People Will Even Steal Shutters

My return from a relaxing vacation went from me feeling happy to a feeling of rage. My home had been robbed, but not in the way that one would normally expect. Regular criminals steal things like money, jewelry, and electronics, but this thief was different. At first, I couldn’t figure out if anything had been stolen at all, since everything was still there. Instead of going for my valuables, he stole the shutters from my home. I replaced the shutters when I made a call to an Orange County shutters company.

Stealing shutters isn’t an easy thing to do, especially since it involves using getting to the windows to remove them.

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New Home Design Tips

Set the Standards of your Front Door

First impression is the best impression, Create door that gives a warm welcome to your guests. Doors can be a big impact on the visitors; Set the standards of your front door as primary goal to make outsiders fall in love with your house even before visiting it.

Make your Entry Way with Mirror

Your living room is the first thing people see next to the front door- so decorating it is a very important task to give elegant look to your home. Invite people with entry way mirror that gives a unique feel to your guests. It not only adds elegance but also brings sufficient reflection of light in house.

Sofa in Living room speaks a lot

If you have ever checked a hotel or restaurant, you can observe that the sofa and chairs are placed in ‘U’ or ‘H’ shapes. This is to make people face each other to invite conversations. Similarly you need to place your sofa and chairs facing each other. Some people place sofa to the corner of the room in order to make the room look bigger, but in fact it only makes your room look larger and gives you an empty feeling. Remember, your living room is a conversation area.

White furniture makes room look bigger

If you feel your room is compact and want to make it look bigger then prefer white furniture. White furniture has the super power to make any room look bigger than it actually is. This simple step can bring big change in your rooms.

Gallery Wall, inexpensive yet brings highly expensive look

No matter how your room is, the little accessories in it can give you an entirely different and amazing feeling. Gallery wall is one such thing. Gather all your favorite photos or arts and fix it to walls. It is suggested to prefer black, white and tan frames to add elegance touch. Forget the old-fashioned formal photo grid.

Prefer contrasting styles

You need to mix it up and decorate your home to have an outstanding look. Mix the expensive and inexpensive things and decorate your home. Never shop just in one shop, go explore all the shops and find out the best to match the selected one. Mixing and matching is important formulae for making best look. But putting a cap on number of contrast styles is important to avoid the cluttered feeling.

Say “No” to the same look

It is pretty important to say goodbye to old boring look. Change your house look as often as you change your own style to be unique. Never settle on one look because change is always good to have.

Add greenery to all the rooms

Plants are the most inexpensive yet can be used as best accessories to decorate your home. Plants add life and color to each room. Not only for beautiful look, but it also helps to keep the room clean.

Curtains make a room

Yes, Curtains make a room but it happens only when the right ones are chosen. Choose your curtains depending on the wall paints and furniture in the room. Use high length curtains if you have lower ceilings to make them look larger.

Painting matters the most in Home decors

Painting is the key factor that has the power to make your house look either awesome or awful. So it should be chosen carefully. Select the colors that look good with the material and furniture you have. Prefer softer and lighter colors in smaller rooms to make it look bigger than they are. Select saturated colors in darker or dim rooms to carry out the look.

The Simple Guide to Extending Your Home

We are all well aware of the reasons as to why many individuals consider extending their home. This choice may be instead of moving or just a decision made in isolation of any other alternatives. There are many reasons as to why extensions make more economic sense in comparison to moving. The costs attributed to this process can include stamp duty, legal fees and other associated fees and costings. This is all money simply lost in the process. When calculations of such costs are made there is often a clear alternative to avoid these and to still gain the extra living space needed. Where do you start?

A good starting point is the consideration that you want to make sure that whatever you build offers a return on your investment. While it may simply be that you family are out growing the space, it is always sensible to ensure that the space you are adding offers a return. What else should you consider?

It is good to always think practically. If you are adding more bedrooms to your property, then you should also consider additional bathrooms. If you are planning a double-storey extension, then you also need to consider access to the additional space upstairs. Are you increasing the size of your property so much that you should also consider additional parking? These are all elements that will need to be carefully thought out prior to requesting planning.

The cost of your extension is going to increase as the size does. There are guidelines on the average cost per/m2. These may range between £1000 to £2000, depending on the preparatory work required and standard of finish. The higher the standard of specification, the more you will pay. It is also important to remember that if you are considering a double-storey extension it will not cost that much more per square meter. Why is this? The cost of the foundations and roof are required whatever for a single-storey extension. Adding another storey means the addition of walls and floor joists but a proportion of the additional costs can already be attributed to those already agreed for a single-storey project.

Planning permissions may not always be needed for your extension project. However, it is always prudent to seek advice in relation to this. You may feel that your plans fit under the permitted development rights umbrella, but it is important at this stage not to make assumptions. It may delay the process slightly but the peace of mind that you will get from going through the correct channels is well worth it. There may be individual stipulations on your property or neighboring properties that you are not aware of.

Further down the line you also need support with meeting building regulations. These form a separate process to planning permissions and are required for building projects. These rules, put simply, have been formally agreed to ensure that minimum design and construction standards are met. Local authority representatives will visit the property regularly to ensure that the work completed meets these standards.

Rest assured that your chosen builder will be in a position to help and support you through each stage of the preparatory work and beyond. Time invested in finding a reputable local builder will pay dividends as much of the worry will be taken away. This guide has been put together to provide a starting point for your building project. There are many elements to consider, however, a well-informed approach is always advisable and will inevitably produce a better standard of finish.

Solar Boating Lights

Solar lighting works almost anywhere and all you need is the sun. The cells attached to the light (which can be a string light, a lantern, an adhesive light or any other configuration you can think of) take the sunlight and store it in their batteries for future use. As soon as the sun goes down, the solar light will come on and the process continues day after day.

When you are on a boat, you know that space is a hot commodity so the use of solar lights is a great idea, no cords, no bulk and all the light you need. Likewise, on the outside of a boat, you can’t be worrying about tripping over cords and extensions while you are on deck so solar lighting is the way to go.

Rail lights attach to railings decks or bulkheads, they have no wires or batteries, and they cost next to nothing to install. The best part is they look good and they light up when it gets dark to illuminate the area. They are highly efficient, long lasting, green and in short: No muss, no fuss.

Under cabinet solar lights allow you to illuminate the galley without trading space to do so. They simply slide under the cabinets and light your way effortlessly. Handy solar lights that come in an easy to use and install rope application is a great idea for all areas on the boat that could use a little illumination. Use them to light your hallways, around windows or across ceilings, anywhere you can use light they can be placed. They come in a variety of colours and sizes and can be customized to your tastes.

Solar dock lights are also gaining in popularity as they can be placed anywhere and are also waterproof. Nothing is worse than not being able to see where you are going, and now, you can effortlessly guide your boat into dock with all the light you need. The best part is, the energy that they are using is totally free, as long as they can soak up the sun you’re golden!

Solar lights really can be used anywhere at any time. They light our world like never before and don’t have any of the nuisance that comes with trying to light places outside the old fashioned way–with cords and proximity to outlets being issues. Light your world the new way, go solar!

What To Know When Buying LED Downlights

LED downlights are easy to install and are the best when you want to have the dimmable aspect in the room, they are energy efficient and have been proved to last longer than other kind of bulbs. This has therefore raised their numbers in the market and it thus needs proper know how on the different types in line with what you want. This articles touches on the main considerations you ought to pay attention to whenever you thinking of purchasing some LED downlights.

What you should know when buying LED downlights.

The first aspect is energy consumption, how much bill are you willing to pay? Despite LED bulbs being energy efficient more bright light will mean more energy use. Compare the wattage and if they prove to be saving while delivering the right amount of light then go for them.

Mode of installations, this points out to the different ways used to install LED downlights for example when using the recessed type of installation the ceiling should not be too high, otherwise when the distance is too long more energy may be required to light up the space.

LED bulbs do not all work with universal or previous installed dimmers, it is therefore advisable to purchase a package that come with its own set of dimming installations in order to have the right light effect whenever needed.

You should also know that they come in different colors and varying quality of light. This is however dictated by personal preferences and the temperament they want to create. For example one may prefer those with reasonable CRI value which is common with most people. CRI value is the degree in which a light source is able to portray objects in their realistic color.

The right LED bulbs should be in compliance with safety compliance measure that have been illustrated by the law. Whenever you want to buy these bulbs make sure that they do not violate any of the safety guidelines to avoid dangers.

The other aspect is their use, for example for commercial use there are guidelines according to each building and they must be adhered to. For home and domestic uses the owner is in charge and is only bound by the state laws on energy and their budget.

Conclusion

LED downlights are the best lighting installations in any set up, they come with more advantages than any other and are guaranteed to last you for a sensible duration without losing their brilliance.

Considerations When Choosing Freestanding Letterboxes For The Home

Today, in most homes, freestanding letterboxes are still some of the most sought-after types of letterboxes as they come with their own stand so that they can stand upright, without needing to be attached to a wall or fence for support. Freestanding letterboxes come in different sizes, designs, and materials. If you want to make sure you choose the ideal one to have on your property, consider the following factors when shopping for one:

First, check the size. You need to consider the usual size and number of mail you will receive regularly. You also have to factor in the frequency of receiving this kind of correspondence and if you will be opening your letterbox to get your mail every day or if you will be doing so less frequently. The size, quantity and the volume are all important. Don’t forget to consider the size of the area where you intend to place the freestanding letterbox as well. Since you will be getting a letterbox for personal use, you should only choose between two sizes: medium and small. A medium-sized mailbox can hold several days’ worth of collected items of small to medium sized items. A small one will be ideal for small items and daily retrievals.

Choose whether you want front or rear access. You also have to consider how you want to retrieve your mail. Would it be easier for you if you can do it via the front of the drop box or its rear? If there isn’t too much space around the letterbox or it is installed near a wall or against bushes or plants, a front access commercial mailbox would be best so that you won’t have to negotiate a tight space behind the receptacle to get your mail. A rear access letterbox, on the other hand,can give you the convenience of opening the receptacle from the safety of the rear. If your mailbox is placed very near the road or street or even a busy sidewalk, you can avoid getting hurt and even be provided some privacy whenever you retrieve your mail when you open the box from the rear.

Tips on Choosing New Staircase Parts

Stairs are a prominent feature of most homes, so getting the design right is important. A beautiful staircase can make a fantastic centrepiece to impress your guests, as well as serving a practical purpose.

But looks are only part of the story – safety is another vital issue. Many older staircases fall short of modern standards, so replacing your stair banisters can help bring your home up to scratch. Here are a few decisions you will need to make:

Which materials?

Most household staircases are manufactured from wood, but metal and glass are becoming more popular. Timber will probably still be part of your stairs, at least as far as the treads and supporting structure are concerned, but you may decide to combine wooden staircase components with glass panels or steel spindles (also known as balusters) for a more contemporary look.

Wood is a beautifully warm, versatile material that will suit any setting. It is ideal for a wide range of designs, including curved stairs, turned newels and different styles of handrail. Wooden stair spindles, in particular, can be readily worked into all kinds of decorative shapes – or left plain for a minimalist look.

Which timber is best? Pine, hemlock and sapele are worth considering if you’re on a tight budget, especially if you are intending to paint or stain the staircase. At the other end of the scale, ash, walnut, southern yellow pine and oak stair parts offer premium looks and durability, but come at prices to match.

Metal stair balusters shaped to resemble wrought iron are extremely popular nowadays, with a wide choice of both traditional and contemporary designs on the market. Durable and decorative, they can easily be painted to match the rest of the decor if required. You can also get chrome or brushed nickel effect stair spindles for an ultra-modern feel.

Glass panels can look stunning on a banister rail, and are ideal for poorly lit spaces as they allow light to flow freely around the room. They can be combined with wooden or metal handrails and newels – and even glass treads, for anyone keen to add a touch of contemporary glamour.

Which handrail design?

There are two main types of handrail system: post-to-post and over-the-post. The strongest, most popular and economical design is post-to-post. In this system, the handrail runs between the newels and is fitted into the sides of the newel posts with traditional mortise and tenon joints.

In an over-the-post configuration, also known as a continuous handrail system, the rail runs over the top of the newel posts, often ending in a decorative swirl called a volute. This design is more eye-catching and elaborate, but a little less sturdy than the post-to-post system. However, it can look stunning and is regarded as a sign of quality by home buyers.

Staircase safety

When revamping your stairs, you can take the opportunity to bring them up to date in terms of safety as well as style. The most important modern regulation, brought in to prevent small children becoming trapped, is that no gap anywhere on a staircase should be large enough for a 100mm sphere to pass through. This applies to every stair part, but the main thing to look out for when replacing the banisters is the amount of space between spindles. In order to comply with the 100mm rule, the distance between the spindles (or glass panels if applicable) must not exceed 99mm.

The measurement is taken from the smallest part of the baluster, so if you buy turned balusters you will probably need to order more of these than the square or stop-chamfered varieties. Staircase manufacturers will be able to help you calculate the number required to meet the regulations (usually two spindles per tread).

The rule also applies to the space between steps on open-tread stairs. If it is greater than 99mm, you’ll need to install riser bars at the rear of each tread to reduce the size of the opening.

Conclusion

Choosing new stair banisters, or indeed a whole new staircase, can present an array of challenges, with potentially tricky decisions to be made about design, materials and costs. However, the process will also give you the opportunity to improve a key part of your home – and, of course, increase its overall value.

Planning Your New Staircase – 8 Great Tips

Although we tend to take them for granted, stairs can have a surprisingly big impact on the look and feel of our homes. An attractive, well-designed staircase can give the whole property a lift, adding instant appeal and even increasing its resale value. Shabby stairs, on the other hand, are likely to have the opposite effect.

But how do you go about planning for a new staircase? Follow these simple steps:

1. Measure the height

Before ordering your stairs, you need to determine how much space is available. Start by finding out the floor-to-floor height. This involves measuring from the top of the finished lower floor to the top of the finished upper floor. The term ‘finished floor’, by the way, refers to the surface you walk on and includes any floor covering such as carpet or laminate. Once the staircase manufacturer has this information, they can work out how many steps are needed to create well-proportioned stairs that comply with UK building regulations.

2. Measure the width

Having established the height, you now have to find out the width. This comprises the total measurement across the strings and steps combined. (Strings, also called stringers, are structural supporting boards running along each side of the staircase.) Unless you’re designing a house from scratch, the width of the stairs will be determined by the current space available.

If you have any choice, go for the widest steps that will fit. A broad staircase is safer, easier to use and more practical, particularly in large family homes. While there is no legal minimum width in the UK, the standard figure is 860mm, so try not to make your stairs narrower than that.

3. Straight or winding?

As for the layout of the staircase, a single straight flight of stairs is the easiest and most economical option, as long as you have enough floor space. L-shaped and U-shaped stairs that twist back on themselves are widely considered to look more attractive. However, they tend to be more complicated, and therefore more costly.

To create a turn in the staircase so it can change direction, you will need winder treads or a landing – or a combination of both. A winder is a kite-shaped or triangular tread which is used to create a turn in an otherwise straight staircase.

A landing is an intermediate platform set between floor levels to join flights of stairs together. It might consist of a quarter landing (the width of a single flight of stairs) which makes a 90 degree turn in the staircase, or a half landing (the width of two flights of stairs) which creates a turn of 180 degrees, giving a U shape.

4. Treads and risers – open or closed?

The steps are made up of treads – the part that you walk on – and risers – vertical boards that form the face of each step. Risers can be open (with gaps between the treads) or closed (encased with solid boards). Open risers are particularly popular in modern homes as they increase the flow of light. However, young children and elderly residents may find them a little challenging.

Many people like to add one or two feature steps at the foot of the stairs for extra impact. Various combinations are available, including single or double D end shapes and more softly rounded bullnose steps.

5. String style

The strings, or stringers, can be closed or open. A closed – also called solid – string runs up both sides of the staircase and completely envelops the treads and risers, concealing the edge of the stairs from view. An open, or cut, string has the upper edge machined away so that the outline of the steps is visible from the side. This style is more complex to make, and therefore more expensive, than a closed string design, but is widely considered more desirable.

6. New newels?

Newel posts are upright supports that anchor the handrails, treads and strings of the staircase, forming an essential part of its structure – so don’t rip them out unless absolutely necessary. They come in a variety of designs and may consist of a single post, known as a plain newel, or a shaped piece of timber (a newel turning) attached to a separate base. If you are only revamping your stairs rather than installing new ones, you would be wise to retain the existing posts and just change the newel caps for a fresh look.

7. How many spindles?

Spindles, or balusters, are the vertical supports that connect the handrail to the rest of the balustrade. As they are such a conspicuous feature they can have a huge influence over the look and feel of a staircase, so give your selection plenty of thought. You don’t necessarily have to stick to just one style of spindle – try mixing and matching two designs for something a bit different. Glass panels are also a great way of creating a light and airy feel.

As a general rule of thumb, you need two spindles per tread, or one where there is a newel post on a landing. Most stair manufacturers will be able to help you work out how many spindles or panels are required.

8. Handrail hints

Under UK rules your staircase needs a handrail on at least one side if it is narrower than 1m, and on both sides if it is wider than this. Many people prefer to fit one anyway, for ease of use. Most handrails run between the newel posts (known as a post-to-post system), but on some stairs you can choose to have them flowing over the tops of the posts (an over-the-post system). You may also want a wall-mounted handrail, particularly if you have children.

3 Reasons to Love Glass Stairs

It’s not hard to see why glass staircases, in particular glazed side panels, have become so popular in recent times. As new-build houses seem to get smaller and smaller, and rising prices force many buyers to settle for modestly sized properties, home owners are finding creative ways to make the best of what space they have.

Using glass instead of wood or metal in your stair banisters can bring several benefits:

Light

The hallway is often the darkest part of the house, which isn’t ideal for making a good first impression on visitors. A traditional staircase balustrade, consisting of a handrail and base rail connected by wooden or metal spindles (also called balusters), will contribute to the gloom by blocking precious natural light. Using glass panels as the banister infill will instantly brighten the room by encouraging light to flow more freely.

Space

It’s amazing the way glass can make a room feel so much bigger. A transparent balustrade offers little or no barrier to the eye, increasing the sense of space. This is particularly useful for staircases situated in a living or dining room, as clear panels make the structure seem less obtrusive.

Style

Glass is much favoured by interior designers at the moment, and will suit almost any age of property. It can improve the look and feel of a modern house, boosting its contemporary credentials and bringing it bang up to date. At the other end of the age scale, glass can offer an interesting twist to a period home. A dark cottage with beamed ceilings and small windows, for example, can be brightened up and made more appealing by replacing solid wooden balusters with light-enhancing glass panels.

Which type of glass should you choose?

Good quality glazed panels should be made from toughened safety glass at least 8mm, and ideally 10mm, thick. Large single panels will create the most impact and allow maximum light flow. These normally have to be made to measure, so be prepared to wait a bit longer and pay a bit more than for standard sizes. Installation can be complicated, and is best left to professionals. Small panels are less showy, but more versatile and often the best choice for awkward layouts. They can also be combined with wooden or metal spindles if desired.

How is the glass fitted?

Depending on the staircase design and personal taste, you can usually choose whether to fix the panels to the balustrade with metal clamps (either at the top and bottom or at each side) or slot them into pre-cut grooves in the handrail and base rail. It is sometimes also possible to attach the panels to the handrail only, without using a base rail, so that the glass is suspended just above the steps. From an aesthetic point of view, fitting the panels directly into the wooden banisters results in a cleaner outline, but some people prefer the contemporary look of shiny metal clamps, or brackets. These are most often found in a chrome or brushed nickel finish. You can also use stainless steel discs if you’re after a particularly striking design.

Which handrail?

Wooden handrails are the most popular, and the most comfortable to use. A low profile (small and narrow) style will produce the most streamlined, modern effect, whereas a chunkier design may be more suitable for period properties. Metal handrails go well with glass for a contemporary look, and can be attached using brackets or grooves.

What about other glass stair parts?

Treads and risers are both available in glass. Treads can be made in a variety of thicknesses, usually between 20mm and 40mm. The glass should be toughened and laminated for extra strength, and include a non-slip finish. Glass risers are growing in popularity too. They can be fitted to the back of glazed treads or, more unusually, to wooden ones. This is guaranteed to produce the wow factor, letting light shine through the steps while keeping the safety benefits of a closed tread staircase.

Summing up

When it comes to creating a light and airy feel in your home, glass stairs are ideal – and the panels are available in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes that there’s a good chance of finding something to suit your particular circumstances. Just keep a cloth handy after installation, as smudges and fingerprints could spoil the impact of your stunning new staircase.

Convert Your Living Room – A Home Improvement

From early times in the United States (U.S.), up to the 1970s, much family activity centered on the living room of a home. Also known as “the receiving room,” home makers took guests there as soon as they entered the home. This room contained the best seating and furnishings. There, the draperies hung finely about the windows. A small piano might reside in the room. A vase with fresh-cut flowers and a bowl filled with nuts or mints might rest on the coffee table. “Eat something while I fetch coffee from the kitchen,” a home maker might say to guests.

Kept spotlessly clean, the living room location permitted the homemaker to entertain guests without their getting far into the dwelling (where messes lurked). A home maker might comfortably engage in polite and interesting conversation, and make an impression on guests in the living room. That location, the most formal, coat-and-tie room in the house, exuded sophistication as well as cleanliness and it wordlessly identified the family as rising in social status (or it did not). But, housing changed in the U.S. in the 1970’s when people wanted to express themselves, to have more choice, and they cared less about what guests thought of them.

They cared more about configuring their home with imaginative and useful living space. Still, even today, most newly constructed homes, as well as the ones built before the 1970s, have living rooms. Yet, the family room (where the radio once rested, then the television set sat, and now the wide-screen TV mounts upon a wall) practically centers both the family and their guests. Entertainment in the digital age, not simple conversation, requires access to digital content (no coat-and-tie necessary or wanted).

Homeowners began to remodel their living rooms into home offices, a special room ensconced with a desk, a computer work station, and online access. Then, the computer work station evolved to become the source of computer games and many former living rooms and offices became online gaming rooms. Now, neither computing nor gaming require sequestering in a room. A tablet or a laptop enables mobile computing and a smart phone enables online gaming.

Where does this leave the old living room? Some people place a bar there, complete with a pool table. For other people, this has become the guest bedroom (closed off with an access door to a full bathroom). Pets sometimes get the room for themselves, complete with their bed, toys, a hundes bar (a hound’s bar with water and kibble), and an access door placed at the base of the front door. Any of these ideas make more sense than a living room devoid of life, a haunt of bug ghosts and dust bunnies. #Tag1writer