Category Archives: Home Improvement

Home Improvement Ideas Gone

For every great home improvement idea there are several bad ones, lurking in the corners next to vinyl siding and Dutch doors. But, of course, bad home improvement is not an objective term: one man’s bad home improvement idea is another man’s great home improvement idea. Still, there are some ideas that most people will agree should never see the light of day, and definitely never be let inside the house.

Too Much of Anything: Floral patterns, pirate themes, farm scenery. Too much of anything – regardless of what it entails – is just flat out too much. If your house is decorated in floral pattern from attic to basement, it’s time to uproot some of your ornamentation. If your house is saturated with pirate themes, it’s fair to say you’ve gone overboard. If your house is adorned with nothing but farm scenery, you might consider plowing a new path. Instead of decorating your entire house in one theme, try limiting your theme to one room, and letting the rest of the house have a little variety.

Painting with Outrageous Colors: Maybe you’re young and in love with self expression, maybe you’re older and looking for something to set you apart. Whatever you are, painting with outrageous colors is a way to paint yourself remorseful. It may seem like a great idea to paint the inside of your house neon orange and the outside a not-at-all-subtle hot pink, but in the long run you will likely regret this. You may be forced by a covenant controlled community to repaint, or forced to repaint by your realtor when you attempt to sell. You may even be forced to repaint by your inner being, an inner being tired of feeling constantly trapped inside a Grateful Dead song.

Going for a Futuristic Look: Maybe you have a crazy looking chair sitting in your living room or perhaps you’ve trimmed the evergreen in your front yard to resemble something from 2060, whatever you’ve done to make your home look futuristic, stop right now and live in the present. For whichever reason, as there seems to be a lot of reasons to choose from, the “futuristic look” was one that never really took off. Maybe this is partly because it looks kind of silly or partly due to the fact that it’s hard to decorate for 2060 while living in 2007, but the main reason has to be that our conception of the “future” seems to be entirely off base. If we were to go mainly by our conceptions, by 2000 we would have all bought flying cars and taken family vacations to the moon.

Putting in a Pool (when you won’t use it): Putting in a pool isn’t always a bad idea: if you will actually use one then there is no reason not to have one. However, for many people the concept of a pool is more appealing than the pool itself. Pools are a lot of work: they require maintenance and they kill the lawn. For this reason, having a pool and not using it is futile. If you will only use a pool on occasion, don’t install one: just get a pass to the local recreation center. And, if you live in an area not conducive to year round swimming, such as Wisconsin or Colorado, replace your swimming pool dreams with something else, such as a hot tub.

High Maintenance Landscaping: There is landscaping, and then there is high maintenance landscaping. High maintenance landscaping – a lawn filled with trimmed trees, shrubs, and an assortment of flowers – may look particularly nice, and cause your neighbors to grow green with envy of your green thumb, but this kind of landscaping takes quite a bit of time, time you might not always have. Instead of going overboard and making your lawn parallel some botanic garden, keep your lawn nice with simple means. Landscape with flowers and shrubs that don’t require a lot of attention and stay away from landscaping with the kinds of flowers and shrubs who think they are all that and a bag of wood chips.

Home Improvement Ideas to Add Curb Appeal

Are you looking for some easy home improvement ideas to add curb appeal when selling your home? There are many things you can do. These things can be done by you, not a professional, so they won’t cost a lot of money. Let’s look at what some of these ideas are.

Spruce up the yard is the first thing you can do. If it is the spring or summer get the lawn in better shape by cutting it and fertilizing it if possible. Feeding it necessary nutrients will green it up quite nicely. Also plant some colorful flowers if needed. Trim up bushes and add some fresh mulch. This will give your whole yard a facelift.

Now you can pressure wash your house or have it done by a professional if you have siding. Get all the pollen and dirt off of it. This can make a house almost look brand new at times.

After pressure washing your house you need to paint the trim and any other parts that need it. Painting brightens the whole outside of the house. If you have a single-level home you can probably handle the job yourself. However, if you have more than one level you may want a professional painter to come paint for you. You’ll be amazed at the difference a fresh coat of paint can do for a home.

Wash down your driveway too. Have any cracks repaired or do it yourself better yet. If the driveway is too big of an eyesore though, you may consider replacing it. This could be a major expense, but is easy to get done.

If your roof is noticeably in bad shape, look into getting it re-shingled. This is a big expense, but can help make a good impression for a potential homebuyer. Remember if you can see it needs to be fixed from the street it spoils the curb appeal for the house.

Replace the old mailbox with a brand new one. This is such an easy and inexpensive thing to do. Plant some fresh flowers around it if the season is right for it. Make sure the windows are all in good shape including the screens. If any windows or screens are cracked or broken replace them. This is a must and quite easy to do.

Home Improvement Ideas

Home improvement ideas that can add value to your home. The slowing economy has made everyone evaluate their spending habits. If you are a “swiper”, you definitely think twice before swiping your bank card for a purchase now more than ever. If you own a home, you’re even more careful about spending money especially if you’re among the home owners that experienced a decline in your home value, like most homeowners across the United States.

Embarking on home improvement projects for your home is probably the last thing on your mind. There are some home improvements that are costly and could put a further dent in your wallet. However, there are some home improvement ideas that can add value to your home and keep your wallet intact without putting any holes in it as well. Bottom line is the best way to protect your valuable investment is by making sure it is up-to-date and maintained. Even if your home is upside down in value according to your areas market conditions, you will add or keep more money to your home if you make simple, inexpensive upgrades that would be favorable to your selling position if and when you decide to sell your home.

1. Declutter Your Home – You become very comfortable in your home and don’t mind stepping over your clothes that fell off the chair or side step by the boxes that sit in the dining room to get to the kitchen, but a prospective buyer might cut their visit short simply because they don’t want to feel like their imposing by having to side step boxes or walk through clutter zones.

2. Painting – Paint fades over time and can look dingy. It won’t hurt to give your home a new coat of paint. This easy idea makes your home look new and fresh. It changes the feel of your home. Painting is inexpensive, if you do it yourself. You can also find cheap labor to tackle a painting project. The cool thing is you don’t have to do it all in one day. Neutral colors are recommended as the classic selling choice. But don’t be afraid to use color paint as well. Choose happy bright colors and be careful with bold colors like reds and dark colors overall. Light colors will make a room look larger while darker colors may hide imperfections. If you decide against painting, then at least clean the walls and power wash the exterior.

3. Curb Appeal – When you read the first page of that novel you picked up, if it doesn’t lure you in within the first few paragraphs, you might put it down and never pick it up again. Same concept applies when someone pulls up to your house. First impressions are lasting in almost every category. Expensive landscaping or labor intensive projects won’t do too much at all for your home value but it doesn’t hurt to make the outside of your home look pleasing to the eye. You can achieve this by planting inexpensive flowers, keep bushes trimmed and the lawn manicured. If you have bare spots in the grass, plant some seeds and be sure to remove any dead plants or trees, bushes etc.

4. Repair Damages – Let’s face it, your home will not be low to no maintenance ever. Things will break and wear out. You may elect to put fixing these items on the back burner and while they may be expensive or annoying to repair, they should be a priority. Fill interior and exterior cracks. Investigate cracks to make sure something isn’t going on with the structure of your home. Replace dry rotted wood or discolored wood flooring or carpet, tighten loose railings or fixtures.

5. Updating Bathrooms and Kitchens – Completely remodeling your bathroom or kitchen could be costly. But there are some minor details you can change that are not expensive that can change the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom. Changing the hardware on the cabinets, draw handles and wall switch covers could go a long way. Replacing dated appliances with used appliances could also be a winner. Used appliances may not sound appealing but there are advantages in looking into used appliances. These appliances may be from builders that over stocked for projects and sold them for dirt cheap to the local appliance store in your neighborhood. Or they might have a minor defect that is not visible like a knob missing that could be replaced but is modern like stainless steel and brand names as well.

6. Adding Accessories – sprucing up your living room with a few new throw pillows can go a long way. Adding mirrors in key places also give a boost to the room. Putting a tall tree or plant can change a room making it look bigger because it draws the eyes upward.

7. Flooring – if you can’t change the carpet in the entire house, the next best thing is to rent a power cleaner and clean them. There are some industrial cleaners you can get that restore your carpet almost to its original color. Upgrade your kitchen floor with self adhesive tiles if your kitchen flooring isn’t hardwood or ceramic.

8. Dressing Up Your Wall – Can make a difference. There are inexpensive paintings or posters that you can frame to look like a million bucks. The key with accessories is to incorporate color schemes that flow throughout the room and home. Some designers recommend adding a thing in two’s to provide balance to the wall or room.

9. Upgrade Lighting – if you’ve lived in your home awhile, chances are the lighting fixtures have become dated and possibly discolored. Upgrading to newer models can post a positive return on your investment.

10. Changing Faucets – Changing your faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms to water efficient faucets makes a difference in appearance and usage.

Easy To Follow Home Improvement

Home improvement can be really helpful for beautifying a home, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed and to not even get started with the process. It´s true that those of us who have a true passion for interior design and doing it yourself have it much easier than those who don’t have that passion. I have outlined some home improvement ideas below to help you get started with the process. Let’s have a look at those ideas..

– Adding a leather sofa set might be one of the best things you can do when it comes to adding more comfort to your entire room and house. Guests and probably also yourself love to have it comfortable during the hours in your home. Leather sofa sets create an environment that adds more value to a community and will help your guests to feel like in their own homes. Buying a leather sofa set should depend on the overall style and design of your room. Be smart and consider sofa sets that are congruent with your room.

– Improving your own current windows might be another great idea for your home. That is especially accurate when you do have a home with windows that simply need improvement and renovation. Vinyl windows perfectly match with any room design and are the new preferred style.

– Creating a recreation room is a fantastic idea if you need more relaxation at home. In fact, if you do have kids they will certainly love to have a special place in which they can play their favorite games or activities when they get back home from school. Designing a game room is something that can happen at any given time. Here it is important to consider how old your kids are and what types of games they would like to play. Logically, the games you should add to this place mostly depend on the capability of your kids. Board games or puzzle games tend to be perfect for babies to young kids. On the other hand, PlayStation games, billiards or shuffleboard will be ideal for kids between the age of 6 to 16.

– Developing a great working environment is another important factor of your entire home environment. Think about your current working conditions of home and if you do have an office what could you improve? Also, if your kids need a quite room to do their homework it is advisable to add a comfortable office chair and an appropriate desk to your room. Make certain to get all other components such as table lamp, pens, maps etc.

Five Home Improvement Ideas to Consider

Home improvement is a very widespread field, with many ideas from which to choose. During the summertime, countless people think about remodeling their homes, making improvements to certain rooms of the house, but are often not sure which improvements to do. Low-cost home improvements that not only improve your home’s appearance, but also help you save money in the long run, are the hottest plans currently. I’m writing this to list these ideas and hopefully, help spark your imagination. These are the top 5 home improvement ideas for 2009:

1.) Installing “Green” Technology – Due to the need of almost everyone to save money right now, and because of the increased awareness of the need to save our environment, the top home improvement plan right now is the installing of “green” technology, also known as “going green.” This could include such installments as solar panels, power-generating windmills, environmentally-friendly cleaners, energy efficient heating and cooling system, and energy-saving light bulbs. Solar panels may be costly at first, but they will save a huge amount of money in the long run by generating your own electricity. The same goes for the energy efficient heating and cooling system – it will help you save money on your electric bills. Windmills can not only help you generate your own electricity, but they can be made with parts from the junkyard. You can’t get much cheaper than that! Also, many of these “going green” improvements will help you qualify for a tax break and help out the environment. It’s a win-win situation.

2.) Install a programmable thermostat – This may be a very simple improvement, but don’t underestimate it. Installing a programmable thermostat will help save money on your electric bills. How does it do this? Instead of having the air conditioning or the heater running all day, the pre-programmed thermostat only turns on the AC or the heat when the temperature of the house gets too hot or too cold. This keeps the central heating and cooling system from running unnecessarily and, in turn, saves you money.

3.) Re-insulate your home – Making sure your home is well insulated will also help save you money on electric bills. That is because a well-insulated home will not let out cool air in the summer, and it will not let out warm air in the winter. That also keeps hot or cold air from drafting into the house.

4.) Paint or re-decorate your living space – This may seem like a very simple improvement to your home, but it is effective. Painting your rooms and re-decorating in soothing colors and accents will help you relax and want to spend more time in your newly decorated home. Pamper yourself along with the new designs and you will feel like you are at a spa getaway.

5.) Put in a patio – This is probably the most expensive option (unless you have close friends or family who are carpenters) but it is worth the splurge. A patio or a sun deck will allow you to relax and soak up some rays in your own back yard. You can grill out with family and friends, sun bathe on a chaisse lounge, or watch the stars from your patio. The good thing about putting in a patio is that it is actually less expensive than adding a room onto your house. A patio may be a small addition, but it will more than pay for itself with all the hours of relaxation it will afford.

Great Home Improvement Ideas

Home improvement covers everything from replacing old bathroom fixtures to putting up insulation in your yard. I the summer, particularly, remodeling is very much on people’s minds. But sometimes there seem to be too many possible ideas to choose from. A number of low-cost home improvements not only make your house look better, but they help save money over time due to energy savings. Here’s a brief list of ideas to help get you started with some low-cost improvements.

1) Why not do a cosmetic makeover of your living space? Sure, it seems simple, but the psychological lift can be immense. Painting and redecorating in soothing colors can help you relax and enjoy your home more. After all, if you’re going to be in your home, you might as well enjoy it, right? Sometimes a cosmetic makeover can help you feel as if you’re in a relaxing spa.

2) Put in new insulation. Making your home well-insulated is an investment in future energy savings in the form of lower electric bills. A well insulated home keeps the cool, air conditioned air inside in the summer and keeps the warm air in in the winter.

3) Make your house “greener.” It seems that everyone is trying to save money right now, and it also seems that everyone is interested in making their lives more eco friendly. That’s why installing green technology in your home right now is very popular. Making your home greener could mean installing windmills and solar panels, or it could mean using more environmentally friendly cleaning products or replacing your old central heating and air system. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs may seem costly, but the savings in energy bills will more than outweigh the initial cost. Windmills are fairly low tech items, and some people build their own windmills. Another great side effect of going green is that  many “green” technologies like solar panels help you qualify for a sizeble tax credit. Taken together, the savings on energy bills plus the big tax break can save you big money over the long term.

4) Use a programmable thermostat. This may seem so small as to be insignificant, but it really isn’t. When you install a programmable thermostat, you’ll save money on your electric bills. You program it so that you don’t have the heating and air conditioning on all day while nobody is home. By cutting usage of the central heating and air system so that it’s just on when there are people at home, it keeps the system from running when it isn’t necessary, saving you money on electric bills.

5) Install a patio in your back yard. While this may be an expensive home improvement project (even if you’re big into DIY), it can be a very worthwhile project. By making your backyard more inviting and relaxing, you’ll spend less time having to go places for entertainment. Cookouts with neighbors can be a very fun and sociable evening. Or you could put up a telescope if you like stargazing. Sometimes a hammock is just the thing on a warm afternoon. The payback from a patio won’t necessarily be monetary, but the relaxation it can provide you and your family is priceless.

Whatever home improvement ideas you pursue, the payoff will make up for the cost eventually. Maybe these ideas aren’t your cup of tea, but there are endless home improvement ideas you can pursue.

Home Improvement Increase the Value of Your Home

Everybody wants a beautiful home. For most people, it is not enough to keep up with home repairs and maintenance; they want to go the extra mile. If you have money to spare you may want to renovate your home to increase its value. Home improvement can be a smart investment especially if you have good home improvement ideas like the ones below.

Remodeling

If you want to remodel your kitchen or bathroom it may be a good idea to let a professional do the changes. A kitchen makeover can involve installing new kitchen cabinets, a kitchen island, counters and tops, sinks, etc. When renovating your kitchen, try to imagine the best layout for your kitchen. Consider the workflow and plan where you want to locate the stove, refrigerator and sink.

A bathroom renovation is also an excellent home improvement idea. You may want to de-clutter a small bathroom to make it look bigger. A professional can suggest colors, tiles, accessories, bathroom furniture and fixtures to give your cozy bathroom a new and modern look.

Landscaping and Outdoor Decor

Decorating your yard or patio is a great idea to improve your home. Outdoor furniture will help you to relax on weekends. A beautiful, landscaped yard will make your home more inviting and increase the value of your property.

Home Lighting Fixture

You can make a big difference on the way your home looks with the right home lighting fixtures. Home lighting must be suited to the room and its purpose. Kitchen lighting must be well distributed to illuminate all working areas and cabinets. A pendant light over the kitchen table or island is a good idea.

For the bathroom, you will need shadow free light. Your bedroom will require soft lighting. Other rooms will require different type of lighting fixtures. As a rule, you should buy lighting fixtures based on the location and amount of light you need in that room. In addition to cost, aesthetics and quality should also be considered as they are important factors in improving your home.

De-Cluttering Your Home

Smart home improvement ideas can help you manage clutter and keep your home neat and clean. Extra shelves and cabinets go a long way in getting clutter organized. Decorative boxes, baskets, storage bins, sorters and similar containers can hold your stuff so you know where to find everything. Get rid of clothes, magazines and other stuff that you don’t need. Remember, the first step to having a beautiful home is to make sure it’s clean and neat.

Affordable Interior Home Improvement

Looking for some easy interior home improvement ideas that can improve the look of your home without huge expenses? We have some inexpensive ideas for you.

Why Update?

So you have lived in your house for a few years and its showing wear and tear. There are a lot of home improvement ideas that you can do inside your house that don’t cost much money; that’s if you do them yourself. It’s much more affordable to do what improvements you can on your own. These improvements could even improve the value of your house so it’s well worth looking into them.

Wet Paint

Painting the inside of your house is something you can do quite easily. Matte-finished paint is extremely easy to paint with. Your local home-improvement store can fill you in on what supplies you need. It can even teach you what materials you need and the procedures you need to go through to successfully paint your inside walls. You could even learn how to do stenciling or other decorative techniques.

Curtain Call

You can replace your old, faded curtains with bright new ones at a low cost. Hit the bargain stores for these instead of the high price stores though. Remember you are trying to keep everything as affordable as possible. You also could choose new blinds, shades or other window dressings.

Kitchen Duty

Kitchen duty involves brightening up the kitchen you have. You can just replace the cabinet doors with new ones if they are too badly aged. Another way to brighten them up would be to paint them. If they have a protective finish on them it will have to be removed first through stripping or sanding. Then all you have to do is use a good quality high-gloss or satin-finish paint to lift their look. Also replace the old knobs with new ones. Don’t forget the drawers either.

Clean the Carpets

Simply shampooing the carpets will do wonders for your whole house. Carpets have a way of getting stained and grungy looking if not cleaned periodically. We walk on them all day without realizing we are grounding in dirt which dims the color of the carpet. You can rent shampooers or have it done professionally; either way is an affordable investment in your house.

Shine the Floors

If you have wood floors gently clean them and if they have a finish on them you may need to strip and redo the floors. In the event you have tile floors though examine the floors to see if there are cracked tiles the need replacing. If you can still get that same style of tile most of the time the broken ones can easily be replaced. You might want a professional for this job if you are not handy with your hands.

Basking in the Bathroom

You want to be able to enjoy your bathrooms. What is fun about looking at a bunch of worn out fixtures though? Replace these unsightly fixtures with shiny new ones. Do you have a sink, toilet or tub in dire need of attention? These too can be replaced or in some cases resurfaced. Now this might cost you a bit for the tub but a sink or toilet is not that large of an expense.

Home Improvement Ideas for the New Year

The New Year might be well and done but it doesn’t mean that home improvements are over. Quite the opposite actually since new materials, designs and ideas are only starting to appear for 2011. There are quite a number of great ideas that people including housewives and handicraft enthusiasts can try on or experiment on.

From your child’s room down to the bathroom, everything can be easily fixed and ordered to create wonderful looking interiors. Find the right partner for the outside and you can definitely create great exteriors or completely redesign your outdoors, backyard or front porch.

Here are several great home improvement ideas that you can use in order to make breathe new life into your home.

1. For interiors, the many interior designers believe that 2011 will mark the passing of the torch to minimalism. Get rid of all the useless things that make your home a clutter. Focus on getting your home more breathing space which will in turn help you and your family live a little lighter.

2. For exteriors particularly for backyards listen up. One underused home improvement idea is the use of gas firepits in your backyard. Why you ask? Well having a gas firepit handy will usually spell fun for you and your family. Instead of going out-of-town for a camping trip to sleep under the stars and share ghost stories with your kids, you can stay in the comforts of your own home and camp out. Using your gas firepit you can even roast marshmallows and cook hotdogs in the evening to have a completely unforgettable time with your whole family.

3. Another underused home improvement idea is to get non-fluorescent lights in some areas of your house. You have to remember though that these lights should be placed on areas within the interior that does not usually cater to reading. If you have a den which you use primarily for watching movies, try replacing those lights and have a warmer lights installed. With warm lights, you get to have a better ambient light on your den which makes it more homely or cozier to relax on.

So far these are only several home improvement ideas that you can use to get a good idea of what the new trend for this year would be. There are other sources of information that you can use in order to find out other home improvement and DIY ideas.

Magazines are a great source of information, while oftentimes dated compared to the information available online or rather on the Internet it is still a great idea to read those articles especially since most of the major home improvement employ big names in the interior design and landscaping world. Hitting the Internet forums can also give you a good grasp of what you should be doing with your home in general. You also get to swap ideas with other like-minded individuals on the dos and don’ts of home improvement. The most important thing is you’ll be able to improve and promote change in your house for the New Year.

Effective Home Improvement Ideas

Why the need for tricks? Well, some jobs are known to be intimidating, and downright scary. One perfect example is redoing or improving the home. The costs alone are enough to turn over to the other side of the bed, cover our heads with our pillows, and go to sleep. Then we may also have to contemplate a “not-so-great” job with it, the neighbors starting to sense something awkward, and we will be left alone to live with it. The good news is we can always do something about it. All we need are simple tricks and home improvement ideas so we can get around these concerns.

Remodeling can become an inexpensive activity that is capable of changing or improving the living conditions inside your home. Aside from that, it can also increase the livable spaces within, thereby giving you more options on what you may want to add in it. All these are possible with simple home improvement ideas. Focusing your attention on your house’s exterior is a good start. The exterior can give neighbors that impression that things are much better inside. Simple activities like putting fresh paint can do just that.

Modern times call for so many home improvement ideas. But it would be much better if you can introduce the element of affordability in it. Low-cost improvements will not only improve our homes, but it also saves you money in the long run. And this is what really matters these days, given the hardships we are in. Here are some of these great ideas.

• Introducing “Green” technology – Because everyone is now realizing the importance of taking care of our environment and this great big home that we are living in, having green technology inside your home is a trick that sets the tone for your home improvement ideas. You can put together solar panels, environment-friendly cleaners, efficient cooling and heating systems, and of course, the very dependable energy-saving light bulbs. Some of these may seem too heavy for your budget right now, but it sure will carry you in the long run. Generating your own electricity is very efficient and cost-effective; however you may want to look at it.

• Redecorating and painting your home’s living spaces – These are very simple tricks that can do so much to beautify your home. And it really works! Introducing fresh new paints to the rooms using cool and soothing colors plus the accents helps in creating a more relaxed atmosphere, making you and the rest of your family want to stay home more often.

• All effective ideas to improve your home must come in complete packages. And your home improvement activities will never be successful if you are unable to address more serious concerns, like maintenance issues, or re-insulating all corners of your home. A well-insulated home will help you save money on electric bills. You won’t need to worry about cool air leaking out during summers, or warm air during winters.