Tips to Keep in Mind While Shopping for a New Area Rug

rugs

Adding a rug into your living or family room is a great way to create a space that is inviting while showing off your personality and preferred design style. Whether you are interested in Bohemian, oriental, or even shag rugs for living room, there are a few tips to keep in mind before settling on the right rug for your home.

Shape and Size

Before you begin shopping for a new area rug that is perfect for your living room, family room, bedroom, or even your main hallway, it is important to consider the optimal shape and size of the rug itself. Measure the space you have available and determine whether surrounding exposed area is important to you. If you are looking to get creative with your new area rug, consider a unique shape that is different from traditional square and rectangular additions. Other common rug shapes include circular, octagonal, and even star-shaped options. Envision the final outcome of your room and how you want to present it to guests before choosing a rug shape and size that is right for you.

Texture and Material

Choosing the right texture and material for your new area rug is extremely important, especially if you are in the market for a large rug that completes an entire room. Consider the amount of foot traffic the rug is likely to receive before choosing the material that is most suitable. Do you plan to entertain guests while using the rug? Are there children and pets in your home? Avoid delicate textures and rugs with removable fur or material if you plan to use the rug in a high-traffic space in your home. Select a snazzy shag rug for areas that are more decorative or private to avoid wear and tear in less time.

Colors and Patterns

Creativity is key when comparing colors and patterns of rugs you have in mind. When you are redecorating an entire room, choose a color scheme that meshes with the theme you desire while comparing rugs that come in various colors. If you are purchasing an area rug for a family room or a high-traffic room, opt for darker or neutral colors. Use bright and inviting colors with simplistic patterns in areas that are more secluded and remote in your home. Complexly patterned rugs are also ideal for high-traffic areas to prevent stains, dust, and dirt from showing each time there is movement in the space.

With the right area rug, tie any space in your home together while creating an atmosphere and aesthetic that is reflective of any theme you have in mind. When you are searching for an array of area rug styles and sizes to choose from, consider shopping online at Roth Rugs. Finding the right rug for any room in your home has never been easier with Roth Rugs.

Three Ways to Save Money When Buying a New Refrigerator

The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home, but if you’re like most people, you probably don’t give it a second thought until it dies on you. When it stops producing the cold air that you need, the door keeps flying open or it begins making loud noises, it may be time to look for a replacement. While some models come loaded with features like a built-in app that works with your phone, even basic models are less affordable than you might think. You can still save hundreds when you know how to smartly shop for a new refrigerator.

Shop the Sales

Shopping during the sale season is one of the smartest things you can do. The sale season for appliances varies but often runs near the end of the year. This is when manufacturers begin releasing new models. Appliance stores need to get rid of old models to clear out some space and offer some steep discounts. Even if your refrigerator dies in the middle of the year, you can still get a good price on a new one. Appliance stores run sales around other holidays like President’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Buy Refurbished

You can save money on the cost of a new refrigerator with a look at some refurbished models. Have you ever wondered what happens to appliances that are still in good condition but have some minor issues like a built-in ice maker that stopped working? Many shops will take these old appliances, make the necessary repairs and then put those appliances back up for sale. Make sure that you check the warranty before buying one though to ensure that the seller guarantees the refrigerator.

Consider Maintenance

To save money on a new refrigerator, you’ll also want to consider the cost of maintenance on that appliance. When buying a new or refurbished sub zero model, contact a North Miami Beach sub zero repair shop or one in your city to get a quote on repair costs. This lets you know whether you can afford to use and maintain that refrigerator in your home. You can also check the Energy Star rating to see how much it costs the average home to run that model. As long as you stay smart and know when to shop, you can save a bundle on a new refrigerator.

Locating the Ideal Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan is a wonderful addition to any home. It has the ability to make a room much more comfortable on a hot day. Ceiling fans are essential in states that have warm weather during the entire year. However, how can you determine which ceiling fan to buy? There are certainly many of them on the market these days. You might be one of the people who believe that all ceiling fans are created equal. You might think that one ceiling fan is just as good as all the rest. It would be a big mistake to think this way. The reality is that certain ceiling fans are made with a much higher level of craftsmanship than some of the other models. Here are some of the ways you can determine which model of ceiling fan is right for you.

1. What size ceiling fan do you need?

The first thing that you will need to consider is the size of the ceiling fan that you are going to buy. The length of the blades can vary greatly. Therefore, you need to be certain of how much clearance you are going to have between the area where the fan will be mounted and the wall. Failure to measure the amount of clearance correctly could result in the blades of your fan being too long and hitting the wall.

2. How much power do you need your ceiling fan to have?

There are ceiling fans that are designed to be very powerful and cool a large area. This is usually the case with commercial ceiling fans. However, this amount of power is rarely needed in a home environment. You should make sure that you test any ceiling fan that you are thinking about buying. Otherwise, you might discover after it has been installed that its level of power does not live up to your expectations.

3. Does the fan come with a good warranty?

A ceiling fan is a piece of machinery. As such, it will most likely have some mechanical difficulties at some point in the future. Therefore, it is important to know that you are protected by a warranty provided by the company that made the fan. This will mean that you will not need to pay for any repairs on the fan during the length of the warranty. Never by a ceiling fan without a warranty.

Do It Yourself – Discouraging Words

Money saving DIY_Project

I was somewhat surprised on one of my web surfing jaunts to see a blog dedicated to ways of saving money weigh in against the notion of doing odd jobs and building projects yourself. Because for my homestead – and very likely yours as well – if we didn’t do our own odd jobs and building projects, then no needful jobs or building projects would ever get done.

The article is Saving Money – Or Not – With DIY Projects, and it’s worth a read if you’re genuinely unsure of whether or not you’ve got the ability to tackle a project on your own. Of course for big projects it’s very important to understand going in exactly what will be necessary – time, tools, materials and a certain degree of skill. Homesteaders already know about budgeting their time toward the “work in progress” that describes our way of life, as there are always a dozen or more projects and repairs that need doing. Most of us, if we’ve been living this way for some years, have amassed more tools than many city-folk even know exist. In fact, for most projects the primary concern is coming up with the money to purchase the materials, and making sure we’ve got every little nut, bolt, pipe, sealant and extraneous parts before we start.

do it yourself

Perhaps the author is speaking more to urbanites than those of us who live out in the boonies on purpose and strive continually to be ever more self-sufficient. When the faucet washers wear out and start wasting our precious water supply (and driving us crazy with drips), or the drain clogs or cracks, or the windows break or the door needs replacing, we aren’t usually inclined to call a plumber or contractor. Heck, many of us would laugh at the very idea of paying some stranger extra to drive from town to our property and repair or replace what we could repair or replace, for ten times more than we could do the job for. But even urbanites with some tools, patience and an ability to turn screws/wenches could fix a leaky sink or hang a door without breaking the budget.

DIY disasters can cost big money to fix. Before starting any home improvement project you will need to understand each step from start to finish. Research potential pitfalls and problems you may encounter along the way to determine if the project is over your head. Be honest with yourself because your enthusiasm will quickly wear thin if something goes wrong – and if you don’t know what you’re doing, things can head south quickly.

That paragraph in the Money Bucket article made me chuckle. Sure, the author is talking about ‘home improvement’ more than simple repairs, but we homesteaders are quite used to those type of projects. We remodeled our kitchen last summer, which included replacing a window and door, re-siding the exterior wall, re-plumbing so we could move the sink, re-wiring, installing new cabinets and countertops, removing a bar to make room for the dining table we inherited, drywall installation, re-framing, flooring and insulating the attic space, and even reinforcing the main load bearing beam. It cost a pretty penny for all the materials, and we did have to replace the drill twice (old chestnut and locust beams are literally hard as rock). And of course things discovered along the way once we got into the walls and attic weren’t planned for but had to be dealt with anyway. Such is life.

Hiring a reputable contractor to complete an upgrade at your home generally gives you the peace of mind that the job is done right the first time. You will pay dearly for that peace of mind, but in some situations it can be worth every penny.

Heh. That’s kind of a surprising bit of advice to give to people described in the first paragraph of the article as “…planning to sell and need to update your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers…” I mean, if you have to pay dearly to upgrade your home in order to sell it to somebody else, then your improvements aren’t likely to cover the costs in this awful real estate environment. If you’re already underwater on that mortgage, digging yourself in deeper isn’t going to help.

It’s a little different if your home is where you plan to live for the rest of your life, but not much different when money’s tight. I had no kitchen all summer (it wasn’t officially finished until Thanksgiving), had to cook on the grill out back while a big sheet of plastic served as a front wall to my house. We all worked very hard, this is not the kind of project that allows much time for other things, and it involves everyone. It even upset the dogs and cats. But if we could have found a contractor to do that much structural damage to a hundred year old chestnut cabin with a crew of a dozen, it would have cost more than we paid for our entire homestead. Literally. And no, that would NOT have been “worth every penny.”

Sure, those kind of huge projects – new roof and/or installation of solar panels/wind or hydro generators, reworking the entire water supply (my next big project), tearing out walls or floors to get to wiring or plumbing, building a barn, etc. aren’t things one undertakes lightly. Or often, if you can help it. And it certainly helps to build up your confidence in the meantime by tackling small repair and replace projects first, learning to handle all the tools, and such. And exercising your mind about how to plan clever ways of getting around serious issues that may be encountered.

It’s all good for you, and just puts that much more of yourself into the overall Being we lovingly call “Homestead.” Good planning works too, so that several projects can be tied into one – the solar panels at the same time the new roof goes up. Replacing the old water-guzzler toilet with a low-flow at the same time you replace the sink and shower. Going ahead with the better insulation when any section of wall comes out. Things like that deserve the time it takes to plan ahead.

Money Bucket is correct in their bottom line that doing things yourself doesn’t always save you money, especially if you’ve got more money than time, skills and tools. But for those of us who have dedicated ourselves to a broader, more expansive and involved way of life that highly values self-sufficiency, doing things yourself is simply another aspect of the life we’ve chosen for ourselves. And we’ve usually got way more time, skills and tools than money to spend. Plus at least one friend with enough time, skills and tools to help us out if we need it.

In an economy like this one, sometimes a friend will help just for the nightly cook-outs, fresh garden veggies and fruit, refreshing cool-down at the swimming hole after swinging a hammer and wielding a circular saw all day, and maybe some iced beer and story-telling around the fire while the fireflies rise.

Money, after all, isn’t everything.

A Timber Business That Doesn’t Cut Down Trees

timber_businessIn my very rural neighborhood with lots of small-acreage homesteads that have been going for generations, there is a lumber mill. Belongs to a neighbor, mostly just a big-timber circular saw and carriage under a sturdy roof with no walls, stacked hardwood logs he and his several sometimes/part-time workers have salvaged from acreage nearby being cleared for building and/or farming. For some years his main business was ‘machining’ those logs into the makings of log homes – from small cabins to big McMansions – for a local log home outfit that has since suffered the results of recent economic and real estate troubles.

Oh, he’ll still process logs if you really want log walls for a house or cabin you’re building, but mostly his mill has been silent lately. One of his backhoes is down, though his big front-end loader is still working on some development acreage a bit south of here. We’ve contracted him to do a big job on the steep front end of our half-mile driveway, the culverts of which were crushed by heavy railroad machinery years ago. That means that whenever we or the railroad whose access IS the front section of our driveway pay to have the thing re-graded after a season’s hard rains send most of the gravel into the road down below and carves deep canyons that’ll wreck the underbelly of any non-4WD vehicle, we can be assured that the next hard rain is just going to tear it up again. He also gives us the half-round slicings off the logs that he does mill, which are excellent wood stove fodder during the cold months.

But seeing his mill idle so much of the time these days is sad, in that none of us locals are very rich even during boom-times. And I’ve wondered what other things a person could do with a homestead sawmill that could tap into the still-strong rich-people retirement and vacation home market in this area. Son-in-Law has a nice wood shop in the next county north, as he is a master cabinetmaker and woodworking artist when he’s not teaching sculpture at the area’s Community College. Has all the routers and lathes and fancy edger-type machines that can turn hardwoods into cabinets or fine furniture or anything else that can be made of fine wood. In fact, there are quite a few fine furniture woodworkers in these mountains, as it used to be how the region earned outside money – Hickory, Drexel-Heritage, Ethan Allen… all the big names in expensive generational-quality hardwood furniture before the industry closed up shop and moved to China because Americans couldn’t afford it anymore.

When I went looking around, I found several good sites dedicated to the fairly “new” industry of salvaging ancient logs from the rivers that were used when the country was young to float harvested timber to the mills. Seems that cold water preserves this old growth timber very well, and when long-lost logs salvaged from the riverbottom mud are brought up and carefully dried, it offers some of the very finest hardwood to be had anywhere outside the virgin wilderness that cannot be logged.

For at least two hundred years the rivers in our country were used to raft logs from one place to another. The trees were cut and stripped of limbs, then tied together to float downstream to a mill. Many times the river would be running high and fast, and when these rafts hit rapids they broke apart. Many logs were lost to the rivers, where they waterlogged and sank into the mud on the bottom. The cold water preserved the logs – often harvested centuries ago from virgin old growth, and now they can be used to make fine furniture and hardwood flooring with grains that simply cannot be matched by today’s early-harvest tree farms. Even better for the few with the salvage and transportation equipment, the furniture and wood flooring that can be made from the logs commands a very high price in today’s markets.

Here in North Carolina salvage timber companies are mining rivers on the coastal plain of the Neuse and Cape Fear, but the bigger rivers just over the Continental Divide – which drain into the Tennessee and eventually the Ohio on their way to the Mississippi have so far escaped the big salvage outlets. Even three or four fine timber logs salvaged and trucked here to the mill and finishing shops would bring a pretty penny to the homesteaders who cared to take advantage of the opportunity. In the sounds and bays where timber once formed walkable surface from shore to shore, thousands of such logs wait to be mined.

Wired had a 3-page story on this new industry called Reservoir Logs that detailed the salvaging and eventual end use of these precious old growth logs.

If you’re on the shoreline or live nearby, underwater timber harvesting is remarkably quiet: no screaming chain saws or smoke-belching heavy machinery. In a steady, splashing procession, tree after tree bobs to the surface, where a small tugboat rigged with a pair of hydraulic claws grabs the trunks and tows them into something called a bunk, a partly submerged U-shaped cradle. I can see three bunks from the barge. Each stores up to 300 trees and can be raised onto a second transport barge that holds up to 1,000 logs. The Sawfish and its four-person crew will fill it in just four days.

Sure, in the highlands one could not be expected to deploy big ships and remote-operation submersibles, because the water’s not that deep and the logs not so tangled. The haul would be smaller, but the rewards just as big for the right people. For instance, consider what Desert Rose Banjo says about Recovered Old Growth Timber

Since its emergence onto the world market barely four years ago, recovered old growth timber has caused a tremendous stir in the musical instrument world. It is called submerged timber, old wood, sunken wood, water-logged wood, timeless timber, lost timber and a number of other names. Knowledgeable people are either embracing it or condemning it as “snake oil”, often both without ever seeing a piece of wood or playing an instrument using it…

Ah. The crafting of fine instruments from dulcimers to dobros to banjos to mandolins and violins has a storied history and a vibrant present in this region of True Bluegrass and traditional mountain music. Desert Rose investigated the product, and had the wood totally tested by an independent government laboratory. Its certified results documented and fully supported the claims circulating about the density, strength-to-weight ratio, modulus of elasticity and all other industry specifications. Moreover, the acoustic performance characteristics of the wood were measurably superior to land-harvest woods for making fine instruments and wind harps, wind chimes, tongue drums and vibes, etc. A single old growth salvaged hardwood log – say, maple or hickory, cherry or white oak – could make dozens of instruments, a few two-octave vibe keys, as many wind harps as any major estate could afford, and still have enough left to turn into a matched dozen fine Windsor dining chairs plus 24-foot table.

For those interested in researching this opportunity, check out some of the old growth timber flooring and veneers offered by such companies as Aqua Timber. And remember that salvaged old growth timber is environmentally friendly!