How to Avoid Potentially Harmful Chemicals in Your Area Rugs and Other Home Furnishings


You purchase a beautiful area rug. You know just where it will go within your home. You know this the second you set eyes on this special rug. The salesman doesn’t need to give you the old hard sell. All he has to do is take your information and help you load the rug into the back of the Volvo. It’s the one piece capable of pulling every other piece in the room together. You can hardly wait to run barefoot across your brand new rug. Each time you enter the room, you can’t help but stop to admire your newest acquisition. It’s perfect. Or so you thought. Before you know what’s happening,

you’re eyes are itchy and watering. You feel headachy, perhaps even nauseous, with the only true relief occurring when you leave your home to breathe in some fresh air. Could it be your imagination playing tricks on you? Perhaps, it’s something you ate? But no, it’s worse than you thought, because now it’s not only you who’s sick, it’s your husband and your new baby, too.

More likely the culprit causing your family’s discomfort can be directly traced back to the chemicals used to make your beautiful rug. Area rugs and carpets, depending on how they are manufactured, and also on how they are chemically treated before shipping to stores, can emit chemicals into the surrounding air. These emission are called out-gases. The fibers from area rugs and new carpeting treated with certain chemicals can prove toxic to children, pets, and others with sensitivities. When it comes to carpeting, there are several chemicals to be on the lookout for, but the major one is used in the manufacturing of carpets and rugs is: formaldehyde.

But out-gassing caused by chemicals isn’t limited to rugs, carpets, and other processed textiles goods. For the savvy consumer, it pays in more ways than one to take a look inside your kitchen cabinet and inside your laundry room closet. The chemicals and detergents you use on a daily basis to keep your home clean, free of bacteria and germs, can also be a major source of danger to your family.

It can be hard to fathom that common household products found millions of homes everyday, are being linked to environmental illnesses. When it comes to toxicity among household cleaners, many of these products are easily recognized because they contain chlorine and/or phenochlorethlyene.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the walls in any room in your house many also contain harmful toxins. Chemicals detrimental to your health can be found almost anywhere in your home. They can be in the paints that cover the walls in your home, products used to clean your home, the carpets that line your floors. All those things you so loving do to beautify and enhance your home environment are some of the very things that can cause potential harm to your family.

So, what are some ways to insure that your home doesn’t comprise your family’s health?

First, a foremost, become a tag reader. That’s what they’re for. Before you purchase those new carpets and/or beautiful Oriental rugs, ask the salesperson what manufacturing process and chemical treatments are performed before the carpets are shipped to the store. Before making that final commitment to buy, make sure you feel comfortable with the answers to your questions.

For carpets where the origin is unknown, you can try to shampoo these rugs with cleansers formulated to reduce/remove the chemicals used in manufacturing. These products can be found anywhere you purchase rugs, hardware stores, and home renovation outlets, such as HomeDepot and Loew’s.

Again, first and foremost, read your labels. When you purchase household cleaners, check the labels to make sure that they contain no chlorine, ammonias, buyl ethers, pine oils, masking agents, and are fragrance free. They say it’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man. Well, the same is true with cleaners. It’s just as easy to use toxin free products as it is ones that can prove harmful to you and your family.

If you think you may have been exposed to toxic agents, take action immediately. Exposure over time to the chemicals that cause indoor air pollution can leave those who are chemically-sensitive and allergy-prone with seriously damaged immune systems.

7 Ideas for Remodeling Your Home in 2017

Home remodeling ideas

Trying to come up with ideas for your home remodel? Then join the thousands of others throughout California who are in the same boat. Making the decision to renovate your property is the easy part. Figuring out what exactly you want to have done isn’t always so simple. The good news is there’s plenty of inspiration out there, as well as reputable general contractors who can help you through the design phase of your remodel.

Putting together your budget before you make plans is key, so you don’t end up overspending. Thankfully, you don’t need a large budget to have interior, exterior and outdoor remodeling competed by a contractor. The following are some ideas we expect homeowners to implement in 2017.

Painting the Home with Neutral Colors

Neutral colors are definitely in, especially since they mesh well with just about any type of décor. We’re talking counters, appliances and cabinets that are white or almond colored. These are cheaper options compared to customized colors that require expert mixing and matching. Plus, if you decide to sell your home later, these colors are less likely to turn people off.

Installing Eco-Friendly Counters

Green remodeling is also in. There are various types of countertop materials you can use that are environmentally friendly, versatile and durable. Some of these options include recycled glass and wood, concrete, stainless steel, laminate, paper composite, recycled plastic and natural stones, such as granite, marble and quartz. Some general contractors have deals with countertop manufacturers, so make sure to ask.

Installing Chrome Water Fixtures

Designer faucets are pretty popular today, but if you’re looking for something easy on the wallet, but have great quality, then chrome is the way to go. You can also choose to use chrome with another finish, like brass or nickel. Just make sure that whichever type of faucet you buy comes with a lifetime warranty.

Using Fiberglass to Enclose Your Bathtub

This is an excellent alternative to ceramic tile. You will need a one-piece or three-piece wall panel made of fiberglass to enclose your bathtub area. The cost of fiberglass is more affordable, plus it’s faster to install, which drives down the labor costs.

Building an Outdoor Deck or Gazebo

It’s great having a place outdoors you can use to enjoy days and nights outside. Decks and gazebos are ideal for family time or hanging out with friends. You can even go as far as to have an above-ground pool installed with its own deck connected to your back porch. Outdoor constructions like these are very popular in modern remodeling as well as new home construction.

Building a Gas Fireplace with a Direct Vent

A beautiful fireplace with a wooden or natural stone surround can add a great touch to your living room, kitchen, dining area or other room in the home. If you do decide to build a fireplace, consider making it a gas one with a direct vent. This consists of two pipes that direct the smoke of the fire outside. One of the pipes vents the exhaust gas and the other uses combustion air from outside.

Update the Doors and Windows in Your Home

This can be done for decorative or energy efficiency purposes. If you have an older home, new exterior doors and windows can make a big difference for your curb appeal. By selecting windows and doors that lock in indoor air will help to reduce your power bills. There’s no reason why you can’t have the best of both worlds – choose stylish eco-friendly windows and doors.

Whatever ideas you have for your upcoming home remodeling project, make sure to find reputable general contractors that can help you from concept to completion.

Home Remodeling Ideas to Make More Room in Your Home

Room Addation
  • Is your home the apple of your eye? But, do you feel unhappy with the inadequate living space in your home? If its limited size is becoming the reason of your dissatisfaction, do not worry. You do not need to start searching for a bigger property in order to accommodate growing members of the family.
  • The Solution is here
  • Do not think of selling your home and buying a bigger one. You can make optimum use of unused areas in your home and increase your living space. Here are a couple of home remodeling ideas that will provide you with more room and additional comfort in your home.
  • · A Beautiful Attic
  • Does your home have an unused attic space? Why not transform it into a functional and stylish living area? You can add a whole new level to your home. If you need an additional bedroom, you can use the area to create a new bedroom with facilities of a bathroom. Alternatively, you can opt for a home theatre center, a library study, a home office, etc.
  • · A Useful Garage
  • Do you rarely use the garage? Is it a place for storing junk? Renovating the garage is a good way of adding space to your home. You can make it your new man-cave or create an additional bedroom for the guests. It can become an office space for your spouse as well. Alternatively, you can think about a home addition project and create a new level above the garage and use it to solve space issues in your home.
  • · A Beneficial Basement
  • Is your basement only used for storing old furniture and broken appliances? A home remodeling contractor can work wonders for an idle basement space. Consider several different uses for the basement such as an in-law suite for your family, a rental apartment for earning extra money, a play-area for the kids, etc.
  • A good home is one with adequate space for everyone and everything.
  • Whenever you think of adding space to your home, consider the future. It is because it is not a temporary renovation project such as painting the walls or changing the kitchen cabinets. If there will be new additions to the family in the near future, consider the requirement of additional space before making a decision.
  • You must discuss your home remodeling ideas with your family. Once you reach a consensus, hire an expert home remodeling contractor of your area. He will help you in making practical decisions and convert an unused area into a useful living space.

Concrete Cutting: Shedding Light On Your Basement Remodel

Basement remodeling

Basements or cellars (depending on which part of the country you are from) are primarily seen as dark and dingy parts of a home. In most cases they are considered a useless area or are used as a? for family discards that haven? quite made it to the curbside for trash pick up yet. Well, with the skyrocketing prices of real estate these days and the lack of any substantial property to use for an addition to our homes, the basement, after years of being ignored and neglected, is finally being recognized as a useful, cost effective resource for adding more living space to our beloved homes.

Several factors that have to be considered before any serious basement renovations take place include ceiling height, stair pitch or steepness and emergency egress. All three of these requirements can differ considerably depending on where you live.

You can call your local building department and they can tell you these requirements. As for what emergency egress is, it is basically an emergency escape. A door of at least 30?wide in most areas is considered a very safe egress but a window has to be a certain size and a minimum distance from the floor in order to be considered safe. Believe it or not, the way the safe size and height of a basement window is calculated is by determining how easily an overweight elderly person (considered worst case scenario) can open and climb out of in case of a fire or another emergency.

In reality, these building codes were put in place because no one is going to get out of one of those old metal framed 18?X 30?pull in basement windows very easily (especially an overweight elderly person) and they would probably die trying in the unfortunate event of a fire.

Most local building codes require both a door and a window egress in order for the basement to be considered safe enough for a living area. In many cases building codes require an emergency egress be placed in every bedroom in a basement as well. If you are in the habit of doing home remodeling or repairs without the proper building permits, it is very important for you and your family? safety that you find out what the code is in your area and adhere to it.

By adding all of the necessary emergency egress you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. As I already stated, you are adding safety to an otherwise unsafe area but you are also adding the benefits of natural sunlight.

Adding natural sunlight to your basement really gives the area a desirable look and a warm feeling you generally can? get without it. Now, you may be wondering how people get a perfectly smooth, plumb and square openings in their foundations. You may have never heard of such a thing or don? realize the process even exists. Fortunately, there are companies in almost every part of the country that actually specialize in the process of cutting doorways and windows in concrete walls.

These companies are called concrete cutting services and / or sawcutting outfits. Either way, they are listed in your local or online yellow pages under the heading of? oncrete breaking, cutting, sawing, core drilling etc. ? A professional concrete cutter will make the process look exceptionally easy and help make short work of your basement-remodeling project.

If you are going to take the time to renovate your basement you might as well do it right. By following or exceeding your local building codes you will ensure your family? safety. Also, be sure that you cut as many window openings in your basement walls as your budget and the structural integrity of your home can handle. This in itself will make your basement the most cherished area of your home.

A Builder’s Guide to Extending Your Home

Home builder

There are many reasons as to why a family may look to move home. The following guide drills further into the consideration that a family may be looking to move for additional living space. Growing families mean that every space within our homes are fully utilised. Careful consideration is offered to multifunctional usage of space, space-saving and other quirky ideas as to how we can get the most from our home.

What happens when all of these areas have been used to their full potential? Individuals are faced with the decision as to whether they should move home or extend their existing property. Many factors play a pivotal role in the decision-making process. These may include location, convenience, familiarity or cost implications.

The growing costs of moving home is well publicised and needs to take into consideration the following elements. Any individual seeking to move home will need to forecast financially for estate agent fees, solicitor fees (for buying and selling), survey fees, stamp duty payments and possible improvement costs or essential repairs to the new property.

Whilst any essential repairs or improvement costs will offer an improved appearance, all of the other associated costs are lost in the process of moving home. Such fees can be crippling to individuals and can often dictate whether or not it is even possible to consider moving.

If you are left with no alternative other than to extend, or in fact an extension is what you would like to do then there are elements that need considering. Make sure to spend time considering the relative property values for the housing surrounding yours. It may be that there is a ceiling price for your area. This may not be too much of a consideration if you are living in the home for a very long time but should be considered if you may move within a few years. Resale values can be effected and it is important that the outlay into the extension provides value for you as an individual.

If you are looking to extend your home it is important that you consider the essential facilities within your property. Consider how many bedrooms you will have and make sure that you have adequate facilities to accommodate these.

Another consideration is to ensure that there is no imbalance between bedrooms and living space. It is an obvious statement but the likelihood is that if you need more bedrooms you will need more living space in order to accommodate those additional family members.

If you carefully consider the above elements it is inevitable that you will end up with a superior result. Time invested in ensuring your design is correct and will facilitate your family’s needs will pay dividends. Additional living space will provide your family with a better quality of living and will in turn offer an asset that you can benefit from when selling your property.