Just like many other people, you strive to keep the bathroom impeccably clean. Despite these efforts, you and your family may be facing a hidden bathroom hazard from items that you consider perfectly safe.
Several studies and reports highlight the biggest hazard in the bathroom. Typically, it has nothing to do with germs and poor hygiene. Some of the dangers stem from common items like mouthwash and shower curtains.
Bath towels do have to be cleaned in order to maintain their look and their function. A neat looking set of bath towels can add to the image of a bathroom, And of course, one would not want a bath sheet that had holes in it or frayed in any way. To be sure that the towels maintain a solid look, it is necessary to clean them in the proper manner. Unfortunately, for many, a proper cleaning entails using harsh chemicals. It is always advisable to avoid using harsh chemicals if one’s goal is to keep their towels clean, fresh and in good condition.
Towels can be constructed in a number of different ways. They can be ring spun, combed, zero twisted and so on. One will also have different types of cotton such as Egyptian, Turkish, micro-cotton, and standard cotton. The weight of the towel will also factor into its quality. Towels with a higher Grams Per Square Meter (GSM) will be of much higher quality than those with a lower GSM.
Sustainable homes have become a topic of great interest among homeowners curious about the idea of renewable energy and grid-free power opportunities. Devices such as solar panels, plantation shutters, and renewable water filters are a great way to help create an energy-recycling home. Here’s a couple ideas about sustainable home living to help you live off the grid and in a “greener” way.
Refitting Your Home for the Future
Creating a self-sustaining home is a huge project that requires lots of patience, commitment, and plenty of funds. However, the payoff will leave you feeling more independent and energy-efficient than ever. With the right amount of refitting and home improvement, you can virtually live “off the grid” in an energy-independent world of your own.
Effecting these techniques is as simple as gaining the supplies and means to do so. While some energy conservation and sustainable living techniques require a technician or an electrician to accomplish, some (like plantation shades) are extremely easy to install. Making sure all these mechanisms work properly is the homeowner’s imperative, however: maximum energy conservation can only be accomplished via consistent maintenance and checkups on solar panels, water filters, and other devices.
In addition, make sure you have the proper zoning permissions for any excessive accessories you attach to your home. While an array of solar panels or a personal wind turbine may cut your energy consumption immensely, your area may not permit certain construction and you should always check with your town before beginning large projects. Finally, make sure your neighbors will not object to the new additions to your home. The glare off of solar panels or the “sealed” appearance of plantation shutters may bother some neighbors, and it’s always good to keep strong community ties, so communicate before you build!
Solar Panel Technology and Applications
Solar panels have increasingly become a staple in sustainable homes, generating electricity and powering water heaters, lights and electronic devices. Installing solar panels can be problematic without a proper understanding of the circuitry involved, so be sure to have a competent electrician on hand to assist or consult during installation.
In addition to standard solar panel models, smaller and more efficient units are now being produced for the home. These models are cheaper, easier to install, and often produce a more appropriate level of energy for the home. Look into other residential energy options such as miniaturized wind turbines to properly outfit your home with natural energy.
Plantation Shutters and their Benefits
Plantation shutters are specially configured to conserve energy of all kinds, both heat energy and electricity. Using plantation shutters can contain the heat within your home so that you have to spend much less money on heating. This is especially important when you’re attempting to become energy efficient and effect sustainable home living. Plantation shutters can also help you conserve electricity by letting plentiful sunlight in during the daylight hours; with the right plantation shutters you can save on electric lights.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://stockfresh.com/image/1437135/green-city-silhouette-with-environmental-icons
Statistically speaking, you could lose 25-50 percent of your home’s heat energy through cracks in windows and doors. Prevent this using strategically placed shutters that retain heat, seal the energy osmosis between window and exterior, and help to shade your home. When you’re building a home with a property developer, make sure you consider plantation shutters. When you want, you can effectively open the airflow between inside and outside by adjusting the shutters. This gives you another opportunity to control the temperature, humidity, and lighting in your home.
Mirrors are a wonderful apparatus to use when decorating your home. They create the illusion of space and add light to any room. Try the tips below to incorporate mirrors into your home decor:
Arrange multiple mirrors side-by-side:
Use several mirrors in various grouping patterns to create a unique look. Use mirrors encased in decorative wood or ornate wrought iron in lovely patterns. These make excellent pieces to enhance any room in your home. The only rule to remember when grouping mirrors is to match the mirrors proportionately to each other and to the wall. In other words, do not group three tiny mirrors on a huge wall. In addition, keep the mirror shapes the same. For example, do not group an oval mirror with a square one.
Are you thinking of remodeling your bland bedroom but your budget is tight? Do not despair because the most affordable yet the most effective option is right before your eyes – bed sheets, of course! Add in comforter sheets, pillows and quilts to the mix and your bland bedroom can be transformed into an exciting place.
Besides, one spend as much as 8 hours each day on their bed, so it makes perfect sense to have and lie on the most luxurious bed linens from the sheets, quilts and comforters to the pillows. One always deserves it!
Of course, one’s choice of bedding should be a balance between form and function. Utility and beauty come hand in hand with these items just as it does with most of their home appliances, furniture and furnishings. Here, are tips in choosing your bedding for a style statement with practical values.
Choose Your Material
Bed sheets, among other beddings, come in a wide variety of materials with a few more luxurious than the others. Your choice in terms of materials will depend on your budget, your preference in texture, and your environment.
For example, one may prefer cotton sheets over silk or satin sheets because of the former’s soft texture coupled with ease of maintenance. One may also like silk sheets complete with silk quilt covers and pillowcases because of the smooth texture, rich fabric and posh feel.
So that, one can make their choice in the wide variety of materials available for beddings including comforter sets:
- Damask is a rich silk fabric.
- Matelassé has a quilted texture with raised patterns on the fabric.
- Cotton is the most popular fabric because of its comfortable feel on the skin.
- Silk and satin are considered romantic fabrics, but may not be suitable for certain weather conditions
Keep in mind that all of these materials for bed sheets and other beddings can be luxurious. The trick is in choosing the right style, pattern and color.
With gas and electric prices on the rise, which is the more efficient and less costly way to heat your house? I have spent a long time comparing the differences between gas heating and electric heating but which one is actually cheaper in the long run? Let’s take a look.
The Basic Facts
On average electric costs about 3 times more than gas per KWH (calculated on standard rates) with an efficient modern condensing boiler, meaning that in its natural form, gas is cheapest. There is however a but. Unless you have a gas supply into your home already, installing a boiler and radiators along with bringing a gas pipe into your home (if possible) could cost you several thousands of pounds (on average £2,000 to £2,500). This means that to purchase and install electric storage heaters the cost is lower than gas, not forgetting that they don’t need to be serviced as often because electric heaters store heat overnight.
If you use storage heaters however, the older the heater, the more heat it loses during the day – this can end up costing you a lot in electric especially as you will need to be using it during peak times when peak rates are in place. The main advantage without a doubt to having gas central heating is control – in particular being able to control how much heat comes in and out of your house – as the heat doesn’t have to be stored so you can have heating whenever you want. So the main difference in running costs is that electric prices go up for using the storage heaters during the day whereas gas prices stay the same no matter whether it is day or night.
So what are the main advantage and disadvantages to gas and electric heating? Here are your answers:
Advantages of gas central heating;
- Gas is a very resourceful fuel so you can bet that you will get a lot for your money
- There is no need to store anything where gas is concerned as it enters your home directly through pipes
- Replacing boilers is straight forward and an easy job (for a trained person in gas)
Disadvantages of gas central heating;
- Gas prices are high at the moment and they do seem to be continuing to increase
- Gas boilers etc. are expensive to install, meaning the initial cost could burn a massive hole in your pocket
- Gas boilers need to be serviced yearly
- Carbon dioxide is not good for the environment so gas isn’t the cleanest source of energy that you could use.
Advantages of electric central heating;
- Initial costs are low as it is cheap to install
- As electric heating doesn’t have many components it means little maintenance
- This option is available everywhere no matter where you are in the world
Disadvantages of electric central heating;
- The prices of electricity are constantly on the increase
- It costs a lot more to run during the day than a gas heater
- Whilst new storage heaters are good enough to keep the house warm, older storage heaters aren’t so good and often require good insulation to do their job properly.
So after reading all advantages and disadvantages electric heaters are cheaper initially but overall gas is proven to be cheaper to run in the long term.
- Ceative Commons image source
Looking to read more about how you can save on your heating bills this year? Still not convinced that there are still ways to save? Or still a little confused over these rising bills? Go on over to uSwitch.com and read about heating allowance – you are in for a surprise!
Keeping safe whilst performing Do-it-yourself jobs, is a serious concern and should not be taken lightly. The general tendency is to get carried away and plunge into the crucial work without adequate precaution. This is not such a bright idea. Engaging a trained person ensures that jobs get completed on time and also saves one from unnecessary harm. No doubt outsourcing work does cost, but it can also save one a lot of money in the long run. Sometimes, people start work, but find it difficult to complete it or incur injury and need to spend more money, not only for the injury, but also to get the job redone by a skilled technician. It is extremely easy to get physically injured doing any home repair or construction; be it carpentry, electric fitting or plumbing. Any home job requires the use of sharp and dangerous tools, which require expert handling and care while use, this does not deter many, who prefer do-it-yourself jobs.
It is best to opt for proper safeguards and take a little time to prepare, before starting on such a task. There are many websites that have a wealth of information on the use of various tools and relevant knowledge to keep safe during any DIY job. Following are a few tips to keep in mind prior to embarking on any DIY at home:
Protection: it is vital to cover up and prevent flying splinters or sparks from flying into the eyes or skin. Safety goggles, helmets, thick gloves are some highly effective implements and secure one from unforeseen accidents. Tiling or wall construction can cause sudden chips to fly while installation or breaking. Similarly, loose wires or no “earthing” can be mighty dangerous.
Nothing gives us more pleasure than doing up and redecorating our homes. Many of us are carried away with the idea, that they need to build their dream house with their own hands.
Many home owners pursue this line of thought with action and throw themselves with their entire energies by doing everything themselves. At the start, there is a potent enthusiasm, but soon they realize, they are in a big mess.
The rule is clear; DIY is not everyone’s cup of tea, and not everyone is a trained professional to complete the job. It is best to leave professional jobs with the safe hands. These experts have studied their craft, be it Plumbing, Electrical work or Painting. By taking on these jobs, without any experience, its sure there would be lots of jolts. Following are 5 DIY-jobs that most newcomers try themselves at the time of renovating their homes.
- Plumbing – Bathroom construction and installation is a highly essential feature of any residence, and requires expert knowledge and experience. If one tends to get carried away, thinking that he could fit out bathrooms and drains, think twice. Plumbing does not just involve choosing fancy bathroom accessories and fixing them with cement, but detailed knowledge of drainage systems, and advanced technology, which is used by most modern plumbers. One wrong move can end up with a choked toilet drain and sewage seeping back in the house. A professional plumber knows about the right plumbing codes and has all the equipment’s and certificates to carry out the plumbing job.
- Electrical Fittings – Playing with electrical fittings is never a good idea. Again this work involves technical knowledge of currents, wiring, earthing etc. If anything left unfinished or without proper insulation, can welcome a host of problems. This not only can be potentially dangerous to the lives of the inhabitants of the house, but can raise electrical bills considerably and even wreck electrical appliances. It’s best to hand over these jobs to an experienced and trained Electrician, who can save yourself from a lot of problems and shocks.
- Flooring – Another area that is best left to professionals. Many home enthusiasts feel that laying tiles is can be quite easy, and they dive their selves. This is a big mistake, as laying floor tiles is a mason’s job and requires proper knowledge of balance and layout planning. By trying to fit tiles, one might lose the equilibrium of the flooring and end up with an uneven floor, which not only would be terrible to look, but would cost a fortune of money to rectify. Laying a floor requires precision and technical knowledge of cutting tiles to the perfect fit. It needs special tools and experience in handling them. It’s better to hand these types of jobs to a Mason.
- Carpentry – One might remark, “This can be real easy, why anyone can not do it!”
“I wish if this could be so easy of banging a nail in the wall or sawing a plank.” But, the exhaustive carpentry that makes a home complete requires more than just the ability to use a hammer and saw. Large furniture requires distinctive wood and knowledge of how to shape it. More important it’s an art, and one needs to install in such a way that not only does it look highly aesthetic, but is strong enough to last for many years. Even a small job such as hammering a nail in the wall to hang up a mirror requires precise expertise. If not done in the right way, one might find themself looking at broken pieces of glass. It is best to leave this work to Carpenters who have studied this art, and carry all the necessary tools for it.
And last but not the least,
- Doing up Walls – As an amateur this could turn out to be a white elephant, if one have no experience, and proper knowledge of building technology. Just papering or painting is not sufficient. Many homes have leakage problems and uneven walls. These need expert study and appropriate application of materials to give home, not just a smooth finish, but insulation from ugly splotches. It is, therefore, advisable to hand over these jobs to professional contractors who can guide in the right direction, and give a perfect interior finish.
Without doubt, it is advisable to let professional with the requisite expertise, handle the most valuable aspects of the DIY Job. This is crucial, if one has little or no experience in these areas. If you feel disappointed with not being able to put your hand to these jobs; don’t take it too hard, because at the end of the day, it will be your design, colours and choices, which will form your dream home. Such professionals will only be the executors of your ideas. So go right ahead, and start visualizing your home and its look, to your heart’s content.
In this day of fast-paced communication, hectic professional life and demanding personal commitments, your bathroom is probably the only place where one can find a semblance of privacy and solitude. It is here that many individuals finally find time from their hectic schedule to be with themselves. No wonder many scientists of the yesteryears were at their creative and innovative best in their bathrooms.3
The first question that occurs in our mind is what are the factors that need to be considered at the time of designing a bathroom? Irrespective of the amount of resources, and the level of comfort, and style that one aim, the most critical criteria that a bathroom need is a high level of cleanliness. The design, plan and the material used to create a bathroom itself lends the cleanliness to entire bathroom.
It is then followed, by the comfort level of a bathroom, and especially, how the toilets are designed and what it offers. It is a facility that all the members of a family whether they are young and old, would be using, and the last thing one would not want a cheap toilet that develops yellow stains, just within few months of purchase.
Also, ensure that layout and the placement of all the amenities in your designer bathroom do not just offer comfort of usage but that it also suits your habits and lifestyle. People differ in the manner, the way and the sequence in which they go about their daily chores. Have the layout of your designer bathroom designed in a manner that complements your habits and lifestyle. It will make one feel more comfortable in a bathroom. Needless to say, the accessories one opts their bathroom must be of a superior quality and must blend with other bathroom decor.
Last but not the least, the ambience of your bathroom will determine how comfortable it is. By using the right color combinations and the right décor one can gradually come up into the groove to meet the demand of a modern and comfortable bathroom. One may not realize, but a bathroom could well be a place where one could hit upon a million-dollar idea, that he or she may have been waiting for their entire life.
Bathroom is the place where one starts the day. The most unbending individuals turn childlike in the bathroom. This gives a person the required solitude, which is ought to be graceful and comforting. The ambience of the bathroom helps one to accomplish daily chores in a stress free mode. A well designed and aptly furnished bathroom elevates the contentment intensity to the fullest. The contemporary style bathrooms are not mere cleansing spots in households, but, serve as status symbols of the owners. Hence, modernizing the existing bathrooms into designer bathrooms is a must.
Modernizing a bathroom is entirely different from doing with the rest of the rooms in the house. One requires thorough knowledge regarding the design of bathroom. Initially, the user needs to consider the dimensions of the bathroom and the financial plan should not be ignored. To start with, paint the bathroom, with serene and bright colors. The entire bathroom may be painted in a single shade. . However, ceiling may be colored with different shade. Bathroom painted totally in bright white, fetches tranquil ambience. Nevertheless, stains and blemishes may be a cause for one to fret. Then the user can go for darker shades like brown or dark blue.
Choosing the tiles to the floor and walls of the bathroom is one of the most crucial segments of updating the bathroom. The apt tiles are those lie about, pleasing the senses. In addition, aspects such as resilience, sanitary process, protection, and resistance to water require high regards. The shades of the tiles including their suitability and luster reflect the taste level of the user. Bathroom floors and walls are finished with ceramic, porcelain and marble tiles. The marble tiles are a bit expensive in comparison with the other two types. The user has adequate options in this regard.
Shower enclosures and bathtubs are crucial to fetch grandeur to the bathroom. Quadrant shower enclosures are stylish to look at, but, where place and size is the main concern, walk-in shower enclosures are the best choice. The corner bath tubs of whirlpool sort symbolize luxury. However, the lavish looking standard bathtubs, abundant in the market, are suitable to the budget. Addition of vanity cabinets to the sinks bring in decent view together with hiding the hoses of the sinks. Installing bathroom mirrors apt with the size of the walls and sinks makes the bathroom a wondrous one. Setting up of radiators is not just a seasonal necessity but, a status symbol of the user.
To learn more about designing bathroom or to read more stories refer AQVA Bathrooms Blog