Home & Garden Books

If you are looking for a book to spirit you away, these have to be the ones to do it: ‘Firelight and Woodsmoke’ is the first book in the trilogy – a truly lovely read that transforms you back onto the farm at Brive around the turn of the 20th century.

Continuing in a similar vein, how many of us lost ourselves in the delightfully evocative story of Mary, Dickon and Colin and the magic that unfolds in ‘The Secret Garden’? Well, now there’s a sequel, written by Susan Webb. The book relates the tale of what has happened to Mary, Dickon and Colin when they meet up ten years’ later at Misselthwaite. The book is called ‘Till All the Seas Run Dry: A Sequel to “The Secret Garden” – if you enjoyed ‘The Secret Garden’ you will absolutely love the sequel.

Animal Care & Pets
What do Rowberrow, Saska and Shantung have in common with a chiffon gown and a teapot in the fridge? Doreen Tovey, that’s what! You will find an array of these charming and very funny books in our Home and Garden section under Animal Care and Pets. Doreen, very sadly, passed away in January 2008 and I am sure her many readers who followed the tales avidly of her family of Siamese cats miss her enormously. Many a time I have laughed out loud at her antics, chasing one of her donkeys around while wearing a chiffon gown and looked forward to reading more about Mrs Binney and Father Adams.

From ‘Cats in the Belfry’ to ‘More Cats in the Belfry’, ‘Cats in May’ and ‘Donkey Work’, Doreen Tovey certainly kept her readers amused: you will find all these titles in our Animal Care and Pets section. When Doreen Tovey wasn’t busy writing and tending to her naughty felines, she was President of North Somerset RSPCA and President of the Siamese Cat Club and also the West of England Cat Club – a busy lady who will be very much missed.

Moving from England to America, Cesar Millan seems to be someone who inspires some very powerful feelings in people – they either love him or hate him! Either way, he’s popularly visible and a force to be reckoned with! Let us know what your own views are – meanwhile, we stock a good range of books by Cesar Millan, such as ‘Puppyhood: Through Puppyhood and Beyond’ written by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier and ‘Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog….and your Life’. These are excellent books on animal care and pets focus on Cesar’s way – and, despite much criticism levelled at his methods, I have used these methods to train my own dogs from very young puppyhood and now, as they are approaching the 12 months’ mark, I have a pack of charming, well-mannered dogs who show me respect and love as their pack leader.

Antiques & Collectables
You may have a collection of vinyl record albums that you collected as a young adult and wonder whether your collection is worth anything. If so, you may be interested in the ‘Rare Record Price Guide 2010′, collected from the Record Collector Magazine and edited by Ian Shirley. This collection of price guides consists of 1400 pages containing 100,000 entries for you to check the value of each of your cherished records against. You never know – you may be sitting on a fortune! Despite the wide variety of entries, however, there does seem to be some missing that you would have thought should have been included, such as punk singles. You will also, no doubt, notice wide variations in the guide prices of various albums. Use this book as a guide only – but, it should give you some idea of the price of your precious record collection.

There are plenty of other antiques and collectables out there. ‘Boys Toys: an Illustrated History of Little Things that Pleased Big Minds’ by Jed Novick is another excellent book within this category. It features traditional toys from the 60s, 70s and 80s that provided such pleasure at the time and which have now become collectibles in their own right. Another book that you will find interesting if watches and clocks are your thing is the book written by Anthony Whiten: ‘Repairing Old Clocks and Watches’. Meanwhile, of interest to those celebrity watchers, take a look at ‘Secrets to Contacting Celebrities and Public Figures: 101 Ways to Reach the Rich and Famous’. These books are just the tip of the iceberg – this section within the Home and Garden category is rich in an amazing diversity of subjects: just dive in and see what you come up with!

Buying & Developing Property
What better way to start this section that a book on how to clean and manage your household chores: you may as well how to do it before you get stuck into the task of buying and developing property! Written by Kim Woodburn, ‘The Cleaning Bible: Kim and Aggie’s Complete Guide to Modern Household Management’ provides you with all sorts of labour-saving tips on how to clean your house and marvellous ways with sodium bicarbonate and white vinegar! There is also a wealth of other subjects under various sections within the category of Home and Garden – sections such as Carpentry and Woodwork; Crafts; DIY and Home Improvements; Gardening; and Interior Design and Decoration.

When you are buying and developing property, however, each of these sections are worth delving into – you never know when you are going to need ideas on colour schemes, provided by Kevin McCloud in his book ‘Kevin McCloud’s Colour Now: An Expert Guide to Choosing Colours for Your Home’ or learn how to carry out simple plumbing with RD Treloar’s book ‘Plumbing RD Treloar 3rd edition: Heating and Gas Installations’. There are books galore on our website that will help you when you are buying and developing property, with books to help you with decorating ideas; colour ideas and even furnishing ideas – in fact, plenty to keep you occupied on all your projects from now onwards.

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New Siding For Your Home

There is perhaps nothing better that you as a homeowner could do to add instant beauty and curb appeal than new siding for your house. Ever since the “days of old” when homes were built with thatched roofs and mud and wattle sides there has been the quest to boost the form and function of the family home with newer and better materials and techniques in siding. With all the options on the market today it is easy to get bogged down when selecting new siding for your house, so in the interest of making the decision easier let’s examine a few of the more popular styles of siding in use today.

Wood, for centuries it was the predominant building material in homes. Everything from floor to the shingles on the roof was made of wood, and of course wood was and still is used in new house siding. Through the years a variety of different woods from ash, oak and maple, to cedar and pine have been used for siding, and the manner of attaching the siding to the house has been even more varied than the types of wood used. No matter what type of wood is used, however, one thing all wood siding has in common is maintenance. If you choose wood as new siding for your house you had better be prepared to invest time and money into keeping the siding in good shape. Like anything made of wood, wood siding must be painted, stained, or otherwise finished in some fashion to protect it from the elements. This maintenance will be required for as long as you own your home, and repainting and refinishing can add up to quite an expense over the years, even if you, as the homeowner, do the work yourself.

While perhaps no other material is as aesthetically pleasing for new siding for your house than wood siding it is the very problem of high maintenance that has led to the development of newer materials for siding. While popular a few decades ago, asbestos siding is no longer used, and other materials such as cement fiber, hardboard composite, and fiberglass siding are little used. If you are truly in the market for new siding for your house the most common types of siding used today are aluminum and vinyl siding.

Aluminum siding was developed in an effort to provide a low cost, easily worked, low maintenance substitute for wood siding. Aluminum siding can be purchased in a virtual plethora of designs and styles to fit the bill of practically any home improvement. The newer generation of aluminum siding features finishes that are vibrant and durable without the chalking that was a common problem in the past. Aluminum siding has only a couple of drawbacks, if you choose aluminum as new siding for your house you should be aware that aluminum dents easily, the slightest mishap can mar the appearance of your home, and it is very difficult to do intricate trim-work when using aluminum siding.

The newest and best of the new siding materials is vinyl siding. Vinyl siding, like aluminum, can be had in practically any color and style and has a very attractive price. Vinyl siding can be easily installed by either a professional installer or a homeowner with a minimum of effort and know how. This material is also almost maintenance free, and can be easily cleaned with a brush and soapy water. Vinyl is the most common siding material in use today and due to its ease of installation and maintenance should definitely be on your short list of possible materials for new siding for your house.

No matter where you live, or how old you home is, new siding for your house will dramatically enhance the aesthetics of your home. Whether you choose traditional wood, aluminum, or even modern vinyl siding, a little work can add up to a huge increase in the value of your investment simply by choosing new siding for your house.

Electrical Home Improvement Project

If you are thinking of the next project for Electrical Home Improvement try one of the new home electrical systems. These “home improvement electrical” systems are very cheap to build and install, will also save you a lot of money in electricity bills from your provider. These systems can be an add-on one step at a time until your home becomes 100% self powering.

In the last 100 years our civilization has invented the airplane, gone to the moon and living in space. We have invented the electric tube and the printing press which have both developed and merged into computers and instant mass media access, and some of these had their beginning in small electrical home improvement projects developed in the back yard or basements.

Energy, the biggest Industry in the World has been left behind in the Stone Age by remaining total dependent on carbon fossil fuels. The majority of our Home Energy needs produced today come from Hydro Electric (dams), Steam (carbon fossil fuels) or Nuclear; these are very unfriendly to the environment contributing to the green house effect and global warming. There has been a few people working on home improvement systems to finding ways of alternate energy sources and have scaled these into a single affordable home electrical improvement package.

It has only been in the last 20 years that improvement to electrical home supply has been seriously looked at with the development of Wind, Solar and Magnetic Generators, and this is only because the general population started to become concerned about environmental issues. Our whole civilization is 100% dependent on electricity to make our life comfortable and achieve the all our advancements. Why then has the method of burning fossil fuels to produce electricity not changed in the last century?

There are alternative home electric systems available to you that are home size that come in the form of electrical home improvement plans or kits. They are easy to build or install, safe to operate, affordable and will supply enough electricity to operate your entire home.

The two main benefits you receive by taking on one of these electrical home improvement projects:

1. Save your money by not paying for electricity.

2. These systems operate pollution free and you will be helping to reduce global warming.

Let us be honest here, the electricity supply companies are not going to sell you a stand-alone free electrical home improvement system, in fact can start manufacturing a system without encountering massive opposition. This is why these electricity producing electrical home improvement projects are sold on the internet. You can build them at home with materials from your local hardware store or buy a assembled kits and have the system install any local handyman can do this.

The different types of Electrical Improvement projects for alternative home electricity systems and be found at the links located within this article. There is a lot more detailed information at this review site to a comprehensive comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each electrical home improvement project type.

Danny Fisher has been working in the Oil and Coal Energy Industry for the past 20 years. The majority of his time has been spent overseas in developing countries and has acquired some very unique inside knowledge of how the energy world thinks. He has become concerned at the increase in Fossil Fuel consumption and the lack of motivation by Industry and Governments to explore and implement existing alternative energy. He has researched the alternatives and has found low cost existing home electricity systems that require a small effort to make a home 100% pollution free and no change to current the life style. For more background information on how electricity is made and the existing alternatives follow this link Alternative Home Energy Sources Site

Home Improvement Tips And Tricks You Should Know

When improving your home’s exterior, you could save money by adding motion detecting lights. This allows you to actually turn your lights off instead of having them on all night. As soon as something moves in front of the motion lights, they turn on. When it moves away, they turn off. This also means intruders will think twice about approaching any home with motion detection lights, in fear that they will be spotted.

When making renovations on your home, a great tip is to use the first several months of the year to budget because this is the time period that you will have the least amount of money since it follows the holidays. Having little to work with may help you create a very frugal budget, indeed!

It is a very good idea to have a family meeting to discuss the best ways to escape from the home in an emergency. If there is an accident, many people have the tendency to panic. Preparing escape routes in advance gives your family something to focus on when confronted with fire or other dangers. So get together and plan a route and think of all possible outcomes of each one.

If you are itching to do some home improvement, don’t be afraid to consult outside sources for inspiration. Books and magazines can be good for an idea of what to do. Take home any color samples, as well as carpet swatches. Use a little time to determine what you like before beginning your home improvement projects.

Take into consideration how long each home improvement project lasts. For instance, newer chimneys can be effective for 100 years. A new deck made out of wood usually lasts about 15 years. Well-made hardwood floors can endure up to a century with minimal maintenance, but vinyl flooring is going to last no more than 30 years. There are a lot of things that you could think about when you’re renovating your house. Be sure to decide if the effort and cost is worth it.

If you want a room in your home to be a restful space, paint it in analogous colors. These colors are side by side on the color wheel; orange and red, yellow and green, as well as blue and violet are all good examples. This scheme is also more peaceful and tranquil, yielding a wonderful home environment.

You may be surprised at the impact you will get from installing new carpeting throughout your home. Give yourself plenty of shopping time in order to zero in on the perfect style, color, and material for your new carpet. Most stores will have carpet samples that they give freely so that you can test them out in your own home. Or can simply call you local carpet cleaning company to give the current carpet a second life.

Would you like to make some changes to your house, whether small or large? You are not the only one! You have just read some tips for making home improvement easier. You should have a lot more information available to you after reading this article. All that’s left now is for you to get started.

To restore your carpet, visit Carpet Cleaning in Auckland to get the best result at affordable price.

Paul J.P. has hand on experience of numerous renovation project and also been working for commercial cleaning companies in spare time. He is willing to share his experiences with people of similar background. To restore your carpet, visit Carpet Cleaning Auckland to get the best result at affordable price.

The Two D’s of Home Improvement – Design and Decorate

A great deal of time is spent at home. It is a refuge from a hard day of work and a place to enjoy family activities and gatherings.

We want to make our home attractive, comfortable and efficient for our use. In the process of decorating our home, we want to make sure it fits the architecture of the space. Designing the interior provides a certain “feel.” Interior decoration includes applying wallpaper, painting the walls, choosing furniture and fittings such as light fixtures, and adding decorative elements such as paintings, flowers, and statuary.

The concept of home interior decoration began in the late 18th century. The concept has evolved over the years and has gone through many trends and transitions. Today, home interior decoration and design focuses on innovative ways to decorate on a budget.

The objective of interior decorating is to improve the home functionally and have it to reflect the owner’s tastes and personality in a unique way. This is a challenge.

An interior designer and/or an architect can help with the design and decoration. In years past, there has been a distinction made between an interior designer and an interior decorator.

Interior decorating focuses on finishing such as wallpaper, window covering, furnishings, and paint. Interior design deals with the architecture in addition to the decoration. Interior design is focused on the space as a whole such as the layout of the rooms as well as custom made furnishings.

Color palettes change, the same as in fashion, as trends change. Color is also a unique preference. While some homeowners may follow current trends, others may use colors that fit their personality whether they are in vogue or not.

Innovative home interior decorating ideas which cost less but give the impression of being up-to-date decorating schemes are what young professionals and newly married couples are trying to achieve. Most of these ideas are eclectic decorating styles in which the home owner can put their own stamp of uniqueness. Harmony has to be balanced with uniqueness so that the home provides functionality.

In one year alone, homeowners spent approximately $175 billion on home improvement. About 65% of this can be attributed to interior decoration. Most money is spent on improving bathrooms and kitchens. Growing in popularity are specialty rooms such as home theaters and craft rooms.

There are new trends, new styles, new decorative elements, and new colors each year. It is difficult to keep track of these trends. The important rule in home decorating is that whatever you choose to do with your home be functional and comfortable for you.

Home Based Franchise Businesses

Potential franchise owners wishing to work from home are in luck! While starting your own home based franchise business does require an investment like any other franchise, the investment is much smaller. Franchisors have realized that virtually any business can be successfully run from a home office, and are offering franchisees the opportunity to own their own home based franchise business in numerous categories. Whether you want to be involved in financial services, entertainment, pet care, commercial cleaning, children’s services, or home improvement, you’re sure to find a company offering a franchise opportunity.

There are drawbacks to starting your own home based franchise business, however. You should ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a home office free of distractions where you can conduct business?

2. Is it legal? Check with your state and local government to find out which licenses and permits you may need to conduct business from your home.

3. How disciplined are you? Be sure to keep a time-management schedule to keep yourself on track. With the rest of your home and family nearby, it’s easy to get distracted from your work.

4. Do you have the equipment? You’ll a full home office to successfully run your franchise. Be sure to have the following: computer, printer, fax capabilities, phone, desk, comfortable chair, good lighting, and some type of filing system (i.e. a file cabinet).

5. Do you have the mind set? While franchises obviously follow a set of rules and regulations, and go through the same startup, franchise owners are required to be entrepreneurial, creative and dedicated. Creativity will be important in marketing, employee relations and other such encounters. You must be dedicated to being entrepreneurial, also. Meaning, you must allow for the good and the bad – and still stick with it. A home based franchise is no different than a brick and mortar franchise when it comes to dedication.

Most franchisors will spend a good deal of time training you to be efficient in your home business’ office. They will show you the ropes of setting up your workstation, making sales calls, obtaining clients, processing clients, and the general work flow of the business you have selected. Should your training not cover something, someone should be available for you to ask questions to at all times. Be sure to check on the franchisee support before investing in a company. To be a successful franchise owner, you must have the backing and support of your franchisor. When you find a franchise you are interested in, be sure to evaluate all the pluses and deltas of the business. Be sure to interview franchise owners of your niche market and see what they have to say. Most franchisees are more than happy to speak to a prospective colleague.