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Best Trees for Indoors

Trees are great things to have in your yard. They clean the air, they give shade and privacy, they are great for climbing and they are beautiful to look at as well. While many trees are just too big to think about growing inside, there are many trees that make wonderful accents to the inside of your home. Here’s just a few:

If you are a fan of the Victorian Era you may have seen pictures or seen movies of the time with parlour palms sprucing up the, well, parlour. The adapt well to low light and humidity and they are on the list of NASA’s 50 Plants That Clean the Air. And face it, they’re breezy and fancy and who wouldn’t want one in their living room in a large ceramic pot?

If you want a touch of Christmas in your home year round, what about a Norfolk Pine? They are essentially baby Christmas trees that love bright light and moist soil. At Christmas time you can decorate them with little bows or fairy lights, but they make a great addition to any room year round.

If you like big bold statements you’ll want a Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your living room. These trees have large sculptured leaves that give the air of the tropics without being weepy or wispy. These trees love light but don’t like drafts so keep them away from windows and doors and you’re good to go.

The Ficus is perhaps the most popular indoor tree there is, heck, they even make a fake version that you just dust once in a while and forget about. The real version is actually a weeping fig tree if you want to get technical, and they come in different textures and heights so they’re perfect for any room, any where.

Love the tropics but live where there seems to be perpetual winter? Then what about adding a Majesty Palm to your home? They are fan shaped and have that tropical feel to them and best of all they are slow growing if they aren’t getting strong sunlight. Throw on the heat, watch the palm tree and pretend you’re on the beach, even if it is January and there is a blizzard waging outside.

If you like more of a desert type tree then the Yucca is for you. They have thick woody stems and pointy leaves that come in a variety of blue to blue green colours and have yellow, cream or white tones to them too.


A Beautiful Protection for Your Homes

Our homes are our paradise and we do everything to make it look beautiful and protect it from all harm. One way of doing so is by using of Copper Awnings. Awnings are a protective sheath made of different materials that are stretched on top of doors and windows to get protection from rain and sun. They are used in many places starting from homes to shops and even on ship’s decks. The material used in the production of awnings can be canvas, polyester and metals. Of all the materials used, copper can be an ideal choice for one’s cozy little house. Copper gives an antique feel and enhances the beauty of the substance. Awnings can be used for various purposes. Some of them are as follows:-

• PROTECTION AGAINST RAIN

Rain is a boon for all but it also has the ability to damage things. The window panes and doorways should not be exposed to rain for longer duration as that will affect its quality and eventually damage them. Wood and water are not best friends when it comes to durability. Hence in order to protect our windows and doors, it is a sensible decision to install copper awnings above them.

• PROTECTION AGAINST SUNLIGHT

The sunlight can also hamper the quality of doors and windows. Mostly iron is used in the construction of houses and paint is used to prevent them from rust and corrosion. Excessive sunlight fades the paint applied and thus exposes the framework to damage. Therefore the use of copper awnings is advised to protect your houses.

• FOR DECORATIVE PURPOSE

We all desire to have the best homes and so when it comes to decorating them, we take all measures to make our house stand unique. So one can use copper awnings as beautiful decorative items too. Copper being a flexible material can be molded into various shapes that can beautify the exteriors of your living places. Different shapes can be given to the awnings like umbrella shape or like a straight sheet. Along with awnings, one can convert their window panes or terrace space into little planting spots. With all protection for the plants, these can be lovely spots for one’s evening tea. The decoration can be increased by covering the awnings with colorful cloth pieces. It is one of the important things to remember.


Building the Best Home Office for Freelancers

Freelancing is the new definition of grind in today’s modern workplace. Gone are the days when all the person can do is work in an office to make a living – today they can offer their services right at the comfort of their own home. However, there is more to working at home than meets the eye. As a designer, there is a need to really create the area to ensure that they are able to meet their business objectives and deliverables on a timely basis.

Here are some pitch ideas to win freelancer clients:

1. Create the overall look from the get go

The thing about freelancers is that they are more into getting the job done as usually, they are paid by the hour by a client from a different time zone. To maximize their time, always be ready with your visual pegs and plans. Using 3D rendering software can quickly make this happen and make the edits easier as well. For example, if they choose to go for another shade for the walls, you can both edit it on the spot to speed up the decision process. Remember, these people do not have time on their side.

2. Be clear when it comes to the budget

No matter how great the overall look is, there will still be a problem if the client cannot afford it. Discuss the design and the amount of money to help in getting there. From there, you can set expectations and already focus properly on the items that will really add value to the freelancer as far as the project is concerned.

3. Make it really conducive to working

Once the design and budget are out of the way, it’s time to talk productivity. Ask the client as to the nature of his business. Is the person a virtual assistant? Then it is important to make sure the person has easy access to calling implements. The internet connection should also be kept strong so there should never be barriers that should get in the way.

Is the person a writer? If so, the table and chair combination is important as well as the source of light. More so is the case if the freelancer is an artist since he or she will be spending a lot of time seated and the level of comfort or discomfort will have a big impact on their productivity. The lighting can also help the freelancer save on energy costs. Is there a way for air to come in naturally too? All these will play a big role in the ability of the freelancer to do his or her duties.

4. Think of the little things

When it comes to working at home, the little things really count. For example, putting a fridge or water dispenser nearby lessens the need for the person to go up to the kitchen just to be able to eat a few bites. Placing a lock too on the doors can ensure privacy or having sound proofing can help in keeping the atmosphere professional during calls.


Staircase Design – Five Top Trends

Home interiors, like clothes, shoes and even cars, tend to evolve with the times as particular styles fall in and out of favour according to the fashion of the day. The same can be said, up to a point, of staircase design. Obviously, you can’t change your stairs as easily as your decor, so it’s important to pick the right style first time.

So what’s hot and what’s not in stair design at the moment? Here are five trends to look out for:

1. Glass

More than any other, this feature has seen a huge surge in popularity lately. Glazed stair balustrades are becoming increasingly sought-after as people look to maximise the feeling of light and space that they can bring to their surroundings. Although glass stair panels used to be mainly the preserve of modern homes, nowadays they are often used in traditional interiors to give a contemporary twist and boost the flow of natural light around the property.

Of course, you don’t have to stop at the balustrade. If you really want to make your neighbours jealous, you can have the treads and risers made from glass for a stunning 21st century effect.

2. Clean lines

The general consensus in the field of interior design at the moment seems to be that less is more. In my line of work I have noticed a recent shift away from decorative stair balustrades to simpler, cleaner shapes. While ornate turned spindles, newels and caps are still selling well, there has been greater interest in sleek, minimalistic designs such as square and stop-chamfered styles.

3. Curves

As manufacturing techniques have improved over the years, the demand for curved stairs has been gradually rising. These staircases need quite a bit of space but can provide a wonderful focal point. With their classic flowing lines, they are suitable for modern and traditional homes alike. Spiral stairs, too, are proving popular – especially with owners of smaller properties, and those looking for a secondary staircase. They can still look stunning, but don’t take up as much floor area.

4. Mix of materials

Another rising trend is blending different types of material together for an individual look, known as fusion (also popular with foodies!). When choosing a handrail you are probably best off sticking with timber, as this is the most comfortable material to grip. However, when it comes to the balustrade infill there is much more choice. As well as glass panels, you can experiment with spindles made from metal, wood or a combination of the two – and mix and match with glass if you want.

Metal spindles have become particularly popular lately, thanks to the wide variety of designs now available. Most are made from mild steel shaped to resemble wrought iron, which helps to keep both production costs and spindle weight to a minimum. You don’t have to stick to just one style of metal spindle, either. Alternating two different designs can be a great way to give your stairs an individual touch.

5. Storage

As the square footage in new homes has generally shrunk over recent years, storage space has become an important issue. It’s no surprise, then, that more home owners are asking for integral storage to help keep clutter out of sight. This can be achieved by fitting shelves or cupboards underneath the staircase, or even by incorporating drawers into the actual steps.


8 Tips to Consider Before You Buy Plantation Shutters

If you want to buy plantation shutters, you may want to consult an experienced professional. They will help you buy the best plantation shutters to help you meet your needs. However, if you are going to purchase plantation shutters for the first time, you may want to consider the following tips.

1. The type of wood

Since poplar wood is light, straight, and smooth, it’s a great choice for plantation shutters. The average height of a poplar tree is 160 feet and the trunk can be as much as 80 feet in diameter. So, it’s a good idea to opt for this type of wood.

2. Poly or Wood

Most of clients go for wood shutters because of their advantages over the artificial material known as poly.

As far as strength goes, wood is stronger and lighter. So, wooden shutters can be up to 37 inches in width. So, you won’t need more than a few panels for the window openings. Aside from this, wood gives you a lot of other benefits as well.

3. Louver Size

The size of most of shutters is 3.5 louvers. But there is a rise in demand for louvers that measure 4.5 louvers due to sliding glass doors and bigger windows. Actually, people want modern interior design as well as openness.

4. Midrail

If you don’t know, midrail is a horizontal plank. Over the midrail, the louvers open and close without relying on the louvers that are under the midrail. Many buyers like midrails since they leave the upper section open to let more light in and leave the lower section shut for privacy reasons. Moreover, a midrail is an ideal choice should you have metal casings.

5. Vertical Tilt Bar

You will find shutters that feature “hidden tilt”. In this type of shutters, the frontal wooden tilt bar is missing. In its place, you can see a metal tilt bar, which is almost invisible. So, you can have more visibility and open space.

6. Sliding Glass Doors

As far as sliding glass doors is concerned, plantation shutters are an ideal choice. For a consistent feel and look, your house should have shutters. Actually, plantation shutters are fixed on a track to let the panels open without any hindrance.

7. Cost Of The Shutters

Usually, plantation shutters are sold by the square foot. However, by paying a bit more, you can benefit from other options, such as hidden tilt, stain finishes, and specialty shapes. You should be ready to spend a good deal of money to get the required shutters.

8. Procedure

Plantation shutters are also made to order. First of all, the sales representative will visit your house to measure the doors and windows to give you a proposal. Then the installers will do a detailed measurement. Once the product is made, it is handed over to the finishing department. In this department, the product is sanded, primed and painted. Finally, they are installed.


Qualities of Great and Professional General Contractors

If you want to become a great and a professional one General contractor at a managerial level, then you need to possess these qualities in you. To complete your project in a great way, to complete hundreds in some specific tasks in prescribed time, to possess leadership qualities in you, this is what great and professional Home contractors do! Here you will know that which are those main and crucial abilities if you want to count yourself as the best and great one contractor’s at the managerial scale:

Communicate clearly and in an effective manner

It is always seen that the best and reliable contractors, they pass clear communication messages to their team members. They effectively communicate with their teammates be it they work on small projects or big projects. If you know the importance of understanding effective communication and applying effective communication between your project, then you can become a great Builder at the managerial level. To execute and plan for your project and activities, it is this effective communication that matters. How can your teammates be able to perform on projects if you will not tell them precisely that what exactly you want! Your subordinate will fail to show their abilities if they do not get clear messages and instructions from their manager contractor. Most of the projects performances get completely and wholly derailed because of poor and worst communication skills from the sides of General Contractors. To become a great manager related to construction projects, you should know how to transcribe minor and intricate project details to your teammates.

Delegate the tasks

A professional and a senior Builder do not take the credit of the whole success of a project. He is the one who equally gives credit to his team members as well. A successful General Contractor delegate tasks and assignments to his skilled workers. He alternates their duties, assigns different tasks to them so that each of the workers gets equal chance to show the best part of their abilities.

They furnish references

All professional general contractors are registered. If you ask them for references, then they furnish it instantly. They always promise and assure a professional job. They do not feel hesitant to show a satisfied and happy list of their clientele to share with you. If that list shares their good and satisfying experiences with you, then that general contractor should be chosen by you.

They show certificates

Professional general contractors do not have to boast and brag about employing and hiring highly professional qualified technicians for your project. If he is a licensed contractor, then he will not hesitate to show his certificates to you. Reliable contractors are insured and also registered as well.

Problem-solving potential

A smart General contractor comes with problem skills as well. It is true that each and every construction project, they come with huge in some challenges and obstacles, hidden problems. He is the one who has this ability to identify each and every worst-case scenario and then makes his project to come out from that worst-case scenario as well. At times, construction projects do experience many of the additional problems like that of community backlash and political opinions, because of these issues the progress of any project gets also hinder and stops. A smart and sharp General contractor can easily handle these additional problems too.

Teamwork spirit

f anyone actually realizes the importance and significance of team work, then it is this smart and clever enough General contractor who understands! Any project cannot have success without the cooperation and coordination of rest of team workers. If any project gets accomplished and successful than a friendly General contractor does not forget to give credit and praise his teammates as well. He has this belief on phrase “let’s work together”! He develops and creates the environment of trust and also an appreciation for his workers. It is just a welcoming feedback which employees love a lot.

To call yourself as the smartest Contractors at the managerial level, you should not disregard these skills of communication and teamwork, problem-solving skills and delegating the tasks. To get this assurance that your project will get a success and too high return on investment, you need to possess these abilities in your personality then!


4 Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Siding

We all know that vinyl siding is a great choice for one’s home due to its low maintenance and longevity. But that doesn’t mean that it is totally without basic maintenance needs or steps to be taken to see that it looks its best. Some of the common issues one might deal with are cracking, puncturing or perhaps pulling away from the house.

Thankfully, these proactive measures do not take a great deal of skill or a toolbox full of special tools.

Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Siding

1. Be sure to keep any shrubbery around the home trimmed back so that the branches cannot poke or scratch the siding. Failing to do this will result in the coating on the siding being scratched, nicked or punctured thus making the siding susceptible or mildew and mold.

2. No matter what type of siding you have on your home. It is important to take time to clean it, at least once a year. With vinyl, you can do this by using a soft scrub brush, soapy water, and a water hose for rinsing. Yes, you can use a power washer but be sure to keep it at the lowest setting and take care not to use excessive force.

3. In the event that you do discover dents, punctures or scratching, replace the piece as soon as possible. Be sure in doing this, that you use a siding removal tool so you can avoid damaging the surrounding pieces of siding.

4. Make time to clean your gutters- especially during the spring and fall or after a heavy storm as this will help keep the siding clean and prevent risk of damage to the siding.

It is also worth noting that while most people opt to have vinyl siding in a color they like, it you purchase a home with siding in a color you do not like, it can be painted. It will take two coats of 100% latex paint and the paint will need to be re-applied every two years in order to always look great.

Maintaining your vinyl siding is not a full-time job, but it does need the occasional repairs or cleaning. Don’t just assume that your home’s siding is a one and done aspect of ownership. Take time throughout the year to ensure that your siding will last as long (if not longer) than you were promised at installation. If you are new to vinyl, then be sure to talk to a local siding company and find out what they recommend for your particular type and style of home siding.


The Important Pros and Cons of Vinyl Siding

If you are on the market for new home siding, it is no surprise that you are considering vinyl. Vinyl plastic exterior has been a long-time favorite for both residential and commercial properties, and for many reasons. Although there are a few drawbacks you need to think about, this material is almost always a safe investment. Continue reading to review some of the common pros and cons of vinyl siding.

Pros

Vinyl siding is mostly admired for its extreme versatility. It comes in a wide range of colors, styles, textures, and more, which makes customizing the look of your home an easy task. Aside from versatility, vinyl is very low maintenance. Caring for it is simple, and there is very little you need to do to make it last a long time. Furthermore, installation is quick and easy, and the cost comparison to other options on the market is very low. It is one of the most affordable choices for residential siding you can buy.

Here are some more pros to this versatile material:

  • Very durable;
  • Lasts between 30 and 40 years with good care;
  • Endless color options and schemes;
  • Very low maintenance;
  • Easy to clean and care for;
  • Insulated options increase energy efficiency;
  • Cheapest siding option on the market;

Cons

There are not many drawbacks to vinyl siding, however, there are a few attributes that are important for you to know in order to make an educated decision. For instance, it is not waterproof. Although it is water-resistant, poor installation can let water leak behind the panels and cause rot, mold, and mildew. Also, many homeowners have complained that the color option is too permanent with vinyl siding. Whatever color you choose, it will always be that color. That is because plastic exterior siding cannot be repainted like other siding materials.

Another common con to this material is the potential for the boards to warp, bend, or dent. This can happen from a string impact or extreme summer heat. Homeowners also complain that whole panels must be replaced because there is no patchwork in vinyl siding. Some additional common complaints about vinyl siding include:

  • 90% of homes have vinyl siding, so it’s not always the most unique;
  • Lawn mowers, weed trimmers, and even high winds can rip panels off;
  • Faulty installation can lead to water leaks, rot, mold, and decay;
  • It can crack in extreme cold weather, and warp in hot weather;


Reasons Why Using Outdoor LED Signs Is a Good Idea

The use of LED signs outdoors is a great trend in today’s world. What you should know is that it has become a very important part of business today. The signs have actually been proven to increase awareness in the community as well as sales.

The outdoor LED signage can be applied for any kind of business, especially the medium and small sized kind of companies that don’t have a lot allotted to advertising. When a LED sign is in full color, then it promotes the business in a more effective manner regardless of the kind of business is in question. When electronic signs are compared to billboards, radio, newspapers and other traditional mediums, then they appear to be so much cheaper.

When you use the outdoor LED signs, you have in your hands a very powerful and very dynamic medium of advertising for the business. Your target audience and potential customers will definitely see it and take note.

Reasons why you should use the signs

Bright

Many people choose the signs because they are brighter than other kinds of signage. The bright signs attract attention and can be seen from a great distance, making them so attractive even in the sun.

Cost effectiveness

When purchasing the LED, it can be rather high priced. However, you will notice you save a lot in the long run. You will not spend anything when making changes to the display. The signage also consumes very little energy and you will need to do very little to maintain it.

Durable

Durability y is the other thing the outdoor LED signs are able to offer. The materials used to make them are not breakable and they do last a long time. You only need to do very few repairs as well as maintained. The LED modules come with a long lifespan.

Versatile

The LED signs are versatile. You can update them from your own computer just by a simple click. The changes can then appear immediately on the signage. You can also give scheduled messages.

Attractive

Use of visuals and graphics usually attract the attention of many and they are able to convert lots of information than would be the case if words alone were used. The aesthetic appeal of a place is also improved and this is why the signs are so widely used in airports, train stations and malls.

Less consumption of electricity

One of the main strengths of LED signage is the fact that power consumption is kept at a down low. LED sign boards consume less electricity than other signs that use incandescent bulbs and neon. It is therefore quite environmentally friendly as the carbon footprint is reduced.

Customized advertising

The use of LED signage helps one to keep pace with all the current situations like weather and so on. You can simply change the advertising message so as to customize it for the target audience. You can change the signs, text, messages and graphics at will so as to match the prevailing business goals.


How to Make Your Home a Quieter Place

The houses today are constructed on the basis of modern, light-weighted and open-floor plans wherein it becomes difficult to find a little peace and quiet environment. In most of the houses, the walls are removed to increase the available space, kitchens are filled with larger appliances, and rooms are surrounded by home theatres making noise an essential part of our lives. We are the only creators of a noisy environment and we can only help ourselves in reducing it. This is not something that is created by nature it is simply a man-made product.

The evil effects of noise are that it can mess up your sleep, add to your stress, infringe on your privacy and in a nutshell it is hampering the quality of life we are living. Fortunately, we are lucky that there is a number of soundproofing or acoustic treatments that you can take help from to alleviate the problem. The acoustic barriers can efficiently help folks to get rid of this serious issue. Before, we proceed it is also important to know how sound actually works?

The clang of the bell and other physical things sends sound waves rippling through the ear. When these waves reach the ears, they vibrate a sensitive membrane i.e. the eardrum and we hear them as sounds. It is said to be the sound, not the noise. Noise is something that is unpleasing to the ears and is also termed as unwanted sounds.

Here are some helpful techniques for making your home a quieter place:

  • Cut down on noisemakers- Consider buying quiet appliances for your home including house fans, kitchen appliances etc. Buying quiet appliances is even more beneficial if they are to be kept nearby living or sleeping areas. Maintenance of existing appliances is also an important part of the equation. If you find something unusual, get it checked or repaired by the technician as soon as possible.
  • Use sound absorbing materials- The material that helps to reduce and absorbing the unwanted sound are something that every house owner would love to have. There are a lot of things that will work as a barrier that reflects and absorbs the noise entering your house. These acoustic barriers are quite helpful in minimizing the outdoor noises and absorbing the interior sounds. Ensure getting a spec sheet prepared by the tradesman so that you can check and approve it before its installation.
  • Install sound blocking doors- The largest opening in a house is its doorway. And a lot of sounds enters from this way. Thus, it is better to install weatherstrip or solid doors to effectively block the unwanted sound rays entering your house. The solid doors are quite expensive because of their thickness and are also available in a broader selection of elegant designs.
  • Weatherstrip interior doors- The actual sound doesn’t come through the door, it comes around the hollow spaces left between the doors. Thus, it is beneficial to install weatherstripping or door soundproofing to seal that space using adhesive-backed high-density foam tape. This will block the noise coming from outside.


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