Jan 31, 2013

Enjoying Indoors in the Outdoors with Garden Builds

An article addressing why garden sheds and summerhouses are growing in popularity. Focusing on how 21st century sheds have evolved into comfortable, homely places to enjoy all year round this article offers a 'shed for all' perspective.

The origin of the word shed is believed to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word 'shud' meaning 'cover'. This then became mixed with the old English word 'shadde' meaning 'shade' and gradually evolved to become the shed we know of today.

In support of the shed/summerhouse
Many an author has found garden buildings useful in developing ideas and settling down to complete their creative work. For instance Author Roald Dahl famously used his outhouse as a quiet and completive space to pen his ideas, writing many of his books, including the BFG and the Twits, from his shed. Mark Twain wrote and authored some of his books in his shed and Virginia Woolf is also famously known to have taken to her summerhouse to write.

As these examples demonstrate
garden buildings can be far more than a simple storage space. In fact sheds can house all manner of creative potential as both Powergen and the Ministry of Defence have recognised. Today both organisations run shed inventor talent programmes.

Getting the best out of your shed
When it comes to creating great things in a shed or summerhouse, whether plants, mechanics or art work, the key is to make the space your own. This can be achieved by adding mains power, heating, drinks facilities or simply furnishing the space to make it more homely and comfortable.

Of course to make your shed a truly productive place you need to know how you plan to use it. If you're a gardener you'll want to store your tools in it, if you're a writer or illustrator you'll want to make sure it's dry so your papers don't curl. Alternatively an engineer or inventor is likely to need power and ventilation. To put such things into action make sure you check what is needed for safe installation of equipment and give some consideration to how to make your shed or summerhouse safe and secure.

21st century buildings
If you're looking to purchase a shed it's wise to have a good look around as things have moved on and developed over the last few years. Today a shed can be heated, insulated, double glazed and decorated. It can be a guest room or an office or an artist's studio or all three. You can have running water, WC and shower facilities, plush furnishings and personalised decoration. In fact it can almost become an extension of your existing home.

A wooded shed doesn't require planning permission so you can choose a large or small building depending on your needs. However if you're planning something a little more concrete it's wise to get advice about what is and is not permitted.

With a focus on work and living spaces the shed and summerhouse now offers far more than just a place to garden in the colder months. So whatever your needs or dreams for your garden, give a thought to the shed and get the most from your outdoor space.

Shirley is a writer and blogger for both online interior design and garden furniture websites. With a keen interest in art and architecture her work often focuses on contemporary design for both indoor and outdoor spaces. This includes stone work, garden buildings and exterior lighting.

4 Tips on How to Lengthen the Shelf Lives of Foods

Food storage is very important as it can prevent you and your family from being hungry during times of emergencies and natural calamities. You and your family can survive during hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes even if there are no communications and you cannot buy food supplies because roads are blocked. Also, when tough times, such as financial problems, strike, you and your family will never go hungry because you have foods stored in your pantry.
However, if you do not store your foods properly, they will spoil and that will be wasting money. To avoid food spoilage, here are some tips on how to lengthen the shelf lives of your foods:

1. Invest in durable food storage containers.
There are several food containers in the market today. You can choose to keep your foods in plastic, glass or metal containers. However, plastic containers are porous so they have the tendency to absorb the smell of the foods stored in them. Also, opaque containers are better than see-through containers; there are foods that spoil faster if they are stored in clear containers than opaque containers. Containers should be airtight to keep off insects and rodents. Lastly, remember that these containers must be food grade, this means that the chemicals from the containers will not transfer to the foods. These chemicals can be hazardous and dangerous once mixed with food and are consumed.

The location of your foods is as important as their containers. Put your survival storage packs in an area where it is cool and well ventilated. Place them in cupboards that are away from your cooking stoves and ovens, as the temperature can rise when you are cooking. Avoid stocking them in the attic because the temperature is higher there during summer. You can store them in the basement since the temperature is lower there, just make sure that you remember to bring them along in case you need to vacate your house during calamities.

3.Check their expiration dates.
Check the expiration dates of your food storage products regularly. To avoid throwing expired products, eat from your emergency food supplies and replace them regularly. Remember that crackers, dried fruit and potatoes must be consumed within six months, while canned meat and soup, fruit juices, and boxed and cereals can last up to a year.

4.Consider your family’s diet.
Your food storage for survival kit must only contain foods that you and your family will eat. Stock foods that you and your family like. For sure, you wouldn’t like to eat foods that you dislike and have never tasted before during a calamity. Also consider the special diets of your family members; for example, if you have an infant, make sure that you have enough baby formula stored.  

An emergency can happen anytime and the best thing you can do for you and your family is to be prepared for it. Having food storage for survival is what every family should do. Being prepared for any calamity can save lives, so stock your pantry with food and have an emergency kit.

Stephen M. William, a practicing wildlife photographer. Had been a writer contributor on health supplements in 5 years for your healthy lifestyle magazines and is currently writing blogs as well on Pure Raspberry Keytone.

Jan 29, 2013

Making the Best of Bathroom Space

One of the biggest issues which most homeowners face is how to make the most optimum use of the bathroom space, which for an average household is generally quite a small one. Since most builders have the tendency to cut down on the bathroom space in the house, so as to trim some extra area for others things in the house, you need to take some prudent decisions while selecting bathroom accessories and fixtures, if you want to make the best of the available bathroom space.

Work out a practical layout to make bathroom look bigger:

By far, the best way to use the bathroom space sensibly is to ensure that you work the layout of the bathroom in such a manner that it creates an illusion of space, rather than looking cramped up. If the layout of the key bathroom components – including the sink, the toilet, and the shower enclosures, among others – is a well thought-out and well-executed one, even a small bathroom can look fairly big. You can definitely lend practicality to your bath area, while also making it appear spacious, by cleverly using the different storage as well as functional options to the best possible extent, with the help of the countless alternatives available in the stores.

Working out the placement of the windows and doors, having a proper floor plan for the bathroom, and using the right kind of bathroom suites or shower enclosures, can surely go a long way in ensuring that the layout of your bathroom is a practical one, which gives you maximum space in the limited area.

Use wall cabinets and shower enclosures in small bathrooms:

A small bathroom can look cluttered and feel uncomfortably crowded if there is not enough space for storage; and, in such cases, the installation of a full-fledged bathroom suite can further restrict the area for movement in the bathroom. However, both these problems can be solved if you thoughtfully use the options available --- you can go in for wall cabinets for storage of bathroom items, rather than cabinets which cover up the floor area; and for separate shower enclosures or shower units, instead of the more elaborate bathroom suites!

Selecting your options prudently will not only help you to save money and space in a small bathroom, but can also help create a stunning bath area, if you have made sensible choices while selecting bathroom accessories.

Leave actual floor area open to make bathroom look spacious:

The prudence of using wall cabinets and wall-mounted fittings, like wall-mounted sinks and counters, give you the benefit of leaving the actual floor area open; thereby making the bathroom look more voluminous. Despite the fact that wall-mounted fittings in the bathroom do not extend the bathroom area per seq, they definitely give the bathroom a bigger look because a large part of the floor area remains uncovered.

The use of wall cabinets and other wall-mounted fixtures, along with well-fitted
shower enclosures from theplumbstore.com, in small bathrooms can leave you with enough space for moving about in your bath area; thus allowing you to use the available space in the most well-planned manner!

Jan 28, 2013

Looking After Your Home Securely and the Benefits of Composite Doors

If you are considering replacing the doors in your home, then consider all of the options that you have. Many people aren’t aware of what all of the options available and how they can benefit their home and themselves. Security is always a concern and the right doors can help you rest assured that your home is as secure as you can make it. After all, the door is the place of entry for your home, so you need a combination of practicality, visual appeal, and security whilst ensuring that visitors are welcomed at the same time.
UPVC doors are very popular and common today. They are cheap and pretty much maintenance free. The thing is, you can tell they are chap most of the time, so wood or even glass isa much nicer options in terms of visual appeal. Saying that, these materials both have drawbacks as well; glass for obvious reasons in that it can be broken, and wood because it required a lot of maintenance including varnishing and painting to prevent warping. A wooden door is surely more likely to need replacing on a relatively regular basis.

So, what are you supposed to do? Well, there are advances in materials used today to offer home owners an option that can be visually appealing whilst being sturdy as well. Composite doors are made from a variety of materials designed to rid the door as you know it of the faults and issues that they currently come with. They offer home owners many benefits and have been developed to ensure they look great and do the job properly. They are widely made to appear as wood, but they last much longer, require much less maintenance, and most importantly, they are stronger whilst being inviting at the same time.

Composite doors consist of an inner composite frame and a layer or wood on the outside. This combination offers the sturdy frame that is required. They tend to have anuPVC outer frame, which is a downside as per the aforementioned, but the developers have considered this and offer the option to have steel reinforcements at the edges to increase security. The doors are made up of a combination of different materials that ensure the door is extremely resistant to weathering that affects wooden doors. The developers have basically considered the issues with current doors available and created a super door!

The added durability that composite doors offer means that you won’t ever need to paint or treat it like wood alone. It won’t lose its colour and will only require minimal maintenance over the years. They are also given an injection of thermal insulation that is environmentally friendly so you can save on your carbon footprint and enjoy a cosy and warm home. You can even choose from a great variety of colours and designs so you can find the door that will suit you, your home, and the rest of the street.

The development of doors mean that you can now choose something that will look lovely as a part of your home, you will be incorporating a feature to welcome your guests, you will be keeping the warm in your home, you will hardly have to carry out any maintenance, and you can rest assured that your home is secure. What more could you want from a door?

Author Bio
Andy is a architectural engineer and he has designed different multi-stored building. Andy has researched composite doors  for best home security and the impressive benefits online articles. In his spare time; Andy enjoys swimming, gardening, and spending time with his family.

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