7 Remodels You Always See on HGTV (and Why)

7 Remodels You Always See on HGTV (and Why)

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The home improvement revolution is here, and so it the desire to do things yourself, flip houses, and more. Entire television networks are dedicated to home improvement and beautification, and we watch religiously both to share in the success of others and to get ideas of our own.

To gather those ideas, here are seven of the most common remodels you see on HGTV and why.

Minor Bathroom Remodel

One of the primary reasons you often see a bathroom remodel on HGTV is the return you see on your investment. On average you recoup 103% of the cost of a bathroom remodel at the time of sale, and even if you are not selling, you see an great increase in livability.

How do you get even more return on your investment? Do the work yourself, reglaze or refinish your old tub, and use spray on texture to cover old wall damage before you paint.

A minor bathroom remodel is quite common and can quite simply transform your home.

Landscaping

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home, and even just making it look great from the outside. At the time of sale, most owners recoup 100% or more of their investment in landscaping, and are more likely to get full-price offers and sell quickly if they have great landscaping.

This can be as simple as hiring a lawn service and adding flowers, plants, and a few trees or trimming the bushes and trees you have now, weeding the flower beds and putting down fresh mulch, and fertilizing and aerating your lawn. Either way, landscaping is a common remodel that truly pays off.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Fairly often, the only thing your kitchen really needs is a simple cosmetic refresh, not a drastic change to the floor plan. This type of remodel makes it easy to recoup the cost. What is involved in this type of remodel?

  • Counter Tops: Old counters can easily be replaced with more modern ones that are also more sanitary and better for your health.
  • Door and drawer fronts: These are also easily replaced, and refreshing the knobs and hardware often changes the look of your kitchen entirely.
  • Appliances and fixtures: replace that fridge from 1995, or that range with a much better gas one, and you will easily recoup the cost if you are selling, and have a much more comfortable home if you are staying.

This type of remodel can be done at a fairly low cost, and will totally change the way you look at your cooking space.

Exterior Improvements

There are a ton of improvements you can do to the exterior of your home to update the look. On many home improvement shows, they kick in the old door, and take it out. A new door is the first step to a more inviting entry. The second is to dress up the porch with plants or add a pergola.

Painting, new siding, and new shutters and trim also add a value you can easily get back out of the home if you sell it. Removing old awnings and other outdated items works well also. The more you upgrade siding or paint, the more likely you will get the best return for the home improvements you make.

Deck, Patio, or Porch Additions

If your back yard is not an appealing space, you may have more trouble selling your home, and it may just be a less comfortable place to live. Adding on a porch, deck or patio can transform that space from a useless one to a place you can use all the time.

This may mean adding a grill, a bar, and exploring creative seating options. This is one of the most common remodels you see on HGTV.

Replacement Windows

While there might be some debate about how much energy replacement windows will really save you, there is no doubt they add value to your home. The average homeowner gets all of the money they invested in the windows back at sale.

This project can be as simple as replacing the old windows with new ones of the same style or replacing a small window and wall with a patio sliding door or even a bay window. This is also a common remodel project on HGTV because it pays off and it is one of the easiest ways to transform your home with natural light.

Living Room Décor Updates

While it is easy to say you should not live in the past, there is a certain nostalgia associated with certain furniture, rugs, or décor.

Almost every time you see a show on HGTV, they work on changing the décor of the home. It is most often outdated or does not fit with the new look the homeowner is going for. This not only pays off when you are selling your home (a part of staging) but it can make your home feel fresh and new.

You see a ton of different remodels on HGTV, but these are seven of the most common, simply because they pay off and are affordable compared to major home restructures.

Highly Essential Tips for Celebrating Your Kids 1st Birthday Party

Highly Essential Tips for Celebrating Your Kids 1st Birthday Party

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A first birthday party of a kid is definitely a special occasion for the parents as it’s a milestone in your baby’s life and of course the first of many exciting birthdays to come. It is a very obvious fact that kids don’t remember the first birthday of their lives and they don’t enjoy as much as everyone does. As a loving and caring parent, you need to make sure that it has to be a fun-filled day for everyone, especially for your kids.

Planning a birthday party and execute it properly is not an easy job at all. It is quite a hectic and time-consuming affair where you really try to give your best performance as a parent. One thing that you must need to keep in mind that the activities you have planned should engage the kids invited to the birthday party.

You need to put a lot of efforts into the planning and organizing process of the first birthday party of your kid.

There are lots of 1st birthday ideas that you can choose from. From a simple family gathering to an extravagant birthday party, there is the huge numbers of ideas but you, as a parent should choose one based on your prerogative.

The birthday party can be arranged at home or somewhere outside of your home. You need to first determine how much hard work you are ready to put into the birthday affair and choose the venue on the basis of that. Outdoor birthday parties have almost become the trend in these days. All you need to do is spend some money and almost everything will be arranged for you. But if you want to throw a homely birthday party then you can follow some of the first birthday tips-

1.Theme:

Start with finalizing a theme for the birthday party. The theme can be a cartoon that your kid just loves or even a toy. There are many options for choosing the theme and some of the very popular themes include Thomas the train, Superman, Mickey Mouse, Cars or anything that the birthday kid loves.

2.Invitation:

Once you are done with finalizing the theme, it’s time to focus on the invitation part. If you have any dress code in your mind to match up with the birthday theme, then you should definitely mention it beforehand.

3.Birthday Dress:

The dress of the birthday kid plays a very crucial as your kid is the center of the attraction for this special day. You can simply go for the theme based dress. If you don’t want to go for the themed based dress then you should go for something simple and casual as this will keep your kid comfortable for the longer span of the birthday party.

4.Birthday Cake:

A cake is one of the inevitable parts of any kind birthday party and when it comes to choosing the cake for the first birthday of your baby, needless to say, it has to be ultra-special. Almost everyone loves cake and that’s why you should order a large sized kids birthday cake online.

5. Decoration:

It completely depends on the choice of the individual. You can either go for a heavy or light decoration based on what fascinates you more. If you want to decorate the birthday venue with the latest decoration idea, employing an event management group would be a nice idea.

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

Tips to Ensure a Successful DIY Remodel

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

When a homeowner decides to tackle a remodeling project, it’s understandable that he or she wants to start right away. However, failing to plan for the entire project often means disappointing results and spending much more than anticipated. Proper planning requires homeowners to create the following types of documentation:

  • Budget
  • Drawings
  • Materials list
  • Price quotes from several contractors
  • Proposed schedule

The next step is to ensure the availability of all items he or she wishes to use. It’s important to order them as soon as possible to prevent delays later if the items are no longer available. Homeowners should also plan to inspect all materials when they arrive.

Consider Getting a Professional Opinion

Even homeowners who intend to complete the project themselves can benefit from the expertise of a professional designer or home inspector. A design consultant can point out potential issues with the homeowner’s plan while a home inspector can uncover safety issues that he or she might have overlooked.

Estimate Time to Complete the Home Improvement Project

While it can be challenging to know exactly how long each part of the project will take, creating a rough estimate is essential. Most homeowners, especially those with little or no experience with home improvement projects, tend to underestimate project length. A good rule is to add 20 percent to his or her best estimate. It’s also a good idea to add 20 percent to the budget. The danger of a project taking much longer than expected is that the homeowner may give up on it halfway through.

Don’t Forget About Safety

Some homeowners get so excited about tackling the project that they forget to invest in safety gear. This should include steel-toed boots, a hard hat, goggles, and work gloves at a minimum. Additionally, it’s important to avoid wearing baggy clothes that could become stuck in moving parts or tools and to make sure the work area remains free of clutter.

Avoid Fines for Building Violations

Homeowners sometimes feel tempted to skip applying for permits to save money and because they figure no one will know about their home improvement project. While it might seem like unnecessary bureaucracy and expense, safety is the real reason behind the permit requirements. A city building inspector will make sure the project meets compliance and that the homeowner and his or her family remain safe. Here are three common violations that anyone considering a do-it-yourself project should avoid:

  • Incorrect venting in the bathroom: Building codes require bathroom fans to vent humid air outside through a vent pipe four inches in diameter. Failing to follow this code results in rotting wood and mold in the attic.
  • Handrails at the wrong degree: When installing a wall-side handrail, it must create a 90-degree turn and a dead-end leading to a wall. This helps to prevent purses and clothing from snagging on the handrail and causing a fall.
  • Out-of-code junction boxes: All junction boxes for electrical outlets must be accessible and visible with a minimum wire length of six inches inside of the box. The wires entering a box must be clamped to prevent it from moving.

Additionally, taking care of construction debris removal on a regular basis will help prevent unwanted attention from neighbors. An unsightly pile of old drywall and/or appliances in the front yard is a sure-fire way to generate calls to the local building department.

As long as homeowners take the time to plan their project and learn local building codes, everything should go just fine.

Dressing Up Your Home For Autumn

Dressing Up Your Home For Autumn

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If you’re getting bored of your current home, there are so many ways you can take advantage of awesome opportunities to get your home winter ready and they don’t have to break the bank, either! It can be a bit overwhelming at times to come up with the best way to do up a room or the whole house without blowing your budget, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to inject some new life into a tired, old room.

Find That Statement Piece

Head out on a hunt for that one great piece – an antique chest or sideboard. Something that really catches the eye of everyone in the room as soon as they walk in. It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate or expensive – quite often something like a colourful antique footstool, table, statue or more can add a serious conversation starter to  a room. Antique stores are a great place to find all manner of interesting thing to add to a space – especially front rooms and living or entertaining spaces.

Second hand or charity shops as well are great places to find gently used and sometimes brand new pieces of furniture that just ended up not being needed in a space and often for seriously discounted prices than buying brand new from a furniture shop. But what about delivery? Not many of these types of places offer delivery of their furniture or other items. Luckily with websites like Shiply though you can arrange pick up and delivery of your item by comparing costs and services right on their website, saving you tons of time and money by being able to find a number of quotes in one place.

Feature Walls

Feature walls have become one of the best and most enjoyable ways to do up a space mainly because they can be done in as little as a day and for a low price, depending on what you’re after. Feature walls can be done as big or as small as you like – from highlighting an area around a fireplace to doing an entire side of a room in the same theme or colour. Many feature walls are one solid colour which act as a stark contrast to more subdued hues in the rest of the room. Wallpaper can likewise be employed to create a fantastic feature wall and can come in a variety of shades, styles, patterns and colours. Regardless of which way you create a feature wall, the result is the same – a stunning eye catching point in any room you want! So check out your local home hardware department for colours and styles that suit your needs!

So there you have two easy ways to start doing up your spaces, especially before the Christmas season gets into full swing. If you’re planning to host visitors over the holidays, now is a great time to inject some new life into your home. From cushions to walls to all new furniture, the world is your oyster when sprucing up your home.

JAC Interiors: Modern Eclectic Interior Design

JAC Interiors: Modern Eclectic Interior Design

Are you looking for a new style for your home? Are you tired of the traditional design methods that everyone else is using? If so, you may appreciate modern eclectic style for your next redecoration. Not only will it make your interior much more vibrant and noticeable, but it will make your house feel more like a home. Enlisting los angeles interior designers can also help bring your new, modern look to life.

What is Modern Eclectic?

One of the defining characteristics of this interior design style is the inclusion of a variety of different pieces. Rather than creating a single, homogenous appearance for your home, modern eclectic utilizes various colors, textures, and motifs to create something more unique.

Core Components of the Style

To better understand how this all comes together, it’s important to know what the core concepts are for modern eclectic. At first glance, it may seem like you’re just throwing a bunch of stuff together, but it’s so much more than that.

Curation

To really get into this type of design, you have to be able to bring elements that compliment each other instead of clashing. Also, everything should be part of the homeowner’s persona, so it’s a bit like combining different parts of a person’s personality. Curation is the key to making it work, which means that you can’t just go with anything.

Focus

One thing that can happen easily with modern eclectic is that the interior can feel cluttered or overwhelming. As such, it’s very important to create focal points in each room and have the additional pieces flow outward from it. This will ensure that the result is more refined and appealing.

Ergonomics

While decoration can enhance the feeling of a room, you don’t want to have an abundance of items for show purposes only. Instead, try to incorporate pieces that are both functional and aesthetic so that you get the best of both worlds.

Balance

Finally, the tricky thing about modern eclectic is that you need to have an overarching premise for everything. Randomness is not a design element, so it’s critical that you have a balance of eclectic and classical motifs.

If you’re interested in having the modern eclectic design for your home or business, contact interior design firms in Beverly Hills. We specialize in making this style blend seamlessly into your space.

Getting the Most Out of Your Central Heating

Getting the Most Out of Your Central Heating

We all like to be comfortable in our homes; unfortunately, constantly running heat and air conditioning can put a significant dent in our wallets. Many people think heating or cooling a house is an all-or-nothing game, but there are actually plenty of ways to make sure your house stays at a comfortable temperature without spending hundreds on your monthly heating bill.

Part of the process requires consistent maintenance of your heating system, but the other part is far easier—it involves simple choices you can make to save on your heating bill.

Routine Maintenance

Whether you’re talking about a car, a computer, or an HVAC system, nearly everything works better with consistent maintenance. There are plenty of steps you can take to maintain your central heating system, and many of them can save you money on your heating bill.

The first thing you should do is make sure you have a good air filter. The higher the MERV rating on your air filter, the more contaminants it’s trapping. This is essential to maintaining indoor air quality and a comfortable temperature.

Speaking of air filters, you should make sure you replace yours every 90 days. As more and more air passes through an air filter, contaminants get trapped and impede airflow. Keeping your filter clean not only allows for more air to pass through, it also keeps the air you breathe free of harmful irritants.

You should also make sure your outdoor units have space to breathe. Keep leaves, pollen and grass away from your outdoor units, and make sure they have a few feet of space around them for airflow. As the winter months approach and it’s time to shut off the A/C, you should replace the furnace humidifier filter and turn the water (which you should have turned off in the summer) back on.

Inspecting the condensate drain and clearing it every now and then will help prolong the life of your heating and cooling unit. Lastly, you should occasionally make sure your HVAC unit is on level ground to promote proper drainage. Although these tasks relate more to the A/C, they’re an important part of prolonging the life of your system in general. If you aren’t comfortable performing this maintenance yourself, get help from a trusted HVAC company.

Be Vigilant

One of the easiest ways to save big on your heating bill is to become more vigilant about when and how you heat your home. This includes letting the temperature drop a bit when you’re away from home and promoting proper airflow when the heater is on.

When you’re not at home, you don’t need to keep your house at a cozy 70 degrees F. Each morning before you leave for work, turn your thermostat down a few degrees for the duration of the day. When you get home, you can turn it back up to your desired temperature and relax. A smart thermostat that connects to your smartphone allows you to change the temperature when you’re not at home, which means you can set it to your desired temperature and let it heat up as you drive home. If you don’t mind bundling up, choosing a sweater over those extra few degrees of heat can provide significant savings, too.

Fans are one of the most overlooked money-saving tools when it comes to heating your home. Fans simply promote airflow—nothing more, nothing less. By turning a ceiling fan on (set to the winter setting), you can spread heat throughout your home and save on your heating bill. Heating a home is always going to cost you, but it doesn’t have to be a fortune. Follow these simple tips and you can significantly lower your heating bill.

Things to consider when doing DIY

Things to consider when doing DIY

For some people, a DIY attitude comes naturally to them. They see a crack in their wall, or even their neighbours and they don’t hesitate to get their equipment ready and fix it themselves. If there is no problem then, they will come up with a new job to occupy themselves such as making a small vegetable garden or planning an extension to the house. A lot of the time these can become long, uncompleted tasks and simply turn into hobbies rather than necessary jobs, but for others they work out incredibly well. It is when you see these completed tasks that you become a little disappointed that you didn’t do it yourself. You lack the motivation, the know how or the time. There are many benefits to DIY, in either short or long projects and we are going to look at some of those here to give you that added motivation.

You are not alone:

When you start out on your project, remember you are not alone. Everyone started somewhere especially in fields they hadn’t a clue about. Plan, make sure the project isn’t too big and gather some equipment and knowledge online. You will learn what you are capable of and what you are not and then you can bring this into future projects.

Do a little research:

Before you carry out an DIY projects ensure you do a little research. On larger projects, especially around your property you must ensure that you can carry out the work that you want to and that it can be down in a safe manner. Possibly there are building restrictions in your area which means you can’t carry out work. There might be cables or pipes within your work area that could affect your project.

If you don’t have a background in the field there are plenty of online resources and books which you can use as guides. Ensure they are from reputable sources and this will make your project easier to organise and carry out in a much faster manner.

There is always professional help:

There is always a possibly that you won’t have the skills to carry out the project to its completion or the time. It is then always important to remember that you can call on professionals to help. Companies such as Gordon powers can come in at any time and help with your electrical issues and then you can continue with you project. If you don’t feel up to it any more then there are a host of other that you can hire in to do the job.

Carrying out your own personal DIY project is always a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself busy when you are at home or in an otherwise boring situation. You get to learn some new skills, have the satisfaction of completing the job your side and you won’t be able to blame anybody else for the failures. Remember to always, research carry it out in a safe manner and call on the professionals when necessary.

Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Easy home improvements for DIY novices

Home refurbishments are a great way to give your home a new lease on life, but the expense of hiring decorators can be a huge turn-off. For many, the idea of DIY as an alternative is just as unappealing.

Thankfully, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Following these simple guidelines, you can transform your home at minimal expense with some DIY that even the biggest novice will find easy and enjoyable: 

Mood lighting

Adding a couple of free-standing lighting fixtures can help turn any room into a new space or at least one that looks new.

Budget versions of stylish floor uplighters and lamps can be picked up from “big box” home decor stores. The best part is, there is absolutely zero effort or electrical knowledge required to install them. Simply unbox, assemble and plug into the wall.

These simple and affordable lighting fixtures can be a great addition to a room that doesn’t get much natural light. They can also be moved around the room to ensure that they have the optimal desired effect with no electrician’s bill in sight. 

Repainting

There’s no end to the benefits that a new coat of paint can bring to a room. While professional painters will surely disagree, it’s a job that can be done well by simply following a few simple guidelines, so there really isn’t any excuse for putting up with drab or worn-out paint jobs.

The key to selecting an appropriate color is to go for a neutral shade. While it may be tempting to add in a feature wall, you may regret this at a later date if fashions change or you decide to change your furniture. So, opt for a gray, off-white or perhaps a “fashion-neutral” navy (be sure to only use dark neutrals such as charcoal and navy in rooms with plenty of natural light).

Hanging pictures

Does your home look like you live in it, or does it just look like somebody lives in it? The key to making any space your own is to include plenty of personal photos of loved ones or artwork that means something to you.

Hanging photos of friends, family and places that you’ve traveled to is a simple and cheap way to bring a room to life. The best part is, it requires no DIY skills whatsoever.

Choose some sentimental photographs from Facebook and print them out on high-quality black-and-white photographic paper. This can be done cheaply at any copy shop and at many “big box” department stores. Because black and white are neutral colors, your photos will have a classic look that complements any room.

The frames are an easy win, too. Just look out for the correct-sized frames at yard sales and charity stores. Remember to stick with frames that are neutral in color and simple in design.

Ladder shelving units

Ladder shelving units are on-trend at the moment. This is why you’ll see them in stylish city cafes and restaurants and in virtually every home décor store.

If you want to get in on the trend, then consider adding a set of ladder shelves to your bedroom, living room or dining room. Assembly is as simple as putting up a normal ladder, which virtually anyone can do, and you can include ornaments on the shelves themselves to suit any room.

The DIY versions of shelving ladder units require a little more assembly but will spare you the inflated fees that boutique stores often charge for very similar items.

Be aware that these units will have their own shelf life, so may start to look a little dated in a few years’ time.

Window shutters

Shutters may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking of easy DIY projects. but there are DIY shutters available that won’t break the bank. They also look great and take no time to install.

Most importantly, a new set of window shutters will give any room in your home a fresh new exotic feel. On a practical level, they’re ideal for keeping out the summer sun.

Get back to nature

Greenery is always in fashion. So, why not add some to your home? Aside from the mental and physical health benefits that plants can bring to a home, they can also change the look and feel of a room entirely. They can also be picked up from a garden store relatively inexpensively and require no DIY skills at all.

Key Components For a House Extension

Key Components For a House Extension

If you have decided that the time is right to look for more space within your home then a home extension is the course of action which I would recommend. This was a dilemma that I was faced with some years ago and the idea of moving home for more space just seemed too much work, too problematic and, with a volatile housing market, potentially too expensive.

I decided therefore that I would extend my home so that we could gain the additional space that we were looking for and if you are considering doing the same thing, I wanted to use my experience to give you an idea of the things that you are going to need to work out.

Budget

Your budget is key to the speed and quality of the extension and whilst you should of course make it as large as possible, don’t forget that you will not money in reserve. These things always run over budget and there is always something that you will have to pay extra for. An example of this was the additional money I had to pay for the brickwork for the house, the original bricks had been discontinued and the guys down at David Montoya stonemakers were able to custom make them for me, an expense which I had not considered. Rsememrb that you’ll also need money for decorations and furnishings once the job is complete so do not go all in.

Planning Permission

Until you are sure that you have the planning permission for your project, the only person that you should have contracted is an architect. The architect will need to be there to plot the design and to tweak and change it so that it is granted permission from the local government. Without this you cannot build so make sure that you invest a lot of time and energy in gaining your permission.

Construction Firm

You should spend a lot of time when making the decision as to which construction firm you will use to carry out the project. Essentially what you are looking for here is a company with an excellent track record for speed an quality, a leader who will regularly inform of you of what is going on and who is always available and a construction firm which charge a fair price for their work. Use reviews from others, personal recommendations and meetings to decipher which is the best.

Stay or Go

Finally you need to consider whether you will stay at home whilst the work is being undertaken or go to a hotel or a family member’s home during this time. There are benefits and disadvantages to both options and it will vary from job to job. My recommendation would be to move out if it is possible, the job will get done quicker and you won’t have to live on a construction site for the duration of the job. The choice is your but decide as early as possible to cause as little upheaval as you can.

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Necessary Materials for Your Next Roofing Project

Usually, it is quite easy to complete a residential roofing product, so long as you have everything properly prepared. If, for instance, you want to complete roofing projects with copper nails, you need to have your nails, your hammer or nail gun, and all your other materials ready, as well as your plan of action. Let’s take a closer look.

Your Materials

First of all, not any material will do. The right one for your needs depends on where you house is located. Of course, your own personal preference is also an important factor, but it should not overrule the recommendations of official contractors and certainly not those of your local building codes. Make sure you check those out before you get started, in other words. Usually, you will be able to use ceramic, concrete, asphalt, wood ,or metal sheeting.

Metal sheeting is almost always permitted, not in the least because it is so versatile. Plus, thanks to modern technology, it can mimic the look of various other materials, including tiles and shingles. Communities the world over have used this to create their roofs because it is also very durable. So long as you choose high quality metal sheets, they can last for as much as 70 years with little maintenance. Even the lower quality ones can last about four decades if looked after properly. Thanks to modern tools and technology, the chance of enlargement through nail holes and because of the environment has been all but eliminated. Plus, the metal sheeting is usually already painted for you as well.

An alternative would be wood, which is commonly found in residential roofing. While beautiful, you do have to invest heavily in maintenance, as it is very easy for wood to rot. Furthermore, there are other things to consider as well. Wood is susceptible to insects and other animals. Some wood is more rain and sun resistant than other types of wood, and some kind can even resist certain animals and insects. This is obviously very important for homeowners.

Then, there is asphalt, which is popular because it is often locally manufactured. Furthermore, it is versatile and can be customized to your specific needs. Asphalt, for instance, can be made to look like wood or slate, or any other material that you like. It is quick to put up asphalt and it is very easy to maintain it, particularly when compared to an organic roof. They also last a lot longer.

Last but not least, there are ceramic materials and concrete, which have been popular roofing materials for a long time. These are somewhat heavier materials compared to other roof products, and this weight is something that you need to think about, since your foundations and load-bearing walls do have to be able to hold them. Concrete and ceramic is also a very good insulator and will last even when exposed to the elements. However, they can’t be too heavy or bulky for obvious reasons.