One of a room's most neglected spaces, the ceiling, makes up one-sixth of a room's total area. Updating your home's ceilings will net a lot of bang for the buck while adding architectural interest. First, if you still have popcorn ceilings, hire a contractor to scrape them smooth. To add a sophisticated custom look to a smooth ceiling, install crown molding or box beams for a coffered look. Ceiling millwork, an attractive feature prevalent in older homes, is rarely found in newer construction. Adding small touches like these will help your home stand out from the pack.

Contractors must provide the lien waivers if you request them. You should always ask for a lien waiver from the contractor when you make a payment. This will prevent a subcontractor or material supplier from putting a lien on your home if the contractor does not pay the bills. The following case history explains why lien waivers are so important to consumers:
Even in a cosmetic remodel, there can be an opportunity to enhance the function or money-saving capability of your home. When ripping out an entire room, for instance, this may be the perfect time to add insulation to the walls, upgrade your electrical panel or add additional light or electrical fixtures. The key is to think ahead to how you will use the room, and take advantage of cosmetic updates to enhance the structure of your home.
Take the time to chat with friends, family, and neighbors about the renovation work they have done, and the challenges they have faced during the process. Having a wealth of information from homeowners who have been in your shoes can be invaluable in the planning process, and this information may alter your end plan. Check out our 17 Smarter Renovation and Home Improvement Tips to get started.
Painters generally don't expect tips, especially if you've hired a small company where the boss and his brothers are painting your house. Tipping is a must, however, if you ask a painter to touch up that little scuff on the dining room wall, which wasn't in the original contract. Most painters will oblige, and you should reward their generosity with a $15 to $20 tip if the extra work takes an hour or less.

We installed a 1″ hex porcelain tile backsplash (Home Depot) using OMNIGrip premixed tile adhesive (Home Depot). OMNIGrip is similar to thinset mortar, but it’s better for use in RV’s because of its flexibility and strength. To finish off this the backsplash project, we grouted between the tiles with premixed grout in the color Alabaster (Home Depot) to perfectly matches the walls.


Figure out your entire budget. Don’t forget things like eating out more than usual if you are doing a kitchen remodel or hotel expenses if you will have to move out of your home during any of the work. Decide if you need to split the project into phases based on how the budget is shaping up. If the contractor arranges financing for the remodeling work, be sure you understand all aspects of the terms, especially you are taking out a second mortgage on your home as security. You may want to ask about putting an arbitration clause into your contract in case of any dispute between you and your contractor.
Traditionally, the bathroom is comprised of a variety of key components, such as the toilet, sink, shower, and tub. In other words, the bathroom is one of the easiest places in your home to break down into bits and pieces. This makes for an ideal DIY opportunity – you can tackle the projects you’re most comfortable with, which ultimately cuts down on your bathroom remodel cost, and then you can leave the other parts to a professional.
The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers' homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.
Dear Debbie: Tipping isn’t the standard in the home services trades, as it is in the restaurant and personal grooming trades. Still, it’s a question many homeowners wrestle with. To help answer it, Angie’s List recently polled nearly 5,000 home service professionals across the nation to find out if they expect a tip and if so, what they tend to collect.
There has yet to be a home renovation that has been silky smooth, without a single snag or snafu, so be prepared for days when things just aren't going right. It’s natural to want everything to go perfectly according to plan, but with so many products and people involved, it’s unlikely that everything will turn out exactly how you imagined, which can be frustrating and sometimes even costly. 

As different trends in home decor evolve, we have found that unique bathrooms are always a popular choice. Wet rooms might not function well with every bathroom design, but when you have space and resources for one, it can add a lot of value to the home. Most wet rooms include a shower and a toilet, without anything separating them. The uniqueness of wet rooms really comes into play when choosing flooring.The most important thing to remember when building a wet room is that everything must be able to resist moisture. Waterproofing your cabinets, flooring, and appliances is mandatory in order to have a well-functioning room.Flooring is one of the key features that distinguishes a wet room from other types of bathrooms. The flooring of the shower extends to the rest of the room, so it’s important to think about the fact that there is no separation happening there. This bathroom consists of open space with no steps or raised areas, giving you more flexibility to design something you wouldn’t be able to in other rooms.
Before starting all the mess of a remodel, it’s a good plan to designate a renovation-free zone for your family to gather in semi-relaxation. Make sure you have everything you need in one place, such as a kettle or microwave, so you have one functional space to gather, eat or just unwind at the end of the day. For more relaxation ideas, check out our 8 Projects for Backyard Fun.
The bathroom is often considered to be one of the most important rooms in a house (along with the kitchen), especially when it comes to selling a house. Because of this, it’s a good idea to make the bathroom look and feel as fresh and updated as your budget allows. Of course, you can always decorate the bathroom, which will go a long way to accomplishing its updated appeal. But sometimes décor just won’t cut it. One of the most cost-effective ways that you can achieve a successful bathroom upgrade, whether it’s a large or small bathroom remodel, is to look into DIY bathroom remodel options. Sounds intimidating? It doesn’t need to be.
It really helped when you said that getting an efficient lighting design can help eliminate shadows on faces. That was a common problem we have in our bathroom before. It was too dark and my husband easily gets cuts when shaving. With this bathroom improvement project, I’d be sure to get help from a professional so we can remedy this lighting issue. Thanks for the very helpful tip!
Don’t want your budget to skyrocket? Don't move your plumbing. On the surface, switching your sink and toilet around may look easy enough, but the problem lies underneath and all the costs involved in moving that plumbing. Besides, if you spend less money on moving fixtures, you’ll have more to spend on that new sleek shower system or vanity you’ve been eyeing.

Any good contractor will have no problem providing references, and copies of liability insurance before a job begins. Don’t rely solely on client testimonials, search out actual customers that can give you a firsthand account and answer any questions you may have. For any project, ask to see before and after images of a contractor’s prior work, and most importantly—trust your gut and know which questions to ask.
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