Log Cabin Kit Homes – How To Find Log Cabin Building Kits

Log cabin kit homes – what are they? Log cabin building kits are logs that have been cut, milled, dried and shaped into ‘packages’ called log cabin kit homes. These cabin kits can be as simple as the logs and fasteners only, or the kits can include nearly all of the exterior components of the cabin. The other main kind of log cabin home would be a ‘handcrafted home’, one where the logs are shaped by hand using special tools.

The major advantages of log cabin building kits are generally lower costs, simplified estimating and construction methods and faster construction of the cabin home. Created in the controlled environment of the manufacturer, the logs will be more uniform in shape than handcrafted logs.

The logs can be trucked in and assembled on your building site relatively quickly by knowledgable builders. Log cabin kit homes can be purchased in nearly complete exterior systems that include the logs, fasteners, roof system, windows and doors, porches and more.

The logs are available in a variety of shapes – round, square, rectangular, beveled and ‘D-shaped’ logs are common examples. Milled logs will have the outer sapwood planed off before the logs are shaped. Most log cabin kit homes manufacturers cut the logs in such a way as to create a tongue or groove so each log will interlock with the log above and below it in the wall. This interlocking system will likely be enhanced by the use of other materials that will help keep air and water from penetrating the log wall.

How do you find log cabin building kits that may be right for you?

The fastest way is to go online and visit various log cabin kit homes manufacturers websites. You’ll want to be looking for the log cabin building kits that have an appearance you enjoy. See what you prefer – large diameter versus smaller diameter logs, color of the log wood, shapes of logs available and how the corner treatment looks to you.

As you find cabin kits you like, see how long the company has been in business. You’ll want to know they have been around a number of years which is one important factor to consider. Review the kit choices – what is included, what is not included. See if you can narrow your choices down to 3-4 companies that you may be most interested in.

At this point, you would be ready to visit the companies and talk with their staff. How do you find them – are they pleasant, courteous, really interested in answering your questions and even offer suggestions for your situation? Or are they high-pressure and inflexible? If they cannot provide something you want, are they truthful and up-front that they cannot do it that way?

You’ll want to pay attention to your intuition and gut feel. Maybe you’ll further narrow the list to, say, two manufacturers. Then you can contact 2-3 log cabin home builders with experience in building with these manufacturer’s logs and fastener systems. Obtain estimates for building your log cabin kit home on your property.

You can also learn a lot about log cabin kit homes by viewing cabin plans that have been successfully built somewhere. Every plan that you see can give you design ideas that you had not thought of. You can make a scrapbook of the things you may want in your log home design. Organize a project notebook where you’ll keep the builder estimates, schedules and so on.

Creating the log cabin building kit home design that will provide you much enjoyment can be a lot of effort. However, it’s your personal involvement, enthusiasm and persistence that will help ensure that your project becomes the log cabin building kit home that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.

Copyright 2006 InfoSearch Publishing

A Leap In To The Unknown?

If you are thinking of purchasing your first home, and taking your first step onto the property ladder, your head will be spinning with the amount of advice you will come across for first time buyers.

Everybody purchasing a house before you has experienced the same things, so you can take some comfort in that. If you know someone who has recently purchased a house, whether it be for the first time or not, it can be an idea to get some advice in simple terms from them.

Unless you are a person with substantial means, you will likely be looking to purchase your house using a mortgage. Often first time buyers do not have any money saved which they could use as a down payment, or deposit. This means that they will be borrowing 100% of the value of the home, and obviously repayments are going to be higher. If possible, it is always better to purchase a house using the biggest down payment you can afford, thus reducing your monthly repayments.

A 20% down payment is the threshold at which you’re exempt from private mortgage insurance, which can add a few hundred non-tax-deductible dollars to your monthly payment.

If you cannot afford a deposit or down payment you must still find the money for the closing costs of buying your home, if you estimate about 2% ? 3% of the purchase price then that?s a good ball park figure.

There are many different mortgages available on the market, and some are specifically for first time buyers. With so many lenders and so many different types of mortgage, going for one specifically for first time buyers is not always beneficial, so bear that in mind when you are researching.

One last thing, and most importantly is that if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage, or any other loans secured on it, you are at risk of losing it, so don?t overstretch yourself, work out how much you can comfortably afford each month and don?t go above that. That is one thing you must be very strict on.

title:The Ultimate Strategy for Decorating a Child’s Room!

author:Michael Holland
source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_280.shtml
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:12
category:home_improvement
article:

When it comes to decorating a child’s room, your approach should be different from decorating an adult bedroom. That’s because a child’s bedroom should reflect his or her personality and not yours.
For kids, their bedroom is where they play games, read, listen to music, wrestle, display or hide prized possessions, day-dream, or just go to be alone sometimes. So try these eight strategies to help create a space that will make you both happy:
1. Talk to your child. Find out what activities and fantasies he or she enjoys; what their favorite color is; and what’s unique about their personality that a theme could be built around. Then work their interests into a design that will make them feel comfortable, happy, and safe.
2. Allow your child to help. Let them have a say about colors, fabrics, and how they want to display their collectibles. The design should be flexible enough to accommodate their changing tastes, needs, and interests.
3. Make the room multi-functional. Since children use their room for many activities besides sleeping, it should have several different zones.
These could include a play area; a reading area; a space to play with friends that’s equipped with a radio, CD player, and a TV/VCR; a display area with a wall or corkboard for favorite photos and artwork; and finally, a place for shelving to display collectibles, trophies, and other personal items.
4. Make storage a priority. Containing clutter will be one of your greatest challenges. Try shelving, large decorative wicker baskets, plastic see-through containers, and closets that contain plenty of shelving and racks.
5. Keep window treatments simple. Avoid long draperies. Shades, blinds, and shorter curtains are safer choices. The fabric should be versatile, and patterns should be repeated in other items in the room, such as in pillows, quilts, lampshades, bed ruffles, etc.
6. Choose the right lighting. A child?s room should include both task lighting for homework and reading, and soothing light for quieter times. A nightlight is also important if your child is not comfortable in the dark, and for safety reasons, so they can find their way to the bathroom at night.
7. Use wallpaper or paint to add color and texture. You can apply whimsical borders along the top edges of the walls, and clouds or stars on the ceiling.
It might be wise to make sure the walls of childrens rooms are washable, so if you are using paint, choose a semi-gloss or gloss finish. Kids love bright colors, but you should limit any strong color to only one wall. For example, paint one wall fire-engine red, and the others a soft peach or pink.
8. Allow your child to select the design theme. The choices are endless. Here are just a few: firehouse fun room, starry night, angels, rainbows, unicorns, baseball, a bedroom for a princess, underwater scenery, outer space, race cars, airplanes, trains, jungle motifs, wizards and dragons, and dinosaurs. You can visit our new Web site for a lot more ideas!
Decorating with your child offers a great opportunity to display your playful side, while doing some memorable family bonding. So have fun with it and remember that even if your child’s choice in themes seems bizarre, there’s probably a way to work out a compromise.
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Gas Fire Place – Do You Really Need One?

Efficient operations of a ventless gas fireplace can be expected only by regular maintenance of a fireplace. You should have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the chimney as and when necessary. It is a good idea to learn how to inspect it on your own as well and keep checks at regular intervals. The chimney should be checked at least once a year or after approximately eighty fires. A chimney brush can be used to keep the chimney free from creosote build-up.

There is a good amount of precautionary measures which should be taken during the inspection and cleaning process of a fireplace. Make sure that all ventless gas fireplace fittings are tightened securely and completely extinguish the fire before cleaning. Make sure the chimney is cold along its length.

Glass doors may produce tough stains from flames and heat. These stains can be cleaned by using a glass cleaner available at ventless gas fireplace stores. In order to shine brass fireplace utensils and fittings, Worcestershire sauce and a toothbrush may be used. The firebox is the area where the logs burn. It should be cleaned at least once a week during the months in which it is being used most. It is a good idea to leave an inch of ash while cleaning as it acts as insulation for the coal to heat up faster and easily retains the heat.

An exterior slate hearth can be made to shine by washing, drying and coating it with lemon oil while exterior brick hearths can be cleaned by making use of a brick cleaner available at a ventless gas fireplace shop. A chimney cap should be used to prevent damage due to water, nesting of birds and carbon monoxide entering the house.

The Look of Your Kitchen Windows Defines The Personality of Your Home

What does your kitchen mean to you? When you think of your kitchen, do you think of hectic family meals trying to bring everyone together, or is there a sense of calm and tranquility? Do you wish that your kitchen had more or less light? Does it seem as though, even though you’ve made an effort to clean, organize and decorate your home, there’s something about your kitchen that’s just not quite right?

Counter space is at a premium in nearly every kitchen around the world. No matter how much space you already have, it seems as though there’s always a need for more counter space for trimming meat, slicing vegetables and chopping fresh herbs. While great lighting can’t affect the amount of space that you physically have in your kitchen, more natural light can affect the way that your kitchen looks to others – and the way that you feel about your kitchen.

In fact, lighting has such a strong effect that, the same room viewed with two different sets of kitchen curtains can look like two completely different rooms. If you’re looking to make a dramatic difference in your kitchen, sometimes it’s a matter of installing new kitchen windows.

If you cannot afford new kitchen windows, you’re likely to find that it’s possible to get the same effect simply by changing your kitchen curtains. By taking the time to find the right kitchen curtain brand – by finding curtains for your kitchen window that fit the size of the window and the look that you are trying to capture within your home, you can be sure that you are able to bring in the right amounts of light and still have the privacy that you both crave and need.

After all, choosing the right kitchen curtains is about more than just picking out a solid color swag – blues, greens, creams, yellows or other shades are available, and are likely to be able to fit in with your kitchen decor. Choosing the right curtains is about either creating or completing the look that you’ve chosen for your kitchen.

One popular option that many choose is to select a neutral swag to create privacy behind a kitchen window. Rather than just beige, eggshell or off-white kitchen curtains, many people forego a dense fabric and instead choose lace. This is because lace curtains still provide privacy, but also let in more light – a blessing for those with small, dark kitchens or even larger rooms that have small windows.

Even lightly colored kitchen curtains can help to warm up a room, provided you’ve chosen the right window dressings for your home. Of course, not everyone wants to stick with neutral curtains – some people want flowers, fruits and vegetables or some other country-inspired theme to ensure that all of those who visit their kitchen will be able to pick up on the home-y, warm feel that you have worked so hard to create.

For example, if the theme of your kitchen was country, you may choose kitchen curtains patterned with fresh, ripe-looking apples to complete the look and draw to mind thoughts of a country pantry and mom in the kitchen baking pies. If you’ve always loved traditional gardens, it is possible to use ivy, roses, sunflowers pr even hydrangeas as a medium for bringing the outdoors in

As a word of caution, however, many people it seems, look for ways in which they can mix and match from different styles when they make an effort to update the look of their kitchens. In general, this is a bad idea – even if the windows are far apart from one another – as each pattern serves to divide a guest’s attention (as well as your own) by creating tension within the room.

Why settle for mis-matched curtains in any room of your home? Why struggle to find the right look only to realize that creating it simply is not possible? When you have the right kitchen windows – and the right look in mind to complete them – you’ll find that it’s easy to choose and stick with a style.

Take your time and really consider what you’re looking for. After all, the look of your kitchen as well as the look of your home, can be greatly affected simply by making the wrong choice.

Making Most Use Of Furniture In Your House

A sofa set for one provides a nice place for guests and hosts to sit and mingle with each other. A dining table is where individuals can sit down and partake in a hearty meal.

To those who have a limited income, however, buying furniture can be a hassle. With skyrocketing prices these days, it is no longer practical to buy a new set to complement the mood of a house or office. So either one has to make do with existing items, or buy cheap but quite unreliable and poor quality materials.

Those in a tight budget can however maximize the use of various types of furniture in their homes. There are many ways in which house owners can make full use of existing materials in their households. Buying select furnishings that are versatile and can work in any type of home is a good way to maximize the resources they have. These furnishing can also be easily moved around the house whenever the need arises, or offer storage whenever possible.

First, always buy pieces of furniture on a small scale. This also goes for home accessories. This is practical for those who have small homes. It makes easier for items to be moved around in the house if they are small.

Most homes suffer from insufficient space. If you have that type of a house, then it is more wise for you to go for furniture that have drawers as well as hanging space, like a chest of drawers and an armoire. They can maximize storage space for your clothes or other important items. They can likewise be used in a bedroom, living room, or foyer.

If you are refurbishing a family room and you have little space, then two loveseats might actually be more practical than one big sofa. The loveseats are easier to reposition than one big sofa. Plus loveseats are more versatile since they can be positioned opposite each other, where one can create a place for small gatherings.

In choosing for furniture pieces, always opt for neutral hues like black, tan, navy, camel, and dark green especially for upholstered items. The neutral color will serve as the anchor color. Also make sure that the fabric for upholstered furniture is strong enough to last a couple of years.

Then throw in pillows and accessories that will complement the anchor color. You might also want to change the color scheme of your set in accordance to the season. You can go for yellow floral designs during the summer, or camel tapestry pillows during fall. You can use slipcovers in order to alter the look of the sofas without necessarily spending a fortune.

Don’t settle for a typical table. Be creative. Go for interesting shapes and bases and then put plate glass on top. You can also construct your own sidetables out of plywood, and having it covered with a decorative tablecloth. You can use the side table in the living room, or in the bedroom as a nightstand.

Purchase side chairs, lamps, pillows, and vases in pairs. They put symmetry and continuity in any room.

You should also always stick to a color scheme. You can make white as your color anchor then throw in accessories and fabrics to accentuate the color scheme. If you have the same color scheme around your house, then you have no problem moving pieces of furniture and accessories from one room to another.

Choose a color scheme and stick to it. Start with white or your anchor color and select fabrics and accessories to compliment the color scheme. If you carry the colors throughout your home, you’ll be able to move furniture and accessories from room to room. They’ll look great wherever you place them.

Always think out of the box. You can make use of cabinet to hold the TV, or dresser to contain various video and audio CDs.

Lastly, never hesitate to experiment. Mix and match pieces of furniture according to what you think works best for the household. As long as you keep your accessories versatile, you wont have any problem with your arrangements.

Bathroom remodeling ideas

Bathroom remodeling ideas offers many options for design, style, fixtures, and use of space. Whether you are completely redecorating a bathroom, or making a few simple design ideas come to life, these tips just might help. If you’re building or remodeling your home, the bathroom is one space you can’t afford to overlook.

You have to take into consideration your entire bathroom remodeling ideas and combine those with bathroom remodeling estimates. There are lots of smaller projects to add color, update lighting, or accessorize that will rev up the look of a bathroom, without spending a lot of money or waiting for a major remodel.

Bathroom remodeling or decorating offers many options for design, style, fixtures, and use of space. Review your storage options, then purchase some appropriate storage solutions such as drawer dividers, and fill antique bowls or shaving mugs with pretty toiletries, such as soaps or bath salts.

Mix and match colors by using a light-colored stain for the background and then applying a brighter color to some of the drawers. If you have room, consider adding a piece of outdoor furniture like a wicker chair or table. Finally, think about painting. Maybe your bathroom could use another coat of paint or perhaps it’s time to do something totally different.

title:Tips on Budget Decorating

author:Maria Palma
source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_372.shtml
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:12
category:home_improvement
article:

Home decorating on a budget is the ultimate adventure in decorating. It requires a little bit of planning, creativity, and patience. If you are like me, sometimes you wish you could be a genie and wiggle your nose and **poof** it’s done. However, that takes away from all the fun! Follow these tips and you’ll have a home that looks like a page out of your favorite magazine!
*Visit Furniture Showrooms
Make notes of styles of furniture you like. Also, take note of colors and fabrics that create a “warm” feeling inside of you. By visiting showrooms you can get an idea of the new trends and styles.
*Browse Through Decorating Magazines
Magazines are a source of inspirational ideas. Create a scrapbook of magazine clippings and refer to your book when shopping for your home.
*Shop Second-Hand Stores
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure can never be so true. One place to look is the classifieds in your local newspaper. I have found great deals on furniture in thrift stores and auctions. Don’t worry if an item is not in the best of shape. A coat of paint will work wonders for some furniture. Slipcovers can update an old couch or chair.
*Color! Color! Color!
To create a dramatic, inexpensive change to your home, paint the walls a new color or buy new curtains. Keep in mind the moods that colors can create.
*Create Your Own Art
For me, one of the best parts of decorating is creating my own original works of art to hang on the walls. It could be as simple as collecting leaves when they have turned colors and creating a picture collage. A nice frame makes any work of art look classy. Take a drawing, photography or painting class at your local community college. Gain inspiration by browsing through art books at your local library or bookstore. If you’re into black and white photos, but do not want to pay the high price for this type of art, buy a book or calendar of your favorite photographer and frame the pictures.
*Shop Discount Stores
Thank God for discount stores! This place will save you a ton of money on accessories. You will find little treasures such as candle holders, candles, potpourri, and knick knacks for very little money. Who will ever know?
*Be Patient!
Take your time and shop during sales. Decorating should be fun. Remember, Rome was not built in a day!
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title:Hand Stripping Furniture

author:Steve Hattrick
source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_156.shtml
date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:12
category:home_improvement
article:

Directions for HAND Stripping.

Work with plenty of ventilation, safety goggles or glases, and skin protection. Stay out of the direct sun and stay protected from wind or strong drafts if working outside.
Work in small areas starting at the top and working to the bottom of the piece. Apply a generous coat of gel remover. Brush on in one direction. Do not brush back and forth.
Use soft wood scrapers and/or Steel Wool to remove crinkled finish and spent stripper.Repeat the above process until all layers of old finish are gone. On fine work, when the piece has all the finish gone and looks ready to refinish, go over it again with one last coat of stripper carefully working from top to bottom and removing stripper with Liberon #00 steel wool to ensure all traces of finish are lifted from the pores of the wood. Neutralize the wood surface by washing the piece down with Naphtha followed by Lacquer Thinner, if the piece is newer and in very good condition, a washdown with Lacquer Thinner may suffice.
Let the stripped piece dry thoroughly for at least 24 hours to 48 hours for softer woods or pieces that required long soaking to clean off all the finish. Refinish promptly to seal and protect from humidity changes and environmental contamination.

HINTS & TIPS:

Test to see if a through cleaning with Liberon’s Wood Cleaner & Wax remover might eliminate the need to totally strip and refinish the piece.
Use the right stripper for the finish being removed. (Determine finish type with solvents.)
Use solvent washable strippers or paint removers.
Avoid water washable removers to minimize grain raising, staining problems, and softening of glues or adhesives and the subsequent lifting of veneers and loosening of joinery.
Avoid Metal Scrapers of any kind, wood fibers softened from the remover are easily compressed by hard metal edges. These sometimes apparently invisible `indents’ can later show up after staining or even under clear coat finishes.
DO NOT Sand a stripped surface. Sanding removes oxidized fibres, the natural distressing wear and ageing collectors refer to as patina. Upon refinishing uneven and splotchy effects result from the `windows’ sanded into the surface. Often sanded areas of stripped wood will not take stain or finish the same as the unsanded part of the same piece. Therefore, for instance, sanding of a table leaf usually means sanding the entire top and remaining leaves. The surface was carefully prepared for the previous finish. Successful refinishing will be much easier if we disturb the wood the very least possible, in the finish removal process. If an area is badly damaged as to require sanding; proceed with care and be aware of the increased finish work that can be created by sanding. Lightly raised grain can in some cases be stained, sealed with sanding sealer, and then sanded instead of sanding on the bare wood.
Partially strip (on Lacquers): On some pieces a top for instance might be all that really needs to be stripped and totally refinished. Proper cleaning and touch-up of dings, dents, and blemishes on sides or underpinnings with an overfinish of the existing finish might give a very professional result. In the right instance this can be a more profitable for the finisher and offer an affordable option for the customer.
Use wax paper laid over the remover to slow evaporation and prolong working time. On difficult finishes and in drafty work areas each application of remover can then do more work.
To lift paint or finish retained in the grain of open pored timber, despite repeated applications of remover, try the following. Let the surface dry for a day, apply a liberal coat of 1 pound cut shellac & and allow to dry throughly then try a coat of remover to lift the shellac and the adhered finish out of the pores. The wax paper trick above helps here also. On hard cases repeat the shellac and remover steps above if positive results come from the first application.

Refinishing
Stripped surfaces are always a little more problematic than finishing on new wood. Generally Pigment Wiping Stains are the best choice for coloring on the stripped surface. Lacquer shading stains and lacquer colorants blended into sanding sealer and build coats are a good bet for color correcting. Use amber lacquer on medium to darker woods or stains to give a richer and homogeneous continuity to the piece. On very light timber and on light colors use water -white lacquer or for the very clearest non-yellowing finish use CAB-Acrylic lacquer.
IMPORTANT:
PROTECT EYES and SKIN.
Always test products in an inconspicuous place to check compatibility and end results.
Companion Materials & Supplies:

Safety Glasses or face shield for eye protection.
Heavy duty rubber stripping gloves.
Apron; preferably rubber or rubber coated.
WOODEN scrapers (NOT putty knives or metal scrapers)
Stripping BRUSH: stripper resistant plastic for getting into carvings and mouldig.
STEEL WOOL:

#0 or #1 for light clear finishes, #1 or #2 for paints, &
#3 or #4 for very heavy built up layers of finish.

Rags.

PRECAUTION:
Do not leave impregnated rags wadded or stacked in bundles as these can burst into spontaneous fire.
Dispose of rags and waste in accordance with local regulations; or lay rags out flat preferably outside, to dry so as to avoid any fire hazard.
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A Guide to Commercial Awnings

Businesses are continuously looking for ways to spruce up their building?s appearance. In addition to wanting to look great, businesses are also frequently looking for cost-effective ways to advertise. Commercial awnings are a great way to get both functional savings and advertising from a single product.

One of the most commonly cited reasons for having commercial awnings is for advertising. Businesses can have awnings specially designed with their company name and logo on them. This type of commercial awning is an excellent tool in attracting attention to the business. You certainly have taken notice of a building with commercial awnings; they tend to stand out from those without awnings.

Commercial awnings also help to reduce a business? utility costs. A commercial awning can provide shelter from the harsh summer sun, and is a very effective tool in reducing energy waste. Keeping the windows and doorways cool and shady is essential when striving to be more energy efficient. Some experts say that commercial awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 70% in some cases; this leads to a great savings on energy bills.

Commercial awnings can be a great investment for any business. You are not only going to save on cooling costs in the summer, but you will also gain an excellent advertising tool. Commercial awnings add beauty, style and elegance to a business and make the business a more attractive place to visit. Awnings might seem like a considerable investment but in the long run, they will provide savings on utility bills. Additionally, using them as an advertising avenue can lead to more business.