall-mounted towel heaters, produce an elegant and airy atmosphere providing both practical functionality and lasting beauty. Creating a blissful retreat begins with choosing a bathroom suite that is practical and efficient. Most bathrooms are shared between family members, therefore the design of your bathroom must address the requirements without forsaking comfort. Bathroom suites are mainly comprised of the basin, cistern and bath. In selecting your bathroom suite, the bath requires the most attention since space and usage are the primary factors. Superdeep acrylic baths provide ample bathing space for all family members and withstand time. Whether your design goal is for a simple and unencumbered look or the brilliant balance of contemporary and traditions styles, bathrooms should compliment your lifestyle, it is where you begin and end your day, so take the time to shop and compare to ensure all your expectations are met.

Written by Shelley Murphy on behalf of www.victoriaplumb.com an online retailer of bathroom furniture, steam showers, shower enclosures, whirlpool spa baths and bath related products serving the United Kingdom.

About The Author

Shelley Murphy brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine

Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses.

Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing

skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly

newsletters publications.

Improving your home and your life only at http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to Design a Child Bedroom?


by: Shrinivas Vaidya

Dear friends,

Children at age of 1 1/2 start to walk, talk and express themselves. Their parents are the role models for them. They learn to perform action which their parent teach them.

Based on these teachings children very quickly learn a taste about everything in life. This includes, the food they eat, the kind of toys they play with, the kind of friends they will make etc..

For a growing child it is necessary to explore new things, apart from what his/her mom/dad teaches. A bedroom is a great place to do this. When planned properly, a child bedroom can greatly enhance his/her learning experience.

Children have a curious mind. Even a child which is yet to speak, this curiosity can be easily traced by looking at the broken toys, torn books, etc..

That's why as a bedroom designer creating spaces within the structural walls, using interesting furniture elements, can greatly help to add some curious thinking. Furniture pieces specifically designed to create an adventure can be proposed.

Instead of using plain colored walls, theme base paintings, such as stories, fairy tales, can be painted on walls. These pictures can include animals, trees, vehicles, human beings of different age groups. This gives an extra learning edge, because there is lot to learn about the world as a whole.

Creative flooring patterns can also be a good starting point. At the same time use of ceiling space as a storyboard can be used to give a knowledge of the "sun and moon".

Furniture with level differences can act as a way which tends to give physical exercise and at the same time create a space of their own.

As far as linen is concerned, it should be easy to maintain, because it is more likely to get dirty and messy frequently. Above all these factors what is most important is a good natural light and free flowing air can add to the healthy atmosphere.

From above discussion it is quite clear that bedroom design is not just arranging a few furniture pieces and arranging them in the physical space. It is much related to how humans react to different artificially created materials, which includes their color, texture, finishes, etc..

If used creatively it can greatly improve the quality of human life. I hope this article was helpful for moms/dads and also for the designers.

Copyright 2005 Shrinivas Vaidya

About The Author

Shrinivas Vaidya

For more powerful concept level thinking of bedroom design visit Bedroom-Design-And-Decorating-Ideas.com. Here you will find some good tips on how design is related to humans very closely.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bathroom Vanities – The Finishing Touch For Your Bathroom Makeover!


by: Caroline Smith

Bathroom vanities come in a wide variety of different styles and finishes, so it can be tricky to choose one that will be just right for your bathroom’s new image. It helps if you have a general idea of the type of vanity unit you’re looking for. For instance, what’s the theme of your bathroom? There are bathroom vanity sets for period, country style and modern bathrooms, among others. In addition to choosing a vanity that looks good, practicality is also a consideration. Think about the best use of space for your bathroom’s layout. Bathroom vanities come in various sizes, including corner units, and can have built in storage cabinets under the sink to help you keep your counter tops tidy.

Bathroom vanity cabinets can be adapted to store all sorts of items. You could have shelving for linen, compartments for makeup or a door mounted racked to hold electrical appliances such as a hair dryer and shaver. Having a pull out trash can could help keep your bathroom floor cldar. Whether you choose a contemporary base cabinet to stand on the floor, or a furniture style vanity with decorative legs depends on your personal preferences. There’s a range of stylish finishes to choose from as well, including distressed finishes for a simulated antique look, hand painted designs or glazed wood.

There are loads of different styles of sinks for bathroom sink vanity units, including porcelain, stainless steel and glass ones. Another thing to consider is the material for your counter tops, and whether you want a shiny polished finish or a matte look. Attention to detail such as matching the hardware to your other bathroom fixtures can help bring your bathroom’s new look together. The positioning of your bathroom vanity lighting also plays an important role in the overall look and feel of your room.

There are bathroom vanities and cabinets to suit bathrooms of all styles and sizes. With some thought and planning a new bathroom vanity set can become an attractive centerpiece to complete your bathroom’s makeover.

About The Author

Caroline Smith is a successful home furnishings writer and regular contributor to http://www.a1-bathrooms-showers.com - An online resource to help you find the very best bathroom vanities, shower doors, shower curtains and other essential bathroom accessories.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shingling a Roof

by: Mark J. Donovan

Shingling or roofing a house is a major undertaking for a homeowner and extreme caution is required. This said, a Do-It-Yourselfer homeowner can shingle or roof their own home with a little knowledge and the right tools.

Required Tools

In order to roof a house properly and safely the following tools are needed: Ladders, Roof Jacks, Hammer, Carpenters Knife, Chalk Line, and preferably a compressor or nail gun.

Estimating Materials

Typically the roof is measured in squares, where a “square” represents 100 square feet. There are eighty shingles in one square. However, when you go to your local home improvement store shingles are usually sold in bundles. Usually three bundles equal one square, however this can vary slightly pending the shingle style.

Measure the area of your roof (length x width) and divide by 100 to get the number of squares required. Then multiply this number by three to get the number of bundles of shingles required for the job. Add an additional 10-15% for spare, leaning toward the 15% if your roof has hips and valleys.

Drip edge, ice and water shield, asphalt paper, flashing, roofing nails, and hip and ridge vents will also be required. The Drip edge comes in various lengths. Measure the outside perimeter of the roof to calculate the drip edge required. The ice and water shield, asphalt paper and flashing come in roles. Use your roof square area calculation for determining your asphalt paper requirements. Typically only one or two courses of ice and water shield is required along the bottom/eave of the roof and in the valleys. Calculate 2 times the length of the roof and valleys to estimate the amount of ice and water shield required.

Typically each shingle will require 4-6 roofing nails and flashing usually comes in 16” wide roles or 6x6 or 8x8 square inch steps. Step flashing is typically used around chimneys, dormers and side wall junctions. Hip and Ridge vent will vary with local building codes, however a rough estimate would be to measure the length of your roof’s hip and ridges and take 75% of this figure for calculating the amount of vent required.

You should now be able to fairly accurately calculate the cost of material for roofing your home.

Installing the Drip Edge

Nail the Drip edge around the entire outside perimeter of the roof.

Apply the Ice and Water Shield Membrane and the Asphalt Paper

Apply the ice and water shield material such that it is flush with the drip edge. If the climate in your area has harsh winters and/or shgnificant annual rainfall, add a second course of ice and water shield for added protection. You should also add the ice and water shield membrane in the valleys.

Next apply the asphalt paper to the entire roof, starting from the bottom and working towards the ridge. Make sure each course of asphalt paper overlaps the lower row by several inches (effectively shingling with the asphalt paper).

Install metal flashing

Install metal flashing in all of the valleys. Step flashing around chimneys and dormers will be added as the shingles are installed.

Installing the Shingles

Start the shingling at the bottom of the roof (or at the eaves). Lay a starter course such that the bottom edge of the shingle lines up flush with the drip edge. The starter strip is a “tabless” shingle that you make from the regular shingles using your carpenter’s knife.

Lay your next course of full shingles over the first course, staggering the starter joints from the first course to prevent water penetration.

Note: Sometimes you may want to start with a full or a partial shingle at one end. In either case, you want to try to avoid small shingle pieces at the far end of the roof. To prevent this, divide the length of the roof by the length of a full shingle and assess how much of a shingle length you want to start with. Ideally you do not want to have pieces smaller than 12”.

Use a Chalk Line

To ensure your shingle courses run straight use a chalk line. Measure the finished reveal on your shingles. Usually this is about 5 inches. Then make marks every 5 inches on the gable ends of the roof. Snap a chalk line between the gable ends at each pair of marks all the way up the roof. This will ensure that you shingles run true and straight as you progress up the roof with the courses.

Vertical lines should also be snapped every 3 to 6 feet to ensure your tabs maintain alignment.

Use of Roof Jacks

After 3 or 4 courses of shingles have been installed using ladders, roof jacks may be necessary to access the upper courses. Roof jacks are steel brackets that hold planks in position for you to stand on. The roof jacks should be securely nailed through the decking and into rafters to ensure that they will support your weight.

Shingling Valleys, Chimneys, Skylights and Dormers, and Step Flashing

Shingling the valleys and installing flashing requires extra care. The shingles, typically coming from two intersecting courses when entering a valley, need to overlap each other such that no water penetration occurs.

Skylights, chimneys and dormers must be step flashed (step flashing is interleaved with each course of shingles) to ensure water is kept from penetrating the roof.

Adding the Ridge Vent and Caps

To complete the roofing project, ridge vents need to be installed. These are nailed to the top of the ridge and then capped.

The ridge cap prevents water from entering the home via the ridge vent, while still allowing the house to breath. The ridge cap is constructed out of individual shingle tabs that have their unfinished corners cut off at 45 degree angles. Each modified shingle tab, is nailed such that it overlaps the previous piece as you work your way down the length of the ridge vent.

About The Author

Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit http://www.homeadditionplus.com and http://www.homeaddition.blogspot.com.