Category Archives: Home Improvement

Low Cost Do It Yourself Home Improvements

Do-it-Yourself: Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects can be heavy on the pockets. As much as we want to give the projects to expert contractors who can deliver excellent results, sometimes, it’s just more practical to have a little exercise and do these projects without the help of contractors. People dig into their savings or resort to different loans just to finance these projects and this in turn makes them lose their financial momentum.

This article tries to give some do-it-yourself home improvement projects so as to give the readers some ideas on how to cut back on expenses and generates savings from the project.

1) Painting

Giving a house a new color will definitely give it a new and fresher ambience. If a family is tired and bored with the current colors of their house, they can do the painting themselves. Painting the house together is a great way to bond and have fun while improving the home at the same time.

Many people who attempt to paint their houses have problems which are related to the improper selection of painting materials. You must remember that cheap paint is not the way to go when painting the house. If you resort to using these paints, you will regret it some time in the near future.

2) Kitchen

There can be a lot of ways to improve your kitchen, which can be argued as one of the most important places in the house. Installing ceramic tiles on the countertop or the floor is one of them. There are a lot of resource materials that are out there, especially on the Internet that gives a step-by-step guide on how to install these ceramic tiles. But the most important thing that you have to consider is the kind of look that you want with your kitchen. The selection of the colors and the sizes of the tiles is very important.

3. Installing wallpapers

Giving a home’s walls a new look is definitely a great way to do home improvement. There are numerous materials and a handful of designs that you can choose from. Wallpapers can easily be obtained from home improvement shops and stores. The different designs include hand prints which are imported, there are heavy textured wall papers, there are designs which are embossed.

There you go, some basic ideas on how to go about improving your home without the help of contractors. It takes a lot of practice, time and dedication to get your home improved, but if done properly, the process and the output will give great satisfaction.

House Move or Home Improvement?

There are lots of problems with home improvements: they’re a lot of trouble to arrange, they can be expensive, they often decrease the value of your home or at least don’t make back what they cost, and you have to put up with weeks or even months of noisy, dirty building work being done on your home.

Also, houses were usually planned the way they were because of space restrictions, especially in larger towns: if you just go around building extensions in unusual places, the look and layout of your home can both be compromised. Is it really worth converting a garage into a bedroom? No, it isn’t – the garage is much more valuable, often adding as much as 10% to the value of a property.

Another thing you might not have considered is that if you improve your house too much, no-one who wants to live in your area will be able to consider it. In general, expensive houses are in expensive areas for a reason – there are plenty of people who want to buy a cheap house in an expensive area, but very few who want to buy an expensive house in a cheap one.

Given all this, there is an alternative that you might not have considered: why not just move? Many people extend their homes to avoid the costs and troubles of moving, but when you compare them to the costs of extending, moving actually often comes out ahead – especially if you move to a larger house that is just down the road.

While you won’t get your extension designed exactly to your specifications, moving works out much cheaper in the long run, as other people’s ‘used’ extensions will be cheaper than your new one, and rooms that were built with the house will be cheaper still. Who knows, you might even find something you like even better than your own plans.

Home Improvements Going to Cost

The total price of a home improvement project is going to increase very soon. The market is coming out from the recession time-period. The price was very low when the market was facing this recession period. Builders and contractors have also suffered heavy losses during that time. Now they would surely like to cover their losses. The spending capacity of an individual is going to increase due to the end of recession. It will increase the price of labour as well as the required materials for home improvement.

The materials required for a home improvement project includes almost everything which we use in our house. It includes steel related materials, hardware, sanitary items and various other things. RICS’ Building Cost Information Service (BICS) says that the cost of transport is increasing day by day. It is also affecting the price of raw materials. Market is also facing the deficiency of tradesmen. The overall consequences are the increase in the home improvement cost.

The international price of oil is increasing with fast rate. It has been already been cleared by the analysts that price of oil is going to cross more than $200 per barrels within few years which will further increase the transportation cost. The international requirement of raw materials is increasing continuously. The upcoming international giants like India and China are unstoppable. Their growth rate is tremendous due to which their requirement for raw materials is very high. BICS have clearly showed the trend of price rise through various examples. Let us take an example given by BICS. A person wants to change roof tiles. The previous price of roof tile was 220 pounds and the current price is around 280 pounds. It shows a tremendous increase of 17%. Real estate experts of China are saying that the rise in price list is not for profit however it has become necessary to maintain the running costs. This makes the situation very poor for the people.

You can also see the results of SCA Hygiene Australasia. They are the producer of Sorbent, Tork and they are also one of the leading manufacturers of hygiene products. Their reports clearly say that they were reluctant to increase the prices. They left with no options but to increase the price. They have mentioned that the current market environment is very sturdy and they are not getting the good quality raw materials at economical rates. It is increasing their total input costs. Therefore they have to increase the price to maintain their expenses. The price increase is not for profit but to maintain the current level. The price of wood is also increasing. The wholesale price of lumber is at historical highs. The demand is rising however the woods are not available at the same rates. Therefore it is becoming tough for an individual to purchase all the related materials.

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?


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.