Linda Zelnio's Home Improvement Blog

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Great Ideas For Remodeling A Garage Into A Living Space


The garage is often overlooked as usable living space. A lot of people just use it as a storage space for all of their extra belongings, but, even if you park your car in there, there is usually a bit of space left that you can use to extend your living space. With that in mind, here are some great ideas for remodeling a garage into a living space that can add value.

1. A Workshop

Your garage provides the perfect spot for a workshop. For example, you can set aside a corner of your garage and put in a heavy-duty work bench. If your garage still has exposed beams on the walls, you can finish that off with a peg board. Use that in combination with various hooks, and you can have a convenient spot to hang your hand tools. Install a task light on your work bench. When you have a big project to work on, just park your car outside for a bit. You will have all the space you need to work on your project with your tools on hand and neatly organized.

2. An Entertainment Den

You can transform your garage into a room for entertainment. Put in some durable carpeting and then wire this area for your home electronics. You can put in your entertainment center and include a big TV, speakers, DVD player, video games and whatever else you want to use. Put in a couple of recliners or a comfortable sofa set if you plan to have guests over.


garage-gyms3. Home Gym

Maybe you need a place to work out. The garage would be a perfect place to set up a home gym. A workout bench is usually too big for inside the house, but you can easily put it in your garage. Add some shelves for storing your other workout gear, like dumbbells, a jump rope and an exercise mat if you do floor exercises. You can put in a small TV as well, just in case you want to play any exercise videos.




garrage-office4. Home Office

Perhaps you need a space to set up your home office. The garage will be ideal because it takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your family’s household activities. Make sure you have enough outlets for your office equipment and good lighting. Make this area comfortable if you are going to work in this environment.



5. Extra Bedroom

You can even convert your garage into an extra bedroom. This would be perfect for guests or for your growing teenager who just wants his own space apart from everyone. Explore options for temperature control because your home’s HVAC system usually does not extend into the garage area.

6. Extra Bathroom

You can even convert your garage into an extra bathroom if you can have the required plumbing installed. It can be a simple as a half bath with just the toilet and a sink.

There are countless ways in which you can transform your garage into a living space. Be creative, and write down your plan. If you think through it carefully, you can have that extra space that you have been wanting for a long time.

How To Paint The Outside Of Your House


Every spring, homeowners are in a quandary as to where to begin spring cleaning. There are so many things to do between tidying up after winter, caring for yard and garden and sprucing up the house, it can be very hard to make a choice. One job that is fairly quick and that has a tremendous impact on the appearance of your home is painting. You can give your house a whole new look with a paint job so that it looks great right away; even though, you still have lots of outdoor chores to attend to. Read on to learn how to paint the outside of your house for the best results.

In the springtime, the weather is usually mild so you can paint the exterior of your home comfortably and without a lot of interference from the elements. When you paint first, you will not have to worry about getting paint on completed gardening projects, such as freshly mulched flowerbeds. If you hit the timing just right, you can paint before your spring flowers come up and before you begin summertime entertaining.

Additionally, it is a good idea to get a solid coat of paint on the house before the punishing summer sun gets too hot. Paint gives the exterior of your home good protection. If you put off painting, you may find that you have more repairs to attend to before you can paint. On top of that, a good quality of exterior latex will dry to the most protective and durable finish when the weather is moderate. If you wait until it gets got and dry out, the paint may dry too fast. If this happens, you will end up sacrificing some of the protection paint could have provided for your home exterior. Even in moderate weather, it is a good idea to schedule your paint job for cooler times of day and to apply paint to the shady portions of the house working your way out of the path of the sun.
Generally speaking, spring is less windy than summer. A hot, windy day is definitely a bad day for painting. Not only does the hot wind interfere with the proper drying of the paint, it can be dangerous. It is not a good idea to be climbing ladders and walking around on the roof in high winds. Even without this safety consideration, wind brings in lots of contaminants that can cause the surface of your newly painted house to look dingy and rough and attract mildew.

Before you begin painting, check out the long term weather forecast. If storms are brewing, you would naturally want to put off your painting project. Look for a stretch of time when you can wait at least a full day after a rain to begin your project and have three or four good, clear, moderate days following the completion of your job.
For the longest lasting paint job, be sure to make good preparations. Power wash the outside of your home and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Follow the cleaning with a coat of high quality latex primer. This is especially important if the house has not been painted previously or if the surface has a lot of imperfections that you have needed to patch. Follow up the primer with two coats of the best 100% acrylic latex you can afford. This type of paint is colorfast, flexible and durable. In fact, if you do a good job with high class paint, you can expect it to last a decade.

Doing your exterior painting first in the springtime will get a big job out of the way and free you up to concentrate on your smaller chores around the yard. Your house will look great and be more than presentable for spring and summer entertaining, and you will be able to pat yourself on the back for your smart planning.

Remodeling the Exterior of Your Home


When you, as a dedicated homeowner, decide to remodel the exterior of your home, its worth remembering that you can add significant value to the value of your house, but the work must be carried out to a high standard. However, there are certain home improvement projects that can add significantly more value than others. For example, these might include enhancing the backyard landscaping, adding an extension, or even adding a new roof.

Whatever project you choose to undertake, its always best to walk the exterior of your home and adopt the perspective of someone who does not live there. Looking at the house from the point of view of a stranger will provide a more objective approach as to which changes should be made to the outside of the building in particular. You should consider exactly which parts of the house should be remodeled to add greater curb appeal.

Once the list is complete, be sure to consider every factor including how much it will cost to draw up plans – architects can be very expensive (but they are essential for larger jobs)  , how much it will cost to hire the subcontractors, and, of course the cost of any materials involved. Make sure that you know all of these things before deciding to proceed forward with the project. If you dont know them, then you might not be able to afford the project without the use of finance, or it may actually turn out that the costs aren’t as bad as anticipated and you find that you don’t actually require a loan.

Changing the Color

Selecting a different color scheme is probably the easiest way to transform the exterior of the house. Check the neighborhood, and select colors that blend in with the overall theme of all the other houses on the block. This does not mean your house has to completely blend in with everyone elses but you should be sympathetic to the overall color scheme involved. If you are a bit more daring then you can always opt for a series of complementary colors which can add an instant dramatic effect without being over the top in-your-face. Even a more mundane neutral color can be accented with bright or dark complementary shades to achieve a bold yet not overpowering effect.

Roofing the House

It may be that the only thing that needs to be done to the exterior of your home is simply to have it re-roofed. This can (and should) be done by professionals, usually with just a few days of work. This particular change has  the ability to alter the overall impact of the exterior of the home by selecting different roofing materials. For example, if the house has a shingle roof then why not consider a metal roof, or architectural tile. Beware though, because before heavier roofing material (such as concrete tile) can be installed on an existing home, the roof system should to be surveyed to ensure it can handle the load, and this can add significant cost to the overall project.

Decorative Touches

Adding shutters or window trims also make a dramatic impact on the aesthetic quality of the exterior of the home. Painting the porch or deck might be all that is needed to add a decorative style to the front of the house, whereas, removing a clutter of landscaping, shrubs and bushes can quickly transform the yard and require nothing more than a bit of hard work to increase the value of your house.

There are many ways to remodel the exterior of your home and help add value to it.  The range of  home improvement projects fall between easy do-it-yourself jobs and ones that requires the skills of a general contractor or subcontractor.

In any case, however you choose to transform the exterior of your house, it should always be done with the intention of enhancing the neighborhood while increasing the value of the property.

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