Simple Home Improvement Ideas For Soundproofing Rooms

True soundproofing comes into play during the construction phase, using specially designed materials. But if tearing down a room’s walls isn’t in your home improvement budget, try these easy ideas for dampening sound.

Plan A: Soundproofing Your Interior Design

You can dampen noise with some clever interior design choices. Consider these soundproofing home improvement ideas:

* Hang drapes
* Lay down carpet (or rugs)
* Choose rough-surfaced furniture, which absorbs sound

Plan B: Soundproofing Home Improvement Projects

A spare hour or two is all you need to complete these home improvement projects for soundproofing rooms:

* Weatherstrip It. If doors and windows are admitting a draft, they’re also admitting sound waves. Weatherstrip the gaps around the doorway and windows to create an airtight seal.

* Replace windows. Window replacement can do wonders to soundproof a room. Vinyl frames and double-paned windows are designed to keep out the environment–wind, sleet, snow, and street noise. Consult Repair-Home’s directory to find a qualified window replacement specialist.

* Replace the Door. For soundproofing purposes, the best door is a heavy door. One contractor recommends a ‘sandwich’-style door filled with sand.

* Treat the Walls. Any heavy material applied to the walls will help soundproof the room. Manufacturers offer special soundproofing panels designed to blend in, but you can use just about anything–carpet, blankets, even cardboard egg cartons.

* Texture the Ceiling. If the 70s ‘popcorn’ texture isn’t your style, apply an acoustic spray texture or any rough material to the ceiling.

Plan C: Call in the Home Improvement Experts

If these DIY measures don’t do the trick, it’s time to call in a professional contractor, who can address problems such as inadequate insulation, insulation gaps, or holes in the attic.

Everyday noise pollution doesn’t necessarily call for the expensive soundproofing materials used in recording studios or home theaters. Try these home improvement ideas, or call a contractor for expert advice. In addition to keeping noise out, you are insulating the rooms and saving money on your energy bill.

New Year. New Life. New Home

The start of a brand new year usually means the start of a brand new phase in peoples lives. It is an opportunity to start again, reinvent or simply try something new. I, for one, have a sudden liking for a change of environment. And since it would be a financial impossibility to find a new place, I decided to redesign and do a bit interior painting on my own space instead. Now, if you are just like me, here are a couple of tips on how to find just the right colors to fit your home and your whole new you.

Colors are not just about a change of atmosphere. It would be a good idea to change your room colors according to a type of mood youd like to inspire. Shades of red and oranges promote excitement and energize, youd want to use these colors for your social and entertainment rooms. Yellow is also an active color that stirs up imagination and creativity. If youre going for a calmer quiet atmosphere, passive colors are the way to go. Shades of blue, purple and green would be great for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Its important to go with colors you like. Getting peoples advice about what suits your home is important but if its you that would be living in your home, not them. So make your opinion your number one priority.

Keep it simple as much as possible. Too many colors can be overwhelming, especially when were talking small spaces. Sometimes its okay to stick with one color and go with different shades for variety. Also, when painting your wall, its great to pick a color or shade that goes with almost anything. Think of it as a canvass you can splash with accents such as furniture, portraits and lighting to create a grand picture. When you are repainting an old home, go for a flat sheen. This type or paint hides the imperfections of aged spaces.

Faux techniques can be helpful when you want to add a bit of depth. Sponging, colorwashing, dragging and other techniques can be quite handy. If youre not a painting contractor and youre not familiar with them, practice on a different surface and experiment with colors before applying it on to your home.

Remember to not just consider the color of the paint, the shade or the style. Dont forget that you would still need to add your homes other fixtures to the project. Keep in mind that balance is everything. Create an environment where everything can go together without resulting into a chaotic room filled with contrasting styles.

Now when it comes down to it, repainting a home can be quite a chore. But dont forget while you are doing it in the first place. Take time to enjoy every moment of this transformation. Include your kids in the project and make it an opportunity to teach and spend some quality time with them. When all is said and done, you wouldve made a fun and inspiring journey into a whole new beginning.

Interior Painting Rules Of Unity And Transition

Homeowners planning on interior painting often struggle over the issue of trim color during the planning process. Often they plan wall colors, on account of what they have seen in a magazine or while visiting a friend’s home. Maybe they have a particular fabric in mind and want to match a color in the fabric for the walls in that room. Anyway, the problem arises with what to do with the trim for that room. Is it possible to use a different trim color than the existing trim being used in other areas of your home?

While there is no absolute rule about trim color, that if broken, would cause you to be arrested by the color scheme patrol, there are some things you should consider.

1. The trim and ceilings of your home are what establishes a unified look and feel throughout your home. You can change your walls to any color that you like, or that fits with the theme you have planned for the interior of your home. The use of one color on the trim and ceilings will give you a smooth transition between wall colors as you travel throughout your home. Without this consistency, your home takes on a feeling of disunity.

2. White trim and some off-white colors will go with any wall color. That is why it is so popular. It gives you much greater flexibility in interior color coordination and design. Deciding to paint your trim a color other than white will limit your decorating options; however, I have seen some marvelous color co ordinations while using more color for trim.

If you really want to change the color of the trim for a particular room, then test the color. Try to get a feel for how it will impact the rooms or halls adjacent to that room. Will it be completely separated by a door? Will the door be closed most of the time? If the room is open to other areas of the house that are easily seen, how will that impact the color theme for the other parts of your home? You don’t want to put a lot of time and effort into painting a room if in the long run you’re not happy with how it makes the rest of your home look. Test the color on a door jamb or baseboard and then stand back and get a feel for what it does for unity of passage from other rooms to that room. It would be a good idea to wait a few days to see if you grow tired of the transition between colors. Often what we initially think looks good, loses its appeal over time.

How Mattress Construction Effects Cleaning Outcomes

Even though people generally get their rugs and carpets annually cleaned, the mattresses they sleep on are commonly overlooked and neglected, being left uncleaned for years after they were originally purchased. This can lead to severe staining from bodily oils, sweats and other fluids, which can be difficult to remove if they have had years to soak into the mattress fibers. An annual visit from professional mattress cleaners is recommended to increase the lifespan of your mattress, give you a great night’s sleep, and remove any unsightly stains caused by bodily oils and sweats. Other difficult stains which can occur from accidents such as urine, faeces, vomit and wine can also be removed from most mattresses provided they are attended to as soon as possible – in such cases time is of the essence and consumers should contact a professional mattress cleaning service to attend immediately.

Speaking of mattress cleaning outcomes, the composition of fibers used in mattress construction can significantly effect the outcome of a cleaning process. Regardless of steam cleaning, dry cleaning or even the latest developments in low moisture methods, mattresses with significant amounts of viscose or cotton in them will resist even the most aggressive cleaning attempts due to those fibers property of absorbing everything in them and not releasing any soils. For such mattresses protectors or covers are essential to preventing permanent stains which will be impossible to otherwise remove. If thinking about purchasing a new mattress, enquiring about its fiber content is an easy way to avoid making the wrong purchasing decision. Consumers should not look at simply the price alone as even expensive mattresses can contain the fibers in them which will inhibit or entirely prevent successful cleaning outcomes in the future.

Apart from removing stains, the most important reason to have your mattress professionally cleaned is to improve the quality of sleep, and hence the quality of your life. As we spend on average 8 hours a day in our beds over each night, restless sleep combined with the breathing in of dust mites, bacteria and germs can lead to a lowered immune system and more frequent bouts of illness. Soiled mattresses and sheets can also draw nasty critters such as bed bugs which will gladly take up residence in your bedroom. Once they’ve infested your home the only solution is a complete pest control treatment, but this can easily be prevented from happening through weekly cleaning of bedding and annual professional mattress cleaning, not to mention the cost in dollars and time is significantly cheaper and more convenient when compared to pest control.

Stand-Off Systems – The New Picture Frame

Almost every house could use a little something to make it yours, and most businesses would benefit from adding a little decoration to their offices. Standoff systems are a simple step in the right direction. Many applications are possible, and standoffs come in many varieties and functions. Standoffs can be used to mount pictures and displays between two or more pieces of glass or acrylic, create floating counter-tops, protect your artwork, or your television. The variations of colors add to displays. And if your application requires a standoff that is unobtrusive, low profile parts exist.

Mounting Displays Has Never Been Easier or More Attractive

The simplest and most common application of standoff systems is mounting displays. Standoff systems can be used for almost any size display, and though the most common standoff systems have a maximum length of 6 inches, custom standoff systems are relatively simple to manufacture. Simple standoff systems are designed to hold one or two panels flat against each other. Sheets of paper, canvas, or other display materials may be displayed in this manner. Other standoff systems may hold multiple panels, for more three-dimensional artwork. Panels are secured by the standoff cap mounting into the base. While standoffs are sometimes used as edge-grips so that drill glass is not necessary, this is not a safe method of mounting glass. For any application that prohibits the drilling of display panels, specialized hardware exists, but standoff systems should not be used.

Different materials are used for standoff systems, based on application. Plastic standoff system exists, and many multi-panel standoff systems are made of plastic. Plastic is a lightweight material, however, and most plastic standoffs are limited to under 30 lbs loads. Every successive panel in a multi-panel standoff system must be lighter, with load limits decreasing rapidly. Aluminum standoff systems are far more sturdy, and can bear loads of up to 60 or 70 lbs or more. Brass and stainless steel standoff systems are used for the heaviest panels and largest displays. Proper anchoring of standoff systems is always advise, and it is recommended that any standoff system is mounted into wall studs wherever possible.

Standoffs – They Go Well With Anything

Standoff systems also have a place in the kitchen. Many people wish to erect floating counters, which are pieces of glass mounted on standoffs spaced above a regular kitchen counter. These add a flair to any kitchen, and sand-blasted glass, sometimes with designs, accentuates the dcor of the rest of the home. Floating counter-tops are the perfect solution for kitchen counters that are too low, and since the glass panels are mounted horizontally instead of vertically, weight limits are far less of a factor, and a single panel can be used to cover an entire counter.

Japanese Style Window Treatments

Going for that Japanese or Asian dcor? Read on for suggestions on the right window treatments for your home.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture and style and decided to put together the following suggestions.

Today’s decorating trends are all about globalization. As different cultures discover each other, they also appropriate traditional and modern elements of local interior design. Japanese influences were one the first to find their way into the multi-cultural design repertoire, and it’s easy to see why. Japanese culture is famous for its clean lines and use of natural textures, from bamboo to thin rice paper.

Bamboo wood blinds, which are also called woven wood shades, are a subtle and simple way to start off. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and easy to use, they also offer high levels of light control and privacy. Another popular wood for Japanese window treatments is tatami, which is a thick woven read with a warm, natural texture. Both of these wood blinds can be stained to compliment an interior color scheme. Depending how far you want to take your theme, you can also look into sliding paper screen for your Japanese window treatments. These are a striking solution for covering unusually sized plate glass picture windows. Also known as shoji screens, these sliding screens offer a pleasant degree of light diffusion but do not provide complete blackout capabilities.

Though curtains are not inherently Japanese, many designers look to Japan’s traditional textile prints for inspiration. These prints, often found on kimonos and other clothing, can include everything from geometric designs to fanciful scenes of carp or eagles. These fabrics are usually employed as short hanging curtains, and can also be fashioned into caf curtains that subtly mimic the traditional hanging noren curtains found at the entrance to Japanese restaurants.

Another Japanese-style window treatment are panel track blinds, also know as sliding panels. Though not specifically Asian, panel tracks can lend to this kind of dcor readily. These window treatments are like oversized fabric vertical blinds and come in numerous colors, fabrics and textures. Panel tracks can also be used as a room divider, mimicking the Japanese sliding paper panels.

Last but not least are roman shades. Though, again, not specifically Asian or Japanese per se, the right fabric and texture choice could lend itself well to this kind of dcor. In my opinion, the best type of roman shade for this application would be the flat-style, not the hobbled or folded roman shades. Romans come in bamboo weaves, grasses and wood planks that would match well with the Japanese style of decorating.

A quick word of warning from personal experience – I have seen a few homes that have been decorated well in this style. And, kudos to those who have the vision, passion and artistic sense to pull it of; it is a bold choice, for sure. I have also, unfortunately, seen examples that did not integrate well or were taken too far. So, if you are interested in this motif, consider integrating subtle elements one step at a time and make sure you dont have clashing decorative motifs.

Hardiplank Siding Is Great, But How Can You Find The Right Contractors

So you bought a home that has wood siding on it? Or maybe you have vinyl or hardiplank siding on it already and it’s damaged/needs to be replaced. You may have thought about purchasing a new home made of brick, or stone. Then you realize this is going to be 4 times more expensive than your current mortgage. Then you’re back to fixing your current siding. Don’t make the siding job to your home more complicated than it has to be. Sure, an all brick home can be appealing, but sometimes you need to work with what you have.

Hardiplank siding is the best alternative to buying a brick home.

Hardiplank siding is so durable and tough that you actually will never have to paint your home again. It does not decay or rot. Your home will look like new for years to come with hardiplank siding protecting your home’s structure. Have you ever watched those videos where a roof, or side of a home is ripped apart by a storm and blown several miles down the road? If you said yes, you did not watch a hardiplank siding home withstand the storm. This siding is so tough that it will not crumble in above average situations such as high winds.

I have yet to see a hardiplank siding job that a homeowner is unhappy about. You can tell the difference almost instantly. Hardiplank doesn’t only make your home more appealing, but protects your family inside. No leaks, no cracks.

So if hardiplank is something you are thinking about doing, there are some simple ground rules you need to follow to make sure you do not get ripped off. There are some mean hardiplank installers out there trying to feed on the uneducated homeowners. They promise the best, install a decent product, and charge you a premium price. With that being said, the best thing you can do to protect yourself, is educate yourself about hardiplank siding. Knowledge is power, and it couldn’t be more true in situations such as these.

Before you even call any hardiplank siding contractors, I suggest you surf the web for as much information about hardiplank siding as possible. This is where many homeowners fall short. They simply make an appointment to have a sales representative teach them. Sales representatives are not the people you want teaching you about hardiplank siding. You want someone who isn’t going to force you to buy something. This is where the internet comes into play. Use the search engines to find out what the best hardiplank siding is, what the worst is, what you should expect to pay, what color options you have, and what makes hardiplank siding so special. After you have learned enough that you feel comfortable enough to teach someone else, then you can begin calling contractors to schedule free estimates.

Ask the hard questions. The meetings with these hardiplank siding contractors will become more and more fun as each one comes and goes and you realize who is full of it and who isn’t. Make sure to take notes from each visit to review your best offers later. When it is all said and done, you should be completely satisfied with the hardiplank siding contractor you chose to work on your home.

For more money saving tips and tricks when doing home improvement projects to your house, keep in touch with our articles on here.

Why Swag Lamps Were Both Easy To Produce And Maintain

The 50s were considered the prime time of swag lamps, but they didn’t get their top popularity until the 70s. Basically, there was almost no kitchen or house corner without one or more swag lamps hanging over. When plastic became part of all industrial manufacturing sectors, it is easy to understand why swag lamps were both easy to produce and maintain, and plastic was the major primary matter they have been made of ever since. The name of “swag lamps” comes from the hanging technique by means of two hooks with a “swag” in between. This model came to replace other popular kinds of lighting systems that were used in mid 20th century.

Why are swag lamps still held in high esteem? Well, if we think in terms of both functionality and artistic presence, they are designed according to both these two coordinates, as they provide either task or general lighting. Swag lamps are often favored before regular table lamps, given the fact that they do not occupy any space, while still ensuring quality illumination conditions. Thus they can be perfectly used over a game table, above a kitchen island or even hanging above the desk.

The wide range of swag lamps available on the market allows the proper choice of any model or design you’d like that fits well with the rest of your decor. Most of the online shops provide great selection criteria for hanging lamps that match one’s expectations in terms of size and price. The bathroom for instance could be a house area where one would be surprised to find swag lamps; yet, it is often the case that you don’t want to have all sorts of wires and light fixtures installed in the ceiling of your bathroom, and the reasons are obvious: heat and advanced humidity conditions.

But with swag lamps for bathroom use, you won’t need more than two screws in the ceiling to have it installed. Swag lamps are very similar to pendant fixtures, but they rely on a long cord with a chain around it; installation is more than basic and home improvement stores usually sell complete kits that include even the self explanatory instructions that anyone can use without having any electrical knowledge at all. Regardless of the place you choose to install the lamp, it is good to keep it away from moisture, heat and steam; nevertheless, such general rules apply to all electric features not just to those of swag lamps.

Muna wa Wanjiru Has Been Researching and Reporting on Lamps for Years. For More Information on Swag Lamps, Visit His Site at SWAG LAMPS

Why does my basement smell

To answer the question; “Why does my basement smell?’, you must first understand that each and every day, 24 hours a day, you have air and gravity in your home. These two things are combining around the clock to make your basement smell bad.

The basement is the lowest part of the house so most bad air settles there

Let us start with the premise that clean pure fresh air is dry, has nothing added to it and weighs zero. When we introduce something into the air, the air now becomes heavier because of the additive, and gravity comes into the picture. Think about looking toward the window with a ray of light coming in, you can see all the dust particles and other things in the air. Gravity is settling these particulates to a lower place.

This dust will eventually settle on some furniture and you will take out the Lemon Pledge to clean it. When you spray the Lemon Pledge on the furniture some of it goes in the air and moves around until gravity brings it to settle at a low place. You have just brought chemicals into the basement air.

Basement smells are created by Indoor Air Pollution and Humidity

Indoor Air pollution is defined as: the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms. The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution.

While there are many factors contributing to the air pollution or IAQ in your home, lets take a closer look at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Humidity.

VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate from the compound (liquid or solid) and enter the air. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and to some degree, when they are stored.

You should be very aware of the chemicals that you bring into your home because many of them will end up in the air that you breathe.

Next is humidity: We introduce humidity into the air by breathing, cooking, bathing and doing the laundry. The humid air is heavier than dry, clean air so gravity settles the humid air in the basement. In the warmer months, the outside air brings humidity in with it, and if it is not conditioned from the air with Air Conditioning, it will settle in the basement.

The types of problems that come with all of that trapped moisture are mold and mildew, as well as other biological pollutants, and pests. Mold and mildew grow in dank, damp environments, and insects love it too. Everything we have done to keep the energy (i.e. Heat and A/C) contained in the home, also keeps moisture contained in the home and leaves no intentional escape for bad air.

To minimize the risk, increase ventilation

The additives are condensed in the basement air because it is mostly stagnant. The condensed bad air must be diluted if not removed altogether. Therefore the movement of air out of the basement brings in new air to lessen the concentrations of contaminates and improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). This is known as ventilation. Ventilation is necessary to maintaining good IAQ.

When it comes to removing humidity and Indoor Air Pollution you need a ventilation system that works year round. The E-Z Breathe Ventilation System works 12 months a year and not just in the warmest months. This whole house ventilation system is a device that expels the dampest, most humid & contaminated air from your basement to the outside. It replaces the air in the basement with fresher air from the upper floors four to six times per day automatically with no bucket to empty or filter to replace.

There’s No Place Like Home Tips For Home Improvement

Anyone who owns a home knows that home improvement is essential to maintaining a home. There are many things to consider and so many choices to make and skills to learn. These tips can get you started in the right direction to becoming a do it yourself expert.

Prior to starting a home improvement project, try to plan out how much money you will be spending. It makes the most sense to do the projects capable of bringing in the best return. In fact, not all home improvement projects are equal. Do your research and find out what projects will increase the value the

Don’t just plunk your money down for the first materials you see. Do some comparison shopping to get the most value for your dollar. For example, new flooring prices can greatly vary. You can enlist the help of bargain basements and discount supply houses.

To get the most out of your home improvement projects, make sure you are using the best tools for the job. The right tool makes the doing much faster, easier and ensures that the job is done right. The key to using the right tools is having the right knowledge to use them properly.

Proper planning ensures that your home improvement project will go more smoothly. When you jump into a project with little or no planning, it often leads to a disaster as a result of indecisiveness and poor decision making. By planning ahead of time, it will be easier to do the work and accomplish the result you are looking for.

One of the first things that you need to take into account when starting a home improvement project is how to dispose of unwanted debris. If the project includes demolition, you need a way to get rid of the rubble quickly and effectively. Therefore, it is important to make arrangements for unwanted debris before beginning any project.

Before you start on any serious improvement to your home, think about what style fits you. Getting to know the decorating style you prefer can guide your home improvement and decorating choices. If you do not plan ahead, you can easily end up mixing various styles without even realizing it. The time you then spend making necessary changes will be quite costly.

If you are hiring someone to do some work for you, make sure that their work is guaranteed. Having a guarantee from your contractor ensures that they will fix any problems that arise quickly. You need to understand the specifics of your guarantee. It is important to know that one exists and how long it lasts.

Including handicap-friendly features in your bathroom is a great idea whenever you’re doing significant renovation work in that particular area. This conversion can be done in stages if cost is a concern, and will save a lot of headache if you live in your current home until you die. The market value of your home will be significantly increased by improvements to the bathroom.

You can add storage to your rooms by simply recycling old shoe boxes. Use fabric or old wallpaper to cover the boxes. It’s a very easy way to add extra storage as well as beauty to your room.

You will be astounded by the impact crown molding has on your walls.