2022 Pros and Cons of Composite Doors

A front door can make or break the look of your home. This is why it’s important that you dedicate time to figuring out and visualizing the best one for your needs. If you’re running out of ideas, you could always check door designs and styles online. A good place to start is to look at composite doors. Premium composite doors, like the ones available at Rock Solid Doors, can freshen up and modernize the look of your house in ways you’d never imagine. If you’re thinking of considering one, this post is perfect for you. We would enlist the main PROS and CONS in installing one to help you decide if a composite door is a perfect fit for your home. 

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image by João Ferrão at Unsplash

What are composite doors?

Composite doors are highly durable doors that are made of different materials that usually include wood, foam, uPVC, and glass reinforced plastic (GRP). They come in numerous beautiful designs that can match any kind of aesthetic that a homeowner may prefer. They were first introduced in the market during the ’90s. They have since become extremely popular as homeowners noted how durable and aesthetically versatile they are.

PROS of Composite Doors

The following are the main advantages of using a composite door: 

  1. High level of security

Composite doors are preferred by many because they provide high levels of security. They are simply the safest and most secure kind of doors available in the market. This is due to the fact that it has reinforced materials. Such reinforced materials add to the overall strength and quality of composite doors. As it is advanced in its design, it also offers a state-of-the-art locking mechanism that is not available in other kinds of doors. Such a mechanism is extremely effective in preventing intruders and deterring thieves. 

  1. Low maintenance

Homeowners also love how composite doors are not complicated to maintain. You will not have a hard time tending to it as it is not as high maintenance and sensitive as other kinds of doors like wooden doors. It will not look dated or begin to chip if you’d forget to clean it for months. It will also not be liable to rot. A simple cleaning with good old water and towel every now and then will do. Its need for little to almost no maintenance makes it so worth its price.

  1. Durability

Composite doors can last for a lifetime. As they are not prone to rotting, chipping, or fading, you can be sure that you’d get to use your composite doors for years to come. They can also easily stand nasty weather so you have no problem whatsoever when it comes to non-stop rain or snow. It shines best during tough weather conditions as it is even reliable and durable. With a composite door, you will not have to shell money every now and then for a new door. A composite door is so durable that you will find it shocking that it will not need any replacement at all for so many years. This is why manufacturers can really up its price.

  1. Style

Houses with composite doors look beautiful. Apart from the effortless chic and sleek look that it exudes, its design and look are ever versatile because it comes in different styles and colours. This is why homeowners who are after full customization always prefer composite doors. You will simply not run out of looks to try and consider if you’d opt for a composite door.

CONS of Composite Doors

The following are issues and disadvantages that you may encounter with composite doors:

  1. Pricing

You will need to have a dedicated budget if you’re after installing a composite door. As they offer numerous advantages across all endpoints – style, durability, and security – they most naturally come at a significantly hefty price. You can expect to spend as much as £1,000 or more on just one door. This is not ideal if you’re under a strict budget. To get over this disadvantage, opt to plan ahead and religiously save. We promise you that it will all be worth it. 

  1. Possible creaks

Homeowners with composite doors often only have one issue with them and that is the fact that some models can creak or even crack when the weather is hot.

Owners report how their composite doors always end up creaking if it’s been under the heat of the sun for too long. This creaking sound is caused by the plastics that expanded and contracted due to heat. Hence, it’s not something that should be a cause of major alarm. You need to take note though that it will be harder to close the door when it heats up. This is because of the fact that it expanded. It will be easier to close it come night time when it’s back to its normal size.

Will a composite door be ideal for you?

A composite door will be ideal for you if:

  • you want a technologically advanced door that comes with next-level security mechanisms
  • you want a fully customizable door
  • you want a door that will last for a lifetime
  • you have a liberal budget and can spend as much as £1,000 or more

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image by Nazrin Babashova at Unsplash

On the other hand, it will be better for you to look for other kinds of doors (and there are plenty) if:

  • you are under a tight budget
  • creaking sounds are a deal breaker

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6 Bad Things That Will Happen If You Don’t Clean Your Carpet Regularly

Do you know that only 3 out of 10 people have time to clean their homes? This means that so many homes are dirty, unkept, and unhygienic. This means that so many homes are in trouble. Especially homes with dirty carpets.

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If you’re part of the 70% who have yet to devise a way to regularly clean and maintain your carpet, this article is for you. This article will enlist all the bad things that will happen if you stay off track. And we promise you that you don’t want any of them. So much so that we’d also help you on how to stay on track. This article will also give you tips on how to care for and maintain your carpet easily – from administrative tips to particular ones like applying the correct pressure when cleaning carpets, we got you covered! Read on, learn, and please get on with the cleaning. Pronto!

6 Bad Things That Will Happen If You Don’t Clean Your Carpet Regularly

  1. You will lose focus.

Have you been working from home and you feel like you haven’t been able to focus well? It could be fatigue, burnout, or as simple as having a dirty carpet. Dirty carpets are breeding grounds of moulds that can make you lose focus and fail at successfully finishing any task. 

  1. Your family could get sick.

As dirty carpets are breeding grounds of harmful elements like fungi, mould, allergens, and bacteria, you and your family can end up getting sick. Carpets are multi-dynamic because apart from the fact that they can effectively store bad elements, they can also effectively spread them. One step, one movement, and one swift wind can trigger a carpet to release massive amounts of elements that can cause headaches, itchy eyes, and even nausea. 

  1. You will need to replace your carpet earlier than expected.

Your carpet will need early replacement if it is not cleaned regularly. This is because its fibres will easily give in and lose their former glory. This is very counter-intuitive because it would lead you to spend more. And no household wants to spend more. Hence, a dirty carpet should always be a no, no, no. 

  1. Your home will smell.

No one wants a smelly home. But you will have one if you’d fail to regularly clean and care for your carpet. Keeping your carpet dirty is the easiest way to make your home smell bad. A carpet can easily smell bad because it can store moisture and dirt at the same time. And we all know that the combination of both is a surefire way of creating poor indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality, apart from being smelly, is also deadly. We all should know that given that we’ve already been through years of dealing with a global pandemic. A smelly home is not a safe home. 

  1. Your carpet will look bad.

A dirty carpet may not just smell bad, it can also look bad. And this is something that you should heavily avoid because it goes against all the reasons why a person installs carpets. You put your carpet on your house to look good and feel good. There is no use for anything at your home, especially a carpet if its presence only results in making you feel bad and making your house look bad. 

  1. Your home will not feel homey.

A house is not a home. And it takes a lot for a house to be home. Your home will cease to become one if there are dirty carpets around. A home should be a place of peace, solace, and calm. A home with a dirty carpet will be one that looks bad, smells bad, and can cause people to feel physically bad. Please avoid this. This can be easily avoided if you’d maintain a regular carpet cleaning routine.

Expert Tips on How to Make Carpet Maintenance Easier:

Housekeeping experts advise you to do the following to easily maintain a regular carpet cleaning routine: 

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  1. Commit to a schedule

A thing will not get done if it is not scheduled. Thinking about a thing or about doing a thing is not going to make a difference. You need to put it into action. And there is no better way to do that than by scheduling something. Created a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cleaning schedule. Having it scheduled will ensure that you get to clean every single time. 

  1. Delegate

Do you know that an individual spends at least 2 – 4 hours every week on house cleaning? Do you have that amount of time? If not, then it’s best to delegate or outsource. Delegating will ensure that the cleaning gets done even if you won’t be the one who gets to do it. Ensure though that the cleaner of your choice will have all the necessary instructions, tools, and equipment.

  1. Make cleaning easier

The secret to sticking to a habit is in making it easy to do. Cleaning will never be a thing that all people will excitedly do. If you’re one who does not get excited with just the mere thought of it, you need to be proactive. You need to make it easy, fun, and exciting. Make things easier for you by making everything that you’d need easily accessible. Make it fun by incorporating singing, dancing, and inviting other family members for some fun bonding while cleaning.

Reference: Home Cleaning Time – Eye Opening Statistics – https://firstclasscleaningfla.com/content/home-cleaning-time-eye-opening-statistics/#

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Common Challenges When Relocating to a New Location 

Individuals move from one apartment to another either for career opportunities, higher education, or even personal reasons. Moving out and changing locations is always a great way of starting from scratch. However, it will come with challenges that will force you to step out of your comfort zone. Here are common difficulties one might face while moving to a new place. 

Finding a New Home 

Finding an appropriate home to live in could be difficult unless your employer takes care of that for you. It becomes even more difficult because this is a whole new environment for you. There is also the internal dilemma of whether you should get an agent or get directly in touch with homeowners. The good news is that there are online portals that can make the house hunting process less tedious. Then, all you have to do is go over there and verify the house conditions yourself. 

Dealing With Landlords or House Owners

You may be able to escape dealing with realtors but avoiding house owners is impossible. Renting or buying a home is quite challenging because you have to develop a decent relationship with the house owner, which would hopefully result in you getting a proper deal. You also have time to deal with a homeowner who is open to suggestions on how to improve the current standard of the home. 

Packing and Moving 

The packing and moving process could be a handful and it is one of the most challenging tasks to deal with when relocating to an entirely new city. You will be confused about which items to bring with you and which ones to abandon. You would also want all your priceless possessions to be safely transported and not get damaged in transit. There’s also the problem of storing these priceless possessions if you weren't able to move into your new home immediately. A professional moving company like Osmon moving and storage is an ideal solution to your packing and storage challenge. 

Transportation 

Finding means of commuting in a whole new city could be tiresome, especially in your early days. With you not knowing the roads or transport facilities, it may take you way longer to get to your destination. You might even end up spending more fare than you are supposed to. Thankfully, the advent of GPS systems and Google Maps could make the challenge of transportation much easier. 

Understanding the Environment and Local Language 

This challenge only affects individuals moving to a whole new country. When you don't understand the language of the town you've moved to, you will be faced with language barriers. You will have to adapt to the new city and learn their local language. 

Schooling 

If you have children, finding a good school for your kids is one of the most challenging aspects of changing locations. This leaves you with the challenge of finding the finest school for your children. This whole process could be quite taxing and then there's also the added anxiety of whether your kids can adjust to a new learning environment. 

Relocating to a whole new place is never easy, especially in its initial days, but by having a brief idea of the challenges you will be faced with, you will be in a much better situation to deal with these difficulties.

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5 Exterior Upgrades to Prepare Your House for The Holidays

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The holiday season is a busy time for all. On top of that, there can be a ton of things you have to consider before the festive months are upon you. Even if you’re not particularly social, you’ll still enjoy having your loved ones over during this festive period. However, before the influx of guests hits, you’ll want to ensure your house is in excellent shape. 

If you haven’t gone over your home in a while, there can be several things needing an upgrade or revamp. One common mistake most homeowners make is focusing on the interior while neglecting the exterior. The truth is, no matter how well done your interior is, if the house exterior looks shabby and neglected, it’s likely to cast a bad light on everything else too. 

If you’re confused about how you can revamp your home’s exterior in time for the coming holidays, we have a useful guide for you. Keep reading below to find out more.

  • Add a fresh coat of paint

When redoing exteriors, you may feel like your options are limited. However, there are several routes you can take to revamp and refresh your home and make it look pristine. The most excellent way of upgrading your exterior may seem simple but gives exceptionally good results. Adding a new lick of paint is a sure-shot way to cover up several aesthetic faults and can make your home look stunning. 

Going for an exterior paint job can help you amp up your curb appeal exponentially. If your exterior paint is chipping, faded, or moldy, a fresh coat can help make your home look as good as new. Additionally, when getting exterior painting, there are other services you can opt for as well. These include stucco repair, power washing, patio repair, and sanding and priming of all surfaces. If you work with professionals, they can ensure your new paint job lasts a long time and keeps your home looking perfect for the holidays. 

  • Freshen up the door 

When it comes to fixing the exterior, most people neglect the importance of the door. Apart from functional value, your doorway can be an excellent aesthetic feature and make your home seem much more inviting and well put together. Going the extra mile and ensuring your main doorway is always in excellent shape can make the rest of your home seem brighter and fresher. 

When it comes to freshening up the doorway, there are several things you can do. Repainting it a bolder, brighter color can make it pop and make your home stand out. And when contrasting colors, go for bright, jewel tones or pastels if you want something more muted and minimalistic. 

Adding new lighting fixtures, décor pieces such as a wreath, or adding accented handles can further make your doorway seem much more put-together. You can also add a welcome home mat or redo the windows in the doorway to make the place seem welcoming. 

  • Fix your lawn 

If you have a lawn area that’s going unused, you may be wasting some of the best areas of your home. When done right, your lawn can be one of the most useful areas of your home and perfect for get-togethers during the holiday season. Whether it’s having a barbeque, a bonfire, making smores, or just sitting under the sky, your lawn is the perfect place to get your guests to experience the outdoors and reconnect with nature

However, if your lawn is shabby, with patchy grass and shriveled-up trees and flowers, it can have the opposite effect and make the rest of your home seem run-down. Luckily, however, there are several easy ways you can upgrade your lawn and have it look lush before your guests come around. 

If maintaining grass is too time-consuming for you, getting Astro-turf is an easy solution. Additionally, getting your hedges trimmed, adding fresh flowers, and working on your landscaping can make your lawn look stunning. 

  • Add some outdoor seating 

Whether you have a patio or a lawn, sitting outdoors is an excellent alternative to being cooped up indoors. That’s especially true if you have several guests coming over since being indoors can easily start getting stuffy and claustrophobic. Adding outdoor furniture is a surefire way to spice up your holiday gatherings with a change of scenery. 

When it comes to outdoor furniture, it all depends on your budget. You can start small and utilize simple lawn chairs and tables for a rustic seating arrangement. Or, you can opt for a pergola with fancy lighting and a proper seating arrangement. Although this may seem a bit too much, it’s a long-term investment that can boost your curb appeal and resale value. Moreover, it can make your holiday gatherings much more fun and let you properly utilize all the extra space. 

  • Redo your roof 

Rusty, worn-down roofing can hugely affect your curb appeal and make your entire home seem run-down and neglected. Most homeowners only pay heed to the roof when moving in - but neglect it over the years. Roofing shingles can thus chip away, leak, and become worn down. Not only can these look bad aesthetically, but they can also birth several functional issues. 

If your roofing is worn out, you may have insulation issues and increased dust, and you may also get leaks. If you have guests staying over, this can be a nightmare since it can significantly impact their stay with you. If you want to ensure your guests have a comfortable stay, ensure to fix your roofing and have it restored to its pristine state. When redoing your roof, you can either replace it or have a professional inspect it and make the needed repairs.

Conclusion 

The holiday season brings a ton of joy with celebratory events, get-togethers, and whatnot- but also a little stress. If you’re worried about your home looking shabby, these tips can help you make your house look all ready for the festive season. Based on your budget, you can easily determine and adjust the suggestions and find what suits you best. Overall, these upgrades will have your home looking more welcoming than ever. 

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Plumbing Tips for Farmhouse Owners

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Despite the rise of modern apartments in major cities, many people still love farmhouses or gardens.

Remember that if you also want to buy one of these beautiful countryside houses, you have to pay attention to many things. In fact, buying a farmhouse is kind of different from purchasing an apartment.

Apart from the size, age, design, and material, you have to pay special attention to the plumbing system.

In this article, we're going to let you know some plumbing tips to help you decide better when it comes to buying a farmhouse.

Never leave the hoses connected

Avoid leaving hoses connected to your faucets in the cold. In cold weather, the water inside them will freeze, and the pressure from the ice may cause your pipes to fracture. All of your faucet hoses should be removed and stored until you need them again.

Never leave fixing the leaks for winter

The most typical plumbing issue is leaking.

An old farmhouse might indeed be a fantastic place to live, but the plumbing may start to leak over time. Even a small trickle of a leak can result in a significant amount of money being lost, but over time, even a small leak has the potential to grow into a significant issue.

You should understand that if you don't solve the drips and other difficulties you're having immediately away, there may be a plumbing issue. A reputable plumber, such as R and Z Plumbing, should be contacted to handle the problems.

Over the winter, this condition will deteriorate severely. Try to fix these problems before the temperatures drop. Remember that fixing plumbing problems in the cold is far more difficult.

Don't forget to insulate the pipes outside of the house

Frequently, protecting your pipelines requires more than merely opening the valves. Tape insulation over your pipes to prevent them from freezing. Additionally, insulation helps reduce the cost of heating throughout the long winters.

Cold air can get into your plumbing system through the windows and doors of your open areas. The majority of individuals neglect these regions despite the potential harm they may do.

Your pipes may freeze if the cold weather in Toronto enters through basement windows and garage doors. In addition to pipe insulation, you might also want to consider sealing these locations' apertures.

Consider using a heating cable

The greatest choice for a more technological approach is to employ a heated wire. Heating cables are sometimes referred to as heating tapes for pipelines or trace heaters.

These cables can be used for various purposes, including trace heating, antifreeze, viscosity control, roof and gutter maintenance, etc.

In fact, it features a built-in thermostat that can control the heat source's on/off status and gauge the pipe's temperature. This significantly lowers the chance of freezing.

Build a farmhouse bathroom

You need a claw-foot bathtub if you want your bathroom to have a true farmhouse feel. Claw-foot bathtubs may be purchased brand-new, or as an alternative, you can locate reclaimed bathtubs that have been restored for use during a renovation job.

Every time you use stylish or contemporary features, you want to have the contrast of recycled or repurposed dark wood. Have a beautiful light fixture installed over the bathtub by an electrician so that you may bathe in decent illumination.

Think of an efficient heating system

Heat loss from radiators may be drastically decreased by moving them out of their customary location under windows. Also, avoid covering radiators with curtains due to losing up to 70% of the radiator's actual heat output.

A simple and practical solution is to move the thermostat to the main living room or get a wireless thermostat that can be placed wherever.

The entry hall usually has thermostats, which makes the boiler run longer because it's frequently the coldest place in the home.

Think of a modern garden irrigation system

To ensure that you won't run into problems in the future, you must first design and install a contemporary plumbing system in your yard.

You cannot anticipate effective and timely irrigation without employing cutting-edge facilities. Remember that while installing such a system may initially be expensive, your water bill will eventually compensate for it.

More significantly, you cannot accomplish this on your own. To avoid issues like leaky and frozen pipes in the winter, attempt to call a professional plumbing company.

Final words

It's highly unlikely that you can find a modernized farmhouse, so you'll probably have to do a renovation project. Of course, the plumbing system is central to every renovation project. Try to go for energy-efficient facilities as much as your budget lets you. Don't forget a regular maintenance checkup, as it will reduce your repair cost in the future.

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Why Homeowners Should Not Overlook Winter Infestation Risks

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Winter is a busy season as there is snow to rake, parties to plan, and holiday decor to work on. You may even bear an extra workload at the office before closing for the holidays. It is easy to overlook pest management because you believe these pesky intruders are on a break. But overlooking winter pests may set you up for an unpleasant surprise as you encounter a massive infestation sooner than you imagine. The best piece of advice is to stay regular with your pest control measures, even as the snowy season begins. Let us share some good reasons to stay ahead of infestation risks even in winter.

The enemy is right here

You expect rodents and bugs to go into hibernation when temperatures drop sub-zero. But the problem is that they hibernate inside your living space because it is warm and moist. Even dormant ones are a concern as they can cause a full-blown infestation once the season changes. They may conceal themselves in nooks and corners, storage areas, beneath the rugs, and behind the curtains. You may not see them during the day, but you will see signs of pest presence at some point. Most homeowners ignore the problem due to a lack of awareness, but the enemy is right here. You must stay alert to prevent an infestation in your living space.

More food and places to hide

Winter may not traditionally be the pest season, but these unwanted guests have much more to feast on during the festive days. Food leftovers on the table and kitchen countertops and crumbs on the floor after the party give bugs and rodents all they need to thrive. You must go the extra mile for preventing pests during the Winter because they have more places to hide. Imagine a swarm of bugs concealing themselves in the Christmas tree and wreaths. They may also squeeze themselves inside the decor items, gift boxes, and trash cans. So you definitely have a reason to pay more attention this season.

You may bring them in

Another concern for homeowners is that they may actually bring these hidden enemies home this season. For example, a new furniture piece for Christmas may be home to termites. You may even get bugs in with the Christmas tree and decorations. Firewood is another potential carrier. A vacation at this time of the year increases the risk of bringing bed bugs from a hotel room only because of a lack of awareness. They have better chances of staying in because the doors and windows are sealed to keep the heat in and cold winds out. When the risks run high, you must be more aggressive about your pest prevention and control measures. 

Pests may seem like a less significant concern during the freezing weather, but ignoring them is the last thing you should do. The threat is as daunting as any other time of the year, so you must take measures to address it. Schedule regular pest control services by experts to safeguard your living space. 

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Should You Invest in a Backyard Pool?

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There’s nothing like having a chlorinated oasis in your backyard to beat the heat, host parties for family and friends, and spend your days relaxing next to clear, blue water. For homeowners, swimming pools can be a significant investment and commitment. Choosing a backyard pool requires a lot of consideration. What size and style are best for your property? Should you get a Gunite or fiberglass pools, and will the pool add value to your home? Let’s take a closer look at some pros and cons of investing in a backyard pool.

Pros of Investing in a Backyard Pool

Property Value

A backyard pool can increase the value of your home. You’ll attract more buyers if you build a pool in your house, especially if you live in a hot climate.

Recreation and Exercise

Swimming in backyard pools is an excellent low-impact exercise option for adults and children. It is also possible for them to be therapeutic. Since water does not place full pressure on an athlete’s injuries, aquatic exercises are often used to rehabilitate sports-related injuries. You can also play games, host parties, and lounge out to tan on scorching summer days.

Reduced Lawn Maintenance

Your backyard can be significantly reduced in size if you have a pool in your backyard, depending on its size. If you don’t want to have too many plants in your yard, or would like to fill empty spaces, this can be a good solution. Reduced lawn area could be perfect for those with mobility issues. 

Cons of Investing in a Backyard Pool

Seasonal Maintenance

Keeping your backyard pool clean will prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria and algae. To ensure the acids and alkalis are balanced, you must clean them and check the pH levels regularly. Swimming in an unclean pool can make you sick and attract pests. Spring and fall are the two main times for opening and seasonal closing pools and regular maintenance. The process of covering and uncovering your pool can be complicated.

Family Safety

Children can be at risk around backyard pools. Non-swimmers can also be at risk. You should invest in securing your pool to avoid liability for any injuries. Make your backyard pool safe with door locks and safety fencing. Most pool owners set strict rules about the use of the pool that should be followed by all family members and guests. Talk to your insurance agent about the necessary and recommended coverage if you are installing a backyard pool. 

Installation

Pool construction is a lengthy and costly process. Your backyard could go without use for two to three months while it is being built. A pump and filter are also needed. Additional costs like a adding a new deck in the yard, various toys to use in the pool, and additional landscaping can also delay the process and drive up the costs. 

If you are dreaming about a backyard pool, consider these pros and cons before you start construction. 

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7 Home Improvements to Make Before Starting an In-Home Salon

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Starting an in-home business can be pretty daunting. You want to make an ideal space for clients, but you don’t want to change your home too much. So, if you’re finally expanding your freelancer MUA status to a salon owner - you’d want to keep your space up to par to cater to your clients.

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to home improvements before turning a part of your home into a salon. We’ll list all the necessary home improvements you’ll need to save you the trouble. So, keep reading to find out what those are and more helpful tips!

1. In Depth Cleaning

It’s best to start with the basics. While we all keep our houses neat, a different level of tidiness is required for a business. You will bring people into your home, so it should pass all the necessary checks. Keeping up with cleaning as time goes on is also essential. No one wants to come to a salon with dust on the counters and hair on the floor. First impressions are everything. 

If you have just started, you’d probably revamp the room or area you need for the salon. So ensure you clean the place extensively after the renovations and invest in separate cleaning supplies for the salon. If you require help, you can look into professional options. For example, if you live in Denver, Colorado, you can look into Commercial Cleaning Services Denver Colorado, as professional services can do a more thorough job and provide convenience.

2. Investing In Basics

Some essential items for the salon can make or break your business’s look and overall feel. You would usually find chairs, tables, mirrors, and other pieces in salons. Investing in new pieces will be super helpful in the short and long run. Try not to use the furniture and other essentials from your home, as it’s always better to keep your personal and professional items separate. This avoids unnecessary overlap and is a lot cleaner as well. 

You don’t have to break the bank getting luxury items. You can go for in-budget items that provide a neat and professional look. Try to make sure you are following the same aesthetic for everything.

3. Sinks or a Wet Station

It is a highly essential item for any salon, and an in-house one isn’t any different. Most salons offer a wash for a cut, as having freshly washed hair helps get a better final result. Since that is the standard, most clients will expect this as well. A wet station is not something that you should look over. They can be a bit pricey but are extremely helpful. The other alternative would be taking the client to a bathroom, which is just messy and a bit unprofessional. An in-house salon doesn’t mean lacking the equipment found in regular salons. If you can’t afford it, try starting with a regular tub and save up for a wet station.

4. Convenient Flooring

It’s no secret that salons can get super messy. Flooring can be super helpful not only for aesthetics but also for maintenance. There are many options, but we’d recommend going for what’s most convenient. You should also consider whether your priority is long-term maintenance or short-term. If we start with the classics, wood is pretty manageable. Still, the build-up of dirt will eventually be a problem. If you want more style choices, you can also look into carpets. While they’re easy enough to maintain, they wear away much quicker than the other options.

Ultimately, vinyl flooring is considered to be the best option. They’re not too expensive and have a good warranty as well. Plus, you can go for luxury styles or a more classic look based on what you want.

5. Redo Your Walls

Normally walls aren’t something we focus on specifically. But since clients sit still for hours while getting work done, the walls become their primary view. Walls are also what you tend to see when walking in somewhere. Cracked, peeling walls are a no-go in your business space. They give a sense of aging and show a lack of care, even if that isn’t necessarily true.

A paint job will do wonders for the overall look of your business. You should also avoid going for colors that are too bright and distracting. Many people find it bothersome to be faced with a view like that. You shouldn’t be afraid of going for fun colors either. Neutral colors are always a safe bet, but pastels are also a beautiful option.

6. Salon Specific Equipment

Regardless of your specific services, you’ll need equipment for your salon. This includes hairdryers, straighteners, styling products, makeup products, and much more. Many home-based salons decide to use their own makeup and styling products, which is definitely a big no. Not only is it highly unsanitary, but it’s also extremely unprofessional. Even if your clients agree to it, it still isn’t a feasible option. You don’t need to go over budget buying new products, as these are items that are available in all price ranges. There are tons of great drugstore options for makeup and styling products. In many cases, drugstore items can even be better. For hairdryers, straighteners, etc., amazon has many great choices too.

7. Style Based Changes

It’s important to pick a theme or even have a general idea of what you want your salon to look like from the start. It’s easier to make choices if you have a vague idea of what you want. You should also decide which age group your salon will focus on more specifically. You obviously shouldn’t tailor everything to fit a certain age group, but appealing to the majority is always a good idea. For example, younger age groups will have different preferences regarding makeup and haircuts. While older clients will want different options. You can tailor your decor to most of your client’s tastes or have various options to appeal to everyone. But make sure the different options don’t clash and end up looking messy.

Conclusion

So, those are the home improvements we suggest as essentials for your in-house salon. It may seem like a lot to do, or you might think what you have at home is enough. Instead, plan out what you need, make a budget, then follow accordingly. Focus on the essentials we’ve listed as a start, and then you can continue building up as time goes on. It may be scary, but you’ll figure it out as you go.

partnered post • image from Pixabay by Victoria Borodinova


How to Prepare Your House to Sell Quickly

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When you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, it's important to make it look its best. You want potential buyers to be impressed when they walk through the door, and you want them to be eager to make an offer. We will discuss some tips that will help you prepare your house for sale and make it more appealing to buyers.

Make repairs

If there are any obvious repairs that need to be made, take care of them before putting your house on the market. This could include fixing a hole in the wall, repairing a leaky faucet, replacing cracked tiles, or repainting chipped paint. These small repairs can make a big difference in how potential buyers perceive your house. After repairing walls, you can still use a Gallery Hanging System to dress up your home in an appealing manner - without the damage. This will show that your home is well-maintained and that you're not trying to hide anything.

De-personalise your decor

This means removing any personal touches that could turn potential buyers off. For example, if you have bright pink walls in the nursery, you might want to consider painting them a more neutral colour. Or, if you have a collection of Star Wars memorabilia on display, it might be best to put it away for the time being. You should also remove any items that could be considered controversial, such as political signs or religious artwork. By making your house neutral, you'll make it more appealing to a wider range of buyers.

Declutter

One of the most important things you can do is declutter. This means getting rid of anything that's not absolutely necessary and putting away any personal items such as family photos. You want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, and that's difficult to do if the surfaces are cluttered. Decluttering can also make your house look more spacious and brighter, which is bound to make it more appealing. Struggling to choose what to keep and what to get rid of? You can use this guide on decluttering your home, room by room.

Deep clean

A deep clean is also important. This means more than just running the vacuum and dusting the shelves. You'll need to clean areas that you might not normally think of, such as:

  • The inside of all your appliances
  • Baseboards and moldings
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows (inside and out) and windowsills
  • Doors and door frames
  • Cupboards

If necessary, you can hire a professional cleaning service to do a thorough job. Professional carpet and oven cleaning in particular can make a big difference. If your house looks spotless, potential buyers are more likely to get a good impression.

Add curb appeal

Another important tip is to add curb appeal. This means making sure the outside of your house looks just as good as the inside. Start by power washing the exterior, and then move on to trimming bushes, pulling weeds, and adding fresh mulch. You might also want to consider repainting the front door or adding a new welcome mat. These small changes can go a long way in making your house more inviting.

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Think about staging

Staging your house means arranging furniture and decor in a way that's appealing to potential buyers. It's important to make each room look spacious, bright, and inviting. For example, for your bedrooms, think about the way you would want a hotel room to look and try to emulate that in your own home. You can stage your house yourself using these tips on how to stage your home for a quick sale. Either way, it's worth the effort, as staging can make a big difference in how quickly your house sells.

Organise your storage

Organise your closets, cupboards, and attic. Potential buyers are bound to snoop, so you want to make sure they're impressed by what they see. It also shows that your house has ample storage space and that it's easy to keep organised. This is always a plus in the eyes of potential buyers. On the flip side, organising your storage will make it easier for you to pack when the time comes to move, so it's a win-win! If you're feeling uninspired, a quick look on Pinterest will give you plenty of storage ideas for every room in your house.

Think smells

If you have pets or are a smoker, it's important to neutralise any smells that could turn potential buyers off. After your deep clean, consider spraying a light, neutral-smelling air freshener throughout the house. You might also want to bake some cookies or brew a pot of coffee before potential buyers come to view the house. These smells have a way of making a house feel more inviting.

Make sure the price is right

Of course, one of the most important things you can do to sell your house quickly is to price it right. Work with your real estate agent to come up with a competitive asking price. If you price your house too high, you might end up sitting on the market for months. But if you price it too low, you could end up leaving money on the table. The key is to find that sweet spot that will attract buyers and help your house sell quickly.

Take your furry friends elsewhere

While we love our furry friends, they might not be the best selling point for your house. Removing your pets from the premises during showings is generally a good idea, as some people are allergic to animals or simply aren't animal lovers. If you have the option, it's best to board your pets or have someone take them for the day. This way, you won't have to worry about them getting in the way or leaving behind any unwanted mess.

Market your house properly

If you want your house to sell quickly, you need to market it properly. So, make sure the estate agent you choose has a good track record and is familiar with the local market. GetAgent is a great platform you can use to compare local estate agents and find one that's right for you.

Once you have appointed an agent, you can take a look at the listing they create for your house, and see if it's well-written and includes good photos. You might also want to consider marketing your house yourself, using online platforms like social media or classified ads.

All in all, preparing your house to sell quickly doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following these simple tips, you can make your house more appealing to buyers and increase the chances of selling it quickly - as well as getting the best possible price for it. So, make sure you take the time to prep your house before putting it on the market. It could make all the difference in the world.

partnered post • top image by client; cc-licensed image by Kendyl Young


6 Helpful Tips To Plan Your Home Remodeling Without Stress

A remodeling project transforms your home into a more comfortable and attractive living space. It can also add resale value, making it a sound investment. However, it's stressful, expensive, and even a safety hazard when not done correctly. It makes sense, then, that you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. Here are six helpful tips for planning your home remodeling without stress:

Define Your Goals

Before anything else, ask yourself what you hope to achieve with the remodeling project. Doing so helps you determine the scope of the work and make better decisions along the way. It's also important to be realistic about what you can accomplish, given your budget and timeframe.

Factor in other aspects of your home the remodel will affect, such as the need for new furniture or window treatments. Your heating and cooling system may also need to be updated to accommodate the changes. Visit CM Heating for advice on whether to upgrade your current system or if you should consider alternatives, such as ductless mini-splits.

Set a Budget

Have a realistic idea of how much the remodel will cost before you start. The effort enables you to avoid sticker shock and make informed decisions about where to spend your money. Factor in the cost of permits too.

If you're planning to finance the remodel, research loan options and compare interest rates. Home equity loans usually have lower interest rates but require you to put your home up as collateral. You may also be able to finance the work through a personal loan or credit card, although the interest rates will be higher. If possible, save up the money in advance to avoid paying interest.

Hire a Qualified Contractor

Don't try to tackle a remodeling project independently unless you're confident in your abilities. Even then, it's often best to hire a professional contractor with the experience and knowledge to get the job done right.

Get recommendations from friends, family, and co-workers who have recently remodeled their homes. Once you've compiled a list of potential contractors, check their references and licensing status. The Better Business Bureau is also a good resource for finding reputable contractors in your area.

Have a Contingency Plan

Despite your best efforts, there's always the possibility of something going wrong during the remodeling process. Have a contingency plan in place to deal with unexpected delays or problems. It could mean having a temporary kitchen set up in another room or renting a storage unit for furniture and other belongings.

You should also have some financial wiggle room in your budget to cover any unexpected costs. A 10-20% contingency fund is typically sufficient, although you may want to set aside more if your project is particularly complex.

Stay Organized

The key to a successful remodel is staying organized throughout the process. It includes keeping track of paperwork, scheduling progress check-ins with your contractor, and maintaining a budget.

Create a binder or folder to store all critical documents, such as the contract, permit applications, and invoices. This will help you stay ahead of deadlines and avoid missing important details. Also, communicate regularly with your contractor to ensure the work is progressing as planned.

Be Flexible

The reality is that remodeling projects rarely go as planned. There will likely be some bumps along the way; be flexible and go with the flow. Keep an open mind about the needed changes, such as using different materials than you originally wanted. Don't be afraid to speak up if you're unhappy with the work done. It's better to address problems as they arise rather than wait until the project is finished.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful

You'll transform your home into the oasis you've always wanted with careful planning. Have clear goals, a realistic budget, and a qualified contractor. Remember to schedule an all-around inspection after the remodeling to avoid potential hazards. Prioritize the heating and cooling system, plumbing, and electrical wiring to ensure your home is safe and comfortable.

partnered post • images by Max Vakhtbovych & Cal David at Pexels 


5 Tips for Avoiding Emergency Heating Repair

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Your HVAC system helps you maintain a comfortable environment, regardless of the weather. Unexpected HVAC issues can be challenging, and could be due to an unresponsive thermostat, the heating system making strange noises, cold air coming from your heating system, clogged condensate line, frozen coils, and outdoor units.

Your furnace having a yellow flame, the fan not turning off, the carbon monoxide detector going off, and warm air from your ducts could all be signs that you need emergency heating repair. This article outlines five tips for avoiding emergency heating repair.

1. Stick to a regular maintenance routine

Regular HVAC maintenance means lesser breakdowns and repairs in the future. A professional preventive service enables technicians to spot problems before they worsen. Getting your system regularly inspected means worn-out parts get replaced to avoid possible issues down the line. The electrical components are examined, and all parts are lubricated for optimum performance.

Keeping up with annual tune-ups ensures your system lasts longer. A properly functioning heating system lowers utility bills and ensures improved indoor air quality. With heating and cooling experts like Buckeye HVAC, you can get quality maintenance services to keep your system in pristine condition.

2. Change your air filters regularly

Air filters play a crucial role in maintaining good indoor air quality. They get clogged with dust, dirt, bacteria, pollen, pet dander, and spores, making it difficult for your heating system to push air via the ductwork, causing it to work harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature. This increases your utility bills and the HVAC’s chances of breaking down.

Replacing your air filters regularly avoids unnecessary damage while increasing your system’s lifespan. It helps improve indoor air quality by eliminating odors, pollutants, and allergens. It also balances humidity. Air filter replacement enhances energy efficiency, resulting in lower energy bills.

3. Program your thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to run an organized heating program without struggling to change the settings throughout the day manually. Failure to program your thermostat could cause your heating system to work inefficiently. If you constantly adjust your thermostat, you might be pressuring your heating system and wasting energy. Consider waiting for at least eight hours to change the temperature.

4. Keep an eye on your humidity levels

Failure to maintain the correct humidity levels in your home impacts the heating system and could damage your furnishings and electronics while causing physical ailments. Dry air may cause a sore throat, nosebleeds, eye irritation, dehydration, and respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma.

Not maintaining an appropriate humidity level may require increasing the temperature as the heating system must work hard to heat your space. With the help of a hygrometer or smart thermostat, you can easily ensure proper humidity levels in your home.

5. Give your heating system a break

Your heating system works hard through winter to keep your home at the most comfortable temperature. You can give the system a much-needed break when the weather conditions are more tolerable. Consider keeping your thermostat at a temperature close to the one outside. Wear extra clothes whenever you feel cold. Inspect your doors and windows for drafts or air leaks to ensure your system doesn’t overwork.

Endnote

Sudden HVAC breakdowns can be stressful. Use these tips to avoid emergency heating repair.

partnered post • image from Sprinter Lucio on Pixabay


5 Bathroom Remodeling Tips

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Whether you need a complete bathroom makeover, or are only looking to change a few aspects of this space, bathroom remodeling projects can get quite complicated. Fortunately, you can successfully manage these upgrades by considering critical aspects that give these projects lasting value. Here, we look at five bathroom remodel tips.

1. Know how much bathroom space you have

Before you kick off your bathroom remodeling project, it is vital to consider how much space you have. By focusing your remodel on this fundamental element, you will quickly determine the best type of bathroom to install and the features you should include. For example, if you want a master en-suite bathroom with a spa-like vibe, you should prioritize installing glass doors from Van Isle Glass to separate the tub and shower areas.

2. Align everything to your budget

Bathroom remodels are often expensive, and to avoid running out of money when your project is halfway, you need to develop a realistic home upgrade budget. The best decision is to consult a bathroom remodeling expert to help align your budget to all expenses, including labor costs and materials. To save on money, prioritize completing the essentials and parts that are of most value to you. Most importantly, you must avoid the temptation of starting your bathroom remodel if you do not have enough funds to complete the project.

3. Consider lighting and ventilation

You must never skimp on lighting and ventilation when remodeling your bathroom. Whether you have a tiny or spacious bathroom, ensure you allow in as much light as possible and enough ventilation to avoid mold growth due to damp air and moisture. Remember to utilize natural light by adding windows and skylights besides using mirrors to reflect the available light and create an illusion of more space.

4. Get the right vanity and storage options

Bathroom vanities are a must-have feature and a chance to make a big statement. When picking these elements, you should prioritize options that freshen your bathroom’s aesthetics without taking too much space or being too small. For example, you could opt for a corner sink if you have a tight space or a floating vanity to make your bathroom look larger. On the other hand, a double vanity is a better option for a spacious family bathroom.

Besides getting the right vanity, you should also have adequate storage options in your bathroom. Consider using floating shelves, organization units below your vanity, and hanging hooks on unused sections of your walls.

5. Add some luxurious features

A bathroom remodel is never complete until it has a little sprinkle of luxury in it. This does not mean going overboard with your budget but involves including aesthetically pleasing features in this space. Popular luxurious features you can include in your bathroom are heated towel rails, smart showers, non-slip flooring, heated floors, and wall décor.

endnote

It takes the right level of planning and forethought for a successful bathroom remodel, and with these tips, you are guaranteed to give this all-important room a form that complements its function.

partnered post • photo by R Architecture Melbourne at Unsplash


6 Ways to Bring Your Dull Kitchen Space Back to Life

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A dull and bland kitchen can suck the life out of cooking and hosting gatherings. The grease-stained cabinets, rusty and old-fashioned knobs, chipping wall paint, and ancient appliances give off a dreary vibe. And that can make even the most enthusiastic home cook feel uninspired.

If your kitchen needs a quick redo, there are many ways to bring it back to life without gutting the whole space and starting from scratch.

Let’s discuss some easy and budget-friendly ways to add life to your boring kitchen space:

  • Repaint or Reinstall Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets draw attention without much effort. They’re one of the first things people (especially guests) notice when they enter your kitchen. If your cabinets look shabby, you can either repaint them or reinstall them.

If you choose to repaint your cabinets, ensure to use paint resistant to grease and water. You don’t want your paint job to start chipping once you use your kitchen again.

As for reinstalling, look for a kitchen remodeling company in your area that can help you out. It is a bigger project than repainting and will require the help of professionals. You can run a quick Google search by typing the required services to locate experts in your city. For instance, typing “kitchen remodeling Walnut Creek CA” will enable you to approach professionals in Walnut Creek, CA.

  • Polish Your Countertops

Kitchen countertops come in many different materials - each material sees the end of its lifespan differently. For instance, if you’ve been using a butcher’s knife on your wooden countertop for the past few years, it may have deeply etched scars.

You can sand these scars and apply a fresh layer of wood finish or paint to make your countertop look new again. Similarly, if your marble countertop has lost its sheen, you can use a polishing agent to make it look shiny and new.

It’s essential to analyze your countertop material before deciding on a reviving method. You don’t want to damage your countertop beyond repair.

  • Paint the Walls

Trends in wall colors come and go, but a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for your kitchen space. It can brighten up the whole room and make it feel new again. If you’re unsure what color to paint your kitchen, try a light and airy color like blue or green.

If you prefer making a bolder statement, you can always go for a dark color like black or deep purple. Just ensure the color you choose complements the rest of your kitchen. You don’t want it to clash with your cabinets or countertops. You can also create a captivating focal point by painting one wall a different color from the rest.

  • Update Your Backsplash

Oil stains and gravy splatters can make your backsplash look gross and dirty. It can be tricky to tackle if you leave it to build up. The best way to avoid this is to clean your backsplash regularly. You can use a degreaser or an all-purpose cleaner to eliminate the grease and grime.

If you feel nothing you do will reclaim the lost glory of your backsplash, you can always replace it. You can choose from backsplash materials like glass, tile, or stainless steel. You can also sprinkle some creativity and use wallpaper or contact paper. And to avoid making a mess of your kitchen, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

  • Improve the Lighting

Have your children complained about the weird burnt taste in the food lately? If so, you might be burning your food while sautéing it without even knowing. The reason for this could be bad lighting in your kitchen.

If you can’t see what you’re cooking, it’s easy to make mistakes. Not to mention, bad lighting can make your kitchen look dull and dreary. The solution is simple: improve the lighting in your kitchen. You can achieve this by installing new light fixtures or adding more windows.

You can also use mirrors to reflect light and make your kitchen look brighter. Keep it classy and well under budget by visiting your local flea market for some great finds.

  • Bring in the Greens

The way plants boost indoor spaces is incomparable. They improve the air quality, make the space look more inviting, and can even help you focus while cooking. If you have a windowsill, start by placing some potted plants there.

You can also hang plants from the ceiling or place them on shelves. If you’re unsure which plants to get, succulents are always a good choice. They’re low-maintenance and can thrive in most indoor spaces. You can also plant a small herb garden to add freshness to your cooking.

Parsley, basil, oregano, and mint are some of the easiest herbs to grow indoors. Not only will they make your food taste better, but they’ll also make your kitchen smell amazing.

Conclusion

So, instead of giving up and ordering take-out every night, try reviving your kitchen space with one (or all) of these tips. Trust us, your wallet and your taste buds will thank you. And who knows, maybe you’ll even start to enjoy cooking again. 

partnered post • image by Wallace Chuck from Pexels 


True Blue Glass: How Much Do New Windows Cost?

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Windows can make a home more comfortable, light and airy while offering functional purposes such as keeping out the heat and cold. They can only do this when they are in optimal working order. If your windows need replacing, you may be wondering how much they cost. In this post, we'll explain the various factors that can affect the price.

The importance of quality windows

When your windows are not up to par, they cannot effectively stop heat from transferring through the pane, so in summer, the heat will come in, and in the winter, the heat will escape. This will result in higher electricity bills as your heating and cooling system has to work harder to maintain a desired temperature inside the home. Older styles of single-paned glass aren't up to today's glass standards, and you'll likely be paying more than you could if you were to install better quality glass. Another reason why the quality of your windows is so important is that they keep your home safe from intruders. While better quality glass won't stop potential thieves altogether, it can deter them. If your glass or windows are broken or provide an easy point of access into your home, this makes your home more vulnerable to thieves as they are more likely to target your home than others with more secure and stronger fitting glass and windows.

Different types of windows

Windows don’t just come in a one size fits all type. There are many different types of windows. Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Fixed Pane Windows: Fixed pane windows look like traditional windows, featuring glass and a window frame, however, they do not open.
  • Sliding Windows: This is the most common type of window found in Australian homes. They are two panes positioned in horizontal frames next to each other. Usually, one window can slide to the other side to enable the window to open.
  • Single-Hung Windows: Single-hung windows are another common type of window and they have one pane positioned on top of the other. The lower pane can be lifted to let in air.
  • Double-Hung Windows: Double-hung windows are essentially the same as single-hung windows, the only difference is that you can move both windows.
  • Louvre Windows: Louvres consist of several sections of glass panels that can be adjusted individually to let in light and air.
  • Casement Windows: Casement windows open wide which is great if you want to let a lot of light and airflow into the space.

How much can quality windows save you?

By replacing your single-paned windows with high-quality glass, you can save yourself up to $600 a year on your electricity bills. Whilst they do cost more to install, you'll quickly recoup your investment with the long-term savings you will make over the years. This is better for the environment too. If your window frames are in otherwise good condition, you can replace the glass only which can save you some money when upgrading.

Factors that can affect the price of new windows

Many things can affect the price of your new windows, here are some of them:

  • How big the windows are
  • Whether you need a frame and glass replacement or pane alone
  • The type of glazing you choose
  • The style of windows
  • The type of framing material you choose (if required)
  • How many windows you are replacing

How much do new windows cost?

Here is a breakdown of the average costs of having new windows installed:

Every glazier and glass company have different rates however, on average, you can expect to pay anything from $70 to $100 per hour for labour costs. Materials and supplies cost extra and will be determined based on the service you are having carried out. The better quality glass, fixings and frames you choose, the most costly it will be. The glazier may offer a slight discount if you are having a bulk number of windows installed at the one time.

Windows at the cheaper end

An entry point double glazed window starts at around $150 plus installation costs. This is typically for a small fixed window with basic framing.

Windows at the higher end

If you are choosing bigger windows that feature high-quality glass and framing, you can pay up to $1,300 per square metre.

How much does glass alone cost?

If you are happy with your framing and you are only looking to upgrade your glass, this can lower the overall cost.

Here is a general guide to give you a basic idea of what you can expect to pay. Prices typically start from:

  • Float glass: $35-$40 per square metre.
  • Low iron glass: $145- $150 per square metre.
  • Double glazed glass: $200 - $220 per square metre.
  • Low emission glass: $210 - $230 per square metre.
  • Laminated glass: $300 - $330 per square metre.

What to look out for when hiring someone to install your new windows 

When choosing your Brisbane Window Installer, it’s important that they do a good job to ensure maximum efficiency and bang for your buck.

It is always wise to check the credentials of any tradesperson you hire. They should be a qualified, licenced, and insured glazier. This can give you peace of mind that you will end up with a quality finish. All glaziers need to install glass to comply with the relevant Australian Safety Standards (AS1288 and AS2208), for both windows and doors.

Before choosing a glazier, it is a good idea to ring around to ensure you are getting the best price.

Installing new windows is beneficial in more ways than one

New windows can be beneficial in more ways than one! They can help to keep your home more comfortable, reduce your energy bills and make your home more secure from potential theft. You don't only have to wait for your windows to be damaged before replacing them. The initial cost can save you money long-term, making them a worthwhile investment.

If you have been wanting to get new windows for your home, contact the glass professionals here at True Blue Glass. We service all of South East Queensland and are happy to provide friendly advice on your glass replacement options.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Curtains by Joanne


7 Reasons to Hire Professional Pest Control Services

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Pests can be a real problem if they get out of hand. They can cause damage to your property and create discomfort for the inmates by spreading diseases and contaminating food supplies. 

Some pests are also dangerous to humans. For example, bed bugs can transmit diseases through their bites, and rodents carry some parasites that can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems. That's why it's so important to eliminate pests from your house before they become an infestation.

Here are seven reasons why you should hire a professional pest control company:

  • They’ll Be Better at Identifying Pest Problems

Unless you're an expert, it can be difficult to identify what kind of pest is causing the problem and how best to get rid of it. Some companies specialize in certain types of pests, such as mice or cockroaches. While others can also solve termite and bug problems at home. Either way, they'll be able to create an effective Terminix pest control plan for dealing with pests like termites or any other that may be plaguing your property.

  • They Have Experience Handling Different Types of Pests

Residential pest control companies have extensive experience with all types of pests and know how to deal with them effectively. They’ll be able to identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and use the right treatment method for that particular pest. While some homeowners may be able to locate the type of pest they’re dealing with, most people don’t have the time or resources necessary to properly treat their homes for pests.

  • They Know How to Handle the Treatment Process Properly

Pest control technicians have received extensive training and experience in the field. Their training includes technical skills and knowledge, as well as safety precautions that must be taken when treating facilities, equipment, and materials. They know how to properly handle the treatment process and can spot potential hazards before they become problems. This means you will not be put at risk when living around insecticides or other chemicals used during treatment in your house.

  • They Have Equipment and Supplies for Tough Jobs

Pest control companies typically have access to a wide range of products and equipment they can use on any size job. This includes everything from specialized equipment used to treat large areas quickly, to smaller hand tools for targeted treatments where needed. In addition, most companies offer maintenance plans that include regular visits from their experts so they can catch any issues early before they become serious problems for your household.

  • Save Money

People generally think that hiring professionals is costly. However, if you follow a DIY method to fight the pest problem, eventually, you end up spending a significant amount on the same. Besides, you may end up creating more issues at home. So, it is better to hire professional services. A professional will know how to get rid of pests in your home and keep them away in the future. It will help you save money in the long run. In addition, if you have a large property, you may need them to do the job regularly.

  • Save Time

Pest control can be a hassle, but these companies have the resources and expertise to quickly eliminate pests and prevent them from returning. Pest control technicians are trained to find and exterminate pests in houses of all sizes. They know how to treat an entire building or just a few rooms, depending on your needs. And they know how to kill common pests as well as those that are specific to your property and location. Hence, hiring them can help you save time and get a lasting solution. 

  • Reduces Health Risks

Pests can carry diseases that are harmful to humans. In fact, some pests are so dangerous that they are classified as bio-hazards by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These biohazards include rats, mice, cockroaches, and bed bugs. If left untreated, these pests can cause serious illnesses such as typhoid fever or dysentery among others. By hiring a professional pest control company to deal with infestations, you can reduce the risk of illness among your family members.

Final Words

Pest control is a necessary thing for every household of all sizes. As you've seen there are many benefits of getting rid of pests by a pest control company. Make sure to educate yourself on what kind of pest is infesting your house so you can give proper details to the pest control company. Pests can be harmful to your health so when it comes to pest control, you should never ignore it.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Insight Pest


How To Look For A Rug Cleaning Service In Your City

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Carpets are a breeding ground for allergens, dust particles, and bacteria. According to research, one ounce of carpet dust contains over 2,000 dust mites. All that ton of filth is living right under your foot.

There is a wide range of health problems that these contaminants in your carpeting can cause, especially among the elderly and children. Even though vacuuming helps remove dust, it doesn't completely remove germs. Over time, these particles accumulate, increasing the risk of illness. 

However, with professional carpet cleaning, you can eliminate all the allergens, reducing the likelihood of health issues. If you haven't gotten your rugs cleaned in a while, now is the right time. Follow the instructions below to find a good carpet cleaner.

Search online

Searching online is simple. All you have to do is type the correct keywords into your search bar, and you can access tons of cleaning services. It doesn't matter where you live, simply type “best cleaning services” + the name of your area and find all the best options in your locality. For example, if you live in Austin, Texas, search using the keywords: rug cleaning in Austin, TX, and browse the SERPs. Repeat the same for any city you live in.

The tricky thing here is how to select the best one. That’s where website reviews come into play. You can also find customer reviews on social media platforms. Compare the company’s reliability, safety, durability, and other aspects with your shortlisted competitors. You may also want to compare the prices. Did you know you can hire deep cleaning services in Texas for as low as $9 per 2 hours? 

Company’s work experience matters

When comparing companies, find out how experienced they are. You want a company that can work safely on your carpet type. 

Professionals typically use a broom or vacuum cleaner to brush over your carpet during a deep cleaning process. If you have a costly carpet, you can also have it hand-washed at affordable rates.

Remember, every carpet is different, and some stains are more difficult to remove than others. An inexperienced carpet cleaner can still remove debris, but may have trouble identifying and treating certain stains effectively. As a result, the carpet will not be cleaned properly. Au contraire, a company with years of experience is likely to know everything about them. As a result, they will be able to eliminate unsightly stains quickly. Moreover, they’ll do it without harming your carpet or shortening its lifespan.

Trust your friends and family’s recommendations

People you know are the best resource for finding a great carpet cleaning company. There is a good chance someone in your circle of friends, colleagues, and family has recently had their carpets cleaned.

Make a list of the companies they have worked with and ask if there have been any negative experiences. This will help you avoid hiring carpet cleaners who might ruin your carpet’s look after they clean it. If you don’t know someone who recently got their carpets cleaned, searching online for experienced rug cleaners is always a good option.

Get in touch with several companies

It may be tempting to select the first company you see advertised on TV or the first one you find online, but it is important to keep searching. Getting quotes from several providers before scheduling an appointment is always a good idea. By comparing their prices and services, you can make an informed choice. Don't always trust the company with the lowest price.

Consider how helpful they were when you called. Likewise, you can expect quality service from the cleaners if you had a great experience with customer service. It is possible to overpay for services if you do not contact multiple companies. You may end up with an inexperienced cleaner in the worst-case scenario. 

Choose a company that offers the services you need

Carpets aren't the only surface that requires professional cleaning in your home. Your upholstery is exposed to just as much dirt and debris as your rugs and carpets.

When booking an appointment, ensure the company offers the services you require. Find a company that offers indoor allergy treatments if you're concerned about allergens in your home. In addition, ensure the company can clean your delicate oriental rugs.

Learn about the products they use

You might be surprised to learn that chemicals used to clean rugs can harm your health and the environment. If you have children, pets, or anyone in the home who suffers from respiratory problems, you'll want to avoid these chemicals. So look for companies that provide hypoallergenic and natural cleaners. Taking this precaution ensures children and pets are not exposed to harmful substances on the floor.

If possible, choose a dry cleaner that does not use soap. In addition to keeping dirt and debris from settling into the fibers, this helps prevent mold from forming in the padding beneath the carpet. Additionally, it will be easier for you to clean your carpets all year. As a result, the leftover soapy residue won't stick to dust, pet hair, or dander.

Customer reviews matter

You'll likely receive the same level of quality and care if you go off of a recommendation from a friend. However, if you rely on internet recommendations, research each company’s reputation.

See what past customers have said about them in the online reviews. If most reviews are positive, so are likely to have a similar experience. However, proceed with caution in case of negative reviews. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if anyone has complained about the company. Don't settle for a low rating.

Ensure there are guarantees

No one likes to pay again to clean their carpets after the first cleaning didn’t do the job. Look for companies that offer guarantees on their work to ensure your safety. If you’re unsatisfied with the cleaning the first time, they’ll redo it. In addition, you won’t need to pay twice for the same service.

Conclusion

Not cleaning your carpets can invite a lot of health troubles, including allergies and breathing problems. If you are wondering where to start looking for a good carpet cleaner? It’s not that difficult. A good rug cleaning company is just a few steps away if you follow the steps above.

partnered post • image by Cottonbro on Pexels


5 Home Renovation Projects You Should Never DIY

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As any homeowner knows, there are a never-ending number of things that need to be done around the house. From painting the kitchen to fixing a leaky faucet, it can sometimes feel like there’s always something that needs to be fixed. While it can be tempting to try to tackle these projects yourself to save money, some home renovation projects are best left to the professionals.

For example, many homeowners don’t know what concrete garage floor repair involves and what they should do after. Concrete garage floor repair is when experts or homeowners fix surface imperfections, like cracks. For cracks in your garage floor, experts recommend using an epoxy, polyurethane, or polyurea repair product that is sandable. These products cure and harden at a strength greater than concrete.

Here are five other home renovation projects you should never DIY: 

Plumbing

Major plumbing is onehome renovation project you should never do on your own. Plumbing is a complex system of pipes and fittings that require special tools and training to install correctly, and even a tiny mistake can cause significant problems, such as leaks, flooding, and water damage. Water leaks can cause structural damage, mold growth, and electrical problems. 

In addition, plumbing is often located in difficult-to-reach places, such as behind walls or under floors. As a result, attempting a DIY plumbing project can be dangerous and expensive. If you're considering a significant home renovation, it's always best to leave the plumbing to the professionals. 

Electrical Work

Electrical projects can be complex, and even a tiny mistake can be dangerous. Without the proper knowledge and tools, it can be easy to damage wiring or create an electrical hazard accidentally. Even if a project appears simple, it's important to remember that electricity is highly unpredictable. For these reasons, it's best to leave electrical projects to the professionals. 

Not only will they have the experience and expertise to complete the job safely, but they will also have the proper insurance in case something goes wrong. Additionally, electrical work requires a permit in most jurisdictions, so attempting to do the work yourself will likely result in a fine. It’s simply not worth the risk to try to save a few dollars by doing electrical work yourself. 

Roofing

Roofing involves working on a steep and slippery surface, which can be dangerous for even experienced contractors. In addition, roofing requires special training, tools, and equipment that most homeowners don’t have access to. In addition, roofing projects often require permits and inspections from local authorities. As a result, attempting to roof your own home is likely to end in disaster. 

Finally, many homeowners insurance policies will not cover damage caused by improper roofing techniques, meaning that you could be left financially responsible for any accidents or repairs. Not only will you put yourself at risk of injury, but you’ll also spend more money to repair the damage than if you had hired a roofing contractor in the first place. 

Structural work

Structural work is any type of construction or renovation that alters the load-bearing capacity of a home. This includes projects like adding or removing walls, screened porches, strengthening beams or columns, and raising or lowering ceilings. Although you can safely complete some light structural work on your own, significant changes should always be left to a professional, as even a tiny mistake can have serious consequences. 

For example, if a support beam is not adequately secured, it could lead to a partial or complete ceiling collapse. In addition, structural work often requires heavy machinery and tools, which can be dangerous for someone without experience. In addition, most building codes require that structural work be performed by a licensed contractor.

HVAC Installation and Repair

Although it may seem simple, HVAC systems are complex and require skilled technicians to install and maintain them properly. Attempting to install or repair an HVAC system yourself can result in severe injuries and damage to your home. 

Furthermore, HVAC systems are subject to strict safety and building codes, which must be followed for the system to operate correctly. Finally, because HVAC systems are expensive, and DIY work may void your warranty, it is crucial to ensure that they are installed and repaired correctly to avoid costly repairs or replacements down the road. 

While some home renovation projects are simple enough to do on your own, others are best left to the professionals. By understanding which projects you should never DIY, you can save time, money, and aggravation. If you’re unsure where to start with your next home renovation project, work with a professional who can help you plan and execute it successfully.

partnered post • image by Roselyn Tirado at Unsplash


Is It Time To Call A Bed Bug Exterminator? Let's Find Out!

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It is almost always the best rule of thumb to call an exterminator when dealing with bed bugs. Even if you only notice a few in your home, chances are that there's more where they came from! DIY pest control is rarely effective, and never is it really the best course of action to take. Bed bugs are aggressive and quickly multiply, which is why time is of the essence and acting quickly is a requirement.

Of course, you may still not feel entirely convinced that you need professional exterminators to remove the problem. Below, we will discuss the most common signs and symptoms that you should pick up the phone and make that appointment as soon as possible!

  • You Start To Notice Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs do bite, and oftentimes, most people have some type of reaction or sensitivity to these bites. From simple hives to more severe itchy rashes, it is important to take the problem seriously from the start. Though physical symptoms will vary from one individual to the next, it is always important to consider the psychological effects of dealing with a bed bug infestation. Having insects in your home can make it feel unclean or unsafe, regardless of how much you clean, organize, and declutter your space. Working with exterminator services will ensure that the bed bugs are entirely eliminated, and you can feel safe in your bedroom again!

  • You Notice A Concentration Of Bed Bugs

Though bed bugs, by nature, are quite small, it doesn't mean they're completely invisible. In fact, it is possible to see them concentrated in a certain area of your mattress. Though unlike other insects, bed bugs don't live in colonies or form nests, they do visibly multiply. If you see that the concentration of bugs is progressively worsening, it is high time to call in pest control services. Oftentimes, waiting to get help will mean that the bugs have even more time to cause damage or wreak havoc on your household.

  • The Bed Bugs Are On The Move

As a rule of thumb, bed bugs by nature tend to keep out of sight and live on your mattress or hidden in your furniture. However, this by no means is a rule. In fact, bed bugs can actually infest other parts of your home, such as your windowsill, outlets, and even behind pictures on the wall. If you notice that the infestation seems to move to other areas of your home, it is definitely a sign that everything is spiralling out of control. It is not normal for bed bugs to migrate regularly, but when they start spreading, it does show that the problem is worse than what you were initially led to believe.

  • The Bed Bugs Aren’t Going Away

You may have thought you had the infestation under control, but if you start to notice that the problem still persists, it shows that the issue is far from over. Bed bugs can and will keep coming back as long as they aren't adequately exterminated the first time around. No homeowner deserves to have to deal with the persistence of insects, which is why it's always advisable to hire professionals from the get-go!

What Can Bed Bug Pest Control Services Do For You?

The first step after calling bed bug exterminator service is that a knowledgeable technician will perform a thorough inspection of your property. During this time, they will assess the situation and consider the depth of the infestation that you have. Pest control professionals are able to identify precisely where the problem originates and how the bed bugs are able to come into your home. This is useful in helping control the situation from its root cause. Additionally, you will also discover just where the bed bugs are staying in your home, and oftentimes, it's a wake-up call that the problem is worse than you initially believed.

Depending on the situation and the extent of the infestation, a game plan is developed by professionals. Every infestation is different, which is why companies never use a one-size-fits-all approach. Once the solution is discussed with the homeowner, the technician will work to control the situation and remove the insects effectively. Usually, insecticides, as well as a number of other tools, are used. However, it's worth noting that all equipment is used responsibly to ensure the health and safety of everyone in your household.

If your infestation is severe enough, you may need to consider getting follow-up treatments. This is actually more common than you think and is by no means a reflection on you as a homeowner. Having a professional regularly maintain your property will offer you peace of mind while ensuring that the infestation never again occurs. All situations are different, but sometimes, extra visits are necessary to ensure complete elimination.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by the Armed Forces Pest Management Bureau


Everything You Need To Know About Porcelain Tiles Before Installing 

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When you intend to tile your home and outdoor areas, you will have to choose from a selection. In this process, you will find several types of materials, and one significant type would be porcelain. 

Porcelain is durable and strong and is usually used for floor spaces and outdoor environments like patios, kitchens, bathrooms, and other home areas. 

However, before choosing porcelain, you need to understand what it is, where to use it, and how to maintain it. So read on to find all you need to know about porcelain before installing it. 

Let’s begin.

What is Porcelain?

Primarily, porcelain is a type of ceramic. However, the materials it is made from and the heat at which it is fired usually make it more hard-wearing and durable than traditional ceramic.

As a result, outdoor porcelain tiles are a more popular option when creating a patio area in your garden or outdoor areas. They are resistant to water, frost resistant, and very durable. When choosing one for your garden spaces, choose a design with an anti-slip finish. 

You can also choose from the other designs like the stone effect and the stylish wood. A popular trend is to create an indoor to an outdoor space where the floor continues outdoors to get a seamless transition.

Where Porcelain Can Be Used

Porcelain is available in several styles, sizes, colors, and shapes. So you can use them wherever you like in your home and garden. 

However, because of porcelain qualities which include water resistance, frost resistance, and high durability, they can be perfect for outdoor spaces, bathrooms, and gardens. Also, hallways are another good palace where you can use them since they tend to receive frequent foot traffic. 

How To Care For Porcelain

If your porcelain is polished, you shouldn't use bleach, steam cleaners, or other strong alkaline or acidic cleaning solutions since they can cause damage to the seal. Instead, when you want to clean your porcelain tile, either polished or unpolished, warm water and mild detergent can do the job. 

If you intend to use chemicals to remove stubborn stains, you should only use those with low chemical concentrations.

Styles and Designs Of Porcelain 

With the advancement in manufacturing, you can get porcelain in several designs, styles, shapes, sizes, and colors. They can include beautiful mosaics, hexagons, geometric patterns or lifelike stone effects, and realistic wood effects. 

Porcelain can replace wallpaper, paint, hardwood flooring, and even laminate. There are also stylish alternatives for patio slabs and decking in your garden. 

Conclusion

Before purchasing porcelain tiles, you should know everything there is to know about them. Ensure you have a good idea of the style and color of the porcelain you intend to purchase before visiting a showroom. Search for decorating inspirations to see which design or color you gravitate towards. 

Use the tips mentioned above to ensure your choice is right before heading to your local showroom. Also, you can speak with a flooring consultant to confirm your choice suits your needs.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Dustin Oliver


Nine Super Simple Ways to Make Your House Smell Fresh

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People are usually surrounded by a mix of smells – some pleasant, others not so much. Most homeowners struggle with finding the right balance so their homes can always smell fresh. Here are a few simple tips to help you achieve this.

Make Your Own Potpourri

Potpourri is an old-fashioned, traditional way of using herbs, spices, and flowers to freshen up a room. You can make potpourri at home with just a few ingredients. You can even use the same herbs and spices that you use in cooking to create a sweet smell.

The best part about making your potpourri is that it is almost effortless! You only need two ingredients: dried herbs and flowers. If you don't have any dried herbs or flowers on hand, don't worry, you can subscribe to get your flowers regularly, so you always have a fresh batch to use. You can also invest in sweet-smelling house plants to make your house smell fresh.

Simmer Cinnamon Sticks and Apple Slices

Cinnamon sticks help to keep the air in your house clean and fresh, while apples can be used as a natural deodorizer. You can add them to a pot of water and let it simmer for a few hours or overnight. The cinnamon will stick to the apples as they cook, making them smell wonderful!

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Use Odor-Eliminating Candles

Whether trying to get rid of pet urine odors or keep your home smelling fresh, keeping an odor-eliminating candle on hand is a great place to start. Odor-eliminating candles work by emitting a scent that traps air molecules and keeps them away from furnishings. That means no more lingering odors that make you feel uncomfortable.

Give Your Trash Can a Break

It's easy to take your trash can for granted. It's just there, doing its job, and you don't think about it much. But when you do think about it, you realize that there are some things you can do to make your trash can cleaner. Here are some tips on how to keep it smelling fresh:

  1. Change Your Trash Can Bags Regularly: The average person throws out around two bags of trash per day, so each week, you throw away about 14 bags! That's a lot of waste going into trash cans. If you don't change the bag in the can, leftover trash will begin accumulating and emitting a foul stink.
  2. Clean Out Your Trash Can Often: If you notice any odors coming from your trash can, clean it immediately before those smells build up. The longer you let the stench stay, the worse it'll get.

Fill a Small Dish with Vanilla

You can use a little vanilla bean in a small dish to make your house smell fresh or add a few drops of vanilla extract to a candle or air freshener. This is one fragrance that not only smells great but it makes your home more welcoming.

Set Out Baking Soda

Baking soda is an inexpensive yet easy way to make your home smell fresh, but you need to set it out in discreet places for it to be effective. You can sprinkle baking soda around the bottom of your trash cans or put it in a spray bottle and spritz it all over the floor. The idea is that the baking soda absorbs odors and leaves behind a pleasant scent.

Piled-Up Laundry

Having a clean home is a great way to ensure your kids don't get sick and that you and your partner aren't fighting over who will do the laundry when you're a busy family. But can you imagine what your home would smell like if all of your laundry was left piled up?

Laundry piles are bad for the environment and even worse for your health. They emit toxic chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory issues for those who live close to them. 

If you want to keep your home odor-free, it's important to inventory all the clothes that need to be washed before putting them away. Also, consider using environmentally-friendly detergents that won't cause damage to your clothes.

Put Out Fresh Linens

When you have freshly-laundered linens in your home, it has a subtle scent that makes it feel like a warm, welcoming place. It's not just about the smell of clean clothes – it's also what other people think when they come over.

If you're looking to add a little extra pep to your home and keep it feeling fresh and clean, consider putting some new linen on your bed. You'll be amazed by how much better it feels when you wake up!

Get Some Fresh Air

If you want to make your house smell good, open the windows and let some fresh air in. This is especially important in the summertime when indoor air is stagnant. There are many ways to freshen up an indoor environment, but none are more effective than opening a window. 

You can also place a fan somewhere close to the seating area in a room so air can circulate throughout the room.

Conclusion

There are many methods to get your house smelling fresh. You don't always need a special diffuser or expensive oils. All you need are smart ideas like the ones we've listed, and you're good to go. Try a few of these ideas and see what works best for you. They will help eliminate unpleasant odors and make your home smell like heaven.

partnered post • photos from Unsplash


Decorating 101: Upgrade Your Home Without Blowing Your Budget

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Every house owner aims to keep their home up to date with all the new housing trends. After all, a home is the largest investment one can make. But the dilemma is how to upgrade your home without blowing your budget? Here’s how. 

Paint Your Interiors

If the interior of your space is still covered with an old, dull coat of paint, it’s time to refresh your walls. Painting all the walls in your home with the same colors or maybe a combination of two could drastically affect its overall aesthetic appeal. Plus, the idea is budget-friendly and doesn’t require much time.

Power Clean Your Doors and Windows 

One of the reasons why your home looks old and dull is because you don’t clean your home surfaces often. Doors, windows, and other surfaces tend to collect dirt and dust more often and quickly, which takes away all their shine and degrades their value. Hence, it’s imperative that all the surfaces of your home go through regular dusting and cleaning. Don’t let your lazy self come in the way and tell you to postpone the cleaning task to the next week.

Look for all the Fixtures

Another brilliant way to upgrade your home is to look for all the possible fixtures and get them repaired or replaced, if needed, at the earliest. Be it replacing your old, noisy air conditioner with a smart window air conditioner, repairing door locks, or getting a new faucet, make sure you take the initiative or ask any other family member to get done with all the fixtures.

Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen feels bland and wearisome because all those dark-textured cabinets have sucked all the light out of the room. Now, this does not mean that you need to replace your cabinets with new ones. As long as all the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can just clean them up and refresh them with a new coat of paint that compliments the overall theme of your kitchen. This will give an overall new look to your kitchen. 

Update Cabinet Handles 

While reviving the kitchen cabinets with a new color is an awesome idea, how about if you update the handles too? Wouldn’t it add that finishing touch to your kitchen? Of course, it will. If you think the handles have become hard for frequent use or they’ve lost their shine, replacing them with new and trendy handles would be a smart and affordable option. Plus, if you get similar services from a single company, you might also get a good discount. 

Revive the Outdoor Space

Another interesting idea to upgrade the look of your house is to work on the outdoor setting. Reviving your outdoor living area doesn’t require you to have big or expensive additions, a few small and thoughtful changes can also work wonders to change the aesthetic appeal of your entire house. The idea is to change the old setting with some refreshing and trending ideas to make it look upgraded. 

So, these were a few of the home improvement tips that are quick to follow and budget-friendly. 

partnered post • photo: a 100 year old kitchen gets an affordable facelift with new fixtures & lighting


Window treatment for home; can you mix and match? 

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Real comfort, visual or physical, is vital to every room. - Anonymous. 

When you begin styling the interiors of your house, it generally means matching the elements to create a good look. It is common for novice designers to consider matching curtains, rolls, shades, and other window treatments in the house. However, when you discuss with experienced designers, you will know that interior design's real essence is mixing and matching the window treatments. Read on to explore the different types and styles of window treatments for your home. 

Is it necessary for all the window shades and blinds to match? 

The first rule of using shades and blinds is there is no rule. Every room in a house is different, and so is the aesthetic appeal of each room. Therefore, you only keep matching blinds when they are in the same room. Otherwise, the decor and vibe of the room should help you decide on the color. If your living room has solid wall colors, soft roman shades will contrast them well.

Similarly, the blinds in your kitchen should match the color and decor elements there. In simple terms, the easiest way to decide on the colors and shades is to understand the room's requirements. If you want your room to adopt a darker look, you can choose dark-colored curtains and blinds. On the other hand, you can pick light shades for your drawing room and kitchen to keep them airy and bright. 

Mix and match curtains and Shades 

The best combination of window treatments is layering the rooms with shades and curtains. Now that you have chosen the blinds and shades for your home, the next step is to add drapes. Experts recommend that the shades you choose match the house's permanent elements, such as flooring, furniture, etc. It will help create a long-lasting look and allow you to experiment with other decorative items once the base window treatment is final. Then you can add drapes to them to make them look unique. 

Some people choose dark color drapes over their light shades to create double insulation and light blockage, while others keep the curtains stationary and use the shadows to bring in and stop the light from entering the room. When you choose the colors of the drapes, ensure that there is no major difference in the color palette. Of course, the color should match the room's color scheme, but a major difference in the fabric and color palette for curtains will create a messy or uneven look. So, you can keep subtle differences but not more. 

Keep the curb appeal in check.

As mentioned before, there are no rules to using window treatments. But a common tradition for every look is to maintain symmetry. Some designers use the same treatment all over the house, while others use the same color palette. No matter your decision, you should keep curb appeal in mind. The whole point of mix and match is to create a unique appearance and maintain the home's curb appeal. 

Final Words 

Whether you are starting from scratch or are a pro in decorating your home, you should understand that mix and match are trending for everything. You can use your creativity to mix different window treatments, decor elements, home styles, etc., to create a unique-looking home for yourself. 

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Katy Warner


A Guide to Upgrading & Giving Your House A Facelift 

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Curb appeal is the face your home presents to outsiders. Most homeowners make the mistake of designing their home’s interior, only to forget about the exterior. Sprucing up your curb appeal increases your home’s perceived value and gives visitors an excellent first impression of your home. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to make drastic changes to upgrade your outdoor space. Even the most minor changes can significantly impact your curb appeal. This article will give you a comprehensive guide to boosting your outdoor space and giving your home a facelift.

The first thing that you need to focus on is the area that people will first see when they come closer to your home. For most homeowners, this means the driveway and the front garden. If you want to make the best first impressions, you should go for the best landscaping services. Trained and credible landscaping experts will help you create the garden of your dreams. If curb appeal is what you are going for, there are very few things that will be able to beat the unmatched beauty of great landscaping. 

Upgrade your front door

Your front door is one of the first things guests will notice about your home. You could spice things up by getting a new front door or repainting the one you already have. If you decide to replace your door, consider factors such as budget, style, and safety. You wouldn’t want to get a door that doesn’t provide your home with the much-needed security.

Spruce up your driveway

A clean and neat driveway makes your home look more visually appealing and gives it that much-needed facelift. You could convert that space into a driveway if you have enough room in front of your house for your vehicles. However, it would be wise to notify the local council before undertaking this project.

Repaint your home

The most obvious way to refresh your home is to repaint the entire exterior. It would be best to leave this job to exterior and interior painting professionals in your area instead of trying to do it yourself and ending up with a result that is not up to par. Painting can also help unify the various building materials and cover up years of wear and tear.

Repurpose your garage

Look no further than your garage if you need extra living space and can’t afford an extension project. Repurposing your garage is an easy project that increases the overall value of your home if you end up selling it in the future. You can also turn your garage into anything you want, be it a home office, home cinema, gym, or an extra bedroom to host guests when they sleep over. Ensure you don’t stray too far from the existing theme of your home and hire an architect to help you get the correct proportions of features such as windows.

Change your windows

Your windows have the potential to change the personality of your home. If you don’t want to go through the process of obtaining planning permission, you could alter the shape and size of the window openings before fitting your replacement windows. However, it would be wise to be cautious when replacing windows in a period property as you could easily alter its authentic style. We also suggest you work with a FENSA-registered installer and comply with all building regulations as you undertake this project.

Wrapping up

You don’t have to wait till you are ready to sell your home to upgrade the exterior. A little TLC can go a long way in improving its appearance. After all, who wouldn’t like to return to a beautiful home after a long day at work?

partnered post • cc-licensed image by David Sawyer


4 Landlord-Approved Decorating Hacks That Will Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

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If you’re like most people in New York, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on making your rental feel like home. After all, it’s not your permanent home, so why bother?

Well, there are a few reasons you should consider making some changes to your rental. For one, it can make your living space more comfortable and inviting. Additionally, it can help you personalize your space and make it feel more like your own. And finally, it can even help you get your security deposit back at the end of your lease. 

With that said, here are some landlord-approved decorating hacks that will make your rental feel like home:

  1. Get creative with wall art

One easy way to add personality to your rental is to get creative with wall art. If you're not allowed to paint or put up wallpaper, try hanging large art prints or tapestries using removable adhesive hooks. You can also create an accent wall by hanging a gallery of smaller frames or using washi tape to make a geometric design.

Using smart storage solutions is important if you're living in a small rental. This could include using under-bed storage containers to hang a spice rack in your kitchen. You can keep your space organized and clutter-free by getting creative with storing your things.

  1. Install Soundproof windows 

If you're lucky enough to live in New York City, you know that space comes at a premium. Most apartments are small, and many lack any soundproofing whatsoever. This can be a major drag when trying to get some peace or enjoy your favorite tunes without disturbing the neighbors.

Luckily, by installing soundproof windows for your apartment, you’ll be able to keep the peace with your neighbors. Simply search soundproof windows nyc to find reliable service providers who can cater to your needs.  These windows will help reduce noise levels by blocking sound waves.

There are a few different types of soundproof windows on the market, so it's important to research to find the right one for your needs. But in general, soundproof windows are a great way to reduce noise levels in your home and create a more peaceful living environment.

  1. Swap out hardware and fixtures

Another simple way to customize your rental is to swap out the standard hardware and fixtures for those you love. This could include anything from replacing the cabinet knobs in your kitchen to adding a new shower head in your bathroom. Just be sure to get permission from your landlord first, and be prepared to put the originals back when you move out.

  1. Add certain personal elements 

Adding plants to your home is not only a great way to boost your mood, but it can also help to purify the air. If you're worried about your green thumb, start with easy-to-care-for options like succulents or snake plants. Not only will they thrive with minimal effort, but they'll also add a pop of color and life to any room.

Another of the best ways to make a rental feel like home is to incorporate cozy textiles throughout the space. This could include throwing a fuzzy blanket over your sofa or hanging a tapestry on your wall. You can use fabric to make temporary covers for unsightly furniture or walls.

Conclusion 

Making your rental feel like home doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform your space into a place you love. 

So go ahead and make those changes you've wanted to make. Your home will thank you for it! Soundproof windows are worth the investment if you want to create a more peaceful environment in your rental home. 

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6 Vital Things to Know Before Starting A Home Improvement Project

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Do you want to improve or renovate your house but don’t know how to do it? Well, you aren’t alone, as many people want to improve their homes for one or another reason. But rushing into a home improvement process without having a clue of what to expect can cause you much more harm than good. 

Because you might meet certain unforeseen circumstances in this process, which brings a lot of disappointments. Your budget can get disrupted if you don’t plan out things earlier. So, to avoid all these twists and turns, take a look at some important points you should know to make your home improvement process smoother.

  • Rent a Storage Unit

When doing a home improvement project, you know that it can be messy and stressful. There's the planning stage, the actual construction work, and then the cleanup afterward. But one way you can make the process a little less hectic is by renting a self-storage unit.

A self-storage unit can be used to store all of the materials and tools you'll need for your project and any extra furniture or belongings you need to clear out of the way. This will free up space in your home so you can focus on the task at hand and also give you a place to keep your belongings safe and sound during the construction process.

So if you're planning a home improvement project, be sure to rent a self-storage unit to make the process a little less stressful. For instance, if you reside in Olympia, you can check out Olympia storage units to keep your belongings organized during the home improvement process.

  • Set Realistic Schedule

Making a schedule is a great way to ensure that all of the necessary tasks are completed promptly and efficiently. By sitting down and mapping out your plan, you can avoid any potential roadblocks and make the most of your time and resources.

First, take a look at the scope of your project and break it down into smaller tasks. This will help you estimate the amount of time each task will take. Next, factor in time for breaks and interruptions. Don't forget to also account for unexpected delays, such as bad weather or unforeseen problems.

Once you have a realistic schedule, be sure to add some flexibility to your timeline. This will help you stay on track even if there are some setbacks along the way. You can save time and money by being realistic and flexible with your schedule.

  • Plan Your Budget

Home improvement projects can quickly get out of hand if you don't plan ahead and set a budget for yourself. That’s why it’s important to have a budget before making home improvements. According to a report, homeowners spent an average of $7,560 on home improvements. But you can spend even less by doing a few simple steps.

First, you'll need to decide what improvements you want to make. This will give you an idea of what to expect. Next, check out the value of your home. If you're making improvements that will increase the value of your home, you'll need to factor that into your budget. Finally, you'll need to set aside some money for unexpected costs. This is especially important if you're planning on doing any major renovations.

  • Choose the Right Contractor

The contractor you hired for your home improvement project can make a big difference. Because making improvements in a home is a big undertaking. So you'll have to do your research to find a contractor who is experienced, reliable, and has a good reputation.

First, you will have to research the contractor's credentials and make sure they are licensed and insured. Then look out for a contractor who is experienced in the type of work you need to be done. Don’t forget to ask around for recommendations and read online reviews before making your final decision.

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential contractors, you will want to get bids from each one. Be sure to ask for a detailed quote that includes the cost of labor and materials and the contractor's fee. Also, make sure you understand the payment schedule and the terms of the contract before you sign anything.

  • Know Your Goals

When embarking on a home improvement project, it is important to have a clear understanding of your goals. What are your goals in completing the project? Do you want to increase the value of your home, make it more energy-efficient, or simply make it more comfortable to live in?

Answering these questions will help you to set realistic expectations for the project. It will also help you determine the best way to achieve your goals. For example, if you're looking to increase the value of your home, you'll want to focus on projects that will make it more desirable to potential buyers.

  • Inspect the Work Regularly

While home improvement projects can be a great way to add value to your home, they can also be a source of frustration if not done properly. So, remember to inspect the work during the project to ensure that everything is up to your standards. This will ensure that the work is up to your standards and that the job is done correctly. There are a few things you should look for when inspecting the work:

  • Check that the workmanship is up to par.
  • Be sure that the job is done according to the plans.
  • Take pictures of the work as it progresses to inspect the work better.

If you see any problems, be sure to address them with the contractor right away. By doing regular inspections, you can be sure that your home improvement project is proceeding smoothly and efficiently.

Before embarking on a home improvement journey, it is critical to be aware of some vital things. Without them, the project could easily become a nightmare. So, make sure to go through the article to get an overview of some of the most important things to know before starting a home improvement project. With this information in hand, you can confidently start your project and enjoy the process.

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9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal

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You could be a homeowner interested in selling your home at the best price. You might even be a homeowner looking to make a few notable changes to increase the long-term value of your home. Whatever you or your reason may be, incorporating a few upgrades to the exterior of your home can dramatically boost its value and overall appearance.

Sadly, having a high-end-looking home can be tricky, especially if your decorating budget is limited. Fortunately, several effective ways exist to achieve the high-end look you desire, even on a tight budget. So, explore some simple solutions, ranging from a fresh coat of paint and a green landscape to hardwood floors and window treatments. Eventually, you’ll have increased your home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Let’s see some of the easiest and least expensive ways to increase your home’s curb appeal:

  1. Do a little clean-up outside

Ensuring your home is as appealing from the outside as it is on the inside is a viable way to entice visitors. Spending time putting away children’s toys, removing junk, and pressure washing porches, sidewalks, and patios will significantly improve the curb appeal. Eliminating clutter, dirt, debris, and personal items you no longer find interest in will reflect well on passersby and those who wish to buy your home.

Pro-Tip: If you reside in a city with vibrant streets filled with beautiful houses (such as Madison, WI), and your home requires a large amount of decluttering, we have news for you. By spending 0.009 seconds on Google, you can find some of the best storage options to store your belongings in safe and reliable facilities. So, look up ‘Madison WI storage units’ and enjoy peace of mind. 

Furthermore, you’ll be surprised at how much an effective outdoor clean-up can do to make your home appear more welcoming at first glance.

  1. Try new paint

Painting the entire house may not be within the budget, but even a gallon of paint can instantly transform your home. Choose a brilliant, captivating color for a splash of color or a neutral tone to make the door, trim, and shudders look fresh as new. 

Also, repaint the porch or patio railing to get a new, well-maintained appearance. Indeed, new paint can incredibly boost the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor area.

  1. Maintain your lawn

While we’re on the subject of house exteriors, it’s worth noting that lawn care is an essential aspect of enhancing curb appeal. Maintain your lawn by mowing it, pulling weeds, and raking leaves regularly. To avoid brown spots, keep it well-watered. 

Lawn care will not become a massive project if you keep up with it. Do you live somewhere dry where grass has a hard time growing? Consider artificial turf or shrub beds as lawn alternatives.

  1. Improve the windows

Not only is the main front door essential, but so are the windows. If you want to improve the look of the space on a budget, you should clean the exterior windows and doors. Aside from the windows, the particles of dust, spider webs, and dirt on window screens are a common sight that can be unappealing. So please ensure that you wipe them. Use a rag to remove the dust and a block of dish soap and warm water solution to clean the screen. 

If you’ve been using the same windows for years, replace them with new ones. Nowadays, windows come in a wide range of styles and sizes, making it easy for you to get some on a budget.

  1. Include a seating area

Rather than using the front porches for stockpiling, try turning them into a seating area. You can move some furniture from the back deck to the front or consider purchasing it from a thrift or vintage store. You can also make seats out of various pieces of wood. 

A seating area improves the outer space and makes it more functional and enticing. There’s no need to splurge on new furniture when old ones can be painted to look completely new.

  1. Give the mailbox a makeover

A mailbox significantly adds to a home’s curb appeal, and it is critical that your mailbox complements your home and reflects your character. So, when selecting a mailbox, ensure it complements the rest of your home’s decor. To improve the appearance, you can surround it with a flowering garden or paint the wooden post.

  1. Flowers, trees, or shrubs are essential

Texture and color can be incorporated into your lawn by adding new shrubs, plants, or flowers. Foliage is an excellent way to impact a small budget significantly. Consult your local garden center to learn about the plants that thrive in your neighborhood, and then work with your established landscaping to bring your space to life. Flowers are also an excellent way to express yourself while improving the house’s curb appeal.

  1. Repair your roof

The roof serves as the first line of defense against water damage. Likewise, a worn-out roof can detract buyers from your home’s overall appearance and selling value. So, examine your roof for cracked, peeling, or missing shingles, and repair any damaged patches. If you notice moss buildup on your roof or it is more than 20 years old, you should probably replace the shingles or invest in a new roof before listing your home.

  1. Improve or replace outdoor lighting

Upgrading your existing driveway or porch lights with new energy-saving dawn-to-dusk LED light fixtures will give your home a fresh look. Likewise, giving old outdoor light fixtures a facelift is a simple and cost-effective way to update them. Remove the fixtures and repaint them or retouch them with a fresh coat of spray paint to match the color. Besides, inexpensive landscape lighting can create an inviting, friendly nighttime charm, and a well-lit home provides a feeling of security.

Conclusion

Your house exterior is just as crucial as the inside appearance of your home. Ignoring the exterior will make your home appear dull, unkempt, and disorganized from the outside, regardless of how lovely the interior decoration is. So, don’t wait around for someone to tell you how untidy or lousy your home looks from a distance; use these tips to your advantage. With the ways mentioned above, you can make your home look elegant and fantastic on a budget. 

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6 Tips for Remodeling Your Bathroom

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Bathroom remodeling is one of the few renovations that will significantly increase your home’s value. However, remodeling the bathroom can be daunting because you must balance functionality, practicality, and beauty. A bathroom renovation is also time-consuming and costs money. If you are considering taking on a bathroom redo project, here are six tips for an efficient, cost-effective, and incident-free remodeling process. 

1. Set a budget

Transforming your bathroom into your desired style is expensive, and the expenses can add up quickly without a budget. For this reason, it is crucial to conduct extensive research on the local custom building expenses, create a reasonable budget and stick to it. To develop a realistic budget, be sure to consider:

  • The amount you are willing to invest
  • Whether you will sell your home within a few years
  • The parts of the bathroom that are most crucial to you
  • Whether you intend to change the plumbed-in material location

Consider consulting your contractor during the budget-making process to ensure your budget caters to all expenses, including the labor costs and materials. Visit this website to get skilled and reliable contractors who will give you a transparent and well-crafted estimate that indicates the cost of each stage of your remodeling project.

2. Pick the type of bathroom

Bathrooms come in various shapes, layouts, and sizes, so before starting your remodeling project, you should evaluate your options to invest in a bathroom type tailored to your needs and pick appropriate finishes. Below are the common types of bathrooms: 

  • Standard bathrooms: These bathrooms feature a shower, bath, or both, toilet, and sink, and are designed to cater to the entire family.
  • A powder room or a half bath: This is a bathing space that only contains a sink and a toilet. 
  • Wet baths: A wet bath is a full bathroom in which the shower is not in separate cubicles or behind the curtain.

3. Choose suitable flooring

Most people opt for solid wood floors as they add character to the bathing area. However, wood is not an ideal bathroom flooring due to the steam and water in these spaces. Be sure to prioritize bathroom floor materials like luxury vinyl plank, vinyl tiles, and porcelain and ceramic tiles that can withstand the rigorous daily use of your bathroom. 

4. Do not overlook bathroom ventilation

A bathroom is vulnerable to dampness, so you should ensure sufficient ventilation. This does not only protect your family from health complications. It also prevents mold growth which could stain your bathroom or cause costly damage. You could ventilate your bathroom using windows and window vents. Alternatively, invest in exhaust fans to ensure adequate airflow in your bathing space.

5. Add more storage space

If you have a small bathroom, adding storage space can enable you to maximize your bathing area’s use and comfort. Consider adding towel hooks and racks, mirror cabinets, in-built linen closets, and floating shelves on your walls to create more space. 

6. Prioritize bathroom lighting

Is your bathroom light very dim or concentrated in a single spot? Are the light fittings outdated? Swap the obsolete lighting with new fixtures to increase visibility in vital areas such as the shower and wet areas. Be sure to avoid harsh, blinding lights to minimize accidents. For late-night relaxing baths, consider installing a dimmer switch to incorporate mood.

Endnote

Creating your dream bathroom does not have to be expensive and stressful. Set a reasonable budget, choose the right bathroom type and flooring, add ventilation and storage and invest in new lighting to create a bathroom that puts a smile on your face every time you look at it.

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6 Ways to Prep Your House for Selling

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Upgrade the Exterior

When a prospective buyer looks at pictures of your house online, they might miss the small details like wear and tear on the exterior. To prevent them from being disappointed when they arrive in person, make the necessary changes on the home’s exterior to give it a fresh new look. You may need to install new roofing and siding depending on how aged they look. This could be expensive, so find ways to cut renovation costs. Negotiate with multiple companies to ensure you get the best work for the most affordable price. If you can’t afford to make both upgrades, you could choose to only upgrade one, or pressure wash the siding and roof to remove unwanted stains. Now when you go to take photos of your home, it’ll look clean and stand out from the rest of the homes on the market. 

If a complete exterior makeover is too expensive, the next best step is to repaint it. Having a fresh coat of paint will not only look much better in the pictures, but it’ll make your house look newer than the neighboring houses. Some garage doors have their own designs that shouldn’t be painted over, but if possible, re-painting your garage door could make all the difference in the appearance of your home. Some older garage doors are very loud, so consider installing a new garage door system. If the door itself still looks great, you can find replacement motors that make less noise.

Spruce Up the Landscaping

The exterior of your home will look much better when complemented by a beautiful landscape. Sprucing up the garden with some lively colors will make your home more inviting when people stop for the open house. If there’s not much in your yard currently, you should consider hiring a landscaping company to add some bushes, flowers, and fresh mulch. This could be a project to do on your own if you have the time, but a landscaping company would be able to do it professionally and quickly so you don’t have to worry about having everything ready in time for house showings.

Be Prepared to Move Out

If you’re feeling unsure about all that moving out entails, read our essential guide to the moving process for a few ideas. As far as preparing your current property for sale, you’ll want to move as much as you can out of the house to give it a larger, spacious feel. If you’re still working out the details of moving, be cognizant of the costs. On top of the cost of your new house, you’ll have to pay for a moving truck, moving service, and potential damage to any items during travel. It’s best to pay for moving out of pocket if you have the money, but if you’re tight on cash you could take out a personal loan to cover the expenses. Just make sure you consider these extra costs in addition to your other monthly expenses so you don’t spread yourself too thin. 

Modernize Outdated Looks

You might’ve grown accustomed to a certain style in your home, which might not resonate with buyers. Even if you’ve moved out all of your furniture, there are still some style choices you can modernize. The most noticeable change you could make would be to repaint sections of the house. Typically, garish colors like bright pink or orange walls are a bit extreme for most buyers. Pick more neutral, yet inviting colors like beige, or variations of white to give the space a brighter look. Change up the color of baseboards and other trim sections around the house. If these are looking battered and scratched up from the years, they can be replaced without breaking the bank. You could even install them yourself if you have the tools to measure and cut the wood. 

Another part of the house that could be outdated is the appliances. If the fridge, washing machine, stove, and other essentials are in working order you can get away with leaving them as-is. However, if any of them are older and causing problems, you may need to replace them. At the very least, make sure you have the warranties ready to give to the next owner. 

Hire a Great Photographer

The first impression buyers will have is looking at pictures of your home on their computer screen. Hiring a photographer ensures that you’re getting the best angles and lighting to help your listing stand out from the others. If you have a high quality standalone camera or have a great one built into your phone, you could have a go at it on your own. However, professional photographers have experience with knowing exactly what photos to take in and around the house. The cost of a photographer compared to the overall cost of buying a new house is minimal, so it’s up to you how much you want to spend. 

Get an Inspection

Depending on where you live and the real estate agents involved, getting an inspection is absolutely necessary. Even if it’s legal to forgo an inspection, the buyer’s real estate agent will most likely want to significantly reduce the asking price to account for potential problems with the house. If you want to make moving stress-free, get an inspection to avoid any issues. You want to walk away from your old home satisfied with the selling price so you can feel more financially confident moving into your new home.

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Landscaping Ideas for Your Backyard

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Designing a backyard can seem like a big job, especially working with a large area. Luckily, it's easy to handle if you have a good plan. As a part of your home, the backyard requires the same attention and care as any other part of your house. Treat it as the foundation for all of your future outdoor spaces before you get started on any major renovations. Before working on it, you need to have a clear vision of your ideal outdoor space. Do you want modern or traditional? Do you want a space for entertaining or a place to relax and unwind?

So if you are struggling with what to do with your backyard, here are some easy and inexpensive landscaping ideas to get you started:

Start with a Fresh Canvas

Take a good look at your backyard. What do you like about it? Is it the flowers blooming in the spring? The shady trees that provide relief from the summer sun? The colorful leaves in the fall? That algae-riddled koi pond?

Once you know what to keep and let go of, the possibilities begin to take shape. Now is the time to get rid of what you don't like. Sometimes the best way to get started is with a clean slate. It might be time to start from scratch if your backyard is full of old, faded furniture and overgrown plants. You can find some fantastic deals on patio furniture and plants at your local home improvement store or online. You can transition from a weathered concrete planter to a luxurious marble planter, from a rusted bistro set to a beautiful wicker patio set.

If you're feeling ambitious, you can even replace your old concrete patio with a new stone patio or deck. It will give you a new outdoor space to work with and make your backyard stand out.

Think Multi-Purpose

When landscaping your backyard, it's essential to think about how you want to use the space. Do you want to unwind at home? Do you want a place to entertain your friends and family? Do you want a space for your children to tumble or play? 

Once you know how you want to use your backyard, you can start to design it accordingly. If you want a relaxing place, you might want to add a hammock or an outdoor daybed. Adding a fire pit or a built-in outdoor kitchen is perfect for a friend and family gathering spot.

And if you're landscaping for your kids, add fun elements like a sandbox or a treehouse. Storage benches are also great for hiding away outdoor toys.

Plant a Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Let's get organic! You can skip your endless trips to the grocery store (and save some money) by planting your fruit and vegetable garden. Decide what fruits and vegetables you want to grow. Will it be the crowd-cheering tomatoes or the family-favorite zucchini? Maybe you want to try something new, like goji berries or dragon fruit.

Designing your beds, preparing the soil, and planting seeds or seedlings can be a fun weekend project for the whole family. And there's nothing more satisfying than watching your garden grow and then being able to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor.

A Pool is All You Need

When the sun mercilessly bakes your skin, and the only relief is a cold glass of lemonade, all you can think about is taking a refreshing dip in the pool. If you're lucky enough to have a pool, take advantage of it! If not, now might be the time to invest in one.

A pool is a great addition to any backyard. It provides a place to cool off on hot summer days, it can be a beautiful focal point, and it can even increase the value of your home. Adding a few simple landscaping features to your pool area can make it stand out. Add potted plants, a few lounge chairs, and a poolside bar.

The Pergola Magic

Have you admired the classic backyard setting of country villas with their elegantly draped fabrics and inviting shade? You can achieve that same look in your backyard with a pergola. A pergola is a garden structure with an open roof of evenly spaced beams. You can find pergolas made of wood, metal, or even PVC. They're relatively easy to assemble and can be customized to fit your backyard space.

Glam up your pergola by adding some fabric drapes or hanging plants. You can even string some fairy lights across the beams for a magical touch.

Find Room for Colors

There's nothing like adding some color to your backyard with the sweet-smelling, vibrant peonies, the delicate lavender, and the beautiful sunflowers. The natural hues of the trees, grass, and flowers can add some life to your space.

And don't forget about adding some color in other ways, too. Consider painting your fence or garden shed, adding some brightly colored outdoor furniture, or even hanging some colorful lanterns. The idea is to draw the eye and add some interest to your backyard. So have fun with it! If you've the time and green thumb, you could even try growing a colorful flower garden.

The Chic Modern Patio

The modern patio is all about clean lines and minimalism. Think sleek outdoor furniture, a simple color scheme, and a few well-placed plants. Shades of subtle gray, white, and black can make your patio pop, and don't forget about the flooring! A modern patio typically features concrete or stone flooring. But if you want something different, you could try using large format tiles or even outdoor carpet.

You’ll want to revitalize the space by incorporating lamp posts, bollards, and string lights. For plants, try using large pots or raised beds. And don't be afraid to experiment with different materials and textures.

Conclusion

There is no limit to what your genius mind stirs up for your backyard landscape. After all, it is your paradise where you can enjoy quality time with family and friends or spend some quiet time. Moreover, you can teleport your backyard to any destination in the world with a few simple changes. So whether you want a classic English garden, a modern patio, or a tropical oasis, the choice is yours.

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4 Ways to Prevent Basement Flooding

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Flooding and unexpected water levels are some of the biggest concerns among homeowners, particularly those with basements. These areas are usually susceptible to flooding during a heavy rainstorm, or the spring defrost. If your basement is not adequately covered, you might end up dealing with water damage or even expensive repairs. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to help reduce or prevent the risk of flooding. Here are some ways to prevent your basement from water and avoid flooding.

1. Seal your basement

One of the best ways to flood-proof your home is to seal the basement. Sealing your basement can help keep water away and guard your home against moisture damage, which can foster flood protection. You may seal up your basement using a commercial sealant or waterproofing layer.

Cover any noticeable openings and cracks in your basement walls and floor, and add fresh covering around the basement doors, windows, and hatchways. However, if your basement walls leak in water, you might need to call a basement waterproofing company like Direct Waterproofing.

2. Clean and maintain your gutters and downspouts

If your home has gutters and downspouts systems, ensure they drain water properly away from your home. Clogged or blocked gutters can result in water overflowing and down the wall of your property, eventually getting into the basement. Clean gutters and properly positioned downspouts will allow the free flow of rain or storm water, preventing it from flooding against your home walls.

Your downspouts should pour water at least three feet from the foundation, but you may need to use a downspout extension or trough to attain this distance. Ensure you direct the water towards the graded lawn to prevent it from flowing back to your outside walls.

3. Install a sump pump

You may need to invest some money in prevention to avoid spending a lot on repairs. Installing an automatic sump pump can help keep water from heavy rainfall away and prevent basement flooding. Sump pumps act as a large floor drain, drawing any water out of your basement or the surrounding foundation and diverting it to a safe place.

Automatic sump pumps will start up automatically should the first one goes off, enhancing efficiency. For instance, a battery-powered sump pump kicks on if the power goes out, making the first one futile.  

4. Inspect and repair walls and foundation cracks

Cracks in your home's foundation can make your basement vulnerable to water leaks. To prevent water damage and basement flooding, regularly inspect the exterior of your foundation, floors, and basement walls. If you notice any cracks in the basement walls or foundation, get them fixed immediately since these cracks can become bigger, leading to basement flooding.

You can fix the cracks yourself, but you must ensure you have the right tools to get a permanent solution. However, if the foundation is beyond your skill or leaking persists, call a professional for help.

endnote

Being a proactive homeowner is the best way to protect your home from significant damage, including flooding, fire damage, or mold growth. As with any other room in your house, you should regularly inspect your basement foundation, floor, and walls. This will help you catch minor fixable issues before they cause flooding in your basement. 

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Red flags to look out for when buying furniture

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Buying furniture is as much about comfort as it is about the design. Of course, you want it to fit in with your decor and the rest of the room, but you will also want it to be usable and hard-wearing. 

Furniture can be a good investment if you know what to look for. Here, then, are some of the red flags to keep an eye out for for when you are in the market for furniture. 

The maker of the furniture

When considering buying any furniture, take a look at the maker first and do your research if you are unsure. Companies such as the Modern Furniture Company, a leading Bontempi furniture supplier in the UK, are known for luxury pieces. 

It doesn’t matter if the piece is new or used, you can still get a history of the furniture maker and see if they have a reputation for quality. This may mean a little research on your part, but in the long run, it will be worth it. 

What is the suspension like?

You can tell a lot about the quality of furniture by the suspension used to make it. Some types are of lower quality than others or are unsuitable for the purpose they are being used. 

  • Webbing uses lengths of material that are woven together. While this can be durable, it is also prone to stretching or ripping if there is too much weight. Webbing can be ok for small pieces such as chairs and barstools but will stretch and sag on larger pieces. 
  • Sinuous springs are curved pieces of wire that stretch from one side to the other. They are prone to bending and snapping, so are only useful for chair backs. It is cheap to use and fit so you should consider that it is a poorly built piece of furniture. 
  • 8-way hand-tied uses big springs that are tied together with twine. This is a comfortable suspension that can be used in sofas and armchairs. It is also strong and hard-wearing so will last a long time. 
  • Pocket coil is the ultimate in suspension. It is used in sofas, chairs and mattresses and uses hundreds of small coils that are all in their own pocket and then sewn together to form one piece. The pocket coil is supportive and comfortable across the whole surface. 

Lightweight can be bad

Although some high-quality furniture will use light metals and other materials, this is usually the exception. Lighter furniture generally means that the materials used are less supportive and not so hard-wearing. 

Whether it is chairs, cushions, or any other type of furniture, you need to check the weight first. If it has a weight to it, then the chances are that high-quality materials were used to create it. 

The lighter the furniture is, the more it may deform or deteriorate over time compared to high-quality items made from strong materials. 

When leather isn’t leather

Many companies will claim that their furniture has leather, but it isn’t the same as real leather. What is often called ‘bonded leather’ is actually leather pulp that is flattened and fixed to a polyurethane backing. 

You can often tell if something is real leather or fake because fake leather has a uniformity to its patterning while real leather doesn’t. You can also find a distinctive smell in real leather that cannot be copied with fake leather. Lastly, real leather will have a coarse suede feel to it. If the back has a fabric feel, then it is fake. 

If you are looking for real leather, then look for terms such as full-grain or top-grain to show it’s real. If you see 100% leather everywhere your body touches, this means that the sides and back are likely bonded leather. 

You need a solid frame

Luxury sofas and chairs are built on a sturdy frame that is designed to withstand all the rigours of use. This is done using the best hardwoods along with blocking at the corners and tight-fitting joins using double doweling. 

It can be hard to spot a sofa or chair with a weak frame, but there is one sign that will show you. Apart from the weight (luxury furniture will be heavy), you can also lift one of the front feet. You want the opposite foot to rise slightly after the one you are holding. This shows minimal flexing. If it takes a while or doesn’t lift at all, then it's flexing too much. 

Conclusion

Looking for quality furniture is worth the additional time it will take. You will want to know that you are buying something that will probably last for many years – and these tips can help you ensure exactly that.

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5 home DIY projects you can attempt on the June bank holiday

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When the bank holidays come around, many people decide that is the best time to get creative and start their latest DIY project. Although not all of them go smoothly, it is a kind of tradition that has built up over time. 

If you are in the mood for a project but can't decide, here are five DIY projects that you might try over the course of the June bank holiday. 

  • Give your kitchen cupboards a makeover

If your kitchen cupboards have seen better days, then the bank holiday could be the perfect opportunity to give them a revamp that will make them look modern and beautiful.  All you need is some primer, paint or sticky-backed plastic, and some glue such as that available from Adkwik.

Make sure that the surfaces of your cupboards are properly prepared before you begin painting. You can go along with the current theme of the kitchen, or change it up and redecorate the rest later. 

  • Show the garden some love

Chances are you might not have done too much in the garden over the winter. The leaves and overgrown weeds will need your attention along with cleaning the outside furniture ready for the summer BBQ. 

Don’t do too much at one time, spread it out over a couple of days so that you don’t feel too exhausted. This is also a good time to look at adding more plants or changing existing ones for something new. 

  • Declutter one room

If you or someone you live with is a bit of a hoarder, then you can quickly find yourself surrounded by piles of unwanted things. To help free some space, why not spend the bank holiday decluttering one room in your house? 

It doesn’t matter which room it is, but you will feel so much better once the room is cleared. You can then think about which room you can do next time. 

  • Regrout your tiles

Grouting can get dirty and dry out over time, leaving gaps or unsightly lines on your tiles. The process of regrouting isn’t as bad as it sounds. You just need to first use a grout rake to get out all of the old grouting, and a brush to make it clean. 

You can then either use ready-made grout or make it up yourself and use a grout float to smooth it over the tiles. It can take a few days to a couple of weeks to fully dry out, but you can clean up the tiles when you have finished to give a good final result. 

  • Make some presents

Whether it's for a birthday or starting early for Christmas, making your own gifts is a lovely thing to do. It shows you care and has the advantage of allowing you to create a unique gift that will remind the recipient of you. 

What gifts you decide to make depends on your own creativity, but whatever it is, remember where you put them so that they don’t get lost before the big day. 

Conclusion

Starting a project over the June bank holiday will leave you with a sense of achievement and pride in your creativity – so why not give one of the above home DIY ideas a go?

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5 Popular Summer Blooms to Make Your Home Pop

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Whether you’re trying to sell your home quickly or you simply want to upgrade your home’s exterior, upgrading your home’s curb appeal is a smart investment in its value and livability. And there’s not much that’ll make your home pop more than planting some colorful, eye-catching blooms that brighten your summer. 

Take a look at these five popular summer-blooming flowers and consider adding them to your home’s garden and landscaping. They’ll brighten up your property beautifully. Flowers are also a great way to stage your home’s exterior, raising that curb appeal and helping you sell your home yourself more quickly. 

1. Zinnias

Available in bright and cheery hues of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, and more, the humble zinnia is an annual with a strong shape and profile, as well as intense hues to elevate your garden into a lush oasis. Because it’s an annual, you’ll have to plant them again in a year, but their stunning beauty is worth the extra effort. 

As a bonus, zinnias attract bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies to your garden. They’re also a great choice for vibrant arrangements of cut flowers. Just remember to start cutting with the center blooms first. That way you can enjoy their beauty while still encouraging the plant to sprout more blooms. 

2. Bougainvillea 

These bright, vivid blooms may first launch into full blossom in spring, but they’ll often last well into summer. Once in full bloom, they love to climb and burst forth into intense shades of red and fuchsia in large, lush clusters. Put them near trellises or fences to give them somewhere to go. They look great and grow well in large containers, too, making them one of the most flexible summer flowering plants around. 

On the other hand, they don’t tend to do well outside their ideal climate, which typically sees low temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Bougainvillea plants love the warm summer sun! 

3. Sunflowers

If you’re working in a sunny spot and looking to make a big statement with your summer blooms, why not plant sunflowers? These beautiful, cheerful blooms make a huge impact on your yard and garden and they’ll never fail to bring a smile to the face of anyone lucky enough to spot them. Best of all, they’re fairly easy to grow and low-maintenance, making them an ideal choice for beginning gardeners. You will, however, need to keep an eye out for damage done by squirrels and birds seeking out those tasty seeds. 

The original sun worshippers, do best in full sunlight so that their bright daisy-like faces can follow the sun’s path throughout the day. With a peak blooming period of anywhere between eight and twelve weeks, they’ll be around for you to enjoy for a huge chunk of the summer. Remember that sunflowers tend to grow fairly tall—most standard varieties can easily reach ten feet or more!—so look for a place in the rear of your garden or yard if possible, so that they don’t obstruct your view of smaller blooms and ground cover plants. 

4.  Hydrangeas

A lush bloom that’s not afraid to take up space, hydrangeas can show up either pink or blue (or lavender). The difference? Believe it or not, it’s the soil’s pH levels! When the plant’s soil is more acidic, the blooms tend towards shades of blue and pale purple. If the soil is more alkaline, however, the blooms tend to be pink. 

You can find lots of different varieties to choose from if you like the overall look and shape of hydrangeas. If you’re new to growing hydrangeas, consider the Endless Summer variety. It does well in a range of light exposures, from full sun to light shade. Bonus: they produce a very pleasing scent that can heighten your enjoyment of these lovely flowers. 

5. Larkspur

Also known as delphinium, larkspur produces tall, stately plants with brilliantly colored cone-shaped blooms. These perennials prefer full sun and slightly cooler summer climates. Given those optimal conditions, larkspur can reach three to four feet in height. That means they’ll tower over the floor of your garden bed, so keep that in mind when planning out your garden. Also, due to that height and the general structure of the plants, they tend to appreciate some supportive structures to help them stand up straight. 

Larkspur is a perennial, and as such, they’ll come back year after year with proper conditions and good care. If you cut those first blooms early, you can even get a second blooming to grace your garden before the summer’s over. 

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How Do You Beat The Summer Heat?

The long-awaited summer is finally here. The weather is beautiful, the days are longer, and there’s so much to do. However, there’s the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. You'll have to find ways to beat the heat and stay cool all summer long.

Escaping the heat with everyday responsibilities is a challenge but don't worry; you're covered. Here are tips on how to beat the heat this summer:

Make Your Indoors Comfortable

Staying indoors becomes your only option when it's too hot out there. However, that doesn't mean you have to be miserable. There are plenty of ways to make your indoors comfortable to enjoy your summer without stepping outside.

First, keep your windows and curtains closed during the day to prevent the heat from coming in. If you have a ceiling fan, make sure it's running counterclockwise to push the hot air up and out. You can also use a portable or oscillating fan to circulate the air.

Another way to keep cool is by using a humidifier. It adds moisture to the air, which will make it feel cooler. Most importantly, use an air conditioner. It's a sure way to keep the indoor temperatures low. Before it gets too hot, book an inspection and a tune-up service. If the unit is not working properly, look for AC repair in Anderson service or your locality.

Wear the Right Clothing

The type of clothing you wear can also make a difference in how you feel. When it's hot, wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothes. Natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, and silk are your best bet as they are breathable and will keep you cool. 

Avoid synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester as they trap heat. If you have to be outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat or a scarf to protect your head and face from the sun. Darker colored clothes absorb more heat. Stick to light colors.

Use Sunscreen

When outdoors, always wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. It will protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Reapply every two hours or more often if you're sweating a lot. If going for a swim, choose a waterproof sunscreen. Wear clothes with a UPF rating to provide additional protection.

Limit Your Time in the Sun

One of the best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses is to limit time in the sun. If you have to be outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Take frequent breaks and go indoors when you start to feel too hot. Most importantly, avoid being in the sun during the peak hours, which are usually between 10 am and 4 pm. Run errands and do outdoor activities early in the morning or later when it's cooler.

Drink Lots of Fluids

When it's hot, your body perspires more to cool itself down. You'll lose fluids and electrolytes, which need a replacement. The best fluids to drink are water and electrolyte drinks.

Avoid sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and caffeine, as they can make you feel more dehydrated. Take at least eight glasses of water a day and more if you're sweating a lot. When outdoors, always carry a bottle of water with you.

In addition, beat the heat by using ice. Fill a basin with cold water and ice cubes, and soak your feet for a few minutes. You can also put a damp cloth in the freezer for a few minutes and then apply it to your skin, cooling you down quickly.

Beat the Heat

Taking steps to stay cool and hydrated prevents heat-related illnesses. Drink plenty of fluids, limit your time in the sun, and take cool baths or showers. You'll enjoy the summer much more when you beat the heat.

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6 Health Concerns Pests Can Cause in Your Gilbert Home

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Pests are more than just a nuisance – they can pose serious health risks to you and your family. They are known to spread diseases, trigger allergic reactions, and even cause physical damage to your home.

If you're like most people in Gilbert, AZ, you want to do everything possible to protect your home and family from harm. That is why it's crucial to be mindful of the many health problems pests can cause in your home. By taking steps to address any pest problems you may have, you can help keep your family safe and healthy. Read on for more information on the health risks associated with common Gilbert pests.

Spread of disease

One of the most typical health problems associated with pests is the spread of diseases. Many pests, such as rodents and cockroaches, are known to carry and spread diseases. They can contaminate edibles and surfaces with their feces, saliva, and urine, leading to the spread of diseases like Salmonella and E. coli, which in some cases, these diseases can be severe or even deadly.

Pests can also spread diseases to humans directly. For example, mosquitoes carry and transmit viruses like Zika and West Nile virus. These viruses can cause serious health problems, including congenital disabilities and neurological damage. People living in Gilbert should be particularly aware of the health risks posed by mosquitoes, as the Gilbert area is home to many mosquito species.

Physical damage to humans or pets

Pests can also cause physical damage to humans and pets. For example, bites from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can cause various problems, including skin irritation, infections, and even disease. In some cases, these bites can be deadly.

Scorpions in Gilbert AZ, and other venomous pests can pose a severe threat to humans and pets. Their venom can cause various health problems, including pain, swelling, and even death.

If you have pests in your home, it's essential to address the problem as soon as possible. By getting rid of pests, you can help reduce the risk of physical damage to your family. If anyone in your household gets stung or bitten by a pest, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Allergic reactions

Another common health concern associated with pests is the potential for allergic reactions. Numerous people are allergic to the proteins found in pest saliva, feces, and urine. When these substances come into contact with the skin, they can cause various allergic reactions, including skin rashes, hives, and swelling. Sometimes, these reactions can be severe or even life-threatening.

Allergic reactions to pests are not limited to the skin. These reactions can also occur when someone inhales airborne particles from pest saliva, feces, or urine. These reactions can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, and chest tightness. In some cases, they can lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.

Asthma and other respiratory problems

Pests can also cause or worsen asthma and other respiratory problems. Cockroaches, in particular, are known to trigger asthma attacks in people who are sensitive to their allergens. In some cases, exposure to cockroaches can even lead to the development of severe asthma. Dust mites are another common trigger of asthma and other respiratory problems. These tiny creatures live in mattresses, bedding, and upholstered furniture, and their feces can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Individuals with asthma and other respiratory issues should avoid exposure to these allergens. If you feel like you may be experiencing asthma symptoms or another respiratory problem, it's critical to seek medical attention asap. Medication can effectively treat many pest-related respiratory issues.

Physical damage to your home

Pests can also induce physical harm to your house. For instance, termites can weaken the structural integrity of your house by eating away at the wood that supports it. Thereby greatly increasing the risk of your home collapsing during a fire or extreme weather.

Carpenter ants and other wood-destroying pests can also cause physical damage to your home. These pests tunnel through wood, which can create holes and cracks in the walls and floors of your home. This damage can make your home more susceptible to water damage and mold growth. Pests like rats and mice can also gnaw on electrical wires, creating a fire hazard. Arizona is home to many species of pests that can cause physical damage to your home. So, it's vital to be mindful of the signs of pest infestation and to contact a pest control professional if you suspect that your home is infested.

Emotional damage

Pests can also cause emotional damage. The pressure of dealing with a pest infestation can take a toll on your mental health. The fear of not understanding when or where pests will attack next can be overwhelming. And the constant fear of being bitten or stung by a venomous pest can be paralyzing. It's critical to visit a mental health expert if you're having difficulties coping with the emotional trauma caused by pests. Also, let your friends and family know what you're going through. They can provide support and help you get through this difficult time. Many people in Gilbert, AZ, have to deal with pests at some point. But you don't have to face this problem alone. There are many resources available to help you deal with pests and the emotional damage they can cause.

Conclusion

As you can see, pests may cause a slew of health problems in your home. It is crucial to be mindful of these dangers and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family. Please do not hesitate to contact a professional for assistance if you believe you have an infestation of pests in your house. We hope the details in this article have been helpful and informative. Thank you for reading.

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5 Tips That Will Make Your House Purchase More Economical in 2022

Every family’s dream is to own a home and a place they can call their own. However, achieving this dream for some families becomes a great task due to the high payment rates. Below is a guide that offers various strategies one can employ to reduce the cost and pressure of purchasing a home and finally get a chance to make that dream a reality. 

  1. Research for the affordable homes

Of course, the most straightforward way that makes buying a home more affordable is by looking for less expensive offers. Maybe you can’t afford to buy your dream home, at least not in the meantime, but you can afford to buy a home that will offer you that comfortability as you steadily work to earn your dream home.

There are several platforms such as https://hawaiitrustedrealty.com/houses-for-sale-honolulu that allow you to find an affordable home with just one tap. Another way is to look for homes that require slight renovations and remodeling. These homes come with a cheaper price tag. 

  1. Increase your credit score

You must clear your debts before applying for a mortgage to increase your credit score. When applying for a mortgage, lenders analyze the credit score to reach a verdict on whether you qualify for a loan agreement and the interest rate. Having a fine credit score enables you to get a lower interest rate, which will save you plenty of money over the lifespan of the loan.  

  1. Pay a higher deposit

If you want to lower your monthly mortgage plan, consider making a larger down payment. Making a larger deposit will make purchasing your home easier and more affordable. You will avoid settling for private mortgage insurance companies when applying for a mortgage not insured by the government. 

  1. Save up for the down payment

Saving up for the down payment is another step that brings you closer to owning a home. You might wonder how you will make this happen, but it is possible. If you give yourself a few months and adjust your budget, you can firmly build up the funds you need. This plan, however, requires you to start planning to purchase that home before you are even ready to get enough time to save. 

  1. Clear your debts

Lenders rely on the ratio measure between your total monthly debts and your monthly gross income. They prefer that your monthly debts range around 43% of your gross salary. However, the much lower the percentage, the better for you. 

The best way to go about this is to focus on the things that you need and cut on the wants. The things you need include car and mortgage payments. You can cut off on the wants and these include payments for items such as vacations, nice dinner dates, and high-end television.

Conclusion

When trying to get a loan to build your home, there are certain requirements that you will have to meet. You will also be required to provide certified estimates from contractors that display the total cost of the project.

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An Essential Guide to the Moving Process

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So you’re thinking about moving and don’t know where to start? There are many steps involved in the process and many details to keep track of. Depending on your reasoning, moving can be stressful. If your reason is retirement, you want to make sure you choose the right location and house so you’re happy and comfortable in your home. If you have a dream location in mind, your search might be easier than most. If not, make sure to do your research into different areas and think long-term about accessibility of the houses you’re looking at.

Another common reason for a move is to live in a better climate and experience something new. This type of change can be great for a lot of people, but do keep in mind that no matter where you live, there will always be an adjustment period. Moving away from friends and family is less stressful today with the technology we have to stay in touch, but it’s still not the same as spending time in person with each other. As you get involved in your new community, it’s important to stay in touch with friends and family from back home.

If you’re moving because of a job change, there are a few things you should keep in mind before the move. First, consider the cost of living compared to your new salary. The difference in prices by location can be quite a shock in certain areas. The same size home you live in now could cost twice as much in a different location, and everyday items can be much more expensive. 

Prepare Your Finances

Perhaps the most important part of a move is the financial burden. You might have the perfect idea in your head about where you want to live and what kind of house you’d like to live in, but if the costs don’t line up with your budget, you’ll either be unable to move, or be in house debt longer than you expected. The last thing you want to do is settle or reach above your means, as that can end up being a costly mistake in the long run. 

Look into how much money you’ll be spending per month on your new mortgage if you were to follow through with the purchase. If you don’t have a lot of money on hand after the down payment, you might consider taking out a small loan to cover moving costs, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. It’s important to know the minimum credit score for a personal loan, as that’ll affect the amount of interest you’ll pay, and your ability to have a reasonable interest rate on your mortgage payments. If moving isn’t time sensitive, it may be best to spend the time to increase your credit score by making regular credit card payments on time. The difference in credit scores could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage if you qualify for a lower interest rate.

Timing is also an important consideration when selling your current house. The market could be a great time to sell, but the value of your home could also happen to be less than what you bought it for. If you absolutely have to move during a certain time frame, you may have to take the loss, but if you can choose a timeframe that allows you to at least break even on your home, it would be worth the wait.

If your plan is to rent an apartment instead, your financial situation will be much less complicated. You’ll likely still have moving expenses, but you can make the move without having to shell out a large down payment on a house. If all of your utilities are included in the rent, you can easily include this number in your overall budget. 

Truck Rental

Most people need to utilize a truck rental to move all of their belongings, especially with a family. Renting one yourself is an option, but you can also hire a moving company to handle everything for you. If you’re older or have physical issues, this is well worth it, and it’ll save you time and effort. There are also services that can ship vehicles. If your move is cross country, you probably don’t want to add thousands of miles to your vehicle, so this is a great way around that problem.

Choosing a Location

As previously mentioned, the reason for a move can vary from a job, retirement, climate, and more. Keep in mind your long-term and short-term goals, and make sure the move will not hinder your future plans. When scouting an area to live in, one of the things you can do is explore the area using Google Maps and Street View specifically. Keep in mind that the environment could be a few years old, so what you see may not be exactly as it is today. Even so, this is a great way to gauge what the area is like and what kinds of things there are to do. 

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Backyard

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Everyone deserves to have somewhere on their property to retreat to after a hard day at work. It might be an area you create just for you or an entire space planned out for entertaining family and friends. You might dream of having such a place in your backyard, but knowing how to make your dreams a reality is not always easy. If you need a helping hand enhancing your backyard, any of these ideas below might appeal. 

A Dining Area

Summer entertaining can often be made much easier when you have somewhere to enjoy a meal and a glass of wine outdoors with family and friends. If you’re unsure how to create such a space, landscaping experts at Neave Commercial Landscaping might be of assistance. 

Such an area can be established in a dedicated patio area, on a deck, or even in a pergola. You can also get creative with unique outdoor dining suites, outdoor kitchens, and fabulous lighting to tie the whole look together. 

A Water Feature

A water feature, such as a fountain or pond, can be an idyllic addition to any large or small yard that lacks a focal point. Water features attract wildlife, reduce noise pollution, and might even be soothing for those experiencing stress. Once a water feature takes pride of place in a yard, other elements like seating, lighting, and gardens can be developed around it. 

Lighting

When you have a beautiful backyard, it’s only natural to want to spend as much time in it as possible. However, it can sometimes become quite uncomfortable once night falls when you’re unable to see the faces of your guests. 

As you’re developing your backyard for entertaining, think about the value high-quality lighting can bring. Tiki torches, fairy lights, energy-efficient spotlights, and walkway lighting might all be options you consider to provide ambiance and ample lighting for entertainment long into the night. 

A Fire Pit

When you invite family and friends over for an outdoor dinner in your backyard, the meal, discussions, and drinks can hold their attention for at least a few hours. However, once the dinner dishes are cleared away, it’s not always easy to know how to keep your guests entertained. 

A fire pit might be an ideal solution. When safely installed with seating, your guests can enjoy spending time warming their bodies around a crackling fire while possibly even satisfying their sweet tooth with smores or toasted marshmallows. 

A Hot Tub

Creating a backyard paradise can be challenging, especially when you’re unsure how to work with a blank canvas. However, if you were to install a hot tub, you might be surprised at how the rest of your backyard design can come together seamlessly. 

When you position a hot tub in a sheltered area near your home, you can pair it with pathways, forms of shelter, lighting, and seating that all work in harmony. Once the installation is complete, you have somewhere to entertain friends and relax after a hard day of work. 

Enhancing your backyard can take creativity and imagination. However, if you started with any of these features above and worked with landscaping experts, you might be surprised at how quickly you can end up with the outdoor paradise of your dreams.

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5 Simple Ways To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

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Air conditioners are expensive and can have longevity if you maintain them regularly. To avoid headaches or having to replace your air conditioner within a short time, you should regularly check your air conditioner.

We have compiled a list of the five best, simple, ways of maintaining your AC unit. Your air conditioner will give you years of trouble-free service if you follow these tips.

1. Clean or Replace the Air Filter Every Season

The air filter of the AC unit needs to be cleaned or replaced every change of season. The air filter can become dirty, and it will affect the airflow. Get some soapy water and a soft brush to clean your reusable air filter. If you don’t know how to remove the filter, contact AC repair service in Huntersville for a professional service.

If you don’t have a reusable air filter, you should replace it with a synthetic pleated air filter. It’s not recommended that you buy a cheap fiberglass filter as they don’t last long enough.

2. Swap Your Old Thermostat for a Programmable One

You can control the inside temperature much better and save a lot of money on electricity bills if you swap your old traditional thermostat for a programmable one. Programmable thermostats can automatically set the desired temperature in your home. These devices will also allow you to set your preferred temperature at different times of the day.

3. Check That the Air Conditioner is Clean and Clear of Debris

If you have an outside AC unit, it may become clogged with debris or covered in foliage. Make sure that your air conditioner has enough space to operate properly. Usually, it’s a good idea to clear a space approximately a foot from the unit.

You also need to keep the metal fins of the AC unit clean. To clean the metal fins, simply switch the power off and spray the AC unit’s metal fins off with a hosepipe. If the debris has become stuck over time, you can use a soft brush to clean it off.

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4. Straighten Bent Metal Fins and Clean Coils

The metal fins on the outside of the AC unit may have become bent over time.  You can buy a fin comb and run it along the length of the metal fins, or you can also use a butter knife to straighten the metal fins, but be careful not to push the knife in too deep; you shouldn't push the knife into the coils more than one inch.

5. Professional Preventative Maintenance

It’s highly recommended that you book professional preventative maintenance of your AC unit at least once a year.. A professional service technician will be able to check for issues and fix them before it becomes too expensive to fix or lead to irreversible damage.

Final Thoughts

Air conditioners make our lives a lot more comfortable, but they are quite expensive. If you have an air conditioner or two in your home, follow these simple precautions to ensure that your AC unit provides you years of service with no unexpected breakdowns. These maintenance tips will also save you a lot of money in the long run.

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7 Things to Consider Before Renting an Apartment

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Finding a new rental apartment is both exciting and frustrating. You will be able to reach perfection only if you conduct a thorough inspection before settling for a place. There are many things to consider to see if an apartment is truly the one for your current circumstances. Unfortunately, the process does not get any less stressful, even if you are doing it for the tenth time in your life. 

To help you out with this process, we have prepared a list of 7 things you should keep in mind on your next apartment hunt.

1) The location

You can start by circling out the areas in your city that you are considering for your residence. Usually, this decision is dependent on your place of work, the budget you have, and the neighborhood you want. Looking for apartments that are nearer to your workplace will make conveyance easier. You will also be able to save up on fuel costs. 

Apartments in different areas in a city vary in their prices. A well-established area with good infrastructure and modern architecture will be worth more, so it would be wise to visit the places you believe you can afford. This tip will protect you from setting your heart on an apartment that does not lie in your budget and keep you focused. 

2) Set a budget

For the first tip to be effective, begin by calculating how much can you afford for an apartment. Your budget is one of the most critical factors affecting your decision. Having a perfect estimate of how much you can afford will make the hunt easier. However, a mistake or uncertainty in this regard can be misleading. Try using an online calculator to calculate your budget and avoid errors. Your budget should be reflective of your expectations. Setting a low budget for loads of amenities will be discouraging when you get to know the actual prices.

3) Check the amenities

Everybody’s expectations from their apartments are different. For example, a gym facility may be a significant deciding factor for you if you are a gym enthusiast. Or a play area and pool might be necessary if you have children you want to keep engaged. Some apartment complexes also offer a daycare service. Make sure you prioritize what amenities you require. These amenities also come with costs. Ask the tenant or management for maintenance charges just so you are aware of your monthly expenditure.

4) The neighbors

The neighbors affect the entire aura of your apartment and the surrounding area. Older people dominate some buildings while the others have younger habitants. Check around to see if their demographics are similar to yours. You do not want to be listening to loud music from the apartments next to you when you have school-going children. And being reported for disturbing older citizens is not a fun experience too. You should consider what kind of neighbors there are for peace of mind in the future.

While you are at it, make it a point to ask them about the facilities. Take their opinion on satisfaction with the management and their experience. You can also ask the ex-tenants why they have decided to move out. Was it their personal decision, or was it because of a problem in the apartment? Again, people already living there will give you a greater insight into how the living experience may be.

5) The condition

All apartments look beautiful in pictures. However, it would help if you visited the place at least once to see its actual condition. Request your landlord to fix chipped paint or leaky faucets. Other issues might be more significant and need to be addressed urgently: Like the presence of bugs, water damage, dirty air filters, mold, improper air conditioning, etc. These problems may be indicating more grave issues that your landlord might have been avoiding. Find a solution for these issues with your landlord so that they do not reappear. The condition of your house highly affects your physical and mental health.

6) The landlord

Landlords define your experience renting an apartment. A rigid landlord with unreasonable expectations and a lack of boundaries may be challenging to satisfy ever. Ask them about payment due dates and see if they are flexible in terms of those. If you wish to make changes in the apartment, a strict landlord may not allow you to do so. The permission to allow pets in the apartment may also be dependent on the landlord. You might need a pet-loving landlord if you have any pets. Make sure you have met your landlord all the questions you have to decide if they are right.

7) The lease

Read the lease carefully or get a lawyer to look into it before sealing the deal. It should be clear about how long it is, is subletting allowed, and whether roommates are permitted or not. The lease should also clearly mention when the rent is due and what are the utility charges. Do the utility charges include maintenance costs, and who will carry out maintenance? Ask your landlord all questions about who is responsible for what. Uncertainty over this might result in trouble later.

The Bottom Line:

To conclude, it is safe to say that there is no one perfect way to go about this. However, preparing a checklist of all the qualities you want and then prioritizing them may streamline your choices. Only visit places that match your description and affordability. Also, before you sign anywhere, make sure all your doubts are cleared.

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How Can You Prepare for Plumbing Trouble?

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No matter how careful you are, plumbing trouble can still happen. Your kitchen sink can still clog. Your toilet can overflow. A pipe can burst and send water spraying into your basement. As a homeowner, the best thing that you can do is prepare for this trouble well ahead of time.

How can you do that?

Find Shut-Off Valves

Every home has a main water shut-off valve that connects the home plumbing system to the municipal water system. You need to learn exactly where yours is located so that you can turn off the supply during plumbing emergencies, like when a pipe bursts or a hose disconnects from your washing machine. Cutting off your home’s access to water should minimize the damage done. 

Your plumbing fixtures will also have shut-off valves. You can find them underneath your sinks and behind your toilets. Plumbers turn these off before running any maintenance or repairs on fixtures. If your fixtures are overflowing or running non-stop, you should turn off these valves to cut off their access to the home’s water supply. 

Get the Right Tools

You should add some emergency plumbing tools to your supply closet. You need different plungers to deal with different types of drain clogs — that’s right, you can’t use a sink plunger to unclog a toilet. You’ll want to keep these plungers clearly marked and separated from each other (for sanitary reasons). 

Duct tape is another tool that you should have on hand. It can help you seal a small pipe leak until a plumber comes over to make a repair. 

These are some other tools to stock in cases of plumbing trouble:

  • A toilet augur
  • A sink augur
  • Non-acidic liquid drain opener
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • A bucket
  • A mop
  • Clean rags
  • Bathroom cleaning and sanitizing spray

Find a Plumber

Don’t wait for a plumbing problem to start your search for a plumber. Look for a trusted plumbing company in your area now and save their contact information. That way, when disaster strikes, you’ll know who to call immediately. 

It’s important that you find a plumbing company with flexible hours that does emergency repairs at night. Burst pipes, overflowing toilets and other types of plumbing trouble don’t always happen at convenient times. 

Set Up an Emergency Fund

Every homeowner should have an emergency fund sitting in a savings account. An emergency fund is crucial for handling any urgent, unplanned expense that could disrupt your budget, whether it’s a roof leak that needs to be patched before a rainstorm or an A/C unit that needs fixing before a heatwave. Another urgent, unplanned expense your fund could help with? Plumber’s bills. 

Without an emergency fund, you might not have enough money to cover the costs of last-minute plumbing services. In that case, you can still use credit to help you get through the stressful situation. You could charge the bill to your credit card and pay down the balance later. Or you could look into any loans near you and see whether you meet the qualifications for one. With all the qualifications, you can apply. If you’re approved for an easy online loan, you can use the borrowed funds to pay the plumber. Then, you can focus on a steady repayment process. 

Learn the Warning Signs

Sometimes, your plumbing will let you know that something is wrong before disaster strikes. If you know what those warning signs are, you can catch the problem early and call a plumber to fix it. You just might stop the damage from happening — whether that damage is to your bathroom floor or your wallet. 

These are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • Slow running drains
  • Loud, gurgling noises
  • Strong sewage odor
  • Puddles around fixtures or under pipes
  • High water bills
  • Frequent clogs

These are simple steps that can help you prepare for plumbing trouble. Now, you’ll be ready for it!

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How to Start a Home Remodeling Business

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image source: Stock-Asso/Shutterstock.com

If you’re skilled at home design or handy with home repairs and want to be your own boss, starting a home remodeling business can be a great career choice. The home renovation market continues to grow, seeing a 3% growth totaling over $420 billion following the COVID-19 pandemic. With many homeowners choosing to stay and update their property instead of moving, this trend is expected to continue. You can take advantage of the market by starting your own home remodeling business. Before starting on renovation projects or ordering kitchen appliances for customers, there are essential steps to take as a business owner. Learn the procedures you need to follow to start a successful home remodeling company.

Ask Yourself Hard Questions

While starting a new business seems fun, running your own company takes time and hard work. Ask yourself if you’re a self-starter who can commit to the responsibilities before starting your remodeling business. Not everyone has the personality to be self-employed or take the initiative. It’s better to know ahead of time than to struggle or fail. You also need to assess your financial outlook to avoid problems in the future. Do you have enough savings to cover your start-up costs? Will you be able to pay your bills if the first few months of business are slow? Estimate your operating costs and learn how many projects you need to complete to turn a profit.

Plan Your Remodeling Specialty

When planning your company, first decide the type of home renovations you’ll offer. If you’re skilled at plumbing and tile work, bathroom remodeling is a good choice. Renovators experienced in selecting kitchen appliance packages for others may want to stick with remodeling kitchens.

Your business should only provide services you excel in and enjoy. For example, if you can design kitchen layouts but aren’t experienced picking out finishes, don’t offer complete design services. Instead, limit your services to construction and suggest your client consult with an interior designer. Specializing allows you to focus on what you do best, which leads to more positive reviews and referrals.

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image source: Marlon Lopez MMG1 Design/Shutterstock.com

Form a Legal Entity for Your Business

To formally start your company, you’ll need to decide on a name and a business structure. The name of your business should reflect your identity and goals and must follow your state’s naming guidelines. This includes choosing a name that isn’t too similar to your competitors. Once you decide on a name, you can form your legal business entity from the following options:

  • Sole proprietorship: This is a cost-effective and easy to form business structure. This is the best option if you’re working alone or with your spouse. 
  • LLC: This option works well when more than one owner is involved. LLC members decide how they want to be taxed and can choose from a sole proprietorship, a corporation or a partnership.
  • General partnership: This structure is formed when you’re in business with another person and plan to share the responsibilities, profits and losses associated with the company. Each partner is liable for half the assets and debt. Under this structure, you will have to file a personal tax return in addition to a tax return for the business.
  • C-corp: If you plan to grow your business and go public, this structure is best. It’s more complicated than other entities, and owners are protected from personal liability if the company goes bankrupt.

Prepare Your Financials

Once you’ve selected your name and formed your business entity, you need to choose a banking partner and set up business accounts. First, you will need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN). This number is required to open business accounts at banks and file taxes. The right banking partner can help you get a working capital loan, monitor your cash flow and plan for growth. You may want to consult with a financial advisor to learn how to develop a financial strategy.

Obtain Insurance and Licensing

Before you begin remodeling, you must get the appropriate licensing and insurance. Most states require these elements to regulate remodeling companies and ensure public safety. Most states require you to obtain a general contractor’s license and business insurance before doing paid work on someone’s home. Check the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website for regulations concerning small business insurance, and get in touch with your state’s SBA for specific requirements. You may need small business insurance, general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to operate.

Network with Vendors, Suppliers and Contractors

Every good business owner connects with others in the industry to develop a far-reaching network of vendors, suppliers and contractors. The connections you create can help your company excel through word-of-mouth recommendations. You can develop your remodeling industry connections in a few ways. Effective networking ideas include:

  • Attending industry trade shows
  • Asking for recommendations from your partners and staff
  • Handing out professional business cards
  • Networking online on sites such as LinkedIn

You can also work with vendors who offer contractors and designers discounts on premium items like ZLINE appliances to save money and promote brand partners.

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image source: McLittle Stock/Shutterstock.com

Develop a Marketing Strategy

All businesses need a solid marketing strategy to bring in clients. As a remodeling company, you must think about how you will tell potential clients about your business so they can use your services. Essential elements of a modern marketing plan include building a user-friendly website, developing a social media presence and maintaining an impressive portfolio of your work.

User-friendly website

According to an industry survey, a visitor only takes .05 seconds to decide whether to stay on or leave your website. An effective marketing strategy means developing a fast-loading website with a user-friendly layout that keeps potential clients interested in your services.

Social media presence

In today’s digital world, you must have a social media presence to bring in clients. As a remodeling company, consider starting an Instagram, Facebook or TikTok account where you can share remodeling tips or show the transformative power your work produces on your client’s homes.

Impressive portfolio

Maintaining an impressive portfolio is a necessity for a remodeling company. Take before and after photos of your remodels and post them on a website portfolio to show visitors what your remodeling services can do for their space.

Start Your Home Remodeling Business Today

You can easily start a profitable home remodeling business with the right skills and organization. Start by asking yourself a few direct questions to make sure starting your own business is what you want to do, and then take the practical steps necessary to form and run your remodeling company.

Finally, develop a marketing strategy to get the word out about your business’s unique approach and start working with paying clients to see your business grow.

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Berkeley Storybook Cottage – With a Psychedelic History: $899,000

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Owsley “Bear” Stanley lived in a cottage in Berkeley’s Poet’s Corner neighborhood for just a short while during the Summer of Love. But as the King of Acid knew well, small doses pack a punch.

A sound engineer for the Grateful Dead who made his own LSD and supplied it to everyone from the Merry Pranksters to the Beatles, Stanley moved into the cottage that resembles a Brothers Grimm fairytale in the spring of 1967. In December 1967, narcotics agents raided Stanley’s drug laboratory in Orinda, and he spent much of the next five years in jail.

from Berkeleyside – see full story.


Using Storage Units during a Move? 7 Ways to Improve Their Usability

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Self-storage units can be used for many different purposes. This, often overlooked amenity, can be an enormous asset to a busy family during or after a move. It may not seem like much before the move, but once you start packing up items, these units can come in handy if you don't want to get rid of your belongings. You can use the unit to store items before settling into a new home, or keep them there temporarily before selling them off. 

If you put your mind to it, you can efficiently use the space to store your belongings safely. Let’s discuss some of these tips that can help you improve the usability of the storage unit.

Check if your storage unit is climate-controlled

Climate-controlled storage units are built to fight extreme weather and temperatures. These units have air systems installed that are intimated when the outside temperature becomes higher or lower than the desired setting. The air system then works to maintain the temperature within the normal range to protect your belongings. The units are also built to keep your valuables secure when there is heavy rainfall, flooding, thunderstorms, and wind. They also provide safety against dust.

If you do your research well, you will be able to find reasonable storage units that provide all services and security you need; for example, the storage unit Lincoln NE  is well-known for providing high security against extreme weather and temperatures. These measures can help prolong the life of your belongings, and you wouldn't need to spend a lot of time packing your valuables in layers and layers of bubble wrap for protection. The last thing you want is ruined valuables because they were exposed to extreme heat or cold.

Make sure you have the space you need 

You should avoid packing too many items in one unit because this may cause problems with its security or even lead to damage (if the space is limited). 

Here’s a guide you can use to see which sized storage unit will suit your needs

  • 5'x10' – Ideal for fitting all the belongings of a studio apartment.
  • 10'x10' – Ideal fit for approximately a 1-2 bedroom apartment's stuff.
  • 10'x15' - Fits approximately a two bedroom apartment's belongings.
  • 10'x20' – A 2-3 bedroom apartment's stuff can be stored easily here.
  • 10'x25' – A 3-4 bedroom house's belongings can be fitted easily.
  • 10'x30' – Fits approximately a 3-5 bedroom house's stuff.

These sizes in storage units are available at Dillon’s Self-Storage Units in Lincoln, Nebraska. Check the units out and make a reservation ASAP!

Thoroughly clean the unit

If you plan to use a storage unit for a long time (more than six months), it is important to clean out the unit before placing your belongings inside it. The last thing you want is for mold or mildew to build up while your belongings sit in the unit. This could cause damage to your items and make them unsalable if you ever decide to use them or sell them later. Use insecticides and pesticides while cleaning to keep the bugs away.

Clean everything before packing

Things that are already dirty will get dirtier if they don't get used for a longer time. It might seem like overkill, but many items require special attention before they can be safely stored away for an extended time. Here are some of them:

  • Clothing and linens: These should be cleaned by hand or put through the washing machine in cold water and mild laundry detergent.
  • Appliances: Appliances contain many parts that can easily rust when exposed to moisture, especially when stored at high or low temperatures. Wipe the inside and outside of appliances with vinegar.
  • Furniture: You should thoroughly clean fabric furniture and let them air dry completely. Use a leather cleaner to clean leather furniture.
  • Kitchen utensils and cutlery:  Wash and dry them well before packing to avoid any moisture staying in them.

Store items carefully

If you want to keep your belongings safe during their stay in storage, make sure that they're properly packed and sealed. Here are a few tips you can use:

  • Furniture: Avoid packing furniture tightly with plastic covers as trapped moisture can grow mold and damage furniture. Instead, use loose sheets to cover them. 
  • Appliances/Electronics: wrap items in packing paper or household linens and then carefully place them in their original boxes.
  • Clothes: neatly fold them and place them in plastic bags or vacuum bags that can suck out the air completely.

Inventory

Before you get lost in a sea of boxes, it is always best to separate things moving with you to your new home, and those needing to be kept in a storage unit. Make a list of these items and keep them near so that you don't have to wonder where your favorite blue sweater is. Label each box clearly with what it contains and the date it was packed so that you don't have to open every one of them when you take everything out later!

Organize the storage unit

If you want to make the most of your storage unit space, start by organizing it. You don't have to be detailed or fussy — just make sure that everything is empty and clean so that you're able to see where things are going in and out of the unit. You can even draft a map before placing everything. Here are some strategic tips:

  • Items you need frequently placed in front - You will use these items often, so they should be near the front of the storage unit.
  • Heavy items to be placed at the bottom - Heavy items like furniture should be placed on the floor, so they don't tip over and cause damage.
  • Go vertical – Stack all boxes vertically to utilize maximum space. Use all available vertical space by shelving brackets or hooks on walls or ceilings. You can also use plastic crates with lids as shelves for smaller items like books or kitchen utensils, where you can stack them up and easily access one item at a time.
  • Label all boxes – write descriptive labels on each box to remember which box has which items.

Conclusion

The storage industry has evolved, and now more than ever, it is possible to find affordable, high-quality storage solutions. Renting or investing in storage units can help make your moving process more streamlined and save you a lot of money in the process. 

You can make your storage unit much more user-friendly by utilizing any of these handy tips. By taking just a few extra steps, you could easily cut down on your moving expenses and have an easier time finding a place to store all your stuff while you sort out everything else. The time and effort you invest in getting organized now will pay for itself.

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15 Things You Need To Know When Moving To Texas

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The Lone Star State is diverse and energy-rich, with rich culture and affordable housing. In the past few years, job growth in Texas has also shown impressive results. If you want guidance regarding settling in the State, you can get paired up with a professional so they can cater to your needs; be it financial or other. 

If you’re planning to join the State, read these 15 important things before departing so you can have a smooth time settling there.

  • Job Creation Has Been Strong In Texas

Despite some layoffs and a slowing growth rate due to a slowdown in the oil and gas industry, Texas is generally a good state for job creation. There was a 4.7% unemployment rate in February 2022, for instance. Pennsylvania has decades of experience creating jobs. It occurred before American Airlines moved from New York City to Dallas in 1978.

Many of the top financial advisor firms in Texas are located in cities like El Paso. In case you have a higher income level and want help managing your assets, check out the top financial advisors in El Paso, Texas.

  • Gear Up For The Heat

There is a lot of heat in Texas, and it's getting hotter. Most of the state experienced temperatures in the 90s in August. Once you move to Texas, you may encounter dry heat or sticky humidity – but either way, you should prepare for high temperatures.

If you’re worried about your valuable belongings and expensive household items that won’t bear the heat, you get yourself a climate-controlled self-storage unit. Since everything is growing so fast in Texas, so is the demand for public storage units in the State. You can find a storage facility for any city. For instance, if you’re moving to Wills Point, search either with these keywords: storage units Wills Point TX, to find plenty of results, or simply click on the link.

  • It’s All About The Energy Sector

Texas has some of the largest employers in the energy sector, including Shell. Energy prices have a direct effect on the state's economy. But that is not to imply that universities, hospitals, and the service sector don't play a significant role in Texas' economy.

According to the Energy Information Agency, the state produced 43% of the nation's oil and 26% of its natural gas in 2020.

  • The Tax System Is A Mixed Bag

People who hate paying taxes often consider Texas a great state. Taxes in the state are not steep, and there are no income taxes. Cities and counties, however, can impose their own sales taxes on top of the state rate, which can produce high local tax rates. Moreover, the state has some of the highest property taxes in the country.

  • Guns Are Simply A Part Of Life

Texas holds the Second Amendment in high esteem, a fact of life. Many households own more than one gun, and concealed weapons are not uncommon. Upon moving to Texas, it's essential to follow the rules for carrying a weapon for personal protection and using firearms during hunting season - and to make sure you're following the permitting requirements.

  • Texas Has A Rich History

In Texas, you can literally walk where dinosaurs once walked at Texas' Dinosaur Valley State Park. This state has an interesting history. The Native tribes that lived on this land before the arrival of European settlers in Texas included the Caddo, Apache, and Comanche. Additionally, Texas' Spanish and Mexican heritage - think the Alamo - and the famous struggle for independence should not be overlooked. People who appreciate history will enjoy Texas.

  • Things Are Changing In Texas

In the past few years, Texas has gained thousands of new people from overseas and from around the country. Despite the growing Hispanic population in the state, it will not be long before the state returns to its earlier roots as a state dominated by Hispanics. According to demographers, by 2050, California be three-fifths Hispanic. New residents to Texas have increasingly come from blue states, especially California.

  • Despite BBQ’s Popularity, Vegetarians Are Not Doomed

Texas is known for its barbecue. You are about to experience a world of sensational brisket sandwiches if you eat beef. However, vegetarians are not left out. The Lone Star State offers more meat-free options than ever before. Skipping meat might still be frowned upon, but it happens more often now than it used to.

  • Live Music Is Great In Texas – Not Only In Austin

Texans don't only have thriving live music scenes in Austin but also in many other Texas cities. State culture is dominated by live music, whether it be jazz, bluegrass, country, rock, or anything else. Some of the most famous musicians from Texas include Beyoncé, Selena, and Miranda Lambert.

  • Texas Beer Isn’t Just Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock is one of Texas’ biggest and most prominent breweries. However, the state of Pennsylvania does have its fair share of craft breweries. There are numerous Texas craft breweries located in Austin, but you can find them in other parts of the state.

  • It Is No Secret That Texas Has A Lot Of Personalities

After moving to Texas, you might see some of Texas' famous higher-than-life characters in your neighborhood and at the supermarket. In contrast with muted styles found in the Northeast or relaxed vibes in the Northwest, Texas might surprise you.

  • There’s A Lot Of Nature To Explore Here

Outside enthusiasts in Texas will find plenty of state and national parks to keep them happy. There are many activities to do in the state, including hiking, camping, and boating. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other attractions as well, such as Historic Site, which contains ancient pictographs, and Padre Island National Seashore - home to rare sea turtles.

  • The Cost Of Homes In Texas Is Affordable

Homes in Texas are relatively inexpensive, which is one of the reasons why the state has gained so much popularity. The undeveloped land has so much empty space, which attracts people to build. Texas should not make you wait too long to make your dream of buying a home come true if you're looking to put a down payment on a home.

  • Texans Love To Hug

A Texan's friendly demeanor makes them popular across the country. The culture of Texas might be challenging if you aren't a fan of hugs, backslaps, and y'alls. Longtime Texans might find newly transplanted transplants standoffish, but we expect you won't have any trouble getting to know one another.

  • Texas Isn’t To Be Trifled With

The slogan “Don’t mess with Texas” is more than just a clever marketing strategy. The slogan follows a good general principle. Texas residents are proud of their state and tend to become defensive when they are criticized. Talking with longtime Texans may be the best way to stay positive if you’re moving to Texas.

The Bottom Line

Moving is about more than learning about the culture and history of your new home. Considering the change will also impact your budget if you decide to go that route. Using that method, you can ensure that you have enough money to enjoy Texas to the fullest. 

While Texans don't have a state income tax, they pay relatively high property taxes due to homeownership. The property itself is relatively cheap in many parts of Texas compared to the rest of the country.

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Nine Ways To Ensure Moving Is Less Stressful

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Answer this. What’s the national moving month? It’s May. Most people usually move during the summers when their kids have a school break. 

Unfortunately, it is also the time when you face various distractions like vacation time, kids being at home, barbecue parties, and much more. 

Amidst this, who wishes to spend their time doing the most tedious task – packing? So there is a high possibility that you left everything to the last minute. However, doing so only adds stress. 

And while it’s next to possible to eliminate all stress of the moving process. Still, there are ten effective tips you can adopt to make your move smooth. 

So let's take a closer look at these tips to make your move less stressful:

  1. UTILIZE STORAGE UNITS

Have you decided to take the plunge and move to Indianapolis? It might be a wise decision since the city is one of the most affordable big cities in the US. 

According to PayScale, the cost of living in Indianapolis is 8% lower than the national average. Moreover, the unemployment rate is also low, making it a perfect place to live and earn money.

But are you facing storage problems around Indianapolis? There might be a few things that you aren't ready to throw away yet. 

If such is the case, no worries, consider renting storage units to make moving less hassle. 

Pro tip – Type in storage units Indianapolis on Google to find storage units near your location. 

Storage units are the ideal choice for you. The best part about these storage facilities is they are clean, secure, and temperature-controlled, so you don't have to worry about your precious possessions. 

  1. THROW AWAY UNNECESSARY ITEMS

If there is one thing you must do to alleviate your stress, it is decluttering. Surely, while living in your old place, you might have accumulated various things. 

Not everything you got might be of use in your new home. Taking unnecessary items with you to the new place can occupy ample space, making your new house look more congested. 

Therefore, getting rid of clutter must be your priority. A pro tip is to sort your things into three categories: junk, donate, or store away.

  1. A TO-DO LIST IS A MUST

Organization is key if you want to make moving less stressful. For this reason, spend some time making a to-do list. 

Sure, it might seem like a boring task, but making a checklist can minimize your stress by ten folds. So list down all the things you need to do for your move. 

It could include sorting utilities, changing addresses, buying packing supplies, etc. While making a checklist, you must also include some time frame in which you will accomplish these particular tasks. 

However, keep in mind that your entire planning will be fruitless if you are not rigorously following it.

  1. GET YOURSELF PACKING SUPPLIES

Of course, the last thing you wish is to stop midway through your packing and run to the store to get supplies, right? 

So, make sure to stock the packing supplies beforehand. Your packing supplies must include boxes, tapes, Ziploc bags, packing paper, bubble wrap, etc. 

Make sure all your moving supplies must be of good quality to make your relocation smooth and worry-free. 

But, you might be confused about how many supplies you need? Well, for that, you may look into your to-do list to get a clearer picture. 

  1. PACK WISELY

Here comes the most unlikeable part of your moving – packing. When it comes to packing, time plays a crucial role. 

Leaving packing till the last minute can leave you with a lengthy to-do list, adding to your stress. Therefore, start as early as possible.

Choose smaller boxes when packing. Try to put the heaviest box at the bottom. Furthermore, pack your plates vertically to avoid breaking them. 

Disassemble your furniture or electronic items for easy moving, and place screws and other small pieces in a Ziploc bag.

Finally, don't forget to wrap fragile items with tissues or bubble wrap. Once done, make sure to tape your boxes properly.

  1. LABEL THE BOXES

It might seem tempting to randomly put the items in the packing boxes with so many things to pack. However, once you reach your new place, it will be hard to identify which package box contains what things. That is where labeling comes into play. 

You must label it on all four sides of the box to read it easily. Moreover, you can also assign a color to each of your rooms and stick assigned color papers to the relevant boxes. 

  1. KEEP YOUR ESSENTIALS SAFE

Once you have packed everything and are ready to move, here comes the hardest part. 

You couldn't find the essential paperwork, for instance, your insurance or contract that you need urgently. Of course, it is easy for a few items to get lost in the shuffle. 

So to avoid such a nightmare, it is recommended to keep your essentials safe. For example, pack a bag with essentials such as a laptop and mobile chargers, a toothbrush, medications, a few bucks, and necessary documents. 

Moreover, make a secure folder containing all the essential documents on your computer.

  1. LOOK FOR PROFESSIONAL MOVERS

Another way to reduce your stress during the moving process is by hiring the best moving company. First, however, make sure to do thorough research before making the final decision. 

You can determine the professional mover's trustworthiness and reliability by checking their reviews. 

Since moving companies handle the moving process almost every day, they have professionals who know the best way to handle your belongings. 

Thus, professional movers can save a lot of your time and help you avoid physical exhaustion. 

  1. CALL UP FRIENDS OR FAMILY FOR HELP

No worries, if you can't afford professional movers, you can seek help from your friends and family members. 

No matter how strong or independent you think you are, an extra set of hands can considerably reduce your stress of moving. Since everyone has their plans, it is advisable to ask them beforehand. 

And while you might be taking favor from your friends and family and not paying them. Still, don't forget to show your gratitude to them. 

You can treat them to drinks or food. It will also strengthen your relationship with them. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Moving to a new place is no piece of cake, whether you are doing it for the first time or have experienced it before. 

The moving process can surely get you overwhelmed since it involves several tasks, from hunting to signing the deal and purging to packing the boxes. 

Therefore, the initial excitement about moving to a new house may usually get overshadowed due to stress for most people. 

However, you can avoid any unpleasantness during your move with proper planning. 

Be mindful that you might observe a few changes in your daily routine during your move, such as less sleep, skipping meals, etc. 

Try to make time for yourself to relax your body and mind by keeping a healthy lifestyle.

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The Ultimate Guide to a Successful House Building Process

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The construction of a house requires more than your ambition for a comfortable or luxurious living space. Even if you have a crystal-clear image of your dream house planned in your mind, turning it into a reality is more complex. It’s a lengthy and expensive process and requires the involvement of expert architects. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook the process altogether. Since you’re the one to envision your dream house, you should also go through the formalities of the construction process. 

If you’re aware of the requirements of the house-building process, you can plan better and achieve outcomes cost-effectively. For instance, thorough know-how of the construction can help you identify the prerequisites of a house construction project. It’s easier to gather resources and fulfill requirements, such as finances, land, legal permits, contractors, machinery, and construction material. 

When you are unaware, you can’t tell how to proceed or if the construction is going in the right direction. You’ll also fail to estimate the cost and time requirements. So, prior know-how can simplify things for you. And the house-building experience can be even more cherishing if you proceed calculatedly. 

The following sections discuss some tips for a successful house-building process.

  1. Hire professional construction experts 

Construction of a house from scratch is different than simple remodeling and do-it-yourself projects. It requires more human power, effort, and resources than renovation projects on a constructed building. Construction from ground zero is also more complex and challenging. Given this reason, you should not experiment even if you know the process. 

Expert assistance is advisable and more beneficial than going by yourself. The best way to connect with experts is to seek construction contractors. If you need specific guidance about their services and expertise, click here to view HSE Contractor’s pricing information and more. They offer assistance in diverse domains, including blueprint evaluation, bidding, project management, and procurement of resources. 

Once your project is on the go, you can also consult with them about quality inspection services, dispute avoidance, and project scheduling. You can also evaluate if your construction is going on as per the schedule and estimated budget.

  1. Select a suitable area

Building a house is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, given the cost and construction-related challenges. That’s why people spend enough time in the planning phase so that their efforts can transform into desirable outcomes. In that case, the location of your home matters. Since it’s a long-term effort, you should look for a suitable and habitable locality. Atmosphere, neighborhood, and proximity to the city center and main roads are vital considerations of a home. Likewise, the availability of amenities, including healthcare, school, water, gas, electricity, and sewerage system, all contribute to the habitability of an area. 

More than that, the quality of the soil under construction is another essential consideration. If your house’s land is saline, you have to remedy it. Higher salinity in the construction land can damage the structure of the house. Saline soil minimizes the durability of the concrete material. Even if you proceed with a single-store design, your building frame cannot withstand the weight and experience cracks. Therefore, before laying the foundation, overcome the soil salinity problem. One way to treat salinity is to use lime or gypsum on the affected land. It will leach excess salt from the soil.

  1. Identify and fulfill legal formalities

Satisfying legal formality is one of the critical requirements of the house-building process. It may seem strange to go through the legal procedures when you have property rights and resources to build a house on your land. But legal measures ensure that all the buildings in a particular neighborhood adhere to the government’s guidelines. Such guidelines refer to the safety of the local environment and flora and fauna. 

The government also does not allow the construction of a house whose blueprint does not follow the design guidelines in a particular county. Likewise, you cannot use construction material that is harmful to the health of the local environment and its inhabitants, even if it goes with your house’s blueprint. Thus, legal procedure investigates the entire house building process, from the blueprint to construction material. 

And you have to get approval from the designated government representatives before starting the process. Otherwise, you cannot proceed with the construction of your house.

  1. Framing of the house

Framing is one of the primary steps of the house-building process. Frames are like the skeleton that lays down the foundation of your house. They strengthen your building’s structure and augment its flexibility to withstand natural calamities. The process starts with erecting your house’s blueprint and drawings on the ground with the help of wooden or steel bars and shafts. 

Though wood and steel are common framing materials, selection among the two depends upon your house’s blueprint. Suppose you are going for multiple floors and apartments in a building. In that case, you will need a strong, pliable, and rustproof framing structure, such as steel. However, it is more expensive, less abundant, and more challenging to maneuver than wooden framing. It means you can readily arrange, move, and construct wooden frames. 

Wooden frames are also easier to repair and renovate than metal frames. But regardless of your requirement and choice, framing simplifies and beautifies your house’s construction and outlook. It also minimizes the chances of design failures as workers can proceed with the construction filling when they have a guiding groundwork.

  1. Interior lining and drainage framework

Interior lining and piping for sewerage, water supply, and electricity connection are also part of the initial construction process. The house-interior planning work should start right after the foundation framing of the house. Interior framing is challenging, similar to the groundwork, so you should proceed carefully. 

Faults in the interior lining and framework can be destructive to the building. Such mishaps are also challenging to repair at later stages of the construction process. The repair process also costs more and decreases property value significantly. In addition, fissures and faults, such as gas leakage and short circuit, and sewerage seepage in drinking water, can be fatal for the residents. For this reason, you should consult with expert plumbers, electricians, and sewerage workers. 

While seeking their services, don’t forget to keep the construction experts and architects in the loop. Their work goes hand in hand with the interior lining and piping. They know where the lining and piping framework fits in the blueprint.

Conclusion

A house-building process is successful if all the activities finish on time and within the allocated budget. But you can achieve desired outcomes if you scheme and invest thoroughly. The construction of a house is not one day’s work. It involves a thorough understanding of the construction process, planning, and procurement. It’s a project that requires a professional skill set at every step and activity. So, the more you are familiar with the requirements, the better you can envision, guide, instruct, and transform your expectation into satisfactory outcomes.

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