A Look at Art Deco Architecture
Like many architectural styles, Art Deco evolved from many sources. And, like many architectural styles, while its influence went beyond buildings it also inspired architecture in most American cities.
With some of the first designs coming from the Bauhaus School in Germany, Art Deco drew from the patterns and icons taken from the Far East, ancient Greece and Rome, Africa, India, and even the Mayan and Aztec cultures,according to About.com
. But it was at least partially inspired and drew heavily from artifacts discovered in King Tut's tomb, per Frontdoor.com, and many art deco buildings thus feature the repeating designs and vivid color common in Egyptian artwork.
Although it draws from ancient times, Art Deco is a blend of old and new. The style combines swirling circular and rectangular motifs often arranged in geometric patterns, and then broken up by ornamental elements, featuring high-gloss finishes, mirrors, and glass. Art Deco is very practical with its monolithic appearance, but finished off with decorated motifs, appendages and fanciful touches to make it appear fashionable and trendy.
Art Deco was a short-lived movement that was all the rage during the 1920s and 1930s before it faded in the 1940s. It still had a lasting impact, and you have no doubt seen an Art Deco building. The style was more common in commercial and apartment buildings than residential buildings. You will still find many Art Deco buildings in major cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. The Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are two classic examples of Art Deco architecture. The style enjoyed resurgence in Miami’s South Beach during the 1980s.
Here are some common elements:
· Flat roofs. It’s common that flat roofs are accentuated by parapets, spires, and towers to accentuate rounded corners or entrances.
· Smooth walls. A distinguishing characteristic for Art Deco residential buildings is smooth walls made of stucco with rounded corners.
· Exterior materials. Commercial buildings have emboldened decorations and motifs, with materials for smooth surfaces in stucco, concrete, smooth-faced stone and Terracota. Steel and aluminum are also used for ornamental treatments.
· Interior materials. Art Deco designers commonly use glass, mirrors, opaque glass block, neon and chrome.
If you have been dreaming about a lavish and exuberant pond or water feature for your backyard, you probably already know that it can be an expensive undertaking. Very expensive.
But adding a pond or water feature to your backyard – one that adds that long list of benefits you already envisioned – can also be done without breaking the bank. There are truly multitudes of ways to add that dream water feature to your landscape. With some careful planning, a little creativity and ingenuity, and doing the work yourself – you can still get those picture-perfect results.
As you go about planning and designing a cost effective backyard pond or water feature, here are some factors to keep in mind.
Think about what function your pond will serve and how you will want to enjoy it. You will likely want to see it from your house or patio. A pond that gets both sun and shade will help plant growth. Planning a relaxing place to sit by the pond can make it more enjoyable. Think about the aesthetic you’re going for, and whether it’s a natural or decorative pond. Wikihow.com has some tips for placement and location.
Generally, the bigger the pond, the more expensive the total package will be, from materials to construction costs. Ponds can come in any shape or depth, and you will save greatly by digging one yourself. Smaller, shallower ponds take up less space, lend themselves to design ideas, allow water plants to thrive and are better for seeing fish. Deeper, bigger ponds allow for healthier water and bigger fish. Check outThisOldHouse.com for some helpful tips on digging, excavating and preparing the base of your hole.
Holding the Water
The most popular cost-effective methods to hold the water in DIY (or mostly yourself) ponds are waterproof liners, preformed ponds (easily found at big box stores), large horse troughs, or gunite concrete spray (installed by professionals). Each has different advantages, drawbacks and cost points, but all are relatively inexpensive when doing the work yourself. Container gardens present the fewest drawbacks with minimal expense, and consider whether you want to add fish or plants.
Pump equipment can be purchased at pool supply companies and installed yourself. If you go with fish, your pond must be aerated, while plant-only ponds only need small, submersible pump in the deepest part of the container.
Waterfall on a Budget
You can add a waterfall feature without the project getting expensive. There are several ways to build your waterfall from supplies at a home improvement store. Water from a submerged pump in your pond can be led anywhere with a flexible plastic tube, while some pumps shoot water into the air or have various fountain actions. [This project added a waterfall for $500.
Fish or No Fish?
If you have the budget, consider adding Koi or fancy goldfish, which [according to Houzz.comhttp://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/8110240/list/Build-a-Backyard-Fish-Pond-Without-Going-Belly-Up] look identical but go for around $35 each. Check the chemical balance and temperature first, and keep in mind fish need deeper ponds, which don’t freeze in winter, to survive.
Adding Plants and Landscaping
A few plants can add a big splash for little cost. Water plants, like lily pads, thrive in shallow water. A few smartly placed plants around the edges create a professional look at a low cost, regardless of the size of your water feature. Likewise, collect rocks for a low-cost design feature. Arrange the rocks around the border of your pond, hanging slightly over, and even add several layers.
Tips to improve your credit score
Like many things in life, your credit score might not be that important to you until you really need it.
It’s important to know what goes in to a credit score, and equally important to know that there is no magical fix. Your credit scores are based on your ability to handle credit, and focused on factors like your payment history, amount owed, length of credit history, new credit, and type of credit used. There is no quick fix for your credit score, it simply takes time, patience and discipline to maintain your credit over a long period of time.
Here are six ways to improve your credit score:
Know your credit score. Start by checking your credit report for accuracy. Check to make sure no late payments are incorrectly listed, and that the amount owed for each of your counts is correct.
Pay your bills on time. It sounds obvious, but simply making your payments on time is one of the biggest factors to your score. Set up payment reminders, and if you have to enroll in automatic payments. Get current and stay current.
Check your credit limits. Your credit score will be artificially depressed if your lenders are showing a lower credit limit than you actually have. Call your credit card issuer to update the information, and ask to raise your credit limits. Reduce the amount of debt you owe. The most effective way to improve your score is to pay down revolving (credit card) debt. Pay the highest interest first, keep balances low and pay it off rather than move it around.
Add to your credit file. What really matters is the amount you owe as a percentage of your total amount of credit. Add available credit only as needed, manage it responsibly, and avoid closing cards. Think about adding a secured credit card or an installment (personal, auto, student) loan to the mix.
Use your credit cards lightly. Racking up big balances – which are what is typically reported to the credit bureaus – can hurt your score. Limit your charges to 30 percent or less of a card’s limit.
- See more at: http://joansather.com/tips-improve-credit-score/#sthash.HzVdKbcr.dpuf
Typical home seller repairs
Every home buyer should know that no house is perfect. Whether the property is old or new, a home inspection is likely to turn up issues that need to be repaired.
So what can a buyer reasonably request or expect a seller to fix? And what are the factors involved?
The first thing to know is that everything during the purchase of a home in California is negotiable. Just as important, there are no set rules following a home inspection, and the seller is not obligated to fix anything. According to Realtor.com, it is not in your best interest as a buyer to make requests for aesthetic or non-essential repairs. Your focus should be on safety concerns and big-budget expenses, and the best way to make reasonable requests is to rely on what was uncovered during an inspection. A rule of thumb for some buyers is to request only things that if they are not done, they would back out of the purchase.
Sellers have different motivations for making or not making repairs. They will often agree to repairs because once an issue has been noticed, it is then material and needs to be disclosed to future buyers. Some sellers may be hesitant to put any funds into a home they are selling, especially if they believe they can get offers on the home without those repairs. Typically, it is in the seller’s best interests to pay for fixes that need to be done to sell the property, as long as they are reasonable requests.
Common repair requests:
Trustee sale may occur when a home owner defaults on their mortgage and a lender takes possession of a home, or if a home owner fails to pay their property taxes and the taxing authority takes the property. The public is notified of trustee sales through newspaper classified listings.
Why Trustee Sales?
Typically a trustee sale is attractive because it allows the buyer to make or save money. Reports show "Trustee Sales are generally discounted between 10% and 20% and sometimes the discounts are even greater." (source) But, because of the auction environment and requirements of a trustee sale, buyers do need to be decisive and ready to leap when a good deal appears.
The Requirements and Risks of Trustee Sales
Purchasing real estate at a Trustee Sale is more complicated and risky than purchasing in a traditional transaction. An experience realtor can help you navigate the many steps of Trustee Sales. Some limitations you should be aware of are:
Trustee sales are cash only. When you make a bid you must have cashier's checks for the full amount of the purchase.
There's limited selection of properties. It may take a while for a property that meet's your desires may not come to market.
There's no property inspection before purchase. You will typically not be able to view the inside of the property prior to the sale (rarely properties are listed in the Multiple Listing Service or the current owner will allow previews). Most often any property acquired in a Trustee Sale is acquired "as is" which may include undetectable physical damage.
There's no insurance. Unlike a traditional home purchase, buyers can't purchase title insurance at the sale that protects against unrecorded liens. It's a rare risk, but it can happen and the buyer is responsible for any claims against the property.
The sale is final. There is no recourse for buyers with remorse.
To make a Trustee sale purchase a financial success requires much research and proper preparation for bidding. You'll be up against experienced bidders and investors. If you are interested in saving your family money by purchasing a property at a Trustee Sale, an experienced Realtor can dramatically improve your experience.