Archive for November, 2013

Choosing and Installing Wallpaper

Choosing and Installing Wallpaper

Decorating with wallpaper allows you to add more artistic and imaginative dimension to your walls. When imperfections are visible on your walls, wallpaper can also cover them up better than paint. Though it is a great addition to any home, installing wallpaper is a bit of a process, so before you begin hanging anything, be sure you take your time during the planning stages to be sure you choose a style that truly fits what you want.

Many different wallpaper types, patterns, and colors are available. In fact, there are so many options out there that you can find a wide range of possibilities regardless of your budget. If you’re considering adding wallpaper to your bathroom or kitchen, vinyl is very tough and perfect for those rooms because it can be scrubbed and cleaned and will not hold stains. When dealing with colors, select wallpaper that matches your personal preferences and overall design theme.  You can mix and match colors and textures as long as you choose options that complement each other and blend together nicely.

When it is time to install your wallpaper, the first thing you must do is prepare your walls.   Remove old wallpaper, smooth the walls, prime them with paint, and fill any cracks or holes. If you do not address bumps and gaps ahead of time, they will show through the paper and may even complicate the installation process. Also make sure that the wall is dry and clean to avoid damaging the stickiness of the wallpaper paste.

To ensure straight positioning, divide the wall into sections. Mark the divisions with a pencil and measure the dimensions of each section so that you will know how much wallpaper you will need. Cut the paper to the appropriate size, but add a few extra inches to the original measurements to ensure that there are no gaps in the patterns or blank spaces left on the wall.  Apply glue to each section and affix it to the wall.  If you are using wallpaper with self-adhesive backing, just peel back the wax paper inch by inch. Remove any air bubbles by pressing the paper firmly against the wall. Once the whole wall is covered, remove hand stains by going over the paper with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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How to Create a Beautiful Design for Your Hallway

How to Create a Beautiful Design for Your Hallway

Hallways tend to be the most neglected part of your home when it comes to decorating. You probably tend to put your nicest furniture and fixtures in your living room, bedroom, and kitchen, leaving your hallway relatively empty and bare. How do you transform your boring hallway into a beautiful design feature?

There are actually many ways you can renew your hallway and give it a fresh look.

  1. Start by selecting a great color. People pass through hallways quickly, so you can opt for bolder hues. Since hallways are visible from multiple rooms, however, just be sure you choose a color that complements and coordinates with your other color schemes.
  2. Use wall hangings. The entire atmosphere of your hallway can be instantly changed by hanging a unique piece of wall decor. You can also create a collage of family pictures or arrange a series of themed images.  Just make sure that the size of your wall decor is proportionate to the space.
  3. Add a small table. If there is enough space in your hallways to add a small table and still be able to pass through easily, it can serve as a beautiful design feature. You can then top it with a beautiful piece of art or a vase with flowers on it to add a touch of depth to the area.
  4. Put a runner in your hallway. A runner adds visual depth and immediately enhances the look of a hallway.  You can choose from different widths and designs to add texture and color to the space.
  5. Add a light fixture. Hallways are a perfect place to add interesting light fixtures.  Since there is very little in your hallway to serve as a distraction, you can add a statement piece to create an interesting focal point.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Picking the Right Type of Garage Door

Picking the Right Type of Garage Door

In order to contribute to the value of your home, you should choose a garage door that is practical and, at the same time, attractive.   There are different types of garage doors that are available on the hardware market these days, so you are sure to find something that fits your style and needs. They are Canopy Side, Retractable, Roller, and Side Hinge Doors.

  1. Canopy Side. The canopy door swings outward as it opens and slides upward into the ceiling of the garage, leaving about one-third of the door jutting out from the garage. The advantage of this type of door is that it takes up less room inside the garage than other options.
  2. Retractable. When opened, a significant part of the door swings outwards and slides away into the ceiling of the garage. If you prefer to automate your door with an electric opener, this type of door is the easiest and most suitable to utilize.
  3. Roller. This type rolls up into the garage ceiling. No door frame is required and it saves a lot of garage space.
  4. Side Hinge Doors. This is a conventional style whereby the doors swing out to the sides.  The outer part of the garage should be cleared in order to completely open the door.

The major concern when choosing your garage door is the type of material that will be used. You need to consider the style of your home and how insulated you want your garage to be.  This also provides you with the opportunity to have unique features, such as windows and a heated garage. The three main materials that are used in the construction of doors are steel, wood, and fiberglass.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Drywall Installation Tips

Drywall Installation Tips

Drywall, also known as wallboard or sheetrock, is an essential construction material that is most commonly used for walls. It helps you improve the appearance of your home because it holds paint and wallpaper well and is sturdy enough for you to be able to hang artwork and family pictures.

The following are the steps you will need to follow if you plan on installing your own drywall:

  1. Purchase your drywall sheets.  Measure the length and width of your wall to find out how many sheets you will need to buy.  Drywall standard-size sheets typically measure 4×8 feet. Larger sheets are also available, but they require more than one person to install and should be left to professional construction crews. They also have a tendency to break during transportation.
  2. Prepare the wall by removing all old drywall, screws, nails, and any other materials that will prevent the new wallboard sheets from lying flat on the studs.
  3. Utilize T-braces by either making or renting them. They are used to support the drywall while during installation.
  4. Use a razor knife to cut the drywall and make sure there are no spaces or cracks between sheets when you hang them.
  5. Use a spring-loaded drywall drill to secure the panels with screws and work your way from the center of the panel toward the outside. The screws should be 16 inches apart.  Fasten the studs for them to remain in place.
  6. Fill the gaps between each sheet with a high quality joint-compound known as mud. Use paper drywall tape in the center and press it into the corners. Remove the excess compound with an inside corner knife. When the compound is dry, apply a second coat to assure that all gaps and holes are filled.
  7. Check any surface with compound on it and inspect for errors. Use a hand sander to smooth the area.
  8. Coat the drywall with primer.

Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen the entire wall. Do not over-sand because you might be including the part where the tape is located. The new dry wall should have at least three coats: a sealer, primer, and the finishing coat.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Insulating Your Attic

Insulating Your Attic

Insulating your attic is important for keeping your home warm and cozy during the cold winter months.  Insulation is a material that contains tiny air pockets that trap heat. An insulated attic keeps the home warm during winter months and cool during hot summer months. Aside from maintaining the comfort of your home, it also helps conserve energy and save money. In addition, it also increases the value of your house because potential buyers view it as an update that will improve their daily lifestyle.

Below are a few tips will aid you in properly installing insulation in your attic:

  1. Choose attic insulation with a great R-value. R-value is the measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The insulation should be at least 9.5 to 12 inches with an R-value within the range of R-30 to R-38.
  2. The most commonly used insulation types are cellulose, fiberglass, and spray foam insulation. The R-values between cellulose and fiberglass insulation are the same, but they vary in thickness. Usually, cellulose insulation is 2-3 inches thinner than fiberglass insulation. They both provide proper insulation for your home, but they have different features.  The downside of cellulose insulation is that it causes corrosion on metal objects; however, it can wholly insulate the wall and wall studs, thus providing total protection.  Fiberglass insulation, on the other hand, does not cause corrosion, but it cannot flow around wall studs, so the insulation isn’t quite as airtight.  On the other hand, there two types of spray foam: open cell and closed cell. The major advantage of using spray insulation is that it allows you to move the building envelope, which is the boundary between conditioned and unconditioned space.
  3. Install attic vents along the entire ceiling cavity to ensure maximum air flow.
  4. Place the insulation approximately 4 to 5 inches away from lighting features because they are the main source of heat loss in a home.
  5. The insulation should not cover areas of attic ventilation like roof vents, soffit vents, and gable vents. It is important to maintain air circulation in the attic to help keep things dry and warm.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Special Occasion Restaurants – Oklahoma

10 Diners’ Choice Winners
Restaurant Name Price
The Cellar at Castle Falls

Oklahoma City | European
$$
Opus Prime Steakhouse

Oklahoma City | Steak
$$$
$$$
McGill’s on 61st

Tulsa | Steak
$$
Coach House Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City | Contemporary American
$$$
$$$
Red Prime Steak

Oklahoma City | Steakhouse
$$$
Boulevard Steakhouse

Edmond | Steakhouse
$$$
Prhyme Downtown Steakhouse

Tulsa | Steakhouse
$$$$
The Ranchers Club

Stillwater | Steakhouse
$$$

 

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Preparing Your Home for the Winter

Sweet winter home

The winter months can be a huge pain if you and your home are not ready. Snow, freezing temperatures, and longer nights can cause you to worry if you failed to prepare your home in time for winter. That is why it is important to make sure that everything is winterized ahead of time, so you, your family, and your home can enjoy the coming months without any risks.

To help you make your home ready for winter, here are a few useful tips you should follow:

  • Know where your pipes are, so you can easily shut off your water if needed. This will prevent your pipes from freezing when snow comes. If you don’t know how to protect your pipes, they can burst and cause major damage to your home. Ask your plumber for help if you don’t know where your pipes are or how to turn them off.
  • Prepare your heating system. Winter weather can hit quickly, so you want to be sure your heating system is functioning properly, so it will be ready when it’s time to turn it on.   Also be sure your furnaces and chimneys are clear.
  • Check for branches above your roof and trim them down. This will prevent weak branches from falling on your roof and causing damage due to the weight of snow, ice, and wind.
  • Clean your gutters and drain pipes. Remove dead leaves, branches, and other debris that may clog the waterway. This will ensure that melting snow and ice can freely flow down the drainpipes and not clog up your roof.
  • Check for leaks inside the house and block them. Leaks can easily let the cold outdoor wind in and the cozy and warm indoor air out. This will cause your heater to have to work harder in order to maintain a warm atmosphere, which can be expensive.  Seal leaks and cracks in doorways and windows ahead of time to be sure your house is well-insulated.
  • Install storm windows. Replace your window screens with storm windows to add an additional layer of protection and insulation.

Once you prepare your home for the coming winter months, you can then sit back and relax in front of the fireplace with a nice hot cup of chocolate in hand.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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