Granite Countertops Still Top List of Home Improvements

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.29.2008 2 comments

(NewsUSA) - Despite the sputtering economy, consumer spending on home renovation remains healthy. Across the nation, homeowners are investing in home remodeling projects -; especially kitchen makeovers -; either to make their homes more appealing to buyers or more comfortable and enjoyable while they ride out the housing slump.

And one of the most popular home improvements is, once again, granite countertops.

A recent study of 10,000 consumers, conducted by the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence, found that kitchen renovations remain at the top of the list for consumers seeking to add value to their homes. When the study asked homeowners, "If you were changing your kitchen now and had no budget constraints, what improvement would you make?" granite countertops were among the kitchen features they coveted most.

Many consumers are tightening their belts but remain eager for granite countertops, according to Garis Distelhorst, executive vice president of the Marble Institute of America, the nation's leading natural stone association.

"Historically, consumers recognize that granite countertops enhance the value of a home in ways few other improvements can," said Distelhorst. "No other countertop surface can measure up to granite in terms of practicality, timeless beauty, durability and safety. This natural stone has held its value in ways more trendy materials have not."

Consumers continue to invest confidently in kitchen makeovers because the projects typically increase the resale value of their homes. In the last five years, kitchen remodeling projects have generally returned 80 to 85 percent of consumers' investments, according to the "Cost versus Value Report" from Remodeling magazine.

Because kitchen renovations increase resale values, experts agree that if consumers can only afford to renovate one room in their homes, it should be the kitchen. In fact, an all-new kitchen "that looks great and is fun to work in" was the top priority of 2,200 home enthusiasts surveyed recently by Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

"What we've discovered is that the home continues to be our emotional center and the sweet spot of everyday life," said Gayle Butler, Better Home's editor in chief. "Economic uncertainty aside, we won't stop spending, improving and dreaming."

For more information, visit the Marble Institute Web site,

The Truth About Granite and Radon/Radiation

Modular home in Palmetto - FL

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.28.2008 1 comments

Front view
Modular home
Street view
This is a nice 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom modular house in Palmetto, Manatee County built in 1979. Modular built homes are transported on flatbed trucks. Some of these houses are towed behind a semi-truck on a frame similar to that of a trailer. The house is usually in two pieces and is hauled by two separate trucks. Each frame has five or more axles, depending on the size of the house. Once the house has reached its location, the axles and the tongue of the frame are then removed, and the house is set on a concrete foundation by a large crane.


Basement Remodeling:

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

The Essentials

Remodeling contractor
In New York City, living space is a luxury that is mostly availed by the grand money-makers. For the average thriving everyday in busy New York, condos, apartments and small townhouses are the more popular option. Space is always an issue. But what most of these people have not realized is that there are still areas in the house left unused. If you are one of these people who have left their basements as storage where everything just catches dust or mold, then it is high time to consider some serious basement remodeling.

To start off, do ample research and hire a basement remodeling contractor in New York that you think is best suitable for the job that you need done. This project would require an advanced knowledge not only in construction and design, but also in flooring, heating, waterproofing, wiring, as well as plumbing. So, unless you are a contractor yourself, this project is better left for the pros to handle.

The NYC contractor makes sure that the job is done in reference to your needs, taste and plan. When deciding on the most suitable space to create out of the basement, consider the readily available advantages that it offers. You can plan to set it up as a dark room or home theatre, music room, play area, or just anyplace where you can enjoy the isolation and privacy. There are essential things to take into consideration while drafting your basement remodeling plan and these are:

Dampness and other water problems

The basement is an area in the house known to be more prone to dampness, flooding and other water problems. Before heading on to the rest of the work, this should be your primary concern. Depending on your budget, you can either have a de-humidifier or have good floor heating with waterproofing membrane to take care of the dampness. But even if the issues given rarely occur, you should still consider that proper insulation is in place. A basement remodeling founded by giving permanent solution to future problems would result to lesser costs in the long run with less risks of maintenance.


Another important element in basement remodeling is lighting. Having at least one wall above the ground is advantageous in maximizing natural light. To get more sunlight, you can have new windows added or increase the size of existing ones. For areas without windows, you can have radiant lighting fixtures. Mirrors mounted on ceilings and/or walls also help in heightening the effects of the lights.

Heating and air conditioning

Have a professional check if the heating and air conditioning of the whole house could amply accommodate the additional space resulting from the basement remodeling. If the existing system does well, the next step to consider would be having zoned heating and cooling. If not, have another heating and air conditioning system installed to control the temperature in the new living space in the house.

To achieve a basement remodeling project result to last a long time, focus on the given essentials. If you need to cut-off on the budget on some areas, be more creative and try to make use of the current floor plan. Incorporate the existing posts, support beams and other features that basement originally have into the design. Removing the visible duct work would also be expensive. To solve this unsightly portion, you can opt to have a low ceiling and just play with the lighting to make it seem higher, or frame boxes around the duct work with the rest of the ceiling in its original height.

About the Author: Eugene Makeev has been in the home improvement industry for a while. His skills and expertise, which have been polished through time, are now used to help New York home owners avoid the common pitfalls in home improvements by matching their needs with the right, prescreened Basement Remodeling Contractor New York. To know more, visit

Decks And Patios

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.26.2008 0 comments

Decks and patios are an ideal way to opening up the space of your home, creating a place where you can go to relax after a hard days' work, or have a nice family picnic with your kids. You can decorate your decks and patios to reflect your own personality, by choosing the style that suits you best. There are many different types of decorating styles for you to choose from, and if you visit the internet you are sure to get some great ideas on how to decorate your decks and patios.

New Backyard Deck and Patio - 01:53 min.

You can design your decks and patios as an added extension of your home, for instance placing your decks and patios next to the kitchen entrance would certainly make your home seem bigger than it actually is, and you can probably install some sliding doors that would make it seem totally connected to the rest of your home. When planning on building your decks and patios one of the most important things you should take into consideration would be the overall structure of your home, you should try and create your decks and patios area to fit into the overall design of your home.

The one thing you can all agree on is whether it is a deck or a patio that you are installing you are most certainly going to be placing a BBQ Pit on it. This is the place where the entire family can gather on a nice moonlight night and have a cozy family dinner in the comfort of your deck or patio. Choosing the right furniture is very important, and there are many different types of furniture available for your decks and patios designs. Another idea that you can consider is making your decks and patios into a particular theme, for instance you can create a really true American backwoods theme, by purchasing some nice old country furniture, and decorating you decks and patios with all sorts of items from that era, you can visit some of the antique websites where you are sure to find lots of items that you can use.

You should look for old cowboy hats and maybe an old horse saddle, old rocking chairs, and stuff like that would be ideal for your country theme, an d if you are fortunate enough you might come across and old water dip pale and a genuine rifle. You can craftily place all these things on your decks and patios to make it a truly recreation of an old farm house, including wood logs and all. Also for this theme you will have to choose a wood floor to complement your furniture and accessories, to reflect that era.

This is just one idea of how best you can decorate your decks and patios to enhance your overall outdoor design, but if you were to visit the internet you will be sure to find lots of fun and interesting ideas to create your perfect decks and patios schemes that are going to simply have your neighbors wondering about for days, after you have invited them to your very first barbecue party and they will probably be talking about it for weeks to come.

About the Author faizan. Visit DIY Home Improvement Ideas for more excellent "furniture and accessories" info and DIY guides from " true American backwoods theme" to decorating a living room plus more. "building your decks and patios

Modern Furniture Designs

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 1 comments

The art of furniture devise continues to evolve as the creativity of man is sparked with current dreams. The crucial furniture designs were to address the poverty of man for comfort and convenience. Nevertheless today, many designers are now incorporating the idea of talent and form into their creations to accommodate every individual's tastes and preferences.

Bed + furniture
The architectural designs of fresh homes do give a futuristic sensation both on the exterior and interior facing. In sincerity, these designs were regularly resulting from Sci-Fi movies that we generally see in theaters today. Modern designers and architects are now incorporating these futuristic visions into actuality.

This is also the lawsuit when it comes to furniture. We regularly stagger through department food or browse through different furniture sites on the Web to find these futuristic designs incorporated into different types of furniture. From the bedroom to the kitchen, each of these current designs addresses the neediness of man for the convenience and beauty.

Many would think that incorporating fresh furniture with old-fashioned homes is an act of impossibility. They may think that the outdated designs would hideously clash with fresh talent. Nevertheless we never grasp that ability of these recent designs to adapt well with their ancient counterpart.

It is very expensive to convert old-mold homes to accommodate fresh furniture, which is really a misconception. You don't have to request wide renovations or to get rid of old-form furniture to make way for the new ones. Both can work hand-in hand to give your scope a delicate, yet matchless think that a current-designed home should ooze. Before you dive into the prepare of generous your home an absolute makeover, you indigence to plan well in improve to maximize resulting with least sacrifice.

Gathering ideas are the first footstep to a successful modernization home improvement pitch. Look them up from home improvement magazines, TV shows, or even on the Internet to give you some idea on what you can work with. You can also balance different old-devise homes and how each individual homeowner adds fresh furniture into its fold.

Once you have found the fashion that you fancy to become your home into, you need to look into different modern furniture that will accentuate the beauty of your strategy. Consider the influence of your room, as well as the inclusive theme and flare that you want your home to display. If you are having difficult on this one, you can hire a professional interior designer to give you a hand.

The possibility of integrating modern furniture purpose with old-fashioned homes is endless. You need to let those creative juices flowing, while custody a severe strap on your conservatism to wrench it off. All-in-all, the success will correctly reveal the ultimate home of your dreams and something that you can be extremely be proud of.

About the Author: Allison Ayson writes for - SEO Company

Creating a Better Bathroom

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.24.2008 0 comments

A better bathroom starts with a center piece. The center or hub of the bathroom is usually the bathroom vanity. A person that walks in the bathroom usually gravitates to the bathroom sink. It is a natural reaction. A whirlpool tub will take away the center piece attention but if this is the case, the vanity then becomes a nice complement to the whirlpool. Either way it is important to have a vanity that exemplifies the quality of your bathroom. Finding the right bathroom vanity is now easier then ever.

Bathroom 1
A bathroom is both a place of comfort and a place for usage. It is a retreat that becomes private, but it is also a place where you can show expression. Visitors to your house will undoubtedly use this facility and this will also provide for an impression. Leaving your visitors awed can be an easy and relatively inexpensive proposition. Or you can also decide to expand your budget and go extravagant. Whatever you decide, it will start with the bathroom vanity.

When looking for a bathroom vanity it is important to look online. Prices online are thirty to fifty percent less than buying retail and it's usually better quality. (If you find the better websites). First, finding the better websites; this can be done by doing an internet search for key words like RTA (ready to assemble), bathroom vanity, or high end vanities. These types of words are more specific and will get you to what you are looking for faster. After you have found some reliable websites, take some time and scroll through the site. Make sure it's legit and then compare the site prices with a few other sites. You should see some big price differences and also quality differences. Shop for the best and make sure you are comparing the same thing on each site. Note: some sites sell vanities that look the same, but carry inferior material.

Keep in mind that avoiding retail not only saves you time and gas money, but it also provides delivery to your door and gives you a much wider variety. Vanities known as higher end or better quality usually do not show up in regular retail stores. Also, these types of vanities are usually found in major metropolitan areas (that have specialty shops), but because of the internet, shopping for unusual or high quality vanities is now possible.

Bathroom 2
So start your bathroom right. Build it around a great vanity and go from there. It can be a less expensive RTA (ready to assemble) style bathroom vanity or you can shoot higher and go for something that stands out as a piece of furniture. You will be making a statement and starting a new look. It will be a statement that shows off a different part of your house. Visitors might not expect to be impressed with the bathroom, but with the right vanity, a bathroom can have that feel. And from this you will have another room that is a show piece in your house.

About the Author: Gary Nealon. I have been remodeling houses for over 10 years... want to find out my secret to getting deals on bathroom vanities and bathroom furniture vanities? I have been able to save hundreds on each of my bathroom renovations.

Eco Smart Fire

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Designer range
Grate range
Burner only
Renovator range
This are models from Natrona - NY: Designer range, Grate range, Burner "only", Renovator range ($2,300 to $8,800).

The EcoSmart™ Fire is a new open fireplace, environmentally friendly, aesthetically appealing, efficient and cost effective. The modular design means it is versatile enough to fit into a wide range of architectural environments. Whether installed in a loft, studio, apartment, terrace house or freestanding home, the EcoSmart™ Fire provides the 'primal' warmth and comfort of fire while enhancing the contemporary aesthetics of today's living environments.

Ecosmart Fire featured on CBS - 02:44 min.

All EcoSmart™ Fires feature a burner as its core flame technique, externally looks clean and simple, internally the engineering and design is sophisticated and intelligently considered. The EcoSmart™ Burner assembles like a puzzle with a cover that seals and protects the internal mechanics. Its modular design allows varieties of fascias and enables it to slot into place.

The technique of housing and burning a flammable liquid offering an open flame in a controlled and safe environment has created a unique flue less open fire that can be installed just about anywhere -

How to Sell a Home in a Depressed Market

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.23.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Mark had a $7,000 dollar-a-month problem -; a mortgage on a home he couldn't sell.

Mark, a real estate professional, built the $1.25 million dollar property in an upscale Phoenix, Ariz. neighborhood, then watched it sit for over a year. With mortgage payments eating into his potential profits, Mark dropped his price several times. Buyers weren't interested.

"If you told me then what I know today, I would have shot you," Mark said jokingly. What didn't Mark know? That the housing market would crash.

In today's depressed housing market, profits prove unrealistic. Homeowners with sitting properties need to sell quickly.

Mark, accustomed to selling homes himself, turned to the Fast Action Homes Sales System to learn how to sell his property. Signs, printed ads and a custom-built Web site led to a weekend bidding war.

With a grueling year and a half on the market behind him, Mark sold his property in only three weeks following use of the new system. In selling for market value, Mark escaped the holding costs that threatened to ruin his personal finances. Figuratively, he lost two fingers in his real estate deal -; but he saved his hand.

In a down market, people who are set on a high asking price will see holding costs drain money from their wallets. The market cannot absorb the number of homes needing sale. Experts predict that the housing market will only worsen. Waiting for an upturn will leave sellers bankrupt.

On the same weekend that Mark sold his property, two other Phoenix residents also used the Fast Action Homes Sales System.

Judy, an interior designer, used the Fast Action System to attract over 100 visitors to an open house. She received nine offers.

John, an appraiser, rented his house to the wrong people -; his former tenants caused $30,000 in damages. To pay for repairs, John put himself in credit card debt. He needed to sell the house just to cover his bills. The Fast Action Home Sales System led several buyers to offer market value for John's house. John could not profit from the sale, but he could cover his losses.

Today's market leaves property owners with two options. They can either rent out their properties until the market improves, or they can escape the worst by selling their homes now.

To access a quick-start guide to the Fast Action Home Sales System, either visit or call 1-800-669-1038

How to Sell Your Home - 03:35 min.

Kitchen Remodeling Done By Professionals

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.22.2008 0 comments

The kitchen intimidates many people who are considering remodeling their home. They feel that the kitchen, among the different home renovation aspects, is the most expensive. This impression is derived from a lot of internet sites that tell them this. It is unfortunate, because a lot of people do want to have a great kitchen. It's time to find out what many people are afraid of is actually true.

The kitchen is not just a place to cook food; it is a place where members of a family interact with each other over a meal. There was a time when kitchens were not given much importance as far as their designs are concerned. That, however, does not hold true today. Today, many people (especially women) reject buying a particular house just because it does not possess a stylish kitchen.

Can you turn an awful kitchen into a beautiful one? The positive response to this involves kitchen remodeling. Although many people believe that redoing a kitchen is very costly, you can actually have your kitchen renovated within a reasonable budget. The basis for that lies in the latest technological developments in the construction and interior decoration fields.

Nowadays, with the readiness of new materials and gadgets, kitchen remodeling is a simple job for a local remodeling contractor. No trip to a bank is necessary; you don't need to borrow money for the job. Furthermore, all the hype about kitchen remodeling projects taking forever is just a myth. Cabinets can be customized and arranged in a couple of hours or so. There are vast numbers of paints and laminates to choose from as well to get the kitchen of your dreams.

You can maximize the space in your kitchen by using roll-out drawers and open shelf cabinets. Another consideration could be whether or not to replace your old cabinet doors with new and stylish glass doors. These simple solutions make it clear that unlike kitchen refinishing, kitchen remodeling can be easy.

It's imperative that you hire a professional in order to ensure a great kitchen remodel. Hiring an experienced kitchen designer will aide you in planning the remodeling. A modern, remodeled kitchen is among the most significant features of a home renovation. To locate a knowledgeable and experienced Washington DC architect to assist in the remodeling of your kitchen, try performing an Internet search.

About the Author: Terry Lamb. A redecoration of the kitchen area is the home renovation that is most in demand nowadays. Can you turn an awful kitchen into a beautiful one? The positive response to this involves kitchen remodeling.

Big house
While each architectural design firm has their own unique approach to their work, it is important to find a home architect that has architectural services that fit your needs. You need to be clear on your needs and goals when you are searching for the right architectural design company for your project. This way, you'll be sure to get the architectural services that you need. Some of the main questions you need to answer when looking for a residential architect include: do you need more space? What activities will go on in the new space? What is your budget for the project and how will it be financed? Will you be doing some of the work yourself? Once you have your questions answered and you know what you need and want, you can begin the process of choosing the right architectural services for your project.

Building Your List of Architecture Firms That Do Modern Design

Now you need to start building your list of architecture firms that can do the project you need. You can start by looking at the architectural design firms in your area that specialize in modern design. If you are seeking a residential architect (rather than building an office), search specifically for residential architects. Contact your local chamber of commerce for recommendations, speak to friends and relatives, or contact the American Institute of Architects. Any of these areas are great ways to find good architectural services for your project.

Custom Homes Architects or Residential Architects?

All custom homes architects are residential architects, but not all residential architects are custom homes architects. Some residential architects design homes for developments where none of the homes are custom - they are all the same.

Once you have a list of potential architecture firms that you want to interview, start at the top of your list and start interviewing. You should be able to tell right away if the chemistry is right between you and the architectural design firm that you are interviewing. This means that they should be able to answer all of your questions about modern home design, such as: luxury home plans, green design, minimalist architecture, and even postmodern architecture. If they cannot answer your questions to a degree that makes you feel comfortable with their architectural services, then they are not the architecture firm for you.

About the Author: Lydia. This informational article is provided to you by one of the most highly-regarded architecture firms in Asheville, NC: Carlton Architecture. Please visit their web site at

+ Fireplaces

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

4 fireplaces
To updating the fireplace to your home or to adding a new one, a gas fire or an electric fire may be worth your consideration. Besides the most obvious reason for wanting to add either a gas fire or an electric fire to the home, people tend to also want with their updated or added fires to match the décor and feel of the home even the prices and other things such as efficiency, quality can be the next things to consider.

More pictures here

Hundred Foot House - Orinda

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.20.2008 0 comments

100´ long bar
Rendering of a new house in Orinda, California, a proyect of Ogrydziak/Prillinger architects. Has a 100´ long bar (Hundred Foot House) is for a young family moving from the city to the country, an essentially transparent house.

2,400 sq. ft. house
Maximize the exposure of the interior of the house. The first design decision was to elongate the primary program into a 16'-wide 100'-long bar, increasing the perimeter adjacent to the outside.

The exterior space penetrates the interior, and the procession from ouside-in-and-outside-again is monumentalized as a fully transparent slot, stitching the house into the landscape.

The Minimalist Approach to Home Decorating

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.19.2008 0 comments

There's something to be said for simplicity in home design. There is a relaxing atmosphere to a room that just contains the necessities for comfortable living. Minimalism works to conquer clutter, to make a room easier to live in, to clean and, in the event that you are trying to sell your home, makes it so much easier to stage.

One thing that has to be made clear: minimalism does not mean sterile, no-personality furniture and decor. In fact, furniture should be comfortable to look at and use. Wall prints should be suitable for the color of the room and inviting. The color scheme can work in warm and cool. While decoration should be kept to a few pieces, it should be present, to lend some character to the room. Never think that minimalism means soulless!

One method of simplifying a target room is to strip it of all - ALL - non-essential things. Take a bedroom - the only thing you really NEED for it to be an effective bedroom is a decent bed. A bedside table would be nice, too. A lot of people dress in their bedrooms - drawers are an advantage. Also, a laundry hamper might be needed for dirty clothing. If you're a reader, you might want a bookshelf. A chest for sheets and blankets might come in handy.

Do you have too many clothes? Go through them and cull the ones you haven't worn for a year. If you have a chair in your bedroom that just serves to collect tossed clothing, get rid of that too - it's more of an incentive to fold or hang or hamper your clothes. Check window sills for knick-knacks and either toss them or reorganize them on a special shelf that gets them where they can be seen and out of the window area. The same goes for all the other paraphernalia that collects in the bedroom: get rid of some or repurpose it to a more useful venue.

Storage solutions need to come into this as well. It's not enough to have bins, shelves, hooks and boxes. Everything needs to have its place and be put back in its place. If you establish the rule 'A place for everything and everything in its place' (cliched but useful), you will find that your clutter magically disappears anyway. When you don't have room for something, you should seriously consider whether you need it before creating/buying/making space for its especial benefit.

The results, once you have gotten the room down to just what it needs, can be stunning, both in terms of decor and in terms of sheer space. There is a real feeling of freedom when one is confronted by a tract of sheer space. It exudes possibilities that need never disappear if you keep it at this beautiful, simple, clutter-free state.

Think of this 'new' bedroom and how much easier it is to clean and prepare for visitors. Think of how much easier it would be if your entire home was like this. It starts with one room, but can encompass the entire house, leading you to a simpler, less cluttered, and ultimately less stressful life.

About the Author: Todd Levinson. Philadelphia Real Estate Guide: Find Society Hill condos and homes in Center City Philadelphia. Easy-to-use search and neighborhood info from Todd Levinson, Philly Buyer's Agent.

Home Decorating Ideas - 04:06 min.

Esherick House

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Window wall
Front side
Living room
This is a Modernist masterpiece - Collectible Architecture: Louis Kahn's Esherick House.

Built between 1959 and 1961 in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania for Margaret Esherick. This house also features the original custom kitchen designed by sculptor Wharton Esherick. Is a one-bedroom house, Landmark Building. Via

Pictures from

> Esherick House

Concrete Buildings Resist Hurricanes

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - In August 2008, Hurricane Gustav forced 2 million Gulf Coast residents from their homes. And while the storm lost force before landing, it did threaten homes and New Orleans' still-unfinished levees.

Precast Concrete Walls - 03:16 min.

The focus on New Orleans, just three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, should remind Americans to prepare their towns for natural disasters. Natural disasters are on the rise, and while politicians put more police on the streets to stop crime, few see rewards in enhanced disaster preparedness. According to one study published by researchers from Loyola Marymount University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, constituents value politicians who respond to natural disasters, not those who spend money building safer infrastructures.

But when a hurricane or earthquake strikes, a capable infrastructure can save more lives than any emergency-response team. Well-built roads and buildings make evacuations and rescues easier and more effective. Building to resist hurricane-force winds, earthquakes and floods can help communities avoid billions of dollars in damages.

Builders can elevate buildings in flood plains and add basements or even storm shelters to homes in tornado-prone areas, giving residents a safe place to avoid storms. Roofs can be anchored to buildings' foundations, preventing high winds from removing rooftops during storms.

Some states have recognized that homes should be built to stand against the elements. In Florida, the building code is written to protect homes against 100-mph winds. And what materials do Floridian builders use to build strong homes? Eighty-five percent of the single-family homes built in Florida are made from concrete masonry.

Concrete masonry buildings resist decay, fungus, moisture, mildew, fire and hurricane-strength winds, helping to protect communities from structural damage caused by natural disasters.

For more information, contact the National Concrete Masonry Association at

The Best Exterior Cladding Systems today!

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.18.2008 0 comments

External cladding
Few will deny that a house is a work in constant progress. It is never completely finished and there is always something that needs an upgrade, or fixing. Many times, when repair or decoration funds come available, the interior of a home gets priority over the outside. That is, until one day, a neighbor starts restoring the exterior of his residence, and you cannot help but notice the beautiful house cladding panels the tradesmen are installing.

Though not nearly as common as other outdoor wall coverings, vinyl exterior cladding systems are gaining rapidly in popularity. The boards are becoming more fashionable, and can now also be delivered in styles that resemble authentic wood grain finish, deep shadow lines and a quality gloss finish. Quality cladding materials, like those provided by Abbey Thermalboard require minimal maintenance and come in various attractive decorative colors such as white, ivory, harvest gold, sandalwood, linen, cream, teal & forest fern.

While installers usually mention that their thermal boards are fully insulated and foil backed, they may also inform you that their products are 'low maintenance'. It means that no painting is ever necessary; only an occasional washing is required to keep your home cladding looking like new. Exterior cladding systems are perfect for new and existing homes. The installation fixings are concealed, which allows the completed walls to look consistent and durable. The modern, yet stylish finish will stay throughout the years, giving you the most desired and admired house in the entire neighbourhood.

All Abbey UPVC products are made using an exclusive formula, including state of the art processing and the highest quality raw materials. Their vinyl provides wide design flexibility and that makes installing the wall cladding simple. It could easily become a do-it-yourself project. Unfortunately, if you are not the handyman-type, have trouble applying insulation, or are unfamiliar with lay-out guidelines, it would be advisable to hire trustworthy installers and let these expert craftsmen do the work for you. Companies like Abbey Thermalboards not only sell unparalleled quality, low cost, low maintenance, hail resistant, and extra tough external house wall cladding options for your home, but can also have the, vinyl pre-finished wall boards, and other cladding products custom fit for you. They also supply and install guttering, fascias, down-pipes and can do window exchange and re-roofs. In other words, they can manage a total overhaul of your home's exterior, and can make it even more convenient by offering finance possibilities. Installations of Abbey Thermalboards cladding products are designed to meet the highest installation requirements, and their customer's total satisfaction.

About the Author: This article was written by Ed Barrett from Abbey Thermalboards.

The New Traditional
Daryl Carter has created a new style that is elegant, classical, and comfortable. The new mixes with the old, and less is certainly more.

This book is like a slow, beautiful, casual walk through a well designed yet livable home. I wanted to stop, sit down and enjoy being in many of those rooms. Daryl Carter is already important as furniture designer, lighting designer, and interior designer and if this book is any indication likely the next Martha Stewart like figure for home furnishing.

Struggling Market? Now Is the Time to Buy

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Maintenance costs are up, home values are falling and states are seeing more foreclosures than sales. But terrible times for homeowners make for terrific investment opportunities.

Why? The market sees constant ups and downs. Buying when the market's high means greater upfront costs. And because the market cannot rise indefinitely, property investors must constantly watch for the bubble to pop.

In a down market, the question is not "if," but "when" the market will improve. If investors can buy properties at rock-bottom prices, they can afford to maintain the home until the market improves. At that point, the investor can sell the home both to recoup their buying and operating costs and to make a profit.

Some companies are looking to profit on the down housing market. Deer Park Development Corporation, a Nevada-based company, is purchasing foreclosed homes in Arizona, Nevada, California and Florida, some of the areas most affected by the down market. Nevada, for example, sees more foreclosures than any other state -; million-dollar properties can be bought for half their building costs. Between May and June, Californian banks foreclosed on 40 percent of the homes on the market.

Deer Park Development Corporation's agents and brokers draw on 35 years of experience -; they have seen down markets before, so they can easily identify promising properties.

When Deer Park Development Corporation finds a home that it wants to acquire as an investment, it works with the homeowner or bank to purchase the home at a 50 percent discount.

But the company does not profit at homeowner's expense. It negotiates with homeowners so that people can rent their homes after the sale. When the original homeowner's lease expires, Deer Park Development Corporation allows former homeowners to repurchase their properties for a predetermined price. In this way, the company invests in the down market while also helping down-and-out homeowners.

Currently, the company is searching for investors. For more information, visit

Tips to sell houses - 06:13 min.


Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.17.2008 1 comments

Luxury house
Swimming pool
"Tranquility" is a Lake Tahoe's prestigious property. 210 acres of magical seclusion overlooking Lake Tahoe and situated on it's own private lake. The 8 buildings consist of a main residence, conservatory, guest residence, separate residence for staff and guests, art studio, gymnasium with indoor basketball court, stables and boat house pavilion. Is a 100 mill home. Via

Private lake

Temple House - Miami

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Temple House: built in 1933 by the architect L. Murray Dixon, this Art Deco house was originally designed as a single-family residence. Nine years later it was expanded and modified for use as a Jewish synagogue. In 1965 The Temple House was enlarged yet again, bringing it to its present size of 16,350 square feet.

In 2003 its current owner, Daniel Davidson, embarked on a two-year quest to renovate and improve the property. Davidson installed state-of-the-art plumbing, electrical and air conditioning components into the home while preserving its original architecture and simple beauty.

This home includes five bedrooms and six bathrooms, allowing plenty of space for family members and guests. Residents can enjoy a 400-square-foot, sound-proof media room, which is especially designed for recording music and viewing films on a 100-inch projection screen and surround-sound speakers.

The 6,600-square-foot living room can comfortably accommodate an entire orchestra and audience and has done so on several occasions. Former Vice President Al Gore addressed a gathering of 150 people in this room in March 2006. via

Temple House On Deco Drive - 02:34 min.

A luxurious 16,350 s.f. private residence - largest single family residence in South Beach. The Temple House is a modern work of simplicity, contemporary elegance and urban chic. The property has gone through a 2 year extensive renovation and includes large expansive spaces including a 6,600 s.f. Great room with soaring 30’ ceilings, 5 spacious bedrooms with en suite baths, 2,900 s.f. sun soaked outdoor deck, 2,700 s.f. loft room with full kitchen.

Beatiful house in Lido Beach

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Designer Villa on Lido Shores - 03:40 min.

This house is from Adrienne Vittadini, she has created this residence which beautifully marries sophisticated international design with the comfort of the American lifestyle.

Situated in Lido Shores, which boasts its own private beach. With no drawbridges required for access. The home is close to St. Armands Circle shops and restaurants, the exciting cultural life of downtown Sarasota and the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Under floor heating system come as substitute to the conventional heating system. Warmup Plc England's leading manufacturer of electric under floor heating systems for tiles and laminate floors sells products of high efficiency. The main advantage of the product is they are flexible to any kind of floor layouts. They are ultra slim and there is no necessity to reconstruct the existing floor plan or demolish to install it. The installation processes is as simple as taping the radiant material.

Radiant heating comes out with programmable Warmup USTAT Thermostat a type of sensor which realizes the amount of heat the room requires. When the chillness is high it radiates more or it cuts off the supply in case of excess warmness thus it helps to maintain a constant temperature and reduce the heating cost. Warmup provides insulation board which in creases the efficiency of the entire system. Unlike other concrete or wooden structures which absorb radiation instead of reflecting.

The company releases three different varieties of products namely loose wire heater, matting heater, carbon. Loose wire system uses 1/8", ultra-thin, dual-core heating element. In matting heater the radiant heating cable is attached to a tough fiberglass mesh, rolled out before laying your flooring, and connected to a programmable thermostat. The system is completely invisible and has no moving parts. The Warmup Carbon Heater for Laminate and Engineered Wood Flooring is a state-of-the-art system that is installed under the floor to provide either primary or supplementary heat. No other heater on the market heats Laminated and Engineered Wood floors more evenly and efficiently. These are specifically designed for Laminate and Engineered Wood floors

One of the customers of Warmup feels: Dear Warmup Co., I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you how very much I LOVE my floor. I recently rebuilt my master bathroom and the most important item was the heated floor. The prior bathroom was always cold and the floor freezing. I hated it. Now, I can`t leave my bathroom. It was the best addition possible. It is warm and toasty and WONDERFUL! The only problem is that I can`t get my 10 year old out of there and off the floor in the morning. He loves it as much as I do. Thank you for a great product. J.Ray, US

Radian floor heating products are efficient and cost effective. When compared to conventional heating system they reduce the energy consumption by 10 percent. Another main advantage is that all the products of the company come with minimum of 30 years of guarantee which no other competitors dares to. The company outlets are present throughout and provide easy installation. You can avail detailed estimate more technical details and customer reactions from Warmup has Platinum Award for Design Excellence, Voted Top Product by Qualified Remodeler Magazine, and Exceptional Manufacturer Award to its credits.

CONTACT INFORMATION Warmup Plc Email : Website :

About the Author: Simon Jones. For more info visit

Radiant Heating RPM - 07:00 min.

There are many styles of kitchen island furniture. All of which improve the functionality of the home, and particularly, the cooking room. Though, there are differences pieces of equipment and tables that perform different functions and are better suited for different needs? Here is a list to help you figure out which style is best for your home.

Kitchen Island - 01:17 min.

1. Are you looking for a work table? A kitchen island work table performs a different type of function, and can usually be called upon when needed, but isn´t necessarily a focal point of the room. They usually fairly small, but are great for preparing vegetables or for a little additional counter space or storage room.

2. Are you in need of counter space, but also want a beautiful piece of furniture? A Butcher Block can be a perfect fit for a smaller sized kitchen. They are extremely solid, and durable pieces of equipment that are great for additional food preparation area. They were originally created for butchers, as a solid and sturdy cutting surface for them, but more and more homes are including one in their plans. Butcher block kitchen islands have a patchwork type pattern from the crisscross of pieces of wood that create beautiful pieces of work.

3. Another option is a stone kitchen island. These pieces of workmanship are incredibly convenient and efficient. Not only are they beautiful pieces of furniture, but they also provide many uses. You can use it for additional storage if you find you have a lot of appliances and whatnot, and you can use it for food preparation. You´ll suddenly find yourself enjoying a much larger workspace with this product. You can also suggest your kids do their homework here, using it for additional table space, and keeping them close to you while you prepare dinner as well. It can also be great for last minute guests that come over. You can use it for extra seating and serving space.

As you can see, there is a variety of uses and kinds of tables for the food preparation and dining area in your home, but each one offers a different style and function, all of which can make your cooking experience a more organized and efficient process. So, if you´re looking for a simple way to update your kitchen, or eating area, think about adding one of the many types of kitchen island furniture. Like many home improvement projects, you´ll wonder how you ever got along without one before!

About the Author: Jane Worthington is a home and garden writer with a passion for making homes beautiful, comfortable, and stylish. If you would like more information about kitchen island furniture, please visit the website.

Go Green With Recycled Counters and Floors

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - The eco-savvy homeowner is always looking for the next great breakthrough in earth-friendly, environmentally safe features to suit their lifestyle. Especially if these new features can add beauty to their home.

Stone Counter top Install - 06:24 min.

So, what is the next ground-breaking home improvement that will have homeowners living in the lap of luxury while committing to save the environment? Try recycled porcelain countertops and floors.

EnviroGLAS has recently released a new terrazzo application used for countertops and floors, called EnviroMode. Terrazzo is an ancient method of creating walkways, floors, patios and panels by exposing marble chips and other fine aggregates on the surface of finished concrete or epoxy resin. The aggregate used in EnviroMode is made of recycled porcelain.

As the forefathers of recycled glass, EnviroGLAS has developed a relationship with Kohler Co. in which they recycle their imperfect, pre-consumer sinks and toilets by crushing them into chips and tumbling them to a smooth surface. The result is beautiful porcelain stone for their EnviroMode products, which in turn creates a harder surface than traditional marble terrazzo.

"I am always looking for companies that are creating new and innovative products from recycled materials," said City of Dallas Recycling Manager Sherlyn McAnally. "The crushed porcelain has a beautiful pearl-like finish and can be used in a versatile array of applications."

With hundreds of epoxy resin colors, the recycled porcelain creates a sustainable housing material that can be crafted to fit any home. It is available for both commercial and residential uses and can even be used for landscaping.

For Long Beach, Miss., EnviroGLAS donated 15,000 pounds of EnviroMode aggregate for the rebuilding efforts of their city park. The resulting efforts of sustainability have earned EnviroGLAS the "2008 Greater DFW Recycling Alliance Award" and the "2008 Contractor's Choice Top Products" award.

For more information on sustainable home improvements, visit

Falling home values and a strong buyers market has many homeowners looking at home renovations instead of trying to sell. As the owner of Westmoreland Contractor Referral Service, homeowners are looking for the right home improvement project that will offer them a new look and feel of their home and add value as part of a long-term goal when they will sell their home. With falling home values and tougher credit options, mean homeowners are searching for improvement projects that will not only beautify their home but will offer the best return on investment.

Home Improvement - 06:53 min.

When selecting which home renovation project, ask yourself what is reason for this home improvement. The main categories of home renovations are:

1. Save energy

2. Damage repair

3. Increase living space

4. Add value

5. Improve living environment

One benefit of today's economy is that the home remodeling market is slowing down as well. What this means to the homeowner getting ready to do a renovation, is more contractors are available and most are willing to negotiate on scheduling and are more responsive. Don't expect big discounts on the price, however the cost of materials and labor are still a high cost to the contractor.

The list of top five home remodeling projects that can fit into multiple categories and are modest improvements is listed below.

1. Install energy efficient Windows.

Window replacement, whether is wood or vinyl is a good investment that offers many benefits. One benefit is the reduction in the cost of heating and cooling and they can improve the overall looks of a home. When choosing a window, consider the energy efficient replacement window and insulating features such as heat reflecting coated surface.

2. Replace Siding.

New siding can bring an old house back to life and change the entire look and feel. The term "curb appeal" is the single most important feature of which new homebuyers base their initial opinion. Today's homeowner has very busy schedules and siding offers a maintenance free exterior that instantly adds a new look and feel.

3. Add a Deck.

A deck extends the living space of a home and brings the environment of outdoor living into a new demission. Deck styles, material types, and sizes can vary. Use your imagination and design a deck as an extension of your home. Materials for deck construction today offer the homeowner choices of color, texture, and composition. The maintenance free decking material can be designed with curves; special railing designs, and allows the homeowner really makes a statement with creativity. Decking products also offer the homeowner to design a beautiful deck that is environmentally friendly.

4. Kitchen makeover.

Minor kitchen makeovers such as adding a new color of paint, installing new countertops, or new cabinets and make a huge impact on a homes look and feel not to mention value. If your goal is to not only add value to your home but to sell your home then consider using neutral colors. Research shows that neutral colors are more appealing and lightens up the area for a more welcoming feeling.

5. Bathroom remodeling

A bathroom remodel can be a simple upgrade to a complete renovation. The bathroom renovation project provides that special 'at home comfort' feeling. When designing a bathroom renovation, think of updating the sink, tub, toilet, cabinets, and flooring. As you plan these updates think about "going green". Think about the water saving toilet. This can not only beautify your home but save you money on water and sewer costs.

Now that you have selected the right home improvement(s), it's time to select the right contractor and start seeing your dreams come to life.

Click here to read more on home improvements

About the Author: Debra Nolan. Article submitted by Debra Nolan, owner of Westmoreland Contractor Referral Service. A company dedicated to help homeowners find dependable quality contractors for home improvement projects. Visit:

Flamingo house - Sarasota

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Luxury house
A big house of 6456 Square Ft. with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms. Listing price: $17,500,000 - Coastal architecture with large porches and widow's walk. Resort-like property on almost 2 acres of gated privacy, reminiscent of a very fine "Old Florida" hotel. Checkout the listing.

From the house
The house at night

A Home Inspector near you

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Home Inspector Directory
American Home Inspector Directory online. A simple way to find home inspectors to perform home inspections. To locate a home inspector enter your zip code and click in the form.

You will see a list of inspectors in your area. Once you have selected an inspection company fill out a free inspection request form.

A professional home inspector will usually contact you within 24 hours.

Cape Cod house

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Cape cod home
Living room
A Cape Cod is a style of house from New England in the 17th century. Characterized by a low broad frame building, generally a story and a half high with a steep pitched roof with end gables and a large central chimney.

The Cape Cod house in this picture is from All American Homes

Like Mid-Century custom house

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 9.14.2008 0 comments

Custom home
Mid-Century style
Open space
A house by Greico Designers/Builders in Dallas, Texas. Mid-Century inspired home.

Pictures from


Home Design Sense

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Displaying Artwork

Displaying artwork can pose some interesting dilemmas. How should the work be displayed and the color of the background wall?

Depending upon the amount of artwork you should consider a special wall for the display. By that I mean; the wall should be dedicated to the artwork.

Size is also important in the way the work is displayed. Large pieces may require a whole wall, while smaller ones can be grouped. So, how do you group smaller pieces?

Gather up all the pieces you wish to display. Now measure out an area on the floor the approximate size of the intended display wall. Now lay out all the pieces on the floor within that area. Once arranged; step back and look at what you have done. If you like it you can start mounting the work on the wall using your floor display as a model. If you don't like it move the pieces around until you are happy with the arrangement.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the larger pieces in the center and surround it with the smaller ones. In the case of two (2) large ones and some smaller ones; you have the option of putting the smaller one in between the larger ones. But lay it out on the floor before mounting on the wall.

In the case of very large collections that will take up an entire room it is best to paint the room one solid color. This means the walls and ceiling are the same color. Why? Because it creates a seamless backdrop for the artwork.

What color paint? That depends upon the artwork. See if you can find a mutual light color amongst all the paintings. This way there will be a common thread - connecting all the art.

Keep photos straight by piercing a piece of masking tape through the sticky side with a thumbtack, then applying to bottom corner of photo. Do this to both sides. The tack will prevent the frame from slipping without piercing the wall.

To make a picture look bigger, use a darker-colored mat. Lighter-colored mats draw attention away from the frame and allow the viewer to concentrate on the image within the frame.

Consider using wide mats (greater than two inches) for prints and photos to create an updated look. Mats wider than prints give greater importance to small images.

Layering mats can create a unique piece of custom-framed artwork. Using two or more mats is also a good way to accent colors in a room.

The best mats to use are museum-grade 100 percent cotton rag, acid free. Most mat boards are made of a buffered wood pulp with a lower pH and are not guaranteed to last forever.

Frames and mats can create a theme for your artwork, so make sure that you choose frames and mats that correspond with what you want to convey.

When choosing a frame, make sure the color of the frame doesn't overpower the colors in the art.

Put artwork in a frame large enough so that it is not lost in the decor of the room.

When trying to fill a large wall, consider using two or three theme-related prints, as opposed to one large picture. Use an odd number of pictures. It is more visually appealing to the eye.

When arranging several pictures on a wall, always hang the key focal picture first. It's best if this picture is larger than the others and has special meaning.

Always put similar pictures in the same area or room. That way they can more easily complement each other.

Never hang artwork indirect sunlight or near a heat or air-conditioning vent. High temperature and humidity levels can cause accelerated growth of mold inside the frame.

About the Author: John Johnsen. Writer & Designer for Home Design and other web sites. H. John Johnsen

Sixties artwork slideshow - 02:45 min.

Coastal style

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

American Home
This house from in Northwest Florida’s Forgotten Coast, is a large coastal-style home. Deep porches. A built in terrace on the first floor.

Coastal house
Bedroom - retro

More here

Blog Widget by LinkWithin