Category: DIY Home Improvement

Budget Friendly Home Improvement Ideas

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Homeowners in Maui who are either waiting to list their home, or simply wanting to do a little updating, can make a big difference in their home with upgrades that don’t have to cost a fortune. Simple DIY projects can enhance a home and make spaces more appealing for buyers when homeowners are ready to move forward with their home sale.

Here are several budget-friendly home improvement ideas that encompass everything from a splash of paint to tending to the front yard.

Lighting

Changing out the lights can have an impact on the home. Modern and classic fixtures can upgrade the entire look.

Paint

Painting is one of the simplest DIY projects that can give spaces a drastic update. Trendy blues and grays can help spice up rooms.

Landscaping

Adding flowers, piling on fresh mulch, and trimming shrubs can make a big difference. Demand for front porches has grown in demand during the pandemic, so making the most of your outdoor spaces will certainly add value if you’re thinking about selling.

Temperature

Maui homeowners could consider a smart-home upgrade, like a smart thermostat. This update helps homeowners save money on their heating and cooling costs. Programmable thermostats are available for less than $30.

Doorknobs and Cabinet Hardware

Swap out interior and exterior doorknobs to match other finishes in the home. This can also add greater security with new, higher quality locks (or smart locks). And don’t underestimate the impact of new kitchen cabinet drawers or pulls—they can add an instant update.

Mirrors

Homeowners in Maui can give the bathroom wall-size mirror an instant update by adding a frame to the mirror to dress up the space. They can simplify this DIY task by working with companies like MirrorMate, which offers frames for this reason.

How To Spruce Up Your Porch And Patio This Summer

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Outdoor spaces can start to wear thin after a while—especially if they’ve taken a beating from the winter months. Here are a few DIY projects so you can spruce up your front porch or back patio, just in time for all the nice weather ahead.

Build flower boxes

Porch railing planters are a great way to get in a bit of extra garden space—even when you don’t have a full garden to begin with.

Paint them to match an accent color or to contrast the colors of your porch. Just be sure to get plants that are easy to maintain and can survive your climate.

Install porch lights

You won’t need to spend a whole day on this project, but that doesn’t make the payoff any less impressive. Outdoor lighting takes a beating after years of being exposed to the elements. A new porch light can perk up an entryway in as little as an afternoon, as long as you know how to wire the fixture safely.

Repaint the front door

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to refresh your front porch, especially if that means adding color to a main focal point—like the front door. Paint can go a very long way. Whether from a distance or up close, a small pop of color on the front door can be a super way to make your home seem just a touch more cheerful. The color you choose is also a great way to show your personality.

Plus, if you end up hating the color, paint is cheap—so you can just try again.

New outdoor furniture

If your porch furniture is feeling as tired as you are after all these days in quarantine, it might be time to switch things up. This is a bit more expensive, but changing out your furniture can completely give the space a new feel.

If you’re unable to buy all new items, get a fresh look by rearranging your stuff or buying new pillows or cushions for your existing furniture.

Biggest Homeowner Remodeling Regrets

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Remodeling any aspect of a home can be a big job and a lot can go wrong when owners aren’t adequately prepared. Houzz, a home remodeling website, asked a panel of renovating experts the most common remodeling blunders they see. Here are a few of their responses.

Not budgeting properly.

Underestimating the costs of a project can be a dire mistake that could leave homeowners either with an unfinished property or having to incur a financial loss. Have a detailed budget so you don’t run out of money. Remodeling experts advise always including a 10% to 20% buffer in the budget for any unexpected costs when tackling a remodel.

Assuming DIY will save you money.

Remodeling experts call it the “DIY trap,” and rookie remodelers are especially prone to it. It’s not always cheaper to do a project yourself. It may not look right and could take triple the amount of time to complete than if you would have just hired a pro. “Limit your DIY tasks to things such as painting and simple landscaping jobs, and dedicate your time to project managing the renovation,” experts told Houzz.

Selecting the cheapest contractor.

Another common pitfall is to go with the cheapest quote from a contractor. You don’t want to have to redo poor work. Don’t just focus on the affordability of a contractor’s quote but evaluate fully what it specifies, experts recommend. Gather quotes from at least three contractors and compare them in detail. Also, evaluate the quality of their work through project photos and professional recommendations.

Failing to describe what you want accurately.

Know exactly what you want before you start and use the right words to describe it. Create idea books; search online for ideas online or in magazines; and have a specific list of layouts and finishes you desire. Become familiar with the proper terminology of those looks and finishes so you communicate them correctly to the pros, the experts recommend.

Not researching the material options.

In the same regard, choosing materials often requires some homework. Builders or contractors may fall back on the same materials they always use, but that doesn’t always mean those are right for the project. “Spend time researching the various materials options available—including looks, price, pros and cons, sustainability, durability, and which ones are best suited to your location, and take this information to your builder,” Houzz notes. “Armed with this knowledge, you can decide together the most suitable materials and finishes for your project.”

Source: Houzz.com

Benefits of Quartz Countertops

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For many of us, the kitchen is the hub of activity. It is where meals are made—and sometimes eaten—and functions as a gathering spot for family and friends. So as the epicenter of so much action, your kitchen deserves to be functional and stylish—and that all starts with your countertops. Lately, the countertop surface that’s on the lips and wish lists of designers and home buyers alike is quartz.

Quartz can be sourced from a number of places: kitchen design showrooms, stores such as Ikea or the Home Depot, and local stone yards that handle their own fabrication and installation. Contemplating quartz for your kitchen? Here are some reasons to consider this dazzling countertop surface.

It’s extremely durable

Quartz is one of the hardest minerals on Earth—even harder than granite or marble. It’ll last as long as your kitchen, and many quartz countertop manufacturers provide warranties ranging from 10 to 15 years to a lifetime. It is also scratch-resistant and won’t crack or chip.

It’s nonporous and antibacterial

Quartz isn’t porous like other stone surfaces, which means it never needs to be sealed. It’s resistant to mold, stain, and mildew, and a quick daily wipe-down keeps it 99.9% bacteria-free. Generally, warm, soapy water will clean kitchen work surfaces.

It’s environmentally friendly

Good news for those of us looking to live greener: Quartz materials typically leave less of a carbon footprint than other countertops. It’s an abundant material in the Earth’s crust, and the finished product is nontoxic and nonallergenic.

There are unlimited color and pattern options

Quartz can be manufactured in more color options than natural stones like marble or granite. It comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including white, cream, brown, and black, with sparkles, swirls, flecks, and veining for the look of granite or marble. You can get it honed, sandblasted, or embossed. Even something as outlandish as, say, a strawberry-red countertop can probably be done.

Places Your Home May Be Losing Heat

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Keeping your Maui home warm while keeping your electric bill low is the goal for most homeowners. If it seems like your home is always chilly but your energy bill is high, you may be losing heat. Here are some of the most common places your Maui home can lose heat:

Around Windows

Your windows are one of the prime places for heat loss. Old windows are known for letting heat escape while letting drafts in. Triple-glazed windows work well to keep the heat inside your home when the furnace is running. Since air isn’t really conducive of heat, triple-glazed windows act as a three-layer barrier to keep cold air out and warm air inside.

Doors

Similarly, doors that are in need of repair or replacement are a leading source of heat loss. To prevent this from happening around your door, make sure that the perimeter around the door frame is insulated well. You can use weather stripping or foam tape to fill in gaps. You should also install new door sweeps to keep cold air from entering underneath the door. If your doors are past the point of repair, replacement doors may be in order.

Through the Roof

Even if your windows and doors are tightly insulated, you may still be losing a good amount of heat through your roof. If your roof is old or in need of repair, heat can easily escape through cracks in the shingles or worn-out insulation. If only minor repairs are needed, you can easily seal up any holes and add insulation.

Power Outlets and Switches

Areas around power switches and outlets are also prime areas of heat loss. If the outlets aren’t insulated well, heat may be escaping through the walls. However, adding insulation is usually a quick fix. If you’re handy around the house, you simply disconnect the power, remove the face plates and carefully add on external outlets and light switches. If you aren’t handy, enlist the help of an experienced electrician to avoid injury.

Article from: Anita Ginsburg

How Much Should You Water Your Lawn?

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Knowing just how much to water your lawn can get tricky. Water it too little, and you end up with a wilting, faded lawn. Water it too much, and you risk fungal growth from too much moisture and runoff that can unnecessarily boost your water bill.

Watering your lawn is a task that can run in the thousands of dollars or only require a hose and sprinkler attachment, based on how you choose to water or save on water. Some people may choose to install drought-resistant landscaping that can run thousands of dollars. Or you might be on board with manually watering straight out of a hose with a spray attachment. However, it can take no time at all to water your lawn if you choose an automated system or several minutes daily manually.

General Lawn Watering

No matter what time of year it is, lawns have some basic watering requirements:

  • Generally, lawns need at least about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches of water per week.
  • That being said, check with a lawn care professional about what type of grass you have if you don’t know. Different types of grass can have different watering needs.
  • If your grass is brown and doesn’t respond when you water your lawn, it can be a number of other issues like fungal growth or simply not rotating a pet’s bathroom area enough. You may need to consult a lawn care specialist.
  • A common test to make sure you are watering enough is to stick a flathead screwdriver down into the soil right after watering. If it doesn’t easily go down 6 inches, you’re not watering enough.

But lawn needs vary between spring and summer, so below we’ll cover how to water your lawn between the two seasons.

Spring vs. Summer

The main point that makes watering your lawn in the spring and summer so different is the varying amounts of rainfall. Simply, more rain in the spring means you can get away with watering your lawn less. During spring, or even rainy periods in the summer depending on your local climate, you will have to keep a close eye on your lawn to see whether it needs additional watering from you.

It can help to have either a digital or analog rain gauge to tell you how many inches of rain has fallen recently. That way, you can see if the rainfall has hit that 1 to 1 ½-inch weekly water mark.

There are also several signs that you need to water your lawn more, which you can tell just by looking. The number one sign is that the lawn has a dull green cast, or even a grayish color, to it. Also, while walking on it, your footprints should disappear right away. If not, the grass doesn’t have enough moisture to return to its original position.

Saving Water

According to the EPA, if the average-sized lawn is watered for 20 minutes every day for seven days, it can be like running a shower constantly for four days or taking over 800 showers. That’s a lot of water. But you can still keep a green lawn and save on water with the following ideas:

  • Try installing smaller patches of lawn and complementing them with drought-resistant landscaping. That way, you don’t have to water your lawn as often.
  • Always water in the morning before 10 a.m., otherwise the water will evaporate during the heat of the day.
  • Water slowly and evenly to prevent runoff. You can place containers around your yard while the sprinkler is on. Then make sure each is getting a similar amount of water. You should also water slowly by using sprinklers or a spray attachment on the hose. Water different areas of the lawn in short and multiple bursts to allow the water to absorb.
  • Never water for so long that you see water running down the street.

2019 Landscaping Trends

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Want your Maui lawn and garden to stand out from your neighbor’s? If so, you’ll want to check out these five landscaping trends that freshen up your outdoor space and make it memorable.

Lawn Striping

Nothing is more welcoming than a lush, green lawn. Landscape pros are getting more requests from homeowners to “jazz up” their flawless lawns with stripes and other patterns.

Lawn striping isn’t hard to do. Most machines create a type of stripe as the lawnmower tires and deck bend the grass in the direction the mower is moving. But for more intricate or pronounced patterns, rollers and striping kits are available for certain lawn mowers.

Multi-Function Design

Landscape experts say homeowners no longer want a lawn and garden that’s only for admiring. Instead, families want to use their outdoor spaces — no area should be off-limits. Today, the more uses a garden has, the better.

Some of the top multi-purpose landscape trends are:

  • Vertical gardens that also work as a privacy fence
  • A small sitting area with a water feature and flowers that butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other wildlife can enjoy
  • A winding path planted with edible herbs
  • A wall with built-in seating

Pergolas

Merging indoor and outdoor living is high on a homeowner’s wish list. And an outdoor structure that creates an extra room adds to a home’s useful square footage. What’s more, today’s pergolas are more sophisticated than ever. Some of the top pergola trends now include structures with:

  • Space heaters or a fire feature
  • A luxury outdoor kitchen
  • A sitting area featuring a large outdoor sectional
  • Rolldown windows
  • Lighting
  • Sound systems

Metal Elements

Metal is the latest landscaping trend material of choice. It’s partially because homeowners want durable and low-maintenance materials that don’t require staining, finishing, sanding and sealing.

Look for pergolas, furnishings and other accessories in metal. Brushed stainless steel continues to be popular, although industrial-looking black metal is also on-trend.

Pink

Millennial pink, dusty rose and bold-yet-earthy coral have been big color trends in the last couple of years. And that’s especially true since Pantone named Living Coral their Color Of The Year for 2019.

Pink hues look fantastic against green, creating a big demand for pink flower beds. According to the report, landscape professionals also expect that softer, light blush pink tones will become the “the new neutral” for flooring materials, surfaces and finishes to tie in the bolder coral tones.

Housecleaning Hacks for People Who Hate Cleaning

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Here are some great housecleaning hacks for people who hate cleaning their house. Let’s face it, this is everyone.

Use old socks to clean blinds

Blinds often have multiple sides and shapes, so they can sometimes be a hassle to clean. But with this simple hack, they don’t have to be. Simply use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water to dampen an old sock, and then swipe the damp sock over each section of the blinds. Embedded dust and dirt will come right off!

Dust electronics with coffee filters

Coffee filters are perfect for cleaning dust from TV screens, computer monitors, and any other screens around the home, without leaving behind any fibers like towels do. You can also clean windows without leaving streaks—just clean them with a coffee filter instead of paper towels.

Clean your ceiling fan with a pillowcase

Instead of using a rag to clean your ceiling fan, which usually results in dust falling onto your furniture and floors, use an old pillowcase. Slip the fan blades inside the pillowcase, and then wipe each blade one at a time. Then just throw the dirty pillowcase into the washing machine.

Use dryer sheets to clean everything

Apparently dryer sheets have many uses beyond the laundry room. Run a dryer sheet along your baseboards to remove dirt and repel dust. Clean lampshades with dryer sheets as they pull away dust and prevent static cling, which equals less dust in the future. And add a dryer sheet to the bottom of your trash can to absorb odors and leaks. Dryer sheets, either used or unused, are also the easiest way to break down soap scum. Simply scrub fixtures with a sheet, and see results immediately.

Steam clean your microwave

Everyone hates cleaning the microwave. Instead of scrubbing it down, try putting a bowl with lemon juice and water in the appliance. Microwave on high power for three minutes, and allow it to sit for five more minutes. The steam will loosen any food remnants and banish odors, too. A couple of easy wipes inside and you’ll have a clean microwave with a lemony scent.

Grab pet hair with rubber gloves

When your standard vacuum can’t suck up all of your pet’s hair, rubber gloves will get the job done. Just slide them on and rub down any areas that need extra cleaning. When rubbed against fabric, the glove generates static electricity, which causes pet hair and lint to stick to it. Rinse the gloves under running water when you’re done, and the hair will come off.

Clean with vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is one of the most popular, eco-friendly, and versatile cleaning staples around due to its acidity. Plus, it’s cheap so you will save tons of money on cleaning supplies.

You can use it in the following ways:

  • Shower: Wipe your shower doors with vinegar to prevent soap scum and buildup.
  • Kitchen and bathroom drains: To help keep drains clog-free, pour a cup of distilled white vinegar down every two weeks. Allow it to sit for a half-hour, and then run cold water to flush it out.
  • Tile surfaces: Mix a half-cup of distilled white vinegar and a half-gallon of warm water. Use it to clean all tile surfaces.

Polish bathroom fixtures with baby oil

Do you have dull bathtub, shower, and sink fixtures? No problem. Get a paper towel and some baby oil. Put a dab of the liquid on the towel, then wipe it on the faucet. You’ll see it shine!

Let your dishwasher do double duty

If you only use your dishwasher to clean dishes, you aren’t using it to its full potential. Take a look at this list of things you can safely wash in the dishwasher, and put it to work:

  • Rubber flip-flops and baseball caps
  • Makeup brushes
  • Nonelectrical plastic and rubber kids’ toys
  • Mouthguards
  • Hairbrushes and combs
  • Plastic and metal garden tools
  • Refrigerator shelves

Home Improvement Projects Perfect for Beginners

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Some projects, like renovating your entire kitchen or turning a closet into a full bathroom, are too ambitious for most beginners. But even if you’re a DIY newbie, there are plenty of projects you can tackle without specialized expertise or experience.

Plus, becoming more handy around your Maui home is empowering. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but figuring out how to correct those mistakes will teach you as much or more as if you’d gotten it right the first time.

Ready to roll up your sleeves and get going? Start with one of the projects below for an easy entry into the world of DIY home renovation.

1. Paint a room or a piece of furniture

You don’t need to be an art school grad to paint a room. Beginners will love the fact that painting is an inexpensive, low-risk job that offers instant gratification.

If you’re unsure about colors, use a fresh coat of white paint on trim and a bright white on ceilings. For walls, choose any shade that suits your style.

Not ready to commit to that big of a change? Start smaller, by painting a nightstand or an old piece of furniture that could use an update.

2. Replace or refresh your hardware

The best DIY projects for newbies are the ones that make the biggest impact for the least amount of money and effort. Swapping out your cabinet and door hardware fits this bill.

Walk around your home and determine which hardware doesn’t match or could use an upgrade.

All you need is a screwdriver and a free afternoon. If you’re replacing drawer pulls, don’t forget to measure the distance between the screws to make sure your new pulls will fit.

If you want to up the DIY ante and save some money, keep your existing hardware and give it a makeover with spray paint. After removing your hardware, lay it down on an old sheet or on cardboard in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. A few light coats of spray paint can breathe new life and personality into rusty old knobs and pulls.

3. Touch up trim and caulk

Trim is often overlooked: It brings every room together, but over time, it endures wear and tear—especially baseboards, which attract dirt and dust and get scuffed up.

If your trim is looking worn, you can easily brighten it up by cleaning it with an all-purpose cleaner or a Magic Eraser. For seriously scuffed trim, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders.

Then, check around the house for places where your caulk could use a touch-up.

Caulking is an easy task for DIY beginners, but go slow to avoid mistakes.

It’s easy to add more caulk, but once you have too much on the work piece, it can turn into a messy headache.

4. Create a gallery wall

We’ve all probably hung a framed painting at one point or another. But to graduate from Wall Art 101 to 201, try your hand at assembling a perfectly curated gallery wall. It’s an extra challenge, but nothing a newbie can’t master.

For this project, you’ll need a tape measure, picture hangers, and a level. A gallery wall requires plenty of measuring to determine where each piece should go, and the level will help you hang everything evenly. If you’re hanging heavier pieces, use a stud finder to locate the sturdiest part of the wall that can support the most weight—or, in lieu of picture hangers, use drywall anchors and screws.

The good news: A gallery wall is forgiving if you make a few mistakes here and there.

5. Create a home maintenance to-do list

Let’s face it: Routine home maintenance doesn’t offer the satisfaction of a dramatic before-and-after photo. But it’s one of the most important tasks you can learn to handle on your own.

To get started, break up your maintenance to-do list into two columns, for indoors and outdoors. Go for a walk around the exterior of your house and take inventory of what needs attention now and what you’ll need to address in the future.

Take note of tree limbs that need trimming, siding on the home in need of repair, and make sure that downspouts and gutters are moving water away from your home.

Then, do the same for the interior.

Create or use an online inspection checklist to remind yourself of routine maintenance, like testing sump pumps and replacing HVAC filters, as well as visual inspections of water line connections to toilets, refrigerators, and washers.

At the end of the day, learning how to handle routine maintenance will give you the insight into identifying issues before they get out of hand, which can save you money and hassle in the long run.

Ways to Utilize Garage Space in Your Maui Home

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Your garage is one of the largest spaces in your home, and can be an invaluable place for storage, when done correctly. Consider what you need to store before planning your storage strategy. Also consider combining one or more of these techniques to make the best use of the garage space in your Maui home.

Garage Shelving

One of the easiest ways to store a large number of items in your garage is by installing shelving. The good news is that shelving systems are easy to assemble. A good shelving organization tip is to put the heaviest items on the bottom. This will lower the center of gravity of the shelf. Also, you’ll be able to easily access the heaviest items. You can find garage shelving systems at most home improvement stores.

Storage Bins

If you want some flexibility, then you will want to get a number of plastic storage bins. You’ll be able to store large and small items in these bins. Also, you will be able to store these bins in a number of different ways. You can find storage bins at home improvement stores, at online stores and at box stores.

Ceiling Storage

If you want to dedicate most of your garage space for your vehicles, then you may be pressed for space. However, you can actually store items above your vehicles with the use of ceiling storage racks. These racks are mounted from the ceiling and can hold a number of items. It’ll take some expertise to install the ceiling rack, but it will be well worth the time for this garage storage hack.

Peg Boards

If you’re looking to store your bicycles or other heavy items, you can use peg boards to store a number of items on your wall. First, install the pegboard on your garage wall. From there, you can install racks that will allow you to hang any number of items.

Wall Mounted Storage Cabinets

With wall mounted storage cabinets, you’ll be able to secure items of all sizes. You will also be able to better organize your items while keeping your garage looking neat and clean. Wall mounted storage cabinets may require professional installation; however, it will be well worth the investment.