• Help Environment With Green Plumbing

    Everyone is becoming more and more aware of living a more green life. For this reason there has been an increasing interest in having green plumbing put in over the past couple of years. Plumbing is one of the areas that is going greener than before. There are numerous advantages to going green with … [Read More...]

    Jan
    19

    Help Environment With Green Plumbing

    (C) todescoplumbing.com

    Everyone is becoming more and more aware of living a more green life. For this reason there has been an increasing interest in having green plumbing put in over the past couple of years. Plumbing is one of the areas that is going greener than before. There are numerous advantages to going green with a plumbing system and one of them is improving your household, not only from a health perspective but in addition on energy cost perspective.

    Although going green with plumbing sounds like quite a costly undertaking, it is not so in the long-run in comparison to the standard styles of plumbing. The first remodeling of the plumbing in your house will surely cost a little more than expected, but going green with plumbing will ultimately pay-off in the form of lower water bills and energy costs. However, it is usually preferable to ask for professional advice before choosing green plumbing products. The initial costs of installing the green plumbing materials are generally higher than that of regular plumbing products.

    With regards to water heating, standard water heaters store water in the tank which is heated continuously to maintain the temperature. Even if not required, water remains to be heated which results in extra expenditure. The tankless models of the water heaters are the far better options that are designed to heat the water only on demand. Another choice to get hot water is the solar water heater. It makes use of solar power to heat the water which is a greener option.

    On top of this, the reverse osmosis and water filtration systems may be replaced, so that the house is made more energy-efficient. Low flow showers and faucets, along with low flush toilets are other means of saving on the water bill.

    In addition, Grey water is the water which happens to be once used for bath, laundry or bathroom sinks. This water can be utilized to further nonpotable use just like for watering the garden, mopping the floor, flushing and washing the cars. The recycling of this water is the environmental use of sound plumbing. The easy change in plumbing to direct this water from sink to flush, or from laundry to garden, can’t only save the fresh water but will also save the nature from waste.

    Going green with the plumbing will make a huge difference with regards to the energy and water costs of the home. Soon after replacing the regular products with environment-friendly products, the main difference in the costs is highly evident. If the aspect of health is regarded, green plumbing may help the residents in a larger way. For example, getting a green water purifier installed will ensure that you get cleaner water than what the usual products have to offer. Becoming environmentally friendly with plumbing furthermore allows you to stay in peace that you are doing your bit to help maintain a cleaner, safer and much more sustainable environment.

    Jan
    18

    Kitchen Lighting Ideas

    Photo from Certified-Lighting.com

    Probably the most neglected, yet essential element to having the kitchen of your dreams, is great lighting. Most people devote all their time concentrating on the rest of the kitchen, such as the cabinets, counter tops, appliances, etc. As a result, they just forget about this important, yet frequently forgotten part.

    Kitchen light fixtures can brighten your kitchen space, an area where the majority of us spend a lot of time, and add style and value to your house. Selecting the ideal kitchen lighting can be a easy process. You only need to identify the primary areas of the kitchen which need enough lighting and from there you can start the selection process.

    • Ambient Lighting

    This kind of lighting adds a pleasant glow to your kitchen, this provides you with a warm welcome to the people getting into the kitchen. It plays a major role in softening undesired shadows, reducing kitchen room contrast and lighting vertical surfaces to provide the space a brighter feel. It really is normally observed that out of the four types of lighting, ambient is frequently ignored. The truth is, the most dramatic and soft look you can attain in a kitchen is by blending indirect lighting with other types of lighting

    • Task Lighting

    Task lighting is common lighting utilized in the kitchen. You will end up working in your own shadow if you depend solely on your ceiling fixture to provide all your light. That’s the reason you can reap the benefits of lights focused on the various places where you prepare a meal or clean the kitchen. Examples include kitchen track lighting, and under counter lights. Track lighting can be used in at a convenient location, and then the heads can be turned to shine on the areas where you work. You might need numerous sets of track lights.

    • Accent Lighting

    This kind of lighting offers a depth and dimension to your kitchen. It will help you to exhibit your most decorative items in your kitchen like a fancy glassware or tableware, elegant luxury cutlery sets, beautiful canvas art prints or may be your perfectly prepared food. You may use spotlights to illuminate your cooked food which will also help it remain hot for longer time frame.

    • Pendant Lighting

    Pendant lights work ideal for locations where you will be doing the majority of your cooking. These are very desirable lights so they are both functional and stylish. These kitchen lighting fixtures are suspended from the ceiling by a rod or a chain. They are used alone or in groups and with respect to the size of the area you need to light, both will work very well. These lights are available in a very large array of shapes, finishes, materials and colors so you will not have difficulty picking out the one that is right for your kitchen. Brushed pewter and polished nickel are presently very popular finishes.

    The proper of kitchen lighting doesn’t just add to the function of a kitchen, it will also add warmth and character to the room too.

    Jan
    12

    How To Prevent Sewer Backup From Happening

    A sewer backup trouble can be disheartening and awful. Getting up one morning to find your basement or bathroom flowed with raw sewage can be quite a bad experience. In addition situations such as this may cause toxic black mold growth, which may be a large health hazard. You should realize what to do if your home encounters a sewage backup, and the way to prevent it.

    1) Large Items

    The most frequent grounds for residential sewage backups is the flushing of things which are too large to fit the line for instance baby diapers, home litter, sanitary towels and tampons, keys, – and the list can go on. Emergency plumbers salvage from pipelines all sorts of peculiar things that people flush down the toilet like dentures, unwanted jewelry and animal litter. People often push large things to the sewage that causes it to block.

    2) Backup Device

    A blocked sewer could be a huge dilemma once this isn’t determined at an early stage. Aside from a growing number of costs, this will take time to solve. Digging into the pipe lines would certainly be your last resort because this process can be a bit messy. You wouldn’t like to replace all of your system. Professional plumbing contractors have high end equipment to flush sewer lines without having to change the entire structure.

    3) Cooking Oil

    You must steer clear of pouring oil along with other grease based items in your drains or toilet. Cooking oil tends to solidify after cooling hence clogging your sewer line. To be on the safe side you need to remove the oil in a heat-safe container.

    4) Shrubs and Trees

    That is something which can be difficult to deal with, due to the fact roots appear to have a mind of their own. They could actually grow into the pipes, which might cause holes in them and then create blockages. Additionally, it can let the sewage to go into the ground. They even can crush the pipes in some instances. Even when you don’t have trees on your lawn, neighboring tree roots might actually creep beneath the ground and damage the pipes. The best way to avoid having to make such a costly repair is to employ a drain cleaning company to service your sewer system.

    5) Other Preventive Measures

    There are various ways in which you can prevent sewer backup from happening. A great way is placing wooden or rubber plugs on your drains prior to a heavy rainstorm. If you do not want to go on installing the plugs before every heavy rains, it’s a wise idea that you set up permanent plugs. Again, you need to make certain that plugs are professionally installed.

    Jan
    11

    20 DIY Desks That Really Work For Your Home Office

    If you work from home then you need a good desk that is suitable for your purpose. It must match your requirements and preferences but this doesn’t mean that you have to spend that much.

     

    If you’ve ever had the opportunity to work from home, you know how influential your home office furniture can be with regard to your productivity. The desk, in particular, plays a critical role in any office space, particularly one at home. It should be functional and comfortable. Although having a customized desk built to fit your specific space can be expensive, the good news is that there are many DIY options out there for a DIY computer desk. These can be made into a corner desk, a closet desk, or really any size or shape your home office space requires. And, best of all, since you’ve made it yourself, the desk will be completely original. Here are some inspiring DIY office desks for you to check out:

    1. Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

    Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

    Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

    Pottery Barn inspired desk transformation

    For this project, you’ll simply need a corner desk (like Ikea’s Effective Desk) and a pair of wooden file cabinets. The first step is to paint the desk top and the cabinets in white. Remove the legs and hardware from the desk, then add some braces to the back corner that, in this case, have been fashioned out of metal plates and banister inserts. Now you have a brand new desk that looks better than ever.{found on ikeahackers}.

    2. DIY Standing Desk.

    DIY Standing Desk

    DIY Standing Desk

    Space-saving standing desks can be pretty expensive, which is why a DIY project like this one can be a wallet-loving alternative. This particular desk was made using some IKEA tech, as well as items from the hardware store. The owners didn’t give us many details on the process, but you can figure it out from the pictures. It’s an attractive, functional piece, and the best part is that it didn’t cost more than a few dollars.{found on Tom Borowski}.

     

    See more: http://www.homedit.com/20-diy-desks-that-really-work-for-your-home-office/

    Jan
    10

    Benefits of Biomass Boilers

    (C) energymyway.co.uk

    Given that traditional energy supplying approaches are escalating in price and people have become more aware of the impact they’ve got on the environment, alternative methods are becoming increasingly popular since they’re more eco-friendly and reasonable. A very common alternative is biomass boilers.

    a) Organic

    The materials used to fuel the biomass boiler are organic compared to fossil fuels which will eventually come to an end. There are many alternatives with regards to the kinds of fuel you may use for a biomass boiler, some of which include wood chip or sawdust as well as municipal solid waste, which would lower the amount found in landfills. Despite the fact that larger amount are needed than previous it is still much more affordable to gain power in this manner.

    b) Versatile

    This type of heating system can be made use of for almost any objective, whether for steam production, water production or area heating in structures. Biomass is made use of mainly as the fuel however some of the systems could utilize biomass with a fossil fuel as a back-up for satisfying top needs. These could be applied in almost any scale, whether in district, industrial, domestic or slightly commercial heating.

    c) Cheaper

    Biomass systems can be a less costly system for heating as well as electrical energy. Even though initial expenses could be high, long-term savings can be fairly great. There are many forms of biomass boiler designs on the market, presented in different price ranges. Even though the ones ideal for complex industrial purposes come in about 100,000 USD, the easiest ones which are by hand operable in kind come in about 1, 000 USD. Given that easily obtainable waste material can be used as fuel, they’re perfect options for people working and residing in remote and rural areas who cannot get access to woodchip suppliers.

    d) Lower CO2 emissions

    You are going to lower your carbon footprint. Biomass fuels do discharge carbon in to the environment however only a portion compared to fossil fuels. It is computed that the annual carbon dioxide emissions for heating a medium-sized house based on gas and oil is approximately 30 times higher than for biomass wood chips. That is a huge difference.

    e) Reduced use of landfills

    A portion of landfills consists of woody biomass from construction, lumber mill activities, disposal of wooden pallets, etc. Waste products from food processing, paper industries and home garbage also contain organic matter which can be converted to energy. Using these materials to create energy as biomass means less landfill space is needed hence protecting our environment further.

    Biomass is used mostly as the fuel however some of the systems can use biomass with a fossil fuel as a back-up for fulfilling peak demands. Biomass systems really are a much cheaper system for heating and even electrical power. In comparison with those utilizing fossil fuels, biomass boilers lead to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

    Dec
    30

    Free Home Decor Catalogs

    The booming age of technology and the launch of the Internet has made making international buying and international themes much more commonplace. There are many things people who want to redesign can search for including online home decorating catalogs.

     

    There’s nothing quite as exciting as getting a fresh stack of catalogs in the mail (there probably is, but I don’t get out much), but it recently dawned on me that I haven’t been getting as many since we moved into our new house.   Time to get myself back on those mailing lists!

    I have compiled some of my very favorites for you.  True, I might not order from a certain few until I win that Nigerian lottery, but they are all fabulous for inspiration. And free!

    free home decor catalogs, anthropologie, z gallerie, ballard designs, arhaus, cb2, pier 1, grandin road, wisteria, pottery barn, west elm, ikea, serena and lily, restoration hardware

    The links below take you directly to the catalog request form for each site. Soon you’ll be cozied up on the couch, snuggled under a fuzzy throw, mug of cocoa and fun new catalog in hand. Or however you choose to live your life.

     

     

    free home decor catalogs:free home decor catalogs, anthropologie, z gallerie, ballard designs, arhaus,

     

    See more: http://www.betterafter.net/2015/02/free-home-decor-catalogs.html

    Dec
    28

    Free Mail Order Furniture Catalogs

    Whether you are kitting out a new home, upgrading or feel inspired to create a whole new look, you will find ideas on furniture to consider from catalogs! And wait, did I say it’s free?

     

    Furniture catalogs are a great resource to use when you’re planning a room makeover.

    Besides finding the right furniture for your home, furniture catalogs also show how that furniture best fits into a room and how you can accessorize a room to really make your furniture pop. Pair these free furniture catalogs with free home decor catalogs and there’s no need to hire a designer or buy a pile of design books.

    All the furniture catalogs below are completely free and will be mailed straight to your home. Once you’ve had a chance to pick out what you like in the furniture catalogs, consider using a free online room design application to plan the layout of your room.

    Which furniture catalog is your favorite? Tell me about your favorite furniture catalog and read which ones others have picked as their favorites.

    Looking for more free catalogs? Find hundreds of free catalogs for your home, garden, and life.

    Picture of a furniture catalog from Ballard Designs
    © Ballard Designs

    Inside the Ballard Designs furniture catalog, you’ll get a glimpse at their contemporary furniture which is so stunning you’ll be sure to clear a space for it.

    This furniture catalog has sofas, loveseats, stools, tables, accent furniture, beds, benches, bookcases, cabinets, chairs, desks, ottomans, and media furniture all in the latest styles. More

    Furniture Catalogs
    Photo © Bassett

    You won’t want to miss the great collection of contemporary and traditional furniture inside the Bassett furniture catalog.

    This free furniture catalog will show you the latest styles in sofas, beds, dining room tables, desks, entertainments centers, and much more. More

    Furniture Catalogs
    Photo © Brylane Home

    You’ll find furniture for your living room, kitchen, bedroom, and office in the Brylane Home furniture catalog.

    While the Brylane Home furniture catalogs carry some luxury items most of their furniture is very affordable would look great in most homes. More

     

    See more: https://www.thebalance.com/free-furniture-catalogs-1357752

    Dec
    27

    Basement Plumbing Maintenance Tips

    Of all the phases of a construction project in a basement, the plumbing phase can be the hardest to accomplish for a number of reasons. To begin with, any waste water in general, usually has to be pumped out. Secondly, basements tend to be very unforgiving when it comes to leaks, even very minor ones.

     

    Although not every home has a basement, those that do require special attention to the plumbing system. Just like the bathroom and the kitchen, the basement plumbing system requires regular maintenance in order to avoid emergency plumbing situations. Follow these basement plumbing tips to keep everything in your home running efficiently.

    Understanding the Basics

    Water Main Shutoff ValveFirst things first – when you are thinking about the plumbing system in your home, it’s important to know exactly where the water shutoff valve is located. The shutoff valve is usually found right where the main supply pipe enters the house coming up through your basement floor, either next to or very close to the water meter. The main shutoff for the house will be one or two valves near the main water supply pipe that can be turned on and off by hand.

    There may also be an additional shutoff outside the house, buried in a cavity that is sometimes referred to as a “buffalo box.” If you have a buffalo box, it will generally be found in the ground near the street or the edge of your property. The box will often have a round metal cover. Pry open the cover and look inside with a flashlight. There will be a valve that you can turn by hand or with a long-handled “key.”

    If you will need to shut down the system often during the course of a project, find your external shutoff and use it to shut off the water. Don’t depend entirely on the inside shutoff (particularly if you have an older home) – it can break, leak, or stop shutting off.

    Other basic basement plumbing maintenance tips include the following:

    • Check your water meter during a period of time when no water is being used. Make a note of the meter reading and check it eight to 10 hours later. If the meter has moved, there is an indication that you may have an undetected water leak, which should be corrected.
    • Stop annoying water hammer noises by installing shock absorbers that absorb vibrations in water lines.
    • Septic tanks should be inspected and pumped every three to five years to help prevent costly replacement of the filter field.

    Basement Clogged Drain Tips

    Many basements have floor drains that will remove wastewater from washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters and other things like vehicles covered in snow. Just like other drains, these can collect scum and debris and require regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are a few basement plumbing tips when it comes to floor drains:

    • Clean your drains regularly. Clear them of visible debris and use an old toothbrush to scrub away substances and any dirt you see off the edges.
    • To further clean your drain, pour a bucket of boiling water down and wait 15 minutes. Then add a 16oz box of baking soda down the drain and make it fizzle by adding 3 cups of vinegar. Wait another 10 minutes and add 6 cups of boiling water slowly. Wash away what’s left of the vinegar and baking soda.
    • If you want to attempt clearing a clogged floor drain yourself, rent a power auger with 50 ft or more of cable and follow the instructions for use.

     

    See more: http://www.rotorooter.com/plumbing-basics/plumbing-in-your-home/basement-tips-and-maintenance/

    Dec
    27

    LANDSCAPE DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR RESIDENTIAL GARDENS

    Like any art form, to become good at landscaping you first need to know what the rules are so that you can create something that looks good from the beginning.

     

    It’s tempting, in a field as subjective as garden design, to feel that rules do not apply. However, after 28 years and hundreds of projects later, I’ve come to believe in certain rules and guidelines that are neither fussy nor constraining. All have proven invaluable to me over my years of garden-making. Applied by any gardener, amateur or professional, they will result in a more successful, satisfying design.

    Let’s start with two rules that can kick-start the process of laying out a landscape, then move on to guidelines that help in scaling the proportions of a garden’s elements and, finally, to choosing and using the right plants.

    01: OBEY THE “LAW” OF SIGNIFICANT ENCLOSURE

    Yes, this one’s a “law,” not just a rule! It addresses the root meaning of garden, which is “enclosure.” This, to me, is absolutely critical in creating a sense of refuge and of feeling oneself within nature’s embrace. The law of significant enclosure says that we feel enclosed when the vertical edge of a space is at least one-third the length of the horizontal space we’re inhabiting. Probably derived from behavioral psychology studies, this rule came to me from a professor in graduate school, and it was one of the best things I learned.

    Backyard Patio Drawing
David Despau
,

    On this project in Pacific Palisades, CA, an existing and overgrown row of ficus was reduced by half knowing it would still more than adequately enclose the patio. Illustration by David Despau.

    Just yesterday, as I was starting the design of a patio that I wanted to separate from an adjacent play area, it gave me instant guidance for how tall a hedge I would need: the area was 17 feet wide, and so my hedge should be at least 6 feet. Sit near a tree in the park, or a wall, and gradually edge away, and you’ll see how it works. Of course, there are times when the point of a landscape design is a monumental sense of scale or view, but the best gardens, whatever their size, modulate a feeling of enclosure and openness, and this rule will help.

    02: FOLLOW THE REGULATING LINE

    My formal architectural education also introduced me to the concept of the “regulating line.” The idea is that an element of architecture (for example, a doorway, or a building edge, even a window mullion) or a distinctive landscape feature (prominent tree, existing pool, property boundary) can “generate” an imaginary line that helps connect and organize the design. For example, in laying out one backyard, I projected the lines of its building addition into the garden …

     

    See more: https://www.gardendesign.com/landscape-design/rules.html

    Dec
    23

    The 20 Most Common Parenting Mistakes

    As parents, we all understand the trials of parenting. Mistakes are common; indeed, they are part of the territory. The process of learning to be a parent is difficult, and our first child is always the trial by fire.

     

    What are some common mistakes parents make that could actually hurt their children’s mental and physical health in the long term?

    I have seen so many good intentions go horribly wrong over the years that can result in self-harm, suicide and, in extreme cases, even murder. Here are some of the most common mistakes that can be really harmful to kids.

    1. Giving Them Too Many Choices
    Many parents think children always should have endless choices, when the reality is kids can be overwhelmed if they’re always given so many options.

    2. Praising Them For Everything They Do
    It’s very common now to see kids who are almost junkies for praise. They won’t do anything unless there is a payoff for them.

    3. Trying To Make The Child Happy
    Their job is to learn to make themselves happy, and you can never force a child to be happy.

    My 5-Year Old Is An Awful Chef But She’s My Favorite Kitchen Companion

    4. Overindulging Them
    They will almost always end up believing acquisitions lead to happiness. This sets up chasing the never-satisfying carrots, and can result in addictions and compulsions.

    Flickr (Anthony Kelly)

    5. Keeping Them Too Busy
    Most commonly with sports. Many parents wrongly believe “activities” will keep their kid out of trouble, but often times this will lead to the child being burned out or even becoming a bully.

     

    See more: https://www.fatherly.com/fatherly-forum/20-common-but-harmful-mistakes-parents-make/