How To Make Changes To Improve Your Home

Image 405
Source: Flickr

Whether you only have a hundred dollars to spend on a home improvement project or thousands at your disposal, the prospect of enhancing and adding value to your home is very exciting for most people. These carefully selected home improvement tips and tricks are just the thing to get you inspired and ready for your next project.

Whenever you are doing an electrical home improvement job, overestimate the number of sockets each room needs. No matter how generous your plans are, an extra duplex outlet in most rooms will prove itself a wise investment over and over. When it comes to your home’s resale value, “there are too many plugs in here” is a phrase home buyers never say.

If you are working on your own home improvement project involving laying brick, make sure you use brick ties in sufficient quantity. Brick ties are metal clips used to anchor bricks to the wall structure (wood studs or what have you) behind them. Many do-it-yourself types are seduced by the apparent sturdiness of bricks and fail to realize that they must be secured to the wall via brick ties.

If you are planning a home improvement project that involves turning off the water or removing plumbing fixtures, make alternate arrangements in case things get held up. For example, you don’t want your family being stuck without a sink or toilet over the weekend, if the delivery of the new one gets held up.

One of the best home improvements for your house is a wood deck addition. Not only is it a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors, it also offer a great return on your investment when you re-sell your home. Most homeowners recoup 81 percent of the money that they spent on this home improvement. Just remember to do proper maintenance each year to the deck to optimize it’s return potential.

Home improvements can be large projects or small weekend tasks. Start in the kitchen or bathroom. One of the easiest ways to update those rooms are to replace the door knobs, drawer pulls, and hinges. Either choose a style that goes along with your existing theme or use the new hardware as inspiration to redesign the whole kitchen or bathroom.

A nice addition to any home is a nicely crafted fence. If your home is lacking a fence, you might decide it is time to build one. Fences look great in just about any home and can help raise the property value of your home. You can also feel a little more secure, as having a fence can help keep random strangers off your property.

An inexpensive way to improve the appearance of your home’s interior is by replacing your curtains. Old and worn-out curtains will make your home look dated and worn-out too. New curtains will brighten up a room and can be had from discount stores at a fairly minimal cost to you.

If you have the available financial resources, why wait another day to get started on your next home improvement or landscaping project? Regardless of the scope and scale of the new project, the useful information found in this article will most certainly make the process far more simple and stress-free.

House Improvement Tips That Are Sure To Work (2)

House Improvement Tips That Are Sure To Work

Image 343
Source: Flickr

Many people see a problem in their house and immediately think to call a handyman or other professional to take care of it. While this may be necessary for some of the bigger jobs, they are simply too expensive to rely on for everything. Many smaller things can be tackled by you; doing your own home improvement is cheap and easier than you might think. Just follow these tips.

Are you looking for a home improvement that costs almost nothing but adds both curb appeal and value to your home? Enhance your landscape by forming rock walls. The large rocks can be gathered for free. There are several online sites that give instructions on how to form garden paths and stately flowers beds with rock slabs.

Prepare for loss of water use. If you are planning any project involving plumbing and/or shutting off the supply of water to the house, make sure you account for your family’s needs. You should at the very least have several buckets of water available for manually flushing the toilet; or you could consider renting a portable lavatory for longer projects.

Ask about getting discounted supplies from both supply companies and regular home improvement retailers. Items that are discontinued or end of the line will cost you less as long as there is enough for you to complete your project. Also consider sales when designing your project to keep your costs low.

Research the costs of your home improvement project before you go to a contractor. Visit a home supply store to cost out the products that will be needed to complete the renovation. When your contractor gives you a quote, subtract the costs you figured out and that will tell you how much he’s charging for labor.

A great tip for any do it yourself home improvement homeowner is to take some classes at your local home improvement store. The big home improvement stores want your business, so they offer classes on how to do everything from painting walls, to installing tile floors. Take some classes and learn the basics before you dive into your next home improvement project.

Brighten up your kitchen with new cabinet knobs and handles! Cabinet knobs are easy to install and they do wonders in sprucing up a tired looking kitchen. When you remove your old knobs and handles take the opportunity to clean the cabinets inside and out because it’s a lot easier without the hardware snagging. Screw on your new knobs and you’re finished!

An inexpensive way to improve your home with a small cost is to plant a tree. Future landscaping will help maximize the value of your home. The tree you plan now will grow into a great mature shade feature. A properly placed tree can also save on your cooling costs by as much as 40 percent.

With these tips, you should have a good idea of what to do for basic home improvement. By using the advice given, you can save a lot of money and feel more accomplished in your home. Whether you’re repairing something broken or adding something entirely new, you can save money and take pride in doing your own home improvement.

Improvements To Increase The Energy Efficiency Of Your Home (5)

Improvements To Increase The Energy Efficiency Of Your Home

For many of us, our home represents our greatest financial asset. Although many people believe that home repair is something that only trained professionals are capable of doing, that is often far from the case. Many home repair jobs can easily be done by the average person, with just a little guidance.

Building a basketball court on a portion of ones property can give it an edge on the real estate market. It will also provide a safe, close, and always open area for any of the people living in the house to play on. Friends and family will always have something to do when visiting as well!

Plug in some motion sensing night lights. At a minimum, you should consider plugging in one in every strategically located outlet between your bedrooms and the bathroom. You can now obtain these lights at the dollar stores for very reasonable prices. Think of the reassurance they will provide!

Make the plans for your home improvement project measure up to the standard sizes of supplies available at the store. For example, you’ll be buying wood that comes in even lengths measured by feet (4, 6, or 8). Try to make your project fit those measurements so you don’t have to do a lot of cutting.

Improve your front entrance curb appeal by adding oversized house numbers and a large size light fixture. Making your entrance eye catching and appealing will increase the value of your home and the homes around you. If your neighbors like your improvements, they may try it themselves and increase the value of the whole neighborhood.

If you are looking to add some value to your home, you can create a new looking kitchen by resurfacing your cabinets. By simply sanding down the old cabinets in your home and staining them with a fresh new finish, you can increase the value of your home fairly dramatically.

Paint worn kitchen floors. If you have a wood floor in your kitchen, it will suffer a lot of abuse over the years. If it gets to the point where sanding and re-staining won’t do the job, try painting it. A coat of oil-based outdoor paint is strong enough for everyday wear, and it will give your kitchen a cottage feel, which is very fashionable nowadays.

When it comes to home improvement, you may decide to not install a swimming pool. While they are desirable, it will cost you considerable amounts of money in upkeep, and it may prove to be a deterrent to future buyers who do not want the hassle. An exception to this would be at a home where a swimming pool is almost expected, such as in Florida or Arizona.

Your home is one of your most valuable financial assets, and it is the place where you spend a majority of your time. So the next time you spot something that could use a little maintenance, you owe it to yourself, and to your wallet, to try your hand at fixing up your home!

Fix Your House Or Decorate It: Find Out More About Home Improvement. (2)

Fix Your House Or Decorate It: Find Out More About Home Improvement.

Today, home improvement is an incredibly popular hobby that is growing in popularity. The demand for products and techniques related to it are on the rise. Now is the time to start with it. Here are some tips that you can use to get you started with your home improvement plans.

To make a small, cramped kitchen look larger, use lighter finishes for flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and walls, and leave the windows untreated or minimally treated to let in more light. All of these tricks help to create the illusion of a larger room, and the brightness will add further appeal while you spend time there.

There’s no need for a full bathroom remodel when you can make your bathroom more functional and stylish by installing new fixtures. Update the shower with a more adjustable shower head or there are even models that mimic rainfall! New sink faucets, towel racks, cabinet hardware or mirrors are other effective choices. Change out your fixtures and you will update your style with out breaking your budget.

Home improvement can start in any room of the house. Many people like to start from the outside and work their way in. This is because remodeling the outside of your house gives an instant increase to the overall value, while many interior projects do not add a great deal.

Try replacing the house numbers outside your house for some easy home improvement. If the house numbers on your house are old, buy some new ones. Try looking for modern house numbers made of stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. Match them with the finish on your exterior light fixtures for better curb appeal.

When you hire a contractor to work on a home improvement project, make sure that he is holding a current license and that he has insurance for his employees. This is important for your protection, in case you have a legal dispute about the quality of the work. In addition, if his employees are not covered by his insurance, you might be financially responsible for any injuries that an employee incurs, while he is on your premises.

When choosing colors for your room, decorate ‘vertically.’ Choose darker shades for the floor, medium colors on the walls and a lighter color on the ceiling. Don’t be tempted to use darker colors one one side of a room and lighter colors on the other side. This will make the room appear out of balance, as well as, visually unappealing.

Windows and doors make a perfect home improvement project. You can add an indoor window box or change out your old patio doors for French doors. It is often possible to find good deals on these types of materials at the home improvement store. You won’t have to spend a lot of money to make a dramatic change.

You should now see why this hobby is very popular. There is so much you can do in it! There is also a ton of information on how to start enjoying the benefits of it. By following these tips, you are well on your way to successfully improving your home.

Tips For How To Make The Most Of Your Home Improvement Projects

Image 150
Source: Flickr

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.

Try working on the curb appeal of your home. Try improving the outside of your home by having a nicely mowed lawn with trimmed edges. Add a few well-placed shrubs. Sweep your walkway. Get the the exterior walls and roof power washed. Make sure the windows are gleaming. All of this can make a lasting impression when someone first sees your house.

Cover all surfaces appropriately before starting an improvement project. If you are tearing down walls or kitchen cupboards, cover any surfaces that have a finish that might get scratched, including floors and nearby walls. If you are painting, make sure to use a dropcloth on the floor and painter’s tape with paper coverings for features such as doorknobs and light switch face plates.

Consider a room addition as a major home improvement. Not only will you add space to your home, but you will significantly increase the square footage and value. The most profitable addition to your home is an additional bathroom, but while adding the bathroom add an additional bedroom to increase the value of your home.

Looking to increase the value of your home prior to sale can require some home improvements that cannot be seen. It would be a wise investment to hire a home inspector to give your house the once over. They can identify any structural problems that may be hidden and need attention.

If your backyard is on a slope, consider building a deck to extend your living area. A sloped backyard in itself is not an ideal space for any type of activity. However, if you add a deck, you can furnish it with deck furniture and make an outdoor retreat where you can relax or entertain friends.

Before starting any demolition job in your house, take steps to minimize the mess. Lay down plastic and contain the area you will be working in. Keep your tools confined to the work area as well. Demolition is a messy job and having to clean a mess throughout the entire house can take hours of extra time.

Make sure your home is properly insulated through the use of weather stripping on your home’s doors and windows. This helps eliminate and reduce air leaks and improves your heating or cooling system’s efficiency. For your efforts, you will enjoy lower electric bills and a home that is cooler in warmer weather and warmer in colder weather.

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.

Tips That You Can Use To Make Your Home A Better Place To Live

Image 347
Source: Flickr

It is hard to get home from your job and face another task–however home improvement are rewarding. These tips will help you decide when to hire a professional, and how to find a good one. They will also help you figure out how to do a great job on the remodeling or repair tasks you decide to do yourself.

If a contractor appears at your door and offers his services to you, be wary. Some companies like roofers or fence builders are known to use this tactic, but you should still do your research before you decide to hire them. Check the BBB, online reviews, and all supplied references.

If you are doing a home improvement project that involves demolition, slow down and take your time. It may be exciting to smash that wall open, but you could damage structural supports, plumbing, or electrical connections. The same is true of pulling down cabinets and other fixtures. Once you’ve demolished it, it can’t be put back, so pay attention to what you’re doing.

Landscaping is the largest component of curb appeal. Make sure that your lawn is green and mowed, that there are no weeds growing in your flower beds and that all bushes, trees and shrubbery are trimmed and shaped nicely. These things can make your home look well cared for and put together.

If a person has pet cats they should consider building a catarium or screened in play area for their pet cat. It will give the cat the stimulation of being outdoors with the safety and control of being screened in. Also it will provide the person a place to play with their cat or enjoy the outdoors.

When doing a home improvement project that involves sanding of joint compound or plaster, use a wet-sander. A drywall wet-sander features a sanding sponge with two sides, one for course work and the other for fine sand for finishing. This will help reduce the dust produced from the sanding and prevent other areas from getting dirty with the fine dust.

Put in an outdoor motion detector for your outside lighting. This way the lights will only be on when they are activated and not all day or all night unnecessarily. Most people don’t need their outside lights other than when they come home or leave after dark.

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.

You now have some conceptual tools for your home improvement projects. They have also clued you in about the tools like wrenches and saws which you will need in order to do a professional job yourself and have addressed the question of when it makes sense to hire a professional. You may want to create a new “to do” list now!

How You Can Make Your Home An Oasis With Some Improvements (2)

How You Can Make Your Home An Oasis With Some Improvements

Let’s say you can see that there are some home improvement tasks ahead of you. The bathroom faucets may need replacing. The kitchen cabinets may need refacing. As any homeowner knows, the possibilities are endless. Once you recognize a need, the question becomes: “How do I go about it?” This article offers tips to answer that question.

For an awesome impact on your homes curb appeal, think about resurfacing the concrete in the driveway and entry walk. Replacement of concrete can be very expensive, but for a fraction of that cost you can have it resurfaced in a multitude of colors and patterns which adds significant value to your homes curb appeal.

If you want to do contracting, you need to make sure that you have the proper insurance before you begin. There are a lot of people who choose to do home improvement jobs without being properly insured who then end up owing a lot of money when something goes wrong that they did not even consider.

If you feel your home is too small, consider a basement renovation. In many cases, a basement can be turned into a second living room or climate-controlled storage space. If your basement has exterior access, you could even renovate it into an apartment for rental income or a mother-in-law suite for family members and other visitors.

Do not overlook common household objects for solving organizational or storage problems in your home. You can make a coat rack from a board and some old cupboard knobs, for instance, and you can use baby food jars for storing small fasteners and pieces of hardware. Not only does this help you to get organized, but you are saving money and recycling, too.

Take your trash out at least once a day. Don’t let your trash pile in the kitchen because it attracts flies and ants as well as mold. Make sure that you don’t let your trash take over your kitchen and set aside three minutes a day when you throw it out.

Whenever you are taking on a home improvement project in the bathroom or the kitchen, be sure to turn off the water first. Any time you work near water pipes, an accident can happen resulting in a leak. You want to take steps to minimize the damage so that you do not end up with a flooded room. Be sure to know where your water shutoff valves are, and turn the water off before beginning your work.

To cut down your home’s energy costs, replace your current thermostat with one that can be programmed. Many families save close to $200 yearly through programmable thermostat use. A programmable thermostat can be set to change when your family is sleeping or out of the house, keeping you from paying for heating and cooling you don’t need. They’re also inexpensive, and can be picked up for less than $40.

Home improvement tasks never end for the homeowner. But they become not so much a bother as a source of pride once you complete projects successfully. Then, seeing the handiwork you have accomplished, you can say to yourself with pride: “Yes, I did that, and did it well.”

Installing a Brick or Paver Walkway

Installing a Brick or Paver Walkway

The use of Bricks or Pavers to create a walkway or patio complements a home in a way that is unmatched. It adds a level of quality and elegance to a home entrance that can not be achieved with either concrete or asphalt. Brick and Pavers also come in many different colors and shapes allowing for unique color schemes and patterns to be achieved. In addition, installing a Brick or Paver walkway does not necessarily require a pro. With some basic knowledge and a relatively simple walkway plan, a homeowner is capable of undertaking such a project.
The key to installing a Brick or Paver Walkway is to first properly prepare the area where the bricks/pavers are to be installed. The area should be dug out at least a foot down, removing all topsoil and clay soil. In addition, string lines should be strung on each side of the walkway. The string lines indicate the finished height of the walkway.
Once the area has been dug down, 3/4″ gravel stone should be laid in and tamped down tightly. Then 2” of sand, or stone dust should be spread over the gravel. Again the sand/stone dust should be tamped down. Stone dust is preferred. The height between the tamped down sand and the stringline should equal the thickness of the brick or paver.
Now that you have a stable base, place a 1″ pipe or ledger board the length of the walkway on either side of the walkway. Then using a flatedge, e.g. a 2″x4″ board, slide it over the two lengths of the pipe/ledger board. In doing this you will create a level surface area to lay the bricks/pavers.
Now place on the level sand/stone dust strips of plastic brick borders. Install a run on both sides of the prepared area. These strips will act as your walkway border and help to maintain the integrity and shape of the walkway. You can get these plastic strip borders at most home improvement stores. The strips should be anchored down with 12″ galvinized nails. You should sink these nails into the ground and through the strips every foot.
Once this is done, you can then begin to lay the bricks/pavers. There are many patterns you can lay. I particularly like the Herring Bone pattern. The key to laying the bricks/pavers is to ensure that they interlock with each other. Always stagger adjacent rows of bricks by 1/2 of a brick to interlock them. This will again help maintain the integrity of the walkway.
Inevitably bricks/pavers will need to be cut or split when building the walkway. Unless you want to buy or rent an expensive wetsaw, I would suggest purchasing a simple brick/paver splitter. It is basically a chisel with a wide end that is the width of the bricks/pavers. To actually cut/split the brick/paver, lay it in a bed of sand and place the chisel at a 75 degree angle over the spot where you want to break the brick. Then using a hammer strike the butt end of the chisel firmly. You may need to do this a couple of times. You may also want to flip the brick/paver over and strike the other side of the brick using the hammer and chisle. Within one or two strikes the brick/paver should break cleanly. If your walkway has curves you will need to buy/rent a wetsaw.
After installing the bricks, build up the outside edges with additional sand, and then shovel in the topsoil and pack down firmly.
Finally, spread stone dust over the new walkway and sweep into the cracks. Repeat this process a couple of times to ensure the cracks are fully filled. This will complete the interlocking of the bricks and help to eliminate any weed growth. Just add grass seed to the outside edges and you should have a beautiful entrance to your home within a couple of weeks.

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile


Increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.

These areas usually feature spaces for entertaining friends and family while grilling, dining, eating and relaxing. That often means room for a patio, a grill, a sink or a fireplace. Some think of it as adding a family room without the roof.

For many, the building technique of choice when creating these spaces calls for using segmental concrete paving. This technique employs interlocking units-called concrete pavers-that are strong, durable and are growing in popularity worldwide. In Germany, for instance, there are 15 square feet of pavers installed per person annually. In the Netherlands, most of the streets and sidewalks are made of pavers.

Often used in walkways, patios, plazas and historic restoration projects, pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes, textures and colors and can be easily removed and reinstalled.

One kind of home-improvement project where pavers are increasingly being used is a raised patio. These patios are known for their durability and can create a new sense of space in a yard, particularly when extended to meet an existing deck. Such spaces can be used as an outdoor entertainment area, complete with hot tub or barbeque pit.

There are a number of reasons why pavers have become popular in projects such as these:

• Their uniform size and quality allow them to fit tightly together for a strong, interlocking surface.

• Paver joints allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. That means they won’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete.

• Their design makes them easy to install and repair

• They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures.

• And they can be installed by either a professional or a skilled do-it-yourselfer.

One of the newest styles offers the high-end look of stone for a more modest price. Called “tumbled” or “antiqued” pavers, they can be used to add a stately look to a walkway, patio or driveway.

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

2 Pool Shade (9)
Source: Flickr


Increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.

These areas usually feature spaces for entertaining friends and family while grilling, dining, eating and relaxing. That often means room for a patio, a grill, a sink or a fireplace. Some think of it as adding a family room without the roof. At times you would need to consider long term pest control to ensure insects don’t damage your property.

For many, the building technique of choice when creating these spaces calls for using segmental concrete paving. This technique employs interlocking units-called concrete pavers-that are strong, durable and are growing in popularity worldwide. In Germany, for instance, there are 15 square feet of pavers installed per person annually. In the Netherlands, most of the streets and sidewalks are made of pavers.

Often used in walkways, patios, plazas and historic restoration projects, pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes, textures and colors and can be easily removed and reinstalled.

One kind of home-improvement project where pavers are increasingly being used is a raised patio. These patios are known for their durability and can create a new sense of space in a yard, particularly when extended to meet an existing deck. Such spaces can be used as an outdoor entertainment area, complete with hot tub or barbeque pit.

There are a number of reasons why pavers have become popular in projects such as these:

• Their uniform size and quality allow them to fit tightly together for a strong, interlocking surface.

• Paver joints allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. That means they won’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete.

• Their design makes them easy to install and repair

• They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures.

• And they can be installed by either a professional or a skilled do-it-yourselfer.

One of the newest styles offers the high-end look of stone for a more modest price. Called “tumbled” or “antiqued” pavers, they can be used to add a stately look to a walkway, patio or driveway.