Joyce Cucchiara's Blog
3 Apple Blossom Way, Groveland, MA 01834
901 Foxwood Circle, Peabody, MA 01960
Whether you need to hang bath towels in the bathroom or hand towels in the kitchen, a towel rack is an awesome thing to have around. And it is even better if made custom to suit your tastes and elevate the look of your home. For even more brownie points, you can make the towel rack yourself — and all it takes is some old picture frames and a little bit of elbow grease. Ready to start this fun project? Follow these seven easy steps.
1. Gather Your Tools & Materials
To create your custom towel rack, you will need:
2. Mock Up Your Design
Working on the ground, mock up the design for your picture frame towel rack. Start with the largest frame in the center, as that will be used to secure the completed towel rack to the wall. You should have the frames overlap enough that you can secure each one together using two screws.
3. Screw the Frames Together
After finalizing your custom design, use your drill to create pilot holes for your screws. Then, screw the frames together, one by one, being careful to avoid cracking the wood. Cover the tops of the screws with wood filler, creating a seamless surface.
4. Sand & Paint the Frames
With the frames assembled, sand down the exterior surfaces to scuff up the finish. This will help the paint stick to the surface. Then, put down newspaper and place your frames on top. Use your paintbrushes to apply a new coat of paint in your desired color. Allow the initial coat to dry for four hours, then repeat. Allow the second coat to fully dry overnight, though 24 hours is better.
5. Add a Hanger to the Back
Unless your central picture frame already has a hanger, you will need to add one to the back to create a solid mounting point. If your towel rack is a bit on the large side, consider using two mounting points to give it enough strength when the extra weight of the towels are added.
6. Mount the Rack on the Wall
Put the towel rack against the wall to find your preferred installation point. Remember to account for the length of the towels when they are folded over the bottom edges of the frames. Then, drill a hole, or two if you have dual hangers, in the wall, big enough for the plastic anchor.
Use the handle of your screwdriver to tap the plastic anchor into the holes you just made. Then, add a screw to each plastic anchor and secure them almost all the way down with your screwdriver. With those in place, you can then hang the towel rack from the screws in the wall.
7. Add Towels & Enjoy
After securing your towel rack to the wall, you just hang your towels to complete this project. You can then go about your business, secure in the knowledge that you always have a towel close at hand when you need one.
Many house hunters are so focused on finding the ideal house, yard, and neighborhood, that they sometimes sacrifice one of their main objectives: a short commute to work.
At first, a long drive to the office may seem like a small price to pay for finding your ideal house, but your outlook might change when the tedium of commuter gridlock becomes a daily burden.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease the stress of being stuck in rush-hour traffic twice a day.
Car pooling: By sharing driving responsibilities with one or two other people, you can reduce the overall stress of your trip to the office. You can also save money on gas, highway tolls, and parking fees. Assuming you find carpooling companions whose company you enjoy, time will pass a lot faster. Then, of course, there's the advantage of less wear and tear on your car. Although carpooling may not be as idyllic as living 15 or 20 minutes from work, it can be an effective way to ease the burden of back-and-forth driving.
Telecommuting: As technology advances and more and more people are adapting to it, the option of working from home is becoming increasingly popular. When you consider the many options there are for document sharing and communicating remotely, you may have a strong case for proposing a work-from-home arrangement with your employer. Even though it may be necessary to meet face-to-face with coworkers, colleagues, and clients a few days a week, the ability to split your work time between home and office can save you time, money, and aggravation. As long as you can maintain your productivity working from home, it may turn out to be a life-changing arrangement! Granted, it doesn't work for everyone, but it may be well worth looking into -- at least on a part-time basis.
Public Transportation: If you happen to live close to a train station, then public transportation might be the perfect solution to an otherwise long, tedious drive into the city. Instead of concentrating on road signs and traffic conditions, you can read a book, listen to your favorite music, or prepare for a meeting or presentation. You can also check your email, get a head start on your work day, or even sneak in a few minutes of sleep or meditation.
While the best option for many people is to buy a home that's within 30 minutes of their job or business, that may be difficult to accomplish for couples working in different locations. Long commutes can infringe on important aspects of your life, though, including family time, relaxation time, and being able to get things done around the house. Not having enough time to "recharge your battery," every day, can eventually take its toll on your health, your relationships, and your outlook on life. If finding a house close to work is not panning out, then alternatives like telecommuting, carpooling, and public transportation may be, at least, a partial solution.
If you’re a newer homeowner, odds are you don’t really “own” your home outright. Rather, you likely have equity in your home.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what home equity is, how to use it to your advantage, and things you should avoid using your home equity toward.
What is home equity?
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who paid for their homes in cash, you probably took out a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage you build equity.
Home equity is essentially the value of a property that a homeowner has at their disposal due to paying back part or all of their mortgage.
However, there’s another factor at play in home equity, and that’s market value.
Since the housing market fluctuates, the value of your home does as well, and as a result, your home equity changes with the market value of a house. That might sound worrying, but the good news is that due to something called appreciation.
In the same way that the cost of living tends to rise each year with inflation, so do housing prices. However, appreciation isn’t the only factor at play in the valuation of your house. As your home ages, it will likely need some renovations, which could decrease the home value.
Generally speaking, however, your equity achieves a net gain as you pay your mortgage and the value appreciates.
Now that we know why equity can be so beneficial as an asset, let’s talk about ways to build it.
The best way to build home equity is to repay your home loan. However, more than simply repaying, you’ll want to repay in the fewest number of years to avoid paying more in interest. The longer you take to pay your mortgage, the more interest accrues that could have been used toward other investments.
The second way to increase equity is one we mentioned before--market fluctuation--namely appreciation. To improve the chances of getting a high appraisal of your home, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and make smart renovation choices that will have a high return on investment.
Using home equity
The best use of home equity is to leave it be and increase its value over time. However, that isn’t always possible for all of us. Since many of us need to move before repaying our full mortgage, equity allows homebuyers to use their equity toward their next mortgage.
Another option is to take out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. Ideally, you’ll only use these loans if you’re planning on using the loan money to increase the value of the home via home improvement projects.
Borrowing against your home equity does come with risks. Since you are putting your share of your home on the line, there is a chance of your home being foreclosed on if you don’t repay the home equity loan. However, lenders typically seek other methods of repayment or settlement before foreclosure.