Don’t Give Up! You Can Finish Your Home Improvement Project

Why should you learn home improvement skills? Learning home improvement skills can be a boon to your wallet. The fact is that handymen are often expensive and you can perform many small jobs at home. Learning how to do small tasks can empower you as a home owner and leave you with more money.

When building your own home through use of a contractor, add a clause to the contract that gives the builder a bonus for finishing on time and on budget. This clause will encourage your builder to do a good job in the time allotted, and can save you a lot of headaches due to missed deadlines and extended budgets.

Do you need to fix a hole in your wall made by a nail or screw. Create a divot in the wall with the rounded end of a screwdriver by pressing it into the screw hole. Next, use spackle or drywall compound to fill the divot. This will give you a nice smooth wall surface.

When remodeling your kitchen, decide whether you really need enclosed cabinetry. Cabinets are often one of the most expensive pieces of kitchen remodeling, and you can save money by choosing open shelving instead. Shelves give you instant access to your cooking utensils, serving dishes, and ingredients. It’s a great idea for casual kitchens that get a lot of use.

Maybe the house or apartment you’re living in is great, but the view to the outside is not. If you have any offending sights that you wish to conceal, consider putting some plants or flowers on your window sill or in a window box. If you would like to take drastic measures in concealing your offending view, plant some shrubs or large trees in front of your window. This can ensure that you have a nicer view.

Think about adding a microwave above your range if you have limited kitchen counter space. Installed in place of your stove’s range hood, these microwaves come in many different prices and feature configurations. Many of these units feature a filter rather than outdoor venting, so they are better suited to situations that don’t require extreme ventilation.

Once you’ve checked the flapper valve, if the toilet is still running, check the chain. If the length of the chain linking the arm lever to the flapper valve is too short, water will keep running from the tank, as there would be no seal. To remedy this, simply remove the old chain and attach a longer one from a hardware store.

When it comes to home improvement, be sure that none of the workers that will be working on your home have a criminal record. This is important to the safety of you and your family, and also for the security of your belongings. It is not uncommon for you to ask for the names of all the workers that will be on the property. Background checks are available online.

The above tips are meant to be a helpful tool on your journey to home improvement success. Home improvement skills are a wonderful tool in any home owner’s toolbox. Taking care of small jobs now, can avoid costly, larger breakdowns later. Take back your property with your new knowledge of home improvement!

Countertop Design Tips For Creating And Designing A Tile Backsplash

Done correctly, a tile backsplash can bring unity and eye-catching beauty to any kitchen. The following countertop design tips will help you create the perfect backsplash for your home.

Take Precise Measurements and Create a Template.

Measure the diagonal, horizontal, and vertical measurements of the backsplash space. Tile countertop experts suggest creating a design template once you have the basic measurements. With a to-scale template, you can make a dozen copies and try your hand at several designs to find one that you like best. Keep reading to learn countertop design principles to help with your creative process.

Review Tile Backsplash & Countertop Design Trends.

As in all aspects of home improvement, countertop design changes with current fads. Contemporary tile countertops and backsplashes often feature these trends:

1. Reflective Tiles to Boost Light Levels

Countertop design gurus recommend metallic or glass tiles for darker spaces. These materials will reflect light and make the whole room appear brighter.

2. Three Cheers for Ceramic

Ceramic has been a popular tile material for millennia, for a few simple reasons: Ceramic is beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. White ceramic subway tiles are especially popular at the moment.

3. The Mixed Media Approach

There’s no rule that says your backsplash must be composed of entirely one material. Your backsplash design may be enhanced with the inclusion of several materials, such as stone, stainless steel, marble, and ceramic tiles.

4. Rich Colors

Countertop design currently holds that the backsplash is a zone for expression – so you can get away with using a bright tone, as long as it doesn’t clash with the rest of your dcor.

5. Go for the Bronze

Metallic tiles are a great way to jazz up a boring space. Think about including bronze accents in your countertop design. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding bronze tile. Countertop gurus suggest installing bronze plumbing fixtures as well, to achieve design consistency.

Match the Design Style in Your House

Each house has its own style. While creating your tile countertop and backsplash area, think about matching your design to the overall theme of your home. American homes often include these styles:

1. Modern

Neutral tones, open space, and bursts of accent colors: these are the hallmarks of the modern style. Stainless steel backsplashes and tile countertops compliment a modern design. Pental’s Everyone Stainless Steel tiles from are an excellent choice – of you could always install monochromatic ceramic tiles.

2. French Country

The French Country style features floral designs and country motifs in blues, reds, and yellows. If this is your style, consider United Tile’s Walker Zanger “Contessa” collection, which features hand-painted ceramic tiles based on French, Moroccan, Italian and even Chinese styles.

3. Mediterranean

Leather and wood furniture, iron accessories, and mosaic tiles are endemic to Mediterranean design. Tile countertops are also common. If your home has a Mediterranean feel, check out United Tile’s stone mosaics and travertine collections.

Coastal, Arts and Crafts, Mid-Century Modern, and Asian are also popular styles in modern home design. Your home might feature a different dcor mode in each room – no problem! Just match your countertop design to the style in your kitchen.

Once you have a solid design, the next step is to build it! Or, you could always call a tile countertop expert to do the construction work for you.

Helpful Home Improvement Or Modification Tidbits

Is it finally time for that home improvement project you have put off for so long; or perhaps you just got your hands on a house that some might call a bit of a “fixer-upper”. Maybe you aren’t too sure where to start or maybe you have a whole list jotted down but are a little nervous to even begin. Either way, reading up on some home improvement tips from those that have learned firsthand might help you obtain time and labor saving valuable insight.

Save Money Painting and Priming

If primer is necessary in a room prior to painting it, such as on wood or a new drywall, try to go for a tinted primer that resembles the finished coat color. If you can find a match, it will successfully reduce the number of necessary coats from three to two. In between those two coats though, it would be helpful to wrap the brushes and rollers in plastic (such as plastic bags). This will prevent the rollers from drying out and keep the paint ready to go for the second break time is over.

Tools for the Time

Handy individuals know how to make something out of nothing—like using fake credit card spam that gets sent to your mailbox as a shim or a glue spreader. Another tip is to save those old paint rollers from before as they can be quite useful when it comes time to clean out the gutters. Have an old electric carving knife or do you need a new one anyways? Save the old one and it will make an ideal foam saw when doing a project using upholstery.

Dense hardwoods have never been friendly when it comes to screwdrivers, but by using a little soap or wax to lubricate the tool, you can actually prevent the hole from stripping at all. If using a hammer instead (on a different material of course), try sanding the face of the head with a little sandpaper to assist the hammer in gripping the nail. This could prevent excessively painful slips.

If You Don’t Know—Don’t Do It

Plumbing and electrical projects are often the most expensive, but also the most complicated. If you are the least bit unsure of what will happen, it is better to call a professional. History indicates that overconfidence in these departments leads to dangerous conditions and most often an even more costly repair.

Random but Useful Additions

-Wrap tape around old blades before tossing them (this will prevent the blade from slipping out when garbage is packed down.)
-If planning a budget, add 10-15% on to the final figure (better to be safe than sorry!)
-Always expect the unexpected. With that said, have patience.
-Do not skimp on tools and materials for serious or critical jobs!
-Routine maintenance is the key to elongated preservation.
-When drilling through natural stone or ceramic tile, put masking tape over the surface (this helps the drill bit stay steadily in place and makes marking the tile easier.)

Home Decorating Options Using Vinyl Lettering

Back in the good ole days vinyl lettering was used primarily for business signage, automotive, and boat lettering. But, that has all changed. As of recently vinyl lettering has come into the mainstream of interior decorating because of its versatility. Vinyl lettering offers those wanting to create unique and personalized home decor simple, and affordable decorating options. Here are some of the uses of vinyl lettering:

Home Dcor Tiles. There arent many things more beautiful than an Italian ceramic tile, except maybe an Italian ceramic tile that has been turned into a beautiful home dcor accessory by adding some vinyl lettering to it. Take a 12 ceramic tile (available at most home improvement stores) and add to it a decorative tile lettering kit from Wall Stamps. and you have yourself a beautiful home decor piece that is personalized to match your personality and home decor scheme. Simply apply the vinyl lettering to the tile, apply a light clear coat to seal it, and youve got a great home dcor accessory.

Wall Words & Wall Lettering. Vinyl wall lettering, referred to by some as wall words, is a great alternative to the messiness, and permanence of painted stenciling. You can get a professional stenciled look that is customized to your exact desires. You choose the size, color and font of the vinyl lettering, have it custom made from an online manufacturer such as Wall Stamps and apply it to the wall. There is no messy cleanup, no oops moments when you have to fix the wall, or clean paint from the carpet. And the great thing about using vinyl lettering on your walls Its completely removable without damaging the painted walls. Vinyl wall lettering is also cheaper than paint, especially if you calculate your time, the brushes, clean up tools, etc.

Decorative Rustic Signboards. Vinyl lettering can also be applied to wooden boards to create beautiful, and rustic looking signs. Many times the signboards feature a family name, with a different color overlay with the couples wedding date, etc. Creating a sign is very simple. You simply paint the board the color you would like, and then order the vinyl lettering in a contrasting color of your choice. Once the sign is dry, simply apply the vinyl lettering for a wonderful and professional hand painted look. There are many online retailers, such as Wall Stamps that sell kits containing wooden boards and lettering together in one package. The key here is that YOU are in control of the finished product, because you choose the fonts, colors, and sizes.

Decorative Blocks. One of the fun ways to decorate for the holidays is to create decorative blocks. Decorative blocks are wooden blocks that are painted, and have vinyl letters attached to them. Theyre then stacked to spell words like Merry Christmas or Happy Easter. These blocks are a fun way to create unique home dcor for the holidays, and theyre a fun craft for the whole family to get involved in. Not to mention, you can usually pick up some scrap pieces of wood, or buy some at a home improvement store for an inexpensive craft, and unique holiday dcor item.

With this many options, its no wonder that vinyl lettering has taken the interior design field by force. No matter your taste, or your budget, there is something in vinyl lettering for you.

Creative And Practical Tips For Home Improvement

Improving one’s home has been a joy and a challenge for people over many centuries. Sometimes the only possible way to really make your home more beautiful and comfortable is to update it. Keep reading below to get some great tips on how to handle home improvement in the 21st century.

Before starting any home improvement project, take some time to figure out your goals. Add your own unique style for your home improvement ideas, giving your personal touch can go a long way.

Lampshades of simple structure and design are quite a bore. Brighten up a lamp shade by using stencils and acrylic paint. Not only can you match the color or theme of the room, but you can even match the design of rugs or other aspects to tie the room together.

Fix bubbling vinyl flooring with a slit and a shot. Just cut it with a knife and let the air out. This will make the bubble flat. You should also inject a small bit of glue to ensure that the flooring stays flat. Purchase glue in syringe form for this project.

Under no circumstances should you permit a contractor to start work on your house if there is no agreed upon and signed contract. You should consider having a friend or a lawyer look over your contract if possible. Every detail, timelines, specific charges and guarantees should be included and easy to understand.

Finishing a project involving a basement is a good investment to start. When you finish the basement, you are making extra space for your family. Tools and materials needed to finish the job can easily be purchased from a discount retailer or supplier. Some sources say that your home’s resale value can increase up to 30 percent by finishing your basement.

With the right preparation, anyone can complete a successful home improvement project. It’s not always as easy as it looks though, and one should proceed with caution. You might become bogged down in a project only to find it is more complicated and expensive to accomplish than you had realized.