Friday, April 25, 2008

Easy Butterfly Gardening: Three Tips for Success

Butterfly gardens require several things to be successful: plants, water, and the right gardening attitude.

We can easily create lists of plants that butterflies love. Consider planting Asters, Joe-Pye weed, Black-eyed Susans, Lantana, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Liatris, Pentas, Coreopsis and Purple Coneflowers. These are gorgeous plants and butterflies will flock to them in large numbers.

Gardeners can easily provide water by soaking the ground in an area next to favourite plants or by having small dishes/birdbaths with water in the garden. By providing water, you'll attract butterflies. If you have a small pond, lay a stick on the edge so one end is in the water and one end on the shore. This will provide an easy entranceway for both butterflies and frogs. It also looks more realistic than bare edged ponds.

And finally, we need to create a gardening attitude that says that in order to get those gorgeous butterflies, we need to feed the caterpillars that hatch out to be butterflies. It is OK to plant specific plants these immature insects require and it is OK if they chew them up. You have to have food in your garden for all phases of this creature if you want to attract them. The tip is to plant the following plants at the back of the garden so you wont' see the damage. Plant Wild Asters, Clover, Hollyhocks, Lupines, Mallows, Marigolds, Milkweed, Nettles and Thistles, Parsley, Passionflower (in baskets) Plantain, Snapdragons, Sorrel, Turtlehead and Violets.

About The Author
Doug Green, award winning garden author of 7 books, answers gardening questions in his free newsletter at

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Central Vacuum Cleaners - The Easiest Way To Keep Your Whole House Cleaner

One of the biggest challenges anyone with a home faces is the constant lugging the cleaning supplies and vacuum cleaner around the house. This is especially true with a 2 story home. The answer however is found in quality central vacuum cleaner systems.

A central vacuum cleaner typically has a much larger motor and suction capability and larger holding capacity. These units are installed outside or in a non obtrusive area inside your home with hose attachment points installed in various places of your home. So when you want to vacuum the upstairs bedrooms, it's a simple matter to go to the vacuum connection point, attach the hose and you're ready to go. These are also not just vacuum however. Most central vacuum cleaning systems feature powered tools that clean deeply and quickly.

The question then comes up " what is the best central vacuum system" available? The answer, as with most everything is that it depends. Central vacuum systems are available in many designs. Here are a few things to consider

1. Is room to install the unit an issue? Then a compact sized footprint is important to consider.

2. Do you want to do more than just vacuum the carpet and flooring? How about cleaning and vacuuming your mattresses? It can help keep dust under control, a major trigger for allergy and asthma sufferers. If cleaning the dust from curtains, shutters and even lampshades is important, be sure to check out the full line of attachments available.

3. Next is the type of vacuum desires. Central vacuums now are available in a variety of designs including cyclonic units, filtered and bag types.

4. Installation, although not difficult may be an issue with homes already built. You would want a unit with parts designed for quick and easy installation in your home.

So although a central vacuum cleaner may be more effort to get installed and up and running, the benefits cannot be ignored. Remember central vacuum cleaning systems can clean a lot more than the carpet, are easier and more convenient to use, are much quieter to operate and do a good job for those with allergies.

We have several interesting articles on tips and suggestions about selecting a central vacuum system, The benefits of convienience, speed and vacuuming quality are just some of the many benefits of a central vacuum cleaner system. These units come in a wide variety of types with one to fit every size and budget.

About The Author

Abigail Franks writes on a variety of subjects which include family, travel, health, and education. For More information on Vacuum Cleaners visit the site at

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Buying Displayed Furniture

Have you ever just had to have a certain piece of furniture right then – you won't leave the store without it? If you have ever had such an experience, you have probably been offered the displayed floor model. If you have not had a similar experience, be aware of these issues that might arise when buying a demo, displayed piece of furniture.

Most stores can order furniture for you unless the particular model you want is being discontinued. Or, unless you absolutely, positively plan to walk out of the store with the sofa, recliner, or other piece of furniture that very day.

If you find yourself in either of the above situations, you should be aware of the pros and cons of buying a demo or displayed piece of furniture.

The biggest pro, obviously, is being able to have the instant gratification of immediate ownership. If really, really want a piece of furniture that is on display, try to hold your enthusiasm for the piece until you can talk with the sales person. Ask if there is a discount for buying the floor model. That would be a second pro. If a commissioned sales person can see how desperate you are to own that piece of furniture, he or she might be more likely to hold you to the original price. The best way to proceed is to ask the sales person what kind of price he can give you for that piece. Then, ask what price he can give you on the floor model. With any luck, the prices will show a decrease each time you ask!

If there is no discount for buying the floor model, proceed with caution. Don't let your urge for immediate ownership of the furniture to keep you from getting the best deal. Back away and think about it. Can you wait another two weeks for a brand new piece of furniture to be shipped to your house? If the answer is no, go back and look at the furniture. Prepare to give it a good inspection.

If it is a sofa or chair, chances are that many of people have tried it out by sitting in it. Look at the seat. Is it worn or showing any signs of wear? Check out the back. Sometimes the natural oils from hair or the back side of necks can rub off on furniture cushions. Look for oily spots on the cushions.

Take a look at the arms. Are they worn? Pay special attention to the cording on the arms and cushions. As people get up or lean back to get comfortable, the cording gets extra friction against it and shows signs of wearing sooner.

Next, check the seams. Are any of the seams pulling apart? This might happen if a number of people have tried out the furniture. As people sit on the cushions, the seams tend to pull. They generally go back in place when the person gets up, but continued use could cause seams to separate permanently.

If you spot any signs of wear, point them out to the sales person. If he still won't come down off the price, walk on by. Place your order and wait for a perfect model to arrive just for you!

About The Author
Bob Benson is the founder of Furniture online. You can check out our website at

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Echinacea or Coneflower - the best thing in your bed

There are few things more exciting for gardeners at this time of year than dreaming of new plants. I'll focus on a few of the better plants in the next few weeks but let's start with the best example of new breeding.

Our old North American native friend Echinacea or purple coneflower is really letting loose this coming spring. The work of several major plant-breeding houses is coming to the market and while the plants will be expensive, they are wonderful. The double flowering 'Razzmatazz' with its double pink flowers are quite hardy as well as gorgeous. It will be complemented by 'Doppelganger' a coneflower that puts one blossom right on top of the first, resembling an apartment of flowers rather than a single bloom. Note that this double-decker flower usually comes into its own in the second year. This one has caught the imagination of the nursery trade almost as much as 'Sparkler' a variegated leaf coneflower. The variegation in 'Sparkler' is flecked throughout the leaf while the variegation in the equally new 'Prairie Frost' is a broad band of cream around each leaf.

I'm also looking forward to having 'Fragrant Angel' in my garden as its large white blooms are extremely fragrant. Add the 'Rocky Top Hybrids' to this list of coneflowers (mauve flowers and compact growth) and you have an entire menu of new Echinacea to find this coming summer. Two dwarf plants 'Kim's Mophead' and 'Kim's Knee High' will find themselves in my clay pots along with the 'Rocky Top Hybrids'.

Echinacea 'Big Sky Sunrise' has soft lemon-yellow blooms and is a knock out plant in my garden while its cousin 'Big Sky Sunset' has wide, very bright orange petals. These are both plants to watch for and pay the price. Hardy in my zone 4 garden.

Plant all these in full sun in well-drained soils and you'll enjoy them for years. They're trouble free and easy to grow plants!

About The Author
Doug Green, award winning garden author with 7 books published, answers gardening questions in his free newsletter at

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Vacuum Cleaner – An Essential Home Appliance

A vacuum cleaner is an essential piece of equipment. It would be very difficult to cope without one. People prefer domestic vacuum cleaners for carpeted floors in their homes.

The vacuum cleaner is an ingenious device. It has an air pump that creates a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt. It collects the dirt by a filtering system or a cyclone for later disposal.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners:

On the basis of their configurations, there are various types of vacuum cleaners. The following are some well-known vacuum cleaners.

Bagless Vacuum: A bagless vacuum, as the name suggests, doesn't have a bag. It collects the dust in a compartment which is easily emptied. This saves people from the headache of dealing with messy vacuum cleaner bags.

Upright Vacuum Cleaner: An upright vacuum has the pump mounted directly above the suction intake, with the bag mounted on the handle that rises to about waist height. The upright vacuum designs usually employ mechanical beaters, often rotating brushes, to help unsettle dust to be vacuumed up. A belt attached to the vacuum motor drives these beaters.

Canister Vacuum Cleaner: A canister vacuum has the motor and bag in a separate canister (cylinder) unit (usually mounted on wheels) connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. Although upright units have been tested as more effective (mainly because of the beaters), the lighter, more maneuverable heads of canister models are popular. Some canister vacuums in the market have power heads that contain the same sort of mechanical beaters as in upright units, although such beaters are driven by a separate electric motor.

Backpack Vacuum: A Backpack vacuum is a major tool for commercial cleaning. It allows the user to move rapidly about a large area. It's essentially a canister vacuum cleaner, except that straps are used to carry the canister unit on the user's back.

Built-in or central vacuum cleaner: A built-in vacuum or central vacuum cleaner has the suction motor and bag based in a central location in the building, and provides vacuum inlets at strategic places throughout the building. Only the hose and pickup head need to be carried from room to room; and the hose is commonly 8 m (25 ft) long, allowing a large range of movement without changing vacuum inlets. A plastic piping connects the vacuum outlets to the central unit. The vacuum head may either be un-powered or have beaters operated by an electric motor or air-driven motor. The dirt bag in a central vacuum system is usually so large that emptying or changing needs to be done less often, perhaps once per year.

Robotic vacuum cleaner: A robotic vacuum moves around the room, cleaning automatically. A battery powers a robotic vacuum.

Small hand-held vacuum cleaner: A small hand-held vacuum is either battery-operated or electric. It is popular for cleaning up smaller spills.

Wet vacs or wet/dry vacuums: Wet vacs or wet/dry vacuums can be used to clean up liquid spills.

Vacuums are very beneficial tools against dust particles. They are particularly helpful for people suffering from various allergies due to dirt. Vacuum buyers should go through some reviews before buying, to ensure they choose a vacuum that will best suit their needs.

About The Author
Paul MacIver writes articles on Home Appliances. Visit or for further detailed info on vacuums, reviews, and the latest models available. You may freely reprint this article as long as nothing is changed, bio is included with all links intact.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carpet Tiles Are Easy To Install In Kitchens, and Children’s Bedrooms

Carpet tiles have a great much advantage. They combine the warmth and style of a carpet with the longwearing, washable qualities of a tiled floor. This makes them practical and reasonably inexpensive option for any of the well-trafficked and accident-prone areas of your home.

Well known for their heavy-duty, durable qualities, carpet tiles are very easy to install as well as to replace, when necessary. They are available in a relatively limited range of colors, patterns, and sizes, and are constructed with either a cord or a pile finish. The tiles are square and made from polypropylene fibers bonded onto asphalt backing.

They are light to work with and easy to cut, so you need no special tools or experience to fit them. The only tile which require sticking down are the tile around the edge of the room and the very first one you lay. Use double-sided tape to stop them from moving and to anchor the rest of the flooring; lay the remainder loose, without using tacks or adhesive.

Regular vacuuming picks up everyday dust and dirt. If there is a particularly stubborn spill or stain on an individual tile, lift it up to rinse it under the faucet. Remember to dry it well before putting it back. If a single carpet tile gets worn out or damaged, simply replace it, without the hassle of disturbing the surrounding pieces.

Each floor tile has an arrow on the back to show the direction of the pile. For a smooth look, lay all the tiles with the arrows pointing in the same direction. For a check board effect, lay alternate tile with the arrows pointing at right angles to each other. When laying carpet tiles it is important to start with a smooth, flat floor surface.

About The Author
Roger King has install wall to wall carpeting for several years, and have done several homes. Since then he's been helping people find and review the best floor selection, to meet their needs. Visit his Web site to learn more about this service:

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Commercial Furniture for Any Property Owner

Whether furnishing a hotel, restaurant, resort, or apartments, building owners need an inexpensive and hassle free way to furnish property. Commercial furniture is available to suit any type of property ranging from casual food service, to luxury resort suites. Commercial furniture is also available to meet any size or style of property, as well as meet any range of budgets.

Food service, to luxury resort. Many different types of property have many different furnishing needs. Several factors include what type of property, how much area needs to be furnished, and also it depends on what the property owner wants for furniture. A full service hotel needs a variety of furniture, ranging from upholstered furniture for rooms, food service furniture for restaurants, as well as patio furniture. An apartment building may only need to be furnished with indoor furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and case goods. In some cases, apartment owners will furnish patios and pools if available.

Ordering in quantity, Volume discounts. As seen, a large number of different commercial patio furniture types may be needed to furnish any property. To make large orders economically feasible, commercial furniture is available at volume discounts just for such property owners. When purchased in large volumes, commercial furniture is available for a fraction of the price of retail furniture. The larger the property and the more that needs to be furnished, the greater the discount.

Less expensive options. Whether the budget is small or very high end, there is something to suit all property owners. If the resort is a luxury themed resort, commercial furniture can be custom made to coordinate. Custom made commercial furniture is a great way to enhance the elegance of a resort. For smaller budgets, quality commercial furniture is available. There is a great variety of commercial patio furniture, upholstered furniture, and case goods at the lower end that will not break the budget.

Purchasing commercial furniture does not have to be painful. By reviewing a few simple tips and doing a little shopping around, any property owner can find the perfect commercial furniture collection.

About The Author
This article was written by Michael Hargrove for PatioStuff is a full service provider of commercial patio furniture and accessories for hotels, restaurants, condos, and more. Visit the site for a full selection of discounted commercial furniture at

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Let's Plant Potatoes in the Garden

Potatoes, taters, them what you will, potatoes are a staple in the diet of many people all over the planet. Potatoes are a nutritious, versatile vegetable, and they're incredibly easy to grow. But before you run out to the garden with your shovel and hoe, there are a few things you should know about planting potatoes.

You may have heard old timers say that potatoes should always be planted on Good Friday. This old wives' tale is absolutely absurd. Good Friday does not fall on the same calendar date each year and can fall anywhere from early March to mid April. If folks in New England or the upper Midwest tried to plant potatoes on Good Friday, many years they'd be digging through rock-hard soil that was still frozen solid.

Do not plant potatoes too early, while the ground is still icy. If the ground is too cold and wet, the seed potatoes will delay sprouting until the growing conditions are more favorable. This is usually in early March to late April, depending on the climate. Potatoes do tolerate cool soil and a light frost, but not much growth will take place until the soil warms up a bit.

You won't find potato seedlings or packets of potato seeds for sale at your local garden center. Instead, potatoes are grown from seed potatoes. A seed potato is nothing more than an ordinary potato, with at least one "eye".

Back in the days before supermarkets, when gardens supplied most of the food put on the table, the last of the potatoes in the storage bin come spring were used for seed potatoes.

Wise gardeners set aside their blemish-free, healthiest potatoes for seed. Seed potatoes can be planted whole, or they may be cut into pieces with at least one eye per piece. Seed potatoes with more eyes will grow to produce a larger quantity of potatoes but the potatoes will generally be smaller. Seed potatoes with fewer eyes will produce fewer potatoes, but those potatoes will tend to be larger.

If you choose to cut your seed potatoes into smaller pieces, divide them a day prior to planting. This allows the cuts to heal over slightly, which helps to prevent soil-borne diseases from infecting your potato crop. Always choose seed potatoes that are free from blemishes.

Plant your whole or cut seed potatoes two to three inches deep in good, rich soil. Rows of potatoes should be about three feet apart and the potatoes within the row should be planted twelve inches apart. If your potato crop has suffered from scab in the past, toss a small handful of dry pine needles in the holes beneath your seed potatoes. Along with moving your potatoes to a different section of the garden each year, this will help prevent further scab infection. Potato scab appears as rough patches on the skin of the potatoes.

Depending on the warmth of the soil, potato plants will begin to emerge from the soil anywhere from one to three weeks after planting. When the plants are about a foot tall, use your hoe to mound six to eight inches of soil continuously along the entire row of plants. This is called hilling. Hilling ensures that the potatoes will grow deeply under the soil, away from sunlight which would cause them to become green. Potatoes that suffer from greening will be bitter and the inedible green parts must be discarded.

Keep the potato plants evenly watered while they are growing. A dry period followed by a rainy spell will cause some potato varieties to develop a hollow core. Yukon Gold potatoes seem to be especially prone to this problem.

Another potential problem with potatoes is the Colorado potato beetle. The larvae and adult beetles will feed on the potato foliage, and a heavy infestation can damage the foliage enough to reduce your harvest considerably. Watch for the beetle's yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves and crush the clusters whenever you see them. Larvae are a deep orange color with a row of black spots on both sides, while the adults are a paler orange with black stripes on the body and black spots on the head. The larvae and adults can be picked off the leaves and crushed if there are only a few. An infestation can also be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Bt is an organic control that is very safe to use. Look for Bt that is specifically for potato beetles. It is sold in many garden catalogs and garden centers.

Once your potato plants have bloomed, you can begin to harvest small "new" potatoes. Depending on the variety of potatoes you're growing, this is about eight weeks after planting. In the fall, after the foliage has begun to dry and die back, the entire crop can be dug. Before storing them in a cool, dry and dark place, make sure the surface of your freshly dug spuds has dried a bit. Spread them out in a dry spot out of direct sun, such as a garage or shed, for a day or two before putting them in storage.

Freshly dug, crisp potatoes taste better than any you'll buy at a grocery store. Grow some yourself and discover how easy and fun it is to produce a staple crop of delicious potatoes for your family.

About The Author
Kathy Anderson has been an avid gardener for many years and has grown tomatoes by the acre, along with many other vegetables, flowers and landscape plants. Kathy recommends as a great place to learn more about gardening. Article provided by If you use this article the above links must be active.
You are welcome to use this article on your website or in your newsletter as long as you reprint it as is, including the contact information at the end. Website URLs must be active links. You are welcome to use this article with an affiliate link,

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Monday, April 07, 2008

The Professional’s Secret To Window Covering Ideas

A window covering idea is not just as easy as hanging some attractive curtains. The window covering should be designed so that the proportions balance the room. If an element in the design is not the right size it will throw the entire effect of the window treatment off. In order to plan a balanced window covering idea there are a few basic principles that relate with space that you have to understand. The principles will include balance, line, proportion, scale, rhythm and harmony. Your proportions and scale in the window covering work hand in hand. The scale is how the size of all the other things in the room and the proportion is the relationship of the objects and parts to each other based on size. For example your window size and how proportional it is to the size of your room. A good over all scale will be achieved if all the window fixtures are proportioned right and relative to one another as well as to the wholes rooms theme. Sometimes a window treatment will be too large or maybe too small for the location. Careful planning of your window covering idea and a deliberate effort will help this and you will achieve an overall custom window covering that is well proportioned and will complete the room's window covering design effect.

Color, Pattern, Texture, window covering ideas

To coordinate your window covering and the rest of the theme and elements of the room, you must consider the texture, pattern and color and how to best use them so that your window treatment will blend in or maybe stand out in the background. The choice of colors and patterns along with textures can alter the way you are covering the manufactures window by having them appear smaller or larger depending with the scale of your design and the hues intensity. Texture is the subset of the elements and will add complexity by use of fabrics with coarse, matte, glossy or smooth weaves.

How to choose window covering colors

Window treatments that are designed to blend into the room will give you a serene ambiance. To blend and stay low key choose colors and fabric that match the walls exactly. By choosing cool and warm colors you can crate the way a window treatment will be perceived. Warm colors with sunny hues will seem to be closer together and will give the room an intimate flavoring. The cool tones along with neutral colors will make your room recede and will help open up a smaller room. If you use a less intense color variation you will reduce the affect that it will have to advance or recede your room.

How to choose window covering patterns

To enhance your window covering, patterned fabric is the easiest and most popular way to do this because patterns are a major vehicle for color. Using the rules for color selection will effectively make the field smaller when you select a pattern or a few complements of patterns. A window covering pattern with a large scale and using a warm color, will make it appear as though the pattern is coming towards you. This may create a stimulating and lively window treatment. A large space may feel cozier. If you have a small space to work with be careful in using a large scale pattern or it may over power the room. A small scale window pattern will make things appear to recede. For instance it will make a small room appear larger. But in a large room the small pattern may be bland. If you are going to use a small window covering pattern in a large room, pick the one that has some vibrant colors. Following some of these tips, you will have a custom window covering that looks like it was designed by a professional.

About The Author
Daryl Plaza is the owner of a web site that can help you discover new and amazing window treatment ideas. Our Resources and Reviews will help you with your window covering plans.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Finding Packing Boxes For Your Move

It is time to move. You are ready to go but face a big problem. Where can you get enough boxes to pack all of your belongings? You could always buy the necessary boxes but that could cost a small fortune. No you need free boxes. but where can you find that many free boxes?

The best source for boxes is your family, friends and neighbors. Well ahead of your move you should ask them if they have any boxes or if they would save you any that they find. Do not wait to the last minute. If you do you will probably find that your friends just threw away 10 good boxes. If you have enough friends, you may not need to search any further. If you are still a few boxes shy, you should move on to the next source.

The next best place to look is neighborhood stores. Go to some of the stores taht you frequent on a regular basis. Ask the guy at the donut shop or the convenience store if they have any extra boxes. These places get boxes all the time and usually just end up recycling them or throwing them away. They would be more than glad to give you a few of them. Especially if you are a customer. Hopefully you have enough boxes by now. If not you have one last resort.

Its now time to check local dumpsters. Drive behind some large stores and look for boxes hanging out of dumpsters or resting beside them. make sure that they are actually being thrown away before you grab them. Also be sure to check them for bugs, old food, etc before you put them into your car. This isn't the best source for boxes but you do what you have to do.

Hopefully you now have plenty of boxes for your move. You still might have to buy a few specialty boxes for wardrobes, etc but at least the bulk of your boxes will have been free.

About The Author
James Carl writes for a site on Get help fing a mover and information on moving your home and family.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Choosing Furniture For Your New Home

Moving into your first home, or climbing up the property ladder is always exciting. One of the best parts of having more space is deciding on how you're going to use each room in the house, and what furniture you need to buy.

In today's world of home décor magazines, TV shows and internet marketing, home owners are faced with an overwhelming choice. Whether you're just buying a table or you need to furnish your whole house, it can be difficult to know where to start.

There are several things you need to consider before you commit to buying. Furniture is expensive and needs to last a reasonable amount of time, so make sure you choose what's right for you ad your lifestyle. The things you need to think about might include:

Cost – buying a house is expensive, so you may only have a limited budget left for furniture.

Use – will you be using this furniture often, or is it mostly for display purposes? Will you be opening and shutting the doors every day, or using the table for every meal?

Children and pets – will you mind if your furniture gets damaged, or will you be able to protect it if you need to?

Size – will you be able to get the furniture through your door, and will it look right in your room? Pieces that look great in large showrooms are often too big for much smaller rooms.

Durability – do you want this piece of furniture to last for ever? How susceptible is the wood to chips, scratches or marks?

Care – will your furniture require a lot of attention to keep it looking good?

Take all these considerations into account before you decide what type of furniture you want in your house. Once you are happy with your decisions, make the time to look around – on the internet, in showrooms and in magazines - to find the furniture that's right for you.

About The Author
Napton Teaks specialises in teak and rosewood furniture for your home. Visit our website now by clicking on

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Tool Trends: Laser Levels

You may have heard of laser levels and wondered how much of an improvement they are over traditional hand sighting levels and if you are one of the people whose life could be made easier by purchasing one. Here are some basic facts to get you started.

While there are several types of laser levels, the basic idea is that the tool emits a laser line that is straight and level, with a few advantages over hand sighting levels. One advantage is the length of the line. The line projected by laser levels can reach 15-60 feet or more, whereas most levels that the casual user will have on hand will be six feet long at the most. That means you would normally have to repeatedly shift the level along the wall and make more markings to maintain a continuous line. In addition, that line has to be marked, and presumably, that means at some point it will probably need to be erased, painted over, or otherwise removed. Another advantage is that some models adhere to vertical surfaces, such as walls, so you can attach them and move on with your project with your hands free. For the average weekend do-it-yourselfer, these can be useful with projects like hanging pictures or shelves. If you're a little more ambitious, you may want a laser level that emits two lines, perpendicular to one another. These are really handy for jobs like laying tile and installing cabinets.

What are the downsides to a laser level? For one thing, they run on batteries, so they can run out of power at inopportune times. Also, laser beams can be very harmful to your vision – you should never look directly into one – so their strength is regulated. Laser levels use a low strength laser beam. What that means when you are working with a laser level is that they may be difficult to see and are not usually able to be used outdoors. You can purchase laser glasses that help to filter out other light besides your laser beam, but you will also need to weigh that additional cost if it is an option you choose. Laser glasses will allow you to see your laser line more clearly in bright light and over longer distances.

From a cost perspective, laser levels can be quite cost effective and actually cost about the same as high quality hand sighting levels.

About The Author
Cathy Peterson writes about, and

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

5 Great Ideas For Fans Of Victorian Interiors!

If you've found that Victorian interiors are your cup of tea, and you would enjoy making over your room(s) in this style, there are ways you can make it happen without breaking the bank!

What you'll have to do is some extra browsing to find the right deals, as well as a little creative thinking.

To start with, you should examine pictures of various Victorian interiors. Also check out other items and decorations that were popular during the time period that occurred in 19th century England.

The images you gather will give you insights into what to look for while you are surfing the Web for deals online, or in thrift or consignment stores.

Following are some ideas of how you can transform your room(s) with this elaborate style and save some cash at the same time:

Idea 1 - Even if you aren't able to afford the heavy draperies that are often found in Victorian interiors, you can still add a charming touch by using a white simple roller shade to cover the window for privacy. Then use curtains made of lace.

All you need to do is purchase the desired color of lace you would like from a fabric store, as well as curtain rod, and find simple instructions on how you can make curtains.

Idea 2 - Once you have measured your space you can then proceed with painting the room to capture the perfect Victorian interiors look. The beauty of painting your walls is that it is not costly, and the color of the walls is one of the most important parts of Victorian interiors, because it is the colors which capture the mood of the room.

Idea 3 - You should carefully examine the rooms that you plan on fashioning with Victorian interiors, Before you begin your transformation. The space will matter, because it will tell you how much you will be able to put in the room without it being too cramped, or too empty.

Idea 4 - When you are looking for Victorian interiors accessories to decorate the room, you can always create pillows with all the trimmings, add paintings of maidens or flowers in wood frames, or paint the frame gold.

Colors you will want to choose include dark shades of green, pink, and purple, while other specific color tones are burgundy, ruby and mauve. Select two or three different colors and make them the focus of your room.

Other great accessories include dried flowers in a crystal or porcelain vase, porcelain dolls, and candles in gold or crystal candle holders. In addition, use doilies to place under decorations that are on tables.

Idea 5 - As far as furniture goes, the most affordable type that goes with the authenticity of your Victorian interiors would be wicker. If you can't afford new furniture, you can always cover tables with skirt covers made of rich or embroidered fabrics such as brocades and velvet.

You can then add lace trimmings to the skirt to dress it up.

It really isn't difficult to work with any budget, even when designing Victorian interiors. Keep your eyes open for deals, and don't be afraid to purchase items at thrift and consignment stores, because it is often there where you will find a variety of the authentic looking items you need to create the look.

Have fun decorating, and let your creativity and imagination guide you success.

About The Author
Michael Holland is the creator of and His web sites offers lots of FREE decorating tips and ideas for decorating your home.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Burglar Alarm Basics

It all started way back before any of us were born, in 1858. One man, by the name of Edwin Holmes invented and installed the world's first burglar alarm. This invention occurred in a tiny factory within Boston, Massachusetts. This burglar alarm was a very simple machine; a spring was released upon the opening of a window or door, which would then close an electrical circuit.

As the years progressed, burglar alarms progressed right along with them. Today, there are many different types of burglar alarms that not only signify an intrusion, but they can also alert the proper authorities of a fire, natural disaster, or even if someone has fallen or become ill. It all depends on the type of burglar alarm you have installed into your home.

So, what types of burglar alarms are there?

Well, there are do it yourself burglar alarm installation kits or you can have the alarm installed by a professional alarm company such as ADT or other like company. There are burglar alarms that fit on your walls and doors to alert any nearby neighbors or center of an intrusion or silent alarms that only alert the proper center or authorities of a situation. Some burglar alarms come with infra-red sensors, which activates an alarm when the sensor is crossed. You can even get motion detectors or sound detectors, of course each of these will require some consideration if you have pets.

With pets, they can inadvertently set off the alarm through their regular movement. However, some burglar alarms can be set to be tolerant of your pets movements. Again, it simply depends upon the type of burglar alarm you install within your home. It is advisable to talk with the alarm dealer or manufacturer about all the options when it comes to your burglar alarm.

What should I look for when buying a burglar alarm?

The first thing you should look for, is a creditable and reputable company to buy the burglar alarm from. This is important because you want a company you can trust, check all the representatives, their identification, and the addresses of the company.

If the company is require to intermittently check the equipment, verify who will perform the inspections and their credentials as well.

Furthermore, if you are required by your insurance company to have a burglar alarm, find out whom the insurance company recommends and whom they accept as viable alarm companies. Most insurers will only accept an installed that has been NACOSS approved.

You should also make sure that your local police department accepts the burglar alarm. The company should provide you with documentation of the rules governed by the police in your area.

Before making a decision, you should ask for and receive quotes from no less than three alarm companies, to compare benefits, features, and costs.

You will also want to determine if the company requires any maintenance on your part, or any additional fees that may be required.

Your best bet is to make sure you do all of your homework and choose a company that will work well to suit your needs.

About The Author
Mario Chompass writes tips and advice on home alarms and how to increase your house and personal security issues, Mario latest work has been to provide tips and advice on using alarm systems at http://

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Window Décor Q&A: How Do I Balance Privacy And Sunlight?

Q: Our family room has a large bay window that provides wonderful sunlight, but, unfortunately, it faces the street and we live on a court. I love the benefits of sunlight, but I'm not comfortable with my neighbors seeing into my home for hours on end so my drapes are usually blocking out all that great sunlight. What can I do to let the sunshine in without giving up my privacy?

A: Letting in sunlight while preserving privacy is one of the industry's biggest challenges. For windows with an open view to the outside or inside, a top-down/bottom-up shade is the best option available. Cellular pleated or Pleated shades allow you to lower the shade from the top. This lets light in while keeping the bottom part of the window covered ensuring privacy. Other options like horizontal wood or aluminum blinds can offer you complete privacy control and style options.

For more home décor and window covering ideas, visit a Blinds To Go superstore (1-800-blinds-7 for store locations) or its Web site at

About The Author
News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.
News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items. Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services. The service supplies access to the national media for marketers in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made available to every Canadian media organization including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit most often. Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.

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