Category Archives: Home Improvement

Home Improvement Projects Under $500

We all know home improvement projects typically aren’t cheap. In fact, many large-scale home improvement projects can run well into six figures. We won’t be talking about any of those today, however. Instead, we’re going to show you our “top five under five” (hundred, that is) list.

1)    Throw on a fresh coat of paint. Face it, that boring beige color you’ve been tolerating in your living room is ready for a fresh color. So what are you waiting for? Grab a brush, put the kids to work, and refresh the area. Finish by hanging a new piece of art or photograph.

2)    Clean your duct system. For somewhere between $150 to $500 (on average), you can get this knocked out for you. And this little effort has big impact! Your heating appliance will run more efficiently (saving you money), and you will realize a noticeable boost in your home’s air quality. If you have allergies or respiratory problems, this is an inexpensive project to make top priority!

3)    Clean your carpets. Most folks wait way too long to get their carpets professionally cleaned. Stains, pet dander, and allergens will eventually get to you. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Once a year (that’s right, mark your calendar now), have those carpets cleaned. If you or a loved one suffers from allergies, you will be thankful you get this done each and every year without fail. Your carpets will last much longer and look better, too. For about 20 cents per square foot, this improvement will most likely run you less than $500.

4)    Install an outdoor fire pit in your yard. Hey, it’s getting colder outside, so this is an excellent idea. This project will cost you some good sweat equity, but it will be well worth it for years to come. Stay warm and eat s’mores!

5)    Hire a carpenter or handyman! Dare we say that? Of course we do! Many projects you need (or want) done around your house can be done for $500 or less. Drywall repairs, Door and window repair, gutter cleaning, storm window installation, and leaky faucet repair are just a few inexpensive projects. Remember that you will likely have to pay a fee just to get the contractor to your home, so have them come out and take care of multiple projects for you at once.

Home Improvements in This Economy?

If you have been sitting on the fence wondering if you should even bother doing some home improvements on your home during this recession, then all you need to do is ask yourself why you want to do the home improvements to start with and you should be able to come up with your own answer.

There are a few considerations to take into account before beginning your project. If you only want to improve your home to increase its value, then at this time you should factor in the cost and try to determine if the expense of the project will actually raise the value by more than your expense. Chances are pretty good at this time that anything that requires any large expense on your part would not be a valuable addition… at least not at this time.

However, if you intend to live in your home for the next ten to twenty years or so, then it may very well be a good investment. For one thing, labor costs in the construction trade are at an all time low. You could probably hire someone local from one of those online classified websites for really cheap right now. Unfortunately, there are many construction workers struggling to find any sort of odd jobs right now. It becomes a win-win situation if you can get your project done for a good price, and you can feel good about yourself knowing you helped someone out during a rough patch as well.

There are quite a few home improvement projects you could do to increase the value of your home, and make for a more pleasant living environment for you and your family as well. A simple coat of paint on the walls of a few rooms really goes a long way in improving the appearance of your home. A splash of color on the walls can set the tone for your day, so choose a color you like and is appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are doing it just for yourself, then by all means you should choose whatever colors you like. If you are painting to try and improve your house for resale purposes, then you need to choose neutral colors that appeal to the most people. That way when potential buyers view your home the majority of them feel comfortable walking in. You do not want to go painting a wall purple if you are trying to sell your house. A nice tan would be a much better choice if you want to appeal to the masses.

Small investments in home improvements at this time should be done to make your own life better, and if you are trying to sell right now, then keep your budget as small as possible. There are too many really nice homes on the market for a great price, and it is unlikely you will be able to offset your costs, so just be smart about your investment in both time and money and you will be fine.

The Cost of Home Improvements

There always seems to be work to be done around a house and it can be difficult keeping your home looking as you would like it to. An additional problem is that home improvements are often expensive, which puts many of us off getting more work carried out. It is possible to make some dramatic improvements without spending as much money as you might think.

The key is to really focus on the changes that would have the biggest positive impact for you and your family. There’s no point spending lots of money on areas of the house that you don’t use very much. Some experts would suggest that the best approach is to spend money on the kitchen and bathroom.

The reasoning behind this is that these two rooms are the two areas of a property that many potential buyers are keen to examine. So the thought is that spending money on these two rooms could add the most value to your home. You might prefer to concentrate your spending on areas of the house where you spend a lot of time, with the living room being one such area.

As you think about the improvements that you’d like to make, consider how some cheaper options could really transform an individual room. An electric fire suite, for example, is likely to be quite cheap but could actually create a whole new atmosphere in your living room. By being clever with how you spend your money, you can really improve your home.

Don’t forget that one of the largest costs will come from having to hire professionals to help you with painting, decorating and other tasks. If you can put your DIY skills to good use then you could really reduce the amount of money that you pay to others and hence limit the costs involved in your home improvements.

More Affordable Home Improvements

Why is it that so many of the best home improvements end up costing a lot of money? If that’s a question that you often find that you’re asking yourself, then you may need to take a new approach to improving your home. While some changes certainly aren’t cheap, you’ll soon find that there’s plenty that you can do on a limited budget.

The first big step that you can take if you want to get more done, without spending too much money, is to make sure that you have some decent DIY skills. This is really important because the costs involved in hiring someone to do work around your home can often be quite high.

By picking up the core skills yourself, you’ll find that you’ll be able to make some big savings. You should be able to pick up some basic skills by reading a decent DIY manual, or maybe by attending a few classes. Some of us worry that we’ll never be able to be any good at carrying out simple tasks around the home, but you might be amazed by what you can learn.

If you do really struggle then you might consider seeing if you have any friends who might be able to help.

When it comes to materials, products and gadgets, think about how you can get a great look without spending too much money. Relatively small pieces of furniture, for example, can really help to transform a room. Other decisions that you make are likely to have a big impact on our budget.

Have you thought about whether you might use a mixture of paint and accessories to change a room, rather than using more expensive wallpaper as a solution, for instance?

If you can reduce labour costs and materials then you’ll be able to get some great home improvements for less.

Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Tips On Financing Your Home Improvement Project

Any renovation of your home can run into a substantial cost. Most homeowners either don’t have that amount of money laying around or prefer to finance the project from the equity in their home.  Loans are often used as a means of financing the upgrades.

In general the best home improvement projects are those that increase the value of your property through repairs or upgrades. Pretty much any action taken to increase the expected sales value of a home would fall into that classification.

These are the typical ways that a homeowner will raise money.

First Mortgage

  • Depending upon the size of the renovation and the equity in the home, a lot of people raise the funds by refinancing their first mortgage. Some new homeowners will wrap the money for renovation of their new home to the actual first mortgage. This type of loan will often be designed to allow the homeowner to draw against a pre-specified amount to pay for the repairs or upgrades as the work progresses.

Second Mortgage

  • Many times a home owner will not want to refinance their first because of beneficial terms or conditions. In that case many people can use a second mortgage to obtain the desired funds if there is adequate equity in their home.

Unsecured Loans

  • Unsecured loans from family, friends or by using a home improvement credit card are other avenues often used by many homeowners. Most times when a credit card is used it is for a DIY home renovation and is used to strictly pay for materials. Most Home Building Supply companies issue this type of card.

Before you can decide on the best type of financing for your project you need to create a detailed plan for the improvements including a calculation of the actual costs for both material and any hired labor.

Make sure that you include a fudge factor. This is an extra amount to cover unexpected expenses that will crop up in any renovation. It will also be handy to have an estimate of how the improvement will increase the value of your home. To be successful in getting the required funds you should start by asking yourself several questions.

  • Are the improvement going to increase the value of your home more than the loan amount?
  • What are the estimated monthly payments and are they affordable?
  • Are there going to be tax consequences?

Finally, make sure that you use some type of method to track the expenses so that you stay on budget. It is extremely easy to have a little extra here and there suddenly become a whole lot of red.

DIY Home Improvement Repair Done at Zero Cost

Home improvement sounds exciting and brings up images of a swanky looking home with great interior designs, furniture and furnishings. However, the image will become a reality only if you prepare a budget, plan your expenses and search for home remodeling discounts.

Where can you find discounts and special offers?

Search:

o Local hardware stores
o Home decorating stores
o Online stores
o Competitions and other events

Note, before you begin the actual work, it is imperative that you know what you want. It could be easy to spent a fortune on improvements, yet ended up with feeling dissatisfied. So the first thing to do is not prepare a list of your desires and expectations.

The next thing to do is to prepare a budget to determine the expenditure involved in the whole process. If you cannot afford the expenditure, it is advisable to tone down your plans.

No Progress Without A Budget

When preparing the budget, consider the various discounts and promotional offers available in different stores. This will bring down your expenditure and a previously unaffordable wish list may fit your budget after considering the discounts.

Check out the internet for home improvement discounts. Shopping online always fetches you a good deal as goods are cheaper when purchased from online stores. If you manage to find discounts when shopping online, you can drastically cut down your expenditure.

Another good way to find home improvement discounts is to join a sweepstakes. Large electrical stores and mortgage companies organize these competitions and offer home DIY repair and other packages as prizes.

Home repair stores also organize such sweepstakes as well. So don’t hesitate to try your luck. With a new and improved home as the prize, what is the harm in trying?

Many stores, online and off, are keen on organizing these events and this gives them a lot of publicity. If you win a prize in such a sweepstakes, there is no doubt that you will be loyal to that particular store only.

Home Depot, America’s biggest online store dealing in home remodeling goods, is famous for organizing such sweepstakes. The events have been structured to give maximum people a chance to win a prize.

Some prizes are coupled with other tickets and the right combination can get you even a bigger prize. All you need to do is join the sweepstakes and wait for lady luck to smile on you. The best part is that the Home improvement sweepstakes is open for any and every visitor of the store.

These and other competitions are popular as everyone has an equal chance of winning. It is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. People enjoy such participating because they do not stand to lose anything.

Tips to Effective Home Improvement

If you are planning something regarding home improvement, stop and think. Improving your home need not be as cumbersome or as expensive as most people take it to be. There are some ways in which you can make your task easier. Here is a list of things that you can consider.

Do Your Research

Whatever it is you are trying to make, whether it is a patio or a window you are adding to your house or breaking down a wall to make more space or adding a pergola or a roof garden, the first thing you must do is to learn everything you can about it. The Internet is the best place to begin. Read authoritative articles, especially those that are put up on reputed home improvement websites. Also, make a trip to your local bookstore. You are sure to find several books on every home enhancement subject there. The right books can give you much better information than websites can.

Is There a DIY Option?

Most home improvement activities can be done by non-professionals nowadays. There are DIY kits available for everything, from setting up a fish tank to setting up an entire modular home. Check if there is an option where you can do the particular task yourself. If there is, see whether you will be able to do it. You need to have the time as well as the skill. If you can, you will be able to save a lot of money that you would otherwise pay the professional installers.

Finding Local Help

Always look for home improvement professionals from your local area. Your local yellow pages will help or you could search on the Internet. But it is always best to select someone from the local area because you can rely on them better, get a faster service and even check out their work in other people’s homes.

Set Up a Plan with the Professionals

The people you select must be able to sit with you and decide on how you can do your job. They should be able to give you an initial idea of how they plan to do the job. A very important thing is the quote. See if everything is in order. The actual amount you would pay will differ from this initial quote, but at least you get a ballpark figure. You should also mutually agree on what tasks you assign to the professionals. Draw up a contract if it is a big job.

Quality First

Even if you are getting your home improvement done under a budget constraint, you must remember one thing; it is not worth skimping on money and getting a cheap job done if it means that you will have to do the same job after a couple more years. Be a stickler for quality in everything, even if that means shelling out extra money. It is your home that we are talking about and since you are going to live here, it certainly deserves the best that you can afford.

Reduce the Cost of Your Home Improvemen

Do you ever look around your home and wish that you could make some changes? If so, it may be that you’re being held back by the thought that any such changes are likely to cost a lot of money. That’s a very real issue that many of us face when it comes to home improvements.

So why do such improvements seem to cost so much money? One problem is that many of us lack basic DIY skills. That means that we often end up making use of hired help to get jobs done around the home. This immediately makes things more expensive. Older generations tended to do more of their own work, reducing these costs.

We also live in a society that is very consumer-driven. It means that we expect to be able to get hold of thousands of products, with the latest designs coming from all over the world. Once again, there’s a cost associated with all of these beautiful things that we insist on buying.

So what can we learn from these thoughts? How can we reduce our home improvements bills?

One option will clearly be to do more of the work ourselves. That way, we can avoid having to hire builders, decorators and other specialists. This doesn’t seem like an easy option for those of us who simply don’t have any real DIY skills. Fortunately, you’ll find many decent DIY manuals around that can help you to improve. You’ll also be amazed by how much you learn from actually doing things.

Many people have also found that they can make big savings when choosing alternatives products for the home. Cheaper products don’t have to look worse. In fact, they can often look even better than designer alternatives. Shop around for the best deals and make use of the internet to find inspiration.

Professionals or DIY

There are lots of reasons why you might be considering improving your home. You have to live in it, after all, and if some part of your home seems to be getting past its sell-by date then it’s natural to want to replace it. Also, many home improvements can increase the value of your home by significantly more than the improvement itself cost.

Some of the most common home improvements are new bathrooms, new kitchens, and extensions to add extra rooms such as bedrooms, a study or a conservatory. There are also plenty of home improvements you can do that are less visible, however, such as improving your plumbing or electrics.

When you start to undertake any home improvement project, the first decision you have to take is whether you will do it yourself or hire a professional. While DIY can save you money in theory, you will often find that the savings are minimal, as you will not get good prices on materials and will have to spend much more time on the improvements than they would otherwise have needed. You can do well at DIY, and it can be fun, but don’t try to run before you can walk: do small projects first, and gradually build up from there, instead of starting out with a grand design and no idea how to achieve it.

If you’re mainly doing a home improvement because you think it will add value to your home, make sure to check that it actually will. People are often shocked to discover that the value of their house goes down when they build rooms over their garden, for example, as the garden space was actually more valuable than the extra room that has been added. In most cases, the best thing to do is to add improvements that you actually find useful, not ones that you think someone else will like: if you like them, the chances are that the housing market will too.

Home Improvement

Home Improvement can be the most rewarding experience you can embark on, if you like the do-it-yourself thing. I think maybe it is the accomplishment of doing something that you think you can’t do, so it is very rewarding when you prove to yourself that you can do it. I am getting too old to do many of the things I used to do. I am a Female, now 72 yrs old, and this is why I say that. I have sons that just leave me alone (even now) and let me do my thing. I love remodeling and decorating. I love to change something into something different. I have had people tell me I can’t change this to that, so I have to prove them that it can be done. One such thing was my Oak Kitchen Cabinets. They were stained and old, out of date, and the more I looked at them the more I was determined to do this. I have worked in a cabinet shop (which my Husband and I owned) so many years I can hardly remember when I didn’t, so I have a lot of insight on the Home front.

“DIY home improvement”

My Daughter and I live together and I think I scared her with the many things I wanted to do, but she is a trooper and I usually got what I wanted to do. So we talked about painting the cabinets and we decided we would try it. Painting cabinets was the big thing now. Even in our Cabinet shop, most cabinets are painted (though they weren’t Oak cabinets). The grain in the Oak wood is so bold, it is hard to cover it up. We searched around and found the type of paint to use. Prime the cabinets first, then hand sand and start painting. We painted the cabinets white. They were beautiful. My Son put on new Counter tops for us. We also took up the old flooring and put down new vinyl floor tiles, because I am not the kind of person that stays with a look forever. I love change. So I use Materials that can be changed out without breaking the bank. I don’t like slate or granite, Corian or floor tile that is so cold. I don’t like the granite or hard cold Counter tops either. These are costly and you cannot change these out inexpensively. You are stuck with them. I still like the change, so this is not for me,

DC Home Improvement Loans

No, I don’t own a million dollar home but I do own a comfortable beautiful home, that I change, from time to time and I keep it changed to suit me. I love my home! It is similar to the old fashioned southern homes with the big front porch, three sets of beautiful steps, and Gates on all three for my small, great grandchildren, when they visit. My Yards are beautiful and there was no gardener for these either. I have changed my yard, just like I have the House and now I am finally getting satisfied with the way it looks. There is so much Love in my home that even the richest person could envy and wish they were in my Place. I can sit back and enjoy my home, which has been an on-going project for over 20 years, and I have enjoyed every project I have ever done!