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Category Archives: Home Improvement

When Changing the Front Door

Why?

If you are bored of the look of your old door, then a change may be a good idea. Maybe you want to create a larger opening for guests to walk in so a bigger door might be the next move. Maybe you want more light to enter the house so a glass door would be idea. Or you might want the change simply because you found a more attractive front door.

Budget

You need to have a budget for the door. Many of these features could be extremely expensive because of the design, the brand and the material that was used to create it. If you prefer a custom door, then you’ll need to budget for it.

Light

Are you in need of more light but are not interested in installing more windows and lights? A glass panelled front door could do the trick for you. Glass panels also have many beautiful designs that give any house an elegant appearance.

Quality

Some people decide to change the entire door because the material has either rusted or perished. It is important to also maintain certain materials such as wood as it does tend to absorb water. Adding a layer of varnish can prevent water from being absorbed. When replacing the damaged door, you have to remember that there is a certain amount of care that some doors need in order to last for long periods of time.

Space

Are you changing the door because you want to create more space on the inside? This is a perfectly logically explanation for wanting to replace the door. Some people also don’t want to have such a large door taking up so much wall space on the inside.

Disadvantages of Wood Siding

Maintenance

One of the most common complaints about wood siding is the level of maintenance it requires. Siding like vinyl and fiber cement are low maintenance, and will last for years to come. However, wood is porous, making it more vulnerable to the outdoor elements, especially moisture. Mold, mildew, wood rot, and more are common issues associated with moisture problems. This means it must be stained and painted at all times, routinely re-sealed and weather-proofed, and cleaned on a more frequent basis. Not only is this level of maintenance difficult to keep up with, it can be costly and time-consuming too. This is something to think about, especially if you are not in a position to provide the maintenance yourself, nor hire a professional company to provide it for you.

Aesthetics

Another common issue with wood siding is warping and swelling, which is caused by moisture absorption. Once the panels dry out again, they do not return to their original shape. This leads to gaps, cracks, energy loss, pest infestations, and more. Not only does this affect the overall aesthetics of a property, it will cost you in the end since defective panels and boards will need to be replaced to ensure the structural integrity of a home or building. In serious cases, it can also increase home energy bills.

Durability

Durability and longevity are common concerns when it comes to wooden siding. Because wood is a natural element that is porous and susceptible to moisture absorption, it is always at risk of wood rot and dampening. Overtime, this can cause wood to soften and deteriorate, which leads to all sorts of structural and aesthetic problems. And in the end, all of these problems require money, time, and construction to resolve. This is especially true for wood rot that results in mold and mildew outbreaks.

Latest Bathroom Trends

If you want to change your bathroom mood and character, you should install a layered lighting. Hanging single overhead lights is no longer a practice if you want to achieve positive ambience and relaxation. LED technology took the lighting a step further putting a focus on interesting details. The trend for this year is decorative pendant lights and chandeliers. Make sure they comply with Australian standards.

With years, we are witnessing a growing number of intelligent smart bathrooms. Exclusive for these bathrooms are sensor-activated and self-cleaning toilets, electronic touch-screen mirrors, seat wormers, high-tech showerheads. All these products increase the functionality of the bathrooms.

For practical and functional bathroom – the storage is everything. While stowing everything in cupboards, this year displaying your stuff in open shelves is trending. This type of storage is well-known in spas. Put some folded towels, pretty potted plants and essential oil bottles. You can even put some bigger baskets to store your personal things. Obviously, we are talking about a nice and beautiful way to storage, however, don’t forget to keep things clean and not overcrowded.

Mirrors and basins maybe have the biggest focus nowadays. Scandinavian-styled and timber-framed mirrors are among the most popular. Basins come in a variety of shapes, colours and materials. They absolutely can bring drama in your bathroom.

You should know that this process is a long-term investment and requires professionals who care about every single detail. Now, designing or renovating your dream bathroom is just one step to you.

Why People Choose to Renovate

#4 Lifestyle is Important

What was once touted as “keeping up with the Joneses” is now recognized as a legitimate exercise in maintaining value and increasing happiness. In many cases, home improvements, and the subsequent lifestyle increase, tend to add real monetary value to your property, not just the intangible positive feeling of enjoying your newly renovated space. Lifestyle is important – homeowners recognize they’ve worked hard for their money – so it only makes sense they should spend some of it where they spend the bulk of their time… on their property.

#3 “Do It Yourself” Projects Are Time Consuming, Stressful, and (Typically) Done Poorly.

You may have heard the expression “you get what you pay for” more than a few times in the past. This is particularly true in the home improvement & construction industry.

Folks, don’t take our word for it… go online and look around for renovations done by amateurs and you’ll find that they almost always end up looking… well… amateurish. In some cases, home improvements not done professionally can even lead to insurance issues, or even problems with resale. On one basement project years ago, we discovered (upon demolition) that the previous homeowner had wired their basement with speaker wire. This was an obvious fire hazard and ended up being a code issue we were forced to rectify before continuing on with the renovation.

#2 You Absolutely Love Your Location

Some homeowners will keep making more improvements to their existing home because their location is simply too good to ever leave. Renovations in this context often become more cosmetic and for modernization (rather than typical home improvements – for example, where kitchens are enlarged or basements developed for more practical living space.)

#1 Practicality

This remains the top reason customers eventually decide to take the plunge and renovate: it simply makes sense to do so. Perhaps your family has outgrown your outdated bungalow, and you need the basement space for the kids as they get older. Or maybe you love to cook and entertain in your kitchen area many times each week, but you’ve found that the kitchen layout is simply too closed off for these gatherings. Another possibility is a home addition over the garage for an aging relative or just as some additional rental income. Whatever the reason, homeowners have a practical concern which requires a practical solution from a professional renovator.

Remodeling Home Exterior

One important thing that you need to do before attempting an exterior home remodeling project is to fully research what the requirements will be to undertake the project. Some of these things can include:

• Make sure an y remodeling you do is in line with all the building codes
• Do not encroach on the neighbor’s yard, power lines, or plumbing
• Have a checklist of all the materials you will need for the project
• Purchase all your materials and supplies before you start to work on the project
• Doing some basic organizational preparation can help to make it a simple process from start to finish.

Most homes of today are not made of wood or material that requires an overall paint job. Re-paint the trim around the windows and any other trim and replace the front door. Painting the trim can be a fun weekend project along with replacing the door. You can use white to paint the trim or choose a color that would that would set off the windows and other trim such as a soft pastel color or a light color such as shades of yellow or blue. Darker colors would only make the house look strange and all anyone would notice would be the trim and not the house.

You can also a flower garden under the front windows on either side of the front door. If you do not want a flower garden plant some small bushes, rose bushes, or evergreens but none that get so high that they will cover the windows. If you have a walkway leading to the front door, install some solar lights to light the path at night. To help get an idea of exterior home remodeling ideas, at the curb and look at the front of your home picturing what would make your home more appealing. In addition, glance up at the roof to see if it needs professionally cleaned or if the gutters need cleaning.

Tips for Home Upgrades

Contractor. Pick carefully and get three bids. Talk to their clients and tour their work. Ask for their insurance certificate.

Contract. Get a detailed contract and go through it with a fine-tooth comb. A general idea of the work and a handshake won’t do it unless you don’t care what you end up with.

Plan for a few surprises. Surprises are inevitable, but they should be minimal if you did your planning. Set some extra money aside for them – 10% of your remodel budget. If you don’t need to use it, great.

Don’t buy your own materials. If you think you’re going to save money by specifying and buying your own materials, you may be sorry. Contractors don’t like the practice, and they are better at choosing and negotiating than homeowners. Don’t worry; they will allow you to make all the choices but let them handle the transactions and the warranty.

Pack up as much of your stuff as you can in the areas of the house that will get the work. Contractors hate having to negotiate piles of clothes and toys, and the work makes an awful mess.

Stay out of the way. I know it’s fun to watch, and you also want to keep tabs on the work, but contractors will be much happier if you trust them to get the work done without you looking over their shoulder, or worse, trying to help.

Minimize mid-stream changes. In the middle of renovations, we sometimes realize that something needs to be changed on the plan. If you feel strongly about it, it is better to upset the contractor now rather than live with it later.

Have a pro review the work. Even if the remodels are small, have an independent contractor or home inspector review what was done before you write the final check. The few hundred dollars you spend on a consult will ensure your happiness and reduce surprises later.

Renovating On A Tight Budget

1. Know Your Limits

If you don’t know your limits, you may end up wasting a lot of money on your DIY project. So, it’s important that you know your limits. For instance, you may want to leave the plumbing, electrical and structural work to professionals. Make sure you get recommendations before hiring professionals.

2. Get a Working Pee

The good news is that you can do a lot of jobs with your family and friends. A package of a BBQ and a few drinks can get a lot of things done. Given below is a list of tasks that you can do with a few helping hands.

· Tiling jobs

· Assembling of a flat-pack kitchen

· Polishing floorboards

· Landscaping

· Fencing

· Painting

3 DIY Lessons

For basic DIY tasks, you have to have a few tools and some practical knowledge. You can get both from a reputable hardware store. You may sign up for a DIY workshop as well.

Moreover, if some of your friends know the trades, you can talk to them and get their help. You may also “bribe” them to get some fundamental tips and lessons to use the tools. If you don’t have the tools, you can borrow or hire some.

4. Buy Online or at auctions

If you shop around, you can save a lot on supplies, labor and other materials. You can use your negotiation skills for discontinued sales. Although shopping around will cost you some time, you will get whatever you want.

5. Long-term Savings

If you are on a tight budget, you may not give much importance to long-term savings through buying materials or technology that uses less energy. Given below are some energy saving ideas for you.

· Solar panels

· Quality insulation

· Rainwater tanks

· LED lights

Home Remodeling Don’ts

1. Don’t Make Delays

Make sure you make your decisions before making a start on the project. This will help you avoid unnecessary delays. Actually, the majority of decisions are related to stuff like faucet selection, trim and paint. They may look tiny, but if you don’t get the faucet in time, you may have to reschedule your plumbers. Therefore, you should make your decision in time.

2. Don’t change your decision too often

Once you have made a decision about something, you should stick to it. However, you have to change your mind later on. But keep in mind that changing your decision will add to the cost of the budget. You will have to spend money to make the necessary changes. It may include new stuff you need to buy and the fee you need to pay to the professionals.

3. Don’t buy the required stuff yourself

While this may sound like a great way to save a lot of money, you should not go for this option. The builder may get a lot better price than you as far as buying materials is concerned. So, you may not want to make the mistake of buying the required stuff yourself.

4. Don’t let Your Kids or Pets Be Around the Workplace

The workers will be careful while working so that no kid or pet gets hurt. But it’s better if you keep your pets and kids a bit away from the workplace. Having kids around the construction area is not a good idea.

5. Don’t Stay in the Same home

We suggest that you rent a house to live in for as long as the renovation work is going on. Renovation costs a lot of money and moving out may add to the cost. However, if you can’t move to another house, you may stay away from the area of your house that the workers are working on.

Inspirational Wainscoting

Wainscoting can vary in height from 36 inches from the floor to 48 from the floor, basically depending on your ceiling height. You don’t want to go too tall, leave the majority of the sheet rock above the top of the wainscoting. Covering a little over a third of your wall from the bottom up usually gives you the perfect amount for the supportive structure look.

A simple chair rail piece is simply not enough to give the effect. Adding a 6 inch or 8 inch baseboard and changing the paint color between the two to a heavier darker color is relatively inexpensive, but delivers a very drastic upgrade. Depending on your choice of paint color this can take on a wide variety of visual appeal.

While there are quiet a few to choose from a preferred #luxury inspired wainscot is the heavier style 8 inch tall base boards and ½ plywood for the wall between the bottom and top piece. Staining of all the wood will definitely take the level of #luxury up about 10 notches incorporating judges panels will put the icing on the cake.

The style we like to call #Southern Living is where the base boards are A 8 inch square top base and a 4 inch top chair rail, but between the two spacing wood strips at 12 to 16 inches running vertical really brings out the country look. A lot of exterior southern #home styles have this type #woodwork, hence the name. This type also really looks superb with the adjoining rooms incorporating some ship lap type walls!

Use Reclaimed Barn Wood

There are many reasons that people are opting for reclaimed wood over simply going to the lumber yard and purchasing new wood. Here are but a few of them:

  1. In a world where we are constantly looking for ways to recycle, it is time to go back to the basics. So, why not begin with wood. By using reclaimed barn wood, you help preserve the forest and responsibly use the resources our environment provides.
  2. Preparing reclaimed barn wood for use takes little toll on the environment.
  3. It takes more energy to process and use new wood, than it does to prepare reclaimed barn wood for a project.
  4. Because today’s world often wants lumber from young virgin trees, trees grown commercially are rarely long enough to reach their full potential size. Consequently, using reclaimed wood allows you to have longer planks of wood cut, making it perfect for large projects.
  5. Because the wood has already stood the test of time, it is fully dried out and thus more durable than new wood.
  6. Every section of reclaimed wood is different, so you can create a unique pattern and design. This variation in patterning and color makes it ideal for ceilings, flooring, countertops and many other decorative elements in a home or office.
  7. Reclaimed barn wood is sometimes referred to as historical wood or story wood because each board tells a story. When you purchase reclaimed wood, be sure to ask about the history of the wood. After all, there’s something special about owning a piece of history.
  8. When it is used for a project where it will not be walked on, there is no need to treat it with sealants or stains. Thus, it is quicker to install. For flooring, it can be prepped with simple sanding, with staining being optional. However, in staining you don’t have to be concerned about the integrity of the wood, as the staining will only show off the imperfections that make it beautiful.

There are many sources of reclaimed wood. You can find it in salvage stores, on the property location, by visiting re-stores and even by contacting a company to make new wood look like old. But regardless of where you find, you are sure to be pleased with the finished project in which it is used. So, what will you build with repurposed barn wood? Get started today.