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Guide To Basic Rendering Techniques

The exterior and interior walls of any building or home need a coat of plaster material for improved strength. Render also adds fireproof and weatherproof properties to the foundation of any structure. For internal surfaces, plastering creates an acoustic sound barrier and prepares the area for decorating with paint or wallpaper.

Rendering and plastering require skill and practice to master. Nevertheless, even small DIY projects involving plasterwork are achievable. Before you consider taking on a plastering project, consider the recommendations below.

Choosing the right render 

There are various rendering materials used today. The most basic exterior render usually contains cement, sand, and some filler. For interior rendering, plasterers often use gypsum-based plaster material. Plasterboard or brickwork is the background surface for gypsum-based plaster. For low suction background surfaces, applying a basecoat precedes plastering. The basecoat acts as a barrier to prevent moisture absorption before the Parex render dries completely.

The right plaster material depends on the surface to which you will apply it. You can find a variety of Parex supplies suitable for different background surfaces and finish. Examples include Parex paraguard, monorex GM, and monorex gf.

Preparing surfaces for rendering

A crucial step to ensuring a quality finish is removing dirt and debris from the surface. Wash off any oil and paint residue before applying the basecoat. Basecoat is necessary when the background surface has low suction. A commonly used basecoat to enhance plaster absorption is a mixture of PVA glue and water.

Mixing plaster material 

The mix ratio of render material determines the resulting finish. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct ratio of render and filler. For convenience, you can buy pre-mixed Parex rendering supplies where you only need to add the right amount of water. Apply water in small quantities to get the desired consistency.

Applying plaster material

Novice plasterers can use wooden battens as a guide to get the right thickness. You can nail these at the edges to create a clean, even plaster finish. Slowly apply the plaster in swift, stable motions. With the aid of a straight edge, you can level and smoothen the resulting plastered surface. The plaster coat should be allowed to dry completely before adding another layer.

Choosing the right plaster finish 

You can apply different finishing techniques on the last coat of plaster for decorative purposes. Below are different types of plaster finish:

  • Trowel finish. The simplest way to finish a layer of plaster is to use a wooden float to skim the surface and create a smooth surface.
  • Sponge finish. To create a sponged effect, use a damp sponge and mop it over the plaster surface. The sponge should not be too wet, or it will wash off the render.
  • Roughcast finish. Instead of applying the render carefully onto the surface, it is flicked and thrown to create a rough finish. This type of finish is suitable for exterior walls.
  • Textured finish. Coarse aggregate such as pebbles or gravel is added to the plaster mixture to create this finish.

Plasterers are also recommended to consider ambient temperature before applying plaster. When the weather is too hot, plastering earlier in the day is ideal so that heat in the background surface will not absorb the water out of the render.

3 Advantages Of Keeping A Great Garden

We all like to keep our homes neat and tidy and to show them off to their very best, but that doesn’t mean you should concentrate solely on what’s between your four walls. A garden can be the crowning glory of any home, and an ideal place to relax as well as a perfect place to entertain guests. They’re not the only benefits of maintaining a great garden, as these three examples show.

An Excellent Way To Keep Fit

However old you are, keeping fit and active is essential if you want to lead a full and healthy life, and garden work and maintenance is a great way to do this. There are lots of jobs involved in the process of keeping a garden looking great, and all of them provide an excellent work out for your arms, legs, and cardiovascular system. From mowing the lawn to collecting leaves and garden waste, planting, weeding and turning over soil and turf, you can really work up a sweat in the garden, and that means that you’re burning off calories. The number of calories burned will depend upon how vigorously you carry out the activities, but weeding can consume around 200 to 400 calories per hour, whilst raking and bagging leaves for an hour can use up to 450 calories.

Relaxation Whenever You Need It

Many people spend considerable sums of money on going on relaxing breaks, but the perfect spot to relax could be just outside their own home. It is very peaceful than sitting in your garden on a sunny day or golden evening, reading a book, listening to music, or simply watching the clouds drift by. Studies have shown that gardening can be one of the best ways to beat stress, and this quality can be even more beneficial when you simply sit and enjoy the fruits of your labor. For the ultimate stress buster, add a Japanese-style water feature, and add a touch of Zen to your property.

Boosting Your Property Value

Whether you’re looking to sell your property in the near future or want a nest egg to leave your children, it makes sense to keep the value of your property as high as possible. Having a good looking and well-maintained house will certainly help with this but having an immaculate garden and exterior landscape can also help to boost the value of your property. Expert websites such as Lovebackyard.Com are full of hints and tips on how to keep your garden in pristine shape all year round, and this could pay dividends for you and your dependents.

Looking after your garden can help you get fit and stay fit, fight the stresses of everyday life, and can even increase the value of your property as a whole, so you should never neglect your gardening duties. Having a great garden is also aesthetically pleasing, of course, and is sure to impress your neighbors and visitors to your home. Keeping your garden pristine can be easier than you think, and once you’ve started, you won’t want to stop.

Ways To Save Costs Around The Home

With budgets getting tighter and paychecks already squeezed to the max, household bills are sometimes a worry for many people. This can be especially true during the winter months when you are trying to get through a cold snap. To make things a little more comfortable, there is a range of things you can do to help reduce overall bills and make your home feel more cozy even when it is chilly outside. Some things you can do whatever your budget and others might require a little investment to make more significant savings down the line. However, if you’re looking to make overall cost savings, check out these handy tips to reduce household bills.

Insulate the roof and walls

The roof and walls of your home are some of the most well-known causes of heat loss, and this can drive up your bills. If you have an older property, insulation will be able to help regulate the temperature, which will, in turn, have positive effects on how consistently the heat stays in your home. This will mean you won’t have to keep turning the thermostat up and down to get the right temperature which helps reduce bills.

Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature

If you keep fiddling with the temperature settings on your heating, this will lead to a less efficient way of heating the house. By keeping it at a set temperature that everyone finds comfortable, it will click in and out, as and when it is needed. If you do feel the cold, it might be a good idea to layer up a little as constantly changing the settings not only affects how much more energy you use, it can also affect the boiler as it will be working harder to support the constant changes.

Seek out any draughts

Draughts are one of the most frustrating causes of heat loss and sometimes can be challenging to locate, as they are often quite small. Plugging these draughts will help to keep that cold air out and stop any unnecessary chilly spots around the home. Check areas such as windows, large keyholes, and loft hatches and be sure to prevent the air coming in.

Upgrade your windows

If you don’t have double or triple paned windows, you could benefit from an upgrade. Windows can be one of the biggest contributors to heat loss in a home, and you’ll undoubtedly notice the difference if you decide to invest in new ones. They are designed to keep the heat in, and the cold out, plus will reduce your bills in the long term. This might be a more substantial investment but getting a double glazing quote from a variety of suppliers will help you save costs on both installation and future bills.

There are many ways to save costs around the home. Some might be quick fixes, and others require a little more investment, but making these changes will help your property become more energy-efficient and cost-effective for the future.

The Importance of Sustainable Neighborhoods

If you’re curious about the importance of planning sustainable neighborhoods, Terra Group has some tips to discover 4 reasons why it’s important for cities to build sustainable neighborhoods.

The Importance of Sustainable Neighbourhoods:

1. Neighborhood planners need to ensure that growing neighborhoods will have access to a wide variety of essential facilities and services

As a neighborhood grows and spreads out, it’s important for its local council as well as assigned neighborhood planners and real estate developers to ensure that the residents of the neighborhood in question will have adequate access to a wide range of public facilities and services.

As an example, as a neighborhood grows larger, its public schools may not be able to accommodate growing demand for placements. As another example, if a neighborhood grows by several thousand residents, the neighborhood may require more bus routes and public transportation services, in order to effectively serve its growing population.

Other examples of public services which a growing neighborhood may require access to include doctors offices, public libraries, swimming pools and parks.

2. Neighborhoods need to ensure that green areas are factored into future neighborhood plans

In order for neighborhoods to remain safe, healthy places for individuals to call home, neighborhoods need to offer plenty of green areas such as public parks and trails. As humans are not meant to live in areas which lack life. Neighborhoods should plan to offer enough wide open spaces for future generations to enjoy.

So instead of planners setting aside public land to create parks for their current population, planners need to look ahead to the future, to make sure that there is enough public land set aside for future generations to enjoy in 50 years time.

One idea which neighborhood planners may be interested in considering is setting aside land for communal gardens, which will provide the community with fresh, healthy produce. Which may be a godsend for families who may struggle to afford fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis.

3. Neighborhoods need to prioritize pedestrian walkways, cycleways and public transport

In order to encourage residents to lead healthy active lifestyles, neighborhood planners need to ensure that pedestrian walkways and cycleways are factored into future neighborhood plans. As if there is lack of public access to walkways and cycleways residents will be forced to drive everywhere, which is not a healthy option. However, if well lit, well-paved pedestrian walkways and cycleways are built, they will attract plenty of traffic.

4. Neighborhoods which aren’t planned out well may decline in future decades

If a neighborhood lacks adequate pedestrian walkways, green spaces and public facilities and amenities, there is a high chance that individuals will choose to leave the neighborhood and that the neighborhood may fall into decline as a result. As an example, local shops may shut shop and an area, which may cause public areas to fall prey to vandalism.

In conclusion, it’s crucial for city planners to carefully plan out future neighborhoods in order to ensure that they are sustainable and will offer residents plenty of public services and facilities.

Inspiring Interior Decorating Trends

If you’re planning on overhauling your home’s interior design and are in need of a little creative inspiration, continue reading to discover a wide array of popular interior decorating trends from Umberto de Pretto, which may provide you with the inspiration that you need in order to give your home a makeover.

Inspiring Interior Decorating Trends:

1. Feature walls

What is a feature wall you may ask? A feature wall describes a single wall in a room, which is painted a different color, from the rest of the room’s walls. As an example, a lounge may boast 3 neutral colored walls and may also boast a feature wall which has been painted bright blue or a vivid yellow.

If the thought of a house which just features neutral walls, bores you, it may be well worth using the concept of feature walls to brighten up your house.

2. Fun textured fabrics

If you flip through an interior decorating magazine, chances are that you’ll see a wide variety of textured fabrics being used to decorate various rooms. As an example, a lounge may feature a faux fur rug as well as satin curtains and a velvet sofa. Don’t be afraid to place multiple textured pieces of furniture and decorations in a single room as it’s currently trendy to mix and match textured fabrics.

3. Modern wallpaper

If you thought wallpaper was outdated think again! While you may not want to opt for wallpaper which looks as if it would suit the walls of your grandmother’s home, it may be worth browsing more modern styles of wallpaper in order to add a bit of flair to your home. You may even be surprised by how chic some of the styles of wallpaper which are available are.

As an added bonus, if you grow sick of your wallpaper after a few months or years, it will be a breeze to replace it with a new style of wallpaper.

4. Kitchen islands

If you plan on overhauling your kitchen, one of the easiest ways to ensure that your kitchen looks modern, is to add a kitchen island to your outdated kitchen. Not only are kitchen islands incredibly stylish but they’re also practical. As an example, while you can use a kitchen island for extra counter space, and choose the countertop design you desire. you may prefer to eat breakfast at your kitchen island, rather than eating breakfast at your dining table.

5. Perspex furniture

Perspex furniture is also becoming increasingly popular, especially with individuals who love modern interior design trends. If you’re wondering how to incorporate perspex furniture into your latest interior design plans, you may want to replace your dining room’s chairs with fun perspex chairs. Or you may want to invest in a perspex coffee table, to give your lounge a thoroughly modern vibe.

6. Canvas photos

One of the latest interior design trends is to forgo hanging up regular art work in favor for having your favorite photos printed on large pieces of canvas.

So if one or more of the creative interior design ideas inspires you, there’s no time like the present to plan your next home makeover.

What To Consider When Lighting Your Home’s Outdoor Area

Lighting lets you enjoy your outdoor spaces at night. It also helps protect you and your property and improve your home’s kerb appeal. There is such a broad choice of lighting, so be sure to have lights that perfectly suit your needs. With a wide variety of options, consider the following important factors to score the right outdoor lights for your home.

Purpose

Before shopping for the most stylish lighting fixtures, define the purpose of illuminating your outdoor area. Do you want to highlight a particular space or corner? Then you need the right accent lighting. If your main priority is your family’s safety, you need a bright light that can keep thieves away, such as those designed with sensors. Do you want to maintain a nice atmosphere even in your outdoor area? Then ambient lighting is ideal. The bottom line is, let your purpose guide you in choosing the most suitable lighting fixture that meets your needs and pleases your eyes.

Location

After defining your purpose, think ahead where you want to place your light fixture. This helps you determine the right size of lamp that will illuminate and fit the space perfectly. For lights that will be placed on the ground, make sure they do not cause people to trip or block the view of an object that you want others to see.

Style

With so many lighting fixtures to choose from, it’s easy to be confused. One thing to think of is if it suits the style of your home or the area where you want to place it. Make sure the light fits with the colour of your home’s exterior or if its modern style is consistent with the style of your home. Be careful not to draw attention to the light itself if its objective is to highlight something, such as your landscape.

Size

Size is an important consideration not only to be sure it fits the space but also to be proportional to, say, the size of the door if you will be installing it alongside a door. Take measurements if necessary.

Brightness

Brightness might coincide with the purpose of your lighting. You might want a light that is bright enough to light up an entire space or a couple of lights to do the same. Feel free to find just the right brightness level. You can play with bulb temperatures or consider low-wattage bulbs that give off fewer lumens.

Power

There are mainly two options for electric powered outdoor lighting, namely low voltage, and line voltage lighting. The former uses less energy and is easier to install while the latter uses more power and may require additional features for safety.

Lighting makes it possible to enjoy night time outside. It provides easy access to exterior space any time of the day. Make sure to choose the right light fixture through proper planning. Buy high quality products from trusted brands. Select durable, energy efficient lamps that are sure to last a long time. You can check out www.downlightsdirect.co.uk for some of the best options.

When Do You Need A Custom Wardrobe?

Although perhaps the question may seem obvious: as long as we want a wardrobe that fits our tastes and needs, the truth is that there are some signs which might lead us to think that it is time to decide to opt for a made to measure wardrobe. Here are some of those signs…

The need to have space is a basic problem in many homes. For this reason, many owners and tenants either decide to change their apartment or rent a storage room to be able to accommodate all their belongings. However, you cannot always or do not want to change your home and we have to make do with what we have. The problem of wardrobes and cupboards is normal in most houses, we never have cubbies, shelves, and space enough for all our clothes, shoes, blankets, toys and other stuff.

Made to measure wardrobes

What can we do? Buy a bigger wardrobe? But can we fit one in the space we have? Even if it is big, does it really satisfy our needs? The best thing, without a doubt, is to choose a custom-made wardrobe.

Think and recognise if you have experienced any of these situations. If so, you need to buy a new wardrobe – and make it a made to measure wardrobe.

You love the furniture in your home and no wardrobe you see fits perfectly with the style of your bedroom. Which wardrobe do you buy? A made to measure wardrobe will offer you the maximum you are looking for, copying the style of your room, and increasing storage space. It might also be the case that you want to install a custom wardrobe in an unused space: the space under the staircase, the space between the dresser and the wall. You may envisage a wardrobe that reaches the ceiling to take advantage of the existing and usable vertical space. No wardrobe that you see in a furniture store will ever fit precisely into such spaces: you need a made to measure wardrobe!

Your children grow, and you accumulate more and more clothes and accessories. The wardrobes that you see in the furniture stores do not fully fulfill their function, or they do not have the exact space for shirts, for shoes, etc., or you would like them to have more drawers. Undoubtedly, another sign that you need a made to measure wardrobe.

Alternative storage

You can also choose to take advantage of other spaces in your home for storage, such as bunk beds or a custom cupboard for the hall of your house.

Bathrooms are typically small rooms and it is difficult to find cabinets or cupboards that complement perfectly. What better than a custom cabinet made with materials that resist humidity? Ah, do you have a balcony full of junk? A custom storage locker will help you to keep everything better protected and safe from the eyes of the curious.

Remodelling Tips For A Modern Kitchen

Modern kitchens are designed for various purposes. Besides the work-triangle kitchen designs, modern designs aim at providing a comfortable, spacious and stylish kitchen. If you want a unique kitchen with a stylish design, think of remodelling your old kitchen. Here are great tips on how to remodel your kitchen into a unique and stylish kitchen.

Determine a layout that suits your needs

You are no longer limited to the triangular layout. You can do more in the kitchen than cooking food. Today, you can invite your friends to your kitchen for a chat. However, this kind of kitchen needs a perfect layout to create space and working area.

Use quality materials

Cabinets are the heart of the kitchen. The material you use on your cabinets determines their durability, style and appearance. Kitchen materials are available in different colours and styles. Hardwood is one of the best materials to use in your kitchen. However, you can consult a kitchen designer for other kitchen materials depending on your budget and needs.

Choose the appropriate colours

Have a theme for your kitchen. This should be guided by your taste and preference. The colour you choose can bring harmony to your kitchen. The colour you choose for your cabinets should also complement the colour of your ceiling, floor and worktops.

Visit a showroom

You need a professional designer to perfectly design your kitchen. The best place to find reputable and experienced designers is to choose the best kitchen showrooms. You can also compare different kitchens in West Sussex to choose the best layout for your kitchen.

Light up your kitchen

Kitchen remodelling also involves upgrading your kitchen lighting system. Let your fitted features be visible by choosing the right lighting system. If you are not sure, it is advisable that you consult an experienced kitchen designer. Besides a lighting system, nothing matches natural lighting. Where and how you install windows determines the amount of light in your kitchen.

Paint or stain

This is one of the difficult decisions you will encounter when remodelling a kitchen. Staining is less expensive and easy to maintain. Painting, on the other hand, requires the help of professionals.

Consider your budget

There are different remodelling options. Their costs vary depending on their style and design. Before you hire a contractor, make sure that you have a budget. It is recommended that you consult your designer for a quote.

Remodelling is the most affordable way to add value to your home. There are different ways to remodel your kitchen depending on your needs. The size of your kitchen should also determine the right kitchen layout. If you have an idea, you can seek the assistance of your contractor for upgrading.

Tips For Choosing The Right Granite Countertop

Installing granite countertops is a worthy investment when remodelling your kitchen. They transform the appearance of your kitchen and maintain that prestigious appeal for a very long time. Qualities such as the ability to resist scratches and stains make this material very popular.

Even so, choosing the right colour and design for your project can prove to be difficult. This is because these worktops have a wide variety of natural and breathtaking colours. They are cut into different sizes and shapes so as to address a variety of needs. Below are tips that can assist you in choosing the right granite worktop in London.

The size of granite countertops needed

Granite pieces differ depending on the size. The bigger the piece the more expensive it is. Also, consider the thickness of the slabs. Thicker slabs are stronger and more costly compared to the thinner ones. These countertops have differently designed edges that have a visible effect on the final look of your kitchen.

The size of your kitchen

Light coloured countertops are preferred when remodelling a small kitchen. They make the kitchen seem bigger. A spacious kitchen gives room for more creativity and can use more and larger granite slabs.

Location

Do comprehensive research on the professional fabricators operating within your geographic area. Check for positive reviews and recommended specialists and choose the company that impresses you the most. Contacting a company close to your home will enable you to save on transportation costs and that money can be used to purchase even better-quality granite countertops.

Sample matching

It is important to compare many samples before deciding on the best countertop to use. Choose two or three different patterns that you like and compare how each one blends with the decor in your kitchen. The pattern that coordinates well with the colours of your kitchen cabinets and the floor is the best choice. When purchasing online ensure you buy from licensed and credited dealers. This gives you the guarantee that what you select online is what will be delivered and installed.

The desired effects

Colours communicate more than just beauty. For example, dark colours like black and blue portray elegance. Neutral colours like brown create a homely feeling. Bright colours create an exciting feeling. It is wise to contract a designer for assistance if you are not very sure about colours.

Confirm its quality

It is good to test the quality of the samples provided before transacting any business. You can try cleaning them with some water or spill oil on them to see how the samples manage. Good quality granite is stain resistant and easy to clean.

Lastly, have a budget. This will help you sample only those worktops that fall within your budget. You will also be able to avoid overspending. With these tips, nothing will hinder you from attaining that classy and functional kitchen you dream about.

10 Tips For Childproofing Your Home

When little people are in the home, it is always wise to be aware of your surroundings. There are so many hidden dangers that you can’t possibly think of all of them, can you? Actually, it isn’t hard now that we have the internet, and if you are soon to be a mum, here are some really great ideas gathered from around the Web.

1. Install Anti-Scald Devices on Taps and Showerheads

Toddlers soon learn how to twist handles and knobs, and this can present a real danger if you don’t keep the water heater set low enough so as not to be scalding. However, if you set it too low, you can’t adequately wash and rinse dishes. Why not install anti-scald devices on all taps and showerheads? Now you can have hot water and scalding precautions.

2. Keep All Medications out of Reach or Locked

If you don’t have a cupboard or cabinet high enough where baby can’t reach, at least invest in a lock box so that your precious little one can’t accidentally get into those dangerous medicines. Many are quite colourful and can easily be mistaken for candy. Keep them locked away at all times.

3. Replace Floor Radiators with Wall Mounted Varieties

Many older homes have floor mounted radiators. Since they are meant to heat the room, radiators can be quite hot. Instead, look at your options in a wall mounted Reina radiator that will serve well to keep your little one from getting burned.

4. Observe Safe Cooking Habits

If at all possible, use baby gates to keep children out of kitchens whilst cooking. However, in today’s open-space home designs, that isn’t always realistic. Observe safe cooking habits such as keeping all foods on unreachable back burners and keep handles on pots turned back and away from the front where they can’t be reached.

5. Install Toilet Seat and Cover Locks

Toddlers are fascinated by water. Always keep your toilet seat and cover locked down with latches easily purchased online to avoid accidental drowning and to keep those little fingers clean from contaminants.

6. Never Use Bumpers and Pillows in Baby’s Crib

While cute and cosy looking, those crib bumpers and pillows have been known to suffocate babies when they roll over. Too little to understand how to roll back, they suffocate.

7. Baby Monitors Are a Must

Video monitors are arguably the best, but if you can’t afford them, audio monitors at least enable you to hear what is going on in your baby’s room. If they are crying or struggling to catch their breath, you can quickly get there in time to react.

8. Re-think Plastic Outlet Plugs

While those plastic outlet plugs can keep baby from getting electrocuted, they are small enough to be a choking hazard. Instead, consider buying sliding covers available at any home improvement store, or learn other ways to baby-proof sockets in the home.

9. Install Cabinet and Drawer Latches

No matter what you have in cupboards and cabinets, something is bound to be a danger to toddlers. Install those baby latches to keep little ones from getting to chemicals, knives, and anything which can harm them.

10. Cushion All Sharp Edges on Furniture

When learning to crawl, walk and run, the one thing you can be sure of is that all little people are clumsy in each of these stages of development. Protect them from sharp edges on furniture, especially coffee tables, by adding cushioning or bumpers. These can be found online or in baby shops if you prefer.

There you have 10 easy-to-use childproofing tips, that will help ensure safety of your child as you spend quality time together and in every day life. Now it’s your turn to Google some more!