Category Archives: Home Improvement

Home Improvements on Your House

Home improvement projects are ways to make your home more beautiful, attractive, cleaner and more cozy and comfortable to stay and live in. They are not just ways to improve or beautify your home, they also assures security and protection. Improving your home offer many benefits, one thing is that it can also be a reasonable investment. Home improvements in addition, can make a house more livable and may even increase the value of your home.

Here are the top most important home improvement projects to help improve your homes:

Home repair involves the diagnosis and resolution of problems in a home. It also includes home maintenance to avoid problems. Most types of repairs are Do it-Yourself projects, where you can simply maintain and repair it by yourself in order to cut down your repair and maintenance costs. It is best that you handle your home repairs and maintenance because other types may be complicated and usually time consuming and risky because you need to hire professionals or handyman to the job. Home repair includes heating and cooling repair, plumbing repair, exterior home repair, electrical and plumbing repair.

Part of improving your home is energy saving. Normally, energy used in homes is responsible for over a quarter of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. That’s why making your home as energy efficient as possible will reduce carbon emissions and could also save you money on your fuel bills. Insulate your home to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels which add to the greenhouse effect. By doing so, you are actually helping the environment. Insulation is also an excellent sound absorber and can assist in reducing noise transmission through walls, ceilings and floors making your home or your work environment quieter and peaceful.

The most important project in improving a home is security and safety. It’s undeniable that crime is increasing every year and is invading any home even those considered safe communities. Keeping your family safe is always the first priority. Install electronic devices such as home alarm systems for doors and windows. Attach motion detectors that sense movement or the heat given off by one’s body. The most common incident that could happen into your home is fire. That’s why it is necessary to be aware of fire safety measures. Be prepared by installing fire alarm systems, purchase fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

Improving a home can make you spend hundreds of dollars, but the return on investment is all worth it. A beautiful, comfortable and safe home is what matters most. Anyway, it is a very rewarding feeling seeing the great results of your newly improved home.

DIY Home Improvement Ideas

DIY Home Improvement Idea #1

Install handmade shelves. Rather than purchasing typical cookie-cutter shelves, consider visiting a local craft fair or woodworker for customized shelves. Everything from style, color, design and cutouts can be customized with handmade items. Shelves are ideal for storing tools in the garage or knick-knacks in the family room.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #2

Replace vinyl flooring or install new tiles. These days, convenience is everything. It’s easier than ever to replace vinyl flooring or install tiles with simple self-adhesive backing for easy placement. This will literally give you a new floor surface within a few hours.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #3

Install carpet. Before making a purchase, be sure to measure the area that you need to carpet. If you need to cut carpet, it’s not a problem and special cutting tools can be purchased at any home improvement store. Simply roll it out and secure it to the floor for an easy DIY home improvement project.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #4

Install a ceiling fan. Not only will this add beauty to the room, but it will also help to circulate the air. Just be careful during the installation process and when climbing up or down a ladder.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #5

If you are a big fan of wallpaper, then you already know that it can start to peel from time to time. It’s inevitable. At some point, wallpaper will need replacing and it’s arguably one of the easiest home improvement projects that you can do. Wallpaper is sold at any home improvement store and can be cut to fit any room in your home. During installation, be sure to smooth the paper as you go in order to avoid bubbled areas.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #6

If you like the idea of sitting out on the porch or deck and watching fireflies light up in the night, consider adding an outside addition to your home. Plans can be purchased online or at some home improvement stores, along with the materials needed to complete the job.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #7

Painting your home, either inside or out, is a very popular way of improving it’s overall appearance. Always be sure to read the instructions and use paint in a well-ventilated area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #8

One of the more sensible DIY home improvement projects includes the installation of a dusk to dawn lighting system outside of the home. This type of lighting will automatically turn on if there is any movement outside of your home and is ideal for anyone, whether you live out in the country or in a larger area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #9

As winter time rolls around, many people begin to consider replacing their windows to ensure that they are protected from the elements. Many people think of windows as simply something to look through but, in fact, they are much more than that. Windows can actually help to keep warm air inside your home and the cold air out during those harsh winter months, which will make it more comfortable for your family and also your wallet where heating costs are concerned.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #10

Install wall paneling. If you don’t like the idea of painting or simply prefer the look of paneling, a visit to your local home improvement store could be the answer to your next DIY home improvement project. Wall paneling is sold in sheets, is pre-cut and ready for installation. All you need to do is place it in the desired location and secure it.

Create Added Value to Your Home

When you want to add value to your home there is probably no better place to start than with a well done bathroom home improvement and kitchen repair project. Many home improvement plans include one room or another, but as this article will discuss it can be extremely valuable to consider combining both the bathroom home improvement and kitchen repair as one larger project. You may find that you save money by doing both at the same time too.

The kitchen and bathroom are two of the most heavily used spaces in the entire home. The kitchen is often considered one of the primary places in the home. Perhaps, the most beneficial improvements you can do when consider a bathroom home improvement and kitchen repair project is to start with the kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Many people start with the bathroom and kitchen cabinets, but often times you can make a change to the counter tops, and then get by with just touching up the cabinets to cleverly save a couple of hundred dollars.

Stop and plan before you rip those countertops out

When choosing your countertops you will want to decide on three very important factors before you get too far involved with this project.

One – How easy do you want to make them to clean?

Two – Will you use any tile on your counter tops?

Three – Could you possibly add an additional sink?

If you are thinking about selling your home you may want to strongly examine more closely the look of your counter tops rather than how easy they are to clean. If you are considering tile accents for your counter tops this could rapidly involve a little more expense, but if your home is in the higher value range it may be a smart way to go. If you have the space it would be wise to consider definitely adding an addition sink in the kitchen. Maybe you could even add a vegetable sink.

Saving money with a little bartering

Since you will be doing both a bathroom home improvement and kitchen repair you can buy both countertops at the same time, and perhaps save a little money with some bartering. You might get a better deal with this method by visiting your nearby building supply and dealing with the owner of the store directly rather than a larger corporate building supply company. Your next bathroom home improvement and kitchen repair project should be a success if you plan ahead and think about the matters discussed in this article.

The Best Home Improvement Shows

It used to be that the term “Home Improvement Shows” garnered images of Bob Villa, standing in an old house, describing every action as he hammered. While these types of shows were highly informative, they weren’t busting with entertainment appeal: if not for the pounding of the hammer, you might have fallen asleep.

Nowadays it’s different; home improvement shows aren’t only concerned with being educational, they are also concerned with being fun to watch: they want to touch on emotion as much as they want to touch on intellect. For these reasons, the home improvement shows of yore have all but gone away, and the home improvement shows of today are improving television ratings.

The following is our list of the best home improvement shows, shows that hit the entertainment nail on the head.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC: In its third year of Prime Time exposure, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is seeing extreme success. A show that takes the houses of struggling families – families struggling because of health problems, impoverishment, or natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina – and makes them into architectural and designer masterpieces, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition leaves us all wondering what we would do if we had endless money, and a crew of hundreds. On an unselfish front, this show also tugs on our heart strings, leaving us joyful that the burden of a struggling family has been somewhat lessened. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is the only home improvement show that can routinely make us cry.

Design on a Dime, HGTV: All of us want to remodel, redo, redecorate, but not all of us have the resources. For those of us without tens of thousands of dollars to spend on home improvement, Design on a Dime is singing our song. Design on a Dime features a team of designers who take a budget of a thousand dollars and do wonders to a house. This show shows us that a regular old boring room can be turned into one with flair and appeal without spending great amounts of money. Sure, you might not be able to design on literally a dime, but you might be surprised at how frugally you can fix up your house.

Trading Spaces, Discovery Home: Dueling banjos meets home improvement, Trading Spaces is a show that allows two sets of people to redecorate one room in the other’s house. With each set of people having only two days of decorating, and a budget of just a thousand dollars, Trading Spaces is a great show for people who need quick, cheap decorating ideas. Though the show grants each set of people a carpenter and a designer – two things you might not exactly have lying around – it is still a show that sparks creativity in the person who knows they want to improve their house, but isn’t sure how.

Toolbelt Diva, Discovery Home: I am woman hear me roar, or at least hear me pour cement. Toolbelt Diva is a show that teaches us all that home improvement isn’t just for the boys. A do-it-yourself program hosted by Norma Vally, this show is aimed at encouraging women to take the bull by the horns: it grants women power…tools. Enlightening, entertaining, and educational, Toolbelt Diva shows the world that you can engage in home improvement and have a uterus….all at the same time.

Home Improvement, Now in Syndication: Sure, the show Home Improvement – with Tim Allen wrecking havoc on just about anything he touches – is definitely more of a show on how to destroy your house than one on how to repair it, but it makes our list for one reason: it brings heart and comedy to the usually boring concept of fixing up a house. A show that aired on ABC from 1991 to 1999, Home Improvement, eight years later, still has a unique way of bringing out the handyman in all of us.

Tips for Home Improvement Home

No one will argue that increasing the value of your home through home improvement projects
is a great idea. However, large home improvement projects can become quite expensive. Home
improvements lighten your wallet and empty your savings account. Careful planning and
thinking about all your financing options is necessary before beginning your home
improvement project. Below are a few tips for home improvement home equity loan financing to
take into consideration.

Home improvement home equity loans are becoming one of the most popular loans when it comes
to home improvement. Because the interest is deductible from your taxes, It’s a viable tool
for borrowing money. Interest rates on home improvement home equity loans are usually lower
than the interest rates of other types of loans. Another good thing about home improvement
home equity loans is that they are fairly easy to get.

Home improvement home equity loans are great loans for home improvement because the project
can greatly increase the appraisal value of your home. This is a loan that is obtained to be
able to get additional investments for use in the future. Home improvement projects such as
bathroom additions, bedrooms and home extensions can increase the value of a house. However,
some home improvement projects don’t really result in increasing the value of the house. The
construction of a swimming pool is one such project.

Take care when getting a home improvement home equity loan. Don’t forget that the collateral
that you are putting up against the loan is your own house. If you can’t make the payments
and make them on time, you could end up losing your home. You borrowed money for the sole
purpose of improving your house and losing your house would be a disastrous situation
indeed.

Many people use home improvement home equity loans for other reasons. The money is sometimes
spent finance other expenses such as vacations or everyday needs. Steady appreciation of
their houses is what people rely on to be able to pay for the debt. If the value of their
house depreciates at the end of any period, they are in huge financial hot water. This is
why home improvement home equity loans should be used for the improvement of your home
because the risks of depreciation are lower.

Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Home improvement can be a bit of a pain, a pain in the neck and a pain in the checkbook. It typically involves long hours, patience, and a good amount of money. If this wasn’t enough, home improving your house is also often wrought with mistakes, mistakes that can cause longer hours, more patience, and even more money. For this reason, it’s important to avoid as many mistakes as you can, and improve your chances at a pleasurable home improvement experience.

Don’t Buy Cheap Materials: Inexpensive materials may seem like a great idea – why buy limber for a hundred dollars when you can get it for fifty dollars – but home improvement is one area where the mantra “you get what you pay for” holds very true. It’s easy for others – neighbors, friends, and potential home buyers – to notice when someone has tried to beat the system by applying only one layer of paint, placing new linoleum over existing tile, or using duct tape instead of a decent adhesive. Instead of buying cheap materials, splurge on expensive ones: there is no point in engaging in home improvement if it’s not actually going to improve your home.

Don’t Forget to Make a Plan: You might have the urge to dive right in, thinking that home improvement is just a long name for home improv. But, engaging in any form of home improvement without a plan is like going on road trip without directions. Avoid frustration and potential mistakes by preparing a written plan ahead of time. Make sure your plan reflects that certain things will take longer than you think, certain things must be done in order – such as sanding a deck before you can seal it – and that certain things must be given adequate time to set and dry. It’s also a good idea to include some flexibility in your plan: remember that in home improvement some things can suddenly come up, such as the floor.

Don’t Interview Just one Contractor: Contractors are like mechanics: some are honest and some are greasy. For these reasons, it’s important that you audition several contractors for the job at hand. Make sure the contractor you hire has a good reputation, a license and proof of insurance – don’t be afraid to ask for actual documentation. And, if you are having a hard time finding a contractor you trust – if every one you’ve interviewed reminds you of a politician – ask for a referral from people you know. Your friends, your family, or the butcher at your local market may all know of a great contractor. Take your time in hiring help: it’s better to be safe than scammed.

Don’t Do Things Yourself that You Can’t Do Yourself: Home improvement, for some people, is a time when pride comes out: it gives self-proclaimed handyman a chance to prove their handiness. For this reason, people often tackle jobs for which they aren’t really qualified. If you know nothing about installing a sink, don’t install one yourself: hire a plumber. If you know nothing about pre-wiring a ceiling fan, consult an electrician. If your legs shake each time you climb a ladder, have someone else fix the roof. Don’t put yourself or the quality of your home improvement at risk by being too prideful to ask for help: hire a contractor, then just tell everyone that you did it yourself.

Easy Bathroom Home Improvement

Ever want to make some over all decorative changes in your home. Are you tired of looking at the same look day after day, but don’t feel like you have the knack for coming up with a new look. There are some simple things you can do to make a bathroom home improvement. Have you ever gone to some one else’s home and admired something they did and thought, gosh I could do that, or even thought, I could never do that. With just a little bit of desire, you can not only come up with some good ideas, but you can do them yourself as well. This article will show you how easy bathroom home improvement is, and you can do it for less than twenty five dollars.

Since we spend quite a bit of our time in the bathroom, it is important to make that room look not only clean and sanitary, but appealing as well. A bathroom home improvement doesn’t have to require replacing big items such as a new sink, or tub. When we think of a home improvement, we get the picture of remodeling or building, but it can be something very simple like, replacing a mirror on the wall. If it makes the room look better, it is a home improvement. Maybe the mirror in your bathroom is looking old, or you are just tired of it’s size or shape. You can go shopping at any second hand store, or garage sale, and pick up a mirror that you love, for under twenty five dollars. Your bathroom home improvement won’t have cost very much, but the new look will make a huge difference.

Another bathroom home improvement that doesn’t cost much, is to change the color of the room. You can buy paint at discount stores now, and buy it in any color you would like. The truth is, there are so many colors to choose from, you will probably have a hard time deciding which color to choose. Most all places that sell paint, have small color samples that you can take with you, so you can actually place them up on the wall, to kind of see what it will look like. I recommend you doing this too, before you begin this bathroom home improvement. Colors often look different under the store lights than they do in your actual home.

If you don’t second hand shop, you should try it, because it can be a lot of fun. You might find some real treasures for a bathroom home improvement, that won’t cost you much at all. You might want to begin looking for new handles for the cupboards, or you might even find new faucet handles that look new, and would be beautiful in your bathroom. If you shop around, you can find that a bathroom home improvement can be done for less than twenty five dollars because what you are after is a new look. Just replacing your shower curtain, rod, and matching a towel set could be considered a bathroom home improvement. How easy is that.

Claiming a Home Improvement

The approach of spring often encourages homeowners to start considering home improvements and repairs. However, before you start getting out the hammer and nails or hiring a contractor consider if your house improvements may be eligible for a home improvement tax deduction.

The first thing the homeowner must understand is the difference between a home improvement and a home repair. Simply put, a home repair is classified as fixing a problem. For example, repairing a hole in the roof, fixing a leak or repainting a room would be considered repairs. On the other hand, remodeling a kitchen, adding a couple of rooms, building a garage or installing a swimming pool would be classed as improvements. These improvements add to the living amenity of the home’s owners and usually add value to the home.

The Internal Revenue Service sets out strict guidelines on how a homeowner can claim a tax deduction for home improvements. It is strongly recommended that before you hire a contractor or start any improvement works that you obtain advice from you tax consultant or from the local office of the IRS.

Tax deductions can fall into any of several different categories. A medical condition that required providing disabled access to home would normally be classed as a home improvement.

There is a special tax deduction for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Consult with the IRS regarding the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act as it increases the permitted qualifying house improvement loans.

If you are planning improvements to an area of your home that is in need of repair you may be able to include the repair as an improvement. The Tax Act states that where a repair is carried out in the same area of the home that is being remodeled then the repair can be included as part of the remodeling project. So, if you are planning on remodeling your kitchen don’t forget to take care of the leaking pipes at the same time and claim the entire project as a deduction.

Tax Credits vs Tax Deduction

Tax credits can also provide significant savings to the homeowner. Whilst a tax deduction for home improvements can reduce the amount of income on which tax is payable, a tax credit directly reduces the tax itself. Tax credits are available for many types of home improvements. For example, installing insulation, adding energy-efficient windows, and some types of highly efficient equipment for cooling and heating, and solar water heating may all qualify for tax credits.

The IRS has many helpful publications to assist homeowners who are about to embark on house improvements so a visit to their website or calling into a branch office will usually provide the homeowner with a wealth of information.

And when you begin your construction remember to maintain accurate records of spending and save all receipts… this will assist you enormously when the time comes to claim your home improvement tax deduction.

The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincident that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest growth rate in recent years.

I believe that a profound shift is taken place in the home improvement industry. This shift has embraced certification, accreditation and independent verification as the new rules of doing business. As a contractor who has been in the business for many years, for me, this shift means one thing – a chance to increase market share by showcasing a brand that understands and welcomes the new reality. Indeed, homeowners are beginning to demand this higher standard of training and perceived credibility to measure value. And, the surest way to achieve this is by checking for the credential of companies and the skill of their people. Now, besides the old ways of relying chiefly on word-of-mouth recommendation, customers will be able to more independently check for and measure the training and professional underpinning of a company. This is quite a significant development in the home improvement business brought on by dramatic emphasis on energy efficiency improvements in building.

The Federal government and large utility companies have contributed to this by providing tax credits and purchase rebates respectively for energy efficiency improvement initiatives. States have seized on these opportunities and have enacted changes to their building codes to encourage higher efficiency standards in building. The State of Massachusetts for example, has adopted the ‘Stretch Energy Code'” which its cities and towns are using to promote energy efficiency improvement to their building stock. The execution of these strategies create jobs, save money on utility bills and decrease the Carbon output to the environment from buildings. The savviest of small home improvement contractors are using these new rules to improve their companies’ image to portray a well trained professional operation. The majority of the buildings in the nation are in need of some sort of energy efficiency improvement, if we are committed to improving our building stock then the adoption of these new rules are just the start of the revolutionizing of the home improvement industry.

To be clear, the changes that are taking root are a result of the budding Home Performance Improvement industry that is taking shape and which is buttress by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national credentialing and training organization. Indeed, I believe two things, one, this is setting a new benchmark for the professional assessing of the home remodeling industry. Two, brand recognition will be an important criteria in selecting a home improvement company. The companies that recognize this and make the necessary positioning adjustment will be the winners.

All in all, these new rules that are required to operate a professional home performance improvement entity will no doubt usher in a change in the way the home remodeling industry operates generally.

Home Improvement And Repair Projects

The popularity of HGTV (Home & Garden Television) has created a
thriving market in do-it-yourself home improvement and interior
decorating. All sectors of the home improvement industry have
benefited since HGTV started airing in 1975.

The real estate boom was followed by a home improvement boom.
People would buy a old house and want to redecorate the house
from floor to ceiling. People who had lived in their houses for
a while wanted new kitchen cabinets. The home improvement shows
were an impetus for a massive movement by homeowners to start a
remodeling revolution

The home improvements that people take on include makeovers from
the attic to the basement. They perform functional repairs like
fixing a leaky roof, replacing windows, and adding more room to the
house. Then there are the projects that are just for the
beautification of the home like updating kitchen, remodeling a
master bedroom.

Some people use home improvement as a creative outlet. They paint
and redesign just for the satisfaction of improving their living
space. HGTV has been a large contributor to the home improvement
revival.

HGTV reaches 89 million households every week and over 800,000
nightly prime time viewers. The format of the show has been copied
several times and spin offs like Trading
Spaces, Extreme Makeovers. Viewers sit for hours watching
“Design on a Dime” “Devine Design”, “Landscapers Challenge”.
The home improvement shows just keep coming.

HGTV provides instructions for thousands of home improvement projects.
They provide video clips for everything from garden projects to
constructing a bed. HGTV is the one-stop resource for finding anything
you need for expert help with “doing it yourself” projects.

HGTV makes home improvement look easy and fun. HGTV gives viewers
new ideas and inspires the week end warrior to do some type of home
improvement project. HGTV mission is “to provide ideas, information,
and inspiration for decorating and home improvement”.

The impact that HGTV has on home improvement can be measured in these
statistics.

  • Furniture sales grew by 75%, between Between 1995-2005

  • Sales of home furnishings increased 97% in this same period.

These items included soft goods as well, carpets, lamps, area rugs,
linens, glassware

People all over the country are decorating their homes to look like
these superbly beautiful fantasy creations that they view on HGTV.
If you are not a “do it yourselfer” you can just imagine the way your

home might look when you go on tours of million dollar home all
across the country. You see people who look like you making grand
improvements to shacks that end up looking like your dream home.

HGTV has had a dramatic impact on the home improvement industry
because HGTV appeals to the age group of people who have the money
to pay for major home improvement projects. The demographics of the
typical HGTV is a female age 35-64 years old. Over 70% of HGTV
viewers are females.
That means that the female viewers are encouraging husband, fathers,
brother to do the work so they can enjoy the benefits.
The additional general consumer demographics for home improvement by
female indicate:

  • They shop more often

  • Visit more stores

  • Spend more than the typical shopper

The target demographic for the Do It Yourself Website is:

  • Homeowners

  • Ages 25-54

  • Incomes of $60,000

  • Internet access

  • Propensity for home improvement

The home Improvement Research Institute studies show that both men
and women are active participants in the planning of home improvement
projects as well as the purchase of those products used for
improvement.