How to Get the Most from Your Home Warranty

By | February 23, 2015

You have a home warranty because you know it is a good investment in your home. You’ve used it to save you time and money in the past and have definitely gotten your money’s worth. No one needs to sell you on the advantages to having home protection. However, there may be some things you don’t know about your coverage such as ways to get the most from your home warranty and use it to its full potential. Here are some strategies that may be useful to you in the future.

Call the Warranty Company First

When something inevitably goes wrong in your home, such as a plumbing system backing up or an air conditioner quitting on the hottest day of summer, always call your home warranty company first before bringing anyone else in to deal with the problem. It may seem easier just to call your Uncle Joe or the contractor down the road, especially in an emergency situation or if you think it’s a small fix; however, that decision could cost you money and hassle. If an outside person works on your broken item, and it turns out that the issue is bigger than was first anticipated or if that person makes the problem worse, your home warranty company may refuse to step in and cover the damage because you didn’t use their service provider. You can reach your company any time day or night, so always call them first in order to be sure you’re covered.

See About Negotiating

It is common procedure for a warranty company to replace appliances or home systems with something that is comparable to the one that was first installed. However, if you’ve been considering an upgrade, you may be able to negotiate with your home protection company to receive the cash equivalent of the repair or replacement they would have provided, rather than having the work done or the new appliance installed. Then you can take that cash and put it toward the larger cost investment. It may not be always be something that can be worked out, but it’s definitely worth asking.

Always Renew

If you let your home protection coverage lapse, there’s a chance your company may choose not to renew your policy. Going without home insurance is risky. The cost of a yearly policy is very minimal compared to that of a large home repair. You don’t want to be caught off guard, especially during a time when money is tight, needing to spend thousands of dollars to fix your plumbing, for example, when a few hundred dollars when your home warranty was due would have covered it. Don’t get caught in a jam because you let your coverage lapse. That’s a decision you’ll likely regret.

These are just three things to know when it comes to getting the most from your home warranty. Home protection is one of your greatest assets for peace of mind. Use it to its full potential in order to get the most from your investment.

Check out AHS for more information on making the most out of your home warranty. (

Hardwood Flooring Infographic

By | May 24, 2013

Check out this awesome infographic about Hardwood Floors:

hardwood floors


A Matter of Color

By | January 29, 2013

Let’s suppose, for a second, that you have already decided you want wood flooring in your home. Now that all the carpet has been pulled up and you’re ready to install the flooring, you suddenly realize you need to choose the perfect color in hardwood flooring that will complement all the furniture you already have, as well as the walls you got painted recently. It is one of the most daunting decisions one has to make, but fear not, there are some guidelines you can follow.

When it comes to hardwood flooring, the options are endless. There are so many different colors to choose from, ranging from the light Natural Maple Solid Hardwood to Charcoal Oak Solid Hardwood.  In my opinion, there are 3 important considerations you should keep in mind when making this decision. Firstly, it’s important to take in the size of the space you are working with. Do you have open spaces or closed spaces? Secondly, you should consider the color on your walls and the trimmings. Thirdly, the kind of furniture you are planning to keep on those floors needs to be considered, especially if that furniture happens to be wooden.

It’s important to consider the size of the space you’re working with because darker floors, like darker walls, tend to close up your space a bit more. This means that darker wooden colors have a tendency to make your space seem a bit smaller. Lighter wood, on the other hand, can open up the space and make it look bigger. Despite appearances, however, remember that the size of your space is not actually going to change. Just because a space looks slightly smaller, doesn’t mean it can’t look just as good. In fact, dark wood can bring a richness into a room that light wood cannot always offer.

Mediterranean Living Room design by Phoenix Architect Carson Poetzl, Inc.

Now if you’re slightly confused by the size considerations, think about the colors that are already present in the space you’re working with. What are the colors of the walls and the colors of the trimming? If you have hardwood trimming, I would strongly suggest sticking to that same color for flooring. If you have dark walls, you may want to contrast a bit by having lighter floors. Conversely, if you have lighter walls, adding darker floors could really bring out contrasting interior decor such as dark  picture frames and such. Although dark walls and dark floors are rarely preferable, it’s not entirely unheard of to have light walls and light floors. This combination really opens up a room, especially if there’s a nice big window to work with.

Eclectic Living Room design by Philadelphia Furniture And Accessories usona

Finally, take into account the kind of furniture you will be keeping in the space you are working with. White furniture, for example, almost always looks better with lighter flooring, whereas darker furniture looks nice with darker flooring. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions to the rule, so you don’t need to take my word for absolute, but these are some trends that I have noticed.

Contemporary Kitchen design by Dublin Kitchen And Bath Glenvale Kitchens

Click here if you’re interested in some additional reading on the topic and would like to see some visuals.

DIY Ways to Keep Your Home Pest-Free This Winter

By | January 16, 2013

It’s the middle of January, DIY-ers. For many, that means skiing, cold weather, and snow days. But for some, winter takes a miserable toll on the home. Suddenly fun in the snow turns into the arduous task of maintaining a home that is free from all the hazards that winter brings.

One particularly trying problem is winter pests. You may only associate pests with summertime, but certain pests come out in full force in the winter as well. If you want to get rid of them in your home without using harmful chemicals or calling a professional (we are all big on DIY around here), follow these tips and tricks and have a pest-free home any time of the year:

Place peppermint or moth balls in areas you think would most attract mice (think cabinets, closets, windows, etc). The scents repel mice and they try their best to stay away from it. Another method to try is a bowl greased with oil with a piece of cheese inside. Mice will always try to find a way to get to the cheese, but once they’re inside the bowl, they will have a hard time getting out. This is an animal-friendly way to catch mice if you do not feel comfortable with deadly traps.

Organic mouse control

I only look cute and innocent

As if it couldn’t get any worse with just mice, rats also pose a problem for homes in the winter. Seeking warmth, rats may enter your home and can even chew electrical wiring in your home, causing huge safety concerns. Prevent rats during this time of year by sealing any cracks in your home through which rats could squeeze through. Since rats are bigger and stronger than mice, tricks like glue traps may not be strong enough. You most likely will have to turn to options like snap traps (typical mouse trap devices) or zapper traps that shock them with electricity. Though not glamorous, it’s better than having rats running around your home.

Carpenter Ants
Nobody likes to deal with an ant problem in their home, but they are particularly prevalent in winter. To get rid of ants the eco-friendly way, combine cucumber and water and spray in areas that you believe ants may be in your home. You can also use any strong-flavored spice (cinnamon, cayenne pepper, etc) around the perimeter of your home to repel the ants. To create homemade ant poison, combine sugar & sodium borate, soak in cotton balls or Q-tips and place around the home. The ants will be drawn to the sugar, but the borate is toxic to them.


Other common winter pests include spiders, flies, and bed bugs. Find out how to use natural methods to get rid of these pests and protect your home during the winter at It’s a great resource for everything you need to know about organic pest control & when it’s time to just call in the pro.

Best of luck, DIYers, and have a peaceful & pest-free winter!

Evaluating Function Vs. Design

By | January 5, 2013

In my opinion, good home design is about balance.  What looks good?  What improves productivity?  Sometimes, a piece can improve both the function and design of your space – that’s usually going to be your winner.

Some design elements are purely aesthetic.  A painting, for instance, has little function beyond the visual image on the wall(unless you’re hiding your safe behind one, of course).  Because of this, the only discussion of functionality you’d have is regarding size.

Appliances are often a good example to point to in the discussion of function vs. design.  If you’ve got a vision for your kitchen renovations, your appliances need to match the decor (design).  They also need to provide the services you’re used to from an oven, refrigerator, or microwave (function).  In your quest for new appliances, you might be forced to compromise your vision for an element that has better energy usage, or more manageable features.

If you’re considering new flooring, design and function can play a huge role in your decision.  Do you want the polished look of hardwood floors, or do you want a spill-proof laminate? Depending on the room, hardwood flooring offers versatility, classic design and durability – but those factors need to be important to your particular needs for them to be the deciding elements.

Before you head out to make purchases, list out key elements of both design and function that you’d require for a new addition.  If you can, prioritize your list.  This will help you avoid the stress of in-store purchase decisions, and give yourself mental cues when looking at different options.

photo credit: net_efekt via photopin cc

Happy New Year, DIYers!

By | January 2, 2013


Pinterested? Cabinets & Shelving

By | December 4, 2012

Cabinets and shelving probably aren’t the ‘celebrities’ of your interior design scheme, probably because you (like me) didn’t know they could be!  I couldn’t help but be inspired by these great design elements and ideas!

Photos courtesy of Pinterest!

Pink Cabinet

Curvy Cabinet

















Bar Cabinet

New guest post!

By | October 3, 2012

I am grateful to Jeffra at I Do I Don’t Design for publishing a guest post on her blog on behalf of DIY Home & Floor called “Big Design for Small Houses.” Check it out at!

How to Protect Floors When Moving

By | September 13, 2012

Moving is unquestionably an exciting prospect. Soon you will be exploring a new place with many opportunities. But first, you have to organize the whole relocation. And along with the finding of the right movers and packing, you have to think about protecting your flooring on the moving day. This may not seem essential to you, but mind that when the movers come to load your stuff if your floors are not well protected, while moving bulky items, movers may cause quite some damage to your property. So, you should prepare the moving floor to avoid any casualties.

How to Protect Your Floors on Moving Day:

Place a doormat in front of the doorstep of every room.
To protect your flooring on moving day, use doormats as they can catch most of the dirt that comes in on movers’ shoes (sand, mud and dust). If you have hardwood floors, you can also protect them by putting some old rug on top.

Use rosin paper.
 In order to protect floors when moving, tape the paper on all of the walkways in your house through which the furniture will be carried.

Use plywood to protect floors when moving bulky furniture pieces.
You can use that for the kitchen. The plywood sheets will also protect floors from being damaged since paper is going to be too thin to rely on when it comes to heavy appliances, because they have sharp edges unlike the soft couches and the mattresses from the living room or bedroom, for example.

Before moving any furniture that has legs, wrap the legs with towels or cloth. Sharp legs can cause scratches. So, be careful when moving bulky furnishing.

To protect carpeting and rugs when moving, use special carpet film protector, or at least – instead of buying film protectors – put some old blankets, towels, cloth. Do not forget to fixate the protective covering otherwise there is a great chance that someone may stumble and injure himself. Since you definitely want to avoid injures on moving day, you might consult your movers regarding the protection of the flooring of your home. As safety is a top priority when moving, and hence providing a safe environment for your movers and you, including your home is a must, if you think the whole protect-floors job will be too much for you to handle, maybe you should leave it to a pro.

Clean the mess after movers.

After movers leave your property, you have to clean the mess. Whether you are renting the property or you are about to sell it, you have to leave your place clean and tidy. In case you are renting your current home, if you don’t leave the property in a nice condition, you won’t get your security deposit back. And if you are going to sell your property, you have to make sure that your home looks its best. The more appealing your home looks, the better deal you can get.

Remove the plywood, the rosin paper and the cloth. Then use a floor brush to weep any dirt from the floor and then a vacuum cleaner for the small particles. Then clean the floors with a mop.

Buy the cleaning detergents before moving day, thereby you will save time. Buy only high quality products, otherwise you are risking to spend your money without achieving the desired results. Mind that different surfaces require specific cleaning materials.

Get ready for your upcoming move as soon as possible to avoid moving-related mistakes. Plan your time well so you can execute each moving job timely. You can check out this moving out checklist for more moving tips and advice.

Author Bio: Mauella Irwin is a moving specialist and one of the esteemed contributors at, dedicated to provide in-depth moving-related tips and advice. 


Thank you so much to for a wonderful and informative guest article!

Stair lust

By | September 7, 2012

I’ve always been a huge fan of spiral staircases. Something about them just brings a feel of history into any building, with a modern “twist.” Check out these different variations on the spiral staircase. Which kind would work best with your home’s design?

Photos courtesy of Pinterest :)