Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By Jeff Tormey


If you are going to do any remodeling, you might be thinking about if you can save money if you do the work. Of course you can, but you should know your limits and start small. You'll find in this article tips that can help you decipher whether a project is a "do it yourself" or one that needs a professional.

Adding a textured finish to your walls with drywall mud can create a new look and disguise any blemishes. This texturing process isn't difficult. Simply apply the mud with a trowel and utilize a stiff brush, sponge or a crumpled bag to add texture to the surface.

|If your home improvement project is big enough to require the assistance of a professional contractor, you only want to deal with one who is properly and fully insured. Should they cause damage to the house and lack proper insurance, you may end up having to sue them. If you want to know whether or not a contractor has insurance, just ask them for visual proof.

|Contractors who promise a discount for cash payments are breaking the law, and should therefore be avoided. Because there is no paper trail associated with paying in cash, you will have little recourse if the contractor takes off with your money without completing the improvements.

|If you are doing a home renovation, think about building a basement bar. Putting in a bar can allow you to make your basement more personal. However, one may choose to build a bar that would improve his house.

|Take care not to underestimate the amount of work involved in any home improvement project, before you begin. Sit down and take the time to figure out everything that needs to get done. It is also valuable to get a second opinion in case you missed something during your assessment. You will save money if you have a clear picture of everything that needs to be done.

|Purchasing a full set of metal fixtures is one way to quickly uplift a bathroom's look. You can find towel racks, curtain rods, cabinet knobs, and toilet paper holders in different shapes and colors that will compliment your new design. You can put these in quickly and easily, especially if you buy the prepackaged coordinating sets available at your local DIY store.

|You can refresh the look of your kitchen appliances without breaking the bank. Don't throw out a good functioning refrigerator because the color is outdated or scuffed up. You can purchase inexpensive spray paint for your appliances and paint them almost any color imaginable. Using this product, you can spruce up your appliances quickly and easily.

|When working with a contractor, make an agreement for payments based on work completed, not time spent on the job. This gives you the power to remove the contractor from the project if the work is not up to par to what you want without them requesting money due to incomplete projects.

|Add some character and curb appeal to your house with a pergola. Pergolas have gained popularity due to its ability to create shaded areas and its natural look. With just a little help, a pergola can be installed in a weekend.

|Cabinets do not need to be replaced to give a kitchen a fresh, new look. Repainting them can really recreate your space. Apply a coat of polish or another kind of finish when you are done painting. Look up techniques in books or online and do it by yourself to save some money!



It is a good idea to maintain a home repair budget that can also be used for upgrades. Homeowners who allocate a specific amount of money for such projects will likely be better at maintaining their homes. If money is leftover after the new year, you can use it for larger home improvement projects later.

|Have comments been made about your house being drafty? Check out the new products that utilize air as an insulation. Just common air. It's not unlike bubble wrap that you see in packaging. Air-filled plastic bubbles are inserted into the spaces in the walls and ceilings of your house. It is an inexpensive way to add new insulation into the house.

|Make sure that any contractor you hire provides you with a detailed written estimate in advance of the project. It should also have guarantees on what work will be completed on what timeline, and a payment plan.

|You can diagnose easily if you think you lost water pressure. Ask the people who live near you if they have the same issue. If none of your neighbors has the same issue, you know that the pressure problem resides within your own home's plumbing. You should then check all of your faucets, to see if the pressure is a house-wide issue. You might need to fix your aerator or perhaps you may need to call a plumber.

|A great way to improve a home's exterior is to plant bright flowers. Make the proper choices based off of your current season. Further, trim the bushes and hedges, and keep your lawn mowed and manicured. These small improvements make your home look much more attractive.

|Be certain that trees and shrubs are not placed too near the house. It raises the chance that roots will make their way to the foundation of your home and cracks will develop which can cause leaks. It is best to plant everything father away so you do not have to deal with this later on. You could transplant a tree that is small.

|Prior to installing paneling, paint stripes on the existing walls. Bits of the old wall will show even if the paneling is installed properly. Take the time to measure and mark where panels will meet. Choose a paint color that matches the color of your paneling, and paint strips of this color wherever the panels will meet.

|You might have to repaint your porch. Make sure the paint you choose is of good quality. Make sure you use the same paint type as the existing paint. While oil-based paints are great for trim due to their durability, they generally shouldn't be used on outdoor floors or decks, because they can become very slippery when it snows.

|Crown molding can create a remarkable difference in the appearance of your walls. Crown molding can add dimension and curves to a flat or boxy room. It is not hard or expensive to install crown molding.

|Homes that have a nice view tend to sell for a lot more than similar houses without a view. Keep in mind, though, that the extra cost of the view may not be looked at as an investment, but as an extra charge for your pleasure. Future home buyers might not be as impressed by the view and might not be interested in paying a higher price for it.

Prior to purchasing hardwood flooring, ask a professional about the status of your existing floors. In many cases, there is hardwood flooring hidden under existing carpeting or linoleum. Existing hardwood flooring looks beautiful with a new finish. You could find beautiful wood floors just waiting to be found and refinished.

|It is well worthwhile to come up with plans for any major home improvements in order to avoid making an upgrade that is unsafe. The money you spend is well worth it. In addition, the records will stay on file with your home, in case you decide to sell, buyers will be aware that all the upgrades were correctly done.

|The credentials of all contractors should be checked prior to hiring. You need to be sure that they're qualified in doing the work they are doing and that they are done the right way. Checking credentials and documentation is the best way to avoid costly mistakes.

|Make a budget, and include every detail you can. Not including a little for unanticipated costs can derail your project. The wrong product can be bought and will need to be replaced or sale items may not be available. So, make your budget a little larger than your actual cost projection in order to cover any of the unexpected purchases that are bound to happen.

|Excess blind cords can be cut off or tied. These can be dangerous to children and pets who may become entangled in them. Be sure to leave enough length that you can still manipulate the blinds using the cords, but any extra cord that hangs down really serves no purpose. Cut off the excess to protect your children and pets from strangulation dangers.

|Simply clearing out and reorganizing your pantry makes your kitchen a better place to work. Throw out any spices, foods, or canned goods that are past their expiration dates. Put in new liner paper after giving the shelves a thorough scrubbing. Then, put like items together in the same area or shelf. This way you will know where everything is.

|It is inevitable that chair cushions will flatten with use. Set them in some sun if you want to bring back their shape. Sun exposure gets rid of the moisture trapped in the cushion's fillings, which in turn makes them nice and bouncy. The sun can fade fabrics, so be sure to turn the cushions and do not leave them in the sun for too long.

|Prior to purchasing hardwood flooring, ask a professional about the status of your existing floors. You might just have some very nice hardwood flooring way underneath whatever has been layered onto your floors, such as carpeting or linoleum. The end result will be far more attractive and far less costly.

|Consider mounting your TV on the wall. Wall mounts can relieve you from having to use a TV stand or entertainment center, thus opening up the room a bit more. This project does not take much time, either.

|How long do you actually plan to live in your home? Do not spend all your savings on home improvement if you plan on moving in a few years. Take care of things that need to be fixed but do not spend money on purely aesthetic changes.

Do you want new cabinets? Is money an issue? Consider refacing them. If can be pricey to replace kitchen cabinets. A more affordable alternative is to refinish the front of the cabinetry. You will get a fresh look and it will not cost as much.

|Consider installing a shower in at least one bathroom if you don't already have one. Showers are more accessible than tubs, and they also reduce water usage. Short showers typically use as little as a quarter of the water that it takes to run a bath.

|When your home-improvement projects takes you outdoors, it is probably tempting to slip on a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite tunes. While this can be a good idea, you want to make sure you aren't using headphones, because you may not hear some things you need to hear, which could put your safety at risk.

|Fun is an important part of any project. While there are several times that you need to be careful and serious while working, you still need to enjoy completing it. If you aren't enjoying the project, it's more likely that you'll make mistakes. If this is the case for you, you may want to hire a professional.

|Take your time when doing demolition during a home renovation. Wall and cabinet structures need to be checked before tearing them down. Avoid expensive repair bills from damaged electrical wiring by carefully examining the area first.

|Dollar for dollar, an additional bathroom can really boost the value of your home. It is helpful to have a second bathroom, particularly if they are located on different floors of the home. It is more likely that more than 1 person will want to use a bathroom.

|If hard water is an issue for you, try this idea. Filter your water with a water softener. Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium deposits from water, which cause the hardness. You can try different types, such as liquid or tablets. Find the one that best suits you.

|When thinking about replacing the cabinets in your home, look to wood cabinets. Hard woods are incredibly resilient; they'll last for decades without breaking. Maple, cherry and oak are commonly used in cabinets. They all accept wood stains, and therefore it is quite simple to adjust their color.

|Instead of using a table lamp, choose a floor lamp; this will free up much-needed space on your nightstand. Floor lamps are easier to move around and table lamps use space on stands. There are many unique and interesting lamps to choose from.

|When repainting rooms in your house, look for no-VOC products. No-VOC paints are better for the environment as they don't contain many of the harmful chemicals found in traditional paints. You will not be able to tell a difference in the appearance of your walls and they are only slightly more expensive.

Painting your walls will give your house a refreshing atmosphere without spending a lot of money. Visit your local home improvement center to look at paint samples. Find the ones that are fun and exciting for you! If you don't love it, you can paint over it.

|If you are considering a renovation that will add additional income property to your home, you need to do the math to make sure the numbers work prior to starting construction. To make a renovation worth the cost, it needs to pay for itself within the next two years. Stick to your budget!

|If you are hiring a contractor to perform your home improvement work, it is important to keep records. Don't make the assumption that this is the contractor's responsibility. Hold onto any contracts, invoices, receipts and other paperwork related to your home improvement project. Then you and the contractor can just focus on completing the project.

|Before painting your home's walls, thoroughly clean them. That will help the paint stick better and may help you avoid the need for a second coat.

|Putting in a new floor is always worth considering. Some flooring options can be more costly, but the long term investment is well worth it. Replacing your carpet or vinyl floors with hardwood or tile is an attractive upgrade which will increase your home's value.

|Watch for carpet installation sales at local locations of national home improvement retailers. Often, the store will provide installation very cheaply, in order to encourage buyers. This is a huge savings since installation and labor can often exceed the price of the carpet.

|Look into different types of insulation when you are thinking of residing your home. There are several different types available, with varying prices associated with each. Compare the costs to find the best fit for you.

|If you are looking to create a sense of tranquility in your rooms, choose light as air colors such as light purple, light green or light blue. Use the light fabrics such as linen or cotton rather than dark brocades and heavy fabrics. Put some potpourri around the house or some candles with scents, this will create a peaceful environment.

|Before giving the inside of your cabinets a thorough cleaning, swipe the vacuum cleaner in there first. This removes the dust, dirt and anything else that may be lingering inside. Use soap and water to scrub your shelves and cabinets clean. Remember to start with the highest shelves and work downwards; this minimizes the amount of work you have to do. After cleaning, replace the cabinet liners and work on repairing any sagging shelves.

|Save money by purchasing a drain snake. It will save you money on expensive and toxic drain cleaners. At first, you might need to have a pro show you the right way to use the snake; they aren't for complete novices. Drains and pipes come in different sizes, so buy the right drain snake for the job to minimize damage occurring.

Before you buy blinds, you should measure them. If you do not measure the windows you may not be able to properly install the blinds. There are so many different sizes of window treatments, and also different ways of hanging them.

|It is not necessarily the best option to choose the contractor who bids the lowest. It may seem lucky, but some people promise low prices and ramp them up once they have the job. Others will perform shoddy craftsmanship that reflects the price you paid. Research the needed work ahead of time and use what you learn to pick the best contractor for the job.

|If your house has a deck, look for signs which let you know when repairs are needed. Check for uneven boards, cracked wood, dry rot or nails and screws that protrude from the wood.

|It is never a bad idea to spend some time preparing to make improvements to your home. Before an interior painting job, all of the room's furnishings need to be moved out or properly covered. Paint can ruin any furniture it comes in contact with. Use sheets to protect your furniture from splatters and drips.

|You need to do research and find out how much your materials will cost before you begin. It is possible to save money when materials are purchased in bulk. You may also have to order special materials or equipment in advance. If they aren't ordered in advance, they could hold up the whole project.

|Installing insulation in the attic is a great way to cut the cost of heating and cooling a home. Because heat rises, a massive amount of heat can be lost by houses that have bad insulation, especially during autumn and winter. You can purchase this insulation at a hardware shop and you will be able to install it yourself.

|Less glamorous projects can be some of the most overlooked. For example, many people ignore the importance of maintaining their gutters, chimneys and downspouts. The safety of your home depends on the proper cleaning and repair of these essential items. If not regularly cleaned, your chimney could catch fire, and clogged gutters could lead to severe water damage.

|When you start a kitchen renovation, make certain that the water supply has been turned off. While this should be obvious, too many homeowners forget to turn the water supply off. As a result, they end up with floods and rooms that require further renovating to repair water damage.

|Home improvement can have many different meanings, and can be accomplished on nearly any budget. If you cannot afford to start major projects, focus on making your home more valuable through small projects. You could for instance paint your home or replace floors.

|Use some varnish and wallpaper to make a back splash in the kitchen. Select wallpaper that you like. Measure your wall space and cut your paper a little large. Apply paste and make it stand there for a few minutes. Always use a wet but not dripping wet sponge to smooth wallpaper as you hang it on the wall to avoid unevenness in its surface. At this point, you can trim excess paper from the edges for an optimal fit. Apply your varnish with a brush. Following these steps put you quickly enjoying a new back-splash that was inexpensive to create.

When doing home improvement projects, you must have the proper tools. The right tool makes the doing much faster, easier and ensures that the job is done right. It is also important that you know how to ptoperly use the tools your are going to be dealing with.

|Spend time once a week to dust all home accessories. Dust will build up and you may have allergies that make you sick. Regular cleaning eradicates dust, but also keeps your home free from ants, fleas and other pests.

|If you use mud for drywall you can put texture on your walls and hide problems. It is easy to create texture. Apply drywall mud with a trowel and use a sponge or a brush to spread it and create your own texture.

|If you are planning major renovations around the home, consider hiring a professional to assist you in planning. Unless you are a professional, your plans may not contain the correct function. However, having a professional put together the plans will help avoid problems with safety regulations and codes, later on. That saves money and time.

|Give your bathroom a new glaze. A fresh glaze could make a worn out bathroom look new and shiny. Replacing your bathroom's fixtures or floors can cost a lot of money, but it usually doesn't take more than a couple hundred bucks to glaze a bathroom. A great way to improve your bathroom's appearance is with some fresh glaze.

|Make sure you allocate an area for the debris to go when a large project is being undertaken. If there is demolition involved, it makes quite a mess, and the debris has to be put somewhere. By finding space for it beforehand, you will not have to deal with a lot of debris getting in the way.

|If you have cabinets that need to be redone and you do not have a lot of money think about redoing the faces of them. It can be pretty expensive to replace all the cabinets in your kitchen. A more affordable alternative is to refinish the front of the cabinetry. Your kitchen will look fresh and new and you won't have to spend a fortune.

|Look for and watch "how to" videos regarding the job you want to do. Try to be as specific as possible when it comes to the model numbers. You will be surprised how many people may have had the same trouble you are having, then videotaped their solution and uploaded it to the web. You'll be able to take on bigger challenges by learning from these videos.

|Painting is an affordable way to give a room a fresh look quickly and easily. Go to a local hardware shop and try to look for paint chips. Pick the ones that you love best, and take a chance! You can always paint over what you do not like!

|Think about your surroundings and the environment you live in before you make any improvements to your home, but make sure you consider adding adequate fencing. This will prevent curious animals such as coyotes, rabbits and skunks away - specifically if you want to have a garden.

When your home improvement plans call for major bathroom renovations, do yourself a favor and make plans to make your bathrooms handicap-accessible. It's not necessary to make the full conversion, but if you prepare for it, it can save time if a handicap accessible bathroom should be needed. If you put your home on the market, these modifications will increase its market value.

|Browse magazines and attend local shows for great home-improvement ideas. Once you've begun to prioritize projects you'd like to accomplish, you can organize a task and materials list in order to reduce stress when you decide to begin your project. Plan ahead of time and buy material and equipment little by little to cut down on costs.

|You should hire a professional to inspect and clean your chimney. Any fireplace that is used on a regular basis needs an inspection from time to time to make sure the chimney is clean and the airways vent properly. You definitely want to avoid toxic fume build-up, not to mention avoiding a chimney fire!

|Demand a formal contract that is signed by both you and your contractor before any work is started. If at all possible have the contract reviewed by a lawyer before proceeding. You want to ensure that all terms are clearly defined in the contact, such as warranty facts, specifics of the work expected, cost and project dates.

|Stay safe when doing home improvement projects! When working around kitchens, fireplaces, basements or fixtures with gas lines, turn off your gas line. It can be very dangerous to do construction in areas where gas is present. Make sure you know where the shutoff valve is! Also, be sure you know where the gas lines are so you do not inadvertently hit one.

|If you are seriously considering buying a home, get it inspected by a professional. This way, you'll be clear on what repairs or replacements need to be made. Hiring an inspector is a great way to keep arguments about what needs to be fixed to a minimum.

|Before committing to a renovation, you must always verify that the project works well with the specifics of your environment. For instance, if you reside in an area that's windy building a deck is not advisable. If you don't take the weather into account when making your improvement, you may be stuck with an improvement that is useless.

|Prior to starting a home improvement project, try to plan out how much money you will be spending. It is smart to do a home improvement project in which you get the biggest return for your investment. It is known that all projects are not equal in cost and effort. Find out what home improvement projects have the potential to give you the best and highest return.

|To give your house more curb appeal, you can try to paint the doors for your garage. Garage doors often get scratched or get dingy so a fresh coat of paint is a simple solution. A new coat of paint helps make your house look new and more valueable. Try choosing a color that will compliment your home for use on your garage door.

|Consider the way you will handle the disposal of debris before you begin your home improvement project. Rubbish removal can become expensive, so plan ahead for how you will handle the debris and keep your project on schedule.

Your vision of new home improvements can be turned into reality, with the help of the advice above. By gaining the right knowledge, you are giving yourself the confidence to get started on any home improvement project.




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