Images of owning your own pool often include relaxing in clear blue water, stretching out on an elegant lounge chair in the sun or enjoying a perfect beverage as the sun sets. However, these images never include testing the water, cleaning the pool, being swarmed by insects or struggling to keep everyone around the pool safe. To successfully enjoy a pool in your yard, you need to consider the pros and cons of the endeavor.
Pools aren't cheap. If you're going to stay put in your home, the high installation price may eventually be worth it to you, but you likely won't recoup it when you sell the house. That being said, aging in place can be easier with a pool if you can use it frequently to maintain your physical strength and range of motion. Take care to confirm that tasks, such as changing filters and adding chemicals, can be done easily and with little stooping in the future.
Make sure to think about safety before installing a pool. Young children can quickly get themselves in trouble if left alone in proximity to a pool. When reviewing your insurance protections, get things checked out to make sure that your yard includes proper protections, such as fences. According to Gomez Trial Attorneys, property owners that have pools are responsible for the safety of their premises. Do not skimp on the security around your house. You might want to put in a pool alarm that will notify you of activity in the pool when you're not outside.
Your pool can be an integral part of your landscape or a standalone feature in or on top of your yard. Your first concern should be safety, so make sure the deck around your pool has a great grip. If you're planning to have swimmers of all ages included, be sure to add steps that are easy to manage. Include sturdy handrails to help older adults and kids get safely in and out of the pool. It's easy to incorporate a concrete deck with a slate pattern that blends well with your foundation and home. Envy Exteriors suggests using travertine because it absorbs water fast and adds a beautiful touch to your yard.
If you live in an area that will allow you to keep your pool full of water all year round, it may be worth the investment to install one. For those in colder climates, an above-ground pool might be a better choice. Whenever possible, add a decorative feature that will make it easy to get to filters, pumps and chemicals.
(BPT) - History tends to repeat itself.
The saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same" rings true with architectural styles. We have smarter ways of building and the layouts have evolved with lifestyle changes, but historical and authentic design is only growing in demand.
"Post-war in the mid to late 20th century, many homes began losing that historical European influence due to the need for mass produced, affordable housing," says Deryl Patterson, an award-winning residential architect, and president and founder of Housing Design Matters, Inc. "Fast forward 30 years, and homebuyers began demanding those historical styles again - with the convenience and functionality of a new home."
"One of the features often overlooked when designing a 'new old house' is the window style," says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Windows. "Instinctively, people realize the curb appeal of a home is not quite right when the windows do not fit the architectural style, but they can't point out what's wrong. Windows are so much more than white rectangles and can really make or break the home's design."
For homebuyers who want an authentic older home look, the exterior must be designed in a specific manner, down to every little detail, especially the window architecture. Montgomery advises buyers to consider the color, grilles (decorative pattern that can simulate the look of separated glass panes), operating style and shape for historically-influenced design that complements the home's style.
To get the look, here are four examples of how history influenced window architecture in home design:
1. French Country: This is a very elegant style, focusing on vertical proportions. Windows are a defining characteristic that should emphasize this. A 3-foot by 6-foot window with a two-over-two window grille pattern is a classic combination. The single vertical mullion (a post that separates two windows) in the window further reinforces its striking proportions.
2. Modern Tuscan: Windows play a vital role in the design. Imagine them as geometric forms, creating interesting patterns across the front of the home. Consider combinations of single hung and fixed glass windows. The windows should be relatively free of grilles - perhaps a simple single vertical or cross pattern - to keep the style fresh. If the budget allows, consider upgrading to a Ply Gem MIRA Series window and using one of the bold, saturated tones, available in nearly 50 different colors.
3. Craftsman Bungalow: This style was developed from the British Arts and Crafts movement and features double-hung or casement windows. In Craftsman-style homes, the exterior trim traditionally contrasts with the window frame color, and the windows include grille patterns that create vertical proportions.
4. Prairie: A bold departure from the typical European-influenced styles, windows in modern Prairie architecture are typically tall casements in warm tones, providing the perfect complement and contrast to the horizontal lines of the style. A Prairie-style grille pattern is essential to complete the look.
To find the window style that best fits your "new old house," Patterson recommends researching the options.
"One of the best ways to find inspiration is to drive through older, historical neighborhoods. If you don't live close to such neighborhoods, old travel magazines and history books are also great resources," she says.
Websites like www.plygem.com also help provide inspiration and take the guesswork out of architectural styling and color selection through historically accurate visual renderings, window design specifications and suggested style and grille patterns.
(BPT) - In the last 10 years, televisions have become flatter, video rental stores have nearly disappeared and phones have become devices that are more like a computer than a phone.
There’s good reason that when most people think about changes in technology, they tend to think about the digital world. After all, with the news full of reports of driverless cars, it’s easy to forget that some of the most important technological advancements are happening around us in ways we may not be aware of — namely — in our homes.
From drywall to windows to insulation, home building materials have developed in a way that might seem like something from a science fiction movie. But as more homeowners are getting accustomed to living with these comforts, they wonder how they ever did without them. Here are five of the most exciting innovations.
Sound-dampening drywall – Everyone wants to go home to some peace and quiet, but in a busy household with televisions, video games and music playing out of surround-sound systems, it can be hard to find quiet. Some look to noise canceling headphones or sound-muffling curtains, but engineers at CertainTeed Gypsum have discovered that something as simple as the right drywall can do wonders in canceling out noise. Their SilentFX(R) QuickCut noise-reducing drywall puts a blanket over sound energy and significantly blocks the amount of sound carried through walls and ceilings.
A new lease on lumber – Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a material made by gluing together smaller pieces of timber to create large slabs that serve as an alternative to steel and concrete. As strong as steel, and in many ways even more fireproof, CLT allows for contractors to put up incredibly durable buildings incredibly fast. With computer-aided design programs, architects can design a building and send the exact specifications to robotic routers that cut the exact dimensions for each piece so that the entire building can be assembled like a big piece of furniture.
Quartz, an engineering miracle – While granite countertops and marble bathtubs may be at the top of everyone’s list, the cost can be prohibitive. Quartz, which is a name for stone that has been engineered by grinding quartz with resins, polymers and coloring, has emerged as a substitute that outperforms granite and marble, for a fraction of a price. Extremely durable and virtually maintenance free, modern engineered quartz comes in a variety of colors and patterns that mimic the erratic design prized in natural stone.
Air-quality control – People spend a lot of time and money ensuring their home has good air flow. However, most people aren’t aware of the role the right drywall can play in ensuring clean, breathable air. Common household products such as carpet, perfume, hairspray, candles, flooring and more actually give off formaldehyde that affects the quality of the air. As part of the new “smart” generation of drywall, AirRenew(R) with M2Tech(R) technology is a drywall that is not only moisture and mold resistant, but actively removes formaldehyde from the air and converts it into safe inert compounds, contributing to a healthier home environment.
Bio concrete – Though it's the world’s most common building material, concrete ages quickly. Changes in temperature, the shifting of the earth, weather and chemicals all contribute to the inevitable cracks and deterioration. Several years ago, scientists in the Netherlands developed a kind of concrete that can repair itself by integrating limestone-creating bacteria that “heal” cracks. This process is similar to the way bones heal themselves when broken. The result for home builders is stronger foundations, less seasonal repair and more overall value.
While people may not line up outside a store to get these materials the way they do with the newest phone release, these technologies will have positive effects on people’s daily lives. So if you’re curious about what innovative drywall solutions are available today, visit CertainTeed.com/Silent-FX and CertainTeed.com/CleanTheAir.
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