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DIY Removal of Popcorn Ceiling

A popcorn ceiling, also known as a cottage cheese ceiling, a stucco ceiling or formally an acoustic ceiling, is a term for a spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment. It was the standard for bedroom and residential hallway ceilings for its bright, white appearance, ability to hide imperfections, and acoustical characteristics.

 

Frankly, it’s pretty simple. It’s messy, but it’s simple. Let’s go over the steps.

First, you remove everything from the ceiling. We’ve already removed the fan and the AC vent in the video. If you’re not comfortable removing the fan, please consult an electrician. It’s safe, it’s not expensive and it’ll save you some heartache.

There’s only a few tools that you need in this process and that’s a:

– Garden sprayer
– Drywall knife. We prefer 6 inch.
– Some tape and plastic.

As you can see in the video, we have not taped and plasticked the wall off, or the floor. One reason is for lighting. The other is that this floor is getting removed and we’re putting tile down. We really don’t have to worry about covering it, but usually, you’ll drape the walls, drape the floor and it makes an easy clean up.

When you’re plasticking, there’s two types of tapes you can get, that’s the regular masking tape and the blue tape, painter’s tape. We prefer painter’s tape.

When painter’s tape gets wet, it doesn’t leave a residue, so you don’t have any issues later with it pulling paint of the wall, or painting over the adhesive that’s left behind. A little more money, a lot less headache.

There’s some talk about dry scrape vs. wet scraping. We wet scrape. We don’t dry scrape and here’s why:

When you dry scrape, it’s dusty. It’s messy. You don’t get that clean look that you want. We wet scrape because It’s cleaner, easier, and all you have to do is pump it up a little bit, and spray it on there.

Depending on the weather you’re in, 5 minute wait, maybe 3 minutes, and then, all you’ve got to do is scrape.

You’ll get a clean scrape with hopefully no issues. Then, once that’s all done, you really can do the whole ceiling. Just spray the whole ceiling and then do it at once.

We’ve just done this section to show you. Then, once all the popcorn has been removed from the ceiling, you roll your plastic up, haul it off to the dumpster. That’s it.

5 Tips on Raising The Value of Your Home

Having a home is a huge investment. You constantly have to pay for bills, the mortgage, renovations, and improvements. In fact, more often than not having a house is a total nightmare, especially during the selling process. However, if you know what to do you can get a great deal for your home. To sell a house the buyers have to be comfortable enough to see if they can live there, so having a presentable house is a must.

  1. The kitchen is one of the most important areas of the house. It is the first place they will see when they get up in the morning to eat breakfast, and most likely the last thing they see before they go to bed. The kitchen is where people get together for meetings, parties, and other household events. Upping the value of your kitchen can be pricey but in the end it is worth the cost. You can try upgrading the countertop, replacing cabinets, and even altering the tiles.

  1. Bathrooms are definitely one of the all-time bonuses. Having a sparkling clean sink, and a great scent in the air won’t do the trick when attracting buyers. Remodels that include a new toilet, sink, and bathtub will. You might also want to pick new tiles for the bathroom as well. Adding a small bathroom would also benefit you and the buyers likewise.

  1. Repair what is broken. There are always areas around the house that can use repairs, whether it be the backyard fences, the porch lights, or even sliding doors. Make the necessary repairs at the right time. Making repairs to random things around the house does significantly alter the value of the home itself by quite a bit. Even repairing the electrical wiring, or the roof, will raise the value of your house by a great amount.

  1. Make space. One of the most important things to do when selling a house is to make extra space. If you have a garage or attic try moving things around, or converting the attic or basement into a room. Having more space would definitely be a great attribute to both you and the buyer. A house always seems more appealing when there is more space that can be used for a bedroom or entertainment room.

  1. Install a deck. Making a deck in front or behind your home can be the difference between a win or a bust. Decks are useful and look very attractive to buyers. Decks provide a play area for kids, and a get together area for adults.

Making other small tweaks such as improving the landscape, adding new paint, and getting attractive appliances also boost your house’s value by a great amount. When it comes to your home every detail counts. As long as you make the right improvements and renovations you’ll make a good amount of profits and see a shortened selling period. Regardless, you have hundreds of options to add value to your house, so the opportunities are endless.

Monthly Household Jobs Checklist: Once-a-Month Chores to Maintain a Clean Home

Many household chores can be left for months at a time without any significant attention. Taking care of them monthly prevents build-up of dust and grime and makes the jobs quicker and easier to complete.

Kitchen

  1. Cleaning the oven is a job no one enjoys. It is a much less arduous task if the oven is wiped out regularly rather than leaving it for an annual attack with harsh and toxic chemical oven cleaners. To loosen any grease or spills, place a tray of water in the oven and heat until the water is steaming. Turn oven off and allow to cool until it is only warm. Remove oven shelves and other attachments if possible. Remove the tray of water. Wipe over the surface of the oven with a hot soapy cloth, rinsing regularly, until the oven is as clean as possible.
  2. Alternatively, the oven can be sprinkled with bicarb soda. Put white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray over the soda then wipe out with a wet cloth. Always make sure that gloves are used when cleaning the oven and be careful with hot water or surfaces.
  3. Clean out the dishwasher by using a commercial dishwasher cleaner designed for this purpose (not regular dishwasher detergent). There are homemade alternatives as well.
  4. Clean out the refrigerator. Turn the fridge off and remove all items. Have a large esky or cooler handy to keep milk, cold meat and similar items cold. Wipe out all shelves and surfaces with a wet cloth. If a detergent is needed, there are commercial vanilla fridge sprays available, or use hot soapy water (dishwashing detergent in water). To finish, wipe out with a cloth soaked in water with a few drops of vanilla essence. Repack all items into the fridge, making sure that all use-by dates are checked. Remember to turn the fridge back on again.

General

  1. Check smoke detectors monthly by pressing the test switch. Replace batteries or check the unit if the test does not work.
  2. Air doonas, quilts, pillows and blankets by hanging them outside in the fresh air if possible.
  3. Dust skirting boards with damp cloth or brush attachment on vacuum cleaner. Use the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner to dust cornices and around the tops of doorframes.
  4. Clean bathroom exhaust fans and ceiling fans. Always take care when climbing to reach fans. It is safest to do this with someone else present to ensure that stepladders remain stable.
  5. Clear leaves from gutters. This may not need to be done as frequently where there are few trees close to the house. In autumn, some householders will need to tackle this task more frequently. If leaves and other debris do cause a problem, consider installing some form of gutter guard to prevent leaves and twigs from causing blockages.
  6. To ensure that no jobs are forgotten, prepare a household chores checklist. Each month regular weekly/fortnightly tasks will have to be performed several times, monthly chores once and less regular seasonal, bi-annual or annual chores can be distributed through the year to evenly distribute the workload.

Designing A Log Home

log home

A Guide To Designing And Creating A Custom Log Home

Home buyers interested in building a custom log home seek to mend the rustic charm and sturdy construction with the modern styles and amenities of contemporary log homes. In the first part of this series, home buyers were encouraged to research log homes for information on construction costs, log home styles and options, as well as to get financing and work with a realtor to find a vacant lot to build on. This series continues with the focus on the design aspect of building a custom log home to suit the needs of the home buyer.

Design Options For A Log Home

Once the decision has been made to move forward and build a custom log home, the next step is to visit a log home dealership. Log home dealerships supply the needs of log home owners and buyers. They offer log cabin building kits, construction plans and supplies to either build or expand an existing log home. These log cabin kits can be built alone or with hired professional. Further, log cabin kits can be customized to the buyer’s specifications. Many log home dealerships have their own building teams or can provide references of local contractors.

log cabin building

The design options for log homes are truly endless. The exterior of the home has a myriad of looks and designs that are affected by the style of log chosen as well as the tongue and groove technique used to stack the logs. Options like the pitch of the roof, size and shape of the home, use of porches, decks and verandas also contribute to the unique look of every log home. The style options for the interior of log homes are as countless as any other home. Home buyers will have an array of choices to make based on model construction plans and home styles that can be customized to fit their tastes and needs and the sales specialist will help to make the process easier.

Shop Around For The Best Deal

Still, a home buyer should not rush to make a deposit on any construction plans until they have shopped around. It is best to visit at least two log home dealerships to compare prices, construction plans and services. It is also a good idea to visit the homes of actual customers to see the quality of the home before making a final decision. If possible, take a contractor or someone familiar with log homes on these visits. Based on these visits and a comparison of the prices and options, decide to work with one of the log home dealerships.

Decide On A Construction Plan And Vacant Lot

Decide on a construction plan or cabin kit that fulfills all the needs and falls within the budget. Look at all of the options and styles offered by the log home dealership. Consider the wish list that has already been made and discuss with the sales specialist the costs and options of construction plans. Home buyers will want to know the final costs of a turn key home which includes hardwood floors, a basement, exposed beams, rafters and installation of kitchens and bathrooms.

At the same time a vacant lot should be found that best suits the needs of the log home to be built. The lot should be appropriate to fit the size and style of the home. For example, if the log home will have a walk out basement, the lot should slope away from the house as opposed to a flat lot. If possible, choose a vacant lot that is based on the construction plan to avoid altering the construction plans.

Finally, a deposit may be required on the construction plan or log cabin kit. However, the full purchase price should not be paid until after the vacant lot has been purchased. The reason for this is, the construction plan or log cabin kit chosen may not fit the lot purchased. If it does not, the construction plan or cabin kit will have to be adjusted to fit the lot. If the cabin kit or construction plan cannot be adjusted, it may be best to choose another kit or construction plan.

The process of planning to build a log home is a long and tedious one. Conducting thorough research,working with a realtor to find a vacant lot and designing a log home are all part of this process. The final step in the process is building the log home, which can be found in the third article of this three-part series.

How to Improve Downspout Drainage

Downspout is an important part of your gutter system. If poorly maintained, they can get clogged and result in some serious gutter problems. This article will focus on simple solutions for poor downspout drainage.

Add downspout extender

If your home have well-drained soil that slopes away from the foundation, then, downspout extender could be a perfect option to enhance the downspout drainage. It is advisable to use a straight, folding vinyl as an extension. Besides, accordion-style flexible extender is a great option.

Note that you can easily twist these extenders into various angles to effectively divert the water flow away from the foundation.  

Consider piping the water away from your house

If you want to divert the water far from your house, you can use French drains or other trench drainage systems. Note that French drain slopes away from the house and empties the water to an open ground away from the house.

This method of diverting water away from your house has limitations too. Since water is flowing naturally, it can erode the drain easily and make it deeper. Besides, it can interfere with your landscape and make it look ugly! To avoid such problems, you may need to fill the bottom of the French drain with gravel, lay in a flexible pipe and cover it with more gravel, then add soil. This will keep off all the problems associated with open drains.

 

Bury drainage pipes

Not all houses are built on sloppy areas. If your yard doesn’t slope away from the foundation, you may need to construct more complex trenches. Note that most municipal administrations don’t allow homeowners to directly attach their drainage to the storm sewer system. But you can construct an underground drainage system. Keep in mind that this will require you to dig and install pipes on the gently sloping trench.

Install diverters

You can use diverters together with the other methods. This is because diverters might not be a completed solution especially during heavy rainstorms. Note that diverters draw water from rooftops into barrels through the downspouts. Depending on the size of the barrel, diverters can be a perfect solution especially if you have a huge water tank.

Conclusion

Enhancing downspout drainage is simple. However, if neglected, poor downspout drainage can damage your foundation by weakening it and causing cracks. Besides, leaking basements and mold can be as a result of poor downspout drainage.

Design Your Own Home

DIY Home Architectural Design Course

This approach to home design is meant to assist the faint-of-heart amateur in overcoming the challenge of creative design.

E is for Educate

1. Would you bake a cake without a list of ingredients? Mostly this step is about creating a scrapbook, describing the lifestyle to be lived in the home. I recommend a few Sunday drives around historic neighborhoods.

2. Would you assemble a bicycle without instructions? If your house is to have “good bones,” you’ll need to make at least one construction site visit.

3. Set a realistic construction budget (no need to do a line item take-off), take take a trip to the lumber yard.

4. Learn to “translate” the language of realtors, contractors and mother-in-laws (the advice you will surely receive from all the sidewalk superintendents in your life.)

C is for Conversation

Conversation is about speaking and rehearsing and then writing down the thousand words that is the picture of your dream home. If we don’t yet have the picture we must write the description.

We have all walked through houses that only exist in author’s imaginations, sea captain’s homes, medieval castles, antebellum plantation homes. It is because they have been described to us in vivid and exacting detail.

A.R.T.

The work of design is A.R.T. (approximate and adjust-revise and recognize-transcribe and trace). These tasks start where your elementary school art teacher left off.

home architectural design

A is for Approximate

When you start drawing, it should in a sense be from memory, not trying to recreate exactly something you have seen you like, but recreate the feeling and emotion of your “scrapbook” collection. Try to push yourself to get as many ideas on paper as you can. Don’t try and solve the whole problem at once, just play with it for now.

Get ready to access your inner child, get ready to scribble outside the lines. Put your wastebasket at three point distance, wad up your first dozen attempts (at least), launch them (remember your follow through). Your tools will be fat magic markers and stubby crayons, “bum wad” (rolls of thin trace paper available at most art stores).

Trial and error is our method of choice. Sure it would be safer to build what everyone else is building, (while you’re at it, draw in the Green Mini-Van in front). Listen, why is it after looking at twenty thousand pre-drawn house plans on the internet you haven’t found one you like? It’s because they lack one essential element in the design process; the Client. Most architects would agree that their designs only improve after meetings with a client. Clients push designers to put more of their character, personality and lifestyle into the final design.

R is for Recognize

It has been said architectural design is only about recognizing the solution, another talent every reader has in his or her possession. Maybe you want a house that reminds you of the feeling of the house you vacationed in at the “Cape” when you were a child or the “painted lady” on Main Street. The cliché, “I’ll know it when I see it” is an appropriate sentiment.

R is for Revise (Sidewalk Superintendents, Mother-In-Laws and Me)

We’ve all encountered the friendly retiree watching diligently over a construction project’s progress, we’ve all been on the receiving end of one or another relative’s opinion on how they would improve our home. And alas, even strangers may only be too happy to offer their two cents worth of advice for your building project. It comes with the territory. Criticism is an absolute necessity to improving your design, you must learn to filter these well-intentioned comments, consider them and test them, and be confident enough to revise your design (or not).

T is for Transcribe

Architectural design shouldn’t be thought of as a foreign language in need of interpretation, but rather an unspoken language you already are fluent. Like many second generation immigrants, we can hear and understand the language, but haven’t yet learned how to put it to paper. And yes, all this can be accomplished with a fourth grader’s skill set; after all this method is called “tracing.”