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Easy Caulking Tips

Easy Caulking Tips

Improve your caulking skills with a few of these easy tips. Learning how to caulk is an essential skill that every homeowner should master. There are numerous reasons that you may need to caulk around the interior and exterior of your home. You may need […]

Top Five Things to Put on Your Home’s Walls

Top Five Things to Put on Your Home’s Walls

Every interior design depends pretty much on what you decide to put on your home’s walls as decoration. Even the biggest effort to create a lovely home may prove useless if the walls are poorly decorated. Your home could become much more attractive by just […]

The Eco-Friendly Edge

The Eco-Friendly Edge

Eco-friendly properties can edge out the competition, but it may take an experienced home builder to effectively promote the benefits. Focus points can be general philosophical concepts or very specific economic perks. Here are a few concepts to explore with prospective tenants:

Love for the environment: As we only live on one planet, it would be best to care for it now and for the generations to come. While this may be the most obvious advantage of eco-friendly housing, stopping here may give people the impression you are merely riding the green bandwagon.To avoid perceptions of greenwashing, focus on the specific features of the unit that make it environmentally sustainable and on the benefits of those features. Also, do your best to be consistent with your message.

For instance, consider including a package of green products as a move-in gift. Most of these household products can be purchased at reasonable prices or even obtained as free samples. And who doesn’t like a totally “move-in-ready home” that’s totally green built? And for fort worth custom homes, check this builder out.

Excellent indoor air quality: A recent study from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that indoor pollution can be two to five times greater than outdoor pollution. Some of the main sources of this pollution are carpets and rugs whose padding is normally made from synthetic and toxic materials.

Offering sustainable flooring and green maintenance and cleaning as part of your presentation is effective, especially for young families with children as there are cases every year of infant sicknesses and death due to indoor pollution. Emphasize your eco-friendly alternatives such as bamboo (at least ten years old), wood or cork. Inform prospects these materials are not only hypo-allergenic but also durable, almost maintenance-free and resistant to damage by water or pests.

Of course, there are some eco-friendly carpets like Flor carpet tiles, but the best rug is one that can be removed and cleaned.

Cutting energy costs: Electricity costs eat up a significant proportion of the monthly budget for most people, so any energy savings is appealing to tenants. This is a feature that is not hard to sell at all.

Highlight how the need for air conditioning and heating is reduced by minimizing solar heat gain in the summer and maximizing it in the winter. Explain how daylighting, energy efficient lighting, energy-efficient appliances and even faucet aerators (it takes energy to heat water) can have an impact on the usually hefty electric bill, and make sure to emphasize any natural ventilation aspects in the apartment.

Green as the new standard: The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey in which 74% of the respondents were willing to pay more for green amenities. With the introduction of more stringent regulatory requirements and the growing awareness on the environmental impact of housing, consumers are opting for more environmentally sound alternatives.

If a rental unit is already ahead of any proposed or anticipated energy efficiency and water conservation regulatory requirements, let your prospective tenant know. You can also market a condominium with sustainable features based on the prospect of it being more viable for renting.

A recent study by the US Green Building Council has shown that houses or buildings that comply with LEED standards command rent premiums of $11.24 per square foot and have a 3.8% higher occupancy.

Incentives for going green: Many governments, both federal and local, are giving residents incentives for going green – following ambitious plans to minimize carbon emissions. Whether you’re looking to install solar panels or considering renovating your apartment to become more energy efficient, you – or your buyer or tenants – may be entitled to benefits such as rebates or tax cuts. Some of these may even allow you to fund your property’s upgrading to greener standards.

Going green definitely has terrific benefits but consumers are not yet aware of many of them. As residents are informed of the great advantages eco-friendly housing has over the traditional options, it becomes an easy move to go for the greener option – even if it means pinching out those extra dollars.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

The Bank of America has recently reported that home owners are paying off mortgages at a quicker rate than ever before – there are lots of tips on how to reduce your mortgage and own your own home outright, here are just a few suggestions […]

Facts About Renters Insurance

Facts About Renters Insurance

If you have an apartment you should also consider purchasing renter insurance. What does it cover? Tenant insurance covers a number of incidents and to protect you in case of sudden loss of your valuables. Let’s take a look at the benefits derived from purchasing […]

Review: Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Review: Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor TelescopeHere’s something a little different. One thing I love in my house, or more correctly, on my back patio is a nice telescope.

It’s a great conversation starter, looks super classy and beautiful and it tells people you have half a brain and are interested in more than lame TV. And what’s really cool is, say you want a cool gift for your special someone. How unique would it be to actually buy a star, Name A Star Live for her and then actually show her where it is on your new telescope? Total class!

So, if you’re looking for a dual-purpose telescope appropriate for both terrestrial and celestial viewing, then the AstroMaster Series is for you. Each AstroMaster model is capable of giving correct views of land and sky. The Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope is for those who want a dual-purpose telescope designed for both celestial and terrestrial viewing. The AstroMaster series creates clear, vivid images of the planets and the moon. Viewing the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter is rather easy.


  • Quick and easy no-tool setup
  • Permanently mounted StarPointer
  • Erect image optics – Ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use
  • Quick release dovetail attachment – no tool setup
  • Pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch – for smooth and accurate pointing
  • Rugged pre-assembled tripod with 1.25″ steel tube legs – Provides a rigid and stable platform
  • All coated glass optics for clear, crisp images
  • Deluxe accessory tray for convenient storage of accessories
  • The Sky®” Level 1 planetarium software with 10,000 object database and enhanced images


  • Accurate
  • Easy Assembly
  • Strong construction
  • Quality lenses
  • Comfortable eyepiece
  • Compact
  • User Friendly
  • Easy Transport
  • Good Value

The Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope has a sturdy tripod and is very easy to get started observing the night sky. Being lightweight, it’s easy to transport and setup.


  • Lack of slow-motion controls
  • Tendency to drift
  • Limited Viewing

The Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ sometimes will occasionally drift from the spot it’s pointed at. Overall, the telescope limits what viewers can see. The aperture is 70mm, so nothing outside of the solar system can be viewed with clarity.

Click Here to Learn More About The Celestron AstroMaster 70 AZ Telescope

Customer Reviews

“I saw this scope clearanced in a camera store and figured I’d pick it up. I have seen saturn, the orion nebula, and lots of other easy to find objects. This is my first scope and I feel I’ve gotten my money out of it already. […] The tripod is sturdy, but the clutch slips a little unless you really crank it down. I’m very happy with the scope though.” – Bretttly – Hatfield, PA

“Gave it to my 12 year old daughter for Christmas and she loved it. Very easy to get setup and put into use. The only distraction is the elevation screw; the screw mechanism is somewhat unreliable allowing the telescope to drift off the image while tightening. For the price this is a good unit for someone just starting out…” Stan – Longmont, Colorado

“The scope is easy to set up and use. The tripod is fairly stable. But the motion of the earth takes planets out of the field of view in 10-15 seconds, and there are no slo-mo controls, so you have to loosen the screws, slew the telescope manually on both axis, tighten the screws (which changes to position), and repeat every ten or fifteen seconds. Tedious and frustrating.” – Steve Gulie – Oakland, CA

Jimbo & the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit

Jimbo & the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit

Leigh Curry of contacted Dreamline Colonizer about testing out the Dual Flush Retrofit Kit. Basically the kit is installed in the tank of an existing single flush toilet and turns it into – as the name states – a dual flush model. Personally I […]

Growing Your Own Heirloom Vegetables

Growing Your Own Heirloom Vegetables

Growing heirloom vegetables should be part of every homesteader’s gardening plan. In some cases, these old-fashioned specialties have been almost lost to the world, simply because most people end up growing today’s more common hybrid varieties. When you grow heirloom vegetables, you’ll have a much […]

Suffering from Allergies? Replace Your Carpet with Vinyl Flooring

Suffering from Allergies? Replace Your Carpet with Vinyl Flooring

SneezeSpending the summer months sniffing and sneezing as a result of hay fever can be irritating at the very least; as can spending the winter months in pretty much the same condition due to having a cold. Unfortunately the latter cannot be helped by the décor in your home as this is one of those things which we all have to suffer with from time to time.

But hay fever suffers and those who suffer from other allergies throughout the year can help their elements by carrying out some simple home improvements, such as replacing carpets with an alternative such as vinyl flooring.

Traditionally carpets have often been considered more luxurious than other flooring options, especially during the winter mornings when they help to insulate your home, but a fully carpeted house can also have significant drawbacks.

Two of the main downsides associated with carpet, especially the thicker more luxurious carpets which often prove common within households throughout the Texas area and Houston Heights homes for sale is that they:

1) Show up the dirt, whether it’s mud that’s been trodden in from the children after they’ve finished playing outside, pets leaving muddy footprints following their daily walk or toilet accidents that toddlers and pets occasionally have within the house.

2) Germs and allergies can hide within the fibers, where, despite deep vacuuming they can remain helping to cause flare-ups of allergies and also increase the chance of illness spreading within your household.

Despite the drawbacks to carpets, you shouldn’t necessarily stop reading this and automatically remove all your carpets, because as already mentioned they can help provide warmth during the winter months, along with a luxury throughout the year.

Instead if you suffer from any sort of allergy you should consider minimizing the carpeted areas within your home to specific rooms such as the bedrooms, and then fitting other areas of the home with vinyl flooring or something similar.

Why Vinyl?

Vinyl FlooringFor allergy sufferers vinyl flooring can prove a perfect option because unlike carpet, it doesn’t have the fibers or nooks and crannies in which germs and allergies are able to hide; which comes with the added benefit of reducing allergy flare-ups occurring.
As well as providing flooring which doesn’t offer areas for germs, dust and allergies to hide, vinyl flooring also offers a virtually waterproof surface, which again can help with the reduction of allergies and help with sanitation issues for any accidents your pets or young may have within the home.

Vinyl flooring also comes with added benefits for the home, which should be taken into consideration when looking to fit a new floor.

Potentially the biggest benefit next to its allergy reducing characteristics is the aesthetic qualities that it offers. Whether you’re living in a quaint country cottage or a modern city center townhouse, vinyl flooring can provide your home with a new dimension and aesthetic quality which other flooring options cannot.

It could be said that vinyl flooring takes the best of hardwood/tile flooring’s durability and versatility, alongside some of the warmth which carpet offers.

It’s also a fairly forgiving floor surface, making it perfect for families with young children and/or pets and through your local flooring specialists you’ll be able to find the perfect design of vinyl flooring to meet your needs and requirements.

So if you want to help reduce the sneezing and runny noses throughout the year which are caused by allergies, but you don’t want to drastically alter the décor of your family home, then vinyl flooring could prove to be the perfect cure.

Bedroom Design Motifs with Japanese Influence

Bedroom Design Motifs with Japanese Influence

Japanese bedrooms are traditionally designed with a sense of simplicity and tranquility. Minimalism is the preferred overall look in the bedroom, with an emphasis on functionality and a sense of calm. Because of the overall tranquility of the design, the overall effect is one of […]


Adding Color to the Entryway

Adding Color to the Entryway


The entryway is one of the most important parts of a home. It is the first thing guests will see when visiting and the first thing you will see after a long, hard day at work: In short, it is the first thing that offers an overall impression of your home.

The entryway should be decorated in a way to impress your guests and help you to anticipate a relaxing evening after arriving home from work.

Adding color to the entryway is an easy way to bring a greater sense of style to the entryway.

Clean the Area

In order to add a great color to the entryway of your home the first thing you need to accomplish is cleaning the area deeply.

Wash all doors, walls, and windows with a deep cleaning solution that also smells fresh.

Be sure to clean all carpets with a carpet cleaner after vacuuming as well, so as to be certain the carpet is thoroughly cleared of dirt and debris.

Paint the Walls

Paint WallThe walls of the entryway should first be examined for any holes, dings, or dents that would take away from the smooth finish of the fresh paint.

If needed, fill any holes with wall spackling available at any local hardware stores using a putty knife and allow thorough drying time.

Once the spackling is completely dry, sand it down so that it creates a smooth surface. The next step is to paint the area with a primer to prevent any stains or marks showing through the new paint color.

Once the primer is dry, the new paint can be applied. If the entryway is separated from the rest of the home with doors, try using different colors and patterns in this area than the rest of the house.

The door itself can be painted to become the focal point by using colors that compliment the exterior of the home.

Entryway Furniture

Entryway furniture tends to lend itself to storing your guest’s items while they are in your home.

Items such as a console table with drawers would enable you to place your guest’s coats, hats, or scarves inside the drawer so as to reduce the clutter in the seating area in the home.

An antique dresser can also provide both beauty and functionality much like a console table. The entryway should also be well lit so that it feels cheerful and welcoming.

Accessorize with Color

Decorating the entryway with artwork or photographs is an easy way to bring color into the area without causing too much clutter.

Family portraits framed in decorative frames matted in complimenting colors can create a beautiful centerpiece on any wall.

Mirrors placed on opposite sides of the room can also create the feel of a larger area as well, simply hang two mirrors facing each other and the result will make the room feel larger.

Placing slender lamps on either end of the console table or antique dresser will give the room more light than just a ceiling light fixture can offer.