Limestone Fireplace Mantels Can Add Elegance to a Fireplace

limestone mantelThere are many homes, especially in the colder northern regions that continue to have fireplaces to keep their homes heated and comfortable. It is rare to see a fireplace without any decoration, as it forms the central point of any room. Mantels are installed around fireplaces mainly to add to their decoration.

A mantel is one of the attractions of a fireplace and is the upper portion of the fireplace opening. You will find these being used to display art work, photographs and other knickknacks that add character to any room. Decide on what you will use the mantel for, so that you can choose a mantel that will suit this purpose. This will then help you to get a mantel which is of the right width that allows you to display all the items that you will keep on it. A fireplace does serves as a focal point for any room, and that is the why the decoration around it has to be one that stands out, because the attention of people will always be concentrated on it. You can also add shelves to a mantel or even convert it into a cabinet. You must remember that the items on a mantel will always be exposed to heat, and this is why stone mantels can help to reduce the effect of the heat on the items kept on such mantels.
Mantels can be made from different materials and even the designs can be varied to suit the other décor that you have in your home. Stone is a very commonly used material for mantles as it does give a mantle an elegant look that is always neat. When you have a mantel that is well designed and has the right color, it can add to and compliment all the other furniture and furnishings in a room. Stone is a material, which is very durable and can last a lifetime. Most stone mantels are built from either granite or limestone. Limestone fireplace mantels are very popular, because they are cheaper than their granite counterparts, while they also have a rich quality and different colors that give a lot of scope to decoration.
You can get these custom built mantels to suit your taste, but even the ones that are readily available and will prove cheaper, come in such a vast variety of colors and designs that making a choice is no easy matter. You can even have a mantle made of just carved slabs of limestone, or fix them in pieces to add a variety to your mantel. This can also help to reduce the cost. Mantels made of concrete or granite come in dull colors, whereas the limestone fireplace mantels will have subtle color, which you can match with the other furnishing and drapes that you have in your room, that has the fireplace. Most limestone mantels will have carvings and other moldings that add to the elegance of the structure. Any design you choose must not look incongruous with all the other furniture in your room that has the fireplace.
If you are not sure on what you should do, you can always hire a professional architectural designer. They will be able to give you options and examples of what can be done. A fireplace is a focal point to any home, so make sure you do it right the first time.

Building a A Beautiful Outdoor Wooden Deck

deck pergolaAs spring approaches our thoughts gently shift towards the outdoors. There is nothing quite like spending a summer evening outside in your backyard and in the company of your friends while enjoying a barbecue. We are social creatures and we enjoy getting together and talking about almost everything under the sun.

What will make that precious time together even more enjoyable is if we have a beautiful wooden deck to sit on. Our backyard is often a private place of refuge where we can relax from a stressful week at the office. It is a place where we can play with our children and spend countless hours doing our favorite hobby of gardening.

We also had an idea to build a pergola over the deck, in order to add a better atmosphere to the backyard and give us the ability to have a retractable cover and bring in shade on demand during hot summer days.

While at first we spent a lot of time researching how to build a pergola, we ultimately decided that that route is not for us. Instead we settled for the design pictured in the image above, and hired a professional to come build both the deck and the pergola. For more pergola design ideas, see http://pergolaplans.org.

The only problem that we may have is that both the husband and the wife have a very busy lifestyle. Also, we do not have the knowledge or skills to construct some of our desired backyard projects like a shed, a gazebo, or a wooden deck. For these type of construction projects we will need to call in the professionals who can provide us with these backyard enhancements.

Therefore, as a family we decided to build a beautiful wooden deck to complement our backyard. The first thing that was required was to contact a reputable company that was experienced in building backyard wooden decks. We had an idea of a multilevel deck with fire pit that we wanted to build but we also wanted to get some expert feedback on whether this type of deck was feasible or not.

We searched the various typical locations to find ideas and a company. We used decks.com to help iron out our plans, and the Yellow Pages and online review sites to fins a contractor. One company, handymanrichmondva.com, impressed us because of their many years of being in the business and the variety of Class A contractor experience they had, from simple fixes through complete renovations.

We concluded that a company that was good would not survive that many years unless they provided excellent installation and service. We therefore gave them a call and asked them to send over a representative so that we could receive some information and an estimate of the cost.

The company sent over a man who has been in the decking business for over 30 years. His knowledge about deck construction and the different materials that were available was unbelievable. In detail he explained to us the different types of decking surfaces and the pros and cons of each type of surface. It was very easy for us to make a decision after we had talked to this very knowledgeable man.

The price that was quoted was also quite reasonable and well within our budget. We signed a contract and were pleasantly surprised when the company showed up the following Monday morning exactly on time as they said they would. The installers very friendly and proceeded to construct the deck in record time.

It only took two days for them to build our dream deck in our backyard complete with fire pit. We were completely satisfied with the quality of work and will highly recommend this company to any of our friends, workmates, or neighbors. All that is now left for us to do is to start up the barbecue and enjoy our beautiful wooden deck.

Advantages of Sustainable Energy and Landscaping For Your Home

solar landscapingSustainable energy and landscaping refers to the act of modifying the land around the home and in any environment. It is supposed to work with nature and seeks to reduce soil, water, and air contamination. The result is usually eye-pleasing gardens that are also beneficial to the environment and benefits can be seen in many ways.

Effects of non-sustainable practices include contamination of water that is caused by the use pesticides, allergic reaction due to toxic fertilizers the improper use and disposal of pesticides. Use of some equipment also introduces the noise pollution element. These practices are likely to cause irreversible damage to the ecosystem around affecting all organisms around.

Some solutions developed include the use of rain gardens and green walls and roofs to reduce storm water runoff. Bio filtering wastes by constructed wetlands as well as landscape irrigation using water that comes from sinks and showers in the house. Of importance is also the creation and encouraging wildlife habitat in urban environments.

Sustainable Energy and Solar Power

Benefits of sustainable landscape design include and are not limited to reduction of chemical and water inputs, hence significantly reducing water, and energy bills. A flourishing ecosystem in your backyard that not only adds beauty but incredibly raises the value of the home. Inputs like labor are significantly reduced.

Not only that, but it also includes the installation of green energy units, such as solar panels or wind turbines. With the increases in solar power technology, incorporating these units is now cheaper and easier than ever before, and you’re likely to have tremendous energy savings from using these green methods.

This applies whether you have a 3,000 square foot home or a small mobile home. Check out this post on motorhome solar panel kits to learn more, or visit the website for information on how to install solar panels for a larger house.

Before embarking on a project, it is wise to do a sustainability audit. This takes into consideration factors such as the size of the yard, the size of your home, local bylaws and budget within which to work. Others are the orientation to the sun, flow of the wind, any slopes present, and soil type. All these factors help one to make a better decision on the garden to have.

To start sustainable landscaping, take the time to consult a professional who will advise you on the latest trends available. The professional will also give a complete rundown of all the equipment and materials needed to complete the garden. Everyone has a part to play in the conservation of the environment.

Sustainable Landscaping Professionals

You have most probably spent a lot of money to acquire your new house in the kind of neighborhood you enjoy and with a beautiful front. When it comes to landscaping Westhampton Beach homeowners have long held to the false belief that hiring a professional would be a costly affair. Far from it is much more cost effective considering the tremendous effect their services will have on your home in terms of aesthetic value and financial value.

To start with, experts are realists and will work with the available space no matter how big or small. They are able to aptly size up the available space and can come up with a plan that is not only complete but will finish well. This means that your backyard will not look like a hurried job made for the sake but will seem so natural like it has been there for years.

Experts are highly trained in their job having and have worked in the field for many years. Many landscape firms will only hire individuals who have completed training or been apprenticing in other professional firms. This way they get the job right the first time and will not experiment on a couple of ideas before getting one that works hence saving you lots of money in the end.

Professional landscapers also understand the importance of a budget and will always strive to remain within the limits while at the same time using quality materials. They execute the plans with the budget in mind as earlier discussed. Thus, you will not have the surprise of your life when the bill is suddenly inflated.

Landscapers know the type of soils they are working with and can always recommend the best plants that will thrive in that environment. Planting the right plants in the wrong soils can usually spell disaster for any gardening project especially if you match up plants to the wrong soil types. Professionals will help avoid this as well as create a proper drainage system preventing rotting of the roots as well as protect the home’s foundation.

Last but not least, hiring professionals is also one of the best ways to relieve yourself of stress brought about mostly by doing do it yourself jobs. They also provide you with detailed work plans and timelines thus giving you the ability to plan any outdoor activities effectively and safely.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas for Small Homes

tiny house kitchenTired of your current kitchen design in your home? Are you looking for renovation or remodeling ideas? Do you have a design idea for your new kitchen?

Well, here are some exceptional kitchen remodeling tips you should look at for small kitchen spaces.

Small Kitchen Designs and Remodeling Ideas


ï    Avoid wasting space in your kitchen by carefully placing all your kitchen items. For instance, any breakfast foods or bowls should be stored near the breakfast table. Also, place all the plastic containers or wraps near the work surface since they are mostly used to wrap leftovers. Finally, you should store all the flatware or dishware near the dishware to make loading and unloading the dishwasher easier.

ï    As for the walkways, make sure they are wide enough to avoid constant contact with the surfaces especially when youíre carrying dishes or food to and from the kitchen. Make sure the kitchen islands are adjusted accordingly to avoid tripping.

ï    If there is a lot of traffic in your kitchen, especially kids, you should place the cooktops away from high traffic areas. That way, children can avoid catching handles or spilling any food on the cooktops as they pass by. Also, the refrigerators should be readily accessible but safely put away from the kids.

ï    During remodeling, most people have problems with placing the microwave. In some cases it might be too high which makes it harder for shorter people to reach it. On the other hand, it might be too low which is a safety hazard for kids. Therefore, choose a good height, out of reach of children but not too high that youíre not able to reach it effortlessly.

ï    Corners might be a little hard to deal with and eventually you might end up wasting very functional space. To avoid this make sure any appliancesí doors donít bang into each other when opened. Also, you should carefully place for any swinging and clearance direction. If possible, if there is a little space left in the corners, you should place some cabinets or storage drawers to avoid any wastage.

ï    Design your kitchenís island depending on the function. Therefore, if you want to cook or eat on the island, you should create enough space to make sure the workspace is safely far away from the dining place.

ï    You should create some landing space on your countertop especially near the cooktops, microwave or refrigerator. Here, you can place any items before transferring them to the island or any other place in the kitchen.

ï    Most kitchen remodeling projects always go wrong when it comes to countertop space. If you prepare meals more frequently, you should create a larger space between the sink and the workspace. If you love baking with your kids, you can create varying heights of countertops to make it easier to involve your kids in the whole process.

There are lots more tiny house design ideas that are perfect for people living in small homes. However, with these few, you can create the perfect design while incorporating safety to make sure your kids are safe at all times.

Finding A Good Roof Repairing Firm in Richmond, VA

roof repairThere is no doubt that a roof is a very crucial component of a house. The roof is the main cover of a house, and it should always be in good condition. It is normal for roofs to get damaged from time to time due to several reasons. Regardless of the reason, it is important to repair your roof from time to time if you want to live in your house comfortably. Living under a roof that is leaking is one of the worst things you can experience.

There are several roof repair firms in Richmond, Virginia. It is, therefore, vital to know how to pick the best one for your roof repairs. It is quite evident that not all the roof repairing firms in Short Pump are  favorable. You should be able to filter out such firms and remain with the most favorable ones for you.

One thing that you need to establish clearly before you set out to searching for a good roof repairing firm in Virginia is what you want. Different people have different needs when it comes to roof repairs, so it is good to know what you want. This is the main guideline that will help you choose the best roof repairing firm for you in central Virginia.

The best resource you can use is roofersrichmond.com, which in my opinion is one of the best Richmond roof repair contractors to find the best roof repair firm for you in Short Pump is the internet. Due to the massive digitization that has taken place in recent years, most operations have gone online. All you are needed to do on the web is to search for the roof repairing firms in Short Pump, and you will get your results immediately. From the results you get, you will realize that you have several options from which you are supposed to choose from.

Still on the internet, you can be able to filter out several firms that may be unfavorable for your case. You should make a point of checking out the websites of the roof repairing firms and see if they can satisfy your needs, or rather the line of roof repairs they do encompasses what you want. This will help you eliminate the roof repairing firms that are irrelevant to you.

Ensure you read the reviews made about the roof repairing companies on your list. These reviews will help you know the truth about these companies from a consumers point of view. It is pretty obvious that all companies will put up descriptions praising themselves and the services they offer, but you should not be deceived.

If you do your homework well, you will be able to get an ideal roof repairing company for you in Short Pump on the internet. This will make your work easier as it can be done from the comfort of your home. It is worth noting that a good roof repairing firm should be favorable in all aspects. The pricing, quality of service, promptness and consumer relations should all be on point.

If you follow the above guidelines, you will definitely find a good roof repairing firm for you in Short Pump Virginia. There’s also a great video from State Farm with more informaiton on how to choose a roofing contractor.

Tips For Hiring The Best Petersburg Virginia Plumbers

plumberAre you looking to install new plumbing or simply replace the old one? Are you looking to hire the best Petersburg Virginia plumbers for maintenance tasks? Whatever the reason, you definitely need the right plumber by your side. Emergency or maintenance plumbing tasks are quite costly thatís why you need to find the right plumber for the job. So, if you are living in Petersburg Virginia, here are some interesting tips to help you find the best plumber for the job.

Where Can You Get The Best Plumbers?

There are a few credible sources for exceptional plumbers. First, you could always ask for referrals from friends, relatives, acquaintances or neighbors. If any of these individuals have used the services of a plumber in the recent past, thatís a good place as any to find a credible plumber. However, donít just take their word for it. Rather, you should ask about their experience with the plumber and assess whether he/she is good enough for your plumbing needs.

Secondly, you can contact the local plumbing association and request a few names of plumbers. Actually, this is the best source for good plumbers since the actively working and perfectly licensed or certified plumbers are registered here. Therefore, you canít ever go wrong with any of the names you choose from this source.

Read more about finding a good plumber from the BBB.

Lastly, you can do a quick search online. Since most of service contractors nowadays have established websites, you are likely to get a few leads. Of course, donít choose the first name you find without doing any rigorous vetting to make sure he/she is the best choice for the job.

The Vetting Procedure ñ What To Look For?

Now that you have a few names on your list, the next step is vetting each name till youíre left with nothing but the best. Here are the quality attributes of good plumbers in Petersburg Virginia that you should look for.

First, as mentioned above, the best plumbers should be actively licensed and certified to operate in Petersburg Virginia. You can contact the local licensing board or the plumbing association to guarantee this. A fully certified and licensed plumber should have gone through the necessary educational and technical requirements in order to provide his/her services in Petersburg Virginia.

Secondly, you can always bank on a service contractor with lots of experience in his/her job. The same can be said for plumbers. Therefore, when looking for a plumber, you should check their level of experience in plumbing because this guarantees a higher level of expertise in every type of plumbing job.

Lastly, you should check for plumbers with exceptional reputation in Petersburg Virginia. This is where the referrals come in handy. If you get lots of referrals to one plumber, he/she is definitely good at what they do. It wouldnít hurt to also check the reviews and testimonials from previous customers on the plumbersí websites to make sure they are all positive.

Try these tips out and find the best Petersburg Virginia plumbers for all your plumbing needs.