New Trends to Expect in Home Improvement

There are several very fun and interesting trends that are taking shape in the home improvement industry as of late, and in this article, I’d like to discuss some of the best ones as we see it.

modern kitchenTastefully Modern Materials

I don’t think anyone would argue that a kitchen is judged by the material of the countertops and cabinets. It used to be that having a granite countertop meant that you went all out, but it seems the new trend is polished concrete or even quartz. They both offer a very clean and elegant look that never goes out of style. They are extremely durable and don’t show wear and tear. They can also be finished in just about any color that a person could imagine.

Smart Homes

The age of smart technology is firmly has been set upon us, and like it or not, it’s time to adapt our houses to the trend and upgrade the gadgets. Heck, they’re here to make our lives easier, so let’s embrace them. If nothing else, you can marvel at how cool they are. It used to be that you would get a plug-in timer to shut off your lights or sprinkler system at a set time. Nowadays, there are completely integrated systems for everything, such as the air conditioning, sound systems, security, and intrusion detectors. You can even fire up your hot tub from your smart phone. The list is nearly endless, and it keeps growing with every new advance in apps and wireless communication between devices. If you’re renovating a home or building a brand new one, these technologies will be standard in the next 10 years, so don’t get left behind. The value of your home depends on it.

Home Improvement Trends LED LightbulbLED Lights

Prices on LEDs have been dropping every year, just like every new technology. They are also taking different shapes and showing up in different applications, such as rope lighting. They last longer than a normal incandescent and they are also much more attractive to the eyes. They can be multi-colored and some you can even dim. Not to mention, they’re also really energy efficient. There really isn’t any excuse not to switch out all your light fixtures and bulbs to support this lasting trend.

Energy Efficient Designs

More and more thought is being given to the efficacy and cost effectiveness or green designs. Tankless and solar water heaters, solar panels, skylight tubes, large energy efficient fans, low impact air conditioning units, etc. The list goes on and on. Consider your carbon footprint when thinking of your next home improvement project. The initial buildout costs are much lower than in years past, and the lifelong savings you get from the increased efficiency are a total no-brainer.

Smaller Homes

We’re not suggesting that everyone should move into a micro-apartment, but it’s a noticeable pattern that younger people realize they don’t need enormous amounts of space to be happy. It’s a similar trend with the green movement – a move toward conscious consumption. Besides, with less space, one has a better opportunity to dress that space up much more glamorously than they would if they had to worry about a McMansion. Plus, your energy bills will be much lower. Although I’m not really much of a fan of this one, it’s worth noting that it’s becoming more and more popular.

6 Step DIY Paint Removal

Homeowners are faced with several options when it comes to performing paint removal the right way. There are guidelines you can follow that will help to determine the amount of paint that needs to be removed that will make the job quicker, as well as much easier too.

natural paint remover1.) Figure out what material is under the paint

If you have drywall sitting under the paint, for example, the last thing you’ll want to use is a toxic paint remover made out of harsh chemicals. All this will do is destroy the drywall. Instead, grab some sandpaper or an electric sander and go at it the manual way, being careful not to push too hard. On the other hand, if you’re removing paint from crown molding or baseboards, then you should resort to using the chemicals because the sander will change the lines and shape of the molding.

2.) Clean up the surface paint

Clean the surface paint with some sort of degreasing agent, such as liquid dish soap or 409 cleaner. Rinse away the detergent or cleaner with water and let it air dry for a day.

edging tape3.) Use edging tape

You’ll next want to take painter’s tape and tape the edges off where you’ll be sanding or spraying, thus keeping away from areas that you don’t want to change.

4.) Chemical paint removal

There are several paint removers that we recommend, all of which are environmentally friendly, so don’t think you have to use something that’s toxic. Simply perform a quick Google search for such a product. Once you have it in hand, spray it onto the surfaces that you want to remove paint from and let it sit for a half hour. Once the time has passed, grab some old rags and wipe it up. Any paint that wasn’t dissolved by the paint remover should be scraped off with a putty knife. Try not to let anything get in your eyes.

5.) Get your home ready for sanding

Remove any valuables from the walls, and get the furniture out. Use Visqueen on doorways so molecules don’t get transferred from room to room.

6.) Sand

We suggest renting an electric sander from a hardware store or equipment rental facility. Start with a pretty coarse sandpaper. After you’re done sanding, sweep up or wipe down the sanded surfaces so you can see how well it worked. Then, go over these same surfaces again with a less coarse sandpaper, and repeat. This should take off all the paint pretty easily. Lastly, use a super-fine grit paper to smooth out and polish the sanded surfaces so they’re ready for the new paint.

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