How I Lowered Our Monthly Expenses

Killeen Castle Co MeathMy husband came home a few weeks ago and told me that his hours at work have been cut. I was devastated at first, because we were already living pay to pay. When he told me that there were dozens who lost their jobs altogether, I realized we were actually one of the blessed ones then. I knew we had to find a way to cut back even more on our expenses, and it surprised me to find one of these ways was with our energy provider. I did a search for Killeen rates as far as energy is concerned because I had seen in the past where we are able to choose our own energy company. Read the rest of this entry »

A Company That Helps the Community Too

If there is one thing that I like, it is having a choice. I don’t like to be given no options, no matter what it concerns. When I found out that I would have my choice of energy companies in Texas, I probably got more excited than the average person who would have the same opportunity. I actually looked forward to doing some research and finding out which company was the one that is right for me. Most people just go on prices, but it is so much more than that to me, regardless of what I am choosing.

I wanted to compare each of the companies that I was able to choose from, not only for their rate and usage plans but also to see what kind of company they are. I have been in the corporate world before, and I know that not all companies really care about their customers. Read the rest of this entry »

Sofa Cover – Change The Look Of Your Living Room Without Going Over Budget

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your older furniture is through the use of  sofa cover. Slipping these covers on is easy, and it can make your old furniture look brand new and completely different almost instantly.


These covers are also an effective way to redecorate your living room. Changing the look and feel of the room is as simple as slipping  cover on your sofa, which is likely one of the largest pieces in the room.


A sofa cover is found in many different materials and styles and can be tailored to fit  sofa or can be  loose fitting cover. When they are tailor-made, they are created specifically based on your sofa’s specifications, which you must measure yourself. This is often an attractive choice because there is no way for guests to tell that there is  cover at all.


A range of retailers carry these products, though they are most easily found at home goods, home improvement, or even linen stores. It is also possible to find them on the internet for low prices, as well as some large department stores with an interior design department.


Choosing where you will purchase your cover will come down to whether  retailer carries that perfect style that will turn your living room into something brand new. Checking out some consumer reviews online will tell you whether or not the store is reputable and whether the covers are durable or not. Those that are more simple will be easily found at warehouse stores both on and off line, but the styles that are fitted or are not plain will be more difficult to come by and must be found at specialty stores or large higher end department stores.


The cost of  cover largely depends on  few variables. The material will affect the price, as will whether or not it is fitted. A tailored one will be the most expensive type of to purchase, which is because of the amount of time and effort put into the work by the designer and company making the sofa cover. However, the final product will be ? tight-fitting cover for your sofa or couch that will be completely indistinguishable from the actual covering, even to you.




Don’t Let This Happen to Your New Hardwood Floor (Avoiding Flooring Failures)

I am called to inspect probably twenty to thirty solid hardwood floors every year that after several weeks or months have started gapping. A quick reminder: solid hardwood floor planks are each one piece of wood, whereas engineered wood planks are several different layers of wood glued together-very much like plywood. Once-in-a-while I’ll see an engineered wood with gapping. In either case, it is a serious and very expensive problem. If you will take the time to read the rest of this article, you can be sure this won’t happen to you, I promise.

“Moisture levels” are very important with solid hardwood flooring. All wood has moisture of some amount. When a solid wood floor has been installed, especially if nailed/stapled in, and then starts gapping at the seams so that there is space between adjacent boards, it is because they have shrunk. The only other possibility is that your house has expanded, but I’m pretty confident that has never happened and never will. So, why did the boards shrink? Because they lost moisture since being installed. When wood dries out, it shrinks, when it gets wetter, it expands. Okay, now we’re getting to the very important part.

Most people are familiar with the term “acclimation”. Most people know that wood flooring, even laminates (like Pergo) is to be acclimated before being installed. Usually the instructions say to acclimate for 48 hours, or 3 days, or whatever, then install. THAT IS NOT CORRECT. If you acclimate the product as outlined by the manufacturer for the proper time, then install it, and then it gaps, it will not be warrantied or replaced by the manufacturer. The small print on flooring installation is this: when the installer installs the flooring, he/she accepts that the flooring and subfloor are suitable for installation. The problem is, sometimes the wood flooring is showing up at the house to be acclimated at 15% moisture level, and is to be installed in a home with the subfloor having 6% to 9% moisture level. There is no way that flooring can acclimate to those conditions in a few days. It will still be too wet. And after it is installed, it will shrink-causing gapping. And the worst part, the flooring will have to be pulled up and thrown away. It is not a correctable situation.

I need to interject one small point here. “Some” gapping on solid hardwood flooring is very normal, especially if you live in an area with real seasonal changes like I do eastern Washington. Our homes here will invariably be drier in the winter and wetter in the summer, causing some minor gapping and is perfectly normal. One sure way to know if the gapping is normal is if it pretty much disappears each year during the wetter time. But the gapping I’m talking about is not like this. One lady showed me how some spaghetti that had fallen on the floor had rolled into the gaps. Or if your missing one or more of your favorite pets-that is also a clue.

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THE SOLUTION So before this horrible scenario happens, make sure the following is done before your new floor is installed. The flooring needs to be moisture checked with a wood meter. There are pin meters (invasive) and magnetic (non-invasive), either of which will work. However, these run $200 to $300 or more. Insist that the installer have the moisture checked, especially as it will be the installers BIG problem if later you have gapping. Because you know what will happen? The manufacturer will send me to look at the floor, I’ll make a lot of measurements of dimensions and moisture levels, and using the Wood Handbook’s coefficient of dimensional change tables, I’ll be able to determine what the actual moisture level of the wood was at the time of installation. I’ll find that it was too high (or WAY too high), and the finding will be that the wood floor was not acclimated to the home’s normal environment before being installed. OUCH! That will cost somebody a lot of money, and will cost you at least a lot of hassle with the issue of replacement, etc. You don’t want that, and neither do I.

By the way, engineered wood should definitely be acclimated as well, although some of the manufacturers do not want the cartons opened for acclimation and some do, so pay attention to that. Also, laminates (which are real layers of wood similar to engineered except for the top layer which is melamine (aluminum oxide or similar) are also to be acclimated but I’ve never seen a claim rejected because the floor wasn’t acclimated. Typically laminates and a lot of the engineered woods are “floating” which means they connect together and become one unit. Any dimensional change does not normally cause gapping but rather a change of the amount of clearance (perimeter expansion space) at the walls. Some of these issues I’ll cover in another article.

TO SUMMARIZE: With any kind of wood flooring, but especially with solid hardwood, be sure that the moisture levels of the wood is within 2% to 4% of the subfloor the flooring is going on top of. In my part of the country where the relative humidity of homes is usually between 25% and 40%, the flooring should be between 6% and 9% before being installed. That leads to one of my favorite phrases, “IMAGINE NO GAPPING!”.

Source by Steven Kohl

How To Protect Leather Sofas

Its important to protect leather sofas as they can be quite delicate at times. There are many ways in which you can protect them such as applying a leather protectant which protects your sofa from cracking. Its important you use the correct leather protectant which is right for the type of leather you have.

Extreme weather also effects the sofa, make sure its is far from heaters and air conditioners and is placed in a room temperature. Make sure your sofa is placed away from the window so it will be protected from direct sunlight which will cause the colour to fade. Keeping sharp objects away is always important not only for leather sofas but for all. These sharp objects such as scissor or knives may puncture the leather and ruin it.

Avoid smoking near your sofas as the burnt marks are permanent. If you’re planning to go somewhere on vacations, it’s a good idea to cover your sofa with sheet to avoid it from dust. Try and wipe your leather sofa once in a week or so as it will protect it from dust and always look as good as new. Always remember not to apply too much detergent or soap on the sofa and be careful in not spilling your drinks on the sofa as the leather can absorb liquid. Another way you can protect your sofas is by keeping your pets off from them as their claws and paws cause scratches on the sofas.

Also avoid placing objects on your sofa that leaves an indentation. Its important you always use the proper materials that are designed for the leather in your sofa for cleaning and be careful not to use abrasive cleaner as it will damage your sofa. These are some very informative tips for protecting your leather sofas and giving them a long-life. These are some very informative tips for protecting your leather sofas and giving them a long-life.

Source by Craig Short

Mannington Hardwood Flooring is a Wise Choice For Your Home

Mannington hardwood flooring is rumored to be the finest hardwoods on the market. The wood for this type of flooring is found in North America. This type of flooring is stronger than usual hardwood flooring. Mannington warrants their product in the fact that the product will not gap or buckle.

This flooring contains a finish that provides protection to the product against every day wear and tear. This product is scuff resistant which is a relief is for those of us who truly care about the condition of the flooring within our homes. You do not have to polish nor wax this flooring and this is worth paying a little extra for this product.

The scratch resistance the Mannington hardwood flooring contains protects your flooring from becoming dull. These floors can be installed anywhere within your home but we do recommend you do not install hardwood in your bathroom due to the moisture factor.

Mannington hardwood flooring is easy to care for. If you follow simple instructions such as sweeping and cleaning spills when they occur, you will reap the benefits of the beauty and durability this wood offers to you and your family for years to come.

If you want a product which is planet friendly, you must understand that our product does not take thousands of trees to produce our product. Our product also has water-based finishes and stains which do not contain harsh chemicals in the making of our products. If you are “green” then we are happy to inform you that so are we along with our products.

Source by Rick Amato

); There are also different types of yarn used in carpet. Nylon is king. It has a nice feel and has superior wear and “memory”. Nylon also resists soil and stains well. Another yarn is Polyester. Polyester may have one of the best “feels” out of all of the yarns. It is also very stain resistant. Polyester may have more “fuzzing” than other yarns though. The third yarn is Olefin. Olefin is a polypropylene blended product. It is extremely stain resistant. It does wear well but can tend to mat down over time. Wool is another option, but very rarely used anymore. Lastly are the Eco yarns. The Eco yarns are yarns and fibers that are sustainable solutions for the environment or environmentally friendly. The most popular Eco yarn is PET. PET stands for (polyethylene terephthalate). PET fiber is made out of recycled plastic bottles. It is durable and also extremely stain resistant. The other Eco fiber is called Sorona, a product introduced by DuPont, which can be made into carpet yarn. Sorona is mainly produced from corn syrup. The fiber is not 100% corn product but it is one of the primary base products used to make the fiber.A common myth is to purchase carpet based on the weight, measured in ounces. Weight is important to a degree, but not as much as many would have you think. If you will notice, the big box stores will usually try to stress the importance of weight. Weight is only important when the “pile height” and yarn density are considered as well. Common weights for carpet run between 30 and 70 ounces. Most consumers think the higher the weight, the better the carpet. Pile height is how tall the fibers stand off of the backing. Yarn density is how close the yarn is tufted next to each other. A 50 ounce, shorter pile height carpet with a tight density may very well outperform a higher weight carpet with a higher pile height if the higher weight isn’t as dense a product. Keep these in mind. Tighter is better.If you take into consideration your specific need, the style and yarns that best suit you, and a nice tight carpet not based solely on weight, then you’re sure to make a perfect choice for your upcoming floor covering project. [ad_2] Source by Eric M Dyer

Modern Sofas

Sofas have been around for quite some time now. We have sofas made of leather and synthetic material and futon sofas. “Modern” is an adjective used to refer to furniture that was manufactured in the latter half of the twentieth century using contemporary styles.

The word modern is usually used to refer to the furnishings that were manufactured in the fifties and sixties in post-war America and Europe. Sometimes, modern furniture is nicknamed “mod” or spelled “modern” to distinguish this form of furniture from the other contemporary pieces of furniture. It was after the Second World War that families re-conceptualized their living areas and thus demanded mass production of comfortable and affordable furniture to match their new perspectives of life. This is how and why furniture designers defined the era of modern furniture with the introduction of pedestal tables, sleek sideboards, shiny stools instead of chairs, all together with the use of abstract light sources. Along with those changes, modern furniture changed the organization of informal living spaces with kidneys, oblongs, S’s, ellipses and flares replacing the usual circles, squares and rectangles.

With the introduction of modern furniture, new synthetic building materials were used for making furniture like vinyl and tubular metal instead of wrought iron. Designers turned to vinyl instead of leather, used bright prints instead of dark brocades on the modern sofa and used acrylic and plywood instead of the usual hardwood. Monochromes like gray and black were highlighted by contrasting hues like ruby red, chartreuse and tangerine. With this new fabrication, designers could manufacture sturdy, nonsymmetrical and oversized furniture that helped redefine elegance as bright and open in place of the usual ornate ones. Modern furniture has indeed flaunted style, while at the same time complemented the new generations of families and their homes.

Source by Eddie Tobey

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