The Best Home Improvements to Do This Winter

Winter brings with it cold and usually wet weather, the Christmas spirit and dark evenings. But it also gives you a chance to get on with those long-awaited home improvements. Because the weather outside might not be so great, there is a good chance you’ll be spending most of your time inside. So instead of sitting on the sofa watching endless box sets, why not spend the time making some changes to improve the interior of your home. Here are some of the things you can do:

Check Toilet Water Consumption:

In every toilet tank, there are several components that control water consumption. The fill valve controls how much water each flush uses. The flapper should stop water from passing through the bottom orifice unless intentionally flushed. Be sure neither part is leaking and that the fill valve is set to fill with the least amount of water needed for a good flush. If there are any leaks, then it may be worth calling in a plumber. Searching for one by doing an area search, such as ‘plumbers London’ for example, is probably the best way to find one.

Clean Carpets:

Many homeowners and businesses clean their carpets before the winter festivities for when family will be attending or they will be having lots of traffic in their shop. It’s advised to have your carpets cleaned every 6-8 months to keep them in good condition and lasting long. Always remember to ask your carpet cleaners to re-apply stain protection after carpet cleaning.

Caulk Gaps:

Gaps and cracks in any home can cause greater heating and air bills as well as entry points for pests. Caulk and caulk-saver insulation are two perfect tools for filling these. Check around trim, under sinks, around appliances, and the water heater. Fill all holes to ensure your money doesn’t blow out the door and pests don’t come in.

Clean Gutters:

A home’s gutters are an important part of its external ability to handle water. When they get clogged, not only do they pose the threat of flooding water, but they can also become a perfect home for many insect pests. Have a Colorado seamless gutters specialist check for debris and remove it as necessary.

Insulate Doors:

Doors often allow their own gaps that can’t always necessarily be caulked. Self-adhering insulation strips are great option for the sides and the top. For gaps at the bottom, try installing a simple, yet adequately sized door-sweep.

Check Aerators:

Every faucet in your home should have an aerator. This is the threaded piece of metal where the water actually comes out of the tip of the spout. It is possible that there are more efficient aerators than what you are using. Replace these to save on those water bills. Also, if an aerator is leaking around its threads, it should be tightened or replaced.

Paint:

Paint serves many great purposes for the surfaces around the home. In all cases, paint essentially creates a surface barrier, shielding the material from degradation and damage. Painting can make your home more energy efficient, protect it from weather and insects, and even add to property value. Paint needy surfaces before they need replacement.

The Beni Ourain Moroccan Rug

Woven in Morocco by artisans from a small number of distinct Berber communities, these rugs are notable for their simple designs and monochromatic color scheme. To be viewed as “authentic” by sellers, the berber rug must be handwoven in the traditional fashion out of white and black wool from sheep raised in the Atlas mountain range. Traditionally the Berber rug was useful to the tribes not just for aesthetic reasons, but because it could serve as a bed covering, a sleeping mat, and (on certain occasions) as a burial shroud. Because the rugs were originally intended to keep their owners warm in the harsh environment of the Atlas mountain range, they are supple and heat-trapping, regardless of the fact that the modern Western rug owner may not have need of these characteristics.

The 17 Moroccan communities that weave these kinds of rugs are collectively known as the “Beni Ourain tribe”. These Moroccan communities reside primarily in the Atlas Mountain range, where they would traditionally live their lives as semi-nomadic sheep and goat herders. In their spare time they would weave rugs from the wool of these animals, both for aesthetic and practical purposes. The Beni Ourain rug is a particularly interesting kind of rug because the two kinds of wool it uses are undyed. Rather than tainting the wool with pigments to get a darker color, artisans from the Beni Ourain tribe simply use wool from a black sheep. These sheep are a special breed that are priced especially for their soft wool, and are primarily only seen in the Atlas mountain range.

The Beni Ourain rug that we now know has its origins in the 7th century. Historically the rugs were primarily woven by women, who would hand-knot the wool in order to make the geometric patterns that are so distinct to this kind of rug. These artisan women would often choose to incorporate aspects of their lives into the designs of the rugs. The images woven into a traditional Beni Ourain rug would often refer to natural events, births, spiritual occurrences, or be symbolic of more abstract ideas such as fertility and femininity. Occasionally the rugs would not depict the life of the weaver, but rather that of one of her ancestors.

The simple geometric designs of the rugs made them particularly popular in the West after the advent of the modernist movement in art, which admired and drew inspiration from the sleek designs of these rugs. When the modern movement in interior design took hold around the mid-1900s, these rugs saw an explosion in popularity in the West due to their capacity to complement the more minimalist design that was in fashion at the time. This demand still continues to this very day.

Today, most Beni Ourain rugs sold on the internet are antiques made in the mid-1900s. Very few rugs made later than that are made through the traditional method by artisans in Morocco, though many companies create rugs that seek to emulate the Beni Ourain style.

What Services to Expect from an Air Conditioning Repair and Installation Company

You air conditioning system is a significant investment and its repair and installation are extremely important. If you do not do proper research on their services, you could be paying someone for poor work or overpaying a person for the basic task.

Here are the few basic services that can be expected from an air conditioning repair and installation company:

Learn the Basics and do research

Firstly, you have to do some research. Familiarize yourself with the air conditioning company and understand them.  Understanding the services offered by the company will help you in becoming more confident when you try to diagnose the potential problems.

Know The Experience

You should understand about the amount of experience about the air conditioning service provider in general. You can check about it by contacting them directly or checking their website.

Understand about the services

The companies offer a variety of services in installation and repair. The instruments involve Central air units, High-velocity units, multi-zone cooling units, ductless split system, thermostat and air cleaners, whole house filter systems etc. They also do the humidification and dehumidification of these air conditioning units.

Approach to Company’s Service

You should always take into account the company’s approach to service. Check whether they simply go about repairs or do they actually take the time to show you what is causing the malfunction, as well as explain potential reasons behind the breakdown. The best service providers educate their customers or clients properly so they too can do their bit in the preservation of the unit and the prevention of costly repairs in the future.

Check about home services

Several companies provide home services also. However, for home services, see if they clean up after themselves. ACs can leak murky water because they have not been cleaned in a long time. Also check whether the AC repair service cleans the trail of dirty water to prevent accidents, or as a way of acknowledging and respecting that you do your best to keep your home pristine?.

Check Whether Rates are justified

You should do a thorough check of the air conditioning repair and installation services in every aspect. The first thing is that whether rates are fair and the cost of every aspect of their service is justified.

 Preventive Maintenance & other Services

The air conditioning companies can repair any type of AC system and provide preventive maintenance to avoid repairs. They also help to prolong the life of your air conditioner, improve its performance and help it run more efficiently and economically with our maintenance programs.

The services may differ from company to company and it ranges from cleaning, washing, purifying, humidification and dehumidification. Whatever the services are, all depends on how effectively they are managed by these companies. With time passing by, energy efficiency has become so important and hence various professionals can help you to replace the represent AC system with a new one and in turn provides cooling, comfort, and savings.

Deciding on Your Custom Closet Design

Have you decided that your closet just isn’t working for you anymore? Maybe you’ve been trying to cram things into it for so long that you really aren’t sure what you even want anymore. Maybe you’ve stopped using your closet because it’s just not working for what you need. No matter what you’ve decided, you want to make sure that you’re not going to continue wasting that space, right? So what do you do? Well the best thing that you can do is figure out how you can make that closet work for you and what it will take to get things started.

Mapping Your Ideas

If you’re thinking you want to build a custom closet Fayetteville GA you’re going to want to look at all of your options. That’s because you’re going to want that custom closet to look exactly the way you’ve always wanted and to provide you with all of the services and capabilities that you’ve been looking for. It requires you to do a little research and some hard work to figure out what’s going to help you and your family the most, because if you’re designing one closet, you might want to design the rest of them too.

Take a look at the amount of stuff that you have and think about how you would best organize it if you could. Would you prefer to have more hanging space or some space for folded items? Are you even looking to use your closet for clothes or would you rather use it for storage? There are a number of different things that you should be considering and definitely that you need to work on before you make any kind of permanent or final decision. The purpose of that closet is the most important one.

Hiring a Professional

Once you know what you need your closet to be used for and you’re pretty sure what you’re going to do with it or want to do with it you want to make sure that you are speaking with a professional. They’ll be able to tell you what is and isn’t possible and they’ll be able to start making up all the designs and getting everything ready for you to get that closet you’ve been wanting. It’s just going to take some finalization and the okay from you for them to get started.

Keep in mind that a professional is going to be able to do just about anything that you want, but the amount of money that you’re able to spend may be the limit on your choices. For example, a professional can make your closet any size that you want in order to accommodate different features, but it might require things like rewiring your electrical or moving windows, which could cost more money. You want to keep all of these things in mind when you’re working on your design and your professional is definitely going to help you understand what it’s going to take, just make sure you’re taking a look at this to help you out.

Choosing a Double Glazing Company

All trades people do not provide the same quality of service. You have to do your own verification, checks and vetting to find the right company. This holds true even when looking for a double glazing company. Do not be blinded by flashy advertisements. Someone has to pay for those advertisements and it is you – the end consumer. You should rather concentrate on choosing a double glazing company that meets industry standards and is known to deliver on its promises.

Registered and Licensed

This is the first and most basic thing to check. The contractor should not be a handyman offering all types of services. Deal with a registered and licensed company that specialises in installations of double glazed glasses.

FENSA, BBA, BSI

FENSA is the industry standard when it comes to reliable double glazing companies in the UK. You are assured of high level of protection when you deal with a FENSA registered company. Check a company’s claim of being FENSA registered because some companies claim this registration but they do not have it. Visit FENSA website and check a company’s registration detail yourself. Check for quality accreditations from BBA (British Board of Agrement) and BSI (British Standards Institute). It will save you lots of trouble when you deal with a double glazing company that is accredited and approved by these vetting agencies.

Workmanship Guarantee

You cannot depend solely on double glazed glass manufacturer’s warranty. Installations of double glazing glasses require use of not only the glasses but also sealant, hinges and other items. The double glazing company must provide its own warranty on workmanship. If in doubt, ask about these details beforehand. Ask what type of guarantees and warranties you will be receiving on all products and services. Does the guarantee cover hinges, rubber seal strips and sealants?

Deal with a Local Company

Internet makes it easy to order products sold in other parts of the country. However, if the product you receive is defective, it can be a big problem to get it returned and replaced. A local double glazing company is nearby. Its window installation technicians understand specific requirements of local homeowners. They are aware of local building codes. A local company that is registered, licensed and accredited gives you complete peace of mind.

Ask People Who Have Used Services of This Company

This is one of the best ways you can avoid being fleeced. Enquire with your family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues. What was their experience of using services of this company? Were they charged reasonably? Did they have to pay hidden charges? Does the company provide good after sales service? These are some simple questions that will help you determine the best double glazing company in your area.

Follow these simple tips to ensure your double glazing glass installation project is a success.

The Best Sheets for Your Mattress

Now that you’ve purchased that new mattress set you want sheets that are going to further complement them. What Should you look for? What factors are important? There are only a few things you need to do to totally nail picking out the sheets of your dreams in order to dress that new mattress set.

Thread Cont vs. Quality Cotton

Thread count is the number of threads that are used to weave the sheets per square inch. Most people think that thread count is the ultimate determining factor of how soft and smooth a set of sheets will feel on your skin but this is not true. Sheets with a high thread count can still miss the mark when it comes to that soft smooth buttery feel if they are not from high-quality cotton. There are two kinds of cotton that are considered top of the line: they are 100 percent Egyptian cotton and Supima cotton. If the tags on your sheets simply read 100 percent cotton it is safe to assume that it is American upland cotton and is rougher and less expensive. The shorter cotton fibers found in the upland cotton fray and become course much easier.

Percale or Sateen?

This question has no right or wrong answer. It is truly a matter of taste and preference. Percale sheets are plainer with more of a matte finish and a cooler feel. These sheets are a good choice for anyone that tends to get hot and has night sweats because these sheets will probably keep you cooler than the alternate Sateen. Sateen sheets, on the other hand, are softer, smoother, and heavier with a slight shine. If you are not sure which you’d prefer to try, look at swatches of both to get a better idea.

What about the kids?

Both Sateen and Percale sheets can be costly. For this reason, you may want a less expensive option that still feels great for the kids. Consider a cotton polyester blend. The sheets will still feel soft and smooth but will not cost anywhere near what the other two would. Generally, these sheets have Easy Care on the label indicating that they hold up well to frequent washing. Even if you’re looking for new Quality Mattresses For Sale in Baton Rouge LA for the children, less expensive sheets should still do the trick for them.

That new mattress set should be dressed in sheets that are going to allow you rest more comfortably. Invest in the type of sheets that are going to best serve your preferences and your pocketbook. Don’t just go by thread count because thread count alone can be misleading. Make sure to check the type of cotton as well. Choose either Sateen or Percale based purely on your preferences and comfort level. Neither one is a better sheet than the other. Last but not least, don’t forget about the kids. They deserve the luxury of having soft smooth sheets too and a nice polyester cotton blend should be all that’s needed to give them that same soft smooth feel.

Uses for Decorative Glass

Decorative glass is often used in church windows and many people are starting to see the beauty of using it at home as well. There are many uses for this type of glass and it has much aesthetic value that can add beauty to one’s surroundings.

Fanlights and Doors

Two popular uses for decorative glass include fanlights and doors. Both leaded and bevelled glass are often used to create beautiful designs. These multi-faceted pieces of glass conduct the light in a way that makes it seem as if the glass is moving. Prism designs are often used in decorative windows that only serve to enhance a home’s lighting.

Leaded glass designs bring a touch of elegance to homes that might otherwise lack this quality. The overlay technique is used to create leaded decorative glass Naples Fl designs. This technique involves taking the materials used to make the glass and applying it where needed. As a result of the technique used to create leaded glass, fanlights and doors that are made with it provide better insulation due to their thickness and are stronger and more durable.

Homeowners have a lot of freedom when it comes to using leaded glass. Abstract art deco, floral and religious designs can all be created using this type of glass. Leaded glass windows can have frosted glass and decorated frames or can include standard glass and the frosted variety. Foyers are often enhanced by leaded glass, especially when the sun is at the right angle to cone into the house through the door.

Entry Doors

It is also common to use decorative glass for entry doors. Frameless doors often contain decorative glass which is generally tempered or laminated in order to make them safer. Inserts are often used to ensure the stability of the glass in the door. Partitioned glass designs are also often used in enty doors as well as internal doors to create unique home decor.

Faux Stained Glass Windows

For homeowners that aren’t completely committed to using decorative glass, having faux stained windows installed is an option. This makes the top portion of the window consist of stained glass while the rest of the window remains normal.

Wet Bars

Those who entertain guests in their home often have their own wet bar. Even this part of the house can be enhanced using decorative glass. Homeowners can have their decorative bar mirrors custom made to help them honor their favorite sports team or musician. They can also choose to have one personalized with their own name. Placing soft lighting behind the decorative glass adds to its aesthetic value and makes it more unique.

Conclusion

No matter how one chooses to use decorative glass to give their home its own personal touch they will be able to do so. The beauty and delicacy of decorative glass has become just as popular in some homes as it is in churches all over the world. Its long lasting legacy is something not likely to fade away soon.

Chef’s Choice 1520 Electric Knife Sharpener Review

When you want to buy the best knife sharpener that you can get, there are few options that you can actually consider. One of them should definitely be the Chef’s Choice 1520 Electric Knife Sharpener, a product that can be used with chef’s knives, Santoku Knives, bread Knives, hunting Knives, fillet Knives and pocket knives.

For approximately $170, one can buy one of the best Chef’s Choice sharpener versions: a product that is versatile, durable, sturdy and full of great features.

What does the Chef’s Choice 1520 have to offer?

Its elegant design, the three sharpening stages and its small size are the first three things that you will observe when looking at it for the first time. It is available in white, black and metal; it only weighs 4.15 Ibs and has a 10-inch length.

After taking a closer look at this product, you will also see that it is versatile; it comes with 100% diamond abrasives and flexible polishing disks.

It can be used for double-bevel and single-bevel knives, it can shape and sharpen 15-degree and 20-degree edges and it can even convert a 20-degree blade into a 15-degree one. More than that, it can sharpen single-sided knives, as well as serrated ones.

This device can help you sharpen dull knives in less than 1 minute. Resharpening or stropping only takes about 10 seconds, which is amazing!

The electric sharpener has a start button with a classic shape and it can be started with just one push. All you have to do to sharpen or hone your knife is to choose the right stage, start the machine and slide the blade of the knife through the slot a few times, starting from its base.

From a technical point of view, this unit is simple and can resist for years. It is equipped with an advanced spring guide system that lets you control the sharpening process effortlessly. The great thing about it is that you can use it with both thick and thin knives, regardless of their types: European, American or Asian.

Thanks to its diamond abrasives, the sharpening takes place in a subtle, soft way and leaves the blade sharp, shiny and smooth, with a flawlessly polished edge.

The Chef’s Choice 1520 knife sharpener is designed with functionality and ease-of-use in mind. Here’s how its stages are structured:

  • 1st stage – suitable for Asian knives (two slots – left and right)
  • 2nd stage – suitable for European and American Knives (two slots – left and right)
  • 3rd stage – suitable for stropping and polishing (two slots – left and right)

The left and right slots are useful for two-sided knives, while one-sided blades can be sharpened using only one of the slots.

The third stage includes a manual clean/dress system that is useful for the stropping and polishing disks that can be cleaned and reshaped in case they are covered in grease or food remains. This system can be enabled from the side of the device, using a manual lever. Although this feature is very practical, it is recommended to limit its use, in order to avoid removing too much metal from the blade.

The Chef’s Choice 1520 is designed to last and has all the attributes that a high-quality electric knife sharpener needs, which is why you should consider doing a deeper analysis of its features before deciding on a model.

Top Ways to Create the Best Home Entertainment Center

If you are a homeowner then you know that entertaining people is always a great time. Whether you are having your friends or family over, keeping everyone entertained can be a challenge. If you are planning on hosting guests for an event, big or small, then you need to work on creating the best entertainment experience.

If you are hosting an event in your house then you will need to have a great sound system. That way you can entertain via movies and television, or by playing music throughout the house. It’s a good idea to get a decent sound system, and whether the speakers are wired or wireless via bluetooth, spending more will help you get more life out of your entertainment. Don’t be afraid to research between brands to get the best deal. A great brand like Bose provides high quality equipment that will keep your party going all night.

If you already have a great sound system, then the next step you will need is to get a great television. There simply is no other option for watching the big game. The good news is that high definition televisions are now cheaper than ever, and can be found at any major store or online. Most of these are good to go straight out of the box, and can be set up in a manner of minutes. If you are having a large party for the big game, then there is no other option than getting a great deal on a television.

There are many great ways to entertain guests, but the best ways are obviously those that bring people together. Music and movies are both great options, and will be hits with all of your guests. Next time you plan on having an event, do a little research on your options and find the best ways to upgrade your entertainment center.

Some Thoughts on Window Installers

Window Installers – How To Decide The Best Quote?

Windows not only enhance a typical building’s aesthetic value, but it’s functionality as well. This is the primary reason that for your window installation project, you want to select the best Southampton Window installers. Make certain you consider the following things when you are seeking the best quote:

Proper Experience

You want to make certain that you get a quote from a properly experienced window installer, so you get the best workmanship done. An experienced professional is going to be able to deal with those unexpected challenges that simply always seem to come up once a project gets underway.

Registration and Certification

Two major reasons why you should hire a registered and certified installer are vital. Number one, you will know you are dealing with a legal business entity, when they show proper certification and registration. You should keep in mind that many construction projects, even relatively minor ones, could require approval from the building control authorities in that locality. That will be impossible to gain if the installer you choose is a non-registered business entity. Also, proper certification issued by a body such as FENSA for example, shows that the contractor adheres to a proper code of ethics, and in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol commitment of the government, will install windows which will reduce greenhouse gases.

Insurance Coverage

There is still a certain amount of risk involved with the installation of windows, even if it is not considered major construction work. This is another reason you want to be certain that the installer you select carries proper insurance coverage. You want to be sure you have guarantees on the windows they install in your home. Live In Design regards this assurance to clients as absolutely vital. Eric Vokes, since establishing in 1994 Live In Design, has made it a number one priority to offer quality work backed by proper guarantees.

Staff That Is Qualified

Especially when one has to clamber up multi-story buildings, installing windows can be difficult work. A single person working on installing big windows, even with the modern equipment available today, such as a cherry picker, would have difficulty getting the job done. What this means is that with all these potentially diverse projects, an installer simply must have a qualified staff available and standing by ready to get things done right.

Quality Products

You never want to buy windows from simply any hardware store, but you want to hire an installer who will direct you to the best quality products for the job. They will enhance the value of the home, which will reap rewards should you decide to sell in the future at some point.

In Conclusion

Make certain when making your final choice that you carefully take into consideration the installer’s experience, staffing policy, and insurance coverage. These are all so important!