Easy Home Improvement Projects to Do with Your Kids

Did you know that you could include your kids in your home maintenance projects? Yes, you read that right! It is a great way to spend time with them and tackle some items around the house. Below are five home improvement projects that specifically designed to be kid-friendly!

Painting – Painting is a great project for kids and can be on walls, furniture, or whatever project needs to be finished. Mistakes are easily fixed and the kids will like feeling like they are contributing to the overall decor of the house.

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Gardening – Have you been thinking about putting in a garden in your backyard but just haven’t found the time? There is no time like the present and no helper like your kid. Gardening is the perfect activity for them – it is fun, educational, and long-term. You can plant many of your family’s favorite vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers are all easy to grow. Your whole family will enjoy eating the literal fruits of your labor!

Install Outdoor Solar Lights – Putting solar lights in your yard is surprisingly simple. Solar walkway lights are sold online and at most home improvement stores. Your kids can place them along your walkway or around garden beds. They will enjoy seeing the lights turn on as the sun goes down. It’s good for the environment – and for about $50 for a pack of eight, they’re good for your wallet too!

Build a Playhouse – If the idea of building a playhouse yourself sounds a little overwhelming, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of kits available to help you in the project. Of course this is not an activity suited for young children, but older ones taking the proper safety precautions will enjoy this project a lot. Learning to use a hammer is a basic skill and there is no better way to learn it than with your parents.

Decorate Your Mailbox – Go a little wild and let your kids have their fun with your faded mailbox. Take them shopping for fun art supplies and let them turn this improvement project into a crafty one. Just make sure there is a visible house number and that nobody paints it shut!

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Learn About the Home Design Trends in 2018

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Are you looking to renovate your house this 2018? Here are four top trends in home improvement that you’ll see everywhere if not in every all throughout the year.

Tankless Water Heaters – Unlike traditional water heaters, these heaters only provide water at the rate its needed, enabling homeowners to keep their costs in check.
They’re also significantly smaller than the current models on the market, making them the perfect option for UK homes, where space is at a premium.

Creating A Roof Deck – For those with minimal garden space, where a ‘windowsill garden’ doesn’t quite cut it, looking skyward offers the ideal solution. No, we’re not talking an observatory (although that would certainly be nice), we’re talking creating a mini roof deck space that you can relax and grow your plants in. Needless to say, for UK homes, space is always at a premium, and with allotments considerably costly as well, the trend for homeowners to take things into their own hands, and work with what they’ve got (ie. limited roof space) is a trend that seems set to continue.

Hunger For Natural Materials – With the ‘smarter homes’ trend looking to take centre stage in 2018, homeowners are likely to find themselves hankering after natural materials, such as wood, to bring a touch of the outdoors inside. From hand-carved bowls, to stunning wooden sculptures, such objects seem set to add a personal touch to properties, providing a complementary contrast to the more impersonal technology used within them. Remember the ‘buy local’ trend that had shoppers grilling grocers on the origins of their greens? This same principle is set to apply to home improvements as well, with a move towards making use of location specific materials (such as limestone), to provide focal features in houses.

Minimalistic Scandi-Design – Although this trend has remained on top for the past several years, it seems set for a renewal of interest in the coming months, as books such as ‘’Hygge: The Danish Art Of Living Well” and ‘’The Little Book Of Hygge” top the bestsellers’ list in time for Christmas. As part of the Scandi-design trend, we’re set to see greater attention to the little details that are often ignored, such as small candles to create a warm and welcoming ambience, and soft-focus lamps that simulate natural daylight, to tide us through the darkest depths of Winter.

Quick Ideas on Setting Up Your Man Cave

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The man cave is a great place where relaxation and enjoyment for dads or for all men – married or single, with kids or no kids. It has TV, games, audio system, internet, food and other stuff that make every man happy.

Constructing a room of such epic description can be very challenging. This is especially true if you will be doing everything on your own. Keen to know how you can get your man cave project running? Read the rest of my post.

Basics – Make sure your floor and walls are designed to your specifications. It would be hard to convert walls that are already set even before you decide to make a man cave out of your chosen room. You will also need plenty of shelving and storing space. Clutter is not healthy for the ambience of any room.

Entertainment system – Apart from the TV, you will need a sound system, video game consoles, and all the other mod cons. A component switch box will be helpful if you’re going to setup an assortment of electronic devices. This prevents you from constantly swapping whatever is hooked to your main hub.

Funky chairs – Look for chairs that look good and are comfortable to sit in. You can go for chairs which look like car seats if you want. Or, you can go for chairs with cool arm rests. Funky chairs can match your personality and provide a great impact on the guests you’re entertaining in your man room.

Include a luxury item – A luxury item will make your man cave look cooler than ever.  Do you love music? Why don’t you invest on a jukebox holding all your favorite songs? If you love gaming, you can position an arcade machine in one of its corners.

Make your interests  – Are you a fan of Star Wars? Display all your Star Wars memorabilia in a shelf. You can also pin to your wall the posters of the Star Wars movies you might have. Perhaps, you’re an athlete. Decorate your man cave with memorabilia from your sport.

5 Home Improvement Projects You Can’t DIY

Most of us do DIY  repairs and improvements in our houses to save money. Some do  them for the thrill of doing and accomplishing things on their own. While there’s nothing wrong with this, you must keep in mind that there a number of tasks or projects which must be left in the hands of professionals. They are as follows.

1. Major plumbing work – Any problem bigger than a leaky faucet is no problem should fixed by a professional. Attempting to fix your plumbing on your own could make the problem worse, or create new ones in your bathroom or kitchen.

Source: PIXABAY

2. Any electrical work – Messing up electrical repairs can cause major problems for you and your home. For example, replacing a circuit board must be done wit caution and excellent planning.

3. Structural changes -Don’t just knock any wall in your property. You will never know its purpose especially if you don’t understand your property’s floor plan. That wall could be load-bearing. A contractor will be able to determine which walls are safe to remove, and will be able to remove them without damaging other parts of your home.

4. Window replacements – Windows that aren’t properly sealed will make your heating and cooling work much harder than they need to. If you want them to increase your home’s appeal and increase the energy efficiency of your home, have them done by professionals.

5. Roof repairs and replacement – Your roof provides protection and enhances the look of your home. While problems with your roof can be very expensive, never be tempted to do it yourself. Most homeowners don’t have the roofing equipment that professionals do. This means the result of your DIY repair won’t be as high quality as a professional’s. Also, it is dangerous to climb up on your roof without the correct safety equipment.

 

All You Need to Know About Tree Removal

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Removing a small tree in your backyard by yourself can be doable and safe.  However, removing a big one can be very dangerous and even life-threatening. It is best for you to leave the job in the hands of professionals.

Let’s go back to the  small trees in your property which you can handle. First of all, you must be ready with the right tools, knowledge, and planning. Check out these tree removal tips which I have outlined for you.

The Preparation

Comprehensive inspection of the tree – Check if the tree leans one way or the other. Plan an escape route in case it does not fall the way you expect it to fall. Examine whether or not there are any obstacles in any direction of the tree such as vehicles, structures, and other trees.

Prepare your equipment and tools – These include utility gloves, goggles, hard hat, steel toe boots, chainsaw, ax or hacksaw, ladder, rope, wedges and first aid kit.

The Process

  1. Using your ax, knock on the bark a few times, and in a few different places, to learn how solid or hollow the tree is. Next, plan which side of the tree you want to make your cut. Look to see where the tree naturally leans; it is better to cut a tree in the direction in which it wants to naturally fall. Be sure the area where the tree drops is level so the tree does not roll or bounce after it falls.
  2. Make a horizontal cut at hip-height, and about 1/3rd into the tree. Do this on the side of the tree where you want it to fall. If you want the tree to fall to the right, you must make you cut on the same side so it falls inward, towards the cut. The tree will fall perpendicular to your horizontal cut. Your second cut should create a wedge into the tree. So make the second cut at an angle from the initial cut. It should look like a lemon wedge.
  3. Your third cut is called a back cut will make the tree fall over on the side of your wedge cut. It should be made on the opposite side of your wedge cut. Make it about 1.5 inches above the wedge cut, and as thick as possible. You can also use a wedge to prevent the tree from settling onto the chainsaw. Add more wedges as necessary until the tree begins to fall. Then, run away as quickly as you can!

Quick Tips on Refurbishing Your Staircase

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Are you planning to refurbish your staircase? Maybe, you want the carpet replaced or have the stairs repainted? Whatever your plan is, it would always be good to have yourself and all the materials you need ready.

Remove the carpet. If you have a stair carpet, start by removing it. How? Firstly, lever up the carpet using a pry bar.  Using a sharp knife cut it from the back to divide it into manageable sections. Remove protruding nails and staples with a claw hammer, pliers or nail extractor. If you can’t pull them all out, just hammer them right into the wood and cover up any marks afterwards with wood filler.

Sand the stairs. It is best to sand the stairs if you are planning to stain or paint your stairs rather than lay a new carpet on them. Use a coarse 40 or 60 grit sandpaper and working your way up to fine 120 or 240 grit paper for a smooth finish. If you have budget, use a random orbital or belt sanding machine for the larger surfaces such as treads and risers, and a detail  sanding machine for corners and small stair parts.

After sanding, vacuum the stairs from end to end to remove all dust and debris. Using a large sponge,  wipe it with water and a mild detergent – liquid floor cleaner is ideal, as long as it doesn’t contain bleach. Rinse thoroughly and leave to dry for at least a day.

Fill in the cracks. To conceal nail holes, cracks and dents, apply wood filler or wood putty in as close a shade as possible to the color of your stairs. The compound will probably lighten as it dries out, so test it on an unobtrusive area first. Overfill the holes slightly because filler tends to shrink as it hardens. Sand lightly when dry to level the surface, and wipe with a damp cloth.

Quick Fixes That You Can Make Around Your Home

Are you looking for things to improve in your house? Check out this short list that I have prepared. It includes small renovation issues which you might be overlooking.

Squeaky / problematic door hinges –  Try spraying a bit of WD-40 on it. You can also rub a bit of petroleum jelly on the hinges. If these methods don’t work, you can elevate the pings of the hinges about halfway and then lubricate them with a small quantity of oil.

Squeaky floor – Sprinkle a little talcum powder on the area that makes noise and then sweep it into the floor cracks. This shall resolve the sound issue for the time being. Remove the traces of powder so you can refinish the floor.

Worn caning – Wet the bottom of the caning with lukewarm water. Then, let it dry overnight.

Dusty chandelier -Turn it off and let it cool down. Wear a pair of gloves. Dampen one glove with glass cleaner. Next, you should wipe each of the prisms with the damp glove and then the dry glove.

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Stained tub – Create a paste with equal amount of baking soda and cream of tartar. Add a few drops of lemon juice in the paste and then mix the whole thing. Then you can use a soft cloth to rub the paste on the stains. After an hour or so, you should rinse with water.

Stuck sliding windows – Use a bit of silicone spray lubricant to grease the skids. All you have to do is spray the lubricant on a piece of rag and then use the rag to wipe the tracks.

Slamming door – Use some peel-and-stick weather stripping on the doorstop. Alternatively, you can use a rubber band around the knobs of the door on both sides. Leave the latch uncovered.