What to Look For When Hiring an Interior Design Firm

Many businesses become anxious when looking for an interior design firm to hire because they want to be sure that the end product is satisfactory and that they do not waste their money. In order to prevent such disasters from happening, there are a few things to look for when hiring an interior design firm.

1. Referral or Recommendation

Because there are so many interior designers and firms out there, the best way to find a good one is to go by referral or recommendation. Ask other local businesses for recommendations of design firms to use or consult the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) online referral service. Design firms which do not have referrals may still be excellent designers, but if you go by referral you know for sure that their past clients have been satisfied with their work.

2. Level of Experience

Experience is very important when it comes to hiring an interior design firm. Not only do you want your firm to be familiar with the type of design you require (commercial, hospitality, residential) but they should also have experience working with a variety of design styles so that they are qualified to complete your project.

3. Willingness to Cooperate

When hiring any kind of professional it is important to establish how well such an individual will work with you as the client. When collecting referrals and recommendations you can ask about how willing the design firm was to work within the guidelines proposed by the client. The last thing you want is to hire a firm which disregards your instructions and leaves you with an expensive design with which you are dissatisfied.

4. Ability to Work Within a Budget

Most qualified firms are familiar with working under budget constraints, but you should be clear about your expectations when interviewing possible candidates. Ask about prior experience working with this type of budget and discuss the price range which you are willing to consider.

In addition to all of these factors, you should look for professionalism and enthusiasm in the interior designers you hire. Does this firm seem like they take deadlines seriously and are they excited about the work they do? Most of this information can be gleaned during your first meeting – if something does not feel right, follow your instincts and move on to the next candidate. …

Kitchen Remodeling Books Facts

Annually, thousands, if not millions, of American citizens make the decision to remodel their kitchens. Cooking area remodeling may include some thing as easy as swapping your cooking area sink, but it can likewise include one thing extravagant, like changing all-around your whole kitchen area, from the lights all the way down to your flooring. As wonderful as it is always to have your cooking area remodeled, it can get fairly costly. That is why a large amount of home owners make the choice to do their own remodeling. When accomplishing so, several turn to cooking area improvement guides for assistance, but are they truly well worth the cash?

Before you are able start to figure out if kitchen area remodel books are truly really worth the money, it is essential to look at precisely what they’re. Kitchen remodeling guides, also typically remarked as kitchen area remodeling how-to guides, are textbooks that are designed to support readers know as significantly as they can about improving their kitchens. It truly is not uncommon for any cooking area remodeling e book to become overflowing with directions, which includes gradual photos, lists of materials needed, in addition to safety tips. Home improvement textbooks also arrive inside a number of different formats. It is not unusual to find a cooking improving guide that concentrates on several home remodeling projects or a novel that just focuses on 1 undertaking.

Now which you know what home remodel catalogs or kitchen improvement how-to guides are, you are able to start to examine if they are really well worth the cash. Possibly, the best way to do this is to determine what you need to learn to do. For example, when you would only prefer to remodel your kitchen by switching your kitchen countertops, it may be worthless to buy a big cooking area upgrading e book, one that concentrates on a number of different improvement projects. Your cash may be much better spent buying a kitchen upgrading book that has a particular concentrate on cooking countertop installations. When installing your new counters, or simply anything else for that matter, you will often find that there is a lot more than one way to do one thing. If thorough cooking remodel guide, a person that focuses on one particular project in particular, might help to present you much more alternatives.

When determining whether or not cooking area upgrading textbooks are worth the money, it is also focus on what can be found inside them. Lots of times, you will discover that most home remodel books accompany written directions, in addition to graduated photographs. Despite the fact that gradual pics are nice, not all publications have them. If you need to see pics of what you are carrying out, you won’t want to waste your money on a cooking remodeling how-to guide that does not contain images. Also if you are searching for directions on how to perform a certain venture, such as exchanging your sink, you will want …

Buyers and Sellers, Be Aware of The Principles of Diminishing Returns in Real Estate

In your quest for choosing the best property for your budget, it is advisable that you arm yourself with am important principle in real estate: THE PRINCIPLE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS.

Let me explain this in common parplance: OVER IMPROVEMENT and UNDER IMPROVEMENT in real estate which should be avoided as much as possible.

Over Improvement – An improvement which is not suitable to the site on which it is placed because of excessive size or cost

Under Improvement – An improvement which is not suitable to the site in which it is placed because of deficient size or cost.

Based on years of experience, and with the knowledge of numerous successful developments in real estate, the rule of thumb is 30% value of the lot and 70% value of the house, more or less. So for example, if you have a 50 sqm lot intended for low cost housing valued at about P300,000 and you put up a house worth 700,000 that would be fine. Supposing you want to further improve the house making it 1 million in value, still fine but just be aware that there is a principle in real estate which is THE PRINCIPLE OF DIMINISHING RETURNS. Which means improvement that can lead to profit will be only up to a certain level, beyond that level, it will become a loss. Supposing further that you want to add a third storey of your 2-storey home with the same value of lot and perhaps the total value of the house would become 3 million pesos, this could be over improvement as the ratio of the value of lot and house is now distorted. The owner who over improves may not realize it while he is still living in the house, but when the time comes he has to sell the property for good due to changing situations in the family, he could not sell it for a profit.

For example, a house owner from Dalaguete Cebu asked me to sell his house with a lot area of 2,000 square meters for 15 million. And the reason for selling is he got separated with his wife and wants 50% share of the property. He said that the lot would come out free because P15 million alone is the cost of the house. It is such a big beautiful house and indeed when you build a house like that today, 15 million pesos would not be enough. But for a rural area like Dalaguete Cebu, the lot is very cheap and he put up a house as big as worth 15 million. After years of offering the property, nobody bought it even for 10 million offer. He spent so much for such a big house thinking only of how he would be happy with his home, and when conditions in his life changed, and he no longer needs the house, he then realized that it cannot be sold for a profit. This is an example of OVER IMPROVEMENT in real …

10 Mistakes To Avoid In Property Flipping

Property flipping may not be for everyone. Sure, it's tempting to get into the trend especially when everyone who's been successful would say it's a great way to earn quick money. But then again, some people believe that money earned quickly also vanishes like a bubble. So if getting quick buck is your only goal, better think many times before you try property flipping.

Not all people who've been successful in flipping homes have remained long in this kind of business. Some only had their days of euphoria for a short time while those who were not careful enough also experienced money problems in their personal lives.

If you're contemplating on trying it out, just remember that you need to study the housing market in your area. If home prices in your area are fast appreciating, good for you because you can make good money. However, in areas where the housing market is cooling, you really have to know your market.

To be successful in flipping homes, learn more about the experiences of other flippers including those who made it big and those who were not lucky enough. You need to avoid the mistakes that they've made in order for you to reap good profits. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Financing the whole property through your personal funds . Keep in mind that using your own private money will not always guarantee big profits for any home that you flip. It's best that you apply for loans to use in your home flipping venture.

2. Rushing things is never good for any endeavor . What you should do then is to decide everything including how you are going to proceed before you purchase a property you are planning to flip. Good planning helps.

3. Keeping the property for too long . Do remember that house flipping gives the best profits when the home concerned is resold at the shortest possible time. The longer you hold the property, the more costs you are accumulating.

4. Setting the selling price before buying the property . You should know that the housing market is never constant. Home prices fluctuate from time to time so avoid holding a fixed price for long before deciding to drop it. If your property is in a hot market, you can get a good price without even negotiating.

5. Paying too much for the house . Sometimes, home owners who need to sell their property quickly may still ask for financial assistance from their buyers. Some home flippers who are too eager to flip the house, in turn, are tempted to help the owners at their own expense.

6. Not having enough cash . You need to have your own money to pay for the monthly mortgage of the house you're flipping. If you've spent your funds in renovating the home, you're likely to encounter financial and credit problems.

7. Quitting your job . Home flipping will not guarantee you regular income. It might give …

Farm Kitchen Sink

I grew up on a farm in the 40's, and one of the most pleasant things in our lives was sitting around the kitchen, which was the center of the household. Mom was an excellent cook, and I remember well the old farm kitchen sink, which was always a focal point.

Currently there are three primary types of kitchen sinks: self-rimming, under mount, and farm. Self-rimming, or drop-in sinks, sit on top of the counter top. This is the least attractive sink option, and the least practical, as the countertops can not be wiped off directly into the sink. The rim prevails this from happening smoothly. Food particles get stuck between the sink and the counter top and breed bacteria and mold, which can, in turn attract pests.

Farm sinks are the most pleasant of all kitchen sinks. My mother had a one piece sink with high back that was a central part of the kitchen. She could do her cannning, have room for supplies, and yet not need a great deal of counter space in the kitchen to hold other items. We had the sink, stove, and the kitchen table in our farm home. It was all we needed. Farm sinks are an entire sink unit which intentionally breaks the flow of the counter top as an appliance would. They have a finished front wall which leads directly up and over into the basin of the sink. Farm sinks are made of many materials. but the most attractive ones are made of granite, marble, or travertine. The rock travertine is a natural chemical precipitate of carbonate minerals; typically aragonite, but often recrystallized to or primary calcite; which is deposited from the water of mineral springs (especially hot springs) or streams arranged with calcium carbonate. When pure, travertine is white, but often is brown to yellow due to impurities. For the heavily-used kitchen, granite farm sinks are the most practical.

Sinks are getting more attention today, not only as design elements, but as practical features. My wife loves anything shabby chic, and we have been looking for a farm kitchen sink for our loft. We live in a 110 year old living stable, and it is my heart's desire. We are sufficient enough to have the original hardwood floors, with all the "medals of honor" of bygone years, and a great kitchen that suits my need as an experienced chef.
There is the possibility that you do not have enough room for the sink that you want. In this case, a bump-out can be built. A bump-out is where the counter top and cabinet at the sink extend several inches away from the wall, out into the kitchen, to provide a bit more space for the sink. Bump-outs can be extremely attractive, especially to highlight a particularly beautiful sink.

All things considered, a farm kitchen sink is a lovely addition to any kitchen. I am a firm believer that cooking must be an experience, and one to relish. things need …

Importance of Organic Gardening

Organic gardening can simply be described as the process of growing and producing fruits and vegetables naturally – only the things provided by nature. Gardening is known to add extra quality and quantity to one's life thanks to the benefits that come along with the process. Of particular importance to note, tending to a garden makes one forget the things that might be bothering them.

First and foremost, what better way to feel good knowing that your garden acts are helping secure the future of the next generations? This is because organic gardening is less harmful to the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 38 states have had reported cases of contaminated ground water. A further finding from the Soil Conservation indicates that 30-32 billion tonnes of soil erodes from American farmlands each year, which is attributed to commercial farming. Thus, organic farming has residual impact on ground water and protects the top soil from being eroded.

The second reason why most people embrace organic farming is the mere fact that the food contains less harmful chemicals that can be consumed by your family. It is a fact that toxins found on pesticides have a major purpose of killing any living thing. Organic gardening on the other hand is preferred for its zero tolerance to use of pesticides. It is for this major reason that organic gardening has grown broadly in popularity.

Whereas the general process of gardening can be boring, organic gardening is anything but boring. For instance, organic gardening allows you to make your own compost from kitchen waste and from the garden. It is true it is time consuming as compared to purchasing ready made fertilizers and chemical pesticides, but you get to learn about agriculture and of course it is a rewarding activity, to say the least.

Living in such harsh economic times, one would do anything to cost cut and save that extra hard earned cash in the most affordable way possible. Organic gardening does not need any costly chemical pesticides and fertilizers. For instance, you can make use of organic fertilizers of stale coffee and coffee grounds. If you wish to get rid of aphids from your vegetables, why not plant marigolds?

Still on point, you can mix 1 cup of cooking oil and a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Then take 3 tablespoons of the concoction and mix with water then spay on your plants. On the other hand, if you have to retain moisture and keep the weeds out, you could do mulching using pine needles and grass clippings.

By and large, finds indicate that children ingest 4-5 times cancer-causing pesticides from what they eat than adults. This only means that it can lead to various health complications in the future life of the child. Organic gardening is the only sure way to minimize such incidents. …

European Bathroom With Floor Drain For Shower

The concept of the European bathroom with floor drain for shower can be described as follows.


The European concept of a shower is to stick a nozzle into the wall and a drain in the floor.


Well, in the European bathroom with floor drain for shower, curtains are optional. In many cramped private baths, you may have to rescue the toilet paper and find it safe harbor outside the bathroom before turning on the shower and drenching the whole room.

Half Tub

Another fun European bathroom trick is the half tub. In this concept, you'll rather than lie down, with a shower nozzle that has now to hang. This way, your knees get very clean but at the same time, the floor gets very wet.

Hot Water As per the concept of the European bathroom with floor drain for shower, hot water may be available only once a day and not on demand, particularly in shared baths. Another reason is that heating water is costly. Therefore, many smaller hotels only do it once daily, in the morning. You must keep in kind that in such situations, once that is used up, the luxury will not be available again until the next day.


The water jets of the European bathroom with floor drain for shower are intended to clean the bits of you that do not often get tanned, that too, much more too than toilet paper. What is more, as per the European concept, your host will not appreciate it if you use the bidet as an auxiliary toilet. …

Getting Ready For Cabinet Installation – 5 Tips To Prepare Your Kitchen

If you are planning a cabinet installation in your kitchen, it is important that you have the area prepared. There are a few things you need to have completed before the workers come in to set up your new cupboards. Let's take a look at some of the steps you can take to prepare your kitchen.

Prepare The Area

The first thing you want to do before the cabinet installation is to remove the old cabinetry. Make sure you clean the floors and surrounding areas, removing dust and debris from the kitchen. If there is any damaged flooring under the space, this is the time to repair it. You can also touch up paint, install a backsplash, or add any other decorative touches you desire.

Make Sure The Floors Are Even

Next, check to see if your floors are even. You can do this by using a traditional level, but most installers recommend that you use a laser level to ensure the floors are completely even. Level floors are important because there may be gaps benefit some areas of the new cupboards if the sections of the floor are too low. On the other hand, you may not be able to fit them in properly if the floor slopes unevenly.

Make Sure The Walls Are Even

Walls have a tendency to sag over time, which can affect your cabinetry. Some cupboards have diagonal notches that require the walls be even and straight. You may have to add filler pieces to certain areas to even the walls before your new fixtures are put in.

Install Flooring If Necessary

If you are installing new flooring with your cabinet installation, you should do that before the cupboards arrive. This will save you from making odd cuts or dealing with other difficulties that arise when measuring the flooring around counters. This also allows you to have fresh flooring under your new cabinetry and appliances.

Install Appliance Outlets

If they have not already been installed, be sure to install all of the envelopes for your appliances before your cabinet installation. The company that sets up your new cupboards should provide you with a blueprint of the project so you will be able to see where these outlets belong. Be sure to contact an electrician or someone with expertise in outlet wiring to help you with this.

Cabinet installation can be a daunting process, but preparing ahead of time can prevent many headaches. Finally, make sure you have contingency plans, because you will likely be without use of the kitchen for a week or more. …

Bamboo Floor Lamps – The Advantages That Come With the Territory

Ensuring proper lighting of your home is an integral part of home decor. While some people prefer chandeliers, there are others who feel that the bulbs or tube lights will be able to do the job of lighting efficiently. However, there is another form of lighting that one can opt for to add an exotic touch to the aesthetics of the house! Yes, we are talking about the floor lamps.

Though there are many types of floor lamps in the market, the one that has been able to deliver the best is the bamboo floor lamp. There are a lot of advantages that come with the territory when you opt for the bamboo floor lamp. In fact, with the growing awareness of these lamps, a lot of people are now opting for this as the lighting of choice. Let us take a quick look at why the lamp is gaining popularity by the day.

Advantage #1: Portable

Have you ever thought about the amount of time and effort it would take to move the tube light or the chandelier from one place to the other? Well, it definitely is not going to be an easy task. This is where this type of lamp gains an upper hand over its other lighting counterparts. You can vary the place of this lamp as and when desired without too much effort. This enables you to vary the lighting of the room every day and make it look different.

Advantage #2: Versatility

This lamp is available in a number of shapes and sizes. You can buy the type of lamp that blends well with the interiors of your house. You can also vary the colors of the lights in the room based on the occasion with ease. It is easy to change the bulbs in these lamps effortlessly, thus giving you an option to experiment with varied colors.

Advantage #3: Shockproof

This is by far one of the biggest advantages of the bamboo floor lamp. Electrocution is a main concern when handling various types of lighting equipments. However, with the bamboo floor lamp, you can be rest assured that the chances are minimal. Since they are made of wood, they protect you from electrical shocks which can, at times, prove to be fatal.

And if you thought that you would have to pay through your nose to buy the bamboo floor lamp, think again! These lamps are priced economically, thus making it accessible for a larger chunk of people.…

Home Solar Power Systems – Power Your Homes With Solar Energy

For a long time, many environmentalists and scientists have predicted the day when the entire home is powered by renewable sources of energy such as solar energy. Although, technology has not progressed enough to power an entire home's energy needs with the help of solar energy or other renewable energy if set up in an individual's house, there are certainly many homes that are the typical "home solar power system" and have the potential to make build more homes that are powered by just solar energy. But there have been cases of large power plants set up by governments such as in the Mojave Desert which generates enough electrical energy to satisfy the energy needs of more than 500,000 people in California. But we are talking about small scale home solar power systems that are installed in individual homes to satisfy hat particular house's energy needs. Of course, a really immunity growth in the field of solar energy has made it possible for home solar power systems to become a reality.

Of course, the advantage with home solar power systems is that you do not have to rely on just solar energy to produce electricity for your house. You can also use the traditional source of energy that you have been using until now in conjuction with the home solar power systems. Since almost any type of energy can be obtained by using electrical energy these days, it is very versatile and flexible which suits solar energy just fine.

You may already have heard of the fact that an hour's worth of all solar energy that is falling on earth is equivalent to a whole year's worth of energy required by the whole population on earth. Although it is never practically possible to use all the solar energy that is falling on earth, there are ways to at least try and harness some parts of it so that it can be used efficiently.

Solar panels are basically made up of a lot of solar cells combined together. These solar panels are probably the ones you are going to use in your house for satisfying your energy needs. Although, the idea sounds like it can be a fun project to work on, you have to be aware of all the costs involved in building your own solar panel. As long as you have a place outside your house that is wide enough such that it receives the sun's energy in a proper way, you can set up your solar panels there. Of course, in some cases it is made sure that the whole system is oriented in such a way that it is angled towards the sun at all times. This can be incredibly useful and is sometimes achieved using mirrors. The mirrors can reflect the sun's rays onto the home solar power system at all times of the day if set up properly.

"Net metering" is another tool invented by the US government that enables people to sell energy back …