Granite vs Marble Countertops

You are in the middle of choosing a countertop for your kitchen or the bathroom. When homeowners are on the lookout for such things, they usually prefer the natural look of stone, which has a wide array of unique patterns and colors. One of the most popular choices for homeowners is granite, because it goes well with either traditional or modern houses. Marble is another top choice amongst homeowners, which is the other term referred to the classic and luxurious high-end homes. But there is no limit to whether you choose marble or granite for your countertop. You are the last one who is going to decide whether or not granite or marble is the right one for you. But how do you choose the perfect material for your countertop? Below are few of the factors you need to look out for when choosing the right material.

Durability

Granite is a very popular material due to being referred as the most durable material for the bathroom or kitchen countertop, and also known for its resistance against chips and cracks, too. Hot pots or any other items that just came from cooking or intense heat can be placed on top of granite without worries, you can even convert the granite countertop into your very own chopping block and it will leave no damage to it. Spills over the granite can be wiped away easily, too. Marble is also durable like the granite, but it is more porous in texture and will stain easily compared to the former.

 

 

Appearance

Just like many other materials, the look of both marble and granite is all up to the aesthetic preferences of the individual. When you ask for a specific statistic, you will see a divided difference between marble and granite, but will probably see a higher percentage over the granite than the marble, when talking about texture and how it reacts to being exposed with stains. Some people prefer the look of granite, because it comes with a wide range of patterns and colors. Others prefer the sophistication and elegance of the marble material, which is easily recognized, available in two colors: white and black.

 

Repairs and Maintenance

 

With a proper resealing to granite done annually, it resistant against strains, but with well-used kitchens or bathrooms, resealing is done on a monthly basis. Minor dings or scratches can be filled with an epoxy that matches the color or a resin from any home improvement store, but homeowners should leave it to the professionals if the cracks are larger than the ice cube. When it comes to minor damages on marble, it is similar to how granite is done, and the same way can be done to larger damages, too: seek professional help.

Price and Installation – Installation should be done by professionals. Both materials are really heavy and can be very difficult to handle. It is not an easy thing to do when cutting holes on these materials, too. When it comes to prices, granite has gone down compared to marble. If you wish to go with marble, it is best to go with tiles rather than the slabs for a more affordable price.

How to make pallet wood flooring?

The use of pallet wood is fast becoming a popular trend in the construction of new houses or redesigning or redecorating old homes. The pallet wood is often times used for flooring. But before we give you the how to guide on how to make pallet wood flooring, a bit of information about pallet wood, especially to the novices who are interested. A pallet, by the way, is an equipment used to support and transfer items or goods. The items will be placed on the pallet and a fork lift or front loader or a pallet jack will be used to lift the pallet, together with the items on it and transported to another area. Pallets can be made of a lot of materials like metal, plastic, recycled items or even paper but the most commonly used are pallets made of wood.

 

Wooden pallets are often discarded, even if they are not broken yet so some people have taught of ways to make use of them, especially at home. One of the most common ways to recycle wooden pallets is for flooring. The first thing you need to do to make pallet wood flooring is to gather the materials, the most important of which, is of course, the wooden pallets. The number would actually depend on the size of the flooring you want to make so better take measurements so you will know how much wood you would need. Other materials would include the following: ply bar or claw hammer, nail puller, underlayment paper used for wood flooring, stapler and a half inch staples, utility knife, flooring nails of different sizes, drill, tape measure, stud sensor, flooring spacers at three quarters of an inch, saw (circular and table), goggles and a nail set tool.

 

 

First you need to take the pallets apart. You can use claw hammers and nail pullers for this. Then check each plank or board if they are to your liking or not. Use straight ones. Use the stud finder to locate the joists and mark every single one. Roll and staple the underlayment paper across the floor until the whole floor is covered. Use the utility knife to cut the extra paper. Do a layout of the flooring. Remember that rows should be staggered and not aligned and that often times, wood floors form a right angle to their joists (perpendicular). Once layout is done, double check if there is a quarter of an inch in between the layout’s and the wall’s perimeter. Start installing at the corner and make sure you nail the boards with a 3 inch nail on each side. One great tip is to pre drill nail holes to avoid breaking the boards. Continue to nail and hammer, making sure that they are arranged the way you planned on your layout. Once all boards have been nailed, you can start cleaning and smoothing the floors out using a good brand of wood finish wax. It would probably need several coats for the floor to look real good.

 

Home Renovation Mistakes

home remodelDuring the fall and summer, most people are making the leap towards home renovations, mostly because it is hard to work on the outside of a house during the colder months. Between 2009-2014 it was estimated that home remodeling was a $52 billion market that grew 3.8 percent. Those who choose to do renovations to increase the price of their home don’t always recoup their investments and there are many reasons why.

Don’t Hire The First Contractor You Meet

The first thing you want to do before you start any renovations is to get different quotes from different contractors. One may promise you the world and that they can give you the best price, but he may not be the most qualified. When looking for a contractor it is important to check their references, contact the Better Business Bureau, and check local consumer affairs agencies for complaints. You want to make sure that they are going to do exactly what you want and not what they want. There are some contractors out there that will do what they think looks best without asking the homeowner and this ends up turning into a court dispute. Certain contractors will try to charge the homeowner for things that were not in the contract and that turns into a battle as well. It is just extremely important that you do your research before hiring a contractor.

Get Your Permits

This is a very important part of home remodeling that some contractors will tell you is unnecessary. Getting permits allows the contractor to do the work that would require a permit. usually, city inspectors will inspect the project before and after to make sure everything was safely built. If you come across a contractor that says he doesn’t get permits, be concerned. He probably does not want to take the time to fill out all of the necessary paperwork, which can be a nuisance. if they do the whole thing without a permit and someone from the building department finds out, you can be fined and may have to have everything that was done, undone and redone with the proper permits costing you much more than you initially wanted to spend.

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

One of the worst things that can happen is that you run out of money mid project. This may end up leaving you with a half finished kitchen or worse, a wide open addition that will succumb to the weather. You can avoid this by setting a reasonable budget and add extra money for any kind of “surprises” that may arise. A project usually always costs more than expected, which is why it is a good idea to leave that extra room. You should keep 10% of what your budget was in reserve for issues or add-ons.

There are many things that could happen to you while or after renovating your home. It is best to make sure you have a good contractor, a reasonable budget, and all of the proper permits and paperwork that you need to finish your project.

Negotiating After a Home Inspection

When you are in the process of purchasing your home, negotiations do not have to stop at the contract signing stage. If you are a buyer, an inspection of the property may show that there are some issues, and you may be able to seek some kind of credits. There are many ways that you can negotiate repairs after a home inspection to lower the cost of the home.

Ask for Credit

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If the sellers are in a hurry to get out of their home, they probably aren’t going to want to do the repairs on their home so that you can enjoy it. They may not approach the work with the same concerns that you, as the new owner, have. If you choose, you could take a cash-back credit as the close of escrow so that you can use the money to complete the project on your own. You would most likely do a better job that the sellers since they are in such a hurry to leave. If you do get the credit, there will also be less back and forth between lawyers confirming that the work has, in fact, been completed.

Lips Sealed

If your listing agent is as good as they say they are, they are going to walk the property inspection with you. If you say too much about your intentions for the home, the word is going to get back to the sellers and they are not going to give you that credit that you want. For example, if you are so excited about the house that you just go on and on about the renovation plans you have, the sellers aren’t going to want to give you a credit so that you can pay for everything you want to do. Keep your ideas on the down low and just act as normal as possible. Do not show excitement, this will show that you are too interested and then the sellers are not going to want to work with you for price cuts. If you mention in front of the listing agent that you do not mind replacing a malfunctioning HVAC system, the agent is going to tell the sellers and they are not going to give you the credit to fix it. So, keep in mind that showing too much excitement is going to reflect negatively on any negotiations you want to make after the inspection.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Here is a word for the wise, do not complete the original contract thinking that you will be able to negotiate more after the inspection. If the inspection comes back flawless, there is going to be nothing to negotiate. If you attempt to negotiate anyway, you may lose the contract and the sellers are going to want to move on to the next bidder. You need to have eyes wide open when you are going into escrow. Keep in mind that you are competing with other buyers and negotiations may sometimes lead to loss of sale.

More Tips

If you do see the chance for a negotiation without losing the house, go for it. If you see something wrong that can be fixed by the seller or taken off the price of the house, mention it to your real estate attorney. A lot of sellers are willing to negotiate just so they can sell their house has been on the market for a long time.

Foundation Repair

If you are noting that your walls are cracking and your doors aren’t closing right any more or your floors are bulging, this could be a sign of a problem with your foundation. This will be a problem if you are trying to sell your home and it will be a problem even if you are not trying to sell it but are living in it. Collapsing foundations can lead to a number of structural problems both major and minor. It is estimated that sixty percent of all homes built on soils that expand will end up having foundation issues.

Crack in foundation

What are some of the warning signs of collapsing foundations you may be wondering? Exterior signs include wall rotation, broken or cracked foundation, cracked bricks, separation around the garage door and displaced moldings. Interior signs include cracks in the flooring, cracked sheet rock and misaligned doors and/or windows. Fixing the problem is where it becomes tricky and sometimes costly. There are two ways the concrete foundation can be lifted: piering and slabjacking. Slabjacking involves filling the space under the slab with a mixture of grout that will float the foundation back to where it belongs. Piering involves placing supports underground that will lift and support the foundation.

If you are looking to save money and time, Hydrovac excavation and daylighting is a great route to go with. This type of excavation does not involve removing fencing or using heavy duty materials and trucks. This is much safer and cost effective than traditional excavation and it won’t damage your house. If this is the route you want to take or want more information, visit https://hydrovacedmonton.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/why-hydrovac-daylighting-can-save-you-money/.

Whether your home has sunk a few feet or maybe just a few inches, it should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent even more damage that is going to cost you even more money. So what exactly causes foundation problems? The number one issue is expanding soil. Certain soils will expand or shrink with moisture variation. Soil that is on the higher clay content scale will usually be more prone to expansion. If a foundation is built on an unstable soil, the movement is transmitted to the foundation. This type of issue will show up in both pier and beam and slab foundations. If only one part of the slab swells, this is what causes the issues. If it swells uniformly, there is usually no issue. The movement from uneven soil will cause the cracks and other damage. If you live in a residential area and are suffering from a foundation issue, this can cause accidents, poor drainage, tripping hazards, and loss of real estate value.

If you call a professional foundation repair company, they can come in and assess the foundation and the damage then figure out what the best plan is for you and what the estimated cost is going to be based on that plan. Foundation repair is going to cost around $10,000 dollars, unfortunately. But, after all, the foundation repair will be protecting your home and one of your biggest and greatest investments.

How To Choose The Most Comfortable Work Boots For Your Job!

Comfortable work boots?

Worksite safety starts from the ground up, so it’s important to choose the best work boots that provide support and comfort no matter how long your working day is. Work boots are just as important as the tools used to complete the job, think of them as a tool that helps protect you from workplace hazards, discomfort and weakness.

Worker cutting concrete

Sometimes it’s easy to jump online choose the first pair of steal toe work boots that you find, however there is more to safety than just safety features. Yes – steel toes and ankle support are vital, however workers are quick to overlook comfort features when choosing work boots. Just because it’s work, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t feel good; It’s crucial that you wear only the most comfortable work boots that match your specific job requirements.

Manufacturers are busy producing new work boots every day and it’s important that you understand exactly what you need, to help you find the best pair of work boots for your specific needs. Your feet are your foundation and if they are not comfortable it makes it very hard to focus on your job and that is unsafe.

Start by checking with your safety manager or supervisor to see what features are important to your job and you can also check the OSHA guidelines for information to help you select the right work boots that meet the safety requirements. It’s a good idea to learn the different terminologies like, steel toe, composite toe, metatarsal guards, etc. There are several heavy duty materials that manufacturers use to create outsoles that are long-lasting, slip-resistant and protective.

Making sure the boots fit your feet correctly is the most important part of choosing comfortable work boots. Your feet should not be squeezed tightly inside the boots, rubbed raw with sores or blisters. Boots that are too tight can cause several different foot disorders including in-grown toe nails, blisters, corns, etc. Leather boots will stretch a little bit and conform to the shape of your foot but a steel toe boot will not stretch and if it is tight, it will always be tight. Choosing the right size boot is extremely important for all-day comfort and most manufacturers offer features like regular or wide width, so if your boot is too tight, try a wide width boot.

Keep in mind that with lots of work boots, you are required to ‘break them in’ which is a process whereby the tough boots mold to your foot shape after a day, to a week’s worth of use.

Important points to consider when shopping

 

  • Feet usually swell a little bit during the day if you are on them most of the day, shop for work boots in the afternoon or early evening. If you try on footwear when your feet are a bit swelled, you will know that they will feel comfortable during your longest days.
  • Bring a pair of socks that you typically wear to work so that you can easily determine how the boot will fit with them on.
    Protection is important but comfort is also extremely important because you do not want to have sore feet that distract you from doing your job.
  • Most manufacturers offer comfort features to support their performance and safety improvements like, anti-microbial insoles, lighter, more asymmetrical steel-toes, and additional padding. All of these extra features will make your feet comfortable in and outside of your boots.

 

So remember, no matter what industry you work in, you should consider comfort a safety factor, just like you would consider steel toes a safety requirement. When you feet hurt – you hurt all over and become fatigued, and when you’re tired you become more prone to injury.

Dealing with Mold Growth In Your Home

Molds are fungi that are found in both outdoors and indoors. Nobody understands the number of varieties of fungi are present, but rates vary from thousands to much more. Molds develop best in warm, moist, and damp conditions, and distribute and multiply by developing germs. Molds can live through tough environmental circumstances, like dry conditions, that will not help regular mold development.

Moisture and damp areas are the fundamental areas for mold to thrive. Dampness may originate from a wide mixture of sources and once dampness gets in, mold will quickly multiply.  A moisture meter can be used which is  an instrument that measures the dampness level in building materials.

You can prevent harm to your structures in buildings to save money, and get rid of molds by controlling the dampness in your building. Mold loves to become a part of the building materials in the cellar or on walls. A few of their favorite areas are the drywall, wood and light material coverings. There are several ways to get rid of this mold. Experts can perform mold testing. You can also do it without anyone else’s help by using mold test packs. Both air and surfaces can be tested for mold testing. Buildups that are gathered among the walls and structures, creates slowly forming molds in a certain area, and begin to eat up other areas as well. As long as there is moisture, nothing can prevent it from developing.  There are areas wherein they develop easily and that you may want to look at as well. The usual areas to check are:

  • Furniture
  • Floor
  • Pipes
  • Walls
  • Wall Cavities
  • Ceiling
  • Ducts and Vents
  • Storage boxes

 

Molds can be prevented from developing and from inviting it into buildings. Here are the following effective techniques:

  1. Contact a mold remediation company like the guys at moldremediationedmonton.ca who perform clean ups of structures after flooding has happened or water has come inside the buildings. This is the most common incident that molds are developed inside buildings.
  2. Clean and dry the areas of the building and everything inside and get rid of whatever furniture that has water in it. You can likewise utilize fans, cooling, radiators or dehumidifiers to help dry the building.
  3. Vacuuming innermost areas of the building with a vacuum and cleaning it once a week will help eliminate molds.
  4. Water that is stocked in the ground can result in mold issues. Wherein water is pooling especially if the ground is slanted and water cannot come out that easily, you can dig a hole in order for the water to come out.

Having molds in houses or in buildings are no longer a problem since there are already great solutions to that in this generation.

DIY Guide to Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Housewives and househusbands are the usual fans of do-it-yourself (DIY) activities. These male and female Martha Stewarts just love to search for new things to do for their houses, for their families and friends or for themselves. And now, the best way to search for them is online. One of the most popular DIY activities is doing renovations around the house. Whether it has to do with rearranging the furniture or changing the curtains or painting the fence with a new color, house renovations, big or small, gives you a feeling of a fresh start and livens up what could have been a dull year for the house. In this article, we will help you with painting kitchen cabinets.

Well, the first step of course is to gather the tools and materials for this activity (I am pretty sure all the type A personas out there reading this would agree with me, he he!). The tools that you would need for this project are the following: sanding block, sand paper (preferably sand grit), cloth made of tack, steel wool and some paint applicator (a brush or one of those mechanical ones will do, depending on your preference). For the materials, you would need the following: alcohol (denatured type), trisodium phosphate (TSP), primer sealer, painter’s tape and paint (preferably semi- gloss).

Here’s the thing. Before you buy the paint, you would actually need to find out what your kitchen cabinets are made of to ensure that the paint you will use will bond to it. If your kitchen cabinets are made from metal, wood or wood laminate, then you can proceed to buying that semi- gloss paint because these materials can bond to paint a-ok. However, if your kitchen cabinets are made from plastic laminate, that can pose a bit of a challenge. You would have to consult with a paint dealer (make sure you are talking to an expert, by the way) on the best kind of pain to use and test what he or she recommended as well. You may also want to gather several different types of paint applicators to ensure that paint coverage will not be a problem. Bring out your spray paint kits, paint rollers and paintbrushes.

So, on to the painting proper, you would need to remove all contents of the kitchen cabinets as well as the drawers and other hardware in them like hinges, knobs, etc. Make sure they are set-aside in an area that can be located easily and that they are labeled so reattaching them will not be a pain. Next is to clean thoroughly all surfaces that will be painted and then sand those areas as well. When sanding, make sure to roughen the surface enough for pain to stick. Make sure to vacuum sanding dust after. Then apply a prime sealer coat evenly and once it dries, apply the paint. Make sure to do this using light and thin coats and make sure every surface is covered. You can paint the cabinets with two coats, but make sure to allow the paint to dry before applying the second coat.

 

Check out this video for more info and after you’re done with the cabinets… it’s time to move onto the counters.