DIY dreaming in the sky….cloud based DIY project planning

 

Feeling a little out of touch lately since I am not actively involved with dirty hands in a DIY project at the moment.  My husband and I are building a new home and are acting as owner/builder which means doing our own project management.  Crazy maybe, but the reward at the end will be immeasurable.  Like any good project, it requires HOURS of careful planning beforehand to be successful.  Measure twice, cut once right?  I have also found that there is absolutely no way that I would be able to carry a huge binder or boxes of ideas around with me as we go through the extensive design planning process.   Sure formula for going crazy!

So, forget the old idea of magazine clipping and folder making.  Now, anyone can dream with ease by clicking the button on their mouse.  With the explosion of online information and social media, there are lots of sites now dedicated to the online consumer of information.  Even online “bookmarking a page” has gone into the caveman era.  Pinterest, Houzz and similar sites have grown by ginormous numbers that allow consumers to easily share and save socially their ideas, dreams and in the case of Houzz, portfolios of design professionals in your area that can help you.

As a user of both myself, I can tell you, it was love at first click to discover these sites.  These online based idea boards also allow me to also easily identify  a client’s ideas by going to look at their likes and wants on their idea boards online.  Anywhere that I have an internet connection, I can see YOUR ideas as well as my own.

Now to take it a step beyond the “idea board”…..Enter “Evernote” and “Dropbox”**…ahhh true love.  (more…)

1920’s Budget Kitchen Makeover

This 1920’s kitchen was in desperate need of a makeover.  New custom crafted cabinets were added for around $75 in materials,new  counters for less than $200, sink $120, faucet $150, lighting $60, new stainless backsplash $200 and appliances were added.  The old linoleum floor was pulled up to reveal wood floors that could be sanded and refinished.  The result?  See for yourself.

Kitchen Before

Kitchen before

Kitchen Before

Stove area before hot water heater was moved to attic and a new custom built cabinet was added

Kitchen floor once linoleum was pulled up

Kitchen After

Kitchen after

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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How to replace electric outlets

A very quick and inexpensive update that you can do in your home is to replace outdated yellowed or broken outlets.  You can buy a “contractor pack” of ten or as singles for usually around $.50-$1.30 per piece!  The plastic covers for each can also be bought as a contractor pack for pennies on the dollar.   Can you believe that?!    Most people don’t realize this because they don’t make it a habit to walk up the electric nuts and bolts aisle at the store.    Even better, each outlet only takes a couple of minutes to replace.

** Disclaimer:   I am NOT a licensed electrician.  However, there are many simple projects such as this, that you can do for yourself safely and accurately, as long as you follow EACH step precisely.  Any deviation or questions, should be consulted further before proceeding.

Materials Needed:   flat and  Philips (star head) screwdrivers, wire strippers, plug in style voltage tester (shows proper ground, etc)

How to replace:

1)  First and foremost, the most important thing to do is to turn off the WHOLE house power at the breaker panel.  The “main” switch is usually at the top.  For good measure, I not only flip this one switch but also each individual switch as well to OFF.  Overkill maybe, but it doesn’t hurt anything.  Of course, just to be certain or if there’s a concern, power off AC’s, computers, TV or other sensitive electronic equipment before you flip the breaker.  Some people still like to double check each outlet before they begin by inserting an inexpensive plug in type of voltage tester that shows “no voltage”.  This is perfectly fine if it makes you feel better, but really, if you have turned off ALL breakers, there should be no voltage. (more…)

1920’s home renovation portfolio of before and after photos (kitchen)

One of the biggest transformations occurred in the kitchen.  I loved the custom built cabinets, but there was only one.  I also loved the idea of converting the “indoor/outdoor utility room” to be fully enclosed so that I could add a dishwasher to modernize the space.  It was a big job, but here is what was done:

Demo:  removed all pine tongue and groove slat walls, relocated back door from its current spot and removed half window, used Craigslist to dispose of all old appliances, reconfigure stainless counter top to fit a modern sink

Here is what I started with; in this photo you can see the slat walls, the back door in its current location and the lack of an additional upper cabinet:

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