Category: Home Improvement

Electrical Tips to Consider When Buying a New Home

Electricity is one of the most important aspects to a home. Without proper electricity, a number of amenities would be affected. We would not be able to use lights, appliances, computers, air conditioners, some cable and phone systems, and even our heaters or hot water heaters. When you are considering a new home purchase, it is valuable to check the home electrical systems to ensure your needs are met.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when checking the electrical systems of a new home…

  1. Know what to expect. An electrical system includes incoming power lines, the electric meter, the service panel, subpanels, household wiring, electrical boxes, the receptacles or outlets, switches, appliances, lights, and extra equipment used for home entertainment or communication. These should all be included in a new home.
  2. Ask for the age of the electrical system. There have been a number of upgrades through the years. It is important to know how old the electrical system is so that you can ensure it is up to code for the house you are buying. Older systems might need to be replaced to handle your electrical needs and this could become quite costly.
  3. Check with the Electric Company or previous owners for an estimate on their electric bill. Although you might use more or less electric then the current occupants, you can get a general idea of what to expect.
  4. Consider how you will use each room. Make sure there are proper outlets and switches to fit your needs. You do not want to set up your home office and realize you have no phone or internet connection to access. And, if you are building a new construction home, it is a lot cheaper to make these adjustments before the house is complete.
  5. Check and existing light switches and outlets to make sure they work properly. A common problem is a switch that does nothing or an electrical outlet that is not functional. These are issues that should be cleared up before buying the house.
  6. Make sure the electrical system is sized to handle the electricity amount that you plan to use. An average amp size is 100 or 200 but larger homes could require up to 400 amps. Having the correct size electrical unit will prevent future “blown fuses” when a larger amount of electricity is suddenly needed.
  7. Insure that the electrical box is properly labeled. In the event that a circuit needs to be reset, you will want to know which breaker to switch. You do not want to be left cold and in the dark without a clue as to how to reinstate your lights and heat.
  8. And, finally, BE SAFE! Electrical systems are required to pass building codes. This increases the safety of you and your family. Circuit breakers prevent fires, Ground fault circuit breakers protect from electrical shocks, and smoke alarms alert occupants of an emergency. These should all be incorporated and working correctly in your new home.

Guaranteeing the electrical system is accurate to your needs and working efficiently is an important and valuable process when purchasing a home. You do not want to be stuck paying high costs for electrical fixes or attempting the “Do it yourself” method. Be sure to use these helpful tips to make certain you are not left in the dark!

Eleven Save Electricity Tips You Can Use at Home

Saving electricity does not mean freezing in winter or having cold showers. You can still live comfortably by just knowing how to save on electricity. I have listed eleven save electricity tips below.

  1. Only use you washing machine or dishwasher when they have a full load. You will need enough clothes/dishes to do this of course as you may only run these appliances twice a week.
  2. Use cold water for washing your clothes. Unless your laundry contains a lot of grease and oil, a cold wash will get your clothes nice and clean, especially with the new enzyme powered washing powders on the market
  3. When replacing an appliance such as a refrigerator, make sure it is as energy efficient as possible. Some countries have star indicators so you can compare different models. Today’s fridges in particular are a lot more energy efficient due to better insulation.
  4. Hang your clothes outside on a nice day to save using the dryer. This only takes a little more time and the clothes smell much nicer when you bring them in. This can also extend the life of your clothes.
  5. If you have a dishwasher, stop the machine before the drying cycle and let the dishes air dry. There’s no need to use the drying cycle as the hot dishes will dry quite quickly once the steam has been let out of the machine.
  6. Use ceiling fans instead of your air conditioner when the weather’s not too hot. Ceiling fans create a nice cool breeze and cost much less to run
  7. In dry climates evaporative coolers work well and are much cheaper to run. These types of coolers depend on water evaporation to cool the air and work best in dry climates without too much humidity. They are cheaper to buy as well as run.
  8. Clean cooling coils in your air conditioner and refrigerator regularly. This will ensure your appliances run more efficiently.
  9. In summer close your blinds or curtains during the day to keep out the glare and heat. A tremendous amount of heat comes through glass doors and windows. The ideal solution is double glazing, but this is expensive. Keeping the curtains and blinds closed will keep a lot of the heat out
  10. Close off any rooms you are not using. Especially if you are using the air conditioner, keeping doors closed will allow the space you are using to cool down faster
  11. Put draught excluders under doors to prevent air leakage. Prevent cold air leaking into your home in winter and hot air in summer. You can buy insulating strips from the hardware store to better do this.

Organize With Some Home Improvement Tips

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Life is so busy and it seems that often times, things kind of pile up on us. We may have a whole to do list that just keeps growing because we don’t make the time to ever do them. Many times we think of big projects to do, but sometimes, it’s the little projects that can give us a jump start. Home improvement tips can be as simple as taking one room at a time and organizing it. You may live in a small or large home, but have accumulated a lot of things with no where to put them. You may have messes all around, and every time you try to find something, or just looking at all your stuff lying around or hidden, can be very upsetting. This article will give some home improvement tips that can not only help you organize, but will add a more comfortable living environment to your home as well.

There are a lot of home improvement tips that don’t cost a lot of money. It may just cost a lot of your time, but once you are finished, the results are very satisfying. Let’s start first with all the stuff you have accumulated. What you need to do is take a look around. A home needs to be clean and organized to function properly and if you have a lot of things piled around, you need to ask yourself what you could get rid of, or store. If you haven’t used it for three months, you probably aren’t going to be using it much if ever. Home improvement tips to consider are, try dividing your accumulation into sections. One section can be for garage sale, which by the way can be fun and also bring in some extra money that can be used for another home improvement project. One section can be for the things you just simply can’t part with, and the other section would be called the get rid of pile. You’ll be amazed at how these home improvement tips can actually help you get started to becoming organized.

Home improvement tips such as not taking on more than you can handle or finish at one time, can be helpful and victoriously lead you to finish your project. Do one room at a time. Don’t look at the huge project. Take baby steps to get started, as your clutter or accumulation didn’t happen overnight. Why would you think you could de-clutter in minutes?

Once you have organized your sections, some home improvement tips such as thinking through what to do with the things you are keeping can be beneficial. You need to place these things on shelves or store in plastic containers. There are so many different plastic tubs to choose from in different sizes and colors, that you can almost match anything. Home improvement tips such as making sure you label on the outside, what is inside the container if it isn’t see through, so at a later date, you will easily be able to find something can help. If your containers are going to be in a room that you have to look at them all the time because your closet wasn’t big enough to store them in, then you need to stack them neatly out of the way. There are some home improvement tips to dress up the look of the containers you may have to look at all the time, such as, decorating the containers with paint and stencils, or adding pictures to the outside of the container so they are pleasant to look at.

I guarantee these home improvement tips can help you do some organizing in your home, that will make your home feel less cluttered and more comfortable, and get you started on more home improvement tips, such as building more shelves for storage.

Planning Your Remodeling Project For Value Comfort And Safety

Your home represents a big investment — perhaps the largest of your lifetime. Safeguard and update your property with careful planning of home remodeling projects to make sure they add value, comfort and safety to your home.

Start With A List Of Needs And Desires

Before you launch into a major remodeling project, walk around your home and property, then sit down and make a list of shortcomings … structural issues, overdue maintenance tasks, safety concerns and inconveniences. Next, make a list of “wish list” projects … remodeling ideas or luxury installations you’ve always wanted for your home.

Look for synergies within each list. Often you’ll find that items on your luxury “wish list” are much less expensive when undertaken as part of a more prudent maintenance upgrade. For example, a Jacuzzi installation in your master bath might not return enough in resale value to make it a solid investment on its own, but if your existing bath tub is cracked and leaking anyway, the difference in price between the Jacuzzi and a conventional tub replacement will make your “luxury” upgrade much more reasonable.

With this strategy in mind, work your lists of needs and desires into a single, prioritized remodeling plan.

Building Codes And Permits

Never undertake a major remodeling project without first researching the building code requirements in your area. Building codes and permitting requirements can vary considerably from one community to another, but as a general rule a building permit is probably required when structural work is involved, or when the basic living area of a residence is to be changed.

The details respecting required permits in your area are readily available from your local township or boro office. A quick web search may save steps and provide you with a printed copy for your planning record. Reputable home improvement business representatives can also help you determine whether or not a home remodeling project will require permits and inspection.

Plan Financing Well In Advance

It’s usually best to save up cash in advance for your home remodeling projects, but if you budget carefully and shop for financing, interest rates can be factored in to other remodeling project expenses and evaluated accordingly. Talk to lenders in advance and make sure you understand all of the terms of a financing agreement before you take the plunge.

Local realtors and online real estate resources can be helpful in determining what value, if any, your remodeling project will add to your home over time. Factor your findings into any financing decisions you’re considering.

 

Match Your Home Hardware

Though most people think of a new coat of paint, new cabinets, brand new wallpaper, or new carpet and other flooring when it comes to renovations, some of the best home remodeling tips focus on the smaller things. One of the easiest do it yourself home remodeling projects around has to do with your home hardware. Door knobs, lock sets, cabinet hardware, and more – all of these pieces are important, integral parts of your home that make a big impact on how your home looks as well as on how it functions.

So if you are looking for a quick update that will make major impact on any room in your home, consider swapping out your old and outdated home hardware with brand new pieces that accentuate . This is a home improvement project that will work particularly well in the bathroom or kitchen, since each of these feature cabinetry as one of the main components of the room. At first blush, kitchen cabinet handles and knobs might seem like a small detail, but the difference that well chosen and beautiful new hardware can make, even on cabinets you do not wish to repaint or refinish, is not at all small.

Choose new hardware that matches the d├ęcor of the room and you will see the whole room gain new life, giving it a pulled together and polished appearance that looks “done.” Decide which element of the room you want to play up. For example, for a rustic, country kitchen style, ceramic knobs and pulls add a charming touch that meshes well. If your kitchen is modern with stainless steel appliances, then choose stainless steel hardware to keep the theme going. Victorian themed kitchens will look great with glass knobs, and for a warm and inviting look, check out oil rubbed bronze knobs, pulls and handles that will look great in any kitchen aiming for an elegant yet cozy atmosphere. And then you can take that polished, finished look one step further by matching door hardware like door knobs to your new kitchen cabinet hardware.

Changing out your home hardware is a relatively inexpensive project that can be completed on your own in just an afternoon’s time. You can even purchase templates from the hardware store that help make positioning the new cabinet knobs and pulls correctly a breeze, and once you’ve finished, you can sit back and be pleased with the way it brightens up the whole room.

Home Improvement Tips to Save Energy

Whether you’re looking for ways to improve the way your home looks or to make it more energy efficient, it’s always best to find out how to do it right and get the most out of your time and money. These home improvement tips can show you how to start saving energy right away.

  1. Use energy saving lamps instead of incandescent bulbs. Energy Star qualified light bulbs such as CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs.
  2. Check your heating and cooling system, including the furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump). Be sure to seal your ducts. Leaky ducts make your heating and cooling systems less efficient and you’ll end up with higher utility bills. You can save up to 20% on energy with this home improvement tip.
  3. Purchase and install a programmable thermostat. This will let you automatically adjust the temperature at your home when you are away.
  4. Check the weather stripping around your windows, doors, garage, etc. Make sure your home is sealed and insulated to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  5. If you’re in the market for replacement windows, install Energy Star labeled windows. Energy saving windows can dramatically lower your utility bills.
  6. Is your refrigerator more than 10 years old? It’s time to get a new one. Refrigerators (and freezers) account for a substantial share of your electricity bill. An Energy Star qualified refrigerator
    uses 50% less electricity than an old, conventional model.
  7. When it’s time to replace your washing machine, replace it with an Energy Star compliant model. You will be able to use 50% less water and up to 70% less energy. Whenever possible, wash your clothes with cold water.
  8. Here’s another home improvement tip that doesn’t cost much. Use curtains, blinds and drapes to help you save energy and money. In winter, open the blinds, drapes and curtains in the morning to let the sunlight in. Close them at night to help keep the warm air in.
  9. Landscaping can improve your home’s looks while saving energy. Shrubs and trees in strategic locations can protect your home from frigid winter winds and block out the hot summer sun.
  10. You won’t have to invest a lot of money for this home improvement tip but you’ll get a lot of savings in return. Purchase a hot water insulation kit from your local home improvement center and wrap it around your water heater. You’ll save on water heating costs.
  11. Consider installing your own renewable energy system. A solar or wind energy system can help you reduce your utility bills.

DIY Home Electrical Repair Tips

If you’ve been having issues with a faulty lighting fixture or electric wall outlet, it may be time for you to take this problem as an opportunity to put on your do-it-yourself hat and take action. You’d be surprised to know that many home electricity problems can be easily resolved with a little bit of research and an equal amount of elbow grease!

Safety is obviously the primary focus when working on electrical problems in your home, even if the problem seems trivial. Any situation that involves working with live wires is a serious matter and one that should not be taken lightly. This includes repairing or replacing outlets, installing a new ceiling fan or updating your current lighting fixtures.

Larger electrical projects such as installing a home theatre system is something that would typically be handled by a licensed electrician, but replacing a broken fuse in your toaster oven is the perfect opportunity for the DIY homeowner.

TIP 1: Safety – Always unplug whatever you are repairing and if that isn’t an option, turn the power off completely at the main circuit panel.

TIP 2: Parts – Always be sure you are using the correct type of wiring and connectors. A great example of this, and common mistake amongst homeowners, is buying indoor wiring for a project that is outdoors and vice versa. This type of mistake can be extremely hazardous by making your electrical lines and outlets susceptible to moisture and other damage. Finding a cheap electrical fix is great, but you should never compromise the type and integrity of the electrical parts that are needed for your DIY project.

TIP3: Help – Always ask for experienced help If you are unsure whether or not you have the right parts or equipment. Consult with a friend or family member who may know a qualified electrician. This referral could save you the grief of fires and electrical shock as the result of poorly wired outlets and appliances.

Don’t always trust what you read online! Do your research to find products and solutions which fit your budget and ability. This research can include asking at your local hardware shop for advice if you are in doubt about anything.

Hopefully these short DIY home electrical repair tips will help you on basic electrical repair jobs around the house. Whether you’re replacing a doorbell, rewiring an antique lamp or installing a new outlet always be safe, not sorry!

 

Save Electricity Tips Using Renewable Energy Systems

In today’s market, the focus is on saving energy and being green. How can we save electricity while getting the same results, and using our renewable energy sources at the same time? There are thousands of sources for save electricity tips, but let’s go over some very simple ones.

Our appliances and electrical items use energy even when we’re not actively using them. If they are plugged into the outlet, there is energy leaving the wall and going into the item, and you’re paying for it. So something very simple we can do is to unplug these items when they are not in use.

It may seem like a small inconvenience to have to plug something in to use it, but wouldn’t you rather have the money in your pocket? You will be saving money, saving the planet’s resources and reducing energy costs for everyone, not just yourself. When everyone can conserve, then energy costs are reduced in general, lessening our utility bills.

There are also very easy things we can do to use the energy straight from nature. Hang your clothes up to dry, make sun tea outside, hand wash our items in a small amount of water.. These all add up to big changes in overall usage. Sometimes the small things don’t look like they add up to much, but they do, and you’ll start to see that with consistent activity.

When it comes to cooking, consider using the microwave to boil water or heat something up, versus the electric stove. Not only can it do it faster, but it uses less energy. You get your food faster and easier–that’s not a hard decision.

If you care to do some research, you too can find many save electricity tips. So many organizations out there are willing to share what information they have, and they post it everywhere. Check the websites, check the mailers, talk to the expert, and of course, common sense is the best teacher. Use the resources around you to your benefit and that of your children at the same time. I have personally managed to build my own home DIY renewable energy system by following an online system which you can find out more about at my website link below.

Home Improvement Tips Every Home Owner Should Know

Owning a house is amazing. However, maintaining it can become a hassle, quickly, if you aren’t sure how to make home improvements. But, owning your home means that you need to embrace these new responsibilities. These great home improvement tips will help you keep your home in top condition.

Get proper tools

You will need to get proper tools that will help you to handle any problem that may come up in your home. Your essential maintenance set needs to contain various tools like screwdriver set, hammer, tape measurer, pliers, wrench, electric drill and saw. This will be enough to help you solve any basic maintenance problem that might occur, but eventually you would want to add more tools.

It would be embarrassing to call a handy man to solve basic problems like cabinet doors that won’t close. By having right tools, you could easily fix it by tightening or even loosening some screws.

Learn how to stop leaking

If you have any leaks in your home, you need to fix them immediately. Not only that might cause serious problems to your home, but it could cost you a lot of money. Don’t delay dealing with these problems unless you want to receive inflated bills. In most cases, this problem is not that hard to solve so you won’t need to call professional.

Clean the gutters

Clogged gutters may cause serious problems to the structure of your home and as a homeowner you need to take care of that. Make cleaning your gutters a part of your routine and you will prevent problems like ice dams or roof leaks.

Create home inventory

You need to create a home inventory system for insurance. You need to be prepared in case of everything, even if nothing ever happens. Save receipts for all your renovations, upgrades, appliances or any other major purchases. This will make life easier for you and your insurance company.

Clear the vents

You need to make sure that vents are clean and that they are not covered or blocked by something. This will improve air flow, and it will also lower electric bills.

Buy energy efficient appliances

When buying new appliances you need to focus on energy efficiency. Even though sometimes these appliances could cost more at the beginning, this will be cheaper in the long run. Just imagine how much money on bills you could save.

Create a home maintenance checklist, and stick to it

Create a list of maintenance tasks you need to do for your home. Divide them on monthly, quarterly or even annual basis to make the process easier. After a while that will become a part of your routine and it will greatly extend the lifespan of almost everything in your house.

Simple Home Improvement Tips and Advice

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Everyone could use some home improvement tips and advice for their next remodel or repair project. Whether you are looking to fix a sink, spruce up a bathroom, remodel the kitchen or maybe even add an entirely new room to your current home. This article will help you discover many home improvement tips and advice resources available online and at your local building supply stores that you may not have thought of.

Can you say Google?

By visiting the search engine giant, Google – simply type in the words Home Improvement Tips and Advice and you will find a few thousand results. You could even narrow your search down a little and find several thousands more results, but this should give you a great start to begin with. Now let’s see what there is available for your next project.

Holiday or seasonal themes

Perhaps you have never considered making home improvements that are theme based. I know of many people who have specifically used home improvement tips and advice to redo an entire room in an outdoor theme, or antiques only themed room. This is more common than you may think. Perhaps you do not want to do anything too radical at this time.

Some home improvement tips and advice are specially designed for those not so glamorous projects; like unplugging drains, sewer lines or gutters. As we all know, these types of home improvements must be completed as well to preserve the value of our homes, but once you have a few items fixed around the house, you will want to seek some home improvement tips and advice that will add even more value to your home.

There are several simple projects that you could consider for increasing your homes value greatly, however; it is very important that you first set a budget and then create a basic idea and layout of what type of style you like best, based on the available funds you have set for your next home improvement project.

You might add a door to the spare bathroom and then some paint to make a substantial value increase to the over all homes value. Think of it like adding new tires to a car. You might be surprised how a few little home improvement tips and advice projects can make a huge difference in your home value.

Visiting your local building supply store may be one of the easiest ways to get some good home improvement tips and advice. I personally like to visit my local building supply stores, and simply explain to them what I need or maybe I should say what I want to do. They usually offer some very valuable tips on how to repair or fix up something that I had not even considered.

Last but certainly not least you need to consider the tools to do the job right. By doing a few searches on line using the terms home improvement tips and advice you will find many pages to see the various tools and ideas used. Now you have some basic knowledge when visiting your building supply or hardware store. Between the two sources you should have a winning project next time you need to do some work around home.