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Very Excited for my New Toy

Recently, I helped a friend of mine install an electric fireplace in his home. Once all was said and done, I was simply amazed at how beautiful, modern, and luxurious the fireplace made his living room seem. It didn’t take much convincing on my end after I saw it in action – and my wife was all for it as well. She has been interested in getting a gas-powered fireplace for years, but we don’t have the plumbing for it yet and installing it retroactively would end up being quite costly. Here’s a picture of the one we installed in my friend’s beautifully, newly renovated home:

Anyway, I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and it seems that there are a number of things to consider when you are choosing an electric fireplace for your home. The first and foremost is the design, and how that impacts installation. The easiest by far are the free-standing models, but they tend to take up quite a bit of space. These are similar to entertainment centers and can even have shelves for holding books and the like. I think I want to go with something that is more built into the room. The insert models are kind of out of the question, as they generally fit into an existing real fireplace (which we don’t have) to take its place. That leaves the wall mount and flush mount options – the flush mounted options particularly look very nice and sleek. They take quite a bit more work to install than other designs, but being the handyman I am I think I’m more than up for the task. For more information, you check out this site which tells you how to choose an electric fireplace for your home.

Do any of my friends out there have any experience with electric fireplaces, or any particular brands/models they can recommend? Let me know soon if you do, I’d appreciate any sort of tips you can offer. Right now I’m looking into the top available models from Amantii, Regal Flames, and Napoleon. They seem to be the leading manufacturers out there today.

What I really like about the electric fireplaces is that they are probably much less hazardous than the gas alternatives that my wife and I had previously considered. On top of that, they seem to be quite a bit more customizable. Fore example, it seems that many of them can be run without emitting any heat, so that you can enjoy their beauty even when your home is already at the right temperature. On top of that, you can even customize the color of the flame on some models! This is probably a little bit of a quirky feature, but it’ll be nice to have I think. I imagine some colors might be better on the eyes during the day as opposed to at night. Anyway, the search continues, but I’m pretty excited about getting this cool new toy and I wanted to share.

Have a great day!

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Back To School

Well, it’s that time of year. We just spent the weekend moving my daughter in to her new dorm room for her third year of college. She’s growing up so fast! This year, because she’s a junior, she was fortunate enough to move into a larger down room. My best way of describing them would be as suites, it’s basically two separate rooms which share a bathroom and a kitchenette/common area. The place is really nice, and way better than the kind of room I had when I was her age! And I wonder where all my hard earned money is going…

One of the biggest things that she asked my help for was in finding a futon so that she could have her friends come and visit. Of course, being the dad that I am, it became my mission to find the best futon available for my (not so little) girl!

The Search

Being the savvy old father that I am, the first place that I turned to get some insight on futons was the internet. There are quite a bit of options available on the market these days, and surprisingly there may even be some good options for our own home. They are available as futons that are really only designed for the short term (i.e. my daughter’s college dorm room) to products that are really quite nice pieces of furniture. They can be fully constructed of imported hardwoods, which can come in a variety of stains and colors. I found this site to be pretty informative with regard to futons, they have some good reviews comparison. I ended up going with a slightly cheaper futon for my daughter, because I’m sure once she moves off on her own she’ll want something a little better. Still though I didn’t opt for the cheapest options because they seemed, well, cheap – both in quality of materials and construction.

The Assembly

This was a bit of a doozy. I forgot my toolbox at home, and the tools that came with the futon were laughable to say the least. I did have some vice grips in my car as well as my leatherman, which were not ideal but I was still able to get the job done. The problem with using tools like this is that you can damage the metal frame which can be unappealing to the eyes. I just had to make sure to go slow and do the best I could, it took me probably 3 hours but eventually I got the job done. Luckily it wasn’t too expensive anyway, because I definitely left some visible teeth marks in a few areas. All in all it wasn’t too bad, and my daughter couldn’t have cared less. She was just happy to have the futon up and running so that she could get us out of her dorm room and back to partying with her friends.

All in all it was a successful move in. While I was working on the futon, her mother was helping her unpack everything and make the place pretty. Her new room is absolutely beautiful, I can’t believe what they are providing the students with these days! Anyway, she sent me all of these pictures so that I could share them here, she does a really good job with her camera.

That’s all for today, hope your students have all moved in safely as well!