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Home Improve E-zine, Issue #003 -- Monthly Newsletter - plan your 2005 home improvement remodeling
May 15, 2005
Home Improve E-zine

Home Improvement Quandary?   lets nail down the Options

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IN THIS MONTHS ISSUE: May 2005

Welcome to our MAY issue of Home Improve E-Zine, throughout the year we delve into the preparation of big and small home improvement projects. Summer is on the way and this is the ideal time to prepare for your Summertime 2005 home improvement project.

Don't miss the home improvement show lists for June to make sure you get to attend any event near you.

Enjoy your home improvements and as always, it's safety first with all the planning and time you need to work well.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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  • Our Tip Top Tip...
  • Your Home Improvement Calender - Preparation - May 2005
  • Building a Deck Design Part 1...
  • Kitchen Cabinet - to Paint or to Stain
  • Review of the Month - Home Improvement Catalog Review
  • Home Improvement Show Calender for June 2005...
  • In Next Months Issue...
  • Welcome New Subscribers
  • Copyright, Subscription info

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Our Tip Top Tip

Unless your home improvement project is an easy simple task and you have d.i.y experience - our Tip Top Tip for May is that you look for the best Contractor you can find to manage your home improvement for you.

Good Contractors are busy contractors so if you are planning work over a couple of months this summer you really need to find the right one now.

You can get our tips and updates throughout the week by visiting our BLOG, link into our RSS feed and be informed of new articles at our Web site here at Home Improve Blog

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Your Home Improvement Calender
(For clarity we are working on June = Summer and December = winter )

May - June 2005

If you are trying to fit in your visits to your local planning office and meetings with your structural engineer and/or architect around your working hours - don't worry, persevere - there is still plenty of time for all your plans to come together before your summer holidays.

If you have decided to do home improvements instead of going off somewhere on holiday then I want to encourage you - a change is often as good as a rest and by the end of your holiday you will have created your extra living space or your deck design or whatever your home improvement dream is for this year and you will have the rest of the year to enjoy it!

A suntan fades quickly but your work will endure, you will have improved the quality of your home life and hopefully increased the value of your home.

If the weather is as good this year as I predict and part or all of your project is outdoor - you are going to get that suntan anyway!

Lets check our May list for progress

Plans

If you have just received plans back from your architect then check all the measurements, if it's for outdoors lay boundary markers on the ground - can you imagine the build, taking into account any wall or half wall structures does it seem as big as you expected, are there any last minute changes you want to do.

Architects often include options for many aspects of the work to be done - sometimes cost or time effective, often space making.

Permits

If you are going to do your home improvement project alone and are having trouble with your permits - remember the exercise we suggested before applying - scour the neighborhood and see if you can find another home that has benefited from the same work that you want to do - try to find a precedent to help you push your request.

Working with contractors means you don't lose time worrying regarding permits, a properly licensed and experienced contractor will know the folks down and the planning office and he will know beforehand if there are likely to be problems with your proposed work or if it is a normal home improvement for your type of home and area.

If your permit has come through it's time to make sure that finances for the build are in order. Remember a contractor will be able to source materials at trade prices meaning you can spend more on quality workmanship...

Home Improvement Financing Tips:

  • Shop Around

  • Don't go for the cheapest

  • Choose a reputable company

  • Find out all your options
Home Improvement Financing Options

Contractors

Basically there are three types of contractors for residential buildings:

  • The Contractor who is recommended by and is part of a National Organisation like "National Contractors" or the "American Contracting Exchange"
  • The recognised Local Contractor who like the affiliated contractor above, has his business licence for your area plus a client referal list, certificates of insurance to show you - has contracts to sign and proper invoices for payment.
  • The Unlicensed Contractor - this contractor may sound like he can do the work for you but he won't have any of the required licences or certificates. This one could get you in a whole load of trouble and end up costing you many times more and could even leave the work unfinished.
Read the full story about the benefits of a real Contractor and what can happen if you try to cut corners by using someone unlicensed... here at Home Improvement Contractor

Share Your Home Improvement Experiences here:
E-zine Contribution

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Building a Deck Design Part 1

Part One
Permits and Preparation

A Grade level or Ground level Rectangle Deck is the easiest of the Deck Designs if you are planning to build your own deck this summer

If you are planning a larger ground level deck, a deck pool surround, decking around your jacuzzi or a multi level deck you should source a reliable licenced Deck Design Contractor who has independant contractors insurance.

Which ever type of deck you are planning to build you will need to first visit your local Building Inspection Division to at least find out about:

  • Permit Requirements in your area
    Find out how big and how high you are allowed to go.
  • Zoning Code Requirements for your area
    Any deck will be required to meet the Zoning Code setback requirements.
  • the Frost Depth for your area
    You need to know how deep you have to dig so that your post holes extend below the lowest ground frost level for your area.

You local building office is a great source of important building information.

You should visit them and use them to the advantage of your build - ignore them and don't get their advice and you may well have to take your construction down and perhaps pay a fine if it doesn't comply.

It is especially advantagous to have your permit papers in order for your build if you are planning to build in stages over years to extend your decking bit by bit.

More importantly if you plan to build a deck that will add value to your home you must have the correct paperwork to be able to use your decking as a benefit to your home and validate the increasement and worth to get the selling price you want.

Only when you know what you are allowed to build can you get you deck design software out and really begin to plan - to do this properly of course you need to know where any pipes and cables are that may extend out underground through your back yard - having to call in the professionals to fix broken pipes could easily double your budget!.

It's NOT really that difficult having a deck design built at your home as long as you spend the necessary time in PREPARATION, that's really the key to a deck success.

Next week in Part 2 we will cover the pros and cons of different wood types for decking and the list of materials you will need Plus transfering your plans from paper to ground and getting those all important post holes in the right way...

Related Information
Deck Design
Deck Design Software
Deck Railing Designs
Wood Deck Design

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Our Small Project for May

It's getting warmer and at last we can open the kitchen window and maybe even the door without gale force winds blowing the cold in, this is prime time for painting kitchen cabinets:

Kitchen Cabinets - To Paint or Stain

S*a*v*e thousands by giving your Wooden Kitchen Cabinets a Makeover

The older design of solid wood Kitchen Cabinets can have a real 70's look and feel about them - and not in a good way.

Dark wood kitchen cabinets make any kitchen seem small and darker - wood is good, we love wood but we also love lighter and brighter kitchens where daylight is allowed to bounce and reflect to really open up the space.

If you have been considering doing a kitchen cabinet makeover you may be deciding to paint or stain.

What we want to suggest is "Dont Lose the Wood"!, you really don't have to paint out the wood to create a lighter kitchen. You have the option of painting your cabinets in a solid light color with a brilliant finish OR to stain them and still be able to see the wood grain.

Nothing wrong with solid painting, we like a nice high gloss eggshell finish, great for light and a great finish to protect your cabinets. They will look like new and last twice as long again, but...

We love Staining dark wood cabinets a lighter color shade and we have just finished a NEW short "How to" course to help make the job as easy as possible for you - which you can enjoy here at our Kitchen Cabinet Staining Course

Share your favourite small projects - it's easy to do here at
E-zine Contribution

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Home Improvement Catalog Review

We have finished reviewing an awful lot of home improvement catalogs, books, booklets and home improvement shopping Web Sites to bring you only the very best together in one informative review.

Read our opinions as we visited each home improvement catalog and had fun with the interactive catalogs. Plus our other related article is regarding the true benefits of shopping with online catalogs.

Home Improvement Catalog Review
The Benefits of a Home Improvement Catalog

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Home Improvement Events Calender for May - JUNE 2005

If you are looking for 1,000's of the best and latest home improvement products AND Home Remodeling Experts all under the same roof, then will enjoy June's listings.

p.s. it's interesting to note that many shows now do online ticket purchases costing considerably less than the "at the door" prices...

***Please always use the contact internet links or the telephone numbers where available to confirm date and venue before attending any home improvement show.***

Still time to check up on events during the second half of May 2005
Home Shows in MAY

Here is the list for June 2005
Home Shows in JUNE

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  • In Next Months Issue 004

    Throughout the year we are going to put different projects under the microscope.

    If you are ready to get down to the nitty gritty and begin exploring the potential TOP and BOTTOM of your home - then look out for the June Issue 004 of Home Improve E-zine

    - with Deck Design Part 2 -

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    Welcome New Subscribers

    We would like to extend a very warm welcome to you as a new subscriber to our internet magazine: "Home Improve E-zine".

    I hope you will continue to enjoy our ideas, tips and articles throughout the year. If you have any home improvement news, tips or ideas you would like to pass on to our readers we would love to hear from you...

    Please pass the information about our e-zine onto any of your family or friends who are especially interested in home improvement to improve the quality of their home life and/or to improve the value of their home.

    You can tell your friends to get their subscription here:
    Home Improve E-zine

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