DIY Home Improvement Tips to Help You Succeed

It can be really fun to plan a DIY home improvement task. You can hope for a spectacular looking home within a few months, whether you are building a deck, putting in new flooring or painting your home. Nevertheless, prior to your start, you should be confident that you have planned everything correctly so that things turn out the way you wish for them to.

Prior to the commencement of any type of DIY home improvement task, make sure that it is realistic and that you have an allotted amount of time and talent to get it done. Several homeowners are fanatical when it comes to the thought of taking on an immense sized project, but then they either lose sight of their inspiration once they begin or they find out that it is a lot harder than they bargained for. Some tasks take quite a bit more time and expertise than others and you should think about this sincerely before you begin work. If needed, look for some guidance form an experienced individual who knows about this type of task. It is more ideal to not even begin some sort of undertaking or hire someone else than to begin it and never finish.

It is possible to save some money on tools and materials when you get ready for a home repair project. It’s never a good idea to compromise on quality, just to find something that costs less. Recycle centers or businesses like Re-Stores have new materials for about half the cost of the same items that are sold in hardware or home improvement stores. If you can find what you need at these places, you can significantly cut your costs while still using good quality materials. When it comes to tools, either locally or on the Internet, you can generally find used ones that are still in good shape.

Although painting the interior of your home is always a possibility, you may also want to consider new wallpaper. Just because a lot of people don’t care for wallpaper, it wouldn’t hurt to look at all of the designs, before dismissing the idea. Installing wallpaper is not a difficult job, but it does take careful attention. There can’t be any grease or moisture on the walls and they need to be totally clean. First you put the adhesive on the wall, and then once it has dried, the wallpaper can be installed. It has to be applied as smoothly as possible to avoid any unsightly bubbles. One of the easiest and cheapest projects that can be done for improving your home, is giving a room a new look with wallpaper.

Improving your home yourself can be a really gratifying and cost-effective way to do so. There are quite a few different home improvements that can make your home more fascinating and secure, as well as add to the overall price of it. The tips we’ve explored in this article are just a few that you should keep in mind when planning any home improvement projects. The more careful you are in prepping for your DIY home improvement undertaking, the greater your chances are for it turning out the way you wish for it to.

Arthur, an award-winning promoter, became a national spokesperson for private and professional eventgivers and an internationally recognized co-author of six books during a time when only a handful of merchant promoters shared their experiences. She served as a pioneering voice for merchants while she and her sister cared for their father with AIDS.

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Tips For Refinishing Hardwood Floors

With more Chicago condo and home owners deciding to remodel and upgrade their current residences instead of buying a new house or condo, one of the projects that many decide to tackle is refinishing hardwood floors. Not only will refinishing your hardwood floors give your home a great new look, it will add value if you ever decide to sell. Hardwood floors that have a beautiful finish are one of the top selling points that many prospective buyers look for when shopping for a new condo.

Refinishing your hardwood floors isn’t as complicated as you might think, although it can be time consuming and a little labor intensive. There are a few tools and supplies you will need though. Nearly all can be rented if you don’t want to lay out the money to buy them or think you won’t have a need for them in the future.

The basic tools you will need are some kind of sander, which we’ll cover in the next section, safety glasses, dust mask or respirator, ear plugs, sand paper, masking tape, drop cloths or plastic sheeting, stain and plenty of rags or tack cloths.

Before you begin sanding, you need to determine the thickness of your wood flooring. It needs to be at least 3/4 inch thick before sanding, otherwise you risk sanding too deeply and damaging the floor. Older wood flooring is normally fairly thick, but some of the newer engineered wood floor material can be thinner, so check before you start to sand.

Start by emptying the room of all furniture and sweeping your floor to remove any debris that might cause scratches while sanding. Since there will be a good deal of dust generated from the sanding process it may be wise to also take down any window coverings, pictures on the walls, cover ceiling lights and also put a plastic sheet barrier over any doorways to other rooms to prevent dust drifting. You should also tape off heating and cooling vents and electrical outlets. The trim along the edge of the floor should also be carefully removed and sanded by hand. If you can open some windows and even place a fan to draw out the dust it would help a lot.

You can rent a drum sander at most hardware stores. This tool takes some getting used to if you’ve never used one before, so it’s wise to practice a little in a part of the room that won’t be seen as easily until you get the hang of it. Always tip the drum sander up before you turn it on. Never start it while it is still flat on the floor. Gradually lower it and then move it back and forth or from side to side, never let it sit still or it will sand out a deep pocket and you’ll ruin your floor. Keep moving until you’ve covered the entire surface.

If your floor has a lot of scratches or needs a lot of sanding, begin with about 20 grit sandpaper. The lower the grit number, the coarser the grit and the higher the number, the finer the grit. So you should progress from low to high, and usually finish with about 120 grit. It’s best to save the edges for last and do them by hand. Once you are finished sanding, vacuum thoroughly and it’s also a good idea to wipe the floor down with a tack cloth to be sure you get all the dust up

Now you are ready to actually stain your hardwood floor. Depending on what type of water-based or oil-based stain you decided upon, you may have to apply more than one coat and do a light sanding between coats. Be sure to read the instructions on the product before starting. And remember that the color on the can label or in the store won’t be the exact color of your floor, so try out a small patch in an area that isn’t easily visible to make sure you are satisfied with the color. Be sure to have plenty of ventilation while staining as the fumes can be strong.

Once you have all the coats applied and the floor is completely dry, you should probably rent a buffer to really give the stain job a great finish. Just like the drum sander, start slow until you get the hang of using the tool. The final step then is to reattach any molding or trim you removed (after staining it of course) and apply a polyurethane finish. You may have to give the floor more than one coat with drying time between. You can do this by hand with rags, but using a tool with a long handle similar to a sponge mop will save both your back and time. Read the label for recommended drying time, but it’s always a good idea to wait an extra day or two especially in high humidity before moving the furniture and any rugs back into the room.

Refinishing your hardwood floors will add beauty and value to your condo or house. Most Chicago real estate agents have noted that units with hardwood floors like the ones listed in these new construction condos sell better than homes without hardwood floors. This not only is a great selling point that many buyers look for, but something you can enjoy yourself for years to come.

Paula Cherrist writes articles about Chicago real estate, Chicago condos for sale, housing-related topics and home trends.

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Four Tips for Renovating your Vacation Home for Resale

You’ve bought your vacation home and you want to make improvements to resell in a few years. What are the right renovations to get the most bang for your buck in this fickle market? There are several things that you can do to accomplish this. Let’s look at a few of them now.

Make improvements that count.

Experts agree that the right renovations, especially bathrooms and kitchens affect the marketability and the rentabilty of your Vacation Home. Bathrooms have become a popular remodeling choice, and for good reason, they have the highest rate of return of any home addition or home remodel. Real estate agents agree that a gleaming kitchen with state of the art appliances, cork or hardwood flooring, stone countertops and lots of cupboard space can sell a house the instant a prospective buyer sees it. Conversely, a cramped, ill lit kitchen with outdated linoleum and harvest gold appliances might actually scare buyers or renters away. Now you may not want to go to that expense if this is a little mountain cabin get away that you only plan to use yourself a few times a year. But you have other options

Update what you can’t renovate.

If you can’t afford to renovate, update and refresh key rooms instead. Replacing an old countertop, repainting cupboards and walls, installing new door pulls and lighting make big improvements to your kitchen for a very modest price.

Similar touches increase appeal of older bathrooms, too. Fresh paint throughout your home is another low cost, high return project. It makes everything look cleaner and brighter. Decorate with rustic lighting or rustic furniture this will add a mountain cabin charm that will make your rental special. When you are ready to sell, buyers love a vacation home they won’t have to redecorate immediately. And renters who find that perfect vacation home to rent will return year after year.

Maintain where you can.

Depending on the age of your Vacation Home you can expect to spend between one and three percent of it’s value every year on maintenance and repair. Your maintenance budget should increase as your Vacation Home ages, so remember to include funds to replace major items as required. Foundations and roofs are things that are difficult to inspect, but the long run minor repairs can save about ten times the cost of work necessary to replace or rebuild.

Don’t over improve:

Before you commit to any big project, ask, “Is this improvement out of character for my neighborhood or area ?” If the answer is Yes, you may be consigning your house to an oddity status. If your vacation home is improved beyond the scope of all the surrounding area. Then it is likely your vacation home’s value won’t be realized when it comes time to sell.

Do your home value homework before you remodel. You want to attract good seasonal renters plus have the comforts you prefer when using your Vacation Home. But you don’t want to go overboard unless you intend to hold onto it for years to come. Be certain your choices will help you sell that Vacation Home when the time comes.

Buying property is a huge investment. Having someone to keep your interest in mind can be the difference between a good investment or a poor one. Be smart hire a responsible buyers agent like Gary Ward before you buy a mountain vacation home. or a vacation cabin.
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Paint your home yourself. Here are a few tips.

You can paint your home yourself and this is not difficult as you think. Here is an approach, which you can follow to do the painting with no difficulty.

Get organized:

Before the start, you should plan the approach because many works can be done a day or more prior to the actual start of the work.

The first approach is moving the obstructions away from the wall and ceiling so that you can paint faster with fewer mistakes.

Before painting the walls, move all the furniture from the room so that you can paint easily with no hindrance. If you have large furnishings, you can pile them at the center of the room and cover them with drop clothes. Remove all the chandeliers from the ceiling so that you can paint the ceiling faster and more smoothly. Handle the floor area with care to reduce the later work. Use drop clothes and cover them and allocate an area where you can gather the tools which will be used to mix the paint and work.

Top down approach is the best way to paint the wall and this helps you to correct the drips and runs. If you are planning to paint a room or a hall, start with the ceiling and then go to the walls. Always start painting the larger areas before repainting the trim by this you can cover more areas and finish it quickly. This may end up with roller sprays, overspray and brush strokes.

Scrape away the old peeling paints and the rough sand painted woodworks to get rid of the glossy surfaces and get them ready for the new paint. Before repainting, use a sealer to give a makeover to the high-gloss enamel paints. Fix the cracks and chips in the wall before painting. Do patch works to fix the imperfections. Remove all electrical switches, wall sconces, picture hangers and other covers. Cover the windows and woodwork with painters tape to mask around them.

Get organized with the materials:

Choose the right brush and roller to do the right job. Choose rollers in such a way that the more the surface is rougher, more the length of the roller should be. Use synthetic brushes and rollers for latex or water-based paint. Use natural or synthetic brushes for oil-based paint. When you work with the paint, make sure that you stir the paint with a stick or mix it frequently to avoid pigments from settling down.

Materials usage:

Brushes are available in different sizes and depending on the usage and area you can buy them. For doors and windows, trim brushes are to be used. Dip the brush into the paint in such a way that the bristles are dipped one-third of the way into the paint. Squeeze out the excess paint on the bristles’ surface before using it to avoid brush marks.

Do not forget to cover your hair with a scarf and protect your eyes with protective eyewear. Importantly, cover all the areas so that you can provide a uniform look to the wall.
Now, once you finish painting, remove the tape from the trim and paint it.
Once you are done with the painting, clean the brushes and the rollers.

Shasthri, a postgraduate in finance management, is a financial advisor for a leading firm. His interests are investing, cricket and chess. He writes for .

Home Improvement Tips – Finding The Right Color For Painting Your Bathroom

Painting any room in your house can be a problem. Of course if you get the color wrong, you can always repaint over it, but who would like to waste money and time repainting an area if you don’t really have to.

One of the most commonly judged rooms in the house is the restroom, so once you’ve made up your mind to give the room a fresh lick of paint, and you’re happy with your chosen decor, you will then need to choose the right color.

By taking the steps below you can ensure that you are painting your bathroom that perfect color.

1. Decide whether you will just be painting your bathroom, or if you will be redecorating.

2. If you’re repainting although not changing all the various other things within the bathroom, you will want to opt for a color similar to the one you have. If you are redecorating the whole room entirely, you will need to choose the style first, and then base your paint color around that.

3. When you know what style your bathrooms will be, whether altogether new, or perhaps the same, visit the local hardware store and choose color samples which you think may match your room.

4. If time permits, take the samples back home and hold them against one of the walls of your bathroom so you can see more or less how each color would look. Also hold the samples towards the different objects within the room, such as a shower curtain or rug.

After completing these steps you ought to be able to select a color for the bathroom. You should remember that you might have to repeat a few of these steps many times to get the color that you need. Choosing the right paint color for just about any room takes time, and it’s certainly not a process that should be rushed.

Remember, your bathroom is one of your smaller rooms in your house, and that means that dark colors could make the bathroom appear even smaller. Essentially, unless you have a very large bathroom, you will need to make sure you choose a light shade of paint.

We have the best home repair tips and articles about home accesories like bbq grills

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Home Remodelling Tips for Winters in Chicago, IL

Winters are the best times to renovate and upgrade your house. Here are some areas that need a major upgrade during winters so that you can enjoy the coming spring to the fullest.
It is that time of the year again. Winters are here and you will be spending most of your time indoors. So why not spend a little time and put in a little effort to make your home ready for the coming winters? From the floors, basement, kitchen, bathroom to the exteriors of your house, everything needs a little renovation to help your house stand the falling temperature and make you all cosy and snug indoors.


If your carpet is falling apart at seams it is time to buy a new one. To avoid your hardwood floors from freezing your feet it is best to put in a carpet during winters. This will not only improve the comfort of your home but also make it look better. It is recommended to get it installed by professionals rather than doing it on your own. Make sure they are aired out a couple of days before they are installed at your home. Other than carpets you can also consider tile and laminate for your floor during winters.

Paint the house

No doubt winters are cold and dark but you can always make it lively and cosy by repainting your walls with a bright and cheerful colour. Go for a bold and bright colour and make the rooms look full of energy and life. Painting the house with a new colour will brighten things up and lift the mood and reduce the gloominess of winters.

Clean the basement

Winter is a great time to de-clutter and organize. Therefore, spend some time every day deciding what you want to keep and discard the rest. However, do not take up the task of de-cluttering the entire house on the same day. Start with one corner of a particular room and take up small parts every day and you will be able to do it better.


Look carefully at your bathroom. Does it appear too outdated? Are you bored of the light green paint on the walls and the sink seems too old? Give a makeover to your bathroom. You can start with repainting the walls, replacing the tile floor or updating the countertop.

House exteriors

Do not forget to check the exteriors of your house for cracks and holes. Shut off the outside water and drain the hoses to avoid freezing in winters.

Scour your house for areas that need a major uplift. Find out whether your kitchen needs a new set of cabinets, whether there is room for a new bath vanity or whether you need a new hardwood floor and then hire professional remodelers to do the task for you.

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Homewise Remodelers is a home improvement company specialize in Home Remodel Chicago IL and quality renovation of kitchens, bathrooms, basements as well as the exteriors of the house.

Crucial Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement Tips

With an ever-expanding network of home improvement television shows and DIY magazines, the do-it-yourself home improvement sector has taken off. Homeowners everywhere are rushing to their local hardware stores, ready to rip out their bathroom tile or tear down old kitchen cupboards.

As excited as you may be to get started on your first DIY home improvement project, there are a few considerations you should first take into account. You need to plan, understand your project, budget, and be aware of your space. To learn more about these basic, but crucial, DIY home improvement tips, keep reading.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you even begin a DIY home improvement project, you should have a full plan in place. And prior to making that drive to the home hardware store, put together a folder with all your measurements and a complete list of everything you intend to buy, right down to the last nail.

People get excited about projects and don’t want to get right to it instead of “wasting” time planning. However, By planning out the phases and details your project, you’re less likely to overspend on unnecessary materials or find that you need to backtrack over already-completed work.

Planning prevents mishaps such as needing to stop work and call a plumber because you forgot to verify whether there were pipes running where you wanted to put in that door. Planning also decreases overspending, such as buying three cans of paint when you only needed two.

Meanwhile, researching your project will help to avert the more costly mistakes. By reading books, watching relevant DVD’s or researching online information about the project you want to tackle, you’re less likely to botch a job and more likely to complete it with a professional finish.

2. Budget

Along with planning, comes budgeting. As you plan the details of your project, keep a running tally of the expense for each material. If you don’t know how much something costs, check the Internet or call your local retailer to obtain a price ahead of time.

Once you have your budget, add 10-20% extra. Almost every home renovation project, DIY or not, runs up against unexpected expenses – it’s just a reality of life’s uncertainties. Whether it is materials that cost more than you expect or a surprise problem that needs to get fixed, you’ll need to have the money ready to take care of it. Every good DIY’er knows to have a little extra on hand.

3. Understand Your Project

Before you attempt to tackle a major home improvement project, make sure you know what you’re doing. Use resources like books, your local hardware clerk, the Internet and how-to videos to get a good grasp on the project you will be undertaking.

If you feel like the project is out of your league, don’t hesitate to call in a professional.

4. Know Your Space

This tip is related to planning, but make sure you have enough space to take on your project. Don’t try to fit a new island in your kitchen if there isn’t sufficient room for it. Try to live by the old carpenter’s adage of “measure twice, cut once.”

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Simple and Affordable Home Improvement Tips

When you hear the word “home improvement”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Some people might say that home improvement is synonymous to expenses while some of them think that it is all about decorations. Basically, home improvement does not necessarily need to be expensive, and it is not only about the addition of decorations in your house. It is focused on the beautification of a certain part of the house and remodelling them to make it look good.

Everyone wants to renovate their houses, but most of them do not know where to start, and some are already thinking about the expenses. If you want affordable home improvement tips, here are some of the best methods that you can do.

Start Repainting your Walls

It is better if you will start repainting your walls if you want to start your home improvement scheme. You do not have to repaint the whole house. You can repaint your bedroom or living room to make it look good. You have to remember that putting a different colour or shade to a part of the house can help improve its beauty. Pick an appropriate colour for the house, but make sure that you only choose light colours. Using light colours bring a smooth feeling in a particular part of the house. You have to spend for the paint, but you do not have to waste thousands of dollars to do it.

Remove the Clutter in Your House

Sometimes, your house looks ugly from the inside because of the clutter that you can see everywhere. One of the most important home improvement tips is to keep your items organised. Keep all the items that are you are not using and remove all the unnecessary stuffs in the house. Keep them safely and properly in storages if you are not using them or keep them in the right places if you still need them.

You can also remove some of the excess decorations inside the house. These decorations often make your house look crowded. An overly decorated house doesn’t look good.

Curtain Replacement

If you do not have a budget for replacing your windows, you can simply replace the curtain. You can buy new styles and designs since they do not cost that much. They are not as expensive as window replacement, but this is one of the most affordable home improvement tips that you can do. Buy designer curtains and replace them. You can do it on a monthly to create a different aura in your house.

Bathroom Remodelling

Your bathroom can be a public and private space, but you need to make sure that your bathroom looks good. When it comes to home improvement, this is something that you should not forget. Though remodelling your bathroom looks a bit expensive compared to the other tips, it is still an affordable way to remodel your house.

Blinds Superstore is a company based in Blackpool that specializes in custom made blinds such as venetian blinds and roller blinds. What blinds or curtains you choose for your windows is only a small part of decorating a house so we have produced several articles on our blog on decorating and improving your home.

When To Use Scaffoldings And Other Home Maintenance Tips

Not all of us are aware about the many uses of scaffoldings in keeping our houses clean and safe. This is primarily because most home maintenance tips are focused on the care of common areas of our respective residences.

Let us start with the understanding that purchasing or renting our own place comes with the responsibility of cleaning and fixing elevated areas in our house when need be. Daily wear and tear would require us to do some repainting of the ceilings or walls, dismantling of old or defective fixtures and replacement of rotten cupboards.

When times like this come, what usually comes to our minds is the use of ladders and other types of scaffolding. Ladders could be the best tool for all these for most people. But the truth of the matter is scaffold jacks can perform better in house repairs such as these.

There are many reasons by which scaffoldings are considered the utmost competition of ladders. To begin with, this construction tool is known for its platform feature which is built above the ground. This platform can carry a worker and the set of tools he will need when he working on higher parts of the house. If you need a wider space to carry another worker or additional tools, the measurement of the platform can still be adjusted. It is something that typical ladders cannot provide at all.

Before we go on further with the rest of this home maintenance tips, let us first have an understanding of how scaffoldings look like. To begin with, it is a tubular erection that is temporarily created for the above-mentioned purposes. It includes base pads for ground support. Next in line are the vertical trusses, ladders and platforms. To avoid accidents, it includes diagonal supports, guardrails and toe boards.

Going back to its use, scaffoldings were first used in construction sites. In fact, bricklayers were the first people to use them when working at high locations. Through time, the use of this construction material is no longer exclusive to bricklayers. Even simple homeowners can use them today.

A two-storey house, for one, requires such equipment come the time it needs quick repainting or repair of its high parts. Moving forward, installations of light lamps and home accessories can be easily and safely done with its use. Do you need to clean your ceilings and walls? You can do it best with scaffolding. It can get you to the hard to reach parts of your house in a snap.

As this equipment is no longer exclusive in construction sites, its manufacturers have made the necessary adjustments on their production. This move has made the finished product more suitable for varied environment – residences, mining sites, power plants and public concerts – and varied tasks.

While ladder remains a staple in most home maintenance tips and house painting tips, it would not hurt if you include scaffolding in your list. It definitely performs better than a ladder in so many ways. It provides efficiency and safety for the users at the same time.

Looking For Different Types Of Scaffolding? Visit This Top Resource For House Painting Tips And Home Repair Tips Today.

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How to Start a DIY Home Improvement Project: Tips & Tricks

Do it yourself projects are efficient ways to minimize cost, and to a certain degree, tap into your creative side. Home improvement is just one area in the wide and complex world of Do- it- Yourself.

In a way, home improvement should be done by the homeowners themselves, because the property is theirs, and if something succeeds or fails, the homeowners take full accountability for what happens. How does one begin a do it yourself project? The following is a step by step guide in determining your general path for future DIY projects.

1. Examine your house- a house that has stood against the elements of nature for at least three years probably has suffered some form of damage. When was the last time that you stopped to inspect whether your house is still safe to live in, or if there is something that you can still do to improve it?

A thorough evaluation of your house and all its parts would definitely give you great ideas for your future DIY project. With you some paper and a pen, list down everything that you think must be repaired, replaced, improved or taken down completely. Be critical of how furniture and electrical wires are placed in your house.

After making your list, start sifting through them. What is it that interests you at the moment? Do you wish to make a new gate made purely of wood, and coated with varnish? Do you think that old door needs sprucing up? Whatever you might choose to do, remember that you have to take into consideration time and budget constraints.

2. Plan first, and plan well- do not commit the mistake of not being able to plan before you try your hand in DIY home improvement. Any project, executed without a clear plan in mind is bound to either fail or finish unsuccessfully.

How does one begin a work plan for a DIY project? First identify what needs to be done. Make a list of the things that have to be done prior to the DIY project. Then proceed to make a list of the things that you need to do. This includes even the smallest of implements in the DIY project, like nails and paint.

After determining the materials needed for the DIY project, begin to compute how much all this would cost. A good and reliable computation should not be based on estimates alone. If you can, make the computation when you’re at the hardware store.

If something seems to be too expensive, then try to find an alternative brand, or if it’s not possible to do this, try to find an alternative, material to replace that which you cannot acquire due to cost, a good example will be thinner gauge plywood for sidings and non load bearing structures.

3. Timeframe- never forget to make a timeframe for a particular DIY project. Failure to do so might mean the project might take too long to finish, or in some instances, it might not be completed at all. A timeframe would tell you what to do and what to complete in a day.

The author of this article was Benedict Yossarian. For home improvements Benedict recommends Dekorbeton Decorative Concrete as a cheap alternative to expensive bricks and Roof Bond Spray Foam Roof Insulation to reduce your heating costs.