Plumbing Problems May Require a Plumbing Contractor

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Most plumbing woes require a licensed professional, whether repairing a leak, or insuring trouble-free installation of new plumbing and fixtures. This article gives insight to common plumbing problems, and tips for remodeling or new construction.


Plumbing, plumbing contractor, plumbing design, plumbing installation, plumbing repair

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Plumbing is something everyone must deal with, whether finding a plumbing contractor for new construction, a remodeling project, or just providing plumbing repair.

When Do I Need to Call a Plumbing Contractor?

Some common problems found with plumbing include:
Rattling pipes; may be caused by several factors, most commonly because they are not sufficiently secured or strapped to the wall frame. The pipes may need to be properly secured.
Slow drains; may be partially clogged. If a kitchen sink, the dishwasher may be improperly plumbed. The drain may need to be unclogged, or the dishwasher plumbing corrected.
Loss of hot water when another faucet is turned on; especially in older homes when hot and cold water pressures are not balanced. A pressure balance valve may be required.
Toilet tank leaks; plumbing parts inside the tank or seals may need replacing.

To make sure these plumbing repair problems are properly addressed, or when doing a remodeling project, you may want to enlist the services of a licensed plumbing contractor.

Plumbing a Remodel or New Construction

A remodeling project might include new plumbing design or new plumbing installation. You will want to meet with the plumber and all contractors involved and develop a timeline, so everyone works together and the project goes smoothly.

Before taking bids from potential plumbing contractors, make sure you have detailed plans. Provide each candidate with an identical copy of the plans. Rule of thumb is to get at least three different bids for a project.

Ask candidates if they are licensed to do plumbing. Also request references. Ask each candidate when they could start, and when the project would be completed. Take the time to check references on other projects they have completed.

To find a licensed Plumbing contractor in your area, use references from people you know, or check with a local licensing agency. Online resources are also available; people in Canada can find a qualified, licensed plumbing contractor at paving.handycanadian.paving.

Liven Up Your Patio – Wooden Patio Covers

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Having a patio gives the house an extra dimension and an attractive outdoor space. For people who love the outdoors, having a patio means having an extra room and allows for a wonderful home-to-garden transition.

1. The Benefits Of Patio Covers

It serves mainly as a protection from the harmful rays of the sun but patio covering also has more benefits. With different materials on the market, you can create a stylish look with your patio cover. It gives you a full range …


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Having a patio gives the house an extra dimension and an attractive outdoor space. For people who love the outdoors, having a patio means having an extra room and allows for a wonderful home-to-garden transition.

1. The Benefits Of Patio Covers

It serves mainly as a protection from the harmful rays of the sun but patio covering also has more benefits. With different materials on the market, you can create a stylish look with your patio cover. It gives you a full range of opportunities to make your home even more beautiful than it was before. There are a lot of materials to choose from but if you are also concerned about style and beauty to grace your patio, then wood patio covers are just the thing for you. Wooden patio covers is a stylish way to protect you from the heat of the sun as well as the rain. It also adds value to the house.

2. Enjoy Outdoor Spaces

With your new stylish wooden patio covering, outdoor activities are more enjoyable. Enjoy the convenience of outdoor beauty, or use your barbeque during weather conditions like rain where you would typically be unable to.

3. Wood Is More Beautiful

Aesthetically speaking, wood has gained supremacy over different materials used in making patio coverings. Hardwoods like cedar and redwood are usually used in making wooden patio covers. This material gives you the natural beauty of wood grain that simply isn’t available with any other materials on the market. Plus the variety of ways one could do to accentuate the designs on their patios.

– Turn your patio into a beautiful work of art
– Impress your friends
– Give your backyard a personal style
– Add value to your home
– Protect your patio from the elements
– Barbeque during rain or snow conditions
– Provides shade during summer heat
– Wood costs less than other materials, about 20-30% cheaper than vinyl or aluminum.

4. Disadvantages of Wood

Wood covers need a lot of maintenance over the years. They require a regular treatment to prevent water from seeping into the wood, and deter insects from eating into the wood itself. Wooden patio covers are susceptible to damages brought about by rain, wind and sun. Since wood deteriorates faster than the synthetic materials because of the nature’s interfering elements, it will need extra attention. FOr this reason, preservatives should be applied to the wood in the first two years. This is done to ensure the durability of the wood. Application of the preservatives after two years is within every three years. Over the years your low investment with wood patio covering would increase. With the cost of maintenance at hand, having a vinyl or aluminum covering would cost you less in the long run.

An Overview of Solar Cells Through The Years

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When solar cells first came on the scene in the 1950s, they were simple. Now, there are a wide variety of cells and more are coming as technology improves.


solar, technology, sun, sunlight, solar power, solar energy, silicone, quantum dots

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When solar cells first came on the scene in the 1950s, they were simple. Now, there are a wide variety of cells and more are coming as technology improves.

An Overview of Solar Cells Through The Years

Solar cells are the basic component of any active system used to convert sunlight into a form of energy. Traditionally, solar cells were used as the key part of panel systems that generated electricity or heat for homes. These days, the technology is used in a wide variety of applications, which means the style of solar cells vary per application.

A traditional solar cell consisted of some very basic pieces. The cell was typically a flat square made up of a glass or plastic panel attached over a crystallized silicone substance. The silicone was imbedded with metal wires. The process worked by having the sun strike the silicone, which kicked off neutrons. The neutrons produced a small electrical current that was collected by the wires. The electricity was in the form of direct current, which had to be converted to usable AC electricity with an inverter. The electricity was then stored in batteries or fed into the grid of the local utility company.

The problem with the first solar cells involved efficiency. To be frank, there was not much. Initial cells converted sunlight at a rate of one to six percent. More energy was lost in the conversion from direct current to AC. It worked, but was so inefficient that huge collections of solar cells were required to make enough energy.

As technology improved, the components of solar cells became more efficient. A silicone base was still used, but modified to convert more spectrums of the sunlight. As efficiency rose, the cost of using solar cells dropped because less where needed to form a panel. Still, efficiency was in relatively low, making the systems cheaper but not really cost effective compared to buying power from a utility.

These days, referring to solar cells is somewhat misleading. Much of the new technology is abandoning the traditional concept of cells. Instead, companies are thinking out of the box and coming up with entirely new platforms. Options include nanotechnology whereby quantum dots are developed to covert the sun to energy. When fully developed, the dots will be part of the paint you use on your house. Technically, you can call the dots cells, but they are not in the traditional understanding of the term. Other options include the use of Germanium as an alternative to silicone, but this hasn’t been fleshed out as of yet. Thin solar cell technology is also popular, but involves the basic pieces of a traditional system.

Solar cells used to be fairly uniform with silicone, glass cells being the standard. The future of these solar cells is dubious, however, as companies seek out dramatic leaps in solar technology. In 30 years, we will look back at traditional cells like we now look back at the horse and buggy means of transportation.

Cheap Carpet – Carpeting A Room For $20

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Want cheap carpet? Here’s a secret for carpeting that playroom, basement or den for a fraction of what you would normally pay.


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Do you want cheap carpet that you can easily install yourself? Well, I once carpeted a large bedroom for a total cost of about $12. You read that right, and no, the carpet was not used carpet. I did it with carpet samples.

I bought them for 25 cent apiece at a closeout sale, and it took 36 squares of carpet to finish the room. The only other supplies I used were the staples, which cost about a dollar. Normally, you might pay a dollar each for squares of carpet. I found them available for half that just a few weeks ago, but in any case, this is cheap carpet.

This is an unusual style, though, and you may have to consider the resale value of your home. The bedroom I carpeted this way was in a rental mobile home, where cheap and unusual styles are the norm. Ordinarily, you will want to save this trick for areas like basements, playrooms, and maybe a children’s clubhouse. Still, it doesn’t look so bad – actually it looks just fine if you mix the various colored squares of carpet well.

In a children’s playroom, the multi-colored floor is perfect. It is cheerful and colorful, and if a spill stains one of the carpet squares, you can easily pull it up and install a new one in its place. This is a nice advantage of carpeting a room this way.

Installing Cheap Carpet

The only things you will need to carpet a room with carpet samples or squares is a carpet knife and a staple gun. 5/8-inch staples have worked best for me. Begin at any corner. Just put the piece in place and staple it in two or three places along each side. Wiggle the stapler head down between the fibers, or between the border and the fibers, and the staples will usually be well-hidden.

When carpeting a basement floor, you can use carpet tape instead of staples. In either case, this is best done where padding isn’t too important. Of course, you can use padding too, if you don’t mind the complications, but without it, this is pure simplicity.

You might want to lay out the pieces first, to decide where each will go. When you come to walls, heating registers, and other obstacles, you can easily cut the pieces to fit. If you make a mistake, it cost you perhaps a dollar. Just start over with a new piece.

Before you start, estimate how many pieces you’ll need, and call around to find a carpet store that has enough samples for sale. The carpet samples at different stores range in size, but are usually at least 18 by 18 inches. Using pieces that are all the same size is the easiest way to go. Even at a dollar, this makes it less than 50 cents per square foot to carpet a room. That’s cheap carpet!

Treating Your Windows Can Save You Money This Winter

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When it comes to saving energy, it pays to conserve. American consumers pay about $25 billion annually to heat and cool air that eventually leaks to the outdoors. The collective cost for this wasted energy is enormous, an amount equivalent to the value of the oil produced by the Alaska Pipeline.


Treating Your Windows Can Save You Money This Winter

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When it comes to saving energy, it pays to conserve. American consumers pay about $25 billion annually to heat and cool air that eventually leaks to the outdoors. The collective cost for this wasted energy is enormous, an amount equivalent to the value of the oil produced by the Alaska Pipeline.

It makes sense to think about the efficiency of your home. As you do, take some time to consider your windows. Windows are one of the leading sources of air leakage, allowing hot air to creep indoors during the summer and warm, heated air to work its way outside in the colder months. By taking the appropriate steps, you can effectively boost window insulation and better maintain the overall comfort level of your home.

Here are five window insulation tips, provided by Comfortex BlindCrafter Centers, to help you conserve energy this winter:

* Caulk cracks or holes in your windows or install weather stripping around the window sash and frame to seal off the areas prone to air flow.

* Install either interior or exterior storm windows. Storm windows can easily reduce the heat loss through your windows by 25 percent to 50 percent while limiting drafts and condensation. Be sure the storm windows have sufficient weather stripping and interlocking or overlapping joints to maximize their effectiveness.

* Insulate your home with energy-efficient window treatments, such as cellular shades, that provide an insulating barrier on your windows to prevent cold air from entering and warm air from escaping.

* Keep window treatments closed at night. Open them during the day to take advantage of the sun’s rays for natural solar heating.

* Clean your windows, especially on the southern side of your home. This allows for maximum solar gain throughout the day and clean glass allows this to happen more readily.

If you’d like to add new window treatments to help save energy in your home, you may be able to get them for free.

Comfortex BlindCrafter has launched a nationwide Ultimate Window Shade Makeover Contest. The grand prize winner will receive Comfortex custom window shades for every window in his or her home – a $25,000 value.

Don’t Build A House Without Bathtubs

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As an architect, of course I have strong feelings about elements that should never be left out of any home building project. For example, I believe that no home should be built without bathtubs.

I know, bathtubs sounds like a strange thing to be so concerned about, but it is true. I always advise my clients, regardless of their age or the kind of home they are building, to not even consider building a home without bathtubs. When they ask me why I can usually give a pretty …


bathtubs

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As an architect, of course I have strong feelings about elements that should never be left out of any home building project. For example, I believe that no home should be built without bathtubs.

I know, bathtubs sounds like a strange thing to be so concerned about, but it is true. I always advise my clients, regardless of their age or the kind of home they are building, to not even consider building a home without bathtubs. When they ask me why I can usually give a pretty strong defense of bathtubs.

Bathtubs do something for a bathroom and for a home that ordinary showers without bathtubs cannot do. Bathtubs give the people of a home the ability to have a quiet place of refuge to relax and unwind at the end of a hard day or week. Think about how great it feels to take a hot shower at the end of a long and cold day. Now think about how much nicer it would be to soak in a hot bathtub for thirty minutes instead. Sounds nice right?

I’m convinced about bathtubs in every home because I am convinced that we are far too busy and far too stressed out as a society. I am convinced that we could all, men, women and children alike, use a little bit of space and quiet away from the rest of the world.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t utilized the pleasures of bathtubs until just a few years ago when my family and I moved into a new house and my wife insisted upon bathtubs in every room of the house for our kids. I agreed during the building process and within weeks after moving in I was trying out the bathtubs for myself and realizing how truly amazing they were. In all my years of living I had yet to find something as relaxing and truly peaceful as spending time in water filled bathtubs.

So if you are thinking about building a home or just of buying an already built home, do so with caution. Do not let yourself buy or build a home without bathtubs. You have no idea what you’re missing if you don’t have them. I guarentee you, bathtubs are a necessary element for every house. They add a special space for people to get away, relax and unwind. So don’t even think about owning a home without one or more bathtubs.

Plumbing

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If you have ever gone camping for a weekend, you know it doesn’t take long to miss running water, flushing toilets, clean clothes, and hot showers. These modern conveniences are the benefits of plumbing systems.


Plumbing

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If you have ever gone camping for a weekend, you know it doesn’t take long to miss running water, flushing toilets, clean clothes, and hot showers. These modern conveniences are the benefits of plumbing systems. Your house has several separate plumbing systems. Sinks, toilets, washers, bathtubs, and related fixtures. Types of pipes for different plumbing usage may vary, from:

1. Copper

2. Plastic

3. Lead

4. Concrete

5. Steel

6. Cast iron

Plumbing is something we use every day and which most of us know little about. Shopping for your own plumbing fixtures rather than getting them through your plumber allows you choose from a wider selection and save money.

Most people are familiar with plumbers, who come to their home to unclog a drain or install an appliance. When construction plumbers install piping in a house, for example, they work from blueprints or drawings that show the planned location of pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances.

Water enters your house through a pipe that connects either to a municipal water line or a private well. Faucets, like all plumbing fixtures with moving parts, are apt to require more repair than non-moving fixtures. The less strain you put on your faucets, the less frequently they need repair.

If your plumbing fixtures drain slowly, the problem may be a clogged vent. This happens when vents are improperly located and when birds or animals deposit debris in the vent where it exits the roof.

Whatever your intended plumbing projects, the first step is to familiarize yourself with the water system in your home. At the very least it is important to know where to switch off the mains in case of an emergency.

Little Giant Ladder Review – Is it Worth Buying?

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When you want the best in a ladder, look no further than the Little Giant Ladder. The Little Giant Ladder is the must have tool for anyone who owns a house and anyone who uses ladders in their profession.


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When you want the best in a ladder, look no further than the Little Giant Ladder. The Little Giant Ladder is the must have tool for anyone who owns a house and anyone who uses ladders in their profession. For those hard to reach areas around your house or your yard, the Little Giant and any of a number of superbly crafted accessories have been designed to bring safety, stability, ease of use and flexibility to the job.

I own a Little Giant and use it several times a week around the house. In fact, many of my neighbors also own and use them in more professional settings. At first, I was highly skeptical about a ladder that was sold on an infomericial but this lives up to its promise of being the more versatile ladder in the world.

Whether you’re painting the trim around your house, trimming dead branches from your trees, cleaning out those stuffed rain gutters or remodeling, the Little Giant Ladder can make those jobs easier to do, safer to tackle and cheaper than the vast array of other ladders and equipment you’d need to replace it.

Made out of the finest metal alloys available, designed by brilliant engineers to conform to almost any conditions, the Little Giant Ladder can replace almost a full 70% of all existing ladders currently on the market and you’d never miss any of them. I was able to get rid of three other ladders in my garage and now just use one.

And with a wide choice of accessories, there’s almost no job, no project that my Little Giant Ladder can’t handle with ease. From irregular surfaces, to stairwells, from rain gutters to entire paint jobs, from high up places to low to the ground areas, the Little Giant Ladder system saves me time and money without sacrificing the safety and stability I was looking for.

With the Little Giant Ladder you’re not just buying a ladder. You’re getting “24 ladders in one” that is manufactured to only the highest of standards and is made in the USA.

Simply put, there’s no better piece of equipment that you can own that can handle all of the jobs that the Little Giant Ladder was designed for. If you’re considering purchasing one, I highly recommend the Little Giant Ladder System and accessories.

Transform You Home With An Indoor Water Fountain

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Few accessories can transform your home as magically as indoor fountains. Not only do they create a mobile work of art in your home but they also pleasure your senses with the sound of running water and infuse your atmosphere with energizing negative ions.


Fountain, Fountains, Water Fountain, Water Fountains

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Few accessories can transform your home as magically as indoor fountains. Not only do they create a mobile work of art in your home but they also pleasure your senses with the sound of running water and infuse your atmosphere with energizing negative ions.

Imagine returning home to a house that sings to the sound of running water like a gentle stream. Or resonates to the crash of surf. The air is fresh, cool and energizing. Your stress fades away and your mood lifts. Not only is your house beautiful but it radiates a glorious sense of nature. If this sounds appealing, you can transform your home into such a special place with an indoor water fountain. Easy and cheap to set-up and maintain, indoor fountains also offer a host of benefits.

First, nothing creates a more relaxing ambience than the sound of running water. The mere sound transports you to a serene place such as a waterfall or the seashore. What’s more the sound of rainfall for example lulls your mind into alpha mode – the state of relaxation. So with indoor fountains, you can create the perfect space to unplug and detach yourself from your everyday stressful world or practice yoga or meditation. They’re also magic if you suffer from insomnia. The gentle sounds of water falling will soon send you off to sleep. That’s also perfect if you’ve got young children who have trouble sleeping. What’s more, the cascades of indoor fountains also create a white-noise effect which masks any disturbing sounds from outside.

Not only do indoor fountains work magic on the ears, they’re a feast for the eyes too. For one thing, they bring the freshness of nature into your home. Generally, only natural materials are use such as marble slate, ceramic, stones, or various woods such as bamboo. Indoor fountains can be of several types. They can be wall mounted. Or you can choose table or floor fountains depending on your space and preferences. And the range of design options is infinite. You can add plants and flowers to further create the feeling of nature in your own home. It’s like having your own indoor garden or sanctuary.

Another boon for indoor fountain owners is that they produce negative ions. These are tiny charged particles caused by the falling water.
They may be tiny but they have profound effects on your mind in the form of lifting the spirit. They work by boosting the oxygen flow to the brain. This results in elevated mood and mental energy. Just the thing for a gloomy winter’s day. In fact, researchers at Columbia University have proved that negative ions lift depression as effectively as anti-depressant medications. And unlike drugs, negative ions are completely safe. Negative ions also leach dust, smoke and allergens out of the environment. If you suffer from allergies, you can appreciate how important this is.

If you decide to go ahead and transform your home with a water fountain, make sure you buy from a specialist firm. They can educate you about the best type of fountain and arrangement for you. Plus they’ll have a full range of designs for you to choose from. So you’ll be able to customize your choice of materials and designs for example. The best firms provide a full service and even offer a return guarantee if you’re not delighted.

An Introduction to Futons

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Futons have been a fixture of college students’ dorm rooms and other urban living settings for decades. Futons are stylish, functional, and versatile; they can be integrated into nearly any setting. Futon beds are lightweight and simple, providing sleepers with a comfortable place to rest.


Futons, Futon Covers, Futon Mattresses, Futon Frames

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Futons have been a fixture of college students’ dorm rooms and other urban living settings for decades. Futons are stylish, functional, and versatile; they can be integrated into nearly any setting. Futon beds are lightweight and simple, providing sleepers with a comfortable place to rest.

What most people don’t know is that futon beds originated in Japan. For hundreds of years, Japanese people have slept on thin futon mattresses placed directly on the floor. They saw no need to have an elaborate bed with a frame and box spring and headboard. All that these early futons involved was the thin mattress, small pillows, and a blanket. In the morning, the futon bed could be rolled up and put in a closet. Over time, the concept of sleeping on futon beds spread to America.

Modern futons often have adjustable frames and can be used as either a couch or a bed, depending on how the frame is arranged. The frames are usually made of colored metal, but can be wooden as well. Futon beds do not needed to be folded out like couch beds, all the sleeper needs to do is push the back of the frame from the upright couch position to a horizontal bed position. These setups are comfortable in either the couch or bed position and are great for accommodating overnight guests.

Current models of futon mattresses are thicker than the original Japanese models. They are often filled with wool, polyester, cotton, or soft man made fibers. They do not have the springs that conventional beds have. A normal mattress can become uncomfortable over time if the springs do not hold up well to pressure. This is not a problem with futons because most of them have no springs.

Futon beds have evolved greatly over time. From their simple beginnings as space saving Japanese beds to their modern multi use models, they are a great alternative to conventional beds.