Tag Archives: DIY

4 simple home upgrades you can do yourself

4 simple home upgrades you can do yourself

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4 simple home upgrades you can do yourself

DIY projects are both super exciting and a great way to save some money. After all, you will be doing all of the work yourself and learn quite a bit about home maintenance. Simple home upgrades are not complicated at all, but they might take some time to complete. So if you are willing to put in the work, the results will be stunning.

We live in a time when everything is available online, including home upgrade tutorials. Many websites will offer you step by step guidance with these projects. But remember to keep your private information safe while browsing. One of the best tools for that is a VPN. What is a VPN? This nifty tool will secure your internet connection. It can also give you a warning when you try to load a potentially dangerous website.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best home projects you can do yourself!

Change your room with a fresh coat of paint

You can give a full makeover to any room in your home by simply painting the walls. This DIY project is not complicated at all, and you can complete it in just one weekend. If the current state of your walls is not great and you want to refresh them a bit, pick a color that you like, and get ready for some work.

The right color can completely change the mood of your home. For instance, bright colours such as peach and white can open up space and make it appear bigger. Of course, there are some guidelines you need to follow along the way. You will need to invest in some painting tools as well. Buy different types of brushes, tape, and floor covers. The whole process is fun, and your entire family can help out.

More yellow light

New light fixtures can also do wonders for the ambiance in general. White light bulbs have become a standard in the last couple of years, but they could sometimes be too bright. Yellow light bulbs give more warmth to a room and make you feel relaxed. This DIY hack will not take too much time as you only have to change the bulbs around your home. However, go for LED ones because they are durable and will last longer.

If you are set on improving the lighting situation in your home, consider installing dimmers. These allow you to select the right brightness in each room. Plus, the dimmers are not too expensive but will improve your quality of life. Replace your standard light switches with dimmers and create the perfect mood, regardless of the time of the day.

Decorate your space with plants

Greenery can make any space look more polished and beautiful. Place a couple of potted plants on your shelves or around your home, and you will notice the difference right away. You can start by selecting house plants that are easy to keep alive. These don’t need too much attention, so you can occasionally forget about them. Succulents are another great option because they are small and can survive long periods without water.

Those of you who travel a lot can also go for faux flowers. There is no need to worry about watering these plants all the time. And the best part about faux greenery is that you can pick and choose flowers and create unique decorations or bouquets. But make sure you buy high-quality artificial plants. They could be more expensive but are also super realistic.

Organize your closet

It might seem like a basic home improvement project, but a well-organized closet can make a huge difference. Plus, you won’t be needing any tools unless you want to build more shelves or rearrange the existing ones. Start by cleaning out your entire closet and then sort out the clothes. There are probably some garments you don’t wear anymore, so donate them if they are in good shape.

It will create more room and you will be able to sort out the clothes in a way you find useful. You can make a whole system that could help you find what you are looking for right away. Sort out your clothes by seasons, colours, use or anything you want. Closet organizers and boxes can help you make more space in your closet and keep everything nice and tidy. Don’t forget to wipe the shelves and clean the dust before you put the clothes back in.


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DIY lawn tips for homeowners

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DIY lawn tips for homeowners


For most homeowners, having a green, lush and patchless lawn is a symbol of responsibility, dedication to yard work, and a signal to your neighbors that your home’s interior is as well-kept as its outdoor spaces. Being marked as the neighbor with the browning, weed-infested lawn can be the vision of nightmares for those homeowners who pride themselves on a well-groomed front lawn.

Not only does a luscious lawn accentuate your garden, but it provides excellent outdoor space for your kids to blow off steam. To maintain this play-pad and lawn-game arena, it takes more than just planting some grass and hoping it grows. To achieve that widely coveted green lawn, you’ll have to give it some tender loving care.

Attaining that full and healthy lawn is a multi-step process. Lawn-care practices such as selecting the right type of grass for your climatic zone, picking great quality seeds, and watering go a long way in realizing your dream lawn goals. Below are some DIY tips that can help guide you through the process, so your lawn can be the talk-of-the-town (or, at least, the pinnacle of lawn-care success in your immediate neighborhood).

Choosing between sod and seeds

Whether you’re rejuvenating an old lawn or growing a new one, you may find yourself at a crossroads when choosing between sod and grass seed. Understanding the difference between the two and the unique benefits of each option sets a course of action for achieving your lawn goals.

Both start in seed form. Sod is simply transplanted from the well-maintained farms directly to your lawns. When choosing between the two, the convenience factor and your level of patience may influence your decision.

Advantages of raising your lawn from seeds

It’s cheaper to nurture your lawn from a standard grass seed than it is to purchase sod. Despite popular misconceptions, planting grass seed doesn’t require a green thumb. In fact, it’s a simple garden practice that even the most inexperienced homeowners can perform.

An upside of growing your lawn from grass seed is that you have a greater variety of grass types to choose from and intersperse in your backyard. The ability to customize your own grass variety is important, as the type of grass planted is the biggest determinant in how your lawn will perform. With seeds, you’re in control. You can assure that your grass germinates and matures in the same place, giving your grasses a chance to establish and develop healthy root systems.

Disadvantages of grass seeds

Since you’re the initial grower, seeds will require a lot more maintenance (such as constant irrigation). As the gardener and planter, you’re limited to specific time windows, as these grass seeds must be sown in peak growth times. These peak growth times will, ultimately, depend on grass types you handpick.

Unlike sod, you will have to wait for the seed to germinate, grow, and mature before you notice any sizable results. If you’re a homeowner who craves instant gratification, purchasing sod may be a better fit for your household.

Advantages of sod

For those homeowners who are interested in the instant results of sod application and want to transform their backyard overnight, you can purchase sod from your local sod farm or a nearby home improvement store.

After installing your sod, your lawn will appear thriving, mature, and well-nourished. Sod takes just a couple of weeks to be properly rooted on the site. Areas in your front or backyard that are prone to soil erosion can benefit immensely from sod applications, as these patches of sod act like a blanket and hold the soil in place.

With sod, you won’t be limited by restrictive planting times and peak planting windows. Sod can be installed at any time of the year, except during months of extreme heat.

Downside of starting with sod

Unlike grass seeds, fully-grown sod is very expensive. You may also have to hire a professional to install your sod to properly complete the job. Hiring a professional may be inevitable if you are physically incapable of performing manual labor or if your busy schedule doesn’t allow weekend projects like sod installation.

A poorly installed sod lawn has visible seams and bad rooting. You may face several challenges in transplanting the grass to your property if your yard’s conditions vary tremendously from the conditions of the farm where the sod was grown. Sod also has a narrow transplanting window. The ideal time for transplanting sod is no more than 24 hours after being cut.

Select the right grass type

There are lots of factors to consider when selecting the right grass type for your particular lawn. Different strains of grass perform differently under different climatic conditions. Depending on the grass type’s tolerance to warm or cool conditions, you’ll want to select a grass type designed to withstand the weather conditions of your neighborhood.

Some grasses are ideal for a lawn in warm regions, while others perform exceptionally in cold regions. Warm-season grasses, like Bermuda grass, do well in the summer heat and year-round warm climatic conditions. Cool-season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescues and Kentucky bluegrass, excel in the cool temperatures of spring, fall, and winter.

When choosing the best grass for your backyard, consider the purpose of your lawn, how much maintenance you’re willing to dedicate to your lawn, and other region-specific climatic and erosion factors. For more information on how to find the best grass type for your region, check out this helpful resource.

Purchase premium quality seeds

The key to a successfully established lawn is the use of premium quality seeds, best suited to your property site. The label on the seed package is an invaluable source of information for assessing how well-suited a seed is to your specific region. In the US, by law, all seed labels must be printed with 100% accurate information.

Quality seeds come at a higher price. When purchasing lawn seed, consider the germination percentage. Only purchase seed whose package label indicates a germination rate of 85 per cent and above. You can tell the amount of non-seed material in the package by checking the percentage of inert matter. This should be less than two per cent. The weed percentage is the total weight of all weed seeds and should ideally be no more than 0.5 per cent. Noxious weeds like quack grass shouldn’t be present in your seed bags.

Manage irrigation wisely

Lawn grasses spike in growth when watered deeply in less frequent intervals. This ensures the roots are deep, so the grass is not susceptible to drought conditions. With a good sprinkler system, you can grow healthier grass and still save money, by reducing water consumption.

Some grasses require less watering and are, therefore, ideal for the inaccessible and hard-to-water areas of your lawn. While the watering schedule may vary with the seasons, it’s important to always accommodate the requirements of your lawn.

Besides boosting the curb appeal of your home, a flourishing lawn can help establish a welcoming environment for potential houseguests, the occasional visitor, and all backyard barbeque attendees. Once your lawn is rooted or your sod is applied, you can invest in a deck, an in-ground pool, or you can hire a team of contractors to build the front deck of your dreams.


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9 DIY home decor crafts to help you stay creative in self isolation

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9 DIY home decor crafts to help you stay creative in self isolation

Life has pretty much come to a standstill with the coronavirus pandemic. Because of this outbreak, people have stopped going to their daily 9 to 5 jobs, kids aren’t going to school and we’re barely going out to buy groceries. This is why the general populace has no alternative but to maintain social distancing for the time being.


However, this time might also afford an opportunity for you to deepen your connection with your home. Now you can finally give your dated, cracked up walls the fresh coat of paint that you wanted to provide them with for so long, upgrade your closet doors, fix that doorknob, or make a set of new curtains. This article lists a range of home craft decor ideas to give your house the makeover it needs, while saving up on hiring professional home renovators.

Creative DIY home decor ideas

Reupholster a chair

It might surprise you to know that it is actually quite easy to redo your outdated chair seat.

Items you’ll need

  • Scissors
  • Chair with removable seat
  • Staple gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Thin fabric for a dust cover
  • Upholstery weight fabric

You’ll be able to get a new comfortable seat cover by following this carefully laid out guide from House Beautiful.

Candle crafts

These adorable cube lanterns have a charming aesthetic to them that makes them great for use both indoors and outdoors. All you need is, of course, some candles, large washers, glue, some spray paint, square dowel rods and something to cut them too. You can follow this guide that will show you how you can make it.

You can also put these candles in a branch candle holder made from driftwood or fallen branches. This holder can be customized in several ways, depending on the type of branch you wish to use, the shape, size, and other types of details. The process is actually quite simple. All you need to do is take a branch, have it sand down, tidy it up, and then begin drilling the holes for the candles. You can either choose to have the branch painted, or give it a lacquered finish.

Nautical vase

If you’re fascinated by sea voyages and beach life, then you’ll definitely love this idea. This fascinating statement vase was crafted simply out of jute rope. Just hot glue some jute rope around a vessel and put some decorative flowers and start turning some heads.

Chic cabinet tray

It seems cabinet doors are more than just a gateway to access dishes and cutlery items. Just a couple of drawer pulls, and some paint can turn these cabinet doors into an improvised TV dinner tray or a cheese door. to make one, fill in some holes on the board and then let it dry. After that, sand the surface and then paint it later, before drilling some holes into it and screwing the handles. You’ll soon realize that this is one of the most clever DIY home decor crafts that you’ve ever tried.

Customizing your lamp

If you’ve gotten used to the lamp that’s been on your desk or side table for quite some time, then maybe it’s time to switch up its looks just a bit. One of the ways in which this can be accomplished is by customizing the lampshade. The only thing you need to do is cover it with a fabric. Choose the fabric that you like, spray adhesive on it and you have yourself a spiffy looking lamp shade.

Another fine example is a mason jar desk lamp, which is relatively easier to put together than people realize. If you prefer more of a challenge, then perhaps a brass chandelier that you can makeshift from pipes and fittings, would be more fitting of your DIY skills. The best part about this is that you can give it whatever shape you like and play with the pieces In a variety of ways.

If you’re looking for some DIY ideas, have a look at a couple of properties at Paradise Developments.

Wooden bathtub caddy

Turn your bathtub into your own personal Spa starting with a makeshift caddy that you can piece together from several wooden pieces. and since several stores are on lockdown, we’re pretty certain you’ll find some pieces lying around in your garage. After all, the more aged and imperfect the wood looks, the better the caddy will look. This guide from Jenna Sue Design Co. will show you how you can home craft this project to life.

Blanket ladder

Making friends with furniture like your wooden ladder is one way to take our mind off of this pandemic, right? Not feeling it? Then perhaps a little cuteness factor would certainly brighten things up. You can dress up a plain blanket by knitting extra large pom poms and tassels and knot them to the end in a similar manner as Joanna Gaines did. Lastly, just hang the blanket over the ladder so it looks more fashionable.

Floating bookshelves

The thing about having so many books in the house is that there are probably so little shelves to go around to keep them. That’s why instead of buying regular shelves, we recommend installing some neat invisible shelves instead. Not only is it a great way to organize all of your important reads in one place, but it creates a stunning illusion that makes it look like your books are floating in thin air.

It goes without saying that this is one of the most ingenious home craft ideas that teenagers, teachers and other book-lovers can take advantage of. Everything you need to make this a reality is in the instructions laid out by Lorrie Havell at DIY & Crafts.

Get a cooler door knob

In only 10 minutes, with a screwdriver at hand, you can easily swap out that rusty, clunky and boring old doorknob with something more gorgeous. Fortunately, Hadley Keller from House Beautiful is here to show you how it’s done.


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Soundproof Windows

Replacing replacement windows a countertrend in home maintenance

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Replacing replacement windows a countertrend in home maintenance

For homeowners, the trend is to replace old windows with new, modern, dual-pane, wood or vinyl frame, replacement windows. However, what is trendy isn’t always best for you.

Replacement windows are fine if a new look and some energy savings is the goal, but will do little if reducing outside noise to get peace and quiet indoors is the real problem.

Soundproof Windows

The challenge is that replacement windows are not really designed to reduce noise, and the vast majority of exterior noise enters through windows, not walls. So, when life is crazy and you want to create a cosy sanctuary at home to soothe your jangled nerves, it often makes more sense to improve your existing windows than replace them.

That’s why a cost-effective countertrend is developing to keep existing windows and enhance function by placing a soundproof, matching inner window inside the existing windows. This method can stop up to 95 per cent of outside noise, while enhancing energy savings and safety. It not only provides extra thermal insulation, but also a virtually shatterproof barrier that deters intruders.

Because no window replacement is required, the installation process can take as little as one hour per window, which minimizes home disruption. A similar technique, which installs a functional, matching patio door inside or outside of an existing one, also provides comparable benefits for patio doors.

Keep the noise out

From screeching traffic and blaring car or train horns to barking dogs and roaring leaf blowers, dual-pane windows will not keep out the noise because they are not designed to do so. The problem with a typical dual-pane window is that they act like a drum and reverberate in response to external noise vibrations. The result is that the noise as sound vibrations transfers right through the panes. On top of this, the seals of most dual-pane windows degrade within a few years, which allows even more outside noise to pass through.

Some replacement window companies tout single-pane acrylic windows as soundproofing. However, the typical 3/4-in. thick acrylic panes lack sufficient mass to stop much noise. Acoustic testing has demonstrated that a single-pane acrylic window must be at least 3/8 in. thick before it provides a good acoustic soundproofing value.

SoundproofWindows inside home

An even more effective solution incorporates recording studio soundproofing technology to block up to 95 per cent of external noise penetration, which can make unwanted noise sound like it is at least two football fields farther away.

This approach first dampens sound vibrations with an inner window of laminated glass installed behind the existing window. The lamination acts like a finger placed on a vibrating wine glass to deaden the sound vibrations when struck. An inner layer of tough polyvinyl, similar to that used in car windshields, further dampens sound vibrations.

Next, air space of two to four inches between the existing window and the Soundproof Window also significantly improves noise reduction because it isolates the window frame from external sound vibrations.

Finally, spring-loaded seals in the second window frame put a constant squeeze on the glass panels. This prevents sound leaks and helps to stop noise from vibrating through the glass. The spring-loaded seals are designed to stay acoustically sound for decades.

Energy efficiency

Typical windows and glass patio doors are notorious causes of home heating and cooling loss. They transfer heat/cold by thermal conduction through the panes and glass surface, so additional heating or cooling is required to keep everyone comfortable.

Air leakage through window and patio door seals that crack over time also worsens the problem. While single-pane windows transfer the most heating/cooling, even dual-pane windows may be insufficient to keep homes sufficiently warm in winter/cool in summer without raising utility costs.

As a solution, adding an inner insulating window to existing windows, and a second sliding patio door that can be installed inside or outside of the existing door, however, can dramatically improve thermal efficiency.

In fact, this approach provides an additional layer of insulation with better insulation values than the best double-pane windows, and substantially improves insulation values for dual-pane windows as well. The second sliding patio door has even greater insulation value due to its greater surface area. This can reduce heat loss by 77 per cent or more for single-paned windows, and heating/cooling bills by up to 30 per cent, while stopping air infiltration for further energy savings and greater comfort.

Improve security

Another important side benefit to this soundproofing approach is security enhancement, since its construction helps to deter burglary/breaking and entering through typical windows or sliding glass doors.

Soundproof Windows

While standard windows or tempered glass sliding doors can be shattered by a sharp blow, the laminated glass used in such soundproofing offers significant break in protection because it is shatter-resistant and tends to remain intact even after repeated blows. Such laminated glass is actually a major component of most bulletproof glass.

The bottom line

If you want to change the curbside appearance of your home, you still might consider replacement windows.

But if stopping outside noise from driving you crazy during the day or keeping you up at night is important, or cutting your energy bill, or improving home security are your priorities, then you may want to add an inner window or patio door instead

As an added plus, the cost can often be less, depending on window size or the noise reduction sought. Also, installation can take a fraction of the time of replacement windows, and can even be done as a DIY project for additional savings.


Available in Ontario through Arc Acoustics 


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Tile trends for 2020

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Tile trends for 2020

As a homeowner, there’s arguably no greater thrill than planning out and seeing through to completion of a home renovation project. Whether you’re just looking to change things up, update your home’s style, or getting ready to put your home on the market, it’s important to know the current and up and coming trends that will impact the re-model. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the various styles and themes that you can expect to find at your local tile stores.

Tile styles

Here are a few of the emerging tile styles that are making waves for 2020:

  • Aesthetic: If you haven’t spent a great deal of time looking into the different styles of tile available, you may be surprised to learn that there’s plenty to choose from that represent a far cry from the traditional tile. While a stone-fused aesthetic remains a strong choice for the foreseeable future, other textures resembling wood, concrete, marble, metal, and fabric are also worthy considerations. Several different techniques are used to create these different aesthetics, but inkjet technology, in particular, has been an invaluable tool in creating these hyper-realistic textures. Wire brushing is another popular technique used to artificially create naturally occurring textures found in wood and stone.
  • Colours: In terms of colour options, the hot ticket right now appears to be those taking a more subtle approach. Watch for different greys, lights, whites, blondes, and high variations to take center stage. One great thing about choosing something on this end of the colour spectrum is that it allows accent colours and decor to truly pop in your space.
  • Layout and patterns:  Wholesale tile distributors are stocking up on many different patterns of tile. Subway tiles and checkered tile options continue to be a popular choice for many homeowners, but tiles that display elaborate geometric shapes, mixed width, and chevrons are quickly increasing in popularity as they add considerable visual interest to surfaces that previously held none.
  • Shapes and sizes:  While larger, wider tiles (measure 24 by 48 in. in some cases) are leading the charge into 2020, comparatively smaller styles like hexagon are also a chic, trendy option.

Tile themes

Here are the emerging tile themes to keep an eye on for the next year:

  • Avant-garde:  A modernist’s dream, the resurgence of the avant-garde theme uses geometric composition, intersecting shapes, and colours to create a bold, abstract look.
  • Neon pastels:  Bright but not overpowering, neon pastels are a great way to create a soft, unique look in any room in your home. At the vanguard of this theme, you’ll find that Living Coral and Neo Mint colours to be making the greatest impact. Neon pastels offer a warm reprieve from the less enthusiastic neutral themes and blend modern technology with the natural world.
  • New deco:  Art Deco saw it’s prominence fade midway through the 20th century. New Deco borrows the indulgent style of its roots, combining traditional rounded shapes and curved lines with angular patterns to create a more subdued, if not ever-present opulence.
  • Ink black:  The application of the Ink Black theme won’t play as well universally in your home as some of the other styles, but this theme has been increasingly popular for bathroom renovation projects. Popularized in luxury spas and boutique hotels, the receding effect that black has on the human eye opens up the room rather than diminishing it.
  • Artisanal luxe:  As a way to favour the uniqueness of handmade elements for the home rather than the mass-produced alternatives, this artisanal theme aims to bring the imperfections and character synonymous with one of a kind products. The focus of this theme is all about emphasizing individuality rather than the monotony of the other themes.
  • Homestead:  With relaxation and warmth at its core, this rustic theme is gaining popularity in homes far removed from the ranching lifestyle. Employing the colours and tones native to the great plains of the North American continent, the Homestead theme is inspired by nature and all of its accompanying organic forms. Inspect to come across rich pastel tones and deeply saturated shades.

Though it may feel like a lot to take in, knowing where to look for answers is the best place to start. To learn about some of the other styles and themes of tiles available today, or to learn more about those explored above, check out Sarana Tile today.


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When bathroom design is a wellness win

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When bathroom design is a wellness win

The idea that the bathroom should also serve as a spa-like sanctuary is reflected in a rise of luxurious finishes, high-end fixtures, and elegant accessories for that space. Now that the language of self-care has become part of the design lexicon, there’s a similar uptick in bath elements that both look good and promote wellness.

There are lots of reasons why bidet seats/toilets are emerging as leaders in the category. Integrated bidet seats can provide a better clean than paper alone, which can cause irritation, spread germs, and exacerbate certain bowel conditions. Conversely, rinsing with water after using the loo is gentle, soothing, and hygienic, and may be especially useful for, says, new moms and those with limited mobility.

Bidets can also reduce by up to 75 per cent the use of toilet paper, each roll of which takes about 140 litres of water to manufacture, and may be bleached with chemicals that release back into the water table. Use of wet wipes, which can clog drains, and may contain polypropylene that ends up in oceans as microplastic, can also be reduced.

American Standard’s Advanced Clean line www.americanstandard.ca offers several options, including the 3.0 SpaLet bidet seat. I installed one on an existing elongated American Standard toilet: it was fairly routine DIY job. I like that temperature, strength, and direction of water flow is adjustable with a small, discrete, wall-mounted unit with easy-to-understand graphics.

There’s also a deodorizing feature and a setting to clean the water nozzle. This model has a heated seat — a nice touch on a cold winter morning — and a drying function that can further reduce use of toilet paper.

The Advanced Clean 100 SpaLet shares many features with the seats, and has automatic flush settings, as well as an auto open/close lid and seat, and sells for around $5,100. The 3.0 seat goes for around $1,990.

That may sound pricey. But given the life expectancy of a toilet — and depending on your budget — either may be a worthwhile investment in comfort and well-being. That, after all, is hard to put a price on.

A soft-close seat adds convenience, especially for those with impaired mobility.

A user-friendly wall-mounted control panel makes it easy to customize preferences.

A bidet toilet saves space by eliminating the need for a conventional bidet.

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House Having written and talked about home décor/improvement, design, and lifestyle for more than two decades, she has tested almost every home-related appliance known to humankind. For more of her scathingly brilliant insights, go to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her column in Reno & Decor.


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4 best places to buy a can light conversion kit

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4 best places to buy a can light conversion kit

If your home has recessed can lights built into the roof, you’ve probably entertained the idea of converting them into another kind of light that hangs lower or provides better illumination. If you’ve decided you’re going to be converting your recessed lights to a different style of lighting, but you don’t know where to buy a can light conversion kit, you’re in luck. Here are the four best places to buy one.

1. TheCanConverter

When it comes to finding an online shop that’s fully dedicated to recessed can light conversions, there’s really only one place worth mentioning. Regardless of what kind of renovation you have in mind, TheCanConverter (The ORIGINAL Recessed Can Light Conversion Kit) has the right can light conversion kit to help you get the project done with minimal hassle. They offer color finished designer medallions in satin, oil rubbed bronze, polished nickel, aged bark, bark, chrome, tortoise shell and polished brass. They’ve even been featured on authoritative blogs and online magazines such as This Old House. The Can Converter’s kits can hold up to 50 pounds, which is about as heavy as most light bulbs and fixtures are going to get.

2. Home Depot

The Home Depot offers recessed can light conversion kits and therefore must be included on any list of the most popular kit providers. The main feature to examine when shopping for can light conversion kits from Home Depot is the size compatibility. Some models will adapt to four-in. recessed can lights while others are made for five- and six-in. cans. Of course, comparing aesthetics is also a worthwhile step in your comparison, especially if you’re aiming for visual appeal. Some of their can light conversion kits include adjustable cord mechanisms that can be set anywhere from eight to 48 inches in length.

3. Lowes

Some can light conversions will only allow you to convert the light into one kind of fixture, but Lowes (like the other brands on this list) offers conversion kits that include everything you need to convert your existing can lights into hanging lights, chandelier lights, flush mounts, pendant lights, and other forms of decorative lighting. These kits come with brackets and other hardware for mounting lights.

4. Lampsplus

Lampsplus is a standard can light conversion kit that is cheap but also very basic. It is compatible with can lights four to six inches in size and supports a 50-pound load. Other related DIY equipment such as bendable light stands, wire cutters, and flashing lights are not included with the kit, but can easily be added to adjust the lighting spectrum or create more flexible and useful fixtures.

Installation is Surprisingly Simple

While installing a new lighting setup in your home might seem like something that will involve complicated steps and wiring, it’s actually a project that most people can complete in a matter of five to 20 minutes. With many different types of lamps and lighting systems that come standard with your home, it can be difficult to figure out which one you need or even what exactly you’re going to do with it. TheCanConverter eliminates that hassle by including all of the components and instructions needed to simplify and streamline the installation process.


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Five inspirational sources for interior design ideas

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Five inspirational sources for interior design ideas

The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity. Interior design is no different, and if you like to play with colors, decor, and fashion, then getting inspiration for your interior design ideas can be as simple as stepping out of your home and into your nearest shopping plaza, concert arena, or upscale restaurant. Truly, you can get design ideas from anywhere, so let’s look at some great ways to get you inspired.

Design with sound

Listening to music is a great way to gather inspiration for your designs. By listening to unique music you wouldn’t normally favor, you can put yourself into a different frame of mind and start thinking differently about the look and feel of a room. You can start to hear the color, see the layout, feel the overall aesthetics. It sounds surreal, but if you’re designing for someone else, make a playlist of some of their favorite songs. Get yourself in their mood and let the sound of the music flow through you and into your work.

Let fashion be your passion

Patterns, colors, styles, and textures are all part of the fashion world. Just go to your nearest shopping mall and look at all of the different, vibrant trends that exist. We’re living in unique times where fashion trends from the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties can all be seen in any given place all at the same time. Use these colors, textures, and styles to inspire you to design something unique and superb for your home.

Sparkling designs

Take a visit to a jewelry store and look at all of the unique and elegant designs. Gems combined with precious metals can provide interior designers with brilliant ideas. For example, a one-of-kind piece of estate diamond jewelry can inspire the design of an equally distinctive chandelier, custom lamp, or other elegant fixtures for a room. Complementary arrangements of gemstones with gold, platinum, or silver can also serve as the inspiration for home decor ideas like upholstery patterns, paint color combos, and tiling.

Take a vacation

Want to add something exotic to your interior designs? Visit other places, other countries. Step outside of the routine and go do something you’ve never done before. Then think of how the sights, sounds, and how you feel can be incorporated into one of your designs. In other cultures, you’ll find different uses for raw materials. You’ll notice creative space-saving designs that are only found in those areas. You’ll inevitably be inspired when you visit a place you’ve never been to before.

Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a long vacation, go on a road trip and go visit some unfamiliar local places. Better yet, rent a motorcycle or a convertible car and feel the wind rushing through your hair as you travel down new roads and take in your surroundings. See that rustic barn over yonder? Notice that historic tucked-away mansion? How can these be incorporated into your designs?


Crafts and hobbies

Another unlikely source for interior design inspiration is crafts and hobbies. Visit toy shops, crafts stores, art suppliers, and other places that dabble in various crafts and hobbies. Look at the colors, shapes, and textures of materials. Get a good feel for how the different materials and concepts work together. Visualize what a room would look like based on these concepts.

You could even take all of these ideas and mix and match them or put them all together. Your designs are unique to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from somewhere else. Let these ideas make their mark on your subconscious. Let them flow through you. Pretty soon, you’ll wake up truly inspired, and this will show in your unique designs.


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Emergency plumbing – should you call the professionals?

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Emergency plumbing – should you call the professionals?

Everyone has dealt with a plumbing problem at least once in their life. Some issues are minor, so you can fix them yourself, and other times you need a professional. And yes, hiring a professional implies paying for their services, but if you neglect the problem it can lead to greater damages.

How do you decide when it’s the right moment to call a plumber? It all depends on your experience and skills. So if you worked together with the contractor to build the house, and you know where each pipe is located, you probably know how to handle a plumbing emergency. However, you may want to think twice when dealing with a complex issue. Even if you don’t have the skills and experience you can still fix some problems. But it’s important to identify the cases when you need a professional.

This article will list some of the most common plumbing-related situations homeowners can experience, to help you determine when to call an expert.

Slow drainage

When it takes longer for water to drain in the sink, you should have no doubts that something isn’t working. If the usual flow of water doesn’t move, something may be clogged in the pipes. For a kitchen sink, the main factor is grease, but sometimes even insoluble leftover food can stop water from reaching the drainage system. Grease tends to harden in pipes and if you don’t clean it properly it can lead to slow drainage. In the bathroom, hair combined with gels can form balls that are difficult to remove and destroy. Most of the times in bathrooms, the build-up is located around the walls of the pipes.

If you are noticing that water is taking longer than usual to drain, you should contact an expert.

Stains or deposit build-up on faucets

Depending on where you live, water can include certain additives and minerals that can affect your faucets differently. Sometimes, a high concentration of minerals can cause white, brown or even green build-up. Depending on the materials of the faucets, it can get permanent stains. However, this is not the only cause that can lead to a change in water’s colour. Damaged pipes can change the flow and colour of the water. The best solution for the homeowners who are living in an area with poor water quality is to install filters or purification systems.

However, if you haven’t managed to do it until now and you are noticing stains and deposit build-ups on faucets and fixtures, you should hire a plumber to check the entire system.

You hear running water

As you can expect, when you are hearing running water but you cannot identify the source, it’s the moment to call an emergency plumber. If you are hearing running water when you don’t use the plumbing system, it’s the sign of a leak. Make sure the plumber comes ASAP because a leak can always cause a more serious problem.

You hear gurgling water

Gurgling water is the sign of a complex plumbing problem. Most of the times, it’s the result of water trapped in the dishwasher, pipes, laundry machine or in the faucet of the toilet. A clog can also lead to gurgling water so you should ask an experienced plumber to check the entire system.

As soon as you hear the noise, you should turn off the water because it could back up the house. Do not turn on the water until the plumber fixes the problem.

Water damage

Water damage is a serious problem for any homeowner and you definitely need the help of an expert. If you checked your house and the roof or one of the windows is not the cause of the water damage, then one of the pipes can be. Do not wait for the water to flood your house, discoloration on the walls and floor are also signs of water damage. Sometimes a damp carpet or a soft spot on the wall can point you out that there’s something wrong with the plumbing system.

Your house is not the only victim of water damage. Many times, your yard or house exterior can also get flooded. When you mow the lawn, be sure to check for mushy spots, as they indicate possible underground pipe leaks. Call an emergency plumber in Boca Raton to trace the leak and determine how they can repair it.

Low water pressure

You cannot miss this problem. Have you noticed low water pressure when you are washing dishes or taking a shower? You tried to turn the faucet handle multiple times but the water pressure doesn’t get better, and you cannot properly wash your hair. Well, there’s probably something in the faucet that is preventing water to travel the pipe. You may think that it’s simple to check the pipes and the faucet to see what’s holding some of the water back, but you can damage the entire system, so you should call an expert.

A plumber can easily identify the problem and fix it. Sometimes it’s a minor build-up in the aerator of the faucet, other times it can be a leak. A complex problem is more than you can handle, even if you are a handyman.

A bad odour

Sometimes there is no water damage inside or outside the house, the water pressure is great, and there are no strange noises, but you can feel a bad odour the moment you enter the house. Bad smells are always a sign of a dysfunctional valve, and the solution is to repair or replace it. Don’t try to do it yourself because it’s more complicated than it sounds. If you break the valve or the surrounding pipes, you can flood your house or cause extended damage. Call the plumber and they will ensure that your house no longer smells like rotten eggs.

This article analysed some of the most common issues a homeowner can experience with the plumbing system. Do not try to fix them yourself, call an expert and they will help you save worry and money.


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Toronto Fall Home Show

The 2019 Toronto Fall Home Show

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The 2019 Toronto Fall Home Show

As fall brings changes to the weather, it also inspires us to make improvements in our homes. Whether you’re looking to do a big kitchen renovation, a small bathroom revamp or convert your laneway into a livable space, the 2019 Toronto Fall Home Show will help make this a reality.

With more than three decades of experience helping homeowners, condo dwellers and renters restructure, reorganize and restyle their spaces, this year’s show is set to once again bring the best experts to the GTA.

The 2019 Toronto Fall Home Show is a source for consumers to connect with the right people and find the right solutions for their living space (even ones to help you get rid of ghosts).

Here’s a peek at what will be featured:

Tiny Village

With rising real estate prices, there’s a tiny movement happening in Toronto. Small space living is becoming more of a reality for most people, with an increase in small condos, container homes and even laneway/infill housing. There are 47,000 lots on laneways that exist today, which can provide homeowners ample opportunities to supplement their income. Still, small space living doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. The Tiny Village brings together the best of small space design, with units from True North Tiny Home and Eva Lanes.

Bad reno or paranormal activity?

For the first year ever, the Toronto Fall Home Show is bringing its very own paranormal activity expert, so you can figure out if the creaks in your floorboards are just your pipes… or if they’re ghosts! Chat with paranormal investigator Glenn Laycock for tips on what to do if you have an unwanted guest from beyond in your home, or take a Ghost Walk through the haunted Horse Palace.

Designer Pumpkin Patch

Ditch your plastic Halloween decor for chic and stylish pumpkins to give curb appeal a whole new meaning, with tips from the exquisite Designer Pumpkin Patch. Let designer Nicholas Rosaci inspire your own posh pumpkin design, make one yourself or purchase a pre-styled option, with all proceeds going to the SickKids Foundation.

Kitchen stage

The kitchen is the focal point of a home, and the 2019 Toronto Fall Home Show will be no different. Sit back and enjoy some of the city’s top chefs cooking up a storm on the kitchen stage and pick up tips from several expert speakers, including Ramsin Khachi, Marie Kondo Way expert Effy Nicopoulos, Rebecca Hay, Emmanuel Belliveau and Chef Christopher Woods.

Home Hardware Here’s How Centre

If you’re getting ready for a DIY project and want to learn a few skills or just don’t know where to start, stop by the Home Hardware Here’s How Centre. Here, you’ll get hands-on advice and practical tips from fan favourites such as Canada’s Handyman Shawn Monteith, Jordan Spear and, new at this year’s show, Mark Rason.

Project Jump Starter

Presented by RenoMark, this show feature will give you a one-on-one professional consultation, guiding you on where to start with your renovation and give you all the tools you need for success. Check out more than 100 award-winning, quality projects to get inspired for your next renovation.

The Toronto Fall Home Show runs from Oct. 4 to 6 at The Enercare Centre. For more information visit the website.


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