Victorian Era Architectural Styles and Home Hardware

The Victorian architectural style and the home hardware produced during this time (1825-1900) is not one specific type of hardware but rather an eclectic mix of various styles that were popular and classified as Victorian Era hardware after the fact. Most notably during this time home decorating became more ornate and reflected the changing social and economic revolutions that were occurring in the United States. The industrial revolution brought mass production of goods and beautiful home hardware was no longer only accessible to the “upper class” of society. The newly formed middle class in America embraced these new architectural styles and filled their home with a variety of popular trends.

Depending on the taste of the inhabitants the doorknob sets, cabinet hardware, window hardware and home hardware could vary widely. In some homes a very ornate style (sometimes referred to during this time as romantic because of the emphasis on flowers and nature motifs) was used while in others more geometric designs (such as the Eastlake design) were extremely popular. Solid brass was used for its strength and the ability to cast in a wide variety of designs and patterns. Some of the most popular styles included Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and Stick Style. The trademark features of each style varied slightly with different emphasis being placed on window design, roofing, exterior decorative elements and interior home hardware patterns.

Victorian style hardware is produced today and can be used in both older Victorian homes and modern houses. It is a timeless addition to any room and can transform an entire room with little effort. Older and worn furniture can be transformed by replacing the original knobs with elegant designs and doorknob sets can be easily replaced to become a wonderful focal point. Interior and exterior Victorian style is available and makes it extremely easy to create a new and beautiful theme throughout your entire home. Remember that these styles were used interchangeably during the Victorian era so you can use a variety of patterns and shapes throughout your house and it will tie itself together nicely.

Victorian era hardware is readily available online and in many home decoration catalogs. Search for solid brass construction to ensure high quality and strength. Solid brass hardware is available in several finishes and can coordinate well with your existing hardware. These pieces are available online through LookInTheAttic & Company and they offer free design assistance and help.

Antique Hardware For Antique Furniture

As technology and materials become more efficient, it becomes more and more evident that nothing can replace the timelessness of an antique. The time and effort it took to make the product is often reflected in the solid craftsmanship of the piece. Each piece of antique hardware would have been hand selected or handmade specifically for that piece. Replicating the hardware becomes one of the biggest challenges for persons involved in furniture restoration.

Finding the right piece to finish an antique can always be difficult, and finding the right piece of door hardware can be even harder. It has to be vintage, yet functional, and fit the style you are looking for. Fear not, you’ve come to the right place! We have a large selection of antiques, hardware and replicas for any project. Whether it’s bronze, porcelain, or another metal you are looking for we have the right item for you.

We make sure that each piece is in proper working order, and include any hardware you may need to install the piece. The dimensions of each piece are clearly shown, so that you can be certain the door hardware will fit snugly and securely. If the screws that are included with the piece are too long, simply choose the shorter size upon checkout. We offer a minimum two year guarantee on all items, and many of our pieces come with a five year guarantee.

Whether you are looking to restore an antique, or just want to give a vintage touch to an existing piece, our antiques and replicas can be that touch you are looking for. Ornate or simplistic, locking or non-locking, we have the piece for you. All of our hardware is hand-burnished proudly here in the United States. We stand behind the quality in each and every piece. Check LookIntheAttic & Company for a huge selection of hardware online.

Antique Furniture and Hardware Choices

Most people opt for antique furniture and hardware pieces mainly because of the style and elegance they provide to the inner ambiance of an office, a home, or any other area. Prior to buying and collecting antique pieces however, the antique collector should first be equipped with the knowledge of where and how to shop. While antique lovers brag about the eminence of specific furniture pieces, they often refer to overall design, joints and wood, and often fail to recognize the embellishment that sets them apart as works of fine art. Carving, veneer, inlay and gilding are just are just some of the decoration methods that bestow antique furnishings their signature style.

There is a wide range of antique furniture and hardware companies that provide antique furniture and hardware restoration services. These companies stock a huge collection of home improvement tools which accommodates a diversity of needs and tastes. The products range from CD storage chests, Carisa accent tables, media storage cabinets, computer monitor stands, shelves to kitchen furniture and kitchen remodeling materials. In addition to stocking a broad line of refurbishment hardware for antique furniture, they also manufacture Tambour doors, sifters, flour bins and many other components for Hoosier cabinets.

If you intend to purchase antique furniture and hardware pieces, it is advisable you buy them from one shop that specializes in antiques furnishings. Such shops usually provide specialized customer services at more rational and affordable costs. These stores also provide a large collection of choices that suit a diversity of specifications and needs.

Antique garage sales and flea-markets have the best prices but one can also obtain such furniture from auctioneers. Before purchasing any furniture piece, it is good to have a background check on the furniture. A comprehensive appraisal of the procedure and schedule of preceding preservation measures for the furniture should be done.
Know when the furniture was last restored or refurnished. Make out the restoration method used as such information will be handy in evaluating the condition of the antique furniture. Most of the antique stores provide furniture refurbishment services, so one can have his/her antique restored in one of these stores if it wares out. It is important to know how to preserve these pieces as most of the antiques are made of wood which can be attacked by insects. There are many preservation measures that can be applied to protect antique furniture from damage.

Purchasing antique and hardware pieces has now become easier than ever as more and more people have come to appreciate opulence and class of antique and hardware furnishings. One can obtain a variety of antiques for home improvement and kitchen remodeling from online antique stores; however, one must be very cautious. Buy your furniture from trustworthy and certified dealers and never hand over cash until you are satisfied with the furniture you intend to buy. Know the shipping costs of the furniture you intend to by as most companies include the shipping cost in the price of the furniture.

Choosing Lead Free Pewter Cabinet Hardware

Pewter cabinet hardware is a creative way to update your current kitchen and bathroom hardware is exciting new designs and colors. Whether you are looking to create a new decorating theme or enhance your current decorating style, pewter metal hardware offers a wide selection of unique designs and colors that will complement almost any decor. The selection available ranges from exotic animal knobs to post modern designs which provide unlimited opportunities to create a personalized look in any room.

Pewter cabinet hardware is a timeless addition to any home. Pewter hardware is available in a wide variety of finishes that range from Bright Polished Pewter to Antique Brass Gold to Verdigris. Pewter hardware is great whether you are updating older furnishings or adding new cabinet knobs to cabinets or drawers.

Pewter cabinet hardware is produced today – allowing you to incorporate their patterns on your cabinets and drawers. It is a simple way to create a common theme throughout your house. These pewter hardware pieces can transform a boring home into a showplace – but be sure to follow a few simple steps. First, remember that antique pewter metal hardware can contain lead so when shopping for pewter hardware be sure to check if it is lead free for safety. Second, replace older and worn knobs and pulls throughout your home with pewter to tie the look together for you. You can ask an interior decorator or look to decorating magazines for additional help in creating a common theme. By using pewter hardware on all the cabinets and drawers you can use different shapes throughout your house – you need not use the same design on furniture, cabinets and drawers.

Pewter cabinet knobs are readily available online as well as in many home decorating catalogs. Search for lead free pewter construction and be sure to ask questions. When you work with pewter hardware you can be sure different shapes and combinations will work together nicely. These pewter cabinet knobs and pulls can be found online through LookInTheAttic & Company and they offer free design assistance and help.

Unique Office Furniture That’ll Keep Employees Happy

People have been talking about reinventing the traditional setting of work offices and office furniture. One company that’s known for incorporating exciting, inventive and fun seating arrangements and workspaces is Google. Other companies could learn how to keep their employees invigorated and inspired with a few unconventional office furniture items, such as a pool table or a hammock chair. Though you’re not likely to choose all of these items, one or two could make a world of difference in your employees’ happiness and comfort.

Bouncy Balls

It’s a well-known fact that humans aren’t meant to sit at a desk all day. Many people use their lunch hour to exercise rather than eat, or stretch at their desk periodically. One way to strengthen your core and improve your posture is to substitute a bouncy exercise ball for your desk chair. Not only will it force you to sit up straight, but also it’ll give you the opportunity to flex your abs while you work.

Hammock Chairs

Break rooms are provided as a place to unwind for employees. Break rooms offer a place to eat lunch, catch up with coworkers, and relax. Instead of having the old-fashioned hard chairs and tables, consider installing a few hammock chairs to let your employees relax in true comfort. The relaxation they’ll get from being reclined and cushioned will invigorate them to work harder once break is over.

Pool Table or Pinball Machine

For companies that specialize in creativity and innovation, employees need to be stimulated in both parts of the brain. While the left-brain is where the technological ideas hatch, the right brain needs stimulation to let the subconscious dream up creative ideas. A pool table or pinball machine is mentally stimulating for the creative part of the brain. By taking a break from daily tasks and challenging yourself in a new way, you’re likely to think of more creative ideas. Though these games aren’t traditional office furniture, they could offer employees a creative outlet other than scrolling on Facebook or staring at the wall.

Plants and Trees

Humans, just like all other creatures, originate from nature. A space surrounded by lush green plants and blooming flowers is soothing and relaxing. Office furniture shouldn’t be limited to simple hardware, but should include potted plants and small trees that can fit indoors. A building nestled in the woods or beside a mountain should take advantage of the view by installing numerous windows. A plant or two in the immediate desk area will not only brighten your mood, but also provide extra oxygen for increased blood flow to the brain.

Mood Lighting

The type of light we work in can affect us greatly. A common woe of cubicle workers is the fluorescent lighting that constantly gives people headaches. Employers should go the extra mile and install nicer light fixtures with dimming settings and colored covers. Working in a spotlight is fatiguing and employees are likely to stay fresh for longer without having to battle off a light-induced headache.

How Can Ready Mix Construction Materials Benefit The Builders?

Meaning of ready mix products is that they are readily available for use. For example, consider material used in the floor and wall plastering processes. It is mixed at the construction site using raw materials like cement, sand and water by the workers. But in case of the ready mix plaster, all these ingredients are premixed in specific quantities by the machines in a production plant. One can use these pre-mix plasters instantly by just mixing water. Hence, we can say that ready mix products are the one that can be used instantly to reduce efforts and time taken for the process. This is the primary reason why many builders today are using such materials in their projects. These products will offer them many benefits.

Reduced Efforts: The use of ready mix products minimizes efforts of both the builders as well as the laborers. Builders will now have to search for limited manpower for their projects which makes their task much easier. Moreover, laborers will not have to do the entire A to Z process to create the construction materials at the site because they are now readily available.

More Savings: Using ready mix products will not require much labor at the construction site. Builders can now hire only a few laborers for the cause and save up their labor costs. Not only in terms of cost, but builders can also save up their time which otherwise would be required in finding and hiring the laborers for their project.

Lesser Process Start up & Project Completion Time:

When a builder uses ready mix products in his construction venture, he can definitely complete his project in much lesser time because these products will greatly reduce the process start-up time.

Finest Quality

Such products are mechanically mixed and hence the consistency is assured. Builders can accommodate ready mix products for consistent quality in their construction projects.

One of the best examples of such ready mix products gaining recognition in construction industry today is a polymer based dry mix plaster which the builders today are using to speed up the process of plastering in their construction projects. This is a kind of ready mix dry plaster which comes mechanically mixed with ingredients like cement, dust-free sand, polymers and selected additives which make up for a good plastering material. It can be used instantly on the site by mixing appropriate quantity of water. So now builders can say “no” to the lengthy plaster mixing procedures and save up time in their construction projects.

Similarly even ready-to-use polymer based tile adhesives are available in the market these days. Cement, sand and chemicals usually go into manufacturing these adhesive products that enable tight bonding of tiles to the substrate. Generally used for wall and floor tiling processes these adhesives are known to ensure quality tiles fitting process with excellent bonding and low shrinkage features. Application of such readily available tiles fitting adhesives enables faster and efficient tiles fitting, thereby saving up lot of construction time for the builders to employ on other important processes in the project.

Hence, with advantages of ready mix products, they certainly cannot be neglected. Incorporating them in construction projects would definitely be a good job for the builders.

Qualities of Steel That Make it an Important Construction Material

Materials that are used for construction of various buildings that include residential structures, office buildings and other kinds of structures have to be according to the various specifications that have been laid out by the governments of the land in which the construction is going on. There are certain qualities that are very important in the materials used for the construction.

Steel is a very commonly used material that is used for construction of various structures. This is because this material that is widely used in the construction of huge buildings has certain important qualities that are not present in many other materials that can be got for the same price as of steel. These are all listed below:

1. Does not break easily:

Steel is a material that does not really break under normal stressful conditions like many of the other construction material. The inherent strength in terms of tensile strength makes it to be very strong and breaks only under extreme conditions. Steel buildings are common becaus of this.

2. Can be molded and twisted:

This is one of the greatest advantages of using this as a material in construction. None of the common materials used for the construction of various structures can be molded or twisted and turned like this material. This makes it to be very useful in constructions.

3. Easily available:

Steel is a material that is not very expensive and is also easily available in all parts of the world. This is another advantage as a material that is used in almost all types of constructions these days. Easy availability and mass production of this material has made it to be a part of all the constructions.

Energy Efficient Construction Materials Have Come a Long Way

The energy efficiency of construction materials is determined by how they handle heat, how the heat is transferred through those materials and how well the materials hold or store the heat. Since heat always moves from hotter to colder, during the summer when outside temperatures are higher than the temperature inside a building, the heat is transferred through the walls from outside to inside. Conversely, during the winter, the heat is transferred from the inside of the building to the outside. The effectiveness of construction materials – and how much energy consumption they reduce – depends upon how quickly heat transfers through the materials (how well they hold the heat). Energy performance is measured by the stated R-value of the building material; when combined with other materials such as drywall, particle board, or stucco, the adjusted measure is known as mass-enhanced R-value.

The R-values of traditional stud wall construction using either wood or metal studs with insulated wall cavities can vary depending upon the size, makeup and spacing of the studs. Studs conduct more heat than insulation does since they extend through the wall and have a small R-value. To achieve any degree of efficiency with stud wall construction, it is necessary to cover the framework with a structural insulated panel of plywood or oriented strand board filled with expanded polystyrene (EPS) or other foam material, which results in an R-value of 5.0 per inch of thickness. Traditional block masonry construction is one of the more energy efficient construction methods as compared to stud wall construction. A standard, 8″ hollow block has an R-value of 1.75, which is not high enough to be considered energy efficient. However, the R-value can be enhanced by adding foam insulation outside or inside the blocks (typically the hollow block cores are filled with beads or injected foam made from polystyrene or a similar foam). More energy efficient still is precast concrete wall construction, which is built from high strength concrete with reinforcing fibers and steel. The concrete is made more energy efficient by building insulation into it, which gives it an R-rating in the neighborhood of 12.5.

The most energy efficient construction methods are those which combine concrete with insulating foam in an integrated way. The state-of-the-art method is called Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction, which is a reinforced concrete technique far more energy efficient and quicker to erect than traditional block masonry or precast concrete walls. In ICF construction, hollow rectangular EPS foam forms are stacked and lined with steel rebar, then filled with concrete. When the concrete sets, the EPS foam which bonds to the concrete in the process becomes an inner and outer layer of insulation. The forms interlock like a children’s Lego set and can be quickly assembled. The blocks are not manufactured to a building’s exact specifications and size. The blocks have to be cut to some degree to exact length and to make openings for windows and doors; but this is easily done by hand. Because the inside foam – concrete – outside foam construction makes for a triple insulation barrier, ICF’s are the most efficient building materials with R-40 or higher energy ratings.

Construction Materials

Building a house will never happen without the right materials for construction. Despite having a grandiose design, it will never transpire without the proper materials that you can use so that you can bring out that design from the papers to the real thing. Most people who want to build a house of their own only rely on contractors when it comes to buying the right materials for construction, but if you want to be hands on when it comes to the construction of your house then you can actually be the one to look and purchase the materials that would suit the construction needs of your house.

The construction materials that you need would first be based on the design that you have. Everything starts with the kind of house that you want to build. It’s not enough that you know the materials that can be used for construction. The problem in just simply buying materials without putting the design in mind is that unnecessary purchases can be made which will just put your spare construction essentials to waste. To avoid unnecessary expenses on the materials which you can’t use, it would be best to know what you need and what you don’t need based on the design plan for the house. If you happen to design a brick house, then invest more on cement and bricks. As another example, if your design plan gives you a house that is oriental in nature, then you might want to invest on wood that you find appealing for your house. Aside from these, you should also buy the right amount of the essential materials for construction like nails and other necessary equipment that you can use for your construction.

Another important that you should consider when buying materials for your construction would be your budget. Again, your budget must also be based on the design that you have, or both can be adjusted in one way or another. If you have a great design but your budget is limited, then you can make adjustments on the materials and the equipment that you can use for your construction. You might want to look for materials that look like the one that you need but are cheaper than the original ones. You might want to consider buying the basic and simple versions of the expensive construction materials. You don’t have to worry much about it because there are so many materials in the market that you can choose to have depending on the budget that you have. There are some materials that are more expensive than the others because these are known brands, but there are also some that are cheaper but can still guarantee quality. Thus, you just have to be wiser and more inquisitive in terms of looking for materials if you have a tight budget.

If you’re looking for construction materials, you can always go to your nearest home depot or do-it-yourself shops. The best thing about these stores is that they can assist you in choosing the best materials for your needs.

Why Is Using Sustainable Construction Materials Important?

With building, maintaining and occupying homes accounting for almost 50 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, sustainable construction and the use of sustainable construction materials both have important roles to play in the war on energy waste and environmentally unfriendly living. In fact there are a whole host of reasons why using sustainable construction materials make sense. More than just the direct environmental benefits such as the ability to cut down on avoidable heat loss or the impact on the environment in the production and transport of certain types of traditional and environmentally unfriendly construction materials, there are also many economic benefits in heading down the green path.

Environmental considerations

Construction impacts on the environment across the board. From the environmental expense of producing raw materials, to their transportation to their inefficient deployment to their disposal it all adds up on a massive scale. With construction accounting responsible for 25-40% of total energy use, nearly a third of raw material use, 30-40% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 30 to 40% of solid waste generation the size of the environmental challenges, as well as the opportunities for improvement are immense.

Considering the incredibly rapid speed at which many nations are developing and the real terms explosion in the volumes of material used and waste produced this is clearly an issue that needs to be seriously addressed sooner rather than later. In the UK alone, for example, about 6 tonnes of material are used per person per year with 250-300 million tonnes of material quarried for aggregates, cement and bricks. Roll out these sorts of figures globally and it’s not hard to see the enormous scale of the issues at hand.

Direct Economic Benefits

As well as environmental benefits there are direct economic benefits in using sustainable construction materials. Recent studies by the UK Environment Agency for example show that a one-off investment of £800 could improve an existing home’s resource efficiency by as much as 25 per cent with a consequent annual saving of approximately £138 a year in utility bills. Clearly it wouldn’t take long to recoup your initial outlay and from year 7 you would start to enjoy real savings.

Not only do sustainable construction materials save you on your day to day energy bills they also add value to your home and make properties a more attractive proposition. Research shows clearly that buyers are prepared to pay more for property that has a high performance Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs are used to outlines the costs of heating, hot water and lighting in homes).

Whilst many claim that materials are “recyclable” or being recycled, in reality only a small fraction of them actually are. One of the great sustainable construction material successes has been that of plastic recycling. Plastic recycling has seen the introduction of lumber, roofing battens, sustainable recycled tongue & groove, sustainable recycled decking and sustainable recycled fencing. In many cases recycled plastic represents a triple win. Not only is it more cost-effective than traditional alternatives such as wood, concrete and metal, it often out performs them and of course is much better for the environment.