You’re Free! Five Great Ideas for Repurposing Kids’ Bedrooms

29573572_original(BPT) – Now that your kids have launched lives of their own, you may be considering how to maximize the extra space they left behind.
Making renovations can be a fun way to turn their now-empty rooms into a useful and/or relaxing space for your own enjoyment. And your timing could be spot on; a recent survey found half of empty-nesters of pre-retirement age are opting to stay in their family homes instead of downsizing.
“Retirement isn’t all about being practical,” notes Ken Dychtwald of California-based consulting firm Age Wage. “More and more people are turning their empty nests into nurturing nests.”
Even better, with today’s easy-to-use construction tools, repurposing rooms can be stress-free and efficient. If you haven’t engaged in DIY projects lately, it’s worthwhile to check out some of the newest market innovations in saws, cordless drills, portable nailers and belt sanders. One of the most consumer-friendly is the RotoSaw+ with Dust Vault attachment from RotoZip that can effectively custom-cut a variety of materials (including drywall) while reducing the dust and debris that is sure to be produced by any great remodel project by 90 percent.
Here are some DIY ideas for using such tools to repurpose your space:

*Private gym: Building a workout space right into your home should eliminate any excuses to avoid exercise. Features might include mirrored walls, storage space for gear, a sound system, extra ventilation and/or rubber floor tiles for acoustic control.

*Man or woman cave: This room could incorporate an endless array of hobbies specific to your interests including reading, watching movies, creating art, practicing music, playing video games or cheering on your favorite sports team.

*Guest bedroom: Now that your kids have flown the coop, you have more time to entertain friends, whereupon an appealing guest bedroom could be a boom to your social life. Another option is using space-saving furniture to combine a guest bedroom with a room that serves other purposes, such as an office or reading room.

*Walk-in closet: Multiple retailers now offer dream closet components like drawers, bars, shelves, mirrors and containers. Consider a vanity and/or benches for relaxing as you apply makeup, try on shoes and accessories and create the perfect outfit.

*Meditation room: Create a space to recharge yourself physically and mentally, perhaps with natural light, a sound system and elements of nature like plants, flowers and/or a water fountain. To achieve a Zen quality, minimal furniture and accessories are recommended. Pastels or dark colors are considered the most relaxing colors. Consider building a customized meditation table to work as the centerpiece of your room.

Your DIY remodeling project doesn’t have to be complicated. RotoZip offers three models of RotoSaws able to cut multiple surfaces while greatly reducing construction dust and debris. Call 1-877-ROTOZIP or visit for more info.

Details To Keep In Mind During Fence Construction

shutterstock_432755503“Good fences make good neighbors,” the saying goes.

The opposite is also true. As with any other type of construction, fence installation requires a certain amount of planning and consideration in order to minimize impact to the neighborhood. Here are a few things you should think about before you start building a new fence, which will help ensure that both you and your neighbors are happy with the result.


Apply for Your Fence Permit

Most municipalities, townships and counties require a permit for fence installation. Specific regulations and codes vary widely, so be sure you are clear on the requirements in your area before planning a fence.


Measure Your Property

Next, you’ll need to figure out exactly where your fence will sit. Normally, your fence installer will do the measuring. However, if your fence is on or near your property line (as most are), it’s very important for you to know exactly where your property lines are. If you don’t know, you will probably need to get your property surveyed. Also, if your fence will abut a neighbor’s property, you may need to get their permission before installing it.


Choose the Right Fence for Your Needs

A good fence is an investment. People often let price dictate their choice of fencing. However, keep in mind that a low price doesn’t always mean good value.

When you shop for a new fence, consider its purpose as well as your lifestyle needs. Do you need to contain pets and kids? Is privacy your aim? Or perhaps you need something for noise reduction? How important are aesthetics in this location? And how much maintenance do you want to commit to?

There are hundreds of different types of fencing available. Your answers to these questions will help narrow your choices and avoid being overwhelmed. Keep in mind that each type of fencing material has its pros and cons. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your fencing professional in choosing the best type of fencing for your needs.


Flag Your Utility Lines

Because fence installation involves digging, it’s very important that all underground utility lines be clearly marked before work begins. Normally your fencing company will contact the utility companies in advance. Utility workers will come out and mark your utility lines. (If your fence company doesn’t provide this service, you can do it yourself by calling 811 from anywhere in the United States, or by making an online request on two to three days before work begins).

Be aware that the utility companies will mark only their lines. If you have an underground sprinkler system, dog fence or gas line to a grill or outdoor fireplace, it’s your responsibility to mark these lines. It’s a good idea, too, to walk the property with your fencing installers and point out the lines before they go to work.


Trim Your Fence Line

Your fencing crew will need clear access to all portions of your fence line. That means clearing any brush or debris and/or removing trees in the way. It’s also helpful to mow any turf areas in advance of fence installation. If you are unable to do this yourself, be sure to inform your fencing contractor so it can include this work as part of the bid.


Prepare for Dirt Removal

Fence posts must be set fairly deep if you want a sturdy fence that lasts. This means you’ll end up with quite a lot of displaced dirt on your property. Consider how you want to handle this. Most fencing contractors will offer haul-away services. Otherwise, be prepared to show your installers where on your property you would like them to put the fill, and/or haul it away yourself.

Taking care of these few details will help ensure that your fence installation goes smoothly and without incident. Not only will you be happier with the result, but your neighbors are sure to appreciate it, too!


Chris Buenz is the owner of First Fence Company in Chicago, IL. With over 18 years of experience in both fencing and sales, Buenz is well versed in the Chicago area business market.

6 Simple Ways to Freshen Your Home Inside and Out

23752996_original(BPT) – Looking for some easy ways to breathe new life into your home? Whether it’s the air inside or the decor itself, freshening things up can make your home look and feel more welcoming at any time of year. You don’t need a lot of time or money to reinvigorate your home; just a few simple and affordable, yet high-impact DIY projects will do the trick.

Here are a few projects you can easily accomplish in a single weekend:

* Paint an accent wall, trim or ceiling. Decorators often say painting is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to freshen your home’s appearance. You don’t have to redo an entire room in order to leverage the freshening power of paint. Simply painting a single accent wall for a pop of color, using paint to create graphic wall art, or repainting the trim or ceiling will create a whole new look. If you’re looking for inspiration or simple solutions to help seamlessly transform your space, Dutch Boy Paint offers unique project ideas and easy-to-follow how-tos that will make the process a breeze.

Choosing the right paint for the job can also ensure the painting project is a breeze, from start to finish. Dutch Boy Refresh paint + primer with Arm & Hammer odor Eliminating Technology, eliminates the need for a separate primer. It saves time since you don’t have to take that extra step of priming first. Plus, it’s great for reducing common household odors. Refresh paint is a perfect choice for laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, mudrooms and even kids rooms. It gives you added assurance that your home will smell fresh and clean.

* Don’t forget about your furry family members. You may love your pets, but the truth is they can contribute to a stuffy atmosphere in your home. Wash pet bedding, litter boxes and cloth toys regularly. Contain pet clutter by placing your pup’s or kitty’s toys in a pretty basket where he or she can reach them.

* Add some indoor greens. Plants not only make a room look bright and homey, their ability to filter carbon dioxide and other airborne pollutants can help make your home smell fresher, too.

* Give your kitchen some TLC. Like most, you probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen. However, you don’t need to do a complete makeover to give your kitchen a fresh look. Start by decluttering countertops and dropping some lemon rinds down the garbage disposal. Next, replace dated cabinet hardware with new handles, knobs and pulls. Adding in a faucet in a contemporary finish will go a long way too; as a focal point of the kitchen, it will help tie everything together in a subtle way.

* Upgrade your entryway. The front door is one of the first things visitors notice. If yours is old, worn and outdated, replacing it with a new one can be an easy, cost-effective way to improve the appearance of your home’s exterior. Even if your door is in good shape, painting it a bright, appealing color can make your home’s facade look fresher and more inviting. Be sure to use a paint formulated for doors, such as Dutch Boy Cabinet, Door & Trim paint. Add decorative lighting fixtures like sconces or a hanging light, dress up front steps with potted flowers and wash sidelights and windows around the entry.

* Some sources of stuffiness may surprise you. That old shower curtain not only makes your bathroom look shabby, it can detract from the air quality in the room as mildew builds up over time. Replace old shower curtains with something bright and appealing, and be sure to clean the grate on the bathroom vent fan. Stuffiness hides in the laundry room, too. Cleaning dryer vents and the washing machine regularly, and keeping laundry items and accessories organized can help make even a small laundry area feel fresh.

Freshening around the home doesn’t have to be a seasonal project. With a few simple steps, you can create a new look and feel in and around your home at any time of year. For more on these products and inspiration for your next paint project, visit