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.

Source: UNSPLASH

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.

Why Building a Home Is Better Than Buying One

Building your own home comes with a lot of benefits. However, these advantages are often overlooked by many because of the fact that building a home on your own requires much effort and time. Here are a few of these advantages that will convince you to build and not buy a home.

#1 Saved money – Many factors affect the prices of houses that are sold in the market. Two of these are the builder’s profit and the realtor’s fee.  The typical builder’s profit ranges from 18 to 20 percent of the total cost of the construction and the land. Meanwhile, realtor fees range from 5 to 7 percent of the total cost of your home. You will be able to save around 30 percent of the cost of a new home if you decide to build one on your own.

#2 Customized house parts – Building your own home allows you to customize its parts so that they will suit your needs. You can now manage your own house construction project with the use relevant software available on line. It can help you obtain the right design and measurements for your dream house.

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#3 New skills learned – During the process of construction, you might be surprised how creative and talented you are. You can cultivate your current skills and learn new ones once you decide to build your own home. This a great way for you to beat boredom and depression. Moreover, this will make you value your home more as it is the fruit of your labour and passion.

There is also a downside to building your own home. The entire process can require a lot of effort and time from you. This is specifically true when your lot is located in the outskirts and you would need to commute long hours just to get back and forth from your work and your construction site. Needless to say, all your hardships will pay off once your dream house is completed.

 

Quick Tips on Choosing the Best Colour for Your Pool

Recently a friend who is considering renovating his backyard pool asked me to give him some advice.

His question to me was:

Have you ever renovated or remodeled your own pool? Can you give me some tips on selecting the best colour for the water in my pool?

 

To answer his first question, I don’t own a pool in my backyard. If ever I own one, I will not even consider renovating it myself. 😀 The professionals are the ones with the right skills to tackle such a major task. As for the second question, I’m no expert in swimming pools and so I did some research on this topic. Here is some information that I was able to gather.

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You may not know this but it is possible to achieve only two different colours for the water in a swimming pool. These are blue and green. The background dye used in your pool finish is the major factor that affects the water colour in your swimming pool.  Blue water can be achieved by lining your pool with a black, blue, gray or white background finish. A brown, green or tan background finish produces green water.

Some pools appear bluer or greener compared to other pools. This can be attributed to the water depth. Deeper pools look darker in colour while shallow pools look lighter. There are other factors that affect the tint of the water in your pool. These are sun exposure, landscaping, pool shape, water movement and water temperature.

Consider the look that you want to achieve in your backyard when choosing the ideal colour for your pool. The theme of your backyard will provide an appropriate colour palette for you to work from.

It may be tempting to base your decision on the pool colours that are popular today. This could make the selection process easier for you. However, this is not advisable. What’s trending today may no longer be popular tomorrow. Take the time to choose a pool colour that suits your own taste and the design of your house.

Watch this short video about pool colour options I found online. It will give you an idea about how to choose the right colour for your pool which will complement the pool’s design.

Helpful Insights on Restoring Your House from a Fire Damage

Fire damage is a major home improvement problem which no homeowners want to encounter. It is because this kind of problem gives birth to other problems that can drain your energy and your savings. The restoration of your damaged property has to be done by professionals. Hence, you must have a budget and a plan to make sure the whole  renovation process happens smoothly. Complete assessment – A damaged house is assessed thoroughly prior to any restoration work. Smoke, soot, fire, heat, and water can cause serious health and safety problems to your family and to your property. Hence, they must be detected right away.

Interior protection – Broken doors and windows are to be expected after a house gets caught in fire. Oftentimes, firefighters need to break them open in order to enter and hose down a burning house quickly. A professional restoration team can be requested to set up plywood boards that will prevent trespassers and vandals from stealing or damaging your remaining possessions.

Restoring Possessions – First of all, you will need to remove everything that is not yet burned out of your house. Burnt possessions can no longer be restored. Items with minimal damaged must be cleaned and restored by professionals if you don’t want the damage to worsen. Apart from the main points above, here are some things you need to do in case of fire damage.

  • Never enter your house until you have clearance from your local fire marshal.
  • Create natural ventilation by opening all the windows.
  • Avoid damaged areas that could be unsafe.
  • For insurance purposes, list all your damaged possessions.
  • Never use electrical appliances when you get back to your house. There could be electrical wiring issues that can cause trouble or another fire incident if you do so.

Organize Your Basement with These Tips

Many people think of the basement as a dank, dark place where boxes of holiday decorations and old furniture tend to accumulate. But with some organization, your basement can become a functional part of your home instead of a catchall for clutter.

Inventory – Knowing what you have in your basement is the first step in getting its contents organized. There are sure to be things in your basement that you forgot were down there in the first place! Deciding what you need to hold onto and what you can toss or donate is a simple process. Grab some trash bags and a few storage bins and dive in.

Sorting – Try sorting your items into a few different piles or bins. Put everything you want to donate in one pile — old clothes, toys and sports equipment can be donated to your local thrift store. You can also donate clothes and toys that are in fair condition to a local shelter. In some cases, you can arrange to have an organization like the Salvation Army pick up larger items. Such service is usually free. In another pile, collect the items you’ve decided to throw out. Broken toys or tools can be trashed, and so can any miscellaneous clutter. Your largest pile will most likely be the one that contains those things you want to keep. If you can find a way of storing these items that keeps them out of the way, then holding onto them shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you find that your basement is still overflowing with stuff, you may want to go back and re-sort the pile to see if there’s any way to further narrow down what you’ve decided to keep.

Organize – When you’re storing items in the basement, you’ll need a few tools to help keep things organized:

a) Shelves- Floor-to-ceiling shelving is a good idea. Depending on the look and feel of your basement, you can use wood or metal units to hold everything from file boxes to toilet paper to bottles of wine. Don’t forget to use all available space including the ceiling — hooks or ceiling storage units can be a great place to hang bikes and other seasonal equipment.

b) Storage Bins – You may opt to store your holiday decorations or winter coats in clearly labeled storage bins. When selecting bins, try to find ones that are stackable and transparent — this will optimize efficiency and ease of access.

c) Pegboard – Pegboard is an underrated necessity in the basement, especially if Dad wants to store his tools down there. Pegboard has many drawbacks, not the least of which is that it’s not very attractive, but you can purchase plastic pegboard that makes up for some of its shortcomings.

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Organize Your Home without Spending a Fortune

When it comes to spring cleaning, a lot of people think they need to spend more to get organized. However, the dollar store can be a one-stop-shop for all your organizational needs. Here are some great ways you can keep your home tidy for just a few bucks.

First, shoe organizers are good for more than just storing shoes. You can set one up in a crowded pantry to organize small packaged food, or use it in the bathroom to store and organize all your toiletries.

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And speaking of bathrooms, did you know you could use low-cost shower curtain rings in other rooms of your house? Just loop a few of the rings on a clothes hanger and use it to hang everyday accessories like scarves, belts and even ties.

Another great multi-purpose item you can find at the dollar store is ice cube trays. One-dollar ice cube trays are great for organizing small office supplies, jewelry, and even screws and nails. Weekly pill dispensers also work well for this sort of thing.

Lastly, mesh laundry bags are not only super cheap, they can also be perfect for storing kids toys, especially the kind that might get damp and used outside a lot.

Staying organized doesn’t mean spending big bucks. Give these dollar-store deals a try, and you can stay clutter-free without breaking the bank.