Category Archives: Home Improvement

Easy DIY Tips to Increase the Storage in Your Bathroom

It doesn’t matter if you spend a minute of an hour in the bathroom each morning as you prepare yourself to face the day; there never seems to be enough storage. If storage in your bathroom is something you wish you had considered when you originally designed the space, and now you’re stuck with what you’ve got, this article has some great ideas on how to maximize the space you’re working with.

Your Mirror

It’s the one item which everybody uses before they leave the house. The old adage that you should check yourself before you wreck yourself applies to both Men and Women. Of course, we’re talking about your mirror.

If you are looking at a mirror stuck on the wall, then you are looking at storage option. The trick to this tip is to resist the urge to buy a deep storage mirror. Instead, opt for one which offers just enough space for items like your morning routine lotions, your glasses and contact lenses you’ve purchased from the Groupon Coupons page for Coastal, and even your razors.

By choosing a thin storage mirror, you can easily gain storage space without reducing your overall bathroom size.

Your Toilet

Before you stop reading, this tip isn’t going to ask you to store your personal items inside your toilet. Instead, look above the toilet at all of the space available and take your measurements. Head to your local hardware store for a storage stand that sits on either side of your toilet and offers you storage above your toilet, up high. This space is perfect for keeping your spare towels (to avoid a very cold run to the linen cupboard) or your extra toilet rolls.

If you want to take this tip to the next level, consider installing a small cabinet on the newly installed raised shelf for any larger items such as your hair dryer.

Your Door

You have likely seen them in the cheap stores; over the door hanging racks that break just as soon as you try to use them as storage.

The trick for this one is to spend a little extra at a reputable home improvement or furnishing store; one which can really hold the weight of your items.

If you look through enough stores you will see options which include hard based shelves that can be used to keep all manner of bathroom items that need a reliable space to sit. Of course, this is also the best space to keep your hair lotions and makeup bottles that don’t have enough space on your bathroom countertop.

Just because your bathroom wasn’t designed with a lot of storage doesn’t mean that there aren’t options, you just need to be a little creative with your thinking. Along with these ideas, browse through the aisles of your favorite home improvement store and see what else they have to offer; you will be surprised at just how much brands are catering to small bathrooms.

Finding One As Seen on TV Product That Really is Convenient to Use

I am reasonably certain you have seen those little products advertised on TV. You know the ones. They give you a special offer to get double the order of product if you just pay separate shipping. They are usually convenience products, but some of them get used once and put away. I suppose that some of them just are not that convenient to use. However, once in a while there is a gem that comes out. I was thinking of those Sani Sticks as seen on TV. They are the thin blue sticks made to put down your bathroom sink drain. Well, you could put them down any drain except the garbage disposal side of your kitchen sink. They would just get ground up in there.

The sticks look like a thin piece of blue licorice. They easily fit through fixed drain screens or between the pop-up valve and the drain of a bathroom sink. They are long so they stop right at that curvy part of the drain under your sink that is called a p-trap by plumbers. Continue reading

We Invested in a Paved Driveway for Our Secluded Home

We like the location of our home. We are just about the length of a football field set back from a main road, but the pine trees make our place secluded. They are evergreen, so our house is still invisible from the road and neighbors even in winter. However, our driveway takes a curvy course through that mini forest to our house making it about 750 feet in length. With the snow in winters and a gravel driveway, we could not plow it, so we called a company that does asphalt paving in Nassau County NY to come out and tell us what it would take to upgrade our driveway.

We had been relying on four-wheel drive vehicles to get to and from our home after heavy snowfalls. We had a routine if a big snowfall was coming. Continue reading

Getting Home Improvements

Are you worried that you won’t be able to get your home improvements completed within the budget that you have available? This is a common concern and many of us are constantly in a position where we feel that we can’t achieve what we want without breaking the bank.

“The cost Home Improvement”

So what’s the answer? You really need to think about your home improvements as projects. Think about them in the same way that you might think about tasks in the workplace.

To begin with, you need to think about the budget that you have available. Think about how much you’re prepared to spend. Your aim isn’t to spend all of the money that you’re allowing. What you’ll be looking to do will be to spend less.

Now start listing all of the tasks and the costs associated with them. This will help you to identify the really expensive parts of your plan. Now’s the time to take a closer look at everything that you want to get done. Consider what’s really necessary.

Are there some tasks that aren’t vital? There may be some improvements that you could live without, or maybe postpone until a later date. If you have an expensive part of the project that you feel that you really need to get completed, then think about how you might be able to reduce the costs involved.

Typically, the costs involved are usually split between labour costs and the cost of materials. The cost of labour can often be reduced if you’re prepared to take on more of the work yourself. Switching to cheaper materials, or taking a new approach, is another good way to make savings.

There’s always room to reduce costs and such reductions needn’t leave you with a worse end result. Plenty of people manage to get a great looking home on a relatively small budget.

January Home Improvement

As the holidays reach an end, you might find yourself letting out a giant sight of relief. The holidays are busy, the holidays are hectic, and the holidays are often a time when we neglect our homes in an attempt to concentrate on things like shopping, cooking, and keeping the liquor key cabinet away from Grandpa Sal. To put it simply, the holidays and home maintenance don’t mesh.

But, now that the holidays are over, January is a time many home owners find themselves picking up the pieces, and getting back on the home improvement track. To get started right, consider the following tips:

Take down those Christmas Lights:
We know, we know: it’s only January. Usually you don’t take your Christmas lights down until the summer solstice nears, but this year, do it early. As nice as you may think your Christmas Lights look hanging from the eves of your roof in spring, take it from us – and your neighbors – an undecorated house is better. There is a time for holiday decorations, and months after the holidays have passed isn’t it.

Return the items you got for the holidays:
Whenever you open a present and utter the words, “Oh, you shouldn’t have” you might be overwhelmed by kindness or you might be being literal: the holidays are filled with presents we love and presents we hate. Instead of keeping the ones you hate for a long period of time, eventually going to return them only to realize that it’s too late, return your items now. Not only will this free your house from the space they are taking up, but it will also give you a chance to get something you really want instead of something you’ll never use.

Take any lessons you learned from house guests:
As the holidays wind up, you might find yourself a little bit happy to see your house guests head home. After all, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren can all wreck havoc on your everyday life. While it might not be so hard to see them go, you can use their departure to apply what you learned to home improvement. Did your Aunt Sally continually complain about a leaky window in the guest room? If so, get it fixed.

Chip away:
There’s no way around it: if you live in cold weather, you’re bound to find snow during the wintertime. Some of this snow stays for a short while, quickly melting before you can shovel, but other storms leave snow and ice stuck on your driveway for three or four months. This not only is inconvenient, but it’s also dangerous. If you are unfortunate to live on the shady side of the street, and find that your walkway is a lawsuit waiting to happen, get out a shovel and start chipping away. Laying down salt and sand can help the process.

Get a jump on Spring cleaning:
You just survived the holidays; the last thing you want to think about is spring cleaning. This may be the case, but while you’re already in “clean-up” mode, why not just go all out and give your house a good scrubbing. Clean out the garage, fix up the basement, remove debris from window wells. Whatever your spring cleaning entails, starting now will leave you thanking yourself come April.

A Sensible Approach to Home Improvement

Home Improvement can be an expensive undertaking and it will be so much more rewarding if you get the maximum improvement to your home for the minimum outlay.

In order to do this here are some important initial ground rules.

– Before doing anything, make a list of all the possible improvements that you can think of, even though you may already have a specific project in mind.

– Review this list carefully to see which ones you really want and which ones really need to be done. At the same time put your best estimate of the cost for each idea.

– Now make absolutely sure that you really want to tackle your selected home improvement project now instead of any of the other ideas.

This will ensure that you choose the most important (to you) project and not just act on impulse. The next step is then to very carefully plan the details of the project.

If you are going to do it yourself then you must accurately cost out the materials that will be required. Make a detailed list of everything that will be needed. Remember to also cost in any tools that will be needed. If you are going to hire outside labor cost this in as well. Add at least 20% for contingencies.

If you are going to get somebody to it for you it will be much easier as they will quote you for the job. Your real concern here is to make sure that you select a reputable contractor with proven references. Do your homework and check their references.

Now all this may seem to be taking the fun and excitement out of the project but believe me, if you don’t do this initial planning, you could end up with some really nasty surprises.

Now you can allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement and anticipation of the improvement that you will be making to your home. You can enjoy the task and bask in the feeling of accomplishment that you will no doubt experience on it completion.

Making Cheaper Home Improvements

Transforming your home can be a time consuming and expensive process. This helps to explain why many of us delay making such improvements and end up settling for a look that’s not as we would like it to be. Do things really have to be this way?

It’s certainly possible to make changes without spending a massive amount of money, but you do need to think carefully about how you’ll go about changing your property. Some analysts suggest that the best rooms of the home to spend money on are the bathroom and kitchen. That’s because a good quality kitchen or bathroom can really add value to your home.

But that doesn’t mean that you must make these areas your priority. It’s important that you aim to transform the parts of the house that will have the biggest impact for you and your family. A home is somewhere that you should enjoy living. The fact that it may also have been a good investment is often of secondary importance.

Getting home improvements done for less is all about being more flexible and being prepared to look at things carefully. By taking a close look at what you’re planning to do, you can identify the elements of work that are really important to you. You’ll probably find that there are some tasks that aren’t as critical and that you can really reduce costs by putting them to one side.

There will, of course, be some things that you’ll see as being absolutely vital. The important thing when approaching these tasks will be to think about keeping costs as low as possible. You may decide, for example, to make use of a different selection of materials. Alternatively, you might be able to cut costs by doing more of the work yourself, rather than having to pay for help.

Keep on top of the costs and you’ll find that home improvements needn’t be as expensive as you first envisaged.

High Impact Home Improvements

Are great home improvements all about spending an enormous amount of money to create a really wonderful impression? This certainly describes the way that many people like to approach such projects, but improvements don’t need to break the bank.

When you think about changes to your own home, you might prefer to consider those tasks that will have the greatest impact. These needn’t be expensive and you’ll often find that some of the cheaper jobs can have the most impressive impact.

A good example of this is painting. Painting is relatively cheap when compared to many other home improvements and yet a new coat of paint can give a room a completely different look and feel. As this reveals, you don’t have to spend big to find the transformations that will impress.

But what other changes can you make that will really make a difference, without you having to spend a lot of money? The exterior of your home could be a good area for investment, since it’s a part of your home that is often the first thing that many people see.

Once again, it’s undoubtedly the case that a quick lick of paint could make a real difference. The front door is likely to be one part of the property that could be quickly improved.

Moving inside the house, take a look at interior doors too. If you’ve got old-fashioned doors in place then these could really be having a negative impact. Think about replacing them or simply sprucing them up a bit.

You can also be creative. You’ll be surprised at how much larger you can make a room appear, for instance, by using mirrors and different lighting. These are the sort of high impact, cheap improvements that really make a difference.

Home Improvements in Today’s World

Our home is our castle and we like to try and make it as comfortable as possible by making improvements which are not always easy.

In the past, before the era of mass production, improving the house was more difficult and time consuming. Through technological advances and mass production of electronic tools, everything to do with improving the home has become so much simpler.

Nowadays we can wander into a hardware store and be amazed at the array of tools on display with which we would be able to build anything.

The electronic tools are accurate, reliable, powerful and can save enormous amounts of time and energy. To name just a few there are drills, saws, glue guns, soldering irons, sanders, screwdrivers, trimmers and mowers.

The work we need these pieces of equipment to do fall into two categories which are repairs or building something new. Both of these can go under the term of home improvement.

Apart from all the tools we could use we need materials with which to do our work. Anything that is needed for any job is in the hardware store. Sometimes a small search is required for that special requirement but generally whether it be a certain size of wood, metal or screw it is all readily available making the task of building or repairing easy.

There are two categories of people who can lend themselves to these tasks and they are namely the handyman and the tradesman. The handyman enjoys doing any job and the tradesperson specialises in certain tasks and uses his or her skills to make a living. there are tradespeople for any job you can think of.

The handyman has to be careful when building anything as there are regulations to be followed. Instead of having to look these up they can usually be found in plans which give the right size materials to use which can stand up to the loads that may be required.

Home Improvements, Get Your Permits

If you are contemplating some home improvements in the near future, you are well advised to check with the town office before you spend any time or money on the planned project. Failing to get the proper permits and/or inspections as required, could end up costing you much more in the long run.

The finishing or renovating of a basement is a common improvement undertaken by many homeowners in our area. After all, most new homes do not include a finished basement, unless you have negotiated and specified such with the builder at the time of purchase and construction. These projects often involve the addition of electrical, plumbing, drywall and other features such as, a gas fireplace or wood stove, which may call for inspections at different stages of completion. In many cases, you will also require a final inspection and occupation permit when the job is done.

Safety aside, when you buy your next home, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable knowing the improvements were done to code and have been inspected by the appropriate experts, and not done in a hap-hazard manner by someone flying by the seat of their pants?

The potential cost of not getting your permits and inspections could present itself at any time, and you could be forced to disassemble the project for inspections or, in some cases, remove the improvement completely. Even if the renovation goes unnoticed by the town, the lack of permits and inspections could return to haunt you later when you try and sell your home. Often you will be asked for proof of the required building permits, occupancy permits, and inspection documents as a condition of sale.