Sheryl Simon's Blog
Does your bathroom look vintage but not in a cool or trendy sort of way? If so, and you don’t have the resources or time to give your bathroom a complete remodel, you can make some minor changes to your bathroom to freshen it up.
For instance, you can plan a weekend DIY project to refinish your bathroom cabinets and give them an updated look. All you need is a few materials, paint and some elbow grease.
Materials you’ll need:
Fine grade sandpaper, water-resistant (durable) paint, primer, painters’ tape, small tarp or drop cloth, small paintbrush, small roller and a screwdriver.
If you’re looking to replace your visible hardware (an easy task and gives it some modern flair!), you’ll also need some new knobs and/or pulls.
Once you’ve gathered your tools and materials together, you can get started.
Step 1: Remove the hardware and position painters’ tape
Unscrew all of the cabinet’s hardware so you can remove any drawers, along with the cabinet door(s). Put these aside and lay them flat on the tarp or drop cloth in preparation for painting. Next, use painters’ tape to cover any areas you don’t want to accidentally get paint on.
Tip: Place any screws and other pieces in a small baggie so they don’t get lost.
Step 2: Sand down all surfaces
Take the sandpaper and gently sand down the cabinet, door and drawer surfaces. Next, thoroughly wipe them down to remove any residual dust, grime or dirt.
Step 3: Prime the cabinet
Once the drawers are clean, you’re ready to prime your surface. Give it a good coat, you might need two, depending on the current stain or paint of your cabinet. Let the primer completely dry.
Step 4: Paint the cabinet
Take your roller and paint the larger surfaces of your cabinet, including the front of the door(s) and drawers. Use the small paintbrush to catch any details the roller can’t properly reach. If there are still some tight grooves or other areas left the paintbrush can’t adequately cover, try using a craft paintbrush to dab the paint onto these areas. Let all surfaces thoroughly dry. Apply a second coat, if necessary.
Keep in mind, if you go with an oil-based paint, which tends to last longer and is more durable, you’ll need extra time for the paint to dry, along with good ventilation. If not, you can go with a semi-gloss or satin paint that doesn’t have the same strong odor.
Step 5: Reattach door(s) & drawers
Reattach any hardware that was removed earlier and then re-screw the door(s) and drawers back onto the cabinet. If you really want a completely new look, go ahead and replace those knobs and/or pulls.
A new coat of paint can do wonders for any old bathroom, especially if a replacement isn’t in your near future. Try this easy makeover and see what a difference it really makes.
When you’re a new homeowner in a new community, you don’t always know how to handle unforeseen emergencies. Before that day arrives, take the time to learn your community so that a minor issue doesn’t become a major catastrophe.
Handling Household Emergencies
Whether it’s a burst pipe or a broken window, household emergencies always seem to happen after hours or on weekends when service providers and insurance agents aren’t always available. When your roof leaks during that Sunday morning rainstorm or you find puddles in front of the dishwasher, you’ll wish you already had a relationship with a plumber or a roofer.
Often, emergency repair crews charge extra for weekend or evening callouts. They also might offer a temporary repair to get you through the weekend, but you’ll still need to have a regular service provider come in to complete the work during the week.
Find a Source & Have a Backup
The service provider you choose for regular projects and new installation may not be the only number you need. Ask them if they provide emergency services. If not, who do they recommend? Here’s a brief list of on-call experts you need the names and numbers of to get you through the off hour challenges.
Emergency Roofers: These folks don’t reroof your home, necessarily. Their expertise is in finding the source of a leak — or potential leak in the case of storm damage — and placing a protective cover over it until inclement weather passes. Once the weather improves, they usually offer to inspect the roof for damages and refer you to a crew that performs insurance repairs.
Electrical Issues: Start with your local utility. They often offer emergency services and procedures to prevent a crisis. Once the critical time passes though, you’ll need to involve certified electricians to repair or rewire your home.
Natural Gas or Propane Emergencies: Likewise, should prompt you to call your provider. This is particularly true if you smell gas and cannot identify or turn off the source when checking for extinguished pilot lights on stoves, furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces. Call the gas company emergency line immediately. But do not use your cell phone inside or leave family members or pets in the house. Go outside or to a neighbor’s house to call. They’ll mitigate any urgent issue and propose what needs repairing, but don’t usually repair those issues themselves. Instead, they’ll direct you to licensed contractors experienced in residential gas-line installation and repair.
Weather-Related Emergencies and Natural Disasters: They can happen any time, no matter where you live in the country. Be proactive in learning where the nearest shelters are for tornadoes and hurricanes. Learn the evacuation route and drive it several times if you live in a flood-prone, tsunami or water-surge area. Contact your local emergency services or the American Red Cross to learn disaster preparedness techniques and to find local information.
25 Prestwick Lane, Mashpee, MA 02649
Termites and other wood-destroying organisms can destroy a home in no time. Even if you have stucco on the outside, you have wood under the stucco. If a piece breaks off, termites and other bugs can get inside and destroy the walls. Wood is everywhere in our homes. Even block homes have wood in them. The trusses for the roof and the floor joists are usually wood. Keeping pests away from the house is part of maintenance that every homeowner should address.
Ways to Keep Pests Away From Your House
If your home does not have shrubs, flowers and bushes next to it, don’t plant anything there except for low flowers or shrubs. Keep them at least a foot away from the house. Plants are like superhighways into your home for bugs and rodents. If you do keep bushes next to your home, be sure to keep them trimmed at least a foot away from the house, and pick up any plant debris such as leaves and grass cuttings.
Termites are not the only bugs to worry about. Fleas, gnats, mosquitoes and other bugs make their home around your house. These bugs bite and are usually make spending time outside uncomfortable. Be sure you don’t have anything that will hold water near your house, such as old tires, empty flower pots or birdbaths. Items that hold water are a big invitation for pests.
Keeping Pests Away
If you prefer not to hire a pest control company, you can often do your own pest control as long as you keep up with it and keep the area around your house free from debris. Always choose a pest control spray that is from a known brand and follow the instructions faithfully. If you have other pests that are not common, such as Japanese beetles or you are getting overrun with Asian ladybugs, always read the label to see if the product you choose will control these types of bugs.
You could also try planting certain flowers and herbs that are known to keep pests away. For example, basil, garlic and lavender all tend to keep mosquitoes away. You could plant one or all of these, or create a garden with several plants to keep a variety of bugs away from the house. If you have pets be careful with some plants as they may be poisonous to cats and dogs.
Chemicals and Pets
If you have pets, be sure to keep them away from the areas you sprayed until the spray dries. The instructions for the spray usually include information that will help keep your pets safe. If you need to spray your entire yard, spray a section at a time, so animals have available outdoor space while you wait for the treated area to be ready for use again.
If you have the opportunity to design and build your own home, you have the freedom to compile the features you desire and join them together into the perfect house. As you work together with a builder or architect, you may find that some details need to be cut from your plan to stay within budget. Even if you’re unable to complete everything immediately, it is wise to lay the groundwork for future improvements. Here are two major features you should plan for during the building process.
You may not be able to finish your basement as a game room or den right away. If your builder knows how you plan to use the space in the future, they can build in components that will make that transition easier to work through. If you are planning a walk-out basement, build the framing for an exterior door. If you plan to add a washing machine, utility sink or bathroom to your basement, running electricity and plumbing during initial construction can get you set up for success.
Installing solar panels will help you save on home utility costs over time, but the initial purchase can be a considerable expense. If you know you will add solar paneling to your home at some point, prepare for it by running electrical in your attic and roofing now. Invest in a solid roof structure so you can manage minimal upkeep and keep your roof in shape for adding in the panels when you’re ready.
If you can’t afford some of the home features you desire during your initial build don’t just forget about them completely. Always speak to your builder about what you want and get their advice on cost-saving measures you can take now to set yourself up for augmenting your home after the build is complete.