Why You Should Go Customized

When thinking about remodeling your kitchen, you may want to consider going customized. Many people feel the kitchen is considered to be the heart of a home and you want your kitchen to be exactly what you want. By having it custom designed then, your kitchen will be an extension of you and your personal tastes.

white-kitchenNow when your contractor uses standard cabinetry, then the kitchen has to stick with the standard sizes, designs and colors. Also, because of having to use what is already made, then if you have a hard to fit spot, it will be have a fake front cabinet instead of a useful custom cabinetry design. But when you go custom design there isn’t a problem or worry about a design that you love but can’t find anywhere. There also isn’t an issue if you want to use a unique wood or finish or a complicated design. Plus, by going with the custom design plan, any tricky places you have in your kitchen will have a cabinet designed especially for that space. The custom designer wants to design something that is specifically you.

Also, a custom cabinetry shop will use a better grade of material, unique construction methods and better designed hardware for your cabinets. Because cheaper material isn’t used, the cost will be more at the onset, but in the long run the better quality will give you a kitchen which lasts longer and stays beautiful. Too, you will have a better selection of styles of cupboard doors and unique hardware. You can have inserts of frosted glass or a beautifully carved trim on your custom cupboard doors; the choice is yours.

Too, when you have a custom designed kitchen, the experts can match your already existing trim or perhaps a favorite piece of furniture. A cabinet designer can offer both flexibility and expertise here then when designing the kitchen of your dreams. So then you can have the kitchen in your home you’ve always dreamed about.

Going customized is the best way to have your kitchen be the showpiece in your home. You can have your dream kitchen when all is finished then and cook in it too!

Swimming Pools and Liability

Owning a swimming pool is a lot of fun. It’s great exercise and inviting guests to swim is another one of the perks of a pool. However, pool ownership exposes you to significant liability. You need to take certain steps to protect yourself. If you are a new pool owner, consider consulting with an experienced attorney so that you understand your responsibilities.

It’s easy to develop a sense of complacency about your pool, especially when it comes to children. Many people assume that if kids can swim, they aren’t susceptible to serious pool injury. However, unsupervised children can easily get into serious situations. Drownings can happen fast and other people may not notice the signs of a drowning person.

Supervision is the key to preventing accidents and reducing your liability. When anyone is using the pool, a sober adult who is trained in rescue and first aid should be present at all times. Purchase life-saving equipment and keep it near the pool. If there are more than three people in the pool, additional adults should be supervising the swimmers. Never let people who have been drinking alcohol swim. You are responsible for making the environment safe for all swimmers so it’s important to be vigilant. Take a first aid course before you allow others to swim in your pool.

It’s also important to take steps to protect neighbors to reduce liability. You are responsible for protecting your pool area. You must have a locking gate and fence surrounding the swimming pool. It should be at least four feet tall. The gates must self-close and the lock or latch should be placed high on the gate so that children can’t reach it. A secure pool cover will also help prevent accidents. You can purchase pool alarms that will alert you when the water is disturbed. This will prevent unsupervised use of the pool.

You need to have appropriate insurance to protect yourself due to your liability. Your homeowner’s policy should include coverage for pool-related accidents. Don’t get the minimum coverage. Purchase at least one million dollars’ worth of coverage. It is a good idea to get even more coverage to protect yourself since your liability is significant.

Kitchen Ideas that Work for You

Remodeling a kitchen is more than putting up some new custom cabinetry and making more storage, you have to consider your lifestyle also. So sit and think about how often you use your kitchen, and how will it fit in with your lifestyle with changes. Do you cook like a chef or are you more of an “open the box and dump in it” type of cook? Think about what doesn’t work in your present kitchen, and what you may what to change in your new one.

custom-kitchenFor example, if you really enjoy cooking, then your kitchen should have a serious workshop atmosphere to it. Your cooking utensils should be within easy reach; therefore, and maybe open shelving would work better for you. Or perhaps, you’d rather hang your pots and pans from a rack, adjusted to your height, so you’re not stretching or stuffing them under the sink. Your utensils would be organized in drawer inserts then so you would know exactly where to grab one. Or; maybe, you have dual cooks in the family, and you need two work zones. You can always add another sink or have a special nook just for chopping veggies or making homemade pasta in this case.

Another thought to take into consideration is if you have children. Since the refrigerator is the main point in the kitchen the kids gravitate to, place it in the outer edge of the kitchen. This way the kids won’t be in the way when you’re cooking when they’re getting a snack or drink. Also, rate whatever you choose for your kitchen in durability points. Also some types of cabinets are made out of materials that are better at hiding fingerprints, scuffs and nicks. The same would go for your flooring material.

If you entertain in your kitchen more than you cook, you can still have the kitchen designed to meet your needs too. Install a wide island that will allow your guests to park themselves and linger with their drinks or food. Or if you’re not that into cooking but love your cappuccino machine, make a cozy space for a coffee station for sitting down and relaxing.

The idea of a kitchen is to make the design work for your type of lifestyle and how you would use it. Once those questions are answered, then your kitchen design choices will be much easier.

How to Care for a Spa

outdoor-spaSpas are a great way to relax and stretch your muscles. If you have a swimming pool, you are used to taking care of it in a certain way. Some of the same principles apply to taking care of a spa, but there are important differences because the water temperature is higher. Because the spa is smaller than a swimming pool, you will have to approach cleaning and treating the water differently.

It’s important to have a quality hot tub cover. It should fit securely to prevent water leaks. The cover will save you money by locking in the heat. The cover will prevent debris and dirt from getting into the water. Covers need to be replaced occasionally because older covers deteriorate and develop rips, tears and gaps. Many people opt to purchase spa covers with locks so that children cannot get into the hot tub on their own.

Chemical balance is the key to keeping the water safe. Unbalanced water can cause a variety of problems. If you add too much chlorine, bathers are likely to develop a rash. If there is not enough chlorine and the pH is out of balance, the water becomes unsanitary. The water will be cloudy without ample sanitation. It will also become foamy if it is untreated. Like swimming pools, your equipment will wear out quickly if the water is unbalanced.

You should check the water a few times a week. Check it more often if you are having problems balancing the chemicals. If you use chlorine or bromine, the amount should be 1-5 ppm. Test the pH which should register at 7.2-7.8. Test the calcium hardness and make sure it is in the range of 125-400 ppm. The ideal total alkalinity range is 120-180 ppm. Always use good quality chemicals to adjust the water and add chemicals one at a time.

You need to change the water in a spa every few months. If it’s used daily or you have a large number of bathers regularly, you’ll need to change it more often. If the water quality deteriorates, you can change the water more often.

Dog Bites

Did you know that there are millions of dog bites every year? Sometimes dog bites result in serious injuries. If your dog bites someone, in most cases, the liability is yours. The bitten person may have a legal right to damages. It’s important to understand your responsibilities in the event that your dog bites someone. You should also take steps to avoid the likelihood of a bite.

small-dogIf your dog is aggressive, you can take simple steps to minimize your liability. Keep the dog away from people. Don’t walk the animal in public parks or in areas where there are likely to be crowds. You can also reduce the likelihood of a bite by putting a muzzle on the dog when others are near the animal. Never let the dog off a leash or let it run free. You can reduce your liability merely by avoiding situations where a bite is likely to occur. If there are visitors to your home, lock the dog up securely in another room or in a crate.

A good animal trainer can help you learn to control aggression in your dog. You should learn as much as possible about the animal’s breed. Some types of dogs are more likely to be aggressive than others. These types of dogs are best kept out of situations where they may be approached by children or other strangers. Children can easily frighten an animal which leads to a bite. The dog may become aggressive if it thinks you are threatened in any way. It’s natural for the animal to be protective of you, but it can be disastrous if a person is harmed.

You should purchase insurance to protect yourself in the case your dog bites someone. Your liability is significant if the animal hurts the person. Most people have liability policies for dogs that pay out a maximum of around $100,000. This may not be enough to cover the damages. There have been cases where dogs have seriously injured people. If someone sustains significant harm, you may need to turn to an umbrella policy to cover major damages. It’s a good idea to talk with an experienced insurance agent about your coverage in the event of a dog bite.

How to Remodel on a Budget

Remodeling your kitchen can be a big expense, but there are some things you can do to cut down the costs and save you money. One of the first things to do is to make your decisions early. So take a stroll through your local hardware stores and home centers; or go online and price different professional kitchen installers and see what they have to offer. Check out the different styles of facets, custom cabinetry and counters too. Be specific on what you want also when you and your contractor talk so the contractor knows exactly what you want. For example, you may have one type of item in mind such as stainless steel ones and but you could end up with expensive brass ones. The difference in prices and in communication can cost you more than you planned if you’re not careful.

IMG_1792Another way to cut costs is to increase the efficiency of your kitchen, but not necessarily the size. So by installing cabinet height drawers which pull out that are 8 inches wide, you can get more storage space but less cost. You can also redo other cabinets with dividers, Lazy Susans, pull out pot trays and even spice pull out drawers. When replacing shelves that are hogging space with cabinets that can be made into a space saver area, you are increasing the efficiency of the space you already have without having to add on another room or area.

You can save money another way also by doing the cleanup work yourself instead of paying the contractor to do so. By using a broom and a dustpan, you can also sweep up the savings as well. Also, to get an extra tax deduction, before you start to rip out cupboards and fixtures, check to see if there is a Habitat for Humanity in your area. The volunteers can come in and remove what you no longer want and resale it at their resale store, and you will get the tax deduction. This keeps it out of the landfill, and you are helping to support a good cause as well.

As you can see, there are ways to remodel on a budget without breaking it. You’ll be prized to learn that do-it-yourself can seem like a money saving strategy, but if you don’t know what your doing, your remodel can end up costing much more than a professional cabinetry company.

Home Invasion Prevention

Home invasion is one of the most prevalent safety threats for home owners. No one wants their personal property to be taken. After all, most people have valuable possessions like televisions, computers, art and jewelry. Some of these items have sentimental value. They can be physically replaced but the actual value of the item is incalculable.

There are security concerns in addition to property value. Home invasions can quickly escalate into violent situations if a thief happens upon someone in the house. Most criminals stake out houses to avoid running into people in the house. They hope to get in and out of the house quickly without encountering anyone. However, sometimes, they unexpectedly run into someone and things can become violent quickly. That’s why it’s so important to put security measures in place to protect your family and your home.

You’ve probably thought to protect your entryways with solid doors and good locks but what about your windows? These are an easy target for thieves. They don’t even have to break windows to access your home, although they will if they think they can get away with it. Thieves can often pry windows away from the frame quietly so that neighbors don’t hear a disturbance and gain entry to the house.

You don’t have to resort to bars on the windows to provide security for your home. You can increase window protection by purchasing rolling security shutters which are an attractive way to protect your windows. You may be unfamiliar with these shutters although you’ve probably seen them without realizing it. The shutters blend seamlessly with the architecture of the home. The shutters are available in a wide variety of colors and roll into an attractive housing and aren’t visible when they are rolled up.

When the shutters are closed and locked, they are impenetrable to home invaders. You can shut and lock them through manual or battery-operated systems. The security shutters are available for very large windows so you can feel secure in a variety of home designs. There is nothing as reassuring as knowing that your home is protected against invaders. You’ll also have the advantage of an attractive addition to your home that blends in with the exterior architecture to provide an attractive look.