10 Dimensional Fire Pit Patio Ideas That Add Flare to Outdoor Living Design

outdoor living

Fire pit patio designs continue to rise in popularity, and with good reason. They add a fun and relaxing element to any outdoor space. The latest fire pit trends involve incorporating multi-dimensional patio design to create the ultimate backyard haven. Below are 10 dimensional fire pit patio designs that would instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot in your backyard.

1. practical elegance

According to a recent national survey of landscape architects, built-in seating is one of the top trends in outdoor living. This fire pit patio incorporates built-in seat walls, yet also leaves room for optional patio furniture. The design also incorporates permeable pavers on both the patio flooring and the seat ledges, ensuring that rainwater instantly infiltrates into the hardscapes.

2. Room with a View

This terraced patio incorporates both manufactured stone and natural stone to create a rustic look that coordinates well with the picturesque mountainside view.

3. Carved out of nature

This design takes the natural look a step further by not only using natural stone as a landscape accent, but as a integrated element of the walls and fire pit. The surrounding landscape wall functions as a way to define the outdoor room, but also provides a ledge for additional seating.

4. Sunken Outdoor Living Room

This sunken patio design with fire fit is ideal for sloping properties. By terracing off a sloped yard with retaining walls, this homeowner was able to emulate the effect of a sunken living room off of the pool deck, creating an intimate fireside gathering spot.

5. Destination Spot

This terraced fire pit patio offers built-in enclosed seating on three sides, but leaves the fourth wall completely open for foot traffic. The angular design adds a formal touch to balance the rough-hewn textures of the hardscapes.

6. Private Retreat

Natural greenery creates a virtual wall to block the wind and create an intimate atmosphere for this terraced fire pit patio. A retaining wall adds a finished look and provides a ledge for additional built-in seating.

7. Intimate Nook

The low profile of the fire pit makes the seat wall the focal point of this patio design. The elegant arched wall is flanked with columns to create a striking look. The sunken level surrounding the fire pit creates a ledge that’s the perfect height for small children to sit and enjoy the fire.

8. Mediterranean flare

The decorative wall surrounding this fire pit uses Mediterranean design influences to help define the perimeter of the patio. The multi-level terraced design adds to the stylish look.

9. Integrated Design

Sweeping arches define the separate “rooms” of this multi-dimensional outdoor living space, tying everything together into one cohesive and flowing design. Built-in low-voltage hardscape lighting adds ambiance and adds a safety factor for each of the level changes.

10. Kitchen adjacent

This fire pit patio is a unique design idea that connects to the outdoor kitchen and provides an excellent place for family and guests to gather while the outdoor chef prepares dinner. Paver designs help define the transition from one outdoor “room” to the next.

This content was originally published here.

Home is Where the Hearth Is – Outdoor Living by Belgard

outdoor living

The outdoor living room has been one of the fastest growing trends in outdoor design over the last few years. When considering the popularity of this trend, the question arises: What’s the difference between a patio and an outdoor living room? The answer is simple: Livability.

An outdoor living room is more than just a grouping of chairs with a coffee table. It’s a cozy and inviting space that evokes a sense of relaxation, a space where people want to spend time both alone and enjoying the company of others. To achieve this effect, it’s important to apply interior design techniques to creating your outdoor space.

With that in mind, what tends to be the centerpiece of most interior living rooms? The answer, of course, is a fireplace. The reason for this is multifaceted. Historically, a fireplace would be added to the living room to heat the home. But as this need diminished in necessity over the years, the popularity of an interior fireplace did not. That is because the warmth that exudes from a fireplace is not only physical in nature, but emotional, as well. Spending time in front of a fire with a loved one often creates a deeper connection with that person on an instinctual or primal level. Fire, good.

That’s why one of the easiest ways to create an emotional sense of warmth in an outdoor living room is to add a fire feature, which has the added benefit of physical warmth during the colder months, allowing you to use your outdoor living room year round. Another benefit to fire features — like fireplaces, fire pits and fire tables — is that they appeal to people of all ages. When multiple generations gather around a fire pit, the generation gap disappears, and they can all relate to one another on a purely human level. It’s no wonder that fire pits have been on the top of the “must haves” list in outdoor design for the last several years.

When adding a fire feature to an outdoor living room, be sure to leave ample space for seating and traffic because it will instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot. If it’s a wood-burning fire feature, it will also need to be an adequate distance from any structures, as a safety precaution. In fact, some municipalities and HOA’s have specific regulations about this, so be sure and do your homework.

To complete your outdoor living room, add other interior design touches — such as tables, accent lighting, pillows, throws and other accessories. But be warned, once you create an inviting outdoor living room, get ready for company!

For fire feature design ideas, read our blogs on Fire Pit Design Ideas and  Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas For more design inspiration, visit the Belgard Pinterest boards.

NEXT WEEK:  Don’t let the frigid temperatures fool you. If you want your new pool to be ready for swimming season, it’s time to start planning now.

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Lucas Takaoka Has Designed An Outdoor Living Area For Casacor SP 2019 | CONTEMPORIST

outdoor living

Photography by Evelyn Muller

Invited to take part in the Casacor SP 2019 Exhibition, Lucas Takaoka has designed the Nohara Terrace, an outdoor space at the Jockey Clube de São Paulo in Brazil.

The main concept of the project was to create a space that is minimal and clean, but also peaceful and relaxing for the visitor. The allotted area is 215 square feet (20sqm²), and includes a wooden structure made from Brazilian pinus, that also features wall coverings and flooring made of concrete, creating a pleasant contrast of warm and cold textures.

Photography by Evelyn Muller (first photo) and Luca Pucci (second photo)

The terrace is divided into three parts, the toilet area (hidden behind doors), a small waiting lounge, and a counter for washing hands in the middle. The counter also has a built-in fireplace to heat the area, as the exhibition took place in winter.

Lucas Takaoka has also designed all three furniture pieces that came directly from the factories to be shown to the public, and those pieces include an arm-chair (Tati), a side table (Nômade), and a floor-lamp (Nohara).


Photos by Luca Pucci | Architecture firm: Lucas Takaoka | Architecture Team: Duda Gonzaga | Construction: Solution | Landscape Design: Cate Poli e João Jadão

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The Best Energy Efficient Windows To Kick Off The New Year – HomeSelfe

Did you know your windows can cause up to 25% of heat loss in your home? That’s why replacing them with energy efficient windows is one of the best ways to improve efficiency and save money. With the new year, kick off your resolutions with an upgrade that can increase the value of your home and decrease your utility bills!

With so many options out there, it can be challenging for homeowners to understand what they need and how to choose the best energy efficient windows for their home. That’s why we’ve compiled this go-to guide to get you started:

The Key Elements of Energy Efficient Windows

The materials from which the frames on your windows are made will have a significant impact on their energy efficiency. Many windows are made from metal, but since metal conducts heat easily it can be a major heat-loss culprit. If you want to reduce the amount of heat your windows lose, consider frames made from wood, vinyl, or fibreglass. Just be aware that wood that because wood is sensitive to weather conditions, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on wood frames.

Frames, essentially, are an opportunity to better insulate your home. If you want your windows to retain heat (or prevent it from getting in during the summer months), one of the best things you can do is insulate them. There are several popular ways to insulate your windows, including weather sealing, insulation film, and cellular shades. During the winter, weather stripping helps correct air leaks and can be done on your own or with a professional.

Glass Thickness

The glazing on your windows and the spacer will be instrumental in preventing heat loss, so consider the thickness of your windows carefully. Thicker panes improve heat retention, but the type of glazing is also important. For example, using spectrally selective coatings can save 40-70% of the heat normally transferred through glazing, without compromising the ability of light to pass through the panes.

Choose Brands Known for Efficiency

Instead of weighing the specifications of each potential new window you look at, it can help to go directly to brands known for making energy efficient products. Replacement Windows for Dummies recently issued a list of the Top 25 Energy Efficient Window Manufacturers, which can be viewed here. Topping the list are companies like Andersen Windows, Kolbe Windows & Doors, and Windsor Windows.

Look for ENERGY STAR Products

Another way to guarantee the energy efficiency of your new windows is to look for ENERGY STAR certified products. The ENERGY STAR program exists to help customers choose energy efficient appliances and household products so that they can reduce their individual impact on the environment and save money by using fewer resources. By replacing existing windows with ENERGY STAR certified products, the average US homeowner can expect to reduce their household energy bills by 12%. To achieve ENERGY STAR certification, all products must meet or exceed EPA guidelines.

Depending on the climate in your region, you may benefit more from some ENERGY STAR windows than others. To determine the most effective products for the area in which you live, find your climate zone by using the tool built into the ENERGY STAR website. Doing so will give you a much more accurate idea of the products you need for your home than simply looking at a list of recommended brands.

In 2018, make energy efficiency a priority. It’s easy to make upgrades to your home. After you’ve switched out your windows, you can work on small projects like insulating your attic or bigger ones like installing solar panels. In either case, it’s changes like these that can make a difference on your wallet and on the Earth.

This content was originally published here.

Hardwood vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring

When searching for attractive, durable, one-of-a-kind wood flooring to increase the value of your home, there are two great products to consider: hardwood vs. engineered hardwood.

There’s a lot to love about both of these options. Each is made from 100% real wood. And, unlike or vinyl plank alternatives, no two pieces are ever exactly alike.

But what’s the difference between the two? In the sections that follow, we’ll walk you through both products. We will also share advice and best practices from building experts, flooring manufacturers, and product reviews from real customers.

They will help you understand the differences between and engineered hardwood floors. Then, you can decide which is better for you!

In this guide, we’ll explore:

Side-by-Side Comparison

Hardwood Engineered Hardwood
Looks Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Wide variety of wood types and finishes Beautiful, natural look, no two pieces are exactly alike. Wide variety of finishes. Especially great for wide plank floors
Materials 100% wood – solid 100% wood – composite
Durability Varies by wood type, thickness, width, and finish Varies by veneer type and thickness, board thickness, and finish
Good for pets? Look for types that are recommended by the manufacturer for pets, take special precautions to protect floors Look for types that are recommended by the manufacturer for pets, take special precautions to protect floors
Expansion and Contraction Prone to expansion and contraction Does not expand or contract
Moisture and Temperature Resistance Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluxuation Sensitive to moisture and temperature fluxuation, but less so than hardwood
Care and Cleaning Frequently sweep or vacuum, occasionally mop with approved cleaner and damp mop Frequently sweep or vacuum, occasionally mop with approved cleaner and damp mop
Refinishing/Sanding Can be sanded and refinished multiple times May be sanded and refinished once, twice, or not at all depending on veneer
Radient Heat Compatability Compatible with a small subset of hardwood floors Most are compatible, check with specific manufacturer
Installation Off Limits Never below the table (basements). Avoid areas where moisture is present. Use with caution in basements, bathrooms, kitchens (and consider better options like tile, vinyl, etc.)
Installation Methods Nailed Nailed, stapled, glued, floating
DIY? Not recommended Yes, especially floating method
Cost Varies from approx $3-18 Varies from approx $3-18
Flooring Guide Hardwood Flooring Guide Engineered Hardwood Flooring Guide

What’s the Difference?

Hardwood and engineered hardwood floors are both beautiful, natural options that add value to any home. It’s also impossible to tell them apart. In order to understand the differences between hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, you must look below the surface.

Traditional hardwood floorboards, the kind that have been used by builders for hundreds of years, are cut from logs of solid wood. They are a classic choice, long associated with quality and durability.

Manufacturers offer hardwood floors in every type of wood imaginable. That includes soft pine to the hardest mahogany.

These days it’s common for hardwood floorboards to come pre-finished from the factory. They will have oil, wax, or varnish. However, homeowners also have the option to install raw wood floors for on-site finishing.

Engineered hardwood floors are a relatively new option, compared to hardwood. These floorboards have a thin veneer of wood on the surface (1/12 – ⅙ inches thick). That is fused with crisscrossed layers of wood slices underneath (think plywood).

The bottom layer gives floorboards superior strength, helping them resist expansion and contraction. The veneers are usually made of hard wood and are pre-finished in the factory. They use pretty stains and protective coatings that enhance durability.

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Moisture Resistance

Before you begin the process of comparing wood floor products, determine if wood floors – either hardwood or engineered hardwood – will hold up to the environment in your home.

Start by evaluating the climate in the places where you hope to install your flooring. Is it excessively damp or humid? Do you live in a part of the world that is prone to fluctuation in humidity or temperature?

For both types of wood flooring, experts recommend maintaining humidity between 35% and 55%. Floors that are subjected to higher percentages of humidity or rapid temperature shifts are prone to expansion and contraction.

That may cause gaping between boards, curling, or warping.  If you really want wood floors but live in a place that falls outside this range, all is not lost. Humidity may be controlled using humidifiers and/or dehumidifiers.

Unfortunately, if your space is excessively humid, prone to sudden temperature shifts, or below ground level (basements), wood floors may not be the best choice for your home. That is even the case for engineered hardwood, which beats hardwood at moisture resistance.

Luckily, there are plenty of options built to withstand moisture. Those include tile or vinyl plank flooring.

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Standing Water Resistance

Standing water is the enemy of organic materials, including wood. Before investing in wood flooring for your home, first consider the day-to-day activities that occur in the space.

For rooms in your home where people may track in or spill liquids onto the floor – such as mud rooms, bathrooms, or kitchens – proceed with caution before purchasing wood floors.

When it comes to water protection, engineered hardwood has a slight advantage over hardwood floors. That is because its crisscrossed layers below the surface provide extra strength and resistance to buckling and warping.

Some experts say that engineered hardwood does fine in bathrooms, kitchens, and even basements. That is, as long as precautions are taken to contain standing water using mats and rugs.

Others believe that especially with so many attractive, water-resistant options out there, wood floors are a risky choice.

No matter which type of floor you choose, be sure to pick one that has a durable, water-resistant finish that’s covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

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Wear and Tear

There are two major factors that determine how well a floor’s surface will hold up to daily life. Those are the type of wood it is, and the durability of its finish.

For example, in high traffic areas, you may want to avoid floors made with softwood, like pine, which are more susceptible to dents and gouges. Instead, opt for floors made of harder wood varieties, such as oak or mahogany.

Likewise, the durability of treatments used to finish the floor (varnishes, waxes, oils) makes a big difference when it comes to protecting hardwood or engineered hardwood floors from daily scuffs and scrapes.

Hardwood flooring comes in all types of wood. Make sure to do your research and buy the hardest you can afford.

Engineered hardwood manufacturers tend to default to durable wood varieties for the veneer layer of their products. But pay attention to thickness.

A veneer on the thicker side (⅙ inch) is going to hold up better than a thin one (1/12 inch). Especially when it comes to resisting dents. In both cases, the harder/thicker the wood, the more expensive it will be.

No matter what kind of flooring you choose, be sure to pay attention to how the manufacturer (or your flooring installer) treats the boards. Look for finishes that can definitely withstand household abuse and UV light.

Choose manufacturers who back their products with a substantial warranty. A floor they guarantee for 25 years is likely to last much longer than one they only guarantee for 5 years.

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Good for Pets?

Between claws, hard toys, water bowls, and the occasional potty accident, if you’re a pet owner you’ll want a floor that can stand up to Fluffy and Fido.

Pets amplify all of the wear, tear and potential hazards we’ve discussed in other sections for hardwood and engineered hardwood floors alike. Pets and wood floors can co-exist.

However, pet owners should take extra precautions to protect their wood floors. Those include using area rugs and putting the water dish on a tiled floor. In addition, trim your pets’ claws to prevent excessive scratching.

Even with these precautions in place, some pet owners are still unhappy to discover that their floors are no match for claws. To avoid problems, seek out flooring that specifically claims to stand up to pets, study customer reviews carefully, and make sure that having pets doesn’t void the product warranty.

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Refinishing

Having the option to strip, sand, and refinish your floors makes wood an attractive choice for homeowners looking to invest in their home for the long term.

If refinishing your floors in the future matters to you, know that hardwood offers the flexibility to refinish multiple times, but engineered hardwood may only withstand one or two rounds of refinishing. You cannot refinish it at all in some cases.

Because hardwood floors are a single piece of wood, you can sand and refinish them repeatedly without losing strength or durability. With thinner veneers, there’s a risk of sanding down through to the plywood below.

If you’d like the ability to refinish your engineered hardwood floors in the future, look for one with a thick veneer (ideally ⅙ inch or more), and always confirm with the manufacturer that the product if, and how often, the floor will hold up to refinishing.

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Care and Maintenance

Wood shows all the dirt and debris that comes in the door, there’s nowhere for it to hide. Since both types of flooring have similar surfaces, it makes sense that manufacturers recommend nearly identical wood cleaning methods to minimize damage and keep floors looking beautiful.

With hardwood and engineered hardwood floors, prevention is key. Manufacturers advocate the use of doormats and rugs to collect debris, as well as shoe removal and trimming pets’ nails to minimize damage.

Frequent sweeping with a microfiber floor sweeper and/or vacuuming with a hardwood-friendly soft brush will eliminate dust and abrasive grit. And when it’s time for a deeper clean, a damp terrycloth mop paired with a manufacturer-approved cleanser will remove deeper dirt and gunk. Some manufacturers recommend proactively drying the floor with a rag immediately after washing, while others say it’s OK to air dry.

In short, wood floors are a bit high-maintenance when you compare them to , tile, or vinyl. That is something to consider if you hate housework.

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In-Floor Heating System Compatibility

Energy-efficient, luxurious heated floors are all the rage these days, but these systems are not compatible with all types of wood flooring materials. While it is possible to install hardwood floors over an in-floor heating system, there are many limitations and considerations for doing so. You’ll have more flexibility if you go with engineered hardwood.

If you’ve got your heart set on installing hardwood over a floor heating system, be sure to choose floorboards that consist of American hardwoods (cherry, oak, ash, for example), are 2 ¼ inches wide or less, quartersawn, and have a moisture content of 6% or less.

Engineered hardwood, by contrast, is built to withstand temperature fluctuation by design. It is usually compatible. Always double-check with the manufacturer. Most engineered hardwood floors do fine with in-floor heating systems as long as you observe installation guidelines and temperature limits (usually 80-85 degrees F).

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Self-Installation

If you enjoy building things yourself or are looking to save on installation costs, you probably have interest in flooring that you can install yourself. When it comes to DIY floor installation, there are some big advantages to choosing engineered hardwood over hardwood floors.

Hardwood floor installation is an art and a science. It is best for someone with experience with subfloor selection and prep, moisture monitoring, proper board spacing, and all of the other details that will prevent floor damage down the road do a proper installation.

Nailing is the only installation method for hardwood, and you must do it in a deliberate way. Mistakes may cause the floor to buckle or leave gaps with natural expansion and contraction.

Engineered hardwood is much more flexible, making it possible for homeowners to install a wood floor without hiring a professional. You may nail, staple, glue, or even install floorboards as a “floating” floor. That is the most DIY-friendly option. If you’re not a flooring professional and are looking to install wood floors yourself, engineered hardwood is absolutely your best bet.

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Cost

As we’ve mentioned many times in this article, the options for wood floors vary widely, and so do the costs. Not all hardwood nor engineered hardwood floors are created equal, and when weighing a hardwood and an engineered hardwood floor of similar quality, the price will also be similar.

When shopping for hardwood floors, understand that the wood variety, width, thickness, and finish will determine the price – generally the harder, wider, thicker, and more durable the floor, the more you will need to pay.

With hardwood there are also labor costs to consider. You’ll need to pay a professional for installation, and unless you buy pre-finished boards (which cost more), be sure to account for the costs associated with finishing too.

Engineered hardwood also comes in a dizzying array of options with many variables and corresponding price points. As with hardwood, the width, thickness, and finish each impact the price tag, but veneer thickness and the type of materials used in the plywood core also matter – the thicker and stronger, the better and more expensive.

With both types of floors, it’s also worth considering the length and coverage of the warranty. If two different manufacturers sell two identical floors but one offers a 25-year warranty for $200 more while the other is cheaper but only offers 10 years, spending the extra cash may be totally worth it for peace of mind.

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The Verdict

As you can see, hardwood and engineered hardwood flooring each have their own advantages and limitations. If you are looking for a DIY option with the flexibility to install it in a variety of rooms, engineered hardwood is probably for you.

If you want a floor that you can refinish repeatedly and have it last for generations to come, hardwood flooring might be more your speed. No matter your goals, ask yourself what is non-negotiable for your project, and always be sure to read the fine print so you know your floor’s exact limitations.

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The post Hardwood vs Engineered Hardwood Flooring appeared first on Floor Critics.

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Multi-Level Outdoor Living Spaces to Inspire Your Landscaping Ideas in Glen Cove, NY | Unilock

outdoor living

Multi-Level Outdoor Living Spaces to Inspire Your Landscaping Ideas in Glen Cove, NY

While some homeowners may view a sloped backyard as a burden, others view it as an asset. All that is required to harness the dramatic potential of a hillside landscape in Glen Cove, NY, is a well-planned landscape design that makes the uneven land accessible. Homeowners without sloped landscapes are tasked with figuring out ways to add depth and dimension to their backyards, such as by adding platforms, walls, and other vertical structures. Here are a few multi-level patio projects, undertaken by contractors in New York, to inspire your growing list of landscaping ideas.

This grand outdoor living space is complete with a relaxing poolside, covered outdoor kitchen, and dining area. However, it is made even more elaborate by the addition of a raised pathway and rounded stairs that descend onto the patio. Copthorne pavers from Unilock are featured predominantly throughout the project in a blend of three rich shades. The Burgundy Red, Burnt Clay, and Old Oak shades all serve to deepen the color palette of this outdoor living design and contrast the cool blue hues that fill the pool.

Brussels Block in the light Sandstone color variation has been used to frame this entire living space and emphasize the presence of the stout stairway. When planning a multi-level landscape, it is important to connect various levels effectively using steps and walkways. This will ensure that the landscape looks and feels continuous and cohesive despite its segmented design. Pairing Brussels Dimensional System in the same Sandstone shade with Copthorne banding also ensures that the vertical components of the design, such as the outdoor kitchen and retaining walls, are visually continuous with the rest of the hardscape.

This Tuscan-style patio offers the epitome of luxury al fresco dining. The sandy Unilock Beacon Hill Flagstone pavers used throughout the hardscape pairs beautifully with any vibrant greenery nearby. A slightly darker shade of the same paver was used to demarcate individual outdoor rooms, keeping the paver selection simple and elegant.

Two sets of curved walls were constructed to enclose the dining area, and the grill was perched on a platform that overlooks the rest of the landscape. Estate Wall from Unilock was used to construct walls with a classic, weathered finish and elegant appearance. This aesthetic is complemented by the addition of a characterful lantern near the grill. Unilock offers both sleek and textured wall units for which vertical structures of any style can be constructed.

Retaining walls, and the terraces they create, are a staple component of any multi-level landscape design. This project showcases how they can be used to create terraced planters that can be filled with color and greenery. Plants add further texture and personality to any outdoor living space and are invaluable in elaborate multi-level designs.

When you’re contemplating a variety of landscaping ideas, know that there are various vertical components that may be used to accentuate the dimensions of a multi-level landscape design, such as trellises and living walls. Trellises look particularly charming in rustic settings and can be covered with climbing vines to create a screen that enhances your privacy in your landscape design.

This content was originally published here.

Cozy Outdoor Living Space – Reluctant Entertainer

outdoor living

A Cozy Outdoor Living Space is a warm, inviting outdoor living space to gather, sit, eat, and drink with friends. A space for connection and friendship.

What happens in a Cozy Outdoor Living Space? This place is where we sit and get to know new people, and catch up with old friends.

Or, new friends. (And that’s Alder the Whoodle, if you’re wanting to know who the cute dog is!)

“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat”. – Laura Ingalls

Cozy Outdoor Living Space

Does this space always look this perfect? Well … no. We tidied it up a bit to take these photos (of course).

I love fall for its beauty and colors, but then again, it’s imperfections.

Already our beautiful summer plants are looking brown and dying.

The leaves are falling. The beauty of things that are slightly off.

Longer nights, preparing for winter. But oh, the vibrant colors!

3 steps to creating a cozy outdoor living space

1. Embrace the space you have and learn to love it. What we love about our back deck is that it’s wide and open. With no covering, we get to enjoy nature around us. We’ve talked about putting up a shade or awning, but that would just ruin the space.

2. Make sure seating is comfortable. Whether you are needing some personal R&R, or are entertaining a few people, comfortable seating is going to make or break how much time is spent in your outdoor living space. My hubby built me this Sunset Magazine Inspired DIY Outdoor Sectional, and we bought the larger, thicker cusions from Target!

3. Adding rugs and pillows and a throw to an outdoor living space is a great way to add color, textures, and comfort. Just make sure to bring the pillows indoor if the rain comes (like this weekend).

Add a candle or two. It’s amazing how adding a flame to an outdoor space makes everything feel perfectly cozy. Flameless candles are a great alternative, too.

It’s the last few days of September and soon we’ll be putting away the cushions.

Folding the blankets and putting the pillows in storage.

Making a few of these Real Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe (so good!)

Cozy Fall Outdoor Living Space

Winding down with the transition to …. rain, cold, snow. (Again, Alder the Whoodle🙂 Drinks to serve outside: How to Make Iced Coffee [RecipeGirl], Hot Russian Tea Mix Recipe [RE], and

But for now, I’m soaking in every day of beauty and mid-day sunshine on my shoulders.

Very soon, we’ll be blowing out the candles of our cozy outdoor living space!

posted by Sandy on September 30, 2018
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On the Market / Fairfield home epitomizes outdoor living

outdoor living

  • The antique white-colored cottage at 441 Westport Turnpike (Route 136) is nestled in a level and sloping property of almost a half an acre in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood near Brett Woods Open Space.

    The antique white-colored cottage at 441 Westport Turnpike (Route 136) is nestled in a level and sloping property of almost a half an acre in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood near Brett Woods Open Space.

    Photo: Contributed

  • The great room features a living and dining area that has a vaulted ceiling, skylights, exposed beams, and a hand-carved wood mantel on the fireplace.

    The great room features a living and dining area that has a vaulted ceiling, skylights, exposed beams, and a hand-carved wood mantel on the fireplace.

    Photo: Contributed

  • One of the home’s wood decks sits along the Aspetuck River, where the owners sit and relax. They also fly fish in the river.

    One of the home’s wood decks sits along the Aspetuck River, where the owners sit and relax. They also fly fish in the river.

    Photo: Contributed

  • In the great room there are three decorative leaded glass windows at the front entrance.

    In the great room there are three decorative leaded glass windows at the front entrance.

    Photo: Contributed

  • One of the home’s wood decks sits along the Aspetuck River, where the owners sit and relax. They also fly fish in the river.

    One of the home’s wood decks sits along the Aspetuck River, where the owners sit and relax. They also fly fish in the river.

    Photo: Contributed

  • This house is designed to encourage indoor-outdoor living along the Aspetuck River and it includes two wood decks and stone patios.

    This house is designed to encourage indoor-outdoor living along the Aspetuck River and it includes two wood decks and stone patios.

    Photo: Contributed

  • This house has three bedrooms, including the master suite on the main living level.

    This house has three bedrooms, including the master suite on the main living level.

    Photo: Contributed

  • The kitchen features a farm sink, granite counters, an eat-in area, and a door to one of the wood decks.

    The kitchen features a farm sink, granite counters, an eat-in area, and a door to one of the wood decks.

    Photo: Contributed

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The antique white-colored cottage at 441 Westport Turnpike (Route 136) is nestled in a level and sloping property of almost a half an acre in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood near Brett Woods Open Space.

The antique white-colored cottage at 441 Westport Turnpike (Route 136) is nestled in a level and sloping property of almost a half an acre in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood near Brett Woods Open Space.

Photo: Contributed

On the Market / Fairfield home epitomizes outdoor living

FAIRFIELD — The changing lifestyle of the average American in the last decade or so has led to the extension of indoor living spaces into the outdoor landscape and more emphasis on improved outdoor features.

The romantic, antique white-colored cottage at 441 Westport Turnpike (Route 136) is nestled in a level and sloping property that epitomizes outdoor living. The property of almost a half an acre in the Greenfield Hill neighborhood near the intersection of four towns — Fairfield, Weston, Easton, and Westport — has frontage along the Aspetuck River. The current owners enjoy relaxing on their patios and decks, listening to soothing sounds from the waterfall, and fly fishing on the river. There are plenty of other activities in which to participate, all nearby. They can hike, camp and go horseback riding in the 185.7-acre Brett Woods Open Space wildlife conservation area in Fairfield. Brett Woods Park is also not far in neighboring Easton.

Golfing and tennis are available at the Patterson Club. This cottage has an indirect connection to neighboring Westport’s famed resident, Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman. For more than a decade it was owned and occupied by Newman’s personal assistant, who made a number of improvements to the house and property, particularly the stone walls and patios. The house was originally built in 1950 and has 2,089 square feet of living space on two levels. A previous owner gutted the kitchen and added city water, city gas, sprinklers, and a generator. He had moved to this area to marry a local woman and fell in love with the setting, the co-listing agents said.

The current owners also fell in love with the house and the setting with its attractive landscaping, including English gardens, and woodlands. The setting is conducive to creative people, as the current owners are; he is a screenwriter and professor, she is a costume designer. They added to the list of improvements replacing the roof and adding new fencing during the time they lived in the house. They might still be there but left because their family became too large for the cottage.

A stone wall and many stone pillars topped with lanterns line the front of the property. Two of those stone pillars mark the entrance to the property and stone steps lead passed tiered flower beds down to the covered front door. The gardens include hostas, ferns, rhododendrons, and many other perennial flowers and shrubbery. At the base of the steps there is a stone inlaid flower blossom or star design. The door opens into the spacious great room on the main living level, which features three decorative leaded glass windows, a vaulted ceiling, ceiling fan, skylights, exposed beams, wood-paneled walls, and a hand-carved wood mantel on the fireplace. The great room comprises the living and dining rooms. In the chef’s kitchen there are black granite counters, custom cabinetry, a farm sink, and a walk-in pantry. Stainless appliances include a Bosch dishwasher and GE range.

Large picture windows provide spectacular views. French doors separate the great room from a den, where there is a door to one of the decks. Another door across from the kitchen leads to the same deck. The first floor master bedroom suite features a vaulted ceiling, sitting area, bay window, and private bath with a marble vanity. On the lower level there are two additional bedrooms with a full bath, laundry room, and an office with French doors to a private patio. Extensive stonework creates three separate patios for entertaining, and two decks looking over the property with attractive river views.

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

ADDRESS: 441 Westport Turnpike

FEATURES: 0.47-acre level and sloping property, waterfront along the Aspetuck River, river view, 20KW generator, patios, two decks, English gardens, underground sprinkler, partially fenced property, one fireplace, walking distance to Brett Woods Park and Brett Woods Open Space, proximity to the Connecticut Audubon Society at Larsen Sanctuary and the Patterson Club, less than 10 minutes from Southport Village and downtown Westport, central air conditioning, zoned natural gas heat, 30-gallon water heater tank, city water, skylights, full finished walk-out basement, attic, detached two-car garage, shed, ample storage, three bedrooms, two full baths.

SCHOOL: Burr Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High

Although this property is on a well-traveled roadway it enjoys an abundance of privacy, and while it seems a world away from civilization it is actually less than 10 minutes to Southport Village and downtown Westport.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Emily Gordon of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; Gordon at 203-451-6432 or egordon3@optonline.com.

https://www.fairfieldcitizenonline.com/realestate/article/On-the-Market-Fairfield-home-epitomizes-outdoor-13345958.php

This content was originally published here.

Techo-Bloc Outdoor Living: 5 Key Things To Inlcude

outdoor living

There’s no better way to spend a beautiful NJ evening than relaxing in the comfort of your own outdoor living room. Whether you’re looking to construct a brand new outdoor living space or are in need of giving your existing space a facelift, Techo-Bloc is the way to go. Techo-Bloc is known for designing and manufacturing the highest quality materials for hardscaping and landscaping at fair and reasonable prices. Although you can’t go wrong with any Techo-Bloc piece, today we’re highlighting five of our favorite Techo-Bloc products that you can use to give your outdoor living room the makeover it deserves.

1. Borealis Slabs

We’re crazy about the look and feel of Borealis slabs by Techo-Bloc. Unlike most Techo-Bloc products which are designed to look like natural stone, this particular line has been crafted to mimic the appearance of natural hardwood. As such, the slabs are the perfect fit for anyone interested in adding a bit of warmth and a homey vibe to their outdoor living room. The faux wood comes in several different shades and is easily incorporated with outdoor living room furniture and other hardscaping elements.

2. Manchester Foyer

Every outdoor living room should have an incredible focal point that will draw you and your guests together, and there’s no better fit than the Techo-Bloc Manchester Foyer fireplace kit. This stunning fireplace will capture the imagination of yourself, your friends, and your family members as you enjoy the gorgeous NJ spring, summer, and autumn evening under the stars. Imagine the warm crackle of the fire coming from your faux stone fireplace as you trade stories and make memories that last for a lifetime.

3. Mini Creta Wall Ledges

The Mini Creta collection from Techo-Bloc is known for being one of the brand’s most versatile and popular stones. This is because the blocks can be used to create stunning walls that divide up your outdoor living space and can even double as recessed wall ledges or seating. Creating a ledge built into the wall allows for cozy and intimate seating for family gatherings or simply for enjoying a good book and a cup of iced tea. Add even more appeal by lining your Mini Creta bench with outdoor pillows.

4. Raffinato Fire Pit

Everyone loves the idea of getting together and spending quality time around a fire. In addition to fireplace kits, Techo-Bloc also offers the perfect materials for constructing beautiful, functional, and modern fire pits. Our pick for 2018 is the Raffinato collection. This simple yet elegant collection offers style and sophistication. The blocks look great with any Techo-Bloc “flooring” you choose for your outdoor living room.

5. Antika Pavers

The natural “stepping stone” look of Antika pavers creates the sense of being in the countryside or an English garden. These pavers can be used to create a unique floor for your outdoor living room or can even be used to add interest to your floor by serving as a border or edging accent.

Creating a Techo-Bloc Living Room in NJ

Braen Supply is here to help you transform your outdoor living room into something truly spectacular with Techo-Bloc. As authorized Techo-Bloc dealers we carry a full inventory of superior Techo-Bloc products at low and competitive prices. Our team of experts is more than happy to help you choose the best materials for your project and to provide you with advice and input. Our Techo-Bloc products can be picked up or bulk delivered to select areas throughout parts of NJ, NY, NYC, and limited parts of PA, and CT.

This content was originally published here.

10 Pros and Cons of Hardwood Flooring You Should Know – Architecture Lab

If you’re looking out for flooring that suits your budget and gives that rich feel to your feet, then wood is the option that always stands out. The natural beauty of wood and its warmth attracts us to dream of having a house with hardwood floors.

There is so much class and elegance that connotes to such a flooring, that it is natural for you to gravitate towards it. These days we can find different types of flooring material that can eventually match the grandiose of wooden flooring. But, wood gives a sense of luxury and elegance, by enhancing the overall ambiance of your home.

If you are looking out for a style that is both versatile and blends with every type of decor, then wood flooring is the best option. It gives a lot of warmth and character to both traditional and modern homes. Whether you are using wood flooring for your office or residential space, it is a classy and reliable choice for both.

So, let’s make you aware of the advantages and disadvantages before you get the hardwood floors installed!

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Even though the pricing might be slightly on the higher side during initial investment, but with proper maintenance, it can last you for more than a lifetime. Whereas, the regular carpet flooring, linoleum flooring or the laminate ones tend to get damaged too soon, due to wear and tear.

We have highlighted 10 benefits of hardwood flooring for you:

A long-term investment

Wood flooring tends to last for more than a hundred years if they are maintained well. They might seem like a big investment initially, but you don’t need to replace them every 10 or 20 years like the other types of flooring. It also provides a good return on investment, as the value of wood flooring continues to increase with time.

Budget is always an important factor while choosing the type of flooring you want. But these days, wood floorings have both expensive and inexpensive options. It is an expense that is of good worth in the end, as wooden flooring can outlive you and increase the market value of your residence.

When your opting for wood flooring you will be presented with a wide array of choices. You can select one depending on your budget and availability. Not even a single plank has the same shade or color,  which makes it more authentic while enhancing its aesthetic appeal. If you want then you can also stain them when you get bored of the same color. You could also mix and match the woods that will give the flooring an interesting look.

The different types of wood flooring that are available include:

Quality that is ageless

Your carpet and vinyl flooring need to be replaced after a certain duration but wood flooring just requires to be refurbished or re-sanded.  This helps to refresh the flooring to its original state while maintaining its luster and finish. Wood flooring is less prone to damage and looks more graceful with age.

They don’t tend to look worn out or dull, and the timeless style of wooden flooring ensures that it’s always in fashion. This trend has been used at homes for ages, so you can rest assured that you will be saving an ample amount of time and money in the future.

Easy maintenance and hygiene

If you clean the wooden flooring, by vacuuming, mopping and keep it dry then it’s good to go. They don’t tend to attract too much debris, dust or dirt because of the non-electromagnetic nature of wooden flooring.

 The general maintenance of wooden flooring is pretty simple while they are pretty resistant to liquid spills. Usually household with pets tend to have a musty and an unpleasant smell due to spills on the carpeted area, but with wooden flooring, this can be the least of your worries.

Healthy air quality at home

Wooden flooring does not nurture any type of parasites like fleas, dust mites or spores. They prevent from attracting any type of allergens, animal dander or molds, which causes allergies. Therefore the indoor environment is kept safer than what is usually prevalent with other types of flooring.

When there are children at home, they are more susceptible to allergies, and doctors tend to recommend wooden flooring to allergy sufferers. It is a healthy choice due to its hypo-allergic nature and does not trap unpleasant odors. With wooden flooring you can also  install an underfloor heating system, that acts as an efficient and effective way to keep the house warm

Better for babies

One of the popular choices for kids rooms is usually wooden flooring. It is harmless and non-toxic, which is best for babies who have just learned to crawl. There is an improvement in their motor skills when they are exposed to wooden flooring.

As wooden floorings are simple to clean and maintain, this makes it a better option than the others. If there are scratches on the floor then it can also be painted or you can simply sand them. Parents usually tend to appreciate wooden flooring, as the tendency of small things being hidden under the carpet is negligible.

Good acoustics

With hardwood flooring, you can avoid any type of vibrations. Wood flooring is a good idea, when you are not working in a noisy environment otherwise it can make it sound like a cafeteria. But, if you love music or your children play any instruments than the sound will be clear as it prevents hollow sounds.

Improves the value of your home

Even though the upfront cost of wooden flooring is high, but it tends to improve the value of the property. A house with hardwood flooring tends to be sold faster, which reflects how the choice of flooring tends to upgrade the value of a place. In the end, it provides a rich outlook as its texture just keeps getting better with time.

Hardwood flooring has been increasingly popular because it’s the healthiest option available with an organic origin. If you want flooring that is biodegradable then wood is a great option.

Wooden flooring helps to reduce the environmental impact and helps with building a sustainable home. It is easy to maintain and clean, as the toxicity level is also low.

Easy installation

Laying of the hardwood is easy and installing it properly can enhance the quality of your home. Hiring a professional and getting this job done is the best option for you, as any errors can ruin the entire look. The wooden planks are usually reasonably thick, so even if there are small differences in the floor height then it can be managed, while this is not the case for laminates.

The highlight is floorboards which are usually clipped together and can be removed easily, you can take it along when you’re relocating.

Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring

The disadvantages of wood flooring are generally not well known, but it is usually affected by humidity and fluctuations in temperature. In cool and damp weather, the wood is more prone to swelling, but in a warm and dry room, it has the tendency to shrink.

We have found 10 drawbacks of hardwood flooring for you:

The cost of wooden flooring is much higher than our regular carpets or tiles. So, this might not be an affordable option for all. Hardwood flooring is usually installed over sub-flooring this makes the installation a complicated process. The cost of getting professional help may vary.

Prone to termite attack

Termites feed on wood, and most of the modern homes are built by keeping such dangers in mind. Such infestations are common with spruce and southern yellow pine along with many others. Therefore, choosing the right type of wood is important to avoid such problems. Termites usually destroy the wood from the inside out, so look out for small damages on the floor.

Try tapping the floor with a screwdriver and if you hear some hollow sound, then they are caused by cavities that have been made by the termites. When your hardwood flooring becomes weak due to termite infestation it tends usually creak and make a squeaky sound.

Avoid water contact

You can clean the wooden flooring with a mop, but they should not be dripping with water. The hardwood flooring will be destroyed in the occurrence of a seepage. Harsh detergents should be avoided while cleaning the surface.

Wood flooring is prone to having dents and scratches, therefore you need to take proper care. While there are also chances of getting stains on the floor if there is spillage. This is why you need to be extra careful with children and your pets. If you choose hardwood floors they show the blemishes prominently, as compared to softwood flooring.

Limited usage

Hardwood flooring is not a very suitable option for all the rooms in your home. We do not advise you to get it installed on your bathroom and kitchen. As these are areas with high exposure to moisture and spills, which can damage the wood.

This occurs when the edges of your wood board are higher than the center, due to the moisture content which has gradually caused the wood to expand. You should avoid water spills on the hardwood flooring as the water gets absorbed easily.

As the wood expands there is compression in the hardwood flooring since all the boards are kept close together. And the expansion results in damaging the edges of the board.

It is the opposite of cupping; the center of the wood board becomes higher than the edges. This happens in humid conditions when the moisture content is high. It can also occur if you start sanding the edges when you have noticed cupping, but if the moisture content has not dried up then it leads to crowning.

After sanding the edges, the center of the wood board will start to rise (crowning) if you do not let the wood dry up at first.

If there is any indication of molds or fungus, then you should look out for water seepage. They tend to grow in humid and wet areas, while they commonly in the gaps between the top and sub-layer of the floor. You might discover molds as they spread and start destroying the top layer of hardwood floor.

You might have to replace the wood if there is excess growth of molds. Hardwood flooring needs to be properly maintained so take precautions for water seepage, as they make breeding grounds for molds.

Once the hardwood flooring is completed, it will be providing you with a noise-free and solid ground. But after a few decades of use the constant wear and tear, and excessive movement can alter certain sections of the wood flooring. This can cause clicking and creaking sounds as you walk on the surface.

 It can cause a great deal of nuisance for your neighbors living downstairs if you’re residing in an apartment.

High maintenance

You will be required to polish them quite frequently like every 3-4 years, especially the areas that are frequently used. It is important to keep the flooring clean to avoid excessive dust and debris, which can make the surface appear dull and can cause scratches.

The floor needs to be mopped only by using a microfiber mopping cloth and sprays which are meant for wooden floors. If you are vacuuming the hardwood flooring than ensure that the model has an on-off brush roll feature, and do not keep the brush roll (used for cleaning carpets) active as it can lead to scratches.

Final words

Selecting the right kind of flooring can get a little tricky. By weighing the pros and cons of hardwood flooring, you will definitely make a wise decision. 

 Your home is your humble abode, so select the best for it!

This content was originally published here.

Unique Pergola Designs for Outdoor Living

outdoor living

If you’re looking for something unique to improve your outdoor living space, consider these pergola designs to make your space usable year-round. Pergolas add a design element that can expand your existing backyard area by virtually creating an extra room. Some of the newest pergola designs can be used to create an outdoor kitchen, expand your entertaining area, or make a simple secluded spot to relax. Whether you’re an old pro at planning and designing or a newbie on the DIY scene, we recommend starting with these 3 questions to get the ball rolling.

How Will Your Outdoor Living Space Be Used?

Are you trying to expand your usable backyard space by building an outdoor living room? Or simply just looking for a patio cover? One of our standard pergola designs can create that outdoor retreat you’ve envisioned. Add a retractable canopy and you’ll have the option for more shade on sunny days.

How Much Space Do You Have to Accommodate a Unique Pergola Design?

Before you get too far down the road of planning for a unique pergola design, take some measurements. Our guide to measuring pergolas can assist you with this. Do you have a small or medium size backyard that you’d like to use more? Create your own sitting area designed around your natural landscaping. Pergola designs can be enhanced by adding post pavers to accent your décor.

What’s Most Important to You When It Comes to Outdoor Living?

poolside patio to include a wood patio cover? Need a bit more shade? Pergolas create a protected place to entertain or relax after a long day’s work. If you’re using the pergola for shade, you can opt for one of our maximum coverage designs such as The Big Kahuna pergola kit which offers the most coverage. Other designs offer a little less shade cover but also allow for more breeze.

Remember when you’re planning how you’ll be using your outdoor living space to start with the end in mind. If you have a vision that includes one of these pergola designs, step one is to measure your usable space. Then you can jump in and look at the different styles of pergola kits we offer. Our pergolas are designed for outdoor living in many different landscapes. Have fun planning and contact us with any questions along the way!

The post Unique Pergola Designs for Outdoor Living appeared first on Pergola Kits by Pergola Depot.

This content was originally published here.

15 Pros and Cons of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

Prefinished hardwood flooring goes against the rules of tradition since the typical installation process involves staining and finishing the wood after the planks are in place. This process creates a protective layer that you make on-site for a custom finish that can meet the challenges of the local environment. Manufacturers are now finishing the planks themselves to reduce the amount of time that’s necessary to finish the installation work.

It is essential to remember that the advantages of prefinished hardwood flooring apply when discussing products that are a solid, authentic wood. If you are using engineered hardwood flooring, laminate products, or something similar, then these pros and cons do not apply to the options you are considering today.

If you are using a solid (not engineered) product, then the pros and cons of prefinished hardwood flooring are worth considering because you can save some installation time while still managing your overall costs.

List of the Pros of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

1. Prefinished hardwood floors have a high durability level.
When the manufacturer applies a finish treatment to the hardwood floors, they are using a robust chemical sealer that is not available to installers who operate on-site. That means there are aluminum oxide crystals embedded into the urethane coat of the product so that the planks have a higher resistance to wear-and-tear issues after installation. If you were to follow the traditional processes for hardwood flooring, you might get 2-5 years of life from the product before a resurfacing project became necessary.

Thanks to this unique advantage, manufacturers are now offering prefinished hardwood flooring that comes with a warranty of 25 years or more. Most of the warranties come with protection against defects in the materials and the finishing processes used to create the planks in the first place.

2. The installation of prefinished hardwood flooring is a simple process.
The installation of prefinished hardwood flooring follows the same processes that a contractor or DIY specialist would use to install unfinished planks. This advantage creates a time savings because you do not go through the process of sanding and staining the material once you have the flooring in place.

When you sand an unfinished hardwood floor, then the room typically fills with sawdust which must be thoroughly cleaned to avoid any breathing issues in the future. It can also take several hours, if not several days, for the finishes on the flooring to dry between each coat. The finish could also leave a residual odor in the air that can take several weeks to dissipate, which is not an issue with prefinished planks.

3. Your maintenance chores are easier with prefinished hardwood flooring.
Because prefinished hardwood flooring offers a surface seal which is stronger and more durable thanks to its factory application, the maintenance chores for this option are significantly reduced when compared to engineered products or other flooring alternatives. This option tends to be more impervious to stains, moisture damage, and discoloration issues that can impact the visual appeal of other floors. When you combine this advantage with the longer-lasting finish that you receive, that means there are fewer issues with mess, time investments and expenses when compared to the other options which are available.

4. You can still refinish a prefinished floor if you want.
Although one of the unique advantages of a prefinished hardwood floor is that you don’t need to finish or refinished it in the future, you still have the option to change up your look if you want after installation. You can sand down beneath the coating that the factory applied to the product to reveal the natural wood of the planks. Then you can apply your preferred stain and seal to give each room the visual impact that you want it to have. Any of the on-site treatment techniques that you would use with an unfinished product are usable at this stage if you get beneath the manufacturer’s work.

5. You can use the flooring right away once the installation work is complete.
When you decide to use prefinished hardwood flooring, then the surface is ready to use right away. Unless you decide to seal the edges of your planks, you can walk on your new floor as soon as they are in place. There is no need to wait for the finish to dry, and you do not need to relocate out of your home because of the fumes of the finishing products. Because everything is done at the factory, this option is the closest that you can get to a plug and play floor while using hardwood materials.

6. Prefinished hardwood floors have a harder initial surface.
When the manufacturer finishes the planks for your prefinished hardwood flooring at the factory, then you will receive a harder surface when compared to finishing the work on site. The added durability that you receive with this advantage means that your new floor can withstand harsher treatment, making it a suitable choice for households that are always busy. This choice also works well if you have dogs or cats at home, and you want to enjoy all of the benefits that come with owning a hardwood floor.

7. You will have more consistency and uniformity with the final product.
If you choose to use the traditional installation processes for unfinished planks, then there is a risk of coloring, sealing, and staining not being consistent. Although that can add some aesthetic variety to the final product, many homeowners are finding that the uniformity and consistency offered by prefinished hardwood floors add some more curb appeal to the value of their property. Each plank goes through the same finishing processes at the factory to ensure that the results are what you want to see every time.

Some products even come with an anti-scratch coating that helps to make the final floor more resistant to the minor surface damage that tends to accumulate in the average home.

8. The cost profile for a prefinished hardwood floor is the same as an unfinished one.
When you decide to install a hardwood floor in your home, then the cost of a prefinished plank is similar to what you would spend for an unfinished product. The average national cost in the United States to install a wooden floor is approximately $4,500. You can save some money by using a softwood product like pine, but then you will be sacrificing durability to reduce the initial capital expense. Plan to pay between $5 to $8 per square foot for a usable product that will highlight the natural beauty of your home.

This option is the gold standard in flooring, so look for the options with the best cost profile to ensure that you can get exactly what you want.

List of the Cons of Prefinished Hardwood Flooring

1. Your seams will not be sealed with prefinished hardwood flooring.
Because the manufacturer is sealing the prefinished hardwood floor at the factory, there is no way for the planks to have their edges sealed after the installation process is completed. You must apply an agent to the floor to protect against having dirt and grime caught between the planks because of this disadvantage. If you fail to add a sealing agent, then there can be issues with water penetration, eventually leading to mold or rot growing beneath the surface of the planks.

2. Most prefinished hardwood flooring products come with beveled edges.
There are fewer style choices to consider with prefinished hardwood flooring when compared to an unfinished plank. Most of the manufacturers use a beveled edge with this product instead of creating a sharp corner. That means the slightly rounded edges tend to offer a look that is more finished when the work is complete, but it also gives your floor a look that speaks of it being manufactured.

You may discover that the look of your prefinished hardwood flooring planks does not match your other floors at home if you are repairing, upgrading, or installing a new floor in a different room. It might be better to look for straight-edge options instead, even if that means using an unfinished product at the end of the day.

3. Any flaws in your subfloor will become immediately evident with this product.
When you install unfinished planks in a room, then the final steps of the job entail sanding the floor so that you receive a flat surface. This work is not part of the installation process for a prefinished hardwood floor. That means you will not have the opportunity to remove any height irregularities that can exist when the subfloor is uneven. Any flaws that are present below the surface of the floor will become evident immediately, which means you will need to create a perfectly flat foundation to maintain the health and quality of the final product. This disadvantage can drive up the cost of the project significantly, so older homes can sometimes benefit from a thorough inspection and evaluation before installing your first planks.

4. Heavy sanding is necessary to change the look of a prefinished floor.
If you decide that you don’t like the look of your prefinished hardwood floor or it is not aging well, then it will require heavy sanding to get through the factory topcoat. Even if the planks come with a 25-year warranty, they surface seal is going to receive scratches, start fading, and experience discoloration. Refinishing the surface requires extensive sanding to reach the hardwood of the product, cutting down on the thickness of your planks. This disadvantage eventually limits the number of times that you’ll have an opportunity to refinish the floor in the future.

5. Repairing prefinished hardwood floors can be a complicated process.
If you are working with unfinished planks, then a quick repair can happen if a piece of wood becomes damaged during the installation process. All you need to do is to sand down the imperfect spot to get a level floor once again. Because the prefinished wood comes with such a thick sealant layer, the only way to repair the floor is to refinish the entire space or remove and replaced the section which requires fixing. There are no simple ways to restore the value of your installation if something unexpected happens.

6. You have access to fewer installation options with a prefinished hardwood floor.
If you are installing a hardwood floor and want your contractor to perform inlays or other unique elements with the design of your planks, then you almost always need to purchase an unfinished product instead of using something that was finished at the factory. There are certain wood types and plank sizes which are not available when you choose prefinished hardwood flooring. There are also some specific styles and shapes that only come when you choose an option that requires on-site finishing.

Think of prefinished hardwood flooring as the option you want when a fast installation that still looks good is your top priority. If your preference is to have a custom look that requires a higher level of craftsmanship to complete, then an unfinished flooring option is the better choice.

7. There are fewer choices available to you with prefinished hardwood flooring.
Unfinished hardwood flooring can come in a wide variety of lengths, widths, grain types, colors, and other preferences that you might have. Then you can choose to finish the product in the way that you think is best. Choosing prefinished hardwood flooring can come with a wide variety of benefits, but you will have fewer choices available to you since the goal is to create a consistent plank. The manufacturing processes give you more durability in return, but it takes away the idea of a custom product.

Conclusion of the Pros and Cons of Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Prefinished hardwood floors give you an opportunity to install beautiful planks at an affordable price. You can avoid many of the uncomfortable sights and smells of finishing the traditional hardwood floor, receive a durable surface that can last for decades, and enjoy a low-maintenance lifestyle with this product.

There are also some specific challenges that this flooring option presents. The manufacturing style takes a specific approach that typically bevels the edges, creating a visual aesthetic that might not match what you have with the rest of the house.

If you have a knowledgeable contractor or experience doing this work yourself, then the advantages typically outweigh any negative experiences you might have. Consider your situation today to see if the pros and cons of prefinished hardwood floors can land in your favor too.

This content was originally published here.

Turn Your Houston, Texas Outdoor Living Space into Your Own Personalized Paradise – Allied Outdoor Solutions

outdoor living

Turn Your Houston, Texas Outdoor Living Space into Your Own Personalized Paradise

Are you a Houston homeowner looking to enhance your outdoor living space?  If so, then we are the team for you.  Here at Allied Outdoor Solutions we offer a full lineup of outdoor living areas that will not only provide you with a new setting for all those family gatherings and parties, but will also add to the overall value of your Houston, Texas home as well.

From kitchens and patios to pergolas and fire pits, to name a few, we take pride in adding style, design and charm to your homes and your backyard.  The team here at Allied Outdoor Solutions works right alongside of you in creating your new fully functional outdoor living space.  With a new outdoor kitchen and patio, you can enjoy enhanced space and comfort when hosting all your backyard festivities and events.

Our highly skilled and trained contractors have the commitment, experience, dedication and know-how needed to help you design and create the perfect outdoor living area for your home and family.  Specializing in elegant Carvestone, whatever your choices, whatever your options, rest assured we have got you covered.

Outdoor living areas give that added special touch to your backyard.  They personalize your experience and are an element of your own personality.  Our contractors are steadfast in designing and building your customized outdoor living space, whether a kitchen and patio, or even a stylish fire pit to accent your home’s existing décor while adding luxury, curb appeal and value to your home.

With years of experience in interior and exterior home remodeling services, the folks here at Allied Outdoor Solutions stand ready to serve your every need.  Summer has arrived so what better time of year to put your outdoor living space project into motion.  To learn more about our top-rated services and our specialized outdoor living area designs, contact us and schedule your free consultation today.  We look forward to serving you and to providing you with the best all round outdoor living additions this side of Texas!

Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

This content was originally published here.

How to Add Home Resale Value with Outdoor Living Spaces – The Healthy Voyager

outdoor living

Outdoor living spaces have been a high priority for homeowners in the first part of 2019.

More than a quarter of people surveyed in December about home improvements said that outdoor areas were on the list for spring. 

If you’re only getting started on your exterior, we’ve identified the best ways to add value to your house using your outdoor space. We’ve also hinted at how to avoid spending unnecessary cash along the way.

Ready to increase your home resale value?

How to Add Home Resale Value with Outdoor Living Spaces

There are plenty of ways to prepare your house before a viewing to get the best return on your investment. Here are a few ways to boost the bids using outdoor spaces.

1. Keep it Simple

Ditch the luxury patio fit-out as shown to provide poor returns. Instead, you want to provide a simple space that appeals to a buyers desire for an outdoor area. Then they can create the outdoor space of their choice.

That means you don’t even need to add a DIY backyard patio or a deck, all you need to do is showcase that there is space for one.

Make sure if you’re showcasing an outdoor space that it is well-kept and today to attract buyers.

2. Keep the Patio Appropriate

If you do want to add an outdoor space there are a few ground rules to make sure it is an asset, not a waste of money.

You want to make sure that any deck or patio is only 1/3 of the size of the outdoor space. This leaves room for grassy play areas for children and pets and a buffer area.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in backyard renovations is building a patio that out-prices your home. Keep it in proportion and use the materials and style that match your house. Depending on the architectural style of your home you would choose brick, stone, or concrete pavers or poured concrete.

3. Power Wash and Reseal Patio

If you have an existing patio or deck, there are still options for you to improve the value of your home by showing them a little attention. 

Powerwash any external patio areas to give the impression that they are newly installed. Then you want to re-seal the paving. You need to do this every couple of years to keep the paving protected from damage.

This doesn’t have to be expensive, as you can rent the pressure washer from Home Depot instead of purchasing one for yourself. You can also buy the concrete sealant from home depot and follow online tutorials on how to apply it. 

These two simple steps can transform your outdoor spaces. The effect it can have on buyer interest will surprise you.

4. Wipe Down Outdoor Furniture

In the same line of thinking as above, tired and dirty outdoor furniture can leave an impression on buyers without them even realizing it. 

There is no need to go out and buy new furniture if you can salvage it. You only need to know how to treat each outdoor material to get it back to it’s best condition.

Here are our recommendations for cleaning up your furniture:

If you can wash any outdoor cushion covers, do this as well and soon your furniture will look brand new.

Then take one last look at it. Is it in the best location? Make sure you position your furniture to optimize the space and welcome visitors.

5. Repaint exterior

There are lots of small tips and tricks to freshen up your curb appeal but one big task that could bump up the value of your home is a re-paint. 

Repainting your home exterior or your front door improves the first impressions of a tired looking exterior. 

It doesn’t need to break the bank. You can focus on doors and window ledges to give the impression of a new exterior. It’s the small things which you think people won’t notice that bring together a strong appearance.

That leads us on to our final point…

6. Stage the scene

It might seem like a bit of a waste of time but by adding small tweaks here and there to stage the scene you could increase the value of your house by up to 10 percent.

Keep it cheap and simple. Even Target has an outdoor section that allows you to add a few new on-trend cushions to your furniture or affordable planters to sit on the patio or outside your front door.

You don’t need to go overboard. As we said earlier, keeping it simple is key. However, by adding a few little details you can create an inviting space that buyers can see themselves enjoying.

Need some inspiration? Take a look at these homes making full use of their outdoor spaces in Killearn Lakes, Tallahassee.

Going…Going…Gone!

By investing a little of your time and money, you can use your outdoor living spaces to boost the value of your home. 

It doesn’t need to be a huge project. With the tips we’ve shown you, you can boost your value by thousands in the space of a weekend.

Increase the value of your house further with these eco-upgrades.

This content was originally published here.

Create spectacular spaces for outdoor living | Calgary Herald

outdoor living

The drinks are on ice, the country playlist is cranked and friends are on their way.

Calgarians are ready to celebrate the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth with some of the best backyard Stampede-style parties in some of the best backyards in the West.

Backyards that have two-stepped into the 21st century by becoming glamorous, multi-purpose three-season outdoor living spaces. Can we get a Yahoo?

“People are beginning to realize what an outdoor living space truly is,” says Danny Ritchie, president of Ultimate Renovations in Calgary. “They see our show homes that feature outdoor living spaces that have kitchens, but they’re noticing that they can also put a TV out there and a wood-burning fireplace and a heater. They’re thinking, man, I can almost be out there all winter.”

Ritchie says more people want to be outside, so decks are getting larger to accommodate fancy kitchens, dining areas, bars and conversation areas. Deck space is also being covered by a roof to protect everything and everyone from the elements.

“An outdoor area that’s not covered or heated isn’t really a living space,” he admits.

Decks and patios are designed to create flow from the inside of the home outward and visa versa. With extensive use of glass, large windows and doors that fold accordion-style, the indoor and outdoor space becomes one.

Jeff Campbell, founder of Calgary’s Vision Scapes, thinks that people gather in outdoor spaces just like they do in the kitchen.

“People like to build spectacular kitchens because that’s the heart of the home. We’re trying to take that exact same principle and apply it to the outside. We create another heart, so that the outdoor kitchen isn’t just a place to cook,” he says. “We’ve put in a bar or a chef’s table so guests or family can be with whoever is cooking and enjoy a glass of wine as they watch.”

He figures 30 to 40 per cent of his customers want outdoor kitchens, which often include a grill, a bar fridge, outdoor storage and sometimes unique accessories like a smoker, a sink or a sear station.

“I had a client last year who loved cooking breakfast outside. We installed a flat grill and he does his pancakes and bacon out there. His wife loves it because the house doesn’t smell like bacon,” Campbell says.

In looking at the backyard, he notes that often people try to cram everything they want in an outdoor space within the first 20 feet around the house.

“The interior of the home isn’t designed that way. You have open-concept living and then you have rooms in the home and we also try to create that open concept yet with destinations within the yard. That could be a firepit in the corner or a unique play area for the kids. Using the entire space is integral to great design,” he says.

Outdoor living is a “thing” all over the world. It’s starting to become more of a thing in Calgary because we’ve finally realized there are ways to stay warm.

“It’s not that people don’t want a pool or that type of space. They just want a return on investment in usable time for it. We’re working to find a way to make weather not as much of an issue by using heaters, automated pergola systems that close off over outdoor kitchens and living areas. People have done heated decks around their pool to allow them to run late into the fall,” he says.

Campbell, as one of the designers within Vision Scapes, says he’s always studying what’s happening in outdoor design in Los Angeles, Florida, Brazil and overseas.

“Honestly and unfortunately, trends in construction don’t start in Western Canada,” he says smiling.

This content was originally published here.

Pretty Modern Timber House interior Designs with indoor Outdoor Living and

outdoor living

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Just try not to grin on a indoor swing. “They remind me of my youth, spark creativity, and are, obviously, super cozy,” says Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy’s resident trend expert, who appears to have some in her office. She is not the least bit surprised that decorators and Instagrammers alike are currently obsessed. |} Neither is designer Starrett Zenko Ringbom, who attributes the tendency to a rise in the energetic side of style:”It is the nervousness folks get when they are decorating their houses that holds them back from becoming daring –I believe folks are letting go of that.”

If you, too, are letting go and trying to infuse a little extra experience into your home in the kind of a indoor hanging or swing seat, here’s what you need to know. It’s true, you can DIY it, however you have to know what you’re doing–choose it from a pro. pro and Taskrabbit tasker, told House Beautiful about the swing-hanging procedure.|}

Step 1: Pick Your Location
Along with ensuring that the swing itself may fit in your chosen place, you have to make sure that there’s adequate room around it. “Pick a place which allows for at least three feet of distance behind the swing, and at least 14 inches on each side to prevent hitting a wall or rail,” Chenkin advises.

Step 2: Find the Ceiling Joist
It may be the second step, but it is definitely the most important. You need to locate a good ceiling joist to mount the swing into, and in the event that you can not locate a good ceiling joist in your chosen place, it is back to square one–having the ideal amount of space doesn’t mean anything if it can not be safely installed .

“If you don’t find a good joist, installers risk attaching the swing mount to a ceiling that cannot support this, or worse–it will pull the ceiling down on the man or woman sitting in the fold,” Chenkin states. “When the only place you’ve got to get a swing can not support the load, then you have to consider an alternate location or having a mounting plate.”

And you have to be careful, because not all of ceilings may maintain the weight of a swing. When they seem solid,”a few ceilings are purely cosmetic,” he clarifies. “Most suspended ceilings aren’t designed to hold any real weight.”
Chenkin also adds that you might have to mount a board across the joists to”ensure adequate support for the swing,” which would require opening up the ceiling and also incorporating extra support.
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Step 3: Install (and Check! ) ) |} the Mount
As soon as you’ve got your place –along with a ceiling joist with appropriate support–it is time to install the mount. Thus, let us talk about weight demands:”A single individual swing ought to have a mount of 600 pounds capacity or longer,” Chenkin states, noting a double fold requires two mounts.
Now, for the install. First, you have to pre-drill holes and use suitable lag bolts to attach the mounting. |} Then you have to test it out–yes, before you really hang the swing. “Test it with your entire body weight by hanging on the mount,” he clarifies.
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Measure 4: Hang the Swing|}
“After the mount is installed, attach the fold and then double-check the fold cable or ropes to ensure it is solid,” Chenkin states. When you hang the swing, then you ought to make sure it’s in the appropriate height–typically that must be somewhere between 18 and 24 inches in the floor.

This content was originally published here.

5 Fiery Ideas for Building Your Outdoor Cooking Station – Outdoor Living by Belgard

outdoor living

Kitchens are definitely one of the hottest trends in outdoor living design, and the centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen is the cooking station. Whether you have a gourmet outdoor kitchen, a modest grill island, or you’re planning to build something in the future, we have some fiery ideas for outfitting your outdoor cooking station to improve the functionality of your space.

1. Lots and Lots of Prep Space 

Any home chef needs room to breathe if he or she is to succeed in making their culinary masterpieces. Regarding outdoor kitchens, this is no different. With an expansive prep space at hand, your kitchen is optimized for efficiency at any and all stages of cooking. You can never have too much countertop space, which will keep you from having to run back and forth inside during meal prep. Plus, countertops can also function as serving tables and bar-style dining areas once the meal is ready. If you’re working with a grill island, or you simply don’t have the square footage for more countertops, considering using a rolling cart that you can move when not in use.

2. A Spot for Every Cook in the Kitchen

A summer pool party can easily bring in upwards of 25+ people. The guest list always seems to grow somehow. No matter how many guests show up, it helps to have multiple cooking surfaces in addition to the standard built-in outdoor grill. Plus, although charcoal enthusiasts will swear the flavor is superior (this blogger agrees), you simply don’t always have the time to wait for the coals to be “perfect” and sometimes just need to be able to turn on the gas and get to grilling. And if you talk to anyone who has a griddle or a brick oven in their outdoor kitchen, be prepared for a lengthy conversation on how they don’t know how they ever lived without it. Other popular cooking surfaces include ceramic kamodo-style grills and gas burners for large pots or frying.

3. Throw Some Shade

Unless you live somewhere where it rarely rains and the temperature is always mild (a.k.a. California), you’re going to need your cooking station to be covered. It gets HOT standing in front of a grill. And no one wants to hold an umbrella while flipping burgers. Keep in mind that shaded areas do not have to take away from the beauty of your patio entertainment area but can become a design element in itself. This can be accomplished with an earthy pergola, a farmhouse-inspired pavilion or a colorful canopy. For a more natural aesthetic, consider integrating some flowering vines, ivies or other climbing plants. To add a festive atmosphere, you can never go wrong with edison-style string lights.

4. Be that Person with the Outdoor Brick Oven 

Yes, we’ve already mentioned brick ovens, but they are so worth mentioning again. There are two prominent benefits of cooking in a wood-burning brick oven versus a traditional oven: the better dispersion of temperature and the additional level of flavor. And there are more options than you might think. Belgard offers a full line that range from mobile and countertop brick ovens to gorgeous stone-clad brick oven kits for a custom built-in look. Aside from the swagger that accompanies having one, a brick oven presents numerous cooking opportunities for amazing wood-fired meals. Even though an outdoor brick oven is often referred to as an outdoor pizza oven, it is not just for cooking pizza. Here are a few brick oven recipes to get the creative juices flowing!

5. Seating for Your Audience… (umm, guests)

Preparing dishes in the kitchen is a visually stimulating affair. With you home chefs out there putting on shows, why not give your audience a front row seat? Bar seating or built-in seating near the cooking station creates a cozy atmosphere to enhance the outdoor cooking experience. An additional bonus to constructing permanent seating is that you won’t have to fuss at your kids for leaning too far back on the chairs. With no chair legs to break, rust or unravel, the only things you’ll need to change out each season are the throw pillows.

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This content was originally published here.

Hardwood vs Carpet Flooring

Many a debate has been conducted over hardwood flooring vs carpet. They are indeed two of the most popular and classic types of flooring. But is hardwood or carpet better for you?

The question, “Which is better, or ?” depends on a number of factors. Even though they are both among the most popular options for flooring, there are not a lot of similarities when it comes to hardwood and carpet. So the “right” decision is really a personal one that depends on your tastes, situation and budget.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

Side-by-Side Comparison

Hardwood Carpet
Cost Much more expensive Budget conscious
Appearance Classic; more luxurious looking Still good option; many options with color
Cleanliness and care Easier to see dirt and to clean Dirt can hide; harder to clean
Durability Suscepticle to spills and dings, but lasts much longer Can clean spills, but needs to be replaced much sooner
Sustainability Natural, sustainable and environmentally-friendly Made mostly from petroleum; not natural
Comfort Harder material; not as comfortable Softer material; more comfortable
Safety Possible tripping hazard; no cushion Safer because it’s soft and has cushion
Insulation and noise reduction Colder and noisier Warmer and quieter
Flooring Guide Hardwood Flooring Guide Carpet Flooring Guide

Cost

Cost is a major factor in any purchasing decision when it comes to flooring. When you’re choosing between hardwood flooring and carpet, there is quite the difference in price, especially if you are considering the top-end options. If you are on a tight budget, this might eliminate hardwood flooring altogether.

Hardwood flooring is one of the more expensive types of flooring on the market. That is because it is made from natural product – a tree – and not engineered to replicate another product. For this reason, hardwood flooring can be much more expensive than carpet.

In most cases, hardwood flooring can cost between $9 and $12 per square foot, including installation. However, some of the higher end versions can cost even more. Reclaimed wood, for example, could cost as much as $30 per square foot.

Carpet, on the other hand, is definitely much friendlier on the budget. Most carpet options cost between $3 and $5 a square foot installed, with padding and all. Some of the higher-end carpet options could come in closer to $10 a square foot.

Appearance

Another big difference between hardwood flooring and carpet is the appearance. It would be very hard to confuse the two types of flooring because of how different they look. Depending on your style and the style of your house, one flooring choice could be much better than the other.

Hardwood flooring is what could be called the “prestige” choice in flooring. That’s because today, hardwood flooring is seen as a high-end and luxurious option. Current popular design is definitely trending toward hard flooring surfaces, and wood fits in perfectly with that.

While wood was always the classic look for homes, it has now worked its way back into the preference of most homeowners. Hardwood flooring can look sleek, rustic, timeless and luxurious. This is why many people are leaning toward hardwood flooring over carpet.

One of the other nice features of hardwood flooring is that it can take on many different looks. The different types of wood – such as oak and pine – will have a different appearance. Plus, there are many stains available on the market that you can apply to a hardwood flooring to make it look light, dark or in between.

Carpet is a much different look than hardwood flooring is. That is not to say that it is a cheaper look than hardwood flooring is. In fact, many people still prefer the look of carpet, especially in certain rooms of the house.

The great thing about carpet when it comes to appearance is you can choose just about any color under the sun. This makes carpet a very versatile flooring choice, as you can mix and match colors and shades based on other design choices in the room. Carpet can also look firm or plush, depending on the type you choose.

Cleanliness and Care

Hardwood flooring and carpet are also very different when it comes to how you need to clean and care for them. Each flooring type has its pros and cons in this regard. So which is better, hardwood or carpet?

Hardwood flooring is easier to maintain on a weekly basis. That’s because it doesn’t require very many deep cleanings. In fact, it is advisable that you don’t use liquid cleaning products on hardwood floors because it could warp and damage the material.

It is easier to spot dirt and dust on a hardwood floor than it is on carpet. As a result, it’s easier to spot when your floor needs a good cleaning. For hardwood flooring, that cleaning includes a recommended sweep and vacuum (with a hardwood vac) at least a few times a week to keep it clean.

Carpet, on the other hand, is a little tougher to keep clean. Dirt, dust, pollen and other allergens can easily get stuck within the fibers of a carpet and stay hidden from your eye. That’s why carpets are sometimes a hard choice in high-traffic areas or as a flooring for families with pets.

Carpet requires a vacuuming and/or sweeping at least once a week. Thinking longer term, your carpet will also require a more in-depth shampooing at least once a year. The frequency of that cleaning will also depend on how rough on it you are and what color you choose.

Durability

When you are considering the durability of hardwood flooring versus carpet, there are a few different angles that you have to consider. Not only do you have to take into consideration the overall lifespan of the flooring type, but you should also weigh the effect of your daily life on it.

In terms of daily life, hardwood flooring is very susceptible to damage from spills or rough usage. That’s because the material itself is natural and softer in terms of its composition. Hardwood floors can warp with too much liquid and can dent or scratch from furniture or shoes, especially high heels.

Because of this fact, many families will have a “no shoes” policy on their hardwood floors. This helps to keep the flooring protected from damage from shoes or anything the shoes may drag into the house. It’s also why people sometimes shy away from installing hardwood floors into bathrooms or kitchens.

Long term, hardwood is designed to last. If you care for it properly, some hardwood flooring can last up to 100 years before you need to replace it. And if the floor starts to fade, you can sand, re-surface and re-stain a hardwood floor a few times in its lifespan.

In the short term, carpet can be the more forgiving flooring type. While indents can be made on carpet, it’s not as susceptible to heavy furniture or other dings. Spills on carpet are often a nightmare, but they can be scrubbed clean.

In the long term, though, carpet is not the most durable flooring option. That’s because if a rip, tear or permanent stain occurs, you must replace at least the damaged section. In addition, a carpet floor will need a full replacement every five to 15 years, depending on wear and tear.

Sustainability

The next area of discussion between hardwood versus carpet is what each product is comprised of. This topic is especially important today, as people are becoming more conscious of what each product they buy is made of.

Hardwood flooring is natural and ecologically friendly. This is because it is a natural material that is made from trees that can be replanted when they are cut down. Like anything, though, make sure to do your research on the company producing the hardwood if you want to be extra environmentally-conscious.

Carpet, meanwhile, is made mostly from petroleum. It’s not a material that most people would consider natural or sustainable in any way. In fact, petroleum is an extremely limited resource.

Comfort

For some people, it all comes down to comfort when they are choosing a flooring type. It’s more about how a flooring feels than whether the style is trendy. This can be especially true depending on which room you are potentially outfitting with either hardwood or carpet.

As no surprise, hardwood flooring is a harder material than carpet. It can often be tougher on your feet, especially when you are standing for a long period of time. Hardwood is also not that comfortable to kneel or lay on, which can be important factors if you have children who will be in the room a lot.

Carpet, meanwhile, is a much softer and more comfortable material. It’s plush and soft and very easy on your feet and your body. It’s one of the main reasons why people choose carpet over hardwood in basements, family rooms and bedrooms.

Safety

Safety should be a major concern when you are making a choice between any types of flooring and for whatever room you might install it in. This is an important factor not only if you have kids, but if it will be just adults in a house. Safety first, is what they say.

Hardwood flooring is not as safe when compared to carpet. That’s because over time, individual planks in the flooring could rise or lift, which could result in a tripping hazard. In addition, as a hardwood floor gets older, it’s possible that nails in it could start to rise above the floor level, which can be very dangerous if someone steps on them.

Carpet is a much safer flooring type in comparison for the simple fact that it’s so much softer. It isn’t as much of a concern when it comes to tripping, and if a fall does occur, there is padding to help protect people’s bodies. This cushioning also helps protect against dropped objects such as glass that could result in dangerous cuts and scrapes.

Insulation and Noise Reduction

Temperature and noise might not be the first things that come to your mind when you are choosing between flooring types. However, each type of floor will have a big effect on both the warmth and noise level in your home. So which is better, hardwood flooring or carpet?

Hardwood is a much colder and noisier flooring type because it doesn’t have absorption properties. Heat doesn’t absorb into hardwood floors, which makes them much colder to walk on, especially in the winter months. At the same time, noise bounces off hardwood flooring, which could make rooms with hardwood noisier as it results in an echo effect.

Carpet is the complete opposite when it comes to insulation and noise. It has absorption properties, which makes it a much warmer surface and much more comfortable in that regard in the colder months. Carpet also absorbs noise, reducing the decibel level in rooms that have it installed in it.

The Verdict

As you can see, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration when you’re weighing hardwood flooring versus carpet. The answer to the question, “Which is better?” really depends on your particular situation, budget and taste.

Because of its classic style, look and overall luxurious appearance, many people would prefer to have hardwood flooring. Even though it is more expensive than carpet, hardwood may be worth the extra money up front because it will ultimately last much longer than carpet.

Because of its makeup and features, hardwood flooring is a great option for main living areas of the home and even bedrooms, but might not be the best option for basements, kitchens and bathrooms.

Carpet, meanwhile, is a much more budget-conscious flooring option. However, that doesn’t mean it’s and isn’t a great choice for certain rooms and situations. Carpet is plush, warm, comfortable, safe and reduces noises.

Because of these factors, carpet is a great choice for bedrooms, less formal family rooms and waterproof basements, especially if you have children in your home. At the same time, pros do not suggest carpets for bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms because of the likelihood of exposure to a lot of liquids.

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This content was originally published here.