Archive for the 'Budget' Category
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.
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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!
By Vivian Martin
Many renovations fall off the rails due to oversights of unplanned expenses. Do you think you have a firm understanding of all of the costs associated with your renow? They may go well beyond the cost of labour and materials for the job itself. Have you considered:
Hidden secrets. Few people know what secrets are hidden within their walls. Demolition could reveal a host of issues that could affect your estimated cost of renovation – mold, creepy crawly colonies, faulty plumbing or wiring, even structural issues! You will want to make sure you have a contingency fund for the what-if’s.
Building code requirements. Depending on where you live, you may face requirements to upgrade your renovated space to current codes. Some examples are wiring upgrades, smoke alarm systems and even energy and seismic upgrades. A bit of research before committing to a remodelling job is recommended.
Offsite storage. Tradespeople are not contortionists. In order for them to work effectively, you’ll need to store stuff that could be in the way. If you don’t have garage space, a basement, a willing friend with extra space (how many of those exist?!) you may have to rent a storage unit for the duration of the project. You’ll need to pad the timeframe a bit as well… Few renovations happen on schedule.
Utility expenses. Table saws, nail guns, paint sprayers and floor sanders all require power and that will add to your utility bills. Heavy traffic will mean frequent door-opening and that will increase your heating and cooling costs, especially during hot or cold weather.
Eating out. Particularly if your project includes a kitchen remodel, you will need to budget to eat out or by pre-prepared foods. When you are in the midst of construction clutter, it is often just a sanity-saver to eat out but these expenses add up quickly!
Creature comforts. Unless your contractor includes a pet-whisperer on staff, you may need to kennel pets during the most intensive phase of construction. This is a far better option than trying to find an escaped pet or deal with a new-found neurosis!
Dumpsters and port-a-potties. These are common expenses that are overlooked. Construction refuse has to be disposed of and this is rarely free. Likewise, unless you want your powder room to suffer some industrial traffic, a portable loo will ensure less disruption to your home.
Always think of your renovation as if Murphy’s Law is poised and ready and you will not find yourself stopping a project before completion just because things did not go perfectly and the budget ran out.
Finally, don’t forget that the expenses don’t stop when the job is complete. Major additions or updates can increase your home’s assessed value, filtering through to your tax bill. Assessment departments have ready access to building permit departments and that can lead to an increase in your assessed value. Of course you don’t want to do an unpermitted renovation to avoid your potential tax increase.
By Vivian Martin
Get a high-end look for your bathroom even if you are on a low-end budget with some helpful design tips.
Even if you’re pinching pennies (and who isn’t these days?), you can still take a bathroom from basic to beautiful. Whether you’re building a new bath from scratch or remodeling an old one, spending a few extra dollars on hardware, fixtures and more can pay big style dividends — and in some cases, chic materials are no pricier than plain ones. Here are nine elements that are easy to amp up without gouging your bank account.
Follow the slideshow below for great tips…
By Vivian Martin
there are plenty of ways to spice up a simple solid-front door. There’s a lot you can do to make them special with stains, paint, stencils, fabric, hardware, embellishments — you name it. With a little creativity and elbow grease, the sky’s the limit.