How to Manage a Home Improvement Project

When we talk about home improvements it is the process of renovating, remodeling, replacing or making additions to one’s home. Home improvement projects have basically one or more goals that include comfort, additional features, safety measures, maintenance and repair and the beautification of the home. Inspiration is one of the main reasons we want to upgrade our home by remodeling or renovating it at a budgeted prices.

There are three main approaches to better manage a home improvement project: First is by hiring a general contractor. Basically, a general contractor can either be a group or an individual responsible for the means and methods to be used in the construction execution of a project. It acts as project manager who coordinates work schedules, provide access to the site, and perform some aspects of the work. Second is hiring specialized contractors-these contractors are specialized credentials, licensing and have experiences to perform renovation services. The third one is the “do it yourself” approach or what we call DIY. Majority of the home owners report they will do some work themselves when they remodel their home according to Remodeling Sentiment Report.

For most homeowners, home maintenance can be tough and difficult. But remember, it is very essential for us to maintain our home, make it clean and should always be taken care of. Some people wanted to maintain and repair their homes but for some reasons, they can’t do it. Either they don’t really have much time to do this and no intended budget for the maintenance. Maintaining our houses ‘conditions can help us save much since it prevents frequent house repairs, general constructions or renovations. Our household is indeed our shelter and our sanctuary where we are most comfortable with. At least we have to make sure of its safety and comfort for the sake of each member of the family.

Safety and security is also an important factor when we improve our homes. We always have to prepared with whatever incidents that might occur in our homes. Consider in investing security systems such as burglar alarm systems and fire alarm systems. This is the best option to be safe and be prepared whenever terrible circumstances arise. This may cause more, but at least it’s worth the investment. Safety and security of your family is the most vital of all and no one would ever risk the safety of one’s family.

At the end of the day whatever we may decide on how to better improve our home we just have to make sure the best quality improvement ideas that best suits our household. Always stay safe when renovating your home and enjoy what you do best were you are most comfortable with because one’s home also reflects the owner’s ideas, character and personality.

Painting and Restoring Rattan Garden Furniture

A set of rattan garden furniture is quickly becoming a fixture of any British garden, patio or private outdoor area. This material has captured the heart of many a garden owner with its combination of sturdiness, durability and visual appeal, and these sets are long-standing best sellers within the British home and garden industry as a result.

If one shortcoming can be attributed to rattan, however, it is the fact that it tends to damage in the long run. In other words, rattan garden furniture tends to get ratty. Fortunately for home-owners dealing with this problem, rattan pieces can be brought back to tip-top shape simply and inexpensively – and this article will describe how.

Painting Rattan Garden Furniture

The best way to bring a piece of rattan garden furniture back to life is to give it a coat of varnish or paint – although home-owners are advised that painting rattan diminishes its market value. Still, if the pieces in a set are starting to look tatty or frayed, it is not entirely a bad idea to spruce them up a bit.

To paint a piece of rattan garden furniture, a home-owner should start by applying an undercoat of primer to it. A primer is a solution often used by painters to ensure the paint will adhere well to their material of choice, and the use of such a product can go a long way towards helping a restored piece look good.

Once a coat of primer has been applied, the item is ready for re-painting. Home-owners are advised that traditional liquid paint is not the best choice for painting rattan furniture; rather, spray-paint should be used wherever possible, as it provides a much smoother and even finish. Restorers should likewise not be afraid to apply more than one coat of paint to their piece; the more coats are layered atop one another, the more even the end result will look.

Once the piece is fully re-painted, it should be left to dry overnight. Any missed spots or patches can then be corrected with some final re-touching, to ensure the refurbished piece looks as good as new!

Home-owners seeking to restore their rattan pieces should note that this process is ideally carried out outdoors, or in a well-ventilated space. Care should also be taken to ensure the item is thoroughly wiped down prior to applying the primer and paint, to help remove any impurities and achieve optimal results.

Restoring Rattan Garden Furniture

Painting is not the only way to restore run-down or frayed rattan garden furniture. Home-owners wishing to preserve their set’s original look can simply carry out a very simple restoration process, which has the added perk of not devaluing vintage or highly re-sellable pieces.

Restoring a piece of rattan furniture without using paint calls for linseed oil and a soft brush. Once these tools are at hand, the piece should be carefully inspected to suss out any cracks, splits or scuffs in the material. The linseed oil should then be applied to these areas in repeated layers, until it begins to run off. This indicates the rattan has absorbed as much oil as it can, making any further layers moot. By this point, restorers should be able to see a measure of change in the piece’s appearance, as a result of the rattan absorbing the oil and using it to fill and correct its own imperfections. Once all the scuffs, cracks and splits have been dealt with, the piece should wiped down and left to dry overnight, just like freshly-painted pieces.

Either or both of these methods can ensure rattan garden furniture is revitalised and made to look as good as new again. Home-owners fretting about their frayed, cracked rattan set can therefore rest easy in the knowledge that the solution to their problem is easy, inexpensive and will not take up much of their time.

Good Planning Makes For a Great Home Improvement Project

If you’ve been dreaming of a home improvement or remodeling project, it’s time to make it a reality. As with any project, good planning is the key to saving you stress and money and achieving the rewards that can come from a newly designed space.

Begin fulfilling your dream by clarifying why you want to do this. The majority of remodeling projects begin as a result of the need to make changes because the house no longer meets the needs and desires of the family. For example, having a baby or growing children can result in a need to expand your space. Or perhaps you have lived in your home for more than 10 years and you are getting an itch to update and modernize. Whatever the reason, it is best to make clear what you hope to accomplish from this home improvement project.

Brainstorm about everything you would like to have included in your remodel and then categorize each item as a “necessity or must have”, “amenity or nice to have” or “definitely not”. In order to organize your thoughts and ideas, create a notebook. This will allow you to keep pictures, color samples, fabric swatches, material specifications, reference phone numbers, budget information and project records in one concise area.

Now that you have answered the why and the what, it is time to take a look at the numbers. Spending time on the budget early on in the project plan, as well as reviewing it at every step of the process, is essential to its success and your sanity. Don’t forget to take into consideration the payback you hope to achieve from this home improvement. Typically a kitchen or bathroom improvement offers the highest payback when it comes to resale. Talk to a trusted real estate agent if this is a major consideration.

Being realistic with what you can afford and when you can afford it will allow you to put together a realistic timetable for the project as a whole. The schedule should be created with the help of your “construction team”, which may include an architect, interior designer, loan officer, and general contractor, to name a few. Areas that typically can cause a ripple in your timetable are the design phase, getting permits and the actual time for construction. Make sure that you have “padded” your schedule to account for these factors.

Identifying reliable competent contractors to work on your project can be as stressful as the project itself. This can also take the most time, so be sure to account for it on your project schedule. The simple answer to getting the best person for your project – research! Begin your search by asking friends and neighbors who have completed their own home improvements who they used. The county building department and Yellow Pages are also places to look. Then do your own homework by verifying their license and insurance, check references and reputation, and view previous and current jobs. Plan interviews that will allow you to assess their personality, approach to problem solving and their understanding of your dream. They may be the best at what they do, but if they don’t “see” your vision of the completed project, then helping you make it reality is going to be difficult. Plan to evaluate up to three bids before you make your final selection.

Through careful planning, the ground work should be completed which leads you to the exciting and nail biting phase of the project – construction. Pay attention to the work as it progresses without micromanaging of your construction team. Walking this fine line can make the difference between a good remodeling experience and a nightmare. Having pre-arranged work review meetings in your project plan can help. Use these to go over any issues that have come up, re-evaluate expectations, monitor progress and maintain positive communication with your contractor.

Post construction, before the celebration party, make sure that the punch list (final “to do” list) has been completed to your satisfaction and that your home owners insurance is updated to reflect your remodel.

It can’t be said enough – good planning will make for a great home improvement project.

Exquisite and Unique Garden Furniture

Your garden is an extension of your home, and the furniture you use in the garden should complement your home. It is important to maintain a theme or color coordination to add an aesthetic appeal to the whole setup. Garden furniture that contrasts with your home furniture and furnishings does not look elegant. You can mix-n-match and create a unique look, but using a contrasting theme can be an eyesore.

It does not look appealing, rather, spoils the look of your dream home. For instance, a vintage look in the house, and trendy plastic furniture in the garden looks out of place. A better option is vintage furniture in the house and wooden garden furniture for the exteriors. Wood complements wood and plastic looks good with trendy items inside the house.

Selecting the right garden furniture is very important if you care about the appearance of your house. A well-furnished house is a treat for the eyes and reflects your personality. Your refined taste should reflect in the exquisite furniture items that you choose. Here are some simple tips to help you choose the right type of furniture in wood.

How To Choose Wooden Garden Furniture

Exquisite Collection: If you are looking for a unique and exquisite collection that is high on the style quotient, then buy teak wood furniture for the outdoors. It is known for its elegance and richness. This wood has a long life and is the strongest amongst all the woods. Teak wood is dense, durable, and lasts for 50 years or more. It is highly resistant to tough weather conditions and is low on maintenance. It carries a great stylish appeal, as well. In fact, teak is a naturally oily wood and it is not affected by rains.

Heavy Wood: Apart from teak wood, you can also use cedar wood or redwood for garden furniture. These woods, too, have a long life, but not as long as teak wood. Nevertheless, these are hardwoods and are strong and sturdy. They are low on maintenance and can withstand difficult weather conditions. Wood is better than wrought iron or other metal, since it does not catch rust. Your metallic furniture requires a coat of paint during monsoons.

Comfort: When you look for a furniture item, comfort should be the top priority. You should feel relaxed when seated. Uncomfortable furniture can be a complete turn off and a waste of money. Do not compromise on this aspect and check the height of the table and chairs. A set that is too high or too low will not be comfortable. Look at the armrest, legroom, upper and lower back support, angle of the chair, or the degree of the slant. You must also inspect the upholstery like cushions, padding, seats, and so on. These factors determine your level of comfort.

Garden furniture should be given due importance and attention. It should be purchased with thoughtfulness and care. Check the important aspects before short-listing a furniture item. Remember, your garden is an expansion of your home. It should have an exquisite and unique appearance.