10 Home Improvement Projects You Can Finish This Weekend – On a Budget

daily-home-repairs

1.) Programmable Thermostat:

OK, so we know that this particular home improvement project doesn’t add anything aesthetically to your home design, but let’s be honest-trimming around 5-10% a year off your heating/cooling bill, plus allowing you more control over the interior temperature, all while getting a new high-tech gadget is a win-win-win-win situation. A programmable thermostat allows you to avoid ever having to come home to a sweltering heat after a long day of work. It allows you piece of mind when leaving pets at home, no matter how hot it is outside. Coming in at around $75-$120 to have one installed for you-it’s truly an incredibly cost-effective way to make sure you get the most comfort possible out of your home. HouseLogic.Com has some pretty good information on choosing what type of thermostat will suit your needs. And no need to fear! Programmable thermostats (like most other electronic devices in our day-and-age) have become more and more user-friendly and easy to operate.

2.) Add a Splash of Color with an Accent Wall:

Painting an entire wall can be a nightmare (believe me, we know), and after a long week of work, the prospect of taking on such an overwhelming and exhausting task inevitably leads to a room that stays that same old neutral beige. Well-here’s a compromise. How about an accent wall? The difference a single wall of bold color can make in a room cannot be ignored. An accent wall is a great place to start remodeling or refurnishing your home. It gives you a base color palate with which to work, and can aid in the later selection of pillows, rugs, chairs etc. With an overall project time hovering around 6-8 hours (depending on the size of the wall you’re painting) from start to finish; painting an accent wall is a sure-fire way to add a touch of pizzazz to your room.

3.) Paint a Custom Headboard or Faux Headboard:

The sky is really the limit on this one. And the best part is that your ventures through a local thrift shop or Goodwill can yield amazing results at unbelievably low prices (if any). Being in touch with, and actively monitoring Craigslist is a secret weapon when it comes to designing on a realistic budget. You can go with vibrant, muted, pastels, or even fabrics and various textures!

Recently a trend has been becoming more and more popular in US homes: a faux headboard. What does this mean? It means that you literally use the wall and space already available to create a creative and very innovative design in place of a bulky headboard in your room. Pinterest has some beautiful galleries if you’re looking for some inspiration. The complexity and project time it will take to finish a headboard creation of your very own is entirely up to you. Some companies even offer templates and decals that can be stuck directly to a wall. The advantage to a faux headboard is beyond aesthetic. Aside from the space you can save, and the flexibility in design you will have, a faux headboard is easy to change, easy to update, and can be modified to reflect changing trends or a changing room.

4.) DIY Message Center:

If you’re anything like me, your life is a constant cacophony of mental “to-do” lists, family engagements to keep, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, and a way of communicating that often gets lost in the mix. Creating a DIY message center is a perfect way to make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s wonderful about these types of message centers is that most, if not all, of the materials you may need can either be found at a local thrift store or on the free section of CL. Don’t marry yourself to chalkboard either. Although chalkboard is an easy solution (especially now that it comes in huge sheets with an adhesive back ( like contact paper), you should also consider using a pane of glass (painted on one side) and framed! It’s the perfect mimic of a dry-erase board, but with markedly more style. You can even use a very thin piece of aluminum if you want to exclusively use magnets, and for those talented seamstresses out there-cloth and ribbon will also create a beautiful, versatile, and most importantly-functional piece to your home… and on a budget. Many of these message centers come with a section for mail, a section to write notes, and a board to post important bulletins to yourself or your family. I’ve seen every design style from rustic to modern, so whatever the style of your home, you can build a message center to compliment your design scheme while adding functionality.

5.) Change Your Faucets:

An often over-looked item on the “home improvement” list-changing your faucets is a simple way to really alter the look and feel of a room. Outside of accent pillows, it is the easiest way to breathe life back into a kitchen or bathroom. Your local hardware store has some great selections – don’t be afraid to be a little daring! Just make sure that all of the hardware matches, and decide whether or not it is important to you to have the same hardware throughout the house. This is also a perfect opportunity to re- pet-proof and child-proof your low lying cabinets.

How to change your faucet, Click Here!

6.) Add Some Under/Over Cabinet Accent Lighting:

If you want to really add some wow to your living space, consider over/under cabinet lighting. I cannot stress enough: spend the additional money and get lids. At $20 a roll, you can get LED rope lighting in any color you can imagine. Dramatic lighting like this can add incredible depth and dimension to your design space while creating a great atmosphere and additional lighting without the bulk or hassle of adding a new lighting fixture. Some companies do offer these types of lights at a premium-requiring electrical work and a contractor, but the same effect can be achieved with a simple trip to a local store and a little bit of clever fastening. Secure the rope lights out of sight at the junction where your counter meets the body of the cabinet, or hidden on the very top. The lights will reflect light off the wall or cabinet (depending on placement) and will create a dramatic, and beautiful effect that really gives a cutting edge style to any room.

7.) Add a Back-Splash:

Now, depending on how you go about this-it can be both costly and time consuming to install a back splash on your wall. Unless you have some experience with DIY home improvement, I would suggest leaving tile and grout projects to a professional, however, there are ways to install a back splash that can be done by anyone, regardless of experience level. Many home improvement stores sell sheets of pre-made, self-adhesive back splashes that mimic the look of real ceramic tile. Of course-consult with a professional (even if only your native home improvement associate) about which type and material of tile or tile replica you should get. A backsplash is another element like the accented wall; it’s a dash of color and a break up homogeny that adds texture and life to a drab space.

8.) Throw Pillows:

This is more a decorating tip than a home improvement tip-but it is details like these that can really tie a room together and help a design space make that leap from concept to polished idea. Think bold and bright. Throw pillows can be just enough color to make a room interesting without being overwhelming or overbearing. Experiment with different texture and fabric combinations, find a mix that suits you. Inexpensive, with big impact; throw pillows are the un-sung heroes of home interior design.

9.) Paint Your Front Door:

Look at almost any “tips, tricks, and ideas” for home improvement, and somewhere on that list will be replacing/repainting the front door. I couldn’t agree more. Beyond the obvious curb appeal, painting your front door can really refresh your home and add some vibrancy and style to your home-front. First impressions are the most important, right? Make the first impression of your home to be one of happiness and warmth. For less than $30, you won’t believe the difference it will make!

10.) Pick a Room: Replace All the Cloth You See:

Updating window treatments, runners, rugs, pillows, and can transform any room in a matter of an instant. That’s the wonderful thing about color; it can change not only the look, but the feel of any space. Even something as simple as replacing curtains can shed years off the appearance of your home – and let’s face it – replacing window treatments is another task on that perpetual, and unending list of “I’ll get to that one day” projects we all keep tucked away. Changing accents like these is flexible, non-committal, and allows space for experimentation and growth over time. Not many home improvement projects can provide that kind of fluidity.

In closing – as much as we would like to think that the only way to make a real impact on the aesthetics of a home is through big design projects, there are clearly small ways in which anyone can transform their home on a realistic budget, in a short amount of time. The above listed improvements can be a family project, involve family, friends, and enjoy creating a beautiful home space and spending some quality time with those close to you. You don’t have to break the bank to change your home’s style. It’s a journey that can be accomplished one step at a time.

For more information on home improvement projects, home remodeling, and interior design, visit us online at http://www.pearlremodeling.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mark_Segal/650380

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Properly Clean Your Laminate Floor!

Laminate floors are a wonderful investment and look great. But there is a proper way to clean them to keep them looking great for years to come.

Like most floors you will have in your home, they are made up of different materials and different finishes and therefore require the right products to clean them. You do not want to use the same product as you would on tile or hardwood as you would on your laminate floor.

In the video below you will learn the proper way to clean your new laminate floor.

Armstrong_floor

 

 

How to Replace Door Weatherstrip!

Winter is coming! One of the first things to check is your entry door weatherstrip. Worn or damaged weatherstrip will cause air leaks, costing you money. These leaks will also make the house drafty and uncomfortable.

Door weatherstrip around your doors is installed when the door is new to keep the elements outside where they belong.

Over time your house will settle and things like doors and frames will also move around, the weather strip on your doors will start to deteriorate, leaving gaps in the seal that keeps out cold and hot air and insects.

A visual inspection of your door weatherstrip once a month is good to have on your maintenance plan. To really check to see if the weatherstrip is doing its job, here a few extra steps you can do.

  • At night put the lights on in the house, go outside. See if there is light coming from the edges of the door. If you do then mother nature is also coming through.
  • Place a piece if paper in between the door and the frame, close the door and try to pull the paper out. If it slides out then you have a weak seal and need to adjust the door latch or replace the weatherstripping.
  • Use a fan or blow dryer, or wait for a windy day, and with someone on the other side of the door, check for air movement coming in around the door.
  • Use a candle, move it slowly around the edge of the door and see if the flame blows around.

Having good weather seal around your door will help keep out insects and reduce your energy bills.

Replacing weatherstrip

Here is a great video from Eric George of Building Performance Group on how to replace your door weatherstrip.

If you have a newer Steel or Fiberglass door with Built-in Weatherstrip, head over to the Next Page for directions on replacing this type.

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What Is the Condition of Your Roof?

House Roof

Your roof is one of the biggest home preventive maintenance items and is very often overlooked. Checking your roof for signs of wear and damage can prevent the need for major water damage repairs costing thousands of dollars.

Your roof is the first line of defense protecting you and your valuables from whatever mother nature throws at you. Making sure it is in good condition will help keep your home safe and dry.

Doing a general inspection from the ground and inside your home will give you some indication of the condition of the roof and whether or not there are leaks or other issues that will cause problems in the future.

For safety reasons, hiring a professional roofer or home inspector is your best option for making sure your roof is holding back the weather.

If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, here is a great list of things to look for, courtesy of IKO.com:

Exterior Roof Inspection

  1. Severely blistered, curled or split shingles.
  2. Loose or missing shingles.
  3. Loose nails.
  4. Exposed nails.
  5. Broken or loose shingles at the ridge and hip lines.
  6. Signs of missing caulk to seal flashing.
  7. Rusty or corroded metal flashing.
  8. Damaged or missing flashing.
  9. Sagging on the ridges.
  10. Broken seals on shingles.
  11. Excessive granule loss.
  12. Chimney cracks.
  13. Rubber boots at top of pipes for dry rot.
  14. Gutters and eaves for proper shingle overhangs.
  15. Review gutters and downspouts.
  16. Examine fascia board for any damage or rot.
  17. Survey the condition of siding above the roof.

damaged roof

Your roof can be one of the most expensive repairs needed on your home. But the damage that a leaky roof can cause can be a lot more expensive to repair. Check your roof or have it checked by a professional roofer at least twice a year.

Getting to Know Your Home.

Your House

CONGRATULATIONS! You are a Home Owner!

Being a home owner is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But even if you live in an apartment it is good to know this information. As a Home Owner or tenant, there are some things that you may overlook but really need to know about your home.

We have put together a list of 10 critical things that will help keep you safe in an emergency or prevent major damage to your home that can be very costly.

Electric Panel – Knowing the whereabouts and having some knowledge of what you are looking at when you open it will be very helpful if a circuit goes out or there are sparks coming from a light fixture or outlet and you need to kill the power. Some older homes still have fuses protecting the electric supply, but most homes today have circuit breakers. Both are designed to stop the power in case of an overload. While a fuse will need to be replaced if it blows, generally a circuit breaker just needs to be reset by turning it off and then back on. If the issue that caused the problem trips it out again, turn it off and call a professional to repair the problem. For more information on locating and understanding your Electric Panel, Click Here!

Main Water Shut Off – The water main will shut the water off to your entire home. Knowing where the shut off is and how to operate it – before disaster strikes – can save a lot of money and headaches by minimizing damage to your home in case a water pipe breaks or an appliance malfunctions. Turning off your water main when you leave your home for an extended period of time could keep your home from becoming flooded while you are gone. For guidance on locating and operating your Water Main Shut Off, Click Here!

Gas Shut Off – Over 57% of the homes in the US use gas for heating and cooking. If you use Natural Gas or Propane (LP) for any appliance in your home, knowing how to shut it off in an emergency could save your life and your home. People take for granted that their appliances work just fine, until one day something goes wrong. Everyone needs to know how to cut off the gas supply. For help finding and understanding your Gas Main Shut Off, Click Here!

Filters – There can be many kinds of filters in your home. Water and Air are the most common and these need to be changed regularly to keep things working properly and to make your living environment more pleasant. Whether your water comes from a well or from the city it is a good plan to filter it as it comes into your home. A main filter will help take out sediment and minerals that are in the water. Here is a guide to helping you locate and change these filters when needed, Click Here!

If you have a furnace or Air Conditioner they will have air filters that collect dust, pollen and other stuff floating in the air to keep it out of the equipment and the air that you breathe. Here is a guide to helping you locate and change these filters when needed, Click Here!

Attic Access – Knowing where there is access to your attic is important, even if you decide you do not want to use it for storage. Being able to access the attic if you see water stains on your ceiling or hear noises coming from up above is essential. Even if you call someone else to investigate, you will need to show them the way.

Escape Routes – Knowing the best way to get out of your home in an emergency before it happens could save your life. This is something that is very easy to overlook when you are excited about moving into your new home but is a very critical area to plan out. As they say on the airplane, “the nearest exit may be behind you!” A good exercise is to blindfold yourself and crawl out of your home as being blinded is disorienting but often common in a power outage or a fire.

Water Heater – You turn on the faucet and you get hot water, but do you know where it comes from? Knowing where your water heater is, and some basic knowledge of how it works, can prevent disaster before it happens. A water heater can break and flood your home and even explode if not properly maintained. For great tips on the operation and maintenance of your water heater, Click Here!

Garage Door Opener – If your garage door has an overhead garage door opener, as most do these days, it will not operate when there is a power failure. To prevent someone from being locked inside, all modern openers are required to have a manual release to open the door in this situation. Normally it is a cable that hangs down from the mechanism that attaches the door arm to the track. Pull on this cable handle to release the arm, allowing the door to be lifted open.

Fire Extinguisher – Having a fire extinguisher in a few places in your home could save you from a complete disaster. Check to see if there are any in your home!  If not, go and purchase a few, depending on the size of your home. Unfortunately, there are more homes without them than there should be. After finding or acquiring them, you need to understand where to store them and how to operate them.  For are a great guide on using your Fire Extinguisher! Click Here!

Water Drainage – Understanding how water drains around your home when it rains is really something you need to know. Water can seep into your home and cause extensive damage if it does not drain away properly. Even if you don’t see water in your home, poor drainage can be causing issues of rotting wood, cracking foundations and creating an environment for mold to grow. There are 2 major things to look for as far as drainage around your home is concerned. The first is that the soil around your home is pitched away from the foundation at least 1 inch per foot and at a minimum of 6 feet away from the house. The second item is that the downspouts from your gutters also end up at least 6 feet from the foundation.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that we have helped you make your home a better and safer place. Click on the subscribe button on the top of the page to be kept informed of more great tips.

 

 

Got Water Filters?

whole house filter

As much as you may think the water coming into you home is safe. It is still filled with all types of micro particles that can be bad for you. Even most bottles water, which is just filtered water can contain elements that can harm you, and it is costly.

There are different types of water filters that you can have in your home. Adding one for the whole house will take most of the large particles out, but not all of it. I you want great drinking water, you will need to add more filtering some where in your home.

The Whole House Filter: This type of filter will filter all of the water that comes into your home to help remove sediment and minerals found in the water. You will find them close to where the water enters your home. These filters will need to be changed on a regular basis, usually every 1-3 months. The length of time between changes will depend on the quality of the water coming into your home. Here you will find a great video on these filters.

While a whole house water filter is great to have in your house, they are only designed to take out large particles in the water which help keep your fixtures from clogging.

If you wish to use your water for drinking and don’t want the expense and hassle of bottled water, you will need a Point of Use filtering system.

These systems come in many sizes and shapes. You can attach them to your fridge to keep your ice and water clean or to your faucet to completely filter out all of the impurities in your water.

Here you will see how to change the filters in these systems.

Changing Air Filters

With the changing of yet another season comes time to change the air filters in your heating or cooling system.

Your air filters in your heating and air conditioning systems need to be inspected and changed at regular intervals depending your usage of this equipment. These filters are generally simple to change but it is important to change them as part of your regular home maintenance plan.

The location of your filters is pretty standard, heating filters will be located some where around the furnace. There will be a slot or a cover on the duct work for the filter.

Heating system

Here is a great video on how to change the filter in your heating system.

In many cases the heating system and the air conditioning systems use the same air handler to spread the treated air throughout your home. In that case the same filter works for both heating and cooling.

Air Conditioning

If you have a separate unit for your air conditioning, the filter will be inside the return grate. This can be located in the ceiling or an a wall, generally in the center of the house.

Check out this wonderful video to see how to change the filter for your a/c unit.

 

Changing your air filters regularly will keep the air in your home cleaner and let your equipment work efficiently.

Maintaining Your Deck for Years of Enjoyment!

Now that Spring is here, you want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather.

Maintaining Your Deck each season will help it last for years of enjoyment!

 

One thing you will want to do, is check your deck for damage caused by winter weather.

This can easily be done with both a visual inspection and using a sharp object like knife or screwdriver. Press the tool into the wood where it appears to be some damage. If the tools sinks in easily you have an issue that needs further attention by replacing the bad piece of decking .

After repairing any potential damage, you need to seal your deck from further damage.

Wood decks that are left untreated will be more susceptible to splitting, rotting, insects and mold build-up.

 

Mildew Removal Solution for Wood Decks

  1. Pour 3 cups of water into a large bowl.
  2. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your skin from the solution.
  3. Add a cup of oxygen bleach and 3 squirts of liquid soap to the water. Stir the mixture until it is well combined.
  4. Use a funnel to pour the solution into a clean, empty spray bottle. Be sure to label the bottle with a marker.
  5. Spray the solution onto the mildew spots on your deck and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes.
  6. Rinse the area with water and repeat the process if necessary. For stubborn areas, use a small cleaning brush to scrub the mildew off of the deck.

Apply a Protective Sealant

Applying a sealant to your deck will rejuvenate the boards and protect them from any further damage. Visit your local hardware store and speak with a professional about your plans to protect your deck. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your selected sealant before you begin the application process. Also, be sure to check the weather forecast and choose a day for applying your sealant when precipitation or moisture in the air will not be a problem. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Clear your deck of any debris or furniture. This means sweeping and cleaning off any accumulated dirt. Skipping this step will only result in sealing the dirt onto the wood.
  2. Block off the entrance to the deck to prevent small children and pets from coming into contact with the sealant.
  3. Pour the sealant into a paint roller tray.
  4. Use a roller attached to a long handle to apply the sealant in long strokes along the length of the boards. Start in the area the furthest away from the entrance to the deck so you don’t paint yourself into a corner.
  5. Move backward toward the entrance until the entire space is covered.
  6. Allow enough time for the sealant to dry completely before returning any furniture to the deck and making the space accessible.

You will enjoy many years on your deck by keeping it properly maintained! For more great info check out the full article at Doityourself.com

Source: http://www.doityourself.com