How to Make Your Decor Child-Proof

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

Most people think the presence of children in the home means you have to furnish it in early orange crate to withstand the wear and tear of little feet and the disarray caused by grubby little hands. This is not really the case. When children are considered, your decorating skills need only a few minor adjustments and your home can still be worthy of a spread in Better Homes and Gardens. Many people are not familiar with the techniques of child proofing as you decorate.

Most often their knowledge of decorating begins and ends with the pages in the magazines found in the doctor’s waiting room. You just know those interior decorators aren’t even acquainted with those little energetic beings we call children. Child -proof decorating is a term I coined when I found myself the mother of mobile, drooling, destructive little beings that none the less I loved dearly and had no intention of replacing just to improve the décor in my home. I gave my alternatives some serious thought and decided there had to be a way to make my home attractive without the furnishings providing a constant hazard to my children and my peace of mind.

I think my efforts are successful and are worth sharing with you. Grab a cup of coffee and while your children are napping let’s talk child-proofing for the decorator 101. First you need to look at the furnishings you already have. Just how safe are they for someone who might stand all of two foot six inches tall and has a curiosity factor as large as all outdoors. Do they have sharp corners that can make a fall a seriously dangerous thing, do they feature glass panels or high gloss wood surfaces that will break or show every ding and scratch?

Remember your goal is to up the safety factor while you increase your peace of mind. Materials that are more durable and need minimal care like iron or stone rate more than a second glance when replacement furnishings are considered. Remember it is easier to herd cats than to stay ahead of the destructive factor of a healthy child and you do not want to spend every waking hour supervising their play. Child-proofing doesn’t have to be an orientation into early ugly. It only needs to be clean and safe.

A quick coat of paint, non-toxic of course, does wonders to brighten up your place and will let you scrub the cookie drool from a teething child off the woodwork without worrying about lead toxicity. Articles can be found in a number of interior decorating magazines describing the many non-toxic choices for paint on the market today. A little research is called for here. You can quickly add more color and comfort by choosing bright accent pillows and patterned rugs. Anything sporting small beads, threads, buttons or other parts that a curious child can break off and put in their mouth should of course be avoided. Look at it all from a child’s point of view when deciding what could provide a choking hazard.

Children are natural explorers and it is up to the parent to police the room ahead of time eliminating anything that can fall into the category of a dangerous temptation. As soon as they get control of their legs, children want to climb. That means entertainment centers, shelves, and statues need to be secured so they cannot tip over if they attract the curiosity of a climber. Try to keep table surfaces free of objects that can be pulled onto the floor. Replace bulky table lamps with track lighting or swags anchored to the ceiling. You will still get all the light you need and you will eliminate the possibility of a head injury caused by a falling lamp. The cord from a table lamp is too great a temptation to expect any child to resist.

Another economical and safe lighting choice would be installation of a lighted ceiling fan. This will increase air circulation in the home, helping to eliminate a cold layer of air at the floor level in the winter, and provide plenty of illumination without adding to the hazard level. Reduce the visibility of stains on the furniture from spilled food and drinks by choosing patterned slipcovers for your furnishings. When an accident happens it will take only moments to strip the cover off and replace it with a clean one while you wash the soiled item.

Rips or snags in the material on the couch or that favorite chair cease to be a visible problem and you will have less stress in your life. For the time being, when the children are little, valuables or breakable knickknacks need to be stored out of sight and out of mind. As they get older children will become more careful and more trustworthy. Then you can reintroduce these items for display. In the meantime, you will save a lot of yelling and tears by elimination of the temptation in the first place.

A quick trip to your neighborhood hardware store will provide your choice of chain covers or cable covers to prevent children from playing with the wires connected to lamps, computers or entertainment centers. These covers make your room seem neat and tidy while preventing your child from pulling on them or chewing on them. Remember safety is your mantra here and the average toddler has no concept of what is safe to touch or chew and what is not. Finally finish up your decorating redo by selecting either one large area rug or several small ones to place in the areas of highest foot traffic.

Area rugs prevent the inevitable spills and wear and tear from permanently harming the hardwood flooring or the more expensive carpeting underneath. Little feet can produce a lot of damage but an area rug can be easily cleaned or replaced at a minimum expense and preserve the beauty of the floors in your home. This will provide you with minimum stress and a happier home in the end.

Essential Tips for Waterfront Living

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

One of the most wanted destinations, in terms of living accommodation, is waterfront living. This is mostly due to the beautiful scenery which surrounds the home as well as having the option to take a short walk in order to go boating or fishing. But beware, life isn’t always fine and dandy when it comes to waterfront living.

The most common fear that some waterfront homebuyers tend to have concerns the potential rising and rolling of the river, and ultimately having water entering their property. Although this is not entirely impossible, it is quite a rare occurrence. In most cases, the water that is the riskiest, when it comes to waterfront homes, does not stem from rivers, but from water that flows over the land towards the river.

Always keep in mind that rivers are places in which water flows into. Depending on how certain houses are situated and how they hinder the water flow to the river, these factors can determine whether or not the houses in question will stay free from water flow.

Therefore, when considering waterfront property, it may be important to opt for a wonderful view, but it is also important to take a look in-land to ensure that you have the best waterfront living experience without damaging your home.

If you do end up experiencing a flood in your home, do not give up hope. Although everything inside your home may seem to be damaged beyond reason, a lot of your items can still be saved by acting fast and cleaning, drying, or rebuilding it what was damaged. There is also the option of seeking professional assistance in order to keep your home safe.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider if your home is ever subject to flooding:

1. Always protect your family and yourself from fatigue, stress and other health concerns that may come after a flood.

2. Treat your home with first aid by protecting your belongings from any further damage.

3. Organize your things and figure out which ones are no longer worth repairing or may be far too difficult or costly to do alone. Recovery plans can help a lot in making the most out of both your money and your time.

4. Dry out the house to reduce the chances of damaged materials, mildew, silt, mud, and other unknown contaminants.

5. Restore your utilities, such as clean water, electricity, heat, and sewage disposal.

A lot of people sincerely love waterfront living because it is a truly fulfilling experience. It is even more rewarding, if you know exactly what you should be looking for. So pick and plan the smart way.

Planning My Home Improvement: How To Do It

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Planning your home improvement projects can be overwhelming, especially if you have never done one before. However, if you have the information that you need, you should be able to go through it easily, allowing you to accomplish the project properly. These are some of the things that I do when I plan for my home improvement projects. Read on and you might be able to find a thing or two quite useful.

First, you need to look for resources. Homeowners actually have an easier time nowadays when looking for design ideas and home improvement guides because of the internet. There are plenty of home improvement blogs and websites which provide not only guides and step-by-step procedures but also relevant photos and illustrations which could help you understand the process even better. There are also some websites which offer downloadable manuals.

If would be working on a large home improvement project, make sure to talk with an inspector and call the local building department. They usually provide handouts on the code requirements for the more common projects and would be happy to answer your questions. You might also consider calling the local utility company if you would be working on a project which includes digging holes so that they can check any buried utility lines.

If you can, try drawing your home improvement project plans on graphing paper. This would help you with the design process and it would make the construction details a lot clearer. When you have your ideas and design on paper, you would also have an easier time listing the materials that you need.

As you choose the materials, you should make sure to do plenty of researching and comparing so that you would end up choosing those that would be the most durable and the best for the kind of project you would be working on.

Try to keep the details of the construction as simple as possible so that you would be able to avoid mistakes and problems later on.

Make sure that you would be buying or renting quality tools and equipment. This is very important as it could make the difference between getting the result that you want and ending up with a poorly done home improvement project.

I also make it a point that before I start to work on my home improvement project, I already have all the materials that I need so that I would not be wasting any time later on making trips back to the home builders center. Make a list of the items that you need and check through each one of them to be sure that you have enough and if you have the right type.

Try to keep these things in mind when planning any home improvement project to get the most out of your time, effort and money. Through incorporating them into your planning, you would be able to accomplish any repair, renovation or remodeling project that your home needs.

How A Home Improvement Blog Can Help Homeowners

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

Today, you can find all kinds of information on the internet. There are blogs about virtually any topic you can think of. Blogs can be quite useful especially in providing helpful pieces of information about a certain subject. One example of a useful blog would be a home improvement blog. There are plenty of home improvement blogs on the internet which homeowners can certainly pick up plenty of ideas from. Here are some of the other benefits of a home improvement blog.

Home improvement blogs are able to offer all kinds of information from tips on organizing clutter to the types of flooring that you can use for your home to how you can create a Japanese garden. Most of these blogs cover a wide range of subjects which are related to home improvement so you can easily search for a particular topic or project that you are interested in.

A home improvement blog can help you save plenty of money through providing easy-to-follow guides on how to do various home improvement projects. Hiring a contractor or a specialist can be quite expensive and if the task or project that you want to have done is easy or simple enough, getting the proper procedure from a home improvement blog might just be what you need to do the project yourself. The guides that you can find on these blogs do not just give the proper procedure; they also usually give advice on which materials you could use.

These blogs also give information on home improvement products that you could get. They offer links to online stores or retailers of home building and construction materials which you might need for a home improvement project that you are working or would be working on. Sometimes, they also give discount coupons or updates on which stores are offering special deals or discounts on which items. This can greatly help you find home improvement products or materials that you need which could save you money.

A home improvement blog usually allows readers and visitors to leave comments on the posts or articles that it has. This would give you the opportunity to interact with the author of the post or the other readers, getting even more valuable information. You might even want to ask the other readers about some recommendations on home improvement projects or materials that you are considering to use.

These are just some of the benefits that you can get from reading a home improvement blog. You can start searching online today to find some of the best home improvement blogs which can give you everything you need as far as enhancing your home’s beauty and functionality is concerned.

How To Look For Cost-Effective Home Improvement Items

Filed Under: Home repair, Money tips, Shopping    by: ITC

Home improvement projects can cost you quite a bit if you do not know how to shop for home improvement items which are low cost but are still of good quality. Fortunately, you have plenty of options as far as material brands and types are concerned so you could go through each of them and decide which low-cost items would be suitable for the type of project that you would be working on. Here are a couple of pointers which could help you in your search for the most cost-effective home improvement items.

The first thing you should do would be to assess exactly what items and materials you need for the specific home improvement project you are planning to do. Make a list that you could use as you shop for the items later on. This would keep you focused on just getting what you need.

Once you have the list of items you need, you would need to try searching for each of them online. Look for the manufacturers which are offering the items and then compare the quality and costs to come up with the best and most cost-effective choices.

Allocate plenty of time on your comparison shopping so that you would not end up just settling for those which are cheap but have substandard quality. Keep in mind that a project would only be properly done if you are using quality and durable materials.

Consider using cheaper alternatives. For instance, if you are planning to install hardwood flooring but are on a budget, you might want to look at other flooring options which are as durable but are not as expensive as hardwood. You might even want to go for those home improvement items which imitate the effect of the one that you want but are made of a different material.

Go online and search for home improvement blogs and forums. These usually have readers or members who you can interact with. They might be able to provide you with sound advice on a certain home improvement project that you have in mind. You could also try asking for recommendations or their opinion on some home improvement items that you are planning to get for your project.

Looking for cost-effective home improvement items is easy as long as you know what you need to do in order to find them. Make sure to take advantage of your available resources and assess what you want to make sure that you would be getting the most out of your budget.

Easy Home Improvement Projects You Can Do In A Day

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Home repair, Plumbing, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Homeowners are always planning to work on home improvement projects to enhance their homes. However, most people are usually hesitant to start working on one because they think that they would need to work on it for a couple of days or even a week. If you are one of these people who lead a busy lifestyle, there is no need to completely give up on the idea of working on a home improvement project. This is because there are actually plenty of projects which can be completed in just one day. Here are some easy home improvement projects and ideas that you can try.

The first easy home improvement project would be updating lighting fixtures. Before installing a new fixture, you may want to assess the theme or the existing design of the room or space where you would be installing it in. This is needed so that you would be able to choose a fixture which would complement the existing décor or accentuate a certain area. You might also want to replace your existing lights with energy-efficient bulbs to save on your future energy costs. Installing or updating lighting fixtures can easily enhance the theme or design and dramatically change the mood of a room or space and can be done within just an hour or two.

Working on your yard and garden is another easy home improvement project which can be done within a day. You might want to turn a corner of your yard into a place where you can relax through setting up new outdoor benches and planting some bamboo plants. You could even get one of those miniature outdoor ponds or waterfalls which are powered by a small motor and provides soothing sounds of water in motion. These are readily available from most stores selling home building and gardening supplies. You can also add new plants and seedlings as install some outdoor lights to enhance the look of your garden.

Lastly, another easy home improvement project that you can do would be fixing any corroded or leaky water fixtures. These are not very difficult to replace and can be done within just a couple of hours, depending on the number of faucets you have in your home. You can search for the procedure online and you should be able to do it on your own. Changing your faucets or repairing them can greatly improve the look of your kitchen or bathroom while ensuring that you would not be wasting water because of any leaks.

The Top 10 Most Popular DIY Projects

Filed Under: Crafts, DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Featured, Gardens, Home repair, Kitchen, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

We’ve looked around a little to find some of the coolest and most popular DIY projects out there, and these are our favorites. Click the links to get to the original how-to guides, if you see something you like.

10. Mailing Tube Wine Rack

Re-purpose sturdy mailing tubes to create a stylish wine rack. This project is flat out simple: just stack the mailing tubes under a shelf. If you like, you can add a quick coat of colorful enamel. The end result is quite handsome, too. Use the money you save to expand your collection of vino.

9. CD Stack Lamp

This clever lamp takes some effort, but is well within the DIY reach of most of us. It’s the perfect way to transform all those AOL CDs into an awesome accessory. This quirky lamp is an eye-catcher best suited for the basement rec room, game room or family room.

8. Wall-mounted Magnetic Knife Block

Kitchen knives shouldn’t be left to bang around in a drawer, but who has the counter space for a chunky knife block? This wall-mounted magnetic knife holder is a happy solution. Carve slots into the backside of a wood block, then glue heavy duty magnets into the slots. Mount the wood block, and slap your knives on it. Check out the video when you click the link! This baby is way stickier than it looks.

7. Auto-on Watch Holder Pantry Light

Take a plastic wristwatch holder and mix in a dash of ingenuity, and put an end to fumbling in a dark cupboard, pantry or closet. This light works like the one in the fridge. Hook up a reverse switch to rope lights inside the closet or cupboard door. Mount the switch in a watch holder. Open the door and the light comes on; close the door, which opens the switch and turns off the light.

6. Hands-free Flusher

While this gizmo would probably fare best in a frat house, it works if you want hands-free flushing. A foot pedal is fashioned from a wire clothes hanger, shoe polish and some paper towel rolls.

5. Wall Outlet Safe


Your Own Secret Hidden Safe! For Under $2More amazing videos are a click away

Watch the video to see how this one works and for details to make one of your own. A thief probably won’t think to look behind an outlet plate for your valuables, making it the perfect spot to hide jewelry and small treasures.

4. Secret Bookshelf Door

If you’ve ever dreamed of a secret door that is activated by taking a book off the shelf, this project grants your wish. Avid DIYer Simon Shea offers this outstanding project, –or, he used to, but you’ll find an alternative method on Instructables if you follow the link. It takes time and dedication, but it’s really cool.

3. Automated Garden Watering Drip System

DIYer and Green Thumb Matt Haughey explains how to construct an automated water drip system to keep plants properly hydrated, even if you’re away for several days. A parched lawn and garden become things of the past.

2. Homebrew $30 Air Conditioner

When you can’t bear another sultry summer day without air conditioning, this project offers some relief. You can build an effective air cooling unit for about $30. Necessity was the mother of invention for this one, brought to you by college summer schoolers stuck in a dorm with no AC. It’s a bit clunky, but it works. And there’s a closed circuit version that eliminates the water run off.

1. Remote Control Deadbolt

This project isn’t easy, but it gets loads of points for being clever as well as utilitarian. Watch the video for the demonstration, and click the link for instructions on how to build a remote control device to unlock the deadbolt in the garage or tool shed.

Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Hardware, Home repair, Plumbing, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Due to the raised awareness of the society on environmental issues, more and more homeowners are opting to “go green” in their home improvement projects. If you have been thinking of having some repairs and renovations done in your home, here are some eco-friendly options for you to consider.

Installing a Tankless Water Heater


Tankless water heaters can either be powered by electricity or gas and they can be installed either inside or outside your home. Although electric tankless water heaters are cheaper, the gas-powered variety are more cost efficient. These water heaters save energy because they heat water on demand. This means you would not be wasting energy with a heater which continuously heats 40 to 50 gallons of water even when you do not need it.

Installing Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a renewable resource, making it one of the most eco-friendly flooring types available today. Although many people think that it is a tree, it is actually a type of grass which grows relatively quickly. It can also easily be maintained. Floors which are made with bamboo are much more resilient than floors which are made with vinyl or pine. When properly cured, bamboo flooring can withstand the elements and high traffic. If you are planning some home improvement projects which include the installation of new flooring, consider using bamboo.

Using Low VOC Paint

Painting has always been considered as one of the simplest and most cost-effective home improvement projects. If you are planning to repaint your walls to cover up old and damaged paint or to enhance the look and ambiance of your home’s interior, you may want to consider using paint which has low amounts of VOC or volatile organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds contribute to air pollution and smog and have been studied to cause various respiratory problems. Through using low VOC paint, you would be able to do your share in keeping the air clean and make sure that you and your family would be able to enjoy your safe and beautifully-painted walls.

Installing Cool Roofs

Installing cool roofs is also considered as one of the most eco-friendly home improvement projects today. Cool roofs help in saving energy because they reflect the light and heat of the sun, reducing the amount of heat that goes inside the house. This means that during warm days, the interior of your house would remain cool. You can get cool roofs which are made from tile, asphalt or metal.

These are just some of the environment-friendly home improvement projects which you may want to consider. Regardless of the home improvement project you are working on or are planning to work on, make sure to choose materials and products which are eco-friendly to make sure that they are not only safe for you and your family to use but also safe for the environment.

Simple DIY Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Gardens, Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Today, doing things yourself seems to be the best way to go. This is especially true with home improvement projects. If you have been thinking of enhancing the beauty and functionality of your home but are afraid of having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, you need to know that there are many DIY home improvement projects which are simple and easy to do but can give you amazing results. Here are some of them that you can try.

The first would be painting your home interior. This is a simple DIY home improvement project which can certainly be done by any adult and it can greatly enhance the appearance of your home indoors. A simple color change on your walls can instantly enhance your home interior without having to spend too much. Hiring painters to do this project could have you spending quite a bit so it would be a better idea to do it yourself.

When painting the interior of your home, you just need to remember to protect your flooring and trim from any spills. Make use of tarps, paper and paint tape to cover up anything which you do not want to end up getting painted on. If you would be painting large areas, make use of rollers. For more detailed painting jobs, make sure to use a brush.

Another simple DIY home improvement project would be installing new flooring. However, although this is simple, it does require some basic handyman skills. You can first decide on what type of flooring you want to have such as carpet, linoleum or tile. Check the proper way of installing each type as the process usually differs from one type to another.

Refinishing your cabinets would also be a great DIY home improvement project. It could be done by sanding, painting or varnishing. You can also look into some of the newer refinishing techniques such as color washing, which could be simple provided that you have the proper steps of doing it.

Refinishing would be a good alternative to replacing the cabinets altogether since new cabinet systems are quite expensive. Once your cabinets have been refinished, you might be surprised at how much better they look and how much they can enhance your home interior.

A simple but interesting DIY home improvement project would be landscaping. It can easily be done by first planning out your desired landscaping and then researching for some new ideas online. Simple landscaping is not too expensive and could even serve as a DIY home improvement project that everyone in the family can participate in.

Lastly, you could consider constructing a deck or patio. This is still a DIY home improvement project but it could be more suited to those who have some skill in carpentry and building. However, it could still be an easy project because there are many kits which are readily available in the market. When building a deck, it is important to make sure that the ground where you are building on is level, stable and is not prone to sinking.

How You Can Save For Home Improvement Repair and Renovation

Filed Under: Home repair, Money tips, Redecorating, Remodeling, Shopping, Tools    by: ITC

If your home is due for some home improvement repair and renovation but you have a limited budget, there is no need to worry. It is possible to get your home fixed without having to spend a lot of money. Here are some ways that you can consider in order to save for some home improvement repair and renovation projects that you need.

First, consider buying used items. If you need to repair or replace some fixtures and furniture in your home, before going out to buy brand new items, you could try searching for used ones. Although it would be great to have new things in the house, sometimes, it just costs too much. You can browse in eBay or Craigslist to look for used furniture and appliances which you can get. However, make sure that you are careful when shopping for used items. Check the quality or condition of the item or material before purchasing as you do not want to end up saving now but spending more later on, when it breaks down after just a month or two.

Carefully plan out the home repairs and home improvement projects that you need. Come up with a list of the projects that are needed to be done and the materials needed for each one, along with your budget. Through being organized, you would be able to know which repairs and renovations are urgent and which are not, allowing you to allocate your available funds properly.

Try cutting other monthly costs incurred by your household. This could include the money that you spend on dining out, entertainment and others. Think of what you and your family would be enjoying after a month or two of not dining at your favorite restaurant. You might be surprised at how much money you can set aside to finally have your kitchen remodeled.

Do a lot of canvassing and researching on the materials which are available in the market. Spend time online browsing different websites which offer home design ideas and home repair tips so that you would be able to come up with low-cost ideas to repair and spruce up your home.

These are just some of the ways on how you can save on your home improvement repair and renovation projects. Through considering these tips, you should be able to complete the projects that are urgently needed to be done without having to go over your budget.