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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Home Improvement Grant for the Disabled

Hi to all Home Improve Blog Readers,

I need your help!!!, we need your help...

I have returned after a shortish sabbatical from writing my blog to ask for any help or assistance or information anyone may have on finding a home improvement grant for the disabled living in the USA and elsewhere in the world.

I recently followed a line of research for a couple of families living in Texas - I was especially boosted in my search after reading a speech of a few years back, by the President about grants to help homeowners adapt their homes to their changing needs - to enable them to remain self-sufficient and stay in their own homes as long as possible.

It was such a positive speech that I blindly thought that all states must have a grant allowance for just such needy citizens. What more logical that basic home improvements to widen doors, change the bathroom suite, lower worktops and install hand rails around the home for homeowners who have suddenly found themselves to be wheelchair bound.

I found grants for all kinds of needs - for the young, families, the dependent and the elderly but nothing specifically for the disabled !

My search led me to that wonderful web site www.hud.gov - where I searched through their long list of grants and found the:-

FY 2007 SuperNOFA: Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Programs

I focused in on the CFDA: 14.876
Funding Opportunity No. FR-5100-N-17
Opportunity Title: Ross Elderly/Disabled
Competition ID: RED-17
Close Date: July 19, 2007

- You can see the information here at :-


I put some people in touch with the contact person given on that page - and they were told - (despite the title at the top of the page... Resident Opportunity etc.) that this opportunity title was for business owners who could claim a grant to adapt the workplace for disabled employees. I think that is a great idea - but I though the title clearly pointed to residential buildings.

Anyway, the help I am looking for is not to gripe about the above grant - but rather to ask if anyone has been able to track down a good grant in the USA that will be useful for any readers looking for financial assistance to help them adapt their home - and enable them to remain in their homes and keep their independence for as long as they are able to - or want to.

If you know of a real home improvement grant for the disabled - we want to hear from you with as much information and contact details regarding the grant as you are able to provide.

On behalf of everyone in the world who is looking for a home improvement grant for the disabled - thank you in advance and we look forward to hearing from you.

Home Improve Blog

Friday, July 14, 2006

World Cup Pergola Construction

The Big Game is over, at least for another four years and so is our excuse to delay our outdoor living projects for this summer - so why not start to build yourself a dedicated World Cup Pergola Construction.

It could be a great place to sit with friends and talk over the best goals, near misses, red cards and what could have been - all around the barbeque in the afternoons and in your new outdoor space throughout idylic summer evenings !

It could also be a great place to hang up your football memorabilia... at least for a little while, until the climbing plants and hanging baskets start to bloom and take over.

Whether you are celebrating victory or commiseratating until your team gets another chance in four years time - this could be the perfect moment to channel all that energy into a solid pergola construction that you can all enjoy this summer and that will still be there for your celebrations during the next World Cup matches for years to come.

Building a World Cup Pergola Construction over one or two weekends could be a real team effort - more hands to help carefully measure out the space - dig post holes, cut the timber, notch the wood and put the pieces together, really make building a pergola easier and quicker.

A Deck and Pergola extend the living space of your home and providing a link between your home and your garden. They also provide an excellent space for outdoor entertaining and family get-togethers.

We have prepared a number of articles to help you get started:

and our...

all designed to help make your own special World Cup Pergola Construction and easy build.

If you are planning to build both a deck and pergola construction - we have around a dozen indepth articles on all aspects Deck Building that will help you pull both these projects together.

Get your planning permission - pick up your timber and hardware and enjoy the build.

Keep up the team spirit by creating a World Cup Pergola Construction that will provide a very special space that you and your family can enjoy now and still have a quality construction - all ready for the next big games.

About the Author

Susan has written numerous articles on home improvement and financing to help you make the most of your home both inside and out - these free articles are now available to you at home-improvement-and-financing.com

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

D.I.Y. will never DIE

I am one hundred percent sure that D.I.Y. will never Die - but have you heard the recent reports that show people moving away from Do It Yourself trends of home improvement? - big stores are declaring staggering losses for the first time in many years on D.I.Y. products.

The buzz is that D.I.F.M. - Do It For Me (or D.I.F.Y. - Do It For You) is taking over many areas of the do it yourself home improvement industry.

One of the Biggest suppiers of timber, hardware, paint and all of the thousands of other great products available in this superstore - now provides around 40 different services that you can contract directly for someone (presumably well qualified) to come and do the improvements for you in your home.

Another of the biggest superstores already has 24 services and is racing to catch up on this latest trend.

While these services will provide professionals from your local area - and I guess you can believe that the workmanship and finish should be of a reasonably high standard - because important store names and reputations are at stake - D.I.Y. just isn't going to fade away.

Having experienced professional help is great - phew what a relief just to get the job done and done right - but there will always be projects that can be done successfuly BY YOU in your home - which will save you money, give you a great feeling of accomplishment and increase your knowledge ready for your next home improvement and financing project.

D.I.Y. will never DIE - forget electical work, plumbing and anything else that you don't have enough knowledge about to do safely and correctly - you can leave those projects to the experts - but what about those kitchen cupboards, your outdoor living area... your Deck Design, Pergola Construction or a great easy to put together Gazebo Kit!

Don't lose heart if you were just planning a new project when you heard these reports - remember... every experienced tiler once upon a time laid his or her first tile - so if you have gathered all the information you can get your hands on and are ready to have a go - go for it (if in doubt - try tiling your laundry room or store room first - give yourself hands on experience in a less visable area.)

Decking is another great home improvement project - you can build a simple ground level deck in your spare time and later build onto it and expand your outdoor living space. (the wonderful smell of freshly cut timber is right up there with freshly cut grass)

Pergolas are just about the quickest, easiest and most economical way to totally change the look of your home - a plain back wall of a home can become a mediterranean paradise in a matter of hours - not ready to dig deep pergola postholes and get started? - why not try an nice small garden arbor first - to build on your experience.

Without a doubt it's easier to contract your project out - the services these superstores offer is a wonderful addition and will provide many people without the inclination or time to renovate or build - the opportunity to also improve their homes and quality of home life...

But, hey - another great reason why D.I.Y. will never die is that if there is no longer any D.I.Y. then there won't be any I.D.T - isn't it wonderful when you actually finish a project to a high standard and you can say "I Did That"

I am ready to stand up and shout - I'm a BOOMER and I LOVE D.I.Y.

About the Author
Susan Eland writes home improvement articles, tips, plans and ideas on the different ways you can improve the value of your home or simply improve the quality of your home life - you can read more articles at Home Improvement and Financing.com

Monday, April 24, 2006

Outdoor Living 2006

Preparing for Outdoor Living 2006 is one of the hottest home improvement and financing projects for the first half of this year.

After a long and tempestuous winter with storms, flooding and snow fall, we are all ready for this spring and the following summer months when we can enjoy real quality of life days and evenings at home with our family and friends.

The most popular Outdoor Living 2006 projects are...

Building Pergolas

Putting up Arbors

Improving Patio areas

Deck Designs

Constructing Gazebos

Hot Tubs

and... Swimming Pools

Of course many of these projects are best when combined, a deck construction which connects the home with the garden perfectly is often finished off with a gazebo in an area where the decking extends out from the typical deck patio.

A Hot Tub installation is more often combined with the construction of a gazebo hot tub enclosure.

When you prepare a tiled patio it's easier to combine the preparation of the ground as you level it out - by digging post holes ready for your pergola which will result in giving a mediterranean look to your outdoor space with climbing plants and to provide shaded areas where you can sit out longer in the mid day sun and enjoy your garden life.

Without a doubt, the hottest project this year appears to be Pergola Construction, last year everyone was more focused on decking... and this year they want to at least partially cover that decking by putting together a pergola plan.

Gazebo kits are very popular because, with adequate ground preparation and careful study of the instructions, you can have a peaceful and elegant gazebo - giving outdoor space under roof... constructed over a weekend - if you can get some good friends to work with you.

If you are turning your attention back to your swimming pool - which normally faces neglect over the winter months, you'll know that it's time to get everything cleaned out, make sure the tiles haven't lifted, that there are no cracks in the inner walls and check and clean all the filters ready for some summer fun.

If access to your pool bothered you last summer, you still have time to decide how you are going to make life easier and safer to get to and from - in and out of your pool. You may be looking at non-slip pool decking or tiling the area with a rough tile that doesn't heat up too much under the glare of the sun.

You still have time to visit garden shows for more ideas and take advantage of any spring sale to get your hands on materials at great prices.

If you need to order materials for your project try to do it now, everything points to this being a boom year for outdoor living projects so make sure that you get what you need before availability levels really drop.

Now is the time to decide what type of Outdoor Living 2006 project is going to really enhance your home and help ensure that this is the best fun summer ever.

Best Building wishes
Home Improve Sue

about the author:
Susan has written numerous articles on decking, pergolas and gazebos as well as other aspects of both exterior and interior home improvement and financing options, you can get more ideas, tips, plans and information on Outdoor living 2006 at Home Improvement and Financing.com to help you make the most of this summer.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Home Improvements at Easter Time

Happy Easter Greetings to you!

This is such a wonderful time of year, spring is in the air, the daffodils are coming out and families are coming together - There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut timber, the hum of the drill, the thud of the screw gun and the sight of a plan coming together.

This is the biggest traditional break before the summer holidays, so if anyone is talking Home Improvements at Easter Time - there's a good chance that they - or even you... are busy planning your summer home remodeling project.

Get togethers are a great opportunity to ask any extended members of your family how their own home enhancing projects are going, someone might be busy with plans similar to yours and their experiences or recommendations may well help you to find the right contractors and experts to work on your home.

This is a great conversation topic, there is just so much to talk about from plans, permits, contractors, insurance cover, time lines, budget and one of the most popular questions - "What materials did you use?" - and you can usually depend on family and friends to tell you all the ins and outs, the pitfalls they have encountered and how they overcame problems to get to the satisfactory finished results they were looking for.

If you are actually busy with a build during this long weekend - you are right - you could complete your decking to have it ready for the summer, or you could construct your gazebo kit and have that special place to relax and enjoy your garden - or you could give your patio a pergola cover... which will mean that the climbing plants will be well settled in to give you a decent foilage cover for the summer holidays, but...

whatever you are doing, if you are involved with Home Improvements at Easter Time, please don't forget to give youself time to kick back, relax and enjoy your chocolate egg!

All the best


p.s. Just to remind you... the two full weeks left in April, just following Easter time, the weekend starting Friday 21st April and the weekend starting Friday 28th April - are jammed packed with Home Show 2006 events up and down the country - you can have a look at the April list on our site to help you find the best home improvement show near you.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Preparing for your 2006 Project

Are you busy running around Preparing for your 2006 Project so that you can complete your next home improvement project in time for the summer.

Once you have decided on the most beneficial project that will enhance your home for both comfort and value - it is a race against time at this time of year to find the right "fully qualified and insured" people to help you complete in time to be able to enjoy the summer sun at home.

It's a fact that most great home improvement contractors are booked up well in advance so if you haven't yet found the right team but you want the work done in time for the holidays - you have to work on your short list now and follow up on all the references - both on paper and by visiting their most recent completed works.

There is a lot to think about and prepare if you are planning a big home improvement remodeling project - from organising your home equity line of credit - deciding on plans and materials to use - and a time line that you or a contractor needs to work to.

Visiting a local Home Show 2006 is a great way to discover new materials and building techniques as well as meeting qualified experts in your area - have a look at the March and April Home Show 2006 Listings now available to you on our Web site to find a home improvement show near you.

Whether you are imaging a new remodeled kitchen or an inviting bathroom - perhaps you are thinking more about outdoor living for the summer and want to build a pergola or buy a gazebo kit - there is still time to get organised.

Preparing for your 2006 project to create a more usable space and a more valuable home takes time - and will take up a lot of your time during the project while you work on or oversee the build but it does help if you keep focused what your home will look like once the work is finished.

Enjoy your Home

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kitchen Island Design

Are Kitchens really coming OFF the wall!

There is an ever growing trend for a full Kitchen Island Design instead of having all the kitchen work surfaces facing the wall... can you imagine completely turning your kitchen inside out.

Instead of having an empty floor space in the middle of the room surrounded by base cupboards, kitchen counters and wall cabinets - you could change in all around - lose most of the wall cupboards and cabinets and work around one big center kitchen unit.

One big advantage of a Kitchen Island Design is that you are creating a much more social kitchen - the island will be one complete level piece or could be split leveled. One half is for the family chef and the other half is used as a breakfast (or any meal) bar.

At the chef's side you will find a drawers top to bottom of the unit - some big enough for pots and pans, every day plates, crockery and kitchen utensils - special knife drawers could have safety catches to keep your best choppers away from little fingers.

Often you also have place for spice jars, vegetables and the daily bread and kitchen cloths, everything easy to reach.

What is important about the cook's side of a kitchen island design is that everything that you usually use when cooking is easily 'at hand' whenever you need it!

In smaller kitchens the kitchen island design is often a compromise in that it may be attached to the outer kitchen cabinets at one side - but can still be effective enough for you to gain all the advantages of a kitchen island design even in limited spaces.

If you want to have a look at basic kitchen island plans for large and luxurious kitchens and also a kitchen island idea for small kitchens then go ahead and take a look at the full article at Kitchen Island design

It can mean a radical change in planning - especially if you have always been used to having all your kitchen cupboards and kitchen cabinets screwed to the wall.

Instead of bending over kitchen counters under artificial light and banging your head on the wall cabinets - there is so much more enjoyment from working in a well lit open space, with all the family gathered around your very own special Kitchen Island design

The kitchens of the future will all styled around an innovative Kitchen Island Design

Enjoy preparing your very own kitchen island design

Kitchen Counter Review

Our Kitchen Counter Review will help you decide which material and style will help make the most of your kitchen makeover.

With so much to choose from, it can be difficult find the right look that fits into your kitchen improvement budget and the style of your home.

If you are looking for a new and individual look you will find our 'low down' on the pros and cons of different emerging home kitchen counter materials like glass and stainless steel and the care they require.

Find out why stainless steel - the mainstay of professional restaurant kitchens - is becoming more and more popular as a home kitchen counter - especially when combined with the latest design of a stainless steel kitchen extractor hood.

We have also included in out kitchen counter review, granite which is the most popular choice worldwide for new kitchen counter installations.

If you prefer the rustic look we have also included wood and a photo of wood that has been tinted green but that still allows the grain of the wood to show though.

You will also find included in our review on laminates and formica, or you may prefer something totally individual with the help of your local and trusted carpenter - which is a kitchen counter combi - combining a laminate kitchen counter surface edged in pine.

Another great way of combining different materials are inlays - often stainless steel or glass inlaid into a wooden or laminate surface.

The quality of a kitchen counter and how it suits the type of decoration you have in your kitchen and in your home - can really make your kitchen renovation a success.

Use our Kitchen Counter Review to find the right non porous, heat resistant, long lasting and attractive kitchen counter for your home.

To your kitchen counter success...