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General Article

Southwestern Home Decor

Southwestern Home Decor

The best designs I have ever seen in a home is western decor. People never really realize how good a home can look until they have seen a house with western decor. The feeling of being home is emphasized very greatly when there is western decor and western items in a home. Almost every person in the United States or other country comes from a western background if you go back far enough. The designs that can be managed with western decor are not are actually very easy and simple to do, but you have to be willing to spend a couple dollars on the little items first such as a place-mat.

The place-mat is recognized a lot when people come into your home they look around then they focus on the place-mat. If you are someone who likes when people ask questions about your house. Like why did you decide to do it in western decor its a simple answer, it takes people back to their roots and for some it even sparks the desire to find out where they come from. Makes them want to see if they have a wild western cowboys in their family. Personally I love the western designs in my home and I think a lot more people would like the same designs also if they just knew where to look and what to start out with. Well I would start with a place-mat first then maybe even some coasters. They only cost maybe ten dollars at the most, but they will make your home feel like a western home in no time at all.

You can expound from them and get even more western decor and eventually your home will be a western home with its own unique it will take to get started is a couple place-mats then the possibilities are endless with western home decor.

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Kitchen Remodel

Home Improvement Ideas: Recreational Room

Doing home improvement on your recreational room is the perfect answer in a slow economy. You can improve your home and have many fun things to do as a family in your home instead of leaving it and spending more money.
Home improvement ideas include having a professional install carpeting, wood floors or laminate wood floors to your recreational room. To choose which type of flooring to put in your recreational room ask yourself these questions:
If I am to put carpeting in my recreational room, will it last? Will there be a lot of children using the recreational room? If there will be a lot of children using the recreational room you may want to opt for wood flooring or laminate flooring. You want everyone to have a relaxed and fun time in the recreational room, not stressed and nervous about spilling on the carpeting.
If I buy wood flooring will my dog’s nails scratch the flooring? Will there be a hot tub in my recreational room that will get water on the floor? If you have a dog or multiple dogs you may want to opt for laminate wood flooring. These days laminate wood flooring is very strong and you can even purchase laminate wood flooring with grooves between the “wood” to make it look even more natural.
If you live alone or as a couple you may choose wood flooring or carpeting in your recreational room as most adults are more careful with regards to stains and scratching the floor. Remember the choice is yours with the flooring you choose. We are giving you thought out suggestions when you choose to improve your home.
Before you hire someone to install the flooring, make sure you add a fresh coat of paint to each room you will be improving. The professional that you hire can also help you choose which type of flooring is best for your home and living situation.
If you have a large rec room with a few rooms off of it, you may choose to make the largest room your main room. Many folks like to have this room as their media center. The media center will have a large screen TV, comfortable chairs and/or couch with cup holders. You may choose to add a bar to your recreational room. You can put in a little freezer to keep the ice cold as well as beverages. If you are going to stock your bar with liquor please remember to lock it up.
You may also add a game system such as the Wii, PlayStation 3, etc. to add to more fun.
A pool table and/or air hockey table, vintage games such as Pac Man and foosball are nice additions to entertain you and your family as well.
In one of the rooms off of the recreational room, you may have the floor installer add carpeting or another type of flooring. Use this room to put all of your workout machines in. This can be your quiet workout room. You may want to add the home improvement of having built in speakers in this room so you can listen to music to get you working out even harder. Another home improvement idea is to add mirrors to this room so you can watch yourself workout and your body improve.
The other room off of the recreational room can be the room you design for relaxation. You may put in wood flooring, safe tile with ridges on it so no one slips or laminate wood flooring. Beforehand, hire a professional painter to paint the room a comfortable cool color that makes you feel relaxed. Now add a hot tub to the room that fits you, your spouse and/or the size of your family. Add candles and make sure you have a built in speaker or two in this room so you can listen to soft music while you de-stress.
Other home improvement ideas include making sure the windows in your recreational room are keeping heat in and the cold air out and vice versa in the summertime. If not, it is time to replace your windows so you can save money on your heating and air conditioning bills. New windows will also improve the look of your home.
There are many home improvement ideas you can hire a professional to accomplish so you can create the recreational room you and your family desire.

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Remodeling Contractors

Renovating Your Home – How To Avoid Common Mistakes

Home renovation comes to our lives like falling in love, getting married, having children. It’s something you can’t avoid. Maybe something you can put off, but sooner or later you’ll have to deal with it, and you better be prepared. Simply put, home renovation is no walk in the park. It’s a lot of work, and can be extremely satisfying when done right.
You have to put into consideration there’s about a million things that can go wrong during renovation. You can’t account for them all, but at least you can minimize mistakes.
Here’s a few examples of common renovation mistakes:
1. Safety is not top priority
Safety first. It’s something every safety engineer working in construction can’t stress enough. Sometimes the workers become too engrossed in their work they forget that safety should first and foremost be top priority. There’s nothing more important that ensuring the safety of the people working in your renovation.
Look at it this way. If you get seriously hurt, it’s going to set back your time table even more so than if you’d taken the time to do things safely, with the proper safety equipment.
2. Not planning the renovation in advance
You don’t underestimate home renovation. Never. It requires a tremendous amount of effort, resources and time, especially since as long as the renovation is on-going you’ll be living in an unfinished house. Some first-time homeowners don’t plan their renovation schedule. As a result, they end up spending more time and resources than they had to if only they’d planned it in advance.
You can look up home renovation tip videos online if you don’t know where to start. The internet is right at your fingertips. Use it to your advantage.
3. Not making the most of the home renovation process
This is why you must plan out your renovation project in advance. For instance, if you’re looking to install a new drywall, why not install it while the walls are open during renovation? Why not take advantage of the situation instead of patching up the wall, tearing it down again to install the drywall, and then putting it back up together. It’s a waste of time and money.
4. Getting just one estimate
Have you ever heard those rumors about always getting three estimates when it comes to renovation projects? Guess what: it’s true. Never settle for less, because you never know when you might be able to score a better deal with a much more capable contractor.
Remember the magic number – always get three estimates.
5. Relying too much on yourself
There’s a reason why some people are called “professionals” – they’re good at what they do, and they can work more efficiently than anybody without the same title.
It’s okay to do things yourself from time to time. But when it comes to renovation, sometimes it’s best to just leave it in the hands of someone who knows what he’s doing. He’ll do a better job, that’s for sure, and you’ll end up getting the better for it.
Home renovation is something you want to get right the first time. So follow these home renovation tips and avoid falling into the same pitfalls that had plagued many other families before.

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Basement Renovations

Can I Really Power My Home With Wind Energy?

The Federal Tax Credits currently available in the US for upgrades for residential energy efficiency are significant enough to have many people thinking about energy efficiency remodeling. There is much discussion around the cost benefits of installing solar energy systems and even geothermal heat pump systems. But many homeowners are still asking, “Can I really power my home with wind energy?” The answer is “Yes!”
When most of us think about wind energy, we flash on images of huge turbines lined up in mid-western or off-shore wind farms. We see pictures of turbines 150 yards in diameter that sit 3000 feet above sea level. But wind technology is advancing daily. In fact, turbine design is advancing so fast that some of the wind-energy web sites are having difficulty keeping up! 
 
Many farms and other residential and industrial facilities in rural areas have been using wind turbines for years to provide all power for their needs. But as interest in powering homes with wind energy grows, new technologies are producing quieter, more attractive, turbines that can be effective at lower elevations. In fact, there are new turbine designs that can be incorporated into landscaping design around homes. 
 
The economics of wind power depend on where you live, how much wind is available on a continuous basis at what elevation, and whether you plan to invest in batteries to store excess energy. The economics of wind power also depend on whether you plan to install a stand-alone system to provide all of your energy needs or you plan to connect to the electric grid serving your area and use a wind energy system to generate power that you supply to the electric company in exchange for free energy. Either way, a small wind system could provide all of the power your home needs with wind energy. 
 
You can now purchase a wind generator from and from several other online retailers. You can also purchase complete wind systems from the manufacturer. At the very least, you can do your homework online before you start talking with a local contractor. Most states currently require that wind power systems be professionally installed by certified contractors. Before you purchase any equipment from any source, you should discuss your options and what kind of systems are working for other homeowners in your area with your contractor.
 
Choices of turbines are generally based on the amount of wind power generated by the system. This is measured in kilowatts. For example, a 1.2kW turbine produces 1200 watts. A turbine of this size installed where there is an average wind speed of 12 mph will produce about 2000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The cost of a wind system usually ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt connected to the grid. The cost could be lower for an independent system not connected to the grid. Turbines are expected to last about 20 years. 
 
In most cases, the installation cost for a 10 kilowatt residential system will be about $35,000 to $40,000. In an energy efficient home, this system could meet all energy needs, eliminating the electric bill. The amount of time needed to recover the cost would depend on current average monthly electric bill (e.g., a home using $200 of electricity per month, would recover $2,400 of the cost each year) and the available purchase incentives. The incentives would begin with the current Federal Income Tax Credit of 30% of the cost of equipment and installation or $10,500 – $12,000. Many states also offer such incentives as investment tax credits, sales tax reductions, property tax reductions, and financing assistance. Many utility companies also offer a variety of incentives, including net metering, to wind system installation.
 
In short, it is entirely possible to completely meet the energy needs of an energy efficient home with a wind power system that could be expected to pay for itself in as little as 10 to 15 years.
Copyright 2009 by ABCD Publishing