Home Improvement Remodeling

There are always little changes that can be made to your home. In fact, home improvement remodeling is quite popular in this day and age. Especially with all of the DIY shows on television all the time. More and more men and women are taking it upon themselves to make their homes look great. This makes a great deal of sense when you think about it. After all, it will increase the value of your humble abode, which is always a wonderful thing. The key is to do a simple walk-through of your house. This way you can observe and determine what your house needs here and there. Make a list of the home improvement remodeling projects that need to get done.

In reality, the options are endless when it comes to home improvement remodeling projects. If you have one in mind for your residential house, then why put it off. If you are willing to tackle the project on your own, or as a family, you can save a lot of money. Possibly even more than half of what contractor would charge you. It is true! There are so many people tackling DIY home improvement remodeling tasks as time moves forward. The cost for labor is atrocious, and often jacked up. There are simple and convenient home improvement stores at your disposal that can assist you with this.

Some of the places you should consider for home improvement remodeling tasks and projects are Lowes, Home Depot, BidClerk.com, and FixMiHouse.webs.com. You can find all of these businesses online with ease. If you are seeking out a contractor in your area to assist you with home improvement or remodeling projects, then you need to make certain you get several bids prior to accepting any jobs. This is always wise because some contractor professionals will charge you a great deal more for their services. It is imperative to compare their rates, and the length of time it will take them to complete a job. Never pay them fully up front, because they may decide not to complete your home improvement remodeling project.

As stated before, many people are tacking home improvement jobs on their own. Now, the key to doing this correctly is learning the right tips beforehand. For instance, if you are going to replace the flooring in your home, then you need to understand this process first. If you have carpet, find out how to remove it and dispose of it. At this point you need to know how to properly install the hardwood, tile or new carpet you are putting down. Although it does not take much to learn how to do it, the process can be challenging.

Home Equity Loan Tips: 5 Steps to Earn Equity in Your Home Quickly

According to a Federal Reserve Bank report published in 2002 thirty-five percent, the biggest share, of home equity loan dollars goes back into the borrowers house through home improvements and maintenance projects. Considering the benefits and the ease of leveraging the equity you already have through a second mortgage or mortgage refinancing, this is hardly a surprise. ”The cake itself is the equity, and that is the important part of ownership,” Richard Wakelin, of Wakelin Property Advisory. If you are smart about building equity you can earn it even faster and with less investment. Some of the best ways to increase equity are simple such as:

1. Buying a home in the right neighborhood is critical. If the real estate values are rising, you could build equity without doing anything more than holding on to the property.

2. Curb appeal is key to raising a home’s value. It doesn’t take much money to install irrigation and landscape a property, but the first impression from the outside can be worth a lot. If you have some equity in your property already, a home equity credit line may be a better way to fund these smaller improvements than using a credit card. The interest is lower and so are the payments.

3. Remodel the kitchen if you really want to increase the value. Buyers are willing to pay more for a home with a gorgeous cook-friendly kitchen. If you are looking to do a remodel, mortgage refinancing is a good way to cash out on the equity that you already have and invest in building further equity. (Likely with a tax break on the interest as well.)

4. Master bedroom and bathroom improvements are also a good way to increase equity and can also be paid for through a refinance.

5. Don’t forget small improvements with “sweat equity” either. Just a little bit of capital and a lot of muscle can greatly improve a home through painting, wall papering and other do-it-yourself upgrades.

A little bit thought and effort can go a long way in making your property your best investment!

4 Easy DIY Home Security Projects to Protect Your Family

Many people who think about home security immediately think that the first thing to do is install a wireless burglar alarm.

While home alarm systems are a major component when it comes to protecting you and your family, they are not the only things that DIY homeowners can do to improve security.

To stop potential burglars from entering your here are some easy to do tips and DIY projects that do not cost a lot and can help.

DIY Home Security Project # 1 – Improve Window Strength

Most burglars or intruders will tell you that the easiest way for them to enter your home is through your unlocked windows and doors. Unfortunately though, not too many of them are knocking on your door to share this info with you.

Safety locks on windows are easy to install. They work by only allowing them to open part of the way, but not enough so that burglars can fit inside them.

Another tip is to replace worn out window putty and caulking on older wood windows, and reinforce the wood with long finishing nails. You can also insert pins in double-hung windows. With the window closed, drill a small hole through the top corners of the lower sash part way into the outer sash slightly downward. Be careful not to damage the outer seal or drill through the outer sash.

DIY Home Security Project # 2 – Remove Outdoor Hiding Spots

If you have large shrubbery or trees close to your property you may be allowing burglars to hide out and watch your comings and goings. This allows them to stalk you to see the best time for them to break into your home.

Burglars can also access higher windows to your home if a tree is close to your home.

It is wise to eliminate or at least prune any tress that can be used as potential hiding places. Trees that are close to your home should be well pruned and cut branches within easy reach of upper floor windows.

DIY Home Security Project # 3 – Improve Lighting

Most burglars work at night. An ideal deterrent are large lights around potentially easy entry points.

Motion detection lights are very popular among most DIY homeowners since they are easy to install, affordable, and they have the option of staying on permanently or only when something triggers them.

DIY Home Security Project # 4

Wireless Vs Wired Burglar Alarms

For the average DIY home owner, wireless burglar alarms are much easier to install and affordable than the wired systems.

Many advantages come with wireless burglar alarms including ease of installation, the fact you do not need to install wiring throughout the home, and the sensors can be placed anywhere in the home easily.

Tips on Choosing The Best House Cleaning Service

Choosing a house cleaning service is a big decision. You need to treat the process like an interview, because that is what you are doing. You are hiring an individual or house cleaning service to enter your most private and intimate space, and work with your most valuable possessions. You need to look at more than the cost per visit and evaluate the overall experience that your house cleaning provider can offer you.Make sure you take the time to evaluate your house cleaning provider, and make a choice that meets your individual needs.

Is the house cleaning service you are evaluating bonded and insured?

This is a very important question to ask. While your property insurance does extend some protection to you against an individual being hurt on your property, that is usually very limited, and in most cases only up to $10,000. In most cases that might be enough, but insurance should be carried by a professional home cleaner to help mitigate your risks. At the minimum they should have a general liability policy, workman’s compensation, and full coverage auto. Workman’s compensation is the one that could be the most expensive for them to carry, but is the one you really need to think about. If someone is hurt in your employ without this insurance you could be on the hook to not only pay for their injuries, but lost wages as long as they are unable to work. Hiring a house cleaner should be headache free, and a good service provider will provide copies of coverage upon request.

Bonding is a guarantee against acts of dishonesty by the service provider, and those in their employ. While these types of bonds are not typically worth the paper they are written on, a good provider will have this coverage, and meet the steps needed to keep this coverage in force. A provider who has a bond is more likely to screen their employees thoroughly, and have a theft Will your new house cleaning service offer a guarantee?
Most service providers don’t have a formal written guarantee of any kind. The good companies will. Ask for a copy of their guarantee, it should at the very least be accessible from their website. A strong guarantee will provide you with a thorough re-clean of items found to be deficient in your scheduled cleaning if you contact the provider within a specified time frame, usually 24 hours. Another thing good service providers can guarantee is your day of scheduled visit. If you are scheduled to be cleaned every other Friday, your team will be there on that day guaranteed. No one likes it when they have the house all ready and the cleaning person fails to show up as promised.

How do they pay their employees?

You want to avoid paying people under the table, whether it done intentionally by you or through a company, because ultimately you can be found liable for taxes owed to the IRS if you exceed a threshold of household services and taxes are not paid on those services by the service provider. This also helps avoid choosing a company that might pay its employees substandard wages, and abuses other employment practices such as hiring undocumented workers. All of these things can be financially and socially damaging to you as an end result. Choose a company that pays its employees properly and pays all federal and local employment taxes. They may charge a little more, but you can guarantee that you won’t be on the hook for their bad behavior.p>

How many people will they use to clean your home? Will it be the same people each time?

This does not seem like an obvious question, but if the answer is one, who is there when they are sick, and you have a really stressful weekend coming up with lots of people coming over, and now you have an entire house to clean on top of everything else you could barely manage to get done. Pick a company that sends the same people each visit, and they work in a team of at least 2, but preferably 3. That way, even if one is sick at least one of the team members that arrives that day will have cleaned your home previously. It also helps prevent cancellations. Teams of 3 are best of all so that your cleaning team will be in and out of your house in no time flat. When companies use individual cleaners, that person can be in your home for almost half the day for a typical home. For many obvious reasons, this is less than ideal.

What type of cleaning solutions will your house cleaning provider use? Will you need to provide anything?

You should look for a company that provides all of the cleaning solutions, supplies, vacuums, everything. That way if you run out of something, you aren’t running around looking for supplies. Again the point here is that you want a transparent experience that is hassle free. Also ask about cross contamination policies. A good cleaning service will have color coding and policies in place that avoid contaminating clean surfaces.

Also ask if your service provider will “go green” with the cleaning solutions that are used. There is a broad spectrum in the shades of green, but there are much better options that traditional bleach, ammonia, and various petrochemicals. Demand better.
How will your house cleaning provider screen the people who will clean your home?

A good company will have a process for hiring new people. That process should begin with an application, a phone interview, and finally an in person interview. Reference checks and prior employment verification are a must. Federal and local background checks should be conducted. A social security trace with an identity verification and credit check should be conducted, as well as determining if they are eligible for employment in the US. Motor vehicle and driving history should also be screened. This is all the minimum you should ask for, a 7 or 10 panel drug screening should also be included in a complete background check. All of these screenings are meant to be a way to weed out the most obviously undesirable candidates. It is not perfect, but does provide a place to measure how hard your service provider is trying to protect you, their new client.

How much will they charge & what’s included? This seems like an obvious question, but do not leave it open ended. Ask for a quote for your initial cleaning and for ongoing service. That way you are both on the same page. A good service provider will also provide you with a place to verify what is included in your cleaning service. A link to a website should suffice, or in a service policies handbook. It just needs to be spelled out so that again, you are both on the same page.

These questions are meant to get you started in the process, and help you avoid costly mistakes. I hope you learned something you will be able to put to immediate use when choosing a professional to clean your home.