Category Archives: Home Improvements


The Definitive Guide to Home Window Tinting

Often, people consider getting home window tinting for modulating the inflow of light, for privacy reasons and also to ensure that they are able to restrict heat inflow in the summer months. But should you really go for home window tinting? Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before opting for the same.

What is the tinting cost?

With endless options available for home window tinting you are never short of choices. However, what is the average cost going to be depends on many factors. These include-

  • The size of the house and the windows. If you have more windows that are floor to ceiling or very big then the average cost would increase.
  • Besides this, the quality of the tint also matters. You can easily get cheaper variations but remember that if you are looking for longevity then you probably will not have much luck on that front.

Which tinting type is right for your home window?

There are a lot of choices available for these home window tinting. For instance, there are dark ones that resemble something that you get in the car. Then there are grainier and heavier tints that resemble or give the effect of glass. These are more expensive. So, overall, which tinting works for you depends on-

  • The purpose of the tinting. Are you looking to just block light or ensure privacy too?
  • What are the kinds of windows or home decor you have? A classic decor or vintage style would require lighter tints or greyish ones while modern homes can don deeper hues.
  • If you are looking for decorative benefits and also for functionality then something like the frosted glass works quite well.
  • Also, do take into point, which area of the home are you tinting. For example, if it is the kitchen then you do not want to completely block out light. Rather you want a more translucent shade of tints. Similarly, frosted glass tints work for the bedroom and bathrooms.

Should you hire professionals?

Until and unless you are super comfortable with handling the home window tinting and assured of impeccable results, it is best to leave these things to the experts. Not only will they give you a smooth and even finish they will ensure that there are no loose ends to spoil your home decor. On the other hand, when pasting yourself or from a novice, there can be creases or similar folds that spoil the look of the tint. You want tints that look more like glass after all!

Graphic tints

This is an option for those who want to completely block out the internal and external view of the window. Basically, as the name suggests, this kind of home window tinting is more of a decorative way to beautify the glass. You can go for floral motifs, abstract patterns or other forms of artistic graphics. Do remember that pasting such tints means that what you see outside is just restricted. These tints are perfect for redundant windows of the house or those, which open to up either a duct or a room without a view. So, you can set up scenery that gives you the illusion of being outside.

Considering that home window tinting is not a permanent option, you can always go for variations and change the same. However, you do get expensive varieties with ease and hence it makes sense to get something that offers durability and aesthetic appeal at the same. These little things will help you determine what kind of tint would be right for your home and give it the warmth and comfort that you seek.


Making life easier with a skip

Most people, at some point in their lives, will need to hire a skip. These large, open topped containers can be used either by businesses or by individuals to deposit waste where the quantities are too large for the usual refuse collection services to remove. The skip is normally dropped off by the hire company, left at the customer’s disposal for a certain number of days, then picked up again by a purpose built wagon. This should then dispose of the contents in a responsible manner.

Skips are particularly useful if you are planning any sort of home improvement project, such as replacing your roof, putting in new windows or stripping out a central heating system. They can also be used for garden clearances, providing a solution to the question of what to do with awkward garden sheds or greenhouses.

It’s important to choose the right size of skip for the purpose. If in doubt, go for the larger size; you don’t want the wasted time and expense of leaving a job half-done and having to reorder a second skip. Bear in mind that there is often a fill level on the skip over which you must not go. This prevents the load from becoming unstable in transit.

If possible, arrange for the skip to be put on your own driveway, as putting it on the public highway requires a permit from the local council. This permit is normally arranged by the skip provider, although some councils do require that the customer applies to them directly.

A skip on a public road is subject to a number of regulations. It must be away from any manholes with the longer sides parallel to the kerbside, as close in as possible. It must be marked off with traffic cones and well lit at night. The name and telephone number of the skip hire company must also be clearly shown.

There are certain household items that are deemed hazardous and which must not be put into a skip. These include refrigerators, freezers, electrical appliances, tyres, batteries, asbestos, gas bottles, fluorescent light tubes, solvents, fuels, aerosols and medical waste. If you are unsure about anything, contact the skip provider for confirmation.

There are many skip hire companies in the phone book, but how do you know which one to choose? Personal recommendations are always helpful, but you can also get the measure of a company by the way that they handle your enquiry. They should also be clear about how they intend to dispose of your waste. If possible, check that they hold a valid waste removal licence. In the eyes of the law you are responsible for your rubbish, and if it is not disposed of properly then you are liable.

The best skip hire firms will separate your waste into recyclable and non-recyclable materials, donating any reusable items to charity. Some even process the biomass into fuel so that only the minimum ends up in landfill. This is certainly an elegant solution to the problem of rapidly declining landfill space.

Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

fireplace mantels and surrounds

Tips to Choose the Best Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds

Looking to add warmth to your home and make it invite? Fireplace must be your first choice. The fireplace is made up of components like a mantel, a fire box and surround. It is the mantel, which offers the fireplace a distinctive kind of look that enhances the resale value of any home, and gives it an impressive look.

  • Available in assorted styles and price ranges, the mantel can simply transform the look of the fireplace. The entire room will acquire a decorative and stylish appeal.
  • A fireplace surround, as the name suggests, is the architectural element, which surrounds the fireplace to offer safety and aesthetic benefits. You can choose a solid wood or a laminated wood fireplace having the fireplace surround, which can add the element of romance to the room.
  • Prior to shopping for fireplace mantels and surrounds, you must measure the hearth, the fireplace facing and the other essential elements. With the exact figures in your hands, you can find the perfect mantel and surround for your purpose.
  • The most popular choice for mantel is either laminated wood or solid wood. Solid wood is indeed an expensive option among the two but still laminated wood is a realistic choice, which will not cost you a fortune.
  • Well, speaking about the wood options, they are cherry, oak, pine and a few laminate wood options may also be availed.
  • When you choose the wood mantel for your home, do consider the material of the furniture or the existing wood which is prevalent all throughout the home. Fireplace mantels may also be made from stones, either created or real.

Material Options for Mantel

Choosing the Perfect Surround

When you are choosing the mantel, do consider the surround you are choosing. Some of the popular choices in surrounds include tile, stone, brick and the materials that are not combustible. Choose mantels that tend to coordinate well with the surround. Fireplace mantels can add a beautiful and aesthetic touch to the room. It is very important to choose a fireplace mantel, which is easy to clean and maintain. At the same time, you must choose a mantel that blends well with the rest of the interior décor of your home.

Consider the Desired Style of The Room

When you choose the fireplace mantel, do consider the style of the room you wish to attain. This is important since the room must have a complete feel.

  • The color, the style of the mantel must compliment your furniture pieces. If fireplace is to be installed in the living room, simple style of mantel will do.
  • For a room having a traditional look, you can go for marble mantle. However, if you are in limited budget, go for veneer stone. Having the appearance of the real stone, veneer stone is still less expensive.

The Color of The Mantel

The Color of The Mantel

If you choose wood material for mantel, it will need paint or stain. Some of the choices in paint are black or white. But, for the stain route, you may choose among the variety of finishes. Varnish must be applied in multiple coats. There is multiple color of stones among which choices can be made. Choose the color that matches with the curtains, furniture. In fact, one enjoys a lot of versatility when choosing the color of the mantel.

A fireplace surround not only adds to the beauty of the fireplace and the room but also it enhances the level of safety. It offers protection from fire and thus the fireplace becomes more enjoyable. Measure your fireplace in advance before choosing a surround. You can customize the fireplace surrounds from a wide array of options from the online portals. The size, weight, color and design can vary and so does the cost.