The Value In Home Improvement

I watch many good home improvement shows on television and I really enjoy many of them. The problem that I experience is sometimes, my inability to produce the same end results. Why does something that appears so easy, result in a job that turns out much more difficult? It really does look easy.

I am pretty handy and do almost all of my electrical, plumbing, gardening,car maintenance and yard maintenance. One thing I have learned is that we should try to use the right tool. I am not suggesting that we go out and buy every tool we see Norm use on his show.

His workshop will remain in the dream category for most people. You should have some decent basic tools though. Each must decide for himself what he plans to accomplish and what are the basic tools required.

Temperament and personality may be a factor. Most of the experts we see on TV, seem educated about their tools and procedures and they seem deliberate and patient. I think we should at least have a basic plan beforehand to guide us along and to get us going in the right direction.

I think we need to be patient with each step and we should not try to move too fast. This should set us up for an acceptable end result.

Is there value in home improvement?
Well there is the obvious – money saving. But there is more. You will derive more pleasure from that garden bench if you managed to build it yourself rather than from one you bought at the local hardware. There is much more that is not so obvious.

Have you ever worked with your kids or grand kids on a project? It’s fun and they learn to do things for themselves in the process. My own children have saved very much money by doing things that others pay to have done. I get a little personal pride from that. I like to think I was a small factor in that ability.

Another aspect would be demonstrated by achieving exactly what you want. I shudder at these people on TV telling me what I want and using all those odd terms to describe the fixtures and colors etc. Where do they get those seemingly weird terms to describe matching conditions and pieces of furniture and wall coverings.

I simply know I want this particular result and don’t want somebody deciding what I need or want. I guess that’s only me. The bottom line – I will manage to have what I want when I am finally finished.

Another benefit can be found just in learning something new. Maybe you will find abilities you didn’t even know that you possessed. Maybe you will discover a more acceptable birdhouse for your habitat.

Are there downsides to home improvement. There is probably something to be said for “saving money”. I know I said this was a benefit! Well, maybe you weren’t quite as handy as you thought. Maybe you took the long way there and it cost you more. That can happen. I wouldn’t consider that all bad. Experiment and see what you can accomplish.

Sometimes your project just doesn’t work out. You have still learned something in that.

Are home improvement projects for everyone. I know some people would quickly answer “no” to this question. I wouldn’t be so quick to make that judgment. Whether you are very successful or the project is a dismal failure – you are going to learn something.

Maybe you will only learn that you need to be very careful in selecting which projects you will undertake. Maybe you will learn that you are pretty handy. However, we will all learn something by taking on some sort of home improvement project!
Why not give it a try!

Choosing Tile For Your Home Improvement Project

Are you considering using tile for your home improvement project? If so, where do you begin?

There is an enormous variety of styles, colors, types, and price points to choose from. First of all consider what the tile will be used for. For example, floor tiles need to be durable and slip resistant, while wall tiles don’t. Relatively hard tiles that rate at least 6 or 7 on the Mohs scale (a 1-to-10 scale used by tile manufacturers to indicate the hardness or softness of a tile) and that have a textured or matte glaze are the best for floors.

For the bath or shower walls, ease of cleaning is an important consideration. It is best to use tiles with a shiny glaze for walls so hardness is less of an issue. What you might do is to take a few samples home that you are considering using and kind of take them for a test drive in the areas that you plan on using them. That way you can check out scratching, reaction to soap and water spots, scuffing, cleaning ease in the area you are planning to use them.

Slate has a rich, organic look and is available in a variety of colors and surface finishes. Some slate has a rougher texture that provides good traction for floors and walls, but because slate is soft and somewhat porous, it needs to be sealed and properly maintained to prevent staining.

Marble is a beautiful and popular bathroom finish material, but is generally also the most susceptible to staining among the natural stones. Highly polished marbles are most vulnerable, and like most stones, marble needs to be sealed with a penetrating silicone sealer that is maintained regularly.

Natural stones like granite, soapstone, and slate are popular finish materials for bathrooms because of their natural beauty and durability. Stone is available in both highly polished and matte finishes.

Then, of course, there is ceramic and porcelain tile, one of the most widely used tiles for the bathroom. It is available in a variety of finishes including matte, glossy, textured and natural. There is a wide range of prices. Cost can run from as little as 35 cents apiece while the fancier handmade specialy tiles can range from $10 to $150 each. There is a huge range of edging options, and comes in sizes from 1″x 1″ up to 24″ x 24″ and from thickness of 1/4″ to 3/8″.

Expressing Your Personality Though Home Improvement

Home improvement through renovating and redecorating is one of the core preoccupations for most of the people and, currently, the Maryland home improvement market as well as Washington DC magazine offer a variety of materials and solutions.

House decorating is a perfect way to express your personal style and individuality. Although it can be a discouraging experience for some of us, it finally proves to be an experience requiring enthusiasm, time and money. A house should not be exclusively a functional area; it can be at the same time, an enjoyable, relaxing and battery-charging spot, reflecting aspects of our personality and sending messages to the entire world.
Abound
Nowadays, Maryland home improvement market thrives with goods for home and garden use, as well as with countless pieces of advice and information on decorating premises. This information might be accessed by reading books and the mass media, for instance Washington DC magazine, by watching TV programs or, last but not the least, by waving on the net, searching on specialized websites like welcomehomewashington.com. Still, despite so many informational sources, finding the proper decorating style or themes can be a difficult task.

Decorating activities are usually indispensable when moving into a new house, but they can be done whenever we feel like or we no longer like the old style. When decorating or redecorating a room, the leading question should be: what is the function of this area? One room should not be associated with one single function, one particular activity; it should also signal a certain emotional state. For instance, the main function of a dining room is, obviously, to provide enough space for people to gather around the table and eat. True indeed, but the secondary functionality of the same room would be to make the family members or the guests feel comfy and relaxed, generating pleasant conversations. Likewise, the function of a bedroom is to offer a place to rest, but at the same time, it could be a sanctuary of serenity, where people can relax, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Usually, the secondary function of a room may vary depending on its initial functionality.

When you made up your mind about the each room’s functionality, get to the next level: deciding for modeling or remodeling style, furniture and accessories. Visiting Maryland home improvement dedicated shops would be a start point and a very good method of discovering your preferences and personally testing different models. In order to fruitfully combine your personal style with the function of the room look through the decorating section of publications and magazines. One reliable and constant source of inspiration in terms of lifestyle and decorating fashion would be Washington DC magazine.

Normally, any person has an idea about the kind of interior design or furniture style she or he would like to have. But it rarely happens to know exactly, from the very beginning, how your home should look like. Sometimes, there might be two or more options to oscillate in between. At this point Washington DC magazine might be a real help providing pictures, interviews with architects and designers or celebrities and their houses. The moment you gather several design ideas, but you don’t have a clue on how to combine them in order to create a pleasant outlook and also a functional setting, it’s high time you get in touch with a Maryland home improvement designer. The designer will shape up your thoughts, creating a setting and an atmosphere as personal as you can describe them.

It’s very tempting to get along with the up-to-the-minute Maryland home improvement trends in terms of accessories and decorations or to apply all the tips and recommendations found in Washington DC magazine, but this predisposition will lead to frequent and expensive redecorating sessions. On Maryland home improvement market there are long-lasting home improvement trends, as well as short-lived home improvement trends, dying as quickly as a candle in the wind.

Home Improvement Projects Can Increase The Value Of Your Home

Home improvement projects can improve the look and value of your home dramatically. Though in some cases, using a home improvement project as a way to increase the value of your home can actually backfire and cost you money. So how will you be able to tell if the project that you have planned will add to the value of your home or decrease the value of your home?

The first thing that you need to know is the appraised value of your home. You must know the appraisal value, or estimated resale price, of your home before you can determine if a project will increase or decrease the value of your home. Although you may feel that your home is worth a certain amount of money, and that a home improvement will increase the value by X amount of dollars, your feelings will not set the final selling price, the appraisal will.

When completing a home improvement project that you believe will dramatically improve the resale value of your home, you need to consider your neighbors houses. If you have the nicest house in your neighborhood, but you are trying to sell it for twice as much as the appraisal value of other homes in the neighborhood, you will be disappointed.

A general guide is to not try to sell your home for more than 20% of what the surrounding homes will sell for. For simplicity, let us assume that the homes in your neighborhood are appraised at a value of $100,000. This would mean that you could expect to get about $120,000 out of your home if you make selective home improvements.

What this means for you as a homeowner is that you should seriously rethink any home improvement project that would cost more than $20,000 going by our above example. Using the above example, it is easy to see that a $30,000 home improvement project would cause you to lose money in the long run.

Now, if you can make a home improvement that costs very little, but results in a higher resale value, it may be a good idea to pursue that project. Going back to our example, if you can spend $5,000 on a project and this results in your home being appraised at $115,000, then it is a great investment idea.

You also want to consider the appeal that your home improvement project would have to a future owner. For example, swimming pools and hot tubs may be something that you enjoy, but would a potential buyer pay extra for those features? There are some fairly safe projects that you can pursue that other home buyers generally find valuable. Some of these include kitchen remodeling, adding or remodeling a bathroom, adding a new room, landscaping, etc.

Also keep in mind that maintenance projects do not usually result in an increased value for your home. Replacing a broken furnace or hot water heater usually will not improve the value of your home when selling it. These are considered maintenance issues that all homeowners expect the home to have working. Most people would not consider paying full price for a home that does not have these basic features in working order.

The bottom line is that if you are interested in increasing the resale value of your home you need to make smart decisions. Smart decisions on which home improvement projects to tackle can put extra money in your pocket when you sell your house.

Where To Learn All About Basic Home Improvement

Your home is something that should reflect your sense of self. If you care about your home, those who see it will take notice. In addition, when you choose to improve your home from time to time, you will also be making a good investment. Anything you do that will raise the value of your home is a great thing to consider. There are many basic home improvement ideas that you can do yourself. Take a look at how to find out about basic home improvement and how you can learn to do things yourself.

Watching television shows on home improvement is a great way to learn all about basic home improvement. You can turn on the television at almost any time of day and find some type of basic home improvement show on. If you watch enough of these shows, you can start racking up the knowledge on home improvement. The things they teach you in these shows are things that you can usually do yourself, or with your partner.

Another way you can learn all about basic home improvement is to log onto the Web. You can do a basic search on almost any home improvement activity and find out how to perform the task. It is great to be able to hop on the Web and find out how to do any task. You can print off the instructions and start right away. Many sites even give you a task list of materials you will need, and tell you any measuring tips you will need.

So, remember that to do basic home improvement, you don’t need to hire a professional. You can often do many of the tasks yourself, saving yourself a great deal of cash. In addition, you can tweak the instructions to fit your specific needs and desires, which will allow you to end up with a product you like better than anything you could pay for.

Winter The Best Time Of The Year For Home Improvement

Many homeowners elect to engage in home improvement projects during the spring and summer seasons. This is because many people want to get outdoors and paint their home, or replace a tile on the roof. These seasons provide some of the best types of weather for these particular home improvement projects. However, there is another time of the year in which you can perform various projects. That is in the winter. This is considered the off season for home improvement tasks, and can prove to be one of the best times of the year to actually indulge in these tasks.

If you are interested in performing home improvement projects in the winter, you will find that you can indulge in some great deals! Most home project supplies are drastically discounted during the winter season. You can purchase paints, painting supplies, garden supplies, home improvement tools, and power tools for much less in the winter than you can in the seasons of spring and summer. This can open up numerous possibilities for you as far as home projects are concerned during this time frame.

One of the first projects that you can pursue in the winter season is home organization. There are many different projects that surround the concept of home organization. Installing modular closet organizers, shelving, and other types of organizational systems in the home may prove to be extremely beneficial. Not only can these projects be done indoors, you can save a lot of money by purchasing the supplies to complete these projects in the winter.

The next project that you can complete during the winter is pipe replacement. Many individuals elect to replace the internal pipe system in the home to avoid the complications of bursting pipes, frozen pipes, and more. If you have been looking for a great time for this type of project, the winter season is the best! Pipes are often discounted during the winter months due to the fact that they are sold in such large amounts in the winter.

As you can see, winter makes a great time to do some home improvement projects. You can buy the supplies for relatively little as far as money is concerned, and enjoy working in and around your home when others are settling down for the year. No more searching everywhere for supplies, or breaking the bank to get what you need! Buy your home improvement supplies at the end of the year, and save a ton!

Obtaining A Home Improvement Estimate

When you are unsure what a home improvement repair or project will cost because you have never done anything similar before you can ask for a home improvement estimate. Your estimate will be a guide as to what the entire project may cost. A home improvement estimate is a great way to figure out how many dollars you will need to find to remodel a room.

How Does A Home Improvement Estimate Work?

A home improvement estimate will cost the project based on the dimensions of your room. You will need to be specific about the materials you wish to use and the finished look that you are trying to achieve. Your consultant will inform you of any contractor markups that you may be responsible for and the estimate will take into account regional pricing differences. All of these steps contribute to your home improvement estimate.

These costs come from researchers who compile the material costs by contacting hundreds of lumberyards throughout the United States. The labor costs are compiled by tracking the labor trends and collecting data from professional remodeling contractors who use the pricing service.

When you are obtaining your home improvement estimate, the costs are collected from many different regions. These costs are used to determine the price of your project and are specific to your job. This information is combined with knowledge of the area that you live in, all of which assists with your home improvement estimate. The closer they are, the easier it is to get your items.

The price you get during a home improvement estimate is based on the information you provide to the consultant. This is a good indication of what your project will cost, but your actual price may vary. When you decide on a contractor, they will be able to take accurate measurements and flesh out the details you have already received. Other factors can impact the final price of your project as well. Things like access to the work area, unusual terrain, scheduling, seasonal conditions, etc.

Most of the items in your home improvement estimate the prices will be quoted at retail price. This is what you would pay if you bought these items from a retail store. This way you get a better idea what the style and quality of the product is you are specifying. Appliances are an excellent example of something you would buy from a retailer. All of these considerations will be taken into account with your home improvement estimate.

If you want to cut down on the cost of your home improvement project take a look at the jobs that you can do yourself. There will always be jobs that you can do on your own without having to pay someone else. Find a good home improvement repair book and follow the instructions. Start with smaller jobs like painting and slowly build your handyman proficiency, and this alone can cut the cost of your home improvement by half, if not more.

Timing Your Home Improvement For A Better Price

Are you looking for materials for a new deck? Try waiting until the fall instead of buying in the spring. As winter approaches there are fewer people putting in decks, which means that you may get your materials more cheaply in October than you can in April. Also, if you can wait for the holiday sales to buy you can often save a lot. Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays are typically good times to buy home improvement materials. With a little attention to the sales you can dramatically reduce your home improvement estimate.

Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Home Improvement Tips For Raising The Value Of Your House

Home improvement is nothing but the process of renovating, remodeling or making some changes to the existing home. Home improvement is one of the best ways to raise the worth of your investment property.

Home improvement can come in many types. Some of them include flooring, painting walls, installing air conditioning systems, adding new carpets, upgrading sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, adding new tiles, etc. These are just some types to mention. Still there are many ways to improve your home.

Home improvement tips to raise the Value and beauty of your house:

Develop the exterior of your house:
Always start home improvement with the exterior of your house as this is the major part of your property. Home exterior is the place which buyers see first. If a buyer impress with this then it precedes him further to think about.

So, home exterior decides a buyer whether he is interested in the property or not. Not only home exterior improve the value of your property, but also it adds beauty to your house.

Apply new paint or set up new sidings:
Applying fresh paint can greatly increase the value of your property. Painting is one of the great steps in home improvement. Painting is a simple and inexpensive way to increase the values of your property. In order to do it right you should follow some basic rules of using paint.

Some home painting tips for your home improvement:
#To appear the living space of your house large use the same paint color in adjoining rooms also.
#To expand room height, use different color for ceiling but use only light colors.
#Paint two cotes if you use light paints.
Landscaping:
This also comes under home exterior. Most of the people simply find landscaped lawns magical, particularly the woman of the house. Lawns arranged with plants, ornaments, and rocks make people to stop and stare for some time.

A green lawn at the front of your house looks great and adds to the beauty of the house. It refreshes your minds and your children can get fun by playing in the lawn. Lawns are companionable to the single-storied houses. A lawn adds a sense of proportion to your house.

Parking area – A matter of concern
Having comfortable parking space for your house obviously increases the worth of your house. Arrange shed in your parking yard to protect your vehicles and also it improves the appearance of your house.

Home interior – Makes your house a home
When you think to make upgrades in your home interior, immediately you will think about bathroom, kitchen, and then bedroom. First, start on these. Plan for new bathtub, tiles, and shower stalls in your bathroom and also arrange a full length mirror. Apply new paint to the interior and exterior of your bathroom.

Make your kitchen so that it has lot of free spaces that can fit a table, two sinks, counter top, usual appliances, and garbage disposal system. Also apply fresh tiles and are not light ones, because, stains will appear clearly on light colored tiles.

It is better to Plan for hardwood floor and proper lighting system at dining area, because it adds a pleasant look to your house.

Carpeting your house is also one of the home improvements. Carpeting improves your house beauty.

Till now you knew what to do for your home improvement. Follow these simple steps to make your home beautiful. So, start now and get your dream home! Visit Home Improvement

A Single Mom’s Guide To Home Improvement

When I bought my house nine years ago, my son was about to turn three and I reveled in the security of owning my slice of the American dream. Being a single mom was (and is!) both challenging and rewarding, but I knew that having a house to call my own was the best thing that ever happened to my son and me.

My house was ten years old when I bought it, and it was in excellent condition. Still, as time passed, a variety of issues cropped up. I think my way of handling (or not handling) home improvements is fairly typical for single women who own their own homes. Hopefully, my experiences will help you navigate the waters of home improvement. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. You can go places with a good book and a toolbox. The Christmas of the year I moved in, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a toolbox filled with the basics: screwdrivers, wrenches, a hammer, nails, nuts and bolts, and so forth. They also gave me a book on basic home repairs. Their gift literally provided me with the tools I needed, but it also gave me confidence that I could tackle minor home improvement projects. My advice: invest in some tools and use a book or online sources to guide you through the routine maintenance that your house requires.

2. Ask for advice. As a single woman who is now 49 years old and has limited knowledge of more complex home improvement issues, I’m always afraid that I’ll be taken advantage by a repair company. When my air conditioner conked out on a 100-plus degree day, for example, I had no way of knowing if I really needed a new unit. I’ve learned to call on neighbors, family members, and friends – whose collective knowledge exceeds mine – to get their impressions. They’ve steered me in the right direction on a number of occasions.

3. Keep tabs on the neighbors. All of the houses in my immediate vicinity were built by the same builder at roughly the same time. Getting to know my neighbors and talking to them about home improvement has helped me get a sense of what to plan for. For example, two years ago I began to see that the houses around me were starting to get new roofs. Although I didn’t have a leaky roof, a few months ago I decided to re-roof. I wanted to be proactive so I didn’t get stuck with the expense of drywall repairs in addition to the cost of a new roof.

4. Ask for referrals, and then check them yourself. Through my neighbors’ referrals, I’ve been able to find a superb roofer, an impeccable exterior house painter, and a terrific tile guy. But I don’t just rely on their word. I always – repeat, always – check with my state’s contractor licensing board to verify their licenses and with the Better Business Bureau to check on past complaints. I get all estimates in writing, and ask for proof of insurance.

5. Don’t put your head in the sand. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve chosen not to deal with a home improvement issue, and I’ve always regretted it. I knew, for example, that the exterior of my fireplace had some dry rot. Unfortunately, by letting it go for so long it cost me much more than if I would have dealt with it immediately.

6. Make a list. This last bit of advice is basic, but critical. Start and keep a home improvement list. As a single mom, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of daily life and let routine home maintenance fall by the wayside. I divide my home improvement list into three sections: one for items that need attention in the next three months; one for home improvement projects for the coming year; and one that maps out what I want to accomplish with the house over the next five years. The short- and medium-term lists keep me motivated, while my long-term list helps me save the money needed for the big-ticket items.

When I bought my house nine years ago, my son was about to turn three and I reveled in the security of owning my slice of the American dream. Being a single mom was (and is!) both challenging and rewarding, but I knew that having a house to call my own was the best thing that ever happened to my son and me.

My house was ten years old when I bought it, and it was in excellent condition. Still, as time passed, a variety of issues cropped up. I think my way of handling (or not handling) home improvements is fairly typical for single women who own their own homes. Hopefully, my experiences will help you navigate the waters of home improvement. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. You can go places with a good book and a toolbox. The Christmas of the year I moved in, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a toolbox filled with the basics: screwdrivers, wrenches, a hammer, nails, nuts and bolts, and so forth. They also gave me a book on basic home repairs. Their gift literally provided me with the tools I needed, but it also gave me confidence that I could tackle minor home improvement projects. My advice: invest in some tools and use a book or online sources to guide you through the routine maintenance that your house requires.

2. Ask for advice. As a single woman who is now 49 years old and has limited knowledge of more complex home improvement issues, I’m always afraid that I’ll be taken advantage by a repair company. When my air conditioner conked out on a 100-plus degree day, for example, I had no way of knowing if I really needed a new unit. I’ve learned to call on neighbors, family members, and friends – whose collective knowledge exceeds mine – to get their impressions. They’ve steered me in the right direction on a number of occasions.

3. Keep tabs on the neighbors. All of the houses in my immediate vicinity were built by the same builder at roughly the same time. Getting to know my neighbors and talking to them about home improvement has helped me get a sense of what to plan for. For example, two years ago I began to see that the houses around me were starting to get new roofs. Although I didn’t have a leaky roof, a few months ago I decided to re-roof. I wanted to be proactive so I didn’t get stuck with the expense of drywall repairs in addition to the cost of a new roof.

4. Ask for referrals, and then check them yourself. Through my neighbors’ referrals, I’ve been able to find a superb roofer, an impeccable exterior house painter, and a terrific tile guy. But I don’t just rely on their word. I always – repeat, always – check with my state’s contractor licensing board to verify their licenses and with the Better Business Bureau to check on past complaints. I get all estimates in writing, and ask for proof of insurance.

5. Don’t put your head in the sand. There has been more than one occasion when I’ve chosen not to deal with a home improvement issue, and I’ve always regretted it. I knew, for example, that the exterior of my fireplace had some dry rot. Unfortunately, by letting it go for so long it cost me much more than if I would have dealt with it immediately.

6. Make a list. This last bit of advice is basic, but critical. Start and keep a home improvement list. As a single mom, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of daily life and let routine home maintenance fall by the wayside. I divide my home improvement list into three sections: one for items that need attention in the next three months; one for home improvement projects for the coming year; and one that maps out what I want to accomplish with the house over the next five years. The short- and medium-term lists keep me motivated, while my long-term list helps me save the money needed for the big-ticket items.