Deep Cleaning Your Home’s Carpets

Often times, when you decide to host an event or get together at your home, you’ll have to take a few steps to tidy up the area and interior of the home. In some cases, you may want to possibly pursue an intensive deep-clean of your home, to make sure that all of the guests are comfortable.

For some individuals, a tidying up session of their home, such as picking up any objects laying around, wiping down the counters, taking out the garbage, and vacuuming the carpets is enough for preparing for an event!

However, if you are an individual who likes to go above and beyond to prepare for a special occasion, or just want to finally remove the dirt and grime that has been building up in your home’s carpeting and fabrics, you may want to pursue a full-service carpet cleaning experience.

Instead of opting for a carpet cleaning company such as BNK Chem-Dry to come in and deep clean your fabrics, you may want to pursue other options, such as renting out a carpet cleaning steamer from a home improvement store, or getting down and dirty with some elbow grease to take care of tough stains in your carpet.

Going through a carpet and upholstery cleaning company can be a fairly simply process if you do decide to have an outside company help out. These companies specialize in in-depth, thorough carpet cleaning processes that are non-toxic and safe for the entire family.

The companies associated with the Chem-Dry franchise all use an all-natural cleaning product to shampoo the fabrics they clean, leaving a lasting, healthy, refreshing clean.

If you are the type who likes to impress their friends and family by maintaining a truly clean and health home, then pursuing a carpet cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning of not only your floors, but your upholstery, furniture, and other areas in your home can be a great investment.

In general, having a deep clean of your home 1-2 times a year can have drastic improvements on your overall health conditions inside the home, such as air quality and levels of dirt/moisture/mildew. If your home’s carpet is older and has more deeply-ingrained dirt and grime, you may want to pursue a cleaning company to take care of it. The entire process is totally up to you.

 

If you opt to go for the do-it-yourself route, you may want to take one of two options:

 

  • Renting out a steam cleaner. Many individuals prefer to utilize their local home improvement stores steam cleaners for rent. In general, it is very cheap for an hour (or even daily) rental of the machine. Most of the time, you will have to pay for the shampoo separately from the machine, but it is still a good investment. This can be a good option if you want to spend a weekend like a Saturday or Sunday doing the carpet cleaning yourself. This can be a very cost-efficient way to get the deep clean that a typical carpet cleaning company would provide.

 

  • Scrubbing the carpet yourself. Some times, you may want to skip the cost of renting out a commercial steam cleaner, and decide to clean your carpets yourself with a DIY shampoo solution and some elbow grease. A good rule of thumb for a shampoo product that is organic and non-toxic for both family and home is to mix distilled white vinegar (not apple cider vinegar) with water, a little dish soap, and some essential oils. This will create a cleaning solution that smells great, and won’t leave any harmful residue or lasting chemical odors.

 

Get Ready for Winter with a Tinted Window Film

Whether we’re ready or not, winter will arrive before we know it. Higher heating bills are sure to follow. Now is the perfect time to prepare our homes for the cold, so that we can stay cozy this winter without breaking the bank.

Maybe you already know that homes can lose a great deal of heat through their windows; in typical homes, windows are the source of between 25% and 40% of total heat loss. Some of this loss occurs by way of poor seals between window and wall; checking around windows for drafts, and sealing any gaps with caulk or weatherstripping, is always a worthwhile fall task.

Heat loss can also occur through the glass itself. An untreated pane of glass conducts heat easily, allowing it to transfer from your interior to exterior, and vice-versa. This heat transfer makes it harder for your heater to maintain a warm, comfortable temperature when it’s icily cold outside. The harder your heater has to work, the higher your energy bill will be.

For some, upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows is the answer. The extra pane of glass provides a buffer between inside and out, greatly increasing the insulation power of your windows. Less precious winter heat will be lost, and heating costs will be reduced. But for many homeowners, replacing single-pane windows for double-pane is also too expensive. A much more budget-friendly option is to apply a tinted film to your windows.

Many of today’s window tints feature a low-E coating; low-E is short for low emissivity, meaning the coating restricts the emission of heat. In the summertime, exterior heat is not allowed to pass through the coating, but is instead reflected away; in wintertime, this same reflectivity keeps heat on the interior of the window. Both kinds of reflectivity help to maintain interior temperatures, minimizing the need for heating or cooling.

As a general rule, an effective window tint can improve a single-pane window’s insulating properties to be comparable to a double-pane window. A double-pane window could deliver insulation comparable to a triple pane window. Better yet: The cost of installing tinted film is a lot less than the cost of replacement windows.

In addition to reflecting away heat, modern tints can also block out UV rays – these are the rays that can harm us and fade away the color in our carpets and furniture. 3M Prestige window tints, for example, can reject up to 99% of the sun’s UV rays. That’s great news for your skin as well as your furnishings.

There is one thing that today’s window tints don’t often feature: a dark tone. Most tints are designed to perform without darkening the appearance of your windows or blocking out the view or natural light that you love. With today’s tints, the reduction of brightness and natural light is a choice, and not a necessity. 3M Prestige films are available in a number of options that allow you to choose how much natural light passes through.

More comfort for less cost – that’s something to aspire to this fall and winter. If your windows aren’t up to the challenge, consider giving them some extra insulation with a tinted window film.

Renovating Your Home To Age In Place

As technology continues to improve at a rapid pace, we are being presented with more options to improve the quality of our lives. One idea that is increasing in popularity is “aging in place” – or “universal design”. These terms are representative of changes one can make to a home to ensure they can continue to live there well into their senior years, or perhaps even indefinitely. There are lots of good things about aging in place. Elderly people that can continue to live in their own home are often much happier. It brings personal freedom, dignity, and the ability to continue living in a familiar community.

The main focus behind this new idea is all about providing the best quality of life available to seniors as they age. This means all the various components of that person’s life. Their personal relationships and ability to socialize, their ability to get around the community they live in, their health, finances, and what we’ll focus on in this article – the design of the place they live in. However, a plan for aging in place should not only focus on the design of a home. It should take a broad approach to all aspects of life that can be planned for ahead of time to improve someone’s quality of life as they age.

As time inevitably rolls on, our bodies age, and with this our personal capabilities often deteriorate. Common experiences for the elderly are things like decreased mobility, reduced hearing and vision, and an impaired immune system. The good news is that there are lots of things you can update within a home to help out with this, and people are coming out with new products and features to steadily improve on previous ideas every day.

aging in place

Some common improvements people make to a home to assist them as they age are adding a built-in seat to their shower or a walk-in tub to reduce the risk of slips in the shower. A cheaper option is a shower seat, readily available online or at you local superstore. A common improvement you’re likely familiar with is a stair glide or chair life. These are great for seniors with bad knees or heart conditions, and make staying in a home with two or more floors much easier.

One major improvement that you might not immediately think about is a no-step entryway to a home. Entering and exiting a home can be cumbersome, and removing stairs from the equation greatly reduces the risk of falling down. This can be a huge improvement for seniors with bad knees or hips. Sometimes a no-step entryway might not be a great fit for the front door. If this is the case, you could consider converting a patio door or window instead.

Many people also widen the entrance of the entryway when they add a no-step option. Narrow doorways can be a major hassle if you’re trying to fit a walker or wheelchair through it. When considering widening your doorway, it’s important you speak to a company that offers a custom fit for your front door, like Mr. Rogers Windows and Doors or Renewal by Andersen. A one-size-fits-all solution will not apply here, so you’ll want to consult a company that can provide you with a customized solution.

Some other things you can add to an entryway to improve the quality of live of a senior is non-slip flooring in the entrance (to prevent slips if their feet are wet), sensors to automatically turn on lights when someone is outside of the house, a peephole that is lower on the door to be viewed more easily when using a wheelchair or walker, and improvements to the sidewalk that leads up to the house. All of these might seem like minor details, but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts here, and these changes can greatly improve a senior’s life as they continue to age.

Should You Buy a Portable Generator?

There are many reasons to buy portable generators, but that doesn’t mean that everyone ought to own one. Before you purchase a generator, you’ll want to have a clear idea about when, where, and how you’ll want to use it. Then you’ll want to balance that use against what you’ll need to pay to get it.

You may end up wondering why it took you so long to get the portable generator you always needed, or you may find that the right generator for the job is simply too expensive. Most of us, however, are finding it harder and harder to be disconnected in the event of an outage; as a result, portable generators are becoming more common than ever.

A $1200 portable home generator might offer 2000 watts of power, which would be ideal for refrigerators, microwaves, small air conditioners, and an array of the smaller devices you need to stay connected. This generator would be light and compact enough to carry, making it an option to use away from the home as well; you could, for example, bring it along when you camp or tailgate. A typical running time might be eight hours for each fueling.

Powering household systems such as heat pumps or water heaters requires a larger generator – 4000 watts at a bare minimum, but more likely 5000 to 7000 watts. A 5000-watt whole-home generator might run about $2500. This generator would be too heavy to carry, but would likely feature wheels that make it easy to move short distances. In addition to more power, this generator would also be able to run for longer periods – perhaps 16 hours between fueling.

Depending on what you plan to power, you may be perfectly content to plug your devices directly into an outlet on your generator. But this isn’t always convenient. Exhaust fumes requires generators to operate outdoors. Connecting household devices may require you to run long extension cords throughout your house and outside to the generator.

One thing you can’t do is plug your generator into a household outlet. This is unsafe, for more reasons than we can list here. If you want to safely power your whole home, you’ll need to install a proper connection – either an interlock kit or a transfer switch. Both of these connections can also allow you to power select areas of your home. Neither is particularly expensive, but both will require the services of a professional electrician. Between equipment and labor, both types of connections will cost a few hundred dollars.

Let’s recap. A generator that can travel with you won’t be big enough to power your home, but will let you power many essentials in it. A generator that can power your home will be too big to travel and will cost at least twice as much as a smaller portable. If you want to power your home (or provide power to outlets), you’ll also need to install either an interlock kit or a transfer switch. Clearly backup power has its price, but when staying connected is no longer an option, it’s a price worth paying.

The Differences Between Bay & Bow Windows, Explained

If you’re planning to replace a window in a large window opening, you may find yourself considering both bay and bow windows. These two window types have a lot in common, and both have a lot to recommend them. But these two window styles also have more differences than most homeowners realize; only after you understand these differences will you know if a bay or a bow window is a better fit for you and your home.

First, let’s look at the similarities. Both bay and bow windows are large, and are made even more so by extending outward from the home. Both visually expand interior space, and both create additional, usable interior space; this space can be used for storage or as an inviting, window-side nook for reading or relaxing. By extending outward, bay and bow windows also provide more light and wider views.

While both windows look similar at first glance, bay windows are simpler in design than their counterparts. Bay windows are a set of three windows grouped together; bow windows include a set of at least four, and often five or six windows together. Renewal by Andersen of Central NC features a nice selection of both types of windows.

Bay windows feature a large, central window that runs parallel to the walls of the home; this large window is flanked by two smaller ones, which extend outward from the house, usually at angles of 30 or 45 degrees. The large window will be a fixed picture window; the two flanking windows may be able to open. Thanks to their angular appearance, bay windows are often paired with more contemporary homes.

Bow windows are composed of smaller windows of the same size. These windows curve away from the home in angles that vary, depending on the design; the more windows that compose the bow, the smaller and softer the angle. Generally speaking, bow windows don’t extend as far from the home as bay windows. All of these qualities grant bow windows a more graceful and symmetrical appearance than their counterparts; this appearance is a great fit for both modern and Victorian homes.

These differences in design can often dictate which window is the best choice for you. Because bay windows are composed of only three windows, they can be accommodated by narrower window openings; bow windows, that include as many as six windows, require wider openings. On the other hand, bow windows, which do not extend as far out as bay windows, may be tied into houses with shallower overhangs.

These differences in design also yield a difference in price. As bow windows include a larger set of windows, it isn’t surprising that they’re the more expensive option; their elegantly-curved construction also requires a higher degree of craftsmanship, which also contributes to additional cost.

That said, both bay and bow windows can become focal points of your home’s interior and exterior. Both types of windows can expand your view, add natural light, and open up spaces. But chances are, one’s a smarter choice for you. Which one is it? Hopefully now you’re well on your way to the answer, and to finding the perfect window for your home.

3 Valuable Lessons to Learn from Renovating an Old Inn for 007 Movie

For a regular person who has never been involved in renovating a distressed or old hotel, the idea of modifying a structure like that entails repairs and fixes here and there. But in reality, old hotel renovation is not as simple as that, as what we have learned from our experience doing modifications on an old inn that was used as a location set for shooting an 007 film.

If you’re tasked to manage a renovation project to bring back a hotel to its former glory, here are some takeaways from other restoration projects that can help you achieve success.

1. Everything is hinged on project management.


As mentionedearlier, a hotel renovation doesn’t just involve fixing what needs to be fixed. It all starts with forming a solid and reliable rebuilding and restoration project team composed of the following key roles:

  • Project management team (consisting of project managers, supervisors, and coordinators)
  • Interior designers
  • Architects
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Artisans
  • Workers
  • Plumbing consultant
  • Original equipment manufacturers
  • Structural consultants
  • Safety consultants
  • Hotel staff

As you can see, a lot of people are involved in a single hotel restoration project. It can’t move along with a key person missing. Everyone has to work their part to ensure that everything will go according to plan.

The project management team is the most critical set of people in any hotel renovation project, as they are the ones who plan, create strategies, implement, manage, and keep track of the progress. These guys should be picked and vetted carefully before hiring them because they’re the ones who are responsible for making sure that the work goes smoothly, the quality of work is sustained, and that the actions of everyone in the team are aligned with the goals of the project.

Fortunately, the project team we’ve worked with are professional and highly skilled in their respective fields, making them such as pleasure to work with.

2. The structural limitations must be considered.


Especially if the hotel is about a hundred years old, its structural integrity and other related factors can pose a lot of restrictions when it comes to renovation. You’ll waste a lot of time, effort, and brain cells thinking of restoration strategies that aren’t up to snuff with the structure of the hotel. What if the hotel is only a Grade II heritage structure? What will you do if the rooms are not uniform and feature various themes? These will present some challenges that you need to anticipate and foresee.

3. Dividing the project into phases and smaller teams can speed up its execution.


Having separate project teams working on different phases, timelines, and zones of the project will absolutely help make completion faster than when the project is implemented in a linear manner. It’s because certain aspects of the hotel require a unique set of skills—and you can’t expect every people in the project team to be knowledgeable in all aspects of hotel renovation. There’s got to be a specialization for each person in the team.

We have learned many other things from that particular restoration project, but these three are the main takeaways.

Save

Save

4 Perfect Examples of Charming, Beautifully Renovated Old Hotels

There’s something captivating about historic hotels with their grandeur and elegant designs. And when they’re upgraded to exude modern style without losing their vintage charm, one can’t help but feel in awe of their majestic beauty. Here’s a quick look at some of the successful hotel renovations.

Miami Biltmore Hotel

Built almost a century ago, this luxury hotel located in Coral Gables, Florida has so many things to boast of, including being recognized as the tallest building in Florida until 1928. At one point, it was also home to the biggest pool in the world. It was also used as a shooting location for movies and TV shows such as “Miami Vice” and “CSI: Miami.”

That was Biltmore Hotel in the past. Now, this historic hotel is undergoing a facelift, with its main lobby already being enhanced. What to expect after its renovation completion by July 2017? A combined modern and traditional style, which will be showcased in the hotel’s new drapery, furniture, and materials. The hotel will also have wool carpets in deep blue, wood inlays, and blue and green tufted furniture.

Hotel Eden, Rome

The over-a-century-old Hotel Eden was reopened in April 2017 after a 17-month renovation period that built Roman-inspired interiors to make it more relaxed and homely. It has been also upgraded with three new and redesigned restaurants, expanded 98 rooms and suites, and a spa with a blow-dry bar.

The rooms and suites were reduced from 121 to 98 so that guests can enjoy better luxurious retrat. A notable room is a 2,000 sq-ft. suite that has a dining room, living room, and an exclusive elevator. Breathtaking views of the city can be enjoyed from the floor-to-ceiling windows in this suite.

Granville Inn, Ohio

Built in 1924, the Granville Inn was re-launched in 2015 after an eight-month renovation that refreshed the inn’s retro charm. The project costed around $9 million, which was spearheaded by the Denison University that bought the inn in 2013.

Among the upgrades are new ductwork, new cooling and heating systems, new bar, additional guest rooms, and an elevator.Plumbing and wires were replaced, and the roof was given a makeover with new downspouts and trim, copper gutters, and 4,000 pieces of slate. Cozy sitting rooms and marble-tiled bathrooms make the updated rooms look modern, brighter, and more refreshing. The former attic was converted into new guest rooms, making the total room count 36 in addition to three suites. And the former garage has become a meeting room that can accommodate 65 people, with the second floor being converted into guest rooms.

Madewood Plantation House, Louisiana

Originally a manor for sugarcane plantation that was built in the 1840s, the Madewood survived the Civil War and got renovated in 1964 to restore its former glory. Today, the old hotel still has the Parthenon-like columns on its façade, accentuated by chandeliers in the foyer. All the right guest rooms have unique interior decoration featuring spacious canopies, four-poster beds, and dark woods.

As these beautiful examples show, hotel renovation projects are well worth their cost and effort that was put in designing and rebuilding the structures.

5 Creative Ways to Renovate Your Hotel for Superior Guest Experience and Higher Profits

Contrary to common misconception, a renovation isn’t done only to repair and old or damaged property. In the hospitality industry, hotel renovation is an investment to enhance customer experience, improve your brand image, and increase revenue in the process.

Build a grab-and-go café


If your property has no onsite restaurant, then providing a facility for your guests to grab convenient food on the go is a great idea. Guests who are in a hurry can just get a sandwich or pick up of cup of joe on their way out of your hotel. The result? Satisfied customers and increased income from the coffee bar.

Renovate the bathrooms


If your hotel’s bathrooms already look old and outdated, it’s time to give it a refreshing makeover. Replace the tiles, sinks, fixtures, and mirror with ones that have modern style. If yours is a luxury hotel and the baths don’t have a bathtub, it’ll be great to invest in hot tubs with jets for a more relaxing spa-like experience. Your guests will never complain!

Add some furniture


Do you have empty space on any open area in your hotel? Fill it out by adding several furniture pieces to create functional and stylish mini-lounges where your guests can hang out and socialize with family and friends.

Create a cozy hang-out space in the lobby


Rather than go to the local café, your guests can just sip coffee and relax in a third space you create in the lobby. To entice people, provide Wi-Fi connection and computer terminal with working printer. This way, your hotel also provides convenience to guests who are on a business trip or have business matters to attend to.

Why would you spend time and money for costly renovations for your hotel? Because you want the best experience possible for your guests. Once you see the returns on your investments, your hotel renovations will definitely be worth it.

Hotel Bathroom Renovation Tips: A Handy Guide for Hoteliers

Renovating the bathrooms in a hotel can be a great investment, as it can yield a 100% return on investment, according to studies. This means that while it’s a costly project, you can still profit a lot because it boosts your property’s resale value and you get to sell your hotel at a high price.

But before you proceed with overhauling your hotel bathrooms, keep in mind these tips from the pros.

Come up with a reasonable budget.

How much are you willing to spend? How much can you afford? Put your expectations in the right perspective. It’s an expensive project, both in terms of money, time, and resources, so you should plan your budget accordingly. Also, plan for any unforeseen expenses on undetected problems such as mechanical and structural issues. Include additional expenses for nay bathroom trends that you’d like to adopt for increasing the resale value of your property.

Determine the requirements for upgrading the hotel bathrooms.

Do your research to know the common bathroom dimensions such as floor size and to avoid mistakes in the planning process.

Don’t scrimp on bathroom lighting.

Ensure a well-lit space by providing ample budget for lighting, as most customer complaints about hotels is the poor lighting in bathrooms. You’ll need a set of lights per bathroom: waterproof light in the shower, dimmable lights on the ceiling, and accent lighting around the mirror. There should always be a group of overhead, ambient, accent, and decorative lighting in the bathroom for a great guest experience.

Ensure proper ventilation.

Install a vent or exhaust fan in the bathrooms so that moisture won’t make its way and cause unsightly mildew and molds. This way, you maintain the cleanliness and pristine quality of your newly renovated hotel bathrooms.

Always remember that renovation and repair of bathrooms should be done to make your guests’ stay more comfortable in your hotel, enhance feedback about your hotel’s facilities, and to generate higher profits in the long term.

Infographic source: luxurycommercialbath.com

Successful Hotel Restorations: 4 Tips on Sustaining Quality While Keeping Costs Low

Hotel renovation is an expensive venture, with the material and construction costs rising each year. This makes it important to save on renovation costs without compromising the quality of your hotel when the project is done.

Because hoteliers are not experts in construction and structure restoration, it’s best to learn from the lessons gained from hotel and inn renovation projects in the past, as well as some tips from the industry experts.

Here are a few tips to help ensure a successful hotel renovation:

Build a strong working relationship with the project manager or contractor


The project manager can either make or break your hotel restoration project. Before you hire one, look for someone with vast experience in renovating hotels. And once you’ve got the perfect candidate, make him feel that he’s an advocate for your project instead of just doing it for the money.

Allocate for unexpected expenses


As they say, always expect the unexpected—and this cannot be truer in terms of restoring an old hotel. Set aside a contingency budget that has an extra 5% to 20% allocated for unforeseen problems such as plumbing, electrical, or mechanical issues that are missed during the inspection.

Maintain constant communication with the project team


People need to work in sync to avoid unnecessary costs and to speed up the execution of your hotel renovation project. To ensure that, regularly communicate with the project team—involve the brand teams, designers, project manager, contractors, purchasing agents, architect, and others.

Manage expectations


A successful hotel renovation needs to have project team members who understand what exactly is expected of them and when they’re expected to deliver. Failing to do so will result in unexpected delays and overspending.

Think of hotel renovation as a team sport—everyone needs to be accountable, which can only happen if responsibilities and expectation are clear cut.