In 2004, the insurance industry estimated that about 45% of their settled claims were for damages caused by weather. This past January, that percentage climbed as high as 60%, with a possible £300 million worth of damages being claimed by homeowners for weather related incidents.
Is your home covered against damage from high winds? Will your insurance company pay out to repair damage caused when your plumbing freezes? How much will you have to pay out of pocket for repairs if heavy snow takes out your rain gutters or damages your roof?
If you’re not sure of the answers to those questions, it might prove enlightening to pull out your home insurance policy and have a read. According to an industry spokesman, too many homeowners find out what their buildings insurance does and doesn’t cover after they have incurred a loss and submitted a claim. That’s the case for many homeowners who suffered damage to their homes during the high winds of the past January who found, to their shock, that they’d be bearing the brunt of the repair bills from their own pockets.
In fact, the most recent figures suggest that over one third of homeowners have no home insurance at all, and many more are paying out for policies that don’t adequately cover the damages that they might face from adverse weather.
Home insurance policies vary widely on precisely what weather damage they cover, and how much you’re expected to pay out before the insurance company will pay its share. That’s why it’s important to sit down with your policy or your broker – or both – to discuss precisely how much coverage you have for weather-related damages, and if there are limits and exclusions to that cover. Some of the most common exclusions and limits include:
Damage from floods
If you live in an area with a high possibility of flooding, you may need to purchase separate cover to deal with damage from flooding. It’s vital that you not neglect this, say insurance spokesmen. The cost of repairing damage after a flood can easily run to £30,000 or more. Compare that to the average weather related claim of about £500.
Water damage from burst pipes
Watch for limits on the amount of damages you can claim if your pipes freeze and burst. A burst pipe in your loft can quickly damage walls and ceilings, and result in unhealthy growth of mold and mildew if not cleaned properly. The cost of all those repairs can easily and quickly mount above typical limits on damages.
If you only have buildings insurance, you may find yourself out of luck when damage to your roof results in the destruction of your expensive draperies, carpets and furnishings. Even if you carry cover for your home contents, you may want to carry extra insurance if you own expensive items like Oriental rugs or fine artwork.
Outdoor and garden items
Many policies only cover items inside your home from weather damage, while other policies will even pay to replace plants damaged by storms in severe weather. If you’re an avid gardener, or have outdoor patio and yard equipment, consider a policy that includes garden cover.
Be sure to review your policy periodically to be certain that you’ve kept it up to date, especially when you make new purchases or add an extension to your home.
When you first buy a home, you may become overwhelmed by all of the extra costs you never thought about having. One of those costs may be home insurance coverage. Young homebuyers may not see the need for such costly insurance, but anyone who has used their home insurance knows exactly how important it is. Many mortgage companies require specific coverage plans. Even if you choose to buy your home, without financing it, you will need home insurance coverage. Take a look at this information to learn more about home insurance plans.
When You Need It
You may think home insurance is only good in natural disasters. When a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake damages your home, your plan should cover the damage. However, there are many times you can use your home insurance coverage regardless if there is a natural disaster or not. Consider this scenario: Your hot water heater bursts and no one is home. There is so much water on your floor that your expensive hard wood flooring is completely ruined.
With home owner insurance, you would simply be responsible for your deductible. The coverage would pay for the flooring to be replaced and often will even pay for a new hot water heater. Of course, these terms all depend on the type of plan you have, but for the most part, home insurance is beneficially for large as well as small disasters.
How To Pay For It
Choosing how you pay for your home insurance coverage can be important. Some owners would rather add their insurance right into their mortgage payment. Many banks prefer you to do it this way and are happy to accommodate. Other insurance companies will allow you to pay the premium monthly, every six months, or yearly. Select companies will even offer additional discounts for those who make one yearly payment. Consider these things when setting up your home insurance. You may get a great deal when you choose the right payment arrangement.
A Look At A Few Popular Decorating Styles Popular decorating styles are always changing. Is your home up to date on the latest fashion trends and decorating tips?
Popular decorating styles are fun, interesting and they just add something to talk about to the rest of the home. If you are considering a redo of your living room, your kitchen, your bedroom or virtually any other room in or outside of your home, consider some of today’s more popular choices. You are sure to find one, or two, that you really love to use.
Traditional: We have to start with the traditional look because it just does not go out of style. Here, the look is furniture that comes from the Kings and Queens of yesteryear, early American trends and a wide range of other formal styled items. You are looking for traditional to come through in the upholstery, in the window treatments and even in the accents that are placed around the room. Traditional is a style that is highly expensive to pull off with exceptional quality furnishings.
Shabby Elegance: Who’s to say that this is not one of the best methods of decorating. The look is that of chic, something that features light toned wall and furniture colorings, old china pattern looks, warm yet comfortable pieces that create a sense of relaxation when you look at them.
Contemporary: Modern contemporary looks have always been in style in the last decade. These looks are influenced by pieces that are bold and bright, different and unique and are functional yet are also more of a piece of art as well. You will find straight, clean lines in the furnishings and walls here.
Art Deco: This popular decorating style is one that seems quite a bit like the modern contemporary yet it has a more flowing look to it. The lines are not as straight, but rather are curved.
Rustic: The look for the log cabin is not gone. In a rustic Southwestern feel, you will have woods used of various types. It will have a laid back feel with warm throws and soft, comfortable furniture. The color scheme here is that of warm, rich colors that complement the woods.
French Country: This is a very popular choice in decorating styles. Here, you will have many bright colors and will have that feel of whimsical dreaming. Wood finishes are done with fruitwoods and cherry. Art work with color is on the walls.
One of these popular decorating styles will work perfectly in your home. There are plenty to select from to help you to transform the look for your home into something that is amazing.
Mattresses are a key component of bedding. Because most humans spend over a third of their lives sleeping, finding a quality mattress is important for a high quality of life. Normally comprised of foam and fibers, with metal springs on a wooden frame, mattresses help ensure a restful sleep.
Serta, Sealy, and Simmons are the three largest, most popular mattress brands in the USA.
Standard USA mattress sizes are Twin/Single (39” X 75”), Double/Full (54” X 75”), Queen (60” X 80”), King (78” X 80”). Other USA mattress sizes include Olympic Queen (66” X 80”), California Queen (60” X 84”), and California King (72” X 80”).
Mattresses typically require replacement after seven to fifteen years of use, or sooner, if the coils or frame have experienced noticeable wear and tear.
A Brief History of the Mattress
In the Neolithic period (8,000-6,000 B.C.), people migrated from sleeping on the ground to simple man-made beds and mattresses. These first resting structures were constructed of leaves and grass, held together with animal skin. Around 3,500 B.C., Persians invented the first “waterbeds,” made of goatskins filled with water. The more affluent inhabitants of the Roman Empire, circa 200 B.C., slept on mattresses filled with feathers. Steel coils, which now support the vast majority of mattresses, were not patented for this purpose until 1865.
Mattresses have enjoyed many advances in the past few decades, including the advent of air mattresses, foam mattresses, and “memory foam” mattresses. Increasingly, mattresses are being constructed from modern materials such as latex foam and polyurethane foam. In addition, those consumers seeking affordability and convenience have chosen futons and futon mattresses to ensure their good night’s sleep. And there has long been a core of waterbed enthusiasts who remain committed to waterbed mattresses.
With the evolution of lighting technology, outdoor lighting has seen its share of breakthroughs. Outdoor lighting is as important as indoor lighting. Lighting up the spaces immediately outside or surrounding our living areas is extremely vital for visual orientation, safety while navigating, and security, as well as for balancing out the indoor ambience. The outdoor milieu prepares and provides a preview to the life and living style within the four walls. Outdoor lighting is equally important in reflecting the external persona of a structure and its surrounding area. It sets a particular mood and provides a visual treat.
Outdoor lighting presents enormous scope for experimentation. It’s a virgin canvas waiting to be colored by unique lighting approaches, ideas and techniques. Outdoor lighting spaces comprise the areas surrounding the structure, pathways, swimming pools or fountains, landscape surrounding the structure, patios, balconies, decks, porches, etc.
There are a variety of options on the market, including low-voltage lighting, flood lights, tree lights, post lights, lanterns, string bulbs for festive occasions, recessed lighting, scoops, pagoda-style louvered faced lights which granite finish that easily blend without door environs, and even solar lights devoid of wires and operating on NiCad batteries.
Various techniques of lighting can be used in outdoor lighting. Spot lighting, which focuses light on architectural features, may be positioned to minimize glare and focus fully on the focal point. Silhouetting is placing the light sources behind the object to bring out the shape of the object rather than the exact color and texture. Key light or shadowing requires placing the light source directly in front of the object of interest to create a light and shadow effect. Moonlighting requires a fixture to be placed on the trees and aiming it down to provide a natural peaceful moonlit effect. Deck lighting, grazing (light focuses on the object at a sharp angle) and washing the surface (light focuses on objects at a wider or blunt angle), step lighting, walkway lighting, pond and fountain lighting, and sign lighting are some of the various techniques used for outdoor lighting.
In outdoor lighting, a basic thing that has to be kept in mind is that the lighting fixtures are exposed to all the elements outside. In case of lighting water features, the light source is sometimes from the inside to create a magical glittering and rippling effect. Therefore, appropriate lighting fixtures and lights should be chosen. Self-lighting kits of low voltage are also available for those who wish to try out their creative lighting talents.
In deciding on what to do in hiring a kitchen designer a well thought out plan is necessary for any kitchen design project to be successful.
A good kitchen designer should be able to work with you to create the design that will both fit your desires and needs and that squares with your budget.
1. How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
Level with the designer just how much you will be willing to spend on your kitchen design project.
Let the designer know just what you would feel comfortable spending. This way you can insure that the designer and contractor will have a clear direction on where to go with the project and not go overboard. They will have a good idea of the limits when drawing up plans and selecting materials.
2. How Much Time Are You Willing To Devote?
You need to consider what your personal needs are and if you will be able to work around the necessary construction in your kitchen. By consulting with an experienced kitchen designer you can get a good idea of how long your kitchen design project will take by providing a timeline that your family can plan around.
3. What Style Are You Planning For Your Kitchen Design Project?
You want to give the kitchen designer as much information as possible. You need to do as much research as possible before your meeting with a kitchen designer.
First you should consult with design magazines and catalogs to get an idea of what style and design elements you would like to see for your kitchen. To compile more ideas visit kitchen design showrooms, check out products and design on the internet and take notes. What are your likes and dislikes regarding color and styles. Make a scrapbook with clips from the magazines and catalogs, as well as examples of materials and design elements you would like to see in the kitchen. Use these to show the kitchen designer what your vision is for the new kitchen. Also bring a list of questions for your kitchen designer.
4. How Do You Use Your Kitchen?
You need to be prepared for questions that a kitchen designer will ask you when you first meet with him. Among the questions that you need to ask yourself before talking to your kitchen designer are:
Will you be doing a lot of entertaining with family and friends? Is your family busy during the week with lots of activities? You should also fine out what other family members have in the way of ideas.
5. How To Prepare For Your Kitchen Design Project?
You will need to prepare for the disruption that will be caused by your kitchen design project. But with the right planning you can make the project run as smoothly and a quickly as possible.
You need to make sure that the kitchen design project area and the living area are separate for both safety reasons and to stay out of the way of the contractor and his crew. You might have to set up a temporary kitchen in another room of the house. What time of the year you schedule a kitchen design project can make it easier on everyone since in the warmer months it is possible to eat and cook outdoors.
When it comes to glamour-whether you're talking about a room interior or a fashion statement-it's not about the flash.
The juxtaposition of simple and elaborate, mingled with an unexpected touch of extravagance, is finding its way into Manhattan lofts and Malibu Bauhaus beach houses.
The note of glamour is added with one statement piece, and whether it's a gilded Venetian mirror or a spectacular leather turquoise chaise in the center of an all-white living room, that one piece adds a little luxury to an otherwise casual room setting.
The name of this simple and elegant glamour trend is "non-chaluxe."
It is best personified by the new Hollywood-20-something stars and starlets who mix $20 T-shirts with $350 designer shoes and wander the streets of Soho with little kids in tow. It's like wearing "the little black dress" with one amazing piece of jewelry.
"Glamour doesn't have to be over the top. One fantastic chair or sofa placed in the midst of a quiet retreat is a wonderful way to celebrate life. Our take on turquoise is our interpretation of an amazing piece of jewelry on our favorite simple dress," said Pasquale Natuzzi, CEO and chief designer of Natuzzi, manufacturer of sofas, sectionals and chairs.
The chaise is covered in rich, luscious turquoise leather so it can be paired with the matching occasional chair or complemented by the company's sectional sofa in turquoise Tirelli fabric.
Both the chair and sectional are anchored in stunning, slender, brushed metal legs for a lean Grace Kelly-esque glamorous appeal-simplicity with an elegant, fashionable twist.
You can place all these pieces together or mix and match them with tag sale items, or sparse, starkly contrasting furnishings. Whether choosing one elegant piece-or a set-look for cutting-edge design and superior Italian craftsmanship, says Natuzzi, who has been designing and manufacturing residential furniture since 1959 and has grown into a global leader in the leather upholstery business.