Tuesday, May 30, 2006

D.I.Y. will never DIE

I am one hundred percent sure that D.I.Y. will never Die - but have you heard the recent reports that show people moving away from Do It Yourself trends of home improvement? - big stores are declaring staggering losses for the first time in many years on D.I.Y. products.

The buzz is that D.I.F.M. - Do It For Me (or D.I.F.Y. - Do It For You) is taking over many areas of the do it yourself home improvement industry.

One of the Biggest suppiers of timber, hardware, paint and all of the thousands of other great products available in this superstore - now provides around 40 different services that you can contract directly for someone (presumably well qualified) to come and do the improvements for you in your home.

Another of the biggest superstores already has 24 services and is racing to catch up on this latest trend.

While these services will provide professionals from your local area - and I guess you can believe that the workmanship and finish should be of a reasonably high standard - because important store names and reputations are at stake - D.I.Y. just isn't going to fade away.

Having experienced professional help is great - phew what a relief just to get the job done and done right - but there will always be projects that can be done successfuly BY YOU in your home - which will save you money, give you a great feeling of accomplishment and increase your knowledge ready for your next home improvement and financing project.

D.I.Y. will never DIE - forget electical work, plumbing and anything else that you don't have enough knowledge about to do safely and correctly - you can leave those projects to the experts - but what about those kitchen cupboards, your outdoor living area... your Deck Design, Pergola Construction or a great easy to put together Gazebo Kit!

Don't lose heart if you were just planning a new project when you heard these reports - remember... every experienced tiler once upon a time laid his or her first tile - so if you have gathered all the information you can get your hands on and are ready to have a go - go for it (if in doubt - try tiling your laundry room or store room first - give yourself hands on experience in a less visable area.)

Decking is another great home improvement project - you can build a simple ground level deck in your spare time and later build onto it and expand your outdoor living space. (the wonderful smell of freshly cut timber is right up there with freshly cut grass)

Pergolas are just about the quickest, easiest and most economical way to totally change the look of your home - a plain back wall of a home can become a mediterranean paradise in a matter of hours - not ready to dig deep pergola postholes and get started? - why not try an nice small garden arbor first - to build on your experience.

Without a doubt it's easier to contract your project out - the services these superstores offer is a wonderful addition and will provide many people without the inclination or time to renovate or build - the opportunity to also improve their homes and quality of home life...

But, hey - another great reason why D.I.Y. will never die is that if there is no longer any D.I.Y. then there won't be any I.D.T - isn't it wonderful when you actually finish a project to a high standard and you can say "I Did That"

I am ready to stand up and shout - I'm a BOOMER and I LOVE D.I.Y.

About the Author
Susan Eland writes home improvement articles, tips, plans and ideas on the different ways you can improve the value of your home or simply improve the quality of your home life - you can read more articles at Home Improvement and Financing.com

Monday, April 24, 2006

Outdoor Living 2006

Preparing for Outdoor Living 2006 is one of the hottest home improvement and financing projects for the first half of this year.

After a long and tempestuous winter with storms, flooding and snow fall, we are all ready for this spring and the following summer months when we can enjoy real quality of life days and evenings at home with our family and friends.

The most popular Outdoor Living 2006 projects are...

Building Pergolas

Putting up Arbors

Improving Patio areas

Deck Designs

Constructing Gazebos

Hot Tubs

and... Swimming Pools

Of course many of these projects are best when combined, a deck construction which connects the home with the garden perfectly is often finished off with a gazebo in an area where the decking extends out from the typical deck patio.

A Hot Tub installation is more often combined with the construction of a gazebo hot tub enclosure.

When you prepare a tiled patio it's easier to combine the preparation of the ground as you level it out - by digging post holes ready for your pergola which will result in giving a mediterranean look to your outdoor space with climbing plants and to provide shaded areas where you can sit out longer in the mid day sun and enjoy your garden life.

Without a doubt, the hottest project this year appears to be Pergola Construction, last year everyone was more focused on decking... and this year they want to at least partially cover that decking by putting together a pergola plan.

Gazebo kits are very popular because, with adequate ground preparation and careful study of the instructions, you can have a peaceful and elegant gazebo - giving outdoor space under roof... constructed over a weekend - if you can get some good friends to work with you.

If you are turning your attention back to your swimming pool - which normally faces neglect over the winter months, you'll know that it's time to get everything cleaned out, make sure the tiles haven't lifted, that there are no cracks in the inner walls and check and clean all the filters ready for some summer fun.

If access to your pool bothered you last summer, you still have time to decide how you are going to make life easier and safer to get to and from - in and out of your pool. You may be looking at non-slip pool decking or tiling the area with a rough tile that doesn't heat up too much under the glare of the sun.

You still have time to visit garden shows for more ideas and take advantage of any spring sale to get your hands on materials at great prices.

If you need to order materials for your project try to do it now, everything points to this being a boom year for outdoor living projects so make sure that you get what you need before availability levels really drop.

Now is the time to decide what type of Outdoor Living 2006 project is going to really enhance your home and help ensure that this is the best fun summer ever.

Best Building wishes
Home Improve Sue

about the author:
Susan has written numerous articles on decking, pergolas and gazebos as well as other aspects of both exterior and interior home improvement and financing options, you can get more ideas, tips, plans and information on Outdoor living 2006 at Home Improvement and Financing.com to help you make the most of this summer.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Home Improvements at Easter Time

Happy Easter Greetings to you!

This is such a wonderful time of year, spring is in the air, the daffodils are coming out and families are coming together - There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut timber, the hum of the drill, the thud of the screw gun and the sight of a plan coming together.

This is the biggest traditional break before the summer holidays, so if anyone is talking Home Improvements at Easter Time - there's a good chance that they - or even you... are busy planning your summer home remodeling project.

Get togethers are a great opportunity to ask any extended members of your family how their own home enhancing projects are going, someone might be busy with plans similar to yours and their experiences or recommendations may well help you to find the right contractors and experts to work on your home.

This is a great conversation topic, there is just so much to talk about from plans, permits, contractors, insurance cover, time lines, budget and one of the most popular questions - "What materials did you use?" - and you can usually depend on family and friends to tell you all the ins and outs, the pitfalls they have encountered and how they overcame problems to get to the satisfactory finished results they were looking for.

If you are actually busy with a build during this long weekend - you are right - you could complete your decking to have it ready for the summer, or you could construct your gazebo kit and have that special place to relax and enjoy your garden - or you could give your patio a pergola cover... which will mean that the climbing plants will be well settled in to give you a decent foilage cover for the summer holidays, but...

whatever you are doing, if you are involved with Home Improvements at Easter Time, please don't forget to give youself time to kick back, relax and enjoy your chocolate egg!

All the best


p.s. Just to remind you... the two full weeks left in April, just following Easter time, the weekend starting Friday 21st April and the weekend starting Friday 28th April - are jammed packed with Home Show 2006 events up and down the country - you can have a look at the April list on our site to help you find the best home improvement show near you.