Questions To Ask Your Designer Before Buying A House Plan

So youve bought your home lot and youre ready to by the perfect house plan, but you dont know where to start. There are important questions that you should ask your designer before buying that house plan, and I can help. I have been designing custom home plans and stock house plans for 20 years, and I have compiled a list of questions you should ask your home designer before buying.

1.How long have you been designing house plans? The more experience your home plan designer has, the more detailed his or her plans are likely to be. Stock house plans experience is also important because with all of the competition for online house plan exposure, there are plenty of home designers out there with little or no experience.

2.Do you design custom house plans? You think youve found the perfect house plan, but you want to make a few tweaks, and before you know it, your revision bill is 2-3 times the cost of the original home plan. A good designer will recognize the fine line between designing a custom home plan for you and spending too much time on revising a stock house plan.

3.Can I return my house plan if I decide not to build it? Most stock plan brokers online have an all sales are final policy, so make sure you check it out BEFORE you click the buy button. But there are some house plan companies and home plan designers WILL allow you to return your house plan with a minimal restocking fee, so be sure to ask.

4.Why cant I return my house plan? Because there are so many house plans sold online to different parts of the world, it is hard to police theft. Bottom line is that there are many people out there buying a house plan and building it more than one time, which is a copyright infringement unless agreed to by the house plan owner. Home designers have limited resources to check to see if you are telling the truth or not, so most have adopted the no returns policy.

5.Will I need to have my house plan reviewed by a local architect? House plans sold through the large brokers online are required to be 2006 IRC compliant at a minimum, but some areas of the country require special additions to the plan that are specific to that area. Its best to check with your local building official before buying a house plan.

6.Do you have references I can talk with? Most home plan designers will not have a problem giving you names of past clients, and if they do, reconsider using them!

7.What is your timeframe for completing my house plan? If you are hiring a home plan designer to draw a custom home, or modify an existing stock house plan, ask up front how long it will take so there are no surprises later. Many home designers who sell their house plans online are a one man shop and may require more time to complete the work.

8.Do you have photos of the house plan I like? Many times the house plan designer will have photos of a stock plan thats already been built, so it always good to ask.

9.Who owns my house plan when its finished and paid for? The original designer is the owner of the copyright of your house plan, even if youve made changes to a stock plan.

10.What are your payment terms? Some home plan designers will require an up-front deposit to begin the project, and its always a good idea to find out ahead of time how payment will be handled.

Skid Loader Rental From Cellars to Gardens, Lees Summit is Covered

One of the hardest aspects of gardening, landscaping and home renovation is trying to find a way to move materials without damaging the property or the back. A quality skid loader rental may be the best way to move anything from a pallet of bricks to a large box of shingles without pain or damage. Skid loaders, also known as skid steers, are a piece of heavy equipment that is usually expensive to buy and difficult to store. Unless someone uses this type of equipment on a regular basis, it is better to find a skid loader rental from a Lees Summit source.

Lees Summit is a suburb of Kansas City in Missouri, and is an area in which there is a growing population. In addition, despite tough economic times, the home values in this area continue to increase, so more people are renovating and buying homes in this area. While a construction crew can certainly operate a skid steer efficiently, many homeowners may choose to find a skid loader rental center and do the job themselves. A skid loader is a relatively easy piece of equipment to operate, and many rental centers can help people find the right piece of equipment for the job.

In addition to using a skid loader to lift lumber, sod or other type of landscaping or renovation materials, a bucket can be added at the skid loader rental center, which enables people to dig a cellar or plant trees. Lees Summit is unfortunately located in what is known as Tornado Alley, and many homeowners are realizing that installing a storm cellar is an absolute necessity for safety. A quality skid steer can use a bucket attachment to dig out the cellar, and homeowners can install their own type of storm cellar without a need for a professional construction company.

In addition to the bucket and arm attachments, many skid loader rental centers may also offer different attachments that can be used to clear snow, soil, grind stumps, mix cement or even chip wood. Lees Summit rental centers can offer a wide variety of equipment for either commercial or residential projects, and the surprisingly affordable rates enable many people to enjoy a new look for their homes and businesses. For those who do not need to purchase this equipment, but wish to start a renovation project, rental centers can be a time, energy and money saving option for those living in the Midwest.

Party String Lights Will Beautify Your Porch or Patio

Party string lights are extremely versatile in the sense that they can be strung as temporary decoration for that special occasion or as an everyday adornment to the outside of your home especially in the porch or patio area. Since this type lighting does not require installation of a permanent nature, it can be installed anywhere there is access to an electrical outlet. Even if there is no electricity available in the area where you would like to place string lighting, technology today has produced solar powered or battery powered string lights that can meet your need as well as being an environmentally friendly option.

Another great thing about utilizing the solar powered option is that there are truly no limitations at all as far as the placement of your party string lights. Simply select the location and give absolutely no thought to how you would place the extension cords that power an electrical powered unit in such a way as not to be a hindrance to the enjoyment of your party goers. As long as the solar cell receives an adequate amount of sunlight, your party lights will burn well into the night and greatly provide for the atmosphere you are trying to project.

The solar powered lighting manufactured today truly operate in a much more efficient manner than their electrically powered cousins. They also are much better than the solar units that were on the market just a few short years ago. The batteries that store the necessary energy to power one of these type fixtures are able to supply power to the lighting for a much longer period of time than before. The solar cells used to gather the sunlight and convert it to energy in the battery do so with a much smaller footprint allowing the solar cell to be placed in such a way as to not be an eyesore on your landscape. Also, the LED lights that supply the illumination on these solar powered string lights are also much more energy efficient and last many times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

No matter the type of string lighting you choose or the means by which they are powered, party string lights can beautifully decorate any area you choose to use for that party or other special occasion. By placing the lighting in trees, along paths and walkways, or any area that is covered by darkness, you will not only decorate the area, but will also provide for a sense of safety as your guests make their way around your property. Whatever, you goal, safety or decoration, you are sure to find a multitude of choices in party string lighting that can meet your needs on an immediate, as well as, a long term basis.

Colour trends for your home

Orange is Hot for 2008 and 2009, the colour Orange continues its stellar run as a fixture for home dcor colour in 2008; and the leader in Colour forecasting, Pantone, projects that the Orange colour trend will continue on beyond 2010. Its no surprise why, Orange is a warm, inviting, dynamic, invigorating and energetic colour.

Home decor based on your Colour Personality – Confused about selecting colour for your home? Why not try choosing decorating colors based on your unique personality? I decided to have a bit of fun and searched out several websites that cover colour personality types.

The Pratt and Lambert colour quiz was the most comprehensive colour personality test of all those I reviewed. Taking into account not only colour likes but other factors that make you different. This test was the only one that returned a colour scheme that was very similar to my personal decorating style. I was impressed. According to the Pratt & Lambert site my colour personality:

Colours in this palette are reminiscent of a sunny seaside. These combinations are refreshing and invigorating. They provide sparkle with lightness while also imbuing a sense of soothing calm. Oceanic hues are ideal for making a bathroom, bedroom or study an oasis. These colours provide a balance for those with a hectic life. The person who decorates with these colours is looking for their home to be their escape.
Home and Garden TV has an interesting colour wheel that you can spin with your mouse and find the colour that sings to your soul. When I spun the colour wheel my eyes landed on my favourite colour Pink. Once I selected Pink, I was given five other shades of pink to choose from. I ended up selecting two pinks (Lavender Pink and Hot Pink) I adore. According to the HGTV site these colour choices mean:

If you like lavender pink, youre seeking to be more inventive. New possibilities flood your mind. By constantly examining possible practical applications, you create new things, new ideas. Using this purple-pink shade in room design is empowering. You and others will become more determined and self-constructive in a lavender pink office or library. Because it invites warm, exciting conversations, its perfect for dining or living rooms. Guests will feel welcomed.

If you like hot pink, you are constantly thinking about exciting things to do. Through your body language and appearance, without even being aware, you are sending out enticing messages. Designing with this magenta shade of pink creates adventurous conversations and situations. It makes you and others less sceptical and more enthusiastic. Use this colour to turn dull into exciting. Think party room!

Not scared to use strong colour, winters often love reds but avoid soft pinks. Achromatic colour schemes employing tonal variations of black, white and grey are commonplace, giving clean lines and sharp contrasts. Assertive purples are considered a safe choice for the main colour in a colour scheme, a sharp contrast to other seasons that will use purple sparingly as an accent. Blues run the gamut of ice blues through to blue blacks, cool and delineating and reflect onto the green palette giving a range of strong aquas. Neutrals are blacks, whites and greys for dramatic relief against the stronger feature colours. You wont find warm creams here. Simple colour schemes are favoured – one colour as the canvas and then accents of other strong colours for contrast and drama. Like winter personalities, the winter palette is self-assured and intense. Subtle colours are left to the other seasons.

Colour Psychology – Perhaps many of you are contemplating new decorating and painting projects and perhaps you arent aware of the impact that colour has on our mood. Before you pick up that paint brush or roller, read through our colour psychology information. It just might help you set the appropriate mood for your indoor space.

First Things First – Choosing a Colour Scheme

Red packs a wallop, physiologically speaking, increasing blood pressure, heartbeat and energy in most people. It instils feelings of intimacy and passion. Red also increases the appetite, which explains why it is used so often in restaurants, and why it can be a good choice for a formal dining room.

Orange, like red, tends to warm a room, but in a more friendly and welcoming way. As a result, paints in various shades and tints of orange work well in living rooms and family rooms.

Yellow is also warm and welcoming, but it is more attention- getting than either red or orange. For this reason, it is a good paint colour to use in poorly lit foyers or dark hallways.

Blue, which is part of the cool colour palette, makes us feel calm and tranquil, so it is ideal for use in bedrooms. But since blue works as an appetite suppressant (perhaps because there are few blue foods) it is not the best option for a dining room … unless you’re on a diet.

Green is another relaxing colour that is much more versatile than blue. Light greens are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms; mid tones are good for kitchens and dining rooms (many foods are green). Also, because green is calming, it is often used in hospitals, workplaces and schools.

Violet is a tricky colour, psychologically speaking. Many adults dislike purples, but are fond of the rose family, which can work in many rooms, including dining rooms, bedrooms and libraries. Young children, on the other hand, respond favourably to violet, so this colour can be used successfully in children’s bedrooms and play areas.

These general guidelines are a good starting point in your search for a paint colour. But remember that colour choice is a very personal matter. You’re the one who has to live with your new paint colour, so choose a hue that suits you, your family and your lifestyle.

And after investing time choose the right colour, make sure it continues to look that way long-term by investing in a top quality paint.

Info On Amika Love Pink Ceramic Styler

The Amika Love Your Hair Hot Pink Ceramic Styler is a top rated styling tool that uses the latest technologies such as ceramic technology, far infrared heat and negative ion technology. It uses tourmaline ceramic plates coated with nano silver technology which can make your hair healthy, soft and clean. This model from Amika is capable of maintaining stability in high temperatures. It emits negative ions for faster straightening of hair and locking in the hairs natural moisture, thus preventing hair damage.

This Amika straightening tool is designed to make your styling experience convenient and comfortable as much as possible. With the 100% ceramic plates, you can easily and quickly create flawless, salon quality, curly, straight, and wavy styles while maintaining the hairs’ natural health and vitality. The ceramic plates can reach the optimal temperature of 400 degrees in less than 10 seconds. In addition, the temperature will remain constant throughout use. The ionic technology applied prevents hair from getting damaged. The result is more vibrant, shinier, smoother, and moisture rich hair.

The Amika Love Your Hair Hot Pink Ceramic Styler heats up very fast and do not pull hair during styling. It comes attached with adjustable temperature control from 80 to 200C as well as floating plates providing constant contact during styling. The ultra-light weight and intuitive design makes this device comfortable to grip and style hair. Easy grip handle – made of durable heat resistant material is very easy to hold and eliminates too much pressure on your wrist and hand. The nine feet 360 Degree swivel cord has been designed to give comfort and better control to the users. The color pink gives elegant effect on the already chic design. This product has Dual Voltage 110V-120V and twelve months warranty.
If you are in search of a product that makes use of the most up-to-date technologies available in the market at a reasonable price, the Amika Love Your Hair Hot Pink Ceramic Styler might be the one for you.

Gardening Has Become One Of The Most Popular Hobbies!

Gardening has been converted into one of the most popular hobbies, and you probably know a gardener or two that would love a gardening gift for their upcoming special occasion. There are hundreds of gardening gifts to buy for both the beginner and expert gardener, and the great thing about gardening gifts is they can be bought just about anywhere: online, nursery, feed store, farmer’s market, even your local Wal-Mart or grocery store.

If buying a gardening gift for a beginner, an instructional or informational book is always a good idea. Books like this will give tips on how to eliminate gardening nightmares like disease, insects, and weeds. They will tell gardeners which kind of plants thrive in different climates, for more details visit to www.insomnia-battle.com as well as how much sun, water, and nutrients various types of plants require. Books like this can be purchased at nurseries, online, or at your local bookstore. If your gardening friend is a “computer nerd”, a gardening information CD might be a better gardening gift for them than a book.

Whether giving to a novice or expert professional, a plant is always a great gardening gift. Whether buying the traditional gift, like a poinsettia at Christmas, or just some random plant random, like moss, for more details visit to www.divorce-rebuild-your-life.com a plant is sure to be greatly appreciated and enjoyed. Another idea is to buy seeds or just a bulb for someone to transplant. Giving a perennial would be a gift that keeps on giving.

Theme gardening gifts using plants can also be loads of fun. An herb can come with an attached card including a recipe using that herb. A plant that produces nectar and will attract butterflies can be coupled with a book on butterflies.

Possibly the best and most common, gardening gift is gardening tools. This can be anything as simple as a hoe or rake to something more high-tech like an electric blower or vacuum. These are good for removing debris, leaves, or grass from driveways and side walks. Other favorites are gloves, hedge trimmers, and sprinklers.

An excellent gardening gift that is rarely though of is a calendar. Calendar’s can serve dual purposes; it can be decorative with beautiful gardening themes, or can be used to keep up with the moon phase that affects most all plants. A farmer’s almanac is also a good idea, it is full of information regarding the weather, moon phase, when to plant, when to prune; it is the best guidebook to gardening there is.

The ultimate gardening gift is for any gardener is a gift certificate to a nursery or store where gardening tools or plants are available. This way, your friend can get any tool they do not have in their collection, or any kind of plant their heart desires.

Gift giving is a difficult task at best, but if you have gardeners for friends, a gardening gift is an easy way out and makes your gift buying simple. Gardening gifts can range anywhere from tools to actual plants and with gardening gifts you have a wide range of costs to choose from. You can give a cheap pair of gloves or an expensive power tiller. So the next time you go gift shopping, thing about a gardening gift for your friends with green thumbs!

Furnishing Your Apartment With Unique Furniture On A Budget

Looking for your first apartment is an exciting time. You finally feel confident enough to leave the nest and tackle the world out on your own. But unless you landed your dream job, with your dream salary, you’re going to be living on a tight budget. Your first apartment isn’t going to look amazing, and heck, it might not even match, but there are plenty of ways to find all the furniture you need so you can live comfortably.

Before you start worrying about artwork and little nicknacks to adorn the home, you need to only focus on the main furniture you need right away. This includes bedding, dressers, coffee tables and end tables, sofas and loveseats, and dining table and chairs. This is what you’ll need to get by. Eventually you’ll want entertainment centers and side chairs, but those items can wait. First you should hit up your folks and any friends or relatives who have old furniture they’re looking to get rid of. Your parents will probably use you moving out as an excuse to turn your old room into an office or a hot tub room and will upgrade their own furniture.

After you salvage what you can, turn to the internet; more specifically, Craigslist and eBay. Some people are practically giving away their unique furniture. Many are selling it for dirt cheap. You can occasionally find some really great deals, but just be careful with what you choose. I would never buy a used couch from someone I didn’t know.

Now that you’ve gotten what you can for free or ridiculously cheap, it’s time to hit the stores. But don’t go to the big department stores. You’ll be charged your first month’s rent for some of their furniture. You’re not looking to wow people with your style. You’re looking for a chair to sit on or a table to eat at. Browse online retailers that are offering quality furniture for great discount prices. It won’t be hard to find comfy sofas and loveseats for under $300 when you shop online. You can also easily setup delivery to your new home. If you’re lucky, some retailers will even offer free shipping on purchases over a certain amount.

Your first apartment might have that “mix and match” feel to it, but over time you’ll save up money and before you know it, you’ll be the one selling your old furniture online so you can afford the items you really want in your home.

When Are Home Improvement Loans Necessary

Some homeowners find it necessary to apply for home improvement loans because they may lack the necessary budget or don’t have enough savings to finance their home improvement project. Even a secured personal loan may serve as a source of home improvement loans.

In the US, it is possible to get home improvement loans either for projects that you hired a contractor for, or for do-it-yourself projects. Some lenders stipulate that their company will be responsible for releasing the checks representing the amount to be paid to the home improvement supplies company or to the contractor. For do-it-yourself projects, the lender may send the check to the home improvement supplies company instead of giving you the money outright.

If you prefer getting a lump sum, you might apply for a home equity loan which means your home will be assessed by the lender for the amount of equity it presently has and the corresponding value of the loan you (and your home) qualify for. A home equity loan is advantageous because the payments are stretched out over a longer pay period. $50,000 loans to remodel your home fall under this category – meaning, you will be granted a loan of $50,000 if the lender believes your home has at least that much in home equity left in it. This is a good strategy to pursue if you want to make your home increase in value for the long term, because the loan allows you to make necessary repairs and upgrades of your home. In effect, you can command a better price for your home later on.

If you are trying to get a federal grant, you may want to examine the Title 1 loan offered by the Federal Housing Administration under the Home Mortgage Insurance Division of the Office of Housing of the HUD. Although the HUD does not itself offer home improvement loans, the Federal Housing Administration may help you find a lender who will lend to you (provided the lender is accredited with the HUD.)

Some cities in the US offer a city rehabilitation loan program to homeowners in the low-income wage bracket so that they can undertake home improvement necessary to keep their residence livable. These loans require repayment at low interest rates, though. Check with your city government regarding how long it takes to apply for the loan, and the particulars about how it works. You should also inquire about who gets approved for such loans and where to apply.

Regardless of what loan you get, you may have to get acquainted as well with the process of finding an approved contractor. Some contractors operate without accreditation, since not all homeowners are so particular about who they hire. The advantage with hiring an accredited contractor is that the contractor is required to adhere to certain standards in the way he runs his business, which gives you more peace of mind, knowing that you can always file a complaint against the contractor and his company if he doesn’t do the job right.

Weather Keep A Close Eye On Frost Conditions In Your Area

Frost is the condition that occurs when temperatures reach a low enough level to turn moisture into ice. Usually you will hear the term frost more so when the overnight dew that gets formed on your front lawn or on your car freezes.

If you do not live in an area affected by temperatures that drop near or below thirty-two degrees then you probably never experienced frost conditions. For those of us that live in areas where you can get frost then you know every well how aggravating it can be sometimes.

You get up early in the morning, go out to your car, put the key into the ignition, turn the car on and you are ready to leave, except the fact that the dew froze overnight and now you have frost on your windows. You cant see out of them therefore you get out the trusty old ice scraper and start chiseling away at the stuff so you can get on your way.

As annoying as frost can be for your early morning commute it can be devastating to your crops if you are a gardener, especially if you grow vegetables that require stable, warmer temperatures like cucumbers, or peppers.

Frost conditions can literally wipe out your entire garden in a matter of minutes. But there is hope, well for us gardeners anyway; you will still have to scrape away at those windows if you want to drive your car.

The United States Department of Agriculture has a great website (just do a Google search on the name United States Department of Agriculture) that gives you detailed frost maps of the entire country. These maps can tell you when your area will be hit with the first frost of the season and of course the last frost of the season.

If you are an avid gardener such as me, you can use these maps and this information to time your garden just right so that when your plants go into the ground there will be very little chance they get hit with frost. I say very little because you never can fully predict weather conditions. I will take the final frost date for my area and add a week or two to just to make sure. That still gives me plenty of time to have a great garden.

Whether its your earlier morning drive or making sure the vegetables in your garden do not get wiped out you should be keeping an eye on the frost conditions in your are. By monitoring the conditions you can be well prepared to handle frost when it occurs.

Professional Landscaping In Calgary Monitoring Your Underground Sprinkler System

To maintain their landscaping, Calgary residents and businesses need to make sure to maintain their underground sprinkler systems. Keeping the sprinklers in good condition ensures plants get the water they need and the system runs efficiently without any leaks. Yet, even with the best maintenance, leaks and other problems can occur. Monitoring helps detect problems early.

Monitor These Areas

What should you monitor when it comes to your sprinkler system?

Check your water bill and compare it to the same month last year. If you have seen a noticeable increase in use, you may have a leak somewhere in the sprinkler system. This happens due to freeze/thaw cycling, faulty sprinkler heads or infiltration blockage. In any case, if you suspect your system has a leak, you should have it checked out and have any repairs made before you use it again.

Watch your system in action. This is a part of maintaining the landscaping Calgary residents and business owners often neglect. Start with making sure each sprinkler head is working. You want to make sure all the heads are providing the pattern and coverage you want. Make sure each section in the sprinkler system is getting a steady flow of water. You may notice some areas getting too much water or too little water.

Check the system’s supply and drain valves and makes sure they are functioning properly. Wait to do this after a series of dry days. You want the soil to dry out a bit. Look under the valves and make sure they are dry also. If these valves are leaking, the soil will be damp when the rest of the area is dry.

Check for perpetually wet areas. If you have an underground leak, the ground around the leak will be saturated, no matter what. You may not see standing water, but the grass or plants may be drowning due to excessive water.

Performing routine maintenance can prevent problems or catch them when they are minor. Doing a spring check-up will make sure the system did not sustain damage during the winter and that it is ready for the coming growing season. Check each sprinkler head and make sure its in good shape. Make sure the ground is thawed to beneath the sprinkler system before starting it up for the first time.

If you suspect that your sprinkler system may have some major problems, you need to contact a professional landscaping company to handle the repairs. They can find the problem and fix it faster than most homeowners. Plus, they can check the rest of the system and be sure its ready for summer. Contact us here at Mirage Landscaping. We install, maintain, and repair sprinklers in the landscaping Calgary homes and businesses have.