Weatherization for the Home

DuPont™Tyvek® Weatherization

A huge shout-out to DuPont™ for sponsoring this post. All content in this post is created by me.

When building a new home or adding new siding to a home, weatherization is a very important thing to consider. Proper weatherization prevents the sheathing (the “sides” of the house under the siding) from rotting or mildewing, and causing a myriad of problems for the homeowner. DuPont™ Tyvek® weather barriers are easy to install and deliver excellent overall performance.

Introduced in 1980, DuPont™ Tyvek® HomeWrap® has been used to protect more than a million homes and has been named the #1 house wrap by Builder magazine’ annual brand survey for 19 years in a row. Many competitors claim to be just like it, but nothing compares to DuPont™ Tyvek®.

The primary purpose of a house wrap is to prevent air and water penetration to the walls. A good water resistive barrier will help prevent drafts, help prevent water damage caused by water that gets behind the exterior cladding, offers moderate to high vapor permeability allowing water that does penetrate the barrier to evaporate and will be durable enough to withstand challenge that arise during jobsite installation.

DuPont™ Tyvek® is the standard (for the past 30 years) by which all air and moisture barriers are measured. Voted best in the market for the past 20 years, Dupont™ Tyvek® helps create a healthy home by protecting against mold and mildew in the walls of the home reducing health problems associated with mold.

For more information, take a look at this video about DuPont™ Tyvek®:

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Connect with DuPont™ Tyvek® on YouTube, LinkedIn and Tumblr, or visit the website for more information.




Home Modifications for the Aging Population

Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable for Elderly People

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

Aging is a natural part of life, but it can make the people who are going through it feel isolated from friends, family members, and society. That’s especially true when older individuals feel that residences aren’t made with them in mind. Keep reading to learn several simple ways you can tailor your home so it’s more welcoming to mature adults.

Consider Installing Safety Modifications

If there is an elderly person staying in your home permanently or for long periods of time, think seriously about remodeling your home so it’s safer for seniors. For example, you might put in brighter, motion-activated lights that make it easier to see the environment, or add grab bars to the bathroom so older people can get in and out of the shower and bathtub while enjoying more stability, and not feel unsteady as they use the toilet.

Remove or Minimize Possible Tripping Hazards

As they get older, people often find they can’t keep their balance as well as they once did. With that in mind, carefully evaluate your house to spot anything that could make an older person possibly trip and fall. You can even work your way through a checklist that assesses the riskiness of each room in your home. Hazards may include area rugs that frequently slide around, and thresholds that are significantly higher or differently textured than the floors around them.

Depending on the fall-risk factors you identify, there will be particular approaches to handling them. For example, in the case of a slippery rug, you can apply tacky backing that grips the floor and helps the accessory stay in place. If that’s not feasible, remove the rug from your home while seniors are visiting. Thresholds can be made more visible through reflective tape that alerts people be extra careful.

Limit the Ways Seasonal Temperatures Affect Your Home

Some senior citizens are especially sensitive to severe temperatures, and may have extreme difficulty coping with the characteristically more drastic climates of summer and winter. Keep your home warm for them by regularly getting your furnace tuned up, and promptly hiring a technician to repair it if needed. Conversely, during the summer, portable fans can help make up the deficit if your air conditioner can’t cool down your abode as much as a senior prefers.

Besides using your home’s climate control system to keep temperatures inside consistent regardless of what the weather’s like outside, stay attentive to seniors’ needs and do what you can to help them stay comfortable. Cold and hot beverages can also have positive effects depending on the weather, plus they promote hydration.

Keep Essentials Within Easy Reach

If older people have to reach up high or squat to retrieve items, they may be prone to losing their balance. Thoughtfully keep the things they might need to access at chest height or lower, so they don’t have to strain to access them.

These tips should prove whether you’re having an elderly person over for dinner or bringing them into your home for an extended stay, it’s not hard to make your space more accommodating. After putting these pointers into practice, you may find they make life easier for you, too.




Plumbing System Maintenance

Tips for Preventive Maintenance of Your Plumbing System

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

Plumbing is not something you can “get to” later. If you have plumbing problems, you want it fixed immediately, no matter what it costs. You can cry about the bill later. The best way to avoid emergency plumbing repair is to complete regular maintenance and employ some preventive measures as well. Here are some tips to help you avoid the frustration and expense of repairs.

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In the Kitchen

The next time you find a leaking faucet, consider installing a washerless faucet. They perform better and don’t need to be refitted with washers when they wear out. They are also fairly easy to repair, if needed.

Forbid the flushing of Kleenex and baby wipes down your toilet system. The fibers do not break up like toilet tissue and they can build up and cause clogs. Never flush baby or bath wipes down the drain, even when they have “flushable” on the front of the package. They are just too thick and today’s low-flow toilets don’t have the flushing power that older toilets did, so they are more likely to become clogged.

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Bathroom Plumbing

You know you should be using them, but it bears repeating: Buy a couple of inexpensive, strainers to place over the shower and tub drains. This will help prevent hair from ending up in a big, nasty ball that you’ll have to clean out when it clogs the drain.

Examine the showerhead now and then, especially if you have hard water, and remove any mineral deposits. This helps ensure you have a good water flow. If the holes are heavily clogged, it may signal buildup inside the showerhead and it’s best to replace it.

If you are “green”-minded, you know bathroom routines waste lots of water. Along with installing low-flow toilets and limiting showers, replace the ball or flapper inside the toilet tank each year to prevent wasting water as the arm starts to wear. Consider upgrading to more modern tanks at that time, too.

Winterizing

Those who live in colder climates know it’s important to blow out sprinklers and disconnect water hoses before the really cold weather arrives, but you also need to keep an eye out for leaks and drips in outside faucets and pipes that are close to outside walls. Water left in the hoses and leaky pipes can freeze and expand. When that happens, faucets and any connecting pipes inside the home can freeze and break. Call a reputable plumber immediately, such as king heating, to inspect and repair the pipes. If caught early enough, plumbing professionals may be able to thaw the pipes before they burst.

Hot-Water Heater Checkup

Your hot water heater is a hard-working piece of equipment. It should undergo annual maintenance that includes flushing out the tank to remove any sediment. If allowed to build up, the sediment can cause corrosion, which leads to reduced efficiency and a shorter life span.

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Hot water and flushable toilets are not things anyone wants to be without for any amount of time. You can avoid some plumbing problems with preventive maintenance and annual inspections that can help catch any problems before they get too big.




Functional Cabinets Are Remodeling Essentials

Kitchen Remodeling Essentials

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

Great looking cabinets can set the tone for your entire kitchen remodel, but having cabinets with extra functional features is an essential for a truly value-added kitchen renovation. Here are some great functional features that will make your kitchen remodel stand out above the rest.

Gliding Shelves

Shelves that glide out of a cabinet when pulled add to the accessibility of the whole cabinet space. They are especially convenient to quickly access what is stored on the shelf. A handy use of the glide out feature is a small appliance cabinet to make use of a deep and narrow space. A cabinet door that pulls out reveals stacked shelves of appliances like a mixer, food processor, and blender. These handy gadgets can stay out of sight until needed.

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Mounted Wastebaskets

Mounted wastebaskets that glide out of a cabinet space make bending to throw trash away under the sink a thing of the past. The glide out feature can help you make the most of the space by handling a larger waste container than what the under sink space could accommodate. Easy accessibility to your waste container means easier trash bag removal and replacement as well.

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Cookie Sheet Storage

This type of functional storage solution utilizes vertical partitions so that items like cookie sheets, griddles, and even pan lids can be stored vertically. With this type of cabinet storage, everything has its designated place. Storage space is maximized and the time it takes you to find what you need is greatly reduced.

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Hanging Pots

How to store pots and pans is one of the main cabinet decisions you will make during a kitchen remodel. If the idea of pots that store hung up by the handles intrigues you but you do not like the clutter of them hanging from a ceiling mounted rail, the cabinet version may appeal to you. A specialized rail system that is installed inside the cabinet allows you to hang out of sight yet within reach. This is a streamlined and quiet solution to clattering around in a traditional cabinet trying to find the pan you are looking for.

Multidimensional Pantry

A way to get the most storage and functionality out of a deep pantry space is to invest in a multitasking multidimensional pantry. This pantry design is the best way to get the most use out of a deep cabinet space. The pantry consists of shelving units on the inside of the doors as well as shelves within the back part of the space. The extra functional feature of this style of the pantry is the tower feature that supports two to three short depth shelving units that pivot on the tower like a store poster display. The direction that you move the towers determines which deep shelf storage you have access to.

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To make your new kitchen especially functional, it is a good idea to do your research and talk to a professional about the latest in kitchen cabinet storage ideas. The clutter you eliminate and the organization you gain can make a difference in your satisfaction with your new kitchen remodel.




An Easy to Install Technology Upgrade for the Home

Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schneider Electric for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love things that make my life easier… In my home, I have a keyless entry (awesome when my hands are full of grocery bags!), timers on my lamps and now a new super-cool addition to my heating and cooling system. I am so excited to install the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat in my home which will help me save money without sacrificing comfort! Plus, I can adjust the settings and manage the system from my smartphone!

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Schneider Electric, the makers of the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, develops connected technologies and solutions for energy management (making the company the global specialist), in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.

The Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is a highly intelligent thermostat with features such as Comfort Boost which is a unique feature that allows users to get instant heating or cooling without changing the schedule and Wiser Pulse which is an ambient glow feature that lights up Blue for cooling, Yellow for heating and Green when Eco IQ™ is saving energy. Eco IQ™ is a fabulous feature in itself  as it is self-learning and finds the right temperature for you. Comfort and savings based on user interaction are optimized based on factors such as humidity, outdoor weather, system run times and the home thermal profile.

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So, not only with the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat save money, but it is so easy to install! Here, let me show you…

I had an old programmable thermostat in my home that I installed years ago.

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I shut the power off to the furnace (very important!) and removed the old thermostat. Before removing the old thermostat, though, it is a good idea to take a photo of the existing wiring to use as a guide when connecting it to the new thermostat.

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Because the holes from a thermostat that was installed long, long ago would still be visible, I decided to use the back plate for the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat that is included in the box. I fed the wiring through the trim plate and into the back plate. The back plate is secured to the wall with drywall anchors and screws.

Referring to my photo of the existing wiring, I connected the wiring to the new thermostat. It is really easy to do – you’ll basically plug the wire into the corresponding terminal. Easy, right? (If in doubt, always consult an electrical professional!!)

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Next, I snapped the front plate on the back plate being careful not to damage the terminals, then I turned the power back on.

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The Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat will launch an installation wizard to help guide you through the setup process. I followed the prompts, and installed the app on my smartphone.

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Now, I can easily adjust the thermostat to fit the comfort level of the home! Awesome, right? purchase the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat for yourself. With it’s simple installation and setup, you can have it up and running in no time!

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Ready to Tackle Wallpaper? Here Are a Few Tips…

4 Tips for Choosing Your Next Wallpaper

I was compensated for publishing this post on DbSC. Posts like this are what helps DbSC continue to provide free furniture plans and how-to information.

If you’ve never purchased wallpaper before, you might be wondering where to start. How do you choose between colors, patterns and materials? How can you be sure that you’re getting the best deal from the best manufacturer? If you’re in the market for wallpaper, here are just a few tips for making your eventual decision.

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1. Save Images and Clips

Start a scrapbook of photos, designs, swatches, palettes and magazine clippings. Not only will it inspire potential wallpaper choices, but it might also help you realize what styles and aesthetics you most enjoy. You might wind up having an epiphany when all of your favorite images are of flowers or geometric patterns, or you might realize at the eleventh hour that what you really want is a mural wallpaper.

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2. Choose Your Material

While most wallpapers are made of paper products, you can also find them in everything from silk to imitation wood. Each material type comes with its own pros and cons, so you’ll need to do your research to figure out which one is right for you. The good news is that textured wallpapers are rapidly rising in popularity, so you’ll have plenty of options if you’re willing to branch out from traditional styles.

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3. Think About Price

How much can you afford to spend on wallpaper? Keep in mind that the price per foot will only be part of your final bill; you’ll also need to ship, apply and maintain your chosen product. Some wallpapers are easier than others when it comes to long-term maintenance. Try to factor all of these potential expenses into your budget to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.

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4. Take It For a Test Drive

Before re-doing your entire living room in sparkly silver wallpaper, request a sample from the manufacturer and apply it to your desired wall. How does it look with your furnishings? Does it stain, peel or flake easily? Does the color change as the light from the window fades during the day? These are all questions that you can only answer with a real-life wallpaper instead of an image on a screen, so don’t be shy about requesting samples for test use.

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These are just a few considerations when choosing your next wallpaper. An exciting new interior design can be yours, but you have to be willing to take a risk and make a change.




The Best Tool for Tackling Outdoor Cleaning Jobs

Cleaning Old Treated Wood with Spray Nine

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spray Nine for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I just recently built a new deck out the back of my house and wanted to use the existing exterior stairs. The stairs on my house were built by my dad nearly 18 years ago and have definitely taken a beating. Over time, they have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime, and have turned a lovely shade of green. They are slick when it rains and although still in great shape, they desperately need a good scrubbing! Cleaning the old treated wood stairs would definitely be a chore but with Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner, it was a breeze!

Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner is a heavy-duty cleaning, degreasing and disinfecting formula that tackles the toughest grime, grease, stains and bacteria where other products may fail. Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner does not use bleach or corrosive chemicals, and removes a myriad of things such as carbon soils, grease, mold and mildew, carpet stains, brake dust, bacteria, viruses, etc. quickly and easily. The “Triple Threat” formula delivers professional strength performance and has been trusted by pros for over 60 years. It can be used for automotive cleaning, industrial and commercial needs, institutional cleaning, manufacturing facilities and around the home.

I could not wait to try Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner on the stairs. I sprayed a coat all over the first two steps and let it sit for a few minutes (it is advised to not let it dry on the surface), then I started scrubbing with a brush. Though it took a lot of elbow grease to get the mold and mildew off of the stairs (nearly 18 years worth!), Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner did an excellent job of removing it and rinsed away cleanly.

There were areas where I had to apply Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner more than once because they were heavily soiled and I see a few areas where I missed. I am completely amazed at how these grimy, moldy stairs look almost as new as the deck! I have heard a couple of co-workers (yes, I have a job outside of the blog) who exclusively use Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner rave about it. I knew before trying it that it would work – and work well, it did!

Since Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner works so well, I bought a gallon jug of it to use to clean other treated wood furniture in my yard. I have two treated wood outdoor sofas I’ve built that will need to be cleaned before I can paint them. I know that Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner is up to the task and will make them look fabulous! Now you can take the Spray Nine Challenge and See what Spray Nine Heavy Duty can do for you.    plus get a $3 coupon toward the purchase of Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner! Trust me, this heavy duty cleaner is the best. Spray Nine is the most versatile and effective heavy duty cleaner available!

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A Few Tips on Finding Ideas for the Home

How to Get Home Decoration Ideas

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

It can become very boring to look at the same paintings, sculptures, furniture and tapestries every day. You might want to consider redecorating your home if you have not done this in many years. It is always a good thing to periodically change the style of the decoration in your home every now and then. Having new things to look at throughout your home can give a new energy to your entire home and make it a more exciting place to live. However, you might not be able to come up with any ideas in terms of fresh and interesting ways to decorate your home. Here are some tips that you can use to accomplish this.

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1. Look at some of the home decoration videos that are available online.

There are an enormous amount of video blogs that you can watch for free online at your convenience. Many of these video blogs are focused on the subject of home decoration. Both professional home decorators and average people make videos that will be very helpful to you in your quest to come up with a unique look for your entire home. You will be able to get some additional insight by reading the user comments that can be found below the videos. In many cases, the comments will provide outstanding ideas that were not included in the video blogs.

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2. Visit some websites that sell various items to be used for home decoration.

It can be a lot of fun to do some browsing on sites that specialize in selling a wide variety of items that you can use to decorate your home. There are many of these sites to choose from online. Some of them will only sell one particular type of item. Antique Farmhouse is an example of a site that sells a wide variety of home decoration items. Ideally, you want to find a site with a large inventory that will permit you to do all of your home decoration shopping in one place.

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3. Hire a professional home decorator.

Decorating your home might not be a project that you want to attempt to tackle on your own. If this is the case, there is another option you can try. You can start looking for a professional home decorator who will be able to find the exact look that will satisfy you.




Is It Time for a New Heating and Cooling System?

A Quick Guide to Updating Your Heating and Cooling System

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

If you want your family to be comfortable no matter the temperature outside, you must invest in a high-quality heating and cooling system. However, without the proper knowledge, you risk purchasing a system you can’t use or that isn’t safe. If you have been considering purchasing a new HVAC system for your home, it helps to know what to look for and how to install it. This quick guide to updating your heating and cooling system can help with that important decision!

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How to Tell if It’s Time to Upgrade Your System

If your HVAC system isn’t working as well as it should even after you’ve performed maintenance and taken care of any repairs, you should start thinking about replacing it. Even if it seems to be working, it may be running more often than it should, which could indicate the need for replacement. If your unit is more than 10 years old, it isn’t as energy-efficient as it could be. Just look to your energy bills for the evidence.

Benefits of Upgrading Your HVAC Unit

The most obvious benefit of upgrading your heating and cooling system is a more comfortable home. Temperatures will be more comfortable and stay consistent, making it easier for you and your family to relax. Upgrading to an energy-efficient unit can help to protect the environment and will usually save you at least a few bucks on your utilities. If you are thinking of selling, upgrading the HVAC system can even raise the value of your home.

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Unit

When deciding on which new HVAC system to purchase, consider whether you need natural gas or electric. If possible, choose one that uses natural gas for heat and electric for cooling. It will provide the best energy efficiency. An air-source heat pump may also work well for homes that are in moderate climates.

The size of the unit is also important. If you choose one that is too small, it will never efficiently heat or cool your home. If you purchase one that is too large, it will cool your home too quickly. When this happens, the air is not properly dehumidified. The humidity in the air can create condensation and lead to mold. Mold is expensive to clean. It’s also dangerous, which means it puts your family’s safety at risk and could lead to costly medical bills. In addition, a unit that is too large for your square footage could fry the compressor.

Having Your New System Installed

Unless you are an experienced and licensed HVAC technician, you should never attempt to install a new heating and cooling system yourself. Hiring a professional to put in the unit ensures the installation is correct, safe, and follows all local, state, and federal guidelines. Additionally, by hiring a professional to provide the installation now, you prevent making mistakes that may lead to costly repairs in the future. HVAC technicians will have all the equipment and knowledge necessary to do the job right the first time.

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Whether you need to add to your family’s comfort and safety or hope to sell your home in the near future, a high-quality and energy-efficient HVAC unit ensures you do both. Always speak with professionals before making any purchases to ensure you are making the right decisions when updating the heating and cooling system for your home.




Weekend Painting Projects

5 Fast Painting Projects That Can Be Done in a Weekend

I was compensated to post this article on Designs by Studio C. The post was not written by me but I do agree with the content. Posts like this are what helps DbSC add more great plans and projects!

One of the most effective ways you can get a fast and inexpensive update to your home is with a fresh coat of paint. If you’re not ready to devote the time and energy it takes to get your entire interior or exterior repainted, consider having some smaller painting projects around the house done instead. If you want a new change to your home in as little as a weekend, here are 5 fast painting projects that can be done in a weekend.

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Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Create a Dramatic Accent Wall
Instead of spending effort and money on repainting an entire room, try adding a colorful accent wall to spice it up a bit. Pick a spot that you want to help bring even more attention to. You can even change the perception of the room’s space by focusing your color choice on one wall. Certain color families may make a room appear larger or smaller because of depth perception and color. Warmer colors may make a room feel more cozy, while cooler colors could add the illusion of space.

Give an Old Piece of Furniture New Life
Another easy weekend project to tackle has to do with your furniture pieces. Find something secondhand, and give it new life with a fresh coat of color. Be sure to select items that have solid and sturdy structure. Items made of solid wood from the last few decades are the easiest to work with. Don’t worry about its current design scheme, since you can create something new and fabulous in no time.

Refresh the Trim in Each Room
The trim along your most trafficked rooms is probably due for an update. Dust and everyday wear and tear may have made your room’s trim dingy and uninspired. You can instantly brighten rooms if you have the molding along the floors and ceilings repainted. That way your rooms can look newer and fresher in a little bit of time.

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Image courtesy of samuiblue at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Use an Advanced Brush Technique
A weekend time frame is another way to look for fast project opportunities that elevate your room’s look. One project that could be an effective add-on to your home’s design is having your walls painted with advanced brush techniques, such as stenciling or sponge painting. These designs can be easily added to your walls by professional home painters, such as Crash of Rhinos Painting, and give you something unique to feature in your space.

Update the Entrance to Your Home
The last quick update for a weekend of painting could be to focus on your front door. As one of the most important focal points in your home, your entrance door is a great place to make a statement. Start with the color of your siding or exterior, and choose a shade that either pops in dramatic opposition or complements the look. Then, when guests arrive at your home, they can have something to talk about.

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Crash of Rhinos Painting, Phoenix, AZ

Get your home ready to impress by considering some easy weekend painting jobs. Have your painting contractors help you with these simple tasks that can wow you and your family. These 5 fast painting projects that can be done in a weekend won’t cost you much in terms of money or time spent, but they may help you fall in love all over again with your home’s look.