Category Archives: Home and Garden

Points to Keep in Mind While Building a Home

Planning to build your own home is a great thought, however, you should consider a few points that you should especially apply to any of your home building projects. First of all, it should be noted that home building is a stressful project, you require investing enough time. In other words, the project needs your active involvement and it is a time taking procedure. Depending on the blueprint of your home building endeavor, these factors vary considerably. Due consideration of the following points can help you stay relaxing and peaceful.

The project is time consuming

If you plan buying a home, you can simply find a ready one as per your requirement. All you have to do is going through the listing of home builders like Dean Kirkland, where you can find one that matches with your budget and requirements. Accordingly, you contact the builder, see the apartment and close the deal. It can take a couple months whereas, building of a home requires more time from you. For this, you have to research the upcoming constructions in the location where you like to be located. You have to sit with the developers, talk to them about your necessities, get budget, make contract and wait for at least 6 months or longer period before moving in.

Delays is a part of the project

Even though, the builder predicts the estimated timeframe for project completion, however, in most cases, this duration cannot be maintained. Nevertheless, professional builders operating in the industry for long period maintain high level of association with subcontractors, plumbers, electricians or inspectors, and that rapports help them supply homes to their clients within the time schedule. Despite of all these issues, there are other factors which can delay the project. Therefore, you should have that patience to wait for that period of time.

Keep provisions

If the anticipated completion time is crucial for you, then it is always recommended that you have a backup plan. Say, if you’re now living in a rented or leased flat and plan informing the landlord about you’re leaving, it would be a better choice to talk to him for converting the renting or leasing period on month basis. Even if, that costs you bit more, it is better to accept the proposal. If you’re intended to sell your old home, talk to the buyers, and you should take time for the new home to be completed.

Alternation is possible

The home building process includes a series of activities like flooring, coloring, and cabinetry, interior and so on. Typically, during the process, you can also think of altering your plan or adding some new feature. Incorporating those extra features is relatively possible; however, this is going to cost you more.

Always work with a recognized builder

There are plenty of Realtor, property management agents and contractors surrounding you. Whether you buy or build your home, think of hiring an experienced home builder such as Dean Kirkland who symbolizes safety, excellence and consistency. Keep in mind that choosing a reputed builder never costs you more while you reach perfect solutions, high quality building materials and trendy features.

How My First Adjustment at the Chiropractor Went

I was walking around the house on my day off looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I had my neck and shoulders all bent forward, and my wife told me I looked like I was in a lot of pain. I had to be manly and stand up straight telling her I was fine. As soon as she was out of sight, I hunched forward again. My back was hurting me bad, but we had work to do. She came back around the corner and told me to call her mom’s Corte Madera chiropractor. I told her I was too young to be seeing a chiropractor. She told me to make the call and schedule the appointment right now for as soon as they will take me or she was going to make the call.

Food safety guide for more healhty

images-9Do you tune into the news just to find out which food is the latest addition to the “don’t eat” list? Before you continue to shun peanut butter, tomatoes, spinach, peppers, and other foods that have been caused foodborne illness at some point over the last few years, find out what you can do to help improve food safety.

Food Safety: What Is There to Worry About?

The U.S. government, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), works to prevent and investigate cases of food contamination. The FDA, for example, has a Food Protection Plan focusing on preventing contaminated food from hitting U.S. supermarkets and quickly intervening if contaminated foods do make it to market.

Despite the regulations and controls, however, sometimes food can still come into contact with harmful germs, presenting a food safety issue. And if certain foods, such as raw chicken, aren’t handled in a safe manner, they can quickly contaminate other foods, like nearby fruits and vegetables on your kitchen counter, and lead to illness.

With the recent salmonella scares involving seemingly wholesome foods, what’s really safe to eat?

Salmonella and other food contamination scares shouldn’t make you afraid to eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. You can’t spot contaminated food just by looking at it — unless it has obvious mold or rot, but you can be more careful about how you choose the foods that you buy, and how you store and prepare foods.

Be a Smart Food Shopper

Some foods are more likely than others to be contaminated with germs. Likely culprits include:

  • Eggs
  • Foods that contain raw eggs
  • Meat and poultry
  • Fish and other seafood
  • Dairy products, including milk
  • Unpasteurized milk and juice
  • Vegetables and fruits

But that doesn’t mean that all of these foods are going to be contaminated, just that they are more susceptible to contamination. To insure food safety to as great a degree as possible, follow these tips:

  • Seal and store. Wrap steak, hamburger, chicken, fish, and other meats in plastic bags and store them separately from other foods — to keep potentially contaminated juices from seeping into the other foods.
  • Examine packaged foods. Don’t buy dented cans, jars with loose lids or cracks, or any packaged food with a broken seal.
  • Inspect eggs. Never buy eggs that aren’t refrigerated or those with cracks in the shells.
  • Keep cold food cold. Save the refrigerated and frozen food sections for the end of your shopping trip — make milk, eggs, and other refrigerated products the last things you put into your cart.
  • Keep hot food hot. Pick up prepared or hot foods at the end of your shopping trip, too, just before you check out.

You need for choose the great on for your home

1. Bed

You’ll spend about 1/3 of every day in bed, so you should one that’s comfortable and well constructed. Choose the best quality one you can afford. After all, you’ll probably have it for 10 years or more. And keep in mind that the most expensive bed might not be the best bed. If you can’t invest in a great bed right away, buy an air bed for a short time. It will go into your guest room later. When you’re shopping for a bed, think about the proper size, firmness, and surface.

2.  A Table to Eat On

Most dining tables are round or rectangular, but you might start out with a square or round that extends to seat more. With leaves installed, your table might stretch through a doorway. Before you invest in a table, you might get a plywood tabletop on top of a sturdy base and cover it with a decorative floor-length tablecloth.

 

3.  Classic Dining Chairs

Choose your dining chairs to add beauty and color to your dining area. They should be comfortable enough so that you can sit for a long dinner and visit with friends. Wooden chairs are inexpensive, but upholstered chairs would be more comfortable. You can always put a slipcover over an upholstered chair to change the look for seasonal touches. Arm chairs are luxurious and can be moved into the living area when you need extra seating.

4.  A Great Sofa

Sofas come in many shapes, styles, fabrics, and costs. Select the best one you can afford. Next to a bed, it will be your most important upholstered piece. Don’t settle for anything less than a solid hardwood frame and 8-way hand-tied springs and attractive, durable fabric. Loose-backed cushions look casual while tight-backed sofas require less maintenance. You won’t have to keep adjusting and straightening the pillows. You’ll have to select length, arm shape, skirt or no skirt, how many cushions, plain or patterned fabric, down or synthetic cushions.

 

5.  A Chest of Drawers

A chest of drawers is useful in a bathroom for supplies and linens, a bedroom for clothes, a living room for games, CDs, books, or office supplies, or in a hallway or entry for scarves, gloves, and hats. Select a piece that’s both classic and versatile.

Home Decorating Project Tips

download-29The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time.

If you’ve never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don’t know how or where to start. If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started.

There’s very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first.

Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because paint is available in an almost infinite varity of colors, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified.

But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love?

Have you chosen an elegant wallpaper or luxurious fabric that you want to use?

You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you start with a plan, an inspiration piece, and a color sheme.

Find your sources of inspiration and work your way through your decorating project. You’ll be happy you spent the time to plan.

  • Put a Plan on Paper
    As with any business plan, you should draw up a written statement for your project. Identify your style and then select a color scheme around your theme. Will you choose a garden style or a sleek contemporary decorating scheme? Put it in writing and stick to it.
  • What’s Your Style?
    Do you like formal or casual? Do you love French Country style or do you long to live in acottage style home? Spend some time to identify the style elements you love, and make plans to bring them into your space.
  • Start With What You Have
    Not everyone (in fact, very few people) can start with a fresh, empty room and begin decorating. Most of us already have some pieces of furniture or the home has carpeting, tile floors or countertops, or architectural features that you’re not ready to discard. If there are things you like, focus on them and make them important. If there are things you don’t like but cannot change, find ways to camouflage or downplay them in your newly decorated space.

The important one on your home is Clean Air System

Think about how much time you spend at home — sleeping, relaxing, eating, hanging out with friends and family. You want the air you breathe while you’re in your house to be the cleanest and safest it can be. But even if your carpets, countertops, and furniture are as clean as a whistle, your indoor air quality might not be up to par. Perhaps it’s time to consider a clean air system.

How an Air Purifier Works

An air cleaning system or air purifier does just that — it removes certain pollutants from the air and improves indoor air quality. These systems use filtration or another method of pulling pollutants from the air you breathe.

Particles in the air that can be removed by some air cleaning systems include:

  • Pollen
  • Dander from pets and other animals
  • Cigarette and pipe smoke
  • Dust and dust mites
  • Mold
  • Viruses and bacteria
  • Smoke from cooking

Gases in the air that may be removed by some air cleaning systems include pollutant chemicals from:

  • Paints, stains, and varnishes
  • Cleaning products
  • Gas ranges in the kitchen
  • Adhesive substances
  • Cigarette and pipe smoke
  • Car exhaust
  • Certain furniture and construction materials

Types of Air Cleaning Systems

Here are a few types of air cleaners, and what they remove from the air:

  • Air filter. An air filter removes small particles from the air using materials or electrical charges to capture particles.
  • Gas filter. A gas filter removes harmful gases using a material, often activated carbon, that absorbs them.
  • PCO air cleaner. This device removes some harmful gases by turning them into a safe gas using a catalyst and UV light. They’re not the most effective at destroying harmful gases indoors. and they don’t remove any particles.
  • UVGI air cleaner. This type of air cleaner uses UV light to remove germs such as mold, allergens, some bacteria, and viruses. Not all bacteria and viruses can be destroyed without longer exposure to UV light.
  • Ozone generator air cleaner. An ozone generator air cleaner removes gases, particles, molds, allergens, bacteria, and viruses using ozone. But ozone itself is a harmful substance that can also cause health problems.

Do You Need A Clean Air System?

First, it’s important to figure out what’s in the air in your home and if it’s affecting your health. Contaminants like mold and allergens can impact your respiratory health, so there may be some benefit for you in installing an air purifier.

No air purifier can remove all contaminants and give you completely clean air, but the right system can certainly reduce pollutants and improve air quality.

Air purifiers have not been found to be particularly effective in improving health problems for people who are most susceptible to them: the very young and very old, asthmatics, and those who have allergies. They’ve also not been found to be very effective in reducing asthma and allergy symptoms caused by contaminants like cat dander, dust, and other allergens.

Choosing and Using an Air Purifier

There are many different types and brands of air cleaning systems available. The best air cleaning system for you is the one most effective at removing the air pollutants that concern you the most.

How they are used and installed varies by system:

  • Air filters and other air cleaning systems are often placed inside vents and ductwork, cleaning the air throughout your entire home.
  • A portable air cleaner filters and circulates the air in one particular room at a time; you can move it from room to room or concentrate it in one space — where pets are, for instance, or where someone smokes.

Have It in Your Home

Lead poisoning is a serious health issue for both children and adults. It can affect anyone, even affect a fetus in the womb, if the mother inhales or ingests lead from paint.

And if you think you can’t come into contact with lead paint, think again. If you live in an older home, your walls, doors, trim work, and handrails may be covered with lead paint. And even if the original paint has been painted over many times, you may still be at risk for lead poisoning. Old paint that chips off can pose a problem, as can dust from lead paint that is sanded down.

A Short History of Lead in the Home

Lead is a highly poisonous material, and lead paint is not the only culprit. Before the dangers of lead were fully recognized, however, many commonly used materials like paint and gasoline were made with lead. Lead is everywhere and, unfortunately, you can’t see it or smell it. Lead can be found in:

  • House paint made or used prior to 1978
  • Plumbing materials like faucets and pipes in homes
  • Dirt and soil
  • Utensils, plates, and other serving ware made from pewter
  • Some batteries
  • Paint and art sets for children
  • Items like fishing sinkers and bullets
  • Furniture and toys that were painted prior to 1976
  • Some painted toys and household items that were made in countries other than the United States
  • Small figurines

Health Problems Caused by Lead Paint

If lead paint chips are ingested or dust from sanding off old layers of paint is inhaled or swallowed, lead poisoning may result. Lead poisoning can cause these symptoms and complications:

  • Lack of energy
  • Frequent headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain (usually from ingesting a large amount of lead)
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Problems paying attention
  • Behavioral issues
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Damage to kidneys

Carpeting trouble that you should to know

You’re diligent about changing your air filters to improve the quality of your indoor air and keep air pollutants out of your home, and you vacuum your carpets regularly to keep them clean, too. Still, that lush pile carpeting may actually be a source of air pollutants that are negatively affecting your indoor air quality.

Carpets and Indoor Air Quality

Few carpets are made from natural products, and the processes that are used to create them are even less natural — they’re often made with chemicals that can cause health problems when released into the air in your home.

Carpeting, padding, and the adhesive glue used to lay carpets can release irritating, potentially harmful chemicals. It’s not uncommon for people to experiencing strange health effects after new carpets have been installed in their homes.

And older carpets can pose health risks as well. Dust, dirt, dander, bacteria, mold, and mildew (especially if the carpeting has water damage or is frequently damp) can settle in and get buried down deep, making it difficult to get them out. Chemicals used around the home, from cleaning products and pesticides to actual carpet cleaners, can also nestle in deep, release harmful substances into the air, and worsen your indoor air quality.

Health Problems Caused by Carpets

Many different pollutants call carpets home before they make it into the air and into your lungs. Unfortunately, there are a number of health problems associated with these pollutants:

  • Irritated skin
  • Frequent headaches
  • Persistent cough or sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Irritation of the nose and throat
  • Difficulty breathing

If dust and allergens are deeply embedded in your carpets — or circulating in the air throughout your home — allergy symptoms can become worse. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, and itchy eyes may occur, depending on the specific pollutants.

Keeping Carpets Cleaner

Of course, frequent vacuuming and deep cleaning of your carpets will help to limit and remove many potential contaminants, leaving less to circulate in your air. An air purifier and good ventilation can also help improve indoor air quality.

If you’re having new carpets installed in your home and are concerned about the potentially harmful chemicals that may be released, consider these suggestions:

  • Air out the carpet before it’s installed. Have it unrolled outside or in a well-ventilated room.
  • Research the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions of particular brands and types of carpets before you buy; choose low-emission or “green” carpets and padding for fewer health effects.
  • Ask that the installers use low-emission adhesives to install the carpet or, instead of using adhesives, consider just tacking down the carpeting without glue.
  • Make sure carpets are installed according to the proper standards.
  • Don’t stay in your home during and right after installation.

Avoid for Pest Control

You can still protect your home, yard, and garden from harmful pests like fungi, rodents, and insects without putting yourself at risk of health effects due topesticides. While there are many potential risks associated with pesticide use, natural, chemical-free alternatives for pest control are safe and effective.

The Dangers of Chemical Pesticides

The problem with pesticides is that they can be extremely harmful, and exposure can cause a variety of symptoms and health problems:

  • Pesticides can enter the bloodstream if they’re inhaled or come in contact with skin; they can also be potentially fatal if they are swallowed.
  • Children, pets, farm animals, and wildlife are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of pesticides. Nausea, headaches, vomiting, and dizziness are common effects of pesticides, which can also severely damage the skin, nervous system, and respiratory system.
  • It’s not always easy to store or dispose of pesticides, either. They have to be kept where they won’t spill or be found by animals or children, and they must be brought to recycling or collection centers specifically designated for household hazardous waste materials.

Discouraging Pests at Home

To minimize the need for any kind of pest control, start by making pests unwelcome in and around your home:

  • Clear clutter. Keep leaves, yard waste, trash, or even old newspapers from piling up inside or outside your home. These cozy little piles make welcome homes for rodents and insects. Don’t give them the opportunity to settle in.
  • Close up cracks. Cracks, gaps in doors and windows, or other open areas where pests can sneak into your home should be sealed or fixed. Without an easy way into your home, pests won’t be as much of a problem.
  • Take care of pets. Keep pets groomed, clean, and free of fleas and ticks. Regular vaccinations and other health precautions will help keep your pets healthy and pest-free.
  • Clean house. Make sure your home is tidy. Keep all areas clean, especially kitchens and bathrooms where mold and mildew may grow, and vacuum carpets and rugs regularly to discourage pest accumulation.
  • Starve pests. Are pests feeding on your pet’s food and water? Cut off their food supply by keeping pet supplies indoors and out of reach of pests; this will be safer for your pets as well.

Going Chemical-Free

Given the health risks associated with pesticide use, you may want to consider these natural methods of pest control to avoid harmful chemicals:

  • Baking soda. Problems with mildew or fungus in your garden? Use a sprayer containing one quart of water and one teaspoon of baking soda, plus a little squirt of dishwashing soap.
  • Insecticidal soap. Instead of a harsh pesticide, try a gentler solution of water, alcohol, and soap to keep bugs out of your garden. You can also purchase this type of pest control solution at certain stores.
  • Get better bugs. Harmful bugs that invade your home and garden, but “good” insects like ladybugs will actually eat the harmful ones. Birds can also help control insects. Plant nectar-rich flowers that tend to attract good bugs, invest in bird feeders, and mulch your garden to encourage nature to take care of your pest problem.
  • Plant a diversion. Find out what your particular pest prefers to eat, and plant it away from what you want to protect in your garden.

Tips for Detect Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that can be fatal if inhaled in large amounts. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide gas, which makes it even more dangerous. Carbon monoxide can infiltrate your home without you ever knowing until symptoms strike.

The longer and more significant a person’s exposure to carbon monoxide, the more severe the symptoms can become, ultimately leading to death.

Carbon Monoxide in the Home

A malfunctioning or inappropriately used heating, cooking, or ventilation system in the home can allow leakage of carbon monoxide gas into the air, leaving you breathing toxic gas without knowing it.

Carbon monoxide can come from a number of sources within the home:

  • Furnace systems and chimneys with leaks
  • Kerosene heaters
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
  • Gas ranges
  • Generators
  • Appliances fueled by gasoline
  • Gas-fueled space heaters
  • Fireplaces that aren’t vented
  • Cigarette and pipe smoke

Carbon Monoxide and Your Health

When carbon monoxide gas contaminates the air, you breathe in more carbon monoxide than oxygen. Once it enters the body, carbon monoxide gets into the blood, where it takes the place of oxygen; this happens most notably in vital organs like the brain and heart, which then become oxygen-deprived.

The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Chest tightness or shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

How carbon monoxide affects your health depends on the amount of carbon monoxide exposure and on how long the exposure lasts. Carbon monoxide poisoning may cause some of the immediate short-term effects noted above, but it can quickly turn serious, with nausea, vomiting, and loss of muscle coordination coming next. Inhaling high quantities of carbon monoxide can quickly lead to unconsciousness and suffocation.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they’re the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.

Follow all the manufacturer’s directions, including how often the unit needs replacing, and always make sure there’s a UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification tag on the model you buy. Unfortunately, not all carbon monoxide detectors are 100 percent effective — some brands did well during independent testing, and others didn’t. Investigate models before you buy to choose one that rated highest in tests.

If you experience any carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, even if the detector alarm hasn’t sounded, get everyone out of your house into fresh air immediately.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, using a carbon monoxide detector is only a part of effective prevention. Also be sure all fuel-burning appliances get regular maintenance and are working properly. To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide in your home, follow these tips:

  • Always open the flue when using a fireplace.
  • Never leave your car turned on in the garage; for instance, if you warm it up before driving in the winter, do it outside.
  • Be cautious using wood-burning stoves: Make sure they are certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and that the doors close tightly.
  • Use appropriate fuel in kerosene heaters.
  • Keep all gas appliances in your home working properly and inspect them often.
  • Have your furnace and entire heating system inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.