What to Do If Your Chimney is Blocked

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Chimneys will get blocked as long as you use them, and the reasons are very common. Either some ash fragments are stuck to the inside of the chimney, or there is a physical blockage that you need to get rid of. 

Depending on what is blocking your chimney, you may need a variety of tools to clear the passageway of the flue. Anything flammable that is lodged in the chimney can be dangerous as it can cause the whole chimney to go up in smoke. If your chimney is blocked and you are unsure what to do, read on.

Determine the Blockage

Any number of things can cause a blocked chimney. Birds that choose to nest may drop debris down that gets stuck. Another animal may have looked for shelter in your chimney if it hasn’t been in use for a while. Regardless of the reason, you need to determine the blockage first so that you know what first step to take.

If you find an animal in your chimney, contact the local shelter or rescue team to help you. You don’t want to risk getting bitten by an animal that has been nesting in your chimney. You can avoid blockages like these if you install a chimney cap. Smoke will still be able to leave the chimney, but nothing will be able to climb down it.

Ready Your Supplies

Cleaning a blocked chimney is easy but time-consuming. You will need a few vital tools, such as safety goggles, wire or plastic brushes, extension pipes, a ladder, broom, and dustpan. There could be hazardous debris in the chimney, and if you work on it from the bottom, you will need to keep your face protected. Many of these parts can be obtained by looking into tool rental. Because you might only need to unblock a chimney once every few years, it can be expensive tools if you don’t utilize them often enough.

You not only need safety goggles, but a mask that will catch any dust from getting into your eyes, nose, or mouth. You will need a ladder to get to the roof and clear out any blockages from the top. It may require physical force with an extension pipe if the object is really stuck in there. You will need a tall ladder so consider ladder hire from a professional instead of buying your own.

Remove and Clean

Even if your chimney isn’t blocked, there will be signs that it needs cleaning. For instance, if smoke is escaping from the bottom, it’s a very clear indication that something is blocking the flue. This can be from moisture that has attached to remnants of wood ash. It can build up along the sides, narrowing the passage where the air escapes.

If at all possible, clean from the top down. You can avoid getting hit in the face by a large object, and you can extend pipes down much easier. From the top, you will also have a clearer view of the extent of the blockage.

With winter around the corner, be sure to check your chimney for any blockages so that you can have a warm festive season around the fire. 

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5 HVAC Maintenance Mistakes You Are Probably Making

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Home appliances, including the HVAC system, help to provide maximum comfort for you and your family. However, without proper maintenance, your HVAC unit could lead to increased energy bills, not to mention failing to function correctly. Read on for five HVAC maintenance mistakes you are probably making that compromise the efficiency of your unit.

Failing to clean or replace your filter

Thanks to the continuous liquid-to-gas-to-liquid reaction as your unit operates, debris, dust, and dirt particles end up being sucked into the air conditioner. This compromises indoor air quality and increases energy consumption and bills. HVAC systems are fitted with filters such as the 20x30x1 air filter, designed to keep unwanted particles from getting into the unit. 

However, continued use of the air filters leads to accumulation of the dirt particles resulting in clogs.  For this reason, you should consider cleaning or replacing your air filters every three months to allow your HVAC system to perform its function appropriately.

Failing to upgrade to a programmable thermostat

While upgrading to a smart or programmable thermostat may be expensive, you could end up saving a lot on your annual utilities. A programmable thermostat can help you save up to 10% of your yearly heating and cooling costs. With a smart thermostat, you also do not have to worry about constantly adjusting the temperatures when leaving the house or asleep. You could simply program it to the desired temperatures when in and out of the home.

Opening your windows and doors when the HVAC system is running

Often, on a hot sunny day, you may find yourself leaving the doors and windows open to let in as much fresh air in the home as possible. This could lead to increased energy bills, especially when the HVAC system is running because the cool air circulating from your HVAC unit escapes from the open windows and doors, making your AC work twice harder to cool the room. Ensure that you shut windows and doors every time your HVAC system is running to cut down the energy bills.

Surrounding the HVAC system with other appliances

Where is your HVAC unit positioned? Placing your HVAC system near other appliances can lead to a tremendous increase in your energy bills. Most AC units have sensors to determine a sudden change in temperatures, prompting the system to maintain ideal temperatures. When you surround your unit with other appliances, especially those that give off heat, including televisions and refrigerators, the unit may be tricked into working twice as hard to cool the room. As such, you should position your HVAC system away from appliances that give off heat.

Failing to hire HVAC maintenance professionals

Hiring an HVAC maintenance professional is not a waste of money. Contractors can conduct regular inspections; therefore, identify a problem on your HVAC system on time and fix it. While you may handle a decent amount of AC system maintenance, your unit may suffer from severe problems that only an experienced eye could identify. Professionals have relevant knowledge and experience, so they can help improve your system’s efficiency and lifespan.

Endnote

Poor maintenance can compromise your HVAC system’s efficiency. As such, you should familiarize yourself with these maintenance mistakes and avoid them to ensure your unit is functioning correctly and reduce energy expenses

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How To Effectively Clean Hardwood Floors 

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Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home. It is hard to beat the look and feel of natural wood in your home. This type of flooring tends to feel warmer than artificial wood or tiles and will generally last much longer.

However, you do need to take care of your hardwood flooring and that starts with effectively cleaning it regularly. 

It should be noted that it doesn’t matter what style of hardwood flooring you have, whether it's the latest herringbone flooring or simple planks, the cleaning routine is the same.

Vacuum Regularly

The first thing you should be doing is vacuuming your hardwood flooring regularly. Ideally, you should do this every day but in lower-traffic areas, 2-3 times a week will suffice.

You will need a hardwood flooring attachment for your vacuum. This is effectively a soft nozzle that won’t leave light scratches on the wood as you clean. Make sure the nozzle is clean and not worn before you use it. 

Using the power of a vacuum you’ll be able to get into all the crevices between the wooden pieces.

Sweep Often

Alongside vacuuming, you can sweep the hardwood floor. This can be done to deal with specific spills or instead of vacuuming some days. You will need to use a soft-headed brush as you don’t want to scratch the floor.

An angles broom will also help you to sweep the floor faster, reducing the amount of time spent looking after your hardwood floor.

The Cleaner

Your next step is to invest in a quality hardwood cleaner. You can get this in spray form, allowing you to lightly spray the floor and then wipe it clean. It’s best to use a clean cloth that attracts the dirt and dust when doing this. 

Spray cleaner is an effective approach to dealing with spills and other localized issues.

If you wish to clean the entire hardwood floor you’re better off adding a little of the cleaner to a bucket of warm water and using a mop. It should be noted that hardwood flooring doesn’t like getting wet. 

In other words, wring the mop out so that it is only damp when it comes into contact with the floor. Work your way methodically across the room to ensure every part of the floor has been lightly mopped.

Sealing the Floor

The best approach is to purchase a hardwood floor polish. This can then be applied to the floor in accordance with the instructions on the container. 

For most, this means rubbing a little into the floor with one cloth and polishing it with another. You will need to work your way across the entire room but the good news is that this only needs doing a couple of times a year.

The polish adds shine to the floor, it fills light scratches and helps to protect the floor against dirt and spills. With a little love and care your hardwood flooring will last for years!

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How To Give Your Home Personality

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Many homeowners are constantly searching for ways to make their homes truly theirs. While some folks decide to add more artwork or antiques to their home’s interior, others opt for a general remodel, changing the floors and purchasing new furniture. Even though it might seem that only one approach can be valid in this situation, it could not be further from the truth.

Every house is different and needs a unique approach to showcase all of its beauty. To give your home more personality, you can make minor adjustments like moving furniture and revamping the upholstery or take a bolder approach and do something significant, such as changing the colour of your rooms or mixing up a few patterns you like.

Depending on what you are comfortable with, it’s easy to make your home stand out. It’s up to you to decide what style you want to give your home. And if you are not sure how to do it, below you will find a few tips on how to give your home personality.

Choose the Right Paint Colours

The first step is to choose the right colour for your home. While you might think that all colours are good, this is not necessarily true. What makes the difference is the colour’s undertone. The undertone is the ratio between primary and secondary colour in paint, making it appear closer to one of them.

What some homeowners do not realise is that each colour has a different undertone. For example, the colour that looks perfect in your bathroom might not be ideal for your living room. To maximise the effect of a room and give it more personality, you need to choose the right colour combination.

Install New Flooring

Changing the flooring of your home is a great way to add more personality to it. Whether you go for hardwood, carpet or loose lay vinyl flooring, the effect will be the same: your home will look and feel much warmer and cozier.

If you want to give your home more personality, you should opt for a neutral colour: this way, it will be easier for you to add more colour and patterns to the room if you decide to do so at a later date.

Rearrange Your Furniture

One of the easiest ways to give your home more personality is by simply moving around your furniture. The usual furniture arrangement we see in homes usually involves having a living room and a dining area separated from each other. However, this is not the only option available to you.

You can give your home more personality by arranging your dining table in the middle of your living room and by adding a few art pieces alongside your furniture; this way, you will be able to make the space feel bigger and more sophisticated. Even if you have a small space, there are many ways for you to arrange your furniture and give your home a new look.

Add Artwork or Pictures

Artwork and pictures are a great way to give any room more personality. You can hang them on the walls or place them on the side table or against the back of your sofa. The effect is instant! In addition to giving your home more personality, artwork and pictures will help brighten up the room.

For example, if you want a picture of a person, you should choose one that makes sense for the room and will not look out of place or weird. If you go for a black and white patterned picture for a baby’s room, it will stand out better than a picture with bright colours would. Another crucial factor when choosing artwork is its size. If you want the artwork to stand out, make sure it is big enough to do so without looking too large or too small for its location.

Use Colourful Accents

If you want to give your home more personality, you can start by using colourful accent pieces. If you are not sure how to choose the right colours, you should start by determining the dominant colour in the room. If the room has a lot of yellow in it, you could add a red throw pillow to bring the accents together.

You can do it quickly with small details like throw pillows or blankets. Once you have decided on a colour scheme and a pattern, you can add more details to the room. Utilise both patterns and colours individually or mix them together. The idea is to find something you like and not be afraid of trying something new.

Add a Unique Piece of Furniture

If you want to give your home more personality, there is nothing like adding a unique piece of furniture. Whether it’s an armchair or a coffee table, the idea is to find one that complements the room and is different from what everyone else has. You can make it a central piece of the room or simply something you see every time you enter the room.

It might not be easy to find a unique piece of furniture, but it is worth the effort. When you find something that fits the room and the rest of your home’s interior, it will instantly give your space a whole new look and feel. It can even serve as a conversation starter with your guests!

Conclusion

If you want your home to stand out and feel unique, adding personality is one of the best ways to do so. Whether you own a small apartment or a large house, there are many ways for you to make your space truly yours. You can choose to make small changes or go for something bolder, but in the end, the effect will be the same.

To give your home more personality, you need to use all of your creativity and imagination, as well as your budget. Take your time to find the perfect furniture and details to complement the room and create a unique space that will reflect your taste and style.

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6 Home Improvements That Can Lower Your Monthly Expenses

Do you need to save money? Are you looking for ways to reduce your monthly expenses without giving up the things that are important to you? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’re going to share 6 home improvements that can lower your monthly bills.

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Replace Your Windows

Many of us get used to living with faulty windows that let in cold drafts and noise. If you're tired of the discomfort, it's time for a change. There are many different types on the market these days such as double-pane is one option if you experience colder winters or live in an area where there can be high winds or lots of precipitation during certain seasons. If you look into the benefits of having Double Glazing windows you will save on your heating bills because the windows are thicker and made of either glass or plastic. It's not only drafty windows that cause high monthly energy costs - many people don't realize just how much their lighting is costing them! Storm windows may be another choice since they help keep your home cozy while creating more insulation too. Just make sure your new windows fit well and seal tight against weather elements so you don’t have to spend extra money heating drafty areas around them!

Insulate Your Home

Insulating your house is one of the most cost-effective and simple ways to save on monthly energy bills. It can also increase home comfort by creating a buffer between hot or cool outside air, preventing it from entering living spaces. There are many different types of insulation available today that range in size, shape, and material type - each designed for a specific area of the structure! For example, most attics use batts (batting covered with fabric) while walls often benefit from rolls made out of foam board. One easy DIY project you could try involves wrapping fiberglass insulation around water pipes running through unheated areas such as garages or crawl spaces since these sections tend to be cooler than inside rooms throughout much of the year.

Install Solar Panels

This is a great way to reduce your monthly expenses. Not only do solar panels provide free electricity, but they also increase the value of your home! When you install solar panels on your roof, it is like adding another room to your house without having to build anything. This means that when you sell or rent out this space will be valuable and help boost revenue. Furthermore, these improvements can last for over 20 years so homeowners won't have to worry about making costly repairs down the road because solar panels require very little maintenance compared to other options such as air conditioning units or appliances. If you are looking for a way to reduce your monthly expenses, then installing solar panels is the best overall option.

Install a Heat Pump

A heat pump is an air conditioning system that can also be used to warm your home. It provides year-round cooling, heating, and dehumidification for many parts of the country with relatively low operational costs. They are good investments for regions where summer temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius because they provide both cooling and heating capacity in one unit. Heat pumps work by transferring heat energy from a cold space (the outside) into a warmer area (inside).

Also, installing programmable thermostats is a great idea since it allows you to create optimal temperature schedules so your heating and cooling systems operate more efficiently. For example, setting the air conditioning unit at 78 degrees Fahrenheit when everyone is away from work or school will save energy without sacrificing comfort! At night, set it back five or ten degrees to reduce costs even further while keeping the house safe during cold winter months. Most programmable thermostat models can be programmed right from your smartphone which means no matter where you are in the world - as long as there's an internet connection available - you're always plugged into home efficiency!

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Lighting accounts for about 11% of your electric bill, which is why it's crucial to install energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the house. Compact fluorescent (CFL) lights are some of the most popular low-energy options on the market today. They consume 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to nine times longer! If you're not ready for CFLs, use LED lights instead. Although still more expensive than other lighting alternatives, LEDs offer many benefits including instant illumination with no warmup time needed and providing extremely long service life - lasting five years or more in average use. Lastly, try using natural daylight when possible by opening blinds during daytime hours so sunlight can naturally illuminate your home. This will help you avoid using lights when not necessary, and it's safe for the environment too!

Install a Whole Home Surge Protector

A whole-home surge protector is an electrical device that protects all of the appliances inside your house. It works by intercepting surges in electricity, which are common during stormy weather or when heavy power equipment starts up nearby on the street. These types of events can damage sensitive electronics like computers and TVs, so having one installed throughout your entire home will help shield them from these risks. To protect against severe damages to expensive electronic devices, you might also want to consider installing a backup battery for extra protection. They’re like cheap insurance for your gadgets as long as they are reasonably priced (typically less than $100), but if you had to replace a destroyed refrigerator because it ate up an unexpected spike, the cost would be far higher.

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Home improvements are a great way to update your home, but not everyone can take on these projects. If you can't afford the time or money for an extensive remodel, there are still plenty of things that will help lower your monthly expenses that don't require too much work. We hope that these six simple things will help you lower your monthly costs!

partnered post • photographs by Erik Mclean and Charles Deluvio


How To Construct a Custom House

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You have outgrown your current home and are ready to move. While there are many options for you on the market, the one that gives you all the amenities you are looking for is building it yourself. Controlling the process lets you choose everything that you want while monitoring the budget that you have established. Here are a few steps to follow when building your house.

Find a Piece of Land

To establish what you will need to spend to begin construction, contact different experts in the real estate industry. Reach out to several home builders in your area to set up an appointment with them. Once you detail what you are looking for in your house, ask them to provide you with an estimate for their work. This should include all of the carpeting, lighting, and fixtures. Meet with a real estate agent to look at pieces of property that you can build on. When you have the numbers necessary to apply for financing, talk with your bank and submit the paperwork to get your loan.

Get Ready for Construction

Once you have purchased the land that you want to build on, organize a few work days to clear it of brush, trash, and other items that could slow up breaking ground. Your contractor will schedule a land surveyor to check the lot to ensure that the structure will fit the way you want it to. Machinery will be brought in to dig out the basement or foundation and to adjust the land so that water will flow freely from the house to the street. Items that are needed for the duration of the project, such as a dumpster and portable toilets, are brought in just before work starts.

Set the Footings

Before the walls can be erected, you need to lay concrete to support them. Determine whether you want a basement in your home or if you just wish for a foundation. Workers will dig trenches where the cement will go and support them with boards. Once things are in place, the mixture will be poured into the footings. Drains will be established to move standing water away from the project. As the walls dry, they will be free from the wood. A waterproof sealant is applied to protect it from moisture that will damage it.

Build the House

The contractor will organize when the electrician and plumber will be by to visit you. They will install the initial wiring and pipes that are needed to continue the build. At this point, the sewer will be connected to the structure through your yard. The power will also be linked up to the utility box. The lumber and other hardware will be delivered when the footings are dry. Carpenters are called in to nail together the framing. After this, the siding is placed on the outside. Inside, insulation is set between the studs before drywall is hung over it. At this point, windows and doors are also put into their place. 

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4 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Commercial Plumber

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When it comes to the forefront, business owners want their working spaces or offices perfect for their staff so that they can work with full productivity. So, part of taking care of your office certainly also includes even the smallest maintenance like plumbing. 

For this, you either hire a handyman, or you can also take commercial plumbing services to get the best and most professional results. A commercial plumber would be responsible for every task like leakage, sewer, and water drainage issues, maintaining your heating system, etc. 

So, here are some of the most common yet compelling reasons why you need to hire a commercial plumber for the maintenance of your office as soon as possible:

Water Heating Services 

If you want the water heater or boiler in your office to be replaced or get serviced for a better outcome, then you should certainly hire professional commercial plumbing services in order to get the job done before things get done. 

Since most water heaters use natural gas to warm up the temperature of the water, there is always a risk of fire explosion if it is not maintained properly. Another one of the common safety risks in this is the leakage of carbon monoxide, which might poison your entire ventilation system. 

So, getting a handyman to get this job done can turn out to be riskier than you must have imagined. While your personal handyperson might really have good intentions that sound solid, he might not have full knowledge about the products, unlike a commercial plumber.

Increase Water Efficiency

With the increase in the staff in an office, there will also be an increased use for water, which would require professional plumbing services to properly maintain it from time to time. However, most of the time-efficient services are often ignored, which becomes one of the reasons for issues later. 

This means that a great working space always needs to have a commercial plumber by their side in order to make sure things run smoothly and all the water problems are instantly solved without much delay. This would also enhance the water efficiency in a better manner. 

It would also help you to resolve any kind of sewer smell issue as well as leakage or blockage in the drainpipe to make sure your office is always uptight.

Fix Drain And Sewer Lines

This is one of the most common issues that occur quite often, not only in homes but also in the office. This is because there is more than one person to use the bathroom all day long, so the pipes sometimes can get blocked and not drained properly. 

Since no one likes to sit in an office that smells bad or has any kind of water leakage, which can make things unsanitary, it is really necessary to hire someone who can take care of the problem in time without things getting much worse. 

Getting services from a commercial plumber will certainly help you in this matter, as he would know the right techniques and products to clear out the problem.

Deal With Emergencies

Even with all the maintenance, you can never be sure when you might face an emergency plumbing issue. So, in order to deal with a situation like instant pipe leakage or drain blockage or bursting of an internal pipeline, you can hire a commercial plumber for your help. 

He will not only be able to tackle the situation in time but will also come with a long-term solution before worse scenarios happen, like a short circuit or fire outbreak.

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Ways to Build Equity in Your Home

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By simple definition, home equity is the current market value of the property subtracted by any liens that you have on your home or property. Some call it the real property value. For example, if your home is worth $300,000 and the mortgage balance is $85,000, your home equity is simply subtracting the mortgage balance from the home’s worth. That is $300,000 subtracting $85,000 and your home equity is $215,000. It is an advantage to have higher equity since you are in a position to borrow more money.

Why Should You Build Your Home Equity?

There are several reasons for building your home equity; it is a reliable method you can use to grow wealth. Increasing your home equity also acts as a security for you to maintain your home when there. Higher home equity also protects you while borrowing loans for any other purpose you intend because lenders will check on your home equity to guarantee access to a loan. 

You might need some earnings from your stock investments to make improvements to your home. Some sites provide investors with basic investment information to help them make better financial decisions. If you own IPOE stock, you can go to marketbeat.com and see how the stock is doing today. This helps in knowing what to do with your investments and if the investments can help with home equity. 

Having high home equity is also an opportunity for you to make a profit; this will result from you selling your home at a higher cost than what you owe the lender. Since home equity acts as financial security for you, there are several ways to build your home equity. You can invest in home improvement and remodeling activities. Undertaking activities to upgrade your home, such as kitchen remodeling, will help your property value increase. You can achieve this by employing a remodel plan in mind or contacting a professional. These contributions to the home are worth more than what you owe and are an investment.

Investing in Technology

Technology impacts people’s lives, especially in modern society. It plays a significant role in aiding us to perform our daily duties. It also helps in maintaining security through technology surveillance. It offers flexibility through gadgets connected to the internet that brings about convenience. Several ways investing in technology can help raise your home equity include:

  • For security, investing in digital surveillance and control systems reduces instances of intrusion and robbery. Modern technology provides you with security cameras that ensure your home is under surveillance all through. It helps to ward off potential intruders by alarm systems. Other advanced security procedures such as automatic locks and voice and face recognition guarantee security by you as you have extensive control over your home

  • Investing in an intelligent lighting system is also another way to raise your home equity. These intelligent lighting systems are environment-friendly and do not lead to higher power bills. They may be solar-powered, saving on energy bills, while they grant you, the homeowner, control over your household’s lighting. They are automatically controlled with triggers such as motion sensors and heat signatures. It is therefore easy to control your house lighting remotely, bringing about convenience.

  • An automated ventilation system to regulate the air indoors is a smart idea. Technology in the ventilation system can help to activate and deactivate ventilation fans. Various functions such as temperature and humidity can be achieved by automation. Automating of this sector plays a significant role in the much sought-after comfort in a home.

Since your home is your financial security, it is best if you protect its value. You can achieve this by contacting the family insurance agent. With the insurance agent, you will learn the steps you need to take and ensure that the home is secured financially.

Using shorter mortgage payment terms such as bi-weekly and refinancing will hand you the benefit of lower rates on the interests and allow for more of your mortgage to be allocated to your monthly principal. Therefore, the money paid to your mortgage’s principal is converted to your equity. Thus, having more of this raises your home equity. Alternatively, having other sources of income will help you pay off your mortgage quickly, providing you with more home equity.

Making a significant down payment is also another method that homeowners apply to help build their home equity. The bigger the down payment you put, as explained by the New York Times, the home equity of your home directly rises. For example, if a home costs around $200,000 and you put $50,000 as your down payment, you will owe $150,000, and your equity will be $50,000. But on the other hand, if you put a down payment of $100 000 for the same house worth $100,000, you will owe another $100 000. The home equity of $100,000 is far much better compared to $50,000.

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6 Must-Have Investment Pieces for Your Home

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You might feel reluctant to spend large sums of money on furniture and decorative items, and you are not the only one to feel that way. In fact, thousands of people opt for budget furniture, hoping that it will last for a few years.

However, it is not always a great idea, as budget furniture is often not durable and can make your house look tedious or simply impractical. In specific cases, it might be wiser to splurge on a few pieces of furniture and treat it as an investment! Things worth spending large sums of money on include the sofa, works of art, the dining table, your bed, wardrobes, and lighting fixtures. In the article below, you will find more information about six must-have pieces it’s worth investing in.

Wardrobe and Storage Cabinets

A solid wardrobe for your bedroom and storage cabinets around the house are vital for practicality and can also become crucial parts of the whole interior design. They will allow you to organize your home and keep things tidy. The most important thing with wardrobe and storage cabinets is that they are solid and made of quality wood or metal. If you don’t want to spend too much money, you can opt for reclaimed wood.

A spacious bedroom wardrobe, some modern hallway furniture, or neat cabinets in different rooms will help you reduce or even eliminate the clutter, improving the look of your house as well as your overall well-being. Not to mention that you can invest in fancier or ornamental pieces and build the whole decor around them.

Sofa

The sofa is the most important piece of furniture in your living room. It is what your visitors will notice first upon entering your living room and probably where they will sit during the visit. As such, you should buy one that everyone is going to be satisfied with.

A few things to think about when choosing a sofa include the material it is made of, its size, and its shape. The material needs to be durable and easy to clean. If you have a small living room, look for a sofa that will not overwhelm the space. In addition, the shape of it should be comfortable and fit well into the room. Look for a piece with a backrest that will support your head and neck, as well as armrests for your arms, especially if you like long movie nights or board games.

Pieces of Art

If you are planning to spend large sums of money on furniture, you might want to invest in art pieces. It is essential to choose something that suits the style of your house. For instance, if you are into modern interior design, you can go for colourful abstract paintings. On the other hand, if you like the Scandinavian style, landscape paintings might be the right choice.

Art can be either decorative or functional. If you choose decorative art, it should be the piece you enjoy looking at or that somehow motivates you. Functional art includes things like flowerpots, candleholders, storage boxes, and so on.

Dining Table

The dining table is an essential furniture piece in your house, particularly if you host family dinners or invite friends on a regular basis. If it looks stylish and matches the room’s design, it is guaranteed to impress your guests! 

When choosing a table, think about the size of your space and how many people you will seat there. If you have a small home, it is better to find one that provides more seating arrangements. In addition, you want it to look nice and fit into the whole interior design.

If you have a large family, you may want to consider buying a double-pedestal table to accommodate more people. Pay attention to the shape of the table, too. Square tables are ideal for smaller spaces; however, if you like to host parties with large groups of people, round tables might be the better choice.

Bed

A comfortable bed is an integral part of any bedroom. It is where you spend about one-third of your life. As such, it should be both practical and stylish. There are plenty of ways to make your bed stand out, yet one of the most popular ideas involves the headboard. You can buy beautiful headboards in various designs or even build them yourself! Many people decide to decorate their bedrooms around their bed frames.

Other things you can pay attention to when looking for a bed include the mattress, pillows, sheets, and the frame’s material. Depending on your preferences, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you want something that will last for years, then metal beds could be your best choice. Not only do they look modern and stylish, but they are also sturdy and long-lasting. Some metal beds even come with wooden details for an extra accent!

Lighting Fixtures

Lighting is one of the most critical parts of your house, as it can create a sense of warmth, mood, or even drama. The right lighting fixtures will allow you to make the atmosphere you want in certain rooms of your house, such as a cosy and romantic atmosphere in your bedroom at night.

The type and shape of the light fixtures and the bulbs themselves will be the main factors that determine the overall look and feel of each room. You can invest in classic table lamps for your living room, bedside tables with lamps, wall lights, pendant lights, and so on. And don't forget about task lighting, especially for spaces such as the kitchen, workshop, or home office.

In Conclusion

To sum up, investing in furniture can be a great idea, but it is not always wise to splurge on everything. If you are looking for a few must-have investment pieces for your home, make sure that you focus on the sofa, pieces of art, the dining table, the bed, wardrobes, and lighting fixtures! 

If you have money to spare, hiring a carpenter is something that you should definitely think about. It will allow you to create unique furniture pieces that will add to the decor of your house and make it look more stylish – and more you.

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DIY Decor Ideas For Updating Your Home In 2022

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Painting and wallpapering your bedroom walls can do more than just change the color of your room. It can also provide a great starting point for new decoration ideas that will refresh any tired-looking bedroom into a fresh and inviting one. Decorating with color is always a good idea, but it's important to consider how this will affect the room before embarking on painting projects you may not have the time or money to complete.

You needn't be afraid of color when decorating your home, but if you are thinking about painting more than one wall in the bedroom, then remember that lighter colors reflect light better, so they tend to make rooms feel bigger while darker ones disguise smaller areas making them seem more expansive. Neutral colors are always an option if you’re worried.

  1. Wallpaper your kitchen and bathroom

We’ve come up with some amazing designs that will work perfectly in your bath area, and we’re more than happy to give you a quick walk-through on how to install it!

Changing out your wallpaper for something new is too easy! Wallpaper in the bathroom may sound like a bad idea at first: water and moisture can ruin so many things in this room, especially textiles. But if done correctly, there’s no reason not to try it yourself. Wallpapers are designed to handle humidity and moisture nicely, so they’ll be just fine if you do decide to use them throughout the whole house. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, a wallpaper, your kitchen, and bathroom guide are in order, so let’s get to it!

Many shops offer peel and stick wallpapers for the bathroom that are made from the highest quality materials on the market. This type of wallpaper is very low maintenance as compared to traditional wallpapers, as water won’t damage them as fast as others would. In addition, kitchens’ wallpapers range of patterns and designs are unique and with a wide selection to choose from you’ll absolutely find something that fits your needs/tastes without going overboard or not using Wallpapers because there’s nothing with a style you can stand.

  1. Add wallpaper to an accent wall in your bedroom or hallway

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Stripe wallpapers can be used as an accent wall or as a focal point in your bedroom or hallway. Add wallpaper to the back of your bed and use a nightstand and lamp on another side. Add some artwork above the headboard for the perfect finishing touch. Add wallpaper to an entire accent wall in any room of your home, such as between two doorways or over bookcases.

Add wallpaper to your kitchen backsplash with matching countertop patterns or unique cut-outs like honeycomb shapes and butterflies with flower centers. Use stenciling with paint for more themes; house numbers with polka dots; stripes; sunflowers; hearts; and diamonds and chevrons work well together, alternating between one color and multicolored.

Wallpaper can add a dramatic and aesthetic touch to the walls of your home, particularly on an accent wall. The key to making it work well is picking the right wallpaper design. Add wallpaper to an accent wall very carefully; otherwise, you might end up with something that doesn't fit your decor. Here are some things to consider when you are choosing the wallpaper for your accent wall.

Wallpaper design and color: Add wallpaper to an accent wall with a pattern or paint your accent wall with bright or dark colors. Accent walls usually work best when they're bold, so colorful and similarly bold patterns would be perfect choices.

  1. Use wallpaper in the living room as a focal point

One of the best ways to bring a room together is by using wallpaper as a focal point. It can be applied anywhere from the living room to the bathroom and can make a huge impact.

The living room is traditionally the front room in a house. It's where the family spends time together, and guests are entertained.

Wallpaper in the living room can give it that special feel, although you need to go about using wallpaper carefully if you want your room to look good; learn how by following these tips.

Before Use

Preparation is everything when it comes to using wallpaper, so the first thing you need to do before pasting up is to make sure the walls are in good condition. Use sandpaper to sand away any bumps or ridges; sanding is especially important for glossy surfaces that will cause bubbles in the wallpaper.

Preparing The Walls

If there are irregularities on your wall like nails or pencil marks, fill them with filler and sand again before priming with an emulsion specially made for use with wallpaper paste. Use a roller to apply this primer; once dry (a few hours), sand again lightly before applying wallpaper adhesive.

Use A Paste Adhesive

You can’t just stick up any old wallpaper; you must use one of several special pastes.

Here are some ideas for using wallpaper as a focal point:

  1. Use it on one wall alone, or surround your whole room with it.
  2. Use it as a stronger accent wall to break up the monotony of the others.
  3. Use it in its original form by keeping one wall bare and applying wallpaper to all other walls.
  4. Use an identical pattern on every wall.
  5. Use different patterns, colors, or styles on each wall for a more eclectic feel.

For example, an entryway is typically very busy with paintings, furniture, and accessories. Using wallpaper can help take attention away from these areas while putting the focus on the area you want. Just make sure it's big enough.

If you feel like your home needs some reworking or redecorating, try out wallpaper.

This article is about using wallpaper as a focal point in the home. Use it on one wall or surround your whole room with it. Use different patterns, colors, or styles on each wall for a more eclectic feel too! Use it in an entryway to take attention away from crowded areas and put focus on the area you want to show off. Use wallpaper if you need some redecorating done.

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5 Useful Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Winter is around the corner and so is the holiday excitement it brings. The season brings so much joy and peace with it. From sipping hot chocolate to preparing for Christmas celebrations are all fun if you’ve prepared for winters, otherwise, it can cause a great deal of trouble. Before the season arrives, it is necessary to see if your home is winter-ready or not. You need to make sure you have boiler insurance, you have cleaned your dryer vents, have snow clearing equipment, and much more to ensure you’ll have a safe and trouble-free winter. Now is the time to prepare your home for winters and go through the below-mentioned useful tips to have a safe and sound winter. 

1. Register For A Boiler Cover

Register for a boiler cover if you haven’t already. Winters demand boilers for continuous central heating and water heating in homes. Investing in a boiler cover makes it convenient to get through the winters without any inconvenience. In addition, a boiler cover ensures your boiler gets regularly serviced to rule out any issue. It not only increases the lifespan of the boiler but also makes it efficient and cuts down on extra bills. If your boiler gets serviced now and then, it would work to its maximum capacity and ensure the safety of the family as well. Click here to find out more about boiler covers.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vents

Cleaning your dryer vents is important to prevent pests from trying to nest in the dryer vent in winters and also to protect against fires. Check and clean your dryer vents before winters to ensure safety and abstain from inconvenience later. Make sure the line is clear and the cover is in its place. You can use a brush or electric leaf blower to clean the dryer vent.

3. Clean Your Gutters 

Clean your gutters before the arrival of the winters. There is a good chance that your gutter is loaded with leaves and debris.  You can't leave it like that and make it clear to make room for snow to melt and drain there. Your gutters should be clean for snowmelt and rain during the winters to avoid overflowing. Therefore, clean the gutters before the winters come to avoid any inconvenience.

4. Invest In Winter Essentials

Before the winters come you should stock up on winter essentials. You should have the essential equipment to clear snow. Get a snow blower if you don't have it. In addition, you can use a lead blower to move snow if you don't get a snowblower. You can't wait for the season to come and then go get winter essentials. You need to be prepared before time to avoid any trouble. In addition, get the winter stuff to an accessible place where you can easily find it at the time of need. In this way, having the winter essentials will keep everybody in the surroundings safe and sound.

5. Seal Doors And Windows Properly

If you don’t want your heating system to be overloaded in winter, it’s essential to seal your doors and windows properly. This will prevent the infiltration of cold air in your home. Inspect your windows and doors thoroughly, and insulate them properly to avoid any air leaks. This will also help you to cut down on bills of the heating system as it won't be overburdened. You can use tape plastic to seal windows and prevent air leaks. Make sure that before winter comes, your home is winter-ready to avoid any inconvenience.

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How to Service Your Lawn Sprinkler System in the Fall

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Using an automatic sprinkler system is a popular way to water a lawn. For the most part, all one has to do is set the timer, and the system will take care of the rest.

However, some maintenance is required to reduce water waste, prolong the life of the equipment, and keep your lawn healthy. One of the most important times to do this is the fall, right as the watering season winds down.

Hire a Professional Service

You’ll want to winterize your irrigation system to prevent damaging winter freezes and all the costly repairs that can come with the cold. Compressed air forces the remaining water out of the system once the water source is shut off. With all of the water blown out, there isn’t any left in your irrigation system to freeze and cause pipes to burst.

Blowing out a sprinkler system can be difficult. You might want to consider hiring a professional lawn sprinkler service to take care of this step. They can also look into all the maintenance-related tasks mentioned here and carry out necessary repairs, troubleshoot issues, and make programming adjustments. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself person, the family handyman has a handy guide.

Detect Leaks

Be on the lookout for signs of leaks in your sprinkler system. You’ll want to check connections and keep an eye out for areas with puddling water, especially if another area is completely dry. 

Common areas where sprinkler systems see leaks:

  • Water lines
  • Valves
  • Fittings
  • Spray heads
  • Rotors

In some situations, tightening a connection might be all that’s required to fix a leak. However, if it’s a more sizeable leak, you might need to replace hoses, lines and gaskets to fix it.

Check Backflow

Sprinkler systems contain a backflow preventer to protect your drinking water. Inspect the backflow preventer during the fall to ensure that it can maintain water flow. Remember to inspect the preventer annually to avoid costly repairs.

Rain Sensor

A rain sensor can be a great upgrade to your sprinkler system if you don’t already have one with rainy fall weather. Installing one can help you save money and water in your home. The sensor will shut off once an adequate amount of rain has accumulated, reducing unnecessary water waste, perfect for the fall season, when it rains more often.

Clear Debris

Make sure to inspect your property and clean up any debris from gutters and spouts before winter. Clogged debris can cause overflow and divert water from where it’s needed most. Keep your gutters clear to enable better irrigation for your lawn.

Inspecting your sprinkler at regular intervals is essential to ensure minor problems don’t become big disasters. Plus, an efficient and well-maintained lawn sprinkler will help your lawn thrive. Whether you tackle minor repairs on your own or leave everything to the professionals, it’s usually best to get some help to ensure that your lawn irrigation system runs smoothly year-round.

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How to Choose a Good Roofing Company

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When it comes to roof installations or repairs, it’s best to hit the nail on the head from the get-go. If you’re not an expert in roofing, it’s best to let a roofing company take over. But how can you find a good roofing contractor? 

In this article, we’ll talk about the ways you can find a good roofing company. Check them out! 

Check for Licenses and Insurance 

Find a contractor with the right licenses. Roofing is a serious job that entails danger, which is why homeowners are always advised not to take it on themselves. On top of that, you can’t hand over the project to just any roofing contractor you find — licenses ensure you’re talking to the right person with the right skills for the job, so always check licenses. You can also check if their name is on any government registry for contractors

Moreover, a high-quality roofing contractor should have proper insurance for their workers. Given the danger, insurance is a must; it covers the workers in case somebody gets hurt during the roofing process and installation. Never work with a contractor that doesn’t have the right kind of insurance. 

Verify Their Work History and Track Record 

Many ways exist to check the track record of a roofing contractor. You can ask them for references, read reviews online, or check the actual piece of work they’ve done if you can. 

When verifying their work history, take note of the following:

  • Years in business: pick a contractor with a years-long track record, especially if the roofing job involves more complicated tasks such as repairs. 
  • Reputation: these days, a simple Google search can give you access to an oasis of information about a vendor. For instance, if you search “roofing company Burlington,” you’ll see results of the best ones in Burlington. Click on any of them, and check their portfolio. Find customers, and read their reviews about the vendor. Check for reviews sites that provide testimonials from customers with firsthand experience with the contractor. 
  • Check for complaints: while you can do this when searching for reviews, you can also head straight to Better Business Bureau and search the company’s name in their director. On this website, you can find the contractor’s ratings — go for someone with an A+ rating! — and the complaints lodged against them as well as reviews. The complaints are especially important; they are invaluable for gauging how the vendor truly performs beyond their promises. 

Put Everything in Writing 

Document every aspect of the project. A written contract protects both parties in any deal, and if the contractor doesn’t agree, then move on to the next vendor. A formal contract outlines everything from payment schedules, roofing materials, and subcontractors involved if any. The contract should also include other less critical but important aspects such as cleanup, garden and landscaping protection, and any property damages. 

The roofing contractor should also help you understand the contract’s terms. They must walk you through it and answer any questions you have; no part should be glossed over and nothing should sound confusing, especially in terms of finances. Don’t forget to ask them what happens if you’re unsatisfied with their work, which should also be articulated in the contract. 

Vet Multiple Contractors 

Whenever you can, take your time. Don’t settle for the first, second, or third vendor if you can find a better fourth, fifth, or sixth one. Vetting multiple contractors gives you a better sense of the project’s worth and difficulty. It also sets your expectations realistically; what one vendor’s proposal may sound ludicrous to another, who can propose a better and more viable solution. 

In terms of pricing, don’t go for the cheapest or most expensive one; go for the one that hits the perfect balance of price and quality. Moreover, always ask for a detailed breakdown of their fees and processes. Finally, check their payment methods. If you can, avoid cash transactions that don’t leave any paper trail or documentation behind. 

Educate Yourself 

Lastly, invest in yourself, too. Spend time learning what’s being done to your roof. This doesn’t only help you gauge the roofing contractor’s proposal; it also tells you to monitor their work and ensure that they’re doing things correctly. Whether it’s a minor repair or structural damage, your roof’s problem is your problem, so arm yourself with knowledge of its solution.

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Three Smart Home Tech Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value

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Technology continues to facilitate activities, daily chores, and people’s lives, regardless of the challenges. Continuous innovations have advanced and refined technology to the point where it is nearly impossible to evade its influence. It is why its mark is apparent in almost every sphere of life.

Similarly, when boundary security fails to fulfill safety requirements, tech-based surveillance can enhance your home’s security. For instance, robotic cleaners save you from tiring household cleaning and dusting. 

Your robotic chef can also instantly satisfy your cravings by offering and preparing a personalized menu of countless dishes.

Even more so, technology offers you the flexibility to integrate your gadgets and enjoy complimentary advantages, such as improved connectivity and teamwork of digital devices.

Hence, ignoring the efficacy of technology and efficient systems can undermine ongoing progress in the world. 

It is why making your home tech-based is not only value-adding but a necessity to match rapidly evolving lifestyles and professional requirements. 

Thus digital gadgets and systems offer you the flexibility to structure your routine constructively. As a result, you can relish augmented comfort, convenience, and security.

The following sections explore some effective choices to upgrade your home according to modern living requirements.

Smart and green lighting system

Would it not be better to enter into a well-lit home right after a tiring day? Keeping lights on burdens your budget, which is why technology facilitates trade between the two.

Technology-based lighting systems fulfill your requirements without expanding the electricity cost and offers an environment-friendly solution. For instance, just by installing solar panels you have countered your carbon emissions with a green solution. 

It also provides an uninterrupted electricity supply without exceeding electricity charges. It is also possible to store excessive electricity for later usage and even contribute to the national grid. 

In addition, installing automatic lights in your home minimizes your workload and further improves control over the home’s lighting.

The digital system triggers sources of light based on the sensing and reacting approach. Specifically, the system uses several techniques to sense and observe. For instance, some sensors use heat signatures, ambient brightness, and darkness. Thus whenever sensors detect such changes, the system activates the home’s lights.

Similarly, some sensors detect motion, and whenever someone enters the home, the lights turn on. Hence, your home will light up when there is nighttime and darkens according to ambient brightness. It is also possible to schedule your home’s lighting on a timer.

Additionally, it is also possible to command and control your home’s lighting remotely. It means your home can glow and darken on your commands even when you are away. Nonetheless, such a system is not only automatic and convenient but also environmentally sustainable.

Automatic ventilation system

Have you ever wondered if you could alter the atmosphere of your home regardless of the surrounding environment? Well, technology enables you to expand your freedom in the form of an automatic ventilation system.

Usually, ventilation is a structural part of homes’ designs. For instance, exhaust, supply, and balanced systems are some of the existing mechanical ventilation alternatives. These ventilation systems regulate indoor air by pressurizing and depressurizing techniques.

Additionally, technology can further augment existing ventilation systems by incorporating digital smartness into them. For instance, a digital regulator controls the activation and deactivation of ventilating ducts and fans. It also displays ventilation features, such as the level of humidity and indoor pollutants.

You can further improve the system’s functions via temperature and humidity sensors. Thus it enables you to maintain your homes’ cooling, heating, humidity, and freshness altogether.

As such, exhaust fans activate to increase the exchange of air whenever the indoor humidity is higher. As a result, the system not only stabilizes air freshness but also filters out indoor pollutants.

In essence, the technology aspect enhances your control over your home’s environment and comfort. And you can also modify the sensitivity of the system according to your preferences. Thus it offers an energy-effective and personalized control regardless of the season and outdoor weather.

Digital surveillance and control system

Though security is the fundamental necessity of people’s lives, ensuring security is becoming challenging. As such, frequent incidents of robberies, intrusion, and breaking into homes are elevating peoples’ fear. Unstable law and order situation is further adding to their insecurities.

Since it is challenging to stabilize socioeconomic conditions, people explore other alternatives to secure their properties and families. Thus digital surveillance system is one of the best offerings of modern-day technology to resolve such issues. 

The system includes several gadgets and sensors to augment the security of your home from unauthorized, unwelcomed, or criminal access. 

Specifically, installing multiple security cameras can enhance your awareness and observation of the indoor and outdoor environment regardless of the situation. Cameras not only warn you of suspicious activities in your surroundings, but their presence can also deter away trespassers and burglars. 

Additionally, digital locks further enhance your home’s security by enabling you to regulate entry into your home via face, thumb, voice, and password locks. 

Smart locks also offer the integration of multiple authorization options, such as face and voice recognition. Thus you have extensive control to regulate and allow access to your home’s boundaries.

In addition, whenever an unwelcomed or suspicious person tries to intrude on your personal space, your surveillance system activates alerts, such as a siren or blinking light, or both. As a result, you can intimidate concerned authorities well on time. 

In essence, the system provides a secure, augmented, economic, and convenient alternative to a physical guard.

concluding remarks

Undeniably, technology contributes to simplifying and relishing lives. Rapid advancements not only resolve existing problems but continue to expand possibilities. Thus upgrading home is one of the countless facilitations of today’s technological innovations.

In essence, home technologies augment the functionality and control of your homes and offer an effective alternative for physical exertions.

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Ten Ways To Keep Your Home Warm In Winter

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Love it or not, winter is coming. These cold and flaky breezes of winter belong to the magnificent force of all – nature, so you can't expect yourself to make it through the entire season with a bowl of hot soup, woolly sweaters, and a thick duvet. 

For those residing in cold regions, the drop in temperature can mean a tremendous rise in heating expenses just for the sake of keeping yourself and your home warm. What can you do to prepare your home for a sharp drop in temperature? Don't worry; we have a few tricks that'll not only help you keep the house warm but also save a few bucks in the process. Whether you're looking for ways to make your home a bit toastier or refurbishing to make it as energy-efficient as possible, the following cold-reducing ways will help you stay snug.

  • Increase insulation

Did you know that a well-insulated home can save up to 45% on heating and air conditioning costs? Well, now you do. When it comes to heat, approximately 25% is lost through the roof. But you can take of this by adding 25 cm of insulation to your home.

 It's also worth inspecting your walls, as a third of the heat in an inadequately insulated home is lost through them. Although it is more expensive to install than home insulation, cavity wall insulation can save up to $160 per year on heating costs. It's also worth checking with your energy provider to see if they have any insulation options that can sometimes mean low-cost or no-cost installation.

  • Move your furniture away from any radiators, vents, or registers

This may seem obvious, but a chair, bed, or couch moved in the summer often remains on the same spot in the winter, blocking heat flow. This is a waste of money and results in cold rooms. Blocking a supply or return vent in a forced-air system can cause a house-wide pressure imbalance, disrupting heat flow throughout the system. Therefore, it's essential to change the setting of your furniture as per the season. 

  • Seal gaps and cracks

Unsealed crevasses can account for 15-25% of heat loss in your home during the winter. These allow cool air into your home, and any attempts to warm it up essentially slip through the cracks.

The fix? Sealing gaps in your window and door frames will keep the nasty draughts at bay while also filling in your rooms with warm heat, making your home nice and cozy!

  • Use your curtains correctly

Sunlight is free, so take advantage of it. During the day, open up your blinds and let the sun's rays in to make use of unlimited natural heat. Similarly, close your curtains to add another layer of insulation at night and keep the heat in your rooms. Again, ensure there are no leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air can stay out. It also helps reduce condensation.

  • Avoid leaving doors open

This is a simple but frequently overlooked tip. So yea shut the door! External doors always trap heat, which instantly dissipates when they are left open for an extended amount of time.

Heating rooms selectively can be a great way to save energy, but it only works if the heat stays in the room. So turn off heaters in rooms that don’t need to be warned and keep the air inside those that do. Also, we repeat, keep the doors shut.

  • Reverse your ceiling fans

In warm-weather climates, ceiling fans are ubiquitous. They move air around the room by spinning counterclockwise. However, not all energy experts agree that using them during the heating season is a good idea (some argue that they cool the air too much), but the fans help bring heated air down in rooms with high-sloped or cathedral ceilings. However, it will only happen if you turn the reversing switch on the side of the motor housing to the clockwise (winter) position. Then, set the fan to its lowest setting. Turn it off if you can't reverse the blade rotation or believe the fan is overcooling the room.

  • Minimize condensation

Condensation makes your home damp and encourages mold growth. A moist house also costs more to heat. So to reduce condensation, try the following tips:

  • Use lids on pots when cooking
  • Air dry clothes (or in a carport or garage)
  • Use an extractor fan in the bathroom and kitchen, or open up a window to minimize condensation.
  • If there's condensation on your face, wipe it with a towel every morning.
  • Lower the thermostat

Your fuel bill is reduced by 3% for every degree you lower the thermostat on your heating system. Although going from 73 degrees to 69 degrees doesn't make much of a difference in comfort, it can save you up to 12% on your heating bill. 

Moreover, if you're using a coil-type thermostat, you'll be receiving more accurate readings if you clean it regularly. The process of cleaning is straightforward. Just pop off the cover and gently wipe or blow away the dust.

  • Try some baking

Using the oven can help keep the heart of your home – the kitchen (and surrounding areas) - warm while also providing an excuse to make your favorite sweet or savory treats. So don't be afraid to crack open that recipe book and bake some brownies, cookies, or any other fluffy delight during the winter. Of course, ovens were not designed to heat entire homes, but they can provide a small amount of heat while you bake a batch of cookies.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that ovens should never be used as primary heating elements. They can produce carbon monoxide and fire damage if misused.

  • Keep an eye on the fireplace

Fireplaces can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether gas or traditional, fireplaces can be an excellent way to warm up a room (or even an entire house).

While most modern fireplaces have draft-reducing checks, many older models do not. So if you own a traditional – throw in the wood and fire – fireplace, be mindful of any cold air coming from a fireplace. When not in use, ensure the damper is closed, and consider installing glass doors on wood stoves. Fireplaces can also contribute to a stack effect if there are any openings in the upper levels, which can be dangerous. Also, keep the fireplace closed to prevent cold air from entering the house through the chimney when not in use.

Conclusion

So you see, there are many little ways with which you can save on energy costs and keep your home warm this winter. While you're at it, don’t forget about investing in simple things like a pair of warm socks, a heater, and extra bedding. Just be sure not to hate winter just because it is freezing you to the bone. After all, winter has its delights too. 

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Your Sanctuary: 5 Tips to Make your Bedroom Space Cozy 

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After a day’s hard work, one of the best things you should have is to sleep. Sleeping helps you reset and recharge. Without sleep, you can get sick. Not only that, but you’ll also feel tired, physically and mentally. Studies show that a healthy adult should at least get 7 hours of sleep every night.

Time or length alone isn’t the sole factor for quality sleep. For one, you need to improve the quality of your sleep. With that said, how do you improve the way you sleep? One significant change you can make is by making your bedroom cozy. If your bedroom is conducive for rest, then you’ll have no problem snoozing. Here are some tips to get you started on making your bedroom the best place to sleep:

Soundproof It!

A noisy environment is never a good thing to be in when you’re sleepy. Even if your bedroom is quiet, outside noise can quickly get inside your room. If someone were to blow their horn at night unexpectedly, have a noisy party, or you just have an inconsiderate neighbor, an ordinary bedroom is no safe haven for you.

By soundproofing your room, you make it more than ordinary. Sound Proof Curtains are some of the best things you can add to your room to prevent sound from breaking in. These curtains are usually thick but thin enough not to trap air around. You could also add acoustic panels and add carpets to your bedroom floor for another soundproofing layer.

Going Dark

Turning off the lights is best when you want to sleep. Keeping gadgets or anything that emits light away from you is good. However, you can also go “darker” with your room. Choose dark colors such as light black or grey with your walls. With a darker environment, our body’s circadian rhythm adjusts according to the light we see and perceive.

Air Conditioning

As mentioned above, the circadian rhythm in our bodies adjusts to the time and the environment we’re in. For example, in hotter environments, our body tends to heat up and increase blood flow. 

With an increased blood flow, we’re more active and feel less tired. In colder environments, however, the body saves up energy and slows everything down. This adjustment is why we tend to feel lethargic or sleepy when it’s gloomy, cold, or raining.

An air conditioner is what you’ll need to simulate that cold, gloomy feel. First, make sure your room is sealed correctly, or the air can’t circulate inside properly. If you don’t have an air conditioning unit, make sure you’re sleeping in a place that’s properly ventilated.

Away with Clutter

Having a messy room can affect the way you sleep. A messy room feels stuffy because of several scattered things just lying around. With stuff just littered all over, you provide more surfaces for the dust to cling to. 

When dust clumps together, more heat is brought into your room. Tidy up before you sleep and try to maintain a clean environment. With everything fixed up, you’ll have no problem falling asleep.

Ambiance

With everything said about going dark and temperature, you don’t have to shut them out totally. With lights, you can dial it down to a warmer feel. Dimmed lights can feel cozy and help you fall asleep better. With temperature, having a warm fireplace or heat source in a cold environment also helps you feel and sleep better.

There’s also sound. While some people can’t sleep with sound, music can also help some. Depending on the music played and the preference, people can either sleep to something calm like classical music or something heavy like alternative rock. The key with the ambiance is to not really remove something from your bedroom space. Instead, it’s mostly about adjusting the correct elements to suit your needs.

Takeaway

Sleeping is an important activity that people should always do. Without sleep, we can have severe mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, you can fall asleep easier in an environment that’s conducive for rest. The tips above will help transform your space into a personal sanctuary where you can sleep safe and sound.

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The Unique Benefits of Fixed Picture Windows

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The windows in your home are more than pieces of glass and frames — they bring in natural light into the home, which invites warmth and helps control the temperature indoors. Choosing the right windows for your home is a unique process for every homeowner.

Picture windows are an essential part of the equation and are gaining popularity among modern homeowners. They offer a unique aesthetic that fits with the popular open-concept and minimalist style in today’s homes.

If you’re thinking about replacing your windows, you’ve likely explored your options and taken in every style — from single hung to bay windows and everything in between. Picture windows are a unique solution to sprucing up your home and offer several practical features that keep your home secure.

Maximum Views

Perhaps the most apparent and essential benefit of picture windows is their ability to deliver unobstructed views. This is especially beneficial to homeowners with picturesque views or with children who love to play outside — either way, you have a clear view of your exterior surroundings.

Picture windows were given their name because they deliver those stunning views, whether you live on a lake, are surrounded by forestry, or just want to be able to watch your kids wait for the school bus in the morning.

Cost-Effective

Installing new windows can feel like an overwhelming and costly initiative, which is why it’s so important to select a window style that is safe on your budget. Picture windows offer a simple design with zero mechanical parts. Since there is no need to operate these windows, their low maintenance installation means a lighter effect on your wallet.

Energy Efficient

The experts at Centennial Windows & Doors suggest choosing the window style that will maximize your energy efficiency in the home. In many cases, picture windows can offer the insulation you need to control the temperatures in the home and keep allergens, dust, and pests from entering your interior spaces.

Allowing More Light

Unlike other styles of windows, picture windows maximize the amount of light that can flow through the home. This is especially important in areas like the living room or kitchen, where families spend the majority of their time. With zero frames cutting across the glass, you not only have an unobstructed view, but you’re allowing as much natural light into your home, which increases vitamin D, reduces mildew, and can help brighten your overall mood.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Whether you’re in your forever home or thinking of selling, you’ve likely thought about the overall aesthetic of your home on multiple occasions. The windows you select have a significant impact on the look and feel of your home.

Picture windows offer an architectural charm to any home since they can be designed in unique shapes and various sizes — not just the large and commonly thought of rectangular box. This adds a fun design element to your home, which always helps resale value, even if you’re not planning to move for years to come.

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Dangers Of Mold and How It Affects Your House Structure

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The incredible summer heat faded away, and now comes the time for the cold dampness of approaching winter. Naturally, as the weather gets chill and gloomy, we take out warm clothes to protect ourselves against cold drafts. But what about your home?

The cold weather, humidity, and dampness affect your humble abode just like they affect you. But when it comes to your home, the moisture can cause significant issues such as mold and mildew.

Mold primarily grows because of indoor moisture and spreads on your walls, furniture, floor, carpet, etc. It can cause significant damage to your house and your health. The reason is that wherever mold grows, it weakens that structure, and eventually, it rots. As a result, it can cause heavy structural damages to your home. So, below we will discuss some of the dangerous aspects of mold and how it damages your house structure.

1. Breaks down building material and structural components 

Wherever mold grows, it causes irreversible damages to your home’s structure. It’s because when mold grows, it feeds on organic matter by breaking it down. As it spreads, it creeps its way towards the pipes, insulation, carpets, etc. Therefore, whichever household item gets plagued by mold, you need to discard it immediately. 

However, the process is immensely inconvenient and expensive, especially for those dealing with it for the first time. But it is equally important to carry out this process for your safety and well-being.

Groundwater or standing water can be a significant cause of mold in crawl spaces or in the basement. As seasons change, you will have air coming in your vents into your crawl space. In the summer, hot, humid air will raise the humidity level in your crawl space, leading to issues like moisture in the wall. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective ways of preventing mold damages caused by indoor humidity.

2. Damages personal property

A mold is like a parasite you can never really get rid of properly. Unfortunately, the cases of mold are worse in states that experience heavy rain. For example, Orlando experiences rainfall several times over an entire week between June and September. When there is no outlet for the moisture to spread out, it leads to severe mold growth. 

Damp and humid atmospheres are perfect conditions for mold to thrive. So, if you’re in Orlando and are faced with this issue, you will have to acquire the services of a professional. We suggest you approach only reliable and efficient mold inspection in Orlando to tackle this problem expertly. They can determine which personal belongings are redeemable and which ones you cannot save. 

Sometimes mold seeps into the object so deeply that it is impossible to remove its spores entirely. As a result, even if you clean it on the surface, the mold will grow and spread again in a matter of days.

3. Spreads in the heating and vent system 

Mold contamination is not limited to walls and carpets. It can grow and spread into your ventilation and heating systems as well. Consequently, it becomes tough to clean the mold in such small and cramped systems thoroughly. As a result, the air ventilation or heating system carries the mold towards other parts of the house structure, where it can spread. 

Therefore, it is necessary to clean the mold as soon as you spot it. Once it spreads into the heating and ventilation system, the costs will rise exponentially. In addition, you will have to replace the whole system if the moisture and cleaning problem isn’t fixed.

4. Cause rotting and decay 

There are various types of molds, some more dangerous to the health and structure than others. The worst part is that molds can grow on any surface. Whether beams, sill, windows, etc., they are all susceptible to develop mold due to excess moisture

If you do not take appropriate action promptly, it can cause your wood to decay and rot. It will eventually ruin your property structure, and its strength and integrity become questionable.

5. Causes health issues 

If you spend time in a place that harbors mold, you will experience various health issues. These include respiratory problems, severe headaches, nausea, stuffy nose, cough, etc. Also, mold breakdowns construction material that releases dust, mites, bacteria, chemicals, and multiple gasses in the air, causing alarming health concerns.

Apart from minor symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, mold can also cause significant health issues such as lung diseases, infections, and even cancer. Therefore, you must always take immediate notice and necessary actions if you notice the slightest signs of mold. Likewise, if there are no signs of mold/mildew yet, focus on drying excess moisture from the walls and personal belongings. Nonetheless, take proper health precautions while dealing with mold for the sake of your and your family members’ well-being.

6. Decline in resale value 

Once mold thrives in your house, it may get almost impossible to get rid of it yourself fully. You might miss one small spot, which can cause a spread once again in a matter of days. If you let it linger unchecked, it can spread into the piping, beams, etc., causing the structural strength to decline. 

In that case, you will have to make significant renovations to remove the mold and excess moisture from your house. And this can impact the resale value of your home, as anyone who learns about mold growth may not want to buy that property. As a result, it can cause irrecoverable financial losses for you.

Conclusion 

Mold can undeniably cause severe and irreversible issues to your house and belongings. Mostly, if personal belongings such as carpets and furniture get plagued by mold, it becomes almost impossible to save them. As a result, you may have to discard valuable possessions of significant monetary and sentimental value. The best course of action is to constantly check your home’s moisture levels during rain and snow. 

Taking preventive measures will help prevent the growth. In case you still find mold growing in a neglected corner, hire professionals immediately. A professional can adequately assess the situation and use bio-friendly chemicals to remove your property’s mold and excess moisture. 

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5 Top Comfy-Contemporary Living Room Design Ideas

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Creating a comfortable and contemporary living room is easier than you think. Whether you are looking for a new design or want to update an old, tired space, these 5 top comfy-contemporary living room design ideas will have something that suits your needs. You'll find some cozy seating areas with elegant yet simple designs, as well as fresh spaces with coastal influences and bright colors. So whether you like the idea of more traditional styles or prefer modern looks, there's something on this list for everyone!

One thing that distinguishes contemporary designs from modern ones is the former's flexibility. Contemporary styles undergo changes with time, so they’re never completely “modern” or stuck in one era of style. One example? Today, you can find a combination of all sorts —traditional and rustic as well as sleek and minimalist — in today’s world under this label “contemporary design”.

When it comes to the best contemporary living room design ideas, there are a few things you have to keep in mind: first and foremost, anything goes. You can combine different styles as long as they look good together. Second, try not to make your space too formal — contemporary designs tend toward casualness instead! Finally, add some unexpected accents if you want to achieve that perfect balance between what looks comfortable but stylish at the same time.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #1

Whether it’s dark wooden floors or plenty of white space with pops of color here and there (or both!), incorporating hardwood into your home is an excellent choice for contemporary living room designs. Just remember, you're making a space that you love! Less is often better than more — don't feel the need to follow a certain style guideline — mix and match colors, textures, patterns, and more.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #2

Incorporating a few modern elements into your home is an easy way to give it that contemporary vibe, even if you're living in the suburbs or on a smaller budget. Think of adding large-scale artwork and statement lighting fixtures for visual interest. If you’re feeling extra creative, go ahead and have fun with unusual color choices! Using monochrome tones can help make furniture stand out without looking too busy—and prevent overwhelming your space. 

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #3

Comfort is key when you're designing your living room! Softer upholstery fabrics are very popular right now for their versatility in any space as well as ease of upkeep (hello no vacuuming needed!). Try one solid color or patterned fabrics with different shapes like circles or stripes. If you want to go bolder still, try adding bright accent pillows on an otherwise neutral sofa instead of going all-in with a ton of wild prints everywhere! The trick here is not to let your furniture stand out without looking too busy — and prevent overwhelming your space.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #4

While you may have a space that's small, it doesn't mean it has to feel claustrophobic! In fact, with the right choices in items and colors (more neutral tones are fantastic for making rooms look larger), you can give any room or apartment an instant boost of lightness and openness. Everyone wants this feeling when they walk into their living spaces, so make sure yours delivers on these feelings by adding lots of windows and skylights as well as mirrors nearby. Even hanging lighter paintings above furniture will open up a darker area like a fireplace mantle quite easily!

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #5

Creating your own comfortable corner can make your contemporary living room truly feel like your space. By adding a corner sectional for you and your family to cuddle upon, or by creating a cozy reading nook with lots of pillows, bookshelves nearby, and perhaps an upright piano in the opposite corner (or even a TV if you prefer). Create your own cozy corner in the living room with the best couches.

Try a modular sofa in an outdoor-friendly fabric to accommodate all of your guests. The sleek design makes it easy to style, while the color hue is neutral enough that you can add pops of color or keep things simple for an understated look. It's also really comfortable! The soft cushions are perfect for curling up after work and watching movies together as a family.

We hope you found this article helpful in designing your living room. With all of these great design ideas for the comfy contemporary living room, it’s time to get started on your next project. 

If you're thinking about rearranging your living room or adding in more sources of light, then learn more about how to make your home more energy-efficient, and don't forget to look into your local regulations!

Check out our blog post on simple ways to make your home more energy-efficient here!

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