Demo Day: Important Precautions to Take When Gutting Your Fixer-Upper
Fixer Uppers: How To Find A Home That You Can Bring Back To Life
How to Make Sure Your Garage Stays Warm in the Cold Winter Months

Ideas and Inspiration for Building A Home Music Studio

Every aspiring musical artist’s dream is to have their own music studio. With their own studio they will be able to practice, compose, and write songs at their leisure. They will be also able to record their own songs whether it be a cover or self-composed. Are you one of these aspiring musicians, but you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, after reading this article you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

A music studio is not just like any other room in your house. You have to make it conducive to getting your creative work done. The first thing to consider would be the room itself. It is important that it has a sufficient amount of space for what you’re trying to accomplish. Why? Because not only will you think about the different kinds of equipment and instruments that you’ll keep and use there, you also have to think about having other people around. They could be another singer, musician, or producer that will help you or that you will have collaborations with. You should also look for a room that is noise-free. When you’re recording, it is important to have no distractions whatsoever. This is not limited to your work either, you also don’t want to be distracting your neighbors or even the people you live with. One solution for this is to have your room soundproofed. Another thing to consider is the flooring in the room, and having hard flooring will be ideal. The acoustics of the room should also be checked. In fact, acoustics are one of the major problems that can arise when working in a home studio. However, with some adjustments and hacks, these problems can often be solved.

After choosing and clearing out the room, it is time to put your equipment and instruments to use. If you are still starting out, you do not need to have some of the fancier stuff that you hear about in the music production circles. All you need are the basics and you are good to get started. What are these basics? First is the computer. Since recording now is all digital, having a computer is almost a must. You likely have your own right now and whatever kind or model it is, it is most likely fine and good to go. The second thing you will need is a DAW. This is the software for recording, mixing, and editing. Then, for you to record, you will need a microphone for both your vocals and your instruments. In order for them to be translated for your computer to be able to work with them, you will need an audio interface. To learn more about audio interfaces, read this article by Pickup Plug: https://www.pickupplug.com/how-to-use-an-audio-interface/. And lastly, you will need the headphones which are really important for listening to your music as it’s being recorded.

Now that you have your room and equipment, it is time set them up and get them ready for use. Creating your sound is important, but remember that inspiration is also an essential aspect for creativity. So having an environment that is inspiring and encouraging will be very conducive to getting a lot of work done. One of the most important things that you can do for your studio is to maintain cleanliness. By doing so you will be less distracted and more productive. In addition to maintaining your studio’s cleanliness, another suggestion is adding decorations to personalize your room. You can add pictures, posters, furniture of your choice, anything. Whatever makes you comfortable and at home, it is your decision to make.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful as you build your own music studio. No matter where you will go, you will always have to take the first step, and this certainly may be the one.

Tools That Make Your Renovations Easier

Are you planning to make some changes to your home? It could be making renovations or expanding a room. It will never be as easy as we think it will be, unfortunately. It will certainly require time and energy. Because of this, it is really important to plan out our efforts in advance so that we know the schedule, how you will work it out, and what will need to be accomplished. Of course, there will also be things that you will need to purchase. A renovation of any kind will certainly require tools. Remember that it is not only about fixing the old things and making new things, it could also involve some demolition. Taking this into account what are some important tools that may be needed for your upcoming project?

1. Oscillating Tool

This is one of the power tools that is gaining popularity nowadays because of its versatility. It can cut metal, wood, and walls no problem. It can also sand and grind, and it can even be used for scraping. It can be helpful for reaching hard places too. It is a great tool to have on hand to make a lot of tasks easier and faster to accomplish.

2. Saw

Many renovation projects will certainly involve a lot of cutting wood. There are different kinds of saws you can use for this. The most basic would be the handsaw, and it is great for small cutting jobs. If you will need one for larger cuts, there are the circular saws that you can work with. They are the most basic of the power saws yet very versatile. There are also kinds of saws that are great for demolition like the reciprocating saws. Another power saw is the jigsaw which is best if you need to cut advanced shapes.

3. Sledgehammer

Like said before, renovation is not just about makeover. Before all of that, there should be a demolition process, and a sledgehammer is a great tool for that. It is known to be used for knocking down walls and many other similar tasks.

4. Crowbar

Another great tool used for demolition. It is used as a lever to remove nails or force apart two objects. We often see this used for prying floors.

5. Drill

Drills are said to be the most-used tool. Not only are they used for drilling holes, they are also used for driving nails and can be good for installing and repairing drywall.

6. Air Compressor

With all the power tools that you will have, an air compressor is essential. It is great for powering up those power tools that a compressed air supply to operate. Read this article to find what you need for your home.

7. Pliers

A must-have in everything involving torque. They are used for cutting and holding pipes, screws, and cables. They will also be useful for cutting rusty nails, screws, and clips.

8. Measuring Tape

Renovations will often involve a lot of measuring. You need to know that what you’re replacing can find a new fit. This will obviously be a helpful tool for that.

9. Screwdriver

A tool used for tightening knobs, removing and attaching outlets, and so much more. It is also very functional for assembling furniture which will surely be done in the end.

10. Ladder

Whether be it for the demolition or makeover, your project will often require reaching up to high places. With a ladder, it will be easier to build cabinets or paint in places that are in high location.

Choosing Furniture For Your Recently Renovated Room

Renovating a room at times is as hard as building a house. It is so time-consuming that it can make us restless and eager for it to finish. It also requires us to spend money and often it gets really pricey. That is why it is important for you to be wise and plan from the start, from being knowledgeable with the materials you choose and being involved with the overall plan and design of your room. Because in the end, the room is going to be yours, and you need to make sure that all the effort and expenses will be worth it in the long run. 

Like building a house, a room renovation will be a fresh start for you. It will be up to you to decide what is to keep and what is to change. If you are considering a change of pace with your furniture, here are some factors to keep in mind when deciding.

1. Know your budget

Conduct thorough planning and come up with a good idea of how much you can spend. Furniture is a good way to spend your money because it is one of those things that you will use for a long time. A nice piece of furniture generally requires a bigger budget, but if your budget is tight you can still get the job done. Just learn to be wise and creative. You do not have to get your furniture at a well-known store where the brand name brings a hefty price tag with it. There are many enough choices at second-hand outlets that are very cheap but still in good condition. If you’re someone who’s into doing it yourself, it will not only be very handy but helpful for your budget as well.

2. Know the basics

Before you get too excited with the designing, know first what you will need and what is important for your room. How will the room be used? What activities will you most likely do there? How many tables do you think will be needed? How much space will be required for the furniture? Will there be enough space for visitors? If not, consider bringing in some space-saving options such as futons or sofa beds. There are quite a few to choose from depending on your preferences. By knowing what is most needed for your room, you’ll have a head start with your planning whether it be with the design or budget and the rest will get easier from there.

3. Know your aesthetic preferences

Of course, choosing a piece of furniture should be in accordance with your personality and taste. Are you more of a traditionalist or do you like a modern look? Or perhaps you are leaning towards being casual and rustic? You will also be able to think about the materials your furniture is made from and how it affects the overall look of your room. Some furniture will be made of wood, which is traditional and often more expensive, and some will be made of metal which leans more toward a modern and contemporary look. Then, of course, there is plastic furniture too. It’ll be up to you to decide if you want to go there.

In the end, this is your home, and only you will know what will make it comfortable and homey for your tastes. If you are having a hard time, look to magazines or home improvement articles to find inspiration.

Fireplaces And Their Alternatives

When you’re renovating a house, you have a lot of options when it comes to how you design it. That’s one of the beauties of taking on a renovation project in the first place – you get to customize just about every aspect to your liking, as long as your time and budget allows.

One great feature in any house is a fireplace. It gives a central warmth where family friends can gather round, and this is especially loved when the weather outside is cold. If you’re renovating a house it’s always something worth considering, as it’s a great time to make accommodations for installing a fireplace. Even if you can’t install a traditional fireplace, there are some alternatives that you can implement to get much of the same benefits.

When A Traditional Fireplace Makes Sense

If the house you’re renovating already has a chimney, then it’s worth keeping even if you don’t think you’ll make use of it. The exception being those cases where you just need more room, and getting rid of the chimney is the only way to go about getting it. Removing existing chimneys takes a lot of work, and it’s a huge mess.

Now, if you’re someone who loves having a real fire in your house you’ll probably want to install a chimney if you don’t have one. Keep in mind that this is a big project that will certainly cost you quite a bit of money. Take a look at your numbers before you get started to make sure you’ll have enough to cover all of your important costs.

Gas Fireplace Alternatives

If you like the idea of a fireplace but you don’t want to burn wood in your house, then gas fireplaces can be a great alternative. They are substantially cleaner burning and as a result they are much safer for your home and much safer for the environment. They look great and they actually still have real flames, so many people are quite satisfied with them.

If you don’t have a chimney you can still install a gas fireplace, though you may need to get a little creative. Work with a contractor to find a good place to recess it into the wall. You’ll just need to make sure to have proper ducting for ventilating all of the heat that the flames will produce.

When It’s Best To Go Electric

In some cases you’re best off with an electric fireplace. The great thing about electric fireplaces is that there are no real flames, so you shouldn’t need any ducting. Granted, there are inserts that can still fit into existing fireplace hearths, so that’s still an option. But they’re also relatively easy to install in a number of different ways so you can really get creative with them.

If you’re interested in going the electric fireplace route, you should check out some of the products by Dimplex: https://bestelectricfireplace.review/dimplex/. They make some of the most realistic fireplaces out there, and they have a range of products to suit just about any application. You can get anything from a freestanding model all the way to a fancy recessed installation like you’d see at a luxury hotel.

Use a Pressure Washer to Bring Tired Surfaces Back To Life

Maintaining the cleanliness of your home is a full-time responsibility. It seems to be a lesson in futility as you begin to realize just how much time and effort will be required to complete the entirety of your cleaning to-do list. Luckily, there’s a tool on the market that can drastically reduce the time and effort you spend on your large cleaning chores. A pressure washer will wash, rinse, and polish almost any of your tired, dirty surfaces and restore their original color to bring them back to life.

1. Vinyl Siding Cleansing

The siding on the outside of your home endlessly collects deposits of dirt, grime, and debris blown by the wind and other elements. It is a time-consuming nightmare to wash vinyl siding by hand, especially considering that vinyl siding has many grooves and crannies in which for dirt to hide. A pressure washer is a highly effective tool that will make washing your vinyl siding a breeze. One of the benefits of using a pressure washer to tackle such a gargantuan chore is that its flexible hose and extendable arm can clean difficult to reach areas of your siding with minimal effort on your part. A pressure washer will bring your dirty and tired vinyl siding back to life in a single afternoon.

2. Driveway Makeover

Your concrete driveway will endure many stains, spills, and interactions with harsh substances such as road salt. As time passes, these stains and spills will begin to turn into dark blemishes on your once pristine and uniform driveway surface. A stained and dirty driveway can ruin the beautiful aesthetic of the outside of your home. If it’s time to give your driveway a good cleaning, invest in a pressure washer. The pressure from the water has the ability to rip up accumulations of dirt, dust, and particulates. Stains can also be removed through the use of a pressure washer and a special type of detergent designed for concrete. With the correct nozzle, you can easily use a pressure washer to clean and revitalize your driveway before dinnertime on a weekday evening.

3. Wooden Deck Revitilization

Years of walking, playing, gatherings, pets, rain, and muddy feet can really take the shine and vivid color out of your wooden deck. Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve given your wooden deck a proper washing, the surface of your deck could have years of filth layered on the surface. A simple mopping with hot water will not suffice to clean such a saturated amount of grime and residue. The right pressure washer can be a great solution for working the dirt and stains out of the grooves of the wood and from between the planks.

Cleaning a wooden deck with a pressure washer is a balancing act because if the pressure is too high, it could peel the stain from the wood or leave dents. If the pressure isn’t high enough, it won’t clean the dirt and stains from the surface. It’s best to find information online that will help you to acquire the perfect settings to properly clean your deck without risking permanent damage. A gentle cleanser that won’t dull or strip your stain coating is also recommended for such a task. Once you’ve achieved the perfect cleaning pressure and detergent, you will watch your wooden deck sparkle like it did when it was first built.

4. Automobile Maintenance

Although having an automobile is a cherished access to freedom, there are many costs and responsibilities that come with owning one. A commonly occurring responsibility is keeping it washed. Automobiles manage to get dirty quite easily. Vehicles become caked in layers of pollen during spring and summer months. The icy conditions of the winter season will lead to layers of dried road salt coating the bottom portion of your car and its undercarriage. This salt can prove to be highly corrosive to the metal parts of your automobile and should be removed regularly.

A pressure washer should be your tool of choice when it comes time to wash your automobile. With a combination of the proper nozzle, detergent, and pressure setting, you can pressure wash your automobile quickly and thoroughly. There are even polishing cleansers you can purchase to place inside of your pressure washer that will rinse and polish your automobile simultaneously.

How to Make Sure Your Garage Stays Warm in the Cold Winter Months

Maintaining a well-insulated garage provides you with a useable workspace year-round. However, even if you don’t plan to use your garage much, or at all, during the freezing winter, there are still reasons to winter-proof your garage. If your garage gets too cold, it could damage equipment or vehicles stored inside. For example, if you have a power washer and the temperatures reach freezing levels, the water inside the hoses freeze and crack. The paint in your garage may also separate as temperatures drop during winter. To protect yourself against these problems, winterize your garage before winter hit.

Install a Garage Heater

Heat your garage with minimal construction costs and space requirements by installing a heater. The first choice is whether to select an electric or gas-powered heater. A gas-fired heater is typically cheaper to run, but more difficult to install, as you need an exhaust vent and a gas supply. Electric heaters are easier to install, but they cost more to run than a gas unit. Generally, if you live in an area where you need occasional heat or have mild winters, an electric unit is the best way to go.

Finally, you may want to consider installing a mini-split heat pump. Capable of providing year-round cooling and heating while only requiring a narrow hole through the garage wall, a heat pump is an efficient way to control the temperature in your garage.

Replace or Fix Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping produces a seal between the garage door opening and the garage door. As time goes by, the weatherstripping cracks and becomes brittle, which lets air pass through the door. An easy way to check if your weatherstripping needs repair is to feel near the garage door for air. If you feel air entering, take off your existing weatherstripping and remove any sealant. Try to make the surface as smooth and clean as possible to create the best possible seal. After removing the old weatherstripping, close the garage door and simply align your new weatherstripping against the garage door.

Insulation

Heat travels through solid surfaces, which is how the warm air in your garage escapes. To prevent this, insulate your garage walls and door. Even if you have a heater installed, not having proper insulation leads to wasted energy and a high utility bill. Insulation must be installed securely and snugly, and in most cases, it’s best to hire a professional to handle the job. A knowledgeable installer knows how to pick insulation with the correct thickness for your walls and has the experience to install insulation that’s snug but not too tight.

Replace Your Garage Door

If your garage door is properly insulated and you still feel cool air entering, then consider installing a new door. Some modern garage doors have recessed panels and an insulated design, providing immediate protection against the cold and making it easy to replace the insulation in the future if needed.

Caulking

Cracks and gaps allow heat to escape your garage, and caulking is a useful way to cover existing cracks and gaps near your garage door, windows and other damaged areas in the garage. If you’re caulking the garage yourself, focus on areas where two different materials meet, such as wood and brick. Before starting the job, clean the area where you’ll be caulking and make sure the area’s completely dry to stop moisture from being sealed in.

All of these garage-warming repairs can be performed by yourself, or you can hire a professional to do the job. Depending on your level of confidence, you may want to handle the easier tasks yourself, such as caulking or replacing weatherstripping, and then hire a professional for the more difficult tasks like installing a garage heater. In some cases, your heater’s warranty is only valid if you have it installed by a licensed professional.

Fixer Uppers: How To Find A Home That You Can Bring Back To Life

Like a perfect sunny vacation, our home needs to be just as special and life changing. Our home is more than just a place you go to sleep at night, our home is a place where life long memories are created. How do you transform a building made out of walls and paint, into a fortress of solitude and security where families gather and grow? How do you make a simple house, become a home? The answer, make it truly yours; so original and unlike any other home around. In a world where pre-manufactured homes are around every corner, the dream of the perfect home can be difficult to find, but not impossible. One of the best solutions around, is the idea of the “fixer upper” home. A fixer upper home has a lot of options. Perhaps, it means transforming an older home into your dream home or even finishing an incompletely built home. Whatever the choice, the fixer upper option is the ultimate DIY a home owner can embark on. Yes, it is true that the fixer upper process involves a decent amount of work, however, the results are life changing. The results are the creation of your dream home. So how does one begin the fixer upper process?

HUD HOMES or Incomplete Building projects

Financing a house is an expensive and complicated process. Unfortunately, many people struggle with the finically aspect of building a home, and this leaves a unique option open for the fixer upper. One type of house the fixer can look for on the market is a what is called a HUD home. In short, A HUD home is a home that needs to be sold fast. Often time these homes are foreclosures or homes that hit some sort of unforeseen financial set back. Whatever the case may be, the goal for the HUD home seller is the same; sell the house fast. Often times, HUD homes that are being sold are in need of serious renovation or perhaps are even incomplete. A HUD home almost always needs some kind of work. This is not desirable for a lot of people looking for turn key homes, however, for the DIY fixer upper, a HUD home can be a gold mine. Not only are these homes in a state of renovation already, but also, many time they are priced extremely low. HUD homes are not always easy to find because they sell fast, however, if planned correctly a HUD home is a perfect start for a fixer upper DIY home.

Older Homes

As cities grow and develop, older neighborhoods are often times forgotten and overlooked as an option for buying a home. Many individuals prefer the look and smell of a brand new home, and don’t even bother looking to purchase in older parts of a town. This trend creates another unique opportunity for the fixer upper individual. The older home market offer an array of advantages. First, they are almost always priced lower than the new home market. This low price leaves plenty of finically wiggle room for renovations. Lastly, older homes provide more unique designs that newer homes, that allow for more interesting renovation options. Purchasing an older home as a fixer upper home is a solid and smart option.

Demo Day: Important Precautions to Take When Gutting Your Fixer-Upper

Buying an older home or living in one requires special precautions before you can start the gutting process. There are a lot of variables to consider and for homeowners with no construction experience, this guide will be a useful tool to help you safely gut your old fixer-upper. Older homes hold all kinds of hidden secrets in the walls, attics, and foundations. Before you start the demolition process, you should read this guide fully in its entirety.

Important Precautions

 Building Permits: It is illegal in a lot of states and communities to undergo a construction project without a building permit. You can go to your local city hall or town office and apply for a building permit. Building permits are dated with an expiration date, so you only have so much time to get your project done or you’ll have to go back and get an extension on your permit.

 Historical Buildings: There are a lot of old fixer-uppers that are classified as historical landmarks by the state you live in. Before construction begins you need to know if your project falls under these guidelines because any alterations to your project need approval from elected officials in your community. In most cases, the exterior of a historical building must remain the same. Professional restoration contractors in this sector are highly advised.

 Structural Safety: A certified home inspector should be called in to access the structural integrity of your building. There are a lot of older buildings that have wood framed exterior walls and interior support walls in older buildings that are subject to termite damage, rot, and water damage. If you start gutting wall coverings, it could weaken the structural integrity and unexpected collapses can occur with the possibility of bodily harm.

 Mold Spores/Asbestos/Lead Paint: All three of these are very dangerous substances that can cause serious internal injuries and even death. Call a professional remediation business and have your building inspected for dangerous airborne contaminants that are magnified tremendously when disturbed. This can be a very costly mistake and one that needs to be taking seriously.

 Debris Removal: Gutting your fixer-upper is going to generate a significant amount of waste materials. If you have access to a truck with a universal open box-style trailer this is one option of removing your debris; however, there are a lot of landfills that will charge you per load by unit weight for disposal at their facility.

You can also call your local waste management providers and order a contruction dumpster to place at your job site. This is the best method for removing construction debris because once you put the debris in the dumpster, you’re done. There’s no need to handle it a second time and in most cases is more cost effective.

The Rewards and End Results

Gutting your fixer-upper can be a lot of work, but in the end it’s one of the most rewarding experiences. Restoring and modernizing an old house has a lot of long term benefits as it pays homage to the time period it was constructed, gives your community a classic look, and is a reminder of when most of these houses were built with hand tools.