Deciding On A Home Improvement Project

When picking a home improvement project, it’s important to choose one that’s within your budget and abilities.

Let’s face it, just about any home could use a little work here or there. Not all of us have bottomless budgets, however, which makes prioritising our projects important. When deciding on a home improvement project, you should consider the immediate needs of your home, your budget, your ability to do the project if it’s a DIY, and the necessity of the project.

Here’s a checklist of considerations to weigh when picking a home improvement project.

Safety

While some home improvement projects are just nice tweaks that make the home prettier or save you a little in energy costs, some are vital to the safety of you and your guests. Home improvement projects related to safety, such as fixing unstable steps, reflooring a slippery floor, repairing faulty electrical work, etc should take precedence over other projects.

Some safety projects may be related to your home’s original construction. For example, homes built before the mid-90s may have used asbestos as a building product, and as insulation – a known carcinogen.

To be sure, having your home evaluated by a professional to determine if there is any risk areas may be a good idea.

Improving comfort

Making your home comfortable is important. Projects to improve the overall enjoyment of your home, such as installing new carpet, getting a climate control system that heats and cools all rooms evenly, or projects to reduce draughts or mould problems should be high on the priorities list.

Keep your mind on your money

Fixing problems in your home that are costing you money should rank highly on your to-do list. Repairing leaky taps, installing more energy efficient appliances and adding insulation can help save you money.

Be realistic

If you’re considering a DIY project, realistically evaluate your skill before embarking on a project that’s may end up costing you twice – once when you do it, and again when you have to call a professional to fix the mess you’ve created!

Should you need to call in a professional for a job that you haven’t yet mastered, ask if you can provide the labour for him or her. This could reduce the cost of the hire, and also help you to acquire these skills for the future.

There’s no magic formula for deciding which project to tackle first, but this list may go a long way to formulating a realistic home improvement project plan.

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10 Home Improvement Projects You Can Finish This Weekend – On a Budget

1.) Programmable Thermostat:

OK, so we know that this particular home improvement project doesn’t add anything aesthetically to your home design, but let’s be honest- trimming around 5-10% a year off your heating/cooling bill, plus allowing you more control over the interior temperature, all while getting a new high-tech gadget is a win-win-win-win situation. A programmable thermostat allows you to avoid ever having to come home to a sweltering heat after a long day of work. It allows you piece of mind when leaving pets at home, no matter how hot it is outside. Coming in at around $75-$120 to have one installed for you- it’s truly an incredibly cost-effective way to make sure you get the most comfort possible out of your home. HouseLogic.Com has some pretty good information on choosing what type of thermostat will suit your needs. And no need to fear! Programmable thermostats (like most other electronic devices in our day-and-age) have become more and more user-friendly and easy to operate.

2.) Add a Splash of Color with an Accent Wall:

Painting an entire wall can be a nightmare (believe me, we know), and after a long week of work, the prospect of taking on such an overwhelming and exhausting task inevitably leads to a room that stays that same old neutral beige. Well- here’s a compromise. How about an accent wall? The difference a single wall of bold color can make in a room cannot be ignored. An accent wall is a great place to start remodeling or refurnishing your home. It gives you a base color palate with which to work, and can aid in the later selection of pillows, rugs, chairs etc. With an overall project time hovering around 6-8 hours (depending on the size of the wall you’re painting) from start to finish; painting an accent wall is a sure-fire way to add a touch of pizzazz to your room.

3.) Paint a Custom Headboard or Faux Headboard:

The sky is really the limit on this one. And the best part is that your ventures through a local thrift shop or Goodwill can yield amazing results at unbelievably low prices (if any). Being in touch with, and actively monitoring Craigslist is a secret weapon when it comes to designing on a realistic budget. You can go with vibrant, muted, pastels, or even fabrics and various textures!

Recently a trend has been becoming more and more popular in US homes: a faux headboard. What does this mean? It means that you literally use the wall and space already available to create a creative and very innovative design in place of a bulky headboard in your room. Pinterest has some beautiful galleries if you’re looking for some inspiration. The complexity and project time it will take to finish a headboard creation of your very own is entirely up to you. Some companies even offer templates and decals that can be stuck directly to a wall. The advantage to a faux headboard is beyond aesthetic. Aside from the space you can save, and the flexibility in design you will have, a faux headboard is easy to change, easy to update, and can be modified to reflect changing trends or a changing room.

4.) DIY Message Center:

If you’re anything like me, your life is a constant cacophony of mental “to-do” lists, family engagements to keep, errands that need to be run, bills that need to be paid, and a way of communicating that often gets lost in the mix. Creating a DIY message center is a perfect way to make sure everyone is on the same page. What’s wonderful about these types of message centers is that most, if not all, of the materials you may need can either be found at a local thrift store or on the free section of CL. Don’t marry yourself to chalkboard either. Although chalkboard is an easy solution (especially now that it comes in huge sheets with an adhesive back ( like contact paper), you should also consider using a pane of glass (painted on one side) and framed! It’s the perfect mimic of a dry-erase board, but with markedly more style. You can even use a very thin piece of aluminum if you want to exclusively use magnets, and for those talented seamstresses out there- cloth and ribbon will also create a beautiful, versatile, and most importantly- functional piece to your home… and on a budget. Many of these message centers come with a section for mail, a section to write notes, and a board to post important bulletins to yourself or your family. I’ve seen every design style from rustic to modern, so whatever the style of your home, you can build a message center to compliment your design scheme while adding functionality.

5.) Change Your Faucets:

An often over-looked item on the “home improvement” list- changing your faucets is a simple way to really alter the look and feel of a room. Outside of accent pillows, it is the easiest way to breathe life back into a kitchen or bathroom. Your local hardware store has some great selections – don’t be afraid to be a little daring! Just make sure that all of the hardware matches, and decide whether or not it is important to you to have the same hardware throughout the house. This is also a perfect opportunity to re- pet-proof and child-proof your low lying cabinets.

6.) Add Some Under/Over Cabinet Accent Lighting:

If you want to really add some wow to your living space, consider over/under cabinet lighting. I cannot stress enough: spend the additional money and get lids. At $20 a roll, you can get LED rope lighting in any color you can imagine. Dramatic lighting like this can add incredible depth and dimension to your design space while creating a great atmosphere and additional lighting without the bulk or hassle of adding a new lighting fixture. Some companies do offer these types of lights at a premium- requiring electrical work and a contractor, but the same effect can be achieved with a simple trip to a local store and a little bit of clever fastening. Secure the rope lights out of sight at the junction where your counter meets the body of the cabinet, or hidden on the very top. The lights will reflect light off the wall or cabinet (depending on placement) and will create a dramatic, and beautiful effect that really gives a cutting edge style to any room.

7.) Add a Back-Splash:

Now, depending on how you go about this- it can be both costly and time consuming to install a back splash on your wall. Unless you have some experience with DIY home improvement, I would suggest leaving tile and grout projects to a professional, however, there are ways to install a back splash that can be done by anyone, regardless of experience level. Many home improvement stores sell sheets of pre-made, self-adhesive back splashes that mimic the look of real ceramic tile. Of course- consult with a professional (even if only your native home improvement associate) about which type and material of tile or tile replica you should get. A backsplash is another element like the accented wall; it’s a dash of color and a break up homogeny that adds texture and life to a drab space.

8.) Throw Pillows:

This is more a decorating tip than a home improvement tip- but its details like these that can really tie a room together and help a design space make that leap from concept to polished idea. Think bold and bright. Throw pillows can be just enough color to make a room interesting without being overwhelming or overbearing. Experiment with different texture and fabric combinations, find a mix that suits you. Inexpensive, with big impact; throw pillows are the un-sung heroes of home interior design.

9.) Paint Your Front Door:

Look at almost any “tips, tricks, and ideas” for home improvement, and somewhere on that list will be replacing/repainting the front door. I couldn’t agree more. Beyond the obvious curb appeal, painting your front door can really refresh your home and add some vibrancy and style to your home-front. First impressions are the most important, right? Make the first impression of your home to be one of happiness and warmth. For less than $30, you won’t believe the difference it will make!

10.) Pick a Room: Replace All the Cloth You See:

Updating window treatments, runners, rugs, pillows, and can transform any room in a matter of an instant. That’s the wonderful thing about color; it can change not only the look, but the feel of any space. Even something as simple as replacing curtains can shed years off the appearance of your home- and let’s face it- replacing window treatments is another task on that perpetual, and unending list of “I’ll get to that one day” projects we all keep tucked away. Changing accents like these is flexible, non-committal, and allows space for experimentation and growth over time. Not many home improvement projects can provide that kind of fluidity.

In closing – as much as we would like to think that the only way to make a real impact on the aesthetics of a home is through big design projects, there are clearly small ways in which anyone can transform their home on a realistic budget, in a short amount of time. The above listed improvements can be a family project, involve family, friends, and enjoy creating a beautiful home space and spending some quality time with those close to you. You don’t have to break the bank to change your home’s style. It’s a journey that can be accomplished one step at a time.

Home Improvement Project – Choose the One That Adds Value to Your Home

Never neglect an opportunity for improvement.

The words of Sir William Jones are not only apt for your personal well-being but also for the well-being of your home. If you think that there is a room for improvement in your home, consider your savings and make a decision.

Home Improvement is more common than you think

Today, homeowners are deciding against selling their current homes. The reason is easy availability of experienced home renovation contractors who ensure successful home improvement projects.

But before you start looking for a contractor, consider the following factors:

The Purpose
Think about the reason behind the home improvement project. If you do not want to sell your home, you can consult the contractor for customizing your home to suit the growing needs of your family.

Once your purpose is clear, you will be able to decide whether a specific home improvement project is worth your time and money.

The Budget Factor
When a contractor pitches you the idea of building your dream home, you may get emotional and say yes to his every suggestion. But, consider your financial situation before making any commitments to the contractor. Spend your money wisely and choose the project that guarantees maximum returns.

The Market Value of your Home
Even if you are not planning to sell your property in the near future, the market value of your home should be considered before spending money. It is important to understand that the increase in the market value will not be the same as the cost of the home improvement project. Remember that any construction work that corrects a major structural defect will be more advantageous than any renovation work done to suit your needs.

Government Grants
A home improvement project can be an expensive affair. But, you can reduce your expenditure with the help of the local government. The local government provides grants and rebates for the purpose of upgrading your home. For example, if you replace an inefficient toilet with a water-saving one in the City of Toronto, the government will provide you with a $75 rebate for each toilet.

Geographical Location of your Home
Certain home improvement projects are better suited to a specific geographical location. If you are contemplating about building a swimming pool in your yard, you must consider your geographical location. If you live in a colder region of the country, it will not add any value to your home.

What are the Common Home Improvement Projects that add Value to your Home?

· Plumbing – It will save you from costly repairs in the future and maintain the health of your family members.

· Maintenance – Taking care of mold, mildew, water leakage, etc. is a crucial task for every homeowner.

· Remodeling a kitchen – Upgrading a kitchen has it benefits. But, make sure that the upgraded kitchen matches the rest of your home.

· Bathroom additions – If there is empty space in your home, adding a bathroom can be beneficial.

· Painting your home – Paints provide a fresh look to your home at a very nominal cost.

· Upgrading the electrical systems – It is mandatory for old homes as upgrading the electrical system will make it safe for habitation.

· Insulation – It can reduce your electricity bills.

· Adding a deck or a patio – It will increase the curb appeal of your home.

Your home is your paradise. And, when it comes to your paradise, never make an emotional decision. You may be attracted to the idea of upgrading your home and making it luxurious. But, remember that not every home improvement project is beneficial in the long run. Adopt a cautious approach so that you spend your money on home improvement projects that add value to your home.

Estimating Home Improvement Projects

More and more homeowners are turning to home improvement to transform their New York homes to ideally fit the needs of the family, realize their dreams of luxury and style, make everyday life a whole lot more convenient, boost property value, or just any other reasons. One of the most crucial factors when jumping into the bandwagon is the right budget. The more accurate the estimate, the closer you are to achieving project success. To get to this, here are essential things to know about estimating home improvement projects ideal whether you are in Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn or Staten Island.

Estimating your planned home improvement project is a crucial task that should be taken carefully. Falling short on budget can cause grave issues such as an incomplete project, an inferior result, or financial instability that can lead to debts that can easily snowball into other problems.

If you haven’t done anything similar to the home improvement you have in mind, then getting an estimate would be the best way to start your project. This would get you a good idea on how much the entire project would cost thus helping you get financially prepared and preventing a busted budget. Just as no two houses are exactly the same; your specifications would vary with that of others even for the same project. There are a lot of factors that affect the overall cost and asking around for other homeowners who have had done something similar would be the roughest assessment you can get.

When estimating home improvement projects, the easiest and fastest way to get one is through using an online remodeling calculator from any renovation and home improvement or contractor website. But the closest and most accurate estimate you can get is one from a reputable professional or contractor company.

There are various factors that will affect your home improvement project estimate and these are:

Scope of the Project – this includes the size of the room or rooms that you plan on improving. What materials and supplies you want to integrate into the project. How you envision the project finish and what are the methods and steps to take to achieve the specific look, feel and functionality.

Labor Trends and Regional Pricing – fact is, remodeling costs will differ depending on the state that you are in. This proves true for both contractor fee as well as material costs.

Labor Fees – There are choices when it comes to managing home improvement projects and this includes: managing it yourself, getting a general contractor or hiring a project manager part-time or full time. Each option has its pros and cons and deciding on which depends on your experience, preference, budget and availability. Aside from the labor trends in different states, other factors that will affect contractor fee are specialization/s, experience, skills and even how well established and well-reputed the contractor or company is in the industry.

One of the greatest tips when undergoing home improvement projects is to allot a budget that is more than that of the estimated amount. By allowing flexibility in your finances, unexpected expenses that may arise throughout the project (which are not uncommon), can be accommodated efficiently before the problem balloons. If you have to save, then choose to do so in a smart way. Cut costs without sacrificing quality and you can do this by buying materials on sale and scheduling work at off-peak seasons.

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects That Make Your Home Feel Like New

Would you like to live in a new home? A home improvement project can be an easy way to change the look and increase the appeal of your home, make it feel like new. Below are five very easy ways to improve your home and increase the value at the same time. Home improvement projects do not have to take a lot of time or money to make your home look better.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Kitchen

Paint the kitchen cabinets. An easy kitchen home improvement project that most anyone can do is to repaint the cabinets. A dull, lifeless kitchen can easily be brought back to life by a new coat of paint on the cabinets. Select a bright, crisp color and a new coat of paint on the cabinets will change the look of the kitchen. It will look clean and fresh. With the sharpness of the new paint, the kitchen will appear and feel larger. A light, bright color seems to expand the feel of the room.

For a finishing touch that will complete the cabinets in your kitchen home improvement project change the hardware. Cabinet hardware can become dull and worn over a long life of use. Changing the knobs and handles will drastically change the appearance of the cabinets and give the kitchen a newly remodeled look.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Flooring

Replace carpet flooring. Old, worn carpet is thin, hard and makes a home look dirty and dungy. Replace old carpet with new in your next home improvement project. New carpet adds a soft touch. It looks good and insulates to some extent. If you have a limited budget, purchase good carpet padding and an inexpensive carpet. The result will be a thick expensive feel.

Easy Home Improvement Project – New Faucets

Change the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Old faucets dull and wear with age. Replacing faucets will give the sink a fresh new appearance.

This home improvement project is much simpler that it may sound. You can hire a plumber to install new faucets or you can do it yourself. Nice faucets can be purchased at your local hardware store, along with proper plumbing supplies that are quite easy to install.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Painting

Paint the exterior and the interior of your home. A fresh coat of paint is a simple home improvement project that will give your home a new clean look. The exterior appeal will look inviting to visitors and the fresh new interior will make them glad they entered. This is a relatively inexpensive, simple home improvement project that you can hire done or you can do it yourself.

Easy Home Improvement Project – Driveway

A very easy home improvement project that will add a new look to the exterior of your home is to pressure wash the concrete driveway. Over the course of a short season, a concrete driveway will get dirty and grungy. Simply rent a pressure washer and wash the driveway. The process is not hard but it is a slow process. The result will be worth the time. The concrete will look like it has been recently placed.

So there it is – five easy home improvement projects that will make your home feel like new. If you want to improve the appeal and add value to your home, try one or more of these home improvement projects.

5 Tips To Help You Keep Your Conveyor Chains Operational

Conveyor chains are used to drive different types of conveyor units and use different types of power transmission. If you want to get the most out of your equipment, make sure you maintain them. This is even more important if they are installed in the mining and construction industry. Given below are a few tips that can help you ensure your conveyor chains will continue to work properly.

1. Follow the Maintenance Schedule

First of all, you may want to inspect and service them to ensure proper alignment, lubrication and tension. If inspected on a regular basis, they can last up to 15,000 hours. It’s better if you schedule filter and oil changes every 3 months. On the other hand, the cleaning of bigger parts, such as shafts, machine lubrication and replacement of damaged or worn sprockets and sideplats should be done on an annual basis.

Following the maintenance schedule is paramount, especially if you have installed the conveyor chains in the construction and mining industry.

2. Lubricate Wisely

For smooth operation, conveyor drives and chains should be free of moisture and dust. Most of these systems require petroleum-based oil. It’s not a good idea to opt for heavy greases and heavy oils. The reason is that they are overly stiff and can’t lubricate the system properly. Given below are some common ways of lubricating the conveyor chains. Some of them are listed below:

Stream lubrication
Disk lubrication
Drip lubrication
Manual lubrication

Based on the power and chain speed, the right method can be used. For reducing wear and tear and enjoying all the benefits, it’s important that you lubricate the system properly.

3. Get Heat-Treated Parts

Heat treatment can be used to improve the mechanical components. Therefore, manufacturers control the treatment methods for best results. In other words, to reduce wear and tear, it’s important to perform proper heat treatment.

Case hardness and depth are the two primary parts of component heat transfer. This plays a great role as far as resistance and durability is concerned. If the depth is too much, the parts may break while working due to brittleness.

4. Make sure there is Proper Alignment and Tension

Make sure you check the slack span and chain tension, and perform the required maintenance. If you need to reduce the tension, you can eliminate two pitches and then connect the chain again. However, you may need to replace the entire chain if the wear and tear goes beyond the functional limits.

Also, you may not want to connect new chains to the worn one as it can damage the drive. Misaligned sprockets can also cause the link plates of the roller chain to get a lot of wear and tear.

5. Check the Primary Parts

Typically, conveyor chains have two main parts that go through wear and tear: sprockets and chain. Chain stretching happens due to this very reason and results in the complete replacement of the sprockets and chain.

Therefore, you should inspect conveyor chains for any broken parts, deformation and cracks.

In short, these are the tips you can follow to maintain your roller chains.

5 Benefits Listing Your Business in Internet Directories

You can enjoy a lot of benefits if you have your business listed in an internet directory, such as Top5Biz.com. In fact, the more directories you use the greater number of benefits you can enjoy. Given below are some of the prominent benefits of using these directories. Read on to find out more.

Exposure

We know that proper exposure is required for all types of businesses. The more exposure your business gets, the higher number of visitors will know about your products or services. On the other hand, if your prospective customers can’t find your site, they won’t be able to buy your products or services.

By listing your business website in these directories, you can get the exposure you need. As a matter of fact, a large number of people search these directories in order to find what they are looking for. Their goal is to look for a specific product or service.

Better Ranking

We know that better ranking is important for any website. If your website is indexed in many web directories, it will send a signal to search engine crawlers that your website is authentic. And this will help you get your website ranked on major search engines. As a result, you will be able to enjoy better rankings in major search engines.

These directors get your website ranked better and get the word out about your business. And this is a huge benefit.

Inexpensive Advertising

If you run a business, you know the importance of advertisement. The primary purpose of advertisement is to help clients find your business and know more about it. You may not have a big budget for your advertisement campaigns. This is where you can spend a little money and achieve the purpose by getting your website indexed in internet directories.

Unlike the conventional advertising, business directories are much affordable. Therefore, they can help you save tons of money on advertisement.

Professional Opinion

If you want your business to look professional in the eyes of your visitors, we suggest that you try internet directories. This will help you improve your business status. In other words, this technique will help you make buyers have a professional opinion about your business.

Once your site is listed in these directories, it will look as professional as the top business enterprises out there. Aside from this, your website will be considered an authority in the niche. As a result, you will be able to get more and more customers and clients.

Search Engine Optimization

Internet directories offer another great benefit, which is called search engine optimization. Basically, these directories allow you to get a lot of inbound links. When a visitor finds your site in the directory, they will click he link and get directed to your website. So, this is an effective way of getting a lot of traffic.