The Difference Between Hard and Soft Woods in Kitchen Remodeling

The main difference between using hardwood for remodeling a kitchen and softwood is either the presence of porous material or the absence of porous material in the wood. Hardwoods are different sizes and shapes and also porous. Softwoods don’t have pores, but have veins instead. Now hardwoods are more resistant to different types of damage such as dents and scratches. But some softwood can be harder than hardwood; for example, balsa, which is considered a hardwood, is softer than yew, which is considered softwood.

planksWhen putting down flooring, either hardwoods or softwoods can be used. It depends on what you want to pay, your taste in wood and what goes with your décor. Hardwood is a higher cost than softwood will be though but with Hardwood there is less maintenance. So if you use softwood; as an example, it requires more maintenance to keep the floor looking like new.

The whole key is proper floor installation. If installed properly and with the stained applied correctly, even an inexpensive floor will look expensive. However, if the workmanship is shoddy, then it doesn’t matter how much the wood costs; the floor will just look bad.

Now, in cabinets, the wear and tear is on the cabinet doors and the front of the drawers where the utensils are, and they wear regardless of the type of wood. Putting the utensils in and out scrapes even the hardest of woods over time. Also, fingernails will scar wood where you grab the knob or door handle on the cupboard. All this activity will scar the wood and wear down the finish regardless if your wood is hard or soft. One way to make the cabinets more durable though is to make sure the finish on the cabinets is heavy and dense. The heavier and denser the finish is then the more durable. Then they’ll be able to stand up to every day wear and tear.

It all comes down to what you want in your kitchen for storage or otherwise and what pleases you aesthetically. But if you only choose the wood for your kitchen based on its durability instead of how it looks, you may end up being very unhappy with the outcome.

What Causes Wood and Laminate Cabinets to Bubble

If you are noticing bubbles in your wood or laminated kitchen cabinets, you have a problem. When these materials age, they are affected by changes in the temperature, humidity and act up if they’ve been damaged. These changes can cause the laminate to pull away from the wood base that it’s been glued to. The thing to keep in mind is that because veneer is actually pretty brittle and delicate, this can turn into a serious problem pretty quickly. So when the veneer is loose from the base, it can start to chip and split and your cabinets quickly becomes shoddy looking. These changes can also cause blistering, which are little bubbles underneath the surface of the laminate. These bubbles need to be fixed pretty quickly too before they begin to worsen. So how can you fix blistered or peeling cabinets? Below are some instructions you may find useful:

  • First get a razor blade and then along the length of the bubble cut a slit.
  • Take a toothpick and yellow carpenter’s glue and apply a bead to the toothpick. On the underside of the veneer where the bubble was pulling away from the underlying wood, spread the carpenter’s glue.
  • Next, gently and lightly press the veneer against the wood where the glue is applied. If any glue seeps up through the slit wipe it away with a cloth. Also put a piece of wax paper over the veneer on the area that you repaired.
  • To keep veneer tightly pressed against the wood until the wood dries, place something heavy against the spot. If the bubble is on the edge or close to the edge of the cabinet, get a clamp and a flat piece of wood. Place the piece of wood on the wax paper and then clamp it down firmly in place. This will also work if you can’t place something heavy directly on the patch. Let the patch dry overnight.
  • Next morning, remove the wood and wax paper from the patch and sand the area with fine grit sandpaper, lightly. Then apply either wood oil or varnish on the surface with a clean rag, let the first coat dry and then apply the second coat.

Repairing bubbles in your cabinets isn’t difficult; it just takes time and patience.

How Lap Pools Improve Health

A lap pool is usually about 50 feet in length; is long, narrow and has a rectangular shape. If you have a shallow residential lot or a narrow one, this type of pool is perfect for you. This type of swimming pool is built to be used mainly for health and fitness in the privacy of your own backyard.

lap-pool-constructionSo how does a lap pool improve your health and fitness? Well, by swimming in a lap pool you can do aerobic exercise without the harsh impact on your muscles and joints. This is especially helpful with older people dealing with arthritis or some other type of joint injury. Using a lap pool will also help to increase your strength and your muscle tone as well as giving you improved flexibility. Additionally, exercising daily will help you control your weight and manage weight loss. Plus; last but not least, it will help to lower your stress levels.

So when you swim, it not only increases your fitness level; but it can, when combined with healthy eating help you to lose weight. Additionally, when you are swimming laps, the resistance you encounter is 12 to 14 percent greater than if you performed the same exercise out of the water which is great for added strength. Also as you swim laps daily, by improving your stroke you can increase your speed which will burn more calories. Now if you want to build up your lower body and increase the flexibility in your ankles, try using swim fins. Swim fins will help you to increase your speed and in a shorter time you’ll be able to swim more laps too.

If you decide that a 30 minute workout is perfect for you, you’ll need to divide the 30 minutes by how long it takes you to finish a lap. This will tell you how many laps you’ll need to swim to make the 30 minute quota. Plus, if you work at increasing the length of your strokes and how often you stroke the water, this will let you travel through the water faster. You will find yourself swimming more laps in a shorter amount of time.

Owning a lap pool can help you increase your stamina, lose weight and get your health back on track.

How to Care for Wood Cabinets in Dry Climates

Although many people worry about their wood cabinets in their kitchen becoming damp from humid conditions, some people have concerns about too dry conditions. Now extremely dry conditions can cause wood cabinets to crack. Insert panels in the doors can shrink which will cause the panel edges to be exposed. This exposure will be noticeable against the finished parts of the panel and door.

IMG_2732Also because kitchen cabinets can be made from solid hardwoods and veneered plywood which is blended together, they need a certain amount of moisture. If the necessary moisture isn’t present, joints will become loose and the veneer will peel. The cabinets will start to deteriorate and become rough to the touch. At that point, the cabinets will need to be replaced. But you can avoid that by replenishing dry cabinets with natural products which will help to replace the flexibility and finish on the wood. So below are some steps you can follow which will help your cabinets shine like new:

  • First get a soft cloth and saturate it with lemon oil. Then thoroughly wipe the cabinets inside until it looks wet. If you’re having trouble getting the lemon oil in the corners, squirt it directly in the corner and then wipe.
  • Next, take the saturated cloth and wipe down the doors. Make sure you get the top and bottom edges plus the front and back of the door. If the panels are raised or profiled, you can squirt the lemon on directly on the area and then wipe it off. If you see any dry places, squirt the lemon oil on it and wipe it off.
  • Then wipe over the face of the cabinets, the edges and any other exposed areas you missed. The cabinets should look wet and shiny. Let the oil soak in overnight.
  • The next day, wipe over everything again with the lemon oil. Don’t restock the cabinet until 24 hours have passed. After that, once a month reapply the lemon oil for a three month period and one time a year after that.

Even in a dry climate, your cabinets can still be beautiful if maintained correctly.

Creating an Energy Efficient Home with New Windows

Energy efficiency is on most people’s minds because the cost of heating and cooling homes is so high. People often focus on home improvement projects like purchasing energy efficient appliances and upgrading their heating and air conditioning systems. These purchases can help lower costs significantly, but the savings will be much more significant you also eliminate the energy leaks in your home.

windowsOne of the best investments you can make is replacing your windows. Old windows allow a significant amount of cool or hot air to escape. This means your furnace or air conditioner has to work harder to compensate for the energy leaks.

Installing energy efficient windows can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Older windows typically aren’t tightly sealed and allow air to escape. When you walk by older windows, you may notice a draft or the curtains blowing slightly. This is a sign your windows need to be replaced if you want to cut down on energy loss.

When you approach home improvement projects, you should consider the amount of the investment and the benefits it will provide over the long term. Some projects are merely surface details, but energy efficient home improvement projects offer you more in the long run. New, tightly-fitting windows can reduce your reliance on your heating and air conditioning systems. Window screens are a great option for allowing ventilation in the home and keeping bugs and other posts out of the home.

New windows are a long-term investment in your home. They not only benefit you while you live in the home, they also increase the house’s value if you to decide to sell. Buyers will appreciate energy efficient options. Updated windows are also available in more styles than older types. You can choose decorative designs and features like sliding windows, pull-out windows and other styles. A variety of window borders colors are available. You’ll also find that new windows lock tightly which provides extra security for your home. These personal touches will make your home even more attractive to buyers down the road.

Organizing Your Family’s Educational Materials

school-childIf you have more than one child in school, you’ll notice that the amount of school materials in your home accumulates quickly. Whether your children attend school outside the home or you homeschool, you need a variety of supplies to support education. If you don’t have the proper organizational space in your home, school supplies can quickly cause chaos. You’ll have pens, pencils, paintbrushes, papers and books strewn everywhere in your house.

Disorganization doesn’t just affect the appearance of your home. It wastes time. You and your children will constantly spend time looking for needed materials. It can quickly become frustrating. If you have a good system for organizing educational supplies, you’ll save a lot of time and irritation. You will also save money because you won’t have to replace supplies that you can’t find.

Cabinets are a great way to organize all your supplies and minimize chaos. You can order custom cabinets that are designed to accommodate the exact needs of your family. Custom cabinets can include a variety of features that will help you create a neat and functional space. You may select structures in various sizes. Drawers are also extremely helpful for organization. They can be created in smaller sizes for items like notepaper, pens, clips, pens and paper. You can request unusually-sized drawers or cabinets that can accommodate maps and large graphing paper.

Bookshelves are essential for organizing school materials. They can be created in a variety of shapes and sizes. When you purchase custom products, the designer can use all the available space in the room. Bookcases can be built to fit into corners and various nooks and crannies. A designer can create bookcases that have differently-sized shelves. These are convenient because you can store everything from novels to oversized textbooks.

Some families have multiple cabinets and designate each one for a particular use. For example, all the children in the family may their own cabinets. In other cases, cabinets are organized by use. One may hold art materials. Another one may be used for maps or math supplies. Organizing supplies in this way may make life much simpler for both parents and children.

Creating a Custom Craft Room

craftsDo you have a hobby or craft that you enjoy? Lots of people work on crafts as a small business. Others do it just for fun. Popular crafts include sewing, making jewelry, creating art, making decorations, woodworking and a wide variety of other crafts. Most crafts require equipment and supplies. Sewers need thread, fabric, patterns and other accessories depending on the project. Jewelry makers use metals and engraving tools. Artists typically have several types of supplies including canvases, paint, colored pencils, brushes and other items depending on the kind of art.

Since each type of art requires numerous supplies, crafters can end up with a great deal of equipment that is difficult to organize. A messy craft room is unattractive but the problem can be more frustrating than that. A lot of people use a spare bedroom or an office to store their materials but the rooms aren’t designed to accommodate crafting materials and furniture. The room might have a closet and even a few cabinets but these don’t provide ample storage. The craft room can quickly become unorganized. Projects become difficult when you can’t find what you need quickly.

Investing in custom cabinetry for a craft room can help you organize your room and work efficiently. If you sew, you can install a custom cabinet with drawers near your sewing machine. Why would custom cabinets work better in this situation than pre-fabricated cabinets? You can choose the sizes and shapes that accommodate both your equipment and your materials. If you sew, you could request smaller draws that can sort items like thread and buttons. You might need larger spaces to hold thick fabric and stuffing materials. If you paint, you might want storage in unusually shaped sizes to hold canvases, easels and other useful materials.

Some people try to use office desks and folding tables for their craft rooms. These pieces can help but you’ll have to store things in awkward places and buy mismatches pieces to hold your materials. You’ll end up with a messy room that doesn’t look attractive. If you have custom cabinets, you can store materials easily when they’re not in use. This way, the room will look attractive and neat for visitors.

How to Save Money without Replacing Your Doors

When it comes to cutting costs, conserving energy is one of the best ways to make room in your budget. The cost of heating and cooling homes is one of the most significant costs homeowners face. Air can escape through gaps in doors and windows easily and waste a significant amount of energy. Your heating and cooling bills can quickly escalate due to leaks in the home. Experts recommend that you look for gaps throughout your home to ensure that energy isn’t escaping and costing you money.

home-improvementWhen you are investing in your home, it’s a good idea to focus on projects that save money. These types of projects are a good investment for a variety of reasons. First, they will make your home more comfortable during both cold and hot weather. Next, they will help to lower your energy bills. Finally, many energy-saving home improvement projects are tax deductible. Between the energy savings and tax deductions, some projects pay for themselves in a short amount of time.

Your front door is probably one of the greatest sources of energy loss in your home. Many doors have gaps at the bottom and around the sides. While you might consider replacing your front entry doors, it’s a significant investment of money and may well be out of your price range. You might already have attractive entry way doors that complement the design of your home. There are alternatives to door replacement.

One of the best improvement projects is to install high quality storm doors. These doors serve as a barrier between the main door and the outside to seal in warm or cold air. This acts as insulation for your home and also protects your home against severe weather such as rain or hail. Storm doors include screens that allow fresh air into your home.

You have a wide range of choices when it comes to storm doors. They are manufactured in a variety of attractive designs that will fit in with your entryway door and also complement your existing entryway door. You can choose attractive hardware and door styles so that your door will look great.

Creating a Convenient Laundry Room

If your family is like most, your laundry room is constantly in use. Laundry has a way of piling up fast and quickly creates a mess. When you factor in detergent, fabric softener, an ironing board and other laundry accessories, there is an even greater opportunity for clutter to accumulate. Most standard laundry rooms come with one or two cabinets. The room might also have a small closet or a drying line. This isn’t usually enough storage space to accommodate a family’s laundry.

laundry-roomYou can create a more functional laundry room by adding cabinetry and other custom storage space. If the room is tailored to your needs, it will be easier to organize. It’s becoming common for laundry rooms to be built on the upper floor of the home. After all, this is where the majority of laundry accumulates. It eliminates the need to haul laundry baskets up and down the stairs.

If you have an upstairs room, you can get a lot of use out of new cupboards. They can serve as a linen closet if you install long cabinets with shelves or a custom closet to help you arrange various items that the whole family uses. You can install storage for towels, sheets, blankets, mattress covers and other items. You can choose the size to accommodate size of the items you need to store.

Cabinets can work for your laundry room no matter what the size or shape of the room. The advantage of custom made products is that they can be created in any size or shape. They can be tailored to take advantage of nooks and crannies. You can add a variety of other features that will add even more functionality to the room. Many patients prefer high storage spaces for chemicals so children cannot reach them. You can add high and even locking spaces for bleach, detergent and other hazardous chemicals.

Your laundry room can be attractive as well as functional. When you work with an experienced custom designer you can choose the majority of the features of your product. These include the type of wood, the color, shapes and other features. This way, if your laundry room is visible, it will be stylish as well as functional.

The Advantages of an Indoor Swimming Pool

Most people own a pool that is outside, but some people enjoy the advantages of an indoor pool. You even may consider owning an indoor swimming pool yourself even you think only people who own mansions have one.  Why would people want an indoor swimming pool in their homes?

Advantages of an indoor pool

There are many advantages to owning an indoor pool. The one that comes to mind first is being able to go swimming anytime and during any season you want. Year around then you can go swimming after exercising, or you can use the pool as exercise itself as a cardio workout. If you don’t enjoy sharing a pool with crowds or onlookers, then an indoor pool would be perfect for you too. No crowds and complete privacy; your neighbors wouldn’t even see you. Too, many people who have various medical problems find relief in swimming especially if the pool is heated so indoor makes sense here. Another point for indoor pools is that there isn’t any winterizing needed since the pool is inside. Plus maintenance on an indoor pool is not as frequent since there isn’t any dust or debris falling in it, which means the pool won’t need cleaned as often.

Disadvantages of an indoor pool

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to indoor pools as well. An indoor pool can be pretty expensive. You will need to have a place to put it so you may need to build an addition onto your house to put the pool in. Also, with the water pumps, extra lighting, the water heating system and any other pool devices that you install, your electric bill will climb considerably too. Your water bill will go up also because of having to keep the pool filled year round instead of just seasonally.

Another option though to an indoor pool is to buy an aboveground pool for inside your home.  All you have to do then is build the room to put it in around the pool and have the pool installed by professionals so there aren’t any problems down the road.

So as you can see, having an indoor pool is actually a viable option for anyone who can afford one.