Remodeling Your Floors With Hardwood Flooring

When remodeling a house one of the most important decisions to make is what type of hardwood floors to use. Though other alternatives may seem like a bargain at first, wooden flooring is less susceptible to cracking and other forms of duress but has also been shown to greatly improve your home value. Not only does hardwood timber flooring make your house’s market price greatly increase, it also has a nice polished professional look to it that will impress both guests and yourself. While it may seem overwhelming at whether you home should have engineered flooring or solid wood floors, the choice is easily decided on by what you want the final product to accomplish.

If you want a nice rustic look to your house, than timber floor boards are a great pick for you. Despite being more difficult to install, the charming naturalistic look of timber floor boards will make your house truly feel new. The comfort and nostalgia of going with a timber floor board is one of the most satisfying home choices that a remodel can bring. Though solid timber floors require a good deal of maintenance, it will be worthwhile when you take in the lovely aesthetics they add. If you decide to go with timber floors, you will probably need to get assistance in the installation because they can be cumbersome to install without proper equipment.

When choosing your solid timber flooring houses often use a type of oak floors as they fit with the neighborhoods’ style and the area’s culture. Though the types of oak flooring vary depending on the area, European oak floor is by far the most common. The reason behind this is European oak flooring has a subtle yet sophisticated look making it very appealing to those interested in adding a refined taste to their house during their remodel. Even if you’re only interested in increasing the resell value of your house, oak flooring houses sell for much more than the cost of the investment. If you aren’t interested in installing oak floor buyers may also enjoy the textured look of Distressed Wood flooring. So don’t be afraid to experiment and deviate from the traditional method as the distressed look may go well with the rest of your interior.

If you want to enjoy the look of wooden floors without the maintenance and upkeep, then you may want to consider engineered wood flooring. While it doesn’t have the same thickness and form factor of hardwood floors, it is much easier to both manage and install. If you prefer to do all of your remodeling yourself, than engineered oak flooring is probably the right choice for you as it is much more straightforward to place down. Regardless of whether you choose to go with natural timber floors or engineered flooring, the look will be just the thing to make your remodeled house feel new and beautiful.

Source by Matt Davis

How To Be Qualified To Receive Home Repair Grants

For anyone who is a homeowner and needing a new roof or perhaps ought to repair the plumbing system, the broken furnace, the messed up driveway, or any other major home repair, but just can’t afford it, these free of costs grants are the allowances that you’ll actually need. Household repairs which are detrimental for the protection of your family should immediately be mended. With such ordeals, you may be accountable for acquiring free of charge government cash to get all those jobs done.

The nation’s federal government has a responsibility towards protecting the citizens of America. They strive to offer safe housing and shelter for such unfortunate or deprived citizens. Even though one’s income, property value, or credit history and the most essential factors that are considered for allowing such provision, fulfilling of which the citizen stands a wonderful chance to be qualified by the nation’s government to be eligible for such free grants for home improvement.

Whether it’s a repair job of no more than replacing a broken window, or even the immense work of replacing the entire gutter system in the building, an appropriate amount of free of charge and non repayable federal government money is usually available to individuals who actually qualify for such grants.

Sometimes those people who do not essentially require crucial home repairs, but only desire to update or improve their residences and properties are also awarded with generous funding to give vent to their plans. Those applicants who prove an immediate requirement for safety related repairs will attended primarily, but those who desire pursuing additional work done to enhance their homes can also place their plea. This is simply because such improvements to their homes will elevate the property value, as a result enhancing more property tax revenue; this means some excellent news for the federal government too.

In general, no matter what your repair improvement needs or desires are, North American federal government may well be willing to discuss certain home repair grants specially designed to assist you.

Source by Adam Halsey

Home Decorating for Christmas

People in general will do Christmas home decorating during the period before Thanksgiving and up until the day before Christmas. No matter when you do yours it is usually a yearly event that includes all family members and maybe some friends. We are always looking for ways to make it better than last year. Not to mention the competitiveness among neighbors to have the best looking yard and home.

There are many ideas out there for home decorating but to find those special ways to decorate in never easy. You must use your imagination and let it run wild. We are fortunate to have the means to get ideas from home decor businesses and home decorating professionals as they are aware of our need for helpful ideas. There are many websites and magazines that go all out to provide us with ideas and what materials we will need to complete our visions. We like to use our traditional Christmas items that we have accumulated from years past, but we can also run out to the stores to get new items that are in for the year to add to our collection.

When we think of Christmas decorating colors, the first ones to come to mind are red and green. If you read decorating articles they will tell you that there is no reason to just choose these colors as there are many beautiful colors that you can use to enhance your home. So you may come across silver, blue, yellow or even purple in store displays. Let your individuality run wild and give uniqueness to your decorating ideas.

Some of the things we do year after year are:

• Decorate the handrails on your stairs – We use garlands, ribbons, bows, fresh cuttings from the holly berry bush we have in the yard and sometimes we even hang stockings.

• Decorate the front door with a wreath. I think the ones that are made fresh each year are much nicer.

• Create tree ornaments each year to have everlasting memories from years past.

• Add items to the front yard. We planted a Blue Spruce tree last year and plan to add solar powered lights to it this year.

• Placing candles around the house. We like real candles in the house to add a nice aroma, but the electric candles in the window add a nice touch also.

• Adding wrapped gift boxes on the front porch is a nice addition.

Source by Dion Mulcahy

How Much Will Building a New Home Cost Me?

Quoting a price for construction of a new home is one of the hardest things to do because every home is unique and truly there are no two houses exactly alike, even if it is only the lot that makes them different.

Perhaps one of the most significant factors to cost of new home construction is the local region. Local building codes and labor play a major role in the cost of new home construction. Local building codes vary widely by region. For example, in warm climates building codes often do not require high-performance windows, higher insulation values or advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Strict building codes or lack thereof makes a significant impact on the cost of constructing a new home.

Local labor in certain parts of the country is also higher than in other portions of the country. In places that unions are prominent in residential new construction, prices will generally be higher too. Strong unions tend to set the upper price point for skilled labor and it seems non-union wages are higher in areas with stronger union representation. As a general rule, places that have excess labor will have lower labor rates. Because of the recession and the real estate new construction depression, the price of labor has been generally falling around the country the last few years. This trend will continue until the supply and demand of labor reverses itself.

Although not included in the cost of building directly, land prices are easily the biggest factor in home and lot package. The cost of a lot in a city like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago could easily cost more than a home with a lot located in Indianapolis or Minneapolis. Also, lot improvements can be a hidden cost if the lot is not previously engineered by a land developer. Soil corrections, raising or lower lot elevations, sourcing utilities not on the edge of the property, drilling a well or installing a septic can all add large costs to the budget. If the lot is not pre-engineered by a land developer, obtaining at least one soil boring (four is best) where the house will be located is a very smart idea before you close on the purchase of the lot.

Finishes are another big contributor to the cost of construction. I have heard some rich and famous have built houses exceeding $5,000 per square foot with the major difference being extremely high-end finishes. Gold plating things can add up quickly. For us regular everyday type folks, even things like kitchen appliances (stove, dishwasher, microwave/hood, and refrigerator/freezer) can cost as little as $2,000, but can easily cost $25,000 for appliances that basically do the same things, like cool and cook food. Lighting fixtures can be much the same story. You can purchase lighting fixtures at your local Home Improvement store for as little as $500-600. Conversely, you can purchase a single dining room chandelier for a few thousand dollars or ten of thousands. In the case of the rich and famous, the sky is the limit on this stuff.

Having a green building background, I also know that green building can cost you your green (cash). There are a lot of builders selling “green bling”. “Green bling” are things that consumers have heard about and want added to their home and either have a slow payback or no payback at all. Unscrupulous builders can take advantage of a buyers desire to be environmentally conscience by selling a bunch of upgrades that are not only expensive, but are not really that green.

For the average American, building a new home will vary depending on the factors above and more, but in general the higher the square footage, the lower the cost per square foot and vice versa. The majority of houses I have seen around the country range from a low of about $80 per square foot to a high of $300 per square foot. In the Midwest, a good guideline is to budget for $150 per square foot on the main floor, $100 per square foot for the second story and $50 per square foot for finished square footage in the lower level. To these budget numbers you add the lot cost and lot improvements and you should be in the ballpark. For example, a 2,400 square foot two story home with 1,2000 square feet on each floor would cost approximately $380,000.000 with a $80,000 lot. In a down economy the pricing will be lower and higher in an up economy. There are wide differences in the quality of construction at the same price point between various builders.

As you can see, there are many factors that go into the cost of a new construction home and therefore it can be very hard to compare pricing between builders. Sending out a set of plans for bid does not mean you are comparing apples to apples. Builders are smart and know how to cut costs to win a build, but that does not mean you are receiving the best value.

Larger builders tend to deliver the most square footage for the least amount of money, but have cost reduced the product to make that happen. Cost reduction usually means materials are on the lower end of the price spectrum. You will see things like hollow-core pre-painted doors, plastic or pre-finished trim, vinyl floors, shower inserts, vinyl siding and the list goes on and on and on. While lower cost materials does not necessarily mean lower quality, there is a definite difference between homes built with higher quality versus lower quality materials. Square footage, house floor plan and granite counter-tops shouldn’t be the only considerations if you are planning on living in that home more than 5-10 years.

On the other hand, smaller builders tend to provide custom type construction with higher building materials, but can come with their own set of challenges. Smaller builders may not have adequate staff to provide the customer service you may be looking for or may not even be in business in five years. Many smaller builders fail to run a very tight ship financially and the cost of your project could easily be over budget. Also, using a smaller builder does not guarantee a quality built home. It is best to do your homework on any of the builders you are considering.

As a builder myself, we use an open book methodology. This means the consumer sees all actual costs and the actual builder’s profit. I am not advocating our system over another, but I find in today’s’ world of educated consumers, consumers understand a builder needs to make a profit and seem to be more comfortable when that number is fully disclosed. To that end, I have never had a customer come to us and ask us to cut our profit.

I am not sure I adequately answered the question “How much will building a new home cost me”, but hopefully you have a better understanding of the things that attract cost and some ideas about how to go about selecting a builder.

Source by Raymond Pruban