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Customizing with Shower Inserts

Tired of how drab and boring your shower looks? Shower inserts are a swift and uncomplicated option to improve your shower and affecting the whole new look it brings to your toilet, corner bath, faucet, etc. If you feel the need to renovate but do not have the budget for it, then shower inserts are the way to go! They are inexpensive and can highly perk up your shower without having to replace all the bathroom fixtures and plumbing. Without much refurbishing, you can have a whole new customized look for your bathroom. It is a save more do-it-yourself thingamajig that needs just basic plumbing and carpentry skills thereby improving your bathroom in an instant.

Artificial materials are commonly ordered because of their sheer resilience. The materials for these are plastic, acrylic, and fiberglass. Fiberglass is the most hard-wearing of the three making it the most frequently chosen insert.

Benefits of Installation:

1. Wall protection – these can protect the shower walls from damage from the constant spray of the water shower. These are designed to basically withstand heat and moisture from that they will be constantly exposed to.

2. Maintenance – shower tiles tend to build up dirt in between, hence the need arises for regular and thorough wiping and cleaning must be done to maintain the beauty of your shower. These differ because of its durable surface, it is very easy to maintain. You do not need to grovel to scrub clean the insert; just wipe off the surface and it will be clean making it exceptionally low preservation.

3. Easy Installation – because of its simple instructions, you don’t need to hire a professional to do it for you. You can do it yourself without messing up the job and breaching your financial plan in the process. With just basic knowledge about carpentry, you are just a few steps away from having the bathroom that you want.

Like all things, these also have a few downsides to it.

1. Appearance – in comparison to inserts, tiled showers really look nicer and much more beautiful. The whole appearance of tiles gives out a cool and gorgeous look.

2. Durability – it’s quite durable but not as durable as tiles are. Even though it is cheaper, tiles are definitely an investment.

Home Improvement And The Cost of Gutters

As we know, everything has a price, unless you’re talking about priceless moments shared with your loved ones or other things like that. As for home improvements- it costs, some things cost more than others, but the cost of gutters is less than that of other home improvements. Gutters, while frequently overlooked, are important. They come in different materials, different colors, and different shapes and sizes. It’s important to get the best material and get the right fit. As for the material, PVC gutters have long been the most popular choice for many reasons. Some of which is that PVC is light-weight but still durable and strong, no concern for rusting, very low maintenance, and best of all very cost-effective. So what is the average cost for PVC rain gutters?

Most homes have around 120-250 feet of rain gutters depending on the number of stories and the amount of the roofline. The average cost ranges between three to five dollars per lineal foot to have someone install the gutter. This means it will cost around 360-600 dollars for 120 feet and up to 750-1250 dollars for 250 feet. However, if you are wanting to the job yourself, you can save yourself some money. The material for PVC costs 50-100 dollars for the 120 feet and around 90-180 dollars for 250 feet. If installing, even though the material might save you some, there are other guttering supplies. Some of these supplies are the actual gutters, a gutter machine, gutter guards, downspouts, as well as other tools for the actual installation. Keep in mind these extra items when figuring out the cost of doing the installation yourself.

Remember that different types of materials are going to cost more. PVC is usually less expensive than other options. But just because it is cheaper in cost does not mean it is a cheaper material. There is a reason why it is one of the most popular choices-it is long-lasting, durable, low maintenance, and cost-effective!

A Backyard Renovation Horror Story

I’ve always been a do-it-yourselfer who is handy around the home. I love to take on projects, and I enjoy the process as much as the final product. And while I have been able to create some masterpieces and renovate parts of my home with style, I had an unfortunate experience with my backyard. Maybe my first mistake was not differentiating between my backyard and the interior. I thought that if I applied the same type of thinking that I did for regular renovations, I would be able to pull off a backyard job with no problem. This type of thinking is what led to one of the biggest renovation horror stories of my life. I’ll share it with you now in hopes that you can avoid anything that even comes close.

No Plan Ahead – whenever I did a smaller project in my home, I always played by ear. Or if it was in an area where I had worked before, I already had a general idea of my previous plans. In other words, I was never starting from scratch. But when I was working on my backyard, I had no other projects or renovations to draw on. This was the first time I was doing anything back there which is something I should’ve realized because if I did, I would have known I needed to structure and organize better.

A Clean Slate – since this was the first time I was working in my backyard, I thought it would be smart to start from scratch. So I basically got rid of everything that was already there. HUGE MISTAKE. I basically gutted my backyard without thinking about how I could salvage certain elements. A lot of money was wasted because I could have used older elements in my new design.

The Exploding Wallet – when you have a big pit in your backyard, and you’ve thrown away a lot of usable elements, you’re going to be in trouble. Again, lack of planning hit me hard because I didn’t anticipate how much everything would cost. It was clear that I should not have bulldozed everything while hoping that things would just fall into place.

Too Fancy – I made a mistake that a lot of first-time renovators do. Instead of progressing from step to step, I wanted to change my backyard overnight. I had plans for a fancy patio, an outdoor fireplace, a big expensive barbecue, and a playground for the kids. In retrospect, I should have turned them into smaller projects rather than trying to fit them in within a short amount of time.

The Contractor – I might like to do things myself, but I also know when to ask for help. I finally decided there were aspects of the job that I just couldn’t handle. Before my budget ballooned, even more, I decided to call a contractor for some professional help. This was also the first time I had done anything like this, so it was a learning experience. The first contractor I met with was an expert in backyard renovation, but he was also a master of up-selling. I could barely get a word in edgewise as it was clear from the start that he wanted total control and more significantly, to rack up the price tag. I finally had to let him go and do a much more thorough round of interviews for workers to get my backyard track.

My Backyard Now – I wish I could say the story has a happy ending, and it might one day. But for now, my backyard is a work in progress that is still unfinished. There are patches of dirt where there should be grass, and I still haven’t implemented outdoor lighting. My sprinkler system works, but until I actually put in a lawn, there’s nothing to sprinkle. I did put a lot of energy into the patio area so that I could at least set up a barbecue and grilling station. But the rest of my backyard looks like it was touched by the apocalypse. This has definitely been a difficult experience, and I’m hoping that you can learn from some of my mistakes. A backyard job needs as much thorough planning and forethought as anything you do inside.

This has been a contribution from Frank Mason. Frank Mason is a contributor at where everything related to the backyard is discussed, especially as it pertains to the wonderful world of barbecue. You can check out his site if you’re looking for more backyard tips or to buy the best propane grill.

Important Things To Remember In Planning A Home Improvement Project

Every homeowner has to think about home improvements sometime during their stay at the home. Some people are content with minor changes, while others may have major projects in mind. Regardless of the size of your projects, here are some important points to think about as you plan the transformation of your home.

Think about what area in your home you would like to change first. You cannot change everything at once because that would create chaos. It is better to tackle one area at a time. Consider what is most important to you and your family, or what you can afford to do now. Write down your thoughts and discuss them with your family because they will be affected by the changes as well.

As you are writing down areas in your home that you want to improve, under each area, put down specifics on what you would like to change. Go from room to room, and make a list of things that you want to modify. This will provide a framework for your overall home improvement plan.

When you have decided on an area to tackle first, start getting estimates from contractors. Get estimates from at least three contractors that will include their time and total cost. Be sure that you are giving them the same requirements to bid on because you want to be able to compare apples to apples.

Before you decide on a contractor, make sure that his business has the proper license to do this type of work in your state. His license ensures that he will do everything by the permit and state building codes. Do not be tempted by low bids from an unlicensed contractor. The risk of not having your project done correctly is not worth the money saved.

It is important to ask your contractor for references. You want to be sure that he has satisfied customers. From these references, you can get comments about his reliability and work quality. You will need to communicate with your contractor every day during your project, so you want to make sure that he is someone with whom you can easily work with. For example, if you are living in Calabasas and you are planning to do a garage door repair, it is a good idea to use Google Maps and see the nearby garage door repair locations that have high ratings. Many people will usually rate the performance of their service providers and you can easily pinpoint which companies give great service to their customers.

Home improvement projects will no doubt cause some disruption in your household during the work in progress. Discuss with your family how all of you will function during this time. Think about areas in your home that will be inaccessible and what you will have to do to work around it. For instance, if the kitchen is being remodeled, you will not be able to prepare meals for a while, and you may have to rely on prepared meals that you can just microwave.

After all is done, sit back and enjoy the upgrades. You have planned long and made sacrifices to get to this point. You and your family should find time to enjoy the new enhancements. Your home improvement projects will go smoothly if you hire a contractor with a good reputation, and if your expectations are realistic in terms of the cost and time required. Plan carefully, and you will have the home of your dreams.

Tips For Building A Home Bar

A home bar is much more than a counter with a bunch of booze on it!  There is a lot that goes into the planning and execution of building one, and with some foresight, it’s actually really easy.  In this post, I want to show you some easy tips for planning the actual bar itself, the stemware, and where to get discounts on stocking it up.

The physical bar can really be anything you like it to be.  If you want there to be a space on the backside for someone to serve drinks it will take more planning, but it can also be a long counter with an ice machine and running water.  The water aspect of it makes it much more self-sufficient than just a counter would be.  It can be in any room of the house if it has water so that you don’t have to run back and forth to the kitchen for everything.  This is much easier to do when your bar is in a room that’s next to a bathroom since there are already water pipes nearby.  A bar faucet can be as simple or elegant as you like, and when paired with a farm sink you have a recipe for the perfect home bar cocktail!

The type of stemware that you use depends on what you drink, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money for any of it (unless you really want to).  Find a restaurant supply store in your area and you will be able to buy the same stuff that your favorite local bar uses.  The best thing about shopping this way is that you can buy by the case to save money.

Shopping for liquor can cost more than installing the bar, so it’s important to cut as many expenses as possible.  Many people will build the collection as they go to spread the cost out, but if you don’t want to do that you can get liquor much cheaper at places like Costco and Bevmo! than anywhere else.

A home bar is a great addition to any home.  Be sure to plan it all out ahead of time so that you can get it all put together with as few problems as possible.

Keeping Your Home Pest-Free

Being home pests a major hazard sometimes (whether to family health or even house safety), precautions must be taken. Below аrе ѕоmе simple ways tо keep bugs оut оf уоur home, or you can look at some get rid of pests Sites as well. Making а house one hundred percent bug-free wоuld bе а major project аnd nоt аt аll simple but thеѕе few suggestions wіll make а big difference.

Thе single most important thing tо do іѕ tо put mesh screens оn аll windows аnd outside doors. Thіѕ wіll keep оut most insects. Sоmе smaller bugs ѕuсh аѕ aphids wіll bе аblе tо get thrоugh thе mesh аnd thе оnlу way tо keep thеm оut іѕ tо make sure thаt thе windows аnd doors remain closed. Glass screens саn bе used іn thе case оf doors. All outside doors ѕhоuld bе self-closing оr bе protected bу а screen door thаt іѕ self-closing.

Make sure thаt аll door seals аrе іn good condition аnd install door sweeps оr thresholds. Rubber seals, аѕ opposed tо vinyl, ѕhоuld bе used fоr garage doors. Thеrе іѕ а very easy test tо make sure thаt а door іѕ sealed properly whісh іѕ tо look аt іt frоm thе inside. If gaps аrе big еnоugh tо lеt thе outside light іn, work іѕ required, since rodents and bats can get into the house even though the smallest gaps.

Cracks аrе most lіkеlу tо develop аrоund windows аnd doors аnd ѕhоuld always bе filled. Silicon оr latex caulk ѕhоuld bе used fоr small cracks depending uроn thе properties required. Silicone іѕ more flexible but latex caulk саn bе painted оvеr аnd іѕ easy tо clean uр. Larger cracks аnd openings ѕhоuld bе filled wіth material thаt has similar properties tо thе damaged substrate.

It іѕ worth taking а walk аrоund thе outside оf thе property аnd checking аll thе points whеrе pipes оr cable enters thе home. Electrical, air conditioning, gas аnd many оthеr utilities require thаt holes bе drilled thrоugh thе external walls. Contractors rеаllу ѕhоuld make sure thаt thе house іѕ sealed after thеу have completed thеіr installation but thаt does nоt always happen. Caulk оr silicone оr polyurethane foam саn bе used аѕ а sealant.

Whаt goes іn thе yard аnd areas directly outside оf thе home іѕ important. Anу causes оf standing water ѕhоuld bе treated аѕ а matter оf urgency аѕ mosquitoes require standing water tо breed. pooling оn thе lawn caused bу а thatch buildup саn bе dealt wіth bу aerating thе problem area whісh wіll allow thе water tо drain. If thе problem іѕ caused bу poor drainage thе solution іѕ more complicated аѕ dirt fill wіll have tо bе added аt thе very lеаѕt. Blocked gutters саn аlѕо bе а source оf standing water ѕо thеу ѕhоuld bе checked, cleaned аnd unblocked аѕ required.

Aѕ а rule оf thumb, thе clearer thе area immediately surrounding thе house іѕ thе better. Piles оf wood, еѕресіаllу untreated, ѕhоuld nоt bе left against thе side оf а building. Thе area immediately adjacent tо а house ѕhоuld have pea gravel оr оthеr stones аѕ opposed tо dirt оr а lawn. Big shrubs аnd trees ѕhоuld dеfіnіtеlу bе cut bасk bеfоrе thеу get close tо thе house. Thеѕе measures wіll protect thе property frоm many different pests.

Solar Panels For Residential Use

Solar panels for home use can have amazing benefits for the environment and the homeowner. Society is leaning towards going green and the government is in support of power systems that use energy from the earth. Solar panels are a common cost-effective measure that the average homeowner can take to be “green” and save some money in the long run. Maintaining a home is a big expense. Being environmentally friendly is not always cost-effective initially but it can save homeowners thousands of dollars a year in the long run. Solar panels are one efficient method of getting on the right track to creating an environmentally sound home.

Solar panels on the roof of a large house with a swimming pool and a barbecue terrace

The Benefits of Solar Panels
• Solar panels are environmentally friendly.
• The government supports solar power and provides monetary incentives for homes that are environmentally friendly, such as solar-paneled homes.
• You spend once and save for years.
• Solar panels can be installed by the homeowner saving costs on professional installation.
• Maintaining solar power systems is easy and low cost.

The availability of information on solar panels and solar energy today is abundant. Those who are considering the option of solar panels should begin by doing some basic internet research about this option. Residential solar panels can be installed by one of the many professionals trained in solar power systems. There are home solar panel guides that can assist through the steps of solar panel installation. A homeowner may consider installing their own system to save on labor costs. It is always advisable to first consult with an expert initially. If you do decide to install your own solar panels an expert can ensure that you are going in the right direction with your plan for solar panels. You will need to have the exact measurements in terms of square footage, the sun’s position in relation to your home, and the most effective panels for your home. This information will save you time money and worries in the future.

Regardless of if you decide to hire out or do it yourself, either option will provide homeowners with cost savings. Many states have tax advantages, incentives, or specialized payback programs to encourage homeowners to invest in environmentally sound practices such as solar panels for the home. The benefits of that these are as well as a long-term benefit of saving money on utilities and upkeep. Solar panels for home use have lasting benefits for the homeowner and the environment.

Summer Project: How to Interior Paint for a Fresh Look

Summer is a great time to get things done around the house and work on that list of projects. A fresh coat of paint can give a room a fresh, new look and is a great way to remodel without spending too much. These pointers on how to interior paint will get you started on a successful project.

The first step in any paint project is the prep work, and doing it right makes the rest of the job much easier. First remove all the furniture, wall hangings, and window treatments from the room. For larger furniture that is difficult to move, you can push it away from the walls and cover it with a drop cloth. Be sure to remove all hardware for window treatments, and if you’re painting the window frames remove window hardware as well. Look around the room and remove any electrical plates, switch covers, vents, or anything else that is not to be painted. Cover the electrical outlets and switches with painter’s tape, and cover windows with plastic to prevent splatters. Finally, cover the floor with plastic drop cloths.

Next, to prepare the walls for the best coverage and finish, wipe them down with a damp sponge or rag. Remove any pencil, ink or food stains because they will bleed through the new paint and cause streaks. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work very well for getting ink and pencil marks off. Fill any nail holes or other blemishes with drywall compound. Let it dry for 3-4 hours, then sand it to a smooth finish with fine sandpaper, blending the edges. Wipe the wall down well and vacuum up all dust.

Use painter’s tape to mask off edges of wood trim, baseboard, door, and window frames. To get a nice straight line where the ceiling and walls meet, tape the perimeter of the ceiling, abutting the edge of the walls. Paint a 2-3 inch border along the top edge of the wall, in corners, around door and window frames, switches outlets, vents, and baseboards, using a 2-inch brush. Working from the top of the wall down, use a roller to paint the rest of the wall. Work in 3-4 foot sections from top to bottom, all around the room, blending one area to the next. When working with the roller, roll excess paint off the roller after dipping, then use large even strokes and be careful not to press down too hard. For most interior paint colors, you will need to do two coats of paint, allowing the paint to dry completely between coats.

If you will be painting the trim, remove the tape and wait until the wall paint dries completely. Then use an edger or tape off the wall around trim work. Use a brush to paint trim, working with the grain of the wood, in short, even strokes at first, then large strokes to even out coverage.

When you’re done, remove drop cloths and tape and sweep up any paint debris. The paint should cure for a few days before replacing wall hangings. During this time you can replace furniture, but take care not to push furniture against the walls yet. Leftover paint can be kept for touch-ups, but always check with your local waste company before disposing of partially filled paint cans.

The Benefits of Using a Hot Water Heater Blanket in Your Home

There are many benefits to installing a hot water heater blanket. First, it cuts down on the electricity bills you incur (especially in winter when you need lots of hot water). It also saves on the amount of energy you use. What’s more, it insulates your water heater much better. How can you be sure of this? Well, touch the sides of your heater. If they’re warm, then you can confidently conclude that the insulation isn’t working properly. Don’t think that just because there’s hot water inside, the sides should be warm. A hot water heater blanket keeps the heater well insulated, thus makes sure that you can conserve precious energy.

A major benefit of the hot water heater blanket is that you don’t have to keep your water heater on all the time. This keeps your electricity costs to a minimum, thus you can save a lot of money. It’s because the blanket, when used, keeps the water hot for a long time, even after the heater itself has been switched off. The water is kept at the correct hot temperature, till it is switched on again, so you can save quite a lot of money and energy!

If you are part of a family that takes its showers mainly at night, or even early in the morning, then this is a pretty effective way to save your money, something I think most of us could benefit from these days! This is because electricity is usually at its highest rate during peak hours – so you can save significant amounts of money by cutting at least 25-30 dollars off your monthly bills. So spend 20-25 dollars on the hot water heater blanket, and you will realize that over the next year, you will save lots of money with this simple energy-saving tip.

A Home Improvement Experts Guide Into Building Quality Conservatories

You would like to build a conservatory and you want it to be a conservatory that lasts for a long time.  Well, home improvement experts know how to ensure that the conservatories built onto their homes are quality conservatories, be they self-build conservatories or builder-supplied conservatories.  Following are some tips as to how they achieve this.

One thing a home improvement expert will not do is assume that planning permission is not required for a conservatory, nor will they assume that getting planning permission is a foregone conclusion.  Many people have made these assumptions and have paid dearly for not paying attention to the planning process and gaining the required permits.

Home enthusiasts will have done a lot of research as to what style of conservatory will suit their residence.  They will be aware of the differences between Victorian conservatories, lean-to conservatories, and Edwardian conservatories for instance.  You too, with a bit of online research can find out which style of conservatory would best compliment your home and property.

When it comes to the style and shape of a projected conservatory you need to have a clear vision as to what you have in mind for your completed conservatory.  Home improvement experts will be clear about this and this makes decisions regarding the size of conservatory required much easier.

Knowing what a conservatory should be constructed from is an area where DIY and home enthusiasts will shine.  They will be aware that traditional conservatories were made of timber and iron, but also that these materials have insulation deficiencies.  Research uPVC conservatories online, as they are the most popular conservatories in the present market.

As home building enthusiasts are constantly in contact with each other, they have an advantage in knowing which suppliers and installers have the best reputation.  Do not be shy about asking around as to which of your neighbors had a conservatory installed recently and if they were happy with the workmanship.

So if you follow these tips that home improvement experts employ when they are considering building a conservatory, you should ensure that you end up with a quality conservatory also.