Home Improvement Grants

Although home improvement grants” are traditionally a sum of money disbursed to a home owner by the government or by a private foundation, the term home improvement grants” is also often used informally to refer to all forms of financial assistance homeowners are eligible to receive, including low-interest and subsidized loans.

Homeowners can apply for them from the government by looking at the Federal Register online, which provides an exhaustive database of all forms of grants and aid that US Citizens can apply for, including home improvement grants. US government grant applications tend to be fairly excessive, requiring you to put hundreds of hours of your time into form-filling, data-collection, and writing.

US state and federal government home improvement grants usually have certain stipulations, too. For instance, in order to apply for certain grants, you will likely have to have an income under a certain amount of money or you will probably have to prove that your house sustained a significant amount of damage from a recent flood or hurricane. You also may have to prove that you are significantly indebted and do not have the credit to obtain a bank loan (although some grants do not require this).

In addition to getting one because you have a low income or have been affected by a natural disaster, you may be able to get grants simply by virtue of the improvements you intend to make. For instance, if your improvements include a wind turbine, solar panels, or a solar fridge, you may qualify for special state or federal EPA initiatives to promote the use of alternative energy. Additionally, if you plan to refurnish your home with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures; and increase the R value of your walls, you may also be eligible for these same grants.

Now, if you would prefer not to deal with the long forms that government grants entail, you may want to consider applying to a private foundation. If you go to your local library and ask for private foundation directories, you will probably be given several 2000 page reference books all of which cover the policies and habits of private foundations operating in the United States. Look for home improvement grants” and other variations in the index. You will probably pull up several hundred matches.

Once you have done this, you will want to focus your attention on narrowing the field. You can do this by eliminating private foundations that only lend in regional areas. You can then eliminate them based on spending habits (i.e., do they commit 97% of funding to non-applicants?) and on competition (i.e., do they receive 30,000 applications and only give away $10?). You should then take the remaining private foundations and look at their policies for this type of grant

You will then want to write a boilerplate grant application, including what your need is and what your plan is and how you will set benchmarks and allocate the money properly. You will then want to personalize this application and send it to each private foundation. If your proposal is sound and if you have at least some luck, you will receive those the grants you need, finally allowing you to make those much-needed upgrades.

The Top Five Do Ityourself Home-improvement Tips

Tackling home-improvement projects that need to be done can be both exciting and rewarding. But going at it the wrong way can be a big disappointment and a source of a lot of stress. The best success is had when you plan ahead well and you pick the right time for doing the project. Here are some very important do it yourself home improvement tips to help every project be a success.

1. Almost any interior home-improvement project is going to make a mess, and that means that your home will be in disarray while the project is going on. For many, this is the most frustrating part of the entire project. So if you know that a particular room or area of the house is going to need some repairs, why not plan in advance and try to accomplish as much as you can in that area at one time?

If you don’t want dirt and debris flying all over your furniture in that area you will need to prepare your home in advance, usually by covering them with bedsheets or plastic sheeting. So it’s much easier to do this in one entire section of the house at a time, instead of having to recover everything over and over again.

2. Even if you plan on doing all the work yourself, it’s always a good idea to have the phone numbers of local professionals available in case you run into a major problem. When remodeling, there is just no telling what kind of problems you may encounter. Some of it you may be able to handle on your own, and some you may not. Butt having the phone numbers of experts in that field handy can keep the project moving forward even when difficult situations are encountered.

3. If you have a family, keep in mind that small children and power tools just don’t mix. Of course, they will probably want to be with you and maybe even join in and help you. But for safety’s sake, be sure to keep them completely away from any power tools or equipment that could cause harm.

4. It doesn’t matter what project you get involved in, or how organized you are in planning it, you are always going to find something that you need right away in order to finish. It’s just Murphy’s Law. So try not to start any major remodeling projects at a time when supply stores and tool rental shops are not open. When you need something for the project, and you definitely will, it’s a real relief to be able to just run down and get it right away without causing much work delay.

5. If you have to work around any of the home appliances or electrical and plumbing, be sure that you know for certain where and how to turn off all of the water, gas and electricity services to your home. If an emergency situation arises, you don’t want to have to find the shutoffs at the last minute.

Although improving your home can be a lot of fun, you need to be smart about how you do it as well. Following the tips given above should at least help you get your home improvement projects off to the right start.

Home Improvement Rules To Follow

Even though home improvement is pretty straightforward most of the time, it is important to carefully follow instructions in order to successfully complete a home improvement task. Many home improvement jobs take a lot of time to complete. This will be time well spent, since each home improvement or repair you make will increase your home’s value. Home improvement is clear-cut, but takes patience and requires that you follow instructions to the detail.

It is imperative that you closely follow the instructions when repairing or remodeling. Written instructions will provide you with the steps to correctly complete the project and avoid problems. And make sure to keep any receipts for materials and tools you buy incase you need to return or exchange the merchandise.

The first rule of home improvement is to learn as much as you can before starting a project. For example, if you are planning on hanging drywall in a room in your home, you need to know exactly what materials you will need, in addition to the steps used to complete the job. You will also need to know what about wallpaper, tiles, paint, or other materials to finish a wall job.

Most any home improvement job will increase the value of your home. That is why it is important to be very methodical when you start a home improvement project; you should take notes, create files, and plan every step of the job.

Budgeting and planning are two other important steps in any home improvement project. If you do not have a plan, you will likely spend more money than you need to, buy the wrong materials, take longer to complete the project, and make errors along the way.

Depending on the type of home improvement project you are planning, it could be rather straightforward. However, some home improvement projects are easier than others. Ease of completion does not equal less cost, however.

For wall improvement projects, paint, panel and tile are sometimes easier than wallpapering. Tiles come in multiple choices, including self-adhesive, or peel and stick. However, if you have damage to your walls, such as holes, you will require spackle and a few other materials to patch the area before finishing the walls.

When repairing or remodeling a basement, the same rules apply and then some. Michigan and Kentucky basements are known to be the worst for home improvement, mostly because those areas are highly prone to flooding. Improvement or repair projects in basements often require special considerations for insulation, and can often cost more money and require a little more time to complete a job. Basements in newer home tend to have fewer problems, thanks to advances in construction.

Making improvements or repairs in a bathroom requires a whole unique set of tools and knowledge. Dealing with plumbing and electrical issues are the trickiest parts of home improvement, because they often require a certain level of expertise, and even professionals have been known to make mistakes. That is why educating yourself before beginning a home improvement or repair project is imperative.

A big rule to follow in home improvement is to clear whatever area you are working in completely before beginning the job. This will prevent accidents and things from getting damaged or destroyed. It is also imperative that you use safety equipment, such as dust masks, gloves, and goggles when doing any kind of home improvement or repair project.

Tools And Supplies You Need For Home Improvement

No matter what home improvement or repair project you are working on, you will need a variety of tools. The tools are among the most important aspects of any home improvement project. Here we will discuss some of the most common and important tools needed for home improvement.

With any home improvement or repair project, safety should be considered first. Some safety supplies to invest in include goggles, ear protections, masks, and gloves.

If you are planning on repairing or improving your walls and floors, there are a few specific tools that you will need. If you are redoing basement walls, you will need stiff-bristled brushes, a wire brush, and heavy-duty paintbrushes in order to protect the walls. You will also need materials waterproof masonry sealers, household cleaners, buckets and a sponge. For painting, you will need a stiff-bristled paintbrush, and possible masonry primer. If you are working on paneled walls you will need a hammer, chisels, wallboard knife, caulk gun, putty knife, framing square, carpentry knife, pry bar, rubber mallet, and nails.

In order to prevent leaking you will need a trowel or putty knife, a wire brush, vacuum, chisel, and a caulk gun.

For outside jobs, such as installing new gutters or drains, you will need a hacksaw, a good quality drill and bits, caulk gun, and scrapers.

For general indoor repairs you will need some basic tools including, drills, screwdrivers, hammer, scrapers, paintbrushes, pliers, awl, utility knives, a stud finder, a level.

For plaster repair you will need a paintbrush and a wallboard knife. This job necessitates more one-time supplies than tools.

Flooring jobs, such as replacing ceramic tiles require an awl, tile cutter, nippers, utility knife, compass, grout float, and mallet. For making sub-floor repairs you might need a caulk gun, drill, chisel, straightedge, trowel, square, and saw. When replacing flooring always make sure the sub-flooring is in good condition and free of damage.

For wallpaper repairs or replacement, you will need a utility knife, edge roller, sponge, and a syringe in order to apply adhesive. Wallpapering is a tricky task, so go slowly and be very methodical about the job.

For minor ceiling repairs, you might need a drill, wallboard knife and hammer. For ceiling patches, you will need additional tools including chisels, framing square and utility knife.

Roof repairs such as leaks require shingles, masonry nails, hammer, brackets, drill, bits, soft shoes, an extension ladder, and slide guards. This is a two-man job, so enlist the help of a friend for roofing projects.

Now that you have an idea of what kinds of tools you will need for some basic home improvement projects, you can see that many tools can be used for multiple jobs. It is smart to by the basic tools, especially if you like to complete repairs and improvements yourself.

A lot of the big equipment needed for home improvement projects can be rented for one day, which is a cost saver for you.