Category: Blogging

How to Go Green at Home with Simple Tactics


Although many people were sure that it was just a fad and that it would die out in due time, green living is still going strong and is only getting stronger every day. Millions of people now realize the importance of living a green lifestyle. Not only is it important for our planet, but it can also help you to save a lot of money. Here’s some information on the topic.

Changing the light bulbs may be a step you have accomplished already. A few years ago everyone was trending toward CFC/CFL (fluorescent) lights. Well, if you have these in your home, it’s sad to say but you’re not very green. Of course, these bulbs do use a lot less electricity and thus can save you a lot of money over their lifespan. And they do last years longer than those older incandescent bulbs. But because of the mercury in them, they’re not green at all. Try to switch to LED bulbs.

As a family, you can start compiling a compost heap in order to treat the environment right. Not only will this compost pile come in handy for gardening (more on that later), but you can also get rid of some of that organic waste and give it back to the earth instead of allowing it to be carted off by your local trash guys. If you have organic food waste, then putting it in a compost heap along with your yard waste is a great thing you can do together as a family.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to cover every square inch of your roof with solar panels if you’re looking to save some money and cut back on your electricity. There’s no reason at all that you have to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars. Start off by installing one or two panels in order to supplement your electricity. You can grow from there if you wish, but getting started with only a couple of solar panels is a smart play. This will definitely cut into your energy usage.

Even if you don’t have a big yard at all, you can still put up a clothes line. In fact, you can even rig a line up on an apartment balcony if you really want to. If you’re drying your clothes out in the air, you’re not running that energy hog of a clothes dryer. It might not seem like such a huge change, but you’ll save hundreds of dollars a year by not using a dryer, especially if you visit a laundromat.

Planting an organic garden ensures that your family eats healthy, that you’re giving back to the natural habitat, and that you’re saving money instead of having to purchase produce at the grocery store. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The next time you’re thinking about different ways to go green, just remember to use what’s listed above to help give you the inspiration necessary. Going green can be very rewarding, so you should get started right away.

Understanding How Home Solar Energy Works


There are many advantages of utilizing solar energy in the home. It is an investment that every home owner should consider for cost-efficient energy consumption in the future. This article will provide you with the necessary information about how solar energy works and its benefits to modern living.

The effectiveness of solar energy greatly relies on the location of your home. As you might know already, solar energy uses the power of the sun, which means that the hotter your location is, the stronger the solar power becomes. Countries that are close to the equator receive the most benefits of solar energy. Nevertheless, solar energy can still be utilized in areas with humid climate.

Other than the location, solar energy only becomes beneficial if installed properly. Solar panels should be placed at the right direction, regardless of the direction the house if facing. It should be facing directly to the sun, without any kind of obstructions. If there are trees, posts, or buildings blocking the sun, the solar panels should be elevated at a height where there are no obstructions already. Instead of installing the panels on the roof, you may also mount your solar panels in your yard and still following the same instructions. However, you may need to spend a bit more for its set-up because of the need for additional wires and supports.

One of the greatest benefits of having solar power in your home is lower electricity rates. Because you will not be using standard electricity during daytime, you can save more energy in an entire month. If you have strong solar power in your location, you could use solar energy the entire day. Solar energy is definitely strong during summer months. Homeowners with solar panels installed can power all their appliances using solar energy during this time. Remember that summertime is the peak season for electricity consumption, which is why solar panels are very useful to homeowners. Solar energy can power up air conditioners, even with continuous usage. You can definitely save lots of money in the long run if you have solar panels installed in your home.
The best thing about solar energy generation in the home is that its excess can be sold back to the utility company. The generator can reserve energy for future use or the utility company can pay you with the amount of electric energy that you have not used. You can contact a utility company about this to know more about their policies.

Solar energy consumption is already known as a way of modern living. Many homeowners today have already installed and enjoyed the great benefits of solar power. You should have one installed in your home as well. You can contact a solar company today and know about the cost of solar panel installation in your local area. You should already take advantage of this invention for your own good. It makes your life easier and makes your electric energy consumption less-costly.

Stamped Concrete Maintenance


It is very important to have a routine maintenance for stamped concrete. It needs to be cleared from debris, stains, etc. Applying a concrete sealer is the best way to protect your stamped concrete. This way, you can preserve its color and sheen.

It is also best to consult a concrete contractor to know the right sealer needed to do the job. This is because of the variety of concrete sealing products available on the market. The contractor will tell you which one is the best sealer for the type of concrete you will be applying it on. There are certain products that are only good for regular stamped concrete and there are others good for high foot and vehicle traffic.

Furthermore, you should add resealing as part of your program. Most concrete contractors offer concrete maintenance services. Resealing should be every two to three years to keep its best look and condition. Your stamped concrete will start to fade should you exceed the said period. If your stamped concrete is directly exposed to sunlight, there are UV protectant sealers available as well.

Why Are Expansion Cuts in Concrete Necessary?


Concrete can shrink or expand with the changing temperature. This is why it is necessary to perform proper cuts in the concrete to allow for these changes. What are expansion cuts, expansion joints, and contraction joints? They are all different ways of preparing the concrete to handle any changes in temperature so that the structure or walkway is not compromised.

Concrete cuts are also called saw cutting. These cuts have to be done at predetermined spaces so that any shrinkage that occurs will not crack the concrete. These cuts can only be done after the material has been bolstered with enough strength to keep it from happening internally.

If the material and size of the concrete have to help the performance of nearby structures the concrete will need to be fixed with concrete joints to improve its stability. These joints also help stop cracks from happening. They are made by forming, tooling and placing joint formers in pre-planned cracks. This can also make the concrete look better.

These contraction joints have to be strategically placed. A rule is that they should be spaced about 24 or 30 times the thickness of the concrete slab. They are done this way to create weakened areas in the material so that cracks can be regulated.

They are tooled into the surface of the concrete at the time the concrete is placed down. They can also be sawed into the material when it hardens. This is why they are also called saw cuts.

Now that contraction joints have been explained, here is an explanation of what concrete expansion joints and cuts are. They allow the movement of adjoining slabs while minimizing cracks when movements occur. This also helps the concrete when it expands due to temperature changes. It will not put added stress on the system in place whether it is a sidewalk or a structure.

It should be evident that the reason the expansion cuts are necessary is the same reason the contraction joints are necessary. Each of them are placed when concrete is laid and either has set or the pour has been stopped longer than the initial set time for it.

These joints and cuts must always be designed by a structural engineer. As long as this is done, you will be able to construct your building or sidewalk with greater stability. You will also notice that the cuts, where positioned, can also make the concrete look more appealing to the eye.

Expansion cuts work just like contraction cuts do only in reverse. These necessary cuts should always be done between four and 12 hours once the concrete has been laid or poured.

Your engineer will give you the exact instructions for where to place the joints but there are some standard rules that are worth observing. For instance, the joints should be spaced between 10 and 15 feet apart. Always follow the exact plans for your particular project to assure greater stability and design appearance.

If you would like assistance with concrete cutting, please visit a concrete cutting website

Is Stained Concrete Worth It?


In the past, concrete was not a great material to build a structure within America. This is mainly because most people associated it with being ‘too formal’ and ‘too boring’ mainly because of its grey color. However, with stained concrete, things have really changed. Today, most homes in the country are built with concrete. This material has become the most popular choice, due to its strength, flexibility and aesthetic potential.

Being modern today is not only fashionable, but it has also become a competitive affair. People are willing to go out of their way for them to ensure that they are highly unique, thus ahead of the competition. Stained concrete has made this a possibility. It has helped create outstanding patios, driveways, walkways, pathways, pool decks, floors, and a broad range of other structures both in commercial and residential premises.

Is stained concrete really worth it? Below are a few pros and cons. Be the judge.


Increase the curb appeal of a structure

No one hates beauty. As much as this may seem a general statement, it is a fact that we cannot afford to turn a blind eye on. If you decide to build a concrete structure within your ultra-modern home, your dream is to transform it into an adorable and eye-catching piece of modern art. You need to be exceptional. You will not mind if people travel far and wide just to see your home, and pick an example from it. This is what stained concrete will help you achieve, utmost beauty.

Highly Economical

Did you know that you can get beauty without a price tag? Yes, you can! Stained concrete is highly affordable. Less labor and less work is required on this type of concrete, hence you will be saving a significant amount of money on these aspects at the end of the day. The goal of any homeowner is to build premises within his/her budget and still get the best out of it. Stained concrete will never disappoint. Actually, you can mimic some of the most popular building materials in the market such as marble, natural stone, and bricks, at a pocket-friendly price.


Whether you decide to use water-based or acid-based chemical stains, the fact of the matter is stained concrete is highly durable as long as it is well laid and sealed with the best sealants in the market. With it, you will stay lest assured that you will always have the best structure in the neighborhood for life, which will demand less from you in terms of maintenance.


Prone to imperfections

If not properly laid and sealed, stained concrete can transform from being the most beautiful element in your modern home to being the ugliest thing you have seen in your life. However proper sealing and finishing can be done to regain its beauty.

Not an easy DIY project especially in commercial settings

Using stained concrete is regarded as an easy DIY project in most settings, but definitely not in commercial settings. This is simply because some patterns such as marbling need a skilled hand in order to bring out the best results. Hiring a commercial concrete contractor to do this can be expensive.

Final verdict

For a fact, the advantages of stained concrete outdo its disadvantages. However, it is upon you to make an informed decision based on the facts laid above. Is stained concrete worth it?

On Point Remodeling: Low-Cost Bathroom Remodeling Ideas


remodeled bathroomAre you planning to add some glamorous affordable features to your bathroom such as chrome accent shelves, dramatic glass and mirror, and towel bars? Are you daunted by the actual bathroom remodel cost? That shouldn’t be the case because there are ways to remodel your bathroom without wrecking your pocket.

In this article, I will show you some on point remodeling ideas that are affordable but awesome at the same time. While bathroom remodeling is a challenging project, it’s also a rewarding one.

Affordable Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

 Refresh your bathroom over the weekend without spending beyond your budget with these awesome remodeling ideas. The bathroom remodel cost need not be budget wrecking because there are ways to give a new look to this intimate area of your home without spending much.

  1. Paint makeover

If you have an existing vanity cabinet with good storage, sturdy constructions and nice lines, you can refresh its looks with a new coat of paint or stain. If you have previously stained your cabinet, all you have to do is sand off the finish and apply a fresh stain. You also have to sand off any gloss from a previously painted cabinet and put some filler to smooth out any damage. Put on a coat of primer and finish it with a topcoat of your favorite color.

  1. Revamp the tiles

You can revamp the looks of your shower surround and the lower portion of the bathroom walls with low-cost white field tiles. These are affordable and nice looking and you can spice it up a bit by putting an accent of black liner that will visually connect the shower and the vanity area.

  1. Change the light fixture

Do you have outdated light fixtures in your bathroom? Changing outdated light fixtures with new and dramatic ones will give a breath of fresh air into it. You can shop around your local hardware stores for new light designs that will give your bathroom an new and mysterious sparkle.

  1. Floating vanity

You can make the room feel airy with a floating vanity. You can use a solid plank of wood and a sink vessel or you can outfit it with drawers for storage and a double sink. A floating vanity will create an open space between the floor and the bottom of the vanity, making it look updated and stylish.

  1. Replace the countertop

If you have a solid vanity, you can refresh the bathroom with a new countertop. You can use preformed laminate for afforbathroom renovation before & afterdable options, or if you want a little luxury for less, you can check out some remnant granite slabs.

Remodel your bathroom now by repainting the cabinet doors, or by installing a new toilet seat. Switching out the shower controls, adding matching accessories like towel bars and toilet paper holders are all quick and easy updates that don’t require huge budgets. On Point Remodeling bathroom remodeling is not expensive and can easily be done over the weekend.


Safety Of Your Smart House


Tons of information can be found online concerning smart homes and upgrades. There are a lot of devices out there which you can use to boost your home in all the ways that matter but make sure to install high quality ones at all times. The key to having a smart home is a calculated approach.

You will have all the options in the world when you check the internet. There are various websites online where you can read about these upgrades so that you would have some kind of idea on which of them your home needs.
You have to have control at all times and this is something that will give you that. You can start by choosing the devices which you actually need the most because going for the complete overhaul in your system can be quite expensive. If you can afford it, however, there is no one stopping you from going down that road, in fact, it would much more idea if you do so.

It has been proven that smart houses are so much safer to live in. It exposes the loopholes in ordinary home systems as well. Don’t be scared of living in a smart house because it can actually boost protection once you are careful of the professionals as well as the products you’ve chosen for your smart home.

These smart devices are truly brilliant. These gadgets pretty much have a mind of their own because of how instantly they can change things in your home to your liking. It’s like having everything you want given to you without you having to put any effort on it at all. Nothing makes you happier to live in a home than the convenience it can offer and this is exactly what these upgrades can do for you in more ways than one.

Issues of security are always there. Smart homes will put you less at risk for theft and invasion at all times.

Ordinary homes will always be at risk to these security issues.

If your home has poor security measures then there is always the possiblity of it being invaded.

Have skilled professionals work on it. They will have the knowledge needed to do the job right.

You won’t have to worry about errors with these professionals around.

Problems have to be fixed as soon as possible.

There are fewer problems with smart house technology.

These various technological methods installed in your home will surely boost it in all the ways that matter.

Having an automated thermostat for instance will be ideal for your home in so many ways. You can connect these to your mobile devices for better control of the system as well as the security details of your home.

The network that these devices create can only be accessible to you so you won’t have to worry about other people possibly getting control over it. Find out the way to boost the network using all the essential methods that can be used in a smart home.

There are programmable systems that would your smart home methods easier to use. Various professionals have already proven this so there is no need for you to worry about such issues at all.

There are so many ways to properly secure your smart home by placing the right automation systems and properly installing their upgrades as well. You can properly program personal information into these systems as well so that yours would be the only one recognized. This way, you would be only one to operate the entire system. Make sure to check for updates to prevent breaches of security as much as possible. The right system can perfectly fend off hackers without any problem at all.

How can you really tell if you smart house is safe?

It’s pretty hard to assume if the upgrades you are doing to your home are actually keeping it more secured or giving hackers the chance to break into it. This is where you need to be careful with how you go about these matters. You need to pick the best and most fool proof methods there are especially when it concerns the protection of your home.

Improve Your Basement by Installing a Wine Cellar


Are you among those who enjoy the special taste of Cabernet? Do you like white wine more than the red? Is it one of your greatest pleasures to have a good glass of wine?

Regardless of the occasion, a good wine one the table can never go wrong in improving the mood of the conversation. There are so many varieties all over the world. Each country are famous for their particular wine and their unique taste. There is no need to say that wine is one of the things that all of us love.

You may be one of those who want to have a wine cellar in their home. In this case, you may want to check out the extra room that you have in your basement. For a number of reasons, it is the perfect place to put your most beloved wines. We all know that we have to store them in cool places. And what better place than the coldest part of your property? You may already be dreaming of all the wines that you can put there and all the equipment that you want to get. You may be able to hold a party down here where you will let your guests marvel at your collection.

Did you know that there are countless wine accessories that you can buy from the market today to ensure that you are going to have the most exquisite wine experience? For example, we now have a tool that will help us determine the age of the wine bottle. We can also have essence kits, unique cork pullers, and so many others. If you want to make sure that your wine cellar is chilled all the time, there are also wine coolers that you can get and they will allow you to set the right temperature.

The list is endless: you can have the champagne bucket that will help you put the bottle in place, you can also purchase the corkscrew that will not require you to exert any kind of effort, canters, et cetera. They differ in terms of their sizes, shapes, and prices.

Maybe you are considering to have that cellar now. You will surely be able to offer your visiting guests the best wines they could ever taste. There is no limit as to what you can put in your cellar as long as they fit. This way, you can witness your most beloved wines age to reach their perfection.

There are so many kinds of wines that you can get today and they will surely impress you, a wine enthusiast. If you are planning to have your wine cellar built, there is nothing that you have to worry about because there are so many online sources that can help you come up with the best design.

The Importance of Garage Remodeling Home Improvement Ideas


People who have some issues with the use of space in their homes have found a way on how they could deal with these things. For houses that have a garage, the unused space in the area is usually used as a place for storage for the things not being used at home. Because of garage remodeling, people can become more organized with their things as they get to use the extra space they have in their garage.

Garage remodeling is actually one of the concepts being talked about by a lot of people nowadays.

Most home owners are aware of how the garage can be used as a place for them to create an office, a studio, or even a place for workshop. Since garage has its own floor and roof, people can easily transform the area into a different place to use the space that it has. Your garage can turn into a different kind of place when you install a heating and cooling system and give plumbing services in the area.

The storage area of the garage will never be neglected even if the home owner will try to use the space in the garage for something else. The area that is near the ceiling can be a place where shelves are placed to store the necessary things home owners have in their homes. Home owners can even make a small area for storage of the things that was previously inside the garage to make them more visible to people in case they need them for landscaping.

Making some expansions in the laundry room is actually a good home improvement idea as well.

Laundry rooms are commonly found next to the garage which make home owners think of using the space that the garage has. The extra space in your garage can be added to the space of your laundry room to make it a bit bigger. Putting up a door and a wall in the extra space of your garage area can actually help you expand your laundry room a bit more.

Another thing that the extra space in your garage can be used is by adding a mud room in your home.

Mud rooms are not really common to a lot of people. This is actually a place where family members remove the clothes they have been using all day or the dirty footwear that they have to avoid any dirt from entering one’s home. To promote cleanliness in your home, placing a mud room with the extra space your garage has is actually a good idea. Placing a sink and a cabinet in your mud room is another way to keep your house cleaner than it was before. A mud room is definitely one thing people should consider.

A home office is another thing you can create with the extra space of your garage.

With the evolutions in the field of technology, it is already possible for people to work at home and establish their own office at home. There is no need for you to alter your bedrooms when you always have the extra space of your garage to be used for your home office. You can actually create a home office by using a small space in your garage, putting up a wall, installing a heating and cooling system, and placing some lights in the extra space of your garage.

The truth of the matter is that using the extra space in your garage is actually a good way for your homes to add more equity in the process. When home owners start to show their creativity with the extra spaces in their homes, they can definitely add so much beauty in their place.

Floor Tile: Installing for Home Improvement


There is a lot of benefits that you will be able to enjoy when it comes down to installing floor tiles into your home, so there is no doubt that this is an amazing home improvement project you would love. These floor tiles last forever and they are also quite beautiful as well, so it is a win-win using these tiles. And the best part is that it is simple enough that you will not need to hire a professional. All of the tools and materials can also be purchased at your local home improvement store as well.

First things First

The first thing you will have to do when installing floor tiles is to remove your old flooring. In order to do this you will have to remove your baseboard that go along the room, and also the doorjamb moldings as well. It is important that your substrate is in top notch shape as well. Tiles can last forever and they are quite durable, however the problem is that they are pretty brittle as well, so you will need to be careful when you are handling them.

If you want to put your tiles on a wooden floor, then it is important to ensure that it is properly stabilized as well.

There are a number of methods you can use to stabilize a wooden floor, such as using a cement backer board.
Deciding the Layout

When you want to properly install floor tiles in your home, you will have to consider the layout. This means properly measuring the length and also the width of your room, so you will be able to figure out the square feet.

So when installing the floor tiles, it is important just too dry fit them onto your floor. This will allow you to see if they will fit properly, however make sure to put spacers which will be for the grout.

Installing the Floor Tiles

Installing floor tiles is actually a walk in the park. All you would need to do is mix your mortar until it becomes thick like peanut butter. Then you will want to spread it evenly on the bike of your tiles. Then press the tile onto the floor and make sure you use a good amount of force as well without squeezing out the mortar.

It is a good idea to begin in the middle of the room and work your way out..

And that is the basics on installing floor tiles for home improvement.

Concrete Countertops: Artwork That You Can Use


One of the trendiest countertops out there is the concrete countertop and this is because they provide a natural look, they are earth, solid, look awesome, and they are durable as well. Not only that, concrete countertops are completely and totally customizable as well. Before, countertops are typically boring and pretty simple but now we have the option to make our own styles, designs, and looks thanks to concrete countertops. There is a lot of reasons why you will want to use concrete countertops in your home but the best reason is because you can have them in ant color, style, and shape you want, just try doing that with granite or other kinds of materials.

When you are selecting a concrete countertop, you will have a lot of options available to you, especially regarding the edge because you do not need to have the normal basic flat straight edge that is common on a lot of countertops. You can have carved styles, fancy styles, rounded styles, and basically any style you want just to make your house look that much more unique. That is just the first part of the many different customizable options available to you regarding concrete countertops.

Concrete really wants to be customized and personalized because looking at its natural state; it is desperate for some personalized touches. In order to understand this, you will want to look at the first part of the countertop’s actual life. When the artisans create the concrete countertop, they will make a negative of what the actual countertop will end up being once it is finished. Once they are finished with the negative, they will pour the concrete in and let it cure, then polish it, and then install it. Basically, every single concrete countertop is made custom for that particular situation but the finished product will just be a plain flat countertop begging for some attention and some customization, similar to buying a plain car because it will look at you like it wants some new wheels or a new look and these countertops are the same way.

When you are looking at your own concrete countertops, it is like it is talking to you and telling you that it wants to be personalized and molded to your own personal liking in order to create something that is not only beautiful but something that is also functional as well. It does not matter if you have a elegant style or a simple style, you can tailor make your concrete countertops to match that look and design perfectly which is pretty amazing and they can be used for not only your counters but also for your sinks and even islands as well. Once you begin exploring the possibilities of concrete and learning what you can do, you will realize the limitless opportunities to really transform the countertop into something truly amazing. Concrete is an amazing material and if you want to add your own touch and style to your home and kitchen, then concrete is the way to go without a doubt.

For more information on concrete countertops, contact the top concrete contractors, AAA Concreting on (602) 497-1436, or visit their website at

Some Ideas for your Bathroom


Everyone wants to have an amazing bathroom; after all we spend a lot of time in here. So if your bathroom is too small or too bland, then there are many different kinds of things that you can do in order to improve it. All you would need to do is some amazing design and there are many ideas out there that can transform your boring bathroom into a proper throne room.

An old house will usually have a pretty small bathroom that measures around five by eight feet. So if you do not want to feel like the walls are closing in on you, it is as simple as using smaller items inside of your bathroom. So downsize your sink and countertops to make the room feel bigger, and also paint it a lighter color as well.

If space is at a premium then you will want to be able to use all of it, but it is important to make the bathroom cramped either. You will want to make sure that you can put in vanity lighting, as well as light colored paint, to make the room feel larger.

If you want a modern design in your bathroom then you can use horizontal tiled lines with a frameless mirror, because this can also make the room feel bigger while also feeling modern.

You may also want to use a smaller vanity but an effective one that will still allow you to use it without hassle. Also, make sure you can use a vanity that has drawers underneath, in order to improve the storage space.

If your walls are bare and you want to decorate it, then you could use a long horizontal mirror. This can really make your bathroom feel a lot bigger, and you can see this design in a lot of places as well.

Paint can be helpful in making a small bathroom feel bigger, but there are other options as well. A good option that is available to you is white marble tiles paired together with a frameless mirror. Also you could use a glass door shower instead of a bathtub, as this will free up a ton of space within the bathroom.

So if you follow these little advice and design ideas, you can most definitely transform your small boring bathroom into a spacious luxury bathroom without spending a lot of money. You could expand the bathroom, but this is expensive and when you use the design ideas in this article then you will not have to do that at all.

More bathroom renovation ideas

How to Take Care of Your Granite Countertops


Granite doesn’t have to be difficult to care for. With the right plan of action, you can make it quite simple. Here’s how.

Clean Regularly

Granite may be hard, but it is also very porous. That means that if it isn’t sealed, the granite top can soak up acid and cause etching. Other dangerous substances for your granite countertops include mustard, wine, oils, any citrus and many chemicals. If they spill on your countertop, you need to clean them as quickly as possible.

To clean, just add a few drops of a mild detergent or dishwashing liquid to a soft cloth. Soak that in warm water and then wipe the counter thoroughly. Dry it off afterwards using a soft cloth.

Get Rid of Stains

There may be stains on your countertop that this cleaning method won’t get rid of. For those times, consider using one of these other methods.

Poultice- A cleaning powder made from clay, poultice gets rid of oils and grease with ease, absorbing them and solidifying so you can simply wipe the oil away. Even if the oil has become deep-set, the poultice should take care of it.

Acetone Thinner- For marker stains, you can use acetone thinner. The darker your granite is, the better this method will work. For lighter granite, you will be better off with hydrogen peroxide.

Keep It Sealed

Sealing your granite can protect it from a lot of substances that would disfigure or mar your granite. But you need to be careful about using sealer on all granite. If the granite’s manufacturer used a resin treatment when they were creating the granite countertop, then having a sealer on there would be redundant.

Your sealer needs to be checked every year or so. You can easily check by pouring a little water on the granite. If you see the water soaking into the stone, then it’s time for another coat of sealant. It’s a good idea to have your counter re-sealed once a year. You can do it yourself by applying the sealer with a soft, cotton cloth.

Granite makes for very nice countertops, but if you want yours to last, you have to take good care of it. Using the steps above ensures its long life and cuts down on the maintenance you will have to perform.


eco bridge

Environmental Construction Products and Trends


Trends in sustainable and environmentally friendly construction continue to inch towards the mainstream, with new products being introduced almost daily that are more cost effective and efficient than ever. Here are some products and trends in environmental construction:


Use of alternative building materials, including reclaimed woods, recycled metals and non toxic materials are making homes more green from the inside out. Even insulation is becoming more green, with wider usage of a mixture of recycled cotton and denim materials instead of toxic and dangerous to install traditional insulation.


There’s a wide range of environmentally friendly flooring options. From concrete to stones, recycled metals, recycled tiles, recycled glass, reclaimed woods, sustainable woods, bamboo, cork and even more environmentally friendly linoleums.

Paints and Finishes

There is now a large amount of paints and stains available for your interiors, including walls, floors, bathrooms, staircases and all your surfaces. These new products are either non-toxic or use much less toxic chemicals, making the eco-friendly choice also the most healthy choice for environmentally sensitive people. In addition, these less toxic paints and finishes are much easier to dispose of.


Traditional new carpeting uses a lot of chemicals to produce. In addition, the installation of new carpeting will typically fill the indoor air in your home with what are called “VOC’s” or volatile organic compounds. These compounds include chemical carcinogens like benzenes and even formaldehyde. That new carpet smell is actually a cocktail of chemicals you are breathing. These chemicals can take several years to dissipate from your indoor air. By using eco-friendly carpeting, you are eliminating or severely decreasing the amount of chemicals you are bringing into your home. Also, the materials used in eco-friendly carpeting are typically recycled or sustainable. Most carpets need padding and these too can be loaded with chemicals. Instead, homeowners can choose new environmentally friendly carpet padding that is made from recycled cotton.

Cabinetry and Countertops

Even kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and countertops can be eco-friendly. New cabinet options include cabinets made from completely sustainable woods using non-toxic finishes. For countertops, new non-toxic composite materials including quartz and recycled glass chips are available. Even the glue used to adhere the cabinets to the countertop can be an eco-friendly water based glue product.

Whether you are building a new home, remodeling or simply performing some upgrades, you won’t want to ignore the many eco-friendly options.

soundproofing material

How Soundproofing Material Works


Sound vibrations are transmitted through the air, causing problems with noise entering and exiting your home studio. Many materials used in home construction, such as wood and drywall, are conductors of sound. Blocking out these sound waves is the purpose of a soundproof room. This is usually done for a home music studio.

For the highest quality, most complete soundproofing, you should hire a professional. The cost of a professional can be prohibitive for many people. You can construct a soundproof room in your home with a little knowledge and the right soundproofing material.

How Soundproofing Material Works

Soundproofing material works by interrupting sound vibrations. This isolation must be complete, or you are wasting your time. One hole in the material will ruin the effect. Sound waves can travel through the smallest hole or gap in the material.

Fiberglass is the material preferred by many professionals. Lead barriers are often used in professional studios. These need to be installed by someone knowledgeable in both the material and the principles of sound waves. This understanding makes the professional the best choice if you want the job done as thoroughly as possible.

Sound Absorbing Techniques

Sound absorbing and soundproofing materials work differently. Each product has different purposes and the two are not interchangeable.

Acoustical foam is sometimes used by professionals and often used by the do it yourself person. This is not used for soundproofing, but for absorbing the sounds within the studio. Not all foam is created equal and these materials are rated for fire safety. The ratings are listed as class A, B, or C. Fatal fires have resulted from use of inferior materials. The class A material is the most expensive, but is the most fireproof. Your safety is worth the additional expense. When using foam, make sure there is a clear path out of the room in the event of a fire. Fire resistant materials release toxic fumes in a fire, which will kill you faster than the flames.

The purpose of soundproofing material is to reduce the sound waves being transmitted into your studio from the outside. This is generally done through material in the walls, ceiling, floors and windows of the studio. Most materials are rated for the number of decibels the sound is reduced. For the materials to be effective, they must be installed correctly without holes or gaps.

Using and Installing Soundproofing Materials

A double wall is the ideal sound barrier that can be built by the do it yourself handyman. When building a second wall, it’s important to use floor insulation. This prevents the sound waves from being transmitted between the two walls via the flooring. Flooring carries acoustical energy and once the vibrations start, it can be nearly impossible to stop them. Thick carpeting is used because it absorbs these vibrations. There is no sound when walking on thick carpet.

To be effective, don’t just nail sheets of drywall to the existing wall surface. Sound will travel through the wall to the drywall. You need to create two completely independent wall sections. Make sure the studs aren’t directly across from each other. For best results, studs should be staggered across the length of the wall. A concrete surface at the bottom of the wall helps prevent sound from reaching the other wall and ultimately, your room.

The space in between is filled with sound proof material. Insulation can be used and is usually sprayed or blown into the area between the sections. You could also use foam insulating material or wool. Be sure to leave several inches of space between the two walls for absorbing the noise adequately.



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