Your priceless home needs home improvement

Not many of us will be fortunate enough to inherit a priceless old house in the middle of a sprawling acreage. Just imagine what you can do with flowers and shrubs and herbs and trees if only you have the space and the time. But we have to do with whatever fortune sent our way … Continue reading Your priceless home needs home improvement

Not many of us will be fortunate enough to inherit a priceless old house in the middle of a sprawling acreage. Just imagine what you can do with flowers and shrubs and herbs and trees if only you have the space and the time. But we have to do with whatever fortune sent our way and make our home priceless and as beautiful as it can be with updated home improvement.

With all those novel products and ideas flooding the market, you have a heart of stone if you can resist doing your home renovation today. With the huge stores offering do-it-yourself home accessories, fixtures and all kinds of home improvement novelties, you will surely find something that will set you thinking. Dont you just love those silver-plated numbers to put on your door, with a matching door handle and a new doorbell with the lighted visitors button to impress guests and visitors to your home? You can also choose a vintage glass doorknob sparkler. If you are doing the doorknob sparkler indoors, it would be nice to change all doorknobs so they will glitter and sparkle in your hallway in different colors.

You can find reliable general contractors to renovate your kitchen and laundry room as the plumbing and dryer venting may prove to be a complicated job for a do-it-yourself project. However, if you just need sprucing up, you can gain storage space by installing second hand cabinets yourself and painting them for fun yourself. Wood can be sanded down and finished with mineral oil for the sleek look. A row of great looking stainless steel or chrome plated utility hooks wall-mounted above the kitchen counter will provide holders for your measuring cups and dish towels and keep your working spaces tidy.

The bathroom is one of the places in the home that will benefit from home renovation done by professional contractors as there are always new gadgets and innovations in the market for bathroom fixtures and furnishings. There are new water saving dual-flush toilet for example; but there are also new snap-on systems that works just like the dual-flush system so homeowners do not really have to retro-fit their old toilets. If home renovation will prove expensive, people always have cheaper choices for home improvement.

These years, baby boomers have reached the age of retirement, and the market have responded by providing innovative products to meet the needs of this huge segment of the aging population. Designer Grab Bars are sold in the market to provide a good grip in the bathroom, while letting the elders keep their dignity because the fixtures are so stylish and a far cry from the expected nursing-home look.

Some example of home improvement projects you can undertake yourself without depending on contractors is painting your own front door. You can brush in a vibrant color like exterior latex house paint in red to make your entry more welcoming. You can also add a shelf above an indoor doorway and display pieces of your precious collection on it after painting it and the door trim. They are easy to install using wooden brackets. However, if you want to renovate and paint the whole house, you will need the services of reliable, dependable and well-recommended contractors.

How to Choose Shower Bathroom Accessories

How to Choose Shower Bathroom Accessories
How do I choose the right shower?
When choosing the right shower you have to decide what your needs are. There are many types of showers to choose from, like handheld showers. Overhead showers are another type of shower you may want to consider. You may also want to consider the massage handheld showerheads, especially if you have back, leg, or related problems. Massage devices are great for relieving stress.

What should I know about a handheld shower?
Handheld showers come in many different stlyles. You can get handheld showers to massage your body. The showers enable you to adjust hard water, adjusting it to a light mist. In this case, you are able to set the water to the desired level. Size counts, so you want to consider the size in addition to the water pressure. The water pressure comes from the showerhead, which you want to consider bathroom accessories that you can adjust.

How do I choose?
Handheld showers give you a variety of reasons to choose the bathroom accessory. If you have a handicap, or have someone handicap in your home, the handheld showers give you or the person the option of controlling water pressure, movement, etc. If you are a caregiver, the handheld shower is idea, since you can use one hand to hold up your patient and the other to control the handheld. You can also put a bath chair in the tub for the person to rest, or for your self and relax while the water dribbles down your flesh. The handheld showers are nice also, since you can rinse your hair. It is frustrating when taking a bath, and dipping your head in dirty water to rinse. The handheld shower takes care of this.

How must do the handheld showers cost?
Some showerheads do not cost much, yet some showerheads can cost a small fortune. It depends on where you shop, or what type of device you purchase. Most of the time, you can pick the showerheads up at your local hardware stores or maybe at Wal-Mart

How do I install my handheld shower?
When installing your handheld shower there should be instructions to help you out but if not.its not hard to do. The handheld showers typically hook up to your facet. You will likely have a small clamp, which mounts to the side of your shower wall. If you need to drill holes, make sure that you use a bond to seal the holes, securing it. If the holes fill with water, it can rust your walls. You can use liquid cement or a silicone to seal the holes. This will stop the water from going in the holes

How do I maintain my handheld shower?
Maintenance isnt hard to do, but like all showers, there s some maintenance required. Still, the only thing you have to do is watch for rust build up and the lime. If this happens you can go to your local hardware store and get a cleaner that will take care of this problem for you.

How can I protect my handheld shower?
When you want to cover the shower, you can always use a shower curtain to hide the shower. Shower curtains come in many colors and patterns.
You will be able to find shower curtains to match your style of bathroom. You can find shower curtains in all stores.

Once you choose your showerhead and curtains, you may want to go online and view images of other bathroom accessories. You can find additional items online, which can enhance your atmosphere.

Buying Homes with Resale Value

View is the one of the major factors that affects the resale value when buying homes. Buying homes with a pleasant view of a beach or the horizon often sell at a premium above similar homes without the view.

Though you may place a considerable dollar value on the view, future buyers may not be so like-minded. It may take you longer to find a buyer when it comes time to resell the house. Or you may end up dropping your price to more nearly match other sales prices in the neighborhood.

In short, if you are buying a house with a view, try to pay as little extra as possible. Otherwise, you might not get your money back.

Most real homes today are usually concentrated on the building itself but the lot is important too. Home with a good resale value should have lots that are as level as possible.

Assuming the property is in a typical neighborhood, the lot should be rectangular no odd shaped lots or oddly situated lots.

Courtyard sizes are smaller in modern homes than in older homes, but there should still be a decently sized front and back yard.

Do not buy an over-landscaped property, either. You would normally pay a premium for that, which you may not be able to recover when you sell. You will get your best value if the house is moderately landscaped or under-landscaped for the area.

You can always perk up the landscaping during your ownership by humanizing the grass and adding bushes and trees. Just do not waste too much.

In each residential neighborhood, houses will vary in size and rooms, but they should not be too different. If resale value is an important consideration, you should not buy the largest model in the neighborhood.

When determining market value, the homes nearest to yours are most important. If most of the nearby houses are smaller than your house, they can act as a drag on appreciation.

On the other hand, if you buy a small or medium house for the neighborhood, the larger homes can help pull up your value. This is one of those times where determining your “wants” versus your “needs” can be extremely important.

Buying what you need in a more prestigious neighborhood may provide more financial reward than getting what you want in a less desirable neighborhood.

Three and four bedroom houses are the most popular among homebuyers, so if you can stick in that range you will have more potential buyers when it comes time to resell.

There ought to always be at least two bathrooms in a house, preferably at least two and a half. One bathroom with a place to wash up for day-to-day visitors, one for the master bedroom, and at least one to be shared by the other bedrooms.

Walk-in closets are extremely desirable for the master bedroom. For the rest of the house, just be sure there is ample closet space. Dont disregard space for linens and towels.

Garages add to the resale value and you should always make sure to get at least a two-car garage. Lately, three-car garages have become desirable in some areas of the country.

The laundry facilities should be located somewhere convenient on the main floor of the house, but not in a place it will create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.

Family activity centers on the kitchen, so this is the most important room of the house. Larger kitchens are better, and they should be provided with modern appliances.

Obviously, the dining room and breakfast nook should be located adjacent to the kitchen. In newer houses, the family room should also be extremely close to the kitchen.

There should be easy access to the back yard, as there will be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining.

In addition, it should be a short trek between the garage to the kitchen so hauling groceries in from the car does not become a horrendous chore.

Swimming pools do not provide as much added value as they once did. Safety issues about families with younger children have become more publicized than in the past, so families with small children tend to avoid homes with pools.

As a result, having a pool may actually reduce the number of potential homebuyers when you try to resell the home.

Landscape Gardening – 8 Tips to Wow Your Neighbors

1. Planning your landscape is like painting a picture on canvas. Just like your art teacher in high school told you – have a main point of interest and add several sub points to make your beautiful landscape more interesting. You imagine it in your mind, draw sketches and fill in all the details that youve dreamed of. Keep revising your sketch until it looks like the picture you have in mind.

2. Not feeling very artistic? If youre a more concrete person, try laying out garden hoses or heavy string in your yard to get a feel for how and where you want to divide up your space. Remember to think balance, not symmetry. Some people think that they have to plant trees and flowers in straight, boring rows. Tip: pick an odd number when planting trees or flowers. With flowers, plant several of the same plant in groups to make a large color splash. Better to have a few, well chosen, bold splashes of color than to have tiny spots of color spread all over a large area.

3. If youre having a hard time thinking of what your chief point of interest can be, close your eyes and think about what you like most about your yard. Is there a tall, solo pine tree, a grouping of birch trees, a rocky ledge, an old weathered fence or something else that catches your eye? If you cant find something of interest thats already in place, think about adding something that you admire from a picture in a magazine or something that caught your eye when you were driving through a beautiful neighborhood. Tip: do NOT copy something that your next door neighbor is doing. They wont appreciate it and it wont look nearly as special if both of you are going for the same effect.

4. Still cant think of a chief point of interest? What about creating a spot for a water fall? Not a pond thats old news! With a re-cycling water fall, you dont have to worry about standing pond water or algae. Just pick some interesting rocks or boulders of varying sizes, arrange them to cascade down a slope, add plants and water. Viola! Or, how about a rock path winding through your yard? Or a rock wall of native stone to create interest?

5. If you choose a tree or group of trees to be your main point of interest, dont center them in your yard. Its far more interesting to place them a bit off center. Dont choose a huge, overpowering tree; the tree should have a good shape, with something interesting about its bark, leaves, seed pods, flowers or fruit. Tip: while the poplar is a striking tree and a rapid grower, it sheds its leaves early and so is left standing with bare branches in early fall. The poplar makes a better choice for a backyard tree or when creating a dividing space between your yard and your neighbors. Good choices for trees are the mountain ash with bright berries, the brilliant leaves of the sugar maple or the bark of the white birch, which all add interest to your total landscape.

6. It is always best to choose trees and shrubs that thrive in your local climate. Its tempting to choose something exotic out of a catalog but youll be unhappy if the tree you choose is not right for your climate. Trees are a big investment, choose wisely.

7. Flowering vines can also be used to create interest. Whether you choose an ivy to climb the bricks on your house or a trumpet vine to wind around an old weathered fence along side your house, both can be used as sub points to accent your main point of interest. Tip: perennial vines can be used to form a permanent addition to your landscape scheme. The Virginia creeper, wisteria, honeysuckle, a climbing rose or clematis all make excellent choices for creating interest and can be used to minimize minor imperfections in walls.

8. And for a final flair, add a colorful flag to your landscape design. Whether you choose a whimsical, garden flag or a majestic, patriotic American Flag, both will create interest and add color to your landscape. Tip: choose polyester for greatest durability of a flag that is flown daily. Choose nylon flags for flying in the lightest breeze. There are several new, flag hanger styles available if you dont already have a flag pole in your yard. The spinning flagpole mounts on your house, deck or mailbox post, and is designed to keep your flag from wrapping. And the telescoping flagpole easily extends up to 20 feet in seconds or down to 7 feet for portability.

Housecleaning Shortcuts that Slash your Time

Housecleaning Shortcuts that Slash your Time
Sometimes it seems like housecleaning is a never-ending, time-consuming chore. Just when we thought we had a day or two off from work, then we have to spend our free time cleaning instead. However, housecleaning doesn’t have to consume your free time. With some clever ideas and time-saving actions, you can slash your cleaning time and have time to spend with your family doing the things you enjoy the most.
Instead of spending an entire day or weekend cleaning, clean half the house, or one story of a two-story, on one day or afternoon; clean the other half or other story on another afternoon. Reserve a block of time for the attic, basement, or garage.
Try dusting cloth lampshades with a lint roller. It works quickly and effectively and you don’t have to drag out the vacuum and hook up the hoses and attachments. And old sock slipped over your hand makes a great dusting cloth to dust furniture with while cleaning the shades.
Newspaper works great for cleaning mirrors and windows. You’ll not only be saving money on paper towels, but you’ll be creatively recycling at the same time. Vinegar is an affordable and effective cleaner that can be used on windows and mirrors, and if you wait for an overcast day to clean your windows and mirrors, you’re less likely to have streaks.
Soak your toilet with a deep cleaning bowl cleanser while cleaning the outside. The inside dirt and stains will be loosened and more easily cleaned. By using a drop-in cleaner, you can extend the time between scrubbings.
Use a baking soda solution to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator. It scrubs and eliminates odors without damaging surfaces.
When you begin cooking, run a sink of hot soapy water, and wash as you go. Food on dishes won’t have a chance to harden, and you’ll be that much ahead when the meal is done. Make sure you’ve got plenty of paper plates and disposable flatware and cups on hand for those nights when your evening schedule is jam-packed with activities

A Second Home: Take it or Leave it?

For many, wanderlust is just a part of life. You buy a beautiful home somewhere, settle down, have a family, but there is always a part of you thats itching to get away. Vacations are part of that wanderlust; the chance to get away someplace beautiful. And then you see it. The local newspaper at your vacation destination, and lo and behold, there is a real estate section right there. Dare you even look? You cant afford it, can you? Two homes? Is dual home ownership for you?

A second home can work for you, but you have to go into the process knowing what to expect. If youre looking to get rich quick, dont count on it. According to recent data, the price of real estate in areas that are deemed Vacation Markets has risen twice as fast as real estate in other areas. So, not only is a second home in your destination of choice going to cost you a pretty penny, its no longer a well-kept secret anymore and the chances of you flipping it to make a quick buck are slim.

The best piece of advice a possible vacation home buyer can heed right now is to buy for love not for money. Recent sharp downturns in vacation markets like Naples, Florida, Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, have shown that trying to turn a profit in a vacation market is close to impossible. But there is a bright side to all of this. With the housing bubble going poof all across the country, those that are looking to sell will be doing so at lower prices. Now could be a great time to buy a place that youre planning on keeping for a long while.

But how do you know if you have your head on straight about the whole thing? Well, take some time and evaluate the pluses and minuses of buying another home. Once youve decided on a area, spend some time there to make sure you like it. If its going to be a vacation home, youll want the scenery to be relaxing (if thats what youre looking for) or exciting (if thats what you go on vacation to experience). A final check should be the bottom-line cost. If the price of the two houses makes up more than one third of your total income, youve spent too much.

Buying property is a huge investment for everyone, even the rich. Take the time to properly evaluate the pros and cons before you decide to own a second home or you could find yourself on a permanent vacation.