Monthly Archives: January 2016
Whether you own a crumbling, century-old Victorian, in need of a complete overhaul or an 80s-era gem, that needs a new kitchen, most homes can benefit from a bit of home improvement. All at once or a little at a time, this article will show you how to keep costs down and get the home you desire.
Remember your environment whenever you are making improvements to your home. For instance, having an uncovered deck in Arizona or a sun room that has no ventilation in Michigan would be nonsensical renovations that will have potential buyers questioning your house upkeep decisions. Add value to your home, not negative features.
When you find that you have a water leak underneath your sink or a tap, never attempt fixing this on your own. For now, make sure you catch all the leaky water until a plumbing professional can come over and properly fix the problem.
In any major home improvement job, it’s a good idea to take things slowly when it comes to demolition work. You need to ensure that your structures are not a support to your home before you rip them out. It can be really expensive if you damage electrical or plumbing systems by mistake.
A great home improvement tip is to call local repair services and shop around for the best deal. By shopping around, you’ll have more of an awareness of who you’re doing business with, and you’ll be more likely to find the right person for the job. This can be a great way to make sure you’re getting quality work done.
If your radiator has gone cold, you may need to bleed it. Simply switch off the boiler and locate the bleed key. Turn the key counterclockwise and air will begin to escape and make a hissing sound. When the sound stops and a little water leaks, turn the bleed key clockwise to close it.
A great home improvement tip is to invest in motion detectors for your outdoor lighting. Motion detectors will turn lights on only when movement is detected, and will swiftly shut off when there is none. Having motion detectors on your outdoor lights will save you a lot of energy and money.
Interior lighting can be used to create the illusion of spaciousness in narrow hallways or nooks. Install light fixtures above eye level along the length of the corridor in such a way that the light is directed downward. In addition to making the area feel larger, it can also be used to illuminate family portraits and decorative wall elements.
It is never a bad idea to purchase handheld fire extinguishers for your home. Before you buy an extinguisher, take a moment to read the packaging for information on intended usage. Some extinguishers are effective only against certain types of fires. Ideally, an extinguisher should be suitable for paper, grease, wood, electrical, and trash fires. This should also be under consideration as you determine which rooms will have extinguishers at hand.
Paint is the foundation of any room and sets the tone – start there before planning for other elements. Consider completing all of your painting projects before you install new floors to avoid messy cleanups or permanent damage. No matter how well you try to protect your new floor, it will be almost impossible to avoid getting paint on it.
Replacing drafty older windows is a great way to keep the cold out in the winter months, and bugs out during summertime. This home improvement project can be quite rewarding for those who choose to do it.
You should make sure that a home with any additions is properly zoned and has all of the licenses that the area requires. There are some people who will build additions without permission first. If an addition is not registered, your insurance company could refuse to give you full insurance.
Before you start painting a wall, you have to prep the surface. Prepping the wall requires washing it with soap and water, which removes built-up dirt and grease that can affect how the paint sticks to your wall. A dirty wall will cause paint to chip sooner, shortening the life of your paint job.
Home improvement does not need to put you in the poor house. With a bit of know how and a bit of sweat, you can fix up your home without breaking the bank. Follow the tips outlined in this article and start the journey towards the home of your dreams.
Improving your home can be quite exciting! Maybe fix, replace or freshen-up something! However, if you do not have the right advice or information, this can be very stressful for all involved. This article contains a number of tips to help you and your household make a success of that home improvement project.
Replacing your carpets can be a breath of fresh air. Carpets can be a hotbed of allergens making your own home hard to live in. Consider replacing your carpets with hardwood, tile, or laminate floors for a healthier living environment. Hard surface floors will also provide an updated look to your home.
It is always wise to shop around and look for the best deal when purchasing supplies for your home improvement project. For example, quality home flooring can be expensive, but if you shop around, you should be able to find the flooring in your price range. Seek prices and quotes from discount suppliers and local home improvement centers.
Avoid busy patterns on all recliners, sofas and chairs when you choose furniture for your home. If you buy busy-looking pieces, you’ll end up decorating your rooms around them. Purchase furniture in a solid, neutral color such as navy, black, grey, or brown, and spice up your furnishings with a few accessories. Add pillows and throw blankets in a variety of patterns and colors for an interesting mix and match effect.
During your next home improvement project, make sure to cover any exposed surfaces. For example, cover the floor with a tarp if you are painting or protect your counter tops if you are demolishing cabinets. If you fail to take the time to do this step, you may wind up spending a lot of money fixing scratched or damaged items.
After your home improvement work is finished, do not submit your final payment until you are happy with the work that was performed. You can also make “progress payments,” which involves giving the contractor small sums of money in certain increments over the course of the project. Do not pay for work that you are not satisfied with.
If your kitchen is in need of a renovation that you can’t afford, consider simply repainting your cabinets and replacing their hinges. You won’t have made any major functional changes, but your kitchen will appear much nicer and newer. Replacing hinges ensures that cabinet doors fit snugly instead of hanging open, and the new paint will brighten up the whole room.
Choose wallpaper patterns carefully. Avoid using overpowering patterns in small spaces; conversely, using a bold design in a very large room will make it appear cozier. Never use a patterned wallpaper if you have patterned carpet or window coverings. For a room full of awkward corners and recesses, pick a wallpaper with a random design that the eye doesn’t tend to follow. This will help to disguise any imperfections in the walls.
Any home improvement project intense enough to involve opening a house’s walls should include some new wiring for modern electronics. Even though the cutting edge of high-tech has moved on to wireless computer networking, adding integral Ethernet wiring to your home increases network security, offers added convenience and improves resale value.
If you live in a home that was built before 1990, consider having your attic re-insulated with newer materials and energy saving foam. Newer home insulation technology can save you hundreds of dollars in less than a year by improving the overall efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
To showcase a particularly beautiful flowerbed or landscaping detail, steal this trick from noted horticulturists and botanic garden curators: position outdoor accent lighting fixtures behind plants or statuary to dramatically reveal the unique shapes, textures, and form of shrubs, flowers, and ornamental grasses. This is a particularly effective technique for single-color gardens or landscapes.
It’s a good idea to have an outlet put in the cabinets above where your microwave will go. When your microwave’s plug is tucked away, it’ll look great. A small project such as this will keep you from having a cord dangling overhead.
Increase living space if your home lacks function. Consider a play room, a living room or a den. This will increase the comfort of your home as well as the value of your home. When you can afford the project, dive in.
When tackling a home improvement venture on your own, you need to have a reliable place that you go to get advice. If you find random information on the internet from some John Doe, you could be headed towards disaster! Large scale home improvement stores are never a bad place to start.
So, home improvement has the potential to be a fun and exciting project! However, the process can be very difficult and stressful if you do not have the right advice and information.
While tricky or potentially dangerous home improvement jobs are best left to professionals. But there are many things you can learn to do around the house yourself. Learning to perform home improvement jobs is an immense confidence booster and will allow you to take control of your property. These tips should help you build a better knowledge of home improvement.
Changing a tire can be problematic if you don’t happen to be a very strong person. Loosening the lug nuts, in particular, can take more strength than many of us have. Use a cheater bar! A yard long piece of pipe that is just big enough to fit over the end of your lug wrench will give you that extra leverage to get the job done.
Place candles throughout your house. Candles can create a wonderful effect in your home. The effect will be heightened if the candle is scented with a good fragrance. You can place candles in bedrooms, bathrooms, and dining areas. Bathrooms especially benefit from the use of scented candles. Scented candles will give your house a homey feel.
When you are deciding what it is you want to remodel ask for opinions. You want to make sure you are giving off the right vibes when you are choosing how to remodel your home. Ask for advice from neighbors or close friends and family. Sometimes other people’s advice can help you in the decision making process when remodeling your home.
When it comes to home improvement, be sure to weigh the cost of purchasing CFL bulbs for your home. While they do save energy because of lower wattage usage, the upfront cost is higher than regular bulbs. Also, they may pose a health hazard to you if ever broken due to the amount of mercury used inside the bulb.
Replacing the light switch covers in your home is an easy and quick way to brighten up a room. For about $20, you can replace all of the switch covers in an average-sized home with nice clean white ones. They will match just about any decor style. Since most people look for a switch when they enter a room, a clean switchplate appears to clean up the whole room.
Improving your home yourself in anyway can be a fun, rewarding experience, but this can also be a disaster. Before starting any projects, make sure you research what you’re doing first. Getting halfway through any home improvement project only to find you’re doing something wrong is a nightmare waiting to happen.
If you live in a rural area, consider purchasing a power back up generator. When the lights go out and sometimes your heating even depends on it, you can be without power for hours or even days in seriously harsh weather. A power generator can help you take care of the necessities that you can’t do without when the electricity is out.
Build your own utility shelves with furring strips, plywood, and screws. Build two identical ladder-like sides using the furring strips and screws. Connect them perpendicularly by screwing on additional furring cut to the width of the shelves. Finally, screw plywood panels in place to make the shelf surfaces.
Rather than replacing the tile in your home’s bathroom or kitchen, consider re-grouting. In many cases, it is the build-up of dirt, grime and even oil, that is making your tile look old and dated. Scrub it clean, then scrape out the old grout for a quick way to refresh the room.
Locate the studs in the wall prior to beginning to hang your new cabinets in your kitchen. Using a finishing nail to mark each stud is going to save you the time of missing the stud and having to put multiple holes in the cabinets trying to find the stud to hang them on.
If one does not have any trees on their property they should strongly consider planting one for home improvement. Not only will it have many different uses for the house and it’s members but it will also look attractive for ones landscape. A tree can grow and outlast the house making it a worthy home improvement job.
Brighten up tired furniture with slipcovers. If your furniture is worn or stained, or you just want to change the look of your room, use slipcovers. They come in a large variety of fabrics, and are available in solid colors or patterned. A great feature of slipcovers is that they are washable, which is very handy if you have kids or pets!
As you can see, home improvement is a multifaceted trade. Oftentimes, your knowledge of a type of task will determine the success of it. This means that research is an excellent first step in any home improvement project. These tips should be a helpful first step in your path to learning about home improvement.
Interior design is something that can be applied by anyone these days. All you have to have is a little bit of knowledge in the subject and you should be well on your way towards having a good idea about how to fix up any home. Read on to learn more.
A great way to liven up an otherwise boring or complicated space is to create a point of focus in the room. This focal point will become the highlight of the space, and everything else that’s in the room will work to support the focal point. Focal points to think about working around include fireplaces, windows, artworks and stately pieces of furniture.
Try adding plants to your room. You’ll be surprised at how much more lively, yet calming; a room can become just by adding a simple plant to the room. A single plant, properly placed, can really set the mood and bring a room together. Just don’t forget to water it!
Consider adding some artwork to your room. A nice piece of art can really make a room look “finished.” Make sure you choose a piece of art work that goes with the colors and feel of the room. You don’t want it to compete with other things in te room for attention.
Speak with friends or family before you take on a project. This will help you to get ideas that you may not think of, which you can incorporate into your project. Also, this helps you to reduce the chances of making an error as someone else may be able to spot it.
If you have a small home, buy furniture that can serve multiple purposes. For instance, a storage ottoman can serve as a place to rest your legs as well as a place to stash magazines and knick-knacks. A futon can serve as seating and a bed for guests. Getting furniture that is versatile can keep your home looking uncluttered if you have a small space.
If you’re working on designing for a small space, adding light can greatly increase the feeling of size in the room. Adding light fixtures and using appropriate drapery can increase the amount of light in the room. Mirrors are also a great way to increase light and increase the apparent size of a small space.
Don’t forget your floors! So many people spend time fixing the walls and getting furniture that they forget one aspect of a room that can transform it: the floor. If you have tired, worn carpet, consider changing over to a smooth, bright wood surface. Wood laminate can also work. These materials are shiny, don’t get as dirty, and look much more sleek.
Incorporate art into rooms in your house, whether they are paintings, pictures or posters. This can go along with the theme of the house that you choose and will help to improve the overall appearance. If you are a young homeowner, you can frame classical artwork to add to the elegance of your home.
Many of us want to make our small room look bigger. To make small rooms look bigger, try painting the walls using light colors. Darker colors make a room look much smaller than it actually is.
One thing that you will need to think about with every room of your home is the focal point. The focal point is where you want your guests and visitors to look when they walk in. This can be in the form of artwork, a piece of furniture or a television.
Try buying accessories for your home in groups of coordinated items. If you pick up a throw pillow at a department store, a lamp at a yard sale and area rug somewhere else, chances are good that they really will not match once you have them all together. Buying in sets guarantees color harmony!
Display your own treasures in your house to improve the overall mood a bit. Instead of using store bought artwork or trinkets, keep some old childhood toys in your cabinet. Or something your kids made you. Personal items will bring up happy memories and thoughts when you look at them. So instead of wasting money on buying things, display things that are personal to you.
As you have learned from this article interior design becomes easier to understand the more you learn about the subject. Make sure that you are always on the search for more information about interior design and you should have an easy time figuring out what your home does and doesn’t need.
Eco Friendly Tips for Washing Dishes. There is nothing better than a hearty meal and a full belly. Your mind drifts to images of decadent desserts, or to the couch in the living room that seems to be beckoning you with plush pillows and a comfortable throw. You push yourself from the table, stretch your arms in contentment, and look over your shoulder to find piles and piles of spattered and sauce-caked dirty dishes.Ah, the joy of cleaning dishes.
Many families dine from paper or foam plates in order to avoid the pain and agony of scrubbing dirty dishes. Sure, it is more convenient, but considering that an average American family of four dines three times a day from foam or paper plates (and let’s not forget that paper plates often have to be doubled in order to uphold the weight of the food), that is a minimum of twelve plates hitting the trash a day. And that is assuming no additional plates are used to serve dessert, as serving plates, or as snack holders throughout the rest of the day. Now, multiply that times thirty days, and you have an average family of four going through at least 360 plates a month. That equals 4,320 disposable plates a year.
Why not give your real dishes another try? Rather than wasting money and resources on disposable dishes, consider using your reusable, sturdy, never-leak-food plates and washing them with a small amount of water and soap. You will be saving money and going green at the same time. Some may say that washing dishes leads to wasting water. You do have to use water to wash, there is no way around that, but according to the American Water Works Association using your dishwasher may be the easiest and greenest way out of washing dishes:
- Depending on your brand of dishwasher, you use between 9 and 12 gallons of water a load.
• There are newer dishwashers available that can lower that number to 7 gallons of water a load. These dishwashers usually come with an ENERGY STAR label stating that they have been approved, through the U.S. EPA guidelines, to save energy.
• Hand washing often uses as much as 20 gallons of water.
Considering that many of us only use our dishwasher once a day or every other day whereas you may hand wash dishes three times a day, it is more efficient and wastes less water to use your dishwasher. With newer dishwashers falling under the ENERGY STAR program, we can expect a surge of new environmentally friendly dishwashers. If you are not in the market for a new dishwasher, there are ways to conserve energy and go green with your old one:
1. Don’t pre-rinse.
One of the water traps when using a dishwasher is rinsing your dishes before you put them in. The easy way to avoid using excess water to rinse as well as elbow grease is to try a load without rinsing. Yes, you may have to scrape and wash some dishes again. But you will know the full capability of your dishwasher. And once you know whether the dishwasher can or cannot get that caked food off your dishes, then you will be able to adequately judge how much water is needed to pre-rinse. There is no need to use excess water without first finding out if it is even necessary. In many cases, especially with newer dishwashers, very little rinsing is required before running a load of dishes. Why waste more water when your dishwasher will do the dirty work?
2. Fill ‘er up!’
Another way to save water and energy is to only run the dishwasher when it is completely full. Washing a few dishes uses the same amount of energy and water as running a full load. So, load up and squeeze in every dish possible. Get creative and find room for that last glass!
3. Turn off the heat.
Although many dishwashers offer the option to heat-dry your dishes, if it is possible, turn off that option. It is nice to open a newly run dishwasher and find little to no water on your dishes. However, if you just let them sit a little longer, they will air dry, and you will save energy in the process. Look at it this way, the longer they take to dry, the more time you have to do other things. Like lie on the couch and sleep off your meal. It is the same as letting your dishes dry in a rack, so give it a try.
4. Go green with detergent.
If you want your dish washing experience to be extra green, try using an eco-friendly dish washing detergent. They are competitively priced, and they lack phosphates that often tend to journey to our oceans and waterways. According to the NRDC website, phosphates can cause oxygen depletion and excess algae growth in our waterways. Without sufficient oxygen, fish and other aquatic animals can die.If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can still save water by washing with a conservative hand.
You can always hand wash by filling the sink, but it isn’t necessary, and it can lead to excess waste through rinsing and refilling the sink. When you think about it, if you fill your sink or one side if you have a double sink to wash your dishes, by the time you reach that tenth plate, how clean is that water?Washing your dishes with this next method saves more water than filling a sink and rinsing after each dish:
- Scrape any excess food off the plates and into the trash. Don’t allow water pressure to do what a little elbow grease can.
• Rinse the dishes with water.
• Turn off the water and scrub with soap and a wet cloth. Or you can use one of those handy soap filled scrubbers.
• Try to clean as many dishes as possible before rinsing them again.
• Turn on the water long enough to rinse again. And try to rinse them all at the same time.
If you have a double sink, place all dishes on one side in a drying rack and rinse them together. This will avoid using water to rinse each individual dish.The easiest and greenest way to clean your dishes just happens to be the laziest. So, go ahead and lounge on the couch. Relax, digest, and sleep while the dishwasher does all the dirty work!Great Green Tip Try dining by candlelight with your spouse, partner, roommate, significant other, alone, or with your kids. Take the time to relax and unwind. Or curl up with your favorite book, and allow the ambiance and the soft, flickering candles to do their thing. If you want to go that extra green mile, use soy candles to create that glow.