Tag Archives: home improvement tips

Before You DIY, Ask Yourself: Is This Light Fixture Safe?

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Pinterest


Every home has its little quirks, from the squeaky stair to the flickering porch light. More often than not, if the issues aren’t irritating or obviously dangerous they become part of the familiar character of our home. You learn to love these personality quirks of your home. However, when you’re thinking about a major DIY renovation, it rarely occurs to homeowners to worry about the safety of an old light or electrical fixture. Wiring ages, just like the rest of a house and old wiring can be worn or frayed. Even recently renovated lighting, if done incorrectly, can be dangerous. Getting involved in any unknown wiring should be done carefully and if the fixture is known for erratic behavior, you might want to turn off a breaker before your initial investigation.

Symptoms of Unsafe Wiring

Most homes, especially those built before 1987, have some area where the wiring is not perfect. Often this is the result of either old wires and fixtures or a long-past DIY project that has not withstood the test of time. If there’s a light in your home that is crooked, flickers, or has exposed wires, any DIY work you do with or near it should be done carefully and you might want to have it replaced by a professional. Here’s a quick list of warning signs to look for:

  • Dimming and Flickering
    • The power is not reaching your light fixture consistently, a sure sign that the connection is not steady and safe
  • Frequently Tripped Breakers
    • This indicates that something on that circuit is demanding more than a safe amount of power. Sometimes a previous tenant has ‘fixed’ this with a bigger breaker, so look for unusually large breakers as well
  • Buzzing Outlets and Switches
    • Buzzing is always bad. This is too much electricity running through loose connections
  • Constant Shocks
    • If a fixture or appliance is holding a static charge, this is a bad sign
  • Burning Smell
    • The smell of burning plastic is the result of overheating wires and melting insulation and nearby items.
  • Suspicious Wiring
    • If the wiring doesn’t look professional, it probably isn’t. While untidy wiring doesn’t definitely indicate a safety hazard, frayed wires, and damaged wire insulation is an immediate problem.

The Answer to Potentially Unsafe Fixtures

If your home electrical system or any particular fixture has exhibited one or more of these symptoms, you’ll want to approach your DIY project with extra care. If you’re not well versed in electrical safety, you may want to ask an electrician to take a look at your fixture before you get started. They will help diagnose your wiring problems and give you several tips on how to proceed with your DIY project. In many cases, you will simply need to replace a few old parts while the power is disconnected.

Starting a big DIY project usually involves a variety of construction and repair skills including working with your wiring. If you have been thinking about working with your light fixtures or outlets, always be careful when approaching an unknown electrical connection. Know which wires are live and if you’re not completely confident about remaining safe, work with an electrician to ensure that you don’t leave a dangerous, if attractively remodeled, situation.

If you have plans for a DIY renovation and have been wondering if that old flickering light fixture is safe to mess with, the answer is all-too-easily “No”. Faulty wiring is the number one cause of accidental house fires and unnecessary burns. Keep yourself and your home safe by approaching electrical renovations with care, especially if the fixture is known for irregular behavior, no matter how familiar. For more helpful home renovation tips, contact us today!


Are You Starting a Major DIY Home Renovation Project?

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Pinterest


Are you considering adding a new room or a new feature to your [amazon_textlink asin=’1467921114′ text=’Hawaii home’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e0e63072-e67a-11e7-b906-edf1a1707bb6′]? If you are, there are various things you will need to consider. One of the first things you will need to consider is what type of addition to your home you will actually like to make.

There are various resources homeowners can use to prepare themselves for what’s ahead when they are considering a home improvement project. With the right tools and resources, you will be able to find everything you need to know about planning, budgeting your project, zoning, etc.

There are some things you can do ahead of time to make sure your [amazon_textlink asin=’1600854974′ text=’home renovation’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’15147ee7-e67b-11e7-9606-970984fdcc77′] or home addition process runs as smooth as possible. Before you begin work on your home, you should keep these things in mind:

Don’t Leave Anything Out

Before you make the big home remodeling project, it is very important that you consider every aspect of the project. if you are going to remodel a bedroom, bathroom, or the kitchen, you should know what type of changes you want to make. If you plan to spend a significant time in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc., you should make sure you are going to love the changes. When you have a clear idea of what you want the remodel to look like, you will be closer to getting the area you want.

Clear The Construction Area

If you want to have a smooth home remodeling project, you should make sure the construction area is cleared. You do not want any times to be in the way of the home renovation project. You should make sure you clear your area of any anything that may be in the way, such as tables, furniture, lighting fixtures, etc.

Let People Know

Before you start the home remodeling project, you should let everyone who lives inside the house what your plans are. Everyone who lives in the house should know when you will start this big project, and everyone should also know where the work will take place inside the house.

Do Not Forget About The Animals Or The Little Ones

When you are planning a home renovation project, you will certainly want to keep children out of the area you will be working on. Children inside the house may be fascinated when they see what is taking place inside your home; however, it is important that they are protected at all times. You should also make sure that your animals will not interfere with the home remodeling project.

How Much Will It Cost?

One of the important things you will need to consider when you are taking on a home remodeling project is if you can afford to actually take on the project. After you have thought about everything and you have a full understanding of the project and what it will take to complete it, you should take some time to go over all the costs that you expect to incur. Doing this now will prepare you for everything that is ahead.

Ask Questions

Regardless of the type of remodeling project you are going to take on, you should not be afraid to ask questions when you have them. There are numerous people that are trained to help you create the perfect room you want, and they will make sure you understand every aspect. If you want your remodeling project dream to come to life, you should not hesitate to ask questions.

Are you getting ready to take on a home renovation or home addition project at your Hawaii home? Contact me today for more information.


Questions to Ask Before Starting a Major DIY Home Renovation or Addition in Hawaii

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Pinterest

If you watch very many home renovation shows, you have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to adding to or renovating a house. Some of those shows may have fueled your interest in tackling a major [amazon_textlink asin=’1600852467′ text=’home renovation’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’66c0b32b-e67b-11e7-ac38-09b16fdcf4cf’] or addition on your own home in Hawaii. Before you follow through with any grand plans you might have, here are some questions to ask yourself about how ready you are.

Questions to ask about your knowledge and skills

Do you understand everything that needs to be done to complete the renovation/addition?

Renovations and additions are more than just tearing things out and putting other things up. Depending on your project’s scope of work, there may be some work that requires the skills and knowledge of a contractor who has been trained to do the work – like electricians and plumbers. Brainstorming all the possible work will help you get a better understanding of what needs to happen to make your project successful.

Does the project require extensive knowledge and skills?

Some parts of a DIY project are simpler than others, like painting a room or installing new doors. Others, like structural changes, new wiring or [amazon_textlink asin=’1591866367′ text=’plumbing’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”], can get complicated and require more knowledge and skills than you currently have. Be honest with yourself about what you are capable of taking on versus what needs to be done.

What zoning restrictions or local building codes do you need to be aware of? What work can you do without a permit?

No one city or state in the United States has exactly the same zoning restrictions, building codes, or permitting process. Hawaii, in particular, has specific codes, restrictions, and processes for obtaining permits that are designed to preserve as much of each island’s natural beauty as possible for those who live on and visit them. Some places may differ on what work needs a permit, but in Hawaii, most major home renovation or addition projects will require them because of regulations that require any project with more than $1,000 worth of work to be permitted.

Do you have enough time to complete this project?

One of the biggest reasons why some major DIY projects fail to be completed is because the homeowner underestimates the amount of time and effort it will take on their part to finish. Having the skills to take on a project accomplishes nothing if you do not have the time to devote to making sure the project is done right.

What is your budget and do you have room for it to absorb the cost of something happening on the project that you were not expecting?

Before you attempt any kind of DIY project, you should know how much money you have to devote to completing it, as well as how much room there is in your budget in case it takes more time or issues come up.

Will the savings be worth not having it done professionally?

Sure, you can do the work on your own and probably save money doing it, but what will the work be worth in the end? If the project is not done well, it may have to be redone in a few months or a few years and could cost you more, in the long run, to get it done correctly.

Questions to ask about your personal situation

Do you enjoy performing physical labor?

Construction work requires a lot of physical labor. Think about how you feel about doing it before you commit to a major renovation or addition to your home.

Are you a patient person?

A lot of situations come up over the course of a major project like a renovation or addition, with some creating more stress than others. When you are considering an extensive DIY project on your home, look carefully at how patient you are in stressful situations.

Do you finish what you start?

Are you the kind of person who starts things and never finishes them? Major home renovation and addition projects require a high level of commitment in order to complete, so take that into consideration.

How does your family feel about the project?

Before you get started on a DIY project, check in with your family to see what they want and how they feel about it. They are going to be your biggest support system, and you need them on board with you.

What is your conclusion?

Maybe your answers to these questions were an encouraging sign. Maybe they made the prospect of adding to or renovating seem too daunting. Either way, we are here to help you make your home the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle. Our expertise is in designing the spaces you need and creating easy-to-follow, permit ready plans so you can take on a project like this by yourself.

Contact us today for more information.


Take A Peek At More Top Ten Pinterest Home Improvement Boards

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Pinterest

Do you feel like you are stuck in the mud during your search for home improvement ideas? Do you want some help planning your upcoming home improvement project? Well, we suggest you take a look at Pinterest.

Pinterest has an unlimited amount of incredible resources that you can use to plan your projects and successfully [amazon_textlink asin=’B00MF1AS68′ text=’organize everything’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’95b55065-9f4f-11e7-a557-5b42f7dc8afd’]. If you need help finding the right paint colors or if you need help unclogging one of your kitchen sink drains, you can find the answers on Pinterest.

Pinterest First-Timer?

If you have never used Pinterest, today is a good day to start. Pinterest is an online scrap board that allows you to search for images and save them to your virtual board. Once you have saved an image, it will be known as a pin. When you save something, you will be asked to choose a board or create your own board. If you are remodeling one of your bathrooms, you will be able to save those images on a board that you can call “Bathroom”.

Pinterest will also give you the chance to follow a variety of boards that have been created by other people on Pinterest. You will also be able to add other images to your board that you have found on other websites. Pinterest is a great way for you to keep all of your ideas organized.

Pinterest is full of resources for your home improvement project. There are so many home improvement boards on Pinterest that you may find it overwhelming to find what you need. This is why we took the time to create a Top Ten list of home improvement boards. We want you to find your inspiration and let your creative juices flow as you are looking through these home improvement boards.

Pinterest Board #1: The Everyday Home DIY Projects

Take a good look at The Everyday Home DIY Projects Pinterest board. You will find various projects for your DIY home improvement projects. You will not be the only one following this board because this board has over 43,000 followers!

Pinterest Board #2: Making Home Base Projects

You will be inspired with these DIY project ideas, decorating tips, and home decor inspiration tips from this board that has nearly 6,000 Pins and over 34,000 Followers.

Pinterest Board #3: Finding Home Projects

With over 1,300 Pins and over 24,000 Followers, you will certainly find a variety of projects that you can do on your own.

Pinterest Board #4: It’s Great To Be Home

Liz has over 9,000 followers on her Pinterest board. Liz has [amazon_textlink asin=’0071486100′ text=’flipped several houses’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e9fe4f63-9f4f-11e7-a36a-5f43a94f16f1′] and has amazingly transformed several rooms in houses. If you want to see what she has done for yourself, go ahead and take a peek.

Pinterest Board #5: Things I Want To Build

This Pinterest board has nearly 5,000 followers. If you need ideas for [amazon_textlink asin=’1591866693′ text=’building furniture’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2ce059ef-9f50-11e7-9f43-031075c84e68′], storage accessories, etc., you will find some incredible ideas when you view this board.

Pinterest Board #6: Our Mindful Home

If you are looking for ideas about modern architecture, outdoor design, and a variety of creative ideas for your home improvement project, you should take a look at this Pinterest board.

Pinterest Board #7: My Painted Furniture

If you want to update your furniture with paint and other things, I think you should take a good look at this Pinterest board, known as My Painted Furniture. Jacqueline has over 1,500 followers.

Pinterest Board #8: House Made Home

If you are looking for inspirations to turn your house into your home, you will love this Pinterest board. It does not matter if your projects are small or big, you will find some great inspiration on this board.

Pinterest Board #9: DIO Home Improvement Tutorials

This Pinterest board has over 5,000 followers and over 70 pins. You will find some outstanding tutorials on the DIO Home Improvement board. You may be surprised at all the home improvement transformations you can do on your own.

Pinterest Board #10: Home Made Modern: Style For The Home

This board has nearly 4,900 followers and over 250 pins. You will certainly be inspired by this incredible collection of ideas for a modern home.

Are you looking for more inspiring and creative ideas for your home improvement project? Do not hesitate to contact me.