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.

The Benefits of Building a House Extension

One of the big issues generated when the children are growing up, and new members are included in the family, is how the space will be enough for them. Precisely for that reason, a lot of people start considering what to do in order to find solution for the problem. For example, some of them buy a new house or apartment, while others begin to think how to extend the current house. To be frank, I do not know the answer of this kind of problem but at least I can help by providing the benefits of the house extension.

It is well known that the market of houses is quite expensive. So in this sense I would like to say that this is the biggest benefit of the building of a house extension, the money you will save. There are other factors, which are also beneficial but this is the most important. Moreover, everyone searches for cheap and affordable solution of any problematic issue. Hence, it seems that the generated extra space of the house will be the best manner to accomplish such aim. As a matter of fact, I can say this in other way. It isn’t worth it to purchase a new property with two or three more rooms only because there is a lack of space, especially when you have chance to have them with less spent means. As a consequence, you and your family will have the necessary rooms with many other pluses.

Other merit of the building a house extension is the fact that you will be in your home. Everyone loves to spend his or her whole life in the birthplace. This is a dream for everyone, so when there is an opportunity for that to be done, we need to catch it. What is more, if you move in a place somewhere else you will encounter many problems. For instance, you need to move all your stuff. Probably, there will be a need of changing the schools of your children as well as their itinerary to the schools. Another bad thing is that you are supposed to have new friends and neighbors, something unnecessary if you extend the house. The route to your work will be different too. Hence, if you want to omit those obstacles, the best way is to make your home bigger.

When you extend your house, you will have supplementary space only for you. However, this is not as important as the next advantage of that to have extended house. To stop beating against the bush I will say that you are supposed to have bigger value of the house price.

Ideas for Home Improvement

Most of the people take on a home improvement project to increase the value of their home. By adding new features to your home or doing a repaint can really increase its value of your home. However, there are also a lot of people who decide to work on the repairs or remodeling of their home if they haven’t gone through for their home renovations for.

There are so many ideas for home improvement that could be carried out to increase the value of your home while making it more attractive. Putting these ideas into action will makes your home more livable, enhancing the comfort you experience daily.

There are many home improvement projects like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling and window replacement that have been using as the main aspects of home improvement. You can implement numerous ideas to make your home more good looking and comfortable.

Kitchen is a good place to start when considering a home improvement project. The good start would be to make your kitchen to have a new and shiny look. The biggest problem here is the kitchen cabinets. To get around this, you can either rebuild with new cabinets or reface the existing ones.

Another idea for home improvement work from your kitchen would be to change the kitchen floor. Kitchen flooring can make a huge difference in the general form of cuisine. There are many options for you to choose from, you can either use hardwood floors, ceramic and stone tiles or you can use laminate, which is a relatively new but increasingly popular option.

Bathroom is another prime area of the house when it comes to home improvement. If you decide to put your house on the market, a bathroom is one place that could easily put a potential buyer. So directing some attention that way can only be an advantage.

When it comes to the bathroom, there are some home improvement ideas that can be applied. Here, the change bar can be just what your bathroom needs a more modern look. Adding panels or changing the one that is already there could give the bathroom a more finished look. You may want to change a bathroom or add another one, there are only so many things you can do to give added beauty to the bathroom and make it more upscale.

Changing your windows, sliding windows, picture windows, bay windows or any of a variety of window styles are available may also be important for the appearance of your home.

New Home Improvement Products Can Create Big Problems For Homeowners

I rarely buy new products that guarantee instant success for home repairs anymore. To be honest with you, I probably purchased over 50 of these items, before finally getting disgusted with myself for wasting so much money on these miserable products.

I’m not about to tell you what types of products these were, I’m just here to get you in the right mind, before you purchase any more of them yourself. If you’re looking at a product that guarantees some sort of plumbing pipe repair, find out if it has any type of guarantee. Can this item be returned if it doesn’t work?

Even if this item works temporarily, will the company who guaranteed it, cover and additional home repair expenses if this product fails in the future? For example, you fix a bathroom water supply pipe and everything looks great, but you leave for work one day, and when you come home half of your house is flooded.

I think you’re starting to get the point here, you purchase these products and they either work or they don’t. It’s like gambling at your local casino. They are painting you an illusion of winning large fortunes, but rarely deliver the product.

Whenever I walk into my local lumber yard, hardware store, home improvement center or large retail department stores, I see these products all over the place. I make jokes to myself and anyone around, but at the same time, I realize that these products wouldn’t be here if they didn’t sell.

I’m just trying to get you to think, before making some of these purchases. There are some products that give you a false illusion and you need to be aware of them.

Home Repair – 5 Tips to Find a Home Repair Company

Do you have a Home Repair that you want completed? Finding an affordable and quality company or contractor to do your home improvement repairs can be easy if you know what to look for. These 5 tips will quickly show you important traits to look for before choosing the contractor or company to do your home repairs.

1. Make sure you find out if the contractor is licensed and bonded to complete the home improvements that you are needing finished. An example would be if you lived in San Antonio, TX. In this case you would want a licensed San Antonio Home Repair expert not a Houston licensed repair contractor. Basic stuff, but important, to help cover your home in the event a problem occurs during the home improvement project.

2. What type of handyman services does this contractor perform? Home repairs can range from large to very small projects so having a home improvement company who provides many services is an advantage. These repair jobs may require a few skills to complete so having a well rounded handyman can save you money.

3. What type of experience does this particular construction contractor have? Have they been doing home services and building repairs for at least 5 years? Make sure to ask about references for jobs they have completed that are similar to your home project.

4. Be sure to get a written guarantee for all work completed! This could easily save you hundreds and maybe thousands down the road. If the business doesn’t provide a guarantee then go find a company or contractor who will.

5. How competitive is the pricing of the company when considering how good the workmanship is? Well if you have a company who can beat all prices and does a poor job you still lose! Make sure to see some before and after photos of their past jobs and then talk about pricing. Cheaper is not always better.

Going back over these 5 tips and really keeping things in mind like experience, skills, and services provided can help you choose the best Home Repair expert or contractor in your area. Remember cheaper service may not be the best quality so see some past photos before deciding.

Home Improvement Solutions That You Can Use

Home improvement makes a great hobby. After all, it builds useful skills, creates a sense of empowerment, and of course it improves the function and look of your home. There are lots of ways to do it, some right and some wrong. Check out these tips so the time you spend on home repair projects will all be time well spent.

Get new tiling. If your tiling does not match your walls, or is cracking and becoming damaged, replacing it is a better way of refurbishing your home that is relatively simple and inexpensive. Stick-on floor tiles are available at many house improvement stores, and if you want to use the real ones, they are not too expensive either.

You need to make sure that you are getting the best price for your building supplies when you are doing any repairs or renovating your homes. All building supply stores carry the same materials but they all charge different prices for the materials. In order to get the best price you need to compare all of the prices at the different stores.

No matter what project you tackle with you home repair, stay safe while doing it. Wear the proper safety protection for your eyes and hands. Read the operation manuals for the power tools that you are going to use. If you do not feel comfortable with anything and it seems dangerous, hire a contractor to do that part.

Almost all Do-It-Yourself projects are pretty easy and self-explanatory. Most people can paint a room, clean storm windows, and make minor repairs. Be careful not to overextend your actual Do-It-Yourself abilities in more complex areas. Unless you really know what you are doing, you are likely to have trouble (and encounter danger) with projects such as Do-It-Yourself electrical wiring and DIY sewer line replacement. Call an expert!

Adding casual living areas to a home, is a smart and profitable home improvement project. Many homes have just one living area, the addition of a second that can be used as a family room or den are big plus to potential buyers who see your home as place that they can grow with their own family.

Follow the above tips, and the investments you make into home improvements will be wise expenditures of both your energy and the resources it takes to complete a project. From the smallest project to the most complex, home improvement can be rewarding and worthwhile in many ways — as long as you pay attention to tips like these.

Dealing With Calcimine Coated Ceiling

Out here in New England we have older homes that in the earlier days used lead paint or had lead mixed in with the oil paints. One of the biggest problems was “Calcimine” ceilings. Definition: cal·ci·mine also kal·so·mine n. A white or tinted liquid containing zinc oxide, water, glue, and coloring matter, used as a wash for walls and ceilings.

At first glance, the ceilings look like ordinary latex or oil painted ceilings when in fact calcimine is acidic and if coated over with standard latex or oil based paint with fail almost immediately. One way to determine if your ceilings are calcimine is to check the underside of a paint chip. If it is chalky more than likely, it is calcimine.

Trying to scrape and “skim coat” (When you use joint compound to cover the cracks and defects caused by a failed coating) you will notice the joint compound starting to bubble. The acid in the calcimine is breaking down the joint compound. The best way to approach this is to scrape as much as the loose ceiling as possible. Then seal the original ceiling (as is) before repairing.

There are products out there that deal with calcimine directly. One such product is “Cal- Cote” I have used this product many times. A heavy coating will seal the ceiling and give you a surface to work with. Therefore, you can start skim coating and repairing all the defects after the Cal-Cote is dry. (Typically allow it to dry over night.)

After you have applied the skim coat to the ceiling you will need to allow the compound ample time to cure. Depending on conditions, (How humid is it?) I would allow the joint compound over night also. Then when sufficiently cured you can sand (wearing a mask and goggles) to achieve a smooth finish.

When all sanded, apply another coat of Cal-Cote and your ceiling should last quite a long time. One other thing, Cal-Cote is a very thick product. Unlike a latex or oil, based paint, which will typically cover 300 sq feet per gallon, expect to get about 200 sq per gallon. Following these steps will help in fixing those old calcimine ceilings. You can always ask your local paint store what type of product they carry and the coverage rate of that particular product.

Home Improvement is Not For Everybody

Fixing up the house can be a tricky matter that many homeowners are not up to. Hiring some outside help is often the best thing for these larger, complicated matters that require professionalism to ensure they are done correctly. Keeping things simple and planning everything as much as possible is the best way to make sure that things are completed on time and in the most efficient way.

Moving through home improvement projects as quickly as possible is a priority for many homeowners. Nobody likes his or her yard to be in disarray for too long, so ensuring that everything get done without delay is very important. Avoiding problems and mishaps is the best way to ensure that everything runs according to plan. Incidentally, making sure that everything is planned out perfectly is another key in meeting deadlines the homeowners may set for themselves. Hiring a contractor for the larger, more complicated home improvement projects is often the best way to avoid these costly delays.

When things run smoothly, everything will fall into place. The homeowner will be happy with the work being done. The work will be done on time. The final product will be as the homeowner expected or planned and everybody will be happy. Ensuring that this is the case with each and every home improvement project is a struggle for many homeowners that choose to go at it alone. That is why hiring a professional to help with the more complex projects is the best way to ensure things are done properly.

Handyman and Home Repair Services

As a homeowner you are aware that something always needs fixing around the house. You may need a wall painted, a new appliance installed, or the roof fixed. If you don’t have the time or capability to do this on your own, you may need the home repair services of a handyman.

The home repair service business is now a major industry. That’s because many people prefer to call a handyman or skilled tradesman to do minor home repairs. Older or retired people living alone often require the services of a handyman. Of course, there are do-it-yourself who are perfectly capable of doing repair and maintenance work at home. However, even DIY enthusiasts may need the skills of a plumber or electrician for more complicated tasks.

Handyman vs. Home Improvement Specialists

A handyman and a home improvement specialist can both operate their own businesses but the home improvement specialist is required to have a contractor’s license. This is why hiring a contractor to do the same thing will cost more than if a handyman were to do the job. This is also why licensed professionals sometimes turn down smaller home repair jobs. If you need someone to paint a room, install new shelves or repair a dry wall, call a handyman. To build a new addition to your home or repair a staircase, you will need the home repair services of a licensed carpenter or contractor.

Home Repair Jobs for a Handyman

A handyman is a more affordable and convenient option for small household repairs. He is a jack-of-all-trades who can perform small maintenance and repair jobs that a carpenter, plumber or electrician would normally do, but at a lower cost. A handyman is good with his hands. He is usually self-taught, having gained his experience and know-how at his own home and by reading home improvement manuals.
Replacing your entire plumbing system or more complicated electrical wiring should be done by a licensed professional.

However, you can hire a handyman to perform simple tasks such as emptying storm drains, fixing a leaky faucet or putting up shelves. A handyman can also handle more complicated tasks such as installing a water heater or replacing roof shingles.

Where to Find a Handyman

Many handymen work on their own, setting up “office” in their own homes. People you know may be able to recommend a good handyman for home repair services. You can also search online for a handyman in your area. There are many businesses and franchises for handyman services. You can call on them if you need any repair or maintenance services at home.

Why Homeowners Prefer Solar Letterboxes

There are numerous letterboxes homeowners can make use of in order to secure their mails and documents. However, homeowners look for unique features to make simple letterboxes into wonderful decorative piece on their homes. That is why, more and more homeowners now make use of solar letterboxes. This type of letterbox has the same length and width of other mailbox. However, it provides more features such as a key lockable system as well as a wide mail slot for all your A4 mail & documents. In addition, this mailbox also has a newspaper holder. Fortunately, solar letterboxes even offer more features for homeowners. Below are some of the following.

Features stainless steel body and lid

One of the main reasons why homeowners are now using solar letterboxes is due to its stainless steel body and lid. Most of the time, homeowners use steel letterboxes to secure received mails and documents properly. However, due to extreme weather conditions, steel mailboxes may rust. As a result, mails and documents will be dirty, which can compromise important information in your mail. Fortunately, solar letterboxes are made from stainless steel which is weather resistant. Not to mention, stainless steel is easier to maintain and to clean.

Reduce the use of lights

The next reason why homeowners prefer solar powered letterboxes is they can reduce the use of lights. This is possible since solar letterboxes are equipped with LED lights that can last from 10 to 18 hours. This gets even better since the LED lights are solar powered, which mean you will not be paying expensive electric bills to light your letterboxes.

Better visibility

Since solar powered letterboxes are equipped with LED lights, homeowners are rest assured that the boxes will be more visible which can help you receive mails and documents that will be delivered during night time. Plus, the mailbox comes with 3 sets of adhesive numbers, plus a letters “A”, “B” & “/” to allow homeowners to customize their address.

Easy installation

Finally, solar powered letterboxes are easy to install. Homeowners only need simply tools such as screwdrivers, power drill and drill bits. Apart from that, solar letterboxes are wall mounted. So, you do not need to create holes on your walls to install it. And, homeowners do not need to install wiring to the LED lights.