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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Maintenance: For Every Season And Safety Tips

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819

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Every season there are home maintenance and safety items that should be done to make certain that a home continues to run properly and will not incur damages in the long run. Many homeowners skip over these basic home maintenance necessities because of busy schedules or sometimes because they are unsure of what tasks to accomplish along the way.


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Every season there are home maintenance and safety items that should be done to make certain that a home continues to run properly and will not incur damages in the long run. Many homeowners skip over these basic home maintenance necessities because of busy schedules or sometimes because they are unsure of what tasks to accomplish along the way.

Simply keeping up on these small tasks can ensure that your home will function better in the long run. Seasonal home maintenance will also ensure that you have less overhaul or major expense repairs than homeowners who do not keep up on small season maintenance. These small maintenance items can also protect your home from fire, flooding, or other damages caused by neglect.

To keep from being overwhelmed by the task of home maintenance, it is best to separate these tasks into seasonal chores. For those who live in an area where there are four definite seasons, it is best to follow a logical task schedule that works with necessary maintenance for the different seasons.

If possible, set up a schedule of cleaning and maintenance tasks for each season. Try to maintain that schedule throughout the years. This will ensure that the tasks are not forgotten from one year to the next.

Winter Tips

Tasks that should be accomplished at the onset of every winter season are those that make certain your home will be protected from the cold or the damp weather. Even for those who live in a warmer climate zone, the winter season brings on more rain and chilly weather, so making sure the home is safe from damp and cold is the best bet for the winter season.

Winter tasks should include:

* Removing screen doors and windows and replacing with storm windows

* Checking insulation of pipes in attics, basements and crawl spaces and reinsulating if necessary

* Storing firewood in a dry spot near the home for easy access

* Checking and cleaning the clothes dryer and kitchen exhaust systems and cleaning the clothes dryer duct space

* Checking attic for proper ventilation for running of the furnace

* Checking all the water hoses connecting to appliances, water heater and water softener to make sure there are no cracks or air bubbles. Repair if necessary.

Spring Tips

While winter brought on the cold, the spring brings on the cleaning out season. It also brings on a peak in spring lightening and thunderstorms, so routine maintenance tips should include prevention methods against electrical damage.

Start with spring tasks such as:

* Checking all the homes electrical systems

* Testing all the ground fault receptacles

* Making sure all power surges are in place on the appliances

* Inspecting and replacing necessary smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

* Replacing or repairing any extension cords used in the home that may be damaged or becoming worn

* Replacing the much used furnace filter from the winter

* Checking the roof for possible damages that may not have been noticed in the wintertime to prevent spring rain leaks

* Making sure all gutters are cleaned and all outdoor drainage systems are working properly

Summer Tips

While you can get out and about and enjoy the outdoors during the summer months, it is best to focus summer maintenance on outdoor tasks.

These tasks may include:

* Cleaning and repairing all outdoor power tools, such as the lawnmower, weedeater, or hedge trimmer

* Checking the patio and deck for possible deterioration and fixing and performing any necessary repairs

* Inspecting the roof for possible damage and water leaks if this was not done in the spring time

* Checking the brick, siding and cement areas on the home for shifting in the foundation or cracks or chips in the siding or brick

* Taking time to seal the cracks in the garage floor and driveway

Fall Tips

The fall is a great time to make preparations for the oncoming winter season before it is too late, so focus maintenance on things to keep the home safe and warm during the winter.

These tasks can include:

* Having a professional inspection on the entire heating unit, especially the furnace

* Replace the furnace filter if necessary

* Reexamine the home for potential water leaks in the roof, basement, and even the appliances such as the dishwasher, washer, or refrigerator

* Examine and replace any caulking that has begun to wear away in the doorways, windowsills and even in the bathrooms to prevent winter leaks

Outdoor maintenance that should be performed before it gets to chilly outside:

* Empty out the gasoline and clean out the outdoor power tools before placing in storage for the winter

* Making sure the generator works in case of winter power failure

* Have a professional chimney inspection and cleaning of the chimney flue. Have repairs done before the winter or before using

These tips should help ensure the safety of your home, your property within, and your family. The list may seem overwhelming, but just tackle them one at a time.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Interior Tricks And Tips

Word Count:
589

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Is one of more of the rooms in your house smaller than you would like? There are several different home interior tricks to making a small room seem larger than it really is. Changes can be made cosmetically (painting, lighting) as well as physically (furniture, organization) to maximize the appearance of your room.


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Is one of more of the rooms in your house smaller than you would like? There are several different home interior tricks to making a small room seem larger than it really is. Changes can be made cosmetically (painting, lighting) as well as physically (furniture, organization) to maximize the appearance of your room.

No matter if the small room is a bedroom, the living room or kitchen, several basic principals need to be followed for the perfect home interior. One Keep clutter to a minimum. This may mean buying drawer organizers to keep things neat in their places in a drawer instead of on a countertop. Buy a bookshelf to stack books up instead of on the floor or table. Limit the amount of knick knacks to only what fits comfortably on your current shelving.

Second home interior tip Keep only what you need. If you haven t used it, worn it, opened it, tried it, tasted it or needed it in 18 months, get rid of it. This helps keep the clutter under control also.

To cosmetically alter the appearance of a small room, cover the walls with a light color, such as beige, cream, pale yellow, mauve or pastels. Light colors reflect light from the sun and lamps, thus making a room appear more open and roomier. A white or very pale beige on the ceiling also reflects back more light and enlarging the presence. Dark colors can make a room feel closed in and small from limiting the light sources. Light colored rugs or carpeting also extend the appearance of a larger area.

Tricks that can make a room appear bigger include vertical stripes in wallpaper or paint. If painting, use thin strokes that compliment the wall or furniture colors. Stripes can run from floor to ceiling or start from a chair railing and either go up or down. When choosing wallpaper, choose a small print or thin stripe to use. Small prints are easier to match up also.

Lighting also plays an important role in room s appearance for the perfect home interior. Use lamps with light colored shades to adequately filter the wattage from the light bulb. Dark shades can hinder reflection, giving a dark appearance, which makes a room poorly lit. Use light bulbs with 75 watts or power or higher, but allows follow guidelines recommended by the lamp manufacturer.

When placing furniture in a small room, try groupings of a large piece followed by a small piece. For example, a tall lamp next to a short backed chair. A tall bookcase next to the couch. If you are limited in budget and have to make do with furniture already bought, arrange it in conversation style as best as possible. A couch with an end table, facing one or two chairs with an end table and lamp.

If your budget allows, buy tall furniture to give the added appearance of height to the walls. Add real or fake plants to sit atop for an extra few inches. Buy a loveseat instead of a full sized couch to save on room. Use narrower end tables or none at all if possible. Floor lamps work well beside or behind a large piece of furniture and reflect the light off the wall and down from the ceiling in one piece.

Buy baskets that can be placed inside shelves or under couches and beds to store extra items and knick knacks. Clutter takes up a lot of precious room, and by maintaining its organization, a room will appear more open.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Interior Decoration Ideas

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593

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Interior decorations are often associated with mere interior embellishments. It is difficult to bestow one particular meaning to this art. Renovations can also include rebuilding something within a home as part of interiors. On a practical note, the concept of interior decorations develops from the spirit of individual taste and likings. You can always rely on professional help, provided the person is willing to do her job after a thorough research into your unique taste and lifestyle.


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Interior decorations are often associated with mere interior embellishments. It is difficult to bestow one particular meaning to this art. Renovations can also include rebuilding something within a home as part of interiors. On a practical note, the concept of interior decorations develops from the spirit of individual taste and likings. You can always rely on professional help, provided the person is willing to do her job after a thorough research into your unique taste and lifestyle.
There are so many ways to go about it. Planning in advance will help you with many factors, including your budget and practicality. If you plan on hiring an Interior Decorator, make sure he spends time with you and your family, it is important to make him understand your specific preferences (colors, dislikes, etc). If you plan to do it yourself, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences. After all, you understand your home the best. But, as it quite often happens, you can get lost in the process, so the first step would be planning. Write down the plan, and start with a realistic budget, following are some of the important questions you can ask yourself before you start,

You can make columns with figures once you have estimated the basics,

How much are you willing to spend (read BUDGET)?
Do you want to start with a room or include the entire house?
Which is the room you would like to start with?
What is each room used for? Who is going to use the rooms?
What is the theme you have in mind? Anything specific?
Would you like to change the wall color/paper?
Do you prefer low-maintenance interiors or you can do with a high-maintenance d cor?
Do you have kids? Pets? Do you want to inculcate any special care or theme for them?
Does your budget include new furniture? (Make a list of it)
Do you plan to use stuff at home to create your own lamps, hangings etc.?
What needs to be changed? Work on things you really want to change, and make a separate Wish List for dream things.
Concentrate on the Do list first.

Although basic, the answer to the above questions will bring the real picture in front of your eyes. This will help you in practically estimating the cost, and stirring your plan in the right direction. When you are through with the plan, start with a room by measuring its area. And write in front of it the things you will be doing wall paint/paper; change side tables, add lamp, do panels, change rugs, and so on. After surveying each room (or just a room incase you wish to start with one), and practically jotting down things to be done, now tally this list with your original list(anything from the wish list peeping out?).

Now work on details like the wall color schemes or wall paper, try to use a basic color for all rooms for it will help in keeping the uniformity of your home intact (and costs down), and you can work on different combos with it. For wallpapers, you can use the same background color and work on the print and patterns. A combo of wall paint and paper also looks great with a little thought. You can play with colors on the rugs, curtains and lighting. If modern colors appeal to you, you can work in a combination of colors (complimentary) that go with your furniture and curtains. That should help you with getting started all the best!

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improving with Solar The Important Concept of Gain

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518

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You ve decided to pursue a solar home improvement, but aren t so keen on the idea of putting panels on your roof. No worries, you just need to understand the concept of gain.


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You ve decided to pursue a solar home improvement, but aren t so keen on the idea of putting panels on your roof. No worries, you just need to understand the concept of gain.

I Gotta Gain Some Heat

I ll cut to the chase gain refers to how you generate heat for your home without solar panels. You can think of it as gaining heat by manipulating the power of the sun. There are three categories of gain: direct gain, indirect gain and isolated gain. So much for the mumbo jumbo, what are we really talking about here?

Direct gain refers to improving your house in a manner that allows the sun to [drum roll] directly provide power in the form of heat to your home. For instance, if you install large windows in the south facing side of your home and put down heat storing flooring such as masonry, you are pursuing direct gain. The sun will directly heat the home through the windows during the day and will also heat up the flooring. As the sun goes down, the flooring will continue to radiate heat. The advantage of direct gain is it is fairly easy to implement. The disadvantage is it only works during the day and for a few hours afterwards if you ve put in a heat storing flooring material.

Indirect gain is a bit more complicated. It refers to the idea of using a structure between the exterior and interior of the house to store heat produced by exposure to sunlight. The basic idea is to get more heat production for a longer period of time. Indirect gain is typically accomplished by building a thermal wall out of masonry, known as a Trombe Wall, as the south facing wall of your home or a part of it. The wall is built out of a material that absorbs heat such as concrete or brick and then has glass placed over it. Put another way, the south wall is a window with a brick wall behind it. The wall materials suck up the power of the sun and store heat. This heat is then radiated when you need it by opening vents in the wall. The advantage of indirect gain is you get longer, more controlled heating. The disadvantage is you have the world s weirdest looking window on the south side of your home.

Isolated gain is a simple concept. Have you ever used a greenhouse to grow flowers or tomatoes or well, something? Isolated gain works just like a greenhouse, except you are providing heat to yourself instead of plants. Essentially, you build a self-contained glass structure on the south side of your home which is also well insulated. The structure heats up in the sun during the day to very high temperatures. When you need heat, you just turn on a fan, which moves it into the house through venting you ve installed.

The beauty of any of these systems is they are fairly simple concepts to understand. If solar panels don t appeal to you, just go for some gain.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improving while Budgeting

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793

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Home improvement projects regularly scare people off, because many judge that they will pay thousands of dollars to alter one room, because they do not have the skills to do the job them self. They may also feel that the job is costly because supplies and tools are needed.


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As we all know, budgeting and home improvement does not always go together but this article will give you information that could help improve your home and still save a little money.

Home improvement projects regularly scare people off, because many judge that they will pay thousands of dollars to alter one room, because they do not have the skills to do the job them self. They may also feel that the job is costly because supplies and tools are needed.

To the contrary, home improvement does not have to be costly at all. Of course, if you hire a subcontractor or contractor to do the job, you will pay a fortune, but if you have patience and the ability to read and stick to the directions, then you can renovate an whole room in your home for fewer than a hundred dollars. Of course, you will need to change and correlate materials.

Before starting the procedure of improving your home, you will need to system of funds and a schedule to get started. You will need to ponder various notions when considering and preparing home improvement. For example, do you plan to paint your home? Do you plan to tile your home? Do you want carpet in your home?

Going through the final part of this article, you will see just how important budgeting and home improvement can be done which will help save you money and improve your home.

Asking questions is part of analyzing and preparing for home improvement. One of the best tools to have when considering home improvement is calculating what you like and calculating what you want. When I improve my home the first thing I do is explore my mind searching for favorites and what excites and appeals to me. Thus, when I go to the home improvement warehouses, I already have in my brain what I am ready to purchase, therefore this relaxes my quest to improving my home.

If you are short of funds to improve your home, then setting up a financial plan will help you get what you want as well as put away some cash for a rainy day. You may even think about purchasing equipment and tools for home improvement at the companies that propose lower prices and/or purchases with no payments until a particular date. This notion will give you time to get your home better while putting away the currency to purchase the improvement equipment and tools.

Unfortunately, many people go for another home loan to enhance their home. Receiving loans from lenders regularly lead to debt, and home loans for improvement only leads to paying off your home twice. Thus, elude high interest rates and loan payments and learn to plan your finances to improve your home.

Let me give you a general view of what one area could cost you for repairs. Say you want to paint a specific room in your home. You will need plaster, sealers, primer, paints, paint thinners, scrapers, screwdriver, paint opening (often come with paint purchases), patches, paintbrushes, tray, and so forth. Now you may think this will cost you a lot of money to improve your home, but to the contrary, you are wrong.

The paint and tools will cost you the most, while the other items will be priced less; thus, primer, sealers and plaster be priced around fifteen dollars if you go to the correct store.

Paint thinners, trays, brushes and screwdriver will cost around fifteen dollars if you go to the right store. Thus, the patches should be purchased with a plaster kit, which will salvage you a few pennies. The paint will cost around twenty dollars per can, depending on the kind of paint purchased. Therefore, for around a hundred bucks you could alter a room in your home lacking hiring anybody to do the job providing you stick to the instructions.

What about the bathroom, can you alter the room on a financial plan? It depends on the range of the area, but if you are yearning to tile your bathroom and paint the walls you could get the job done for around a hundred bucks give or take. If you go to the correct home improvement store and know what you are doing, you could remodel a small bathroom or average bathroom for around fifty bucks.

Learning to create a financial plan and prepare for home improvements can help you to remodel your whole home (if the home is in good standings) for a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, completing the work yourself, you will recoup you thousands of dollars.

Having this budget and home improvement information handy will help you a great deal the next time you find yourself in need of it.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improvements That Pay Off

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515

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Though remodeling your home can add some pampering and luxury to your life, most home improvements don’t recoup the money spent on them. This article takes a look at some improvements that can significantly increase the value of your house.


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There are two main reasons people take on home improvement projects: for their own pleasure and in hopes of increasing the resale value of their homes. As long as you spend time and money for the first reason, you’ll be okay. It’s when you start thinking more about the second reason that you may be in for a disappointment. Even if improvements add value to your home, few recoup the money they cost. For example, a swimming pool, which costs tens of thousands of dollars to install, adds little to no resale value to a home. People are turned off by the maintenance aspect, and parents with small children will worry about safety issues.

So, what improvements do add enough value that you’ll come close to making back what you spend? It’s the highly visible improvements that will help most. Unfortunately, the less visible ones don’t impress. Replacing the roof or furnace, while they may need doing, won’t convince a home buyer to pay more. Likewise, new energy-efficient doors and windows are not likely to recoup the cost of installation (However, if you are going to continue living in your home for the next few years, $1,000 spent on insulation and caulking existing windows and doors can help you save on your energy bills).

The biggest home improvement you can do to impress homebuyers (and make them want to pay more) is one of the cheapest. Paint. As long as you pick colors that will appeal to a wide audience–and you do it right before you list (before it has time to get mucked up)–you’ll increase appeal. Likewise crown molding is relatively inexpensive to install but adds the wow factor to otherwise regular rooms.

So, what else is worth doing? You may have heard that kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a house, and this is true, but don’t think you have to spend tens of thousands on a whole-room remodel. Getting rid of outdated wallpaper or paint will help tremendously. Also sand and paint/stain old cabinet doors to make them look new. Switch out the dated cabinet hardware for something stylish and modern.

Any time you can take dead space (i.e. an attic or basement) and turn it into functional space (i.e. bedroom, office, media room), you stand a good chance of recouping much of the money you invest in the project (85% of the cost returned at resale is the national average).

If your house only has one bathroom, you can recoup about 90% of the cost by adding a second. (Adding a third gets you back less).

Landscaping can also improve curb appeal and salability of a home, but don’t spend thousands on hiring a professional (it won’t increase the value anywhere near that much). Tackle landscaping projects you can do yourself instead.

Keep this advice in mind before you open your pocketbook to hire contracts and buy materials for massive remodeling projects. If you’re going to spend a lot, make sure it’s–first and foremost–for you and your family, with resale of the house a distant second consideration.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improvements – The Fun Stuff

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572

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Planning home improvements necessarily involves addressing numerous practical matters. That doesn t mean you should ignore the fun stuff!


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Planning home improvements necessarily involves addressing numerous practical matters. That doesn t mean you should ignore the fun stuff!

The Fun Stuff

The first thing to plan for in home improvements is the practical stuff. The second thing you need to talk to family members about is the fun stuff.

Most people have colors they like and colors they don t like. They have things that interest them and things that don t. Get your family to talk to you about those things. Each person s bedroom, or bedroom area, should reflect his or her taste and interests. A boy who likes green, football, and backpacking can easily have a sage green (it reads as more neutral than many shades of green if re-sale of your home is a concern) room with cream woodwork, cream interior shutters, and cream ceiling. Framed football posters and wilderness scenes might be pleasant. Bedding with a rustic motif (rows of stylized pine trees?) from L.L. Bean or Plow and Hearth would work right in. Add a touch or two of a bright color like red or yellow.

Does he need a desk in his room? A chest of drawers? A bookcase? Would he enjoy having a bulletin board? Even if they re small, most rooms need at least three lamps so that illumination is general and even. The shades are usually best in warm, neutral colors. (Light coming through green shades tends to make people look sick.) Lamp shades should be level and the seams should be toward the wall so they re not visible. When the bottom edge of most lamp shades in a room are the same height from the floor, the room tends to look serene and cohesive.

Hanging pictures usually look best if the bottom edges of the frames are the same height from the floor and level with each other, too. There are exceptions to this and every generalization of course. A grouping of pictures can have the bottom tier follow the rule while all of the other pictures are higher. A picture over a fireplace often looks good higher than the other pictures in the room.

Pictures usually look best when they have a relationship to furniture or an architectural feature. Pictures centered over a chest, bed, bookcase, or fireplace are good examples. Pictures don t tend to look good if they re scattered willy-nilly around a room, or if they re up near the ceiling (unless they re part of a grouping), or if the height at which they re hung varies wildly with no rhyme nor reason.

A girl who loves pink, the ballet, and swimming can have woodwork the same cream as her brother s while her walls are a soft pink (a pink with a hint of yellow in it tends to go well with cream), and her art work reflects her interests. If she loves to read, make sure she has a good reading lamp near her bed, or near a comfortable chair, or both.

A cream colored dust ruffle with widely spaced pink stripes and a quilted plaid coverlet in pink, green, yellow, and blue on a cream background might look nice. Add cream fabric window shades with large pink polka dots and I ll bet she ll smile.

The bigger point is to simply have fun with some of your home improvements. There is no need to look exclusively at practical matters.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improvements: Spruce Up Your Home This Season

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275

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With a few simple improvements you can add character and curb appeal to your home at a reasonable price and make it the envy of the neighborhood.


Home Improvements: Spruce Up Your Home This Season

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With a few simple improvements you can add character and curb appeal to your home at a reasonable price and make it the envy of the neighborhood.

Tidy up perimeter landscaping. Collect and remove all weeds, loose leaves and litter from the property. Put up a fence or replace an old one in disrepair. Today’s attractively priced vinyl fencing is one option that is easy to install, easy to care for and looks good for years. New styles and darker colors give you a wealth of options.

Inspect your home’s siding. Is it chipping, staining or rotting? Your siding may just need a power wash or it may need to be replaced. If it’s the latter, talk with your local contractor about low-maintenance vinyl and fiber cement siding options. New styles, such as CertainTeed’s Board and Batten vertical vinyl siding, mimic the look of traditional siding and come in a wide range of colors.

Look at the roof. Asphalt shingles can last many years depending on the quality of the shingle, the slope of the roof and proper ventilation. To be sure your roof is in tip-top shape, use binoculars to look for missing, cracked, curling or decaying shingles. If any are spotted, it may be time to replace your roof. Consider asphalt shingles as new styles can add dimensional appeal to your home. They’re long lasting and feature a Class A fire rating.

Picture your home online. Home improvements are also home investments. If you want to see how your chosen fence, cladding, roofing or other selection fits on your house, go to http://www.certainteed picturemyhome.com to give your home a virtual makeover.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improvements – Questions and Answers

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363

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When considering home improvements, it is important to ask family members for their opinions. So, how do you evaluate the answers?


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When considering home improvements, it is important to ask family members for their opinions. So, how do you evaluate the answers?

Typical Discoveries

Talking with family members about home improvements will lead to surprising answers. You and your husband each have times you need to be alone (computer work, business planning), and times you need to be alone together (initial discussions about family plans, a new job, the budget, travel, etc.). This varies by age of course, but children have similar needs for being alone, alone with friends and with the family. There are times you and your husband will decide the children need your supervision no matter what their preferences.

Decisions

After discussions and interviews with family members, you are ready to map out a plan for how the various areas of the house are to be used. Do the initial plan and then discuss it with your husband or wife. Don t discuss it with the children until the two of you are pretty much in agreement.

Obviously, tastes are specific to individual people. You and your husband must come to an agreement based on the following considerations:

1. Theme Are you going with a particular atmosphere or style?

2. Costs What do you want to do versus what can you afford?

3. Value How much will the improvements impact the value of your home?

Once you ve hashed through these issues, you ll be ready to move forward with your plans. Then it s time for the two of you to go over it with the children.

Children obviously can have some outlandish ideas about what would look cool in a home. While you may balk at such suggestions, it is important to include your kids in the process. A happy medium can be allowing children a lot of latitude when it comes to their rooms. In reality, their rooms are homes within homes and they feel comfortably in them. Don t worry, you can paint them after the kids leave home or before you sell it.

Planning home improvements can be a bit bewildering. Make sure to include your family in the discussion so you get a result everyone feels good about.

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Gardening dublin

L2LL Home Improvements – Professionals or DIY

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332

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There are lots of reasons why you might be considering improving your home.


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There are lots of reasons why you might be considering improving your home. You have to live in it, after all, and if some part of your home seems to be getting past its sell-by date then it s natural to want to replace it. Also, many home improvements can increase the value of your home by significantly more than the improvement itself cost.

Some of the most common home improvements are new bathrooms, new kitchens, and extensions to add extra rooms such as bedrooms, a study or a conservatory. There are also plenty of home improvements you can do that are less visible, however, such as improving your plumbing or electrics.

When you start to undertake any home improvement project, the first decision you have to take is whether you will do it yourself or hire a professional. While DIY can save you money in theory, you will often find that the savings are minimal, as you will not get good prices on materials and will have to spend much more time on the improvements than they would otherwise have needed. You can do well at DIY, and it can be fun, but don t try to run before you can walk: do small projects first, and gradually build up from there, instead of starting out with a grand design and no idea how to achieve it.

If you re mainly doing a home improvement because you think it will add value to your home, make sure to check that it actually will. People are often shocked to discover that the value of their house goes down when they build rooms over their garden, for example, as the garden space was actually more valuable than the extra room that has been added. In most cases, the best thing to do is to add improvements that you actually find useful, not ones that you think someone else will like: if you like them, the chances are that the housing market will too.