You have found the perfect lot on which to build your new home. Now you have an abundance of decisions to make. Where will the house sit on the lot? You will have to decide this based on the total square footage of the house. What kind of features are you hoping to have. These are the things to consider, storage, a laundry room, a home office, a bathroom downstairs, a full bath upstairs, and a family room.

Consider the future? Are you just starting out and planning a family? Do you need a guestroom for visitors? Flexible house plans are probably the best option for you. You don’t want your house to end being too big in the future. If it starts getting small, make sure you allow for expansion if necessary, and make sure it is according to your local zoning laws.

How does the house plan you have chosen fit on the lot? If the lot is deep and narrow you don’t want a shallow and wide house plan. Where will you place the house so that you get the maximum exposure to sunlight in the morning and in the evening? Make sure the windows are where they are supposed to be.

Check the zoning laws where you are building your house. There may be a limit in the height of the house or on what percentage of space your house can take up on the lot. Be open to suggestions.

You can go with a pre-drawn plan or a custom plan that is drawn to your specifications. Another important item is how water drains off of your property. You would want to build the house on the rise of a hill rather than at its base. At the base the run off could do damage to the house.

When thinking about your house in general, does the house style fit in with the neighborhood? You wouldn’t put a large Victorian house in a neighborhood that had ranch style homes and vice versa. Find out if there is an agreement with your city or town regarding the type of houses that is acceptable for that area. The size of the house is important. If it is too large or too small it will stick out like a sore thumb.

Will a lot of changes have to be made? There will be changes at some point to add a garage or change the size or shape of a room is fairly easy but you had better be prepared to pay a lot more for custom plans.

When you are thinking of the rooms determine what percentage of total square footage this room will take up. If the master suite takes up twenty percent of total space is okay if you are also going to use some of that space for a reading area. If not consider a plan with a smaller bedroom. In order to determine the total space of any room you multiply the length times the width and divide that by the total square footage of the home.

You may want a dishwasher or an island in the center of your kitchen but sometimes you have to do a tradeoff. For example, if you want a dishwasher but will have to lose some cabinet space you must decide which is more important cabinet space or the dishwasher. The colors inside the house are most definitely important.

If you want each room to have its own color the best plan for you would be a closed plan which would create separate individual rooms. If you are going to have a solid color throughout an open floor plan might work for you.

If you want the space consider planning a room switch. A room that is now being planned as an office can become a guestroom or a nursery. An extra bedroom could become a work out room or a family room/library. If you are building a garage consider adding an extra bay and making that a workbench or a potting bench.

Once you figure all of this out and you have the plans all set you can if you haven’t already choose a lot. With an organized search you could find a plan that comes very close to your ideal home. Once you get the plan you can make any necessary last minute changes.

Building and constructing a home is probably the most complicated decision you will ever make. The plan for your new home can be either custom or pre-drawn. Custom plans are more expensive but the expense of pre-drawn plans could be as well if you request any modifications to them. Check with your city or town for their zoning laws. You will hopefully be in your new home for long time so make it what you want it. Enjoy your new home.

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Concrete PondGood concrete pond construction means not taking shortcuts. Improper methods can lead to more money spent on maintenance, repairs, or replacement than on the cost of the initial construction. Since good concrete pond construction equates to having one that lasts a lifetime or longer, follow these rules of thumb to get it right – the first time!

Keep in mind that for suitable concrete pond construction, you need to pour the concrete to a thickness of four to six inches. After deciding on the dimensions and outlining the area, all soil (and rocks!) should then be dug out. Forms then need to be built and placed where concrete is to be poured, along with the proper placement of cut-to-fit reinforcement bars (rebar).

For digging out the area for concrete pond construction, you will need shovels, picks, a crowbar, and, of course, a wheelbarrow. Some other necessary items include a carpenter’s level, string, stakes, sheets of plastic, and a long two-by-four.

Pouring the cement in concrete pond construction should be done in one day, unless the pond is very large, and then it must be poured in sections. Pour cement in the bottom of the pool first, then the sides. If shelves have been dug out, pour cement there, next. Finally, pour cement for the top of the pond and for any coping that may be involved.

After you have completed these first steps of your concrete pond construction project, you need to let the cement cure for several days under plastic. Treating with muriatic acid at this stage helps prevent high pH levels in water later, which benefits fish and plants. After the acid treatment, apply several coats of paint made for pools or masonry sealant, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

Concrete pond construction can be a true learning experience. It’s best to start with a smaller pond, then if you meet with success, you can then move on to a larger project. But once you get the hang of concrete pond construction, there’s no limit to where you can go from there. So learn, build, and then build some more!

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Wallpapers & wallcover

If you and your family are deciding to buy new wallpaper for your home’s interior decoration, there are some things that need your consideration before you’re making the purchase. Here are some of them;

You need to know whether the color or pattern that you choose has many stocks

If the Wallcover that you choose has limited amount in the store’s inventory or the product is discontinued, you will have big problem to find the same color or pattern when you need some more.

This is usually happened for old wallcover product that did not sell well enough, so the manufacturer has decided to stop the production of that pattern. And also usually there is a risk that the store does not have returnable policy for the particular wallcover.

So, you need to know if the store has enough supply for the wallcover that you choose for your house decorating need.

Find out about the store’s return policy

Usually the return policy is different among stores, so each store will set their own policy which the customer is bound by it. So, the return policy will depend on the store discretion.

Therefore, you need to know if the wallcover that you choose is returnable or not. And you also need to know about the terms and circumstances in the process of returning the item that you have purchased.

The delivery or shipping method and arrival

Find out what kind delivery method and service that is used by the store and how long that you will be expecting for the wallcover that you bought arrives at your home. Some delivery services do not operate during weekend. So, if you bought the wallcover at Friday or even Saturday, you might expect that the wallpaper that you have bought will arrive longer at your house.

You also need to know if the store will charge you an extra for the delivery or shipping service. Some stores provide free delivery service depending on the quantity of purchase or the store’s promotion or special deal and offer.

Buying wallcover online

There are some advantages if you decide to make online purchase for the wallcover that you need.

Convenient – you do not have to go to the store by yourself and wasting your time and energy to find the wallcover that you want, you can even make the purchase from your work. You can decide it with your family to get the right wallcover that suit to their taste without going to the actual store.

Price comparison – you can easily make price comparison between an online store with the other, so you can get the best deal and have the wallcover that suit to your budget in a faster way.

Product availability – With online you can find out if the wallcover’s pattern or color is available in other place. Therefore, you can be sure that you will have enough for your need.

Getting approval from family member faster – there are some occasion where people return the wallpaper that they have bought just because one or some of their family member did not like with the wallcover pattern or color.

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On previous post we have discussing about worktops or countertops material from laminate, granite and stainless steel. Now we will continue the discussion with other worktops or countertops material.

Wood and Butcher Block Worktops

Wood will always give a great look and add character to your kitchen. On the countertop, however, it is highly susceptible to scratching and cutting. Hot pans will burn it or leave marks, and it can be unhygienic if meat or poultry is prepared on it. However, it is one of the only surfaces that will not damage your knives. Oak, maple, cherry, red beech, walnut, teak, and mahogany are all hardwoods favored for countertop applications.

Advantages

Ideal for cutting on

Only surface that will not damage your knives.

Very attractive

Disadvantages

Deep cuts will show but can be sanded out.

Hot pans will burn it or leave marks.

High maintenance, use mineral oil to renew surface.

Quartz Surfaces: Zodiaq, Cambria and Silestone Worktops

Quartz delivers a great natural look to any kitchen. It is highly durable being resistant to scratches, stains and heat. However this flexibility comes at a price and you can sometimes encounter prices up to 10% higher than that of granite.

Quartz surfaces are hygienic because the material is non-porous and so bacteria and mould have nowhere to hide. Three brands to note of are Zodiaq, Cambria and Silestone. Zodiaq comes in 26 colors and has a 10-year warranty. Cambria is made in the USA and is available in 34 colors which are all the same price. Silestone is made by the Spanish company Consentino and is available in 46 colors.

Advantages

Scratch resistant

Stain resistant

Heat Resistant

Looks great

Does not need to be resealed every few years (unlike granite)

Disadvantages

Expensive (about 10% more than granite)

Set on backsplashes only.

Corian, Avonite and other solid surfaces worktops

A countertop that consists of a solid plastic all the way through is said to be a solid surface countertop (as opposed to those built up in layers i.e. laminate). They are similar to quartz in that they’re also hardwearing. They are resistant to scratches, scorching and heat. If you do manage to do damage to the countertop you can easily repair it.

You can expect to spend about three times more than you would for laminate, and twice as much for wood. A wide range of colors and styles are available to choose from and most suppliers will give you a good guarantee.

Advantages

Large variety of colors and edge styles

You can create your own design on the deck.

Backsplashes can be any height and coved to deck for a very clean look.

Seams are virtually invisible.

The material is renewable and repairable.

Most all brands offer a full, transferable, 10-year warranty.

Disadvantages

Cost is high when all available options are used.

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