Home Improvements – Installing A Suspended Ceiling

A suspended ceiling is usually installed in basements; and is lightweight, practical and easy to install. It allows access to pipes, wiring and ductwork for future servicing.

A grid system is hung from ceiling joists or the existing ceiling. The grid pieces include wall angles, main tees and cross tees.

Decide on the height of ceiling below all ducts and other overhead obstructions keeping above the highest door and window frames.

Snap a level chalk line on the walls at this height. Starting at one corner and working around the room fasten the wall angles by aligning the lower edge on the chalk line and nailing through the wallboard into the wall studs. At outside corners, cut out a portion of the upper part of each angle, then position one angle overlapping the other. For an inside corner simply lap one corner over the other.

Main tees are set in place on the wall angles. Mark their locations on the walls and attach screw eyes to ceiling joists to support the wire hangers. To determine hanger length, temporarily clamp a main tee section on top of the wall angles at opposite sides of the room. Tie a string tautly between the hanger holes. Insert hanger wires in the screw eyes and bend them directly underneath the string.

Where main tees will run parallel but not directly beneath joists, nail 1 inch X 3 inch lumber bridges across the joists and insert screw eyes into them. Then determine hanger wire length as above.

Rest one end of each main tee on a wall angle and attach the other end to a wire hanger then attach intermediate hangers. Hang all main tees across the room splicing as necessary.

Cut the cross tees to length (if that is necessary) to fit the borders of the ceiling grid. Place cut ends on the wall angles and snap the other ends into the main tee slots. Working across the room, snap all cross tees in place.

With the entire grid work in place, slip the ceiling panels up through the openings and lay them on the flanges of the angles and tees.

This will give you a pretty good idea of what’s involved with the installation of a suspended ceiling system. Most home improvement centres will be able to provide you with installation instructions and diagrams for a grid system suspended ceiling.

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Moving? How to Transform Your Home to Centre Stage

What’s all the Buzz about Staging?

Although “Staging” is the buzzword that we are now hearing on a regular basis with Real Estate, the concept of staging has actually been around for many years.

The first people to use the process of staging a home for sale were builders. They recognized that it was very difficult for people to connect with an empty home. By staging or setting the home up in a welcoming and inviting way, they discovered that potential buyers would form emotions with the home and that increased sales. It became their #1 marketing tool, and the entire building industry changed.

As the styles of houses changed from the basic box bungalow to the custom built homes of today, builders realized that they also had to change the process of how show homes were staged. It wasn’t just about putting a few pieces of furniture into a room and some art on the wall. They needed to hire professionals who knew how to best use the space, with the proper size furnishings, as well as showing options for how the additional rooms (such as lofts, the home office or den and bonus rooms) could be used.

Making that emotional connection between the potential purchaser and the home become the utmost of importance. Is Staging just a Fad promoted by Television?

The onslaught of shows on HGTV and DIY channels, has done a lot to promote staging in the re-sale marketplace, unfortunately they promote it as a new trend at de-personalizing your house for sale. The theory behind this is people don’t want to move into someone else’s house they want to purchase a home for that is especially for themselves. While I agree with this theory in part, I believe much of what is being portrayed or taught is actually missing the point.

While the potential purchaser is looking for a home for them, it is still the “Emotional Connect” that guides them to choosing which one to purchase. Depersonalizing a home to the point of a minimalist can actually feel cold and unwelcoming. Staging a home to show it at its best potential and warmth rather than an open slate can actually bridge that sale faster.

Then, there are the DIY shows that tell us that by following these simple rules anyone can stage their home for sale. While this definitely can help, unless you have a good grasp of spacial awareness, an understanding of how colors work with emotions, and a good eye for balance and design principles you might be left feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, ending up with the same as what you started with. Ultimately, in most cases, if you knew how to do it, you would have already done it…

What’s the difference between Staging a home for Sale and Staging a home for Living?

This is easily explained. When Staging a home for living, it is all about you… all about your lifestyle, the things in life you value, and honoring those things. When staging a home for sale it is all about preparing a home to sell for the most money in the shortest amount of time. Your personal taste in color and decor are not important, the decor and colors that are in style and desired by the broadest selection of new home-buyers is going to sell the home faster.

Why is Staging more important now than ever?

While it is always important to have your home present at it’s very best to sell, it is even more important in a balanced or buyers market. When the market has more houses listed to sell than buyers to purchase, your house has to stand out above all the competition if you want to make that sale.

Bringing in a professional staging company can help you prepare your home to show at its very best.First and foremost, do your homework… cheapest is not always best, neither is the most expensive. Look for reputable businesses (preferably registered with the BBB, and affiliated with reputable Staging Associations). Check for testimonials and view photos etc. Then, meet and talk with a Staging professional.
Most will come and do a “free evaluation walk through” prior to giving an estimate. This is the perfect time to “interview” the staging company. If you connect with the stagers, and you have checked out their work, it is likely a good fit.

There are many options available to you the homeowner in preparing your home to sell. The staging company can come in and prepare a “room by room” recommendation report. I strongly recommend using a company that provides both the verbal walk through as well as a written report, as statistics show people typically only remember about 20% of what is heard vs. 100% when written. This is typically done for the DIY type personality (often custom packages can be prepared for the individual client, that may want to do part but not all).

As well, it is not always necessary to remove all of your furnishings etc. And re-furnish with rentals. Usually, the staging professionals can recommend areas that can be “improved upon” this can be supplemented with rentals while using your own furnishings.

Finally, there is the option of “vacant staging”, if the homeowner is planning on moving into their new home prior to the sale of the current home, many companies offer complete rental furniture and accessories to completely furnish the vacant home (showing the homes potential rather than potential flaws… )

To learn more about “Transforming your home to Centre stage” feel free to give us a call.

Janet Voth is the owner of Designing Spacez, and as head designer she proudly holds the accredited title of “CRSS” Canadian Real Estate Staging Specialist. As a CRSS, Janet has completed in depth training and the design requirements necessary for successful Real Estate Staging in Canada. As well Janet holds credentials and is a member in good standing with both the CRDA- Canadian ReDesigners Association and PRES – Professional Real Estate Staging Training in Canada.

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Achieving Healthy Weight Loss with Home Fitness Centres

Want to lose weight but don’t have time to go to a gym? Can you achieve healthy weight loss from the comfort of your own home? Well, a home fitness centre may be the ideal answer to your problems. A daily workout at home may be the solution you need, but then how do you decide what fitness equipment to buy? Is a home fitness centre really what you need? How much will it cost you? These are some of the questions you need to answer before you decide to invest in a home fitness centre.

Basic Equipment Required For a Home Gym

Setting up your home gym can be a formidable task. Some of the basic equipment you need in your home gym to achieve healthy weight loss is listed below.

o The Step Aerobic Step: The step is a must-have in any home gym due to its multi-functionality. It can be used in cardio activities such as step aerobics and can also function as a weight bench.
o Adjustable Weight Bench: If step aerobics is not your cup of tea, maybe you could try a weight bench instead of a step. A weight bench can be used for chest and back exercises or even for a quick abs workout. An adjustable bench is preferred over a flat bench since you can do incline and decline exercises with it.
o Dumbbell Set: A dumbbell set that has two each of 5-, 8- and 12-lb weights and comes with its own compact rack is a valuable addition to your home gym. The dumbbells are rubber hex dumbbells which will not roll away when put down.
o Barbell Set: Get a barbell set with a bar and weights. This along with your dumbbell set can give your body a more strenuous workout with heavier weights. Various workout options targeting different muscle groups can be planned for a healthy weight loss.
o Weight Lifting Gloves: Lifting weights could probably make your hands a bit rough. Weight lifting gloves that protect your hands will be helpful.
o Resistance Bands and Tubes: You have your dumbbells; you have your barbells – now what? Well, resistance bands, of course. These are small enough to fit in your suitcase and can give you a full-body workout wherever you are.
o Stability Ball: Stability balls are the latest trend in home fitness equipment. They improve balance and are also good for strength training. Use your exercise ball for lower-back exercises, push-ups or for an abdominal workout.
o Adjustable Ankle Weights: A good pair of ankle weights is helpful in improving the stability muscles of the lower body. Ankle weights can be added to moves such as leg extensions or standard leg lifts and are helpful to work towards healthy weight loss.
o Exercise Mat: An exercise mat is one last thing that you will need for your fitness routine at home. You can use your exercise mat for yoga, toning exercises, Pilates, ab workouts and many other routines.

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Incorporate These Useful Home Improvement Ideas

Tired of looking at the same décor everyday? Follow these simple and useful home improvement ideas to bring about a visual change in style and impact. There is no need to splurge on expensive items to give your home a new look. Look around you and decide how you can re-arrange the furniture and introduce a few pieces from another room to create a new seating area. Browse EBay for any unusual objects or pieces of furniture which may suit your home. They generally sell used and sometimes antique furniture for a throw away price.

Spruce up your living room

Introduce the colors of spring into your living room. Give a cheery décor to the dining area and all areas that have public access. The kitchen is also a place where friends drop in to have a chat and a quick cup of tea. A fresh coat of paint makes a world of a difference to a dull drab home.

A useful home improvement idea would be to highlight one wall with a bright color. Run the same color on the cornice of your ceiling keeping the rest of the ceiling a pale color. You will be amazed to see how this brightens the room. Change the lighting and use highlighters to focus on any particular object that you would have stand out like for instance, pieces of art or architectural details. Use mood-elevating task lighting or a couple of hanging pendants over your sink or island in the kitchen. If you are using track lighting suspended from a single point on the ceiling, manipulate the direction of the curve.

Make your bedroom a haven in your home

Use these useful home improvement suggestions to make a transformation in your bedroom.

Remove all the heavy curtains and drapes and go in for a mix and match of color. Create a stunning room by using a single design with large floral prints or a theme. Cut out one of the flowers and make a frame to hang over the headboard. Use two or three of the colors on the design to sow full length curtains. The color scheme could be placed horizontally and need not be proportionate. This means that the top and bottom layer could be more than the one used in the centre or you could make the bottom layer larger than the second and use a smaller layer for the top. Use your eye to decide which would look nice. Use all of the design when making your coverlet so that it drapes all around and overhangs on the bed. Use the smaller prints on the cushion so that the whole room has a theme. Throw in a few bed side rugs, make sure the lampshade matches any one colour and voila! You have a new bedroom!

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Make Home Improvement on Budget a Reality

Home is the place where the heart is. One of the best ways to improve quality of our life is to spruce up the home we live in. Although home improvements can cost unlimited amounts, it does not always require a fortune to improve the interiors of your home. You can carry out amazing changes in your apartment on budget.

Identify Misses

First of, when you are on budget it is important to identify the areas which require replacement or improvement in your home. For, the prime purpose of home improvement is to ensure no pending repairs post the renovation. This would help you plan the direction of the entire home repair project. Depending on the nature of projects you can decide upon the budget, duration and other factors for home improvement.

Gear up for change

Now you can gear up for the change you need. You should research online and visit home décor shops to get ideas for the purpose. You can save a lot of money by DIY on your previous, used or antique furniture, fittings and cabinets. It is important to check out price differences offered by second-hand shops, antique shops and online lists.

Knowing the expenses helps you get ready for the expenditure too. You can also check out your credit limit available. Home improvements can be one of the smart ways to enhance the valuation of your home. You can also check out if you are eligible for homeowner loans. Leveraging home equity you can draw substantial funding without any hassles.

Some handy home renovation hacks on budget

Kitchen

Kitchen is one place where whole family meets multiple times in a day. A change in the look of kitchen space can transform the feel of your entire home. You can consider changing the colour or cabinet doors for this. Do not forget to visit thrift stores or reuse centers to find the surprisingly cheap deals. Go for contrasting colour and you would revolutionise the appearance of your home. Also pay attention to kitchen lighting. If you need to replace any of the electronic or kitchen gadgets, opt for energy-efficient replacements. It would save you energy bills and keep your home updated.

Living Room

A renovation cannot be complete without bringing change in the living room. For low-cost home improvement, consider redoing the furniture placement. A simple shift of couch from right to left can bring more than expected alteration to your home view. In case you have a centre wall, consider using a bright and unique colour for that wall. Then deck it up with picture art, wall art or an embellished stole gifted by your grandma. The bright walls can steal the attention from other little flaws around.

If you need a new couch, consider using the old frame and get it covered up in a contemporary style. This would bring the modern look with least expense.

Bed Rooms

Changing bed room furniture could be expensive. You can consider changing the bedding, rug, curtains, cushions and every other add-on in your room. If your side tables are old-fashioned, you can consider using attractive wall paper on the front of drawers. It would not only bring a new look but would also cease the boredom owing to old furniture.

Another quick hack could be using darker colour for ceiling. Change in the colour of ceiling would bring a novel look in your personal space. We watch more of the ceilings in the bed rooms after all!

Lavatory

Do not overlook leakages and chipped paint as they are common in the bathroom area. Change faucets if there is any fault. Try to organise if you have too many objects in your bathroom.

Besides, simply changing the mug, bucket and rug can beautify your lavatory. You can introduce an attractive canvas cover for the new feel.

Front and Patio space

For small apartments, an additional sitting space can add enough value to the property. You can consider de-cluttering the backyard and incorporating chair for 2 people at least. You can add a beautiful cushion to an organiser and create a seat. This add-on would not cost more than £20 and enliven the dull space in your home.

Needless to say, do not leave the broken nuts and bolts on window panels or side entries. A new colour for outer walls is a must even if you have decided to keep the inner walls untouched.

In case your room walls are already neat, pick one wall in each section and use your creativity to bring the desired look.

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