Category: Home Improvement

Include Vacation Travel as Part of Your Home Improvement

There were times when I really regretted not listening to my wife when we bought our house.  One of those times is when we had to paint the exterior, which is a job I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.  I’ve done it more times than I care to remember, but now I’ve smartened up and contract with some professionals to do it while I take the time to go someplace and relax.

Today I usually schedule the paint job so that I am as far removed from it as possible.  I take advantage of my Groupon coupons and plan for a trip and holiday at a resort, someplace really attractive during the period when the guys come to do the paint job.  I also use it as a way to placate my wife; we usually go somewhere on her “bucket list” of places to go see.  There we stay at an RIU resort hotel where we can take advantage of all the amenities on site.  That is how we usually spend these trips; either playing tourist and sightseeing or relaxing at a top-notch resort hotel while somebody is busily fixing up our home so it will look brand-spanking new when we return.

Of course, I don’t limit our vacation trips just to the house paint schedule; why would I be crazy enough to have them so widely spread apart?  In truth, I’ve gotten into the habit of using any major home upkeep or upgrading project as a time to make a RIU resort visit since we can get discounts of nearly 55% off the listed rates.  See, we’ve found taking advantage of Groupon coupons makes it possible to include such trips as part of our overall home improvement budget; we even combine the cost of the trip with the cost of the project when we prepare our home upkeep budget.  We’ve discovered that our personal relaxation is as important to the improvement and well-being of our home as the purchase of the best brand of paint or having the finest flooring installed.  We benefit from both the travel and from the home improvement.   So the amount of money spent constitutes an investment in our home’s future as well as in ourselves.  Besides, it’s fun!

Exterior Home Improvement Tips

If your home has suffered from a fire or a flood, you can do some remodeling on it. All you need to do is go to the home There are many ways to fix up your house on the outside. You can put things on your house or you can fix something to make it look better. If you have a porch on your house or not, you can build one that wraps around the whole house. All you need is the lumber, nails, and all you need to know is how the lumber needs to be. You have to make sure it is level and if your yard has hills or goes downward, you need to make the boards longer than some of them. If there is a tree close to your house, cut the wood so that it will go around the tree. You don’t have to knock it down. You can fix up the roof if it is getting old or if it needs it.

You can even change the roof by putting something over it like metal that will not make your house hot and so it protects it. It will not leak, rust, or bend, and it is a very good investment to put on your home. You can put shutters on your windows to match your roof, and this will also help keep your house cool or warm. When you put on shutters, it makes your house look better. You can make them or you can buy them at a store. You can build a screen porch in front of your front or back door so you can sit outside whether it is raining or to stay cool under it when it is hot outside.

If you have someone in your house that has to use a walker or a wheelchair, you can put a flat stairway for them to get in the house so it will be easier for them. You can put a fence around your yard so you can have some privacy. You can put up a small fence or a tall fence, whichever fits your style. You can also add a sidewalk that goes up to your porch or house, or you can have flowers lined up next to it to make it better. They can be any way or shape that you want to make your house look the way you want it to look and to make it stand out.

You can get any of these things at a home improvement store, and it may cost you a lot depending on what you are doing but it will be worth the money. You can also look around other home improvement store to see which ones are cheaper in price. Another thing you can do is put up new siding around the house to replace the old ones or to cover the wood and make your house look better. This also protects your house as well so the wood will not get damaged.

How to Make Home Painting Enjoyable and Efficient

Painting the house isn’t exactly the most exciting activity to do–you’d have to go through the process of strenuously removing furniture in the room, scraping, sanding, priming, taking down light fixtures, and lots of other drudging prep work. This home improvement activity could also get pretty boring at times, but there are easy solutions on how to make things a bit more bearable. Here are some ways on how to make DIY home painting easy and entertaining.

Turn up the Music – Painting a room takes a lot of time, so you will need something to accompany you in the background while you cover your walls. One of the most effective ways is by playing loud, lively music. Studies say that having music in the background helps a lot in a person’s concentration and productivity, so have your favorite tunes ready.

Get Some Help from Friends – Ask your friends if they are willing to help out. Having someone to talk to, joke with, or simply listen to music with always succeeds in making a dull activity a little more fun. You can also ask some family members to join in–if you have teens, this is a perfect time to introduce them to some home improvement activities that will come in handy in the future.

Use Quality Painter’s Tape – After you’ve moved your furniture, got rid of all the dust, grime and dirt from the walls, and making sure your surface is dry and smooth, it’s time to protect the doors, windows, ceilings, and other spots that shouldn’t be painted.

Make sure you use quality painter’s tape, to ascertain that the paint will not seep under and result to uneven edges. Some of the cheaper ones in the market have the tendency to peel off the paint as you remove tape. You will need to shell out a little bit extra money for this, but this will be a good investment.

Use Drop Cloths for the Floor – After you’ve covered all the necessary items with painter’s tape, it’s time to cover the floor. Put lots of drop cloths in the floor so it’s protected from paint drips and spatters. Some people choose newspaper or plastic as covers, but these could get you in trouble if you’re not careful, as newspaper tears easily, and plastic is light and slippery. Drop cloths are one of your best bets in protecting your floor while you work.

Wear Old Clothes – It’s not only the wall that will get painted–your clothes and shoes will most likely get some coats and sprays as well. Make sure you use clothing that can get dirty so you can move with ease.

Use Paint with Primer – Primers act as paint adhesion protection, and water sealant. If you’re painting a light shade over dark or using latex to cover oil-based paint, you will need to prime your surface first. Basically, painting on any type of non-paint surface requires priming, so this is a step that must not be missed. Normally, you would have to do priming and painting separately, but there are lots of paints with primers in the market today–using these will save you a lot of time.

Have a good time – Set your mind by thinking that once all of the prep work and all the paint processes are done, you’ll have a better looking space. Painting is a tough job, but applying all the aforementioned tips, you’ll be surprised at how you could easily transform it into a fun and enjoyable activity.

DIY Home Painting Tips

A room surely looks good when it is recently painted, but would you do it yourself or hire a professional tradesman? Several feel that the actual painting is not the difficult ingredient but the whole thing that is associated with it such as preparation, tidying, etc, and some feel the contrary.

Begin by arranging all at the commencement. Locate a spot for all your equipment you plan to use such as brushes, rollers, towels, cloths, paint, etc. Preferably, position these as near to you as possible which will evade you moving around so lot in the room. Aim to plan forward. If you are not an experienced tradesman or painter, don’t be expecting to complete everything in a day.

Map out what needs to be finished and go through the list. If you have to reorganize furniture, take away any pictures from the wall, mend any fractures or cover up windows or lights, be certain to carry that out prior to beginning the actual painting procedure.

OK so now it is time for you to prepare. No matter how careful you plan to be, no doubt that some paint will get on both you and your cloths. Dress in aged cloths that you don’t mind getting a little ruined, get rid of any jewellery, and simple to take-off shoes is an excellent suggestion as if you must leave the room, you can simply remove them and stay away from dragging paint down the floor.

You ought to look for the aid of a professional when deciding which brush to work with. When you buy the paint, enquire on what type of brush would be the top for the job you have in mind. Rollers are also very useful. They are pretty straightforward to utilize and can create a fine even result. Another good idea is to have a lot rags at the ready. Undoubtedly you will require fabric when you are painting. You may want them for your hands, the walls or the floor. Now you ought to be ready to begin painting.

Home Improvement Tips That Make Your Efforts Easier

Is there an aspect of your house that you’re not happy with? Do your bathrooms look dull and dated? Does your kitchen lack style? If so, it may be time to take on a home improvement project. In this article, you’ll get some great suggestions on what you should do when improving your home.

When it comes to home improvement, the lowest bidder for your project will not always translate to be the one who does the best work. Many times, a quote that is too good to be true is just that, due to poor work quality or hidden costs. Be sure to check with any agencies that provide feedback about contractors before hiring them.

When it comes to home improvement, consider adding extra insulation to your home to assist with your cooling costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter. This will save you money as well as keep you and your family more comfortable. The two best ways to insulate are to add weather strips to your doors and ensure that your attic is lined.

When it comes to home improvement, think twice about decorating the walls of your house in anything extreme such as a wild color or print. A potential buyer may get a bad impression by seeing a house decorated in a way that is distasteful to them. They may choose to look elsewhere, if they do not want to put in the work to redecorate.

Don’t overlook landscaping when looking to home improvements projects. The lawn in the front of the home is the very first thing that people will see; if it looks good, the entire house seems impressive. Keep your grass cut and neat, and you may even want to plant some shrubs to make your lawn look even better.

Investing in your own drain snake can be a wise investment to save you money over the years. One of the biggest advantages is the lower frequency with which you need to purchase drain cleaners. Drain snakes are not for the completely inexperienced, so you may want to have a plumber show you how to use it the first time. Drains and pipes come in different sizes, so buy the right drain snake for the job to minimize damage occurring.

Homeowners undertaking major renovation work on high-value homes should engage an architect. While their services are expensive, architects make back their cost on large, complex projects. They help homeowners manage complex jobs involving multiple contractors and sub-contractors and have the aesthetic sensibilities which can preserve and increase the market value of an expensive home.

For the budget-minded homeowner working on a plumbing home improvement project, plastic PVC piping makes an entirely suitable substitute for expensive copper piping. PVC has been extensively tested and used for years without danger or failure. It is easy to work with and highly durable. The money saved by using PVC can be applied to more visible, usable home improvements.

When your home improvement or renovation project is big enough, you will likely be working with a general contractor, who will have sub-contractors working for him in turn. If problems arise on the job, your general contractor may blame his subs. As the homeowner, you are the boss. Be sympathetic but firm in reminding the general contractor that he is ultimately responsible for his subs’ work.

If you are re-painting a small space, such as an undersized bedroom or living room, make use of light colors. Lighter colors on the walls will reflect more light, making the room feel brighter and larger. Also, consider using two shades of the same color in stripes, which can make the room feel longer or taller.

If you are renovating a small space, and you have the ability, install larger windows. Even if you cannot expand the window size, use a style of window that has more glass than wooden frame. More glass in the window will mean it lets in more natural light, which makes a small room seem much brighter and larger.

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.

Before you start painting a room, it is best to know about how much paint you need. Measure the length of the walls in the room you plan to paint and add them together. Next, measure the height of the room. Multiply the height by the length. The square foot of the room is the answer you get. One gallon of paint will generally cover 350 square feet.

If you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, invest the extra money to build a secure, gated fence around the perimeter of the pool. This will increase the value of your home, but its most important function is to prevent children or pets from wandering too close to the pool and risking accidental falls or drowning.

If you are looking to replace your flooring with hardwood, consider using bamboo. Bamboo flooring has become a popular choice among homeowners because of its many advantages. Bamboo is environmentally friendly. It is exceptionally durable, and it is naturally tolerant of changes in temperature so it is highly resistant to warping. Bamboo is one of the best choices in flooring materials today.

If you have repairs that need to be done on your apartment, and your landlord is not doing them, you can withhold your rent. While you do not have to pay rent for those months, you do have to place the money in an escrow account and write a certified letter to your landlord explaining why.

If there’s something you don’t like about your house, don’t just learn to live with it! Take action! Many home improvement projects can be done with minimal work and cost, and now that you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to pull them off yourself. Decide what needs fixing, and get to work.

Cheap Home Improvement Tips From Realtors

When it’s time to sell your home, it’s natural to start thinking about what repairs and renovations could be done to make it a more desirable space. Most people associate home improvement projects with gigantic budgets. The average bathroom remodel costs over $16,000. Replacing your windows could run you around $8,000, and kitchen renovations typically run three times that amount! Even though many projects do cost a lot of money, most realtors would tell you that smaller projects can add tons of curb appeal. If you want to make your living space more desirable to buyers for a manageable price tag, keep reading for some simple-yet-affordable enhancements that can make your house special.

Upgrade Your Lighting

Modern lighting can make an older room feel larger and warmer. Switch out old-fashioned features and replace them with new energy-efficient models. You can often get new fixtures for a pretty low price online, with updated finishes like copper or bronze. Chandeliers can also change the look and feel of a room, so look into those as well. Changing fixtures can start at only $20, but if you feel you’ll need to hire an electrician, make sure to budget more.

Rethink Your Entrance

This is one of the best ways to improve the look of your home from the street. Replace the front door with a new, solid model with contemporary locks or fittings. For an inexpensive alternative, you can just change the paint color! If your door is in good condition, you can update your entryway by adding some potted plants, new exterior lights, house numbers, or a new rug. A front door can run up to $1,000, but it will really change the look of your house.

Prioritize Cleaning

Most realtors, and probably your mother, will tell you that you would be amazed at how much of a difference a great cleaning can make. Not only will living in your house be more pleasant, but a thorough cleaning can also make it look newer and larger. Professional carpet cleaners, for example, can make it look as if you’ve had a whole new carpet installed. Pressure washers can clean moss and mold off of driveways and the sides of your home, making them look brand new.

Modernize the Bathroom

Although this may seem like a large home renovation, it doesn’t have to be scary. Since bathrooms are usually pretty small, $1,000 can go a long way. You can replace the sink and toilet and pay a plumber to install them for less than $1,000. You can also bring new life into the space by simply painting the walls or installing a nice mirror.

Don’t hesitate to start sprucing up your house just because you can’t afford a giant home improvement project. Tiny touches, new fixtures, and a good cleaning can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home. A few simple steps, and you’ll have realtors calling you all day to let you know about new offers on your home!

7 Great Home Improvement Tips For Mortgage Loan Consumers

Consumers and Home Owners – Before you put your home on the market, make sure you read the following home improvement ideas recommended by St Louis real estate agents and how you can spruce up the old place without spending a complete fortune.

1. Heat Up Your Kitchen

Depending on your budget, why not start with the less expensive type of replacements that will make your old kitchen look like new. Remember, this is probably one of the most important rooms in your house to show off to the new family. Start with some new lighting fixtures and do not forget to replace the old cabinet door handles. A new sink or kitchen faucets will do wonders for the perfect open house. And if you have a larger budget, think about re-facing your kitchen cabinets which is still less than buying new ones.

2. A Face-Lift Will Make Your Home Look Younger

Another eyesore you want to avoid is if your kitchen appliances do not match. A simple solution would be to order new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. Most people don’t realize this but many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other and they are easy to change.

3. Give Your Bathroom Some Style

The bathroom is another important room in the house that may need updating. And it doesn’t have to mean mortgaging the house, so to say. Consider a new toilet seat or a pedestal sink. They are easy to install and can create a whole new look.

If your floor looks old and dingy, replace it with vinyl or sheet tile. Another tips is to replace old, broken chipped tiles with new ones and do not forget to use new grouting if needed. If you have extra money for improvements, put in a new prefabricated tub.

4. Paint, Paint and More Paint

People seem to forget that painting is not only an inexpensive home improvement, but it can bring an old room alive. It will look new and clean. Paint all trim a contrasting color and do the ceiling!

Here’s something new to think about. Paint your walls three different shades of the same color. More and more decorators are suggesting this new type of theme. Put the darkest shade on the bottom third with the next lightest shade in the middle and so forth.

5. This Would Be a Good Time To Look Down

What do you see? Old carpeting? Then you need to take some steps in making this look like new which in turn will reflect the same look on your entire home. This is no time to do-it-yourself. Call a professional carpet cleaner and let them do their voodoo that they do so well.

On the other hand, if your carpet is showing serious wear, a quick cover up could be an inexpensive, strategically placed area rug. Replacing wall-to-wall carpet is not always the best idea since most new homeowners moving in will want to choose their own carpeting.

6. The Entrance Says It All

This is the very first thing you, and your guests, will see as they enter your home. If the door is made of wood and in good shape, then a new coat of paint or refinishing it may be the answer. But if you have a steel door and you notice it is dented, replace it with an inexpensive steel door, a fiberglass door or upgrade to a nice wood grain door.

After you paint or re-finish the front door, think seriously about replacing the door knob, lock set and knocker. Another great tip is placing two large planters on both sides of the new door.

7. Your Home and Curb Appeal

These tips may seem obvious but let’s go over them anyway. When new buyers pull up to your address, make absolutely sure the lawn has been mowed and manicured. Make sure any bushes you have are trimmed as well. The inside of your home may be immaculate, but if the outside looks like a complete mess, your odds of selling the home just went down.

Consider talking with a professional landscaper. They will no doubt give you some great suggestions on simple and inexpensive ways to make your lawn a masterpiece. The last thing you want is for your home to remain on the market just because it doesn’t look presentable. You won’t like this, your agent won’t like this and of course, your St Louis mortgage broker won’t like these avoidable delays at all.

Bathroom Home Improvement Tips

Bathroom home improvement can be exciting for you can finally have a bathroom that you can be proud of. With this, when invited guests come and ask to use the bathroom, you can simply hear them gasp as they move inside and amazed by what you’ve done and forgotten part of your home. Change into large tub or shower you’ve always desired, change the sinks, the tile or even flooring. Do whatever you want for just like any home improvement; bathroom home improvement is completely up to you can make wonders for the overall look of your home.

Bathroom home improvement can be so costly such that you won’t want to endure if you won’t continue living in the home. You should look into clearance items and home stores if you want to have the process as affordable as possible. As new stocks are coming in, you can get products such as counter tops, cabinets, flooring, bathroom fixtures and more that are brand new which have price reduction.

You may also consider a wholesaler that will provide you a break down on costs if you decide to buy all of the supplies for your bathroom home improvement at one go. If cost is making you worry, remember that you are investing money into the house so that you can get more out of it later.

Bathroom home improvement not only can make your home look fresh and new again but also update the house instantly by getting rid of the wear and tear. Some of the great bathroom home improvement projects that will change the whole look and feel of your bathroom are: resurfacing or replacing the bathtub and shower, painting or replacing cabinets, and repainting the walls.

Affordable Bathroom home improvement Ideas

You are probably worried about the cost of the project if you know that bathroom home improvement is in you future since you need to sell your house or you just don’t want to cringe every time guests use your bathroom. Your bathroom home improvement projects do not need to break the bank despite what many people tell you.

A great way to start your bathroom home improvement projects is to have your existing bathtub or shower replaced, including any knobs or shower heads. If you visit your home improvement center you will find a new bathtub which is easily within your bathroom home improvement budget since bathtubs do not have to be very expensive.

You can always choose to have tiles and porcelain tubs resurfaced if you don’t wish to spend time and expense of removing the old tub. This process will take a whole afternoon and leave the bathtub and shower looking brand new but it will also hold up some time too.

To replace your toilet is another way to revitalize the look of your bathroom. Since toilets are like anything else which are used regularly, they tend to wear and not work very well over time. It is not mandatory to replace your existing toilet with a brand new one if the current one is still working though replacing with a new one is a good idea. If you find the right bargain, simply replacing the seat is a good option and it can cost less than $5.

Though not mandatory, replacing cabinets is a good bathroom home improvement project. Simple painting or staining the cabinets will spice up the place and that cost little. Since hardware usually goes with cabinets and such quite a bit, it is a good idea to replace them after you paint.

Bathroom home improvement doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you just consider how you can use the existing items, you can also make your current bathroom as good as new in a short time. After all is said and done, don’t be afraid to pain the walls new colour and beautify to make the room a nice place to be.

To come up with reasonable plans is the first step to a successful series of projects of home improvement for bathrooms. Anyone desire a larger bathroom. It may be possible to make a bathroom look roomier, but it’s a very large job to actually make a larger bathroom. Most homeowners only do home improvement for bathrooms once or twice in a lifetime.

Plans for a home improvement for bathrooms redesign can start with a good idea of available fixtures and prices. Most homeowners start with a budget which makes certain decision simpler. The price of retiling the floor may be out of the question and limits color decisions to a reasonable range. Several home improvement projects for bathrooms begin with a new sink and tub or shower. The whole room looks dated the moment those kinds of fixtures looks out dated.

Tips For Painting Your House

Most of us always dream for a dream house, and painting that house can be one of the best works we all choose to do by ourselves! We actually enjoy painting our house according to our choice and love to see the good job which adds something more than color. Painting is a very easy job and considered as fastest and cheapest way to add some extra value to your dream home! Painting is not only coloring your house interior and exterior but it is also something that can affect your mood and productivity when done in a proper way. Using good quality material and proper method can also help you to have a durable and easy to maintain finish. Good productivity often helps you to reduce your utility bill. In this article you will find a good guide for house painting that will help you to finish your work very quickly and achieve beautiful result.

Focus on Buying Quality Material

Generally most of us while buying the house painting, do not focus on the quality of the material as in the back of our mind we consider it as a house decorating element. But quality of the material allows you to have a long lasting finish and also the best achievable result. Painting is not only a protection to the surface of the walls but also a protective coating that has decorative capacity. The manufacturers usually concentrate on the painting quality at the same time understands that without a decorative appeal it is impossible to sell the products to the customers. It is often recommended to buy the quality house paint which gives you the opportunity of having a beautiful and professional result in painting.

Interior Painting Tips

The interior of the house usually enhance the dimensions of the room. Often the particular features of the house gets distracted by the unintentional dents. Maintaining your interior can be a tuff job as most of the damage is caused by simple vacuumed. While starting your painting work consider the current type of painting. Before applying the painting try to clean the surface to a maximum extent. Try to protect the surface from dust and paint drips. If any dent, holes, crack is available repair it properly before painting. With this the paint enhances the imperfection. Consider masking materials for getting a straight line. Try to maintain a wet edge; this will reduce the brash mark. Get the right technique to use the paint brush to obtain a good finish.

Exterior Painting Techniques

Professional painters always consider the exterior portion of the house painting is very important. Exterior of the house always holds a long lasting maintenance result. Exterior of the paint protects the surface of the house from any kind of damage caused by the rain and bad weather. Good quality painting job can often save your thousands of dollar later. Before painting the exterior surface preparation is a very important job. Consider the most reliable primer before painting. The best part is to choose the good exterior paint. Painting materials like brush, roller, and airless paint sprayer can help you to speed up your painting.

Various type of the surface of your home can require different painting techniques. This few thoughts put together can help you to complete your comprehensive home painting project very easily and fluently.

Exterior Home Painting Tips

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While it may be wise to leave exterior home painting to professionals, some people need to tackle the job themselves. If you find yourself faced with this daunting task, follow these tips for success:

    • First of all, make sure you’re qualified. Exterior painting is physically demanding and requires a great deal of time and effort. Don’t waste resources planning to do it yourself if you may not be able to complete the job.
    • Remember that exterior paint must withstand harsh weather conditions. Using the highest quality primers and paints available is worth it when you consider the wear and tear your paint job will need to endure. In fact, a poor paint job can lead to deeper damages to your siding.
    • When choosing a color or color scheme, remember there are many factors to consider. The age and style of the home, location, neighborhood guidelines, surroundings, and condition of the property should all play a role in your decision.
    • Consider getting practice with a paint sprayer. For a large job such as this, the extra effort needed to polish your paint spraying skills beforehand could mean a huge time savings in the end.
    • Inspect your home’s condition and research the best ways to prep various surfaces for painting to ensure the best and most durable outcome.
    • Staining versus painting requires the same amount of research and care. Choose the proper stain for your particular wood and climate, and make sure to remove all previous stain before reapplying. The wood surface must be clean and porous for the stain to set properly. Also, different types and colors of stain require different application techniques.
    • Get answers to all your questions ahead of time. You have many resources available to you-take advantage. The Internet, hardware and home improvement store employees, and books or guides are all excellent ways to research and educate yourself beforehand to prevent roadblocks and problems.
  • Plan on doing it right the first time. This is a big job that everyone will see, so the last thing you want is a big mistake or worse-needing to redo the whole thing. Take your time and don’t skimp in any way.

If you take the time to research and plan sufficiently, and follow the other guidelines above, you can succeed in repainting the exterior of your home without hiring a professional. Just keep in mind that doing so is one of the most difficult and important home improvement projects you can decide to tackle on your own.