Recent Home Decor Articles

What Do Your Windows Say About You?

They say that the eyes are windows to the soul. When we’re talking about our houses, the windows are, quite literally, the windows to the soul. Your windows say more about you than you might think. They are the first thing people see. And, they reveal what waits within. Few of us take the time to consider what the perfect windows for our home would be. But, it’s well worth a little thought. At the end of the day, having windows that don’t suit will make it hard to feel comfortable. That’s why we’re going to look at a few different personality types, and which windows would suit each.

WindowsImage from Pexels

Let’s start with introverts, shall we? These are people who want a quiet life. They hide away from socialization and extreme displays of any kind. These are the types of people who would prefer to hide away than be the center of attention in any situation. Even those of us who are loud and proud in many aspects of our lives look for a little introversion in the home. In many ways, a private space is a safe one. There’s no denying that windows in their very nature go against introversion. Whether you like it or not, your windows show the outside world what goes on. But, there are ways to make your windows suit your quiet personality. It may be that you opt for glass replacement on the front windows of your house. That way, you could get clouded glass that won’t allow the world to see in. Or, you could get thick curtains to hide behind. You’ll be able to close them the moment you get home and rest safe in the knowledge that no one can see what you’re doing.

Windows-FlowersImage from Pixabay

On the other hand, we have extroverts. These are people who flourish in social situations and aren’t afraid to shout loud about what they like. While we mentioned above that some extroverts like an introverted home, it isn’t always the case. The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to inject your outgoing personality onto your windows. Flower boxes are a fantastic way of jazzing things up and drawing the eye, as are bright window panes. You could also opt for some bright and crazy curtains which are sure to cause a stir!

Where a minimalist is concerned, less is more. This is the ultimate in sophisticated home design. Everything is sparse, windows included. To fit with your style, you’ll want to keep your window panes as neutral as possible. White is your best bet and the most widely used minimalist color. You may not want any curtains at all. The bare window look is sure to suit the rest of your decor. But, bear in mind that naked windows in a minimalist home can feel particularly revealing. Getting blinds installed instead could be a happy medium. These are a no frills way to hold on to some degree of comfort!

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There are so Many Options Today for Your New Garage Doors

In terms of your home’s curb appeal, your garage door has never contributed to it more.This is especially true in the age of custom homes. There are garage doors to match any home and just about any style and color can be created to give your home its ideal look and feel. With so many benefits, it is easy to see why upgrading a garage door is such a popular home improvement project.

There was a time when all garage doors were made of natural wood. You can still get wood doors, but in recent years the garage door industry has moved beyond wood and embraced many new materials that bring their own sets of payoffs and downsides.Here are the most popular:

Steel – Steel doors offer perhaps the highest levels of durability, safety and energy efficiency of any garage doors. Steel doors feature outer layers of heavy-gauge steel that’s often embossed to mimic wood grain or stucco. Often they are overlaid with moldings and cross-buck designs, giving them the look of carriage doors. Color choices are wide for steel doors, and once installed, they are virtually maintenance free.

Real Wood – Wood garage doors have been around since the invention of garages because of their unique style and look. All-wood garage doors made from moisture-resistant mahogany, cherry, cedar, redwood and cypress give you bragging rights for the best-looking garage in the neighborhood. When you add a polyurethane backing, wood doors also have good insulating qualities. You can customize the patterns of wood and color to suit the rest of the exterior finishes, such as logs, stone, and cedar shingles.They can give your home a natural look. Not as strong as steel nor as tough as fiberglass, wood still provides real curb appeal like nothing else. Be mindful of the quality of the wood doors you buy because quality varies and wood will need periodic refinishing.

Fiberglass – The fastest growing type of garage door purchase is fiberglass because of its resistance to moisture and pests, and its ability to mimic the colors and grain patterns of real wood without the cost or the maintenance. Thick outer skins of fiberglass surround an inner foam core and a steel framework that provides strength and stability. If you live in a coastal area, the non-corrosive nature of a fiberglass garage door can lead to longer life. A fiberglass door will not shrink or expand with changes in temperature and moisture. And if you plan to use your garage as a study, workout room, hobby shop or for any other social purpose, fiberglass is translucent and typically allows more light into the garage space. However, fiberglass doors can yellow over time.

Aluminum and Glass – Aluminum and glass doors are the favorite of commercial businesses because of their light weight and low cost. Businesses typically use bigger doors so weight is a major consideration for them. Their construction is essentially tempered, all-glass or acrylic panels set in anodized aluminum frames. They have a large variety frame finishes and glass types and are priced low compare to many other types of doors.

Wood Composite – Wood composite garage doors are made completely of wood, yet they will not split crack rot or many of the other issues you can have with real wood. They use a sandwich-type construction featuring a strong, insulating core of polystyrene wrapped in composite wood. Manufacturers can claim they are green because they often use recycled wood fibers for the panels. Composite doors come factory finished, or can be custom stained or painted to match the colors of your home.

Vinyl – Vinyl doors are very lightweight and carry no worry of destruction from insects or rotting. This is because vinyl is a non-porous inorganic material that is resistant to sea or salt spray and humidity. At the same time, vinyl is one the most affordable garage door materials. Vinyl doors layer sturdy, weatherproof vinyl around a foam insulation center. They also can be painted any color. Vinyl is resistant to denting and is often used as a lower cost option to steel doors.

No matter which door choice you make, changing you garage door to one of the new ones is a fantastic choice.


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Attacking the Attic: A Guide to Converting Your Loft

Attacking-the-AtticImage Source

Converting your loft is the cheapest way of extending your property. When carried out correctly, a converted loft can make for a cosy extra bedroom or the perfect study/office for you to get away from the other distractions of the house.

There’s a lot to consider when transforming one’s attic. Whether you’re taking a DIY approach or hiring professionals to do it for you, it pays to make thorough plans before making any lofty decisions. Here is a step-by-step guide that may help you when attacking your attic.

Check The Usability
Not all lofts are suitable for conversion. You should first make sure that the head height is greater than 2.2 m. You can measure this from the bottom of the ridge timber to the bottom of the ceiling joist. If too small, you may have to consider raising the roof.

You should also consider the pitch of the roof and whether it suits the purpose of your conversion. Measure the dimensions of your bed and wardrobe to get a good idea as to whether you could suitably place such furniture in your loft.

The final thing to consider is the roof structure. Pre-1960s houses can often be surprisingly much stronger – made of a frame-type roof. Post-1960s houses may often be less suitable, consisting of factory-made roof trusses. If this type of roof is the case, you may need to further strengthen it with extra steel beams first.

Seek Planning Permission
You don’t need planning permission for every loft conversion, but it’s best to be safe and check with your local planning department first. If you are raising the roof, you will need permission, as tis extension could create extra shade that blocks out someone’s garden. Similarly, if you’re altering the frame of the roof, your planning department may wish to inspect it to check that it meets safety regulations.

Come Up With A Budget
When converting your loft, you should look at budgeting for a minimum of £15,000. This covers your basic loft conversion including insulation, stairs, reinforcing the floor and connecting up utilities. Loft extensions can cost anything from £20,000 to £55,000. Costs may differ depending on whether you are hiring a company or doing it yourself.

Whether you save up the money yourself or borrow from a loans website, you should make sure that your budget is enough to cover the basic costs. A building surveyor or architect may be able to draw up a detailed plan including precise costs.

Note that a loft conversion can increase the worth of your property by 20%. In some cases mortgage companies may be willing to provide a loan for home improvements, which will be added to your mortgage.

Warn Your Insurance Company
If you have home insurance you should make sure you warn you provider before making a loft conversion. Some home insurance schemes will be invalidated if you make a change to your property without telling your insurance company. In some cases, your premiums may be raised although some conversions may have little effect on risks.

Insulating your loft will stop it from losing heat in the winter. This is a requirement when converting your loft so that property complies with energy laws. There are two types of insulation – ‘cold roof’ and ‘warm roof’ insulation. ‘Cold Roof’ insulation is carried out with slab foam or rockwool insulation and can be taken on by a DIYer, but it can be a time consuming job. Professional companies have the ability to spray on insulation quickly and efficiently. They are much more suitable for ‘warm roof’ insulation which can be more complex.

You should check for any cracks or holes that may be losing you heat. A surveyor will be able to pick up on tiny details that may need addressing – sometimes a stray nail or ‘shiner’ can affect insulation or pose a risk to leaks. In some cases tiles may also need to be replaced.

If you are turning your loft into an upstairs bedroom, you may wish to fit an en suite bathroom or a toilet. Generally a plumbing company will be able to add on to an existing system, but there may be times when it needs upgrading. This may add on extra costs.

If water in other parts of the house already has a poor flow rate, you may also need to insert a pump. This will ensure that water is able to reach all parts of the house.

Adding In Stairs
Creating a staircase can be one of the more complex jobs when converting a loft, but may be necessary if you don’t want to have to climb up and down a ladder.

There are many requirements that must be met when building a staircase. The maximum step rise should be 220mm and each staircase should have no more than 16 steps (although most properties generally require no more than 13). Step depth should also be 220mm and the pitch should not be too sharply angled. Balustrading meanwhile must be a minimum of 900mm above the pitch line and any spindles should have a separation distance that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through. As for the roof above the stairs, this should be a minimum height of 2m, although in practice this can depend a lot on the layout.

When fitting stairs into small spaces, spiral staircases may be more appropriate, although generally this is more expensive. In some cases, altering the size of a room below may be needed to fit in a staircase.

New Ceiling Joists
As explained earlier, some post-1960s houses may need extra ceiling support in order to comply with regulations. Rolled steel joists may be needed to give the roof more structural integrity. In most cases, a structural engineer will have to examine the roof to tell which changes will need to be made. Adding in windows and doors may require extra joists in order to distribute the load.

The most straightforward method of window is a rooflight. These follow the pitchline of the roof and let in the most sunlight (they’re also great at night for staring up at the stars). Adding a rooflight may involve removing battens and tiles, as well as rafters. A frame will then be added into the space for the pane to go into.

Dormer windows are more complex but may be more appropriate where the pitch angle is too sharp. They can help extend a loft and give it more space (although this will be something that will have to meet planning permission). Dormers aren’t something that can be taken on by your average DIYer and often require opening up the roof and cutting specific timbers to size on site. Some loft installation companies will produce a dormer off-site and then lift it into place. This is a quicker installation process and allows for easy weatherproofing.

Fire Safety
Habitable loft conversions need to have an easy escape in the event of a fire. If you are having a ladder leading up to the loft, there will have to be an outside fire escape staircase somewhere as an alternative quick escape, either leading off a dormer or another part of the roof that isn’t pitched. You may also want to fit a smoke alarm and a fire resistant door. Fire safety regulations may vary depending on how high up your loft conversion is (a loft extension on a bungalow may not require as stringent laws as a two storey building).

For Quality Loft Conversions Speak to The Specialists – RoofTopRooms!

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