How To Remodel Your Kitchen In Stages

Remodeling Your Kitchen With A Complete Design Plan

You need to start a kitchen remodel with a clear and concise plan. Have everything from the largest details to the smallest ones decided in advance. This means you need to know where the refrigerator will be placed as to whether you need a built-in spice rack. Paying attention to all the details during a kitchen remodel is one of the best ways to stay on budget and get the kitchen you have always dreamed of.

One of the best ways to save some time and money is to use your kitchen’s current configuration and walls. This will help to keep the majority of your plumbing and electrical intact and avoids the mess that comes with tearing out walls.

While we all want to be weekend warriors it is best to hire a professional designer to ensure that your plans are feasible and complete. The cost to hire a professional designer is going to be about 10% of the total project. However, it helps to ensure that everything is done right the first time. In addition, a pro is going to have a unique spin on the project as well.

If you are on a budget, you can get help from your local home improvement store. You will be expected to make some of your purchases from that store.

Ordering The Essential Ingredients For The Perfect Kitchen

One of the biggest investments in your kitchen remodels will be the cabinets and appliances. If you plan on remodeling in stages, you can simply order them and store them in a dry room away from moisture until you are ready for the installation process.

Once you order your cabinets, it will take up to eight weeks for them to be delivered. If you are unable to purchase new appliances at the present time, just keep your older ones for now. However, you will have to design your cabinets around the appliances that will be there in the future. Appliances can always be replaced at a later date when your budget permits. Also have your cabinets color in mind for your diy pull out shelves.

This same holds true for your lighting fixtures. If your old ones will not interfere with your plan, keep them and replace at a later date. When adding new floor coverings such as linoleum and vinyl the change will be imperceptible. However, if you are adding tile or wood it is important to consider the change in height and install the new cabinets on shims.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to get to work in that kitchen. Pull out the fixtures you do not like and begin to remodel in stages. It is the best way to get the kitchen you always dreamed of while keeping to a strict budget.

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Eliminate All Pool Problems

A swimming pool is supposed to be a place for refreshing and enjoying yourself. It can keep the kids amused for hours, and it is nice to look at if well designed and kept clean. But if it looks like a sorry mess it can actually make your whole house look shoddy, dirty and can even say a lot about the owner. My, arent we a judgemental lot? Sadly, we are.

In reality most pool problems are the result of wilful neglect or misinformation. You may have a suction air line for draining and vacuuming your pool, but it wont clean itself unless you have a pool vac. If you thought your pool cleaning chores would be over as you bought a robotic pool cleaner, it wont actually do any use unless you take it out and switch it on. It doesnt have artificial intelligence.

Pool algae, and cloudy dirty water should not be a problem unless you have set your ph levels wrong or have failed to add pool chemicals. If you arent adding chlorine and salts to your pool, it is going to change from cool blue to ghoulish green. It is indeed a frightening sight and more scary than any ghost because not only will it smell bad but the water can also burn you and cause serious disease.


Here’s a few tips from the Bath Pool and Spa website.

Testing The Waters

Each week you need to test your water to check the PH levels. They should be above 7.0 and ideally 7.4. If it falls below 7 it becomes acidic and will irritate the skin and the eyes. If you think a little bit of irritation is ok for the eyes and skin heres a shocking detail. PH levels at 7.0 will actually begin to corrode the metal elements inside pool equipment and will also strip the plaster off the walls and floor. You should add some soda ash to your pool immediately if you notice ph levels beginning to drop.

Pool Cleaners

You should run a pool cleaner over the pool at least once a week. This will remove any dust and dirt from the walls and floors of your pool. Modern pool cleaners can zip up down your pool from the floor to the walls, including around difficult areas like ladders, and scrub and vacuum the entire pool. You should also backwash your filter to dislodge any dirt which may prevent it doing its job.

Lastly, but in no means least in importance, you should place a pool cover on at night or when you are not swimming in your pool for hours. It traps heat in and stops dirt and pollutants from invading the water. It will also enable you to heat up your pool quicker which will result in you needing less gas or electric to heat up the water.

When it comes to pools, a little care and a little patience goes a long way indeed.

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Saving Money With A Variable Speed Pool Pump

Pool pumps are going to be used all the time by pool owners to keep things clean and well-maintained. This is a given, but what about the type of pool pump you are going with? Most people are going to move towards the cheapest option and one they have always seen in the form of a single speed pool pump.

Is this the one you should be going with? What if that is the option you have in place right now?

It is time to make a change or go with a variable speed pool pump as soon as possible because the benefits are hard to beat.

i) Save Money

The main benefit and the one you are going to care about most is how much money is being saved. You never want to go with a solution where you are not able to save as much money as you want. Recurring bills are part of everyday life. You have phone, TV, life insurance, fuel, food, etc, etc. But if you find cheaper insurance that does the same thing you will take it. The same is true with variable speed pool pumps. They do exactly what a single speed pump does only they save you money.

ii) Quieter

Variable speed pool pumps are also going to be quieter because they wont be running on hyperdrive all the time. It will run as much as it needs to and that is going to keep things ticking over nicely. A pool pump does not need to be blasting at full speed all day long. You can program it so it comes on at full pelt just to get the water circulating. Then you can lower it gradually and then bring it up again at the end of the day just to make sure the water is refreshing and kept clean.

iii)) Faster At Pumping And Cleaning

If the goal is to clean out the pool, don’t you want things to be done quickly? Do you want to have to wait around needlessly because the pool pump is not working out? This is something no one will want to handle, and that is why most people prefer variable speed pool pumps and what they have to offer.

Going with a variable speed pool pumps is a no-brainer because it is going to work out as needed. The pool is going to look great, and you are going to have things running in a seamless manner. It will settle into the background and work with your pool as required.

The simple adjustments it can make based on the pool’s flow is hard to ignore and is something you are going to enjoy as a pool owner. The amount of money that will be saved can go into the thousands of dollars in months.

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Professional Swimming Pool Design Increases Resale Value

It goes without saying that a swimming pool is a major investment for your property, especially since this is a feature that you or whoever buys it will be using for many years to come. A pool that is thoughtfully integrated can have a great deal of impact on the overall resale value of your home, so the aesthetic quality and build are going to be very important.

There are a lot of people who may simply go with the first swimming pool contractor that they find, or even go on the build ideas and sale through a swimming pool salesman. However, you are going to find that it is going to be worthwhile to check with a swimming pool and landscape designer to get the job done from start to finish. A quality design for your outdoor space, including your swimming pool, will help you to end up with a completed project that is tasteful, functional and inviting for your family as well as your guests.

These are some of the things that you want to know in advance so that you can have the utmost confidence in your swimming pool design team and installation professionals:

Experience/Education – Find out where the pool design professional went to college (if any) and find out what certificates and experience they have.

Actual Builds – Have they built any pools themselves throughout their career? A pool design may look great on paper, but what about after installation?

Portfolio Pictures – Anyone can draw a pool design, so it will be a good idea to look for pictures of the design and the after-pictures of any pool that the designer has drawn up and then had built. This is a nice way to see what it looks like when a pool is designed and put together from start to finish.

References – Of course, you never want to go into such a major project without looking into references. If possible, see if you can go and look at some of the pools that the contractor/designer has come up with in your local area. This will allow you to not only see the results, but also talk with the homeowner so that you can learn about their previous customers satisfaction levels and the overall project.

When all is said and done, you will see that professional swimming pool design should leave you with an end result that is going to be an incredible addition to your property.

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Why Planning Application Maps Must Be Accurate

When you are working on a large project and need to submit an application for planning permission, it is vital that you provide accurate maps alongside the details of the project, and supply those same accurate planning application maps to your builders and architects. The builders will use those maps as a part of the process of planning the project for themselves, and they will want to know that the project has been clearly defined. The architect will need to know the lay of the land before starting to create drawings for the buildings.

The site maps that you use when you are applying for planning permission show the boundaries of your property and the size of the planned development. They lay out where you are thinking of working, and they show the planning committee (and the people who are going to be working on the property) what you expect to do.

The site map is far more accurate than any other map that you are likely to get your hands on – most maps, even road maps made by reputable companies, are designed on a scale that means that they are not ideal for planning detailed works. Site maps zoom in on the area around your property to a far more accurate scale, so you can see things like fences, garden boundaries, and smaller parts of the property. When it comes to land ownership and analysing sites, every meter counts. Sometimes, especially with residential properties, you can end up with weird scenarios where one neighbour puts a fence on another neighbour’s land, so you actually don’t own all of your garden. That’s not a big deal when you’re looking at something like a garden that is not being touched – the average person is not going to quibble about having a foot or two less lawn to mow – but they may dispute things if you decide that you actually want to erect a permanent structure on there.

Accurate planning application maps from the Ordnance Survey company will prevent little mistakes that could end up scuppering a project or costing you a lot of money. They will prevent landowner disputes, and they will help to keep everyone involved with the project happy. It’s not easy to plan a large project and to work with surveyors, builders, the planning department and everyone else that you need to work with, but it can be done. Be patient, get all of the information that you need – check things like flood plains, traffic demands, utilities, public transport links, noise levels, and everything else that could relate to the development (especially if you’re working on a business property, rather than something for a residential property) and you will be in a good position to get your application accepted, and to have your project go smoothly.

Your builders will appreciate you if you give them all the information they need to have the project go well; indeed, you will find that many builders will not start their work without having all of the documents in place – and that’s the way that it should be.

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Ways Of Heating A Pool

Most pool or hot tub owners would like to have their pools warm, but it can sometimes be a challenge for many people to heat their pools. There are different ways to heat a pool, depending on how much you want to spend and maintenance. There are four common ways to heat a pool, namely;

Solar pool heating

This is very popular because it uses the sun to heat the pool, making it cheaper to maintain when compared to the other methods. Solar heating methods work directly by heat transfer. The water from the pool is circulated through the collector, which is mostly located in the roof of the device. It can be a solar panel or a smaller solar dome. There are some systems that have a digital controller that send water to the collector when there is enough sunshine, provided the temperature of the pool is not at the desired level. This is a perfect system for people looking for a system with less operating costs. When considering something like this, the location of the pool will always be a factor. It needs to be close to the solar collector

Electric heater elements

This system can be easily bought and installed. They work like an electric kettle. There is a heat transfer from the element to the pool water. The units are small, making them suitable for small areas or where discretion is needed. They are also ideal if you dont have a gas supply. They are usually more expensive than gas when they are used during off-peak tariffs.

Electric Heat Pump

They work off the opposite principle of an air conditioner, instead of taking air from the building or room, it removes the heat and returns it. Large quantities of air is taken from the atmosphere, the heat in the air is removed and transferred to the pool through the unit. This reduces energy consumption drastically. This makes it cheaper to use, and there is a higher efficiency in temperate locations. When pools are heated during off-peak hours, it can become the cheapest option of heating a pool. You can see a comparison of gas vs heat pumps at

Gas heating

This is the most preferred option and used by many pools and spas because they offer flexibility in all locales and weather types. They can maintain the desired temperature easily, and a pool can be easily heated within a day even in winter. This can be perfect for pools that are mainly used for entertaining. This option is usually most viable during the warmer months of the year. The pool can be maintained at the owners preferred temperature, unlike solar where the temperature will vary depending on the season.

Gas heaters are great when you dont use the pool continuously. It great when you suddenly decide you need a swim. You just fire up the heater and in a short while the water is warm. You can even swim away whilst the pool begins to heat up. If you need to run a heater all the day, for hours per day, then gas can get very expensive.

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How To Make An Indoor Or Outdoor Fairy Garden

If you want to create a space in your yard where your children can be creative and use their imaginations, why not build a fairy garden. This fairy garden is a whimsical place full of little structures, plants, and flowers that create a magical environment, where fairies can come and play, spreading blessings and bringing good luck to your home and family.

The fairy garden I created was used as a centrepiece for a party. We still have this cute fairy garden, which would fit in well on a patio, on top of a dresser or in any other small space. You don’t have to put your fairy garden in your sunny outdoor space, it can truly fit anywhere.

You can start your fairy garden in a container or tray. I had a large wine barrel planter which had not been used for years. I filled it with fresh soil and created the garden. You can use any item in your garden that can hold soil, even a galvanized bucket, serving tray, or the saucer from the bottom of a planter. You can get creative by finding fun little things, that you have on hand to add to the garden. You can build your fairy garden with rocks, plants, and pinecones from your garden. You can also add shells, marbles, artificial flowers, old tea cups and glass rocks.

You can use the items to create a little scene with a bag of moss, tiny shells, artificial flowers, stones, moss covered rocks, a tiny birdhouse, a ladybug tire swing, and of course, little fairies.

You can find many of the items you need for your fairy garden at your local craft store or garden centre. However, there are a number of items you can get from your local dollar store. And, Palmate’s Fairy Garden Store online store has a large selection and offers quick delivery. You may also use dollhouse items and furniture from secondhand stores, although these items may not last if left outdoors. However, some items like tiny terra cotta pots will be perfect for your fairy garden.

Before you start building your fairy garden, you should layout the garden design. Use a stick to draw where each item will be placed. Where will the house go? Where will the path go? Which plants will go where?

Then, you can start placing items and planting. You can use crushed shells for your garden path since it looks like little stones. Then you can place the accessories where you want them. You don’t have to add the little fairies, but if you have a few ceramic fairies in your home, then you can add them as the finishing touch to your fairy garden.

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Mortgage: The Dream to a House

It is everybody’s dream to own a home and most of the times a mortgage will be needed. For you to succeed in becoming a homeowner you need to ensure that you are a sure candidate for a mortgage.

To buy your first home, you likely will need a mortgage. In fact, before you even start looking at houses, you should look into your mortgage prospects.

If you have good credit, a healthy income and money in the bank, you’ll be able to secure mortgage preapproval quickly and proceed straight to the home buying process. But if you have less-than-stellar credit, are self-employed or have little cash to bring to the table, you’ll want to start the process way before you look at houses – maybe more than a year before.

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For mortgage lenders to give you the money you need to buy a home there is paper work to be done. They are very thorough and hence the need for a checklist so that you ensure everything is in order.

  • W-2 forms from the previous two years, if you collect a paycheck.
  • Profit and loss statements or 1099 forms, if you own a business.
  • Recent paycheck stubs.
  • Most recent federal tax return, and possibly the last two tax returns.
  • A complete list of your debts, such as credit cards, student loans, car loans and child support payments, along with minimum monthly payments and balances.
  • List of assets, including bank statements, mutual fund statements, real estate and automobile titles, brokerage statements and records of other investments or assets.
  • Canceled checks for your rent or mortgage payments.

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From the way things look, a successful home buyer is one who plans ahead. You will not only be saving time but also minimizing the chances of your loan request being turned down. You prepare by knowing how much you can afford and by even checking your credit history.


The old formula that was used to determine how much a borrower could afford was about three times the gross annual income. However, this formula has proven to not always be reliable. It is safer and more realistic to look at the individual budget and figure out how much money there is to spare and what the monthly payments on a new house will be. When figuring out what kind of mortgage payment one can afford, other factors such as taxes maintenance, insurance, and other expenses should be factored. Usually, lenders do not want borrowers having monthly payments exceeding more than 28% to 44% of the borrower’s monthly income. For those who have excellent credit, the lender may allow the payments to exceed 44%. To aid in this determination, banks and websites like this one offer mortgage calculators to assist in determining the mortgage payment that one can afford. For your convenience, here is a rate table displaying current mortgage rates in your area & the associated monthly payment amounts. If you adjust the loan amounts and hit the search button, the monthly payment numbers will automatically update.

Lenders like to look at credit histories through a request to credit bureaus to make the borrower’s credit file available. This allows the lender to make a more informed decision regarding loan prequalification. Through the credit report, lenders acquire the borrower’s credit score, also called the FICO score and this information can be acquired from the major credit bureaus TransUnion, Experiean, and Equifax. The FICO score represents the statistical summary of data contained within the credit report. It includes bill payment history and the number of outstanding debts in comparison to the borrower’s income.

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