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Simple Tips on Small Apartment Solutions

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When it comes to our big cities, most of us live in small apartments. The biggest reason for this is, of course, rising rentals. But many people now also prefer small apartments. As our families shrink from joint set-up to single child units, a smaller home is simply easier to manage. The trend now is to invest in just what you need. But does a small home seem too impractical? Do you worry that you will never be able to live comfortably in a small home?

If you are, then worry not. With innovative solutions, small spaces can be made more comfortable. Instead of investing in hundred things, just include things that can make your space look larger, like glass door accessories manufacturers. On the whole, the idea here is to be smart about your space. Here are our tips to bring space into your small apartment:

Remove the clutter: Nothing shrinks a space faster than clutter! A cluttered space always looks automatic. The biggest culprits here are horizontal places like cabinet tops or table tops. So, the first thing you need to do is clean up your space. A pile of newspaper, toys or books lying around the place makes the room look untidy and smaller. Instead, adhere strictly to the ‘each thing in its place’ philosophy.

Play with light: Space becomes much smaller in the absence of light and a small space can seem larger if it is properly lit up. Even better, find ways to let in natural light into the room. You can do this with wide windows and doors. In fact, we recommend that you remove one wall and replace it with glass. Contact glass door accessories manufacturers for installing wide French windows wherever possible. The removal of four walls automatically opens up a room. With the windows or doors opening up to the outside, you get plenty of light which makes the room seem larger.

Innovative storage solution: The biggest problem in most small homes is the storage. In the course of our life we are bound to pick up a lot of paraphernalia. While some of it can be thrown out, we will still be stuck with essentials that grow with our age, such as mementoes, important documents and the many little and big things you tend to collect once you have children. Since you cannot put everything out there and you do not have wardrobes for everything, the best way is to look for innovative storage solutions.

Look for box beds or tables with drawer space. Homes also come with number of such storage spaces today, like a shelving unit behind the door, cabinets under the bathroom sink or a window seat that opens up for storage beneath. Furniture companies are also focusing on making furniture with in-built storage space.

Get glass partitions: Wherever possible, get glass partitions instead of wooden or brick walls. It will again help you to open up the space. This is because glass allows light to pass through so you can see the entire room. If privacy is a concern, you can look for frosted glass from glass door accessories manufacturer.

Get dual purpose furniture: This can remove both the clutter and give you innovative storage solutions mentioned earlier. With space limited, you must think of smart solutions like furniture that can double up for another purpose, so that one piece can perform two functions. For instance, get a sofa-cum-bed if it’s just a one room space or of if you don’t have a spare room for the guests. You can also look at tables that can extend when required or stools that can be used as both side tables and sitting stools.

Think vertical: A room that is more ‘vertical’ then horizontal always looks more spacious. You can look for homes with high ceilings. Other solutions include putting shelving or storage units towards the ceiling. By keeping them at the top, we make the room less cluttered, while giving the room an illusion of light.

Innovative solutions like those provided by glass door accessories manufacturers can be very handy in making a small apartment look larger. Follow our tips and see a modern and stylish small space come alive.

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Home Improvement

Why Outdoor Shutters Are Perfect for House Exterior

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Homeowners are always in search of the best home improvement techniques. It is understandable considering your home is the most substantial and most significant single investment you can make in life. One of the most critical areas to consider when improving your home is the exterior appearance. You need to consider outdoor shutters to offer enhanced protection to the windows while also adding a touch of style to the property. Of course, window shutters have been around for centuries but they remain trendy even today for many good reasons. If you have plans to improve your home’s aesthetics, window shutters will help achieve this and offer even more.

In this article, you will learn more about exterior shutters and the benefits they add to your home. Keep reading.

Exterior Shutters in Brief

Exterior shutters date back to the Greek civilization where they served to provide light control, ventilation and offer protection in that tropical environment. They eventually found their way in the Mediterranean and finally found their way to the Americas. While the use of exterior shutters is common in tropical areas, you can still use them anywhere else to improve the aesthetics of your house while also enhancing protection against adverse weather.

In most cases, they open and close over window openings though homeowners also use them to protect their patios. Whatever the idea you have in mind, you will find exterior shutters are versatile and you can adapt them to suit your unique needs.

Why You Need Exterior Shutters For Your House

There are various reasons to invest in exterior shutters as your next home improvement project. Take a look:

  1. Improved Privacy

In tropical areas, most properties feature wide windows to allow free flow of air, especially during the hot days. Having your window open will allow a cool breeze and maintain favorable temperatures indoors. However, you will have a big challenge keeping prying eyes out of the house. In some cases, your bedroom windows will have to stay out and this can be inconveniencing when your rooms face busy roads.

This is where shutters come in handy. They allow free flow of air while at the same time maintaining privacy. The shutters can open slightly to let in light and air without compromising privacy and this makes them better than window screens.

  1. Protection Against Adverse Weather

Tropical areas are prone to storms and erratic weather patterns and you need to protect your property. Window shutters serve an important role in protecting the occupants of the house during sudden storms. They also protect windows from hail and flying objects during such weather. The best shutters systems are easy to operate and you can quickly open and close them when you notice a storm approaching. They keep everyone inside the house safe and protect the windows from damage.

  1. Enhancing Aesthetic Appeal

Depending on the type of shutter design you choose, it is possible to give your house a stylish look. Even the most glamorous house requires some touches over time and window shutters can do the trick. Windows are focal points of beauty in the exterior appearance. By fixing beautiful shutters which blend well with the rest of the exterior decor, you will a dash of class to the property. If you plan to carry out some improvements on your home’s exterior, you need to consider installing exterior shutters because they have a huge impact and are affordable.

  1. Versatile styles

One of the best reasons to go for house shutters in your next home improvement project is because they are versatile and can work on any property. You have different materials to choose from including aluminum, wood, vinyl, engineered boards, faux wood, and Synthetic foam among other materials. Each of these materials gives a unique character to your home’s exterior. You can also choose among different shutter styles including:

  • Board and Batten (BNB): Give your house an old world and rustic character and work well on the Mediterranean, Cape Cod/Ranch and French Country homes.

  • Bahama shutters / Bermuda shutters: beautiful shutters typically used in tropical regions and are idea for Cape Cod, Ranch, and Cottage homes.

  • Louvered shutters: They feature angled slats and boast a refined look which is perfect for Victorian, Italianate, Federal and Colonial, Georgian, Cape Cod, Greek revival and Ranch houses.

  • Raised panel shutters: In appearance, they look similar to doors or kitchen cabinets and are common in Victorian, Federal and Colonial, Georgian, Cape Cod, French country, Greek revival and Ranch houses.

Each of these shutter styles adds a dash of beauty to the property. Whatever type of house you own, it is now possible to give it a new lease of life through these shutters.

  1. Enhancing Property Value

Most home buyers today look for homes with improvements. It is a sign that the homeowner cared for the property and they expect you have maintained even other areas of the house properly. Exterior shutters protect windows and the occupants and the home valuers will take into consideration this fact when assessing the true value of your home.

  1. Customization Opportunities

It is easy to customize window shutters to get the home decor you have in mind. Most of the materials used in shutter manufacture are versatile and easy to customize. You can work with a home contractor to tailor make shutters that suit your desired decor color and look. You can also customize the sizes and style to perfectly suit the windows. It is possible to get a more complete and appealing look for your home’s exterior decor using tailored shutters.

There is no gainsaying the importance of outdoor shutters for your home. It is the most natural home improvement technique to upgrade the appearance of your home, add a dash of style to the exterior, protect the occupants of the property and the property itself and of course improve privacy. When buying these shutters, go for a durable material which is easy to customize and choose a style that blends seamlessly with the rest of the property. Take all the measurements properly and if possible, call in a professional contractor to help you get the job done.

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Home Improvement

7 Things to Know Before Building an Oak Frame Home

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Oak frame has been a favored home material in the UK for centuries. The best factor to consider with oak frame houses is the speed and ease of construction. It will only take you a matter of days to erect compared to when you are building with bricks and blocks. In this article, I will tell you the things you need to consider before you develop an oak frame house.

Why Choose an Oak Frame House?

Aside from the speed and ease of construction, there are other factors why you should consider building an oak frame house. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Eco-Friendly. Timber absorbs Carbon Dioxide emissions, something which is very helpful for the planet. CO2 emissions are quite high due to the increased industrial activities. The use of timber can help in decreasing the level of global warming. As long as we keep on replanting, the supply of wood can be infinite.
  • Natural Heat Insulator. Timber offers excellent insulation due to being sealed to prevent the moist air coming into contact with the interior. They are also quicker to heat as they do not require pre-heating. You can check Stockport fireplace for their variety that will help you with the heat insulation.
  • Not weather dependent. You can start the construction any time of the year.

Is Oak an Affordable Option

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Oak may be one of the more expensive types of wood, but in the long run, it can last for a long time as long as you know how to maintain the wood. You can always look for a place where you can get the oak to meet that budget.

Seven Things to Consider

With oak frame being a modern method of construction, you need first to ponder and consider your options. Here are the things that you need to know before you build your oak frame:

  • Ways of exposing the structure. An oak frame home, wrapped in encapsulation system, can be clad in a variety of materials. Some may still want the exposed oak frame on both the exterior and the interior. There is a way to do both, and you can check it with oak frame companies for the ingenious solutions.
  • Look for a designer with experience. Designing and detailing an oak frame house needs to have a designer who is well versed in the construction system. Look for someone who understands spans and bays, as well as the limitation of oak.
  • Oak does not need finishing. One of the appeals of oak is that it does not need finishing. Eventually, it will still weather to a silvery gray and oxidization makes the internal wood more honeyed which adds a much more beautiful view.
  • Shrinking is part of the process. Remember that wood does shrink, however, it will be best to let it undergo a natural seasoning process so to not weaken the structure. Careful detailing and design, plus the attention to the drying out process can minimize remedial work.
  • Steel can open up the design opportunities. Steelwork is often used to strengthen the carpentry. It can also help you in designing the frame or the structural oak beams much better.
  • You can extend in oak frame. This can be a fantastic option if you are extending your home; perhaps there is no other construction method which offers a more versatile aesthetic.
  • Oak frames need to be cleaned once erected. You will need to clean all the oak frames once the construction phase has concluded. You can use the method of sandblasting or the use of oxalic acid.

Maintaining an Oak Frame House

Oak frame houses are often admired for their beauty and for giving us the “homey” feel. However, you should be very cautious and aware if there are any problems present in your oak frame house. If you have any plans of repairs or alterations, always seek the advice of the surveyor or structural engineer who has a good understanding of buildings.

Timber!

Oak has always been a reliable source of building material. For me, the oak frame house can make you feel more relaxed and at home rather than brick houses. Not only that it is pleasing and is eco-friendly, but you will also get to enjoy a less noisy environment.   With just the right addition of a fireplace, it will feel like a scene in a movie. You can always check Colne Stoves and see what will best suit your home.

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Home Improvement

A Detailed Analysis – Green Oak or Air-Dried Oak?

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Oak is one material that architects, artists and designers prefer to use. However, the type of oak determines where it can be used most effectively. So before you use the wood in Colne stoves or turn it into your house’s frame, make sure you know the difference between green oak and air-dried oak.

Reasons to Use Oak Wood

There are several reasons why many builders prefer to use oak wood.

  • Distinctive Appearance: Oak is renowned for its distinct wood grain and rich hue. It looks elegant and can evoke a rustic feeling when used as an exposed beam.
  • Durable: This wood is also known for its strength, durability, and resistance to moisture. Oak gets stronger as it gets older, which is why carpenters love using it as a foundation and as structural oak beams. As a matter of fact, houses built from this wood during the 1500s are still standing strong today.
  • Versatility: Oak is also used in a variety of ways. Aside from being used as building material, it’s also used in floorings, furniture, ships and as firewood. Oak is actually a great material for ship building since it’s resistant to rot, insects and fungal attacks.  

Understanding the Difference Between Green and Air-Dried Oak

Oak wood is sometimes described as green or air-dried and this affects how and where they can be used.

Contrary to what it’s called, green oak is not named after the color but rather the freshness of the wood. Green oak is cut from trees chopped within 18 months of being grown. It has a moisture content of 60% to 80%. This percentage goes down as the timber dries out in a process called “seasoning.”

Meanwhile, air-dried oak refer to oak wood cut to a specific size and stored away from the elements. This allows the timber to dry naturally. The air circulates between the wood planks, thereby reducing moisture content gradually. Season the wood in this manner can take anywhere from three to 10 years, depending on its thickness.

Why Choose Green Oak

Green oak is the go-to wood for oak kit frames, beams, posts, and roof trusses because of its durability and strength. Since green oak has a softer wood, it’s easier to cut into exact shapes. What’s more, the wood slightly shrinks across the width of the grain as it starts drying, leading to tighter joints. As a matter of fact, designers who specialize in oak frames take into account this shrinkage and incorporates it into the design. Plus, as oak timbers harden, the strength and durability of an oak frame increases.

Once green oak dries out, it splits and starts to age and the wood’s exterior becomes a silvery grey. The aged look is one of the things that makes oak look charming and unique.

The Argument for Air-Dried Oak

Air-dried oak has already been seasoned a little, with splits and cracks that surfaced during the drying process. It’s a good wood to use if the builder requires minimal movement and widths that are 75 mm or less. This makes air-dried oak ideal for joinery work like doors, floors, lintels, window frames, glazed panelling, and furniture.

Air-dried oak timbers are also great for restoration and renovation projects where the wood can be tied into the original brickwork or frame. But it’s not a good choice for framing where the wood has to be more than 100mm.

Why Oak is the Best  Firewood

People also love to choose oak to use as firewood. There’s a good reason for this as well; oak is heavy, quite dense, and supplies more than enough heat for the home. Oak trees are also abundant and the wood is long burning.

Oak has three distinct species – the northern red oak, pin oak, and white oak. Each one has different characteristics but all can be made into great firewood. White oak can produce around 26.4 million BTU’s per block while red oak can supply abou 24.6 BTUs. BTU, or the British thermal unit, is the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Oak also has a unique smell once it has been cut for firewood. It has been described by some as sweet smelling while others likened it to something fiery.

Conclusion

There are so many reasons for using it, either as firewood for your Stockport fireplaces, a frame for your house, flooring for your abode or the base of your latest sculpture. But the wood being green or aid-dried will affect its final use. So choose carefully so you can unleash oak’s full potential.

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