Before & After Photos A Must-Read Transformation Story

Before & After Photos A Must-Read Transformation Story

Kitchen Before Remodel

Janis Schwartz was sick of how her outdated kitchen and living room looked and decided to do something about it. It was time for a DIY remodel. She purchased her 1981 brick ranch in 2009. It had little to no updating done to it, but it had a good foundation. Janis started out by deciding what her timeline for the remodel was going to be and chose a five-year plan with completion of a total update (and selling the property) by 2020. Most importantly, she set a firm budget, making it the biggest expense in the house at an estimated $20,000.

As you can see in the header image, Janis took what was once a red brick floor-to-ceiling fireplace flanked by dark wood shelving and transformed the room into an absolutely gorgeous and cozy living space. When Janis and her significant other decided on a design for the new kitchen, including gray kitchen cabinets, they boarded and tiled the fireplace so that the living room scheme would flow nicely with the chosen kitchen design. In case you’re wondering, the fireplace above is gas with glass rock. She’s still working on deciding what type

How Much Does A Fence Cost

How Much Does A Fence Cost

Before installing a fence, the first thing all homeowners need to know is the average price. Fence installation costs vary based on the type and size of your chosen fence and therefore, makes research difficult and long. We have simplified the process and gathered the average prices for the most popular fences on the market. If you have ever wondered how much a fence costs, than this article is your answer.

Privacy Fence

Overview of Fencing Costs

First off, installing a fence can be a DIY project, but I will warn you that it is not the easiest home remodeling job. Hiring a professional is the safer route, but as you probably expect, it is also the costlier one.

You must consider your individual needs before purchasing and choosing a fence. Higher fences will not only take longer to install, but are more expensive. The materials are heavier and more difficult to work with

Chain link fences are the cheapest to purchase and easiest to install. Made from composed galvanized steel or aluminum wrapped with PVC, these fences not only last a very long time, but are also incredibly easy and quick to install. While a wooden fence offers more

DIY Tips For How To Build A Sunroom

DIY Tips For How To Build A Sunroom

Sunroom

Open Porches

Open porches are unquestionably a blessing, especially in warm weather. They provide some extra living space in the open air that just can’t be duplicated by decks or patios. They protect you from the sun and rain and if there’s a better place to hang a hammock, it’s hard to imagine. But when the weather turns cold an open porch loses nearly all its appeal. It becomes dormant real estate that doesn’t get much use until things warm up again. In some areas of the country this can take nearly six months, which is a long time for something that cost so much to be out of commission.

For die-hard porch enthusiasts, enclosing the space or a screened in porch may not be attractive. But for the rest of us, the tradeoff can be compelling, especially if you have a large porch that would add substantially to the year-round square footage of your house. And, if you enclose the space with large windows, like we did, you can end up with a dramatic sun room that has a special appeal of its own.

Because so much of the structure is already in place,

Natural Vs Synthetic Rattan Garden Furniture

Natural Vs Synthetic Rattan Garden Furniture


Rattans are extensively used for making furniture and baskets. When cut into sections, rattan can be used as wood to make furniture. Rattan accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colours; and it can be worked into many styles. Moreover, the inner core can be separated and worked into wicker.

Rattan garden sets are among the most popular types of garden furniture for many years due to their timeless elegance, high level of comfort and ease of maintenance. In the recent years, however, home owners were also given the ability to choose synthetic rattan furniture which at a first glance looks almost identical to the natural rattan sets. This has caused some confusion among home owners many of which wonder which one to choose. If you are having the same dilemma, you can make your decision easier by taking into account the following factors:

Comfort: There is no difference between natural and synthetic rattan when it comes to comfort. Instead, the level of comfort your rattan garden furniture will provide you with depends on the design and

How To Create A Man Cave Garage

How To Create A Man Cave Garage

Did you know that garage man caves are therapeutic? I’m just kidding, but in all seriousness, a man cave garage is sure to be the talk of the town and your home within your home.

Man caves give us the freedom to express ourselves. It gives us the personal space we sometimes need in the middle of the weekly grind we go through 52 times a year. The benefits are endless, but converting a garage into a man cave is certainly easier said than done.

That is why I have researched and gathered all the steps one must take to convert and remodel a garage into a dream man cave.

Cleaning

To truly design and create the best man cave possible, you need a blank canvas. Many of us use the garage to store bikes, winter clothes, drinks, cleaning supplies, etc. Well, if you’re going to use this garage to the fullest, you need to get organized.

Rummage through all the junk you have in your garage and make sure each item is something you and family needs. If not, sell it on eBay or throw it out. For the items you do need, you better get smart at organizing. Move it to the basement,

6 Food Hacks That Actually Work

6 Food Hacks That Actually Work

Everyone loves a good trick to make their life easier. Given that food plays an important role in life, having a few kitchen tips up your sleeve will certainly simplify your world.

Below are six shortcuts that will make every annoying food prepping task easier—from how to peel a hard boiled egg to opening a tight jar. Whether you love or hate cooking, you can always benefit from these useful food tricks. The best part is that they’re all proven to work!

How to Perfectly Peel A Hard Boiled Egg in Seconds

Even for an experienced home cook, peeling a hard boiled egg can still be a struggle. Rumor has it that you can put a small crack in the bottom of the egg before you boil it. However, creating a small crack that extends all the way through the hard shell without rupturing the membrane really requires some technique. If you thought you could simply crack the egg’s bottom with a spoon, you’re WRONG. I made this mistake when preparing deviled eggs for a potluck party, and this is how they turned out.

Yes. They’re ugly and hard to get out of the shell.

If you don’t have a tool, such as a wood

10 World Famous Doors

10 World Famous Doors

Your doors are important to your home. They prevent heat and air from escaping, improve your home’s curb appeal and protect you from intruders. However, some doors are important on a global scale. They are symbols of faith, tell stories for generations and are cultural icons. Our list of 10 world famous doors will take a deeper look into some of the most renowned doors and why they mean so much to society.

1. The Number 10

Located in the City of Westminster at 10 Downing Street, the Number 10 is the entrance to the headquarters of the executive branch of the British Government. It’s also where the Prime Minister of England lives.

The building features an all black door with an arched glass transom and white pillars on each side. In the upper center part of the door is a vibrant white 10. The door has appeared relatively the same since 1772, but has had one major change. In 1991, after the IRA mortar attack, the wood door was replaced with a blast proof steel door.

2. The Columbus Door

The Columbus Doors were made in Germany in 1855, but couldn’t be transported to the United States until 1863 due to the American Civil

DIY Tips For How To Add A Phone Line To Your Home

DIY Tips For How To Add A Phone Line To Your Home

Chatty teenagers or a fax line are just two of the many reasons homeowners install a second phone line in their home. Fortunately, you can usually install two separate phone lines from your existing wiring if you already have relatively modern telephone wiring.

Safety Precautions

Before we get started, you must know what you’re getting into. While adding phone lines is not as dangerous as many other electrical projects, you could feel a jolt of electricity if the phone rings while holding the wires. Before you do anything, go outside to the phone service box, open the right-hand side and disconnect line one and line two.

How to Add A Second Phone Line

With safety out of the way, we can get down to business. Remove the cover on the phone jack in your house and look at the wires. All telephone cables should contain at least four wires: red, green, black, and yellow. Luckily, only the red and green ones are typically used to connect your primary phone. This leaves the black and yellow wires to power a second line.

The wires in the jack are probably already connected. If not, strip off a half inch of the plastic coating on the end of

What’s The Difference Between A Patio & A Deck

What’s The Difference Between A Patio & A Deck

While many homeowners might link the two together, make no mistake that patios and decks are very different. They both serve the same purpose, letting you enjoy the outdoors on solid ground, but there are distinct characteristics that are unique to patios and decks. Before you build a deck or hire a pro to install your patio, be sure you review the following distinctions between all decks and patios.

The Basics of Patios & Decks

Patio means a courtyard of a house or building. Unlike a courtyard, a patio doesn’t need surrounding walls. Patios are often attached to a house, but can also be detached. Patios can take on any shape and be built with a variety of materials, which I will expand on below. Patios are almost always built at ground level and do not need railings.

Decks are almost always made of wood or composite. Decks are usually not at ground level and made to take advantage of their great view. It’s a challenging, yet common DIY project many Americans take on in the summer. Because they’re not at ground level, railings are needed. Unlike patios, you will have to seal and clean decks regularly to prevent rot and mold.

The Materials of

Hot Water Installation

Hot Water Installation

Hot water heaters are one of the many appliances we do not fully appreciate until it stops working. Believe it not, despite its large exterior and solid metal, steel or copper, hot water heaters do malfunction and require replacement or new installation.

While installing a new hot water heater is certainly not a project for the faint, it can be done in one day with the necessary tools and steps. Below, see when it’s time to replace your hot water, how to install a hot water heater and the total installation cost.

When to Replace Hot Water Heater

Unlike other prominent appliances around the home, there are a few telltale signs your hot water heater needs to be replaced. If you start to see a small puddle or slow drip under your hot water heater, it’s on its way out. Within a day or two, you should see a trail of water slowly running away from the heater. Either way, your tank has rusted and that can not be repaired. If water is dripping from your hot water heater, replace it as soon as you can.

Additionally, and perhaps even more obvious, is the absence of hot water. However, with this sign, before jumping

7 Tips To Make Your House Smell Better

7 Tips To Make Your House Smell Better

When you own a house, it’s easy to get comfortable in your space and fail to notice when it’s time to make changes. You get busy working, the kids and pets are running around, and before you know it, there are smells coming from places you didn’t know existed.

Odors in the home don’t have to be a common occurrence. There are ways to prevent and maintain a home that not only looks good, but smells good too. See seven easy DIY solutions for freshening up your home so you’ve got pleasant odors roaming your space.

1. Eliminate Garbage Disposal Odors

Your garbage disposal could be wreaking more havoc in your home than you might realize. Food and grime build up over time and start to seep through to your kitchen and beyond. Start by running some lemon, lime or orange peels through your disposal to eliminate any odors. It’s said that the acid in the fruit kills some of the odor causing bacteria.

Also, if you’re an advocate of baking soda, this cleaning tip is for you. Dump your baking soda into the garbage disposal, add a cup of white vinegar and let your disposal run. Voila! The hardest part of eliminating odors

How To Prevent Water Damage To Your Foundation

How To Prevent Water Damage To Your Foundation

Your home’s foundation can fail for any number of reasons, ranging from sudden tectonic shifts to gradual soil erosion. Though one of the most common causes of foundation failure is water damage, both from inside and outside your home.

Although water damage is one of the most popular sources of foundation problems, it is also one of the most preventable. When caught early enough, fixing this issue is quite affordable. In fact, many of the tips below are suggestions you can do entirely by yourself.

Preventing Water Damage Inside Your Home

Leaks are the most obvious telltale sign of water damage. If you notice any hissing pipes, clogged toilets or dripping faucets, you might have to bring in a professional to address these issues (unless you’re an experienced DIY plumber).

Less-obvious warning signs include things like:

  • Rot & mold
  • Crumbling concrete
  • Stains & discoloration
  • Backed up sump pumps & septic tanks

However, some damage remains invisible until it is too late such as busted pipes under the floor or loose valves behind the wall. However, you can assess the damage indirectly by turning off the water main for a few hours and seeing if the meter changes. If it does, you’ve got a leak somewhere and it’s time to call a plumber. Rest

Top 10 Small Bathroom Decor Ideas To Steal

Top 10 Small Bathroom Decor Ideas To Steal

If you’re the owner of a small bathroom, then you know how hard it is to make it look bigger and function better. Getting to your end goal may be a tough challenge, but it’s one I encourage you to attempt.

A new year means new must-have trends and fresh decorating ideas for your home. Don’t stress out, this is all good news! Instead of focusing on the size of your bath, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of it. See 10 small bathroom décor ideas you have to try right away.

1. Remove All Clutter

As a homeowner, clutter should be your number one enemy. It creates mess, stress and disorder in the home. If this is something you struggle with, then it’s time to make a change.

Every single thing in your small bath should have a place to live. Unless an item is in use or made to sit on the sink, it shouldn’t be taking up space on the counter. You have countless options for organizing and decluttering including; cabinets above the toilet, shelves, hooks, mirrors with storage and cute baskets. Decorating a small bath is a tough job. Don’t make it harder on yourself by refusing to get

How Basement Underpinning Can Increase Your Home’s Value

How Basement Underpinning Can Increase Your Home’s Value

With the cost of housing increasing each year, buyers are always looking for the most value for their money. Smart homeowners recognize that they can add house value through bathroom and kitchen remodeling, basement waterproofing or increasing square footage with basement underpinning.

Utilitarian basements are no longer sufficient for today’s family needs, and older floor plans are typically considered old fashioned and impractical unless improvements have been made. Even with basement remodel costs added in, you’ll get top dollar and a great return on investment when selling your home if it includes a trendy entertainment room, office space or kitchenette. Let’s explore how basement underpinning can help.

What is Basement Underpinning?

Underpinning refers to the process of reinforcing an existing, unstable foundation or lowering the basement floor to increase the overall ceiling height. In both cases, the basement floor and soil underneath is excavated out and replaced at a lower level.

Today’s underpinning methods have remained very similar to those done a hundred years ago. The uses and benefits, however, are very different.

What is Required?

The main purpose for basement underpinning is either to strengthen the existing foundation or to vertically extend it. Either way, you’ll need to determine the reason for the work. In

Everything You Need to Know About Tile, Hardwood & Carpet Flooring

Everything You Need to Know About Tile, Hardwood & Carpet Flooring

Besides the kitchen and bathroom, a home’s flooring is frequently chosen as the next home remodeling project. Over the years, new options have come to life, like cork or bamboo flooring, but one preference that remains a top choice across America is tile.

Whether it’s the abundance of tile options available, their durable nature or ease in maintenance, tile floors remain the most popular selection on the market. Despite carpet’s prominence or the sudden rise in hardwood flooring, tile flooring offers unique advantages these other flooring options do not.

Based on installation, repairs, cost, durability and design, I will show you why tile floors are better than carpet or hardwood.

Installation

Installing Tile Flooring

Tile floors work great for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways because they can withstand the everyday wear and tear that comes with these highly trafficked rooms. Installing tile may be a DIY task for some ambitious homeowners, but there is a lot of labor involved as well as materials, like a wet saw. To professionally install tile floors, expect to pay around $3,724 for 500 square feet.

Installing Hardwood Flooring

Along with it’s popularity, hardwood flooring costs continue to rise as well. The costs of materials and labor for the installation of hardwood floors

A Gentleman’s Guide To Styling A Man Cave

A Gentleman’s Guide To Styling A Man Cave

Every guy needs a man cave. A place to unwind, relax and get away from the outside world. Whether it’s built in the basement, the garage or a spare bedroom, the modern “mantuary” should feel comfortable and industrious without sacrificing style. Think refined leather couches, an antique billiard table and a mid-century bar cart for his finest whiskey. But, where to begin?  From the floor to the finishing touches, here are a few tips from Lofty to bring elegance and style to your man cave.

Floors

When styling your man cave, it’s important to research and carefully select every detail of the space, including the floors. Whether you prefer the timeless look of wood flooring or the soft feel of a plush carpet, be sure to choose flooring that is easy to clean and fits your needs.

For a polished, sophisticated feel, consider installing hardwood floors. We recommend oak flooring, which is resistant to dents and deep scratches. It’s a perfect option for those who don’t want to invest in an area rug. Mahogany flooring is also a great choice, as it is not only classic and timeless, but highly durable and water resistant.

If you’re man cave is located in the basement of

9 Types of Fences

9 Types of Fences

One of the most basic and attractive fencing types is aluminum. While it does not provide the amount of security many homeowners look for in a fence, it’s relatively maintenance free and can essentially look like any other type discussed in this article. The only maintenance will come during installation when you choose to paint and decorate it. However, along with the security, it’s not as strong as you may think and we do not recommend it for areas with severe weather.

To see some of the costs associated with all fencing types, check out our fencing cost estimators.

Wood Fencing

Wood is the most popular fencing type across America. Not only does it give homeowners a sense of privacy with the height wood fencing provides, but they are also one of the more attractive options on the market. They give homeowners a warm and welcoming feeling and without the headache of breaking the bank. Beware that the height and size of your fence will greatly impact the price. The more lumber you need, the more expensive the project will be. On top of that, like all fences, they take awhile to install. Therefore, a smaller fence will clearly be cheaper than a

6 Tasks That Might Surprise A New Homeowner

6 Tasks That Might Surprise A New Homeowner

After all of the paperwork, phone calls and endless packing, you finally have the keys to your new home. As a first-time homebuyer, the most exciting part is unlocking the door and taking the first steps inside, realizing that it’s all yours.

But as the dust settles and unpacking begins, there are a few essentials to keep in mind as you make your house a home.

1. Get to Know the Space

Along with your new home, you likely have appliances, fixtures and other service items that were included in the sale. Before running a load of laundry for the first time, take some time to learn about what you will be working with day-to-day. This is not just so you’re aware of their functions, but so you have the certainty that you’re utilizing all items in the safest manner.

Although you have had your home thoroughly inspected by a licensed home inspector, consider having all your utilities checked by a service professional. This can help avoid any further surprises as you begin settling into your new home. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to go through your breaker box and relabel appropriately. Previous owners may have labeled rooms to be family specific, so it

6 Tips For Picking Your Cabinet Colors

6 Tips For Picking Your Cabinet Colors

There’s no doubt that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, especially when eating and drinking are the main focal points of gatherings and celebrations.

Luckily, having a beautiful kitchen doesn’t have to mean shelling out thousands of dollars for a full upgrade. Small changes like refreshing the colors of your cabinets can go a long way in giving your kitchen a fresh, modern look at little cost. These six tips will help make your decision easy when choosing the right kitchen cabinet color and turn an outdated kitchen into your favorite room in the house.

1. Decide On A Style for Your Kitchen

The underlying style of your kitchen is one of the most important steps when deciding on a paint color for your cabinets. If you’re going for a cozy country look, light colors like white, gray and pale green or blue will be a perfect complement to complete a rustic theme. Keep the décor simple, with a few muted accent pieces or vintage-inspired cookware items used as decoration. Modern themes will look great with bold, saturated colors like reds and black, and they’ll pair nicely with

Moving Out Do’s & Don’ts

Moving Out Do’s & Don’ts

Moving to a new place? Congratulations! Before getting started on making new apartment arrangements, it’s important to make sure all is set with your current place. When moving into a rental, it’s recommended that residents fill out a written checklist with their landlord or building management that details any issues with the dwelling; otherwise, the landlord can hold you responsible for the repairs.

Now that you’re ready to move out, your goal is to return the apartment to the condition as it was when you moved in so you can get your entire security deposit back! Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help.

Do Give Ample Notice

Your lease lists all legal obligations to your landlord. Look closely at the termination clause and know exactly how much notice you’re expected to give when you decide to move out. Your rental agreement should spell out the required notice before vacating the apartment. For most rentals, 30 days’ notice is standard, though 60 days’ notice is gaining ground in some areas. This is true of leases and month-to-month rentals as well. Your notice should be written and dated, including the date you intend to be out of the apartment, and delivered timely to