Category Archives: Home Improvement

Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor space using the compositional elements of vegetation, landform, water and structures such as walls, seating, lighting, steps etc. The U.S.A. is a large country with varied geographical resources presenting opportunities to landscape architects to improvise with and accommodate these resources. Even though there is minimal threat to natural habitats the growing urbanization and moving population is encouraging construction and designing of neighborhood parks or playgrounds. These are relatively small but of intensive use for education, health and recreation purposes.

The first American professional landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead Sr. was responsible for construction of the new Central Park (NY) in 1857. The project was resumed after the Civil War along with new ones in Brooklyn, N.Y.; New Britain, Connecticut; San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois and across America. With the success of these ventures and the growing popularity of constructed park cemeteries, the landscape gardener was beginning to be referred to as a landscape architect. Schools and colleges across the country pitched in, offering professional degrees in landscape architecture to budding landscape architects. Landscape architecture is now recognized by the International Labor Organization and is represented by the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).

The landscape architect is not a lonely figure. They have the backing of professional associations and a wide spectrum of projects ranging from roads, reservoirs, river reclamation, forests, housing development projects, industrial estates, rapid urbanization and other projects. If one is thinking of becoming a landscape architect, one needs to have a creative flair and appreciation for nature in all its forms. Along with this is needed an analytical mind to design, manage, preserve and rehabilitate cities into functional and aesthetically pleasing entities. Whether working for a firm or being self-employed, the increasing demand for designed outdoor spaces is turning landscape architecture into a challenging profession.

Dos And Donts In Exterior Home Improvement

Dos And Donts In Exterior Home Improvement

Exterior landscaping, hardscaping and retaining walls are some of the newest trends in exterior home improvement. Landscaping has been an old practice of homeowners, but through innovative ideas, designs and modern technology, it has become more interesting and necessary. Landscaping doesnt only develop a homeowners creativity, but also enhances the beauty of our surroundings.

If you are considering landscaping in Seattle, you will definitely need help and assistance from professionals in this field. Tapping the best ones is not a problem since there are a lot of reliable landscape companies in Seattle that you can avail great service from. With their guidance, skills and equipment, you can be assured of excellent and remarkable results afterwards.

Just like landscaping, you will need a great deal of help if you are also contemplating on retaining walls in Seattle. You definitely cannot perform the job by yourself because like other aspects of home improvement, its a tedious job that requires full attention and proper handling. Therefore, if youre about to have your home undergo wall retaining to make it more attractive, better call your trusted and dependable contractor for retaining walls or else you might regret the end result. Putting this kind of task in the hands of those whove mastered the craft, will make you happier in the end for they will meet your expectations.

However ideal a home improvement is, its important to note that retaining walls and landscaping are costly. It would help if you could calculate your possible expenses before getting the job done so that you can prepare the required budget. List down the things you want done or repaired in your home. Dont forget to include the materials that are needed for the job. After doing this lay out a budget plan but if you are not aware of the expenses you could accrue, request from the contractor an estimated rate that would be inclusive of all the services and materials. All it really takes to improve your home is good preparation to avoid budget shortage or worse, an unfinished project.

Knowing what you want to improve in your home is very important. Looking even into the tiniest detail of home improvement is always advantageous. This can be achieved with the help and proper guidance of the pros. If in doubt, always turn to them for they will never do anything to ruin your home. Relying on somebody who is clueless of landscaping, hardscaping and other areas of home improvement will only bring forth what you dread for your home.

Be wise, practical and ready.

Home Improvement Shows On Dish Network

Home Improvement Shows On Dish Network

A house is prized possession for all. A slight damage can upset anyone. From time to time you are required to renovate interior as well as the exterior of your house. This involves a lot of planning and concentration and a slight mistake can ruin the entire plan. Doing something on your own with matters relating to renovation always requires professional help. But from where can you get these help? Simple, all you need to do is switch on your Satellite TV and watch the home improvement shows featured on various channels. Few of these shows include:

Fix This Yard

Is the backyard of the house is full of garbage items? And lets say the paint id also coming out of the fence? Too much of shrubs growing here and there at your front door path? And to top it all your neighbors are also giving pathetic looks, huh? There is so much to do but you dont know how.

Hey! Just relax. Just give a call to Alan and Amy and they will be more than happy to assist you. But who are Alan and Amy? Well, they are the hosts of Fix This Yard broadcasted on A&E of DISH Network.

Sometimes the dilapidated condition of your house becomes an eye-sore for your inquisitive neighbors and they start giving nasty looks. Not only your neighbors but your friends and relatives also stop coming at your place due to the haunted condition of your house. Amy and Alan will fix all your problems. The show hosts will teach the homeowners simple and convenient techniques to give a perfect look to your yard. They will also tell you how to maintain your fixed yard. From an eye-sore your house will become an envy of your neighbors.

Kitchen Impossible

Majority of the home-makers spend an essential part of their time in their kitchens preparing delicious dishes. Like any other part of your house your kitchen needs equal attention while renovating the same. There are numerous shows on DISH TV that provide with unique ideas on how to renovate your kitchen and give it a new look.

One such show is Kitchen Impossible featured on DIY channel. Some of the home owners feel that changing the look of the kitchen involves a lot of hassle. Ace with carpenter and electrician Marc Bartolomeo, will design a perfect plan for your kitchen renovation. It might seem a havoc task. You might have to rip ripping out the existing construction. But through patience and sheer hard work, this havoc task can quite easily be executed. Watching this show you never say kitchen impossible but youll definitely say kitchen possible.

Help Your Home With Some Home Improvement

Help Your Home With Some Home Improvement

The idea of improving one’s home is practically as old as the concept of home itself. Everyone wants the best possible home. Read on to pick up some tips and tricks that can smooth your way through all sorts of great home improvement projects.

When thinking about home improvement, make certain you monitor surroundings and even then just make improvements that are logical. For example, it is not a wise invest to install a sun room with no insulation in the colder climates. Build what you want to, but try not to go beyond what will be useful in your climate.

Organize different items in your garage by putting them into clear plastic boxes. Write on the bins to indicate what is inside them. Also, get stackable ones if possible. This allows you to keep your garage organized while keeping bugs and rodents at bay.

When remodeling the tile floors, consider more high-tech options such as tiles that radiate heat. Your electricity allow these to provide heat. Luckily, it’s easy to install them yourself if you are able to follow instructions. This is a simple project that is easy to add to the overall project regardless of whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone else. You will be happy you did when you go into your bathroom on that first day of winter.

Get references from anyone you hire to do improvements at your home. In essence you are hiring an employee to do a job for you. Do your homework and check all of their references.

Don’t neglect the bathroom when you’re going to sell your house. Living rooms and bedrooms are quite changeable by the new occupants of the home, but a bathroom is far more costly to update, so it needs to be in good shape from the start. Make sure your tub/shower and sinks are all up to par, and if they aren’t, replace them. Floors made of linoleum may look pretty good and go in rather quick, but they should always be swapped out for a professional tile finish.

Successful home improvement projects are within the grasp of any homeowner that takes the time to learn and prepare ahead of time. However, home improvement projects aren’t always as simple they appear, and you should be careful when starting one. You might run into additional issues as you start working on a project or find that the tools you have are not adapted to the situation.

Customisation is the guiding principle in home improvement

Customisation is the guiding principle in home improvement

Many people associate home improvement with home beautification. However, this is a very myopic view of the concept of home improvement. In fact, it is large enough to include every alteration, addition or deletion that may be carried out in respect of your home.

Many people who purchase a built-up home find it not fully adaptable to their needs and requirements. There are very few chances that it will be custom made according to your wishes, no matter how hard you search for it in the market. In such situations, alterations and modifications become unavoidable.

A person who has recently purchased a built-up home will find it very hard to spend more money on the home to make it customised. However, it may become necessary if you have old parents and kids in your family. Some alterations may become necessary from the safety point of view while some may arise on account of different needs of young kids and other family members. Ever thought how will you cope with the situation? Well, being a homeowner, taking a loan is not that difficult as otherwise it could be. You can raise upto 80 per cent of equity in your home by way of a secured home improvement loan. However, experts always suggest that if requirement can be easily met without placing your home as security then it is better to avoid bringing your home in the picture.

If you are a first time home buyer, you might be lacking in experience how to start with home improvement work. For this, you should follow some basic guidelines. For example, any home improvement work that you intend to carry out should meet the requirements and rules of the local home councils. It is always better to take necessary permissions and sanctions from the concerned authorities so that no problem arises later on. It is also desirable to have a budget prepared in the very beginning and stick to it throughout the home improvement process. Any deficit or gap in the budget can be met with the help of suitable home improvement loans.

Home improvement loans are offered by several lenders in the UK. You can approach building societies, banks, private online lenders and other financial institutions dealing in such kinds of loans. If you are in a little hurry and wants that your loan application should be quickly processed, online method may bring the desired results.

Online Document Management Tools Can Help Engineering, Architecture And Construction Companies Incre

Online Document Management Tools Can Help Engineering, Architecture And Construction Companies Incre

As anyone who has ever tried to send large files associated with engineering, architecture and construction businesses over the Internet knows, this kind of document transmission can be daunting. Finding a quick and effective way to send your important architecture documents such as blueprints and construction documents like CAD files to your clients online is an ongoing challenge. Although you could use postal mail or a courier service to deliver your documents, this cost can become prohibitive very quickly. Instead, many A/E/C companies turn to new document management tools, which also offer the security and efficiency demanded by top engineering and architectural firms today.

Confidentiality is often needed when working on top architectural, engineering and construction projects, and this in turn plays a part in the methods you select for your architecture document management. The traditional way of sending large work documents was through FTP, or file transfer protocol, which allows you to transfer substantial files over the Internet. However, the security of FTP leaves something to be desired when you are looking for stringent engineering document control, plus you need certain software to make FTP function that is not always easy to work with.

The best engineering document management tools will make sending large documents quick, secure, and easy for you. If you have used your email account to send smaller documents and photos over the Internet, then you are well on your way to understanding how to send major documents via architecture document management tools.

Another benefit to using document management tools is that you will have your own account, so that you can save your important information to your address book and folders, keeping your work more organized and saving you valuable time each time you need to send your large documents. Once the documents have been sent to a client, for example, they can open, view and print the document as needed. Documents can be sent to servers or any web address on the Internet.

Excellent document management tools will also take into consideration the fact that engineers, architects, and construction firms will usually need to send large documents to multiple recipients, and with these effective tools in place, doing so is as easy as a click of your computer mouse. Better document tools will also allow you to use not only Windows but also MacOS X and Linux operating systems.

Check out what is available in superb document management tools designed for engineering, architecture and construction firms online to learn more.

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

Bathroom or Kitchen facelift- Im not talking about a major remodel here just a simple facelift can totally change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new paint and wallpaper, replacing a toilet, or maybe even replacing that old bathroom or kitchen facet can greatly improve and update the look of any home.

Install new lighting- Installing new lighting can not only brighten your home but give a room a totally different look. Whether installing a light kit on a ceiling fan or replacing that old outdated fluorescent light in the kitchen with some of the new kitchen lighting on the market, installing new lighting is a weekend project thats relatively easy and comes with a big return.

Install tile- whether a kitchen floor or backsplash or new tile in the bathroom, installing ceramic tile is easier than you think and is a great weekend project for weekend warriors. Most home improvement stores have everything you need for professional looking results, one tip: Be sure to rent a tile saw, it will save you a lot of time and is well worth the cost.

Changing the color of a room- Color is in! You will be surprised how a splash of color can totally change the look of any room. Many homes have either white or off-white walls but many homeowners have found adding color to a room can brighten and warm up a room and is a great weekend home improvement project for anyone. As with any painting project the time you spend in preparing before actually painting will speak volumes as to the results.

Staining Garage Floor or Patio- This is a great project for weekend warriors. Perhaps you have a garage with oil spots, old paint, and other unidentifiable stains on the floor. Staining your garage floor can bring new life to any garage and look great! Some of the new epoxy products on the market offer numerous color choices and colored flakes that you wont find in most home improvement superstores and will give your garage a unique and customized look.

Being a weekend warrior when it comes to home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding. Be sure to do your research about the best products and techniques before starting any home improvement project, but dont be scared to try something you have never done before. There is an abundance of information and how-to books on just about any project you decide to tackle, so go ahead and conquer that weekend project.

Storytelling through Architecture

Storytelling through Architecture

By Marina Correa Photography: Philippe Ruault; courtesy the architects

The Giraffe Childcare Centre designed by Hondelatte Laporte Architects introduces a dollop of fantasy into the routine lives of suburban Parisian townsfolk-

Niched between a towering structure, next to a neighbourhood built in the 70s and a newly constructed area, it was imperative that the healthcare centre did not -get lost’ within the urban landscape – hence the building is composed of three tiers and each is identified by a unique concrete animal sculpture.

The facades of the building are made out of white corrugated iron that provides a minimal background to the animal sculptures.

Interestingly, each of the south-facing playgrounds is in continuity with the interior spaces; while the urban landscape is animated using a child’s imagination. The wild animal sculptures appropriate a space: a giraffe appears to be peacefully eating the leaves of the trees from the neighbouring park; a polar bear tries to clamber up the steps, while a family of ladybirds climbs the faade in an attempt to reach the interior patio.

Architecture turns into storytelling. The building changes its identity and becomes a landscape in its own right; a metaphor for the urban jungle. The animals and the trees link the building to nature and motion.

Besides infusing a playful and poetic element, this building has also been awarded a green, zero energy efficiency label, making it not just aesthetically appeasing but also one that respects its environment.

Becoming a prominent landmark for the nursery, the affable animal forms transport us to a make-believe world. When pondered upon, definitely a project that goes way beyond the surface to attribute human characteristics and ethos to the emotional, functional routine of a child daycare centre.

to view images click on globalhop.indiaartndesign.com

Problems With Modern Architecture

Problems With Modern Architecture

When contemplating the wide world of architectural design it’s important to note many names projects and governments involved throughout the ages. One might only consider the modern pieces of architectural monstrosities but the real genius of architecture was many centuries ago. Although that is not what I’m writing about today. No sirree bob!!! Umm… anyway, the architecture of today is pretty balling and I want to tell you why I believe so.

First of all we use steel. Lots of it. To heck and over with all the people that say we should make all our buildings out of tofu and grass skirts or whatever. Steel is the only way to go baby. Do you know why the Titanic sunk? Not because it was made of too much metal, but because there wasn’t enough. More steel is always better. That is why the statue of liberty came from France. America would never build something that big out of copper. So anyway, steel is the way to go.

Now I want to talk about the lack of pointy things incorporated into our modern architecture. They used to do it all the time with middle aged castles. I don’t see what the problem is. Why can’t all of our structures have pointy turrets and jauntily directed javelin like objects. Preferably made of steel of course. (Refer to paragraph 2) I don’t care where they point as long as they point. They can point north or south or east or west. They can point up or they can point down. They can point this way or they can point that way. End of story.

Next I believe that the utmost importance when it comes to modern day architecture is flamboyancy!! We need to tell the world that we are not afraid to put our manhood on the line when it comes to our structures. There is nothing wrong with pink when it comes to starburst candies so why should we let a pastel color scheme frighten us off a dazzling finish that we know the people really want to see. Our adoring public awaits as they are garbed in their finest striped silk blouse combinations to see our true flavorful and robust display of true and proper building design.

Now that you have been given a complete and comprehensive view and layout of proper architecture it is your duty and responsibility to carry these traits and principles into all of your own projects. Whether it be for an eighth grade science project or the next technological achievement it’s up to you.

Home Improvement Equity Loans

Home Improvement Equity Loans

Homeowners often need extra cash for home improvements. And often a homeowner will opt to take out a secondary loan, otherwise known as a home equity loan, to remodel the home. Some borrowers stay up-to-date on loan choices and elect to choose the home improvement equity loans. The equity
loans for improving home value offer cash to homeowners to make repairs or remodel the home, including external and internal repairs, carpeting, tiling, floors, borewell, painting outside and inside structure, roof repairs and renewals, pipe repair, structural modification, structural repair, and structural remodeling.

The maximum loan amount given to customers depends on the customer’s status with the lender. If the customer had prior loans and showed good faith, then the lender may offer 100% equity lending, while new comers may receive 85% more or less on equity lending. The loans are often extended 15-years; however, few lenders will offer longer terms or shorter terms, depending on the lender and the outcome of the application. The lenders present joint and single packages, however, are responsible if more than one party applies for the loan.

Home improvement equity loans come in fixed rate or adjustable rate options. Thus, the fixed rate is often the first choice, since the loans interest will remain constantand the borrower will not be subject to the vacilliations of the market.

However, the few that take out the adjustable rate loans are subject to pay higher or lower interest rates per quarter on the loan. Many home improvement loans require that an independent contractor oversees the improvements of the home; and thus home improvement loans are intended to improve the home, forcing the borrower to utilize the cash only for repairs and improvement. Few lenders will place penalties on home improvement equity loans to guarantee the loan is used for its intentions.