Winter The Best Time Of The Year For Home Improvement

Many homeowners elect to engage in home improvement projects during the spring and summer seasons. This is because many people want to get outdoors and paint their home, or replace a tile on the roof. These seasons provide some of the best types of weather for these particular home improvement projects. However, there is another time of the year in which you can perform various projects. That is in the winter. This is considered the off season for home improvement tasks, and can prove to be one of the best times of the year to actually indulge in these tasks.

If you are interested in performing home improvement projects in the winter, you will find that you can indulge in some great deals! Most home project supplies are drastically discounted during the winter season. You can purchase paints, painting supplies, garden supplies, home improvement tools, and power tools for much less in the winter than you can in the seasons of spring and summer. This can open up numerous possibilities for you as far as home projects are concerned during this time frame.

One of the first projects that you can pursue in the winter season is home organization. There are many different projects that surround the concept of home organization. Installing modular closet organizers, shelving, and other types of organizational systems in the home may prove to be extremely beneficial. Not only can these projects be done indoors, you can save a lot of money by purchasing the supplies to complete these projects in the winter.

The next project that you can complete during the winter is pipe replacement. Many individuals elect to replace the internal pipe system in the home to avoid the complications of bursting pipes, frozen pipes, and more. If you have been looking for a great time for this type of project, the winter season is the best! Pipes are often discounted during the winter months due to the fact that they are sold in such large amounts in the winter.

As you can see, winter makes a great time to do some home improvement projects. You can buy the supplies for relatively little as far as money is concerned, and enjoy working in and around your home when others are settling down for the year. No more searching everywhere for supplies, or breaking the bank to get what you need! Buy your home improvement supplies at the end of the year, and save a ton!

Md Home Improvement Adding A Unique Touch To Your Home.

There are a lot of MD home improvement projects to suit all possible tastes and preferences. So if you’ve decided to renovate your home and give it a new look, then you should know that there is an abundance of ideas for the perfect design.

When you decide to refurbish your home, consider all the areas in which you can make modifications. You can browse a specialized DC Magazine and search for practical suggestions. For renovated or new homes alike, granite has grown in popularity more and more. There are many MD home improvement projects that consider granite one of the most valuable materials used for kitchen renovation. The natural beauty of a granite counter top is one of its main qualities.

Granite is now presented in almost every DC Magazine as a kitchen counter top material. It comes in a vast array of shades, colors and textures and is able to compliment any dcor. The durability is another strong point for granite and its use in MD home improvement projects. It is one of the most durable materials available, resistant to staining and discoloring. Using granite can add richness to ones kitchen as there are a lot of patterns and every slab of granite has different features from the next. Consider the dcor of your home while choosing the pattern and keep in mind that neutral colors are more flexible with dcor changes in the future.

A lot of MD home improvement projects draw attention the importance of flooring. Wood floors have great value in several ways as they need no replacement over a long period of time and their installment in a house can bring about an enhancement in the value of the house. You can find various suggestions in one of the DC Magazine available out there but every single one will surely mention the incredible durability and ease of maintenance.

Many people are interested in the design of a personally customized floor as it is easy to create by combining a choice of colors, colored chips and even glitter options. There are dozens of colors to choose from. One must bear in mind that darker colors are often found in formal or traditional interiors while lighter shades go well with a casual and contemporary setup.

There a lot of DC Magazine ideas about flooring. One must consider the personal preference for pre-finished or unfinished flooring and also stain color. The latest technology coupled with an almost endless choice of finishes, styles and designs makes hardwood flooring one of the most practical yet versatile floor coverings available for MD home improvement projects. The most used types of hardwood are: brazilian walnut, caribbean cherry and blood wood. Laminate floors are also a good idea especially for those who want the style and look of hardwood but cannot afford it.

Another good idea for a MD home improvement project is an air purifier system. The air purifier that you have chosen should be able to collect not only dust but also those unwanted chemicals and gas inside your home. It is an excellent way for you to invest in your health and wellness. If you purchase a quality product, use it correctly and care for it, you can see a remarkable difference in the quality of the air around you. Also, if you need a purifier that is going to pull out allergens from the air and create a healthy living environment because you suffer from allergies, it is vitally important to look for a high quality filtration system.

An air purifier humidifier not only will help you look and feel younger, it will also make your home look and feel younger. Try to find DC Magazine ideas on how to improve the healthy living aspect of your home and put them in use. Some magazines suggest adding a fragrance to the air purifier system. As the unit circulates, it will also dispel whatever fragrance you have inserted into it.

The outdoor renovation is just as important, at least that is why every DC Magazine is trying to suggest. Deck railing patterns are extremely important when it comes to deciding how you want your deck railings to look. There are a lot of designs to choose from; it all depends on the personal preferences. Some people prefer glass balusters as they are a smart solution to gain better visibility and are elegant looking. The ornamental metal such as iron is another good idea as it offers both beauty and durability.

10 Reliable Methods To Avoid Frequent Diy Home Improvement Mistakes

People love to complete home improvement projects on their own. This concept of Do-It-Yourself Projects usually take up at least twice the time and three times the money then really required. The basic reason being that DIYers tend to make numerous mistakes that lead to home improvement projects becoming more expensive and time-consuming.

Listed are 10 surefire ways to avoid the top DIY home improvement mistakes in the future and ensure success.

1. Take out the required permits:

Usually many DIYers skip this step. The reason being it is time consuming and to avail of these permits you have to deal with the government bodies. But having home improvement permit helps. When you are issued a permit, the person in the permitting office makes sure that the project is done correctly and that you stay safe in the process. Permits also, help cover insurance in regards to improvements.

2. Availability of correct tools and materials for the project:

You need to invest in the right, necessary and quality tools and supplies, to avoid any delay or problems during the project.

3. Proper storage of the raw/finished material deliveries

It is important to allocate a proper and sufficient space (job site) for the materials delivered by the supplier. Exposing the material to different weather conditions may cause damage to the supplies. At the same time open exposure may lead to theft.

4. Do not skimp on materials

It is not advisable to skimp on materials. What is required is required, even if it costs. For example, it is advisable to use at least 5/8-inch and 3/4-inch drywall for building walls and 3/4-inch plywood for sub-floors, cutting on the sizes may end up into problems such as low sound barrier and weaker floor.

5. A must do before painting walls:

Before painting walls, clean the walls sand them and patch the holes that are visible. Then use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you\’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you\’re painting a lighter color over a darker color.

6. Use the correct paint:

When you paint the interior make sure that there is a satin finish, to enable you to scrub. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it. And use flat paints for ceilings.

7. Maintain safety while working:

Wear the safety equipments while at work. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood. Wear a hard hat when you\’re working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you\’re painting or staining, or stripping old finishes off of floors or walls. Wear gloves when carrying wood, metal and rock, or when hammering, and wear a nail or tool pouch to prevent damage to your floors, feet, and pets. Avoid loose and hanging clothes while working.

8. Measure twice and cut once:

It is probably the most important rule of any project. If you are going to make a mistake, make it too long. For example, you need to cut a wooden frame, cut it longer than required, so that you can measure twice, before the final cut.

9. Know the limits of your abilities:

You may not be good at everything. Understand your limitations. If you lack experience at plumbing or electrical work avoid attempting these projects.

10. Don\’t start to learn how to do a project on your own house:

It is always advisable to learn how to do a project from an experienced DIYer or a contractor. Assisting your friend, who is experienced in this matter, helps. Ask questions before taking up task. Be fully knowledgeable before starting the project.
If you intend to go for a DIY home improvement projects adhere to these tips, to avoid numerous mistakes and delays.

Professional Home Improvement Services Offered By Vista Remodeling

One characteristics of a home structure is that it depreciates at certain number of years. The time for it to become dysfunctional depends on the materials used for the house. In any way, home improvement is still needed to maintain the quality of home that most people need. Feeling at home and finding a good place to relax in your home is one of the securing emotions that one may feel after going away for work. But if the home doesn�t give that cozy and comforting environment, then it would be the proper time for home improvement.

Luckily there are professional home improvement services that can provide assistance in your home improvement needs such as Vista Remodeling. The company provides home improvement services in your entire house although a room to room improvement can also be done. Whether you want your entire house remodeled or only a few part of it, Vista Remodeling can give you the necessary assistance and work to implement your home improvement needs with their free consultation, project monetary estimates, and time estimates to get the work done. They deal with their customers professionally by trying to meet customer expectation and building customer trust and loyalty. It is embedded in their mission to put customer�s safety and comfort in their homes and put the customer�s dreams and ideas to reality. Their professional services do not end when the project is done but rather they extend long term relationship with them.

With this in mind, home owners can be assured of the services of Vista Remodeling which range from bathroom remodeling, granite countertop, basement finishing, kitchen remodeling, and flooring solutions. All these services can be offered by Vista Remodeling in details according to what the clients may prefer for their home and can also provide consultation.

For instance, one client may have problems with their floor. If Vista Remodeling sees that it fits to install hardwood floor in the client�s house, then Vista Remodeling suggests and so it forms part of the free consultation that they offer. If the client does prefer the benefits and the theme that hardwood floor provides in their house then Vista Remodeling can readily provide the needed work. Aside from the fact that Vista Remodeling can install hardwood floor in the client�s flooring solution they may also interact by giving the client the estimate of when the task will be done. With professional workers in Vista Remodeling, they can provide the estimates and ensures that the work is done at the soonest time possible. This is important information that the client may want to know because to install hardwood floor means a time when the occupants cannot pass through that particular floor at work. Providing them of the estimated time to work would provide them with expected time when their inconvenience ends. Aside from the know-how to install hardwood floor and the estimates needed, Vista Remodeling ensures that client gets the needed floor it expects and when problems come in the future, they will be there to provide further assistance.

Of course there are other flooring solutions that clients may need such as install tile and lamination. Good thing Vista Remodeling services offer this as well. Whatever the clients may prefer, professionalism and expertise is the key why Vista Remodeling can be a part of your home improvement needs.

Find The Best Home Improvement Loan In Minutes

Getting funds for home improvements is not an easy task. However, with the new tools that the digital era provides, you can obtain in a matter of minutes, several offers on home improvement loans that you will be able to compare so as to find the best offer that suits your needs and budget. It is important however, to know exactly what you seek.

There are different loan products that you can obtain and can be destined to improving your property. Though there are home improvement loans specially tailored for that purpose, there are also alternative sources of income that can be used to and you should consider them all prior to applying for a particular loan product.

Different Loan Products

For starters, you can refinance your home loan for a higher loan amount than your current mortgage loan and thus obtain extra funds for undertaking home improvement projects. These loans are known as cash-out refinance home loans and can be obtained when you have sufficient equity left on your home. As long as your property�s value is superior to the current mortgage balance, you can request a cash-out refinance home loan and use that difference for financing home improvements.

If you do not want to refinance you current home loan because it has good terms, you can still get finance from your home equity by requesting a home equity loan or line of credit. A home equity loan (second mortgage) is a loan that uses the equity (difference between your property�s value and mortgage balance) to guarantee the amount of money borrowed and has similarly advantageous terms to home loans.

Home equity lines of credit work likewise but are a revolving source of funds from which you can obtain any amount you need up to certain limit. Also, you can repay the money borrowed the way you want with minimum payments that usually consist only of interests. You can always withdraw more money when you need it as long as you do not exceed the credit limit.

There are also unsecured loans that can be used for undertaking home improvement projects. These loans carry lower amounts than secured loan but there is no risk of repossession since no collateral is required. The interest rate charged is a bit higher and so are the monthly payments. Still, if the home improvement project does not require a high amount of money, they constitute the most simple choice since approval is fast and hassle free.

Online Lenders and Loan Comparison

The easiest way to obtain the loan you need is to search online for lenders after you have decided which loan type best suits your needs. You just need to make a quick search for cash-out refinance home loans, home equity loans or lines of credit or unsecured loans and many different lenders will be presented to you.

Do not go for the first offer you receive, instead, compare what the different lenders have to offer by requesting loan quotes from them and analyzing the loan terms. After you have made a comparison and decided which lender and loan offers you the best option, you will just need to fill the online application and wait to be contacted by the lender.

Cork Floors For The Kitchen And Basement

There are times when the most important rooms in a house aren�t what we usually think they are. Bedrooms are living rooms are what most people think are the most important, but for some, the kitchen and the basement provide more comfort when designed the right way.

The kitchen is a place where culinary creativity is enhanced. For some, it is also a place for solitude, especially in the morning while having a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper.

The basement, although commonly used as storage areas, can also be turned into places for creativity, rest, and recreation. Some people have creatively converted their basements into extra bedrooms, or a play area for their children.

If you consider the kitchen and basement to be important rooms in your home, then installing cork floors can enhance their beauty. Here are a few reasons why.

Cork Floors for the Kitchen

Kitchen flooring is one of the most used areas in many homes, especially those with complete families. Kitchens are often considered as high traffic areas, even more when there are guests in the house. This is probably why many homeowners think twice about installing these in their kitchen. The reason is, there is a common misconception about them mainly because of their softness.

Many people believe that these floors aren�t durable enough to handle a high traffic area. However, they are quite the opposite. Even though cork is softer than other flooring materials, it does not lack in durability.

They have been proven time and again to be very durable. In fact, some manufacturers produce specially treated products to enhance the durability of these floor tiles. Many high traffic areas like buildings, offices, and churches use specially treated these floors because these are not only durable, but also increase the beauty of the area.

Many modern homes use cork tiles for the kitchen flooring. The wide variety designs available make it easier to match the floor design with the overall theme of the kitchen. Whether the kitchen has a modern or contemporary design, there will surely be a cork tile design that will match perfectly.

Cork Floors for the Basement

One of the reasons why homeowners are hesitant to use cork tiles as basement flooring is because of these areas are prone to moisture. This is definitely true as moisture can seep from a concrete floor and wreck havoc on cork tiles. However, there is a way to prevent this from happening.

Homes that use these floors or hardwood for their basements use the floating floor design. This is when plywood is first installed over the concrete floor and a moisture barrier is added. Cork floors with a click together design are then installed over the plywood.

It�s important to note that these floors expand and contract depending on the temperature and humidity in a room. This is a normal occurrence for cork and hardwood floors. When cork floor tiles are used for basement flooring, small gaps are provide along the sides of the wall to allow the tiles to expand and contract naturally.

The Advantage Of A Secured Home Improvement Loan

If you’re thinking about making minor upgrades or improvements to your home and you can handle the expense from your income or savings, you shouldn’t concern yourself with taking out a loan. But, if your home improvement project is large enough to consider it a home renovation, you may not be able to complete the project without financial assistance. As a homeowner, you might want to consider the advantage of a secured home improvement loan.

The first thing you should compare before choosing any home improvement loan are the interest rates. The main advantage of a secured home improvement loan is the interest rate, which tends to be lower than an unsecured loan. Secured home improvement loans are backed, or secured, with the homeowner’s property and the equity in your home determines the amount of the loan.

Interest rates can vary widely since many lenders in the financial market now offer secured home improvement loans. Many potential lenders offer websites to apply for a loan online. This may save you the stress of having to meet the lenders personally. You can fill out the application online. Most lenders have a quick response time and this will allow you to compare the interest rates of a number of lenders in a short amount of time.

Keep in mind that secured home improvement loans are generally approved for a specific use. Any approved loan money spent that doesn’t appear to be related to the original loan purpose stated may cause you to receive a substantial penalty. Due to the special purpose requirement of many secured home improvement loans, your lender may ask you to give detailed documentation about the projects for home improvement that will take place. Lenders are more likely to approve projects that will increase the value of the property which, in turn, increases the equity on your home. Any increase on the value of the property being used to secure the loan will increase the value of the asset backing the loan and that’s mutually beneficial to both the homeowner and the lender.

As long as you have specific home improvement projects in mind, the advantage of a secured home improvement loan outweighs the annoyance of keeping detailed records of your expenditures. If you are unsure about the exact financial requirement of your home improvement project, have an architect or other professional estimate your financial need. They can help you calculate the amount of money you will need before applying for a secured home improvement loan.

Home Improvement Scams – What To Look Out For

The sad fact of life is that for every hundred reputable tradesmen who will carry out your home improvement project to your exact specifications, on time and at a reasonable price, there are a few rogue ‘cowboys’ out there whose only objective is to part you from your money as quickly as possible with scant regard for their workmanship and that’s if any work gets done at all!

However, there are many things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of these ‘con artists’.

Firstly, ask friends of yours for recommendations. They may have had work done by a particular tradesman previously who carried out a professional job at a fair price. If that’s not possible, make sure the tradesman can prove their competence by finding out if they are trained to do the job and whether they are members of a particular trade association. The tradesmen themselves should be able to supply that information and give you contact details of associations with whom you can verify their claims or, alternatively, you can contact a particular trade association and ask them to recommend someone in your area.

Always ask for a written estimate or, better still, a fixed quote prior to work commencing and get a few quotations so you can make comparisons. Ask for this to be specifically put in writing and, if there is any ‘small print’ or things you don’t understand, ask them to explain it fully and to add the explanation into an amended quotation before you sign any agreements.

You should also ask any tradesmen certain questions in addition to verifying their ability and reputation to do the job as mentioned above. This should include asking how many projects like yours they’ve completed in the past couple of years and to give you some references so you can contact previous people who have had work carried out by the tradesman. Ask them to produce an insurance certificate so you can be sure that you’ll receive compensation should the job go wrong.

When it comes to payment, try to limit, or even eliminate, any upfront payment as much as possible and always pay by cheque or by credit card. Never use cash. Quite often, a reputable tradesman will not require any payment until the job’s completed to your satisfaction, but if it’s a big job that’s going to take some time, they may require some form of payment upfront for materials and additional labour costs first. If that’s the case, make sure you have written proof and their signature to say that they have received X amount before starting the job.

If they require some payment upfront, ask them to give you contact details of other customers who can verify that this arrangement worked out OK. Where possible, negotiate payment in stages. So much after 25% of the work’s done, another payment after half is done and the rest upon satisfactory completion is an example. Don’t make any final payment until you’re fully satisfied that the work has been completed to your specifications and, if they are using other sub-contractors, ensure that these have all been paid prior to handing over the final payment to the main contractor. Don’t hand over any final payment until the tradesman hands over written warranties for materials and for the quality of workmanship and that you have written proof that all sub-contractors have been paid in full.

Providing you ask the right questions, get satisfactory answers, do your research and get everything put in writing, there should be no problem, but watch out for scams. These include tradesmen who’ll only accept cash, those who’ll ask you to pay for the entire job upfront, those who do not provide you with a business or a home address and telephone number or suggest that you borrow money to pay for the job from a lender they know, or those that solicit door-to-door.

Knowledge, vigilance and awareness are your best forms of protection in ensuring your home improvement project is completed without any hitches.

Tips For Hiring A Home Improvement Contractor

Home improvement projects are often a challenge, and hiring a home improvement contractor often becomes necessary. Hiring a contractor for such projects might sound easy, but the contractor has to be hired with discretion and good judgment to achieve the best results.

A good home improvement contractor would be able to follow up a project from start to finish, and deliver the required results within a given time frame. But the challenge is to find such a contractor, and ensure a smooth deal, from hiring the contractor to handover. Some of these easy tips on hiring a contractor should help you with the process:

First and foremost, remember that hiring the first contractor you come across is not the best idea. You need a to shortlist a few likely contractor candidates before hiring the best out of them. Try to consider only those home improvement contractors who have been recommended by friends, colleagues or acquaintances.

In case such recommended contractors are fewer than you would like to choose from, ask other contractors for references from previous clients. Hiring a contractor who has been recommended online is also a great option. Check out and interact with all such references before hiring. A good tip is hiring a contractor who has done similar jobs before.

Before hiring the final contractor for the job, ask all the contractors in your shortlist to give you a formal bid for your project. Do not automatically choose the lowest bidder. Do your home work by asking about charges from people who have local experience in hiring such contractors and ask them for tips. Determine the cost of materials, fixtures and finishes that your contractor will use by visiting a home improvement store yourself.

While hiring a contractor, also ensure that he or she fulfils any licensing requirements of your state. The home improvement contractor should have established his credentials beyond any doubt, and have a good reputation. The contractor should also preferably carry insurance against issues like worker’s compensation, damage to property, and any personal liabilities.

Have a very clear, fixed idea of what sort of home improvement you need done before you start off with the contractor. The clearer you are in your mind, the better the contractor would understand you. It will also save you from unplanned costs incurred due to changes during the process of home improvement.

Once you have decided on your contractor, the hiring process should include the signing of a very clear contract with your home improvement contractor which would clearly state the materials to be used, the terms of demolition, required cleanup, and elimination of trash. The time frame for completion, payment terms, and release from any lien for any sub-contractors used should also be arranged to your mutual satisfaction.

Payment plans should be well thought out. Keep in mind that payment is the only leverage you can use to get the job done by the contractor according to your expectations. A good tip is to make final payments to the home improvement contractor only once you are happy with the finished job.

Hire a contractor you can get along with very well, because the contractor would be in your house for quite a duration. Hiring someone who would have the right amount of time to devote to your project is also crucial, because sometimes hiring an extra-busy contractor can turn out to be a mistake.

Hiring a contractor is often the best way to carry out major improvements in your home. With the help of these tips you should be able to hire a great contractor, and carry out your home improvements without a hitch.

Simple Low-cost Home Improvement Ideas

Home improvements don’t have to be major undertakings and you don’t need to uproot your family, tear down your house or go thousands of dollars in debt just to get a new look for your home.

There are a couple of great ways to make home improvement easier. One is to take on a project in small stages. The other is to do quick and easy projects that may seem small, but still punch a lot of “wow” factor.

If you decide to take on a major home renovation plan and want to try splitting it into small stages, go for it. This is a great way to balance your money and life. By spreading your renovation over a few months and a few projects, you won’t feel like your life has been taken over by the renovations, and you can avoid going into debt.

To do this, start with a plan. For example, you can begin by redoing the windows. In a few weeks, you can then start painting, tearing down or rebuilding any walls. For your next step, update any light fixtures or plumbing. Then, redo your floors room-by-room. Finally, add the finishing touches of new appliances or updated furniture.

You can actually attack your projects in any order you prefer. The point is to do the work in sufficiently small phases that they neither leave your time or wallet depleted!

If you’re not ready for a major home improvement schedule, try taking on smaller renovation projects that can bring satisfying rewards. Keep reading for some suggestions.

1. Spring Clean Your Plumbing

Once a year, spend a few days attending to your home’s plumbing. Unplug any clogs, tighten any dripping pipes, clean up under the sinks and update or replace any old and tired faucets.

You’ll bring new life to your bathrooms and kitchen and stay on top of any potential plumbing problems. If you do encounter a major plumbing issue, don’t be afraid to call in a professional. Doing so is not an admission of failure (guys)!

2. Check Your Electricals

While you shouldn’t undertake any electrical work that you’re not trained for, there are a few tasks you can handle around the house to stay on top of it.

First, replace any old or burned out bulbs in the house, taking time to dust and clean all your light fixtures. Try replacing all your bulbs with energy efficient ones for big savings over time. Then, check all your fuses and replace any that are worn down or broken.

3. Wash or Paint Your Walls

Painting a wall will freshen up a room instantly. Start by covering up any holes or scratches in the wall and remember to use a few coats to get an attractive, professional finish.

If you’re not up for a full day of painting, try washing your walls with a very diluted bleach and water, or soap and water solution. This will brighten the room, get rid of odors and wash out smells from pets, cooking or smoking.