Iconic Homes in Los Angeles : Hugh Hefners Playboy Mansion.

Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion, like most iconic houses in the world—think Elvis Presley’s Graceland or Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, comes with its own set of certifiable facts and urban legends.

In what was touted to be the biggest real estate deal in LA at the time, the Playboy mansion, located on the super posh Holmby Hills in Los Angeles, was sold for a whopping $100 million to Hefner’s neighbour, Daren Metropoulos, who described the house as a “masterpiece in design”.

Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images
Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images

The Architect Behind the Playboy Mansion

The Gothic Tudor mansion was built in 1927 for department store magnate/real estate mogul Arthur Letts Jr. It was designed by Arthur R. Kelly, an American architect who specialized in designing residences in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and Tudor Revival style. You could say this home is rather eclectic. Ultimately, aren’t we all quite eclectic in our own right, which makes it only right that we endeavour to find a home that reflects this. Thankfully, this is what William Pitt realty have been trying to do for people for a long time.

Playboy Enterprises bought the mansion in 1971 for $1.05 million—which makes it sale in 2016 an almost 100 fold increase—from renowned chess player and space engineer Louis D. Statham.

Architect Ron Dirsmith, a fellow in architecture at the American Academy in Rome and New York’s National Academy of Design, is credited with the redesign of the mansion, including the famous grotto, a witness to some of the most “colourful” poolside parties thrown by Playboy.

A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Size Does Matter

The 21,987-sqaure-foot mansion sits on 5.3 acres and comprises 29 rooms! A house this big sports all the exclusive, customized rooms that only a millionaire playboy businessman like Hugh could appreciate: catering kitchen with walk-in fridge and freezer, a wine cellar that can be accessed through a secret Prohibition Era door, theater with built-in pipe organ, gym, tennis court, six bedrooms (including a two-level master bedroom), six full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, a great hall with 22-foot ceilings, and four offices.

Hugh Hefner Mixed Business with Play

The game house is toward the right of the main entrance and features a pool table in the centre. This room has vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, Wurlitzer jukebox with jazz recordings, television, stereo, and couch.

The game house has two wings. Left is a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television. There is a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom, and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is connected to another, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side.

The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A Fantasy Outdoors

Imagine having a wishing well on the external courtyard of your house! The Playboy mansion has a beautiful fountain placed right outside the main entrance as well as a wishing well. Landscaping includes a large koi pond with artificial stream that requires its own pond maintenance service, a small citrus orchard and two lush forests for tree ferns and redwoods. There’s an outdoor kitchen and bar, and a bathhouse with changing rooms, sauna, gym, and tanning area.

Playboy Mansion with a Private Zoo

What’s missing in a mansion this lavish and colourful? Nothing, not even a licensed zoo! The Playboy mansion is one of a select few private residences in Los Angeles with a zoo license. Birds such as peacocks, macaws, flamingos, toucans, and ducks roam the grounds and we hear the squirrel monkeys complete the ensemble cast.

In the book “The Bungalow: America’s Arts & Crafts Home” (New York, Penguin Studio, 1995), actor Peter O’Toole, in response to being asked about the Playboy mansion, said: “What God would have done if He’d had the money”. Do we see you nodding your head in agreement?

Take a virtual tour of the Playboy Mansion, courtesy Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Heffner

Luxury Living At Its Finest : San Juan Del Sur | Hospitality Design

LUXURY LIVING AT ITS BEST, THE MOST INTERESTING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY IN NICARAGUA

Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea lies a life of luxury that many only dream of living. Here in Nicaragua, amid the beauty of sand-covered beaches, soaring mountains and breathtaking scenery, lies a place unlike any other. It is upscale luxury at its best. The fishing village of San Juan del Sur isn’t just a small port on a horseshoe shaped blue-water bay. It’s the most visited beach town on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast and it’s easy to see why. Brimming with culture and tradition, it is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes along with a population of warm and welcoming people. Tucked away from the congestion of the big city, San Juan del Sur is just over an hour away from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua and it’s international airport. And with a temperate climate that ranges from tropical in the lowlands to cooler in the mountains, the weather is relatively pleasant all year long.

That’s what draws vacationers, retirees, surfers and investors to this Central American country. What keeps many here is its unspoiled beauty and easy-going lifestyle. For tourists looking to settle in for some fishing, hiking, surfing or exploring, there’s no better place than La Santa Maria, the first Luxury Real Estate Development in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.

This upscale gated community is a great investment opportunity for people looking for an amazing lifestyle in a safe, nurturing location with spectacular views of the village and ocean. Here you can own a rent-ready, fully-furnished two or three bedroom apartment, with two baths, a fully-equipped kitchen, an oceanfront terrace and even a private pool. If you prefer more exclusivity, you can get on the list to have the opportunity to buy one of eight 4 bedroom villas, or one of only five, 7 bedroom homes. And if that is not enough, there are also six extremely exclusive 5 bedroom Penthouses and limited 3 to 4 bedroom Junior Penthouses.

All residences have spectacular views and come equipped with high-end appliances, a washer and dryer, air conditioning, water heater and even a power generator, all included in the price of ownership.

Outside your new home, you will find 24-hour gated security with executive protection for your family, a property manager, a club house, gym and a gourmet plaza along with covered parking, a private storage area and a complete rental program that will help you maximize your investment in case you want to get rental income from this investment.

It will be a full service community that will include the option to have daily cleaning services and if you prefer to go even more upscale, you can arrange for a butler or an in-house cook for an additional fee.

Such luxury accommodations and breathtaking surroundings may make you rethink your entire lifestyle once you get a look at this amazing gated community overlooking the azure waters of San Juan del Sur’s bay. Built on a high summit, La Santa Maria is located where the acclaimed Barlovento Hotel once stood more than 40 years ago. During it’s heyday, the hotel was host to a number of celebrities who visited Nicaragua for fishing tournaments, meetings and celebrations. Today, that same location pays tribute to its luxurious past with the upscale homes at La Santa Maria.

So, if you’re thinking of retiring to Nicaragua or planning to buy a second home there, La Santa Maria is the place to be. Located within walking distance to town, this more than 200,000 square foot community offers residences with upscale interiors designed with the latest global trends and nature in mind. Its clean, modern and elegant architecture, built with a Mediterranean flair, giving owners everything they could ask for in a Real Luxury Real Estate Development. Find Your Perfect Getaway

As if all that isn’t enough to convince you that it’s time to invest in Nicaragua, La Santa Maria is offering pre-construction sale pricing and developer financing. Act soon because this deal won’t last forever. The first phase of the residences, which range from 2,000 square feet to over 6,000 square feet, are scheduled to be completed and ready to move in on November 2017. The entire development will be ready by 2019.

Find out how La Santa Maria is gaining a competitive edge in the hospitality industry. Read More

Branding In the Hospitality Industry

Gain A Competitive Edge In The Hospitality Design Industry

Luxury, as we know, is about selling a dream. That is why the truly successful luxury brands also focus on the story. The narrative, a magical fairy tale, creates the desire. What is your hotel’s story? It may be based on the location or on the founder, for example. But it must be authentic – based in truth – and then built upon to create the dream and aspiration upon which luxury brands are built.

Your brand is more than a logo, tagline, product or service. Branding is about the promise of a distinct memorable experience, what differentiates you in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it helps lend a competitive edge to your company. You could even get NGP IMC services to help you with this. A strong brand identity creates customer loyalty which is an investment that will continue to pay back on itself, for years to come. Of course branding alone cannot replace good quality.

With so much attention to detail placed on the bathroom, the shower drain is the most overlooked item, but one that guests interact with daily. A valuable missed piece of design, the shower drain is no longer an afterthought, but instead now a crucial piece of design that pulls all the décor elements together. We will help achieve this cooperatively by weaving together a bold design with striking detail, influenced by your projects surrounding area or logo. Together we will create a piece of art that will leave a long lasting impact to the guest long after their stay.

Brand Your Next Project | Click Here

Download Hospitality Brand Awareness PDF

Maintaining Your Zen Gardens Water Source

Zen Garden : Tips for Maintaining The Water Source

Are you looking to add some water to your zen garden? Why not invest in a
drain for your pond or water fountain? Many people overlook a drain in their
gardens because they see it as an unnecessary cost. However, a drain in any
garden water source can limit the amount of time needed to clean the garden
and help keep it looking consistently beautiful. Here are some do-it- yourself
tips to installing your water feature in a zen garden.

Adding a Drain to A Pond

Adding a pond can invite zen into your garden. However, to maximize the
performance and minimalize the maintenance of your pond, you will want to
install a bottom drain at the deepest and lowest part of the pond. This will
create a slope and ensure all the dirty waste gets sent to the drain. It will
minimize the amount of time it takes to clean the pond, and keep it beautiful
during all times of the year. Also, if you want to put fish in your pond, a drain
will help to clean the water and ultimately keep the fish healthy.
One of the most common mistakes new pond builders make though is to put
rocks or gravel at the bottom of their pond. Although they are aesthetically
pleasing, the rocks and gravel prevent fish waste from getting to the drain. It
will also trap leaves and other debris at the bottom of your pond which will
give the pond a brownish color.

Installing a Water Fountain

An easier way to add water to your garden is through a water fountain. You
can install a water fountain that comes with a drain plug, or add one to the
fountain yourself. This will allow you to easily drain the water for cleaning
purposes and allow you to easily change the water in the fountain.
To add a drain to a water fountain, you will want to create a drain hole if the
fountain doesn’t already have one. Then place a drain plug inside the hole
and seal with silicone sealant or putty. When you want to empty or change the
water in your fountain, you can unplug the drain plug and siphon the water
with tubing to where you want.
Water is highly important in life as well as in your zen garden. These drain
ideas will help you add water to your garden in a way that will keep your
garden beautiful and easy to maintain.

By : Sally

Plumbers Share Ten Important Plumbing Tips « CBS Los Angeles

By Michelle Guilbeau

At some point in life, there is usually a need to call the plumber and frankly, plumbers take on tasks that many of us would never consider doing. A plumber can save the day and for that, we are thankful. However, there are tips that plumbers share which can help alleviate some of those plumbing problems and issues. Here are 10 plumbing tips to consider from the experts themselves.

1. Do Not Commit Garbage Disposal Abuse

The garbage disposal may seem like a garbage can, however the disposal is not as forgiving. Not all food items can go down a garbage disposal—for example, egg shells and grease are a big no no. Abusing a garbage disposal by overloading it is one of the quickest ways to break it. So be mindful of the items that are going down the disposal and also run cool water on high down the disposal as you are operating it.

2. Not Everyone Is An Expert In Soldering

Think anyone can solder pipes? Think again…soldering takes experience and skill. One of the quickest ways to cause water damage is by improperly soldering pipes. A water leak can easily happen if the pipes are not soldered to perfection. If you are not experienced in soldering, do not attempt this on your own. The best bet is to call a professional plumber who is skilled in soldering and can get it done correctly the first time around.

3. Know The Location Of The Main Water Valve

Knowing where your main water valve is located in your home is essential. In a time of crisis such as a pipe burst, it is important to know where to go in your home quickly so that you can turn off all the water and keep water damage to as minimal as possible. It is also a good idea to place a visible label near the valve, in case some one else is at your home and you are not available.

4. Use A Bathroom Drain Hair Stopper

One of the quickest ways a bathtub drain gets clogged up is with hair, but it is one of the easiest plumbing issues to fix for a homeowner. A bathroom drain hair stopper can be purchased at any big box retailer or home improvement store, and they are very low cost. Simply placing a drain hair stopper at the base of the drain will help to prevent hair from going down the pipes and causing a clog. The drain hair stopper can be easily lifted off the drain, cleaned out and placed back on the drain.

5. Do Not Flush Female Hygiene Products In Septic System

Female hygiene products do not degrade in a septic system, so these items should never be flushed. Instead, throw these items in the garbage. Tampons can be flushed down a regular toilet, but as most individuals know, never flush pads down the toilet.

6. Do Not Flush Dead Fish in Septic System

Many of us have dealt with a child’s fish dying and conducting an official burial by toilet. Flushing Goldie the goldfish down the regular toilet is okay, but do not flush Goldie into a septic system, as the bacteria from the fish can contaminate your system.

7. Regularly Check Water Hoses

A consistent schedule for checking water hoses and connections on the washing machine and water dispenser on the refrigerator is always a smart preventative measure. Those particular hoses are not in plain sight, so a leak left unchecked behind the washing machine and refrigerator could cause great damage.

8. Know Where The Toilet Water Valve Is Located

One of the best ways to stop a toilet from overflowing after plunging it is by turning off the water to the toilet. Shutting the water valve off on the toilet is a quick and easy way to help prevent the toilet from making a mess all over the bathroom floor and possibly causing serious water damage.

9. Maintain Your Water Heater

Maintenance procedures should be done on a regular basis to help prevent issues and extend the life of your water heater, however many homeowners forget about the importance of taking care of the water heater.  he owner’s guide should offer simple maintenance instructions in which a homeowner can perform. Preventative maintenance can save a lot of money in the long run.

10. Chemicals Are Not Always The Best Solution For Clogged Drains

Chemicals tend to be the choice method to unclog a drain, however these chemicals are usually rough and can be damaging to your plumbing. Instead, consider a zip it or snake, which costs only a couple dollars at the store and are very simple to use. The plastic tool slips down the drain and, with a bit of wiggling and maneuvering, will unclog most issues.

Source: Ten Important Plumbing Tips Plumbers Want To Share « CBS Los Angeles

 

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation : Questions To Ask Before You Start.

While updating a bathroom ranks at the top of many a homeowner’s wish list, complete renovations can be pricey—to the tune of $18,000 or more, depending on the bathroom size and choice of fixtures.

“The bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but remodeling can be as expensive as remodeling a kitchen,” says Joe Maykut, Product Manager for Sears Home Services. “Consumers can go over budget if they’re not careful.”

To get the most for your remodeling dollar, analyze your needs and wants first to make informed decisions. These five key questions can help homeowners ward off renovation regret—or, worse, do-overs. Want to get it right the first time around? Keep reading to find out what you should consider before leaping into your bathroom project.

What’s the best flooring for my bathroom?
Above all else, take safety into account when selecting a new floor for your bathroom. Sometimes, safety means ignoring the inspirational images shared in high-end home magazines, which often showcase impractical marble floors. “Stepping out of a tub with wet feet onto a polished marble floor is a recipe for disaster,” Maykut says.

His suggestion? Slip-resistant ceramic tile. Look for ones that showcase a coefficient of friction (COF) rating right on the box, which indicates that the tile is safer to walk on when it’s wet than other types of tile. Homeowners often don’t factor traction differences between tiles into their renovation plans, but support from Sears Home Services means that this important detail will never be overlooked. In a bathroom design process with Sears, their knowledgeable professionals help narrow down design choices to the most appropriate possibilities.

And, if you’re thinking about carpeting your bathroom, don’t. “Carpet is completely unsuitable for the bathroom,” Maykut says. “It soaks up water, develops bad odors, and increases the risk of mold and mildew growth.”

Likewise, real wood and laminate flooring are unsuitable for the bathroom because they can eventually warp or delaminate from exposure to water.

“If consumers don’t want ceramic tile, they still have plenty of designs to choose from in vinyl flooring,” Maykut offers. Today’s vinyl flooring has come a long way, and it can closely mimic the look of real wood, brick, slate, or stone, but it’s much more affordable.

Bathroom Remodel Idea - Wall Mounts

Photo: istockphoto.com

How can I create enough storage?
Most bathrooms have less square footage than other rooms in the house, yet they have to store plenty of essentials, from shampoo to toilet cleaner, and from mouthwash to guest towels. While there may not be enough space in a bathroom to accommodate a full linen closet, you can increase storage by thinking creatively. Opt for an enclosed vanity instead of a pedestal sink to provide under-sink storage for less-than-pretty cleaners and scrub brushes. Plan to install plenty of towel bars or hooks, and use stackable bins in cabinets. An upper cabinet above the toilet is also a great way to put unused space to work.

Before you build in a bunch of storage solutions, think about what to put where—and prioritize making everyday-use items like bathing products accessible where you need them most.

Maykut suggests choosing showers that are outfitted with little niches “to keep from having to put shampoo and conditioner bottles in a caddy on the shower floor, where they’re hard to reach and pose a tripping hazard.” The same goes for bathtubs: A wide, flat rim around the tub that can securely hold body wash, soap, or washcloths will go a long way toward creating a better bathing experience.

Do I need a shower or just a tub?
“If a homeowner has the luxury of having more than one bathroom in the house, it’s a good idea to install a walk-in shower in at least one of them,” Maykut advises. Already have a shower elsewhere in the house? Then just a tub is probably fine in the current renovation. Otherwise, you should include a walk-in shower, if only as an investment in the future.

“Accidents can happen that make it challenging getting in and out of a tub.” With either age or reduced mobility, stepping in and out over the wall of a slick, wet tub becomes a safety issue; shower stalls provide less opportunity to slip and fall and can offer space for a bench, if necessary.

How important is ventilation?
Bathrooms are notoriously humid. Just as long, hot showers leave mirrors steamed up, that same moisture also coats the walls and woodwork—even if you don’t see it. The damp environment can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, unless you take measures to dry out the space.

Most local building codes require a ventilation fan in any bathroom without a window that opens to the outside, but Maykut recommends installing a ventilation fan, period: “No one wants to get out of the shower and open the window when it’s freezing outside.”

A good fan effectively removes steam from the bathroom and vents it outside of the house. Better yet, today’s bathroom vent fans work much more quietly than their predecessors, scarcely making more than a faint hum. Whether you opt for a plain vent fan, fan/light combo, or a model with a built-in heater (perfect for warming the bathroom during chilly winter months), consider this installation a must-do.

Designer Drains Bathroom Shower Remodel

Photo: istockphoto.com

What should I look for in new bathroom fixtures?
Homeowners have a wealth of options to choose from when redesigning the bathroom, including fixtures that offer a combination of great design, comfort, and high efficiency. However, fixture costs add up quickly, with fancy amenities like heated toilet seats and high-end showers equipped with multiple shower heads.

Putting the biggest emphasis on efficient features can help you recoup costs in your monthly utility bills while also benefiting the planet.

“Everyone in the country should be concerned about conserving water—not wasting it,” Maykut says. He suggests installing WaterSense-labeled toilets that use less than two gallons of water per flush. Additionally, high-efficiency shower heads can also provide “the feel of having 100 gallons of water spraying on you while it’s really much less, and you’ll never notice the difference.”

Next, consider comfort. Comfort-height toilets are the new kids on the block, and for many consumers they’re a welcome change from standard toilets with low 15-inch-high rims. The higher, 17-inch to 19-inch-high rims make getting on and off the toilet more comfortable for most adults, especially the elderly and the disabled.

Even after narrowing your search to fixtures with features that meet your biggest needs, you won’t feel limited on style. Sears Home Services makes it easy for homeowners to plan an entire renovation from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s like bringing a bathroom showroom right to your door,” Maykut says. Once the design and fixtures are selected, Sears Home Services handles everything from ordering fixtures to scheduling reputable contractors. “It’s the best way to guarantee that customers get a bathroom they’ll be happy with for a long time,” he says.

This post has been brought to you by Sears Home Services. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

 

Source: 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation – Bob Vila

CEO of Accor Hotels On Competing in the Hospitality Industry

AccorHotels CEO Discussion : What It Takes to Succeed in the Competitive Hospitality Industry

Sébastien detailed his thoughts about the importance of being able to anticipate change in an increasingly competitive hospitality industry

TopHotel News

During the second day of the SAHIC South America event Thursday in Buenos Aires, AccorHotels CEO Sébastien Bazin detailed his thoughts about the importance of being able to anticipate change in an increasingly competitive hospitality industry and about what he sees for the future of the business.

Bazin, one of the most prominent figures in global hospitality, has headed Accor since 2013, guiding a company with more than 4,000 properties in nearly 100 countries spread throughout the planet. Under his leadership, Accor is one of the largest hotel operators on the planet. In a wide-spanning conversation rich with ideas and valuable insights, Bazin shared his thoughts with Stephanie Ricca, editor-in-chief of HotelNewsNow.

“In today’s world, either you change or you will be change,” Bazin said.

Throughout his years as leader of Accor, Bazin has placed a heavy focus creating a company that stands out and is first to move on new ideas, thinking with an eye towards being successful in the future. He described this as key to thriving in the hotel industry, which has been growing at a steady 4 to 5 percent clip in recent decades, which is great but also challenging because it draws so much competition to the space.

A major challenge facing large-scale hotel brands such as Accor in the modern industry is upstart concepts like AirBnB, a sharing economy web platform with a vast and increasingly number of listings across the globe. Bazin emphasized that AirBnB is not the enemy, but rather a company that provides valuable insight because they have understood something about consumers that traditional hospitality stakeholders have not.

Bazin said that the hotel industry needs to learn from AirBnB as well as from the customers themselves. The modern hotel guest does not want to be seen as a number, they want to be a unique individual and their hotel experiences should reflect this desire. On the whole, price is a less important element than it once was, with customers that are now willing to pay more if it means being transformed by experiences they want to remember, learn from and share with others.

When asked about what he sees as the future of the business, Bazin said that the hotel industry must prepare for the advent of artificial intelligence, describing a scenario in which computers make organic suggestions to would-be guests. He also said evolving online payment methods is something for brands to monitor.

In terms of Accor’s immediate future, Bazin said the company has about 100 hotels in its project pipelines, 99 percent of which are not in the United States and 85 percent of which are not in Europe. Accor’s focus is instead on developing markets such as India, APAC and LATAM.

“Anybody that is driven by size makes a mistake,” Bazin said. “I prefer to be driven by local market share.”

In terms of Argentina, the host country for this event, Bazin praised it as a hospitality destination for having a rich history and wonderful cities, but said the macroeconomy is a problem because land and labor are expensive while the price per room remains low. Another challenge facing the country in terms of attracting tourists is that it has a need for more visiting flights and airlines.

Overall, his advice for people who aspire to join the hospitality industry is change and learn, not staying with the same company for 20 years as people were once likely to do.

The following projects by AccorHotels are currently underway in Latin America:

Sofitel So La Habana

The hotel will be located on the corner of the Malecón and Paseo del Prado [READ MORE…]

Fairmont Costa Canuva

The new Fairmont Costa Canuva will reside within the new master-planned seaside community, ‘COSTA CANUVA’, on the Riviera Nayarit [READ MORE…]

Mercure Itajaí

The Mercure hotel is part of the “Absolute Hotel & Business” development in Itajai [READ MORE…]

More information about AccorHotels can be found onTOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the international hospitality industry.

Contact
Jule Grass
Marketing Manager
Phone: +49 4261 4140 309
Send Email

Read More About Hospitality. 

New Home Owners Outspend Existing Non-Moving Owners

New Home Buyers Invest in Home Projects

WASHINGTON, DC — A new consumer spending

Analysis has revealed that, in their first year of ownership, new home buyers spend an average of more than $10,000 on new appliances, furnishings and home improvement projects – 2.6 times as much in a typical year as homeowners who do not move. The analysis, released last month by the National
Association of Home Builders, is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Consumer Expenditure Survey,” which helped quantify the money spent to make improvements as new owners personalize their homes. The findings are significant in that they reinforce the commonly held belief that first-year new- and existing-home buyers represent a key client cohort – and prospect base – for residential remodelers, including kitchen and bath designers. Of equal significance is the impact that home buying has on renovation, as well as on the overall U.S. economy (see related graphic, below). “While construction jobs are the most obvious impact

of new homes on the economy, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t stop there,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “It’s the architects, heating technicians, lumber suppliers and the mom-and-pop owners at the local furniture or appliance store who are helping these buyers make their house a home.” According to the Washington, DC-based NAHB, during the first two years after closing, a typical buyer of a newly built single-family home tends to spend on average $4,500 more than a similar non-moving homeowner. Likewise, a buyer of an existing single-family detached home tends to spend over $4,000 more than a similar non-moving home

owner, including close to $3,700 during the first year. Buyers of existing homes spend $4,085 on property alterations and repairs, compared to $3,729 spent by new-home buyers and $2,232 spent by non-moving owners, the NAHB said. They also outspend new-home buyers on kitchen and bathroom additions or renovations, and purchasing and installing items such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical and security systems, paneling, flooring, siding, windows and doors, the association added.

In contrast, average spending of new-home buyers on most of these items is negligible, suggesting that new-home buyers rarely spend on these items during the first year after moving. However, when it comes to outside additions and alterations, including a new driveway, walk or fence, newhome buyers significantly outspend existing-home buyers and non-moving owners. At the same time, non-moving owners outspend home buyers on most replacements, as well as on repairs of doors, windows and skylights. Other conclusions of the NAHB analysis were that:

• The most expensive appliances in the budget of existing-home
buyers are refrigerators/home freezers,
followed by clothes washers/dryers, televisions,
computer hardware/systems and lawnmowers.
New and existing home buyers spend even more
on furnishings than appliances. During the first
year after buying a home, new home buyers spend
$3,778 on furnishings, outspending old home buyers
by 70% and non-moving owners by 530%.

• Over the two years after a move, the “typical” buyer of an
existing home tends to increase their spending on remodeling,
furnishings and appliances by more than $4,100,
compared to otherwise identical homeowners who do
not move. Remodeling projects account for half of this
extra spending and mostly occur during the first year
after closing on the house. Only the additional spending
on furnishings tends to persist beyond the first year.

• There are significant demographic differences between
home buyers and non-moving owners. Home
buyers tend to be larger households with children
– and on average wealthier, better educated and concentrated
in urban areas. “Any of these factors could
potentially contribute to higher spending on appliances,
furnishings and remodeling,” the NAHB said.

• The purchase of either a new or existing home does
not have a significant effect on spending on entertainment,
apparel, transportation and restaurant meals.

Source : Kitchen & Bath Design News September 2017 Issue

How to Unclog a Drain, Shower or Toilet

Unclog Your Drains : DIY Repair. Shower Drains & Toilet – Homemade Cleaner Recipe

By 

While it may seem like a small deal, a clogged drain is a household emergency requiring prompt attention. Why? Because if left unchecked, continued use can lead to a flood.

Luckily, there are multiple ways of dealing with clogs before they become a problem, ranging from chemicals you can buy at the store to homemade remedies.

Unclog Toilet Drain, Shower Drain or Pipe

Regardless of the method you choose, here’s how to unclog a drain, toilet, shower drain or a sink.

Additionally we will explain in detail how to make your own homemade natural drain cleaner with a simple recipe using ingredients you already have at home.

There are two basic routes when you’re looking for how to unclog a drain: by using chemicals, or by using a homemade drain cleaner.

When used in the right way, chemical drain cleaners are effective in unclogging drains. These cleaners can come in a solid form, or as a liquid form as alkaline or acidic solutions. An alkaline-based chemical drain opener contains sodium or potassium hydroxide. These types of drain openers are useful for unclogging drains blocked with grease or hair. Acidic chemical drain openers contain sulfuric acid and are effective in dissolving blockages in water pipes.

These chemical drain openers react with water to release gasses which may be hazardous to human health. Inhaling such gasses may leave you at the risk of skin burn, visual loss, and respiratory problems. Some people have reported burning sensations after using chemical drain cleaners.

Make sure you read and follow all instructions before using a chemical drain cleaner.

Before you commit to chemicals, however, check out these easier (and safer) ways to remove clogs.

Different Ways Of Unclogging A Drain

Ways To Unclog A Drain

  • Boiling water
  • Plunger
  • Drain Snake
  • Homemade Drain Cleaner

There are different types of clogs — some are worse than others — so what you’re going to want to do is figure out a way that works for you. Generally speaking, you’re looking at four different ways of unclogging a drain: you can boil water, you can use a plunger, you can snake it, or you can make your own drain cleaner. Let’s take a look at each of these.

How To Unclog A Drain Or Sink With Boiling Water

The first option for clearing a drain is by using boiling water to open it. As long as the drain is relatively minor, this method should work. First, when your drain is slow, make sure that there isn’t any water in the pipe. Next, boil a pot of water and (carefully) pour directly into the drain to flush it. It should only take one, maybe two flushes to remove the blockage. Any more than that and the clog might require a different method.

Unclog A Drain With A Plunger

Next up we have a plunger. This useful tool has been clearing clogged drains for years. Nowadays you can buy small cup plungers, which are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. To use it, place the plunger over the clogged drain and plunge as hard as you can.

One thing to note.

Unlike with the technique with the boiling water, this time you DO want there to be water in the drain. The plunger is designed to pressurize the water and force it through the pipe, thereby clearing the clog. If there’s no water, then you’re just pushing air, and the clog will persist.

How To Unclog A Drain With A Drain Snake

unclog drain ; drain snake

When boiling water and plungers don’t work, try using a drain auger (also called a drain snake). You’ll find drain snakes in most hardware stores. Some drain snakes are manual and some are electric.

One advantage of using a drain snake is you get to reach blockages deep within the pipes.

How To Snake A Drain

  • Put the end of the snake into the drain and twist the handle.
  • Push the drain snake and find the blockage.
  • Twist the snake until you the blockage frees.
  • Verify that the blockage is gone by running water.

To use a drain auger/drain snake, start by putting the rear end of the drain snake into the drain hole and twisting the handle. Next, you’ll want to push the drain snake further until you feel the blockage.

Once located, turn the drain snake around until you feel the blockage free. You’ll be able to tell whether or not the drain is clear by running water for several minutes.

If part of the blockage is still in place, the water will continue to drain slowly.

Unclog A Drain With A Homemade Natural Drain Cleaner

Homemade Drain Cleaner Recipe

  • 2 cups or vinegar
  • ½ cup of baking soda.
  • Start by pouring a pot of boiling water into the drain.
  • Pour the baking soda into the drain and let sit.
  • Finish with 2 cups of vinegar and 1 cup hot water.
  • Close/plug the drain and let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • Flush with another pot of boiling water.

Store-bought cleaners contain dangerous chemicals and if you’d prefer to avoid using a chemical-based based drain opener, consider making your own homemade, natural drain cleaner from baking soda and vinegar.

Start by pouring boiling water down your drain (that might be enough to clear it, but if not, keep reading).

Pour the baking soda into the drain and let it sit for a few minutes, then pour the vinegar in with a cup of hot (not boiling) water.

You’ll want to plug the drain at this point because there’s going to be a chemical reaction that you don’t want overflowing. Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes and then flush the drain with another pot of hot to finish the job.

Ta-da! Your drain is clear.

Quick And Easy Ways To Unclog A Toilet

Are you battling with a clogged toilet? Here’s how you can unclog your toilet with ease.

  • Depending on the nature of the substance that caused the toilet block, you can use an enzyme waste dissolver to get rid of the blockage. An enzyme waste dissolver only works on organic waste products. After pouring the stated amount in the toilet bowl, wait for a few hours or overnight so the mixture can take effect.
  • A home remedy for a clogged drain made from baking soda and vinegar can also be used to unclog the toilet. Simply pour the mixture into the bowl and let it sit for a few hours before flushing.
  • Drain snakes can be used to unclog a toilet following the same procedure used in unclogging a  drain. If you do not have access to a drain snake, try using a wire coat hanger.
  • Plungers are the perfect tool for clearing your clogged toilet. Put on protective gloves and coveralls before using a plunger. Opt for a more durable plunger and use it the same way you would when clearing the drain.
  • Only use chemical drain openers as a measure of last resort. Be careful when using this product and do not use a plunger right after to prevent toxic substances from getting in contact with your skin or eyes.
  • wet/dry waterproof vacuum can be placed in the toilet bowl to remove the blockage.

How To Unclog Shower Drain Or A Bathtub

If you’re looking for a safe and easy way to unclog your shower or tub drain without causing damage to the pipes, try some of these tips:

unclog drain

  • Remove the drain stopper with a screwdriver and check for the cause of the blockage.
  • Use a plastic glove and flashlight to see and remove hair strands or other minimal particles causing the blockage.
  • Screw on the drain stopper and use a plunger to clear the drain one final time.

All these methods are useful in unclogging drains, sinks, shower drains, and toilet drains. Rather than trying to figure out how to unclog a shower drain after the fact, however, it may save you time and effort to take steps to prevent drains from getting clogged in the first place. How?

How To Keep Your Drain Clog-Free

  • Avoid tossing garbage and items like hair, rice, gums, stickers, tampons, condoms, toys and other items into the kitchen or toilet drain.
  • Occasionally lift off drain stoppers and clean debris laying in the shower drain. This will reduce the chance of having a clogged drain in the future.
  • Always dispose all hair in the garbage bin and ensure to comb hair only after a shower. This will reduce the amount of hair that gets trapped in the shower drain.
  • Sink strainers were meant for a reason. Use them. Before tossing that dish into the sink, strain the large bits away.
  • Enzymes should often be used to clear organic waste that might cause a blockage.

Live Clog-Free And Prosper

If you have pipes, sooner or later you’re going to have a clog. Luckily, having a clog doesn’t necessarily mean you have an emergency. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to handle whatever comes your way, be it a small clog or a major one.

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Source : TipsBulletin