Kitchen Cabinets – To Replace Or Not Replace – That Is The Question

kitchen remodelI found out recently that one of the fastest growing areas in home renovation is kitchen makeovers.. that is, not just a complete refit, but more of a facelift, just replacing the doors and drawers, handles and worktops, to get a gleaming new look kitchen, but without all of the expense and inconvenience of a full remodel.

It is something that I have done on many occasions to hotel rooms that had small kitchens included in the room, and it was just for a few cabinets in that instance, but I didn’t realise that it was such a hot home remodelling subject.

When you design your new kitchen, one of the major decisions that you need to make is concerning the cabinet doors. Since the cabinet doors are one of the largest surface areas that you see in the room, you should make sure that the doors you pick are the ones that best fit the look and style that you were looking for.

You also have to consider that your cabinets, while still solid and serviceable, are probably a size that is no longer supported by the major manufacturers, but you will find that the specialist replacement door businesses, such as this guy local to me, can help you to find what you need.

I contacted him and he tells me that he is able to source just about any size colour and finish to suit existing cabinets, so I am sure there will be a similar business close to you that can do the same.

When you are looking at furnishings for your home it makes sense that you shop around, weigh up all of your options and make sure that you find something perfect for you. When it comes to actually buying items there are some purchases that we spend more time considering than others.

When considering a kitchen remodel, the best thing to keep in mind is that the kitchen cabinets are the most important aspect of the entire project. There are so many kitchen cabinet doors to choose from and this can make the remodel project a bit more confusing and overwhelming.

So you’re remodeling what we are told is probably the most used room of the house. You were told right! Making improvements to an existing kitchen/kitchenette could increase the worth of the house considerably. There are numerous items to consider here, including the style of the rooms that are adjacent to the kitchen too.

The kitchen is the area in the house which we hold dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, it’s also a space which gets abused like no other. People are opening and closing doors and using and abusing the area every day.

Whether you are planning on marketing the house or staying in it, modern cabinets are a desirable way to update the room plus add more storage. Kitchens and bathrooms are 2 of the largest selling points for any home sale, so you can be sure that you will always recover any expense that you put into your new kitchen.

So if you are looking for a new kitchen for your home, consider changing the doors and drawers to get a classy facelift for less than the cost of a full remodel.

The video below has some ideas to get your creative juices flowing… the kitchens are very expensive looking, but there are design ideas to be gained by watching.

Home Security Ideas

home-security-systemsOne of the biggest problems we had while running a hotel was the problem of security. When you have lots of room, with strange people coming and going all the time, people are relaxed and not thinking so much about their security, things can easily happen.

One thing that is always a constant is how the security breach happens, and it is usually through a door or window, or a chance opportunity theft as belongings are left unattended.

So it is clear that by securing doors and windows, and fitting a good alarm system, your chances of suffering a home break in are greatly diminished.

I found this infographic that shows in detail how, what and when these problems are most likely to occur, so I thought I would share it here. I intend to discuss further the types and qualities and advantages of various lock types in a future post, but in the meantime I hope that this serves to remind us all how to take care of our homes, families and belongings.


home security


One further thing… it is not always the value of the stolen item that is the most distressing, it is often the fact that it can never be replaced. I know this from personal experience. It could be a piece of jewellery from a deceased relating that holds memories of parents of family members, or it could be a keepsake from a trip or ceremony such as a wedding. These things cannot be replaced and need to be secured.

Very often doors are fitted with inexpensive and easy to break mortice locks. It is fairly easy to replace with a high quality 5 lever mortice lock of the same size. The video below from B&Q takes you step by step through the process.


6 Reasons to get New Double Glazed Windows for your Home

new double glazing derby window imageYour windows make up a key part of your home of your entire home. If you have the wrong windows you might face the problem of your home getting too cold or hot. Other problems that might arise if you have the wrong windows includes too much noise or have problems with moisture and condensation. Double glazing helps to reduce and eliminate these issues and offer many other benefits in your home too.

I have lived in houses with these types of windows and without. In the UK where the winter seems to last for 9 months, good insulation and draught proofing is a necessity. Not only that, the maintenance of wooden windows that have to be gloss painted inside and out to protect the wood every couple of years is such a pain, that installing upvc frames alone is almost worth the investment.

This is the reason why they have become very popular among  people in the entire world. To help you gain more understanding, here are 5 reasons to get new double glazed windows for your home.

Double glazed windows are thermally efficient

Double glazed windows are thermally efficient because there are two panes. It is between these two layers that the air gets trapped. As a result of their design, it becomes hard for cold or heat to enter or leave the home through your house window. With this, it means that you will spend less on cooling and heating your home. In addition, it means that you will minimize your greenhouse emissions because of the reduced usage of your air conditioner or heater.

Triple glazed windows are also an option, but unless you live in a particularly cold or noisy environment you probably will be ok with less expensive double glazing. A call to your local installer who can advise you of the advantages of both systems in probably a good idea before you order your new windows.

Minimize sound transmission

The design in which the windows are made means that in addition to being thermally efficient, they are also acoustically efficient. This makes them more effective at minimizing noise transmission, making the inside of your house extremely comfortable. The level of noise entering your home gets minimized by almost seventy percent in some instances.

Help in eliminating condensation

Condensation happens when the warm air inside your house meets the cold surface of the window, making the water to bead up. With the double glazed windows reduces condensation problem because there is a barrier between the outmost glass pan and the inner glass pane. This happens because the inner pane does not get cold enough to allow condensation to occur.

Double glazed windows provides you with freedom in window coverings

If you have been facing a lot of problems because you have to use heavy window treatments as a way to try and stop cold or heat entering through the single pane windows, double glazed windows will help. With these windows all your problems will be resolved and will be a thing of the past. It offers a lot of efficiency because you do not have to use heavy treatments. You can use lighter curtains that provide you with privacy, but for less cost. It is also possible to get rid of the curtains and just use blinds, which looks more modern and are cheaper and easy to change.

Provide more securityimage of double glazing air gap

Double glazed windows offer more security in your home compared to the normal windows. This happens because the single pane windows are weak and can be broken easily. The double glazed ones have two panes that are thicker than normal glass. There are also some special ones that are laminated, thus they are hard to be broken into. This makes you have peace of mind because you know your home is secured.

Draught exclusion

New made to measure expertly fitted windows fit properly! No more draughts through old wooden frames that don’t fit the opening properly and that have warped or twisted over time, breaking the seals and allowing cold wind to enter the house.

As I said, I have owned properties with both types of windows, and for me new double glazed windows are a priority, and I recommend anyone upgrading a property to make new windows a priority. You will recoup your investment in just a few years and enjoy all of the benefits in the process.

Always consider the thermal efficiency of any glass that you are thinking of installing. The video below has some tips that you might find useful.

Top Floorboard Refinishing Tips

If you are considering refinishing the floorboards in your house, hopefully this blog will make things a little easier for you, make your experience more enjoyable, and save you from some of the complications and stress. The video above will give you an overview of what is involved.

This is a job I have had to do on several occasions, not one that I have enjoyed particularly, but the end result has always been worth the effort.

1 The floor needs to be prepared
The first thing which needs to be done during the Floorboard refinishing process is to make sure that your floor is prepared. This involves taking out anything from the room which can be damaged, such as the furniture. If you leave anything in the room then you need to know that it is going to get be covered with dust, and that includes things that you might just forget, such as pictures, curtains and light fittings.

Then you need to see if there is any boards which have become loose and if so, thenyou have to nail them back immediately. If you find any nails  have started to stick out of any of the boards then just nail them back then and there. Moreover, if you find any stains of water which are present on the floor then it has to be sanded out. If the room is small then you can actually sand that area by hand. However, if the room is bigger, then you would require getting the proper size sander.sanding the floor

2. Make sure that you are sanding in the exact direction of the floorboards
As you begin your floorboard refinishing, you have to make sure whether you are sanding in the exact direction of the floorboards. You have to go over each portion with your sander until tyou can only see baree wood. You also have to use an edger as it is very important to get into those portions of the rooms where the drum sander cannot get.

You need to make sure that you hold the machine level on the floor as it can leave marks if it is held at the wrong angle. If you find any holes after sanding, then don’t forget to fill them with the latex wood filler. After the sanding is complete, clean all the debris and dust completely.

3. Stain the floor
If you want to, then you can always stain the floor. However, you need to know that it is optional. You have to keep in mind that if you are expecting to get a lot of scratches on the floor and if you are using stain then it would actually make them even more noticeable. So, it is always advisable to avoid staining if your floor is in a high traffic area.coating

4. Finish the wood
The final step in Floorboard refinishing is to finish the wood. A lot of people use polyurethane as it is water based and it provides a stronger finish. Another type of finish is urethane which is not so durable. However, it won’t stain the floors yellow which the polyurethane can. They are available in matte, satin, semi gloss and high gloss finishes.

You should apply the finish first around the perimeter of the room then do in the remaining portion of the room. During this process, you need to wear a mask as there would be strong fumes.

Once finished, you can step back and admire your beautiful new wood floor. As I said at the start of this blog, the process is not particularly enjoyable, due to the dust and noxious fumes, but the end result is always a winner.

How to landscape your garden on a budget

landscape-design-ideasLandscaping is an art that involves changing the features of a piece of land, making it look more attractive and visually appealing. It is done through meticulous passion and planning but you will not have to spend a large amount of money if you follow our ideas on how to landscape your garden on a budget.

The most important step for landscaping is unity of the different elements of landscape so that it can perfectly fit together, creating a beautiful and attractive garden. You will need to incorporate different elements like plants, trees and other natural elements, and also consider how to mix and match them to make your garden look beautiful.

There are different steps to landscape your garden on a budget which includes-

Keep things simple- if you want to achieve the desired look of your garden then you will need to keep things simple. This can be done through minimalism and simplicity, and can be achieved if you do not over design your garden with different textures and colors.

Balance the design- when you balance the design of your garden, you will be able to make the garden look beautiful but for this you will need to keep a sense of equality in mind while you are planning your new landscape. Beautiful gardens can certainly be achieved on a limited budget by reducing the number of features that you want in your garden. This will save you a considerable amount of money.

This video below has some great ideas as you will see:

Determine your garden’s design- you will need to draw up the landscape gardening ideas based on the layout of your home. This will help in deciding the kind of design you will have for your garden and for this you will need to add specific details relating to the garden which includes layout of your home and other structures within the immediate vicinity.

Create a cost projection- you will need to allocate the amount that you are willing to spend on your landscaping project. You will need to create a list that will include the plants you want in your garden as well as other materials and tools that you will need for the landscaping job. If you want to add wood and rock in your garden, then you should also include it into your list as it will help you in determining the actual cost of landscaping.

Deciding on the different elements- the cost of landscaping depends on the different elements like the kind of materials and elements that you plan to use for creating them. You can always achieve a classy landscape which includes perfect lawns, flowering ground covers and beautifully meandering pathways even following a strict budget. You will need to balance the hardscape like trees, shrubs, ground cover, gates, fountains, pavers and many other elements.

Inexpensive building materials- the use of affordable building material can reduce the cost of landscaping your garden without being a burden on your budget. You can get everything on the internet, from brick, stones to hoses and lawnmowers that will help you to landscape your garden on a budget.

And don’t forget to look for used or recycled materials. Many times people advertise their unwanted bricks, retaining timbers and hardcore or gravel. A good website that I have used many times is and look for more excellent ideas on youtube.