Using discontinued ceramic tile is a wonderful way to remodel your home while saving a great deal of money.  Most businesses will sell discontinued ceramic tile at a great discount and this offers many benefits to the consumer.  You can use the tile to remodel your floors, or tile a wall, just make sure that the discontinued ceramic tile is strong enough to handle the use you’ve purposed for it.  You should also make sure that you purchase enough of the tile at first, to protect yourself from running out of tile before completing your project.

Cleaning and Discontinued Ceramic Tile

Most ceramic tile requires little more than soapy water to clean it.  However, if your discontinued ceramic tile is specially glazed, be sure to find out what cleaning products were recommended to use with your tile.  You may also want to write down the name of the manufacturer and contact them as soon as you purchase the tile with any questions that you have.  If you contact them in the future, they may no longer have readily available answers for you.

Looking for Discontinued Ceramic Tile

You may be lucky enough to just “happen upon” discontinued ceramic tile that is perfect for your project while visiting your local homebuilder supply store.  If not, and you are set on purchasing this tile for the reason of savings, then you can turn your search to the Internet and look for discontinued ceramic tile from various dealers online.  This is a great way to view samples of tiles before you view and will allow you to have many options to choose from.  By browsing the Internet and looking for qualified bathroom and tile remodeling contractors, you can save time, money, and gas.  Plus you have the ability to shop from many more stores than you could tackle in person.  By choosing discontinued ceramic tile, you can create the project of your dreams and maintain your budget as well.  This is a wonderful benefit for both you and the supplier.  Remember, for the best assistance, you should ask any questions that you may have regarding the ceramic tile at the time of the sale.

Firstly, you must decide on the type of shower that your new bathroom requires.  It is important to ascertain whether the chosen shower is capable of coping with certain systems and can regulate a safe level of water through the boiler. Most shower units nowadays are designed to be flexible to different water pressures (such as stored hot water and cold mains).

It is also important to take into account whether or not you need to consult with a professional New Jersey plumber before you do any plumbing work on your home because you do not want to make a mistake.

Different Types of Shower Units

Push-on Mixer: The hose and spray parts of the push-on mixer shower unit can be connected to the bath tap as per your requirement, and the water temperature can be adjusted via the taps. Push-on mixers are cheap and extremely simple to install. However, although the hose connection is simple, it is easily dislodged. Additionally, it is inconvenient to adjust the temperature.

Manual Mixer: The hose and spray of a manual mixer shower unit are a part of the wall unit and the hot and cold water supplies are connected to a single valve The temperature and pressure of the water are controlled through either one or a variety of knobs (in more expensive showers). Although temperature control is much easier in manual mixer types, they are more expensive than the previously mentioned mixers. They also require additional plumbing of hot and cold water supply pipes.

Thermostatic Mixer: The hose and spray of this shower type are a part of the wall unit and the hot and cold water supplies are connected to a single valve here too. It is complete with a built-in stabiliser to self-adjust the water temperature and to prevent it from becoming too hot. One of the biggest advantages of a thermostatic mixer shower type includes convenient temperature control. However, it is the most expensive of the different mixer options.

Electrical Shower: An electrical type of shower is plumbed into a mains cold water supply and it heats the water electrically. It is important to note that for this shower type to be installed, the mains pressure needs to be at least 0.8kg/sq cm (11lb/sq in). The unit allows the temperature and pressure to be adjusted via a knob. Models with temperature stabilisers are better as they remain unaffected by other taps elsewhere in use within the household. A major drawback of electric showers is that the control knob only allows for the option of high temperatures at less pressure, or lower temperatures at a greater pressure. This is problematic in the winter season when the spray is often weak and the mains water is colder. However, this problem is tackled in some models which are available with a winter/summer setting and most New Jersey plumbers are able to tackle this with no problem.

Depending on the type of shower you need to implement, the shower head must either be fitted in order to avoid its contact with the water in the bath below or the base tray, or it must have a check valve.

Before starting, it is advisable to mark the positions of the shower head and control, and to plan the pipe-work involved. Additionally, the drainage system to remove the waste water will need to be planned. Both positions of the cable route and the shower switch will also need to be considered if an instantaneous or electric shower unit is being installed.

Use the instruction guide provided with the shower unit to fit the shower control, or consult with a professional New Jersey plumber before doing anything.

Before fitting the pipes that will supply the water to the shower system, it is important to cut off the water supply. In order to protect the pipes, they should be given a waterproof covering and also fitted with isolating valves. The pipes can then be buried into the wall and plastered over to neaten the overall look.

Fit the base tray, shower head, and fittings.

Connect the main shower control to the pipes that will be supplying the water (This may require a female screw thread adapter).

Reconnect the water supply and test the pipes for any leaks, as some may need tightening.

If you are installing an electrical shower, remember to switch off the electricity supply before making any electrical connections. Once these connections have been made (there should be guidance within the instruction manual or you can check with your nearest garfield new jersey plumber), the power supply can be switched back on.

Adjusting Water Pressure to Suit Your Shower

The cold water reservoir can be lifted to a greater height (sometimes as little as 150mm (6inches)) by fitting a strong wooden support beneath it – possibly composed of struts and blockboards. If you choose this option, the main and distribution pipes will also have to be raised to meet the new height of the reservoir.

Piping and Drainage

It is best to use 15mm diameter supply pipes, and make the runs to the shower as short and straight as possible so as to maintain maximum pressure and minimise heat loss. Additionally, by minimising the use of elbows for pipe corners, you can decrease the resistance in the flow of the water supply. You can achieve this by bending the pipes instead.

Most Common Mistakes

  • Violating or ignoring local code restrictions.
  • Using pipes that are too small.
  • Attaching copper to galvanized without using a brass or dielectric fitting between the two.
  • Not using tape or pipe compound at threaded joints.
  • Not leveling your fixtures when installing them.
  • Not installing an air gap filling for fixtures.
  • Cutting supply stub outs too short to install the shutoff valves onto after the finished wall is in place.
  • Not properly aligning tubing into fittings or stop valves. (Forcing the nut onto the compression ring at an angle when the tubing is at an angle will cause a leak.)

When turning the water back on in your home, always run the outside hose valve or flush your toilets to bleed dirt and air from the lines. This debris can cause problems in your sink faucets and other plumbing trim.

This informational article was submitted to us by Essex County Drain Cleaning.  You can find more information about them at their website here:

Often the bathroom is one of the most overlooked rooms in the home when it comes to decorating. We tend to see it as a utilitarian space, even though we spend quite a lot of time here. (More, if you have teenagers!) Take an afternoon to turn your bath into a relaxing and soothing retreat for yourself and your guests, without spending a lot of cash.

  1. Paint the whole room, including the ceiling a deep, rich color. Even though this is a small room, a deep color on the walls allows them to fade away, and at once makes the room cozy and seems more spacious.
  2. Get rid of the clutter! If you can’t get most of the makeup and shaving cream under the sink, (and who can?) pick up a few baskets from the dollar shop and corral them in. Make sure there is a hamper. If you are short on space, use the kind that hangs on the back of the door. A large drawstring bag would work for this also. (He might actually even use it…ok, it’s a dream.)
  3. Dress up that large frameless mirror. Hang swags of fabric from cup hooks to hide and soften the edges of the mirror, and to give it a “frame”. Or actually use cut lengths of 1×4 lumber, and attach them to the wall over the edges of the mirror to simulate a real wood frame. You can paint or stain them as well to coordinate with your cabinets.
  4. Speaking of cabinets, how about giving them a quick redo? Paint them black for a sophisticated look, or white with sponge painting for a country theme. Try any of the hot faux finishes. You can even paint the Formica counters. Just clean well and use a special primer first such as BIN or KILZ. Then seal with 4-6 coats of polyurethane after the paint dries. Should last for years!
  5. Lastly, add some detail to the room. Sew fabric edging to your towels, add a shell for a soap dish, and stitch up a pretty shower curtain to cover that vinyl one. Hang some calendar pictures on the wall in dollar store frames…perhaps of a faraway place you can dream about as you soak away your cares? If you have natural light in the room from a window, add a plant or two.

Now light up some candles, turn on some music, and fill the bath with sweet smelling bubbles. Your getaway awaits!

* How do I know if I need a new roof?

The roof should always be checked. You should keep tabs of its state. The following are signs that you may need a new roof.

  • Your roof is between twenty and twenty five years old.
    · The shingles are excessively cracking, curling, or they are blistering.
    · There are many shingles that are missing and/are torn or damaged.
    · The roof is leaking in many places.

* How much does a new roof cost?

There is no definitive answer as to how much a new roof will cost. There are a variety of considerations needed before an estimate can be given. From that information, a price quotation or an estimate could be done.

Some of the considerations are:

  • Size of roof
    · Materials to be used
    · Location of house (this is needed to determine which materials would be best for that area’s weather)
    · Is it for a new house or a re roofing
    · State costs and taxes
    · Type of home

After that, you can have several contractors bid on the project to get the best price.

* When re-roofing, should I peel off old layers or simply add a new layer of shingles?

It is recommended that you add a new layer of shingles to your roof. Scrapping the old layers will just consume more time and energy, and at the same time by peeling off, the thickness of the shingles are decreasing, leading to possible leakages in the future. By adding new layers of shingles onto your roof, it protects the inner part of the roof and provides you relief against further leakages. Obviously, it would be a lot cheaper.

* What kinds of questions should I ask a roofing contractor?

Getting a roof contractor to do your roof needs a little certainty and guarantee. You can ask the following questions to the contractor to erase doubts regarding his/her services:

  • Ask your roofing contractor questions with regards to their standing in their field of expertise. It will give you a hint whether they are really offering quality service to their clients.
  • Ask questions with regards to their operation. This includes whether they have necessary permits and licenses to operate such business, and if they are carrying insurance in case there are unforeseen incidents that may happen during the construction.
  • And lastly, ask questions with regards to the actual roofing constructions and the post-construction services and warranty. Inquire if they can explain to you in layman’s terms how they will construct your roofing, what materials are going to be used, and what services and warranties they offer in case leakages or damages happened to your roof within a time period after construction.

* What kinds of questions should I ask references of a roofing contractor?

Sometimes, you need referrals from people who know the roofing contractor’s work you are considering, especially when you are unfamiliar with that type of business. As the roofing contractor for references, especially from customers who have had work done by him. Questions like the following can be asked of your references of a roofing contractor:

  • Initially, ask questions with regards to their relationship with the contractor. Maybe the contractor is a friend or a relative of your reference. That will give you an idea how well that reference knows the contractor.
  • You can inquire if they have acquired the services of the roofing contractor. Ask them if they have personally witnessed the construction of their roof, and at the same time letting your reference talk about the quality of service.
  • Lastly, ask queries on the reliability of their service, if it withstands the different outside elements surrounding the roof. In this way, you will have no doubt of the integrity of the contractor because the reference himself will tell all.

A furnace is a mechanical device designed, constructed, and used to generate heat (i.e. a heater). Depending on what kind is being used, a furnace serves to either heat the interior of a structure to prevent unwanted cold from ensuing, or to burn materials for the purpose of molding or cremating. Different kinds of furnaces include household furnaces, metallurgical furnaces, industrial furnaces, and incinerators.

Different Kinds of Furnaces

Household Furnace

Household Furnaces, used to disperse cold from within a structure and provide hot water, have several different means of production and require any one of a variation of fuel sources: natural gas, fuel oil, coal, or wood.

The two most common household furnaces are combustion and condensation. The first kind requires an exhaust and relies on burning fuel to generate heat. The second recycles heat by extracting it from the exhaust gases. This kind, being acidic, is designed to prevent corrosion and has a condensate pump to remove any water buildup that will occur.

Heat distribution also has different means. If the means of heat distribution require water or steam, the mechanical device generating the heat is commonly referred to as a boiler. Many modern furnaces in the United Stated, however, use forced-air heat. Convection, or air distribution, directs cold air into a heating chamber and then blows it out through a system of ductwork into the structure.

Metallurgical Furnace

Metallurgical furnaces create heat for several purposes: smeltering, reducing iron ore to pig iron, steelmaking, and remelting and molding metal. Where blast furnaces are used to reduce iron ore into pig iron, various kinds of steelmaking furnaces are made for a multitude of other purposes: Puddling furnace, reverberatory furnace, Bessemer converter, open hearth furnace, basic oxygen furnace, electric arc furnace, electric induction furnace. Each of these treats metal in a different way based on its intended purpose. Needless to say, all metallurgical furnaces require extreme temperatures to successfully perform their respective functions.

Industrial Furnace

Industrial furnaces, usually immense, are also call direct fired heaters. These furnaces have a couple different purposes: providing heat for a production process or serving as a reactor. These furnaces are uniquely designed, depending on each furnace’s intended function, heating manner, type of fuel, and method of air combustion, but they all have common features, namely mechanisms that, when working together, produce heat. Typically, fuel is fed into a burner and is converted into heat via blasts of air blown in by an air blower. Combustion takes place in a firebox, radiating heating fluid through a series of tubes where it achieves its desired temperature. Flue gas, generated through combustion, leaves the firebox, but the convection section recovers more heat from the exhaust before discharging through the smokestack.

Incinerating Furnaces

Incinerating furnaces, or incinerators, typically are used to burn, or cremate, waste. This kind of furnace can be categorized as an industrial furnace due to its size, productive function, and the fact that industrial plants use incinerators to minimize their waste. Where incinerators are different than other industrial furnaces, however, is that they don’t assist in actual production; they only destroy waste. Their manner of fuel and performance, though, are the same as other industrial furnaces.

Furnaces are amazing devices, but they must be respected at all times. People who don’t respect such power, or don’t know how to properly use it, are liable to get burned!

This article was sent to us by Scaran Heating & Cooling.

As homeowners, we are vulnerable to mother nature every day. When misfortune lands at our doorstep or, in this case, our rooftop, we can be thankful for insurance coverage and the availability of roofing insurance claims for storm damage. When purchasing insurance, it is always advisable to check with your insurance agent about your policy’s coverage as it relates to roofing insurance claims storm damage.

If you live in an area where storms, especially those known to create a lot of damage, occur frequently, ask your agent to explain exactly what is covered in the event of a loss. For instance, if you live in an area that is known for hurricanes, tornadoes or flooding, these are all factors that could cause major damage and the policy regarding roofing insurance claims for storm damage needs to be clearly defined. At times, there are reports of individuals who suffer extensive storm damage to their home only to learn that their policy did not cover roofing insurance claims for storm damage. There is no doubt that storm damage can cause a lot of problems with your roof in particular, so it’s extremely important to make sure your insurance policy covers any problems that may arise in the event that the unexpected should occur.

When you think about it, our roof is the only thing that protects us from rain, snow, sleet or, in the worst case, a natural disaster. It is expected that, at some point, our roof will be in need of repair. Our roof is essential to a home because, without it, we would be left out in the rain – literally.

If your roof is damaged during a storm, the first thing to do is contact your insurance agent. You will need to ask about their policy regarding the filing of roofing insurance claims for storm damage. Your agent will then advise you in proper procedures and deadlines. Explain to your agent, in detail, exactly what damage was caused and the date of the occurrence. If your roof is leaking, it will need to be repaired or replaced immediately to avoid further damage to the interior of your home. It’s important to inform your agent of any repairs that need to be made without delay. This information is crucial in the processing of roofing insurance claims for storm damage.

After the initial contact with your insurance agent, you should receive a letter or telephone call from their department, which handles roofing insurance claims for storm damage. Following that, an adjuster will likely contact you. In most instances, the adjuster will want to see the damage, take photographs of the loss and will provide the insurance company with an estimate on the cost of repair or replacement. It is not advisable to sign a contract or make any agreements until your hear from your insurance agent. The adjuster may, however, provide you with an estimate on the cost to repair any damage that your roof has sustained during a storm.

Once you receive an estimate from your insurance company, you may begin the process of contracting the work out to a roofing professional. If you choose to hire a professional, ask them to provide you with a projected cost once they have reviewed the damage. During your initial conversation, explain that the funds will come from your insurance company’s claims department, which handles the payment of roofing insurance claims for storm damage. Provide the projected cost information to your insurance company for processing. Depending on the company’s policy, the funds may be paid upfront or after the job is complete. If the money is held until completion, have an invoice sent to the insurance agent for final payment.

Take a look around your own home. Is what you’ve been terming your “time-thrilled home décor” certainly just old fashioned? If so, perhaps it’s time for you to adhere the remodeling parade. The good rumor is: there heaps of simple, low detriment customs to give your home’s look a good harvest-me-up. You can found a fully new theme for your bathroom — such as contemporary, old world, or European — based on the draft of your faucet,” says Melissa Smith, director of a top faucet company in New Jersey.

Before purchasing a new faucet, it’s a good idea to do some preliminary examine. You may also want to believe the finances before start your pursuit, as prices can modify widely. You will find that there was many different styles and designs in bathroom faucets. Consider forward of time whether you want a lone-lever or a magnify-supervise faucet. Notice how the handles feel in the palm of your hand. Do you want something that is delicate or more important-task? Explore different spout designs and finishes as well. Decide about whether you want an escutcheon, the decorative plate beneath a faucet. An escutcheon would also hide mega holes that might be drilled in the sink.

Look for a faucet that installs simply — you may poster tongue like “nippy bond ” or “no adjust,” showing that least tools are mandatory. Pay closed attention to the untaken fallacy configuration on your sink. How many are there and how far distant are they? Do you essential a track-tear, 4-crawl crux-set, or a barrier-mounted faucet? Your release-export faucet may have three holes underneath, but you don’t necessarily have to supplant it with another lone-carry. There’s a project, called a “minuscule-widespread,” which provides flexibility for customers who have a single-lever faucet, but are looking to thrash to a twofold trade, widespread look. The Victorian Mini-widespread from Delta is an example of a faucet that offers elaborate, old-world styling in a slighter sink situation.

Make a Lasting Improvement

Look for a design that won’t shortly be outdated and one that will compliment the breather of your bathroom, “one that will pause out without sticking out,” according to Coffman. “Keep in psyche that you will possibly be using this new faucet for years, so select something that is enduring, versatile, and a variety that is considered unfailing.”

Installing high trait harvest in a bathroom will result in a high revisit on your home remodeling investment. That is why it is important to desire a faucet that offers long-lasting, care-open performance. You want to look for things like reliable brass construction and the visitors that offers an existence imperfect warranty, along with consumer defend, in instance you have questions while installing the faucet manually.

Now that you are equipped to give your bathroom the facelift it has been waiting at, have a few tools usable for the installation. A pair of adjustable pliers, along with an Allen anguish and sink twist, will possibly be necessary. Also choice up some silicone or caulk, and Teflon stick. Always fold impeded the instructions on your faucet for any other tools or materials needed in case you ever need a plumber to help you out with your bathroom remodel or facelift.

kitchen-cabinetsThere are many different types of kitchen cabinets. Everyone has kitchen cabinets, some people have built in cabinets, there are medicine cabinets, toy cabinets, garage cabinets, curio cabinets and bathroom cabinets. No matter where the cabinets are located however, they all serve one purpose – to store things.

Sometimes we store things in a cabinet for a long period of time and they rarely get opened like a curio cabinet. Other types of cabinets are more functional and receive a lot of wear and tear and daily usage like the kitchen, garage or bathroom cabinet. Regardless of how a cabinet is being used or what it is being used to store, after a while they begin to need some sprucing up. There are a few ways to give old cabinets a new life.

A more expensive way to liven up old cabinets is to get rid of them completely and buy and install new ones. There are many varying degrees of quality when it comes to kitchen cabinets. The wood that they are, or are not, made out of will be a big factor in the cost of your cabinets. Cherry is going to be a lot more expensive than veneer material. Also the design of your cabinets will be a deciding factor in how much they will cost as well. The fancier the design on the door of the cabinet, the higher the price tag. Another thing that will determine the cost of installing new kitchen cabinets is the number of cabinets you need or the amount of space you want to fill with cabinets.

If you like the idea of new kitchen cabinets without tearing your kitchen apart or the price that comes along with that work, you can always have your cabinets refaced. Refacing involves changing out the current drawer and door fronts only. The base of your cabinets stays intact and nothing is removed from your kitchen except the old drawer fronts and doors. The biggest advantage to having your cabinets refaced as opposed to replaced is that they will be completed in about 3 days, the cost is substantially lower and you will still feel as though you got a new, updated kitchen.

There are some things that you can do however, to spruce up older cabinets before you decide to take out a small loan and install new ones. First, try changing out the hardware or knobs on your cabinets. Although higher quality knobs will cost you a little more, you will be surprised at what new knobs and drawer pulls will do to your outdated cabinets.

If knobs and pulls are not enough for you, you can also paint your wooden cabinets. There is no need to sand them down completely before you apply paint. You do need to sand them enough to make them tacky so the paint will adhere well to the surface. Also, use a primer first that is made to improve the adhesion of paint. When choosing a paint, be sure that whatever color you choose, you choose a hi-gloss finish or enamel. Enamels or hi-gloss finishes are easier to clean and really shine and stand out. By using an enamel or high gloss paint there is no need to use polyurethane as a sealant.

Whichever route you decide to take on updating your kitchen cabinets in any room, know that you have options and choices and that starting over is not the only one.


Eating will never go out of fashion. We will always need a place in the home where we can easily and safely prepare our food. We call that place the kitchen. Here are a few tips to help make your kitchen a better, safer and more efficient place to work in.

  1. Lighting is probably the most important thing to get right. Strip or spotlights located under wall units work best to provide good, unobtrusive lighting.
  2. Hard wearing flooring that’s easy to clean is another essential. Carpeting on floors surrounding kitchen worktops is a big mistake.
  3. Electric sockets in abundance will make life so much easier. But remember to keep them at least a metre from any source of water.
  4. Have all your regularly used utensils stored close to the areas where they will be used. This increases efficiency and reduces accidents.
  5. Choose the type of kitchen sink that’s best suited for you. They come in all shapes, double or single, and in a variety of materials. Think before you buy.
  6. The type of taps on your sink is important too. Get taps with plenty of height. The swivelling type adds flexibility, but you may prefer the look of double taps. Again, think about what you want.
  7. Keep children out of your kitchen. Toddlers have greater ingenuity than you give them credit for. Fit any cupboard or drawer they can reach with childproof catches. Store all sharp objects, knives, etc, high up in a locked drawer.

Selling your home can often be a stressful occasion. Everyone wants to make sure that they can sell their house for at least as much as they paid for it. Sometimes, people go to great trouble to fix up their homes to make sure they sell for a good price. People replace windows, roofs, furnaces and plumbing. These are all costly renovations, and are often unnecessary. There are many small and inexpensive changes you can make to your home that will raise its resale value. Consider these ideas:

Paint every space in your house that you think could use freshening up. If you want a space to look bigger, such as a living room or closet, use a light color, or white. Although painting is time-consuming, it is quite inexpensive, and helps to make a house look new again.

Check out the exterior of your house, including the yard; are there changes you could make here to improve its curb appeal? Paint trim and any steps or railings that look worn out, replace or repaint house numbers and light fixtures, and trim any hedges or bushes in your yard. Keep your grass cut and, even if you don’t have a flower garden, consider buying a pot or hanging basket of flowers to add color to your home’s entrance. You might even want to buy a welcome mat!

The kitchen and bathroom are two rooms you will want to pay special attention to. Make sure they are spotless and the plumbing is working properly. Are all of your lights and electrical outlets working? Do you need to add more to make the rooms brighter and more accessible? If you are unable to do these jobs on your own, ask a professional rutherford NJ plumber to do it for you. Although it will cost more, you will know that everything works; also, extra lighting and outlets really do increase the value of a room in the eyes of potential home buyers.

Take a look at the flooring in your home. Are there rips or stains in linoleum or carpet? Are hardwood floors looking dull? Have all of your carpets cleaned. You can rent a carpet cleaner for a good price from a local home hardware or grocery store. If your carpet is damaged, you may be able to patch it if the spot is small. Linoleum is quite inexpensive, and easy to install. Clean and polish all hardwood floors.

Finally, before potential home buyers arrive to look through your house, add the finishing touches. Put fresh towels in the bathrooms and kitchen. Tidy closets, and make sure no newspapers or bills are lying out. Wipe down counters. Light a candle or two and put on some quiet music. Make sure all pets are out of the way. By following these tips, your home will be sold before you know it, and the selling price will put a smile on your face!

Every homeowner has dreams for their property, but often they don’t know how to frugally invest in their homes. Spring is an ideal time for beginning remodeling projects. There’s just something about the weather and the green grass that makes us want to paint the walls we’ve stared at all winter.

You can make choices to remodel your home that don’t hurt your pocketbook. What is the ultimate goal for the frugal homeowner? To have every cent that goes into a project come back to them. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that you don’t spend too much money on that project.

Whether you plan to paint a room, remodel your kitchen or add on a second story, you must make wise choices. Let’s look at some steps that will take you to a successful, and frugal, project.

Step #1: Decisions need to be made

This is your home, and you have some decisions to make. The first one is whether your project requires a contractor or not. This depends on how much time you have, what your skills are and how much stress you can handle. If there is even a slight hint that you might not finish the project or won’t finish it well, you should hire a contractor. Yes, you have to pay more, but in the end you have something that has the potential to appeal to buyers, not repel them.

If you decide to use a contractor, make some smart decisions. You have to shop around for a contractor. Ask plenty of questions and go with someone you are comfortable with. Word-of-mouth will tell you a lot, so ask everyone you know about what they’ve heard about the contractor in question. Don’t forget to call the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general’s office about any investigations or complaints about the contractor and his subcontractors.

Step #2: Take it one project at a time

If this is your first remodel project, don’t start with something major. In order to keep your finances and sanity in tact, you should prioritize what you need to do in the home. Don’t try to do it all at once. For example, having your living room painted and your bathroom torn out, along with the plumbing being destroyed at the same time will be a big strain on you.

Start with the smallest and most minor projects first. This often includes the things you can do yourself, like painting and new light fixtures. Then move onto the projects that will pay you in the long run, such as new windows and major systems. Then turn to the cosmetic and the finishing.

Step #3: Cheap options will result in higher costs

There are many places where you can cut corners in cost. Your walls, roof and floors aren’t among them. You can buy cheaper fixtures, plain bathroom tiles and moderate-cost appliances. But your structure, insulation, electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling are what makes your home efficient. By spending the full dollar for these things, you can save a little money in the long run. Believe me, rising utilities are all the reason to make your home top-notch efficient.

Along with this, you should invest in good windows and doors. They are expensive, but again, aren’t a place to cut costs. When you are purchasing windows, look for brands with high energy efficiency ratings and low maintenance. A good choice is often a good quality vinyl window.

Step #4: Classic design is always best

While trends are fun, they cut back your resell options. For example, my husband and I are into a western cattle baron look. We choose to show this in our leather and cowhide furnishings and decor. We know that if we go to far, like a mural of a cattle drive on the dining room wall, that only a special person will like the home.

You are best off if you use classic materials, like wood and granite, and simple design. Use your decor as a way to give your home style, or be prepared to repaint before you can sell the home.

Step #5: Expect your budget to be blown

It’s a nice idea to think that you can stick to your budget, or better yet, come in under budget. But this isn’t always possible with home remodeling and plumbing projects. Why? Because homes hold lots of surprises.

You should give yourself at least 15% over your budget as maneuvering room. This will cushion you from any unexpected costs and surprises. Do this especially if you are working with a contractor. Remember you budget and his estimates are just numbers up in the air. When the remodeling and plumbing dollars are spent, that is how much your work really costs.

There are a lot of ways to be frugal when making changes to your home. Walk through the aisles of your local home store when making decisions. Ask your contractor to help you get the best for your money. But the top factor to being frugal in your home remodeling project? Knowledge. Do some research and investigation into what you are going to do with your home. Look at the steps involved and what to expect the final project to give you. Use your potential for knowledge to your advantage and you will make wise decisions for your home.

We are all looking for the cheapest electricity, plumbers and natural gas prices, after all the less we spend on our fuel bills the more we have left over for the pleasures in life. So how attractive would it be to heat your home for very little? It is possible by using geothermal energy.

The Queen of England is planning to cut energy bills at Buckingham Palace for centuries to come by creating an underground network to extract heat from the earth’s natural warmth. The pipes containing water and a refrigerant chemical will run from the palace to the 4 acre lake in the grounds. As the water runs through the coiled loops of pipe placed on the bed of the lake it is warmed to a temperature of around 55F/12C. When the water arrives back at the palace it will go through a compressor which raises the temperature to around 140F/60C, and then through a heat exchanger (metal plates) which warms the water used in taps and the heating system in the palace. There is of course considerable capital expenditure required to get the system up and running, but it is estimated that this will be recouped in 3 years by savings on the heating bills.

The liquid in the pipes can also be decompressed so that instead of generating heat, it can cool air for an air-conditioning system. This system was used in a small trial at the palace in 2002 when the Queen’s staff drilled 400 feet into the chalk aquifer under the palace grounds to run an air-conditioning system in a new art gallery. The results of this trial were reportedly so impressive that work on planning the larger scheme began soon after.

Other high net-worth people like the singer Elton John with large estates in the UK have installed a similar system. But can the ordinary householder tap into geothermal energy and save money on heating and electricity bills? Yes, for the price of a small car it is possible to drill hundreds of feet into the ground and you can not only reduce heating and electricity costs by around 70% but you can also benefit from a free supply of pure water.

If you live in New Jersey, you can also benefit from a professional plumber in New Jersey.  Also, if you live in certain towns in New Jersey, you can check out a professional plumber in totowa NJ and a plumber in Cedar Grove NJ.

Those with expanding families or who are looking to increase the overall value of their home often begin looking into a variety of basement bedroom ideas.  The basement can be an excellent space for expansion and is generally less expensive to remodel than adding on to a home.  Fortunately, great basement bedroom ideas are easy to come by and to create with just a little creativity and careful planning.


After sifting through a variety of great basement bedroom ideas, you will need to give your new space walls.  Some homeowners choose to simply place paneling on the walls of the existing basement.  While this is an option, it will result in walls that have a thin and flimsy feel to them.  The best choice for putting walls up in the basement bedroom is to install drywall.  These walls can then be wallpapered or painted any color to match the style and taste of the person who will be using the basement bedroom.  Or, paneling can later be installed over the drywall if desired.  Installing drywall as a base will result in sturdier walls that are also more capable of holding wall decorations or shelving to add that personal touch to the bedroom.


If the basement has not yet been finished, it most likely has a concrete or hardwood floor.  Concrete flooring has a tendency to be cold, especially in the winter.  To avoid this, you’ll need to install nice carpet in your basement.

Carpet squares are a great choice for completing your basement bedroom ideas because they are easy to install and come complete with padding and a moisture barrier.  To properly install carpet squares, you need to first measure the area carefully.  You want to determine the layout of the carpet panels ahead of time so you avoid having small slivers of carpeting at the ends of the room.  To cut carpet panels to size, use a utility knife and cut through all layers of the square.  Be sure to butt the panels close to each other and prevent fibers from getting trapped between squares.  When finished, vacuum the floor to help remove the lines between carpet panels and, voila!, your basement bedroom is finished.

Once you have detected a pinhole leak in your copper pipe, and it is above the slab it is not that hard to repair.

Isolate the leak, and turn the water off to the house, either at the valve where it comes in or at the water meter by the street.If you turn it off at the house then open the hose bib that is usually located just above the water shut off. This will releive any pressure from the internal pipes, and the leak should stop dripping.

The next thing you need is to get the parts to stop the leak. If it is a pinhole leak all you need is a small piece of soft rubber, and a pipe clamp. Try to find a clamp that is close to the size of the pipe. You can usually find these at the local hardware or auto parts store. Make sure the rubber is soft so it will close the leak when you tighten the clamp.

Do NOT over tighten the clamp or you may crush the pipe and have a bigger leak. Believe me I have done this. Place the rubber over the hole and secure the clamp. When you think you have it tight enough turn the water back on and check the leak. If it has stopped dripping then you are done and you are now a plumber. If not slowly tighten the clamp until the leak stops. Remember do NOT overtighten the clamp, otherwise this will present a big plumbing problem for you. In this case a little is better than too much. Hopefully this will be the last leak you will have, but chances are it will not be. If you live in New Jersey, where there are a lot of different kinds of homes, we can almost guarantee you that you will have more. But now you know how to repair above the slab pinhole leaks.