Home Improvement Projects

Where to Start

People want to do home improvement projects all the time to increase the value of their home. Many people, however, do not know which project to tackle first when they have multiple projects to be done. Picking which project to do first can be decided by a number of things. Money and urgency are the biggest factors in this. If you have a hole in your roof, obviously you need to get that fixed before putting a shed up in your yard. But if you need new windows because the old ones are older than you and your bathroom looks like it’s stuck in the 70’s, you have a choice. Some improvements will be more time consuming than others and that should be taken into consideration before starting anything.

Before you Start

Do your research before starting anything. Whether you plan to do the project yourself or hire someone to do it for you, make sure you know what you are getting into before buying anything or signing any contract. Any home improvement job can be done by yourself or a company. Depending on the job will depend on what you need to not only get it done, but also how much it will cost.

Check out different home improvement stores for varying prices as well as professionals. Ask your neighbors who did their project and how much it cost, if they are willing to tell you the price. If they did it themselves, ask how long it took and if they ran into any problems they didn’t believe they would encounter. If they did encounter problems, ask them how they fixed them. On the other hand if they used a professional ask what they thought of the work the professional did. Knowing what you might be getting into is the best knowledge of all. And if it is possible, ask more than one home owner about the same project so you can compare notes.

Do It Yourself versus Professional

You have decided what project you want to do. You have done your research and have an idea what it should cost and how long it should take. Now you must decide if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional crew to do it for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Doing it yourself can be much cheaper because you aren’t paying labor costs that are added to the professionals’ prices.

However, you have to know that you will have ample time to fix complete the project and that you can live in your home comfortably enough while you do finish. Also if you run into a complication, you have to know how to fix it quickly so as not to lose any more time on completing the project. This can get expensive if you don’t know how to fix it or are on limited time and money. Having a professional do it can cost thousands more, depending on the project, but you will have an estimate time of completion. And, the best part of all, if there are any mess ups, you are not responsible for fixing them. Well for the most part you won’t be responsible. You will need to read the fine print on any contract you sign with a professional. Another advantage of having a professional is that the work is warranted.

Using the Professional

Once you decide to go with a professional, you should get multiple quotes before making your choice of who to use. Even if the company that did your neighbors windows comes highly recommended, your house is different and they may have different pricing specials now than when your neighbors had their windows put in. Get at least four or five quotes to see exactly what the professionals cost and the differences in how they do business, their warranty works, estimate for when they can start your project, and completion time frame.

Don’t go for just the big ads in the phone book. The smaller companies can be just as good and cost less than a big name. Most places give free estimates nowadays. No matter what, don’t let any professional push you into using them before you have all the estimates you want. They may sound great as the first or second, but their job is to get you sign with them and convince you they are better than anyone else out there. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.

Frameless Shower Screens Offer Innovative Design

frameless shower screensShower screens are an excellent way to stop water from splashing on to the floor when you shower and in addition they furthermore help make a dazzling fashion statement. While they are available in frameless, semi-frameless and also entirely framed designs, typically the frameless is without a doubt often the pick for those who are looking for clean lines plus clarity. A frameless screen has simply no framework in anyway. In its place, it is held in position with the help of very special clamps as well as other hardware in order to really hold the very panels of glass together and to hold the screen on to the wall.

Frameless shower screens bring in an excellent stylish look to just about any bathroom, disregarding of the style or even overall size. It’s actually a very good investment for your very own residence mainly because it practically never gets outdated or perhaps out of style. It doesn’t matter how you will beautify your own shower room as well as exactly what improvements you actually make to your fixtures, you will find there’s not a single thing within the frameless shower that will actually clash with your latest design.

Whenever you decide to decide to buy a frameless shower screen for your personal shower room, you will have 2 basic alternatives. It is possible to either purchase among the numerous different styles and designs which you’ll find readily available that you can buy or possibly you can actually have one custom-made to your personal specs. They are made of toughened or safety glass in many different thicknesses, normally right from 6 millimeters to 12 millimeters. Most of the time, 10mm or 12 millimeters is normally being used intended for the extra strength.

Plenty of people choose their particular shower screens in clear glass but you can easily likewise come across patterns which will give some obscurity such as frosted, tinted, or possibly slump glass. Your preference in glass should always be primarily based somewhat on your individual liking along with the design and style of your bathroom. Smaller bathing rooms will definitely look and feel much bigger and often reflect significantly more light with the use of clear glass. It is always also a fantastic option for those bathing rooms which have a wonderful view from your bathtub making sure that you can entirely take pleasure from your surroundings during your bath and / or shower!

Tinted as well as frosted glass gives a beauty of its very own while adding additional privacy compared to a substantial, open shower area. Slag glass, on the contrary, is without question typically crafted with a little color which will offer more variation to the screen but will also take away some of the flexibility in improving your actual bathroom’s style and design.

While a large number of people today rather have the clean look of frameless shower screens, they are one of the most expensive option mainly because they need specialized fittings to install. For anyone working on a budget, a good solid semi-frameless screen might be considered a much better alternative. While it still is without frames all-around the door or the different sections of glass, they do have frames all-around the outer edges. Semi-frameless screens are increasingly becoming a very popular choice considering that they nonetheless give you much of the sleek appearance to your bathing room that the frameless models do with out the cost.

Installing frameless shower screens in the course of a remodel is really a good approach to make almost any bathroom a more current, elegant appearance that you will enjoy for a long time. Whether ready-made or simply custom-made, they are an excellent alternative for almost any style bathing room of any size!

Up next:

Kitchen Remodel Basics

Draining A Hot Water Heater

hot water systemTaking it upon yourself to install a hot water heater can be a very intimidating task, considering the fact that you’re working with both live electricity and gas lines. Both can be scary, I’ll admit, but let’s talk about how you can minimize the risk and save a ton of money in the process. In this article, I’d like to talk about the steps of draining a water heater so it can be removed.

Let’s talk expenses first. Having a professional repair or replace a system can run you a hefty tab. We’re talking anywhere from the national average of about $400 for repair, all the way up to over $1,000, depending on the type of system, not to mention the brand too. If you’re into saving cheddar like I am, take the time to bookmark this article and come back to it when the timing is right (or wrong, especially if you don’t have any hot water).

How To Drain The Old Heater

Yes, it’s true…we have to drain the old piece of crap that gave up on us, much like our 8th grade Spanish instructor did after trying to make us understand sentence structure.. This is a must do scenario because the last thing you’ll want to do is lug your old unit up and down stairs and through doorways while water is slushing around in the tank.

You’re going to need a garden hose (long enough to run from the unit to a bathtub or shower drain. I’d also recommend grabbing an old towel for the stank water you’re likely to encounter, as well as 1.) vice grips, and 2.) a flathead screwdriver.

1.) If you own a gas water heater…

Make sure you turn the burner dial to the pilot position. Just keep an eye on the indicator above or below the dial to make sure it’s right.

If you have an electric unit…

Flip the breaker that powers the heater into the off position at the breaker panel.

2.) Turn off the cold water coming into the unit

You may have to shut off the water main to the whole house. However, you could be lucky and have a valve that’s positioned on the inlet pipe, and all you have to do is turn that into the off position.

3.) Grab the hose

Please be certain that you’ve given water in the tank enough time to cool off so you don’t burn yourself. You can speed up this process by turning ON the hot water knob of a sink. Let it run for 20 minutes. After that, hook your hose up to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, and run the hose down to the sump pump well, shower or bathtub where it can drain out.

4.) Open her up!

Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank where you’ve attached the hose. You should see and hear the water begin to discharge out of the tank and through the hose. This is another reason we left the hot water on at the sink – it will help drain the tank faster.

5.) Be patient

That’s all. You just have to sit and wait for the tank to drain itself out. Once you’ve done the draining, you can move on to replacing anode rods and other routine maintenance. Even if you have a professional hot water heater plumber coming out to the house to repair or replace the old unit, having it drained already can save you money because this is a step they won’t have to perform when they arrive.









3 advantages of DIY home remodelling

When it comes to remodeling your home, you should have two main objective. You should aim at getting the best design and be able to save some money when remodeling. There are several home remodeling ideas available online. The hard part is usually being able to handle the remodeling process at a low cost. Remodeling your home at a low cost might seem impossible but can be done by just DIY. There are several advantages associated to DIY remodeling. Some of the main advantages associated to DIY include;


DIY projects let alone in home remodeling are always fun. It is a great way to spend time with friends and family while doing something beneficial. Once you decide on a certain design the only cost you have to undergo is purchasing the relevant building material. You can schedule the remodeling date so that all your friends can help you with the process.


By opting to remodel your home by yourself, you get a chance to learn new skills. This skills might end up being highly beneficial in the long term. In fact you can use this skill to get side income from offering remodeling services. It is also a great opportunity of teaching your children some life skills. It also teaches the children the importance of saving and hard work.

Self confidence

Once you are able to see the project through, you tend to have more confidence in yourself. This in turn results to a positive attitude that reflects on your job. It is however important to ensure that you research or seek professional advice when you get stuck.

These are the three main advantages associated to DIY remodeling. There are several other advantages associated to remodeling your home on your own apart from reduced costs.

How to remodel your entire house on a budget

Remodeling is never an easy task especially when it comes to the total cost. In some cases, the accumulated costs of remodeling actually tend to be closer or equal to building a new home all together.

The cost should however not be the reason to make you change your mind on remodeling. There are some tips that will help you cut down the total cost to even lower than half of the actual cost. Some of the simple steps to help you cut down this cost include;

1. DIY

This is actually the simplest way of cutting down the cost. Most of the remodeling projects can easily be done personally. In the case that the project is large and is more than a one man job, you can seek the assistance of friends and family.

The main reason as to why this method is highly cost efficient is due to the fact that you omit labor costs. It is however advisable to seek professional help for complex projects so as to avoid further damage that may cost you more money.

2. Handle all purchases

In the case that you hire a contractor or professional help, it is always best to ensure that you handle all the building material purchases. Most contractors tend to overcharge the total cost of the required materials.

This ends up costing you more money than it actually costs. However, in the case that you trust the contractor, let him assist you in purchasing the material since he might get them at a lower cost.

3. Plan early

The main cost advantage of planning the remodeling process earlier is that you might take advantage on special or discounted offers.

Different stores offer discounted prices at different times of the year. Once you are able to plan early you will be able to know exactly what you want and therefore take advantage of the cut prices.


Appliance Repair Tips For Homeowners

home appliancesThey build appliances, today with superior parts and material so that they perform year after year. Most homeowners never even think about it because their home appliance is always working and performing. When a household appliance does break down, however, the owners are often in shock and do not know what to do about it. They are not appliance repairmen and therefore they do not know why it stopped working or how to repair it. If this situation ever happens in your home will you be prepared for it?

You basically have 2 options at this point of time. You can fix it yourself or you can call in a professional appliance repair company to fix it. There are articles available that will show you how to fix any residential appliance no matter what went wrong. It is also obvious that certain appliances are easier to fix than others and this may help you to make a decision. For example, a small appliance is a simple machine. It may consist of a fan, heating element, a set of blades, or other basic components.

A larger appliance on the other hand will be more complex because of major components such as pumps, motors, timers, solenoids, valves, and switches. The first thing that you will have to know when your appliance breaks down is how to diagnose the problem. You need to decide whether the problem is electrical or mechanical. To diagnose a problem with an appliance requires common sense.

Let’s take the example of a washing machine. The homeowner does not understand why her brand-new washer does not wash on warm or hot cycles. To diagnose this type of problem would require checking and eliminating the obvious things. For example, did the person who installed the washing machine install a separate hose to the cold water and a separate hose to the hot water? The problem could be that simple and the homeowner would save themselves a lot of money if they could figure it out themselves before calling in a professional washing machine repair service technician.

See also: How To Fix A Washing Machine