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5 Things to Consider When Buying a New Mattress


If you are planning to replace your old mattress with a new one, then you will definitely find some needed help in this article. With all the different kinds of mattress out on the stores, you will definitely be confused on which to use and will end up going in circles trying to decide. In order to avoid this, having a checklist of the things your mattress must have would be really useful. Moreover, it will significantly reduce the time and effort you will spend in your shopping.

To help you with your checklist, experts from ChooseMattress came up with 5 things to consider when buying a new mattress.

  1. Size

The very first thing you need to consider when buying a new kids mattress is the size. Remember that, for the next 8 years or so, you will be using the mattress you choose. That is why it is important to consider your present needs and the future. If you see yourself getting married in the next few years, then ditching the single or twin size mattress for a king or queen sized mattress might be the better choice. If you want to go bigger, then there’s also the California king sized mattress or you can even have a custom sized mattress especially made for you.

  1. Budget

The next thing you should consider is your budget. It is very important that you set a limit or price range for your new mattress so that you can narrow down your choices and help in your final decision.

As for how much money you should set aside, take note that you will be spending 1/3 of your day with your bed; sleep and getting a good rest. If you want to experience the best possible comfort from your mattress, then investing a sizeable chunk from your savings will definitely be worth it.

  1. Comfort and Support

Support and comfort are also very important things that should be included in your checklist. There are different kinds of mattresses that can provide the support and comfort you need.

Innerspring mattresses are the most widely-used and popular mattresses. They are mattresses that are supported with spring metal coils usually ranging from 12-18” thickness. Note that the thicker the mattress, the firmer the mattress is providing you with the springy feeling while lying on it. Above the spring coils are layers of foam made with different kinds of materials to provide additional comfort for you.

Memory foam, on the other hand, is a mattress that is made to absorb and contour to the shape of your body giving you the maximum comfort possible in a mattress. That is the reason why memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity today with more and more variations to choose from. The only downside to this type of mattress is that because the body tends to be absorbed by the foam, many people have complained that they have been sleeping with buckets of sweat due to the heat from the foam.

  1. Durability

While most mattresses can last for several years, there are still cases that mattresses get broken within months. This is mostly because of improper use or low-quality materials, so when looking for your mattress, be sure that you check its features and specifications for quality assurance. It is also a good idea to get a warranty for your mattress.

  1. Reviews

It is also a good idea to check for reviews from previous buyers or users of the mattress you are eyeing. Your mattress purchase is an investment in your comfort that will affect your daily life throughout the years, so you must make sure that the mattress you buy has a good reputation behind it.

Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image by Rain0975.

Garage Doors Perth

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Homeowners often forget the importance of updating their houses. Lots of people update and make modifications in their houses not only for the sake of aesthetic value but for safety and security as well. Something that home owners need to keep in mind is that the changing times force us to up-date what we have since the things that work before might not function today, especially with garage roller doors. Perth companies can present you with the essential updates your house needs.

Companies that concentrate on progressive and safe garage doors could be found in Perth. Garage doors come in several designs and colours, and use high tech motors to produce ease when using the door. These days, these garage doors are created to match any style or theme of a home. Buying online is probably the most convenient type of buying for garage doors. The net can enable you to locate reliable organizations with cost effective items.

In case you are reading this because you possibly want a new garage door or you want to add one for the home, read these 4 factors to consider when searching for a new garage door for the home.

Design: Every home has its very own style. It gives your residence a character that you simply could be happy with as it serves as your haven of peace, safety, and shelter for you as well as your family. Simply because each home is distinct compared to other, Perth garage door organizations have made certain to make various collections of garage door designs to complement each home. They can be made into distinct measurements and lengths, based on your needs. Other than that, you can request for unique custom doors from your chosen business to appropriately match your own home.

Hues: A garage door is an crucial component of one's residence that may aid keep it safe and secure. Not only that, it's also an crucial visual element inside your home. The accessible shades can typically be seen on their web site however it is recommended to arrive and examine the colour from their store in person to make certain. Follow the colour theme of one's home for a secure colour selection.

Garage doorway windows: To add a visual characteristic on your own garage door, you may choose to have windows included. Windows are not only beautiful but also practical. The windows can aid you save electricity since you will not be turning on the lights to move within the garage. There are lots of window designs you can choose from that will match the theme of one's home.

Engines: Pick motors that are known to open garage doors securely and efficiently such as Avanti and Superlift motors. You need to possess a reliable opening motor for the safety and security of one's home. You can also have a new motor for the current (Perth) garage door should you don't wish to replace it.

Garage roller door (Perth) is an crucial component of one's residence that may aid maintain your home safe and secure. Have them replaced to make sure the safety of your home as well as the attractiveness of its architectural style. Locate organizations online to make everything easier.

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

The Different Type of Sheds Available Today

Sheds are typically single storied structure usually constructed in the backyard for storage or a workshop. Sheds vary in size, shape, and material depending on their intended purpose and place of construction. While some sheds are small, open sided and sport a tin roof others are large, made of metal or wood and have windows as well as electrical outlets. One can either buy sheds through online stores or contact a shed builder in Perth. Sheds are broadly classified into two types:
  • Small Domestic Sheds: Building sheds of this type proves to be the least expensive besides being easy. This kind of sheds can be purchased through online stores at discounted prices. Such sheds are used to store garden tools and other utility equipment. They can also be used to store stuff like pesticides, gasoline that cannot be stored indoors. Smaller widespan sheds Perth can be constructed in apex shed as well as pent shed forms. Cabin sheds are another type of small sheds that are built for people to relax or for pets.
  • Large Domestic Sheds: These sheds are mostly made of wood and include features that are typically found in residences. They boast of windows, shingled roof as well as electrical outlets. Larger sheds with better features are used for gardening purposes, workshops or general tinkering. These type of sheds are highly customizable, and owners can add some decorative options to them.

Construction of widespan sheds Perth

Widespan sheds perth are constructed from various materials and different frames types depending on their intended purpose. Popular materials used in the construction of sheds include metal, wood, plastic, asbestos, vinyl and tin.

  • Metal Sheds: These are made up of sheet metal sheathing which is an alloy of galvanized steel and aluminum. These sheds offer great resistance to fire and termites, providing long lasting durability. However, it is necessary to ensure that the walls of the shed are thick enough to prevent any denting.
  • Plastic Sheds: Sheds using molded plastics like PVC are not only durable but also cost lesser than the metal ones. PVC resins and UV-resistant polyethylene make the shed light, stronger and enhance stability. Another advantage of using these sheds is that they are rot free and maintenance free.
  • Wooden Sheds: Sheds made of wood have a natural look and can blend in with the surroundings well. In spite of being strong, wood tends to rot over time if proper attention isn't given. In addition to this, fire and termites also pose a serious threat to wood. Nevertheless, wood being a renewable resource is preferred by many.
  • Asbestos Sheds: Asbestos-cement sheds have for long been used in the construction of private garages and garden sheds. It is a popular shed material courtesy of its low cost and durability. However, environmental concerns led to a reduction in their usage. Apex sheds too have become one of the most commonly used sheds today.

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

Need a hot water heating system? Find out which is most ideal for your property

Do you require a heating solution for your home or workplace? Regardless of your budget and specifications, there will be an option available that will benefit your property the most. But before jumping into anything too quickly, it is important to know what options are available, so that you can choice the one that is best for your property. This article will explain the four main heating solutions available for residential and commercial buildings.


​One of the most common heating options is heat pump hot water heating. Because they do not work very efficiently in cold areas, they are better suited to new homes (which are well insulated). There are many different brands of heat pumps on offer, and you there are some advantages to all heat pumps. Not only will the heat pump provide heat in the colder seasons, but it can also provide your home with cold air in the warmer seasons, meaning a useful heating product all year around.

Electric hot water heating involves using a cylinder which hot water is generated into. This heating solution would not be considered the most energy efficient, but on the brighter side, it will cost you less to repair or replace the system that more energy efficient systems. These cylinders can range in sizes (from as little as 25L to as big as 250L) – your hot water specialist will be able to access your property and tell you which size is best for your home.

Using natural or LPG gas, gas hot water heating systems can heat the water in your home. LPG gas bottles can be bought for your home. Otherwise, some may find that natural gas is available on their street. Gas hot water heating systems can be easily installed or retrofitted onto your existing cylinder and offer fast heating.

Solar hot water heating is the most environmentally friendly solution for your home or workplace - an ideal option if you are concerned about the environment. This heating solution uses the power of the sun to heat the water in your house. The installation of this system is fairly quick and easy and requires microscopic maintenance.

Still unsure of what heating solution is most ideal for your residential or commercial premises? By contacting your local plumbing company, you can discuss with them what option is best for your property, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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

What Are the Most Durable Materials for Outdoor Furniture?


People tend to put a lot of thought and energy into picking the proper furniture for the inside of their home. Furniture that works with the space both in size and design, and yet is still comfortable to relax on is usually top of the list. With so much attention being paid to bringing the indoors outside and essentially making your garden feel like an extension of your home, outdoor furniture is being viewed in a new light.

Maybe you’ve gone out of your way to find a tradesmen who is qualified and experienced in terms of designing the landscape and your gardens, so obviously you want to cap it off with the perfect furniture. Outdoor furniture needs to be durable, functional, practical, and comfortable. So we’re here to help you with one of those important criteria, as we take a look at what the most durable materials are for outdoor furniture.



If you find yourself drawn to the look of wooden outdoor furniture, then you aren't alone. Wood is an extremely popular choice for people looking to create a comfortable atmosphere. Within the category of luxury wooden furniture, teak is the most popular. This particular wood is extremely strong and is able to endure all weather conditions. If properly cared for, it's not unusual for it to last as long as 50 years.

Synthetic Resin

Synthetic resin has become very popular as of late for a number of different reasons. As far as the looks go, it is meant to look like traditional wicker furniture. Unlike wicker furniture, however, the synthetic resin won't fade and disintegrate. It's known for being easy to clean, extremely lightweight, and durable. Now keep in mind that there are some cheaply made versions that can crack and unravel, so you want to be sure you purchase a high-quality synthetic resin.

Wrought Iron

Wrought iron patio furniture tends to have a more traditional and almost elegant look to it. It’s extremely heavy so it’s the kind of furniture you want to place in a spot and then leave it there. It's quite common to find intricate details in this style of furniture, so it's ideal for those who appreciate a more unique look. While wrought iron is extremely strong and durable, and won't go tumbling around in a wind storm, it gets rusty over time. You'll need to store it in winter and cover it when it rains if you want to keep it looking pristine.


While many people may turn their nose up at the idea of plastic outdoor furniture, the fact of the matter is that plastic has also come a long way. Consumers can now find a variety of designs, colours, and sizes and it tends to be very cost-effective. Unfortunately, it's not very durable, and because it's so lightweight it's the first thing to fly away in heavy winds.

Narrowing Down the Options

By taking a look at the durability, along with other important criteria, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the perfect furniture for your space and needs.

Note: this is a partnered post. CC-licensed images by Louise Cohen and Tamera Clark.

5 Tips to Help You Build Your Dream Home


If you are planning on making your dream house and land packages, then you must definitely plan beforehand. Houses are not easily changed when built, you can never change the form of the roof once it has already been done and installed. Unless you want to start from scratch again and incur more expenses, then you should definitely put your design on a piece of paper.

Here are 5 tips that will help you build your dream house.

  • Draw the exterior and floor plan of your dream house

Before making your dream house into a solid structure, it must first become a drawing. Try to draw and sketch the overall plan of your dream house, from the exterior up to its interior. The more specific and detailed you are, the better and more useful it will be. Also make sure that you consider the lot that your house will be built into. Use an accurate scale or identify how large each room must be.

  • Fixed Budget

The second thing to do before the actual start of the construction is the discussion of the budget. After finishing the overall plan and design of your dream house, it is now time to estimate the total costs for your house. If you are not so sure about the estimates, then visiting a local home builder might help you get very accurate figures. Set your budget so you will be able to avoid additional costs and expenses.

  • Choose the perfect home builder to turn that dream house into a reality

One of the most important and crucial steps in the construction of your house is the selection of the perfect home builder. Try to be very thorough and meticulous in selecting the home builder that will build your dream house. Choose the one who specializes on houses with unique concepts and designs, the one who has a lot of experience and good reputation. Home builders often have a lot of projects at the same time, make sure that the one you choose will be able to handle your project with enough manpower and attention.

  • Get Regular updates and Monitor the progress of your dream house

Constant monitoring is needed to make the actual house as close as possible to your dream house. It is very important that you see its progress and completion with your own eyes and confirm if it’s really the dream house you have been wanting. Try to communicate with the home builders and make them understand the design and concept of the house they are trying to build. Ask for their suggestions as home builders often keep their comments to themselves, afraid that they might hurt their clients. Therefore, try to ask for their opinion from time to time and develop a good relationship with the workers to make them feel comfortable and try harder in their tasks.

  • Interior Design

Planning the interior design including the appliances can also be a very good idea. With the plan, the home builders can adjust and already take into consideration the appliances and other things to be installed. They can leave holes or create specific spaces in order to fit in the appliances and furniture which will make their works more efficient. Imagine closing up a wall only to destroy it later because a cabinet will be integrated into it.

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

Custom Wood Kitchen Tables Should Be Built For Everyday Life Too

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One of the most important rooms in a house is the kitchen; not only is it where you prepare meals, it’s also a place where people gather. Since this room plays such an important role in your home, you will want kitchen tables and chairs that are built to serve everyday life but that are still stylish. Thanks to handcrafted furniture companies committed to doing things the traditional way, there are plenty of options on the market. Nothing beats a handcrafted wood kitchen table if you want to create an atmosphere of warmth and authenticity.

Getting custom kitchen tables in Toronto is not an uphill battle, thanks to modern custom furniture companies like Woodcraft, located just north of Steeles in Markham, that continue to practice the traditions of handcrafted wood furniture. Just nearby in Markham is Anne Quinn Furniture who also makes solid wood tables as well as all types of solid wood furniture. The kitchen table is not just designed to look good, it also has to serve as a work horse in your house. It’s where you plunk your bags of groceries after a trip to the store, the place where you carve pumpkins for Halloween, where your kids make their school projects, and it frequently serves as extra space for cooking when you’re putting together a holiday meal.

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With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about a new kitchen table; one that both brings tradition and quality to your home, but also one that can withstand everything from ham carving to dyeing Easter eggs. You don’t have to fret about a quality wood table made by expert craftsmen like Woodcraft, you just need to know some simple maintenance techniques, like cleaning with the grain.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can select them from a wide range of sizes from small to large or extended kitchen tables. Having the right size ensures that you can move around your kitchen without the worry of tripping or having to squeeze uncomfortably between a chair and a wall when you’re carrying hot plates of food. It helps to have a table custom made to fit your space, so that you’re not stuck squeezing past every time. That’s why Woodcraft kitchen tables are made for everyday life, and built to last decades despite being part of your family’s everyday routine.

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The superior quality of handcrafted wood furniture ensures that the furniture lasts for years – when getting your kitchen table, forget big box stores and manufacturers that take all kinds of short-cuts and mass produce identical, inferior pieces.

Owning a signature piece of furniture like a kitchen table is about more than keeping up with kitchen style trends, it’s about living with tradition and quality. The furniture gives your home an elegant natural look; it’s hardy and sturdy and it can stand up to regular use, so you won’t have to replace it in just a few years’ time. Even after it’s seen use and it’s showing scratches, dents and stains, a quality wood piece can be easily refinished and restored or updated. Your next family heirloom awaits; update your kitchen just in time for Easter, and don’t stress out about gravy boats, Easter eggs, or wine stains.

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

Four Roofing Mistakes To Avoid This Winter


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With the extreme cold and snow that impacts Toronto Ontario during the winter months, having a snug and warm home becomes a necessity. One of the key components that ensure your home is solid, secure, and warm for the winter is, of course, your roof. However, there are several common roofing mistakes that homeowners make, which can seriously tarnish your roof, but can also be avoided by following a few basic procedures.

It can be tempting to get rid of excess snow build-up by climbing onto your roof and removing it with a shovel, but this is actually not a good idea. Climbing onto the roof adds even more weight to an already struggling rooftop, and if your roof wasn’t in great condition to begin with, that extra weight could be enough to trigger a collapse. Not only that, your roof can be a particularly icy and slippery place in the wintertime and if you slip and fall you could end up badly injured, no matter how much snow catches your fall. Investing in a roof rake to clear snow off from a safe distance is a much better idea, and will get the job done without risking your home or your neck.

As a building’s heat flows upward through the attic and out of your home, it can hit that accumulated snowpack on top of your roof and cause some of it to melt. The melted snow then flows along the roof until it again hits a point below freezing, typically at the eaves or gutters. This process creates an ice dam, which stops the flow of water off the roof and can cause leaks, as the water has nowhere else to go. Leaving these areas untouched is a very risky roofing mistake. Instead, you should hire a roofing company that is well versed in how to cope with these problems, like Professional Roofers out of the GTA. If your ice dam has already caused leaks, it is especially important to call an emergency roofing repair service immediately to assess the damage and fix the problem at its source. Usually expert roofers in Toronto use a special steam machine to remove the ice dams, as pounding with shovels or a hammer can exacerbate the damage. It is also a good idea to keep the ventilation areas clear of snow using a roof rake.

Ice dams are often a symptom of two other roofing mistakes that people make in the winter: poor ventilation and poor insulation. Not having the proper ventilation can trigger the melting of rooftop snow by sending heated air from your home directly onto the snowpack. Proper ventilation, whether built into the home or mechanically added, allows the warmer air to flow away from the roof and keeps the surface there below 0 degrees Celsius.

A related error is having improper amounts of attic insulation. Not only will it raise your heating costs to have heated air flow upwards and out the roof, that heated air acts as a perfect catalyst for ice dam formation. Not paying attention to your attic insulation needs is a common mistake that can cause major damage to your roof and your home.

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

4 Tips to Help You Choose The Right Builder


Choosing the right home builder in the construction of your house is the most crucial and important decision you will have to make in order to ensure that all of your designs and plans will materialize.

There are a lot of home builders that specialize in the different aspects of home building. Some home builders tend to ignore aesthetics and prioritize safety and the sturdiness of the structures. Some focus on the aesthetics without any care on the budget of the owners. And some home builders try to squeeze out every penny possible from their clients.

If you want to avoid these kinds of home builders, then the 4 tips below will help you choose the perfect home builder.

Define your Needs – the first tip is for you to define and list all of your needs. Be specific as possible in determining and deciding the things that you want to be applied in your house. The design and floor plan of the house you want to build must be planned beforehand in order to ensure that it will be your house that is going to be constructed and not a house the home builders want. These things must be presented and discussed thoroughly with the prospective home builders. It is very important that you take the initiative in the negotiations with the prospective builders.

Budget and Schedule – the second step is for you to establish and set a fixed budget for the project. It is very important for the home builder to build your house within your budget to avoid overspending and cause setbacks that will affect the flow of the construction. Materials and labor used for the construction must be decided prior to the start of the construction. The right home builder must understand these things and reach an agreement with you.

Another thing to discuss and agree with the prospective home builders is the schedule for the completion of your house. Both you and the home builders must arrive on a realistic timetable for the overall flow of the construction. You and the right home builder must be on the same page while the construction is ongoing to avoid misunderstandings.

Performance and Reviews – In any industry, it is important to establish a good and solid reputation. The right builder must guarantee top-notch services backed with positive reviews from their clients.

Do a simple background research on the prospective home builders and select those that have good reputations in order decrease the risks of delays and poor services. Furthermore, to ensure the quality of the service to home builder, it is also recommended to conduct regular and surprise inspections to verify the claims in the quality of their service.

Warranty and Aftersales services – True professionals always ask for comments from their clients and give warranties for their work. The right home builder must guarantee that they will shoulder additional costs for damages in the house within the warranty period. It is the testament and sign to their commitment to their service. If you can find such home builder, then you will most likely finally be able to build the house you have planned for.

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

How to get the Hamptons look in your Home!

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The Hamptons Look or Style has taken the interior design and decorating world by storm! Western Australian company Amerex Renovations and Additions found that due to their coastal location, they were increasingly fielding questions about the Hamptons Look.

The Hamptons style works remarkably well anywhere with or without proximity to the coast. In Australia, it is a particularly good fit with their outdoors lifestyle and an abundance of sunshine, which is quite similar to the Hamptons.

So what exactly is the Hamptons style? And where did it come from?

The Hamptons style comes from an area known simply as ‘The Hamptons’. The Hamptons is a coastal area on Long Island, north of New York. This is where rich and famous New Yorkers spend their summer holidays, in luxury holiday homes.

These homes ooze style and class in a casual, yet sophisticated way. When done well, the Hamptons style feels casual and relaxed, yet with quality classic finishes it also has an elegant edge.

So what does the Hamptons style look like?

The Hamptons style typically looks very light, bright and breezy with plenty of natural daylight streaming in. Colours are predominately white with blue and lemon accents.

Key features and ways to achieve the Hamptons look are to follow a nautical inspired colour palette, a strong emphasis on white, with natural products such as timber featuring on the floors and in furniture.

White, white, breezy and white

A white colour palette is a very important and key to the overall Hamptons look. As such, walls are usually painted soft white. White reflects the light and is important ingredient in achieving the bright and breezy and open feel.

Classic White Kitchens

Again white, white and more white. Splashbacks are typically high gloss or white subway tiles. The overall feel of the kitchen should have a glamourous edge so stone benchtops work very well.

Charcoal and chrome accents in appliances and chairs are fine, as long as the kitchen is predominantly white.

Timber Floors and Furniture

Timber floors and timber furniture work well with the Hamptons look. Polished floorboards and furniture pieces such as a rustic oak dining table and occasional tables in a lighter coloured timber look fantastic.

Relaxed fabric Lounges keeping within the nautical colour scheme

Choose Lounges or sofas in a relaxed fabric such as linen and in either neutral in colour or nautical blue. If you go for a neutral beige or soft white, it is very easy to accessorise with cushions to add in a pop of colour.

Elegant Lighting

Typical lighting features are elegant pendant lights over island benches and large table lamps in living areas make from metal or linen or blue ceramic.

Coastal ornaments and decorating

Decorating Hamptons style is easy to achieve, with a cheap and easy of styling by introducing coastal aspects. Consider incorporating ornamental items such as shells, driftwood, blue bottles, or nautical themed pictures framed in white or with a driftwood border work beautifully.

Character and timber trims and detailing

The Hamptons look thrives on classic details such as old fireplaces, architraves, skirting boards, cornices and wall panelling. With many Australian cities having older homes with heritage features, this ties in beautifully with a Hamptons theme.

In fact, Western Australia Builder, Amerex Renovations and Additions reports that heritage features such as wall panelling are now trending. There are not the old dark timber kind you would have found in an old Drawing Room. Just simple panelling painted white, clearly inspired by homes in the Hamptons. This can be done quite affordably and can provide a great look and feel to a room.

Design Considerations for the Hamptons Look

Natural daylight is important – in fact key – to achieving the light and breezy feel of the Hamptons style. You must therefore, make sure that you think about this at the design stage. It is hard to make windows larger later on!

The Hamptons Style design incorporates large windows, and large openings such as bi-fold doors across the rear of the home opening up onto a living area. 

Large windows and doors that open up, are complemented perfectly with white wooden shutters and sheer curtains.

The exterior of the Hamptons Look

Landscaping is neat and manicured and white picket fencing sets everything off perfectly. Again this is perfect for the gorgeous character homes in Perth’s older suburbs.

Externally, painted white timber and/or mouldings around the windows are common features, with dark or charcoal roofs often playing a part in the look, though not essential.

Hamptons Style in any Location

Whether you call it the Hamptons Look, Hamptons Style, or Hamptons design, it seems that this look is here to stay.

The look is easy to achieve, and is so classic that it stands the test of time, just like the beautiful homes on Long Island.

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

4 Reasons to Upgrade Kitchen Appliances


If you’re looking at upgrading your home, the kitchen is a brilliant place to start. You can reap a wealth of rewards from new kitchen appliances. While they may require a sizable investment upfront, they’ll pay you back in both convenience and cold hard cash. If you’re thinking about adding a new refrigerator, range, or other appliance to your kitchen, consider these great perks that will sweeten the deal.

Increased Home Resale Value

Your kitchen is a prime place for remodeling if you want to increase the value of your home. In top markets, you can recoup over 100 percent of your investment in kitchen remodeling. New appliances are an important part of the package. Buyers look for a sleek matching set that coordinates well with the overall design of the home.

Stainless steel has enjoyed a long reign as a top choice for sleek kitchens. A more recent trend is appliances disguised as cabinetry, so if you’re updating the cabinets in your kitchen, you can select appliances that will blend right in. Newer appliances are an appealing perk when your home is for sale because buyers know they’ll enjoy a long lifespan from these items.

Lower Energy Expenses

Today’s modern Energy Star appliances operate at a fraction of the cost of their older counterparts. The refrigerator is the second-largest consumer of energy in most homes, coming in just behind the air conditioner. An 18-cubic-foot refrigerator circa 1986 uses a whopping 1,400 kilowatt-hours a year while the latest Energy Star models consume less than 350 kWh annually. Upgrading to newer appliances will yield instant savings on your energy bill.

Reduced Maintenance and Repair Costs

Older appliances typically cost more to maintain. As they age, they require more frequent repairs. Obtaining the right parts for an aging appliance may be trickier than making a quick repair on a newer model. Once you’ve invested in an upgraded appliance, protect your new purchase with a home warranty from TotalProtect. This will help you manage the expenses associated with regular wear and tear.

Improved Performance

Today’s kitchen appliances are a far cry from what was available even a few years ago. Samsung offers a refrigerator that dispenses sparkling water thanks to a SodaStream cylinder concealed inside the door. GE’s Profile Series French Door refrigerator will dispense the exact amount of water needed to fill your glass.

GE’s Profile Built-In Electric Double Convection Wall Oven is compatible with the GE Brillion app that lets you preheat remotely and get smartphone alerts when food is gone. Dacor offers both app compatibility and voice control so you can simply tell your oven what to do. Today’s feature-packed kitchen fixtures are designed to revolutionize the way you store, prepare, and serve meals.

Are you ready to enhance your kitchen with new appliances? Whether you want sparkling water right from the fridge or you’re looking for a lower sum on your utility bill, there’s a suitable option for your kitchen. There’s no excuse to wait – start searching for your next upgrade.

Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image via Flickr by okchomeseller.

Invest In New Windows And Doors

Note: this is a partnered post and consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed photo by moccasinlanding.

Tax season can be a stressful time for some, but many can also look forward to tax refunds once all is said and done and they’ve filed. You may already be dreaming up appliances, electronics, or vacations you can put that money toward. If you haven’t thought about setting that money aside for home renovations, it may be time to consider the long-term benefits of improving the energy efficiency and value of your home by investing that money in new windows and doors.

Your home is an investment, but you don’t have to wait until you sell to reap the benefits of it; by investing in its performance now, you can reap savings for years to come. Why not invest your tax return in new, energy efficient windows and doors this year, especially as hydro bills have become a source of outrage for many living in Kitchener, not to mention the rest of Ontario? Money spent now on upgrades can result in major savings down the road, and you could well be due for new windows and doors in Kitchener anyway. While it wouldn't be much of a home without them, homeowners often tend not to pay much attention to their doors and windows, at least until they start to rattle in the wind. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that these have a lifetime comparable to that of the building itself, but depending on their type, most windows and doors need to be replaced every ten to fifteen years. Depending on the sides of the building where these doors and windows are located, deterioration can occur even faster.

It's time to replace your home's doors and windows when the weather stripping deteriorates and when they become loose and drafts are noticeable on either side of them. Fogging and condensation between panes are also signs that it's time to replace windows, but even if your old windows seem to be functioning to their optimal performance, you can still invest in windows that do better. For example, Energy Star windows made by Kitchener-based Golden Windows use new energy efficient technology to prevent infrared light (heat energy) and UV rays from passing through the glass. They prevent both heat carried in sunlight from entering your home during the summer and heat generated inside your home from escaping in the winter. Since it may well be past time for door and window replacement in your home, why not make those new windows and doors in Kitchener energy efficient ones? In addition to being a great investment of your tax return, it’s also a renovation that delivers a significant, 85 percent ROI.

Homeowners can expect to see reductions in their hydro immediately upon installation, with savings of as much as 30% at the end of the first year. But in order to see these benefits, it's important to select the right windows and doors, which is why it's important to work with a professional window and door company like Golden Windows. Doing so will help you select the right type for your home, and experienced staff also help you choose the right materials. This spring, try saving your tax refund and putting it towards an investment that will keep giving back to your pocketbook.

4 Signs Your Commercial HVAC System Needs Service

Business owners often field complaints about odors, allergens, temperature, and related issues — sometimes daily. But in some cases, reports conflict, and a good leader knows it’s impossible to please everyone — so potential HVAC problems are often ignored unless, or until, the system breaks down entirely. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the comments and concerns of your employees. They could be noticing one of these four signs that your commercial HVAC system needs service.

Uneven Heating and Cooling

Thermostat settings can be one of the most contentious issues in an office setting, a constant tug-of-war between those who have to wear sweaters in the summer to stay warm and those who would blast the AC in the dead of winter. Although there is no magic temperature that will make everyone happy, you can’t afford to ignore every complaint about temperature. Instead, look for patterns. You might find that one part of the building really is cooler or warmer than the rest, and such uneven heating and cooling could indicate a problem with your HVAC system.

Strange Odors and Poor Ventilation

Lingering odors could also signal an HVAC issue such as poor ventilation, a refrigerant leak, or the presence of mold and mildew. If you can’t find the source of the smell yourself, give your HVAC company a call. It’s important to determine whether the odor originates in your HVAC system and to address the problem if so. Even if the odor is being caused by something else, a smell that sticks around longer than it should could mean your office space isn’t properly ventilated. In that case, an HVAC technician can recommend upgrades to improve indoor air quality (IAQ).

Sick Building Syndrome

13397331035_dd80d2f94d-1You should also pay attention to your employees’ health. If you’ve noticed a slew of sneezes and sick days recently, it’s even more important to schedule an AC tune-up now. You could have a case of sick building syndrome on your hands. Sick building syndrome refers to a phenomenon in which employees experience symptoms of illness but no specific medical cause can be found.

Often these symptoms are tied directly to time spent in a certain building, such as an office, and dissipate when employees are not at work. A variety of IAQ issues can contribute to sick building syndrome, but an HVAC professional should be able to help you pinpoint the cause(s).

Disruptive Noises

Have any of your employees complained about noise levels? Although some of the noise could be coming from outside, indicating that perhaps your building would benefit from more insulation, it’s wise to make sure it isn’t coming from your HVAC system. Anything from clicking or clanking to humming or buzzing could be your system’s cry for help.

When it comes to HVAC maintenance, “sooner or later” should always be “sooner.” The earlier that problems are caught and corrected, the less they will cost you — both on the repair bill and on monthly utility bills, which rise when an HVAC system isn’t working at its peak.

Note: this is a partnered post & consideration was received for its publication. CC-licensed image via Flickr by tinafranklindg.