Archive for November, 2011
Granite Countertops have become increasingly famous over the past few years. They are used for home décor and remodeling. If compared with the regular countertops such as stainless steel, laminate, wood and other types of countertops, granite countertops are much better in many aspects. They are preferred over other types of countertops because of the numerous benefits they offer. The distinctive qualities of these countertops give them advantage over the other type countertops. Some of the advantages offered by them are:
Visual appeal: These countertops are very attractive and have great aesthetic value. They are a style statement. It is observed that no two slabs of granite are identical, even if they are extracted from the same source. This uniqueness makes these countertops visually appealing.
Variety: There is a large variety of colors and patterns that are available in granite slabs. Some of the common ones include Emperador dark, Verde Butterfly, Luna Pearl and many more. You can even customize them by using various edging styles and finishes.
Durability: Granite is a dense material which is known for its strength. It is a very durable material and is not at all impacted by rough and tough use. It is resistant to heat and does not get scratches or stains easily. All these qualities make granite an ideal material to be used for countertops in the kitchens.
Easy to clean and maintain: Granite is very convenient to clean and maintain. You can keep it good condition for many years by just wiping it daily with mild detergent dissolved in water or a spray cleaner. A properly sealed granite is resistant to the damage caused by water and bacteria.
Add value to your property: These countertops increase the value of your property. They attract buyers and raise the resale value of your property. They win guaranteed admiration from your friends and neighbors. These countertops can transform your house in an impressive manner and provide it a stylish look.
Cost-efficient: Granite Countertops may seem to more expensive than the other types of countertops. However, in the long run, they are more cost-efficient. The other types of countertops require frequent repair and replacement. Thus, huge expenditure is incurred in their maintenance as compared to the granite slabs used as countertops.
Granite Countertops add to the beauty of your house. They are a perfect choice for renovation. They can give a new look to your kitchen. They are not only attractive but also durable and cost-effective.
Finishing a basement is an excellent way to add a new living area to your home. While most homeowners don’t take full advantage of this floor of usable space, a basement can be remodeled at half the cost of building an addition on to your home, and with no loss of valuable yard space.
A basement can be upgraded with minimal noise and disturbance to the rest of your home – in as little as 7 to 10 days, with proper planning and materials. The space can be used for nearly anything you can imagine – from a guest bedroom to an entertainment room, basement bar, or even a second kitchen!
Basement Finishing Tips
Planning a finished basement is a unique challenge – one that is different from any other kind of remodeling project. Your contractor will need to plan around objects such as staircases and utilities, as well as locating walls around support beams, windows, and more. Additionally, there are these considerations:
Basement Lighting: When finishing a basement, lighting comes at a premium Maximize the available lighting by strategically locating egress windows to the east or west walls, where they will pick up the maximum light from the rising or setting sun.
Be sure to also add lamps and task lighting throughout the basement, so there is always a light source at hand. Installing a hexagonal aquarium in the room, with fluorescent lighting, is another fantastic way to add light, greenery, and movement to a finished basement.
Use Of Available Space: Many homeowners tend to overplan what they’d like to do with their finished basement. Partition walls take up space, and additional rooms may require additional egress windows, which can be costly to install. When finishing a basement, it’s wise to plan on adding one, two, or three rooms only, and partition off the remaining space as an area to use for storage and to house your utilities.
Creating Continuity Of Style: One challenge that many homeowners face is making their basement match the style and feel that’s been used for the rest of the home. However, the unfortunate truth is that many of the building materials used for the main area of the home, such as drywall, wood studs, and carpeting made with organic materials, can easily be ruined in the sometimes damp environment of a basement.
Many of these issues can be avoided by using insulation on your basement walls that will also create a vapor barrier (such as rigid foam panels or spay foam), and studs made from inorganic materials. Installing waterproof floor matting that also creates a vapor barrier on your concrete floor will protect your custom carpeting from water vapor that would otherwise seep through the pores of the concrete floor.
Designing An Energy Efficient Space: Designing your basement to be energy efficient will make the space more comfortable, and will save you hundreds of dollars each year on your utility bills. Your basement wall insulation should be a layer of R-13 insulation. Be careful that that this sheet of insulation is unbroken – if the insulation must be cut away to mount cabinets, for example, then the resulting hole in your insulation layer will greatly compromise its value.
If you have single-paned, steel-framed basement windows, this is also an excellent time to consider double-paned, vinyl replacements that use low-E glass. The vinyl frames are much more energy efficient than their steel counterparts, and the double-paned, energy efficient glass can make a big difference in how drafty your basement feels. Protecting the windows with covered window wells will shield them from cold winter winds while keeping the window wells free of snow, rain, and debris, for added energy efficiency and beauty in your space.
Once Your Basement Is Finished…
Many homeowners find that once the renovations are complete, their basement quickly becomes their favorite place in the home. A finished basement is warm, quiet, and naturally private, and provides a safe place for children to play.