Kitchen Renovation Made Easy

A functional and comfortable kitchen is now a growing trend among new houses. Traditionally, the kitchen only serves as the preparation area for food. However, in today's modern homes, it also serves other functions besides from serving. As many homemakers turn to being working moms, the ideal kitchen should also provide space for their other needs. When thinking about a kitchen renovation, here are some few tips to ensure comfort and functionality of your new haven.

Use Quality Materials

Kitchen renovation is quite expensive, making it a seldom occurrence in the home. In order to turn it to your dream kitchen, make sure you invest in high quality materials. Choose materials that will not accumulate dirt through the years. Choose tiles and countertops that are smudge-free. Allot sufficient time for finding the perfect kitchen countertop. You can get kitchen countertop ideas by visiting showrooms and home improvement centers. Always look for quality materials to use for your kitchen. When you use good materials for your tiles, cabinets and drawers, chances are your kitchen will last many years without needing another renovation.

Determine your Design

Before you even start buying all the materials, decide on the theme of your kitchen. Kitchen renovation becomes easier when you have an idea of ​​the kitchen you want to have. Coordinate your kitchen's accessories with the fixtures and the color of the wall. Be it a Contemporary or Mediterranean style; match your kitchen with your personality and the overall theme of your home.

Arrangement

If you want to increase the functionality of the kitchen, make sure you have enough space to work in. Whenever you do kitchen renovation, avoid placing appliances or fixtures in the middle for you to have room for constant movement. Place the bulky things on the side to make the kitchen airy and spacious.

Kitchen renovation may seem to be a difficult task. But as you go along, the task can be enjoyable and rewarding. You can get more ideas for renovation from magazines, books or on the net. Just modify the designs and styles to suit your family's needs and your home's theme. …

Tips On How To Prepare Your House For a Property Magazine

Most sellers want their home to be sold immediately with high rates of market value. Well, this is not a miracle as it will probably happen if you will carefully plan for it and if you know how to professionally design your home that will glamorously be presented in the property magazine. With that, every prospective home buyer will firmly get it as their own property. Here are some of the tips on how to prepare your house that will make it irresistible and marketable.

Detach yourself to your house. Think that this is not your house instead it is an item that needs to be sold. Make an internal realization of letting go of your house with your emotions and focus on the idea that soon that property will no longer be yours. Disassociating yourself with your home is not easy especially if you have lived there ever since you were born. But this is indeed needed in order to have a firm decision of selling it immediately.

After that, de-personalize your house through packing up those personal photos and other valuable belongings. Remember that home buyers do not want to see some past personal things because they are distracted to see them in the property. It is better to remove all of those belongings a day before the buyers visit your house. With this, you would expect to hear from them the words "I love to live in this house."

Next is to remove the clutter. Before letting the buyer view your house, you should remove all unnecessary things. In case you have things that you have not used over a year and you do not need them anymore, you may throw them. But it is better to donate them to the needy people. If you have bookcases in your house, better remove them. If you think that it would be more interesting to put something that can attract the buyers, you should put the essential items that are generally used daily. In addition, do not forget to clean everything on the kitchen area. This would add more appeal to the prospective buyers.

Reorganize all features in the bedroom and in the kitchen especially the cabinets and closets. Keep in mind that buyers want to look first at the kitchen and the bedroom. So, with an organized bedroom and kitchen, they will generally conclude that your house is well organized and clean. …

How to Paint a Kitchen Cabinet

Are you getting tired of how your kitchen looks? Why not try to paint your kitchen cabinets? This not only revitalizes your kitchen but also creates a whole new atmosphere for your kitchen. You do not need to hire professional services to have your kitchen cabinets painted. You can do this on your own. If it sounds complicated, do not be afraid, easy steps can be followed on how to paint kitchen cabinets.

1. Deconstruct your cabinets.

Remove all the doors, knobs, hinges and screws that may interfere with your painting job. Place them in an organized manner so no piece will be lost.

2. Clean all the surfaces that will be painted.

You need to make sure that the surfaces are free from grease, food residue, and other substances that may be stuck on them. Clean with the appropriate cleaner mixed with water and allow drying completely.

3. Sand the surfaces to be painted.

Even if this sees such a tiresome job to do, do not skip this step. This can do wonders for your painting job. This roughens up the surface to be painted on, allowing the paint to adhere to the surface more. Remove all the fine dust after sanding.

Now, this is where you need to know how to paint kitchen cabinets.

4. Apply primer.

Primer is needed as a pre-step in painting. This prepares the surface for painting, creating a surface with a higher adherence to the paint rather than painting the surface alone. Warning! You need to wear protective gear for this step. Wear goggles and disposable gloves to protect your eyes and hands from the harmful effects of the primer. Allow the primer to dry overnight.

5. Paint the cabinets.

Choosing the right paint is important for kitchen cabinets. There are a wide range of paintings available. The best bet are the oil-based paints which gives a shiny gloss after drying. Although there are water-based alternatives, these can also be used depending on what you think works best.

There are several painting materials which you can choose from -rollers, spray nozzles and the good old brush. No matter what you use, the most important thing to remember is a couple of thin coats are better than one thick coat. Allow the first layer to dry and sand the surface lightly before applying the next coat. Do this until the last coat. This ensures that the surface is smooth so the paint finishes perfectly.

5. Reconstruct your cabinet.

Now that the cabinet parts are painted to perfection, it would look better if these were all in one piece. When the paint has completely discharged, it is time to reconstruct everything. Replace all the hinges, screws doors and knobs.

6. Thank yourself for a job well done.

Appreciate the work you have done! Do not you think that you have done a great job in restoring your kitchen cabinets? Now, your kitchen looks brand new and you did it! Enjoy your new kitchen and give …

9 Ways to Increase Your Home Value

There are many ways to increase the value of your home. Some of these can be done on the interior and some on the exterior of your house from hiring a contractor for the large jobs to doing the smaller things yourself. You can do a little at a time or all at once. Most people can not afford to have the whole thing done all at once so they can work on it in stages until the whole process is complete.

Your home is your largest investment and needs to be kept in good condition. Current market conditions will play a large role in the price of your house but there are several things you can do to improve your home value.

1. One of the greatest investments you can make is updating your kitchen. New cabinets, countertops, and flooring can have a dramatic effect on the value of your house. If you can not afford those things, sometimes just painting the cabinets and putting new handles on the cabinets and drawers will give your kitchen a fresh, new facelift.

2. You can add decorative moldings to the doors, windows, walls, and floors. They are not that hard to install and can greatly add to the look of any room.

3. Adding a new roof is a good way to increase it's overall market value. There will usually be a 10 or 20 year warranty on the new roof and will add consideration to the value of your house.

4. You can replace your old windows with vinyl windows. This will not only conserve energy but will make the house more beautiful.

5. Painting the inside and outside of your house can completely transform it. For resale value it is better to be conservative in your paint color choices as your taste might not be the same as others.

6. Adding vinyl siding is another great way to update and beautify your house. If you already have vinyl siding you can have it power washed to freshen it up and make it shine.

7. New appliances in the kitchen can make a big difference in the value of your home. A new refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove would be one of the best investments you can make in your remodeling. Also a new washer and dryer, new central air and heat, or a new water heater will also add a lot of value.

8. Replace old carpet. Use new, more modern tile for your kitchen and bathroom floors. It is getting very popular now to put down tile floors in the family rooms also.

9. Good landscaping can also increase your home's value. Weed your flower beds regularly and remove all dead plants and leaves. Keep your lawn well-maintained and manicured.

You can browse through magazines or visit a home improvement store to get ideas for remodeling your home. Remember this is your largest investment and take good care of it. …

Kick Your Cooking Into High Gear

I enjoy cooking, but I 'd hardly describe myself as a chef. And yet I long for some of the fancy touches that could turn my ho-hum kitchen into a place of real efficiency. As with almost anything, having the right tools in place can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your work product and the joy and simplicity of your task.

In my kitchen, I repeatedly run into problems caused by insufficient space and poor organization. My pots and pans are stacked (nested) within one another which sounds fine until I need the one in the middle. Then, I end up spending extra minute trying to separate the pots and ultimately end up tossing what I do not need right then back into the cupboard. It becomes a problem for next time.

Unfortunately, next time never resolves itself. Thinking about the cabinet where cookie sheets and baking pans are kept, there's very little room to navigate in there, either. I have a hard time getting out what I need.

A friend suggested I look into buying some cabinet organizers to get a handle on my kitchen so I can focus more on cooking up great food. I discovered a pull-out drawer online that looks fabulous. It's nice and deep and perfect for stacking pots and pans at a better height so I do not have to stoop over. I also discovered some cabinet organizers which help separate trays. It looks like it will be easier to select the baking tray I need banks to that little device.

Whether you use wire baskets or pull-out drawers, cabinet organizers can make better use of the space within your kitchen cupboards. The logic holds – when you can more easily put away and access your tools, you have a more comfortable time in the kitchen. The more fun you have, the better the food will taste! …

Why You Should Use Stone Pavers In Your Bathroom

Apart from the fact that they look amazing, there are many practical reasons that you should incorporate stone pavers into your bathroom design. It does not matter whether you’re renovating your own private ensuite retreat or doing up the family bathroom, stone pavers can be a useful and aesthetically appealing addition.

Firstly, stone pavers are highly durable. They will be able to handle the general wear and tear that comes with a bathroom, especially a family one, and will not easily chip or break. Most stones also have natural salt and stain resistance, or can be sealed to do so; messy children (or partners) are no issue.

Stone pavers can be highly versatile, especially in a bathroom environment. They can be used as floors, walls, cladding – anything you want. Imagine stepping into a shower that is covered floor to ceiling in pavers so that you feel as if you’re in a stone cave or underneath a waterfall. Or think of yourself sliding into a spa bath that has been lined with smooth stone pavers in an array of natural looking textures and colors. These bathrooms look and sound fantastic and highly relaxing.

Not only do they look nice, stone pavers act as insulators without you having to do anything more than lay them. They heat up slowly during the day and release that heat at night, great for winter when you don’t want the kids walking around on cold bathroom floors. In summer, they also stay nice and cool during the day when your feet need a cool off.

If you have used pavers in other areas of your house, such as in the kitchen or living areas or even outside, you can continue the theme in your bathroom by using the same sort of stone. It’s very aesthetically pleasing and you will find that having a continuous theme to your pavers will make it an easy transition from room to room, area to area.

As well as all this, using pavers of stone in your bathroom can really add value to your home. They are fireproof, vermin-proof (meaning bugs and pests can’t get through them) and rot resistant, making your stone pavers a great selling point if you ever decide it’s time to move on.

But what stone pavers should I use in my bathroom? Pavers made of sandstone, once they have been tested for quality, are slip resistant and so make an ideal choice. Limestone and travertine pavers are also highly popular as they can be sealed and look really nice in the bathroom. Quartzite has low water absorption, making it suitable for wet areas, as does bluestone, which is also slip resistant. With the range of choices available, you’ll find pavers to suit every bathroom.…

Natural Cleaning Products – Remove Odors From Your Kitchen

From chocolate chip cookies to baked fish, we cook many different things in the kitchen. But if the kitchen is starting to smell like chocolate chip baked fish, it's time to do some deodorizing. Baking soda is a simple and inexpensive natural cleaning product that will safely and effectively remove odors from your kitchen.

Refrigerators
This is one of the most well-known ways to deodorize your kitchen with baking soda. You can just open up a box or put some into a small dish and place it into your refrigerator or freezer. Stir the contents of the box or dish periodically to freshen it. Replace the box or dish every couple of months or when the refrigerator starts to smell like it's time for a replacement.

Drains
Keep your drains fresh by pouring some baking soda down them and flushing with water. Using vinegar instead of water will also help with a clogged drain. However do not add vinegar if you have just poured a commercial drain cleaner or bleach down the sink.

Garbage Cans
Garbage cans are notorious odor collectors in the kitchen. To keep yours clean and fresh, wash it out with a mixture of baking soda and water. You can also sprinkle some into the bottom of the can before adding a new trash bag.

Microwaves
Stuck-on food and lingering smells in the microwave can affect the entire kitchen. To deodorize your microwave and help remove stuck-on food, place a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl of water. Microwave this for a few minutes until boiling. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then remove the bowl carefully. This should remove odors and loosen any messes in the microwave, allowing you to wipe them away with a clean cloth. …

How To Prepare A House For Sale For $ 500 or Less

I buy homes for below retail value … you know those houses that have been taken and neglected. You have one in your vicinity right now, if you were to walk into the house the aroma of cat urine would overwhelm your sense. If you could take one more step in to the home you would see trash covering every surface and rotting food. At this point you have to dive out the door you just came in to breathe fresh air again.

This just an example of the type of house I purchase, they are real junkers and I get these houses ready to sell for less than $ 500.

Here's the some things I do:

The first thing I do is hire a cleaning service and / or contractor to clean up the place.

1. I have them remove all the junk from the property. I rent one of those bulk waste containers from the city. In most cases one will do. But sometimes I had to have the city dump it and come back with another one. It amazes me how gross people live.

2. Once all the trash is removed from the inside and outside, I have the crew removed all the carpeting from the property.

3.I have the crew clean up the yard, and trim trees and shrubs. I have them also remove any boards from the windows and remove any privacy fencing in the front yard.
4. I always have the locks changed on all the doors.

5. Then it's time to get rid of all the smells. My secret weapon is bleach and pine sol. I have the crew use liberal amounts of both. I am talking about gallons of the stuff. When you walk in to the home the bleach should make your eye tear up. Note: Do not use bleach on hardwood floors, use pine sol.

6. I do a couple of more steps to make sure the house remains clean smelling. I leave an open container of bleach near the kitchen. I also dip the light bulbs in vanilla extract, when the power is on. The light will heat the dried vanilla extract and it creates a good smell every time someone walks through the house.

There you go, the house is ready for sale. Most of the time the house still needs rehab and paint but I have the new owners doing that through a special program called "Work For Equity". Oh, yah I also make up to forty thousand dollars every time I do this clean up procedure. …

Preparing Your Herb Garden

Be lazy and love it! You may call that my garden motto. There is a garden club called "Plant and Pray" and that name pretty well sums up my system. If a plant could sigh, it would do so when I put it in the ground. But, fortunately for me, herbs are the friendliest, the most adaptable of all plants. Most herbs love sun, but will grow in partial shade. Of course they need some sunshine to develop their fragrant oils, and if they get too little sun, their flavor will not be so good.

The herbs do not overly care either their soil is poor or rich. In fact, rich soil will produce large leaves, but relatively little fragrance and flavor. Without you want herbs for looks alone, do not use much fertilizer. Although a light loam is preferable, our own herbs must grow in clay. And they do. We have always garnered all the herbs we and our friends can use.

The actual planting of your herb garden is a simple matter. But when you have your herbs all gathered together in one small patch, or spread out over a large area, there are some basic planting procedures to follow.

Most seeds may be sown directly in the garden in spring. When planting seeds outdoors for new plants to bring in for the kitchen window, try to get them in the soil by midsummer. By fall the plants should be well established in the pots and boxes in which they are to grow during the winter, so that they will not have to undergo the shock of transplanting at the same time as the change from outdoor to indoor living. If your growing season is short, or if you wish to start using your herbs early in the summer, it is best to start some seeds in flats indoors even before the warm weather sets in. If you do not have the space or time for starting your own flats, you can usually buy seedlings or small plants from a nursery or seed company.

Preparing the Soil If you are starting your herb garden outdoors in the spring, here are some simple directions. First, plan where each variety is to go. Remember that the perennials must stay in their original positions for longer than a year. Arrange them so that they will not be disturbed, and so that the taller plants will not overshadow the smaller herbs. It is wise to plant the thick, heavy-leaved varieties requiring the least moisture-sage, thyme, winter savory, marjoram-in one part of the bed, and those which need more frequent watering in another. Good drainage is a special requirement of herbs.

Even those such as the mints, which love water, do not like to stand with their feet in a puddle. A gentle slope is the best place for your garden if the soil is not naturally porous. In Elizabethan times, many herb gardens were raised above ground level, with boards, rocks or …

Home Improvement Tips For Smart Homeowners

When making improvements to your home, often times small things can make a big difference. Below are six little tips that you may not have thought about, but could be quite helpful in your next home project.

1. Pick out a suitable height for wall outlets. Although most electricians place outlets 12 inches up the wall from the floor, many people find that height is not high enough to be convenient. As an alternative, consider whether 16 inches might be a better height for less bending, and to get the most out of power cord length for tabletop electric items such as lamps.

2. Use a stainless steel taping knife. Use a tool made out of this material for your sheetrock taping to minimize the amount of cleanup time that is needed after the project is done, and to limit any possibility of having rust forming on the knife, which will make it useless for future projects.

3. Recycle old electronics and appliances. Many electronics recycling establishments are popping up all over the nation and will take your out of date electric products for free disposing that is a lot more eco friendly than putting them in the trash to be put into the landfill. If they're in working condition, see if a charitable organization will take them so that they can be used again for extended life before they're recycled.

4. Be organized. Know about every major element, each step of the way through the remodeling process. This will help you to ensure that your contractors will all arrive on the right days for tasks to continue progressing. When your electrician arrives at the correct point, for example, it means that the building team will not need to wait to put up the walls or ceiling.

5. Put in a dormer to turn your attic into livable space. By building a dormer or two into the attic space, a properly constructed attic will receive natural light and added height to make it a much more appealing room. This can give your home a whole new space like a home office, play room for the children, or even a guest bedroom.

6. Measure everything. There is no such thing as guessing or "eyeballing" a measurement when it comes to the perfect home renovation. More often than not, you'll find that the way that something looked inside a huge store is quite different than the way that it will appear in your residence. You do not want to end up getting a kitchen island that will consume every square inch of floor space, and returns are costly and time consuming. …