Buying a Wood Stove For Home Improvement

Wood stoves are an indoor appliance that are designed to burn wood. Generally they can’t be placed near or against a wall, but newer models can sit as close to 8 inches to a wall, freeing up available room space. Wood stoves have to be certified by the EPA, and as such models can now have relatively high heating efficiency, and cleaner burning.

There are many styles of wood stoves, from traditional to contemporary, which are all made from a variety of materials, although generally the actual burning space is made from cast iron. Being made from cast iron has the benefit of improving the efficiency as well, as the whole stove stays hot well after the fire has gone out. A point worth considering when planning to install a wood stove is that larger cast iron stoves will retain a lot more heat after the inside fire has gone out. For instance, after the fire has burned out, a 500-pound stove will radiate heat for several hours longer than a similar stove that only weighs 250 pounds.

Although there are many stoves for sale as a complete package, there are a growing number of people that construct their own stoves, so as to fit certain requirements, such as space or style. There are many guides for how to build a wood stove online, and these provide a great help when thinking about creating your own stove.

There are also many accessories including wood stove wall protection tools, that help maintain the quality of your stove, and the surrounding area of your stove. There are wall protection tools, which as the name suggests, protects any nearby walls from the intense heat that these stoves create. Another accessory that is needed, especially for homes that have never had a stove installed before, is a chimney. You can buy prefabricated metal chimneys which are generally the easiest to fit to houses that don’t have an already installed chimney. For houses that do have chimneys though, they often have to be relined with a stainless steel pipe, in order for the chimney to work with the recent higher efficiency stoves.

But overall, a correctly designed and fitted wood stove can be the centerpiece of the room that it is in, not only providing heating when necessary, but improving the aesthetic quality of the house that it is in.

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Environmentally Friendly & Affordable Home Improvements

It is a fact that the success of recycling is of utmost importance to our society and to make it really work, everyone needs to participate and do their bit. With kerbside recycling schemes being rolled-out across the UK, we are all becoming more aware of the need to partake in the three ‘R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

When buying new living room furniture, whether it is cheap or expensive, the wood needs to come from somewhere and more likely than not it has to be shipped. Which not only increases our carbon footprint through transportation and declining trees to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen but also contributes to environmental problems caused by the effects of deforestation.

So then what do we do with the old furniture? We throw it out of course!

Mountains of waste are being dumped in landfills every year. Though we are all pretty well educated in the processes of recycling small items like aluminum, glass, and paper, how many of us realize just how easy it is to recycle larger items – like a sofa or armchair.

Of course not everyone is wholly concerned with environmental issues, cost can also be a contributing factor.

Many of us would like to change our homes the same way we change our seasonal wardrobes, but few of us can actually afford to. A recent survey (Carried out by Koan Ltd) to cast light on people’s interior tastes revealed that 60% of people could only afford to redecorate their homes every 2-5 years, even though the same percentage said that their tastes actually changed from year to year.

Luckily now, not only is there a more affordable, stylish and easy solution to instantly change the look of your home, but there is an environmentally friendly one too, enabling you to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. Rather than spending a fortune on this season’s fleetingly fashionable designs, or putting up with a shameful suite, you can give your piece of furniture a stunning new look using a unique service: Made-to-Measure Furniture Covers.

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Save Up to 90 Percent on Manufactured Stone For Home Improvement Projects

Here you will learn to cast natural-looking stone for pennies each! With these instructions, readily available molds, concrete, and items found in most garages, you can make professional-looking stone or veneer for about $0.55 a square foot, depending on thickness. Why pay $6.00 or more at retail? And you can make the stone in any colors you like, right in your garage, basement, shed, or backyard. No special skills are required. Just follow these simple step-by-step instructions.

ITEMS NEEDED: molds – mixing tub or wheel barrow – bags of premix concrete – colorant – water – shovel – plastic wrap or sheet – plastic gloves and eye protection – mold release – desire.

MAKING CONCRETE STONE: You can make concrete castings almost anywhere, and depending on temperatures, at almost any time. The main thing is to stay above freezing temperatures during the mixing and curing process. Once concrete is cured, temperature is not a factor. The cast stone can be stored outside with no problems. After mixing, and during the curing process, it is best to produce the stone in as moderate a temperature as possible, even though concrete sets up and cures at almost any temperature.

CONCRETE MOLD PREPARATION: First, apply a mold release to the molds. Use a commercial mold release or a light vegetable oil. For ease, spray the release from a Dollar Store plant-misting sprayer directly into the mold. Spread the oil and wipe any excess out with a fine sponge or cotton cloth. A very light coating is all that is required. To get a natural random shading effect, sprinkle powdered colorant into the oiled mold. Shake it from side to side. Use a brush to spread the colorant around the inside of the mold. The most natural looking results are obtained with a random spreading and dusting of a couple of colors.

MIXING PREMIX BAGS OF CONCRETE: If you have a very large project, or want to use a basic concrete mix using Portland cement, or if you want to make a lightweight concrete, basic concrete mixes are available on Google, and concise step-by-step instructions normally come with molds.

The bag of concrete has mixing instructions to follow. You want a stiff mix, but not one that is too dry. It should not flow like pancake batter. Too thin a mix will give you a weak stone. To color your stone, blend powdered colorant into the dry concrete first. If using a liquid colorant, add it to your batch water first, then proceed as normal. When your concrete is mixed and colored, fill the molds halfway. Vibrate your molds by bouncing to compact the mix and disburse trapped air. Then fill molds the rest of the way. Excess liquid will come to the surface during this process. Do not remove this water as it helps with hydration. Now put your filled mold on a level surface away from direct sunlight. Cover with plastic. Keep the concrete wet for as long as possible. The hydration process is what helps cure the stone. Leave the filled molds alone for about 24 hours. The concrete will get stronger the longer it’s curing in the mold.

DEMOLDING: Normally, you can demold your stone after 24 hours. Place your mold flat with the face of the mold up. Gently lift the mold off from the corners. It will normally come off your stone easily. If it sticks, gently press the center and each mold corner lightly to help loosen it. There, you have it! If you are going to pour more stone right away, apply mold release to molds and follow the procedure as before. Use mold release to help dislodge any color or concrete that may have stuck to your molds.

CURING YOUR STONE: You should now put your stones in a protected area and cover them with plastic again to keep the moisture in. Let them cure for a week or two before applying a sealer. If your stone is for an exterior application, you can apply a penetrating sealer to protect it and help prevent staining. If it’s an interior wall application you don’t even have to seal it. A topical sealer can be used for floors if desired. Your stone can be installed about a week after demolding if you need to.

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Home Improvement 101 – Choosing the Perfect Bathtub For Your Bathroom

Purchasing a new bathtub is probably one of the best ways to make your bathroom bloom with elegance and sophistication. The comfort and relaxation you would experience when soaking yourself in your tub after a long and stressful day from work would also become an added bonus.

If you want to get a new tub for your bathroom, you should know how to choose from different varieties of tubs. This way, you can purchase something that you would love to see inside your bath for a long time. Here are some important things you should remember when choosing a bathtub.

Materials used for tubs

Looking for a particular tub that is made from a material that you like most is an important matter. Different kinds of materials are now being used for tubs, so you should pick a particular product that best suits your planned theme for your bathroom.

One of the most popular materials used for tubs is cast iron. This material is hard-wearing and very durable, so buying something made from this material would become a great investment. Tubs made from iron cast are also easy to maintain because their surface are easy to wipe clean. With this type of bathtub, you might never need to scour your tub ever again.

However, bathtubs made from iron cast could be very heavy and hard to install. If you want a tub that closely looks like these tubs without the added weight, you can always invest on enamel-on-steel bathtubs. They are also easy to clean and hard-wearing but they weigh less than iron cast tubs weigh. However, tubs made from this material are prone to rusting, so you should also think twice before buying them.

You can also invest on baths made from other kinds of materials such as wood, fiberglass, and cultured marble. The trick here is to look for a tub that best suits your preferences and needs.

Different types of bathtubs

You should also be aware of different types of bathtubs available on the market. These include soaking, walk-in whirlpool, and general purpose tubs.

A walk-in tub is perfect for you if there are old people or disabled persons in your house. Its main feature is how it allows a user to get inside it without needing to climb its edge. When using it, all you have to do is to walk inside it, lock its door with built-in sealants, and fill it with water.

General purpose bathtubs have a classic, rectangle look. Aside from bathing in it, it can also be used for bathing children and washing pet animals. Even though it is the simplest and oldest model among all other available tubs, it can still do the trick of keeping you relaxed after a long day from work. Meanwhile, Soaking tubs are generally deeper and can be filled with more water. This is perfect for those who want to immerse their bodies into cold or hot waters.

If you want maximum pleasure and satisfaction while immersing yourself in your brand new bathtub, you should consider buying a whirlpool type. It has the ability to release air bubbles and pressure into the water, hence creating a sensation of being massaged while staying inside it.

These are only some of the important things you should know before choosing the perfect bathtub. Always remember to invest on something that is within your financial means and your unique set of preferences.

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Make Sure Your Home is Cast in a Good Light – Consult With an Electrical Contractor

Don’t forget lighting when it comes to your next remodel or home improvement project. Your local electrical contractors can help ensure the job is done right!

When considering home improvements, the lighting in your house can often be overlooked. It’s important to remember, though, that lighting is essential to really making a house beautiful and functional. Brightening your home with recessed or adjustable lights, chandeliers, track lighting or any number of other options can really change the feel of your home for the better.

There are many reasons why a homeowner might seek assistance from an electrical contractor. They could be dealing with faulty wiring, code violations, electrical panel upgrades, appliance installation or any number of other issues that are safely and quickly fixed by electrical contractors. Focusing on improving the lighting in a home, regardless of the reason, is a good investment if done properly. Appropriate lighting and fixtures can highlight architectural details, draw attention to art, allow for adjustable amounts of light, or just make it easier to do daily activities like reading comfortably. If you are seeking improvements like these for your home, electricians in your local area are ready to help with their considerable skill and expertise.

When having lighting repaired or installed using an electric contractor instead of trying to do it yourself is safer and ensures your home meets the necessary building codes; electrical wiring is not something to mess around with! Electric contractors have ample training and experience installing and repairing everything from ceiling fans to entire outdoor or indoor lighting systems. If you are buying, selling or living in a home, chances are there are some things you would like to change about it… While you work on that list, do not forget about the value of having a residential electrical contractor [] help you with all your lighting needs. Keep in mind that most electrical contractors offer free estimates or flat rates and some even offer same-day service. Get started on brightening your home and have your house look its absolute best by calling an electrician in your area now!

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