Ideas to Improve Spaces in Your Home

Each one of the spaces in your home has their own characteristics and with a personality that allows us to differentiate one environment from another.  What makes these spaces enjoyable is their appropriate decoration.

Decoration on the wall

To make your house look full of life and joy, painting the walls is an excellent idea.  This helps to shape the personality and give a theme.

Bedroom

The bedroom is the most personal place you have in your house, where your taste and personality is shaped.  To achieve this you must implement designs that you want such as the type of bed, as well as the wardrobe and furniture.  If it is to your liking, add chairs and tables; personal details add a touch of personal importance.

A space for nature

Having plants in your home creates energy and freshness, providing a positive atmosphere and  personality.

Adapting spaces

The small details that are integrated into the home shows the lifestyle that is carried, where your taste and needs are captured.

Terrace of charm

The terrace is the most special space you have at home for being the center of concentration of the family or meeting of friends, and decorating this environment has to be according to your needs; This project is thought of a young couple who is starting their love life, with the decoration of plants and the adequate night lighting.

Children’s wall

Creating spaces for the little ones at home is a challenge for parents.  This design proposes making a personal space for them while incorporating pictures with letters where their name has been written, and shelves where they will place objects or dolls.

Home office

Bringing office work home is always exhausting and even more so if you do not have a welcoming environment to work in.  Consider creating a home office design with a small desk and a comfortable chair, adding personal details to have a fresh and full of energy atmosphere.

Six Tips for New Homeowners

Here are some of the most important things for you as a new homeowner. Even if you are an experienced home buyer, you will be able to use the following six tips.

Do not spend more money than necessary on furniture and refurbishment.

You have most likely just spent a large part of your life’s savings on a down payment and so money can be tight. Not only is your savings exhausted, but monthly expenses are also higher – it simply comes with ownership of a home. In addition, there are bills on water, electricity and insurance.

Of course, you want to personalize your new home and upgrade as much as possible and replace the old furniture for something newer and nicer. However, this may cause your expenses to become depleted if you try to improve everything at once. Give yourself time to be accustomed to your new housing costs and rebuild a good savings – and don’t worry, the furniture will still be there when you need them, and not least, afford them.

Do not underestimate the importance of tools and maintenance products.

One of the new expenses most often accompanied when buying a home is repair and maintenance. If something breaks, the toilet becomes clogged, your roof is leaky or needs maintenance, there is no landlord to call. We recommend that you do not underestimate the importance of acquiring tools and maintenance products, so you do not put yourself in a stupid situation when you need them – and it’s 100% certain you’ll need them.

Contact a qualified craftsman.

This point may be contrary to the above point, but it does not really matter at all. You should not try to save money on improvements and repairs that you are not qualified for – it can be very expensive for you. Your home is both the place you live and an investment. It therefore deserves a lot of care and attention if you need something out of it in the end. There is nothing wrong with painting the walls yourself, but if there are no wires for example. To open your garage, do not start cutting a hole in the wall, but call a qualified craftsman. Hiring professionals to do the job is the best way to keep your home in top shape while avoiding damage to yourself and the home.

Get help with your tax return.

You probably hate the idea of ​​spending money on an accountant, but it is really advisable to have a professional look through your papers when you need a new home. Owning a home can significantly change most people’s tax and deduction situations. We therefore recommend that you have your tax return prepared professionally, at least in the first year.

Get a good insurance.

Typically, your lender will encourage you not only to acquire a home insurance but also an insurance to cover income and total loss. However, homeowners insuranceis not the only insurance you may need. If you share your home with others who are dependent on your income to pay loans and other monthly expenses, whether it’s a boyfriend, cohabitant, husband / wife or child, you must have a life insurance in which this person is mentioned as a recipient so that he / she will not lose the house if you are injured and resigned to death. The same applies if you face an accident and become disabled. In such a case, you must have an insurance to replace your income.

Take responsibility for your housing economy.

With the great freedom you get by owning your own home, there is also a great responsibility. You must steer your finances with a hard hand and make sure that your home is well maintained so that your home stays the best investment you have. So our advice is to protect your investment and keep your family safe. Do not let the excitement of being a new homeowner lead you to bad decisions or omissions that could threaten your financial or physical security.

Unclogging a Double Sink

Drains are easily blocked by items such as hair and food debris. The blockage may not happen immediately and could develop over time. A pipeline can gradually get more and more debris filling until liquid can no longer pass through it at a normal rate. If the drain is clogged from a sink, the liquid can begin to overflow through the drain of the second from the drains normally going to a single tube. Unclog the drain itself to save money and use your double sink again normally.

Instructions

  1. Plug the drain and fill the sink with hot water mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Remove the plug to allow hot soapy water to flow through the drain. The combination of water pressure, heat and soap can dislodge some obstructions. Do the same with the other sink to see if there is any leak as well.
  2. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour in three cups of boiling water. This activates the baking soda and can help clear a jam. Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain after that. It will react to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and the reaction can also dislodge an obstruction.
  3. Fill the sink with water again and use a plunger in the drain to suck the pipe obstruction until the water comes out of the sink.
  4. Pour a commercial drain cleaner down the drain according to the package directions if there is still an obstruction. Many drain cleaners come with a given amount of time to leave it in the drain before adding water to it.
  5. Straighten a wire hook and insert it into the drain to remove the blockage if it still seems to be a nuisance. If this does not succeed, you will probably need to have a plumber come to eliminate the obstruction.

How to Make Cheap Shelves

You can make cheap shelves with very simple materials. All you need is a pair of robust stable supports separated by flat surfaces. Buy inexpensive shelfs at a home improvement store, search for boards at a salvage yard, or reuse pieces of antique furniture as a dresser. Plastic milk crates or heavy wire provide additional storage, and cement blocks are inexpensive at about $2 each.

Instructions

  1. Examine the wood for rough areas. Sand the edges smooth or flat surfaces, if necessary, to prevent chips or damage to books or whatever you plan to put on them. Cover the panels with adhesive shelf liner following the manufacturer’s instructions, if desired.
  2. Lay a board on the ground where you intend to place the shelf. Place milk crates or concrete blocks on top of the board no more than 10 to 15 inches at each end. Fit brackets with the opening facing you for additional storage if you’re using milk crates.
  3. Lay a second board on the supports. Press down on the center of the board and add support zif the board bends under pressure. Remember that books are heavy and tables may need additional reinforcement to support the weight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint or cover the concrete blocks with felt or cloth or using decorative concrete for a look of others.
  • Bolt terracotta pots for the boards through the drainage holes to create an added touch support.
  • Stack shelves no more than two high.

Make Your Laminate Countertop Look Like Granite

Granite countertops are elegant and sophisticated but very expensive. However, you can make those old ordinary laminate countertops look as if he had an expensive restoration; you can paint with a brush and a sponge. If you do it right, your faux granite countertops will look so real that people who see your finished project will have to do a double take.

Instructions

  1. Get samples of granite styles from paint stores, magazines or the Internet. Narrow your options to the look like what you want. Select a color base and two primary colors to speckle and splash on your base color for a faux granite finish. For example, you can opt for a dark gray base and a clear and black for a dark gray granite. Alternatively, you could choose three shades of beige to get a clear look of granite.
  2. Experiment with your colors on a wooden block. Apply the base color and let dry. Use a flat or wide brush to make you feel comfortable. To splash, use a sponge to splatter on to the base color. Another way to speckle is extending your index finger and tapping the brush so that an effect of consecutive spots on the base color is created.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with water. Experiment with paint run to determine which technique you want to use to mix colors and achieve the style you want. Keep practicing until you determine the technique that works best. Keep your reference test wood and notes, if necessary, to replicate the technique you used on your countertop.
  4. Clean the countertop thoroughly with a grease remover and detergent. Hide any chipping or cutting that has on its surface countertop with wood filler. Let dry and sand the repaired areas and the entire surface slightly so that it is smooth and uniform. Clean any excess dust with a damp cloth and let dry.
  5. Apply a base coat to the counter and let it dry for at least four hours. Apply two coats of the base color of your paint using a foam brush or roller and leave at least 12 hours.
  6. Use your test block and your notes to double the technique that you used for your second and third color. Start with a corner using speckled or spotted techniques. Moisten the counter slightly after you finish running or mix the paint application. Let dry for 24 hours.
  7. Apply two or three coats of polyacrylic over the counter. This will allow it to keep its color and not become yellow, especially if you’re using light colors. Let each application of the cover dry and “cure” for 24 hours.
  8. Start again if your faux granite was not satisfactory. Paint the counter with the base color again and let dry for six hours. The start the process again.

Storage Ideas for Small Offices

Keep an organized small office free of clutter or you can run into a problem. Whether in a home or commercial building, limited space makes it difficult to maintain a tidy work area that is attractive and free of distractions. An office area should be clearly defined visually in a house to minimize disruptions. Keep supplies handy to keep your day running smoothly in any office environment.

Instant office space

A wall shelf creates an effect of visually separating your desktop from the rest of the room. Fixing two self-supporting shelves to the wall above your desk can complete the design and provide an additional storage area. Open shelves offer ample storage space for books, manuals and publications in attractive holders. Store stationery and business cards in baskets and on shelves for easy access.

Convertible Rooms

Furniture that meets dual function lets you convert a room (or corner of a room) from home office to a living space. The dining table can provide ample workspace during working hours and returns to its home use as soon as you take away your work items. TV trays or shelves can hold an inexpensive printer or act as additional workspace, turning any room into a temporary office.

Office on wheels

Use mobile furniture to instantly turn a room into office space to living space. Add wheels to carts for easy hiding after finishing the work. Use a stylish table to store office supplies at night; Wheeled shelfing can slide under a desk when not in use. An ottoman on wheels provides unseen storage and a place to raise the foot while taking business calls or reading. Rolling office furniture also makes it easier to share resources in a small office area.

Partitions

A partition that provides shelving and is free standing creates a sense of privacy when you put desks into a small environment. In a home office, this type of shelving separates the workspace from the living space. The self-supporting rack may be moved if necessary. For a more permanent solution, use shelving that goes from floor to ceiling. In a non-residential office, use a cart for microwaves to create a break or lounge area. Use closed closet space to store infrequently used items and supplies.

How Do Freezing Temperatures Damage My Chimney?

You may have heard about how very cold air temperatures can cause damage to the masonry of a chimney.  Actually, it’s not the temperature as much as the way water from rain and melting snow reacts in freezing weather.  Here’s what we mean.

The freeze-thaw cycle

Bricks are porous and absorb water.  Water also can seep into small cracks in a chimney’s mortar that were caused by the normal settling of the house, weather events or plain old age.  When this water freezes, it expands and puts pressure against anything surrounding it.  Repeated freeze-thaw cycles will begin to cause deterioration in a chimney’s bricks and mortar.

Early signs of chimney damage include:

  • Crumbling in sections of the chimney’s masonry
  • Cracks in the chimney crown or mortar joints
  • Loose or missing bricks

If initial damage isn’t addressed and fixed, deterioration can allow water to infiltrate the chimney system.  Signals that this is happening include:

  • Foul odors coming from the fireplace due to excess dampness in the flue
  • Broken flue tile pieces in the firebox
  • Staining on the home’s interior walls or ceiling area near the fireplace
  • Efflorescence (white powdery substance) on the chimney’s exterior
  • Water in the firebox
  • Addressing chimney water damage

If you know or believe that your chimney is damaged, call a professional.  If the damage is in early stages, a waterproof sealant often can prevent further damage by keeping water out.

If sections of brick and mortar are crumbling, a process called tuck-pointing may be used to fill in open areas with new mortar and restore strength to the chimney structure.

In cases of severe damage – such as when large areas of the masonry are crumbling or the chimney has begun to lean to one side – a full or partial rebuild may be required.

Annual chimney inspections

It’s a smart move to schedule annual chimney inspections with a certified chimney service company whose technicians have the equipment and hands-on experience to deal with all types and levels of chimney damage.  A professional can spot initial damage before it turns into an expensive or dangerous problem and they set about performing the necessary repairs.

Remember – it’s not just masonry issues that can lead to water damage.  A faulty or missing chimney cap and warped or corroded flashing around the base of the chimney where it meets the roof will allow water to get into the chimney or run down the outside of it into the house.  Chimney service techs will inspect every area of your chimney to ensure everything is in proper working order.

For homes with wood-burning fireplaces, an annual inspection should include a thorough cleaning to remove flammable creosote from the chimney flue.  Creosote buildup can cause drafting problems and lead to a chimney fire.

Water Damage to Attic Insulation

Insulation often shares space with water pipes. If a pipe breaks, the insulation gets water damage. Attic insulation runs the risk of damage when a leak is formed in the ceiling. When the insulation gets wet, it is very important to act quickly. Not only does wet insulation become less effective, but it also feeds mold and mildew, which wreak havoc on your roof joists and, overtime, can start causing health problems to yourself and others in your household.

Instructions

  1. Feel the insulation by hand. If your insulation feels damp to the touch, it needs to be replaced. It is almost impossible to completely dry insulation quickly enough to prevent mold growth.
  2. Pull the wet insulation out between the attic beams. Call your locality to find the right way to dispose of it in your community. Many places allow you to put it in normal garbage collection.
  3. Allow the attic to completely dry. If possible, run a fan for it to dry faster. If you see mold, mix 1 cup of sodium borate with 1 gallon of water. Pour part of the mixture into an atomizer and spray it on to the mold. Rub the mold with a brush and allow the solution to dry. Do not rinse.
  4. Measure the length of the roof beam that needs to be filled. Transfer this measurement to an insulation piece. Rest the insulation from a piece of plywood and hold a 24-inch long 2-by-4 where you need to cut. Use a knife to cut through the insulation.
  5. Lay the insulation in the space between the ceiling beams. If your insulation has a vapor barrier paper liner, put it towards the hot side. This means, if you heat your home more than cool it, lower the vapor barrier and if you chill your home more than warm, raise the vapor barrier.
  6. Continue to measure and cut insulation to fit inside all spaces between ceiling joists. If you use more than one piece per space, make sure the two pieces are secure end to end. Keep insulation at least 4 inches from any fireplaces or non-rated IC’s can illuminate artifacts.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and a face mask when handling insulation.
  • Install 10 to 14 inches of insulation R38 in your attic.

Can Table Salt Clean a Clogged Drain?

A clogged drain is an uncomfortable problem that should be treated as soon as possible. If there are no store bought cleaners around the house, you don’t necessarily need to run out to the store; Try a homemade method instead. Table salt, a product found in almost all kitchens, is one of several common household products that help clear clogged drains as it works as an abrasive.

Benefits

Using at home solutions, such as table salt, has a number of benefits, including the fact that it is almost always on hand in the pantry. In addition, many find the harmful gases and costs of drain cleaners purchased unpleasant. Using table salt and other household items, such as vinegar and baking soda, is not only better for the environment but also safer to touch or inhale.

How to use

Mix a 1/2 cup of table salt in 4 L of water, boil and pour down the drain. This method works best when only a light drain cleaning is necessary. Another method of breaking clogs is to pour a 1/2 cup of table salt down the clogged drain. Leave the salt in the drain for 30 minutes and pour hot water into the drain to rinse the salt particles and loosened debris away. Repeat if necessary.

Salt combination

Baking soda and table salt also make a good pairing when trying to clear a clogged drain. First pour a cup of baking soda into the clogged drain followed by a cup of table salt. You will want to leave the combination in the drain for a few hours, no more than 4 hours, which allows the mixture to work. Pour two cups of boiling water to rinse it. Baking soda helps break down waste.

Warnings and preventive measure

After cleaning the clogged drain, you will want to avoid future ones. Placing a strainer over each drain will stop larger pieces of dirt and hair from making its way down the drain. Always handle boiling water with proper care so as not to burn yourself and limit the amount of boiling water if you have plastic pipes that can melt.

Determining the Weight Capacity of Floating Shelves

Putting too much weight on your floating shelves can cause the shelves and its contents to collapse. Not only that, but floating shelves that are built into the wall can scrape the wall and cause a big hole in the process. In an attempt to keep your possessions safe from falling off shelves, find out the maximum weight of the shelves before starting to put things on top of them.

Instructions

  1. Read the package that comes with shelves. It is likely that the manufacturer includes the maximum weight capacity, or the recommended load for the product on the label. The information may be provided in pounds or ounces.
  2. Look for ways to increase the maximum weight safely by adding reinforcements. Wall brackets, for example, can ensure floating shelves that are built into the wall, so they can hold more weight effectively. You can also add posts shelves between shelf levels to support more weight to the shelf and reduce sagging.
  3. Understand how the weight capacity of the shelves is determined. Different materials have different methods for determining the weight. For example, glass shelves have a weight capacity based on the density and thickness of the glass. Even within the glass materials, however, certain types of glass can carry more weight than others. For instance, according to Nova Displays, tempered glass is four times stronger than annealed glass. In addition, wooden, plastic, glass and metal shelves all have their own weight capacities.
  4. Research product reviews from other consumers. Consumers provide their own personal experiences with shelves and you will know if the maximum capacity of a particular product is more or less than what the package says.