The Number 1 Home Security Mistake

There are many home security mistakes that we all make. This includes the obvious mistakes that most of us know better than to try, such as putting a spare key under a doormat, to mistakes we know we ought to avoid but still do, such as not activating our alarm systems when we leave the house for only a short period of time or not putting lamps on timers to make it look like we’re home when we’re not. It even includes less-well-known items (that I strive to make people aware of) such as improving the quality of the windows, doors, locks and even the strike plates on our door frames, all which help tremendously to keep burglars out of our homes.

All of these mistakes should be avoided and improving any of them can go a long way toward feeling safe at home.

There’s an even bigger mistake

But, there’s still one more big mistake that people make. It’s a mistake that I think is bigger than any of the ones mentioned earlier! It’s more important than any others! This #1 biggest mistake? Assuming that it won’t happen to you.

No one is completely immune

There is no city, community or neighborhood that is completely immune from crime. There are definitely some that are safer than others, but burglaries can and do happen anywhere. Since there is some randomness as to whether you’ll ever experience a break-in, be prepared under the expectation that it can happen to you, rather than living under the false assumption that it won’t. Living in a “safe neighborhood” doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. It only means that it may be less likely to happen to you.

This mistake arises from the assumption that it can’t (or won’t) happen to you just because your neighborhood is “safe”.

If you’ve ever put off thinking about home security because you live in a safe neighborhood, you’re not alone. But don’t put it off any longer. Your safety is too important!

Be aware of what goes on in your neighborhood

Have you ever done any checking around to find out just how safe your neighborhood really is? Thanks to easy internet access to almost anything, it’s not at all difficult to do some quick research into crime rates in your neighborhood. Crime can and does happen anywhere, so don’t let a few reports of crime shatter your view of your neighborhood. But you should be aware of what goes on around you.

Periodically check community, city or regional web sites, talk to neighbors, look at crime reports and neighborhood crime rates published by local police departments. Don’t be oblivious to what’s going on around you and as a result, not do much to protect yourself against crime.

With the economic mess we’re in, crime is up almost everywhere. Even safe neighborhoods are more vulnerable now. There are more desperate people out there.

If you live in a safe neighborhood, congratulations! Take full advantage of the comfort that can provide. But be cautious about not being lulled into a false sense of security!

How to Avoid Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Even the most experienced homeowners might make a mistake during his or her renovation project. Sometimes, the mistakes are harmless and easily avoidable. At other times, they could be costly and even lethal. Without understanding the common pitfalls of home renovation, you might find yourself in a bit of a pinch. Listed below are some friendly reminders of what to watch out for in your home renovation projects.

– Falling from ladders
A startling statistic is that over 150,000 Americans end up in the emergency room every year due to some variation of accidents involving ladders. Therefore, it is always important to use a ladder of the correct length, thus ensuring maximum stability and security. Also make sure there are no hazardous objects in the environment. In the case that you do fall from the ladder, at least you will not land on anything potentially dangerous.

– Incorrect measurements
Accuracy is a key component to home improvement. That is why you should always make sure the measurement unit is the correct one, as well as counting every last inch.

– Damaging water pipes and electrical wiring
The pipes are wiring are among the most fundamental aspects of your household.Before you start implementing nails and screw into your walls or floors, make sure your water pipes are completely protected. Otherwise, you may see yourself calling an emergency plumber just for hanging a new bathroom mirror in the wrong place.

To identify where your wiring and piping components are, you can use a wire and pipe detector that is available at most plumbing hardware stores. The detector is not completely foolproof though, so you should also use insulated handles and power tools with a circuit breaker. When in doubt, contracting a plumber for professional and high-quality services is your best bet.

– Permits
Most renovation and remodeling projects require a government permit. Always do research first before partaking any project, because you might be breaking the law! These permits are convenient and easily accessible. Their purpose is to inform the government of your activities so that the proper safety measures can take place.

– Falling fixtures
You must be extremely cautious when installing wall-mounted items, such as shelves, mirrors, and cabinets. They could fall down and injure someone, or break other valuable ornaments in the household. To prevent these accidents from happening, you should always use the correct length of screw, bolts, and fittings. Minimize the possibility of accidents for as much as possible.

– Uneven shelves
When planning a do-it-yourself project that requires a level surface, do not solely trust your eye judgment, which may give you some unsatisfactory results. Use a level if you want to hang shelves or pictures on the wall. This will ensure that your wall-mounted items are even and levelled.

While these home renovation tips are useful, the best way to avoid common home improvement mistakes is simply plan ahead and do lots of preparations beforehand. If you are cautious, your renovation project will most likely go without many errors. Just remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

10 Surefire Ways to Avoid Common DIY Home Improvement Mistakes

Ask people who have completed do-it-yourself projects and they’ll tell you that the projects took at least twice and much time and three times the money they thought they would. The basic reason is that DIYers usually make a lot of mistakes that end up making home improvement projects more expensive and time-consuming.

Here are 10 surefire ways to avoid the top DIY home improvement mistakes in the future and ensure success.

1. Take out the required permits — it’s amazing how many DIYers skip this step. Sure, it takes time, and it means you have to deal with the government, but it’s actually in your best interest to make sure get the required home improvement permits. The folks in the permitting office will make sure the project is done correctly and that you stay safe in the process. Also, for some projects, you’ll need proof that you have a permit or your insurance company won’t cover the improvement. You’ll probably need a permit for any project larger than wallpapering and painting. If you’re unsure, call your local building department and ask.

2. Have all the tools and materials you need available before you start your project — starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies will slow down the job and delay your progress. And make sure you buy quality tools. They’re a wise investment.

3. Prepare the job site for material deliveries — when your suppliers deliver materials, you’ll want to make sure the job site is ready to accept them. You don’t want your materials exposed to the weather while you are working and you want to have a storage area to prevent theft.

4. Don’t skimp on materials — for example, don’t use 1/4-inch drywall for building walls. Use at at least 5/8-inch; and 3/4-inch works well for a good sound barrier. Use 3/4-inch plywood for sub-floors. It creates a much stronger floor.

5. Prepare the walls for painting — clean the walls, sand them and patch any holes before you paint. Use a coat of primer or stain blocker if you’re trying to cover over oil-based paint, stains or peeling paint, or if you’re painting a lighter color over a darker color.

6. Use the correct paint — use flat paint ceilings. Interior paints should have at least an eggshell or satin finish so you can scrub it. For outdoor decks, use a linseed-oil-based stain to drive the pigment into the wood and preserve it.

7. Keep safe while working — you don’t want to end up in the emergency room. Wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with drywall or wood. Wear a hard hat when you’re working under other people on scaffolding, and open some windows when you’re painting or staining, or stripping old finishes off of floors or walls. Don’t wear loose, hanging clothing, especially when using power tools. Wear gloves when carrying wood, metal and rock, or when hammering, and wear a nail or tool pouch to prevent damage to your floors, feet, and pets.

8. Measure twice and cut once — probably the most important rule of any project. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it too long. You can always make something shorter. You can’t make it longer.

9. Know the limits of your abilities — you’re not going to be good at everything. If you don’t have a lot of experience at plumbing or electrical work, for instance, don’t attempt those projects.

10. Don’t start to learn how to do a project on your own house — If you want to learn how to do a project, offer your assistance to a friend who is an experienced DIYer or a contractor. And if you have any question about what you’re doing, make sure you stop and ask.

You probably won’t eliminate all of your DIY home improvement mistakes, but you can surely reduce them with these 10 tips.