A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile


Increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.

These areas usually feature spaces for entertaining friends and family while grilling, dining, eating and relaxing. That often means room for a patio, a grill, a sink or a fireplace. Some think of it as adding a family room without the roof.

For many, the building technique of choice when creating these spaces calls for using segmental concrete paving. This technique employs interlocking units-called concrete pavers-that are strong, durable and are growing in popularity worldwide. In Germany, for instance, there are 15 square feet of pavers installed per person annually. In the Netherlands, most of the streets and sidewalks are made of pavers.

Often used in walkways, patios, plazas and historic restoration projects, pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes, textures and colors and can be easily removed and reinstalled.

One kind of home-improvement project where pavers are increasingly being used is a raised patio. These patios are known for their durability and can create a new sense of space in a yard, particularly when extended to meet an existing deck. Such spaces can be used as an outdoor entertainment area, complete with hot tub or barbeque pit.

There are a number of reasons why pavers have become popular in projects such as these:

• Their uniform size and quality allow them to fit tightly together for a strong, interlocking surface.

• Paver joints allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. That means they won’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete.

• Their design makes them easy to install and repair

• They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures.

• And they can be installed by either a professional or a skilled do-it-yourselfer.

One of the newest styles offers the high-end look of stone for a more modest price. Called “tumbled” or “antiqued” pavers, they can be used to add a stately look to a walkway, patio or driveway.

Tips For Choosing Window Blinds

Tips For Choosing Window Blinds

Blinds To Go/zpizza - Springfield, VA
Source: Flickr


In many homes and most offices, blinds are commonly used to give shade and privacy to the place.
Unlike curtains, the amount of light that can be let in can be controlled if you have installed blinds on your windows.

Many people feel that the problem with having blinds is the installation. It may be true. But these people neglect the fact that there are also other things that have to be considered before purchasing blinds, not only the color and the size are important when choosing blinds for one’s home or office windows.

Here is some information.

* Style

Blinds can come in different styles, the most popular of which is the Venetian blinds. Decide on what style you wanted depending on the functionality and design of your windows.

Roller Shades – these are made specially treated opaque or vinyl fabric that is wrapped around a dowel, which employs a spring or a beaded cord system to roll the fabric up or down. This is good if you want to have complete privacy and to protect the furniture from fading. The ends can be straight or shaped, and trimmings or contrasting braid can be added as design.

Roman Shades – these blinds have a cord woven thru the fabric that allows you to raise or lower the shade in an accordion pattern.

Venetian Blinds – or horizontal blinds, have horizontal panels, made of wood or aluminum, which can be adjusted to change the level of sunlight that can be allowed in the room. These are available in different widths ranging from 16 mm to 50 mm.

Pleated Shades – these function similarly with Venetian blinds and have flat horizontal fabric panels. To let light enter from the top of the windows, you can have those that have “top-down” design.

Vertical Blinds – have vertical panels that can be adjusted to control the amount of light that enters. It can also be pulled to one side or both sides of the window to allow total natural illumination. Different types of fabric may be used in sizes from 89mm to 127mm.

Honeycomb Shades – are also known as cellular shades. These shades, thru layers of fabric capable of filtering light, can let light in and keep the heat or cold outside, thus giving the room insulation to save on your energy bills.

Woven Wood Shades – These are usually made of bamboo, and blocks direct sunlight from coming into the room but allow some natural light to come in.

Mini Blinds – are also known as macro, micro or aluminum blinds. These have one-inch or two-inch slats to adjust the amount of light that enters the room.

Shutters – these have parallel slats, or louvers, which can be adjusted to change the level of privacy.

* Measuring and Installing the Blinds

The blinds should be unobstructed that when it is fully extended, it can still hang freely.

For accurate measurements, it is recommended that you use a steel ruler.

* Cutting the Blinds

Cutting the Blinds is necessary to make the blinds fit the size of the windows. Before cutting the blinds, measure the desired width from one edge of the bracket to the other. The size of the winding mechanism should be deducted first before cutting the lath, the tube and the fabric to the correct size.

To cut the tube, a mini hacksaw can be used, while for the fabric, it is recommended that you use a cutting knife or a sharp pair of scissors.

* Cost

Apart from the cost of the blinds itself, also consider the cost for delivery. Delivery costs can add a lot to your purchase so make sure you know the details before placing an order.

How to Hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor

How to Hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor


Asphalt paved driveways are extremely popular and the most cost effective to install over most other driveway options.
Hiring the right asphalt paving contractor however can sometimes be a challenge. If the paving contractor installs the asphalt driveway correctly the driveway should last 25-30 years with only minor maintenance.

Unlike concrete, an asphalt paved driveway is both strong and flexible and is ideal for colder temperature zones where constant freezing and thawing occur.

Asphalt paving, also known as Hot Mix Asphalt paving, consists of an aggregate of stone and sand mixed with liquid asphalt cement. The aggregate is carefully mixed and heated prior to being mixed with liquid asphalt. The mixture needs to be delivered to the job site hot else your newly paved driveway will not cure properly.

In order to ensure a quality paved driveway it is critical that the paving contractor first properly prepare the driveway for the Hot Mix Asphalt. Preparation includes removing topsoil or clay type soil and replacing it with a sub-base layer of crushed stone and gravel.

A typical asphalt paving job consists of the application of two layers of Hot Mix Asphalt over the sub-base layer. In some cases a paving contractor may suggest a full-depth asphalt application. This type of application is best if very heavy vehicles will be regularly parked on the driveway. With a full-depth asphalt application the entire driveway, including the gravel sub-base layer, is constructed using liquid asphalt cement. By additionally binding the sub-base gravel layer with the liquid asphalt cement a much stronger paved driveway is created.

When hiring any contractor you should plan on getting 3-4 quotes to get the best comparison of workmanship and price. Talk with friends and family members, as well as search the yellow pages or the internet to find local paving contractors in your area.

With any contractor you hire, make sure they are insured and bonded to protect you from any liability as well as to protect you from any sub-par performance on the contractor’s behalf.

Lead times for paving a driveway can be up to several weeks, so plan appropriately when talking with your prospective paving contractors.

In order to obtain accurate quotes from the asphalt driveway paving contractors it is best to have a sketch of the home and the desired driveway footprint. You should also walk the site with the paving contractor and have him or you stake or paint lines where the paved driveway is to lay.

When talking to the prospective paving contractors make sure the subject of installing proper slopes and drainage is discussed. Otherwise you may wind up with water pooling on the finished driveway, or even worse, draining into your garage or home.

It is also critical that during the installation of all the various layers to the driveway that they are each compacted prior to the installation of the next layer of material. Quoted depths should be after compaction, not before.

Also, if there are any municipal pipes that need to be raised to the finished height of the driveway, find out if the paving contractors’ quotes include performing this task.

In addition, confirm that the contractor will remove and reinstall any type of gate or door to the new finished level of the paved driveway.

With these few basic tips you are on your way to hiring the right paving contractor for your driveway.

For more help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget.

Window Blinds Variations, And How They Can Fit Your Needs

Window Blinds Variations, And How They Can Fit Your Needs

31. Sunny and Cheerful - Diagonal lines
Source: Flickr

So you decided to go out and look for blinds, but there are so many of them! In this article you will get a brief intro into the pros and cons of every style out there.
There are many types of window blinds to select from, and selecting the type of blind you want depends on your window frame design and personal preference. Always be sure of what you want and then shop around for the best deal. Shopping with a reputable firm will ensure you get value for money and excellent support as well as quality blinds.
Vertical Blinds
Vertical blinds are easily fitted and effective for small or large windows. Because the fabric louvres can be opened and closed as well as rotated they are incredibly efficient at managing the level of light allowed into your room. Most new vertical blinds come in fabrics that are machine washable and flame retardant.
Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are efficient and very elegant looking.
They traditionally come with horizontal wooden slats and are opened and closed with a cord. They look ideal in the home and the office.
Whatever style of blind you are looking for you will want to make sure that the blinds match the décor in the rest of your room. You can get blinds made from aluminium, fabric, wood and even woven woods; these are usually roller blinds and available in different types of wood. They give a beautiful, natural look to a room even when closed.
When measuring your windows to install window blinds it is important that you get the figures as accurate as possible, ensuring they don’t catch on the frame and you don’t have gaps around the edges.
Hunter Douglas is an excellent producer of cheap blinds. They will do any calculations needed so all you need to provide is accurate measurements of your windows. Another resource you may want to consider is American Blinds.
Inside Mount
When you mount your new window blinds inside a frame, your accurate measurements mean your blinds won’t catch against the frame. To ensure accuracy, take measurements from the top, middle and bottom of your window frame and write down the smallest width to the nearest 1/8 inch.
Then, measure the height in three places and record the longest of the three measurements, again rounded down 1/8 inch. You should also measure the depth that you will require.
Don’t do deductions or any other measurement yourself; leave this to the manufacturers instead. Simply give them the measurements you have taken and they will provide your window blinds to the correct size.
Outside Mount
For outside mounted window blinds measure the exact width at the top of the frame and round down to the nearest 1/8 inch. Measure the exact height at the outside edge of your frame, and again round this figure down 1/8 inch.

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best

Viaduct
Source: Flickr


Asphalt and concrete are the most popular types of material for paving driveways.
Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have their unique advantages. If you live in a cold climate and are considering a concrete driveway you need to make sure the base for the driveway is heavily laid with gravel and it is compacted first. Otherwise the driveway will run the risk of cracking due to frost heaves. In addition, concrete is susceptible to salt damage, a material frequently used on roads in cold weather parts of the country. On the other hand, if you live in a warm or hot climate and are considering asphalt paving, then you need to consider the fact that asphalt can become soft in the hot sun and is therefore susceptible to ruts.

Asphalt paved driveways are typically cheaper to install than concrete paved driveways. However, asphalt paved driveways need significant more care over time to protect them. Asphalt paved driveways need to be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. Each sealing, though easily completed by a do it yourself homeowner, costs money and time. In addition, the sealer needs typically 2-3 days to dry before you can park a vehicle on it. Also, a newly asphalt paved driveway should not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, as the light oils associated with the asphalt need to evaporate first. If an asphalt driveway is sealed too soon it will remain soft forever.

Asphalt driveways do not need to be always black and concrete driveways do not always need to be off-white. Both asphalt and concrete driveways can be tinted to various colors. Check with your prospective paving contractors first to see what color options there are for your driveway project.

Asphalt driveways, if maintained can typically last 25-30 years. Concrete driveways can last even longer. However, both require a solid foundation to be laid on. If not laid on a solid foundation both will crack over time, especially in colder weather climates. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway cracks.

Consideration for the slope of the driveway should also be considered when contemplating concrete driveways. Over time, concrete driveways can shear off of the foundation they are poured on which can lead to unwanted cracks.

If you are planning a new asphalt driveway and need help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that the installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget!

All About Blinds For Your Windows

All About Blinds For Your Windows

Window blinds are essential for anyone who wants to safeguard their privacy, at home or in the office. While it is true that some people prefer to use curtains, window blinds have the advantage in that you get to control the amount of light that comes in. One reason for the choice of curtains over blinds is the ease of installation. Some types of window blinds are, in fact, a bit more difficult to install … but this alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Blinds can add a touch of the exotic, or the elegant, to any room.

There are some factors to consider when figuring out what type of blinds to buy.

The first factor is the style of the window blinds. The most popular are the Venetian blinds, which have horizontal sections made of wood or metal. These panels can range in width from 16 to 50 mm. There are, of course, many different types of window blinds. Here are a few of the more well-known varieties.

In contrast to Venetian blinds, vertical blinds are aptly named since they have vertical panels. These sections can be completely separated if you want to have the look of natural sunlight. Vertical window blinds are not confined to wood and metal, but can be made of many different fabrics.

Roller shades typically consist of a complete sheet of treated material, such as vinyl. These blinds roll up or down and can completely block sunlight. If you can’t visualize this, think of those old Tom and Jerry cartoons. You know, the ones where Tom gets wrapped up in the window blinds? Those are roller shades.

Honeycomb shades look like, well, honeycombs. The effect is generated through layering opaque fabric. A special quality of these window blinds is that their layering allows them to insulate the room by not letting heat or cold in.

Finally, there are the decorative wood woven shades. These blinds are usually made from interwoven bamboo and don’t have an actual adjustment. They are best used in situations where you would like your blinds to block direct sunlight from coming in, but you would still like to have a little natural light.

When hanging your window blinds, you need to remember to leave enough space so that they can hang freely when extended. The great thing about modernization is that you don’t actually need to hang your blinds yourself. Many of the home furnishing stores will install the window blinds for you, sometimes at a very low cost. If you’re not sure that you can install your window blinds yourself, the best thing is to hire a professional.

Are You Tired Of Your House? Try Home Improvement.

Are You Tired Of Your House? Try Home Improvement.

Do you want to get more comfortable with making repairs to your own home? Maybe you’d like to save money or you just have some specific changes in mind that you don’t trust to anyone else. Whatever your motivation for taking matters into your own hands, here are some home improvement tips that will make your home inprovements easier.

If you are looking to invest in repairing your home, whether it is the interior or exterior, a valuable resource for getting ideas and helpful tips and advice are television programs on the home and garden network in your area. Not only will they give you ideas, more often than not, they will show you how to go about tackling the project while giving you motivation to complete your own projects.

When you are painting your home do not forget to put a coat of primer before you put the coat or coats of paint that you intend to put. Putting primer on the area first will create a solid bond and it will help the paint adhere to the surface.

If you are a handy man, then you can do a lot of work on your home on your own. One of the easiest and most rewarding projects that you can do yourself is to add a deck made of wood to your back entrance for events.

Expanding your storage options could be the perfect choice for your next home improvement project. Consider adding shelving to a coat closet or building a small table with drawers to add to your kitchen. Even small projects like these will give you a place to put toys, hats, or silverware.

Replacing a kitchen or bathroom floor is especially easy if you use adhesive-backed vinyl tiles. Easier to handle than rolled vinyl flooring and less messy than regular vinyl tiles that require a sticky adhesive compound, this is a quick way to update your floor. It may take you longer to take the old flooring up than to put the new tiles down.

If you have high ceilings, do not dwarf your windows by hanging drapes immediately above them or on the window frame itself. Hanging curtains or drapes about a foot above the top of the window makes them look larger, and you will not have so much empty space above the windows.

For an awesome impact on your homes curb appeal, think about resurfacing the concrete in the driveway and entry walk. Replacement of concrete can be very expensive, but for a fraction of that cost you can have it resurfaced in a multitude of colors and patterns which adds significant value to your homes curb appeal.

These tips will help empower you to do your own repairs, replace what needs replacing, or remodel any room in the house, if you so choose. Having an amazing home doesn’t have to be something you leave to other people, and by following tips like these, you’ll get more skilled and more capable at making all the home improvements you dream of making.

The best ways to Rid Your House Of Insects

Bugs are all over, constantly on the lookout for brand-new locations to nest and brand-new sources of food. Such invasions indicate it’s time to try to find expert pest control. Midrand is especially vulnerable to pest concerns, being a comprehensive built-up area that incorporates a lot of the environments that bugs discover beneficial and appealing: rivers, sewage systems, underground structures and tunnels, deserted structures and so on. Midrand is a big city, with a series of pest control business offered, and you have to think about thoroughly exactly what to search for in a pest control provider. Each area of Midrand has its own companies, and while lots of will use to cover the entire of the capital, you might wish to think about selecting a provider in your regional district who can reach you and handle your concern reasonably rapidly.

The web is the most apparent very first port of call for discovering a provider in Midrand. Just perform a look for ‘pest control Midrand’ and you will instantly show up a variety of providers who you can then ask for and approach that they send a proposition. It’s constantly worth asking family and friends too, especially if they have actually resided in Midrand for a long time – they make certain to understand somebody who has actually needed to handle vermin control. If you’re a homeowner, think about asking around regional companies such as clubs and stores – anybody who deals with food, in specific, will have to keep securely on top of any vermin control problems they have at their properties.

If you’re searching for domestic vermin control, you’ll require a provider who can handle all the most typical domestic bugs: rats, mice, wasps, vermins, fleas and ants. All these kinds of pest can publish major issues if they get a grip in your house, making it vital to handle a recognized specialist who is a specialist. Midrand houses can be especially vulnerable to pest issues, with the built-up environment offering a sanctuary for a number of these kinds of pest.

You require to look for assistance from a business who can use expert pest control if you discover that your house has an issue with bugs. Midrand has numerous vermin control experts, so ensure you pick one who can provide fast reaction times, sticks to all appropriate pest control policies and consents to be responsible for whatever they do.

Expert business need to be prepared and prepared to assist you with your issues from the first call. When you call them with your pest control question, they need to have the ability to recognize the kind of bugs you have in your house, and encourage you on proper treatments along with the actions you can require to make sure that the insects do not return and you do not have any future requirement for pest control. Midrand companies specialising in pest control ought to likewise encourage you in advance about the expenses that will be included, so you’re 100% clear on the rate for your pest control. Your provider ought to provide to visit your house and bring out a study if your pest issue can not be recognized over the phone.

Some issues need more than a quick fix – they require long-lasting pest control. Midrand homeowners dealing with pest issues have to be positive that the bugs will not be returning. Make sure your vermin control provider is providing a service that will avoid insects from re-establishing themselves as soon as the preliminary problem has actually been dealt with.

Workplaces and organisation properties can likewise establish issues needing vermin control. Midrand, with its numerous concentrations of organisation facilities, is just as vulnerable as other built-up area. Insects trigger damage to structures, infect items, spread out illness, and upset personnel and clients. In many cases, they can even leave business owner available to prosecution. To deal with pest issues in company properties, it’s vital to select a provider with tested experience in industrial vermin control. Midrand vermin control providers need to want to use totally free website studies, with reports on findings and suggestions on what do to next.

Danger evaluations ought to likewise be used, together with detailed quotes and expenses for works. Genuinely expert pest control Midrand business will have the ability to reveal you a history of all the work they have actually performed in your place, offering you with an useful record of all the actions you have actually required to control insects.

Gate motors are fairly simple to set and set up

Setting up a gate motor in your home can make life considerably simpler, bringing a brand-new component of benefit and security and, on a regular basis, a host of functions that can be utilized to enhance house-hold jobs. Lots of modern-day gate motors have hi-tech controllers total with LCD shows that can be interfaced with whatever from swimming pool pumps to alarm.

In other words, a gate motor as there to serve you. It exists to take some effort from your day-to-day jobs and to offer you with assurance. A gate motor is kinetic system consisting of numerous mechanical and electrical parts and care need to be taken so that these parts are not always packed – and so that you do not end up stranded outside your home one fine night.

Sliding automated gates are a fundamental part of a house’s security system in Pretoria, with the function to additional make sure the security of the citizens. Basically, they stop unauthorised individuals or automobiles to enter your yard.

Automatic Slide Gates provide a useful and safe option for houses, business facilities, storage facilities and storage structures that have actually restricted driveway areas. A gate could be any size or length and could be made from various kinds of products. Big, metal gates specifically produced commercial applications weigh excessive for a typical individual to close and open.

Gate motors been available in various shapes, sizes, capabilities, power sources, buildings and systems.

Many gate motors will be linked to an alarm. If somebody tampers with the motor or attempts to acquire access into the home without the main button being pressed, the alarm system will trigger. A great deal of individuals decide to connect this alarm to their regional police headquarters or a security business that runs in the location. If the alarm goes off due to somebody tampering with the motor, there will be an armed action that will respond right away.

Gate motors are fairly simple to set and set up up. You can pick in between a vast array of gate motors that are readily available on the marketplace. You can pick a motor that closes immediately, or one that deals with sensing units, so that you never ever need to stress over eviction closing on your car. There are some gate motors that open and shut rapidly, whilst there are others that you can time. You can likewise set the width at which eviction opens, to keep it safe from striking neighboring items such as trees and other parked automobiles. All of it depends upon your gate and your home or business.

A lot of gate motors will include either push-button control buttons or an unique tag that is swiped on a receiver. The tags are normally more frequently utilized in apartment or for workplace parks. Often a workplace park will have simply one tag for the guard on duty, so that he can manage who is available in and out the properties.

How is Curb Appeal Effective

Nothing is so earthy, so beautiful and natural as a well executed mortared in place brick walkway, patio or terrace. In recent years the quality of installation has been dropping and major problems are arising that you should be aware of if you plan to have brick paving installed. Read More at the Paving Specialists

Why is brick paving so problematic? – This is an excellent question and this article will provide the answers to that question. It should be read carefully if you are thinking of hiring a mason to build you a mortared in place walkway, patio, porch, etc

. As with most problems in masonry it usually comes down to two things; design and installation. Brick paving construction is probably the most susceptible to errors made by impatient or in-experienced installers and here’s why.

Since most brick paving is in close contact with the earth it is subject to the deteriorating power of the elements. If there is a substantial amount of moisture present in the region and temperatures fluctuations are frequent above and below freezing, the freeze-thaw cycle can have the most devastating effects especially.

The choice of the paving materials, the installer and the mortar is extremely important if you wish to get the most out of your paving dollars.

What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is simply the value of one’s home as it appears from the curb. Notice I said the value of your home. To put it in simpler terms, what does your home look like from the street? That’s right, the value of your home does not start on the inside, but on the outside? The value of your home begins with the curb.

What do people see when they view your home from the curb? If you ever decide to sell your home, you will soon find out that your targeted customers will judge your house based on how it looks from the curb of your home. That means if you are trying to sell your home, you must first be able to sell it from the curb. You must start with your curb, and move inward.

How is Curb Appeal Effective?

When it comes to creating a residential development and that is curb appeal helps and maintains increases property value, Residential developers have found one thing to be true. Let me say that again. It helps and maintains increase property value.

Do you live in a neighborhood that requires certain covenants? Such as: a certain style of grass, a certain style of mailbox, a certain style fence. Maybe you have restrictions such as: no vehicles on the street, no motor homes in the driveway etc. This may seem a bit harsh considering you spent a pretty penny on your home and property and then the developer puts these harsh restrictions on what you can do and how you can do it. This may seem harsh, but in reality it is not. They have learned that in order for their property value to be enhanced and maintained that curb appeal is an essential characteristic of their development. It is essential to maintain curb appeal.

Because it does indeed maintain the value and enhance of your property, it is effective.