Tuesday, July 21, 2009

5 Must Haves For Setting Up A Basement Bar

by: Craig Rowe

When setting up a basement bar there are some must have items you must have around or your basement bar won’t really be a bar but just a basement pretending to be. Of course, there are some extras like a jukebox and pool table that will really set the bar off. However, consider the following 5 must haves in order to set up your very own basement bar to enjoy a night with your friends, parties, game days and then add the extras when you can afford to.

Must Have #1 A Basement

This might seem obvious, but to have the best basement bar ever you really need a traditional basement. There are many benefits to this that include being on a completely different level than the rest of the house so noise won’t be transmitted and bother those above you. Of course, you can make a basement bar in whatever space you call the basement, but a true basement bar needs a basement.

Must Have #2 A Bar

Ok, obvious requirement number two is a bar. A basement bar needs a bar that is set up to serve beer and give the appearance that your basement bar is really authentic. You can buy a ready made bar, hire a carpenter to build you one, or give it a go yourself by buying the lumber and downloading step by step instructions from the Internet. As long as you have a basement and a bar your basement bar just needs some accessories.

Must Have #3 A Kegerator

A kegeraotr is a refrigerated keg that will keep your beer cold at all times and be ready to serve anytime the basement bar is open. You don’t want to have to buy six packs and litter your bar with bottled beer when you can serve beer straight from the keg. Keg beer is special and will make your basement bar even more so.

Must Have #4 A Big TV

No, you don’t have to have the biggest screen television on the market, but it will help. Buy the largest screen television you can afford for your basement bar, or one that fits the space well if your basement is really small. This will allow for great game watching like the Superbowl, Basketball National Championship, and other great games.

Must Have #5 Seating

This might seem generic, but it really is a must have for your basement bar. If your friends are joining you for a night of poker or Monday night Football they need a place to sit back and relax while drinking some of your keg beer. So, be sure to have some bar stools around the bar as well as comfy couches and chairs surrounding the TV, with your poker table nearby so there is plenty of seating wherever the action is taking place.

About The Author

Craig Rowe

Find more food, drink and spirit tips and articles at http://www.SearchArticles.net/food-drink.cfm. For drink recipes, visit: http://www.divinerecipes.com/drink-recipes.cfm.

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

DIY Plumbing Repairs - You Have Homeowners Insurance, Use It!

by: Ray Breitenbach

Since most home owners insurance policies don't cover the cost of repairs few people think to check with them when plumbing problems occur. Although they may not cover the repair, they will usually cover the value of damaged property including cleaning up after the repair. The scope of this type of project is typically not a diy plumbing repair project so you will want to find any way you can to help pay for it.

A few years ago I had the misfortune of finding water seeping through a wall in my basement one spring. First this was blamed on a very wet season. Next, when dry weather came around and the leak was still there a basement waterproofing contractor was called in. It was no suprise when this contractor informed me that I had ground water and needed their expensive services. Since the company had a vested interest in me believing this they did not seem to feel the need to offer any other possible explanation. Based on the fact that the remaining 95% of the basement walls had no such problem a third opinion was in order.

Based on the proximity of the leak to the primary kitchen drain pipes a third contractor was called. After a short examination, the plumbing contractor was able to determine that the kitchen drain pipe was leaking (not where we could access it easily of course but behind a cinder block wall under a concrete slab).

The plumbing contractor then made an unexpected suggestion - call my insurance company before starting the repair. That was when he explained that the company would not pay for the repair, but they would pay for the cost of jack hammering up my living room, hall, and/or office floor to find the leak and cleaning up afterwards. He was also able to suggest an alternative solution that was cleaner and much less expensive and present it to the insurance company.

Two repair scenarios were proposed.

The first project would involved having the plumbing contractor find the leak under the living room slab, repair the drain pipe, and then replace the concrete and flooring to clean up after the project. As would be expected the estimate for this repair was on the high side ($4000+ by the time all the cleanup work would have been completed).

The second repair was considerably less intrusive - they would cap off the existing drain line (kitchen only) and re-route it through the joist's in the basement and re-connect it to the main line outside the house. The only "heavy" work in this proposal was cutting a 6 inch hole in the exterior wall and digging a trench to run the new pipe to be reconnected. The remainder of the work amounted to a fairly simple plumbing repair. The net cost for this repair was about half the first proposal

With both of these proposals on hand, the insurance company had no problem in justifying payment for the FULL SECOND OPTION (less deductable of course). The insurance company saved money, the home owner saved money, and the repair was accomplished within 2 days with a minimum of cleanup required.

This entire project demonstrated the value of a good plumbing contractor. They were able to quickly identify the problem, propose multiple solutions, and help justify the payment by the insurance company.

This repair also demonstrated the value of a insurance company. The insurance company was willing to accept and pay for an alternative solution as well as inform the home owner of all the expenses that should be recorded for reimbursement.

About The Author

Ray Breitenbach writes for Simple Home Repairs - http://www.simplehomerepairs.com. Please visit for more information on how to perform you own basic home repairs.

handyman@simplehomerepairs.com

Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

Home Painting Tips

by: D. David Dugan

Remember, everyone starts as a beginner at painting. Just because you have never painted a house doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. The money you save by painting your own house is money you can put into other home improvements. It can also be a fun thing for the whole family to do.

Now we need to choose the colors we want to paint the house. There is a really cool tool online that you can use. http://www.benjaminmoore.com/wrapper_pcv.asp?L=owner&K=intproj&N=intproj Click let’s paint. Choose exterior or the interior options. Choose the project closest to yours. Get started and you will soon know what color you want to paint your house and you’ll have a vision of what it is going to look like when you’re finished.

Here are some of the basics. Of course the first thing you need to do is wash down the walls of your house. A pressure washer can be rented at almost any rental yard and is the best way to do that. Now go around with a scraper and remove all loose paint and chipped areas. You don’t have to scrape the entire wall, but any areas where the surface is not flat can cause you problems as you paint your house.

Next, figure out your square footage so you can determine the amount of paint you will need to buy. Buy your paint in 5-gallon pails, rather than gallons to save more money.

Talk to the helper at your local paint store and tell him about your project. They can help you decide on how many brushes and rollers and other items you will need. You can buy natural or synthetic bristles for oil based paints, but only use synthetic bristles with latex paint. The same rule applies to rollers. Good rollers can run you around $7, but buy high-quality paintbrushes. A good brush for cutting in around edges will run you about $30.

Make sure you purchased some painter’s tape. It’s blue tape that comes in different widths and is easy to remove without messing up your paint job. That brings us to preparation. Tape off all areas you don’t wish to get this color of paint on. If there are large areas to cover, make sure you pick up some rolls of plastic. You can tape the edges of the plastic down over whatever you need to cover.

Don’t paint out of the paint cans. First reason is that leaving the paint can open will dry out the paint and make it difficult to apply. Another reason is that your brush or roller picks up dirt and foreign objects, which will end up in your paint and may even change the color as you go along.

Do all of your cutting or trimming in before you paint the walls. Use a 4” brush and with a smooth stroke guide it around the edges where you taped off. Make sure you have plenty of paint on your brush. The biggest mistake people make is trying to stretch the paint too far. Keep drips cleaned up as you go with a small rag. Remember you will be rolling up to the edge of your cut, so don’t worry about that, just make sure you cover the edges well.

Start on the edges of your walls and work your way toward the middle. Most people don’t do this and problems can result. If you start and new can of paint in the middle of the wall and there is any difference in the color at all, it will show up there more than it would on the edges. So with each new can of paint you open, start at the edges first.

Dip your roller in water (for Latex) or solvent (for oil-based paint), before you start. Whether you use a pan or a 5-gallon bucket with a screen, make sure you roll it out a little to make sure it isn’t dripping. You don’t need to go all the way from the top to the bottom as you paint. Do what you can reach.

Apply the paint in a Y or an N pattern, then apply paint in columns up and down smoothing out all the edges or ridges as you go. Again don’t try to stretch the paint out, make sure you have enough paint on your roller to give it a good coat. If you are applying more than one coat, make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying a new coat of paint.

Corners are a difficult part to learn to paint. If you aren’t careful, this is where you will see paint drips later. Get as close to corners as you can, but don’t scrape the roller against the corner. That will cause drips. If you are unsure, have a paintbrush handy to smooth out drips. That is also a good idea overall. Keep a paintbrush ready for taking care of any drips or ridges you leave behind. Doing this as you go is much easier than trying to fix it after it’s dry or partially dry.

Using tray liners for your paint trays will save you a lot of time at cleanup. Soak your brushes when done for awhile and they will also be easier to clean. For water based paint, soak in water and for oil based paint soak them in solvent.

I hope some of these tips have been helpful to you. Have confidence that you can do this job yourself. You will appreciate and enjoy it much more knowing that you or you and your family completed the job rather than hiring someone else to do it.

About The Author

D. David Dugan has a website, http://homeimprovement.divinfo.com/ to help homeowners find all the information they need about remodeling, home repair, building decks and carports, room additions, and more. He also actively participates in a forum at http://forum.dugancom.com/ that can help you with computer problems you may be having.


Improving your home and your life only at Home Improvement Idea : http://home-improvement-idea.blogspot.com

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