Discount Cork Flooring

Traditional paving is no longer an option for many homes because they attract dust and require high maintenance, among other disadvantages. Cork floor is the best alternative because of easy maintenance, simple but impressive in appearance, and the interior is a push real. In addition, the installation of cork flooring is so easy, no messy or smelly, environmentally harmful adhesives.

The floor is also in “do-it-yourself” packagesand can be installed at the top right of the existing pavement. If you have a prominent place or just a low-cost alternative flooring that is easy to maintain, would like cork is the best choice. Most high quality cork flooring as it is at wholesale prices. This is as much of a discount you can expect in many cases.
Flooring Options
Cork flooring is used in commercial spaces for years. An example often cited is the Toronto Stock Exchange building. CorkFlooring does not adversely affect the joints of the dealers who have grown up and all day. And compared to a quiet pool than most other traditional solutions. In 1950, the cork flooring has been installed in public spaces such as restaurants and gyms, because people have a lot of time in these places.

Discount cork flooring

Over time, the manufacturer of cork flooring were trying to reduce costs by sharing food with hugea model of veneer on the face of a cork-based composition and reducing the thickness of the tiles 4-2 mm. These experiments have produced undesirable results, such as breaking the tiles during installation. As a result of decreased sales and the cork industry earned a bad reputation. Since 1990, but sales have increased significantly from cork. The errors of the past have been corrected and provided the manufacturer of a product is high quality. TodayThe installation can be done with little or no effort, the benefits of the product in the process.
Discount cork flooring
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Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Decorating your bathroom can seem like a big expense and a lot of hassle. Particularly if you are ripping out your existing bathroom suite and replacing it with a new one.

But giving your bathroom a fresh new look doesn’t have to be hard. You can completely transform your bathing space quickly and effectively. What’s more, it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Firstly, think about your bathroom accessories. You can really brighten up a tired bathroom by adding some lively bright coloured towels, bathmats and matching them in with your other accessories such as your toothbrush holders and bathroom cabinets. If you’re feeling really brave you can even choose a signature wall and give it a coat of bright paint.

If you’ve got an old bathroom suite in those favourite colours of the 1970’s – Avacado, pink, turquoise or even brown, then instead of lamenting it, why not embrace it. Just choose your wall coverings and accessories to match. If you get it right you could end up with a really unique space that people will love.

If you really don’t want to rip out that old suite, then why not consider swapping your shower curtains for a shower door. It can transform your bathroom and give it a much smarter appearance.

If you have bare walls you could always re-tile with something a little more interesting. There are a myriad of tile options to choose from, so if you want to create something a bit more quirky you could go for fishy tiles or even a mosaic.

If tiling’s not for you then how about a mural? You can find lots of reliable mural painters on the net who will create a bespoke piece of art just for you. Just imagine bathing surrounded by a tropical seascape or roman ruins.

If you’re looking for something more sophisticated, but want to change the look of your walls, why not consider a product like Multipanel. It’s plywood core wall panelling that comes laminated in over 30 different colours. It can be attached to a wall very quickly and easily with wooden batons and is completely water tight if installed correctly.

This stylish wood panelling is certainly a lot easier to install than tiles and gives a very sophisticated boutique hotel look to your bathroom. You can choose a colour that ties in perfectly with your bathroom accessories and reflects your taste. You can even match it in with your flooring.

So remember, if you’re considering changing the face of your bathroom, it doesn’t have to be hell. Try one of these ideas and you’ll soon be relaxing in the bathroom of your dreams.

For more information about MultiPANEL visit bathroomsni.co.uk

The Use Of Appliances With Energy Efficiency Check Business Electricity Prices

Electricity is no doubt consumed at incredible rate in manufacturing industries, commercial sectors and business hubs. Over consumption of electricity adds to their overall operation costs. Energy efficiency should be among their must-to-dos to reduce production cost and raise the level of profitability. Being ignorant of the benefits of energy efficiency, commercial sectors keep no curb on the use of electricity. There are several ways to keep electricity consumption in check and reduce business electricity prices.

Some facts are there to consider while shopping for electronics goods. Make sure to look for electronics devices that are labeled by an energy saving body. Such products are preferable for their limited absorption of electricity. Check the logo of the energy saving body on the products as the logo is a proof of authenticity of the products.

Integrated electronic appliances are energy-saving products. They are available in a wide variety. Integrated gadgets are highly recommended to use in day-to-day life as they consume less energy than other electronics goods. Hence, they cost less for energy consumption. Their use in business hubs is sure to keep business electricity prices at bay. With an in-built CD player or DVD player, a TV ensures energy efficiency more than a TV with a separate CD or DVD player.

Household and business electronics goods come with energy-saving features. Several appliances are available with an option of automatic standby. Such appliances when not in use, automatically shift to standby mode. An appliance consumes less energy in standby mode than on full power. It is the wise of you to purchase such appliances for use.

The degree of energy consumption by TVs varies with their types. So choose the type of television that ensures energy efficiency. A flat screen television needs three times more energy than a regular model. Choose a flat screen TV set of LCD type as it retains greater energy efficiency than plasma TVs. Do not forget to check the level of energy consumption and the rate of energy efficiency with every electronics product before making a purchase. It is sure to restrain the rise of business electricity prices . Appliances are available with a guide on how to use them.

Lessons Learned From A Failed Energy Efficiency Project

INTRODUCTION
You would think that energy efficiency is relatively simple: perform an energy audit, install the retrofits and then reap the energy savings. Unfortunately, it doesn”t always work that way. We performed an energy assessment of several stores of a major retail chain in the San Francisco Bay Area and identified a handful of low-cost retro-commissioning measures that had very promising potential. We quantified the expected savings and costs and returned after the project was installed. We then measured the savings using various methods and found either minimal or negative savings. The problem we discovered was that on nearly every measure, the contractors had repaired the hardware, but through various means had ensured that energy savings would not occur. This paper provides an account of the failed project at one store and the steps we took to remedy it. Specifically, this paper stresses the importance of Measurement and Verification and Commissioning of the retrofits.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The store, located in San Francisco, belongs to a well-known national retailer, whose name we will not divulge. The store is an aggregate of 3 buildings which have been joined together to comprise almost 1,000,000 square feet, of which over half is selling floor. Stock rooms and offices comprise the remainder of the space. The different buildings range between 8 and 11 stories tall.

The three buildings comprising the store were built at different times from the 1920s to the 1980s. Originally the buildings had different air handling, chilled water and hot water systems. Over the years, through energy conservation and facility improvement measures, the chilled water systems have been merged into one system.

There were no operating boilers in the store. Steam is provided to the store by an external vendor. Hot water is supplied to multi-zone air handling units and perimeter reheats in some areas of the store via heat exchangers.
There is one common cooling plant which houses two 500 ton centrifugal chillers (2004) which run all year. Chilled water is supplied to the Air Handling Units (AHUs) via primary/secondary chilled water loops. During the hottest months, both chillers run at around 90% full load””this happens about 5 days/yr. During the cooler months, one chiller runs at about 40% full load. If you have been to San Francisco you probably know that even in summer a typical day only reaches about 60 degrees . A properly designed and operating building in San Francisco should not need mechanical cooling most of the year, instead relying upon outside air to meet its cooling needs. This was obviously not the case .

A utility bill analysis identified an out of control building. Figure 1 presents twelve months of average usage per day versus average outdoor temperature. Each point represents a billing period. The superimposed red line represents the statistically insignificant trend. The lack of clear trend indicates that the building is either haphazardly controlled or that energy use varies due to some other variable. We believe mostly the former. During warmer periods (which are not that warm) the store uses more energy, indicating a variable cooling load based upon weather conditions. (An ideal system that uses outside air whenever possible should show a horizontal trend in this 48 to 66 degree temperature range.)

There are over fifty AHUs: a mixture of single zone, multi-zone, and variable air volume units. Each of the three sections contains different types of AHUs.
Electricity Costs for the store were over $2.5M per year. With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, smart retailers were looking to cut costs wherever possible. One line item that could be cut was utilities. Saving 10% or more could add at least $250,000 to the bottom line.

BACKGROUND OF THE UTILITY PROGRAM
There may be several reasons why California uses less than 50% per capita of the energy than the rest of the country, but one major reason is the aggressive effort of the California Public Utilities Commission to cut energy usage. Commercial ratepayers of the investor owned utilities pay a fee in their utility bills that funds energy efficiency programs. These funds are then channeled to the investor owned utilities to promote energy efficiency. These utilities have over one hundred targeted programs aimed at different vertical markets such as: wineries, retail, hospitals, supermarkets, etc. Often these programs will include free energy audits or retro-commissioning services in conjunction with generous incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In some cases, the utilities will pay for up to 100% of the cost for implementing the measures. The utilities administer some programs directly and outsource others. The outsourced programs are designed and administered by third party energy consultants.

Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. (QuEST), an energy consulting firm headquartered in Berkeley, administers a retail program for PG&E which covers the San Francisco Bay Area. This program offers retailers free retro-commissioning studies along with incentives to implement energy conservation measures found. The utilities give incentives to the building owners based upon the amount of energy saved. But in order for energy savings to be recognized by PG&E, these savings need to be measured and verified and then the savings calculations must pass a review by third party reviewers. Nobody gets paid if the work does not pass the third party review. The third party review process is necessary to prevent false claims of savings, or gaming of the system. The reviewers can be tough and require all assumptions to be documented and based upon published standards or guidelines. The drawback of third party review is that some measures are dropped as the Measurement and Verification (M&V) costs would be prohibitively expensive.

QuEST retained our company as a subcontractor to help out with the retail program. Our company performed Retro-Commissioning (RCx) services on 8 stores belonging to this unnamed retailer, and this paper is about one of the stores. However, the same story occurred at most of the stores. It wasn”t one failure, but many.

A NOTE ON THE LEVEL OF RCx RIGOR
RCx is different from energy auditing in that RCx typically involves a more detailed study of the building”s control systems and HVAC systems than energy audits. In addition, RCx typically focuses on repairing, recalibrating and reprogramming, rather than procuring new equipment. Simple paybacks for RCx projects typically are under 2 years. Examples of RCx measures are: repairing inoperable equipment, programming controls, demand control ventilation, and calibrating temperature sensors. Examples of energy audit measures (which are not considered RCx measures) are: installing energy efficient chillers, boilers or package units, converting single zone HVAC systems to variable air volume systems, and installing EMS systems. Energy audit measures often are more expensive and may have longer paybacks. On the other hand, true RCx studies are much more detailed, and thus much more expensive to conduct than energy audits. RCx studies usually involve data logging, functional testing of controls, operator training and post implementation commissioning which repeats much of the data logging and functional testing that was previously done. RCx is criticized by some as too heavy on the analysis, as it can require hundreds of hours of work just to perform the study, whereas energy audits consume much less labor.

In order to make the most efficient use of ratepayer dollars, in QuEST”s RCx program the amount of engineering time was scaled down to minimize the time spent on work that does not directly lead to energy savings. Rather than write commissioning plans, and 100-page Master List of Findings reports, the interim deliverable is instead an Excel workbook that describes the measure, states all assumptions and measured values, and calculates the savings. Equipment is data-logged or trended before and after the implementation of the measures. Calculations are made in Excel so they can be verified by third party reviewers. Written reports come later, but are less extensive than typical RCx reports.

ONSITE INVESTIGATION
Two engineers spent 3 days onsite examining the store”s mechanical systems, uncovering problems, and identifying RCx Measures. Our work to this point was nearly identical to an energy audit.
Once the RCx Measures were identified, the list of RCx Measures was given to the customer who then decided which of them should be pursued. The list also was approved by the third party reviewer.

MEASURES FOUND
We found the store could save about $300,000 in both RCx and Retrofit Measures, which, with incentives offered a simple payback of less than six months. That is 12% of their energy spend. The following measure types were identified and approved by all parties:

Retrofit Measures
1.Install Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on Multi-Zone Air Handling Units (AHUs).
2.Installation of VSDs on secondary chilled water loops.
RCx Measures
1.Repair economizer control on some air handlers. Many outside air dampers were rusted in place. A two by six was used to prop one open.
2.Repair a small number of faulty VSDs, some of which were in bypass running at 100% fan speed.
3.Reconnect static pressure lines. Some VSDs were running at full speed because the lines running to the static pressure sensors in the ducting had been previously destroyed by contractors.
4.Repair/Replace stuck chilled water valves. These valves were cooling whether the AHUs called for cooling or not. As a result, sales floor temperatures ranged from 62 degrees to 70 degrees.
5.Connect some AHUs to the Energy Management System. These AHUs were running wild and had no control at all.

DATA LOGGING
Once the measures were selected by the customer, QuEST engineers placed data loggers to measure pre-implementation temperatures and power. Temperatures measured included Outside Air Temperature (OAT), Return Air Temperature (RAT), Mixed Air Temperature (MAT) and Supply Air Temperature (SAT). Fan Motor kW were also logged for those units on VSDs. Spot measurements were taken of Fan Motor kW for AHUs that were not on VSDs.

SAVINGS CALCULATION
Energy savings were estimated using bin data simulations. Like-type AHUs were combined. Special care was taken in calculating energy savings to ensure that savings were not double-counted. Each energy conservation measure was modeled assuming the prior measures were already implemented. We integrated the interval data that we collected into the bin data simulations. To do this, we created regressions of our variables (RAT, MAT, SAT, kW) versus OAT. These regressions were used to project RATs, MATs, SATs and kW for other outdoor air temperatures that were not included in our sample.

INSTALLATION
Once we had estimated savings using our bin simulation models and provided measure costs, the customer decided which measures to implement. They then hired contractors to implement the measures. VSDs were installed and repaired, economizer dampers repaired, AHUs connected to the EMS system, etc.

M&V PROVES NO SAVINGS
Once the implementation was completed, QuEST engineers returned to the site and again data logged the same temperatures and power as before. The resulting data, RATs, MATs, SATs and kWs, was again regressed against OAT. Using the regression, RATs, MATs, SATs, and kW values were again extrapolated and placed into the bin simulations.

The resulting calculations demonstrated the unthinkable. Not only were the energy conservation measures we had recommended not saving energy, the affected systems at the store were using more energy than before! Actually, this could be seen from just looking at the interval data. It was obvious that the economizers and variable speed drives were not working as intended. The “repaired” economizers were letting in less outside air than before, and the variable speed drives were still commanding the fans to run at a constant load, but at a higher speed than before.

QuEST alerted the customer that their investments were not saving energy. Facility personnel then investigated the problems, found them, and corrected them.

Even though the contractors had made the economizers operational (as opposed to frozen), the damper actuators were not calibrated correctly. When dampers needed to be fully open, they were not. When dampers needed to be at minimum position, they were not. The variable speed drives were also installed incorrectly. Some wiring and controls issues were resolved and the units started operating as expected. Once these issues were resolved, M&V was performed again. We repeated the data-logging and placed this information into our bin simulations, and again projected the annual savings.
There are many ways energy efficiency projects can go wrong.

“Faulty recommendations
“Poor implementation
“Untrained staff who compromise all the energy conservation measures undertaken

Faulty recommendations may arise from a lack of understanding of how systems operate or should operate. Years of experience, and a good understanding of physics and control theory is necessary to make sound recommendations.

Poor implementation has many causes, but often can be traced to the mindset that having the right equipment will make the difference. But as the lessons learned here illustrate, installing the right hardware is only half the solution. It needs to be integrated into the system and operate according to a logical and beneficial sequence of operations.

The last item is especially troublesome because it is so common. Even if the right hardware is installed and controls optimized, small changes to the sequence of operations made to “fix” local problems may have large consequences on overall system performance over time. Changing supply air temperatures at the air handler to resolve hot or cold complaints may upset the balance of the system and cause problems elsewhere. Professors at Texas A&M University have pointed out that in the absence of continuous monitoring, a building”s performance will fall to the level of the least-trained operator within two years.

HOW TO AVOID FAILED ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
There are a couple of ways to avoid projects that fail to produce savings. After equipment is installed, it needs to be commissioned by a third party, not the contractor who implemented the ECMs. Commissioning can be expensive, but it is worth it. However, just because the equipment has been deemed operational by the commissioning agent, that doesn”t mean it is saving what was expected. Commissioning will tell you if the equipment is working as it should. To determine if you are actually saving what was expected, M&V needs to be done on the building. Although M&V can appear as a waste of money to some, it caught this disaster before it was too late.

Unfortunately, building owners often value engineer commissioning and M&V out of their projects and leave themselves open to big disappointments in their energy efficiency projects. M&V is like insurance””sure, it costs money up front, but the reassurance of knowing the project is done correctly should be worth far more than the initial outlay. What other product would you purchase without verifying that you actually received what you paid for? Why should energy efficiency be any different?

CONCLUSION
Unfortunately, energy efficiency isn”t as simple as we would wish. Energy consultants may deliver quality energy audits and RCx studies, but merely implementing sound energy efficiency recommendations does not guarantee energy savings. The weak link is often in the commissioning of the measures to ensure they are doing what they are intended to do.
To avoid underperforming on your energy efficiency measures, we suggest the following three strategies:

1. Commission what you implement with third-party commissioning experts. Commissioning agents are not interested in selling hardware. They are interested in making systems operate at peak performance. They understand physics and control theory and can identify and repair problems quickly.

2. Track your energy savings using M&V. Even using something as simple as utility bill tracking software can provide some insight into building performance. An increase in monthly energy usage when a decrease was expected would have triggered an investigation into the cause. Verifying performance at the system level (as we did), while more difficult and expensive, would have isolated the problem much more quickly and accurately.

3. Provide proper training so that your facility staff doesn”t override or bypass your energy efficiency projects. Although we barely treated this topic in this paper, this is probably the single most effective step you can take. Your staff is the brains behind building operation, despite what EMS vendors may say. Having the smartest control system will do no good if it is operated by the dumbest operators.

Flat roof repair

When the roofs at Britvic Soft Drinks’ distribution centre in Norwich began to fail, a quick high performance waterproofing and repair system was necessary. Britvic turned to Acrypol, the UK’s leading manufacturer of cold applied acrylic polymer waterproof solutions and coating.

Britvic needed to repair both roofs, as they were suffering from deterioration, including holes causing water ingress to roofing joints. They didn’t want to replace the roofs and were looking for a less costly substitute. It was also critical that the distribution centre stayed operational throughout the repair process to check productivity would not be compromised.

Thanks to a comprehensive repair system supplied by Acrypol, comprising System 15 and Metal-Kote, the two roofs with a combined size of 3,759m2 now look and perform as good as new – at just a fraction of the cost of replacement. For this to be achieved, the specification of Acrypol’s System 15 and Metal-Kote proved ideal with effortless installation processes, both cold-applied over existing surfaces, causing minimum interruption to the business.

As it is appropriate for a eclectic range of applications, Metal-Kote, was specified to allow waterproofing and repairs to the metal surfaces. Metal-Kote was applied straight on to the surface after an thorough pre-application cleaning process of the roofing surfaces, including gutters and joints. It provides a 100% watertight seal that also prevents any existing rust from spreading.

1,725m2 of Metal-Kote was spray-applied to the profiled sheet metal roofing. With one application, it has dramatically enhanced and reinvigorated the tired metal roof, returning Britvic’s roof to its former glory, without the cost or trouble of a roof replacement.

System 15, which comes with Acrypol’s 15 year guarantee, was specified to deliver an unrivalled waterproofing integrity whilst offering convenience, safety and long-term performance. Taking a fraction of the time and cost of other refurbishment and replacement systems, 2,034m2 of the economical, yet highly trustworthy, acrylic waterproofing system was applied to the existing rooftop, roofing joints and 380 linear metres of guttering.

Following the application of Acrypol’s comprehensive roofing repair system, phase one in Britvic distribution centre’s renovation programme is now concluded. Starting from the top the employees of one of Europe’s biggest suppliers will have a workplace that is of the highest standard.

Kitchen Cabinets and Remodeling How to Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, one sure way to update the atmosphere of your kitchen is to change the look of your kitchen cabinets. The most popular ways to do this is refinishing, refacing, or replacing your cabinets. Each option should be considered, as there may be more than one way to redo your kitchen cabinets, especially when cost is a consideration. The structure and condition of your cabinets as well as the layout of your kitchen must also be factored in.

The first option for your cabinets is refinishing. This is often the least expensive option, as it usually only requires simple repairs, then stripping and refinishing the wood. However, the cabinet doors can be glazed or even have an unusual marbleized pattern applied, which may cost more. This type of kitchen remodeling can be done by non-professionals handy with tools, but it is often messy and can be hard work.

Refacing is the second option for worn-out kitchen cabinets. This type of kitchen remodeling is done when your cabinets are generally sturdy and not in need of more than cosmetic work. Refacing also provides the advantage of being able to match with the rest of your kitchen if you are replacing more than just the cabinets. It is not advised to reface cabinets that are not structurally sound, or if your kitchen remodeling plans include moving the cabinets. It is best to hire a professional to reface cabinets, as special tools and materials are required.

The last, and most expensive option, is replacing your cabinets. You would mainly want to replace your cabinets if a full-scale remodel is in store, or if your cabinets are in such poor condition that refacing or refinishing would not be feasible. It is best to plan ahead for the type of cabinet you want: making the choice of what is best for you before you shop may save money, and certainly time. If you order stock cabinets, expect a shorter wait time for them than if you order custom cabinets. Stock cabinets are also much less expensive than custom-made cabinets due to the time needed to construct them. Professionals are almost always needed for this type of work.

Kitchen remodeling doesn’t have to be a daunting project, especially when it comes to kitchen cabinetry. Research will save you money and time, and may prevent you from making the wrong choice.

Energy Efficiency And Solar Power Systems Help San Diego Homeowners Cut Energy Costs

When it comes to balancing comfort and savings, industry experts recommend combining cost-effective energy efficiency measures with smaller solar power systems. The powerful benefit of solar power systems to create electricity added to reducing energy loss not only saves money, but also costs San Diego homeowners far less in the long run.

Electricity bills have skyrocketed lately everywhere, and San Diego is no exception to the trend. The average electricity consumption rate for a single family detached home in San Diego County is about 675 kWh per month. In June of 1999, that meant an electric bill of $71 but now, thanks to rising costs, that same consumption will result in an electric bill of $150.

For many San Diego homeowners, solar power systems have provided at least some relief from astronomical electricity costs. While the systems require an upfront investment, most solar panels come with a substantial warranty and will produce electricity for up to 40 years at practically no operating cost. The savings on electric bills from a solar power system will cover the investment in 6-8 years for most homeowners, leaving them with free electricity for another 20-30 years.

For example, a homeowner with a $150 average electricity bill today can either buy a solar power system for $17,500 after state and federal incentives or pay $150,000 over the next 30 years for the same amount of electricity. Over the last five years, more than 8,000 homeowners in San Diego have installed solar power systems. New financing options, such as third-party Power Purchasing agreements, allow homeowners to install solar power systems with little or no money down.

While solar power systems yield moderate savings for San Diego homeowners, a combination of solar power and energy efficiency can lead to even better results. By focusing on basic adjustments like insulation, duct sealing and LED bulbs, consumers can drastically cut the amount of energy wasted on heating, cooling and lighting. All it takes is a custom energy audit to figure out the right efficiency improvements. San Diego homeowners can invest 10-40% less than what is needed to install an average solar power system into energy efficiency measures and smaller-scale solar installations and reap the benefits of bigger financial savings and better energy efficiency for many years to come.

Each home uses energy differently and there are no generic solutions that are cost effective for everyone. But with the help of an expert energy auditor, homeowners can identify the custom solution that combines the right energy efficiency measures and solar power system size.

Dealing With Common Landscaping Problems

Most homeowners like you have often thought about creating a
beautiful home garden or sprucing up that front yard or lawn with the
help of landscaping. Quite often than not, the inspiration must have
come from enchanting pictures on websites of landscaped lawns, porches
or even driveways. Have you always thought of getting landscaping done
for your home exterior but didn’t know where to begin? Here’s some help.

The first thing to remember about landscaping is that
it is not just about decorating the outdoor area surrounding your home.
There is a lot of planning, constructing, renovating and repair work
that may be required to be carried out to achieve the perfect results.
You may also want to consult a landscaping company that can advise you
about the right landscaping solutions for you.

Getting
suggestions for landscape designs – Although this seems to be the
easiest thing to do, you could actually end up getting confused about
the variety of suggestions you get for landscaping. Depending upon the
number of people living in your home and also the various uses that the
area around the home could be used for, you are likely to get plenty of
useful and some bizarre ideas too.

It is recommended that you
write down all the suggestions you receive and also research a bit about
landscape designing. Browsing websites that relate to home and garden
improvement ideas, architecture, home exterior decoration can also be of
help.

Finally, if all this is getting rather confusing, the best
thing to do would be to hire a landscaping company. The staff usually
visits your home, studies the topography, understands what will work
best under local conditions and then suggest necessary landscaping
ideas.

Getting
everything to match – You may be inspired by a fairytale garden
landscaping design but it is not really necessary that it would look
good for your home garden. Also, it doesn’t really make sense if the
landscaping you have in mind results in your lawn looking it belongs to a
country thousands of miles away.

It is recommended that the
landscaping design you choose should make your home and garden look as
if they belong to each other and not otherwise. This problem can be
overcome by getting a professional landscaping expert to help you
achieve the results you have in mind while taking care of the aesthetics
of the landscaping.

Getting exotic plants is not always the
right thing to do – Quite often you may be inspired to order exotic
plants for your landscaping or even buy rocks or stones from some
faraway country or region to make your garden look amazing. However,
this could turn out to be disastrous because most exotic and foreign
plants turn out to be expensive when it comes to maintenance. The simple
solution here is to look for plants and stones that are a part of the
local geography and can adjust well to local climatic conditions. If you
are not sure what will work, you should get the landscaping expert to
help you select the best plants and stones for your lawn.

The Difference Between A Modern Kitchen And A Traditional Kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen takes a lot of preparation and should also require plenty of time for premeditated style choices. One of the biggest choices to make when preparing to create a new kitchen is what type of atmosphere you want the room to have. Do you want it to give off a modern feel or a more traditional, homey feel? The way to make this decision could be based on the style of the rest of your home or on a change you want to be made regarding what you dislike about your current kitchen. Whichever style you choose, the kitchen cabinets play a crucial role in creating the atmosphere that you want for the room.

What makes a kitchen look more modern or contemporary? Modern kitchens often look much more sleek in appearance than a traditional one with more of a clean, stark feel rather than a cluttered look. They also often have solid, plain colors to minimize distractions and complement the metallic look of appliances like the refrigerator and the dishwasher. In the case of a modern look, kitchen cabinets should look minimal and geometric with straightforward colors like black or white.

With a traditional kitchen the goal is to be warm and inviting in appearance and not be afraid to create accents here and there to make things look a bit ornate. Traditional kitchens typically utilize wood cabinets because they look classic and timeless while making guests feel instantly at home. The cabinets can also have glass doors to give them an old fashioned style which will work with the atmosphere of the kitchen. The traditional kitchen uses soft colors that can complement the wood color of the cabinets and counters.
Whether you decide to go for a modern look or a traditional kitchen, make sure you are consistent in the materials and styles you choose. What matters most is a cohesive look so that people understand what you are going for with the feel of your kitchen. Take time to plan all the little details and preview the kind of design you want online so that when you get started you will be satisfied with the final result.

What Are The Various Activities In The Kitchen

The core of the home is the kitchen. The “work triangle” was the focal point of traditional kitchen design which situated appliances, storage and the sink in close proximity to all activities around food preparation. The assumption was one person was cooking. Double work triangles now exist as multiple cooks work in the kitchen. Further, more non-cooking activities are being done in the kitchen – helping the kids with homework, watching TV or catching up with a friend on the phone or the computer. Kitchen design has altered to tackle these activities.

Kitchens actually play a key role during parties as people gravitate to the kitchen even when you don’t plan for it. So why not decorate the kitchen and do it so you can easily move decorations off the counter tops when it’s time to bake those cookies.

Traditional Food-Oriented Activities

An inventory of all the stuff stored in the kitchen will reveal the following:

* Consumable storage – for all food items – canned goods, boxes of cereal, baking ingredients, soda and other bottled drinks.

* Non-consumable storage – for glasses, dishes, silverware, plastic containers to store food in, disposables like napkins and paper towels and cookbooks.

* Food preparation area – where food is prepared and where mixing bowls, utensils, spices and other cooking ingredients are stocked.

* Cooking space – includes the range and oven along with the microwave, all pots and pans, baking sheets, etc.

* Cleaning area – where cleaning up is done after cooking, baking or eating. It includes cleaning supplies and hopefully a recycling
center that is easy to access.

* Informal eating area – common in today’s kitchen, a place where several people or even the entire family can have lunch or an after school snack.

Other Activities in the Kitchen

To accommodate other pursuits in the kitchen, space has been added as homes become larger:

* Home office -for meal planning, paying the bills, keeping the family’s master calendar and controlling the home’s security system and other smart technologies.

* Homework center – where parents can monitor and help with homework while working in the kitchen before children move to other rooms.

* Laundry area – moved closer to the bedrooms in newer homes but still included in the kitchen or an adjacent room so laundry can be done simultaneously.

* Hobby center – i.e. drawing, sewing or scrap booking.

* Communications center – for telephone and the computer/internet to look up recipes, a phone number or sports schedule.

* Entertainment center – electronics and other gadgets like video games for family fun, a small refrigerator for cold drinks