Previous month:
March 2017
Next month:
May 2017

How to choose the best tankless water heater for your home

 4458290906_17d66aca4e_b

Choosing big ticket items for your home can cause a great deal of stress. Often times the need for items such as a tankless water heater spring up out of nowhere and can cost a great deal of money that you may not have laying around. This article will help identify ways in which you can prevent this stressful situation from happening to you.

Check your water heater from time to time to make sure that it is functioning properly and that it does not need to be serviced or repaired. If you find that you have a leak or a problem, be sure to contact professionals promptly so that they can solidify what is going on and potentially fix the issue before it turns into something that could cost a significant amount of money later on. Taking a few moments to check your equipment can prevent the need to replace costly items before the time is necessary.

If you are in the market for a new water heater, it is important to do your research. Be sure to check out consumer reports, customer reviews, and forums for feedback on how various products perform. It is also a good idea to research the differing types of products that are on the market. For example, if you currently have a water heater with a tank but you have done your research to find that in actuality, a tankless water heater will work better for your family, you can then check out these tankless water heater reviews to help you choose the most reliable item on the market.

Before deciding on a water heater, consider putting some money away every pay period to help alleviate the overwhelming sensation you may feel if the time comes to purchase a big ticket item and you do not have the money. By saving a little bit of money now, you can purchase a water heater based on what is best for your family instead of on what you can afford.

When choosing your water heater, be sure that the new one will fit with the current equipment you own. In addition, it is important to consider the size of the space in which you will be placing the water heater. It may be worthwhile to measure the space so that you can ensure that the new heater will fit properly. There is nothing more disappointing than doing research on an item, to get it home, to then find out that it will not fit. The trouble that you went through to transport the item to your house and then the process of returning it can be a huge drag and also induce stress.

While there are many things to consider when purchasing a water heater, it is important to keep track of such purchases in a home journal. Keeping track of big purchases such as this can help you stay organized while keeping track of the age of crucial equipment that helps your home function on a daily basis.

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


5 House Painting Rules You Should Never Break

4089130514_793d3dba47_b

One of the most significant changes you can make to freshen up the feel of your home and increase value is to repaint. Repainting a house, whether you're tackling the exterior, interior or both, isn't the easiest job but the end result is well worth the time and money, if it's done right.

If you think your home could use a fresh coat of paint, here are 5 rules you need to follow.

  • Always Prep and Prime Properly

Repainting your exterior will not only beautify your house, but also protect the it against the elements. The most important step in repainting is to always prep and prime properly before you even touch it with paint. Many people rush this step and the end result is peeling paint, unsightly edges and feathering, or complete failure of the paint job.

Whether your home exterior has a wood house siding or fiber cement siding installed, you must first evaluate where problems spots may be or if there is any damage to the walls. Remove old, flaking paint properly using techniques such as scraping with a flexible putty knife and/or using a pressure washer. Fill in any cracks or holes in the walls with exterior-grade filler. Finally, never skip on sanding as this step will smooth out ridges which will be more noticeable under paint. Also, prior to removing paint you should check whether the old paint is lead-based, as these older paints can be dangerous to remove yourself. If the paint is from 1978 or earlier you should consult a professional.

  • Use the 60-30-10 Color Rule

A rule of modern home design that should be kept in mind when planning on paint color choice is the 60-30-10 rule. This rule breaks down color selection to a basic principle that 60% of the room should be the dominant color, 30% a secondary contrast color and the final 10% an accent color. When applied to house painting you will want 60% of your color choice to be the walls and floor, 30% to be furniture color or an accent wall, and the final 10% to be smaller piece of furniture and decor.

Though the typical 60-30-10 rule is used for interior design to ensure a balance of color, it can also apply to exterior painting. You may use the 60% for the exterior walls and wood decking materials, the 30% for outdoor furniture, and the final 10% for decor like throw pillows on the furniture or planters. Using this ratio will help you maintain an attractive color palette without overdoing it.

  • Never Skip on Paint Primer

While this is unlikely a mistake to happen if you work with a professional, it is one step that some homeowners are tempted to skimp on. Never, ever use a cheap primer or, even worse, skip primer entirely. Regardless of how expensive your paint may be, it will not look good or last if you try to weasel out of a proper priming job.

Purchase a high-quality primer designed for the area of the house you're painting (interior or exterior) and follow the instructions to a T. Don't paint layers too thin nor too thick, as too much primer will have the opposite effect. Also be sure your primer is complementary to your paint as some ingredients will not mix well once it comes time to paint over your primed walls. If you're not sure which primer to purchase you can often get a recommendation from the manufacturer or store you are purchasing your paint from. 

  • Don't Rush and Only Use Tried-and-True Painting Techniques

If you decide to tackle the drop of painting on your own you must first educate yourself on proper painting technique. The worst thing you can do is put in the effort to properly prepare your walls, cover your surroundings and apply your primer coats just to slap paint on haphazardly. The beautiful paint jobs you see in magazines or on websites dedicated to modern home design ideas were painted methodically.

Read up on painting techniques and watch videos on the internet. Always paint from top to bottom, with overlapping paint to prevent lines or drips. Use good quality painter's tape religiously. If you're painting the exterior be sure to do the walls first and then the trim. It's also a good idea for your first wall to be one that is less inconspicuous than a main wall. This is especially true if you are using a professional type of paint sprayer on the exterior.

  • Be Realistic When Considering DIY 

Painting is often considered to be an easy DIY project, but this is a bit deceiving. Sure, you can repaint a bedroom fairly easily with little skill, but if you're tackling a complete house paint job and exterior repainting you should really weigh the pros and cons.

Too many homeowners get overambitious and realize halfway through that they took on too much, either in terms of unplanned expenses, mistakes and time. First off, if you have no previous experience painting walls it is safe to say that a large job like the exterior should be left to a pro. Secondly, the time put into repainting a whole house is extensive and laborious.

Add up how much your paint supplies will be, be generous as mistakes can happen, along with estimated time costs and you just might find that hiring a professional isn't very much more expensive. With a professional also delivering a higher quality paint job the wisest choice is pretty clear.

Repainting is less expensive and time-intensive that other remodeling techniques, yet yields impressive visual results, making it one of the most common projects for homeowners. Whether you go the D.I.Y route or decide to hire a professional, making sure these 5 rules are being followed will help ensure you are happy with the end results.

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


5 Places To Look For Asbestos In Your Home

1604565927_fc1e88545f_o

Despite being illegal in Australia since 2003, up to 98% of houses in certain states were built using asbestos. So if your house was built before 1990, there’s a real possibility that you’ve got asbestos in your home. That’s not a good sign at all, although naturally occurring and commonly used until the late 1980s, it’s a dangerous chemical that, when airborne, can cause lung diseases and cancer.

But there’s no need to worry too much as asbestos can be easy to find and professionally removed quickly and efficiently. If you’re concerned that you have an asbestos problem, here are five places to look for asbestos in your home.

  1. The Roof

The roof is one of the most common places to find asbestos in your home. 20% of all domestic roofs constructed before 1976 contain asbestos, so you could end up in serious trouble if you don’t check your roof. Asbestos in the roof can be incredibly prevalent, so make sure you’re on the lookout for this dangerous material.

  1. Insulation

Insulation, especially heat insulation or fireproofing and soundproofing boards, is another area of concern for asbestos. Materials commonly used for insulation in Australian homes often contain up to 45% asbestos! Insulation material used in circuit boards, electrical panels, ceiling tiles, or wall linings may all contain asbestos. It's always a good idea to take a look at your insulation to check if the toxic chemical is present in your home.

  1. Vinyl flooring

The material backing of some vinyl and linoleum floors can sometimes consist up to 100% asbestos. This is a major issue, as even the slightest movement of this material can cause the asbestos to turn into a breathable dust, making it far more dangerous and easy to consume. So if your house contains these very popular flooring materials, you might want to get them tested or even removed to be on the safe side.

  1. Garden sheds and garages

The roofing of your garden shed and garage may also be made with asbestos. However, unlike the roofs on your house, you’re likely to spend a lot more time in close proximity to asbestos roofing in a shed or garage. So if you spend a lot of time working in your shed or garage, it’d be in your best interest to consider looking to see if the roof contains any asbestos and consider getting it removed.

  1. Cement sheeting

After World War Two, cement containing asbestos was the most popular building material in Australia. For instance, around 98% of houses constructed in Victoria before 1976 were built using asbestos cement. Asbestos cement was common until the 1980s, so if your house was built before 1990, it would be a good idea to check any cement sheeting in your home for asbestos.

If you think you’ve found asbestos in your home, seek out a professional service for further advice. If handling asbestos yourself is necessary, always make sure to wear protective gear. Due to the facts outlined in this article, it is important to take time to learn more about asbestos testing and removal in Australia.

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


How To Enhance The Security Of Your Home With A Professional Locksmith

Garden-shed-192058_1280

A proper locking system is necessary for government offices, commercial offices, and homes as well as vehicles. Every institution and organization have its different needs regarding security. In the market, there are locksmiths who have established themselves as professionals and provide quality services to their clients. It is essential to work with people who are properly trained, and they have the necessary skills to work as technicians. Such people must have the knowledge that is required in the field of the locksmiths. To know a qualified and experienced locksmith, he can handle any problem that is related to residential and automotive locksmith services.

Why Do You Need Locksmith Services?

Every residential and commercial place must have good security products. The security systems and services are critical because they ensure that such premises have enough security, people are safe, reliable equipment and the information in such places is safe. For all that to be catered for, the institutions and organizations must seek for people who are experts in the provision of locksmith services. Professional locksmiths will provide the necessary advice concerning security and install the systems. These locksmiths will also assist the organizations by doing maintenance and repair which are essential for keeping the security updated.

A Requirement For Residential Properties

Locksmiths are professionals, and they have the experience hence they can deal with any problem that may arise regarding your residential. They will help you if you need things such as master key system, control system, and a lock combination or a door that is keyless. There are other services you will enjoy if you are working with professional locksmiths. For example, they provide door knob, door locks, CCTV and setting of a security camera, replacing key among other services. Even if you are locked out of your home, the professional locksmiths will help you.

Provision of Commercial Services

Commercial shops need the services of professional locksmith services who offer some services meeting the needs of your security. These professional locksmiths have a range of specialized services for retail shops, and they are the best for such services. They will take care of various things such as external security, traffic blocks, biometric locks among other services that are for commercial services. They will also ensure the care of stuff such as electric strikes, panic bar, fire escape systems, repair and maintenance and recharging among other things.

Auto Locksmith Services

There are some instances when you can lose you a key, and you do not have any extra key for the vehicle, and you need to have it replaced. If you consult the services of professional locksmiths, they have various resources, components as well as key blanks for every emergency that you may need.

Reliability

They are the best when it comes to attending to emergency needs with services that need urgency any time. Their reliability is twenty-four hours in throughout the week. It does not matter the time which you will have to contact them they will always ensure that they are there to help you with any problem that you may need.

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


5 Most Affordable Carpet Cleaners for Sale in 2017

 

Carpet

Carpet cleaners are supposedly heaven-sent for those who want to maintain their carpets. Yet some people, in choosing low-quality and bad-performing cleaners, end up gaining more problems than solutions; to the point of resorting to DIY cleaning methods just to save their carpet. Finding the right carpet cleaner or carpet shampooer doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. With the right amount of patience, smart research, and getting recommendations from trusted people; you will find the perfect one that will change the way you clean your carpets forever.

To save you time, here are the most affordable yet good quality carpet cleaners we found on the market.

  1.    BISSELL SpotLifter 2X Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner, 1719 – Cordless

For only $50.99, you get a good-performing, portable, and easy to use carpet cleaner. This model got lots of good reviews online. For a low price, this 6-lb cordless cleaning tool can be used anywhere, at home or around your car. It has a 15 minute run time and is strong enough to pick up debris and dirt. With the use of the right cleaning agent, the SpotLifter can be very effective in removing pet stains, among others.

  1.    Hoover Spot Scrubber Multi-Surface Cleaner, FH10025

Looks are deceiving with this small carpet cleaner as it is a very powerful performer for heavy-duty work on carpets, rugs, curtains, upholstery, and even hard floors. It’s portable and space-saving design is what most people love about it. Its handle makes it easy to move around the house. For the price of $78.99, the Hoover Spot Scrubber definitely doesn’t disappoint.

  1.    Hoover Carpet Cleaner SteamVac with Clean Surge Carpet Cleaner Machine F5914900

With a price of $144.49, this Hoover Carpet Cleaner SteamVac gives you great value for your money. This heavy duty cleaner is perfect for deep cleaning. It comes with a clean surge control that provides extra detergent to stains and heavy traffic areas. It is powered by Hoover’s SpinScrub Technology with 3-speed brushroll control and Smart Tank System. It has a 12-amp motor that is powerful enough to clean all of your floors.

  1.    Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer

The carpet cleaner with tons of positive reviews is the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer. For only $159.99, you get a powerful cleaning tool that will make carpet cleaning an easy task. Its remarkable capabilities earned it the prestigious Top Ten REVIEW Gold Award. It uses hot air to dry damp carpets. It runs with a 10-amp motor and includes five 360-degree removable brushes. Lastly it is lightweight and has an automatic height adjustment.

  1.    BISSELL DeepClean Essential Full Sized Carpet Cleaner, 8852

For $183.94 on Amazon, you can get a full sized carpet cleaner that is best for heavy duty chores. The BISSELL DeepClean Essential uses heatwave technology with 6 cleaning rows and large capacity tanks. It also features EdgeSweep brushes for hard to clean areas like baseboards and around furniture. It is easy to clean and very powerful for any of your cleaning needs.

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


5 Tips to organizing your new home after a move

9264977934_c6d5457130_k

After the professional packers and movers are long gone, you need to organize your new home. Here are five tips to organize your new home after a move. The tips include key strategies to help you enjoy your new home sooner, rather than later!

Pack How You Would Unpack

Moving success depends on the prep work. Organizing your home becomes a lot easier when you do the prep work correctly. Put all your kitchen items (e.g. plates) into one box. Label the box. Unpack the box once you arrive at your new home. Leave clothes on the hanger. This will make organizing your clothes later much easier. Move toy boxes and desks filled. You simply move everything in place at your new home. More transferring, less shuffling.

Viola! Easy moving!

Following this tip will limit your stress and burnout.

Designate a purpose for each room

Giving each room a purpose makes organizing your home much easier! You will be able to determine how to better organize, and just as important, store your stuff. Get a large piece of paper. Create a diagram of your new home. It does not have to be perfect. Include rooms, bathrooms – all nooks and crannies.  Label each room on your diagram. Now jot down each room’s purpose near the room name. Do not be afraid to use your eraser.

Organize Big Items First

Think of the large items as the foundation, the cornerstone of your decorated home. These larger items include beds, tables and futons. Move those items to where you stated in the first step.

Aim for unpacking for your needs first. Place your items for function not beauty. You have to take care your basic needs first – eating, sleeping and hygiene. Therefore, unpacking your bedroom furniture is a good start. Then move on to other rooms, your wants. Start with the items you use daily.

Start Decorating!

Decorating will depend on your lifestyle and personal tastes. Unpack your storage spaces last. A typical storage space is the garage. Most of the garage items are not required for daily living. So you should take steps to make the storage space work for you and your family. The same applies to your patio.  Set up your grill first – to cook, especially if your kitchen is not ready yet. Using the grill will minimize your utensil and kitchen supplies. There’s less work to do amid a pile of work to do.

Don’t Rush the Process

Moving into a new home excites many people. It is also a time of high anxiety and stress. But! Quick-fix decorating or ‘functional’ decorating hurts you in the long run. Some people take weeks, months, even years decorating their home. Live in your new home for a while before you begin your decorations. That includes any new big ticket purchases or projects. So, hold off on that pool and entertainment center! Get a feel for your new residence first. You do not have to be a minimalist – owning only the bare minimum to survive. You should, however, take your time making your house into a home.

That’s it! If you follow these tips, you will decorate your home to your satisfaction.

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


How to Tell if a Tree is Dying and Avoid that Backyard Disaster

8938227792_c43caa2b97_k

Trees are nature’s way of providing the planet with sufficient oxygen and after thousands of years, humanity has finally realised how important they are to the ecosystem. Trees need regular care and attention, if they are to remain safe and attractive and in either a domestic or commercial environment, one must prune often. There are many reasons why a tree might die, perhaps too many to explain in this article, but whatever the reason for the tree’s demise, there are tell-tale signs to look out for, and here are the most common signs that a tree is about to meet its maker.

  • Trunk Damage – If a tree has vertical lines running along the trunk, this could indicate serious damage, and one sure sign is lack of bark. Every tree will shed its bark, just as a snake sheds its skin, and it must do this to accommodate new growth, but if you notice patches of the trunk that are bare of bark, this is a sign the tree is in critical condition and might easily topple over in a storm. If you have a dangerous looking tree on your property, and you live in Western Australia, there are online companies that specialise in tree removal services in Perth and surrounding areas, who can safely remove the tree and also grind away the stump, leaving no trace.
  • Lack of Foliage – If a tree that normally has plenty of young green leaves looks a little bare, this could be a sign of the end of its natural life. Of course, some trees are bare in the winter, so one must make allowances for seasonal changes. If you think a tree is looking rather undernourished and lacks the usual amount of greenery, call in Williams Tree Pro Services, who have been servicing the Perth region since 2005, and there isn’t a job they can’t handle. In England, you'll want to talk to Kings Cuts Tree Services, professional tree surgeons who operate throughout Romford, Dagenham, and the entire Essex area.
  • Change of Elevation – If a large tree suddenly leans over, even slightly, this could mean decay has got to the roots, and with some species, the roots are the first part of the tree to begin to cease working. This can be potentially dangerous, as a very large tree could weigh 30-40 tonnes and heavy wind would bring it down, and if you do notice anything unusual, ask your local arborist to examine the tree in question, as it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Fungus – Fungus on the lower trunk and surrounding the stump can be an indication of internal rot, but you can only establish this by asking an experienced arborist to look at the tree. One can never really be sure until an expert gives their opinion and if the tree is in danger of falling, it must be safely removed by a tree surgeon.

Trees are an attractive addition to any outdoor area and can really give the environment that natural feel, but they are also potentially very dangerous, especially if they are not looked after.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Mark’s Postcards


How to find the best rates on your Contractor’s Bond

2987611025_b9a279bba1_b

There are so many companies offering different rates on contractor’s bond nowadays. How do you know that you are getting the best rate for the best price? It’s not enough to just get the cheapest one out there. You may be one of those contractors who look for the companies offering cheap rates, but you also need to make sure that it’s worth it.

You need to read up and make sure that you know enough about contractor bonds before you make a decision regarding the company you would like to buy the bond from. A contractor license bond is important as it is not only for the contractor but it can also help others that could be affected by unethical business decisions.

Not only is the contractor protected, but also the company that hired the contractor plus the state bond issuing agency is as well. This is your way of assuring that you will provide your services in the most professional and ethical manner after all.

To make sure that you can acquire a good rate for your contractor’s bond, your company should have a history of success. This is great if you are already established in the area and have tons of experience to back your success. But what if you just started your business? Your personal and industry experience then are important.

You need to make sure that you have good references and that your company’s business plans are clear. Your company’s financial background is also important. Credit plays an important part in the rates that you will be getting.

The construction industry has somewhat suffered in the past years and many companies have experienced credit problems because of this. Some have experienced credit trouble as they were affected by things like divorce, legal trouble, or medical bills.

You can start by improving the working capital of your company, which is your assets minus your liabilities. You can try to refinance short-term loans into long-term liability to improve your capital. Another thing you need to do is limit the loans that your company has.

If you are looking for a company that provides this services, shop for a contractor bond here. Contractor Bond Quote has many years of experience in the industry. They help general and artisan contractors in California.

They have professionals who have many years of experience in the industry and are able to help their potential clients. Their customers have become very satisfied with their service and through word of mouth from their clients, they have amassed very loyal customers over the years. They can guarantee the lowest rates for your needs without sacrificing anything. You can call them today to get a free bond quote.

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


new materials for kitchen and bath

4444442937_4bd71b3ace_o

While most of these lend themselves more to a modern kitchen or bath, it's certainly possible to take advantage of advances in materials science in a more traditional remodel as well. For example, I've seen several new Craftsman kitchens using pre-cast and cast-on-site concrete for countertops, and what looks industrial in a modern setting can look warm and complementary in a classic wooden kitchen. Further, now that dyes and inclusions can be added to concrete to give it a bit more character, it's a much more flexible product than it was when it first became popular as a countertop material several years ago.

Recycled glass and wood, blocks of pressed fibers, resins and other manufactured materials and even more arcane products are being repurposed as countertop, tile, flooring and more. Take a look at a few products and manufacturers I've discovered in the last few months:

tile / glass / stone

  • Una Terra sells interesting, unique tiles made all over the world - from Italian specialty glass mosaics to American-made stone, they've got some really neat stuff (as well as high-resolution PDFs so you can see the tile up close, something I wish more vendors offered).
  • Marazzi sells porcelain, glass, ceramic and metal-glaz tiles in a small range of basic shades and tones.
  • Bisazza is the American vendor for a large Italian glass and porcelain mosaic tilemaker.
  • Hakatai are my favorite American tilemakers & sellers. Based in Oregon, they produce hundreds of mosaic tiles in glass and other materials for pools, walls, counters, floors, murals and any other flat surface you can imagine. Well, almost.
  • Sonoma Cast Stone sells concrete, kitchen and bath surrounds, tiles & pavers and other items and materials in a wide array of colors.
  • Concrete Network is not a seller, but rather a sourcing site for folks looking for a concrete contractor. The website also includes a big gallery of photos of concrete in use - as countertops, fireplace surrounds, flooring, furniture, sinks and more.
  • IceStone is made from recycled glass and concrete, and comes in a 24-standard color palette with an infinite number of custom options.

wood

  • Ebony & Co sell hardwood, antique / salvaged, old-growth pine and bespoke wooden parquetry floors in a huge range of woods and finishes. They are also one of the few wood floring vendors who sell specific grades to be used in conjunction with underfloor heating installations.
  • Bamboo Hardwoods has sold sheets of pressed bamboo lumber for flooring, furniture and other products since 1995. They also have a line of custom bamboo cabinetry for kitchen & bath.
  • Teragren sells bamboo flooring, panels designed for cabinetry and furniture, and veneers.
  • Windfall Lumber sells "sustainably harvested wood products," including flooring, mouldings, countertops, decking and whole timbers.
  • New York City's Habitus sells tile, stone, cement, Japanese stucco, porcelain and more, but what they are known for are their cork products: mosaic tiles, floor and wall panels, fabrics, and more. High resolution PDFs are available for download.
  • Treefrog makes and sells exotic wood laminates in interesting patterns and textures
  • Plyboo is a flexible plywood made from bamboo, and is often used for cabinetry and furnituremaking.

other stuff

  • Yemm & Hart makes decorative polyethylene sheeting and flooring made from recycled tires, just like the stuff that was under the monkey bars when you were a kid - but colorful, stronger, and it won't break up and track all over the place.
  • Lumicor seems all over the news lately. The product is essentially a type of architectural resin which is strong enough to be used as structural material and interesting enough to be decorative. It can be cast thick or thin, and is sometimes used for countertop and tabletop material. It is often cast with various types of fibers embedded, and can be made in an enormous range of colors, textures and opacities. Their portfolio shows several dozen different uses - in homes, retail settings, office space and elsewhere.
  • Paperstone is what it sounds like: a solid surface material, great for countertops, made from recycled paper that has been transformed under enormous pressure.
  • Richlite is another popular product made from a paper fiber-based composite. It was originally distributed as a surface for commercial kitchens and baths in the 1950s, but is enjoying a resurgence as a domestic surface. It is also used for skateboard parks, of all things! It's generally considered a green alternative to Corian and manufactured granite, as it can very closely resemble those materials.
  • Brooklyn's Bettencourt Green Building Supplies sells many of these items, including Richlite, Paperstone, Plyboo bamboo butcherblock, Durapalm coconut flooring, cork, Kirei board, wheatboard and lots more.

Additionally, Green Home Guide, which can usually be counted on for good and unbiased advice on building materials, has a guide to choosing countertop material; they also have a buyers' guide to green flooring materials, which should give you some general budget information.

Finally, don't discount the reliable standbys: Corian kitchen worktops are affordable, last forever, quick to fab and install, and look absolutely fantastic. Many contractors are happy to use something tried and true, rather than playing with new materials they've never encountered before. In the UK, we strongly recommend Unique Fabrications in Milton Keynes, who can take on any job, from complex industrial and commercial spaces to residential kitchens and baths.

cc-licensed image by sierravalleygirl


Best Ventura Moving Company

64077088_1324be0564_b
When it comes to hiring a moving company, there are a few things you should consider before making a decision on who you will go with. You want to make sure that youre working with the right company that understands the needs you have. The moving company should be professional, reliable and flexible when it comes to the moving date and time.

When it comes to the best, make sure to look into the best Ventura movers, Attention To Detail Moving and what theyre able to provide. Here are some quick tips for choosing a moving company that you can trust.

  • Ask Questions – make sure to ask the company any and all questions you might have about working with them and their specific services
  • Pack Ahead of Time – make sure to clearly label all of the boxes that you have within your home, so the movers know where to place the boxes & what is fragile
  • Plan Ahead – create a checklist of everything that needs to get done, such as packing, changing addresses, creating emergency numbers and finding a place for children and dogs to go during the move

Speak with Attention to Detail Moving Company to find out how theyre able to help you when the time comes. Through the use of their many moving tips and tricks, you can ensure that youre working with a company that understands what exactly is needed. Not only that, but theyve worked with many other clients that praise their services and recommend them to anyone that is looking for the best Ventura County moving company to work with.

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


Guide to Making a Garden Shed by Yourself

29060879105_adf131d5a9_k

Are you thinking about building a shed for your garden? Don’t know where to begin? Follow this quick, simple guide to help understand the basics of building a shed and adding a unique touch.

STEP ONE – MATERIALS & TOOLS:

Unless working with a massive budget, the chances are this shed will consist of wood more than any other building material. Cheap plastic shed windows materials can also be purchased for affordable prices online that can be used for sturdy, safe windows.

Tools that will be required to build your shed are:

  • Power drill or an electric screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Retractable knife
  • Tape measure
  • Builder’s square
  • Rule or straight edge - to help cut any roof felt
  • Pencil
  • Work platform

STEP TWO – THE BASE:

It is very important for a shed to have a stable foundation (made out of either plastic, timber, concrete or a paved slab). This prevents water collecting around its floor. Ensure that you have building permission before doing so.

STEP THREE - PLACEMENT:
Centre the shed floor on top of your base and measure the edges with a pencil.

Lift the back panel in to place – make sure you have assistance when doing so. Once placed, lift a side panel onto the shed floor. Ensure that the last panel you place is the one with the door.

STEP FOUR – SCREWS:

Screw the panels together along the framing battens where they meet. From here, drill pilot holes and fit 3 screws at the top, middle and bottom. Fit the other panels the same way.

Next, fit the final panel (this should be the one with the door). Unless your instructions explain otherwise, do not fit the frame to the floor just yet.

STEP FIVE – SUPPORT:

Fit the roof support beam across the top of the shed, slotting it into the pre-existing grooves. Make sure that the base is sat firmly and the door opens easily.

Fix the beam to each gable end through an L-shaped metal bracket (included with the shed kit) using the screws provided.

STEP SIX – THE ROOF:

Lift the roof panels into position; be careful to make sure that everything is level and aligned.

Secure the roof panels to the shed and along the support beam. If necessary, use a work platform to avoid injuries.

Make sure that everything is how you wish for it to be before screwing in the panels.

STEP SEVEN – THE WINDOWS:

To add a unique touch to your shed, a great idea is to use coloured plastic material that is reliable and shatterproof. Cut My Plastic has just the answer and plenty of colours to chose from. The majority of shed windows are simply screwed on or slotted in to place, which makes this process very simple.

A great benefit to using plastic shed windows is the fact that it will keep your shed warm, meaning you can enjoy your new space all year round. This little extra feature will really go the extra mile.

ENJOY!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new shed!

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


How To Make Your Garden Hose Last Longer

7319417186_fc6f1abc0b_b

Gardening is an enriching pursuit. Many people spend much time tending their gardens because it feels good for the soul. Watering plants might sound so simple but it is a precious activity because you help a living thing grow and thrive.

We use different tools in watering plants. Some use a water sprinkler. Some swear by the good old watering cans. But most gardeners these days, especially those with acres of lands, use a garden hose because it is a versatile tool. It can also be used for washing a vehicle, for example.

Garden hoses range in price from cheap to expensive, depending on the length, flexibility, and material used. A hose made of vinyl is usually the cheapest while flexogen is the most expensive because it can last a lifetime. As an essential tool in the garden, it’s only necessary that it is maintained and stored appropriately. If you own one, here are tips to give your garden hose the proper care it needs so it could last for many years.  

    1. Completely drain water from hose when not in use. This a must regardless of the material used. However, this is extremely significant when you are using a retractable garden hose because the interior of this hose is covered by fabric. Your hose is prone to harmful levels of bacteria when left undrained for extended periods of time.
    2. Store it in shade or cover it- make sure to store it out of the sun. The UV rays can destroy its outer lining, making it susceptible to cracks. Extreme temperatures can weaken the material of your hose. The same goes during winter, since frozen temperatures can damage your garden hose. Also check and be sure that there are no kinks or bends before storing your garden hose.
    3. Wind the hose properly. Avoid tears and cracks by rolling it up between uses. After turning off water to the hose, hold it a few feet from the spigot and bend a loop. Reach a foot from the spigot and make another loop in the same direction while still keeping a hold of it.
    4. Use a nozzle. A garden hose nozzle is normally used to build up enough pressure in the hose. It can also be used to avoid dirt and bacteria getting into the hose. Most innovative garden hoses already come with a nozzle as well as connectors and adaptors.
    5. Don’t drag by the nozzle. Instead of pulling the spray nozzle, pull the hose itself. This way, you can avoid weakening the coupling where the nozzle and hose connect. Dragging the hose by the nozzle is one of the reasons why a hose leaks. 

A regular garden hose lasts for five years or more. Over time, you may want to check if your hose has started to break or corrode. When is it time to start looking at a selection of garden hoses here for a replacement? It might be time to get a new one when you notice some leaks that are unlikely to be repaired or corrosion that may be harmful to your plants. The next time you buy a new garden hose, consider ones that have the anti-kink and anti-tangling feature.

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


3 Considerations Before Embarking on Any Home Renovation

16861153055_246605b646_k

A home renovation takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work to complete. There are some things you should take into consideration before taking on a task like this. Here are the top three things to consider before you make the final decision on any home renovation project.

The Whys and the Hows

The first thing that you need to think about is why are you doing this renovation and what you want it to look like in the end. It is extremely important that you know what your objective is before you begin. One popular reason for home renovations is to see an increase on your rental return and to improve the capital value of a home you own. Another completely viable reason is for your own enjoyment. It may be important to you to keep up with your neighbors or to set the bar before they can. Figure out exactly why you want to do this home renovation and keep that in mind during the process.

You will also want to have a good idea of what you want your home renovation to look like in the end. This can help you decide whether you are able to do this project on your own or if you will have to hire someone else to do it for you. If you are hiring someone else, this will give you a starting point to show the contractor you decide on. A simple diagram showing where you want everything placed that includes detailed notes on exactly what you want is exactly what you need to create. Be as clear about any details as you can.

What Will It Make You Feel

When you know why you are committing to this home renovation and have a plan mapped out, you should then ask yourself how you want to feel when it is all completed. Adding a new pool will likely give you a relaxed feeling in the end. Creating a new deck will often supply you with a place to show off your handiwork. You should be proud of what you've done. If you are simply adding to the landscaping around your house, you will likely feel invigorated. Make sure that you are able to reward yourself and finish the renovation with a party that includes your family and friends.

Do You Have the Time?

The third thing that you should consider before you renovation is the time and effort that you are willing to give for the project. If you have all the time in the world, by all means start the project right away and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you are only willing and able to give a few hours a week, those hours may be better spent finding a contractor who will do the work for you.

Make sure to consider all of the things that you will have to do prior to and during this renovation. You may need to acquire permits before you begin. Do you even know what vacuum excavations are? You will need to purchase materials, rent tools, and produce high-quality work. Scheduling all of this around your busy workday may be far from possible. You will also need to spend time and energy if you hire a contractor. You will need to keep your accounts paid, schedule the work around you and your families schedules, and check on the work to make sure it's coming along as you wish. No matter which direction you go there will be a lot of work involved.

Any home renovation begins with planning. Figure out why you want this home renovation and map it out as completely as you can. Next, decide on how this home renovation will make you feel in the end. Finally, decide whether you can put forth the time and effort required to complete the project. After you have all that down it should be about time to start.

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


Australia’s most unwanted pests

6880327102_8a138f943d_b

Australia is home to a diverse range of remarkable species of flora and fauna; more than 80 percent of which are found nowhere else in the world. While the country is popular for its diversity of native animals including kangaroo, platypus, koala, dingo, wallaby, and much more, it is also a fact that many species of pests, ranging from insects to small animals, are driven away from the wild and wreak havoc in cities and suburban communities. Not only do they make our homes ugly and filthy, but they also damage agricultural crops, wood, and other structures. Additionally, many pests are known to transmit a variety of contagious diseases.

Learn more about the most unwanted pests in Australia, their habits, and some of the things that you can do to get rid of them by reading this article. For professional assistance, feel free to give your nearest pest control expert a call.

  1. Flies

Flies are notorious carriers of several disease-causing bacteria including Salmonella. Their habit of hopping from rubbish and decaying organic matter may cause contamination to your food. Flies are more common during the summer during their breeding season. You can keep them away by installing screen doors and windows, cleaning up your home regularly, and covering all food sources that may attract them.

  1. Ants

While there are only a few species of ants that are known to bite, they can be very troublesome especially in large colonies. Once they swarm your food, it is no longer safe for consumption as they are known to spread diseases too. You may easily get rid of ants by regularly cleaning up food particles and by storing food in airtight containers.

  1. Rodents

Rodents have adapted to living with humans in cities and suburban communities. They often prefer to live in the attic, storerooms, and other dark spaces that are rarely visited. Traps are usually used to get rid of rodents. Barring entry points to potential hiding places and removing all food sources within their reach are effective methods too.

  1. Termites

Termites are known to be a common problem in Australia; affecting 1 in every 4 homes at one point or another. They destroy any type of woodwork as part of their diet. They are also able to construct mounds and extensive mud tubes in an instant. There are simple ways to get rid of them and avoid spending much for repairs and cleaning up; like using a wet cardboard trap or exposing them to sunlight. The use of chemicals is not advised and should only be performed by a reputable pest control company.

  1. Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are known to be able to survive up to a year without food. They usually feed on human blood during the night and crawl back to their hiding place unnoticed. New research also shows that bed bug bites causes not just itching but also anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems as well. The use of chemicals is not recommended to kill bed bugs. Rather, vacuuming and brushing your mattress every so often, and using a tightly-sealed mattress cover can prevent them from finding good shelter.

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