Make a Vital Home Improvement by Installing Smoke Alarms

In spite of the fact that smoke alarms have been around since the 1970s, nearly one half of all home fires and three-fourths of all deaths due to fire occurs in homes which have no alarms. Thousands of people are killed each year in house fires where there are no alarms present. Also, there are more houses with alarm systems that do not work than there are houses without an alarm at all. Statistics also tells us that most people who perished in house fires were not in the room where the fire broke out.

One of the most important types of home improvement that all homeowners can make is to install and maintain smoke detectors. A working alarm alerts family members to fire and allow them enough time to flee where seconds and minutes can make the difference between life and death.

If you are living in a home without smoke alarms of if your home has outdated smoke alarms (older than 10 years), you should buy new ones. Be sure the smoke alarms you buy have labeled proof that they have been tested by an independent testing laboratory. Smoke alarms can use either an ionization sensor or a photoelectric sensor. In the case of a fire, smoke interferes with the electrical current in the alarm- which makes the alarm sound.

You can purchase these alarms at home improvement stores. Be sure that you buy the correct number of alarms. It is recommended that alarms should be installed inside each bedroom in a house and one should also be installed in or near the living area such as the family room and living room. Also, one should be in place in the kitchen area of the home, one in the basement and one alarm in each of the hallways of your home.

Due to the fact that smoke and toxic gases rise, the alarms must be installed on the ceiling at least 5 inches from the nearest wall. If this is not possible, they can be installed high up on a wall, approximately 6 inches from the ceiling. You should not put them any closer to the ceiling due to the fact that “dead air” spaces are formed by hot air and the alarm may miss those areas that are near a ceiling or a wall. If any of the rooms in your house have vaulted ceilings, put the alarm near the highest point of the vaulted ceiling.

Once you have made this gravely important home improvement, you should be sure to never disable the alarms and you also must test battery-operated alarms once every month to be sure that they are operating correctly. To test it you need to only push the test button and listen for the alarm. In the case that you cannot reach the alarm, simply use a broom handle to press the test button. If all of the smoke alarms in your home are working properly, your chances of dying in a fire are drastically reduced.

You also must remember to replace the batteries once per year or when you hear the alarm chirping. If it makes this “chirp” which is very distinctive, first replace the batteries. If this does not work then try to clean the alarm with a vacuum hose. If it is chirping due to an accumulation of dust or cobwebs, vacuuming around the openings should remedy this problem. If it continues to chirp after replacing the batteries and cleaning, then you must replace it with a new one as it is most likely defective.

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Home Improvement – Shaping Up and Organizing Starts at Home

Just as charity begins at home, nearly everything we do at home and for our home will eventually have its effect on our personality and outlook on life. How much you like or hate that smudgy, faded and torn wall paper in your living room shows your partiality for or against untidiness, lack of enthusiasm and disorder. Untidiness, lack of enthusiasm and disorder are very anti-social traits that we don’t want to enhance in ourselves or prolong in our environment. Safety, beauty, hygiene and comfort are not the only reasons why we should now and then pay attention to home improvement. The enhancement of our living standards and personal morale are very important contributions to our personality that home improvement can give.

About fifty years ago, home enhancement might have been a daunting task involving a visit to diverse shops from which people needed something for their home, their garden, their car, their kitchen or their pets. In the 21st century home improvement products are usually available under one roof or one website. Check out “home improvement stores” in Google. Most of the companies you will find listed organically will have products for carpentry, automotive, gardening, kitchen supplies, bathroom and fixtures, pets, gardens, interior and exterior d├ęcor, security and all other gadgets and installations that we need in our home for beautifying it, making and keeping it clean and safe, securing it against burglars and intruders and making it a comfortable and dignified place to stay.

Additionally, home necessities websites will feature tips and tricks for maintaining the condition of your home, for giving it added protection and security features. Some sites even offer DIY or Do-It-Yourself e-manuals for those people who would like to do their own home projects.

Because of the many brands and types of products available for consumers, it makes good sense to read up on product reviews first before even going out window shopping for something. It is not just to learn the bad and good reviews that product feedback are important. Product defects will always be found every so often. The more defects you get, the more lax is the quality control of the manufacturer. The simple way to avoid products with defects is to purchase them at real stores. There, you can make sure the item you are receiving is brand new and in perfect condition. You may also find out more about the guarantees and warranties with which the product is covered.

DIY kits are fine if you have done them before. For first timers, however, getting professional advice from a home improvement products vendor about the proper specs to purchase and use for your home is highly advisable. Most stores, whether on the internet or in brick-and-mortar buildings will have cordial client support 24/7. From these people you can get the best advice about home beautification.

But be sure to consult with several such outfits before you make your final decision. This makes sure you get the most economical prices for your project.

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4 Home Improvement Projects for the Bathroom

The bathroom is among the most used rooms in your house. Many things in the bathroom can need replacing or spruced up from time to time. Are you wondering what you can do in your bathroom today to make it look better? Below find 4 home-improvement projects for the bathroom.


The bathtub often needs to be replace or resurfaced depending on the type of tub it is. This is often a job for a professional to do because of the plumbing and other tricky adjustments. If you have a porcelain bathtub these can be resurfaced instead of replace if they are not in real bad shape. A tub can begin to leak if allowed to continue to wear out. Then you will have a floor to replace too. So check your tub today to see what wear it shows.


Toilets are one thing that with a bit of elbow grease and limited know how you can even replace. You do need to know how to remove the old toilet and the old sealing ring. The sealing ring can be made from wax even though there are other kinds too. You will need to buy a new toilet and sealant ring to do this project. The people at the home-improvement store near you can explain what you need to do. It is quite easy and fast to do. Then you just have to properly dispose of the old toilet.

Sinks or Vanities

The sinks or vanities can need replacing once in awhile in the bathrooms. Sometimes just the sink needs replacing and other times the vanity in sits in has to be replaced too. All the plumbing has to be disconnected before you remove either one. If the vanity is to be removed it will have to be gently taken from the wall and the floor to which it is attached. Once it has been removed clean up all debris. Now you are ready for the new one to come in that you purchased. Now if the sink only has to be replaced make sure to get the right size sink to replace it. Then undo the plumbing and cut of scrape the caulk from around the sink. Then lower the new sink in and attach all the plumbing back up. Re-caulk around the sink. You are set to go.


If your flooring is ripped, starting to pull away from certain areas in the bathroom too much for just a simple repair, or if the tile floor is showing too much damage, then it is time for new flooring. It is crucial for you to have a waterproofed floor in the bathroom. So having the whole covered securely with some type of flooring is important. This type of home improvement should only be done by you if you are experienced at installing flooring or if you go get some training in how to do it properly.

Doing any of these home-improvement projects on your bathroom will help preserve the value of your house. It will also allow you to more comfortably use your bathroom on a daily basis. Examine your bathroom for anything that needs to be fixed or replaced.

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The Best Home Improvement Stores

When you plan to carry out renovations around your house the biggest question that arises is the quality of hardware that you intend using in the project. The dilemma that most of the people face at the end of entire home improvement exercise is better and cheaper hardware available just a block further from where you did all your purchases.

This really breaks the heart. Whatever time, effort and money that you have already spent in making your home a better place to live seems like something which still needs further improvement, and the entire credit goes to your lack of proper research before you conducted your mission.

The best way to go about this is to organize a bit before you start your project.

1. To begin with, first decide what you have to do and how much you can spend on it.

2. Secondly, remain flexible on the quality and design of the hardware that you intend replacing or constructing. Look around and ask people regarding different qualities and designs.

3. Find out which is the most popular and which is the cheapest. In most of the cases they will be the same. Then also look at eh best and the most expensive model or design. This may be expensive in the store that you are visiting but chances are that you might find it at an affordable price somewhere else.

4. When you have found out the market prices of your required items go to the world’s best and the biggest home improvement stores which are located inside your own living room. This is the internet.

5. Surf around with the specifications and the brand names that you had liked and find the best and the most expensive ones available at the throw away price. This bargain price probably will not be available at the store near your town, but will get it delivered to your doorstep faster than you can imagine.

So never forget that the best home improvement stores are located right in your living room.

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Choosing Home Building Materials From a Home Improvement Store

To build a house, repair or remodel, you need home building materials and the right tools. With the material and tools available today, you can get your project done in less time and possibly for less money than you might have thought.

You can download plans from the internet. You can even customize them to suit your own tastes or to make the house of your dreams.

While you are at it, you could start thinking about how you would like your outdoor living area to look. You can do some virtual landscaping, just for fun.

Of course, right now, you need the basics. So, what does it take to build a house?

Lumber, nails, hammers and saws, planes, miter boxes and levels, measuring tapes, rulers and blueprints. Those are some of the basics. Drills, screws, siding, insulation, roofing material, doors and windows are some of the others, all these you can get from a home improvement store near you. But, the first two things that you need are a plan and a list.

Any experienced builder starts with a plan. A list of necessary items is made. A builder will often have many of the necessary tools already. You might have some of them, too. So, you take a look at what you have and then decide what home building materials you need. That’s part of the plan.

Another part of your plan is the budget. You will want to try to get an idea of how much all of this is going to cost. Depending on your experience, your estimate might not be exact. Even the most experienced builders come in “over budget”, sometimes.

You might be tempted to cut corners, if you have a tight budget, but you will save money in the long run by buying higher quality, more energy efficient materials. Skipping luxury items like more expensive tile or designer flooring is okay. But, your basic home building materials should be of the quality necessary to do the job.

Think about the future. If you buy a lower quality grade of lumber, you may need to replace it more often. It might not be resistant to insects or mold. Something like that could cause you a lot of problems and cost you a lot of money in the future.

Functionality is what is most important here. So, when you are comparing the material available and creating your budget, focus on the functional aspects. That way, you will get home building materials that last.

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