Friday, May 30, 2008

Ten Great Reasons for Choosing a Wood Floor by Neil Street

Many homeowners are faced with a decision when it comes to floor covering. For most, it boils down to a choice between a wood floor or carpeting. While initially it may seem a bit more affordable to choose carpeting over wood flooring, when you think through the benefits of a wood floor, it becomes clear that it’s really the best option - for your wallet, for your health, and for your environment. Here are ten great reasons why a wood floor is the best choice.
- Wood floors add to the value of your home, and are a great investment over time. Homebuyers love wood flooring, and if there comes a time to sell your house, your wood floors will add to its appeal and value.

- Wood flooring helps control allergens. Wood doesn’t trap animal dander, dust, pollens, and other allergens. Getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting is often a first step recommended by doctors as part of reducing household allergens. And a wood floor is easily cleaned with green or non-toxic products.

- It looks and feels beautiful! Wood is a timeless flooring material, that can actually improve over time, as its color and tone mellow and deepen.

- Functional and flexible �" wood flooring can be used in almost any room in a home. Plus, because area rugs can be easily replaced, a wood floor lets you redecorate a room in a new style, without having to replace flooring.

- Wood floors are low maintenance and easy to care for. Once the floor is properly stained and sealed, you won’t need to do much! Spills are a cinch to wipe clean, and simple sweeping or vacuuming is all you need on a regular basis to keep your floor looking beautiful.

- Lots of choices. There is an almost unlimited variety of woods to choose from, ranging from elegant hardwoods to rustic pine. And the wide variety of stains, plus options such as wide plank flooring, distressed look, quartersawn, and more, make wood floors suitable for any style of home.

- Durability. What other floor covering is actually recycled, and prized, hundreds of years after it was created? Certainly not carpeting! Wood floors are extremely durable, and can last for generations.

- Flexible installation. Today, the choices for installation are easier than ever. You can order your wood floor in the traditional way, and have it finished on site. Or, if you don’t want sanding and finishing taking place in your home, you can order

About the Author
Neil Street is a web publisher and internet marketing consultant. He is associated with Kellogg Hardwood Lumber, a manufacturer of custom hardwood flooring.

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Hiring an electrician. Do it right by MRE

by Mr. Electric Seattle
Things you should know before hiring an electrician Peace of mind. Background checks Remember: an electrician is the person that will work in your home. You should trust the electrician to let him work inside your home and around your children, right? Make sure the contractor you hire does background checks and drug tests its employees. License A license is an endorsement of the quality of work. However, it also provides a financial protection for the homeowner. Having electrical work performed by an unlicensed contractor could result in voiding your homeowners insurance. Make sure the contractor you hire is also bonded and insured. Licensed, bonded electrical contractors get permits and assume responsibility for electrical jobs they perform. Make sure your contractor employs licensed electricians to do the work. Warranty Any good electrician should provide a warranty. Really good electricians/electrical contractors provide both labor and material/parts warranty. Make sure the electrician provides these warranties in writing. For example, Mr. Electric Seattle has the warranty statement right on the invoice every customer gets a copy of. Quality of materials A good electrician/contractor always uses contractor-grade materials. That's why they usually give the higher price automatically. This is where a good electrical contractor "has a problem" while bidding with other contractors. Remember: a good contractor will never cut corners and do something unsafe in order to accommodate your budget. However, an experienced electrician might suggest on how to modify your plans to meet both safety requirements and your budget.

General advices: Think twice before accepting the lowest bid/price Remember: You usually get what you pay for. A higher bid may be worth the price in better materials, workmanship and reliability. A large number of complaints filed against contractors are the result of homeowner taking the lowest bid and then being unhappy with the low quality of work electrician provides. Save your time and money by combining electrical projects. Think of extra outlets, lighting or wiring that you may want for the near future. You can even make a list of your specific needs. Electricians usually charge less when they do something as an additional task.

Consider skill and experience over a cheaper rate. An inexperienced, cheap electrician who doesn't fix the problem correctly can get you in a trouble. Remember about hiring quality first.

Seattle electrical contractor (206) 686-8579

About the Author
Expert Electricians

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A Plumber Fixes Pipes and Water Problems by Leroy Calstard

You will find that there are going to be a lot of lessons that you learn by simply buying a home, and plumbing is one of them. If you are not a licensed plumber then you will not even want to think about doing anything more than using Draino. This does not mean that you are not capable of doing something good with the plumbing; however, it does leave a lot of room for error. Keep in mind that plumbers tend to be overpriced and you may end up finding that there are a lot of hidden fees like travel time and other things. You will want to make sure that you are at your rope’s end before you call a plumber, however, don’t try to be the super and fix it yourself. Call around and see who is good and who is worth your time. For the times where you have water all over the place and the house just seems crazy, you will want to shut off the water and then call someone close and ask who they prefer. This way you can get the quality workmanship without putting up with a lot of hassle.
If possible, you will want to compare shopping. Compare shopping will help you to get the best price, but not always the best work. You will want to make sure that you think about things like hourly rates and charges for mileage. You will want to make sure that you understand their rates and how much you feel comfortable with their charging methods. Keep in mind that some will charge by the minute, or simply by the hour. You will want to keep in mind that there are a lot of hidden fees too. Make sure that you ask them about how much all together you are looking for and then add ten percent. Can you live with that?

When it comes to plumbing it is hard to pick a price. You don’t really want to look at who is cheaper, because they may only give you a half-fast job and then you are stuck hiring another person. You will want to make sure that you call some of your friends and family members and ask who they use. Everyone has a plumber that they prefer and a plumber who they will go with if their first choice is too busy. Keep in mind that satisfaction is one of the most important things that you need to be concerned with.

Also, if possible, you will need to minimize your plumbing needs. Don’t just call for a backup on a drain, but call if the pipes are broken or some other big job. You will want to consider calling a plumber if you drop something down the drain of your sink and (hopefully the filter will catch it) or if something large is stuck in your toilet pipes (perhaps your son’s truck).

About the Author
Leroy Calstard's detailed articles can be discovered on different online sites linked to pickup truck tool box. His publications on finding stainless steel tool boxes can be encountered on his webpage and also many different online sites.

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How Do I Find a Good Electrician? by Andy Electrician

Finding a good electrician is done by word of mouth, looking in the yellow pages, or looking online. Many times when you are looking for a licensed and insured electrician one will ask friends and family for a referral. This is a great way to find a reputable electrician or electrical contractor. If you have a referral you can easily check to see if the electrician has a license, insurance and any complaints by checking with your community board of licensing. If they have no complaints, the next thing to check is what services they provide.
This can be done by looking on the Internet to see if the electrician has a website that lists their qualifications and services offered. Many electricians also advertise in the yellow pages and list their services. You want an electrician that can do all the work you need done without contracting out to another company. If you find an electrician online in your area, you can request information about a certain service if they have a contact page. This is common practice with the Internet today. If you need any type of electrical work done, you want an experienced and insured electrician that has a good record for completing work up to standards.

A good electrician will not diagnose your problem over the phone. The professional electrician will come to your home to troubleshoot the problem while explaining to you what they are doing. You want an electrical services company that will give you an estimate for the work before starting. It may be best to get a few estimates if you want to find a good electrician. Going with the cheapest estimate is not always going to mean quality work. This is very important to remember when looking for a qualified electrician or electrical contractor to complete all the work you need to have done.

About the Author
Find local electricians and Electric contractors in your town or city area simply by entering your zip code.

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Things you should know about repair and cleaning hardwood floors by John Clay

For many families who have solid hardwood floors in their homes, bring about a genuine lifetime investment, and balance some care with a life span of value. At the first sighting of a solid hardwood floor, you sense luxuriance, warmth and natural beauty. Slowly, you adapt its apparent charm ââ,¬â€œ perceptible tranquility, the streaks of history in the timberlands and in your place .
Things to regard and appreciate :

Color and pattern of the floorââ,¬â,,¢s strips, planks or parquetry.

Check out the grains. Oak- is flashy in texture; Maple or cherry-are moderated .

Examine the condition of the unexposed wood and the finish that defends it.

Examine the signs of neglect. Is there a surface that calls for just a imponderous touch to care for it?

The elements of the natural world lets you to develop elegant characteristics with exceptional textures, colors, patterns and styles of solid hardwood flooring .

How do you protect your solid asset

The first step of taking care of your hardwood floors is just simply sustaining them clean. To guard your solid hardwood floorsââ,¬â,,¢ warmth and character, apply the everyday simple cleaning techniques.

There are ways to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors:

Stay away from having dirt, grit and sand on your hardwood floors. These substances are detrimental to your hardwood floors. They act like abrasive material on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to catch dirt and prevent damage.

Stay away from water and other spills. Standing water can deform insufficiently finished hardwood floor and can ruin the finish. Easily rub lightly with a cloth with the cloth all spills as they happen.

Intense Cleaning solvents. Abstain from oil soaps. They can cause a accumulation and initiate the problems when your floor is due for maintenance coating . Apply the suggested neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors.

Furniture. Abstain from having your furniture pulled havily or slowly along the hardwood floors . Make sure to lift up the furniture to move it. Mount self-adhesive sliders under the furniture legs; it will help to avoid scratches.

Dents. In order to prevent tears use the vacuum with a brush attachment. Abstain from the use of vacuums with beater bars.

Sun exposure . Direct sun can blot your hardwood floor. Keep you window treatments and blinds closed. Or add special sun block shades to protect from the sunââ,¬â,,¢s intense UV rays.

General care for your hardwood floors:

Sweeping. Use the dusters with fine, exploded tips to capture all the dust and grit effectively.

Vacuuming. Use the specially designed canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments. They are the surest way eliminate all the dirt and dust.

Dusting Mop. Use a good dust mop. The dust mop should have 12ââ,¬ï¿½ to 18ââ,¬ï¿½ inch cotton head and a special dust mop application. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.

There are several kinds of hardwood flooring

Oak and maple are the most popular hardwoods used in flooring.

Ash, beech,birch, cherry, hickory and walnut are more luxurious hardwoods that are used for floors and decorative accents.

Follow these steps to evaluate the condition of your hardwood floor and its finish

Finish Condition. Check closely if the finish been dinged or is it just unclean. Check if the finish is having very little depth of color, cracked off, scraped or gouged. In order to examine if the finish is obsolete, start in a high-traffic area and pour one to two tablespoons of water onto the floor. If the water soaks in immediately and leaves a darkened spot, the finish is obsolete and water can destroy the wood. If the water soaks in after a few minutes and darkens the wood only slightly, the finish is halfway worn. If the water blobs on top, the surface is densed. Duplicate this test in low- and medium-traffic areas.

Wood Condition. Check to see if the finish is obsolete, the wood may have been dinged. Inspect the areas for stains, burns, cuts, gouges, holes, cracks or deflected boards. If the wood is dinged repair or replacement may be required.

There are several types of finishes available

The same care and maintenance techniques are required for all finishes in superb condition, neverless when it comes to removing stains or restoring the finish, methods alter. If you don't know what kind of finish your floor has, ask your contractor or real estate specialist.

There are also incomplex tests available for your convenience:

Surface Finishes----pre-finished floors, polyurethane, water-based urethane and catalyzed. Nearly all floors installed today have surface finishes, commonly it is a polyurethane. They are often glossy and may look like a coat of clear plastic on top of the wood. A small amount of paint remover in a subtle area of the floor will cause the surface finish to bubble (unless it is a water-based urethane, in which case there will be no reaction). Surface finishes safeguard the floors from any harm by forming a protective a coat on the surface of the wood.

Penetrating Seals: acrylics, oils and waxes.

Oils and waxes commonly have a satin or matte finish. To recognize the penetrating seal, run your hands across the surface of the hardwood floor; If you can encounter the wood grain it's most likely a penetrating seal. Usage of the paint remover will have no effect on a penetrating seal; however wax stripper or ammonia will tender and blanch the surface. Oils and waxes penetrate the surface of the floor protecting the wood from within.

About the Author
John Clay is the writer of wood flooring, flooring cost which includes flooring costs, Hardwood Long Beach, floor installation, floor repair, floor finishing, hardwood floor repair etc.

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Choosing the best carpet repair professional by Elizabeth

Most homeowners wait until their entire carpet is dirty and unsightly before repairing or replacing the necessary elements of their floor. Carpet repairs can be costly if you wait too long, but hiring a professional to repair your carpet can actually save you time, money, and keep your carpets looking great. But not all Austin carpet repair professionals are the same and you'll need to make sure that the service you choose meets your needs.

Keep in mind that professional carpets repair is different than professional carpet cleaning. Professional carpet cleaning should be done once or twice a year where carpet repair is only necessary if your carpet has permanent stains or damage. This type of damage can include:

• Pet stains and odors
• Damage from pet claws or teeth
• Burns
• Melted wax or crayons
• Permanent dye and ink stains
• Holes or Snags

Before settling on an Austin carpet repair professional, you'll need to take into account the exact needs of your carpet. Since most carpet repair services offer free estimates or assessments, you may want to consider calling a few different companies before settling on a single one. Keep in mind that most of these carpet repair places also offer professional carpet cleaning services and will be able to tell you if your carpet can be cleaned rather than repaired.

A quality Austin carpet repair professional will assess and repair every level of your carpet, not just the top. Most stains and odors reach beyond the visible layers of your carpet all the way down to the padding and floor. This is especially true for pet stains and odors that are not responsive to conventional cleaning. Under these circumstances, your Austin carpet repair team needs to replace the damaged carpet as well as the padding underneath.

If the damage only goes as far as the top layer, you need to choose an Austin carpet repair team that can provide seamless repairs to your floor without having to replace the entire carpet. The best carpet repair teams can match your existing carpet and create seamless transitions between old and new carpeting.

Keep in mind that your carpet may need more than just patches and spot repairs. A quality Austin carpet repair professional will be able to tell you if your padding, tack strips, or thresholds need repairs or replacing. If you feel a shift in your carpet or notice bulges or wrinkles, you may want to consider having your carpet stretched while it's being repaired. Most quality service professionals can provide this service along with repairing damaged carpet.

If you have high quality Berber carpets, you'll need to be especially picky when it comes to an Austin carpet repair professional. Although Berber carpets are great for everyday use, a single snag can cause them to look worn and disheveled. An experienced Austin carpet repair service can actually reweave and repair your exiting Berber and help you find ways of preventing further snags or damage.

If you have water damage, you'll need to contact an Austin carpet repair professional immediately! Wet carpets and pads can harbor mold and mildew, causing dangerous living conditions for your family. Many Austin carpet repair services, like Kiwi Services, offer both professional Austin carpet repair and Austin Berber carper repair services. These types of companies can help you not only assess the damages, but provide total care to your entire carpet and home.

About the Author
Elizabeth is a professional content writer for Kiwiservices:

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Duct Cleaning - what size vacuum should be used

Author: Pat Johnson

As a qualified duct cleaning contractor I have discovered that
most homeowners feel that they are very uninformed when it comes
to understanding what size vacuum should be used to clean their
air duct system.
We are continuously asked weather we use a portable vacuum or a
truck mounted vacuum and 90% of the time the customer really has
no idea why they are even asking this question except for the
fact that they have been told that either a portable is better
or that a truck mount is better.
Of course most Duct Cleaning companies that you call will
inevitably tell you that their vacuum is better than the other
guys...They are after all trying to get your business.
The truth is that any vacuum that produces at least 2000cfm (two
thousand cubic feet per minute) of air flow will be enough to
extract the dust from your duct system provided that the duct
cleaning contactor uses standard tools and procedures set forth
by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
I can appreciate that from a customer's point of view it would
seem that the vacuum would be the most important piece of
equipment in a Duct Cleaners arsenal, however, the vacuum really
is last on the list.
The importance in equipment is as follows: First would be the
Technician and the skills he or she processes, Secondly would be
the Air Compressor that is used (this is where bigger is better)
Third would be the host of agitation tools used to dislodge the
debris and move it toward the vacuum and Last but not least is
the vacuum itself.
So next time a Duct Cleaning company tries to sell you on their
service strictly on the type of the vacuum they use, I suggest
you asked some serious questions pertaining to the level of
competence and rate of customer satisfaction.
Duct Cleaning Could be the Healthiest Home Improvement You Will
Ever Make!

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