Sunday, September 7, 2014

Easy Home Improvement Projects Before Trying to Sell a House

We all know the importance of a home improvement project and how it can improve not only the aesthetics, comfort and functionality of our home but it can also increase its real estate value. If you are someone who's planning to sell his or her house soon, then a home improvement project is definitely needed if you want to fetch a good price in the market. In this case, a remodeled kitchen or a bathroom would probably do the trick. But as we all know those types of home improvement projects can be quite expensive which may not be the best option, financially speaking. Overspending on home improvement projects is not likely to pay off. If you want to improve the value of your home before selling then the key here is to improve on the areas that matters to the buyer but not to overspend.

Here are some easy and affordable home improvement projects that you can do before selling your home:

A fresh coat of paint. Probably a no-brainer for most people, but having a new coat of paint in your home is one of the easiest and most affordable when it comes to home improvement projects. In addition to that, a fresh coat of paint is sure to have a dramatic effect on the look of your home, making it look all brand new. If you are selling your home, a neutral paint color is always your safest bet.

Boost your home's curb appeal. Take into account how important first impressions are. Some buyers may judge a home based on their curb appeal so it is important that you tend to your outdoor space. So you may need to scrub off those molds and repaint your front door and fence if you have it. Also try to keep your yard in tip-top shape and be sure that you mow your lawn.

Eliminate Old Window Treatments. Broken window shades, bent window blinds and old dreary draperies may cause your potential buyer to run out the front door. Freshen up the appeal of your rooms by replacing them with simple window treatments such as white mini-blinds or wood window blinds. These window treatment are simple but looks great and you don't have to burn a hole in your budget.

Properly store or eliminate clutter. Buyers appreciate the nice, uncluttered look of any home that they are planning to buy. So be sure that you properly store or eliminate the clutter in your home. Buyers will have a hard time imagining themselves living in your home if they find your stuffs just lying around.

Minimal bathroom improvements. One part of the house that the buyers always checks is the bathroom. While it is not recommended that you go in a full-blown remodeling project for your bathroom, it doesn't mean that you're just going to ignore it altogether. Minimal improvements such as replacing old lighting fixtures and repainting the bathroom cabinet can have a positive response from potential buyers.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Electronic DIY Projects - Build Your Own Magnetic Generator and Produce Free Electricity!

Imagine building an electric magnetic generator and producing your own electricity. There can't be many electronic DIY projects to beat that! If you are looking for a new project, this is the one for you!

I was surprised to learn the technology existed to produce your own electricity. I was even more surprised that thousands of people around the world have already built their generators and no longer have to pay electricity bills.

That's right; these generators can power your whole house.

I'm sure you already know that solar power produces only enough energy to heat the hot water in your house. That's still pretty cool but it doesn't compare to completely powering your house!

As far as electronic DIY projects go, I can't think of any that are as fun as building your own magnetic generator.

All the parts and materials you need can be bought from any good DIY store for under $150.

Even the magnets are just standard household magnets that you can buy anywhere.

You can buy the plans for as little as $50.

So for under $200 you've got everything you need for your next electronic DIY project.

Depending on what size you make the generator and how you implement it, it can power your whole house. You can also make a smaller scale version which can reduce your electricity bill by half.

It really depends on you and your own DIY skills. One thing is for sure, this is one of the most exciting DIY projects that you can undertake!

Building your own electronic magnetic generator! How cool is that!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Education Sector: Some Practical Suggestions For Interior Design

Approaching interior design for the education sector demands a careful approach. Whereas in your own home you can let your taste guide your way and your budget set your limits, buying for a room you will not use presents very different considerations. This article offers a brief look at what you need to consider when buying for interiors in a residential education setting.

Taste
The first casualty of buying interiors that others are to live in is your own taste. When choosing the right look you need to jettison your taste, or at least as much as you can. Consider the age-group of the residents and how much time they will spend in the accommodation. Hotel room design is a good starting point, as although this will be the resident's home for a while it still retains the generic needs of a hotel room, in that the main aim is to be as neutral as possible. You cannot possibly cater to all tastes so it is better to at least offend as few as possible. If you have a child of the same age-group or a member of your wider family that is a student then ask them to take a look at some ideas of fabrics and colours to see what they like, or failing that find out what they really dislike. There are specialist companies that supply both the hotel industry and the education sector and these websites can be not only a good starting point but a cost-effective source for your needs.

Safety
There are strict fire regulations around what is called 'sleeping accommodation' when it is provided as a service. Make sure you have read the current regulations and follow the rules on fire-retardant bedding, curtains and furniture. Again, a reputable company that is set up to supply to the hotel or education sector will have all products clearly marked for their fire-retardant qualities.

Function
The key phrase here is 'hard-wearing'. Children and young adults have rarely ever bought their own bedding or curtains and this means they will not respect its cost or its care. There is no point in putting your faith in rules, except the rule that you should plan for disrespect of the room you provide. Buy products that are hard-wearing and even if the initial cost is higher this will save money in the long-term.

Also, keep in mind that the rooms you will buy for are, in part, for studying. If it is a higher education setting then the room will be a primary location for the student's reading and computer use. Colours, lighting and the placement of furniture should fit the function of a room where reading will be a daily activity. For a private boarding school environment little extras like black-out curtain linings can add something to the design of a room, demonstrating consideration for a child who might struggle to sleep away from home.

Costs
In the current economic times cost consideration is more important than ever. If you are fitting out a number of rooms then of course it is best to buy in bulk from one supplier. The more items you can source from one place the stronger you can negotiate on price. All rooms needn't be the same, though, you can theme rooms by breaking them into three or four groups so that adjoining rooms are differently accented in colours and fabric patterns. Fire retardant fabrics can be expensive when bought from the household name shops, so again look to firms that understand the budget constraints of buying for the education sector.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Buying Art For Your Home

It often seems to me that we view works of art in a particularly unique and individual manner. You may look at a particular piece and really love it, but a friend or family member may take a real dislike to the same composition. This is, in a way, part of what makes art so fascinating.

It might also be said, however, that it does throw up a few problems. I think that one of these can be seen when you are choosing items for your own home. This can certainly be a difficult task, partly because you will usually have multiple aims in mind.

On the one hand, you'll undoubtedly be looking to select something that you like and that you believe that you will enjoy for some time to come. You certainly don't want to decorate your own home with an item that you really don't like!

But it's also easy to see how some people stumble into the issue of making really poor decisions in this area. This comes about due to thoughts about pleasing others. Instead of thinking about our own wishes, it becomes fairly easy to start considering others.

Although this may be seen as being a healthy approach to life, it's also not without its difficulties. What happens if you see a painting, for example, that you really love? Is it enough to buy it and to ensure that it is placed in a suitable position within your own home?

What happens if you have a fear of the fact that visitors to your home may not think that you have made a suitable selection? I think that there are a number of issues that are raised here. One of them is that it's always difficult to second-guess the reactions of others.

In a sense, this recalls a point that I made at the very outset of this article. If we all have different reactions to artworks, then how can you possibly predict how other individuals will react? But this is not the only issue that is to be considered.

You also need to realise that it will be impossible to please everyone who sees an individual piece. In fact, it's worth remembering that plenty of people won't like the item that you select. When it comes to art, this is very much the reality of the situation.

So where does this leave you? My own feeling here is that you should make decisions that are based on your own views. This does, at least, ensure that things are kept nice and simple.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Choosing A Shower For Your Bathroom

As the New Year approaches, many of you will be thinking about remodeling your bathroom. If you’re tired of your dated unappealing bathroom design then a complete refurbishment may be just what the doctor ordered. The shower is the focal point of any bathroom, and so adding a new one can add a real wow factor. Let us take a look at the best showers out there for you and your home.

One popular option for a bathroom shower is the corner enclosure. These showers are curved and contemporary and are the epitome of modern bathroom fashion. Choose clear glass and chrome handles that compliment the enclosure perfectly. You’ll love washing away the stresses of the day in this stylish enclosure Another positive to this option is that it will also appeal to potential buyers who are looking for a spot of contemporary style. This is an important consideration should you wish to sell your home at some point in the future.

A quadrant steam enclosure can be a more interesting option. If you’re after a little luxury from your new bathroom then a steam enclosure can be an ideal choice. These attractive cubicles are not only great for showering but they also provide a high quality steam system enabling you to enjoy a sauna in the comfort of your own bathroom! Saunas provide great health benefits and can help you to unwind and relax tired muscles at the end of a long day. A sauna in you home is another buzz factor that could sell a home.

If you need to make the most of the space available in your bathroom then a storage enclosure may be the right choice for you. Storage shower enclosures look great but their main selling point is their storage shelving units which are built into the enclosures themselves. You can easily store your shower gels, shampoos and other bits and pieces as well as your towel which will all accessible from inside the enclosure. This is a great option if your bathroom is small in size as it will limit the amount of clutter within the room and remove the need for chunky storage units. This will create much needed space within the room.

Any of these shower options for your bathroom would make great additions to your quality of life and would also help in maintaining or increasing the price of your property.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Qualifying Customers - The Key to Successful Sales For Your Service Business

Some people are natural salespeople, while others have to work at it. No matter which category you fall under, there is an abundance of material written to improve your skills in sales and selling. In addition to reading this article, a person new to selling should read other sales materials and attend sales training and seminars. The more you learn, the better a sales person you will become.

As previously noted in my previous article on Marketing Your Handyman Business, a typical sales process for a home improvement business requires the following steps.

  • Marketing
  • Qualifying
  • Selling
  • Getting Hired!

Through your marketing efforts, you are attracting people with a home repair or home improvement need. Then through qualifying, you are ensuring that your prospective customer has the money and the motivation to hire you to get his or her project done.

Qualifying means to ensure that someone will make a good customer. Not everyone who contacts you will make a good customer, so it is best to assess the prospective customer's 'qualities' before deeming them appropriate to do business with your company. Qualifying is very important, as you only have so much time and energy for selling. You want to be sure that you are selling to the most appropriate individuals. The Operations section of this guide has a discussion on "What jobs to avoid" that will further help you to qualify prospective customers.

Much of the work of selling is learning about your customers, understanding their needs, and determining whether or not they are qualified to buy what you are selling. This last step is crucial. If they are not qualified, then it doesn't matter if you can sell your services, as they do not have the ability to buy them. Each business will need to define for itself what a qualified customer means. An example of a simple approach is that a prospective customer will qualify if he has a need, a budget and a realistic time frame to get the project completed.

Simply needing or wanting a home repair or improvement is not enough. Many prospects want things they can't afford, or have unrealistic budgets. In order to determine if the customer can afford your services, make sure that he has set a budget sufficient to accomplish the proposed project.

Customers also need to have a realistic time frame for when they want the project done. A prospect who can't tell you when he wants the project completed isn't serious about starting it in the first place.

Asking open-ended questions, those that require more than a one word or yes/no reply, will help in the process of eliciting the information you need. A closed-ended question is one that typically has a one-word response. For example: Do you like this shade of green? --The likely response is either yes or no.

Try asking questions such as the ones outlined below

  • What is your end goal for this project?
  • What would you like your (bathroom, kitchen, basement, deck, bedroom... ) to look like when it is complete?
  • Have you seen other examples that you like? You may have seen something in a magazine or in a friend or neighbor's home that you like.

Here are sample questions to help you determine if your prospect has a sufficient budget:

  • What is you budget range for this project?
  • What (colors, brand, model, style, etc.) have you selected for this part of the project?
  • Are you planning on paying for this project all at once, or will you be financing it?

These sample questions can help you determine the prospect's time frame and readiness to start project:

  • Can I see your paint color samples?
  • What ideas do you really like?
  • How soon do you want this project completed?
  • What (colors, brand, model, style, etc.) have you selected for this part of the project?

The responses to these questions will give you a better understanding of your prospect's wants and needs, and the information to qualify your prospective customers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Advantages Of Hiring An Interior Designer In London

We are all individuals but, when it comes to the home, we often have very similar desires. And hiring an interior designer in London can help us achieve it.

When we think of our living space, we want our surroundings to be pleasing to our tastes, practical to our needs and interesting to those who visit. It doesn't matter whether you love chintz or have a passion for minimalism, a home that is in line with our favourite trends and evocative to our senses is something that everyone desires.

However, when it comes down to it, not everyone is capable of taking the canvas of a space and turning it into our dream home. Whether it is a lack of inspiration, time or knowledge, interior design can be a challenge to the layman.

This is where the advantages of hiring an interior designer come into play. Rather than struggle with the limited resources at your fingertips, you can select an expert at a competitive rate who will transform the space you like into a home that you will love for many years to come.

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a professional designer is the time involved in getting the job right.

If you are juggling a job with family and friends, along with other obligations like exercising and maintaining personal financial records, time is at a premium. Decorating tends to come in snatched bursts when you've managed to drop the kids off with Gran for a few hours and run the Saturday DIY-shop gauntlet. This can make the task stretch out for weeks, if not months; by which time the look you were aiming for is lost and you settle for simply getting the job done.

However, hiring a dedicated professional interior designer removes much of this stress. Coming up with ideas, sourcing materials and arranging for the practical tasks to be done can all be taken care of by your interior designer – leaving more time for you to get on with everyday life and look forward to relaxing in your new surroundings.

When it comes to actually generating designs, layouts and themes, most people can instantly identify that they like a particular style, but wouldn’t have a clue of how to create it for themselves.

Imagination and inspiration are as essential to home design as it is to fashion and art. Similarly, if you don't know about the latest techniques in paint or applique, or are dazed when asked the difference between voile and chiffon, you may well end up sticking to staid decorating combinations that soon look dull and dated.

Hiring an interior designer will allow you to embrace a brand new style – or see a trend you've always loved with a twist that is suited to your individual tastes.

Professional knowledge of the industry is not just beneficial when it comes to thinking up new ideas for the home – it is essential when it comes to keeping the overall costs of interior design down.

While hiring a dedicated designer may seem to some like an extravagance, it can often end up being a money-saving exercise. Those who work in the industry every day know the best contractors and cheapest suppliers who will be reliable, fair and provide excellent value for money.

An interior designer is not a costly extravagance – they are an investment in value for money that your home will greatly benefit from.

So if you're thinking about renovating your property or even just breathing new life into a bathroom or bedroom, think about calling in a professional to make the very most of what you've got.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Look Around Your Property During Your Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Project

Give your home a much-needed improvement project that saves you money today and increases your home's value tomorrow. One of the best ways to raise your property's value is to do some energy efficiency home improvement projects.

A home improvement project is best done when you keep an eye out for future property value and the way it will be affected by the project. While you can find advice telling your differently, it is prudent and wise to at least consider the way your projects today will increase your property's value. When you start to consider the future price tag you will likely educate yourself more and choose the best material.

Making your home more energy efficient is future thinking and a positive for property values. You will be saving money each month on energy bills as well as increasing the overall value to your property. Here are some tips when focusing your next home improvement project on cutting energy costs.

1. Look up. Heat escapes through the roof during the winter when you are trying to warm the home. Installation is often sub-par and can easily be improved without costing a ton of money. When the home is built you may not have the best insulation installed, opting instead to spend you money elsewhere. Now is the time to give it an upgrade. Start by improving the installation, but don't stop there. You can also consider roofing your home again, replacing the old shingles for new ones. Over time they can become worn out and can contribute to high costs for your energy bills.

2. Look around. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, also known as the HVAC system, is all around you. The vents and air ducts all around the home comprise a large and somewhat complex system of air movement that is used to warm or cool your home to make it comfortable to live in. By replacing or repairing your HVAC system, you will save an average of 20% on each energy bill. You can get in touch with your nearest home improvement store for advice in this area, as it is a complex and relatively difficult project to complete. You will likely need to hire contractors out to work on your HVAC system.

3. Look outside. By planting bushes and trees around your home, you are quickly and easily increasing the natural insulation your home experiences. It will keep your home cooler during those hot summers and help keep warmth in during the winter. It also benefits the environment. Saving energy helps the environment on its own, as you are using less fossil fuels and doing your part to protect natural resources. By adding trees and plants, you are again helping the environment by increasing the presence of oxygen-producing organisms and making the yard more aesthetically pleasing.

Remember that cutting energy costs is not only beneficial to each and every monthly energy bill in the near future. Cutting energy costs through home improvement projects will also increase your home's market value that could benefit you years down the road.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Building Coach - Ten Reasons You Should Hire a Home Building Coach For Your Remodel Or New Home

Stop ... before you go too far with your home improvement plans. Use caution before you build. To have the best success, you need a professional on your side who is working for you. You need an experienced home building coach.

You're probably familiar with the concept of a buyers agent when it comes to purchasing a home. It's even more important to have this type of representation when you plan to build or remodel. The stakes are just as high or higher. You want what you want in your home. You want to control your costs. You want to understand the process and know how to solve problems. Most of all, you want a great experience!

Here are the Dream Home Creation "Top Ten Reasons to Hire a Building Coach"

1) Getting to the Starting Gate:
One of the most difficult challenges for most people who want to build or remodel themselves is knowing how to start and whom to trust. A good home building coach can be the key to launching your project. They give you confidence and procedures that propel you forward.

2) Financing Resources and Qualification:
While financing options change all the time, having an industry professional guide you can be a solution through the maze. As this article is written, the financial industry is in the process of change. Watch for future articles and visit Dream Home Creation and other websites for updates. Whatever solutions are forthcoming, a quality home building coach can advise you.

3) Building Professional Resources:
This advantage alone is worth hiring a coach. Throughout the entire process of building, you'll need the services of countless professionals in coordinating labor, buying materials, designing solutions, and arranging deliveries and a whole host of other things. Your coach is your best source to access the best people and companies.

4) Preparing Home Plans & Blueprints:
Naturally, when you want to create your dream home there will be floor plans and blueprints. You can use architects, residential designers, interior designers, floor plan books, online sources and many other professionals. It is my experience that having a coach can help you fine tune your search as well as pick the best professionals to help you get exactly what you want in your home.

5) Budgeting and Costing out Project:
Before any project is started, and before any financing can be secured, you'll have to accurately cost out your project. Building from scratch or doing a remodel, costing out a project is very involved and a professional coach should be able to do this with you. People find this to be a huge relief.

6) Submitting Plans to Authorities:
Many have complained that they don't know the requirements for submitting plans to their local building departments. It is a complicated process for sure. Between your coach, the architect and the information the authorities will help you with, you'll be in good shape. The coach will be a real stress reducer and time saver.

7) Ongoing Management of Project:
Not only is the coach going to give you a process to get started but she or he will have the entire project scoped out and presented in a manageable format. Then, as the project moves forward, you'll be able to manage all the processes easily using a process management system each day. Your success depends on a good process management system.

8) Trouble Shooting:
Every single project is subjected to problems, challenges, and situations that need special attention by someone whose "been there, done that". As an owner builder, this is the kind of help you'll rely on. Troubles can be minimized. Troubles can be avoided!

9) Keeping You On Time and On Budget:
This needs little explanation. Keeping on time and budget speaks for itself. The knowledge and foresight of a good coach will keep you on the straight and narrow.

10) Saving Money:
If you avoid making one major mistake by using a coach you have saved money! Mistakes can be hugely expensive. More than most realize. Lost time, lost money, and aggravation mount up fast when things go wrong. So, the use of a coach is not a cost at all.

I have other articles that will give you more information. Keep up your research to help you make the most of your building project!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Home Improvement Projects on a Budget

Do you want to make some home repairs on your home but just do not know where you should start because money is so tight? Well do not worry because you are not the only one there are others out there that are in the same tight spot. There are ways however that you can make home improvement projects without a huge budget.

Most generally the cost of home improvement is placed into two different categories. The first category has to do with the cost that is involved that comes with having to hire professionals to help you with your home remodeling costs. The other category involves the money that is involved with all the supplies and tools that you are going to need to complete the project. In knowing this the key to keeping your home improvements within budget would be to find ways to save money in each of these categories.

When you are looking at ways that you can reduce the cost of hiring a professional you need to think about what types of home improvement projects that you feel that you can handle on your own. If you feel that you can do the project on your own but you are lacking a few simple skills than ask a friend or family member to help. There are also a wide variety of books and DVD's that will be able to walk you through a wide range of home improvement ideas. This will be a great way that you can keep your home improvement costs to a bare minimum.

Although you may not realize it you can even cut corners on the building materials and tools category as well. One of the best ways that you can do this is through comparison shop. Check with a couple of different home improvement stores in your area and see which one will be able to offer you more for less. You can also achieve this through searching through the internet. When you choose to go this route you will have the ability to compare a number of different building sites at once to see which one is offering the best deals. Also a lot of online material warehouses will offer you discounts if you purchase a certain amount or they even may offer free shipping which can become a huge savings for you.

Another great way that you can save money is to scale down your plans a bit. Instead of an elaborate home remodeling project, go instead for the mid range project idea. With just a little creative though you will be well on your way to a great home improvement project and you didn't even have to blow your budget.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Should You Arrange a Perfect Home Improvement Project?

Spending money for home improvement project is not only a matter of buying materials, drawing the design and then hiring a contractor to make everything runs perfectly. You should understand that there is something more essential than such thing. Improving your home will let you to play with your creativity and explore your idea, thus you can make the home as a representation of style, preference and personality.

Definitely, budget is another important thing to think about. Spending money to bring the best design will make you see that your expense is a really worthy investment. In fact, people determine budget by using two methods. First, they make a list about the areas they want to improve and finally calculate the amount of money they should have spent. The second alternative is to determine the amount of money they have and make a list about the things they can do with such amount of money. Which one do you like best? Doing the project should be done carefully, thus you should make sure that you would have arranged the best preparation.

If you want to have the great home improvement project but only have limited budget, try to get the loan. It is always important to learn more about terms and policies before deciding the best creditor you would work with. Some requirements will be asked by the creditor and you should fulfill them to get the approval for your loan proposal. If you are not really sure about your decision, it is great to ask your friends or family members who have ever taken the loan to support their project.

The new design is the center point of the project. You should not sacrifice the health and environmental aspects. The design should be well-considered. What should you think properly? The electrical system, ventilation and the temperature inside your house are the essential matters. Try to give the great concern toward the basic aspects as the priority, and then you can talk about secondary things such as the style, color and some other things.

If you hire someone to do the entire project, make sure to tell him or her about the project you wish to do. You can also consult with them about the best design which is suitable with your home condition. He or she will calculate everything and let you know about it. The great combination of your idea and the right calculation on everything will bring the great final result for your project.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finding the Best Loan For Your Home Improvement Project

The last few years have been tough on the real estate market and this has led to an increase in home improvement projects in some areas. If your family is growing, you may not be able to just flip into a bigger home and if you are looking at selling your home, their may be things you can do to maximize the value of the house. This is especially true for those areas that have been hardest hit such as southern California and Florida. Whether you are just looking to try and maximize your properties value or need to increase the livability of your house, home improvements can often accomplish your goal. To fund these projects many homeowners are turning to home improvement loans.

Since the current rates on mortgages are still very low, using your home equity to fund most improvements can often be a wise decision. There also may be some tax advantages to using your mortgage instead of another source of credit. For this reason you will want to speak with you tax attorney or accountant before making a final decision.

Are Home Improvement Loans Right for Me

Properly planned home improvements can often have positive impacts on your homes value. If you pick your projects wisely the increase in home value can often be greater than its cost to complete. When deciding on a home addition or remodel you should ask yourself a few questions:

- Will this project greatly improve your comfort level as you live in the home?
- If remodeling, is it a high traffic area such as a kitchen to maximize usage?
- Will this be something prospective buyers in your area desire in a home?

After you have decided on what the home improvement will be you will need to find the best funding option available. While you should always start with your local banker or mortgage broker that should be just a start. Finding the best rates on a loan will take a little legwork on your part but it could save your thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Thanks to the internet, that legwork has gotten much easier. There are many quality mortgage resources online that can instantly match you with local lenders. By taking the time to compare rates, terms and closing costs from a few different lenders finding the best home improvement loan is easier than ever.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Home Remodeling Coaches - Three Ways DIY Remodelers Save Big Money Using a Home Remodeling Coach

Are you thinking of remodeling your home? Do you plan to manage the project yourself? DIY (do-it-yourself) remodelers can save money doing things themselves but there is a catch. What if you miss something? What you don't know could hurt you.
 
"But, I'm a DIYer, I can't afford to hire someone to help me manage this!"
 
Too often in life we focus on the cost of services over their benefits. We bemoan the cost of an accountant when we should value the tax savings and time freedom we are gaining. The question really should be: What is this expense going to save me in the long run? For most people, the truth is, they can't afford not to hire a coach.
 
What Is a Home Remodeling Coach?
 
Before I get into the benefits that a coach provides, I should explain what one is. Other articles go into more detail and I encourage you to seek them out. Briefly, a coach guides you in every process from planning through completion.
 
The home remodeling coach is the same as a home building coach. They are trained and experienced industry professionals who work along side you while you remain in charge. You pay a coach (or Custom Home Coach) a flat fee based upon the length and scope of your project.
 
Three Ways Custom Home Coaches Save You Money
 
I should advise that hiring a coach is not needed for a simple home improvement like painting, replacing a carpet, or adding shelves. We're talking about a major improvement here, like doing a kitchen remodel or adding a room and bathroom. Here are just three of the many ways a Custom Home Coach can help you in your major remodeling project.
 
#1 Planning, costs, and strategies: Getting a project off the ground is tedious and confusing. A coach will provide tremendous help through the preparation process showing you what to do and when, how much things will cost, and how to implement your ideas. The coach will steer you away from disaster before you veer into it.
 
#2 Keeping the project moving forward: No one likes to live in a house that's constantly under construction or renovation. The experience of a coach will help you keep workers showing up and solve issues as they arise. Delays cost money and ruin the experience.
 
#3 Avoiding a major mistake: This one speaks for itself. You don't want to make an expensive mistake! This is the one big reason most professional builders say that people should not manage their own projects alone. I agree. Your remodel coach could save you thousands of dollars by helping you avoid one crucial mistake.
 
Each of these three benefits of hiring a Custom Home Coach could stand on their own. Getting all three is just a bonus. So don't miss the forest for the trees. Don't focus on the small expenditure of hiring a coach when in the long run, you'll end up dollars and sanity ahead.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Find Comfort In Self Build Log Cabins

Log cabins are the common choice of people living in places where the climate can really be unpredictable. This is especially true for those people living specifically in United Kingdom. More and more people have been opting to invest in log cabins rather than buying a readily built modern house. Aside from the low cost, log cabins can also provide you with a different comfort. A log cabin is built from unprocessed logs. This gives the owner of this type of house a different feeling of being close to nature.

Some people would think that investing on a log cabin can be very costly. Actually it is not. There are a lot of log cabin kits that are sold at a reasonable price. Self build log cabins are one good option to help you cut down with your expenses. Some people might hesitate to purchase these kits thinking that they will have to build the house themselves, which is definitely a false belief about self building. The idea behind self building is basically allowing the owner of the house to oversee the entire project. He needs to be involved from the planning to the selection of materials up to the construction of the house until it is successfully constructed. But of course, the owner can still opt to do as much work as he can especially if he is working with a constricted budget.

Log cabins are not only cost efficient. It is also guaranteed to provide you with all the comfort that you really deserve and need. Living in a house built from logs is a very practical choice for people living in places were climate changes are very hard to predict. Logs have natural insulating properties that keep the temperature of your house more favorable during the cold season. The logs capability to keep your house warm may even help you save on your energy consumption because you will be spared from using heaters to keep you warm. Apart from the logs capacity to stabilize the cold temperature, it can also be very ideal during summer season where the scorching heat of the sun becomes so unfavorable. As much as logs can keep you warm during cold seasons, it can also keep your house cool during summer because logs are poor conductors of heat. Thus, it delays movement of the heat from the sun towards the inside of your house. Log cabins are really capable of providing you with a different feeling of comfort that only a house made from logs can give.

If you have decided to invest on log cabins, you need to make sure that you will only be using the top quality of materials to make sure that the house you will be building is really durable. Before purchasing a kit, make sure that the supplier is really reputable and has built a good name in the industry. Definitely you will only want to use seasoned logs for your house right? So to make sure that you will be getting the highest quality of materials, make sure that you only transact with reputable suppliers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guide to Automatic Protection With Home Security

While it might be hyperbole to claim that it keeps people up at night, most people would still prefer to protect their homes in whatever way they can. With home security systems, homeowners can protect their homes against a variety of threats and provide automatic support from third party companies.

Protection Away From Home

Many home security companies provide a level of automatic protection for customers. With a subscription, customers get technology installed in their homes that automatically scan and sense. Sparing all the details about how these various technologies work together, it suffices to say that they automatically detect any intruders. If intruders are detected, then the companies can place a call to your home to make sure that things are all right, and they can also dispatch the necessary emergency services to your house in the case that there are intruders in your home. With these technologies, home security systems help to ensure that your home is protected from burglars at all hours of the day.

If you're looking for a more private form of home security, then you can install a number of electronics such as motion sensors that can alarm you but not a third party company. These might include home security cameras, which record a days' worth of footage and can be useful if your home gets burglarized, and you're more likely to be able to help police find out who committed the crime. These come in a variety of models to suit many different individual needs, such as with night vision and automatically turning on with infrared sensors. Other models wirelessly transmit data to some type of recorder, be it to videotape or a hard drive on a digital video recorder (DVR). All of this home security technology helps to protect your home, and in the case that it is trespassed upon, you can more easily identify the assailants and help police.

However, home security systems can also help protect against other more natural, dangers, such as fires. Smoke alarms are just one basic form of fire protection, but newer systems may automatically alert the fire department and help to dispatch emergency services to your house. Even a precious few minutes can mean the difference between some relatively minor smoke damage and irreparable damage to your home. Be it burglars or fires, home security protects your home against any dangers that it may face. Not only does it protect your home, but it also defends you and your family as well.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My First Woodwork Project - Building a Shed

My first woodwork project was a wooden storage shed. I needed to get my lawnmower and other garden tools out of the garage so that I could use it for parking my wife's car. I had no idea how to build one, but soon after pricing them at the local hardware store, I decided I could build one for a lot less than buying one.

First I needed a plan for my shed, so I scoured the hardware store, and found that the books they had only had 1 or 2 plans each, and none that were appealing. I went to local library, and found some books from the 1950?s and 1960?s on woodworking, but the projects they had were kind of dated. They didn't really match the style I was looking for in my backyard. So, I turned to the internet. I found tons of sites offering me all kinds of different sheds. Some were made of plastic, others of steel or aluminum, and even some made of wood. Again I was back to buying something for more money than I thought I could build it for. I wanted a project, that I (a beginner) could complete, without the high cost of buying a shed.

Then I found it. Or rather, my neighbor Jim did. A site that had thousands of woodworking projects to choose from. I signed up and got access to shed bases (I learned I needed one of these as well), Amish sheds, garden sheds, storage sheds, workshops, and decks. The selection is amazing. The plans were easy to follow and gave a complete shopping list for each woodwork project. All I had to do was print it out and go to the hardware store.

My first weekend was spent in gathering my materials, and getting organized. On the following weekend, I invited my neighbor Jim and his brother over to help me raise a shed. On Sunday, we finished and I made some BBQ ribs to repay my friends for their help. Anyway, that was the beginning of my love affair with woodworking.

Are you someone who enjoys working with wood? If yes, then I have great news for you. I have discovered a site that can give you instant access to over 12,000 shed plans and other great woodworking projects. It has everything from birdhouses and porch swings, to decks and wooden storage sheds to help you make your house an inviting home.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Why Build A House Using Steel House Framing?

Many people have heard of steel house frames but don’t know what the benefits of steel house framing are to make a determination if it is right for them. There are many advantages and solutions to some of the building problems that builders, homeowners and contractors have that can be solved by using steel framing.

Cost is the primary concern for any builder and homeowner and the cost directly influences the decision to build a home. What many people are unaware of is that steel framing is more cost effective than using wood framing allowing more to be built with less money.

One of the greatest benefits of steel house framing is the strength of steel, damage by moisture and heat or warping is never an issue or concern with steel frames. A steel frame home or building will hold up against the elements all year round and pests such as termites will not be a problem compared with wood frame homes and buildings.

With the benefits of strength that steel frames provide more variety of room styles and shapes become available as well as opportunities to have greater open floor plans and spaces, also by taking advantage of the strength of steel you won’t need load bearing walls that are required in the typical home that uses wood framing.

Green homes are becoming more popular with people and governments and going green has become a major concern across the world, and the benefits of steel house framing is that it is good for the environment. By using steel framing in homes and commercial buildings fewer trees will be chopped down thus people can contribute in a positive way to help stave of deforestation.

Steel frames are much easier to work with because there are pre-fitted pieces and pre-made kits available which can remove the task of drilling almost completely, this can save builders much time with their projects allowing more to be done in less amount of time. For some builder that have multiple houses under construction at the same time using steel frames instead of wood frames eliminates the worry of inclement weather damage or environmental exposure to their wood frames.

These are just a few of the benefits of steel house framing over using the conventional wood frames in home and other construction projects. Whether you’re a homeowner or a builder you will spend less time, money and get a stronger product that last much longer by using steel frames.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cost-Effective Ways of Improving Your Home

Remodeling your living room or kitchen or any other part of your house can mean another penny to spend. However, redecorating and remodeling don't necessarily entail high cost of materials and services from a trained person or professional. Buying new furniture is not important. All you need is to repaint and reuse materials.

Like for example your kitchen cabinets; if you want the cabinet to look different try to remove the doors and cut out a square portion on it and replace it with a glass. This will expose the contents of the cabinets adding more class to your kitchen. Compare the amount you spend when you buy a new set with just this simple makeover? Buying a new set is much expensive, right? So, just be creative in doing your home improvement ideas and you will still get the same satisfaction.

If you are planning to have a mini garden in front of your house or you already have one but you want to rearrange and remodel the landscape, you can still do it without spending too much. Take advantage of sales and promos offered by nursery stores that sell plants for your garden. Or you can search online and order some cheap packed seeds which you can grow in your garden. The trick really here is to be resourceful and creative in everything.

There is always a new and fresh idea that you can apply in your home. By replacing what is worn out already is a good start. DIY projects now are very common. Replace your old flooring with new tiles and apply DIY. You can save hundreds of dollars already with this concept. Besides, there are guides and references which you can always use when performing the tiling.

Inspect your doorknobs, faucets and locks if they are still in good condition. Replace any broken part. Prompt action can prevent any further damage. Don't wait for the whole bathroom sink to collapse before replacing or tightening any loosened nut.

Another tip is to add touches to your interior that can highlight the room. A good painting on the wall can entirely change the look of your room. Try to invest on good curtains too. If you used to hang plain ones try the printed fabrics this time. Sometimes a change of course can make things look better than sticking with the norm. Table top decors in bright colors like yellow and orange are also good add-ons in making your home anew.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five Lessons Learned From Home Improvement Projects

Improving your home can be an extremely rewarding venture, but it can also be an expensive project. You want to ensure you get the best contractor at the best price. In this economy, not everyone can afford a lawyer or professional to look over the contracts and the fine print. For that reason, we have created a list of the top five lessons to learn before entering a home improvement project.

1. Research: Learn about basic construction practices and projects. Unless you do some research, you will be less confident as to what you're looking for once the project begins.

2. Planning: Have a solid plan and don't allow the contractor to "make the calls." The way to ensure this is to know exactly what you want before getting started. Advice may be given from a contractor, but do not confuse advice with your own desires for your project.

3. Warranties: Read the fine print and ask questions before hiring the contractor. Remember that you are the one paying for the project and hiring the contractor. The contractor is only responsible for carrying out the project. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your project. If you don't fully understand something, ask them to explain it again.

4. Contracting: Become educated on creating spec sheets and reading bids carefully by line items. Become involved as much as possible. This means understanding what the contractor is looking at when reviewing the above items.

5. Deposit-Installments and Payments: Keep control of your money and your project while keeping in line with your State's laws. Probably the most important lesson is to understand how much the entire project is going to cost, how much you are putting down in the beginning and when further payments are to be dispersed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why Price Should Not Drive Your Hiring Decisions For Home Improvement Projects

Any house improvement project, such as a sliding patio door installation or installing vinyl siding, is a big one. While some owners tackle these projects themselves, many understand their own limitations and choose to hire a professional contracting company to handle major projects. If you're considering hiring window replacement contractors or other professionals, consider each of what's known as the 'Four P's.'

Problems: What Are You Trying To Solve?

The first thing to consider is what you want done. What type of project are you doing on your home? For instance, if you're replacing windows, then hiring dedicated window contractors is what you want to do. If you need to install vinyl siding, it's important to find a business that's knowledgeable about the different types of vinyl siding. Hiring a contractor that follows the Vinyl Siding Institute's guidelines is important as well!

Products: Do Your Contractors Know What's Best?

There are a number of different products available for any home improvement project. The right contractors will take a look at what you need and match your home up with the products that best fit your needs. For instance, if you're looking at a sliding patio door installation, a knowledgeable patio door installer will be able to tell you if the item you've chosen won't work on your home. Because they work with a number of different brands and products, they'll be able to help guide you toward what's best for your house structure. These professionals take a number of factors into consideration, such as price, the reputation of the brand and how it provides a solution for your home.

People: Are Your Roofing Contractors, For Instance, Well Known?

Whether you're installing vinyl siding, or having a sliding patio door installation done, you'll want to make sure the company you choose is well known locally. Particularly after a storm, roofing contractors can come from all over and start giving local homeowners quotes on repairing the damage. While some of these companies may be reputable, hiring an out-of-town company can be a risk. Instead, look for a company with a constant presence in your area. While problems with a reputable company are typically rare, working with one that's established means you'll have some recourse if there's ever an issue.

It goes without saying that any company you hire for a project like a sliding patio door installation or installing vinyl siding should be certified and insured. A reputable remodeling company will be happy to tell you about their certifications. If you can't get a straight answer, run, don't walk, the other way.

Price: Lower Doesn't Mean Better

Price is obviously a factor in any home improvement project. A low-ball quote often means that workers are unskilled or that you'll find customer service to be lacking. Instead, realize that a higher price means that you'll be receiving qualified, skilled laborers, customer service that you can count on and a company owner that's committed to you, the homeowner.

Considering more than just price is a smart idea when undertaking home improvement projects. If you're about to hire window replacement contractors, are considering replacing your vinyl siding or doing any other type of project, make sure to find a qualified contractor.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Benefits of Self Build Houses

Would you really believe that at one time people usually built their own houses? At that time, the entire family involved itself in the project and shared the labor.

It's just the same which many people are currently doing, though these self build houses are among the most labor intensive ones. As these projects now come in DIY kits, the entire task of building them is now becoming much less complicated.

If you see the entire building project, it may appear very daunting to you though in reality it is not so. It is a fact that it is very labor intensive, but if a person is not afraid of labor, then surely this can be too rewarding for him. If you take this as a project as one which has many small interconnected project culminating into this larger one, the entire task will become much easier for you.

At first you will have to construct the foundation of cement and this is surely the largest of all interconnected tasks. First of all you need to dig the footings and then have to set the forms which may take about two weeks of time and surely there is no margin for any error. Then comes a "pour day". Many people who are in this for the first time also call it "a hell day".

A great thing about the next part is that the walls usually come in the pre-framed form. All the doors and windows are already there and you just need to locate and erect them on the foundation.

The next part of this project is to bolt the walls successfully to the house foundation, which is sometimes called by carpenters as "rolling" these ceiling joists. All the ceiling joists normally come pre-cut in length and a map usually accompany them so there is no chance of any error taking place.

After all these ceiling joists are successfully set by nailing in place, the time comes for properly sheeting the second floor by OSB or plywood. This is a very easy task but you must leave about 1.5 inches of overhand on the top side of stairwell as you start trimming its edges.

After accomplishing this, now is time for setting the topmost walls of floor in their place, bracing them and getting ready for stacking the trusses of roof. Now it is just the matter of successfully nailing these trusses in their place, properly sheeting the house roof and the house frame is totally done.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

How to Manage a Home Improvement Project

When we talk about home improvements it is the process of renovating, remodeling, replacing or making additions to one's home. Home improvement projects have basically one or more goals that include comfort, additional features, safety measures, maintenance and repair and the beautification of the home. Inspiration is one of the main reasons we want to upgrade our home by remodeling or renovating it at a budgeted prices.

There are three main approaches to better manage a home improvement project: First is by hiring a general contractor. Basically, a general contractor can either be a group or an individual responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction execution of a project. It acts as project manager who coordinates work schedules, provide access to the site, and perform some aspects of the work. Second is hiring specialized contractors-these contractors are specialized credentials, licensing and have experiences to perform renovation services. The third one is the "do it yourself" approach or what we call DIY. Majority of the home owners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel their home according to Remodeling Sentiment Report.

For most homeowners, home maintenance can be tough and difficult. But remember, it is very essential for us to maintain our home, make it clean and should always be taken care of. Some people wanted to maintain and repair their homes but for some reasons, they can't do it. Either they don't really have much time to do this and no intended budget for the maintenance. Maintaining our houses 'conditions can help us save much since it prevents frequent house repairs, general constructions or renovations. Our household is indeed our shelter and our sanctuary where we are most comfortable with. At least we have to make sure of its safety and comfort for the sake of each member of the family.

Safety and security is also an important factor when we improve our homes. We always have to prepared with whatever incidents that might occur in our homes. Consider in investing security systems such as burglar alarm systems and fire alarm systems. This is the best option to be safe and be prepared whenever terrible circumstances arise. This may cause more, but at least it's worth the investment. Safety and security of your family is the most vital of all and no one would ever risk the safety of one's family.

At the end of the day whatever we may decide on how to better improve our home we just have to make sure the best quality improvement ideas that best suits our household. Always stay safe when renovating your home and enjoy what you do best were you are most comfortable with because one's home also reflects the owner's ideas, character and personality.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

5 Interior Design Mistakes People Make

Interior design including furniture, fabrics, wall coverings, colors, textures and styles can make your home comfortable and aesthetically appealing. It truly reflects your nature, personality and lifestyle in an outspoken manner. So it is necessary to select each an every design material carefully to enhance the look of your home design as well as make it more functional. Maintaining a consistency throughout your home decor is essential to give it a more luxurious and appealing ambiance. Interior design can be a quite daunting task for some people and they usually make various interior design mistakes while decorating their homes. In this article, I will discuss a few of them.

1. Creating Clutter and Disorganization

One of the biggest interior design mistakes people make while interior decorating is cluttering the home with too much accessories and items. Cluttering can make the room appearance smaller and even bring anxiety if not handled properly. Eliminate extra and useless items that you never or seldom use; it will provide you more living space. You can avoid this by buying only those things that you absolutely love and you think is essential for the room.

2. Selecting Wrong Type of Furniture

Another common mistake is choosing the wrong type of furniture that is either too large or too small as compared to the space available in your room. All the measurements should be made prior to purchasing pieces of furniture. Decorating your home with an appropriate furniture type that complements your living space will definitely give a pleasant and welcoming feel to your home design.

3. Ignoring Color Coordination

It is a very common and frequent interior design mistake that most people do not consider. Selecting the right colors will always be one of the most important decisions in the interior design. Choosing the shades and tints for the wall paints that fit best with fabrics and furniture will greatly depict the mood and nature of the habitants. Adding different contrasts in your color scheme can set the mood you want in your dream place.

4. Incorporating Bad Lighting

This is the worst mistake that people usually make within their home. Lighting is the one of the most significant features of the interior decor that truly influences on the emotion of the room. Incorporating lighting that fit best according to every room will improve the overall ambiance of your home decor.

5. Choosing Improper Height to Hang Artwork

Another pitfall which is often observed while interior decorating is hanging artwork on improper height that are either too low or too high. Selecting an elegant artwork that complements the room style and surface with a correct proportion is decisive to format the appearance of the walls. It will certainly give an aesthetically and pleasant appearance to your room.

The ultimate goal of interior design is to create a more functional and aesthetically appealing look for your home. The above mentioned points are some common mistakes that people generally make while decorating their home designs. Getting the help of a professional interior decorator is a worthwhile option to avoid these common mistakes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Top Tips On Finding The Perfect Bespoke Furniture

Furniture isn’t a cheap purchase, and whether it is one room or the entire home that needs filling, you can easily find high quality furniture that will meet all of your expectations while also saving a bit in the process. How can you find the best bespoke furniture?

First, search the web for reviews. You can find reviews for most any type of furniture you could think of, from all of the top brands. Using reviews can give you a great perspective of a piece of furniture before you spend your money. No matter your budget, ensure that you are shopping with a trustworthy company.
When shopping with a trustworthy company you can count on getting high quality furniture that meets your price range. Again, reviews are a great way to find a reputable company. Consider shopping on the web as well. Many times furniture can easily be found on the web, and you are always assured a larger selection than what can be found sitting inside of local furniture stores. And, the costs may be less when using the web to find your furniture. You can shop online any time that you like, and might even prefer doing a bit of online browsing and shopping as well as a bit in store as well.

Do not settle for less. It is your home, and having furniture that you like, that meets your style, will ensure a happy home is made. Even if it takes a bit of extra time and searching, don’t stop until you are satisfied, even thrilled, with the furniture you are getting. This is a true statement regardless of the room or rooms you are buying for.

If you are on a tight budget, compare costs before you buy. This is great even for those who are not, however essential for those who are. This is a free service most easily completed on the web. It will take you only a few short minutes to compare prices, and doing so could result in taking home savings of as much as 50%!

Finding bespoke furniture is an important decision when wasting your earnings is a no-no. You want stylish furniture made to last that looks great inside of your home. Take these tips with you when shopping and great furniture that you love will always be yours. You might even save a little bit while you are at it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How To Select Roofing Contractors and Painting Services For Your Home Improvement Needs

Choosing Roofing Contractors

Any type of remodeling done to homes comes with costs. But just because it does, letting any part of your home to decay is not the best alternative. One part of the house that should not be left to rot is the roof because it protects the interior. So, when it is time to repair or replace your roof, the work should not be left to amateurs. You need to find roofing contractors who can meet your needs as well as your budget.

Good roofing contractors do not only work on your roof, they also work with you to keep the costs low as possible and help you with insurance companies. You can search for them in the industry's directory or you can ask your friends and acquaintances for any referrals of roofing contractors that they have used before. The latter is usually the best option but it would not hurt to check whether a roofing contractor has a good standing with the industry's directory. The Internet is also another way of checking past performances of roofing contractors on your list through opinions from previous customers.

Checking the standing of roofing contractors before hiring one is a wise choice. Past job performances speak a lot about how a contractor takes a roofing job seriously. The opinions should not be the main factors that guide your decisions. But, be vigilant with the feedback of past customers. You do not want to hire the services of someone who have received more than a few negative comments from their previous jobs. It is also a standard in the industry that roofing contractors should comply with standards and regulations according to the current building code. So, make sure your prospective roofing contractor complies with the industry's regulations.

A roofing job should be taken seriously because it can be costly and even disastrous if done haphazardly. With the current state of the economy, it is always wise to try to do any home remodeling the first time. If you are still not satisfied with your list, do more research because you will ultimately get the value for your money for that roofing job.

Determine the Type of Painting Services Your Home Needs

A painting project for your home is a serious endeavour so, finding a contractor that can provide painting services for your home should be taken seriously. Before hiring any contractor, determine first the type of painting job you need. Different types of painting jobs may also require different types of painting services from different contractors. That is, if the contractor you have chosen specializes on certain painting jobs.

Before hiring painting services from a contractor, assess whether your house needs paint for the exterior or does it only need paint for its interior. Although most contractors are capable of offering any type of painting services, it is still advisable to know what your house needs in order to assess how much it will cost.

If you need a painting job for the exterior of your house, assess first what needs to be done. Exterior areas of your house need to check the condition of the area that needs to be painted. Some materials may need some repair before any painting can be successfully done on it. Doing this avoids the hassle of painting rework and additional costs.

Painting the interior of your house is another matter. It is not only about applying paint on walls, it includes some improvements on cabinets or putting textures on certain walls. So, interior painting is more detail oriented than the exterior. The contractor you hire to provide the painting services should be exceptionally detail oriented but does not lose focus on the quality.

Choosing the right contractor to do the painting services for your home will give you satisfaction. So, to avoid headaches and a lousy job, consider hiring the services of a trusted and tested contractor. Ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations of contractors they have hired for painting services in the past. You can also check a list of contractors who offer painting services in the industry's directory. Another method is to check opinions of previous customers on the contractor's website. Although it is not always advisable to rely on those opinions, you would not want to hire someone who have received more than a few negative feedback.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Home Renovation - Deciding What You Can and Cannot Do Yourself

There are two kinds of people: those that like to do everything themselves and those that don't. The former group is probably going to end up saving money and they're going to learn more about the finer points of home renovation. The latter just want to have a nice home. They don't care too much how it's done and they may not even care about the price, they just care about the results. If you're the kind of person that likes to get their hands dirty, you have to realize that there are some things that you can do and some thing that you really should leave to skilled and experienced professionals.

Most of the things you can do yourself tend to be somewhat minor improvements, but they can nevertheless have a major impact on the look and feel of your home. One of the best ways to see what you can do yourself is to stroll up and down the isles of your local home improvement store and see what catches your eye. These stores cater to the do-it-yourself crowd and are staffed with employees that can offer their expert advice when asked. It's true that these stores also sell their services too, but by and large they cater mostly to people that are looking for materials so they can do the job themselves. Almost anything is fair game at these kinds of stores. If you're new to home renovation you'll probably want to start with something easy before progressing to a difficult project. Consult the staff there to figure out where you can start. You might also want to get a book to help guide you through the steps. Also don't forget that the internet is a great resource for such projects.

Then there are other home renovation jobs that will be very hard for the weekend warriors. It may even be next to impossible to complete for them. It's not because they can't do it. It's because those kind of jobs either require a team of professionals or require a lot of skill and precision work. Expensive materials could be involved as well. An example of such a job would be a replacing an air conditioning unit. Such a unit is heavy and expensive, and so installing it yourself could prove to be difficult and multifaceted. Some amount of improvisation may also be required to accommodate the unit in your home. It would probably be best to let a professional install it for you. Another example would be installing new windows in your home. Modern windows can be a lot more expensive than you might think, but they can offer many advantages over previous generation of windows. Actually, they often work in conjunction with air conditioning systems because they provide better insulation. They can help keep your home cooler when it's hot and warmer when it's cold. Eventually all homes will have advanced windows, but in the meantime it's only for people that bother to initiate the upgrade. You probably cannot perform window replacement yourself, but there are many professional companies out there that consistently produce quality results.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Home Interior Design That Suits Your Personality

A house becomes indescribable when it litterally takes your breath away once you enter. It is when you feel that the house in itself exudes character and a statement all its own. Of course, it should be designed in a classical manner that befits its size and grandeur.

A beautiful and well-interiored home is never too harsh or dark. Nor doe it use too many elements of design and it refrains from using things too ordinary or common. It has high ceilings, an atrium and bay windows. Its design is always exaggerated to be noticed.

It should tell a story of the history behind it. It should invoke a certain culture not intertwined with others. It also requires a focal point, something out of the ordinary like a metal armor, a collection of authentic antiques, an original painting or work of art of any known artists, a cultural heritage piece or a family heirloom.

Choice of flooring and window material also counts, as does a specially designed place in the house like a mini-spa, gazebo or relaxation room.

In fact, anybody can make a truly indescribable house just by being creative and utilizing some home interior design options that compliments your distinctive taste and personality. All it requires is the actual application of a palette of colors that is a feast to the eyes.

Just remember: What other people perceive of you is what characterizes you the most. It's basically self-explanatory, no need to delve into it much further, right?

Here are 5 major categories of individual personalities for a home interior design. It's up to you on how you view yourself to be.

1. Gorgeous dresser model - If you say that you're a sleek dresser, then your color choices should reflect that. In the same manner colors can be combined or used as the color scheme for your wall painting and even accessories or decorative accents in your house.

2. Sleek businessperson - This category requires you to have a neat, refined and straight look. This should also apply in the design of your home which should be clutter-free with a streamlined architectural approach using more of the monochromatic or earth colors bordering on the brown, black, gray and white.

3. Conservative philanthropist individual - You favor simple, clean and refined look. This goes for your home design which showcases plain and simple lines. Although this is favorable, you can add more color accents and invest in decorative ornaments of your choice.

4. Confident speaker/ salesperson - Being a sales manager, you feel confident and at ease with talking to people from all walks of life. It's part of your orientation so it's part of your personal life too. You go for the vibrant, energetic colors that uplift your mood. Affinity with classic lines combined with sleek, trendy touches of colors or interior accents suits you best.

5. Sporty, go-getter executive - This character goes for the rugged and "spur of the moment" design concept. Albeit, her artistic tendencies show off once in awhile. You will want to mix and match interiors.

If your character does not fall in to any of the above mentioned, it's safe for you to choose which item goes for you - it can be a combination of any two categories or all of it. Suit yourself!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Black Homeowners Guide - How Asking 3 Questions Can Save You Hundreds On Home Repairs

With competition getting tougher between contractors and building supply companies, the atmosphere is a homeowner's dream. Especially for homeowners who know how to take advantage of this situation. How? By comparison shopping, negotiating and using 3 secret power questions I'll reveal to you in this powerful article.

These 3 secret power questions will allow you to get rock-bottom prices for your home repairs and improvements.

There is an ancient saying that says, "It's not just what you say, but how you say it." This message will show you how to use 3 secret power questions to save money on your home repairs and improvements.

High-powered negotiators who haggle over million dollar contracts over coffee and donuts know the power of using or not using certain words. The secret is not just knowing what words to use, but when to use them. Timing is everything if you want to get the lowest price for home repairs and improvements as well.

Use certain words too soon and you can telegraph your hand alerting the other party to put up their price defenses. Use certain words too late and you can miss your golden opportunity to get a lower price.

Yes, when it comes to using these 3 secret power questions timing is everything - if you want to save money on home repairs and improvements.

To lay a solid foundation for you and set the stage to get the best use from these 3 power questions make sure you do the following:

1. Be Willing To Comparison Shop. Get or be willing to get at least 3 quotes or estimates on a home improvement or repair job. Especially if you're not familiar with the prices of the job or materials you want to purchase. This will help you to recognize a good price from a great price when you see it.

2. When you ask these 3 power questions, look the other person in the eye. Looking the other person in the eye when you say these power words adds sincerity and force to your words. Notice if they look you in the eye when they respond.

3. After you ask these power questions, keep quiet and listen for the other persons answer.

Even if it takes the other person 5 minutes to answer. Shut-up and wait patiently for the answer. They're thinking, don't interrupt them or you could destroy the power of the question. Your ability to keep quiet could save you dollars. Imagine saving $5 for every second you can keep quiet until he answers.

Now you're ready to get the lowest prices for home repairs and improvements using the following powerful questions. You should ask these questions in the following order.

1. What's Your Best Price?

This simple 4 word question often throws most contractors and repairmen off there sales plan and immediately puts you in control - if asked at the right time.

The best time to ask this question is after the contractor or repairman has evaluated your situation. Wait until after they've given you there remedy or solution and invested time with you.

The more time the other person spends with you the more willing they are to soften the price or make other concessions. (Provided you don't come off as a jerk).

2. Is That Your Best Price?

After they answer your first power question ("What's Your Best Price?"). Pause (3-5 seconds) and respond, "Is That Your Best Price? (With a slight hint of surprise in your voice.)

This simple question has encouraged many contractors to search for room to lower their price seconds after being asked. You can often see the wheels turning in their heads after you ask it.

Remember, if they give you a great price before you ask this question, this question will not have the maximum affect. And sometimes may not be necessary. That's why it's essential you know what a good price is and what a great prices is.

If it's a great price you might want to take it.

3. Use the "If" word.

This powerful two-letter word has lowered the price for more products and services than any other word of record. If the first two power questions can't get the price down low enough for you this two-letter word will often do it. Examples for using the "If" word:

A) "If "I buy 3 instead of one what kind of break will you give me?

B "If" I make a larger down payment what kind of break will you give me?

C) "If" I pay cash what kind of break will you give me? Etc.

There are many ways to use the "if" word when negotiating a lower price if you use your imagination.

If after using all three power questions you can't get some kind of price break, consider getting another estimate. Then choose the best estimate - meaning price, quality of service and value.

Be cautious of simply shopping for the cheapest price without considering quality of service and value. A funny thing happens when you shop for the cheapest price alone - you usually get what you pay for.

By using the 3 power questions you'll find yourself feeling the confidence of getting the best value for your money on purpose and not just by accident. You'll soon discover the more you practice these ideas the better you'll get at it and the more money you'll save.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Building Low Maintenance And Energy Efficient Homes

Planning for a new house can be a very exciting and fun experience for many new homeowners. The idea of finally having your own house can keep you real awake most of the nights. What’s good about building a new house is that you can have everything done based on your own specifications and personal style. Most house builders are very versatile and are particularly keen on giving in to the wishes of their clients; they are ready to experiment based on the desires of their clients and they can custom-build a house from the ground up.

If you are looking forward to have a house that’s low in maintenance and energy efficient, you should discuss these with your chosen construction company. These features can be easily integrated in your house by reputable new home builders from the start of your construction project. This will enable your builder to make appropriate provisions in the heating and cooling systems of your new house. In addition, fixtures and exterior planning can also be made to conform to your desired home features. House builders employ several tested and proven techniques to give you an energy-efficient yet comfortable house.

• Proper insulation of walls and floors can even out the circulation of temperature in your house. As a result, you will enjoy more comfort inside your house regardless of the frequent changes in the outside temperature. In the long run, you will also enjoy accumulated savings resulting from reduced energy usage. There are different insulation materials that new home builders can use like fiberglass, foam and recycled plastic.

• Use of energy-efficient windows with durable frames and special coating can effectively maintain the heat inside the house during winter seasons. The same high-performance windows can keep the hot temperature from entering the house during summer days. Ask your new home builders to install this type of windows as they are also useful in blocking ultraviolet rays of the sun. If you have this type of windows, you can rest assured that your home furnishing will not fade easily and would not require high maintenance costs in the future.

• Experienced house builders will be able to advise you to use modern heating and cooling systems. Compared to older and traditional systems, these energy-efficient systems are quieter and able to prevent too much humidity inside the house. In addition, these modern heating and cooling systems are less costly and more efficient to use. Proper installation of these systems can significantly reduce your household energy requirements.

These days, it’s easy to find household products and fixtures that are intended to reduce energy consumption and, in effect, maximize financial savings. Take advantage of these products like light bulb, electric fans and other kind of appliances.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

How To Build An Outdoor Playhouse

An outdoor playhouse can be quite a lasting, beautiful place for children to play and use their imaginations, socialize, have fun, and revel in having a retreat space of the very own. There are some options when it comes to outdoor playhouses, ranging from purchasing a ready-made or even easily assembled plastic tot-sized structure to following plans as well as doing it yourself. You have the in-between choice of putting together an outdoor playhouse from a kit too. How do you pick the right outdoor playhouse for your family? Here are a few factors to consider that may help you decide.

Age of Kid(s)

If your child or youngsters are toddlers, there is no need to build a real house. This particular age group requires a small-sized space that is ready-made. The best playhouse for the child set is really a plastic prefab model from retailers such as Little Tikes, Step 2, or Children Cabin. They are made with places for climbing, crawling through, doors, windows, and some have slides too. They're not very costly, weather proof, as well as long lasting. They're also portable, in the event you need to mow the lawn or have to bring it inside for the winter. Some disassemble for easy storage space.

Long Range Plans, Size and Skill

In case your children are older and the playhouse is supposed to be like the function of a tree house, (but on the ground), you need so that it is larger, lasting, and of a permanent nature. You may also think of utilizing it for a shed when the kids go off to university. For a framework of this type, consider either doing it yourself, or purchasing a kit. Determining between the two involves weighing cost and the period of time you have to spend on the project, together with considering how handy you're with tools. Kits are all-inclusive, pre-cut, and available with flooring.

Do-it-yourself projects allow a person to select any style or dimension, and are a good way to get knowledge about building a real house, setting up flooring, roof covering, and following a plan. These types of skills can be valuable when those home repair needs come up. You can assume that a DIY outdoor playhouse project will need about seven full days for a two-person team to accomplish. Also, consider the space you have available and how the actual playhouse will fit in with your landscaping.

Gender preferences

Girls and boys like various styles with regards to outdoor playhouses. Boys tend to choose forts, cabins, castles, and tree houses. Their style of play tends toward the physical, with hide and seek games and physical challenges. Girls prefer realistic role-play activities with furnishings and pretend play. Satisfying the desires of both genders can be a challenging set of compromises, however it can be achieved. Include the kids for making choices so they have a state, and they'll like it. It's also great to involve them in the assembly and/or creating as much as possible. Certainly, the kids should be allowed to assist with the painting and designing of their outdoor playhouse.

Other Considerations

Most cities will not need a building permit if the size of the house is a 10' cube or smaller. Check with the regulations of the particular city before attempting a project, so you don't have any surprises when you start out. As long as no one is residing there and also the playhouse will not be including plumbing related, there should not be a need to pay taxes as an outbuilding. Yet, make sure before you begin by checking with your city.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Your Guide To The Best Home Water Filter Systems

A lot of people are getting more and more concerned about the quality of their drinking water. And according to published reports they have very good reason to be concerned. It has been estimated that almost 7 million Americans get sick each year from drinking contaminated tap water. And on top of that, many studies that have been done recently indicate that most bottled water is no better for you than what you may get from your home tap. What that essentially means is that you are paying much more for the same quality of water then.

So water filtration systems have become very popular with many homeowners as a means of improving their home. There are several kinds of filtration systems in use today, and we will try to help you get familiar with the most important ones.

1. The cheapest to purchase, easiest to use, and most portable are water pitchers designed specifically for the purpose of filtering water. The advantage of these water pitchers is their simplicity itself. All you have to do is fill the picture up with tap water and then let it filter out the impurities. The biggest disadvantage to using water pitcher filters is the time that it takes for the water to be filtered. Very often they take 15 minutes or more just to filter a half-gallon of water. So obviously, if you often need water right away this may not be your best solution.

2. The next step up in the water filter chain are faucet mounted water filters. These are often seen advertised on television and in magazines. As the name indicates, they connect to the end of your water faucet, and have a lever so that you can either choose straight tap water, or to send the tap water through your filter instead. These are also very inexpensive types of filters, and very easy to install. They filter water much more quickly than water pitcher filters, but the filter cartridges have to be changed on a regular basis, perhaps every month or so.

3. Undersink water filters have the advantage of providing some of the best overall water filtration possible, and also are stored out of sight. They also work much faster then either water pitcher filters or faucet mounted filters. However, the biggest drawback to them is that in many cases professional installation is a good idea. Some homeowners that are very handy may attempt to tackle the installation of an undersink water filter, but for the average person it may be too much of a job. Cartridges are also used as the filter material for these units, but they only have to be replaced about every six months or so.

4. Whole house water filters are able to provide filtered water to every faucet in your home easily and quickly, which many see as a clear advantage. However, they can be even more involved to install than undersink units, and so most often you will need the services of a plumber to get it set up. The filters in these units also last about six months or so.

5. Reverse osmosis water filters were very popular in the past, but are not nearly as popular today due to the increasing effectiveness of some of the less expensive and easier to install water filtration systems. Perhaps the biggest drawback about reverse osmosis filters is that they waste almost 5 gal. of water for every gallon that they purify. On the plus side though, they are one of the best water filtration systems available, capable of filtering out even some of the smallest and most obscure pollutants.

As you can see, there are several choices to be made when you're considering home water filter systems, and hopefully the information provided above will help you make a more informed choice of the water filtration system that will work best for you.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tips For Implementing a Successful Home Improvement Project

It's a fact that most homeowners in the US do at least one home improvement project in their lifetime. And regardless of whether you chose to remodel the kitchen or the front porch, home renovation analysts stress that planning is the key to a successful makeover activity. To generate innovative home remodeling ideas, you could get these at showrooms, trade shows, as well as on the Internet. It helps that you give yourself considerable time for getting a clear idea of what you want, as well as for planning your budget and for finding ways of financing your remodeling activity.

Before embarking on a major home remodeling activity, take a more proactive, knowledgeable, as well as patient approach to your home improvement project, so that you'll be able to reduce the risks of encountering any miscommunication or major disagreements with your contractor. Being patient and proactive also helps to increase the chances of completing your project ahead of schedule, as well as help to reduce its total overhead cost.

According to home improvement experts, the best home remodeling ideas should be the ones that fulfill your goals of improving the quality of life. Among the remodeling tasks that get the highest average financial return on investment include remodeling the bathroom and kitchen. However, any home remodeling project should help to boost your property's overall value, as well as make it feel more comfy and extra spacious. While you need not have all the answers, it still helps that you know which tools and tricks are needed to ensure an efficient and hassle-free home remodeling project. If you're still quite unsure of where to start, it would be best if you get the services of an interior designer, as this individual will have the trained eye and the capacity to feed you with helpful ideas for the home that you probably would never have thought of.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Home Improvement Projects Anyone Can Do

Home improvements can help increase the value of our home. This is why we do whatever project we can to make sure that our home looks good. However, many of us are also hesitant to do certain projects because we are afraid we will not be able to do it properly. You do not have to worry though because there are several projects that you can do on your own.

Before discussing certain projects, you will need to think of what you need to do first. In order to succeed your home improvement project, you will need to plan. You can have a design. Draw it so that you will have something to follow. You can also get inspirations from magazines or online images. This will give you an idea of what you will do and what you will need.

It is also important that you determine your budget first. This is to make sure that you will not overspend. Having a budget will also give you an idea of what materials to use, what to purchase, and what to make.

You have to be creative as well. You do not have to purchase everything because you can reuse some of your existing items you have at home. Be familiar with the different treatments you can do with the existing items in your home to make it look new.

Here are some of the projects you can do by yourself:

1. Redecorating any room in your house. This is very simple because you do not have to build anything. It does not even have to be complicated. You can redecorate your home and maximize the space in the house. It would be best to remove all the items from the room you want to redecorate so that you can see it like a plain canvas.

2. Building a shed is also a simple project you can do yourself. All you need is to prepare the area available and measure it. Prepare the area as well as the materials you will need. Make sure that you have a plan. You can make your own or use free plans available online. There are also kits in the market that are ready to assemble. After buying, you can just assemble them.

3. You can also make kitchen and bathroom improvements. However, if you need to change the water and electrical lines, make sure you contact a plumber or an electrician. There are simple ways to improve how your kitchen and your bathroom look. You can repaint the walls or the cabinets. You can change the countertops and the fixtures. You can also change your floor using the easy to install materials available in the market today.

There are a lot of home improvement projects that you can do by yourself. You just have to be creative. You can also draw inspiration from existing designs. However, you have to make sure that you stick with your budget or else you will be facing financial issues.

Monday, May 5, 2014

New Home Construction In Ontario Canada

What are the essential things that you need for a new home construction? The first thing that you need to have is land and construction space. In places like Incardine, Walkerton, Saugeen Shores, Goderich, Port Elgin and Lake Huron, there is ample amount of building space available. People love such places because they are peaceful and the landscape gives them a lot of opportunities to try different methods of construction. The best way to go about doing it would be to hire the professional services of a Saugeen shores construction company. They offer tons of different services by which people can build their home in a very short time.

Some of the highlights of a construction company are that they offer an architectural designer. These professionals help to ensure that people can make use of their designing and conceptualization skills. The other contractors are locally established professionals. It is also important to hire the local work force while doing a Kincardine, Walkerton, Saugeen Shores, Goderich, Port Elgin, or Lake Huron Ontario new home construction. That will help to get raw materials in place and get things done on time. The Kincardine home construction companies also pay a close attention to the smallest details such as delivery of raw materials and deadlines, thus, ensuring that the customer is satisfied. After the construction is complete, they also provide interior or d├ęcor professionals.

The various tasks that the constriction company would include in order to complete the new home construction are different kinds of ground works. This task also helps them to finish grading the existing topsoil onsite. The next part of the building process would include pouring concrete. This is where they actually build the house foundation walls and garage walls as per the plan. They also provide damp proof foundation which is a wrap foundation with the drainage. The next step would include framing. This is a precision job and has to be done as per the specified dimensions.

Framing is necessary for walls and also interior ventilation passages such as door and windows. They also install house wraps on all exterior walls as necessary. Conventionally cut roof system or engineered roof truss are installed as per specified in the plan. The other important aspects required for new home construction is roofing, exterior door and window fitting, exterior finishing, electrical fitting, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) installation, plumbing installation, drywall fixing, interior trims, painting, cabinet fitting, flooring and light fixing. Most of the houses that are built in this region have a great finish to it and they last a long time.

The best way to find these Walkerton home construction companies is on the internet. They have website that offer detailed description about the service that they provide. They even meet their clients for a consultation and discuss the scope of the project before it begins. This is the time when they would chalk out plans and discuss the fees of the whole project. It's a great investment for those looking to build a home in the Ontario region of Canada.