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Ways to prevent window condensation

Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication.

Do you find you have a build up of condensation on windows in your home? If so, then you will need to take some simple steps to keep this to a minimum as over time, it could begin to cause problems.

What is condensation?

Condensation forms when warm air meets colder air, such as on the colder surface of a window. The reason why this happens is there is more moisture in warm air and when it meets a cold surface, it is unable to hold on to this moisture, releasing it as condensation. Whilst you may see a large amount on the window, it may also be present on the walls too, as they tend to be cooler than warm air within a room too.

Where is the condensation on your windows coming from?

There are a variety of sources such as breathing (including when you are asleep), cooking, washing or showering, heating and drying clothes in the house is one of the largest culprits releasing 5.5litres or more moisture into the air. If condensation builds in your property, over time it will start to cause problems. Window condensation is an indication that damp within your property could be an issue and you will need to start taking steps to deal with condensation.

What to do about window condensation

  1. Single paned windows or ill-fitting windows where there are draughts and cracks can make window condensation worse. You will also need to check the outside of the window unit as a sealant that was used in older style windows known as caulking, should be acting as a seal. Over time, this seal can become less effective. Fitting double glazed uPVC windows will make for an effective solution.
  2. Preventing the build up of window condensation can also be helped by ensuring there is adequate ventilation, even if you do have double glazed uPVC windows. Ventilation allows dry air to circulate around your home.
  3. Extractor fans in the kitchen and bathrooms in your property can be used to effectively expel moisture laden air, reducing the build of condensation on windows throughout your home.
  4. Do you have vents in your walls? If so, many people block then to reduce draughts but by doing so, are blocking circulating air. Just try uncovering these vents for a few days and nights and see how condensation on windows diminishes.
  5. Even though air circulation is important within your home, but insulation is important too. Having draughts in places where you should not – around window frames and exterior door frames – will cause an excess of cold air.
  6. Have you had work done on your home recently? Renovations will change how air flows around your property. If you notice a build up of window condensation, it may be that you need to take a look at how the air is now able –or unable – to circulate around your home.

Poorly fitting windows can present condensation problem in a property. If you have noticed more condensation than usual, take a look at your windows. Do they need upgrading to uPVC double glazed windows?


Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Kitchen

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Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Susan Serra, CKD.

They say that good food is often a product of love—love for family, love for service, or love for cooking. However, without a conducive environment, this love may not translate into scrumptious meals. A conducive environment in this regard means a kitchen that you love, one that you’re completely comfortable in. If you feel that yours could use a bit of an overhaul, do so—you won’t want to compromise the place where all the magic happens, after all. With that said, there are tons of ways you can improve your kitchen. Below are some examples of how you can transform your kitchen into the perfect venue for cooking.

Paint everything white.

White somehow gives off the illusion of a more spacious environment. Hence, painting everything white—the walls, the cabinets, and the cupboards—can make your kitchen feel larger than it really is. For smaller kitchens, this is a very practical option since this can eliminate that cramped feeling.

Improve the lighting.

Dim lights should be switched out for the brighter variety. Excellent lighting goes well with the white motif of your kitchen and goes a long way in improving the atmosphere even more. And you need not spend a fortune to enhance your kitchen lighting. All that’s necessary is a lighting fixture (or a few) that can adequately illuminate the room. Also consider affixing lights under the shelves if you find these areas to be insufficiently illuminated. Beacon Lighting offers a wide selection, so you might want to check out their site.

Add an instant boiled/chilled tap water supply.

This is one of the finer additions that your kitchen can receive. A tap that can readily provide filtered water that’s chilled or boiled is clearly a huge convenience—both for cooking and drinking purposes. Now, you have various options for this, but your best bet would be The Water People.

More storage couldn’t hurt.

If you find that a lot of your kitchenware is just lying about, then you should consider adding more shelves. Build these up high so that they won’t get in your way. You can also attach under-shelf baskets to these if you require even more storage.

Install drawer and shelf liners.

Drawer and shelf liners are a must-have for your kitchen. For one, it protects your drawers and shelves from spills and the like. Liners with cushions can also help in safeguarding fragile kitchenware. On top of those, they’re just pretty—choose liner designs that complement the colors of your kitchen. If your kitchen is already equipped with liners, then just remember to replace them periodically. Stick with non-stick liners, though, so that changing them won’t be much of a hassle.


Decorating with Home Theater Furniture

Note: this is a guest post and consideration WOULD HAVE been received for its publication, but the client is apparently a no-good jerk and has refused to pay the bill. NEVER USE THEM for home theater furniture - if they drop the ball like this for a tiny bill, imagine how they could royally screw up your home!

Home cinemas are fast becoming one of the most popular additions for homeowners today. Perhaps it’s because technology has become better and cheaper, and people can now afford professional-quality home theaters for a fraction of what was used to cost a decade ago. Also, it could be more and more people are finding that a night out at the movies isn't what it used to be. High gas prices, the battle for parking, exorbitant prices for soda and popcorn – and you can’t even enjoy your very expensive evening because some rude person keeps talking loudly or texting the entire time. Whatever the reason many people are deciding to build their own home theater and actually enjoy a night at the movies.

Home movie theaters today can be customized to meet just about anyone’s needs. There are so many choices, for example, when it comes to home theater furniture. Indeed, you can easily decorate your home theater any way you want, whether you want to relive the grandeur of the Golden Age of Cinema, with gilded trimmings and velvet curtains, or perhaps prefer something futuristic with sleek, modern lines and metal finishing. Whatever you prefer, there are different ways you can decorate with home theater furnishing.

Seating
 
The 3rd biggest investment (after your screen and sound system) you will (or should) make when building your own home theater is your seating. That’s because you want to make sure you and your guests are comfortable while watching your favorite movies or TV shows. Not only that, but your seats will set the tone for your decor. For example, if you truly want your home theater to look like a cinema, you can install real stadium-style seats.

These seats comes in rows and yes, they fold up when unused and have cup holders too – just the at the multiplex in your strip mall (without the stale popcorn or mysterious stains). Many of these style seating are also specially-made to be even more comfortable that those at the cinema. Of course, if you’d really like to go all-out, then you can also purchase home theater recliners. These are the pinnacle of home theater luxury – usually made of full-grain leather, fully reclinable so you can put your feet up while watching, and tray tables for snacks. Many people install several recliners for guests or just have a large sectional for people to relax on.

Wall Treatments
 
One thing many people don’t think about when doing their home cinema is their walls. After all, they've just spent a lot on their equipment, why should they care about what goes on the walls? Well, the walls can add to the ambiance of the theater and this can enhance the move viewing experience.

Also, bare, flat walls tend to reflect sound, which can be annoying when you’re trying to watch a movie. Having wall treatments like sound-absorbing materials or even thick curtains can help prevent the sound from bouncing off the walls and make it sound like you’re watching inside a tin can. Of course, you can also decorate any way you like, for example, you can hang up your favorite movie posters or install special decorative lighting.

Accessories
 
Now, to add some more “cinema” touches to your home theater, you may want to make a special effort with some cinema accessories. Some people, for example, get special popcorn machines to make their popcorn, instead of tossing a bag in the microwave. You can buy different styles of popcorn machines – some are even designed like those old-time carts from carnivals and fairs.

When you build your own home theater, you want to make sure you create the entire experience for yourself and your guests. By paying attention to your home theater decor and picking the right home theater furniture, you can truly take yourself to another world.

Interior Design to Increase the Value of Your Home

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Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Rogue Interior Designs.

A lot of homeowners make the mistake of spending tens of thousands of dollars to renovate their homes before putting them on the market. While renovations are a great way to increase your home’s value, spending your budget in the right places will help you maximise your return on investment when you sell your home.

 These four interior design tips should form the foundation of the home renovation strategy. Read on and compare these ideas, courtesy of AHF, to your own pre-sale renovation plan.

1.     Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms tend to clearly display a home’s age. Simple things like a yellowed or an outdated kitchen can quickly reveal your home’s real age, even if you’ve spent a large amount of money renovating your living room.

Allocate most of your pre-sale renovation budget to your kitchen and bathrooms. A quick update to your bathroom – a new bathtub, tiling to replace linoleum or wood flooring and large mirrors – will produce an excellent return on your investment.

2. Maximise natural light in living spaces

Natural light is key to creating a comfortable living space. If your home has small windows and large interior dividers that make natural light a rarity, think about installing new windows and glass doors to maximise natural light.

Artificial light has been scientifically proven to worsen people’s mood, while large amounts of natural light have been shown to increase energy and motivation. Give your home a large amount of natural light and you’ll help potential buyers feel at ease and relaxed when they come to visit.

3. Stick to timeless, classic interior design

Cutting edge design tends to age quickly – a truth that even a quick glance at last decade’s ‘cutting edge’ vehicles and fashion choices will reveal. Stick to timeless, classic interior design when you renovate your home to maximise its sale price.

There’s nothing bad about being modern – quite the opposite, in fact. Just stick to modern design principles that have been around for at least a decade or two, while avoiding ultra-modern design ideas that haven’t become yet mainstream.

4. Replace aging carpets and popcorn ceilings

While most interior designers recommend focusing on your kitchen and bathroom for maximum ROI, there are two dated interior features that should be replaced in every home: ‘popcorn’ ceilingsand dated, unfashionable carpets.

If your living room has a popcorn ceiling – a type of spray-on ceiling treatment that was popular in the 1970s – make absolutely sure it’s replaced before you show your home to buyers.