Home Improvements on a Budget

budget home improvement

As we all know, budgeting and home improvement does not always go together but this article will give you information that could help improve your home and still save a little money.

Home improvement projects regularly scare people off, because many judge that they will pay thousands of dollars to alter one room, because they do not have the skills to do the job them self. They may also feel that the job is costly because supplies and tools are needed.

To the contrary, home improvement does not have to be costly at all. Of course, if you hire a subcontractor or contractor to do the job, you will pay a fortune, but if you have patience and the ability to read and stick to the directions, then you can renovate an whole room in your home for fewer than a hundred dollars. Of course, you will need to change and correlate materials.

Before starting the procedure of improving your home, you will need to system of funds and a schedule to get started. You will need to ponder various notions when considering and preparing home improvement. For example, do you plan to paint your home? Do you plan to tile your home? Do you want carpet in your home?

Going through the final part of this article, you will see just how important budgeting and home improvement can be done which will help save you money and improve your home.

Asking questions is part of analyzing and preparing for home improvement. One of the best tools to have when considering home improvement is calculating what you like and calculating what you want. When I improve my home the first thing I do is explore my mind searching for favorites and what excites and appeals to me. Thus, when I go to the home improvement warehouses, I already have in my brain what I am ready to purchase, therefore this relaxes my quest to improving my home.

If you are short of funds to improve your home, then setting up a financial plan will help you get what you want as well as put away some cash for a rainy day. You may even think about purchasing equipment and tools for home improvement at the companies that propose lower prices and/or purchases with no payments until a particular date. This notion will give you time to get your home better while putting away the currency to purchase the improvement equipment and tools.

Unfortunately, many people go for another home loan to enhance their home. Receiving loans from lenders regularly lead to debt, and home loans for improvement only leads to paying off your home twice. Thus, elude high interest rates and loan payments and learn to plan your finances to improve your home.

Let me give you a general view of what one area could cost you for repairs. Say you want to paint a specific room in your home. You will need plaster, sealers, primer, paints, paint thinners, scrapers, screwdriver, paint opening (often come with paint purchases), patches, paintbrushes, tray, and so forth. Now you may think this will cost you a lot of money to improve your home, but to the contrary, you are wrong.

The paint and tools will cost you the most, while the other items will be priced less; thus, primer, sealers and plaster be priced around fifteen dollars if you go to the correct store.

Paint thinners, trays, brushes and screwdriver will cost around fifteen dollars if you go to the right store. Thus, the patches should be purchased with a plaster kit, which will salvage you a few pennies. The paint will cost around twenty dollars per can, depending on the kind of paint purchased. Therefore, for around a hundred bucks you could alter a room in your home lacking hiring anybody to do the job providing you stick to the instructions.

What about the bathroom, can you alter the room on a financial plan? It depends on the range of the area, but if you are yearning to tile your bathroom and paint the walls you could get the job done for around a hundred bucks give or take. If you go to the correct home improvement store and know what you are doing, you could remodel a small bathroom or average bathroom for around fifty bucks.

Learning to create a financial plan and prepare for home improvements can help you to remodel your whole home (if the home is in good standings) for a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, completing the work yourself, you will recoup you thousands of dollars.

Having this budget and home improvement information handy will help you a great deal the next time you find yourself in need of it.

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10 Surefire Ways to Avoid Common DIY Home Improvement Mistakes

Avoid common DIY mistakes

Ask people who have completed do-it-yourself projects and they’ll tell you that the projects took at least twice and much time and three times the money they thought they would. The basic reason is that DIYers usually make a lot of mistakes that end up making home improvement projects more expensive and time-consuming.

Here are 10 surefire ways to avoid the top DIY home improvement mistakes in the future and ensure success.

1. Take out the required permits – It’s amazing how many DIYers skip this step. Sure, it takes time, and it means you have to deal with the government, but it’s actually in your best interest to make sure get the required home improvement permits. The folks in the permitting office will make sure the project is done correctly and that you stay safe in the process. Also, for some projects, you’ll need proof that you have a permit or your insurance company won’t cover the improvement. You’ll probably need a permit for any project larger than wallpapering and painting. If you’re unsure, call your local building department and ask.

2. Have all the tools and materials you need available before you start your project — Starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies will slow down the job and delay your progress. And make sure you buy quality tools. They’re a wise investment.

3. Prepare the job site for material deliveries — When your suppliers deliver materials, you’ll want to make sure the job site is ready to accept them. You don’t want your materials exposed to the weather while you are working and you want to have a storage area to prevent theft.

4. Don’t skimp on materials — For example, don’t use 1/4-inch drywall for building walls. Use at at least 5/8-inch; and 3/4-inch works well for a good sound barrier. Use 3/4-inch plywood for sub-floors. It creates a much stronger floor.

5. Prepare the walls for painting — Clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color.

6. Use the correct paint — Use flat paint for ceilings. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it.

7. Keep safe while working — You don’t want to end up in the emergency room. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood. Wear a hard hat when you’re working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you’re painting or staining, or stripping old finishes off of floors or walls. Don’t wear loose, hanging clothing, especially when using power tools. Wear gloves when carrying wood, metal and rock, or when hammering, and wear a nail or tool pouch to prevent damage to your floors, feet, and pets.

8. Measure twice and cut once — This is one of the most important rules of any project. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it too long. You can always make something shorter. You can’t make it longer.

9. Know the limits of your abilities — You’re not going to be good at everything. If you don’t have a lot of experience at plumbing or electrical work, for instance, don’t attempt those projects.

10. Don’t start to learn how to do a project on your own house — If you want to learn how to do a project, offer your assistance to a friend who is an experienced DIYer or a contractor. And if you have any question about what you’re doing, make sure you stop and ask.

You probably won’t eliminate all of your DIY home improvement mistakes, but you can surely reduce them with these 10 tips.

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Home Painting Tips

Home Painting Tips

Remember, everyone starts as a beginner at painting. Just because you have never painted a house doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. The money you save by painting your own house is money you can put into other home improvements. It can also be a fun thing for the whole family to do.

Now we need to choose the colors we want to paint the house. There is a really cool tool online that you can use. http://www.benjaminmoore.com/wrapper_pcv.asp?L=owner&K=intproj&N=intproj Click let’s paint. Choose exterior or the interior options. Choose the project closest to yours. Get started and you will soon know what color you want to paint your house and you’ll have a vision of what it is going to look like when you’re finished.

Here are some of the basics. Of course the first thing you need to do is wash down the walls of your house. A pressure washer can be rented at almost any rental yard and is the best way to do that. Now go around with a scraper and remove all loose paint and chipped areas. You don’t have to scrape the entire wall, but any areas where the surface is not flat can cause you problems as you paint your house.

Next, figure out your square footage so you can determine the amount of paint you will need to buy. Buy your paint in 5-gallon pails, rather than gallons to save more money.

Talk to the helper at your local paint store and tell him about your project. They can help you decide on how many brushes and rollers and other items you will need. You can buy natural or synthetic bristles for oil based paints, but only use synthetic bristles with latex paint. The same rule applies to rollers. Good rollers can run you around $7, but buy high-quality paintbrushes. A good brush for cutting in around edges will run you about $30.

Make sure you purchased some painter’s tape. It’s blue tape that comes in different widths and is easy to remove without messing up your paint job. That brings us to preparation. Tape off all areas you don’t wish to get this color of paint on. If there are large areas to cover, make sure you pick up some rolls of plastic. You can tape the edges of the plastic down over whatever you need to cover.

Don’t paint out of the paint cans. First reason is that leaving the paint can open will dry out the paint and make it difficult to apply. Another reason is that your brush or roller picks up dirt and foreign objects, which will end up in your paint and may even change the color as you go along.

Do all of your cutting or trimming in before you paint the walls. Use a 4” brush and with a smooth stroke guide it around the edges where you taped off. Make sure you have plenty of paint on your brush. The biggest mistake people make is trying to stretch the paint too far. Keep drips cleaned up as you go with a small rag. Remember you will be rolling up to the edge of your cut, so don’t worry about that, just make sure you cover the edges well.

Start on the edges of your walls and work your way toward the middle. Most people don’t do this and problems can result. If you start and new can of paint in the middle of the wall and there is any difference in the color at all, it will show up there more than it would on the edges. So with each new can of paint you open, start at the edges first.

Dip your roller in water (for Latex) or solvent (for oil-based paint), before you start. Whether you use a pan or a 5-gallon bucket with a screen, make sure you roll it out a little to make sure it isn’t dripping. You don’t need to go all the way from the top to the bottom as you paint. Do what you can reach.

Apply the paint in a Y or an N pattern, then apply paint in columns up and down smoothing out all the edges or ridges as you go. Again don’t try to stretch the paint out, make sure you have enough paint on your roller to give it a good coat. If you are applying more than one coat, make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying a new coat of paint.
Corners are a difficult part to learn to paint. If you aren’t careful, this is where you will see paint drips later. Get as close to corners as you can, but don’t scrape the roller against the corner. That will cause drips. If you are unsure, have a paintbrush handy to smooth out drips. That is also a good idea overall. Keep a paintbrush ready for taking care of any drips or ridges you leave behind. Doing this as you go is much easier than trying to fix it after it’s dry or partially dry.

Using tray liners for your paint trays will save you a lot of time at cleanup. Soak your brushes when done for awhile and they will also be easier to clean. For water based paint, soak in water and for oil based paint soak them in solvent.

I hope some of these tips have been helpful to you. Have confidence that you can do this job yourself. You will appreciate and enjoy it much more knowing that you or you and your family completed the job rather than hiring someone else to do it.

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Most Common Misconceptions About Home Improvement

Don’t Be Misled by Misconceptions About Home Remodeling

There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about home remodeling and indeed about contractors.

Isn’t Home Remodeling Always a Nightmare?

We’ve all heard the horror stories from friends about long remodeling projects that caused major inconvenience. It seems to be a common belief that this happens every time. Yes, there is some inconvenience with home remodeling, but a good and experienced contractor will do everything to minimize it rather than drawing the project out. Choose wisely.

Choosing the Right ContractorHow to choose the right contractor

You can’t tell how good a contractor is simply by the number of years he has been in business. You need to make sure that you’re dealing with a qualified professional.

A contractor of quality will be proud of his workmanship and will gladly provide you with a list of projects he has completed. Call his previous clients to get testimonials and check that he completed projects on time and within budget.

If possible, visit some of these clients to see the quality of work first-hand. Although it is true that registered contractors must adhere to building codes, this is no guarantee of the quality of their work.

Prices and Quotes

You often hear that it is best to get quotes from three contractors. This is fine, as long as you ensure that each contractor has quoted on an equal footing. They should all work from the same plans and have a detailed list of materials and finishes to use when preparing their quotations.

Check out each contractor’s track record. Don’t go on price alone. The old saying of “you get what you pay for” still holds very true.
Buying Materials Yourself

It is a common misconception that you will save money by buying your own materials. You could well end up paying more instead of less.

Many professional contractors do not make hefty profits by inflating the price of materials. They may very well make some profit, but that is because they are able to negotiate bulk discounts from suppliers. The price that they charge you may be similar to what you would pay when buying materials yourself.

Also, good contractors will have an efficient system for ordering and delivering materials to a site, which can save you much hassle and time.

Contractors State License Board

It is not a bad idea to check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure a company has a valid state license, has Workers’ Compensation Insurance and there aren’t any complaints lodged against it. Just remember, however, that the absence of complaints does not necessarily mean they do a good job. This should be a starting point, rather than the single benchmark.

You need to do further investigation into a company.

“Of Course We Have Contractor’s Insurance…”

Registered contractors are required to carry:

  • Worker’s Compensation insurance, which covers personal injuries on site
  • Contractor’s Liability insurance, which covers damage to your property by the contractor.

Beware of contractors who say they are fully insured when, in fact, they might not have Worker’s Compensation insurance. They justify this by saying that all other personnel on site are sub-contractors and so technically they have no employees. In this situation you are dangerously exposed and could be liable for any personal injuries to anyone working on your home.

You have every right to ask a contractor for policy details and certification.

Appointing a Reputable Contractor

A big misconception is how DIY shows on TV make projects look so easy. But reputable remodeling contractors are invaluable:

  • They will involve you in every step of the process, from design through construction.
  • They are up to date with the latest remodeling trends and can advise you on aspects that will increase the value of your home.
  • They bring their knowledge of pricing and timelines to the table.
  • It is in their interest to complete the project on time and within budget because your testimonial is all important to their reputation.
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Does Your House Need a Kitchen Remodel?

Kitchen Remodel Advice

Is it time to upgrade your house with a kitchen remodel? While professionals all agree that remodeling your kitchen can dramatically increase the sales value of your house, there are other considerations to ponder.

First you should consider the overall condition of your house, and that of your kitchen. Is your house a showplace, with beautiful rooms, except for the kitchen? If all the rooms of your house are freshly painted and beautifully decorated, but you’ve been holding out on remodeling the kitchen for reasons of budget or time, you might want to think again. The two rooms of the house which offer the most immediate rewards in terms of increased house value are the bathroom and the kitchen. Most estimates put the value of a kitchen remodel at 80 to 90 percent. That’s a lot of potential value for your house, so it makes sense to remodel as soon as possible.

Even if you aren’t planning to move anytime soon, a kitchen remodel is a huge boon to your house for quality of living considerations alone. Most families and couples spend an enormous amount of time in their kitchen. Over and over again the kitchen is referred to as the heart of the house, because so many activities take place there-cooking, eating, homework, entertaining, to name only a few. Why not make this high-traffic room the most inviting of the house?

If your appliances are out of date or prone to constant break-downs, it is a sign you might want to consider a kitchen remodel. There are so many new energy-efficient models on the market, it makes good sense for your house budget to invest in these appliances. You’ll get more pleasure from using them, too. If you find yourself going out to eat repeatedly during the course of any given week, it may also be time for some upgrades. Not wanting to spend time in your house is a sure sign it needs some attention! If a kitchen is awkwardly laid out or inefficient, it can certainly affect your desire to cook or entertain. Who wants to invite guests to their house when it is difficult to cook a meal for them?

Another thing to consider is the needs of your family. Additions to your brood may require additions to your house, and the kitchen is going to be one of the first spaces that will show the strain of over-use. High traffic in a room wears it out more quickly. Since the kitchen is one of the highest-traffic areas in the house, remodeling it with durable yet attractive materials simply makes good sense. You’ll enjoy the bright new improvements now and reap the benefit of added resale value when you are ready to move.

Even if you’ve not actively considered remodeling your kitchen, you might want to take a look at it. The pleasure you will gain from your house and its increased value will make it worthwhile. Start doing some research today and before you know it, you’ll catch the excitement about remodeling.

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