5 Home Upgrades to Avoid Doing Yourself

As a homeowner, you may think that you can handle any home improvement project without professional assistance. That’s because there are main DIY guides online and tutorials. DIY projects may seem like great ways of saving money but they can end up costing you even more. Here are home improvements that you should never attempt to do yourself.

  1. Reinstalling or Refinishing Hardwood Floors

If you have hardwood floors in your home, don’t try to refinish or reinstall them without professional assistance. In most cases, homeowners that attempt to do these renovations without professional assistance end up spending more money and regretting.

  1. Re-installing or Replacing Carpeting

This may seem easy because you can even get a guide for installing or replacing carpet from the product manufacturer. However, this is not the case. If you are not experienced in re-installing or replacing home carpeting, you can damage both the old and the new carpeting. Even worse, you can damage the flooring while removing the old carpeting.

  1. Refinishing the Attic or Basement

Refinishing a basement that you don’t use and transforming it into an extra room is a good idea. In fact, it may seem easy if you know your home well. Similarly, repairing or refinishing the attic might seem simple. Unfortunately, you can damage the foundation of your home while working on the basement. Foundation damage can lead to serious structural problems in your home. Additionally, you can fall and sustain serious injuries when working on the attic. That’s why you should never attempt to work on your basement or the attic without professional assistance.

  1. Refinishing or Re-facing Bathroom or Kitchen Cabinetry

This may seem easy but it is not. If you attempt to work on the bathroom or kitchen cabinetry, you can easily damage it if you don’t have the necessary skills, tools or experience. The damage can even necessitate replacement of the entire cabinetry.

  1. Room Expansion or Addition

If you attempt to expand a room in your home without expert’s help, you can cause structural damage to your home. This will cost more to repair and bring inconvenience in your home.

Some of these renovations may seem simple. However, if something goes wrong when you try to do them on your own, the repercussions will be costly and regrettable. Consider hiring professional contractors to complete these jobs for you. Experience is an asset in this case, so be sure to choose the appropriate company for each project. Also, receiving a home inspection beforehand will not only help give you further education about the jobs, but most local inspectors know a lot of the businesses you would be looking to hire and would be able to refer you to the most qualified.

This article was brought to you by TrueView Home Inspections. You can learn more about proper inspections & how to approach renovations here: www.trueviewhomeinspections.ca.

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Hire a home designer to look at your home & give insight

It is finally the time you have been looking forward to. You have given it quite a bit of thought and planning, made all the sketches and gathered photos and are now are ready to build your new home. The problem is that most builders will not work from sketches and photos. And to aggravate the matter, not only does your local building inspector require specific technical working drawings, but so does the subdivision planning review board.

The solution is to hire a home designer. These professionals are trained to take your ideas and hopes and put them to a working drawing. Not only drawing the plan, but also helping you to put the right design elements into your home to give it a beauty and charm that reflects your personality and taste. A home designer, also known as an architectural designer, is trained with the skills needed to make sure your home meets codes and is functional.

Once you have found a designer, there are several things you will want to discuss with him or her. The first is your budget. An experienced designer will know how to keep you within your spending limits. I personally have met with clients that had elaborate kitchen designs which went well beyond the expected amount of money allowed for its construction. The solution was that we found a cabinet builder who made the same type of cabinets the clients were wanting at a fraction of the cost that the national brand asked for theirs.

Another thing would be your sketches of the proposed layout of the home. Some people do not realize that the single line drawings they made of their plan will loose four inches or better when the wall thicknesses are properly drawn. Space, among many other things is sometimes misunderstood or improperly account for.

For instance, you may be expecting a ten foot by ten foot room but after the wall thickness is added, the room ends up something like nine feet four inches by nine feet eight inches. The designer will posses the skill to gain this lost area back to the planned size but rest assured, it will be at the cost of some other room or area of the home. Make sure to spend time discussing the layout so that you are happy with the finished product and its dimensions. There are many other things that will be involved in the final design of your home that I am sure your designer will mention. Always try to be available to your designer should they have questions as this will make things flow more smoothly to a finished product.

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Efficient Lighting in Your Home

If you think that energy efficient lighting seems a lot more confusing than lighting used to be, you are not alone. But in truth modern lighting has a lot more to commend it than the old style light bulbs we all used to have. More and more homes are using energy efficient lighting now, but since it is still early days it isn’t yet easy to see how much more beneficial they are. But as you will see they are much better than having traditional lighting – and it doesn’t take long to really see the benefits. Sometimes it can seem as if you are spending more on energy efficient lighting than you used to on old style light bulbs. But when you bear everything in mind this isn’t the case. For starters the prices of new style light bulbs have reduced significantly over recent years, so the difference is not as pronounced as it used to be.

As technology has developed in this arena you will find there is now a wider choice of energy efficient lighting available as well. For example you weren’t able to get bulbs to use with dimmer switches initially, but nowadays you can. This means the original excuse of not using them because they weren’t versatile enough has disappeared.

And of course since they are efficient with energy they are also less expensive to use. This may not be a difference you will notice on a day to day basis, but over time you will certainly notice the difference reflected in your bills. So the small additional cost of buying these kinds of bulbs in the first place can soon be recouped in more ways than one.

If you don’t yet have energy efficient lighting in your home there has never been a better time to get started. The best route is to take one room at a time and figure out how many lights you have and which energy efficient bulbs you need to buy. Write down which bulbs you currently use and their wattage. This way, you can always ask for assistance in buying the right replacement bulbs for your needs. Energy efficient lighting is one of the best money and energy saving developments of recent years. So make the most of it and ensure your home is as efficient as possible.

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Living room update – modern furniture & decor

Does your living room look like it came straight out of the seventies, or just have a worn-out look? If your living room is old and tired but there is little money to spend, don’t despair! There are lots of things you can do to spruce up the room and make it look new again without busting your budget. This article details many easy changes you can make to bring your living room back to life again.

Freshen up the walls

The easiest thing you can do to update the look of your living room is to change the walls. You may have the basic white or cream colored walls right now, or you may even have old paneling. Today, faux finishes add texture to the room, and the look is easily accomplished. To create beautiful walls, first paint them with the basic color you have chosen for the room. This can be a sand shade, soft blue, terracotta or any shade that you choose. Once complete, add the faux finish by using rubber stamps, a feather duster or a rag rolling technique. You can find instructions for completing nearly any faux finish online.

Revive your furniture

Is your furniture tired and worn out? As long as it is still structurally sound, there are a few things you can do to make it look new again. If your sofa and love seat have wood arms or other accents, you can either refinish them or give them a coat of paint. You may attempt to clean the fabric yourself if you like, or use slipcovers to give your furniture an entirely new appearance. Unlike the slipcovers of years ago, today you can find slipcovers that fit well and don’t look as though you have thrown a sheet over the sofa. Consider adding a few plush throw pillows that are boldly colored in any design that suits your decorating style. Stripes, checks, floral and geometric patterns all work as long as you choose colors that complement the room.

Find some old treasures

Many people don’t realize the great decorating sources they have right under their nose! Look in your basement or attic at things you have put away long ago. Old lamps, an antique trunk, accent tables and other things you find can often be renewed by giving them a fresh coat of paint or a new lamp shade. You may not realize it, but many paper lamp shades can be painted. If you have old lamps with a ceramic base, paint them and perform a little stenciling magic!

To further transform your living room, take out some old accents and accessories if you have a great deal of them. Too many accessories make a room look cluttered and messy. Use only a few boldly colored accents to add a splash of interest to the living room. As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” How true this is! You can find tons of great bargains at garage sales and flea markets. Just use your creative ideas to give them a new look. Take an old wooden accent table and give it a fresh coat of paint and you have an interesting new piece for your living room. Decorating on a tight budget is much easier if you just throw a little creativity and imagination into the mix.

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