Lightbulb – 5 Awesome DIY Projects…

The lightbulb – He Shows Us How To Make 5 Awesome

DIY Lightbulb Projects…

 

He Shows Us How To Make 5 Awesome DIY Light Bulb Projects… | DIY Joy Projects and Crafts Ideas

If you have upgraded your house to energy efficient light bulbs, you might wonder what to do with those old bulbs. To throw them away or to not throw them away — that’s the question!

Lightbulbs aren’t just for lighting up a room any more! There are so many DIY projects you can do with these little jewels!

This guy with Shake The Future shows us 5 projects you can do with lightbulbs.

Project #1:  He makes a great paper clip holder and, if you need a paper clip, all you have to do is shake the bulb. I think it’s such a unique and clever looking paper clip holder and you’re sure to have some inquiries when people see this sitting on your desk! This one is my favorite out of all of these!

Project #2:   He turns a lightbulb into a vase and he balances it by sitting it on a round cookie cutter…clever! It looks so beautiful holding a rose.

Project #3:  He makes a brilliant solar light out of a light bulb…such a cool idea and no electricity is needed!

Project #4:  Oil burning light, which is certainly great to have when the electricity goes out!

Project #5:  He pours Insta Morph into the lightbulb and bakes it in the oven. When it cools off, screws in a cork.  After it cools off he removes the glass bulb part and has a wine cork for opening your favorite wine!

 

Interior Design Trends That Turn Off Home Buyers

Interior Design Trends That Turn Off Home Buyers

| Oct 15, 2014

You want your home to look its best, and maybe you’ve been inspired by the interior design trends you’ve seen in magazines, on TV or on design websites.

But following some of the hottest home remodeling and design trends can backfire when it comes time to sell your home.

Buyers want to picture themselves in a home, and highly individualistic touches can get in the way of that.

When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to put things in pristine, move-in condition and remove all of the individual touches that made your house a home.

After all, your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in the home—and they won’t be able to do that if your decorating style still dominates.

Check out the caveats that go along with these home interior design trends.

1. Boldly Painted Walls

Decorators often tout black or another bold paint color as the perfect backdrop to metallic accessories or appliances in modern home design.

The reality is that people prefer the exterior and interior walls of a home to be neutral. Even though repainting is cheap and relatively easy to do, it’s still a pain and buyers might not want to bother.

When decorating, your best bet is to stick to an appeasing hue for the walls and use accessories to provide pops of color.

2. Wallpaper

Bold, graphic patterns increasingly are being incorporated into interior design, often in the form of wallpaper.

But wallpaper—even if it’s only on one wall—is an extremely personal choice and time-consuming to remove if it doesn’t appeal to the buyer

Consider replacing wallpaper with a neutral paint for broader appeal.

3. Lavish Light Fixtures

While potential buyers want rooms that seem airy and bright, beware of installing a showpiece light fixture that is too modern or ornate.

Fixtures should enhance your home—not steal the spotlight.

4. Gleaming Gold

Designers may be mixing silver and gold to give homes star quality, but it might be wise to change out fixtures if they have the wrong metallic sheen.

Gold can give a home an outdated, ’80s feel. Switching out the faucet and door handles with a more appealing finish—such as brushed nickel—is relatively inexpensive and can help make your home appear sleek rather than out of style.

5. Converted Garages

People want a covered parking space so that they have a safe place for their car—especially in areas where street parking is at a premium. Additionally, people often use their garage as storage space.

If you convert your garage into a space tailored your specific needs, such as a music practice room, it may not suit your potential buyers.

6. Converted Bedrooms

Like with the garage, people want rooms built for their original purpose.

If you’ve converted an unused bedroom to an office, walk-in closet, or a game room, make sure you can easily convert it back to a bedroom when you’re ready to sell.

7. Carpets

While designers love to play with the texture of shag carpeting as it feels soft underfoot, the majority of home buyers prefer hardwood floors.

People assume carpets trap dirt, germs and odors, and they don’t want to go through the hassle of steam cleaning their home before they can move in. Potential buyers also don’t want to spend time removing carpet to expose hardwood floors.

If someone really loves carpet, it’s much easier for them to add it themselves—after the purchase.

8. Too-Lush Landscaping

The “outdoor living room” is all the rage, and you may be tempted to build out your backyard into a lavish wilderness of flowers.

But potential buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with an overly landscaped property requiring a lot of maintenance.

Focus on creating or maintaining a nice and neat outdoor space that people can enjoy without too much fuss.

9. Pools and Hot Tubs

A pool may seem like a luxurious feature, but it can be a big turnoff for buyers.

Pools are perceived to be expensive to maintain and potential safety hazards, especially for families with children. Above-ground pools are eyesores and can leave a dead spot in the backyard.

These sentiments extend to hot tubs, too. Many people see hot tubs as breeding grounds for bacteria, and they are not a feature easily removed from the deck or back yard.

10. Fancy (or Not) Pet Products

Sales of pet products are expected to increase nearly $3 billion from last year, and there’s an increasing market for luxury pet items.

But even animal lovers don’t want to see another family’s pet paraphernalia in a potential home. Even if your home is immaculate, the presence of pet-related items will give the impression that it’s dirty.

Be sure to remove all traces of your pet—including toys, food dishes and photos—before listing your home for sale.

Financial Planning – Grow Your Money

Financial Planning: How to Make Your Money Grow

If you can run a business or a bake sale, you can learn how to manage your finances. Here, four simple strategies for acquiring the basics in financial planning

 

0503big-books

Photo by Sang An

Hire a Financial Planner

Most people should see an adviser for a tune-up annually. The adviser will assess your goals and adjust your planning and saving accordingly. (Find one at napfa.orgor fpanet.org.) At your first meeting, ask these three questions:

  • “How do you get paid?” Avoid advisers who charge referral fees.
  • “Are you a fiduciary?” This means that above all else, including her own beliefs about money, she must put your interests first. So, for example, she won’t recommend a financial product or plan simply because it will increase her compensation.
  • “How will you work with me to help me reach my goals?” If you want to go on a dream vacation, that may mean using a different savings vehicle than if you wish only to put away money for retirement. So it’s crucial that your adviser understand your priorities.

Pick Up a Good Book

The Millionaire Next Door ($17, amazon.com), by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko; The Investment Answer($18, amazon.com), by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray; and Charles Schwab’s New Guide to Financial Independence ($10, amazon.com), by Charles Schwab, are packed with information and inspiration.

Go Online

Check out these Web-based financial resources that are geared toward women:

  • DailyWorth.com for smart tips and real-time money discussions with other women.
  • Womenandco.com for advice on budgeting, investments, careers, and more.

Educate Yourself

Take a basic personal-finance class (inquire at a local community college or a continuing-education program), or join a women’s money group (go to MoneyClubs.com for one near you).

Get more advice and learn about the psychology of Women and Money.

Fountain – How to Install a Water Feature

Adding a pond and fountain to the yard will introduce the soothing sound of trickling water.

Start to Finish

2+ Days

TOOLS

  • shears
  • shovel

MATERIALS

  • fountain
  • underlayment
  • rubber liner
  • rocks
  • water plants

STEP 1

Dig the Hole

Purchase the water feature and determine the placement of the pond in the yard. Mark out the outline of the pond with landscape paint. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the pump and pond.

STEP 2

Spread the Underlayment and Liner

Underlayment protects the rubber liner from tears caused by roots and rocks. Spread out a large piece so it covers the bottom and sides of the hole and extends up and out of the pond. Spread a large piece of pond liner so that it covers the underlayment. Temporarily secure both pieces with large rocks.

STEP 3

Position the Pump

Set the pump housing into the pond at correct height. Carefully position rocks around the base of the pump to keep it in place. This is also a good time to add other rocks and decorative features to the inside of the pond.

STEP 4

Fill the Pond

Fill the pond with water so that the underlayment and liner settle into place. Continue filling until the appropriate level is reached. Attach the pump to a water source.

STEP 5

Complete the Pond

Arrange rocks around the edge of the pond to conceal the underlayment and liner. Trim off any excess. Add water plants and other decorative features to complete the pond.

STEP 6

Test the Fountain

Plug in the fountain and turn on the fountain to ensure that it works properly.

The New and Improved Doorbell

The New and Improved Doorbell

You’re probably familiar with devices like Nest, which use smart technology to automate your thermostat and save you money. Think of Ring as the Nest of doorbells. It’s a product that replaces your standard doorbell with a device that connects to your home WiFi connection and sends video and audio of your doorstep to your mobile device.

In other words, you can use your smartphone to see who’s at the door, and you can do it from anywhere in the world.

It brings a whole new level of convenience. You’ll never have to worry about missing a delivery or having a package left in the wrong place. You can be at work when FedEx arrives, and use the intercom feature to tell the delivery man to leave the package where you please.

It’s also a great security tool. You can use the intercom to give the appearance that you’re home. As a result turning away everyone from annoying salesmen to potential burglars. It activates with motion detection, so you don’t have to wait for the doorbell to ring before you’re alerted that someone is at your home.

There are various ways to install Ring, and it starts at $199. Go to ring.com to learn more.

doorbell

Home Fire Safety in Cooler Weather

Home Fire Safety in Cooler Weather

Home Fire

Devastating house fires can happen in an instant, and many begin due to human error. The U.S. Fire Administration reports that cooking tops the list of residential building fire causes (50 percent), followed by heating equipment (12.5 percent) and electrical malfunction (6.3 percent). Make your fall and winter seasons merry, bright and fire-free with these essential home fire safety tips.

Schedule a chimney inspection at least once a year.

Creosote, or condensed smoke, builds up on the flue and can catch fire. An annual cleaning and inspection can help prevent chimney fires.

Keep flammable items at least three feet from heat sources.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 56 percent of fatal home heating fires ignite from items being placed too close to heating equipment. Make sure everything is a safe distance from heat sources, including the furnace, space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves.

Check smoke detectors frequently.

Approximately 60 percent of house fire deaths happen in structures with no working smoke alarms. Test your home’s smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries each year.

Have a family escape plan and practice it regularly.

All household members need to know all exit strategies in case a fire breaks out, as well as where to meet once they’re safely outside. Have a semiannual drill and practice at different times of the day.

Cook safely.

Never leave the room when boiling, frying or baking, keep pot holders and dish towels away from the flame, and immediately turn off appliances when not in use.

Be mindful of holiday decorations.

If you choose to decorate with strings of lights, always check their condition first. Throw out those with exposed electrical wiring, and be sure to read over the manufacturer’s instructions.

Follow these home fire safety tips and have a safe and enjoyable cooler weather season.

Entry Doors – Entry Door Buying Guide

Entry Doors

Entry doors are often more than just front doors—those we tested can also be used in back or on the side. Because the front entrance of your home commands the most attention from the street, it also commands the most attention in the marketplace. Here’s what to consider, wherever you put it.

We’ve found that most entry doors perform well overall. But the materials they’re made of—fiberglass, steel, and wood—each have strengths and weaknesses. And while a low-priced steel door can be the equal of a wood or fiberglass door costing five times as much, it’s not the best choice for wear and tear.

Door-to-Door Shopping Tips

Going Online

Whether you buy at a store or online, you’ll save time by doing some research online and at least visiting a store to truly see what you’re buying. Manufacturer sites describe materials and offer catalogs, and can help you to find a local retailer. And even if you don’t see the exact door you want, a similar model can give you a good idea of construction and finish.

Energy Efficiency

Steel and fiberglass doors typically have more insulating value than wood doors. Models that are Energy Star-qualified must be independently tested and certified, and often boast tighter-fitting frames, energy-efficient cores, and, for models with glass, double- or triple-panel insulating glass to reduce heat transfer. You’ll find more details on the federal EPA’s EnergyStar website. But you may not save as much as you think, since doors are a small part of the surface area of a house and typically don’t allow significant amounts of warm air to escape. What’s more, heat is generally lost through air leaks around the door, not through the door itself.

Installation

Entry doors are also known as door systems because they come pre-hung in a frame and are often pre-drilled for a knob and deadbolt. Unless a replacement door is part of a larger remodeling project, you may want the new door to be the same size as the old one. Choosing a larger door or adding sidelights means redoing the door framing around the door—a job best left to a contractor. Home centers generally offer installation or referral services. Unless you’re a skilled carpenter, you may also want to hire a pro to install same-size doors.

Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe

It takes a quality door lock to deter burglaries and home invasions. Many crooks kick in doors to get in. But unless your door is hollow, it’s not the door itself that lets burglars in. Our tests with a battering ram have shown little difference in strength among door materials. All eventually failed because the doorjamb split near the lock’s strike plate, though we also found that beefed-up locks and strike plates can greatly increase a door’s kick-in resistance.

Some other ways to strengthen an exterior door: Use a lock with a 1-inch-long deadbolt and a reinforced metal box strike. Use 3-inch-long mounting screws so they lodge in the framing beyond the door jamb. And don’t overlook the door that leads into your house from the garage.

Types of Entry Doors

Major door manufacturers such as Masonite, Peachtree, and Pella offer a wide range of doors made of various materials. Here are the types of door materials to consider.

Fiberglass

A practical choice for most people. These doors are available with a smooth surface or, more typically, an embossed wood-grain texture. An edge treatment on some makes them look more like real wood.
Pros: Fiberglass doors resist wear and tear better than steel. They can be painted or stained, are moderately priced and dent-resistant, and require little maintenance.
Cons:
They can crack under severe impact.

Steel

This type of door accounts for about half the market.
Pros:
They’re relatively inexpensive and can offer the security and weather resistance of much pricier fiberglass and wood doors. Steel doors require little maintenance—unless dents are a part of your home scenario. They’re energy-efficient, though adding glass panels cuts their insulating value.
Cons:
Steel doors didn’t resist weather as well as fiberglass and wood doors in our abuse tests and the laboratory equivalent of torrential rain, strong winds, and a decade of wear and tear. And while they’re typically low-maintenance, dents are hard to fix, and scratches may rust if they aren’t painted promptly.

Wood

Provides the high-end look that other materials try to mimic.
Pros: Solid-wood doors were best at resisting wear and tear in our tests. They’re also the least likely to dent, and scratches are easy to repair.
Cons:
Wood doors remain relatively expensive. And they require regular painting or varnishing to look their best.

Entry Door Features

Manufacturers offer dozens of options for panel and glass designs, grille patterns, sidelights, and transoms. The more elaborate the design, the more the door will cost. Here are the door features to consider when shopping.

Adjustable Threshold

This helps keep any door weather-tight over time. Otherwise, you may eventually need to add a new sweep to the bottom to seal out rain and drafts.

Glass

Glass inserts are attractive, but they add to the cost. If you’re buying a door with glass near the doorknob or with glass sidelights, consider a double-cylinder dead-bolt lock. You need a key to open this type of lock whether you’re inside or outside, so a burglar can’t simply break the glass and reach in to open the door. Some municipalities ban double-cylinder locks since they may make it harder to get out in an emergency; check with your building department, and always leave a key within arm’s reach of the interior lock. Glass inserts also cut the door’s insulating value, though double- or triple-panel glass reduces that effect.

Rails and Stiles

These are the horizontal and vertical parts that brace a wood door. Solid-wood rails and stiles may eventually bow or warp. Look for rails and stiles made of laminated wood covered with veneer, which provides the greatest resistance to warping.

Backyard and Garden Oasis

backyard retreat

Ideas for Building the Ultimate Backyard Oasis

Whether entertaining friends and family or unwinding after a long day, the ultimate backyard retreat should be an extension of your home. Whatever your lifestyle, here are a few ideas for building the ultimate backyard retreat.

Entertaining Design a flexible space to accommodate a range of gatherings with:

  • Different spaces for dining, relaxing, visiting and cooking.
  • Shelter from the elements with an arbor, retractable awning or patio umbrellas.
  • Don’t forget about outdoor storage!

Relaxing – Create an outdoor oasis that you love spending time in with:

  • A water feature as the center of your Zen garden.
  • Benches and walking paths that draw you into the space.
  • Flowers and foliage that attract birds and butterflies.

Playing – Build a space that is fun for the whole family that includes:

  • Outdoor recreation such as a swimming pool, sports area or zip line.
  • A kids-only area with either a tree house or a backyard clubhouse.
  • A Backyard spa featuring either a hot tub or outdoor sauna.

Cooking – Treat your yard as an extension of the kitchen by adding:

  • Food prep area, closed storage, grill with side burner, refrigerator and sink.
  • Outdoor wood-burning oven and/or smoker.
  • Kitchen garden to grow all your favorite herbs within easy reach.

Nighttime – Make your backyard oasis comfortable after dark by including:

  • Outdoor lighting for the conversation and task areas and landscape lights along pathways.
  • Patio with either a heater or fireplace to extend the outdoor season.
  • Fire pit for a gathering place for marshmallow roasts and ghost stories.

 

Move? 6 Signs the Time is Now

When to Downsize, Upsize or Right Size Your Home

Dreaming of a new home? It might be the perfect time to move if:

The market in your neighborhood is hot. If comparable properties are selling for asking price or above, and if you were thinking about relocating to a different city or move to a new neighborhood while yours is currently hot, it’s a good time to cash out.

Prices drop. When the market is in a downturn it is the ideal time to size up, because typically higher end homes are hit the hardest, making the price difference between your home and the more expensive property less.

You’re facing an expensive renovation. Do the math before you renovate. Before taking on an expensive renovation, compare your current home to what you could get in a new home with the additional budget.

The kids have left the nest. The kids have all flown the coop and you have more spare rooms than you know what to do with. Instead of continuing to upkeep that too-big house, cash out and downsize before you retire.

The house is getting crowded. The morning line for the bathroom is worse than the one at Starbucks! A growing family is a sure sign it’s time to move and find a house with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Interest rates are low. Low interest rates mean more potential home buyers will be able to afford to purchase your home. Buyers will want to lock in before rates go up especially when interest rates are on the verge of rising, as.

For other hints, tips and such contact Bob McKenna or Melinda McKenna,at Austin Real Estate Partners. They will be glad to help and answer any and all of your questions. You can reach them at 512-288-8088.

Upcycling-Incorporating In Your Home Decor

HOW TO INCORPORATE UPCYCLING INTO YOUR HOME DECOR

Got an old dresser gathering dust in your attic? Or maybe you inherited your mother’s Mason jar collection but not her love of canning? Instead of trashing it, try upcycling hand-me-downs into something new. There are a million options for turning one person’s trash into another person’s treasure. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Vintage Dressers — Transform an old wooden dresser into a charming bathroom vanity, a television stand for your guest room or a storage bench for the front entryway. All it takes is a little bit of paint and some DIY know-how!

Window Shutters — Give old wooden window shutters new life as a room divider, shabby chic sideboard, succulent planter, wall-mounted magazine holder or a cottage-inspired armoire.

Posts and Railings — Turn those architectural elements into functional furniture. Used wood stairway posts are useful as legs on a children’s desk. Just add a wooden top and finally a fresh coat of bright paint, and as a result you have a colorful place for the kids to study.

Old Doors and Windows — Repurpose old doors and windows into beautiful furniture pieces with a touch of history. Turn doors into kitchen tables, nightstands, room dividers, headboards and even coffee tables. Repurpose windows into picture frames or a chalkboard calendar.

Mason Jars — Convert Mason jars into fun, functional home accessories. From wall-mounted bathroom storage to patio lanterns, here are a few DIY projects you can tackle over the weekend.