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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Space Exploration in Home

Lofts or attics are typically used for long-term storage, or even left to stand empty, in many houses. It’s a waste of valuable space as a loft conversion can add several rooms to the home – often with great natural lighting from skylights or windows that are unshaded by nearby buildings. Plenty of light makes loft rooms ideal for a home office, or there’s the possibility of creating a small ‘studio flat’ with a large bedroom/sitting-room and ensuite bathroom; even a kitchenette if the space is available.

This may be the perfect place for teenagers craving independence, and would be great for a lodger once they eventually do leave the nest. Because a loft conversion essentially takes advantage of unused space, there’s little impact on the existing rooms in the house, but do bear in mind that a staircase usually needs to be added if the loft is to be used every day!

If another bedroom isn’t needed and you’re just looking for a little more living space downstairs, a conservatory can be a great choice – especially if there’s a sunny garden to make the most of. It doesn’t even need to be warm outside if the conservatory is well-insulated with cosy furnishings. This can make a beautiful dining room, playroom for children, or a studio for art and crafts, as again there’ll be good natural light during the day. Many people choose to have a conservatory to provide a welcoming, relaxing space for parties or just to chill out – all it needs is a couple of sofas and a good sound system. It’s also a good choice for gardeners, as delicate plants can be sheltered indoors but still benefit from the sunlight.

A third option, which can add almost any amount of space to improve an existing room – or to create a new one – is to undertake an extension. Naturally, this is only suitable for those who have unused land in a garden or driveway, and it’s not always simple, as surveyors, architects and planning permission will be required. However, the actual building work can be quite quick and the cost of ‘upgrading’ is often much less than that of moving to a larger home.

All about Bathroom Tile Design

Size.

If the area you have in mind is small and the tiles have designs on them, use a smaller size as large size does not help in giving a light airy feel. Also too large a image may not suit small area so choose a smaller one.

Patterns.

The visual effect that you can achieve is limited only by your own imagination. A large variety of standard designs are now available. Some manufacturers may even make a special custom product for you.

Choice.

Google pictures is a great place to get some thought juices going. There are over a million pictures here alone.

For more inspiration, look at magazines or every day buildings as you travel around.

Suitability.

There are several types and styles available but the one most suitable and used by professional craftsmen are the water resistant ceramic type. At the planning stage, those are the ones you usually need.

Color.

If you use a plain color, the size isn’t that important, however try to follow the rule above anyway.

To help, I cover this quite important subject in some depth another article, as it really does set the tone and mood you may be trying to achieve.

Use of natural and artificial light.

Here’s the trick, to get a light airy feeling.

A small areas can present real problems but this were a little fore thought comes in very handy.
Lack of space can make an area feel cramped. So try and use plenty of light which helps and so does a mirror or two on the walls. Light color is an excellent way to give a sense of getting that bigger, more airy feel going. The key is get available light reflecting, so giving that impression that the room is larger than it really is. Try to use white or light pastel colors. Dark colors will give the opposite effect,of been closed in.

Mosaic and the power of contrast.

Most washroom areas are just plain white,which is fine if that’s all you want. I always think is a bit like been in a clinical area of some sort. Yes it is light and airy but bland and a bit boring.
Using a light color as the main background,use a more decorative mosaic to add interest,which really works wonders. A whole range of colors and shades are available to chose from. How about the image sea wave going around at waist level or ducks? What ever pushes your buttons. Give a little thought to how the result will look as you go. Keep an eye open look at other peoples for ideas.

Tricks Remove Wallpaper in Wall

EXPERIMENT

Before you do anything you want to determine, as best you, can how easy the paper will come off. If you applied the paper initially, did you “size” the walls? “Sizing is a primer product made to prepare walls for wallpaper and can be found wherever wall paper products are sold. If so, your paper should come off without much difficulty. If paper is applied directly to the sheetrock it’s almost impossible to remove it without damaging the sheetrock. Builders often do this when they build a house to save time and money, so if the wallpaper has been there since the house was built this may be true in your case.

Look for a loose corner on your paper and pull it slowly. Is the paper thin or thick? Does the piece break off quickly or does it pull more paper with it? If the paper pulls fairly easy and the paper is thick your job will probably be easier than if it is very thin and stuck firmly to the wall.

CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS

If the paper looks like it doesn’t want to budge and the seams, corners and edges are all firmly in place you might want to consider leaving the paper in place and installing new paper over top. If you are planning to paint, the seams can be light spackled and a primer coat applied prior to painting. This can be done by a homeowner but your results may be better if you hire a professional.

TOOLS NEEDED FOR REMOVING PAPER

If you decide to remove the paper, go to Hope Depot, Lowe’s or True Value and buy a garden type pump sprayer, a bottle of DIF and a 5 inch spackling tool. You will find all of these things in the wallpaper section of the store.

Mix the DIF with warm water according to the instructions in the pump sprayer. Spray a section of the wall starting at the top and including a seam. The DIF will work into these areas loosening the paper. Let the DIF sit for ten minutes. Working with your spackling tool, if necessary, begin at a corner or a seam and loosening the paper begin to remove the paper by scraping and/or pulling being very careful not to work so fast or dig so deep as to damage the sheetrock. Sometimes if the paper is tightly attached and the walls have not been sealed the paper surface of the sheetrock will pull off with the paper. This requires spackling repair prior to re-papering or painting, and while not impossible to fix, adds work to your project.

Let the DIF do the work for you. Spray ahead of where you are working so it can be loosening a section while you are working on the one that has already been sprayed. If it is not coming of fairly easily, spray a second time and let it sit another 10 to 15 minutes.
As you work, you will begin to get a feel for what works best in your particular situation. You may find once the paper is soaked thoroughly it comes of in sheets.

Once the paper has been removed, the walls will need to be prepped prior to installing new walls or painting. There is a wide variety of circumstances one can encounter at this stage. Wallpaper manufacturers use different types and quantities of glue on their papers. Some is thin and watery and not much of a problem and some are very thick, leaving behind a heavy layer of residue. If you are wallpapering, it is less of a problem than if you are painting. Still, if a substantial amount of glue remains on the wall you will want to scrape it off and wash the walls down with water or a mix of water and DIF just enough to remove the bulk of it.

Stainless Steel Sinks

  • Stainless steel sinks are relatively easy to clean and they tend to stay looking new for a longer period of time as long as they are cared for properly. You would not have to worry about leaving orange juice stains overnight, as it can easily be cleaned the following day. Stains can cause dulling and scratching however, so it is still best to wipe debris and spills as soon as possible. Putting rubber or plastic mats in the sink can protect it from scratches and protect its shiny surface.
  • There are lots of durable and beautiful stainless steel sinks that do not have rims or seams. The absence of seams gives a very modern and sleek appearance. These are usually made from one single solid steel sheet. Seamless sinks are easiest to clean and to keep clean. There are no crevices or cracks where bacteria, germs and grime can hide in.
  • Stainless steel sinks come in various styles so that you can easily find one that will suit your kitchen theme and style. They are also available in various colors, sizes, and finishes so that it is compatible with any kind of cabinetry or furniture.
  • Stainless steel sinks come in single, two-bowl and three-bowl models, each with varying depths. Depending on how much kitchen work and washing you do, there are a wide variety to choose from. For instance, if you wash lots of pans daily, you can choose a deep, two bowl sink to make sure that there is room for soaking, and for multi-tasking. You can specifically choose one that will best suit your kitchen needs.
  • The best advantage of stainless steel sinks is that they are relatively cheaper than other materials, such as granite. Prices of kitchen sinks vary depending on various factors such as sink size, finish, manufacturer’s brand or image, and features it may boast about. There are a wide variety of choices so that you can definitely find one that will best choose your budget without compromising quality.

Bespoke Furniture

Do your research

Choosing the right craftsman is probably the most important decision you will make during the project. The best way to find a reputable cabinet-maker is by word of mouth. Regardless of whether they come by recommendation or through an advertisement, you should always ask to see some of their past commissions – they will probably have a portfolio to show you, but visiting past customers and looking at finished products will give you a better idea of the service and quality of work.

Check for hidden costs

A good cabinet-maker will pay a visit to you at home in order to see where the furniture is to go and to discuss how you will be using it and what specific ideas you have. They will then draw up a design for you and give you an initial quote, but be aware that you may be charged separately for the design itself before any work is started. This is simply to deter time-wasters, but make sure you establish whether the initial quote you are given includes this.

Measure up

It may seem obvious, but once your cabinet-maker has supplied you with your design, do check that the measurements are accurate in terms of how the piece will be used. For instance, if you are having a dining table made to match a set of chairs, make sure that the chairs will comfortably fit underneath the finished product. If it is a corner unit, the exact angle of the corner should be checked to ensure the unit will fit snug to the wall.

Well placed

You should also take into account the position of the furniture. Will it be in direct sunlight? In this case you will need to choose a light-fast stain for the wood. Will it be near a radiator? This could warp the wood, so it might be an idea to move the radiator along the wall.

Timely finish

If the furniture is for a gift or a special occasion, such as Christmas, it is sensible to agree a finish-date a few weeks before you actually need it, in case there are any problems and the project goes on for longer than expected. Once you have the final piece, have a good look at it to make sure it is perfect. Don’t be afraid to complain about a poor finish or request a slight alteration on the design – you want this piece to last for years to come and you should be nothing less than 100 per cent happy with it.

Faucet Replacement

The first step in faucet replacement is looking for the right faucet. Although there are many types, styles and combinations of faucets in the market today, the first thing you have to be concerned about is whether the faucet you choose will fit into the old sink.

Also keep in mind that for supply connections, there are two possibilities. Your faucet could either have flexible copper supply inlets found in the center of the unit, or the inlets could be located under the hot and cold handles.

Before anything else, shut off the main water supply. You can do this by shutting off the control valve found under the sink. It is also recommended that you prepare all the necessary materials beforehand, and don’t forget to prepare some penetrating oil in case the mounting nuts are hard to remove, and are stuck. It is also best if you have someone around to help you in handing out the tools as you work. Also, don’t forget to plug the drain with rags so that small parts like screws and bolts cannot go down the drain.

– Remove the old fixture

First, remove the nuts that attach the hose to the faucet body and the spray head to the sink (if you’re using a faucet with sprayer). Remove supply lines and set them aside. Remove the mounting nuts that hold the faucet body to the sink. Use your wrench for this. If mounting nuts are difficult to pry loose, use penetrating oil.

Once faucet is removed, clean the sink from putty and mineral deposits by scraping it off (you can use a steel wool).

– Attach new faucet to the sink

You can use a rope of plumber’s putty or install a gasket either to the sink or to the faucet. Put the new faucet in place, making sure that it is parallel to the backsplash. Move under the sink and ask someone to hold the faucet for you while you work. Screw on a washer and mounting nut on every inlet, and tighten using basin wrench.

– Connect supply lines

Cover inlet threads with Teflon tape or with pipe joint compound. Afterwards, twist the supply line nut on the inlet and start tightening it, by hand at first, and then by wrench. Connect shutoff valve to the other end of supply line using the same procedure.

If flexible copper inlets are used for water supply, the same applies, except that you have to ascertain that no copper tubes are twisted. The faucet could become destroyed if copper tubes are twisted.

– Connect and adjust the pop-up drain assembly

If installing a bathroom faucet, insert a ball rod into the opening located in the drain body. Secure it using the nut provided. Slip the rod through the clevis strap. Afterwards, secure it using spring clips. Lower the rod through the hole near the rear of the faucet spout, up until the holes at the upper end of clevis strap. Tighten the thumbscrew and adjust the rods.

Build Wood Fence

Before you get started you must first figure out your fence line. This will help you calculate the materials needed to build your fence. When determining your fence line the best thing to do is talk to your neighbors. If you’re in disagreement you can look for the property survey markers or if all else fails have your property surveyed. It’s best to keep the entire fence on your property. Once you know the fence line mark it with a string line. Using stakes hammered into the ground run the line 2 feet past each end of the fence line. Secure the string tightly to the stakes.

Next you need to treat your posts by following the manufacturers recommendations. I would suggest treatment at least 8 inches above ground level. You can also purchase posts that are pre-treated from your lumber store if you wish.

Measure your post holes 8 feet apart. I wouldn’t recommend any further apart as through time your fence may sag or lean. Dig the holes about 28 inches deep. Make sure all posts are of equal distance apart. It’s now time to prepare your concrete for setting the posts. Mix your concrete with 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 3 parts gravel. Add water and mix to a thick consistency but at the same time wet enough to pour all the way around the posts. Fill each hole 6 inches deep. Now it’s time to place the posts in every hole. Use a level to make sure each post is plumb and barely touching the string. Finish filling each hole to about 2 inches below ground level. Double check each post making sure it’s plumb.

After the posts have set it’s time to add the railings. Make sure to set the bottom rail 8 inches above ground and be careful to have both ends the same height from the ground. Fasten the top rails by measuring from the bottom rail up to the desired position. Finally attach the middle rail central between the bottom and top rails.

Before you nail the boards to the railings you might want to consider staining or painting them first as it is easier than doing this after they’ve been fastened. If you decide to go this route you should also stain or paint the posts and rails prior to attaching the boards. Using a spacer to maintain equal gaps you can begin nailing the boards to the rails, using 2 of the 2 1/2 inch nails hammered on each rail. Use a level to make sure the boards are vertically plumb.

Now that your fence is up you probably want a gate. First you need to determine the size of the gate. I would recommend a gate no less than 3 feet wide. You should build a frame with the 2×4’s overlapping and attach a middle rail for durability and strength. To allow room for the hinges and latch make sure the gate frame is built allowing 1 inch narrower between the gate posts. Next attach the fence boards and finally install the hinges and latch.

Information of Garage Floor Painting

Most garages have oil and grease stains, these spills make the floor unsightly and hard to clean. Garage floor painting with the right type of paint will make cleaning spills much easier because these paints are made to withstand the grease and oils spilled in your garage. Before you apply any paint though, the floor must be completely clean. You will likely have to purchase some type of cleaner that will remove all the stains and dirt from the floor. In addition, the floor must be completely dry before applying any paint.

When cleaning your garage floor, it is very important to wear the proper protective clothing such as gloves and safety glasses. There are concrete floor cleaners available at most hardware stores or do it yourself centers. If you cannot find a commercial concrete cleaner then a mixture of three parts water to one part bleach may work. Apply the cleaner to the stains and after a few minutes, scrub with a stiff bristled brush. Then you must rinse thoroughly and wait for it to dry before doing any garage floor painting. A pressure washer would be a good idea for the rinsing part of the job.

If there are any cracks in the floor then they will need to be repaired with a concrete repair compound. If there are large cracks then a concrete patch is required. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for whatever concrete repair product you use. Before starting any garage floor painting, the repairs must be clean and dry.

The next step before your garage floor painting can begin is to test the floor to determine if it needs to be etched. Sprinkle some water on the floor and if it does not absorb quickly then apply commercial concrete etcher. Again, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Etching will allow the paint to adhere to the floor much better. Once again, let it dry completely before moving on.

Prime the floor and allow it to dry for eight hours at least. Now you are finally ready for the actual garage floor painting. Once the first coat has dried for a day, then determine whether a second coat is required.

Tips Hang Window Box

(1) brackets are installed to the home and then the box is secured separately to the brackets or (2) the window box is bolted directly to the home through the back face of the box.

If brackets are used, they are generally functional, although sometimes faux brackets are available that lend no mounting support at all. To mount brackets you will need to begin by measuring the height of the box and offsetting the brackets by that distance beneath the window sill. Next, you will need to measure equal horizontal spacing from the center of the window sill to each side for bracket placement. If the box is longer than 48″, three or more brackets are generally recommended. To hang a window box on siding or stucco, you will want to find the studs and anchor the brackets at those points for the most support. The stud is best found inside the house and under the window with a stud finder. Screw the bracket through the siding with four 4″ thick gauge screws, two at the top and two at the bottom.

To hang a window box on brick, you will need to repeat what was done for stucco. However, unlike stucco, you will need a special “hammer drill” to drill into hard brick. Begin by pre-drilling a 1/4″ hole and then place a 1/4″ drywall anchor in the hole. Screw through the bracket and into the anchor and the bracket will be securely fixed to the wall.

Once the brackets are secure to the wall the window box can then be placed on top and be centered with respect to the window. Finally, drill through the bottom face of the box and directly into the support brackets until secured. It is generally recommended that your window box overhang the width of your window by 1-3″ on each side for aesthetics and to avoid looking disproportional.

If you wish to mount to the home without the use of functional brackets, the steps are very similar. Begin by pre-drilling a hole every 18″ in the back face of the box, preferably near the vertical center. Hold the box up to the window in the appropriate position and mark on the house with a pencil through the pre-drilled holes. Remove the box and then drill 5/8″ holes where you have marked. Place a 5/8″ lead anchor shield into the hole. Hold the box up over the lag shields and screw 3/8″ lag bolts with washers into the anchors until secured. This is the most heavy duty way to install a window box and circumvents bracket failure due to rotting over time. It is not recommended, however to install wooden window boxes this way, because the back of a wooden window box is usually the first part to rot out. This method works well with PVC window boxes made from solid material since they never rot.

Set Up Own Garage Sale

– Set up a date and time when you can dedicate gathering up all those assorted, old articles that you intend to sell in your garage sale, as well as being able to attend the sale.

– Plan just what items you intend to put in the sale.

– Decide whether you are going to hold the sale alone, or if you would like to have it with some other families.

– Be sure to have plenty of change on hand, both coins and paper money.

– You need to advertise and stick up hand written announcements a few days prior to the sale. Be explicit, concise and honest. Indicate specific place, date and time of the sale.

– Provide good descriptive details to avoid frustrating prospective buyers. Don’t drop the price of antiques, whether these are in good condition or broken.

– See that you include kids’ items in your sale. For example, doll clothing and accessories are always in demand, and dolls and stuffed toys are a hit with the kids. Remember that children are very persuasive when it comes to making their moms buy them something or just about anything they lay their eyes on.

– String up a clothesline to display any clothing items you may have.

– Set up card tables (or ping-pong tables) to display small merchandise. Set up these tables in a way that will leave sufficient elbow room for shoppers to browse without feeling crowded. Display your wares attractively. Make sure they are clean, usable (this is most important), and priced temptingly.

– Your prospective buyers are hunting for bargains. Don’t let them down. Keep in mind that the items you put up for sale are those you no longer have any need for anyway and, therefore, whatever you get from these items is surely a welcome addition.

– Put a price tag on every item. This will save you a lot of time from answering all those “how much” questions.

– Make sure you have electrical outlets close at hand to test all electrical appliances – irons, hair dryers, electric razors, blenders, toasters, electric skillets, electric fans, coffee makers, rice cookers, etc.

– Price drinking glasses, cups and dishes in sets instead of individually. These pieces will sell faster this way.

– Records, magazines, paperback books and items that have titles, on the other hand, will sell more easily if they are price-marked separately.