The Sun in the houses of your birth chart

Each house in your birth chart covers several different areas of your life.Each planet in your birth chart represents a specific type of energy or influence on that area of your life.

Once you have a picture of your birth chart and you know which area in your life that each house governs and which planets are located there, you can use this page as an analysis of each planet and it’s influence on that specific area of your life. This will give you a better understanding of yourself, why you excel in certain areas of your life, why you tend to be challenged more in certain areas, and why you react the way you do to specific issues in your life. As you learn more about the planets through the houses of your natal chart, your chart will begin to unfold and your life and patterns in your life will take on a new meaning.

Sun in 1st House

Each house in your birth chart covers several different areas of your life.Each planet in your birth chart represents a specific type of energy or influence on that area of your life.

Once you have a picture of your birth chart and you know which area in your life that each house governs and which planets are located there, you can use this page as an analysis of each planet and it’s influence on that specific area of your life. This will give you a better understanding of yourself, why you excel in certain areas of your life, why you tend to be challenged more in certain areas, and why you react the way you do to specific issues in your life. As you learn more about the planets through the houses of your natal chart, your chart will begin to unfold and your life and patterns in your life will take on a new meaning.

With the Sun’s energy in the first house your personality drive will find expression mainly through personal issues related to self-image, physical appearance and personal interests. You are required to acquire knowledge of self in order to sustain a true sense of identity, purpose and destiny. Strong will-power and self-assurance add strength to your personality. Very brave, positive and competitive, you develop natural leadership qualities. Your enterprising nature, with a capability for seizing opportunities is another factor for success and obstacles are overcome by sheer physical courage. You are to become self-determined and self-sufficient, carving your own path in life. Your enthusiasm for life may manifest as robust health and vitality. There may be some tendency to pride and insolence at times.

Sun in 2nd House

Withthe energy in the Second House, your personality drive will mainly be directed into the creation of personal wealth, with an emphasis on financial security. A strong desire for material possessions is a dominant motivating factor in your life. You are very sensible with money and unless very careless, should always be comfortable.

Sun in 3rd House

With the Sun’s energy in the Third House, your personality drive is directed mainly into intellectual pursuits and educational progress. Travel and communication of all kinds will appeal to you. This position requires that you to expend much energy in understanding and adapting to your immediate environment. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, brothers and sisters will play an important role in your life.

Sun in 4th House

With the Sun in the Fourth House, your personality drive will find expression mainly in family, home, land, and property concerns. Security is your main preoccupation, and this will be sought and fought for to ensure complete self-reliance. Thus, your later life should be less difficult than the early years. There may be an inheritance of some kind through your parents. Inner experiences will also be important to you, because security and self reliance require personality integration at the psychological level – a very difficult task and completed only after much blood, sweat and tears.

Sun in 5th House

With the Sun’s energy in the Fifth House, your personality drive may express itself through adventurous and perhaps speculative ventures. An inner restlessness craves an outlet through social, romantic, and daring action. Pleasure and amusement play an important role in your search for freedom of self-expression. The love motive may also be strong. The overriding need is for creative expression of your personal powers and abilities. This could be through leadership, art, sport, entertainment, New Age ventures, or the use of modern technology. In this search you will cover a lot of ground and a wide range of interests. Children may play an important role in some way.

Sun in 6th House

With the Sun’s energy in the Sixth House, your vital forces may be drawn into some form of service that will bring deep personal satisfaction. Hard work and challenging situations are certainly indicated, probably within the work environment itself. You seek perfection and distinction in your work, and this quality could bring you well paid responsible positions. Crisis situations will develop, but you meet these with steady determination. The Sun in this house also indicates a need to overcome some weakness. Often this relates to health matters.

Sun in 7th House

With the Sun’s energy in the Seventh House, your personality drive will express itself mainly through marriage, friendships, and other social relationships. Social status is your important goal. Therefore, interpersonal relationships will demand a great deal of your energies. You may even find your real life-purpose by associating with others in partnership or social intercourse. This position of the Sun will draw out the very best of your character, to ensure that you fulfill your personal obligations.

Sun in 8th House

The Sun in the Eighth House may bring financial benefit through marriage. Much of your life’s energy will be applied to joint financial ventures or possibly a profession dealing with the management of other people’s money or banking . The use of power is highlighted in some way; this will be generated and applied within your close social relationships. Some gain through inheritance is likely. There may also be a strong desire to study philosophical, metaphysical, or occult subjects. Will power and financial ability are accentuated.

Sun in 9th House

With the Sun in the Ninth House, much of your energy will be applied to foreign affairs, further education, long-distance travel, and the advancement of social status. The basic drive is for understanding and self-expansion. The desire to study religion, philosophy, and mysticism is also stressed because the inner urge is toward discovering the meaning of life and all events. Dreams should be watched and studied. With this placing there is a danger you may lose contact at times with everyday affairs. There is a love of the foreign and exotic.

Sun in 10th House

With the Sun in the Tenth House, much of your energy will be applied to vocational achievement, professional success, leadership, social power, and prestige. Public life is all important and the desire for social recognition and financial success is strong. You are likely to rise to a position of responsibility, power, and authority, but not without a lot of hard work and frustration on the way. You will meet with many challenges and difficult situations within your professional environment.

Sun in 11th House

With the Sun’s energy in the Eleventh House, your personality drive will express itself mainly through friendships and group activities, perhaps in social or cultural reform, or as a manager of a social institution. You are advised to develop a cultured and refined personality.

Sun in 12th House

With the Sun in the Twelfth House, your energy will mainly be applied to personal and private affairs. This may give you a shy, reserved, introspective disposition. There is a tendency to seek a secluded, peaceful, quiet life-style. The real drive is one of coming to terms with the subconscious mind and achieving mental and emotional well-being. Subjects such as mysticism, psychic research and depth psychology will appeal. A desire for useful service to the community may be fulfilled through work in hospitals, churches, or institutions of learning, professions such as psychology; art and literature are other possibilities. At some stage of your life, you may have to overcome some form of physiological, social, or psychological crisis.



Source by Myastrologyhoroscope

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How Long Do You Have To Live In Bank Owned Repo Homes

When people go through foreclosure the biggest question that they have is how long they have to live in it. Bank owned repo homes have a process that the bank must follow in order to get you out of the house.

When the house goes to the foreclosure auction you are technically supposed to move out of it. This is ideal for the banks if you are out by the day of the set auction. You will receive a letter in the mail that tells you when the auction is. Most homeowners actually think they are supposed to be out of the home months before the home goes to auction. This is not the case.

If a home sells at an auction then the new owner will have to do their duties to have you removed from the home. They will have to show their ownership to the sheriff’s office and they will serve you or post a notice. This notice will give you from 72 hours or up to 10 days, depending on the local county regulations. If you are given 72 hours by the sheriff’s office to be out of the premises then you need to be out by then. This is because the sheriff’s office will have officers come to the home on the deadline and remove you physically from the home.

You will not be allowed to grab your belongings out of a foreclosure if you stayed in it up to the date of the sheriff’s office removal. The postings and the letters of eviction are enough time for you to have your things removed from the home and put in storage. If you leave things inside of the home then the sheriff’s office will put the items in a storage for you to come and get later. Most sheriff’s offices do not charge for storage and you will not have to pay a fee to get your belongings.

The time it takes for a home to foreclose and for you to be required to move out of bank owned repo homes can take up to a year from the first month of a missed payment. When you receive the notification from a sheriff’s office that you are being evicted and must leave the premises is when you really will have to go.



Source by JosephSmith

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Different Kinds of Curtains for Your Home

Curtains form the most important part of your home décor. Imagine a house without curtains. It is like a man without clothes or a flower without petals or trees without leaves. It will be an incomplete home. Curtains give your house a furnished look. They dress up your windows and, most important of all, they protect your house from sunlight and looks from unwanted people into your family peace. Curtains come in a variety of fabrics and designs. You can get normal curtains for your house or expensive designer ones. From silk to cottons to satins to nets to lace to nylon you name it and you will get it, in all fabrics, simple to rich, thick to diaphanous, anything that you want.

Shower Curtains

As the name suggests, shower curtains are used in the bathroom around the shower area to keep the water from getting all over the bathroom floor. This helps you to keep your bathroom dry and clean at all times. Different synthetic or natural materials determine the different types of shower curtains. Polyester and vinyl shower curtains are waterproof and inexpensive. If you have a bathroom which is luxurious this type of curtain will not match the décor of your room. Curtains made of cotton and linen looks plush and elegant but they mildew if they get damp. You can combine vinyl with cotton for attractiveness and for utility. Vinyl shower curtains come in every imaginable color, pattern and motif. This makes them adaptable to all kinds of styles from the bathroom of your master bedroom to guest’s room to children’s bathroom. Popular themes include rubber ducks, fish, sea shells, sail boats, balloons, clouds, or any simple patterned design. The background can be clear, so you can keep an eye on your children when they shower, or it can be an opaque shade. The advantage of vinyl and polyester curtains is that they keep the water inside the tub instead of it splashing onto the ground. Fabric shower curtains are permanent additions to the functions and décor of a bath room. Some are designed to match towels and bathmats. Some textiles have been treated with stain resistors and waterproof coatings to combat moisture, as they are more likely to absorb splashes. Hemp shower curtains provide the best of both worlds: cotton and vinyl, the heavy fabric is made of plant fiber like linen or cotton. However hemp is naturally antibacterial and anti fungal so it resists mildew and soap stains.

Kitchen Curtains

Kitchens have come a long way from the time when necessity and safety dictated that they be located outside the home. Through the years kitchens have evolved based on the needs and demands of the family and today era kitchens must be multifunctional. The most important thing while doing curtains for the kitchen is that these curtains should not obscure the entire kitchen concept. It is important to make sure that the cabinets and counter tops are in perfect coordination with the curtains you choose for your kitchen. When you choose the color for your kitchen curtains make sure you do that on a sunny day to make sure that it gives you the look you want. It is best not to choose synthetic or nylon kitchen curtains for safety reasons. Natural fabric like cotton is usually recommended for kitchen windows.

Window Curtains

A house with big windows and beautiful curtains in bright hues is everyone’s dream. Window curtains come in all materials, colors and textures. You will have a myriad of designs to choose your window curtains from. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you go to select curtains for your window: the color of the curtain should compliment the color of the wall of the room, if your room is small you should go for light colors and if the room is big you should for dark colors as it makes your room look spacious yet compact. The sunnier side of your house should have thick curtains to block the sunlight from heating up your room too much and on the other side you can always use fabrics like net or lace. The design that you choose completely depends on which room you are doing the curtains in. If it is the kid’s room then you should choose something like cartoons or alphabets or numbers or animals etc. If it’s the master bedroom then the curtains should add to the grace of the room, you can have big motifs or designs and the guest room curtains should be subtle and in warm colors. The design completely depends on your liking but you should also remember that the functionality of the curtain should be maintained.

Country Curtains

Window coverings come in so many different varieties today that it may be hard to decide on what you want. The decision may come down to personal taste but you can help yourself by doing some research on different varieties of window coverings. One popular type of window covering is the roman shade which is also known as country curtains. They are flat shades with dowels slotted horizontally up the back so they can be pulled up into soft horizontal folds. Roman shades give a clean modern look to your window space.

Curtain rods

No matter how good your curtains are, without curtain rods you just cannot put them in place. Curtain rods hold the curtains from the window top and let the curtain fall to its full length. You should first determine if you want to mount your curtain rods on the window casing or on the wall. You can choose the color of the rods to match the color of the wall or the curtains. The brackets that you choose for the rods can range from simple to intricate ones. The choice is completely yours and make sure you choose the best keeping in mind both your taste and your pocket.



Source by Alexis Hall

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Debilitated Mars (Mangal) – Effects For Different Signs (Rasis)

Mars is known to be planet of energy and vitality and is responsible for rage, anger, ego, proud, military, police, army and also has a say in criminal activities. Without dwelling on this aspect about the various significations of Mars, it would suffice to say that the Mars loses its energetic force to a considerable extent. The natives may have to under-go operations/ surgeries including that of heart. Mars has also a role to play with regard to menses fro females and also become responsible for various diseases concerning uterus and finally leading to surgery.

1)      For Aries Lagan-Mars in its debilitation position gets to 4th house which is devoid of directional strength being opposite to 10th house. Mars would be weak for such persons including those who are born with the Mars in Aries. Those suffering from any diseases specially heart problem etc. the Lagan lord being weak and depending on the Moon n birth chart can create mental and physical problems.

2)      For Taurus Lagan-Mars- The planet Mars/ is signification of young brothers and weak 12th lord getting to 3rd house is bound to create some troubles or it may deny a younger brother. This Mars also aspect the 7th house and if afflicted Venus and Mercury are also involved, the death of spouse is also indicated. Early death of wife is attributed to the 2nd lord Mercury (8th from 7th house) comes under the influence of Mars.

3)      For Gemini Lagan-Debilitated Mars comes in the 2nd house and the native becomes cruel in speech and action. Gemini sign itself is considered by some astrologers ‘cruel’- of course depending on the power of Mercury the Lagan lord. The native using abusive language and also being violent are known for this combination if the Moon also happens to join leading to mental illness or restlessness.

4)      For Cancer Lagan- The debilitated Mars come in Lagan aspecting the 4th house and 7th / 8th house thus creating domestic unhappiness and also marital disharmony. Thus the couples are advised to be careful in their behavior. Some natives may start disrespecting the parents and may start speaking lies as Jupiter and Saturn are in 11th house. Other matters afflicted by Mars would be body as whole-wound, injuries, accidents etc indicated.

5)      For Leo Lagan- The Debilitated Mars gets to 12th house i.e. an inauspicious house and may become responsible for skin troubles, imprisonment, hospitalization etc. some type of scandals including in sex affairs indicated. Depending on the placement of the Moon, mental worry, loss of sleep, fear from foe is also indicated. The native may not have the needed strength and valor. Few may have painful urination.

6)      For Virgo Lagan, this Mars would control 11th house, 4th house and 5th house. Some of the traits of these houses shall be disturbed. The natives may resort to recitation of mantras and worship of lord shiva. Marriage and marital pitfalls may upset the natives. Leaders may come under some sort of criticism from the public. The expenditure may increase.

7)      For Libra Lagan- Mars, though gets some directional strength but business losses, troubles and fines with regards to business activities indicated. Industries may suffer from electricity problems and laws governing electricity and also from the excise department. The native may have to work hard for name and fame and the natives shall be guided by their own orders depending on the position of the Moon.

8)      For Scorpio Lagan- Mars in debilitation may not give the needed fortune and the native should not get upset as this is a temporary phase. Even saints and persons involved in charitable and religious activates may not have purity of mind. Some such persons may not get the nourished food and they may have difficulties in establishing new temples. Depending on the birth chart and ‘dasha’, the native may still have self-control and right path.

9)      For Saggitarius Lagan- Mars get to 8th house- another trik-bad house in astrology. It aspects the 2nd and 3rd house. This Mars, inter-alia become accident prone and creates ‘Mangal Dosha’. The native may have fever, blood pressure and also knee troubles. The native becomes short-tempered and unhappy. In addition, the native become jealous of others and may become adulterer.

10)  For Capricorn Lagan- Mars if gets associated with Rahu in 7th house, all sorts of problems in married life indicated unless the position is improved by personal birth chart of the native. Step-motherly treatment from close relations and may not get the expected help from in-laws. The naïve may become lusty, obstinate and rigid but under the control of spouse.

11)  For Aquarius Lagan- Mars in 6th house- house of diseases and debts is not considered good both from its placement and the nature of 6th house. The native may take more time for recovery from illness and may not be in a position to liquidate the debts. Though may be helpful to co-borns but develops quarrelsome nature and may have hostile attitude with relations. Ups and down in professional life also indicated.

12)  For Pisces Lagan- Mars in trine (5th house) is considered good but he nature may not have desired happiness from children. Gains may be slow and will have to work hard from competition. The native is intelligent but miser with this position, though with Mars in debilitation (Lord of 9th in 5th house), the native is devoted to Guru (Preceptor) and would be religious minded but thoughts may be disturbed and the native may feel agitated.

Finally, know more about Mars. Mars is capable of making the native a murderer, doctor (Surgeon), barber and even tailor. It depends on the placement of Mars. Mars represent fire- thus the native become ambitious and depending on the strength of Mars, may have good or poor digestion. Mars, by its action on the Moon becomes the cause of the monthly course in females- thus the Mars has the capacity to make the woman capable to conceive for child. Mars become responsible for killing – see the horoscope of Abrham Lincon, the then President of America, Mahatama Gandhi, father of Nation and Ex Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi and others. Here the Mars had its role to pl



Source by Shanker Adawal

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Savannah Georgia – America’s Most Haunted City

In 2003, the American Institute of Paranormal Psychology named Savannah America’s Most Haunted City.  And Savannah is able to support the title.  Ghosts, apparitions or paranormal activities have been reported at many of Savannah’s inns, restaurants, private residences, and of course, cemeteries.

There are many magnificently restored buildings nestled around Savannah’s twenty-one squares.  Many of these buildings are stately homes supposedly still occupied by former owners.  James Habersham has been known to roam around the Olde Pink House, now a restaurant, but formerly his home.  Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, was born and raised in Savannah.  Her parents, long deceased, are said to still roam Juliette’s childhood home.

Savannah’s Sorrel-Weed House, visited by The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) in 2005 as part of their SciFi Ghost Hunters Halloween special, is supposedly haunted.  The story goes that Mrs. Weed caught her husband in a compromising position with one of the Weed’s many slaves.  Mrs. Weed, very distraught, ran back to her second-floor bedroom.  After a long argument with her husband, she either threw herself (or was thrown) to her death from a second floor balcony.  Soon after Mrs. Weed’s death, the slave found with Mr. Weed was found hung in her slave quarters.  Both women are said to be still roaming the grounds.

The Hampton-Lillibridge House was said to be so haunted, that Jim Williams (of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” fame) had an exorcism performed at this former boarding house.  On countless occasions, residents and passersby have heard the sound of jazz coming from inside the home.

The Kehoes were a very prominent family in Savannah, as Mr. Kehoe owned the ironworks on the riverfront.  The Kehoes built this fireproof, all-iron home and lived there with their 10 children.  The Kehoe’s heirs sold the house in 1930 and the property changed hands many times to include use for 65 years as the Goette Funeral Home.  It is now a beautiful bed and breakfast where many of its visitors report supernatural occurrences such as a woman screaming, a nurse shushing visitors, the Lady in White making appearances, and several instances involving ghosts of children.

The list goes on and on!

So, what is it about Savannah that makes it so attractive to ghosts and ghost stories?  Many people start with the fact that Savannah is literally built on its dead.  Savannah was the first city in Georgia founded in 1733.  It was established in the same location as the Creek and Choctaw maintained their burial grounds. 

As the colony began to grow and thrive, it needed more room.  Buildings were erected on the burial plots of the original colonists.  Tombstones in cemeteries were moved to make room for sidewalks and roads.  Places of worship were erected on the graves of slaves.

Second, Savannah has a very violent history.  Many bloody battles and skirmishes were fought in Savannah.  One of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution, the Siege of Savannah, where about 1200 men lost their lives in one hour, was fought in Savannah.

Also, the city has been victim to many city-wide fires, at least two yellow-fever epidemics and several hurricanes.

Third, Savannah has been a major port city since the days of King Cotton, so many a sailor has ventured through Savannah spinning a romantic tale or two.

Fourth, Savannahians are (proudly) an eccentric bunch, as were their ancestors, which adds history and volume to the ghost stories.  Take the

Lastly, I blame the large amounts of Spanish moss hanging from the majestic oak trees.  The blankets of moss look like ghostly shrouds and give the entire region an eerie look.

Whatever the reason, the ghost stories are endless, earning the Savannah the right to the title of America’s Most Haunted City.



Source by Deb Bunting

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Emotional Architecture – Your Home Is In Your Head

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What is it that makes a house a home? Do bricks and boards create a room that is comfortable and inviting? Is relaxation a result of finding the right paint color? Does that feeling of being safe and protected come from the choice of wall covering or is it a result of the finish hardware?

These questions seem frivolous on the surface, but after twenty-five years of helping people design, build and remodel their homes, I’ve become convinced that understanding the “emotional architecture” a client brings to a project is a critical part of designing a house that feels like a “home.”

In the architecture firm with which I am associated, we are trying to develop a technology that tailors our projects to the true natures of our clients, but it’s not easy.

The issue of “home” is a highly emotional one. Logic seldom comes into it. The fact is, when most people decided to remodel their home or build a new house…they lose their minds!

It’s true. Stable marriages topple like palm trees in the hurricane of home improvement. Pleasant, cooperative homemakers turn into Machiavellian harpies, combating husbands who vow to fight to the death on the ramparts of their own financial Alamos.

Practical, down-to-earth CPA’s suddenly realize they are the reincarnation of Frank Lloyd Wright. Customers lie about their budgets, trying to bargain with the designer as though they were buying their house from a Tijuana sombrero salesman.

Perfectly reasonable people, who would never dream of telling their doctor how to treat a disease or their lawyer how to draft their will, think nothing of telling a professional architect how to design their home. Worst of all, when people begin the process of designing a new home, they forget the basic laws of economics. I long ago discovered that when customers who were over budget came to my office to “trim the fat,” they were actually going to add a Jacuzzi, upgrade the ceramic tile, change the plastic laminate counter tops to granite, and then expect the price to drop.

It set me to wondering.

One day I experienced an epiphany. I was converting a group of historic buildings in Round Top into a country inn. The Queen and my kids were still in Houston. Every Monday morning I drove up to Round Top and then drove home to Houston every Friday night. In between, I slept on an air mattress on the second floor of an old pier and beam house, one of several we were restoring. Alone all week, I had plenty of time to think. In the evenings I would sit in an old rocking chair on the wood plank porch. I found myself inexplicably happy. Everything seemed right with the world as I rocked on that porch. I began to ask myself why…and before long I uncovered the source of my unexplained peace of mind.

I remembered a place from my childhood…, my great grandfather’s porch. I called him “Nandaddy.” I can still see him dressed in overalls, bending down to pick me up, a broad smile on his face. “Come hug my neck,” he would say. When I was a young child, I spent a lot of time on my great-grandfather’s porch. I cannot remember a time in my life when I felt more loved or appreciated. He and my great-grandmother lived in a pier and beam farmhouse in Milam County, Texas. It had a wood plank porch which wrapped around three sides.

Years later, the architectural features of a similar porch in Round Top brought back unconscious memories of that cherished time. I had discovered a key feature of my emotional architecture! Suddenly I understood why I kept returning to historic restoration work even though, truth be told, it was less profitable than my other building ventures. I realized then that we all view the world through a broad set of internal associations most, but not all, from our childhood. This internal landscape determines how we respond emotionally to the architecture in our surroundings.

Eight years later, I lived in another old farmhouse. I felt happy and very much at home. Built in the 1840’s, the restoration was never really complete. The downstairs was cold in the winter and the upstairs a hothouse in the summer. Bugs find it easy to get in and the AC finds it easy to get out. The old place required constant maintenance.

You would think these things would have been annoying, but I sat on my porch in the evenings and think about how lucky I am. You see, it wasn’t just an old German farmhouse to me. It was the place I raised my two youngest children. Those old walls held the accomplishment I felt at having been able to leave the big city and make a new home in the country. My best girl slept there in a bed I made with my own hands.

It was a place filled with memories of all the good times I’d had with the people I love. I came to realize that these emotional associations are the actual bricks and mortar of my experience of “home.”

It’s obvious if you think about it. A robin takes great care to build a nest and guards it jealously until her chicks have flown away. Then, that cherished nest is just another pile of sticks. We humans are not that much different.

A house is a material object. A “home” is of the heart.When people are looking for a new living space, they are really looking for how that new space “feels,” and how well it fits the day to day reality of their lives, and the values that are important to them.

With this key realization guiding the way, I began to seek a technology to uncover the features of my clients’ emotional architecture. It seemed to me, that if a designer could uncover the emotional associations of his client, he would discover powerful clues to a design that would create that illusive and individual experience we call “home.”

Now, years after I had that first realization, I am finally approaching my goal. The human mind is complex, and my skills and training are limited, but after years of research and working with clients, I have developed a systematic process that combined psychological testing and architectural programming in a way that actually identifies what specific features of a house inspire an individual or a family to “feel at home.”

But before I brag about my accomplishment, let’s consider a critical question. What exactly is the advantage of knowing for yourself what features of a building or a location will inspire you to feel at home?

In his book, The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander says “The specific patterns out of which a building or a town is made may be alive or dead. To the extent they are alive, they let our inner forces loose, and set us free; but when they are dead they keep us locked in inner conflict.”

Mr. Alexander’s theory says that architecture gains aliveness by reflecting the patterns of behavior of those who inhabit it. In other words, the day to day repetitive actions, events and activities of human beings, naturally organize space in a way that is healing and nurturing. When those patterns are ignored, he suggests, we have the type of architecture that now fills our cities…dead, mechanical boxes, impersonal and cold. If is possible, as Mr. Alexander believes, to bring humanity to architecture?then it seems to me that the unconscious world of emotion that lives within us must be a primary source for much of our design criteria.

In our firm, we make it clear to our clients that a successful design is the result of a good partnership between the designer and the client. My partner and I may know a lot more about architecture and construction than our customers, but our clients are the experts on their own values, tastes, lifestyle and budget. Time and again however, we find that clients approach us with a broad set of assumptions about cost and design, assumptions that are often poorly grounded in fact. These misconceptions tend to color their requests, often causing them to misrepresent their needs and desires.

In other words, people think they know what they want, but are often wrong about significant parts of it. Over time we have found it important to serve as a “devil’s advocate” and challenge our clients’ preconceived ideas if we were to truly discover their most basic priorities. It soon became obvious to us that if we were sincere about trying to get at these deeper issues within our customers, and not just impose our own design ideas on them, we would have to take them on a journey of discovery.

Each person has a unique relationship with the aesthetics of space and form based on a number of factors, most of which are unconscious and purely emotional. If these items can be identified, and included in their design, they feel psychologically more at home in their new space.

The reason we believe this is that modern neuroscience has effectively proven it to be true.

Here are some facts about how your brain works that illustrate what I am saying. Modern Neuropsychology suggests that less than five per cent of human actions are determined by planned, conscious thought.  The remaining 95% of human behavior is strongly impacted by emotion, feeling (sensory and somatic), and other unconscious influences.

Decisions about homes are particularly vulnerable to these types of “irrational” decisions as homes serve an ancient and instinctive role in human life, one that has substantial unconscious cultural and instinctive underpinnings.

In real practice, though consumers give lip service to rationality when changing their living space, their decisions are often highly influenced by factors that are beyond their conscious awareness. They are motivated by developmental or instinctive environmental cues in memory associated with past experiences. Those memories and instincts elicit neurotransmitter and/or hormone stimulated emotional response.

In other words, they make most of their decisions based largely on how they feel, while being reasonably certain they are making thoughtful, rational, conscious choices.

Evidence of this fact is that the home improvement industry in the U. S. is perennially the largest source of consumer complaints by industry sector. Many of those issues are issues that are caused by the fact that designers and contractors all misunderstand the true goals of their clients.

Real estate agents – despite their central role in the largest sector of the U. S. economy outside of government – are consistently rated amongst the “least trusted” professionals in the nation. According to a May 2006 Harris Poll survey, only 7% of those polled trust real estate agents completely, while 20% trust them not at all. Among 13 types of professionals, only stockbroker advice was trusted less than that of real estate agents. Why? Because agents and their customers ignore the deep emotional and subconscious goals that create the “buy decision.”

The custom home building and home improvement sectors are enormously fragmented and inefficient given the vast scope of their activities. Building a single home typically involves as many a twenty or more distinct installation and service businesses – all with separate management, employees, policies and procedures – involved directly in the manufacture on a single small building. Hundreds and even thousands of products are involved, most with an enormous overlap in their functions. No other industry of that stature has escaped what is typically an inevitable centralization of providers in the marketplace, despite the obvious economic advantages involved. Most consumers now assume there is no holistic way to approach altering their living space and for the most part, they are right.

On the home front, interpersonal issues between co-habitants during the planning and construction of home improvement projects are so common as to reach the threshold of legendary. Everyone on the street knows someone, or has heard of someone, who had a traumatic or at least highly-stressful experience with building or home improvement.

Couples are often unaware of the impact that architectural issues have on small incompatibilities in their relationship. I sometimes tell a story about a couple for whom I designed a project a while back. It was an addition that included a master suite. As I usually do when designing a master bath for a couple, I had drawn a vanity with “his and her” sinks. They liked the design but the wife assured me they did not need to go to the expense of having an extra sink installed in their bath. She said they were used to a single sink and that was all they would need. I played devil’s advocate and began to ask them about their habits in the mornings.

After a while, I discovered they had an argument almost every day while preparing for work. However – the wife explained – their conflict had nothing to do with the sink. It was her husband’s fault. He always left his whiskers in the basin when he shaved! Neither of them had been able to see that it is much easier to add a sink to a bath than to change the habits of a spouse! That may seem obvious, but I have found that such oversights are common.

Almost all of us find it hard to separate the forest from the trees when it comes to our immediate surroundings. In this same vein, I had a customer who refused to design in appropriate storage because his wife would “stack things everywhere anyway.” That’s what’s called a “self-fulfilling prophecy. All of this tumult, inefficiency and disorganization is caused in large part by a misunderstanding about the true nature of a home. A home is not a building. It is a suite of emotional experiences. The old saying “a house does not make a home” illustrates this fact.

Intuitively, people are aware of this reality, but in general business practice, this fact is largely ignored. For years we offered the methods we learned in our firm to solve this problem in a workshop we call Truehome, but now we have created an automated web-based software product. My partner and I were on the brink on offering consumers and professionals the fruits of almost a decade of work. We are now able to predict for each individual and family, what features in the architecture, location and style of a house will actually produce for them the emotional experience of home.

That experience is close to the heart, inextricably intertwined with safety and comfort and family. Complicated emotions come into play when the issue of home is on the table. Decisions about the design and cost of our homes are often the single most significant financial choices of our lives.

The pressure is on when you take on a major project. The emotional fire is hot. Building and remodeling our homes can lead to considerable stress. But the story can have a happy ending. Sometimes dreams do come true…and dream homes. In our hearts is a special place. Surrounded by the memories, special attachments and fond impressions that create our emotional architecture…is a warm and comfortable sanctuary just waiting to be discovered.

It’s called “home.”



Source by Christopher K. Travis

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The Benefits Of Adding An Extension To Your Home

To move or not to move? That is the question many homeowners face when changed circumstances mean they need more living space. A new baby, children growing into teenagers, a relative to care for, or the desire to work from home, can all make a previously comfortable house cramped and inconvenient. 

Moving to a larger property is not always the best solution, especially in today’s uncertain housing market. The financial costs involved might not be worth the extra one or two rooms gained, and that’s without taking all the hassle and stress of moving into account.

Building an extension on to your house is definitely one option you should explore. A well-designed extension attached to the rear or side of the existing building could provide the space you and your family need along with these additional benefits:

Stay in your own home

If you’ve invested time and money in making your house into a home you love, why give it up and start again from scratch somewhere else? Moving house means you’d also have to get used to living in a different area, with new neighbours and perhaps a longer journey to work and schools. If you’re happy where you are, wouldn’t you rather stay there and extend your home instead?   

Extra space that’s tailor made for you

When you decide to extend your house you can choose all the features you want at the design stage, providing they conform to any planning or building regulations in force.

If you want to turn a small kitchen into a spacious kitchen-diner, create a home office, an extra bedroom with en-suite, or even a self-contained granny flat, all the necessary plumbing and electrical work can be incorporated into the plans. You won’t have any of the problems that can arise when you try to change the use of an existing room.   

Less disruption to your daily life

While your extension is being constructed there will, of course, be the usual noise associated with building work. You might also be unable to use part of your house for a short time, although a reputable extension company will do what it can to minimize any nuisance. But compare this to the disruption moving house can cause. All those weekends and evenings spent house-hunting and trying to sell your own home. Putting personal plans on hold because you don’t know when you might be moving. Coping with the disappointment if you are unable to buy the house you wanted because someone else in the chain has pulled out.        

Increased house value

With more space and facilities you’ll have fewer reasons to move, but if you do decide to sell your house in the future you’ll find that an attractive, well-constructed extension has increased your home’s market value. 

If you think an extension might be a worthwhile investment for your home, find out more by asking a specialist home extension company for a free consultation and no obligation quote.



Source by Marc Loppas

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Open Houses – Is it an Effective Marketing Tool for Home Sale

Open Houses – Is it an Effective Marketing Tool for Home Sale Selling your house in the vast and highly competitive real estate market is a very challenging task to take. However, if you do it right, you will discover just how much it may give you in terms of profitability in your ventures. Thus, if you are looking for marketing tools to use and maximize, you may opt for innumerable ways observed and practiced in real estate particularly activities like open houses. There are some debatable premises as to the effectiveness of this tool however you need to understand certain criteria to make it an efficient way of advertising and selling your house in no time. You would know that open house is beneficial for you if you carefully assess some of the components relating to this venture. The location of your property is of utmost importance if you are planning to hold this kind of activity. Is your house located in an area where traffic is relatively abundant? If that is the case, then you may invite more visitors to take advantage and drive by the property to see it. Remember that location also determines how many people find it convenient to drop by your place anytime. Houses in new communities where there are many model homes are also great prospects for an open house. Those who are seriously considering buying a house without waiting for construction of a new property may offer you a great deal in purchasing your home. The overall impact and curb appeal of the property is also influential of the effectiveness of conducting this type of activity. Houses that have high quality purchasing features are the ones that benefit greatly in open houses. Make sure that your house is in good shape and condition to turn casual visitors into potential home buyers who gives you qualified home purchase offer in a sure and eligible way. This is why home staging is also important prior to your decision of putting your house into such events. Houses which are priced just right also have higher chances of getting sold in a quick and efficient way. The listing price of your house makes a great impact on the outcome of the open house activity. You will surely get a great number of potential visitors and home buyers if your house is priced right or competitively. If however it has a much greater value and asking price compared to others in the same market, then conducting an open house is a total waste of time, money and effort. It may even draw gawkers and other frauds who are taking advantage of home sellers who want to insist on their hefty listing price. Open house is a good material to use in marketing your house or property if only you carefully assess everything that may affect its outcome in the market. It is your responsibility to conduct a thorough and comprehensive study of what you ought to do before even jumping to this type of activity. It may have its downfall and setbacks, but if you know how to use it wisely, it may give you astounding results in the future.

Selling your house in the vast and highly competitive real estate market is a very challenging task to take. However, if you do it right, you will discover just how much it may give you in terms of profitability in your ventures. Thus, if you are looking for marketing tools to use and maximize, you may opt for innumerable ways observed and practiced in real estate particularly activities like open houses. There are some debatable premises as to the effectiveness of this tool however you need to understand certain criteria to make it an efficient way of advertising and selling your house in no time.

You would know that open house is beneficial for you if you carefully assess some of the components relating to this venture. The location of your property is of utmost importance if you are planning to hold this kind of activity. Is your house located in an area where traffic is relatively abundant? If that is the case, then you may invite more visitors to take advantage and drive by the property to see it. Remember that location also determines how many people find it convenient to drop by your place anytime. Houses in new communities where there are many model homes are also great prospects for an open house. Those who are seriously considering buying a house without waiting for construction of a new property may offer you a great deal in purchasing your home.

The overall impact and curb appeal of the property is also influential of the effectiveness of conducting this type of activity. Houses that have high quality purchasing features are the ones that benefit greatly in open houses. Make sure that your house is in good shape and condition to turn casual visitors into potential home buyers who gives you qualified home purchase offer in a sure and eligible way. This is why home staging is also important prior to your decision of putting your house into such events.

Houses which are priced just right also have higher chances of getting sold in a quick and efficient way. The listing price of your house makes a great impact on the outcome of the open house activity. You will surely get a great number of potential visitors and home buyers if your house is priced right or competitively. If however it has a much greater value and asking price compared to others in the same market, then conducting an open house is a total waste of time, money and effort. It may even draw gawkers and other frauds who are taking advantage of home sellers who want to insist on their hefty listing price.

Open house is a good material to use in marketing your house or property if only you carefully assess everything that may affect its outcome in the market. It is your responsibility to conduct a thorough and comprehensive study of what you ought to do before even jumping to this type of activity. It may have its downfall and setbacks, but if you know how to use it wisely, it may give you astounding results in the future.



Source by Marikor Hidalgo

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What to Look for in Insulated Dog Houses

This winter has been surprisingly cold and has conferred an unusual amount of snow. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, after all, I do live in North Idaho, but the fall was so warm and lasted through November. Also, where we live in Idaho, often it snows a bit during the night but warms up enough to melt by midmorning (unlike 2 hours north of us where winter is colder and longer). We have had multiple winters when we never had to shovel! Last year was different, the kids had a total of about 14 snow days and had to make up many of them during the spring, but who expects two unusually bad winters in a row? Well, December came, the temperature dropped drastically, the snow just kept falling and the dog moved into the house.

Our dog is old enough and well enough behaved now that having him inside is fine, but about 10 years ago that was not the case. We were living in a colder climate and renting a house where indoor pets were not allowed. We had a young German Shepherd that was facing his first winter and we needed an insulated dog house to keep him comfortable and cozy.

My husband is a DIY kind of guy, so he did a little research online, drew up some plans and made his own insulated dog house. Now, I am not going to give you plans here to build your own insulated dog house, there are plenty of those online, but I am going to give you some key features to look for when searching for insulated dog houses building plans. You may want to purchase one instead, and there are many good quality insulated dog houses already on the market, but the following still applies.

What to look for:

  • First, the proper size is very important. You want it large enough for your dog to be comfortable, but small enough so that the dogs body heat is trapped in the space to keep him warm. Here is a basic rule of thumb: take your dogs height (ground to top of shoulder) in inches and allow 36 square inches of floor space per inch. So if you have a 24” tall dog, then you will need 864 square inches of floor space, or a floor area of 24” x 36”. For height of the dog house, measure the height of your dog when he is sitting, and add 1 or 2 inches for the height of the ceiling. A peaked roof is not good, this produces too much air space to keep warm. If you already have a dog house with a peaked roof, see if you can install an insulated ceiling.
  • The house should be elevated off the ground, if the insulated dog houses you look at do not offer this feature, you can elevate it using bricks. This helps to keep the floor warmer and dry.
  • A front “hall” with a wall divider that the dog can walk around into an inner room is best. Sometimes wind will blow from unusual directions and blow right into insulated dog houses, the front hall and divider will keep the sleeping area out of the wind. In many models and plans the divider can be removed for a bigger dog house in the summer when your dog needs to keep cool.
  • A hinge roof is very convenient. It allows easy access for cleaning the sleeping area and replacing bedding, and allows removal of any walls as mentioned above.
  • Insulated dog houses should have inner and outer walls with some form of insulation in between.

Good luck in finding or building your own insulated dog house. If you take into consideration the few points mentioned above, you will worry less about your favorite pooch because you will be sure to have a warm and cozy dog house that your dog will appreciate all winter long!



Source by MJ Marks

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Roofing Parts and Terminology

Parts of a Roof / Roofing Terminology

Built-up Roof
A low-slope (or flat-seeming) roof covered with alternating layers of roofing felt and hot-mapped asphalt and topped off with a layer of gravel.

Cornice
The portion of the roof projecting out from the side walls of the house.

Counterflashing
The flashing which is imbedded at its top in a wall or other vertical structure and is lapped down over shingle flashing.

Courses
Horizontal rows of shingles or tiles.

Deck/sheathing
The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.

Dormer
A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.

Drip Edge
An L-shaped strip (usually metal) installed along roof edges to allow water run off to drip clear of the deck, eaves and siding.

Eaves
The lower edge of a roof (usually overhanging beyond the edge of the house).

Fascia
Trimboard behind the gutter and eaves.

Felt
The “tar paper” used by roofer, usually made of a combination of asphalt and either paper or rags.

Fire Rating
System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.

Flashing
Sheet metal or other material used at junctions of different planes on a roof to prevent leakage.

Frieze Board
A Board at the top of the house’s siding, forming a corner with the soffit.

Gable
The triangular upper part of a wall closing the end of a ridged roof.

Hip
The external angle at the junction of two sides of a roof whose supporting walls adjoin.

Joist
In a flat roof, a horizontal structural member over which sheathing is nailed.

Louvers
Slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit (the underside of eaves) to ventilate the space below a roof deck and equalize air temperature and moisture.

Oriented strand board (OSB)
Roof deck panels (4 by 8 feet) made of narrow bits of wood, installed lengthwise and crosswise in layers, and held together with a resin glue. OSB often is used as a substitute for plywood sheets.

Penetrations
Vents, pipes, stacks, chimneys-anything that penetrates a roof deck.

Rafter
A structural member (usually slanted) to which sheathing is nailed.

Rake
The slanting edge of a gabled roof extending beyond the end wall of the house.

Ridge
The horizontal line at the top edge of two sloping roof planes.

Sheathing
The rigid material (often on inch by six inch or one inch by 12 inch boards or sheets of plywood) which is nailed to the rafters, and to which shingles or other outside roofing materials are secured.

Shingle Flashing
Flashing that is laid in strips under each shingle and bent up the edge of a chimney or wall.

Slope
The number of inched of vertical rise in a roof per 12 inches of horizontal distance. Also referred to as pitch.

Soffit
The boards that enclose the underside of that portion of the roof which extends out beyond the sidewalls of the house.

Square
One hundred square feet of roof, or the amount of roofing material needed to cover 100 square feet when properly applied.

Truss
Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings. Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.

Underlayment
The material (usually roofing felt) laid on top of sheathing before shingles are applied.

Valley
The less-than 180-degree angle where two sloping roof sections come together.

Valley Flashing
The flashing in valleys, extending in under to shingles on both sides.

Vapor Retarder
A material designed to restrict the passage of water vapor through a roof system or wall.



Source by Charlie McCurry

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