Kitchen Renovation Dos and Don’ts: Expert Advice

When renovating your kitchen to achieve the look you have always dreamed of, there are many things to consider to ensure the final result is perfect. From choosing the correct fittings to ensuring that the kitchen cabinets match the hardware you choose, many decisions will need to be made.

At the same time, there are also many potential pitfalls, as we can often become blindsided by unexpected costs or structural issues that suddenly emerge once we start removing parts of the old kitchen. So today, we will examine the most important things to consider when renovating. Enjoy!

Do Plan Ahead

It is easy to be tempted to purchase that kitchen sink you have fallen in love with, but we highly recommend that you hold off on purchasing any expensive items until you have completed a budget for all the expenses, from materials to potential contractors.

Not everyone loves planning, but it can be the most important factor when it comes to getting your dream kitchen. It can help ensure that you pick and choose the right elements that not only go well together but also fit your budget and space requirements.

After all, what good is that kitchen sink if you can not find a kitchen counter that matches it properly? Or what if you suddenly run out of money halfway through and are left for months with a messy kitchen that only partly works until you save enough money for the plumber to connect everything?

If you need help planning your kitchen layout, picking the right elements, or hiring professional contractors to install your fittings, consider contacting us at The HandyForce. We are always available for a consultation to discuss your options.

Do Not Ignore Quality Products

While not everyone will be buying the most expensive products for their kitchen, there is something to be said when choosing quality products compared to the cheapest versions.

Most of us use our kitchen multiple times every single day, and as such, it is important that every functional element can withstand wear and tear, and will stay in working order for years to come.

Quality products often have a longer lifespan and a better feel, but sometimes, you can make do with the cheaper versions as well. So do your research to find out where you can save some money and where to spend a little more.

Do Not Forget Lighting

It is fun to pick out the kitchen cabinets and appliances, but we often forget about lighting fixtures. This is a big mistake, as a kitchen that is not well lit will feel depressing, and in some cases, it might even lead to an unfortunate accident.

We recommend that you set aside some money in your planning stage for lighting fixtures, and spend some time considering your options. If you have plenty of natural lighting coming in your kitchen you can do without as many lights, but in other cases you might need to ensure the entire kitchen can be fully lit.

Do Focus On Storage

What good is a kitchen if it can not comfortably hold all your utensils, pots and pans, and other bits and pieces you have collected over the years? Consider the amount of storage in your current kitchen and any items you might be storing elsewhere in your home that would fit better in the kitchen cabinets.

A good rule of thumb is that you should have at least one or two cabinets available for any future purchases or gifts coming your way. This way, you can avoid throwing out that one piece you use on rare occasions to make room for something else.

How to Choose the Right Paint Color for Your Home: Tips from the Pros

Whether you wish to paint your home on the interior or exterior, the decision of which color to pick can be difficult to make. After all, this is typically a color you will need to live with for an extended period of time and something you will be looking at on a daily basis. So it is important to get it right.

The color of your home can also directly impact potential buyers’ interest in it and will be an important factor in the overall aesthetic and mood that it provides. So here are some tips for choosing the right color paint for your home. Enjoy!

Seek Inspiration

Our first tip is to look around the neighborhood to see what other people are doing. Someone else will have already spent time and effort considering the environment and type of houses where you live, and with today’s technology, you can snap a photo with your phone to save any color scheme you like on your way to or from work, for instance.

If you do not find any specific colors you like on existing homes or are looking for interior colors, your next best option is to visit your local hardware store. They will typically have a wide range of physical color samples that you can bring back home for a small fee (sometimes even for free), which you can then consider.

If you do use color samples, you should be careful that painting a full home can appear more sharp and intense than what you see on the small sample. Another idea is to seek professional input from experienced decorators or contractors.

At The HandyForce, we have many years of experience painting homes and selecting colors that match homeowners’ personalities and neighborhoods. If you would like help with manual labor or prefer a consultation with our professionals, please contact us today.

Consider the Mood and Ambiance

Think about the mood and ambiance you wish to achieve. You might prefer more neutral colors for the interior walls that create a fresh and airy sensation. Or you could opt for darker tones that will help you settle into your favorite reading chair once you dim the lights in the evening.

As for the exterior paint, it can often help to consider the architectural style of your home as well as its size. Newer homes tend to have clean lines and an understated look without too many details. By leaning into this, you can go for more neutral colors to keep this theme going.

On the other hand, older homes tend to have ornamental features and other details that can be painted in separate colors. They also typically feature more earthy tones or pastels, which work particularly well with wooden exteriors.

Do Not Overcommit

Once you have decided on a particular color of paint, you can buy as much as you need. However, you can also buy a small container that will let you paint a single wall, or even just a portion of it, to fully experience the color before you commit.

If you are choosing between a few colors that all have potential, you could even paint the colors on a piece of cardboard or chipboard to move around and see how the color reacts to shade, sunlight, and other factors that might help you make your final decision.

No matter what you choose, remember that your own instincts are the ones that matter most. Paint is not the most difficult thing to change down the line, so you can experiment and have fun with your colors without too much worry.

Top 10 DIY Renovation Projects for Beginners

Not all renovation projects require the hiring of professional contractors. Many DIY projects that beginners can perform still result in a beautiful finish when completed. Completing a DIY renovation project will not only make your home look and feel nicer, but it will also give you a well-deserved boost of confidence and pride.

However, certain projects are better suited for beginners than others. So today, we will be taking a closer look at which DIY projects you can try yourself and which projects might require the skilled hand of a professional in order to ensure a quality result. Enjoy!

Painting the Walls

Simply giving your walls a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the overall aesthetic and atmosphere in the room. Due to the relatively low amount of tools required, it is also one of the more affordable projects, making it a great place to start.

While almost everyone can wield a paintbrush, you would benefit from learning a few techniques in order to get a smooth finish that will stick to the walls for years to come. Depending on the surface, you might need to strip old wallpaper or sand down rough surfaces, so research before applying new paint.

Installing a Backsplash

The backsplash serves a practical function in your kitchen or bathroom by preventing your wall from being exposed to water or stains from other substances. This is another relatively easy project for beginners, and you have many different options in terms of materials and designs.

Updating Cabinet Hardware

Another small project that is quick and easy to do yourself is updating the cabinet hardware in your kitchen or even replacing door knobs around the home. This will instantly transform the cabinets or doors themselves, showcasing them in a new light.

Installing Shelving

As long as you have the right power tool, you should be able to install shelves in just about any type of wall with relative ease. Once you get past the initial worry of making mistakes and actually start drilling, you will become an expert at installing shelving in no time. And remember, most holes can be covered and hidden at a later date.

Laying Vinyl Flooring

Perhaps not the best project for a complete DIY beginner, laying vinyl flooring is a bit more advanced but still perfectly doable if you have the time and courage to try it. The tools required for this are also quite modest, as a few hand tools will typically be enough to lay your new floor fully.

Projects Better Left to Professionals

As we have now covered some of the projects suited for DIY beginners, it is also important to examine the other side of the coin. For instance, any plumbing or electrical work that involves installing new fixtures or components is typically not something you should do yourself, as there are dangers involved, not just in terms of damaging the structure or safety of your home, but also yourself.

The same goes for any structural modifications. While you might think it is easy to knock down that wall dividing your living room and kitchen, it is important to ensure it is not a load-bearing wall and to knock it down in the correct manner to ensure a smooth and safe result.

At The HandyForce, our professional handymen have the skills and experience to handle these complex projects safely and effectively, so if you are looking to get started with more advanced renovation projects, feel free to contact us and learn how we can help you.

Safety First: Essential Tips for Home Renovation Projects

Renovating your home comes with many challenges, from finding the right projects that will give the best results to sourcing the materials you need and performing the required tasks. However, there is also the question of safety involved, especially with larger renovations.

To keep you safe and your project running on time, you should do what you can in order to avoid a trip to the emergency room. So, in this article, we will provide you with a quick and easy overview of the most important things to keep in mind as you renovate your home. Enjoy!

Planning Ahead

Before starting your project, having a good plan about the project’s overall scope is crucial. Not only does it help your wallet in terms of budgeting better, but it also should give you an idea of what tools you will be using and allow you to take the correct precautions and measures before it is too late.

Depending on your renovation project, you might need to comply with local regulations or seek permits, which typically indicates that the task at hand requires more care than usual. Planning will thus help you identify potential hazards and mitigate the risks involved.

Wear Protective gear

It should go without saying, but one important part of personal safety is using adequate protective gear. In 2020, more than 40% of the emergency room visits from people doing DIY projects were due to lacerations.

Therefore, you should always ensure you have the appropriate protective gear before starting any task, especially those involving sharp objects or hazardous materials. This could include wearing gloves to protect from cuts or burns and safety goggles when you expect flying debris or particles.

Electrical Safety

Always ensure that your electrical systems are turned off before unscrewing wire connections, replacing electrical components, or otherwise working on electrical circuits. Use the proper tools and follow all the guidelines and codes to stay safe and compliant.

While it is possible to renovate your electrical system on your own, many people find working with electrical components or wiring daunting. If you are unsure how to proceed, it is best to contact a professional to get the job done safely and correctly. Not only will you avoid immediate danger, but you can also spend your time renovating other parts of your home instead. If you need help, feel free to contact us at The HandyForce today.

Tool Safety

Another tip we highly recommend is keeping your tools safely stored when not in use. This includes sheathing sharp tools to avoid getting cut and unplugging power tools when you are done using them. Staying organized goes hand in hand with proper tool safety, saving you the trouble of spending hours looking for that one tool you need and keeping you safe at the same time.

If you are transporting heavy tools, make sure that their containers or carrying cases are closed properly so you do not drop them on your feet or cause damage. Also, inspect your tools on a regular basis to ensure they are in good working condition and unlikely to break while you are working with them.

#1 – May 2024: Prep Your Home for Summer!

Welcome to our new monthly series! It is dedicated to bringing you useful and practical tips each month that you can use to help maintain and beautify your home. We really hope you find this new series valuable.

With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to ensure your home is ready for the heat and fun that this season brings. At The HandyForce, we’re excited to help you prepare your home so you can relax and enjoy the sunny days ahead. Here’s a checklist to get your home summer-ready inside and out!

1. AC Maintenance: Stay Cool and Efficient
Before the summer heat peaks, it’s crucial to have your air conditioning system checked and serviced. Regular maintenance not only prevents unexpected breakdowns but also keeps your AC running efficiently, which can save on energy bills.

Tip: Schedule a professional tune-up that includes cleaning or replacing filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting electrical connections. This will ensure your AC operates at peak performance when you need it most.

2. Pest Prevention: Seal Out Summer Bugs
Warm weather invites all kinds of pests, so it’s important to prevent them from becoming uninvited guests. Taking action now can save you discomfort and potentially costly pest control treatments later.

Tip: Inspect your home for any cracks or openings and seal them. Ensure window screens are intact and fix any holes to keep mosquitoes and other insects out. Consider natural deterrents like citronella candles or essential oils.

3. Prep Your Outdoor Spaces: Create Your Summer Sanctuary
Whether it’s barbecues, garden parties, or simply enjoying a quiet evening outside, preparing your outdoor living spaces can enhance your summer enjoyment.

Tip: Clean your patio or deck, arrange comfortable seating, and add some shade with umbrellas or a canopy. Spruce up your garden with new plants and ensure your outdoor lighting is working well for those lovely summer nights.

4. Safety Checks: Keep Your Cool Safely
With all the outdoor activities and home cooling needs, summer is a time to be extra cautious about home safety.

Tip: Check all outdoor electrical outlets and cords for safety. Keep grills and fire pits at a safe distance from flammable materials. Ensure your smoke detectors are working properly as open windows can lead to unexpected hazards.

We at The HandyForce are here to assist with any of these tasks—from AC maintenance to pest-proofing to decking out your outdoor spaces. Just give us a call, and we’ll handle the rest so you can focus on enjoying your summer.

Here’s to a wonderful and relaxed summer!

Have a wonderful May!

-The HandyForce