Need some work done on your home? You’re not alone. Most people have areas of their home they just aren’t satisfied with. Some homeowners decide to hire a contractor to get the work done quickly; others decide to take up the challenge themselves. If you plan to go the latter route, you must do it right.
Create a Detailed Plan
Plan everything before you start paying for materials. You should have a specific idea of what you want long before you attempt the project. Decide what kinds of materials you need, how much time you will allot to it each week, and how much money you are willing to spend.
Starting without a plan like this can severely impact the overall quality of the project. It may become aimless and drawn out—making the project more of a burden. You might not be financially ready to commit to massive DIY renovations. Make a written, detailed plan and you will avoid many of these stumbling blocks.
Spend Time Learning
While most people who pursue DIY projects usually have some knowledge of the craft, you should still spend time learning the process. You won’t regret learning about every step of the process, because in the end, you will have a better product.
Develop your knowledge of hardware. Understanding your tools and common industry slang can help when you spend time researching. This doesn’t just stop with hardware procedures, however. You should also learn the interior design vocabulary to help you when shopping around for products. That way you can guarantee you are getting the right furniture for your home.
Find Help if Necessary
Acknowledging when you need help is also essential. While accomplishing a DIY project yourself can be extremely rewarding, sometimes you may be in over your head. You can also unintentionally make things harder for professionals if you have worked on a project above your experience level.
In these cases, it is important to know where to look for help. You should seek online resources that rank different contractors by their skills and services. Read reviews left on digital platforms and search engines. Based on the comments, you can determine who is the best contractor for you. Don’t feel embarrassed—contractors do projects like these frequently.
These are just a few of the ways you can get your DIY project complete. You can certainly train yourself online and use your experience to make it work. You also might need the professionals to do it. There is a solution for everyone!
Read this next: What You Shouldn’t Forget to Check for in a Home Inspection
When it comes to protecting your home and protecting your family members, there are a lot of things you need to do. It can be difficult to know where to start. But thinking about specific things you can do to protect your family members’ health at home will represent an important step forward.
One of the biggest problems that your home can have that can affect your health is mold. Mold is especially likely to develop in areas of your home where it is moist—like bathrooms and even certain areas of your kitchen.
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent mold from growing and spreading. Make sure you have good ventilation in your bathrooms and that your family members actively use those ventilators. Also, make sure that you have good air circulation. This can help ensure that damp air does not rest in the same place for long periods.
Additionally, make sure that you do not have any areas of your home where water is often left sitting. Check areas of your bathroom like the corners around the outside of your bathtub for still water. If you find any problem spots, figure out what’s causing the stagnant water to collect and prevent against it.
When it comes to harming your health, pest infestations can make a huge difference. Pests bring with them different problems and diseases. If the pests themselves were ever to bite you or your family members, you could have serious serious problems. Cleaning your home and removing odors will help you prevent rodent issues in the future.
If you live in an older home, your home could have been painted with paint that had harmful materials in it that have since been banned. Of these materials, some types of older paint and even tile or certain types of flooring contain asbestos.
Asbestos is a material composed of small fibers that can become trapped in the lungs if they become airborne. Being careful to test your paint or tile before ripping it out will help you prevent painful repercussions for your health.
Figuring out how to care for your family is difficult enough. Making sure your house stays in great shape too only adds to everything. Starting with the above things will help you get off to a great start.
Read this next: How to Tackle Deep-Cleaning Tasks Around the House
When you buy a home, there are several things you’ll need to check for in the home inspection. You’ll need to get that home and its property because there are plenty of problems that could be hiding. This isn’t about peeling paint, which will be both obvious and pretty easy to fix, but about big-ticket items that can affect the livability of the property.
Hidden Water Damage
Water is the biggest enemy of your home. There’s the potential for damage to the foundation. If water is found to be in the vicinity of the house, you want the water to flow away from the house, not towards it. Outside, check the gutters and spouts, because if they aren’t functioning properly, it can damage the foundation. While external water damage is pretty easy to spot with a visual inspection, potential damage hidden inside a home’s walls can be harder to detect. To ensure that your home is safe from water damage that can lead to moldy walls, make sure your inspector takes the extra precautions of wielding an infrared camera to find water damage that exists beneath the surface of a home.
Some pests can pose serious risks to your health and that of your family. Carpenter ants, certain types of beetles, and termites are amongst the common wood-destroying insects that severely damage a home. In the worst-case scenario, a home inspector will find these destroying organisms after it’s too late. In this event, certain components of a home will need to be replaced, which could seriously affect a home’s value and buyer interest. If an inspector finds hazardous organisms before serious damage occurs, sellers will have to exterminate them.
Foundations are meant to stay in one place but, over time, water can cause the soil around the foundation walls to expand. When the water goes away, the soil shrinks and the foundation settles, creating cracks and pathways for water to enter the structure. If you don’t get the foundation checked, you may end up paying a lot of money to get it fixed. Most homes will experience structural distress during their lifetime, so it’s beneficial for you to get it checked out.
Remember: there’s no such thing as a perfect house. Your home inspection will likely turn up something one way or the other. Catching the issues early will ensure peace of mind.
How to tackle deep-cleaning tasks around the house
(BPT) - You know it must be done, but you just don't want to. It's been on the to-do list for far too long. You may try to ignore it, dodge it or even cover it up. It's your mess nemesis — your least-favorite cleaning task — and you dread having to tackle it.
Not all cleaning is equal
While some people enjoy cleaning more than others, everyone can agree that not all cleaning tasks are created equal. In fact, 88% of American adults have a least-favorite cleaning task, according to a new survey from the makers of home cleaning brand CLR (pronounced "clear"). When asked to liken their least-favorite cleaning task to a person, 33% of Americans said it's like a scam caller. When asked to choose between activities, almost half (43%) would rather go to the dentist than handle their least-favorite cleaning task.
Cleaning during quarantine
Considering the extra time people are spending at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, messes are more frequent and can quickly become bothersome. The frequency of cleaning has increased for most Americans over the past several months, but Americans are, understandably, split on their level of cleaning productivity during this time: 53% have tackled a cleaning task they've been avoiding for years during the pandemic and 42% have avoided at least one cleaning task during the pandemic.
Tips for conquering a mess nemesis
Whether it's soap scum, mildew, rust, stinks, stains or spills, it's time to show your mess nemesis you mean business. Follow these tips to get the job done right:
1) Set a date: It's easy to keep avoiding tasks you loathe, so set a time for when you plan to focus on cleaning and be specific. For example, at 10 a.m. Saturday you're finally giving the boot to that lime and calcium buildup on the shower door. Put on some cleaning clothes, play some motivational music and focus on getting the job done once and for all.
2) Stock ample supplies: Stock necessities, such as sponges, scrubbers and rags, before diving into any cleaning mission. Having the right supplies for the specific job makes tasks simpler. Use proper cleaning formulations for your task, such as the CLR line that has products designed to get rid of the grime in areas of the home, from the kitchen and bathroom to the patio, garage and beyond.
3) Follow directions and use safer products: Always follow the directions on any product to ensure you get the results you want without making the mess worse or damaging the items. Use products that clean effectively without unnecessary use of harsh chemicals. Look for products approved by the EPA Safer Choice Program, meaning they’re recognized as a safer alternative to traditional cleaning options that rely on the use of harsh chemicals to be effective, such as bleach.
4) Rally the troops: Whether it's a big mess that requires multiple sets of hands or a tough mess that requires a few people strategizing, help can make a big difference. Even if you need to focus on the mess nemesis while other people handle regular household chores, this can keep things moving forward thanks to teamwork. Get your partner, spouse, kids or roommates in on the action.
6 ways to improve the time you spend at home
(BPT) - After spending so much time at home in 2020, you might be running out of ideas to keep yourself entertained. If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, you’re not alone. Many people are looking for new ways to improve the time they spend at home. Follow these tips to revamp your space and enhance the time you spend at home.
1. De-clutter to cultivate calm
Make your home your happy place away from the hectic world. Target the hot spots for mess and get organized to regain peace of mind. Do a bedroom makeover to create a space more conducive to sleeping. Whatever you decide, your body and mind will thank you.
2. Binge a new podcast
Though they’ve been around for years, podcasts continue to grow in popularity. While you’re spending time at home, they can make you feel like you’re part of a fascinating conversation. Search for a subject or topic you’ve always wanted to learn about and dive in. And if you’re looking for a device with the latest technology to help you stay informed, check out LG’s newest smartphones --Wing, Velvet or K92.
3. Watch something out of your comfort zone
Sure, you could turn on another season of your favorite show, but why not try something completely different? Choose a topic you don’t know enough about and turn on a documentary. Or choose a show or film from a genre you don’t typically follow and see what all the hype is about. To help you stick with your new favorite, LG’s OLED TVs deliver the pinnacle of picture quality and offer access to the most popular streaming sites so you’ll have a vast library of content to explore.
4. Up your work-from-home game
If you’re working from home, you might be getting tired of sitting at the kitchen table or lounging on the couch. Make your work setup official by finding a designated office space within your home. Customize your space to help with productivity — like swapping your small laptop screen with an LG UltraFine Monitor for easier multitasking and an unencumbered view.
5. Increase your cleaning efficiency
Since you’re spending more time at home, you’re likely spending more time doing mundane chores. Get your cleaning done better and faster by boosting your laundry room setup. With a style-forward design that takes up half the space of a typical washer and dryer, the LG WashTower gives you the freedom to reinvent your laundry space. You'll have room for more storage, a pet wash station, or even a new desk set-up for work or hobbies.
6. Do nothing
When you’ve run out of activities, work and chores, there’s nothing wrong with just letting yourself be. Many people don’t take enough time to decompress and recharge. Take advantage of some downtime to de-stress and relax.
Small and simple actions can help make the time you spend at home more enjoyable. Follow these tips to get the most out of your downtime.
Discover Nature-Inspired Paint Trends for a Calming Home
(Family Features) When it comes to home design, color can change everything. From understated, clean hues and calming neutrals to soft greens and mid-tone colors with artistic qualities, a whole new style is just brush strokes away. With the right color palette, you can transform your space to highlight contemporary trends while creating your desired ambiance.
These curated Clark+Kensington color palettes, showcasing on-trend looks for 2021, are heavily inspired by nature and natural materials like raw cotton, linen, wood tones and soft, peaceful greens. The colors invite the best of the outdoors inside so you can design a personal refuge where you’re free to relax and unwind.
Each of these three collections, assembled by the experts at Ace Hardware, can help conjure a sense of calm and offer inspiration so you can thoughtfully incorporate color into your home.
Any color in these palettes can be selected and ordered from the comfort of your home online using in-store pickup, curbside pickup or delivery from your local store. Start with color samples to test your colors on your walls in different locations and under different lighting then order your gallons and painting supplies when you’re ready to complete your project. Find more inspiration and all the supplies you need to transform your space with paint at acehardware.com.SOURCE:
At some point, most homeowners will find themselves in the middle of a home improvement project. It might be because they're trying to build equity in the home to prepare to sell or refinance their mortgage, or it could just be the desire to make their home suit them better. Whatever the reason, there are some improvements that can really pay off when it comes to improving the value of the home.
A Large Master Bedroom
Having a master suite in the home is usually something of a given these days, but not all suites are the same. The ideal master suite features a comfortably sized room, a walk-in closet, and a comfortable adjoined bathroom. Keep in mind that bigger isn't always better when it comes to creating the most value here. Upscale master suite renovations don't have a high return on investment, so if that's your main reason for renovating, you're best sticking with minor upgrades like replacing the full bath with a walk-in shower. On the other hand, if ROI isn't the only reason for renovating and you intend to enjoy the end result, feel free to go more upscale. Just remember you won't be seeing the returns you might expect.
A Modern Kitchen
People tend to spend a lot of time in kitchens. Upgrading your kitchen to be more modern can be a good way to improve your home's value. Minor upgrades will get you a better ROI than major remodels will, so again it's important to consider the purpose of your renovation. Minor upgrades include things like replacing cabinet and sink hardware, refinishing the cabinets, and replacing appliances can do a lot to transform your kitchen. In addition to giving your kitchen a more updated look, new appliances tend to be more energy efficient. You should see a corresponding change on your energy bills afterward.
Replacing Your Roof
Roofs last a long time, so you don't need to replace them often, but eventually there will come a time when a roof replacement is a good idea or even necessary. You may find yourself needing to replace your roof if it's been on your home for about 15–20 years, especially if it's become weathered. This isn't a project you want to undertake unless you need to, but if you do it can be a good opportunity to improve your home's value. There are a lot of different options for materials to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Spending more on roofing materials can be a good choice over the long term. More expensive materials tend to be more durable and last longer, which can really help your money go further in the long run.
Curb appeal matters when selling your home. It's what gives buyers a good first impression of the property. The higher the curb appeal, the higher the value of the property. Even if you aren't selling right now, it feels good to come home to a property that has an attractive exterior. You may not think about your home's siding very often, but it can make a difference in your home's curb appeal. If you choose to replace your siding, there are different materials to choose from. Your choice will impact the return on your investment, so you'll want to balance that with the pros and cons of the different material options.
Updating the Bathroom
Like the kitchen, the bathroom is another room in your house you can often rely on to improve your home's value with a remodel. And like other improvement projects, if you want to get the best value for your money and maximize your ROI, your best bet is to go with minor upgrades rather than a full overhaul. You might consider making minor upgrades such as replacing the shower head, replacing the vanity, and upgrading the lighting. This can give the bathroom a more updated, new look that is brighter and more pleasant to be in.
Your landscaping will greatly contribute to your home's curb appeal. It can also have a strong impact on how much you enjoy your yard. It's more pleasant to be in a yard that has been well kept and is neat and orderly than one that has been allowed to grow beyond its boundaries. Avoid the temptation to solely focus on landscaping the front yard. Buyers will look at the backyard, and you'll probably be spending time in it as well, so it's best to pay attention to both.
Replacing the Entry Door
For a much smaller project that still improves curb appeal, try replacing your entry door. Your front door is one of the first things buyers will see, making it an important part of making a good first impression. This relatively simple project can have a huge impact on how welcoming your home is. A steel door offers the best return and can help improve the security of the property. You can boost the welcoming appearance of your home by choosing one with narrow windows on either side that help open up the home and look beautiful at the same time.
Adding a Wood Deck
Decks can add a great deal of appeal to a home, and wood decks can offer you a good ROI. If you have the space to accommodate one, you should consider adding a wood deck to your property. While they can be expensive to add, and proper maintenance will be essential, you should end up recouping a lot of the cost of building it when you sell. Decks offer great opportunities to entertain guests or enjoy some personal relaxation time. Especially with the recent emphasis on gathering outside, having a space to do that will appeal to many buyers.
Home improvement projects are not all created equal in terms of the value they can add to a home, not to mention the return on investment they offer. If you're trying to build equity in your home, your best bet is to focus on projects that will give you the best return on your investment. This will help you get the best value out of your money and maximize your profits when it's time to sell the house.
Read this next: How to Change Up Your Home’s Exterior Design
At some point during your tenure as a homeowner, you're likely to find yourself facing at least one home improvement project. You've probably heard plenty of people tout the benefits of the DIY approach to projects. Sometimes figuring out if that approach is good for you can be a little tricky though.
Know What You're Getting Into
Not all home improvement projects are created equal. Different projects require different skills, different materials, and different tools. Before you get started on a home improvement project, research what goes into getting it done. This should help you get an idea of whether or not you can handle it yourself. Know the common mistakes DIYers make and how to avoid them. Consider that sometimes projects don't go as planned and that complications can arise. Think about those problems. If they're things you feel confident being able to handle, the DIY approach could be a viable option for you.
Don't Be Afraid to Get Professional Help
Even if you started your project fully confident and capable, you may need to call for reinforcements. Sometimes even your best researching efforts aren't enough to handle things when they go wrong. Alternatively, it may just be a project you're best off calling for professional help to get done. Either way, there's nothing wrong with getting professional help. Find a good contractor who has experience with your project. You may find looking into the reviews left by previous customers helpful in selecting your contractor. If you're concerned about review quality, choose your source carefully. Houzz prevents anonymous reviews, so you can be confident in the quality of the information you’re seeing.
Projects You Shouldn't DIY
Depending on the project, making the decision to either take a DIY approach or hire a professional can be very simple. There are some projects you just shouldn't DIY. Major plumbing projects, wall removal, installing new lights, or anything involving your electrical panel are not good DIY projects. It's best to leave roofing projects to professionals as well. These projects are often dangerous, requiring special skills, knowledge, and licensing beyond what your average homeowner possesses.
It's important to figure out what your approach to your next home improvement project will be before you get started. If you aren't already sure, make sure you figure out what you're getting into with the project. Remember, it's okay to ask for help if you need it. After all, there are some projects that are best left to the professionals, and that's just fine.
Read this next: How to Change Up Your Home’s Exterior Design
Interested in Publishing on The Home Idea?
Send your query to the Publisher today!