Three Simple Home Improvement Ideas to Improve Your Lifestyle

In recent years, Americans have become incredibly fascinated by several home improvement shows that appear on TV. TV personalities on networks like HGTV and on shows like Extreme Home Makeover have done an excellent job of getting Americans interested in various home improvement projects. People are not only watching those shows recreationally anymore, but they’re also getting inspired, and they’re coming up with their own ideas about various home repair projects they’d like to undertake on their own.

In the last few years, the construction industry has seen a real decline as Americans have started focusing more on putting time, effort and money into improving the houses that they already own, rather than on building new ones. Here are just a few easy home renovation projects that have become very common across the country and some tips on how you can start some of them.

3. Get new windows. If you live in an old and drafty house, then it’s time for you to consider a window replacement project. You can take out your old windows and then put some new ones in that are much more energy efficient. Since newer windows are thicker, they’ll do a much better job of keeping your house warm during the winter and cool during the summer. After you’ve made the switch, you can recycle your old windows, and you may be able to qualify for special tax credits if your new windows meet some energy efficiency standards set by the U.S. government. Even if the weather doesn’t get cold where you live, you’ll want to be able to utilize newer and better windows so you can help keep the heat out.

2. Install a central heating, venting and air-conditioning system. After your windows are no longer susceptible to large drafts, it’s a wise idea to install a central HVAC system so you can better regulate the temperatures inside your property. Instead of utilizing inefficient space heaters, ceiling or box fans and window air-conditioning units, you can save money by installing a central system. By utilizing a central system, you can keep the temperature of your whole house steady, instead of having to deal with hot or cold spots in various places of your home. Additionally, you’ll feel much more comfortable and you won’t have to look at ugly units that take up a lot of space in your home.

1. Replace the wood on the outside of your house with plastic siding. Surprisingly enough, siding really resembles wood, especially from a distance, and it is much easier to take care of. Instead of having to repaint the outside of your house every few years, you can simply wash your house if it gets dirty. The new plastic exterior will look a lot like wood, but it won’t chip or get moldy like real wood can. Additionally, plastic is much more durable than wood, so you’ll never have to deal with replacing broken boards either. With so many advantages to building with plastic, it’s surprising that anyone still continues to live with wood on the outside of their home.

Basic Tools for Home Improvement Projects

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably taken on some kind of home improvement project and used tools to accomplish the tasks. Even a simple chore like hanging a picture on the wall requires the basics of a hammer and nail. However, if you’re planning to take on a larger scale project, you’ll find you need advanced tools to get the job done well and quickly. Remember, male or female, any task is surmountable with the right tools and know-how.

Keep reading to learn about some of the basic tools you’ll need for any home improvement project as well some safety advice.

1. Safety Gear

Your most important tools will always be your safety gear. First and foremost, every home handyman (or woman) should have a good pair of safety goggles to protect the eyes from wayward splinters, nails and dust.

If you’re working with power tools, invest in a pair of earmuffs to protect your ears from the damage caused by loud noises and the incessant whine of high-powered machines. A pair of gloves can protect your hands from minor scratches and cuts.

Finally, if you’re working at any point above one story, always wear a safety harness. It may be uncomfortable, but a safety harness will break a fall and can save your life.

2. Standard Tools

Standard tools include a hammer and a good screwdriver set. Hammers come in all shapes and sizes, but the best hammer is one with a good grip of a standard size. If you’re going to be pounding in a lot of nails, consider investing in a nail gun.

A screwdriver set allows you to tighten and loosen different types of screws. The most common screw types are the Phillips (the cross), the slotted screw, the Robertson (the square) and the hex, a hexagonally shaped screw that’s tightened with a wrench. Have a screwdriver set on hand that can tackle each of these screws.

If you’re doing a lot of screw work, consider investing in a power drill. A power drill can tighten and loosen a screw in seconds and save you a lot of hand pain. Power drills come in cordless and corded models. For ease and mobility, most people prefer the cordless versions.

These simple tools are the basics that every homeowner should have in the tool box. If you’re planning to take on a more intensive home improvement project, you’ll need to start looking into power saws, sanders and tile cutters. However, for now, start with the basics.

Keep your tools in a clean tool box and a space that is inaccessible to small children.