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Simple Ideas for Updating Your Bathroom

Remodeling your entire bathroom can be an extensive and costly task. Thankfully, there are many small updates that can be made that will make just as large an impact on the look and function of your room. These small updates require little time, little knowledge of home improvement and won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Replace your fixtures. The two main fixtures that should be replaced are the faucets and shower heads The faucet is used by essentially everyone who enters the bathroom, so having one that is up-to-date, functional and attractive is a must. Many times, people use the default shower head that came with their home- these are usually older and may be rusted. Updating to a new shower head is inexpensive and easy. They make a variety of water-efficient ones that are great for those who want to “go green”.
Replace any old hardware. It is amazing the difference new cabinet knobs and towel racks will have on the space.
Make everything matches. In many bathrooms, things are mismatched and there isn’t an overall aesthetic going on. Many times, people don’t see the decor of bathrooms to be as important as a living room or kitchen. However, by choosing towels, bath mats and shower curtains that all go together, your bathroom will become more inviting. Replace old hardware and knobs so that they all match. For example, make everything stainless steel or brushed nickel so it is cohesive. Adding a few paintings or simple decor items will also help make your bathroom a more inviting space.
Switch up the lighting. The bathroom is a room where good lighting is a must. You need proper lighting to see while showering and bathing, as well as when applying make-up, cleaning your face or brushing your teeth in the sink. Choose high-quality and ample lighting fixtures to replace old ones.Always replace burned-out bulbs with new ones so the lighting is as bright as possible. For more ambient lighting, install a dimmer switch if needed. Nice quality light will make you feel and look better.
Update your cabinets. Putting in new cabinets altogether can be time-consuming and pricey, so by updating them just a little, you can see benefits. Your options include painting your cabinets a new color, refinishing them, applying a light glaze or gloss, simply giving them a good clean or replacing the cabinet doors. Adding new hardware also can spruce up the look of your bathroom. Replacing the sink top is another option that will give you bang for the buck.…

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Budgeting For Home Maintenance – Some Tips

Like taking care of yourself and staying in shape, taking care of a home is much the same in that it requires constant dedication and a long-term focus. In some areas across the country homes are subject to some of the hottest and most humid summers in the nation, whereas in other areas it is the cold and snow that tend to be bad. Other natural elements that act to degrade a home’s exterior are UV rays from the sun, rain, wind and natural erosion.
These types of problems can have the effect of undermining your home’s ultimate market value. Plus, spending relatively small amounts of time and money can keep small problems from turning into much larger ones at a later point. Plus, even when the cost of repairs is factored into the purchase price, buyers are less inclined to buy a home that represents a large repair or renovation project.
Here are some considerations:
A check of your home’s basic structural and functional components should be checked on an annual basis. Things like gutters, foundation, water heaters, air conditioners, roofing, etc. should be checked to the best of your ability to detect a problem. A certain portion of your income should be allocated for nothing but home maintenance. It has been estimated that as much as 3 percent of a home’s market value is spent annually on maintaining a home.
Don’t let future repairs take you by surprise. For example, in areas of the country where summers can get quite humid and you may find yourself using the air conditioner for extended periods of time. If you have a 15-year old furnace, for example, you should strongly consider saving a portion of your income for a replacement unit in the near future. As well, you should be aware of other things that are susceptible to breaking down, such as roofing, siding and so on. By having a good idea of when you will likely have to repair or replace certain things you will be less likely to be caught off guard by an unanticipated expense.
If you are not in a position to pay for maintenance:
Not being able to pay for needed repairs in a timely manner is bad enough. If you are in a situation where needed repairs have gone unaddressed for years, then this is a good indicator that your home is simply too expensive for your means. This will cause you problems when it comes time to sell your home as the build-up of maintenance issues will make your home less marketable.
If you should fall into such a predicament don’t just sweep it under the carpet. Take action. Taking an objective look at your finances can help you gain a clear perspective. Make the repairs you can afford to make and then consider moving into a less expensive home.
Some final thoughts:
Always consider the cost of maintenance when evaluating the cost of buying a home. It’s better to buy a slightly less expensive home and be able to afford the required maintenance than to buy a more expensive home and not be able to maintain it. The former will maintain its value over time and likely appreciate, where as the latter will likely depreciate.…

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Cooking on the Patio

A patio is the ideal space for building an outside kitchen that adds new dimension to your existing home. Home improvement projects are more fun when they add both aesthetics and functionality. That’s exactly what you get with an outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens can be as inexpensive or as costly as you prefer. It all depends on what you plan to accomplish with your kitchen. You can create an outdoor kitchen for as little as $1,500 or you can spend upwards of $20,000 or more. The nice thing about an outdoor kitchen is that the return on the investment is always favorable for homeowners.
Americans spend billions of dollars annually remodeling their homes. About 33% of that remodeling money is spent on outdoor living spaces according to the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association. Increasing the value of your home is just one reason to add an outdoor kitchen to your property. It can also be a great place for cooking, enjoying friends, and socializing.
An kitchen outside can include a barbecue and/or electric grill and oven along with a sink, work surfaces, and storage cabinets. Countertops can be constructed of granite or other types of resilient stone that will last for years to come.
Before you discount a kitchen outside as being too expensive for consideration, take a look at these tips to help you minimize the costs and maximize the opportunity for your remodel:
1. In today’s economy, bargain hunting is not only a good idea, it’s a smart idea. Contractor’s don’t have nearly as much business as they did a year or two ago. Now is a good time to find a good quality contractor and negotiate on price. You’ll get a top quality job at less cost to you.
2. Contractors find that their work fluctuates with the seasons. This makes seasonal bargaining a good way to find good quality at an economical rate. Many contractors have less work in December, January, and February. Weather may play a role, but often it’s more about people being motivated to get something else done. People aren’t always thinking ahead to spring and summer when snow is covering the hillsides and ice is hanging from the window sills. This is the optimal time to approach a contractor to talk about building your outdoor kitchen.
3. Consider talking with a contractor about building a “spec outdoor kitchen”. This allows the builder to experiment with different materials and designs when building your space. In return, he is allowed to market his services and use your outdoor kitchen as a live example of his work. You get discounted services but often get an even higher quality kitchen than you could have afforded.
An outdoor kitchen is a home improvement project that offers a good return on your investment. You can increase your home’s value with an outdoor kitchen, but more importantly, you can enjoy lots of quality time with family and friends in your outdoor kitchen.
If you’re considering an investment in home improvement, take a look at building an efficient and attractive kitchen on your patio or deck. You’ll soon be serving your guests surrounded by the beauty of nature.…

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When You Want To Learn About Furniture, Read This

Look through the home you’re living in. What surrounds you? How does your furniture look? Is it worn and dreary? Is it serving the purpose that you intended it to? If you are not satisfied with your furniture, then check out this article.

When shopping for wood furniture, always make sure to look at more than just the outside of the piece. Look also at the undersides, the drawers and all fittings. This can give you a good idea of the piece’s condition. The undersides of wooden pieces is also known as secondary woods.

Furniture is not always cheap. Therefore, used items can be a great option. You can buy slightly used furniture that is in great condition from stores, garage sales and classified ads. When you buy a piece, you can have it refinished or reupholstered. This can save you a lot of money.

A smart family tip is to look for tile top tables for the kitchen. When you have this kind of a table you can easily clean up messes and disinfect the table easily as well. You can pair this with bench seating or stand-alone chairs, which is perfect for the busy family.

Before you purchase a new piece of furniture, test it out. Purchasing a chair online, sight unseen, is convenient, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll love it once it actually arrives. You might discover that it’s too firm or you don’t like the way the material feels. Buying in person is usually a better choice.

Do not fear haggling when buying furniture. Many furniture shops have huge markups on furniture and can generally reduce the prices up to 20% via negotiating. If you feel awkward haggling, enlist a friend or family member to come help you.

Always inspect the frame when shopping for a sofa. The frame board is best if it’s slightly more than one inch in thickness. Squeaky sofas tend to come from the boards being thin. Test the sofa by sitting on it, pressing on the springs and wiggling on it to find any squeaks or weaknesses in it.

Buy furniture that is sturdy. Dressers and chests should be built of solid wood rather than pressed wood. Cardboard and composite wood backs should be avoided; instead, go with plywood backs. Put pressure on both sides of each piece to ensure there is no movement.

Before you purchase any major furniture items, check out the manufacturer’s reviews by doing a search online. The precise piece under consideration may not have any reviews, but you are likely to find useful information about the manufacturer. This will help you to know whether you can trust the piece that you’re buying.

When shopping for furniture look for a tough material is made to last a long time. You want whatever you buy to be used by your family for a long time. It is not cheap to buy furniture, so find pieces that will outlast the others. Your furniture will last longer if you choose pieces that are constructed with metal or hardwoods.

Now there is no reason to delay replacing your worn out furniture. You can purchase larger, smaller or better items while staying on budget. Use the information you read above to be a smart shopper.…

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Learn How To Buy New Furniture By Using These Tips!

Does the thought of shopping for furniture excite you, or are you just overwhelmed? If you’re feeling stressed about buying furniture, do what you can to learn about the process. This article is replete with valuable tips.

There is more to a piece of furniture than its surface. You should be inspecting the underside of the furniture as well as the drawers and other pieces. Many times, this inspection is going to let you make a better assessment of the furniture than you’d get by simply inspecting the surface wood. Many times the wood can tell you how good the furniture is constructed.

Furniture is expensive a lot of times. That is why you can benefit from getting used furniture. You can often find used furniture that is still in top condition by checking stores, classified ads, and yard sales. You can have the furniture reupholstered after you purchase it. This option can save a considerable amount of money.

When buying home furniture, you need to be careful about the colors you select. You should avoid choosing bold colors for your furniture, as they can be very hard to match in the future. Stick with neutral colors for large furniture and save bold colors for the smaller pieces.

Always make sure you test furniture before you buy it. You might want to get a couch over the Internet, but if you haven’t sat on it, you might be disappointed when it arrives. Perhaps the fabric is scratchy, or maybe the cushions are a bit too cushy. You should always try to buy something after finding out if you like it or not.

Do not hesitate to haggle when buying furniture. Furniture stores often mark up their prices, so you can sometimes get them to come down a little. This allows you room to negotiate with the salesperson.

If you are purchasing a recliner, give it a test run at the store. Many people fail to do this and when the furniture arrives at their home, they find out it does not work. It is hard to return the item at some furniture stores.

When you need to get yourself new furniture, you should check out clearance items in large chain stores. A lot of these big retail stores have a separate area where they display clearance and items for a good price. You may find a wonderful bargain when browsing through these sections.

Learn more about a sofa’s springs. If the salesperson who is helping you cannot give you any details about the springing system, ask if you can speak with someone else. Push on the sofa and make sure you can feel the springs running from back to front.

Look at the legs of a piece of furniture prior to buying it. They should be very heavy and attached to the frame. Wooden legs are more durable than legs made from metal, rubber or plastic, and they do not scratch your floor. If they’re only nailed on, they will fail.

Does the prospect of furniture shopping scare you? With any luck,you should now know that this process isn’t that scary and can actually be fun. Use the tips found above each and every time you are in need of some new pieces for your house.…

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Helpful Home Improvement Tips Everyone Should Learn

Is there a specific room in your home that you would like to remodel? You have come to the right place! This article will provide you with tips and tricks that you can use for your next home improvement project.

Only spend time on home improvements that are practical. Making strange changes to your home that do not take its setting into consideration can cause problems when you want to sell. Do things to a home that need to be done, but don’t do anything extra that the climate won’t allow.

Give vinyl flooring a shot to get rid of any bubbles. You can usually cut into it to let the air out. Doing this will only flatten the bubble for a short period of time. It can come back if you do nothing. Inject glue into it to hold it to the floor after you have cut it. Use glue that you buy in syringes to do the job.

Use a nail and poke holes in the paint can rim. During use, the rim of the can can fill with paint and create spills and drips when replacing the lid. Use a nail and drive several holes around the perimeter of the can into the bottom of the channel to solve the problem.

Nothing is more important to successful home improvement than planning ahead. You can prevent poor decisions and disaster by planning ahead. The project will run much more smoothly if everything has been planned ahead of time.

Switch to a floor lamp to free up space on your nightstand or end table. These free-standing lamps are easy to move around, whereas table lamps require lots of surface space. There are many unique and interesting lamps to choose from.

Consider the “age-in-place” philosophy when you are making home renovations. Age-in-place is a design philosophy which takes into consideration that homeowners will age during the time they own their home. Whether your renovations are in a house you plan to stay in forever, or a home that will eventually be sold, age-in-place improvements increase the comfort of your home as well as it’s value.

A splash of paint can really update your space so give it a try! It’s amazing how the appearance of a room can be changed simply by painting the walls. It does not cost much to paint, and it will significantly add value to your home. Consider using lighter colors, complementing your home’s decor.

A finished basement adds value to any property, making it an ideal investment. Updating a basement can give a home much needed living space. The essential materials can be bought from discount stores. This home improvement can add a great deal of re-sale value to your home.

If there are repairs that must be finished before moving in, focus on the heaviest repairs first. Less challenging projects like bathroom updates and basement renovations can wait until a while after you have settled in.

Using the tips you found here, you can get started and turn your house into the home of your dreams. Take these tips and add your own. Your home improvement journey has just begun!…

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Remodel Kitchen

Take This Advice To Become Successful At Organic Gardening

A garden is more than just a way to decorate. It is not reserved for just a few select green thumbs. It can bring you tranquility, peace, and a great appreciation for life. The effects can be especially profound if gardening is something you excel at.

The first thing you can do to avoid pests is to start with healthy soil in your garden. Healthy plants grown in robust and enriched soil have an advantage in fighting pest infestation. If you want to get the best plants, begin with a soil that has hardly any chemicals, and that will bring salts.

Deciduous shrubs and young trees need to be protected. Any potted shrubs should be sheltered in the winter from cold weather. Try to tie the tops all together and cover them with a sheet, large piece of cloth, or blanket. This will work better than wrapping your plant with plastic, because air can still circulate, which will help to prevent rotting.

You can keep pests away from your garden by using other plants or natural materials. For example, if you plant onions or marigolds along the edges of your vegetable garden, you can ward off slugs. Wood ash, when used as mulch, can help keep insects away from trees and shrubs. Using these natural methods will reduce the need for potentially harmful chemical pesticides.

Remember to place a layer of mulch over the soil around your vegetables, approximately 2 inches deep. When you place mulch around your plants, it keeps the ground more moist. It can also prevent weeds from growing. This can save you a lot of time and effort in pulling out the weeds.

Gardening is an excellent relaxation tactic. Many hobbies can help you to relax and attain inner peace. Gardening is fun, and it is definitely one of the best ways to achieve this state. Without too much effort, you can enjoy great returns. The best return is the joy and tranquility you can get from growing your very own greenery.

Vegetables are softer when they are warmer, increasing the risk that you will damage them. Twisting could cause plant damage, so ensure that produce is removed by cutting only.

One way to help your organic garden thrive is to leave an undeveloped area that is conducive to the wildlife around your area. You will find that many of the supporting cast of insects and birds that aid in plant production and pollination will be present on your land and actually help your developed gardens to produce better.

Use this simple tip to get your perennial garden ready in a flash. All you need to do is use a garden spade to slice under the turf, flip it over, then spread wood chips over the area about three to four inches deep. Allow the newly turned soil to sit for two weeks, then plant your perennials.

Use these tips to create the ideal garden. When your plants are blooming and alive, you will be so glad you did. Gardening has the potential to change your whole outlook on life, if you let it. So get started today!…