• Best Renovation Projects To Do To Add Value To Your Home

    Here are the best renovation projects to do to add value to your home.

    Have you ever thought of putting your ‘Ninja DIY skills’ to good use? There is a good chance that many homeowners have looked at their front porch and thought, ‘I can do better than that’! The truth of the matter is that there are many different sections of your home that could use an upgrade.

    But just because you can clean out the attic and repaint the front door doesn’t mean that you should take on every single one of those tasks. Home renovations can be expensive. Why not make the most out of it by only taking on renovation projects that add the most value to your home as well?

    Valuable home renovation projects

    The roof and siding replacements:

    People want to know that they are moving into a home that is not leaking and is well protected as far as the roof is concerned. These happen to be the most expensive repairs that new homeowners dread. So taking care of this will drive your home’s value up.

    Kitchens and baths:

    You can never go wrong with upgrading the kitchen and baths. People like that the kitchen has nice granite countertops and state-of-the-art appliances. It is a hallmark of luxury.

    Curb appeal:

    It doesn’t matter how well painted the house is if the rest of the front yard is in shambles. It will always take something away from that shine. Be sure to do some landscaping, some painting, maybe new windows and even some flowers coupled with nice outdoor lighting. Aesthetics matter.

    Add extra space:

    Transform the attic into an extra bedroom or make you garage a study room as well. As long as you do something to add extra space to the home, you can always include that in the house description as an added advantage over the neighbouring houses.

    Why don’t you install a home theatre?

    It is all about the little bells and whistle that make your home distinguishable from the rest of the lot. Very few homeowners would mind having a state-of-the-art home theatre room fully equipped with 12-foot wide screens and a top-of-the-range sound system.

    These things tend to be expensive to buy and even more so to install. Having one already installed will give you the leeway you need to ask for more as far as the house price is concerned.

    As wonderful as all this is, you need to bear a few things in mind. If you are making these renovations for the sole purpose of increasing your house value for sale, then you need to consider these factors before jumping in:

    • The actual value of the house itself.
    • The value of the houses in the neighbourhood.
    • The current state of the housing market.
    • How soon after the renovations you intend to sell.
    • The quality of the renovation project.

    It is ill advised to install a £10,000 outdoor stove on a £250,000 house while it is the only one with a single bathroom in the entire neighbourhood. As awesome as the outdoor stove might be, these other factors might overshadow it when it is time to sell. Only take on these renovation projects if they make financial sense.

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  • Important Tips for Demolishing Your Bathroom

    When looking to remodel your bathroom, there is going to be some demolition involved. Here are some important tips for demolishing your bathroom.

    Home renovation projects can be fun, especially when you are dealing with favoured rooms such as the bathroom. But, as interesting as these projects can be, they can also be very expensive.

    If you do not approach them in the right manner, you could end up spending more money and time only to find that you liked it better the way it was anyway. So, before you jump in and get started, here are some important tips for demolishing your bathroom.

    Be ready and take it as a project of its own right

    For many, the demolition part of the project is just a problem they have to get through to get to the real work of remodelling. This attitude can be costly. If the bathroom is not demolished properly, you will end up with a canvas on which you cannot paint your masterpiece – so to speak. Get yourself in the right mindset before getting started. Think of it as a project that must be completed before you start on the remodelling.

    Set aside an appropriate amount of time just for demo

    You need to set aside enough time for demolition. Do not try to rush through just so you can get to the remodelling bit of things. Set aside an entire weekend just for the demo. This will put you in the right frame of mind and allow you to focus solely on the task at hand.

    If you do not do this, you will find yourself quickly trying to move on to the re-building side of things after tearing it all down. Trust me, you will not feel like it at all.

    Seal off the area being demolished

    Trust when we say that drywall and plaster tend to find cracks to fill wherever they may be in the house. Simply keeping the door closed will not do the trick. You need to seal the entire area off completely. Use sheet plastic and tape just to be sure.

    What exactly is behind that wall?

    Before you even think of taking that sledgehammer to that wall, you need to know what is behind it. Are you going to swing right into live electrical wires? Are you going to put a dent into your water main or are you going to live a gaping hole in the wall behind the kitchen? These are all structural specifics that you must have at your fingertips before you start demolishing.

    Do you have the right tools?

    It is about more than just being able to successfully wield a sledgehammer. You need to protect yourself as well as use the right tools for different parts of the demolition process. Things like dust masks are a must if you are to keep yourself from developing respiratory problems. You will also need tools such as:

    • A sledge.
    • A crowbar.
    • A pry bar.
    • A claw hammer.

    Make sure you have everything you need before you get started. Once you get going, having to run to the hardware store to get additional tools will just knock the wind off your demo sails.
    Be prepared and know that this part of the project is just as important as the final outcome itself.

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  • How To Create A Spectacular Dining Table Out Of Reclaimed Wood

    Learning how to create a spectacular dining table out of reclaimed wood is easier than you may think – and more affordable than buying a new table!

    Gathering Your Wood

    Creating a dining table from reclaimed wood can not only save you money but it can also give your dining area a new look. You will want to first find the reclaimed wood that meets your style. Perhaps you already have your wood for your table. Clean the wood prior to cutting. Consider using a whisk broom to first sweep the wood and wipe it with a damp rag. Allow the wood to dry as well before cutting. It won’t take long to dry when you use a lightly dampened rag.

    Choosing The Table Size

    In order to determine the size of the table you are going to make measure your dining area. You will want to leave room for chairs and for family or guests to walk comfortably around the table to take their seats. If you have other furnishings in the dining area you will want to take that into consideration as well.

    The number of chairs that you choose will depend on the size of the table that you are creating. A table too large will make your dining area seem crowded and make it hard to get around in. An over-sized dining table is not going to make for happy gatherings.

    Cutting and Joining

    Once you’ve determined the size you can begin cutting your reclaimed wood. Keep in mind that you will need to cut the boards for the table top, legs, and braces. You can position your braces in an “X” form between the legs to provide stability or even a “Z” depending on what fits your style. Make sure that you place the legs inward on the table instead of at the outer edges of the table so that people are banging their knees. Use 3 pieces of cut reclaimed wood to join the planks together to form the table top first. and then attach the legs and the braces. That should do it for your table.

    Prepare to Dine

    Move your new table into your dining area. You may want to wipe it with wood oil in order to give it a glossier look or you may prefer it just as it is. Whatever makes you happy is perfect. If you found the dining table an easy project consider making benches from reclaimed wood that will go with it. You may prefer reclaimed chairs that will fit your style as well. You might choose them to all be the same or mix and match them. Chairs can be painted or stained and you can even upholster them to your taste.

    Reclaimed Treasures

    There are a ton of projects that you can create using reclaimed wood. There are also a lot of projects that you can create using other reclaimed items for you home or to sale. Reclaimed wood projects are very popular for the farmhouse look and vintage decor. Many people will pay good money for items created from reclaimed wood.

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  • How To Create A Nursery In Your Home


    If you listen to home improvement channels like HGTV, Homebuilding and Renovating Podcast, and even We Buy Houses Radio Show with Rick Otton, you may have come across renovation projects that improve home value. Having a nursery in the house (which can be converted into a children’s bedroom) improves the value of your home because many homebuyers are couples with children who need that extra space.

    Creating the perfect nursery is a matter of combining space, safety and a little bit of fun. Depending on the sex of your newest family member, there are several colour themes you can infuse as well, you know, just to add a little sparkle to the entire affair. If you are busy looking for ideas on how to create a nursery in your home, here are some simple tips that will get you started in the right direction.

    Find some space

    The good thing about these new-born family members is that they do not take up too much space. They are not like your teenage daughter who will want the entire top floor to herself. When trying to find the right kind of space for your baby nursery, look at rooms that can easily accommodate a baby cot and a bit a few storage units for the baby’s things. You also need to find a room that can easily be converted into a safe-zone. This space can be a corner of your master bedroom or even the laundry room. If it is the laundry room, it will need to be slightly adapted for safety features.

    Lighting

    Baby experts say that your baby really doesn’t need that much light in their face. The darkness kind of helps them sleep better and remain calm. So, try not to create your nursery next to huge windows or anywhere that is directly under the glare of street lights at night. You can even add dimmer switches to the chosen room so as you can reduce the overhead glare at will. Additionally, blue light only goes towards keeping your little one awake. So avoid those types of bulbs too.

    What about safety?

    This is by far the most important aspect of this entire process. You need to child-proof your home long before the little one even arrives. Some things to check off the list include:

    • Covering plug sockets.
    • Using baby gates to keep them contained.
    • Keeping any sharp or heavy objects either stowed away or tightly secured.
    • Ensure that all ingestible chemicals are kept safely away from reach.
    • Absolutely no open flames or hot surfaces near the baby.
    • Secure furniture with brackets.

    Just because they are little now does not mean that they will not get bigger and stronger. This happens very fast. You need to be prepared.

    When it comes to the design of the nursery, feel free to go crazy with creativity. As long as it is child-friendly content, you reign here should be absolute.

    Remember, your baby will quickly pick up on everything that is around them. So you might want to make the first images they come in contact with educational. When it comes to the colour, you need to make the nursery fun and festive. Include brilliantly exciting colours in your design but also bear in mind that bright colours such as yellow tend to keep your baby awake. So look at colours like green and blue. These tend to be soothing. Remember to use low-odour colours that are also non-toxic and easy to wipe clean.

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  • How To Build A Pantry In A Small Kitchen

    Here’s how to build a pantry to get you some extra storage in your kitchen.

    Regardless of whether the kitchen is big or small, every cook always yearns for a little more place for storage. In fact, there are many people who convert furniture items like closets and cupboards into storage areas for their kitchen items. No matter how much space you might have in your kitchen, you will always feel the need for a little more if you do not organise your kitchen well.

    However, if you are able to organise an efficient pantry system in your kitchen, you will find that there will always be a little extra space no matter how much stuff you push in there. Hence, you should give the idea a thought or two and think about how you can transform your kitchen and give it a redesign so that you can fit in a little pantry for the storage of all your grocery items. There are a number of furniture making companies in the market that can also help you with designs of pantries to suit your needs and kitchen designs.

    How should you decide the size of your kitchen pantry?

    The size of your kitchen is not the only dependent factor to consider when looking for a kitchen pantry design. If you have a lot of space in your kitchen does not necessarily mean that you fill up the entire space with cabinets to store your grocery items. Similarly, if you have a kitchen of a fairly small size, it does not mean that you opt for a pantry so small that it does not have enough space to hold all of your grocery items. Therefore, it is very important for you to first understand the design of your kitchen, and how you can make the most use of it to establish a pantry that will help you to store all your kitchen items.

    How to build the pantry in your kitchen?

    Once you have been able to understand the design of your kitchen and made a calculation of the available spaces in it, prepare the kitchen for the installation of the pantry. Assemble a free space for the pantry to fit by moving certain items that you do not use on a regular basis.

    You might also have a few areas of your kitchen that are very difficult to access. Use these spaces to store items that you hardly use. This rearrangement of your kitchen will help you to arrange the necessary space for the installation of the pantry. You can then go to the market and look for the ideal pantry designs and size that will fit into the area that you have set aside for the purpose.

    It is quite possible that the pantry design that you choose might not be an exact fit. It may need a little extra space or might also leave a little bit of extra space. Well, in such scenarios, you can always make the necessary adjustments to utilise the area efficiently. This will help you to get the best out of your small kitchen pantry and also ensure that you have the right spaces to store your kitchen items and your kitchen does not have a messed up appearance.

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  • How To Save Money On Your Kitchen Renovation

    Kitchen renovations are great in adding value to your home. Here are tips on how to save money on your kitchen renovation.

    Kitchen Crashers, Spice Up My Kitchen, Kitchen Cousins…so many shows about kitchen makeovers and you may wonder why so much attention is being placed on improving the kitchen. Simply put, the kitchen affects the overall value of your home, the way the number of bathrooms and bedrooms could. This is evidenced by this fix and flip episode from the We Buy Houses Radio Show with Rick Otton.

    However, kitchen remodelling has the potential of going way over budget faster than you can say ‘granite countertop’. This is something almost everyone who has ever undertaken a kitchen remodelling job knows. That is why you need to be extra vigilant when dealing with these sorts of things. You should find ways to get the kitchen of your dreams while staving off the nightmare that would be your bank account should you fail to control the expenditure.

    Use open shelves where you can

    Fitted cabinets are a necessity in every kitchen. Especially those who have expensive China that could gather dust for lack of use. But what do you do with your day to day utensils that do not sit idle enough to gather dust? One of the best ways to store these is to put them on open shelves. For starters, it gives them an excellent display and easy access. Open shelves are also much cheaper to build when compared to typical cabinets. You can salvage planks and repaint them for this purpose thus saving a pile of money on kitchen cabinets.

    Do your countertops have to be granite?

    how to save money on a kitchen renovation, kitchen renovation, add value to your home, how to add value to your house, low cost kitchen renovation, kitchen makeover, kitchen remodellingIf they absolutely must be granite countertops, then disregard this point. But for those of us who are open to other options, there are a lot of alternative countertop materials that if installed with excellent workmanship, could look just as beautiful and as classy as granite.

    We are talking about tiles, stone, recyclable products and solid surfaces. You can even choose to only use granite on the island and alternative materials on the perimeter thus cutting your cost considerably.

    Don’t move the appliances

    If the whole idea is to build an entirely new kitchen, then you might have to suffer the cost of moving the appliances with all the electricals and mechanicals involved. However, if the plan is to give your kitchen a facelift, then we suggest you keep the appliances as is instead of moving them. Leaving them where they are means that you will not have to bear the additional costs of hiring an electrician or cutting into the floor/walls to make new room for that stove. These steps can be quite costly.

    What do you think about ready-to-assemble cabinets?

    One of the biggest expenses when it comes to kitchen remodelling jobs is getting new cabinets. If you are going to go the ‘custom-made kitchen cabinets’ way then you are in for a rough financial ride. But if you are open to other options, you could go with ready-to-assemble cabinets. These often come in standardised measurements and are easy to install if you are a DIY enthusiasts.

    You have a ton of options from which to choose your design and colours. You should, however, be aware of the fact that ready-to-assemble cabinets do not come in your specific measurements so there might be a bit of space-wasting. You will have to find different ways to fill this space up.

    There are many ways to save money when renovating your kitchen. If you are doing the entire thing on your own then you can save money on contractor fees as well.

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  • How To Use Recycled Wood Throughout Your Home


    Re-using wood is a wonderful way to save money, add character to your decorative projects and preserve trees. Here are tips on how to use recycled wood.

    Whether it be HGTV refurb shows or podcast shows detailing DIY projects like Fix It Home Improvement or We Buy Houses Radio with Rick Otton, improving home value through renovation is something more homeowners are becoming interested in. And a nice idea for DIY projects is reusing wood in your home.

    There is a lot of re-usable wood that can be found in old buildings, old shipping crates and demolished barns or even old hardwood flooring. You can even find excellent wood when you sift through leftover construction lumber. Pieces from old barn boards can make for some interesting wooden floors, you just need to know how to re-use them around your house for maximum effect. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to use recycled wood throughout your home.

    Preparing the recycled wood

    Before you jump into those exciting DIY projects, you will need to make sure that the recycled wood is prepared. Here is what you need to do:

    • Inspect the wood and make sure that there isn’t too much warping, insect infestations, rotting or water damage. Rotten wood is just no good. Poke discoloured areas of the piece of wood to see if it is solid enough and look down the length at eye level to ensure that there is no twisting or warping. Do not use any wood that has black mould or is too warped for your particular DIY project.
    • Remove all the nails in the wood.
    • Sort the wood out into equal lengths for easy categorisation.
    • Sand any part of the wood that will be visible to give it an aesthetic look.

    How to use recycled wood around the house

    There are very many DIY projects on which you can use recycled wood. Just think about it for a second, do you want a bookshelf, a coffee table, a new porch or maybe just more ledge on your windows for those flower pots? All of these projects can be perfect for recycled wood. Specific projects would include:

    Cabinet re-facing

    Take a long hard look at your cabinets. Do they need a new lease of life or could they use a different look? Using the same kind of recycled wood to reface your kitchen or bathroom cabinets is a great way to give them a rustic look that is not only unique but also quite aesthetically appealing.

    Make new recycled wood furniture

    how to use recycled wood on your home, diy property renovation, improve home value, property renovation using recycled woodFrom coffee tables to chairs and even tables, recycled wood can be wonderful for creating new furniture. You wouldn’t even have to spend so much money on the project. You probably already have all the tools you need. Plus the recycled wood, you are good to go and get started on that unique coffee table.

    Create unique recycled wood decor

    This is where your creativity really shines. There is virtually no limit to the different types of recycled wood decor you can build. From bookshelves to wooden box shelves for your decorative flower vases or maybe even stripped-wood lampshades. Go wild and release your inner artist.

    All you would need is the right kind of recycled wood, some creativity and a little time for you to undertake the perfect recycled wood DIY project for your home.

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  • How To Install A Chandelier And Make A Room Pop!

    Because of tricky electrical DIY, installing a chandelier can either be good or bad. Here are practical tips on how to install a chandelier and make a room pop!

    Listen, unless you are qualified as an electrical engineer, it might be a wise decision to leave the wiring to the professionals. Electricity is no joke. That being said, installing a chandelier in your living room or even man cave is a wonderful way to infuse some life into that room (Okay, maybe not your man cave, we need that to be ‘Manly’).

    Yes, you can install a chandelier by yourself. But you would have to follow some strict guidelines and maybe have an electrical engineer on standby just to double check the wiring. Other than that, here is what you need to know about the process of installing a chandelier in your home.

    Provide the necessary support

    Generally speaking, most ceiling electrical boxes are not built to support electrical fixtures that weigh more than 50 pounds or 22KG. If by any chance your new chandelier weighs more than 22KG then you need to replace that electrical box with one that is designed for heavy-duty work.

    Or, you could install a fan brace first. These braces are designed to hold heavy ceiling fans, but they can also hold a chandelier weighing up to 66KG. The best thing about installing a fan brace first is that you do not have to cut into the ceiling because it can simply be slipped into the ceiling hole.

    Installation process

    how to install a chandelier, why install a chandelier, how to make your room, electrical diyMost chandeliers come with an instructions manual highlighting how to install them and where they would do the most good. Once you have ENSURED that the power is off, go to work connecting the chandelier to the home’s electrical system through the new electrical box and/or the fan base.

    This is where you need an electrician around. But if you are fully intent on doing this on your own, here is a diagram that gives you an idea about all the parts that have to go into each other before everything is set to go: http://img2-2.timeinc.net/toh/i/steps/hanging-chandelier-Over.jpg

    Why install a chandelier at all

    Let’s assume that we are not thinking about the obvious beauty and glamour this entire process brings to the room. There are several other reasons why you should strongly consider installing a chandelier in any one of the rooms within your home:

    • It can help layer your lighting and make everything else shine brightly.
    • You can use it to complement your existing fixtures.
    • You can use it to bring a historical look to a room.
    • Use it to drive Mrs Dobson down the road mad with envy.

    Whether you want it installed in your bedroom, your living room or in your dining room (we would go for the dining room chandelier), installing a chandelier is an excellent idea to get things bright and shiny in any room. It is a wonderful icebreaker with your visitors and it is an absolutely gorgeous way to make a room pop.

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  • How To Maintain The Brick Exterior Of Your Home


    Even though brick is built to last, it still needs proper care and maintenance. Here are some practical tips on how to maintain the brick exterior of your home.

    If you like listening to property investing podcasts like the shows of Rick Otton, Bryce Holdaway, or Mike Stenhouse, you may have come across

    For centuries now, brick has been a favourite of many stately as well as simple homes. It is probably because of its energy efficiency or maybe it is because of the aesthetic appeal that comes with that rusty colour, whatever the reason, brick simply stands out and make for amazing building material. As maintenance free as brick typically is, it does occasionally call for some cleaning, water damage spot checks and a few repairs to ensure that it maintains its structural integrity.

    Cleaning your brick exterior

    Prudence dictates that you take the least aggressive approach when cleaning your brick exterior. It is advisable to take a garden hose to your brick walls once every year. For loose dirt, just use a hose with a spray nozzle and pressured water to clean it off. There are, however, some cases where there might be mould, moss or mildew involved.

    In such cases, you will need to add different types of cleaning agents to get the job done. Here you can mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and use a synthetic bristle brush to scrub off the offending growth. You should be careful about using bleach on the dry brick. Before applying this cleaning solution, ensure that the area is well soaked thus leaving no room for any more fluid intake for the bricks.

    Protecting your brick walls from the elements

    Although there are many steps that you can take on your own to maintain your brick exterior, there are some that simply call for professional assistance. This is one of those steps. To protect your brick exterior from the elements, especially if you live in an area where frost is a typical occurrence, you need to apply sealants and water repellents.

    Siloxane repellent is an excellent example of what you need. Not only is it an effective water repellent but it does so while allowing masonry some room to breathe. Trying to use unvetted sealants may result in further damage to your brick exterior. Most sealants do not allow your walls to breathe and end up trapping moisture and ruining the whole thing by changing the wall’s colour and darkening the shades. That is why it is essential to use a professional mason for this step.

    Repointing your brick exterior

    This is yet another step that calls for professional assistance. Brick mortar joints tend to wear off and chip away. If you do not do something about this, the overall structural integrity of the wall in question will be compromised. A professional will careful remove the affected mortar joints and replace it with fresh mortar. It is advisable for the depth of the freshly applied mortar to be twice the width of the affected mortar joint. These are things professionals would know to do.

    If you want your brick exterior to maintain its beautiful and majestic look, you need to carry out periodic repairs and maintenance on it. Involving a professional for most of these steps is integral to the durability and aesthetic value of the brick exterior in the long run.

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  • How To Make Home Lighting Look And Feel Expensive On A Budget

    If you’ve ever wanted to have fancy lighting in your home without breaking your budget, here are low-cost DIY tips to get the job done.

    When you add the term “expensive” onto anything you immediately get visions of grandeur, reserved for those living the good life. When it comes to home lighting, this rule is extra applicable: “expensive” lighting evokes images of crystal chandeliers, and custom wall sconces. However, if you’re on a budget like the best of us are, you don’t necessarily have to forsake the quality lighting you have in mind strictly for candles and low-sitting lamps. Making sure that your living space glows as luxuriously as you’ve imagined is simply a matter of learning a few tricks.

    When it comes to expensive looking lighting, there’s not one cure all trick to transforming a room. Think about things like design, certain finishes, the scale, and how you want to express your unique, personal style. Lighting is like the room’s jewellery, and works the way accessories dress up an outfit. For this reason, focus on finding pieces with a daring shape or interesting design detail. These make the lighting look original and not mass-produced. While you undoubtedly find a multitude of cheapies that have the telltale signs of a low-cost item- (like a finish that is meant to look antique but is clearly a quick spray paint job), take the time to hunt down fixtures that are low priced and quality, and the compliments will come flooding in.

    You might not have a budget for lighting or want to slowly build up your pieces. If this is the case, your first purchase should be an attention-grabber. You’ll get the most out of a dramatic piece. This can be a chandelier, a grouping of pendants, or an interesting floor lamp. Most people want to put a small fixture in a small room, but you will find the opposite actually makes the room much more dynamic. Installing an oversize chandelier or pendant much lower than expected might seem risky at first, top designers push that this is the way to go. Doing so creates an entirely impactful look that in turn, makes the room feel rich.

    DIY light fixture installation

    diy light installation, improve home lighting, cheap light fixturesFor safety purposes, hire a professional when dealing with the wiring – that is , if you are not a qualified electrician yourself. But if you are hiring the services of a professional, keep these tools handy just in case you’ll need them during the installation process:

    1. A voltage detector
    2. Wire strippers
    3. Screwdriver
    4. Light fixture
    5. Work light/ medium sized flashlight
    6. Wire nuts

    Steps for installation

    Step 1, shut off the power. Most professionals recommend shutting the power off at the breaker. Usually the breakers on the electrical panel are labeled. It can be a bit of a guessing game if they’re not.

    Step 2, connect the wires. A typical box for a light fixture will have white (neutral), copper (ground), and black (current) wires. From here, there are a few more steps but every fixture is different and will have to be treated accordingly.

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