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Dreaming of Unusual Houses

1920px-Pod_house_detail _Perinton _New_York

In 1999, the producers of an unscripted TV series called House Hunters had the idea that people like to look at houses. Over 20 years later, it turns out they were really onto something. Sure, we like the human drama of somebody trying to pick a place that meets their needs, but we also like to imagine what our lives would be like if we were the ones moving. 

Bloggers have theorized that our love for looking at houses springs from the following:

  • Curiosity: It killed the cat, sure. Or at least, that's what we were told. But we like to see how other people live, what other houses look like, and so on.
  • Vindication: One blogger called it the “need to feel better about our own houses.” Why? We may never have the chance to live in our dream home. But seeing other houses can help us better appreciate our own.
  • Decorating and landscaping ideas: Looking at photos and videos of other people’s homes can often inspire us to do something a little different with our own.
  • Ideas for home sellers: One of the most common real estate tips for sellers is to stage your home. This doesn’t always mean getting rid of all of your stuff and bringing in rented furniture. It can be as simple as trimming your lawn, cleaning your gutters, and putting a wreath on your door. Watching a reality show in which potential homebuyers view properties can help you get a feel for what looks good to buyers and what doesn’t.
  • Ideas for homebuyers: Buying a home isn’t something that happens to most of us very often in our lives. The process can intimidate us, but it may help to watch other people do it on TV. Perhaps shows like House Hunters give us a realistic look at home shopping; sometimes, the exact house we want simply doesn’t exist. 
  • The need to dream: Sometimes, it's important to have dreams, and one of those dreams is to live in a different house than we do now. Maybe you dream of a mid-century modern oceanfront home in Malibu. Or maybe your idea of paradise is a cabin in the woods. Dream, dream, dream away.

Occasionally we like to look at celebrity homes. We wonder: How do millionaires and billionaires live? But other times we like to look at strange, unusual, eccentric homes. It stirs something in our imagination. To that end, here are a few of the most interesting homes listed on the market from around the internet.

Enter the Mushroom House – Pittsford, New York

Perhaps the most interesting home of all is something called The Mushroom House. It has captured the imagination of vicarious-living-seeking onlookers since the 1970s. It seems that every few years it gets new attention from the press.

The Mushroom House is an elevated pod-style home that looks, frankly, as though visitors from outer space landed in the woods and decided to build a house. But in the best way possible. 

It's part spaceship, part yurt, and part sculpture, and it’s located near park land, complete with streams and waterfalls. The house was designed in 1969 (duh) by a local architect, who conceptualized it from a stem of Queen Anne’s Lace. The original owner wanted a space that provided artistic harmony with nature, and you have to admit that she got it. 

Located in the greater Rochester area, the Mushroom House has been called “hobbit-esque,” a “rare and premier art icon home,” “retro-modern,” an example of “organic modernism,” “that ’70s house,” and “far out and groovy.” In 2017, it was listed on the rental market for $6,900 a month.

Looking for a unique, one of a kind, out-of-this-world home of your own? Find someone in your area who specializes in such properties! For house and land packages officer, you need to speak with Carlisle Homes.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Daniel Penfield

Everything You Should Know About Shower Doors Before Buying

When looking for additional accessories to improve your bathroom or for remodeling, one of the things that come to mind is to create a closure for your shower space or an enclosure. 

A shower curtain may come to mind or may be what you have presently. However, upgrading the shower glass door may be all your bathroom needs. Shower glass doors can instantly transform your bathroom from its natural look to a modern one that has that wow and elegant look.

Before adding shower glass doors to your bathrooms, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you should have one.


Important Reasons To Add A Shower Door


  • Privacy:
    In a home where multiple individuals are using a bathroom, privacy is essential. Installing a shower door will ensure you get the privacy you need even while someone else is in the bathroom.
    There is a misconception that this is not possible with shower glass doors as all doors are transparent. This is not true, as numerous glass styles abound that can be installed as shower glass doors, and one of them is frosted glass.
    The frosted glass gives you the privacy you need as it blurs out object reflections without cutting out light and light reflections.

  • Elegant & Minimalist Décor:
    A dedicated shower area with a shower glass door or shower enclosure with a shower door may be all you need to create that look of elegance in your bathroom. For minimalism, shower glass doors ensure you are only working on the essentials that you need in a shower space.
    Glass is a material that instantly transforms any space in which it is incorporated. A shower glass door does precisely the same. The look of your bathroom will be upgraded from the regular and everyday look to a modern and elegant one.

  • Spa-Like Feel:
    Have you been longing to go to the spa, but there is no time? Or you just want to recreate the relaxing and calm feeling that comes with going to the spa in your bathroom? One of the key things to getting a spa-like feel at home is to have a dedicated shower space with a shower glass door.
    A shower glass door allows you to spend as much time as you want in the shower without getting disturbed, which is essential to achieving that calm and relaxing feel. Apart from that, a dedicated shower area with a shower glass door affords you the liberty to customize your shower area to reflect a calm, relaxing, and warm spa-like environment.

  • Easy Maintenance:
    You must have come across the general notion that glass as a material used in interior decoration is challenging to keep clean and maintain. This is not at all true. Compared to other décor materials, glass is durable and does not cost a fortune to keep it looking good and in top shape.
    Cleaning occasionally with a glass cleaner or homemade cleaning solution and a squeegee or lint-free cloth is enough to keep your shower door shining and as good as new. Other materials will require so much more to maintain.
    Besides the above, glass is a versatile material that does not show visible signs of age, wear, and tear. In years to come, the glass will still probably look the same way as it looked when it was installed when cleaned and maintained regularly.

What Makes Choosing A Shower Door More Attractive?


A shower glass door is an attractive addition to your bathroom with diverse customization options.

The first point of customization for shower doors is how the door will be installed. Shower glass doors can be installed as the following:

  • Framed shower glass door: These shower door types feature tempered glass panels and supporting frames. The supporting structures are, most of the time, made of aluminum. The aluminum can also be customized with powder coating to attain different colors. 
  • Frameless shower glass door: Frameless shower doors do not have supporting frames and, as a result, feature thicker tempered glass panels. The glass panes are connected and fitted together with hinges, clips, and brackets. They also feature rubber sweeps at the bottom to prevent water from leaking out of the shower enclosure.

Besides the installation style, which may be framed or frameless, there are diverse glass types to use in your shower glass doors. Whether your shower glass door will be installed as a framed or frameless design, you can have the following glass types incorporated into your door designs.


  • Frosted glass
  • Patterned glass
  • Etched glass
  • Bronzed glass
  • Transparent/Clear glass

What Luxury Design Options are Available?

Shower glass doors can be installed in a variety of designs and styles. Some of them include the following.


  • Sliding Shower Glass Doors:
    These are popularly referred to as bypass doors. It is installed with two or more glass panels on a track. The track allows the glass panels to slide along the defined pathway. Some models may use mechanical rollers to let the glass panels slide easily.

    This makes it easier to slide the door open and close.

  • Corner Shower:
    A creative way to make use of shower glass doors is to install them as a corner shower. This means the doors are installed in a dedicated corner of the bathroom to create a dedicated shower space.

    These are usually installed as hinge doors, and they will transform the look of your bathroom from a regular one to an elegant one.

    Screen fixed

  • Fixed Shower Screen:
    Fixed shower screens are shower door designs installed as single or double glass panels that are immovable. The glass acts as a cover and provides privacy. The glass can also be of different glass types, but the doors will remain fixed to a position and immobile.

  • Neo Angle Showers:
    Neo-Angle shower doors are installed at the points where two walls meet in a bathroom. They are round doors that give the shape of a cone after installation.

    Neo-Angle shower doors create a dedicated shower area in your bathroom and perform the functions of a shower enclosure. They are commonly used with stand-alone corner showers. As a result of the curved shape of neo-angle shower glass doors, they usually make the bathroom significantly bigger than its original size.

partnered post • client images

Is It Safe to Power Wash Composite Decking?


When you invest in high-quality composite decking, you want to be confident that it’s going to maintain its good looks for years to come. Most composite decking is very low-maintenance and won’t need sanding, staining or sealing like conventional hardwood decking. 

That being said, composite decking, like all garden features, can get dirty over time. If you find that your composite decking has gathered too much dirt to be simply wiped clean, then you might be thinking about getting your power washer out. But is it safe to power wash your decking?

The short answer is yes – it is safe to power wash your decking as long as you follow the steps outlined below.

First, make sure any loose leaves dirt and debris is removed from the surface of your decking using a broom. Once the surface of the composite decking is exposed, you can use your power washer and an appropriate cleaning product get the whole deck nice and soapy. You should see the dirt lifting away in front of your eyes!

The maximum pressure of the power washer should be 1500 psi. Any higher than this and you could risk damaging your boards.

If you’re unsure which way you should clean the boards, we’d recommend looking at the grain of the boards and spraying it in that direction. This will help to loosen any dirt that’s become stuck in the wood grooves too.

Once the decking looks clean, use clean water to wash away any excess soap. Then, all you need to do is let your decking dry in the sun and it’ll look good as new.

Routine cleaning of composite decking

You’ll be pleased to hear that if you’ve invested in high-quality composite decking, it won’t need power washing very regularly. In fact, it might only need power washing every one or two years. 

Your standard composite decking cleaning routine will be much simpler. If you notice some surface dirt on your composite decking, a wet, soapy cloth should do the job. The polymer coating on the outside of the boards helps to protect it from stains, so you’ll never need to worry about permanent discolouration. 

Composite decking is ideal for busy family gardens because it can be cleaned down in no time at all! Muddy footprints, sand from the beach and even the occasionally doggy ‘do-do’ can be quickly removed from the surface of your decking leaving no trace behind. Sounds good right?

If you’re planning a garden renovation in 2021, we’d highly recommend taking a look at composite decking. It ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of homeowners.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Olger Fallas

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home Décor


Do you want to make your home look fresh and modern? Perhaps you’ve had the same décor for the last decade and you’re ready for a change. There are homeowners up and down the country that are looking for ways to give their home a clean and modern finish. Read on if you want to freshen up your home décor.

Address the walls

One thing in your home that can make the place look very dated is the colour and style of the walls. Big, garish wallpaper prints, bold colours and a lack of coherence between walls and furniture can make your home appear cluttered and poorly thought out. 

Stripping old wallpaper, re-plastering walls and giving the place a nice lick of neutral or white paint will instantly make your home feel cleaner and more modern. If you want to customise your home and give the walls a modern twist, why not hang some interesting art pieces on your freshly painted walls. These can be moved or replaced over time as your personal taste changes.

Increase open spaces

There are few people in this world that find dark, cramped spaces appealing. If you want to let light and air into your home, you could consider knocking down unnecessary walls to create a more open-plan design. 

It is, of course, important that you speak to an architect or chartered surveyor to make sure the walls you want to remove aren’t integral to the structure of the building. One false move and you could find yourself bulldozing a wall that supports the roof of your home! 

That being said, if you can open up the space in a safe and considered manner then you can give your home a highly-impactful new look. Turning two rooms, like your kitchen and dining room, into one bigger kitchen-diner will make it much easier to entertain guests and will give the illusion of a bigger home.

Modern floors

Take a look around, is your old, stained carpet creating a real eye-sore throughout your home? Perhaps it’s time to switch to a more modern flooring option. We’ve seen a lot of homeowners installing porcelain paving inside their homes to create contemporary, low-maintenance designs. 

By upgrading your old carpet for a more modern, tiled floor, you can make your home look effortlessly chic while also benefitting from all of the great features that porcelain has to offer. Porcelain pavers are stain-resistant, easy to wipe clean and a great investment for the future.

Out with the old, in with the new

People love to hold on to things for years and years and years. Because of this, clutter starts to appear all around the house, making it impossible to see a way to freshen up the décor. Our advice, give your home a major declutter. Get rid of things that no longer make you happy to make space for new things. 

Where you can, donate your old items to charity or sell them on. This will make it easier to let go of things because you know they’ll be going to a new home where they can make someone else happy. By clearing out the old and making room for the new, you give yourself space to explore your creativity.

Reduce, reuse, upcycle

If you’re not quite ready to get rid of all your old possessions, why not upcycle them. Old bits of furniture can be sanded and re-painted or varnished to give them a new lease of life. Pinterest is a great source of craft and design inspiration if you want to reduce your waste by upcycling your belongings. 

Sanding down an old coffee table and giving it a lovely new varnish, for example, can instantly transform the way it looks in your living room. This way of freshening up your décor is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to refresh your home décor.

Or use wooden pallets as wall planters or as the raw ingredients for easy-to-build yard furniture. Timber Pallets are available with multiple payment options. You can often even find them for free.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Jeremy Levine

5 Benefits of Composite Decking


The popularity of composite decking has grown exponentially over the past decade or so. Composite deck boards—once considered inferior to traditional hardwood decking—can now be found in gardens of all shapes and sizes, all over the country.

The main difference between composite and hardwood decking is that the latter is made of solid wood, whereas composite decking combines real wood fibres with synthetic materials. This type of product is also known as wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking.

If you’re thinking of building a deck in your back garden, here are 5 reasons to choose composite decking over hardwood decking materials…


The most oft-trumpeted benefit of composite decking is how little maintenance it requires. Traditional wooden decks typically need to be treated every year or so, whereas a good-quality composite deck will only need an occasional clean.


Composite decking is less susceptible to cracking and splintering than its solid wood counterpart. This means that composite decks are safer to walk on barefoot, and if you have children, they’re less likely to suffer a splinter when playing outdoors.


Composite deck boards generally do a lot better than wooden boards when it comes to resisting rot, mould and mildew. If these are big concerns for you, WPC decking may help to put your mind at ease.


When it rains, wooden decking absorbs quite a lot of water, and as a result, the boards take a while to dry. Composite deck boards are less absorbent, so they dry more quickly, reducing the risk of algae growth.


If you’re not a big fan of the natural wood look, you’ll be pleased to learn that composite decking comes in a variety of different colours, including contemporary greys and blacks that are perfect for more modern outdoor spaces.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Robert Henderson

What’s the Difference Between Garden Rooms & Conservatories?


There are many different structures that you can build in your garden, adjoining your home. Each one has its own name, but these words are often used interchangeably; for example, a conservatory, a sunroom and an orangery may all look exactly the same in your mind’s eye.

So is there any real difference between a conservatory and, say, a garden room? A lot of people have been adding ‘garden rooms’ to their properties lately — even more so since the coronavirus pandemic started forcing us to spend a lot more time at home — but is this just a trendy new name for a conservatory? Or does it mean something else?

Naturally, you’ll get different answers from different people, but the general consensus is that garden rooms aren’t the same thing as conservatories. Here are some of the key differences that you should consider before deciding which to add to your house:

Conservatories and garden rooms are constructed differently.

Most conservatories have a brick base. The windows and roof are made of glass or polycarbonate.

A garden room is simpler and more modern in its construction: there is no brick base, just glass from top to bottom. The garden room’s frame is usually made of high-strength aluminium.

This means that, of the two…

Conservatories take longer to build.

Garden rooms are quicker and easier to construct than conservatories. An experienced installer can often finish a new garden room in just a few days.

A traditional conservatory, on the other hand, commonly requires several weeks of labour.

You should also take into account that…

Garden rooms usually don’t require planning permission.

This isn’t universally true — a garden room may require planning permission if it is especially large or if the property is in a conservation area or holds listed status.

However, approximately nine times out of ten, a garden room can be constructed without applying for planning permission. There are some circumstances in which a conservatory may not require planning permission either, but this is less common.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Jack Wright

Tackle Your Home Repair Tasks Before Moving In


Moving to a new home can be a fascinating notion. We are sure you have many ideas in mind on how to organize and decorate it. However, before you start moving and placing the furniture, you must check if you need to make some repair arrangements. Try to ensure that everything is safe and works properly. Otherwise, you may start living in it with everything ready and instantly face repair works to do. 

Some of the tasks of relocation require professional hands. For instance, the most populated states in the USA witness moving trucks every day. Plumbers, roof maintenance specialists, lock makers, and other experts tend to create a mess-free moving experience. We will show you the most typical and essential home repairs to carry out before changing your home.


We can never know how many people have a copy of the keys to the house where we will live. When a home gets listed for sale, the real estate agent, the maintenance and cleaning workers, or even a neighbor could also have a key. In this case, it is best to change the lock. A lot of people think replacing the old lock is expensive, but it’s not. Many locksmiths offer this service at a reasonable price and if you're confident with your DIY skills, you’ll save a lot more. Just make sure to use efficient locksmith tools to ensure that changing the locks won’t be difficult. If the house has an alarm system, we recommend changing the code.


If you find yellow circles on a plaster wall, you must fix them before moving in. Any type of repair will always be easier to do if there is no clutter in your new living space.


You have packed the boxes, called in NYC Movers to relocate the belongings, but you discover that the plumbing installation in your new home has a fault. When you opened a tap, a leak got encountered. Therefore, it is essential to know where the stopcock is to close it immediately. It will save you hours of work and prevent flooding in your new house. If you can't find it for whatever reason, call a plumber so they can help you.


If there is an electrical installation, you must turn off the running lightbox. Put labels on the switches to determine which one is the general and which ones are the rest.


You may get a furnished house with rugs or carpeting. Even if the previous owners did not have pets, it is worth hiring a professional capable of deep cleaning with steam machines. Only then will you make sure you kill germs and dust mites. You never know when they cleaned your rugs, so take advantage of it when the house is empty.


An old and dirty filter can cause severe damage to the air conditioner due to overheating. A completely new system can cost between $800 to $1200. Also, it is good to have a review every six months to avoid further damage.

An old and dirty filter can cause severe damage to the air conditioner due to overheating. A completely new system can cost between $800 to $1200 without the assistance of a home warranty company. Also, it is good to have a review every six months to avoid further damage.


Painting the house before the move will avoid all the hassle of removing and safeguarding furniture and others. It will also give you time to ventilate it before living in it. You will have the opportunity to do some tests and see if you like the result without having to paint in a hurry.

Another exciting option can be that of wallpaper: it is easy to put on. It will change the look of the room entirely.


Moving is when we discover the number of things that accumulated over the years. It would not hurt if you installed drawers, shelves, and hanging bars before moving. It will enable you to unpack and organize all the things from the first moment.

Whether you are moving in following a purchase or a rental, we strongly advise you to carry out your repair work in advance! Because yes, we often tend to postpone small finishing work until the next day. If you want to move in peacefully, it's in your interest to change the floor covering and paint before putting your furniture. You will appreciate and admire the whole idea of moving in. It will also be a financial investment that you will no longer have to pay afterward! Likewise, it is better to thoroughly clean the place before entering them (interior of cupboards, kitchen worktop, taps, etc.). It will allow you to enjoy your new home instantly. Even if the boxes collect a little dust, you will have to sweep or vacuum to settle in!


That's it! You'll finish unpacking the boxes and gradually settle into your new home. With everything in place, you can already enjoy your home sweet home. Between the boxes, the paperwork, the daily newspaper, the excitement, and anxieties, you often forget about the repairs. To help you in this crucial step, we prepared this list of repairs for a seamless move.

partnered post • image by Michal Jarmoluk

Why Your Attic Is So Hot & What You Can Do About It


Ever wondered why your attic can get so much hotter than the rest of your house? The ever changing climate has allowed for temperatures in many places to spike up to 100° F, and your home, most especially your attic, cannot be spared from this. But fret not, because with the right materials, cooling down your attic only takes a little handiwork.

In properly designed attics, ideally, air would freely flow from inside to outside of the house, allowing the room to cool down and achieve a temperature that’s close to the outside environment. So when it’s cold outside, you’d expect your attic to also be cold. But because of the lack of insulation, your attic builds up heat more easily than the rest of your house because it directly receives heat from the sun. Your attic gains heat at a rate that’s much faster than it can allow hot air to escape. This is one of the major reasons your attic can feel so hot. Read on to know more about why your attic is hot and what you can do to cool it down.

Poor Insulation

Poor insulation is one of the most common culprits for excessively hot temperatures inside the house. If your attic is unbearably hot and feels dry, then you might want to check your existing insulation. Is it still doing its job or do you already need to replace it?

The R-value of an insulation represents its ability to resist the conductive flow of heat. If you’re looking to improve the insulation in your attic, the US Department of Energy actually recommends an R30 insulation or better in Zones 1 to 3 where it can be really hot especially during summer. Installing the appropriate insulation with an adequate R-value will significantly improve the temperature of your attic.

Fiberglass or mineral wool batt insulation is one of the most common insulation solutions used in attics. It has two main types – faced and unfaced, and they only differ in that faced insulation has the ability to control the movement of moisture into your living space. If you’re installing faced insulation on your roof, remember that the paper or plastic facing must face downward toward the heated attic space. If the facing is positioned upward instead, your batt insulation will be a potential reservoir for moisture, which can damage your roof or walls in the long run.

Insulation products with radiant barriers, on the other hand, are made of materials that reflect direct radiant heat from the sun instead of letting it through. These insulation solutions are especially useful during summer, as they help reduce heat gain from sunlight and improve the overall comfort of your attic.

Poor Ventilation

Another problem that might be causing your attic to build up heat is poor ventilation. While many people would not consider attics to be a living space, it’s still important to keep it well-ventilated to prevent the heat from getting trapped in your house. This includes ensuring a good and constant airflow in and out of the attic.

There are a number of ways by which you can provide better ventilation for your attic. Windows are a great option. Not only do they keep your attic cool, but they can also level up the look of your space and provide natural lighting. Your windows should be large enough to bring in enough air.

Another good add-on to enhance your attic ventilation would be vents. There are many varieties of vents that can help keep your attic cool, one of which is called exhaust vents. These are vents that are typically attached on the rooftop and come in three different models: ridge, static, and powered exhaust vents. They help remove excess heat (and even moisture) from your attic to make the air inside it cooler and more breathable.

Another kind of vent is the intake vent, also called the soffit vent, which is usually placed at the underside of the roof of your attic and is covered with a metal screen. These vents are designed to push out hot air trapped inside your attic as well as pull in cool air from outside. Most intake vents are small, which is why they are commonly missed during cleaning and maintenance. As a consequence, they can accumulate dust overtime, which impacts their performance. If you’re looking to add intake vents to your attic, make sure their size is proportionate to the size of your attic. This way, intake vents can greatly enhance the ventilation and breathability of your space.

Mechanical fans can also help improve passive ventilation in your attic. These fans are usually used to exhaust hot air out of rooms and exchange it with cool, outside air. If you’re planning to add mechanical fans in your attic, it’s important to remember to also have adequate incoming air vents around your roof to avoid creating negative pressure inside the attic. If this happens, the conditioned air will only just flow back out of your room.

And remember, a cluttered or dirty attic can also decrease air quality and flow throughout your house! You don’t want decades of dust, mold spores or mildew (to say nothing of hantavirus or other remnants of pests like mice or rats) to be circulating throughout your house, so make sure you clean it or hire a reputable firm to do your attic cleaning, as well.

Hot attics are one of the most common problems experienced by homeowners. There are several reasons as to why temperatures inside attics can reach scorching hot levels, but the main culprits are usually poor insulation and poor ventilation. If you’re looking to improve the level of comfort within your attic,  consider improving on these two important aspects of home design.

partnered post • cc-licensed photo by Lynn Friedman

How important is a comprehensive pipeline inspection?


There are hundreds of thousands of miles of pipes laid across the country. They carry water, gas, oil, and a variety of other substances between homes and businesses. 

These pipes live in harsh conditions. Even if they are buried in the ground they are subject to temperature changes, exterior pressure, and chemical contaminants. Any leak or even a crack in these pipes can cause a major disaster. Depending on what the pipe is carrying it can deprive homes of essential utilities for days. Or, it can result in a chemical spill that is hazardous to people and the environment.

This is why the pipes need to be comprehensively inspected on a regular basis. Unfortunately, when the pipes are in constant use this can be difficult. Fortunately, dye penetrant testing can be used to inspect the pipes without disrupting or interfering with their use.

Magnetic dye penetrant inspection involves using wet magnetic particles. These flow over the pipe with the aid of a magnetic. At the same time, a UV light is used to inspect the pipe, highlighting cracks, chips, and other potential surface issues.

These readings can be used to determine if there is a break in the pipe or likely to be one soon.

Unfortunately, sometimes a sewer pipe is so badly damaged that no trenchless sewer repair is available. Pipes that are back-pitched, meaning the original contractors failed to use the right slope for your sewer line to your city connection, cannot also be fixed using trenchless methods. If this is the case, you will need to think of using conventional sewer repair methods.

The Importance of Comprehensive Testing

Visually inspecting pipes has its place but this in-depth testing technique is important. The key benefit is the early observation of potential issues. These can be flagged to be monitored closely or they can lead to repairs being conducted before the issue becomes an actual problem.

When you’re dealing with hazardous items, such as oil, a spill can have seriously detrimental effects on the surrounding environment. Undertaking these comprehensive inspections doesn’t just tell the world you’re doing your bit to protect the environment, it allows you to actually protect the environment.

These inspections can also highlight the overall condition of your pipework. While small areas can be defective for a number of reasons if you notice issues in many sections of the pipework you’ll need to investigate further.

It can be that the pipes are simply old and need to be replaced. But, there are other factors that can influence the pipe deterioration rate. You need to be aware of what these are and how they may affect all your pipework. 

The good news is that a dedicated team of people can conduct a comprehensive inspection for you, without disrupting your daily operations. 

One of the most common pipe issues isn’t sinister, it is simply nature. Water, oxygen, and metal pipes mix to create rust. When the rust builds up enough a hole, or crack will form in the pipe. Magnetic dye penetrant testing can spot these issues before they are visible to the human eye. This allows you to protect your existing pipes without the need to replace them.

That’s not just good for the environment, it's beneficial for your bottom line. As a business that is just as important as complying with regulations and saving the environment.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Sten Dueland

Top Tips For Fixing Kitchen, Bathroom, and Basement Drains


The drains are an essential part of any home but they are often ignored, even when it comes to routine maintenance. Unfortunately, failing to pay them attention does increase the likelihood of them failing, resulting in wastewater and other items being unable to leave your home. 

It’s surprising how quickly this becomes an issue. If your water isn’t draining then anything entering the drains will stay there and ultimately overflow into your home. When you get sewage in your home it is hazardous to your health, stinks, and everything it’s touched will need to be thrown away.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to maintain the drains and prevent the issue. The most important of these is to inspect them annually. You can do this by investing in a drain camera. It’s inserted into the drains and gives you a picture of the inside. 

You’ll be able to spot any areas where waste is building up on the sides of the pipes. This, if left, will result in clogs and issues for you.

Eliminating the Drain Issue

If you already have an issue with your drain then the sewer camera can help you to locate it. Even when your drains are backed up and full of wastewater, you can send the camera along the pipes to find the issue.

Your next course of action will depend on where the clog is because this is almost always the issue with drains not draining.

A clog under an appliance can be broken up with a drain auger, or you may wish to use a chemical drain cleaner. This can erode the blockage and solve the issue. 

In fact, you can even put baking soda down the drain and add a little vinegar. The two compounds react viciously to each other and will effectively pressurize the clog, forcing it to break up. 

But, if the problem is further down the line, in the main sewer pipe it is better to find the first inspection hatch and take a look.

If it’s full the clog s further down the line, if it’s dry and empty the clog is before it. This tells you which direction to insert the camera to check the issue. You can then slide drain rods into the sewer pipe and attempt to break-up the clog.

Drain rods screw together, they are strong and flexible with a corkscrew-style attachment on the end. This can be twisted at the point of the clog to remove it and allow the wastewater to flow away again.

However, when unclogging any drain, particularly a sewer pipe, you should never stand above the drain. As the clog moves it can create a back pressure which will push the sewage out of the drain. If you’re standing over it you’ll get covered!

Should you be struggling with the clog it is always worth getting a professional in t help. They have the tools and experience to deal with the issue quickly and effectively.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Evandro Felippe

5 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Many homeowners regard the kitchen as the heart of the home. If you love cooking for yourself and others, the right kitchen layout can provide all the space you need to perfect your culinary skills. When it comes to designing a kitchen, some homeowners make several errors that come back to bite them later down the line. With the high cost involved in a kitchen renovation, you need to make sure that every penny counts.

For things to run smoothly, here are five common kitchen design mistakes and what you can do to avoid them from happening to you.

Miscalculating Storage

One of the first steps you must take when designing a kitchen is to organise your storage arrangement. Whether you love to create tasty meals, or prefer to put things in the microwave, you need lots of space to function in your kitchen. If you miscalculate your storage space, your kitchen could end up looking cramped and be a bit of a nightmare to cook in.

Going Over Budget

While it may be obvious, many homeowners make the mistake of not having a realistic budget in place before designing their kitchen. With your blood, sweat, and tears pouring into the project, the last thing you want is to be saddled with a mountain of debt once your kitchen is complete. From the beginning, make sure you create an inventory list that includes both contents and furniture. You must plan accordingly and be realistic with what you can afford to spend. There are lots of tips that can help you create and stick to a budget.

Lack of Lighting

One of the key elements that will enhance your kitchen space is good lighting. Whether you want to elevate your countertop areas, or set the mood for your dining area, the choice of lighting you pick will make a huge difference. If you neglect your lighting, your kitchen may appear dark and gloomy, which can give off the wrong impression. You should also bring in plenty of natural light – not only is this good for function, but it can also provide tons of health benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing.

Neglecting Ventilation

While kitchen ventilation isn’t known for being glamorous, it is still something that mustn’t be overlooked. Cooked food can leave lingering smells that spread through your home, which can affect the atmosphere of each room. You must invest in a good ventilation system that is excellent at circulating air and catching and eliminating impurities.

Not Asking for Help

Some homeowners believe that they have the necessary tools and experience to complete a kitchen renovation alone. However, as one of the heftiest home improvement projects you can undertake, you may want to leave your kitchen design to experts like Hunter Hall Design. This company is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has many years of experience in designing dream kitchens. The team is incredibly skilful at what they do.

Whether you’ve just moved into a new property, or your existing home requires a revamp, renovating your kitchen can be a great way to create more space, increase the value of your property, and help you feel happier and more content in your home.

partnered post • image by Alessandro Altieri

Top 5 Things to Look for When You Are House Hunting


Buying a house is an exciting experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for your first home or are simply moving on and up. The experience is the same. You’ll need to spend time considering what you want from your home and planning all the details of the move to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

However, before you commit to purchasing a home there are 5 things you should be looking at carefully.

  • Your Requirements

If you’re buying a home you need to consider what you actually need. There are some great properties on the market but should you be purchasing a 4-bed if you only need a 2-bed. Part of this will depend on your budget and your plans while in the house 

If you’re thinking about starting a family the extra space will be useful. But, you need to remember that a larger house equates to larger bills. It’s a balancing act.

  • Budget

An essential part of purchasing a home is setting your budget and then, once it’s established, not going over it. It can be very tempting to stretch it. But, if you’ve set your budget properly you can comfortably afford the house and any repairs while still enjoying your quality of life. 

It’s best to speak to a financial advisor before you define your budget.

  • The Neighborhood

It’s incredibly important to check out the neighborhood. This means asking around, especially with family and friends to see if they’ve heard anything about the area. You should also look at the local news reports, you can check back on the internet to see if there is a high level of crime or any other issues in the area.

Finally, it’s worth driving around the area at different times of the day and night. You want to be sure that you’ll feel safe and that it has all the facilities you need. 

  • Building Report

Now that you’re fairly sure you’re purchasing the house you need to get the help of a reputable to highlight building consultant Sydney. They will conduct a survey of the house for you. Their job is issues, such as structural cracks, subsidence, dampness, electrical problems, and even pest issues. Speak to the company to confirm what they will check.

It’s an important step as you never know what a house may be hiding. Solving the issues can be expensive, if you know beforehand you’ll be able to negotiate the price and you’ll be ready for the problems.

  • Local projects

Finally, as part of the purchasing process, you should be made aware of any projects that are happening in the area. Some can be good and are likely to increase the value of your property. But, if they are planning on demolishing half the houses for a railway line that’s not going to improve the quality of life or the value of your home!

It’s important to verify any upcoming projects to make sure you are buying the right home. 

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Marco Verch

Afraid of Deadly Germs & Microbes? Quick Cleaning Hacks to Stay Safe


Living in a clean home is one of the most crucial ways to maintain your physical and mental health. Chances are you aren’t going to be the happiest and most productive version of yourself if you are living in a messy house. The dust lingers on for weeks, clothes are all over the place, and you haven’t done the dishes. In isolation, these issues might not seem like a huge deal, but in reality, these things become a problem when they occur altogether.

We understand that there can be several reasons why your house can be messy, but that doesn’t mean that you leave it that way. Ensuring that your place is comfortable, neat, and tidy are essential functions that we need to maintain as adults. If you are self-aware that you live in a chaotic environment and want to change, this article is for you. Moreover, with the prevalence of the pandemic, deadly germs and microbes need to be avoided at all costs … and if you need a bit of extra help, there are house cleaning services out there that take all these things very seriously and will do it for you. 

Here are a few quick cleaning hacks to stay safe:

Call junk removal experts

If excess debris is lying around the house and needs removing, consider calling junk removal experts. They are especially helpful if you have moved into a new home in Philadelphia. Usually, the former tenants left a bunch of junk behind. It's too much to throw in the trash, so what do you do? It's simple, you call for junk removal in Philadelphia and have them get rid of all the unwanted debris.

The team will help take care of the junk in your house and aid you in the cleaning process. Once all the stuff is out of the way, you can focus on what is important and get down to dusting and disinfecting.

Vinegar works wonders

You might not think so, but vinegar is a fantastic cleaning agent. It is useful to shine steel appliances, clean out stains, and get rid of certain kinds of smells. We recommend that you add vinegar into your arsenal in the battle against germs and microbes in your house. If you have a cat usually messes up in the house, vinegar is a known suppressor of cat urine smell. Add it to a spray bottle with equal parts of water and watch how it cleans dirt as good as any other cleaning chemical. The only downside is that vinegar has a pungent smell of its own.

Add pesticides to your mop

If you have made some water with fresh cleaning agents to help clean and shine the floors, consider adding a capful of pesticide to the water. Once you mop the floors, you are spreading the bug killer throughout the house. Adding pesticides is a hack that few people consider. It goes a long way in cleaning the house and ensuring that bugs and other creepy crawlies don't linger around too long.

Nobody wants insects in their home. Moreover, insects like cockroaches bring a range of germs and bacteria with them. Keep them at bay with this simple hack!

Don’t use too many chemicals

Your first instinct to kill germs might be to use as many cleaning agents as you can when cleaning around the house. Chemicals might not always be the best idea. Not only can the chemicals stain your floors and furniture, but it can also be bad for your health! Only use a non-toxic, environment-friendly, and hospital grade sanitiser.

Strong chemicals can irritate your throat, and in extreme cases, pungent odors can damage your olfactory bulb! Therefore, you might want to consider dialing it back a bit regarding chemicals and other cleaning agents. Using alternatives from around the kitchen, such as baking soda, vinegar, and citric acid, can be great alternatives.

Use scalding hot water

In the fight against germs and bacteria, nothing works better than hot water. Mind you; we mean hot water, not warm. Warm water might even promote bacterial growth; hot water can kill most bacteria and help in the cleaning processes.

Hot water is also known to help dislodge sticky substances, which might have been tough to remove with regular water.


Though some of these quick cleaning tips seem relatively straightforward, you might notice that the majority of people are unaware of them. We rely so heavily on old school cleaning methods passed down through the generations that we fail to adopt modern ones.

Consider a combination of some of the cleaning hacks which we have mentioned here. Not only will they help keep the house clean, but they are considerably more eco-friendly and could help save you a bit of money in the long run. Besides, you might have the cleaning solution ready in your home. You don’t even have to go down to the local departmental store!

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels

8 Smart Ways to Avoid Plumbing Disasters


While the adage that says an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure applies to health and life in general, the same can be said to keep the plumbing system in excellent condition. Maintaining your sink drains, toilets, and pipes are always better than spending on usually costly emergency plumbing repairs.  

Here are ten smart ways to help prevent the inconvenience and tedious process of visits from a plumbing contractor:

1. Easy on the drop-in cleaners: 

Sure, using your bare hands in cleaning your toilet is not recommended, but relying on drop-in cleaners to take care of the bowl or tank may not be the best idea either. Several studies suggest that the chemicals in the in-tank bowl tablets will, in time, can potentially damage the flapper, flush valve, pipes, and other components.

While these solutions are convenient and simple for toilet cleaning, the product could damage your lavatory and system, resulting in high repair costs for property owners.  

Because of this, most toilet companies do not endorse, and some even warn that the use of drop-in cleaner tablets will invalidate the warranty.

2. Use strainers to your drain: 

Placing a strainer in your kitchen sink to catch large portions of food and other fragments is a simple yet effective way of avoiding clogs. Food items such as rice grains, coffee grounds, pasta, bread crumbs, and smears could congest your kitchen pipes. These items should be filtered and should be discarded in the waste or garbage bin.

3. Check hoses regularly: 

Rubber hoses, including the one from your washing machine, may get brittle and develop crack over time. If you noticed a lump, the hose is up for replacement before it totally ruptures. It is also recommended to inspect for leaks at least every six months because leaks are the main culprit in your utility bill's increase, can affect your appliance's operations and can cause mold in the long run.

Another way to avoid emergency plumbing repairs with just a little extra cost is by purchasing stainless steel in place of rubber made hoses.

4. Use pipes as intended: 

One of the most common mistakes committed by homeowners is using their pipes from their original purpose. Most of the time, pipes are installed adjacent to dryers and washers in basements, and owners often hang wet clothes and other items on the exposed lines.

Tubes are not intended to support heavier weight, and prolonged exposure from hanging wet clothes and other similar objects could cause it to detach or even burst.

5. Know what to flush: 

Toilets are designed only to take in human waste, and even the thinnest toilet papers are not meant to be flushed there. Other solid wastes such as sanitary pads, diapers, and paper towels should be disposed of appropriately since they can cause clogs in your drains. It is suggested that you place a trash bin in your restroom to prevent yourself from discarding items you don't want down the pipes.

6. Keep the heater on: 

Whenever you leave home during fall and throughout winter, let your heater running on low mode. The temperature drops at these seasons, and keeping the heat could help protect the pipes in your property from freezing. Such can also prevent your pipes from cracking when a sudden stream of water flows through it. While keeping your heater running will affect your bill, that is relatively lower than an emergency plumbing repair or pipe replacement.

7. Set up backwater and sump pump system: 

Another tip worth considering is investing in a backwater control valve and sump system. The backwater setup is practical, especially in spots that are susceptible to flooding, and this can help stop the mess from an overflowed sewer line from building up in your cellar.  

A sump pump system that gets rids of water accumulating water on your basement flooring should also be useful in the long term.

8. Prevent flood from happening: 

The first step to avoiding a flood situation is making sure that all of those in the household are aware of the main water valve’s location in unexpected situations. Such will help avoid or at least minimize flooding so your properties will be safe from further damage. It is also recommended that the valve be appropriately tagged and placed on an accessible spot.    

You may also want to inspect the gate valves of its washers' tear wear to ensure that it would properly work when you needed it to shut off. 

The tips discussed above may help keep your plumbing system working as it should be. It's better to be safe than spend more on emergency plumbing repairs, which can be stressful too. Most of the suggestions listed above are simple yet practical solutions, so you might want to give them a try today.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Sten Dueland

5 Warning Signs of Faulty Electrical Wiring in Your Home


Electricity is something you rely on every day but probably don’t spend much time thinking about it. That is until you have an issue with it. Then you’ll need to quickly contact your local Sydney electrician and get the problem sorted. 

It’s important to note that electrical issues in the home are still one of the most common causes of house fires. You may be surprised to discover that over 50 people die every year from house fires. These are generally avoidable and even preventable. That’s why it's so important to have an annual electrical inspection and catch problems early.

Here are 5 signs that you have faulty wiring at home and need professional help:

1. Flickering Lights

Flickering lights are great when you’re creating a Halloween setting or even want a good house party. However, they are a sign that something is wrong with the electrical wiring. In most cases, flickering lights mean there is either a bad connection or the wiring is damaged. This is causing the power to spark across the wires and the light to flicker.

It’s important to get it seen to promptly. 

2. Tripping Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to trip when there is a fault on the circuit. They work extremely fast and shut the power down, reducing the risk of an electrical fire. If the circuit breaker is regularly tripping you have an issue on the circuit that needs further investigation.

It could be that you’re overloading the circuit and the excess power draw is causing the breaker to trip. However, if plugging some items in elsewhere doesn’t help then you probably have a wiring issue.  

3. Burning Odors

Burning odors is perhaps the most obvious and concerning of the signs that you have an electrical wiring issue. The odor occurs because the cables are getting too hot; When this occurs the outer protective sheath will start to melt, creating the distance aroma. As the sheath melts the wires are capable of touching each other, causing short circuits, power outages, and fires. 

4. Discoloration of Sockets

Alongside the odor, it’s normal to find that sockets and light switches are becoming discolored. This is because the heat is damaging the plastic, discoloring it as it warms it. It can even cause it to change shape. 

If you see discoloration on your sockets it could be a bad connection into the socket, or it’s a wiring issue. You’ll need to avoid using that socket until a professional has assessed it.

5. Buzzing, Fizzing, or Electric Shocks

Any strange noise in your electrical system should be treated as a bad sign. Buzzing and fizzing is a sign that the electrical current is moving between wires or to another conductive object nearby. It suggests the protective sheath is damaged and needs prompt treatment. 

If the wires are sparking between them then it’s likely you’ll get a small electric shock when you operate the switch or plug something in. Act quickly – it’s likely to get worse.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Kevin Faccenda