Archive for the ‘Home Improvement’ Category

How To Get Going At DIY Home Improvements

July 11, 2015

Owning your own home is a great experience, but it is not without its
responsibilities. Every house requires maintenance and beyond that,
every house can benefit from home improvements. You need not be afraid
of doing your own work on your home. With a few quick hints like the
ones below, you can attack home improvement work with confidence.

You can add a room to your home without adding to its
square footage. Use existing space to create that additional room by
building a wall, which will turn one area into two. Closing off a
partial wall or filling in an archway will allow you to realize that
extra room.

Stay true to the property and the neighborhood when
you take on major renovations. If you live on a street of suburb ranch
style homes, then putting in a colonial mansion is not going to get you
the desired result you are after. It will be out of place and not
something anyone else will be willing to pay for later.

One of
the most profitable home improvements that can be made are updates to
your old bathrooms. Usually the cost is the lowest for any room remodel,
but the value achieved from it is significantly greater than the cost.
If you do some of the work yourself, you can save even more.

Get
help! Use home improvement catalogs for ideas and information on
do-it-yourself projects. These catalogs offer a great source for a new
home improvement projects, especially, if this is your first attempt!
You can get step-by-step instructions from these catalogs, as well!

Buy
any home improvement supplies you need in bulk to get larger savings.
Ensure that you store your supplies in a cool, dry place where they
won’t be damaged so that they will last the length of your project. If
you have any neighbors also doing work, consider asking them to go in on
a bulk order with you so you both can save.

To prevent air from
escaping through your doors, buy draft excluders and sealant strips.
Draft excluders fit underneath a door and stop hot air from leaking out
and cold air from leaking in. Sealant strips fit around door frames and
do the same function. They can be found at any hardware store.

If
you have a dark colored kitchen it would be in your best interest to
lighten things up. Many people do not want to buy homes that have
kitchens with dark colors. If you are worried about selling you home at
some point them you need to keep that in mind.

When hiring a
contractor to do home improvement work in your home, you need to make
sure that they are properly insured. If they do any damage to your home
and do not have insurance, you may have to go to court to get money for
repairs. All you have to do to find out if a contractor is insured is to
simply ask to see proof of insurance.

How To Prevent Spider Infestation In Your Home

July 11, 2015

Spiders live in residential homes; its just a fact of life. A few spiders crawling around your house is actually beneficial as they eat other pests, such as centipedes and beetles. Therefore, its generally better not to kill every spider you find crawling around your home. However, if you notice an increased amount of spiders crawling around your home, it could mean that you have an infestation.

The first step is not to panic. The second step is to pay close attention for a few days in a row as to where and when you notice the spiders. Some locations are more prone to spiders, and desert states like California and Arizona are known for more dangerous spiders that can make their way into a home. This article addresses what to do in the case when you suspect a common household spider infestation.

Understanding Spiders
Spiders favor entering homes because a typical home provides the exact environment they thrive in warm, dark spaces. Spiders hide in dark, dry locations. Some spiders also favor damp areas, such as under a sink or in a damp basement. Spiders also favor rotting materials; its a prime location for laying eggs. Make an effort to keep your home free from rotting material such as damp or wet wood.

Tips for Preventing Spider Infestation

Clutter
Spiders are attracted to clutter. Keeping you home as clutter-free as possible will decrease the amount of spiders in your home. For example, do your best to keep piles of clothes off the floor. Dangerous brown recluse spiders favor hiding in piles of clothes.

Dust
Keep your home as dust-free as possible, especially in corners and ceiling where spiders often create webs. To make dusting easier, use a duster with an extended arm to help you dust the hard-to-reach places. Also dust under furniture and beds. Use a wet rag, at least every other week to remove thicker layers of dust.

Cardboard Boxes
Spiders love to live in cardboard boxes. Replace your cardboard boxes with plastic storage bins.

Windows
Repair windows and screens as to prevent spiders from easily entering your home. Cracks and holes in windows, doors and around the house on the inside and on the exterior should be fixed and sealed.

Cats
Cats are known for eating spiders. At the very least, the cat will do a go job at chasing them away.

Natural Remedies
Place peppermint or spearmint leaves in window sills; spiders dont like the send and it will ward them off.
Spray a mixture of tea tree oil and water onto vents and window sills. Spiders dont like this scent either and will turn away.

Enlisting the Support of Home Improvement Loans to Create a New Look for Your Home

July 10, 2015

The desire to have a penthouse like the ones you pass by everyday
grows stronger as you watch your own house. The drab looking interiors
and the walls that need immediate repairs often produce a distaste for
the home itself. However, the deficient finances ensure that you have to
stay in the same home rather than shifting base to your dream home. You
have the option however, to make the stay in the home much more
pleasurable through a home improvement loan.

The home improvement
loan is employed to give a new look to the home by creating extensions,
changing the flooring, creating new interiors, and undertaking repairs.
The home improvement loan easily compensates for the deficiency of
resources on the part of the borrowers. Using ones personal resources
for spending highly on home improvements will be difficult for an
individual since there are other expenses too, that he has to make for
subsistence and to maintain a particular standard of life. All these
point to the convenience that a home improvement loan can result into.
It puts into the hands of the individual enough resources to adorn his/
her home of as many features as they desire. Moreover, there is no need
to repay the amount at once. The repayment of the home improvement loan
is due in a certain specified period and the individual has the option
to repay the loan in several instalments.

Having made the plans
for the home improvements, you surely would not like to be kept waiting
for the necessary finances. For this, a timely application for home
improvement loan will be necessary. Before sanctioning a loan, loan
providers will first ascertain the credibility of the applicant. This is
done by studying the credit report of the borrower. The study of credit
report illustrates the credit status of borrowers. If the home
improvement loan is secured against home or any other asset as
collateral, then a valuation of these assets will also be undertaken.
These processes sometimes delay the approval of the loan. In order to
ensure that you receive home improvement loan at an opportune time, the
application must be made as soon as the budget for home improvements is
ready.

The easiest but the vital most part of the home improvement
loan process is the application stage. Application does not singly
include the filling up of ones details for getting the Home improvement loans.
There are various steps that lead to this stage in the process. The
most important of these include finding the most appropriate lender for
getting loan. Since there are many lenders operating in the UK, choosing
one out of them will be tedious.

Especially so for the borrowers who are not much
conversant with the ways of the loan providing agencies. Independent
financial advisors are governed by the rules laid down by Financial
Services Authority. They guide the borrowers into choosing appropriate
loan providers after studying the case specifications of each individual
case. The independent financial advisors can also be engaged to help
during the other decisions that need to be made on the home improvement
loan, such as the decision on the amount of home improvement loan
quoted, decision on the monthly repayments, decision on the method of
charging interest, etc.

Having chosen the loan provider, the
borrower is now ready to apply. Online application is a relatively newer
trend in the financial markets. Through an online application,
borrowers can conveniently submit his/ her details from his home or
office on a secure internet connection.

The improvements made in
the home result in an increase in the equity in home. Opportunities for
better deals in home improvement loans open up for the borrowers. A home
that is held already by a mortgagee can be requested to finance the
improvements in home through a home improvement loan. In most cases, the
mortgagee will willingly accede.

Generally, homeowners draw home
improvement loans for their own home. However, the loan is available for
tenants who want to make improvements in the home they are residing.
This is through an unsecured home improvement loan. Tenants are not the
only beneficiaries of unsecured home improvement loans. Some of the
homeowners who fear the repossession of their homes in cases of defaults
too will desire an unsecured home improvement loan. This is despite the
fact that unsecured home improvement loans are dearer than secured home
improvement loans in terms of the interest charged.

A few
restrictions may be imposed on the manner in which the proceeds of the
home improvement loan is employed. Loan providers may restrict borrowers
from using the amount, either the whole of it or a part of it, on any
head other than home improvements. This however, is dependent on
individual lending policy of the loan provider.

The knowledge must
have dawned on you that there is little sense in moving home when you
can conveniently create a similar look for your existing home through a
home improvement loan. You only have to play your cards well in choosing
an appropriate lender and in making vital decisions on the loan, and
the home is ready to make others envious.

Inexpensive Home Improvements

July 3, 2015

When
most people think of home improvements they think of those expensive
renovation projects that can drastically increase the value of your
home. However, even if you can’t afford those major home improvements
there are some simple things you can do that will make your home more
comfortable and attractive without breaking the bank or emptying your
savings account.

Here
are a few cosmetic changes that you can easily make that will add
comfort to your home for your family and visual appeal for potential
buyers.

Paint is relatively inexpensive and can make any room look
fresh and new without costing a lot of money. By simply adding a new
coat of paint to those rooms in your house you give your home a bright
appeal that will be noticed by potential buyers or can be enjoyed by
your family.

One of the secrets of selling a house for an
increased value is by making your entire home visual appealing to
prospective buyers. By setting the stage so to speak, you can often
increase your home’s value by hundreds of dollars by small home
improvements that in the end are not even going to part of the sale.

Choosing
the right window treatments for example can improve the overall appeal
of your home and make it more attractive to buyers. You want to use
window treatments that catch the eye and make your home look as open and
as sunny as possible. For example, using sheer curtains at large
picture windows or sliding doors will let the sunlight in while still
providing a sense of privacy. White sheer can lighten a dark paneled
room while alternating white and colored sheers at a large window can
add dramatic touch to any room.

Valances
are also a great touch to use on windows that are either long and
narrow or simply to small for a regular curtain to look right or to let
in much light. Valances are made from a variety of materials including
wood so you can find the right balance for your windows.

Using
throw pillows and area rugs can also give your home a more distinct look
and although these items may only be temporary the increase the visual
appeal for the potential buyer and let’s begin to think of the
possibilities of their own decorating talents.

While these little
home improvements are mostly cosmetic in nature you should never under
estimate how increasing the visual appeal of your home inside and out
can affect your home’s value at least in the eyes of potential buyers.

Is Your Home Boring Try These Home Improvement Tips For Success!

June 27, 2015

Home improvement has something to offer everyone. Here are some guidelines that will talk about things that you need to consider when working on your house.

Before you paint any walls, make sure you cover any electrical outlets with aluminum foil. It’s easier to use aluminum foil, and it protects the outlets. It is quick and easy to remove, too. Just let paint dry before removing the foil and recycling it for other purposes.

Make safety a priority when working on your residence. Turn off the gas main if working near the fireplace, basement or kitchen. Construction work near gas lines is quite hazardous. Be sure you know exactly where your shutoff valve is located. Always determine the location of all gas lines before you begin and project that involves digging.

Painting walls is a cheap way to make a refreshing and exciting change to your rooms. Take a trip to a home improvement center and gather different paint chips for inspiration. Choose ones that are fun and you love, then just run with it! Remember, you can always repaint if you end up not liking it.

Prior to hiring any professional to do a home improvement project, check his or her credentials. You have to ensure that the professionals you hire have the proper qualifications to do the work in your home. This will also help you make sure the job is completed right with high standards. You could avoid a lot of mishaps by checking their credentials.

When you have your home improvement goal firmly set, it’s worth your time to hit the Internet and look for “how to” videos that apply to your specific situation (right down to the model numbers of appliances that are involved). You will be surprised how many people may have had the same trouble you are having, then videotaped their solution and uploaded it to the web. This can help you avoid the pitfalls others have experienced.

If you are running out of counter space in your kitchen, consider an over-the-range microwave. These microwaves stand in place of the range hood and have additional features and a variety of prices. This is not a suitable option for those who need high-powered ventilation, but it is a great idea for the everyday cook.

Homes with an attractive view generally fetch a higher sale price. What constitutes a good view can vary from one person to the next, however. How much a view is worth is up to each individual person. But, because beauty is often in the eye of the beholder, the impact of your house’s view on its value may vary from potential buyer to buyer.

When employing a contractor for your project, it’s important to maintain your own records. Do not assume that the contractor will take care of this for you. For anything related to your home improvement work, save all documents. Then you and the contractor can just focus on completing the project.

Up to 20% of heat and cold air can be lost through the windows. A second glaze is an easy way to improve the energy efficiency of large windows. You will see reduced energy costs and enjoy a more comfortable home.

Dig In And Get Excited With These Home Improvement Tips

June 11, 2015

What if you could totally transform the look of your home with just a few little tricks that do not cost much? Re-vamping your home can add some spice to your life and freshen up dated-looking rooms. This is especially useful around the holidays if you will be hosting guests. Follow these easy tips and add a little flair to your home today.

Painting a room is perhaps the cheapest home improvement you can carry out. A fresh coat of paint in a different shade or texture can completely transform a room for minimal cost. If your walls are not in the best condition and you don’t have time to re-plaster them before painting, consider hanging wallpaper instead, to avoid drawing attention to the damage.

Make sure to have your home inspected before starting any major renovations. Checking for roofing issues, termites, electrical issues and plumbing beforehand can save you a lot of trouble down the road. Finding issues like these when you are halfway through a renovation process can be a nightmare on your budget.

Updating your kitchen appliances can be done on a reasonable budget. If you would like to have a fashionable stainless steel finish, there is no reason to get rid of your perfectly good refrigerator. It is possible to purchase appliance spray paint for a very reasonable price, and paint the appliances whatever color you so desire. This can dramatically improve the style of your kitchen in just a day’s time.

Purchase draft excluders or sealant strips to stop air from getting out. Draft excluders can be placed under a door and prevent warm air from exiting and cool air from entering your home. Find sealant strips that go around the door frames. You can find these in hardware and home improvement stores.

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.

If you are looking to install skylights or already have them in your home, it can be a costly item during summertime. In the summer months, the sun is shining overhead emitting lots of heat. The heat will require you to run your air conditioner at a higher level. However, in recent years, there has been high quality glazes developed that aid your windows in blocking out excessive heat and keeping it in during winter months. Talk to your local window dealer about the benefits of purchasing glazed windows.

Install solar panels on your roof to use less paid electricity. Not only will your electricity bill be less, but you will have a smaller carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly. The government is providing tax breaks for people who install solar energy equipment in their homes, so take advantage of it.

In just a few steps, you have discovered how to make the rooms of your home look new and inviting. A few color changes here, new accessories there, and each room is transformed and ready for prime time. Revamp your rooms, over time, using these tips and you will be proud of your home for many years to come.

How To Build Brick Steps

March 28, 2015

It makes a lot of sense to study how to construct brick steps since it is useful for your everyday routine. Unlike other home improvement projects, you do not have to possess a lot of knowledge and skills about carpentry to finish the project.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS NEEDED TO BUILD BRICK STEPS

The materials and tools needed are trowel, bricks, mortar, cement mixture, shovel, two by four wooden boards, measuring tape, saw, hammer, nails, bolts and screws.

STEPS IN CREATING BRICK STEPS

You should first pick the location of your project. Fix it by cleaning all rocks and grass. Since you will be placing cement mixture in the area, it needs to be flat as possible. Make square frames from the wooden boards. Use a saw to create each part. Remember to create it the same size as the foot steps that you want to create.

This will serve as the framework for your set-up so make sure that all of the measurements are correct. Place it on the correct location. Mix the cement mix if necessary. Carefully place it on the square. Use a trowel to even the surface. Check to see if there are any bumps. Allow the set-up to harden for twenty-four hours. Use the tape measure to check the total distance from the top of the porch to the base that you created.

Aside from that, check the height of the brick. This will help you of how many foot steps that you need to create. Place a one inch mortar mixture over the cement mixture. Flatten over some bumps that you will see in the set-up. Place the bricks on top of each other on the mortar mixture. Place a half an inch space for each bricks.

Once all of the bricks have been place in the first layer, use the trowel to scoop some mortar mixture. Use the mortar the fill in the spaces that you have made. Apply it evenly on the bricks. Place a 2nd layer. Keep doing this process until you finish. Finally, scoop up the excess mixture around the brick edges.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

Make sure that you get the correct measurements. Use the tape measurement because even a slight measurement mistake could make the whole thing collapse. Use gloves to protect your hands while carrying the bricks.

If the weather is too hot, work in your project in the afternoons to avoid heat stroke. Aside from that, remember to take breaks as many as possible so that you will not be too exhausted and it will make things easier and enjoyable.

The Most Popular and Cost Effective Home Improvements

March 23, 2015

Everyone has heard the phase “An Englishman’s home is his castle”,
it’s a well know phase that has been around for hundreds of years, the
phase literally means that us British are a very house proud nation and
we spend hundreds if not thousands of pounds every single year on new
decoration, renewals and repairs for our homes, over the years things
have changed a great deal, because in the past simply decorating your
home, buying new carpets and furniture was the most that many British
house proud families did, we all remember our parents buying that new
three piece suite or new carpet ready to impress their extended families
at Christmas and social events such as weddings, christenings and even
funerals , but in recent years home improvements have taken over home
decoration, with windows, doors, driveways and conservatories being high
on many peoples lists of “improvements to do to your home”.

New technologies and better manufacturing techniques
has seen conservatories prices plummet, putting these fantastic
additional rooms within reach of most, if not all UK homeowners and with
the internet now allowing us to easily get multiple online conservatory
quote’s no one is in danger of being taken in by a crooked door to door
conservatory salesman and ending up paying over the odds. The recent
increase in home improvement companies offering DIY Conservatories now
means that people who enjoy a little “Do It Yourself” can save even more
money and get their dream conservatory delivered in kit form for just a
couple of thousand pound which is probably the same amount as people
used to spend on decoration and new furniture.

Another now popular
and inexpensive home improvement is driveway replacement, driveway
renewal has become more popular in the UK in recent years due to another
new technology with is imprinted concrete, Imprinted Concrete Driveways
are less expensive than block paving or other materials are lower
maintenance, longer lasting and come in a large range of different
styles and colours, with some companies allowing you to even create your
own, the results are simply breathtaking and finding images on the
internet of imprinted concrete driveways is very easy and can even give
you ideas of styles, patterns and colours and of course how beautiful
they look. It’s versatility means that Imprinted concrete can easily be
used for paths, patios and hard to reach areas such as under bay windows
and around drainage covers and gate posts.

Whilst
on the topic of external home improvements lets not forget the stunning
splendour of a beautiful and professionally landscaped garden, although
no rear garden is complete, landscaped or not; without well maintained
fencing, an area many people forget about and because of this neglect
they end up with broken, rotten fencing that lets down their home and
becomes an eyesore to both visitors and neighbours. The number one
choice for fencing in the United Kingdom is still timber as nothing can
match the beauty and the relatively low cost of wooden fencing, but
there is a big difference between cheap, budget fencing that can be
bought from most DIY chains and handmade, solid, weatherproofed fencing
that is manufactured, supplied and usually fitted free by professional
fencing companies. Good quality vertical boarded fencing, if fitted
correctly and treated with a good quality preservative, (before
manufacture) can stay looking good and last for many years.

In
summary, there are many internal and external home improvements that can
be done to your home, many of them cost a lot less than people think
and can not only make your home look beautiful and well maintained but
can increase it’s value also.

Are You Building A Raised Level Above Your Cape Cod Style Home

March 23, 2015

Hiring a NJ Home Improvement Contractor to build a Raised Level in your Cape Cod home has quite a few advantages for you and your family. A Cape Cod home (a lot of people call it a cape) usually has two bedrooms on the first floor along with the kitchen, bathroom and the dining area. Opening the front door a staircase going upstairs lies right in front of you however some capes also have the staircase located nearby the kitchen or near the mid area of the house. Upstairs, theres usually 1 of 2 choices. The entire top floor either can be one large room. Most times there are a couple of rooms usually split in the center. The trade mark ceiling line contained in the top floor of the cape is known for their low lying ceilings maxing out usually at seven to seven and a half feet ceiling height. New home construction ceiling height is minimum eight feet, so these ceilings are thought to be low. The unfortunate point here is where the knee wall slopes up into your ceiling, this slanted ceiling area is much wasted space. Its difficult to stand, walk or even put furniture inside the area close to the knee walls. A knee wall is a short wall, usually approximately four five feet high. These knee walls are built inwards towards the center of a home from either or both your very front and or back walls of your first floor.
RAISED LEVEL FLOOR RECONFIGURATION
The concept of building your raised level is to maximise the area or square footage that exists in your top floor. The low ceiling height and two knee walls limit the functionality of your respective existing top floor as part of your cape. Remember the 4 knee walls are built inwards out of your back and front wall usually a minimum of four feet. This creates a dead space and often winds up being a tiny storage area that may be hardly accessible. There are various Raised Level floor layouts that may be customized for your home . Each home is very unique, but more important it’s possible to really maximize the brand new Raised Level floor plan. Your raised level home improvement contractor needs to customize the new layout in accordance with the floorspace that your particular house has. Your NJ Home Improvement Contractor should design your new layout so your floor plan will accommodate at the very least three bedrooms and 1 full bathroom. Also think about a cathedral ceiling with recessed lighting inside the master bedroom. A Jack and Jill door in the standard bathroom is likewise an exceptionally common option. A jack and Jill door is just a second door into your bathroom. This second bathroom door enables access from the single bathroom directly into the master bedroom. This option would be a good match for those families that want a master bathroom but the budget just doesn’t allow it.
RAISED LEVELS: OFFERING FAMILIES MORE FOR LESS
Although a three bedroom, one bathroom is a standard package, a four bedroom two bathroom with laundry can really offer you the needed space for a growing family at a reasonable price. The 4 bedroom market for raised levels is growing rapidly. With families growing, it’s very reasonable to construct your raised level and maximize your space. Building above your attached garage or first floor addition will get you this needed floorspace. The associated fee to renovate is cheaper than the cost it may be to pack your loved ones up, buy another house and in many cases , renovate that newly bought house.
HELP, I NEED CLOSETS
Would you agree that you never offers enough closets? If you build your raised level, essentially the most requested item are the closets. These capes literally had little closet space. The two first floor bedrooms had 2′ x 2′ closets if you would like call them that. so that you could understand why closets absolutely are a big item. When building your raised level, the master bedroom ought to have a walk in closet. If room allows, you want his/her separate walk in closets. The other bedrooms all need to have their own personal over sized bi-fold door entry closet, for full easy access to shelving and or hung garments. In the hall, when possible make an effort to build a linen closet near the new bathroom locations.
AN ATTIC IN MY NEW RAISED LEVEL
Since the original capes had low ceilings which were built against the roof rafters at the slope of a typical roof, this usually meant they had little to no attic. Raised Level packages should all include an attic access drop down stair entry. This lets you simply pull down on a chord linked to a folding stair unit that collapses when folded. Pull down on the rope, the ladder unfolds and you’ve maintained access into one’s new attic. Lift the stairs up it also folds back into the ceiling. This attic serves one or two purposes. Usually the new furnace components are installed within the attic neatly tucked away. Also, the new attic is great for extra storage. Ensure that your builder provides lighting and the necessary electric in your attic. In a few regions, this can be mandatory with the intention to meet code requirements.
Make sure you discuss these items with your NJ Home Improvement Contractor.

Declutter Home Improvement That Really Makes A Difference

March 19, 2015

Our culture is obsessed with home improvement, but one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of your house and your life there is making the decision to declutter. Home sweet home gets even sweeter when it is effectively organized and you are not suffocating under an ever-growing mountain of stuff.

decluttering involves getting rid of the unnecessary and effectively organizing that which remains. It should be a priority for many of us. Countless people suffer in confusion and inefficient disorganization because they are unable to take control of clutter. Clutter can be a massive problem in psychological terms, as well. It is hard to feel de-stressed, comfortable and at peace in a cluttered environment.

If your home is your castle, you should make a serious effort to keep it free of clutter. The advantages of a clutter free existence are numerous and the actual process of organizing your life is not that difficult. There is no real downside to the decision to declutter.

Home should be a place of peace and serenity, but too many people continue living chaotic lives because they simply do not understand how to come to grips with clutter. Fortunately, there is an effective solution available.

Organization gurus and anti-clutter experts have compiled amazing resources that can march you through the process of organizing your home and life step-by-step. If you are noticing that things just do not feel right and that you are too disorganized, you should certainly make a decision to declutter. Home improvement has never been easier!

With a little guidance and effort, you can improve your home experience dramatically. You can experience less stress and a greater sense of peace, calm and serenity. You will notice that your efficiency will increase dramatically and that you will suddenly be able to keep your house neat and clean with ease. All you need to do is get rid of the clutter!