Ready To Start A Kitchen Remodeling Project? Read This First

Everyone has heard the saying, “There's no place like home”, and understands that it elicits a sense of peace and tranquility that's safe from the perils of the world around us. But as much as home can be the place you want to retreat to, you might just look around and think that a change…

Everyone has heard the saying, “There's no place like home”, and understands that it elicits a sense of peace and tranquility that's safe from the perils of the world around us. But as much as home can be the place you want to retreat to, you might just look around and think that a change is needed, much like kitchen remodeling.

A remodel is often looked at as a way to make what is old new once again, thereby bringing some more life into an area of ​​your home that maybe has lost a bit of its luster. Kitchens are certainly places where most of our lives come together. We're talking about the places where homework is done, report cards are read, teachers' letters home are discussed, and major decisions as a whole are made. Our toilets take a battering from kids and adults alike, and depending on how much your cabinets are handled, you may be looking at some dingy cabinet doors that need updating.

All told, your kitchen takes a beating, so needless to say, embarking on a kitchen remodeling project looks like the logical thing to do. That is, of course, if you know a thing or two about remodeling any room. There is no such thing as a 'routine' project. Granted, your favorite DIY programming does its best to make everyone feel as though they can handle just about anything that requires some elbow grease. Kitchen remodeling, however, is an entirely different ballpark.

However, if you still feel that your kitchen needs a remodel in a big way, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

You Must Have A Budget – It is imperative to know how much you are choosing to spend from the start. This will keep your project as financially honest as possible.

Think About Functionality Prior To Starting – You might get sucked into the fun & excitement of choosing cool new things to install in your kitchen, but have you thought about where your dishes will be stored?

Consider Keeping Your Current Layout – The more you physically change the way your kitchen is laid out, the more time and money will be sunk into your remodel.

Changes with Gas & Plumbing? Be Warned – If you're thinking about dealing with gas lines or moving your current sink & dishwasher placement, you'll probably need building permits from the city & will require the hiring of licensed individuals to do the work. Again, that's time & money you're losing.

Resale Value – You may not be actively thinking about selling your home, but you need to think about how your kitchen remodel will impact the resale value of your home down the road. What appeals to you & your family may not be anyone else's cup of tea, and that could translate into a home that sits on the market for longer than it should.

Kitchen remodeling projects are no joke, and the purpose of getting information across regarding their potential pitfalls is done so for your sanity. New and shiny is exciting & wonderful, but is it all really necessary? You may just find that keeping things the way they are and making smaller changes may be easier. But if you still feel that you want to go the remodeling route, be sure to connect with local, trusted tradesmen who can steer you in the right direction and get the job done right the first time.

How to Improve the Smell of Your Home or Office

Whether at home or work, bad odors can be quite distracting and often indicate an unhealthy indoor air environment. And it is suggested that many guests and clients make long-term judgments based on the smell of your home or office. So if you feel like your place might be a bit smelly or “not-so-fresh”, it…

Whether at home or work, bad odors can be quite distracting and often indicate an unhealthy indoor air environment. And it is suggested that many guests and clients make long-term judgments based on the smell of your home or office.

So if you feel like your place might be a bit smelly or “not-so-fresh”, it is time to consider your options. There are several ways to improve the smell of your home or office, so long as you remain dedicated to an odor-free environment. Continue reading to learn some easy and effective practices that are sure to keep bad odors at bay.

Sources of Lingering Odor

There are various odor-causing elements that can enter your home or office from outside, but there are plenty that can come from within as well. These impurities will grow, rot, or decay, which can cause foul lingering odors and even pose certain health risks. Mold, bacteria, mildew, pet dander, pollen, dust, dead insects, dust mites, dust mite droppings, dirt, and more are all common odor-causing contaminants.

Although freshening the air is a major part of improving the smell of your home, candles and air fresheners are not enough to complete the job. These products only cover up smells. They are great for adding an extra fresh scent, but not ridding odors at their source.

There are other areas of your home that retain odor, namily fabrics and textiles. This includes carpets, carpets, curtains, furniture, pet beds, cat towers, and even insulation. All of these areas must be treated with care, and routinely cleaned in order to eliminate and prevent lingering odors. And at some point in time, these textiles must simply be replaced.

Tips to Prevent Odors:

Do not smoke indoors.

Replace all carpeting and rugs that are between 10 to 15 years old.

Have your plumbing and roof inspected for water leaks, and then make any necessary repairs.

Have your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned at least once per year; more often for older homes or homes with multiple occupants, pets, and high foot traffic.

Have your couches (even leather), chairs, and curtains professionally cleaned once a year.

Have your HVAC ducts and vents professionally cleaned.

Have a dehumidifier installed in areas high in moisture, such as bathrooms, basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

Periodically open your windows to air out your indoor environment. Leave them open for at least an hour 3 or 4 times a year.

Try not to cook pungent foods on a regular basis, like fish or pickled items.

Keep windows open when cooking with heavy grease to release strong cooking odors.

Bathe your dogs on a routine basis (at least once per month) using a quality shampoo. Small furry pets should get a monthly wipe-down with a damp cloth, such as ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters, as well as, exotic pets like chinchillas, pigs, raccoons, monkeys, and squirrels.

Clean out litter boxes, pet crates, cages, and aquariums once a week. This includes washing pet beds and any blankets inside crates, as well as, changing soiled pet bedding and woodchips.

Incorporate artificial or organic air fresheners for an added boost, like fresh flowers, potpourri, candles, plug-ins, or aerosol sprays.

Use a specialized enzyme-removing cleaning solution to clean up pet messes from carpets and rugs.

Periodically ask a friend what your house smells like! Your nose is too accustomed to your house and can not detect poor odors as well as another person can.

And Most Importantly:

Have your property inspected, repaired, and upgraded by a professional handyman company or contractor. They have the proper tools, training, and equipment to repair or renovate windows, doors, garages, plumbing, roofs, concrete, drywall, paint, and much more.

Top 3 Disadvantages of Wood Siding

Wood siding is a lovely attribute for many homes and properties. It can deliver an unparallel level of curve appealing while also adding investment-worthy value to the overall property. However, wood siding is not always the best choice for everyone. There are several known downfalls that home and property owners have had concerns about through…

Wood siding is a lovely attribute for many homes and properties. It can deliver an unparallel level of curve appealing while also adding investment-worthy value to the overall property. However, wood siding is not always the best choice for everyone. There are several known downfalls that home and property owners have had concerns about through the years. These disadvantages affect maintenance, budget, appeal, and more.

If you are considering siding replacement, and want to know whether or not wood is a good fit for you, continue reading to learn the top 3 disadvantages first. From there, talk to a local and trusted siding contractor for professional answers to all your project and consumer questions.

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 absorptible 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.

Bathroom Remodeling – How to Install a Standing Shower Stall

Achieving a successful installation when it comes to a shower stall is not as difficult as you may think. Given your ability to follow instructions and a reasonable amount of construction knowledge it can be quite rewarding in the end. With quality renovation professionals becoming more and more illusive and the investment at times exceeding…

Achieving a successful installation when it comes to a shower stall is not as difficult as you may think. Given your ability to follow instructions and a reasonable amount of construction knowledge it can be quite rewarding in the end. With quality renovation professionals becoming more and more illusive and the investment at times exceeding your budgeted amount DIY is on the rise.

First you will need to temporarily shut off the water to the shower unit, do not worry once the plumbing is capped off you can turn it back on. Now remove the shower stall as it is now. Depending on whether or not you have fiberglass unit, cast iron tub, or existing tile stall your demo method will differ.

Now that demo is complete determine where you want your new shower valves and fixtures to go, and rough these now. Most of the time when a tub has been removed you will need to install the drain to the center of your new stall opening, Also common today are shower niches or soap dishes, placement and framing of these along with any type “knee or pony walls “is done now as well,

Pre-sloping of the slab with a form-capable mud material will be installed now. Marking on the slab or sub-floor the final depth of the new shower stall will give you a stopping point for your pre-slope. ext install the shower pan liner attaching it to the drain and running it up the wall above the height of your seat or around 20 inches. Next form your curve that the shower door will set on to a durable height, usually 5 inches, with a 2×6 pulling the pan up between the form boards and pouring on each side with concrete encapsulating the pan.

Installation of duroc material or a concrete based backer board and mesh taping the joints will be done now. Once this is done use a waterproof paint or membrane and cover the entire shower stall except the floor. When dry packing the floor on top of the shower pan is very important to keep at least 1/4 inch per 3 foot fall to the drain this will ensure the water will drain properly.

After completing this step you are now ready to begin the installation of your shower floor tile material. Once this is dry the wall tile installation can begin. after the tile installation is completed you will need to clean all the tile and grout lines before grouting begins.

Finally install your new shower fixtures and shower door to begin reaping the benefits of your hard labor ..

What Are The Legalities Required When Renovating A Home?

Before starting a home renovation project regardless of its scope, it is a must for homeowners to know the legalities involved. Failure to do so can mean trouble. It could mean your renovation being stopped or pulled down. To start with, do check your local council for any approvals that may be required for a…

Before starting a home renovation project regardless of its scope, it is a must for homeowners to know the legalities involved. Failure to do so can mean trouble. It could mean your renovation being stopped or pulled down.

To start with, do check your local council for any approvals that may be required for a home renovation. Do keep in mind that certain minor structures may need building approval such as those involving carports, fencing, decking and garden sheds. Even a minor task such as removing a tree from your property will need council approval. Alterations to services such as plumbing, drainage, electrical and gas do require approval and inspection although they may not need planning or building approval.

When neighbours are bound to be impacted by the home renovation works whenever involving structures or noise, development approval is needed. For this purpose, a homeowner will need to submit a development application to the Council to carry out renovation works.

In addition to the structures, homeowners should also be aware that the work and materials still need to meet government standards.

In the event approvals are needed for your home renovation project, a council planner will advise you of the process and the documents you will need to accomplish.

Take note that most local governments have planning policies in place that allow minor changes in a home's interior and exterior. Normally, changes that do not alter the structure or services do not need council approval.

As for the tradespeople, homeowners may need to have a simple contract with them that details the scope of work, cost of labor and any warranty. You can ask for referrals and make sure to check their credentials such as license and insurance policies.

With regards to tax, a renovation project has no direct tax implications. This covers income and capital gains tax. In the event you sell your main residence, it will also be exempt from capital gains tax. This includes the improvements made on the property and the land adjunct to the house as long as the total area is two hectares or less.

Keep in mind that building requirements when renovating your home need to be strictly followed. Failure to do so could end up in fines of up to $ 70,000. Be wary also of the value of your renovation project. In Victoria, for example, renovators have to apply for consent to carry out works as an owner-builder if costs exceeded $ 12,000.

Top 10 Renovating Tips

Having just completed a renovation in Albury, on behalf of a client who lived remotely, so needed someone to manage the process for them. I thought it was a great time to reflect and pass on some tips for all you would-be renovators that want to tackle it yourself. 1. Start with the end in…

Having just completed a renovation in Albury, on behalf of a client who lived remotely, so needed someone to manage the process for them. I thought it was a great time to reflect and pass on some tips for all you would-be renovators that want to tackle it yourself.

1. Start with the end in mind

What I mean is in you're renovating to sell vs renovating to put a tenant into the property at a higher rent than before vs renewing yourself to live in, the budget, choice of fixtures and fittings and the amount of work you'll do will vary.

In the case where you're renovating for yourself to live in you'll probably do a lot more than either of the two other options, simply because you intend to live there and derive the benefit from the money spent for a period of time.

Also, when renovating for sale or even for rental purposes, you need to keep in mind constantly, am I adding more in perceived value than actual cost? Am I getting a return on my money? Knowing where to draw the line is the key.

2. Have a budget

Do not just start renewing with no budget in mind. You need to have an idea of ​​how much everything is going to cost and track your expenditure through the renovation to make sure you do not run out of money.

It may be OK to leave a renovation unfinished if you're living there (albeit not desirable) however if you're renovating for sale or to put a tenant in, you need to finish to be able to sell / rent the property out. Running out of money half way through doing the kitchen or bathroom is a sure-fire way to land yourself in trouble.

3. How are you funding the renovation?

If you have the cash on hand that's great, not a lot of us do but if you do it's the easiest and simplest way to fund any renovation, you know how much you have and can pay for materials and labor as required.

If you're using borrowed funds, make sure you understand the requirements for those funds to be released, if it's a loan against equity it might be as simple as the funds going into an offset account until you need them. If it's a dedicated renovation loan you may need to provide or pay invoices and to be reviewed by the bank prior to getting paid. There are a lot of different ways this can be work and you need to make sure you understand what is required to access the funds.

4. Quotes

It's not practical to get quotes for every single item, and in fact, in some cases getting quotes will actually make it more expensive. If the job is a small job requiring not a lot of time from a tradie, if they have to come to the site, quote it then come back and do the job you could end up paying more. Often for these smaller jobs the best course of action is to find a reputable tradesman in your local area and just book the work in to be done. As long as you understand their hourly rates and any callout fee's.

5. Tiling in old houses

Almost without exception in older homes the walls and / or floors (especially if timber) are rarely square or straight. In the kitchen for example using larger format tiles for the splash back can help hide these sins.

If a new kitchen is installed it will be installed level and if the window is out by 10mm one end to the other, if you use 100mm subway tiles for a splashback, you'll notice. However if you upsize to a modern 300mm x 400mm splashback tile you will not notice the 10mm the old window is out of square (well most of us will not).

Similar old floors are often out. The renovation I just completed for a client, the floor in the kitchen was out by 67mm across the length of a 4m kitchen. We were able to deal with this by tailoring the kicker height along the kitchen but it pays to be aware of these items and plan for them.

6. Replace vs Repair

When planning a renovation particularly one that includes the kitchen and bathroom one of the first things you should do is assess the cabinetry and tiles. Are they just dated or are they actually in a bad state of repair? You may be able to reframe the cabinetry or use a tile paint over the tiles if they are in good order. This could save you thousands in the cost of your renovation.

7. Electrical Work

It can be a good idea, particularly on older homes to have an electrician come and look at the existing board. Electrical legislation is changing all the time and dependent when the last electrical work was done and what you needed done a full board upgrade to bring it up to code could be required. This can be expensive. Also legislation requiring safety switches is in place already in some states and coming into force in others, best to check with a qualified electrician to find out what you need to do with compliance.

8. Plumbing Work

While all new homes are almost exclusively PVC plumbing these days if you're renovating an old home be prepared to find some earthenware waste pipes that in some cases the plumber will have to make up a fitting to adjust to modern PVC waste pipes.

It also pays to be careful with demolition work around old plumbing fixtures as it's very easy to damage earthenware pipes and if they crack and being leaking you could find yourself in for a much larger repair than anticipated.

9. Planning the Work

Once you have the scope of your renovation worked out, know the budget and what trades are involved the next step is to schedule it. You need to think about the logical order of doing things so that you're not re-doing work or having trades damage the work of other trades.

Usually you want to do demolition work first, then any new construction, ie walls, cabinetry etc although some trades like plumbers and electricians will likely have multiple visits to the job for rough in work when it's appropriate, prior to sheet new work and to prepare plumbing points for cabinetry etc.

It's best if you can leave finishing trades like tilers, painting and flooring till the very end. In some cases you may be able to have the painter start elsewhere in the home if there are area's not having a fully renovation.

Always leave flooring to the very end, it should be the last thing to go in so that new flooring does not have a chance to be damaged by trades or to get paint on it.

10. Review the Renovation

Probably the most overlooked stage of a renovation but it's equally as important as the rest. Collate all your actual expenses, yes, including the receipts from Bunnings and add them up to compare them to your budget. Did you stick to your budget? You need to know how much everything actually cost you in order to be able to determine your return.

Do not skip this step, even if you think you know the answer, or you do not want to know the answer because you know you went over. Still do it, as it will help you plan the next one better by seeing the area's your budget went over.

Tips on Prepping Your Home for a Popcorn Ceiling Removal Project

Popcorn ceilings were pretty popular back between the 1950s and the 1980s. They were affordable, and they were rather easy to install. It was pretty much the standard in homes back then, especially in hallways and bedrooms. Not only were they cost-effective and easily installed, popcorn ceilings were also opt for because they easily hid…

Popcorn ceilings were pretty popular back between the 1950s and the 1980s. They were affordable, and they were rather easy to install. It was pretty much the standard in homes back then, especially in hallways and bedrooms.

Not only were they cost-effective and easily installed, popcorn ceilings were also opt for because they easily hid imperfections. There was no need to smooth out any flaws in the ceiling since the sprayed-on material essentially covered it. Popcorn ceilings also have acoustical hits and are able to keep sound from traveling, which is why they were pretty popular in bedrooms.

But popcorn ceilings are no longer favored by homeowners and buyers. In fact, popcorn ceilings are now considered unattractive, which is a big reason why many homeowners have been steadily removing them from their homes since the 1980s. And the fact that asbestos is often found in this material makes the removal of popcorn ceilings even more important.

If you're like many other homeowners out there who still have popcorn ceilings in your home, you've probably decided that it's time for them to go. If so, it's essential that you bring in professionals in the realm of popcorn ceiling removal to have this material removed in favor of a much smoother, more aesthetically appealing finish.

To make this job more effective, there are some things you can do as a homeowner to prepare your home for popcorn ceiling removal.

Seal Off the Floors

Let's face it. Popcorn ceiling removal is extremely messy. All that material that is being scraped off turns into minuscule dust particles that can get everywhere, including your ducts.

Before the popcorn ceilings are removed, the floors must be completely covered from wall to wall. To do that, you will need thick plastic sheets that are then going to be taped down at every wall so the floors are entirely covered. Then, you will use contractor paper to add another layer on top of the thick plastic so that there's no chance of slipping while working in the area.

The paper is also placed because it will absorb any moisture that can accumulate in the area. In order to remove popcorn ceiling material using the scraping method, water will need to be sprayed on top of the material to soften it. Doing so will make it a lot easier to scrape the material off. But spraying water on the ceiling also means that water will eventually fall onto the floor. By having paper laid on top of the plastic sheet, the water will be effectively absorbed.

Close Off Doorways

In order to prevent the popcorn ceiling material from making its way into the hallway and other parts of your home, you may want to close off any doorways that lead outside of the room. This will help to make the cleanup job much easier once the material has been removed from your ceiling.

Cover Your Furniture

If you plan to leave the furniture in the rooms where the popcorn ceilings are being removed, you will definitely want to protect them from all those dust particles.

As such, it is important that you cover every furniture piece. Get yourself some transparent plastic sheets and cover each piece entirely, including the back. Once you do, push each piece against the wall.

You're then going to take another sheet and cover them in a second layer, but this next one is going to cover the furniture just in the front. The top of the plastic sheet will be taped to the wall just above the furniture in order to prevent any popcorn ceiling material from falling behind the furniture as it is being removed.

Make sure that both sheets of plastic completely cover the furniture and go right to the bottom. By covering your furniture in this way, any popcorn ceiling material will just slide right off each piece and onto the floor, containing the material and protecting your furniture at the same time.

Gather the necessary tools

As we just mentioned, large sheets of plastic, contractor paper, and painter's tape (to tape down the plastic and paper) are needed to cover the floor and the furniture in the room where the popcorn ceiling material is being removed. But in addition to these items, you will need to gather a few other tools to get the job done, including:

• Bucket of water – As mentioned above, water is necessary to help soften the sprayed-on material and make it easier to remove it. As such, a water source will be required.
• Garden spray – In order to apply the water to the ceiling, a garden sprayer will be required to apply the water in an even layer across the ceiling, which will be done in patches.
• Utility knife – The material will need to be scraped, and a utility knife will be required to physically scrape the material off of the ceiling.
• Ladder – In order to reach the ceiling, a ladder will be required to help get to the surface when scraping off the material.
• Cross bench – These help to provide a surface upon which to stand when large pieces of furniture remain in the room, such as beds. The cross bench can be laid across the bed and affixed to a ladder on each side to provide a surface to stand on above the furniture.

While prepping your home for the removal of your popcorn ceiling material is certainly helpful, the actual job itself should be left to the experts. This job is a messy and labor-intensive one, and it can be a lot harder than it sounds. Even after the material has been removed, there will likely be imperfections left behind from all that scraping. Not only that, but there may be asbestos present in the material, which will make the job a lot more intricate.

Either way, having professionals in popcorn ceiling removal will make things a lot easier for you and will ensure that you're left with nothing but a smooth, attractive ceiling that not only looks better, but can even boost the value of your home.

Important Winter Maintenance For Vinyl Siding

Whether you are a new homeowner, or have been living at your residence for several years, it is never too late to start a winter maintenance routine for your vinyl siding. After all, your home's exterior is 100 percent exposed to the intemperate weather conditions that are known to occur this time of year. These…

Whether you are a new homeowner, or have been living at your residence for several years, it is never too late to start a winter maintenance routine for your vinyl siding. After all, your home's exterior is 100 percent exposed to the intemperate weather conditions that are known to occur this time of year. These conditions often lead to a long list of home siding damages that can affect your quality of comfort, as well as your bank account.

If you want to avoid costly repairs and replacements, protect your investment, and keep your home looking beautiful, it is necessary to take good care of your siding. In order to alleviate some of the natural wear and tear experienced by siding during the winter, you can implement some easy upkeep and protect your vinyl from inclement winter weather all season long. Continue reading to learn how you can get started.

Vinyl Siding Winter Care

Keep it Clean. Regular cleaning is an important part of winter maintenance. This does not mean you have a bundle up in all your winter gear and bear the cold to clean it every week; instead, wash it once a month with a power washer. When using a power washer, be sure to always put it on a low setting to avoid any damage, and if the siding is already damaged, do not use a power washer at all. As for a cleaning medium, use a mix of Trisodium phosphate and soapy water. Simply apply, and then rinse from the top down.

Check for Damage. It is important to always keep an eye out for exterior damage to your home. However, on a routine basis, you need to closely inspect your siding for damages and defects. Catching a small problem early on can save you a lot of time and money. Weekly inspections are a good start, followed by a comprehensive inspection conducted by a professional roof and siding company. When inspecting your siding, look for cracks, gaps, and water damages; but also remember to check weep holes (holes punched in the bottom of siding for drainage purposes) for clogging issues and pest infestations.

Hire a Professional. You are not expected to be a siding expert, so it can be a challenge locating all the possible vulnerabilities and defects on your home. For this reason and more, it is very wise to hire professional siding maintenance on an annual basis to ensure your investment is well-protected. There are thousands of people and businesses that claim to provide this kind of service, but do not be fooled by fly-by-the-night or unqualified companies. Be sure to choose a company that has an extensive experience and a good local reputation for quality service.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:

Do not have vinyl siding installed when the outdoor temperatures are below freezing. This can lead to contracting, expansion, and various other related defects. The installation process is a systematic and technical development that requires benign environmental conditions.

Do not paint vinyl siding. Not only does this void most manufacturer warranties, it can end up looking unattractive and unprofessional. Instead, consider cleaning services or overall replacement for best results.

When performing outdoor work like construction, concrete, staining, and anything else that uses heavy chemicals or dyes, it is recommended to cover any vinyl siding that is within range of these kinds of projects. It can lead to discoloration, corrosion, and more.

5 Remodels to Consider Before Moving Into a New Home

There is certainly a feeling of excitement after purchasing a new home, so expected, home buyers are eager to move in as soon as they can. But before moving into a new home, there are five specific areas to consider first. Making changes or improvements to these commonly over-looked areas will not only better protect…

There is certainly a feeling of excitement after purchasing a new home, so expected, home buyers are eager to move in as soon as they can. But before moving into a new home, there are five specific areas to consider first. Making changes or improvements to these commonly over-looked areas will not only better protect your investment, but will make the home absolutely, and truly, all yours. Continue reading to review these five important tips if you are in the market for a new home or just recently purchased one.

Locks

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is that many home buyers get distracted with all the requirements and hassles of moving and settling into a new place, that changing the locks gets put on the back burner. And then after a while, you forget you are still using the same keys given to you at the time of closing. But it is very important to not let this happen to you. The first thing you should do before moving into a new house is change the locks. This can be done by a local door repair service, or it can even be a DIY project if you are good with tools. New locks are reliably inexpensive, but range in price depending on quality, brand, style, design, and more.

Vents

For those purchasing a new construction home, there may not be much need for vent cleaning and inspection, but it is still a good idea to clear out the dust collected during the building period. As for homes that have been around for a few years, or more, it is strongly suggested to get rid of all the years of dirt, dust, and dander that has accumulated in the ventilation system of the home. This can be done by a professional service for a relatively low price, and should take no more than a day to finish. Start your new journey in a fresh, clean home with a healthy indoor air environment.

Fuse Box

Another task to complete before moving into your new home is to set up the fuse box. Learning and labeling the fuse box will require more than one person, so be sure you have a helper with you to get this job done. Grab some labeling tape and a permanent marker, and then get to work! Start by first powering off any electronics plugged in, including radios and televisions. Then, have the other person turn on all the lights in the house, and go through each fuse one by one to assign it to an area of ​​the home. It is recommended to bring a lamp with you to plug into the envelopes and check them as well. Label each fuse clearly and you're done!

Chimney and Fireplace

For homes that are not new construction, you definitely want the chimney inspected. Bats and birds can roost and nest in chimneys, especially in homes that are left vacant for extended periods of time. Also, there could be potential structural issues and even health concerns that a professional can point out for you. Have any issues repaired before you move in for a safe and functional fireplace.

Plumbing

The plumbing is the most important system in any home, away from heating and cooling. Without proper working plumbing, a home is sent back to the stone ages. Toilets, faucets, baths, showers, laundry, and more are all everyday appliances that we use to function in life. For this reason, always be sure to have your new home's plumbing system thoroughly inspected by a licensed professional before moving in.

Surface Protection for Countertops – Easy and Important

Choosing a countertop is one of the biggest decisions that homeowners make during a remodel. Countertops are very noticeable and leave a huge first impression. They are an integral part of the design aesthetic and design language of a kitchen, and they're also one of the most heavily used parts of a kitchen. In short,…

Choosing a countertop is one of the biggest decisions that homeowners make during a remodel. Countertops are very noticeable and leave a huge first impression. They are an integral part of the design aesthetic and design language of a kitchen, and they're also one of the most heavily used parts of a kitchen. In short, having a perfect countertop is a vital component of any kitchen or bathroom remodel.

Aside from being important to the design and functionality of a kitchen, new countertops can be extremely expensive. Granite countertops typically cost at least $ 50 / sqft, before installation cost is even factored in. Quartz countertops are now a popular choice for remodels, and they are even more expensive, typically costing $ 75 / sqft. With so much design and practical financial importance on the line, protecting countertops during construction and remodel work with surface protection is an easy decision to make.

During construction, it is common for interior finishes to get damaged and require repair or replacement. Countertops are not alone in this regard; cabinets and floors are also frequently damaged. However, unlike with a wooden cabinet or a ceramic floor tile, high-end countertops typically can not be repaired if any damage occurs to them. This makes protecting them from damage and blemishes so important.

Fortunately, countertops are extremely easy finish to protect. Using bespoke countertop protection products such as TackGuard adhesive wrap or traditional countertop films, it only takes one person seconds to wrap a countertop with protection. These countertop protection products keep the finish surface clean and scratch-free for the duration of a project.

A number of other general surface protection solutions can also be applied to countertops. Multipurpose Protecta-Foam offers foam cushioned impact resistance and a light adhesive that removals cleanly when the project is completed. Although originally designed for custom cabinetry, Protecta-Foam is an increasingly popular countertop protection. Floor protection products like Surface Liner Vapor and RamBoard can also be cut down and used to wrap countertops with protection.

Wrapping a countertop will protect it from minor tool damage, liquid marks, and prevent scratches left behind from any other construction debris. Preventing construction debris, nails, scraps of wood, dust, drywall etc … from resting on a countertop is the most important precaution to take. If debris is left on a countertop, it is extremely easy for scratches and blemishes to form. Furthermore, wrapping a countertop with surface protection makes clean-up fast, and ensures a spotless countertop when construction and remodel work is complete.

When working with such an expensive and important interior finish, the decision to use easy and affordable surface protection is an easy one. Preventing surface damage on a jobsite cuts down on construction time, cost, and ensures that a home is perfect when it's turned over to the homeowner.

Create the Victorian Magic by Remodeling the Home and Kitchen Environments

Inspired living based on Victorian perspectives is quite possible! Install decorative tiles on the ceiling and let the walls be wainscoted. Tall ceilings and metal installations would not really be necessary. Use metal tiles to bring radiance to the walls like in the bathroom and kitchen backsplash, the living and dining room. As far back…

Inspired living based on Victorian perspectives is quite possible! Install decorative tiles on the ceiling and let the walls be wainscoted. Tall ceilings and metal installations would not really be necessary. Use metal tiles to bring radiance to the walls like in the bathroom and kitchen backsplash, the living and dining room.

As far back as the Civil War, pressed metal square tiles came into vogue. Instead of heavy plaster, these strong and light fireproof tiles were cheaper. They remained popular in geometric shapes through many decades until the Great Depression when plain white drywall ceilings spread.

Pressed tin is getting fancied again in old Victorian residences because of style and presence. Lofts look attractive in metal tiles and exposed brick along with timber. We recommend tiles not used on the ceiling though.

If you desire the vintage look in the home, read on to discover a few ideas with metallic tiles to liven up the surroundings.

Get down to it in the kitchen

Install the Castle Metals for the old copper look. Build an elegant sink or stove backsplash Victorian style. If you wish for a nontraditional look, go for Metal Signatures combined with plain tiles on the backsplash. Copy the 1930s look with the Metallica series for an Art Deco backsplash.

Check out:
Village Bend in Olive 6 x 6, 4-1 / 4 x 4-1 / 4 with 1 x 8 Torello
Metal Signatures in Aged Iron Trellis Deco 4-1 / 4 x 4-1 / 4
Chateau Ogee Liner 1-1 / 2 x 12 and Trellis Liner 3 x 12

Why not copy the tin ceiling look and install it on the floor? Study some old pictures and lay several motifs in the floor center with a border of plain tiles. I could have the reverse arrangement on the kitchen countertop.

It is time for the dining room makeover

While some people wish for white dining rooms, metal tiles Victorian style will turn it cozy but dark. Coordinate the colors esthetically while exotic carpets and dark wood colors would be great. Metal embossed tiles will bring decorative touches like wainscoting on the lower wall. Lighting like antique chandeliers would work fine in a gray color scheme.

A bathroom to cherish

Bring a serious note with metal tiles in the frame of the shower space and on the shower backsplash. Other options are artistic strips with pewter and bronze tiles horizontally, and a border with embossed tiles enclosing a plain tiled center.

Do you fancy Aged Bronze Jardin floor / wall border, corners of Tumbled Natural Stone in Sand and Antalya Dark field tile on the floor?

Renovate the wet bar scene

Sometimes a brushed stainless steel hexagon mosaic tile backsplash would work just fine. The brushed stainless steel would contrast well with the light wood cabinets, white walls, and beige carpets. Wet bar backsplashes would also benefit from Metal Signatures Aged Iron Tumbled Stone, using the same tiles on the floor. Match it with the white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, refrigerator, and stools.

Metal tiles never really went out of style, dating to Victorian times. Enjoy the eternal quality for decades to come.

Ballistic Missile Inbound Toward Your Sad, Old Kitchen

Think fast! You've only got 20 minutes left to decide if you should remodel your dilapidated kitchen or bathroom before the destruction begins. But wait! It's too late for that. You should have done it years ago so that you actually had time to enjoy the renovation before the sirens went off. Now are not…

Think fast! You've only got 20 minutes left to decide if you should remodel your dilapidated kitchen or bathroom before the destruction begins. But wait! It's too late for that. You should have done it years ago so that you actually had time to enjoy the renovation before the sirens went off. Now are not you sorry you waiting? Consider the error in Hawaii a wake-up call.

My advice is to get a jump on things before it's too late. Stop living in squalor and live it up! Today you have more choices in colors and designs and materials, at a wider price range, than ever before. And since the government is now shut down there's less to do anyway. Why not stroll over to your local kitchen and bath dealer to see what you can do, before someone does something to you?

This month, the annual Remodeling Cost vs Value report has been published showing which home improvements have gone up or down in respect to the return on your investment. Just Google: “Cost vs Value” or click on the link at the end of this article. The standouts this year are increases in return on mid-range Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels.

More choices, better values, higher returns! What are you waiting for? Find yourself a licensed home improvement contractor with a stellar reputation (by looking at his stars on the internet) and you're well on your way. Do not worry about getting lost in the dreaded Kitchen Triangle, your professional will guide you through the pitfalls of poor design and point you to a creative solution to even the most perplexing floor plan conundrums. Streamlining the interior of the cabinetry to suit your every need, the trained mind of an experienced designer, using intelligent design, can increase your storage capacity without changing the size of your room!

Take out your pencil and paper. Make a list of everything that you must have in your new kitchen or bathroom. Then make a second list or “wish list” of additional things that would be great if your budget is amenable. Come up with a budget that you would be comfortable with for the project and discuss all of this with your designer or contractor. If you're not sure what your budget should be, the experts say for a completely new kitchen it's rough 5% to 15% of the value of your home. This breaks down to about 5% for design costs; 40% for cabinets; 15% countertops; 15% for appliances; 5% flooring; 3% fixtures and 17% labor. This, of course, is only an estimate and will be affected by your choice of materials, the age of your home, and if you are making any structural changes to the area.

To paraphrase myself (and who better to do so) now that the sirens have gone off it brings to mind the 50's, when we were taught in elementary school, in case of a nuclear attack, to duck under our desks and cover our heads. This we were assured, by Bert the turtle, would certainly protect us from Armageddon and in case of a nuclear blast we would live to tell about it. Just Google: “Duck and Cover” or click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKqXu-5jw60 to watch the riveting 1951 production of Duck and Cover.

Do not wait until it's too late. If you have not lost all your money by putting it into Chocolate Bit-Coin as mentioned in a previous article, add your funds to your largest investment, which for most of us is our home. Enjoy it for years too come as it increases in value daily, and if the missions do someday come, you can laugh at them and say at least I got to enjoy my home before they fell.

(Click here to see the latest “Cost vs Value” for our area: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2017/middle-atlantic/ )

Hire Contractors for Home Renovation to Save Time And Money

One of the unique and interesting professions is architecture. This is the only profession where you can give life to your imagination and turn it into reality. Architects opt for this profession because they have the ability and courage to design their own box (as per their liking) rather thinking inside the box. They must…

One of the unique and interesting professions is architecture. This is the only profession where you can give life to your imagination and turn it into reality. Architects opt for this profession because they have the ability and courage to design their own box (as per their liking) rather thinking inside the box. They must have extraordinary skills that most are not held. They must possess an ability to envision something amazing prior building it and be capable to handle a design to meet some criteria and standards.

While constructing an edifice, you will carefully scrutinize the work of many people involved from contractors to builders to subcontractors. Apart from it, local building department will keep an eye on you to ensure that the whole thing is as per the building codes and standards. It can be a bewildering and boring task. Architects are well-versed and experienced professional who empathize the process by listening to your requirements and take care of your interests. There are lots of advantages of engaging professional architectural services as given below:

Architects conceptualize the plans while constructors follow it. There are numerous perceptions of constructing home, which constructors may not always aware of and requires the help of architects to comply with the right procedure. In this manner, they work as an eye and ear of the constructors by concentrating on possible issues that may cost thousands of dollars if fixed later.

Architects merges the designs that otherwise seem as an intricate riddle. They ensure that each of your room gets proper sunlight and space, moreover constructed in a right place. For instance, the kitchen must be at such location from where food is served easily and also has proper ventilation.

They have a propensity to take a broad picture and ensure that every minute detail is being treated with proper care. For instance, there must be an appropriate space for your children where they can lift off their school bags while returning from school rather than creating a chaos in the living room.

Architects generally have knowledge and proficiency in constructing the home designs in the most pleasurable manner without hitting your budget. Besides this, they also make sure all minute issues that can further create big problems in your home such as ventilated rooms or get proper air and sunlight etc must be mended beforehand

With their across-the-board experience in building several edifices within bound budgets, they acquaint different issues that crop up while constructions and techniques to solve them.

They feel great when people admire their designed home or other edifice and they always make sure that they feel groovy. Apart from the pragmatic difficulties like space and size of rooms, they also take into consideration the abstract aspects like its look, ambience and exterior / interior design of every room.

By engaging the services of professionally experienced and well-versed architectural services, you can literally save the huge amount that you got on fixing the wrong things at the time of construction, which will cost double if mended later.

Study Room: Are You Making These Furniture Mistakes?

In the movies we always see the main character in a stunning study, with a fleshy leather chair and a mahogany table that has only one item on it. The study has bookshelves filled with hundreds of books. Of course, times have changed and this is no longer a practical set up. Here are some…

In the movies we always see the main character in a stunning study, with a fleshy leather chair and a mahogany table that has only one item on it. The study has bookshelves filled with hundreds of books. Of course, times have changed and this is no longer a practical set up. Here are some mistakes you are making when arranging the furniture.

Only allow the chair to face the door if there is sufficient space. Nowadays, the study is used to do arts and crafts, scrap booking, artistic activities and gaming. Narrow rooms work best with the desk pushed against the wall so that there is more space along the other walls.

Limit the amount of bookshelves in your study. Rather fill a taller bookshelf with all the books you have in order to save space. Some books also do not need to be kept any longer than necessary, especially if they have been read, are fiction and are not classic novels.

Cables and wires need to be placed out of the way for safety reasons. Anyone can accidently trip over wires if they are unaware of the space conditions within the study. The best place to keep cables and wires is against the wall behind the electronic devices. It will also look more appealing and neat.

Crafts can become quite a hassle if you have many boxes with the different items. Use a floating shelf above the desk to store your crafts so that they are out of the way but still easily accessible.

Do not allow yourself to use surfaces as storage for junk you have lying around the house. If something is no longer needed, it needs to be given away or thrown away. If something is only temporarily out of use, proper storage techniques should be used.

Separate tables should be used for crafts and computer usage. Computers are delicate objects that need to be cleaned all the time. Crafts often cause a lot of dust due to the cutting of paper, the sprinkling of glitter, and use of powders. If you have space for another bookshelf and a small table, that could be your arts and crafts area.

Rolling chairs on rugs do not work. The only time you will not get stuck with a rolling chair on a carpet is if the carpet is smooth and hard. Sponginess underneath the wheels of the chair will cause slow movement which could be frustrating.

All studies should have modern furniture arranged properly. Practicality is a new trend. Everyone should live without hassle.

What to Consider When Changing the Front Door

We all get to a stage in our lives where we want to make changes to our homes. Some people choose to renovate the entire house while others choose to make minor changes in each room. The front door is generally a simpler renovation procedure that many home owners elect to change. There are aspects…

We all get to a stage in our lives where we want to make changes to our homes. Some people choose to renovate the entire house while others choose to make minor changes in each room. The front door is generally a simpler renovation procedure that many home owners elect to change. There are aspects to consider 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 larger 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 paneled 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 explanatory for wanting to replace the door. Some people also do not want to have such a large door taking up so much wall space on the inside.

  • Material

In some regions, certain materials are not compatible with the weather conditions. You need to decide on which material you want your front door to be made of and you will have to get the advice from the custom door manufacturer to find out which option will be best for your house.

There are other reasons that people choose to change the front door but before making any arrangements, you need to check if the house can handle it structurally. Some architects use the front door as part of the structure of the house.