Lighting Improvements for Your Home

lighting improvementsHello again, readers. It’s time for some more home improvement tips! As you might guess, I’m going to focus on home lighting improvements for this blog post. There are a lot of tips and style options out there, so I wanted to round up a handful of ideas that can apply to just about any home. So, take a gander if you’re planning on renovating your home’s lighting situation any time soon:

  • Keep the desired mood of a room in mind; how you plan to spend time in a room should affect your lighting choices.
  • Go beyond ceiling lights. For most rooms, a central ceiling light doesn’t provide enough light for certain tasks that might otherwise strain your eyes. Overhead lights typically makes for a less-than-flattering aesthetic as well.
  • In relation to the previous point, a poorly planned lighting scheme may cast unwanted shadows across walls and surfaces. Don’t just plan for the lights in the room; keep account of the shadows they cast.
  • Find a dependable place to buy your fixtures. One that I like is a home lighting company called Valley Lighting. They have options for just about any room and style you might think of.
  • Take natural light from windows into account when planning your lighting improvements.
  • Keep the room’s paint color in mind when you’re picking the color and amount of light; experiment to make sure they work together instead of clashing.
  • Install energy efficient bulbs when possible. Sure, they’re probably going to be more expensive initially, but they’ll save you money in the long run since they use less electricity and often don’t need to be replaced as often.

In case you need additional tips for specific rooms, here’s an interesting site that has advice for each one.

Lastly, here’s a video that might provide a little visual inspiration for your potential lighting improvements.

Making Improvements to Your HVAC

When you think of making home improvements, HVAC improvements may not be top-of-mind. An HVAC system is a very important part of your home, so in my opinion, HVAC improvements definitely fall under the category of home improvements.

When I think of home improvements, I think of either fixing things or making things better, and that’s essentially what you’re doing through HVAC maintenance. Not only are you making your HVAC better and more efficient, you’re improving the conditions of your home, the environment and possibly your health! Don’t learn the hard way like I did, look into what your HVAC system needs and what can be improved!

Improving the Performance of the HVAC

HVAC maintenance is what keeps your HVAC running efficiently and smoothly, which means there’s no extra energy needed to keep the moving parts in action. No extra energy = no extra bill expenses! Think of it as money you can put aside for other needed home projects. In fact, after HVAC maintenance is completed, you may see a drop in your electric bill. In order for this to occur, you will need to schedule regular check ups with an HVAC company. An HVAC technician will perform all the necessary tasks. There are also some tasks you can keep up with on your own, such as changing the air filters every so often. Changing the air filters will help to keep the air clean, allowing your family to remain healthy, especially if anyone suffers from asthma or another upper respiratory type illness.

air-filter-1253439

Improving Air Flow

Improving air flow will help you to feel more comfortable in every room rather than being too hot or too cold. Unblock and clear your vents, seal leaky ductwork and make sure your AC dampers are closed. These are some tasks you should be doing to gain maximum air flow and maintain the proper temperature throughout your whole home.

Improving the Environment

When it comes time to replace your old HVAC system, look into energy efficient ones! They’re becoming more and more popular because they have less impact on the environment. Many HVAC companies express this and I even came across one HVAC company that has its own initiative when it comes to the environment.

HVAC maintenance is essential for keeping a comfortable and healthy home. Don’t forget to add this one to your home improvement list!

Here’s a video about how to change a filter:

Small Home Improvements – Decor and Feng-Shui

Who said a home improvement project has to be big to make a difference? I spoke about painting in my last post, which really isn’t an extreme project either, but there are projects even smaller than that, ones that don’t even make a mess. The truth of the matter is, there are so many ways to improve a home. If you’ve ever been to a home decor store, you’ve probably seen the insane amount of home items that exist, and a lot of them could change your home for the better. From picture frames and candles to nightstands and lamps, they have it all. If you’re looking to add some accent color or some personality to your home, take a look in one of these stores. They could be kind of addicting, I’m sure many of my readers could agree.

What’s a nicely painted room without some other items to match? I have an office room in my house that is painted forest green with a light gray desk and a light gray chair. My family liked the color scheme of this room, but it still needed something else. So, we sat in that office room on the computer and browsed through some websites to see if anything stood out. We landed on the page of an online rug store. We found some things that we thought would help the overall appearance and feel of the room, such as a globe and an awesome set of glass bowls. Not only do the bowls match the room, they’re great to fill with candy. What better way to study or do work than with a bowl of candy at your side?

Once I realized that I enjoy home decor as much as I enjoy doing the hard labor of large home improvement projects, I started looking into feng-shui. According to dictionary.com, feng-shui is defined as “creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang.” This is accomplished by positioning furniture and other items of home decor in certain areas. This practice originated from the Chinese. Not every one agrees with this practice, but after investing time on decorating, I grew an appreciation for it. I thought my readers might enjoy it if I gave out a few feng-shui tips. Don’t knock it until you try it. Many people, including myself, believe that feng-shui makes them happier and more comfortable.

A Few Feng-Shui Tips

  • A mixture of shapes is important. If your room already has a square table in it, look for ways to use some other shapes, like a circle coffee table next to the couch and a triangular mirror hanging on the wall. Maybe even throw in something rectangular, like a rectangular runner across the square table. Multiple shapes are better than one. You don’t have to drive yourself crazy finding items of all shapes and sizes, but according to feng-shui, these shapes together create balance. Don’t limit yourself to the items I used for examples. This can be done with many other items, for example, throw pillows.

pillow-colours-1180197

  • Clearing any clutter out of your home or desired room is crucial for fulfilling feng-shui. Too much clutter could leave you feeling unorganized, confused and/or stressed. Get rid of anything that you don’t need or anything that doesn’t serve a purpose in your life. For me, my desk clutter was the issue.

desk-clutter-1530033

  • Try to get as much natural light as possible into the room. Opening the window shades often will help to provide yourself and the room with quality light. If you choose to open the actual window, quality air is a factor of feng-shui as well.

If you enjoyed these tips, watch this video on feng-shui basics before you get going.


 

Painting Tips for First Post!

I’ll start off this post by saying welcome and thank you for visiting! As you all probably know, I love home improvement. I think I love it so much because of the fact that I have the ability to change something old or broken and make it new and better. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to do that with my own two hands. I know a lot of my family members agree. Maybe that’s another reason why I love it so much, I grew up around it.

One of my favorite home improvement tasks is painting. It’s something I could say I’ve been doing since I was very little. No, I’m not talking about finger paints and water colors, although I did love those too, I’m talking about painting the garage door, the shed and other things like that. I wasn’t automatically trusted with the big stuff, but I couldn’t do too much harm to a garage door, right?

The smell of paint doesn’t bother me like it does some people and to this day, I have pairs of jeans that still have paint stains on them. They’re like proof of my hard work. So maybe you’re wondering, what’s so hard about painting? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s SO hard, but there are some tips I’d be willing to share with you to make the process a little easier that will lead to better results.

I refer to my painting tips as the 2 P’s – Prepare and Paint! You can’t have one without the other.

sliding-threads-1199125-1280x960

Prepare!

    • Read the labels of the paint you choose. There is a wide variety of paints out there, such as glossy, outdoor, flat paints, and more. Don’t disregard the labels and speak to someone in the home improvement store about what it is that you’re painting and if you don’t feel confident.
    • Big pieces of furniture should be pushed to the center of the room and be covered. No matter how neat of a painter you are, you’d much rather be safe than sorry. If you’re going to drywall, try to move everything out. Drywall could make everything dirty.
    • Take time to fix the cracks and dents. Although cracks may seem to get covered easily by paint, it’s a better option to fix the cracks from the start. Cracks could be fixed with spackle or painter’s putty.
    • Dust the walls with a dust rag, you don’t want little pieces of dust stuck under the paint.

Paint!

  • Don’t go super cheap on the painting rollers. Some will release fuzz or cause the paint to drip. When you start painting, go for a decent 9-inch roller. They’re easy to control and they’re great for those W and M strokes, which I would say is the most clean. Up and down strokes aren’t bad, it’s just my opinion.
  • Paint with a bucket of paint next to you. It’s cleaner and  more safe than a rolling pan, it also holds more paint! Odds are it will save you money as well. I know I have buckets in my garage, why go out and buy a rolling pan?
  • Use tape for where the walls meet the ceiling or to cover any molding around the room. This well help keep the lines straight and prevent paint from getting on any unwanted areas.

So, I can’t give you every single secret but feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions. I actually got some of this advice from my family, friends and those who work at home improvement stores. I hope to continue learning and experiencing different types of home improvement tasks, and I promise to share them with you as I do. I came across a company, Archways and Ceilings, and I hope to do some of the things I’ve seen on there. I also hope to learn how to build a table from scratch, without the legs being unstable. That’s something I haven’t quite got down yet. Stay tuned, I’ll be able to do that soon… Be back soon guys! In the meantime, here’s a video that I enjoy about painting ceilings.