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March 2018

5 DIY House Painting Tips You Think You Know (But You Really Don't)

Painting the walls of your home sets the tone of your home. And with these tips, you will be set up for house painting DIY in style!

1. Sand Before You Paint

Sanding is more important to perfectly painted walls or woodwork than it is given credit for. Sanding levels out spackle and flattens ridges around nail holes, giving you a nice, even canvas to start your painting.

Method:

Sand the walls from the baseboard to the ceiling with fine grit sanding paper on a sanding pole. Repeat this process horizontally.

 

Sand woodwork with a sanding sponge to get into crevices.

 

If this is taking more time than you anticipated, don’t worry. You are doing it right.

 

2. Protect your woodwork

 

Having paint leak on to your woodwork can add strain and time to your plans, in addition to giving you a very literal pain-in the-neck. How to avoid this? Pay close attention to adhering the tape before you start.

The method:

Secure blue painter’s tape over the wood, then run a putty knife over the top and press down for a good seal. This will stop the paint from bleeding without buckling.

 

3. Mixing color is not just for the kids

 

If you think the same color of paint varies in different cans, don’t book an appointment with your ophthalmologist right away. This is not uncommon and can be fixed easily.

Method:

To ensure color consistency, mix 2-3 cans of paint in a 5 gallon bucket.

 

If you don’t know how much you will need, add more rather than less. You can always pour the leftover back into cans.

 

For large surfaces, use the bucket and a roller screen rather than a roller tray to work quickly. Simply dunk the roller into the paint bucket, then roll it along the screen until it stops dripping.

 

If colour mixing seems to be challenging and you fear having inconsistency in your walls, go for lighter shades. Inconsistencies are far less prominent and they make rooms look brighter and bigger.

 

Still stuck for inspiration? Try using innovations like creating an idea wall for the kids’ room or for the office.

 

4. Pay attention to loading paint

 

You could land anywhere on the spectrum of ‘clueless and overwhelmed’ to ‘Picasa for the day’ when you start. Wherever you are, some tips on technique will definitely benefit your painting project.

Method:

Pay attention to how you load paint into your brush. Load the bottom 1½ inches of brush with paint, and tap each side against the inside of the container to knock off the heavy drips before you paint.

 

This is more effective than loading the entire brush and wiping off excess paint on the sides of the container since this undoes the action of paint loading to a great extent.

 

5. Painting technique 101

Painting a wall is nothing like painting on a canvas. The scale is larger, the paint is different and so is the technique. The most common problem you are likely to encounter is creating runs by applying too much paint in corners or along trim.Method:

To avoid running paint, start brushing about ½ inch away from the borders of the designated area. As the brush unloads, move over and slowly drag the brush along the corner. Allow the bristles to gently push the paint against the cut-in area. You will have to do this a couple of times to get complete coverage, but it'll avoid excess paint along woodwork and in corners.

 

The most important tools to have in your arsenal are patience and preparation. Visit your local hardware store and get some solid advice. Try out your hand with equipment and understand the correct method. Another way you can get prepared is checking out a painting blog. And all the best!

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What are the Benefits of Natural Stone Veneer?

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Natural stone veneers have been gaining in popularity lately for a variety of reasons. Stone veneers don’t use whole stones, which gives them the appearance of whole stones minus the cost. They may be made from concrete with pigments to make them look like stone after they come out of molds, or they may be made from ground up stone mixed with concrete. What are some of the other benefits of natural stone veneer?

Durability

One of the big advantages of natural stone veneer is durability. This is why stone buildings have literally stood for centuries. Compare this to having to replace vinyl siding after a decade or wood cladding in only a few years.

Depending on the stone that you select, the stone may be used for external cladding, structural support or both. For example, you can use slate for a walkway, or external cladding, but it cannot be used to support a load like the roof of a building.

Environmental

Natural stone veneers are environmentally friendly as well. You can level up the credentials by using local stone sources, and you’ll have the side benefit of blending into the natural landscape barring architectural hallmarks intended for the opposite effect. You can select from literally hundreds of sources. And when you use natural stone, there’s less man-made waste than with most manufacturing processes.

Once you put up the stone veneer, cleaning it is as simple as blasting it with water, or in some cases, sand. Yes, you can just wash it with a water hose in many cases. Keep acidic cleaners away from it, and many toxic cleaners aren’t necessary with natural stone.

Easy Application

Find a good mason, and the installation of the stone is a rather straightforward process. And you can put thin natural stone veneer over brickwork, so you don’t have to remove that brick layer to put a protective, attractive stone layer over it. This isn’t an option with drywall, though.

Thin natural stone veneers are similar to manufactured stone veneers in weight and ease of installation. They’re equally good for use indoors or out too.

Aesthetics

Natural stone veneers are attractive. The fact that every project ends up looking unique is a bonus. Note that natural stone work should be sealed to help it retain its original look as long as possible. However, if you want a weathered look, this step may not be necessary. Fake manufactured stone has UV inhibitors mixed into it in order to retain its color as long as possible. Natural stone won’t fade visibly in someone’s lifetime.

Another benefit of natural stone veneers is size selection. You can find large natural pieces up to 18” in diameter, whereas it is hard to find manufactured ones as large as 14” across. However, this depends on the type of stone.

Natural stone veneer is an environmentally friendly material that lets you potentially blend a building into the environment. It is rather easy to install, though the potential size of each face and possible applications depend on the type of stone you choose.

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25 Home Improvements to Make this Spring

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Springtime is just around the corner, so it’s time to start making the spring cleaning list! And along with it, think of all the home improvements you’ve been wanting to make but have been putting off in previous years. Well, now is the time!

CC Builders, a home construction company in Jackson, WY, helped us put together this list of easy home improvements for your to make to your home this spring.

  1. Paint the front door.
  2. Bring in some plants.
  3. Add character to your home’s entrance.
  4. Install a new kitchen backsplash.
  5. Build a headboard.
  6. Add new lighting fixtures.
  7. Accessorize cabinets with new handles.
  8. Paint your cabinets.
  9. Change the bathroom walls (wallpaper or paint!)
  10. Get new faucets.
  11. Paint a room.
  12. Add crown molding.
  13. Get new curtains.
  14. Get new furniture.
  15. Re-decorate the living room.
  16. Build new shelving.
  17. Do a photo shoot for new wall decor.
  18. Plant shrubbery outside for a natural fence.
  19. Add towel hooks to the bathroom wall.
  20. Get new door knobs.
  21. Reupholster old furniture.
  22. Turn a closet into a home office.
  23. Stain the front or back porch (or both).
  24. Organize your workbench.
  25. Add mirrors into your home decorating.

These are just a few of the simple things that you can do to spice your home up a little this spring. Plan now for the home improvements that you want to make, and when it comes time to make them, you’ll be ready to follow through.

We all need some good change every once in a while. Make that change start with your home, and feel good about it!

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New Trends to Spruce up Your Home Exterior and Outdoor Deck Spaces

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With summer quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning your outdoor entertaining space. With exciting new renovation options, why settle for the same old plan of fresh paint? Create an idyllic setting that you’ll be proud to share with family and friends. Consider one of these new trends to spruce up your home exterior, and don’t be surprised when your neighbors beg for an invitation to your backyard parties!

Wood Decking

There’s nothing worse than having family and friends over for a backyard barbecue only to notice that the patio is shaky, uneven, splintered, or unstable! Your deck should provide a relaxing and safe atmosphere for gatherings with loved ones. Invest now in quality materials, and you’ll be reaping the benefits for years to come. One current trend to upgrade outdoor space is to integrate modified wood decking, which offers longstanding durability without sacrificing the gorgeous look of solid wood. Smart homeowners are opting for building materials, like modified wood, that have undergone specialized treatment to prevent the effects of damaging weather elements. Stunning and steady, this building trend is a sustainable material choice that is excellent for the patio, terrace, or wraparound porch at your homestead.

House Wrap

Some of the best upgrades available for your exterior are the ones that combine energy efficient solutions, cosmetic improvements, and health benefits — all while saving you money in the long run! One of the newest developments in exterior repair achieves it all!  Known as house wrap, this trend may be the most vastly efficient construction opportunity to strengthen the exterior of your home. As the name suggests, this method involves wrapping the home with a moisture resistant material that reduces air infiltration, making your home much more energy efficient and protected against the elements. This high-tech material is built with a specialized porous film that allows moisture to dry quickly, protecting the foundational construction of walls while maintaining internal temperature control. House wrap is not difficult to install, and the rewards are abundant, making this a wise investment for your home.

Steel Log Siding

A great way to spruce up the appearance of your home is with the addition of outstanding siding.  Serving double duty, steel log siding achieves the visual appearance of a traditional log cabin while possessing the advantage of smart material composition. Steel log siding has the stunning appearance of natural wood — your house will resemble a genuine log cabin!  However, this siding trend comes with all the benefits of building modernization, meaning the exterior will not require the maintenance of traditional logs. This new siding trend allows you to forego repairs associated with traditional wood siding, such as painting, staining, and log replacement from insect damage and rotting. If you’re looking for a way to upgrade the exterior of your home without setting yourself up for additional chores, steel log siding may be the touch of cunning creativity that you need!

Aluminum Soffit

Another feature that will greatly improve your home’s exterior is a transition to aluminum soffit. The importance of soffit is often overlooked, because it’s a tiny detail that links siding and roof edges. Although small in size, it’s certainly mighty in providing an extraordinary level of additional protection for your home’s exterior. Soffit provides proper ventilation for the attic while still protecting that space from weather infiltration.  Unlike traditional wooden materials, aluminum reduces the amount of upkeep required from repainting.  Furthermore, aluminum soffit is available in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find a beautiful match for your exterior, regardless of color or material. This is an outdoor renovation trend sure to please and perform!

Take note of these new trends in exterior and outdoor renovations, and you’ll be thrilled at the possibilities!

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Get A More Affordable Log Cabin Look With Steel

Over time, the cost of owning a traditional wood log cabin can begin to add up. It is one reason why as much as people love the look of log cabins, they do not get one themselves. But, these days there are new types of siding which can give you the look and feel of a log cabin without the outrageous cost of upkeep.

TruLog has developed steel log siding, which provides that log cabin look, but none of the hassle of upkeep. If you want to learn more about steel log cabin siding, take a look at the infographic below.

 

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30 Ways to Declutter Your Home

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As human beings, we always seem to be accumulating more and more stuff. No matter what we do, there always seems to be some useless item in our home that we don’t know how it ever got there in the first place. Don’t let the mountain of growing things in your home be a common source of stress. Clear out unnecessary items and feel free in your home again. 

Guardian Homes, a home builder in Idaho Falls, helped us come up with this list of things you can go through right now to declutter your home.

  1. Socks with no matches
  2. Unwatched DVDs
  3. Dried out markers and pens
  4. Condiments leftover from your takeout adventures
  5. Food storage containers with no lid
  6. Clothing that doesn’t fit
  7. Chipped dishes - like plates, cups, bowls, and mugs
  8. Expired food
  9. Old magazines
  10. Old paint
  11. Power cords with no home
  12. Expired medications
  13. Expired makeup
  14. Old perfume
  15. Jewelry you don’t ever wear
  16. Old bras
  17. Worn out shoes
  18. Old wallets
  19. Worn belts
  20. Partially used notebooks
  21. Old electronics
  22. Unfinished craft or woodworking projects
  23. Old receipts
  24. Old papers/documents
  25. Old pots and pans
  26. Dull knives
  27. Old mail
  28. Expired cleaning products
  29. Unused tools
  30. Worn sheets, blankets, and pillows

There’s no reason to keep any of these items in your home, and they are only taking up precious space. If you are worried about the amount of stuff in your home, take an hour or so when you have a time to go through your home and clear it of the items on this list.

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How to Save Money with Expert Electricians

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Choosing an electrician is something which is difficult enough – choosing one that will allow you to save money overall is next to impossible. It can be done, however, and the tips below will show you some of the ways in which you can do it.

Compare Hourly Charges

Quotes normally come in a variety of ways – depending on the electrician, they can either be an entire quote, an hourly quote, or a quote by job description. There are advantages and disadvantages to either way of looking at the quote, but getting one which is done by an hourly contract can allow you more control than otherwise. Hourly contracts and quote also allow you to directly compare different electricians side by side.

Make the Most of Their Time

Everyone has had to pay through the nose at least once for some emergency repair work on their electrical systems or on their plumbing. We all know the pain that is the cost on these occasions, so it is best to try and avoid them as much as possible, and instead wait until their schedules allow for a normal visit.

To make the most of an expert electrician time, try and schedule them to take care of multiple projects around your home. This way, rather than paying for them to come out every time some electrical work needs done, you can them take care of everything in a single visit.

When you are looking into getting electrical work done, take some notes on what you want to ask your electrician when he comes; he might have time for an inspection when he comes, or he can give you advice, all of which save future visits.

A good way to try and save money is to walk around the house, survey your electrical systems, and see if there is anything else that needs done, so that you can have the electrician pay attention to them both while he is out at your house. You could even go so far as to find out how much extra it would cost to have some wiring installed for future appliances.

Remember To Pay For Quality

One way of saving money is a long term, oddly enough, in by spending more in the short term. Electricians do a very dangerous job – they handle live wiring and equipment which could very easily kill them on a regular basis, and they do this to make your home safe and comfortable and warm. You get what you pay for when it comes to electricians, so paying some more money for the first visit can ensure that you don’t need a second, either because the first one was enough to solve the problem completely, or because paying a certain amount of money can mean that you get an actual electrician, rather than someone playing a scam. Quality comes with a price tag, and in the case of electrical services it isn’t really one you should skimp on.

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5 Things to Think about When Remodeling Your Bathroom

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Bathroom remodeling can be daunting. With plumbing fixtures being the first to be chosen and the last to be installed, the upgrading process can even be confusing. Depending on the fixture sizes, chosen faucets and specifications, plumbing done behind the walls is defined at the start of the remodeling project.

As one of the most significant interior spaces that are often used, your bathroom should be both functional and aesthetic. Being organized from the start can help simplify the entire remodeling process. Giving your bathroom a new look allows you to have a space that reflects your aesthetic tastes, personality and preferences.

Whether yours is a master en suite or powder room, here are the 5 things to think about when remodeling your bathroom:

Top 5 Factors to Consider When Renovating Your Bathroom

  1. Determine Your Reason for Remodeling

When remodeling your bathroom, the first thing you must think about is your reason for embarking on such a project. Are you a new homeowner and want to add some personal touches to your bathroom with modern trends? Do you intend to sell your home? Do you need to upgrade your bathroom to address accessibility issues?

Whether you want to increase the value of your home through bathroom remodeling or just want space you can call your own, that’s reason enough to motivate your decisions during the project.

  1. Create a Budget to Work On

Create a budget to guide your remodeling project. Your bathroom renovation budget must never exceed 5% of your entire home’s value. Determine the amount you’re willing to spend on the remodeling project without straining your finances. Come up with a realistic budget and stick to it. Pick the three most important aspects of your project for prioritization.

Do comparison shopping for your top three priority remodeling components to ensure your remodeling project stays within the created budget and is geared towards meeting your needs.

  1. Bathroom Layout & Functionality

Do you intend to maintain your existing bathroom layout or change it? Plan your bathroom remodeling properly and take note of the additional plumbing and placement of pipes you might need if you intend to change the toilet or sink location. Note that changing fixtures and moving them around can lengthen the project duration and even increase your budget.

When making a plan and creating a budget, consider the need to develop a new bathroom layout if there’s need to address accessibility issues. Make sure your bathroom water flow and drainage system are functional. If not, they must be addressed during the remodeling project.

  1. Increased Value of Your Home/Property

What’s the likely return or outcome of remodeling your bathroom? Choose colors and fixtures that meet your personal tastes and preferences if you intend to stay in the home for the next five years or more. However, if you’re looking to sell the property or simply increase its value, opt for timeless, stylish aesthetic trends.

Consider the right options based on your neighborhood, current trends and what might not get outdated in a few years. This ensures your home sells fast in case you decide to put it up for sale.

  1. Aesthetic Appeal

Do you need to enhance your bathroom’s functionality or aesthetic appeal? Or do you need to work on both? Is there need to replace everything in the bathroom or just some? Are there things that can be improved to suit your taste? For instance, can existing tiles be reglazed instead of getting new ones?

Whether you want an elegant and attractive modern bathroom, a vintage room with a traditional touch or simply an eclectic-themed bathing room, choose your options right.

Also think about the bathroom details when remodeling. Think about the kind of lighting, ventilation, storage, plumbing, toilets, windows, floors and showers or tubs you want in your bathroom. Pick calm colors that go well with your personality and match your general design theme. Finally, determine whether you want the remodeling done by a professional or if you can do it the DIY way.

Contact Orange county bathroom remodel contractors to revamp your bathroom for a custom look and feel

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Architectural Miracle: How a Loft Conversion will Transform Your Home

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For so long we have limited our lofts to storage or as an excuse to hoard junk. Now, more and more people are revamping their lofts into more useful and trendy spaces.

Loft conversions come in different types and shapes according to the infrastructure in your home. In this article, I will give various design inspirations for different types of loft conversion applications. I will also talk about basics of loft conversion and what to expect.                    

Here are some of the designs that you could use in transforming your loft:

  1. Dormer Conversions

This is the most popular style of conversion simply because it suits a variety of loft types. Typically, a vertical wall is constructed from the sloping roof of a building to give maximum headroom to a loft. You can have a flat roof dormer conversion that offers maximum space or a shed dormer that will be sloped at an angle.

Since these conversions create more internal space, bigger rooms such as a bedroom or a comfy resting room will be more suitable.

  1. L-shaped dormer conversions

An L-shaped dormer is only carried out on certain properties such as the Victorian style where the kitchen and bathroom are additions to the properties’ rear. The loft conversion will hence fall right over this addition creating extra space for a nursery, extra bathroom or even a study.

  1. Hip to gable conversions

Here, a vertical wall replaces the sloping roof on the side of your property increasing the size of the loft. This type of conversion works best with the detached or semi-detached house since it requires a free sloping side. The hip to gable-converted space will accommodate spaces enough for master en-suite bedrooms, gym space or even a second living room. To access the loft, a full stairway is recommended.

  1. Mansard conversions

This conversion involves transforming the entire expanse of a sloping roof into a nearly vertical side to create space. Here, a substantial amount of work is involved in the conversion and may require planning permission.

This conversion creates massive space, in fact, it often amounts to a full new story.  With no space limitation, you can have an entire living area with lounge, living room and bathroom. Feel free to go crazy on designing.

  1. Double mansard conversion

A double mansard conversion is a combination of two mansard conversions. One at the front and one to the back of the loft. This combo greatly increases both headroom and floor space to the loft. This space will be large enough to accommodate an extra lounge, master en-suite and even a bathroom.

  1. L-shaped mansard conversions

An L-shaped mansard can only be carried out on properties, which have a back addition to allow the mansard’s extension over them. This extra space can be used as a study room if you consider getting sound-proof windows that keep the noise at bay, or even an extra bedroom or dressing room. For those who make wealth at home, this design can make for a great office away from a noisy living room.

  1. Velux conversion

Velux, also known as roof light conversion is the simplest and most cost-effective loft conversion without altering the existing roof structure. It involves adding a skylight window, a staircase, and a proper floor layering. However, it requires ample headroom to make good use of the available space.

Due to the slanted interior from this kind of conversions, having bathrooms and sleeping areas is ideal.

Basics of loft conversions and what to expect

Before you jumpstart your loft conversion project, you will need to take a look at a loft conversion guide to avoid common mistakes that most homeowners face. However, I will give you some basics on loft conversions and what to expect in the list below.

Basics of loft conversion

  • Assess if your loft actually qualifies for a conversion. An architect or a surveyor will inspect your home and give a verdict on that.
  • Choose a suitable design based on your structure.
  • Meet the necessary planning permission within your locality for converting a loft into a liveable space.
  • Have an idea of how you want the loft to look like at the end of the conversion and the features you want to be incorporated.
  • Keep in mind building regulations that concern the quality and safety of a structure.
  • Think critically about the position and shape of your stairway, as is a key determinant of a successful loft conversion.

What to expect on loft conversions

  •   For construction workers’ support, erecting a scaffold will be a requirement.
  •   There will be a roof opening for dormer construction.
  •   Wall insulation will need to meet legal requirements and inspection done.
  •   There will be electoral cabling for lighting.
  •   Interior fittings are necessary.
  •   Fire and gutter will need to meet legal requirements.
  •   There will be a stage-by-stage inspection by building control officer for fire regulations and building compliance.

A loft conversion can be quite intimidating at first especially if you don’t know a thing about how to go about it. However, with proper and adequate information, you are sure to have the best conversion experience.

However, having that said, create a lot of spare time, expect to encounter a lot of clutter and definitely be prepared to roll up your sleeves. At the end of the day, you will be grateful for the living space in your home and the value added.

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Creating a Stress-Free Sleeping Space

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Do you struggle to sleep at night and you’re not quite sure why? Maybe it has to do with your sleeping arrangement. Your bedroom might be cultivating a stressful environment that prevents you from getting your best possible sleep.

Rooftop Rentals, an agency with homes for rent in Idaho Falls, helped us put together this list of things you can do to create a stress-free sleeping space.

Too Many Layers

As nice as lots of pillows and layered blankets look on your bed, they are not conducive to great sleep. Too many layers can trap unwanted heat and cause trouble sleeping. So, when you go to bed, clear off all non-essential bed layers.

Breathable Sheets

Bed sheets and pillowcases made from natural fiber. Egyptian cotton and bamboo bed sheets are both great options for cool, dry, and breathable sleep.

Clutter-Free Decor

Does your wall decor kind of take over? A lot of clutter on the walls or the floor is just stressful to our minds. Negative space is good. Each wall decoration should have a purpose, and each piece should bring positive thoughts.

Plants

Plants help clean the air, they remind us of nature and bring us back to our roots (pun intended). Aloe vera and peace lilies are both great for removing toxins from the air. And let’s not forget that plants provide us with much need oxygen.

Oils

Essential oils are becoming more popular and for good reason. All the different oils serve different purposes, some can relieve stress, improve sleep, or even reduce soreness in muscles. Try diffusing oils in your room for the purposes you need. Lavender is great for improving sleep and clary sage can help reduce anxiety and boost your mood.

Lighting

Avoid harsh lighting in your room. Bright fluorescent lights are hard on our eyes and therefore don’t help in alleviating stress. In lamps and bedroom lights, use soft yellow lighting. Put blackout curtains over your windows to draw shut at night to help you sleep.

Cleanliness

As far as mental stress goes, a dirty room is definitely not going to help. You shouldn’t be stressing out about going yet another day without cleaning your room by the time you crawl into bed.

Keep your room clean and organized to prevent that stress from distracting you. For easy organization, get a nice ottoman or covered organizer that you can place things into. Keep your closet tidy - or at least close the doors so you can’t see inside.

No Electronics

If you really want good and stress-free sleep, keep electronics out of the bedroom. Or at the very least, keep them hidden when you are sleeping. If you must have a phone or mobile device for your alarm, keep it on a nightstand more than an arm’s length away and face down.

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5 Tips to Becoming an Electrician

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Becoming an electrician is a challenging quest. It requires a combination of skills that not a lot of people possess altogether. Their line of work isn’t exactly attractive, but they’re the guys who keep the city running, so to speak. So whenever you go home and turn the lights on, thank an electrician for setting up your wiring. If you’re interested in a career as an electrician, you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll share 5 tips to becoming an electrician. From studying, and finally gaining hands-on exposure from electrical companies like Wesline Emergency Electrician, we’ve got you covered. Ready? Let’s go!

  1. Enrol in a trade school

Enrolling into trade school is a great way to gear yourself up to becoming a qualified electrician. These schools are designed to introduce you to the trade and offer subjects that are specific to honing your skills. It’s perfectly optional, of course. Some people choose to earn certificates from an electrician school, and some don’t. And yet both have equal chances of becoming excellent in the field.

It’s an advantage of course to learn from school. By studying hard, you get to learn the basics and improve your skills as you go along. Some important things you’ll learn in trade school are electrical theory, algebra, your country’s national electric code, power distribution, and machinery.

  1. Do your maths

You may have heard how engineers and electricians do a lot of math on and off site. That’s true, electricians do a lot of math, specially algebra. It’s important to hone this particular skill because it will show up in every licensing exam and is a prerequisite to any major electrical course. Apprenticeship exams are also usually very heavy in algebraic problems. So you really need to brush up on this skill. If you’re in high school right now and you’re already dreaming of becoming a journeyman someday, keep your algebra grades on top. Even trade schools look at your math marks.

  1. Develop your soft skills

While you’re busy mastering the technical side of your craft, don’t forget to hone your soft skills as well. Because electricians are mostly out and are interacting with clients, possessing above average soft skills is helpful in communicating with clients. It’s an advantage that’ll make it easier for you to navigate the workplace.

Be an active listener and be attentive to what your client says. Good listening skills is essential in diagnosing a problem. As you well know, it’s important to get a full understanding of the problem before attempting to solve it. Aside from listening skills, you also need to be cooperative and patient, as you deal with your team and try to resolve issues that may be challenging.

  1. Sign up for an apprenticeship

An apprenticeship pretty much works like an internship and is crucial to every hopeful electrician. It’s a very daunting yet rewarding experience to be able to finish some 3 to 4 years working on actual projects, side by side with experts who are there to guide and train you. It’s not easy to get an apprenticeship, you have to apply to several companies and pass and exam that has great difficulty. It’s almost like looking for a job, but with very little financial rewards. As an apprentice, you only earn a fraction of the standard rate of a journeyman. On the average it plays around $14 to $20. But don’t be dismayed, at the end of your apprenticeship you would have learned everything you need to know.

  1. Invest in your body

Being an electrician is both physically and mentally exhausting. After all those years studying and finishing your apprenticeship, what you want to do next is ensure you’re physically fit to work. As with anything, good health is paramount in succeeding at your job. Because of the nature of their work, electricians suffer from muscle pain, body aches, and back and knee pain all the time. So make sure you’re to be healthy always!

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4 Great Uses for Reclaimed Wood

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Reclaimed wood refers to any wood salvaged from any application and reused for another purpose. This has a time-honored history, such as the reuse of wood from ships to build buildings and furniture. This is why the last remnants of historic ships have been found in bars built by their former crew. Here are 4 great uses for reclaimed wood.

Flooring

Reclaimed timber lets you afford woods that would cost a fortune if harvested today, or they may be utterly unavailable today because of environmental factors. For example, the American elm is almost extinct. Reclaimed wood lets you use this durable, attractive material without ethical concerns. A side benefit of reclaimed wood floors is that no one will notice your scuffs and scratches because the wood is already adapted from some other purpose.

An easy place to put any reclaimed wood is on the stairs as treads, since you could either cut up large pieces or use salvaged wood flooring in this new location.

Walls

Using reclaimed wood paneling to make wooden walls gives your home rich character and a depth you won’t get with modern manufactured materials. The odds are that there are already holes from nails or other materials in it, so new nail holes and dings won’t stand out as they would on brand new panels. A side benefit is that reclaimed wood allows you to affordably stay within the building code for a historic home or create that same look in a newer home.

Remember that you can use reclaimed wood on the sides of new kitchen islands to make your new add-ons look like part of the original kitchen. Or redecorate your bathroom with reclaimed wood pieces assembled to create a wall behind your new mirrors.

Shelves

A popular use of reclaimed wood is shelving. It works particularly well because you don’t have to find much wood to make a distinctive mantelpiece or several shelves to mount on the wall compared to trying to find enough of the same type of wood to install on a wall or floor. One benefit of reclaimed wood in shelving is that you can find large, durable single pieces of wood for this application instead of gluing together several sheets and making it into a single piece.

Furniture

Reclaimed wood has been used to make furniture for all of history, and probably before that. When the table breaks, you use the materials to make an end table. If the bedframe wears down, the remaining wood can become a table, a desk, or shelves. Reclaimed wood doors are being turned into desks and dining room tables, though wooden barn doors are also being repurposed as interior doors. Old doors are also a shoe-in for a bed headboard. Reclaimed wood from other projects can be integrated into cabinets and used to build dresser drawers. Salvaged wood is an easy choice for framing projects, whether framing pictures or framing your new vent hood.

Reclaimed wood can be a great choice for a variety of uses and can give any room character while letting you use materials that may be hard to find or afford today. It is also a great way to save on new wood when reclaimed wood can do the job.

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7 Crazy Awesome Space Saving Gadgets for Your Small Apartment

Whether you’re a college student in a dorm room, married with a tiny house, or living anywhere in between, you’re probably constantly looking for ways that you can save space in your small living space. Never fear, we’ve got some crazy awesome gadgets here.

The Landing Apartments, student housing in Rexburg, helped us put together this list of great space saving ideas for your apartment.

  1. Toilet Storage

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Tired of your roommate asking you to get the more toilet paper? Or maybe you just need more space in your bathroom for decoration or reading material. Try out this handy gadget. Check stores like WalMart and Home Depot for some handy, over-the-toilet storage.

  1. Magnets

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Girls! This one is for you. Stop blaming your roommates for stealing your lost bobby pins, and pick up a magnetic strip to attach them to at the end of the day. Thank LifeHacker for this brilliant tip.  

  1. Swivel Cabinet

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Want a full-length mirror, coat rack, bulletin board, and shelf all in one? Then you have got to get this swivel cabinet by Coaster Home Furnishings.

  1. Hot Iron Holder

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Don’t have a place to put your curling iron when you’re done using it? Look no further than this Hot Iron Holster for your sink or bathroom counter. Save counter and drawer space with this neat gadget.

  1. Corner Dish Rack

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Save space in your kitchen with this corner dish drying rack. It helps you stack your dishes efficiently instead of laying them out on a towel on the table or counter.

  1. Cabinet Organizer

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Do you run out of space quickly in your cabinets and cupboards? Then you’ve got to try this cabinet organizer from Home Depot. It has nice sliding drawers that make it easy to grab things out of your cupboards.

  1. Shower Curtain with Pockets

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Save on shower space with these! Some showerheads don’t hold up a shower caddy very well, and this is a great alternative! Find this on Amazon.

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5 Tips to changing your address before your next move

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When you are moving to a new residence, whether it is just across town or to a new country, you'll need to do a lot of things which can be very stressful. For one, you need to choose a moving company that can help you gather your stuff and reinstate it to the new place. And then you'll need to buy new things and do a few retouches to your new place. You will also need to unpack all your stuff and put them one by one to their proper places in your new home. But then one of the most important things that you should never forget in your checklist is the change of address. This may sound very insignificant compared to all the hassle and chaos you have to do when moving, but this step is extremely important to keep your life running smoothly right after.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when changing your address before your move.

  1. Call all your service providers.

Before you move, you will want to call all your service providers like water, telephone, and electricity. This is something that you have to do in order to avoid future problems that can definitely be avoided. You have to inform them ahead of time of your change of address so your services will be switched over seamlessly. After all the chaos and hassle of moving, you don’t want to end up having to deal with the disruption of services.

  1. Call your bank and other financial constitutions you are affiliated with.

Identity theft and other similar horrible things are a huge problem in our society in this digital age. Prior to your move, never forget to call your bank or any other financial institutions you are affiliated with so they will be notified ahead of time to your change of address. Not doing so will give them an alarm that your debit or credit card is being used in another state or across the country.

  1. Change the address registered in your subscriptions.

Another important thing that you need to do is to update the address in your magazine or newspaper subscriptions. This may be an insignificant part of your daily life but it can still cause problems along the way.

  1. Double check the details of your new address.

It’s easy to make a mistake with just one number or letter in your address. Before informing the moving company, always confirm the contact information, pick-up time, and most importantly, the exact new address. A wrong address can add up additional costs for labor so it is important that you provide the exact new address.

  1. Inform your friends and relatives.

It’s the easiest thing to do that you should not forget. You don’t want your friends to end up in your old door when you are already halfway across a new state or country. Inform them that you are moving and provide them your new address so they won’t be left behind.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Thad Zajdowicz