Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Care for Your Wooden Exterior Door

Investing in wooden exterior doors is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home. Aside from the aesthetics and the security benefits, solid wood doors are simply so much more durable than those made from other materials. To ensure they last as long as they possibly can though, you need to take good care of them.

As exterior doors are exposed to the elements, your wooden doors will naturally have to withstand more abuse than your interior doors.Direct sunlight, heavy rain, snow and ice, and dust and debris blown by the wind can all damage the finish on doors. Since the finish protects the door, over time this damage can wear away the finish and then start damaging the actual door.

Minor weather damage to wooden exterior doors is fairly simple to deal with, but if you're not familiar with the process it might pay to hire someone. For doors with a varnish finish, it's recommended to replace the finish almost every year. After removing the door, lightly sand the finish off with a fine-grit sandpaper. Use a paint scraper to get rid of any chips, but be careful not to gouge the wood. Brush the dust away with a rag dampened with mineral spirits.

Then, reapply several coats of varnish to the door. Several thin coats are more effective than one thick coat. You can also apply a coat of polyurethane afterward to give an extra layer of protection.Painted doors are a bit easier to maintain. Simply wash the door with a light soap, and lightly sand or scrape away any chipped paint. Then apply at least two coats of paint, until the color looks solid and full.

Even with more serious damage, such as dents, deep scratches, or gouges, it's possible to restore your wooden exterior doors and have them looking great once again. You'll need some epoxy wood filler or paste, as well as some exterior vinyl spackling compound.

Use a wood chisel to scrape the area down, clearing out any loose or damaged wood. The wood filler will work best when the hole is as clean as possible.

Mix the epoxy on a disposable surface according to the instructions. Then fill the hole with the epoxy, until it's level and just below the surface of the door. Let the epoxy dry completely, and then apply the spackling compound so that it is perfectly smooth with the door's surface.

Next, use some fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand the area to even it out. Then use exterior paint primer to prepare the area, and finish with paint that matches your door.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Major Decorating Don'ts You Must Know

You need not be an interior designer in order to know what will and won't work for your house design. With a little creativity and patience, you can decorate your house just like expert designers. How? By knowing and avoiding what you must not do in terms of home decoration.

DON'T hang chandeliers too high. A chandelier is a light fixture. It should light  your house and not the ceiling.

DON'T hang artwork too high. Pieces should be hung at about eye-level. You don't want your visitors to have stiff neck just to appreciate your artwork on display.

DON'T use short curtains. Curtains are made to touch the floor neatly. It's okay if it puddle a bit.

DON'T use too many throw pillows. Throw pillows are great decorative accents but don't make them occupy the entirety of your couch or bed.

DON'T choose style over comfort. Pieces of home furniture are meant to be used and not just to be displayed. Refrain from buying any item which you won't be able to use comfortably. It will just be a waste of money.

DON'T push all your furniture against the walls. You must observe this especially in the living room. When furniture pieces are pulled together, intimate conversation spaces are created. This is a great idea to stay connected with other family members.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Five Things to Avoid When Designing Your Living Room

The living room is an important part of your house. It is where you welcome your visitors and where other people are able to create their first impressions on you. With wrong decisions, you can easily ruin the image of your living room.

Don't buy uncomfortable pieces of furniture. What are you going to do with a stylish sofa becomes if you're unable to sit comfortably on it? Buy a sofa that is both good looking and useful. Search online for some guidelines on furniture selection if you don't trust your instincts.

Purchase your wall paint last. Your wall color must blend with the color of your living room furniture. It is best to buy your wall paint once you're settled with the color theme of  your room.

Don't purchase bulky lights. Bulky lights will make your living room look cramped specifically when you don't have a wide floor space. Look for medium-sized light fixtures which can brighten your living room  neatly.
Refrain from following trends. Study the structure of your living room and research what design would suit it best. It's not always wise to follow the trend. Opt for a classic finish.

Do away with small area rugs. Area rugs should be big enough for all your living room furniture to fit in. Ask for assistance from the sales agents when choosing the right rug for your living room.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Quick Steps on Keeping All Your Things Organized

Contrary to popular belief, keeping your things organized doesn't require a lot of energy and time. It can be observed by simply sticking to a system that compliments your capabilities and schedule. Keen to have an organized house and life? Read the following tips.

Engage in regular purging. Clutter happens when you keep a lot of things which you don't really use. They take space and just collect dust inside your house. Before shopping for new items, evaluate your current belonging first. Decide which ones you can let go. A peice of advice: keep only the things which you can't live without.

Organize spaces in your house based on you use the most. For example, the kitchen utensils which you use more often must placed in lower racks or lower parts of the cupboards. This provides ease of access for you; no more time wasted on digging.

Use organizational tools. Shelves are common examples of these. They can keep your things from occupying floor space. Learn to designate definite spots for your stuff. Where should your towels, shoes and books go? Return them in their places as soon as you're done using them.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Five Ways to Have a Healthy Bedroom

Did you know that resting or sleeping in your bedroom can also make you sick? Yes, you read that right. Staying in your bedroom can be as worse staying in the polluted outdoors for a long time. This is specifically true when you keep in your bedroom things that cause headaches, nasal congestion or sore throat.

Wash or replace your pillows regularly. Pillows acquire bacteria, dust mites and mold spores quite easily. If you have washable pillows, wash them regularly. Change your pillow cases regularly as well. Replace them yearly of they aren't washable.

Don't share your bed with your pets. Animal fur is full of allergens like bacteria, dander, dust and pollen. These can make you sick. Sleeping  with your pets will also keep you from enjoying full 8 hours of rest. Provide them with their own beds.

Let fresh air circulate in your bedroom. It is not healthy to keep your windows shut all the time. This keeps all the allergens contained in your bedroom and ready for your lungs to inhale. When safety and clear weather allows, open your bedroom windows to allow fresh air to circulate and replace the indoor air that has been trapped in it for a long time.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quick Tips on Keeping Your House Clean All the Time

Who doesn't want a house that is clean all the time? Nobody. Everybody wants a clean house not only during holidays and special occasions but also on typical weekdays thru weekends.

Some home owners are really good at keeping their houses clean on a daily basis. And they don't perform magic spells or special cleaning techniques to achieve perfectly clean homes. They simply observe these three essentials.

Stop being lazy. This means you need to clean right away and continuously in order to achieve a clean house. Cleaning 'until later' is an attitude most home owners. Before they know it, they have already forgotten their pledge to clean up and the dirt, grime and grease have already piled up. It is easier to clean when the dirt hasn't fossilized yet.

Do away with a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff means more stuff to clean. Try a minimalist lifestyle. Give away the items you haven't used for years and keep the basic ones which you use everyday. This will clear your house and your mind of unnecessary worries.

Put everything back to its proper place. Done reading a book or a magazine? Return it right away to the shelf or to the rack where you got it. The same goes for your clothes, utensils, etc. By putting away clutter, you're able to keep your house from being messy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Why and How of Bathroom Renovation

We start and end our days in our bathrooms and yet many of us don't see them as being the most important part of the house. For this reason, some people aren't spending enough time or money remodeling their bathrooms or at least making them comfortable. Below are a few reasons you should consider bathroom improvements.

1) Bathrooms reflect their owners' character. Friends and visitors can easily learn about your lifestyle or personality by the way you keep your bathroom. Urine stains in the toilet bowl and toothpaste marks on the sink show a lot about your cleaning habits. On the other hand, scented candles and matching soap dishes give people a positive hint about your preferences.

2) Bathrooms are places of relaxation and inspiration. Are you stressed out? Have a luxurious soak in a warm bath. You could even light some therapeutic candles to make your bath more relaxing. Great inspiration for your business or life relationships will suddenly pop into your mind when your whole body is relaxed.

3) Bathrooms are perfect hiding places. Do you need a quick break due to an emotional upset? Go to the bathroom if you don't want to be bothered by anyone. A clean, spacious and fragrant bathroom always offers a comfortable sanctuary to those with broken hearts and dampened spirits.

So, how can you begin your basic bathroom renovation? Here are some tips.

1) Hang a stylish mirror over the sink.  A framed mirror makes your bathroom look bigger and more modern.

2) Choose appropriate lighting. Consider your overall theme when deciding on the colour, shape and size of the lights that you install in your bathroom.

3) Purchase a good quality toilet. Quality toilets nowadays offer comfort and style. So they make a good investment in the long run.

4) Select durable flooring. Chipped or cracked bathroom tiles are unpleasant and hazardous. Replace them with ceramic, marble or stone tiles. These are both durable and stylish.

Do you need more bathroom improvement tips? Read this detailed infographic from Bourne Bathrooms.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Home Painting Tips for Beginners

Home makeover shows got many home owners interested in giving their respective residences a lift. Although they have the iron will to get this done, the greater challenge lies on their lack of funds to hire professionals to do the work. Here are some of the basics which can get beginners started with their first painting project.

Wrap up. With the use of newspaper and masking tape, cover all the lamps, fans, fixtures, light switches, faucets and cabinets attached to your ceilings and walls. You do not want them dotted with coat drips, right?

Patch up. How does your wall look like? Do you spot any holes, cracks or chips? If yes, smoothen these areas first. Apply ample patching paste on them with the use of putty knife.

Clean your walls, baseboards, ceilings and crown moldings. Using a feather duster may not be enough especially in the presence of thick dust. Wipe these parts with damp cloth to avoid dust from flying off. Never paint over unclean areas. Painting a house covered with dust can cause peeling of dry coat.

Select your coat. The two important things to consider here is the color and the type of paint. Perhaps, you already have a color combination in mind. It would not hurt to ask the opinion of other people regarding your choice. This is advisable especially if you have housemates. Purchase gallons of test paint. Cover certain wall sections with your chosen colors to see if the outcome fits your taste. Moving forward, choose the best type of coat for your walls. Do you need wall protection? Then go for oil-based coats. They could be pricey though. Do you need ease in cleaning? Purchase latex-based coats. Stains on walls covered with latex-based paint can be quickly cleaned with soap and water.

Choose the right brush. This is part of house painting tips as well. Oil-based coats are best applied using brushes made of natural materials. Latex-based coats are best applied using brushes made of synthetic materials like nylon.

Prime the surface. Before applying paint, apply the primer first. The primer will cover all the patches applied over the holes and cracks on the wall. Be sure that your house is well-ventilated during priming. Open all your windows and turn on exhaust fans. Use roller brush for priming. Remove excess lint on the roller brush first with the use of a masking tape.

Get the proper mix. A section of your walls can get a shade darker or lighter than the rest if you are unable to mix paint properly. For this, you will need a big bucket and a paint stick with holes.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why Non-Wood Doors Make Better Security Doors for Your Home

Do you want to protect your family and your house from thieves? Try installing home security doors in your entryway.

Steel is the top metal material used for these doors. It is proven durable and so it comes at a much higher price. Next to steel is aluminum which costs way cheaper.

These doors are fitted in a different way in comparison to ordinary doors. They are fitted more tightly in the frames to ensure added safety. When doors are not fitted tightly, burglars can easily manipulate crevices to break in. Varied manufacturers who produce these home security doors make use of intricate designs so that they can fit in the theme of any house.

Here are two things which you have to remember when looking for the best door for your house. First and foremost, gauge the level of security you need in protecting your property.  Next choose the best door design and material that will complement with the overall appearance of your house. This will be installed in your house for a lifetime and so it better be worth it.

During the installation of the new door to your house, there could be a gap in between the old frame and the door itself. And so, you must be able to take the correct measurements. If you cannot do it on your own, let an expert help you with it. Make sure that the color of your door complements the shade of your door frames and walls. It would be unpleasant to see conflicting hues in your house.

Lastly, your home security doors must have tough locks, hinges and door knobs. Solid latches will match your sturdy doors. Besides quality, be mindful of the quantity as well. You should have the right number of latches and hinges installed. This will ensure that doors are properly sealed when needed. Contact a manufacturer who can provide skilled men for the proper installation of your safety doors.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to Choose Window Curtains

Hanging curtains by your windows does not only make your home look beautiful. It provides  other advantages which you might not know about.

Curtains are useful in sound deadening purposes. The fabrics from which curtains are made absorb noise. This reduces the echo and reflection of noise around your house. Hence, the noise level is reduced and your house becomes more peaceful to live in.

Curtains also promote insulation in your house. They reduce the transfer of heat from outside to inside your house. This helps you enjoy a cooler home during summer and a warmer house during winter.

To acquire the maximum benefits of curtains, you must take the effort and time to find the suitable kind of curtains for your home. Here are some tips that can make the selection process much easier for you.

1) Consider functionality - Do you need curtains to frame the view or to obtain privacy for your home? The main purpose why you're buying curtains will dictate the kind of curtain you need to buy.

2) Check the length - Consider the the size of your window when deciding on the length of your curtains. You will also need to consider the look of that you want to achieve for your entire house. A classic look might require long curtains for you to buy.

3) Choose suitable fabric - If your house is painted with solid colors, choosing curtains with patterns as this can add style to your home. Sometimes, you will need to consider the season or weather too. For example, thicker curtains are best used during winter for insulation purposes.

Here's a video I found online. It can give you additional insights when buying curtains for your home. I don't own it. All credit to the owner.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Creative Ways to Reuse Your Wine Bottles

If your holidays are often graced by wine drinking, wine bottles in your home will stack up fast. You can put them in the recycle bin to rid your home of the clutter. But, these bottles possess such a nice shape and color that throwing them away would be a waste. Do you have time to spare? Here are some creative ways by which you can reuse wine bottles.

First of all, you will need to remove the label on the bottle. To easily scratch off the label, soak the wine bottles in water with low heat. When the label gets soft, it will be easier for you to remove it using dishwashing liquid and scotch brite. If you're not comfortable with this process, invest on a glass scorer because it can save you a lot of effort and time.

You can create a bottle wall with your wine bottles instead of beer bottles. A bottle wall is an architectural feature that is employed in most houses in order to allow more sunlight to come in. It helps homeowners to save money from electricity without sacrificing their privacy.

You can also use wine bottles as vases. But, don't just place a bunch of flowers inside your clean wine bottles. Paint them first with chalkboard paint. The matte finish when the paint dries will allow you to write messages on your repurposed wine bottles just like this. (photo right)

Wine bottles make wonderful wind chimes and chandeliers too. If you don't know how to start with these decorative pieces from scratch, you can always check instructional videos online. But you can always add your personal touches to make these decors look unique.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pool Construction - How Much Does It Cost?

Researching how much it'll cost you to get a pool is like researching how much it'll cost you to build a house. Pool prices are similar in some ways to house prices. They both depend on many factors and these factors can be influenced by your personal preferences. So your neighbor’s pool might cost more or less than your ideal backyard pool.

Contacting a contractor is the best way to get an exact quote for the price of any pool project. However, there are some basic things that you can find out in advance before asking a contractor for a quote. These things will help you arrive at a rough estimation of your pool's final cost. They include the following:

Size – Size is a major factor that affects the cost of a pool construction. Pools are measured by the square foot. Obviously the wider your pool, the higher the cost will be.

Depth – Deeper pools require more labor – more digging is involved. They need more materials too. This explains why adult pools are more expensive to build than kids’ pools.

Materials –The materials used to line pools vary. Concrete, fiberglass and vinyl are three of the most common pool materials offered by contractors.  Gunite (a kind of concrete) and fiberglass cost more than vinyl.

Shape – Custom pool shapes are laborious to create. You will need to pay extra if you want your pool to have a shape that is out of the ordinary.

Area or locality – Permits are required for pool constructions to commence.  The cost of these permits will depend on the cost of living in your area.

Extras or pool accessories can add up to your pool's cost too. These items could be a 'must-have' depending on their ability to enhance your pool's function or safety. A few of these items are:

Diving boards – The prices of diving boards depend on their material, length and height. Higher diving boards require deeper backyard pools. Thus, their installation costs more money.

Fencing  – Fencing is required to enclose your pool. A pool that has no safety barrier can be dangerous for children and pets in your neighborhood.

Lighting  – Lighting arrangements are useful whenever you plan to swim at night. If you regularly swim at night, they will become a necessity.

Watch the video below about pool costs. It will give you an idea about how pool costs vary according to particular components like accessories and site differences.

Begin planning on how you're going to pay for your pool once you know about its construction cost. Preparing your budget ahead of time will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a backyard pool sooner.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Best Ways to Let Go of Your Old Stuff

Believe it or not, a huge percentage of clutter in your home is made up of the old stuff that you just can't let go. These are the things which have sentimental value to you or to your family. Therefore, they are attached to the core of your being. If you will learn to release them, you will be surprised with how organized and spacious your house could be. Do you need tips on letting go of your old possessions? Read the following insights.

Know what you really need and what you really want - Do you own appliances, gadgets and other things which you don't use often? If yes, you most likely don't need them. For example, get rid of your coffeemaker if you drink instant coffee and not brewed coffee. You might have received decors and other stuff from friends and family as presents. Instead of keeping them out of goodwill, ask yourself whether you honestly like them. If you don't give them away to those who will appreciate and use them more.

Assess the true value of your old possessions - So, you're keeping an old stereo component that's no longer working perfectly. You keep thinking of how expensive it was when you bought it brand new; hence, it's difficult for you to donate or sell it. Think of how much it will cost today even though it cost an arm and a leg before. If it's close to zero dollars, let go of it now.

Adapt to your surroundings - Are you keeping an old car because you might need it? Evaluate the area where you live at the moment. Would it be more practical for you to own a bike than an old car when going around your area? Letting go of your could mean saved money from parking fees, repairs and gas.

Never keep broken things - We tend to keep broken things thinking that one day we'll have the free time to fix them all. If ever you get all the free time you need,  do you think you'll be able to fix them and brink them to mint condition? The sad truth is probably, you won't be able to do that. Consider giving your broken possessions away so that you can provide enough space for new ones.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How to Keep Trash Bins Inside Your House Clean

Cleaning the trash bins inside our house is one of the chores that I really hate. It's because I always find them extremely dirty and stinky. Since I have kids who could be touching these bins  behind my back, I looked for a solution that will make trash bin cleaning much easier for me. Let me share to you my insights. Read up.

Always place a garbage bag inside your trash bins - If your bins are outlined with garbage bags, they are less likely to be dirty and stained with the dry and wet garbage you put in it. Moreover, this will ensure that no garbage will be left in your bins when the trash collectors comes. You can take your garbage out all in one go.

Do not fill your trash bins beyond their capacity - You won't be able to cover your bins if they're overfilled with garbage. This will cause the stench to fill your house. This is not only irritating. This is also bad for your health. Make an effort to check and empty to your bins when they're close to being overfilled.

To clean your indoor trash bins, follow these tips:

Step 1: Empty your trash bins.

Step 2: Rinse them out with water. It is best to clean them outside your house using a garden hose.

Step 3: Cleanse them with a liquid detergent. Rinse them well and allow them to dry.

Step 4: Once they're dry, disinfect them. You use a disinfectant available in the market or you can make your own from household ingredients.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blank House Walls - How to Decorate Them

Blank walls make any house look empty. Some homeowners simply choose to let their walls appear blank because they find wall decoration to be a daunting task. The truth is, it is a very enjoyable activity that won't require you to spend a lot. All you need is a bit of creativity and patience.

Family room wall - Consider creating a photo collage in this wall. Choose photos which remind you of your best family memories. Insert in them in beautiful frames with different colors, sizes and shapes. Choose other wall decors to hang with your picture frames. Make sure that they all achieve a central theme.

Kitchen and dining room wall - You can also bring touches of art to your kitchen. Instead of the typical enlarged photo of The Last Supper, use vintage recipe cards, images of delectable foods or images of quotes about food to decorate your kitchen. As for your dining room,  you can showcase your collectible items in shelves like your favorite mugs and plates from overseas.

Bathroom wall - Apart from mirrors, install framed artworks in your bathroom wall. Just make sure that they are protected from moisture so that they don't get damaged easily.

Bedroom wall - Some people ought to have an oversized photo of themselves hung on the wall behind their beds. If you don't like this idea, you can choose an image of a natural setting or a certain pattern to print oversized. Choose a frame that will compliment your wall paint the design of your bedroom.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Why and How of Tree Stump Removal

Some homeowners dislike the sight of tree stumps in their yards. Because of this, they will move heavens and earth just to eliminate them.

A decaying tree stump could be an eyesore in your garden especially when it is positioned in a very visible spot. Unless you’re trying to achieve a specific garden theme that requires its presence, leaving it untouched will be very much advantageous.

Kids playing and running around your yard are most likely to bump into or trip over a tree stump. This can cause unwanted injuries. Moreover, they can get bitten by the insects inhabiting a rotten tree stump.

Tree stump removal can be done in three ways. These includes digging, grinding and application of chemicals. Digging requires a lot of physical effort on the part of the digger. Thus, digging is only advisable for the removal of small tree stumps. Bigger tree stumps are best removed with the use of a grinding machine. Using  a grinding machine is less labor-intensive. This machine specifically grinds the stump back and forth until its thickness is reduced to ground level. This machine is also useful in grinding the root and the mound of earth gathered around the tree stump. Finally, a tree stump can also removed through the application of chemical which can fasten its decay. Holes are drilled on the stump. Then, the chemical is poured onto the holes. Even though such chemical promises quick decay, you must take note that older tree stumps will decay faster than younger ones.

A tree stump can also affect the flow of activities in your backyard. For example, mowing your entire yard could take half an hour longer when you have one or two three stumps to avoid. Your lawn mower will definitely crash if you accidentally bump it against a tree stump.

Friday, June 19, 2015

How to Improve Your Garden's Health Using Compost Bins

Do you ever wonder why your garden plants and crops don't grow as healthy as you wish no matter what you do? One reason for this could be the quality of your garden soil. Any garden soil can be improved by mixing some compost in it. Compost is created as bacteria starts the process of decomposition by breaking down organic waste matter. Compost can be bought from some garden supplies stores. Nonetheless, it is better if you create your own compost because it enables you to get rid of the waste in your house in a meaningful manner.

Compost is created when an organic matter or waste starts to decompose with the presence of bacteria. Some create composts in a large pot but it is advisable to create one in a compost bin. When choosing a compost bin, select a model with a base that works perfectly in backyards.

Start by finding the perfect spot for your compost bin in the garden. Place large twigs in the bin. These will act as solid sidewalls that will prevent the bin from leaking. Fill it in with some soil. Then, spread a thick layer of the organic waste. It should be about 4 inches thick. Slowly mix it in with the soil. Check whether you need to add in some water to mix the pile well.

Grass should be added in thin layers so that they do not compact. Worms are also added in the bin with shredded paper or other biodegradable bedding. Worms will quicken the decomposition. It is important that you don’t remove a lot of worms from the remaining compost. Make sure that the lid of your compost bin is tightly sealed so that flies and rodents will not enter.

I found a video that uses spent coffee ground in composting. All credits to the owner.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Key Things to Remember about Custom-Made Cabinets

During a house renovation, most home owners focus on the beautification of their living rooms. They forget to pay attention to the bathroom and the kitchen. If you want a balanced renovated home, focus on perfecting these two parts of your house. In connection to this, you must consider having your bathroom and kitchen cabinets custom-made.

There are at least five key things which you must remember before searching for someone who can create customized cabinets for you. They are as follows:

 - base units and countertops; the base units sit on the floor
 - upper cabinets are installed in the walls; they can be divided into many sections
 - cabinets can be made of all wood or with a touch of glass doors
 - corner cabinets are perfect for reaching everything in the corner of a base cabinet or an upper cabinet
 - custom cabinets may include spice racks, pantries, sinks or pull out drawers instead of shelves in the base units.

Once you have scouted for a carpenter who will be creating your customized cabinets, you will have to create decisions regarding the appearance and features of your cabinets. You must be know exactly what kind of wood you want, the type of sink that will go best for your bathroom and your kitchen, and the appropriate cabinet colors that will match your bathroom's and kitchen's theme.

The standard base cabinet unit for bathrooms and kitchens is 35". Depending on your preference, you can have your base units made taller or shorter to accommodate your kids or someone who is in a wheelchair. Your cabinets must be practical to use and not just aesthetically appealing so you must express your needs and preferences during the planning stage.

Four Ways to Boost Your Home's Value

Renovation is crucial if you’re planning to sell your old house. It can add value to your house and make it a top choice among potential buyers. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are low-cost home improvement ideas that can make your old house appear updated if not totally modern-looking.

Here are four tips that can keep your renovation expenses at a minimum and your sale profits at a maximum.

Create space. Buyers usually like an open floor plan. If your floor plan looks cramped, knock down some walls or doorways. This will allow space and air to flow inside your house. Buyers with a causal lifestyle look for houses with combined dining, kitchen and living areas. Incorporating movable kitchen islands and room dividers can also attract some picky buyers.

Create light. If you don't have a budget for skylights, you can create sun tubes or sun pipes that allow natural light to enter your house. These are cylinders made of a reflective material and a weather-proof plastic globe. They can lessen your usage of electric lights.

Paint all parts of your house. A coat of paint can make any old house look fresh. Hire a professional painter if you cannot paint neatly. You can also hire an interior designer if you don't have an eye for colors.

Consider landscaping. Landscaping to create your ideal space is not a new concept. Many homeowners in the past have resorted to it to improve the value of their residential properties. Landscaping is more than just adding plants to your yard. It involves fencing, improvement of lighting and installation of garden fixtures such as benches, gazebos and pathways.

Find a trusted realtor once you have completed all the necessary renovations. Wait patiently for the right buyer even though it takes you a little longer than expected. Realtors report any changes in the housing market or suggest selling options to their clients. So, you don’t have to be distressed while waiting. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Importance of Incorporating Patterns and Prints In Your Room

You might say that pattern is the thing of the good old days. Think again because it is making a come back especially in the interior design industry. Solid fabrics, monochromatic shades, and clean lines will still be around but elegant patterns will make it easier for any room to stand out. Are you thinking whether prints can be counted here? Well, the answer is a resounding 'Yes!'.

Patterns initiate activity - Plain or solid colors can be boring. Try replacing them with patterns to initiate activity in an empty and wide space. Size matters a lot when it comes to determining activity level. Large patterns will do if you want to achieve a calm or serene atmosphere in your room. On the other hand, small and intricate patterns are perfect to use if you want to convey busyness. Pieces of big furniture and wide wallpapers are best designed with large patterns while small decors and accessories are best  designed with small  patterns.

Prints promote visual weight - A part of a room is said to have visual weight when the viewers' eyes are drawn towards it. If the visual weight is gathered in one side. the entire room will not look balanced. Hence, you must be careful in incorporating prints in your room design.

You can mix and match patterns and prints to achieve your desired theme for your room. Choose distinct patterns and prints belonging to color palettes  which appear cohesive when combined. Successful pattern-print combination can make your room design look intricate. If you're confident enough about your artistic skills, you can try pulling off a wonderful contrast between patterns and prints. Just make sure that your color choices coordinate well. You can check some color guides or color theories before starting with your project.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Six Ways to Restoring Your Old Furniture

Restoring old furniture has been around for a long time. Many people do it for different reasons. Some try their best to refurbish furniture heirlooms in order to preserve the family memories they represent. To some people, furniture restoration is an outlet of their creative genius. Some simply repair broken objects to earn extra cash.

Have you got bygones which you're trying to restore at the moment? Yes? Whatever your personal reason maybe, these tips will help you finish your project effectively and quickly. Read up.

Ask yourself if you have the time. Furniture restoration might require more hours as compared to creating one from scratch. Hence, you must be able to set a couple or more hours each day for you to work on your art project.

Inspect your furniture. If you want to earn profits from an old piece, inspect any tags or markings attached on it. Research what the text on these labels mean. You might be surprised to know that you have a valuable possession in your hands.

Define your budget. How much are you willing to spend on your project? If  plan on selling it after restoration, are you decided to spend how much money it will take to make it as good as new?

Picture the end product. How do you want it to look like? Do you want it to simply look like a polished version of its present state? The present damage on the furniture might also dictate the kind of restoration you can do on it.

Clean the furniture thoroughly. Do some good cleaning and buffing before you move on to painting or varnishing it. Doing so will reveal its real appearance. Sometimes, old furniture simply need some deep cleaning to look good again.

Repair and paint. Does your coffee table have a broken leg? You can repair it by attaching the old leg back or a new leg created from a new piece of wood. Once the repairs are done, decide on the paint color. You can use bright paint on it if you want to achieve a modern look for your table.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Hang Pictures without Damaging Walls

Hanging pictures is one of the simplest ways to make a house look beautiful. Needless to say, it is also one of the quickest ways to destroy a neatly painted wall. While there's no perfect way to hang pictures without leaving a hole in the wall, there are simple things that you can observe to keep the damage at a minimum. 

Create a plan. First of all, decide where you want to hang your pictures. Make sure that your choice can accommodate all the pictures you want displayed. Also, make sure that it is not hollow; that it remains solid enough even after a couple or more frames are drilled and hung onto it. In connection to this, make use of a stud finder. Hanging your frames on studs will keep you worry-free about your art pieces falling off the wall. This will also prevent damage on your wall. Below is an example of a stud finder. (Disclaimer: I'm not promoting its brand.)

Get a dummy picture. Use another picture or a paper that has the size of the picture that you want to hang. Try hanging up against the wall area of your choice as you do the measurements.

Make measurements. In relation to the wall studs, measure and mark the exact spot where you need the nails hammered or the holes drilled for hooks or screws. Take note that the ideal height for hanging pictures on the wall is eye-level. With that, position your dummy picture against the wall at your eye-level so that you can mark the spot correctly.

Use the right tools. Wall damage can be prevented if you're using the right tools. You can find picture hanging kits in department stores and most hardware shops. If you're into DIY projects, having a kit like this will be very useful to you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Clean Your Refrigerator with These Easy-to-Follow Steps

Refrigerator cleaning is one of the household tasks that I dislike doing because I find it boring. Despite that, I force myself to accomplish it on a regular basis because I don't want bacteria and germs breeding like crazy on my food stock.

1) Turn off your refrigerator. This can keep you from getting electrocuted while cleaning the fridge by any chance. Try turning it off 20 to 30 minutes before cleaning it. This will allow the freezer to defrost which makes cleaning much easier.

2) Clear everything out. - Remove all the food items inside. Put the highly-perishable ones in a cool bag immediately.

3) Wash its door and insides with warm soapy water.  Dissolve ample amount of dishwashing liquid in a basin of lukewarm water. Use a sponge or a soft cloth rag for washing your fridge up.

4) Don't forget to pay special attention to the bottom and top parts inside. Hard stains could be hiding in them. Check the door seal too. Gently clean the door seal with a toothbrush or a damp cloth. Be careful not to damage it.

5) Rinse it well and let it dry afterwards. You can use a soft cloth or paper towel to dry your fridge. Don't put your food stock back in the fridge unless it is totally dry.

6) Clean its exterior once in a while. If your fridge is enclosed in a cabinet, pull it out every now and then. Wipe its top and sides. Sweep or vacuum the floor underneath your fridge. If stains and stench have accumulated underneath, clean the floor with bleach and water solution. Bleach will help remove the stain and the stinky smell.

If you want to take your fridge cleaning a step further, watch this instructional video I stumbled upon online. All credits to the owner.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Five Ways to Improve Air Quality Inside Your House

Air pollution can also happen inside the house. The pollutants that make outdoor air dirty can also affect the quality of indoor air. These pollutants join forces with irritants in producing bad indoor air that causes coughing, itchy eyes, frequent headaches and chronic asthma and bronchitis.

infographic from Spring Time Homes

1) Increase indoor ventilation. Install a trickle ventilation with extra filters. This device allows some fresh air in and pushes out indoor air pollutants.

2) Say no to wood burning fireplaces. Wood fireplaces produce carbon and soot when in use. These particles can get into the lungs and produce shortness of breath.

3) Turn on the airconditioner during summer. An airconditioner is capable of removing water in the atmosphere where most pollutants are produced. It can also remove pollens and particulates from outdoors that diminishes the quality of indoor air.

4) Stop using chemical cleaners. Chemical cleaners also affect the quality of air inside the house. They can produce irritants that affect the lungs. But how are you going to get rid of dust and the bacteria from your pets' dander? You can use vinegar or a regular bath soap that doesn't exude fragrance. In connection to this, steer clear from using air fresheners. They make indoor air fragrant smelling but dangerous to breathe in.

5) Keep your pet out of the bedroom or out of the house. Pet dander pollutes the air inside the house too. Moreover, they can cause allergies and other respiratory problems most especially among kids. You can choose fish as pets instead of birds, cats and dogs. If you already have a bird, cat or dog under your care, keep it from sleeping inside the house.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Quick and Easy Tips on Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors definitely give any house a classic look. This is why some home owners still choose them as permanent floor covering over tiles. Hardwood floors can last for decades without getting chipped or discolored with regular care. If you're clueless about hardwood floor maintenance, read the following tips.

1) Clean your floor at least once a week. You can do this with the use of a dust mop or a vacuum. Vacuuming protects your floor's finish by sucking the fine dust  underfoot. Such dust is capable of sanding wooden floors.

2) Protect your floor from rain and from direct sunlight. Both can ruin your floor finish. Water can cause unwanted stains. Close your windows closed during hot months and keep your ceiling from leaking during rainy season.

3) Protect your floor from scratches. Your floor can be scratched by your pets' nails and the base of your appliances and furniture. Avoid rolling heavy appliances and furniture on the floor. If it's impossible, use plywood hardboard to lift them.

4) Wipe spills right away. As much as possible, keep body lotions and hairsprays from spilling on your hardwood floor. They can destroy your floor's finish. Wipe them off with a damp rug.

5) Cover high traffic areas with runners and rugs. High traffic floor areas get worn out easily. Rugs can help preserve their appearance. Make sure that your rugs have anti-slip backings. However, avoid vinyl or rubber backing because they trap humidity. Accumulated humidity can damage your floor’s finish in the form of stains.