Archive for the 'DIY' 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 Deb Villeneuve
A guest post by Michael Adams
When it comes to home improvement, there are a lot of small details surrounding projects done around the house that seem to have significant impact on their overall effectiveness. This article aims to help with these details by addressing and acting upon them. We begin with the following:
If you don’t have the money to pay a professional designer, you can always focus on doing some work on your own. You can find inspiration in magazines, in Drummond House Plans’ photo gallery and other sources, as these will give you useful information about specific projects.
If you eventually end up needing help during your project but you don’t act ahead of time, you may find yourself facing difficulties you may not be prepared for. It would be best if you start your preparations and you ensure any skilled help before your project is underway so you can achieve your desired results. This is especially important with projects who take place outside at the mercy of local weather.
Roofing can be a serious expense, so make sure you focus on getting as many estimates as you can from various roofing companies, as well as checking for references. There are many options concerning roofing, which include traditional and lightweight materials, shingles or even tile. A roofing contractor will give you more accurate and useful information based on experience, so you might want to pay heed to what they have to share.
Wooden surfaces should be sanded and wiped off before you try to stain or paint them. Make sure you use fine-grit sandpaper so you can smooth the finish. Using a damp rag will help you remove dust as well as keeping the surface neat and clean for further work.
Bathrooms are very sensitive when it comes to any damage or mold. Keep in mind that you may need to replace any showers, sinks and other items around it at the first sign of trouble. You may need to also swap linoleum floors if you see water damage, as mold may become a serious issue in a high-humidity, high-heat environment.
Make sure you keep your building supplies and any other materials safe and sound within a secure storage location. Although the odds of them being stolen are low, you may want to go the extra mile at securing things just to be on the safe side.
Make sure you don’t buy low quality drywall or other materials, as you will feel very sorry for making that choice in the end several years down the line.
If you experience any drops in water pressure, you should consider checking with your neighbors for a similar problem. If they don’t have anything like that happening there, you may be facing some issue with your pipes, such as a leak. Check the faucets and make sure you see whether you need to adjust the aerator of whether you need plumbing help.
Let your neighbors know you plan on doing renovation and home improvement as soon as possible, so they can adapt to the inconvenience. They will have a chance to be better prepared if you do so ahead of time.
More information at http://www.londonremovals.net/east-london/aldgate-removals-e1-manandvan.html
By Deb Villeneuve
A guest post by Michael Adams
Using your imagination you can change the way your home looks as well as giving it a whole lot more storage space to work with. As we age and spend more time in the same place we end up accumulating a lot of possessions that often clog up our entire home. With the following tips you’ll have a chance to escape the fate of being buried in personal belongings by using up space as much as possible for a change:
If you have space issues around your bedroom one of the best ways to go around this is to use a classic and portable Murphy bedas a solution to your needs. They can be a bit of an investment, however they’ll serve you for a long time as you will always have extra space for people to sleep around your place. Excellent for party guests and even for your own bed if you value your floor space.
You can build tall cabinets on the sides of your windows to create the sense of an alcove. Place some soft and nice cushions between them for a lovely window space where you’ll be able to take naps and read some good books. Whatever else you want to do with that space, you should make sure you have enough space to sit down and fit said cushions so you won’t have trouble working with them.
In most modern homes interior walls offer some nice, hollow space inside them that you could utilize. This space is situated right between the wall studs, so you can create some small alcoves there or even shelving. Always remember to check for cables and plumbing inside the wall so you won’t create more problems than you’re trying to solve.
Check those corners
You can use the corners of rooms to even out the angles, creating softer edges and a cozy look. You can use that extra space for shelving, lamps and anything else that suits your needs. You can find cheap shelving solutions that need to be put together from most stores for a quick and easy deal.
If you have the need to separate the sleeping and living room areas of your home, but you don’t have the right or desire to put up some real walls. You can put up a regular room divider or a wardrobe closet to create a temporary wall between both areas. You can put up some colorful fabric on the back of the wardrobe for a better look.
Mirrors and vanity
You can use a mirror or laminate shelf or even a slide-away stool to use the wall space around your home for some nice vanity space. You could make it as wide as you need to as long as it has enough space for all your belongings that need to be close to your front door.
Home Office Area
You can create a small office area around your home with an easy combination of a small, portable desk for a good work surface. You can make a custom one at a carpenter that fits your home better than the ones you find around furniture stores if it doesn’t work for you. For more details visit Central London removals company
By Deb Villeneuve
Translation and editing by Deb of an original article by Marie-France Roger
Despite the time of the year, you may be discovering that you have accumulated many things during the summer months and are now in need of a place to put all of the recreational and pool equipment, garden accessories & furniture, gardening tools & supplies and all of the other necessities of summer living that will not be in use until next year.
We propose a few storage solutions that can help!
Will it blend in with its surroundings?
The perfect solution for storing all of the small and medium sized summer accessories that are so useful in season, a beautiful garden shed that matches your home is not the same as the old style, generic metal shed that was once so popular.
The main thing to consider is the style, which should complement the architectural style of your home. The finishing materials, horizontal or vertical siding for example, window trim and shape are also important as is the roof pitch. The roof pitch is the angle of the slope of your home’s roof. Although it is recommended to match the pitch of a garage to that of the home, you may want to come as close to it as possible when matching a shed to maintain harmony and the feeling that it was made to be a part of your yard.
This is Drummond House Plans‘ most popular shed
Use this link to discover all of the styles and sizes of our shed plans, starting at just $149.!
Whether it’s a castle for your little princess or a fort for the boys, from Craftsman to Victorian and everything in between, we have the playhouse plan that will bring a sparkle to your child’s eye!
Just click on this link if you would like to see our entire collection of playhouse plans
Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to assist you in choosing the perfect plan for your needs
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
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
Looking to wrap up your Christmas gifts with a bit of nostalgia? Using kraft paper tied up with strings may be just the ticket. Easily recycled and easy to personalize, it is a charming and eco-friendly option for wrapping your Christmas gifts.
We’ve been collecting some images on a Pinterest Board with examples… Just a few:
Top a package with a bit of greenery and pine cones
Let out your inner artist with patterns created with liquid paper and a Sharpie!
Dress up your kraft paper packages with stamps and gingham ribbon for country charm!
I like how these small bands of graphic paper pop against the brown. A little paper goes a long way!
For more ideas, check out our Pinterest board and just to get you totally in the mood, let Julie Andrews take you down memory lane!
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things!
Happy wrapping and Merry Christmas!!!
By Vivian Martin
Does the thought of hanging Christmas lights conjure feelings of dread? Have you stared longingly at a beautiful storefront tree and felt ashamed by your own tree’s appearance? Follow these simple steps and your days of disgrace will be a thing of the past.
Eric Bain, a partner at Innovative Construction, spent three months a year in his youth hanging Christmas lights for the town of Vail, Colorado. Following his professional tree-lighting tips will make the wires and cords from your lights disappear from view. This simple installation process also will help you stay stress free, with safeguards to make sure your lights work before and after installation.
So exhale deeply — these tips may help you actually enjoy lighting your Christmas tree this year.
By Vivian Martin
When you need extra counter space or a roll-where-you-need-it servery or bar cart, this kitchen cart is the perfect solution. It can be as sleek or as casual as you like, depending on your colour choices and finishes.
- Construct legs
- Cut base and top
- Cut upper and lower surround pieces
- Complete surrounds
- Shape, cut and drill
- Finish edges
- Fill and sand
- Add wheels and paint cart
- Finish and attach butcher block
Think you’re up to it? Visit the Home Depot website for full instructions here…
By Vivian Martin
While free-standing furniture can look beautiful and provide ample storage, size-wise it may not always work into your space plan.
If this is the case, you may consider blending storage into the room so that it looks like a part of the house itself.
Built-in cabinetry lets you achieve this look, and believe it or not, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.
ADVANTAGES OF BUILT-INS:
Built-ins blend in to your interior instead of standing out from it. Free-standing pieces of furniture can sometimes project out into the room as much as 24″ and tend to appear much “bulkier” than built-in cabinetry that is fitted to (or into) the wall.
Built-ins can provide large quantities of storage because they can use an entire wall without overwhelming the look of the room.
The trim in your house can be coordinated with the built-ins for a nice, cohesive look throughout.
Built-ins can provide more efficient storage because they can be tailored to fit specific needs.
Lighting can easily be integrated into your built-in cabinetry which will add ambience to the room it’s in. Double bonus!
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Search design magazines and the internet for photos of built-in cabinets that appeal to you. Then, analyze your house to determine what will work, and what won’t.
While a large room can handle a full wall of bookcases, a smaller room might do better with a combination of cabinets, cubby holes and shelves. Also, varying the depth and height of the cabinets can go a long way towards balancing the overall look.
When deciding what finish to go with, look to the finishes you’ve already used in your house so that your cabinets blend seamlessly with your existing look.
Think about what you’re going to store in your built-ins. For instance, if you plan to use baskets, measure them and use their measurements to determine the size of your cubbies.
WHO CAN BUILD YOUR BUILT-INS?
Local cabinet makers can bid on your project once you decide on the look and basic design you want.
You! Built-ins cabinets are really just big boxes with trim around them, so with a few inexpensive tools, (and a lot of caulk!) it’s actually fairly easy to build them yourself. If you’re intimidated by adding drawers and doors, just leave them off and use boxes, baskets and other containers to conceal everything.
Follow this slideshow for ideas on how to incorporate built-ins in your home!