Categories
Buying a House remodeling

Remodeling? Consider Key Features in 2014 New Homes

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton
Quick Video YouTube_Small
Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re pondering a major remodeling project for your home it’s a good idea to take a look at the key features being built into new single family homes. According to the National Assn. of Home Builders the features most important to new home buyers in 2014 are not startling or new ideas, just practical and functional features that make living in a home comfortable and convenient. They include a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-e windows, a laundry room and a great room.
These top priorities have been a part of the mix for several years, but increasingly energy efficiency – in the construction of windows, appliances and heating and cooling units – are important to home buyers. The realization that saving energy dollars now and in the future makes the Energy Star rating an important factor for home buyers.
To compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor for hundreds of improvement projects, visit us at www.diyornot.com.

 

Categories
Utility Shelving

Utility Shelving – Not Pretty but Practical

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

Get rid of stuff you don’t want and get control of what you use. Storage bins, crates are usually on sale and there’s no reason old cardboard boxes can’t be used as a first step to controlling your clutter. At home centers, office supply and dollar stores there’s an array of plastic and steel shelving units. For basement, garage and attic shelving consider a steel unit that costs from $30 – $100. Plastic units usually snap or fit together and steel units can be bolt-less or require nuts and bolts to hold them together.

To build a sturdy utility shelf for a garage or basement we like using Strong-tie metal connectors with 2×2 lumber for the legs and rails and then cutting plywood into shelves. If you’re interested, you can build it yourself for $85 or hire a handyman for $140 for the job. Here’s more information Build Utility Shelves .

To get garden hoses, ladders, sports equipment and other ungainly objects off the floor buy some utility brackets (from $2 on up) that hang on the wall and screw into a wood stud. In the garage use overhead hooks to hang bicycles and kayaks from the rafters.

No matter what your budget is for this unpleasant but rewarding task you’ll find things to help you. The difficult part is attacking the stuff throughout the year. We tackled our garage last year and are amazed to see the floor and be able to get the car inside, no small feat, I assure you.

For more home improvement ideas and to compare the cost of DIY costs with contractor costs visit us at www.diyornot.com or www.m.diyornot.com on your smartphone.

Categories
DIY remodeling True Grit

True Remodeling Grit

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

The range of do it yourself home projects goes from “easy does it” jobs like painting to highly skilled electrical and plumbing jobs, some of which should be left to a professional.  But some jobs fall into the true grit category and those require the likes of a Rooster Cogburn or Mattie Ross.

If you’re known as persistent, resilient and determined you have what it takes to tackle some challenging remodeling jobs, which are ambitious because they require so much time and stick-to-ness. I’m thinking about a first-time homeowner who took on the job of removing layers of wallpaper in all the rooms of a handyman special.  Or how about the guy who insisted on unfreezing a frozen water pipe, not in interior wall, it was a pipe that could only be reached by crawling under the house and working on his back on cold, wet ground.  Just wiggling his way into position to get to the pipe required the strength and dexterity of a gymnast.

A neighbor showed true grit when he decided to save money and restore his entire lawn, by manually removing all the weeds and layers of thick thatch, a job that took him most of the summer. The next summer he built a stone fence surrounding his property, another tedious and labor intensive project.

If you have true remodeling grit, I salute you. If you don’t, you’re like countless others who stand in awe as we call a contractor for those seemingly unending jobs.

To compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor visit us at www.diyornot.com.

Categories
bathroom design guidelines bathroom remodeling

A Lot to Think About Remodeling a Bathroom


If a bathroom makeover is in your future and you’re in the “noodling” stage of planning the project, take a look at these suggestions and guidelines Bathroom Design Basics about the spacing and placement of all the fixtures so you allow for enough clearance space around the fixtures. It’s a good first step to knowing your options for placing the fixtures. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor you’ll be able to plan the project so the end result of your labor is a stylish, comfortable and convenient bathroom to enjoy for years to come.

At www.diyornot.com you can compare the cost of bathroom remodeling projects, that is, how much it costs to do the work yourself vs. hiring a contractor. Bathroom remodel projects are some of the most popular projects because the room is so frequently used. A major challenge in a small bath do over is its small footprint limits where the fixtures can be placed. Of course, your budget is the prime factor that will influence all of your decisions, but don’t assume it’s easy placing and optimizing the plumbing fixtures in a minimal space.

In one house we remodeled the location and size of a bathroom window was the challenging issue because we couldn’t find space for the new fixtures unless we replaced the old double-hung with a casement window. That solved the problem and we made it work. In another, a second floor addition, we were forced to position a new bathroom below the existing bathroom on the first floor to eliminate extensive and costly plumbing work. Most recently we had to tuck the smallest size shower stall into a corner in a tiny narrow space we carved out for a ½ bathroom. It worked but it took some doing.

Here’s a link to Costing Out Bathroom Upgrades with the cost figures for some projects that make any bathroom, no matter its size, work more efficiently and look better.

Categories
Do it yourself

Low Cost High Impact Front Door Facelifts

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

For a quick spruce up to your front door to get ready for Spring, here are some easy quick fixes that will enhance your front entry. No matter what season it is, these inexpensive ideas will create an inviting entrance.

A fresh coat of paint ($30) on the front door is one way to make a statement and turn the heads of passers-by. Use a good quality exterior paint to withstand the weather for best results. Doesn’t need paint? Give the front door and storm door a good washing to remove the build up of daily dirt and grime that accumulates.

You don’t need to replace the exterior light at the front entry, but it does go a long way to define the space with a new fixture. If nothing else, replace the bulb in the old fixture so it provides a bright light for visitors who may have difficulty negotiating the entry stairs.

A $15 new door mat makes a marked improvement over the old worn one and creates a fresh look and appeal. I find the best selection of bargain priced mats at home centers.

Replacing the house numbers is another upgrade that looks good and helps visitors locate your address. If nothing else, clean up the existing ones.

Depending on the weather and where you live, add a container of colorful flowers or basket of pine cones.

If leaves accumulate at your front door make a note to regularly sweep them away along with the dirt they attract.

To find the cost of hundreds of home repair, decorating and improvement jobs visit us at www.diyornot.com.

Categories
bathroom design guidelines bathroom remodeling

Remake Your Bathroom – Easy Peasy

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

If a bathroom makeover is in your future and you’re in the “noodling” stage of planning the project, take a look at these suggestions and guidelines Bathroom Design Basics about the spacing and placement of all the fixtures so you allow for enough clearance space around the fixtures. It’s a good first step to knowing your options for placing the fixtures. Whether you’re doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor you’ll be able to plan the project so the end result of your labor is a stylish, comfortable and convenient bathroom to enjoy for years to come.

At www.diyornot.com you can compare the cost of bathroom remodeling projects, that is, how much it costs to do the work yourself vs. hiring a contractor. Bathroom remodel projects are some of the most popular projects because the room is so frequently used. A major challenge in a small bath do over is its small footprint limits where the fixtures can be placed. Of course, your budget is the prime factor that will influence all of your decisions, but don’t assume it’s easy placing and optimizing the plumbing fixtures in a minimal space.

In one house we remodeled the location and size of a bathroom window was the challenging issue because we couldn’t find space for the new fixtures unless we replaced the old double-hung with a casement window. That solved the problem and we made it work. In another, a second floor addition, we were forced to position a new bathroom below the existing bathroom on the first floor to eliminate extensive and costly plumbing work. Most recently we had to tuck the smallest size shower stall into a corner in a tiny narrow space we carved out for a ½ bathroom. It worked but it took some doing.

Here’s a link to Costing Out Bathroom Upgrades with the cost figures for some projects that make any bathroom, no matter its size, work more efficiently and look better.