Home Renovation – Weatherstripping For Windows

With winter fast approaching, many homeowners are looking for ways to cut down on drafts in order to keep warm and maintain a handle on energy costs. One of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways for homeowners to cut down on energy consumption, and one of the first Energy Star home renovation recommendations is to seal all windows. Energy Star estimates that homeowners can save as much as 10 percent on their annual heating and cooling bills with an effective sealing and insulating home improvement project.

Having checked their windows for air leaks, homeowners will need to consider a number of factors before heading off to purchase weatherstripping. In order to determine how much weatherstripping a home will need, homeowners will need to measure the perimeters of all windows in the house, and then add approximately 10 percent to their figure to account for waste and cutting mistakes.

With an amount of weatherstripping in mind, homeowners must choose the type of weatherstripping that they wish to use. There are a number of options available, but the most important rule here is one of common sense – homeowners must consider the use of the window which they are sealing when considering a type of weatherstripping for their home improvement project. For example, weatherstripping destined for a window sash must take into consideration the fact that the window still has to be able to freely slide up and down to open and close. Therefore, the weatherstripping must be thin enough to allow the window to open and close, while still sealing well when the window is closed. Likewise, due to their differing movements, casement windows will likely require a different type of weatherstripping, one that allows them to be cranked closed easily.

The next step in this home renovation window-sealing project is to determine what material weatherstripping will best suit the needs of the homeowners. This is where things can get a bit complicated, as there are a myriad of options here. One idea is to select a material based on the location of the window. For example, open-cell foam and felt foam weatherstripping are usually susceptible to weather, visible, and somewhat inefficient, however, they are also extremely cheap, making them a good option for windows that are not often used and do not have serious problems with drafts. Vinyl weatherstripping is more expensive, but is far more durable and moisture resistant, making it a good option for wet climates and windows that receive a great deal of use.

Other popular options for windows include tape, which is cheap and easy to install, although not very durable, and magnetic weatherstripping, which is an excellent sealant, and virtually indestructible, although one of the most expensive options available. In the middle with regard to durability are reinforced silicone, fin seals, and tension seals, amongst others.

Upon choosing a material, homeowners are ready to install their weatherstripping. This is generally a simple process, with common sense dictating a couple of tips. The first … Read More

Shoot Life Into Your Kitchen – The Inexpensive Method

These are some harsh economic times we’re going through in this day and age: the stock market has crashed and is recovering, unemployment rates are uncommonly high, and the housing sector is seeing some of it’s worst years yet. Now even though things are going bad, they’re not as bad as they seem, seeing how most people still have the time and money to care about sprucing up their home. Because most people these days cannot afford to spend a fortune to renovate their kitchen cabinets, a newer alternative has been opened up: RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinetry. These cabinets are God’s gift to the cabinet industry, since they offer the same quality as their counterparts except that they come at a lesser and more affordable price because instead of having a worker assemble your cabinets, you’re required to do that yourself.

If however you’re not exactly willing to spend any money on new appliances and furniture, but still would like to spruce the place up a bit, then you can always go for cabinet redesigning. It consists of modifying your existing cabinets in simple ways which anyone can follow. It’s a very cost-effective way of shooting life back into your kitchen and can be performed on any type of cabinet as long as it’s still in adequate condition.

But how should you go about redesigning your kitchen precisely? For starters, you need a good plan which you can find on any reputable home improvement website. Just search for a kitchen cabinet redesign plan and you will find a multitude of them. Since most of them are very similar, seeing as how they’re made to cater to the general public and not specific cases, you can take your pick without having too much to worry about. After browsing some home renovation magazines and getting some reliable advice from experts as to what design and style you should go with, proceed onward with the plan which at this stage usually tells you to calculate the space available for redesigning.… Read More

Bathroom Remodeling – Tiles Design

For a vast amount of people, decorating a home is symbolism of boring and/or difficult labor to be endured. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there really is no way of getting around this, and you’ll have to simply make the best of the situation. One thing which can help you tremendously is a design plan for your bathroom. In it you should have all the measurements, dimensions, a list of hardware to replace, a list of accessories and materials to purchase, your available budget, the physical layout of the various … If your goal is to really provide a fresh look for your house rather than to perform some simple repairs, then keep in mind that one of the major factors when it comes to providing a home with a makeover is the design of the tiles. Most bathrooms are usually covered for the most part in those tiles, and having them designed properly is the perfect way to breathe some character in your restroom.

The best sources for home improvement projects are often said to be catalogs and magazines. Since most of these magazines aim to help you accomplish the work yourself, you are presented with a vast plethora of different designs and ideas which you can use and combine to shape your own little palace just the way you like it.

If you’re one of those people who would prefer seeing what he/she is about to buy, then perhaps it would be better if you attended actual DIY shows where many intriguing and elegant models are placed on display.

Lastly, you can and always should use your contractor to discuss ideas and what changes you can possibly bring to the current state of things. Remember that a professional’s opinion is always valuable, regardless of the field he/she practices in.… Read More

Painting – The Tools of the Trade, Make the Trade

Last time we talked about the importance of purchasing good tools for your painting project. So you’ve gone out and spent $20 on a good brush, and $8 on a good roller. The other tools don’t matter as much, but I still wouldn’t go to your local dollar store to get them. These other tools include a roller cage, a roller tray, and, here it is, a 6 in 1 tool. This last tool is the secret sauce for painting efficiently and keeping your tools clean for the next coat and for months, even years to come. So, like promised, we’ll talk about this amazing tool.

The 6 in 1 tool, made by Richard (there are others, that one is just my favorite), is not a tool that looks like it could make that much of a difference, but trust me on this one – it does. The tool is sort of hard to describe, but it’s got a flat surface on the top, with a point on the right side (I guess it depends which way you hold it though) and another flat spot on the left side. It then has a large round inside curve that comes down to meet the handle. At the bottom of the handle, is a solid piece of metal. Nothing special, that’s all there is to it. But instead of calling it the 6 in 1 tool, I recommend they rename it the 100 in 1 tool. Here’s why.

There doesn’t seem like a job that I don’t use this tool for, though right now we’re going to talk about its uses in painting. The top flat surface is for scraping debris off the wall. The point on the right side is for gouging those hard to reach areas, or to help clean your paint brush if there’s crusted paint on it, (this is probably the least used part of the tool). The other flat part on the left side is used to pry open things, namely paint can lids. The curve part is for cleaning the paint from the roller sleeve when you are finished painting or want to switch to a new color. By scraping down the roller sleeve you can put a lot of paint back into the paint can that would otherwise be washed down the drain.

That part is one of the things that got me the most excited about the tool. I don’t have to waste all of that paint when I’m finished painting! This also serves to make cleanup far faster and can, in the end, help the environment by not putting more chemicals down the drain. This tool is looking pretty good so far, isn’t it. The last part of the tool is the steel at the bottom of the handle. What do you do when you’re ready to close the paint can lid, and you don’t have a rubber mallet handy? Hit it with the bottom of the handle, it really is … Read More

Checking Off Major Home Improvement Projects for Holiday Times

You never want any distractions during the holiday season, so tackling any and all home improvement projects on the agenda beforehand is recommended. Take a major sweep of your home and think of what could go very wrong in those yuletide moments. Would you be able to survive an HVAC breakdown or a faulty refrigerator? It is unlikely, so you could have your work cut out for you. Make sure you have the following five home improvement checks out of the way so the holidays will play out in style.

1. HVAC gut checks. If you don’t know the status of your heating and cooling center by the time Santa is warming up his crew, you are playing with fire. Make sure there aren’t any surprises when you settle in for the winter. Can you imagine what it would be like dealing with a broken system while everyone is gathering around the tree? Needless to say, it would not be a big hit with the in-laws or any other guests you might have.

2. Kitchen renovation. You should also head down to the center of cooking and cleaning to see where you stand as the holidays approach. A problem with your stove could very well spell disaster when you are about to cook one of the big feasts with which we associate the holidays. Pull out a thermometer and see how your oven is performing, while seeing just how cold your refrigerator is as well. These things don’t fix their own problems, so you should know where you stand.

3. Insulation cleanup. The type and quality of insulation you have is directly related to the amount of comfort you are feeling when you sit down to your holiday dinners. Is it going to fly if you have a draft coming from the front or back door? Absolutely not: you don’t want to tempt fate on any level, so have an expert clean up the insulation in all of your main rooms. In fact, have him or her head to the attic, one of the big problem spots.

4. Fireplace setup. Is there anything that says ‘holiday tranquility’ quite like everyone gathering around the fireplace? It’s tough to top. Forget about the marshmallows; make sure you have your pokers ready and the logs ready to be burned in style. Don’t opt for those creepy chemical logs. Go for the real thing only. The aromas are natural and have a far different nose than the artificial options.

5. Window replacement. Going hand in hand with items like insulation are the actual windows in your home. If they no longer can keep out the cold, with or without insulation, they have to be replaced. Check out the different options from window companies, as you might be able to get the same exact model, whether or not your windows are antique or much newer. In only rare cases are exact matches impossible.… Read More