Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A RedoHome improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.Your family has grown and you need more space.Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:Adding or remodelling a bathImproving the kitchenAdding a new roomLandscapingAdding a bedroomAdding or enclosing a garage.If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.Home Maintenance versus Home ImprovementsIt’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and MoneyIt should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

Top Reasons to Love PC Games

Most of the kids love to play PC games. Not only the kids even some of the adults love them too. It should be noted that the games that are liked by these entertainment loving players are not always an easy option to play. Most of them are quite difficult. But as I mentioned earlier that we are all lovers of the games so do we master its tricks soon with focused playing. Now, coming to the devices that are used to play games we can say that there are mainly two types of gaming. One is the gaming consoles and the other one is the PC games.While consoles are new and can be easily carried everywhere but the game lovers claim that the PC games offer better gaming experiences. Reasons that attract gamers to play games on the PC are described underneath.Availability of Different Types of GamesIn the PC, one can get to play a number of games. This is because PC has several features which provide the necessary environment for installing and playing the games. Most of the games are free to download, but, if you are using the consoles then you have to pay for each and every games you install in them or want to upgrade. So, you can install any games from the adventures games to the games that kids like to play.Better Gaming ExperienceWith PC, you get the opportunity to play with the gaming keyboards, joysticks, etc. The consoles never offer such choices. It has limited keys and overuse of them can cause them to damage. They also do not offer immersive sound quality like the PC does. And when someone else is around then they can use headsets to enjoy the sounds. You can also challenge you peers over the net and call them to compete with you over PC. The consoles have limited number of games that offers these facilities.Longer Life of the DevicesConsoles last for a maximum of 3 years. It might be less but not more while a personal computer lasts for several years. You actually do not have to get them upgraded frequently because newer versions if at all comes need not be installed necessarily.So, you can see that everything about the PC games is good and easy. Undoubtedly, for the same reasons, PC games have become the easy choice of the numerous players around the world.

Prospective Reflections on Computers and Technology

The millennium era is the season for information technology, internet and computers. They become the parts and parcel of our daily life. We cannot dream of living without them. In order to honor them, I provide in this article, various prospective reflections on computers and technology.Here they are:

Technology is ruled by two types of people: those who manage what they do not understand and those who understand what they do not manage.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Information Technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can meaningfully talk about one without talking about the other.

Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they are basically good and smart and if you give them tools, they will do wonderful things with them.

Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn into an innovation.

The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.

I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They are tools of communication, they are tools of creativity and they can be shaped by their user.

Treat your password like a toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it and get a new one every six months.

The next major explosion is going to be when genetics and computers come together. I am talking about an organic computer – about biological substances that can function like a semiconductor.

Computing is not about computers anymore. It is about living.

With all the abundance we have of computers and computing, what is scarce is human attention and time.

The new information technology – internet and email – have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

By the time we get to the 2040s, we’ll be able to multiply human intelligence a billion-fold. That will be a profound change that’s singular in nature. Computers are going to keep getting smaller and smaller. Ultimately, they will go inside our bodies and brains and make us healthier and smarter.

Summing up, those are quite a few reflections on computers and technology that speak boldly on their prospects, importance and efficiency.