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the kitchen, basement or the bathroom because those are the rooms that add the most value to a home and can become outdated more quickly.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!

Tips For Removing Linoleum

When it comes time to get new flooring you can save money by removing the old flooring yourself but if you have old linoleum on your floors you might be in for quite a challenge. Depending on how old the linoleum is and the type of adhesive that was used it can be extremely difficult to get up.

First of all, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to just remove the linoleum and adhesive all at once. The surface under the linoleum and the damage you might cause it needs to be considered – especially if that surface is wood. Concrete floors can take a lot more in the way of rough treatment. The type of scraper you use has a lot to do with your success as well as the damage to the floor underneath. Many people use paint scrapers but those with a razor blade are usually more efficient. Be prepared to break some blades it if the adhesive is hard, and you’re working on concrete.

Try cutting the linoleum into strips or sections instead of removing the whole chunk at once. This will make it easier to get an edge to pry up. Of course, the linoleum probably won’t come up in nice neat sections so be prepared to deal with a lot of left over backing and glue that is still attached to your floor.

One way to deal with those remnants that just won’t come up is to apply some kind of solvent or remover. A popular brand is KrudKutter, which appears to work very well from the customer feedback comments. Follow directions on the label of whatever product you employ, and wear gloves to protect your hands. Do a small section at a time, and then move to the next one.

Another technique is to use boiling water and pour it directly on the backing and adhesive. Let it soak and then scrape up. If you don’t want to use water, you can try to heat up the glue with a hair dryer or heat gun. Pick a very inconspicuous area, such as behind a door, to try it. Heat the adhesive with the hair dryer and scrape it up with a straight-blade scraper (like a stiff putty knife with a beveled edge). Move the scraper in the direction of the grain of the wood if you are uncovering a hardwood floor. Have a pan or some other container handy to drop the scrapings into – one that is unlikely to either melt or ignite when coming in contact with hot materials. Be very careful if you are using a heat gun as this can easily damage the floor underneath if it is wood.

If worse comes to worse and you are left with some stubborn adhesive on the floors, it might be time to sand. Of course, if your floors are wood and you plan to refinish them you would need to sand anyway, but during this step you must be careful not to damage the particular area by keeping the sander on it for too long.

Once you finally get the linoleum and all traces of adhesive up, you are ready to seal the floor as recommended for the type of flooring and apply the new floor as recommended!

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.