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How To Plan For Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most desirable home improvement projects for many homeowners. A new kitchen increases the value of your home and makes your life easier. The first step to your new kitchen is to set a budget. Decide how much money you are willing to spend. This will help drive your other decisions. Be sure to leave a cushion in your budget for additional, unexpected expenses.

When determining your budget, consider how long you intend to stay in your home. If you are planning to sell in the next year or so, you may want to spend less money. Decide which features you must have in your new kitchen. You can cut corners in other areas by substituting less expensive materials for the counter tops, flooring or cabinet doors.

Research Kitchen Trends

Before you start planning your remodeling project, do some research on the current trends and designs being used in kitchens. Look for information on the internet or in home decorating magazines. Visit your local home improvement center for more ideas. Start a file for pictures of kitchens you love, furniture, appliances, fabric swatches or anything else you find interesting. This will help when you are ready to start purchasing items for your new room.

Options in Kitchen Remodeling

Cabinets are an expensive item in any remodeling project. They often take up half of the overall budget for the room. If you can’t afford the cost of brand new cabinets, there are cheaper alternatives. Consider cabinet refacing rather than replacing the entire cabinet. In refacing, the doors are replaced and exterior wood areas are covered. This is much less expensive since you are using the same cabinets. An even cheaper alternative is to paint your existing cabinets and buy new hardware.

If you must have new cabinets, consider adding some extra features. Features such as tilt out drawers, pull out garbage cans or a lazy Susan inside a corner cabinet are great space savers and make the room more functional. The doors can be either solid wood, clear glass or stained glass. Shop around to find out what is available before making a purchase.

You can save money on flooring and countertops as well. Substitute vinyl flooring in place of more expensive ceramic tile to save money. If you can install ceramic tiles yourself, you can have them for about the price you would pay a contractor to install vinyl flooring.

Countertops vary widely in price depending on the material that is used. Counters that are more durable are also more expensive. You may want this if you want to be able to cut food directly on the counter. For most people, this is an easy way to cut the overall cost of your kitchen. You can find less expensive material that gives the look of marble, butcher’s block or other expensive materials.

Once you have decided what you want, consider how much of the job you can do yourself. Contractors can eat up a large portion of your budget. The more you can do, the more you will save in the overall cost of the room. Use the savings for great new furniture.

Pros And Cons Of Getting VOIP Right Now

You have a telephone, right? You have a computer, right? You want to save money, right? BAM, you are a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) candidate.

It is inevitable that VOIP will replace traditional telephone service at some point. The only question is when should you jump in?

VOIP is quickly becoming more reliable and receiving wider acceptance. In fact, phone companies are already taking advantage of the technology to provide cheaper long distance rates. Like any emerging technology, however, there are kinks in the system that are still being worked out.


VOIP has many advantages over regular phone service. One primary advantage is its low cost. If you have a fast Internet connection (DSL or cable), you can make PC-to-PC phone calls anywhere in the world FREE. PC-to-phone connections usually have a charge, but probably still cheaper than regular phone service.

You can sign up with a VOIP service provider for a monthly fee and get unlimited calls within a specified geographic area. For example, some VOIP services in the United States allow connections anywhere in North America for no extra charge. International calls are charged at a modest rate.

Another advantage is its portability. You can make and receive phone calls wherever there is a broadband connection by simply signing in to your VOIP account. This makes VOIP as convenient as e-mail. When you're traveling, you simply pack a headset or Internet phone; then you can talk to family or colleagues for next to nothing.

Phone-to-phone VOIP is also portable. Internet phones are small and light enough to take anywhere. When you sign up with a VOIP service provider, the Internet phone or adaptor used by that service is assigned a unique number. This 'phone number' remains valid, even if your VOIP service is in Los Angeles and you're connected to the Internet in London. When plugged into a broadband connection, anywhere in the world, you can make and receive calls as though you were at home .

Features like call forwarding, call waiting, voicemail, caller ID and 3way-calling, are included with Internet telephone at no extra charge. While you're talking on the phone, you can send pictures and documents at the same time.


There are a few glitches that still interfere with the technology's broad acceptance by the public. Lack of continuous service during power outages and emergency calling are the 2 biggest hurdles.

Conventional phone service continues by the current supplied through the phone lineduring a blackout. This isn't possible with Internet phones. When the power goes, there goes VOIP service. Battery backups and power generators that provide electricity are the current solutions to this problem.

A major concern involves emergency 911 calls. For the most part, VOIP services aren't useful in emergencies. Traditional phone equipment can trace the locations of calls. Emergency calls are diverted to the nearest call center where the operator can identify your location, in the event you can't talk. With VOIP, there is no way currently to determine where Internet calls are originating. There is an emerging standard called e911 however, which is attempting to solve this limitation.

VOIP also has sound quality and reliability problems. Data sent across the Internet usually arrives at its destination scrambled. E-mail and documents can be reassembled in the correct order when it arrives. Voice data also arrives scrambled, but it's more complicated because of the real-time nature of VOIP. Some data packets may have to be dropped when they don't arrive in time, in order to make voice connections with the least delay. This can cause brief silences in the audio stream.

Distance and speed of the connection determine the amount of data lost. Some networks receive more traffic and thus are more likely to cause audio dropouts. One way to provide high quality audio connections is to create dedicated data paths.

With the incredible amount of work dedicated to VOIP, these disadvantages will no doubt be resolved withinin the next 2 years. It is expected that by then VOIP will have widespread consumer acceptance.

A guide to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

What is VoIP? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the ability to transmit voice over the Internet to either a receiving computer, telephone or even a mobile phone. VoIP phone is becoming the popular worldwide telephone service for both consumer and the business communities. VoIP works by using a network technology known as Packet Switching Network whereas landline telephones use the Circuit Switching Network. This is referred to as the Public Switched Telephone Network.

What's the difference between VoIP normal phones?

The main difference between Packet Switching and Circuit Switching, is that Packet Switching uses (data) or Packets and sends them over the Internet while Circuit Switching is accomplished by using electrical circuits to make a telephone connection. Circuit Switching is like the old switchboard operators, frantically trying to connect the right caller with the receiver. Packet Switching is used to transfer data all across the Internet including E-mail. Packet Switching converts audio formats into data packets and transmits them over the Internet, then reassembles them on the other person’s phone or computer in real time. By using a Broadband Internet Connection, microphone and speakers a conversation can take place similar to traditional telephone.

VoIP phones have been round for sometime, but increases in technology it is becoming increasingly popular. Several years ago many applications were available offering some form of free VoIP phone service. Majority of these have gone or now charge a fee for the use of their service as VoIP phone provider. Moreover, VoIP is developing higher standards of quality every day, and it has proved that it is a viable force for telecommunication for the future.

Who is providing VoIP phone service?

Telephone and Internet service provider companies are expanding to allow for monthly VoIP phone services.Recently eBay has joined the ranks of VoIP phone service providers by purchasing skype VoIP software, with its vast membership base the VoIP message will soon reach the man on the street.

What's special about VoIP?

Instant messaging programs such as MSN massager have been using VoIP technology for years. Now, most of these messaging programs come with voice enabled features which allow you to call a member of your buddy list. By using a microphone and speakers, you will be able to converse anywhere in the world, by VoIP and your Instant Messaging program.

With instant messaging VoIP incorporates different areas into one program. With your voice enabled programs, you can hook up a digital camera,web cam and use video, while you are speaking on your microphone and listening to on your speakers, and you can type back and forth with your chat program. You could even write an email at the same time. The potential for VoIP phones use is nearly limitless.

VoIP has this unique ability to integrate many forms of telecommunication applications into one package can handle data, audio, video, E-Mail, and web based applications simultaneously. This makes VoIP an incredible boost to business world and provides a cost effective choice of telephone service.

VoIP phone service providers are increasing in popularity with many people discovering all of the benefits available to them by switching from using their land line telephones to VoIP service. First, VoIP phone services costs significantly less than standard phone service, and this is a great attraction for bringing in new customers. Many VoIP phone plans will let you make unlimited long distance calls or provide you with a plan for very inexpensive rates. Many of the features that are often included for a fee with traditional phone service are often included for free with VoIP services. Features such as Call Waiting, Call Block, Call Forwarding, Conference Calling, Voice Mail are usually charged as extras by the traditional phone companies but these are usually free with the VoIP phone packages.Another benefit to VoIP services is that you can usually keep your existing phone number, or allow you to select a new area code. The means if you select an area where most of your friends and family live, a call to you will be treated as local call. For a remote business VoIP service can give the perception of having multiple office locations.

What's the future for VoIP?

Make no mistake about it VoIP phone services is a the emerging contender in the telecommunication world.It is a proven technology, can seamlessly integrate into many existing applications, does not require special equipment anyone with a PC with a microphone and speakers can use the service and it is very cost effective. Talk will be cheap!