Friday, 15 June 2012

Home Improvements

Got Money for Household Improvement? 10 Best Ideas to Utilize It

Every home owner wishes to have a household which becomes a matter of admiration among others. However, the scarcity of money often restrains them from bringing out various home improvements. A good idea is to keep on spending a little after every few months in this direction, rather than expecting to secure a huge amount of money. Here are 10 important home improvement ideas that must be in your wish list.

Begin with De-cluttering

Have a look around and you will find a number of household items that are no more usable. Outdated or broken furniture, old bicycles and many such things may become a matter of embarrassment in front of your guests. It is the right time to start a cleaning drive to make your household clutter-free. Sell the unwanted items and store the unused ones in the storage room.

Install Energy Efficient Equipments

Energy rated devices not only save money; they leave a good impression on the visitors to the house having them installed. Count it among the most significant household improvement ideas to buy energy-efficient equipments like air conditioners, refrigerators and kitchen equipments. Keep on replacing your existing equipments with energy rated devices in a planned manner.

Floor Improvement

Does your house feature the old concrete floors? If you have enough money in hand, you can think of installing modern floor designs made of a variety of materials. Limestone, hardwood, oak, laminate and vinyl are some of the most preferred choices these days. You may alternatively think of refinishing or repairing your floor if you fall short of the required budget.

Roof Improvement

Just like flooring, roofing of your house may also need attention, especially if you are living in an old house. Pay attention towards roof improvement in advance to the rain or snowfall season. As part of home improvement, you can get your roof inspected for probable leakage points. Broken or missing tiles and shingles must be immediately repaired or restored. Applying waterproof sealants and getting your house roof pressure cleaned are other important tasks in this category.

Remodel Your Kitchen

Most of the homeowners consider kitchen remodeling as a great idea for overall household improvement. Do a good research on the latest cabinet and countertop ideas to invest money in the best kitchen improvement ideas. Kitchen decoration and lighting ideas should also be taken into consideration. It is better if you take help of an expert who can help you in kitchen layout planning.

Paint the Interior

The interior walls of your house may start showing the need for re-painting. You should consider it as an opportunity to try a modern decorative painting technique. Strie painting and paper crinkle painting techniques are two of the popular painting methods these days. Apart from walls, you may also think of getting your cabinets and countertops repainted. Polishing the wooden furniture can be included as a part of this process.

Reviving the Bathroom Look

If you have been overlooking the bathroom area, you will be amazed to know how it can be converted into a chic place. From installing new sinks and showers to changing the tiles on bathroom floor and walls, there are plenty of ideas you can use for bathroom remodeling. Decorative mirrors, vanities and bathroom lighting fixtures can further help you in this. Materials ranging from glass to ceramic can be effectively used to completely revive the look of this important part of every household.

Make Your House Safe

In today’s world, it is extremely important that you make your house safe against variety of threats. Spend money on metal doors, wrought iron gates and other such installations to enhance the level of security. Another household improvement idea would be to install security locks and access control devices that are quite advanced in allowing authorized access to house.

Improve the Backyard

The outdoor space of your house is as important as the interiors. You can invest in yard improvement ideas like building a deck, installing garden area decors and planting different types of plants. Garden and patio furniture items can transform your outdoor space into a place for relaxation. If you have extra money, you can think further to install gazebos and trellis that can enhance the beauty of your garden area.

Fix Plumbing and Electrical Faults

Finally, you can utilize the available money for home improvement by replacing the faulty plumbing or electrical parts and devices. These damaged or faulty components may be adding towards your household expenses. Investing in this direction will definitely add to the appearance and functioning of your household.
Keep in mind the fact that all these household improvement ideas will enhance the resale value of your property. Even if you don’t require to sale your house in future, you will enjoy staying inside an improved household.

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Will You Make the Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs?

In anticipation of next year’s federal phaseout of incandescent light bulbs, some consumers are hoarding the less-efficient bulbs, according to USA Today. “While CFLs use at least 75 percent less energy, some consumers complain the lighting is dimmer, doesn't look as warm and doesn't come on right away. Some also worry about the disposal requirements because of the bulbs' tiny mercury content,” Jayne O'Donnell and Wendy Koch report.

While the evidence of consumer hoarding at this point is anecdotal rather than statistical, there’s simply no reason to fear the phase-out. Today’s compact fluorescents are improving rapidly—and switching to the super-efficient bulbs is one of the easiest ways to pare your energy use. “Perhaps the quickest, most profitable way to reduce electricity use worldwide — thus cutting carbon emissions — is simply to change light bulbs,” Earth Policy Institute’s Lester Brown writes.

“Replacing old-fashioned, inefficient incandescent bulbs that are still widely used today with new CFLs can reduce the electricity used for lighting by three fourths. Over its lifetime, each standard (13-watt) CFL will reduce electricity bills by roughly $30. And though a CFL may cost twice as much as an incandescent, it lasts 10 times as long. Each one reduces energy use compared with an incandescent by the equivalent of 200 pounds of coal over its lifetime.”

cree LED bulb
Cree'sLED-based A-lamp meets Energy Star performance requirements

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Would you pay up to S$75 for this light bulb?

NEW YORK - An amazing, state-of-the-art light bulb that won a US$10 million (S$12.5 million) United States government contest goes on sale in America this Sunday, which happens to be Earth Day.

The bulb is the most energy-efficient yet, lasts about 20 years and is supposed to give off a pleasing, natural-looking light. But what separates it from the pack most is the price: US$60 (S$75).

That price reflects the cost of the components, especially the top-notch chips, or diodes, that give off the light, and is the price commercial customers will pay.

But the manufacturer, Netherlands-based Philips, is discounting it right away to US$50 for consumers, and working on deals with electric utilities to discount it even further, by as much as US$20 to US$30.

This means the bulb will cost anywhere from US$20 to US$60, depending on where it's found.

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38 tips, hints, and tricks ready for use in the kitchen
Too Much Salt
If you've added too much salt to a recipe, there are several solutions, 1) add a little sugar. 2) in soups or stews, a raw potato slice added to the mixture will absorb the salt, and 3) a second batch can be made, omitting the salt, and added to the first batch. Combine the two mixtures and freeze half for later.
Too Sweet
Add some salt, or, if the recipe is a vegetable or main dish, a teaspoon of vinegar.
Gravy Too Pale
First to be sure to brown the flour well before adding any liquid, which will also prevent lumps. If the gravy is still too pale, add a few drops of gravy base or soy sauce.
Gravy Too Thick
If your gravy is too thick then add a little more liquid.
Gravy Too Thin
Potato flakes may be added instead of flour to gravy, sauces and stews

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