5 Simple DIY Home Projects That Will Add Value To Your Home

There are some simple DIY projects that can make your home value rise. While everyone wants to get their house in the best condition, some items pay back more than others in increasing home value. In today’s market, some easy DIY projects add more value than others so take a look at these when looking for a DIY project to make your home more valuable.

1. Crown Molding

This project is nothing more than adding strips of wood, some decorative and some not, to the top of the wall in a room. Some even come already painted and crown molding is a great way to invest a little bit of cash and a few hours of work that really changes how great a room looks and increases home value at the same time.

2. Create a New Kitchen Feel

This is perhaps one of the most simple ways to recreate a room. Most people do not realize the major bang for the buck that swapping out hardware can create. Changing the handles on your cabinets around the kitchen can bring an outdated kitchen back into the right decade, create a more modern look and feel, and increase the value of the kitchen quickly and simply.

3. Do a Backsplash

If you don’t already have one, install a kitchen backsplash. If you do have one, consider updating it if it is older than 10 years. These come in many different varieties, from stone to metal, and in a wide selection of colors and textures. There are even peel-and-stick tiles that look great and are very easy to install.

4. Fix the Floors in the Bathroom

By putting in a really nice bathroom floor, you aren’t investing in a large area of expense but you are boosting a room that typically is hard to find value-wise upgrades. Add a neutral floor for the biggest value.

5. Install a New Front Door

Another super easy project that adds a lot of value is to replace your front door. You can find them in ornate patterns with glass or creative additions. Not only is this the first thing that visitors seen when they come to your home but it’s also the first thing a prospective home-buyer sees and will use to begin evaluating your home.

Home projects typically come about by having a three day weekend and a nice patch of weather. Simple DIY projects are ones that don’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money but can add a lot of value to your home. Finding a good and easy DIY project can be the first step to the confidence of doing larger projects.

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10 Important Qualities To Consider While Buying Crawl Space DIY Kits

The quality of your crawl space DIY kits is very important when you are looking for long-term reliability and proven efficiency. A step-by-step evaluation is the best way to make sure that you are investing the money on the right thing and the security of your home is perfect. Without the right type of crawlspace lining, you are exposing your home to different threats from hazardous gases to wild animals.

There are 10 factors that must be addressed when you’re on the lookout for crawlspace encapsulation kits:

· Fire Resistance: High quality encapsulation kits come with fire retardant materials, which will provide maximum protection for your home.

· Water Resistance: Moisture and water are the two major problems that crawlspaces usually encounter because wet conditions can favor mold growth, damage the structure of your home and can create hazardous gases like radon. Radon gas is odorless but it is extremely harmful for humans.

· Crawlspace Ceiling: Your crawl space ceiling should have 0.000 permeability because the ceiling area has a significant role to play in preventing hazardous gases and moisture entering your home.

· Water Seepage: Good quality crawl space DIY kits include direct water seepage systems that will drain off running water quickly and prevent the crawl space area from accumulating moisture.

· Heat Shield: Heat shield is the best energy-saving technology to be installed on the roof of your crawlspace because this can help you to prevent heat loss through the crawlspace by at least 50%. This will transform your home into an energy efficient one, which will also help you to enjoy tax benefits.

· SuperBond: The SuperBond used to install the sheets is very important because it has to stick well in both dry and wet surfaces. Make sure that you are getting a gluing technology like this.

· Easy To Install: The durability of an encapsulation system has nothing to do with complexity in the installation. As a matter of fact, most of the finest encapsulation systems are also quite easy to install. Usually, you do not need the assistance of complex machineries to install them.

· Good Customer Assistance: Quality customer assistance is very important for you to enjoy trouble-free installation of your DIY kits. It’s also important to make sure that your merchant has sufficient knowledge in this field.

· Expertise: If your merchant does not have sufficient expertise in the field of installing crawlspaces, he probably does not know how to deliver the best product for you, which is the main reason for you to consider an experienced merchant.

· Price: Last but not the least is price. A good merchant can always deliver you the perfect combination of price and quality.

When you are on the lookout for crawl space DIY kits, make sure to consider all these 10 important elements to get the best deal.

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80 Watt Solar Panel – DIY Advantages and Secrets

80 Watt Solar Panel – Why go DIY?

1 – Solar Panel Price – The Investment

As the renewable energy market has very little competition, as a result solar panel prices from solar power companies are very high, even 80 Watt Solar Panels could cost from $4000-$6000 including installation, it would take 20 years to save that amount of electricity just for one single panel.

However, to build one it would cost around $120-$180, this is roughly how much a 80 Watt Solar Panel costs to build in parts.

In addition, if placed efficiently on the roof of a house solar energy systems will increase house value by $2000-$2400 per panel as every $1 saved in utility bills increases house value by $20 meaning a definite justification for the investment.

2 – Solar Panel Output – The Savings

Having a residential source of solar energy infinitely saves money in electricity, obviously the more PV Panels built the more you will save, simple. For instance, one single $120 80 watt solar panel would save on average about 8% of the average U.S electricity bill (which on average would be $120 saved every year).

On the other hand 5 would save $600 every year. Multiple Solar Panels can be run in sequence up to 1kw of power, meaning up to 12 cell solar energy systems can be used in sequence for electricity supplement on a single circuit.

3 – Solar Panel Construction – DIY Preparation

Building a Solar Cell Panel may seem like a very laborious and complicated task at first, however it is a simple piece of technology, so simple the parts could be found at any local hardware store.

All you need to do is follow a high quality Solar Energy Blueprint and the first build should take no longer than 4 hours (3 hours if with a friend) including installation.

4 – The Best 80 Watt Solar Panel Blueprints

Next, follow this high quality blueprint to build your own source of Renewable Energy for your home.

Most Blueprints give written tutorials on how to build a 60 Watt PV Panel. Here you can learn how to build an 80 Watt Solar Panel at Green Energy Blueprints [http://DIYRenewableEnergy.org] with Expert Instructions and HD Video Tutorials.

Thanks for reading and Good Luck on your Build!

About Creating Mosaic Countertops

Creating a real tile mosaic on almost any surface top is easy. The first step would be to look in a tile shop and see what is available. Then decide on a pattern you want.

There are many books, magazines and TV shows that give step by step instructions as well as design ideas. After deciding a pattern or design, sketch your pattern on the surface you are going to tile over. The first step is to prepare the surface making sure the tile will adhere. You do this by scoring the surface with a utility knife then coating the surface with a mixture of watered down white glue. Next you take tile cement, commonly known as thin set or mortar, and spread a thin coating over the surface. Place your tiles in the cement according to the pattern you drew. After the cement has set, (don’t be in too big of a hurry) fill the gaps between the tiles with tile grout. Most people think grout is available only in white but if you look in a hardware store you’ll find many different colors of grout available. You apply the grout by simply troweling it over all of the seams between the individual tiles. Then wipe away the excess with a sponge.

Have you ever been in a cafe, restaurant or a friend’s house for that fact, and admired the mosaic tile on the tabletops or walls? Well, it’s not that hard to bring that look into your own home. Where’s a good place to add a mosaic in your home? Kitchens and bathrooms are the obvious choices but end tables and patios have become favorites too. Consider embellishing a coffee table purchased from an unfinished furniture store. This is a great little week-end project. All you have to do is add a coat of paint and then make a small mosaic on the tabletop using some different size tiles or even broken tile pieces. This same technique works equally well for a larger area like this as it does for a small accent table.

Before starting this project, there are some things you should do first to be prepared. Take some time researching what you want to do before you start laying tiles down. There are tons of books on ceramic tiles at your bookstore or library. A recommendation is to just thumb through them to get some inspiration for your design. Once you have a basic idea of what you want to do, it’s always a good idea to draw a sketch of your design.

Then you will want to place the actual tiles on the countertop, starting from the center and working outwards, to make sure your pleased with your design. Once you have everything in place, take a magic marker and mark the tiles’ location. Before you cement the tiles in place, you have to prepare the tiles for the mosaic sections. How do you do that? This is where you can get some aggression out. Take a mix of tiles, wrap them in a towel and give them a whack. This is the simplest way to get the broken pieces of tile you’ll need for the mosaic. For the border mosaics you are going to need some smaller pieces of tile. For the smaller pieces you use a tile nibbler to break off pieces the size you need. To cement the tiles in place, use mortar that you can buy at any tile store or home improvement store. You just trowel the mortar on about 1/8th inch thick. Then use the edge of the trowel to score the mortar. Then just put your tiles in place. For the mosaic sections you use the same process. Take the different pieces of tile and arrange them however you like. Try and keep the spaces between the tiles to 1/8th of an inch.

How do you finish the project? You have to grout the tiles after the mortar has set up or dried. Remember, tile grout is available in many colors, not just white. Next smear the grout over the top of the tiles filling in the seams. To clean the tiles, wipe off any excess grout with a sponge. Let it dry overnight and you’re done so sit back and admire your work of art!

Bruce Mendes has been in the high end trade for over 15 years. His experience is in flooring and cabinetry. He has a high end tile and glass showroom in Powell, Ohio and an online presence at
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8×12 Shed Plans – DIY

8×12 shed plans may appeal to people for a number of reasons. Maybe you want a place to put your hobby stuff in. Perhaps you just want to store seasonal stuff in it. It could also mean that you just want to be able to match the shed to the house.

Those are all very good reasons for looking at 8×12 shed plans. Some others could be the fact that you can save money by doing it yourself. Materials to build a shed will always cost less than buying a pre-built shed from a store. You can also make sure that the shed you are getting will last. Since you buy the materials you can buy the better quality so that the building lasts, and still probably save money in the long run. You can also finish out the building however you want. You can paint it or side it to match your house, or do any number of things to give it the look you want. The choice is yours since you will be the one finishing it and not some factory that only has the one color of brown.

You can also get 8×12 shed plans from the internet. Some of the better sites will include cross-sectional views that will break down exactly how the building should go together so you don’t have to guess, and many of them use very standard tools. These are tools that you would most likely already have around the house so you would not have to go buy a specialized tool that you might only use for that project. You will also get a detailed list of the materials that you will need so you will know how much you need to buy of a certain thing. No more guessing how many 2×4’s to buy only to find out that you were a couple short and need to make another run to the store.

Using shed plans is a good idea for people who want to save money, but also for people who like to know that what they have will last.

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5 Steps to Build a Pergola Using Pergola Plans

Creating a pergola for your patio or garden is a lot of fun to do. Here are the steps that you’ll need to build a pergola using easy pergola plans.

Step 1 – Find the Right Lumber

First, make sure that the wood that you are using for this project was made for outdoor use. This is to make sure that it won’t deteriorate in outdoor conditions such as rain or snow. To this end, make sure that it’s sealed and coated, so that it’s protected from the elements. Also, make sure that you already know where you’re going to set up your pergola, so that you can take the right measurements and you make sure the lumber is cut right.

Step 2 – Plan It Out

Make sure you have the right pergola plans for your pergola before you get started to build a pergola. This way, you aren’t wasting money or time. The most important thing is to make sure that your plans are going to fit within the space that you have set aside for this project.

Step 3 – Cut

Next, take your saw, and cut up eight pieces of lumber. Make sure that they are 2 feet long each. At the end of them you want to make sure that they have pointed edges. This is so that you can dig them into the ground, and hammer them. Make sure that they are rectangles of four on the steaks on one end, and then about 2 feet away, you can make other rectangles in size with the other four pieces. Then, cut out your boards, and nail them to the edges to make a border around your rectangles.

Step 4 – String, Dig and Fill

Then, making sure you move from left to right on each of the rectangles, run a string. Make sure that the string is taught and tight. Use the strings as guides to dig in for all in the center. Make sure that they’re all even from each other, and that they’re in the shape of a rectangle. In your wheelbarrow, mix together your concrete, so that it’s already easy to pour. Make sure that your concrete has the consistency of a cake batter. Fill in your holes with cement that is allowed to dry to the point that it becomes slightly hard. Then, place the holes in them to make them about 8 to 10 feet tall. These are going to support your top. Make sure to hold them up straight so that the polls are dry and hard.

Step 5 – Cover the Pergola

Once you’ve make sure that everything is try, give it a couple days before you place a cover over it. You can easily find these cover in stores or online. Make sure that that they are canvas or some other material that way they can withstand the elements. You can put the cover of your choice on top of the pergola. You can find hooks to attach the cover to the polls.

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2009 – A Time For Change at Home & Beyond

Every year, we all resolve to change many aspects of our lives, our goals, and ourselves. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a fresh start or a new beginning? The problem lies in the notion that as human beings, we naturally procrastinate. Many people are proponents

of the motto, “There’s always tomorrow”. This, my friends, is not always true. While the expression certainly allows us to justify buying time and rationalizing shortcomings, it certainly does not help us to achieve any goals that we set for ourselves.

I will spare you all cliches and any pessimistic thoughts, but I will bestow upon you a new motto, “Today is tomorrow”. And I will challenge you to live up to and to follow through with accomplishing all of your intended objectives. Moreover, I will challenge you to set tangible goals, objectives that can actually be accounted for and measured. Many people strive to become happier people – sure this is legitimate, but its lack of clarity & definition leaves your goal very open-ended. Finding a new job, opening a new business, and volunteering are all extremely credible objectives; but without a predetermined time frame, they become somewhat null. Fill this void by creating practical time lines with tangible deliverables.

If there were ever one definitive year to truly pursue your goals, then this is the year. [Hint: if you say this to yourself every year, then you might be pleasantly surprised by the motivation that you accrue and the productivity levels that you reach.] With the recent election of our nation’s next President, 2009 is all about change. In one way or another, many of us have lent a hand in shaping the American future, now what about aggressively seeking out & shaping personal growth as well?

Remember all of those DIY home improvement projects you had vowed to accomplish last year? Well, this year is the time to actually tackle them. If you begin by thinking small and looking at each project as a task rather than an inconvenience, then you’ll see how much of an impact your attitude truly has on your achievements.

Start simply by adding some character to your bathroom. Simple changes can deliver a multi-faceted impact. Adding a unique set of bath rugs with a matching shower curtain, and various other accents can infuse immediate charm & a warm ambiance into one of the most highly trafficked rooms in the home. With bathroom products available in sets or as bath in a bag options, it’s very easy to find a color scheme & pattern that will work within your home with just one stop. From soap dishes to towel sets to tumblers and much more, you can easily create the most inviting bathroom in the neighborhood. Though, don’t be afraid to tell your neighbors that you’d prefer they use their own loo whenever possible.

Upgrade your bedding. You’ve been saying for years that you need new linens, a new comforter set, and updated window treatments – now is the time to make this dream become a reality. Your bedroom is your safe-haven, and you should do whatever it takes within reason to create the sanctuary that you deserve. The place that you retire to at the end of the day should reflect your personality, but also achieve maximum comfort levels.

Revisit your kitchen. Try to stop looking at this room as a place for chores like cooking and cleaning, and try to start viewing it as your very own artistic space. After all, the kitchen delivers some of the most creative pieces within the home. Adding accents like coffee mug trees, country-themed curtains, practical canister sets, breadboxes, tablecloths and much more, can infuse a sense of fun & originality into an otherwise mundane space.

These are just a few simple suggestions for improving the look and feel of your home’s interior. You know what will work best, so just set aside some time for yourself and the rest will fall into place – if you believe, you can achieve. Just remember that small changes can go a long way.

The Popular Home Collections team would like to wish you & yours a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

Suz C brings 4+ years of online retail knowledge in the home furnishings industry.

The Popular Home Collections team has been providing home décor solutions and interior design & decorating tips to its valued customers since 1995. Led by Bobby Missry, the team hopes to encourage the development of an interior design community among all passionate, home decorating enthusiasts.


10×12 Shed Plans – The Secret to Making an Affordable 10×12 Shed

Let’s face it; woodworking is a tricky business, and as if the amount of costs involved wasn’t enough, the learning curve that comes with is enough to intimidate anyone who is confronted with the task of making a 10×12 Shed all by himself. However little do you know that you can easily out -maneuver these drawbacks with a little creativity and research! Yes there are excellent workarounds to even the most challenging aspects of making a shed and here those shall be discussed. The secret to making a good shed is good research, plain and simple, the more you know the better your decisions, and consequently the more you will get out of your shed making experience.

The first option that you have when making a shed is to get an off the shelf, ready to assemble kit and install it in your backyard, while these might be very easy to setup, they are by no means the cheapest. Ready to assemble shed kits are really expensive and do not offer a lot of creativity to people trying to install them. So if you are particular in your demands and/or are low on cash, you will definitely be looking for other options.

You can however make a shed all by yourself and from scratch. At first this seem rather intimidating, however it really is not. The main difference between making a readymade 10×12 shed and making one yourself is that in the former you have all the material neatly packed in a box and in the latter you have to source it yourself, in which case you can get all the material that goes into making a shed from any local hardware store. Making a shed all by yourself also allows you to control the costs which is one of the critical advantages of making a shed all by yourself. Also because you are making the 10×12 shed yourself you can add in some creative inputs yourself.

The first thing that you need to do is get some good 10×12 shed plans. These can be sourced from either the internet or the local home improvement store. It will help if you know what flavors 10×12 shed plans come in – Gable, Gambrel, Lean and Salt Box. Because a 10×12 shed is a fairly large construction you will need to get either a Gable or a Gambrel type storage shed plan as these are ideally suited to the task.

Next you will need to get all the material, for this you simply need to follow the instructions on your 10×12 shed plans. No 10×12 shed plan comes with a list of materials and tools that cannot be purchased from any local hardware store. Also doing so will allow you to keep the costs down.

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3 Major Considerations When Building a Carport

Being skillful in woodworking is a great accomplishment. If so, one of the great additions that you can do is to build your very own carport. It adds a unique facet to your domain and can directly help increase the value of your home especially if constructed well enough that it enhances the beauty of it.

Furthermore, a carport is a good one to build especially if your garage is full of stored paraphernalia. It affords you the luxury of having a safe and personalized place to park your car or cars. Plus you can also be assured that your car will be covered and protected from weather changes.

Prior to building your carport, make sure to take into account these 3 major considerations that will enable you to build a good carport for your needs.

Location Options

Select a good location for your carport. Its location must have enough space to cater to your carport needs as well as afford you convenience when using it especially while parking. Make sure to check for the absence of gas or power lines, sewage tanks as well as water lines in the place you are thinking of to build it. This way, there is no inconvenience when digging for foundations.

Moreover, clear the building for building permits or licenses and make sure to adhere to the rules regarding building codes as they are implemented within your area. For your own convenience, make sure to incorporate legal requirement compliance. You do not want to have to stop constructing in the middle of your project simply because it was placed on wet grounds.

Cost and Material

Consider the materials and tools that you will be utilizing for your carport building. Preparing these in advance ensures a speedy completion of your project. The proportion of the materials must also be made certain.

Cost-wise, your budget available for this building must be ascertained to allow you to purchase materials and/or tools used for the construction. It will also help you be able to scout or canvass on the best supplier to cater to your needs.

Carport Design Plans

As with all construction projects, you will need to choose a carport design that is suitable for your needs, appropriate in the land area of your location as well as for the space that you have allotted for your carport.

What is more, you have to opt for a plan that has excellent blueprints for your own guide throughout the whole building. Well done blueprints will enable you to understand instructions fast allowing you more time for construction rather than on understanding the design and how the carport should be put up.

Aidan Barton is a DIY expert and woodworking enthusiast. Get more woodworking tips at FedoraHouse.com [http://www.fedorahouse.com/] and learn find out more about building a carport at