Remodeling, Tips, Uncategorized

Some Basic Home Remodeling Tips

Comments Off 01 October 2013

home remodeling tipsEven under the best circumstances, a home renovation project is a significant undertaking, financially, emotionally and in practical terms. Making changes to your home should not be done on a whim, unless those changes are superficial and cosmetic.

If your remodeling plans include structural additions and alterations the ante goes up across the board—of all renovation ideas, these will be the most expensive, time consuming and labor intensive. Building codes and regulations must be adhered to; permits applied for; even if you are able and willing to do most of the work yourself, some work electrical and plumbing issues must be left in the hands of experts. Even something as seemingly simple as moving a window significantly impacts your renovation budget.

Structural or Cosmetic?

Before making structural changes or additions, consider less invasive options. Sometimes a coat of paint, a different wall treatment; a change in drapery or the addition of coordinated accessories can enliven your living space miraculously. Continue Reading

Financing, Remodeling, Tips

Should You D.I.Y. or Hire a Professional?

Comments Off 30 September 2013

diy vs contractorWhen planning a remodeling project, whether or not to hire a general contractor to do the work yourself is perhaps the most important decision you will make. The trend in recent years has been for homeowners to (ostensibly) save money by doing their own renovations. The internet and cable television are brimming with how-to videos and tutorials; making the idea seem easier and more inviting than it may truly be.

Much depends on the size and scope of a project of course. Minor repairs and largely cosmetic renovation efforts can indeed be managed by most homeowners; although calling in a pro is mandatory when changes involve electrical rewiring or plumbing. The deciding factors are many, but here are a few of the most important.

  • What is your experience and skill set? No matter how effortless they make it seem on TV, it is unrealistic to go from never having picked up a hammer to a full scale remodeling project. You must also have the right tools at your disposal, and the time to devote to a project. Continue Reading

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My Motorcycle Man Cave Project

Comments Off 22 August 2014

I was recently down in my basement rummaging through some old stuff I had and came to the realization that my basement sucks. It’s only partially finished, it’s cold, and overall not a very enjoyable place to hang out. That is when I decided to turn it into my own man cave. After all, I have all of the skills necessary to do most of it myself so why not. I’m actually surprised that I hadn’t thought of it earlier.

I searched online and in magazines to find inspiration and ideas and that’s when it hit me; motorcycles! I have always been a big motorcycle guy. Growing up I always loved them. I had toy motorcycles and posters all over my room and always admired motorcyclists driving by. I even recently bought my first bike, a Harley Davidson, that I love to ride on my off days. So I figured why not make that the theme of my man cave?

So, now that I knew my theme, I needed some ideas for the floor plan. After a couple hours of research I knew what I wanted. The main parts of the man cave would be a bar, washroom, pool table and of course a big screen tv. It would be warm and comfortable but also a bit tough and greasy looking like a biker bar. I couldn’t wait to get started.

My pal Andy gave me a helping hand. We started with the demolition, ripping out the old walls and starting from scratch. After we had everything cleaned out, we starting the construction process. A few days later we had most of the difficult work done. New walls and ceiling were installed, a bar at the back of the room and nice big pool table along with some couches. Now we just had to put in the finishing touches.

I went out and collected some awesome paraphernalia from the Harley Davidson store down the road. I got some great posters, pictures and even a couple model motorcycles to place around my man cave. I even found a couple cool looking helmets online. They are perfect for an added retro look to my motorcycle theme. Then of course I needed my tv. I got a nice big one, a 60″ LED from Amazon. My dream man cave was finally coming to fruition and it was beautiful.

When it was all done, I was more than happy with it. Andy and I had done everything that we planned on. We didn’t run into any big problems which usually happen in projects like this. The next weekend I had a bunch of friends over for a small party to break my man cave in. Everyone seemed to be very impressed with it, I’m sure it will be a great gathering spot for many years to come.

If any of you are thinking about making your very own man cave too, my suggestion would be to go for it. If you can afford it then it’s well worth the money and effort, plus it adds value to your home. Most importantly you can get away from everything and just relax by yourself or with some friends and that’s pretty priceless.

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Renovating Your Basement with a Home Theater

Comments Off 19 August 2014

When it comes to remodeling basements, one the most popular rooms to have installed is a custom home theater. Whether you are into sports, movies, or even just music, a theater room is a great way to get the family together in one place to enjoy spending time together. And while they’re not necessarily inexpensive, the prices overall have come down greatly in the last 10 years. Meanwhile, the quality has gone up.

Starting the Process

If you’re looking to do a remodel in your home and want to include a theater room the first place you should go is to a theater specialist in your area. We’re not talking about Best Buy here. If you want good, quality sound, a great picture, and an amazing overall experience you need to go with someone who has years of expertise in the industry.

Talk to friends, family, or even look online for reviews. Ideally you want someone who has been around for a while. Once you’ve talked to them about what you want, ask to see a couple of their systems. They should have a couple of clients that are wiling to show you their installations.

While you check these out, talk to the client about the details of the installation. How smooth did the installation go? What were the employees like when they were working in the house? Were they considerate of the family and the home itself?

These are all important questions that will give you a good idea of how the company operates.

The Design Process

Once you’re comfortable with the contractor you’ve chosen, it’s time to jump into the design phase. There is more to a good theater than just throwing together a bunch of equipment and cranking up the volume.

The design team should set give you an idea of the layout and shape of the room that will best suit your space. Room shape is important in regards to the acoustics of a system. Small changes in the shape of the room can make a system sound much better or much worse than the price would indicate.

A good theater designer will help you avoid the pitfalls in room construction. They will also help you minimize the noise coming from the room by offering up insulation techniques so that you’re not waking the folks upstairs every time you crank up your favorite movie.

The Installation Process

Installing the equipment is a crucial step. Everything must be hooked up properly to insure the correct operation. Another crucial step to consider is properly grounding all of the equipment. This will help insure that the equipment will be OK in the event of a line surge or lightning strike.

Along with installation comes calibration. Each system should be calibrated to the specifics of your room. The surround sound system needs to know the distance from all the speakers to the listening position of the viewers. This will provide the best surround sound experience possible.

TV’s and projectors should also be calibrated for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is to make sure that the picture accurately represents the source material you are watching. Calibrating a display properly also extends the life of the display. Most units settings are jacked up to compete on showroom floors. This is NOT how they are intended to be watched.

Service and Support

The last and one of the most crucial aspects is support and service of the system. A good AV company will be responsive and helpful when and if problems occur with your system.

If you’re in the market for a new theater check out Innovative Sight and Sound. They have offices in Tampa, Destin and Charleston.

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To Improve DIY Work At Home Then Jailbreak iPhone 4/s

Comments Off 12 August 2014

Hi loyal blog readers.

As I get older I keep trying to find ways in which I can make DIY jobs that much easier. It isn’t because I don’t have the passion for it anymore – far from it as my wife will testify– but rather that doing work around the house doesn’t always need to be difficult.

For example a couple of months ago we decided that we were going to do something with our garage. Aside from acting as a home for my tools and other things that we forgot we even had, our garage actually has a lot of space and potential. We thought about turning it into another bedroom because it retains heat well however we finally decided on making a lounge area.

Sounds like hard work doesn’t it? Well it was but when I decided to jailbreak my iPhone 4s I discovered that the job could be made a lot easier. OK you are probably wondering how I managed to jailbreak iPhone 4/s in the first place and secondly you will no doubt be confused as to how this helped with our DIY project.
Well with a jailbreak for the iPhone 4s you actually get access to something called the Cydia store. I’m not going to go into all the technical details of this because I don’t even understand some of it myself however it acts as a separate app store to the usual one we are all accustomed to. Long story short, I could go onto this app store and download apps and software that directly helped with the design process.

For instance we were really split over color schemes. However I managed to download an app on my newly jailbroken iPhone 4s that took a color and suggested various schemes that works with it. When we used this and tried to cooperate we managed to come up with the perfect color scheme for the room that actually complimented the house overall. Indeed, I also discovered some apps that help with measurements and storing those details so when I went to the store to buy flooring I knew the exact dimensions of the room with a handy illustration.

What I am getting at is that my jailbroken iPhone 4s turned into more than just a device for calling and messaging; rather it really helped us design and create the perfect lounge in our old garage with a simple process.

I’ll admit that I was very skeptical at first. After all my iPhone was already a great device so why did I need to try and improve it? With a daunting DIY project on my hands I decided that it was time to at least try and I got a very cheap jailbreak online. With the apps that I could now download I was able to take some of the stress and work out of transforming out garage into a living area and I know feel much more confident about taking on new projects at home.

Until next time.

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Clever Storage Ideas When Remodeling Your Home

Comments Off 09 August 2014

No matter how much room we have in our home, it seems we always need just a little bit more storage space.

The likely reason for this dilemma is that we tend to fill up what we thought was plenty of storage until we need more. There are some clever ideas for taking advantage of dead areas that are not being used to their full potential.

Firstly, if you are thinking of selling your home anytime soon, you must make it clutter free – racking will soon become your best friend.

Most people have a stairway somewhere in their home, and the space beneath it can be used for a storage closet or shelves.

If the stairs in your home is made of wood, you have even greater opportunities. Rather than just use the stairway as a means of getting to the next floor of your home, use it as a built in cabinet.

Each step can conceal a drawer and hold a lot of your items that need to be stored. Talk to your contractor about the best way to build in these drawers and how deep they can be.

This type of storage would be a great place to keep items that you need within easy reach. Most stairways begin in the living room, so use one drawer for TV controls and accessories and others to hold books, magazine or anything you want close at hand. Some drawers may not be as convenient if they are located near the top of the staircase, so these drawers can be used to store things that you rarely need.

You may want to install a label holder on the front of each drawer so family members can easily find the items they need.

Do you have a window seat or built in bench anywhere in your home?

Don’t let the valuable space go unused, but install hinges on the top so you can use the space below. Depending on where the seat is located, the space could be used to store afghans or throws for added warmth while watching TV in your living room.

A storage bench can be placed near your entry door to hold scarves, boots and gloves. The bench is also a convenient place to sit while pulling on winter boots or removing them.

A garage has a lot of storage space available, and it does not need to take up the area where you want to park your vehicles.

Shelves that are installed high enough to be out of the way of your car, but within easy reach for you can be a great space to place storage bins.

These bins can hold extra bedding, off season clothing, rarely used tools, or nearly anything else you can think of.

Bicycles can be hung from hooks so your valuable garage floor space is not taken up. Hooks are also an efficient way to store garden tools such as hoes, rakes and watering hoses.

Wise and imaginative remodeling ideas can help make your home more livable. If you are going to do some updating, plan carefully to increase your storage space while adding equity and convenience to your property.

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From a Storage Room to a Home Gym – A Valuable Addition to My Home

Comments Off 07 August 2014

I decided that it was time to get fit. I know that the gym simply doesn’t work for me. Oftentimes, I will go into the gym only to find that I am rushing out or annoyed. People rush you between sets or they grunt and scream like it is some sort of competition. For me, working out and staying fit is a journey and one that I’d rather do alone than with random strangers.

The Dilemma

I had a dilemma on my hands. I needed to go to the gym to stay healthy, but I hated the gym because of the people. After some debating, I decided that I would use the extra spare bedroom in my home to act as a home gym. Truthfully, the bedroom was filled with boxes and storage items and really not serving a purpose anyway.

The idea hit me when reading treadmill reviews and seeing just how many people have a home gym. Honestly, I always thought they were too expensive and never gave much thought to the idea.

The Research Begins

I started breaking down the machines and equipment I would need to provide a full body workout that was effective yet could be done without the need for 20 pieces of equipment. I decided on the following:

  • A treadmill for cardio and cooling down
  • Kettlebells for a complete workout
  • Adjustable dumbbells
  • Adjustable weight bench

I kind of went the old-school route with my choices as I am not a firm believer in using just machines to get fit.
I also bought a few medicine balls and a fitness ball. For well under $1,000, I had enough equipment to get started and ditch the gym.

Putting It All Together

The first thing I wanted to do was remove the carpet in the room and add a more acceptable gym carpet. I decided on cork flooring as it is:

  • Very cheap and almost a 10th of the price of other flooring
  • Absorbs damage well when weights are dropped

This was done professionally, but I did hit a snag with the flooring. I quickly learned that the flooring didn’t absorb the weight as well as I wanted it to. In fact, I started leaving marks on the floor so I put in commercial carpeting found in gyms where I use my free weights. This allows me to drop the weight if needed and doesn’t do any damage to the cork.

I placed my treadmill near the window and even had recess lighting put into the room. It is amazing how a relatively small room can be completely functional when the right equipment is used.
I have been able to box in the room with a punching bag, my wife has been able to do yoga, and my once useless spare room has turned into my own personal home gym. While I wish the space was bigger to add a few more pieces of equipment, such as a rower, I still work every muscle in my body right from the comfort of my home.

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How Subway University Goes About Choosing A New Location In Australia

Comments Off 31 July 2014

The last few years has witnessed a rapid increase in the Australian real estate industry. My realty company was selected choose a location by Subway University for their new training facility in Sydney. Here are the details of what we considered before choosing a perfect site for the construction of the their vast partners.

The Site Location and Connectivity

A real estate committee was set up to do a thorough survey on the perfect place to construct the new location. It was agreed that it should be developed on a busy street that has quick links to railway stations and notable Sydney roads. A unique site with beautiful trees and charming waters that bring in a wonderful sense of tranquility was also suggested amidst hullabaloo from the committee members. “The new facility should be well connected to the various transport systems operating in Sydney“, I retorted as other members nodded in agreement. “It must serve the interests of the people of Sydney and Australia at large without preconceived notions. For me, constructing it at the heart of the Sydney CBD will work very well. The city center is well connected to other estates and towns in Sydney“, I continued as the company secretary took notes. We agreed that downtown Sydney would be a perfect site.

The Local Demographics

It was also agreed that the University would thrive well in a place that has high population density, where there is unceasing movements on the streets (Something I learned while studying construction management). An area that is surrounded by various social amenities like schools, shopping malls and leisure hubs also provide good population for your site needs. There are countless ways of investing in realty development. Many people have a preference in investing in real estate since this type of investment it comes as an asset form with limited liquidity relative to other types of established investments.

The Procurement Costs

Real estate investing involves procurement, control, supervision and sale of real estate for profit. It is the procurement part of property investments that puts off potential investors. It is vital to realize that the enhancement of real estate property as a venture policy is usually measured to be a sub-specialty of realty investing called real estate development. Understanding the local procurement costs in establishing a successful commercial property in Sydney played a key role in the success of the new Subway location.

Understanding the Risks Involved

The major goal of outsourcing your property development to an established company is to earn wealth based on the risk you are taking. Real estate development involves high risks. However, with some investments having a much complex risk chart than just merely a nice established of cash flow. Therefore, developing a new Subway training facility in a large city like Sydney has proved to be very challenging to many realty companies. Our company has a team of experienced developers who think about how to carry out due-diligence analysis before agreeing on the best location for developing a successful commercial real estate industry.

These are some of the few factors that we considered before setting up a location for the new Subway construction, but one thing is for sure, these are thing you just don’t learn in the University of Subway or any corporate training program for that matter, its learned from experience and years of hard work.

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Kitchen Renovation, the Right Way

Comments Off 29 July 2014

When it comes to remodeling homes, many people that I talk to seem to have a hard time figuring out which room to start with or really, which room is the most important one to make a substantial change without necessarily spending a substantial amount of money. However, my answer often remains the same no matter what kind of house you have or where you live: the kitchen.

Think about it: whether you cook at home or even if you find that you and your family are take-out fanatics, where do most people in the home gather? You guessed it, the kitchen! And really, with just a few small changes, or in some cases a major overhaul in several key areas, you can transform your home by sinking your budget into this one key area.

What You Should be Changing Up in Your Kitchen

The first rule to always remember when it comes to renovations is that you don’t have to strip out everything and change it up to make the kind of impact you’re looking for. In fact, by enhancing just a few key areas, you can give your home a whole new look without breaking the bank.

Cabinetry – Your cabinets are a significant part of what your kitchen is all about. I know what you’re thinking, “wouldn’t getting all new cabinets be expensive?” And yes, it would. However, you don’t have to replace the cabinets to give them a fresh look. Simply remove the cabinet doors, sand them down, and finish with a new stain that gives the cabinets the facelift you want.

Countertops – Countertops can be more of a challenge when it comes to kitchen renovations because you can’t necessarily do it yourself. However, a new countertop can really compliment your refinished cabinets and you can choose one that also won’t cost you a fortune. Instead, choose soapstone, stainless steel, or even concrete as alternatives.

Accessories and Appliances – Don’t have the budget for new appliances? No problem! Instead, opt for some new accessories and small appliances or tools that can make a big difference. One key functional kitchen accessory is the high-quality cookware that you choose for your kitchens. You can find some of your options by clicking here, and choose the finish, color, and type of cookware you want for your family. Other accessories include your dishes, placemats, and décor for the walls, table, and counters. You can really let your imagination go wild here!

Give Your Home the New Look You Want By Renovating One Key Room

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home. By refinishing your cabinets, your counters, and investing in some new cookware accessories that you can find on sites like ChefJohnCookwareReviews.com, you can finally get your home renovations headed in the right direction.

Want to extend this renovation into other areas of your home? Get some accessories that compliment the colors in your kitchen and take your dining room, living room, and other rooms to the next level too! Happy decorating!

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5 Home Improvement Tips That Will Increase Your House Value

Comments Off 22 July 2014

Smart remodeling can add increased value to your property as well as facilitate quick return of investment. Doing a wise home improvement can significantly help hold or increase the value of your home plus help you zeal a deal in case you are selling your property.

One of the biggest mistakes that most home owners make is putting their house for sale in the market without consulting a real estate professional and without considering a wise home improvement. Most real estate professionals will tell residential property owners that home improvement projects are worth spending for as they surely pay off whether you are trying to sell your house now or planning to sell it in the future. So, before you put your house for sale, consult first a real estate professional if a home improvement is necessary to increase your house value.

Residential property value may have dropped but there are smart ways that you can do help keep the value of your home and even increase it.

Here are five helpful tips for increasing the value of your home:

1. Speak with a real estate professional and an interior designer
Inviting a professional realtor or an interior designer to see and check out your home will enable you to get an idea on what must be improved in your property. Of course, you will have to pay a consultation fee for spending an hour with these professionals. Make sure to speak only with the right professionals. Reliable professionals wear their personal ids attached to their lanyards where the name of their company is printed on. These professionals can suggest improvements which can be very helpful in improving your home’s look and feel and increasing your property’s value.

2. Create space and make the room feel larger
Size really matters when it comes to buying a home. Most home buyers prefer a house with larger spaces or wide open floor plan. Make space to create a sense of flow in your house by removing a permanent kitchen island or a non-structural wall. Using vertical blinds over heavy closed draperies can let the sunlight in plus visually increase the space of your home.

Make the room feel larger by cleaning up the clutter. Removing excess furniture and your old stuffs will make your house look and feel larger.

3. Consider low maintenance landscaping improvement
It goes without mention that a beautiful lawn adds appeal to any home and creates a good impression. Landscaping is a smart investment that can make the house look attractive, increase house value and also bring returns when you put your house for sale.

Plant a tree, shrubs and colourful plants that are suitable to your region and that can tolerate drought as these require minimal maintenance and less use of water.

Bushes and trees can get out of hand when neglected, making your lawn look messy. An overgrown landscape can hurt your marketing as it can make the exterior your house look unsightly. Untamed landscape can obscure views, dim interiors and obstruct the beautiful facade of your home – this is a major turn off for home buyers and will surely create a bad impression. So, make sure to regularly trim, cut, prune and shape your landscape; all these may take a lot of work but it will surely be worth it. In case you do not have time to tame your lawn, hire a lawn service company to do the job for you.

4. Improve your house with paint
Paint is amongst the simplest as well as cost effective improvement you can do to your house. Do not put your house for sale when the paint of your walls is breaking off. Paint the interior and exterior of your house; this will make your house look dazzling inside and out. A coat of paint can make the dull walls of your home look desirable and increase your home’s value. Choose neutral colours as they make your home appear pleasing moreover neutrals appeal to a lot of people.

5. Remodel your kitchen or bath
Remodeling your kitchen or bath is a good investment and offers financial benefits in return. Whether it is small or major bathroom or kitchen update, the upgrade can significantly add value to your home. Replace old floor tiles and old wallpaper with new ones and upgrade your appliances with energy efficient ones.
There are still numerous efficient ways that can boost your house value; these are just a few of them.

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Not The Ordinary Home Cinema: Chicago Bears Den

Comments Off 20 July 2014

One of the things that I brought over from the United States to Australia is my great passion for American Football. Watching sports is an easy way to connect to other fans and eventually become friends with people that share your passion. I met three of my today’s best friends like this: I went to a bar to watch an NFL game and shared a table with a group of people because it was so crowded (By the way, if you ever want to watch American sports in Sydney, the 24/7 Sports bar is one of the best locations in town). Over the course of the game we got into a conversation, I found out that some of them also lived in the United States for a couple of years and that they had the same favorite football team as me – The Chicago Bears. One thing led to another and at the end of the night, we decided to meet again on the following Sunday for the next game day. And the rest is history, I got to know their families, their friends and today we meet regularly – also to watch NFL games like in the old days.

Now you may wonder why you should be interested in my football friends. And the answer is: Last week, one of my friends asked me to help him with a very cool project he plans. He recently bought a house and now plans to turn one of the rooms into a home cinema. But not just one of those ordinary home cinemas, but one like this: Man Cave/Chicago Bears Den/Movie Theater room at AVS Forums. Of course, I was immediately interested and started the planning. Although we didn’t start to work, yet, I can tell you that I can’t wait to watch the first Chicago Bears game on a big screen in a room that looks like a VIP box in the Bears stadium.

In contrast to the room that you can see on the pictures in the AVS forums, ours is a nice rectangular room with a size of about 250 square feet and will be used exclusively as a movie theatre. So there is no other furniture that we need to consider in our plans. The screen will have a size of approximately 120″, so the optimal distance between the screen and the seating will be about 13 feet which in turn will be about 5 feet away from the opposing wall. This arrangement will allow us an optimal positioning of the 7.2 sound system with 3 speakers in the front, 2 dipole speakers left and right of the seating and 2 dipole speakers behind the seating. The advantage of dipole speakers is that they produce a more open space of sound and cannot easily be localized in the room. All speakers will be fully integrated into the furniture of the room which will be custom-tailored for us by another friend of mine. Apart from that, the room will probably look similar to the one in the AVS forums with walls colored in dark blue and orange, but we are not sure about the color of the floor and ceiling, yet.

This project has a budget of about $25,000 and I will keep you updated on my blog.

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Why Home Improvement Podcasts Are Great For DIY Enthusiasts

Comments Off 06 July 2014

Any regular reader of the blog will know that we are DIY guys here. As the old saying goes “If you can’t a job done right, Do It Yourself!” well that’s certainly a philosophy we subscribe to here.

However, we also believe “no man is an island” and that’s why we are always looking to soak up diy, and home improvement tips and advice from wherever we can find it!

One great way to keep up to date with the latest trends in home improvement is through listening to podcasts. In fact, in recent times I’ve even started to prefer the podcast format over blogs. The main reason for this is I can put my headphones on while I am working in the shed and I can’t actually do two things at once. I can’t listen to the home improvement guys that I like and respect while actually getting some productive work done myself.

That’s a massive bonus for me and it’s probably the main reason that I’m starting to spend less time surfing the net and more time getting all those little annoying jobs done around the house that I’ve been putting off for weeks.

Creating A Podcast For This Site

It’s because of this that I’ve been seriously considering starting a podcast for this site. I’ve been doing a bit of research on what’s required and it’s not that difficult to do. Anyone that enjoys talking can create a podcast with just some simple equipment and get started quite cheaply.

I’m interested in any feedback from readers about two issues. Do you want to see a podcast? And second if I do start a podcast what kind of things would you like me to talk about or who would you like me to interview?

I’m going to take the feedback on board before I start anything so your opinions really are valuable so don’t hold back.

What Makes A Good Podcast

From my limited experience, I’ve come to realise that a good podcast has 2 ingredients and probably both are just as important as each other. Firstly you need a presenter with personality because 50% of a good podcast is sheer entertainment. I really love shows like The Handy Guys just because their chat is so cool. It’s like having some buddies in the shed with me.

But of course the second thing that a good podcast needs is quality information. A good show will cover topic that are interesting to the listener and give some value other than entertainment. I’ve lost count of the number of ideas for improvement challenges I could get my hands dirty with that I found through podcast shows that inspired me to do something a bit different. In fact my backyard office project was inspired by Episode 23 of Handy Andy Goldstein’s great show. And this is typical of what happens, I listen to someone like Andy and they describe their experience and it encourages me to try out something similar for myself.

I hope that I’ve convinced you about the value of podcasts for DIY enthusiasts and I’m looking forward to hearing what feedback you have for me about what kind of show we could create together for this community.

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The Right Tool for the Right Job

Comments Off 02 July 2014

As an avid home renovator, improver and all round handy man, I’ve collated a pretty extensive set of tools. With tools for specific jobs hung all over my garage wall, I can be a little spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting which one is going to suit the task in mind best. Well away from all the hammers, nails, screwdrivers, wrenches, routers, saws and belt sanders, you’ll find my favorite tool in my pocket. I’m talking about my folding knife. Small, easy to access, simple to use and capable of fulfilling a hell of a lot of round the house functions, my folding knife is my go to tool for the odd jobs that crop up. Where I may have improvised on occasion using the handle to hammer in the odd nail, generally speaking, the folding knife is a very versatile tool, and one that every ‘do it yourself-er’ should have in their arsenal.

However, not all folding knives are up to the task, so it’s important to purchase one that best suits your needs. You can find a lot of useful information about folding knives over at the foldingknifehq.com blog, but I’ll look to bring you a short summary and my personal opinion in this short blog post. In short, if you think there is just one type of folding knife then you are unfortunately mistaken. Buying in this day and age is never that easy. However, you can narrow down your choices based on the tasks that you’re going to be using your new folding knife for.

For example, if like me you are an aspiring handy man, then you can already rule out pen knives and peanut knives, simply because their blades are not going to be strong enough to take down and heavy duty cutting or tackle any household obstacles. This leaves us with the decision of a Cooperhead, Stockman or Trapper blades. All of these blades are a little more heavy duty, and likely to handle any household task thrown at them. From here, my recommendation would be to go for a Stockman blade, and here’s why.

A stockman blade comes with 3 blades in one, they vary in size so you can use different blades of different tasks. This makes the Stockman knives incredibly versatile, a trait which is invaluable for jobs around the house. They can easily handle any household task, as well as few outdoor jobs and personal tasks like opening packages and letters. With blades big enough to handle cutting through that wire, rubber piping and plasterboard, yet small enough to pry that awkward nail from the wall and get under carpet fixings, the Stockman is the blade for the home renovator. I’m sure after a few weeks of quality time with your new folding knife you’ll wonder how you lived without it for so long, and with summer on it’s way, you’ll be extending it’s use to that garden in no time at all. They simply are the new must-have tool for the home enthusiast.

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Installing and maintaining wood floor is not that tough

Comments Off 30 June 2014

Few months ago I was very confused regarding the type of flooring I should choose for my home. Trends in flooring keep on changing according to the need and the taste of persons. Now a day’s wooden flooring is the latest trend in flooring and is giving a great opportunity to the consumers to design and choose from the wide variety of wooden flooring. I also chose wooden flooring because of its natural look and easy refinishing.

These are eye catching, still one should be careful when choosing the type of wooden flooring. There are mainly two types of wooden flooring available in market – hardwood flooring or solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring. The wood for solid wood flooring is made out of single piece of timber while wood for engineered wood flooring is made out of two layers of wood in two separate pieces. Solid wood is thicker than the engineered wood and hence can be refinished more times than engineered wood. Also the finishing and look of solid wood is more natural so I opted solid wood flooring for my home.

After choosing the type of wooden flooring one has to choose the type of installation as many types of installation systems are also available. One of the installation systems is Tongue-and-Groove system. The wood manufactured for this installation system has a groove and a tongue on the two different sides of the plank. The tongue and the groove form a lock and key system and fit snugly and are installed by glue-down, nail down or can be floating. Click system is the other type of installation system and is similar to the tongue and groove flooring the only difference is that the plank does not fit directly into the groove instead it has to be angled or tapped to fit into the modified groove. The good thing about click system is that no glue is required. Floor Connection System is one other type of installation system that has fascinated me the most. There is a wide range of connection system to choose from. In this system plank has grooves on all four sides and a straight plank without any groove or tongue is made to fit into the groove. I like this system the most and opted for the same.

The maintenance and cleaning of the wooden floors is must, as if not maintained carefully wooden flooring is prone to damage. Proper use of moping, sweeping and vacuum cleaning adds to the durability of the floor and also maintains its natural appearance. The first step in cleaning the wooden floor is to sweep the dust particles or other solid materials. The second important step is to choose the right kind of cleaning agent specifically pH neutral water based cleaner for mopping the floor. Don’t ever use ammonia or abrasive cleaners as they will damage your wooden flooring. Always dilute the cleaning agent before you start mopping the floor in a bucket.

I think vacuuming the wood floor is easy only when you have the right kind of vacuum cleaner with you. The positives of using a vacuum cleaner are many. It is easy to use, no water or cleanser is required and also it takes very less time in comparison to a mop. Different types of vacuum cleaners are available in the market as no vacuum cleaner is suitable for all types of wooden floors. If you want to maintain the natural appearance of the floor and want to keep it undamaged thin it is a must to choose a good and right type of vacuum cleaner for your floor. I can suggest some of the features that one must check before buying a vacuum cleaner. It should have a head with a round rotator brush and it should not have any beater brush as a beater brush can make scratches on the floor. It should have a strong suction power so that it can remove even the fine hairs of your pet. And last but not the least it should be compact and easy to handle. Moping after vacuum cleaning is must to increase the durability of the floor. Now a day’s you can find lots of vacuum cleaners that are designed especially for wood floors, so I would suggest you to get the best vacuum for wood floors available in the market.

Hope this information will help you in installing and maintaining your wooden floor in its best appearance and will help you to add to the durability of the floor.

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Prepare Your Home Swimming Pool for Summer

Comments Off 28 June 2014

It is that time of year again when we are all preparing our homes for the summer. For homeowners with pools, this is a major time of the year, where you must commit yourself to designing your yard in a manner that is ready for the influx of guests who inevitably make frequent appearances throughout the summer. Why is that? Because every person on this planet loves to hangout at a nice swimming pool, and when the weather is nice, it is difficult for people to refrain from indulging in such activities. That is why it is so important that pool owners properly prepare their yards for the upcoming months.

The key to preparing your home summer is to design and tailor it in a manner that reflects the joy and relaxation most all of us feel during this season. I have a habit of transforming my humble abode into something worthy of playing in during the hottest months of the year. I also try to design it in a manner that is comfortable, and welcoming for my summer guests. It is common for swimming pool owners to be the landing hub for most everyone in the neighborhood. A place where guest can come over to relax, and indulge in some mild entertainment and fun through the months of June through September.

If you are one of the lucky few homeowners who has a pool in your backyard, then you understand the importance of preparing it for the summer. A lot of people underestimate how difficult it can to maintain it and how much work is required to make it swim-worthy. That is why I am here to give you some quick tips and hints on how you can get your pool ready for the summer.

First of all, it is important to clean it up and balance out your chemicals. You want your pool to be safe and secure for people to swim in without having to worry about toxic chemicals or bacteria that builds up from not cleaning it appropriately. Second, it is imperative that you install a functioning pool heater. It may sound absurd considering it is the summer, and the pool she naturally remain warmer, but that is not always the case. And if you currently own a pool then you already understand how the weather tricks you into believing it will heat up your pool, and you are disappointed when it never happens. I have conducted an adequate amount of research on pool heater reviews at poolheaterreviews.org to determine which ones are the best for summer, and I recommend you do the same. There are plenty of newer models on the market that are eco-friendly and energy-efficient, all you have to do is look around.

The third aspect you must consider is to have your water topped off, so it reaches its optimal height, and then have your water professionally tested before you begin using it. You can do this by taking a sample of your pool water to a swimming store, where a professional will test the contents of the water, the pH and chlorine levels. Once the results return, they can give you advice on how to maintain it and how you can adjust it so that it is ready for the summer. Fourth, it is important to balance out your chemicals, and allow your pool to rest with the chemicals for a few days. This is how you will achieve a clear pool for your home, one that guests are eager to dive into.

Finally, you will want to ensure that you maintain your pool for the remainder of the season. If you intend to use it frequently, it is critical that you properly filter and vacuum the water, in addition to testing the chemicals each every day. It also important to note that if you intend to sell your home over the summer, and you own a swimming pool, that it is a major selling point for most potential buyers. If you want to attract more interest to your property, it is imperative that you prepare your pool for house showings. Nothing is more inviting to a potential buyer than a nice clean pool.

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Remodeling Tips To Help Make Your Home Bigger

Comments Off 20 June 2014

Everyone wants to remodel their home at some point. And, most of the time, it’s to make the home itself feel and look much bigger. The problem is that it costs to remodel a home. Sometimes, it’s too expensive. Though, in most cases, it’s completely possible to remodel a home for less.

For only a few thousand dollars, you can make your home feel bigger. Of course, you’ll have to shop around to make that happen but its not a lot of money compared to buying a bigger house altogether.

Remodeling tips for making your home bigger

Although many homes feel perfect to their owners, some need more space. That’s why some of the most common remodeling projects involve making a home bigger. Let’s take a look at how to make a home feel bigger through some minor (and even major) remodeling.

Reintroducing unused rooms to the home

If you have a dining room or guest room, does it get a lot of use? If it doesn’t, reintroduce those rooms back to your home.

Dining rooms easily convert into offices or study rooms. Add some storage shelves and/or a storage cabinet to store essentials within the room itself. You can also secure a fitted and padded tablecloth to your dining room table to protect it. If the room doesn’t have doors, you can have those installed, too. And, of course, the room will easily convert back into a dining room when you need.

Guest rooms make perfect offices, gaming room or recreation rooms for households. So, it’s pretty useful to add some furniture back to this room to completely change its style.

Add some more space

Sometimes, you have to spend more to make a home look and feel better. That’s usually involves making some major changes to the home, though it’s worth it in the end.

Opening up a floor plan essentially expands older rooms in ways that make them feel bigger. Usually, removing doors from rooms that don’t actually need them works best. Though, you can always invest in knocking down some interior walls to join two rooms together. If you can’t have a contractor tear down walls, adding in a pass-through or window is a better alternative.

A bump-out is another solution for adding more space to a cramped home. This home addition sits on the side of a house, acting as an extender rather than a full flown room.

Since it doesn’t use foundational work, it’s much more inexpensive than adding on more space with a foundation. A bump-out can’t extend more than 3 feet from a home, but it can extend down the length of a home, opening up plenty of opportunities to add on more space to several rooms.

Extend the back of the home

Most people overlook the fact that they have a large amount of space in the back garden that may not be used to its full potential. If you don’t use the patio space right at the back of the house that is usually kept for outdoor furniture or barbequing then you could convert this to a conservatory or a lovely sun room to make more use of this space all year round rather than just in the sunny weather.

You could of course bring any outdoor furniture indoors if you are short of space in the rest of the garden but we don’t recommend you move your BBQ smoker indoors for obvious reasons!

Make the most of these tips and brainstorm before doing any large scale remodeling of your house – you will be surprised at how much space you can actually make from your existing property when you try!

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What Would You Do With a Nail in Your Brain?

Comments Off 16 June 2014

Excuse the silly title, but this entire post is based around what I view as a bit of a silly story.

Back in 2005, a Patrick Lawler of Colorado, US, who works in construction, went to visit the dentist after experiencing a troubling toothache. This visit turned out to be a shocking experience for him. Further, the root of the problem is something that no dentist is qualified to handle.

What Caused His Toothache?

Here’s where the title comes into play.

Patrick finally got in to see the dentist and a diagnosis for his ‘toothache’ was made. That diagnosis was a nail lodged in his brain.

This wasn’t just any ordinary nail either. It wasn’t off of someone’s toe. It wasn’t from someone’s finger. It came straight out of a nail gun!

How Did a Nail End Up In Patrick’s Brain?

The backstory indicates that Patrick didn’t know about the nail being lodged in his brain until he visited the dentist. In fact, he didn’t realize at the time of his injury that a four-inch long nail even entered his skin.

Seems crazy, right?

Well, his explanation for not realizing the extent of the injury is kind of understandable.

Patrick was working his construction job as he normally did on January 6th of 2005. Suddenly, the nail gun backfired and the nail went flying back into a different piece of wood. Though he didn’t know at the time, the nail gun released not one, but two nails, with the second nail entering his skull.

After the incident, co-workers saw him with facial swelling. He thought it was merely a contusion. You know, like when a gun has too much kickback power and you can’t keep it under control. Well, this gun may have given him a contusion and then some. The nail entered an inch and a half into his brain and just barely missed his eyeball.

So, What Did Patrick Do?

With a nail in his brain, he went on with life like nothing happened. Because, he didn’t really experience any troubling issues and he wasn’t aware of the underlying problem.

He experienced blurry vision days after the incident, but it wasn’t anything that signified a nail was in his skull. Then, the toothache hit. Neither ice, nor painkillers, worked to remedy the pain. This is when he decided to visit his wife’s dental office, where an x-ray confirmed the real reason for his tooth pain.

At this point, he didn’t have much control over the situation. It was off to the hospital to be surrounded by people talking about how they’re going to open his skull up to take a nail out. Not a pleasant experience I’m sure, to say the least.

Four hours later, the nail was gone.

Is This the Craziest Dental Discovery Ever Told?

While in fact an interesting story, this pales in comparison to some of the other discoveries that have taken place as a result of irrelevant x-rays. Of course, the most extreme cases are those that just have to be noticed – like the guy who took an 18-inch drill bit to the head. Interestingly, his problem was solved by having the drill bit unscrewed – yes, he survived!

A little side story…

My cousin just is a dental hygienist. In the long list of dental hygienist requirements is the task of taking x-rays to the dentist. She has seen some pretty interesting x-rays over the years, but nothing like this. She is the one that showed me the story not too long ago. I didn’t think of it as interesting enough to write about at the time, but then I realized that crazy incidents like this are common in construction workplaces.

She actually referenced a similar story, one of her own, that came about after touring dental hygienist schools in her destination city. She ghosted a ‘patient night’ where students would work on patients for free or at a discount, so they can get more hands-on experience.

One of the patients told her a story about how his dog ended up swallowing his (now) wife’s engagement ring. After the ring didn’t come out, they got an x-ray and received a pretty keepsake – to give you an idea of the location, the ring came out the next chance the dog got to go outside.

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