Rent a house with bad credit

If you need to know how to rent a house with bad credit, it’s possible. You have an uphill climb, but renting a home with bad credit isn’t a completely hopeless cause. Here are some tips from a landlord.

How do I know it’s an uphill climb? Other landlords ask me if I’d rent to someone with bad credit. But what I’d tell you is probably more valuable to you than what I tell them.

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Cheap kitchen backsplash ideas

cheap kitchen backsplash ideas

If you need cheap kitchen backsplash ideas, I have one idea that’s cheaper than any of the others I’ve seen: Fiber-Reinforced Plastic, or FRP. With FRP, you can knock out a backsplash with less than $50 worth of materials.

It’s not the best looking material but it’s cheap, easy to work with, and readily available. It will do a good job for you until you can get something better. It’s both cheaper and more durable than many cheap kitchen backsplash ideas I see elsewhere. And since I said ideas, I’ll share one more idea I like a little less, but it’s clever.

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Vacancy switch vs occupancy switch

occupancy switch vs vacancy switch

If you’re wondering about a vacancy switch vs occupancy switch, both types of switches have their uses. The basic difference comes down to whether you want the light to turn on when it senses motion and turn itself off after the last time it senses motion, or only turn itself off after the last time it senses motion.

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Vinyl plank flooring on walls

vinyl plank flooring on walls

Someone asked me about using vinyl plank flooring on walls recently. It’s an interesting idea, except for one problem the person brought up: vinyl planks falling off.

The adhesive on vinyl planks works better with gravity helping out. On walls, the gravity is working against it. Here are some tips that will help give you better results with vinyl plank flooring on walls.

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Fix kitchen light bulb flickering

Fix kitchen light flickering

Flickering lights can be a sign of a serious electrical problem. But kitchen light bulb flickering often is due to other issues because a kitchen provides challenges you usually don’t find elsewhere in the house. Let’s look at things that cause kitchen light bulbs to flicker and burn out more quickly than other rooms and things you can do to prevent it.

And yes, flickering usually does go hand in hand with reduced lifespan.

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Not quite a new floor in a bottle, but…

There are several acrylic floor finishes–sometimes mistakenly called wax–that promise they’re like a new floor in a bottle. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if you have reasonable expectations, they definitely can make a floor look better and easier to clean. And depending on how you use them, they can even make the floor last longer.

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CFL bulbs burn out quickly? Here’s what to do.

CFL bulbs burn out quickly

I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about CFL bulbs lately. I’ve written about how to address premature CFL burnout before, but I guess it bears repeating. It’s a five-minute fix, usually, to get the bulbs to last a while. So here’s what to do if your CFL bulbs burn out quickly.

CFL bulbs do seem to be more sensitive to minor electrical problems than older bulbs. Fixing the tab in your light socket or replacing your light switch is often enough to make the bulbs last as long as the package said they would.

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A cheap kitchen makeover

The kitchen cabinets in the house we live in have seen better days. They were reasonably well-built, but 50 years of raising families–mine is the third family raised in this house–took their toll on them. A couple of years back we painted them, to cover the scars of the years. It was an improvement, but the color dated itself pretty quickly, and we didn’t use the highest-quality paint, so the finish wore fairly quickly.

This time, we repainted them white. We used an expensive Benjamin Moore Decorator White in semi-gloss, because it looks good, but also because we’ve found it to be durable in other projects. And you’d be surprised how many half-million-dollar houses have white-painted cabinets. I’m an estate sale junkie, so I’ve seen a lot of half-million-dollar houses over the years, and I would estimate 40% of them have simple, white cabinets in their kitchens. It’s a look that doesn’t date itself, and is cheap and easy to take care of. (As a point of reference, a modest three-bedroom ranch house in the same county costs around $125,000.)

I’ve also seen people do this to improve the appearance of a house prior to flipping it.

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