Better Homes is the conspicuous difference between the home you currently have, and the better one that you wish you had. That is why we have a solid hold among the most stable home improvement companies in this region. We strongly believe that our designated role to play in the industry has an awesome potential of bringing about the much desired and long awaited revolution that the industry deserves. We believe that through steady and consistent growth and innovation, we are making strides in the right direction as each day passes by.
Our Cherished Values
All our activities are motivated and guided by the values we hold dear. We value the way we do things in as much as we do why we do them. The list below outlines and explains our corporate values.
- Strategic Alliances
- Customer Focus
- Technology and Innovation
- Team Work
- Professional Approach
Straight Talk about Bathroom RenovationsNovember 21, 20154:55 amBathroom Renovations
The modern bathroom is one of the most important rooms in a house. It is no longer just a place to take a bath or shower and disappear. It is also a place of o relaxing, refreshing and recreation. The modern bathroom, fitted with entertainment channels, both audio and visual, can be a wonderful and soothing hub as well.
However, all bathrooms do age and at times get outdated. One of the beat ways of dealing with this is through renovations. This article therefore seeks to point out the nitty grities of carrying out great and impressive renovations in the bathroom. Stay on to discover all that you need to know and do as you undertake bathroom renovation works.
Fixtures speak a lot of volumes about your bathroom. Choosing the right fixtures will ensure that your bathroom retains a outlook of elegance and glamour. For instance, you can go for a pedestal sink that is embellished with lines instead of a block cabinet fixture.
The bathtub is another key part to factor as you undertake the renovations. Make sure that you buy the right tub that fits the needs of all the users in the home. A good bathtub doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be very big, no. A 60-inch tub is ideal for most folks. It has enough room to accommodate users and also a better foothold that will ensure that you don’t disappear into the water once the tub is full. Check out how much comfort and support it offers for the back and neck.
The floor of the bathroom is a multipurpose fitting. It serves as an esthetic enhancement in the bathroom as well as a safety fitting because fixing the wrong floor material can cause skidding and accidents in the bathroom. Make sure that you go for materials that warmth, beauty and durability.
Do not attempt to fix the whole bathroom with mirrors. It is better that you go for one elegant mirror that will serve the purpose. Get a mirror that has style and reflects elegance and compliment it with an adjustable make up mirror. Remember to install a shaving niche in the shower stall.
Optimize the available space
If there is any space between wall stud, use it to install a tall storage cabinet so that you can save the floor space, and optimize the vertical space. Another way to maximize limited space in a house that has back-to-back rooms is to have a shared shower that has a common access point. Alternatively, you can convert a nearby closet into an ensuite with access to the next bath.
The shower area
Construct an open shower area that does not require a door or curtaining. Additionally, make sure that you install a proper drainage system and a rain showerhead that is installed on the ceiling so that it does not splash too much water.
The bathroom is a place that needs to be accessed any time of the day or night. This means that proper lighting should be given priority. You need the right combination of luminosity and reflections. A halogen pot light will do well if it is blended with wall sconces.
The right toilet
When buying a toilet, go for something that is decent, but not necessarily costly. Go for a model that is designed to offer utmost comfort. A model that has elongated seats and bowls will serve better.
A little luxury will go a long way
From the beginning, we saw that the modern bathroom is not just a place of performing “statutory” duties of bathing and leaving. A good modern bathroom serves beyond just convenience and hence integrating some kind of luxury is a highly welcome idea. You can incorporate audio-visual entertainment gears, a fire place, and exercise equipment so that you get it beyond the “statutory” levels of convenience.
Common blunders to avoid
Well, the renovation process comes with a lot of excitement due to the expected enjoyments that the bathroom will bring about. However, there are a few blunders that threaten the process and if they are not well taken care of, they can become an anticlimax to an otherwise great process. Below is a highlight of some of them.
True is the adage that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Make sure that you have done all the necessary planning on time so that you don’t run into last minute inconveniences and emergencies. Ensure that you have consulted with all the relevant stakeholders who are supposed to facilitate the success and process of the renovations.
Ignoring the fundamental
This is another blunder that most folks make. Ensure that you factor the layout of your current bathroom before you move on with the renovations. Take into consideration the existing plumbing, floors, walls and ceilings.
Poor quality materials
If you use poor quality materials, you will have a poor quality bathroom. Make sure that you go for materials that will fit and work well with your dream bathroom. Pay attention to the quality of the parts, more than the quantity of the money that you will spend on them. Remember that bathroom renovations are not a cosmetic exercise that you will keep repeating every now and then. So, better spend once and get the right things once and for all.
Simple Ideas for Great LandscapingNovember 16, 20155:18 amGreat Landscaping
Landscaping is one of the best outdoor investments that a family can make on their home. It brings in the marvel of nature and gets you close in harmony with the greater cosmos that we are all a part of. Coming up with a landscaping plan for your home is thus an idea whose time is always ripe. The only reason why it may not be done promptly lies with individual, but not the idea.
So what ideas are there that will enable you have a great landscaping in your home? How can these ideas be customized to suite your home and get implemented in a manner that suits your level. The answers to these questions are the reason why this article is being drafted. Read through it and discover these principles and ideas that will guide you as you come up with a successful landscape plan that will enhance the value and beauty of your home.
Get to define and outline what you need
This is a universal principle that applies to landscaping. This is because you are coming up with project for you and your family and hence everything needs to suit and meet the needs of your family for now and the future. This part is important because it will affect the space that your family members use. For instance, if you want to set up a project on a piece of space that your kids use for playing, you need to get them on board and show them how the landscape will benefit them. With the input and support of your family, come up with a plan of what exactly you want and how the finished product will look like.
Get nature on board
As you plan to come up with your project, you need to factor in nature. This is because these forces such as the sun and certain winds do behave differently at different times of the year and the day. This will help you know where to position different parts of the landscape. For example, if you want to enjoy a patio in the morning, then you will need to position it in the east.
Follow due process
Do not try to come up with this “next big thing” that will impress everyone. Do not try to run while you can’t even crawl; follow small but stable steps that your ability at every level enables you to manage and sustain. You can start off with a small flower bed and then observe how best it is going to get you closer to the final product that you had in mind.
Determine and work around a cynosure
This is a fundamental principle that you have to consider. What is the cynosure of the landscape? You can fill in there anything that will create a sense of skillful admiration, attraction, and wonder. You can decide to set up a fountain, an exotic plant or flower or anything that your creative and artistic genius will find appropriate.
This dimension comes in a s balance to the first principle. When we started, we saw that you need to be very clear as far as what you want and need is concerned. However, being particular in defining your envisioned needs only acts as a guideline to where you want to land. That is why good judgment and maturity demands that you be open to changes in the future. This is because as we all go through life, our instincts and perspectives towards some things change for the better, and that is called growth.
What does this mean? You need to be open to positive and beneficial changes to plan and design of the project. If you manage to stumble upon a new idea that can enhance and embellish the project, incorporate it wisely because coming up with a perfect landscape takes time and time well used exposes us to better things.
Don’t forget the curvatures
Remember that landscaping is an artistic expression and hence it is not subject to rigid formulas that define everything in black and white. Incorporate decent curves that will give the landscape a flow beauty and artistry.
Give it a sense of life
Remember that a landscape is not a computer drawing. You need to design it in such a way that it becomes a buzz and vortex of life. Plant trees and create waterfalls that will attract birds, butterflies and water animals so that they can add the sound and breathe of life to the scene.
Consider the future
Coming up with a great landscape is an investment that will cost you time, energy, and money. You do not want to see your beautiful garden being brought down some time in the future. This means that as you plan your landscape, factor in the fact that sometime in the future there will arise a need for some heavy moving machinery to move into your home. If you designed your landscape without factoring in this, you will tearfully and regrettably end up cutting down your beautiful plants.
Let your house benefit also
Landscaping is intended to improve the general outlook of your home. Your house is a part of that home and hence you should design the landscape in such a way that some parts and aspects of your home are going to be incorporated into it. But do it in manner that will not “swallow” in for instance in a forest of flowers. Your artistic genius will guide you in drawing the middle line of balance.
Take advantage of obstacles
This is another great idea that will help you make optimal use of the existing and available space in your home. For instance, if you moved into a home that had existing features that may stand in the way of your envisioned landscaping outlook, you need to remove them. Do not try to “go around them” because this will limit your horizon of possibilities. For instance, you may find a gigantic tree standing in the path of you watching the sun rise or set. By felling such a tree, you can create room for a sun gazing point in the garden.
15 Outstanding Tips for Great Kitchen RemodelingNovember 9, 20154:53 amTips for Kitchen Remodeling
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in every home. It is the most important production room that is responsible for the production and serving of food and good health. That is why the kitchen occupies a great and important place of priority when it comes to home improvements and remodeling.
However, carrying out a kitchen remodeling is not as simple as it may sound and it is because of such technicalities that there is need for proper guidelines that will help you navigate through the process in a successful and fulfilling manner. It is because of this article seeks to unfold some of these basic tips that will help you set up your dream kitchen.
Tip 1: Start at the end
By starting at the end I mean you got to envision what kind of kitchen that you want as opposed to want you currently have. Get all the specifications and outlook on paper. If you can’t see the end, then do not start because you will not finish; and even if you do finish, you will do so on a bad disappointing note, an anticlimax.
Tip 2: Put together the right team
Kitchen remodeling is a construction project just like any other. It will need proper architectural design which means you will need an architect. It will also need a builder, electrician, and a plumber. Make sure that you get to contact the right professional at the right time. Here, the architect will come first to assist you with a blue print. Other players will follow on later as the project advances.
Tip 3: Arrange for an alternative kitchen
Another factor that you will need to consider is making arrangements for an alternative kitchen. Get a spare room where you can move in some of the basic kitchen appliances so that you are not completely inconvenienced.
Tip 4: Prepare for the inconveniences
All renovation works have their own load of inconveniences. For your kitchen, you will be forced to forfeit some of your facilities for a while. Be ready to endure the clutter and noises that accompany constructions. If you happen to live with pets in your house, most of them may not endure the noises and hence you will be forced to make arrangements for temporary accommodation.
Tip 5: Draw a realistic budget
There is no harm in you living within your means. As you budget for the remodeling, remember that you are not budgeting for Bill Gate’s kitchen but your own kitchen and set a budget that you will be able to fund, without unnecessary financial burdens and debts. Remember to give a 10% allowance on top of your budget to cater for contingencies that you cannot foresee or control.
Tip 6: Be flexible
There is no sin in you dreaming big for your kitchen. In fact, it is even better off to dream biggest! However, no matter how good and sweet dreams are, you cannot live in dream land and hence you can only remodel a kitchen based on the reality of your present ability.
If you happen to have envisioned some “great” things and then after sitting down to plan you find that they are not achievable (not wrong) at the moment, be flexible and shelve them. Being flexible to reality will help you come up with something good and affordable for your level.
Tip 7: Get some external inspiration
Here is no weakness in you learning from others. This means that you have a constitutional “copy right” (your right to copy!) and you can make the best use of it to get an inspiration for you remodeling. You can wade through good sites and magazines that are authorities in this field and look at some of the photos they have. But this does not mean that every photo you see may be directly reproduced in your house. However, it will give you some inspiration from which you can come up with sketches of what you want for your house. There from, you can submit the sketches to an architect to fine tune into something that suits your current space and needs.
Tip 8: Look for cost saving possibilities
This point applies to those who are working on a lean budget. There are always loopholes in the plan that can be used advantageously to save some good bucks. Look at the floor, the electrical wiring, and plumbing and find out how you can retain them the way they are. You can also decide to carry forward some of your current cabinets as long as they are in good shape. This will give you room to revisit them in the future once you have another budget for the. Remember that you are remodeling the kitchen and hence it should not be talent as a campaign against everything you have at the moment. You can still decide to mix the old and new wine and move on.
Tip 9: Get some wise counsel
It is not weakness to ask and learn. Remember the great sage Solomon said that “There is nothing new under the sun, for everything that is now, was once there”. This means that you are neither the first nor are you the last person to come up with a “great” renovation plan.
Because of the above, consult those who have done it before and get to learn from their experiences and mistakes. They may know something that will save you very costly blunders. Remember the great sage Solomon also said that, “In the multitude of counselors, there lies success, and plans are established through counsel”. Going for accurate advice is wisdom for in it lies strength and so, consult wide and wild.
Tip 10: Don’t rush, you may crush
No matter how bad you are dissatisfied with your current kitchen, do not jump into a “Usain Bolt mode” and sprint into “action” immediately. Do things the “Paul Tergat or Catherine Ndereba” (I beg that you don’t tear or burn this article for being pro Kenyan!) way, the marathon way. As they say that if you rush you may crush, this advice is true and hence you got to subject everything to a timely and affordable budget.
Tip 11: Use the right quality of materials
This is another basic factor to consider as you roll out the remodel plan. The quality of material you use will determine several things. First, it will have a direct impact on the final outlook of the finished work. Second, it will impact the durability of the remodeled kitchen, which in turn will have long term financial implications. So, it is better you spend more on a few qualitative materials rather than save costs too much and end up with something mediocre.
Tip 12: Consider some little office space
This is a great addition that you can incorporate into your new kitchen. You can set up a small personal office where you can put your computer and a few stationeries for your personal use.
Tip 13: Take advantage of the ceiling height
You can optimize the usage of the floor space by taking advantage of ceiling heights. For instance, if your current kitchen has eight foot ceilings, you can install taller cabinets so that you can have bigger storage space upwards while you use the floor space to do other things.
Tip 14: Select an appropriate counter top
Choose a counter top material that will give the kitchen an elegant finish and esthetic outlook. The market offers all manner of countertops. You can choose from marbles, limestone, and plastic laminate. With all these varieties, you will be spoilt for choices but make sure that you don’t spoil the choices. Go for something that is warm and splendid, but yet easy to maintain as well.
Tip 15: Make it more lovely and lively
Don’t just relegate the kitchen to the convenience zone of just performing “statutory services” of cooking and serving meals alone. Make it to be somewhere that you can enjoy staying even when you are not eating or cooking. Try to incorporate some little artistry and you can embellish it with some little antiques (if your budget allows).Think out the best ways that you can use to make it stand out unique but without having to be very or inconveniently expensive. Remember, many times excellence lies in simplicity and how creatively you can utilize the little that you already got.
How to Deal With Common Electrical FaultsNovember 5, 201511:32 amElectrical Faults
Electricity in the home is one of the greatest benefits that modern technology has bestowed upon this generation. Without it, modern life would become a non bearable, an unimaginable boredom and a costly inconvenience. However, as good as it is, electricity also has its own short comings, and thus there is need for proper management to complement the enjoyment and the benefits that we derive from it.
In the home, there are many types of electrical faults that can occur. Some of them could arise from the wearing and tearing of the system and apparatus that convey it while others may arise from mismanagement of the system by the end users. Even though some or many of these faults can be dangerous and even fatal, they can still be diagnosed and fixed safely with the help and service of a qualified electrician. That is why this article seeks to unfold some of these common faults and how they can be fixed in a manner that is effective and safe.
We are all familiar with this common electrical fault. However, none of us enjoys living in a room that has lights that are switching themselves on and off every now and then. But what causes this annoying and disruptive fault and how can it be resolved? The most common cause of flickering lights is poor connection in the circuit.
If the problem is spread throughout the whole house and home, then probably there is an issue with the main connection wire.But is it happens that some lights are getting extra light while others are dimming, and then there is a connection problem with the main neutral wire. Other common causes of flickering lights power grid problems and too many electric devices being used at the same time. It is also advisable to replace the bulbs because they are not the correct match for that connection. Additionally, if the problem persists, call an electrician to fix it.
Dead electrical outlets
This another common fault experienced in homes. It is caused by tripped ground fault interrupter. You can rest the GFCI unit and breakers to rectify the issue. However, if it does not work, there is a connection problem somewhere along the circuit and it needs an electrician to fix it.
Circuit breaker problems
Circuit breaker tripping is a common fault in homes. One of the common causes behind it is a short circuit somewhere in the connection. Circuit breakers also trip when high voltage appliances are in use.
Such appliances overload the system and to correct the issue, you will need to buy a new circuit breaker.Additionally, you can deal with the overload problem by turning off all the electrical devices that are not in use. Additionally, you can avoid circuit breaker tripping by replacing split and frayed wires.
It is a common occurrence for switches to overheat and in particular when they are running many high wattage bulbs. If this problem continues, call an electrician to fix it.
Light bulbs burning out too fast
Light bulbs dying before their expected life span is over is another common problem in some households. Below are some of the common causes behind these premature “deaths”. The first cause behind this fault is excessive fixture vibration. This can be due to the positioning of the bulb, for instance, on a ceiling that has a fan with defective blade. When the blade rotates, its vibration jiggles the filament of the bulb thus shortening its life. You can sort his issue by fixing the fan.
The second cause of this fault is using the wrong bulb. If you use a bulb that has a higher wattage than its fixture, it causes the fixture to overheat. This means that you may have to change either the fixture or the bulb in order to fix the fault.
The third cause behind the premature death of light bulbs is the quality of the bulbs. If you sacrifice the quality of the light bulbs for lower prices then you are most likely going to end up with short-lived light bulbs. The solution to this problem is to invest in quality bulbs even if that may cost you more.
Basic Considerations Before Undertaking Home AdditionsOctober 30, 20153:31 amUndertaking Home Additions
Adding some extra room and space to your house is one of the things that you will have to do, at least once or several times during your life time. One of the main reasons why families undertake additions on their houses is the need to add more room to their current house.
There are two main ways of making additions to your house. First, you can decide to make the addition on top of the existing house; which is called vertical addition. Alternatively, you can elect to do the addition by pulling it sideways; which is horizontal addition. However, the choice of either going vertical or horizontal will depend on the design of your current house, among other factors.
Before proceeding with your addition plans, it is important that you establish the purpose that the additions will serve. This will in turn determine the location of the additions on the existing house. For instance, if you want a place to be relaxing as you enjoy sunset, then you will need to add it facing west. If you need an extra bed room for guests, location will not be a factor. The purpose of the addition will also determine the choice of construction material and ultimately, the cost of construction. For example, if you need an extra room for storage purposes, you may as well use cheaper material as opposed to if the addition was to serve as your guest room.
As you plan for your addition, you need to take some external restrictions (that you have no control over) that will affect or even stop your addition plan. Area zoning by-laws can be at times inhibitive to what you can build on your compound and how to do it. Some of them will determine how high a building needs to go and this may force you to do the additions sideways instead of upwards. Make sure that the relevant authorities get to approve your plan first, before you proceed with it.
Unless the additions you want to make are a birthday gift from a friend or family, you need to subject everything to a budget that you can fund. The kind of materials to be used and the design you choose will have direct cost implications. You are therefore required to choose the above carefully so that they fit in your budget. Remember that the particular contractor you choose will also affect cost and hence choose a qualified professional that will work within your budget.