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Home Improvement Contractors

Home Repair and Maintenance Using Software

Owning a home can be costly – especially if the home is older and requires a large amount of repair work. Luckily, basic repairs and home maintenance can easily be performed by the home owner with just a little bit of know-how, the correct tools and some time.
It is important to recognize the difference between home repairs and maintenance. Home repairs are just that: things that need to be fixed. Leaky faucets, broken floor tiles and inoperative door locks are perfect examples of repair work. Maintenance is slightly different. It is the things we do around the home to keep everything in working order. Oiling hinges, cleaning gutters and waxing floors are all examples of maintenance.
If home maintenance is the all about routines and schedules, home repairs can, with a little bit of forethought, be about creativity and a chance to do something new with your home. For example, a shower that needs recaulking is a perfect opportunity to redesign your bathroom while broken cabinet doors can be looked at as an opportunity to redecorate the kitchen. It all comes down to money.
Designing and laying out a remodel or redecoration of a kitchen or bathroom can ensure your ‘repair’ doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Specialized software is designed to help you choose materials, styles and even help estimate costs – all helping keep you on track and on budget.
This software is easy to use and gives the user access to hundreds of paint colors, three dimensional representations of cabinets and even offers flooring options. By spending a bit of time looking at your options, you may determine that a repair can easily turn into a minor remodel, adding not just functionality and beauty to your home, but value as well.
In today’s economy, it just makes sense to do as much of your home maintenance and repair work yourself and designing a remodel is no different. Utilize design software to determine options, work out a budget and keep yourself on track. If you find a particular ‘redo’ is too costly right now, you can easily work on the changes one at a time or simply save your design for a later date. Turning a home repair into a chance to change the way your home looks and functions is an opportunity that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Always remember that the time you spend maintaining your home is time well spent. It could very well prevent a costly repair down the line. Simple repairs like a leaky faucet can be fixed in no time at all – even by the inexperienced. Larger repairs or exciting home renovations take more time and know-how, but can easily be managed by using software designed to help you plan your project out. Home repair and maintenance is an important part of home ownership and it is vital that each homeowner takes the time to take care of business and not be afraid of making changes!…

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Home Improvement Contractors

The Best Way To Choose A Moisture Absorber

When you think of a moisture absorber, what kind of product do you think of? Many people automatically think of a desiccant, those crystals that you find in miniature bags in your typical electronics box. Others think of special products you can buy to hang in your wardrobe, to ensure that mold doesn’t form due to the dampness in the air. Marvelous products alike, but they’re hardly industrial-strength.
When real amounts of moisture threaten your home you need a moisture absorber that you can count on. What happens if you have a particularly leaky basement and you are approaching the start of the rainy season? You had better do something about it now, before mildew and mold filters into your house and starts to circulate in your bedrooms and living rooms.
The type of miniature moisture absorber that helps to keep natural dampness out of sensitive electronics is not suitable for heavy-duty jobs. For something like that, you need a product similar to polypropylene. This has been proven time and again to absorb fairly large amounts of water, let alone moisture in the air.
In tropical environments, householders know that they cannot afford to mess around with mother nature. Here, there is something of a trade-off involved in living in a beautiful tropical climate and coping with the excessive rain which comes along from time to time as a result. Your garage is not a safe place to store any valuable keepsakes or property unless you have moisture absorber products at hand.
The forecast is hot and humid for the summer ahead. This is just a fact of life in the southern part of the country now. A room without air conditioning can be subjected to so much moisture buildup that it can come close to 100% humidity. Further to that, sudden storms can come along very quickly and threaten to overpower our drainage systems.
Your backyard swimming pool may overflow suddenly when summer storms arrive. If you don’t have a good moisture absorber product on hand how will you stop this water getting into the living room area? You will certainly have a big cleanup job unless you’re ready to cope.
Let’s face it – a mop and bucket is no defense against the worst mother nature has got to throw at you. For this reason, moisture absorber products contained within flexible outer coverings were designed to help you keep the storm at bay.
Just remember that you need to keep an eye on any moisture absorber product that you deploy when a storm is threatening. Just be ready to wring it out and replace it periodically so that it can do its job perfectly. Paying attention here will certainly help you out.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Top 5 Kitchen Remodeling Questions

By now we are all well aware that a kitchen remodel is not only one of the most popular home improvement projects – it’s also a great way to invest in your home. To give you an idea of how important kitchens are to the value of a home – here in the US, the kitchen remodeling industry is a $15 billion dollar/year business. And even in today’s market you could expect to yield a return on investment of 75-100%.
So weather I’m designing a major kitchen renovation or a moderate upgrade for my clients our initial conversation and the questions that follow are often the same.
1. Q: Where do we start? – What comes first? A: Educate yourself and focus on the styles of kitchens and interiors that speak to you. Grab some kitchen design magazines and tear out the pages that inspire you in some way. Start an inspiration file and share it with your designer during your initial meetings. It’s also a great idea to begin researching appliances at the same time. The options available are endless and you definitely need time to do some research in that arena.
2. Q: How much should I expect to spend on my kitchen? A: Obviously the cost of a new kitchen is dependent on many factors. The scope, size and complexity of each project varies – but typically you should expect to spend anywhere from 10 – 25% of your home’s current value. For example: If your home is valued at $500,000 (and you plan on living there for another 5+ years) then budgeting 75-100K would be considered a reasonable investment.
3. Q: What makes a kitchen more or less costly? A: Your selection of cabinetry, appliances, counter tops, flooring, as well as the electrical and plumbing will determine the cost of your kitchen remodel. Cabinetry alone accounts for close to 50% of the total cost of the project – eating up half of your budget before you even blink. Stock, Semi-custom and custom cabinetry each have different price points, so making that selection will be based on your home’s value and your budget.
4. Q: How do I ensure my kitchen won’t become dated? A: Investing in the services of a professional designer will definitely help guide you – by planning the space, designing the details and selecting materials and finishes that best suit the architecture of your home and your family’s personality. Selecting timeless door styles and specifying quality products will extend the life of your dream kitchen. Just realize however, that all high traffic and well-used kitchens will eventually wear 10-15 years down the road.
5. Q: How long does a kitchen remodel typically take? A: Depending on the overall scope of the kitchen remodel the time commitment will vary. It could take anywhere from 4-6 weeks for a light and simple face lift or upgrade – or 4-6+ months for a major kitchen renovation where major construction is involved. With large kitchen remodeling projects, there are a series of stages to progress through. From the planning and development phase, through the bidding process – it could take weeks or months before your contractor even picks up a hammer.
Just remember that a quality kitchen remodel will give you and your family years of enjoyment and increase the overall value of your home.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

How to Choose the Right Toto Toilet For Your Bathroom Remodel

Choosing a toilet may seem like a rather minor endeavor but when it comes to entire bathroom remodel, it is important to choose one that nicely complements the rest of your new bathroom. Not sure what type of Toto toilet is right for you? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind…
Bowl – Toilet bowls come in one of two shapes: round or elongated. Elongated bowls have an extended rim and round ones are a few inches shorter. Round bowls are ideal for small spaces while elongated bowls tend to be more comfortable.
Color – White may be the most popular color for toilets but rest assured, toilets come in a vast assortment of different colors. If you are looking for a less-common shade, contact your local Toto toilet authorized dealer to find out what colors they carry and whether or not they can order a toilet in the particular color you want.
Flush – Determine whether you want a gravity-fed or pressure-assisted flush. A gravity-fed toilet utilizes the force of gravity to pull waste through the trapway. On the contrary, a pressure-assisted toilet uses water from the tank to build up pressure and when flushed, the water pushes waste through the trapway. Pressure-assisted toilets tend to be noisier but can be more effective removing waste in a single flush. Both types of toilets only use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.
Pieces – Similar to flush type, toilets come in one of two styles: one- or two-pieces. A one piece toilet is a single piece, with the tank and bowl fused together while a two-piece has a separate tank and bowl. One-piece toilets don’t’ have any crevices or cracks, which offers easy cleaning and a sleek look. However, they are typically more expensive than two-piece toilets.
Quality – Look for Toto toilets that have a rich, glossy surface and a glazed trapway, which facilitates the flow of waste. Most Toto toilets come with a limited manufacturer’s warranty ensuring the quality of the toilet.
Size – Toilets come in varying sizes so make sure you measure the space in your new bathroom prior to making a purchase. Depending on the size, most toilets are bolted 10, 12, or 14 inches from the wall.
Style – Lastly, consider the type of style you want. Toto toilets offer a wide range of styles ranging from traditional two-piece toilets to more modern and contemporary models.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Buying Furniture Made Easy With Simple Tricks

By taking the time to educate yourself, you will discover that lots of doors will open up. You can make much better choices and save money just by going online and doing a bit of research before buying. Knowledge is especially crucial when purchasing furniture. This article contains a number of strategies to boost your shopping skills.

Always check the underside of any furniture piece before you purchase it. Something can look good, but still have hidden problems. Older furniture can be affected by dry rot and rust.

Furniture that is to be used for your office should be multi-functional. This helps ensure that you make the most of your tight space. For example, a printer can be put on an armoire. Armoires can also be great as an entertainment center as everything can be neatly tucked away and out of sight when not in use.

Always inspect the frame when shopping for a sofa. Boards should always be over an inch in thickness. Your sofa can squeak if its board is thinner than that. Test drive the sofa by sitting on it and moving around, you are checking to see if it makes any noise.

Choose pieces that are neutral in coloring. When you’ve got neutral pieces, you are able to do much more and easily change things up. You can have more choices when you use neutral furniture and they tend to match decor better. Don’t think that neutral colors mean boring furniture pieces. You will find a large selection of styles in colors that are understated and timeless to complement any room in your home.

Neutral colors are often best when choosing your furniture. You can alter the colors and other decor of the room by changing accents, paint and other things. This will allow you to change your living areas by seasons for a small price.

Bring samples of colors from the walls and curtains in your home when thinking of buying furniture. You can adore a piece, but after you bring it home, you may notice that it doesn’t go with anything. This can be easily avoided. It’s pretty easy to find a swatch at your home improvement store, or just take a quick picture of your wall for comparison sake.

Look at the legs of a piece of furniture prior to buying it. They should be very heavy and attached to the frame. You may end up with scratches on your floor if the legs are made of metal, plastic or rubber. The legs should not just simply be nailed onto the bottoms of the piece; they need to be secured to the frame.

Fabric alignment is an important feature you need to check when you’re buying a couch with patterned fabric. The fabric on a cheap sofa might not be perfectly aligned. Since you’re spending a bit of money for a new sofa, make sure that you’re getting one that’s aligned perfectly. Pick another sofa if the tailoring isn’t looking good.

All that is now left to do is use everything you’ve read to get a great deal. Taking time to read this was important, but using what you’ve learned is key. Shop for your pieces as soon as you can to be sure all of this information stays fresh.…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Ideas To Grow A Garden The Organic Way

Gardening is a great way to escape the stress of daily life by working with your hands and getting in touch with nature. It’s also a way to add some beauty and peace to your home by surrounding it with lovely plants. Read on to find out how to start your home garden today.

When designing a garden area of your yard, a good place to start is with a tree or hedge as the anchor or structural foundation to your garden. Plant grasses and perennials around the taller centerpiece plant to add texture, color and flow. In time, these plants will fill out as they grow and look splendid against the taller trees or shrubs in the background.

Have your soil analyzed by a laboratory for a small fee so that you know which nutrients you need to add. Many college agricultural departments or cooperative extensions will provide this service for just a few dollars. Once you have the report, head to a farm supply company and buy what you need.

When removing and replanting perennials, it is important to replenish the soil as well. If you remove a large number of perennials, and then replant them without adding additional compost and soil, the bed will be lower, reducing drainage and air circulation. Also, the compost will replace nutrients that have been used up by previous growing seasons.

If you like to plant roses, before you buy any variety, ask yourself what characteristics you would like from your roses. Different varieties have different characteristics, such as fragrance, heartiness, and size, to name a few. The traits that you want the most from a rose bush will influence your decision on what variety to plant.

Make a do it yourself twine holder by grabbing a rolled up length of twine and putting it into a small clay pot. Pull a small portion of the twine out the drainage hole and flip the pot upside down. You will always know where your twine is instead of digging around for it in a toolbox or shed.

Use water efficiently as possible. One of the most precious resources in the world today is fresh water. It just cannot be wasted, so the use of mulch and soaker hoses are an efficient way to minimize the impact of the garden on the water supply. Consider having a rain barrel near the garden to capture and save rainwater for a minimal impact garden.

If you are going to be doing a lot of work in your garden very close to the ground, such as weeding or planting, use a garden stool or pad to protect your knees. This will make it easier to get back up again and move once you finish, and will also reduce bruising on your knees.

If your life is stressful, gardening cannot be recommended enough. As you have seen by reading through this article, gardening is an easy hobby as well as a great stress reliever. So, what excuse do you have in not starting? Apply the tips in this article today to produce a fantastic garden and to make yourself feel fantastic, too!…

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Home Improvement Contractors

Useful How To Advice In Home Improvement

If you don’t know how, home improvement can be daunting. Learning advice on what you can do to make your home better can help make this process go by quicker and easier. Here you’ll find a lot of great advice to help you with that.

Cover your floors while painting. Taking this step prevents paint from staining your floors, carpeting and other objects. Using old layers of newspaper is an inexpensive and very effective way to protect your flooring. Drop cloths and plastic sheeting are also available to protect your floors from paint drips.

Try keeping your building materials up between the ceiling rafters. Even large supplies can be tucked away. Just nail some furring strips across exposed joists and slide the material in.

If you hire a handyman, be sure to have a contract. This ensures you don’t get overcharged in the end. If you do not have a contract, you may end up paying a lot more than you should.

Putting on a new roof is one of the major expenses of home ownership. Talk to at least three different roofers to secure estimates — and call their references. When it comes to the material used on a roof, there are tons of choices, such as metal, wood shake, composite shingles, and lightweight tiles. A good contractor that does roofing will assist you in deciding what to get.

Think about the colors you want to add to your home and decide what is a good fit for the impression you want to give off. Get rid of fabrics that are dark-colored or have heavy texture; in place of them, use cottons and linens. Add some potpourri or scented candles in order to build an inviting, peaceful atmosphere.

Put in motion detectors around the front door of your residence. You can lower your electric bill by using the lights only when necessary. A secondary benefit to installing the motion detectors is that they may deter thieves. Should someone break into your home, the lights will automatically come on and alert neighbors to their presence.

Building supplies are often stolen because they are valuable. When work is not going on, all building supplies need to be secured. If the house being worked on is secure you can leave them inside. If the property is not secure, lockable containers are another idea to discourage theft.

You can improve your basement by staining the floor. Staining concrete floors is less costly than replacing them, and it looks very stylish. Staining floors makes floors even more durable and easy for you to clean. Look for a stain that will add lustre and shine. This will give the illusion that your floors are fancy.

You should think about putting in a shower if you do not have one. In addition to being significantly more accessible than a tub, you can greatly reduce the amount of water used by your household – especially if you have children. As compared to baths, a short shower utilizes under 25 percent of the water needed for a complete tub soak.

As discussed above, a little education can go a long way to making home remodeling projects more manageable. You will enjoy the process more and make your home improvement project a success by using the tips in the article above.…