Buying Houses and Renovating Them for Profit

My wife and I buy houses that are available at a bargain, and we fix them up and sell them for a profit. We got the idea from a television show that airs here. Apparently, it is also a popular thing in the States. I have a cousin who lives there, and he tells me they have TV shows about flipping houses too. It is not a bad way to make a living if you do it right. We do not have any of the drama they have on the TV shows. We buy flooring, roofing and gutters in Perth, and we get electrical, plumbing and lots of other materials at home centers. I worked for years building homes, so I can do a lot of the renovations with the help of my wife.

We keep our labor costs low by doing as much of the work that we can on our own. We hire others when the work is extensive or will take too much time. You do not want to be paying on a mortgage as it will eat into your profits. Continue reading →

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Bathroom Vanity Cabinets

Bathroom vanity cabinets are considered bathroom furniture, and usually range from simple two door storage units with a wood veneer or a single color paint to exquisitely detailed richly carved hard wood cabinets, with hand applied finishes and marble inlay tops. The vanity cabinet is the place to start in adding sophisticated elegance to the bathroom, as it can and tie together the occasional disparate element between mirror and sink. The bathroom vanity cabinet can compensate, enliven and embellish any bathroom setting.

Bathroom vanity cabinets often come with a sink and/or fixtures depending on where and how you buy. If you purchase a single unit with sink, top, and fixtures you avoid the challenge of assembling a coherent aesthetic from individual pieces and, chances are, you will get a deal. There are those homeowners among us, however, who find working with their own vision far more gratifying than purchasing a ready-made item or unit.

Tradition has always been a partner to innovation, and so there are many creative choices in the bathroom world. Adapting antique dressers for use as bathroom vanity furniture can lead to stunning results. Some exclusive companies and designers will make this conversion for you. A less expensive and more popular route is to purchase a reproduction that comes with a basin that matches the period of the dresser.

There are also a host of contemporary choices available, often making use of different synthetic materials, metals and woods. One great example is the use of a small-brushed chrome cabinet, usually seen in an office environment, beneath a minimally decorated counter top and basin. This kind of unusual and tasteful choice can revitalize any room, with a clean, modern effect. Bathroom vanity cabinets are often the central focus of the bathroom vanity, and the creative options are endless, from the unique graining of wood to the exciting shine of brushed metal.

Cleaning Granite Countertops

Homeowners who are seeking to increase value to their homes enjoy the durability and easy maintenance when upgrading to granite countertops. Granite is the most durable of all stones, second only to diamonds. Granite, being created from molten rock, can withstand the heat from a hot pot without a trivet. The hardness of the surface is excellent for handling dough and confectionery. While durable and low maintenance, however, they are not impervious to damage.

Properly installed granite countertops should last a lifetime, one justification for the higher costs associated with the material and installation. The granite suppler should provide personalized instructions for care with each slab, since all granite is made up of many different minerals. Even if two different stone slabs come from the same part of the world, there will be variances in the granite that require different kinds of attention.

Proper care ensures the longevity and beauty expected from this premium product. In addition to the polished finish, it’s possible to get a “honed” or flat finish. Although a honed finish can be very attractive, it is not recommended for kitchen use. Over time, everyday use will tend to lend a polish to some areas, and the additional necessary sealers will distract from the beauty of the surface. A polished finish is easiest to maintain with regular care that includes proper cleaning and the use of sealers to prevent staining.

Care for a polished finish begins with daily attention to what is placed on the surface. Granite countertops are hard and can withstand a falling can of soup, but the polished surface is a bit more delicate. Never use the granite as a cutting surface, always use a cutting board. Avoid allowing acidic foods such as lemon juice, vinegar and soft drinks to be left on the surface for any amount of time, as they can etch the surface. Another thing that removes the polished shine are harsh cleaning products or abrasive cleansers (liquid or powder). To clean the surface without leaving streaks, use only a small amount of warm water with a ph balanced dishwashing liquid.

Although granite is extremely hard, some of the minerals in it may be very soft. The existence of different minerals is what makes the granite easy to scratch, be chipped or break along the grain. In order to protect the surface, it is recommended to avoid dragging pots, pans or appliances across the stone. Scooting something across the countertop that has even a grain of sugar under it will scratch the polished surface. Scratches allow stains to mar an otherwise beautiful surface.

Once a year, a penetrating sealant should be applied. Regular polishing will keep the finish gleaming. Use a penetrating sealant recommended by the supplier or the home builder. Avoid using a stone sealer that will not penetrate the stone, as it will create a cloudy surface that will have to be removed by stripping the entire countertop, using harsh solvents. Remember, the glossy shine isn’t caused by a coating on the surface, but by expert polishing using diamond polishing tools.

If there is minor damage to a granite countertop, it can be resolved by the homeowner. If a pot or pan leaves a grey or black mark on the surface, it can be polished out using fine steel wool. If a glue-like substance is stuck on the countertop, it is possible to scrape it off with a credit card or single sided razor blade. Small marks made during the removal can be polished out with a fine steel wool. If the granite is chipped or cracked, a professional should be called in to perform invisible repairs.

In addition to its strength, granite is a very beautiful stone that adds color and warmth to any kitchen. With just a little care to protect their beauty and utility, granite countertops will last a lifetime.

A Guide to Kitchen Sinks

In any household, a kitchen sink is one of the central fixtures and always sees plentyA Guide to Kitchen Sinks of action. It is used both for preparing food and for cleaning up after every meal. It can add to or take away from the overall effect of your kitchen’s design. Durability and attractiveness are both important qualities in kitchen sinks.

More than simply functional necessities, sinks now offer more design appeal, softer lines, and a variety of finishes. Every homemaker faces the challenge of choosing the right sink for the kitchen, and the kitchen sink provides the finishing touch to any new kitchen project.

Modern sinks are not just made of a simple faucet and bowl. They come in multiple bowls of various sizes and shapes and are designed with integral drainers, cutting boards, soap dispensers, instant hot water dispensers, purified water taps, sprayers and more.

Sinks are also made of stainless steel, enameled metal, solid surfacing materials and quartz composites, and of course the traditional porcelain.

There is a great amount to consider when choosing a kitchen sink. Size, in width and depth, is of course the biggest choice you will make when choosing a sink to fit your kitchen. You also have a choice of materials used in making the sink – stainless steel, granite or copper.

Stainless steel sinks are made in many sizes and several thicknesses. Enamel on cast iron or steel sinks are made in an assortment of colors. Quartz composite sinks also come in a variety of colors and patterns.

Many people prefer stainless steel sinks because they are believed to be easier to care for. Some solid-surface countertop materials may be formed to include rimless, seamless sinks that are a perfect match.

Your sink choice is restricted by the size of your cabinet and counter top. All kitchen sinks require a minimum cabinet size. You can find out the size of your cabinet by measuring under the existing sink or where the new sink will go.

The Importance of Home Air Filters

Many people are not aware that the air inside our homes is five times harmful than the air outside. Because of airtight home and office building constructions, the airborne pollutants are trapped inside, making the contaminated air unable to escape. Clean air is even more important inside the home than it is outdoors. Home air filters, also called as “”furnace filters””, keep the coils and heat exchanges on the heating and air conditioning system clean, which otherwise make the system work harder. Home air filters contain high efficient motors and anti-microbial filters, resulting in healthy and clean air in home or office.

There are manifold types and styles of home air purifiers, including HEPA, carbon, zeolite, UV light air purifiers, and more. Some air purifiers have filters, and some use stainless steel rods to collect contaminates.

Home air filters work by drawing air through the layers of different air filters. The air first passes through a pre-filter where large particles are removed. Then the air passes through a coconut shell activated carbon filter that absorbs gases, chemicals, odors and vapors. After this absorption, the air enters two anti-microbial filters for further filtration. Then the air goes on to the 80 square feet HEPA media where 99.97% of all allergens and particulate larger than 0.3 micron are removed from the resultant air. From this HEPA media, the clean air is released back into the room. The size of airborne particles that a home air purifier captures is measured in microns. A micron is hundred times smaller than a human hair and is obviously not visible to the naked eye.

The most important thing to remember about home air filters is to change them regularly. Upgrading and properly maintaining home air filters is easy and helps improve indoor air quality.

Easy And Inexpensive Kitchen Decorating Tips

Small changes can have a big effect on how your kitchen looks. Below are 11 decorating ideas that you can do yourself in a day or less. Not only are these simple changes are easy to do, but they are inexpensive too!

1. Afraid of changing your drab white kitchen walls? Instead of choosing rich, deep colors for your first project, you will likely feel more comfortable with a neutral such as beige or gray which will not date the room or create a jarring palate that you will easily tire of.

2. Brighten up the kitchen. Use mirrors to capture the sunlight and bounce it around. Try putting a mirror across from a window or on a wall that corners against the window wall for the most light distribution.

3. Make seasonal changes. Moving the kitchen furniture into a ‘summer arrangement’ can optimize your space and give it a more airy feel. Make it light and breezy – think about removing some of the furniture and decorations for a lighter feel. Open those curtains and let the sun shine in!

4. Use slipcovers. Slipcovers over your chairs can soften the room and add to your decor. For the holidays, try using special covers in holdiay patters or colors. For a nice summer change use white cotton or canvas slipcovers on the chairs.

5. Get ideas from the pros. Look in magazines, books, television or the internet to get a flavor of the accessories and designs you would like to see in your kitchen. IF you see a kitchen decorated in a way that you like, think about how you can duplicate the same decor in your home.

6. Decorate with cookbooks. You can make a nice display with your cookbooks. Try grouping them in interesting configurations with some laying down and some standing. Don’t put small books next to tall books but align them in graduating sizes.

7. Warm it up with rugs. Area rugs can add a splash of color or cover up an old or unmatching floor. When buying rugs, measure the space so you can be sure to get the right size. Rugs used under a table should be large enough to also accommodate the chairs when fully pulled out.

8. Bring the outdoors inside. Don’t be afraid to hang plants from any bare ceiling corner to give a lived in feeling to a plain kitchen. Plants provide interest and soften up the room. For above the cabinets or hard to reach places, silk plants work just as well as real ones, however, if you do buy silk, go with a good quality arrangement that looks realistic.

9. Change your look with accessories. A few strategically places accessories can change your kitchen from dull to dramatic! Maybe you want to go with a certain theme and you might be able to give your kitchen a whole new look just by replacing some key accessories like toaster covers, dish towels, canister sets, salt and pepper shakers and pot holders.

10. Change your cabinet pulls. Theres so many different styles of cabinet pulls these days – figural, wooden, ceramic, glass – you should be able to find a design that matches your new decor easily. They are easy to install yourself and your friends will think you got new cabinets!

11. Add a border. wallpaper borders are easy to put up and can add color and interest. You can use them at the top of the wall or go with a less traditional use underneath the cabinets. Use them at chair rail height to break up long walls. An even less expensive (but more labor intensive) alternative is to use stencils and paint.

A Guide to Modern Home Furnishings

In modern home furnishings, there is now great stress on ergonomics that takes into account the requirements of the human body. The ergonomically built furniture is safe and healthy and helps you to take care of yourself.

Space management has become a critical factor while designing the interior design of modern dwellings. This has resulted in the evolution of what is known as modular furniture, which occupies minimum space. Computer chairs and cabinets, coffee tables made from stainless steel and chrome, stools with magazine racks and retracted wheel systems are some examples of the modular furniture.

There is a marked preference for hard metallic and glass materials over wood, symbolizing the machine age that we are living in. Chromium and stainless steel have become an inevitable part of modern furniture. Even sinks, drain boards, and fireplaces are being made from these metals. They are easy to maintain and more durable than wood.

Table tops made from glass add a sparkle to homes and if it were not for its delicate nature, it could be put to various uses.

Stainless steel floor lamps with enameled interiors and silvered bulbs are novel features that transform the place drastically.

Stylish doorstoppers and stainless steel mirrors, programmable LED capsule message clocks, and glow bricks that use solar energy for recharging are becoming popular as urban life is moved towards a digital lifestyle.

The Benefits of Wood Platform Beds

Wood platform beds are beds that have no box spring and are made out of wood. Platform beds are great for complementing any d├ęcor, but are especially well suited for rooms that are going for a simple feel. When these beds are made out of wood, the effect is that much more grounding. The proliferation of feng shui ideals have made platform beds a high-demand item among those going for a “Japanese” or “Zen-like” energy in their home. The low physical profile of wood platform beds go very well with other low-set furniture such as low coffee tables, dressers, and other bedroom furnishings.

Wood platform beds can be made out of any kind of wood. The most popular are cherry, teak, rosewood, mahogany, maple, dark walnut, pecan, honey oak and others. Any wood platform bed frame can be made of a lesser wood, or even particleboard, and then overlain with the veneer of a higher quality wood. That way, you can get whatever feel you are going for, without spending the necessary thousands of dollars for the real thing.

However, if you’re the one who just can’t seem to forget that the veneer is just a mask for a lesser wood, you’ll have to shell out for the real thing.

Wood platform beds take on a wide variety of sizes and forms. You can obtain any size bed from a single or twin, double or full, to a queen, king, super king, or California king. These beds can simply be flat surfaces or sets of slats on legs, or they can be full-on beds with headboard, footboard, and canopy. They can have simple, clean lines, or they can boast more of a flourish and sweep.

A Look at Computer Desks for Children

Children’s use of the computer has increased tremendously. To meet the requirements of young users, manufacturers are re-designing computer desks. The main requirement of a child’s computer desk is the lower height. It should also be comfortable for the child to work on. The main aspect in designing special computer desks for children is ergonomics. Monitors should be at eye-level to reduce neck and eye strain. The keyboard and mouse should also be placed at the ideal height to make it more comfortable.

These days, computer desks are being designed in attractive colors and shapes to appeal to young users. The material used for the desk is important, as children are not usually careful about the cleanliness of the desk. Plastics or fiber is usually easier to clean than wood or glass. Cables and wires can be kept out of the way through discreet wiring systems for more safety and comfort.

Wider spaces, more space for keeping books, pencils or paper, more writing space, etc., make the desks more attractive to children. When fitted with additional drawers for books, they also help to keep the working space clean. Children’s computer desks can also be converted into tables for writing. Some computer tables are built to accommodate more than one kid; for instance, such furniture may accommodate a sibling or a friend as well. They can be made in different attractive colors to suit the rest of the room. Most modular computer tables can be disassembled and re-assembled somewhere else. They can also be moved from one place to another. As the child grows, they can be increased in height and width.