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Category Archives: Home Improvement

DIY Bead Curtains for Your Door

beaded curtains for doorsBeaded door curtains are perfect for keeping out the flies in the summer, adding a new texture and design element to a room, or offering a feeling of privacy without having to install a door. Whether you want simple or elaborate beaded curtains, use this guide to make your own for any door in your house.

# Decide on Placement and Design

Decide where you want your curtains to go. These curtains would work well for a child’s bedroom, or as a patio screen to help keep bugs out during the summer. Keep in mind that where you will place them will help determine how long and wide you will need to make them. In addition, decide on whether you want a specific design, or if you want to freehand your curtain. Consider planning out your design out on graphing paper.

# Create a Rod

Next, measure the door width. Use a saw to cut a wooden rod to fit the door width, or have someone cut the rod for you.

# Cut the Nylon or Rope

Next, measure the length of the doorway. Add about 6 inches to this measurement to allow for knotting and hanging the curtain. Then, measure out nylon or rope to this measurement and cut it. Decide on how dense you want your curtain to be, and how many lengths of string you will need, and cut them to size. The more nylon or rope used, the fuller the curtain will be.

# Attach the Nylon or Rope to the Rod

Next, add cup hooks to the bottom side of the wooden rod. Knot the nylon to the hooks. Once you’re done, take one strand of the nylon, and pull it to one side, making sure that none of the other strands get tangled in the process.

# Add Beads

When picking the beads for your curtain, try to choose lightweight beads. Start beading the strand of nylon until you get to the last four beads. Here, re-thread the nylon or rope back through each bead, to keep them firmly in place. Knot the last one well. Once the first strand is finished, pull the next one aside and repeat the process until you’ve beaded all strands.

# Hang the Curtain

Hang the beaded curtain rod parallel to the ground. You can hang the rod in any way you wish, as long as it is secure. Try drilling the wood directly to the door frame, or, for a less permanent installation, install hanging hooks and string to hang the rod and curtain from. For a different feel and more privacy, try hanging a cafe curtain, instead.

Pick The Proper Window Treatments

Window treatments can really add to a space, but with so many options it can be difficult to decide exactly what to put on and around your windows. Some treatments are functional, such as to manage lighting, while others are mostly decorative. Check out the tips below and the pros and cons of a few types of window treatments to help you make the best decisions for your personal space.

 Horizontal Blinds

Great for small windows around the house, horizontal blinds will block out a large fraction of light and heat coming in through your windows. They can be used on larger windows as well, but due to the small pieces they’re made of, cleaning horizontal blinds can be a project once the dust settles. Horizontal blinds, much like the vertical ones, can be ordered in bright colors or in wood, which can add character to a space but costs substantially more than the cream or white vinyl selections. Measure your windows before purchasing horizontal blinds, as they can be ordered to fit your windows exactly.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are super practical for sliding glass doors or very tall windows. They can be cut to any size, are easy to clean, and tend to last a long time. However, they can break easily if you have children or rambunctious pets. Pushing or pulling on them too hard will pull them right off of the small hooks, or tear the blind altogether. While easy enough to repair or replace, they are irritating if they break. Vertical blinds can be ordered in a variety of colors (at least in vinyl) but are typically cream or white colors, which don’t do much for the décor of a room. Wooden ones are also available, but cost a pretty penny more than vinyl.

 Valances

Typically, valances are hung on rods at the tops of windows with amazing lighting and views. Valances can be really beautiful on large windows that have just the right amount of light coming in during the course of the day. Brightly-colored valances can add a nice pop of color to the room, drawing your eyes to windows you want to accentuate. Simple valances can add a touch of elegance.

Curtains

Typically for decoration, curtains can come in just about any color, size, or length. They can simply be hung on a curtain rod which is mounted above the window, or they can be swooped to the side and tied back with pretty ropes. Some folks have gotten really fancy with their curtains by wrapping them around the curtain rod to create pretty little swoops and bumps with the fabric before hanging it down each side of the window. A benefit of choosing curtains over other window treatments is that they’re easy to clean. You simply take them off the curtain rod and wash them in the washing machine, as long as the fabric is not a super delicate.

Blackout Curtains

Managing the light that comes through windows in your home or getting rid of it altogether can be difficult, especially if you live somewhere bright and sunny. Blackout curtains, while they come in a variety of colors, aren’t designed to add too much pizazz to a room. They serve a mostly singular purpose: to block out the light completely. Hang these curtains in your bedroom if you have trouble sleeping when the sun comes up, or if you work irregular hours. They literally stop much of the light from coming in through a window, and they block heat, cold, and substantial amounts of sound.

 Combinations

Take a few of the window treatments above and combine them for more options. Combine a valance with horizontal blinds if you have an amazing window that has strong light streaming in at certain times of the day, such as the sunrise or sunset. This way, you can close the blinds to block out the blinding light, but leave them open the rest of the day. Combine curtains and blinds for the same reason, especially if you would like to use the curtains primarily for decoration. Blinds also can be combined with curtains or valances to keep the neighbors from seeing in.

Adding Color To Your Home in Inexpensive Way

Create an Instagram Collage WallAs you begin spring cleaning around your house, those good intentions can easily turn into an urge to refresh and redecorate your space. The return of warmer weather and sunshine can really inspire you to add more color and personality to your home. It can be especially great to use colorful décor to reflect the beauty that is blooming outside during this time of year.

If you find yourself wanting—or needing—to brighten up your space, but you’re on a budget, don’t fret! There are plenty of simple ways to refresh your home with even the tightest of budgets to work with.

Create an Instagram Collage Wall

Printing out your favorite Instagram photos is a fun way to remember some of your favorite adventures. Keep it simple with a square display, or get whimsical with a heart-shaped Instagram collage.

Use some colorful washi tape and hang them in a place that you will see them every day. There are several services that allow you to print and ship direct to your door for pretty cheap. Otherwise, you can always print them out yourself!

Hang a Colorful Bird Feeder Outside Your Window

Spring is synonymous with the return of warmer weather and the sound of birds chirping outside your windows. A fun way to capitalize on that is to hang a colorful bird feeder in a tree or on a deck to attract more of your favorite birds to your morning ritual.

Tip: If you place it in a spot with nearby seating, this also makes for a really nice outdoor area to enjoy your morning coffee as the warmer weather descends into spring.

Add a Colorful Pillow Cover to Your Throw Pillows

Pillow covers are a quick and easy way to change up your décor, which means you can keep a variety of covers tucked away in your linen closet so that any time the mood strikes, you can swap them out. This saves space so that you don’t have to store a bunch of pillows, and you still get to enjoy all of the different styles and colors that inspire you all throughout spring and summer.

Print Your Favorite Quote and Hang on the Wall

We all have quotes that inspire and motivate us, so why not have them hanging in prominent places in our homes? You can get creative and use a variety of fonts and colors to really make them pop, or keep the text black and white and give a quick coat of bright spray paint to your frame. A can of spray paint will run you $3 to $6, and since it usually dries pretty quickly you will have your frame hanging up on the wall in no time.

Add A Colorful Towel to Your Kitchen

Inexpensive kitchen towels are a fun and playful way to add some character to your kitchen. Keeping a rainbow of colors on rotation between your kitchen and bathrooms all spring and summer long is a great way to brighten your mood and remind you of the beauty that awaits you during this warm and sunny season. This is a great example of both form and function, as science has proven that certain colors (think yellow!) really can boost your mood!

Display Your Most Colorful Books

Bringing your favorite colorful books out and highlighting them on a shelf on their own is a unique way to use your hobby as your décor. And, on an otherwise plain hutch or shelf, it adds a bit of personality and character.

Want to have a little fun with it? Pull a random assortment of colors, in a variety of tones for the each color, for an ombré effect or books that make the colors of the rainbow. The best part is that your favorite hardbacks will be close by whenever the reading mood strikes.

If you want to get really specific with your color choices or prefer vintage books, you can usually pick them up for a few dollars each at your local antique store—unless they are first editions, of course!

Paint the Inside of Your Front Door

If you love a good pop of color but aren’t sure about painting an entire room a bright color, try painting the back of your front door. It takes under an hour to throw two coats of paint on the door, which means it can easily be changed out in the future when your décor preferences change or when you decide to move out.

If you really want to get creative, you can use some painter’s tape to create a fun and unique pattern, making it into a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Exterior Painting Tips from Expert

To get the most out of painting the exterior of your home yourself, you’ll need some serious know-how as to what professional painters do. Painting the exterior of your home is a tough job that requires time, knowledge, and some serious elbow grease. The following tips will help make your job easier, as well as get you the most life out of your paint job.

# Cover Your Surroundings

Before you begin, it’s essential to use drop cloths or tarps on the ground around the area you’ll be working on. Even though you’re scraping, sanding, and painting outdoors, paint can be toxic to the environment, especially to any plants surrounding your home. Plants, concrete, and rocks in the vicinity of your exterior walls should be covered, but avoid using thin plastic sheets as these can heat up in the sun and damage plants underneath.

# Use Coarse Sandpaper

Before using a sander, try using sandpaper. Get the coarse variety rather than fine. Sand bumpy areas smooth until they are ready to paint.

# Always Use a Brush

Keep a scrubbing brush on hand at all times to brush away dirt, grime, or residue you find while working on the exterior of your home. Use it to remove anything that could get in the way of a neat paint job such as insects, dust, or flaking paint.

# Be Sure to Prime

Priming your home before painting will help the paint last much longer. It might be in your best interest to prime, especially if much of the paint has peeled, chipped, or been sanded away. It’s like paint glue, holding it all in place.

# Clean the Exterior

Before you begin any serious painting work, clean the exterior of your home. While professionals use a power washer, a hose with a sprayer will work just fine and not cause any damage to your home. Start at the top and work your way down. Allow your home at least two warm days to dry before beginning any painting work.

# Protect Yourself

If there’s a chance your house was painted with lead-based paint, be sure to wear a mask or respirator at all times, and collect all paint chips and ashes with the proper tools, such as sanders with catch-all buckets. Otherwise, a mask is still an essential.

# Know How Old Your Paint Job Is

If your home was built during or before the 1970s, lead-based paint could have been used. In this case, you’ll have to take extra precautions when scraping or sanding old paint away because it’s extra toxic to you and the environment.

# Watch the Weather

Be sure to check the upcoming weather forecast when you start your project. If it rains shortly after you paint, it can wash all your hard work away. Try to paint when you have a few days of warm, dry weather and allow the exterior of your home to dry completely if it does rain.

# Don’t Skimp on Product Cost

While it may seem beneficial to buy cheaper products for painting the exterior of your home, such as paint, sandpaper and primer, be sure to research the lifetime and quality of the products you’re using. When attempting a job as big as this, it can be worth it to spend the few extra bucks so your hard work lasts a few more years.

# Scrape Away

Before you start any serious sanding or painting, inspect your home for severe peeling or bubbling paint and scrape it away with a scraper such as a putty knife. Do not waste sandpaper on thick-looking paint.

# Use Metal Primer

This should be sprayed over nails or other metal surfaces so that the rust doesn’t eat through the paint in a year or two. Decide to use this based on how much metal is used in the exterior of your home.

# Caulk After Priming

Be sure to fill in any joints between walls and siding and other general holes and cracks with caulking after priming. This helps to create flat surfaces and prevent further damage from the weather. Get caulking that is not paint-resistant.

# Always Work in the Shade

When working on the exterior of your home, always try to work on the side that’s in the shade. This will make your work much easier and more comfortable for you, as well as keep your tools, paint, and primer in its best condition.

#Start at the Top

For all projects involving painting the exterior of your home, start at the top of your exterior walls and work your way down. This will save time in the long run

Decorating Bedroom Childs

The things that excite children are constantly changing as they grow and mature. That’s fine when it’s something simple like an outfit or a book, but if it’s their room they want to change, that’s a whole other ball game. Updating bedroom décor and rearranging rooms can become both expensive and tiresome. Use these tricks to create a bedroom environment that grows with your children and allows them to express their personal tastes along the way.

Buy Furniture That Lasts

When children are small, it’s heartwarming to become taken by nursery themes. These designs are cute for a while, but as children develop they soon outgrow the baby décor and look for something that expresses their maturity. Purchase furniture pieces that will fit into a bedroom for any age.

Consider buying full-sized bureaus and dressers that will accommodate both baby and adolescent clothing. A double bed will provide enough space for a little one to sleep safely with temporary guard rails installed, and it will provide enough room for friends who will eventually arrive for sleepovers.

Purchase Multifunctional Pieces

 Multifunctional furniture is perfect for transitioning a space from a nursery to an adolescent’s bedroom. Rather than purchasing a changing table, think about buying a bureau or dresser instead. You can purchase a padded mat made for the top of the piece to keep your little ones comfortable when changing diapers, allowing you to keep the furniture piece as simply a dresser after the child grows out of diapers. Beds with storage underneath are ideal for keeping a bedroom tidy and organized.

A Fresh Coat of Paint Works Wonders

If you’re trying to keep to a strict budget but want to make a few changes to your child’s room, a fresh coat of paint can transform a space with little money. Visit your local hardware or paint store and get some paint chips to test at home. If your child is old enough, talk to him or her about the plans to get some help in choosing the best new color.

Sometimes a new wall color and the smell of fresh paint are enough to make a space feel alive and vibrant. When you’ve determined the best color choice for the room, speak with a color specialist at your hardware store about the right type of paint you will need. It’s important to ensure that you get some help in choosing an oil or a water-based product. Once a can of paint has been tinted there is little chance of getting a refund, so be sure to choose the product wisely.

 Personalize With Accessories

It’s important to add enough personality to a bedroom so that children feel that their character is reflected in the space and that it belongs to them. Add these personality pops through accessories like pillows, rugs and wall art. This will make it easy to change the space over time with little extra investment.

Shop through online bedroom catalogs to get an idea of the latest trends. There are hundreds of bedroom décor websites that provide great room ideas for children of all ages. When you’ve found the design you like, print out the picture or save the photo to your computer desktop for reference.

Get Your Child’s Input

Children spend a great deal of time in the bedroom, so it’s important they feel comfortable and at home in their space. While you might like to add certain items or design features to the space, keep in mind that some of the choices being made should be decided by the child who will sleep in the room. This gives children a sense of pride and responsibility and helps in their both their creative and social development.

 Keep Expensive Items Neutral

When determining the changes you will make to space, consider the cost of each item you’ll need. Apply the neutral rule to more expensive items. If you’re purchasing décor pieces with a high price tag, choose options in a neutral design or color to ensure that they will last through trends that arise in the future.

Enjoy the Adventure

The lives of children are always changing. One day their favorites include a particular food or style and the next day, it’s something completely opposite. Their sleeping and play space is no different. Be ready for the changes they will request and help them in the process of growing along the way. By following these ideas to create a bedroom that grows with your child, you will find that you are able to save money and time, and learn a lot about your child in the process.

Build Carports Tips

If you are looking for some shelter for your vehicles but don’t want the hassle of building a garage, carports are a great alternative. You can buy some carports premade, but with a little ingenuity, you can actually build your own!

# Plan

Before you can begin to construct your carport, you need to check to make sure that you aren’t breaking any local building codes. Also, make sure that the spot you plan to put the carport doesn’t interfere with any gas or water lines or sewer pipes.

Mark out the area using string and stakes. Once you have plotted it, double check to make sure it is square by measuring your diagonals.

# Set Posts

Dig post holes at the edge at least one foot wide and one foot deep. Mix your concrete in accordance with the packaging instructions, pour into the holes, and then set a stirrup bracket in the center of each of the concrete pads. You will need a minimum of three inches of clearance between the ground and the bottom of each post. Make sure the brackets are level, and then place a piece of plywood over the concrete. Allow two days for the concrete to dry.

 Cut 2×6-inch notches (rebates) in the top of each post for the bearers. Place the posts in the brackets, checking to make sure that they are perfectly vertical. If the posts are wobbly, you can use stones or wooden braces to support them while you work. Drill holes for the carriage bolts and secure the posts to the brackets.

# Plan the Roof

Using a string line, measure out the height that you want the roof to be, cutting any excess on the post. To prevent the roof from gathering water, you should have a slight angle to it, allowing it to slope away from your house so that snow and water can run off.

# Secure Bearing Beams

Cut a bearing beam to fit the length of your car port and set it into the rebates you’ve cut. Bolt the beam to the rebates with galvanized 4 ½-inch coach bolts.

If attaching the carport to your house, measure and cut another bearing beam and, making sure that it is parallel to the first, attach to the side of your house. For a wooden wall, use coach screws. If the wall is made of masonry, dynabolts are best.

# Hang Rafters

Following your local building code for carports, measure and cut the appropriate number of rafters and attach them between the two bearing beam with joist hangers, spacing them apart approximately every three feet. Attach the rafters to the beams using galvanized nails.

# Attach the Roof

Once you have measured and cut your roofing, attach it to the top of both the bearers and the rafters. Make sure that the roof screws are fitted with rubber washers before tightening them. You will also want to make sure that your carport roof extends several inches beyond the frame for rain and snow runoff.

With the structure complete, you can choose to paint the wood to make your home, or to coat it in a protective finish. Either way, it is best not to leave the wood exposed to the elements.

Paint for Garage Floor

Garage floors put up with a lot of abuse. Not only are they walked on, but they’re put under intense pressure by the large objects they’re forced to hold up. They can be spilled on, frozen over, melted under the sun, scuffed, chipped, and nailed.

When you’re planning on painting the garage floor, you need to know that you’re buying the best product to keep it safe; when a garage floor begins to show issues, it’s a bit of a nightmare to have it fixed. Once the paint goes on it’s often difficult to get off.

Choosing paint for the garage floor depends on how you use the garage. If it’s used for simple things like storing your car, a few tools, and the Christmas decorations, you’ll need a different type of paint than if you use the garage as a machine shop. Here are a few options to help you decide what will work best in your home.

# Concrete Stain

This is the most basic of things you can do to your garage floor. If you’re interested in just making sure that your garage floor doesn’t get cracks or chipping, then this may be the best choice for you. Concrete stain does not come in an expanse of colors like latex paint, however, its application process is simple. You can just put the concrete stain on and forget about it. You do have to acid wash the garage, but after that you just place the stain and be done. If you want to, you can you add more layers, making this the choice that gives the most options while still being the most basic.

# Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is one of the older paints available with which to paint your garage floor. Like epoxy paint, it’s also known for its durable nature, however, masonry paint needs to be refreshed from time to time and the floor has to be washed with acid if it’s cement. So while masonry paint can be used on a garage floor, it’s not the most convenient option.

# Epoxy Paint

This is the gold standard for painting a garage floor—the material can take a licking and keep on kicking. The epoxy is resistant to wind, rain, heat, and cold, so it’s difficult to actually chip and crack the surface. For this reason it won’t need as much upkeep as other options. However, applying epoxy paint is a bit more time-consuming than other options because you have to be very thorough. A sloppy job will actually result in an uneven floor.

 First, the floor needs to be completely clean of previous paint, dirt, grime, stains, and any kind of oil or other substance that could disrupt the paint’s smooth finish. Often, epoxy paints come with a cleanser that can be used to clean the floor properly before you lay the epoxy down. After the floor has been stripped, you can then paint the floor with the epoxy. It has to be applied thoroughly because if you miss any sections, the flooring will be uneven. After the epoxy is applied, you should use the clear coat that is often provided with it. This will give you a clean, flat surface that will last a long time.

# Latex Paint

The kind of latex paint you can use on your garage floor isn’t much different than what you put on your walls. However, when you purchase it, make sure to get the kind of latex paint that can be used for a garage floor. One benefit to this option is that it comes in different colors, giving you the opportunity to be creative with your garage floor. If you know that your garage is just going to be used for storing cars (not working on them) and you live in a mild climate, this may be the paint for you—because while it doesn’t do as much, it also doesn’t cost as much.

Simple Wallpaper Tips

Deciding to wallpaper can be scary for the beginner, but it doesn’t have to be if you keep a few things in mind before you start. Thoroughly read this list of tips and be on your way to wallpapering like a pro.

# Use Lining Paper

Consider hanging a medium-weight lining paper on the wall before hanging your wallpaper. Lining paper will prevent the wallpaper from creasing or stretching and help the paste to dry faster. Plus, it will give you good practice for hanging paper if you’re just beginning.

# Hide Alignment Mistakes

Apply a one-inch stripe of white paint along the top of the wall before wallpapering over dark paint or wallpaper. This way, it won’t be as noticeable if your wallpaper fails to align exactly at the top of the wall.

# Get Your Tools First

Gather all your necessary tools before starting. These will include a seam roller, wallpaper smoother or brush, a carpenter’s level, a few push pins, steel tape measure, scissors, a long tray filled two-thirds full with lukewarm water, a wet sponge, a bucket of water, a broad putty knife, and a utility knife.

# Use Plastic Instead of Newspaper

Don’t use newspapers to cover your pasting table. The ink from the wet newspaper could stain the wallpaper and make it unusable. Instead of risking the waste, cover the table with a plastic tablecloth or dropcloth instead.

# Use a Plumb Bob or Level to Keep Your Wallpaper Straight

House walls are not usually perfect right angles. To ensure that your wallpaper is straight, you will need to make a plumb line from which you measure the alignment of the paper. This can be done by using a special device called a plumb bob or a carpenter’s level.

Even if you use a plumb bob to make your first line, keep a carpenter’s level handy. Use it to double-check that your wallpaper is straight. Otherwise, it could be several strips too late by the time you notice. A carpenter’s level can also help you cut straighter when you are cutting strips from the roll.

# Cut Extra to Match Patterns

Your first wallpaper strip should be about four inches longer than the height of the wall. Strips after that should be at least two inches longer on the top and bottom but may need to be longer than the first one to ensure that the pattern matches.

# Lay Cut Strips on the Floor

Once you’ve measured and cut the first strip—and you’re positive it’s the correct size—lay it flat out on the floor and measure the next strip. Make sure there is enough space at the top and bottom of the second strip that the patterns line up correctly. You can use a pencil to label the back of the wallpaper if you are preparing several strips at a time (the pencil markings won’t disappear when the paper gets wet). Laying it all out on the floor is much easier than trying to do it on the walls.

# Don’t Fold Strips Into Fourths

When booking a strip (allowing a strip to “relax” after the adhesive is activated with water), don’t fold it into fourths. It is easier to hang paper if there is a smaller portion at the top. This way, you can unfold the smaller portion and position the paper before unfolding the larger portion.

# Keep Booking Strips in a Plastic Bag

To ensure your paper doesn’t dry out while it is booking, enclose it in a large plastic bag. This is also useful if you plan on booking several strips at one time.

# Cut Power to Switches and Outlets

Turn off the power in the room before papering around switches and receptacles. Then, paper over them as if they were not there and make a diagonal slit from opposite corners. Trim away the triangular flaps and replace the cover plate.

# Double-Check for Imperfections Early

Double or even triple-check newly hung strips for bubbles and seam matches. Bubbles need to be smoothed out as early as possible, and seams should be adjusted before the glue has too long to set.

# Take Care of Excess Adhesive

Use your sponge to wipe any excess adhesive off the wallpaper, ceiling, and baseboards. Make sure you rinse the sponge often and thoroughly to remove as much of the glue as possible before additional use.

# Sharpen Your Tools

Make sure your utility knife is sharp before trimming. Dull knives will cause the wallpaper to tear and could lead to uneven lines or damaged wallpaper.

# Trim Paper Carefully

Keep a broad putty knife between the wallpaper and the blade when trimming. This will protect the paper and ensure a straight cut. Also, don’t lift the knife blade until you’re done with the cut.

An alternative way to trim wallpaper is to use the back of a scissors blade to mark the angles on the wall covering. Then, pull the paper away from the wall and trim it along the marked line with a scissors. Only attempt this if you can cut a straight line.

# Use Push Pins

Push pins will keep long strips of border or paper secure. Place the pin in a lighter colored portion of the paper to minimize the chances of it showing. After removing it, run the seam roller over the paper to smooth out the hole.

# Use a Special Adhesive for Borders

You will need a special paste if you plan to hang border on top of your wallpaper. You should let the wallpaper dry at least 48 hours before hanging the wallpaper border.

# Paper Your Faceplates to Match

Faceplates are easy to paper. Find a scrap of paper that matches the area of the wall next to the faceplate. Once you’ve matched it, trim the paper so it is about one inch wider than the plate. You might want to sand or prime the faceplate before applying the wallpaper, but this is not always necessary. Lay the paper over the faceplate and check to see that it aligns. Then, cut the paper so that it is one-half inch wider than the plate. Wet the paper and lay it over the plate. With your utility knife cut a small X (if it is a receptacle plate) or a line (if it is a switch plate) where the holes are. Double check that the paper aligns before trimming the excess paper away. Cut off the corners of the paper and fold the edges around the sides. Trim the openings and use a nail to poke holes where the screws will go. Reinstall the plate.

About Landscaping

Know Your Landscape Budget

The planning stage is the most important, and the actual planting part should be the very last step. Landscaping can be a big investment. Research before you buy to determine what fits your budget.

Install a Strong Edging

It’s very important to have barriers between your lawn and your garden. You want to have a strong edging that can be of any material (and price) from cheap plastic all the way up to steel or stone.

Install a Simple Irrigation System

A big mistake people make is not watering enough. Get a simple drip-irrigation system that can be attached to a spigot with a timer. Simply set the timer and it gives the plants all the water they need.

Add Some Mulch

Mulch is primarily used to help maintain the soil, but it’s also decorative. The darker the mulch, the more the color of the plants will stand out.

You Need Good Soil

If the roots of a plant can’t penetrate the soil, then it simply won’t grow. If your soil is really poor quality, you may need to remove it and bring in new soil.

Keep Things in Groups

Try to group things in threes or fives as a general rule. This way, from a distance it will always look full. It’s a good idea to get a variety of colors that will bloom at different times of the year.

Keep Your Yard Colorful

Look around your yard and see what’s thriving and you’ll have a good idea of what to plant. Don’t get flowers that bloom only during one season. Get a variety of colors that bloom at different times of the year.

Make Sure There is Drainage

Use soil to build up low areas of the garden so water doesn’t pool in one spot. This is especially true if you have dense clay soil because it allows very little drainage.

Consider the Amount of Sunlight

When choosing plant material, it’s very important to take into consideration how much sunlight the plants will receive. Too little light and they won’t thrive, too much light they may burn.

Know Your Maintenance Level

Decide how much you can devote to maintenance. Ask yourself if you’re willing to upkeep a pool, wood deck or big vegtable garden. Ask a professional about the pros and cons of each project before you decide.

Kitchen Cabinets Tips

Kitchen CabinetsStock cabinets are the most fundamental, nitty gritty sort of cupboards. Home focuses and suppliers as a rule keep these close by, so they’re typically accessible for prompt conveyance with no requirement for uncommon requesting. They are the minimum costly alternative, yet you will for the most part be restricted on decisions as far as shading, completion and entryway styles.

Semi-custom cupboards include more detail and alternatives like crown trim, forming on the base edges, side boards, and glass entryways. More decisions in styles, shading and complete are accessible, however semi-custom are more exorbitant than stock. You may need to have your merchant arrange these from the maker.

With custom cabinets, the sky’s the limit. In this category, practically anything you can dream up you can have built. Sizes and dimensions are variable and can be customized to fit specific spaces — down to the last 1/8-inch. When customizing, you can select from a myriad of specialty features, and the quality of workmanship will be high. So will the price. These will typically cost at least twice as much as stock cabinets. At this level, you’re investing in quality and aesthetics.There are several categories of materials used for cabinets, and corresponding price ranges. Here are the main categories

  • Laminate is the less expensive material, and is the same material that countertops are made from. A disadvantage is that it can only be made in flat panels. However, it’s a good choice for kitchens with a sleek, contemporary look.
  • Vinyl-clad doors are basically a laminate that’s been shrink-wrapped around a door panel. It offers raised features and detail with the low-maintenance of a plastic.
  • Wood is a more expensive choice, but it offers the classic look of a natural material, and can be made with a variety of styles and finishes. The price range for wood doors is wide, as is the selection. Wood doors may be painted or stained to give a natural finish that shows off the natural wood grain. Well-crafted wood doors can be thought of as analogous to fine furniture.
One of the more exciting design developments in kitchen cabinetry is the creative use of mixed elements. Stylized kitchens today are created with a latitude in design that can make any kitchen unique. Light-stained wood can be used against rubbed paint or dark finishes, and a variety of doors, features and hardware can be combined creatively for a distinctive look. Glass panels, raised panels, scalloped edges and overlay doors are just some of the design options you can choose from. Maintaining a sense of balance and unity is the challenge (and the fun) in custom designing a kitchen.
One important consideration when choosing cabinets is the design of the drawers — especially since drawers are the elements that get the most use in a kitchen. Full-extension glide drawers allow the drawer to be pulled out all the way. Standard stock-cabinet drawers only pull out about three-quarters, so access is limited. Also pay close attention to the basic construction of the drawers. Dovetail joinery and all-wood construction is a mark of fine workmanship. Less expensive drawers are typically made of plastic with wood fronts, and may simply be stapled together. Also, pay attention to the glides. Metal glides hold up longer than plastic ones.

Keep in mind that, in a typical remodeling budget, about half of the cost will be allocated to the cabinets alone. Selecting them therefore is one of the most important design decisions you’ll make for your kitchen.