Guide to Do-It-Yourself Home Repairs

Home Repairs

Doing your own household repairs can certainly save you money, but it can really be personally rewarding as well. Learn the in’s and out’s, the do’s and don’ts of home DIY from an experienced do-it-yourselfer.

Home DIY general information

Cut costs and enjoy personal enrichment when you embark on your own home DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. While many jobs around the home may be so complex or dangerous as to require professional assistance, just as many are completely viable options to complete on your own. In addition to help saving money, home DIY projects can also help develop a sense of satisfaction in reaching the goal, as well as a sense of pride in your home.

DIY home repair

In some instances, natural disasters and accidents can cause damage to your home. In those instances, you may be able to complete home repair projects using DIY methods. Although in the instance of a disaster the first response may to contact professionals, be sure to take the time to assess the damage yourself. You may be surprised at the DIY home repair you are able to do.

There are a multitude of resources out there for homeowners to use. Visit a local home improvement store for books and hands-on training for home repair projects. Online resources are also available in the form of text-based guides, e-Books, and other formats.

Kitchen home DIY

DIY home repairs are quite common in the kitchen. Although some projects may require a professional’s guidance, most kitchen home DIY is entirely possible on your own. Common kitchen DIY projects include laying new tile, installing new appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and sinks, repairing kitchen plumbing, and installing advanced lighting fixtures for the kitchen. Most major home improvement stores have specific areas of the store dedicated to kitchen improvement and repairs, and associates are typically on-hand to provide tips and advice for making the most of your home DIY projects in the kitchen.

Bathroom home DIY

Home DIY projects are also common in the bathroom. Many homeowners enjoy renovating their old bathrooms with new tiles, wall coverings, and plumbing. Basic DIY projects for the bathroom include laying tile, wallpapering or painting the walls, or installing new counters. More advanced DIY projects include installing plumbing-based fixtures such as toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers. Most of these projects will add significant value to your home, and in the end, will likely pay off much more than the money and effort put forth initially.

Wall and floor DIY

Home improvement projects using wall coverings and floor elements are relatively simple, and can make a dramatic difference in your home. These DIY projects are among the most common for homeowners who are seeking a decorative addition to the home. Many local stores offer free classes and workshops on some of the most popular wall and floor DIY projects, including hardwood floors, faux painting, and tile laying. Books and other resources are also great to reference, and many include illustrated instructions to help you do the very best job possible on your new walls and floors.

Why use DIY over professional contractors

There are some instances when a contractor or other professional should be contacted to complete the work needed. Anytime the work is dangerous – such as DIY projects that involved electricity or natural gas – it’s probably best to contact a professional. The only exception would be basic light fixture installation, which is relatively safe and simple with proper instruction and understanding. Advanced projects in roofing, plumbing, and electricity are best handled by those with the training and experience in handling them.

Using DIY projects, though, helps to reduce the costs significantly by eliminating markup and overhead. When you solicit the help of a professional, you pay for supplies, parts, labor, and expertise. However, when you complete a project on your own, the only costs you must consider are supplies and parts. Training costs might be considered if you will be purchasing books or other resources, but these are typically quite small compared to labor costs by professional teams.

Window Treatments Make The Room

Window Treatments

Window treatments are important because they add the finishing touch to a room’s decoration and enhance the design statement wanted for the space. Treatments can be of hard materials such as wood, vinyl, or metal, while soft materials are fabrics of various weights. The decision of whether to use soft or hard materials depends upon the look wanted for the space.

Examples of Hard Window Treatments

Hard treatments include:

• Shutters have horizontal slats and may be fitted inside a window or attached to the outer edges of the window frame. Shutters are typically made of wood or vinyl and can be stained or painted any color.

• Blinds have louvers made of wood, vinyl, or aluminum. They are raised and lowered by a cord system and the louvers may be opened or closed with a wand attached at the top of the blinds.

• Vertical blinds are made of stiff fabrics, wood, vinyl or aluminum. They are a good option for covering a wide sliding glass door.

Soft Window Treatments

Soft treatments include shades, blinds, curtains and drapery made of fabric. Although the term is used interchangeably, shades and blinds are different. Shades are made from a single piece of fabric and blinds consist of a series of louvers held together with cords that pass through holes in the louvers. They come in many different sizes and styles.

• Roman Shades, as the names suggests, are the product of Roman ingenuity. Modern Roman shades are adapted from the elaborate awnings used to shade spectators from the heat of the Mediterranean sun in stadiums, the Colosseum, and theaters. Traditional Roman Shades consist of rows of horizontal pleats that fold up when the shades are raised and unfold when they are lowered using a system of cords. They can be made from any kind of fabric.

• Roller shades are available in a wide variety of materials and colors, and are easy to install and operate. These shades have been popular since their first appearance in 17th century Holland, as a way to allow ventilation and light control and still provide privacy. The first blinds were made of translucent fabric, and were originally painted with romantic scenes that were visible from the inside and outside of the building. A major improvement was the American invention of the spring roller in the mid-1850s that automatically wound a shade on a roller and eliminated the complicated task of rolling the blinds up by hand. Shades help save energy by stopping energy loss through windows.

• Drapes are made of heavy fabric and work well to keep out heat in the summer and cold in the winter. They are generally floor length and are lined.

• Curtains are made of light fabrics and are not usually lined. They are light enough in weight to pair well with shutters, blinds or shades. Curtains can be one of several lengths such as ending at the bottom of a window or floor length. Panels may be used under drapes for a layered look.

Take time to choose your window treatments carefully. If you do, you will achieve just the look you want for every room in your home.

Routine Building Inspections Prevent Larger Problems

Building Inspections

It is a good idea for business owners to have the office or store building inspected at least once a year. A routine building inspection with regard to structural soundness or wear and tear issues is wise.

In fall after unforgiving heat and sun work on a building’s roof and exterior for the summer, it is always a good idea to check for a sound roof and exterior surface and maybe even do some weatherproofing before cold rain and ice punish the building. Cold pipes should be checked and even insulated before wintertime to prevent frozen and burst pipes.

Catching a minor problem is usually a quick and relatively inexpensive thing to repair. Waiting until it becomes a bigger, more dangerous problem will likely require more work and be more expensive, as well. When licensed building repair contractors do the inspection, they use building diagnostics to pinpoint any minor problems before they become big ones. This can help you considerably cut down on the cost of repairs that need to be done.

One common problem with older buildings or those subjected to frequent storms and bad weather is a roof leak. At the time of building inspection, the contractors will look at both the interior and exterior of the building. Interior roof leaks may be easy to spot by discoloring on the ceiling. Roof repair can be performed as needed at an affordable price if the problem is discovered early.

Concrete shrinks as a natural process of it curing. This shrinkage causes the concrete to develop stresses and to relieve it, the basement wall cracks. This is a normal condition in a concrete foundation. Common areas for a shrinkage concrete crack to develop are under a basement window, in the middle of a long wall or where the foundation “steps down.”

Building maintenance contractors also inspect plumbing in buildings, as well as the roofing vents for bathrooms and kitchens. Some companies can tackle any repair with regards to exhaust pipes and water pipes that need to be sealed, repaired or replaced. Any water damage caused by seepage into the rest of the building, whether through plumbing vents or gaps in the exterior covering, can likely be repaired or replaced as well.

In other cases, you will be given recommendation on what needs to be done and you will have the opportunity to shop around and find a reliable roofing contractor, or a plumbing company that can do the needed repairs at competitive price. If you think you can also tackle the problem on your own, do your homework and research the topic before you start the project. You will be amazed at the amount of info there is out there on practically any type of the building repair project, whether you need to learn how to handle roof repair, tile a floor, or plan your cleaning for best results there are plenty of handyman tips and advice

Make sure to check this blog for creative ideas on bathroom remodeling and kitchen remodeling, as well as other useful information for your home repair project.

Home Appliance Repair Tips

Washing Machine repairs

You have a good job and you earn a decent salary so it is safe to assume that you live in a comfortable and well-furnished house. It is also safe to assume that you have all the modern home appliances to make life as convenient as possible for you. This is the way to go but your home appliances need proper maintenance. They also need to be repaired when the need arises. You should not run to a technician’s each time any of your appliances develop a minor fault. Understand how these gadgets work and you can carry out a bit of appliance repair by yourself. Below are some simple things you can do to get the most out of your home appliances.

Washing Machine Maintenance Tips
One way to ensure your washing machine runs effectively is to use the right amount of detergent. Do not overload the machine and avoid using hard water. In case your washing machine does not run, find out if the machine is plugged in first. If it is, check the power cord and the fuse. If you have a blown fuse, replace the fuse and the problem is solved.

Dishwasher Repair
One common problem with your dishwasher may be inability to drain properly. If this appliance does not drain properly, the problem may be a clogged drain line. Simply disconnect the hose at both ends, check the drain hose for obstructions and flush it out with a garden hose or faucet. If this does not work, replace the hose.

Minor Problems with Your Cable TV
Your cable TV is a great source of information and entertainment so you do not want it to malfunction. Clean your TV and decoder regularly and make sure your children (if you have any) do not experiment with these appliances. In case you cannot get clear pictures, you can simply do a bit of trouble shooting and get the problem solved. First, you should check if the antenna is in the right position. By changing its location, you will solve the problem.

Laptop Maintenance and Repair
One way to ensure your laptop performs well is to install an effective antivirus and update it regularly. Avoid using flash drives and external hard drives that do not belong to you because they may contain malware. In case your computer crashes, do a bit of trouble shooting first. If it is a minor problem, you can format and re-install the affected programs.

Know Your Limits
You are not a qualified technician so you can only carry out appliance repair to a certain extent. Observe safety standards and always switch off the appliance before you start repairing it. If you have tried your best and the problem persists, it is time call in an expert.

Final Word
Appliance repair is something you can do easily by reading the manual and using your initiative. Always trouble shoot first before attempting to repair any appliance. Finally, take care of your appliances and you will not have reason to repair them often.

Check Lighting During Day And At Night

Check Lighting

The amount and type of light affects the mood of any room. To me, a bright overhead light in the venter of the room is dull – it makes everything in the room (including people) look drab and unattractive. On the other hand, accent lighting – like table and floor lamps, sconces, directional lights you can aim at the walls – warms up everything.

To get a sense of what you are going to need, look at the space you have available and think about what in the room you literally want to spotlight and where you need light for practical reasons (e.g., for reading).

Also, consider how much you want to spend – lamps are generally the least expensive form of lighting because you don’t need to get an electrician involved – and what lights will need to have 3-way bulbs or dimmers. I highly recommend anything that lets you control light brightness and direction because there will be times when you want to soften the light. If, for instance, you sleep with someone who doesn’t read as much as you do in bed, putting a 3way bulb in your bedside lamp or installing a sconce that swings out and lets you direct the light right over your book will allow your significant other the luxury of lying on the bed without being blinded.

Or lets say you are a single guy and you are trying to get closer to your lady. You’ve got some sexy music cranking on the stereo, then you switch the light and suddenly you’ve gone from Barry White to Very Bright. It’s a mood killer.

It is also important to get a read on how much natural light the room gets during the day. The more natural light you have permeating a room, the more joy and happiness the room will radiate. Use daylight as one decisive factor in selecting your window treatments. If the room isn’t particularly light, you don’t want heavy shades, blinds or curtains that will diminish it further. Yet you don’t want to lose all sense of privacy. There are a lot of different shades designed to deal with this dual problem, some of which are made of synthetic mesh that lets light filter through while blocking prying eyes. You can also get bottom up shades that allow the sun to shine in at the top while providing coverage at the bottom.

There are ways to get creative with this, too. Instead of putting up window treatments in my old house in Atlanta, I created shoji-like screens out of white Plexiglas and placed them in front of the windows. They let in light but blocked out my neighbors backyard. I also planted bamboo outside the window, which created wonderful shadows on the screens.

If you are going to redo the room on a pretty big scale and you don’t think it has enough light, you might even think about making some structural changes. Add another window or a skylight, if possible. Or you can actually cut a space – a square, a rectangle, a circle, an arched rectangle, any shape really – into one of the walls to let in light from another room. It can require having to move some of the electrical, but if you get lucky, you’ll miss it and you won’t have to move anything.

This will not only make the room brighter, it will open it up a bit so that it seems to have more space than it actually does. And that’s always a plus.

How To Achieve Perfect Plumbing Works

Plumbing

Everyone most probably agree that plumbing is one of those issues that can be found in more or less every home. The drainage capacity of every building including houses, offices, schools, hospitals etc depends on the quality of plumbing works. Whether you hire plumbers or do the work yourself, try to be savvy about the rules – which, despite the fact that plumbing is an ancient art, are still changing. When engineering studies reveal that more can be done with less, code officials respond by allowing narrower pipe diameters. In addition, manufacturers develop new materials that are often more effective and easier to work with than older ones.

Plumbing is mostly referred as fixing the leaked and damaged water pipes. In constructing a building, plumbing plays a very significant role. Any building should have a proper pipeline connection that ensures proper drainage of water through pipes. The proper fitting and quality of these plumbing supplies is very important because without the concept of any kitchen or bathroom in a house rely on these.

Before buying a well equipped plumbing supply, one should know about the basics. Initially, copper lines are installed in the houses which are then replaced by plastic lines. The cause for this is because plastic is cheaper in terms of cost and it is also easy to handle means it can be easily repaired or replaced as compared with copper lines. Also plastic has less health issues over its competitor.

Plumbing supplies are available in the market with a vast variety of equipments which needs a lot of research and experience. therefore, it is more advisable to take the services of some professional and educated plumber because these professionals are well aware of the uniqueness and features of these plumbing supplies than us.

Experts suggest that finding plumbing supplies through online search engines is rather easy and helpful. Most of the people well-tried this technique and found it quite handy. All you have to do is to search a perfect site and make deals with the dealer regarding plumbing supplies and other useful items that are necessary for plumbing. Fortunately, there are hundreds of websites easily available on Net and you can find a large variety of plumbing supplies without any difficulty. Different plumbing gears are available on these online stores and the price range of these products is also affordable.

The size and shapes of these plumbing supplies however, can be chosen by the customer according to his choice. The thing that should be considered is the quality of these products because better quality provides better security which is of course the top priority of every customer. It may cost you a few dollars more than the supplies having a cheaper quality in the long term basis. In the end, Instead of the appearance and anything else, I would like to advocate that the customer should focus on the quality level of this plumbing material and also on the proper fitting of these pipelines in your house.