The Different Types Of Skylights Used In Homes

Skylights for homes are the perfect solution to increase the amount of natural light while reducing energy consumption. Passive houses use skylights as one of the elements of passive heating systems. If your house has an attic, skylights will make it habitable and friendly. More and more builders and architects integrate this type of windows in their projects, mainly because of their stylish look but also because of the benefits offered by natural light coming from above.

From mobility standpoint, skylights for homes can be fixed or ventilating. Each type comes with its advantages and drawbacks. It is up to you to decide which of them are the most important for you and choose your skylight type accordingly.

Fixed skylights can’t be opened, their sole purpose is to allow the passage of light. While the disadvantage is obviously the impossibility of using them to bring fresh air inside, the advantage is their better insulation. As they don’t have any moving parts, it is a much smaller probability to experience leaks during heavy rains.

Ventilating skylights are mobile. You may open them to get the air inside your house moving. If your intention is to install skylights in the bathroom or in the kitchen, you better choose this type, in order to be able to evacuate the steam that gets generated when you cook or when you take hot showers.

Since skylights can sometimes be situated at a height that doesn’t allow direct manual operation, they can come with a remote control system or with a hand crank. Remote control systems will probably add a little bit to the final price, but they are better because they don’t spoil the interior design and they are easier to operate than cranks.

The drawback of ventilating skylights is that they may not be perfectly insulated. As rubber gaskets get old, they may become less effective in preventing the temperature exchange and they may even start leaking. Nonetheless, if you do your homework when you shop for skylights, you can prevent unpleasant situations by choosing a trusted brand from companies that give you several years guarantee for both materials and installation. It is very important to have skilled workers install the skylights, because improper installation may cause leaks, even if you buy top notch quality materials.

Something you should consider when buying skylights, as opposed to wall windows, is that you’ll be under direct attack of UV rays. In time they may damage your furniture and cause discoloration of your carpets. The solution is simple and it comes straight from the manufacturer: get LoE coated laminated glass. Not only it protects your stuff from the fading effect of UV rays, it also increases the energy efficiency of your home.

Other considerations depend on your local weather conditions. If you live in a climate where hurricanes strike often, getting impact glass is a wise decision. If you live in the mountains or in areas with heavy snowfalls, get glass that resists to snow load. If you aren’t sure what to choose, get in touch with an architect or a home improvement showroom specialist who is qualified to give you advice and help you make the correct choice.

Dealing With Less Than Perfect Walls When You Paint

In the do-it-yourselfer’s paradise, every wall is as smooth as a mirror and putting paint on them delivers a perfect result every time. Meanwhile, in the real world, you often find yourself stuck with walls that are damaged, worn or improperly finished. You probably already know that slapping a plain layer of gloss paint on them is only going to make the problem worse. Here are some alternative painting strategies to deal with walls that have issues.

painting the walls of a homeMinimize The Problem With Good Prep Work

No matter how major or minor the damage to your walls might be, you are going to make it look worse if you jump right into painting them without doing at least a little prep work. Fill obvious holes with joint compound and sand down joints, uneven patches, and other questionable areas. If you feel like your do-it-yourself skills are up to the challenge, you may even re-skim the whole wall. This takes skill to do properly, though!

Even if you don’t have obvious weak points to address, it is generally a very good idea to sand your walls thoroughly before you start to paint. This will not only eliminate the smallest imperfections but also give your paint a better surface to adhere to. If you know your walls have issues, you should also plan to paint them in two coats (primer + finisher) rather than using an all-in-one paint. The extra thickness of paint will help conceal small flaws.

Choose Your Paint Wisely

After your wall is painted, the way cracks, bumps, and seams are going to show up is through irregularities in the way light reflects off the paint. Choose paints that minimize the amount of light reflected and you are well on your way to concealing all but the most glaring of flaws. Matte or flat finishes are your friends here. Avoid high-gloss paint if at all possible.

Paint color can also make a difference for largely the same reason. Minor wall imperfections are much harder to spot on dark colors. (Of course, it may not be realistic to paint your breakfast nook black!) Choose the darkest shades that will fit with your decor when you’re painting a problem wall.

Consider Special Finishes

Besides simply selecting the right paint, you can go a long way towards concealing issues by choosing novel ways to apply it. A textured coat can cover up all sorts of little imperfections. Don’t be too quick to dismiss textured paint based on one or two unappealing examples you may have seen in the past. There are dozens if not hundreds of options available to you.

Faux finishes and glazes involve a little more labor, but they can hide a host of flaws. In these techniques, you are aiming to replicate the multicolored look of a historical wall finish (e.g. lime washing) or the aged patina of a weathered surface. Hit the internet to find examples of various faux finish options. Some require the application of multiple colors, while others may involve adding two or more additional thin layers of paint to your wall.

It’s not always possible to guarantee ideal results every time you take your paint roller to a wall. Preparing to deal with walls you know will be challenging is a great way to get better results. Explore your options fully before you resign yourself to living with a wall that looks flawed!

Things To Consider When Deciding To Refinish Or Replace Hardwood Flooring

The good news is that if you have hardwood flooring, in most cases, it can be refinished. Unless the wood has been damaged from sanding too many times or if there is extreme movement in between the boards, you can get your floor refinished, which is a lot less expensive than the alternative of replacing it. The bonus is that you already know that the wood grain and species of wood suits your home and decor. After many years of use, the wear and tear does a number on them. Yet, it is still a big decision to decide if you would rather replace or simply refinish your floors.

Is The Price Right?

Hardwood FlooringWhen considering the price of flooring, it is the labor and the cost of the materials. Consider that harvesting new trees requires many natural resources, from the fuel and human capital to chop down a tree to the processing and shipping of logs from the forest to the factory to a local lumber yard.

The companies that sell the wood, likewise, have to market their products and pay people to handle everything from invoicing to cleaning the office. You pay for all of that when you order new floors. It costs more now than ever to buy flooring because the cost of everything from resources to salaries and labor continues to go up. The cost of professional installation by a trustworthy company is tacked onto all of these other expenses. All of these costs are the reason that many people revisit the option to refinish their floors.

Refinishing floors costs much less than buying new wood flooring. It will definitely involve having the flooring contractor in your house for a much longer period of time. In addition, there is nothing you can do about the dust and fumes from the lacquer.

In the case of new flooring, dust is comparatively minimized. In addition, fumes may be unheard of with a new installation because pre-finished flooring is an option. One way many homeowners attack this project is by doing it themselves. This allows them to prevent strangers from being in their home on the many occasions it would take to complete a refinishing job. It also gives homeowners the power to perform the work at intervals that could minimize dust and fumes exposure to the whole household.

The Project Schedule

White empty simple old kitchen room with pastel blue ceiling and hardwood flooring. Refinishing a floor involves many steps that make it time-consuming when compared to installing new floors. From the preparations, multiple sweeps of the sander with different types of sandpaper to equipment rentals, vacuuming and lacquering, it is a job for patient people. If you have trouble watching a pot boil or watching paint dry, then this job will challenge you at the very core. It turns out there are many steps where you will have to simply wait for the next finish to dry. It is also very challenging for the whole household who cannot use the floors that are being refinished for the duration of the whole project.

Replacing flooring by comparison is faster. Even if you account for rebuilding of the subfloor or making repairs and removing the old flooring, it is much faster usually to replace the floor than to refinish it. In particular, if you take into account having a professional team that is known for doing a great job both quickly and efficiently, then you will have use of your floor much sooner when you purchase a new floor.

Is It Adding To The Value Of Your Home?

When you are replacing flooring or refinishing the wood, make sure that you maximize the potential for return on your money. For instance, if oak adds the greatest value, as long as it is in a traditional color (not painted bubble gum pink), you will, more than likely, boost your home’s value. What you may not know is that tackling a refinishing project delivers three times the payoff of the cost. That’s fantastic considering that it also costs a lot less than buying a new floor. If you replace the flooring entirely, you will realize a lower return on investment of only little more than two times your cost to replace the flooring with new materials.

Deciding whether to replace or refinish flooring is a big one. By taking the cost, the time and the return on investment into consideration, you can decide what makes the most sense for your particular home and needs.