Easy DIY Tips for Your Front Yard: Let’s Get That Curb Appeal Going!

Whether you are trying to sell your home or you just want to improve how it looks, your front yard is the place to start. The curb appeal is important, especially when you are staging your home for potential buyers. It is the first thing people see and has a big impact on their initial impression of the home. Here are some easy tips you can do on your own to increase the curb appeal.

A Sickly Lawn

Although the effects will not be immediate, there are things you can do to make your lawn look healthy again. Use a fertilizer to help bring the green back to yellow and brown spots, but make sure you water the grass after adding fertilizer to help prevent nitrogen damage and avoid cutting your grass too low. For bare and thin spots, add some grass seed.

Neat Edges

Clean cut edges do wonders for a yard. Edging should be done around the driveway, stepping paths, landscaping borders, and sidewalks. In most cases, you can use your weed trimmer turned sideways if it can be turned that way, but you may need a special edge attachment or edge trimmer.

Clean Up the Yard

Be sure to remove any debris from the yard. This includes trash, twigs, leaves, and overgrowth. Areas of overgrowth, even if they sit along wooded areas, tend to make a yard appear unkempt. If you cannot completely remove the section of overgrowth, try to keep it cut as far back from the beginning boundary of your yard as possible.

Fresh Paint to Spruce Things Up

If it has been awhile, it is a good idea to paint your front door, shutters, and other pieces to freshen them up. Vinyl siding can be given a good wash with a pressure washer. A pressure washer can also be used to clean up driveways and sidewalks that may have become dull or dingy over time. Windows can also be washed, even if they do not appear to be dirty. A cleaned up look can actually appear to brighten your home and yard.

Using Plants

Plants add a splash of color and can even be used to create focal points. A small garden accenting a patio or walkway is a good idea. If you already have existing gardens, remove weeds regularly and add fresh mulch. Carefully placed potted plants can also be used as accents. Try not to go overboard. Too many flowers can make your yard appear cramped.

Add Lighting and a Mailbox Upgrade

Subtle outdoor lighting can create a warm welcoming look. During the night, a few well-placed lights can mark your driveway entry and path lighting can illuminate the walkway to your home. A new mailbox and post can add to the curb appeal of your home as well.

It does not take a whole lot to change how your front yard looks. Adding some simple things and making a few changed can go a long way. You do not have to spend a large amount of money or pay high landscaping fees. Increasing the curb appeal of your home is just a few steps away, without requiring a whole lot of effort.

5 Most Common DIY Home Improvement Disasters

One of the best ways to add value to your home is to complete a renovation or other project to improve your home. When looking to complete a renovation, many people choose to do the project themselves, either to save money, for fun, or because it is more personally rewarding. While completing a DIY home project can be a great thing to do, there are five common disasters which all people should try to avoid when they are completing their home project.

The first common DIY home improvement disaster is not having the ability to complete some complex work. Even people that are skilled contractors will find that there are some parts of a project that they cannot complete on their own. This can include plumbing or electrical work, which can be very challenging to complete on your own. unfortunately, many people try to do these parts of the project on their own anyways and mistakes are frequently made. These mistakes could then lead to more significant issues, which can cost a lot of money to repair.

The second common DIY home improvement disaster is not ever completing the project. When starting a new project, most people start off very motivated and excited. However, when the project starts to take more time than anticipated or other things get in the way, people can get bored and distracted. This can then lead to the project either taking much longer to complete or never being fully completed at all.

The third common DIY home improvement disaster is not budgeting properly. While most people will complete a project on their own to save money, the average person does not do a good job of accurately predicting how much it will actually cost to get something done. This can lead to unanticipated cost overruns, which could then require people to change their original plans in order to save money and stay in budget.

The fourth common DIY home improvement project disaster is not completing the project correctly. A project that is not done correctly, or is simply done poorly, could be disastrous a number of different ways. One way that it could be disastrous is that it could violate building code and zoning laws. If this is the case, you will be required to restore your home into the condition it was before the project was started.

The fifth common DIY home improvement project disaster is accidentally damaging existing elements of your home. Inexperienced people that work on their home can make a variety of mistakes, including spilling paint, drilling through a pipe, or creating an electrical short. While these can be small accidents, the accidents will ultimately need to be fixed, which can be a time consuming and possible expensive process, which could put the entire project behind schedule and above the budget.

In conclusion, completing a DIY home renovation project can be a very rewarding and satisfying thing to do and be a great way to save money. While completing a project on your own can be a great option, there are several common disasters that people should be aware of before they start any DIY project.

Eight Steps To Ensure A Successful DIY Move

Whether you are moving across town or to a different state, moving is NOT FUN! In fact, it can be A LOT OF WORK! If you do not have the money to spend on a professional moving service, moving can become even more trying. However, if you do have the money, consider hiring your local professional movers as it’s going to save you a lot of headaches and body aches! We recently moved from the Los Angeles area to San Diego, and we couldn’t even have fathomed having gone through that experience without one of the best San Diego movers we found, All Star Move. Those guys were professional, took good care of our stuff, and made the job look easy! We highly recommend them if you’re in the area.

However, if you insist in doing it your way, moving by yourself does not have to be completely painful. Here are some tips on how to move successfully on your own we learned along the way:
Get Rid of Unused Items

The first thing you need to do is get rid of the items you don’t use anymore. If you get rid of unused items, packing and organizing will be much easier. Consider donating your unused items to a charity or selling them at a garage sale.
Get Organized

Your move will be a lot smoother if you are organized. It is helpful to make a list of things you have to do each day before the move. For example, a week before you move, you should get prices for truck rentals and handle address changes. If you try to do two or three things each day, moving will not seem so stressful.
Pick the Right Moving Truck

If you are making a big move, you will likely have to rent a moving truck. Make sure to shop around so that you get the best possible deal. Also, realize that your mileage will probably not be included in the moving rates.
Collect Boxes

Boxes are essential for any move, so start collecting them. Try to get as many boxes as you can because you never know how many you will need. Go to local grocery stores and ask for boxes. Most grocery managers will be happy to give you boxes for free.
moving-yourselfLabel Your Boxes

Take the time to label your boxes. For example, you can write what items are in each box or what room they go in. Labeling your boxes will definitely make the unpacking process easier and quicker.
Tell Everyone About Your Move

Let all your family members and friends know that you are moving. Inform them at least a few weeks ahead of time so that they can make plans to help you. If you get at least a couple of other people to help you, the moving process will be a lot easier. Show them how much you appreciate their help by buying them lunch afterward.
Think About Renting a Storage Unit

If you do not think you will have enough room for all of your belongings in your new place, think about renting a storage unit. Check out at least a few different storage facilities beforehand. Make sure that the storage facility you choose is secure and modern.
Pack a Bag of Essentials

It is a good idea to pack a bag of essentials that you can carry around with you during moving day. Some of the items you can pack in your bag include aspirin, toiletries and extra clothes.

If you follow these helpful tips, moving will be a lot less stressful. Avoid panicking if things don’t go perfectly on moving day. Also, do not hesitate to take breaks when you need them.

Four Ways to Infuse New Life into Your Bathroom

The bathroom may be the hardest-working room in a home but when it comes to style, it’s often the most overlooked space. A few simple upgrades, however, can give the utilitarian room new ambiance while adding functionality to the space too. Whether you want to create a place where you can unwind at the end of a busy day or you just want your bathroom to work better, these four ideas can help your bathroom look less like a laboratory and more like a stylish, livable space.
1. The Bathroom Vanity

The vanity sink is the most public fixture in the bathroom. Typically located close to the room’s entrance, it’s often visible from other areas in the home. A new bathroom vanity is an affordable upgrade that elevates the style of the room while providing extra space for storage. The number of styles available make it easy to choose a bathroom vanity that coordinates the bath with the rest of your home. If you’re looking for a place to start shopping, we recommend checking out PremiereVanities.com as they have a great selection at affordable prices.

When it comes to counter top materials for your new vanity, stone remains the most popular option. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the top three most-requested vanity counter materials are granite, quartz and marble. Solid-surface materials that mimic the look of stone are also popular choices.
2. Trending Colors

Applying a fresh coat of paint is an affordable and easy way to infuse new life into a tired bathroom. Gray has replaced white as the most-asked-for color in bathroom makeovers, according to the NKBA. A gray color scheme gives the room a sophisticated look without overpowering the space and works well with both contemporary styles and traditional designs.


Because the element of water dominates the bathroom, colors that evoke sand and sea are also effective. Green remains a popular color choice, with blue following close behind. For a Zen-like atmosphere, earth tones are ideal, particularly when the bathroom makeover includes spa features such as a stand-alone soaking tub.
3. Finishing Touches

Bathroom faucets, shower heads and hardware offer opportunities to give the room a coordinated, cohesive look. The NKBA lists polished chrome, brushed or satin nickel finishes as the most popular choices. It’s all about function when it comes to favorite choices for faucets and shower heads Sink faucets with touch-operation offer ease of use to both children and seniors. Multiple shower heads in the shower enclosure offer both relaxation and re invigoration. When mixing shower head sprays and faucet fixtures, choosing the same finish throughout the room helps link together the various styles.
4. Lighting Schemes

Few design elements transform the look of a bathroom like lighting. Bathrooms are typically constructed with a single, bland overhead light fixture. Replacing the generic fixture with a fashionable pendant light adds instant elegance to the room. Installing wall sconces at either side of the vanity mirror helps illuminate grooming tasks. It’s an economical way to amp up the room’s style.

It doesn’t take an extensive and expensive remodeling project to change the look, feel and functionality of your bathroom. To help choose the upgrades that will make the most difference in the space, set clear design goals. Once you decide how you want the finished results to make you feel while you’re in the room, it’s easier to select the products that will achieve the desired effect.

Ten Awesome Remodeling Tools For Your DIY Project

Are you getting ready to start a remodeling project? If you are excited about transforming a designated space in your home to dramatically change its function or appearance, it is time to equip yourself with all of the tools you will need to make your project easier. With an arsenal of all of the right equipment, you never have to worry about spending more time on a task than necessary or delaying your work to take extra trips to the home improvement store. Here are 10 awesome remodeling tools that you need to get your hands on before you start working on the transformation.
10 Tools You Need for DIY Remodeling
1. The Cordless Palm Nailer

Never let cords get in your way when you are putting up drywall or building a cabinet. While this tool might not completely eliminate the need for a hammer, nailing will become less of a grueling task with the compact tool that is powered by an air compressor. Select the pressure setting, attach the nail to the magnetized tip, and position the tool and you can drive nails into virtually any type of surface.
2. Ballistic Fasteners

Are you installing an indoor flooring system or outdoor deck boards that are grooved to fasten together? This can be a tedious and time-consuming job without the right tools. With a ballistic fastener that is designed to make contact with the grooves and fasten them together instantly, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to install your flooring by as much as 50% and take save your back in the process.
3. Hole Saw Mini Kit

If you are renovating your bathroom of your kitchen, chances are you will need to drill compact holes where electrical fixtures and plumbing pipes will run. While you might not be an electrician, you can still cut the perfect hole with a hole saw mini kit that includes a compact drill and hole saw drill bits of varying sizes.
4. Cordless Sander

Are you refinishing your floors or your cabinets? Do not pay a contractor to do something you could do on your own with the right sander and sand paper. Keep your remodeling costs low and breath life into your hardwood flooring, your cabinet faces, or your deck. With a woodworking cordless sander that comes complete with a vacuum attachment, you can prepare your floors for staining and clean up the mess at the same time.
5. Right Angle Impact Driver

Ever needed to drive a nail into a tight space that is virtually impossible to reach? It happens all too often. If you are looking for a solution, purchase a right angel impact driver with a powered motor that can reach the tight spaces without cramping your wrist.
6. Auto Loader Screwdriver

Are you tired of shuffling through your tool box to find all of your screwdrivers? The auto loader multi bit screwdriver is the answer. This single tool can be loaded with multiple drill bits so that you always have the bit you need for your project handy. Twist the tool to select the bit you need for this screw and save time.
7. Grout Out Attachment

The grout out attachment for your reciprocating saw is all you will need to remove grout in a fraction of the time. If you are tired of your dingy grout, removing it and changing the color can dramatically transform the room. This simple attachment made of carbon steel eliminates the need to manually scrape grout and will keep your tiles safe from damage too.
8. Tool Alarm

Your tools are valuable. The last thing you need is someone fiddling in your toolbox or stealing your equipment. Just like you need the right tools for your project, you also need to protect the tools you own. A toolbox alarm is a great way to remotely monitor your tools and will alert you when someone tries to enter your tool box without your permission.

Nursery Wall Painting Ideas – Create A Beautiful Accent Wall

Painting your child’s nursery, especially if this is your first, is an honor, a reason for excitement, an art project, and most of all, a work of love that should not cause you any stress or anxiety. Even if you don’t consider yourself able to paint your fingernails without making a mistake, know that you absolutely can paint your child’s nursery, and you will do a great job.

First, ask yourself:

“How long will my baby be in the nursery?”

If you’re like most parents, you don’t live in a mansion, so that nursery room may have to convert into your baby’s bedroom — this usually occurs around age 5. If you know ahead of time how long the nursery room will be in place, you’ll have a better idea of the painting you decide to do.

Some themes to consider are: fairy tales, nursery rhymes, animated characters from videos (this is an especially easy theme to convert from a nursery to a child’s bedroom after four or five years), religious/angelic images, etc. There is nothing to limit the choices you have for the theme of your child’s nursery.

If you are not an artist, but have your heart set on painting a mural for the nursery walls, not to worry. Many artists are available for work in almost any neighborhood; check the local discount newspapers, high schools, even the web-based classifieds; artists are always looking for gigs. If you want to complete the painting yourself and you have never done anything like this before, you have support in the form of local craft stores and countless websites. Complete a web search, “How to paint Tinkerbell on a wall,” and over one million sites will come up, each one providing complete, easy, do-it-yourself instructions (many with youtube videos).

Take a shortcut through art school. Decide on an image that you want to paint, example: Simba. Go the web, select a graphic of the character. Print it, and cut out the image (it should be at least 8 1/2” x 11” for a good painting). Turn the image over and using a pencil, shade in the sheet of paper. Tape the image to the nursery wall, faceup. Use a pencil to trace all of the lines (eyes, ears, nose, paws, all of the lines of the image.) Remove the piece of paper to see an outline of Simba on your nursery wall — this is the hardest part of the process. After purchasing some bottles of paint from a craft store, and a paintbrush or two, just fill in the corresponding color and allow the paint to dry.

Next, use a black magic marker and outline the Simba you have just painted; the black lines should be on top of the painted sections, to add definition. Refer to your printout from the web as a reference. Allow the black magic marker ink to completely dry, and to seal in your work of art, paint all over Simba with a clear gloss — and Voilà! You are an artist.

Whatever theme you decide for your baby’s nursery walls, make it great, and have fun with the colors. And if you decide that you are not so happy with the results, just remember this: one paint roller and a small can of egg shell is just like a delete key.

Hang Wallpaper In 5 Easy Steps

A perennial favorite for interior design, wallpaper can improve the feel of a room and with different colors and patterns, can make a space seem light and airy or close and intimate. Wallpaper is a home improvement job easily accomplished by any home owner.

Following the proper steps for wallpaper installation will ensure the surface stays smooth and flat and that the seams and imperfections of the application remain invisible. Choices for modern wallpaper include flat or textured options that may be constructed of silk or vinyl materials. The type of material used may impact the level of difficulty a home owner has in completing the installation.
1. Mark the room and cut the paper

Wallpaper isn’t simply hung from left to right along the open wall. Proper hanging of wallpaper actually starts from the middle of the wall, or wherever a person’s eyes might land first when they enter a room.

By taking a small piece of wallpaper and tacking it up on the wall temporarily, the room can be measured for the number of strips required and expected seam locations. After marking the room fully, the home owner can roll out and cut the required pieces of wallpaper.
2. Apply paste to the wallpaper or loosen the adhesive

Some wallpaper will require paste while other wallpaper is pre-pasted. For strips of wallpaper that have no paste, an even coat of paste should be applied, after which the paper should be held for about five minutes before hanging.

For wallpaper with paste already applied, the paper will require submersion in water for about five minutes to activate the paste and get it ready for adhering to the wall.

Tip: Gently fold the paper onto itself without bending it so that the paste doesn’t dry out before the wallpaper can be applied and secured to the wall.
3. Hang the wallpaper

Proper application of the wallpaper to the wall requires starting at the top of the wall and applying the strip in a downward motion along the surface. After the initial hanging of a piece, the edges should be smoothed onto the wall with a lightly moist sponge and then pressed onto the wall from the center of the strip outward toward the edges.

When applied to the wall, the strip should have som

Five Steps to Prepare a Vegetable Garden

The early days of springtime begin to usher in warmer days and daydreams of serving homegrown vegetables at the family table once again. While gardeners and gourmet cooks alike are eager to fill their landscapes with vegetable plants to nurture, the premier weeks of spring can still present frosty nights. Take this time to ponder what you envision for your garden and to carry out these preparatory steps in order to maximize a bountiful season.
Step 1: Planning

Consider the size, location and style of the garden that will best suit your needs. These deliberations will enable you to delve into a garden that will be enjoyable and rewarding rather than overwhelming or impractical.

When contemplating size, consider how much time you have to devote to regular garden maintenance once planting is complete. Also decide which vegetables you and your family enjoy the most and choose produce that typically trends within the cuisine of your preferred cooking recipes.

Choose a location that offers full sun exposure, shelter from high winds and soil with good drainage in which to designate a vegetable gardening spot. Be sure to have a long enough hose to easily reach this location for daily watering.

There are many style options for vegetable gardens, from simple oblong plots of soil to raised beds to vast and elaborately designed garden areas.
Step 2: Designing

Begin construction once you have chosen the garden spot and the layout. Determine if you desire wooden framework to define the garden’s edges and sections and decide on whether fencing around the perimeter may be necessary to prevent pets and wildlife from trouncing and grazing. Vertical structures will be needed for climbing specimens such as cucumbers or string beans. Establish walkway paths in order to access all sections of the garden.
Step 3: Soil Preparation

Dig and turn all of the soil to a depth of approximately twelve inches. Remove weeds, old plant material and debris. Break and crumble large chunks of dirt until it all appears uniformly fine. Next, evenly distribute compost throughout the garden and mix until it is incorporated with the soil.

Garden centers and county cooperative extension centers will test soil samples to determine if any other substances should be mixed in to correct soil conditions that may be counteractive in growing a successful vegetable garden.

Cover the soil with a plastic tarp until you are ready to plant. This serves a dual purpose of retaining daytime warmth, thus preventing the soil from freezing during early spring nighttime temperature plunges, as well as discouraging weed growth during this interim.
Step 4: Planting

Once threats of frost have subsided for the season, then you are ready to add the plants. Water the garden thoroughly on the day before planting, and again immediately once planting is complete. Follow label instructions regarding spacing since overcrowding can lead to nonproductive and spindly plants. Cover spaces between plants with mulch to retard weed growth and to hold moisture.
Step 5: Maintenance

Water the garden daily and remove weeds regularly. Pinch early plant growth to encourage fuller plants and harvest vegetables regularly to promote continued production. Stake taller plants and be sure to protect plants when threatened with harsh weather events.

No vegetable or fruit is more flavorful and rewarding than that which is picked fresh from your own garden. Homegrown produce not only saves money, it enables your family to savor a healthy diet at its delicious and nutritious best.

Nine Tips To Make Your Home Pet-Friendly

Part of helping your furry friend be a welcome part of your household is making sure that your environment is as pet friendly as possible. Not having a proper environment for your pets will result in tension between you, the animal in question and other household residents. It isn’t necessary for you to sacrifice aesthetics because you share your indoor living space with animal companions, however. Plenty of ways exist to keep your home looking chic and clean while accommodating the needs of your furry friends. Following are nine tips that can help create a happy home ambiance for both humans and their pets.
1. Vacuum Thoroughly and Often

Regular vacuuming will help keep your household surfaces free of pet hair and dander. Twice a week should do it unless your pet is shedding. In that case, you may have to vacuum on a daily basis.
2. Dress Your Bed With Washable Fabrics

Using bedsheets, pillowcases, blankets, quilts and comforters that are made of washable fabrics will go a long way towards keeping your sleeping space clean and sanitary. You can give your entire bedroom a makeover just by throwing everything into the washer.
3. Forget About Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Wall-to-wall carpeting harbors mold, mildew, dirt, dust, grime, pet hair and other substances. Bare floors with washable throw rugs look nicer anyway and are much better for the health of all household inhabitants. Both humans and animals have been known to develop respiratory problems due to the difficulty of keeping wall-to-wall carpeting clean.
4. Groom and Bathe Your Pet Frequently

Furry friends enjoy that just bathed-and-brushed feeling just as much as we do. Performing grooming tasks on your pet frequently will help to keep your home clean and free from pet hair and dander.

5. Discover the Joys of Stain Resistant Fabrics

Instead of asking for trouble by using dirt and dust magnets like velvet for upholstery or pillows or using delicate silk and chintz for home decor purposes, use washable, synthetic fabrics such as Crypton. Nearly indestructible, Crypton repels stains and unpleasant odors. Leather is also a good choice because it’s nonporous and easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
6. Choose Pet Toys and Treats With Cleanliness in Mind

Even though our canine furry friends dearly love chewing on those dried pig ears and rawhide bones, these items can have damaging effects on household flooring and furniture because they leave greasy stains. Choose rubber toys for dogs instead. If you have indoor cats, you should provide them with scratching posts in attractive shapes and styles.
7. Color Coordinate Your Pets and Your Furniture

Selecting furniture in the same color range as your pets will make pet hair much less noticeable. Imaginative use of color will also make your home environment more appealing.
8. Set Up a Mud Room Near Your Front Entry

After a long romp outdoors, furry friends are likely to have muddy paws. Setting up a designated room to clean paws and other effected areas will go a long way toward keeping your indoor environment clean.
9. Select Hard-Surfaced Floors

Hard-surfaced flooring is easy to keep clean and sanitary simply by vacuuming and mopping on a regular basis. They are also quite stylish and attractive. The best flooring material for homes where pets live is also the one that’s presents the best overall appearance: ceramic tile.