Elementary Home Improvement Concepts You Should Know

It can be very trying to wiggle a little extra time into your busy work and life schedule for a home improvement project. Of course, with such little time available there are many more enjoyable pursuits for your weekends. In the end, you need to deal with these problems when they arise or they’ll become bigger problems to handle in the future. The thing about repairs is that when they aren’t made in a timely manner, the problems will only intensify. It will take you much longer and require a larger investment to make those repairs in the future than it will to simply handle them now. Don’t put yourself through costly delays when you can fix the problem much easier right away.

Every home owner wants to have more space for living and just enjoying their environment. You will need to take a look at what is available in your home, of course. One idea would be to transform your basement. If you own an attic that isn’t full of all sorts of stuff, that is another area you could improve.

If your budget and zoning allows, you can always put an addition on your house. Some people have turned their ranch houses into two storey buildings. You really are only limited by your imagination and resources. If you need some help to come up with ideas, then you could use some design software. If you have been chronically experiencing power interruptions, and it only affects your home, then you may be exceeding the capacity of your breakers. Another possibility could be with a degraded circuit breaker either individually or elsewhere in your system. Or it could even be a small appliance that is past it’s prime. These are times when an electrician might be your best solution. If you are comfortable with it, sometimes you can isolate these problems if the same breaker keeps tripping. But just be sure to proceed in a safe manner.

Automating different areas of your home is a very interesting, enjoyable and high tech home improvement project you can undertake. This is something where there are many options to choose from but also can be pretty costly for most people’s budgets.

Some of the factors that will influence the cost include the size of your home and what you want the system to have. If you are pretty handy with electrical components, then you can undertake the project yourself and save quite a bit on costs. Actually, when you step back and look at what is done with automation, it really is not difficult to figure it out – plus there is a lot of helpful information online and in books.

Any home improvements that mean automation are attractive because the results are amazingly fun. You can do almost anything and the only limit is how creative you are.

Home Improvements – 6 Qualities Painting Contractors Must Have

Commercial painters are essential to people with little free time, or no artistic skills. If you live in Washington State, painting contractors in Seattle are glad to help you out with your remodeling projects. Just make sure that the professionals you hire deliver satisfying services, and offer the following qualifications.

  1. Proof of Insurance – Painting contractors in Seattle should present you with proof of insurance. The company should also have a state license. You do not want to be held responsible when a work accident occurs on your property.
  2. Green solutions – Modern professionals will take the environment into consideration. Materials will be eco-friendly, and the team members are trained in the latest, safest techniques. The company should also be affiliated with IUPAT union training facilities. Their spray booths are monitored by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and checked frequently by an inspector.
  3. Color matching – Skilled painting contractors in Seattle are able to match wall colors to samples given to them by their customers. They know several techniques to tackle this task.
  4. Quality materials – Established painting contractors in Seattle will never use inferior materials. Sure, they can save a few dollars, but the customer will not be pleased, as the paint job will be disappointing. Customer satisfaction always comes first.
  5. Multiple services – You know that you are dealing with a true professional painting company when you can request more than simple interior or exterior wall painting. A well-known painting contractor will also install wall coverings, complete wall upholstery, and has a state-of-the-art temperature controlled down-draft dual Plenum spray booth. This equipment piece will allow the contractor to apply paint to almost any surface.
  6. Complete satisfaction – To establish and maintain an impeccable reputation, true painting contractors in Seattle will go the extra mile. They will go beyond the call of duty to complete a project successfully. According to advertising experts, word of mouth is still the most effective way to promote a business, and contractors know it! Hauge & Hassain are painting contractors in Seattle specializing in interior painting, exterior painting, wall covering installation, and stain-lacquer pre-finishing. Visit their website for more information. ( http://www.haugeinc.com )

Do It Yourself Home Improvement

Why pay for home improvement when you can do it yourself?

There has been a decline in consumer confidence in the building and construction industry. This may be the same reason why many are now doing home improvements by themselves.

Why not? A little knowledge of the technical aspects combined with the eye for creativity is enough to do the home improvement on your own.

Why are people turning to do-it-yourself home improvements?

Many construction workers who do not have a lot of experience or expertise in construction or home maintenance are out there right now trying to work on these homes across the country.

As a result, homeowners are finding that the jobs are not being completed to their satisfaction. Sometimes they are even prepaying for services that do not get done or are not part of the plan.

You do not have to rely and pay someone to improve your home. Why not try to do it yourself?

You can enhance your home’s existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, acrylic stains, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques.

If you are tired of looking at dreary gray concrete, there are some easy projects for the serious home improvement do-it-yourselfer to give your patio, driveway, garage, etc. a refreshing new look.

Decorative concrete work costs double or even triple that of regular concrete. This is why many people cannot afford it.

There are inexpensive ways to decorate concrete after it has cured without having to pay skilled tradesmen.

Acid based concrete stains are becoming more and more popular for coloring concrete surfaces. They chemically react with the cementitious material to produce permanent color with variegated or mottled appearance like that of marble. This results in a natural, elegant looking surface.

Water based concrete stains are an alternative to acid stains and are much more user friendly because they’re much less toxic. These stains do not chemically react with the concrete; they are absorbed into the surface pores and act like a dye. The big advantage of water based stains is the wide array of colors available.

If you want to venture beyond the basic staining of concrete, consider using some scoring techniques to create patterns on the surface.

You can make your concrete look like a tile floor for example. It is up to your imagination. An angle grinder with a 4 inch grinding or cutting wheel is the ideal tool for this.

The important thing to remember when scoring is to draw the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you are satisfied with the way it looks because scoring is irreversible.

Epoxy paints make an excellent coating for garage floors and basement floors. Many commercial floors have epoxy coatings because of their durability and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance.

In recent years, however, it has become very popular for residential use with an increasing availability of different colors. This is not a difficult project, but the key to successful application is surface preparation.

Epoxy paints have also become available in a water based form making it safe for the do-it-yourselfer and ideal for indoor applications. They cost a little more than stains. For a 400 square foot garage, you’ll spend about $200 for the materials needed for this project.

See? You do not have to spend money to have your home improved. You have the capability to do it yourself. With some instructions and a little bit of work, anyone can turn boring concrete into their own masterpiece.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Built-Up Roofing Systems

Generally, roofs with slants and inclines are favored by most residential and commercial residences. Their natural ability to dispose of rain and snow without having to install substantial amounts of insulation has made them an effective and affordable option.

A built-up roof is an integument made up of alternating layers of tar and asphalt materials. They have been used in the U.S. for almost a century and are usually referred to as tar and gravel roofs, as these are some of the primary materials used in its construction.

Built-up roofing takes coal tar-saturated cotton fabrics and gravel-like materials, like asphalt, to assemble alternating layers of bitumen (tar) and roofing felts or ply sheets directly over the roof decks and insulation. The tar is used to soak into the roofing felt and durably hold all the elements together.

Built-up roofing has been around since the 1840s as a reliable option that was readily available for installing new roofs. All it requires is three essential components: a waterproofing component, a reinforcing component and a surfacing component. Most roofs apply variations of these components to create more durable, waterproof roofs. Some even apply 10 ply sheets to one roof! This helps ensure the roof against potential leaking from entering the home while creating a stable platform for any solar panels or roof gardens installed on the roof.

Built-up roofs are very dependable and work great for many reasons, however, they do have some drawbacks. The maintenance of the roof seems to be the primary concern. Built-up roofs are built flat and as one so when a leak occurs it can be difficult to place the location of it, causing one to have to dismantle the entire roof. 1. In order to avoid major damage, maintenance must take place on the roofing system regularly. Re-asphalting the layers is usually not necessary if the roofing surface is properly cared for. This would include draining the rain that forms on the roof after storms and remodeling the top layer with reflective materials to prevent heat damage.

However, because built-up roofs are flat the task of removing layers are much easier. It also creates flexibility in terms of what you can add to your roofing space, should you so desire. Roofing gardens and solar panels are much more easy to install on flat roofs than traditional sloped rooftops.

Then benefits of this type of roof are great, however, the drawbacks are something to consider. Keep in mind that these roofs require a bit of maintenance and labor, the larger the roof the greater the responsibility for upkeep. If your ultimate goal is to save money, this option would be the most cost-effective.

Repairing Scratches in Laminate Flooring

When I moved into my home, the floor in the living room had just been refinished with beautiful honey toned laminate flooring. It was beautiful and it fit my decor perfectly. The only problem was the fact that one of my chair had popped a cap, unbeknownst to everyone involved, and it wasnt until a few weeks later, when I went to rearrange a few pieces of furniture, that I noticed it. Much to my horror, the gleaming floor beneath the chair had become a scratched mess and I shuddered at the thought of having to fix them.

Now, Im sure that I am not the only person who has had to deal with scratched laminate flooring. In fact, Im almost positive that the problem is universally shared. The simple truth is, if you are going to own laminate flooring, at one time you will own scratched laminate flooring. Most people would simply sigh and shift the furniture around to cover the evidence, something that I actually did for a few months, but laminate flooring can be fixed without having to tear out pieces and replace them.

Most repairs in laminate flooring are pretty minor. A glass may have fallen and gouged a small hole or the kids may have scraped a toy car, minus wheels, across a small section. The scratches and holes are simply surface damage but they definitely detract from the once shiny beauty of your floors.

With minor damage, you will only need to do minor repairs to your laminate. Unfortunately, as with most repairs, there is nothing regularly stocked in your shelves that will fix the floors. You will need to make a run to the local home hardware or flooring store to pick up a repair kit. Some manufacturers will make repair kits for their flooring so the best place to start is the store where you purchased your flooring.

If you arent sure of the manufacturer or the manufacturer does not have a repair product, simply purchase a generic repair kit. A repair kit usually consists of a tube of putty or wax. This is your actual filler. Some repair kits have colored putty while others have paint that you mix to create the matching floor color; this you mix with the putty before applying. Both are perfectly fine to purchase and you will usually run yourself about ten to twenty dollars.

Some repair kits come with putty knife and everything else you need but if it doesnt simply pick up a putty knife while you are at the store. Popsicle sticks work perfectly for applying the putty to the crack. Before you start repairing your scratches and dents, make sure the area is clean of any debris and is dry. There is no sense repairing a spot if a patch of dog hair is going to be glued into the floor. Once the area is prepared, its time to get mixing.

If you went with a colored putty that matches your floor, all you will need to do is spoon in the putty, but if you went with a mix, you will need to match and create the desired color. Once you have that, spoon in the putty and smooth with the putty knife. Remove any of the excess putty so you have a smooth surface. Lastly, wipe the area around the scratch, being careful to not touch the repaired scratch with a clean cloth to wash away any residue.

Once it dries, your laminate flooring should look as good as new.

Sometimes, you will find the occasional scratch that is too shallow for the putty to work properly. If this is the case, the best product on the market is ScratchAway. This is a spray on treatment for any small scratches on laminate and other wood flooring. All you need to do is spray the area and then buff until it is dry.

So with a few little tricks of the trade, there are very few reasons why you cant enjoy scratch free laminate flooring for years to come.

Home Improvement Projects Are Important But Safety is First

Every year, around 1.6% of American households embark on a key home improvement plan. Only two other loan application desires are more popular than home improvement projects requests. With the rise in home-improvement cases, accidents and injuries have also increased. In this article lets review the use of ladders as they are one of the most usable equipment in almost all the home improvement project whether commercial or residential.

Whether in use inside or outside, tools and equipment must be dependable and operated safely. Reliable gear is essential to safety management. Confidence in the equipment is critical. Many home improvement projects require the use of a ladder. When using a ladder in the project consider the following features.

The ladder should be in compliance with OSHA standards. If the ladder does not comply with OSHA, it should be eliminated as a ladder choice. With the OSHA rules in place it is possible to minimize the number of accidents that take place using the ladders

Use a ladder prepared for the quantity of weight being applied. Never load the ladder beyond the manufacturer’s specifications for weight capacity. Verify the weight capacity before purchasing a ladder. Consider the weight of the person using the ladder as well as the load to be carried by that person.

Check the material the manufacture used to create the ladder. Make sure the material is strong enough to not only hold the weight but to prevent it from damage from dents or twisting. Verify that the connections are securely attached to the legs. Use of a quality-manufactured ladder averts accidents.

If the home improvement project requires ladder usage on an uneven surface, use a staircase ladder or a leveler. Stability is a key factor in safe ladder handling. If the ladder is still unsteady, a helper can add stability by holding onto the ladder while it is in use.

If possible, use a transportable work platform as a place for objects such as paint or tools. The platform eliminates the need for continuously climbing up and down the ladder. This not only averts dangerous trips but eliminates the need to carry heavy or awkward object up the ladder. Make sure the platform has a weight capacity suitable for the objects to be placed on it.

When visiting the home-improvement store, bring a list of the desired features that you would like to see in the ladder which you will use in your home improvement project. Ask the contractor friend you have or a home builder what they recommend for people like you. Also mention the project and stuff you will use it for.

Refer to the list when examining potential products. If the store does not carry a safe, reliable ladder, purchase one from another store. Safety is worth shopping around for.

Ladders provide extended height in order to complete projects otherwise inaccessible. However, utilizing a safe ladder and applying safety measures avert possible dangers and provide homeowners a greater likelihood of a successful project.

Parquet Hardwood Flooring

Parquet hardwood flooring has a very different look from typical hardwoods. They were originally made up of many small pieces of exotic woods arranged in intricate geometric patterns. Modern parquet hardwood flooring consists of solid tiles of wood pre-arranged in patterns, making it easy to install. Parquet hardwood flooring is generally the cheapest, however it is harder to refinish than other solid wood floors and its life span is relatively shorter.

Parquet hardwood flooring comes in many designs, ranging from the basic parquet, to basket weave and herringbone. They come in large tiles made up of geometric patterns composed of individual wood slats, held in place by a paper or plastic mesh backing. The visual effects of parquet hardwood flooring can be quite stunning, and variety can be brought to the room simply by moving a rug of piece of furniture to expose of cover different patterns.

Parquet flooring can be attached to either a wood or concrete sub-floor, however concrete sub-floors often require an underlay to help compensate for any unevenness. Because the smaller pieces arranged in different directions result in less overall cross-grain expansion, parquet is a good choice in areas where the moisture content of the flooring is expected to change significantly over time.

Parquet hardwood flooring comes in a variety of woods such as oak, cherry, mahogany, beech and walnut. It is a good idea to make a dry run of the pattern you want to lay out by laying a test arrangement before permanent installation.

The wood tiles should be stored in the room they are to be installed in for at least 24 hours so they can acclimate to the temperature and humidity. You should buy about 5% more flooring than you calculate that you will need, to compensate for any mistakes. The extra material, if not needed, could come in handy later in case of damage.

Unlike strip or plank flooring, parquet flooring is laid in two directions at once. Parquet hardwood flooring should be laid by starting in the center of the room and working outwards toward the walls. This establishes a centered and well aligned geometric pattern.

Find the center of the room by measuring from wall to wall. Snap a chalk line between the center of opposite walls, then snap another chalk line between the other two walls. The intersection between the two lines is the center point. Make sure the two intersecting lines form right angles. Lay a test run of parquet along the chalk lines starting at the center, working toward the wall. Adjust the center to keep the tiles on the edges of the room from being cut too thin.

Using a trowel, spread adhesive on a 2 x 2 area at the intersection of the chalk lines and let it thicken and become tacky. Pressing firmly, lay down a tile on the adhesive using the lines for placement. Ensure the placement of the first tile is accurate, as it will determine the layout of the entire floor. Tap the tile into place with a mallet, placing a piece of scrap wood on top to protect the tile. If any adhesive seeps between the tiles, clean with a cloth soaked in solvent. Working toward each wall, fill in one quadrant at a time. To avoid putting your weight on any one tile, use a piece of plywood as a kneeling board.

The last tiles against the wall will need to be cut to fit. They should be cut slightly smaller than the measured space to allow for expansion of the wood. A ” ” space is usually sufficient. Allow the new parquet hardwood floor to dry for a least a day before using.

Resources: http://tamalpaishardwoodfloors.com
http://www.lowes.com

Annual Roof Maintenance Taking Care of Your Roof

Annual preventative roof maintenance is the easiest way of taking care of your roof, to protect the most valuable physical asset you own your home. A wellmaintained roof system on the home not only keeps the family dry, but can increase its energy efficiency as well.

Over time, even a minor roof leak can cause a catastrophic failure during harsh environmental conditions, which can eventually promote the growth of harmful organisms including mold and mildew. When left untreated, a small leak in the roof can eventually degrade the homes structural integrity and quickly deteriorate its interior and/or exterior.

Maintenance Is a Necessity

Property owners often recognize how important HVAC maintenance is to the comfort level of the homes interior. However, most homeowners give little thought to roof system maintenance until a serious problem occurs. Waiting until a leak appears in the roof is often referred to as reactive maintenance, which often costs significantly more to repair than the price of an annual or biannual inspection to catch a small roofing issue.

Unfortunately, a small leak in the roof system can often create more serious problems than a major hole in the roof. This is because moisture will continuously come in contact with wood, gypsum, flooring materials, insulation, and other building materials causing deterioration and potential structural failure.

When insulation becomes wet, it quickly eliminates its Rvalue, or its ability to insulate against the heat of the summer, and the cold of the winter. In addition, wet insulation promotes the growth of harmful contaminants on organic surfaces while increasing the roofs structural load. It also has the ability to rust roofing fasteners and cause significant damage to structural components including stucco, brick, concrete and wood on the buildings exterior.

Preventative Maintenance Program

To ensure that you are properly caring for your rooftop, you should consider implementing an annual or biannual roof maintenance program to safeguard the home and minimize the potential of costly repairs. A preventative maintenance program involves:

The Inspection This program often starts with an inspection where the contractor walks the roof surface, looking for any signs of deterioration, holes or damage, at least once every year. The inspector will evaluate wall flashing, the perimeter edge, terminations (termination bar, counter flashing, metal coping, etc.), stack and pipe flashing, curb flashing, fasteners, seams, caulking, etc.

Documenting Deficiencies Building a repair checklist, the inspector will detect and note deficiencies and take photographs of the top and underside of the roofing system, while marking any defective or disintegrating material that requires repair.

Perform Repairs Part of the maintenance program includes performing repairs, using quality materials and proven repair methods, to increase the roofs longevity and minimize the potential of developing serious roofing issues.

Annual or biannual preventative maintenance by a licensed roofing contractor is an easy solution for taking care of your roof. Avoid reacting to serious roofing issues when they arise. Instead, incorporate an affordable, preventive maintenance program to protect the home against outdoor environments while maximizing the value of the house.

Why Is My Kitchen Flooring Idea Very Important

The kitchen is the most-used room in your house every day. It where you are busy the most and this call for an excellent flooring that is durable and is easy to clean. Durability and ease of cleaning are the two top criteria of choosing the best kitchen flooring material and design. Choosing the right floor is always a daunting decision. A process combines your personal taste and practical careful thinking. It finally comes down to a personal choice.

What Are The Possible Flooring Surfaces For My Kitchen?

Do you want to change the flooring surface for your kitchen? Are you changing the looks for your kitchen? Replacing the material for your kitchen floor is definitely the only easy way of improving the looks around your kitchen. There are wide ranges of flooring options that you can choose from during the selection process. Remember you need something that is easy to clean and durable.

Stone or tile Flooring- This is excellent flooring for your kitchen since it is recommended for heavy traffic areas. A ceramic tile is usually durable and is available in assorted colors and styles with distinctive option of decorating the borders and designs. It is a perfect option for your Kitchen Flooring.

Limestone Flooring- Limestone is no doubt a natural stone that offers an old World look. Since it is a porous material, it must be sealed upon installation and twice a year. It is also durable.

Cork Flooring- This is the most durable and versatile material that is available in a variety of designs and colors. It is water resistant and reduces high-pitched sounds. Printed Cork flooring is the best for Kitchen Flooring due to durability and ease of cleaning.

Hardwood Flooring- Most Kitchen Flooring is made from this. It is very popular on kitchen floors due to durability and is excellent flooring on high-traffic areas. It is comfortable and creates a warm look.

Vinyl or resilient Flooring- This type of flooring provides a variety of styles, designs, and colors for tiles, and is good for you if you are on budget.

If you are considering a kitchen floor that is beautiful, attractive, easy to clean, and durable, then you pick the printed cork flooring. It is smooth and well designed to match with any looks in the other rooms. Your kitchen is where all the food in your home is prepared and can get dirt very fast due to falling foodstuffs and peelings. You,therefore, require a floor that is easy to wipe and can dry very fast. A dry floor is a comfortable ground to stand.

Printed cork flooring is a leading kitchen flooring technique in most homes around the world. It is easy to clean and reduces dust allergies meaning it is safe. Hardwood floors are very natural and eco-friendly. Make an order for them and you will be surprised by vast benefits that come with cork. It is a perfect choice for your kitchen floor.

Weekend Warriors Top 5 Home Improvement Projects

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

If youre like most of us you love to watch those home improvement shows on TV, they make it look so easy to change the appearance of your home by doing some simple home improvements. And if youre like most of us and have to work Monday thru Friday any home improvement projects have to be done on the weekend. So for all you weekend warriors here are my top 5 weekend projects:

Bathroom or Kitchen facelift- Im not talking about a major remodel here just a simple facelift can totally change the look of a kitchen or bathroom. Refinishing the kitchen cabinets, new paint and wallpaper, replacing a toilet, or maybe even replacing that old bathroom or kitchen facet can greatly improve and update the look of any home.

Install new lighting- Installing new lighting can not only brighten your home but give a room a totally different look. Whether installing a light kit on a ceiling fan or replacing that old outdated fluorescent light in the kitchen with some of the new kitchen lighting on the market, installing new lighting is a weekend project thats relatively easy and comes with a big return.

Install tile- whether a kitchen floor or backsplash or new tile in the bathroom, installing ceramic tile is easier than you think and is a great weekend project for weekend warriors. Most home improvement stores have everything you need for professional looking results, one tip: Be sure to rent a tile saw, it will save you a lot of time and is well worth the cost.

Changing the color of a room- Color is in! You will be surprised how a splash of color can totally change the look of any room. Many homes have either white or off-white walls but many homeowners have found adding color to a room can brighten and warm up a room and is a great weekend home improvement project for anyone. As with any painting project the time you spend in preparing before actually painting will speak volumes as to the results.

Staining Garage Floor or Patio- This is a great project for weekend warriors. Perhaps you have a garage with oil spots, old paint, and other unidentifiable stains on the floor. Staining your garage floor can bring new life to any garage and look great! Some of the new epoxy products on the market offer numerous color choices and colored flakes that you wont find in most home improvement superstores and will give your garage a unique and customized look.

Being a weekend warrior when it comes to home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding. Be sure to do your research about the best products and techniques before starting any home improvement project, but dont be scared to try something you have never done before. There is an abundance of information and how-to books on just about any project you decide to tackle, so go ahead and conquer that weekend project.