9 reasons to remodel your home

Are you bored with the existing look of our house? Do you want to increase the value of your home? If so, we suggest you opt for a home remodeling project. This will renew your house as well as make your rooms much more functional. Below are 9 reasons to do a home renovation project.

sales potential

For increased sales potential and value, the exterior of your home matters a lot. To enhance curb appeal, we suggest you consider clean landscaping, a new roof, clean blinds, and fresh paint.

Prepare for retirement

If you plan to stay in your home after you retire, we suggest that you include some old features in the place, such as showers, special toilets, etc.

go green

Are you paying a lot for utilities? If so, you can replace your windows with windows that are energy efficient. This will save you a lot on monthly bills.

The kitchen

The kitchen is the center of every home. This is the place where family and friends usually gather and spend time. Most women fall in love with their kitchen. Therefore, we suggest that you consider getting a new stone. Other than this, you can replace your refrigerator or get a new cabinet to make your kitchen a bit more functional.

do the right thing

While your bathroom may be doing just fine, it’s a good idea to get some new plumbing and remove that plain old mirror. In other words, you should get a framed mirror. Apart from this, you should also do something with the lighting.

countertops

You don’t have to waste time looking at avocado countertops. If you can’t invite your friends just because your house has outdated colors, you should know that it’s the right time to remodel your house. Installing new countertops is not a difficult job. It won’t cost a lot of money either. So, you need to go ahead and perform this task.

minor cosmetic surgery

Even if your home is perfect, it can do with a little facelift. What you can do is paint the baseboards and walls to make them feel clean and fresh. If you have a limited budget, this will be a good alternative.

Base

If you’re sick of using that old hose basement as a storage unit, we suggest turning it into a nice living room. It could also serve as a media room. In fact, this will increase the overall value of your home.

Avoid buying a new house

It can take you a long time to search for a new home. So instead of looking for a new one, we suggest updating your kitchen or bathrooms. Alternatively, you can remove the wall that has been bothering you for years.

So, these are some of the reasons why you should remodel your home. Hopefully, you will be able to renovate your home without any problems.

An introduction to recessed lighting

Recessed lighting (also known as can lights and down-lights) is one of the most widespread and adaptable uses of lighting on the market today. It works very well with the new trends of layered lighting and task lighting. Recessed lights are used indoors or outdoors from floor to ceiling.

Many people recognize outdoor recessed lighting as a way to draw attention to steps or the edge of a pool. This style is a favorite method for landscapers because recessed lighting doesn’t allow anything to stick out that could cause a fall down the stairs or someone falling into the pool.

However, not all recessed lights are made for outdoor use. Before installing outdoors, one must make sure that the unit is waterproof at least. These elements are not forgiving and a serious catastrophe will occur if a recessed light intended for the exterior is placed indoors.

Another feature that many people use for lights both indoors and outdoors is to highlight certain focal points. Art lovers will use the lights to enhance a piece of art in the home or an outdoor sculpture.

The method is a favorite use in art galleries and outdoor gardens because it allows people to see other features that they normally wouldn’t have been able to see if it weren’t for the extra focus.

Fireplaces are another area that gets a lot of recessed lighting because few things are more romantic than a subtly lit fireplace. Installing recessed lighting above a fireplace is another method that designers love to use with lighting. Accessories manage to take a design element and turn it into a focal point.

Many people are wary of installing lighting fixtures in their home because they feel it will cost them more money. However, that sentiment is not true by today’s standards. Whereas in the past recessed lights were known to let heat and air escape through their housings, that problem no longer exists.

Lighting designers have updated light fixture housings with new sealing technology that prevents heat and air from escaping the home, thereby helping to regulate your electric bill. Another feature that helps save money is the installation of dimmer switches for the lights.

Dimming kits put lighting control in the hands of the homeowner, and by using only the specific amount of light needed for the job, the homeowner will save money. Controlling the amount of light needed for a space is another reason accessories work well in the kitchen.

One of the biggest trends in kitchen design is the use of task lighting. Task lighting is when lights are given specific lighting jobs. So pendants over a work area, recessed lights over sinks, and under cabinet lighting to make cabinets brighter serve a purpose.

This way, one doesn’t need to turn on a whole set of lights when one or two can do the job. This is another method that manages to save money because you only leave the areas that need to be highlighted and the other parts that don’t.

Recessed hallway lights are another popular use because those lights typically give off a subtle glow; so that they do not assault people’s eyes with bright light. This is great when you need to go to another room in the middle of the night and are afraid to turn on the lights to see where you are going.

Recessed lights are wonderful additions to any home’s lighting fixture. The versatility, combined with its ability to enhance any feature one desires in the home, puts it on every homeowner’s wish list.

How RTA Kitchen Cabinets Can Help Cut Costs In Your Remodel

The recent economic struggle that affected not only the United States, but also the entire world has left many lessons or more when it comes to financial management. But whatever the economic condition, remodeling the heart of the home remains a popular endeavor that many undertake not only for the best quality of life to be enjoyed, but also for a good return on investment. And one of the smartest additions to your remodeling project is RTA kitchen cabinets. This article explains how RTA kitchen cabinets can be an inexpensive way to achieve a successful and cost-effective remodel.

Initial cost

The initial cost alone would be enough to wow any homeowner shopping for cabinets. Compared to their traditional counterparts, whether stock or semi-stock, their prices fall much lower. And for just a fraction of the price, you’ll be delighted with the wide range of options you have, from glazes and finishes, size, construction, door design to organizational features. From low quality particle board and laminate to the most extravagant hardwood you can enjoy at a very affordable price. By choosing RTA hardwood kitchen cabinets, you are offering the quality of your home without breaking the bank.

Labor/contractor services

Labor is one of the largest contributors that add up to the total expense you must prepare to finish the remodeling project. With RTA kitchen cabinets, you can save significantly on contractor service and instead allocate budget to other areas that may truly need the expertise that a contract contractor can offer, such as plumbing, electrical wiring, or fixture installation that will require professionals in accordance with warranty or local building code.

RTA kitchen cabinets are among the most popular DIY items you can find on the home improvement market. Completely packaged with everything from individual wood pieces to hardware and details, all the tool you’ll need is a screwdriver and you’re good to go.

Shipment

Flat-packed RTA kitchen cabinets don’t take up too much space, so they cost less to ship. Unlike traditional bulky cabinets that take around eight weeks to arrive at your doorstep, your ready-to-assemble pick only takes around two to three weeks. This not only makes up for a cost-effective option, but also saves time.

Other benefits

But cost aside, RTA kitchen cabinets have more benefits than financial ones.

  • With a very wide range of looks and construction, you are sure to find the best set to complement the current design at the heart of your home, as well as your personal taste.
  • Flat packed, they are not only easy to transport but also easy to store. The chances of selecting units that are already in stock are greater and you wouldn’t have to wait weeks.
  • By making quality affordable, more and more homeowners can enjoy the beauty of hardwood through RTA kitchen cabinets. Purchasing them will allow the family to enjoy that distinctive look for many, many years.

Deck and Patio Construction – Building Durable Deck Railing

Few homeowners realize that when planning the design and construction of a deck and patio, the deck railing is just as important as the deck itself. Railings provide the finishing touch and overall style to the basic deck deck. Most homeowners and builders will use the same material for their railings as their deck material, but it’s not impossible to go with a different material for your railings. When choosing, not only aesthetics must be taken into account, but also long-term maintenance.

There are a variety of materials you can use when installing deck railings (and note that this refers to the entire unit that sits as a cushion on the edge of the deck to prevent your friends and family from falling in from the end, including the posts, panels, and handrails along the length of the deck):

Typical Deck Railings

The most common type of railing can be seen on homes across the US in every state and county. They consist of 2×2 beveled wood stakes that have been attached to a 2×6 trim (at the top) and to the deck edge joist (which is the outside band of wood on the deck frame). This is an inexpensive and simple option that most deck and patio builders will do if no other custom option is requested.

Custom Deck Railings

Thanks to the skill and creativity of deck and patio builders, you can get almost any size and shape of lumber used to build your deck railings. Sometimes it may require the keen design eye of a professional creative hobbyist (as well as an engineer’s chin rub and approving nod), but creativity is the limit when it comes to custom deck railing for your outdoor space.

Premade Vinyl Deck Railings

Often with aluminum inserts for added strength, these railings are becoming more popular with the DIY crowds, as the metal deck is attached without the need for welding. Holes can be drilled in the 2x4s in the vertical and pressed together. Once a cap rail is in place, the project is complete. These pre-made deck railings are available at most lumberyards. The benefit of these systems is that you can get glass or plexiglass inserts to screw into deck and patio railings. If your deck faces the pool area, this can be a great way to keep your pool view.

Composite Deck Railings

There are several composite deck railing options and most have some form of metal reinforcement in newer designs. Nearly all composite decking is created to look like wood so homeowners can get that beautiful polished wood shine at a fraction of the cost. Most of the designs you will find will be modern or colonial in style without involving too much of the creative arts, mainly because most homeowners go for the simple when building on a budget.

If you are looking for a unique deck and patio design, opt to use real wood for your deck railings. This will give you the most variety and versatility in a custom deck design with your builder. Similarly, wood will provide long-lasting durability that is difficult to obtain with cheaper composite materials.

A Southern African Big 5 Safari: Can It Be Done On A Budget?

Ok, so you want to go on an African safari to see the big five animals, to experience the fresh air of the African bush, you want to sit by the fire at night and listen to the hyenas and bush babies and then wake up to birdsong and lions roaring.

But this is going to cost the earth, isn’t it? Not necessarily – an African safari can be done on a budget and here we’ll share some of our cheap safari tips that can get you to the places you want to visit.

Book out of season

Keep in mind that there is a “low season” in South Africa where rates could be reduced by 30 to 40 percent. Low season varies from country to country, so if you intend to visit a private safari lodge, check their low season rates.

Kruger Park has discounted rates out of season, which is normally the first two weeks of December, and Kgalagadi has seasonal discounts between January 10 and March 15 and November 1 and December 15. Check the SANParks website for these seasonal specials. They also have discounted rates on their wilderness trails – the discount is higher for more people you book. (Each trail carries a maximum of eight people).

Etosha has discount rates for repeat visitors so if you are a return visitor please ask for the discount rate when making your booking with NWR (Namibia Wildlife Resorts).

Pilanesberg will have discounted off-season and midweek rates; Ask when making your reservation with the different accommodations.

flights

Look for cheap flights on the internet because it is cheaper to buy your ticket online, but shop first, don’t buy the first thing you see.

If you have frequent flyer miles, use them to get to South Africa and once you arrive in South Africa, you have the option of flying locally on some cheap airlines like Kulula, One-Time and Mango. These airlines do not provide free food and drinks on board, but they do sell snacks and drinks.

Self-driving vs. guided safari

Expensive private lodges cater to well-heeled tourists and lead you to animals that have been tracked. We don’t like this as they will ask you what animal you want to see and if you answer ‘lion’ they will radio the tracker to find out where one is and then lead you to it. There is little anticipation or excitement when this is done – it’s almost like going to a zoo without the cages!

We prefer to go on self-drive safaris as they are much cheaper, we have more freedom with our daily movements and there is simply nothing better than the thrill of driving down a road and stumbling upon a leopard stalking an impala and then staying with the leopard for as long as you like. So autonomous driving means exactly that, you are the driver, the planner and the observer of the game in your own vehicle. If you’re the adventurous type and want to explore southern Africa, autonomous driving is for you.

If you’re an international visitor, ‘autonomous’ means renting a vehicle, but shop around online and get the best deal – there are at least seven car rental companies in South Africa. You can also get advice on the SANParks forum on the most reliable car rental companies; check under ‘car rental tips’.

In Kruger, Kgalagadi, Pilanesberg and Etosha you only need a 2wd vehicle which is sufficient for tar and gravel roads but you may need a 4×4 if you plan to book a 4×4 trail in Kruger or Botswana or want to stay in Kalahari dune camps like Bitterpan and Gharagab.

conservation fees

All parks charge a daily conservation fee, but SANParks has a Wild Card that is valid for one year and covers all entrance fees to any of their parks, including Kruger and Kgalagadi. The cost of the Wild Card is roughly equivalent to a week’s entrance fees, so if you’ll be staying for more than six or seven nights at one of the SANParks in the next 12 months, buying a Wild Card is much cheaper than paying your conservation fees at the gate and saves you not only money but also time, since you don’t have to waste time standing in line! (Etosha and Pilanesberg are not included in SANParks).

Accommodation

Accommodation will vary from park to park, but you can generally choose between camps, bungalows, chalets, rondavels, safari tents, or cabins. I know, you’re thinking Shops and cabins, they must be disgusting because they are cheap! In southern African parks ‘cheap’ does not automatically equate to nasty! Most of the accommodations have en-suite bathrooms, kitchens and air conditioners! If you choose the cheaper end, your unit will have common bathrooms and kitchens; there is something for every budget.

Bed linen and towels are provided and all units are cleaned daily. If your unit has a kitchen, you will have crockery and cutlery with a hot plate. In Kruger, Kgalagadi and Pilanesberg all units have a braai (barbecue), but in Etosha only some units have a braai; just confirm when you make your reservation in Etosha.

eat like a king

The restaurants in Etosha and Pilanesberg have good food and service but can be expensive, while the restaurants in Kruger and Kgalagadi are simply not value for money in our opinion.

To save money, shop before you get to the parks – there are supermarkets like Pick n’ Pay, Woolworths or Spar in South Africa and Namibia that have all the groceries you’ll need. We bought most of our food and wine a few days before we left or on the way to the parks and when we arrived we bought the bulky things like coal and water. For breakfast we usually have coffee and biscuits on the safari and then bacon and eggs at one of the picnic sites. For lunch we have a quick sandwich in the bungalow and for dinner a good braai with chicken or boerewors skewers, salads and a good glass of wine.

So while your safari may be ‘budget’, you certainly don’t have to ‘rough it’!

Uses of 3D CAD design software

CAD (Computer Aided Design) software has been around for quite a few years in one form or another and as the power of computers has increased, so have the capabilities it gives engineers and designers.

Today’s computer-aided design software packages allow for 2D vector-based drawing, 3D solid and surface modeling, and much more. Modern CAD software also allows objects to be rotated in three dimensions so that they can be viewed from any angle, even inside out. It can also be used to specify materials, processes, and tolerances.

CAD software is widely used in many industries, including automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, construction, manufacturing of all kinds, and even animation for special effects in movies.

Whether the project or object is large or small, the power of 3D CAD software gives engineers the ability to design in great detail, test different models, and create final specifications even before moving to the potentially costly prototyping stage and beyond.

The automotive industry makes extensive use of computer-aided design software to create new models, taking into account aerodynamics and safety, as well as attractive design, while the shipbuilding industry uses 3D CAD software, not only to design new ships, but also to test the strengths and weaknesses of those designs.

The construction industry makes perhaps the most extensive use of software, designing everything from gigantic skyscrapers, to huge warehouses and offices, to residential housing.

It is in this latter area that the general public will likely have come into direct contact with 3D CAD software when choosing new kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

Often called interior design software, when it comes to choosing a new design and look for a new room in a house, it is 3D CAD software that is used to place various fixtures and fittings until a final design is decided upon.

Anyone visiting a kitchen showroom, for example, is likely to be guided through the design and layout using purpose-built kitchen design software. The same applies to bathroom design software and bedroom design software.

The reason this is used is that it reduces cost, saves time and effort previously required by a proper designer, as well as time spent by the client choosing different designs and having to draw them to see how they would look.

The use of CAD software in movies has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, culminating in today’s plethora of 3D movies like Despicable Me and Megamind. It is also used in 2D movies to create characters within live action movies, not just animated ones. If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings, for example, Golem was created using a sophisticated form of CAD software.

The general public can also use this software in a rather less sophisticated way, as there are now several free packages available online for download that can be used to create stunning 2D and 3D models.

Paid software is also available and of course offers a bit more power and versatility, although it is nothing like the commercial packages used by large companies and industry.

Hotpoint washing machine repairs, error code E10 and F10

If your hotpoint washing machine is not working and you feel it needs repair and you get error code E10 or F10, this means there is NO cold fill and you should check and verify that the taps are open and the hoses are not kinked. .

The first thing to check is the faucets, most machines will have the hot and cold water supply connected via a hot and cold water inlet valve placed under a sink or directly behind the machine, usually it is a silver valve with the blue and sometimes a red flex hose connected to it, the blue should be cold and if there is a red it will be the hot supply.

In the on position the plastic switch located on the side of the inlet valve should point in the same direction as the arrow on the valve and in the off position it should point through the valve if it appears to be off , especially if your valve is under a sink where pots, pans, boxes and other items can be pushed against it and could accidentally turn it off, just turn it back on, but don’t force it, as it could break and that could lead to a flood situation.

If the valves look good, but the washer still doesn’t work and you’re still getting the E10 or F10 error message, you should now check for kinks in the pipes, this will likely mean removing the washer from its housing to continue the repair.

At this stage you need to take into account the fact that the washing machine will be heavy and connected to both mains electricity and the water supply and also that putting the machine back in correctly can often be more difficult than taking it out.

If you are not sure, we recommend that you call an engineer; if you are not willing to take the washing machine out, you can also check any part of the inlet flex hoses that you can easily see, such as in cabinets and also on the side of the washing machine, if you see any kinks, you can try to remove the kink and test the machine again.

Error codes are often machine specific and the diagnosis given here is for the hot spot range only, please do not relate this diagnosis or error code meanings to any other brand of washer.

Feng Shui and Real Estate

Many buyers after touring a prospective home practice Westernized feng shui when they turn to me and say “bad house karma.” We all know when a house is out of sync. Full of belongings, unique colors and bad seller energy Here are some tips to improve the karma of the house.

-Use paint color to add energy. Red in dining rooms, orange in kitchen and playrooms, green in living room and bedrooms. Blue to promote healing and relaxation and purple for wealth and abundance.

-Feng shui lighting is to calm and animate. Dimmers maximize benefits, bright lighting provides movement and activity, and softer, lower lighting offers peace of mind.

-Water and air are key in feng shui. Keep the water fresh in the vases and the air clean by opening windows and doors. The fountains and scented water bring calm.

-Works of art and art objects are reflections of your inner being. Turbulent and aggressive images disturb and do not calm. Seek art to inspire you, not to depress you.

-Aromatherapy can help you change the way you think. Lemon is a study stimulant and the scent of roses inspires romance.

-The sound of wind chimes and soft classical music set the right tone for a feng shui home.

-Hosting an open house with food can create good feng shui. Knowing which foods are linked to which part of our life center can bring results. Knowledge uses sweet and mild, career uses salty, helpful people use hot or spicy, family uses bitter, children or creativity use hot or spicy, wealth or abundance uses bitter, fame or reputation uses bitter , and personal relationships use sweet or soft.

Durastone Tiles: Congoleum’s alternative to natural floors

Congoleum’s Durastone tiles are a luxury vinyl tile product. Luxury vinyl tiles are a great alternative to natural tiles like ceramic, slate, stone, and marble. There are multiple reasons why luxury vinyl tile is a great option to consider for kitchens, bathrooms, and any other part of the home. Durastone tiles are extremely durable, easy to clean, warm underfoot, extremely stain resistant and relatively easy to replace than other natural tiles. Congoluem’s Durastone tile series should be a flooring option to consider for your next flooring project.

The main advantage of Durastone vinyl tile or natural tile products like ceramic is its durability. Mosaics are totally different than traditional sheet vinyl construction. Durastone has a much thicker, more dense wear layer, a stronger commercial grade backing system, and a composite vinyl core. These design features make it extremely resistant to cracks, dents, and scratches. If you were to drop a pan or heavy object on ceramic tile, it will most likely chip, break, or crack. Durastone holds up very well compared to natural tile when it comes to drops, scratches, etc. If you have pets, children, or high traffic in one area of ​​the home, Durastone luxury tile will outperform virtually any other flooring option.

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, Durastone wins again. Dusting with an occasional damp mop is all it takes. Tile and grout lines never need to be cleaned or resealed. Cleaning and sealing grout lines once a year is a chore many of us have learned to despise. Durastone tiles are available with or without integral grout. The grout on Durastone tiles is vinyl, so it stays clean just like other tiles.

I’ve heard people complain that they love the look of ceramic or stone floors, but hate the cold feeling that natural floors can give. Durastone tile and other types of luxury vinyl flooring tend to be warmer underfoot than natural flooring. This may not seem like an important feature, but for some homeowners it ranks high. The warmer feeling that Durastone gives can also eliminate the need for multiple rugs throughout the house or room.

Stain resistance is very important in kitchens, bathrooms, and even other areas of the home. Ceramic and stone hold up adequately when spilled, but if the caulk is older, staining may occur. Durastone vinyl tile has a topcoat that is impervious to nearly all stains, with the exception of oil and gas-based liquids. Hopefully you won’t have too many gas spills in the kitchen! Durastone’s stain resistance is amazing with pet accidents. Durastone will not only resist stains from pet urine, it will also not absorb odor. If you have pets, a luxury vinyl tile or plank is something to seriously consider. Durastone has a lifetime guarantee against stains.

If a Durastone tile ever becomes damaged, you can replace the tile without the hassle of grout removal. As previously mentioned, there are no separate grout lines with Durastone tile. You can remove the defective tile and paste another one. An added benefit is that Durastone products are guaranteed by Congoleum for the life of the product against fading. This becomes a huge advantage if you have to replace a tile 5 or 10 years later. With fade resistance built in, a new Durastone tile replacement will match the rest well into the future.

Congoleum offers 6 different product lines in Durastone. These series are American Slate, Hearthstone, Palisade, Quartz, Symmetry and Vineyard. With over 24 different patterns, colors and styles to choose from, you can create a natural-looking floor with all the benefits Durastone luxury vinyl tile has to offer.

Things to Consider When Buying Kitchen Cabinets

Technology has given us the privilege of buying things by staying only in our homes. There is no need to prepare and go to the market and search for the products you want to buy. It doesn’t matter what you want to buy because everything is available online today. You just have to open the right website and choose the right product. If you are looking to install a modern kitchen cabinet, all you need to do is search online and find the right companies that make ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets.

There is a huge advantage to buying RTA kitchen cabinets instead of buying the lumber and hiring a carpenter to make the cabinets. You can easily find a wide variety of RTA cabinets online. I’d also like to mention that people who don’t trust buying things online should take a look at RTA cabinets. The companies have uploaded all the pictures and details on the website, so as to skip any questions that may arise in the minds of the customers. This is the most they can do to build a level of trust among customers.

There is no need to be skeptical about buying things online. Millions of people buy things on the Internet and most are satisfied with the quality of products and services. In addition, it is now possible to view 3D images of the products to get a better idea. Before buying kitchen cabinets, it is very important to consider a few factors such as wallpapers, tiles, and color schemes that you want to have in the kitchen. This will help you choose the right type of combination for your kitchen. On the Internet you will find a wide variety, which is impossible for you to see while wandering the market.

The range is limited in the market, while on the Internet it becomes 10 or 20 times higher. I want you to consider Internet stores before making final decisions. You will find many short videos of the products that their manufacturers publish. The reason behind posting the videos is to give you the feeling of that moment when you ask the seller something about the product. Whether you buy it online or at a local store, be sure to shop for RTA cabinets to save money on hiring the carpenter.

In RTA kitchen cabinets, there is no need to hire a carpenter because an instruction manual will always be given to you, which is enough to guide you through the installation process. When buying the kitchen cabinets, it is necessary that you buy the matching accessories for each unit. This will enhance the beauty of the cabinets and later the kitchen as well. The price of kitchen furniture will depend on the size of the kitchen you have. If you want to buy a cabinet that can last longer, then you must buy a quality product.

It is important that you ask about the offers of the company from which you have chosen to buy the cabinets. If you are shopping for kitchen cabinets, you can get the kitchen accessories at a reduced price. Or, you can ask the company if they can send someone to your house to install the cabinets. Companies will do anything to retain customers because the competition is so high. If you have decided on the type of kitchen cabinets you want to install in your kitchen, then it is time to find the kitchen accessories that can perfectly match the cabinets.