Archive for February 2014

A No Glitch 101 Guide to Starting Your Home Improvement Project

So there is something around the house that could probably do with some refurbishing or a complete makeover even. Things like deciding whether to do it yourself, hiring someone, and budgeting can be a little daunting to many. Rest assured that there are a few things you can do to ensure you start off the project smoothly and everything goes according to plan.

Well, How Money Do You Have - Setting a Budget

The first thing that you need to think about before you start on any home improvement project is to have a realistic budget. A well thought budget includes setting aside an amount of money for any eventualities; this includes mistakes, any accidental damage inflicted on your home and so on. If your project is on a somewhat bigger scale than most home renovations, you can save quite a bit of costs by purchasing materials in bulk from a supplier. Of course, make sure you evaluate a few quotes before making a decision.

However, low cost and good quality does not always go together. Compromising on price may impact on quality. Ensure that whatever you are buying is in good condition and long lasting, otherwise, you may have to replace whatever you have bought in not time and thus doubling the cost.

Can You Do It Yourself - To Go Pro or Not

Sometimes, or most of the time, you are tempted to be the one that execute the home improvement project. After all, who know your lawn better than you? In addition, such supplies and tools can be bought at your local hardware store and you can certainly cut down on the cost immensely. However, if your project seems complicated and you do not have much experience with DIY projects, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Remember, you may save by going DIY; however, any mistake might make things costlier later on.

However, it is also not easy to find a good and reliable contractor. Word of mouth is perhaps the best indicator of a contractor's quality. If people are happy with a contractor's work, they will be more than happy to give their endorsement. Ask any of your friends who have had work done in their homes in the past that they used and whether if they were happy with the work.

Plan Your Timing Before You Start On The Project

Timing is an important factor when planning your home improvement project. Choosing the best time for your project ensures that it can be completed on schedule and with minimal interruption and if you have hired a contractor, remember that this means strangers will be in and out of your home over the next few months; this can be quite a stressful situation.

To minimize the stress, it is best to plan your home improvement around your life and not the other way around. Try and find a time when your work schedule is not busy (not possible for most I guess) and no one in your family has anything important such as an exam, presentation, wedding and so forth going on. Keep in mind that home improvement jobs can take longer than expected and there is nothing you can do about such delay. These pointers will help you start off your project as smoothly as it can. More importantly, have fun in the process.

Doll House Kits For Beginners

Not everybody who wants a dollhouse is a hobbyist or collector. Often times all that a person wants is a gift for a little girl or possibly, just a simple introduction into what might eventually become a hobby. You want a dollhouse that looks really good but you really don’t have the time or talent to invest in a lengthy project. Thankfully, there is a wonderful variety of doll house kits designed for beginners.

A simple web search will uncover some really nice choices. The best search terms for these houses are “easy build dollhouses” and “quick build dollhouses. “ You will be pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of these attractive dollhouses. And you will be equally impressed at the ease of construction and how quickly assembly can be accomplished. We’re talking minutes…not hours.

These beginner dollhouses are built from the same materials as the higher end hobbyist models. The primary difference is that they don’t require painting and finishing. In fact, many of these models are assembled simply by snapping the pieces together.

These houses come painted with roofing and floors already installed and finished. Some even come with wallpaper and elegant trim. Doors and shutters are already hung for you. You won’t need to worry about hammering nails since wood glue or a glue gun is all that is needed for securing the assembly.

One of the concerns many people have on this “beginner” level is that these easy-build houses won’t look as nice as the more complex models. This is a valid concern…but fortunately manufacturers have done a good job at creating beginner models that are more advanced in appearance. It may take a little extra searching but you can probably find an impressive quick-build house to satisfy your individual tastes.

Also, keep in mind that “easy to follow instructions” does not mean the same thing as “easy-build” or quick-build.” Generally…if the emphasis is on instructions and not on construction then the product may be a little more involved than what you are looking for.

Another concern is cost. Quick-build houses cost about the same as the hobbyist equivalents. On the low end you can expect to pay about just under $100 and then, of course, the price can go just about as high as you are willing to pay topping out at around $500.

As with other products in today’s struggling economy, many merchants are offering special discounts. Shopping around is a good idea. Also, look for bonus additions like windows and doors. You may think you are saving a lot of money on a dollhouse only to find that doors and windows are not included.

Another option is to purchase a house that has already been assembled. That, of course, is about as easy as it gets. Some vendors will finish your house to the degree you want. For example, your house could be shipped completely assembled and all you have to do is paint it.

Obviously, when you are looking for a gift for a child it is imperative that you consider safety. Not all kits are suitable for child’s play. Most manufacturers and merchants supply this information.

If you are a newcomer to dollhouses you will be able to find something that delights you or the child you are buying it for. Manufacturers offer a wonderful variety of doll house kits to get you started on something that just might turn into a wonderful hobby.

Project Dog House: How Complex

How complex or detailed of a dog house do you want to build and how much of you time and money do you want to invest?

Before starting this project you will need to determine the size of the doghouse based on the dog's full-grown size. Your dog should have plenty of room to freely turn around and lie down while still allowing room for their food and water bowls.

You will then need to determine the features that your dog house will maintain. You will need to take into consideration the weather conditions in your area and the location of the kennel placement.

Keep in mind that when building a dog house, you will want the floor of the house to be elevated at least 4" above the ground and the house must have adequate ventilation. Also note that if you decide to use pressure-treated wood, be aware that it's treated with chemicals which are toxic to animals. Be sure to use untreated wood for floors, walls or other surfaces that your dog may come in contact with.

You can design the house yourself or you can choose from many different plans available at your hardware superstores or on the web. There are several types of plans available on the market to review, from the very basic structure to the most elaborate creations.

We have found that one of the most creative Dog Houses to be a kit, created by "K-9 Kondo". The K9 condo is a complete kit to create a shelter for your dog that incorporates every thing you want in a dog house at an affordable price. The only thing that you need to supply is the plastic barrel. A barrel is not included because it is cost prohibitive to ship the barrel due to bulk rate shipping charges. Depending on you ability, most people can assemble these units within a couple hours. These units carry a five year guarantee that states the following "We will replace any part that fails due to chewing or defect. Customers are responsible for the cost of shipping or can pick it up at our factory without cost. The hinge bushings are not covered as their wear depends on the amount of use. We replace these at the nominal cost of $2 postpaid for two bushings, and 50 cents for each additional bushing. Regular lubrication with silicone grease or spray will extend the life of the bushing considerably." Depending on you ability, most people can assemble these units within a couple hours.

You need to make the best decision for your dogs shelter plans and need to take into consideration your ability, time and cost. Keep in mind that with a five year guarantee and easy assembly, it is hard not to consider "K-9 Kondo" products for your dog house project.

Easy Home Improvement Projects For Today

There are a number of easy home improvement projects that you can do to give your much valued home a new and exciting look. Do you love your home, but find it a bit too dull? You may even be finding yourself constantly bored - seeing the same old features within the house can get rather dull.

One idea is to change up your kitchen with a fresh new look and feel. You might begin by clearing out all the shelves and cupboards. Start by removing as much or all of the furniture and appliances you have. This will give you a nice new canvass to work with.

Another idea is to consider repainting your walls instead of using some boring wall paper or paneling. This will actually give the room a feeling of more space and a nice touch of elegance, and you can have fun in the process. If you are good with color combinations, you can figure the best colors on your own. If not, you can always seek the opinion of a friend with this task.

When choosing colors make sure they go well with each other. You might start by painting the edges with a darker color and the rest of the body with a lighter tone or color. You can then re-arrange your appliances based on how you feel is most efficient. Think of accessibility as a key to this simple task.

Easy home improvement projects do not necessarily need to resort to using crowbars and removing boards off your floors and walls. Anything is easy as long as you think of a way to make it fun. Painting or rearranging is a creative way to express yourself. You could invite a few friends to get involved in this little project and have pizza and a few sodas. With the help of some friends you will have a new looking home in no time.

Home Interior Design Options: Small, Medium And Large Floor Pillows

Large floor pillows have long been used as a functional and decorative piece in homes for centuries. They are popular in Algerian, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Egyptian and Moroccan cultures and have now crossed over to other countries. This comes as no surprise since they are beautiful and useful. And you can always count on them to elevate the appearance of any home or office space, as well as make it more comfortable.

Unlike what most people believe, you do not need your home to have an oriental motif in order to put large floor pillows to good use. You can put a western twist to it so that it can identify with and complement European and American aesthetics. You could start with the coverings you dress them with or the way they are arranged in their home. You could also experiment with the colors so they don’t overwhelm the surrounding furnishings. And maybe incorporate unifying elements to different design themes so that they still some cohesion even though they are unique from each other.

Take for example, in the dining room, you could have a minimalist, low-lying dining table made of glass and steel set up on top of a black and white area rug and then surround it with golden floor pillows for that futuristic look with a traditional Japanese feel. With this particular home interior design, you will have no problem incorporating crystal chandeliers, metal ornaments as well as modern abstract pieces. In the den, you could pick large floor pillows with funky patterns and textures; pile them up in the middle, in front of the television set, and then have a mural hung on the background or a carpet underneath that has all of the colors used represented.

Of course, you can also opt for the conventional feel and have the room or house you own completely decorated in Japanese or Moroccan furnishings. There are a number of shops you can find in your locality or on the web that sells flat, comfy zabutons or zafu (traditional Japanese floor pillows) or round fluffy Moroccan floor pillows. You have to be conscious though about how their innate structures and designs will match the environment they will be placed in. See, typical Japanese floor pillows are simple and bit drab colored while leather-made Moroccan versions are more exotic and a bit overbearing. The same goes of Indian sari floor pillows as most of them are embellished with beads and tapestries.

There are shops online that you can also approach for custom made floor pillows, so you not only get exactly what you want but have complete control over the quality, quantity and appearance of each piece. You could have one made in the shape of a certain character with the accent of an old-fashioned Oriental pillow. Or you could have one made that could accommodate more than one person sleeping. You can also designate whether these pillows will have cotton, polyester, feather or foam fillings. Whatever you go with, you are definitely guaranteed a unique and therapeutic experience when you provide your home floor pillow fixtures.

3 Ways Ergonomic Furniture Improves Performance And Keeps You Healthy

The majority of us won’t consider the shape of furniture or its potential health benefits when we buy it. However, we spend a lot of time sitting in chairs, relaxing on sofas, and sleeping in beds. Therefore, it is actually quite important to think about whether this furniture is benefitting our health or hindering it. This article will explain a few ways in which ergonomic furniture can help keep you healthy.

It improves your posture

Posture is essential to maintaining healthy muscles and a healthy body. Poor posture most commonly results in back or neck problems, but it also causes some lesser known problems too. Bad posture can reduce the flow of blood through our bodies, making our heart work harder than it needs to. It also has an effect on the respiratory system, and can directly influence the amount of air that can get into our lungs. Standard furniture often does nothing to help our posture. Some furniture can even encourage slouching and poor posture. This should be avoided at all costs. Ergonomic furniture is specially designed with posture in mind. It offers support to your muscles and encourages you to sit or lie in the correct way. Over time, you’ll naturally adapt to looking after your posture, meaning that the furniture can benefit you even when you’re not using it.

Ergonomic furniture can be customised

Now, no two humans are the same. We all come in a massive range of shapes and sizes. This results in the fact that what may be completely suitable to helping the posture of one person may do the complete opposite to another and be detrimental to their posture. The good news is that the majority of ergonomic furniture suppliers design their furniture so that it can be customised to suit your body size and shape. Having customised furniture that is tailored to you ensures that your muscles are getting the most benefit and are being looked after, even when you’re sitting or lying down. You’ll also be able to sit for much longer than normal, as your muscles will be supported, reducing fatigue.

You’ll be able to perform better

Whether you are considering getting ergonomic furniture for business or pleasure, the significance it can have on improving your performance makes it well worth the investment. Basic furniture is uncomfortable. Sit in a basic office chair all day and you’ll know the feeling. Aching shoulders, neck, and back are some of the most common complaints of office workers and people who sit for long periods in basic furniture. These aches and pains can cause distractions, and the distress they can cause can severely limit our ability to focus. Headaches have also been associated with poor posture and muscle strain, so good furniture can even help to combat those nasty migraines when they decide to pay us a visit. Ergonomic furniture is the perfect solution for reducing aches and pains. Reduced aches and pains mean you’ll be less focused on yourself and more focused on the task in hand.