Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Most recent articles

5 Home Renovation Tips to Help You Stay within your Budget

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Ideas, Improvements, Remodeling |

A lot of homeowners spend more than they should when remodeling their homes. And if you don’t keep an eye on this important home renovation project aspect, you too might end up spending more than you should, and things could get out of hand.

Home Renovation TipsHere are five tips that will help you remodel without going beyond your budget.

  1. DIY (do-it-yourself)

If you think DIYs are always cheaper than getting professionals, you’re wrong. DIYs look easy but not for amateurs. If you lack expertise, you might end up paying more for your materials and having it redone.

Technically, DIYs are free, but if your DIY consists of heavy labor such as moving walls or lifting appliances, then you might need to hire contractors and schedule their work time. A good contractor is someone who will give you a reasonable price and schedule in a way that won’t waste your time and money. Lastly, a good contractor will always get it right on the first try. Hiring contractors, though, is only necessary for medium to heavy duty tasks.

Remember to only DIY if you think you know what to do and if you can correctly do the project on the first try. It might cost you more to te-do the project than hiring a professional.

  1. Hire experts

If ever you conclude that hiring someone to do the job for you will be better, make sure to get the right people. A way for you to find who the right contractor is, would be to ask at least three contractors for quotations and the services they offer at those prices. A red flag would be a very expensive quote which is a signal for a low quality of construction and materials. When you have chosen your contractor, make sure that even the smallest detail is in the quote.

  1. Detailed systematic instructions

When estimating the total expenses in your remodeling plan, consider whether it’s big or small. Don’t just focus on the prices of the materials but also the services when getting them like shipping fees, materials you need to buy to clean up the mess after remodeling, sales tax, etc. If you’re going to hire contractors since the improvement will need more hands, consider more expenses such as labor fee, permit cost, sewer and tap fees, and much more.

  1. Pay attention to the most relevant materials

Before you estimate the cost for each item that you’ll need, consider the things that are the most important in the project first. The more relevant the material is, the bigger budget you should put into it. There are also ways to give more budget to the material you need the most while staying in the budget. For example, your remodeling plan is about increasing the storage space in your kitchen, choose stock cabinets over custom-made ones. There is a big difference in price.

  1. Plan for unexpected expenses and decisions

If your remodeling includes renovation, expect to shed more money on your project and make sudden decisions. You might want to assume to be in a situation where you’ve already made your budget plans, but the tile included in your budget is unavailable. Thus, giving you your second choice which might be more expensive. Make sure to be a level ahead if you find yourself in a similar situation to avoid deciding something you’ll regret in the future.

Cost-Effective Home Renovating Ideas

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Ideas, Remodeling |

The renovation of homes is a regular project that should be conducted from time to time. Home improvement is however not easy for many people because of the enormous costs incurred regarding labor and any extra material. It is for this reason that I opt to pass on a few cost-effective ideas for you to use. Consider using any of the tips highlighted below and discover the enormously untapped space in your home.

Home Renovating Ideas

A small kitchen

One of the main challenges that is experienced by many households is a kitchen that has little space. In the olden days, the kitchen was not a point of concern for many families. However, this has been changing in the last few years as many designers begin to put emphasis on it.

If you have a small kitchen space, there is no need to worry as you will be adding up space in no time. At a fair cost of only $5,000 to $8,000, your kitchen will turn out to be bigger and brand new. Start by getting rid of any walls that exist between your kitchen and the dining room area.

Another solution to this is to add small additions. To leave your dining room as it is, hang a small kitchen addition to the side of the house instead of allowing it sit on top of the foundation of the house. At a cost of only $10,000 to $50,000 per 2 by 10-foot bump out, you can give your kitchen a  bigger and more spacious feel.

No playing space for your kids

Children love playing in the house. However, if there is not enough space, it is more likely the kids would get bored of hanging around the house.  The good news is that you are only a step away to making your dreams of a bigger playing area come true.

There is too much space in the basement that can be potentially tapped to bring out the space that is required. You will only need an average of $30,000 to refurb

ish completely and finish your basement, inclusive of putting up ceilings and walls, adding insulations, installing flooring, connecting cooling and heating systems as well as electricity and lighting.

A dull master suite

Modern day designs offer to provide master suites with enormous space that would allow you to walk freely through the room, quickly access your closets and enjoy your time while in the bathroom. Such bathrooms often include extra sinks and separate tub and shower. However, this is not always available to everyone who owns a home.

You can take your kid’s bedroom whenever they go off to college to help you in increasing space for yourself.

Shortage of bedroom space

Families who are continuously growing have one major challenge. These families often have a lack of bedrooms prompting guests or anyone to sleep on the couch or living room area. It is for this reason that many people prefer moving into homes which have much bigger bedrooms. Such smaller bedrooms are often expensive to expand and renovate even though there are no complicated finishing such as plumbing and tiling.

This problem, however, can be tackled by stealing some space from your attic. Consider this as the cheapest and most efficient method because you would be acquiring space from an area which is already available in your home.

At an average cost of $50,000, you would be able to renovate completely and connect your attic to your bedroom for a much bigger space.

Tips for Maintaining Home Exterior Paint

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Ideas, Materials |

Whether you hired a painting contractor or undertook the job on your own, painting your home’s exterior can be a significant investment of your time and money. Now that the job is finished, you’ll want to lengthen the longevity of the paint as much as possible, so follow the tips below to maintain your new paint job.

Home Exterior PaintThree-coat system. Problem areas could develop due to exposure to the elements. It’s no surprise that your paint can start to peel after years of vulnerability to sun, rain, wind, and snow. It will be a good idea to put double finish coats if you have problem areas, such as peeling fascia boards or window seals on the exterior of your home. Begin with high-quality primer paint, and then follow with double coats of finish paint, hence a three-coat system. The added protection will help problem areas withstand the abuse doled out by Mother Nature.

The frequency of maintenance. External paint maintenance depends on the siding or the material used in your home. Paint on stucco lasts more than it does on the wood trim so if you have used wood siding in your home, expect to recoat more often than your neighbors who utilized stucco. Surroundings also play a vital role in the lifespan of your paint job. In milder climates, homeowners will experience more durable paint jobs than those who live in tougher climates, but in general, you should expect to recoat every six to ten years.

Pressure washing. You may notice a minor accumulation of dirt and grime on your home’s paint job after some time. Though, by pressure washing your home, this can easily be solved. It is highly recommended to pressure wash the exterior paint five years after the previous job, mainly if mildew is evident. It helps to melt atmospheric salts that build up on surfaces that the humidity or rain don’t reach. These salts can affect the adhesion of new paint. If you don’t have a pressure washer, making use of a garden hose to rinse under overhangs and porches once a year is also advantageous to your home.

Chalking paint. Over time, cheap paint breaks down faster and turns chalky, which can stimulate peeling off quickly when the surface is touched. You may need to repaint your house depending on the severity of your chalking paint. Start the repainting process by pressure stripping or hand-washing the chalky areas. Then apply a primer that is intended for chalky surfaces, and follow with a high-quality finish coat to prevent future chalking.

Dealing with mold and mildew. The growth of mold and mildew is one dilemma homeowners must deal with when trying to safeguard their exterior paint job. To prevent this problem, buy paint intended for preventing mold and mildew from advancing on any surfaces.

Preventing rot. Paint offers more than just color to the surface of your home; it helps prevent weathering and rotting of your surfaces. When painting your home or working with a contractor, be sure to coat the undersides of corner boards thoroughly. If you miss a spot or fail to paint the bottom of it, it will absorb water and cause the board to rot. Also double-check the backs, bottoms, and tops of wood shutters to make sure they are completely painted.

When properly cared for, a quality paint job will bring new life to your interior and exterior and can last for years. By doing these tips, you can keep your paint job looking fresh all through the lifetime of your investment and you will relish the look and feel of your home for years to come.

Why Vinyl Tile Flooring May Be Toxic to Your Health

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Materials |

Although vinyl tiles are attractive and economical, some study claimed that it contains harmful chemicals which impose a high risk to our health. Some reports say the banning of vinyl floors for children’s products was due to a study which indicated that it tested for toxic phthalates. The samples tested were from major retailers.  58% of the samples tested positive for phthalates, which exists in flooring levels exceeding U.S Consumer Safety Commissions. The study went ahead to assess whether these major retailers had put in place measures to eliminate phthalates. The result stated that one of the major home improvement store companies are far ahead of competition from its counterparts, in such that they require their suppliers also to do away with ortho-phthalates for all new vinyl flooring.

Vinyl Tile FlooringOngoing research by the Ecology Centre indicates that 65 substances of the flooring system have been associated with liver toxicity, learning disabilities, asthma, reproductive problems, birth defects and even cancer. The samples were obtained from 5 different retailers in seven different states.

Highlights of findings of the study.

  1. One or more hazardous chemicals exist in 58 % of the vinyl tiles. They contained phthalate plasticizer which currently debated on whether or not its prohibition is imperative in the European Union. A further 98% of the vinyl tiles contained organic tin-based stabilizers and another 50% also contained many plasticizers.
  2. Due to Home Depots’ commitment to eliminating phthalates, a more comprehensive policy was implemented compared to those of the competitors. By the 1st quarter of 2015, Home Depot had already accomplished a phase out of 85%. Most of the other retailers did not have any well-established plan of eliminating the phthalates.
  3. Some brands, manufacturers and retailers proved to be better than others. Some of the big-name brands have yet to test any tiles yet for hazardous chemicals. Ace Hardware and Lumber Liquidators obtained samples that both contain high percentages of Phthalates.
  4. There are healthier alternatives for flooring. Ceramic tiles, Bio-based data, and linoleum are some of the healthier flooring options. Apparently, these options exist in the same retailer shops that are committed to selling the Vinyl tiles.

The study tested for the chemicals in the vinyl tiles based on their toxicity. The method included a use of non-destructive methods giving room for rapid analysis. This a great leap in global efforts in the elimination of phthalates in the commercial sector for safer alternatives.

Evidence that phthalate pose harmful effects to human health is available and is based purely on studies. The immune system, brain development, and the male reproductive organs are some of the major areas affected by the chemical compound. Asthma is also associated with it. The phthalates can reach the human system simply by getting into the air and dust particles and then eventually finding its way into our bodies.  CDC reports that about 90% of American citizens have phthalates in their bodies. This has greatly contributed to the expanding ban on phthalates within the United States. Some states have since required disclosures for several phthalates in the consumer products.  Toxic hazards, through recycled vinyl, is being introduced into our homes offices and schools by its use as a flooring option. Some PVC products like cadmium, lead and phthalates are also turning up in an array of new products through the recycled content.

So, before you select vinyl tile flooring, consider the above and perhaps, finding a healthier alternative would be more beneficial.

Storage Solution Remodeling Ideas for Untended Space in Homes

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 in Ideas, Remodeling |

Are you utilizing every space in your home? If you wish to have more room to store stuff, or you are trying to organize the space you have, the first step is to check for unused areas in your home. Perhaps, there are untended areas which you can use to resolve your problems with storage.

Remodeling Ideas for Untended Space in HomesHere are five remodeling ideas that will surely help you manage clutter or conceal unused items, at the same time, utilizing commonly neglected space in your home. From building under stair storage with built-in wardrobe to turning your plain looking walls into an impressive wine storage wall, we’ll give you great remodeling ideas to maximize space and make your home more functional.

Under Stair Storage

Make your staircase more useful by adding drawers and wardrobe underneath. The under-stair storage has a built-in closet and drawers accessible from the space in the lower part of the room. Each storage component cleverly fits within the run of the stairway. I
If your staircase is just too ordinary, then turn it into this great solution for organizing shoes strewn across the hallway. These storage components are just the ticket while the staircase is an attractive addition to the design of your home.

Cabinetry Under the Bed

The space under the bed is what’s usually not utilized in almost every home. But before you add more cabinets under your bed, consider what those items you need to store before making any decision on the cabinetry layout. Is it going to be narrow or wider drawers? How wide should the drawers be to be able to store sweaters, comforters, etc. or how small should the drawers be if you intend to use it for your undergarments, ties, etc. Your answer here then would determine the quantity and the size of your cabinetry and the better you can do a layout.

Rear Entry With Built-In Storage

Another often neglected space is the rear entry, and it’s just perfect for storing boxes thereby retrieving items much easier. It can be summer gear together or holiday boxes together, etc. Clearly mark each box. If the rear entry is spacious enough to have a spacious storage, consider creating a list that shows what is in each box.

Workstation at the hall located off the kitchen

If you’re out of space for a workstation, a better spot is the hallway situated off the kitchen. In this corridor, a small workspace is placed beside a hallway cabinet around the corner from the kitchen, providing a useful workspace and storage above. Cost: The cost of putting a hallway workstation is like that for custom bookshelves, i.e., ranging between $1,200 to $4,000 and above, depending on local rates, materials, and how big your hall is.

Walls as Wine Storage

Instead of just hanging dull paintings, turn your kitchen, basement, or living room wall into wine storage. And if the room is quite narrow, then try storing the wine bottles sideways.
Likewise, maximize space by using the wall in its entirety. Hence, enabling you to store as many bottles as possible, and create a fantastic décor in the process.

Things Homeowners Should Know Before Remodeling the Basement

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Ideas, Remodeling |

Traditionally, basements only serve one purpose to your home, and that is for the storage of off-seasoned junk and probably a truckload of dust. It may not be the most attractive part, but come to think of it, the space occupied by the lowest floor of your abode might just be the best place for flexible ideas to perk up the atmosphere in your home! To effectively get the most of this underused space, you would need to remodel the entire area and learn a few important things before attempting to do so. Here are the helpful tips that you should know.

  1. Remodeling the BasementPlan ahead.

Planning is an essential step in anything. You wouldn’t want to throw a lot of money in your basement just because you wanted to put it to better use. Take your time in contemplating whether you want your basement turned into a mini-bar or a comfortable movie den. Carefully go over the pros and cons of your desired future use of the room.

Consider the flexibility of your choice for the room and more importantly, evaluate how much is the cost for the entire renovation.

  1. Make it comfortable.

If you only want to remodel your basement for display, skip this tip. But if you plan to spend a whole lot of time in the room, there are plenty of ways on how to make the area as comfortable as possible. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling a sense of belonging. You can achieve this by doing the finished project to match the overall appearance of your house. Now this is one way.

Another tip is to make the room appear warm and inviting. To do this, you may have to purchase a great-looking carpet to install on the floors, or you may need to create an open staircase which allows you to see the upper part of the house and the natural light to peek in this section of the house.

  1. Mind the space.

It isn’t nice to be in a room that feels too crowded. To avoid this, you might be able to use places in the adjacent room/s to add more space to your basement. You can also opt for installing built-in shelves and storage keepers through the walls and maybe through the floors. Sometimes, you can also install these shelves in furniture like in the sofa set. Extensive built-in additions are not necessary, as this can be very expensive and can make the room appear crowded. A cheap and straightforward built-in that is attractive is enough.

  1. Consider the large furniture.

If you’re not planning to install stair fences, then you don’t have to worry about putting in huge-sized furniture. On the other hand, you may want to keep the railings down until all the furniture is safe inside the room.

  1. Provide a haven for your lungs.

Since it was once a basement, dust and molds can be a threat to your respiratory system. For this, you can put on an air purification system which can filter the air that circulates the room and get rid of the molds, allergens, bacteria and viruses and other airborne pathogens. Plus, you can have a pleasant-smelling area where you can spend the whole day.

  1. Go green!

Do not just go throwing things that you do not want in your new project. Instead of contributing to the ever-growing litter in the world, why not try to make money out of them by selling them over to recycling stores?