DIY – Kitchen Home Improvement Project

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

Due to today’s declining economy a lot of people are turning to do it yourself home improvement projects which includes their kitchen. Do it yourself kitchen home improvement has slowly became a popular trend over hiring those expensive kitchen experts. Most people have discovered that when they undergo a kitchen home improvement project themselves it is saving them upwards to 60% which is a great savings.

However just like any do it yourself home improvement you need to begin with careful planning. During the planning stages of your kitchen remodel you may want to be sure to put some extra effort because you need to be sure that you think through each and every step of the overall process. You need to be sure that even before you begin you can handle all the tasks and have all of the necessary supplies and tools on hand. If you fail this step you can end up not being able to finish the project due to the lack of supplies or becoming discouraged due to lack of skills.

Some of the most recommended areas that you can do research is the internet and the do it yourself home improvement shows on your local television channels. These are considered great areas because you will have actually experts willing to walk you step by step through each and every phase of your project. You will also have the ability to see the latest designs and trends that are found in many of the kitchens of today’s world.

The next most important thing that you want to make sure of is that you create an overall kitchen design layout. This is where you may have to swallow your pride a little and consult a kitchen expert. They may be able to give you a few ideas that you may not have originally considered. They can also help you put your ideas and designs together to help you weigh the pros and cons of the overall design that you have in mind. Although this may cost you some money the finished project will be well worth it and it will be the only part of the phase that they will be included in.

You will need to be able to draw out your overall kitchen plan yourself. The best way to do this is through the use of graph paper. You should be sure to come up with several different versions and then choose the best one among them.

Once you have all of the above steps done you need to be sure to set up an overall time schedule. Once you have this in place you need to try and follow it as closely as possible. This will help you become discouraged by spending too much time on the overall project.

Do it yourself kitchen home improvements can be fun and rewarding but you need to set a few things in place before you even consider beginning. The more time you take the better the ending project will be.

Building an Extension

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

A ground floor extension can be purpose-designed and built to suit your needs exactly, or it can be constructed from a number of standard prefabricated components purchased from an extension manufacturer. Which type you choose depends on what you will use it for. The former is ideal for bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms; the latter is more suited to laundry rooms, sun rooms, children’s play rooms, work-shops and so on, and includes simple metal-framed, full-glazed conservatories.

The most important parts of the structure of your new extension are the foundations, which support the walls and spread the load evenly across the ground. Consequently, their design is quite critical and should be carried out after consulting your local Building Code which will specify the type of foundations required for the job and the depth to which they must be dug, based on local ground conditions.

To be effective, foundations must lie on firm, stable sub-soil, and depending on the soil type this may mean digging to a depth of 3ft or more. The type of soil will also dictate the type of foundations needed, as will the method of construction of the extension.

For a purpose-built extension with brick or block walls, it is usual to lay concrete in a trench and build the walls on top but for lighter constructions, such as prefabricated buildings, a slab of concrete known as a “raft” is more common.

The most common form of foundation is the “strip” type. With these a layer of concrete at least 6in thick is spread along the bottom of the trench, leveled off, then the walls built on top. Normally, a width of 18in is quite adequate, but at depths below 3ft or on certain types of weak soil a width of 30in or more is preferable — often with steel reinforcement added.

The trench-fill foundation is filled with concrete to within 6in of the ground level and the walls begun.

The concrete for this type of foundation should be at least 20in deep and about 6in wider than the width of the wall. The sides of the trench must be vertical to prevent any possibility of the load above causing the foundations to topple.

The walls of a habitable extension to your house must be of cavity construction; that is comprising an outer leaf of bricks and an inner leaf of bricks or. more usually, concrete insulating blocks with a 2in Pit- gap in between giving a wall thickness of 1 lin, although the cavity may be 3in wide to accommodate polystyrene slab insulation and still leave an air gap.

Even if the main part of your house has solid outer walls, the Building Code specifies that your extension must be of cavity wall construction.

Opening Up the Space

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Remodeling    by: ITC

Rather than wanting more rooms in your house, you may find that you would prefer fewer larger rooms. Some rooms may be too small for their intended use, while others may be too large.

Kitchens are commonly too small for comfort, particularly in older houses, which were not designed for all the equipment we take for granted today. Bathrooms too can often be cramped. Or the rooms generally may feel claustrophobic, and can often be gloomy if they have small windows or are on the shady side of the house.

Many problems of this kind can be overcome by removing part or even the entire wall between two rooms. For example, a kitchen and dining room or a dining room and living room could be combined. Removing the wall between a bedroom and small room, or even making an opening in it will provide more closet space or room for a shower.

Of course, the problem might not be one of having insufficient space in any one room, but rather poor access between rooms. It is not unusual for there to be no direct access between a kitchen and dining room, the route between them being via a hall. Making a doorway in the dividing wall, or even a pass-through, will make life much more bearable and will prevent such things as cooking smells from drifting through the house.

Whether you are making a simple pass-through or taking out an entire wall, the method is basically the same. Before making the opening, a steel, concrete or wooden beam is inserted in the wall to span the opening and support any load on it from above. Then the opening is cut out below this beam and the floor, walls and ceiling are refinished.

The most important aspect of this type of job is planning, since the wall you intend breaking through may contribute to the overall strength of the house and without it, the building may come crashing about your ears. Walls fall into two categories — load-bearing bearing and non-load-bearing — and you must identify which it is before starting work.

If you are in any doubt about this stage of the job, consult a structural engineer or architect. You may have to submit plans of the job to your local building department. They will be concerned that you don’t breach the Building Code and will pay particular attention as to how you intend supporting the wall above the opening and also — in the case of enlarged rooms — to the amount of light and ventilation the new room will have. If you intend making an opening in one of the exterior walls, you generally must apply for a building permit. Always check your local code before beginning any job.

Other points to bear in mind when considering this kind of work are that you will need to completely redecorate the new large room and you will also have to do something about heating. Previously you could heat two small rooms separately, now you will have to heat one large one and so you may need to upgrade any heating appliances.

Pipe and cable runs in the wall you are to work on should also be dealt with by rerouting them before work begins. If you are only making a doorway or hatch, moving its position slightly may avoid the need to reroute the services.

The job involves a lot of dust and debris, even if you are only making a small opening, so if at all possible remove all of the furnishings from the rooms affected. Cover anything else with dust sheets and lay a thick plastic sheet on the floor on which the debris and rubbish can be collected.