It can be hard to know where to start when you are considering home improvement, but it doesn't have to be. As with any subject, learning the basics can make your project go more smoothly. This article discusses the basics of home improvement so that you don't go down the wrong path.

Be sure to dust the accessories in your home on a weekly basis. Lots of dust can gather in a small period of time, causing allergens to accumulate. Cleaning not only rids your surfaces of dust, but it helps to keep pests like spiders, fleas and ants in check.

Prior to purchasing hardwood flooring, ask a professional about the status of your existing floors. Your home might be one of the many that has potentially-attractive original hardwood lurking beneath multiple layers of tile, linoleum, vinyl, or carpet. You will come out on top with a nicer floor, and save money!

If you are hiring someone to perform your home improvement work, make sure to ask for their references. In essence you are hiring an employee to do a job for you. You have to know who they are before you select them for the job.

There are many options that you have when replacing a lock. The cylinder will keep the lock in place at all times. Should you lose your key, a safe way to replace the lock and keep the original housing is by doing a cylinder replacement. If you are replacing a lock for cosmetic purposes, you will need to replace the whole unit.

Prudent advance planning is the key to successful home improvement work. Waiting until the last minute can be disasterous. Proper planning results in a job that goes more smoothly.

If you think about it, it should be obvious why a good front door can make a property up to 10% more valuable. An existing door can be easily enhanced with new locks and knobs.

"Age-in-place" concepts can be a great way to make sure your renovation plans are on track with reality. Age-in-place refers to a design philosophy that accounts for the inevitable aging of homeowners over the span of their ownership. Whether you're thinking of renovating a home that you'll hold onto forever or just want to sell it later, age-in-place additions are able to make living more comfortable.

Replacing your floor with a new material can be quite expensive. One affordable and easy option is to pull up existing flooring, then apply a colored stain to the bare concrete. It will create an industrial look that is versatile can can be changed with the decor.

To give the illusion of space in a room, move furniture out away from the walls. No mater what sort of decor the room features, this simple alteration will make it appear more contemporary and give the impression of a larger space.

Insulation is a good way to prepare your plumbing for a cold spell, or just to be sure that the water runs hot through your pipes. Heat tape also works very well and is relatively easy to install, even if you're a home improvement novice. This will keep plumbing lines from freezing and having to be replaced if they burst.

Pick an overall color story for your room. Formal areas of your home, such as your dining area, should have a complementary scheme. Complementary colors can be identified by their color wheel opposites, for example, red and green. This type of color palette looks good and works well.

Think about installing windows that are thermally sealed, as they are attractive and cheap. This can be very cost effective if you go for it.

When you are looking for a contractor to help you with home improvement, compare the estimates you are given very carefully. Have a list of things you want replaced or repaired, and let each contractor give you an estimate for the same job. If you make changes in your plan between contractors, you will not get an accurate estimate of the best price.

Schedule a hot water heater draining at six month intervals. If your water heater is well cared for, it'll run better and last much longer. This tasks just requires you to find the drain valve, attach your hose and turn the valve just as you would a spigot.

You can easily give your bathroom a new look by putting up new wallpaper trim and some artwork. Wallpaper trim is a very affordable choice and there are so many options that any home decor design can easily be complemented. It's also not hard to put up. If you also put up some pictures that don't cost a lot, your entire bathroom will look different.

Make sure to create an all inclusive budget. And budget for miscellaneous expenses, as you may run into unexpected issues that you cannot afford without some leeway in the budget. A terrific way to avoid this is to consider everything and anything that might go wrong and allow extra funds to cover those potential problems. This will equip you well for any necessary changes, additions or problems.

When dealing with gas, you should ensure it is cut off. Don't think that a non-smoking home is always free of sparks. And simply moving things around may cause some gas to leak.

Planting a tree for tomorrow is a common phrase most people have heard. Planting trees can also make your home worth more. If you plant trees and they are full grown, by the time you sell, it will increase the property value by a grand for every tree.

It can be easy and inexpensive to add a heat source beneath tiled floors. Before beginning a floor replacement project, consult a knowledgeable sales person. It's an efficient and enjoyable way to heat a room. It's especially nice for the cold bathroom floors in the morning. Future buyers are sure to be impressed by this luxurious feature.

So you've figured out by now that home improvement doesn't have to be that complicated. The more that you know about home improvement, the easier it will be to complete a project successfully. Think about the information presented here as you begin your home improvement journey.


Many reasons exist for beginning home improvement projects. There are projects to suit every budget and skill-set, going from major season-long additions down to simple repair jobs that can be handled in an afternoon. It doesn't matter how big the project is, if you do it the right way, it will cost you less and it will be fun to do. Below are some excellent ideas to help you along that path.

Look to your kitchen when you want to get an idea of where to begin home improvements and updates. Start by cleaning your walls. You will remove all stains and you should also get rid of all the old paint. Neutral, tan colors work well in all kinds of kitchens. Once you've finished re-painting, you'll be impressed with how dramatic the difference is.

Maybe you don't really have to replace your bedroom doors; they may simply need refinishing. Remove the door from its frame, then sand it until its bare wood is visible. Get some oil-based paint and apply with a roller. For a quick update, consider getting new doorknobs.

Chimneys, gutters, and downspouts can often get overlooked during home improvements and yearly updating. It is important that these areas of your home are maintained so they function properly. Keeping your chimney free of debris is important to prevent fires from substances that might become trapped inside the chimney. Similarly, keeping your gutters free from debris will prevent water damage to your roof caused by the accumulation of water in rain gutters.

While wood fireplaces can keep your house toasty warm, consider other heating sources first. It may be visually appealing but it does not offer true heating efficiency. Additionally, fires use of lots of oxygen, and that's not good for your health.

A home's basement typically has very little natural light, if any at all. Be sure you make your basement more livable by placing artificial lighting in good positions there. If your basement is planned well, it might have taller walls. If you do, windows may be installable and they would create natural lighting.

Purchase the best supplies for your home improvement project. It can be expensive, but the expense is worth the value of doing things right. Cheap tools and materials can break or wear down quickly. Tools can cost a fortune and the last thing you want to be doing is replacing them more than is necessary.

If you leave gutters clogged, you could end up with a serious issue. Clogged gutters will overflow down the sides of your home and can even cause water to seep into your basement. Make sure you clean your gutters before this occurs.

Much of the heat or cooled air in your home is lost through the window glass. One way to make windows more efficient is by having a second glaze added to them. The energy savings with just this step can be significant, especially during the hot summer months or the coldest days of winter.

If a contractor tells you they will finish the job in time period that is not realistic, do not use him. Usually, they have great motivation to finish quickly. To maximize productivity. they may rush their employees. That can rub both ways; particularly when a contractor wants to charge you overtime fees that you didn't really need.

If there are a lot of repairs that need to be done to a home before you can move it, you should worry about getting the heavy repairs done first. Small projects like completing your basement, altering paint colors, and renovating bathrooms can be done in pieces after you've moved in.

New paneling can drastically change the appearance of your home. This will help you make your home feel and look newer. If you do not enjoy the look of the paneling, it is easy to get rid of.

Get yourself a stainless steel taping knife if you plan to do sheetrock taping. Cleaning up is a breeze when using this tool, and you will be able to reuse it for future projects. Those who buy a taping knife made of stainless steel, and practice proper cleaning and storage techniques, will have a tool that lasts a lifetime.

Be sure you don't ever underestimate any home improvement project. Although you never know what will happen, do your research so you are as prepared as possible. When you are prepared, you'll be less likely to fail.

It is normal to judge the usefulness of a home based on the number of bathrooms available. Bathrooms are one of the key features in determining property value. You can substantially boost your home's value by putting in additional bathrooms.

If you have noticed your roof leaking, you need to check common culprits like chimneys, skylights and low spots. If you are still mystified it is time to check your gutters. Gutters that have been damaged are perhaps the main leaky roof culprit because water will run down your home.

Always remember, whenever you are working with wood, do not rely on "eyeballing" angles, surfaces or measurements to make them level. Instead, use a tape measure, level and speed square so that your measurements are accurate.

It can save a lot of money to get together with your neighbors and share tools with each other. There's no reason for everyone in your neighborhood to own the same rarely used tools! You can always borrow tools from your neighbors that you might not have laying around. You can also go a step further and share home improvement tips.

Whenever you install tile, always remember to couple it with cement backer boards. These back boards prevent moisture from entering drywall. If drywall is exposed to moisture, mold and mildew will damage the wall.

The above tips are some ways to make easy home improvements. Beware of the fact that home improvement can become an addiction if you are not careful! Using the advice laid out here can provide you with an appetite to do even more. When you have done a couple home improvements you will be searching for new things to do around the house.


Many home improvement projects seem quite daunting, but may actually be much easier than you think. Learning all you can about the subject will help things go quickly and smoothly. This article will give all the advice you need.

Increase your home's energy efficiency by adding weather stripping to your doors and windows. This is an inexpensive material purchased at the home improvement store, and seals out exterior cold and hot air to stabilize inner temperatures so that your heater and cooling systems do not need to work as hard. You will notice, too, that you can cut down on the drafts that you feel on those chilly nights.

Adding new flooring is a fantastic way to upgrade and update the appearance of any room. Installing floor yourself is not very hard, but most home improvement stores have a quick and affordable installation option available. If you don't want to install it yourself, seek the help of a professional.

Keep in mind that chair caning has a natural tendency to sag over the course of time. It is relatively simple to restore form to your caning. Wet a sponge and apply it to the bottom of the caning that's sagging. Use warm water to do this. Leave the caning alone overnight to let it dry out. Repeat this process until it is fixed.

A front porch is a worthwhile place to invest your home improvement efforts. It is what is first seen by someone visiting your home. It will set the initial impression they have for your home. Keep your porch clean and add tasteful enhancements. Flowers, nice furniture and great lighting can be used to dress up an otherwise boring and bland porch. These things add value to a house.

Fixtures and other materials used for home projects around be high quality. There's a simple reason for this--decorative items and furniture get moved out along with the homeowner when the house gets sold. Attractive, durable additions to the actual home add value to the actual sale price.

Solar lights won't do anything to improve the value of your home. If you need effective outdoor lighting, electric is the way to go. These cost more than standalone solar lighting, but they last longer and work better.

Before you start to paint your house's interior, make use of a wet cloth to take away dirt and dust from the baseboards and walls. That will help the paint stick better and may help you avoid the need for a second coat.

In an area where you relax, apply analogous colors. Analogous colors are those in the color wheel that are near each other, like orange and red, yellow and green, or purple and blue. The harmony and peace that analogous colors promote make them ideal for restful, calm rooms like bedrooms or family spaces.

Pick your color scheme from something that is already in the room. Look at existing colors from drapes, upholstery fabrics, or rug, then base the color scheme on that. Use a dominant color and work off of that with other matching colors. Use the remaining two colors just for accent purposes.

Is your lawn plagued with spots where grass does not grow? Purchase some grass seeds to rejuvenate your yard. If your lawn is not even, your home will never look as good as it could. Take care of your lawn today.

Does your home get too bright during the afternoon? You can gain better control over sunlight's effect on your home by adding some tint to your windows. This can easily be done on your own. Also, you can decrease cooling costs by having tinted windows.

Be certain to highlight the selling points of your house. If you have a nice view, do not block the windows overlooking it. No matter what, you will always want to maximize the home's key selling points. The buyer will love your home if you work hard at it.

Maintain your septic tank regularly. There are chemicals that can be purchased that can help you decompose the contents. Keep your septic tank in mind during your next home improvement project. If you aren't sure of your home's plan, get a plan that is detailed to avoid any costly damage.

Begin the installation of your new kitchen cabinets by drawing a horizontal benchmark line around the perimeter of your entire kitchen. This shows you where they should be placed. Start at the high point of the floor and draw your benchmark line.

Before you try to remove an older popcorn ceiling, test it for asbestos. While asbestos is a harmful substance that requires certain steps are taken when removing or disposing of it, danger only occurs when the asbestos is disturbed. If you find out that your ceiling does have asbestos, you might have to hire professionals to get rid of the ceiling.

Ceramic tiling is something that can be used in bathrooms and kitchens alike. Choose either tiles with unique designs or a solid color scheme for a more elegant, put-together look. Besides making your rooms look more attractive, you can add significantly to the value of your home by putting in new ceramic tile.

By making changes to your accessories, you can dramatically improve a room's look. A new piece of wall art or a few throw pillows can make a big difference. Change out window treatments for a big change, and make sure that accessories in your room match well with the window treatments. Making sure that the items you use go well together can help make your home look professionally done.

Employing a roofer that is trustworthy is essential. Never enter in to any legal contract with a roofing company without first doing your homework. Be sure to check with the Dept. of Consumer Affairs and the BBB before settling on a company. Check the company website to read reviews, as well.

As you can now see, you can make home improvements yourself as long as you have the right information. Using the above tips will make the process better and perhaps, enjoyable.