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Home Renovation

The Easiest Way to Remodel Your Kitchen

To get started, go through kitchen magazines or search online to define your unique style. The design process includes many stages with attention to detail every step of the way. When you remodel a kitchen it is not an exact science, it’s a creative process. Things can change while the kitchen is being built, so be flexible and if things do change, look for easy solutions.
Begin with the budget, but remember, the budget represents materials with delivery charges, then time and labor costs. Whether you select hi-end products or are more budget conscious, the cost of a kitchen remodel can start to add up if you don’t have a plan. The first stage is to plan and design the space, then the selection and purchase of the materials and after that you must schedule all materials to be at the jobsite on time.
You can DIY and act as your own General Contractor. This is a way to save money, but if this is the first time you are remodeling your kitchen it may not be the easiest way. In this case you have to sub-contract out, the electric, plumbing and carpentry to skilled tradepeople. It is an ambitious challenge for your first kitchen remodel.
If you are first timers the easiest way to remodel your kitchen is to hire a General Contractor that has his own sub-contractors. It usually is more expensive, but using a GC can offer fresh ideas with new approaches and a valuable learning experiences.
The kitchen design business is a fun business, but it is the type of work, where the details are so numerous for the first time Do It Yourselfer or novice kitchen designer. Even with a GC you are still responsible to select all the wonderful materials that will make your kitchen your own… A master list of all the categories should be included in your budget so you can then see how you can save money. It is fun, and can be easy if you have a plan.
Whether you act as the general contractor yourself or you hire one, the coordination of materials and labor to remodel, includes more than just installing the kitchen cabinets. Remodeling and upgrading the old kitchen appliances, cabinets, counter-tops, lighting, plumbing fixtures and flooring, is a major part of the project. There are so may choices to be made, your head will spin…
Even with the help of a good general contractor engaged in the success of your remodeling project, as a home owner you will still want to know the process. If you do hire a GC, they should have references available and be licensed and insured.
Stay in charge of your kitchen remodel with helpful tools that will guide you as you design your own new kitchen, update your old kitchen or help others do the same.…

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Home Contractors

Log Home Maintenance Tips

Maintaining a log home may feel like a huge project. The longer you put it off, the more work it requires. However, with a little effort each year, you can keep your home looking beautiful for years to come. Here are a few tips.
1) Start with good quality products. Log home stains and sealers are NOT all the same. As a general rule, you will get what you pay for. Most of the economy grade stains are designed to be reapplied every year. While it may seem like its saving a little money up front, it ends up costing more in the long run. On the other hand, most of your high quality stains are made to be durable and last for many years when properly maintained. These cost a little more up front, but save money over the long run. I recommend Sikkens stains if you like oil based, or Perma Chink if you prefer a water base, but there are other quality stains available as well.
2) Cleaning your log home is a must. Most stain manufacturers recommend washing your home at least once and preferably twice each year. This may sound daunting, but it really isn’t that difficult. Begin by applying log wash with a pump up sprayer. Use a soft bristle brush on an extension pole to gently scrub away dirt/dust build up and finally rinse away with a garden hose, or low power pressure washer. (If you know that you will never do this yourself, consider purchasing a maintenance contract with your local stain applicator.)
3) Inspect. While you are cleaning, take a good look and make note of any areas where the stain looks like it might need to be freshened up. If you wait until the stain starts cracking and peeling, it is too late. However, when you first start to notice areas appearing weathered, or dull, apply a light coat on that area. It may be necessary to apply a fresh coat to that entire side of the house to avoid looking splotchy.
4) Finally, if you find that you’ve already let things go too long and the stain has already begun failing, you’re not out of options. If it’s gotten to this point, you will have to remove the failing stain. For years, the only option was chemical strippers and high powered pressure washers. However, today there is a better option. Have a professional cob blasting company come out and remove the stain. Cob blasting safely removes failing stain and brings your log home back down to bare wood so you can have a fresh start. Then, go back to step number one. If steps one through three are followed, step four should not be necessary for many, many years.…

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Home Renovation

Simple Methods to Locate and Fix Drafty Spots Where Heat Can Escape

We want our homes to be as comfortable as we can. That is the why we want to make sure that our home is cool inside when it is hot outside and warm enough inside when it is cold outdoors.
The cooling and heating system works well when our house is free from any gaps and leaks that may release unwanted energy. No matter how well we maintain our homes gaps, cracks and leaks will result and not necessarily due to the elements. That is why it is important that we always make time for a regular inspection inside and outside our homes. Do not be so relaxed indoors and neglect signs that may tell us that there are gaps in our walls letting the cool breeze inside.
Have a feel on the wall. Walls covered with wall paper can easily hide cracks. Once in a while, touch the walls and feel any cracks beneath it. Do it from side to side bottom to top. This way you can cover a big part of the wall. If you think that there is a crack, work your way from where it starts and end. Mark the part where you feel the gap and you can tear just the part where there is damage. You can also use light to see if there are cracks on your walls.
Another spot where draft might come in is the electrical outlet. Look at gaps where the outlets are. You can place outlet sealer that is easy to attach. Simply place them behind the plate cover over top the receptacle helping create an air tight so that air cannot come through. The holes in the outlet sealers are made in the exact specification of a standard plug.
If you prefer something even much easier, a can of Styrofoam spray may just do the job. Once you found the crack or gap usually in door panels and window sills, simply spray the can over it and clean the excess with acetone.
The location of your attic stairs can also be a source of air infiltration. It can really affect your heating and cooling system. You can take a foam weather strip that you may use on your doors or windows and install it right along the perimeter where the door of the attic stairs folds up against the opening. This will seal a lot of that air infiltration. Also, some people have used foam board or insulation itself and tried to position it over the attic stairs and that can be a mess. Instead, homeowners can opt to use an attic tent that is also easy to install right by following the attached instructions on the pack.
Making minor repairs on the small leaks in and around your home can be menial, but it can save you a lot of money in the future. Doing a regular inspection and maintenance also assures your home stay in top shape and increases its value in the long run.…

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Home Remodeling

How Remodeling My Bathroom Helped Me Sell My House

In the sad and depressing time of the real estate market downturn, trying to sell my house was like wading through a river of lava wearing a pair of moccasins- I was getting burned! There were three other houses in my neighborhood that were all up for sale for the same price, but they had been recently remodeled. What was I going to do to make my house stand out among the crowd? I knew that there was one room in my house that could use some updating, so I decided to get in on some Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling.
Renovation or Repair
First thing was first; I needed to decide whether to repair the bathroom I had or completely renovate it. I invited a friend of mine over to take a look at it for me to give me his opinion. He said, “Renovation”, and I said, “Okay”. Apparently there were too many outdated fixtures and the decor was retro- the bad kind- so repair wouldn’t have done anything to increase the worth of the property.
Doing It Myself
Since I was trying to keep things within a tight budget, I decided to do the work of bathroom renovation myself. Sure, I would ask my contractor friend to help out when he could, but I was going to do most of the work myself. I knew a little bit about cabinet re-facing, fixture installation and lighting so I knew I could at least do those things. Due to the confidence in my abilities and ideas, I knew that this Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling project would be a breeze.
It wasn’t- I decided to call a contractor.
It took less than a month to do the work, and I found a great contractor at Homeshow Daily. He was pre-screened and he also had some great design ideas that helped things go smoother; otherwise the renovation would have taken a year rather than just a month. I was very grateful for his services. He was like my renovation guide- my bathroom guru.
The End Result
Once the Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling project was complete, I added, “remodeled bathroom” to my house listing and the calls started coming in. People wanted a bathroom that was brand new, and it showed in the offers I received. People from all over Wasatch and Salt Lake City, Utah were calling and offering above what I had listed originally.
In the end, the Salt Lake City bathroom remodeling was exactly what my home needed to it did- quickly.…

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Home Repair

Winterize Your Home – Stay Warm, Save Money

The seasons are changing and it is time to start those jobs on your autumn “to do” list. Beyond raking leaves and putting the lawn furniture away, ensuring your home is ready for the cold weather to come will save you time and money in the months to come.
1. This is a common sense tip, but if there is an escape route for the warm air in your home, plug it. Go to the nearest hardware store for caulking and weather stripping for windows and doorframes.
2. If you have a fireplace, make sure it is in good working order, whether it is natural (wood) or gas. Double-check your chimney to see if it is clean and unobstructed.
3. Clean your gutters. This prevention task will stop water (and leaves) from freezing in the winter, possibly causing seepage of water into the house. Double-check the downspouts while you are in the area to ensure water is carried away safely.
4. Duct it up! Homes with central heating can lose an enormous amount of warmth before the heated air reaches the vents if ducts are not well insulated and connected properly.
5. Is your attic as well insulated as it could be? No matter where you live in the U.S., a minimum of 12 inches of insulation is recommended to maintain a warm home. If you are adding insulation on top of an existing layer, try to avoid the kind that has a paper-style backing. This may cause moisture problems in the future.
6. For wood stove owners, chimney cleaning should be done at least once over the winter. Check for creosote and ash to prevent damage to chimney mortar and the metal damper.
7. Put a jacket on pipes to keep them warm. If you have exposed pipes, wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation. Don’t forget about the pipes visible in basements, crawlspaces and garages.
8. Turn your furnace on early. If repairs are required, it is better to do them before the cold sets in. Here are a couple of checkpoints to address:
* are the thermostat and pilot light working properly?
* does the filter need changing? (a dirty filter impedes airflow)
* are there cracks in the heat exchanger? (possible cause for carbon monoxide leaks)
9. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This will save heat when you are away from home. An ENERGY STAR certified model will also save you money by using less energy.
10. Close doors to rooms that you don’t use regularly. Why heat a room when there is nobody there?
11. Bundle yourself in something warm. Instead of turning up the heat, put on an extra sweater and slippers when you are at home. On the other hand, cuddling with a loved one under a cozy blanket would even be better.…

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Home Repair

When Should You Remodel Your Bathroom?

If you are a homeowner, and particularly if you spend a lot of time in the home, you will probably find yourself wanting to change it up a little at one time or another. You may want the latest trends or you may just want to do something different that you have been looking at for years. You don’t have to wait to do a bathroom remodel until your appliances are broken, pipes leaking or d?�cor is looking unloved. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a really good look you will be thrilled with, from your remodel.
If you have noticed some of these things below, then now would be a good time to consider a remodel project to breathe new life into your home and increase the happiness you feel when walking into the bathroom.
Do I Want To?
In fact, probably the single best reason to do a bathroom remodel is because you want to do it. The remodel can be whatever you want it to be and can fit into any budget you have.
You can find bathroom remodeling experts who will be happy just to give your room a lick of fresh paint or fit a new vanity for you. On the other hand, if you want to totally revamp what is traditionally the smallest room in the house but probably the most complex with all that plumbing pipe work and electrical, then a total makeover of your bathroom is not something to be attempted by amateurs.
Do I Need To?
If you are still wondering if you should go ahead with your bathroom remodel, think about what condition the bathroom is in.
• Is the electrical wiring safe?
• Do you have potentially dangerous mold and mildew growing?
• Does your bathroom have an unpleasant musty smell?
• Are the pipes leaking?
• Is the flooring secure?
• Is the lighting adequate?
• Do the facilities meet all your family’s needs?
• Are you considering selling your home?
The last is a good reason to go for a bathroom remodel, the others make it essential if you are to safeguard the safety and health of your family.
So, the main reason most of us go for a bathroom remodel is because we spend a lot of time in the bathroom and are tired of seeing it look the same old way day after day, year after year. That may necessitate a fairly simple makeover, where you just take the opportunity to add in some of the latest fixtures. But often, you may have overlooked signs that your bathroom is becoming a dangerous place that is unhygienic, unhealthy and a potential hazard. That is really when it is imperative that you set up an appointment with a bathroom remodeling company that can help you not only put right everything that is wrong with your bathroom but also enables you to make your bathroom everything that you truly want it t be.…

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Home Contractors

The Importance of Regular Home Maintenance

One of the key responsibilities of owning a home is keeping it well maintained. From regularly cleaning the property to ensuring that the structure is sound and that everything works as it should, maintenance can be somewhat time consuming, but offers pleasant rewards for those who take it seriously. Enjoying a greater peace of mind and feeling proud about a home are prominent benefits obtained through the practice of regular maintenance, and homeowners can also avoid potentially costly repairs for issues allowed to worsen over time when proper maintenance is observed. Though these advantages are certainly enough to warrant a serious effort in caring for one’s home, there is still another more important result: greater security. Home security often involves the use of specialized security systems and devices including alarms and cameras, but some of the most effective security measures are actually delivered by a homeowner that takes the time to keep their property well maintained. By understanding how crucial this element is to a safe dwelling, homeowners can prioritize their maintenance tasks and keep themselves, their loved ones, and their belongings safe.
A large part of the positive consequences of keeping a home maintained is the depth of knowledge it lends to the homeowner. Despite their regular use of a home, many people are not precisely aware of how their dwelling is constructed or of how various home elements have been installed. When a homeowner performs their own maintenance, it’s easy to gain a thorough understanding of the most important aspects of the property and to gain insight on various parts of the home. In particular, those who perform maintenance themselves are likely to notice irregularities and potential problems that may lead to making a home more vulnerable to damage or break-ins. From doors that have been improperly fitted or installed to windows that require different kinds of locks or paneling in order to deliver a reasonable level of security, there are many possible problems lurking in and around buildings that may go unnoticed if owners do not regularly practice maintenance. Problems with a property that occur over time can also be easily spotted by homeowners who perform their own maintenance. Those who contract the work out to professionals or allow others to take care of their maintenance needs may never realize that a certain home element has begun to show weaknesses, and thieves and other criminals may take advantage of this.
While security breaches are less likely in homes that are regularly and thoroughly maintained by owners, they can still sometimes occur. During such an event, it’s important to be able to rely on any security features a home may possess, and when a home is properly maintained, achieving this reliability is a simple feat. From specially-installed doors with advanced safety mechanisms to safety features surrounding special entrances for basements or sheds, there are many objects typically used to keep properties safe from intrusion that may fail unexpectedly if they aren’t cared for and deliberately inspected from time to time. When in-depth knowledge of a home is combined with the certainty that security measures are operating as intended, homeowners can better protect their property while also feeling far more secure.
A further important benefit of regular home maintenance is the appearance that such an activity is likely to yield. Well-maintained homes typically look neater, cleaner, and better able to withstand any difficulties that may come their way. While this certainly has benefits for homeowners in terms of providing a sense of comfort, it’s also a great way to warn potential criminals that a home is being watched and that owners have likely taken measures to prevent theft and damage. More traditional security tactics such as employing specialty equipment or purchasing home alarm monitoring service may be of greater help when crimes are actually carried out, but the prevention that quality maintenance can deliver may be responsible for fending off break-ins and trespassing in the first place. Fortifying this move with complementary actions such as keeping lawns and gardens neat, parking cars in front of the house, regularly disposing of garbage, and otherwise giving a home the obvious appearance of being occupied and well-used is a step in the right direction for anyone concerned about the security of their home.
The satisfaction of a job well done is often the handyman’s greatest reward, but when working on their own home, a maintainer has the power to create high-quality security measures that may both prevent crimes and help homeowners effectively respond if such events do take place. Whether maintenance is scheduled as a weekly or monthly activity or homeowners make a point of performing maintenance tasks whenever the mood seems right, taking the initiative and following through on necessary maintenance tasks is absolutely essential for responsible home ownership.…