Home Improvement Grants Most African American Homeowners Overlook

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Home improvement continues as one of the biggest expenses for African- American homeowners. Black homeowners pay the most for home improvements, repairs, upgrades and interest rates according to Federal Government statistics.

Because of a lack of information sources to get the word out to African American homeowners, most African American homeowners fail to take advantage of the many programs available to them.

Despite a record number of home improvement grants available from the federal government. Thousands of black homeowners still pay for high-priced home improvements, without first looking at what’s available from the federal government.

This could often save black homeowners thousands of dollars. It’s a shame the programs most black homeowners finance through there taxes go unused. Yes, by the people who could use them the most.

This week we’ll talk about some of the grant programs currently available from the U.S government. These grant programs can help you improve the value, comfort and energy savings of your home.

If you can get just one of these grants, it would more than pay for the time and effort it takes to get it.

According to HUD (Federal Housing and Urban Development) The Department has published the Early Registration Notice for potential applicants applying for funding under HUD’s competitive grant programs, available on the Grant.gov website. This Notice provides information to help applicants better understand the electronic submission process.

To help with the registration process, HUD has developed a brochure on how to register. HUD also has a brochure that will help you find and apply for grant opportunities. HUD has also prepared a Special file to assist you in completion of a grant. In addition to HUD, many low and no cost loans and grants exist for home improvements from most state and local government agencies.

These loans can go toward bringing homes up to code, used for energy efficient improvements or for cosmetic improvements to your property. All these actions can also help to raise and preserve the value of your home for little or no cost to you.

To take advantage of this program contact your local city or county rehabilitation department for more information. The key is to getting informed and starting the process by taking action.

For the website that list all federal government grants currently available Click Here! This site offers many tools for getting grants, such as tips for finding the right government grant for your specific needs. This site also offers a government grant search tool, government grant email alerts and much more.

By searching and keeping up-to-date on what home improvement programs are available, you can save thousands of dollars. HUD is working feverishly to improve and streamline the application and approval process of home improvement grants.

Meanwhile find out what qualifications you need to apply, get the necessary paperwork, fill it out and send or email it in. You never know, this may turn into a chance for you to save money and improve your home at the same time. … Read More

Foundation Repair – Water’s Effect on Foundations

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Water can be a foundation’s worst enemy – no matter if the foundation is a poured type or a block type. When water drainage is flowing in the wrong direction (towards the house), it can destroy a foundation entirely. Foundation repair will be an absolute must once water has taken its toll on a house.

Heaving – The Effects of Water

When water soaks into the soil that surrounds the foundation, and does not drain properly, the soil swells, and the expansion only affects that soil that is soaked. Other areas of the soil that remain untouched will not swell. The expansion causes parts of the house to lift. This lift is, naturally, uneven as it is only in areas where water has impregnated the soil – and it causes the foundation to lift awkwardly. This lift is known as “heaving.” Cracks and holes in the foundation are then seen as evidence of heaving.

Does Waterproofing Help?

Waterproofing a foundation helps a great deal, as prevention measures are key to avoiding costly foundation repair. Downspouts, proper sloping and grading techniques on the landscape, and pumps can all help to keep a foundation drier.

But waterproofing doesn’t always prevent damage – heavy flooding from summer rains, and the winter-to-spring melt can cause more water to surround the foundation than waterproofing techniques can handle. When that happens, the above heaving is often seen, and foundation repair is required in order to prevent the house from sinking, sloping, and severely depreciating in value.

Complications

There are several complications that can occur when water has affected a foundation. Bowing, tipping, cracks, and tilting can cause complications throughout the home. Suddenly, floors are sagging, and doors and windows that once simply slid open with ease are now jammed and stuck. This leads to a severely depreciated home value, and living in the house becomes less inviting.

When to Get Help

Even the handiest homeowner can run into trouble sometimes. When it comes to foundation repair, professional services are often necessary to ensure that the foundation doesn’t fall apart (literally!). Checking the basement and foundation for cracks, visible seams, and holes is an absolute must, particularly after rainfall and during the wetter months, when the soil surrounding the foundation is vulnerable to being soaked (think spring and summer, especially). If there are small cracks, get them repaired immediately. Large cracks in the basement walls or the foundation will require the help of a foundation repair service. No homeowner should try to fix a foundation alone.

Heaving repair can be costly if a homeowner tries to go it alone without the help of a reliable, professional foundation repair service. Should the person attempting the repair make a mistake or error in judgment on how bad the problem is, calling in a professional at a later date will cost much more, as the errors will have to be fixed along with the initial problem.

So don’t bet the house – contact a professional right away for an assessment.… Read More

How to Fix a Small Bathroom

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The verdict is still out there for small bathrooms. You can love them or hate them, but one thing is for sure, if you have no plans of moving to a new house, you have to live with them. Some people think small bathrooms are all right, after all, you don’t spend a lot of your time there. For others however, a mini bathroom is just not enough. They want a bigger bathroom for myriads of reasons, from bragging rights to comfort when using the bathroom.

Small Can Be Comfortable

A small bathroom does not have to feel claustrophobic, it does not have to feel crammed, it does not have to be uncomfortable. In fact, many small bathrooms are cozy and nice to be in anytime-if you know what to do with it.

Simple Changes You Can Do

Sometimes, even average size bathrooms size can look cramped while small bathrooms can look spacious-it all depends on how you design the bathroom interior. There are ways that you can make your small bathroom look bigger with some cosmetic changes.

· Bring in the light. Dark rooms look smaller compared to well-lighted ones. So open your window if possible or add ambient lighting.

· Change the color of the walls. Some dark colors make the bathroom small. It is best to use bright colors like white in your bathroom.

· Go for a minimalist look. It is just common sense not to put a lot of things in a small space if you don’t want it to look tight and uncomfortable.

Renovating the Bathroom

If you want to go beyond simple cosmetic changes, then you can always call a renovation company to improve your bathroom. Here are some renovation ideas you can use.

· Renovate to widen your bathroom. You can use part of the adjacent room to add as a new space for your bathroom.

· Modernize plumbing to save space. Most modern plumbing systems are smaller and more effective than old ones. You can save space by modernizing your plumbing system.

· Add a window to let more of the outside in to your bathroom. Being able to see outside makes the bathroom less tight and cramped.

Bathrooms are an essential part of every home. It is the place where we do necessary and delicate human routines, which is why they need to be comfortable. Even small bathrooms can be comfortable; all it needs is a little common sense, a dash of creativity and if push comes to shoves, some money for renovation.… Read More

Caesarstone Is Proud To Be Used In Innovative Instillation At Taliesin, The Frank Lloyd Wright School Of Architecture

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CaesarStone, the original quartz surface manufacture, was chosen to be part of the much talked about Taliesen Mod Fab™ structure. Blizzard, one of the company’s most popular colors, was installed as the kitchen countertop of the project.

The home, which is engineered to be transportable via roadway, is an example of elegant and sustainable living in the desert. The one-bedroom, 600-square-foot prototype residence can be connected to utilities or rely on things such as rainwater harvesting, natural ventilation or solar orientation to reduce energy and water use.

Taliesen Mod Fab™ was designed and built by graduate and undergraduate students at the school. Michael P. Johnson was one the faculty members guiding the project. The architect began his practice in Arizona in 1977. Johnson was a professor at the school from 1990 – 1997.

“I choose CaesarStone for all of my projects,” said Johnson. I like solid colors without variation as well as the size the slabs of material come in.”

Wright formally initiated the School of Architecture in 1932, when 23 apprentices came to live and learn at Taliesen. He purchased land in Scottsdale and, in 1937 began construction of a new kind of desert architecture at Taliesen West. After Wright’s death an architectural firm was incorporated to continue the practice and to mentor the apprentices.

The structure can be visited on the student-led Taliesin West Desert Shelter Tour, Saturdays at 1:30 until April 25, 2009.

About CaesarStone

CaesarStone is the original quartz surface manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Miami, FL; New York, NY and Atlanta, GA. CaesarStone produces premium quartz surfaces, complementing any design application, from traditional to contemporary, for both home and commercial applications. CaesarStone products are available through kitchen and bath retailers, fabricators, architects, designers, builders and distributors nationwide. Offering a lifetime warranty as of February 15, 2008; their products are nonporous, stain, scratch and heat resistant.

CaesarStone has earned the respected Good Housekeeping Seal from Good Housekeeping Research Institute in addition to ISO 14001 (environmental management system), ISO 9002 (quality management standard), GREENGUARD certification, a member of USGBC (The U.S. Green Building Council) and NSF (public health and safety) certification.… Read More