Even 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.
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
When 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.
When we started remodeling our home, I did most of the work in a pair of used sneakers. The memory now makes me cringe! Luckily before I stepped on a nail or smashed my toes with a flagstone, my better half heard too many horror stories and insisted that I purchase a pair of work boots.
At first I scoffed at the idea of buying a special pair of shoes just for weekend work, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I heard a lot of great things about Red Wing, but I ended up choosing Timberland work boots because it’s more affordable and I’ve purchased hiking boots from them in the past. A lot of their customers said that they were clearly the best work boots for men. I thought they are a reliable brand that makes high quality shoes, and I was not disappointed!
I got the yellow nubuck version of the Timberland Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot. My wife also purchased a pair of Timberland work boots, but she chose a pair that looks more like sneakers. In the end, she thought mine were the better looking. Later, she even showed me pictures of Rihanna wearing a similar pair of yellow work boots!
The construction seemed pretty sturdy. There were no broken or torn stitches or seams, and they looked great right out of the box. I ended up wearing them all the time. They’re my go-to pair of shoes if I know I’m going to do some walking. The insoles are very comfortable and I also get great support around the ankles. They are super tough and also gentle on my feet.
I was really surprised with how comfortable my Timberlands were. When I was wearing my sneakers, I would get back and feet pain the next day. That disappeared once I got my work boots! For that fact alone, I’d highly recommend purchasing a pair of boots for any sort of fixing up around the house. You can really feel the difference.
I heard that with a lot of work boots, there is a breaking in period. I also remembered breaking in my hiking boots years ago but I never had any blistering or chafing. I have wide feet and the fit was great; it is true to size. There is the perfect amount of wiggle room. The steel toe box seemed pretty sturdy without making the boots too heavy. I never dropped a hammer, but I did kick the toolbox once or twice without injuring my toes.
The rubber sole provided great traction and I’ve worn outside through ice, snow, and rain, and they haven’t failed me yet. I wasn’t expecting much water resistance, but they’ve done a pretty good job at keeping my feet warm and dry.
Bottom line, Timberland work boots were a great investment. I have no complaints whatsoever. Whether I’m putting drywall, installing shelving, or doing yard work, I know these boots are up to the task. They were well worth the price and I expect to get a lot more use out of them.
Having pets in your home and be a wondrous thing, however, they can also make keeping your home clean a challenge. Luckily, there are many things that you can do for your home in order to improve the atmosphere.
First of all, it’s important to know what aspects of your home will need improvement when you’re catering to a furry friend. One of the most notable issues that you’ll have to deal with is the constant smell that pets leave behind. We all want to think that our pets are sweet and perfect, but other people will notice if your house has a little funk from your tail-wagging companion. To remedy this, you will want to keep you house stocked up with air fresheners. You’re typically spray fresheners should work well for this. If you’re lazy and forget to freshen up your house before guests arrive, then you may want to try a pluggin fresher that uses a time release. This type of air freshener will keep your house smelling wondrous at all times of the day.
Another issue that many home owners have with their pets is the abundance of pet hair that seems to find it’s way on every bed, couch, and corner of the house. Being that you’re constantly at home and use to the look of things, you may not even notice that this is an issue. Be warned though that others will spot your pets sheddings from a mile away. Many people will even have allergic reactions to the hair.
That being said, it is a wise idea to clean up the hair when possible. This is made easy by purchasing a vacuum that is specifically designed to pick up pet hair. These vacuums are typically equipped with special brushes that rub against your carpet in a way that maximizes the suction. While other vacuums claim to be able to accomplish the job, if you’re looking to do a deep clean, stick with one that is designed for pets.
Finding a specialty vacuum for pets may be a little difficult as not all retail stores carry good ones in stock. Your best bet may be to shop online through an eCommerce site. Since many consumers are now taking their business online, you should have no problem finding reviews for the best vacuum on the market.
If you have hardwood floors then regular mopping might be in order for you. Pets can track dirt all over you home especially if they spend much of their days outside. If you’re not regularly cleaning your floors then you’ll notice that the mess can accumulate rather quickly. Letting it sit for too long will cause you to have to work much harder to remove the dirt.
Overall, maintaining a clean and improved household while enjoying your pets is achievable as long as you put in the time and work to make it happen. By eliminating odors, fur, and stains that your pet tracks in right away your family and other guests will be able to enjoy coming over to visit.
Imagine coming home from a long day at work. You’ve just worked overtime again, didn’t sleep very much and are feeling down. You arrive home and everything is a mess, there are cracks on your walls, leaks in the ceiling and worst of all, it’s hot as all hell because your air conditioning is broken. Do you feel worse or better?
Now imagine yourself being in the same situation but coming home to a newly renovated living room. The walls and furniture almost radiate joy and happiness. You sit down on your couch and almost fall into it because of its comfort. Anywhere you look, things are pristine. Everything is fully upgraded. The kitchen is remodeled, the bathroom remodeling looks fantastic and you feel like you’re in a perfect home from a movie. Do you feel worse or better?
It can be a serious relief to come home to a place where the things around you almost look happy. It can make your own self-esteem go up. You can pride yourself in your surroundings. Can you think of a time when having an environment like that could’ve made you feel better?
Ok so, if I haven’t convinced the skeptics yet that a home can actually make you feel better, I understand. Sometimes you need more than just a good looking place. That’s why you can get a company to install a jacuzzi in your bathroom, or even extend your bathroom to make space for a jacuzzi and installing one. Having a nice hot bath in there will relax almost anybody. When I was in the US I once worked with a construction company in Oakland, California that did install these bad boys and let me tell you, their customers were really happy.
Another useful thing you can have around your home is a beanbag. Now Italians at the Zanotta company may have invented bean bags, but here in Australia we have Bean Bags R Us. They ship anywhere in Australia and when that thing arrives in your home, make sure you put it right in your favorite spot in the house. If you’re feeling stressed, just lie down on it and feel it overcome your negative feelings.
A great music system is also a fantastic way of getting yourself to relax and make yourself feel better. You can put on some relaxing music that you can buy from a local Spa, or get some classical music. It’s hard to stay stressed or angry when you hear violins play ever so softly. Or you can choose whatever music makes you feel better. It won’t beat going to the Sydney Opera House but you can always imagine it.
But as always, don’t over do it. Everything in moderation. A beautifully remodeled kitchen will not solve all of your problems. Case in point, Al Pacino still got into some pretty deep trouble and died in Scarface even though he lived in a spectacular mansion.
You can have nice material things that will add to your quality life and improve it, but don’t rely on only material things to make you happy.
I only want to make a short blog post update today because we are really busy with redesigning our kitchen and finding new wallpaper. I know another room in the house getting renovated but we are already saving to turn the garage into a den.
Basically I want to tell you how my jailbroken Apple iPhone with iOS 7 is actually helping me to budget and save for this home improvement. I have wanted a den for a while, somewhere to take myself off to and chill out, and recently with some great apps from both the Apple App Store and Cydia App Store I have been putting money away.
Did I update my blog before about iPhone jailbreaking? I write that often these days with post updates that I sometimes forget what I have said. Anyway, I got my Apple iPhone jailbroken a while ago. All it took was a simple search on Google for an iOS 7 jailbreak (you should have seen how many results popped up and how many jailbreakers there are) and I found a working iPhone jailbreaking service. The process took like 10 minutes and I got access to Cydia on top of the normal Apple App Store that us iPhone users all know and love.
Anyway the point I am trying to make in this blog post is that I downloaded a budgeting app from the Cydia App Store (there are some great ones on the Apple App Store as well but I thought because I just jailbroken my iPhone that I would try out this new marketplace) and now I am well on my way to saving for this renovation.
Basically the app lets me see how much money I am saving by 1) putting money away every month and 2) cutting back on some expenses. Cydia itself has let me download apps for free that are very similar to paid apps on the Apple App Store so there is a saving right there. In fact I would say that having my iOS 7 iPhone jailbroken has already paid for itself and then some.
My savings are actually coming on OK. Anyone who has tried to save for anything will know how difficult it can be and it certainly requires dedication. Since I got my iPhone I keep seeing Apple products (iPod, iPad and accessories) and feel the urge to buy them but I have been quite good so far. Indeed I am hoping to finally have enough money saved for this redesign of the garage in a couple of months or, at least, enough to get started.
This is basically all I wanted to update you guys with today on this blog.
My Apple iPhone is a great device (I’m sure I have mentioned this before) and it is even better now that I have jailbroken it and it has been unlocked too. I’m not getting ahead of myself so I won’t praise my iPhone too highly until this app helps me save enough to create my den but, at the moment, it is certainly heading in the right direction.
If the Griller is something that a man must have in his yard, a Juicer is the one thing that completes his kitchen. Believe it or not, juicing is an activity that I enjoy. I’m not a health buff but I appreciate the benefits of being able to drink a healthy glass of juiced vegetables and fruits every now and then. It’s as simple to use as my indispensable microwave oven and definitely more beneficial.
When I lived in the US, I made it a point to keep my refrigerator stocked with fruits and vegetables, and I continued the habit when I moved here to Australia. A glass of green juice is just what I need before a workout. When you get into the habit of juicing, you don’t need to buy supplements or vitamins. Natural is simply the way to go!
What Can a Juicer Do For You?
It will squeeze the nutrients out of the fruits and vegetables and offer it to you ready to drink. Most people, unless you’re a vegetarian, skip the veggies for the more delicious and easy to prepare steak or fried chicken. Admit it, if you don’t live with your mother anymore, you are not getting the required nutrients and vitamins that your body needs. We are overfed with take out and microwaveable food. Foods high in Cholesterol, Sodium and Unhealthy Fats comprise a large part of our daily diet. Having a juicer means that you will be able to get your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables – which is typically 5-6 servings a day – in one glass.
What are the Benefits of Juicing?
Green Juice or Fresh Fruit Juice contains nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and free radicals that are good for the body. Think of it this way, though our body is perfectly capable of taking care of itself with its billions of functions, we need to help it along. Our body needs maintenance every now and then. Put in some new oil and fill up the tank with clean gas. The nutrients help our cells and organs perform their functions more efficiently. It promotes healing and helps prevent diseases such as High Blood Pressure, Heart Ailments and Diabetes. If you don’t maintain your car too, it’s going to conk out sooner rather than later.
Juicing improves our body’s metabolism, and because of that we lose weight. So juicing is also good if you’re trying to lose some of that belly fat. Most green juices are very low in calorie. It’s only the fresh fruit juice that contains natural sugar. But even then, it’s still good sugar as compared to what’s in most of the foods and beverages in the market.
Before a workout, I make it a point to drink one glass of green juice. I noticed that it gives me energy. This is especially noticeable if you’ve been at it for quite some time. You’ll see that you’re less fatigued and you sleep better.
When you try a Juice Cleanse, which means taking in nothing but juice for 3 or 5 days, you give your digestive system a break. From the moment we were born, it does nothing but process the food we eat and turns it into energy to sustain us. A Juice Cleanse is a vacation for our digestive system. Every now and then, I do a cleanse. More so if I’ve been binging on fatty foods! It’s just my way of keeping my body clean. You clean your house thoroughly every once in a while, why not do it for your body too?
What Kind of Juicer Do You Need?
That depends. The 3 main types of Juicers are the Masticating Juicer, Centrifugal Juicer and the Triturating Juicer. They all make juice in different ways.
If you’re the type of person who is always on the go, and you want a quick way to make a glass of healthy juice, choose a Centrifugal Juicer. It usually runs at a speed of 12000 RPM and can extract the juice really fast. It’s also the most affordable, although a little noisy because of its speed.
If you’re into the quality of the juice that’s extracted, then get a Masticating Juicer. These juicers are slower but are more efficient in juicing leafy green vegetables. The motor runs at a speed between 70 RPM to 150 RPM. It is said that the juice from a Masticating Juicer contains more nutrients since it doesn’t produce any heat while it’s extracting the juice – unlike the Centrifugal Juicer. But, it takes a little more time.
Now, if you plan to get into serious juicing, the best in the market in terms of effectiveness – is the Triturating Juicer. It is the most expensive type but it can juice almost anything efficiently, even the most stubborn vegetables such as Wheatgrass. It yields the highest quality of juice since it juices so slowly. If you get this juicer, you need to make big batches, unless you have the time to wait.
Are you looking for ways to increase the value of your property? Having recently relocated from North America, I feel I am in a good position to give some useful advice. Believe me, selling property is tough everywhere, especially when the talk of a “housing bubble” is getting louder. Potential buyers suddenly disappear and you are left with a house that cannot sell. Here in Australia, the property market is still robust and there is no reason why you won’t be able to get the price you want for your house. But, of course, you need to do some homework before putting it on the market, which means undertaking a home improvement or remodeling project, whichever you deem appropriate for your house. If done properly, it can dramatically increase the value of your property.
One way home improvement and remodeling are done is by using high quality materials, such as oversized glass and insulated glass by a well-known glass manufacturer. Cosmetic changes as well as structural changes can have a huge impact on increasing the value of your home.
Here are some tips on how to increase the value of your property:
Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms of a house and one of the first places that a potential buyer wants to look at. First, see if you can add space. Repaint the walls, ceilings and kitchen cabinets using cool and attractive colors. Replace the flooring with high quality tile or laminate. Replace the kitchen sink with a new and fashionable sink. At the end of it, your kitchen should look modern and stylish.
Today’s homebuyers do not just want a traditional bathroom; they want one that has the look and feel of a spa. So replace the old shower, sink, bathtub and toilet with high quality products. If there is space, install an oversized tub to give it the feel of a spa. Replace the tiles on the walls and floor. Replace the windows with semi-transparent or opaque colored structural glass.
Your bedroom is your private retreat and one of the places a potential buyer wants to take a good look at before making any decision. Repaint the walls and ceilings with cool colors. Replace the carpet and curtains. Rearrange the bed, wardrobe and dressing table. Replace the lighting with recessed lighting and wall sconces. This will change the entire ambience of the room and make it look like a suite.
Everyone wants a huge living room that looks like a hall. Look for areas where you can make an extension. Consider knocking down a wall if necessary. Repaint the walls and ceilings with light colors to give the illusion of more space. You can also replace the carpets. Consider replacing your windows with high quality architectural glass and place matching curtains over the windows to give a lasting impression.
Recently, I decided to build a media room in one of the seldom used rooms in my home. I decided to do this myself instead of contracting it out, since it really isn’t that difficult and most people will be able to take on the project. Consider these 10 main elements when building out your room, I’ll also show you how to save a little along the way.
Keeping acoustics in mind when you are building your room, the idea is to keep sounds out and also minimize the sound leaving the room. You basically want to absorb sounds with soft surfaces rather than have sound bouncing off hard surfaces.
Most walls in homes are either drywall or plaster, which are very hard surfaces and cause the sound to bounce around the room. You can rectify the problem by purchasing lightweight acoustic panels from your local hardware store fairly inexpensively and cover the panels with lightweight carpeting. This will be very similar to the walls you will find in movie theaters.
Acoustic tiles work best because of their sound absorbing qualities, this will also help insulate the rest of the house from the sound emanating from your media room. These are the same types of tiles you see in offices. They are inexpensive and you should be install in a decent sized room for less than $300.
If you room has windows, like mine does, then you will want to make sure you can extinguish all light for the best viewing experience. Room shades for the purpose of darkening rooms are best, but also heavy curtains will work. You can also purchase blackout shades.
For the same reason the ceilings and walls shouldn’t be a hard surface, so should the floor. The flooring should not be wood, linoleum, concrete, etc., The best option is a plush thick carpet which will not only be comfortable to walk on, but will also help absorb the sound.
I don’t feel this is as important as the previous areas, but choosing a dark wall and ceiling color will help with TV reflections and your overall viewing experience.
Furnishings and Lighting
I prefer the chairs and couches that are designed for home theaters, they are actually less money than I expected. They are competitive in cost to regular furniture and are usually very comfortable. Many come with extras including storage for remotes and electric recline.
You will want lighting that you can use while a movie is not playing and also lighting that you can dim while the movie is running. You probably don’t want to completely turn off the lights since this will make it difficult to see, but instead dim them to a very low level.
A single remote that can control all your audio and video components and the lighting is ideal. There are many smart remote options available that are able to perform these functions.
Purchase the largest screen that you can afford with the best picture, even one of the new 4k versions would be ideal, but not necessary for a great viewing experience. The minimum size should be 50″. You can stream movies from either a media center or blu-ray DVD.
To transmit the best video signal resulting in the best picture on your TV, you will want a quality HDMI Cable. The HDMI cable will transmit both audio and video and sometimes even ethernet. You don’t need to buy the most expensive brands as I find the reasonably priced cables work just as well.
My final cost for everything not including the TV and Audio/video was around $3000USD. I’m very happy with the investment and get a lot of enjoyment out of the room. It’s a great discussion topic and I love having people over to watch movies with us. This is a fairly simple project that almost anybody can tackle.
Improving your home makes it more appealing. A nice and comfortable home gives its owners the feeling of pride and satisfaction. A home is just that, a home. Taking care of it is a must, just as keeping it presentable not only to you but to others as well is.
Home improvements also contribute significantly in your efforts at selling the property. A nice shiny new house is a lot better looking than a well-maintained antique in the eyes of potential buyers. Work for a little bit to give your house a new and modern look and selling it will be a breeze.
Maintenance is required of pretty much anything and everything that is expected to function properly. Home improvements not only make your house look and feel better, they also help to keep it standing. Making sure that the jobs done are done properly is just as important. You wouldn’t want the house to fall on you because of shoddy work.
Doing things on your own might be the most common way of saving money. Recently, a lot more people have been taking on the challenges of home maintenance and betterment upon themselves. Unfortunately, many home owners do not possess the right knowledge nor the skills for a lot of the workings of a house. This inevitably leads to more damage being done. Below are general tips for working with tools and conducting activities requiring tools.
There will be times when you get in way over your head. A lot of projects and efforts fail because of lack of knowledge and blind confidence. Repairs always cost more, not to mention the possibilities of injuries. Save yourself the trouble and the hazards and hire a professional. Reliable help is actually quite easy to find provided you put some time into looking for it.
The lawn is an integral part of the house. It is outside and in front of your home and so will be among the first things people will see. A lot of mistakes are common when dealing with this grass carpet. Most are seemingly insignificant and inconsequential but are undoubtedly anything but. Make sure you count yourself among those who treat their lawns right.
A lot of people tend to cut the grass way too short. This leaves the grass weak and will hinder its recovery. This compounds over time and through repeated cutting.
More water does not mean a better and greener lawn. In fact, too much water suffocates the grass and causes it to wither and die. As with cutting, practice moderation. This will also cut down on the water bill.
Fertilizers and pesticides are helpful tools for growing a beautiful lawn. But in using them, a lot of care and wisdom should be applied. Some chemicals do more harm than good. Generally, organic is a lot better than chemical.
Make a schedule for all the activities like mowing, watering, applying fertilizers, using pesticides, aerating, etc. And when the schedule is done, actually follow it.
Know your soil, your location, your weather, your temperature, etc and choose accordingly.
Realistically speaking, the perfect lawn will always be just a dream. No matter how much you spend on your lawn, it will not help.
Lawn mower reviews are a great way to find out how well a certain model performs. Here are a few suggestions for best lawn mowers.
The Craftsman 37436 has fixed handles with the speed lever at the right hand side. The handle length can be adjusted easily and stays put. It has a rear-wheel drive and the drive belt under the mower is well protected. It collects a bit of grass and is a little noisier than most other mowers but is nonetheless a great model.
The Black and Decker SPCM 1936 is small, fast, and silent. It is easy to use and is fun to have. The handles are adjustable and sturdy. It is electric powered and so has zero emissions. Its quiet nature adds to the benefit of it following the pace of the user. It is easy to charge and has decent juice in the batteries. This is a great choice for small yards.
The Honda HRX2172VKA is an amazing mower. This walker is a top-notch machine. It employs a rear wheel drive like most mowers. The handles are fixed and the speed controls are controlled with both thumbs. It has a dual blade that cuts nicely. It also stays relatively clean both on wet and dry use. Your lawn will thank you if you get this lawn mower. Unfortunately, it costs quite a bit.
The Greenworks 25292 is a best electric lawn mower. It gives the user a smooth and effortless experience. It is also very quiet and so will not harm your ears. Because of its lightweight design, most people should find it easy to move around. It also has a spare battery and swapping them out is quick and simple. Despite the lightweight design, it is very sturdy.
This a personal story about the owner and author of a blog about the home improvement, remodeling and real estate industry in Australia. Since he used to work in the home improvement industry, he has vast knowledge about the business and can provide meaningful insights to his readers. However, writing posts daily for his blog for several years now without taking a real break was beginning to feel more like a grind than something that he enjoyed doing.
So in an effort to break up the monotony and try and find fresh ideas and generate some new energy, the author just randomly decided that he would go on a trip of some kind. He really wanted to break up his routine and do something different. Yes the blog may suffer a little bit since he would miss his daily posting and thus his readership may seek out other blogs to read on the home improvement, remodeling and real estate niche. Since he was originally from the United States and had not traveled back to the States in several years, he decided to look at possible trips he could go on in that country.
He focused on group tours so that there would be other people on the trip to enjoy the experience with. Since he is also an outdoor enthusiast, he looked at outdoor adventure trips that might interest him. After scouring the internet for a possible trip, he stumbled upon just what he was looking for. He found a group tour that was going on a backcountry camping and hiking trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. This trip seemed like a perfect fit because it would involve camping and hiking which are some of most favorite activities.
He was an avid outdoor enthusiast so he had most of outdoor gear that he needed except for hiking shoes. He needed to buy new hiking boots to take with him on the trip. As a person familiar with the outdoors, he knew that he needed to buy a high quality pair of hiking boots so that his feet would be comfortable on the hike. He did some internet searches looking at comparisons of the best hiking boots to buy. When he found the boots that would fit his needs, he bought two pair of boots and packed them in his duffel bag.
To his amazement, when he arrived at the Rocky Mountain National Park to meet up with his tour group, he discovered that there were two other people in the group that also worked in the home improvement and remodeling industry. So immediately, he had a built in connection with at least two people that he talk to.
Spending several days hiking Colorado mountain trails with other people reinvigorated his creative juices and helped him recapture his writing style.
Getting away from his laptop and normal routine allowed him to clear his mind and recharge his batteries. Also spending time and talking with people that have similar interests in real estate, home improvement and re-modeling allowed him to gain a new and fresh perspective on the industry.
I was recently contacted by a mate of mine who wanted to update their living/dining room. While this was all good and well, there was a catch. They wanted to have their living/dining room accompany their new cats. What he was asking for was a new type of design he had seen online. It consisted of a whole wall that would double as shelves and a place for the cats to play and hang out.
I hadn’t done something like this (at least not here in Australia) so I was definitely interested. Typically I can build something just by looking at the picture and can come up with a working design. I just had never built something like this with the intention of it being used for pets.
When I accepted the job I had asked my mate why he didn’t just get one of these cat trees for his cats to use, instead of making a whole part of his home dedicated to them. He replied that he didn’t want the look of the cat tree standing out in his home to take away from the modern design he was going for. He also told me that when he saw the picture online of what he wanted, he knew I was the guy for the job.
I didn’t take the job just because he was a mate of mine, I took the job because I am always looking for new and exciting ways to improve a home. This job would just be another way for me to improve my skills and turn something that is not normally done in a home into something that can actually be used. All the while looking sleek and modern at the same time.
The design itself was easy. It was basically a wall sized frame with shelves built into it. The challenge was going to be getting it to fit and look modern in the place he wanted it. Then making it suitable to be used as a shelf and as something their large cats would use and enjoy.
The materials I used to build the shelving and supports were 2x4s and some laminated shelving we got at the local lumber supply. I used sheet rock screws about 3/4 of an inch to secure it all together. I also purchased some sheet rock and paint to cover the frame and give the shelving a free floating look and feel. In total the cost was about 333.400 Australian Dollars.
I started out by measuring the area he had decided it was going to be built in and figured out the overall dimensions. Then I measured out the width he wanted the shelves to be from the wall. Now I had a frame to build and something to judge and measure the shelves and supports against.
Secondly, the picture he showed me had all different types of shelves and some would be ramps for the cats to climb up on and run along. So my next step was to plan out the shelving heights and how the layout would be built. All in all I had about 14 different types of shelves with ramps and free floating shelves in the mix.
I then added the shelves to my frame by using the existing beams in the wall for additional support. To give it a modern look I used as little exposed support beams as possible. The exposed support beams I carpeted with a plush carpeting to allow the cats a place to scratch when they were resting there.
After securing the shelving to the walls and giving it the modern free floating design my mate was looking for, I started sheet rocking the frame to make it look like it was built into the wall. When everything dried and was solid I painted the new sheet rock the existing color of the wall.
All in all the shelves came out very well. Personally, I feel like they came out better than the picture I’ve included for you to see what I was basing my design off of. The best part about this whole experience is I’ve added another skill to my skill set because my mate loves the shelves and the cats don’t get off of them.
You can design the shelves any way you like, especially the way that suits your home and your liking best. You can also add different types of support beams and long unobstructed shelves for the cats to run down. Another great thing about this type of shelf is that it doesn’t have to be made for cats they can just be used as a great modern shelving unit.
This was a great experience for me that not only helped further my skill set, but I hope it motivates you to build something similar for your own home.
Renovating a bathroom can be a significant job though it can add a significant amount of value to your home or rental property.
Some bathroom renovations can be as simple as removing the old vanity unit and replacing with a newer more modern vanity. While other renovations can be involve a complete gutting of the whole room, including the tiles, to start again from scratch.
With any bathroom reno, big or small, you need to be smart about sourcing materials and supplies for the job.
Common bathroom renovation materials & supplies;
Where to buy?
There are a lot of options when it comes to buying renovation supplies from ‘big box’ suppliers to online retailers. Each offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
The ‘big box’ physical hardware stores
Your usual warehouse type hardware store, aiming to do everything in hardware and home improvement. In Australia the big hardware store players are;
Advantages of a big box hardware store
Disadvantages of a big box hardware store
Small Independent Hardware Stores
These are a bit of a dying breed. Fierce competition between the major big box stores are squeezing the margins and profitability of the smaller independent hardware and home improvement stores. Mum and Dad (Mom & Pop if you’re back home in the U.S.) just haven’t been able to keep up.
Advantages of an independent hardware store
Disadvantages of an independent hardware store
Online shopping on stores like Amazon have really taken off over the last few years. Shopping for online hardware and home improvement items has become more and more competitive as suppliers now often offer cheap or free shipping. Online stores often have lower costs for rent and labour plus they can still buy in bulk. It’s easy for online stores like Amazon to stock a very large range of products because they team up directly with other suppliers who can hold the stock for them. Delivered to your door at a cheaper price, what’s not to love!
Also, online stores provide a wealth of information to help you find the best bathroom reno materials and supplies. Often review sites combine all the available product reviews and information in easy-to-search tables. This is a great resource to find all your product needs and find the best supplies for your bathroom reno.
Advantages of online shopping for your supplies
Disadvantages of online shopping
To save time, money and energy plus get better quality, try shopping online for your next bathroom renovation or upgrade. You can get started now by reading some of the best shower head reviews on the internet to give you a jump start on the search for your shower upgrade.
I have been a rolling stone much of my adult life. I have rambled from one country to another, always looking for a place that I could call home until I decided on a whim to catch a flight to Australia. I was hoping that this would be a place that I could buy a home and make a more permanent life. It only took me a few days to realize that this would be my new home, my own little slice of paradise.
After spending a week in a hotel I decided it seemed like a good time to begin house hunting. I am very interested in houses with lots of character and am not afraid of a bit of do it yourself renovations. It did not take me all that long to find a really great cottage on the beach that I wanted to call my own. It needed a bit of work, but I was more than up for the challenge.
The first project I wanted to tackle on my new house was going to be the flooring. There was hideous lime green shag carpet installed that would have surely churned even the most resilient of stomachs. The carpet needed to go and it needed to go now. I opted to replace the carpet in all of the rooms and replace it with hardwood flooring. I figured that the hardwood floors would bring in some warmth and really liven up the house.
Tearing up the carpet proved to be much easier than I had originally anticipated it would be. It just took a crow bar, some elbow grease and a good pair of non-slip tennis shoes to provide the right amount of traction. I have never been so excited to throw out carpet and lay new wood flooring in my life, that stuff was horrid and so dirty. After the carpet was removed I was able to see what type of base I was working with so that I could determine what type of wood to use for the new flooring. Lucky for me it was relatively smooth concrete foundation beneath the carpet, so I had many available options.
I took my time deciding on just the right type and color of wood to install. I finally decided on a beautiful ash colored bamboo. It was a bit on the expensive side, but the quality and durability allowed me to feel confident in my decision to opt for a higher end wood. The flooring was not very difficult to install as I bought the interlocking bamboo planks rather than large, long bamboo planks that I would have to cut down, size and lay just right. The flooring only took me about two days to complete from the time I started ripping the carpet up to the time I laid the last bamboo plank. It looked so amazing when all was said and done! One of the great things about bamboo flooring is that it does not get scuffs or marks easily, but I am still guilty of requiring everyone to wear soft soled tennis shoes to avoid even the tiniest chance of marks on my new floors. All in all this was a very successful start to my renovations on my new Aussie pad.
Having a pipe break in your house while you are away can cause a lot of damage. Even worse is a river or creek flooding out your home. Not to mention the amount of work to cleanup and stress it creates. I have lived through this process when my house in San Diego was damaged by flood water. Here are a few simple guidelines i follow to start the cleanup process.
Flood damage or water damage in your house can be devastating. It can lead to mold and other health hazards. So clean up needs to be done right away and in the proper manner.
Flood water damage in a house can make the air unsafe for humans. Care should be especially taken by those with breathing problems and the very young.That is because in less than 48 hours mold, germs and other bacteria can begin to grow. While some mold may be visible and grow outside the walls, there may also be mold or bacteria growing inside the building structures. So do not assume that just because you do not see any mold that there is no problem. It is very important to take many pictures before and during the clean up process. Pictures will help with insurance claims and also in the future if mold grows then you can reference your photos.
If it is a leaking pipe that has caused the water damage, be sure the supply is completely turned off. For safety be sure to wear an appropriate respirator mask, gloves, long sleeved shirt, long pants, boots and eye protection. Then Begin to remove any and all standing water on the floors. This can be done with a broom, mop or even better a wet dry shop vacuum. Second begin to collect any smaller objects in the home that has been damaged by the water. Best to use large trash bags and dispose of the damaged items. For insurance reasons you may want to place them outside the house and dispose of them later. Furniture that has flood water damage needs to be removed from the home. The objective is to remove from the house any and all objects that have water damage and therefore will retain moisture inside the home.
Now it is time to begin cleaning the ceiling and walls. Use a cleaner or detergent that disinfects or kills germs and bacteria. If there is no damage to the ceilings then start with the walls. Wipe all surfaces thoroughly. Remember to rinse your rags often and change the water many times. Avoid using dirty contaminated water as this will spread the germs and bacteria. Then proceed to clean the floors. Be sure to also clean the inside of cabinets and closets where water can hide. If possible after cleaning place fans in the home to allow fresh air to dry the surfaces. If weather permits leave doors open.
Now if the water damage was severe you really should call in a professional to test and investigate the extent of damage inside the structure of the home. No one wants to hear bad news but waiting and hoping it will be ok is not a good option. The more time the moisture is trapped in a wall the more mold and bacteria it will grow.
You can find some more helpful tips for mold remediation and water damage here.
This is just a short blog post for today and I want to let you know about my jailbroken Apple TV. Seeing as I already have an iPhone and I use it to do a number of great things I thought that I would invest in Apple TV as well.
I’m glad I did and I want to tell you how great my jailbroken Apple TV 3 has been since it was installed and how it has let me watch some great home improvement shows through XMBC.
I was actually a bit apprehensive about getting Apple TV installed in my home. I had heard about it but with all the different renovations and work that we have going on I wondered if it was necessary or not. However when I discovered that, like my iPhone, I could hack and jailbreak the Apple TV system then I decided that I should get it installed.
Through a platform on the system called XMBC I can watch pretty much all the channels that I got through my regular cable subscription. In fact anything that I miss I can catch up with on Netflix or through YouTube.
So basically I have been able to get rid of my expensive cable subscription and still keep up with all my home improvement shows. We recently started to renovate the landing upstairs and if you have ever tried to do this you will know just how difficult it can be. However I found a great home improvement show through one of the channels I now have access to with my jailbroken Apple TV and they have been running a series on this very topic.
You might wonder how they can dedicate several episodes to just one room in the house but they have and I have picked up numerous tips from them. So in a way finding an Apple TV 3 jailbreak online has already paid for itself because our landing is well on the way to looking great (if you have a creative eye and can ignore the ongoing work!) and jailbreaking Apple TV has been well worth it.
Before I jailbroke my iPhone I had no idea how I even went about this process however it was really easy to get information and find services online and jailbreaking Apple TV is no different. Both are easy and make the default device seem timid and weak in comparison to all the new features I now have.
So, that is it really. I just wanted to let you guys know about the great new home improvement show that I now watch regularly through my jailbroken Apple TV 3. The great thing is that it works all the world over and not just here in Australia. I have a friend in the US and another in South Africa and they both use jailbroken Apple TV’s to watch cable and subscription channels.
I won’t bore you with any of the technical details so have a look online or get in touch with me and I can point you in the right direction if you are interested in jailbreaking your Apple TV system.
Talk to you soon!
Something you may not have seen covered here before is the string lighting sector of the home decor / home improvement arena. Perhaps the type of string lights I’m thinking of are not quite as popular here in Australia as in the United States (just take a look at all the string light pins on Pinterest) but sometimes it’s nice to be a little different in your decorating tastes, right?
I’m not talking about Christmas style string lights but rather the clear (or frosted) globe style string lights that you might see hanging about a patio or used to decorate at a wedding reception. They do get used for Christmas as well but the are much more versatile than that and are popular for sidewalk cafe decor. For some reason Americans seem to associate them with Italy but of course these days they originate (from a manufacturing perspective) in China.
The good news about where they are made is that there are basically only two types of the common G40 globe string lights. You can buy different brands if you want but you are really only getting different lengths of lighting strands since virtually all the wire, bulbs and plug ends are identical whether you buy your lights online or from a brick and mortar store.
I’m getting a little off track though. What I’d really like to do with this post is give you some tips on installing these lights around your home if you decide they’d be a good addition to your decor. I’ve learned these tips through a bit of personal experience handling string lights like these at different times.
Tip #1: Even though it might be a bit of a hassle it is a good idea to remove the bulbs from your set of lights before you start trying to string it up and secure the wire. Since most strands of lights have something like 25 bulbs per strand it is really easy to let the delicate bulbs knock against one another and shatter. I like to remove the bulbs and place them in an empty egg carton for safe keeping until I’m ready to screw them back into their sockets. It’s easier on your wallet to take the extra step rather than have to find bulbs to replace your broken set because you didn’t take care from the start.
Tip #2: If you want prevent your strand of lights from sagging a really good way to achieve this is to first string a wire or cable along the area you’ll be installing the lights. You can use some hardware -such as turnbuckles- to tighten the cable so it is taut. After you’ve run your cable and made it sufficiently sturdy you can then use the small clips that are a feature of the string light sockets to attach the strand to your support wire. Using this method you can get a straight, sag-free lighting run.
Tip #3: If you buy a strand of lights sometimes you’ll find that they don’t work straight out of the box. Usually -assuming the bulbs are all intact and you don’t need to replace any of the bulbs on your string- the problem is simply that the bulbs didn’t get screwed into the sockets well enough at the factory. If your whole strand of lights refuses to light up you can typically fix that issue by checking the small fuse box which you’ll find in the plug end. All the lights I’ve seen include a spare fuse inside the housing. You’ll have to pop out the burnt fuse and put the spare in place. You can see what the fuse housing looks like in one of the photos by zooming into the fuse housing image here.
Those are my top 3 tips for putting up string lights around your property. This applies to many types of string lights but I’ve had the most experience with the E12 socket style lights that use G40 size bulbs. There are other commercial style lights which are quite nice as well but so far I’ve not worked with them much. Happy decorating!