• The Importance of Regular Home Improvement

    Home improvement, by definition, is making changes to one’s home by making improvements on the house’s looks. Home improvement is usually done by professional contractors, handymen, and even the house owner himself. Home improvement is important because real estate’s value appreciates more if a property is well-maintained. Home improvement is seen by many as unnecessary cost. However, losing value of a real estate is usually caused by neglect in a property’s maintenance. Therefore, in the long run, regular maintenance is crucial for the property’s value to appreciate.

    Regular home improvement jobs and renovations will surely make your current living conditions more favorable. People do not easily notice that some areas of the house need improvement. In the long run, regular maintenance will reduce the serious structural damages to your property. It is also important to note that there are different maintenance schedules for different areas of your house. For instance, plumbing should be checked monthly. Ovens, heating systems, smoke detectors, and the like should also be checked monthly to prevent unfortunate disasters. The garden area should be maintained regularly and should undergo rigorous maintenance every four months. This is to prevent insects and termites infestation which can cause significant damage in infrastructure. The landscape of a house should also be in good appearance to help preserve your property’s value. Refrigerators should be checked every three to four months. Check for faulty or loose wiring and avoid energy overload. The roof, on the other hand, should be checked at least every six months. Check for shingles and leaks and take care of them right away. Watch out for blocked gutters as this can lead rainwater to go inside your house. If your house is made mainly of wood, have a regular termite exterminator team visit your house.

    Aside from these standard areas in the house that need improvement, remodeling or renovating is also a good idea. It can also add value to real estate. Remodeling can be as simple as changing the paint color in your living room or laying a different color of carpet in your bedroom. Something this simple can make significant changes in your house’s ambience. Renovating can be as major as tearing down the common wall of two rooms to make them one big room. Tearing down walls creates a bigger space which can be used for many purposes. Additional extensions can also be done. Additional space that can be used as garage space is useful. Home improvement tasks that require massive construction should be done by professional contractors. Make a list on what you want changed inside your homes and consult with a team of contractors. This way, you will have an idea on the costs that will be incurred as well as the extent of the repairs and improvements you can do.

    Home improvement is important because essentially, it is considered taking care of your home. Aside from the additional value it gives your property, preventive maintenance and remodeling is always good to decrease future damages in your property.

    Source by Jaxson Smith

  • How to Find and Install Used Kitchen Cabinets

    Remodeling your kitchen is one of the biggest decisions that any homeowner makes. Beyond being a very expensive decision with costs often in the tens of thousands of dollars, the kitchen is an important family space where many families come together. The most important and most expensive aspect of any kitchen remodel is the cabinetry. By finding and installing used kitchen cabinets, you can do the whole remodel on a much more affordable budget.

    The first question you are likely to ask yourself then, is where do I find used kitchen cabinets for my home?

    The best place to start is the Internet, namely craigslist.com. Craigslist is a great way to find local used items at great discounts. Savvy homeowners doing their own remodeling will often put their old kitchen cabinets up for sale on craigslist.com. If they have already removed them, all you have to do is negotiate a price and bring them back to your home. Many homeowners however will ask that you do the removal yourself. This can be a great cost saving measure for you and can be done by two people in one afternoon. Just be careful to preserve the cabinets when taking them out.

    Another way to find used kitchen cabinets is by putting the word out with friends and family. Expanding your network will give you more opportunities to find people remodeling. If you have a personal connection with them, it’s also very possible they will offer the cabinets to you for free or at a great discount. Once again, be willing to take the cabinets out yourself as that will save them the hassle of either doing it themselves or paying a contractor.

    Two more options include contacting habitat for humanity and remodelers. Many Habitat for Humanity warehouses hold donation that you can use in your remodel so check your local area for them. Likewise, many remodelers will be willing to put your name down on a list. That way, next time they are going to have to tear out some cabinets, you can do the job for them and haul the cabinets away. It’s a win-win.


    Once you have the cabinets, you will have to install them into your kitchen. Since most cabinets are specifically designed for the kitchen they are going into, you will have to get a little creative. Measure carefully and outline a blueprint for how you will get the cabinets into your kitchen.

    The installation itself is probably best handed off to a handyman if you aren’t very confident in your own abilities.

    Source by Clay T Pearson

  • Vehicle Choices For a Handyman Business

    Nothing wastes more time than running back and forth to the store to get one more item. It is far more efficient for you if you carry most of the tools you are going to need with you at all times. In a sense, as a handyman on the go, you are going to need to have a small traveling hardware store with you.

    That means you are going to need some storage space. Most handymen get by with a truck that has a cap or a “topper”. If gives them the storage space of an SUV, but they do not have to change vehicles if they already have a reliable truck. Of course, if you have the budget to get a new (or good used) vehicle, then some alternatives come up. Vans are a proven vehicle for service people of all kinds. They have more room than a pickup truck with a cap, which lets you actually walk into your little traveling hardware store.

    If you can not afford a new (or used) cap for your truck, or you do not even have a truck right now, do not despair. If you are just getting started you can certainly get by with whatever room is in the passenger seat and the back seat. The most important thing is to have whatever you are driving look clean and well cared for. The old “pride of ownership” will go a long way here. Your customers might get a little suspicious if you were driving a brand new top-of-the-line vehicle anyway, so make the most of the fact that a used but clean truck or car makes you look honest.

    In terms of color for your ride, white vehicles look a bit more like standard service vehicles. That does not mean you need to re-paint whatever you are driving now, but when the time comes to upgrade, go with white for the professionalism points.

    Another major consideration for your vehicle is fuel efficiency. Expect to be driving over 1000 miles a month. If fuel prices jack up again, even a little bit, that could seriously cut into your profits. You can, of course, raise your rates a bit, trim your service area or start charging an “out of town” fuel fee, but all of that just masks the problem. According to the government fuel economy site, the most efficient standard size trucks are the Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid wheel drive and the GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid 2 wheel drive. For small pickup trucks, the Ford Ranger 2 wheel drive and the Toyota Tacoma 2 wheel drive win. For cargo vans, the Chevrolet Express 1500 2 wheel drive and the GMC Savanna 1500 2 wheel drive get the top fuel efficiency prizes.

    For what its worth, I own a predecessor of the Toyota Tacoma, but mine is 4 wheel drive. It is approaching 200,000 miles and still runs beautifully, even when there is half a ton of cinder block in the back. My first vehicle was a GMC Suburban, and though I was not too focused on how well it ran and its utility as a work vehicle, the old, wise men at the rural New Hampshire coffee shops always seemed to approve of it, saying, “Now that’s a Vehicle”. It is sad to have to note that four wheel drive does not make for good fuel efficiency, but anyone who has driven a four wheel knows how quickly the power from those extra two wheels drains the gas tank. That said, depending on where you live, having a four wheel drive may be the difference between getting to the job or not getting to the job.

    Source by Pamella Neely

  • Overcapitalisation – Why Cost Does Not Equal Value?

    If you are unaware of the real estate terminologies then you might be wondering what overcapitalisation is. Basically, overcapitalisation refers to an overspend on construction or renovation costs which means the actual cost of a construction/renovation of the property is superior to its real market value. Overcapitalisation is also considered as asset inflation. Confused? Let’s make it simple. For instance, Mr A is planning to renovate his house by remodeling the bathrooms, basement and kitchen; upgrading the living room and bedrooms; adding a porch and swimming pool; installing vinyl siding, fencing front entrance and extending the garden. Mr A decides to use upper end expensive quality materials in the renovation. While doing so, he forgot to consider the real market value and quality of the houses in this area, which was lower than the value of his upgraded house. This is overcapitalisation.

    Now the next question is what should be done to avoid overcapitalisation? Simple! When renovators and home builders are planning for home improvements, they must keep in mind some factors which have greater impact on the overall value of the property. For instance, evaluating neighbour’s housing style, demographics of neighbourhood, streetscape, design trends of neighbouring property, and recent resale prices of the homes in the area.

    Although generally improvements and renovations add value to a property, it will be wrong to say they will ALWAYS increase its value. The reason is that if renovations and improvements are overdone, without keeping in view the real value of the area where your property is located, you might be overcapitalising your property. This means that your property cost will not equal its market value.

    Hence, it is rational that a renovator or home builder is aware of overcapitalisation, and increases the value of the property only to an extent that it can cope up with. Remember, you’ve got to be really careful about overcapitalisation when upgrading or renovating your property.

    Often overcapilisation occurs when people are not rational and business minded in their approach. Typically home owners will spend more on fixtures and fittings with the aim to live in the property.

    Some cultures often prefer to live in larger homes as status symbols and will opt to spend more on improvements than is the norm in the locaility.

    However if you are an investor or builder, it is important to get the mix right as this will result in higher profit margins. Getting it wrong can often mean longer selling periods and discounted prices. Do your due diligence to avoid disappointment.

    Source by Keith P Peric

  • Board and Batten Siding is an Inexpensive Yet Durable Siding Option

    People say that there is no single thing that can define a nation. It is certainly true. It would really be too myopic to say that hamburgers define the American nation. Likewise, it is simply foolish to equate the United States with Hollywood. Yet there is no denying the fact that nations like America can be known for some things.

    For instance, the US is known for its huge farmlands and its iconic barns. What makes an American barn unique from other barns across the globe is its siding. American barn sidings are not just made of regular planks. Instead, they are made of board and batten siding.

    One of the simplest and common types of sidings, board and batten is made by alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, otherwise known as battens. The usual width of boards is about one foot. On the other hand, battens are typically one and a half foot wide. Boards are placed either vertically or horizontally while battens are put in between the seams of the boards.

    Advantages of Board and Batten


    Siding made from wood is known for its somewhat expensive price tag. Log siding, for instance, is a costly siding option. However, this is not always true. Not all wooden siding is expensive. One particular example of an affordable wooden siding is the board and batten variety. Because it is relatively easy to make, this siding is not expensive as red cedar shake siding.


    One of the things that homeowners look for when buying a siding material is durability. No homeowner wants to get a siding material that would need to be replaced after 10 years. What homeowners are looking for is a durable siding material.

    When it comes to durability, wooden siding, such as board and batten, is still one of the best options on the market. In recent years, wood has been unfairly criticized as a somewhat obsolete siding option. Some critics say that wood siding is prone to insect and mildew damage and would not really last long. That certainly is purely unsubstantiated talk.

    It is a fact that wood can be damaged by termites and mildew, but that only happens if it is not treated properly. With proper application anti-termite or anti-mildew chemical, a wooden siding can certainly last a long time. A board and batten material, for example, can easily reach 30 years without serious damage.

    Aesthetically Superior:

    One of the top concerns of homeowners is the appearance of their properties. A house is an investment. You can never predict it, but there might come a time when you will need to sell off your property. So it is really important for a homeowner to do everything to make his property look beautiful. An elegant-looking house would have a higher price tag compared to a mediocre one.

    A house’s siding can certainly enhance its appearance and raise its value. When it comes to aesthetics, wooden siding is far superior compared to other siding options. Therefore, investing in board and batten siding can really pay off.

    Source by Greg Parsons

  • Shopping for Outdoor Patio Furniture: Why Is Hanamint Cast Aluminum Furniture So Popular?

    Maybe you have just moved into a new home or just expanded your outdoor living space, either way if you are shopping for new patio furniture you have likely seen the brand Hanamint in you search. Hanamint sells nationally from coast to coast and is in almost every patio furniture store. But why is it so popular?

    Over the past few decades, as patio furniture has evolved, one frame material seems to have moved to the forefront in popularity. That material is Cast Aluminum. Cast Aluminum is a process that molds the most maintenance free material into beautiful pieces of patio art. Casting processes enables unique old world styling to become a standard feature in the furniture.

    No one comes close to the value that Hanamint provides in their cast aluminum patio furniture. You could shop other brands but would probably be wasting your time. Hanamint has many different sets including; Grand Tuscany, Tuscany, St. Augustine, Mayfair, Berkshire, Stratford, Bella, and St. Moritz. If you want it for your patio, Hanamint makes it. Chaise lounges, dining sets, deep seating sofa arrangements, bar stools, bar height tables, counter stools, counter height dining tables, benches, fire pits, sectionals and bars.

    Typically, the most desired finish is Desert Bronze but they also offer some sets in Black. Desert Bronze is a great finish because it looks great with most exterior home colors and patio color schemes. In the daylight, desert bronze shows a rich bronze color with many textures or layers in the finish. At dusk or in low light, desert bronze almost appears black. Desert bronze is that dark.

    Hanamint offers and unbeatable amount of high end fabric to compliment their beautiful frames finishes. Sunbrella is the industry leader in outdoor fabrics. Hanamint will buy many Sunbrella fabrics to offer as options on their cushions. Sunbrella became synonomus with quality after being one of the first to offer 100{7101d2215a6bd446fa679c57b3b56c91409a17080c01dc910257a9924d5d9b54} solution dyed acrylic fabrics. An acrylic fabric will last and last because the sun can only fade the fabric one percent per year. Do yourself a favor and only by acrylic fabric on your Hanamint cushions.

    Hanamint recently introduced a 2014 collection called Stratford. Stratford appears more contemporary in design with straight line cross design.

    No matter what Hanamint collection you choose, you will be making the right choice. I bought my Hanamint Grand Tuscany Collection online and had a wonderful experience.

    Now all you need to complete you ideal outdoor living space is a grill!

    Until next time, happy shopping. – Dave

    Source by David W Andersen

  • What Are the Differences Between Extruded Acrylic and Cast Acrylic Sheets?

    Acrylic is an extremely versatile material which is used in a wide range of environments. Acrylic sheeting is available in a huge range of variations, including; clear, coloured, mirrored, frosted and even with a brushed aluminium effect.

    Extruded acrylic and cast acrylic are the two main types of sheet acrylic you will come across. Although they may initially look similar, the two have quite different properties and one is also much more expensive than the other.

    It is important to be aware of the differences between the two so you can pick the type most suitable for your needs.

    Extruded and cast acrylic sheets differ mainly in their thermal and chemical properties which are caused by the manufacturing process. There are also several other differences as outlined below which you may wish to consider when choosing acrylic sheet for your home DIY project.

    Key differences you should be aware of when working with acrylic sheets:

    Thickness differences

    Due to the way the sheets are made cast acrylic tend to have slight variations in the thickness of the sheet whereas extruded sheets are much more uniform, with next to no variation. This makes extruded acrylic ideal for vacuum forming or situations where more detailed precise shapes are needed.

    Temperature response

    Cast acrylic has an isotropic response to temperature meaning there is a maximum shrinkage of 2{7101d2215a6bd446fa679c57b3b56c91409a17080c01dc910257a9924d5d9b54} in all directions. It may be important to note that acrylic expands and contracts at a much greater rate than glass. Extruded acrylic, on the other hand, shows differences in shrinkage depending on the thickness and direction of extrusion.

    Benefits of Extruded sheets

    • Reduced mechanical properties mean process advantages over cast acrylic when bending, heating and vacuum forming
    • Better thickness tolerances
    • Lower viscosity when hot means it is more ductile than cast acrylic

    Benefits of Cast acrylic sheets

    • Better thermal stability
    • Higher resistance to crazing (when a network of very small cracks form) when exposed to solvents
    • Wider thermoforming range than extruded acrylic
    • Better ability to be reworked hot
    • Superior surface finish and optical properties

    Both types of acrylic benefit from being durable and long lasting, showing excellent resistance to natural aging. Most manufactures will guarantee against noticeable yellowing for approximately 10 years.

    Often it may not be made obvious which type of acrylic you are buying, especially online. Cast acrylic can be as much as double the price of extruded acrylic so if nothing is mentioned and it seems cheap, the chances are it is extruded acrylic.

    Source by Lewis G James