How To Fight The Winter Blues By Building Doll Houses For Fun Or Profit

How often do you find yourself stuck in the house on them cold winter days, suffering from the winter blues? I bet you said quite often, if you did then your answer is like that of most people during the winter months. I want you to stop right now and think about what you just read, if you do find yourself stuck in the house during the winter with nothing to do, you should consider yourself very lucky. Most people are always complaining that they don’t have enough time in the day to get things done. So, according to a lot of folks, if you have nothing to do in the winter because your stuck inside, you are indeed a very lucky person.

Now, if this is true and you find yourself in the winter with nothing to do, and you need an idea to fight the winter blues, why not take up a great hobby like building dollhouses for your children, or as gifts to other children or to make some great extra money. Building a dollhouse is a great winter time project for any adult, from a male to a female. Now, if you are a carpenter by trade, such a project will be pretty easy for you, but if not, you can still make a dollhouse pretty easy. First of all you must decide if you want to build one from a kit or completely from scratch, by making your own parts.

Dollhouse kits can range in price from $40 to a few thousand dollars, depending upon the size, parts and the uniqueness of the project. A dollhouse is basically a copy of a real house that is made in miniature. If you are planning on making a dollhouse from a kit, then simply purchase one and follow the instructions that are included with it. If you are interested in making a dollhouse from scratch, using material you purchase, here are some things you should know before beginning your project.

Most folks use plain plywood to make their dollhouses out of, it’s pretty cheap and a single full sized sheet in 1/4 inch thickness, is enough to make a whole project. You do not need to get the best or most expensive plywood either, the standard or good grade is fine. You can always sand and fill in any holes or damage in the wood, before painting and assembling it. Windows are usually created with clear sheets of plastic or Plexiglas. And the roof shingles can be made from actually parts from spare shingles, cut into small versions, or some people say using sandpaper makes great shingles.

You can use the internet to get some great, free dollhouse plans to follow or buy yourself a couple books on building dollhouses. You will need a saw capable of cutting out small pieces of wood, a sander or sandpaper, some small nails and a good wood glue. You can purchase everything including the plywood at most Home Depot stores or Lowes. When making a dollhouse from scratch, you are only limited by the amount of money you want to spend on the parts and by your imagination, you can have real working lights, doors and windows that actually open and close, and more unique things.

A nice finished dollhouse can sell for anywhere’s from a few dollars to several thousand dollars, depending upon the skill, time, and uniqueness of the finished project. It is something that can last a lifetime, and would be one of the greatest gifts you could make for your young daughter or a friend, or you can make them and sell them for profit from your own website or on an online site such as eBay. Now, when you find yourself stuck inside on the long cold winter days with nothing to do, head to your basement, or wherever your workshop is set up, and get working on a dollhouse, it’s not just fun and rewarding, it’s also a great way to help fight against the winter blues.

Home Staging Ideas Tips For Remodeling Your Bathroom

Bathrooms have an average recoup rate of 102 percent that is a great return on your investment. A minor bathroom update replacing the sink, bath, tile, floors, toilet, vanity and fixtures will cost around $9,750 and a recently renovated bathroom like that will generally bring in an average of $10,700 at resale. A fresh coat of paint and a tub re-glaze are inexpensive options that can really make an old bathroom look brand new. Bleaching and scrubbing grout and re-caulking around the tub can really take years off an outdated bathroom as well. These are just a few of the many home staging ideas that exist for your current home or for a property you are trying to sell. Whatever the case, the following are great tips to consider when remodeling a bathroom.

Step 1
Decide on a budget. You can remodel a bathroom for a fraction of the cost by doing it yourself or you can have it done by a professional contractor. Renovating inexpensively doesn’t always mean going with cheap materials necessarily. It is simply finding the ways and means to renovate using good materials and staying within your budget.
Write down how many tiles you need to buy.
What kind of sink or faucet you will use.
Are you going to have a full remodel or a partial remodel?
Will you be re-using existing cabinetry or existing shower doors or are you replacing them?

The answers to these questions will impact your budget. It is important to have a fixed budget and to stick with it!

Step 2
Draw out a plan of action. Before you start ripping off the dated tiles, you need to have a solid plan.
Are you doing a full remodel?
Are you going to change the footprint of the bathroom?

If you are, then that would mean you might have to re-work the plumbing and electricity. Include the new pricing in your budget.

Step 3
Do it Your-self or not. The largest amount of money people spend often goes to labor more than materials. If you do most of the work yourself, you would be surprised at how much money you would save with the project. If you are not a handy person, hire a reputable contractor.

Step 4
Hire reputable workers and contractors by being your own subcontractor. Eliminate the middle person, and hire the contractors directly yourself. You can go to home improvement stores in your area and request information of contractors they can refer to you. They would be more than willing to assist since you are buying materials from them. Also, ask for references through any of your friends or industry professionals.

Step 5
Buy materials directly through distributors and shop around for best prices. Make sure to measure correctly. Discontinued tiles are priced lower since they will no longer be available; just make sure to buy an extra box or two for future needs. There are Internet discount stores you can buy from as well. If you are planning on buying granite to replace your current counter, you can buy directly from manufacturers. Ask for scraps and see if your measurement fits, then pay a little bit of extra for finishing the edge and cutting a hole. A standard sized one sink vanity would cost anywhere between $100 – 250 if the scrap materials are available. Most manufacturers and dealers would be willing to negotiate on the price rather than just letting these unused pieces go to waste. If you cannot find bargain granite slabs, buy granite tiles instead to keep that look.

Step 6
Use existing cabinets, toilets, bathtubs and shower doors. You can refurbish or refinish them to make them look brand new again. Do not buy a new mirror if your existing one still works, you can frame it to make it look attractive.
Inexpensive (DIY) Options

Take a good look at the walls. A new coat of paint can change the look of any room and give it the new look you’re looking for. Painting your walls is easy and doesn’t take a whole lot of time. You’ll be surprised at what paint does to a room and this won’t break your budget.

Fixtures are another easy thing to change in your bathroom without spending your entire budget. You can buy some nice new fixtures for the sink and bathtub, and new light fixtures that are inexpensive from any home center like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can hand pick them yourself and spend as much or as little as you want. The nice part about buying new fixtures from a home center is that if you have absolutely no experience taking old ones off and putting new ones back on, employee specialists can help and show you how to do it.

If you are experienced with tile, you might want to consider laying tile on your bathroom floor. They are relatively inexpensive and if you do the work yourself you don’t have to pay for any labor. Tile is very popular and is a great way to change the look of an old floor. If tile is not an option however you can always lay linoleum. You can buy it in sheets or lay the linoleum squares. Both are inexpensive and easy to do. Changing the look of your floor can make a big difference.

Shower Area
Hit the shower. Nothing says “spa” like a great showerhead, and some styles, such as distinctive-looking rain-jet showerheads, provide visual interest as well as a great shower. Adjustable-height, hand-held showerheads can satisfy the tallest (or shortest) person, and also can be used as a sprayer for an easier method for cleaning the tub or shower.

Replace old single pane mirrors with picture frame mirrors. This is an inexpensive way to update and add charm to the bathroom. Mirrors cost between $20 – $80 each and are easy to mount.