How To Choose The Best Memory Foam Pillow

You had pain in your back, neck, and shoulders, so you researched and bought a mattress that suited your needs. However, pain doesn’t seem to subside at all. That’s probably because it has nothing to do with your mattress, but everything to do with your pillow.

Here’s a handy guide to buying the best comfortable pillows to say bye-bye to those aches and pains in your neck, back, and shoulders.

The height of the pillow is determined by how you sleep – on your side, on your back, a mixture of the two, or on your stomach. Whatever way you sleep, your neck, spine, and back require a fair amount of support from your pillow. It is when you don’t get the required support that your pains and aches aggravate.

Types of pillows

Based on the filling used in the pillow, these are the types of pillows available:

• Synthetic pillows: Although these are relatively lightweight, cheap, and easy to bend and care for, they have the shortest durability span of all types of pillows. Plus, they flatten fairly quickly, needing replacement. Also, the filling tends to clump together, making it lumpy and extremely uncomfortable.

• Feather/down pillows: These are usually inexpensive, soft, and durable too, but they tend to poke through the pillow covering, plus, they’re spiky. Additionally, they don’t offer a whole lot of support to your neck or spine.

• Latex pillows: These pillows are one of the most durable, shapes itself to the contours of the head and neck. They hold their shape well, which might be a drawback as its height cannot be adjusted. Plus, it smells funny.

• Water pillows: They offer firmness and height, shapes itself to the contours of the head, plus, especially good for back and neck pain. However, they are sometimes noisy, and are not all that durable.

• Buckwheat pillows: They offer fairly good support, and fit according to the contours of the head and neck. And, although the height is adjustable and the pillow itself is durable, it will take some getting used to, as it can seem too firm for some people.

• Memory foam pillows: These are by far one of the best pillows to buy right now. Not only do they offer support and relief from neck and back pain, they are soft yet firm, smooth sans lumps, and easily contour to the shape of head and neck. Plus, they are amazingly durable, and easy to clean and wash as well. Initially though, they can be a bit heavy, smelly, and get hot since they’re not airy. Plus, they are relatively expensive too.

Among these best comfortable pillows available on the market, you need to choose the one that suits you and your needs best. After all, you spend one-third of your life sleeping; so it’s only fair that you find the best comfortable pillows to rest your head on, rather than picking the first one you come across. Due diligence, time, effort, and money that you invest in the best buy pillows is worth it.

The Benefits Of A Log Cabin

Have you ever been in a modern, sheet rock based home? Walking through the rooms there is a certain feeling to it, a sense that things aren’t quite as sturdy as they could be. Sheet rock and plaster have an air of impermanence, something cheap and non-lasting. With just too forceful a hit of a hammer on a nail can tear a giant hole right in the wall. The moment you move in, it loses value.

Log cabins are different. Just looking at one gives you a reassuring sensation of timelessness. It looks like it could withstand even the most violent forces, and something about the sight of wood is so safe. Perhaps it is the connection to images of our ancestors, who constructed and lived their lives in wooden houses made to last. Whatever the reason, log cabins are undeniably beautiful pieces of real estate that really make a statement.

Here are six benefits to a log cabin that make it such an enticing option for homeowners.

The Eco-Friendliness

One of the biggest misconceptions about log cabins is that they are somehow bad for the environment. That comes from two primary sources: the first is the wood used in the construction of the logs. But split logs are actually better in many ways as they rarely have to be replaced, and are more natural than plaster and other common construction tools.

The chemicals used to treat, seal, and stain the wood are the second concern. In the past, they used to be dangerous for the environment, and sometimes every the home’s residents. That has long since been rectified, with greener stains and sealants on the market that are perfectly safe to use.

The Aesthetic Of The Design

A log cabin has a very specific look to it. Just seeing one brings peace, solitude, quiet mornings in bright sunshine, sipping a cup of coffee as you look over the valley below to mind. There is something about the overall aesthetic to a wooden structure, especially one made of such thick logs, that gives it something special.

If you want the classic beauty and environment that a cabin, whether it be in the woods, in the country, or in a residential neighborhood brings, you won’t be disappointed in your decision. The flexibility to choose the layout and wider blueprint if you are building yourself is another benefit you may consider, as you can choose everything from the size of the house, to the number of rooms, to their shape and other amenities.

The Ability To Withstand Time and Weather

It isn’t unusual to find log cabins that are a hundred years old or more in the US alone. In the wider world you can find them hundreds of years old, and still standing without reconstruction. That is the incredible fortitude of such structures, and the materials they are made out of. A log cabin is sturdy, strong, and able to take quite a beating.

For this reason, and because of the plentiful lumber surrounding the country, in America such houses have been incredibly popular for generation upon generation. In areas where weather can be more severe, swinging between hot and cold climates like so much of the United States, it is a great option. The wood is easy to reseal, small leaks and problems can be fixed on your own, and they are less likely to be damaged by strong winds. They are just made to stand strong against both time and weather.

The Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is important for two reasons. First, it is important for the environment and the future of our planet that we limit our carbon footprint. That means taking up less resources, and conserving what we have, lest we run out of it. Sustainability should be something on everyone’s mind.

Second, there is cost. Energy bills for a home can skyrocket between electricity and gas every year, depending on the season. You could be out hundreds per month just to keep a house warm or cool, and in some areas it isn’t just a matter of putting on a sweater, or plugging in a fan.

Log cabins are believed to be drafty and prone to leaks, but that isn’t true. Logs that have been properly treated and sealed are very tight. Any leaks can be easily fixed with a touch up. On average, a log cabin owner can save anywhere up to 20% on energy costs.

The Ability To Maintain The Home Yourself

One of the biggest benefits of keeping a log cabin is that the process of maintenance is at once less common, and easier to do on your own. When dealing with drywall everything is in large, smooth segments. Getting to plumbing or electrical wires behind the walls can mean taking out whole sections.

Log cabins are usually more segmented, and easier to replace, fix and reseal. You don’t have to call a handyman for every little thing, and instead can learn the basic functions of maintaining the house yourself with little fuss.

It is also relatively cheap to take care of. Staining your wood every few years costs between $3 and $5 per square foot, and if you break that down over the years it didn’t require it, the cost is shockingly low.

The Cost Effectiveness

As mentioned above, keeping up with your log cabin doesn’t cost as much as you might fear. But it isn’t just maintaining that is cost effective. Buying a log cabin pre-made can be as low as under $5,000, depending on the size. They can be portable, in case you wish to move. Or, for less than many houses, you can buy a strong, high quality cabin that remains in the same place.

Why to Opt for Solar Energy

Making a huge change to the way you approach energy is not easy. When you have relied on electricity to power, heat and cool your home forever, you are probably not going to want to rock the boat. But sometimes we have to look a little outside the box if we are to find the solution that works the best. When you consider the benefits of residential solar systems, you must prepare yourself for the fact that change is never simple. But you should also know there are many reasons to move ahead with your plans.

The fact remains that when you are looking for a sustainable and safe energy solution, solar is always going to rank at the very top of the list. The problem arises because most homes or apartments you would purchase are already hooked up to a traditional electricity grid. It means you would have to go through the expense of having a residential solar system installed on your property. But you can rest easy knowing there are plenty of top companies in Australia that can provide you with such a service.

And another thing you should know about solar energy is the fact that you are no longer going to have to deal with an electricity bill for another day in your life. Not only are you contributing to the environment by generating sustainable electricity, but you are most definitely going to save money in the long run. The tough part arises when you have to get the solar panels and other items installed on your property, because such a project and upfront expense always scares people. But you can talk with an expert about the potential savings and how quickly you would see a good return on your investment.

These solar panels are not only a useful addition to domestic homes. Commercial solar systems are very viable and are currently used in many businesses and factories across the country. If you look into the current rebate incentives and the way government incentives are put about, you may even notice some business benefits associated with getting a solar panel system set up on your location. But most importantly, with a commercial solar system, you are getting access to the type of freedom that you did not have before – the freedom to heavily reduce your power bills, in some cases up to 85%.

Types of Eco-Friendly Home Siding

There are several options for making your interior home environmentally-friendly. But what about your home’s exterior? Can it also be altered towards eco-friendliness? Yes! A home’s siding can be functional, visually appealing, and eco-friendly all at the same time! If you are in the market for new home siding, you may want to consider an eco-safe siding material. Continue reading to learn the different types of common materials used for environmentally-friendly home siding.

Metal

Steel metal siding is a popular choice among homeowners with a “green” agenda. That is because most metal siding is made from recycled metal, such as junk cars or construction scraps. You see, metal is easily recyclable and abundant, so it is a viable source for eco-friendly home siding. It is also durable and easy to install.

Wood

Wood is a renewable resource. It is abundant, natural, and locally-sourced, making it a great option for eco-safe siding. It is also very easy to install, convertible, recyclable, and sustainable. Most wood siding comes from Douglas Firs, Cypress trees, Redwood trees, Pine trees, and Cedar. It is recommended to use wood materials that are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified.

Brick

Although bricks are man-made commodities, they are constructed from renewable, natural resources like shale, clay, and water. This makes brick a wonderful, “green” siding option! It is made from natural resources so it is biodegradable and safe for the environment. And not only is brick siding eco-friendly, it is long-lasting. Brick can last for up to 200 years!

Rock

Although rock is not a common home siding option, it is an environmentally-friendly one. Using rocks is labor-intensive and time-consuming, but it renders a stunning look that holds up for years to come. Rock is a great choice because it is natural, energy-efficient, and locally-sourced.

Fiber Cement

Fiber cement home siding is made from recyclable ingredients like cement, sand, and wood pulp. And since the makeup of fiber cement emits few dioxins when burned, it is an eco-friendly option. It can be manufactured to resemble higher-end materials like wood or vinyl, but for a much cheaper cost.

Stucco

Like fiber cement, stucco is also made from using recyclable, natural ingredients, like water, cement, sand, and lime. This chemical-free combination gives stucco an eco-friendly appeal. It is also natural, energy-efficient, and easy to install.

Farming With Integrity and Gardening Responsibly

There have been some major shifts in the production of food in the last 40 years. Conventional farming with pesticides, GMOs, and long rows of veggies that strip the soil of life are no longer the only means of farming. There is a new slant to farming that encourages the grower to use their intuitive knowing in order to be the best farmer they can be.

According to Tasha Miles from the Grow Network, “In humans, a ‘feeling’ that helps us see beyond present circumstance to some future outcome is called intuition. It is the intersection between what we consciously know, unconscious details we may not even be aware we have noticed, and our resulting formulations on how to use that information.” If we apply this intuitive ability to gardening, then more and more ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions for solving new and different gardening problems will be discovered. These intuitively inspired changes can transform the way gardening is done and change the way food is grown. A farmer’s ability to tune into the needs of the plants, soil, insects and environment can make a difference in sustaining a positive balance in the world rather than depleting the earth’s resources.

Still curious to know more about what I’d researched, I sat down with my son Joel, who has a green thumb and a degree in horticulture, as well as years of experience working on many different organic, local and permaculture farms. I asked Joel if permaculture is the best system of gardening, and he answered by saying that, although permaculture is a viable method of farming, it is not really meant to feed a lot of people. He explained that the idea behind permaculture is to harmonize with the land and its terrain, and at the same time, to have as low an impact as possible. With this in mind permaculture farms often can feed the people who live and work on those farms, though they are not designed for high crop yield.

The man who first devised the idea of permaculture, Bill Mollison probably had an intuitive flash in 1978, when he envisioned this holistic form of farming. He wanted to sustain the earth’s resources rather than deplete them.

Another method of growing crops is organic farming. When I talked to Joel about this he shook his head and went on to teach me that although food can be labeled “organic” by the FDA, it may not really be completely organic. He explained that as long as no chemicals or GMOs are used in the growing of the crops, then that farm can be certified organic. However, these crops can also be labeled organic if they have been treated with natural fertilizer which contains the bones of cows that were not organic or GMO free. While intuitively this just feels wrong to trick the consumer, the farm industry is counting on the ignorance of the shopper to overlook this important detail. Joel said it takes a lot of integrity and a very high ethical standard to grow crops completely organically on all levels. He suggested it is beneficial to get to know your farmer. If you instinctively don’t feel good about the farmer and their practices, then I suggest you shop elsewhere.

Perhaps another option may be that each of us plant organic food in our backyards and not have to deal with farmers at all. However, after my experience with building a garden with my daughter where we spent hundreds of dollars to terrace the land, prepare and enrich the soil, plant the plants, install irrigation, put up trellises and water and compost the garden only to have a tiny yield, I was left feeling like it was a waste of time and money. But again, I am not a gardener. I will humbly leave it to the experts. I was not able to develop an intuitive connection to the plants and soil. Instead, I was mechanically following a gardening book’s take on building a backyard garden. I developed a much deeper appreciation of the insight and skill it takes to plant and harvest a healthy and fruitful garden or farm.

Since I rely on farmers to grow my food, it is important that I educate myself on the integrity of different farming practices and choose to buy my veggies and fruits from a reliable source. Although there is not one right way to grow food, the farming practices that work with sustaining the environment and not polluting the earth are the most intuitively positive approaches to growing food. Hopefully over time, more and more people will be guided to tune into the needs of the land and find complimentary ways of farming that can sustain us all in a healthy way, for ultimately each of us is responsible for the planet and for our ecosystem.

Tips For Choosing The Perfect Garden Log Cabin

There is a new and excellent trend in garden design recently, and it is spreading like wildfire. People are choosing to build miniature log cabins in their gardens as a secondary dwelling. It is cute, functional, and a great addition that adds value to your home (and gives you a little escape in the middle of your yard).

If you have been considering building or transplanting a log cabin for the garden, here are ten tips for choosing the perfect one, and loving the results.

1 – Consider Its Purpose – Why do you want a log cabin in your garden? This question is more important than you might think, because it is what is going to give you the best ideas moving forward. For example, if you want something that is more like a gazebo only with more protection, you are going to create a more open looking cabin with, say, large bay windows and doors. But if you want something more like a Hobbit hole, you need to know it before you begin your designs.

2 – Go With a Guest Cabin – One of the greatest ways to design a more functional log cabin is to make it an actual residence. Guest cabins are a great idea because they establish a secondary dwelling for people to stay, and adds some serious value to your home. You may think that you need a lot of property for this, such as an expansive estate, or many acres of land. But that isn’t true; more people are building guest cabins in their gardens right next to their primary house.

3 – Diversify Your Surrounding Plants – This is more for the aesthetic of the cabin, and has more to do with the garden than the dwelling itself. Sometimes people won’t take into account the way the garden itself looks, and how it appeals to the design of the cabin. Or they fail to realize that the simple, rustic appearance of the dwelling will mean countering it with diverse plant life. Try and be more creative in your choices, or it will all look very bland. And on the other side of things, when you select your cabin design keep in mind how it will look in the garden itself.

4 – Look Into Eco Friendly Options – There has long since been an (incorrect) belief that log cabins are less environmentally friendly than other forms of housing. Once upon a time that might have been true, given the use of lumber and some of the chemicals used to treat it. That hasn’t been the case for decades. Responsibly harvested, or even recycled lumber is available. You can find many stains and sealants that are safe for the environment. It isn’t hard to remain eco-friendly when building your cabin, if you just shop around before making your final purchases.

5 – Treat It Like Your Home – Log cabins require maintenance, so you have to take that into account from the very beginning. That being said, if you treat it the way you would your primary home you will find it much easier to keep up with those required tasks as you go, before problems occur. Get it inspected once a year. Restain and reseal every few years. Treat it for pests. If it has its own electricity and plumbing, make sure they are properly tested regularly to avoid shorts or broken pipes.

6 – Be Careful Who Contracts – There are any contractors out there that can provide a log cabin building service, or who can transplant one already made – an easy option since garden cabins tend to be small and easy to transport and setup. But this is a major purchase, and it isn’t one you should rush into. The wrong contractor can turn the process into a logistics nightmare, not to mention a financial and even legal one. Do your due diligence when looking into providers, whether they are building, or have already built the structure. Find out what other customers have said, and look at their BBB rating and licensing/insurance info. Be wary of any red flags.

7 – Think In Terms Of Future Use – A friend of mine and her husband chose to build a log cabin in their garden. But when they did it they didn’t intend to use it for more than some occasional parties in summer. Instead, they were focused on what uses there might be in the future. They have a daughter who is currently 14. As she gets older she will want more privacy and independence. But there is value in staying home through college (like avoiding the costs of a dorm, or off-campus housing). They built their cabin so they could offer her a house to live in the future.

8 – Make It an Escape Nook – Another way you can look at your garden cabin is as a fun little escape nook. That will inform the dimensions of the cabin itself, as well as indoor features you might implement. Think of a cabin for instance that has a built in wall bookcase, and a reading bench by the window. Or a cabin with an entertainment center and bar. It is a home away from home, so design it that way.

9 – Bring the Garden Inside – One of my favorite examples I have seen of garden cabins was one that turned it into part-greenhouse. So it was able to maintain a garden all year long, even as everything died outside. In Winter you could wander into the cabin and see the flowers and plants, smell their sweetness, and get a little taste of Spring even in a blizzard.

10 – Consider Your Log Cabin For The Garden an Investment – Ultimately you are investing in a major renovation that is going to improve the value and function of your overall property. So when you are designing your cabin keep that in mind, especially when it comes to price. You could go the cheap route and have something you kind of like, or invest fully and have something perfect.

Some Types of Hardwood Floors

Using hardwood flooring is an easy way to improve the durability, value, and look of your home. This flooring can be installed in room in your home. When looking at hardwood flooring there are different ways in which to categorize this type of flooring. There are also different installation methods.

Form of the wood

• Acrylic impregnated wood-this is made of a combination of acrylic and solid wood to create a stronger material. This material is strong enough to withstand heavy traffic.
• Engineered wood-this type is made of thinner pieces of wood and layers them on top of each other. The grain of the wood are alternated in layers going in different directions. Being criss-crossed will made it able to withstand more force and weight
• Solid wood

How it is laid out and size of material

• Strips-this is generally measured in long pieces of wood of various size widths from 1.5 inches to 2.25 inches
• Planks-these long pieces of wood are wider than a strip and measure at least three inches wide.
• Parquet floors-this is an intricate pattern that uses pieces of wood, to configure a geometric pattern. It will often take the form of small strips that produce small squares. The squares usually alternate directions but can have other designs such as a zigzag look.

Installation methods

Many hardwood floors are fastened to the sub floor, which is the floor below the hardwood floor, by using staples, nails, or glue. There is also a floating floor, which is not attached to the subfloor. To protect against moister and to absorb sound a foam underlay is put on top of the subfloor. The hardwood floor is not attached to the foam underlay or subfloor. They either snap or glue together in a tongue and groove fashion. The entire floor “floats” above the sub floor. This type is often preferred because they can be put over nearly any type of surface and are easy to install.

How it is treated

The hardwood floor can be stained to give it a light or dark look. They can also be left untreated or natural. Other treatments can include antiquing, crackling, or whitewashing.

Types of finishes

When a hardwood floor is finished, a top coat penetrates deep into the wood or lies on the surface.

• Surface finish—this finish uses varnishes and urethanes. With this finish, you have to consider the odor, ease in application, durability, and drying time.
• Deep finish-this is the one that penetrates deep into the wood and will require an additional coat of wax to give it a shine.
• Sheen-this includes low or high gloss and satin finishes

Laminate Floors – Water Damage Repair

Typically, a laminate floor is water damage resistant. Unfortunately, any amount of water can still destroy the laminate floor. A laminate floor is constructed of many sections that are locked together. The homeowner can do water damage repair without needing to take up the entire floor. Before any repairs can be done you need to dry the area that is wet. It needs to be completely dry. Once dry you can put down new laminated flooring in the sections that were damaged.

Water damage can happen to the laminated floor if a washing machine, refrigerator, or dishwasher leaks. Any standing water damage the floor of course. Once you have located what caused the water leak and fixed it, it is time to dry the flooring completely. To do this you can use a wet/dry vacuum or mopping. Which method is used depends on how much water there is. After you get all the excess water dried up, put a fan on the floor and turn it on to dry the flooring.

Water damage repair starts by taking out the damp sections of the floor. To help prevent ruining the surrounding flooring you can try to use a hammer and chisel to start pulling the damaged parts of the flooring away from the floorboards. If these tools do not work, you may have to use a crowbar or circular saw. Next, use a knife to remove the tongue part of the flooring. Turn on the fan again to dry the floorboards before you put down new laminate flooring. It is important to make sure that the floorboards are dry to help prevent mold growing if the floorboards are left wet.

Most laminated flooring are done in a pattern style so you will have to recreate the pattern on the floor that had water damage before you can put it down. Once you have the pattern complete, use construction glue, and put in the first new piece of the pattern. Before it dries make sure that you clean off any excess glue. Put a heavy object on the flooring until it dries completely. Instead of using glue and dealing with the mess you can use nails. If you choose to use nails, you will need to nail the first flooring section on an existing section so it fits tightly. Continue piecing the pattern together on the flooring until you have the floor repaired. If you cannot find the pattern to match your current laminate flooring you will have to tear all of the flooring up and put down a new one with a different pattern. If you are unable to do this job yourself you can hire a professional to do the water damage repair.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Wood Finishes

Wood finishes are incredible products that work to protect the surface of the boards. They work to enhance the grain pattern and improve the visual appearance of the floor. It is important to understand that there are varying techniques and products that accomplish the best restored wood floor.

This forms the start to the ultimate cheat sheet that will enable you to act confidently when using a wood finish. A good place to start is the methods of application. Finishes have different methods of application and some of these are easier than others. The best-available advice for this is to take your time as rushed use will likely affect the overall result. Rest assured that all variations will provide a protective coating.

It is important to be aware of the fact that wood finish products do not cover up damage to wood floors. What might be examples of these? These may range from sanding scratches, turning mistakes or indentations. In fact, the formulations will likely make these more obvious.

Are you looking for a product that will help the aging process of your wood boards? Firstly be aware that any product will not stop the natural process. There are, however, UV inhibitors available that will slow the process. Over time these will be likely to lose their effectiveness and the wood will turn dark through exposure to light.

Another element that should always be considered is that it is an impossible task to make wood completely waterproof. Only glass, plastic and manmade tile are able to repel liquid in that way. Expert advice is available from best-trained professionals that will ensure your floors are well-protected.

If your wood floor is left untreated then it will act as a sponge, absorbing moisture and creating stains. A way in which you can make your floor look at its best is to appreciate the importance of preparation. A successful application of a wood finish is determined by this. Unsatisfactory preparation will inevitably result in a floor that will not stand up against daily wear.

Floor wax is a well-established floor finish that was regularly used prior to the development of polyurethanes. These are applied by hand and are widely used today. There are two variations including water-based and oil-based formulations. Water-based products are known to be eco-friendly but are likely to be less-durable.

One important element to consider is the fact that products have advanced so much in recent times. This has allowed today’s wood floor restoration specialists to provide a superior service. It is inevitable that with professional help you will identify a wood finish that will offer a durable and long-lasting service.

Get Branded With The New Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain tiles sometimes referred as Porcelain Vitrified Tiles are the vitrified category tiles with an absorption rate of less than 0.5 are the new ceramic tiles used in these days to cover floors and walls. Though it was used in olden day’s too, modern day’s transformation of production processes and quantities made them available to the maximum households. In modern days, the Porcelain tiles production is done both at large scale and small scale thus, making them available to the maximum market space. Furthermore, the hardness of the tiles, assurance by the ISO for the standard in tiles made them much familiar to the normal households.

The major aspect that is attracting more market towards Porcelain tiles is their hardness in comparison of other ceramic tiles. These tiles built and models are making them much user-friendly. The Porcelain tiles are adding more beauty to all the rooms in a home including washing areas and are extending the life of the tiles. Apart from covering the floors of a home they are becoming part of interior decoration of the home sometimes. These tiles can be matched with the furniture, wall papers and interiors to make your space more attractive.

The Porcelain tiles can be used for multiple purposes in the same home. They can be used for flooring, counter tops and many other ways which are known as the innovative ways of using it. They are known for their versatile and elegant look due to which they are attaining a lot of popularity among house owner, builders and interior designers. As an upcoming innovative range of products, these are available across many places. You can contact a tiles retailer near your place or else you can browse through online to find out the right range of varieties available under these.

These are made up of hard and bright ceramic that not only gives it a long life but also brightens its look. As the range of Porcelain tiles is wide, it might be too hectic to find a variety of Porcelain tiles out of many. Hence, getting an idea about the whole range of the tiles and choosing one from that lot is the best option though it is time-consuming. The one best way to find out the best Porcelain tiles for you is to walk up to a nearest tiles showroom and get an idea about the array available in different colors, dimensions and many more.