Redesigning your Home

Sketching the floor plan of your home will to familiarize yourself with what you already have, and thus helping you make a decision based on the floor plan of your home.

Now these are the things to consider when Planning to Renovate your Home.

How will the space/room be used by you (or your family)?
What sort of activity will take place in the said room, who would use it, for what activity and when?

Check out each room to see it’s potential, which activities would happily coexist and/or would conflict with each room or space.

Map out rooms that are based on the blueprints look for possible routes around your home. How much space is used for circulation? Is the amount of space being taken up by the stairs, halls, and landings excessive and if so could it be used for other purposes as well as storage and work areas?

Tips for an earth friendly renovation (3 of 4)

5. Consider using reclaimed wood for things like benches, decks and fences. Buying new ones will cost bigger while the quality is almost the same. Also do some research on what kind of wood you will be using, for example: Cedar wood ages gracefully and it naturally has an insect repelling property, by doing so you can choose the right kind of wood for the job.

6. Another man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, check out garage sales for items that may come in handy. But never buy things that you do no think would have a purpose so that they wont end up sitting in your trash bin.

To be continued…

How to Hide Wires and Cables

Wires and cables make modern living possible. But they are also the most unsightly parts of a modern home. Without provision for wiring and cabling, like ample power outlets, hidden raceways, and such, these would snake around hour house and become copper eye-sores. Most of us would want to do without this problem.

There are a lot of methods of hiding wires, such as with base boards and cornices that look like the real thing, but after closer inspection actually have built-in raceways where you could route your snaking cables inside. Not only do they hide messy cabling, they also give additional good looks to a room, getting rid of the multi-colored wire bundles usually causing trips and falls.

If wires cross a pathway, or snake through the floor, metal, plastic or wood channels that look like speed bumps only with a lower profile can be used. Be sure to get them installed properly so you won’t get into accidents, if installed too tall. If you have kids, get cables routed through the ceiling to prevent electrocution hazards.

Of course, if you’re running your home computer network, you can always consider wireless!

Do It Yourself: Electrical Wiring (3 of 4)

by mheo soriano

3.) Get the right tools

Soldering iron – For bonding wires in place. This will make wire knots difficult to undo.

Wire Cutters –The length of the wires should come out as stated in the plan to avoid fitting problems.

Wire Strippers – Wire strippers are used to strip the insulators off the wires exposing it so that it can be connected to another conductor.

Pliers – Pliers are used to bend wires so that they can fit in circuit boards.

Screwdrivers – You need these primarily for the screws that you will attach in the connection (Outlets usually are screwed tightly to the walls).

Test equipment – This will aid you in determining whether your connection was successful or not.

To be continued…

Wallpaper Removal

The Tools and Materials you need if you’re planning on renovating the walls on your house:

  • Protective goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Utility knife / razor blade
  • Chemical wallpaper remover
  • Electric steamer
  • Wall scrapper
  • Heavy-duty detergent (trisodium phosphate)
  • Sponge / Rags


  1. To remove the wallpaper by scoring it with a utility knife in a crisscross pattern; this enables the chemicals or steam (softening agents) to soak into the paste and soften it.
  2. Chemical wallpaper remover is best applied with a garden sprayer. A sponge can also be used but the process will take longer. The chemical usually needs to be mixed with water, so follow the manufacturer’s directions. Apply the chemical until the paper is completely saturated.

    Wait a few minutes for the chemical remover to disintegrate the paste. (Always wear protective goggles and rubber gloves when using a chemical wallpaper remover)

    An alternative to chemical wallpaper remover is an electric steamer. A steamer is easy to use and may be rented from most hardware stores. Fill the steamer’s tank with water and heat it electrically.

    Once the hand held plate starts pumping steam hold it against the paper until the paste becomes soft. (The steamer will become very hot, so hold it away from your body and always wear protective gloves and goggles)

  3. When using chemicals the entire wall can be saturated before scraping off the wallpaper. When using steam only steam a small portion at a time before you scrape the wallpaper. Use a wall scraper to scrape the paper as soon as the glue has been loosened. As the surface is soft be careful not to gouge it with the scraper.
  4. To remove the excess adhesive from the walls us a heavy-duty detergent, such as trisodium phosphate and a sponge. (When working with any heavy-duty detergent, always wear rubber gloves to protect your skin) Use a clean sponge to rinse the walls.

    Do not wallpaper or paint over the walls until they are completely dry.

  5. Some wallpapers are peelable or strippable and do not require chemicals or steam to be removed. In this case remove using a utility knife to pry up a corner and pull the strip off the wall.

    Once all strips of wallpaper have been removed, use warm water and a sponge to soften the adhesive, then scrape it away with a wide wall scraper.

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Keeping Control of Your Home Renovation

A lot of homeowners have found themselves really unhappy with the way their house renovations turned out and often blame their contractors for it. While unprofessional, even downright unscrupulous, contractors do exist, the truth is that you have no one to blame but yourself in the end because if you want your home renovation to turn out right, you need to take control from day one.

Taking and keeping control of your home renovation is key to ensuring good results. However, this does not mean micro-managing the carpenters and everyone involved in the project. Contrary to that, what you need to do is to let them do their jobs, but only because you know that they are good at it. This means that you really need to research and plan things thoroughly so that you can get the best services and trust them with your home. It’s just like with plastic surgery or hair loss treatments, you wouldn’t want to tell the doctor what to do, but you sure want a doctor you can trust.

Learn to communicate effectively as well so that you will be able to make decisions immediately as soon as problems arise.

Image via Piddleville

Water Gardens

Small spaces can gain benefit from container-based water gardens that have plants and other wildlife that are usually associated with bigger habitats. Container-based gardens can be found at home and garden centers which also sell accessories such as small waterfalls, fountains and even illumination appliances that can make it more attractive and functional.

Patios that have at least five hours of sunlight are the ideal places, but anywhere the sun rays touch would be nice. Shade in the hot afternoons is also needed for plants also suffer from sunburn. Be sure to locate your water garden that is within easy reach of water source in order to lessen the effort of topping it up during hot days where evaporation tends to take toll. Maintain the water quality with regular cleaning, making sure the water is free from pests such as insects and other nasty bugs.

Water treatment solutions can be found in pet stores to lessen, if not halt, algae growth which becomes unsightly in such a small space.

Tips for an earth friendly renovation (2 of 4)

3. Replace fluorescent lights with more energy-efficient bulbs. If possible, get solar powered ones. It may be a bit costly but it will prove its worth in the long run. Imagine this: by getting solar powered lights you can save a lot on your electric bill, and contribute in energy conservation as well.

4. Make your home a better place for you and your family. Have a space for potted plants, they would act as C02 absorbers and give out 02 in return. Choose plants that do not require much watering so that they would not be hard to maintain.

To be continued…

Planning Well

Planning well a renovation is the best investment you may have before you undertake the task at hand. There should be at least some percentage of your budget allotted for emergencies that arise for they will. Hiring a general contractor is the easiest way to get on with a home renovation but it isn’t always a good idea if the scope of work would have you moving out of the house that would leave the contractor free to do his willing. In this recession, count on some cut corners so do visit unannounced so you get to see what really is going on. Establishing a good and well founded relationship that has respect over everything else, knowing each others limits allowing a smooth and well-oiled communication (never forget you are the boss and that you are paying him to do a job, as long as what you’re asking for is within your discussed contract). Some people are swayed or convinced by the smooth talk of most who tend to know when to push to get their way. There’s nice and there’s too nice, so set the limits to which amount you would allow yourself to bend into modifications he recommends but not too much, get it!

Planning Steps before Renovation

1. Money – How much are you willing to spend on kitchen renovation. Money is important and so is our budget. Know the limits of your budget and how much you are willing to spend for your dream kitchen renovation project, for a better estimation of renovation plans and materials that would best suit your budget.

2. Time – How much time are you willing to spend on the project will you still be able to go about on your work and other personal stuff. Create an attainable schedule which comfortable and beneficial to you and your project.

3. Design – Do a research on designs and layout that you would like to incorporate on your kitchen renovation project and work out a plan

4. Consultation
– Consult a Interior Designer to work out you ideas and design including the time and budget of the project.