Category: Home Improvement

Do’s And Don’ts Of Home Renovation Loans

If you are considering a home renovation loan to finance your new home improvement project, then you need to go into the process as prepared as possible. These twenty tips will prove invaluable when shopping for and navigating through your home renovation loan.

1. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t rush through your planning phase in an effort to get to the actual renovation as quickly as possible. Many an owner before you has made this mistake only to run out of money with a half-improved home.

2. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do understand that the planning and financing phase is just as important as the actual rehab phase. The battle can be won or lost before the first nail is ever hammered.

3. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t rely on a cost estimator to put together your home improvement budget. They will not be accurate enough.

4. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do take the time you need to put a solid budget together, based on actual bids and quotes from local contractors and material providers. Make sure you based these bids and quotes on your actual blueprints.

5. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t shop for a home improvement loan based solely on the interest rate during the rehab. Short term, interest-only rehab rates will only create a minor variation to your overall costs, because they only apply for the few months that you will be renovating.

6. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do make sure your loan accrues interest based only on what you actually borrow during renovation. This way you can pad your budget going into the rehab without having to pay interest on it.

7. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t allow the seller of the house to force you into a purchase agreement that expires in one month. Your lot contract will expire before your loan closes and funds.

8. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do explain to the seller of the house that you are wrapping the purchase into your home improvement loan and need at least two months (or more) on the contract in order to finalize plans, complete a full budget and get the file through underwriting.

9. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t try to build the biggest house in the neighborhood. Your loan’s appraisal will most likely be inadequate to get the file through underwriting, because there won’t be any comparable properties in your neighborhood.

10. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do understand the appraisal process and requirements before you finalize your house plans and/or select your property. If you can’t get a solid appraisal, you can’t get a home improvement loan.

11. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t settle for a loan that has two closings – one for renovation and one for the modification to the permanent loan once you’re done building. This extra closing will cost you time, money, and headaches.

12. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do find a loan that has a single closing to cover the land purchase, renovation phase, and conversion to permanent financing. You may see the term single-close or one-time-closing.

13. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t try to secure financing with poor credit nowadays. It is hard to find any financing for poor credit borrowers right now, especially if you want to rehab a home.

14. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do make sure your credit score is at least above 620 with a few open, healthy accounts. For your best chances at financing, get your score above 700. Talk to your loan officer for credit restoration ideas if needed.

15. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t start building your new home without a plan for selling your current home.

16. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do consider listing your current home for sale right from the start. Your new home may not be ready for another six months, but that gives you plenty of time to consider offers and prepare for the sale of the current home.

17. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t start renovations until your loan has closed. Depending on the state and/or county in which you live, you may run into issues with title insurance. No title insurance means no financing.

18. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do speak to your loan officer and local title companies if you absolutely have to begin improvements prior to the loan closing date.

19. Home Renovation Loan Don’t:

Don’t hurt your credit score while you fix up your own house by running up credit cards or missing payments due to being strapped for cash.

20. Home Renovation Loan Do:

Do look for a loan that has features to keep your cash in your pocket: minimal down payment requirements, an interest reserve feature to limit mortgage payments while you build, a contingency to protect you from under-budgeting, etc. These types of features will prevent you from spending all of your own cash, which leads people to severely damage their credit scores while they build.

Trench Drain Systems For Stylish Bathrooms

You may have seen the latest bathroom trends in smart interior design magazines. Wet room showers are hot right now, because they open up the visual appearance of the bathroom, making it look more spacious, attractive and modern. So are ADA-accessible showers, which are not only user friendly but also add to the resale value of your home should you decide to sell it in the future. The style of your bathroom in based on what goes into the foundation, and one of the key aspects of any bathroom is how the drainage of water will occur. Many homeowners, after looking at the options, pick a linear drain for their shower because it not only looks great, but it works well in this heavy-use area of the home.

A linear drain refers to its shape, which is a long and thin rectangle. This type of trench shower drain is in sharp contrast to the traditional round drain that you see in the center of many shower stalls. Whereas you are pretty much stuck with a center-placed drain if you use a round drain in your shower, those limitations are removed with the shower trough drain. While a round drain also requires a round slope to be created in the floor of the shower in order to get the water to the drain, you only need a single slope to make a trench shower drain function properly. Because there is less time involved by your construction crew to create one slope rather than multiple ones for a round drain in the shower floor, an additional benefit from the trench shower drain is that it costs less to install.

Another aesthetic benefit that comes from using trench drain systems is that you have more choice in the type of tiles or stones that you use in the shower stall. Because of the single slope in the floor, you can use larger pieces of tile or stone with a trench shower drain than you can with a round one.

You can also use a linear drain in a tub to shower conversion. A tub to shower conversion can visually expand your bathroom space if you place the shower trough drain right at the doorway to the shower. This placement of the shower trough drain will keep the water in the shower stall without an additional lip or edge, and thus you can run long glass doors for your shower all the way to the floor.

The best way to see how trench drain systems can be used to create a high-end bathroom look is to visit a online trench drain provider.

How Mattress Construction Effects Cleaning Outcomes

Even though people generally get their rugs and carpets annually cleaned, the mattresses they sleep on are commonly overlooked and neglected, being left uncleaned for years after they were originally purchased. This can lead to severe staining from bodily oils, sweats and other fluids, which can be difficult to remove if they have had years to soak into the mattress fibers. An annual visit from professional mattress cleaners is recommended to increase the lifespan of your mattress, give you a great night’s sleep, and remove any unsightly stains caused by bodily oils and sweats. Other difficult stains which can occur from accidents such as urine, faeces, vomit and wine can also be removed from most mattresses provided they are attended to as soon as possible – in such cases time is of the essence and consumers should contact a professional mattress cleaning service to attend immediately.

Speaking of mattress cleaning outcomes, the composition of fibers used in mattress construction can significantly effect the outcome of a cleaning process. Regardless of steam cleaning, dry cleaning or even the latest developments in low moisture methods, mattresses with significant amounts of viscose or cotton in them will resist even the most aggressive cleaning attempts due to those fibers property of absorbing everything in them and not releasing any soils. For such mattresses protectors or covers are essential to preventing permanent stains which will be impossible to otherwise remove. If thinking about purchasing a new mattress, enquiring about its fiber content is an easy way to avoid making the wrong purchasing decision. Consumers should not look at simply the price alone as even expensive mattresses can contain the fibers in them which will inhibit or entirely prevent successful cleaning outcomes in the future.

Apart from removing stains, the most important reason to have your mattress professionally cleaned is to improve the quality of sleep, and hence the quality of your life. As we spend on average 8 hours a day in our beds over each night, restless sleep combined with the breathing in of dust mites, bacteria and germs can lead to a lowered immune system and more frequent bouts of illness. Soiled mattresses and sheets can also draw nasty critters such as bed bugs which will gladly take up residence in your bedroom. Once they’ve infested your home the only solution is a complete pest control treatment, but this can easily be prevented from happening through weekly cleaning of bedding and annual professional mattress cleaning, not to mention the cost in dollars and time is significantly cheaper and more convenient when compared to pest control.

Does Taking Collagen Powder Really Help Build Collagen

The beauty and anti aging industry has really become creative and fanciful when come to the replenishment of collagen in order to combat aging effect. People want to look good and young which open up great opportunity to this industry. Degrading of collagen level when one grows older has been scientifically proven to be the main cause of aging effect like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. To reverse these aging effect is to increase or revive the collagen level in our body and this has lead to solutions like direct collagen injection, oral intake collagen pills, edible collagen powder, collagen candies and topical collagen application onto the skin.

Most talked about of course is the collagen powder which can be added to your meals or drinks, making the intake of collagen as convenient as possible. The concern is not about taking collagen powder that does not disrupt our diet habits but does taking collagen powder really help build collagen. According to British Skin Foundation findings, it is hard to see how that would work scientifically and they say they have seen no evidence that eating collagen will benefit your skin in any way. The conclusion is eating collagen does not replenish the collagen in your body neither it will promote the production of collagen in your body.

Fortunately, that does not mean there is no other solution to fight collagen degrading problem. The only scientifically proven and clinically tested solution to combat loss of collagen, is to stimulate the re growth of collagen by our own body system. Unlike oral intake or external application which are only the sales gimmick which most skin care companies adopt to boost the sales instead of collagen. Needless to say, the answer to “Does taking collagen powder really help build collagen”, is a big “NO” of it really contains collagen.

However, if the so called “collagen powder” does not contain “collagen”, but it contains ingredients like CoEnzyme Q10 instead, it might help to slow down the loss of collagen. CoEnzyme Q10, an antioxidants has been proven in its ability to protect and energize skin cells. Recent studies have shown CoEnzyme Q10 is one of the first antioxidants to be depleted when the skin is exposed to UV radiation. By replenishing the content of CoEnzyme Q10, which also help to increase collagen and elastin production in the skin.

Another natural ingredients extracted from the wool of New Zealand sheep, Cynergy TK which contains Keratin, very similar to the basic protein found in human skin. Keratin is found throughout the body cells , which has an important structural role in the skin and powerfully effective in rejuvenating the skin. It stimulates the skin cells to produce both collagen and elastin, which will eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. Besides promoting firmness and elasticity in the skin, Cynergy TK also increase the ability of the skin in moisture retention. Studies show a sustained 14% improvement in skin moisture retention, and a sustained improvement in skin elasticity of 42% over 18 days.

With the advance scientific testing methods and equipments nowadays, we still can not find any proof on “Does taking collagen powder really help build collagen”. On the other hand, body care products that contain Cynergy TK and CoEnzyme Q10, have been scientifically proven and clinically tested to be able to boost the production of collagen in our skin cells. Given the choices above, will you still go for collagen powder intake? As for me, I will just ignore the phrase of “Does taking collagen powder really help build collagen”, and put my trust in skin care products that are sure to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, effectively regaining my glowing beautiful skin.

The Versatility Of Nautical Light Fixtures

If you have a coastal decor in your home nautical light fixtures can be the perfect way to complete this look or to enhance it. Whether you have a prominent nautical theme or just a hint of a beach feel these fixtures can add nicely to the look of your nautical or coastal interior design.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Of course nautical light fixtures have a specific look or style, however the different options have slightly different finishes or other nuances that provide a little distinction from each other. Contemporary versions have a clean, new look using materials like brushed nickel or stainless steel and sometimes frosted glass. Traditional or more rustic versions have darker finishes and designs that give them an older look making them look more authentic.

The versatility of these fixtures is easily noticeable in the variety of shapes, sizes, styles and colors available. From a lantern style light to a bulkhead replica to a nautical chandelier there are fixtures to fit every room and every variation of coastal or nautical decor.

Because it was a common style in authentic ship lights many nautical fixtures have a glass case protected by a metal cage around the glass. With authentic ship lights this was a functional protective feature, but when it comes to replica home lighting this is primarily just for looks.

Types Of Nautical Light Fixtures

The variety doesn’t end in the style of lights available; there are also a number of ways they can be mounted to fit different needs and different looks for specific rooms. There are a number of basic ceiling and wall mount nautical lights available, but you can also find lights to better fit specific areas. Nautical vanity lights offering three lights to a fixture are perfect for a bathroom; pendant lights or a chandelier that hang from a metal rod or chain are perfect for kitchens and dinning rooms and a nautical fixture with a fan is great for an outdoor room or bedroom.

Where To Find Them

If you prefer to see the lights in person before making a commitment try shopping at local lighting stores and home improvement stores. If you don’t have a very good selection in your area make a day of it and go to a larger nearby city.

If you like shopping from home and want the largest selection possible shop online. Many popular retailers sell these types of lights. You can also find a number of specialty stores that focus either on lighting or on coastal decor. There are also a couple of companies that specialize in refurbished, salvaged ship lights.

Nautical light fixtures can provide that finishing touch to complete the coastal look in your home.

How To Prevent Spider Infestation In Your Home

Spiders live in residential homes; its just a fact of life. A few spiders crawling around your house is actually beneficial as they eat other pests, such as centipedes and beetles. Therefore, its generally better not to kill every spider you find crawling around your home. However, if you notice an increased amount of spiders crawling around your home, it could mean that you have an infestation.

The first step is not to panic. The second step is to pay close attention for a few days in a row as to where and when you notice the spiders. Some locations are more prone to spiders, and desert states like California and Arizona are known for more dangerous spiders that can make their way into a home. This article addresses what to do in the case when you suspect a common household spider infestation.

Understanding Spiders
Spiders favor entering homes because a typical home provides the exact environment they thrive in warm, dark spaces. Spiders hide in dark, dry locations. Some spiders also favor damp areas, such as under a sink or in a damp basement. Spiders also favor rotting materials; its a prime location for laying eggs. Make an effort to keep your home free from rotting material such as damp or wet wood.

Tips for Preventing Spider Infestation

Clutter
Spiders are attracted to clutter. Keeping you home as clutter-free as possible will decrease the amount of spiders in your home. For example, do your best to keep piles of clothes off the floor. Dangerous brown recluse spiders favor hiding in piles of clothes.

Dust
Keep your home as dust-free as possible, especially in corners and ceiling where spiders often create webs. To make dusting easier, use a duster with an extended arm to help you dust the hard-to-reach places. Also dust under furniture and beds. Use a wet rag, at least every other week to remove thicker layers of dust.

Cardboard Boxes
Spiders love to live in cardboard boxes. Replace your cardboard boxes with plastic storage bins.

Windows
Repair windows and screens as to prevent spiders from easily entering your home. Cracks and holes in windows, doors and around the house on the inside and on the exterior should be fixed and sealed.

Cats
Cats are known for eating spiders. At the very least, the cat will do a go job at chasing them away.

Natural Remedies
Place peppermint or spearmint leaves in window sills; spiders dont like the send and it will ward them off.
Spray a mixture of tea tree oil and water onto vents and window sills. Spiders dont like this scent either and will turn away.

New Year. New Life. New Home

The start of a brand new year usually means the start of a brand new phase in peoples lives. It is an opportunity to start again, reinvent or simply try something new. I, for one, have a sudden liking for a change of environment. And since it would be a financial impossibility to find a new place, I decided to redesign and do a bit interior painting on my own space instead. Now, if you are just like me, here are a couple of tips on how to find just the right colors to fit your home and your whole new you.

Colors are not just about a change of atmosphere. It would be a good idea to change your room colors according to a type of mood youd like to inspire. Shades of red and oranges promote excitement and energize, youd want to use these colors for your social and entertainment rooms. Yellow is also an active color that stirs up imagination and creativity. If youre going for a calmer quiet atmosphere, passive colors are the way to go. Shades of blue, purple and green would be great for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Its important to go with colors you like. Getting peoples advice about what suits your home is important but if its you that would be living in your home, not them. So make your opinion your number one priority.

Keep it simple as much as possible. Too many colors can be overwhelming, especially when were talking small spaces. Sometimes its okay to stick with one color and go with different shades for variety. Also, when painting your wall, its great to pick a color or shade that goes with almost anything. Think of it as a canvass you can splash with accents such as furniture, portraits and lighting to create a grand picture. When you are repainting an old home, go for a flat sheen. This type or paint hides the imperfections of aged spaces.

Faux techniques can be helpful when you want to add a bit of depth. Sponging, colorwashing, dragging and other techniques can be quite handy. If youre not a painting contractor and youre not familiar with them, practice on a different surface and experiment with colors before applying it on to your home.

Remember to not just consider the color of the paint, the shade or the style. Dont forget that you would still need to add your homes other fixtures to the project. Keep in mind that balance is everything. Create an environment where everything can go together without resulting into a chaotic room filled with contrasting styles.

Now when it comes down to it, repainting a home can be quite a chore. But dont forget while you are doing it in the first place. Take time to enjoy every moment of this transformation. Include your kids in the project and make it an opportunity to teach and spend some quality time with them. When all is said and done, you wouldve made a fun and inspiring journey into a whole new beginning.

Advantages Of Using Narrow Plank Over Wide Plank Flooring

The choice of whether to go with wide or narrow planks in your natural material floor is usually thought to be one of taste. But there are many other considerations when choosing flooring. Floors have a huge amount of wear and tear to worry about. How will differing widths affect that? Woods are susceptible to humidity and temperature changes. Maintenance is another factor to think about. Cost may be what ultimately sways you one way or the other as the wide vs. narrow is quite a price difference. Going into your flooring experience with your eyes open will ensure that you love your floor for years and years to come.

Wood flooring has been popular for centuries. In times past it was mostly out of necessity that wood was used. Now wood flooring is valued as a top of the line flooring for its rich textures, colors, and enduring wear. These days more exotic woods are available and are becoming popular. Cork flooring is beautiful and wears well. Bamboo provides a different sort of grain to traditional wood that many prefer. Drastic changes can be made to the look of a home with a simple home improvement of changing the flooring.

The weather can affect a wood floor quite a bit. High moisture environments can wreak havoc on wood. Wide plank flooring is much more susceptible to warping than narrow planks. The more the wood the more likely it is to warp. Large flat pieces of wood always take a hit in high humidity. Small compact pieces endure it well. Temperature also affects a wood floor. Temperature is especially an issue during installation. Wide planks must be acclimated to their environment before installation. Narrow planks can benefit from this process as well. But wider planks require more time than narrow ones.

Maintenance of wood flooring can be relatively simple for narrow plank floors. Occasional sanding and resurfacing along with careful cleaning is enough to keep a narrow plank floor looking its best. Wide plank floors require much more daily maintenance and professional care. Once again, larger slabs of wood are much more susceptible to change through environment and how they are cared for, or neglected. Cost is the final point to consider. Wide plank floors can be the most costly type of floor to install, hands down. Even marble might cost less. Narrow plank floors on the other hand can be afforded by many. Costs also depend upon the type of wood used.

Some Help for Home Improvement

If you have some home improvement projects to do, you might be wondering if the cost will be less if you do some of the work yourself. Of course you can, but you should know your limits and start small. You’ll find in this article tips that can help you decipher whether a project is a “do it yourself” or one that needs a professional.

Roofs leak and drip and the shingles wear down. It’s inevitable. So when you need to repair this, switch out to a lighter color tile. Attics can become incredibly hot and a dark color roof only exacerbates the problem. Lighter colors reflect the sun, instead. A cooler attic will help should it become necessary to get in your attic.

Learn how to do as much of the home improvement project on your own when planning it. While a professional may charge you $50 an hour to do the job, doing it yourself can has minimal costs and allows you to enjoy the fact that your improved your home.

Bathrooms are very important to consider if you want to flip a property. Buyers are usually fine with customizing living rooms and bedrooms, but they want the bathrooms to be in excellent condition right from the get-go. The fixtures, sinks and bathtubs should be clean and free of rust or scum. If the floors are linoleum, swap it out for tile.

You will save a ton of money by living in your house while you complete home improvements, so try to stick to one room at a time. This can make the changes bearable until you’re left working on your only bathroom! Consider visiting a family member or friend in this case.

Hire an electrician to help install electrical outlets in the area where you want your microwave to sit. This will give you a place to plug your microwave in that is not visible. This will eliminate unsightly cords from your kitchen.

When you are going to be doing home improvement projects, you should do the ones that you can see first. Whoever looks at your house is going to go off of what they see, so the last thing you want to present to them is peeling paint or some untrimmed hedges, which can cause them to not buy the house. Although a number of important home improvements cannot be seen, if you want to sell your house you must focus on the ones that can be.

In the real estate market, a beautiful view can often command a significant premium. But remember that any improvements you make to the curb appeal may only increase your viewing pleasure, rather than acting as an investment. There is also the matter of personal taste to consider. A view you think of as perfect might be unremarkable to a certain buyer, who would not want to pay more for it.

If your area is prone to hurricanes or flooding, look into purchasing some ‘hurricane socks.’ These socks are made of absorbent material that will catch water that is pushed into your home due to heavy rain. Put these at entry points such as windows and doors.

There are times in life when you lack inspiration. The following article will provide you with a few good ideas, however don’t make your decisions hastily. A serious mistake could have you living in a hotel for awhile. Follow these tips and you’ll have projects you enjoy seeing until completion.

Mica Panel Heaters vs Oil Filled Radiators

Mica panel heaters, also know as micathermic heaters, share many of the heating benefits of oil filled radiators. Both are 1,500 watt radiant heaters and rely on convection (rising heat) to distribute their heat. These qualities allow for noise free operation – a genuine benefit for some individuals. Although you’ll see the occasional comment regarding the creaking and clanking of an oil filled radiator as it heats up, this should be but a short lived irritation to those who are driven to distraction by the relentless whir associated with a fan forced heater. And, since there is no fan to incite a dust cloud of allergens, these radiant convection heaters are of benefit to those afflicted with asthma or other sorts of respiratory issues. Next, let’s look at some of differences between mica panel and radiator heaters. The typical radiator heater, at 27 pounds, weighs around twice as much as a mica heater. Casters notwithstanding, a radiator could be awkward for some to relocate from room to room when using it for zone heating. And if the room where you need it is cramped for space you could end up with an unwanted conversation piece in the middle of the room. On the other hand, the slim line profile of a mica panel heater is unobtrusive and lends itself nicely to tight spots or crowded areas. Some brands of heaters can even be installed on the wall. One of the main complaints customers have with radiant convection heaters is the length of time they need to heat a room. But this is where the marvel of mica comes in to play. The exceptional heat transfer qualities of mica, long employed by heavy industry, allow it to immediately radiate warmth into the room – even without a fan. So it’s either that, or wait for 5 quarts of oil to heat up.

Take a look at the only 5 star rated micathermic heater at Small Space Heater Reviews.