Useful Remodeling Ideas – BEFORE You Get Started!

Home remodeling can be done for function or just because the house needs a new look, or a combination of the two. The focus of home remodeling for most homeowners is usually the kitchen, basement or the bathroom because those are the rooms that add the most value to a home and can become outdated more quickly. Just as in fashion, home decor goes through fads, and typically if bathrooms and kitchens have not been remodeled for ten years or more, it’s obvious!

How many times have we heard the jokes about the ambitious do-it-yourself homeowner who starts project after project, only to stop in the middle and not finish any one of them? Usually the weekend warrior runs out of time, or perhaps money, or maybe he or she realizes that much more has been bitten off than can possibly be chewed. The results are evident – half-finished paintjobs that leave some walls in one color while others sport another; flooring has been exposed but never finished; kitchen cabinets are leaning against the wall yet will not be anchored in for weeks or perhaps months. Sadly, many a homeowner neglected to receive some sound remodeling tips prior to embarking on their tasks. To this end, here are some tips and tricks that will you to get off to a good start, before you actually pick up your checkbook or your tools!

One of the first remodeling tips that are usually neglected is the fact that it should have a general appeal. Granted, this may be common sense, yet it is astounding how many homeowners add or take away from their homes in such a way that a future sale is compromised. While the homeowner may think that a purple bathroom with yellow handprints is just darling, the potential buyer who tours the house two years down the line will probably wrinkle his nose at this decor faux pas. In the same way, if you decide to add on to your home, do it with an eye on the investment potential. In other words, do not do a half-fast job yourself, but instead pull the proper permits and hire licensed contractors to at least take a look before the building inspector stops by.

Experts have a tool box full of different small bathroom remodeling ideas, but most can be grouped into two categories: creating light and creating visual space. The illusions of space and light complement each other and expand a small space. Anyone who has tried to apply makeup in a small dark room knows how important light is, and it’s created in a variety of ways, both natural and artificial. Natural light comes from windows, skylights, and any other opening that allows sun into the space. Whenever possible, windows should be left uncovered or only lightly covered by a filmy white or light-colored window covering. Paint colors from the cool end of the color spectrum reflect and enhance natural light, as do mirrors and light-colored flooring. Even a light-colored, inexpensive rug used to cover a dark floor can brighten up a space. Artificial light, originating from ceiling lights, wall sconces or lamps, can also brighten a space when employed artfully. Recessed lighting, which creates the illusion of space as well as light, could also be a viable option for you. Just be sure to use artificial light that is bright without being oppressive. Look in your home and garden store for special bulbs that can be used to effectively diffuse the light.

Other remodeling tips include the popularity versus functionality of a desired item, as well as value for the items. For example, just because recessed lighting is the latest fad, it may not be the lighting of choice for the bathroom where it may create dark spots and shade in undesirable areas. In addition to the foregoing, the value of the items purchased should remain intact, thus adding value to the home rather than simply costing money. Thereafter it is a smart idea to do a bit of research to see where home decorating trends are headed. Some old time favorites, such as ceiling tiles or even marble counter tops, are becoming a thing of the past, and if you are wondering about adding value to your home it is best to decorate with the market in mind. Naturally, not all homeowners will look to sell their properties within the next few years or until after the next remodel, yet this rule of thumb is certain to add value to the biggest investment you will ever make rather than just drain the bank account.

Hopefully these remodeling tips have added a little bit of common sense to the mix of weekend projects and large undertakings, and the next time you contemplate a project, please be sure to think it through from beginning to end before your jump into the car to head to the local big box store for supplies!

Is a Silent Invader Attacking Your Home?

Expensive repairs from water damage might be needed in your home. Repair them before they multiply! Water damage is possible any time in the year-from the weather, malfunctioned appliances, clogs, or by poorly done home repair. You can save on most home repair costs by ensuring that your home is safeguarded from water damage seasonally before anything turns into expensive repairs.

What does water damage look like? Standing water can weaken a surface, causing it to rot, rust, or mildew, and eventually turn into expensive repairs.

The most expensive repairs are foundational damage and mold growths. Such home repair can force you to vacate if the home is deemed unsafe even after treated for water damage by professionals. Take control by learning how to home repair or prevent potential water damage sites.

Outdoor water damage prevention home repair tips:

  1. Do-it-yourself home repair for gutters are simple and not expensive. Repairs can be minimized if you remember to check for water damage or leaks and clean out the gutters and downspouts each season.
  1. Block debris with gutter guards, and use downspout extensions to help divert the runoff from the foundation to prevent further expensive repairs from water damage.

Indoor water damage prevention home repair tips:

  1. Home repair any loose window and door caulking to prevent rain or snow from seeping in and causing water damage.
  1. In below-freezing weather, keep the water running at a trickle and allow heat to reach the pipes. This will avoid having them burst, with the potential for water damage.
  1. Avoid expensive repairs to your basement’s sump pump by keeping it in working order.
  1. Replace or home repair the sump pump as needed, ensuring the surrounding area remains dry and water-damage-free.
  1. Check refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines regularly for water damage itself, or for leaks that can cause water damage to floors or walls.
  1. Avoid needless expensive repairs or home repair to bathroom drains and pipes by using drain guards to trap hair.
  1. Home repair clogged drains with a plunger or a bent wire instead of professional products.
  1. Replace leaky faucets, run bathroom exhaust fans during use, and thoroughly clean and dry surfaces regularly to prevent water damage and mold from building.
  1. Don’t use carpeting in areas exposed to water-damage can occur if carpeting is damp.

When to call on professional help:

  1. To thoroughly dry carpeting/floor after flooding.
  2. When home repair fails to correct a problem.
  3. If water damage causes you to vacate the home.
  4. To service your air conditioning unit.

Before you can file a claim for expensive repairs caused by water damage to your home, your insurance company expects you to have followed through with all safeguarding measures. Otherwise, be prepared to pay for any home repair due to your negligence.

When water damage comes from floods, make sure your home insurance includes flood coverage, for it to pay for each home repair-including all of the expensive repairs-caused from water damage. In the U.S., the reality is that flooding and water damage can occur anywhere. Home insurance covers home repairs needed as a result of structural damage or theft, but in most cases you will need to purchase a separate flood policy if you want any water damage home repairs covered as a result of flooding. Flood insurance is truly a safeguard on home repairs, an affordable investment that pays for itself.

Home Theaters Give You an Escape from Reality

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as being able to immerse yourself in total darkness before seeing a crystal clear studio logo pop onto the big screen while a blast of 5.1 digital surround sound overtakes your senses and rumbles beneath you. You are experiencing the rush of watching a movie in a theater. But not just any theater, it’s your home theater.

That’s right. No one kicking the seat behind you, throwing candy at your head or talking on the phone during the best scenes; if they do you can kick them out yourself!

In many ways the home theater experience far surpasses the big screens of movie theater chains. Not only the annoyances listed previously, but there’s also the factor of cost and convenience.

With the price of a movie ticket running somewhere around $10, plus the cost of snacks, you could easily afford your own home theater just by skipping those evenings out for a year or two. Depending on how expensive your tastes are possibly even sooner than that. And there’s no need to wait for the 7 o’clock showing or stand in line; you can start, stop and schedule your movie showings whenever it’s convenient for you.

As true home theater enthusiasts we’d been designing our perfect escape since before we bought our house. We were just looking for the perfect house to fit our dreams. We found it a few years ago and proceeded to design our dream theater with gusto. We had most of our cinema equipment (just needing a few finishing touches like the 5.1 digital surround and more monster cables) so we dug into planning everything from seating arrangement and style, to carpet color and decor, to the large hinged wall with secret escape route (doesn’t every kid want one?)

By doing most of it ourselves we saved thousands of dollars but it also took about a year to “finish.” Well, it’s finished enough for us to enjoy, we are always working on the little touches here and there. Many people hire professionals to design and build their theater’s, which saves a lot of time (but not always money.)

After a long hard day at work, or an evening of frustrating parenting, the need to escape reality can become overwhelming. Being able to drop ourselves into complete darkness and seclusion and then immerse ourselves in a full senses banquet of sights and sounds from Hollywood we can quickly forget our own headaches and get wrapped up in the big screen. Those two hours are sanity savers without ever needing to leave the house (or get candy thrown at our heads)