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Home Contractors

Stone Countertops Honed

Granite and marble countertops have become the classic choice for the kitchen and bathrooms. For an updated, fresh twist on stone countertops, select a honed finish.
Granite
Since there are so many color options with granite countertops, only the most popular or better looking colors are available in a honed finish. A highly popular granite color for the last two decades has been black. It is available in a wide range of options from the solid-looking Absolute Black granite to the glitzy variety Black Galaxy with gold flecks. Other more exotic black granite options are the largely veined Eclipse that looks like zebra stripes or even Magma Extra with its swirling contrast of black and gold. Any of these stones take on a whole new look with a honed finish. Highly polished Absolute Black, for example, has a modern appearance when installed in a sleek kitchen with stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry. The same Absolute Black granite with a honed finish in the same kitchen gives the space a more organic or natural feel. By simply using a countertop stone with a honed finish the entire space will feel more casual and comfortable. Countertops have a large impact on any space, whether it’s in the kitchen, bathroom, or media room.
Travertine
Travertine and limestone countertops are more commonly available with a honed finish instead of a polished finish since it is a more popular selection. These stones are often the countertop of choice for bathroom vanities and utility rooms since they naturally appear more casual than granite or marble. However, a honed marble can have the same relaxed feeling as travertine when done in the right color. There are fewer color options with travertine and limestone than with granite or marble. The color range is light neutrals including beige, tan, and gray, but the patterning in the stone can range much more. Travertine is a type of limestone, which is found in the earth with natural pits or holes that can vary from dime to greater than fist sizes. When the stone is quarried and cut into slabs, these pits are filled to make a suitable countertop. These fills vary greatly in size and shape that determines the overall style of the stone. The large fills have a more rustic appearance, especially with a honed finish.
Soapstone
Soapstone and slate are almost exclusively available in honed finishes. Another popular finish with these stones is a subtle texture called leathered or flamed. These textures have the same eggshell sheen as a flat honed finish, making them suitable for casual and nature-inspired spaces. Soapstone is typically a solid charcoal or gray with little movement or patterning. Although this stone is solid, it has a great deal of character with a honed finish. Slate has more movement and color variation, but has a similar feel as soapstone. These stones are softer to the touch than other natural stone countertops and have an ease about them that greatly compliments other natural materials like wood and metal. Honed natural stone countertops have a softer and more casual feel in today’s homes than the classic polished surfaces.…

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General Article

Embarrassing Moments at a Baby Shower!

Embarrassing Moments at a Baby Shower!

It was a baby shower for our daughter and our first grandchild, at the home of her in-laws. Her girlfriends had the backyard filled with pink, blue, yellow and green crepe paper and balloons. The table clothes were designed with pink and green teddy bears, yellow and blue elephants and palm trees scattered about. Everything looked so cute! There were about fifty women there, both family and friends. They were all chit chatting, enjoying champagne punch and munching on appetizers.

My friend Nancy and I were sitting on one side of the picnic table. You know the kind of table that you have to lift one leg into and then the other before you can actually sit down. On the other side of the table was my mother and sister-in-law.

There we were watching gift after gift being open and passed around for everyone to see. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, the last gift was open and passed. My daughter stood and thanked everyone for coming and for their gift. Then the hostess announced that the buffet was ready to be served and to please come and help yourself.

My mother and sister-in-law just happened to get up from the picnic table at the same time. As they did, their side of the table lifted up off the ground and Nancy and I went with it along with the four glasses of punch! We were so embarrassed! There we were in front of all fifty women who suddenly stopped talking and turned around to stare at us!

Of course, we were not able to get up because the table had flipped over on us and we were now covered in punch! My son-in-law and his father came to our rescue and pulled us out before lifting the picnic table upright. Thankfully neither of us was hurt, just our pride!

So the moral of this story is: It is probably not a good idea to buy a picnic table with the benches attached. A better idea might be to buy one that has a separate bench for each side!

By the way, that baby that they were having the shower for, she just turned 21!…

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General Article

Solar Garden Globes

Solar Garden Globes

Gardens of all types have a natural beauty about them; even though they are human made they are a great display of the intricate beauty of nature. Whether it is a vegetable garden or a nicely landscaped flower garden, it can be almost like a piece of art work offering a wonderful way to blend your creativity with the dynamic canvas of nature.

Outdoor Lighting

These days we have a number of fun things we can integrate in our yards and landscaped areas to enhance the appearance or to increase functionality. One of those things is outdoor lighting. Good use of outdoor lighting can do both of these things, although only at night.

There are a number of styles of outdoor lights available making it easier to integrate them into virtually any style of garden. Some of them are utilitarian and others are very decorative. What you choose will depend on what you want most from this type of lighting, however most cases appearance plays a big role with this decision.

Garden Globe Lights

One of the most distinct and lovely types of landscape lighting I’ve seen in recent years is the solar garden globe light. Solar garden globes are beautiful glass globes, usually made of hand-blown colored glass. The colors and designs vary from one globe to another, you can find them in swirling, frosted or speckled colors.

The great part about these outdoor globe lights is that they can enhance the look of the area where they are used both during the night and during the day. During the day they are noticeable for their own distinct design, but during the night they illuminate creating yet another distinct look.

Because they are solar powered they are easy to use and there isn’t really any maintenance involved. As long as they have access to some sunlight during the day they will automatically turn on when it gets dark outside, then turn off when the sun rises.

While they don’t offer a great deal of light, not enough for safety or real increased visibility at night, they do offer a bit of additional light to your yard at night. Many of them even change colors.

If you are looking for a nice piece of art to accent your garden consider solar garden globes. Unlike many other accent pieces these offer a distinct look both during the day and at night.…

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Home Remodeling

Create YOUR Dream Bathroom With Duravit

For a spa-like experience, make each new day a holiday with a Duravit bathroom.
Duravit fixtures are sought after worldwide. High quality and beautifully styled, they are also timeless. Their clean, elegant lines make a grand statement when used to embellish a bathroom (or kitchen). Whether you are remodeling or doing new construction, it’s time to visit your nearest Duravit showroom. Here you will find immaculate designs by such famous designers as Philippe Starck.
While there, check out the sinks, toilets, tubs and more and ask for help with your planning from the knowledgeable showroom staff.
In describing a bathroom equipped with its handsome products, Duravit states, “A spa for the home where you can enjoy beneficial water and wellness treatments. A dream bathroom that, with ultimate fusion of aesthetics and practicality, makes life a little more comfortable – and that can be as relaxing and refreshing as a mini break.”
The manufacturer uses high-end materials and a special manufacturing process to serve up its top quality products to the consumer. And, we already mentioned the timeless designs. Your living space will surely age gracefully when furnished with Duravit products.
One interesting product is the ‘whirltub’, which is available in versions ‘Sundeck’ and ‘Blue Moon.’ These ‘pools or whirltubs’ as the manufacturer calls them, combine sophisticated spa technology with comfortable design.
Sundeck whirltubs are equally appropriate for indoors and outdoors. Designed by EOOS, Sundeck can be set up wherever there is a hot water connection. Think about the living room, terrace or bathroom.
The Blue Moon whirltub is the ultimate in feel-good bathing, combined with modern design. It can also be utilized indoors or out.
This elegant style offers a square body and circular tub and an immersion depth of 510 mm. It allows the bather to immerse himself or herself completely in water COLORED WITH LIGHT.
The Esplanade series is both luxurious and visually impressive. Designed by architect Sergei Tchoban, the series includes a toilet, bidet, bathtub, tall cabinet, washbasin and mirror. A homeowner is able to outfit the entire bathroom with this series to create a cosmopolitan look.
The ‘2nd Floor’ series can help create the ideal bath space. This series is functional and friendly, with warm wooden elements set in contrast against the white fixtures. The 2nd Floor series of bathroom furniture and fixtures includes shower trays, bathtubs, toilets, wall mounted and floor-standing bidets, washbasins and more.
The idea behind this series is that the bathroom is no longer thought of as a singular isolated space, but can be part of a larger space that encompasses the surrounding area or areas, creating a more open and inviting living environment.
2nd Floor can accommodate virtually any space, thanks to the variety of options and dimensions that are available.
If you are building a home or remodeling an existing one, Duravit fixtures may be the right choice. For more product information and ideas on styles to use for your project, you can visit our recommended sites. You’ll find lots of photos there to get your creative juices going.…

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Renovation Contractor

In Which DIY Category Do You Belong?

Do It Yourself Or Doesn’t Include You
In today’s fast paced world there are all types of little home repair and maintenance projects and tasks around the house and shop that need attention. There are all types of homeowners out there too. You have those that will tackle any project to either save money or because they know how and would rather do it themselves. These are the true life DIY guys.
Then you have those that would rather pay someone to do the work either because they don’t know how to do it or they don’t have the time or the will to do it. Then you have those that do neither one. Instead they stick their head in the sand about the work that needs doing and many times it never gets done at all.
Now I fall into the first category and tackle whatever is next on the list. But I have been a contractor for many years and that sure helps the situation a lot. Plus I have went behind some of these jokers that call themselves professionals and had to fix what they messed up while they were supposedly fixing the problem.
When I do the work, then I know what has been done and how it was done. When someone else does the work you usually have no clue what they did or how they did it unless you were right there with them the whole time. That is usually not the case though.
There is really no reason why most people can’t actually do these things themselves and save the money for other things. Plus this can add valuable experience under your belt for next time. There are all types of little DIY projects around that you can do yourself. It could be in the plumbing or electrical category or a number of others maintenance and repair issues.
Sticking doors or a 3 way switch that doesn’t work right. A toilet leak or a stopped up sink drain. The lady of the house comes complaining that she ran out of hot water before she got finished showering. Then she decides to unload a couple more problems she has noticed lately like the fan in the vent hood making this terrible and annoying noise and why do the light bulbs keep blowing so much?
There seems to be a never ending list of things that need attention around the house and hiring all these things out can get somewhat expensive. Now for some folks it is probably not a bad idea to hire someone to do the work. But for most people this just doesn’t need to be the case.
These things can be done without problems if you have the right information on hand before starting the work. This is where I can help you get the information that you need to tackle just about any job around the house to avoid having to bring someone else in to handle it for you.
You could even use this strategy to gain a few brownie points with the earlier mentioned lady of the house too. Instead of paying an electrician to come out you could fix the problem yourself and she could buy a new purse with that saved money. If you already have enough brownie points then a new drill would look good in your work cabinet.
Below is a link to my How-To website where you can find many articles, hints, tips and other useful info and helpful links. You can find out how to do lots of things that you might not have known before.…

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Remodel Kitchen

How Sealing A Window Can Contain Your Environment

Getting home at the end of a long day normally means that you are tired out and don’t want to have to deal with anybody. All you want to do is to shut the door behind you and not hear or see anything. Whatever is happening on the busy street outside should stay there, but sometimes – especially if you live in an older home – insulation might not be your friend. You might have to consider sealing a window or two at the least.
You might find that you can hear people talking outside, those car doors opening and closing and even though this might not be a huge noise problem to you, it certainly suggests that you have other issues to think about. This is when you should definitely consider sealing a window or door, because leaking air is probably frittering away your hard-earned cash in terms of an increased energy bill.
In terms of sound insulation, sealing a window or even replacing it has been shown to be the best methods. Did you know that even a modest crack around a window can let in as much noise as the entire wall in which the window rests? That crack can also let out your hard-earned cash in terms of energy cost as well.
Cracks can be filled in quite simply by a process known as caulking. This is certainly less costly than replacing doors or windows, or rebuilding structures wholesale. Even better, double glazing can keep noise in its place. Look for panes that are as thick as you can afford and establish as large a gap as possible between the glazing.
If you can, consider installing an additional layer of drywall, or recommend filler, in between the existing layers of wall. This is indicated for the more serious problem as it can be costly and very intrusive.
Plain exterior walls are not the best at insulating noise and if you append some stucco it can be better than conventional siding, as well. Pinpoint the cause of your noise problem. If it is an institution such as an airport, contact your local authorities to get a grant to help you.
If you can live with the noise and might not be too close to a major highway or in a downtown location affected by Saturday night revelry, you might think that you can live with it. However, don’t discount sealing a window altogether as if there is a draft present your energy bill is much higher than it should be. In some cases, it could be 20% higher across the board.
Remember that simple remedies often work just as well when you are considering sealing a window or two in your home. Don’t put up with additional noise or cold drafts any longer than you have to.…

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General Article

Garden Fountains – Info About Tabletop Water Fountains

Garden Fountains – Info About Tabletop Water Fountains

In the ancient Roman times, having garden fountains in your house symbolized higher class, wealth and fortune. Times haven’t changed because a lot of people still assume that to be able to purchase or possess garden water fountains or any fountain you need to be wealthy and reside in a large estate. This is no longer true! As it is the twenty-first century a number of producers created new models and different sizes of water fountains for everybody to enjoy. There are the classic garden fountains, steel water fountains, natural stone fountains, wall water fountains and desk top fountains. All these types of fountains are available in any local hardware store.

Table top fountains are a fun way to include decorative flair to a table or desk top, as well as provide a soothing and tension relieving environment while you are at home or at the office. Most are available in a number of styles, models and dimensions which makes choosing the best look for one’s space easy. You will notice these desk top water fountains in offices, reception areas, outside or in the home. Most Chinese and Americans believe in feng shui, which means water and wind. In feng shui the running water of a water fountain signifies many meanings like money, overall health and prosperity. So, a desk top water fountain is common in a household of a feng shui believer.

All desk top fountains use flowing water to give a decorative ornament inside a room. These fountains are built to help individuals feel peaceful, relaxed and release unneeded tension in their lives. The sound of water falls or moving waters help men and women concentrate and promote thought clarity in order to get tasks accomplished. There are battery-powered and electric tabletop fountains can be utilized in any area where there is an electrical outlet. The fountain connects to a wall socket so that a little water pump can filter water up to a tiered surface and may fall below. Fountains have a graphic impact, in addition to a relaxing effect from the sound of streaming water.

You will find different sizes of tabletop fountains available for individuals to select from. For instance there are several table top fountains that are around 6 to 12 inches wide and also a water basin that is 2 to 3 inches deep. The bigger fountains can make a strong centerpiece on a patio table. Some water fountains are designed for people who only have a small space to operate, like a desk. Fountains could be anywhere from 3 to 12 inches high.

Similar to garden fountains, desk top fountains make use of a pump system. The pump isn’t made to be noisy. In fact there are a number of people who forget to switch off the fountains because they do not understand it is on. Some fountains were created with copper, that may begin to produce water stains that can be tough, if not impossible, to remove. So, remember to always switch off the fountain if you no longer require it to operate to help you protect the water pump.…