Monthly Archives: July 2012

5 Quick & Easy Steps to Creating Your Garage Workshop

If you have the space, why not convert a portion of your garage into a tidy workshop? Here are five easy steps to turn an area of your garage into a perfect small home workshop:

1) Create a workbench area. One easy way to do this is by setting an old door or piece of scrap plywood on top of two saw horses. Make sure that the saw horses are wide enough so that it provides a steady “foundation” for your workbench. This simple solution can provide a nice spot to handle your many around-the-home projects.

2) Mount a pegboard on the wall to store your tools. One of the best places to mount the pegboard is above your workbench. Once it is mounted, strategically place pegs according to the types of tools you will be hanging on the board. After hanging your tools, trace around them with a marker so you know where each one goes.

3) Use old jars for holding nails, nuts, bolts and screws. Depending on how many of each you have, you can put all the same in one jar, or separate them out according to type (such as keeping the wood screws separate from the others).

4) Make a storage box for rags. A shop needs rags, so make a place for them to accumulate before they clutter your work area.

5) Get a small toolbox. As you go from project to project around the house, it is nice to have a small tool box that you can gather all of the tools (and materials – such as screws, tape and nails) you’ll need. This will save you from constantly “running down” to the shop to grab one more thing.

It is amazing how these 5 steps can create a great workspace and give you back some room in your garage.

Maintaining the Carpets in your Home.

It’s that time of year when we’re looking at our floors and wondering how we can get them to sparkle again. Maintaining and keeping a clean carpet is more than just healthy, as it can also help to prolong the life of the carpet. Here are a few tips to get — and keep — your carpets looking new again.

Tip 1
The first step to keeping your carpet looking like new is to deep clean it as often as needed – which is usually every six months. Two options are to have it cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning company or to invest in a good deep-cleaning machine and do it yourself.

Tip 2
Keep an eye out for spills and take care of them quickly; don’t let them set. Before using harsh chemicals on spills, try using water first. If that doesn’t work, try a mixture of water and vinegar or non- toxic cleaning products. We like a product called Sol-u-Mel made by a company called Melaleuca. There are a variety of products on the market, so it is best to match the product with the type of spill/stain you have. Be sure to spot test the cleaner on the carpet first.

Tip 3
A clean carpet is also one that has been maintained by regular vacuuming so that dirt, grime, and other debris doesn’t get grounded into the fibers of the carpet – making it look worn and dirty. One trick when vacuuming is to go over the floor in several directions to allow the vacuum time to pick up all it can. High-quality vacuums, like those manufactured by Dyson®, are the best choice, as they suck up the most debris.

Around 80 percent of the soils that enter a home are dry (the remaining 20 percent are greases, oils, and starches). The dry soil types are easily removed by vacuuming. Done on a daily basis, vacuuming will help to minimize damage to the carpet.

A clean carpet will add value to the home if it is maintained well. It will also help to keep the home free from odors and make a comfortable living area for your friends and your family.

Simple Decorating Ideas for Your Teen’s Room

Are you trying to think of simple ways to decorate your teen’s room without breaking the bank?
Some ideas from Portland Remodel- You don’t have to completely redecorate the room – with a new theme – to give it a new look. Here are some ideas to get you started. Our fourteen year old is excited to be involved in ‘remodeling’ his room. It will be a great and productive summer family project.

Before Decorating
The first thing you should do before undertaking a new room-decorating project is to clean it up. Wash all windows, carpets, floors and walls. And most importantly, get rid of anything the teen doesn’t want or use anymore. Donate, recycle or sell – and if there is something sentimental that a teen wants to hold onto but not display (such as a stuffed animal), box it up and store it in the basement or attic.

Rearranging
Once everything is clean and clutter-free, try a new layout of the room. Often this change alone can have a big impact and make the room feel more unique. Besides rearranging the bed and dresser, some other ideas include incorporating bookshelves, stands, lamps and even lounge furniture (such as a couch or chair) into their room. Teens love to hibernate in their room – why not make it comfortable for them to study, listen to music and just hang out?

Walls
Often the easiest way to change the “vibe” of a room is by giving the room a fresh coat of paint. Why not add to the room by painting a groovy accent color? Other wall options teens may like are adding wallpaper or painting a mural on just one wall.

Painting Furniture
If you have a table, bookshelf, stands or lamps that you don’t mind painting, you could also try repainting a piece or two to make them bolder or lighter. Depending on the color you choose, these little projects can change the atmosphere of the room completely.

Artwork
Artwork is a great way for teens to express their style, and often it doesn’t take a lot of money to really transform a room using “art.” One idea is to hang a few blacklight posters and use a black light to illuminate the room psychedelically. You may also want to incorporate a lava lamp into the mix. This will make your teen’s room look pretty “groovy,” especially at night.

Teens like to show their creative side, and sometimes their “funky” ideas are a little out there – but if you are okay with allowing them to experiment a bit with their space, the result can be a perfect haven for them to hang out with their friends.

3 Essential Supplies for Organizing Your Home

Ideas for your home from Portland Remodel

Cleaning out the clutter that accumulates in your home can seem like an impossible task. You have to sift through knick-knacks and other collectables that have accumulated on dusty shelves, and rifle through closets with piles of clothing – all in the hopes of finding more space. However, with the right supplies in hand, you can successfully tackle even the largest home organization project.

The first essential supply for organizing your home is trash bags – and plenty of them. After all, the first step to uncluttering your home is to get items you no longer need or use out of your house (that’s where clutter comes from, right?). Here’s how you tackle those items:
• If something is broken, throw it out.
• For items that are still in good working order but are no longer used by your family, designate those items for donation. Remember, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

You’ll also want plenty of storage containers. These will be used to store the items that you might need or only occasionally use – such as seasonal items. Boxes are great way to consolidate and organize a bunch of stuff into a finite amount of space. Then, once you have everything packed up, you can stack the boxes in a storage closet, basement, attic or garage to keep them out of the way.

Finally, you’ll want to have labels and a labeling system. You don’t have to be fancy – a Sharpie marker and masking tape will do the trick – but you will want to label items you are donating and those are you storing.

Planning your organization and having the right tools will help keep the clutter away in the future.

Different Types of Wood Flooring

Several different types of wood floors are manufactured for use by homeowners, and each offers an array of options for improving the look of your home.

Before you choose flooring, however, you should establish where floor will be installed. This is essential, since not all wood floors are suitable for all locations. For example, engineered wood may be used in most areas, while solid floors are usually recommended for above-ground-level installations, due to humid weather fluctuations.

Flooring made of solid wood flooring is one of the most popular types available. One reason why is because of solid wood’s “rustic” charm and that the wood may be refinished several times. Floors made of solid wood are constructed with one solid piece of wood, approximately 3/4″ thick, and are available in a variety of widths.

Some of the most requested domestic hardwoods include American cherry, red and white oak, hickory and maple. Solid wood flooring should be installed above grade and over the appropriate wood subfloors, and must be stapled down or nailed in place since solid hardwood is more apt to react to temperature changes, such as humidity.

Engineered wood flooring is made through a laminating process, with several pieces of hardwood made into planks. These floors have a cross-ply construction, which serves to reduce plank contractor and expansion caused from humidity that you typically find in solid wood flooring. Installation is easy. Engineered floors can be stapled, glued or even “floated” over many subfloors. What makes engineered wood floors even more appealing is that they come in a variety of colors – from exotic woods to North American hardwoods – and because of their natural look, they can be a great, less-expensive alternative to solid wood.

Exotic wood flooring is another flooring type. It gets its name because it includes those varieties of woods not found in North America – and often grown in exotic lands. Some you may have heard of include Tigerwood, Brazilian Cherry and African Mahogany. These collections offer a richness of wood that you would not be able to find in North American lumber, but it is also important to note that because it is a natural wood, the color, tone and appearance may change over time.

Understanding the various floor types will help you make the right choice for your project.
Portland Remodel works with the finest flooring companies in the remodeling industry.

Summer Cleaning, Prepare for Fall

Most people will agree that spring is the best time to thoroughly clean your home (hence the term “spring cleaning”). Well spring has come and gone So if you did not have the time, there is still the summer to get these simple chores done. One reason why it can be a good time to clean is because you can “air out” your home by opening your windows while cleaning. You can also inspect areas around the outside of your home that you may not have been able to see or reach during the cold and icy winter months.

Here are some home maintenance tips for spring or summer to help keep your home in good working condition:

Check the gutters to see if they are loose or wobbly. Loose gutters can lead to poor drainage, and some of the water may find its way into the crevasses of your home if not fixed immediately. It is also important to check the spouting running from the eaves to the ground, to ensure there isn’t any debris blocking a clean exit.

Make sure the grading around your home slopes away from your foundation. During spring rains, water can puddle, so it is important that your yard slope away from the foundation. Grading shifts often occur during soggy months or when you alter the landscaping around your home. Water that puddles against the foundation can cause cracks and other moisture damage.

Check wood for damage. The dampness of winter may cause the wood around windows, doors and railing to become weak; if left in this condition, it may even fall apart. You can use a screwdriver to prod the wood to determine the level of damage done, and if there is any, identify the steps necessary to repair (or replace) it.

Inspect and clean your chimney. Now that you are done using your wood-burning stove for the year, it is the ideal time to inspect the chimney and get it cleaned and ready for next fall and winter.

Remember to invest the time in making small repairs now – before they turn into larger hassles later on. And for complex problems, consult a professional. It is more important to remain safe than it is to save a few bucks.

Unusual Kitchen Remodel

Creative Kitchen Remodel

This is a very unusual kitchen remodel that we are finishing up this summer. This kitchen features an all copper backsplash and homemade copper pulls. Turns this kitchen and the kitchen cabinets into somewhat of an art piece.