Winter Weather ‘Could Cause Water Worries’

Homeowners who are concerned about the state of their pipes should ensure that they check them before the worst of the winter weather sets in, it has been claimed.

Personal insurance firm NFU Mutual is recommending that householders take some time to review the state of both pipes and guttering to make sure that they avoid expensive plumber call-outs should the winter be a cold one. The firm states that, with the weather so far having been very changeable, the dark months could yet see a cold snap causing havoc with the nation’s pipes.

Laura Wood at NFU Mutual comments: “This year’s weather has been totally unpredictable. We had severe storms in January, heavy snow in February, followed by a warm and sunny Easter and then rain and floods all summer. What this winter will hold is anyone’s guess.”

While some work to prepare a home for the colder months might be expensive – perhaps requiring home loans to spread the cost – they are likely to be more cost-effective in the long-run than being forced to conduct emergency repairs.

NFU Mutual suggests a wide variety of actions which can stave off the worst of winter damage. On the exterior of the property, homeowners should clear gutters of leaves and birds’ nests, ensure that fences and walls are in good repair and that garden furniture and ornaments are secured for the winter. Projects which might require small homeowner loans to avoid greater outlay later include ensuring that the roof is in good condition with secure tiles and slates and making sure that chimneys are in a suitable condition to withstand a storm. Additionally, making sure trees in the garden are unlikely to break can help to avoid damage to the home, shed or greenhouse.

The insurer states that most insurance policies require property owners to keep their home in good repair – and failure to heed such warnings could result in a later claim being turned down. Householders in rural areas might especially wish to consider borrowing on low cost loans to finance pre-emptive repairs, since NFU Mutual identifies them as at particular risk of winter weather damage.

Earlier this year, Halifax Home Insurance warned homeowners that it is not merely the outside of their property which can be ravaged by winter – the inside also has potential troublespots. For instance, pipes which are not sufficiently insulated can freeze, with the water within expanding until they crack. The following thaw can see water leakage and expensive damage occurring to the rest of the property. Consequently, home loans to cover the cost of improved insulation around water pipes could be a sage move in the long run.

Vicky Emmott from Halifax Home Insurance said: “Water from a burst pipe within a loft space can very quickly cause damage to plaster ceilings, wall plaster, kitchen units, electrical wiring and decoration, as well as carpets, beds, electrical items and other contents within a property.

Interior Decorating Schools – A Remarkable Career Occasion

If you desire to be a professional interior designer you must take into account any of the existing interior decorator schools. Their courses have shown that interior decorating schools are interested in creativity exploration. The programs offered will assist you become the decorator that everybody wishes. The interior decoration it ‘s very important these days and this is why it ‘s useful to attend courses at any of the interior decorating schools. Their trainees must turn into qualified interior decorators, able to materialize their artistic vision in relaxing and friendly environments. To get this title, they attended interior decorating schools for specialized teaching.

Even if we are not very demanding, the space in which we work and reside it ‘s incredibly important. A somber place of work is certainly an energy consuming environment. There are variety of factors that influence our mood and are associated with interior decorating, such as: color of the walls, the correct pieces of furniture and so forth. When you consider that you need a change, you can employ an interior designer which will make a difference in the way your environment seems to be. They combine their information and creative spirit with their clients demands.

If you assume that these are just tips and tricks, they attended interior decorating schools to become expert interior designers. You desire to specialize in interior design? First, you should evaluate your artistic sense and select one of nowadays interior decorating schools. Here are a few basic guidance courses you should check on.

* increase your graphic capabilities

Your drawing talent might necessitate a polish. As for graphics, it may necessitate qualified guidance. Specialized interior decorators have declared that graphics is key component in their profession. The technological development will come to your support with dedicated computer applications.

* interior design history

You will learn interior design trends’ evolution along the years. In order to be capable to set up your own style, you need to understand how things have progressed in this area.

* select your topic of interest: commercial or residential

If you think that one of these approaches is appropriate to your future career, try to get specialized since the very first lessons. Commercial decoration suits you best if you desire to be implicated in initiatives with high visibility. On the other hand, if you love to assist people improve their life, select the residential approach, you will bring a smile on their faces.

* ergonomics

Ergonomics it ‘s extremely important for all of us. If you will attend the courses of any of the existing interior decorating schools, you will study all about ergonomics. We all confront with the lack of space. Through efficiency and improved allocation of space, these shortcomings must be eliminated.

* study of materials

It ‘s not an easy mission to pick the suitable supplies for your projects You need to know everything associated to the supplies that you use.

Don ‘t think that study is enough. Interior decorating schools offer many options, but you also have to work hard. Try to be more empathetic and improve those skills essential to identify your client ‘s profile, anticipate his tastes in terms of interior decoration. Everything is related to how the clients feel after the project is ready.

Now that you have taken a look at how interior decorating schools train their apprentices, you can set your expectations for a career in interior decoration. You must take into account the possibilities that are presented by the interior decorating schools and take advantage of them.

Home Interior Decorating

What you are about to read is the culmination of information from many different places and resources. I hope you enjoy it.

Home interior decorating is a perfect opportunity for you to express yourself. Home interior decorating allows you to showcase your interests, interests in furniture, art and even different cultures. Every decorating style is different, with some being elaborate while others are plain. However, there is a home interior decorating style to fit your personality as well as your budget.

Budget is normally at the top of the list when making plans for home interior decorating. It is easy to look at a picture and want to recreate it in your space. Sometimes the details in home decorating pictures are quite expensive which may introduce obstacles for you. There is no need to be disheartened however, there are always alternate ideas to help you achieve your ideal space. Resources such as magazines, books, television programs and Internet websites are very helpful with suggestions and ideas for home interior decorating. Using these resources you are bound to find alternatives to any problems you may have with home interior decorating.

If you are an individual who loves color and authentic home interior decorating, there are several designs to choose from. Primitive home interior decorating is interesting because it concentrates on old and handmade items. This is a wonderful opportunity to display collectables and handed down treasures. This style suggests using accessories and furniture which appear extremely old, worn, stained or antique. If you are a person who likes antiques, primitive interior decorating might be right for you. When choosing a paint color for this design, dark and warm shades are recommended. Deep grey or red brick would work well in this space.

Another home interior decorating design that you may find interesting is whimsical decorating. This design allows you to go wild with your imagination. Using any and all of your favourite colors, you space should be decorated thoroughly with various patterns and colors. This home interior decorating design is all about color. The important detail to remember however is, if you choose bold vibrant colors, stay within that hue of color. If you decide to use pastel colors, stick with colors in the pastel palette.

If you have difficulty moving from the past into modern home interior decorating, traditional design may be for you. This home interior decorating style combines the modern look with the elegant look of the past. Space is important in the traditional design. To help create a spacious atmosphere, neutral colors such as neutral, beige or mushroom is recommended for the walls. To add a punch of color to this traditional design, darker colors such as burgundy, mauve, blues and greens are suggested for the upholstery, fabric, rugs, etc. When choosing accessories for this home interior decorating design, china and crystal objects will compliment this style. You might also like to add some artwork to your space. Paintings with wood frames go great with this traditional theme.

These are just three of the many designs for home interior decorating. There are many and there is one, just for you. Browsing sources about home interior decorating designs will give you a better idea of their characteristics regarding color, furnishings, flooring and accessories. With your individual tastes and interests at the forefront, you ought to be able to find a style that works for you. Home interior decorating can turn your home into an oasis of pure enjoyment. Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.

Protecting Your Home From Winter Weather Damage

Keep Warm

The number of home fires skyrockets during the winter because so many families use various devices to heat their homes. If you regularly light fires in your fireplace, use a screen to prevent sparks from flying out and igniting nearby objects. It’s recommended that you hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney annually to prevent creosote buildup from catching fire.

Electric space heaters should be positioned three feet away from any flammable objects, such as bedding or furniture. Always turn heating devices off before leaving the house or going to sleep. If you use a fuel-burning heater, place it outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

Because the risk of fire is so high, manually check each smoke alarm’s batteries every three months and change when necessary. You may also want to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home to alert you in the event that noxious fumes are present in your home (combustion releases toxic gases that can silently kill).

Pipe Care

Frozen pipes can cause big problems if they burst, but it’s relatively easy to prevent your home from flooding. Insulate your pipes with heating tape or wrap them with rags for extra warmth. During frigid nights, leave under-the-sink cabinet doors open to let warm air in and open your faucets enough to allow a slow drip. That slight movement can help prevent water from freezing.

Because the interior of the walls where pipes are located is a colder area than the rooms of your house, you must keep your thermostat set no lower than 65°F to prevent those interior spaces from sinking below the freezing point. The extra money you spend on electricity will certainly be less than what it would cost to repair a burst pipe.

Outdoor Maintenance

Apart from sweeping snow out of the driveway, the exterior of your home and property need additional attention during winter. Regularly check your trees for signs of branches that are being weighed down by snow and ice; trim away these branches before they have the chance to fall on top of your home, car or injure a passerby.

Another common outdoor winter woe is called ice damming. It occurs when debris clogs your gutters and prevents proper drainage. Backed up water can freeze during a cold snap and, as it melts, it can seep into your home if it has nowhere else to go. Cleaning your gutters routinely can prevent this pesky problem.

With a watchful eye and the proper care, winter doesn’t have to be as rough on your house. Performing the right amount of maintenance can help your home outlast many more seasons, for years to come.

Rand Wright is owner of the independent insurance agency Carlton Wright Insurance Agency located in Roanoke Virginia. Contact him for a Roanoke home insurance quote today.

Virtual Interior Decorating

Designing your humble abode can be very hard. Most of the time, you would need to hire interior decorators who present you with designs on what they could do for your homes. But these may take lots of time and money. Through the improvements in technology, you can find a quicker and easier way to design the layout of your home. Decorating your home can now be done simply with the touch of a button through virtual interior decorating.

What is virtual interior decorating?

Virtual interior decorating allows people to design the layout of their own homes without spending too much money on professional decorators. In fact, you may no longer need to hire one, for you can already design your apartment or home by yourself, simply by purchasing interior decorating software. Not only does it save you money, since you will be in charge of your plans, you also do not need to hire the services of an interior decorator for this phase of work.

This software is also very helpful for professional interior decorators because their ideas will be visualized easier by their clients. Through the magic of virtual reality, you can now have a sense of what your future home will look like before the designer begins the actual construction work.

Aside from generating you room or home in a virtual environment, you can also send pictures of the room you wish to change to professional interior decorators and they will then super-impose or create digital sketches of their ideas on them. This may give a clearer picture of what you can expect from your room or house instead of relying on simple descriptions or plain sketches.

By using virtual reality as a helpful tool for interior decorating, you can now easily and conveniently design the house of your dreams at a very affordable price.

Protecting Your Wood Patio Furniture From Winter Weather

When you batten down the hatches, turn up the heat and bundle up to keep out of the cold winter weather, do you ever consider what is happening to your patio furniture that is being left outside? While you may think those pieces are just inanimate objects, the truth is that your wood furniture is going to have to deal with some rough consequences of that weather change.

Here is a look at a few of the threats to your wood patio furniture:

Dryness – Often winter weather is very dry weather. You know how your lips and skin get dry and crack? Well the same thing can happen to wood furniture. In this case the drying and cracking can not only make the furniture less attractive, but also less sturdy.

Water Damage – Another threat is from that winter precipitation that is going to impact your furniture pieces. Once there is any cracking or splitting in the wood of the furniture, it becomes susceptible to water damage. What will happen is that rain or snow will fall on the furniture. Once it’s water, it will seep into the cracks of the wood and sit and wait. When the temperature dips overnight, it will freeze again. When water freezes it expands. In the case of your furniture this means it will make those cracks and splits bigger and damage your wood.

Warping – The constant changing in heat and cooling of your wood can also lead the wood itself to start to change shape. What you thought was a flat surface when you were last using it can suddenly be a warped piece of furniture.

Hardware – The changes in temperature during the winter can also start to cause problems with the hardware on your furniture. Often times pieces of hardware will work themselves loose with the constant constriction and release of the wood reacting to the weather. If these are not checked before you try to use the furniture it may fail or become damaged.

Prevention

So what can you do to stop from having all of these problems with your patio furniture? Prevent the problems in the first place. There are a couple of levels of prevention you can choose from.

The first level of prevention is to keep the precipitation that can cause damage out of the wood. This can be done by investing in outdoor furniture covers. These are meant to help protect your furniture pieces from the weather.

The next method is stopping your furniture from having to be out in the cold. When the winter weather moves in and you know you will not be outside as much anymore, why not bring your furniture in as well. Whether you bring the pieces into the garage or have a storage area where you can put them, bringing them inside for the winter can help them avoid all the problems with the cold weather. This can also help your wood furniture last much longer than it would out in the elements.