Hey Do It Yourself! Make Your Home Improvement Projects Easier!

Do you want to learn the best ways to make your home a bit more perfect? There are many projects you can consider as you build your knowledge. Learning to make improvements to your home can be enjoyable and quite satisfying. It might even be easy if you use the tips in this article.

Before starting any home improvement project, take some time to figure out your goals. Make sure that you are adding your own personal touches to your home improvement projects.

If you are choosing a major renovation, look to hire a professional designer or architect to help develop the plans. If you don’t have the expertise to back up your vision, your plans are most likely going to be dysfunctional from the start. A professional designer will have the ability to create a plan that also meets all required building codes.

You can handle repainting your porch on your own. The paint you use should be high-quality and formulated for exterior use. Make sure to paint using a base of the same type as the old kind; use oil for oil or water for water. Use oil paint on trim; it will last for a long time but you should not use it outdoors on flooring.

It’s not always a good idea to fix leaks on your own. Place a big container under the leak and call a plumber.

It is easy to freshen the appearance of kitchen appliances without spending much money. Don’t throw out a good functioning refrigerator because the color is outdated or scuffed up. It is actually possible to purchase inexpensive spray paint for appliances that can transform their look. Your kitchen can be updated in a single day.

It’s important to have fun when doing any type of home improvement. Although it is important to be serious and careful with your work, you should still have a good time as you complete your project. You may make more errors if you aren’t having fun. Under these circumstances, it is probably best to consider hiring an actual professional.

Always check the legitimacy of any company you plan to hire for your home project. Disreputable companies that only do business by phone or on the Internet and provide no physical address should be avoided. Stick with companies that are reputable and reliable.

Landscaping is a home improvement project you should consider. This is the one of first things people notice about your home, and you don’t want it to look shabby. Maintain the lawn, plant flowers or shrubs to beautify your home.

Natural lighting in basements is usually non-existent. Make sure to plan the layout of your artificial lighting well, to make your basement livable. You may actually have tall walls that come up from the ground. If you do, windows may be installable and they would create natural lighting.

This article’s suggestions will, ideally, come in quite handy in your next home improvement project. If you take the time you need to plan, you will be in good shape. You can do it without any professional help and get excellent results that will make you proud of a job well done.

Inexpensive Kitchen Decorating

Kitchens are a popular area to decorate and remodel. Whether you are looking to increase the value of you home to put it on the market or are just looking to add some life to this area where you spend so much of your time there are some inexpensive kitchen decorating ideas that will help you achieve the results you desire without emptying your purse or wallet.

Try using a new color of paint. Sometimes a simple coat of paint can transform the entire look and feel of a room. You can paint the walls and, depending on your cabinets, you may want to paint them as well. Try some bright colors to make the area come alive. Yellow tones are making a come-back and reds are a popular choice. Do not be afraid to try something different with paint.

Lighting has an amazing affect of the feel of a room. Dull lighting dampens the area and can make it feel drab. Even using brighter bulbs can help open up the area. Brighter lights combined with a bright paint can take your kitchen from dull to lively. Don’t forget to throw some accent lighting in key areas. Light strips under cabinets are a popular choice.

Turning a cabinet into a showcase for a collection you own can work for some kitchens. Replace opaque cabinet doors with glass doors allow people to see inside. You can also, completely, remove the doors. Use this area to display your pottery or china that might be a family heirloom. Throw a few pictures or fake fruit on the shelves to break any monotony.

Changing the hardware on cabinets and drawers is often over-looked during inexpensive kitchen decorating. You can get new handles and hinges at a hardware store and change the whole look of your cabinetry. Combining this with a new paint job creates the look of new cabinets with only a fraction of the cost associated with new cabinets.

Adding some plants or flowers in the kitchen area can bring nature into the house. This will add a lively feel to any room and just may grow into a new hobby.

These are some basic ideas that can change the entire look and feel of any kitchen. Use your imagination and you can transform your kitchen into an inviting bistro on any budget. Decorating a kitchen does not need to be an expensive undertaking.

How Much Money Can Energy-efficient Windows Really Save You

Some homeowners are reluctantly putting off the decision to replace their windows because they’re not sure if they will recoup their initial investment. Still others are putting the decision off until they see what’s going to happen with the economy.

Is replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows really worth the investment? How much money replacement windows will save a homeowner depends, of course, on numerous factors. At the top of the list is the type of window you choose and there are plenty to choose from. There are single-panes, double-panes, and triple-panes. There are coated and uncoated windows. There are windows with hard coating and windows with soft coating. There are windows will gas filling and there are windows without gas filling. Some windows are filled with Argon, some are filled with Krypton. Decisions. Decisions. Where does a savvy homeowner begin?

You don’t need to be Einstein to deduce that dual-paned windows will save a homeowner more money on their energy bills than single-paned windows. But does the same hold true with triple-paned windows? Will triple-paned windows save you more money than dual-paned windows? Here’s what Energy Star, a government agency which promotes energy efficiency, says: “All energy efficient windows have at least two panes, but not all double-paned windows are energy efficient. Twenty years ago, double-paned meant energy efficient; today, advanced technologies have enabled the development of windows that are much more efficient than traditional clear-glass double-paned windows.”

Just as a dual-paned window is much more energy-efficient than a single-paned window, so also a triple-paned window is much more energy-efficient than a dual-paned window. But what are some of these “advanced technologies” that Energy Star is referring to?

There are four things to look for when choosing an energy-efficient window:

1. The layers of reflective glass coating.
2. The type of reflective glass coating.
3. The type of gas used between the window panes.
4. The U-Value of the window.

Once you find a triple-paned window that is manufactured by a reputable company, you have narrowed the playing field considerably. Now you need to consider whether the window panes are coated, how many layers of coating the manufacturer uses, and the type of coating they use. Some windows are coated with a reflective coating, while others are not. By selecting a window with coated glass, the coating will reflect unwanted cold in the winter and unwanted heat in the summer, thereby reducing your fuel costs and saving you money.

But not all reflective coating is created equal. Also bear in mind that most window manufacturers only coat one pane of glass. Few window manufacturers are willing to go the extra mile by coating two panes of glass. Naturally, this will increase the initial cost of the window. Nevertheless, this extra coating will usually pay for itself in savings many times over. Once you have found a triple-paned window that coats two panes of glass instead of just one, you will have eliminated most of the windows on the market. But your search for optimal energy efficiency is not quite complete yet. Patience, dear reader; we’re almost at the finish line.

The next thing to consider is whether or not the window manufacturer uses hard coating or soft coating. Soft coating is much better because it is more reflective. So why doesn’t every manufacturer use soft coating on their windows? Again, soft coating costs a little more. But investing a little more for soft coating will usually pay for itself many times over.

Insulation can be further improved by placing inert gas between the panes of glass. Some manufacturers use Krypton, most use Argon. Again, Krypton costs a bit more than Argon, but the extra savings that come from Krypton gas is well worth it.

The exact energy efficiency of a window can be scientifically measured by a trained window expert. It’s a smart idea to have a trained professional measure the energy efficiency of your current windows. Some say, “I don’t need to replace my windows. My home is just a few years old.” That may be true. However, some homebuilders try to cut costs by installing cheap windows that are not as energy-efficient as they could and should be. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Have an expert measure your windows for energy efficiency. Usually, there is no cost or obligation for this free service.

Once you’ve checked around and are ready to get a free estimate on your windows, be sure to ask the representative for the exact U-Value of the window you are considering. The official standard of measurement for energy efficiency is called a U-Value, also known as a U-Factor. The lower the U-Value, the more energy-efficient the window is. Here is a sampling of a few popular windows and their U-Values:

Alside (Vinyl): 6000 Double Hung 0.30

Alside (Vinyl): R601 Double Hung 0.33

Andersen (Wood): Woodwright (Low-E & Argon) 0.33

Preservation: 9001/P601 0.30

Anderson (Wood): A series Double hung 0.31

Marvin (Ultrex): Integrity (Low-E & Argon) 0.29

Marvin (Ultrex): Infinity (Low-E & Argon) 0.29

Pella (Wood): Proline (Low-E & Argon) 0.32

If you are considering replacing your windows with any of these popular brands, be sure to ask the representative these four following questions:

1. Do you use multiple layers of soft coating on two panes?
2. Do you fill those panes with a gas?
3. (If yes) Do you use Argon or Krypton gas filling?
4. What is the U-Value of your window?

The answer to the first three questions ultimately determines the U-Value of the window. Therefore, question number four is the most important. The U-Value will tell you how energy efficient a window is and give you an idea of how much money you’ll be able to save on your energy bills. The lower the U-Value, the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value. One window, though not as well-known as Andersen, Pella, or Marvin, has been able to achieve an incredibly low U-Value precisely because they follow the criteria mentioned in this article. Consider, for example, the U-Value of the Bristol Window, manufactured by Winchester Industries in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania:

Bristol (Reinforced Vinyl, overall window U-Value with Krypton): .18

Bristol (with Alpha-10): .21

According to the company’s literature, this particular window has been known to cut homeowner’s energy bills in half, though the exact savings will naturally vary depending on a wide variety of factors. A window expert can test your windows to find out whether or not they need to be replaced and calculate approximately how much money you will save if your windows do need replacing. By comparing the amount of money a window costs with the amount of money you will save, simple math will determine whether or not it is cost-efficient to replace your windows.

Another thing to consider is a window’s warranty. While most windows are only made to last for approximately 10 years, Bristol windows come with a transferrable 50 year warranty. That’s a huge difference. Instead of replacing your windows 5 times over the next 50 years, you can save additional money by only replacing your windows once.

Look at it this way: The government is giving you a huge head start. One thousand five hundred dollars is nothing to sneeze at. Now consider all the money you will probably save in the meantime. Often, the savings alone will pay for the windows within a few short years. It’s smart to have an energy expert help you do the math. If you still live in a home with energy wasting windows, you will pay for windows whether you replace them or not. The question is, would you rather pay extra money to your utility company for energy-deficient windows? Or would you rather invest in your home’s future value while dramatically reducing your energy bills by replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows? The choice is yours.

Metal Roofing—Crush the Myths that Clout Your Judgment

Your home is a comfy shelter for you. Be it the scorching heat, heavy shower or raining of snow, the roof of the house spreads the safest canopy overhead. The beauty of the roof adds a new dimension to the charm of the entire building. If an eye for beauty is the must-have quality to enhance the appeal of the roof, then using the high-quality materials is equally important to ensure its longevity. If you are residing in south Florida, then any roofing expert will suggest the proper roofing technique and materials in perfect sync with the atmospheric condition of the state which is known to be prone to the violent slap of the hurricanes. If you grip the importance of a variety of roofing techniques, then you will understand how much it is essential to hire the service of the south Florida roofing company for your benefit.

Metal roofing: An Introduction
The advanced research in the field of architecture has made it clear that although the function of the roof is same throughout the entire globe but its compositions should vary a lot in sync with the change in the climatic condition. The concepts of implementing the various roofing techniques came tumbling after once the necessity of choosing the different materials for roof building was understood. Metal roofing was not a new concept but only confined to the commercial buildings. It is still regarded as the most unattractive metallic covering which mars the appearance of the house. The metal roofing has evolved a lot in the last decade and is used in case of the residential roofing too.

Metal roofing: Myths and Reality
There is an array of myths regarding the metal roofing which may push you in dilemma over making the right move. The final judgment rests on you, so you should be familiar with the pros and cons of such type of roofing. As south Florida is often invaded by the deadlier storms, so embracing the metal roofing technique is imperative to withstand such extreme conditions. The metal roof reflects the sunrays thereby building up a cool ambience inside a home. So having a metal roof overhead is a way to reduce the soaring electric bill in the summer season. Metal is not a combustible material. So it does not catch fire easily. Moreover, it dissipates the electric charge if the house catches electricity in times of thundering or any other time. The myths regarding the metal roofing does not end here but it is just a mere starting. The cynics argue that it will not take much time to build up a layer of rust upon the surface of the metal roof. But in reality, a thick coating, made of amalgamated metals is laid upon the exposed surface of the metal roof to prevent any form of rusting. It is further coated with the high-quality paint.
Metal Roofing: Cost Criteria
The homeowners must have to bear the burden of the exorbitant cost if they opt for the metal roofing. But such costly investment will benefit them in the long run. The monetary sacrifice that you make at present will pay for the upfront cost in the future. In case, you wish to know more about the metal roof, consult any reputable south Florida roofing company.