From Hut to House: A 5-Step Guide to Home Renovation

home renovation

Without a doubt, home renovation is an exciting and potentially enjoyable experience whether your abode is 20 years old or a hundred. The big problem is that the typical homeowner often doesn’t know where to focus their energy to achieve the best outcomes. If you’re embarking down the renovation path, you can’t go wrong with these surefire remodeling ideas.

Repair & Revamp the Pipes

Even seemingly minor plumbing problems can result in major fiascoes down the road. Have a qualified plumber assess the health of your home’s plumbing and recommend long-term fixes to any problems that are found. While you’re at it, you might want to install a tank-less heating setup or a recirculating water pump.

Have Your HVAC Modernized

At a minimum, any home renovation should include a thorough overhaul of the existing HVAC infrastructure. Professionals, like those at HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, know that even if your HVAC engine is up to snuff, a little restorative maintenance and duct cleaning is highly recommended. If you have an older house, switching from an inefficient boiler to a natural gas furnace is worth consideration.

Give the Floors a Refresh

Few interior improvements turn a house into a home as fast as a floor makeover. The most popular flooring renovation is switching to hardwood. Even DIY amateurs can slap down some oak or maple in place of vinyl and achieve a stellar look. Likewise, installing tile doesn’t take much effort and delivers unbelievable ROI.

Improve Thermal Efficiency

From Arizona to the frozen north of Maine, it’s important to create a nearly impermeable barrier between the inside and the outside. Putting better insulation into exterior walls and underneath rafters in the attic is a good way to start. Installing highly efficient double-paned windows will seriously cut down on HVAC-related energy bills immediately.

Upgrade Roofing & Siding

Making your home’s outer skin be all that it can be is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, it might make sense to consider a durable metal roof instead. Rather than PVC siding, you might want to switch to stained red cedar for a classier look and better pest repulsion.

Most home improvement neophytes succumb to what’s known as “option paralysis” when planning out their renovations. Obviously, you’ll have to make some hard choices when it comes to what you should work on and how much you should spend. Regardless of the circumstances, these renovations will work with any remodeling scheme.

Use Glass Balustrades for Safety and Enhanced Appearance of Your Space

Glass balustrading is a perfect and ideal choice if you desire to accomplish that flawless indoor or outdoor appearance. It is the versatility of glass that makes it the most distinctive and convenient material. It can be utilized in many applications ranging from indoor to outdoor balustrading. Glass balustrades are often used in many commercial buildings like hotels, hospitals, malls, and much other kind of organizations. Also, no other material can substitute glass to enhance your home’s comprehensive look.

Glass balustrading2

Why Glass Balustrades are an Excellent Choice:

Glass balustrading is a superb choice for a number of reasons. Some of the main ones are listed below:

  • Minimal maintenance and Durable: Glass does not require maintenance. Since they do not undergo corrosion, there is no need of painting or other kind of sustenance. It is easy to clean.
  • Economical: As they do not involve any maintenance price, they are cost-efficient.
  • Safe to use: They do not break easily because materials used for glass balustrading are usually very thick and tempered. Even if it does break in very rare cases, it does not break into harmful sharp pieces.
  • Energy efficiency: By installing glass balustrades, you can have free light supplement in your space.
  • Visibility: As we all know, glass is a transparent material, hence it does not block the view. So it is the most preferable material to install in entertaining areas like garden, swimming pool, etc.

Glass balustrading1

  • Aesthetic appearance: Glass balustrading gives rich and delightful look to your space.
  • No extra preparations required to arrange the site.
  • Incorporates additional values and prestige to your space.

Glass balustrades can be widely classified into two categories; balustrades that are dependent on posts and balustrades that are reliant on Structure. The former ones depend vertical posts for their power and support. This is more conventionally used balustrading, whereas in structural glass balustrading, the strength of the glass is dependent on its structure itself. Glass balustrades provide a strong blockade, which makes glass balustrades a safest substitute to many other kinds of balustrades. Irrespective of the occupied space, they provide sufficient light and air to keep the home beautiful. Balustrades come in frame-less and semi frame-less options.

Provides attractive and sparking look:

Glass balustrading offers a striking appearance whether you install them indoor or in outdoor space. You will spot them in staircases, balconies, rails, and pool fencing etc. in hotels, offices, resorts and homes. They look phenomenal when used for staircases as they give a floating feel. Railings can be installed in staircases, balconies for extra safety. Glass balustrades when used in balconies, provides more open and larger space. Along with providing safety barrier, glass balustrading more attractive and sparking look when used for fencing around the pool.

Glass balustrading

When you start your glass balustrading project, make sure that the dimensions are marked properly. There are many contractors available out there who are experts in glass balustrade installation. When you think of glass for balustrading, keep in mind that safety is the prime factor that you must, particularly when you use it in your home. Always go for trustworthy, reliable glass companies who are experts and well furnished in setting it up. Your home is your most adored belonging, so you don’t want to compromise with the quality of assets being used there. Do not go for low-priced, low quality glass material as it can be very risky especially if there are kids in your house. Be clever and invest your money in the right hands to make sure that the whole balustrading process is going smoothly. All in all, glass balustrading is an easy to maintain, durable and very safe method to give your home or company an astonishing look.  So, with the use of glass balustrading you can increase the safety of your home.

 

 

 

 

Improve Your Home Exterior for Better Street Appeal

The exterior of your house can say a lot about you and your home. If you have ever had just a thought of upgrading it, there is no need to procrastinate anymore. There are plenty of things you can do to make your home shine, and here are some of the basic ones:

facade

Make an Entrance

Shabby old front doors never leave a good impression. You should consider replacing them with new, quality ones. Choose the front door made out of quality, strong wood for security and give it a fresh new coat of bold paint. The door with a statement will only tell your guests that you are serious about the design and security. Additionally, bold-looking front doors are an attractive contrast to the whole exterior of the house. You can also decorate the entrance with some greenery to complete the look and refresh your home.

Garage Door

Another easy way to improve the exterior of your house is by upgrading the garage door. You can either fix the old ones and give them a new color, or replace them. Appealing garage doors are another great contrast to the whole design and will immediately catch the eye of the observer. Never neglect any scratches and dents in the doors, do your best to make them look as good as new. Moreover, without any dents they will work perfectly, causing you less stress when coming back from work tired.

Clean the Gutters

If you think that the gutters and downspouts are not noticeable, you are right – provided they are in their best condition. Never let your gutters and downspouts develop any rust or mold. That does not only look bad, but it can cause more damage to your home. Askew and leaking downspouts are another reason to repair them or get new ones. Leave one weekend for fixing these two and never show your house if there are any problems with gutters. These seemingly minor issues will drive away potential buyers because they can cause many problems with house’s foundation in the future. Make sure they are squeaky clean, free of any clutter and perfectly aligned.

Expanded House

Façade Maintenance

Just like taking care of your skin, you should make time to take care of your house’s skin – the façade. If you have already fixed everything else, it might be time to take care of the dirty walls. Brick walls are easy to maintain since they are one of the most sustainable materials. You just need to high-pressure wash them and the house will completely transform. However, if you have extra protection in the form of architectural cladding you will have to be careful how you clean it. Vinyl and brick cladding systems require low-maintenance and you can also wash them with water, but other materials may require more frequent cleaning. Whichever is the case, make sure everything is in a top-notch condition and clean as a whistle. Additionally, if you think the façade needs additional work, you can always rely on some light colors to refresh it.

Attractive Windows

Another element that can make the difference in your curb appeal are the windows. If you believe they are working properly, meaning there is nothing loose or cracked, you can simply give them a new lively color. You might opt for the one that matches the front door. But if there are just hints of rot and weather damages, consider replacing them. Not only will new vivid windows make your house alive immediately, but they will improve the insulation as well, thus reducing the waste of money and energy.

The exterior of your home needs as much care as the interior. Don’t neglect it, clean it regularly and fix everything that needs fixing. With proper care, your house will not only look breathtaking, but the property value will increase as well.

4 Home Health Hazards You’re Probably Not Aware Of

plumbing

Water and indoor air quality at home can be affected by more than a contaminated water supply or stray pollen finding its way inside. Misinformation about some of the unseen health risks is a major hazard. Here are four home health risks you may want to check your home for.

  1. Hidden Mold and Fungus Spores

Old carpet and rugs exposed to water are breeding grounds for mold and fungus colonies. Dry rugs not cleaned often can harbor the tell-tale musty odor of these respiratory irritants. Rubber or vinyl bath mats are another place mold and fungus will grow underneath virtually undetected without consistent cleaning. Clean and disinfect on top and underneath regularly.

  1. Toxic Gases

Radon is an odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that causes lung cancer. This natural substance is found in soil and rock underneath the home, in some building materials and ground water wells. When the harmful gas is discharged, it can seep inside homes through cracks in the foundation and small openings in walls. Homes that are tightly constructed or have poor ventilation are especially vulnerable. The only way to detect it is through testing. Having your indoor air tested for radon and mitigated, if necessary, may benefit your health.

  1. Bad Pipes

Experiencing low water pressure? Older homes built before the 1900’s, and some as late as the 1950’s, may be serviced by bad pipes that are corroding and crumbling. A Bailey Plumbing recommends making leaky pipes a priority in order to avoid unnecessarily high water bills. Waiting until a faulty pipe bursts–and it eventually will–could rain double trouble including your financial health.

  1. Damaged Flue Pipes or Chimneys

Most masonry chimneys used to vent woodstoves, furnaces or fireplaces have sections of clay flue tile stacked to form the flue liner. Gaps and cracks formed over time can let poisonous gases and compounds escape into your home, and make you sick. Creosote build-up outside the flue increases risk in the event of fire. Have your chimney and flue inspected regularly, and perform maintenance as needed to avoid health hazards and minimize loss of heat efficiency.

Much of your home maintenance can be done yourself. However, unless you are trained for maintaining more complicated elements, hire licensed professionals to perform complicated procedures. By giving your home the attention it deserves you may see an improvement in your own health.

Practical Ways To Save On Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Remodeling your kitchen has many benefits. It increases your property value and it also helps to enhance the look and feel of your outdated kitchen. It is important to make your kitchen remodeling project in a planned budget. Your kitchen is a place where the remodeling can get out of hand and so it is important to make sure that it is planned well and is well thought out. So budget plays an important role here, below mentioned are some tips that will help you in this regard.

kitchen-remodeling

Go for cabinets that are ready to assemble

If you go for designer cabinets, then the kitchen cabinets will become very expensive. Cabinetry is an important part of the kitchen remodel so it is important to make sure that you get the best cabinets for the least possible price. If you want to save a little amount on the money, then make sure that you do not go for the exotic wood, the sophisticated design and so on. The ready to assemble cabinetry will almost cut down the cost in half and this comes as a great way to save your money and use it wisely on the remodeling.

kitchen-renovation

Use your existing cabinets if possible

If you find nothing wrong in your old cabinetry, then it is best to try to keep them. If the wood and construction is good in your old cabinetry, then you can simply add some more details to it in order to get the best out of the cabinetry and save money on this. Just a few coats of paints and little addition of new wood or new hardware in some places can help you save on the cost here. When it comes to the cabinets remodeling, this is considered to be one of the most cost effective options. However, since you are going to spend money on the kitchen remodeling, you also need to make sure that the finishing of all the items is professional and enhances the feel and value of your kitchen.

Plan to go for the open cabinets

Wherever possible, make use of the vertical space. One of the great ways to do this is by opting for the open shelves. You have the option to opt for the designer shelves or you can also get the salvaged wood and do it yourself. Open cabinets are a cost effective yet a very practical option for your kitchen. You can select the plates that do not accumulate dust or you display the items that are used frequently. You may feel that the old items are not needed and you might want to do away with most of it, but you need to remember that it is best to get the most out of the old pieces and make use of these in a practical manner so that you can save on the cost as well as having the best looking kitchen in the long run.

Nest-Kitchen-Remodeling

There are a lot of ways in which you can go for your kitchen remodeling project, but one of the most important things here is to be creative, save on the money you spend and also get to know all your options before you start working on your project. When you consider the above mentioned points, you will be able to save a lot on your new project and you will also be able to get the best looking kitchen once it is remodeled.

Author Bio: Molly Crowe, an expert and empower blogger. I have written blog in concern such as: Business, Health, Home Improvements, Automotive, Locksmith, Gardening and Lifestyle.

 

How To Add Iridescence To Your Home

One of the hottest trends in interior design right now is iridescence.  The question is…how can you embrace this new design trend in a tasteful and chic way?  This infographic will provide you with lots of ideas on how to add iridescence to your home and add a bit of the “WOW” factor to your home decor!

Iridescent Interiors
Iridescent Interiors by Terrys Fabrics.

Easy Kitchen Lighting Upgrade Ideas

kitchen lighting

A simple upgrade in your kitchen lighting will bring all the magic into your cooking space. Experts suggest that the most beautiful and effective kitchen lighting has 4 layers which include- ambient, task, decorative lightings and accent. The result is truly remarkable making your place inviting and very warm.

But having a tight budget is a downer when it comes to home upgrades. However, there are simple hacks and tricks that you can do to avoid emptying your bank account for kitchen upgrades. Adding or changing a few lighting fixtures will totally transform the kitchen.

Using under-cabinet LED light bars

Using an LED lighting fixture in your kitchen does not only add depth but it is also cost effective. LED under-cabinet light bars will last longer than incandescent light bulbs. LED lights can last up to a decade and no maintenance is needed.  This is very useful to promote safe food preparation in your countertop. Apart from that, it also avoids cooking accidents since you have ample lighting fixtures while making your favorite dish or just using your perfect French press for strong coffee to wake you up in the morning.

kitchen-lights

Under cabinet rope lights

If you don’t like light bars, then under cabinet rope lights are the better option. These are easier to install because it is thin and has a circuit board, which is flexible making it easier to bend and adjust. There are LED chips attached in the board and can be cut to size depending on how big or small your kitchen cabinets are. The best part is the adhesive backing to save you all the installation sweat.

Once these LED tapes are mounted, it gives a glowing silhouette making your kitchen cabinets appealing and inviting. Experts suggest using coated tapes when mounting the rope lights because it is more durable when exposed to moisture, food spills and heat.

Decorative Flush Mount

Flush mounts in kitchens are mostly used as a focal point in the kitchen. It is mostly in dome-shaped figure and is mostly mounted in the ceiling. You can choose the design that connects with your vibe and the overall design of your kitchen. Most homeowners can freely choose either a semi-flush mount or flush mount. Both offer versatility to design and function in your kitchen.

Swap a plain ceiling light for one that multitasks

Plain ceiling lights are a thing of the past. Modern houses today incorporate recessed lights in their kitchen to help with the meal prep and cooking dishes in the kitchen.  It does not only add beauty to the place but also helps avoid accidents like burning a pan-fried fish or when mixing ingredients for your chocolate cake. You have to make sure though that you chose the right lighting fixture to avoid dimming or glaring your kitchen.

When choosing to mount a multitasking ceiling light, it is important to control the lights separately. This is to ensure flexibility and efficiency in your kitchen lighting.  You can opt for dimmable LED lights, or choose halogen or incandescent lights. You can control the lights by having multiple switches or a wallbox system that is programmed to control the lighting fixtures in your kitchen.

Kitchen

Consider plug-in wall sconces

Having plug-in wall sconces definitely add a chic vibe to your kitchen. Most of the time, sconces are added to bathrooms, hallway or in a reading nook to add more light source in the room. Today, plug-in wall sconces are added to the kitchen to have additional lighting. There are various designs to choose from but one great disadvantage is that you will need to conceal or rewire the newly mounted sconces so that the cords are not seen everywhere.

Kitchen upgrades are not just essential and pleasing to the eye but it also paves the way for effective and accident-free meal prep and cooking. Choosing the right lighting fixtures are essential to achieve your dream kitchen upgrade. You don’t have to worry about spending a lot though, since there are cheap but efficient ways on how to improve your home.

 

7 Home Renovations That Are Worth of Your Money

home renovation

Renovation is a difficult, long and often tormenting process that will suck out your time, money and patience, but the truth is that if you do it right it can be very rewarding. If you do it badly, though, it can become a true endless money pit, so pay attention. Some projects will be very helpful if you are trying to sell your house and you want to raise its value, but also if you just want to make life more comfortable for you and other household members. So, here are some revamps you can start considering today.

A Kitchen Revamp

Any real estate agent would tell you that home buyers always look at the kitchen most thoroughly, so if you are putting your house on the market, this is the first thing you should do. Even a minor kitchen remodel can add up to 80 percent of the project’s cost back to the total home value.

kitchen revamp

Some minor improvements you can do are new cabinet doors, countertops, appliances, faucet, sink, hardware and painting. Even if you are not selling, these remodels will make your staying in the kitchen much more pleasant.

Bathroom Refresh

bathroom refresh

It is similar like with the kitchen, an ugly bathroom is the buyers’ worst turn off, and it also makes family life more difficult. So, try to refresh it with some simple and low-cost updates, such as replacing the faucets, repainting the vanity cabinets, reglazing the tub, adding a new dramatic mirror, painting, installing a luxuriously looking chandelier and improving the overall lighting.

Repair the Floor

Holes and deep scratches on the floor can look really unappealing. If you were trying to hide them with wall-to-wall carpeting, this is the right time to change your approach. In most occasions there is no need for replacing the entire flooring, all it takes is rubbing fine steel wool for light scratches and lightweight sandpaper, wood filler and varnish combo for deeper scratches. After your floor is like new again, there is no need for carpeting any more. With the wide range of beautiful yet cheap rugs online and in stores, you can find a stylish area rug for each room.

Replace the Windows

replace the windows

Energy-efficiency has become a serious concern for new home-buyers, but that is not the only reason to invest in double or triple glazed windows. Eco-friendly windows can reduce heat loss up to 20 percent, which can significantly reduce your energy bills. New, improved frames can also contribute to the savings and make your house look newer and more beautiful.

Insulate

Another investment that can save you a lot of money, eventually. If your home is already insulated, check for some possible oversights. For example, people often forget insulating the attic, or they leave that for some other time. Luckily, laying the attic insulation is a DIY job par excellence – it does not require a lot of money, and it can be finished in one weekend.

Replace the Plumbing

If you are selling the house, rusty and old plumbing may become someone else’s problem (if the buyer fails to notice them), but if you are still living there, there is a chance that you have drank enough metal to build a small ship. Luckily, re-piping is not as complicated as it used to be. Now, you do not have to tear the walls and you can simply run plastic tubing through your walls.

Basement/Attic Renovation

basement attic renovation

This can be especially useful if you have small house and you lack some additional space. You can remodel your attic into a new or even a master bedroom and/or turn your basement into a family room, a playing room or a home office.

Before you decide for any one of these projects, you should set up a budget and be aware what you are dealing with. Remember to always increase the total sum for a certain amount of money, because with renovating it never goes quite as you have planned.

Guest Post By:

Chloe TaylorChloe is an art historian, recreational ballet dancer and a contributor at smoothdecorator.com. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics. You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.

 

Ready for Buyers? Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell Fast

sell your home

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you understand what a large transition this is. You’re preparing to move on to the next phase of your life, and you want to attract a buyer sooner rather than later. In order to stage your home to attract prospects and get the highest return on your investment, here are some tips to follow.

Warm Temperature

You want to ensure your home’s temperature isn’t too hot or too cold. To achieve this, you should allow light to come in through the windows by opening blinds and shades. To further add to this effect, consider the addition of subtle ambient noise. This could happen naturally during the day if birds are chirping outdoors, or you could make the minimal investment in a water feature.

Use Strategy

It’s important to have attractive handouts highlighting the features of the home that really make it stand apart. After your open house is over, you certainly want to leave a potential buyer with a good impression, and referencing back to these photos of your home at its best is a great way to achieve this goal. To ensure visitors receive the handouts, make them easily available by the doorway where they can be picked up before leaving.

Olfactory Consideration

The sense of smell is more powerful than we often give it credit for, and you can use this to your advantage. With scented candles and diffusers, you can create a beautiful ambiance with very little effort. If you’re on a budget, by using Sephora coupons from discountrue.com, you can save on many of the best home scents available. By taking the time to ensure your home features a pleasant aroma, you tap into the powerful senses of potential buyers and help stir up pleasant thoughts and feelings without even being aware it’s happening.

Let it Go

It can be emotionally challenging to watch as strangers consider the purchase of the home you’ve made so many memories in. In order to let go of the emotional attachment, it’s a good idea to remove some of the items in the home that spark memories such as family photos or pictures the kids drew at school.

Following Your Course in Life

There are times in life when change is necessary. Whether you got a new job or need to move in order to accommodate for a growing family, you are likely ready to make the process a smooth one. By following these helpful tips, you can be on your way to finding a buyer and gaining the negotiation power necessary to get the most for your home.

 

Saving the Planet from Home: 4 Eco-Friendly Renovations

Saving The Planet From Home 4 Eco-Friendly Renovations

Going “green” can protect the environment and save you money—the less energy you use, the less energy you have to pay for. Eco-friendly renovations can save the planet and increase your home’s resale value should you decide to put it on the market. Here are four things you can do to save the planet from home.

  1. Updating Sections Using Recycled Glass

Whether it’s for a clerestory section of windows or walls of glass looking out to a large pied-à-terre area, using recycled glass is a growing trend in house renovation projects. You can even use recycled glass for your next kitchen counter. Recycled glass kitchen counter-tops are so popular in kitchen areas today that a new name has emerged in the industry: bio-glass. Not only is the material made of 100 percent recyclable glass, it’s also itself 100 percent recyclable!

  1. Stone Wall Sidings

Another growing trend among many homeowners is the use of stone wall sidings. According to Lifetime Exteriors, stone and brick are widely recognized as a green building material and are among the most durable and low-maintenance options for exterior siding. Stone is a practically inexhaustible building resource that can last centuries longer than wood. It is also fire and termite resistant, and only needs minimal maintenance to withstand natural weathering. Unlike wood, stone siding doesn’t need unnatural or toxic coatings to repel insects or prevent rotting.

With the use of stone wall sidings, any home’s looks can be enhanced. Varieties of color combinations, textures, and shapes create an impressive illusion of natural beauty that can fit perfectly into almost any architectural style, from the modern ranch to old-fashioned Tudor designs.

  1. Replacing Carpets with Eco-friendly Flooring Materials

If you’re looking for sustainability, then look into using cork flooring. A natural green choice, the bark of cork oak trees make for splendid harvesting material, as it grows back in only a few years.

Another option is going with bamboo woods. Perhaps even more durable and moisture resistant than regular hardwood flooring material, bamboo also grows back quickly and is harvested without any lasting damage to the bamboo’s natural root system.

  1. Paint A Room Using Environmentally-friendly Low-VOC Or VOC-free Paints

Yes, the industry succeeded in developing lead-free paints, but that’s not all that was needed. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that release dangerous molecules into the air still remain a real health issue. Today, newer low-VOC or completely VOC-free paints are the growing trend. For your next major painting project, look for VOC-free paints to keep toxic and dangerous chemicals away from your home.

All of the above eco-friendly remodeling ideas can easily not only enhance your home’s appearance, but they can also dramatically increase the resale value of your home. More often than not, the environmentally conscious choice is the right choice financially too. Before you tear off your siding and tear up your floor, consider that replacing something just to replace it usually isn’t the most environmentally friendly choice. But if you’re already planning a renovation, consider one of these green alternatives.

Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia. She currently lives in a beautiful home in Atlanta with her husband, two kids, and puppy Molly Belle.

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