Open Floor Plans: The Way We Live Today


As you plan your new home, one of the most important decisions is selecting the floor plan. The arrangement of rooms, the flow from one room to another and the use of space help determine the feel of your new home.

Builders have long recognized the vital role that floor plans play in determining your opinion of a home. That’s why many builders create furnished model homes that home buyers can walk through, to better experience a new home before purchase.

However, like many buyers, you may be considering a floor plan that’s not available for tour as a model home. If so, there are several simple tips that will have you reading a two-dimensional floor plan like a pro.

Calculating Sight Lines

As you shop for a new home, you may find two homes that have similar square footage — but one plan seems significantly larger than the other. How can that be?<;s the way the square footage is divided into rooms, and the way those rooms and spaces flow. A key driver of all of this can often be sight lines.

In architectural parlance, sight lines

15 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Home Builder


Selecting the right builder like Avalanche Roofing & Exteriors is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home.

Asking builders the 15 questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home — and give you confidence in your choice.

These questions will also help you better understand key steps in the building process and the decisions you’ll make, in partnership with the builder, to bring your new home to life.

  • How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?
  • Are you licensed (where required) and insured?
  • How do you compare yourself to other builders? What are the most important benefits of the homes you build?
  • What type of warranty do you offer?
  • Can you give me references from prior home buyers? Do you build model homes I can tour? If not, can you help me make an appointment to see a home you built for another customer?
  • What are the major energy-saving features of homes you build?
  • Do you build only from home plans you supply? Or

Top 10 Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New Homes vs. Used


Today’s new homes offer more benefits than ever before. Here’s a quick list of the Top 10 reasons why so many home buyers prefer new homes to used houses:

1) Design Your Dream Home Your Way: Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can select your favorite cabinets, countertops, appliances, carpets and flooring? While you’re at it, you can choose gorgeous bath and kitchen fixtures, lighting and other options that you love. Your new home will reflect your style, not someone else’s taste.

2) Choose a Floor Plan and Room Layout that Meets Your Needs: Want a master bedroom on the first floor? It’s yours. With massive his and her’s walk-in closets? Done! Want high ceilings and a luxurious, resort-style master bath? Perhaps you’d like a sitting room with a fireplace in your owner’s suite or French doors that open to your private patio or the pool? It’s easy, when you build your master suite your way.<>: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it —

Thinking of Decorating Your Home This Summer? – Interior Design Guide


Home decoration is the perfect way to get a good theme and look going. It can make your home feel more like a home, it can offer an inviting appearance, and it can make everyone inside happier. It is one of the best things that you can do to up the appeal and comfort of your property. If you want to decorate the home for summer, you have plenty of opportunities available to you. Recycling ideas, getting creative, and playing with objects are all perfect ways to get a stunning design for the summer time. From seashells to sunshine, it can all go into your summer interior design.

When decorating your home for summer, you have to think about the theme itself. There are several colors that fit the summer months as well as those that do not. Summer ideas are unique to summer, of course. While recycling ideas from other months can work if you modify them, you want to stick with things that relate to summer. Nature, warm and bright colors, and objects related

Benefits of Selling Your Old Kitchen Online Instead of Sending it to the Junk Yard

old kitchen

Deciding to renovate your kitchen is a big deal and will require a lot of time and energy.  One thing you may not have thought of though is all of the trash from your cabinets and other kitchen appliances and accessories that you will have to deal with.  And while it may seem like the only option is to trash them that is not true.  Instead of throwing your old kitchen away you can sell it online.  By selling a used kitchen online you will be making some money that can be put right back into renovation, you will be helping to save the environment by reducing the amount of trash in the junk yards, and you will be able to give someone else the chance to buy a new kitchen for their own home.

Home renovations are a big project that often take more money that you would have initially thought.  That is why it is nice to save money where ever you can throughout your project.  One of the easiest ways to do this


Windows are the eyes of your home, and as well as women put make up on them to make them look better, it is the time to think about changing the style of the old existing windows. Exactly owing to the windows you can get beautiful views, a lot of natural light during the day, appropriate ventilation, and get extra warmth from the sun during the winter time. If you do not want to loose money on energy inefficient windows, then you definitely should consider tips from our Markham windows experts to improve your windows with the simple tips below. So read on and make your home a better place to be at!


When living in warm climate conditions people tend to care less about the windows treatments to raise their energy efficiency. However, with the help of experts in windows Markham we would like to present you easy steps of doing so and lowering energy expenses:
Use drapes, curtains, shades, or blinds in order to reflect heat away from your house.-
During the day, when you do not need much light, close curtains again to lower heat inside of the house.-

Unlimited Opportunities for Freelance Writers and Editors: Find them Today!

Emphasis on the written word has increased by several times in today’s day and age. In earlier times when writers were typically limited to only the print medium, writing as a profession was also restricted to only a handful of individuals. Consequently, related jobs like editing were also not occupations chosen by too many people.

The digital revolution transformed all of that. Almost overnight, with millions of active websites on the Internet and thousands more being added on every day for consumption of Netizens, written content became one of the most prized possessions for the virtual community. Writing became an occupation which has an almost unlimited market, since there is a never ending demand for content to be put up on all those countless websites.


There was a requirement for almost all kinds of writing, from literary to technical to academic to informal. Anyone with the expertise on any topic or genre could become a writer catering to the needs of the online market. The sheer number of writing jobs today for online articles has certainly increased by at least

Pest Control Companies and Their Roles in the Environment

Everybody is entitled to a healthy and satisfying life in a peaceful, pleasant and pest-free environment. Unfortunately, this is not the case as most environmental problems of health are created by us and need to be identified and addressed before they become unmanageable for future generations. Environmental health is concerned with aspects of improvement and safety of living environment.

Poorly constructed and minimally maintained houses are often infested with flies, mice, rats, bedbugs, rats and cockroaches depriving the physical, social and mental well-being which we need. Unless the pest infestation is managed it is likely to threaten public health like in airports and ports if not prevented through pest borne disease.

Dangers of Pest control

Dangerous elements of pest control affect us whenever we eat non-organic food, go to work or visit a park.  Man is concerned with bugs and pests which invest our personal space and crops but controlling these pests involves chemicals that harm our environment and bodies.

59 percent of families still use chemicals with harmful ingredients in insecticides and pesticides despite available statistics and information.  Carcinogens are used around buildings, on non organic food and public parks due to their cost effectiveness and being easy to use.  Environmental effects and

How to Organize a Successful Move


With a move on your horizon, getting to moving day will take a lot of work and careful planning on your part. Done right and you will pull off this move off without a hitch. And to do that, you need to get and stay organized. Here’s what you can do to ensure a successful move.

  1. Start Planning. With a move in mind, especially a moving date, your plan is ready to unfold. Help your cause by using a calendar to track your move’s progress. Circle your moving date in red and begin to work your way back from there. Set up deadlines to get various tasks done, such as lining up a moving company, obtaining medical and school records, hiring a real estate agent, and more. That calendar should be your guidestar from now and until the time you move explains Allied Moving.
  1. Tell Your Friends. The sooner you tell your friends about your move, the better. They’re the ones who have supported you thus far and will see you through your move. Expect that they’ll want to help out

Garden Furniture Must-Haves for the Summer

There can be few activities that are better than getting outside in the warm hazy days of summer and relaxing in the garden whether it be eating a meal outside, entertaining friends or simply soaking up the sun alone. There is a wide range of outdoor furniture available for this purpose which can suit all tastes – and all sizes of garden ranging from small patios to large lawns. The most obvious item of garden furniture is the chair, but this can also take the form of longer chairs such as the sun lounger or a rattan chaise longue.

Then there is the table which is often plastic but in order to assist with the eating of meals outside, a picnic table is another common item of garden furniture which is a table that has been modified with attached benches.

The garden parasol provides shade and is usually positioned in a hole in the middle of the table. A new trend is for people to sit outside at night and as such patio heaters and the like are now widely available. Usually the furniture for the garden is sold as a set – with

Seasonal Pests

Pests can be a problem all year round since there are various kinds of pests that live in the household. However, there are some pests which are a problem at certain times around the year for a short amount of time, so you should know its kind in order to prevent them from your home. Besides, you can hire Expert Pest Control if you are looking for Northern Beaches pest control; therefor, these professionals will give you a helping hand.


Winter brings out a variety of pest problems for many people.

  • Rodents are extremely busy during the winter. The average female will have 4-8 pups per litter and will go into heat just weeks after giving birth. It is not hard to imagine a female having 40-50 offspring in just one year.
  • Rats become a major problem on farms and in inner-city settings during this time.
  • Ants are seen in many homes with slab foundations. They will come up from the pea-gravel searching for food and water even during the coldest months.
  • Silverfish love warm, humid temperatures. Silverfish will be thriving in bathrooms or where there are hot-water pipes.
  • Spiders are a problem year-round for any

When to Call for Ant Pest Control

Ants are busy workers. And once these tiny little insects get into your home, they might be there to stay. Before you know it, you’re seeing ants on bits of food and corners everywhere. How does this happen and how do you know when it’s time to call in the ant pest control geniuses?

What Draws Ants

Food and water draw ants. When it’s rainy outside or as dry as a parched desert, ants start moving inside. They’ll eat almost anything. Most of the time, they’re not dangerous–okay, you might encounter ant bites every once in awhile, but they’re mostly peaceful cohabitors.

Ants are busy and smart and they work in droves. When an ant scout finds a leftover pizza bite under your kitchen table, he’ll tell his friends at the colony by leaving a scent trail. Then, ants from his colony and sometimes, from other colonies, follow the trail to the food site.

As with other pests, a dirty house with lots of food and water opportunities is a welcoming environment. However, ants can also infest clean homes too. There are always areas, such as the trash can and the dark

Dying at home leads to more peace, less grief, but requires wider support

Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients and their relatives, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.

The study shows that, according to questionnaires completed by their relatives, those who die at home experience more peace and a similar amount of pain compared to those who die in hospital, and their relatives also experience less grief. However, this requires discussion of preferences, access to a comprehensive home care package and facilitation of family caregiving.

Previous studies have shown that most people would prefer to die at home. In the UK, US and Canada, slightly more appear to be realising this wish, while in Japan, Germany, Greece and Portugal, a trend towards institutionalised dying persists.

Despite differing trends, the most frequent location of death for cancer patients remains hospital. Evidence regarding whether dying at home is better or worse than in hospital has, however, been inconsistent.

The new study took place in four health districts in London covering 1.3 million residents. 352 bereaved relatives of cancer patients completed questionnaires after their death — 177 patients died in hospital and 175 died at home. The questionnaires included validated measures of the patient’s pain and peace

Home Inspection The Key of Home Purchasing

The home inspection is a key piece of any home purchasing process. Without a home inspection, you can never make sure what you’re getting and when purchasing a home that is a great deal of cash to bet on vulnerability. A home inspection guarantees that there are no shocks and that you can appreciate your future home for a considerable length of time to come. Likewise, most banks certainly take into account the home inspection reports, while deciding to grant credit. A properly carried out home inspection activity will include enlisting an organization to send a home monitor out to experience your potential home with you and altogether review everything to verify there are no significant issues that may not be clear to the normal home manager. He will go over all the wiring, pipes, apparatuses, exteriors, roof top, basement so as to ensure that the whole structure is in good condition.

In the meantime, as the home inspection, it’s generally a decent thought to have a bug inspection to check for harming creepy crawlies. For example, termites or craftsman ants. A vermin inspection is carried out independently from the home inspection by an organization spend significant time in nuisance inspections.

Home Loans For First Home Buyers

Fulfill the essentials
Equity or no equity, you can avail a superb package if you pass some of the criterions of providers. Firstly, you need to possess a decent credit report. This means that your overall unsecured debt should be within manageable proportions. This is a fairly important aspect. Those who provide home loans wish to pre-assess whether your financial health is sound enough to pay for the mortgages over a long period of time. Of course, it helps if you have a streamlined flow of income.

Select your type
Spread over a fairly stretched tenure, easy interest rates mean that your monthly mortgage will be pretty manageable. Interest rates are generally worked out on a fixed or a floating rate. The latter is subject to change with the market scenario and at times it may result in paying mortgage for an extended tenure. As a first home buyer, you must make sure you are doing worthy comparisons and researches about home loans beforehand.

Brilliant option
There is a brilliant option available for you as first hoe buyer. You can go for relief home loans or honeymoon loans. Here, you are given great leverage (exceptionally less rates) during initial 6

How to Furnish Your Home

It’s very practical to select furniture and furnishings that you could use in any room in your home. Read these tips on choosing furniture and accessory pieces that can work well in small or large rooms, offer storage, and can be moved around the house when you need to.

Tips of Home Furnishing:

• If your new home is in a pre-planned community, check out the developer’s model home for pieces you like. They may be a bit worn, but often the developer will sell off the home’s furniture after a period of time. It’s a great way get room sets that are already coordinated.

• When furnishing a living room or family room, choose 2 loveseats rather than one huge sofa. They’ll be easier to move and can be used forming a corner seating area, opposite each other to create a conversation spot, or separately in different rooms of your home.

• When looking at used furniture – or any used furnishings – don’t think of what they look like now, but what they could look like with a little refurbishing. Maybe that coffee table wouldn’t fit your living room now, but sand it down and add a coat of stain and it might not be

How To Create Your Perfect Garden

How would you go about creating your perfect garden? What ideas do you have that you would like to see come alive. Do you fancy the idea of a country style cottage garden with narrow winding pathways and fruit trees or would you rather see a grand splendour of lights, colour and clean-cut modern lines? Regardless of style, the best garden designs stem from those who inject personality into their landscaping ideas.

The first step is learning how to utilise the space you have. As the saying goes – it’s the size you have but what you do with it that counts. There couldn’t be a better statement in gardening terms. Many small town gardens have some truly stunning designs. In fact, in my town there is an annual ‘secret gardens’ day where local people open up their gardens for anyone to come and take a peak. There is also a prize for best three at the end of the day. It’s a large affair and although the number grows each year, there are usually around 200 participants and many more visitors.

Gardening is often described as an art form. I am no artist but I do love to look out of

How To Create Your Perfect Garden

How would you go about creating your perfect garden? What ideas do you have that you would like to see come alive. Do you fancy the idea of a country style cottage garden with narrow winding pathways and fruit trees or would you rather see a grand splendour of lights, colour and clean-cut modern lines? Regardless of style, the best garden designs stem from those who inject personality into their landscaping ideas.

The first step is learning how to utilise the space you have. As the saying goes – it’s the size you have but what you do with it that counts. There couldn’t be a better statement in gardening terms. Many small town gardens have some truly stunning designs. In fact, in my town there is an annual ‘secret gardens’ day where local people open up their gardens for anyone to come and take a peak. There is also a prize for best three at the end of the day. It’s a large affair and although the number grows each year, there are usually around 200 participants and many more visitors.

Gardening is often described as an art form. I am no artist but I do love to look out of

Visit us at the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show

Stop by the AARP booth at the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show to learn about easy steps you can take to help stop fraudsters and scam artists from infiltrating your neighborhood. You can start with timely alerts from the AARP Fraud Watch Network, and while you are at our booth be sure to spin our prize wheel to win a gift.

AARP members can buy two tickets for the price of one (that’s a $13 value) for Cincinnati’s largest and longest-running home and garden showcase.

We will be at the Cincinnati Home & Garden Show in the Duke Energy Center, 525 Elm St., from February 28 through March 8, 2015. Show your AARP membership card at the box office to buy tickets at a two-for-one discount, or enter the code REDISCOVER to buy discounted tickets online at

Want to volunteer with us at the event?  You will get a free ticket to the Home & Garden Show to use before or after your shift and a $10 stipend to cover your parking costs. And we’ll give you an AARP Cincinnati t-shirt to wear during your shift. Let us know if you are interested and we will contact you about the details,

Best way to rid a garden of pesky snails Use your strong throwing arm

The new study published May 16 in the journal Physica Scripta has used statistical models to show that simply killing the snails you find in your garden offers little advantage if you want to remove them completely.

According to the researchers gardeners should revert to damage limitation, as their results proved that snails are part of larger colonies that live in the garden and come and go as they please using a homing instinct.

As opposed to simply killing a snail, throwing it over the wall is pretty effective, and the results showed that if snails are moved out of the garden by a distance of 20 meters or more, the likelihood of those particular snails finding their way back home into the garden was almost zero.

Co-author of the study Professor David Dunstan, from Queen Mary’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “We showed that the number of snails regularly or irregularly visiting a garden is many times greater than the number actually present at any one time in the garden.

“As such, gardeners shouldn’t be setting out to eliminate their gardens of snails. To achieve such a feat would require the gardener to rid the whole neighbourhood of snails,

Outdoor Wine Glasses, and a Bottle for the Picnic

Drinking wine outdoors does not require a special set of rules. Yet it can be different from indoor drinking in crucial ways, particularly the farther you stray from the security of the house.

The meal on the patio or deck, just a screen door away from running water, cutlery drawers and glassware storage, is nothing but a modest change in location. But break the umbilical tether and transport that meal to a park, a lakeshore or a sandy beach, and things take a radical turn.

Everything will take a less formal turn: the presentation of the food, the manner of eating and, indeed, the drinking. That requires some thought about equipment.
The Pour
News about the business of wine, beer and spirits.

Even in the easiest of settings, I’m not one to fetishize wineglasses. At home, I essentially use one set of good dishwasher-proof glasses for most meals, occasionally breaking out my set of Zalto Universals when I want the pleasure of handling beautifully designed objects.

8 Tips for Selecting Options and Upgrades from Your Builder

Now that you’ve signed a contract to purchase your new home, how do you customize it to make it your own?

One of the advantages of purchasing a new home is the opportunity to select features and finishes that reflect your own personal tastes and lifestyle. But for many homebuyers, particularly first timers, the array of choices can be dizzying.

Cabinets, countertops, flooring, fixtures, appliances — and even structural changes such as additional bathrooms or garages — are just the beginning of a potentially endless choice of options or upgrades that your builder may allow you to select.

So what’s a buyer to do?

1. Structural Changes

Select structural additions or changes when you sign the contract, or immediately thereafter. “Buyers are a little overwhelmed when they sign the contract because of all the legal documents,” says Sue Goodrich, vice president of sales and marketing for Cachet Homes in Scottsdale, Ariz. “The only thing we talk about then is structural options.”

Buyers who want to add rooms or garages, move doors or add a fireplace or recessed lighting, for example, need to make their structural changes early in the process because those changes may impact the building permit pulled by the builder. These types of changes

Favorable Home Prices Remains Top Reason to Buy a New Home in Houston

While home prices in Houston continue to rise, a recent study from Builders Digital Experience (New Home Source’s parent company) found that the number one reason Houstonians continue to buy newly built homes is favorable home prices.

The number of people who considered buying a new home based on favorable prices increased 18 percent over last year, even though prices have continued to increase since 2012.

When looking at the top three reasons Houston residents are considering buying a new home, it’s apparent that Houston’s improving economic situation in the city has had a strong impact on homebuyers’ attitudes. Favorable interest rates and higher incomes represent the second and third reasons that contributed to buyers looking for new homes.

Beyond economic reasons, buyers are also making the move to accommodate life changes with triggers that include plans to increase family size or a change in family circle or composition. Personal preference of location is also a strong trigger. The desire to live closer to schools came in seventh on the list, with the desire to live closer to work was eighth and the desire to live in a safe neighborhood was 10th. Being tired of one’s current home also made the list at