Build to Maximize the Power of the Rising Sun

Throughout civilization man has integrated his natural environment into the building of his home.  If we were cave dwellers first, you can be sure when we moved into structures we soon found they worked best when orientated toward the sun.  In some cultures, lots of thought goes into the direction your front door faces.   Some want it to face east, while many want a north or north-east direction so they get tons of sunlight in the morning.  A prayer attributed to Chief Seattle starts with asking the Spirit of the Light to “come to me from the east, with the power of the rising sun.”  In Asian cultures, Fung Shui is a serious practice the seeks to create the most harmonious conditions within your home based on its qi (ch’i), or energy flow.  The alignment of energy can be blocked if the construction of the home is not properly oriented, and the walls block air flow or sunlight.

Sunlight is essential to our overall health.  You often hear the term sun-kissed to describe a healthy complexion.  And since our skin is a barometer of good health, care should be given to its upkeep.  One of the best ways to do this is to have a regular routine based on the best beauty and grooming products available.  Since the multi-billion-dollar cosmetics industry introduces new products all the time, it’s hard to tell if you have the best products out there.  There’s no reason to search beauty counters all over town to solve this problem.  If you want the lowdown on the latest products on the market, but don’t have the time or money to invest in a new miracle cream each month, subscribe to Birchbox.  

You can get a subscription started with Groupon which has coupon codes on their website that will save 50% off the first order with subscription.  When you search the site, you find a variety of deals that will suit your budget.  You get started by filling out a profile, then explore the samples you’d like to try, chose the subscription level you want and before you know it, a pretty box is on its way to you.  A Birchbox subscription is a great gift because the recipient gets a surprise in every box each month.  Many find new products this way and buy full size containers as a result.  If you know someone who wants to maintain a sun-kissed complexion, tell them to do two things: buy a home that maximizes the power of the rising sun, and subscribe to Birchbox.

Create a Stylish Space with Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

Choosing your flooring is a tough task but the qualities of versatility and durability of ceramic or porcelain tiles make them famous among buyers who want to choose tiles for enhancing the beautify of floor or walls. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are easily available at a good price in the market. Choosing your flooring with knowledge of different styles, colors, and shapes of make it easy for the architecture for selecting the suitable tile for the home. The attractive touch of these tiles is one of the reasons people prefer this tile flooring very much.

Reasons behind Choosing Good Quality

However, there are many other reasons that people drag towards the beautiful tiles. If a person has pets in the house that are allergic to different woven stuff or carpet, he/she can choose the tiles as there are no chances of sticking of germs on the carpets. These tile flooring are also easy to clean as compare to other stuff.  Easy to vacuumed and wiping the tiles can make anyone happy who does not have enough time to clean the house. Clear designs bring a modern look to home and office. Whether you want to select intricate tiling design of tile flooring for giving a classic look to your seating room or you want to ornate your kitchen, bathroom, or living room. They are good for indoors or outdoors on the floor. There is no chance of fading of colors because of sunlight. Stain resistance and fire resistance qualities are the things that should consider while convincing your husband/wife for buying the tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the best choices for any kind of change you want to make with the floor. Other than the qualities which are similar in both ceramic and porcelain tiles there are also some differences that you should keep in mind while choosing your flooring.

Qualities of Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is used more outdoor because of some qualities that are not presented in ceramic. It is more inclined towards withstanding higher foot traffic than ceramic because of its dense material. The formation process of this kind of tile includes higher temperature and pressure which brings greater density in them and after making, it becomes moist resistance. However, both of the tile flooring is usable in the areas where there is more traffic than the usual areas. It is seen that porcelain is more expensive than ceramic because of its durability.

Qualities of Ceramic Tile

You should consider ceramic tiles while choosing your flooring. These tiles are also called white body tiles because of white clay have the density similar to porcelain. These tiles can be available in the market in a range of beautiful light and dark colors. The cost of ceramic is lower than porcelain and it is mostly used indoors. Easy maintained and no affect of sunlight make it admirable among people who know its qualities.


After choosing your flooring you can tile your mud rooms and finished basement with any two kinds of tiles as they are able to withstand mostly. The modern and classic look is further enhanced with another look of wood in these tiles. The wide range of colors does not put you in confusion whether you should buy it or not as tile flooring would be available in your favorite color. Subtle veining marks, hand-scraped look of these tiles and designs of minimal grout lines are what everyone wants to see on the walls or floor. These tiles have everything that would make you love your home more than ever.

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The Basic Home Construction Process

We don’t always have a good idea what happens during the construction process of our homes. For this reason, a lot of home buyers ask a lot of questions such as: How long will the house take to build? What does the construction process involve? When can Ivisit the site?

If you find yourself asking the same questions, this article will help you understand the basic home construction process. Although this article only offers a brief overview, it will still help you get a general idea of how the construction process works. You can see lots of information on the Internet, but I will give you the best processing available.

Stage One: Pre-Construction

Before the home construction begins, the floor plans must first be developed, finalized, and then submitted to the municipal office for review to get a building permit. The building permit is needed for various construction work including electrical, sewer connection, septic system, plumbing, and home building. Additionally, the homebuilders will perform site tests to examine the soil, the capacity of the ground, water table, and environmental tests.

Stage Two: Foundation

After getting the necessary building permit and doing all the initial tests, the land of your house will be prepared. The topsoil will be removed and piled somewhere else to be used later on. Excavation is also done, along with the footings, which are concrete slabs to support the wall foundation, which are formed and poured. The wall foundations are also erected. This process may use concrete temporary wooden forms or preserved wood, or permanent insulated blocks. Weeping tiles are also installed so that the ground moisture will be drained away from the house. During this phase, the homebuilder may ask you to decide on flooring, cabinets, tiles, and many more.

Stage Three: Framing

This phase involves erecting a framing skeleton. The exterior sheeting is also applied or other framing technique can also be used. Frames are also constructed on the floor, one wall at a time and then lifted in place. The windows and doors are also installed during this stage.

During this process, the basement floor is also constructed and installed. Electrical and plumbing are roughed in, along with the heating, cooling, and ventilation. During this stage, the municipality will conduct a structural inspection to make sure that the house is built according to the building codes. Electrical and plumbing inspections will also be conducted.

Stage Four: Interior and exterior work

During the next stage, interior and interior work will be done at the same time; thus, proper scheduling must be observed. The insulation of the exterior walls is done, heating and cooling systems are installed, and vapor barrier will be applied. During this process, the walls and ceilings will also be painted, the flooring is laid, and the cabinets for the kitchen and bathroom are installed. These are just some of the work involved during this stage. Additionally, during this stage, the homebuilder will stay in contact with you to keep you updated on the construction progress.

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Home Flooring: Discover The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Vinyl Flooring

It is not just vinyl in general that has seen tremendous growth over the past decade or so. Vinyl plank flooring is now a top choice for many households in the United States and beyond, owing mainly to the low cost, durability and versatility of this type of flooring. Before settling on vinyl as your ultimate flooring option, it is first important to discover the benefits and problems with vinyl plank flooring. Like all other types of flooring, vinyl isn’t all together perfect. There are some downsides that would be worth looking at before making the all-important flooring decision.

The Advantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring

There are a number of notable advantages of vinyl plank flooring over other types of flooring. It is these advantages that have led to the soaring popularity of vinyl for home flooring applications:

Cost Factor: Vinyl planks are created to mimic the look and feel of real wood, but cost only a fraction of the price. Telling the difference between vinyl and real wood flooring is difficult, especially to the untrained eye, which means that homeowners can enjoy the aesthetics of real wood without breaking bank.

Grain Dimension: Vinyl plank flooring is also designed with a huge variety of wood grain sizes that would otherwise be difficult to find in traditional wood. You can simply choose the grain dimension that match your specific preference of solid wood and that is easily incorporated into the home’s decor. In addition, there are many different shades that mimic oak, maple, cherry and other types of wood. The design options here are literally limited to your imagination.

Installation: Vinyl plank flooring is some of the easiest flooring to install in any kind of space. Although it is recommended that you get an expert for the job, do-it-yourself enthusiasts with the appropriate knowledge and experience can easily install the flooring without the additional cost of calling in an expert. Installation can be done quickly, professionally and smoothly with little or no mess or wastage, which is more than can be said for hardwood flooring.

Comfort: Vinyl planks are comfortable underfoot and can be installed in high traffic areas. The planks also add an extra layer of insulation, making it a good option for additional soundproofing. The floor also doesn’t create noise underfoot as is the case with real wood floors.

Maintenance: Vinyl is reallyeasy to maintain.The flooring also doesn’t easily stain, which makes it great for homes with pets and small children.

Refurbishing: A few touch-ups may be needed over time to restore the floor to its original condition. The advantage with vinyl planks is that they can be replaced easily and cheaply. You don’t have to take out the entire flooring to refurbish it, all you need to do is work on the problem areas and your floor will be back to its former glory.

The Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring

As with any other types of flooring available on the market, there are a few downsides to vinyl planks. No flooring is 100% perfect, which is why it is important to understand both the benefits and problems with vinyl plank flooring before making a decision:

Durability: Although vinyl is durable and able to withstand chips and warping, the floor is still susceptible to scratches. These can begin to show over time especially in high traffic areas, so a little extra care is needed to maintain the aesthetics for as long as possible.

Fading: Vinyl planks have also been known to fade over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight. This therefore makes it a bad choice for outdoor applications.

Installation: Because the vinyl isn’t nearly as solid as natural wood planks, a sub-floor will need to be installed before the actual vinyl planks.

Aesthetics: although vinyl does mimic the look of real solid wood, it is still vinyl. This is obvious especially to the trained eye, which can be a problem for some home owners.

Cleaning: You need to be careful when cleaning vinyl plank flooring as there are certain cleaners and solvents that may damage the floor. You want to use cleaners that have been manufactured to specifically cater for vinyl flooring.

Final Thought

It is extremely important to look at the benefits and problems with vinyl plank flooring. It is only after carefully considering both sides that you can be able to make an informed decision on whether or not this is the flooring for you.

Despite the downsides, vinyl planks are still an incredibly good option for home flooring applications. The disadvantages can easily be ignored given the many advantages of this type of flooring. The cost factor is the most important advantage, as not everyone is able to afford real solid wood floors, especially given the current global economic situation.

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Here Are Things That You Should Know About Home Construction

Should the average homeowner know anything about home building and construction? Ideally, the answer to this question should be no because it is expected that the contractor be the one to take care of everything. The problem is that there are a lot of things that calls for some awareness on the part of the homeowner, as far as knowledge about home construction is concerned.

One reason why a homeowner should know about home construction is so that they would know if they are really getting a good deal. How could they be aware if the contractor is cheating on the construction materials and methods if they know next to nothing about it?

Another good reason why a homeowner should know about home construction is so that he can be sure that his place would be able to withstand disasters which are becoming more frequent today. There are construction methods and materials that can make a home ready for anything.

Here are some of the basic things that you should know about home construction:

Configuration- You should consider the shape of your house in construction. A regular shape such as a square or even a rectangle can offer more strength when compared with an L-shaped building. So it is better to opt for a construction that’s regular in shape and don’t be too innovative when it comes to this. More details here:

Area- It is important that you check the area and its background for possible reasons why you might have to abandon the location later on. It would be a lot more costly if you have to do that after the house has been erected or the construction has already begun. Here are some things that you need to check:

  • Proximity to rivers and lakes that might cause flooding in the area.
  • The possibility of settlement of the ground due to being reclaimed.
  • Presence of smoke and odor from industrial sources.
  • The land depression of the area which will affect the laying of sewers and drains.

Geological Condition-You should check with the local authorities about the geological condition of the area where you are building houses. The ideal location should have a rocky base where the foundation could have a solid base.

Orientation- You should also consider the orientation of your building. This was an important thing for most of the world’s ancient civilizations, and they have traditions regarding this that have some practical application. Some oriental cultures, for example, opt to build with their homes facing east, which aside from being auspicious, would also bring in a flood of morning sunlight to the interior.

Bricks- If you are using red bricks for construction, they ought to be thoroughly soaked in water before each use. If the wall is going to be a long stretch then it would be a good idea to have an expansion joint after every 30 meters. Brick walls should also have strong reinforcements supporting them.

These are just some of the things that you ought to know when it comes to home construction. Of course, it would help a lot if you have the best contractor that you can get.

Helpful Tips on Hardwood Flooring

Installing hardwood flooring is a huge financial commitment that pays off in a big way in the long run. With that in mind, it is important to be able to take care of your new flooring to have it in top condition for as long as possible. With proper care and maintenance, it is possible to have your hardwood flooring for many years – even a lifetime. Before getting into the helpful tips on hardwood flooring, it is only right to first explore why you would want to consider this kind of flooring in the first place.

Advantages of Hardwood Flooring

There are many advantages attached to hardwood floors which is why this is one of the most popular types of floor on the home renovation market today. Some of the advantages in this case include:

Maintenance: as you will soon discover, hardwood floors are very easy to clean and generally care for. The inherent properties of the wood make it resistant to dirt and stains such that they don’t stick to the floor. Most of what is needed is regular vacuuming and moping with a damp cloth or mop. In addition, unlike carpet, wood doesn’t fade and will retain its original color for a long time to come.

Health: because wood doesn’t trap debris in the way carpet does, the air in the house is usually fresher and cleaner. This is especially important for people with allergies or respiratory illnesses who need constant clean air in and around the home.

Versatility: hardwood is one of the most versatile materials for flooring. No two hardwoods are exactly the same, which means each house gets a unique look as far as the floor goes. In addition to this, wood naturally has different patterns meaning that you will not be stuck with a particular shade or color.

Durability: hardwood is solid and sturdy, making it resistant to dents and scratches, which are part of daily life. This type of flooring is easily able to withstand heavy furniture, as well as items being accidentally dropped on the floor. More explained here.

Value addition: 99.9% or realtors agree that hardwood floors add significant value to ahome. This is both in the monetary sense, as well as the perceived value. Apart from hardwood floors increasing the price tag on the home significantly, they are also attractive to prospective buyers, which makes it easier to sell the house quickly and closer to the asking price should such a situation arise.

Aesthetics: the beauty of hardwood floors is undeniable. It is reminiscent of nature in all its glory. Wood floors can also be sanded and refinished easily to change the color of the floor should you get tired of the current look. The versatility of wood floors also makes it perfect for any kind of interior design conceivable.

How to care for hardwood flooring

As mentioned earlier, installing hardwood floors is a significant investment which therefore requires proper maintenance to protect your investment and enjoy it for as long as possible. With that in mind, below are some helpful tips on hardwood flooring:

Make sure you know your specific type of flooring and finish. You should also be sure to follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and general maintenance. Do some research on how to care for your particular kind of finish. For example, paste wax should never be used on polyurethane finish. Sweeping hardwood floors with a soft broom on a regular basis naturally buffs the surface, therefore protecting it from scratches. Another obvious advantage of this is that it will keep the floor clean. Where possible, leave shoes at the door to avoid dragging extra dirt and grime onto the floor. If not, consider using rugs in high traffic areas, such as hallways and entrances to keep feet clean.

Remove any solid materials from the floor such as sand, grit and dirt among others. These materials are abrasive and can dull and even scratch the floor’s finish. Use a dry towel to wipe spills and other messes from wood floors. Oils soaps should NEVER be used on hardwood floors. These oils will eventually build up and will dull the surface of the floor. In addition to this, it will make it difficult to refinish the floor whenever needed. Use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. Such a vacuum easily removes dirt and dust without scratching or otherwise damaging the floor. Do not drag furniture across the floor when moving it. Instead, lift the furniture when moving it. Where dragging is inevitable, invest in a set of slip-mats. Where these are not available, lids from plastic food containers work just as well. Use only cleaners that have specifically been manufactured for use on hardwood floors. Do not substitute with linoleum, laminate or tile cleaners as these can cause the floor to become extra slippery. Use as little water as possible when cleaning wood floors. Wet spots should also be immediately wiped up after cleaning.

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