Day: December 30, 2018

Adding Or Removing Thousands? – DIY Projects and the Value of a Home After DIY Home Improvement

Of course, nearly everyone as at some point tried DIY home improvement. But does it increase the potential selling value of a home after? According to interior designer Scott McAllister:

"Home improvements, their costs and their resultant profits are not a precise science. For this reason, it's hard to specifically quantify what works and what does not. For example, laminate flooring has an inferiority a popularity nosedive due to the market being flooded by so many photographic plastic options. "

McAllister continues with:

"Their cheapness has created a stigma – and even expensive options have become tarred with the same brush.

DIY projects that increase the value of a home

To raise the value of a house, you need to carry out DIY home improvement projects that will definitely withstand the test of time. For example, if you do have laminate flooring you can install vintage wooden doors.

To install wooden doors, you would need a screwdriver, a pair of thick gloves, 4-inch door-frame screws and a hammer. To remove the door from the frame, simply unscrew the hinges from the door frame.

Get that old door off

Once the hinges come off, slowly ease the door from frame itself, taking care not to damage the edges. You would want to of course, preserve the old door for use later on. Home values ​​go up when front doors are beautiful- so choose the replacement door properly.

Another interesting DIY home improvement project that can raise the value of your home is replacing worn out bathroom tiles. If the tiles are more than a decade old and you plan on selling within the next few months, now would be the opportune time to replace the tiles.

Replacing worn out tiles

The replacement of worn out bathroom tiles is a bit more difficult than the first project, Of course, the tiles in the bathroom can no longer be recovered completely intact, so make sure you can dispose of the broken tiles immediately afterwards.

Designer tiles can be put in place of the old ones. Designer tiles employ a variety of new colors and textures that will naturally emphasize the dimensions of the bathroom.

For this project you would need a few sacks for tile disposal, a large chisel or a crow bar and a mallet or an equivalent. If possible, work the tiles when they are wet as this reduces friction and lessens dust clouds during working. Drive the crowbar against the underside of the tiles and slowly work around the tiles.

Ease the tiles off the floor, making sure that none are left behind. Smooth white cement may be used to install the new designer tiles after the bathroom floor has been re-leased.

Justin Ray, an interior designer for the TV show How Not to Decorate warns people:

"A bad DIY project will always detract from the resale value. Anything that looks unprofessional, such as a badly-fitted kitchen or uneven plastering, will get buyers wondering." …

Kitchen Dangers For Kids

Most kids are fascinated by the kitchen. It is an exciting place with lots of gadgets and appliances, interesting smells and noises, and plenty of people working hard. But have you ever considered that it could have been a dangerous place for kids? I will share a story that may reinforce that.

I grow up in a house with four brothers. We had to learn to fend for ourselves quite a bit when my mother went to work to help pay the bills. One of the things we learned by doing was cooking for ourselves.

Now I will be the first to admit, I am no gourmet. I was very limited in my creations to things such as frozen foods, canned foods, egg sandwiches, popcorn, etc. I also baked an occasional cake and a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I was about 12 years old when I decided to deep fry some french fries. Now, what kid does not love hot french fries? I put the shortening in the frying pan and turned it on high, waiting for the grease to melt. A few days earlier, my father had put a television in the kitchen so we could watch it at the bar we had there. I became enamored of something that was on and sat down. Suddenly I heard a loud "poof" and jerked my head around to see very high flames coming out of the pan. Panicked, I did exactly what they advise you not to do; grab the pan and throw it toward the sink. Luckily for me, it landed in the sink and I turned on the water and watched the steamy mess for a few seconds.

After ensuring that the fire was out, I surveyed the damage; black flame marks on the ceiling, the worst smell in history, and a greasy mess everywhere. My mother came home and actually did not get as angry as I thought she would for almost burning down her house. She did however tell me next time just put the lid on the pan!

The experience taught me to be much more careful in the kitchen when dealing with stoves and appliances. I recommend you spend some quality time with your children demonstrating how everything works and the importance of being careful while using the kitchen. Peace of mind is much easier to achieve if you have prepared your children for possible dangers. …

Tools Making Life Dangerously Soft

As a silkscreen artist, I used to use a stencil or silkscreen film cutter which looks like a fat pen with a pointed blade. Since I’m also a graphic artist, I know that using this tool requires more handskill than drawing or painting. In the late 80’s, a new version of this tool became available. The amazing innovation was that the blade is now flexible -it bends and moves with the curve and line your hand is making! Then I realized just how hard was it to use the original solid model and how much skill was required to use it. The new model had made my job easier and is gentler to my hand. As years go by, the invention of tools and gadgets that saves us time and made life easier suddenly flooded the market. Are these tools good for us? Some people of the older generations don’t think so. A soft life is unhealthy they say and I agree with that. But I think overworked people are entitled to use these tools. Too hard a life is also bad for health.

Here is my list of tools that makes life too soft:

Swivel Chair

Instead of standing up that makes our blood circulate, we can just rotate or roll the chair. The cushion of the chair also stops blood circulation.

Public Laundries that Does All the Work for You

Manually squeezing and drying our clothes is just a small exercise. But no -this service will take that away from you.

Instant Food

A solution to manually preparing food. And I don’t have to mention the dangerous preservatives these food contain.

Remote Controls for Everything

For TV’s, aircons, power fans, sound systems, etc… We don’t need to stand up and flex some muscles.

Kitchen Gadgets

I think these gadgets amaze me the most. We have vegetable peeler, fruit corer, meat, vegetable, and fruit slicer, food dispenser, power dishwasher, blender, stirrer, coffee maker, and most of these have timers so you can sit back, continue relaxing and just wait for the beep.

Garage Power Tools

Electric saw, power drill, nail gun, power screw drivers -no more need to flex and exercise our hand muscles.

Now I’m sure I can add more tools and gadgets but enough for now. Imagine you use all these tools saving a lot of time and physical exercise. Where do we spend the saved time? Probably not for exercise but for more relaxation or late-night parties. Are these all good for our health?…

Refrigerator Repair: How to Identify Common Causes of Refrigerator Noise

Is your refrigerator keeping you up at night with its various moans and groans? When you need immediate relief from your noisy refrigerator, there are a few steps you can take. Follow these helpful tips from your local appliance repair shop:

  • Locate the source of the noise – Is the noise coming from the inside of the freezer, or the outside back of the refrigerator? Determining what area the noise is coming from will help you narrow down the possible components that might be causing the sound.
  • Troubleshoot – There are only a handful of parts in a refrigerator that typically cause noise. Once you have narrowed down the general location of the sound, you can begin troubleshooting various components to try to resolve the issue. While some issues can easily be fixed with minimal effort, others will require that you call in a professional who is trained in refrigeration repair.

Noise Inside the Freezer

Noise originating inside the freezer can typically be attributed to the evaporator fan, which runs whenever the unit is actively cooling. If you notice a chirping, squealing, or groaning sound that comes and goes (rather than being steady), it may be an issue with the fan motor. To find out for sure, open the freezer door and hold down the light/fan switch if there is one. If the sound gets louder with the door open, you can be pretty sure that the fan is the cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to repair the evaporator fan motor–you must replace the part in order to resolve the issue.

Noise from the Back of the Refrigerator

Most noises that you notice will come from the back of the refrigerator, where most of the moving parts are located. If you have a self-defrosting unit, the first place you will want to check is the condenser fan. The condenser fan is located on the back of the refrigerator, often behind a thin panel. The fan can occasionally accumulate a buildup of lint and other debris, causing a buzzing or clicking noise. You can try to resolve the problem by removing the thin cover to access the fan, and then cleaning the fan of any debris using a soft bristled brush (old toothbrushes are great for this!). Once the fan is clear of dust or other materials, replace the cover and plug the refrigerator back in. If you still have noise coming from the condenser fan after cleaning it, you may have to replace the part with the help of an appliance repair company.

If your refrigerator is making a rumbling, or purring noise from the back, it may indicate a problem with your compressor. The compressor is located in a football-sized case on the back of the refrigerator, near the bottom of the unit, and usually contains either black or copper tubes with a variety of colored wires. The compressor is typically a sealed unit, so it can not be replaced by a do-it-yourselfer. If you are able to …

The Reluctant Gardening Calendar – February

February is showing the first, ominous, signs that the arrival of spring is fast approaching. The wild snowdrops are bobbing heads beneeth the hedgerow and this week I have seen the first wild primrose and tiny violets in the riverbank down by the meadow. Add that to the fact that the Christmas cake is, finally, finished, and it's a good indication that before long even the Reluctant Gardener will have to admit its time to get out and * do something * on the soggy side of the patio door.

It's the time of year when all those great excuses for leaving things not-done in the autumn – which seemed such a good idea at the time – start to look not-so-good after all. I DO know where the garden shed is located – because I have quite a good memory – it's just temporarily invisible at the moment. The forsythia and the thingie-with-pink-flowers have grown up, over and around, creating a green burial mound. Last autumn's labor-saving decision means we will probably need a machete to liberate the mower.

…… and while I'm on the subject of things growing, growing, GROWING, I reckon thereought to be a law against Garden Centers selling pretty little flowering things in pots which turn into humungous other-plant-gobbling monsters in a remarkable short space of time. The label said * something-or-other-fuchsia * – fuchsia my Aunt Florence! – its 7ft high over 10ft in diameter and obliterating every other plant in its path to world domination. This nightmare is high on the list of this year's * to-do's * – following on from its previous position on last year's * given-up-as-just-too-much-hard-work * list. It's at times like these that mind turns to thoughts of dynamite.

That is what the Reluctant Gardener actually does in February – make lists. The longest list is always the * to-do * list – which is really a follow-on from last year's * didn't-do * list and therefore a bit depressing. The cozy comfort of January curled up in front of the fire with hot chocolate and a book gives way to prowling around outside and taking stock of the size of the task waiting for spring. Its depressing because everything looks tatty, soggy and quite uninspiring.

That, however, will change with the first warm sunny day. The first temperature rise combined with that most essential ingredient – sunshine – results in a rush of insanity. Plants shoot up through the soil and gardeners shoot outside to grub around. This erratic behavior infects the relevant gardeners as well as the keen ones and is known as Spring. It's the time when you actually SEE your next door neighbors for the first time for months. It's a community insanity and it's catching. You see them-next-door outside grubbing about and the next thing is you pulling on the wellies and joining in. Later, of course, still suffering from the unaccustomed activity even after a hot bath, you wish you had just …