Koi Pond Filter Basket Repair

 

Koi pond skimmer filters have a way of getting heavy and causing the filter basket to sag, they don’t bounce back.  You can buy a replacement basket, if you can find one.  Chances are, the new one will also sag the same way once the filter is filled to capacity with pond waste.

Fish FilterBskt 2 Fish Filter Bskt3

There is another fix and you can save a bunch of cash.  When making window screens, save the cut offs from the aluminum used for framing for the screens.  This is one of the many uses you will find for the left over material.

Fish FltrBsktA FshFltrBsktB

As you will notice in the image shown, the aluminum framing makes a great brace to support the back of the basket.

Use the filter (after cleaning) as a template for the size and shape of the back support brace.  Trace it on paper or cardboard.

FishFltrBskt Sup 3 FishFltrBskt Sup 2

At the bottom of drawing, measure and cut the rail to length.  Repeat this step for  top rail.

Using your tape measure, determine the center point of the upper and bottom rail and mark the centers.

Measure the bottom rail.  Take the length of the bottom rail and divide it by 4.  Mark all 4 divisions on the bottom rail.  1 on each end and 1 measured from the right end and 1 measured from the left end of the rail. Place the top rail adjacent to the bottom rail with the center marks near each other.  Mark the 2 inboard marks from the bottom rail onto the top rail.   This is where the interior support bars will be located from the bottom rail to the top rail.

Lay the top and bottom rails in their respective positions on the layout drawing (Place the top rail ¼” from the top of drawing making the vertical bars a ¼” shorter to allow space for final installation).   Measure the distance from top to bottom using the inboard marks as a guide (This will be the length of the 2 inboard support bars.).  Measure the distance from the left end of the bottom rail to the left end of the top rail.  This is the length of the left outside rail.  Repeat this procedure for the right outside rail.  If all the previous steps were done correctly both end rails should be equal.

Assemble all these pieces and you should have a good brace for the back of your filter basket.  It goes on the inside of the basket against the back of the basket, the filter is installed.

You can use short pointed screws, short machine screws with nuts or pop-rivets’ for assembly.

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Gonyea Homes Wins Builder of the Year Award

An example of a home built by Gonyea Homes, which was named 2012 Builder of the Year by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.</p>
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An example of a home built by Gonyea Homes, which was named 2012 Builder of the Year by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.

Gonya Homes & Remodeling is the Twin Cities’ Builder of the Year, according to a local trade association.

The Golden Valley builder won the honor from the Builders Association of the Twin Ciites for its “outstanding business practices and high levels of integrity,” according to a news release.
The award is selected through a blind survey of BATC members that evaluate builders on a variety of criteria, including trust, communication loyalty and ethics. The company with the highest score wins.
Gonya’s sales have rebounded along with the new housing market. The company’s sales of new homes are up more than 400 percent since 2009. The company, which was founded in 1987, anticipates substantial growth in 2013 as well, according to a statement from managing principal Tony Sonnen.
“We’ve already sold twice as many homes this year than in 2011, and we’re anticipating more in 2013,” he said in a news release.
Gonya and the rest of the industry are enjoying some success this year as new home construction picks up after the recession. Statistics released last week by the BATC show that new home permits issued in October were up 96 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal by Sam Black, Senior reporter
Date: Monday, October 29, 2012, 11:51am CDT

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I Must Apologize

Not stressing the importance of the money saving tips or the huge savings of time and energy for you is really teaching me how to apologizeI’m sorry that I haven’t found a way to reach out to you by explaining the savings that you will recognize on your power bill just on this simple tip on air conditioning.  This neglect has possibly affected your lifestyle in the fact that you could have used this extra money for necessities or just for a fling around town.

To capture the advantages of these ‘Money saving Tips’ you can click here now and they will magically pop up so that you may be apprised of the many ideas available to you.

This message has been brought to you by your friendly neighborhood remodeling teacher http://learnremodeling.com/spring-cleaning-tips/ .

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Woman Files Lawsuit, Contractor Fails to Remodel House

GALVESTON – Catherine Gardiner has filed a lawsuit.  Complaining a local contractor took her money.  Then failed to work on her Brenham home.

Her charges are.  Friendswood resident Phil Messarra, doing business as Master Craftsmen, “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive acts or practices.” Court papers filed Aug. 9 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 2 say.

Gardiner hired the defendant to undertake a remodeling job.  His representations were “that he had the skill, knowledge, experience, expertise, financial wherewithal, staff and personnel” for the subject project.

The suit, however, claims.  The remodeling contractor allowed said project to drag on “for over seven months.  This is well past the promised time of completion.”

It adds that he spent funds and time allotted to the plaintiff’s order on other work.

The plaintiff states she wrote him a demand letter dated June 3.  But the “issues and deficiencies raised in that correspondence remained after six weeks following the letter.  They still remain to this day.”

“The defendant has had more than enough time to address and remedy these serious matters,” the original petition says.

“Unfortunately, the defendant has wholly failed to do so.”

“Numerous” breaches prompted Gardiner to terminate Messarra.

She insists the defendant’s supposed actions led to the loss of property value.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Douglas A. McAninch with Douglas A. McAninch P.C. in Friendswood is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Barbara Roberts is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 68,040

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

Great tips huh?  How do you feel about these tips?  If you want additional information, just ask.  Either send me an email to support@LearnRemodeling.com or ask a question in the comment area.  You will receive a response very soon.

Remember to receive all updates, just register on one of the easy forms in the sidebar.  Be sure to share with your friends.

If you have remodeling planed in the future and you plan to hire a contractor, I suggest that you have a look at this report.  The Investment is 100% Money-Back Guaranteed for 60 days by clickbank. 

Ultimate Guide To The Home Remodeling Process Click Here

 

 

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7 Questions Homeowners Should Ask

Author and Remodeling Expert Dan Fritschen shares 7 Questions Homeowners Should Ask Before Starting Construction

Edited by Valerie Gotten published Wed, 22 Aug 2012 – 08:32:43 -0700 PDT

Dan FritschenSUNNYVALE, Calif. /California Newswire/ — “Remodeling isn’t for everyone, and many times it could be a downright bad decision,” says author and expert Dan Fritschen, founder of www.remodelormove.com. “It’s well worth your time to pause and consider what your proposed project entails, and whether the it’s worth the time, energy, and money you’ll end up pouring into it.”

The “Should I Remodel?” Online Calculator can help you make that determination. It asks 15 questions and provides a recommendation based on the homeowner’s goals.

The calculator can be found at www.remodelormove.com/should-you-remodel and takes only a minute to complete – and is free to use.

Here, Fritschen shares seven of the calculators questions that can help decide if you remodeling is the right choice.

Which are we more excited about: Hawaii or hardwood floors? It may sound elementary, but leaning toward ‘vacation’ over ‘remodel’ is a good barometer for determining how important an updated home actually is to you.

“Unless a specific renovation really is your heart’s desire, you’d probably be better off traveling than pouring money into an already-functional room,” comments Fritschen.

Are we the Joneses? If you are the Joneses with whom everyone wants to keep up, it’s likely that the addition or remodel you’re planning will end up being a lot of work that won’t increase the value of your home.

“If you want a bigger or nicer home and you already have the biggest and nicest in the neighborhood, it may make more sense to move to a new home that has all the features you want in a neighborhood full of larger and nicer residences,” says Fritschen.

Can we really afford this? There are smart, financially savvy ways to remodel, including using money from savings, using a 203k mortgage, or refinancing and getting cash back on your home. However, if the only ways you can pay for your remodel are to tap into retirement accounts or use your credit cards, then the cost of remodeling increases significantly and is then much harder to justify.

“If you can’t pay for a remodel the ‘smart’ way, then it is better to wait a few years and focus on saving up the money you’ll need,” advises Fritschen.

How long will we be in this house? If there’s a chance you may be moving soon, Fritschen says there is a very good reason not to remodel. Remodeling is a lot of work and if you move soon after finishing you won’t have an opportunity to enjoy the results.

Is this a good investment? Do your research before making any commitments so that you’ll have a fairly accurate idea of what to expect in terms of the cost to remodel and your home’s updated value.

“If the numbers aren’t promising and the thought of not making a clear profit when you eventually sell your home horrifies you, you might want to rethink your renovations,” he urges.

“Remember, the project should improve not only your home, but also your happiness and quality of life-without breaking the bank or driving your family around the bend,” Fritschen concludes. “And again, be sure to take advantage of the free Should I Remodel?

Answers to YOUR remodeling questions!

Remodel or Move(TM) is an independent organization whose mission is to empower consumers to make the best remodel and move decision. To achieve this mission, Remodel or Move provides reference materials, evaluation tools, and no-nonsense advice to all consumers. Remodel or Move promotes no agenda other than the interests of consumers.

The organization’s reference materials and educational components include: * The website: www.remodelormove.com/ . * The Remodel or Move Calculator: an online analysis tool that provides homeowners with a specific recommendation: to remodel or move; * Private consultations; * Group seminars; * The book: “Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision” (ISBN: 978-1933007694; ABCD Publishing LLC), in bookstores nationwide.

About Dan Fritschen:

Dan Fritschen is the creator of Remodel or Move (remodelormove.com), a homeowner support organization that helps homeowners become better informed so that they can make the right decision on whether to remodel or move.

He started his company after twenty years of remodeling his own homes and helping others make “remodel or move” decisions for themselves. Because he is neither a realtor nor a remodeler, he is qualified to offer pragmatic, unbiased advice.

Fritschen’s goal is to make homeowners aware of three important messages: 1. Selling your house COSTS money. 2. There are MANY right ways to remodel, some expensive and some cheap. 3. It is better to move than to over-improve or do an “ugly” remodel.

About the Book:

“Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision” (ABCD Publishing LLC, 2005, ISBN: 978-1933007694, $15.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and major online booksellers.

Copyright © 2012 CaliforniaNewswire® and Neotrope®. California Newswire is a publication of the Neotrope News Network and a U.S. reg. TM of Neotrope.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Valerie Gotten (aka Valerie G) is an abstract painter, former movie stand-in, and volunteers for “green events” to help raise awareness about global warming, and help preserve California’s wilderness and natural beauty.   

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

Great tips huh?  How do you feel about these tips?  If you want additional information, just ask.  Either send me an email to support@LearnRemodeling.com or ask a question in the comment area.  You will receive a response very soon.

Remember to receive all updates, just register on one of the easy forms in the sidebar.  Be sure to share with your friends.

If you have remodeling planed in the future and you plan to hire a contractor, I suggest that you have a look at this report.  The Investment is 100% Money-Back Guaranteed for 60 days by clickbank.

Ultimate Guide To The Home Remodeling Process Click Here

 

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Why the Home Depot Stores Are the Biggest

If I remember correctly, Big Red or affectionately known as Home Depot  has been in the construction remodeling business for between 25 and 30 years along with being the biggest home improvements and improvement remodeling retailer for a while longer.  At that time we were asking how do I get to home depot?

At first they would sell cabinets to a customer and then hire the completion, the small contractor to do the installation labor.  Were they, Home Depot, licensed to hang cabinets or do plumbing or electrical?  No, they got around this requirement by making it the subcontractors responsibility to acquire all the permits, insurance and licenses if any were needed.

I remember doing a couple of the subcontractor jobs for them.   At that time they only charged for hanging the cabinets and the cabinet trim in the kitchen.  There was plenty of profitable work left over for the talented contractor, such as drywall repair, electrical wiring, sink hook up, tile work and the list could last a while and if the customer was happy with the work, one could expect to return for the bathroom remodels that would be coming next.

This gets me into what Home Depot is currently starting to do.  I just finished reading an article about their having bought a website called Redbeacon.com.  I checked out the site, currently it is a rather basic site, they get you plumbers, painters and more, quality quotes, a home service warrantee, but knowing the powers that be with the Home Depot that is probably on purpose, an effort not to offend their potential customers.  I was reading in the press release that 3% of their customers, which are the professionals, are responsible for 35% of their business.  Wow!  Check out the site http://Redbeacon.com.

I am a little excited about what they are about to accomplish with this Redbeacon.com idea.  There is no way that it will not work.  I feel this could be instrumental in helping to prevent some of the less than up and up so called fly-by-nighters that are just having the business fall into their laps.

As a result of being associated with the construction industry for the last 45 years.  It is not possible for one not to hear about a customer from time to time that has been ripped off by a so called fly-by-night contractor.  They, the contractor, would take a sizeable down payment, remove the roof down to the ceiling joist, in the middle of winter while it was raining or snowing, then claim bankruptcy or just plain disappear, seemingly just to rip them off.  At the time while working in the Chicago land area these rumors were like an epidemic, it seemed to happen one after another.  Contraire, contraire, this goes to show, don’t give anybody too much money up front and be careful to look ahead for what can happen.  This is known as CYA cover your assets.

 To read this very interesting article ‘Click Here”

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

Great tips huh?  How do you feel about these tips?  If you want additional information, just ask.  Either send me an email to support@LearnRemodeling.com or ask a question in the comment area.  You will receive a response very soon.

Remember to receive all updates, just register on one of the easy forms in the sidebar.  Be sure to share with your friends.

If you have remodeling planed in the future and you plan to hire a contractor, I suggest that you have a look at this report.  The Investment is 100% Money-Back Guaranteed for 60 days by clickbank.

Ultimate Guide To The Home Remodeling Process Click Here

 

 

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All along the water tower:Tom Dixon’s sky-high townhouse

About Matt Hickman

Eco-living expert blogs about best ways to go green at home.

MNN.COM

Summer Olympics-bound Airbnb’ers take note: It appears that there’s currently room available in one of west London’s most unique properties — a 60-foot-tall converted water tower residence.

Thu, Jul 19 2012 at 9:00 AM EST

 

Tom Dixon's converted water tower home in west London                       Image: © David Hawgood under Creative Commons Licence.
Just when I thought I had officially retired my “All along the water tower” series, along comes another eye-catching instance of a decommissioned elongated water storage container transformed into a stair-heavy private residence (hat tip to Mark Boyer over at Inhabitat). And this repurposed water tower dwelling located in North Kensington, London, couldn’t pop up at a better time as it includes three private rooms for rent via Airbnb starting at $209 per night. Perfect for Summer Olympics lodgings, am I right? And, somewhat surprisingly, it looks like there’s vacancies during the Games!
The West London water tower home is actually owned by Tom Dixon, the lauded British furniture designer who recently unleashed thousands of somewhat hideous orange Flouro Bags across New York City during NY Design Week (anyone want mine?). Dixon purchased the redundant, 60-foot-tall water tower and the surrounding land on Landsbroke Grove back in 2005 — once upon a time, the concrete tank within the 1930s-era structure stored 5,000 gallons of water to be used if a nearby gasometer ever went up in flames — and since 2009, he’s been working alongside sustainable architectural firm SUSD to transform it into one of west London’s most dizzying examples of adaptive reuse. And although the structure offers knockout panoramic views of the city, Dixon himself has no plans to actually move in according to The Daily Mail.
Dixon’s converted water tower home currently offers three floors of living space — three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a reception area — that have been “fitted out to meet the highest eco-friendly standards” and are linked by an interior spiral staircase. In the near future, Dixon intends to remove the rooftop terrace, plop on another two stories, and then reinstate the roof deck. Once the £400,000 addition is completed, the home will offer a total of 5,000-square-feet of living space. An elevator that will move not-so-able-bodied visitors from street level to the first story is also in the works (currently, reaching the first floor involves hiking up six flights of stairs). And, last but not least, the next phase of development will include the installation of a heat exchange system that will cool the building using water pumped from the nearby Grand Union Canal.
Peter Harris of SUSD tells the Daily Mail that getting the green light to transform the elevated reservoir into a home was not nearly as big of issue as the complex engineering challenges involved with the conversion. “The local council got behind the idea from the start. They wanted to keep the tower as a landmark structure to mark the entry to the borough. We received no objections from local residents.” Harris adds that even though Dixon himself won’t be taking up residence in the tower, he wanted to “to create something using this great local landmark — to build a townhouse in the sky.”
Head on over to the property’s Airbnb page to view plenty of more photos and learn more about the amenities included when staying in a converted water tower dwelling owned by a super-famous British designer (no parties, no pets, and no smoking, folks). In addition to the obvious, they’re really pushing the fact that there’s a Sainsbury’s supermarket right next door. For some reason, I’m guessing that hauling huge bags of groceries six flights of stairs would get a touch tiresome after a while.

 

Via [The Daily Mail] via [Inhabitat]

 Looks like Matt fell into something really interesting.  What do you think?  Post your opinion and ideas in the comment section.  Fill out a registration form to get all the juicy updates.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

 

Great tips huh?  How do you feel about these tips?  If you want additional information, just ask.  Either send me an email to support@LearnRemodeling.com or ask a question in the comment area.  You will receive a response very soon.

 

Remember to receive all updates, just register on one of the easy forms in the sidebar.  Be sure to share with your friends.

 

If you have remodeling planed in the future and you plan to hire a contractor, I suggest that you have a look at this report.  The Investment is 100% Money-Back Guaranteed for 60 days by clickbank.

 

Ultimate Guide To The Home Remodeling Process Click Here

 

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NARI Experts Exterior Renovations Best Return on Investment

Milwaukee/NARI Experts Identify Exterior Home Renovations with Best Return on Investment

By Dave Amoroso

July 20, 2012 | 0 comments

On local exterior remodels, homeowners focus on seeing the greatest return on investment, according to members of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling resource for 51 years. Though the trend is evident in all aspects of remodeling, outdoor projects especially are viewed in terms of getting back what’s put in – and with good reason.
With a return of 73%, replacing steel entry doors has the highest ROI of any remodel according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2012 Cost vs. Value Report. In fact, seven of the top ten are exterior remodels, including garage doors, vinyl siding, wood and vinyl window replacement, and wood and composite deck additions.
Because each home and situation is different, the type of project with the best return “depends on what the homeowner is trying to achieve,” said Josh Meldman of JM Remodeling and Construction of Brown Deer.
To Lower Energy Costs One way to get back remodeling dollars is by lowering energy costs. This is most effective if the homeowners plan to stay in their home for the long term. If this is the case, Meldman felt that new energy efficient windows and doors are the best bet.
Patrick Rogo of BCI Exteriors in Menomonee Falls agreed, adding, “Windows, doors, and attic insulation will give homeowners the fastest way to recoup their initial investment, and over time those projects will pay for themselves.”
How much will homeowners save? In the case of windows, replacing single pane windows with energy efficient double- or triple-paned windows can drop heating and cooling bills an average of 20 to 30 percent. It will vary based on the quality of the old windows, members said.
Insulated siding also will pay for itself according to Rogo, but it will take more time to do so.
To Be Maintenance Free “A good exterior investment for homeowners is anything that makes the exterior of the house low maintenance or maintenance free,” Meldman said. “This can be any composite material such as fibercement and engineered wood, or fully synthetic materials such as vinyl siding and windows. Also aluminum trim installed over the existing wood trim on the house is a very popular option for many homeowners.”
“Siding, soffit, and fascia allow you to appreciate the beauty of your home and require little to no maintenance,” Rogo said. “Also roofing is a project many homeowners don’t appreciate fully until after it’s done.” He has found that replacing the roof provides peace of mind that a homeowner’s largest investment is protected.
Having low maintenance was an important factor in a recent remodel by Chamberlin Co. in Wauwatosa. Company owner Tim Nolan explained, “We did an asbestos slate roofing and siding tear off. The reason the customer did the work was for low maintenance, to get rid of the asbestos, and to have an updated look for the house.” They accomplished this with new roofing, vinyl siding, aluminum trim work around the windows and overhangs, gutters, and aluminum storm windows.
To Sell The Home Decks are another area of the home that can produce a high return on investment. The cost of replacing or adding a deck to a home depends a lot on building materials. Milwaukee/NARI members suggest building a deck that matches seamlessly with the house, while choosing materials and sealants that will help your outdoor living area stand out to prospective buyers.
Windows that save energy are always a selling point. As Nolan pointed out, the look of the windows matters too. “You can enjoy the looks and comfort of new maintenance free vinyl windows. They come in a variety of exterior colors and interior wood grains,” he said.
Curb appeal isn’t all about looks, members warn. Buyers want a home that’s trouble-free, especially with regard to the roof. “When homeowners are in transition and looking to sell within the next couple of years, having a new roof installed is best for resale purposes,” Meldman said. “Nowadays buyers always want to know the condition of the roof, and if there’s any question about the integrity of the roof, it ends up either being a deal breaker or the sale goes under negotiations, which can be a long drawn out and stressful process for both parties.”
At BCI Exteriors, the projects done for resale aren’t always roofs. Rogo said, “Siding, soffit, and fascia are the most common projects we’ve done to help homeowners sell their home. We’re often told after the project that the homeowners wish they had done it earlier so they could enjoy the ‘like new’ home before they sell it. Roofing would be a close second.”
Nolan agreed that it’s essential to fix a roof in need of repair, but what if homeowners just want something fast and easy for their exterior? Consider improving the front entry of the home with a little color, he said. “The easiest project would be a new aluminum storm door for the front of the house,” Nolan said.
To Save On The Remodel For homeowners looking to save money on a costly remodel, Meldman said, “The most inexpensive product in the low maintenance market is vinyl. If budgeting is the homeowners’ biggest concern, this is the product for them.”
For homeowners looking for inexpensive exterior remodels, Rogo said, “Our least expensive projects are general repairs, gutters, leaf protection, and attic insulation. Gutters and leaf protection allow our homeowners to stay safer at home by staying off their ladders and saving them time.” Homeowners have seen a return from state and federal energy saving incentive programs, specifically with regard to windows and attic insulation, Rogo said. “These programs come and go, and most of the time homeowners don’t know about them until it’s too late. It’s important to speak to a knowledgeable contractor who will help you get the best return on your investment.”
Meldman added, “It’s always good to do your research and choose a professional contractor that is sensitive to your needs and plans. A good contractor will help you choose the products best suited for you.”

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

Great tips huh?  How do you feel about these tips?  If you want additional information, just ask.  Either send me an email to support@LearnRemodeling.com or ask a question in the comment area.  You will receive a response very soon.

Remember to receive all updates, just register on one of the easy forms in the sidebar.  Be sure to share with your friends.

If you have remodeling planed in the future and you plan to hire a contractor, I suggest that you have a look at this report.  The Investment is 100% Money-Back Guaranteed for 60 days by clickbank.

Ultimate Guide To The Home Remodeling Process Click Here

 

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Handy home improvement websites to simplify life for DIY-ers

6:20 AM, Jul 20, 2012

Written by

USA Today

Owning a home is both a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to have a place to call your own and to fill it with things you love. On the other hand, there’s no denying that it requires you to give entire weekends over to do-it-yourself projects, cleaning and otherwise protecting your sizable investment.

I’m sure you can think of a dozen things that need to be done at your house right now. From cleaning out gutters to fixing drippy faucets, it never seems to end.

The good news is that, thanks to the Internet, you no longer need to be overwhelmed. I’ve selected some websites that will help you become smarter and more efficient about home maintenance. They may even help you reclaim a few of those lost weekends.

Personal Color Viewer: Inside or out, painting your home is a major burden. We’ve all seen houses painted colors that were poorly chosen … sometimes we wonder if an extended trip to the bar was involved before the paint-buying began.

How many times have you gone to the paint store, returned home and taped a mishmash of color samples to the wall? Then, after a few days of painful indecision, you pick a color. You head back to the paint store to buy a quart, drive home and brush it on – and it doesn’t look anything like you expected!

This website brings paint selection into the 21st century. You can download stock photos of houses or, even better, actual photos of your own home. You’ll see the colors displayed on your home’s exterior or on the walls of the room you are painting. Once you make an informed choice, you’ll print out the color codes and head to the store, ready to buy and get started.

How to Clean Anything: Dust happens. The need to clean is never going away. Fortunately, cleaning is more time-consuming than difficult – most of the time.

Once in a while, though, you run into a stain or an odor that mocks your most vigorous efforts. When that happens, visit this site (www.howtocleananything.com). As its name promises, it will tell you the best methods and tools to clean anything, from your makeup brushes to your barbecue grill.

HomeSpotHQ: When life becomes crazy, it’s easy for home maintenance to fall by the wayside. Or in a flurry of cleaning, you might have thrown out the manuals for your appliances.

This site (www.homespothq.com) tackles both problems; it’s like a control center for your house.

It stores important manuals, part numbers and paint colors. The site also helps you schedule important maintenance tasks and plan improvement projects. Need to hunt down a part or supplies for your project? HomeSpot can even point you to the best deals in your neighborhood.

Roomle: Rearranging furniture can make a room seem fresh again. However, it can take a toll on your back when you try several layouts and none of them work.

This site (www.roomle.com) helps you create a floorplan and fill it up with virtual furniture. Move pieces around until you find just the right arrangement – all without breaking a sweat or scratching your grand piano. Click a button to see your design modeled in 3D. You can also post the image to Facebook and get feedback from your friends.

DIYorNot: Can you save money by doing that remodeling project yourself? Not always.

This site (diyornot.com) gives you an estimated cost and timescale for any project. It also offers thousands of tutorials so you can see the effort that a potential project will require.

You might decide that a professional will cost less, in both money and aggravation, in the long run. On the other hand, it might give you the confidence you need to tackle it all by yourself.

EnergySavers: Your home uses a lot of energy to keep you cool in summer, warm in winter, provide you with hot water and to power all your home electronics. Making your home more energy efficient can result in significant savings for the long term.

This site (www.energysavers.gov/your_home), hosted by the Department of Energy, walks you through a do-it-yourself energy audit to help pinpoint where your home might be leaking dollars. Then you can read up on how to install insulation, apply sun shading film or tackle other easy-to-do energy-saving projects.

By Kim Komando

USA Today

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

You will also find free tips by clicking on Tips in the page header or ‘Click Here.’

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