Archive for the 'Budget' Category
By Deb Villeneuve
a guest post by Grace Bailey
One of the easiest ways to change the feel of your home is to change its colors. Painting is the way to go, however many of us seem to have little talent for the actual job of working on it. Splattered paint, coat after coat being applied to a wall because we missed spots and so forth. We offer these tips so you’ll be able to do a good job of it. Thankfully, you don’t have to be very skilled at it to be able to get things done. Let’s begin with the first tip on our list:
Prepare the surface for application
A good paint job begins with the proper preparation of the chosen surface you want to work with. You need to sand, patch and scrape any imperfections on the surface so the paint will adhere more evenly. Strong paint bond and an even surface are necessary for a good paint job. No matter how great your chosen paint might be and how high its quality, it will not work well on an uneven surface.
You need to work on priming the walls and the ceilings of the room you’re working on before the application of paint. This will also be necessary if you plan on painting over a darker color. Regardless of what colors you plan on working with, you will still need to do a bit of priming. This serves to stop any stains from showing allowing you a one-coat cover. The most important aspect of using primer though is that it helps paint adhere better to its chosen surface. Professionals will do the tinting of the paint closer to the finished color by adding up a small amount of topcoat paint, thus permitting the topcoat to hide your primed surface completely.
Choosing Canvas over Plastic
Although plastic drop cloths will give you a way to protect the furniture and floors of your home from paint splatters, canvas drop cloths are more durable and resistant to rips, plus they also lay flat better, creating less danger of tripping. Canvas also has the ability to absorb the paint drips, unlike plastic which becomes slippery in such cases. They can also be wrapped around corners, offering more flexibility in their use. They can also be reused, thus making them a more economical and eco-friendly alternative to using plastic.
Using a Paint Grid
If you have to roll paint from a tray, then you know how messy that gets if you’re not extra careful. You could do a whole lot better than that by rolling right off the bucket, using a paint grid to keep the mess to a minimum. In essence it is a rectangular, plastic or metal screen that attaches to the rim of the paint bucket. You can fill the bucket about halfway, then use the grid on it. Simply dip the roller inside and roll it against the grid to remove any excess paint to avoid a mess. When you’re done painting you can simply drop the grid and close the lid.
By Marie-France Roger
Filed under: 2014 Trends,Affordable Houses,Architecture,basement appartment,Best American Home 2014,Budget,Builder House Plans,Building innovation,Bungalow,Canadian House Plans,Casual floorplans,Craftsman House Plans,Design Ideas,Drummond House Plans,Extended family house designs,First-home buyers,Flexible floorplan,Granny suite,Income property,Money saving,Mortgage,Multi-family,Multi-family house plans,Natural light,New house plan
These apartments in finished basements are in a class by themselves as they are designed to take advantage of the natural lighting. Plus, there’s plenty of open living space for entertaining. Here are a few of our most popular Best Income Property house, home and floor plan designs.
Basement Income Property Floor Plans: Country House Plan no. 2795B
Drummond House Plans calls it the bachelor’s basement apartment, a collection especially designed for the 21st century.
Income Property: Cratsman Bungalow with 2-bedroom apt. on basement
Basement Income Property: Contemporary House Design # 3717-V1
Drummond House Plans’ income property designs are created with first-time home buyers, blended families or extended families, with older teenagers, in mind.
Basement Income Property Traditional Home Design no. 2797B
The majority of Drummond House Plans’ floor plans come with unfinished basements. Most basements can be easily finished to include an apartment (income property = lower mortgage payments !!!). Find your perfect house plan and floor plans on Drummond House Plans website, and contact our plan modification dpt. to get a FREE quote for your Drummond house plan changes.
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When people think about environmentally respectful houses, they usually tend to picture very high-tech buildings whose components are way too expensive. Although it is true that green houses can cost a little more to build than regular houses, they also tend to sell for more: last year in California, for instance, their cost was 9% higher than regular homes. Yet, if your current home is not intrinsically green, there are easy ways to make it more environmentally friendly without spending an astronomical amount of money.
1. Program your house’s temperature
Space heating can represent up to about 45% of an American household’s utility bills. This is a huge proportion! But that is actually good news: if space heating makes up such a big fraction of your energy bills, it is likely that you can save a lot mot money if you come to grips with this issue and seek to reduce the amount of energy you use to heat (and cool) your living space!
One of the cheapest and most effective ways to cut down on the amount of energy that is necessary to make your home comfortable is to opt for programmable thermostats. This type of heating control system allows you to adjust your home temperature according to parameters, which you set yourself in order to have them meet your specific needs. You could, for instance, make sure that your home temperature is at 21 degrees when you get up in the morning, have it automatically go down to 17 when you leave for work and have it go back up to 21 when you come back at night. This could help you save significant amounts of energy.
2. Look for water leaks and wastes
Fresh water abounds in North America. Canada alone is home to about 20% of the world’s total fresh water resources – underground aquifers and glaciers included. This is no surprise, then, that Americans and Canadians respectively are the first and second greatest water consumers on earth. Yet, abundance of water on a given territory is no justification for careless consumption. One of the easiest ways to cut down on pointless water consumption is to look for leaks.
In the United States, it is estimated that about 10% of homes have leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water every day! These wastes generally come from dripping faucets or leaking toilet flappers, for example. If all domestic leaks were fixed, about one trillion gallons of water could be saved yearly in the United States: this is equivalent to the yearly water consumption of Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami combined, according to the EPA! Reducing your water consumption by changing your toilet or by replacing your showerhead, for instance, is also easy and not too costly.
3. Plant trees around your house
Trees are not only soothing and beautiful: they represent an effective, yet unsuspected insulation device! In fact, having mature trees all around the house can help reduce your energy consumption: when strategically located, trees act as a barrier against the cold winds of the winter as well as against the warm sun rays of the summer. Tall trees planted on the east side of your house will keep the inside air cooler in the summer between about 7 and 11 a.m., while those located on the west side will have a similar effect in the afternoon. Their presence will therefore reduce your needs for air conditioning.
4. Progressively replace your appliances
We all know it: modern appliances tend to last a more limited number of years than they used to. Whether it is due to programmed obsolescence or to the public’s desire for constant change, this limited lifespan of home appliances is an environmental curse. Yet, the next time you absolutely must replace your refrigerator or your washing machine, think about opting for an energy-efficient one. The Energy Star certification is definitely one thing you ought to be looking for: if the upfront cost of buying a certified appliance may be a little higher than normal, the long-term savings will probably make up for it sooner than you think.
5. Use eco-friendly products
The kinds of dishwashing liquid, soap, clothes detergent or window cleaning products that you use can have an immediate impact on the environment. Think about it: you take a shower every day, you clean your dishes at least once a day too and you do the laundry a few times per week… Simply put, you end up rejecting considerable amounts of cleaning agents through your water consumption every day! Making a little effort to buy green cleaning products – which can easily be identified thanks to eco-labels – for just a few extra dollars every month can contribute to making all of the activities that are carried out in your house a lot more environmentally respectful.
About the author:
Alexandre is a blogger for Standard Life, a company that offers Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA).
By Deb Villeneuve
The eco-friendly way of life can include many activities that we do every day. With a little effort it will be easy to discover how we can protect the nature, the environment and the air, because it is important for our children and for the well being of the planet.
People often think that what is eco-friendly is boring and dull. This is wrong because there are so many items, made from recycled materials, that look very beautiful and can do great job in your house or apartment.
While you are reading articles and you are wondering how you can partially change the looks of your home and make it unique, you should not exclude the using of pieces of art and others made from eco-friendly materials.
If you search your home you will find many things that with slight changes can be very interesting and used for decorations, because the first principle of the eco-friendly life is to use one thing over and over or recycle, instead of buying new things, made of expensive row materials and throw them. You will probably find old sheets, which can be cut and transferred to unique curtains for smaller windows like those in the kitchen. They can also be made to pillow shams. You can also sew them and make coverings for small items or even make unique gift bags, which will surely impress the people, you are giving them to.
The natural things can make great decorations. Usually in the autumn people like to collects pine cones and shells as they go to the sea during the summer. They will be brought free in your house and since you have not pay for them, you can use some more luxurious and expensive bowl with nice color and shape, which can make these simple items look like treasure. You can arrange them as you like and put them on smaller and bigger tables, shelves and anywhere you want.
Stones can be very nice decoration in a bowl as well, especially those from the river, because they are very smooth and look beautifully, when are cleaned.
You can fully replace the cut flowers with pots or artificial plants. They are surely not as good as the live ones, but you can make them look fresh and arrange them to match the rest of the room and the house, and you will have nice effect and beautiful place.
Do not stay limited only inside what is written in this article. Free your mind and let your imagination live its own life. Once you do that you will slowly start seeing ideas and items that can be used for house decoration. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on home decoration and Harringay cleaning services.
By Deb Villeneuve
I hope that you enjoy this guest post, which is full of “green” tips that can be useful when it comes time to move into your new home, from Grace Bailey
The utilization of used boxes can be something you’re doing for a variety of reasons, ranging from a love for eco-friendly ideals to purely economic reasons. This is where the used boxes come into the picture, a perfect choice for these times as they are reusable and easy to find. Here are some tips you can use when you work with them:
Where to find used boxes ?
One of your best bets is to try out the local retail stores. They usually have a nice range of good-quality boxes, often used to move heavy items. The best way to go about this is to talk to their manager if you can obtain boxes from them. Some store chains have policies in place limiting the number of boxes one can receive that way. In some other cases they’d be more than happy to provide you with boxes with no trouble attached. Wine stores on the other hand are also a great source of free moving boxes. They are great for books and since most of what they have there already has cell dividers you can use them for bottles, glasses and other breakables.
You can also obtain boxes through the use of bulletin boards, whether its online or offline. You can find their physical variety on laundromats, grocery stores, rec centers and telephone poles among other places. Online bulletin boards may vary from country to country, but each one will likely have an equivalent to Craig’s List or similar websites. You never know what you’ll get as in many of these cases people will gladly give away packing materials they can no longer keep around their homes. It is an excellent way to deal with this through a system of honest trade.
Is it alright to move with used boxes?
It would be wise to test out the durability of the boxes you have before you move. There should be no weak spots no matter where your boxes come from. Products may sometimes leak and this can quickly destroy the bottom of a box. Make sure you don’t stuff them too full so they can handle the weight.
What to do if you can’t find use boxes
You can talk to your friends, family or coworkers to lend you some plastic tote bins. They can do the same job, plus you can usually stack them inside one another. They are easy to use and you’ll have a chance to return them once you’re done with the move.
Will my moving company provide boxes?
Usually not, unless you buy them from the company itself. They will offer you a very nice choice of boxes that are even part of whole kits, but this will extremely rarely be part of the package. Some moving companies offer plastic bins for rent as part of their business, a nature-friendly way of utilizng reusable packing materials.
What can you do with the boxes after the move?
There is much you can do, for example following the same steps others are using when you obtained your boxes. You can put an ad on an online or offline bulletin board, offering the boxes for free. Alternately you can donate the boxes to non-profit organizations in your vicinity such as food banks or charities that deal with donations abroad.
Grace is an author keen on green living, home decoration and innovative design. Currently, she works on a behalf of Bow moving company in the UK
By Vivian Martin
So, you’ve finally decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy your own home… how exciting! You are ready to fulfill your dream of having a place to call your own.
Buying a home is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions you’ll ever make. Prepare by learning about the process of homebuying and the responsibilities of homeownership. The differences between renting and buying a home are vast, and there’s a long list of pros and cons for both options. And, remember — there is no one best decision for everyone. Before moving forward, though, here are some questions to consider.
- Do you have the necessary financial management skills?
- How financially stable are you?
- Are you ready to take on the responsibility of all the costs involved in homeownership, including mortgage payments, repairs, and maintenance?
- Are you able to devote the time required for home maintenance?
There are pros and cons for both renting and buying. Everyone must make his or her own best decision. Buying a home is not for everyone. Take a moment to think through the advantages and disadvantages of both owning and renting. Use this CHMC worksheet to guide you and then visit the CHMC website for further information and the next steps to homeownership.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. Established as a government-owned corporation in 1946 to address Canada’s post-war housing shortage, the agency has grown into a major national institution. CMHC is Canada’s premier provider of mortgage loan insurance, mortgage-backed securities, housing policy and programs, and housing research.
By Vivian Martin
Sleek lines, modern windows and contemporary exterior finishes create a serene and elegant façade.
Enter to discover an enclosed foyer with closet to organize shoes and coats allowing you to step within to your own personal Zen. An open concept living and activity area benefits from subtle separation without cutting off any areas. A surprisingly generous kitchen includes an island eating bar and easily flows to the adjoining dining area.
The sleeping wing includes two bedrooms or a master plus den/office which is so popular with empty nesters or professional couples. A generous bathroom boasts a host of amenities including laundry closet, separate shower and soaker tub, and ample storage.
An unfinished basement could be developed to suit one’s tastes with additional bedrooms, media room or fitness space… or all of the above!
With a small footprint, this lovely home is easy on the budget and nurturing to the soul!
For more details on this plan, click here…
Looking for other Single-Storey or Modern Contemporary House Plans? Check our Bungalow and One-Level Design Collection, Modern Contemporary Design Collection, or use our Advanced Plan Search to find homes with specific features.
Want to receive all of our newest designs directly by email? Create a “New House Plans – Latest Trends” Alert and be the first to see all of our new releases!
By Vivian Martin
Plastic laminate, once the standard surface for postwar home kitchen countertops, still has a big market share due to affordable and maintenance-free options in loads of colors and patterns. Check out the basics and special considerations here to see if a plastic laminate counter might be right for your kitchen.
When building a new home, it is easy to get caught up on high-end finishes. While granite or solid-surface countertops may be on your wish-list, good quality laminate countertops may keep your build budget down and can be replaced as your budget allows. Conversely, things like upgraded insulation in your walls and attic are best done at the time of building. Just something to consider!
By Guest Post
Perusing through home design magazines and recording your favorite home renovation shows can perk up your desire to gut and remodel your own kitchen. While television and magazines have big budgets to make things look lovely, you might not. The way people approach kitchen renovations has changed. Getting your dream kitchen is now more about learning to work with what you can afford instead of breaking the bank. With a little budgeting, some solid planning, and a lot of imagination, your dream kitchen is more than within reach.
Think of Simple Upgrades
There is no need to go with top of the line appliances. Ask yourself if you really need steam over or a burner that specifically boils water. Choosing a standard size refrigerator instead of an extra wide, French door model can save you money. You might be surprised to find that mid-range appliances look and perform a lot better now than they once did.
Focus On Your Needs
It can still be a dream even if you only fix up the things you need instead of investing in only things you want. The emphasis in the kitchen has shifted from what looks good to what works well. If you need more counter space or a better oven, use your budget to replace those items first. Take some time to browse through kitchen dining sets and accessories to get a solid idea of what you need beforehand, saving you plenty of cash in the long run. And with that extra cash you can invest in wall art, new barstools, or a fancy wine rack.
It really pays to do your homework before you launch into the big kitchen remodel. Compare prices on appliances at big box discount stores as well as online. Magazines such as “Consumer Reports” and advice from friends and family members who have recently remodeled their own kitchen can help you make the best decisions about which appliances perform well and which are duds.
Take Baby Steps
Divide the project up into several smaller steps. For example, you might not have the budget to invest in a new stove and a new refrigerator right now, but you can do something small to improve the function of your kitchen. You can replace the knobs on the cabinets or re-paint the walls. If the seating in the breakfast nook is worn, consider purchasing a new barstools or chairs to spruce up the looks of the space.
The average small kitchen remodel costs around $21,000. You can bring that sum down considerably by tackling some of the project yourself. Don’t pay a mover or hauler to take away your old refrigerator or other appliance. You can rent a truck or van and do the task yourself. More adventurous renovators can try taking on some of the actual labor of the project, such as installing new flooring or countertops.
Sometimes, the lower end options look almost as good as the real thing. One example is wood veneer flooring. It doesn’t have the longevity of a hardwood floor, but it costs a lot less up front and has a simpler installation. Feel free to think outside the trendy box when it comes to choosing materials. In most cases, people won’t be able to tell that you’ve gone with quartz over granite or domestic marble over imported.
Create a budget before you start the project and commit to stick to it. Add a bit to your final project amount so that you have some wiggle room if anything goes amiss. A smart renovation means your home’s value can increase. Make sure you are getting the most for your efforts by not spending too much upfront.
By Vivian Martin
Even when you are working with a modest budget, there are lots of ways to make your rooms appear richer and more luxurious that don’t have to cost an absolute fortune. With a few well-planned moves, you can make any room in your house feel like a million bucks.
Follow this slideshow for great tips to add oppulence (and value!) to your home without breaking the bank!