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Proper Maintenance Tips For Travertine Stones

travertin stoneTravertine, marble and limestone all terribly look similar in physical and chemical composition. This gives us a feeling that all the improvement, cleaning and care procedures are relatively same for all the three kinds. But one has to clearly know the difference to properly maintain and extend the durability of travertine stones. Let’s target travertine for a moment. Travertine is a less dense than the granite and is very sensitive to acidic liquids like wine, and juice.

A lot depends on the sort of finish applied to the travertine. When a honed or tumbled finish is employed, it’s a lot of liable to staining and dulling by “etching.” Due to the nature of its body, it wants a sealer to get protected against staining. Polished travertine is much stain-resistant.

The following are 5 tips to help clean and protect your travertine stone:

1. Test carefully and seal the stone. If your home has travertine put in within the tub, kitchen, eating space, etc., And it has a honed or tumbled finish, confer with your designer to make sure the stone was sealed. This can facilitate within the event of a spill of red wine, fruit juice or other aggressive agents, particularly on countertops and floors.

2. Wipe up spills straight away. This interlocking tile mosaic is sensitive to things like spaghetti sauce, tomato ketchup and sure effervescent beverages. It’s best to scrub up quickly using hot water and a stone cleansing product. Don’t use vinegar, lemon or orange cleansing agents, bleach, ammonia or factory-made merchandise that contains acids, alkalis or alternative chemicals once cleansing travertine stone.

3. Dust mop a travertine floor frequently. Use a clean, dry dust mop frequently and then once every week use a wet mop with predicaments and a specially developed stone cleansing agent. It’s best to not vacuum stone flooring because the machine will produce chips and cracks.

4. Shield and canopy. Doormats and carpet runners should be used to help keep traffic from bringing in dirt and elements that may harm the interlocking tile mosaic. For countertops and baths, use coasters for all decorative trays to protect the travertine from cosmetics and bath merchandise like colognes, perfumes, oils, soaps and alternative toiletries. Prevention is that the best remedy once it comes to maintaining travertine stone.

5. Poultices for stubborn stains. If the travertine gets dirty and you can’t fix the problem through the normal cleaning procedures; a poultice may be the solution. Create a paste by mixing a formulated stone cleanser with ordinary baking powder. Smooth this over the stain and cover with a clear plastic wrap. Let it sit for several days and gradually the poultice will slowly draw the stain out. Remove the poultice with warm water and buff with a cotton cloth or chamois.

4 Kitchen Remodeling Ideas Guaranteed to Increase Home Value

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas Guaranteed to Increase Home Value1. Increase The Work Area

This is a big one with potential buyers. If one has a family, and will be cooking a lot, work space is a huge issue in a kitchen. Many smaller homes do not have much area to work on. Counter space is lacking, and things can be cramped. Even in large homes, houses can be designed so that the kitchen has better ascetics than function.

This is a good time to have your kitchen remodeled with an eye on increasing the working area. Extend the counters. Add an island or peninsula. Install a hanging track for pots and pans, freeing up counter space, and cabinet space. Even in the smallest kitchen areas, a good designer will be able to redesign so that space is maximized.

They may be vertical, using shelving to free up counter area. They may even put in a stacked area in your counter top, giving you two work areas without increasing the length or width of your counters.

2. Install Granite or Tile

Using stone of any kind, including tile, is a great way to increase your home’s value. This goes for both the floors (wood and carpet are poor choices for a kitchen that will be used often because they do not handle spills, moisture, and water very well).

Not only does this lessen the likelihood that your floor will get ruined by water, but it is very attractive to potential buyers. It is considered easy to clean, and will drive up the value of your home significantly. In a tight housing market, this could be the key to getting your home sold.

3. New Lighting

Many homes suffer from poor lighting. What’s the sense of having a beautiful, new kitchen if you can’t see anything?

Lighting fixtures are one of the more cost effective, and cheap, upgrades you can make. Things like track or recessed lighting put a modern, beautiful touch to your kitchen. Lighting under cabinets, mood lighting, lights with fans built in… they all add up to a significant increase in your house’s value.

4. New Appliances

This is a fairly costly investment, but I can pay for itself many times over. If you know that potential buyers are looking for a furnished kitchen, new refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, etc. can really go a long way toward making your home and easy sell. Plus, if you plan on staying a while, new, energy efficiency appliances will save you money on energy bills.

 

Kitchen Renos

Kitchen RenosWhen potential buyers go to view a home the two rooms that they take the most notice of are the bathroom and kitchen. These two rooms are the ones that are the most used and also the most expensive to renovate, so seeing that the kitchen and bathroom are already updated and functional goes a long way when you are looking to sell your home.

Of course you don’t have to renovate just to sell, maybe it’s just time for a new kitchen for you and your family to enjoy. So what will it be? New cupboards, new countertops, new fixtures, new flooring? Will you go small or go all out moving everything around, knocking down walls and making a whole new space?

Doing a complete gut job on the old kitchen leaves you with a blank slate from which to work, but doing some little things can leave a big impact without blowing the budget completely out of the water. If your cabinets are in good shape but are just in a colour that was popular years ago, it may be as easy as sanding them down and staining them a more up to date colour. New hardware like drawer pulls and cabinet handles also bring that tired kitchen back into the modern realm.

New countertops will also refresh the look of your kitchen. Today there are even companies that cover the existing countertops so there is no removal of the old ones needed. Updated taps and new light fixtures also give a more modern look without spending too much money on your renovation.

What about those floors? If you have linoleum it may be a good time for a change. Tiles are a great option for a kitchen floor, and now there are even ceramic tiles that look just like hardwood so you can have that warm and cozy look that wood brings without the associated issues. Hardwood will warp and crack if it gets too wet and humidity is also a major hurdle, so it’s almost always recommended that you stop your hardwood floors in the living room and don’t continue them into a kitchen area. With wood look tiles this isn’t a problem. They come in a variety of colours and ‘woods’ so you can customize at will, all with the no-hassle cleaning and durability that comes with tile.

Kitchen renovations can be as small or as large as you wish, but they will all bring you a refreshed and updated look that will last for years.

 

6 Useful Tips for Installing Slate Mosaic Tiles

Installing Slate Mosaic TilesWhen it comes to architecture, seldom can we find a person who is completely satisfied with the design. Whether it is a humble house or top class hotel, each property owner thinks that there is an adequate room for improvement in the architectural design of their structure.

However with the increasing prices of building material, setting, fixing and installing any structure it is not always possible to completely renovate the structure. So one of the best things is to remodel using the wall panels appropriately.

In short wall panels are small portable portions of architectural beauty that can be installed as patches in order to give an extra height to the beauty of overall interior decoration. Today we will learn about slate mosaic tiles that are fast becoming popular with many households.

Slate Mosaic Tiles

The slate mosaic tiles are the best ways to transform tasteless walls into fine piece of aesthetically enhanced architecture. The unique tough surface with the edges of blocks slightly jutting out from the structure gives a unique natural look to the whole ambiance. It requires minimum knowledge and you don’t have to go through a lot of hassles.

The creativity associated with designing an eye-appealing pattern is unmatched and in fact it can have therapeutic effect on your mind. So, here are certain things that you need to pay attention too:

1. Buying the slate mosaic is actually the first, foremost and very crucial step in the whole process. You need to search through multiple leading manufacturers and suppliers. Don’t be hasty here. Take your time. It is always better to check with your acquaintances for the best suppliers who are trustworthy. The most important things to consider here is quality. Building materials are not something that can be changed frequently. One more thing to consider is that buying building material requires certain knowledge. So if you are not apt in buying building material then it is highly recommendable to accompany someone who has a good experience.

2. For grouts, prefer epoxy based grouts than conventional grouts, but you need to be extra careful while installing.

3. Don’t be afraid to cut the stone edges to design a perfect pattern.

4. Creativity plays a very important role here. Do not restrain your creative talent just because your conventional knowledge does not agree with it. As far as the wall panel seems beautiful, it is agreeable to eyes and gives a smooth visual feeling fitting well into the entire interior decoration scheme, you can go ahead.

5. If you are installing the panels for the first time, it is highly recommendable to use sanded grout. The main benefit of this grout is that sand is known for its smoothness and adaptability. Besides its fine particles give a perfect reason to extremely experiment with the style.

6. It is always recommendable to have a detailed meeting with the suppliers telling them your exact requirements and creative ideas so that they can advice you about the best material, grout and required modifications in design to make it practically possible.

Keeping all the above things in mind, you can create excellent designs that will enhance the beauty of your architecture.

Using slate mosaic wall panels is the best way to highlight any portion of the house. However, one must be very careful while buying the slate mosaic panels. There are many leading natural stone suppliers offering best slate mosaic panels at reasonable rates. You can search such suppliers and buy it online.

The Latest Trends Of Luxury Home Remodeling And Renovation

The Latest Trends Of Luxury Home Remodeling And RenovationMost homeowners consider home renovation to better improve their living quality and to achieve some of their dreams and desires. Remodeling may vary a great degree from a bathroom and kitchen upgrade to building or deck or a whole new room or two to your home. On the other hand you may choose to partner with home remodeling companies or become your own general contractor. No matter how you wish to carry out the project you should always make wise home remodeling choices whilst considering the return on investment.

Noteworthy Trends To Follow

You will always be the best judge of what you wish to achieve from luxury home remodeling as it is ultimately about making your home completely personal. You do not need to blindly follow trends, but the following are noteworthy to get an understanding of what’s in vogue and get valuable tips from them.

    • Go natural – Wood finishes are definitely high up on the trend dashboard. There are certain cost implications when it comes to natural wood but there are many substitute such as steel windows with wood finish to serve the same purpose. Stone floors are also an eye-catching option worth considering.

    • Go contemporary with more open spaces – Open floor plans tend to yield more usable space. You could also blend in some glass walls to bring the outdoors closer. Natural lighting would be an added bonus here. You may also have open spaces open directly into the backyard or patio to give a more luxurious effect.

  • Go green – Current trends now show more focus towards loving healthy and creating healthier homes. Such aspects include clean air-filtration systems, energy saving appliances, and sustainable raw materials among many others. These not only act as smart investments significantly impacting your home value, they help you and your family stay healthier which is priceless.

Some Trends Best Avoiding

If you plan to live in your current homes for only about 2-3 more years, it is best to avoid a fancy and pricey home renovation. In such a case consult with home remodeling companies on whether you should go forward with your plan. There are also some over-the-top home improvement projects you should generally avoid (unless these are essential components of your dream home) such as high maintenance items like in-ground swimming pools and expensive landscaping. It is also best to think twice before investing in very pricey items such as sunrooms and whirlpool baths depending on whether they are actually required.

Mistakes To Avoid When Carrying Out A Luxury Home Remodeling

Mistakes To Avoid When Carrying Out A Luxury Home RemodelingHome renovation can be very luring and look like an exciting project to embark on. It provides the homeowner a platform to play with one’s creativity and explore different styles. Most often you tend to look at such a project with an image of your dream home in mind, decorated by a combination of beautiful magazine cover worthy pictures. Although magazines and TV shows may give you plenty of inspiration, it is of utmost importance to be weary of the practical implications that most certainly come into play.

Precautions To Begin With

First and foremost you must be clear about what you want. Prior to consulting any external party, it would be useful to first understand what exactly you hope to achieve. This is the most essential step in developing your luxury home remodeling plan. Many homeowners end up incurring severe losses due to common mistakes right from the beginning. The following are cardinal principles any home owner should follow in order to prevent such blunders.

    • Stick within your budget – Nobody wants to come off as cheap but this doesn’t mean you need to burn off all of your savings. The key is to develop a budget (keeping a healthy buffer zone) and stick to it. Estimate all costs, even what you might think is negligible and then assess whether you can afford the home renovation altogether. Remember it is better to re-plan than have your remodel halt mid-way.
    • Don’t just focus on aesthetics – At the end of your project you want your home to look good but don’t’ forget aspects such as structural damage, electrical wiring and plumbing work.

  • Think green – There are many green options readily available in the market. Not only will you add more to the value of your house you will also be doing good to the environment.

Mitigating Risks With Home Remodeling Companies

Trying to avoid a contractor to save money could be one of the most common mistakes made. Most aspects require technical expertise which a good contractor can provide. Also, cheap is not always the best. Bear in mind you get what you paid for. As with raw material, sometime the cheapest quote from home remodeling companies is not always the best. Consider the background (including licenses and registrations) of the company and take time to go through references. Once you decide, make sure you begin the project with a detailed, written contract emphasizing any guarantees to be provided as well.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl SidingTired of repainting your house every 5 to 10 years? Vinyl siding may just be the right solution that you have been searching for. This type of siding will usually entail a lower cost upfront as compared to conventional siding such as a traditional cedar siding. Some may believe this exterior finish looks plastic in appearance, but many siding manufacturers have made great strides to give the product a more painted ‘wood like appearance’ with grain accents and a lower gloss finish.

Over one-third of home exteriors in the US have this siding. When choosing exterior cladding, a budget friendly solution that is aesthetically appealing is what most homeowners look for. Past concerns with vinyl siding including yellowing, fading, rigidity and warping. Thanks to titanium oxide and other innovations, this siding is manufactured to resist weathering and maintain a fresh appearance over extended periods of time. Low maintenance exteriors on a home are also typically desired by most homeowners. Vinyl siding offers a piece of mind and is easy on the pocketbook. Let’s look at some of the various ins and outs of this exterior finish.

Color, Appearance & Other Options

In the past, vinyl siding was passed over because of the color fade over time. However, most siding manufactured today shows limited fading over the years. Another advantage of vinyl siding is the full range of color choices available. The Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI) has certified over 300 colors of vinyl for colorfastness. There are quite a few options available for this siding including fish-scale shingles, simulated wood grain, smooth panels and the list goes on. Different sizes in siding is also possible with the most common being 3, 5 or 8 inches.

The Elements

This type of siding can withstand sub-zero winter temperatures up to the hottest of summers. It is also built to withstand high winds and hail.

Installation

A unique advantage of vinyl is that it can be installed over nearly any type of surface. Even over stucco or brick. Vinyl siding isn’t for every home as it may not match the character and style. And, not all siding installers are created equal. The majority of siding companies offer comparable products, whereas the installer’s craftsmanship will vary much more. Because this type of siding expands and contracts more than other conventional siding materials, the more knowledgeable the installer is with this siding the better.

Maintenance

While vinyl siding does offer low maintenance, it may not be entirely maintenance free. Homeowners won’t need to paint or stain it like traditional wood siding, but the cleaning of the vinyl may need to be done to mitigate any grime or mold build-up. Simply scrubbing or power washing the siding will go a long way in giving it new life and maintaining it for years to come. If fading of the siding does occur, a coat of exterior latex paint can be applied (as major paint manufacturers have exterior paint products specifically designed for this type of siding). And, vinyl does have the ability to hide potential problems. When a house is sided with wood, the paint may chip or peel away when there is a problem.

Vinyl siding can be used in a variety of exterior home applications. This type of siding offers durability and often comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. According to the VSI, vinyl offers the lowest installation cost of all types of home siding. Whether it’s new construction or updating an existing home, vinyl siding offers a cost efficient and low maintenance alternative to homeowners. In most cases, vinyl siding will have a positive effect on the home value.

How To Repair Your Residential Log Cabin

Log CabinKeep a regular maintenance schedule

The first step in repairing your residential log cabin is actually to keep a regular maintenance schedule. In fact, with regularly scheduled inspections that you can do on your own, you can detect any potential problems that need to be addressed by an experienced contractor. You want to do this check at least once a year to ensure that no single issue will go on for too long without being detected and fixed. You need to take the necessary time to go over all the house from the roof all the way to the foundation. It might be a good idea to have a checklist so that you do not forget to look for anything of importance. If there is anything that catches your attention even if you are not sure about whether it is a problem or not, you should make a note of it. Taking pictures or making a short video might also make it easier to show the problem to your contractor ahead of a future maintenance or repair visit.

Simple tasks such as keeping the wood clean and making sure that the coating is still effective at repelling water can be done routinely without any special equipment. Likewise, gutters and pipes should be cleared so that no water is accumulated or sent back towards the house.

How to keep the roof of your residential log cabin leak-free?

The roof is an important element for moisture control in your residential log cabin. If your roof is covered with shingles, each one needs to be inspected to make sure that none is damaged creating an opening in your roof. A properly maintained roof will not develop leaks and will be able to resist heavy rains, snow as well as excessive heat. Keeping the roof free from all sorts of damages protects your entire residential log cabin from the inside out.

Avoid future problems with proper sealing

The logs of your wall must be checked to find out if they are still properly sealed. The corner notches must be carefully inspected as they are a common place where leaks tend to occur. It is important that they are all properly sealed. If any leaks or cracks are detected between or in the logs, they need to be sealed otherwise they will cause the wood to rot by accumulating excess moisture.

It is best to leave the sealing to professionals. However, if you are adamant about doing it yourself, there are a few basic elements that you must consider. Most importantly, you should only use products that are meant to be used for log cabins. Opt for a product that is not a fad and is likely to be available for years to come because once you have made your choice you will need to keep using that same product over time. Indeed, there are different products that are not compatible with each other and require that the previous coat be removed before re-sealing.

Repairing and replacing damaged wood

If you notice that part of your logs is rotting, you need to intervene quickly. First, you need to find what caused the wood to rot. In most cases, the root cause is moisture. Fix that problem to make sure that you will not lose larger sections of your logs to rot. Then you need to remove the part of the wood that has rotted and replace it with a similar piece of wood preferably from the same supplier. Nail the new section of wood into the empty space. This type of repair requires special equipment and precision, it may be best to let a professional handle it and not attempt to do it on your own, unless it is something that you have successfully done before.

Repair damage caused by insects in untreated wood

If you used wood that was not properly treated or maintained to resist insects, your residential log cabin may fall victim to insect damage. In this case, you need to buy insecticide that you can use to plug the holes dug by these insects. In this way, you kill the insects and close the holes in the wood at the same time. This is an easy repair to do on your own. Nevertheless, to make sure that you will not have this problem in the future, you should consider having a professional inspect your home to make sure that all the logs have been properly treated and you should maintain the treatment up to date by following a strict schedule.

Common problems with windows and doors

Over time you may notice various problems in areas around your doors and windows. Leaks tend to occur there which is why you always need to pay special attention to them when inspecting your home. One of the reasons for this is the fact that large gaps tend to form in these areas. An easy way to solve this problem is with expanding foam which will fill in the gap and prevent water accumulation or heat loss in cold weather. With a can of foam and a foam gun, you can get this done with precision and in an economical manner.

A regular maintenance schedule where the exterior and interior of your log cabin is checked for any signs of cracks, leaks or any potential source of damage to the house is an important part of preventing serious damage to your residential log cabin. Taking preventive action will eliminate the need to perform a complete restoration which can be costly, but necessary on poorly maintained cabins. Additionally, there are routine maintenance tasks that are very simple yet crucial and can be performed by any homeowner without the need to hire a professional. However, when it comes to actually repairing you residential log cabin, it is best that the work be done by a contractor who has a lot of experience and is knowledgeable.

Four Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal

Add Curb AppealThe harsh weather conditions in the winter months can cause unintended wear and tear to the exterior of a home. Between the dirt and excess salt and grime from the snow sludge leaving marks on the siding of a home, preparing your home’s exterior to match the landscaping can be a large task. There are several ways that you, as a homeowner, can improve the curb appeal of your home.

1. New Gutters Guards

Part of spring cleaning usually involves cleaning the leftover leaves and stray materials that sink into your home’s gutters during the winter. Adding gutter guards to a home’s gutters can help keep stray, unwanted material out of your gutters while reducing the risk associated with, and the time spent, personally cleaning out the gutters.

2. New Siding

Replacing the siding of a house is one of the best ways to improve a home’s overall value. Although there are several different options available for consumers to choose from when picking out new siding, fiber cement siding has been featured in several home improvement magazines as the best return on investment.

Fiber cement siding is easy to clean, durable, and long-lasting. It also requires less maintenance and doesn’t need to be repainted as often as wood or brick exteriors. Other siding options such as vinyl can still increase curb appeal for a much lower cost

3. Roof Restoration

Tattered, damaged, or old roofs can decrease the curb appeal of a home and affect the energy efficiency of the home. Roof restoration provides many benefits for home owners as it can help improve the look of the home, eliminate leaks, reduce the energy costs of the home, and increase the roof’s longevity.

Rejuvenating a roof is a great way to save money in the long run, and it can increase your home’s energy efficiency rating. In addition, restoring a roof can eliminate ponding water issues and extend the life of your roof well past its original life expectancy.

4. New Energy Efficient Windows

Windows can accumulate dirt and grime from the snow and harsh weather during the winter. Replacing old windows with new, energy-efficient windows can help save money on energy bills as well as improve the curb appeal of a home.

There are many different window options that can match the design layout for any home. Popular window replacements include vinyl and wood replacements, double hung or slider windows, and picture windows. In addition to increasing the curb appeal, new windows are easier to clean and take care of than older windows.

 

Home Renovations What About The Floor

hardwood.If you are renovating your home, adding a room or moving a wall, you will one day have to address the floor. Will you go with carpet, hardwood, tile or a laminate? Each has its pros and cons, like most things, and each is a viable option for most homeowners. Which one is right for you?

Carpet is a nice choice if you like something warm and snuggly underfoot. It is warm and inviting, but it isn’t a good choice for allergy sufferers as it traps the pet dander and other allergens in its fibers. It will also stain if you drop anything on it and can look dated if the colour is popular now, but not something that will be sustainable years from now.

Hardwood always makes a room look elegant, and it is pretty easy to keep clean, too, but hardwood will get scraped up and worn in high traffic areas over time. If you prolong hardwood to direct sunlight it can fade and it is not a good idea to put it in bathrooms or kitchens because of the water and humidity levels in those rooms that can cause it to crack and warp. Hardwood is also cold and hard underfoot and slippery for pets.

Tile is a durable substance that can be laid in a variety of patterns. It is great in bathrooms and kitchens as spills just sit on top until someone wipes them up. It also won’t warp when rooms get warm and damp, but again, tile is hard and cold underfoot. Tile is incredibly easy to keep clean and is great for those allergy sufferers among us. There is wood tile on the market now that gives the look of hardwood with the ease of tile. A renovation win-win.

Laminate is a type of hardwood. At least it is made to look like hardwood, but at a fraction of the cost. It is usually made by compressing a lot of layers of stuff together, it’s not ‘real’ wood but it looks and acts like it is. This is a good option if hardwood isn’t in the budget but you just have to have the look of hardwood.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is installed by professionals for best results. Floors that are kept clean and maintained will look great for years to come, so grab that broom, that vacuum or that mop and let’s get renovating!

 

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