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Home Lighting Decor Improvements

home lighting decorAs you move forward on your own home improvement journey, there are so many things to take care of. Whether it’s the floors, the walls, or the furniture, there’s always something that could be better. What you might overlook, however, is the home lighting decor. The home lighting design, and lighting fixtures themselves, significantly impacts your overall home decor.

I put together a list of lighting design tips for you to think about if you’re planning on fixing or updating your home’s lighting design.

  1. Think about how you cover your lamps. If a shade you have sticks out for simply being bland, don’t hesitate to replace it! There are plenty of options out there ranging from the subdued to the ornate, so you’re guaranteed to find something that works for you.
  2. Pay attention to the wattage of the lightbulbs in your fixtures. Higher wattage lightbulbs will be brighter, but they might not cast the most ideally flattering light. In such a case, a lower wattage might be better, but it’ll take your judgement to decide which is best for your particular situation.
  3. Find a place to shop with a variety of home lighting decor solutions. One example would be Valley Lighting, a home lighting Connecticut based store.
  4. Update and replace old lights. Some fixtures might have parts that are simply too worn to produce the desired results; you might notice an old fixture that flickers or is simply dimmer than it’s supposed to be. After confirming it’s not an issue with the bulb, see if you can get it fixed. If not, you’d be best off if you replace it.
  5. Lastly, do your best to go green with light bulbs! You may pay more up front, but you’ll save more in the long run and your home will consume less energy!

Those are all of my tips for now! In regards to my last point, here’s an interesting video about going green with your bulbs.

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DIY Hardwood Floors

One of my favorite home improvement jobs is laying down new floors, especially hardwood floors. Ever since the day I ripped up my old and beat up carpets, I knew I was going to stick with hardwood floors from there on out. I think hardwood floors are just all-around easier. I don’t have to worry as much about tracking in dirt from outside or spilling anything that could stain. I admire the sleek look of hardwood floors and they can always be made sleeker with area rugs. I’ve purchased some modern area rugs from an online rug store to add some color and break up the hardwood.

In today’s blog post I am going to share some of my hardwood floor knowledge with you and how to put in hardwood floors yourself. Let’s break it down.

DIY Hardwood Floors

There are different types of hardwood floors, but here’s a basic guide perfect for those who enjoy DIY that isn’t too difficult.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1. A Pry Bar
2. Tape Measure
3. Ear Protection and Eye Protection
4. Staple Gun
5. Drill Bits
6. Speed Drill
7. Hammer
8. Saws: Table Saw & Chop Saw
9. Nails
10. String or Chalk Line
11. Wood
12. Wood Putty
13. Vapor Barrier Paper
14. Pneumatic Nail Gun

 

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Step By Step

1. Take down measurements of the room or rooms you are planning to cover with the hardwood. Don’t get that exact amount, get some extra. If you make a mistake or your measurements are a little off, you’ll have it near by.
2. Staple the vapor barrier paper to the sub-floor.
3. Start installing at the longest wall. Remove the shoe molding and get ready to do a chalk line, typically 3/8″ out from the baseboard.
4. Lay down the boards. Align with the chalk line and drill holes through the boards until it reaches the sub-floor and joist. Face-nail the boards. The first board is extremely important. Make sure the first one and the ones that follow it are aligned with the joists.
5. Staple the boards at the tongue of the plank with your pneumatic nail gun.
6. Fill the gaps where the cut boards do not meet.
7. When you make your way to the other side of the room and closer to the other wall, you may need your pry bar.
8. Use the wood putty to fill any holes, such as nail holes.

For anything I may have missed or if you need some clarification, try this video!

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Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

For someone who loves home improvement as much as I do, it’s important to come up with some ideas that aren’t too costly. I love doing large projects, but I would have no money left if that’s all I continued to do. Here are some ideas if you’re interested in some affordable home improvement.

Changing the Color of Your Front Door

Adding a fresh coat of paint and a new color will help to enhance the look of your home. If you’re used to seeing that same old blue door every time you arrive home, then switch it up and do a color like bright red! Little things like this CAN and WILL make a difference. When I changed my door to bright red, I also added a red rocking chair to my porch. You can do the same thing! Some other ideas include placing colorful planters and flowers by the newly painted door, or purchase some kind of wreath that will match! Piece of cake!

Place Colorful Boxes Inside the Closets of Your Home

I did this not too long ago and I’m so glad I did. Not only do these boxes help to keep my closet organized, they add some style too! My bathroom closet has three small blue boxes that each hold something different. My hallway closet has three medium yellow boxes. One holding my hats and gloves, one holding my umbrellas and the other holding my flashlights. I could tell you about all the closets in my home, but I think you get the point. Have style and stay organized! 🙂

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Jars for Your Kitchen Counter

Save time and get organized by using jars in your kitchen. I have glass jars lined up against my wall and each of them hold something different, like tea bags and sugar. I don’t have to rummage through my cabinets to find the items I use everyday, plus I can never trust those sugar bags. They’re always breaking and spilling inside my cabinet. I also think they make for nice decoration in the kitchen. You can go for any kind you like, but I like glass ones because I can easily see what’s inside and when they need to be filled!

If you enjoyed these ideas, maybe you’ll enjoy some of these!

 

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Home HVAC Maintenance

HVAC Maintenance New York

As a homeowner, it is extremely important that you have some knowledge of your home’s HVAC system to ensure proper maintenance and functionality, especially if you live somewhere like New York.

To better understand proper HVAC maintenance, let’s start at the very beginning:

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning, and the HVAC system in your home is one singular system that heats, cools, and vents your entire home. Understanding your home’s system and how to properly maintain it can lead to energy savings, money savings, and an overall more comfortable home environment. Here are some HVAC maintenance tips for you to follow:

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  • Calling in a professional to inspect your HVAC unit once or twice a year is never a bad idea. However, regular check-ups can be done by you!
  • To help keep your HVAC system functioning smoothly, it is important that you check your air filter regularly, about once a month, so you can clean or change it out. Doing so will ensure the energy efficiency of your unit and help to keep your monthly bill down by decreasing the amount of energy the system has to use.
  • It is important that you keep all components of your unit clean and clear of dirt, dust, and debris whether it is an indoor or outdoor unit. If it is an outdoor unit, it is recommended that you keep at least a two-foot radius on all sides of the unit to keep away plant life.
  • To keep your energy costs down, a programmable thermostat will ensure your unit is not running and wasting energy for those long periods throughout certain days when you are not home.
  • Check your system regularly for leaks. Leaks mean that your HVAC system will be working that much harder, that it is not working as efficiently as possible.
  • Make sure to replace the batteries in your home’s carbon monoxide detector once a year.

Although we did recommend calling in a professional to inspect and maintain your HVAC unit once or twice a year, following these tips can help make sure your system is running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year and in between those professional inspections!

Here’s a video for more helpful information.

 

 

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Cracks in the Ceilings

Cracks can occur on ceilings for multiple reasons. I’ve witnessed them in my home and decided to fix them up myself because I knew it wasn’t a dangerous matter, but it’s important to contact a professional if you are unsure. Here are where these cracks come from, along with some ways to fix them.
Tip: If your home is over 25 years old, have your ceilings tested before getting involved. Some older homes could be at risk for asbestos.
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The Causes of Ceiling Cracks

Moisture
If the cracks are from moisture damage, you’ll most likely see ceiling cracks that almost look as though they’re crumbling or flaking. Flakes of paint may fall to the floor. This could be an issue with the plumbing or some kind of roof damage.

Structural Issue
This crack should look as though it’s running across the ceiling. If you see something like this, it means poor foundation. If it’s from not being waterproofed enough, the foundation is at risk of sinking, if not sinking already. These issues put the whole house under stress, which is why the cracks appear. This is definitely a time when they shouldn’t be ignored, although I don’t advise ignoring them at all.

Poor Workmanship
This is the most common of all the causes. These cracks appear shortly after the ceiling work is done, especially if the reasoning is improper curing of plaster. When the plaster is not mixed the correct way, the plaster turns brittle.

Fixing the Cracks

Sometimes replacing the ceiling is the safest bet. I know it sounds like a hassle, but it’s the best choice if it’s a dangerous situation, especially if a professional advises it. Don’t look at this in a negative way, it’s an excuse for some new home improvement! If it were me, I’d go for a decorative ceiling, like a dome ceiling! I’ve always wanted one for my dining room. As much as I would like a decorative ceiling, an easy fix is always preferred.

1.Drill drywall screws to hold it in place.
2.Remove any loose plaster with a utility knife.
3.Apply drywall tape to the whole crack.
4.Use a layer of joint compound, making sure it goes through the tape, filling the crack.
5.Create a smooth surface with a damp sponge and sand it for further smoothness.
6.Prime and Paint!

That’s the best and easiest way I know to fix those stubborn cracks. Don’t forget, if you think the cracks are serious, contact a professional.
Do you have any other crack fixing tips? Share them with me! Feel free to refer to this video for more information.