Ah, our lovely abode. For some it is a place to raise their family, and for some it is an investment opportunity. Either way, you should make sure that the book "Invest In Your Nest" is on your bookshelf as a reference in any home project. Part of the title on the cover of this book has the wording, "Add Style, Comfort, And Value To Your Home" Yes, you really should find ways to increase the eye candy of your home.
This book is written by Barbara K, who is CEO of Barbara K!, a comprehensive lifestyle brand that offers solutions for women through innovative home enhancement/repair and automotive products. She is also the home improvement expert for AOL Coaches and author of the inspirational fix-it handbook "Room for Improvement". She has been featured in many large media outlets, television shows, and radio shows. She lives in New York with her son, Zachary.
As I read this book, I couldn't help by think of how handy it would have been before I started some of our own projects around our home. But, I am glad I now have it to reference for the future. The book is nicely arranged with the topic and sections which cover "Go to the pros", "On your Own", and "Barbara's Best Bet". Each of those areas talk about time needed, project costs, how to do, and much more.
... My favorite parts ...
1) On the topic of buying a home, one of Barbara's Best Bets: EXCELSIOR! (EVER UPWARD!) Don't forget the ceiling. Bumpy 'popcorn' acoustic ceilings are outdated and unattractive. I have two friends who walked away from two great houses because they were so turned off by the popcorn ceilings. That's too bad because they are easily removed with a scraper attached to a long pole (be sure to empty the room of furniture and cover the floor with a canvas drop cloth before you begin, and wear safety glasses). Yes, it's labor intensive and messy, but it's worth it.
2) Another of Barbara's Best Bets: WINDOW FILM: In summer, bright sun streaming through uncovered windows makes air conditioning work two to three times harder. You could draw the shades, but who likes spending time in a dark room on a gorgeous, sunny day? Instead, you can install a reflective window film over clear glass. It reduces cooling costs by 5 to 15 percent. Look for high-tech, spectrally selective film that permits daylight to enter your rooms while blocking solar heat. Most window film manufacturers offer warranties only with professional installation, but you can apply the film yourself.
Professionally installed window films range from $1 to $5 per square foot.
3) I have a soapstone wood burning stove, so this was useful: Soapstone is extremely dense and only needs to be wiped with mineral oil every month or so. While it is heat resistant, cut marks will show and edges may chip if hit with pots and pans. The mineral oil brings out its natural coloring of black or dark gray with white veins.
Barbara also includes some pages with lined columns and rows for planning.
Overall this is a book packed full of good advice. There are time when it is geared towards someone who buys up homes and remodels them just to resell them. However, there are other practical things to be learned by any homeowner. It also mentions the training and certification you should look for when hiring professionals, as well as the steps to hire one and how to work with contracts.