Granite Kitchen Countertops: Beauty and Value Combined

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Granite’s durability and beautifully vivid patterns are some of the main reasons why this natural material continues to be the most popular choice for kitchen countertops. Granite is also one of the most resilient stones to heat, stains and abrasions, which is why it’s a firm favorite for almost all kitchen surfaces.

A natural stone quarried far below the Earth’s service, the granite kitchen countertop you choose has been over a thousand years in the making – so it will truly stand the test of time! Unlike synthetic imitations, a natural material such as Granite offers unrivalled beauty and uniqueness – no two pieces are ever the same making your kitchen countertop elegantly distinctive.

When selecting a business from which to buy your new granite counters, make sure they are experienced, take pride in their products and offer high quality granite from all over the world. They should also offer installation services and help you find the grade, color and a variety of edging finishes. Granite’s popularity is everlasting and is one that will add significant value to your home.

What to consider when selecting your granite


One of the most distinguishable elements of granite is its diverse color palette. Dependent upon a stone’s mineralogy, the colors typically associated with granite range from muted beiges and rose pinks, classic black-and-whites to saturated reds, rich greens and even multi-colors.

Granite is instantly recognisable by its striking flecked or “pebbled” appearance. Its texture is an unmistakable sign of quality, igniting interior splendour in any home.

Natural sources offer varied appearances and charming characteristics, giving a one-of-a-kind appeal that simply can’t be replicated by a machine, but you can rest assured that top supplier buy and install only the finest grades of granite.


Granite’s longevity and durability are what make this material an ideal countertop. However there are a number of different finishes available for Granite – all of which will enhance the quality and seal the permanence of your natural stone. These are:

Polished Finish – This finish gives a shiny, mirror-like effect. It intensifies the color and pattern adding even more sparkle to your stone. Polishing reduces Granite’s porosity, which increases its resistance to humidity and chemical substances commonly used in your kitchen. This is an ideal choice for busy families.

Honed – This technique achieves a smooth, non-reflective surface, although it can make your granite more porous so shouldn’t be considered for a countertop that will be used regularly.

Brushed/Antiqued – This treatment gives a textured, slightly worn appearance that is a daring choice, which will add dramatic effect.

Flamed finishes – The act of exposing the granite to extreme heat followed by intense cooling leaves the granite with a highly textured, slip-resistant surface – again a good choice for families.


Granite is recognised as one of the hardest stones for interior applications. Offering an impenetrable surface, it’s nearly impossible for it to crack, take on abrasions or scratches.

The high resistance to heat makes Granite an … Read More

How to Shop for Home Insurance

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While the residential mortgage market continued to pace a modest economic recovery in the U.S. in 2004, homeowners found themselves paying more for homeowner’s insurance — if they were able to find it.

Homeowner’s insurance protects homeowners from damages to their home that are sustained from bad weather, tornados, fire and similar casualty losses. (Flood insurance is sold as a separate policy.) It also protects them from potential liabilities that occur on their property — a neighbor’s child who falls on the driveway, for instance.

Mortgage lenders require borrowers to obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy as a means of protecting the collateral of their loans. Since state commissions regulate the insurance industry, availability and affordability of homeowner’s insurance varies among states. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a directory of state offices at its Web site.

The Wall Street Journal reported in May 2002 that 23 state insurance commissions had granted Allstate Corp. permission to hike homeowners’ premiums an average of nearly 20%.

In Texas, premiums have doubled in some areas while the number of homeowners whose policies were not renewed has soared. Meanwhile, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance stopped underwriting new policies for homeowners in Texas, California and Louisiana, the Journal said.

What are some of the reasons for these premium hikes and the drying up of policy coverage?

Major sources of blame are a rash of weather-related catastrophes, higher home-repair costs and the emergence of mold claims, says Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute.

While mold claims have been around for a long time, Hartwig blames an explosion in claims and related lawsuits for directly impacting the availability of homeowner’s insurance in Texas. He says mold-related claims in Texas increased nearly sevenfold in the second quarter of 2001 over the first quarter of 2000. Over the same period, insurer payouts increased more than eightfold.

In addition, home-repair costs are increasing at 7% a year — well above the average rate of inflation, Hartwig says. Together, these factors are contributing to an average annual increase of 9% hike in premiums for homeowner’s insurance for 2002, the Institute estimates.

Homeowners in California are facing their biggest crunch in paying for homeowner’s insurance since the Northridge earthquake of 1994. According to a survey by the Insurance Information Network of California, insurers in that state paid $430.5 million in water-and mold-damage claims in 2001, more than double the amount paid in 1997, the Los Angeles Times reported in January 2003.

In addition to State Farm’s dropping new policies for California homeowners, the state insurance commission recently approved Allstate’s request for an 18.5% hike in homeowners’ premiums.

Sure, homeowner’s insurance is harder to come by and more expensive, but if you apply some of the basics in this educator you shouldn’t have too many problems.

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Home Remodeling Cost Calculator

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Instantly calculate repair costs for any fixer upper house while still at the property! Works on IPad, Android, Smartphones, PC, Mac …

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Haywood County, TN Courthouse – Brownsville, TN

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Haywood County, TN Courthouse - Brownsville, TN

Named for Judge John Haywood, Haywood County was part of Madison County when the Tennessee General Assembly created it in 1823-24. Later, part of Haywood County was taken to create Lauderdale and Crockett Counties. The state legislature designated Brownsville as the county seat, and in 1823 Thomas M. Johnson sold the county fifty acres of land for the county seat for one dollar and a town lot.

The county court met in the home of Richard Nixon, the first settler in the area, until 1825, when the first log courthouse was completed. A second courthouse was built in 1826; in 1845 it was rebuilt with brick. In 1868 the county added a west wing to accommodate the convening of the Supreme Court for West Tennessee. The courthouse seen here was designed by Architect R.A. Heavnor and built by Contractor J.A. Moore in 1928. It later underwent complete renovation in 1989.

Three bracketed photos were taken with a handheld Nikon D5200 and combined with Photomatix to create this HDR image. Additional adjustments were made in Photoshop CS6.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Posted by J.L. Ramsaur Photography on 2015-06-23 01:05:49

Tagged: , JLR Photography , Nikon D5200 , Nikon , D5200 , photography , photo , Brownsville, TN , West Tennessee , Haywood County , Tennessee , 2015 , Engineers with cameras , Haywood County, TN Courthouse , Photography for God , The South , Southern Photography , Scream of the Photographer , iBeauty , J.L. Ramsaur Photography , photograph , pic , Brownsville , Tennessee Photographer , Brownsville, Tennessee , Tennessee HDR , HDR , WORLDHDR , HDR Addicted , bracketed , Photomatix , HDR Photomatix , HDR Village , HDR Worlds , HDR-Imaging , HDR.Right here right now , historic building , history , historic , History is All Around Us , American Relics , Fading America , It’s a Retro World After All , Old and Beautiful , vanishing America , U.S. County Courthouses , Tennessee County Courthouses , Engineering as Art , Of and By Engineers , Engineering is Art , engineering , Haywood County Courthouse , courthouse , court square , Architecture , vintage architecture , columns , brick , Browntown , rural , rural America , rural Tennessee , rural view , old buildings , Structures of the South , Small Town America , Americana , retro building , antique building , classic building , retro , classic , antique , vintage , vintage building … Read More

Foundation Repair – 7 Important Facts You’ll Want To Know!

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Foundation Repair definitely is something you will want to address (if need be) within your home. I did some research on the subject and came across the following facts. Safety must come first when it comes to this topic.

1. Many homeowners experience the need for foundation repair. It’s definitely something none of us look forward to, but unfortunately it happens.

2. Foundation repair is usually needed most whenever the home was built on expansive soils. That’s where damage and movement is common. Usually, the southern parts of the U.S. are the worst. Expansive soils contain minerals that absorb water that can wreck havoc to your home’s foundation.

3. Water and weather are two of your worst enemies when it comes to your home’s foundation. They both can have damaging effects. You have some control over water; however, weather unfortunately is not controllable.

4. Trees actually absorb a good deal of water near the foundation of your home. Trees can be beautiful adding to the landscape of your home; but unfortunately they can possibly cause problems as well.

5. Whenever you suspect your home may have a foundation problem, check for cracked sheetrock or cracks in your home’s brick on the outside.

6. Sometimes when there’s a problem, doors or windows may not open easily.

7. If you procrastinate doing foundation repairs and want to sell your home, it may hamper your closing.

Foundation Repair is not for the weekend “do-it-yourselfer” project; however. Should you experience any type of foundation problems within your home, I highly recommend you contact a Professional.… Read More