I Had to Admit He Was Right

One of the things that I like about my husband is that he is willing to keep me on my toes. He is really good at coming back at me when I give him an attitude or say something sassy to him. I like that he is willing to go head to head with me about something that I may have an opinion on. For example, my husband and I were looking at plantation shutters to put on the outside of our home and he told me that if we spent the extra money, that we would get back what we invested into them. I did not think that this was possible.… READ MORE

New Shutters Look Great in My Living Room

I wanted to do something different for my living room, but I was not sure what would make me the happiest. I knew that I could paint the walls a different color, but they had just been painted not even two years ago. I considered buying some new wall decor, such as paintings, but I knew that was not the right answer either. I took my time and thought of all my options, and I finally decided that looking at a plantation shutters company might just be the answer I was looking for.

I knew that new shutters could really change the appearance of my living room, and it was the first thought that I did not disregard within 24 hours. That alone told me that I was onto something. I looked at different businesses in the area that provide this type of service, but it was really an easy decision to go with Orange County Shutters after looking at quite a few different companies. I took my time on each website, because this is not like going to the department store and buying a 10 dollar set of window blinds.

This is usually a permanent answer to window treatments, and I wanted to make sure I knew all the ins and outs of whatever one I decided to go with. Everything with Orange County Shutters seemed to be perfect for my needs. Not only do they come to my house to help me decide which shutters will look best, but they do all the other work too. They measure the windows so there is no wrong measurements taken, and then they custom make all the shutters at their business. They then come out and install them, and all of this is done at a great price too. This was definitely the change I was hoping to make!… READ MORE

3D Home Designer Software – Home Designer Pro

Even though it comes with a fairly high price tag, Home Designer Professional Edition is definitely a worth investment. Serious designers and professional builders will realize that the $ 495 needed to buy this software will actually prove to be money well spent in the long run. Here are some reasons why Home Designer Pro has been named as one of the best home design software in the entire industry.

3D Home Designer Software - Home Designer Pro

At a glance

Designed, developed, and published by a well-known home design software design company, Chief Architect, Home Designer Pro is a program that has been created specifically for home and serious design enthusiasts. The latest edition of this program is version 9.0 and is similar to its predecessor, it also contains the same sophisticated tools used by actual professionals for various purposes including interior design, home renovation, landscaping, deck design, and even cost estimates.

This program basically combines all the main features of the program designed by other Chief Architects such as Landscape and Deck Designers, Interior Designers, and Home Architecture Designers. Plus, it also includes a myriad of the most advanced CAD tools available on the market today. With Home Designer Pro, users are given the power to make blueprints, roofs, manual framing, and many others. It’s almost like an all-in-one program that clearly justifies retail value that seems high.

Professional level

As mentioned earlier, one of the best features of this particular program is that it is able to produce output from a professional level. This capability is caused by none other than the advanced tools of this program which are leading in every term. Users can create floor plans that are scaled accurately and within minutes, automatically generate 3D models. Home Designer Pro also uses a high-tech 3D camera that really allows many different user views such as Cross-Sections, Elevation, Framing, Doll House, and Glass House. In addition to making a scale representation of one’s dream design before actually building it, users are also given the opportunity to take a virtual tour to ensure that they are more than happy with their plans.

But Still User-Friendly

Even though Home Designer Pro makes use of very sophisticated design tools, it does not fail to maintain the overall friendliness of the program. In fact, this program makes it a point to ensure that users will be able to navigate through the program with as few complications as possible. For example, there is a Quick Startup Option Guide that serves as an excellent resource for “how to” tutorials that serve all types of projects. The pre-installed House Wizard tool is also a great feature that makes designing a home a lot easier for less experienced users.

Many actual landscape and home design templates are also available for users to choose from if they don’t want to start from scratch. This template section is even equipped with decks, cabinets, colors, and more. If users find problems again with this program, they can use the online help system or watch dozens … READ MORE

The 12 Stages Of Building A New Home Using A Building Broker

It’s certainly an exciting prospect to build a new home that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come. Especially when you get to call the shots on exactly what it will look like so it suits your individual requirements. Using a building broker will give you the best opportunity to maximise your new home investment.

But you probably have many questions in your mind, one of which might be:

What actually happens during the building process?

Like most people, you probably don’t have time to visit your building site every day or even every week to see first-hand exactly what’s going on. Here is give a brief run-down on the various stages of building.

Stage 1 – Site Survey

A land surveyor will prepare a comprehensive report detailing the contours, services, orientation, and position of neighboring properties (if relevant) for your block. Depending on your surveyor, this stage will usually take around two weeks.

Stage 2 – Home Design

This is the fun part!  You meet with your house designer to work out the design requirements for your new custom home.  An initial sketch is created, including elevations (external appearance) and floor plans.  This will be modified until you’re happy, then a final sketch is prepared.

Stage 3 – Builder Tender

At this stage you will experience the real advantage of using a building broker.  Several trusted builders are invited to tender based on your design and usually within a month you’ll receive the tenders for consideration, which will include prices and specifications.  At this point you can nominate your preferred builder and they will begin with the next stage.

Stage 4 – Preparation of Plans & Contracts

Now you can begin to select colours and finishes for your home.  In the meantime, in conjunction with your chosen builder, your planning drawings are created and submitted to the local council for approval. During this assessment phase the structural engineers will create their drawings and all required changes from the planners and engineers will be incorporated into your final working drawings. Now you’re ready to sign your building contracts.

Stage 5 – Pay Building Deposit

Once signing your building contract you will be required to pay your building deposit. The builder will also submit the final working drawings, engineering plans, specification and addendum along with the energy efficiency report back to local council for building license approval.

Stage 6 – Siteworks

You may have heard the term “slab down”.  Before the foundation is poured, there is a lot of work to do including the excavation of the site and installation of the plumbing pre-lay.  For you though, it’s an exciting time as your home is now underway and you can start to see the progress. You’ll also see a site toilet, builders sign and site shed appear on site along with a temporary power pole.

Stage 7 – Brickwork

This is when your home really begins to take shape. Interior walls, exterior walls, and whatever stairs are … READ MORE

Victorian Decor Doesn’t Have to Break a Budget

Think about Victorian decor, one of the mainstays of the “new vintage” trend, and what comes to mind? Rich-looking, ornate styles, with big price tags attached, right? It doesn’t to be expensive if you know how to make the most of what you already have, along with fabulous finds from other sources.

As always with decorating on a budget, start by thinking about paint, one of the most economical yet striking changes you can make in a room. Vintage decor of the Victorian era is lush with deep, jewel tones such as emerald green, sapphire or ruby. It isn’t necessary to paint all the walls in these colors; in fact, it’s not a good idea to do so if it’s a smaller room you’re decorating in vivid vintage. If that’s the case, pick one wall as an accent, then paint the other walls in a light, but complementary tone. You’ll be surprised at how much an accent wall like this can convey.

Next, think as the Victorians did and get a brilliant Oriental area rug for the floor. Not only were the Vics fond of its ornate patterns, the vivid colors added more depth to the overall intensity of the room’s colors.

With a good rug on the floor, it’s time to think furniture. One way to keep to the budget is to get distressed tables and drape them with single-size white or floral sheets. You can tie them up here and there with ribbons (another Victorian touch) or let them pool onto the floor or area rug and top them with lace doilies.

For the larger furniture, wicker makes an economical and stylish option to the heavy carved (and expensive) walnut furniture common to Victorian decor. The trick with wicker is that it requires frequent maintenance to remove dust and dirt that collects in the curves of its woven pattern. Because of this, it’s essential to know what kind of wicker you have.

Wicker comes in three types: paper, reed and resin. Paper wicker is made by twisting paper into strips that are then woven. Reed comes from natural fibers that are soaked until pliable and then woven into the familiar crisscross pattern. Resin wicker is actually made from molded plastic, and is the most durable of the three types. All three types can be cleaned gently with a damp, but not dripping, cloth. Reed and resin wicker also can be hosed down if they get extremely dirty, but don’t hose paper wicker. As you might guess, paper wicker will soak up the water and rot.

With wicker you’ll also want plenty of cushions and pillows in floral patterns, as well as linens with embroidery, ribbons and lace in white or natural. Thrift stores, yard sales, even flea markets can be good sources for vintage linens with handmade embroidery. Linens with less expensive machine-embroidered patterns can be found at discount stores. Embroidered linens and fabrics are used on tablecloths, curtains and even upholstery in Victorian decor.

Speaking … READ MORE