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Monthly Archives: December 2015 - 5. page

Bamboo Flooring For Luxurious And Cosy Living

Bamboo is a common material for housing construction. The world’s tallest grass has a lot of uses for houses from beams, mouldings, walls, posts, and flooring. Bamboo-thatched homes are common sights in shanties and cottages because they are inexpensive.

Timber flooring and bamboo floorboards are created to last for 20 years or more. Apart from giving the home a cool effect, bamboos are environmently friendly because they are not synthetic unlike asbestos, cement or vinyl floorings that emit obnoxious substances. Houses that are made of bamboo materials are comfortable and inviting. Bamboo manufactures uniquely designed bamboo to create an aura of elegance, style and comfort at reasonable price.

As a leading manufacturer of flooring materials the company that you choose should assure its clientele that they provide high quality timber flooring and bamboo floorboards. In fact all the products should have met the requirements set by the government as well as the Quality Control Standards ISO 9001 and the ISO 14001 of Environmental Management System. This shows that the company is reliable in terms of quality, durability and creativity. Architects and interior designers never waste their time in making enquiries with regards to Bamboos.

While it is true that there are lots of bamboo manufacturers selling almost the same construction materials but the question is, how durable and standard are their products? Customers should be extra careful when selecting bamboo flooring, timber flooring and bamboo floorboards because a single mistake means waste of money. Bamboos are favourite preys of weevils. Customers need to be assured that the company they choose harvest mature bamboos and treat them to prevent bamboo pests from harming the flooring. Young bamboos are eaten by weevils and they don’t last longer. Woven bamboo floorboards and timber flooring from this market leader are standard and customers can pick different colours and tones to suit their home or office designs. This company is working closely with major architectural and construction firms so that they are always updated of the latest bamboo technology and innovations.

Generally a company should produce reasonably priced bamboo flooring even if their designs are exquisite and world class. The dimension of these bamboo floorings is 1830mm by 130mm by 14mm. Customers are asked to scrutinise the because there are some firms that use the company name to dupe customers. Presently, there are 13 bamboo flooring designs available in the market today and each has its distinct characteristics and colour that make customers wonder which one they would pick.

Here are the designs to choose from Sandhurst, Beachwood, TeaTree, Vintage Brown, Stonewood, White Haven, Ochre Sands, Straw, Merlot, Licorice, Whiskey and Driftwood. Building a house does not always mean expensive materials, with bamboos customers are assured of the quality, craftsmanship and functionality.

Why You Should Hire Epoxy Flooring Contractors

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Outdoor Living – How to Build a Brick Patio

When it comes to enjoying your home, there is not much that you will bring you more pleasure than an outside living space. And this space starts with a new patio. Your patio can be built in a number of different ways, ranging from concrete and tile to brick and pavers.

Today, we are going to discuss installing a brick or concrete pavers patio. While there are certain differences in these two construction methods, they are very similar. And you will find once you know how to do one, you can easily modify your procedures for the other. Like most construction projects, building a patio just requires you following a system of steps. Just make sure your measurements are accurate and you follow each step completely.

Just like with most construction projects, your first step is to plan and then mark out your patio. Measure out the size you are looking for, and then mark it with stakes and string, or a garden hose. Keep in mind that a rectangular design will be easier to work with than a curved patio. Once your patio is marked out, double check your measurements, and ensure the patio is square. To do this, measure diagonally from each corner to the opposite corner. The measurements should be the same.

After the area has been marked out, it is time to excavate. Dig out the patio to a depth of 6 – 8″ depending on the bricks or pavers that you are using. Make sure you “slope” this area so that water will run away from your house. This slope should be about 1/4″ per foot.

At this point, it is wise to lay out your bricks and do a “test fit” to ensure that your patio will work out without needing to cut bricks at every row. You should have about 2″ of dug out area on each side of the bricks if you are planning to use bricks as an edging. If you are using edging, such as bricks laid on end, now is the time to add them. Then, remove the “test” bricks you laid earlier.

Choose your base material carefully based on your location and the type of installation. For brick, the best bedding is sand or crushed stone. Fill in the excavated area to the recommended depth and then level it. For a brick installation, this level will be to 2″ below the tops of the edging. Make sure your sand is very smooth, or you will have a very difficult time getting your bricks or pavers to lay straight. Tamp down the sand well to form a stable base. Finally, it is time to lay out your bricks and pavers in your chosen configuration.

Start at one corner, and lay one brick at a time. As you are setting the brick, press it firmly in the sand, and then hit it with a rubber mallet to set it. Keep bricks together as tightly as possible. Once all the bricks or pavers are installed, you should spread sand over the top, and the sweep into the cracks. This will ensure that the bricks are firmly set. Spraying the bricks with water will further pack the sand tightly between them.

Building a new patio will form the foundation of your new outdoor living space. It is a time consuming project, but if you are careful, it is a job that can be tackled by you as a home owner. If you do not have the time or patience, you will need to find a professional contractor to build it for you. Look at some of the many different materials and configurations that are available for building a new patio. Match up the look with the look of your home. After your new patio is built, you can then begin the fun job of furnishing your outdoor living space. But, it all starts with your patio, so make sure adequate time and budget is spent on this step.

Energy Savings Tips to Prepare Your Home for Solar Power

When you invest in solar panels for your home, you are making a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint while saving money on your monthly energy usage. In order to get the most out of your solar panels, you will want to take a few steps to reduce your overall energy usage every month. Following these simple steps will help you to create a more energy efficient home, allowing you to get the maximum benefit from your solar panels.

Replace Your Old Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less energy, making them a great alternative to traditional light bulbs. On average, CFL units last up to eight times as long as your existing light bulbs, so you can save money on replacements and electricity usage at the same time. Use these energy-savers wherever you can in your home to reduce the amount of electricity used when you flip your light switches.

Weatherproof Your Home

Heat can escape from older windows and doors, which can increase the amount of energy needed to heat your home. Replacing your single-pane windows with more efficient units can help to reduce your overall energy usage. Weather stripping and door seals should also be checked and replaced to prevent drafts from coming into your home.

Replace Older Appliances

Appliances made twenty years ago are not as efficient as those made today, and they can use a considerable amount of energy. By replacing these old units with more efficient models, you can instantly reduce your energy consumption while modernizing your home.

Use Strip Surge Protectors

Power strips, or strip surge protectors, can help you to reduce the energy your home electronics consume. With the flip of one switch, you can turn off the power going to each of these energy-draining devices. This allows you to keep all of the programmed functions on your devices to stay in place while still saving energy. Be sure to turn the power off before bed each night and when these items are not in use during the day.

Use Your Appliances More Efficiently

Even with new models, washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators can use a lot of electricity. There are some simple things you can do to improve the energy usage for these major appliances. Washing clothes in cold water uses less electricity than using warm or hot water. Running your dishwasher during the day when your solar panels are working at maximum capacity gives you better usage rates than running it at night when you may have to use power from the grid.
Keeping your refrigerator or freezer set to the highest safe food storage temperature helps save money and energy while still keeping your food preserved.

Check Your Heating Ductwork

For homes that have central heating and cooling systems, checking your ductwork is a key to saving energy. Clogged or leaking ducts can make your system work overtime, which consumes more energy and leads to less efficient heating and cooling. If you are unsure how to do this yourself, you can hire a licensed contractor to take this task on for you.

Solar panels allow you to begin saving money on your monthly utility costs while having a better impact on the environment. You will need to change your energy consumption habits, but each of these simple steps are designed to allow you to change your habits with minimal impact on how you lead your daily life. When you are ready to install solar panels for your home, be sure to take these tips into account to maximize your energy and monetary savings.

How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work

More than half of all accidental deaths from poisoning are caused by carbon monoxide. This odourless, colourless gas can also cause long-term damage to health, short of death, when a person is exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO, in chemical nomenclature) for a short period of time, or lower concentrations over an extended period. Given the deadly nature of CO, particularly in enclosed spaces, it is an important part of gas safety that detectors are installed in homes, offices and other inhabited areas.

The atomic structure of a carbon monoxide molecule is one atom of carbon bonded with one atom of oxygen. This molecule caused damage to human health by replacing oxygen in the normal carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange during breathing. The haemoglobin in red blood cells and myoglobin in muscle tissue more readily accept CO molecules than oxygen, which causes oxygen starvation to the body, including the brain and heart. As a result, even low concentrations of CO can cause headaches, nausea and memory loss; in higher levels, CO poisoning can result in convulsions, unconsciousness and, eventually, death from asphyxiation.

The primary source of CO is partial or inefficient combustion of fuel. This not only includes structure fires, but gas appliances (stoves and ovens, furnaces, hot water heaters, dryers and the like). Even when burning efficiently, gas appliances emit a small amount of CO (usually at the level of 40 parts per million, or ppm), which can build up over time if an area is not properly ventilated. For this reason, even structures with smoke detectors should also have CO detectors; it is an important part of gas safety that people occupying homes and work areas have protection against this invisible danger.

There are three basic types of CO detectors, each with its particular strengths and disadvantages. The different systems use different technologies to detect and warn occupants of a dangerous build-up of CO levels.

Biomimetic sensors use a capsule of synthetic haemoglobin, which is open to the air. If CO is present in the hair, the material in the sensor will turn darker just as natural haemoglobin does when CO replaces oxygen. When the synthetic haemoglobin reaches a pre-determined shade, a sensor will trigger an alarm. The advantage of this system is that visual inspection can display the presence of CO in the air, even at levels lower than would cause an alarm. The disadvantage of the system is that it has a single threshold level; the system can only be set for one level of CO concentration.

Semi-conductor detectors are composed of two thin tin dioxide wires set into an insulating ceramic base. The wires, charged by an energy source, are part of a circuit which is closed when a pre-determined level of CO in the air reduces the resistance and sets off the alarm. Unlike the biomimetic system, visual inspection at lower CO levels will not provide a warning but, again, only one threshold level will trigger an alarm.

Electrochemical detectors account for the majority of CO alarms currently in use. The system is essentially designed as an incomplete fuel cell battery, consisting of an electrolyte (usually sulphuric acid) separated by two electrodes. One electrode oxidizes the carbon in any present CO molecules, while the other electrode consumes the oxygen atom. The greater the concentration of CO in the air, the higher the current created, until a threshold is reached to trigger an alarm. There are, however, several interesting differences between the electrochemical system and other designs: An independently powered processor can analyse the level, duration and rate of increase of the current created by the cell, which allows it to determine if either a dangerous condition of a long-term, low level concentration of CO or an acute “spike” increase in the gas is occurring. In either condition, the processor can be programmed to sound the alarm. Within the constraints of its memory, the system can also record and display CO levels, even at sub-alarm levels for future analysis.

All of these systems require careful placement, testing and replacement after their useful life (usually within five to six years). This requires consumer education and commitment to maintaining the systems, at a level beyond that required by smoke detectors; CO alarms are not “place and forget” tools. With sufficient understanding of their importance, however, CO sensors can greatly increase gas safety in the home and workplace.

What Are The Characteristics That Describe Organic Hydroponics

One of the advantages with organic hydroponics is that nobody can say that the plants aren’t ecological. Many people claim that even if the plants aren’t treated with chemicals they are given artificial nutriments and minerals and these substitutes can’t do good. So organic hydroponics is the solution that very few dislike.

Organic hydroponics has many advantages but some problems either, it depends primary on how you see the problem. Mention should be made that in some places hydroponics vegetables are considered organic in some others they are not.

What are the main characteristics that describe organic hydroponics?

One problem regarding organic hydroponics is that after some time the mixture of natural nutriments and minerals will be attacked by microorganisms that can transform the solution into something harmful to the plants. On the other hand the synthetic solution doesn’t have this problem but suffers from another. If you place the wrong amount of chemicals in your mixture, there is nothing you can do afterwards, and the crops are lost.

Organic hydroponics on the other hand works gently and even if you make some mistakes nothing irreparable will happen. Growing plants with organic hydroponics is actually easier and healthier, most of the hydroponics growing are associated with pH and ppm problems, once you remove the source of the problem (the chemicals) you won’t have to worry too much about your plants.

When using organic hydroponics you combine the benefits from classical soil methods and from hydroponics agriculture as well; thus you will eliminate the annoying aspect of having a perfect mixture of chemicals or else risk losing your crops. If you make an objective analysis you realize that organic hydroponics is the closest you will get to traditional crops.

The only real problem is that in places like Antarctica or other extreme areas where hydroponics is fantastic, organic hydroponics is not always a valid option, because organic nutriments aren’t so easy to preserve when compared to their chemical competitors.

This method applies best in regions that have a good soil providing natural nutriments as supply for an organic hydroponics farm but the crops won’t compete against similar soil plants that grow in the region. They are rather aimed against import products that come at a higher price.

Why is organic hydroponics preferred by most ecologists?

We can compare organic hydroponics to raising a child using just synthetic food, synthetic minerals and nutrients or any other similar mixture and never give him or her fresh fruit and vegetables. How would that be like? The same thing stands true for the plants that grow only with chemicals, they can’t possibly be compared to soil-grown or organic hydroponics similar products. This is in fact the main objection ecologists have against traditional hydroponics, and it continues to be reinforced regularly.

Commercial Calgary Landscaping Companies Winter Tree Care

The winter weather in Calgary is a challenge for any landscape. Trees and shrubs can sustain damage due to the variable weather. It is important to take care of trees throughout the winter to keep them healthy for next spring’s thaw.

Calgary Landscaping: The Challenges of Winter Weather

Calgary’s unique position in southern Alberta places it right in the path of the warm chinook winds coming off the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The winds pick up speed and strength going through the Bow Valley. This warm wind can cause extreme temperature fluctuations. Add dry air to the mix and you may see tree damage everywhere.

Tip Kill

As the air warms up, but remains dry, the tips of tree branches start to dry out. Since the roots are frozen, they are unable to bring water into the tips to replenish the supply. This leaves the tips starved of moisture, which causes them to die. This condition is known as “tip kill” or “die back”. Common signs are dry twigs and discolored evergreen needles. The damage done can be extensive enough to kill smaller plants. Creating wind breaks or covering plants with mulch are effective options for preventing this kind of damage.

False Spring

Calgary landscaping professionals dread false spring. When the warm Chinook winds stay around longer than normal, it begins to warm the ground. The warm ground can bring trees out of dormancy too early. The sap flows and the tree begins spring growth. When the winter winds return, the freezing temperatures can cause severe damage to the new growth that won’t go away with the approach of real spring.

Another cause of false spring is sun scald. Snow is on the ground and the sun is bright in the sky. As the sun’s rays reflect off the snow, it can cause tree tissues on the south side to start thawing. Then, when the sun goes down, the thawed tissues refreeze. This continual freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw cycle can cause the tree’s bark to split. This can damage inner tissues and even kill the tree. If you notice a split limb or trunk, wrap it to prevent further damage.

Animal Damage

Non-hibernating animals like deer and rabbits are another challenge for Calgary landscaping professionals. They will eat tree bark during winter, plus pillage your perennials and shrubs. This can cause exposure of the tender inner tissues of the tree. Placing wire fencing around the base of the tree is an effective option for preventing this kind of damage.

De-Icing Agents

Plants along sidewalks and near parking areas are vulnerable to any DE-icing agents you put down. Use those DE-icing materials sparingly and only where necessary. Excess use can cause damage and even kill smaller trees and plants.

If you need help with your winter tree care or want a four-season land maintenance company, call us here at Mirage Landscaping. We have been proudly serving the Calgary area for three generations with landscape services and snow removal.

Why Choose Oak Flooring Directly From Timber Merchants

Deciding to remodel your home is a big decision, and installing hardwood flooring is a solid investment. How can you reduce your costs but still enjoy the beauty and the benefits of oak flooring? One solution is to buy them online, or to buy them directly from timber merchants UK Timber, who can provide some of the best prices on the market!

With gorgeous English and French oak floor boards from these timber merchants, you will be able to create the design that you are seeking for your home, at a reasonable price! With different types of grade there are a diverse range of styles available, from a more contemporary look for your home to a unique traditional or rustic interior that will exude richness and warmth.

Unfinished Quality Oak Flooring From UK Timber Merchants

With many years of knowledge and expertise, UK Timber have much experience of manufacturing solid oak flooring, which they think of as a precise art. With these skills their timber is an excellent choice for home flooring. Solid oak flooring is highly sought after due to its amazing character, durability and beauty that is unsurpassed.

Therefore, you should choose your supplier very carefully. From timber merchants such as UK Timber, oak flooring comes completely unfinished, so you have the freedom to choose and apply your own preferred finish and bring out the best of this versatile type of wood flooring for the exact colour match that you are after.

Quality oak flooring from UK Timber is manufactured from kiln dried boards imported from France and England. This top quality flooring is tongue and grooved, and these oak boards can be end matched if you request it. Oak floor boards from UK Timber are planed ready for sanding after installation.

Quality Solid Oak Flooring For Your Home

UK Timber has different types of oak flooring available at their online store, offering superb quality and character. French oak flooring options include character grade unfinished and rustic grade unfinished oak flooring that has a lovely character and a few sound knots, face shakes, colour variations, and slight imperfections offering plenty of personality!

This flooring is available in various widths and with random lengths. The wood is kiln dried to approximately 8-12 percent moisture content. These floor boards do not require sanding, and they are ready to be finished in any way that you like. They are unique and of superb quality!

UK Timber also offers solid English oak flooring, which is beautiful and similar in appearance to French character grade oak flooring. Manufactured from kiln dried boards using home-grown trees, it is also tongue and grooved. These floor boards are planed ready for sanding after installation, and extra thick floor boards are available upon request. In terms of appearance European oak flooring is identical in density and wear resistance to the French oak floor boards.

For more information email [emailprotected], call 01536 267107 or visit

Modular Kitchen- The Popular Choice

People say that you can judge the people in the house by judging how their kitchen is arranged. We dont know how accurate that is, but there is truth hidden in it. The arrangement and neatness of the kitchen leave a long lasting impression on the people. So, it is very important that the kitchen of your dream home should be planned to perfection. Modular kitchen is the best way for this to happen.
A modular kitchen consists of many modules with kitchen cabinets, kitchen worktop, chimney, electronic appliances and other kitchen equipments arranged in accordance to spatial dimensions of the available room space so that the kitchen can be utilised in the best possible way. This helps in increase in accessibility and makes it easier to clean and rearrange the kitchen. As there are a number of cabinets, you get enough space to keep all the utensils and kitchen equipments in a modular kitchen.
The planned arrangement does the best when the bigger appliances are arranged so that they already fit in the system in a good way. Then power plugs are ensured for all the electronic appliances in the kitchen may it be microwave oven, refrigerator or even the bulky dishwasher. When arranging the modules, all the necessary safety measures are taken care of. This is a very good advantage that the kitchen is secured from fire damages and electronic damages. Another advantage is that the style is not compensated while safety and security are increased. This makes modular kitchen a perfect choice.
The position of the ventilator of the kitchen ensures freshness round the clock and the spatial arrangement makes it tidier and easier to clean. There is a wide array of colours available from which you can select the one you like. You can also select the style and look of the modular kitchen according to how the style of your house is. For a house that bears the traditional look, the classic style can be selected and a modern house can have a modern style modular kitchen. This can be done according to your choice, though.
Modular kitchen is generally considered as a kitchen afforded only by the people who can afford all the luxuries. But it is available in a range of prices. That means it can be installed by a middle class person also. As it is movable, a person living in a rented house can also buy it. This increases its popularity.

The Difference Between A Modern Kitchen And A Traditional Kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen takes a lot of preparation and should also require plenty of time for premeditated style choices. One of the biggest choices to make when preparing to create a new kitchen is what type of atmosphere you want the room to have. Do you want it to give off a modern feel or a more traditional, homey feel? The way to make this decision could be based on the style of the rest of your home or on a change you want to be made regarding what you dislike about your current kitchen. Whichever style you choose, the kitchen cabinets play a crucial role in creating the atmosphere that you want for the room.

What makes a kitchen look more modern or contemporary? Modern kitchens often look much more sleek in appearance than a traditional one with more of a clean, stark feel rather than a cluttered look. They also often have solid, plain colors to minimize distractions and complement the metallic look of appliances like the refrigerator and the dishwasher. In the case of a modern look, kitchen cabinets should look minimal and geometric with straightforward colors like black or white.

With a traditional kitchen the goal is to be warm and inviting in appearance and not be afraid to create accents here and there to make things look a bit ornate. Traditional kitchens typically utilize wood cabinets because they look classic and timeless while making guests feel instantly at home. The cabinets can also have glass doors to give them an old fashioned style which will work with the atmosphere of the kitchen. The traditional kitchen uses soft colors that can complement the wood color of the cabinets and counters.
Whether you decide to go for a modern look or a traditional kitchen, make sure you are consistent in the materials and styles you choose. What matters most is a cohesive look so that people understand what you are going for with the feel of your kitchen. Take time to plan all the little details and preview the kind of design you want online so that when you get started you will be satisfied with the final result.