Save Money On Home Improvement ProjectsWritten by Gregory Thomas
Many of us avoid home improvement projects due to their expense. Granted if you are contemplating a "second-story" addition to your home, or construction of a new "game-room", then most likely you will need to hire a general contractor to complete this task. However, if you are interested in projects like painting a room, removing acoustic texture from ceiling (I just did this), installing laminate flooring, wallpaper, landscaping, etc. then you may be able to accomplish task(s) all on your own, or with minimal assistance.
My Personal Experience
I recently undertook task of remolding my den and living room areas. I knew what I wanted final product to be, however I was extremely hesitant to begin work due to a lack of knowledge, fear of failure, and/or making damaging, irreparable mistakes. You see, in front of a computer I'm extremely proficient, however with tools and manual labor, I do not have much experience, so naturally I was a bit intimidated.
Two things changed my mind about whole scenario. I bumped into a long-time friend who was known for his skill with tools and a knack for wood carving. I informed him of my remolding ideas and underlying fear of whole task. He laughed and said that what I wanted to do it would not take much in terms of "professional skill" and it would save me about $2,000 in labor costs!
Once he put a price tag on amount I would be saving, I was immediately intrigued. For me to save $2,000 of my own money, I'll definitely try my hand at these projects. Wouldn't you?
The second influence that helped me take on this task occurred on my first visit to Home Depot (popular hardware store in southern California). I was lucky enough to run into a wonderful, polite, knowledgeable employee who took his time and explained in's and out's of what I was about to undertake.
One side note, I could not have accomplished what I did without help of Home Depot. I'm sure other hardware stores have pleasant, knowledgeable staff members also, but since I always went to Home Depot and since I was beginning to learn locations of items I needed, I simply stayed with them. Kudos to Home Depot!
Keep in mind that if store employees are NOT assisting you in a pleasant and courteous manner, LEAVE and don't come back! Don't let their rudeness distract you from your overall goal - that's what's most important, not personality of an unfriendly person. Go elsewhere if you do not like how they're treating you. Take it from me, someone who had NO IDEA of what he was doing, there will be some employees who will go out of their way to assist you. Once you find someone like this, keep going back to them. That's what I did. I probably went back to my assistant about fifteen times over three month duration of my project sometimes to buy things, sometimes just to ask a few questions.
Ask For Help When You Need It
There are basically two ways to ask for help - verbally or indirectly. Depending on your personality and how comfortable you are asking "strangers" for help, verbal method may not be for you.
That's ok! Don't feel bad or downhearted. That's just your personality, nothing to be ashamed of, so don't start thinking you can give up just yet! :-)
Personally, I have no problem talking to anyone about anything. That's just how I am. If you are somewhat similar, then I suggest taking my approach and talking to as many people who have knowledge in what you want to do.
Natural Gas vs Charcoal Grills Ė Which one is right for you?Written by Nicole Martins
Barbequing outdoors is a pleasure that anyone can partake in and with so many types of grills available you can practically cook anywhere. One exception to list is a natural gas grill which needs a permanent hook up. Listed below are some of main advantages / disadvantages and suggestions for both natural gas and charcoal grills to help decide which one is best for you.
Charcoal Grilling and Benefits
The backyard chef's favorite challenge is to create perfect fire for grilling to produce that mouthwatering smoky taste! Most popular and with about 80% of all American households owning one, is barbeque grill. Approximately 47% of these bbq owners are cooking with good old charcoal. With brands such as Weber, clearly most popular charcoal grill sold, as well as a household name, one might dismiss other quality charcoal grillers. But brands such as Brinkman and Hibachi are sought-after as are lesser known charcoal grillers Arctic, Meco, Aussie, Texas Pit Masters, Uniflame, Capital and Thermos, Fire Magic and others.
If you are looking to find right barbeque charcoal grill, you are in luck. Why? Charcoal grills can add an extra smoky flavor to your grilling that gas grills canít! And, these grills are affordable to suit any budget. That said, if you buy a fancy one with deluxe features, price tag will be higher. However, compared to an outdoor gas grill featuring mechanical parts and a more complicated design, charcoal grillers are just more economical.
Which charcoal barbeque to buy? Begin with a few simple questions. How many people will you be grilling for? Does bbq need to be a specific grill type such as: portable, stainless steel or cast iron? Are you looking for a particular brand: Weber charcoal grills, Brinkman charcoal grills, Hibachi, Arctic, Patio Life, Meco, Aussie or something else?
With a charcoal grill, if you are going to be cooking for a lot of people or just a few people, size matters. A small charcoal grill is 300 to 500 sq. in. cooking surface; a medium charcoal grill is 500 to 700 sq. in. cooking surface; and a large grill is 700 sq. in. and up. So make sure you are getting size you that fits your needs. If you need something portable, take a look at brands Weber and Arctic. You will find these to be lightweight and easy to carry. A lock-lid is a convenient portable barbeques feature for camping and outdoor picnicking. (see: http://www.outdoor-fireplaces-and-patio-heaters.com/charcoal-grills.htm )