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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Saving Money on Kitchen Remodelling


– Remove all cabinet doors and drawers to make them easier to install and to avoid damaging them during installation.
– You’ll need a pencil, tape measure and level to mark the exact position of the cabinets on the walls.
– It is easier to install the upper cabinets first, starting in the corner(s).
– To install upper cabinets, determine their location in relation to the base cabinets. Add the height of the base cabinet to the thickness of your countertop (base cabinets are usually 34-1/2 tall and countertops are usually 1-1/2 inches thick.) Then add 18 inches for the space in between the upper and lower cabinets. Your total should be about 54 inches. This is where the bottom of the upper cabinet will sit.
If the floor isn’t level, find the highest point along the wall where the cabinets will be installed. Mark a chalk line across the wall then attach a 2×4 ledger into the wall studs to help support the cabinets while installing.
– Cut holes for the water lines on the back of the cabinet.
If cutouts are needed for electrical boxes, trace the box with lipstick then hold the cabinet in the correct place and press firmly. The lipstick will transfer to the cabinet. Connect the lines, drill a pilot hole and make the cut-out with a jig saw.
– Make sure you fasten the cabinets to wall studs. If a cabinet hits only one stud, use a toggle bolt to help keep it secure.
– When hanging cabinets, check frequently for plumb and levelness. Don’t fully tighten the screws until the cabinets are plumb, flush and level. Use shims to help achieve evenness.

– Use clamps to hold together cabinets while securing to wall.

– When shopping for appliances, look for floor models. You’re usually only giving up the box the item came in. Be sure to check with the dealer about the warranty. They might be willing to extend the warranty to unload the item.
– Shop in early fall for appliances. Last year’s models need to go to make room for the next year’s models.
– Shop scratch-and-dent appliance sales. Make sure the scratches are cosmetic and not structural.
– Ask for volume discounts, some places offer discounts if you buy all your appliances in one place.
– When shopping for windows and doors, don’t just check the big box retailers, go to your local building supplier, (where your contractor shops). The savings can be up to 20 percent.
– Look for cabinet retailers or wholesalers that offer free design services such as measuring your kitchen and planning your layout.
– Go directly to the place that sells granite slabs. You can save 25 to 30 percent by cutting out the middle man.
– To remove cabinets, unscrew them from the wall and pull them off. Don’t use a sledgehammer, it will be much neater and the cabinets can be reused.
– When disconnecting the supply lines to the sink, always have a bucket handy to catch any leftover water.
– Before taking a sledgehammer to drywall, use a small hammer to make holes in the wall to check for any electrical or plumbing behind the wall.
– If the interior of the wall is clear of electrical or plumbing lines, use a reciprocating saw to cut out the wall section that you want to remove.

– Use a box fan in a window to help suck out the construction dust.

Cedar Siding and Its Benefit

When many people think of cedar as a construction material, they think of that warm smell of cedar closets, but cedar is also a terrific siding material for your home’s exterior. Cedar is one of the most durable softwoods, offering excellent noise abatement, insulation, and longevity.

Cedar Siding Style
Cedar siding—also called cedar shakes or cedar shingles by some—comes in a variety of stains and textures, including cedar shake. It is one of the warmest woods, offering a very natural look to your home that blends in well with your environment. The spectrum of patterns and styles in cedar siding is broad, and includes bevel, board and batten, channel, tongue and groove, and wavy edge bevel. In its natural, unfinished and unstained state, this cedar shake look offers a textured, grainy wood with subtle aroma. Stained, it retains the attractive perceptible grain, but can offer a wider variety of exterior home design options. And, of course, if you prefer to paint your cedar siding, that is an option as well.

Cedar Shake Maintenance
Cedar has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, allowing you to leave the wood untreated without worry of excess warping, rotting and cracking. It does weather, though, changing color throughout time, offering a much more rugged look than stained cedar siding offers. For those who like the stained look, cedar requires more maintenance than many other woods. To preserve the style as it is installed and first stained, you will need to re-stain or re-paint on a semi-annual basis. This is something to consider when choosing cedar shingles or siding.

Cedar or allow it to weather naturally, basic maintenance applies. Like any other exterior, you will get extra years out of your siding if you annually pressurewash the siding. This can be done using a rental from a local hardware store or equipment rental company, or by hiring a professional cleaning company. In pressure washing your home, always set the pressure washer on the lowest setting and mix soap and a bit of bleach in with the water to make a cleaning solution.

Cedar siding is a terrific building material that is long lasting and attractive. Its low density makes it a terrific insulator, and the variety of styles that come from leaving it untreated, or treating it with stains or paint, allow a range of styles for any desired intention.

The Benefits of Cedar
Cedar is a low-density softwood, meaning that it has an open cell structure, unlike many siding materials. This makes it a light wood that is easy for construction, as well as making it a terrific insulator. Because of the density, less heat is transported through the wood, keeping heat from escaping in the winter and the cool air from escaping in the summer. Similarly, as it reduces heat flow, it creates a natural acoustic barrier. Cedar is also a sustainable, durable wood, whether painted, treated or left untreated. But the main reason people choose cedar siding, or cedar shake, is not really its durable properties, but the style.


About Basement Remodeling

Basements offer a one of a kind open door for a really terrific pummel redesign. Not at all like different territories of the home, storm cellars are not constrained to one particular reason; where rooms are for resting, bathrooms are for washing, and kitchens are for cooking, a cellar can be just about anything you can envision. With such a flexible zone, you’ll have a considerable measure of choices when you venture up to the plate. Picking the right use for your cellar is certain to up your normal and bring you and your family a lot of happiness, however be careful: lack of common sense can send you back to the burrow in a rush.

Basement Bars: Consistency Pays Off
Some players, while not known for hitting the ball out of the park, are prized nonetheless because of their extraordinary ability to get on base with consistency. When it comes to basement remodels, bars might not be the most extravagant option, but their mass appeal makes them a hit for a large percent of the population. Once sufficiently waterproofed and adorned with decorations that will not only look good, but will give the space a sense of individuality, basement bars often become favorite places to entertain as well as relax alone. Add a pool table, pinball machine, or a big screen TV into the mix and you’ve got a private hot-spot that your friends and family will be happy to occupy during the big game. (For those wine enthusiasts out there, a basement is a great place to store a serious collection because it is so easy to keep it at a consistent temperature; you can even compliment your new wine cellar with a tasting room to make it even more enjoyable!)

Hitting a Home Run with Basement Conversion
However you use your basement space, you won’t knock the ball out of the park without some serious planning. Some activities like woodworking or developing photographs might find a great home in a cellar, but plan on adding some extra ventilation so they can be done safely. If you’re going to turn your basement into a bar, you might plan on adding a half-bath and bar sink to make operations more convenient.

Pretty much any activity you can imagine taking place in your finished basement can be made more efficient (and sometimes safer) with the right plan. Often, hiring a designer to help you during the planning stages can be a huge benefit. The conception of an interior designer getting paid to make things look good is an incredible understatement. With training in design concepts and floor planning, and valuable advice concerning the materials you’ll be using, designers and draftsmen can help you create an effective space that can be used for whatever you like.

Sacrifice Plays: Short Sided Planning can Cost You in the Future
While a bunt or fly ball might be necessary to get your team into scoring position, in the home improvement world certain moves can sacrifice more than you might imagine. If this isn’t the last home you want to live in, turning your basement into something unusual might not be the best idea in the world. While most homebuyers will be rather impressed with a basement bar, home theater, or separate basement apartment, the ones who will go gaga over an in-house tattoo parlor will be far more limited. Designing with the future in mind is a must in a successful basement remodel, and alienating prospective homebuyers is a sure way to strike out when it comes time to sell. Though the immediate effects of a very specific remodel might be okay in the sort term, if you plan on selling in the future, it’s always good to go with a crowd pleaser!

Doubles and Triples: Basement Remodeling for Multiple Functions
You know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket! By making sure that your basement isn’t a one-hit-wonder, the likelihood that your investment will be well used quickly multiplies. Creating a place where you can gather with friends and family as well as practice some putting or house a visitor from out of town will score you some points in a big way. Adding soundproofing to your basement can expand its uses without limiting its appearance. Soundproofed basements are great for practicing bands, operating power tools, and many other loud activities, but function just as well for a night of cards or board games.