How to Renovate Your Home & Give It a More Social Vibe

How to Renovate Your Home & Give It a More Social Vibe

Renovating your home can improve the overall function and usability of your home. This gives you the opportunity to put your mark on your home. Here are some ways to make your renovation more adaptable for socializing.

To Open Concept or Not

Renovation really allows you to put some personality into your home. Depending on your taste, there is a wide range of options. It is popular to create an open concept floorplan. This allows you to entertain larger groups of people. Some homes may already employ this style. Others may be less accepting of this type of flow. Determine how you want to use your home and design your renovation around that concept. You may be more interested in having smaller, more intimate parties. Take these factors into consideration before deciding on a design plan.

Utilize Lighting

Lighting sets the mood in your home. Consider using lights that can have multiple functions. Adding dimmer switches to your home can change the atmosphere. Accent lighting would also allow you the freedom to highlight segments of your home. Low lighting can create a more intimate setting. Higher lighting creates a brighter and more open finish to your home. Pick light fixtures that are unique. You can change the look of your home by bringing your personality into your lighting choices. Your fixture choices change the style of your home without generally costing too much.

Create Private Areas

Even with the open concept, you still want to have areas in which people can talk quietly. In many cases, this is just placing your furniture in a manner that will encourage dialogue. However, you may want to create nooks in your home that provide a comfortable area to rest from the main party. With homes that are not open concept, this may be easier. Having a separate living room area that is not adjacent to the main flow could be utilized for this purpose. This would be another area in which the lighting could be changed to create the same effect.

Room to Expand

If you have a deck or other outdoor area, consider using unique doors, like those from Nu-Look Glass & Aluminum Windows, that can open fully. There are options in which the entire door system folds against the wall. This would provide you with more space to entertain your guests on those nice days. It creates the ultimate outdoor living experience for your home. Consider dressing up this outdoor area with a fire pit or some other focal point. This will draw your guests to other areas of your home. It can also make your home seem larger, and provide other avenues of entertainment.

Renovation can make your home more usable for entertainment purposes. Use these solutions to create a more social vibe in your home.

Family Home Remodeling: 4 Features Your Teen Will Love

When remodeling a family home, you understandably may think about dressing up the interior décor in your space, but adding functionality is also important. You may have great ideas about how to make the space more functional and comfortable for you, but you may also think about your teenagers. Through a remodeling project, you may be able to add some thoughtful features that they will love.

Family Home Remodeling 4 Features Your Teen Will Love

A Garage Conversion

If your home currently only has one living area, you could consider adding another living area that is specifically designed as a teen hangout space. Rather than spending money adding more square footage to your home’s existing footprint, you could convert the garage. This garage space could even be used for your teen’s band equipment, hobby items and other things that may be taking up too much space in your home currently. A garage makes for a great teen-friendly hangout space as you can open the garage door when it is being used and have an indoor/outdoor space.

A Private TV or Media Room

Teens and adults rarely agree on what they want to watch on TV, and this holds true for movies as well as television shows. You may be able to convert an unused formal dining or bedroom into a private TV or media room for your teens rather easily. In fact, if the space is already enclosed, you may simply need to add some insulation to the walls and dimmer switches to the already installed lights.

A Private Bathroom

If your teens are currently sharing a bathroom with others in the home, you may regularly hear about messes that others have left behind or about someone spending too much time in the bathroom. These are common arguments, and you may be able to eliminate them entirely by giving your teen his or her own private bathroom. This is a seemingly minor convenience that can make your home a happier and less stressful place to be in.

A Gaming Nook

Many teens love gaming, and they often take up the TV when they are on their console. You may even have consoles and games cluttered up around the TV creating an eyesore. You do not need a large space to create a gaming nook. For example, you can choose a small area of the home to carve out a space for two to four gaming chairs and moderately-sized TV. A few storage features may also be beneficial for storing games, controllers and consoles.

Each teen is unique, and each family deals with unique challenges based on the current layout of the home and the interests or needs of teens. Consider how these or other thoughtful ideas can be implemented through your upcoming home renovation project.

Fall Renovation Tips to Save You Money

Fall Renovation Tips to Save You Money

Spring gets all of the attention when it comes to home makeovers, but fall might just be the right time for an interior renovation. After all, you’re hunkering down for the year’s coldest months, which means you’ll spend more time indoors than you will in spring. You might as well update your home now so that you can get the most of your days and nights spent cozied up inside.

The following are five examples of fall renovations that will make your space more personal without breaking the bank. By the end of the season, your house will look and feel completely different — and you’ll be ready to take on the rest of the year from inside of your updated nest.

  1. Redo Your Roof

Not all of your fall renovation projects have to do with the inside of your home. Fixing your roof means you can patch any leaks or openings that could increase your home heating costs, cause expensive water damage or give pests an entryway, thus requiring a pricy removal.

When you make the investment in your roof, be sure to choose a durable shingle or other material that will withstand all of the fall and winter weather you expect. Nowadays, these materials stand tough against wind, hail and other weather that might otherwise compromise a weak structure.

  1. Choose High-Quality Materials

As you make the move to renovate your home, you might consider cutting corners and costs by investing in lower-quality materials. This is one of the biggest renovation mistakes you can make because you will end up sacrificing any potential return on investment down the line.

Instead, experts suggest going for the highest-quality materials you can afford in order to ensure your renovation lasts for years to come. This may mean you have to stall on some of your fall renovation plans, but it’s worth the wait to choose timeless, durable materials that will make your home more valuable.

storage

  1. Make the Most of a Space’s Storage Potential

As you shift from summer to fall, you’ll probably be in and out of your home’s storage areas. You’ll pack up your swimsuits, patio furniture and inflatable pool and bring out your Halloween decorations, cable-knit sweaters and cozy throw blankets. In that time, you’ll realize just how nice it is to have ample storage space.

So, when you make plans to renovate, be sure to envision each room’s storage potential. This is especially important in small spaces where every inch of storage comes in handy. Forgetting to include storage space is one of the most common errors in bathroom remodels because they have less square footage and therefore a smaller amount of space to use to house your hygiene products, linens and cleaning supplies.

  1. Avoid Trendy Upgrades

The attraction to trendy design updates can be strong, and for good reason: modern, sleek vibes ooze sophistication and design intellect. However, choosing to give your home an of-the-moment update this fall can mean you’ll be redoing your home sooner than you’d ever considered because it quickly looks and feels outdated.

To avoid falling into this trap, go for a more timeless design scheme. This doesn’t equate to a basic, boring look, though. Instead, choose a neutral palette and pair it with simple, traditional furniture that will look just as good in ten years as it does now. If you’d like to make a space feel trendier without sacrificing your return on investment, update your throw pillows, curtains and other accessories with more of-the-moment patterns and colors. These items can easily be replaced down the line without breaking the bank.

fall renovation tips

  1. Don’t Do Everything at Once

A huge mistake that first-time renovators make is to take on too much work at once. You may go into your renovation with the best of intentions, but your efforts could cost you more money and create more work than you expected. This is especially true if you take on your pre-renovation demolition on your own. Taking everything out right away means you could run out of money or time and have to live in a semi-demolished space for longer than expected.

To avoid this situation, give yourself a timeline that includes staggered demo and renovations. You should always give yourself more time than you think to complete each task, too: many homeowners will fail to factor in any unforeseen circumstances that could make a project more timely or costly, which throws the entire project into chaos. Planning ahead with a reasonable timeline can help you sidestep this situation.

  1. Hire Help If You Need It

Finally, you might think that tackling all of your home renovation tasks on your own will save you money. In some cases, this is true — especially if you’re skilled in home updates and construction. But if you find yourself unable to complete a project properly despite your best efforts, you are much better off hiring a professional to take the lead.

Sure, it will cost you a little more than you had planned, but the quality of construction and implementation of your vision will mean you can enjoy your updated space for years to come. The last thing you want is to invest high-quality materials into a poorly executed project, and a design professional will help you avoid that type of situation.

How will you update your home this fall? Whether you plan to try small aesthetic changes or major renovations, one thing is for sure: you will love spending time in your new spaces as the weather changes and sends you indoors to cozy up until spring.   

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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The Spectrum of Benefits of Incorporating Steel Into Your Home Improvement Plans

If you are contemplating home improvements of different types, you likely have started to focus on the types of materials you may use in the process. For example, if you are considering home improvements that will include upgrades in the kitchen, you undoubtedly will turn your attention to major appliances. With that potentially on your radar, you will want to contemplate how steel appliances can be incorporated into your overall home improvement plans.

steel appliances

The reality is that not only can steel play a major role when it comes to appliances, the metal alloy can also be invaluable if you undertake other home improvement endeavors as well. This includes efforts both in the interior and on the exterior of your home.

Steel, Home Improvement, and the Environment

In this day and age, an ever-increasing number of people are becoming more interested in enhancing the environment. These individuals want to take steps and make decisions in their daily lives that not only don’t harm the environment but ultimately have a positive impact on it. You may be one such person.

If that is the case, you actually take a positive step when it comes to the environment when you elect to incorporate steel, when you can do so, into your overall home improvement endeavors. There are a number of reasons why including steel in your design and improvement efforts is a plus for the environment.

A primary area in which steel is incorporated into home improvement schemes is in the area of appliances. You need not go much further than a home improvement website to appreciate how ubiquitous the use of steel appliances is at this juncture in time.

What you may no know is that every time you purchase a steel appliance, you are purchasing something for your home that includes at least some recycled elements. Indeed, more often than not, a considerable percentage of a steel home appliance is made from recycled elements.

Keep in mind that it is not just fashionable appliances that are made from recycled steel. Other items that might play a role in your home improvement efforts are also likely to contain recycled steel.

For example, if you intend to upgrade the HVAC equipment in your residence, you likely will be incorporating equipment made from steel in that process. Moreover, a significant percentage of that still will be recycled.

On another note related to the environment, major steel appliances manufactured for use in the United States are nearly all built with the Energy Star program in mind. The Energy Star program was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, over 20 years ago.

Energy Star certifies certain appliances and HVAC equipment utilized in your home for its energy efficiency. Energy Star certified appliances and equipment are better for the environment. Moreover, the operation of these items is more economically because they are energy efficient.

kitchen home improvements

Steel, Home Improvement, and Smashing Good Looks

One of the reasons steel has become so widely utilized in new construction and home design as well as remodeling and home improvements is because of its smart appearance. In simple terms, steel appliances and other additions to your residence that utilize steel are attractive.

You up the ante when it comes to the look of your residence when you incorporate steel into the process. If you are undertaking improvements for you own sake, you will make your home far more appealing for you and your family. If you are embarking on some home upgrades to make your residence more salable, the addition of steel into the overall look of your home is highly likely to snag the attention of homebuyers. You very well may be able to raise your asking price above the cost of your investment in improvements that include the use of steel.

Steel, Home Improvements, and Cost

If you are like most individuals, you keep a sharp eye to the bottom line. We live in challenging economic times and you need to keep to a strict budget. Yes, it is possible that you may end up paying a bit more for items like steel appliances. However, steel appliances, and other additions to your home, will prove to be highly durable. In other words, while you may pay a bit more upfront for the addition of steel appliances, HVAC equipment, and other items for your residence, you will enjoy a long useful life of these items. You will not have to worry about replacing them any time soon. Thus, over time, you’ve made a truly economical investment in your home.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading steel tubing suppliers of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.

Not Up to Code? How to Get Your Home in Line with Legal Standards

Not Up to Code How to Get Your Home in Line with Legal Standards

You don’t have to update your home to reflect every code change, but if you’re planning major repairs, additions, or remodels the work has to meet the latest codes. If you’re planning to sell the property, it’s also important to satisfy local building codes. Since these codes are intended to improve the safety of the occupants, it’s always a good idea to keep them updated. Here are some ways to make sure your home is in compliance.

Get a Home Inspection

Building codes in the U.S. generally stick to the latest International Residential Codes established by the ICC, or International Code Council. However, they may vary from state to state, and from county to county. It’s a good idea to have a certified home inspector in your area go through the house. They’ll do a visual inspection and provide you a report of anything they find wrong.

Upgrade Electrical System

There are some common requirements that you can check for yourself. For instance, you should have smoke-alarms hard-wired, because battery-powered units are useless if you forget to change the batteries. There should be one alarm in every bedroom, the kitchen, and over stairwells at the least. You should also ensure that you have ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the kitchen and bathroom to protect your family against the possibly deadly combination of water and electricity.

Overhaul Plumbing

Bad plumbing is mostly found in older homes that might have lead pipes or fixtures. Replacing these is a priority. Modern updates might include things like a pressure-balance valve in the hot water line that prevents scalding water when, for instance, someone else flushes the toilet. More water-efficient products like low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and modern appliances help satisfy water conservation needs. Have your home’s water quality checked, and if you have problems with installations, water pressure, slow drains, or leaks, call a licensed plumber for help.

Know the Codes

Check with your local building inspector. They may have quite specific requirements for certain things. For instance, some localities may require double 2x6s as floor joists rather a single one. You will find that there are well-defined requirements for stairs, decks, garages, roofing, sheds, and more. A responsible contractor will ensure code compliance, but if you’re a DIY type of person it’s your own responsibility.

Residential building codes are defined for a good reason. If you fail to follow them, you may be endangering your family, and could be forced to remove or rework non-compliant projects.

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

If you have decided to add new living space to your home by converting your garage into an additional living space, you’re in for a treat! This is a popular trend in home renovation. However, before you begin making any changes, make sure you read these five things to be fully prepared for your project.

Budget

Know exactly how much you are able to spend for your transformation project. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses will probably occur, and you should budget for them accordingly. Also, don’t forget to budget the cost of furniture for your new living space! You will be disappointed to learn you don’t have any money left over for these items.

Check Your Cars

Double check to make sure you won’t need your garage to store your cars. If you plan on getting an additional vehicle in the future, you may want to delay your renovation. Also, if you are comfortable keeping your vehicles outside of your garage, you still may want to consider investing in covers for your cars to protect them from the elements.

Know Your Purpose

Make sure you know the exact purpose of your new living space. Are you interested in using it as a place to quietly relax? Do you intend to use it for parties or social gatherings? Will you be using it as an additional bedroom? The choice is up to you. However, knowing exactly what you want to get out of the new living space will give you the focus you need to complete your project successfully, whether that be managing the garage door or adding amenities like air conditioning or more electrical fixtures.

Checking Permits

Remember, transforming your garage into an additional living space is a type of renovation project. This means you may need to obtain permits for some of the work. Double check with your local officials to learn if you will need to get any paperwork done before you begin. If you don’t, you may be forced to pay a fine or undo your entire transformation!

Can It Be Undone?

Keep in mind that the future owners of your home may want to use the garage for more traditional purposes. This means you should consider how easy it will be to undo your renovations. There also may come a time when you need to use the garage for other purposes. Having a plan to transform the garage back into a great storage area for cars and other big items is something you should consider.

Transforming your garage into an additional living space is a great idea. After you have considered the above points, get started on that transformation!

Lonely Loft? What to Do with the Attic You’ve Never Used

Lonely Loft? What to Do with the Attic You've Never Used

As you walk around your house, one of the spaces that might seem a bit lonely is the attic. It’s often an area that is used for storage, especially if you don’t have a lot of closet space in the home. There are a few remodeling ideas that you might want to consider so that you’ll have some kind of living space for the family instead of a wasted room.

Design an Extra Bedroom

If you plan on expanding your family in the future or if you want to invite parents or other family members to move in when they are older, then consider transforming the attic into a bedroom. Wire mesh—think of the type that you would have it you were to use SKS overscreens—can be added before dry-walling and painting so that there is a bit more insulation as well as support for the walls. Add a bed, dresser, television and other comforts that your guests would have at their own home so that it’s a relaxing environment.

Play With the Kids

Transform the attic into a playroom for the kids. With bright paint, fun wall stickers and decorations and a hardwood floor that’s fun for playing on, your attic can be a mecca for children to enjoy. Carpeting is an idea for young children, but if you have hardwood or at least laminate that looks like wood, then children can ride a tricycle or play with cars and other toys that have wheels on them easier than they could if there’s carpet in the room.

Relax the Day Away

Since the attic is often a quiet space away from the rest of the home, turn it into a reading area. Install plush carpet and oak walls that make space look like a library. Put bookcases along one wall and a comfortable couch or chair along another wall so that you can read a book in peace when you want some time to yourself. You could also create a space where children can do their homework without worrying about the noises from the rest of the home.

Take a Soothing Bath

There’s nothing like having an extra bathroom in the home, which is a design option for the attic. You’re going to need to make sure the plumbing is installed correctly before decorating so that you have a tub, shower or combination. This bathroom can be one where you escape from the stress of everyday life or just an extra bathroom for when it seems like a line is forming at the other one in the home.

There are numerous ideas for your attic space. Think about what you could use in the home, and get to work designing a space that can be enjoyed by the family. It might take some work since it’s at a higher level than the rest of the home, but the effort will be worth the investment.

Just Like Tim Allen: How to Stay Organized & Remodel Your Home in a Timely Manner

Just Like Tim Allen: How to Stay Organized & Remodel Your Home in a Timely Manner

Remodeling your home can help you to improve its appeal and functionality, and you may eagerly be looking forward to enjoying the finished project. However, some homeowners struggle to complete this type of project in a reasonable period of time, and this can be a frustrating, stressful experience. Put these thoughtful tips to use to help you improve your overall remodeling efforts through all stages of the project.

Outline Your Project in Detail

One thing that can delay a home remodeling project is if you discover that your design plans are not well-thought out. For example, you may not think through how the color of the backsplash tile you selected would correspond with your cabinets, and this can cause you to order new tile at the last minute. Carefully plan out each aspect of your project in detail and in writing before you begin any work on the home. It is better to spend a few weeks planning than to spend a few additional weeks with your home in a state of chaos because of the remodeling efforts.

Create a Functional Budget

Another factor that can delay a project involves money. Remodeling often requires more funds than you might think, and the last thing you want to happen is to have your project delayed while you wait for more funds to become available. Create a budget up-front, and ensure that it has ample wiggle room for unplanned expenses. In addition, fund your project fully before you begin working on your home.

Order Your Materials Up-Front

Materials shortages can also throw you for a loop. Some materials that you need may be back-ordered by several weeks or more. In the case of siding and other exterior materials, this problem could leave your home vulnerable until you complete the work. Order all materials, such as those from Unique Home Solutions, up-front, and avoid starting on the project until they are on hand.

Schedule Contractors as Needed

There may be some aspects of your project that you need professional assistance with, such as plumbing or electrical work. Contractors can be booked up several weeks in advance. Therefore, plan ahead by booking services in advance, and only work with reputable contractors who you can count on to show up as scheduled.

Many factors could cause delays to your home remodeling project, and this can be a stressful experience. If you want to enjoy the best overall process and results from your remodeling efforts, employ these tips to keep the project flowing smoothly from start to finish.

How to Make a Home Remodeling Project Fun for the Whole Family

How to Make a Home Remodeling Project Fun for the Whole Family

Whether you’re building an outdoor deck or just replacing some old tiles in the bathroom, home remodeling projects can be a great way to bring the family together. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to let your kids get their hands dirty. Here are four ways to make your renovation a fun one.

Get Everyone Involved

Instead of banishing your kids from the remodeling site, invite them to participate with age-appropriate tasks and helper duties. For example, young children might be put in charge of clean-up activities like sweeping, wiping down surfaces and throwing away garbage in a garbage bin, like those from Kingston Skips. Older children might be allowed to assist with caulking, painting or weather-stripping. Teens can be taught the ways of the sander.

Go Shopping Together

Shopping for materials is half of the fun of a remodel, so bring the kids along when it’s time to hit the hardware store. Let them help with the list-checking and price-calculating, and make it a group effort to hunt down the right screwdriver or perfectly match the wallpaper samples. Not only will it be a unique family bonding experience, but it will also teach everyone a thing or two about being smart, thrifty and self-reliant.

Get Them Their Own Tools

It’s no secret that building things is good for child development. For example, the benefits of block play include everything from better spatial recognition to improved fine motor skills. If you aren’t quite ready to give your five-year-old a hammer and nails, however, consider investing in a child-friendly toolkit that will allow them to work side-by-side with mom and dad without the dangers of grown-up power tools.

Honor Their Contributions

This is especially important if you’re remodeling a communal space that will be used by the entire family. By allowing your children to choose the wall color or decide where the furniture goes, you’re sending the message that their thoughts, ideas and preferences are just as important as ones from their parents and siblings. It can be a big boost to their self-esteem as well as a fun way to engage their imagination. Better yet, they’ll be reminded of their pride every time that they use the remodeled room.

These are just a few ways to bring the family together with a home remodeling project. Everyone will reap the benefits of a bigger, better living space, but if you play your cards right, renovating your home can be just as fun and family-focused as occupying it.

Is Your House Unfit to Live in? Top Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Safer

Is Your House Unfit to Live in Top Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Safer

A dirty and disorganized house is more than just an eyesore: It can also be a legitimate health hazard to you and your kids. The good news is that it’s possible to beat back these perils if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and take action, so here are just four ways to remodel and revamp your home into something a little more livable.

Tend To Your Chimney

Many people don’t even think about their chimneys unless they hear birds chirping in there, but animals are only one of the concerns that you should have about a disused fireplace and flue. If your chimney cap is falling apart, you might be exposing your roof to dangerous sparks. If your interior chimney walls haven’t been cleaned in a while, you could be breathing in hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Raise Your Cupboards and Cabinets

According to Poison Control, 99 percent of child poisonings are unintentional. This means that kids are getting under the sink and into the medicine cabinet to ingest things that they shouldn’t be ingesting. One option is locking your cupboards from curious fingers, but if you already know that you’ll be terrible about remembering that kind of thing, consider raising your cupboards off the ground entirely. This will protect your pets from an accident poisoning, too.

Get Smart

Smart technology is controlled by wireless signals that send information from one device to another. It’s available in everything from baby monitors to home security alarms, and it can be a real help in making your home a safer place to live. You’ll no longer have to worry about locking your doors, turning off your appliances or shutting the dog gates. Your smartphone can do it all for you even if you’ve already left the premises.

Repair Your Roof

You’ve been meaning to fix those shingles for years, but little did you know that water damage is creeping into your entire attic space and compromising the structural integrity of the ceiling. It’s quite common for small roofing problems to become big disasters over time, so do yourself a favor and call some roofing contractors, like those at Select Exteriors, when you first notice that something is amiss. Your future self will thank you.

These are just a few ways to remodel your home with safety in mind. While you shouldn’t live in fear of things like dirty chimneys and unlocked cupboards, you shouldn’t brush them off, either. An important part of protecting your family is dealing with household issues even when they’re annoying.

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