Personally, I’ve always been attracted to stonework of all kinds. Whether it’s a cobblestone driveway, a fireplace made from river rock, or a ledge stone wall, I think that stonework adds beauty and interest to a home. Given that stonework can cost upwards of twelve dollars a square foot, however, I’ve never been able to afford to remodel my home using the stones, rocks, and tiles that so attract me.

Then I ran across an article about concrete paver molds, and discovered that there’s a new trend in home improvement: making your own, custom colored, concrete stones, rocks, tiles, and bricks. I’ve tried it, and with the right preparation and instructions, have found that I can make my own building materials for just pennies. In a nutshell, here’s how it works….

Concrete Molds

First, you need to start with high quality concrete molds (although some people call them cement molds or plaster molds). There are companies that make concrete stone molds, patio molds, concrete paver molds, stone veneer molds, and brick veneer molds. Depending on the type of stone or tile, the mold may cover an area ranging from about four square feet to about seven square feet. A ledge stone mold, for example, may produce 16 ledge stones, while a river rock mold may produce 12 river rocks. Ideally, you should buy several molds so that you have a rocks or stones with a variety of appearances. Keep in mind, though, that you can use different colors or turn stones in different direction so that it doesn’t look like you’re using duplicate stone or rock shapes.

Preparing Concrete Molds

Once you have your concrete molds and are ready to begin your project, you need to apply a mold release product so you can easily take out the stones, tiles, or bricks when they’re finished. While some companies recommend using motor oil, the run off is bad for the environment. Some of the newer mold release products can be sprayed into theconcrete molds with a spray bottle – a much preferable method.

Mixing Colors

The artistry in making your own concrete rocks, tiles, and bricks is in finding and mixing the colors you like. Initially, you mix a base color into a concrete and sand mixture. Once you have this base color, you can add additional amounts and combinations of color to give you the variety you seek. Indeed, you can create an infinite variety of colors simply by adjusting the color densities. The best colors are made from synthetic iron oxides, although some people have had success with natural oxides, ceramic stains, and even latex paint.

Concrete Pouring and Curing

Your concrete mixture should be relatively stiff and not soupy. Using a scoop, you pour the concrete mixture into theconcrete paver molds and fill the mold to the top. If you simply want a veneer stone or tile, you can partially fill the mold.

If you’ve ever worked with concrete, you know that it’s important to get all of the air bubbles out after a pour. This can be accomplished by bouncing the concrete stone molds up and down, or by purchasing and using a vibrating table. Next, cover the mold in plastic and let it rest out of the direct sunlight.

The longer you let the concrete cure, the stronger it will be. The concrete molds and be unmolded after 24 hours, but it’s best to wait longer. Once you release the stones, tiles, or bricks, you should rewrap them in plastic to preserve the moisture and let them cure for an additional two weeks. Then, you simply have to apply sealant to your creations, and they’ll be ready to install.

As with any do-it-yourself project, you may decide ahead of time or worse, realize along the way that you may need local Raleigh, NC concrete professional to help you out. Just call and let them know what you need and if they can’t help you out they will point you in the right direction.

I’ve discovered that able to create a beautiful stone pathway, tile entryway, or river rock fireplace is incredibly rewarding. And to think that it all started when I read an article about concrete paver molds.

Your bathroom may be the smallest room in the house but it is perhaps one of the most important for your family. This is where you spend your alone time either relaxing or brainstorming your next life project. If your bathroom is in need of updating there are many things that you can do to create a pleasant, ambient feel. The bathroom can increase the value of your home if you upgrade it correctly. That is why it is essential that you create the right feel for your bathroom.

If it’s been some time since you last upgraded, you may need to change out the bath, shower, toilet and wash basin. If you don’t change everything that is old and shabby will really stand out in an upgraded bathroom. Whatever style that you are after, you have many to choose from like modern to retro or classical to hip. You will need to have a budget so that you don’t have the cost to upgrade going through the roof. Top of the range bathrooms can be found from companies creating bespoke designs. On the lower and more budget conscious end, you can easily get nice suites on the internet or at high street stores. Besides the design, you need to include the fitting costs into your budget. If you are unable to fit the appliances yourself most companies offer a fitting service but this may cost extra.

If you are not able to replace the entire bathroom at the moment, there are more inexpensive options. Old taps on a bath or wash basin can be replaced with new modern designs that can be found in any DIY store and can be fitted quite easily. There are several Lowes and Home Depot locations in the Triangle area that will have plenty of options to choose from. Alternatively, you may want to replace a tatty shower curtain with a clear screen to provide a cleaner look and feel. These options are very affordable and very easy to upgrade. New tiles on the wall or floor of the bathroom can be very effective and can offer a clean, sleek look to the room and are also very simple to maintain. When looking at flooring, whether it’s wood, carpet or tile, be sure that it can handle the humidity in your bathroom.

Yet another awesome way to save time, money, and completely makeover your bathroom is to hire a professional refinishing company. If you are looking for a great shower repair company in Cary who can also refinish tubs, countertops, and cabinets, then look no further. Specialized Refinishing, a North Carolina favorite, can handle all your home refinishing needs. The company is a great example of the many services offered by a licensed refinishing company that may not have even knew existed.
Apart from the main appliances in the bathroom there are several other ways to create a fresh new look. Decide on a color scheme that suits your mood. Soft furnishings such as bath mats, curtains or blinds and lots of soft, fluffy towels can be co-ordinated. With a huge selection of options, you should take your time and have fun coming up with the design of your bathroom. You can also add some color to the bathroom by adding pictures and paintings or you can create a focal point like potted plants or scented candles. The candles can also create a sensual mood with its aroma. Other affordable options include adding a new soap dispenser, toilet roll holder or toilet brush.

Finally, make sure you have adequate storage to hide away those bathroom essentials, keeping the look tidy and perhaps, most importantly, clean.

It isn’t often that I get real personal in my postings. In this case however, I am making an exception. This one is very near and dear to my heart. We recently bought a home and discovered the prior tenants had done all sorts of horrible things to the kitchen with a can of brown paint. Actually not only had they painted the kitchen with brown paint, but indeed, they had painted the whole house with brown paint – poorly. To top that off, they also painted the bright brass knobs everywhere with brown paint – making them just look dirty and old. Ugh.

So how to correct an issue like this? Will the girlfriend and I are still going back and forth as to exactly what colors and how this all should be handled, I of course have my own ideas. Because these people put latex paint on top of polyurethane, the latex will probably peel pretty quickly. We’ve also discovered that the latex picked up the dirt from people’s hands using the knobs and looks absolutely filthy. Trying to clean off that paint just removes the paint itself. that leaves the original clearcoat visible. Which makes the whole kitchen look pretty ragged. We really didn’t want to have to redo all the cabinets, but it probably will end up requiring doing in the future.

The obvious and most “effective” way of handling this would be to thoroughly sand everything down to the wood, refinish and then rehang the cabinet doors. This would require painstaking effort on every door and cabinet in the kitchen. Still cheaper than buying a whole new set of cabinets and having them installed, but certainly time-consuming. The next option would be to strip off all the latex which should be possible with some general paint remover, to see if we could get back down to the original polyurethane finish, and then go from there. Just not sure which way to go. in my own mind, this comes down to if you noggin to do it right, just don’t do it. Maybe they didn’t understand that latex won’t stick to polyurethane like this without some advanced preparation which they didn’t do. Now we have nothing but a mess on our hands that will require some sort of fixing before too long.

kitchen-mayhem-smPart of me just wants to go to Lowes.com and get new cabinets, but that would be more like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The cabinets are actually fine, just all rednecked up. a another part of me says call a local company like specialized refinishing and have them come out and knock this out in probably a day or two. I’ve already talked to them about refinishing the bathtubs in the house. All of them have seen better days, and it’s actually not that expensive to get a nice clean reglaze on your bathtub.  while the bathtubs will look good refinished, I think it might be just nicer to replace the sinks in this bathroom areas. Also very possibly Mayor places sink in the kitchen, but I digress. That means I could very possibly knock out a couple three or four birds with a stone.  It would obviously cost more than doing it myself, but it would be done quickly and life back to normal also quickly. then of course there’s the doing it myself – which is probably what will end up happening. Or the girlfriend – amazingly, she loves this kind of stuff. Perhaps I’ll just kick back and wait for HER to take care of this problem 🙂

looking at it in this picture above– it doesn’t look quite so atrocious, but up close and personal, this whole brown thing just doesn’t work. Some people should just NOT be trusted with a brush and a can of paint.

 

home-improvement-vector-illustration_zkAnEMO__LRoom additions, house expansions or second stories may be anything from bathrooms, game rooms, media rooms, kitchens, and even home offices. With lots more people working remotely, a property office is definitely a useful addition and can have got all the amenities of an outside office. For working Mom’s or Dad’s, having a home business office keeps you near to the children.

When home remodeling projects get gone after the surface of the wish list, your honey-do list appears to grow exponentially whether it is a Do-it-Yourself project. When these projects rise above your capabilities it is prudent to talk which has a professional remodeling contractor to join up before you start  home additions.

Homeowners can either build out or add up from a existing building. Natural lighting adds warmth and energy efficiency and then we often turn to the sunny side of your home when deciding where you can build. More sustainable uses of one’s should be the surface of mind today and needs a skilled green home remodel contractor to employ these eco-friendly ideas for your sunroom or eat in kitchen. Some easy methods to begin controlling energy costs and adding value to your house is to apply friendly to the environment home improvements like Low-E windows, low VOC reflective paint, energy-efficient roofing, and efficient insulation.

Master Bedroom addition. Then, apply the same procedure when you did together with your planning department and draw in a piece of paper your Existing Floor Plan and Proposed Floor Plan together; Existing Floor Plan being the present configuration of your property and Proposed Floor Plan being the proposed configuration for that addition. All you have to do is always to show to your Plans Examiner (Building Department representative) whatever you have in mind. The purpose of this is to get around information possible from him/her to create a complete pair of approved plans for construction. Again, ask the million-dollar question: “what will you be needing from me to get my Plans approved and start building?”

So it is your choice but with professionals like this you will know your house improvement project should come out right using the finest expert results. They will also enable you to find approaches to cut costs if there exists any work which you’ll want to do yourself.

From your home custom design, towards the materials to use inside the finish, to even leveling in the home, the best custom home contractors knows how to proceed, and the way to build a custom property that’s likely to last. Though finding the proper contractor may be daunting, if you know things to search and the ways to look, the search are not daunting as it can sound.

Before hiring a contractor in Raleigh for your new custom homes, it is vital to work with the right resources that may help you find a reputable contractor for the job. Remember that you are interested in a custom home builder and not simply any production home builder, so no home will be exactly alike and they may well not fit your style or taste. The important thing to watch out for a builder could be the quality of training. Is it an excellent of training that is going to be capable with the items that you would like done? Is the builder having enough experience? Does the company have good references? These are things to consider when obtaining a custom home builder.

Electricians working together to install a breaker panel. Models are actual electricians - all work is performed according to industry standard code and safety practices.

Have you been thinking of getting your property totally rewired? By replacing your electric wiring, particularly if you’ve got an older house, which I personally am working on right now, you can save a bit on your actual electric bills andd are able to make your house safer. Occasionally, even newer houses may reap the benefits of going in and redoing some wiring. This can actually be a fairly beneficial mod to make to ANY home – young or old.

Enhance security. Old wiring includes numerous challenges. While you can maybe turn your head to an electric short, this is NOT a good thing to do. I remember in a few different houses over the years growing up, we knew not to touch certain things – or get that little twinge. Having grown up in farmland, and experience a good jolt from an electric fence more than once, I knew exactly what the little twinge meant. I didn’t know enough in those days to know it really SHOULD have been fixed, but I did know enough to not go and touch it LOL. Electric shorts frequently cause harms that are serious and house fires. Occasionally, bad wiring can destroy your electric appliances and parts inducing you to spend far more cash on replacing them. Light bulbs going out far too frequently? That’s often one of the indications that you’ve got some issues with your wiring. The last rental home I lived in had some sort of issue with the range and range light – it would last about two weeks.  Kept thinking it must be just bad bulbs, but after replacing the bulb a half dozen times in just a few months, it became evident that there were issues there.  I just gave up replacing it.

wiring in your unpermitted space

wiring in your unpermitted space

Many times, people don’t really spend much effort on wiring in their unpermitted space projects. Now, just because you don’t have an inspector breathing down your neck on these things, does NOT mean that you should ever cut corners on electric.  You SHOULD be bringing in a certified electrician regardless.  Yes, it might be cheaper to to do it yourself – it’s not exactly rocket science, but… Doing it right can be the difference between safe, efficient power and a smoking pile of “used to be” house.

Update to a system that is better. The kind of electric wiring which was in use years past may not be safe now. Updating your wiring can allow you to stay informed about safety standards. Actually, there are laws that regulate the kind of wiring that’s okay in commercial and residential properties. Updating your house’s wiring to a modern system can allow it to be much more efficient and safer.

Foster electric efficiency. Electricity is electricity is electricity, BUT… If you have shorts, or weak connections, you could definitely be losing energy efficiency as well as setting yourself up for a nasty little electrical fire. Many dwellings will have problems with energy losses due to old, defective and/or worn out wiring. While it may sound expensive to to rewire a house, in a good number of cases, overall home efficiency can be improved and savings realized not too far down the road. You can find good electrical contractors in your area. Taking a step to update the wiring of your house is one solution that is simple to turn your property more energy efficient, as well as overall greener for the environment.

Foster property worth. No one desires to stay in a house which has electric parts and old wiring. Having an electrician replace the one which is worn out and install appropriate wiring can make your house more appealing to possible buyers. You’re capable to supply an efficient and much safer property to anybody who’s interested in purchasing your house.