25 February 2021

When choosing between natural stone and quartz composites, Vadara makes that choice a breeze

I have natural stone floors and counters in my kitchen and yes, they’re beautiful. But man oh man are they a chore to keep looking clean. My travertine floors somehow manage to hide dirt and be dirty at the same time and so we sweep them every day and mop them two or three times a week. As a bonus, last year we paid several thousand dollars to have them “refreshed.” That involved having all of the accumulated divots and cracks filled then then the whole floor was sanded and sealed.

My stone counters can’t just be wiped off when something spills. No, they have to be washed and then dried lest a dingy film develop that in turn attracts more dirt to itself. So every couple of days I wash them with soapy water, rinse them and then buff them dry.

When we settled on this house, it had a kitchen in it already that the previous owners had renovated at huge expense and it had all of the mandatories expected in a larger home in a leafy suburban neighborhood. It had a Sub-Zero, grasscloth wallpaper, oak floors, a marble fireplace and most importantly, natural stone on the floors and counters in the kitchen.

When I was a designer, I specified all of those things countless times for homes just like this one. But it wasn’t until this house that I had to live with those specs and I have to say that given the choice, I wouldn’t pick natural stone again.

I’ve always fancied myself to be a purist. I’d always dreamed of the sorts of natural stone surfaces I curse every day now. Years ago, when quartz surfaces started to show up in showrooms I scoffed at first, and I dismissed their claims of easy maintenance. “Quartz composites look fake” I used to tell myself and “I could never live with fake stuff because after all, I am a purist.” After seven years of living with the real stuff, I’m ready to start all over.

Not really, but that’ll be something for the next person who buys this house can deal with. In the meantime, I’ll keep cleaning, cursing and dreaming about some new quartz surfaces I just learned about.

KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, was a virtual event this year but despite the lack of in-person interactions, players in the Kitchen and Bath Industry still used the event to showcase their new offerings.

One of those players, Vadara Quartz Surfaces, rolled out six new patterns of their quartz composite surfaces and each of them is worth real consideration for people looking at natural marble. Marble is a classic surface but it’s notoriously difficult to live with. All it takes is a dripping bottle of olive oil left in place overnight to leave a marble counter with a permanent stain. And I mean permanent.

Vadara’s new patterns don’t have that problem because they’re quartz composites and by definition, they are impervious surfaces. As impervious surfaces and in contrast to real marble, they’re a snap to clean and to keep looking clean.

Vadara’s new colors and patterns follow. Anybody who doesn’t know better, and even people like me who do know better, would be hard pressed to tell that these colors and patterns weren’t dug out of a marble quarry in Tuscany.

  • Bella Dolce – a luminous bright white background with delicate brown and grey veining

  • Calacatta Fresco – a dimensional off-white and grey background with dynamic grey veining

  • Calacatta Oro – a dimensional off-white and grey background with dynamic brown and grey veining

  • Cascada Perla – a dimensional off-white and grey background with dynamic grey and white veining

  • Solano Bella – a dimensional off-white and grey background with delicate grey veining

  • Varenna – a luminous white background with delicate grey veining

It used to be that opting for quartz composite counters meant settling for a material that looked like a combination of terrazzo and concrete but these new patterns from Vadara put that entire conversation to rest for good.

These six patterns are nearly identical to real marble and in all candor, I’d put any of them in my home. What really knocked me off my horse is their Calacatta Oro.

Calacatta marble has always been a favorite of mine. Calacatta is a white marble that has veins of grey and varying shades of brown and gold. 

Here’s a close up of Vadara’s Calacatta Oro: 


That slab looks so much like the real thing that I want to forget about the real thing.

But as a reminder, here’s real Calacatta:


That’s nothing short of amazing.

Vadara’s full collection consists of 32 colors and each takes its inspiration from a natural stone. This material is sold as slabs and comes in two thicknesses, 2cm and 3cm. It’s cut on the same equipment and sold by the same fabricators as natural stone.

If you’re looking at natural stone for your home, you owe it to yourself to look into Vadara.

17 February 2021

Tips on DIY Bathroom Renovation


Bathroom renovation is one of the exciting DIY projects that you can embark on. If you're not sure when you should think of remodeling, check this page. But before jumping in with both feet, there are a few less exciting things to think about so that your project turns out exactly the way you envision it. 

Your artistic freedom and sense of decoration can come to the fore regardless of the size of the room. Still, the DIY remodeling of larger rooms gives you more choices, while smaller spaces need to be deprived of something.

Plan In Advance

In order to make your bathroom renovation project go as smoothly as possible, you need to take some time to plan and organize everything. The base of your project should be your vision and ideas.

Next, your plans should include the estimation of the time and costs of the project. Your budget is a significant factor which you shouldn't neglect. Although you'll do most of the job yourself, you still have to pay for furniture, appliances, decoration, etc.

Check the Current Condition

One of the first steps to take when you start planning your bathroom renovation is to check how this room looks now. Maybe it needs installation repairs, so check all plumbing fixtures for leakage. Also, make sure to inspect the electrical wirings. If they are obsolete and worn out, preventive replacement is always a better solution than emergency repair.

If everything works fine, you might just want to refresh it a bit. Some people are crazy about new trends, so they change the lighting or essentials every year. If this desire for changes hit you, take a good look at what you have at your disposal. That can bring you some savings.

Tiling by Room Requirements

Tiling is something that you should include in your bathroom remodel plan. You can choose from a wide variety of colors and dimensions. Pick something that will go well with the rest of the room. Make sure that the tiles match up with each other well, especially around your shower and tub. You don't want to install too many tiles and have the room looking crowded. 

When it comes to the faucet and shower, you can still use tile if you wish, but you might want to go with something more sleek and classy for your bathroom renovation. Some people choose glass for their sinks and tubs because it's both beautiful and durable. This material also gives a modern look, making it easy to incorporate into any design. If you choose glass for bathroom essentials, match them up with the rest of the room.

Forget about Bulky Furniture and Appliances


The idea of minimalism is generally accepted, and you can use it for bathroom renovation. It's a perfect time to get rid of bulky essentials and appliances that take up too much space and make you feel cramped.

Today, you can find smaller versions of bathroom furniture and appliances on the market. They are just as useful as the standard ones, but they take up far less space. The same goes for the tub. Consider replacing a classic bathtub with a smaller hot tub. If you place it in the middle of the room (provided you have a larger bathroom), you will feel like you are in a spa.

Think about a Vanity

If you will replace your existing sink or faucet, choose something that is both functional and beautiful. You should think about getting a vanity if you don't have it. Double or single-sink? That will depend on the size of the room. But you really don't have to waste money on double-sink vanity. Two people using sinks in the house bathroom at the same time is a rare situation.

An even better choice is a vanity with shelves. It will allow you to keep your toiletries on hand and prevent them from being hung around. The mirror is an unavoidable part of the vanity. Think about the lighting inside it or some attractive decoration.

Check the source below for tips on choosing bathroom lighting:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/deringhall/2018/06/12/7-must-read-tips-on-choosing-bathroom-lighting/ 

A complete bathroom remodeling will cost you more than just getting the basics done. That's a large DIY project, and if you don't have a budget sufficient to meet your wishes, you should always plan out your remodel in stages. That way, you'll get what you want without robbing a bank.

11 February 2021

The Guide In Finding Reliable And Affordable Plumbers In Canberra


Faulty water heater, slow draining sink, dripping faucets, leaking pipes, and much more are the problems that may happen over time, especially in old houses. However, redoing your kitchen or bathroom should be entailed by the assistance of professionals.

Instead of doing it yourself, which might inflict a problem (read more), try getting yourself one.

Finding a plumber may no longer be a problem, as many people can offer you their service. They often circulate in digital media; some offer 24/7 service, making it convenient for you to contact one of them.

However, the challenge is how do you find a plumber in your area that is reliable and affordable? How are you going to find a plumber that provides a service that can fit your budget? How would you know that they can meet your requirements as their client?

Here are the factors you need to observe and consider when finding reliable and affordable plumbers in your area:

Feedback

It is very crucial in finding the perfect plumbers for you. Having them say what they've got from a plumbing service would help you decide and know how reliable a plumber was to them. It is the safest way to rely on them since they have been with that plumber business's assistance and service.

Try asking at least some for feedback in your neighborhood. If most of your neighbors like a reputable plumber, then maybe that plumber is reliable for repairing or redoing a kitchen or bathroom since they have gained other people's trust through their service. These plumbers wouldn't recommend them if they weren't, were they?

Good Reputation

Like feedback, a good reputation can show this in reputable plumbers' sites regarding their job. Their clients often may leave a review on their site with a one to a five-star rating that might help you know what exactly they've experienced in the rest of the project. 

Once a plumber gained a good reputation, they have been known for their reliable work, making it convenient for us to decide whether we get them or not. 

Of course, it matters the most because who wouldn't want to hire a plumber with a bad reputation? We'll only consider what's good to be assured along the working process.

Experience

Experience is an essential aspect we must look upon when looking for a reliable plumber because their work isn't easy to comply with. It sometimes requires a certain degree of expertise to perform this job to give the best plumbing service. Often, experience is the best way to gain knowledge and mastery in every plumbing service. That's why always choose a plumber with many years of experience. It is guaranteed that they have been reputable for every project they have.

Also, inefficient plumbers are often charged at a lower cost than those in this field for many years already. Probably, if you're on a budget, you might consider having a plumber that is low-in-demand. However, this is an ineffective strategy, which might cost you more. Usually, the plumber is being paid for their working hours. Thus, having an inefficient plumber working for you might be insufficient to finish the project quickly; it might cost you more, instead. 

On the other hand, if you have reliable plumbers in your renovation, it will save you from repeatedly fixing and repairing faulty materials in your home; given that they are already trusted enough to deliver nothing inefficient but quality.

Completion In Equipment


One of the particular reasons why not all are capable of doing plumbing is the equipment. It is crucial to get a plumber who has complete plumbing material, (https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/plumbing10.pdf) while knowing its pros and cons. It will help decrease their working time, which is more affordable for every client. Since often, plumbers are being paid every hour. This will also help guarantee that they will complete their service on the same day as possible.

Safety

A reliable plumber must ensure safety in their work. They must know the proper safety guidelines in doing such repairing and fixing of leakages and such. This will represent how careful and dedicated they are in working on a project.

Communication Skills

This is one of the essential skills that should be had by plumbers. This symbolizes how well they collaborate with you because they can connect with you easily by communication. 

This will also show how willing they are to listen to your input as a customer, which would help in the renovation. 

Dedication

You can see this in how engaged they are in accommodating you. This helps, especially when you are still finding one, to ensure that the plumbers are happy to assist you in every circumstance throughout the renovation.

 License 

It is significant to find a plumber with a license to do work related to this kind of stuff. This kind of job is risky and might be challenging to perform. Each plumber should be licensed to ensure that they have received certification from the relevant administrations to guarantee that the clients are handled by professionals who have expertise in this field.

It will prove that they are able and they are allowed to perform this kind of service to their clients.

It will also represent that whenever any damage is done due to their neglect, it would be their handle, not ours. It is so beneficial for us, especially when we are renovating under a budget. Thus, the renovation will be under a warranty that is more effective for us.

It's convenient to get a plumber, particularly when you have no experience doing mechanical items such as repairing and fixing. Find a reputable one such as Blueline plumber; they have the professional plumbers trained with the highest knowledge and skill to be qualified. They are also responsible for making critical calculations that are much needed to maintain the water pressure so that further complications would not happen.

To ensure that no issues can arise even after several years have passed, they, therefore, even when prolonged in use, they put commitment into hard work to do all the necessary things to keep it safe and stable. Although preventing it from being broken is unlikely, they offer the best operation they can to ensure that it is properly repaired, ensuring that it won't fail soon enough. As long as it is, of course, maintained by the clients.

06 February 2021

How to Maintain a Septic Tank

Taking care of your septic system is essential for several reasons. For one, you don't want it to be out of commission at any time since it serves such an important function. Depending on where you live and the nature of the issue, you may find yourself unable to flush wastewater out for days. Not only that, but you want to keep your system in good shape since repairs and replacement can be expensive. Let's take a look at how you should care for your septic tank system.

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Pump and Inspect Regularly

Owners should make sure that septic systems are inspected every 3 years at the very least. However, many experts recommend that you have it checked every year. This is especially the case for alternative units with features like electrical pumps, switches, and mechanical parts. 

The inspection has to be performed by a certified septic service professional. These systems are usually pumped every 3 to 5 years. 

Even if you have a good system, sludge and other sediments will start building up after a while. A septic tank service will come and pump out the residue using trucks like those you'll find at satelliteindustries.com

Many factors will affect how often you should pump your system. Things like the septic tank size, your household size, the volume of solids in wastewater, as well as the amount of water the household generates will all make a difference. An inspector will be able to tell you when it would be a good idea to have the tank pumped.

Don’t Overload Your System

You want to make things as easy as possible on your septic system. All the water used by the household will go through it, so you need to start being efficient. The average person living in a single-family home will use approximately 70 gallons per day. But all it takes is one leaky or running toilet to waste an additional 200.

This is why you might need to make some modifications and change your habits. Consider adding low-flow toilets and showerheads, and aerators to faucets. Choose the right load size when doing laundry. Also, make sure that you keep your showers as short and sweet as possible. Everything you do will add up, so always find ways to save as much water as you can.

Be Careful with What You Waste

We’ve all been guilty of putting something in the toilet that shouldn't have gone down there. Even if it may seem convenient, you should never use a toilet boil as a trash can. 

For instance, many have the bad habit of dumping grease in their toilet bowl, but that's one of the worst things you can do to your septic system. Other things you should never dump in the toilet include hygiene products, prophylactics, diapers, and even things like dental floss, as it may get tangled up in some components.

These are all things you have to do if you want to keep your system healthy and in working order. It will increase its longevity and ensure that you don’t suffer a shortage at the worst time possible.


03 February 2021

Should You Choose A Specialist Or General Plumber For A Commercial Project?


The plumbing in a building is a system or a network of pipes, valves, fittings, tanks, and other fixtures that are used to supply water as well as remove waste from the building. It most times also includes the heating, cooling, and gas supply systems. Its purpose is to collect, convey, distribute and remove water or other fluids around and from a building.  

The type and size of the plumbing system in a building is dependent on the structure and size of the facility but most plumbing involves two main subsystems. These are the supply subsystem and the drainage-vent-waste subsystem.

Plumbing follows the principles of gravity, pressure, water level, and so on. It can be very complex to understand for the layman so it requires specialization. It is critical to sanitation and in the broader sense to public health. With the benefits of the supply of safe water and good sanitation comes the risk of cross-connections, contamination of water, scalding, or thermal shock. For this reason, getting the right professional plumber to work on a building is quite important. You can see this article for more on this.

Common issues that can be encountered with a plumbing system include leaks and drips, low pressure of water, a malfunctioning system, rust, smelly water, contamination, blockage, and many others. While some of this may be fixed without the help of a professional, it is advisable to call a plumber to fix it. If not done properly and with the right tools, the situation may be worsened.

A system that is professionally designed will have fewer issues. This coupled with using materials of high quality will ensure that your system encounters fewer problems. 

Types of Plumbers


When it comes to plumbers, there are different types as well as different specialties. The most common are residential and commercial plumbers. Some specialize in one of these two but most plumbers are often able to handle these two types of projects. There are also general contractors who work on any project which can be residential, commercial, public, or other spaces. They can also offer services such as gas fitting, installing HVAC systems, and so on. Some may only do installations while some do repairs and servicing.

Specialist plumbers are those who are experts at installing or repairing specific types of plumbing. Examples of these can be drainage and sanitary plumbers, gas fitters, water plumbing for fire protection systems and irrigation, roof plumbers, etc. You can check this link https://mayfairplumbing.com.au for more information.

Plumbing systems typically perform the same functions whether they be residential, commercial, or any other type. No matter the system, it should be able to deliver clean water and remove waste.

Commercial Plumbing

A commercial plumbing project involves working largely on commercial buildings or facilities that people tend to use quite often. These can include places such as offices, parks, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, malls, etc. it also includes any structure that requires large and industrial-grade pipes and outlets. Plumbing for high-rise residential buildings may also qualify as commercial because the system is designed in a way that accommodates several users at the same time. While the scope of work for a residential plumber is similar to that of a commercial one, it involves certain differences that are quite important.

Commercial plumbing has a large scope of work which requires the use of more pipes, faucets, toilets, showers, and heating systems. All these or most of it have to at some point be connected and need to be available 24 hours. They also must not fail. Considering a hotel with several floors for example and with hundreds of rooms.

The plumbing systems need to be top-notch and must be able to support a high level of usage from several people. Plumbers in this system must account for gravity as well as water pressure. They must ensure that no matter the floor level, the water pressure stays the same or come with a very negligible difference.

A key feature of commercial plumbing is its safety requirements. As it is for public use, this kind of system is subjected to higher levels of safety standards. Also, in a commercial system, the plumbing issues that might be encountered can vary greatly.

For example in a high-rise building, an issue on a particular floor can be a result of another issue on a totally different floor which can interestingly be the consequence of another issue. For this reason, commercial plumbers are often prepared to handle multiple issues during maintenance.

What Type of Plumber Should You Use For a Commercial Project?

As can be seen above plumbing is a very critical aspect of any building and not the least a commercial structure. If it is not properly done, it will result in a lot of issues for the owners of the structure. Maintenance will be difficult, costly, and time-consuming not to talk of the fact that you may not get a permanent solution to the issues. 

It is essential that you get the plumbing right from the start of the project. When the building is complete and in use, it is always more difficult to fix these issues. To this end, which type of plumber is best for a commercial project?

The type of plumber you use is neither here nor there. While a commercial plumber can serve as a specialist in handling commercial projects, oftentimes, most plumbers have the capacity to handle different kinds of plumbing projects.

What you should be more concerned about is if the plumber you are engaging can do the job. Are they experienced, licensed, insured and can they deliver what you desire whether they be a specialist or general plumber? You can find information in this guide on choosing a commercial plumber.

Conclusion

The plumbing system is critical to the survival of users of any building. It is also important for public health as a bad or poorly installed system is a recipe for issues and serious health disasters. This is why it is important to get it right from the start of building construction especially when it is a commercial structure. As long as the plumber has the requisite knowledge, licenses and can deliver a good job and follow city codes, you can choose them.

02 February 2021

The Many Benefits of Timber Frame Homes

 


A home is one of the places that people spend a lot of their time. It is where you relax, be yourself, de-stress and generally let your hair down. For this reason, it is essential that wherever you call home is a place of beauty that you are satisfied and happy with. This means that your home must be welcoming.

There are several ways of constructing a home and also a variety of materials that can be used such as bricks, clay and of course timber. While every building type has its strengths and advantages, custom timber homes are of a special kind.

What are Timber Frame Homes?

These are the kind of homes that use frame structures made with wooden beams and large posts and are attached by wooden pegs or any other type of decorative joinery. These kinds of homes are a popular choice for people who love to self-build.

Typically, the walls of a timber house are positioned outside the timber framing leaving them exposed for visual and aesthetic effects. These framings are strong and they are well established forming the basis of the building and this can last for several years. You may read more from here.

Advantages of Timber Frame Homes


There are lots of benefits when it comes to timber frame construction. It is strong enough that the structure does not need load-bearing walls to cut through the house. This means that it can be designed in any way that you desire. It comes with factory standards and a fast build time. Its skeleton can be decorated or covered in any way that you like meaning that the house can fit in anywhere or look like any other home style. Below are further advantages of this kind of building.

They Use Natural and Sustainable Material

A major concern for a lot of people is the impact that their home will have on the environment. Timber is a natural material and it is abundantly available and renewable. This means that it is sustainable as long as trees are planted for every one that is felled. It is also environmentally friendly, and it does not contribute to the carbon footprint nor does it cost a lot to the environment.

Timber can also be recycled. It is safe to use and handle, it is non-toxic and will not leak any chemical vapor into the building. Also, there is little or no waste during its construction.

Besides, timber is often milled and used close to where it is cut and produced. This helps to promote local economies. You can read more on this here https://www.buildersmerchantsnews.co.uk/10-benefits-of-using-timber-frame-building/44552

They Are Versatile

Timber frame homes are versatile that is, there is a large variety of designs that they can be constructed in. They may be traditional or contemporary and when it comes to spacious open designs, they are right up there. Due to their flexibility and the fact that they are lightweight, they are easy to install. They can suit most projects whether it is a new one or an extension. They may as well be built in a way that blends in with the predominant style in the area they are located. If you so which, they can be made to stand out.

Timber also come in different shades, colors, and textures due to different trees having differing characteristics. This adds to the aesthetics and overall beauty of the house.

They Reduce Overall Costs of Building


One critical part of building construction is its budget and cost. It can be quite worrying when delays happen and the budget is threatening to get out of hand or beyond what was projected. When using timber, you can accurately predict your costs and budget.

For this kind of construction, poor weather hardly impacts its construction as most of the work is done off-site in a workshop that is clean and dry. With this sort of controlled conditions, the budget is predictable and with no surprises along the way. 

They Are Quick to Build

The construction of timber frame houses require a dry process shielded from external elements that may delay the work. When this is done, it is then transferred to the site where everything is put together in a matter of days. All these mean that other workers and tradespeople can come in sooner to do their jobs. They do not have to wait weeks for the building to dry out.

With this, the build time can be decreased up to a third of what it will take in an average brick structure. Also, construction can be done almost any time of the year.

They Are Thermally Efficient

Because wood has natural insulating properties, timber homes make for thermally efficient ones. It gives room for more insulation and helps to keep warm as well as comfortable when compared to conventional forms of building. Also when compared to other materials like steel and concrete, it has better insulating properties. This means that it requires less energy for cooling or heating the house resulting in lower energy bills for you.

They Are Long Lasting and Easy to Maintain

Timber is a tough and durable material that can withstand most weather elements and last for a long time. Some wooden structures can last for hundreds of years although over time they may change color slightly. Wooden homes are also easy and cheap to maintain.

Finding a Timber Frame Supplier

Several companies produce custom timber homes. They may either design, build as well as erect the structure or they provide the frames so that you can self-build. The choice is usually up to you. To get a good supplier you should get different quotes and compare them. When doing a comparison, ensure that the quotes have commensurate specifications.

After narrowing down your options, you should visit the company at their factory to discuss details of the construction with them. You should also take the opportunity to see the materials they will be using. Finally, ask about the time frame that it will take for the frames or the building to be ready.

Conclusion

Timber frame homes are great structures that come with plenty of benefits. If you are looking to get one, then you are in good company and have made the right choice. Do not forget to carry out due diligence so that you can choose reliable and experienced suppliers.


01 February 2021

Home Staging Tips and Tricks That Really Work

With the decision to put your house on the real estate market comes a lot of anxiety. While there are many reasons for emotional turmoil during the home sale process, many owners have a concern that the potential buyers won't find their property attractive enough. 

According to ISoldMyHouse.com, one of the best ways to make sure that doesn't happen is by making your residence look fantastic. Let's explore the tricks for staging your property for viewings that'll make people fall in love with it.

Points of Focus

Not every room counts the same towards a successful staging. Focus your time and energy in rooms that are most likely to influence buyer decisions, spending less on areas that don't make much of a difference. Pay the most attention to:

  • The living room
  • The kitchen 
  • The master bedroom
  • The bathrooms

Guest and children's bedrooms make much less of a difference. You can even leave them as is if they're in good condition.

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Depersonalizing the Space

Remember the objective of a home staging while planning your tasks. You want to make your house look beautiful while disregarding preferences in favor of a more impersonal look. 

The idea is to help prospective buyers see the space as their own. So, your goal is to turn the property into a stylish, charming blank canvas

Remove Personal Possessions

You might feel that the portraits lining the stairs make your place feel more like home, but the buyer doesn't want to be reminded that the house belongs to you. So, put photos and memorabilia out of sight, keep clothes in closets, and clear the bathroom of personal items.

Declutter

Space sells. Decluttering not only helps depersonalize but also makes your home seem more spacious. While you don't have to get rid of everything, remove: 

  • Non-seasonal clothes
  • Your small decor items
  • Papers, books, games
  • Cleaning supplies not for everyday use

Remember that buyers open your closets to check out the storage space. If the drawers are hard to close due to everything you keep inside, they'll see much less potential in the property as a whole. 

Clean Up

Spring cleaning has nothing on the amount of work you should put in making your house 100% pristine before the first viewing. You want everything to shine, from the corners to the baseboards and the ceiling. 

A tidy home suggests you took good care of it. Think about deep cleaning everything, and pay special attention to the tasks you usually neglect.

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Open and Light

Another feature that attracts buyers is freshness. A deep clean should take care of any residue odors, but you should also take out the trash before a showing. Add an air freshener and put some plants here and there to promote a feeling of cleanliness and openness. 

Make It Bright

Dark rooms look small, sad, and uninviting. So, the first thing to do is brighten it up by letting in natural light sources. Opening the blinds makes the rooms appear more spacious, too!

Then, turn on all the lights, including those in the closet and the lamps. The home will seem more welcoming, and the buyers will see the lighting setting potential, creating ideas about how they'd arrange it once they buy the house.

Rearrange the Furniture

You might quite like your current arrangement, but try to look at it with a critical eye. Is there enough walkable space?

The idea of furniture rearrangement is to open the rooms, make them easier to navigate and help buyers imagine their pieces in place of yours. 

If there are extra chairs and tables around, especially damaged ones, remove them. When you're left with the basics, arrange the furniture with a minimalist and spacious aesthetic in mind. 

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The Bottom Line

Finally, remember that home staging doesn't require a massive investment. As long as you make smart, strategic decisions, you'll boost the appeal without paying a penny. 

Consult with your agent if you're unsure which changes are necessary, and present your home in the best light. You'll sell in much less time and face fewer issues down the line, making these tasks worth the trouble.

22 January 2021

Tips to Know During Your First Remodel

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

Home remodeling can be an exciting experience, but it hides many surprises that the average homeowners need to be aware of. From choosing the right contractor, picking the best design fixtures and matching colors, to doing an after-renovation cleanup, all these can be quite overwhelming. 

We've rounded up the four most important tips that will help you prepare for your first home remodeling project. 

Plan Your Remodel Carefully 

More often, it's easy to jump into a home renovation project, but it's hard to quantify the hurdles you'll have to face along the way. Planning your renovation will help you see the bigger picture before getting started. 

The first step is to map your goals so you can specify the scope of the remodeling project. For example, you may want to remodel the kitchen and the living room first or the roof and the exterior alone. A plan will also help you estimate the remodeling cost, choose the right contractor company, and even select the finishes and fixtures needed.

From here, you can choose a spare space, either indoors or outdoors, to move your belonging. More often, homeowners will set aside a renovation free-zone to continue living in the same home while remodeling continues in the other rooms.  

You should also create a master list detailing what needs to be done, when, how, and by whom. The idea is to have a clear overview of the steps involved in the remodeling process. However, it doesn't have to be detailed, like the one used by your contractor.

Another critical step is to get a permit from the local authorities. This is particularly true if you are looking to sell your home in the foreseeable future. A home that's remodeled without a permit is most likely to violate the building and safety standards, for example, the national electrical codes. Finally, put measures in place to protect your pets and kids, if any. 

Be Part of the Whole Exercise 

As a homeowner, you have two options. You can let the contractor do his job and just hang around until the whole project is over, or you can choose to be part of the remodeling process. With the latter, you have the option to specify further how you want your new home to look, from the color options to design features and everything in between.

Watching the remodeling process one at a time can be fun, but that will mean you have to take the days off your job, which can be somewhat impractical. Instead, make time to visit the place at least once or twice a week. Give a helping hand, discuss the remodeling process, get to know what works, and check whether the new additions meet your remodeling expectations. 

For example, you may realize that the new windows are letting in too much light, hence the need to make a few changes to accommodate your taste and preferences. However, you should not be a headache to your contractor, always proposing corrections that might compromise the entire project's integrity. 

Expect the Unexpected 

For your first remodeling project, be ready to face challenges you didn't expect. Your contractor may delay to complete the renovation in time due to unavoidable circumstances, for example, failed inspections, weather changes, sick leave, etc. 

To avoid frustrations, always lower your expectations and embrace an open mindset. You can also avoid procurement delays by working with local suppliers who are competent in their work. Also, make it a routine to follow up with your local authorities on inspections to avoid undue delays.  

You can also minimize these challenges by consulting far and wide and modeling solutions to the most probable remodeling hurdles. 

Schedule Cleanup

Every renovation or remodeling project will lead to lots of waste materials, most of which will be difficult to clean on your own. It's easy to overlook the importance of post-renovation clean up until the work is complete, and your contractors leave a heap of clutter in the living room. Common remodeling waste like wood scraps, concrete waste, dust, trash, and debris require proper cleaning, which can be hectic if you lack hands-on experience. 

Working with a residential trash collection service will make the whole process painless, seamless, and fast. However, it's essential to choose the right company and communicate with the cleanup personnel in advance. This will avoid undue delays and inconveniences, for example, cleaning services spanning a couple of days and even weeks. 

Closing Comments 

Whether you are remodeling a few rooms or your entire home, it's critical to plan the whole project. This will put you in a better position to speculate challenges and work on their solutions, so the remodeling becomes a success. 

The four steps highlighted above allow you to proceed with the remodeling while paying attention to what matters the most., i.e., meeting your remodeling expectations while minding your safety and that of your loved ones. 

18 January 2021

10 Concepts Of Custom Home Builders And Custom Home Designs


The biggest joy of building a custom home is that every feature that you add is uniquely designed to suit your requirements. In such a house, every detail is customized exclusively for you. For a custom home builder, it means they get to try out their creativity on the way to build dream nests.

If you wish to integrate your vision, needs, and wishes to enhance your lifestyle at home, this article can act as a handy guide to choose the best inspirational home designs on a limited budget.

Go ahead and read about the ten amazing and inspirational custom home design ideas to try in your newly-built house:


#1. Amazing Walk-in Master Closet

You often dreamt about building a spacious master bedroom that comes with a walk-in master closet that is easier to accommodate his or her clothes, shoes, etc. This could be a private area and can be practical depending on your desire. 

In a customized closet you can check the identical cabinets, drawers, and space to hang clothes. Several builders such as victoreric.com custom home builders provide you with the option of a well-designed and organized closet that helps to eliminate the requirement of the growing wardrobe.

#2. Well-Equipped Kitchen

No matter where you live having a well-equipped kitchen is the focal point for all social gatherings especially if you love to cook and wear the chef hat. A spacious large island with a huge seating capacity to encourage socializing while you cook. 

The expert builders encourage the addition of high-end appliances, more than one sink, ample space on the counter-top, and huge storage.

#3. Angled Windows

In the current year, something which is in high trend is angled transom windows to reflect the sloping roof for a consistent look.

#4. Dual-Facing Fireplace Wall

A unique fireplace wall to provide partial separation between the kitchen and the family room without eliminating the open layout. The dual-facing fireplace extends sightlines, adds amazing ambiance. 

We will like you to add a small built-in bench to provide additional seating. However, the choice of the fireplace is also a big matter of consideration - read here about the best fireplace options for your house.

#5. Two-Entrances to Shower

Currently, every customized home design expert inspires the new buyers to have full his-and-hers bathrooms with vanity, toilet, and walk-in closets. Connecting both the spaces with a unique walk-in shower and catty-corner entry makes the house more unique.


#6. Having a Wine Room

To have a wine room, you do not need to be a wine connoisseur. The builders these days suggest the installation of elegant wine cellars with ample space to store, displaying vintage wines to the bar like seating arrangement can be a great option.

#7. Tile Type Bath Mat

A wood-like tile floor will offer your dream house an eye-catching alternative to the traditional bath mat. So, we advise you to build an intricate tile inset bath mat for a different look.


#8. High-Windows

No matter where you build your home in a busy colony or somewhere secluded, privacy is something we all desire. So, having high, narrow windows along the dining room to ensure ample daylight without sacrificing privacy. If you feel high windows are a trouble to clean, here are some quick tips for the future.

#9. Open Kitchen Shelves

This is indeed a new option and quickly gaining popularity among the people who love to cook. Open kitchen shelves provide quick access to often-used cooking materials, ensure more storage capacity without overwhelming your kitchen with too many cabinets.

#10. Customized Kitchen Cabinets

Like the way we want to keep your dream kitchen clutter-free similarly, we support the installation of custom cabinets to hide certain materials as well. It is better to select a warm-yet modern vertical-grain for your cabinets. So, combine the tailor-made cabinets with built-in open shelves to extend the overall look.

Wrapping Up

If you are ready to build a dream house, custom home builders can help you etch out such inspiration to suit your requirements. The tailored designs are always exclusive to the home and surroundings. 

They are tailor-made designs to make every house appear unique without intermingling too many ideas and leave behind much space for yourself. For a clutter-free look, try out these unique ideas or talk with the experts!