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5 Tips to selecting the best garage storage solutions for your home

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If you are looking for unique garage storage solutions for your space, you have come to the right place. We will provide some great tips to selecting the best garage storage solutions for your home. Did you know that adding garage cabinets and storage to your space can add value to your home? Many people do not realize that by taking care of their garage, they are actually adding great value to their property. It is true that many home buyers find a clean and organized garage to be a point of interest and if you keep your garage tidy, you are likely to do the same for your home.  

  • How do you use your garage currently and how do you plan to use it in the future? Before you begin looking for potential garage storage solutions, you will need to determine how you will be using the space. Is your garage simply going to be used for storing random items or will you be using it as a man cave? Perhaps you want to have a designated space to work on your car or other hobbies but you need it to be a space that is organized and not overrun by the family's’ belongings. Depending on your answers to these questions, you can then begin to generate ideas on how you want to create storage areas.
  • Determine your budget. Another step that you must take before you jump in to your new project is to determine your budget. Your budget will need to take into consideration the equipment, tools, labor, and any items you want to purchase to create your space. Once you have determined how much you can feasibly afford to spend on the project, you can then begin to look around at different storage solutions to see what will fit within your budget.
  • Be creative. Regardless of your budget, try to be creative and come up with a layout and space that is representative of you. In order to truly enjoy the space and want to spend time in it, you need to feel that you are represented and that the space is truly your own. Look for areas that you may hang storage cabinets but also consider hanging up old license plates, signs, or other things that represent who you are. This will cost very little but will add a great deal to the space.
  • Use your ceiling space. If you are working with a small garage, consider using your ceiling space. Garages are built with plenty of upward mobility and room. If you have bikes standing up against the wall, they are taking up space. Instead, hang them from the ceiling. This will open up the walls and create more areas for you to work with.
  • Look for warranty information. When selecting items for your garage, you will want to look for warranty information. For example, if you plan to add a lift for your car collection, be sure to check with the manufacturer about a warranty. When you are investing in expensive purchases, it is a good idea to know if you are protected should something go wrong.

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3 Tips to keeping your home clean with pets

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Keeping your home clean can be quite an ordeal if you work full-time and have a house full of family members and pets. Life is busy and taking care of your home, cooking meals, doing laundry, and helping the kids with school work all takes a great deal of time and attention. While there are not enough hours in the day, this article will provide some tips that may make keeping your home clean with pets and kids easier.

  • Hire help. If you have some extra cash in your budget, consider hiring some help to come into your home and help you from time to time. Whether you hire a housekeeper to come sweep and mop the floors and bathrooms once a month or you hire a full-time maid, hiring help is a great solution if you have the disposable income to pay for it. If you do not, perhaps you could hire a maid to come in to help you once a quarter or for big projects such as spring cleaning.
  • Keep your carpets clean. A great way to keep your home smelling fresh is to keep your floors clean. It can be challenging as a pet owner if your pet’s have long hair. They may like to roll in the grass outside and track dirt and grass strands into the house after playing in the yard. With the typical wear and tear that occurs on the carpets due to walking combined with pet hair, dander, and other debris, vacuuming your carpets weekly is paramount to keeping a clean home. It is also a good idea to have your carpet cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Professional carpet cleaners have the ability to lift stains and help bring the look of your carpet back to life. A clean floor and a great smelling home is a step in the right direction.
  • Assign a chore chart. Let’s face it, there are too many tasks to go around for one person to handle on their own. If you work full-time, have a house full of kids and pets, you know what I mean. Cleaning up after everyone can get to be daunting and tiresome. Not to mention, it is a never ending challenge that you are up against. Ask your family to help you. Make it fun by assigning a chore chart. A chore chart will outline everyone in the household and give them tasks that they must complete. Upon completion, you can give them a sticker. When they get to a certain amount of stickers, they can win a prize. The amount of stickers they need to get can be set by you. The prize they want to receive will also need to have your approval and be set before the chores have been completed. This way, your child is learning how to help clean and pick up after themselves while working towards earning a new toy.

Cleaning your home can be a challenging task, especially if you live with pets, children, and a spouse. Whether you hire help, enlist the help of other family members, or divide up tasks throughout the week, committing a bit of time every day to keeping your home tidy will make a difference.

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Brick Mortar Repair: How to Tuckpoint Brick Yourself

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Tuckpointing is a repair process that involves removing the crumbling old mortar between bricks and replacing it with new mortar. It is beneficial for the structural integrity of your home, the prevention of further erosion and water damage, as well as the home’s curb appeal. If you decide to tuckpoint the mortar yourself, it isn’t too hard if you prepare the area and purchase or rent the correct tools. While the process isn’t necessarily hard, it is time consuming and requires some specialized tools. The benefit of this project is that you can do it in small sections as time allows, or set aside a large window of time to do the entire project.

 

However, if you put off tuckpointing, crumbling areas of mortar the problem will grow over time. Whether you do the job yourself or hire a contractor, make sure not to wait too long. Keep in mind that if you are only doing a section of wall or fireplace, the new mortar won’t match the old mortar until it weathers naturally over time.

 

Buying or renting the correct tools for the job will save you time and effort later.

 

You will need an angle grinder, a brick trowel, a tuck pointer, a masonry jointer or a joint raker, a hammer and chisel for small projects or a drill with a flat chisel for faster work, and of course mortar. Safety goggles, a dust mask, a stiff bristled brush, and a bucket will also come in handy for this project. You will also benefit from putting down drop cloths to make cleanup easy. For very large sections that will take more than one day, it will probably be more economical to buy tools instead of renting.

 

The first step to tuckpointing is to use the angle grinder to cut out the old mortar ¾ inch in. It helps to start at the outside corners and work inward, cutting out the horizontal mortar before the vertical. Then use the hammer and chisel or the drill with the flat chisel to chip out the loosened mortar at a 45 degree angle. Sweep out the loosened pieces of mortar with a hand broom and use water to wash out the joints.

 

Once the old mortar is cleaned out, mix up new mortar and work it in with the brick trowel and tuck pointer. Use the jointer to press in the mortar between the bricks. Then use a stiff bristled brush to take off the remaining mortar off the bricks after it’s semi dry. It might not be a bad idea to do a small section first to get the hang of things before taking on the rest of the project.

 

Once you’ve gathered the needed supplies and familiarized yourself with the process of tuck pointing, the project isn’t too hard to get the hang of. If your time is limited though, you can always do an online search for tuckpointing sydney to find a professional to take on the task for you.

 

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5 Reasons to Keep Your Ductwork Clean

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The air quality in your home is important. Keeping dust, pollen, pet dander, and other irritants out of the air you breathe involves more than changing the air filter. What about the air ducts? Contaminants collect in the duct system too, and regular cleaning of the air channel is important.

Improving Health

As you know, many irritants hang in the air we breathe. Not only that, these minute particles of dirt and bacteria settle into your HVAC system and when you turn the system on, these contaminants blow into your home. These particles enter your lungs, worsening allergies and asthma. If your family suffers from frequent bouts of congestion, sinus infections, colds, or the flu, your air ducts probably need cleaning.

Many allergies sufferers trace their health issues back to the many types of fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. And indoor air pollution causes up to 50 percent of illnesses we catch. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, poor indoor air quality ranks among the top five environmental risks to your health.

Energy Consumption

Dirty HVAC systems consume more energy than clean ones. Older ductwork starts leaking and not only do irritants enter through cracks, but air escapes too. Dirty ductwork also impedes airflow that drives up energy bills as much as 20 percent. Plus, dirt stresses your system causing frequent breakdowns. Clean ductwork helps lower your utility bill and helps your HVAC unit last longer.

Smelly Air

If someone in your home smokes that cigarette or cigar order hangs not only in the air but in the ductwork. Likewise, if you burned something on the stove, the smoke must go somewhere. These smells and other household odors collect in the ductwork and get circulated five to seven times per day, on average. Odors continue to plague your home long after you remove the offensive item.

More Reasons

Mold and mildew grow in your duct system especially if your home suffered recent water damage from flooding or foundation cracks. Home renovations and repair often lead to contaminants settling in your air system, and newly built homes need the air ducts cleaned before occupancy.

Call the Professional

Air duct cleaning is not an easy job. It needs special vacuum hoses and tools to reach throughout the system. This is not a do-it-yourself task. Contact your local HVAC company and schedule a professional cleaning. Have your system cleaned every three to five years and more often if your family suffers from severe allergies or asthma, includes a smoker, or you have pets that shed a lot.

You need to know the air you breathe at home is free from contaminants. What you don't know will hurt you. Make sure you contact a certified HVAC technician for ductwork cleaning. Another helpful idea is to buy a high-quality air filter like the ones sold at home improvement stores. Look for pleated filters costing around $15. Not only do these last a little longer, these filters also catch more debris, including bacteria and viruses, before you breathe it in.  

partnered post • CC-licensed image via Flickr by Tina Franklin


5 Tips for increasing your home’s curb appeal

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Selling your home can take a great deal of work. Cleaning, de-cluttering, and staging your home for potential buyers can be a stressful ordeal. The best course of action is to plan ahead and work on getting your house ready to sell over a period of a couple of months. This way you are not rushed and can take your time. When preparing your home for sale, be sure to pay special attention to detail on your porch and front lawn. Your front door and lawn will be the first thing that potential buyers see and this will generate their first impression of the home. This article will highlight some tips to increase your home’s curb appeal.

  1. Make sure your photos look great. Did you know that curb appeal and first impressions begin before an interested buyer steps foot onto your property. With the increase in real estate apps and online home shopping, the importance of having a great photographer and good pictures of your home is critical. The first impression that a buyer has of your home is no longer when they pull up in your driveway; it is now online.
  2. Take a walk around your home as if you were a buyer. What do you see? Are there things that you would want fixed or updated if you were a buyer? If you see small things that need to be fixed, be sure to do them. If you see larger items, be sure to talk with your real estate agent about the pros and cons of disclosing information. Regardless, it is a good idea to make your yard and home look like a property you would want to purchase.
  3. Check the roof. It is probably the last thing on your mind, but potential home buyers are going to look for big ticket items that may need replaced in the foreseeable future. If your home is immaculate and the yard looks great, but the roof is filthy or in shambles, you could potentially lose your buyer. A roof can be expensive to replace so you want to make sure that it looks the best that it can. If it needs to be washed, hire a company to come out and do so as it will make your home look better to interested parties.
  4. Make sure you have house numbers. If you do not have house numbers, be sure to add some of your home. House numbers make the home easy to find and also makes the home appear welcoming. When selecting house numbers, make sure that they match the style of your home. If you have older numbers, clean them or consider replacing them if they are in bad shape.
  5. Make sure your yard is well kept. Having a freshly mowed lawn and a garden that is full of flowers instead of weeds is a great way to attract potential buyers. Be sure that all of your pathways are clear of dirt, debris, and have been edged. If you have a mailbox, make sure that it has been inspected and cleaned as well.

While these tips are great, you should take the lead from trends in your local area. Take a ride around your neighborhood and look at other houses that are for sale. How does yours compare? If you live in southern California, you can check out https://socalhomebuyers.com/san-diego/ for additional ideas.

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Seasonal Decorations for Your Door this Fall

Are you looking for some fun ways to decorate your front door this fall? Then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, any of these creative decorations will work for you. No one should feel limited by their space, so a property management company Pocatello residents love put together this list of Pinterest-inspired door décor for you.

1. Pumpkin House Numbers

How cute! Sometimes house numbers can be so difficult to see or find from the street, so make it easier for all your guests to find your home this fall. These pumpkin house numbers will also let trick-or-treaters know that you’re ready for them.

2. Fall Floral

Take your shot at some fall floral arrangements. Use some rustic pots, barrels, or even pumpkins for a vase. Embrace the colors of the season with this cute idea.

3. Wreaths

Take a traditional door decoration and give it your own creative fall spin. Need ideas? Try some of these cute wreaths other crafters have already made.

4. Wood Signs

Nothing says fall like a wood sign surrounded by pumpkins and corn. Create your own wood welcome sign and decorate it with seasonal items like this.

5. Scarecrows

Get creative with scarecrows like this cute scarecrow wreath. Make your own out of some old clothes and straw, prop it up on your doorstep, or hang it up like a wreath.

6. Put it all together!

Use a little bit of everything to decorate your front door. From pumpkins to scarecrows, you’re sure to have the prettiest porch on the block this fall.

 

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How to Choose the Cooling System Best Suited to Your Needs

 

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Have you ever lived in a house where the heating or cooling system does not function well? Then you obviously understand the reasons why it is important to select a cooling system that is best suited to your home needs. Imagine the pleasure of having to walk out into refreshing air on a hot summer day, or stepping into a room that is toasty and warm after a blustering winter wind and cold? The relief you get underscore the importance of being absolutely sure that whatever cooling actron air equipment you buy to install in your home will meet all your needs.

However, one daunting task is to decide on the type of system to pick because the market is flooded with numerous cooling equipment, and the process of comparing the advantages and disadvantages of all the units can be frustrating and time consuming. To make your work easier, here are a few general guidelines you can follow to lead you to the right cooler.

Space in your home

You need to determine the size of your home before purchasing any cooling equipment. In large homes with a lot of space, it would be futile to use a small unit. Conversely, it is uneconomical to install a large unit for a small space. For instance, in homes with a lot of space, central air conditioners are the most suitable because they require large equipment to run them. The process of removing humidity and heat from the air using refrigerant in an evaporator unit in such establishments needs a basement or attic installation. In new homes under construction, it is easier to install central AC because the house design can include the large space needed for ductwork.

Heating and cooling capacity (the load of the home)

The installation of a system needs to take the calculation of the cooling capacity necessary to keep everyone comfortable into account. Known as the load of the home, this will depend on the square footage of the property. The calculation will help you decide how small or big the system should be. Getting the figure wrong can lead to over-estimated cooling or heating which does not only inflates the initial installation cost, but also contributes to huge utility bills monthly.

Size of the system

The wrong size of equipment can lead to several problems. For instance, an over-sized system quickly cools the temperature, but is does not sufficiently remove humidity or moisture from the air. This will make you feel both clammy and cool at the same time. But if you turn the thermostat down to enable the equipment to run longer, your utility bill will increase. In extreme cases, poor moisture removal can result to the growth of mold and other damages related to moisture. Get the equipment size correctly. Lastly, determine the correct equipment efficiency rating that will give you better and good cooling as well as helping to lower your utility bills. In a general sense the best system for your home is the least expensive equipment that will solve all your problems.

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5 Reasons why keeping your house clean is good for your health

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Having a clean home is not only good for your health but it can also make your home look nice. Coming home to a clean and fresh smelling home can be comforting and welcoming after a long day at the office. Not to mention, having a clean home can help decrease your stress and improve your quality of life. In this article we will explore reasons why keeping your home clean is good for your health.

  1. You will always be ready for guests. A clean home allows for you to host others at any time. No longer will you need to worry if a friend or family member randomly stops by unexpected. Having a clean home allows you to be able to welcome friends and family in with open arms at any given moment.
  2. You will likely be more organized. Have you ever been running late and then have to find your keys? It can be very stressful to be looking for your keys when you are rushing out the door in the morning. When you have a clean home, you will know where your belongings are at all times which can be helpful. Having a clean home means that you will likely be more organized than if you had a home full of clutter. Putting everything in a spot where it belongs makes it easy to find items later on. Not to mention, putting things away will clear the clutter out of your home and will give the impression that you are organized.
  3. Allergens will be at a minimum. If you live in a home with pets and children, you may have to worry about allergens being prevalent. By keeping your home clean, you can ensure that the air is clean and free of dust and allergens. One way to do this is to keep your carpets clean. Having your carpets shampooed from time to time can greatly decrease allergies fostered by dander and pet fur that is in carpets. A good carpet cleaning firm can free your home of a great amount of dirt, dust, and allergens.
  4. Keeps pest to a minimum. When you have a messy home, you will likely have more pests that choose to inhabit your space as well. Cockroaches, ants, and other insects may find their way into your home if you often have leftover food and spills laying around. Not to mention, sticky floors and can breed bacteria.
  5. Improve your home’s safety. Having a messy home makes it tough for your kids and family members to keep from tripping over things or one another. Encouraging your kids to pick up their toys, blocks, clothes, and other items can help prevent slips and falls. Not to mention by blocking doorways or stairways, you can create a problem in getting out of your home in an emergency such as a fire.

There are many reasons that you should keep your home clean and tidy. Keeping your family safe and healthy is of great importance to living a happy life.

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4 Steps for a Healthier Pet-Friendly Home

When you welcome a family pet to your home, you must keep in mind the new hazards that are presented to him or her. Take a look around and add a few safety measures to ensure your home is a pet-friendly place.

No one likes the look of dust, but it’s not just about looks, as dust can also bring on allergies as it floats through the air. Be sure to dust fans, baseboards, and other surfaces regularly. To keep your air clean, it’s important to change the HVAC air filter every one to three months. Doing so will eliminate airborne irritants and ensure your indoor air quality is clean and safe.  

Avoid harmful situations for curious pets by hiding anything that could pose a threat, such as medicines, chemical cleaners, chocolate, and rubber bands. Store these items in cabinets and secure with childproof locks to prevent animals from chewing or ingesting these substances.

If there’s one thing dogs seem to love, it’s getting into the garbage – and no one likes trash scattered across the floor. Elude this altogether by keeping a lid on your garbage can and putting it in a closet or out of the way. Prevent dirty laundry and towels from turning into pet toys by tossing them in a laundry basket with a lid.

Welcoming a pet into your home is special and leads to a lasting friendship, so make sure your home is a safe and pet-friendly environment to play in all year long.

Pet Friendly Home IG

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How to Dispose of Your Household Waste Organically

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Not too many people take the time to look at their household waste and how they can take care of it in an effective manner. Are there organic ways that you can deal with your waste safely? Are there ways in which you can actually get waste dealt with safely and in a manner that is good for the environment? And how are you supposed to figure out just what needs to happen to make that a reality?

Take a look at your trash use and see what you use and how you could reduce that use.  Take a look and inventory how much trash that you are throwing away. By doing this, you can start to think about what you’re buying and how you are using that in different ways. If you’re conscious of the things that you’re buying and make the changes that are necessary so that you can reduce household waste and know that, no matter what, you are going to be able to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Find an organic waste disposal service or bin service. Companies like https://www.fastskipbinsbrisbane.com.au/services really do put a lot of time, effort, and energy into making sure that they can provide homeowners and business owners with large disposal bins. This is because they believe that organic waste removal, especially when you’re dealing with large amounts of waste, is not only helpful, but necessary for our world. Talking to one of these companies to put together a plan that works is well worth it in the long run.

Compost any scraps that you have. Many people don’t realize it, but composting is a great way to be organic about your food waste. Not only does that give you the chance to go ahead and get food out of your house and taken care of how you need it to be, you will also have the ability to then use that compost in order to take care of your garden, grass, or anything else that may be in need of fertilizer later on. If you don’t garden, then you may even be able to give it away to organizations that need compost for what they are doing.

Reuse things that don’t need to be thrown away after one use. Many people will just throw away a plastic fork or plastic cup. You can rinse those out and use them again, if you want to reduce your waste! Because of that, you will find that you have a pretty good handle on your waste and that you are going to end up having much less that you need to dispose of. And that, above anything else, is going to make things much easier in regards to how you do things and how often that you are actually going to have to go and dispose of those things in the first place. Doesn’t that make everything that much easier when all  is said and done?

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Stay Leaf-free with These 3 DIY Gutter Guards

Fall is rapidly approaching, which means the leaves are changing and falling, sprinkling your home with brown and orange debris. As fun as falling leaves can be, they tend to create a problem when they clog up the gutters. Because we want you to have leaf-free gutters and enjoy the falling leaves stress-free, an Idaho Falls plumber put together this list of DIY gutter guards that you can try this fall.

1. Mesh Guard

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This “Speed Screen” from Lynch Aluminum is easy to install as it doesn’t use any screws and you don’t even have to lift the roof shingles to place it. You can even find micromesh gutter guards that will keep small things like helicopters and pine needles out as well. These guards are great for a quick installation and to keep the integrity of your home design, because they can’t be seen from the ground.

2. Foam Guard

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Foam gutter guards are very easy to install yourself. All you need to do is cut the pieces to fit inside the length of your gutter and slip it in. One thing to ensure before purchasing, however, is that you get the right size for your gutters. These triangular foam guards do come in a variety of sizes, so in your preparation just be sure you know the size of your gutters. These foam pieces can slow down water flow if there is a significant amount of debris that settles on top of it, but if you just need something quick and cheap to install, this is the way to go.

3. Gutter Brush

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 3.07.25 PMGutter brushes, like this Hedgehog Gutter Brush, are probably the simplest gutter guard to install. Get the diameter that you need and just put it in your gutter. They last a long time, and water easily flows past the bristles. Any debris that gets caught on the brush can be left to decompose, or can be removed by hand if so desired.

Don’t just take our word for it. Try one of these simple gutter guards this fall to keep your gutters clear of falling leaves.

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7 Decorative Design Touches Home builders are Adding in 2017

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With each year, new trends arise. You have to keep your eyes peeled and ready for the ever-changing world of interior design. The industry of home building has its own way of keeping ahead of the trends.

Since staying up-to-date is one goal of new home construction companies everywhere, here are some things that you can expect to see in 2017.

Mixed Metals

Gold has really been making a comeback during these last few years and 2017 is no exception. You can see it in headboards that have a brushed matte gold finish or sink components. With a transitional look that can complement multiple styles, mixed metals can look good against almost any color.

Matte finishes

Surface finishes are getting much warmer. Wood flooring and counters, as well as plaster walls, are great ways to add a cozy feel. Another option is to use bronze versions of your usual silver metal light fixtures, which could warm up the light.

Marble

Naturally beautiful, marble is a timeless and sophisticated material to use on countertops or in select parts of your floors. Quartz surface manufacturers are actually quite skilled in achieving the look of marble or natural stone without added maintenance. So you can have marble-type surfaces and not spend an insane amount of money as well.

Earth Tones

When deciding the details of your home, it seems like natural colors are a huge hit. Terracotta is making a comeback and becoming popular, so roof tiles or floor tiles are an option for your home. When choosing tiles, try a ceramic one that resembles wood. Mosaic tiles are a great earthy and creative way to add an artistic touch to your home’s design.  

Black and White

If earth or natural tones aren’t for you, try the classic simplicity of black, white, and gray. This adds a clean and crisp look while leaving other design avenues open. A black and white backdrop can also set the stage for an eclectic mix of metallic accessories.

Secondary Spaces

For many people, kitchens and bathrooms are a primary focal point when building a new home. It seems that lately many homeowners want their laundry rooms, bedrooms, office rooms, and other secondary spaces to look equally as amazing. By utilizing better storage, proper functionality, natural light and attention to detail, each space becomes more unique.

Smart Features

It’s the age of technology. Smart features are now being integrated into newly built homes. These days, homeowners want a home that they can operate remotely from their cell phones or speak commands to without lifting a finger.

Endless amounts of smart features are available to incorporate into your home. To find out more, talk to a low voltage specialist about your wants and needs. Do you want all of the lights in your house to go off when you leave for work? No problem. While you’re at work, do you worry about when your kids get home from school? You can get a text message the instant they walk through the door.

There are many features of 2017 that improve the design of your home. Home builders everywhere are constantly keeping tabs on trends and learning of where they will go next. Do you have some of these designs in your home?

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4 Ways to Spruce Up Your Lawn for Fall

Fall is in the air, and that means leaves will soon be falling, greenery will fade away and the world will soon feel a little more dim. But that doesn’t mean your lawn should look that way. Embrace the beauty of the coming months with these 5 ways to liven up your lawn this fall.

  1. Holiday Decorations

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Jack-o-lanterns, scarecrows, and witches – oh my! Are you a Halloween lover? Take advantage of all the lawn décor you have available at this time of year. Make a fun trip to the store and pick out some spooky tombstones and spider webs. You could even create a mini corn maze if your lawn is large enough. You can try to make your lawn as scary or cute as you want with all of the possibilities this holiday has to offer.

  1. Seasonal Decorations

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Not a fan of Halloween? Or prefer more elegance in your lawn’s appearance? Embrace the fall look. Use pumpkins and gourds to line your walkways or garden. Find plants in fall colors, spread the fallen colored leaves as a mulch in your garden. Use haystacks for focal points or seating. Get creative and have fun with it.

  1. Continue Care

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Maybe you just want your lawn to keep looking nice without all of the froofy fall décor. Continue to water it as needed, and mow it every other week. Rake the leaves as they fall, and fill in any dead spots in your lawn with seeds. Manage your weeds. This is also a great time to green up your lawn with lawn aeration, which allows oxygen, water, and fertilizer to access the grass roots. Then continue caring for your lawn as you would during any other time of the year.

  1. Fall Plants

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Fall can be a great time for new plants. Spring bulbs and certain grasses are great to plant at this time for a beautiful lawn later on. But there are also many plants you can get to make your lawn beautiful now. Even though the air is getting cooler, the soil is still warm. Take this time to plant new trees and shrubs or perennials that bloom in the fall such as lilyturf and the swamp sunflower.

Just because leaves are falling and flowers are fading, doesn’t mean your lawn has to. Use this opportunity to try new things with your lawn, and learn to love the beauty this coming season has to offer.

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3 Benefits to investing in energy efficient lighting

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There are many components to a home that can be upgraded to be energy efficient. Energy efficient appliances, lighting, and electronics can save you money as they take less power to operate. In addition, you can help the environment by purchasing energy efficient items and decrease your carbon footprint. It is well known that energy efficient items in your home are better for the environment, but they can be costly to upgrade and replace. This article will discuss some of the benefits to investing in energy efficient lighting. If you are interested in hiring professional assistance, be sure to look for licensed electrical contractors to work on  your electrical needs.

  • Efficiency. One way to make the lighting in your home energy efficient is to replace all of your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. CFLs are much more efficient that the standards incandescent light bulb. In addition, they can last much longer at up to 10,000 hours. Some brands even guarantee that your bulb will last more than 5 years. They will cost more to purchase up front, but you will save money by using them as they last so much longer than a standard bulb.
  • Lower greenhouse emissions. It is amazing how much you can help the environment by simply replacing your incandescent bulbs or appliances with energy efficient items. By replacing just one light bulb with a CFL or LED bulb, you are reducing emissions by a half ton. In addition to lowering emissions, using energy efficient items can help keep things out of landfills as they are recyclable. Not to mention, if you were to break a CFL or LED bulb, you will not have to worry about mercury vapors being projected into the air like you would if you were to break a standard bulb.
  • Money savings. Using LED bulbs can save you up to 90% on your electric bill which is a great savings. You may not notice a decrease in your bill right away but once you have your lightbulbs completely replaced and other appliances upgraded to being energy efficient, you will begin to notice. You can save between $50 and $100 per year by switching out your light bulbs and even more if you upgrade your appliances.

There are many people switching their lightbulbs and home appliances to be more energy efficient. Saving money, helping the environment, and improving your quality of life are all significant reasons as to why people have made the switch. While it may cost you up front to invest in energy Star appliances and LED or CFL lighting, you will save money in the long run as the life of the products will last much longer and they will use less electricity. The final perk is that you are reducing your carbon footprint by lowering greenhouse emissions which is a benefit that your family can benefit from even after you have gone from the earth.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Jonathan Cohen


5 Reasons to hire a gutter cleaning service

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In keeping your roof in top condition, gutter cleaning is very important. Your gutter and downspout play a big role in protecting your roof from water damage. It carries away water brought by rain and storms and keeps it from sitting on your roof. If the gutter isn’t cleaned properly, water may seep into your roof, leak into your home, and eventually crawl into your walls, and reach the foundation. It’s critical to prevent those things from happening. Water damage is a major repair issue and costs a lot of money. While you can always do it yourself, here are 5 reasons to rely on a professional gutter cleaning service instead.

1. It offers peace of mind

The last thing you want to worry about when you’re faced with a major home repair is when you have to deal with it personally. While some cleaning projects can be easily done yourself, don’t you think having trained professionals do it for you is a big breather? As a homeowner, you don’t have to worry about anything at all. Gutter cleaning price shouldn’t be a problem if it means taking off a heavy weight on your shoulder. Nothing beats the assurance of having your house protected from water damage.

2. It’s convenient 

Getting a gutter cleaning professional down on your doorstep has become very easy nowadays. Search for professionals within your area and request for a quote. Most companies offer free estimates for gutter cleaning services. All you need is to do provide your location and a description of your service request. Once you’re set, expect them at your doorstep and let them work their magic.

3. You get professional consultation

With a professional team at your service, rest assured they’ll do thorough inspection of your gutters. They will inspect your gutter system before starting the job and make sure you’re aware of any issues that should be fixed. These trained and knowledgeable individuals are experts in spotting signs and symptoms of water damage and can provide advice on how to deal with it.

4. It’s safe

All the physical work involved in getting a gutter cleaned is pretty intense. You’ll be climbing a ladder, reaching out to places, pulling out leaves and twigs, etc. These actions pose an immense danger to your body if you’re not an expert. By getting a professional do the dirty work for you, you avoid the risk of getting injured from falling off a ladder or off the roof.

5. It’s efficient

Gutter cleaning companies are well equipped. They have the right tools and carry advanced technology with them that would turn a day’s manual cleaning to just a couple of hours. What you could clean with a regular hose would still be 5x dirtier compared to using a pressure washer. With professional cleaning services, you’re guaranteed results. Bottomline is, professionals are trained experts, they know how to get the job done perfectly and on time.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Taylor Bennett


5 tips to help you choose a door that will match your room

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Choosing a door that matches your room may sound like a daunting task but considering that it’s the entrance to your own little universe, you can’t just pick any door. Read on to learn 5 tips in helping you choose the perfect door that will complement your room.

Choose a type of door

One of the first things your have to decide on is the type of door to install in your room. It’s good to have an understanding of the many options out there before buying internal doors. Here are a couple of styles you may want to consider: 

  • Flush doors. The most basic of its kind. They’re made of a single slab of material and come off flat, simple, and modern.
  • Panel doors. A very popular option, panel doors have square or rectangular patterns that range in style. Some patterns may include decorative finishes, rounded tops, and glass inserts. Styles could be as simple as a standard whole panel door, three panel mission, or five equal panels. It all depends on your personal taste.
  • Sliding doors. Because they do not swing, sliding doors are useful for areas without much floor space.

Determine the size

If you’re installing a door on an existing frame, then you don’t really have much options on the type. Just make sure that the door is 0.3 to 0.5cm smaller than the frame for a perfect fit. However, if you’re going to build a new doorway, be mindful of the size of your room. A big door on a small bedroom will make it look cramped. Be wary of proportions.

Consider the sound rating

Privacy is important to a lot of us. If you’re furnishing a bedroom or a study, considering the sound rating of your door is essential. Choose a door with an STC (sound transmission class) rating of at least 40 and you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep. The higher, the better.

Decide on the material

Internal doors come in different materials. Depending on your personal taste and budget, you can choose between solid wood, MDF, hollow-core, or solid-core.

Solid wood may come in expensive based on the type of wood to be used. The most common is pine, mahogany, maple, and cherry. Mind that solid wood shrink and expand depending on the temperature so avoid using them in bathrooms or any damp setting.

MDF or medium density fiberboard is a popular material to use for an internal door. It’s smooth, easy to paint, and is sturdy.

Hollow-core is the most affordable. It’s made from a wood frame, with plywood or hardwood surface, and filled with rigid cardboard. It’s lighter and less expensive, but it’s not that durable.

Solid-core doors are typically filled with wood fiber and are made of plywood. They look like solid wood doors but are generally less expensive.

Choose a finish

Your door would not be complete without a finish. Wood stain gives your door a warm and cozy feel to it. They’re best for solid doors as it brings out the wood grain and makes it look classic. Paint finishes are also a popular option. They’re charming, modern, and you have tons of color options. Finishing your doors either with stain or paint gives them a more characteristic look and also adds protection to the material.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Carol Von Canon


5 Tips to hiring a duct cleaning service in Denver

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Many people who own HVAC units fail to realize the importance of air duct cleaning. It’s true that it’s important that the unit should be regularly checked and maintained for it to work properly and efficiently, but they do not realize that the condition of the air ducts is also a factor to the efficiency of their HVAC units.

If an air duct is not clean, the HVAC will work doubly hard to ensure that the house is well cooled or heated. This may cause the unit to stop working efficiently and may even bring damage to the unit. Worst case scenario is that the HVAC unit will not as long as it should because it has worked too hard.

So it is important to get a decent cleaning service for your air ducts. Read through the tips below so that you can get the best service possible for your duct cleaning.

  1. Do your research first – whenever you want to hire the services of a company, make sure you do your research first. The good thing is that most companies already have a website, so you do not need to travel to do that. You just need internet access to do it. Don’t settle for just one company. Look through the companies in your area so you can compile a list of prospective service providers. From there, you can go further in your investigation until you choose the perfect company for you.
  2. Don’t fall for the bait and switch trick – don’t fall for marketing techniques that advertise prices that are much cheaper than other companies. While there are many companies that have a good reputation, unfortunately, there are still those that try to scam their customers. The bait and switch trick happens when they offer cheap prices for the initial service, then coerce you into upgrading into services or to buy products that you do not need.
  3. Get recommendations from friends – try to find out if any of your friends have had their air ducts cleaned recently. There’s nothing like the first-hand recommendation, and you know that your friend can give you an honest review of the services they got from the company.
  4. Consider their years of experience – when companies give quality work, they will surely last for a long time. So find out just how many years of experience the company has in providing air duct cleaning services. If they have been around for awhile, then you know that they can provide quality work. Look through all your prospective companies and see which ones have stood the test of time and put them on the shortlist.
  5. Investigate how reputable the company is – find a company that has a good reputation. If the company has a website, look through the references and testimonials or the client list they have placed there. Find out if the customers were truly satisfied with the service they received from the company.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Lionel & Heidi