When it comes to decorating a wall or floor space, you can’t go wrong with tiles. They’re sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to install. However, as robust as floor tiles are, like with anything, if they’re being constantly trodden up, or if dining chairs are constantly being dragged over them, you may experience the occasional chip, scratch or crack. If you do, don’t panic – we’re here to help! The guides below will help you get your wall and floor tiles looking fighting fit again!
The most common problem with floor tiles is small chips, which can occur around the edges. They appear more visible on darker tiles, ans they expose the lighter ceramic or porcelain underneath. There’s a simple trick for covering up tile chips – and, if you’re a woman, it’s probably sitting in your drawer right now. Nail varnish! Simply find a matching shade (or mix two colours together to find the right hue) and then paint it onto the chip! As time goes by, the nail varnish may darken. If this is the case, simply apply a little nail varnish remover, and re-apply the original mix. This tip also applies for scratches!
If you’ve really been giving your floor tiles a battering, and they’ve accumulated larger chips that can’t be fixed with nail varnish, then you’re going to need to up your solution. You can buy ceramic filler online. It’s similar to plasticine, and dries completely solid. It comes in a variety of different colours. Simply mix two shades together until you have a matching colour, and then work it into the chip or hole, and leave it to set. However, depending on the tile, it may be cheaper to replace the whole thing, according to the guidelines below.
If the breakage goes beyond the cosmetic appearance of the tile – if the whole piece has actually broken in two – then your best option is to replace it. We do suggest ordering 10% more than you need to allow for cut pieces and spares. So hopefully, you’ll have some spares sitting out in the shed. If you don’t, however, then Walls and Floors are your best bet for finding a match – with more than 6,000 tile designs in stock. You can either order one full-size sample tile or a whole square metre, if you’d like to be on the safe side and have plenty of spares for future usage. Once you have your replacement tile, score around the broken tile with a chisel, and prize up the broken pieces. Scrape away any residue left beneath the tile, apply fresh adhesive, and sink the new tile into the hole, before grouting the joints with a matching tile grout.
If your grout has worn thin around a particular tile, and it feels loose as you step across it, then you need to reapply both adhesive and grout. Using a chisel, prize the tile up. Work loose as much grout and adhesive from the edges and underside of the tile as you can – as well as any residue left on the flooring. Re-apply adhesive to the back of the tile, and set it back in place. Replace the grout joint around the edges of the tile.
If your floor tiles are generally out of date, and you’re not happy of them, why not replace the whole floor? Don’t worry – that’s not as daunting a proposition as it sounds. If your floor tiles are sound and sturdy, you might not have to rip them up. You might be able to simply lay your new floor tiles over the top! Give the old layer a good scrubbing, and then leave it to completely dry. This will ensure there’s no dirt present to effect adhesion. Once it’s dry, you’re ready to apply new adhesive, and tile your new floor!
From the smallest dent to large holes, there are several ways to fix surface defects on your walls.
Before you begin your repair, it’s important to know the utility placement in your home. Typically, electric wires are attached to wall studs. Locate the wall studs before you begin cutting, drilling or nailing drywall.
Wear protective clothing, work gloves, goggles and a dust mask when working with drywall.
Great idea for new homeowners in choosing fences. Or if you simply want a change in your home, try upgrading your fence.
The type of fence you choose will not only play a key role in your home’s exterior design, but also provide one of the most important benefits of all homes; security. Privacy and security are two of the most common reasons Americans look to buy homes. A professionally installed fence gives every homeowner that true sense of home we all desire. Fencing, whether it be wood, chain link or wrought iron, will greatly affect your sense of home.
Before we jump into all fencing types, you have to know your options. The most popular types of fences are:
One of the most basic and attractive fencing types is aluminum. While it does not provide the amount of security many homeowners look for in a fence, it’s relatively maintenance free and can essentially look like any other type discussed in this article. The only maintenance will come during installation when you choose to paint and decorate it. However, along with the security, it’s not as strong as you may think and we do not recommend it for areas with severe weather.
Wood is the most popular fencing type across America. Not only does it give homeowners a sense of privacy with the height wood fencing provides, but they are also one of the more attractive options on the market. They give homeowners a warm and welcoming feeling and without the headache of breaking the bank. Beware that the height and size of your fence will greatly impact the price. The more lumber you need, the more expensive the project will be. On top of that, like all fences, they take awhile to install. Therefore, a smaller fence will clearly be cheaper than a larger one.
On the plus side, wood fences can easily last the lifetime of your home. Just like hardwood floors, the quality of your fence will greatly depend on the type of wood you choose. Needless to say, you have plenty to choose from.
Hands down, the cheapest way to fence in your yard is by using one made of PVC. These fences use PVC to replace wooden stakes and pickets, and although not nearly as sturdy, they can certainly serve their purpose. The posts are PVC sleeves that go on top of wooden posts to add stability to the fence, but also cut down on material costs by using less wood. Sometimes, the PVC stakes are attached with an adhesive to the cross bars and other times, they are fastened with screws. This type of fencing comes in a variety of different heights and colors. Because of its PVC makeup, the fence is very resistant to the elements and can last for years.
When you see homes with funky designs on top of their fences, oftentimes, those homeowners chose a wrought iron fence. While wrought iron fences are both strong and beautiful, they do require constant upkeep. If you want to maintain its beauty, wrought iron fences need to be sanded or repainted every two to three years.
Furthermore, going back to the security portion of the conversation, wrought iron fences are not popular choices for the more conservative homeowner. On top of that, wrought iron fences are custom made and therefore, will not be cheap.
Other than cost, vinyl fencing is elite when it comes to any other category. In fact, according to our friends at HomeAdvisor, some manufacturers claim that vinyl fences are nearly five times stronger and four times more flexible than comparable wood fences.
Vinyl fencing is maintenance free and resists paint, allowing you to easily clean graffiti or any other unwanted stains. All you will need is a hose and soap to make it look as good as new.
Installing a vinyl fence may have a higher upfront cost, but given its low maintenance costs and long lifespan, vinyl fencing is cheaper than many other fencing types.
Chain link fences do not add much privacy to the home, but perform the other basic functions of a fence quite well. Homeowners, as well as school administrators (very popular), will be delighted to know that they are cheap, durable and need very little maintenance (like many of the other options).
Oftentimes, homeowners add a good amount of shrubbery, flowers, vines or even privacy slates on the outside of chain link fence. Not that this would add any more security to your home, but it would add a pinch of privacy. Any homeowner can cut off their neighbors’ views with a little bit of creativity.
Invisible fences are mainly used to contain dogs through an invisible field of electricity. Typically, the installation involves placing a wire in a trench dug along the boundary the owner wishes to fence off. A wireless transmitter is also set up nearby to activate the wire. The final item in the fencing is a battery-powered collar to receive the signal from the wire. The collar warns the animal when it’s near the boundary with a sound pitched only to the animal’s hearing. If the animal tries to cross the boundary, the collar delivers an electric shock.
Like hardwood flooring, bamboo fencing is starting to hit its stride in the market. It can be grown naturally, so many of our green readers will be happy to hear that it’s one of the most environmentally friendly and attractive options on the market.
There are three styles for bamboo fencing: live bamboo, bamboo cane and rolled bamboo. Rolled bamboo and bamboo cane use poles linked together that are a bit sturdier than live bamboo. Live bamboo can grow up to a foot a year. We would not recommend this style in colder climates.
Farm fencing certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it plays a vital role across America. Just like all non-farm homeowners, you have many options, such as wood, electric, barbed wire, woven or high tensile. No matter what fencing type you go with, beware that installation is expensive and timely. Given the amount of land farmers own, you can imagine the manpower it takes to put up an entire fence.
While security and privacy are certainly the top two functions of all home fences, design and creativity should never take a back seat. With all the fencing choices available, no home in America needs to sacrifice looks for security.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This approach to home design is meant to assist the faint-of-heart amateur in overcoming the challenge of creative design.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”