10 July 2019

5 Essential Tips To Help Renovate Your Home

Home renovations are an exciting project to take on. However, while the end product brings us immense amounts of joy and satisfaction, the road towards achieving that final, finished job can be anything but joyful.

Without the right mindset and preparations, the excitement a homeowner feels towards their renovations can quickly deescalate to the point of a total nightmare.

The 5 tips included in this guide are aimed at better guaranteeing that your home renovation project goes smoothly and with fewer bumps in the road that detract from the experience and the end result.

Research, Research, Research, Research… Research

The best thing that you can do to ensure renovating your home is a successful endeavor is to commit ample time towards research. What exactly do you need to research? Almost everything!:

  • Prices: Renovations cost a lot, so make sure that you’re shopping around for the best prices on furniture, building materials, etc.
  • Contractors: You also need to shop around for different contractors and research what they offer, what projects they’ve worked on in the past that are similar to yours, what do past customers have to say, etc.
  • Permits & Paperwork: Do you need to acquire any permits or submit paperwork with the town for your renovations to be legal and up to code?
  • Value: How will your renovations add to the value of the property?
  • Styles & Trends: Consider the styles and trends that potential home buyers are looking for. You may not be ready to sell now, but who knows what will happen in the future!

Have A Budget In Mind

Now that you’ve done some research, you have a much clearer idea of the process and what your project may cost. With this information in hand, sit down and develop a realistic budget for your home renovation. Your budget will largely depend on how much money you have and how much you’re willing to spend on the project.

While you don't want to overspend on a renovation project, especially if your budget is tight, it is essential to remember that there may be unexpected obstacles that arise. That's why a lot of home renovation experts suggest that your budget should have some sort of plan in place to handle these potential surprise costs.

When creating a realistic budget, it is wise to put aside more than what you calculate out on paper as the cost of your home renovation. This will give you some reserve funds that can be used to handle any complications that may arise.

Interview Many Different Contractors

As you begin hiring help for your renovation project, it is crucial that you spend extra time interviewing and talking with many different professionals. You don't want to jump right at the first person you speak to.

Some key questions to ask are:

  • What are the costs of your services, and how does this match up with competitors? How is this price justified in the work you do?
  • What other projects have you worked on that are similar to mine, and what was the end result for those renovations?
  • Do you have any testimonials or customer references that I can see?
  • What sort of timeline do you propose for my project?
  • Who will be working on the project?
  • What are my rights when I hire you? For instance, what if I don’t like one of your workers or want to make changes to the project?

These questions will help you understand what to expect when working with each contractor. Ultimately, it is best to choose the contractors that give you the best feeling. While pricing is always a concern, a cheaper contractor rarely guarantees a better experience!

Prepare Yourself For The Stress And Fast-Paced Decisions

Think you are done making preparations? Not quite. We’ve focused a lot on what you can do to ensure you get the right help and at the right price, but you also need to prepare yourself. During the length of your renovation, your home will be in complete chaos. There will be a stream of contractors and workers in your house at all times, debris everywhere, noise, unexpected issues, and so much more.

If possible, ask friends, family members, or neighbors if you can stay with them for small stints throughout the process. Even taking a night or two away from the mess of your home renovation can be rejuvenating. Also, choose contractors that make cleaning up after themselves a priority. You shouldn't have debris, dust, dirt, and other harmful stuff knocking around at the end of each day. Finally, have backup ideas for all of the fixtures and furniture you're planning to add to the renovation, even down to things as simple as cabinet knobs. A supplier may fall through, or the stock may run out, and you don't want to be left making quick, uncertain choices that you'll have to live with after the renovation is completed.

Invest In A Home Warranty

Your home renovation may require you to buy new appliances and other equipment for your home. You don’t want to be blindsided by unexpected repairs to these machines in a few months or years. A home warranty can help. What is a home warranty? Home warranties cover the cost of replacing and repairing appliances and other home systems that may unexpectedly fail from everyday use. This is different from homeowners insurance, which protects you from severe, structural damage to the building itself.


These 5 steps will help give you better peace of mind throughout your home renovation process. After all, you don’t want to reach that end product so battered and bruised from the nightmarish weeks prior that you can’t enjoy your newly renovated home!

Fab Furniture Pieces: Strategies to Arrange Them Like A Pro in Any Room

Arranging furniture pieces, no matter how much space you have, can be really challenging. Here are some ideas on how you can arrange yours just like a pro.

So, you've browsed through interior design magazines and online furniture shops and have picked the pieces you want for your space. But, are you sure that cabinet will truly complement your bed? Will it even fit in your door?

There's something enjoyable about arranging furniture; after all, interior design will always be a fun home project. However, it can also be challenging, whether it's your first time creating a layout for your home or are simply rearranging a room. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can incorporate to make your arrangement work without compromising a lot of things. Here are some ideas on how to arrange your furniture at home like a seasoned pro:

Work your Pieces Around a Focal Point

The easiest yet most effective way to create a solid layout for your room is by arranging all your furniture pieces around your chosen focal point. A “focal point” refers to a certain element that draws a person's eyes as soon as they walk into a room. It's better and easier if your chosen focal point is something that already exists in a room, but if you don't have one, say, a window that highlights a stunning view of your backyard, you can work with window companies to make the arrangements. If you have an old fireplace, a huge television, or a built-in shelving for books, it could also work. You can also hang some interesting photos or an artwork with bold patterns on your wall or choose one statement furniture. Once you've decided on a focal point, arrange all your furniture pieces in a way to put the focus on that feature. Create visual clues with your furniture oriented towards the focal point.

Move Away from the Walls

The most common design mistake homeowners commit is lining up all of their seating against the walls. This isn't exactly an illogical choice, as many people think doing so will open up the space and make it look brighter. However, this could actually backfire. When you choose to follow this trick when it comes to arranging furniture, what happens is you create some dead space in the middle of the room. This, in turn, makes the area look incomplete. So, move things away from the walls. Instead of spreading your furniture pieces in every corner of the room, make an intimate grouping to make the area look more professionally staged. This could also encourage more interactions with your guests and family members.

Keep the Traffic Flow in Mind

When arranging your furniture pieces, never forget about the “traffic flow” – the way people move throughout the living space. The ideal scenario is to have all your pieces arranged in such a way that people can move freely and go about their routine without bumping into them. To identify the traffic pattern in a room, make a quick floor plan and draw some arrows to show all the pathways available. Then, place the furniture around them.

When you've finally found the right combination, start rearranging the furniture properly.

09 July 2019

Choosing Concrete Driveways in Orlando vs Other Materials


Choosing the right material for your driveway is a critical decision all homeowners must make. It has to be durable and have good longevity, but should also look attractive and blend in with the rest of the house. Stain resistance and resistance to tire marks are also a plus for choosing the driveway material that’s right for you. Here are the three most popular driveway materials and their respective pros and cons to help you decide which driveway material is best for you:


Concrete is an extremely popular choice for driveways. Made up of cement and aggregate stones and other rough materials, concrete is extremely durable and cost-effective but it does have its drawbacks. It is a classic and popular choice for driveways and will suit almost any home. If you’re considering concrete driveways, here are its pros and cons:


  • Concrete is extremely durable. When well taken care of and regularly resealed, a concrete driveway can last for at least 50 years. 
  • Concrete driveways hold up well against most extreme weather such as rain and heat, though heat is a bigger problem in Orlando.
  • It is a cost-effective choice that offers a good price for the longevity it offers. And not only is it affordable, but it also has a quick installation time that further cuts down the costs of hired labor.
  • Though it starts its life as grey, it can be customized to look any way you want it to.


  • Bare concrete does not have the most attractive appearance and can be off-putting. However, this can be remedied by decorative concrete methods like staining and stamping.
  • It usually requires a contractor to install a concrete driveway as the mixture is vulnerable to mistakes and can be a delicate process.
  • If you want your concrete driveway to last well, you will need to have a regular reseal done to ensure its longevity.


People usually talk about asphalt driveways in relation to concrete driveways because they are similarly popular and comparable in cost and durability, but asphalt has its own distinct characteristics. It is a form of petroleum and can be either found in natural deposits or created as a product. Because of its characteristic as a kind of petroleum, it is more flexible than concrete. If you are considering getting an asphalt driveway, here are its pros and cons:


  • Asphalt driveways can last up to 20 years with regular maintenance.
  • Unlike concrete, asphalt driveways last well in the sun and are less likely to form cracks after exposure to sunlight.
  • Asphalt is generally cheaper than concrete.


  • Asphalt driveways need regular maintenance and resealing to ensure its longevity.
  • Though cheaper than concrete, asphalt is more expensive than gravel, another popular driveway material.


Gravel is any loose quantity of small rock fragments and stones. It comes in a number of classes depending on the size of the particles. It’s a popular choice for a lot of rural homes and can last decades with proper maintenance. While many homes that use gravel driveways only use the one driveway, many homes with a larger area size will use a gravel driveway to lead up to their actual driveway which could be made of concrete or asphalt. If you’re considering gravel driveways, here are the pros and cons:


  • Gravel driveways are generally cheaper than most other driveway materials.
  • It can last for up 100 years with proper care and maintenance.
  • Gravel driveways can be repaired and renewed very easily unlike driveways made of other materials.
  • You don’t have to worry about cracks or freeze-thaw cycles as neither will affect gravel driveways.


  • Gravel driveways need near-constant maintenance and replenishment to keep it effective, which can add up in costs.
  • It is hard to clean and plow a gravel driveway as it does not have a flat surface that can be cleared and cleaned.

05 July 2019

Are You a Slave to Trends?

It's one thing to design a stylish house, but it's another to follow trends too religiously. Your wallet might be suffering unnecessarily.

In this day and age, everything is a commodity. You may think social media is just a fun way to interact with your friends and to share the highlights of your day, but even they turn your attention into a commodity. Brands compete for your attention, and most times, they are succeeding.

You may not be aware of it, but you have become a slave to trends.

Replacement Instead of Repair 

We live in a world that takes pride in “instant” products. Everything is available to you with a few clicks of a button. As long as you know the number to call or you have the app on your phone, you’re set to get whatever you fancy. And this has given rise to the trend of replacing everything that doesn’t work according to your specifications. Sure, it’s better to replace old appliances if they have not been updated in the last decade, but if you just bought them last year and already want to replace them, that’s a problem. It’s the same with smartphones; as companies launch new models, you feel like your functional phone is suddenly incompetent. It’s easy to justify why you want the latest model for these things, but when it comes to garage door repair or window replacement, there’s more to consider than just trends in Provo. Consider the cost of replacing a perfectly good garage door that just needs repairs. Insisting on following trends may be losing you more money in the long run.

Endless Renovations 

Going for renovations for no other reason than to get the latest items is just like replacing your older kitchen or bathroom with a newer one. These parts of the house are commonly used, so it’s understandable that they will show signs of wear and tear, but if your tiles and backsplash are perfectly functional and intact, is there really a need to replace them with the latest trendy color you see in magazines? Especially if you’re looking to sell that property in the future, these trendy parts of the house might look outdated once new trends have surfaced. This means you’ll either have to spend more money to replace them again or you’ll have to sell the house for a lower price. This isn’t a concern if you had gone with an evergreen but also stylish design and maintained it properly.

A Digital Life

It does sound cool if you can live in a smart home. You don’t have to worry about setting the thermostat because it’s done for you automatically. Forgot to lock the doors? Do so in an app that you have with you even if you’re out of the house. Convenient, right? However, these are not foolproof and are not exempt from human error. Your life may be automated, but each decision is still controlled by your actions, whether pre-programmed or triggered remotely. There’s also the added vulnerability that comes in the form of hacking. As technology gets smarter, so do hackers. The more reliant you are on online systems to keep the house secure, the more prone you are to hacking attempts.

How much of your life is defined by your personal preferences? How much is defined by trends? If you want to be happy with your life without spending money unnecessarily, don’t be a slave to trends.

01 July 2019

4 Decorating Tips for Home Improvement Projects

When you’re planning to decorate your home to give it a makeover, it helps to be prepared first. This allows you to take proper precautions to protect carpeting and floors during the decorating process. It’s also useful when on a tighter budget to use creativity and time rather than throwing more money at the problem.


Here are four decorating tips for your next home improvement project.

1. Protect Your Floors During Painting and Plastering

Whether you have hardwood flooring or carpeting in place, don’t expect dust, wall debris or paint to not make its way to the floor. Even the most careful of decorators are going to get paint splashes, flecks of plaster embedded in the carpeting, and other debris flying about. It’s tough to get it out later and makes for extra work, which is completely unnecessary.

What you should invest in is flooring paper like Trimaco’s X-Paper, which is what the professionals use. It is thicker than builder’s paper, breathable to avoid heating the floor if it’s being cured, and prevents wetness from spills too. It’s a step above what you can usually find in a DIY store. Don’t start a new project without it.

2. Get Creative When on a Budget

When you have more time to consider your options and are on a tighter budget, let this spark your creativity. Instead of feeling restricted, allocate the budget where it’s most needed during a decoration or renovation project and find new ways to solve existing problems.

For instance, perhaps you’d like a piece of artwork on the living room wall or a custom paint finish but it’s pushing the boundaries of your finances. In which case, why not focus on emotions by putting up several affordable wall art frames filled with family photos or if you live alone, photo from your travels. This is better than having tiny photos on the mantlepiece that aren’t large enough to enjoy fully and the framed photos will act as a conversation starter too.

3, Use Textures to Create Different Tactile Sensations

Don’t just think about colors and fabrics when changing furnishings or linens.
Try to activate the senses. Choose interesting fabrics with textures that provide new sensations; not just arresting colors. Even small things like cushions on the sofa selected for their rugged textured feel contrast nicely with the sofa’s smooth surface.

Also, a rug on the floor can provide alternative sensations for your feet in the living room or family room too.

4. Look at Minimalism to Reduce Decorating Complexity

If you’re finding that a decorating project looks too time-consuming, consider focusing on reducing the number of pieces of furniture in each room. Using techniques from minimalism, it’s possible to simplify the task of decorating by doing more with less.

When freed up to focus on fewer items, this allows you to invest greater time in each room without getting frustrated by making slow progress. Similarly, keeping a simpler decorating color scheme avoids overcomplication that drags out a project too long.

The important thing with decorating is first, don’t damage anything you own. Protect floors using flooring paper and place cloth dust covers over the furniture too. Then, avoiding overdoing it is key to bring the decorating project to a successful conclusion.

Related Posts with Thumbnails