DIY Home Projects to Tackle this Winter – Keep Yourself Busy

As winter draws near, people are getting ready to hunker down and spend a whole lot more time indoors. And while that means you’ll stay cozy and warm, it’s not always exciting having to spend so much time stuck inside at home. However, we’ve got a number of DIY home projects that you can tackle this winter that will keep you busy, and give you some really spectacular results. Whether you tackle just one or the whole list is up to you.

Update the Lighting in Your Home

When was the last time you thought about your light fixtures in your home? Did you know that they play a huge role, not just in the look of a room, but also the ambiance and even the functionality of the space? With that said, it may be time to start replacing old and dated fixtures, choosing new modern designs that are also more energy-efficient.

If you are going to replace your light fixtures, why not step outside the box? You can look at various styles such as recessed lighting, chandeliers, pendant lights, under cabinet lighting, floor lamps, and so forth. The options are endless.

Repaint Existing Wood Furniture

Here’s another DIY project that will deliver some great results. If you’ve got some old wood furniture pieces that are looking a little worse for wear, rather than getting rid of them, you can always use a paint stripper to get rid of the old paint, and then give them a fresh new look.

For those new to stripping paint, the Best Paint Stripper for Wood, Metal, and Masonry: a Complete Guide is an excellent resource to use. The paint stripper comparison chart will help you pick the right product for the job, and then the guide highlights all the steps you’ll need to take. While this project is a bit labor-intensive, you can expect to get some really great results.

Add a Backsplash in Your Kitchen

Want to spruce up your kitchen but don’t have the budget for a total renovation and gut job? Not to worry, as there are smaller DIY projects that will cost a fraction of the budget and still provide an impact.

A backsplash can end up being the perfect DIY project as it is relatively simple to do; you just need to be sure you give yourself enough time and patience to follow the steps. When choosing the perfect backsplash, look for one that will tie all the elements together in your kitchen, such as the countertops, cabinets, window coverings and flooring.

Get Out the Paint Brushes and Get to Work

Here’s a DIY job that can be quick and simple, or more time intensive depending on how many rooms you want to paint. Painting is one of the most impactful changes you can make in the home, and yet it’s a project that pretty much anyone can do on their own. If you want to change the look of a room entirely, you can paint all four walls, but you can achieve a similar effect by simply making one of them a feature wall.

So, instead of spending the majority of your time this winter on the couch, get tackling some DIY projects!

 

5 Reasons a Pond is More Than Just a Nice Feature to Look at

Although you might believe that people install ponds and water features into their homes to give their garden interest and boost its aesthetic appearance, it is not as simple as that. Ponds can have several physical and mental health benefits for you and your family, as well as benefiting the local environment. Here are some of the top reasons why you should install a pond, beyond that they are nice to look at.

Gives Wildlife a Home

One of the main reasons why homeowners decide to install ponds into their gardens is that they can help to give wildlife a place to live. For instance, ponds attract many different types of fish and insects to their depths, and many people use the opportunity to invest in a low maintenance pet, such as koi carp. However, it is not only on the surface or within the pond itself that wildlife gathers. Instead, the shores of your pond will also be filled with birds and frogs, hoping to enjoy the feast that you have prepared for them.

Cools Garden Down

In the extreme summer heat, you may be desperate to make your garden into an oasis, and installing a pond is the best way to do so. Ponds can drastically reduce the ambient temperature in your garden as the water cools the air around it, especially if you have installed a pump to get it moving. You can also buy pond-loving plants that can help to create more oxygenated, cool air in your garden. To find the perfect pump for your space, or to install a pond that your family will love, you should look at the services provided by water-garden.co.uk, as they will be able to help you to create a tranquil area in your garden.

Decreases Stress

If you struggle with stress within your day-to-day life, installing a pond into your garden may be the answer, however unlikely this may seem. Ponds can help with relaxation due to their soothing sounds and pleasing aesthetic appearance, helping you to forget all about the daily grind. Many people even use their pond areas to meditate and install decorations such as wind chimes to enhance the effect.

Reduces Noise

Are you fed up of hearing background noise from the street within your garden? This is particularly a problem for city or townhomes, and this can be combated through the installation of a pond. Not only can the splashing sound of the pond shut out the noise beyond your garden, but you might also consider installing a fountain in your outdoor space for the optimum amount of sound-proofing.

Increases Physical Activity

Many people do not do as much physical activity as their grandparents in the past, and this can have an extremely negative long-impact on your health. However, ponds can increase the amount of time you spend out in the garden and help you stay fit. In fact, gardening can help you to burn up to 150-400 calories per hour.

How to Have Your Home Built

Building your home can be a gratifying experience. From designing a home to setting up unique finishes, it surely adds another level of pride to owning a dream home.

At first, it may seem like building your own home is an impossible dream, though with some helpful ways, you can have your house built without breaking the bank. Some of these ways include:

  • Buying a Piece of Land

Building a home on land is not as easy as you may think. Some land is buildable, while other is not. Zoning ordinances and building codes will determine whether or not the land is buildable. In addition, federal, health, and state department regulations will need to be considered.

Therefore, when buying land, one of the questions you may have is where to search for purchasable land. Depending on your location, there might be online sites where sellers post land for sale, or you might buy a plot from builders who have subdivided an area.

  • Looking for a Builder

One of the amazing things about houses in America is that the majority are built using standardized building practices. The reason for this is a set of building codes, which apply across the country. To get such a home, you will need a builder. Choosing a good builder for your home is important. The builder you choose needs to have all the necessary tools to construct your home so that will last for a long time.

Finding the right builder will not be a one-day process. You will need to research so you can get a builder who can bring things together like a puzzle. A qualified builder also looks for the best plumbers, contractors, welders, and electricians to make your home strong and safe. If you are looking to settle down in one of the over 55 communities, look for builders who specialize in building in those communities.

  • Customizing a Floor Plan

A floor plan refers to a scaled diagram of a house viewed from inside the home. A good floor plan depicts a single room or an entire building. It can also include appliances, furniture, measurements, or anything necessary for the plan.

When buying a house, you will need to customize a floor plan so you can design wiring systems and furniture layout. As you customize your floor plan, you need to make sure it has the following details:

  • Size
  • Flexibility
  • Lifestyle
  • Layout
  • Creating a Budget

Creating a budget to have your house built is not an option; it’s a requirement. When building a home, you need to start with a budget of what you want to spend, including the services and materials you require.

Always plan for expenses early enough so that you may make important changes when your home is completed. Budgeting early offers you leeway if the construction project ends up costing you a lot of money than you had initially planned. This gives you sufficient time to allocate more money towards the construction project or look for a better alternative.

The Bottom Line!

Newly constructed homes have an undeniable allure. They come up with a few hidden problems. Hazardous materials, including asbestos and lead-based paint, are all non-existent.

Therefore, with tips like creating a budget, looking for a builder, and customizing a floor plan will ensure you have your home designed depending on your needs.

 

How Can Vacuum Cleaners Help in Cleaning Vertical Blinds

It is your cleaning day at home, and you are all geared up to do the floors and wipe clean the window glasses. What about the blinds?

Be it your home or workplace, even after rubbing off every inch of the rooms if your blinds are still dusty, the space is still unhygienic. People often tend to be reluctant to wash the dirt off the blinds, and especially the vertical blinds, as they find it tedious. However, when you have a vacuum cleaner at your disposal, you can finish up in half the time.

Today you’ll learn, compared to other forms of blinds, cleaning vertical blinds is surprisingly easier than you thought!

What Are the Most Popular Kinds of Blinds?

  • Venetian Blinds
  • Mini Blinds
  • Vertical Blinds
  • Panel Track Blinds
  • Smart Blinds

What Is a Vertical Blind?

When vertically stitched fabrics or hitched synthetic slats are clipped to a slider on the top to cover the glass windows, they are called vertical blinds. A plastic thread hangs from it to open and close the blind. While the vertical blinds can be made of polyester fabrics, they are mostly crafted using vinyl, wood, faux wood, etc.

When to Use a Vacuum Cleaner for the Vertical Blinds?

Suppose you are nearly done with your bit of searching. In that case, you’ll know the bloggers and the YouTubers are recommending cleaning processes for blinds that involve hand dusting, soap, and water episode, drying sessions, and finally putting them up in place. But every time, you can’t possibly afford to put in so much effort and time.

Hence, you can vacuum the vertical blinds when:

  • You are running out of time, and a gathering has been scheduled for the same evening.
  • You are a senior citizen who stays alone and cannot expect any help.
  • If it’s not a sunny day, using soap and water won’t be a smart idea.
  • Your detergent bottle is empty, and you must get a new one.
  • You cannot apply water for cleaning vertical blinds, as it might damage the material.

How to Use Vacuum Cleaner on the Vertical Blinds?

Before you plug in the vacuum cleaner, switch it on, and start getting your blinds cleaned, you must take a glance at these useful tips:

Tip 1

Always use a brush to make the blinds go dust-free, and make sure it’s soft enough.

Tip 2

If the blind slats are horizontal in shape and vertically connected, then move the brush across to get rid of the dirt dead set on the in-between spots.

Tip 3

Try to follow a zigzag pattern. Start from one side, give your cleaner some time to suck up the dirt from corners, and then drag your brush down to the slat below.

Tip 4

In case the slats are placed side by side, vacuum downwards and not the other way round. If you brush upwards, you would perhaps end up unhooking the slats.

Tip 5

While using a vacuum cleaner’s brush through the slats, be very gentle. You don’t wish to cause any sort of damage, do you?

Tip 6

Finally, pick up the fallen dust particles from your floor with the help of your cleaner; wash your face and hands with soap, and you’re good to go.

Stay Health Conscious While Cleaning Vertical Blinds

A healthy home needs regular cleaning practices, but you mustn’t compromise your personal health while doing the chores. Always wear a mask, use gloves, and rinse hair with shampoo post-cleaning.

And remember, even if you have always preferred cloth dusters, vacuum cleaners’ agile performance in making your home or office spick and span is matchless!

 

5 Steps to Take Before Renovating Your Home

Many homeowners consider renovating their property every couple of years, especially if they have moved into a new house or if their current property is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the trials and tribulations of creating your dream home, read on for more information.

Waterproof Your Basement

Many homeowners consider building an extension onto their home or converting a garage, attic, or basement as part of their renovations. However, to make these previously unused spaces into liveable areas of your home, you need to take extra precautions. For instance, if your basement is prone to flooding and other issues, you should consider finding basement waterproofing in Columbia. This service can ensure that your renovations are not then easily destroyed by natural disasters as soon as they are finished.

Check Building Restrictions

Before you start on any renovations, you need to make sure that you are legally able to carry out your plans, especially if you are thinking of expanding your home or converting certain rooms or structures into areas that serve different purposes. Although some areas of the USA do not have strict rules, many others fall under certain building codes or zones which restrict your ability to change the building that you own. Double-check with the National Register that your property is not preserved, as well.

Conduct Surveys

Before you start your renovations, you also need to be aware of any issues that may arise in the future or problems that may prevent you from carrying out your plans. You should conduct professional surveys to raise awareness of problems such as mold, damp, and asbestos. Ensure this is top priority before you make your design plans come true.

Make a Renovation Plan

If you and your family are currently deciding whether or not to take the initial leap into your home renovations, before you are able to do so, you should start to make a comprehensive renovation plan. Without a plan, tasks will be inefficient. This renovation plan should isolate the individual steps that you need to take in order to transform your home, as this will ensure that nothing goes wrong throughout your renovations. You should also write down a realistic budget and timeframe for your home improvements, as this can help you to prevent scope creep.

Do Repairs

One of the most important actions any homeowner needs to make before decorating is to finish up the repairs that your home needs. This will enable you to start your decorating on a fresh slate while ensuring that you are not solely renovating your home in the hopes of hiding some of the most worn parts of your property. You will, of course, need to decide whether you want to conduct these repairs – and the renovation as a whole – DIY or whether you are interested in hiring a professional who can make sure that these repairs are completed to a high standard.

 

4 Winter Updates That Can Boost Your Home’s Value

If you are thinking of selling your home, you can maximize its value by making various changes or adjustments to the space.

As many homeowners will want to enjoy a warm, cozy home each winter, there are various improvements you could undertake to generate a healthy profit from your property. Here are four winter updates that can boost your home’s value.

  • Install a Designer Radiator

Old, unattractive radiators can negatively impact a room’s interior design, which can prevent potential property hunters from making an offer. If your current radiators are the opposite of attractive, consider installing an attention-grabbing designer radiator from the likes of warmrooms. Modern radiators cannot only seamlessly blend in with your décor, but they could provide a buyer with peace of mind that they are investing in a warm property.

  • Add a Wood-Burning Stove Fireplace

It is not only designer radiators that can give your property the wow factor, as a wood-burning stove fireplace could encourage others to make an offer on your home. Few moments are more enjoyable than curling up on the sofa and watching the roar of a wood-burning fireplace during winter. It is also a more cost-effective option than firing up a heating system to increase a home’s temperature. For the above reasons, it can add up to 5% of your property’s value.

  • Update Your Heating System

Most budding homeowners will be reluctant to buy a property with an old water heater, as they will not want to foot the cost of a new system once they move in. If your water heater is close to 15 years old or more, you can increase your property’s value and saleability by updating your heating system.

According to recent analysis, installing a tankless water heater could help you to sell your home for 4% more than its value. It could, therefore, help you to generate a larger return on your investment and a faster sale.

  • Double Glazing

No homeowner will want to experience a winter chill from their windows. Double glazing can help you to create a cozier environment and a more energy-efficient property. It is, therefore, an essential feature for many people who are looking to invest in a new home. In fact, it can reportedly increase a property’s price by an incredible 10%.

It is, however, essential to consider a property’s architectural style before you invest in an installation, as the wrong double glazing could impact its value. For example, if you are lucky enough to own a period home, opt for double glazing with wooden frames that will complement the property.

If you want potential buyers to fall head over heels in love with your property, you must look for ways to create an attractive, energy-efficient space. Convince them to make you an offer on the spot by looking for ways to warm up a property each winter, such as installing designer radiators or an inviting wood-burning stove fireplace.

How to Tile Your Bathroom

There are many DIY improvement projects you can do at home, and retiling your bathroom is one of them. If you would like to try and save some money by doing this job yourself, make sure you have done your research and purchased all the right equipment before you get started. Otherwise, you might find yourself with uneven tiles, messy floors, and will likely have to pay for someone to come and fix it. Here are a few steps you need to think about and do in order to tile your bathroom successfully.

Remove the Old Tiles and Prepare the Wall

Put down some old sheets in your bathtub or on the floor to protect it from the tiles you’re taking off. Once all the old tiles have been removed, you must then smooth out the wall and make sure it’s clean before you can start putting any new tiles onto the surface. For this stage of the process, you will need a hammer and chisel to remove the old tiles, a sponge and clean water to clear away any dirt, and you might need to replaster parts of the wall if there is damaged or uneven plaster.

Make Precise Measurements

Your tiles must go up evenly and spread out enough to allow for grout to be put between them. Make sure you are taking precise measurements in order to achieve the best results and to avoid having to start over again from scratch. Use a spirit level to help keep your tiles in a straight line, and have a tape measure and a pencil to hand to mark your tiles and the wall as necessary.

Get a Tile Cutter

While you will have selected certain tiles to go up on your bathroom wall, some will need to be cut to fit in awkward positions such as around corners or basins. You will need a quality tile cutter to do this properly, so shop around to find the best one you can afford. It’s also worth ordering a few extra tiles to practice cutting with, or at least to have in case a problem occurs during the project. If you don’t need them at the time, at least you have spares if any get damaged in the future.

Use Waterproof Adhesive and Grout

Always double-check the adhesives and grouts you’re planning to use for your tiling project. It’s essential that your purchase waterproof versions of these items, otherwise you will have numerous problems with leaks. Double-check that the product you’re using is waterproof and not just water-resistant, as the latter won’t have the same effect. You can ask about this at stores such as Tradefix Direct, who provide a range of adhesives, or at a similar store near you. Just remember to remove any excess grout on the edge of the tiles with a damp cloth so it doesn’t set and look like a messy finish.

It will take some patience and attention to detail, but you can retile your bathroom yourself rather than relying on someone else to do it for you. If you want to try and be more hands-on with your home improvement projects, this is a good one to start with.

 

How to Design a Fitted Kitchen on a Budget

As one of the most functional areas of your home, your kitchen serves as a multi-dimensional place for making meals, organising groceries, relaxing, and tucking in quick bites with family or friends. For performing all these functions, it needs a practical design, too. Fitted kitchens are a popular choice because of their cost-effectiveness, versatility, and functionality.

Small-Budget Kitchen Makeover Ideas

Plus, a ready-to-fit design means that you can fix your kitchen quickly without much laborious work. It is important to design your home with the apt kitchen space customised to your layout and lifestyle. However, designing the perfect kitchen on a tight budget can be challenging.

A fitted kitchen on a budget should have a high-end look and feel with a low-end cost. Here are some handy tips that will help you design the perfect kitchen space without compromising the aesthetics.

1. Mix and Match

To get an elite look while sticking to your budget, mix and match materials. Spend more on areas that are on display and create a feature out of them. For instance, if you opt for a kitchen island, you could choose a striking worktop for the same while designing the worktops of other units with a less-expensive choice.

Or, you can opt between open shelves and closed shelving for kitchen storage. Open shelving is relatively cheaper than closed cabinets. You can make a display of your favourite jars, kitchen utensils, and ceramics in your open shelves to complete the look.

2. Refurbish and Experiment

If you are on a shoestring budget, and it doesn’t make sense to replace your existing kitchen units, you could refurbish and replace it to get a whole new look. You can replace cabinet door fronts, worktops, and other broken elements without making a hole in your pocket.

Else, opt for new paint colours in your tile backsplash or shelves. Just ensure to prepare the surfaces correctly and get the paint right. At times, a simple workaround can add a dramatic appeal to refresh your kitchen space without spending too much.

3. Installing New Worktops

You can instantly lift the appeal of your kitchen by simply replacing your existing worktops. Getting the right finish and durability at the same time is important. A cheaper material does not ensure good quality. Therefore, try to find the right balance between the cost and durability of the worktop material while working out your kitchen budget.

Laminated worktops can be a cost-effective solution for your fitted kitchen compared to premium worktops with granite or quartz. Choosing a good depth with a linear edge is imperative for an elegant and durable finish.

4. Add a Personal Touch

Bespoke kitchens do not mean you should invest in a dedicated interior designer for the same. Adding personal and straightforward design elements need not be expensive and cost a fortune if you know how. Bring your creativity to the forefront and add a unique personality to your kitchen with anything, be it a few common house plants, creating a gallery wall, feature wall with wallpaper, or more.

Also, add more thought to accessorise your kitchen by showing off your crockery, cups, or glassware. Even adding simple spotlights over the worktops, halogen bulbs on the extractor, and pendant lighting over the dining space can add more appeal to your kitchen to match your persona.

Your kitchen is truly the heart of your home, and that’s why it is essential to get the design of your kitchen right to increase your home’s value. It is vital to plan carefully and take the experts’ help to get the perfect fitted kitchen you want according to the budget you have in your mind.

 

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your First Home

A pivotal moment in your life is when you can finally, legitimately consider your first home purchase. It comes at different times, for some people, right out of college, for others it takes longer. It doesn’t matter how you got there. It is a time to enjoy the process and the anticipation. Assuming you have spoken with the lender, and you already know your price range. Here are 5 things that you should consider while making this all-important decision.

  1. Location: Location is a complicated issue. It is not all about drive time. It is about the future and how things are going to change too. It used to be, people would want to live close to their work, but many of us are working from home now. Schools are an important consideration if children are in the picture. You also need to think about where you shop. Do you like to eat out? Perhaps you do everything online. The more things you do from home, the less important the city infrastructure becomes. And this opens to you the possibility of living in a more natural setting, or a smaller friendlier community. Moving outside the city will bring down the cost of your home and improve the standard of home you can afford. Follow this link to find real estate agents in Townsville, QLD
  2. Future needs: If you plan to live in your house 10 years or more, you need to think about how that neighbourhood is going to change. Is it new, then it will probably be getting more features like shopping and schools? Is it old, well, maybe it is past its prime? Do you want a natural setting? What are the chances that in 10 years you will need to move because you no longer have a view? Will you be able to personalize your property as your needs change? Do you have pets?
  3. Property condition: Is the house ready to move in or is it a fixer upper? Minor problems might be in your favour, as you can use them for leverage. But make sure you look at the structural integrity, roof condition, and major systems, like plumbing and heating, and make sure you know whether that area is prone to flooding. It is a good idea to get a professional inspection.
  4. Flexibility: If you are handy, or if you have a big enough budget, you can take advantage of low value properties that can be renovated into something much better. This is cheaper than building from scratch, but sometimes not much cheaper. Be aware, hidden costs can turn that flip into a flop. Get good estimates on any major plans.
  5. Your essential elements: Most importantly, make a list of the things that you consider to be your essential elements. The things you absolutely must have. And then stand firm and make sure you get those things. If it takes a little longer to find the right place, that’s OK, it is more important that your house makes you happy.

Owning your first home is a major accomplishment, but also a major commitment. You need to know what you want, and then insist that you get it.

 

Why Your Pool Floats Are An Aesthetic

The definition of an ‘aesthetic’ is an appreciation of beauty. Before you assume that aesthetics can only be expressed through your fashion choices and your furniture selections, keep in mind that your personal style can be showcased with the pool floats you pick. Before you have close friends over for your next pool party, pick the perfect pool floats by knowing what makes them different.

Foam Pool Floats and Inflatable Pool Floats

Before you make an aesthetic choice when picking pool floats, know that they come in two main materials: foam and vinyl. If you are someone who prefers to not have the option to inflate and deflate your pool float, the foam float is the way to go. Foam floats are generally constructed from closed cell foam and have a coat of vinyl added to keep them durable.

Foam floats have the ability to be folded up to make it easier to store them when they aren’t in use. Don’t expect them to be quite as compact as an inflatable vinyl float.

Compared to foam floats, vinyl pool floats are more flexible, allowing them to be crafted in various styles and shapes. When you see pool floats that are shaped like animals, are round tubes or are those relaxing inflatable mattresses you can lay down on, they are vinyl pool floats.

What prevents the air blown inside inflatable pool floats to not leak? The plastic is inflated and sealed with a cover to prevent air leakage. The best part of an inflatable float is once the float is deflated, it can be rolled up and stored very compactly. Be aware that if the float doesn’t come with an air pump, you will have to purchase one separately.

Also, accidents do happen. Even the sturdiest PVC can puncture, so you will want to keep a puncture repair kit handy, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding repairs.

Children-Friendly Pool Floats

Water and children go hand-in-hand like sunshine and suntans. If you’re on the lookout for a flotation device for your child to have some fun in the pool or at the beach, make safety a high priority. Your child-friendly pool floats should have a low center of gravity, safety valves, and dual air chambers.

If you are concerned about sun exposure, look for a pool float with a sun canopy. But the best form of pool float safety is making sure there is proper adult supervision when your child is playing in the water. Make sure you are adhering to the weight limitations that the pool float has.

Does your child have a favorite animal, color, or vehicle that you can buy a pool float in the shape of?

Sizes and Styles

Pool floats are offered in plenty of styles and sizes. This is where you can have fun. How many people will be using these floats? Would you like to pick a float that can hold more than one person?

How about lounge rafts are floating recliners that allow you to lay flat or sit up while you stretch your legs into the pool with cup holders. Inflatable drink holders enable you to keep your beverages cold and float in a separate inflatable so everyone in the pool for convenient access/

Are you looking for more playful inflatable toys, water games, pool floats for having some family-orientated fun? Are you more on the conservative side, looking to have adult friends over for mature, fashionable outdoor functions? You can go with bright colors that appease all ages, or you can stick with more muted colors for classy sophistication.

With a better understanding of what makes pool floats differ from each other, the fun can truly begin by shopping for the most eye-popping options.