Home Improvement Know How

Learn anything you need to know about improving your home! Plumbing, painting, interior decorating to home security and all things in between.

Need A Locksmith? Read This First!

There are quite a few people that go through life never having to hire a locksmith.

They are lucky enough to have the same set of locks for years and never need a reason to change them, or if they do, they are handy enough to be able to change the locks themselves.

Others are in the “pay someone else to do it” generation and are lucky enough to be able to justify the expense of hiring a professional to do this job for them, often when they move into a new residence. This is a great way to establish a relationship with a locksmith company and be certain that the person you are dealing with is a professional who works for a fair price.

The other unfortunate group of people that find themselves in need of this type of service is usually in the case of an emergency.

Yes residential locks can fail, especially the dead bolt of passage lock on a front door. This is when unprofessional, pseudo locksmith companies have the consumer at their mercy, charging unreal prices that start out as a forty five dollar service call and can quickly escalate into an over-inflated charge in excess of eight hundred dollars!

To make matters worse, these companies often prey on seniors, who can ill afford to pay a unjustified bill.

I asked the pros at 24 locksmith Toronto what separates the pro’s from the want to be pro’s and here is what I came away with:

Inquire about pricing over the phone, ask how much it is for the call out, and how much it is per hour to remove the lock and install the new one. Of course, prices for your new lock set will vary from company to company and will also fluctuate based on the quality of the lock set your decide to purchase. Reputable locksmith companies generally sell equipment that is superior to they typical selection available at most hardware stores.

When the technician arrives he should be asking you questions to determine which part of the lock system is giving you trouble. As with most mechanically related services, the best info a tech can get is from the customer as to what is the problem is.

If it is the dead bolt, the first thing any pro will do is try to “pick” the lock with a set of specialized tools. Many techs can open a locked door in under two minutes. If the technician tells you it is the dead bolt and the first thing he does is reach for a drill to attempt to drill the center of the deadbolt out, this is a HUGE red flag. This is a certain indication that you are not dealing with a professional and you should not let the tech proceed. Aside from indicating that you are not dealing with a competent locksmith, you can also expect a hefty bill at the end of the job. If you do proceed to let this person work on your locks be prepared!

As much as there are unscrupulous companies out there that farm locksmith jobs out from national call centers to sub contractors in your area, there are also plenty of unrealistic customers. The pros have all kind of stories of doing jobs in horrid weather conditions at most undesirable hours, only to have the customer refuse to pay them. Quite often the argument and possible legal battle that will ensue is not worth the companies time or trouble, so the company and the technician often get left holding the bag.

If you do find a professional company that responds to your call with professionalism and fair prices, treat them as they have treated you and reward them for bailing you out of your predicament.

Interior and Exterior Color Basics
When choosing colors for your home there are many things to consider.
An often over looked fact about color selection is that they actually have an effect on people’s emotions and thus can be a determining factor in how you and others perceive your home!
Lets start with primary colors:
Red , yellow and blue.
The reason these are called primary colors is that they are not a combination of any other colors.
There are what is knows as secondary colors, these colors are a made by blending two primary colors.
Secondary colors are:
Purple, green and orange.
You can revert back to the lessons leaned in kindergarten finger painting class to remember how these colors are made!
A third classification colors is called tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are made by blending a primary color with one or more secondary colors.
Examples of tertiary colors:
Red- orange, blue-green yellow-orange etc.
There are also complimentary colors! If you view any color wheel you can determine what the complimentary colors are by simply locating the color that is directly across from the one you like!
Red and green are complimentary colors, and blue and red are complimentary colors.
Complimentary colors really accent each other!
Analogous colors are groups of colors that are beside each other on the color wheel.
Red orange and yellow are analogous colors. The colors typically are warm colors that often give people a sense of safety.
Green blue and purple are cool colors, they generally make people feel relaxed.
It is important to take a little bit of knowledge and consider they type of effect that you are trying to create when mixing colors for the interior or exterior of a home.
While anyone who has been to the Caribbean takes note and remembers the many complimentary colors that appear on both the outside and inside of the buildings there, most of these colors would seem out of place in suburban North America.
The trend is to rely more on earthly warm colors such as beige, sand or terracotta. While these are mixed colors, you can use the color wheel along with more in depth color schemes to compliment these tones

Interior and Exterior Color Basics

When choosing colors for your home there are many things to consider.

An often over looked fact about color selection is that they actually have an effect on people’s emotions and thus can be a determining factor in how you and others perceive your home!

Lets start with primary colors:

Red , yellow and blue.

The reason these are called primary colors is that they are not a combination of any other colors.

There are what is knows as secondary colors, these colors are a made by blending two primary colors.

Secondary colors are:

Purple, green and orange.

You can revert back to the lessons leaned in kindergarten finger painting class to remember how these colors are made!

A third classification colors is called tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are made by blending a primary color with one or more secondary colors.

Examples of tertiary colors:

Red- orange, blue-green yellow-orange etc.

There are also complimentary colors! If you view any color wheel you can determine what the complimentary colors are by simply locating the color that is directly across from the one you like!

Red and green are complimentary colors, and blue and red are complimentary colors.

Complimentary colors really accent each other!

Analogous colors are groups of colors that are beside each other on the color wheel.

Red orange and yellow are analogous colors. The colors typically are warm colors that often give people a sense of safety.

Green blue and purple are cool colors, they generally make people feel relaxed.

It is important to take a little bit of knowledge and consider they type of effect that you are trying to create when mixing colors for the interior or exterior of a home.

While anyone who has been to the Caribbean takes note and remembers the many complimentary colors that appear on both the outside and inside of the buildings there, most of these colors would seem out of place in suburban North America.

The trend is to rely more on earthly warm colors such as beige, sand or terracotta. While these are mixed colors, you can use the color wheel along with more in depth color schemes to compliment these tones

Off the Grid

As much as this site is about home improvement, it is about improving your quality of life. While the place that you love may say a lot about you as a person, I like to equate home improvement with a sense of self and well being.

For some that means “getting off the grid”.

With housing prices on the rise in the grand economic scheme, I find it dumbfounding that people in major urban centers in North America pay enormous prices for 400 sq condominiums in desired neighborhoods.

While the condo lifestyle may seem attractive from a maintenance(or lack of having to it it yourself) point of view, the return on value for your hard earned cash does not seem to be equal.

Spending five hundred thousand dollars on a 400 condo seems like a lot to pay for this kind of “luxury”.

Don’t get me wrong you can turn these living spaces into something truly functional and esthetically pleasing to the eye and all your other senses. This however, comes at a prices.

With that in mind it is necessary to note that there seems to be a trend, particularly in places with a more hospitable climate to build your own small, dare I say condo size home yourself.

It is impressive to see this kind of ingenuity coupled with a commitment to a more stress free lifestyle that people have been embracing.

Some individuals are building these homes for under two thousand dollars, while others spend more.

Some have a price tag of twenty thousand dollars.

Many of these dwellings are built on purchased land, while others simply rent a piece of property.

Some of these residences can be found on wheels, so they are in fact moveable.

The “off the grid” lifestyle doesn’t seem to have the same stigma associated with trailer living, although you can draw some correlation between the two types of residences. Many of the people that choose to live in these smaller homes are doing so by choice, not by necessity, aligning the choice with that of a more “green” environmentally friendly lifestyle. Add to this the deflated stress level of living mortgage free and you can see the benefits of living this way.

Home Improvement Know How

Here you will find all manner of home improvement how to! Need learn how to fix a leaky pipe? You have come to the right place. Not sure how to paint a wall or select interior colors? You can find advice on that here.

From do it yourself, to advice on hiring the right contractor for your home renovation project. This site will help you make your home, whatever you want it to be. From apartments to condo’s from shotgun shacks to 4 bedroom homes. We cover it all!