Stephanie Payab's Blog
With all the fixing, renovating, and flipping showing on television, your standard builder grade home seems sadly lacking. When you bought it, you intended to plant yourself here for a while, to moving to a farm to get the farmhouse look isn’t in the cards. Luckily, builder-grade makes the perfect canvas to boost your basic look without busting the budget.
Get the [Farmhouse] Look for Less
- Beadboard: Adding beadboard along breakfast nook and dining room walls bring instant country charm. Instead of expensive solid oak beadboard, choose four-foot by eight-foot faux pressed beadboard panels from your local DIY store. Cut them in half width-wise to get two four-foot by four-foot sheets. Attached them side by side to your walls with a nail gun and glue for best results. Top it off with flat pine board and paint it all a glossy white.
- Board and batten: This wall-treatment works best for mudrooms or hallways and adds character and charm to a plain stairway wall too. Get the look by nailing flat four to six-inch pine boards evenly spaced vertically along the wall. Leave measured room at the top and bottom for baseboard and chair rail or crown molding. Paint the boards and the wall between in a satin or semi-gloss paint in farmhouse blue, mint green or another color that speaks to you.
- Faux shiplap: While you sometimes can find real pieces of shiplap in outlets that handle reclaimed wood, you can get a similar look using pine planks. Similar to the board and batten treatment, nail the boards onto the walls, but horizontally, with about a three-quarter inch space between them. For easier installation create a couple of spaces from scrap wood to hold your boards in place. Choose an accent wall or niche for your installation area, then paint the boards with chalk paint to give you that aged country look.
- Butcher’s block countertops: If your budget lends itself to replacing the countertops, replace that Formica with natural butcher’s block. If solid butcher’s block is out of the question, stores like Ikea carry a bamboo version for less and Wilsonart has laminate versions with coordinated edges that are hard to tell from the real thing.
- Fixtures and finishes: Even if you can’t afford the farmhouse-style sink, you can change out the fixtures to give you the look. Opt for bronze or coppery finished for cream or white sinks and go for brushed satin nickel to complement your stainless steel. Change out light fixtures, drawer pulls, and knobs from the “that’s-so-90s” brass ones and consider chalk-paint to give your cabinets a stress-free new look.
- Timely trims: Finally, trim the doorways with—you guessed it—more flat pine boards. Use four-inch boards on the sides but add some drama to the top with six or eight-inch boards and a little bit of half-round to cap it off.
If you love the farmhouse style, try one or several of these steps to get a look that sets your builder-grade home apart from all the rest when it comes time to sell. For an estimate on what your re-imagined farmhouse will fetch on the market, talk to your realtor.
Putting a skylight in your home can be a very attractive feature. More natural light will be let into the room, making it bright and cheery. There are a few things that you should know about installing a skylight before you start shopping for these special windows and begin the installation process. It’s a serious project and you should really think the decision through before you start the project.
Quality Is Key
It’s important that a skylight has a few special aspects including:
- Energy efficiency
- Water tightness
- Sound reduction
- Wind resistance
- UV coating
Many manufacturers also try to appeal to those shoppers who are looking for environmentally friendly materials. Keep in mind what those are and how the quality will be affected.
Injury Is A Real Possibility During Installation
- Whether you’re installing the skylight yourself, or having a professional do the job, there’s a risk of falling and injury.
- The ladder should be the right height and type.
- The shoes being worn should have good traction. It’s also a good idea to use roof jacks for extra support during the installation process.
- The jacks should be secured and clamped down to ensure extra support. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the short answer is that you should hire a professional and leave the job to them. Be sure that anyone you hire is using safe work practices.
Weather Can Delay The Project
Remember, since you’re essentially cutting a hole in your roof to install the skylight, it’s a real possibility that weather can put a damper on the project. If rain, snow, wind, or ice happen to be a part of the equation when installing these new sky windows, it could pose a real problem. Weather could not only be a safety issue, but a hazard to your home as well. Try to plan for the installation of the skylight during a more temperate part of the year.
The Installation Starts From The Inside
After the outline of the skylight has been cut out of the sheathing of the roof, you’ll need to mark the opening of the skylight with screws or nails in the corners. This will help you to locate the skylight opening.
The next steps are as follows:
The shingles will need to be removed before you even start cutting the rest of the opening.
The flashing will need to be waterproofed in order to keep snow and ice away from the opening of the skylight.
Extra drywall and insulation will need to be added to avoid too large an opening in the ceiling.
A skylight can be a great asset to any home. With a little thought and planning on your part, you can add something that you’ll enjoy for many years!