New Found Love for DIY: 5 Dos and Don’ts

Once you transition from a renter to a homeowner, you realize that there is always a project to complete. From painting a bathroom to that curious foundation crack in the basement, the Internet and home improvement stores have made it easy to DIY. You save money and learn a little something at the same time. However, there are some projects that are perfect for the DIYer, while others rank as “professionals only” territory.


1. Home Remodeling Nightmares
If you are planning on remodeling your kitchen, for example, the task is often full of possible nightmares. A wall you want removed could be load-bearing, causing structural issues. Improper measurements could culminate in a kitchen island too big for the space. Even plumbing issues arise if a valve or pipe breaks during the tear-out portion. Any major home remodeling is best left to the experts. The project will be completed quickly without any headaches on your part.

2. Painting Is A Breeze
Definitely plan on painting your own home. Unless you need to paint the exterior of a three-story structure, a painting project is simple when you take the proper steps for preparation. Clean the walls of grease and debris. Make sure you primer the walls and select a paint that works for your room’s style. With matte and glossy colors available, there are a rainbow of colors to choose from. Tape off the edges of the painting job to make a clean line with the rest of the room. You’ll feel proud that you could complete such a satisfying job.

3. Room Additions Need Professionals
A complete construction of a room added onto your existing home is definitely not a DIY project. Along with proper permits, you need a sound foundation poured for safe support. The new walls, ceiling and roof need to be square and connected correctly to the existing home for continuity and structural integrity. Also, make sure to have appropriate house floor plans. Even if there is only a small bathroom to add on, a contractor is still needed to truly construct the project correctly.

4. Fixture Replacements
Don’t be afraid of your plumbing. Although a major pipe clog should encourage you to call a plumber, basic fixture installations are relatively simple. The key is to turn off the water. You do not want any spills or floods ruining your DIY project. Each faucet should have an individual valve hidden under the fixture. If you cannot find the valve, or it is broken, simply shut your main water valve off. You are able to remove the old fixture and add the new one at this point. Always make sure that any gaskets are properly seated to avoid any leaks when you test the system. You’ll be pleased with the new fixture look.

5. Garage Door Woes
You may lubricate your hinges and wheels on the garage door, but major repairs are best done by a professional. The large spring that extends horizontally above the door is called the torsion spring. It is a tightly wound spring that supports the door’s weight. At about 10 years old, the spring snaps. Only a professional should replace this spring because it can snap at you, causing severe injury.

Being a DIYer brings you satisfaction of a job well-done. Choose the proper projects around the home to stay safe. Understanding when a professional is needed allows you to save money, time and avoid injury.

How To Successfully Remodel Your Outdated Bathroom

For homeowners who are considering a remodel, the bathroom is often first on the list. Outdated design elements and fixtures that are showing signs of wear and tear will begin to take their toll on the entire family. To ensure a successful bathroom remodel, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind.

A Rock Solid Plan

A working set of plans is critical. As small and manageable as a bathroom remodel might seem, it’s a combination of all building trades, and the project needs to be well orchestrated in order to be a success.

Whether you hire a designer, contract a builder with design experience, or you’re able to draft the plans on your own, be patient and cover your bases. Avoid the temptation to bypass the planning stage.

Schedule Your Time

We all have shortcomings when scheduling a home remodeling project. Typically this is reflected in our time estimates. While it’s easy to make promises about getting things done quickly, it’s better in the long run to be honest with yourself.

Bathrooms, and plumbing projects in general, are a tricky project to schedule. If you’re living in a home with only one bathroom it makes sense to get the family out of the house for the duration of the project. Reinstalling a toilet at the end of each workday is a colossal waste of time and energy. With an empty house, there are no distractions and the remodel will go much more smoothly.

Finish work will always take longer than expected. Never put yourself in a situation where you’re rushing finish work in preparation for the family’s return. Always give yourself a buffer and don’t waste it on long lunches and afternoons fishing. Schedule your time wisely, and everyone will be happy in the end.

Embrace Innovation

It’s enough that your bathroom is outdated, don’t follow the same path when considering your design options. Innovations in materials, accessories, and fixtures offer homeowners wonderful opportunities when remodeling.

Don’t settle for a particular method or material, simply because it’s in your comfort zone. From the latest in laminate flooring to green fixtures with an eye on the environment, there’s a whole new world of products available for your bathroom remodeling project.

Learn To Browse

If you’re a DIY enthusiast, it’s probably a given that you understand the fundamentals of a bathroom remodel. That being said, take the time to explore the latest trends in home renovation and remodeling.

Whether it’s watching DIY programming on cable or flipping through a selection of magazines, take in as much information as you can. There is an amazing amount of talent out there, and there is nothing wrong with tapping into their thought process.

Build on your fundamental knowledge by taking cues from leading designers and DIY experts. Your family will appreciate your open-minded approach.

Know When To Call The Pros

Whenever there is a question about your ability to tackle a project, never be hesitant to call a professional. If you’re concerned about the budget, try and imagine the cost when a professional has to gut your work, before they begin their own.

Remodeling an outdated bathroom can be a rewarding project when you’ve approached it the right way. Never take the size of the room for granted. While bathrooms might be small, they still demand the same attention that any other project does.

6 DIY Projects You Are Probably Better Off Leaving to An Expert

With a DIY project, you can fix up your house the way you want, without spending all your money. While true, it’s not always a wise decision to do the project without help. Think about it, if you are not an expert, you can commit serious mistakes and end up injuring yourself. With this in mind, here are six DIY projects you are probably better off leaving to an expert.

Second story addition: If you own a home and want to build a second story, you will want to hire an expert. Not only will an expert contractor do the job right the first time, but he or she will make it look amazing. Otherwise, if you try this on your own, you will struggle as it’s not easy to add a second story. Not only that, since city inspectors will surely want to inspect your place, you will want to hire a qualified individual who does the job right the first time.

Electrical: When you want to add an electrical outlet, you need to call an expert. While it sounds easy to buy parts and install them on your own, it’s not wise. No, with one false move, you can render your entire electrical system useless. Of course, this is not the worst possibility. If you make a mistake, you can shock yourself and end up in the hospital. So, rather than trying to save money on this, you need to hire a professional to do electrical work.

Roofing: While it sounds easy to crawl up on your roof and replace panels, it’s not. It is a difficult process that is much more than just a sheet of wood on top of some more wood. It is a design that can take all kinds of thought and work. In reality, when you need to get on a roof, you are at an increased risk of falling. Furthermore, since a new roof is important to a house or garage, you will want to hire someone who does it right the first time. In the end, by finding an expert, you will enjoy peace of mind and save yourself plenty of time.

Foundation repair: Foundation problems are usually serious and merit a look by a professional. Unless you have years of experience in foundation work and repair, hire an expert. Otherwise, if you don’t do it right the first time, you are out of luck. Much like with a second story addition, you will also need to deal with local inspectors. Luckily, if you find an expert in foundation repair, you won’t need to worry.

Landscaping: If you want to throw a few flowers in your yard, you can do this on your own. On the other hand, if you want a landscaped yard that captures the attention of neighbors, hire an expert. With a landscaper, you can enjoy your yard all the time as he or she will know exactly how to set up your yard.

Plumbing: If you want to fix your toilet, go ahead and do it on your own. But, if you want to install new lines or delve any deeper than basic plumbing projects, hire an expert. Not only will an expert get to the root of the problem quickly, but a plumber can also save you money when they spot other potential issues.

While it’s fun to work on your own house, you need to hire a professional for some tasks. In fact, with these six tasks, you are better off finding a qualified contractor to complete the job.

6 Cool Examples Of People Turning Trash Into Treasure

We all know that recycling is not only good for the environment, but it can also save money in the long run. Yet it seems as if some people have more talent for discovering hidden potential in everyday objects than others. If you have seen many clever ideas for recycling seemingly useless junk into valued items, but you feel you have no idea how to get started, below are a few ideas to consider.

First example: Even in today’s e-reader filled world, books are invaluable carriers of knowledge and information. The trick is to find an effective way of connecting the right reader with the right book even across thousands of miles or several continents. Selling old books you do not want or need on an internet bookstore platform is a great way of turning your trash into cash, which you can spend on any treasure your heart desires.

Second example: All households have still functional but no longer used extra clothing on hand, whether it is a pair of jeans that shrunk in the wash or an out of style shirt. Instead of throwing away sturdy materials and decorative patterns, make them into reusable shopping bags you can gift, sell, or donate.

Third example: No longer used old wine and liquor barrels make great bases for furniture and functional home décor pieces. A large wine barrel makes an ideal pedestal for a sink, and you can build a handy storage wall out of a series of smaller rum barrels along a hallway.

Fourth example: In small and large building projects alike, you can make use of reclaimed wood for beams and decorative wall paneling from older structures. Refinished timeworn doors make great work surfaces, and reclaimed wood planks can be a good option as a flooring alternative.

Fifth example: All those colored wine and olive oil bottles, broken flower planters, and leftover tiles you love to admire but hate to throw away can be easily made into mosaic garden steps or tabletop decorations. Once you learn the basics of mosaic design, you can cover any surface such as trivets, backsplashes, or frames with this technique. Alternately, you can use a rock tumbler to make polished and rounded glass pebbles for decorations.

Sixth example: Many people are quite good about using leftover food in meals, but a very few would think about purposefully purchasing foods that are about to go bad. The truth is you can easily turn overripe fruit into jam and enjoy the considerable savings from the discounts markets and grocery stores place on these produce in the hopes of moving them off the shelf quickly. You can use well cleaned, recycled jars for storing your vitamin rich treasures to enjoy during the winter months, to share with family and friends, or to sell at your local farmer’s market.

Treasure means different things for different peoples and you never know what will come handy a few months or a year from now. When you run across a great design or ingenious idea you find particularly appealing, snap a photo or make a note of it for future reference. As your collection accumulates, so will your creativity for turning your own trash into treasure others admire.

Guide: How To Install Tile In Your Kitchen in 10 Steps

If you are in the process of a kitchen home improvement project, you can keep your renovation budget low by doing the labor yourself. Some more complex projects will require professional installers, but if you want to completely transform your kitchen with a beautiful new tile floor, follow these 10 steps and get the process done on your own over a weekend with little to no help.


Step #1: Remove Old Flooring

Remove your old flooring. If the flooring is adhered to your concrete base floor with adhesive, use gloves and a face mask and apply a decent amount of adhesive remover. Give the remover time to set in and use a scraper to remove all of the glue. Once the area is cleared, give the concrete time to dry before starting the new flooring installation process.

Step #2: Set Out Tiles to Grid Out Space

Lay out the tiles on the concrete flooring once the floor is dry to grid out the space and to verify that you have enough tiles to cover the entire area. When you are creating your grid, you can also determine what cuts will need to be made to achieve the pattern design you have chosen. Be sure to use spacers when you are creating your grid so that your spacing is accurate. Make sure that you have extra tiles and scrap pieces just in case a tile breaks or needs to be replaced later down the line.

Step #3: Preparing Thinset

Start by mixing thinset mortar into a peanut butter-like consistency. You will probably need two gallons of thinset, but make sure you only mix as much of the mortar as you can apply in an hour because the mortar will dry. It is best to mix half of the thinset, apply, and then mix the remainder once the first backer board is installed.

Step #4: Applying the Thinset on the Linoleum or Concrete

Use a trowel and scoop a good amount of thinset to apply on your linoleum or your concrete. Hold the trowel at a 45 degree angle, with the notched side down, and smooth the mortar over the floor in an area big enough to cover the size of your first piece of backer board. Once you complete step #5, you will repeat this process for every piece of backer board your have.

Step #5: Installing the Backer Board

Now, slowly set the backer board down on the wet thinset so that you can make any modification before the mortar dries. Once the board is flat on the thinset, follow the guide lines on the board and screw the board into the flooring. Repeat step #4 and step #5 until all of your backer board is covering the entire area you will be tiling.

Step #6: Lay Out Two Rows of Tiles

Now, lay the first row of tiles, with spacers, over the backer board. After you have your first row laid in the pattern you have chosen, lay a second row perpendicular with the spacers. After these rows are laid out and cuts have been made with the appropriate saw, you can begin the installation process of the tiles.

Step #7: Apply the Thinset

Mix another batch of thinset in the same consistency as the prior batch. Remove the first row of tiles and spread mixed thinset with the same notched trowel at a 45 degree angle.

Step #8: Laying the Tiles

Now that the thinset has been applied, lay down tiles carefully and insert the spacers after each tile has been laid. Complete laying the entire first row of tile and make any necessary adjustments while the thinset is still wet.

Step #9: Clean Tiles While Wet

Cleaning the tile once the thinset has dried can be extremely difficult. Because of this, you should take a wet rag and clean the thinset off as you are working. After you clean the first row, repeat step #7 and #8 with each row until all of the tiles have been laid.

Step #10: Grouting the Flooring

Remove all of the spacers. You will then fill this area in with grouting. Following the instruction to mix your grout, use a trowel, and pack the substance into the space and scrape the excess off.

Install your new tile floor all by your lonesome and save money on the renovation. With all of the right supplies and a little motivation, you can completely transform your kitchen and take pride in the floor that you installed without any help from the professionals.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Hanging and Installing A Front Door

Are you having trouble with your front door? Whether it’s got some rot on the bottom and sides or you just want something a bit more stylish, we can help you. Here are the basic essentials of installing that front door correctly. You should be able to do it yourself with minimal help in true DIY fashion.


Here are some basic tools you will need to finish this project:

A cordless drill
A hammer
A reciprocating saw

1. Get the proper measurements so that you order the right sized door. You want to pull the molding off from around the door on the inside of the house so that you can get an accurate measurement. Measure the width and the height of both the existing door and of the opening. You will need these measurements to purchase the correct door. Be sure and check to see if there is a sill above or below the floor.

2. Go to the store and make your purchase, or order it online if you want something special. Make arrangements to get it delivered if you’re not lucky enough to have a pickup truck available to you to just bring it home right away.

3. Double check the new door’s measurements with the old door before you begin painting. This way you can bring it back to the store for an exchange if there’s a problem. If painting or staining the door, be sure and use sawhorses and not waiting until it’s hung to paint it. Trust me on this. It will be much easier.

4. Take the door off by removing the hinge pins or by just taking out the screws from the hinges. Remove all molding and begin releasing the frame. The best way to get the frame off is to cut through it with the saw about halfway up a side, then you can pry out the frame and remove it beginning on the cut side, then the top, then the other side. Remove the sill as well.

5. Now it’s time to install the new door. Remove all packing from around the door and any screws that may be holding it shut and set it into place. The help of a friend may come in handy around this point. Keep the frame on the side with the hinges plumb and place a screw in each hinge to hold the door in place. Check the top and bottom gaps to make sure they’re even. Shim the other frame side and put three screws in it to keep the gap even from top to bottom. You can place these screws behind where the seal will go to hide them for appearance sake.

6. Install the door knob using the provided instructions. Since it’s a front door, it should have a second hole for a dead bolt. Install it.

7. Molding is your last step. Sometimes you can save the old molding to re-use, but if rot was the case you will need to purchase new molding and cut like the old molding was and install with some finishing nails. Paint it or stain it to match the door.

If you followed all of the above steps, you should now have a brand-new door that you installed yourself and it looks fantastic. Congratulations on a DIY job well done!

5 Things to Consider When Buying Outdoor Tiles

There are many different types of outdoor tiles to choose from but not all the tiles have the best properties and same features. Every tile style is different from each other. Thus you need to be wise when buying outdoor tiles for your property. Outdoor tiles have great impact on the outdoors, because they give true value to your property. Assume if the outdoor is not attractive you will get an impression that the indoor too won’t be attractive. And moreover the weather outside could cause a lot of damage to your outdoor tiles and can create big impacts on them, so here I have listed 5 things that you need to consider when buying outdoor tiles for your property:

glass-mosaic-tile1) Check if your vitreous tile absorbs less than 3% of its weight in water. If you are buying an impervious tile, it should absorb less than 0.5 % of its weight in water. Make sure that you select porcelain or natural stone tiles under these styles.

2) Make sure that you select smaller tiles because bigger ones are more difficult to lay on uneven surfaces which are often found in outdoor of the property. Also make sure that you select an appropriate design according to the outdoor space of your property.

3) Try to select a non-slip tile style for your outdoors. You don’t want to put your lives and possessions in danger right. So you obviously wouldn’t select smooth and slippery tiles for your outdoor placement. In order to make sure that you outdoor tiles are non-slippery, look for a rougher texture for example dimples and less polished finish would confirm you that your selected outdoor tiles are really non-slippery tiles.

glass-mosaic-tile-24) Let the shop dealer know that you want a tough glaze on your non-porcelain ceramic tiles to ensure that you get extra durability. This should ensure heavy-duty performance and ease-of-use both. Also consider going for dark colors because light colors would get dirty much easier due to weather conditions or other situations.

5) Be sure to select standard sized ceramic floor tiles which measure at 30cm x 30cm. These outdoor tiles are the least expensive ones available in the market. Only porcelain tiles and larger tile formats would be priced too high, while glass mosaic tiles are also very expensive.

So if you are really not on a spending-spree budget, go for standard ceramic tiles or if possible, buy porcelain tiles.

These are just some of the things that you may want to consider when buying outdoor tiles. Always remember that you have to be practical when choosing one. You should not just rely on the design, when it is not in best quality. Neither should you rely on the styles, when it does not really match your entire house, otherwise it would look awkward and drab.

Did these tips help you in buying ideal outdoor tiles for your property? Share with us your experiences! Let us know it the comments!

Six Home Improvement DYI Projects For All Skill Levels

Home improvement projects leave most people intimidated. While some projects may be difficult for the average person, there are a lot of small projects that a homeowner can complete with ease. Even with a few basic tools the average homeowner can complete these six easy do it yourself project’s.

A Door

A door is an essential part of a house. Most people see the door before they see any other part of the house. To change a door does not require a lot of tools or time. When buying a door at a home improvement store, the homeowner will find that the door is pre-hung. Of course, a homeowner must take accurate measurements and have a large car or truck to transport the door. In the end, a door replacement should take an afternoon.


Old and inefficient toilets are both ugly and wasteful. A lot of homeowners look at a toilet and think they need to hire a plumber. With a few tools, a homeowner can replace their toilet within a few hours. Of course, when replacing a toilet, it is crucial to turn off the water source and precisely follow all the directions. A homeowner only needs a few basic tools to replace a toilet, and a home improvement store will give advice on the tools and steps needed.

toliet in process


Painting the interior or an exterior of the house is both easy and cheap for the homeowner. To paint a room only takes a couple of hours and can add to the beauty of a house. To get started, one would need to buy a few brushes, a bucket and a few gallons of paint.


The kitchen is often the most important room in a house. Countertops that are old and stained take away from the beauty of a kitchen and bring down the value of a house. When replacing countertops with granite, a homeowner can enjoy their kitchen more. It is easy to find beautiful granite and should only take a few hours to replace.


Kitchen Sink

A kitchen sink is another essential item in the house. One can install a kitchen sink with a few basic tools. With all plumbing jobs, the homeowner must turn off the water and double-check everything. A sink replacement will add value to the house while also making the homeowner happier.

Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan can make an apartment or house look a lot nicer. Not only that, a properly installed ceiling fan will save a homeowner on their energy bills. There are plenty of stylish ceiling fans that a homeowner will enjoy. The cost is low, and it will only take a few hours to complete a ceiling installation.

new ceiling fans 003

Most DIY projects are not difficult as long as the homeowner has plenty of tools. Whatever project a homeowner completes, he or she must read the directions and asks for help when needed.

7 Easy DIY Bathroom Improvement Steps

You just went out and bought yourself a home, and now you would like to do some remodeling. One room that is easy to remodel and makes a huge improvement in your home would be the bathroom. Installing a new vanity in the bathroom can completely change the entire look of the room. It is quite easy to install a vanity by yourself, and save yourself a ton of money.

STEP 1: Vanity

To install your new vanity, you will need to remove the old vanity. To do this you need to shut off the water, and remove all the water lines. Then you will need to remove the trap from under the sink. Most vanities are just screwed into the walls, so just remove the screws and the vanity should pop right off. Now you will need to locate the studs and mark them with a pencil. Make sure you make the marks a bit higher than the vanity top. Next position the new vanity and push it up tight against both walls. Use a level to make certain that the vanity is even. Next you need to anchor the vanity to the wall, by locating the studs and then screw in 2-1/2″ wall board screws. Then apply caulk to secure the vanity top on to the new vanity.

Day 7? Not much longer…Step 2: Paneling
The second DIY bathroom improvement would be to re-do the flooring and walls. Choose a paneling that is applied to the lower section of a wall, wainscot is a good choice. It is easy to do even for a beginner, for best results stay with neutral colors.

Step 3: Mirrors
The third DIY bathroom improvement you could do is put some mirrors up. They are easy to install and can really change up the bathroom. You can also install a mirror to the back of your bathroom door. You can also touch up chipped wood, replace cracked or chipped tiles, and even change your toilet seat.

Step 4: Shower
The fourth DIY bathroom improvement would be to get new hardware, such as a new shower head or change the cabinet and door handles.

Step 5: Comfort
The fifth DIY bathroom improvement that could really spice it up would be to replace old towels with fluffy new ones and put dimmer switches on the light fixtures.

Step 6: Color
Yet another great DIY bathroom improvement is to paint the walls. Choose a bold color to really make the room appear bigger and add space to the room with illusions.

Step 7: Tub
Another DIY bathroom improvement would be to resurface the bathtub. You can make your old tub look like new just by painting it. Be sure to ear respirators and take adequate measures to protect against tub refinishing chemicals.

giant bathtub

By making just a few easy, inexpensive improvements to your bathroom, you can feel like you have a brand new room in your home to enjoy for many years to come.

How To Transform An Extra Bedroom Into A Home Office

Transforming an extra bedroom into an office does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be simple if you know the right things before you start. The key to transforming your extra bedroom into an office is to remember to keep it simple. Taking care of the greatest essentials and then slowly adding more over time is one approach to take with transforming an extra bedroom into an office.

Here is how to transform an extra bedroom into an office:
Decide On A Theme:

To begin with, you should decide on a theme that is appealing to you. There are different themes, but one good idea would be to use a theme that is inspiring to you. For example, you could put pictures up of your heroes who would inspire you to work hard in your home office.
Proper Wiring For Room:

When transforming an extra bedroom into an office, it is important to have the proper wiring. A bedroom does not usually require as much as a home office. For a home office, you will generally need electrical outlets, a phone line and a cable outlet. If you do not have a lot of electrical outlets, then you could purchase a surge protector. This will give you more electrical outlets for your office.
Paint The Room If Required:

Sometimes an office needs a paint job. If you are going to spend a lot of time in your office, then it is essential that your home office is appealing. If you are unsure what color to use, then a neutral color is best because it is most likely to mesh well with the room and objects of the room.
Place The Desk First:

You want to place your desk first because it is the most important object of an office. In a small room, you do not want a big desk if you can help it because it will make your office feel cramped. Depending on what kind of space you’re working with, computer armoires could offer you the best solution.

Purchasing Storage And Office Supplies:

An office is better when it is organized because it makes it more comfortable and inviting. In order to do this, you can purchase storage compartments to help you organize your office. When purchasing storage supplies, try to keep it on budget without going overboard. You will also want a comfortable chair since you will be sitting in the chair for long hours.
Upgrade The Lighting If Needed:

Sometimes the light of a bedroom is not sufficient for an office. In these situations, it is important to purchase lighting to make you more efficient at your job.

Transforming an extra bedroom into an office is a brilliant idea that will pay off. It helps to make use of a space that would otherwise go unused. When you pay for the use of your whole home, why not make use out of all of it? An office is even a great place to just escape for a while.