Category Archives: Home Improvement

Top Home Improvement Solutions

Going green is not just a fashionable whim. Adopting a variety of home improvement solutions for green living will allow you to conserve energy and water and save money, while preserving the environment for the future generations. You should not hesitate to use any or all of the following methods to accomplish all this.

Achieve green living by replacing your old appliances with ones that save energy. It is now easier than every to find energy saving air conditioners, water boilers and radiators as well as washing machines and dishwashers. You can readily buy smaller appliances designed with the same person in mind. There are even electrical shavers that are made to conserve energy. The investment might be costly, but you can separate it into different sages, starting with the replacement of the large appliances first. Spending money now will certainly pay off in the future.

Insulating your home is one of the best home improvement solutions for green living. Use insulation panels to cover your entire house from the outside. Installing wooden flooring is another superb option. The cork wall tiles are excellent for protecting the home from the outside environment. Install insulation window frames and treatments, such as curtains and blinds to complete this home improvement task.

Conserving water is equally important. There are various fittings designed for this purpose. You are highly recommended to install showerheads, taps and toilets that save water. An irrigation system with the same purpose is ideal for the garden. Check out other water saving options, such as instant water heaters and specifically designed waste water filters.

The use of solar power in the home is synonymous to green living. You can readily install solar panels and an energy converter and connect them to the electric system of your house. The costs of the materials and the installation are not small, but you can consider getting a loan. There are preferential interest rates for borrowing money for energy saving home improvements. You can get a tax allowance as well. As a start, you can install solar powered lamps, pond pumps and filters in your garden. This is much cheaper.

There are even simpler ways to save energy and water in your home as well. One of them is to have a shower enclosure or curtain in the bathroom. Planting trees near the walls of your home is a superb home improvement solution for green living. You will get insulation and the environment will have more oxygen.

Basement Repair Through Waterproofing

Home improvement can sometimes occur in the basement through the repair of implementation of its waterproofing feature. This area of the house or building is prone to various faults which can jeopardize the stability of the structure. It is important to add or compound this feature of any underground area to prevent the entrance of moisture or wetness that can be detrimental to the stability of the building. Having moisture or water in the room or area can make the concrete, wood or whatever substance is in the room deteriorate faster. The waterproofing implementation can also ensure that insects stay out of the area if it is applied well enough. Concrete is a common material used for this kind of home improvement to make the floors and the walls of this room, it is important to make it as waterproof as it can be. There are also other substances and solutions that can be used to waterproof the basement.

Application

There are times when building contractors actually recommend treating the area with waterproofing to make sure that their work does not go to waste. This can also be a standard procedure for new structures that have basements. There are some formulas that are commercial strength and others that are usually reserved for use in dwellings. In some case, there is one form that can be used for both commercial and residential purposes. The area that needs waterproofing application needs to be clean before any solution can be used on it for first time applications and redoing of the application due to old age. Before the implementation of this kind of home improvement, any excesses of the construction materials should be cleared from it. For reapplication of older structures, any loose or decaying materials should be cleared before any application. Some repair may be necessary for older structures because the debris and decay can compromise the application. Water accumulated on the floor should also be cleared and the floor dried in order to make sure that the solution does not weaken due to contact with it. Basement repair can be expensive which is why the application should be thorough and precise.

Cracks, joints or seams need to be carefully sealed to prevent seepage. The application for home improvement in this area may need to be applied initially and a second time after the first coating has dried. It is best to read the instructions that the manufacturer is likely to insert in the package. Some of the commercial products will need to be mixed with other chemicals in order to work while others come complete with the necessary tools and materials to mix it. The amounts of each solution, for those that will need to be mixed, should be correct. Some products are already premixed and will just need to be stirred, shaken or whatever the instructions say. This will ensure that the application is done right and there will be a lower risk of seepage or a leak in the coating.

Acoustical Home Improvement Products

Urban and even suburban environments have increasingly higher decibel levels. It is a well-known fact that noise adds stress to our bodies. Our senses continually process input consciously or unconsciously. For many people body downtime is hard to come by.

Ever sat in a restaurant and you could hear everyone around you but the person across the table from you with whom you came to enjoy a meal? This is a classic problem of insufficient noise control. The good news: it can be remedied. I often wonder why restaurant designers miss this part of restaurant design. It is such an important element in the enjoyment of a place & does effect whether customers return to a place.

Are there home improvement products that dampen sound in our homes, apartments, offices and public spaces? Are there materials that can return our homes to more peaceful sanctuaries? The answer is “YES”.

Not surprisingly, there are more and more products coming onto the market that promise sound reduction. We examine them here so that you can choose the right home improvement products in your upcoming home remodels.

Essentially, acoustical home improvement products fall into two product categories: One of those that block sound from the outside and two, products which provide sound absorption.

Sheetrock: Soundproofing drywall has been around for a number of years. The level of sound dampening depends on the thickness of the drywall and also the laying given to drywall. Each drywall 4×8 sheet consist of a system of layers. Specifically, a viscoelastic polymer layer is sandwiched by traditional gypsum. Continuing this system with manufacturers commonly also sell acoustical glues to provide even more noise control.

One tip: it is best to refrain from specialty wall finishes such as faux plaster finishes. Plaster is a hard surface that deflects noise instead of allowing sound waves to get to the viscoelectric membrane where they can be absorbed or neutralized.

Windows: Windows are in the first sound deflection group of home improvement products. In the past, so-called triple pane glass would dampen noise from the outside. It used to be pretty much the only solution. For a number of years special acoustical windows featured a diagonally or angled layer of glass between two outer glass surfaces. Recently, advances in new materials have created new – and I might add – exciting options. Pleotint, Inc. offers a window film that catches the proverbial two birds in one stroke. The Pleotint sunlight responsive thermochromic film (SRT) reflects sunlight to avoid solar heat build up inside a house or office AND it keeps outside noise out. It keeps outside noise out! It is state-of-the art technology- in fact so new that window manufacturers are evaluating the product presently. Homeowners: demand it with your upcoming window purchases!

Wood Flooring: Wood is an acoustically “hard” surface. Different manufacturers produce a variety of rubber and foam underlayment products. They work! Everyone who installs a new floor should include these underlayments. Especially when kitchen and living spaces are open to each other acoustical underlayment will dampen down the clanking kitchen noise that might otherwise interfere with someone’s reading or watching TV.

Tile Flooring: Everyone would concur that tile has no noise absorption. Great noise improvement can again be achieved with underlayments. There is acoustical foam underlayment. However it should not be used in combination with electric radiant heat installations.

Insulation: If you have ever built a house or added a new structure you know how sounds is muffled the moment insulation is installed. All insulation products have this effect. It is important to avoid compression of insulation to achieve maximum noise control. There are specialty-type acoustical insulations – every effective.

Wall Underlayments: Accoustical liners are another superb way of reducing noise. They work by absorbing sound waves. Manufacturers’ specifications typically carefully list what sound wave spectrum gets best absorbed by which specific product. Once insulation is installed the layer of wall underlayment gets tacked over the entire surface prior to the hanging of gypsum wall / sheetrock.

Wall /Ceiling Treatments: Much like wallpaper, walls can be lined with special noise absorbing fabrics and fabric panels. This is best left as a professional installation. It can be an attractive looking solution and might be a good solution when the opening of walls is not an option.

Home Décor: Curtains can be lined with a certain type of fabric commonly known as “bumper fabric”. It adds quite a bit of weight to the curtain but the noise absorption is terrific especially since curtains are naturally waving structure, which breaks up sound refractions. The right materials make even an audiophile happy who set out with the impossible: convert a large living room space with high ceilings, hard plaster walls and hardwood floors into a listening room.

One final note: Constant and thus often aggravating noise in a home environment can come from unskillfully installed equipment – otherwise known as rattles. In this case vibration mounts are usually the answer. A case in point might be the airhandler in your attic. Unless it is suspended from rafters or sits on airhandler vibration mounts air-handler unit is likely to rattle day and night…talk about stress.

Useful Tricks For Home Improvement

There’s not a homeowner alive who doesn’t wish their home was different in one way or another. Everyone wants to have a beautiful home, but the thought of going through with home improvement projects is horrifying. This article will give you some great information so that you understand the basics with regards to home improvement.

If you are planning something major in terms of a home renovation project, make sure you hire a professional to help with the plans. Unless you are a professional, your plans may not contain the correct function. Professional designers can create the plans you need to make sure your project is a success.

Believe it or not, you can actually fix the bubbles in the old vinyl tiles in your floor. You can usually cut into it to let the air out. Cutting it will make the bubble go down. Then shoot in some glue to keep that section affixed to the floor. Buying a form of glue that comes inside a syringe is an ideal solution.

Keep your floors protected while painting. This can help reduce stains, which can serve as a very costly expense. A cheaper way to get this done is to layer old newspapers. Plastic sheeting or inexpensive paint cloths will work, too.

Ceramic tiles will lose their luster after some time has passed and they may start to look grungy. Using a solution made of vinegar and water is safe for most flooring. Fill a bucket with the solution and easily mop your floor. The solution eliminates dirt and grime and leaves your floor shining.

Installing insulation in the attic is a great way to cut the cost of heating and cooling a home. You lose a high percentage of heat through your attic and ceiling, so some great insulation can really help. You should be able to find quality insulation in most hardware stores and installing it yourself should not be too hard.

Keep all of the baby food jars you have, as they can be helpful. Glue the screw tops underneath some shelving. Put little things in jars like nails, screws, or beads. The jars can be twisted into place in the lids secured under the shelf. This can help you save wall space using small jars you may have never though you’d need.

Questions On Home Improvement?

You would normally consult your family or friends or even neighbours when you have questions on home improvement. But how do you manage when none of these people are around? How can you consult someone who is not there? So whom should you turn to in the time of your need? Well, when you don’t have another person around, there are a lot of other options at your disposal. Some of your questions might find solutions if you read up articles on home improvement in a magazine or a book. You can flip any pages of home improvement catalogues or switch on your computer and enter the world of internet to find reliable answers to all your questions. It’s a whole new world at your fingertips which holds the answers to whatever questions you may have.

The help you would receive from magazines, books or catalogues is limited in the sense all these are published monthly or weekly, and if they don’t hold all the answers to your queries, you have to wait for their next issue to find the answers which could be anywhere next week or next month. Obviously, you cannot afford to wait endlessly once you are halfway through a job for the finishing instructions. So this option does not hold true for your problems.

The internet offers the best solution for you. It has complete information on everything and you can rest assured that your questions will definitely find an answer there. Every day, thousands of people all over the world ask home improvement questions and they leave the internet feeling very happy that all their questions have been answered. The information available on the internet is very vast whatever be the topic so your home improvement question is sure to find at least a hundred answers. Everyone encounters these home improvement questions but not everyone is able to find an answer on his own. So logging on to the internet provides the seeker with all the answers. So even if you have started a job with full confidence, but are stuck half-way not knowing how to proceed, rather than ask your wife about the solution, you can approach the internet and find all the solutions you need to finish your task triumphantly!

Insulating Your House Correctly Is The First Step To A Real Home Improvement

According to a range of official figures, the average house loses about a third of its heat through the walls (33%), a quarter through draughty doors and windows (25%), about another quarter through its roof (27%) and the rest (15%) through the floor. In an age of ever increasing fuel bills, it is wise to first ensure your home is losing and using as little energy as possible. This is possible for the average householder to do themselves or hire a local professional to do at a fairly low cost. Consider this before you even start to look at the solar panel or home energy generation solutions. Indeed some of these factors need to be considered at the same time as other large home improvements such as: fitting a new bathroom or kitchen, as a lot of these improvements can be done at the same time.

* How Is It Measured.

To improve the heat efficiency of a home it is best to start with the insulation. Insulation is measured using an ‘R-Value’. The R-value is a measure of thermal resistance. It is expressed as the thickness of the material divided by the thermal conductivity. The higher the number, the better the building insulation’s effectiveness. Every type of insulation will have an R Value. The higher the better, but the cost and convenience should be taken into consideration to find what is best for you at the current time.

* (1) Insulating the walls.

Insulating the walls is the way of saving the most but depends upon the build of your house. Brick-built houses can be insulated by cavity wall insulation. In the U.K. (at the time of writing) and other parts of Europe, the governments are ‘encouraging’ the energy suppliers to install cavity wall insulation free or with a subsidy. Newer homes generally have insulating panels inserted but older homes can have the material blown through small holes drilled into the walls from outside. Solid walls of walls needing extra insulation can be further insulated by special insulation boards or simply an extra layer of plaster board (2 Inches – about 50 mm) on the inside of the walls – which will require the electric wiring and sockets to be moved out but this is not as difficult or expensive as it sounds.

* (2) Going Through The Roof.

Heat rises through the roof so the loft is not just a place for storing junk but is a key place for stopping rising heat leaving your home. You can either insulate in the ceiling joists (loft floor) or in the roof joists (loft roof). Traditionally the ceiling joists is the area favoured but that means either your loft will become less usable for storing your rubbish or you will have to ‘extend’ your joists as current guidelines recommend about 270 mm thick insulation. The most common loft insulation is mineral wool although sheep’s wool and other recycled materials are also used. Laying blanket or loose insulation is very easy and the average loft takes about 2 hours. The insulation rolls should be the same width as the gap between the joists. Another easy solution is the ‘Space blanket’. Space Blanket is an ‘encapsulated’ glass mineral wool products for use between ceiling joists or on top of existing insulation. It is contained in a part metallised polythene film that reflects heat and makes them extra easy and comfortable to install. Insulating the roof joists is a little more tricky and depends upon what the loft is used for, it has the benefit of allowing you to use the loft as it is ‘heated’ by that escaping heat from below and leaves the floor spaces as usable as before for all your stuff. Insulation laid under the felt roof must have a ventilation gap of 50 mm behind it. Roof insulation has the effect of making the un-insulated parts of the roof coder than before, so increasing the risk of moisture. A vapour barrier (normally a foil coated plaster board is used). There are some installers that are using a rigid foam insulation system that in effect inserts a foam barrier in between the roof joists, a fantastic solution that can be sanded and painted but a little expensive if you are not planning a loft conversation. This solution is installed by spraying the foam into the rafters. It is a little messy but dedicated professional installers can do it with the minimal impact. One more solution could be a multi-layer foil ‘Thinsulex’-like solution which can easily be fitted to the roof rafters, it is best used in conjunction with other methods but can be effective by itself.

* (3) The Old Lag: Lagging.

Where ever your water cylinder is, it is well worth lagging it by fitting a jacket made from fibre insulation. Ensure all cold water pipes and any exposed parts of hot water pipes running through unheated areas are lagged. Insulate the cold water cistern but ensure the area below it is not insulated so that escaping heat can stop it from freezing in severe weather. If you are having a bathroom fitted get the bathroom fitter to check the pipes in the loft and use this as an excuse to get them lagged.

*(4) Window To Your Wallet: Double Glazing Windows.

Window technology has moved on significantly in the last few years and is often a good way to start a house make over. A cheaper way of ensuring your windows are insulated for the minimum of cost is by adding a second sheet of glass or plastic. By trapping an area of air, a 5% reduction of heat loss is achieved… Not great amount but something of a stop gap whilst you save for replacing your windows with modern double or triple glazing which can be fitted by a local window fitting professional. If you swapped all the single glazed windows in a three-bedroom house you’d save around £165 ($250) a year on your heating bill, as well as 680kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Double glazing should last for at least 20 years (so about £3,300 ($500) savings over 20 years). Factory made sealed units are made from specialised glass and are filled often with an inert gas that insulates both heat and sound.

Brilliant Ideas With Home Improvement

When you look to do up your house, remodel or reconstruct, you always want only the best. This is not just as far as the final look is concerned, but also with the quality and finish of the job completed. When looking for any major work to be undertaken in your home, it is best to look for home improvement contractors to get the job done.

Home improvement contractors have much more experience and understanding than the odd repair man. This is why they can get to the root of your needs, understand the design of the house and give you the best solution. They are almost like a one stop solution, giving you not only suggestions and solutions, but also offering you several products that you may be in need of.

When you approach a home improvement contractor, you will find that every kind of service is made available. This includes not just repair and remodelling, but also plumbing solutions and even painting assistance. They are extremely reliable, and can give you various solutions depending not just on your taste, but also on the budget you have planned.

When you trust in the services of home improvement contractors, you will notice that you have an array of choices to choose from. Offering you not just the conventional options, but also innovative solutions and the latest trends, you will notice your house take shape better than you expected. Additionally, you will also be assured that your house will be ready by the date promised. Not only are the contractors reliable and quality conscious, but also extremely flexible in their ideas and working methods.

Concrete Resurfacing Unique Solutions For Your Next Home Improvement Project

Did you know that concrete resurfacing may be the answer to some of your most challenging home improvement projects? Resurfacing, which is a thin overlay process, is generally known for its application on driveways, patios and outdoor living spaces, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Custom colors and textures can be applied to almost any surface from ceilings to floors and everything in between. Just think of the possibilities for your most challenging projects…out dated floors and counter tops, vintage kitchens and bathrooms, surfaces needing patching or repair work, damaged walls and ceilings to name a few! Cosmetic repairs can be integrated into the design. The concrete-acrylic coatings are applied directly over existing surfaces including and not limited to the following:

v Existing Tile

v Linoleum

v Painted surfaces

v Old paneling

v Glass

v Concrete, old or new

v Drywall

Creative resurfacing provides a practical way to enjoy, natural looking surfaces that are in many ways better than real stone or tile. These expensive looking surfaces are a fraction of the cost that you would pay for granite or tile.

These surfaces are durable, created to resist stains, mildew and most chemicals, fading from sunlight (UV) and are engineered to cure at nearly 8,000 P.S.I (that’s three times the rating of traditional concrete.)

Success With Home Improvement Business

Uppercase Living is a new network marketing opportunity that you might want to try out if you’re interested in using home improvement as a niche for profit. The company started in 2006 and is geared towards providing creative concepts to help homeowners turn their dreary home into a reflection of their own style.

To determine if this company has anything you are interested in, let’s discover what Uppercase Living has to offer and what it is all about.

Brief Company Profile

Uppercase Living offers creative decors and home improvement mediums to help style your home the way you want it without having to spend thousands of dollars on remodeling or new furniture.

The company displays its creations and offers through events called Open Houses. All the home improvement solutions and decors that are displayed at the open house are sold at the event. Also, these Open Houses are considered to be fun events as you would expect at parties.

Uppercase Living Products

The company’s products center around decorative mediums called expressions — which come in the form of pictures that can be easily applied on walls, wood blocks, and the likes. Besides pictures, texts and heartwarming phrases can be incorporated in the design of your bedroom, living room, kitchen or den to bring a touch of your own personality into your home.

Skills For The Business

Earning through Uppercase Living products does require that you become a demonstrator. Unlike a distributor or a direct sales consultant, the goal here is to utilize your home to host an Open House event, invite people over, socialize, and more importantly, show off the product for them to see and even make sales if you demonstrate the offer just right.

The beauty of the decors speak for themselves, you don’t have to become a direct sales person. You are demonstrating the decors by inviting guests, hosting parties, socializing and of course, telling your guests about the ‘expressions’ you have used in your home.

Compensation Plan

Now that you know how the company operates, it would be only safe to say that your main concern now is how you earn through their offers. You get to have a Free Product Amount, like a gift coupon, that will allow you to purchase products from Uppercase Living; as well as Half-off bonus for discounts.

You earn your Free Product amount depending on how big a sale you make during the Open House event. Minimum of $200 gets you $20 and over $1,500 is $200 with 4 items from their Half-off catalog. The website has a good chart to show how this works. In addition, you need to find an Uppercase Living Demonstrator to host an Open House event in your residence until you become one yourself.

Conclusion

Uppercase Living is not the standard MLM opportunity. It does not depend much on direct selling; but depends more on your talent to socialize. Yes, that’s all there is to it; invite your friends, families, work and office mates to your home during an Open House event and have fun. Demonstrate the products during the course of the event and earn your freebies along the way.

Home Improvement Project

When you are contemplating home upgrade through additions, you should look beyond your attic and your backyard. Your home improvement project must start at the basement. Your basement remodeling Cincinnati is the best and most practical home improvement solution. You can get more out of the space right beneath your home. It can add value to your home property by not just being a veritable storage space. The basement is actually a prime spot for your home improvement project.

Let us try to delve with some hard facts about custom home builder Cincinnati. A remodel is a cost effective and fairly simple home upgrade that will result to value added space to a home property. The cost of remodeling the basement with all the requisite add-ons would to deliver not a straight up remodeled space but a fully-functional and attractive addition is only about 25% of what you will actually spend if you work for an built-up expansion in order to have the same addition to your home property.

Here are some practical tips that you may adopt in your home development project. Your basement is one of the most ideal spot of your home property. It is that special spot in your home where the temperature remains constant all year round. The basement is naturally cooler during summer and warmer during winter. The full masonry foundation of the home structure is a natural insulation from outside noise which makes the basement as an ideal multi-function addition to your home. It can be converted as a playroom for your children, as your private den, a guest room, or even as special place for your favorite home theater system. You can accessorize these special spot of your home by adding a wet bar or even a kitchenette.

You can also convert this prime spot in your home as a practical party place that affords the privacy and leverage for whatever activities you are contemplating without worrying about prying eyes of neighbors and interruptions from uninvited guests.

Another upside of this type is that it normally does not require major work and alteration to the overall structure of your property. This is basically a “built-into” project as opposed to conventional additions which are categorized as “built-out” or “built-up.” The obvious result of this kind of home improvement project is that it will not lead to monumental hassles and troubles of the work significantly getting into your domestic daily routine. This is an “out-of-the-way” project confined in an area which is not really extensively used beyond being your storage area.

However, make no mistake about it. This has its share of major challenges that need the expertise of specially trained home improvement professionals. Special conditions of this part of the home include small windows, presence of structural columns and lowered ceiling. This overall condition of the basement requires special home improvement solutions to ensure that you get maximum benefit from such kind of home addition.