Tips on Choosing an Outdoor Garden Fountain

SIZE of the garden fountain should be the first thing to consider. A fountain may be great to look at but more importantly it needs to fit into your garden landscape. If you have a relatively small garden, it doesn’t make sense to install a grand fountain that covers most of your garden views. The fountain must not stand out and be the sole focus in your garden. It should either blend in with the rest of your garden or the garden must enhance the fountain. Picking the right size outdoor garden fountain is vital.

SHAPE of the garden fountain is the next important thing to decide. This has less to do with garden space and more to do with you and what you prefer. You need to determine what suits your garden and more importantly, what expresses you and your lifestyle. Garden fountains come in a variety of shapes including animals and wildlife, statuary, tiered, pedestal, rock and wall, just to name a few. Deciding on the shape of your fountain may be your most difficult task.

TYPE of fountain water flow must be considered when you are deciding on a shape.

BUBBLING FOUNTAINS are the most versatile and perhaps best-suited for most home gardens. Typical design involves a single jet of water produced below the water surface in the center of a glazed pot. The water runs over the edges of the pot and runs quietly down the sides into a basin where it’s collected and recycled by a small pump. These fountains are perfect for smaller, intimate spaces since they don’t make much sound, just quiet bubbling.

SPILLING FOUNTAINS have water exiting from a spout and dropping unimpeded into a basin. Be sure you listen to these types of fountains before you make your purchase. They can produce quite a bit of sound. Even a single arc of water splashing into a basin can be too much sound for a small space. Unless it’s just a drip, the sound is energizing and active, not relaxing,

JET FOUNTAINS are perfect for large spaces since the water becomes rather architectural and rather dramatic. In a large space, seen (and heard) from some distance, these fountains can become a main focal point. But there are also simple, small-scale jet fountains for small spaces, too. The water hits the surface as multiple droplets and jet fountains are typically not as loud as spilling fountains.

SEASONAL or YEAR ROUND Another important factor to consider when deciding on a garden fountain is whether you want it functioning year round. A seasonal fountain must be shut down in the winter months if you are in a colder climate. Otherwise the water could freeze and cause damage. You may also need to relocate it inside to protect it from harsh temperatures.Year round outdoor fountains are heated and can be left running in the winter months. The two main types are solar powered or electrical.…

Characteristics Of Vinyl Flooring

Making a mind for installing a floor in your house? Do not get confused; simple and durable flooring you can opt for is there. Vinyl flooring is one of the finest choices keeping in view the long lasting quality and its affordability. Especially when you are considering flooring of bathrooms and kitchen, vinyl floor is the best option. Trend of installing vinyl floor is increasing day by day. Not only the durability and affordability is the major reason but also it has a wide range to select from. There are various designs, colors and types and the prices depend on the quality and material used in manufacturing. Let’s discuss in detail the characteristics of this flooring.

Introduction To Vinyl Floor:

Vinyl floor is basically a building material made of polyvinyl chloride called PVC. It is made of engineered products instead of original material. Similar to linoleum but is more durable. It can be used in commercial areas like offices, shopping malls as well as in residential areas like bedrooms as well as kitchens and bathrooms.

Types Of Vinyl Floor:

There are basically two types of this flooring. One is called printed vinyl and the other is inlaid vinyl. Printed contains a thin sheet of vinyl and has a coating of printed-paper. It is cheap in cost and is not much durable, while the inlaid vinyl is thicker in sheet strength and is expensive. Both are available in the market in form of sheets as well as tiles.

Advantages Of Vinyl Floor:

Vinyl is less cost, long lasting and easy to maintain flooring. It is highly resistant to moisture and this quality makes it best option for the bathrooms and kitchen flooring. It can be the great flooring for heavy traffic areas like offices, shopping centers and schools. It’s underlay gives comfort to the foot and add insulation.

Disadvantages Of Vinyl Floor:

One of the major drawbacks of vinyl floor is that it cannot be refinished or polished. Over time when it looses its luster it looks dull and it can wear down. Though it is less in cost from other flooring but have short life comparatively. It is also sensitive to sunlight and cold and can get fade or crack.

When choosing for vinyl floors consider installation, cost and type of vinyl. Use inlaid vinyl flooring for heavy traffic areas like shopping centers, offices and schools. Printed vinyl floor is best for low traffic areas like personal bedroom. Use tiles if you want more designs and it is also easy to install on your own. But if you have tight budget go for vinyl sheets, as it is less in cost than tiles.…

The Meaning of Rooster Decor

When morning comes, a refreshing cock’s crow wakes us up. This tells us it is time for a new day. An alert sounding signal coming from this animal only means there are many things to do. This animal is the rooster. It is believed that the rooster symbolizes a flamboyant, feisty and obstinate personality. It is also a representation of courage, hard work and, most of all, descent. Because of this, the tradition of creating a replica of this fowl began. This was also the start of people making rooster-shaped home decor.

Rooster figurines have many uses today and most of have something to do with adorning various areas around a home from the living room to the kitchen. Rooster napkin holders, in particular, are commonly found in avian or farm-themed restaurants. The rooster design of the figurines represents meaning and each has its purpose. Figurines and items as such are unique and are seldom found in shops and boutiques. In fact, some are even made-to-order.

The design of rooster home decor comes in varieties but everything may be incorporated into different themes during the different months and seasons of the year. These items can either be made of metal, ceramic, plastic, glass, or even raw materials such as wood. The more attractive and effective the design is in illustrating the essence of a rooster, the more salable it is. Replicas of this avian can be traditional or modern- and it all depends on the inspiration of the artist creating them.

Rooster decor is best manufactured in areas where a good type of material is available. People know that aside from the design, the material used determines the quality of the product. However, with the wide availability of transportation today, materials from different places can easily be imported. This is why manufacturers have also widened their market as they are very confident about the quality of their finished products. Rest-assured, these items will last a long time because they are durability-tested before being distributed.

So what are you waiting for? It is never too late to start collecting rooster figurines. With the durable quality and the variety of designs available, it is all up to you to make collecting them a hobby. You will have a whole array of choices in terms of materials used and design concepts. If you want to be reminded of the ideals the rooster stands for, have them at home or in your office and start living its spirit.…

Interior Design Ideas for Modern Homes

Interior design is the most interesting concept that is subject of much enjoyment for home owners and home builders. If you like playing with floors, ceilings, kitchen area, wash area, furniture and spaces, interior design is for you. Today, it has greatly revolutionized and home owners with builders are designing innovative and creative interiors through marble. They are continuously using marble products for more efficiency and beauty.

The great thing about marble interiors design is that you don’t necessarily have a deep knowledge about it. Home builders give exceptional ideas to change your interiors and apply marble in it. It certainly gives genuinely modern look to the houses and adds more value to it. Modern home builders also help you choose the best place to apply marble stone.

Today, one of the best ways of interior designing is using marble products. Marble interiors look stunning and redefine its value. One can have nearly limitless designs through marble stones. It simply offers a wide variety of opportunity of creating new interior designs. More number of homes is utilizing soft marble stone to their houses for balustrades, statues, staircases and medallions. Being beautiful in looks, it is modestly used in countertops, vanity tops and statues.

Nowadays, interior designers and builders are widely using marble stone to richly facelift traditional or old homes. They conclude their interior designing projects with marble flooring. In fact, it is the most unique feature of modern homes. They also use wide variety of marble products for stunning looks and aesthetic appeal.

Kitchen and Bathroom Interiors Ideas

Kitchen and bathroom interiors are the major part of any facelift project. These are the main areas of a home that needs to be addressed first. Both granite and marble can add extra appeal to kitchen and bath space. One of the most vital uses of marble is as countertops that can be installed in both kitchen and bathroom. It provides exceptional beauty along with a magical durability. Marble sinks and flooring are additional components adding uncompromising beauty to kitchen and bathroom interiors.

Today, marble interiors are becoming very popular amongst modern home builders, homeowners and architects. In fact, manufacturers are also offering superior marble products for homeowners’ use. To serve the daily rising requirement of interior designs, interior experts and architects are now including magnificent marble products in their design strategies. Manufacturers also offer different types of products for both commercial and residential applications.…

The Feng Shui Guide to Wall Clocks For the Home and Office

Feng Shui has to do with the balancing of energies in a home or office.  Where you decide to put a wall clock can have a big influence on the feng shui of both the room it is in, and even of that of the entire house.  While it isn’t considered bad feng shui to have a clock on the wall in your house, where you put it does matter.  In addition, the type of clock you have can affect the feng shui of your home or office as well.  Here is a guide to help you choose a good location for your clock.  

Good places to put wall clocks are the dining room and the kitchen.  The kitchen is a place of action and activity, and a clock is handy in keeping track of time for cooking and leaving the house on time.  Many people choose to put a large wall clock in the living room.  Although this isn’t really bad feng shui, having a clock in the room where you do relaxing things can disturb the tranquility a little.  Glancing up at the clock on the wall can make you think of all the things you need to get done.  It depends upon what kind of person you are.  If you are a procrastinator and spend too much time watching TV, a clock will remind you to get up and do something else.  On the other hand, if you are a work-a-holic, you might not be able to truly settle down and relax with a clock on the wall.  A simple solution might be to put it on the wall behind the couch or TV.  

It is considered bad feng shui to put a clock at the entrance to your house, so guests see it right away when they walk in the door.  You want to make your home feel welcoming, and a clock will set an imposing tone, especially if guests are a few minutes late.  Another bad location to put a wall clock is in the bedroom.  In addition to disturbing your relaxation, in the silence of the night you can usually hear the “tick tock tick tock” of a clock and it can have a negative impact on your sleep.  Use a small battery powered alarm clock instead.  

For the office, a wall clock is the norm.  It is good feng shui, and will help to keep your work pace on schedule.  Choose a clock that fits well with the interior design of your office.  Many office settings are very bland with no distinguishable decorations, so a unique, decorative wall clock will brighten things up a bit.  …

How to Avoid Mortgage Loan Fraud – Keep Your House, Don’t Go to Jail!

The Federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force is looking for crooked mortgage brokers, dishonest real estate brokers and cheating home buyers and real estate investors. While most people play it on the straight and narrow, good deeds can be mistaken for bad. Stay out of the mortgage fraud spot light using a few simple techniques!

In the current home buying climate the deals are hot, the financing is hot and the buyers are in trouble. The buyers?

Yep. If they can get the loan they can take advantage of some fantastic deals. The question is, can they get the loan? Some buyers want the financing so badly they are willing to fudge numbers or cut corners to get there. Sometimes it does not even take that. In general, you have committed mortgage fraud if:

  • You took cash out of the bank and paid off debt without telling the lender;
  • You bought a car prior to closing on your loan and you didn’t tell the lender;
  • You are getting any credit for anything at closing and did not tell the lender;
  • You make any agreement the lender does not know about at closing, usually called a ‘side agreement’;
  • An adjustment you make at closing is not reflected on the HUD-1 settlement statement;
  • Part of your down payment or closing costs comes from work you will be doing on the property;
  • For bond loans, if you get a substantial RAISE!
  • Any part of the down payment is borrowed;
  • You have had any significant job change, quit your job or started a new job without telling the lender;
  • You don’t move into the property when you certify to the lender you will be an owner occupant;

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is very specific about how a closing should proceed,

especially one that is subject to financing.

Mortgage fraud is easy to fall into and hard to get out of. Even judges have fallen into the trap. For example, in Tampa Florida, Judge Thomas E. Stringer plead guilty on August 6th 2009 to bank fraud. He was helping a young dancer “protect” her assets. In the process, he bought a house for her in Hawaii. Things went sour with the dancer of questionable repute and the deal was reported. Judge Stringer had not been completely candid in his loan application. He failed to disclose he had borrowed all or part of the down payment. That is a big “no, no!”

The Judge Stringer case stands for the proposition you don’t have to go into foreclosure to commit fraud. He was current with his loan payments. That was not the problem. His only mistake was not telling his lender he had borrowed the down payment. No losses were reported by the lender!

In the simplest of terms, any statement made to the lender which is not 100% accurate may be considered fraudulent. Any change in the borrower’s financial health, for example buying a car or incurring extra medical bills without advising the lender, …

Mom & Dad Fitness: Top 10 Exercises

Congratulations on getting a new bundle of joy, or maybe it is your second or your little one is now a toddler. Chances are fitness doesn’t top the list of priorities when you have a young one at home. Well, we are here to prove that you can maintain a healthy and fit life even with a newborn at home.

Here is our list of top 10 exercises moms and dads that don’t involve taking you away from your little one.

1. Pacing Workouts

What is that one thing every parent often does when trying to calm a newborn? It’s pacing around up and down, and guess what you can do a workout out of it.

Obviously, you don’t want to disturb your little one if they are peacefully sleeping, but if they are awake pace around the house holding them. You could also walk around performing lunges or arm raises., as your little one sleeps peacefully in their cot.

Some of the other ideal pacing workouts include walking lunges, hop squats, and walking kicks.

2. Doorknob Squats

How many times do you go to check on your baby while they sleep? Turn it into a workout by getting some doorknob squats done.

Every time you check up on your young one, do about five to ten doorknob squats. Work on increasing the number of doorknob squats you do each day, and you will soon be getting a great workout out of it.

3. Baby Bridges

Toddlers need a bit of entertaining, and you could kill two birds with one stone by doing ‘baby bridges.’

Baby bridges are essentially bridge workouts, only that you hold your child and lift them up every time you lift up into a bridge. Obviously, safety is paramount, and this exercise can be performed only by the mom and dad who have already been exercising for a while and built their core strength.

4. Mat Workouts

Myriads of mat exercises are easy to do with your young one by your side.

The mat exercises you can do include leg raises and leg extensions, crunches, sit-ups, and push-ups. Once again safety is vital, and you can have your baby on a baby mat nearby or place them in their cot while you workout. In fact, the best time to get in some mat exercises would be when your newborn is asleep.

However, in the case of toddlers include them in your workouts for some quality time spent together.

5. Jogging

When you want some fresh air and to get out of the house, take your child along for a jog. A tactical baby carrier for dad or a jogging stroller makes it easy and convenient to go for a run with the little one.

First things first, there is no shame as a father in taking your little one out in a carrier. With the right one, you can jog as fast as you can, and your little one will remain well protected. Jogging is a …

Do I Have To Buy A Mirror Specifically Suited For My Bathroom For A Vanity Mirror?

No, a homeowner doesn’t have to buy a special sort of mirror as a vanity mirror for the bathroom. What are called bathroom mirrors are usually those bland mirrors a homeowner finds in the bathroom section of a big box store or even a hardware store. They look like they shouldn’t go anywhere else besides the bathroom, and because they’re so boring, they often don’t.

A mirror is a piece of glass with a metallic back, usually silver or aluminum to make it reflective. Mirrors can be flat, concave or convex. Concave mirrors enlarge the reflection and are helpful with shaving and putting on makeup. Unless the homeowner finds them really off-putting, these sort of mirrors might be good to put in the bathroom. What truly matters when choosing and using a mirror in the bathroom is the lighting. The lighting in a bathroom shouldn’t be over bright and the homeowner should be aware of the different qualities of light given off by fluorescent, incandescent and halogen lights.

The one concern a homeowner might have with a vanity mirror in the bathroom is the inevitable heat and humidity in the room. Mirrors with wooden frames can be quite beautiful, but not highly recommended for bathroom mirrors, as they can swell and warp if they’re not treated with a sealant. High humidity can also damage the mirror’s reflective backing and lead to a condition called foxing. These are dark stipples that can be seen in the glass. Some people, especially collectors, adore these spots, but some might find them unsightly.

A vanity mirror that’s put in the bathroom must also be anchored securely to the wall. The wall has to be smooth, solid and dry. Mastic, an adhesive compound that can attach a mirror to the wall without clips or screws or any other hardware, shouldn’t be used. A mirror, especially if it’s heavy, should be hung on screws that are secured into a solid wall with anchors. They shouldn’t be hung one screw, but screws arranged in a way that will distribute the weight of the mirror and make sure that it’s secure. No one wants to contemplate what can happen if the humidity in a bathroom weakens an already weak fastener.

Of course, if there’s a sturdy shelf on the wall, the mirror can simply be propped up on it and leaned against the wall.

A vanity mirror should complement the decor of the bathroom, or even the decor of the bedroom if the bathroom is en suite. One thing that can be done with a mirror in a bathroom or a powder room is to edge it with makeup lights. This set up, long a staple of Hollywood movies and actors’ dressing rooms, gives shadowless light that’s ideal for applying makeup. A bathroom mirror in a seaside cottage can be surrounded by pretty seashells. The homeowner can do this themselves with some glue and seashells from the beach. A vanity mirror can have an ornate, etched glass or …

Understanding the Interior Design Process

If it’s your first time working with a designer for a home or commercial space, you might not understand everything that goes into the process. Understanding the project as a whole and each phase of design can ultimately save you time and money. Once you know your role and the roles of others involved in your interior design project, it will make the process much more enjoyable for you.

The first step is to find a design firm you feel comfortable with and that you trust has an experienced and respected team of architects, artisans and contractors. Each design firm works differently, and every project is varies with regards to how many phases you’ll go through. If your project is on a smaller scale, you might not have all the phases outlined in this article, but in general, the major phases of a design project are:

1. Schematic Design

2. Design Development

3. Construction Documents

4. Bidding Phase

5. Construction Administration

Stages of Interior Design – Explained

1. Schematic Design: This is first stage of the design process when the scope of the project is defined. As the client, you’ll be very engaged in this part of the process with the designer and sometimes the architect, if necessary. The designer (and architect) will provide rough sketches and show materials to ensure the concept is headed in the direction you envision. This phase can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the firm you work with and the extent of the project. It can take longer if you don’t have any idea what type of design you’re looking for. In that case, the design firm can help steer you in the right direction.

2. Design Development: The next stage aims to turn concepts into concrete action items. This stage will help to identify any problem areas that may not have been apparent upfront. In design development, the architect and interior design firm creates initial architectural drawings and material specifications. You will be involved throughout this process as the design firm will need your feedback to zero in on the details and discuss solutions to any problems. Once the direction of the design project is approved by you, the next step is construction documents.

3. Construction Documents: In this phase, the preliminary drawings that were created in the design development phase of the project are now turned into working documents, refined for accuracy and code requirements. All the materials to be used in the project are finalized and the specifications are prepared. Once this is complete, the documents serve as a tool to build out the project. You won’t be involved much in this phase due to the technicality of it, and the timeline depends on the scope of the project.

4. Bidding Phase: In the bidding phase, the construction documents are sent to potential building contractors so they can prepare bids. The bid is an estimate of the cost and time it will take to complete your design project. You …

55 Years Old – Don’t Buy A House

If you have owned a house and paid off the mortgage over the years you know the first 10 years is almost all interest payments with very little equity.

There is nothing wrong with buying a house as long as you can qualify. That means a good down payment and a steady job. None of that no-down-payment nonsense. The buyer must be serious about making those monthly mortgage payments and have a good job. Banks are checking these days.

The financial community in the recent past has been required to make mortgages for those who did not qualify with no down payments and had no serious intention of paying if it became economically uncomfortable. It is too easy to walk away.

The true cost of home ownership is not just the monthly mortgage payment. In a new house all the appliances, plumbing, roof, pool equipment, window frames, etc., etc., everything has an estimated life expectancy after which they need to be replaced.

Buying an older home means all of the above will occur sooner. Replace or repair can be expensive.

The true cost of keeping the house is the mortgage payment plus upkeep. Oh and let’s not forget taxes. Then there is a little thing called insurance that is required by the mortgage holder.

The industry calls it PITI = principle, interest, taxes and insurance. Depending upon the length of time of the mortgage and whatever your down payment was it normally comes out 10% annually of the selling price divided by 12 or 1% of the selling price each month.

If the house cost $200,000 that figures about or close to $2,000 per month.

If you are 55 years old do you want to take on that obligation? Wouldn’t it be smarter to rent? If the same quality home can be rented for $1,200 per month the renter could save the difference of $800 each month and in 10 years at retirement have $96,000 plus interest. I can guarantee he would not have that in home equity if he bought the house when he was 55.

Furthermore renters pay much less for rental insurance and have the ability to move to a new location any time. Renters do not have to put on a new roof or replace an old hot water heater. No major upkeep out of pocket expense.

How about a 6 month rental in Canada for the Summer and 6 months in Florida, Mexico or Dominican Republic for the Winter? The only extra would be travel expenses.

With so many rentals available the foreclosure prices are not yet a great buy. If a person wishes to buy there are yet about 4,000,000 more distressed properties to hit the market in the next 2 years. Prices will be even lower than today.

Do the numbers before you buy.…