What to Look for in an Electric Fireplace

electric fireplaceIf you’re looking for a stylish, but effective way to heat a room in your house, you might want to consider an electric fireplace.  These appliances are just as functional as a space heater, but are much more aesthetically pleasing. And as opposed to a traditional fireplace you don’t have to worry about fire hazards, soot, smoke or having to keep a supply of chopped wood.  To help those who are in this market for the first time we’re providing a list of what to look for in an electric fireplace.

Portable Versus Inserted

If you have an existing fireplace cavity you might want to look into an electric fireplace insert.  You can convert a wood or gas fireplace to electric by installing an electric unit into the existing mantle.  That said, if you don’t already have a fireplace you can get a stand alone electric unit that doesn’t require a fireplace cavity for installation.

Plug-In Versus Hardwired

You can also choose between units that simply plug into a wall socket or ones that need to be hardwired into the household power supply by an electrician.  Hardwired units will give off more heat, but the plug-in units don’t require any installation expertise to get them up and running. As an added bonus plug-in units are really easy to take with you if you plan to move.

Design

There is an almost unlimited number of fireplace designs when it comes to electric fireplaces.  You don’t have to choose the first one that falls into your cost range if its look doesn’t quite fit with your household interior.  Take some time to shop around and find something that’s both fashionable and functional.

Options

There are a lot of extra bells and whistles that can come with a new electric fireplace.  Ask yourself if some of these could enhance your lifestyle. Look at options such as timers, remote controls, brightness controls, variable heat settings, flame and smoke effects and thermostat controls.  Electric fireplaces can last as long as 20 years, so getting one that’s comfortable for you to use will ensure it’s money well spent.

Four Things to Plan Before Wallpapering

wallpaperThe thought of wallpapering may intimidate a lot of people, but with new types of wallpaper and adhesives it’s becoming a lot easier to finish a room yourself.  That said, you’ll still need to plan ahead when it comes to hanging wallpaper. The more planning you do, the less likely you’ll end up with unsatisfactory results.  In this article we’ll go over four things to plan before wallpapering.

Wall Preparation

Removing any existing wallpaper will make it much easier to get a smooth and bubble-free application of the new covering.  If your walls are freshly plastered you’ll want to make sure to apply a wall sealer before hanging any wallpaper. This will allow the wallpaper paste to adhere much more easily.  You’ll need to degloss any walls that have a high gloss paint as the paste won’t stick to it very well. You might want to consider hanging lining paper as well to prevent the wallpaper from shrinking when it dries.  It will also help disguise any stains or imperfections in the wall.

How Much Wallpaper Do You Need?

There are plenty of online calculators that make it easier to decide how much wallpaper you actually need.  Give yourself at least 10% extra to make up for any spoiled pieces. You’ll also want a bit more than that if you’re using a large repeated pattern.  Many shops will allow you to return unopened rolls, but check first to make sure.

Placing Seams

Poor seam placement can result in awkward patterns or unsightly lines in obvious areas.  Examine your room and try to choose where the best places for the seams to fall will be. You’ll also want to plan where the last seam will be placed.  It’s very likely any patterns won’t match up at the final seam, so having it fall in an inconspicuous place, such as overtop a door, will be to your advantage.  

Where To Start?

Choosing the best place to start wallpapering can vary depending on the layout of your house.  If there’s a dominant feature such as a fireplace or chimney, you might want to start there. If not, a corner can be a good place to begin.