24 April 2014

How to get your home ready: spring cleaning made FUN

via Wikimedia

Spring cleaning may be exciting for some people, but for most, it can be a drag. Between sending the kids to the sitter, coming home from work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house and getting enough sleep at night, who has time for spring cleaning anyways?

If you started thinking about it as a fun project rather than a daunting task, it may be a lot easier to spend one of your weekends focused on spring cleaning. You may find this article a little silly, and silly it may be, but do not be fooled, this actually works.

Open all the Windows and Doors

If it is spring time and you’re reading this, it is likely going to be a rainy day, or a beautiful slightly breezy sunny day. Chances are if you have planned your spring cleaning day, it should be falling on a beautiful day (if it doesn’t, we suggest rescheduling). So, what better way to embrace the beautiful fresh spring air then by opening all the windows and doors? According to UK students from the University of Sussex (2013), enjoying the sunlight, the fresh air and embracing the outdoors has actually proven to increase your happiness. Happier spring cleaners, make for happier results. Not only will you be happier while cleaning, but another researcher by the name of Mirjam Munch (2011) has actually proven that fresh air and sunlight will help increase productivity thus giving you faster and better cleaning results. In addition to the benefits fresh air and sunlight have on people, by opening all windows and doors you are also letting out the old winter dust and low air quality inside and allowing fresh air in to clean your house of the dungy winter smell.

Put on Your Comfy Clothes

It is important if you are planning on dedicating your day to spring cleaning, that you dress for the part. Do not worry about which neighbours are going to see you running around in your sweats, this day is for you. So throw on your favourite trousers and tee shirt so you can get started. Running around the house, inside and outside, all day can be quite a workout. Make sure that when selecting what clothes you are going to wear, it will be light, breathable and will not leave you hot, sticky or itchy. Any of these clothes will keep you getting up to change. It is important to stay focused on the task at hand because as soon as you remember that you’re cleaning, you’ll be right back on that sofa.

Put in Your Favourite CD

Listening to music can be a huge benefactor for many people. Have you ever heard of people listening to music while working out? Or perhaps even listening to music while studying? The reason behind it all, is because if you are listening to music you enjoy with a good beat and a good pace, it will help you gain momentum to keep going. In this case, have fun with it, your windows and doors are wide open (so make sure you select appropriate song titles), the fresh air and sunshine are flowing in, be free to be who you want, sing out loud, dance and just have fun. You may even forget that you’ve dedicated an entire day to cleaning.

Eliminate the Effort
Use a multi-purpose garden pressure washer rather than a hose

Ahhhh, the saviour has come. If you haven’t heard of the magic behind a multi-purpose pressure washer, then you have been missing out. Spring cleaning will likely include washing the car, cleaning the outside of the house walls, rinsing the deck and many other outdoor household items that are covered in winter dirt and mud. Bringing all the tools to clean each of these things can be a bigger hassle than the cleaning itself. Using a pressure washer will allow you to eliminate all of these big items and focus on just one (not to mention, they are way more fun to use).

Get the Family Involved

Knowing that you have someone there to support you can be a huge sense of relief. It is also important that you aren’t doing the cleaning alone as there may be some heavy lifting required if you’re bringing out old furniture or lifting heavy objects to vacuum under. Have more than one person involved will allow you to allocated different tasks to different people so each person will be focusing on one thing and one thing only.

Focus on one thing at a time

In continuation, it is very important to focus on one thing and only one thing. Have you ever heard of the line do one thing really, really well? If you have multiple projects on the go while you’re cleaning, it may seem like it is never ending. This is a good reason to get other people involved. If you are working on the backyard, stay in the backyard and stay there until it is finished. If you get preoccupied with another task, it may take you longer to get back into what you were originally working on.

16 April 2014

Remodeling the office


As an owner of a small editing firm, I know the importance of having a friendly and welcoming workplace for both clients any my employees. For that reason, and personal aesthetics, I decided it was time to redo the office space, and create a more open-air layout to encourage discussion and collaboration between everyone present. Studies have shown that an open environment is key to increasing productivity, and I am keen to take advantage of it.

Since my company operates mainly through the Internet, it was a given that I would start my look for a quality contractor through a basic web search. Since most of the furniture and partitions are modular, I was most interested in having an artist come in and create a mural for the large wall not encased in glass or doors (my company has a quarter of a renovated warehouse.) I had no idea of what would be a good image to use, though I am certain that anything would be better than traditional beige or eggshell white.

I finally found a site that puts clients in touch with excellent builders and painters. Find a Builder prides itself on only working with the best professionals available, and verifies the potential contractor’s good standing and portfolio before putting him or her in touch with prospective clients. This site has dozens of good contractors to choose from, and contacting any contractor you have ready access to the portfolio and history of work completed.

Building a conference room

When the mural painter arrived, we sat down and talked about the office and my profession. Before the end of the interview, we were both laughing and exchanging funny stories and potential ideas for the project. She did give me an idea – even with an open air design there exists a need to have a designated area where business can be conducted quietly. She advocated creating a small room at the corner where the two banks of windows meet. It seemed to be the perfect place for a conference room.

I decided to use her services after getting the room put in, and I decided to find a builder at the same site. Much like the last time, it was a simple process to find a great contractor for the project. With a good person selected, we settled down to get the room set up.

Since a modular design was selected due to the ease of installation, the contractor was able to install the partitions in a single evening. After moving in the conference table and wiring the new room for lights and data, I sat down and looked out. It was interesting, since so many of my clients had never set foot in the office I had never considered a conference room. However, in the ten minutes that this room has been ready, it has already been put in use by my workers. It seems that a room such as this could be very useful for those precious moments when absolute silence is needed.

Finally getting the mural painted

I called back the artist, and she was delighted with the larger area to work her trade with. We finally selected a series of books and pages, floating in a breeze. The initial sketches looked promising, and her portfolio was exquisite.

It took a week for her to get the work done, and when finished she just a photo of the completed work and backed away. The fee was reasonable, and there was no drop of excess paint anywhere. My workers were pleased with the results, and the few local clients that come into the office have all made positive comments about the changes.

The final component was rearranging the desks, and removing the old fashioned partitions that served only as a place to stick pictures of cats and children on. I took a poll of the workers, and we decided to utilize a series of long tables with plugs put in around them. Since we utilized laptops, with dedicated monitors for collaboration projects, the freedom to move around at will was invaluable.


All in all, it took a month to go from an initial idea to a new work environment. With Find a Builder, I was able to quickly find the perfect people for both projects. The two contractors were dedicated individuals, willing to go the extra mile in helping create the most effective work place environment for both me and my workers possible. During next month’s lease renewal, I am going to get permission to paint my part of the buildings outside walls. It will be an interesting project for the painter, one she had already expressed an interesting in undertaking. I could only hope she does as good a job outside, as she had on the interior.

15 April 2014

The importance of proper security in your remodeled home

When creating your ideal home, is vital to remember that it is a dangerous world out there. Between; vagrants, thieves, and never-do-wells, there are countless people who with love to walk into your home uninvited and take what is rightfully yours.

There are only two ways to prevent this. The first is to make your home look on attractive to potential thief. The problem with this is that it will also make your home unattractive to guests and your family. Not exactly the ideal way of marking your beautiful new home.

The other way is to incorporate appropriate security mechanisms into the design of your home. A good lock can be vital in creating enough hassle to discourage even the most dedicated thieves. Beyond that, higher in security systems may be of use in reducing your insurance cost due to lower risk of incidents requiring payment.

Here are a couple things look for when selecting a locksmith to install the best system possible for your home.

Pick one with good reviews

One of the most important things when working with a locksmith is to find wind as well respected within the community. A well-respected locksmith will be one that has garnered positive reviews over an extended period of time. Thanks to this, you will be certain that you receive the best work possible at the most effective price.

A good way to collect this information is to contact small businesses throughout the community and ask them who they prefer to use as a locksmith. The answers given will be indicated of who is the best in the local field.

Have an understanding of what the prices really are

If you’re not in a rush, take a moment and compare the prices for common services among different locksmiths. It is vital to understand that there is a common baseline for all services rendered due to certain overhead fees all companies must account for. Beyond that, you will encounter both labor and profit.

Be wary of both the companies that charge the least and those that charge the most. Often with these firms, something is not being handled right and your quality of service will suffer.

Understand what you wish to have done before contacting the locksmith

When contacting a locksmith, it is vital to understand exactly what you wish to have done. If you wish to have a simple bolt lock installed, the process will be considerably different in cheaper than if you wanted a high-end combination lock installed instead.

In addition, by knowing what you want to be able to negotiate the best price before finding yourself in a situation where you must agree to terms in order to have the matter concluded.

Go to a locksmithing website, and contact specialist who put you in touch with the best locksmith for you

Like most professions, there exist professional development websites that help simplify the process of connecting clients and contractors. Click here to find a website that will help you find the best locksmith in your area.

This website simplifies the process of finding the highest recommended locksmith by searching out these individuals in doing all the hard labor of verify the credentials for you. When he use a website such as this, you can rest assured that the best trained most knowledgeable professional will be dispatched to help you at a moment’s notice.


Building your dream home should be filled with only concerns about entertaining guests and family. The idea that a fresh coat of paint and a brilliantly done kitchen attracting the worst of society should be the furthest thing from your mind. By taking a few moments to properly secure your home, it is possible to help ensure that your home will not be broken into and your peace of mind never violated.

1st Metro is a proud supporter of all individuals looking to improve their homes, going the extra mile to recommend and install the most effective systems on the market. The locksmiths employed through this site are considered to be among the best trained and most knowledgeable locksmith available. You receive the best price for the best service possible.

13 April 2014

Check out in-stock cabinets.com and you will have no buyer's remorse

When a person walks into their kitchen, one of the first things that the notice is the cabinets. Basically, cabinets have the largest impact on the design of the kitchen. For this reason, it is very important for a person to get as much information about different styles of kitchen cabinets before they commit to anything. They do not want to end up regretting their decision later. What can help them to do this?

It is very important for a person to take time to see different styles of cabinets that are available. They can consult the Internet or ask salesman about the different types of designs that are available and the storage benefits that each design provides. Not only do they want to find something that is appealing to their own personal taste, but they want to find something that is going to appeal to others in the future, just in case the person decides to sell their home. They want to make sure that they take advantage of all of the space that is available in their kitchen and so they need to find cabinets that are going to allow them to do this. One very common style of cabinets that are available in most showrooms and online are white shaker cabinets. These have a very clean and classic look.

One option that a person has is to hire someone to build custom cabinets for their kitchen. Normally though, a person will buy manufactured cabinets. They will find that these are sold in various ways. Finding out all of the details having to do with this can help a person when it comes to keeping their costs down as far as the remodeling job is concerned and making sure that the appearance of the kitchen is something that they will be to their liking.

As a person begins to look around at all of the different types of cabinets that are available, they are going to see that there are many options. One of the things that they will see is that the door styles and finishes can be very different. Also, there are many extras that can be included. For example, they will be able to find cutting boards, different types of sliding shelves, corner units and then they will also see that there are cabinets for islands placed in the middle of the kitchen. Check out in-stock-cabinets.com to see all of these different options that are available.

09 April 2014

Modernizing the kitchen space in 2014


Modern kitchens are the trend in 2014. To create this appealing look it requires a bit of a renovation and some creativity. First and foremost, you need to have a vision of the space.

Creating a modern kitchen that is open, inviting and pops with color is something that is achieved by using a careful design plan.

Work with a designer and contractor that understand your vision and plan around that vision.

Color Selection

The most common colors for modern kitchens in 2014 include bright green, gray, red and a fiery orange. These colors can all be used in combination together when it is done the right way.

Creating the space where it seems that the homeowner is in touch with nature or the earth is ideal. The four colors above do just that. The idea is to keep browns, white and blue out of the kitchen this year.

Select a base color first, and then add in accents with a backsplash, colored cabinets and accessories to match. Accessories can be items such as draperies, knick knacks, brightly colored small appliances and a statement table.

Countertop Materials

Granite is out in 2014. Concrete, marble and repurposed glass are in. Granite is overused and homeowners are seeing that. Alternative countertop materials are being sought to replace this material.
When you use concrete as a countertop material, it can be dyed to be any color that you wish. Gray and black are the most common colors.

Where marble is concerned, white is the common selection. Even with white being an undesired kitchen color in 2014, it is perfectly acceptable for a countertop option. Marble is available in hundreds of colors and patterns.

Marble is also a good material to use since it does not crack when heat is applied and it is a good surface material for making pastries and other delicate products
As far as repurposed glass is concerned, this is inlaid into another material, often concrete. A clear, food-grade sealant is put over the glass to ensure that the surface is smooth and will not cause cuts or injuries. This is also seen as an eco-friendly countertop option.

Consider a Fireplace

Fireplaces that are freestanding or different in design are ideal for a kitchen space. It helps to define an eating area from a food preparation area. An open-concept fireplace does not restrict space or close off one room from another.

In order to select the ideal fireplace for the space, consider the shapes and styles available. Look at options that have a small frame or those that can be used as an insert into a fire-proofed wall. Additional information regarding the addition of a fireplace in the kitchen is readily available.

Smooth Surfaces

Smooth surfaces with clean lines are important for a modern design. What this means is that traditional wood cabinets with etching and ornate designs need to go.

Consider these options:

  • Acrylic cupboards
  • Frosted glass options
  • Smooth, painted wood
  • Painted or treated aluminum

These materials are all smooth surfaced and work perfectly in a modern kitchen setting. Some may argue that this lacks depth, but depth is created in other ways such as with a lively backsplash or other focal point.

Increased Lighting

Keeping with a modern theme, you need to create additional lighting. This is most often created by adding in larger or more windows. Natural light is the way to go in 2014.

One option is to use a large, glass garage door. This opens up the space entirely to the outdoors in the summer months for Al Fresco dining. It is an unconventional option but is modern in style and theme.
The few tips and tricks mentioned above will help you to create that ultimate modern kitchen design. It is important to use color wisely and ensure that the space remains functional.

Functionality and purpose are the most important elements of a kitchen to maintain. It is the most important room in a home to many, and is considered to be a gathering place. Create an inviting seating area along with ample prep space.

Lighting, ambiance and function are the three main items to focus on to create your modern kitchen. The addition of a free-standing or modern fireplace insert keeps the space up-to-date too.

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