To determine what is the best flooring AND the right flooring, the first step is to evaluate your lifestyle. If the room is going to be used by children or pets, or you have little time for special floor care, a white plush carpet may not be the best choice. Light color carpets and tiles with wide grout seams will require more maintenance, and should probably be reserved for low traffic rooms.
Darker colors and patterned carpets are good choices for heavy traffic areas, and hard materials, like ceramic tile, and excellent choices for areas that will endure the most dirt, dust and moisture.
Consider also the design and architectural features in the room. Will there be unusually high humidity or water present in the room? Is there a lot of direct sunlight that might fade certain colors? Are heating and cooling vents in the floors? Does the room have radiant heat?
The most perfect choice in flooring will be a disappointment if it doesn’t work successfully with the other systems and architectural features in the room. The selections appropriate to any room features are extensive, so your design choices should not be compromised by the restrictions created by other features in the space
After you have determined what kind of flooring is best for your project, you can consider the look you want for your floors. For every kind of flooring there are seemingly limitless design options, so making the practical surface choice should not restrict your ability to get the look you want. Evaluate the look you are trying create: are you seeking warm and cozy, sleek and uncomplicated, clean and sterile?
The traditional matches between room use and flooring choices (soft carpets for bedrooms, tiles or vinyl for kitchens and baths, hardwoods or carpets for formal rooms) may be the obvious way to go.
Or, you may wish to take some design risks, and mix flooring materials for a special, one-of-a-kind look.
Using stone and hardwoods together, or combining various tile sizes and surfaces in one room, can give a room a special custom look, assist in defining space functions, or act as transitions from one room to the next.
Hardwood flooring has the advantage of being sturdy and strong, and maintains its value throughout its useful life. Engineered wood flooring, which is formed by layers of wood topped with a veneer, is slightly more expensive than solid wood flooring.
Wood floors have the disadvantage of being prone to scratches and gouges, and can warp, crack or discolor if exposed to prolonged extremes of wetness or dryness.
Hardwoods are easy to maintain with vacuuming and dusting, and require refinishing every 10 to 15 years. It can cost from $6 to $15 per square foot and can be done eaily enough by most flooring specialists.
Laminate floors, manufactured to resemble wood or ceramic tile floors at a less expensive price, are durable and easy to maintain.
This versatile, durable and affordable flooring option has become a favorite of builders and decorators.
Maintenance is a regular damp mop; laminate flooring may need to be replaced every 10 years. Laminates cost range between $2 and $10 per square foot.
Ceramic tiles are durable, decorative, and add value to the home. The great range of styles, colors and surfaces make tile an appropriate choice for any style, taste or budget.
Though they can be cold on bare feet and light colored tiles with generous grout seams can be more difficult to keep clean, ceramic tile offers both style and strength. Most commonly used in the bathroom, they can be used anywhere to make a beautiful and dramatic floor.
Maintenance is regular mopping or sweeping. Tiles will need to be resealed and grout stripped every 10 to 15 years. Tiles can cost as little as $.79 each, or as much as $10 each, depending on quality, size and style.
Carpeting is a less expensive option, easy to install, and available in many styles, fibers and colors. It may need to be replaced every five to seven years, depending on its use and quality. It is easy to maintain by regular vacuuming and annual deep cleaning or shampooing. Carpeting costs from $1 to $15 per square foot.
Vinyl floors are attractive, durable and affordable. Vinyl flooring is remarkably sturdy and wear resistant. One of the most attractive features of vinyl flooring is the incredible array of colors and designs available. It is extremely easy to maintain by regularly sweeping and mopping. Vinyl flooring costs from $1 to $4 per square foot.
Each flooring type has its own advantages and disadvantages. By comparing their particular features, you can determine which is best for every space in your home.
Are you looking for a way to save money on your electric bill this summer? When people think about saving on their electric bill, they usually think about turning off the lights, or not leaving the refrigerator door open, but what they don’t realize is that maintaining their AC system is one of the easiest ways they can reduce their electric bill.
With the summer heat, a fine-tuned AC system working at maximum efficiency can blow extra savings your way.
There are two AC system tasks that many people can do themselves. First is to replace the air filter. This is one of the most important and easiest things that can be done each month. Check out the manufacturers guide for a detailed description of the type of air filter your system uses.
Clogged air filters cost you money in two different ways. First, a clogged filter reduces air flow to the blower. That means your AC system has to run longer to move enough air to cool your home to the desired temperature. The longer your AC runs, the larger your electric bill.
The second way is that a clogged filter also lets dusty air get inside the unit. What happens to this dusty air? The dust begins to build up on the blower.
The blower works like a fan, with many “fan blades” pushing the air through the AC system and out through the vents. The dust build up reduces airflow which causes the AC system to run longer, which raises your electric bill.
Another disadvantage to dust build is that if enough builds up, it can cause the blower to become unbalanced. This condition puts an extra load or force on the motor which drives the blower. The motor works harder to overcome this force. The harder the motor works, the more electricity that’s used. If the dust is not removed it can damage the motor. The motor must then be replaced which can be costly.
The second task is to make sure your AC system compressor on the outside of your home is clean. A compressor which is clogged with grass, dirt and other debris will run longer to cool your home, and we all know what that means!
Aside from the maintenance tasks you can do, it is a good idea to have your system serviced annually by a reputable heating and cooling contractor. Call around and get several quotes before selecting a contractor. When you properly maintain your AC system you get to enjoy both a comfortable home, and lower energy bills.
Choose the Right Air Conditioner Repair Service
In cold climates, homeowners usually pay a high gas bill and a lower electric bill because they use their gas furnace more than they do their air conditioner. But in hot climates like the American South, the opposite is generally true: homeowners don’t use their gas furnaces nearly as much as they use their air conditioning systems, which can result in annual electric bills that are significantly above the national average.
If you live in Atlanta and are looking for a solution to your high annual electric bills, chances are that the optimal solution will focus primarily on implementing an air conditioning system that doesn’t use as much electricity. But in order to realize the optimal temperature control solution, you can’t expect for an air conditioning repair supplier to know the right solution simply because they service homes in the south.
Below, we list three things that you should look for in an air conditioning repair company as you search for an energy efficient heating and cooling solution for your new air conditioning installation.
Familiarity with Warm-Climate Weatherization Measures
In the 1990’s, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) discovered that states in warm regions were saving less energy than states in cold regions due to increased air conditioning usage. As a result, in 1994, the DOE issued regulations for increasing cooling efficiency for homes in warmer climates. These measures include: providing circulating fans that circulate inside air, implementing ventilating fans that draw in cool air at night and addressing duct system inefficiency.
A heating and cooling company with knowledge of these measures can work with you to develop a cooling system that depends on more than what kind of air conditioner you use. For example, a company that is familiar with the DOE’s regulations will likely perform an analysis of your ductwork instead of immediately advising you to replace your central air conditioning unit.
Energy Efficient Cooling Equipment
Although implementing the DOE’s regulations can help reduce your annual electric bill, reducing it as much as possible usually involves replacing old AC systems with energy efficient systems. While energy efficient technology usually costs more than traditional technology upfront, it can bring long-term savings in the form of reduced utility costs that more than exceeds the price differential between energy efficient and non-energy efficient technology.
The energy efficiency of an air conditioner is based on its numerical SEER rating, with the higher numbers indicating higher energy efficiency. Implementing an energy efficient central air conditioner can require a significant investment, but the return on that investment is always worth it.
A Consummate Inspection of Your Home’s Cooling Profile
In order to arrive at a solution that makes the most financial sense, a heating and cooling company must perform a comprehensive analysis of your home’s cooling needs. In addition to determining the size of air conditioner that you need based on your home’s square footage, a responsible heating and cooling company will also analyze your cooling needs in relation to the following aspects of your dwelling: the presence of direct shade, window placement, energy efficiency rating of doors and windows and building envelop or lack thereof.
Only with these factors in mind can a heating and cooling professional make sensible recommendations for cooling your home in a more energy efficient manner.
How to Get the Right Air Conditioning Maintenance Schedule
If you’re looking for a central air conditioning maintenance schedule, then you may already know what you need, and which one will be most appropriate for you. Alternatively you might not know what to look for. Here’s what you need to consider.
1. You’ll need to think about why you need a heating and ventilation, central air conditioning maintenance schedule for your shop or office that your system is in. Have you suffered a failure or down time before? Is it a new, or an old system? Is it regularly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations?
2. You’ll also need to consider the implications of your business having to close due to heating and ventilation issues. If you had to wait several days for an engineer, could your business cope? What would your staff and customers do in the meantime?
3. You’ll want to know exactly what’s covered in your central air conditioning maintenance schedule, so that you know what to expect. There may be different schedules and levels of cover available. Air con failure in a busy server room, or a hotel, or a department store, might be more important than failure in a board room that’s only used a few times a month.
4. If you want your air con to have a regular central air conditioning maintenance schedule and servicing, then you’ll need the right one for your situation. Why not discuss your requirements with your air conditioning installation, or maintenance company, and see what they recommend?
5. Remember that prevention is better than cure, so if your heating and ventilation system is quite old, or you can’t remember the last time it was serviced, you might want to take out a central air conditioning maintenance schedule contract sooner rather than later.
6. It’s important that your repairs or servicing causes minimal disruption to your business. You don’t want to have to close for a day, or have your call centre staff interrupted whilst on the phone. Why not ensure that your chosen company can work out of hours for you?
7. You’ll want to make sure that your air con is working efficiently, and regular central air conditioning maintenance schedule and servicing can ensure this. You’ll need to know what the manufacturer recommends, and what how it can be done.
8. A heating and ventilation system that s working efficiently will be costing less to run, and so a maintenance contract will pay for itself over time, as well as offering the other essential benefits.
9. If you’re anxious to do your bit for the planet, then an efficient central air conditioning maintenance schedule is also better for the environment, as well as your staff and customers.
10. The cost of a central air conditioning maintenance schedule might be important, but it’s important not to buy solely on cost. You’ll want to get the right level of cover and support for your system and your business. There’s no point in choosing the cheapest option, and knowing that it won’t be what you need if your air conditioning fails.
Now you know what to look for in a central air conditioning maintenance schedule. You should now be able to choose the right central air conditioning maintenance schedule contract, and have the coverage you need.
Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
Ductless air conditioning systems are considered the simplest alternative to render cooling or heating in our homes. This article talks about split ductless air conditioning systems.
An air conditioner is one home appliance that is considered a luxury by some, while others see it as a necessity. It’s need mostly depends on the climate and area of the particular region in question. A majority of people are not aware of what ductless air conditioning systems are, although these systems are considered to have several benefits over other standard systems. If you are looking forward to installing an air conditioner in your house, then you should at least understand the process of ductless air-conditioning. Ductless air conditioning systems, also known as split system air conditioners and mini split systems, are well known to provide comfort and quality living into your home.
What is Ductless Air Conditioning?
Ductless air conditioners are cooling systems which function without the utilization of central air duct systems. These systems comprise of a wall or ceiling-mounted blower to render air conditioning in a room. They are increasingly becoming a popular option over conventional air conditioners, and are used peculiarly in small apartments, sunporches, and houses that are built without the duct systems.
Components in Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
These systems comprise of two primary parts. The first one is a cooling component that is located inside the house, and the other one is the air compressor which is fixed on the outside of the house. Both the components are connected using a conduit which consists of a condensate drain, suction tubing, refrigerant tubing, and a power cord. These ACs come along with a remote control, and are incorporated with built-in timers which are put into use for setting the systems’ cycle.
Function of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
These systems are designed and made with a pair of refrigerant lines which are present between both the systems’ inside and outside components. The first pair is responsible for providing electricity, whereas the second one removes water or condensate. This process maintains a flow of cool air from the compressor component to the cooling unit which delivers the cool air inside the room.
Capacity of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
For an average home, three of these systems are more than enough to provide cooling to the complete house without the use of air ducts. You may utilize a particular system for cooling only one single room or the whole house. This is due to the fact that every separate unit is incorporated with a thermostat which allows you to set different temperature levels for separate rooms they are situated in. Moreover, their fan also provides variable speeds.
Installation Costs of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
Depending upon how big your house is, the installation expenses for an entire system range from approximately $2000 to $7000 if you’re looking at ac repair in Port St. Lucie. Ductless air conditioning systems cost is about twice than that of installing a window system and around 30% more than a central system installation, if your home already has ducts. If your house does not have ducts or the space to install them, it is generally less costly to install a ductless air conditioning system than a central system.
Choosing the Appropriate System
It is most significant that you choose the right size of ductless system for the purpose of comfort as well as operating expenses. The aspects that need to be considered when choosing one of the correct sizes are square footage of the space to be covered by the system, type of lifestyle, number of people residing, climate, number and kinds of house windows, thickness of insulation in the walls, insulation in the attic, and many others.
Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
These ductless systems provide a range of advantages over conventional air conditioners. Just because you do not require ductwork, they are simpler and cheaper to install. Moreover, they also take less space to be installed, as a result, they are able to fit in any space which others cannot fit into. The noisiest unit is the outside one, so these systems are generally quieter than their counterparts. Read more on portable air conditioners.
Due to the spot cooling facility provided by ductless air conditioning systems, they are mostly employed in rooms that have machinery and desktop computers, which require a certain level of temperature to be maintained. They are certainly known to maintain any kind of cooling desired.
PPA OLSHARGB Home Accent Multicolor LED LIghting Kit Review
Feel like sprucing up your home or kitchen lighting? You should definitely consider LED lights. These lights are low maintenance, have very low power draw, and produce almost no heat. They’re small, tough and last many times longer than a conventional light bulb. The PPA OLSHARGB home accent multicolor led lighting kit is an excellent option for anyone wanting to add energy efficient, attractive and covert lighting virtually anywhere in your house.
LED lights for homes are a great and environmentally friendly choice for any small lighting projects. The set that this review focuses on, in particular, is a versatile and easily installed item. You can get fantastic deals online, and the lights are easy to install once they arrive, being light, easy to attach to a surface and dead simple to operate.
This lens will take a close look at the Home Accent PPA OLSHARGB Multicolor LED lighting kit, talking about everything from installation and ease of use, to price points and how they can save you money. Hopefully this will give you an informed decision, and help you choose the best home accents led lights that are right for you and your home.
PPA International Home Accent Multicolor LED Lighting Kit
A Great Home Accent LED Light Kit with Multiple Color Settings. The product we’re reviewing today is the PPA OLSHARGB Home Accent multicolor led lighting kit, which is available for sale mostly from online retailers. It’s a neat product because it’s incredibly versatile, and even a dummy like me can install it with ease.
When it arrives, it comes basically in sets of light ‘strips’, which can be affixed to basically any surface you choose. The Home Accent LED Lighting Kit isn’t dependent on hanging a certain way, so you’re free to attach it upside down, on the side of a wall or surface, or underneath a counter, ledge or cabinet. They’re lightweight, so simple adhesives keep them firmly in place.
It’s really reasonably priced as LED home accent lighting technology goes. Typically with LED light bulbs, you pay a premium first and make it back with energy savings and durability over the long run. With this product, the price is low and it will last a long time. A bonus with this kit is that it comes with a compatible remote control with all the settings. This way you won’t be fiddling around under the cabinet for the right switch.
Easily installed in the home, attaches to the floor, walls or ceiling with a simple adhesive, will last for a long time and will help you realize huge savings on your electricity bill. You can install these in the bathroom, living room, kitchen, anywhere you need them. That’s the beauty of these lights.
This home LED Lighting Kit comes with some great features. Rather than make you read through the technical specifications, I’ve compiled the best features in this list. If I have left out any important details, please post a question in the comments section and I’ll try to answer it as soon as possible.
1. They Are Very Energy Efficient:
This particular kit takes advantage of the technological superiority of LEDs as compared to conventional incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs: https://www.architecturelab.net/architect-lamp/. This particular system has an extremely low power requirement. For every foot of lighting (they come in 1 foot strips), the kit uses only 1 – 5 watts of power. 1 watt if you’re using the dim setting, and 5 watts if you have it at the brightest setting. Compare that to your standard 40 or 60 watt incandescent bulb, and you’re using a fraction of the power.
2. Durable Construction, Long Lasting:
LED home accent lighting has another advantage over conventional bulbs in that it’s extremely strong. They stand up to punishment better, and the bulbs themselves last for a really long time. How many times have you dropped or broken a conventional light bulb?
You can expect around 50,000 hours of use for this particular system. Unlike a rigid bulb, these light strips are actually flexible, and the lights themselves are around the size of a grain of rice. That’s why they are putting LEDs in most modern computers, flashlights and now light bulbs.
3. Easy Installation:
No drilling or mounting required! These strips are so light, they can be attached with double-sided adhesive tape. The kit comes with a supply of tape to help with this. As said before, they are suitable on any surface, and can be used to illuminate any portion of your home, so be creative.
4. Remote Control:
The really nice thing about the PPA OLSHARGB Home Accent Multicolor LED Lighting Kit in particular is the remote control that comes with. It’s a lot better than having to plug it in every time you want some light, or fiddle around hunting for the on switch. The remote has 24 buttons, allowing you to control the light levels (dim to high), and colors, and there are even flash and fade controls for your partying ways!
Other Considerations With LED Home Accents Lights
There are some other things you should ponder before you choose a light kit like this. First, think about your installation process. Where do you want to install the lights, and how will that work? You should also consider how many strips you might need for your particular application, and take measurements beforehand.
The neat thing about these systems is that they are modular: new strips can be purchased (separately), and they fit together end to end. You can potentially rig up a bigger lighting system in your house without having to buy multiple kits, or operating many light switches.
You can also purchase extensions separately, with connector cables to run in between. This is something you should strongly consider if you’re, say, looking to add accent LED lights to your kitchen with under-cabinet installation. The two strips in this set might not be enough for a bigger project, so consider purchasing additional light strips (see below).
Home Accent also sells extension cables separately, so you’ll have some flexibility if you have a large space or some separation between light strips.
One thing to consider is, these lights are not decorated at all. I recommend you place them somewhere partially hidden. Believe me, they are plenty bright enough, even from beneath a counter or under a ledge!
Much like a bedroom redesign, a living room redesign instantly updates the look of the room giving it a better sense of being.
In other words, it reflects you and the lifestyle you want. Moreover, your living room, apart from a large functional kitchen, is probably used most often for entertaining.
Furniture stores make it easy by selling entire furniture “suites,” or living room furniture sets whose pieces complement each other while providing you with functional seating. This is especially helpful if you’re having a hard time making redesign decisions for your living room. Eclecticism, mixing and matching different pieces of furniture in different upholstery fabrics, beautifully expresses your casual but elegant sense of style. Buying pieces for an eclectic style takes time to put together, so it may not be the best choice for a quick living room redesign.
Refresh Your Living Room with an Inexpensive Redesign
Redesigning your living room is a pretty big undertaking. It’s often easiest, and a lot less expensive, to start by updating living room design accents like pillows, side tables and lamps before you tackle the big pieces of furniture. Painting your living room instantly refreshes the look of the space, and a dramatic change in wall color- from eggshell to red, for example, can give all of your old furniture new life.
Consider using beautiful vintage or vintage-inspired upholstered fabrics to instantly update the seats on your wooden accent chairs.
You only need a staple gun- and a steady hand- to completely change the look of your seating. Fabric slipcovers made of beautiful upholstery are more readily available today, and you can find inexpensive slipcovers online or in discount department stores. Slipcovers for sofas, loveseats and chairs are easy to remove and clean and instantly redesign your living room for very little expense.
Some popular living room design ideas to consider:
Functional and family-friendly: if the dining room is larger than the living room, switch them! More space, less chaos. Consider two-tone colors on the walls. If painted horizontally, use the darkest color on the bottom to ground the living space. Add a storage cabinet or ottoman to bring daily order;
Merging styles – comfort vs. sophisticated: Neutral color palettes, bring furniture closer in toward the middle of the room for more cozy feel. Remove TV from being focal point upon entering room. Dark furniture, brown neutral paints makes for soft, inviting conversation away from pressures of the day.
Get a professional carpet cleaning service to come in and give your rugs and carpets a deep cleaning. It’s a small expense that can really brighten a room as carpets get dingy and loose their “spark” with time.
Make the Most of Kitchen Design Trends
Over the years, kitchen design trends have adapted to the changing needs of working families. Dining rooms are less and less evident in new homes and have been replaced with larger functional kitchens and entertainment rooms, comments Dr. Ferdinand. A kitchen design trend that seems to be sticking is the return of the kitchen dining table and the breakfast nook. Building seating into a nook or creating an area in the kitchen for a table has become a desirable floor plan for families on the go which allows for the transformation of the real dining room into an entertainment room.
An enduring and practical kitchen design trend, antique butcher blocks and new kitchen islands provide additional counter and storage space, too. In recent years, the trend has been to design built-in kitchen islands to complement counters and cabinets, instead of matching them. A dark wood kitchen island in the middle of a kitchen with all-white cabinets really pops! Whatever you decide to do, don’t be a slave to kitchen design trends; read about them, soak in everything you can, and then choose what’s right for you and your family.
Some popular kitchen design ideas to consider:
Stuck in the 70’s and can’t get out: Replace funky colored cabinets with natural wood cabinets (maple wood?), stainless steel appliances (modern). If home is small, consider eliminating the wall between the kitchen and living room to create more visual space. A custom island with a breakfast bar creates warmth and invitation;
Cramped kitchens: Think function and fashion but how to do it? Natural wood cabinetry, neutral colored countertops (limestone?) stainless steel appliances, tile floors and a breakfast bar that connects the kitchen with the living room (consolidates space).
Before you buy fine furniture, take the time to do some research.
Consider the space that you have available in the rooms you are furnishing. Have a tape measure handy and a list of the measurements that you want for each piece of furniture while you’re shopping. In addition, think about doorways, stairwells, the availability of elevators and balconies for moving furniture into your home. An oversized mattress box spring might need to be “split,” or cut in half, by the store. An oversized couch may not be an option unless you have an oversized door!
If you’re buying for a home office, look for fine furniture that’s well-built, ergonomically designed and suited to your work needs. If you’re buying furniture for your home, look for comfort, durability and solid construction. Make sure to ask about available days and times for delivery before you make your purchase; you might get your furniture delivered more quickly you include it in the deal.
And, find out how long it will take to complete customized design or alterations. Many companies will customize orders from swatches or even photographs.
Before You Buy Fine Furniture: Comparing Furniture Prices and Alternatives
Before remodeling your entire home with all new furniture, there are a few things that you should consider. Keep in mind that furniture financing options may make a difference in how much you spend. You may have a year or more to pay off a large piece of real wood furniture or a furniture set.
But stick to your furniture budget regardless of available financing options. It’s all too easy to fall in love when you’re buying fine furniture and very easy to fall for “no payments for 5 years” rhetoric; in the end, you always pay, either through higher prices or higher interest rates. Use universal buyers agents if you must. But set your emotions aside and don’t overextend yourself.
Even if you’ve found the “perfect” furniture set, comparing prices at other stores or websites may yield a better deal or at least grant you leverage in negotiations.
Compare Furniture Prices Before You Buy
Compare prices for furniture online and in stores before you buy. And, ask friends, family members and business colleagues for their recommendations about where to buy furniture.
Questions to ask might include: Do you feel like you got the best deal when you bought your real wood furniture? Where the retailers service-minded or did they forget about you after you wrote the check? Did you compare prices for similar pieces of furniture with other retailers?
You might unearth some issues that you hadn’t contemplated that will help you make a more informed furniture purchase.
More Ways to Get the Best Prices on Furniture
June and July are traditionally the months when indoor furniture goes on sale. Conversely, compare prices for patio furniture in the summer and winter and you’ll quickly find that costs are cut in the winter months. You can avoid middlemen when you buy furniture directly from a manufacturer, such as www.firstathome.com.
You’ll get the benefit of the manufacturer’s low overhead costs and the highest quality furniture at rock bottom prices. Buying unfinished wood furniture is also another alternative to saving money for a quality piece. You’ll have to seal, stain or paint the wood yourself but sweat equity costs nothing.
Alternatives to Consider When Comparing Furniture Prices
Consider the pros and cons of buying used furniture made of real wood. You may get a better deal by buying used furniture as long as you can live without a warranty.
Outlet malls sometimes have great deals on real wood furniture, especially in January and July.
Be aware that the furniture for sale in an outlet mall may have been returned, so carefully check it over for any defects and ask the salespeople if they know the history of the piece.
Wheeling and Dealing Your Way to Better Prices on Real Wood Furniture
Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price when you’re thinking about spending a lot of money on real wood furniture in one store. Furniture stores often offer on-the-spot discounts, especially at the end of the month when they need to make their sales quotas. Make sure to clarify that you still want to finance the furniture for same as cash or zero percent financing regardless of the deal.
If you buy furniture online, ask about financing options before you make your purchase. Make sure that you understand and agree with all shipping and handling costs, including costs to return the furniture if necessary.
When You’re Ready to Buy Fine Furniture: Finding the Right Retailer
Make sure you find a reputable furniture retailer when you’re ready to buy. Find a furniture company that produces each piece of real wood furniture in their own factory warehouse. They’re very knowledgeable about the furniture they create, they use superior craftsmanship in their designs and they can offer great deals by selling directly to you.
You should only work with furniture companies that provide top-notch customer service. You’ll get a feel for this quickly when you call to compare prices on furniture. Look for furniture retailers who employ helpful, friendly, informed salespeople and customer service representatives.
Research Your Furniture Retailer to Find Out More
Research a furniture retailer’s reputation before you buy. Check the Better Business Bureau to see if any reports have been filed against the company. Online message boards, customer testimonials and recommendations from friends and family can also tell you a lot about a company’s reputation.
And if you’re buying real wood furniture online, look for indications that the website is secure. This should be clearly indicated on the furniture company’s website.
Furniture Return Policies, Warranties and Guarantees
Find out what sort of warranties and guarantee a furniture company offers before you buy. Make sure the furniture warranty and the guarantee suit your specific needs and address your unique concerns. You should be able to return furniture or get a replacement if it arrives with any sort of defect. Look for lenient return policies that allow you to return the furniture if it wasn’t what you wanted. Note that custom made pieces and sale items may not be returnable. Finally, keep all of your receipts from your furniture purchase; you may need them in the event of a return or for the warranty.
This particular question opens up a huge can of worms for professionals in the industry and their clients. What many salesman want to say is, “YES! How quickly would you like them installed and will you be paying with Cash or Credit Card?” But, in all honesty, rarely are people ever that upfront about how they view your business. Here is where we often see a huge difference in expectations from the perspectives of the consumer versus the mindset of the retailer or Window Coverings Professional.
The Consumer mindset –
I just moved into my new house. I finally closed the loan, the real estate agent is calling me seven times a day, I have to think about landscaping, remodeling that downstairs bathroom, work is hectic and, realistically, about a hundred other things are pressing down on me. On top of this, I really don’t want to walk around my house and let the neighbors possibly see me naked; I NEED WINDOW COVERINGS.
At least this shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ll check out the “big box” home improvement stores, and maybe a low cost window covering specialty store as well and see if I can find some cordless top down bottom up cellular shades on discount. I want to get a fair price so I’ll call at least two places, and maybe three. I will tell them I need some blinds, and let them take care of it from there. If the installation costs aren’t too much I might even have the store install them for me.
For consumers, the bottom line is often being too busy and unsure of the best way to get window coverings.
The Retailer mindset –
I REALLY NEED TO MAKE SOME SALES. The store has been slow lately and I have mouths to feed, I hope we get calls and the opportunity to get some people a quote. When people call, I know they are usually price shopping so I have to give them the lowest possible price and outbid my competition.
I wish I had better training on all the options available to customers, but my boss keeps pushing these one particular blinds because, as he says, this product provides the customer with a good price and it is one of the best profit margins in the store. OK, I need to review what it is I’m supposed to say…Hmmm, ”I can get you a quote on some blinds right away. Please give me your sizes and I’ll have a quote ready for you in a day or two.” I just have to send the measuring guy over there and he will hopefully get those numbers to me soon so that I will have time to do the bid. It might be nice to actually meet a customer someday.
For retailers, everything is usually sales driven as volume is the key to their pricing (and their business).
The Window Coverings Industry Professional mindset –
“I know the woman who left me a message this morning is very busy but I want to make sure that I help her get exactly what she really needs. I’ll return her phone call and discuss a little about what she’s looking for and set up an appointment to see the areas in which she’s having problems. I know the woman said she wants blinds but so often customers ask for a particular window treatment solution and change their minds when I can explain to them and show them that what they’re asking for won’t do the things that they want.
It’s important for me to give everyone a personal consultation and ensure I help my customers get solutions to their problems, not just a product with the most features or benefits. After all, what good are all those features and benefits if the product doesn’t do what the customer wants? I enjoy helping people, and I hope this woman lets me do what I enjoy. She may feel overwhelmed, but I know I’ve been trained well, I’ve worked in this industry for many years and with just a brief initial visit I will be able to provide her with the perfect solutions for her specific problems. If only people knew that we can provide superior service along with great quality products at very competitive prices they would be shocked!”
For industry professionals, the bottom Line is relationships, and personal service is the key.
In a perfect world, we all try to come together with other people and relationships to make sure that we get what we need.
Take a good marriage for example. Both sides need to listen to the others opinion and work hard to satisfy the other’s needs.
Usually when a person feels valued, they are willing to do the same for you. In business, it is no different. A professional should only be thinking about how to make the customer happy. There needs to be a great deal of communication about your specific desires and needs for your home. They will, in turn, find the products and solutions that are best “married” to you. Remember, the industry professional hopes to have you for a client for many years, and hopes that you will refer him or her to your friends. So, think long term and hire a professional to assist you with your project. It may take a little more time but you are sure to have a better experience and your choices will give you the exact solutions you were looking for.
TIna4homedesign is not just about furniture but about how to use that furniture to create leisurely, airy, non-chaotic, casual or even extravagant interior designs for each room of your home. Our room by room design ideas will feature the bedroom, living room and kitchen. But, before you buy furniture to decorate that particular room, first understand the differences in furniture quality.
It will save you thousands of dollars and years of discomfort and headache.
Bedroom Design Ideas Brighten Your Days and Nights
While searching for bedroom design ideas, there are a host of resources to access. Entire TV shows are dedicated to bedroom makeovers, providing us with helpful tips and design trends. Your bedroom design ideas should reflect your style and personality, your unique sleeping and living needs. Most likely, once you makeover your bedroom, your living room or kitchen, you won’t re-do it again for several years. So take your time discovering what you like, and what you can live with, before you start buying furniture.
Popular Bedroom Design Ideas have Distinctive Characteristics
Traditional, contemporary and country furniture are the most popular types of furniture today. Together, they incorporate a host of universal design traditions. Traditional bedroom design ideas use yards of beautiful upholstery fabric draped on everything from the bed to the windows, and usually feature dark wood furniture of classic design. Contemporary bedroom makeovers focus on form, and often have a minimalist feel with punches of bright color.
Country furniture often uses beautiful plaid upholstery fabrics for emphasis and furniture that’s sturdy and somewhat chunky in design.
In addition to TV, there are thousands of magazines and books that provide furniture design ideas for bedroom makeovers. Start at your local library, where you can check out decorating books, DVDs and sometimes magazines for free, to start gathering some new ideas.
Visit designer furniture showrooms to see how they arrange their bedroom displays. Put all of your ideas for bedroom makeovers into a journal, taking photos or clipping articles of designs that you love. Give yourself time to make a decision. You’ll live with your redesigned bedroom for a long time, and it should be a harmonious, comfortable and beautiful place to be.
Some popular bedroom design ideas to consider:
Bold yet Subtle: Blue bedrooms with blue shades on the wall and tan furniture complements create a bold yet serene sleeping space.
Calm havens: tone on tone color schemes with matching furniture.
Combining the masculine with the feminine: one light blue wall and one cream colored wall with traditionally dark furniture. Use lamps and lampshades to emphasize both masculine and feminine angles.
The Traditional Master Bedroom: eliminate colors that signify chaos and choose colors emphasizing calm, serenity and reconnection. Try cream, fawn, tan and wheat on bed duvet, walls and carpet – all neutral colors that are inviting. Incorporate subtle floral patterned fabrics on the drapes and upholstery. Divide a large bedroom into two areas: one the bedroom, the other a sitting area.
Zen thinking: Incorporate taupe and robin’s egg blue on the walls and bedroom furniture to create a soft, high frequency energy. Hanging curtains as a sort of canopy is a smart way to absorb outside noise.
A Note about the Best Bed Mattresses
The best bed mattresses come in a variety of styles, encasing you in comfort while you sleep. Plush top bed mattresses are soft, and provide an added layer of comfort to your sleeping experience. The best pillow top mattresses have even more softness due to the large pillow that rests on top of the mattress. It’s hard to say which mattress is the best, but a Tempur-Pedic® mattress is definitely the ultimate in luxurious comfort. The Tempur-Pedic mattresses adjust to your body weight and temperature, molding to your body’s natural contours for a really good night’s sleep.
It’s best for your sleeping “health,” and your back, to flip your mattress every few months or so to ensure that it wears evenly. And, use a mattress pad on top of your mattress to help protect it from stains and general wear.
You might be wondering why there’s so much fuss about goose down. Down featherbeds, which lie on top of the mattress but under the sheets, and down comforters and duvets used as bedspreads provide extra softness and warmth. They last for ages, and the newest versions have covers which can easily be removed and cleaned. They add an extra layer of comfort to even the best mattress, making them a highly desirable addition to any bedroom.
Things to Look For Before You Buy Upholstered or Leather Furniture
Before you buy furniture like upholstered or leather sofas, loveseats, dining room or bedroom sets, make sure you are first familiar with the basics of high quality wood furniture construction. Get to know the difference between solid wood furniture and average furniture of lesser quality. Look for furniture made of fine wood, like oak or mahogany. Closely examine furniture tags or websites to learn more about the construction of the furniture you want to buy. You might (no, you will!) pay more for high quality wood furniture, but it’s worth
it in the long run- the furniture’s strength, durability and comfort ensures it will last for decades.
Learn more about what you need to know before you buy furniture with help from Stuff about Furniture’s contributors.
Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York tells us about buying furniture with high quality frames and Catherine Woods of Mobulls in West Plains, Missouri provides helpful information on how to find the best upholstered wood furniture and more.
High Quality Wood Furniture Frames
“We’ve spent a lot of time and money redecorating our home over the last several years. And we learned some valuable tips that helped us to find high quality wood furniture that’s durable, well-made and built to last,” says Darrin Gleeman.
When you shop for furniture, take the time to conduct a close inspection of what you want to buy. Shake and move the furniture frames whether it’s a sofa, loveseat, chair or bed. Listen for creaking or movement of any kind when you sit or lie on the furniture.
Pick up one end of the furniture piece and move it back and forth in the showroom. Does it feel like heavy, solid wood furniture or does it feel lightweight? Look under the furniture too. Are the legs separate pieces or are they firmly connected to the frame?
High quality wood furniture has a frame made with kiln-dried hardwoods like alder, oak, mahogany birch or maple woods. Kiln-dried furniture heats the wood, removing excess sap and moisture which can warp or shrink the wood. Once a frame loses its original shape, it loosens the joints and fastenings.
Over time, that piece of solid wood furniture piece becomes unsteady and unsafe.
Look for wood frames constructed of the finest kiln-dried solid wood and built with interlocking wood components, glue and screws that match industry standards for high quality furniture. And frames should be double-doweled or interlocked and fitted with wood blocks that are glued and screwed into place.
After you buy your furniture, place it in an area that isn’t subjected to wide temperature swings. Keep furniture away from windows, heating systems, air conditioners and vents.
Finally, if you’re buying furniture online, call or email the company and ask them about its durability, weight, and measurements as well as the company’s furniture shipping policy. Does the company deliver the furniture themselves or use a respected furniture delivery company? And will the furniture deliverer unpackage the furniture and warranty any transportation damage?
Find out what sort of wood they use, and ask about wood frame construction. A reputable seller of high quality furniture will be able to answer your questions and put your mind at ease before you buy.
Upholstered Wood Furniture Basics by Catherine Woods of Mobulls in West Plains, Missouri
There’s more to buying furniture than just finding something that you like, or that fits into a room in your home. High quality upholstered wood furniture has specific elements of design that are always evident in construction.
Look for a sturdy deck, well-made springs and durable cushions and slipcovers in couches and loveseats. And consider a sleeper sofa, loveseat or chair or leather furniture for a long-term investment the whole family will love.
Upholstered Wood Furniture Construction
Upholstered wood furniture features a deck, the area underneath the sitting cushions that looks and feels like a mattress box spring. The deck is the foundation for sitting support and comfort. High quality furniture decks are made of springs. The highest quality deck springs are made of 8-way, hand tied springs or S-shaped sinuous springs.
Without this support, your furniture will cause discomfort and long-term back and joint pain.
Eight-way, hand tied springs have polypropylene sheets stapled to webbing on the bottom of the solid wood furniture. The springs are tied with twine at the top to prevent shifting and collapsing. Sinuous S-shaped steel springs in your upholstered wood furniture indicate expert and quality craftsmanship.
S-shaped sinuous springs are two-dimensional S-shaped steel wires that stretch from the front to the back of the furniture. The S-shaped sinuous springs make seats softer and are often used in low-slung contemporary upholstered furniture.
Lesser quality average furniture decks are pieced together with tacked or stapled straps. If you look inside or underneath your furniture, you might see helical springs attaching the deck to the frame. To determine if the sofa or loveseat you like is made with good quality springs, sit down on the furniture or rock it back and forth in the showroom.
Listen for a thumping or a knocking noise indicating that the springs may be rubbing against the frame. If you’re buying furniture online, contact the company and ask them about how the deck is made.
Cushions for Upholstered Wood Furniture
Furniture cushions on upholstered wood furniture are typically made of cotton or polyester fiber, polyester foam or polyester down. Look for furniture that’s constructed with durable, heavy high-density polyurethane foam cushions.
Polyurethane foam cushions are wrapped in Dacron batting, making the cushions more luxurious and providing you with not just added plush comfort but comfort that will not diminish for years.
Slipcovers for Upholstered Wood Furniture
Popular fabric selections for upholstered wood furniture include cotton, linen, chenille, velvet, suede and mohair. Choose the fabric covering that’s best for your needs. If you have children, sturdy cotton duck might be the best option for you.
Fabric slipcovers are a marvelous option for covering your wood furniture. Look for slipcovers that can be machine washed or easily removed and dry cleaned.
Sitting on a couch or loveseat with a freshly cleaned slipcover is heavenly; not worrying about daily spills and messes is divine.
Consider Buying A Sleeper Sofa, Loveseat or Chair
The sleeper sofas of today are a far cry from the ones produced 20 years ago. Comfortable, stylish and easy to open and close, a sleeper sofa gives you the flexibility of a couch combined with the authentic feel of a bed. In addition, pull-out sleeper furniture comes in loveseat and chair form.
Today, you can find sleeper furniture in twin, full or queen bed sizes, so they can easily fit into any room in your home. Look for specs on sleeper sofas to include solid steel tubing, a polypropylene deck and a mattress that’s at least 5″ thick.
What to Look for Before You Buy Leather Furniture
High quality leather used for furniture is cut and tanned to retain its unique characteristics. Top grain leather has scratches, brand marks, and some wrinkles and stretch marks. These markings are natural and they don’t alter the strength, durability or the appearance of your leather furniture.
Look for hand-cut leather when you buy furniture; it’s beautiful, durable and will improve with age.
Typically, once we outlay the money for a new bed, for example, we keep it longer than we keep a new house! The average time spent living in a home is seven years; we keep beds on average for at least 10 years- and most people keep their bed frames in the UK (and their mattresses) much longer than that.
Tina educates you on just about everything related to buying furniture in a store or online. So, before you buy, consult our pages for the most up-to-date furniture and how to discern quality furniture from bargain furniture. Learn more about furniture construction, the types of wood used to make furniture, bedroom as well as living room and kitchen design ideas, tips on comparing furniture prices and finding the right retailer for your furniture purchase.
Here’s a list of things to consider before you buy your new furniture set or piece:
Buying Furniture Tip #1:
Be Aware of Furniture Trends in Home Décor, and then Buy the Furniture That You Love
Styles change. Think back to your parent’s old shag carpeting if you’re not convinced. Furniture styles change also. Buy furniture that you can enjoy, be proud of and that suits your needs for years to come. The newest home design ideas feature simple lines, found on Mission style furniture, and eclecticism, like you’ll find in French Country décor (some variations are lately known as “shabby chic”).
These decorating ideas can take you a long way in your quest to find the perfect set of furniture for your home.
Buying Furniture Tip #2:
Home Decorating Ideas That Can Freshen the Look of Your Home
Just like buying clothing, buying pieces of furniture that you can easily mix and match and integrate into your home décor will save you a lot of money in the long run. And, purchasing furniture here and there is more affordable short-term too, allowing you to obtain large pieces without financing.
And finally, acquiring furniture piecemeal allows you to continue to freshen the look of your rooms with the newest home design ideas. Gradually implementing furniture design and home decorating ideas like adding an ottoman here, a new side table there, or by hanging a new clock, you’ll have guests convinced you’re a home decorating genius, at little cost to you.
Buying Furniture Tip #3:
Be Sure of Home Design and Decorating Ideas Before Buying New Furniture
Think about future modifications to your living space when you’re buying new furniture. Perhaps you live in an apartment today, but you plan on moving to a bigger apartment or to a home larger than your current space in the near future. You have a couple of options: You can wait until you are settled in your new home before you shop so that the home décor seamlessly matches the color scheme of your furniture and home accessories.
Or you can buy your furniture while in your current space. If this is the case and you think you will have more space for home decorating in a newer home, buy your furniture in larger sizes or at least sizes commensurate with the imagined goal of that new space.
Durability and Strength Important Factors in Buying New Furniture
Durability is important when you’re buying new furniture. Look carefully at the underside of the furniture, and on the insides of the wood frame and cushions, too. Shake and move the furniture. Do you feel looseness in the wood frames, are the legs connected to the frame, do you see impressions in the cushions or fraying in the fabric?
If you do, walk away from the furniture quickly. Furniture quality determines durability and comfort whether it’s a sofa couch, loveseat, upholstered chair, ottoman or bed.
We have detailed information about some of the most popular types of wood used to make furniture, like oak, mahogany and maple, to help you find the right furniture to buy. The cost to buy wood furniture is not as costly as you might think- it’s sturdy, strong and doesn’t require too much maintenance. Wood furniture is very durable, and built to last a lot longer than furniture made with lesser materials.
It’s also easier to touch up scratches or gouges on wood furniture; furniture made of synthetic materials requires more intricate repair work if they can be repaired at all.
Every type of wood has its own unique grain patterns, making certain types of wood furnishings more desirable. Oak wood is somewhat porous along the surface, and stains and finishes pool into the pores leaving darker marks that appeal to furniture collectors.Maple has natural patterns in the wood grain that appear like magic when the furniture is sanded and finished. It’s these kinds of unique characteristics that make wood furniture such an enduringly popular choice for furnishing the home.
Wood furniture is also very versatile. You can buy the best wooden furniture unfinished, finished, hand finished or even painted. Connoisseurs of wood furnishings typically refrain from buying painted wood grain furniture, but it can often be quite charming, especially in a child’s bedroom.
Less Expensive Wood Furnishings Don’t Have to Look Cheap
Some of the best wooden furniture can be purchased inexpensively without sacrificing quality or durability. The less expensive woods on our list include soft woods and hardwoods. Soft woods are woods that come from coniferous trees, or trees that hold their needles all year long. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that drop their leaves each year. Some soft woods are more durable than hardwoods, so don’t be fooled by these terms when you’re buying furniture.
Alder Wood Furniture Adds Affordable Style to Any Room
Alder is a hardwood that features unique knots, or naturally-caused imperfections, that often show through the finish. Alder does not handle moisture or damp weather well and is best kept indoors, in a cool and dry climate. Alder wood is usually less expensive than other types of wood furniture because it is a lesser quality hardwood. Alder is similar to cherry or maple in appearance and has a very smooth finish.
Maple Wood Furniture Makes Buying Furniture Inexpensive
Maple is a hardwood, and it’s more durable and heavier than most woods, especially alder. Maple is often used for bedroom furniture- and even bowling alley floors- because of its strength. Maple wood is moisture resistant, so it has a long life span. The rare burled (swirls and twists in wood grain that occur naturally) and birds eye (a small repeating pattern in the wood grain) maple woods were used to manufacture American furniture in the early 1900’s and are considered highly collectible antiques today.
Maple wood’s natural pale color, like ash and birch woods, easily accepts any type of stain or paint.
The Simple Beauty of Pine Wood Furniture Perfectly Fits into Your Home
Pine is a soft wood which makes it a less durable wood than maple or alder. Pine is lightweight and furniture made of pine is easier to lift and move. Pine is inexpensive and durable, and resists swelling and shrinking. Eastern White, Ponderosa and Sugar Pine trees are often used to make wood furniture in the United States.
Pine woods usually need a primer before painting or a sealant before applying stain to achieve a more even finish. Knotty pine is often used for country style furnishings.
High End Furniture Made from High Quality Hardwoods
If you’re going to buy wood grain furnishings or upholstered wood furniture, consider your purchase, even your furniture research, a smart investment of time and money. It may cost more to buy furniture made with the high end woods on our list, but they’ll last a lifetime- or longer. High quality wood furniture will become an heirloom that you can pass down from generation to generation.
When you buy cherry, mahogany or oak wood furniture, you often have options available to customize your purchase. Hand finished and handcrafted furniture give you more alternatives for colors and shading. This comes in handy if you need the piece to match your existing home decor. And, you can often have oak, mahogany and other types of wood furniture custom designed to suit your specific space needs. This can be especially helpful if you have a large room that needs oversized furnishings.
Cherry Wood Furniture Charms with Old World Splendor
Cherry wood is a hardwood, strong and built to last. A lot of the best antique wooden furniture is made of cherry wood and it looks as good today as it did 100 years ago. Cherry wood and cherry stains for wood furniture often have a warm red hue. Don’t be afraid to mix and match cherry furnishings with furniture made of different woods or with varying finishes. Cherry wood complements most woods, working well with other furniture pieces and décor in your home.
Mahogany Wood Furniture Looks Magnificent in Your Home
“We chose mahogany wood furniture for our home because it was less expensive than oak or cherry, but still durable and beautiful,” Anthony remarks. Mahogany is a hardwood with a deep reddish brown color. Mahogany wood furniture is very resistant to insect infestation and it repels moisture. These two qualities mean that the wood will easily last for years and years. Some manufacturers specialize in designing and creating high quality antique reproduction furniture made of mahogany wood.
Oak Wood Furniture Gives Any Room Timeless Beauty
Oak is among the most popular hardwoods used to make furniture. Red Oak often has a red or pink tinge, and White Oak tends to be greener, though both take different colors of stain really well. The best wooden furniture made of oak tends to be more costly than other hardwoods, because of its enduring reputation for strength and beauty. Oak’s lovely open wood grain easily mixes with the other furnishings in your home.
Walnut Wood Furniture Will Beautify Your Home or Office
Walnut is another hardwood known for its strength and the beauty of its wood grain. Unlike maple, it isn’t terribly heavy, making it a lot easier to move around. It is typically finished in a dark brown color, but walnut colors range from white to brown shades.
Walnut is often used for formal or office furnishings and has a straight wood grain that glows warmly with a satin finish.
My Love For Wood Furniture
I believe that wood brings warmth to any space, making it appear more natural and more welcoming. I love to spend time in a room featuring a wall of exposed bricks and a stylish thick slab wooden table. Although we have to cut trees to make wood furniture, the situation isn’t as bad as it seems, because there are tree farms created on purpose to be turned into wood for furniture.
Wooden furniture isn’t only durable, but also valuable. A cheap plywood desk from Ikea won’t be worth anything within two or three years.
On the contrary, a wooden desk you buy for your home office can only become more valuable in time. Even if it gets scratched, these imperfections will only add to its character, making it even more desirable. If you don’t agree with this, you can easily fix those scratches.
If you know how to appreciate wooden furniture, you’ll see the advantages of buying a used wooden desk, table or dresser at a reasonable price. You can bring these old items back to life by giving them a touch of finish that’s going to make them look like new. For me, the only options when it comes to buying furniture are wood and iron.