Five Tips for DIY Beginners

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Home improvement is one area that unites property owners throughout the country. If you are looking to get started in the do-it-yourself arena requires a lot of drive and ambition, but once the will to improve or renovate any area of the house is in place, all that is left is getting the job done. Of course, there are a few basic tips for home owners looking to undertake DIY projects.

Have a Plan

Having a plan for a renovation project goes way beyond sketching something up. Tools, materials, and deadlines are all important parts of the endeavor, and having them all in place prior to starting the project keeps everything on track. Not having to run to the store to pick up drywall, screws, or pipe fittings can save valuable time, and keep you on budget as well.

Measure Twice

You’ve heard “Measure twice, cut once,” more than a few times, and the old adage rings true in every aspect of remodeling anything. One a board, pipe, or shelf is cut there is no putting those precious inches back. However, the rule also exists for making sure dimensions are right before ordering cabinets, sinks, and just about any type of appliance. That new oven looks smaller in the showroom than it does when it is in your kitchen, so make sure it will fit.

Sample When Possible

All those paint swatches at the local home improvement warehouse are there for a reason. Capitalizing on samples of other renovation projects is an equally good idea. So you should stock up on flooring, paint, and even countertop samples before making a decision on what is actually going to make an appearance on your shopping list. Basically, make sure you like it before you buy, paint, or stain it.

Do Your Homework

Perhaps one of the most important parts of any project is doing the necessary research before committing to the task. Checking out the available videos on the internet, talking to professionals at the home design center, and even buying some magazines will get you familiar with the job at hand. No two houses are identical, and knowing what to expect from yours is key to getting the results right the first time. After all, nobody wants to do a job twice.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you get into a situation where you might need some help, ask for it. Do not be shy, and there is no shame in contacting the home warranty service for the contact numbers of professionals. Companies like American Home Shield offer this service for a reason. The point is that everyone works at a different skill level, and everyone has to start somewhere. You should never have a second thought about getting a professional involved, because a mistake can create even more of a headache down the road. AHS can be found at https://www.ahs.com/.

Read More

7 Super Simple Tips for a Greener Home

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

It’s a simple fact that we all need to live a little greener. After all, we have limited resources on this planet. However, green living doesn’t have to mean massive sacrifices and major lifestyle changes. In fact, these 7 simple tips will hardly change a thing in your life. As an added bonus, all of these tips will save you money; in the end, you’ll be saving two kinds of green.

1. Create your own compost
It takes quite a bit of energy to truck off your food waste to a landfill. While it’s better to only buy food you’ll use, you can still use what excess you generate by creating your own compost. Getting the process started is pretty easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. In just a matter of months, you could have fertile soil to grow a garden. Besides keeping trash out of landfills, this process will also save you money at the gardening center every spring.

2. Replace your toilets
Ever wonder how much water your toilet uses per flush? It could be as much as 6 gallons if you don’t have a low-flow unit. It’s no secret that older toilets waste tons of water. Low-flow models, on the other hand, use as little as 1.1 gallons per flush. Thanks to advances in technology, these low-flow models have even more flushing power than their wasteful counterparts.

3. Get new light bulbs
There is no reason why all the light bulbs in your home shouldn’t be LED or fluorescent. By ditching incandescent bulbs, you’ll be shaving quite a bit off your energy bill. Additionally, LED and fluorescent bulbs come in a variety of styles, colors, and shades; you’re sure to find something you love just as much as incandescent bulbs.

4. Water-saving showerheads
Don’t let your hard-earned money flow literally down the drain. By switching to water-saving showerheads and faucets, you can use significantly less water.

5. Energy Star appliances
There’s just no excuse; the appliances in your home should be Energy Star rated. If you notice the appliances in your home are not, then please consider replacing them right away. To make your investment last as long as possible, considering purchasing a home warranty at the same time. That way, you won’t be responsible to pick up the tab for problems down the road. To check out home warranties, go to http://www.ahs.com/.

6. Give your water heater a coat
That’s right; your water heater needs a coat. More specifically, your water heater should have a specially made jacket that can be purchased at any home improvement store. These jackets cut down on energy use and help your water heater last longer.

7. Programmable thermostat
It’s hard to remember to turn your home’s HVAC system off when you leave for the day. So, why not install a thermostat that can do this task for you? With this little unit, you’ll be saving time, energy, and money.

Read More

Three Things to Know About DIY Home Improvement

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

Everyone knows that home improvement is hard. It can also be very expensive if you are not careful. Each year, many homeowners see the potential costs of their home projects, and they elect to do at least a part of the job on their own. This might make sense if you know what you’re doing, but there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Not every person is capable of doing a home improvement project on their own. These are three things you need to know before you attempt that DIY home improvement project this year.

Leave the hard, technical work to a professional

There are many things that you can do on your own that won’t put you or your family in danger. For instance, most cosmetic work around the home won’t present any problems. Installing a kitchen cabinet or changing the light fixtures in your bathroom will have a very low risk of error. There are some things, though, that can be much more technical. Plumbing work, for instance, can be very hard for a person with little experience. Likewise, if you are doing anything that may disrupt the foundation of your home, you should at least check with a professional. Making a mistake on these things can be expensive and dangerous.

Shop around for materials and don’t be afraid to go non-conventional

Your biggest cost will ultimately be the materials that you choose. If you were shopping for a car, you likely would not just choose the first one that you saw. Rather, you would look around to many different dealerships before settling on your choice. The same kind of dedication should be applied when shopping for your home improvement materials. Don’t be afraid to look for materials off the beaten path. Many people find re-salvaged wood and other objects for bathroom and dining room furniture. If you have the ability to re-claim an item, then you can reap big savings.

A warranty can protect your work and your budget

One of the best things you can do is get a home warranty to protect yourself in case something breaks. The unfortunate reality is that if you have a home, things are occasionally going to break on you. If you don’t have money saved, this can create a major difficulty. A company like American Home Shield can ensure that when things do break, you can get them fixed without having to break the bank. If you’re going to invest money into home repairs or a major project, then you owe it to yourself to protect that project with a small monthly investment in a good warranty.

When you choose to do your own work at home, you should be careful. Some projects can be easily completed, while others will be more difficult. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional if you have questions about some element of your project. The biggest mistake you can make is failing to recognize your own limitations during a DIY venture.

Read More