Top Tips on How to Find Home Repair Services

Owning a home can be pretty exciting; you get to decorate the space, choose the tiling or paint the walls. But every now and then, your home will need some work done by professionals. Work that you are not qualified to do, such as home repairs or home constructions.

If the home repair is out of your own field of expertise, or you can’t “DIY” the repair yourself (in many cases it is not recommended to try repairing something without an expert’s help), it is best to find a good home repair service.

But that is not as easy as it sounds; finding an excellent service can take some time.

 

Here are some TOP tips for finding a good home repair service and how to protect your property from poor service providers:

  • make a complete list of all the work that needs to be done in your home – making a clear list will help you figure out how much repair work you’ll need in your house, and how much money you will have to put aside just for that. That’ll also help your handyman know if he can be qualified to do the job you’ve hired him for. It is not advisable to “surprise” the repairman in the middle of his work with more requests he might not be sure to execute properly.
  • get reliable references – one of the best ways to find a good home repair service merely is by asking around. Your next-door neighbors might have contact information for a home repair service fitting your needs, so don’t be shy, go ahead and ask for a reference. The best home repair services rely mostly on word of mouth recommendations, so it will be one of the safest ways to find a good handyman.
  • check online reviews – look for home construction complaints left by customers, as they can also offer you valuable information about a certain company. There are a lot of good sites you can get reliable home repair reviews and references from, such as Yelp, Craigslist, Angie’s list etc.
  • make sure your handyman is insured and licensed – if you are hiring a handyman through a home repair provider, make sure that they insure their workers. Know that you might be held liable if an accident happens to a handyman while he is working on your property, unless he has liability insurance. That is also one of the indicators of a good home repair service. Not only that protects the workers, but it also protects you from any additional payments.
  • request a cost estimate for the work that needs to be conducted at your property – this way you protect yourself from any scams from the company/handyman. It is always wise to ask for estimates of pricing in advance for both the work done at your property and the materials needed for the job to be executed. Sometimes it’s better to inform a handyman that you cannot go over a certain amount, so they know they can’t expect additional payment.
  • check tips for homeowners for any additional information about home repair tips, construction tips as well as landscaping and gardening tips.
  • read real consumer reviews on independent review platforms. AJ Perri review listings can give you an insight on pros and cons of any home repair services.
  • ask for a written contract – these contracts protect you from any confusions or forgotten details about the requested repairs. And if the handyman doesn’t do his job properly you will have a valid document that proves the agreement and you can easily take it to court.
  • your local hardware store might have the right info for you – you can always go and ask around at your local hardware store for a good recommendation. Almost all of these stores have bulletin boards where many local contractors and home repair companies put their contacts and advertisements.

 

Also, a good idea for you will be to interview the repairman or contractor before hiring them, asking them what types of work they have already done in the past and how much experience they have in home repairing.

You can never be too safe about fixing your property, so get well informed before you decide to hire home construction and repair services.

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6 Benefits Of Hiring A General Contractor

General contractor making a plan

What are the benefits of hiring a general contractor?

  1. Access to a Network of Subcontractors
  2. You Get to Save Your Time
  3. Cost Efficiency
  4. Ease of Securing Permits
  5. Effective Communication
  6. Safety Is Ensured

All construction projects have one goal — to turn vision into reality. The project could be anything from a minor facility renovation to building a major multistory establishment. However, if there is one thing owners must understand, it’s that it takes several people to complete projects. It’s better to know about the benefits of hiring a general contractor.

The demand for a general contractor in the Philippines is continuously rising. For a valuable reason, it can make the difference between a successful project and a failure. Read on to learn more about this!

Access To A Network Of Subcontractors

Contractors coordinating with each other

One can argue that the most sought after benefit of hiring a general contractor is the easy access to a network of subcontractors. It takes more than one person to build a construction project.

For example, if you plan on remodeling a kitchen, you will need the help of subcontractors like flooring specialists, painters, plumbers, and installers. Of course, multistory buildings will require a complete team of engineers, architects, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and many more.

If you hire a general contractor, they are responsible for monitoring all the aspects of the construction project. This also means they will coordinate with subcontractors regarding everything you need.

If you are fortunate enough, the general contractor might have already worked with the best subcontractors in the past. In the end, your project will be completed with superior quality in mind.

You Get To Save Your Time

Remember that an average project can take anywhere from weeks, months, to even years before completion. Construction projects tend to be time-consuming. This is especially applicable if you decide to pursue a do-it-yourself project.

In the same manner, if you hire multiple contractors, chances are they will not be on the same page. Key team members like engineers and architects will have different opinions when it comes to deciding how to manage the project.

Hiring a general contractor is a no-fail way to save time. If you did not already know, numerous construction phases collide when you hire a general contractor. The subcontractors work together to speed up the project.

Of course, there are unforeseen factors that can impact the completion of projects like bad weather conditions, supplier delays, and unproductive workers. If you hire a general contractor, you can rest assured that they are equipped to schedule timelines effectively. Their expertise enables them to create contingency plans and deal with unforeseen drawbacks.

Cost Efficiency

A house plan

If you decide to build a project on your own, you will have to go and purchase all the materials needed. Without the proper knowledge, you might end up acquiring subpar items as well.

Similarly, multiple contractors would purchase materials from multiple suppliers. You might not notice it, but it can quickly double your expenses!

Working with a general contractor means reaping the advantage of their supplier networks. It would be easy for them to buy bulk high-quality materials with huge discounts. In the end, the project will be more cost-efficient to complete.

Ease of Securing Permits

In the Philippines, every construction project requires several permits to begin operations. From business permits, proof of property, fire clearance, environmental permits, to the certificate of occupancy — owners will need to secure them all.

If an inspector arrives and you don’t have the permits they require, you might be asked to stop the entire construction. Thankfully, a general contractor will be responsible for acquiring all the permits you might need.

Effective Communication

Contractors having a meeting

Given that the general contractor will monitor the project, you will know exactly who to communicate with. Dealing with a plethora of subcontractors can be challenging. This is partly due to their differing concerns as well. If you or the subcontractors have concerns about scopes, budgets, and schedules, the general contractor will know exactly what to say.

Safety Is Ensured

Construction projects pose a high safety risk. If you are now careful enough, the site can result in worker injury. According to research, the construction industry is responsible for one in five worker deaths annually. This makes ensuring safety paramount for day-to-day operations.

General contractors recognize that their line of work poses different hazards. This is why they are licensed by a state board before starting to work. Once they are licensed, they handle all construction procedures with safety in mind. In addition, they will encourage workers to comply with safety standards on-site to prevent accidents.

Key Takeaway

The benefits of hiring a general contractor offer to complete construction projects efficiently. At Cross-Link, our general contractors are more than ready to cater to your project in mind. As a team, we are dedicated to complete client projects in a timely and efficient manner.…

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5 Reasons To Hire A General Contractor For Your Next Project

5 Reasons To Hire A General Contractor For Your Next Project

5 Reasons To Hire A General Contractor For Your Next Project

Home improvement projects can seem daunting, particularly if you don’t consider yourself a DIY person. But even if you do know your way around power tools, you might have big plans for renovating your home that go far beyond your current skill set. In this case, it’s time to hire a team of professionals led by an experienced general contractor to do the job for you.

What Is a General contractor?

general contractor is a professional who is charged with supervising every aspect of a renovation or remodeling project in a home or commercial building. The responsibilities of a general contractor include securing work permits, handling supply deliveries and hiring and scheduling subcontractors like electricians, carpenters and plumbers. If that all sounds like a big job, you are correct—and that’s why it’s a good idea to hire a general contractor to do it all for you.

5 Reasons to Hire a General Contractor

If you want to leave your remodeling project to the professionals, here are five reasons it pays to hire a general contractor to lead the way.

1. Save Money and Time

Home improvement projects can be costly and time-consuming affairs. As a budget-minded homeowner, you are able to review estimates from various professionals as well as choose more economical materials and upgrades depending on the scope of the project.

However, you won’t have as much room to negotiate when it comes to the availability of that labor and those materials. A general contractor takes over the responsibility of scheduling the project so that materials are procured and tasks are completed as close to the given timeline as possible.

General contractors are used to scheduling work and supply deliveries around busy subcontractors who are likely juggling multiple jobs in addition to yours. An experienced general contractor will have a slush fund to draw from as necessary to keep all subcontractors paid on time. This means that no one will threaten to walk off the job because of lack of pay, and your project will keep going according to schedule.

2. Leave the Project Management to the Pros

You likely have other work and family responsibilities to uphold in addition to any home improvement projects you have started. Particularly if you are working on a complex, multi-stage project, it is always better to leave the project management duties to a professional.

An experienced general contractor is a master at juggling various tasks, including managing material deliveries and hiring subcontractors. This will make it much easier for you to go about your daily life, even if it does mean much of your home is covered in drop cloths.

Of course, you’ll be kept informed of everything all along the way. But instead of communicating with all those different workers and suppliers, you’ll have the general contractor as your main point of contact so there is no confusion as to the status of the work.

3. Take Advantage of Established Working Partnerships

A general contractor with years of experience will have likely formed strong working partnerships with a variety of subcontractors and suppliers. That’s very good news for you as the homeowner.

For one, it means that those subcontractors and suppliers are reliable, as the general contractor has come to know and trust them based on their having many good experiences with them in the past. Reputation is everything in the home improvement industry, and everyone from general contractors to suppliers to subcontractors prefer to work with others who are known for keeping their word.

These strong relationships could also benefit your bottom line. General contractors are often able to get better pricing, both in terms of supplies and labor, especially if it means that a GC will be needing more of both for future projects. When a general contractor is fair and the working experience is a pleasant one, this bodes well for the timely completion of your project.

4. Enjoy Peace of Mind

There’s a lot of responsibility and liability that goes along with a home improvement project, and most of it rides on a general contractor. You can rely on your general contractor to be licensed and insured, and know that everyone they are working with will also be licensed and insured. Accidents on the job site can harm workers and cause damage to your home, so you will want to ensure that everyone and everything under your roof is protected by worker’s compensation and liability insurance.

Additionally, an experienced general contractor knows how to comply with all local codes and will therefore ensure that the subcontractors comply with them as well. This means that all necessary permits will be procured and that projects will pass a future home inspection. Property owners can rest assured that the work is being done in a professional manner without cutting corners that could prove to be detrimental or even dangerous down the road.

5. Have it Done Once, Have it Done Right

There’s a major sense of accomplishment that comes with the successful completion of DIY home improvement projects. But there’s a major sense of disappointment should that project fail or remain incomplete. While giving DIY projects the old college try is one thing, taking on dangerous tasks or ones that require more than your ability or your toolbox can handle is quite another.

To ensure that a job is completed the right way, it’s always best to hire a professional team of home remodelers. Their true value comes from their vast experience of doing many of the same types of jobs over the years, resulting in better, faster work than you can do as a DIYer who’s just learning.

If you do start a project and find you need to call in a pro to finish it, know that it could turn out to be even more expensive for them to fix your DIY errors than it would have been if you had hired them to do the job in the first place.

Time is money when it comes to home improvement projects. Hiring a general contractor can save you both. Aside from minding your bottom line as a homeowner, though, you can benefit from a general contractor’s experience in managing and completing many similar jobs in the past.

While you might be unsure of how to navigate all the steps of a multistage remodeling or renovation project, an experienced general contractor has seen it all and done it all many times. All you have to do now is enjoy the results.…

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5 Home Improvement Tips That Homeowners Should Know

Your home is your sanctuary. Your safe space.

After a bone-breaking day at work, it is the one place that brings utmost comfort to you.
To ensure that your house keeps on being as secure and comfortable as you would like it to be, it is essential to invest your time, money, and efforts in home improvement measures.
You are not the only homeowner choosing between various types of home improvements, ranging from renovation to repair. Instead, the industry is one of the most fast-growing sectors! According to Statista, In the US alone, it is predicted to account for over 464.5 billion dollars worth of sales.

As per research conducted by iProperty Management, 68 percent of USA consumers used home improvement websites for guidance while 57 percent of consumers finally gained enough purchasing power to invest in home improvements.

Since the home improvement industry is quite diverse and complicated, as a homeowner, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Don’t worry! We are here to guide you through the entire process. Here are some home improvement tips you should consider whenever you wish to liven up your abode.

1. Think about what adds value to your house the most

One of the first things most homeowners do when they decide on a budget for home improvements is to make a list of all the things that are trending. Whether it be changing the entire living room furniture or refinishing all the hardwood floors, many let trends sway them into investing in aspects that their abodes don’t require.

This is something you should strive to avoid at all costs!

Rather than dividing your budget on changes your house can do without, first take a step back and analyze what measures will add the most value to your home. Here, the amount signifies functional, aesthetic, and commercial appeal.

In other words, the home improvement steps you take should make your house more comfortable to live in, more visually pleasing for others, and should amplify the price of your home in the market.

Want to find out how much your house is worth? The Property Buying Company can help you achieve a quick sale and free valuation.

2. Consider the urgency of each project

Some improvements are not just more expensive but also more time-consuming. Others might take less than a few minutes to complete. Usually, the first instinct is to focus on short-term projects while leaving the time-consuming ones for when you have free time on your hand.

However, rather than making your decision based on the time duration of each project, it is much better to look at the urgency of it.

For starters, let’s say your roof starts leaking, and it requires complete reconstruction. While this is a time-consuming process, if you ignore this issue, you will end up causing devastating damage to your precious abode.

Make sure to gauge the urgency of each repair and renovation and prioritize accordingly.

3. Ponder between doing it yourself or hiring a contractor

Some people have a creative bone in them, which allows them to redo the look of their entire house without any third-party help. This is especially true for painting the walls of different rooms. Some of the DIY projects done look exemplary.

There are various other types of home improvements that can be made by the homeowner. This can include small repairs like pipe leaks. To cut steel pipes for your project, you may need a pipe threading machine. However, various other types of home improvement measures cannot be done without professional help.

You must draw the line between what is possible and what is not. Know what your limits are and don’t stretch your horizons too much. This is because unless you are good at them, certain repairs are best left for professionals. After all, the safety and beauty of your house depend on it.

4. Find inspiration

For homeowners, there can be no better platform than Pinterest! The site allows you to draw inspiration from different people and collectively build the look you want for each room of your house.

The smart idea is to look at references online for home renovations rather than going in blindly. This will reduce the risk. Think about it. The last thing any homeowner wishes to do is end up investing in home décor that you don’t even like when it is finished!

At the same time, don’t take trends to heart. Only utilize those who will bring value to you. For example, filing cabinets tend to be excellent for storage needs. This is one trend that has great utility and hence should be adopted.

The idea is to take inspiration from different sources and then analyze each idea. Implement those which work best for you.

5. Choose your contractor carefully

At the end of the day, if homeowners don’t hire the right contractor, it doesn’t matter what home improvement measures you choose. All you are required to do is go online and read some of the horror stories narrated by homeowners who had to suffer due to scams by amateur contractors.

You will learn one major lesson via it all never settle for a contractor solely based on the price they charge. Trying to save a few bucks here will end up costing you thousands of dollars as you redo your entire house!

Hence, make sure that you select your contractor very carefully. Ask around in your friend circle. Read reviews of potential contractors online. Look at their portfolios. Once each of these boxes ticks, you can then focus on the budget.

Understandably, not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on home improvements. Cost is an important metric. Here too, you must strike the right balance. Set the right budget, and you will surely find a contractor that matches your requirements.

Verdict

These five home improvement tips can end up making all the difference to your house. Your abode is your sanctuary. Treat it like one by periodically investing in it! This way, your home will always remain as safe and comfortable as you want it to.…

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3 House Improvement Tips to Wow Your Guest

Feeling like your house needs a change? If you’re looking forward to a house makeover, it’s time to wow your guests with these 3 house improvement tips that our expert, Anniston, highly recommends.

  1. Get a new paint

Anniston’s first tip is to get a new color on your wall. Choose the colors that will suit your interior theme and try to play with or combine different tones and textures for a modern yet unique feel. If you need help with your wall makeover, just book our professional painting service. Get fast confirmation and impress your guests now!

2. Replace old cabinets

Beautify and make your kitchen more practical with a refurbished cabinet or get a brand new one! Try to avoid plastic or metal materials as the design tends to come off cold and a little dull, instead, go for a minimalist approach with wood themes for a more luxurious feel.

3. Renovate your outdoor area

Note that your outdoor area is just as important as your indoor. If you have extra space, our experts suggest tiling up your car porch area to make it more luxurious. Or if you have an empty landscape or empty yard, you can also create your own mini garden.

As a final tip, it is very important to consult professionals to make your dream house come true. If you need help with your house improvement, our renovation services might just be perfect for you. Find painting service, cabinetry, curtain installation, and more!

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9 Tips For Selecting A Tungsten Grinder For Your Next Project

When it comes to being able to achieve a high standard of excellence in regard to your TIG and plasma welding, then it is important to know what to consider when you are interested in tungsten grinders in order to ensure optimal welding results. Therefore, to help you out, we will mention some things that we think are highly important to keep in mind when you are searching for your next new top-quality hand held tungsten grinder.

Offers grinding for various sizes of tungstens

The portable tungsten grinder should be able to provide great grinding for various sizes of tungstens. This is based on the reality that you will have different types of welding that you will be doing, as every welding project certainly is different. Therefore, it is understandable that the grinder should be able to accommodate different sizes of tungstens that will need to undergo the process of grinding for your wide array of welding endeavors.

Various sizes of angles tips

Due to the fact that you will be doing different types of welding that require the grinding of various sizes of tungstens, this means that there should be the inclusion of different sizes of angles tips when you get your portable tungsten grinder. The angles tips will allow you to achieve diverse angles during the process of welding. Circumstances will involve welding different objects, which makes the need for a variety of sizes of angles tips of prime importance.

Convenience of full grinding package

It is also ideal if the hand held tungsten grinder comes with the inclusion of a full grinding package, such as the inclusion of a screw pack, a tungsten electrode sharpener and a diamond chip. This will make the product extra convenient to use, so that you do not have to immediately purchase these various items separately. But if you find a really great tungsten grinder that has the features that you need and does not come with the extra full grinding package that contains the various elements that we have mentioned here, this does not necessarily mean that you should not buy the tungsten grinder. You just may have to buy the grinding package separately.

Able to perform well for welding in many different industries and situations

As a result of the fact that tungsten electrodes that have many different diameter dimensions are used within a wide span of industries, this means that your tungsten grinder should be able to perform according to the needs of many different industries in order to make it a reliable go-to handheld tungsten grinder for so many diverse situations. During the process of welding, it is noted that there is the formation of an arc between the end of an electrode as well as the object that needs to be welded. This is the reason why you need to have a top-quality tungsten grinder that can perform ultra well.

Consider the tungsten sharpener as well

Then it is realized over the process of time, the point of the electrode sustains wear and can become damaged. That is the reason why there may be the experience of current transmission that is interrupted or inadequate. Due to the fact that the efficiency of your welding as well as the quality of the welding that you perform are directly correlated with the condition of the point at the end of the electrode, it is vital for the point to be sharpened as required. That is the reason why you will also need to ensure that the tungsten sharpening tool provides the sharpest points for the tungsten in order to ensure the best outcome when you use the tungstens with your tungsten grinder.

Sharp grinding head with continuous movement

The cordless tungsten grinder will come with a grinding head. Indeed, the grinding head should move continuously without interruption to allow you to perform all your welding jobs seamlessly. The grinding head should be sharp at all times in order to produce accurate welding every time. Moreover, the grinding head of the tungsten grinder should be powerful and precise. Then you can be sure that the tungsten electrode will undergo the process of grinding in an optimal manner in order to achieve the kind of welding that is precise and done with a standard of excellence.

Inclusion of rails for the grinding head and ability to handle high temperatures

The grinding head should also have tungsten guide rails, which are often made of brass. The rails will allow for true concentricity as well as multiple offsets. This allows for increased usage for the grinding wheel for long periods of time. In addition, the grinding wheel of the tungsten grinder certainly should be able to handle high temperatures. Then you will be able to have the confidence that your portable tungsten grinder will be able to perform exactly as it should every time that you need to use it to do some high-quality welding.

Created with an open design

It is ideal if the tungsten grinder is created with an open design. This is due to the fact that such a design that is open allows for the installation of the grinding wheel to be done more quickly and efficiently without the occurrence of any hassles. Thus, it is truly evident that the open design for your portable tungsten grinder is ultra convenient.

Comfortable to use

When you are considering getting a fantastic new portable tungsten grinder, you must be sure to get one that is comfortable to use. In order to make sure that the tungsten grinder will be comfortable to use during long periods of welding, the grinder should be easy to grip. It should fit well in your head and it should not easily slip out of your hand. The grinder should be a stable device that will be easy to use and control. Also, the grinder should be light in weight to allow for maximized comfort. When you have a tungsten grinder that is comfortable during usage, you will be able to perform all your welding with much accuracy and with a higher standard of excellence.…

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The 10 Most Popular Home Improvements

Spending on home improvement has grown more than 50 percent in the U.S. since 2010, when it hit a low during the last recession. And homeowners who are 55 and over are the major force behind that spending, according to a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, based on data from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other sources.

The report, which charted changes in home renovation activity through 2017, attributed part of the increase to a shortage of new construction and a reliance on aging housing stock that requires upkeep and repair.

Other factors include higher housing prices that have increased the available equity for home improvement loans, and a growing population of older homeowners who are financially equipped to pay for renovations.

Aging homeowners, in fact, were responsible for half of the home improvement spending in 2017 — 25 percent by those between 55 and 64 and another 25 percent by those 65 and older.…

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14 Home Improvement Ideas to Maximize the Space of Your Small House

The median home size in the U.S. is 1,650 square feet, but homes come in all shapes, sizes, and layouts. “Small” homes are typically defined at 1,000 square feet or less, but they can feel a lot more cramped with the wrong paint color or layout.

That’s where these 14 amazing home improvement ideas for small houses come in. We consulted experienced real estate agents, scoured blogs, and watched tons of YouTube tutorials to find the top projects that maximize square footage, bring in natural light, and create the illusion of more space in your home. Here’s what we found!

Blue and beige paint cans, an improvement for a small house.
Source: (David Waschbüsch / Pexels)

1. Paint with cool neutral hues

“Rich colors make a house feel small,” explains Phoenix, Arizona, agent Andrew Monaghan who has nearly two decades of experience selling properties of all sizes. Rich, warm colors include dark shades like orange, red, and yellow. These colors, while pretty in certain contexts, make elements of any room appear closer than they actually are.

Instead, for the interior walls of your small home, opt for cool colors that give rooms an open and airy look. “It actually makes the house feel bigger,” Monaghan explains. Neutrals are always a good idea for walls, but cool-toned neutrals in a small home makes walls look further away than they are, visually expanding the square footage of a space.

Stick to crisp, cool neutrals on interior walls, such as:

  • Sterling (Benjamin Moore)
    Declared one of the go-to neutrals in 2020 by Elle Decor, this subtle gray has the cool undertones that owners of small homes are hunting for. The gray is on-trend, but also timeless; It works in both modern and traditional home design.
  • Cloud White (Benjamin Moore)
    This neutral off-white is one of Benjamin Moore’s top-selling paints for a reason. Make your room feel light as a cloud with this neutral shade.
  • Falling Snow (Behr)
    This cool white is a great candidate for a bedroom. The blue undertones can help create a more restful space — studies show blue can promote relaxation and sleep.

Painting won’t take more than a weekend’s worth of work but can breathe new life into a small, stale-feeling space.

2. Decorate with large-scale art

It’s tempting to cave to the gallery wall trend, but the more individual items you hang on walls in an already-small space, the smaller it will look. Instead, pack a powerful punch with one piece of large-scale art on a wall in your living room. Having a single dramatic piece of art of the wall will draw the eye towards it, rather than highlight the limited dimensions of the room.

Center your showstopping art on the wall, and take care to hang it 57 inches above the ground- — that’s where the average eye level sits. Museums and galleries also use this as a rule of thumb. Opt for modern or abstract design over an ornate or detailed pattern which can translate into visual confusion.

3. Add wood trim to the ceilings

Adding a simple wood trim to the ceiling will draw the eye up — a classic visual trick to give the room an illusion of height. It also adds some design flair to the room; depending on your style, you can try understated plain molding or ornate three-piece molding.

Adding wood trim costs an average of $100 – $150 per room, and should take between 6 – 8 hours to install, according to the pros from This Old House, who dispense advice to nearly 15 million readers each month. Check out the publication’s comprehensive guide to tackle this project in a weekend.

A living room and kitchen that has recessed lighting, a home improvement idea for a small house.
Source: (Vecislavas Popa / Pexels)

4. Install recessed and track lighting

A well-lit room will feel more expansive than a poorly lit one. However, placing floor and table lamps all over a room can make it feel cluttered and even smaller. When natural light won’t do the trick, follow these tips to install track and recessed lighting in rooms:

  • Replace a traditional ceiling light with tracks if you want to direct lighting on multiple spaces — like shelves, work surfaces, or gathering spaces — in a room.
  • Install track light between 20 – 40 inches away from the walls of a room.
  • Use track lighting in addition to other lighting in the room, since it’s more specialized.
  • Use recessed lighting to bathe the walls of your room in light, making the space appear larger.
  • Put recessed lighting under kitchen cabinets to illuminate the countertop and reflect light into the rest of the room.
  • Place recessed lighting 12 – 18 inches away from the object you want to illuminate.

5. Feature a skylight

Why install complicated light fixtures when natural light can pour in from above? Adding a skylight to a room brings the outside in, and the sky view will make a room feel more spacious.

However, adding a skylight isn’t as easy as chopping a square into your roof. Reserve this improvement for the pros, and expect to pay between $500 – $3,000 for the project.

Consider installing a skylight in the kitchen, bathroom, or hallway where other natural light is limited. Skylights are best suited for homes with slanted roofs, and you’ll generally want it to face north for all-day soft lighting that won’t overheat a room.

The best time to get a skylight installed is when you’re getting a new roof. “Nobody will install a skylight on a roof that’s not brand new,” explains Pacific-Northwest agent Dawn Rushton in HomeLight’s guide to the added value of skylights.

A glass shower stall in a blue tiled bathroom, a home improvement to a small house.
Source: (Pixabay / Pexels)

6. Put in a glass shower stall

If your bathroom is small, chances are it feels even more cramped with an opaque shower door and enclosure. Swap this out for a crystal-clear shower door to open up the room and make it feel bigger.

Make a dramatic impact with a weekend’s worth of work and a frameless glass shower kit, which starts at $450. Just make sure you have a second pair of hands, advises this step-by-step guide from the design junkies at Hunker.

7. Hang curtains high

Hanging your curtains or drapes as high as you can creates the illusion of height and size in a room. Here’s how to play with space and maximize this benefit:

  • In a room with molding, hang curtains 4 inches above the window frame. No molding? Hang them 6 inches above the frame.
  • Extend the curtain rod beyond the width of your window, between 8-12 inches wider, suggests Apartment Therapy.
  • Stick with vertical fabric prints, like stripes, to make the walls look tall.
  • Find curtains long enough to almost touch the floor. Leave just an inch of space, or have the fabric pool onto the floor for a dramatic effect.

8. Lighten the floors

Similar to cool-toned walls, a lighter-colored floor can make a room feel bigger by better reflecting natural light.

Here’s how you can lighten your flooring, no matter what you’re walking on:

Install new carpeting.
New carpet in your room will cost on average between $980 – $1,680. White could become a magnet for stains, but a cool-toned blue, green, or neutral can have the same impact.

Sand and refinish hardwood floors with a lighter stain.
Refinishing takes about a day and $200 to DIY, and once you sand down the floors, you can refinish them with a brighter stain to lighten up the room.

Install a lighter-shade laminate.
Laminate flooring comes in a variety of shades, and costs between $3 – $8 per square foot. You can pay, on average, $2,352 for a professional installation, or measure precisely and DIY it on your own.

A gray cat sitting on the tiled porch of a small house with several houseplants around.
Source: (anna-m. w. / Pexels)

9. Maximize your outdoor space

Making your outdoor space more functional can add a whole additional room without a costly renovation of addition. “Even just adding two chairs and a table to the patio makes it livable,”  says Monaghan. “That’s another 400 square feet of living space,” which can feel like a lot in a 1,000-square-foot home.

Select affordable brick, concrete, or clay pavers to create a livable patio space. The key to perfecting this DIY project is making sure that the ground is level, then follow Oregon State’s detailed tutorial on how to lay down pavers in your yard.

10. Open up your kitchen storage

Take a page from the farmhouse trend and ditch cabinet doors for an open feel in your kitchen. If you go this route, your cabinets will need to be meticulously organized, but ditching doors on overhead cabinets can really open up your kitchen.

Removing the doors only takes an afternoon and a few basic tools. Best part? It’ll cost you little to nothing beyond the cost of paint and caulk.

11. Add built-in shelves in awkward nooks and crannies

Small homes come with even smaller nooks and crannies that feel dark, dingy, and end up making the room feel …

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Top 10 Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Homeownership has a way of awakening the inner Bob Vila in all of us—even the ones who know nothing about home improvement. Whether you’re tackling huge renovations or tiptoeing your way into the world of DIY, these tips will help you set yourself up for success.Top 10 Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Have a plan

Renovations rarely go exactly to plan, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Last-minute changes are both stressful and expensive, so get the non-negotiable details hammered out first. At a minimum, this means knowing what results in you want and how much money—and time—it will take to achieve them.

Homeownership has a way of awakening the inner Bob Vila in all of us—even the ones who know nothing about home improvement. Whether you’re tackling huge renovations or tiptoeing your way into the world of DIY, these tips will help you set yourself up for success.

Have a plan

Renovations rarely go exactly to plan, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Last-minute changes are both stressful and expensive, so get the non-negotiable details hammered out first. At a minimum, this means knowing what results in you want and how much money—and time—it will take to achieve them.

Find your DIY threshold

Even if you’re an experienced DIY-er with a well-stocked workshop, not all home improvement projects are suitable for amateurs. Before starting a project, gauge your interest level: How much work are you really willing to put in? Is that effort worth the money you’ll save? Be brutally honest.

If you have no idea what you’re getting into, don’t commit until you’ve spent, at minimum, a solid couple of hours watching YouTube tutorials and pricing out materials. Remember: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Bone up on DIY knowledge

Everyone should know a few basic repair skills, and thanks to the internet, learning them has never been easier. If you can start with a specific question: Is my garbage disposal broken or just clogged? Do I really need to clean my dishwasher filter? How do you refinish a coffee table? You’ll click with some blogs and video personalities more than others; next time, start with them.

If you’re more of a hands-on learner, try volunteering: You’ll learn new skills and help people at the same time. Many hardware stores offer free clinics on basic home repair and improvement skills, too, so be sure to check the offerings in your area.

Save money by scrimping—and splurging—responsibly

Major renovations are expensive, but going full Scrooge on every single line item only creates more work later. Instead, identify where you can and can’t afford to be a little stingy. A good rule of thumb: Shell out for anything catastrophically expensive and/or difficult to replace, like hot water heaters and electrical work. For easily replaceable items—shower heads, light fixtures, drawer pulls—cheap is fine. You should also consider how much use and enjoyment you’ll get from an item. If you’re an avid cook, skimp on floor tiles so you can splurge on the stove of your dreams.

Understand your financing options

Unfortunately, most home improvements do not pay for themselves. If you can’t afford to finance the project in full with cash, you should know the different ways you can finance your home improvement without putting your home at risk.

Personal loans and credit cards can be useful for small-to-medium projects, depending on the interest rate and terms, while home equity loans (HELs) and lines of credit (HELOCs) can help finance major renovations and repairs. Improvements that increase your home’s value can cut down on private mortgage insurance payments, but keep in mind you’ll have to pay to get your home reassessed on top of everything else.

Get your tools right

You can’t really improve your home with just your bare hands—most projects require at least a multi-tool. Before you start a project of any size, be sure your toolbox actually contains the tools you’ll need. Keep in mind that some project genres need special equipment, particularly if they involve plumbing or electrical systems. When in doubt, Google it.

Find the perfect contractor

Finding a handyman or contractor you trust is a lot like finding the right dentist or therapist: Harder than it sounds, and with incredibly high stakes. It’s important to vet potential contractors carefully using these criteria:

  • Word of mouth: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations—especially if they have industry connections
  • Check for complaints: Look up your state’s consumer protection office and your local building inspection office
  • Learn which licenses and permits are required in your area for contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters
  • Get proof of insurance: Ask contractors to provide you with their insurance details so you can verify it with the provider
  • Ask for references, then actually check them out
  • Meet with every potential candidate so you get a feel for their style
  • Get quotes—and track them with a spreadsheet or other list

For even more specific questions you should ask, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s guide on hiring a contractor.

Always keep your next project in mind

When one project ends, another begins—such is the nature of home improvement. Planning your next move is a lot harder when you can’t remember the good ideas you had while working on something else. Keep a detailed list of your project goals in a spreadsheet, notebook, or even a good old-fashioned Pinterest board so you’ll always know what’s next.

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6 Types of home improvement loans: Which is best for you?

Compare the best home improvement loans for 2022

Home renovations cost a lot. But the good news is, you don’t have to produce the cash out of pocket.

Home improvement loans let you finance the cost of upgrades.

For example, specialized home improvement loans like the FHA 203(k) mortgage exist specifically to finance home improvement projects.

And there are standard loans — like a cash-out refinance or home equity loan — that give you cash which can be used for home remodeling or anything else.

So, which home improvement loan is right for you?

Check home improvement loan options and rates. Start here (Jan 24th, 2022)


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1. Cash-out refinance

One popular way to get money for a home remodeling project is with a cash-out refinance.

It works like this: You refinance to a new mortgage loan with a bigger balance than what you currently owe. Then you pay off your existing mortgage and keep the remaining cash.

The money you receive from a cash-out refinance comes from your home equity. It can be used to fund home improvements; although there are no rules that say cash-out funds must be used for this loan purpose. You can just as easily invest your cash, or put the lump sum into your bank account.

When a cash-out refinance is a good idea

A cash-out refinance is often best for homeowners who can reset their loans at a lower interest rate than their current mortgage.

You may also be able to adjust the term length to pay off your home sooner.

For example, let’s say you had 20 years left on your 30-year loan. Your cash-out refi could be a 15-year loan, which means you’d be scheduled to pay off your home five years earlier.

So, how do you know if you should use a cash-out refinance? You should compare costs over the life of the loan, including closing costs.

That means looking at the total cost of the new loan versus the cost of keeping your current loan for its life.

Keep in mind that cash-out refinances have higher closing costs, and they apply to the entire loan amount, not just the cash-out.

So you’ll likely need to find an interest rate that’s significantly lower than your current one to make this strategy worth it.

Cash-out refinance for home improvement: Pros and cons

Cash-out refinance pros:

  • Cash-out comes from home equity
  • You’d continue paying one mortgage payment
  • You can lower your interest rate or loan term at the same time
  • You can spend the cash on anything

Cash-out refinance cons:

  • Closing costs apply to a large loan amount
  • New loan will have a larger balance than your current mortgage
  • Refinancing starts your loan term length over

Check your eligibility for a cash-out refinance. Start here (Jan 24th, 2022)

2. FHA 203(k) rehab loan

An FHA 203(k) rehab loan also bundles your mortgage and home improvement costs into one loan.

But with an FHA 203(k), you don’t have to apply for two separate loans or pay closing costs twice. Instead, you finance your home purchase and home improvements at the same time, when you buy the house.

FHA 203(k) rehab loans are great when you’re buying a fixer-upper and know you’ll need loan funding for home improvement projects soon.

And these loans are backed by the government, which means you’ll get special benefits — like a low down payment, and the ability to apply with a less-than-perfect credit profile.

FHA 203(k) home improvement loans: Pros and Cons

FHA 203(k) rehab loan pros:

  • FHA mortgage rates are currently low
  • Your down payment can be as low as 3.5%
  • Most lenders only require a 620 credit score (some may go slightly lower)
  • You don’t need to be a first-time home buyer

FHA 203(k) rehab loan cons:

  • Designed only for older and fixer-upper homes
  • FHA loans include upfront and monthly mortgage insurance
  • Renovation costs must be at least $5,000
  • 203k rules limit use of cash to specific home improvement projects

Check your eligibility for an FHA 203(k) loan. Start here (Jan 24th, 2022)

3. Home equity loan

A home equity loan (HEL) allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve built up in your home. Your equity is calculated by assessing your home’s value and subtracting the outstanding balance due on your existing mortgage loan.

Unlike a cash-out refinance, a home equity loan does not pay off your existing mortgage.

If you already have a mortgage, you’d continue making its monthly payments, while also making payments on your new home equity loan.

When a home equity loan is a good idea

A home equity loan may be the best way to finance your home remodeling projects if:

  • You have plenty of home equity built up
  • You need funds for a big, one-time project

A home equity loan “is dispersed as a single payment upfront. It’s similar to a second mortgage,” says Bruce Ailion, Realtor and real estate attorney.

With a home equity loan, your home is used as collateral. That means similar to a mortgage, lenders can offer lower rates because the loan is secured against the property.

The low, fixed interest rate makes a home equity loan a good option if you need to borrow a large sum. And you’ll likely pay closing costs on this loan. So the amount you’re borrowing needs to make the added cost worth it.

As an added bonus, “a home equity loan or HELOC may also be tax-deductible,” says Doug Leever with Tropical Financial Credit Union, member FDIC. “Check with your CPA or tax advisor to be sure.”

Home equity loan for home improvements: Pros and cons

Home equity loan pros:

  • Home equity loan interest rates are usually fixed
  • Loan terms can last from five to 30 years
  • You can borrow up to 100% of your equity
  • Great for big projects like home remodels

Home equity loan cons:

  • Adds a second monthly mortgage payment for homeowners that still owe money on their original loans
  • Most banks, lenders, or credit unions charge origination fees and other closing costs
  • Disperses one lump sum so you’ll need to budget home improvement projects carefully

4. HELOC (home equity line of credit)

You could also finance home improvements using a home equity line of credit or “HELOC.” A HELOC is similar to a HEL, but it works more like a credit card.

You can borrow from it up to a preapproved limit, pay it back, and borrow from it again.

Another difference between home equity loans and HELOCs is that HELOC interest rates are adjustable — they can rise and fall over the loan term.

But, interest is only due on your outstanding HELOC balance — the amount you’ve actually borrowed — and not on the entire line of credit.

At any time, you could borrow only a portion of your maximum loan amount, which means your payments and interest charges would be lower.

When a HELOC is a good idea

Because of these differences, a HELOC might be a better option than a home equity loan if you have a few less expensive or longer-term remodeling projects to finance on an ongoing basis.

Other things to note about home equity lines of credit include:

  • Your credit score, income, and home’s value will determine your maximum loan amount
  • HELOCs come with a set loan term, usually between 5 and 20 years
  • Your interest rate and loan terms can vary over that time period
  • Closing costs are minimal to none

And, by the end of the term, “The loan must be paid in full. Or the HELOC can convert to an amortizing loan,” says Ailion.

“Note that the lender can be permitted to change the terms over the loan’s life. This can reduce the amount you’re able to borrow if, for instance, your credit goes down.”

Still, “HELOCs offer flexibility. You don’t have to pull money out until you need it. And the credit line is available for up to 10 years,” Leever says.

HELOC for home improvement: Pros and cons

HELOC pros:

  • Minimal or no closing costs
  • Payment varies by amount borrowed
  • Revolving balance means you can re-use the funds after repaying

HELOC cons:

  • Loan rates are often adjustable, meaning your rate and payment can go up
  • Bank or credit union can change repayment terms
  • Rates are typically higher than for home equity loans

5. Personal loan

If you don’t have tons of equity to borrow from, an unsecured personal loan is another way to finance home improvements.

Because a personal loan is unsecured, you won’t use your home as collateral. That means these loans can be obtained much faster than HELOCs or home equity lines of credit. In some cases, you may be able to get loan funding on the next business day or even same-day funding.…

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