Month: April 2019

Winter Is Coming – And So Is the Mold

As the pending Southern Hemisphere winter knocks on our doorstep we are faced with many minor headways through our properties; But none are more annoying than the build up of mold in bathrooms and laundries.

Last season was an exceptionally cold winter for us and the amount of heavily built up mold that I saw in bathrooms and laundries was at monumental levels. The crazy thing, it does not have to be! There are a few simple tricks to keeping mold from taking over your bathroom and potentially damaging paintwork (which could create bond issues for tenants) and and more importantly health.

Mold removal should be part of any cleaning routine and must be kept in check to reduce its likelihood for growth. After 10 years in Tropical North Queensland, Australia, one thing I have had a lot of experience with is mold; We used to get mold in everything, and I mean everything. If you are old enough to remember back to VHS video tapes, even they would get mold in them.

So, what to do about controlling mold during the coming winter? – If you have a bathroom fan, make sure you use it. Always turn on the bathroom fan while you shower and be sure to leave it run long enough after you have finished to help moisture leave the bathroom.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have the good old IXL Tastic (heat, fan, and light) make sure you have it on, the heater globes will help keep the moisture build up to a minimum while the fan will carry out the Obvious work.

If you only have a window, then be sure to make sure to open it a little. I know the thought of this is not much fun in 2 degree weather, but its paramount to keep the moisture build up from steam to a minimum – this of course goes for laundries too, especially while running dryers. Another good idea while running a dryer is to make sure the laundry door is open, it will not only allow for ventilation but assist in keeping the home warmer.

Finally, if (and when, as you will not always be able to keep mold at bay) have a spray bottle of bleach, not the expensive stuff, but the simple homebrand bleach. It costs near nothing and a few short and sharp squirts on the affected area will generally kill the mold in its tracks. No need to spray and scrub, just squirt on and leave, ideally when the area is dry, not just after a shower as it will dilute and be less effective.

These simple tricks should help you survive the mold attack that has become so prevalent during long and chilly winters.

It's also worth noting that as a tenant you may very likely become responsible for any damage caused by mold. If not controlled and left unchecked, mold can eat through paintwork and even the walls. So control any …

Luxury Bathroom Design For A Low Cost

Luxury is not always equal to lavish or expensive. There are instances when items look luxurious but it does not necessarily mean that it was bought at a high price. Practical solutions can be made to have a luxury bathroom design.

Select a theme for the bathroom and work around it. Coordinate all pieces like the paint color, accessories, sanitary wares, fixtures, embellishments and other decors. If you like modern design, then add fixing and sanitary wares which are appropriate for this design. If you like to try the minimalist design use fixtures which can be use for double purpose like you can use a towel rack both as a rack and a decoration. So you have to look for an attractive type of rack.

Embellish your bathroom with vibrant and bright colored items like rugs or towels. Prefer colors that go well with your tiles or paint but always remember to go with your theme. Avoid chances of uncoordinated items.

You can add flowers and plants for a different ambiance. These can also be used to cover unwanted places such as pipes. You can also add candles or potpourri to create a warmer and soothing atmosphere. You can also add bathroom sprays which is an air freshener and at the same time a deodorizer.

Put artworks or magazines and books which you like to read while relaxing in the tub. You can also opt to have a CD player where you can listen to your favorite songs.

Lastly, think of other things that will make you feel more comfortable and at ease. You can browse through magazines or online sites.

Having a luxury bathroom design does not always need to be expensive. You just have to be imaginative and creative in thinking of new designs. Incorporating those designs and finding the best buys and being contented with your output will even make it more meaningful to you.

Whatever design you have, just always remember to keep it simple and coordinated. Start with the basic color and later accentuate. You will never go wrong. …

Home Improvement Tips For Smart Homeowners

When making improvements to your home, often times small things can make a big difference. Below are six little tips that you may not have thought about, but could be quite helpful in your next home project.

1. Pick out a suitable height for wall outlets. Although most electricians place outlets 12 inches up the wall from the floor, many people find that height is not high enough to be convenient. As an alternative, consider whether 16 inches might be a better height for less bending, and to get the most out of power cord length for tabletop electric items such as lamps.

2. Use a stainless steel taping knife. Use a tool made out of this material for your sheetrock taping to minimize the amount of cleanup time that is needed after the project is done, and to limit any possibility of having rust forming on the knife, which will make it useless for future projects.

3. Recycle old electronics and appliances. Many electronics recycling establishments are popping up all over the nation and will take your out of date electric products for free disposing that is a lot more eco friendly than putting them in the trash to be put into the landfill. If they're in working condition, see if a charitable organization will take them so that they can be used again for extended life before they're recycled.

4. Be organized. Know about every major element, each step of the way through the remodeling process. This will help you to ensure that your contractors will all arrive on the right days for tasks to continue progressing. When your electrician arrives at the correct point, for example, it means that the building team will not need to wait to put up the walls or ceiling.

5. Put in a dormer to turn your attic into livable space. By building a dormer or two into the attic space, a properly constructed attic will receive natural light and added height to make it a much more appealing room. This can give your home a whole new space like a home office, play room for the children, or even a guest bedroom.

6. Measure everything. There is no such thing as guessing or "eyeballing" a measurement when it comes to the perfect home renovation. More often than not, you'll find that the way that something looked inside a huge store is quite different than the way that it will appear in your residence. You do not want to end up getting a kitchen island that will consume every square inch of floor space, and returns are costly and time consuming. …

Ways to Stay Alert For New and Experienced Truck Drivers

After the government passed a bill allowing truck drivers to drive for longer hours (eleven hours replaced the original ten hours) truck drivers may need an extra boost to stay alert during the extra time.

Typically, candy, caffeine soda, coffee, and Red Bull are popular ways to keep drivers awake while on the road. But a new product may soon take their place-caffeinated sunflower seeds!

Caffeinated sunflower seeds are infused with caffeine and other energy boosters including taurine, lysine, and ginseng (ingredients typically found in energy drinks too). The seeds are called Sumseeds and are being sold in Sioux Falls, and coming to Minneapolis and Southeast states soon. They were developed by Dakota Valley Products, Inc. Of South Dakota.

What makes these seeds better than the other caffeine alternatives? A spokesman for the National Sunflower Association said the aim of the product was to achieve a "sustained energy boost" because you can not down sunflower seeds as fast as drinking coffee or a sugary energy drink. These seeds are one alternative to stay wake on the road.

With deadlines for truck drivers, there are few things to consider for a comfortable and safe journey when fatigue starts to set in.

O Take time to move around on stops, walk around, and even lie down if available.

O Wear comfortable clothing to prevent some health problems and poor blood circulation.

O Pay attention to the truck's interior design and adjust the steering wheel and seat for maximum comfort, which can help prevent leg cramps and other components that may restrict your movements.

O Know when you're tired. Be aware of your fatigue and take time to take a break so you get to your destination healthy and safe, not only for your own needs but for other drivers on the roads as well.

While these measures will only help for the short-term, be sure to get plenty of sleep between shifts. Since there is a growing number of available truck driving jobs the increased driving time allowed is a way to bridge the gap, as well as ensuring faster delivery of products. For experienced and potential truck drivers, stay safe in your travels. …

Anima Woman in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

The play A Doll's House labeled Norwegian Henrik Ibsen as the perpetrator of scandal in 1879, when the play was staged. In the debate over women's rights that was stirring worldwide, Ibsen confronted a storm of protests, especially from the patriarchal church, against a woman leaving her husband at the conclusion of the play. With no prior knowledge of Jung's theories of the anima and animus, Ibsen created a protagonist who begins as an anima woman trying to enact her husband husband Torvald's ideal woman but who, in the end, rejects this persona and leaves him in search of self-realization .


In Act I, Nora Helmer surreptitiously eats macaroons and must lie about it for fear of her husband Torvald's repressive for eating sweets. Hearing her return from shopping, he calls out, "Is that my little lark twittering out there? … Is it my little squirrel bustling about? … Was my little spendthrift been wasting money again?" Three short pages into the script, the reader quickly deduces the nature of the relationship between Nora and Torvald. There is a sweet outer layer to the darker measure of Nora that lies only slightly under the surface of his words. It is a father-child arrangement based on Torvald's need for control over his wife and his own image, both of which are illusory, creating the tension of uncertainty about Nora's choices.

Nora as Loyal Ariadne

An old friend from school days, Mrs. Christine Linde, comes to visit Nora. Their conversation allows them to fill in the ten-year gap of news, including Nora's need to take in needlework to make ends meet and Torvald's exhaustion and illness that required a period of recuperation in Italy, a tremendous expense that Nora explains came from her papa . Torvald recovered and returned to Norway where he has just received a promotion in the bank and the promise of a secure future for his family. This situation, too, is an illusion, for although Torvald has reclaimed, his debt is not to her papa, who has since died, but to his wife who secretly borrowed the large sum from a moneylender of questionable repute to pay for the expenses of his recuperation.

The Tangle Web

By Act II the characters' lives have intertwined. Nora offers to help the widowed Mrs. Linde by telling her husband of her friend's accounting skills, which convinces Torvald to give her a bank position recently became available with the termination of Nils Krogstad, the secret moneyler of Nora Helmer. The deception indeed has led to a tangled web, but it will be the necessary test of the anima for Nora and Torvald. When Krogstad is fired, he will make public the news of the scandalous loan, an announcement that Torvald's ego will not survive. Krogstad indeed sends Torvald the note calling in the balance of the loan and the letter sits untouched in the box. While Nora and Torvald are upstairs at a holiday celebration, Christine and Krogstad meet, revealing their …

Is Your Stucco Leaking?

The problems with synthetic stucco claddings are well documented. Lawsuits involving Internal Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) have been common knowledge among the home inspection community for years.

Most home inspectors, however, are ignorant of the problems that are occurring in high priced sub-divisions with both coat plaster stucco and the newer one coat stuccos. I believe that the number of homes with extensive rot and mold reflected within the walls is fundamental.

Traditional three coat stucco is a mixture of Portland cement, lime and sand. In older applications it is generally installed over some type of sheathing material such as plywood. More recently stucco has been applied over foam sheathing or engineered Oriented Strand Board panels known as waferboard or OSB. A water resistant barrier, usually building paper or a house wrap, is applied to the sheathing and then wire lath is attached to the framing. The stucco is applied in three coats, the scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat.

Stucco is actually a porous material and designed to allow the absorption of water. The water restive barrier acts as a drain plane and as the stucco dries water flows down the building paper and weeps out the bottom of the stucco. As long as the wood sheathing holds dry and water does not get trapped in the wall cavity problems will be rare.

One relatively recent noteworthy change in practice is the use of OSB sheathing rather than plywood. OSB panels have very poor moisture resistance qualities and tend to easily delaminate when wet. When OSB gets wet, it swells and rots at a much faster rate than plywood.

Another change is the use of house wraps such as Tyvek HomeWrap rather than the heavier felt building papers as the water resistant barrier. There is evidence to suggest that when stucco is applied directly over house wrap there is a chemical bond which can occur between the house wrap and the stucco. When this occurs the house wrap loses its ability to prevent water from migrating through the water resistant barrier. The 2006 International Residential Code and Dupont, the manufacturer of Tyvek, no longer support one layer of Tyvek HomeWrap as a water resistant barrier. Dupont now recommends StuccoWrap which is correlated to allow drain. A layer of building paper is also recommended as a bond breaker between the Tyvek and the stucco.

By far the greatest problem is the improper flashing of windows. Water runs down the window frames and if the window is not properly integrated with the water resistive barrier large quantities of water will get into the wall assembly. Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to determine if the window is flashed properly after the stucco has been installed. Sometimes the only visible clues are the stains at the stucco and trim junctions.

An infrared camera can be used effectively to diagnose leaks behind stucco. Areas of the stucco which retain large quantities of water such as around window flashings and roof wall connections …

When to Contact and How an Interior Designer Works

During planning of a house an interior designer can guide the architect or the builder on where to place doors and windows, how can they use the maximum input of natural light, where to allocate storage spaces, avoiding demolition of walls, sizing walls, making desired openings, providing specific light points as per the lighting scheme by the designer and also early spotting of desired plumbing points for the exclusively designed bathrooms. This early involvement of interior decorator during planning will help in saving a lot of money which can be later used for re-modification after the completion of the building.

Clients usually feel that they must have a vivid vision of the problem before they consult a decorator, but this actually is not the fact. In a study conducted by an interior decoration agency in India among the designers and clients, most of the designers argued that they preferred to be involved with the project from the very beginning. As an interior decorator, I do agree with the point generally the interior decorators used to make regarding the early consultation of an interior decorator. So meet your designer immediately after you finalize the preliminary design proposal by the architect for your residential as well as buildings built for commercial purpose.

Finding a suitable interior decorator is the most important thing before assigning your interior designing job to anyone, you can realize from the list of qualified, certified and registered designers with the government approved design council in the country. In India, the institute which provides authentic information about interior designer in the country is the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID). You can browse through the list of interior decorators practising in the country and select a reputed designer from the list and visit their website or approach them to have a look at their successful projects in the similar category. Once you select the designer, discuss your requirements and budget for the interiors and finalize the agreement on the project’s time schedule and professional fees.

Before staring the designing process of your interior first of all the interior decorator have to conduct a series of talks with the customers basically to know the type of designing the person wants. This series of conversations with the client and designer eventually lead to a mutual agreement about the requirements and it will help to know the aspiration and desires of the client with regard to his interior design. About 90% of clients usually have a good idea of their needs and preferences, a professional interior designer must reeducate the client’s attitude about preferences.

The next step is the design of the interior to presented before the client as a soft copy or a hard copy. Designer has to present a proposal which might consists of sketches, 2-dimensional drawings of plan and coloured elevations along with a budget proposal. At the preliminary presentation the specific colours, furnishings, and details are not resolved yet, since the aim at that stage is to obtain …

Bathroom Space Saver Storage

In most homes, storage space is at a premium. This manages to be true even in large, spacious homes with dedicated storage areas. One of the most challenging rooms of most homes, in terms of having adequate space and especially in terms of having adequate storage space, is the bathroom. Bathrooms are usually the smallest room of the home, and those that were been constructed more than ten or fifteen years ago often do not offer the ample storage space that today's modern families need. Some bathrooms and homes do not even contain a linen closet, whether in the bathroom or the hallway, which leaves the home's occupants up to their own devices for finding adequate storage. One way to create more storage space is to make use of various bathroom space saver products that are on the market today. These can include vanities, shelves, medicine cabinets, storage cabinets, and over the toilet storage.

Options for bathroom space saver units abound. Of course, the unit which works for your space will depend on the space itself. If you have an extra corner, or empty wall, sometimes a towel cabinet will fit the bill. These cabinets of often around four feet high, and are preferred to shelves for many homeowners because they have doors, which allows the items stored inside to be less organized and visually appealing than they would have to be otherwise. Using a medicine cabinet, which is just a mirror that opens up to reveal storage that is hidden inside the wall cavity, is also a great option for areas that are tight on storage space. Of course, also pay attention to how the bathroom vanity itself is laid out. Sometimes, by buying a slightly larger unit, or one with more drawers, or simply a better layout of the drawers and doors, can offer more storage space for those bathroom odds and ends.

Another bathroom space saver option is over the toilet storage. Since the wall space above the toilet is rarely utilized except in a decorative sense, this is prime real estate for expanding bathroom storage. Over the toilet storage units are available in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and colors. You can find a quaint country unit or a sleek, ultra-modern unit, and nearly everything in between. They are easy to find, easy to assemble, and very useful. They are also cost effective, and can be found for as little as seventy-five dollars.
Please note phrases to be included in project notes …

The Enduring Style, Quality, and Technology of Grohe Kitchen Faucets

Grohe is renamed for modern design, quality materials and durability, and Grohe kitchen faucets are no exception. The kitchen sink is the most heavily used and hard-working space in the kitchen "and the kitchen one of the busiest areas in the house, so it is worth putting some thought into the design of your sink and especially the faucet used.

Grohe quality starts with its superior design and construction, and Grohe's technology means that your kitchen will not only look incredible, but it will also function perfectly. For those who love to cook, Grohe's new K4 range includes dual spray pullout faucets for both prep and main sinks, along with a cold water pillar option to satiate your thirsty family. These pullout faucets would be the envy of any professional chef, and they take the hassle out of preparing food for your family.

If you have not remodeled your kitchen in quite a while, you'll be astounded by the range of quality products that Grohe offers. Forget about hauling heavy, water-filled pots from the sink, and instead rely on Grohe pot fillers that can be mounted on the wall or into the bench near your range.

Nothing beats the look of gleaming chrome in the modern kitchen, and Grohe faucets come in a choice of beautiful Grohe RealSteel or Grohe StarLight finishes, both offering long-lasting shine and ease of cleaning. Grohe RealSteel technology has the added advantage of solid stainless steel offering a lifetime of durability. Coupled with Grohes SilkMove technology, you can be assured that Grohe faucets will provide the smooth, efficient functionality that busy people need in the kitchen. SilkMove technology allows one finger control of temperature, making cold and warm water adjustments one fluid and effortless motion.

If you're thinking of remodeling your kitchen, chances are you already have a clear sense of the look that you want. Fortunately, Grohe offers a great range of designs to match the style that you have in mind, while upholding the highest standards of reliability and quality. For a minimalist, modern design, consider the Classic Line, LadyLux, and the new Eurostyle designs. For a look that says old world charm, consider the Ashford and Bridgford ranges.

Of course, the kitchen is the place where we use a lot of water, and environmental concerns are important to Grohe. When you purchase any Grohe 15 WaterCare kitchen faucets, which include all of the above designs, you can also save up to 30% on water use thanks to inbuilt water saving technology.

So plan your kitchen upgrade or new design carefully. With the Grohe quality name, cutting edge design and superior materials and technology, you can be assured of a product that is built to last and provides a practical and professional solution to everyday kitchen tasks. Imagine enjoying the real pleasure of cooking and sharing food with a skillfully designed faucet from Grohe. …

Outdoor Garden Decor – Embrace The Challenges It Presents

Options to decorate

There are multiple things one can look at when deciding on how to decorate a garden. Outdoor garden decor can be done using different combinations of garden furniture or patio furniture, fountains or bird baths, garden art or statues and gazebos, canopies or pergolas. Other features that may be installed to enhance the attractiveness of a garden may include outdoor lighting, grills, pots and plants. Garden bridges may also be added just to add a different style to a garden. Moreover, artifacts such as bird houses, fences and its different decorations, special pathways and borders and garden stones may also be added in order to add an extravagant look to the garden.

A decorated lawn provides the comfort of relaxing on a cool breezy evening on some comfortable lawn furniture under the shade of colorful umbrellas. Moreover, different plants and multi-colored flowers will further add to the soothing and calm mood.

Smart decorating tips

Furniture: Add a wicker sofa, freestanding umbrella, a fire pit and a dining table (if there is sufficient space) to create an intimate gathering space. Be careful to not overcrowd your garden with furniture only so as to help create a great ambience for the people utilizing the space. When arranging the furniture, fix a focal point and then point your furniture towards it. Also, make sure to use weather-resistant furniture, which is covered from the sun.

Color Palette: To give your garden a fresh outlook, it is extremely important to keep your outdoor garden decor in a monochromatic tone. Adding a large variety of colors may become overwhelming, but using all the dull shades may not help the look of your garden. You can bring some amount of color by adding colorful plush pillows or festive glass lanterns.

Walls and Fences: It is always a great idea to convert your walls to living green walls or you could add hanging planters like the cone shaped rattan wall planter to your walls. Hanging baskets can be used to grow everything from delicate ferns to strawberries. You can use fences to enclose an area within the garden; it can add a sense of privacy to your backyard.

The above-mentioned outdoor decorating ideas can help you achieve that wonderful and unique garden decor that you've been looking for and at the same time it will be easy to keep up and will be an inviting and welcoming place to call your own.

You do not have to limit yourself to decorating the inside of your home. Your patio, lawn and garden decor are extensions of your home, and allows you unique opportunities to express yourself and your sense of style. …