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6 Tips to Carry out a Smooth DIY Home Improvement Project

October 17, 2022
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The satisfaction of tearing down warped drywall or expanding a too-tight closet is hard to top. But accomplishing a do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement project on your own is a different story. It takes a lot of patience, a heavy dollop of motivation, and, most importantly, a solid game plan.

A lot can go haywire if you don’t plan and prep properly, from picking the wrong tools for the job to not ordering enough tile when you’re revamping your kitchen backsplash. (Trust us, we’ve been there.)

To help you avoid a total DIY disaster, we chatted with home improvement experts to get their best tips on carrying out a smooth home improvement project. Read on for their helpful hints—and get ready to take your space to the next level.

Move the Unwanted Out of the Way

Home renovations mean caked-on dust, piles of debris, and a lot of trip hazards. Top that with a cluttered work zone; you’ve got a recipe for injury.

The first step in preparing for any home improvement project is to clear the area of as much clutter as possible. It includes removing furniture, knick-knacks, pictures from the walls—anything that will get in the way or become a potential safety hazard.

But where to store all that stuff? The perfect place to keep all your valuables safe is in a storage unit in your region. For instance, if you are in Grande Prairie, approach a storage facility to ensure your belongings are kept in a safe space. So, check out Grande Prairie storage units and carry out the DIY project without worry. 

Ensure to label everything, so you know where it goes when moving back in.

Evaluate and Re-evaluate Your Plans

You might have a clear vision of your dream kitchen in your head, but that doesn’t mean it will fit in your space. And that new island might look good in the catalog, but it might be too big for your kitchen.

Before you start any demo, it’s important to take measurements of your space and create a floor plan. It will help you determine what changes you can and cannot make.

Budgeting is another no-brainer when it comes to home improvement projects. Determine the precise amount you can realistically afford to spend on your project, and then consider financing options. Home remodeling or repair loans are available for those who qualify.

You should also always have a contingency fund for unplanned expenses—you never know when you’ll run into an issue or make a mistake. Having to halt your project in the middle because you can’t afford to fix an error will only add more frustration (and costs) in the long run.

Load Your Arsenal with the Right Tools

You were able to get away with using a butter knife to remove the old caulk around your bathtub. But chances are, you will require more than that for your home improvement project. Make a list of all the tools and materials you’ll need for your project, and then purchase them or rent them ahead of time.

Some essentials to have on hand include:

  • A toolbox 
  • An impact driver (if you’re working with screws)
  • A saw (hand or power)
  • Cordless clamps (great for holding pieces together while you work)
  • Cordless vacuum (to clean up as you go)

Depending on the project you’re working on, you may also need more specialized tools. For example, if you’re tiling your bathroom, you’ll need a tile cutter. And if you’re painting your kitchen cabinets, you’ll need a sprayer.

Most importantly, research before you start the project to know which tools you need and how to use them. 

Don’t Take the Media’s Word for It

Just because you watched it on HGTV doesn’t mean it will work in your home. That new design trend may look great on a TV show, but it might not be practical for your lifestyle. Similarly, gutting the entire bathroom for a new masterpiece all by yourself isn’t as simplistic as the pros make it look.

There’s always some level of misguidance when watching home improvement shows. The takeaway should be inspiration instead of a how-to guide. So, set realistic goals and accept what you can’t do before starting your project.

You’ll soon realize that hiring a professional for certain tasks is worth it to save yourself the headache—and, sometimes, the hospital bill. Anything that involves gas or plumbing should be left to the professionals. Also, don’t mess with your roof unless you want your insurance rates to go up.

Be Careful with Permits

You might get away with a little bit of a demo without a permit, but most home improvement projects will require one. Depending on the work you’re doing, you may need the following:

  • Building permit – covers most structural work like adding a room or deck
  • Electrical permit – crucial for any electrical work, including outlets and fixtures
  • Plumbing permit – needed for anything that involves the gas lines or water lines

If you’re unsure whether you will need a permit, your best bet is to contact your city or county planning department. They’ll be able to tell you which permits are required for your project.

Not pulling the proper permits can result in some hefty fines—and could even get you arrested. Usually, a general contractor will take care of pulling the necessary permits for you. But it’s always good to know what’s going on.

Give Equal Importance to Your House’s Exterior

The house’s exterior is just as crucial as the inside—maybe even more so. That’s because it’s the first thing people see when they pull up to your house. If the outside is in disrepair, it can negatively impact your home’s curb appeal—and, ultimately, your home’s value.

So, don’t neglect your house’s exterior when planning your home improvement projects. If your siding is cracked or faded, replace it. If your gutters are falling off, fix them. And if your front door looks a little worse for wear, give it a fresh coat of paint.

Landscaping is also a significant way to improve your home’s curb appeal. Something as simple as trimming your hedges or planting some flowers can make a big difference.

 

Conclusion

Home renovations are exciting. The fresh coat of paint, the new countertops, and the updated appliances add to a brand-new home without the price tag. So, it’s natural (and justified) for you to be tempted to start your project by jumping right in and tearing everything out, but trust us—that’s not the best idea. Research all the aspects of your project, make a plan, gather your supplies, and then—and only then—should you start working. And always remember to take safety precautions.

5 Steps To Planning Your Perfect Home Renovation

October 10, 2022
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Home renovations are a great way to give your home a completely new look. Although the renovation can sound daunting and stressful, relax because it will all be worth it when you see the final result. Make a plan before the renovation starts that will facilitate the whole process. To have an order to follow while changing things in your home, you should first determine the priorities. That way, you will know what you need to focus on the most and what to do first. To make this process easier for you, below are necessary steps you should follow. If you do it, your home renovation will be successful. Keep reading to find out about the first steps to your perfect home.

Plan renovation budget

The first thing to start with is planning a home renovation budget. It is crucial to know how much money you have available so you can plan the rest of the renovation details. By planning the budget for home renovations, you can avoid any hidden surprises and costs during the renovation. At the very beginning, it may be hard to determine how much money you need, but try to make it approximate. Do not forget those sudden problems that may arise during the renovation. Set aside some money for them. Doing so will ensure that all work will be done – as planned and on time. If you are not skilled in budget planning, one of the budget planning applications will help you in this.

Set goals 

Goal setting is one of the top priorities in a home renovation plan. To set a goal, you need to know how you envision the final result of the renovation, whether the renovation will change your daily life, etc. Think a few years into the future and set your goal based on that. When you have a goal, the renovation process of the house will be much easier. When you have a planned budget and set end goals that you want to achieve, the renovation process can continue to flow smoothly.

Hire experts

It is necessary to hire experts from different fields for all your wishes to be fulfilled. That way, you will be sure that your home renovation is in good hands. Although we often think that we can and know how to do many things ourselves, it is still necessary to leave it to the experts. If you are planning a complex renovation and want someone to be present and in charge at all times, hire a project manager. The manager will oversee the entire renovation process making sure everything is on schedule and within budget.

In addition to the project manager, you can hire an architect, interior designer, and many other experts who can make your home look the way you want it. By hiring experts, you will get various opportunities and services they offer, such as 3D virtual house tours. This way, you can see ​​how your renovated house will look from a 360-degree perspective. 

Choose quality materials

Invest in quality materials if you want the home renovation to be perfect. In this way, you will ensure that in addition to a nice visual look, you will also get quality. In this way, your home will gain even more value. Quality materials do not necessarily have to be the most expensive materials. Also, consider the possibility of buying used quality materials. Storehouses are great places to find second-hand materials like bricks, doors, and the like. If you invest in quality materials, you can relax and enjoy them because their lifespan is long. Make a good choice!

Add security components

Your home is the place where you feel most beautiful and safest. When renovating the house to the very end, don’t forget to add some safety features. One security feature is security doors and windows that prevent thieves from breaking into your home. In addition, you can add blinds that will secure your home and also provide an insulating effect during the summer. You can also add additional security locks to your home’s doors. All the security features will complete the renovation of your home and make it safer.

Wrapping up

Renovating a house is not an easy process at all. If you want it to be successful, you need to plan home renovation in detail. In addition to this plan, it is necessary to make a good financial plan so everything can proceed smoothly. Don’t forget to set your final goals, hire professionals, purchase quality materials, and add safety features to protect your home.

It can be frightening to come into contact with a scorpion. Generally speaking, scorpions do not attack humans unless disturbed. A scorpion that lurks in a home or garage is likely searching for accessible food sources, a warm spot to sleep, or a place to escape the weather.

You can easily get rid of scorpions. However, before you prepare these steps for getting rid of scorpions or knowing when to hire someone to get rid of them, you must determine that there are scorpions living in your house.

Below, we have discussed the signs of scorpion infestation, possible precautions, and tips on how to get rid of them.

When is a Scorpion Infestation likely to occur?

Be on the lookout for these four common signs that Scorpions have infested your home in the summer months.

  1. A lot of small insects around your house, such as beetles, ants, and flies, are scorpions’ main sources of nutrition.
  2. Citrus trees provide a perfect hiding place for them, so be cautious if you have one near your residence.
  3. Residents of newly developed buildings should stay aware as construction may disrupt their natural homes.
  4. There are likely more if you spot one in your home.

Considerations relating to safety

  • When inspecting or trapping scorpions, wear long, thick gloves to prevent painful stings and pinches.
  • If you prefer to catch scorpions from a distance, you can use extra-long tongs and put them in jars.
  • Sighting, a scorpion in your home, is most probably one of the biggest signs of scorpion infestation, so you should take action as soon as you see one to prevent an infestation.

Tips on Getting Rid of Scorpions

  • You may want to have the foundation of your home sprayed by an experienced pest control company to eliminate the scorpion’s food source, which is small insects.
  • Check your yard or house for scorpions at night using a UV black light.
  • Use a glass jar to trap them because a scorpion cannot climb around it and bite you.
  • Directly spray Insecticide onto a scorpion.
  • You can place sticky traps in areas where you spotted scorpions or other insects to capture their food sources or the scorpion itself.

Here is a detailed outlook on the steps you can take to get rid of scorpions once you realize they are on your property.

Make sure your property is scorpion-free

When exposed to UV light, Scorpions’ bodies glow fluorescently. After dark, check your property with a black light to see where the scorpion may be hiding. Look for cracks in the foundation under windowsills, porch rails, huge rocks, or decorative pillars. The scorpion also prefers places with debris, such as woodpiles, shoe closets, or wall voids.

Remove Scorpion food sources from the property to make it unattractive to them

Eliminating their food source is the most effective way to prevent scorpion infestations. With regular pest control, other insects will be discouraged from inhabiting your property, so a scorpion will not be interested in hanging around. Keeping your garage and patio clean and free of small bugs requires regular sweeping and tidying.

Seal all the interior gaps, cracks, or holes in your house

Even a big scorpion could squeeze through even the tiniest crack. You must repair or seal the holes in window screens, foundation cracks, or gaps around cable wires with caulk. Close off the underside of outside doors with weather stripping to keep scorpions from getting in. Tighten the screens on windows and vents. Make sure to seal up any cracks or holes in your plumbing, electrical, or bathroom systems.

Get rid of their hiding places and maintain your lawn

Many pests, including scorpions, are attracted to a long, unkempt lawn. Trim and maintain the lawn to minimize insects’ access. You may also want to be cautious when stacking wood near your home, as it is their favorite hiding spot. If you plan your yard, keep all landscaping at least two feet from your house to get rid of all their hiding spots.

Apply scorpion killers and sticky traps

Insect traps, glue traps, and scorpion traps are useful tools for trapping all sorts of insects, scorpions, and rodents. Placing them in areas where scorpions are likely to enter, such as bathrooms and near windows, doors, or food is a good idea. Because of their thin legs and minimal contact with the ground, scorpions are less affected by an exterior pest control spray, but a direct spray with an insecticide will kill them.

Get rid of scorpions on your property by trapping them

You can catch individual scorpions in a glass jar if you do not wish to pick up traps or use chemicals. Wear long, thick gloves if you need to work around a scorpion. Then, once the scorpion has been placed in the jar, pull the mouth of the jar shut with construction paper or card stock and move the scorpion to a different location. In order to make sure that the scorpion will not return, you should take the steps described above to prevent it from returning.

It is best to hire a professional for this task

When it comes to dealing directly with scorpions, or if you worry about how to get rid of them, a local pest control company will gladly assist you in eliminating the infestation. Fortunately, scorpion experts are very adept at detecting even the smallest cracks in your home through which scorpions can enter. During their visit, you will be able to find out what type of scorpions are on your property and what method is most effective to remove them.

Conclusion

There are a number of factors that can make removing scorpions difficult, such as an excess of debris, food sources, or easy access into the house. It is important to follow these steps carefully to avoid being stung during the process of eradicating them. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional to deal with your scorpion issue if you don’t want to deal with it yourself. A professional will get the job done efficiently and give recommendations tailored specifically to your household to prevent further infestations.

There are millions of people in the world with some kind of visual impairment. However, the one thing they all have in common is the wish to be as independent as possible. This requires their home to be spacious, well lit, carefully laid out, and with easily accessible tools and furniture. Luckily, this is not that hard to achieve, so here’s how you can remodel a home to fit the needs of the visually impaired.

Think about the lighting and colors

Brighter colors help those with partial blindness see a bit more clearly, so if possible, paint the walls of your home in such colors. If that’s not an option, then try to create a strong contrast by placing lightly colored furniture items next to darker walls and installing lightly colored doorknobs. Also, try to avoid patterned upholstery.
In terms of lighting, the best thing to do is let in as much natural light as possible. Furthermore, glare can be very harmful to the visually impaired, so keep that in mind and perhaps switch to stronger light bulbs or those that simulate natural daylight. Make sure there are extra lights in the closets ‒ not just the bedroom ones but all that are often used. Finally, add extra lighting in the areas that are prone to accidents, like stairways.

Think about the location

It’s not just the interior you need to think about; the visually impaired are more vulnerable when it comes to thefts, robberies, and other kinds of crimes. This is why if you’re looking for a new home for your visually impaired friend or family member, you should make sure it’s in the safe neighborhood. For example, if you are from Australia, there are many nice new homes in Sydney that are well designed and located in safer areas of the city.

Reduce the risk of falling accidents

If there are any repairs that your home needs, it’s important to take care of them on time. This includes broken staircases, torn carpeting, missing handrails, etc. Also, don’t keep around more furniture than you absolutely need as it only creates obstacles that make moving around more difficult. Moreover, don’t leave lying around anything you could trip over or slip on ‒ put away all your shoes as soon as you take them off, don’t leave clothes on the floor, and clean any spills as soon as they happen.

Additionally, supporting handlebars are extremely important because they allow the visually impaired to use the toilet and shower on their own. Besides the handlebars, you should also add non-slip flooring in the bathroom for the safety of the users.

Mark the appliances and food

To make it more convenient and easier to find one’s way around, use differently colored labels or brightly colored fluorescent tape on all the kitchen appliances. Also, you can’t really tell what’s in cans of food just by shaking them, so they should be properly labeled. If your visually impaired friend cannot see colors, you can use Braille indicators instead of colored labels. Rubber bands are also good for labeling food cans; for example, you can use two for fruit, three for vegetables, etc. Moreover, if there are any helpful signs that need to be made, always place them at the eye level and use larger letters.

Image source: homecrux.com

Consider getting a dog

Dogs are not called a man’s best friend for no reason ‒ they can make people feel safe both physically and emotionally. For example, people are less likely to pick on those who are accompanied by a dog, and dogs can help the visually impaired move around more quickly, especially if they are feeling uncomfortable. Plus, nobody can feel lonely around such a sweet and protective friend.

For those who can’t see well, there are safety hazards everywhere. Accidents do happen – but you can still eliminate their chances in your home by thinking about the lighting, colors, labels, and all the other details that can make the life of people who are visually impaired that much easier. If you take care of everything, you can truly create a safe and comfortable home for those who couldn’t do it on their own.

One of the most important decisions in your home is choosing the right flooring. It’s the biggest choice of all, some floors fit in rooms and not in others, so it’s important that you choose exactly the right one for you. This blog is going to take you through some of the rooms in your house, and hopefully, help you to make a decision.

Living Room/Bedroom

Your lounge and your bedroom are the places where you’ll spend most of your time at home relaxing and kicking your feet back, so it’s important to make sure that you have ultimate comfort and a superb sense of style. Your living room is essentially your pièce de résistance, and a room that is used for relaxing, but also hosting dinner parties so it’s important you find the right middle ground. Your bedroom, however, is the ultimate relaxation zone, so it is important your flooring reflects that.

For your bedroom we’d recommend hardwood flooring, in particular, engineered. Warm colours add a lovely aesthetic to your room, and make it feel incredibly homely, especially as the winter months roll in! It can also have underfloor heating installed. Living room wise, we’d recommend parquet because it has a beautiful style, but is also incredibly practical. It’s a very traditional zig zag style flooring, so adds a really stylish addition to your house. It is also incredibly practical and durable.

Kitchen/Bathroom

One of the most difficult places to choose in your house is your kitchen and bathroom. Both rooms are exposed to moisture and water, so it’s important to ensure that whilst getting the style is important, it’s also imperative it’s practical.

Laminate flooring is our recommendation, it is sturdy and water resistant, and can still look stylish, it is also the most cost effective. Hardwood flooring has a tendency to expand in wet conditions, so it is best avoided in these rooms. They will also be areas of high traffic and heavy footfall, and laminate handles the pressure well.

Dining Room

The final main room in your house is the dining area. You’ll find with this room sometimes style is a little more important the practicality, so a classy and elegant design is what we would recommend to ensure you impress your parties and guests.

The two best options are hardwood and Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT). LVT is a practical alternative to hardwood and is an all-purpose solution. It has great durability features and would fit perfectly in your dining room. It comes in a number of different designs, and can easily cope with these stress of scraping chairs and any spillages with considerate ease!

Article was written by Ben Duke from Poshflooring.co.uk