What Furniture Wood is best in Your Log House Plans?

The popularity of rusticating – city folks retiring or escaping the stress and hubbub of the city and seeking a quieter life in the countryside – began in the late nineteenth century as city life became more complicated and unpleasant. It got a shot in the arm from the hippie movement with its “back to the land” ideal. The popularity of rusticating has been increased with the ability to make a good living anywhere in the world over the internet. It is no longer necessary to give up the dream of a simple and natural lifestyle in the name of Mammon. The original nineteenth century rusticators were wealthy families who only spent their summer months at their log house plans camps, but their household staffs often remained behind during the winters fashioning furniture for their patron’s homes. The designs of these pieces reflected a desire to create interesting furniture – from chairs to mirror frames to tables to lamps – using only materials such as logs and twigs found naturally nearby. Nowadays rustic furniture-makers follow the same tradition of utilizing natural local materials to create beautiful pieces of authentic log furniture and decorative pieces; however they often use modern accents and materials such as glues and finishes. Most of these furniture-makers are small mom and pop businesses, which often offer their wares for sale over the internet.

Deciding what wood species is best for the furniture in your log home floor plans is often a matter of personal taste and lifestyle, as well as availability and price. The most interesting fact about red cedar (which is also called “aromatic cedar” because of its pleasant scent) is that it isn’t a cedar at all. Actually, it is a member of the juniper family, and its popularity is due not only to its scent but to the fact that it naturally resists insect and rot damage, so that clothes stored in red cedar chests have automatic protection from moths. This wood also has tight knots which add beauty and character to finished pieces. Red cedar is a wood of medium strength and varies in color from pinkish- to darkish- brown. White cedar is an actual cedar which is lightweight and dimensionally stable. It lies flat and it stays straight, which means that it is resistant to the tendency to check and crack. It is popular for outdoor furniture because its cell structure allows it to dry faster than most other hardwoods, so that it resists moisture rot. It is quite strong, and varies in color from light brown to medium brown.

Because hickory trunks usually don’t grow wider than 3″, hickory furniture typically is constructed of small diameter logs. This makes it a good choice for side tables and chairs, but it isn’t sturdy enough for larger pieces such as beds. It is very strong, and it varies in color from tan to darkish brown. Another popular wood species in log homes plans is cypress, which naturally produces an oil which acts like a built-in preservative. This characteristic makes cypress extremely durable and resistant to insects, fungus, and extreme weather conditions. Because cypress lacks sap and hence doesn’t bleed, it also takes stains, paints, and sealants quite well.

No matter what species of wood furniture you choose for your log home floor plans, pay attention to how the pieces are put together. Log homes plans furniture constructed with mortise and tendon connections are more durable than those merely nailed together. If the log house plans furniture does have metal connectors, screws are usually better and make for longer-lasting furniture than nails do.

French House Plans Design Ideas

French country design emerged from the scenic villages in the south of France, and has become one of the world’s most popular styles of interior design. The French house plans look is inviting, casual, and fuss free. The charm lies in the rustic feeling of the furniture and the accessories and the cheerful and easy combinations of colors. Country French design can be done on a low budget, and it can work for anyone. Just keep these tips in mind, and you can turn your home into a relaxed vacation destination in Provence. Color is one of the most important elements in any interior design, and in Country French style this is particularly true. The colors which are most often associated with the Country French style are soft and foamy greens, yellows and golds, reds and rusts, with splashes of pinks, lavenders, blues and purples. These are colors which create a cheery and bright environment, while still allowing the rustic features of the natural woods and rod iron typical of French furniture to shine through. It is common with this style to mix and match colors and prints which are not obvious (and might even be frowned-upon by other schools of design), such as mixing a floral print with a plaid. The fabric which is most commonly associated with the Country French style is toile, with its white or beige background adorned with repeating nature scenes of flowers, birds, roosters, or people sitting under trees. The colors used for the prints are usually blues and reds, and sometimes greens, browns, and blacks. Toile fabric has become very popular among interior designers, and it can be purchased inexpensively.

As in English colonial house plans design, French Country furniture emphasizes the rustic, lived-in look. Furniture is low gloss and natural-looking, usually of dark woods or pieces which have been stripped and painted off-white or a soft green. French Country also employs wrought iron and distressed metal, especially for accessories such as tables, lamps, clocks as well as fireplaces. The most common motif used in French Country are roosters, which can be found in about every imaginable guise from door stops to salt and pepper shakers. Scout around your local flea markets and antique shops for treasures such as French apothecary jars and signage, as well as furniture. French Country design is meant to be casual and welcoming, so imperfections just make the style more convincing. No French Country home is complete without lots of flowers, particularly lavender bouquets to lend authenticity and conjure up the feeling of the French countryside.

Unlike Parisian furniture, French Country house design plans call for practical and simple furniture reflecting the provincial lifestyle. Traditionally this furniture was fashioned from whatever woods were at hand with little adornment. Modern French Country style furniture pays tribute to this tradition with its simple lines, limited adornment, and natural colored paints and stains. The kitchen table, for example, was originally designed to accommodate farm workers who would all dine together in the farmhouse kitchen. These tables are of simple design, perhaps a thick wooden plank laid atop straight legs and large enough to seat a dozen people. Chairs are wood with caned seats, or topped with cushions of colorful Provencal prints. Bedrooms traditionally feature sturdy, four-poster beds and armoires. Living areas use few upholstered pieces, but those which are upholstered feature scenes of the sun and fields of flowers found in Southern France.

Tips for Picking The perfect House Plan

Too big, too little. Too fancy, too plain. With myriad options for house plans available today, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Consider the following issues and ask yourself some telling questions. The answers will help you decide on a design that’s just right for your family as well as your budget and lot.

Square one

The real estate agent’s mantra “location, location, location” rings true even when you’re building from scratch. From privacy to orientation, your lot is likely to influence which plan you choose.

“Theoretically, it’s best to start by finding a lot because then you’ll have a clear idea of what square footage will and will not fit on the property, ” says Robert Martin, Architecture Editor at Southern Living. “It’s a dangerous proposition to try to gooseneck a house into a lot that’s really not ideal for that plan. ”

The property owner can seek a variance to exceed the “building envelope, ” the allowable area that a home can occupy on a lot. However, the process is often lengthy and there’s no guarantee that permission will be granted.

Local zoning boards and community organizations often require a house be set back a certain distance from the street. Before purchasing a corner lot, find out if front-yard setback regulations apply to the lot’s front and side-street boundaries. This could substantially reduce the area available for a home’s footprint. Easements as well as natural features, like rock outcroppings and mature trees, may also influence where the house can be located.

“Some communities promote close neighbors, and some communities promote more breathing space, ” Martin says. “It’s not wise to use up every square foot of building space because you’ll have less of a yard. ”

If the lot is located in a suburban neighborhood, consider the placement of windows – take care that they will not align exactly with neighbors’ views. Driveways should also be taken into account to make sure that there’s plenty of room for parking and turning around.

Streets and topography may be the main determinates of a house’s orientation, but it’s also a good idea to consider sun exposures when possible. A homeowner might reorganize a floor plan to take advantage of morning and afternoon light. Martin says that covered porches that face a southern exposure can help block out heat and sunlight.

Remember that plans are not necessarily “as is. ” Builders can use a reverse set of plans (sometimes called a mirror image) to better site a house. It’s also possible to hire an architect or modification service to personalize a plan. Ask if reproducible prints or electronic CADD files are available for the selected plan. Either will make the alteration process quicker and easier.

Complimenting your lifestyle

Before delving into the thousands of plans available today, evaluate your current living situation. Look around and ask what works and what doesn’t.

Consider which features matter most to you and which floor plan best accommodates your family’s lifestyle. “Does the floor plan live the way you live? ” Martin asks. Are you an empty nester who’s ready to downsize? A single-level ranch home might be your answer. Is this a house where you expect to raise a family? Check out plans that feature great communal spaces as well as a private master suite. Would you live outside 12 months a year if you could? Pick an airy floor plan with plenty of porches and more windows than wall space.

When you decide on a house plan, you’re also choosing a way of life. Do you host dinner parties often, or do you only step inside the dining room on holidays? Today, many families forego a dedicated formal dining room. Instead, a casual eating nook connected to the kitchen accommodates week-night meals, Little League pizza parties and all their entertaining needs. If you work from home or have school-aged children, an office or study may be a necessity. Think about the rooms and how you and your family will use them.

Marrying the old and the new

Magazines and Tv shows often tempt us to start decorating from a blank slate, but few people have the luxury to fill a house with new furniture. Keep your existing furniture and aesthetics in mind. It takes a special talent to make a mid-century modern couch work in a Colonial manor house.

The main thing to keep in mind is how the arrangement of furniture will influence the overall feel, flow and function of a room. How will your prized possessions work and look arranged in the new space? Scale is key. A soaring, two-story ceiling can easily dwarf low, horizontal furniture. To avert the Alice-in-Wonderland effect, make sure the plan has strong, vertical architectural elements like a chimney and tall windows. Similarly, an overstuffed couch, two armchairs and a media cabinet might make a small living room look cluttered.

Tip: To help visualize your current furniture in a new space, make a scale model of each item – simple rectangles, squares and circles cut out of construction paper will do. Slide the stand-ins around the floor plan to see which configurations will work. Make sure there will be enough room to walk and adequate clearance for doors to open.

Know what you’re getting

Be aware of what is and isn’t included in the blueprints before you purchase a plan. Most blueprints suggest electrical plans designed to meet national standards. However, varying interpretations and the fact that codes are subject to change mean that the placement of switches, outlets and light fixtures is ultimately subject to local building codes. Heating and plumbing plans are usually not included, so you will need to consult with subcontractors. A local builder or engineer should review the plan to ensure that it complies with all building codes and subdivision restrictions.

Due to concerns over energy costs, safety and other factors, some cities and states require a licensed architect or engineer to review and seal, or officially approve, a blueprint prior to construction. Do your homework. Contact to a local building official to see if such a review is necessary in your area.

Taking the plan from blueprint to dream house

A builder may provide a ballpark estimate of construction costs from a study plan, but he or she should consult the working drawings to give a more accurate figure. Many variables can affect the bottom line, including the choice and availability of materials, labor costs, choice of finishes and degree of detail. Ask several contractors for competing bids.

If you’ve got the vision but not the bankroll (at least at this time), it may be wise to choose a plan with bonus space that can be built out as finances allow.

Be sure to allot a portion of your budget to landscaping and finish details. Architects and interior designers recommend that you don’t skimp on the seemingly small stuff. Higher-quality trim and building materials may trump extra square footage. “Good, insulated windows may be costly initially, ” Martin says, “but over the long run, they’re going to save you money on your power bill. ” Crown moulding and custom cabinetry can make a stock plan feel like it was designed specifically for your family. After all, it’s the personal touches that make a house feel like a home.

How to find the Right Designer for your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response. ”

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!

How do i maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do i find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: “At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting. ”

A stylist’s tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.

Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!

What is Interior Design and How Is it Different From Interior decorating?

To begin this journey, first an attempt must be made to answer the question, ‘What is Interior Design’; The National Council for Interior design Qualification offers up the following definition: ‘is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive’. Comparing this to the definitions provided by The Free Dictionary for an interior decorator: ‘also called interior designer a person whose profession is the planning of the decoration and furnishings of the interior of houses, shops, etc. ‘ and ‘a person whose profession is the painting and wallpapering of houses’

Well it is understandable, based on the two definitions above, why there are two camps. One camp holds that the interior designer is held to a higher standard and has significantly more training and design responsibilities than the interior decorator, and then there are those that bunch them all together as one and the same. There are those that look at the designer as a version of an architect and those that look at them as being a house painter. No wonder there is confusion amongst the ranks.

In an attempt to answer the question, ‘Is there a difference or not? ‘, a Google search was performed for ‘Interior Decorator Degree’ and the response overwhelmingly returned results for ‘Interior Designer’; and not the keyword as searched. One can reasonably conclude that since one can get a degree in interior design, but not as an interior decorator, that there is a difference.

So where would one draw the line between a designer and a decorator? Reverting back to the two definitions above one can discern the key difference. The definition for the designer refers to ‘built interior environment’ whereas the decorator suggests ‘decorating and furnishing’ as the key activities. The higher standard is the designer’s ability and responsibilities to call for tearing out walls, flooring, windows, lighting, electrical, as well as recommending furniture and miscellaneous design pieces. In short, the scope their role includes the responsibilities of a decorator, but goes much further.

Often it is critical for the designer to understand the wants and needs of the individual or company leadership that is hiring them to make a space comfortable and esthetically pleasing to ‘the eye of the beholder’; meaning whoever is paying the freight. This will require the designer to ask the question, ‘What is interior design through the eyes of my employer? ‘

Determining just how to customize a small dwelling area up to major corporate businesses like a national restaurant chain that must be attractive to the eye in many different regions of the country with a common design can be very challenging. Requiring a grasp of many different fields including developing and reading floor plans, a knowledge of building codes, and access to a long list of contractors that are capable of doing the work to specification are just a few of the extra requirement that separate interior design from decoration.

Often specializing in unique areas like hotels, casinos, restaurants, or other businesses that may regularly freshen up their designs to keep their businesses looking comfortable yet enticing, designers generally develop skill sets that may not play all that well outside of their special areas of expertise. What they probably are looking for in the interior design of a hospital is most likely a far cry from what they are looking for at a casino. Perhaps a better example would be determining just how to continue on with a southwestern theme for a Mexican restaurant chain in places like Seattle, St. Louis, Charlotte, Pittsburg, and Boston. What is interior design widely accepted in one region may not be well accepted in another.

In asking, ‘What is interior design? ‘ in today’s environment, one must also begin to start thinking green and to look for ways to minimize the consumption of non-renewable energy sources. How does one create areas with a lot of natural lighting but not subject the individual to the blazing rays of the sun? How does one incorporate solar panels into the design or solar powered floor heaters in colder climates without losing the esthetic charm and ambiance of marble floors? These are the challenges of today’s designers. It’s a good thing that they love their jobs.

How to Do Simple Kitchen Improvements

One of the more popular renovations to the home is Kitchen Improvements. People often like to revamp their kitchens. It is always a good idea to seek expert advice in order to get this kind of job done.

There is a variety of ways in which to get ideas about how to get this done. Look at people’s kitchens when you visit them, browse the internet, buy magazines and there will be a wealth of ideas from which you can make decisions about revamping this room. Even chatting to the DIY and kitchen supply stores will give you a lot to think about.

You need to do some sums before embarking on this. You will want to work out precisely how much you need to do the job you want. There is nothing worse than running out of money half or three quarters of the way through the job. Once you have arrived at a figure then cut that by about ten percent, this way you are sure to keep within budget.

Once the budget has been sorted out, then put pen to paper and design what you want this room to look like. You could even build a small model of what you want it to look like.

The cabinets will need the most consideration, as this is probably the most costly item in renovations of this nature. If you do not have a lot of money to spend then refinishing them might be an option to consider.

Appliances for the kitchen are also very important. Functionality and style are considerations to be made. The appliances should not only look good in the kitchen, they also need to be functional and practical. Kitchen Improvements can be exciting, however you need to do your homework and ensure all your sums are correct.

Plumbing Designing As a Career

About Plumbing Designing

Plumbing engineers are expected to take care of all safety issues. Welfare of the environment and life safety are integral parts of plumbing engineering. The plumbing engineer is accountable for fire protection, filtration, water conservation, backflow prevention and water purification. Plumbing designing as a profession requires detailed analysis of the subject and is very time-consuming. Constant attention must be given to virtually every aspect of the materials used. Scientific aspects, such as the flow characteristics of the various fluids, pumps and pressure dynamics, as well as changes in temperature, are some of essential data that plumbing engineers must analyze to design proficient systems.

Plumbing Design As a Profession

Plumbing Design as a profession involves detailed knowledge of larger equipment like pumps, valves and other such devices, right down to the smallest pipes and fittings. Plumbing designers need to decide on the best manufacturers and product lines that would suit a given project. They are required to reinvestigate when a mechanical contractor submits a substitute for the items.

It is the plumbing engineer’s responsibility to ensure that the final product complies with the original design and specification. The smallest architectural change can have a significant effect on plumbing design. In many cases, the engineer does his drafting and has to rework in case of a change. Plumbing design professionals are also involved in other fields. They work with fire protection engineers to create life-safety systems and electrical engineers to create electric pumps. Furthermore, they are involved in solving issues of infrastructure with electrical and lighting designers.

Courses and Training

There is a lack of a specific and official plumbing curriculum in engineering schools. In spite of that, a career in plumbing design has a brilliant future. People interested in plumbing design can access a number of programs at the universities in plumbing engineering.

Most engineering or construction programs offer classes in plumbing design and the information they deliver is very specific. A part of the education in plumbing design includes professional experience as an apprentice for a couple of years. Taking small plumbing jobs while still studying engineering, ensures an easier transition.

The best way to identify the schools that offer plumbing design majors or classes is to research online. The right choice can help a person pave their way towards a rewarding career in plumbing design. On completion of school and passing specified entrance tests, you can benefit from a Certificate in Plumbing Design. This certification supports the hands-on experience of a plumbing designer. The job is monetarily satisfying and the benefits depend on the completion time taken for each project and your ability to meet specific client requirement. The scope for growth as a plumbing designer is vast and rewarding.

10 Phases of Swimming pool Construction

Building an inground swimming pool is the culmination of 10 different phases of swimming pool construction. This article will give you a brief understanding of the construction cycle. And it all begins with, the desire to have a pool in your own backyard.

Design & Engineering

The first place most homeowners look for qualified swimming pool contractors is the local phone book, and by word of mouth from others who have built a pool. After the initial interview process, you will have a good idea what your swimming pool will cost to have built. The contractor or consultant will provide a design and a complete bid for your acceptance. With a contract in hand, the contractor will obtain all necessary engineering from a qualified structural engineer. The contractor will then submit for permits from the local jurisdiction. At this point, it might also be necessary for the contractor to apply for a Home Owners Association(HOA) approval depending on your local community requirements. Once the building permit is obtained, the construction kicks off in high gear.

Layout & Excavation

This is one of the most exciting phases of swimming pool construction, excavation. Excavation is the digging and forming of the swimming pool. The very first thing the excavation crews do is the pregrade. Pregrade is the clearing of the pool site and the grading of the area for the swimming pool. This allows the crew to paint on the ground the final shape of your pool and at the same time the crew will stake the perimeter of the pool and add forms for the structure of the pool. The typical time needed to dig a pool depends on various factors. These factors include: access, soil conditions, and overall size and depth of the pool. Most pools these days are dug in 1 to 2 days.

Rough Plumbing & Electrical

Once the pool is dug, it’s time to move on to the rough plumbing and electrical. This is where all of the trenches will be dug for all the pipes and conduits necessary to operate your pool. Sometimes, the rough plumbing & electrical will be broken down in a couple of parts, otherwise all trenching and installation of the pipes and conduits will be done at the same time. This includes installation of the suction and return lines, water-feature lines, vacuum cleaner lines, fill lines, solar inlet and returns, gas lines for swimming pool heater and future barbecues and firepits, and the electrical service line. In most cases this will take 2-3 days to complete, and may be done either before, during or after steel.

Steel

The steel phase is the addition of rebar formed in the ultimate shape of the pool. A rebar contractor will “tie” the steel using bailing wire in a grid pattern determined by the structural engineer. A good crew will normally take less than a day to tie the steel depending on the size, shape and any raised walls or bond beams.

Gunite or Shotcrete

Up until this time, your backyard will look like one big disaster area, with trenches running here and there and a big hole in your yard with a criss-cross pattern of rebar running through. Gunite or Shotcrete is the application of the concrete to the pool surface, it makes the shell of your pool. The crews will arrive and via a hose will apply the concrete in the end, the pool will have a close to finish look. The benches installed, and the pool walls and floor will have been completed. This will also be one of the first times you will be required to be actively involved in the construction of your pool. For the next 7 to 10 days, you will be required to hose down the swimming pool shell two and three times a day with water to help cure the gunite or shotcrete. You will be truly amazed at how much water the pool structure adsorbs.

Tile & Rock

After the installation of the gunite or shotcrete, the waterline tile and any rock or boulders will be installed on your pool. The tile is necessary to provide an easy surface to keep clean at the waterline. Rock or boulders are added to incorporate a natural “swimming hole” look and feel and for waterfalls and jump rocks. For pools with the contemporary look or classic style, tile is incorporated into the design and is applied not only to the water line, but also to any raise walls or water-features.

Decking

(Concrete, Pavers, Trex, Tile, Stone, etc. )#) With the tile installed, the next addition to your swimming pool project is the decking. Now where I grew up, decking was always associated with wood, and redwood was king. But when i got involved in the swimming pool industry, deck was the item that surrounded the pool. For the majority of swimming pool owners, the deck of choice is concrete. Concrete is durable and inexpensive when compared to the other options being, grass or landscaping, tile, stone, pavers and natural or synthetic wood products. The installation of decking takes a minimum of a couple of days for forming and finishing, or it can require multiple days and weeks depending on the surface. The deck crew will also be responsible for installing the equipment pad, where all the pumps, filters, heaters and other equipment necessary to operate your pool will be located.

Equipment Set

The excitement builds, you’re almost done and ready to swim. At equipment set, either your pool service company or the plumbing and electrical company will return to install all of the equipment. The lights will be installed, control panels will be hooked-up, all pumps, heater and filter will be mounted to the equipment pad and plumbed. This normally is routinely completed within one to two days. All ready for the filling of your pool with water. But wait, we’re missing the all important pool surface.

Plaster

Plaster provides the waterproofing surface for your pool. Plaster comes in many different forms from plain-old, to pebble and polished surfaces. Typically, this can be done in a day. And for those of you where money is no object, this can be an all tile pool surface complete with Grecian borders. After the swimming pool finish has been applied, now is the time to start filling your pool.

Construction Clean-Up and Start-Up

Once the bulk of the construction is complete, all excess and left over materials will be removed from the pool site. All empty boxes will be hauled to the dumps, and finally, your backyard will be ready to be enjoyed and not looking like a disaster zone. The last item left to do is to start up the pool. The start up process assures all equipment is operating and the swimming pool has all of the necessary chemicals to prevent algae and other problems. Now it’s your turn to start reaping all of the benefits of swimming pool ownership.

This has been a brief article describing the inground swimming pool process for gunite or shotcrete pools. A swimming pool is the culmination of many individual persons, each an experienced veteran of his or her trade. For most homeowners, a licensed contractor can guide them through the process. For others, the option of building their own pool and acting as their own general contractor can save them thousands of dollars but requires a deeper level of understanding.

How to find the Right Designer for your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response. ”

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!

How do i maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do i find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: “At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting. ”

A stylist’s tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.

Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!

Books for your inspiration

This is a list of books that i personally own and love! They are all a fantastic source of inspiration and creative ideas for your home.

Sibella Court: Bowerbird

Shannon Fricke: Sense of Style

Megan Morton: Home Love

Holly Becker: Decorate

Susanna Salk: Be Your own Decorator

Geraldine James: Creative Walls

Hans Blomquist: The Natural Home

Is it necessary to seek advice from a stylist when I want to sell my property?

If you plan to sell your house it is worth investing in a styling consultation. A professional property stylist can help you to achieve maximum impact when presenting your home to potential buyers. A property stylist will help you to get ready for the first inspection by giving you advice on how to style your house with what you have. He will help you with colour schemes that attract potential buyers. He will also advice if you need rental furniture to style each room according to its function and help potential buyers to envisage themselves in the space. Property styling is all about creating a wow factor in key areas of your home and help the buyers to envisage themselves in your space. Once the styling is done don’t forget to book your stylist for the real estate photography shoot to make sure everything looks perfect on this day!

What sort of Interior Design Services Do Professionals Provide?

Interiors are hot topics, with a wide variety of home improvement, and interior design services reality shows on the air. However, some people might not understand the difference between interior decorating and interior design. An interior designer can also expand their business into decorating, but an interior decorator isn’t skilled, or licensed to practice interior design. This is the first essential difference. To clarify, if someone has a business that specializes in interior design services, then their education, and their base of service is a lot more broad than someone who simply decorates a home or a business. Here’s a look at those differences, and a look at what a designer does exactly.

An interior design professional is someone who has a college education, along with at least two years post-graduate experience. To simplify the explanation, the designer actually plans the design of the interior of a building. They create the design of an interior. They work with blueprints to actually design the compartments of a room. They work to design the openness and the division of room space. They are the ones who determine what the inside of a building will look like from a structural point of view. For example, if a person were to look at a floor plan of a residential home, they would see a drawing that details all aspects of the interior space. They would see where the door is located, and where the various rooms of the home are. They would also see things such as dividers and walls of the home in the drawing. They would probably also see rooms designated for kitchens, bathrooms, and for closet space. This planning didn’t happen by accident. A designer was the one who created the plan of the home in their minds, when they were tasked with creating the interior of a home, or of a residential apartment unit.

Designers also are tasked with the interior planning of commercial space. This professional can offer their services inside of commercial space, such as office buildings, banks, retail stores, museums, and any type of building that needs space and division planned in the building. This is why someone who offers such services needs to have many years of formal education. They must understand aspects of building material, blueprinting, building codes, and other aspects of planning and creating an interior. The most important aspect is that the design is safe, and that it is in accordance with local building codes. Of course codes are laws that ensure that the structure is safe for people to live in, or enter into. All of these aspects and more will be learned when someone is training for a career in interior design services.

Not only does the person training for a career in interior design services need to attend years of college, but they need to certify as well with the National Council For Interior design Qualification. The trainee must also work with an architect as well, as part of their post-graduate training. There is a lot that goes into training for this profession, but it opens up a world of opportunities for those who have a passion for this career field. Again, the professional who offers interior design services can also offer interior decorating services. The interior decorator doesn’t need formal education, although there are certification classes that teach the aspect of design theory. When a person decorates a home, they don’t touch the structure of the home. They only advise in color scheme, furnishings, and fixtures.