How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

How to Remodel Your Basement One Room at a Time

When you need more space but you like your current home, remodeling the basement is a great option. This solution avoids the need to expand up or out, which may not be an option. As you make your plans to remodel the basement into a living space, keep these four important tips in mind.

Waterproofing the Walls and Floors

Basements are at an increased risk for dampness because of their contact with the soil. Waterproofing the perimeter walls and flooring are important steps in the basement remodeling process. This can be accomplished through installing a perimeter drain system, reinforcing the walls and coating them with a waterproof sealant. On the exterior side of the basement, strengthening piers and additional waterproofing materials can be applied.

Installing a Sump Pump

Installing a sump pump before finishing your basement is also important to the remodeling process. The sump pump removes water collected in a pit by the perimeter drain system. Sump pumps are essential in areas with high water tables. The pump works to prevent a flood of water from seeping into your remodeled space.

Using an Air Compressor

Using an air compressor makes the remodeling process more efficient. An air compressor can be used to power key tools, which is helpful in a poorly-ventilated basement. Some companies, like Kruman Equipment Company, know how helpful these machines can be for remodeling projects. The compressor can operate drills and other hand tools so that no emissions are created. Compressors are also ideal for lifting heavy items and for clearing dust and dirt out of tight spaces.

Putting Up Interior Walls and Ceiling Tiles

Once the space is waterproofed, interior walls and ceiling tiles can be placed. The interior walls are usually framed with wood and finished with sheet rock or drywall. Ceiling tiles make for easier access to plumbing and air ducts to the rest of the house. You can arrange the interior walls to allow for a utility space, recreation room, workshop, laundry room or a “man cave” to suit your lifestyle or other plans for the space.

Remodeling your basement allows you to increase your living space without making any changes to the size of your house. It is an efficient and environmentally-friendly project that does not add to your carbon footprint, heating or air conditioning costs. The remodeling process for basements is complicated because of the potential for water intrusion, but the effort can be worthwhile because of your increased enjoyment of your home. The right tools and some helpful professionals will ensure a successful project.

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require?

What Preventative Maintenance Does an HVAC System Require

Maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system helps to lower your monthly energy bills. Preventive maintenance also extends the system’s lifespan and protects breakdowns that make an impact on your comfort. There are four key steps to HVAC preventive maintenance that should be performed at least twice per year.

Changing the Air Filter

Changing the air filter is essential to an HVAC system’s performance, efficiency and longevity. The air filter is usually housed in its own chamber or within the air blower portion of the system. It may be framed with cardboard and disposable, or it may be reusable. A reusable filter will be cleaned and put back into the unit. A disposable air filter will be replaced. The filter should be changed every 90 days.

Cleaning the Condensate Line

In air conditioners and heat pumps, the condensate line is responsible for draining the water that is condensed during a cooling cycle. The condensate line can grow mold and algae. If the growth gets too thick, the condensate line can become obstructed. If it gets obstructed, water can back up into the equipment and cause a malfunction. Cleaning the condensate line consists of bleaching the interior of the pipe, removing algae and mold and rinsing it with plain water.

Checking the Refrigerant

Air conditioners and heat pumps use a chemical refrigerant such as R-410-A. Some companies, such as Classic Air and Heating, know that if the refrigerant tubing or chamber develops a leak, the system will not operate efficiently. The system could freeze up or simply blow room-temperature air. HVAC technicians use special equipment to check the level of the refrigerant. If it is low, the refrigerant can be charged after the leak is found and repaired.

Cleaning and Lubricating Motors and Fans

Furnaces, air conditioners, ventilation units and dehumidifiers all have motors and fans. The motors and fans can collect dust and debris that inhibits their motion. These parts are cleaned and lubricated during a maintenance visit. Proper lubrication of the motors and fans reduce the risk of overheating and minimize the amount of noise made by the unit while it operates.

HVAC maintenance should be performed by a licensed, bonded and insured provider. It is a good idea to schedule maintenance for the air conditioner in the spring and a checkup for the furnace in the autumn. Heat pumps and other equipment that is used all year long should be serviced twice per year, also in the autumn and spring to identify and repair any defects.

7 Ways to Cut Down on Home Maintenance Costs this Summer

home maintenance

After spring cleaning comes the joy of home maintenance in the summer. Keeping your home in tip-top shape gets expensive, as the typical American home costs $1,126 to maintain every month. Ideally, the homeowner should spend at most between one to four percent of their annual income on home repair, but there are ways to curb the costs.

Don’t sweat expensive repairs when it comes to home updates or renovations. Try these seven ways to cut down the costs, before you empty your bank account:

  1. Use Energy Efficient Lighting

For $5 to $15 invest in a few CFL lights that are dimmable or mix it up. Purchase dimmable switches for incandescent lights and CFL lights, which last longer and save energy, at your local depot store. Though LEDs will save about $170 more every year than incandescent lights, they’re expensive and incandescent lighting is phasing out.

CFLs take several minutes to reach full brightness, but only start at $1.25 per bulb and save more money than incandescent lighting. Instead of hoarding old bulbs, invest in a brighter, equally eco-friendly and budget friendly bulbs.

  1. Replace AC Filters

Don’t overwork your central air conditioning or raise your utility bills by avoiding the simple chore of replacing the air filters. This simple task will keep the air free-flowing through all ducts and stop the blower motor from being too strained. Your new filters extend the life of the overall unit by keeping mold and dust off the condenser coils.

For the price of a greasy spoon dinner, grab a few filters and save more on your utility bill. Your HVAC is responsible for about half of your energy costs monthly, and by replacing your filters every three months you save 7.5 percent a month and decrease energy consumption overall by 15 percent.

  1. Pick a Cool Roof

If you have to replace your roof, anyway, pick a cool roof with a lighter color. While the color of your car doesn’t matter when it come to auto insurance, the color of your roof affects the cost of your energy usage.

Cool roofs are designed to reflect more light from the sun and don’t absorb as much heat as typical roofs. The material itself is highly reflective and are used on shingles, tiles and other types of roofing. Changing the roof color will also lengthen the life of the roof, while protecting it from UV rays.

home maintenance summer

  1. Plant a Tree

More specifically, choose a deciduous tree to plant on the east, west or south side of your home. This provides additional shelter over your roof to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent over the next hundred years. A few of the fastest-growing trees to plant include nuttall oak, hybrid poplar, northern cattalpa, weeping willow and red maple. Conduct a land survey to avoid planting to close to underground lines.

This will prevent you from overworking your HVAC system and save money, while giving back to nature and adding a beautiful addition to your yard.

  1. Put it all on a Timer

Extend the life of your electronics and household systems by placing them on a timer. Do this for the hot water and on your lighting systems, and note that you can save gallons of water by using an irrigation controller.

Program computers and other electronics to cut on and off at specific times. By unplugging your computer or timing your usage, you could shave a few bucks off your utility bill every year. Remember to use your battery powered devices to their full extend before recharging.

  1. Save Your Septic Tank

It’s important to treat your septic tank right, and when it starts to fail, know when you need a new one. In urban areas, sewer lines are more common than septic tanks, which are usually found in rural areas.

There are many pros and cons investing in a septic tank, especially when it comes to being eco-friendly and saving money. For example, fiberglass septic tanks won’t rust or crack like steel or concrete ones, yet they may change position with damp soil or be vulnerable to weight above ground. Septic tanks don’t have monthly costs associated with them, since they are independent of city services.

Septic tanks are durable and eco-friendly. They usually last for several years, and utilize drain fields as natural filters, while benefiting local plant life as water for the soil and food for small creatures. To extend the lifespan of your septic tank, only run full loads of laundry and a full dishwasher.

  1. Keep a Maintenance Routine

One major source of expensive maintenance costs is letting the work pile up, eventually leading to risk for a disaster. Don’t wait, and don’t cut corners with repairs.

Save more money in the long run by developing a home maintenance routine now. This way you can make a game plan for saving for more expensive costs you know are coming, like a new water heater that needs to replaced after ten years.

Don’t let home maintenance costs creep up on you and rob you blind in the middle of a beautiful summer’s day. Save more time for grilling, gardening and fun with the family.

Get in front of home maintenance with a solid routine, and take a few preventive measures now, such as replacing your AC filters and switching to more energy efficient lighting. These ideas will help you cut down on home maintenance costs this summer and save you more money in the long run.

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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5 Indoor Remodeling Tips for Busy Moms

 

bathroom

Have a vision

The first thing that should be done when remodeling a house is to have a dream. Think of what you want your house would look like after the job is done. Recognize what is needed to be worked on and identify solutions to the problem. Look at your bank account. Know what you can afford. It is essential to share the same dream if you are living with a partner. This could avoid conflict and could make it easier in the budget department as both of you understand the sacrifice you both will make. Having a vision means planning ahead. Selecting the best products can prevent delays. Proper planning can also keep your budget on the right track. Keep in mind the big picture too. Know the long term maintenance. This includes repairs that could add up quickly.

Do some research

Go to the internet or library and look for articles devoted to home improvement. This would give you a good perspective about your new home improvement. Be focused on what part of the house you want to improve. If you need to work on your bathroom, stay away from bedroom or living room articles. The same goes otherwise. If you have no idea which part of your home to improve yet, then you can browse randomly on different parts of the house? You might be enlightened in your journey through the pages.

Start with the Easy Ones

You may start at the kitchen. When you have noticed that a lot of things on your kitchen are dated it is best to do something. You don’t want your food to come from a boring place. You can re-upholster your dining chairs, change your faucets, and update the lighting with something stylish yet functional, use colorful throw rug down. Then continue on the bathroom. You may install a large mirror in there and it would make your bathroom appear larger. Let us now go to the living room. By changing your chandelier, this could impact the look of your home. It could make you feel that your home is glamorous. There are a lot of easy do-it-yourself in the market today that would not cost a lot. Let us go to your basement; one might think that basements are dark. Let’s change that notion. Make it lively by adding up colorful paint to it. Change the lights to bright ones if you are using an old fashioned yellow incandescent bulb.

Ask for Help

Ask for help from the right people. You may hire remodeling contractors. These people know what they are doing better than you and they know where to get the cheapest yet good products, they will do the dirty job for you. You do not need your hands to get dirty. You may be wondering on how to look for a good remodeling contractor. I’ll give you a bit of idea on how to choose the best in your area. First, you need to ask for referrals, and then look at their credentials. Interview your candidates. Who could perform the job at the fastest and with the least costs?

Let us not forget The Don’ts

Do not decide at a wrong time. Make every single decision properly before starting each job. This would ensure you that the remodeling project will go well. Do not be fickle minded. At most times, it is hard to prevent your mind from changing mid project. And every time things on your mind change. This would mean a delay. Don’t work when you have limited funds. You might underestimate the cost of the project. This could mean disaster as your project could be stopped and you would be leaving the project hanging and that portion of your house will be useless for a significant amount of time.

Author:  I am Maggy Robertson of Buy Every Home. A simple blogger who love to share my writing tips for categories such as DIY home improvement, security, lifehacks and crafts online.

How Proper Gutter Maintenance Can Protect Your Home & Save You Money

home with gutters

The gutters of the home help to keep rain from settling against the edges of the roof. If the gutters become clogged with leaves and other debris, then they won’t drain rain away as they should. This could cause distress to the roof, resulting in money being spent on unnecessary repairs that wouldn’t need to be made if the system were maintained properly.

Frowning On the Foundation 

Although it might not seem like the foundation would be affected by gutters that are clogged or not working as they should, this is an area of the home that can see significant damage if the gutters don’t drain. The water can settle along the foundation or even drain to the foundation and seep through cracks. This can cause the foundation to crack or buckle, which would make areas of the home swag or shift.

Losing the Landscape

After planting flowers in the yard and creating a beautiful landscape, water that doesn’t flow through the gutters properly can ruin your efforts. A roofing company, such as Berwald Roofing Inc, can come to the home to discuss what you can do about the gutters and repair any issues that are seen. You can sometimes redirect the way that the gutters drain so that the water doesn’t pour out over areas of the yard that could result in costly makeovers.

Mildew and Mold

One of the things that you might notice around the edge of the roof and along the sides of the home is that mold and mildew will begin to grow if the gutters don’t drain as they should. This can pose a health hazard if it gets out of hand. The water will begin to pour down the walls of the home instead of running out the end of the gutters if there is debris in the gutters that isn’t cleaned.

Barren Basements

When water has nowhere to go, it could end up in the basement as it runs down the side of the home. If there is a significant amount of water for a long period of time, it can cause quite a bit of damage to the basement as this is the bottom area of the home. This can lead to a basement that sits empty until the gutters and the problems is fixed.

The gutter system is one that is easy to keep clean and maintained. All you have to do is check the connections to the home and remove leaves and other items that are in the system. This will save you money that is spent on repairs to the foundation and other areas that see rain pouring over the sides of the gutters.