Fixer-Upper under $100k listings

Sure, a lot of these may not be in cities anywhere near where you live, but who can deny the appeal of a gorgeous, well-maintained hardwood floor in a 1916 bungalow ... for $75,000? Add a few acres of land and original leaded glass to that, and you may be tempted to move to a small town in the Midwest.

Real estate agents: got a listing that fits? Send it to us, but remember the rules: price MUST be under $100k, and the house must either be a Craftsman bungalow or something of an at least vaguely-related historic style (i.e., Prairie, Spanish Revival, Victorian, etc.).


fixer-upper under $100k: Herrin, IL

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1100 sq ft, 2/2, built in the 1920s and includes original hardwood throughout. They're asking $50,000.

“Nice home on a corner lot centrally located in Herrin within walking distance of Herrin High School and the city park .Beautiful restored original hardwood floors. Open kitchen with lots of cabinets and dining area adjacent to family room. Front porch with lots of windows for your house plants. Enclosed back porch with ample storage area. Newer roof and decking. Small storage shed for your lawnmower and outdoor things.”


fixer-upper under $100k: Grand Island, NE

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Really nice woodwork inside and out. I love this style. They’re asking $93k:

“This property at 106 N 7th St, St. Edward, NE is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath craftsman style bungalow. St. Edward Emementry and High Schools are right down the street. It is approximately 1800 sq feet with original hardwood floors and craftman style moldings in the living and dining rooms. A new bathroom with claw foot tub as been added upstairs. New flooring installed in kitchen with a new dishwasher and stove. There is a full size basement with 2 large rooms along with an old coal room, air conditioning and heating unit room, and small storage room. There is a detached garage/storeage building behind the house.”


fixer-upper under $100,000: Leonardville/Manhattan, KS

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I had no idea that Kansas was so full of so many gorgeous 19th and early 20th century bungalows. 2,200+ sq ft, 3 bedrooms, indeterminate number of baths, and they're asking $70k.

Looking for small town living? Check out this cute bungalow with lots of character just ready for someone to make it their home. Features wood flooring, french doors with leaded glass, high ceilings, large trim. If you have the means to do a little work you will have a wonderful place. Priced so someone can do a little remodeling and make it their own.


6 Ways to Save On Energy This Winter

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As the temperature starts to go down outside, it seems that the energy bills start to increase at the same rate. Oftentimes, it doesn’t feel like there’s any way to work around that. After all, you need to keep your family warm.

But what if we told you there were some ways that you could cut down your energy bills this winter?

There are always some things we can do a little better to save energy in our homes, especially in the winter time.

Turn the Thermostat Down

We’re not asking you to turn your thermostat so far down that you have to wear winter coats indoors. But even just turning it down a few degrees can help immensely. If you can set your thermostat to a timer (or even do this manually), a good temperature to keep the house at when everyone is home is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. When everyone is away or sleeping, you can drop the temperature to 58-60 degrees. In fact, the ideal temperature for the best sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees.

If you want the house to be warm before you get back, set the timer on your thermostat to start heating the home again 30 minutes before you get home.

Dress Warmer

Okay, so this one kind of goes in line with the last one, but if everyone in the home dresses warmer, then you can turn the thermostat down a little lower without worrying that your freezing everyone out. Keep comfy blankets and slippers around the house to keep feet and extremities warm when everyone’s out and about.

Clean the Furnace

Furnaces don’t typically get a lot of attention, except when we are messing with the temperature as it starts to get colder. A clean and well-maintained furnace will be a lot more efficient and use less energy. If you live in an apartment complex or rent your home, you can ask the property management team to give the furnace a look and clean it.

Use a Humidifier

Moist air holds heat better than dry air. Having a humidifier can help keep your air more breathable and warmer as you turn your thermostat down a few degrees. Add houseplants to your home can also help increase the humidity in your home.

LED Holiday Lights

Are you a Christmas decorator? Time to ditch the ten-year-old string of lights and upgrade to some more energy efficient options like LEDs for your Christmas decorating this year. Don’t feel like you need to cover every tree and shrub in your yard, though. If you really want to save money on energy this winter, try taking a “less is more” approach and use minimal decorations that still give the feel of Christmas that you want.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!

If there are areas of your home that are not insulated, that is just money thrown out the door every year. Properly insulate your home to make sure the heat is retained and your money is well spent. You can find inexpensive insulation from home improvement stores to install yourself. At the very least, you can add weather stripping to your doors and windows to keep the heat from escaping that way.

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4 Ways to Reduce Your Heating Costs this Winter

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Heating costs are always a major concern for most homeowners. Winter time is often when we use up the most energy and many are trying to find ways to reduce costs whichever way they can. Fortunately, there are tons of adjustments and lifestyle changes that you can make to not only reduce your energy bills, but to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Here are a few things you could do to help you save on your energy bills this winter.

Switch to UPVC Windows

If you’re trying to conserve heat and save on your overall costs, UPVC windows are a great option. UPVC is one of the most energy efficient materials there is and UPVC windows installed by a UPVC windows Belfast manufacturer will make sure that your home is sealed tight and that no air escapes or gets in.

UPVC as a material is not a great heat conductor, which means that hot air won’t be transferred out. And if your house was built before 1995 and you have never replaced the windows, chances are they do not fit the current standards for energy efficient, insulated houses. So, if you haven’t made the switch already or haven’t changed your windows in a while, UPVC windows could be the perfect choice.

Move the Dial

Did you know that lowering the temperature in your house by one degree could save you up to 3% on your next heating bill? The optimal temperature inside your house should be at about 20 degrees, so if you can, try to lower the temperature by a few degrees if you’re above that. You also have to take things like insulation into consideration and make sure that your house is properly insulated, not only to prevent outside cold air from getting in, but for preventing inside heat from escaping.

Close Unused Radiators

Make sure that you add thermostats to any radiator that you’re using and close the radiators in empty rooms that don’t need to be heated. And when you’ve reached the optimal temperature in the room that you’re in, close off the thermostat and let the residual heat do its work. You should also make sure that your radiators are free of any air pockets by giving them a good bleeding before the winter.

Make Sure Your Door Frames are Properly Sealed

People are often unaware of it, but a lot of heat can escape through your doors’ framing. As a rule of thumb, if you can see any light penetrate around or under the doors, then it means that they are not properly sealed. You can fix this by adjusting the thresholds with a screwdriver, provided you have any installed. If not, installing thresholds is pretty simple and shouldn’t cost you much either.

Cutting your energy bills all boils down to the choices you make and installing the proper upgrades. Make sure that you consider these options if you want to reduce your energy load and minimise your overall costs.

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6 ways to prepare your home for the holidays

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Your home is about to be the center for all of the wonderful holiday festivities, and here are a couple ways to help you prepare for it all.

One of the best parts of the months of November and December is that it is the time when friends and family gather together and celebrate.

It’s a time for counting your blessings and enjoying good food and good company.

But it usually means that your home is also the center of these festivities, and you want to make sure it’s ready for all the company and parties you are about to have.

Here are six ways to make sure your home is holiday ready for entertaining and that everything and every party is merry and bright.  

  • Time for a good scrub-a-dub

Before the guests arrive it's a good idea to go through the house and give everything a good wash down, from the curtain to the carpet.

Steam cleaning your carpet is a great way to get it fresh and clean, and even if you don’t own one you can rent one or hire a service to do it for you.

Another good place to focus on for a good deep cleaning is the fridge, especially considering how much it will probably be in use. You don’t want bad smells from the fridge ruining your fun.

  • Set the table

Setting the table with some beautiful plates and silverware and a really nice centerpiece is a great way to have your home ready for your guests to arrive.

You can be as fancy or simplistic as you want, but it’s a great opportunity to bring out your lavish side and pull out all the stops.

You can even make your guests feel really special with things like name cards at each of the settings so everyone knows they have a place.

  • Bring out all the candles

Nothing is more inviting than a home that smells deliciously good as soon as you walk in the door.

One great way to make that possible is to have a great smelling candle in each room, or multiple if you want to give it an extra kick.

Make sure they are out of reach of little hands and that you make sure to extinguish them before everyone goes to bed. 

  • Make sure there is plenty of linen

Lots of guests mean lots of blankets, pillows, towels, etc., and before they get to your home make sure there is enough for everyone and then some.

It’s a good idea to make sure all the beds are ready with clean sheets and blankets, and that there are also enough blankets to pass around for the guests who aren’t necessarily sleeping over but are wanting to get cozy and warm.

  • An open fire

Speaking of cozy, there is nothing cozier than a roaring fire to go warm up your hands or feet by after a cold winter’s night.

If you have a fireplace make sure you are stocked up on enough wood and have plenty of extra to pop in when you need to.

If you don’t have a fireplace but want the feel of a fire, there are many fake-fire options that can have your guests thinking it’s the real deal.

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5 ways to prepare your lawn for the wintertime

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Although during the winter there isn’t very much that needs to be done to your lawn, there are some things you can do to prepare for the winter so your lawn thrives after the cold is over.

For most of the year, you have to worry about watering, mowing, and all the other things that involve taking care of your lawn to make sure it is healthy and green.

But when it comes to winter, that’s when the lawn usually takes a backseat because, well, it tends to get covered by snow or frost.

But despite the little care that is required during the winter months it's definitely important to prepare your lawn for the snowy season and for the time when the snow melts away.

Here are five ways to prepare your lawn for the wintertime, so you don’t have to worry about it during and after winter passes.

  • Clean it off

Fall is called fall for a reason. It usually means lots of leaves falling off trees. When the colder weather starts to hit in October and November that usually means these leaves have started to gather in big piles on your lawn.

For the health of your lawn, before the snow is also added on to the pile, it's best to make sure that your lawn is cleared of these fallen leaves and other debris.

The reason is that when these fallen leaves start to gather up and create a thick layer and then get wet and muddy they can harm your lawn by suffocating it or even bringing diseases to your lawn.

  • Prepare while the time is right

Once that chill comes in the air the rest of the cold and all it brings is sure to follow, so make sure to have all you need to prepare your lawn before it gets just a little too cold and snowy to do it.

Come up with your winter lawn care plan in place that way you can do it quickly and easily, so you know your lawn can pick up right where it left off at the end of summer.

  • Don’t walk all over it

Because it seems as if the grass underneath your snow and ice is dead, it might be tempting to not pay attention to the foot traffic that goes over it, but that’s not a great idea.

Walking too much over your lawn even in the winter can still damage the lawn and prevent it from growing back properly in the spring.

If you can monitor the number of people and things that go over your lawn that would be best, especially if you want it to be healthy for the rest of the year.

  • Aerate it before the snow

Lawn experts like The Yard Butler recommend aerating your lawn before the cold months really hit your lawn hard.

Aerating the lawn before snow covers it can have many benefits, such as air for the roots of the grass as well as churning up the soil and its minerals.

  • Still, give the lawn a good mow

You are probably not going to have to mow the lawn as much as you do in the warmer months, but it’s still a good idea every once in a while to mow your lawn.

This will keep whatever surviving grass that’s under the snow healthy, as well as kill any weeds that begin to lurk up.

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Learn the Pros and Cons of Using Massage Chairs as a Creative

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Massage Chairs – one could argue that they are man’s best gift to himself!

From a 10-year-old child to an 80-year-old adult, no one won't enjoy using one, making it one of the most sought out products in the 21st century.

And if you’re a person who’s an architect, poet, story-writer, painter, or engaged in any line of work that’s fueled by the creative side of your brain, then a massage chair can possibly boost your craft to the next level!

But there's always a flip side to every major invention, and massage chairs are no exception.

Even if they are one of the best things in your living room, they might also fall short in one way or the other but if you are already decided, Homesthetics has reviewed the best massage chairs out there with all their pros and cons listed, feel free to cast a glance over their review!

Here are a few Pros and Cons of having a massage chair.

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Pros and Cons of Using Massage Chairs as a Creative

Pros

  1. Reduces neural pressure  

Massage chairs by its unique motion aligns the spine and reduce any pressure on nerves. They are a  mechanized substitution of acupressure. If you work for long hours or are approaching a certain age, then massage chairs are perfect relief therapy for you.

  1. Reduces stress on muscles

Stress and pain on muscles are one of the most common issues. Be it corporate lifestyle or getting creative at home, every physical activity can add to the stress. The therapeutic massage chairs relax the muscles and maintain a good body posture. Regular usage increases body's agility and overall balance.

If you had a rough day at work, then you're always one session away from relaxation. Must have for people who play a professional sport, or indulge in heavy lifting.

  1. Reduces stress and relieves many medical issues

If you're going through mental stress, anxiety, depression then you might have a hard time relaxing. Massage chair makes your body loosen up and help you relax. Problems like sleeplessness can also to tackled by getting a massage done.

Massage chairs are also useful in dealing with blood pressure. A perfect stressbuster if you can't find enough time or energy for recreational activities.

  1. Improves blood circulation

Due to prolong work hours it's possible for the body to get numb at certain places, leading to coagulation of blood and poor circulation. That is why getting a massage is so important. It eases the muscles, so that blood flow is at its average pace.

  1. Convenience

Precisely the reason why everyone wants one in their living room. Massage chairs can be used at any point in time with no prior setup. There is no hassle of getting oil, making sure it's at the right temperature, and getting a masseuse. All you need is do is sit and relax.

Additionally, massage chairs give you privacy, which makes sure you can relax without any worries of being judged. People who are shy in front of a stranger or are just insecure about their body will be able to reap the benefit of a message without making it awkward for themselves.

Cons

  1. Less effective when compared to traditional massage

This might seem like a contradiction to the point above, but it isn't. Don't get me wrong. Massage chairs are useful, but they fall short when it comes to the traditional massage means. If you're going through acute pain, then massage chairs won't help much.

  1. Limited functionality

Massage Chairs have come a lot way, but the mainstream ones are still limited to some selected motions. These limitations explain why massage chair falls short when you compare it with a traditional hand massage.

Chairs have a hard time with adjusting to an individual body and their respective level of stress. The less personal and more mechanized approach makes chairs somewhat limited.

  1. Maximum weight limit

Massage chair in all their glory come with a weight restriction. If you are clinically obese, then you might have a hard time trying to use one. Hence making it a dealbreaker for people who can’t afford to go out to exercise.

  1. Expensive

This is a dealbreaker for most people. Massage Chairs are extremely expensive, and it’s a status symbol to own one. Even people who are health-conscious find it hard to get their hands (literally) on one.

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Final thoughts

Despite a few shortcomings and high price, there is little to no reason why you shouldn’t go for one if you can afford it, regardless of the type.

A massage chair has many health benefits and has made massage and stress relief far more accessible.

While traditional massage is still a wonderful experience, the massage chair has been successful in bringing the experience of massage to your living room at your convenience.

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4 easy ways to make your house Pinterest-worthy

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Everyone wants an Insta or Pinterest worthy home, and here are a few simple ways to make it happen.

Your home is where your heart is, but it’s also where your family’s clutter, food, and dirty clothes are.

Many of us love to scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and see beautiful homes that have both beautiful interiors and are also so well organized.

Sometimes, it can feel like no matter what you do your home won’t ever quite look like those beautiful photos and it won’t look and feel quite like you want it to.

The good news is there are a few simple tips and tricks that can actually transform your home into something you would definitely heart or pin, as well as everyone else.

Here are four easy ways to make your house Pinterest worthy and make you beam with pride about it as well as not have to break the bank while doing it.  

  • Create a gallery wall

Nothing says Pinterest more than a gallery wall, and the good news about creating your own is it is relatively simple but looks so sophisticated and cool.

The great thing about gallery walls as well is that they can be completely customizable to any room and space, and you can create the theme and style that you want for it.

Also, there are so many second-hand or thrift stores that you can buy frames from and just sand and paint to the colors you want, meaning that it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money either.

  • Add style to your shelves

Shelves are often used to store and place things in your home, but they can also be a place to show off your style and taste.

Shelves can be used as an opportunity to show off cute decorations, books, or other objects that you have around the house.

For example, you can have a few cute books stacked or lined up against each other, a cute interchangeable farmhouse truck, and a little plant, and boom! You have your Pinterest-worthy shelf.

This is also a great way to declutter and get rid of the things you don’t need. Just find the things that you want to put on display and make them the focal point.

  • Add some color and contrast

Sometimes all a room needs to pop is a bit of color.

A really great look is to have most things be more of a neutral color and then have some furniture or pillows with a brighter color to really stand out and make a nice contrast.

Once you’ve picked out the colors you love and that go well together, use those colors throughout your house for continuity. They don't have to be the same exact color, but you can use a shade of the colors and if you need inspiration you can look up the color wheel online and see what hues and shades go well together.

  • Plants and flowers 

Adding in some beautiful plants or fresh flowers throughout the house is a great way to make your home look and feel fresh.

The great thing is that nowadays you don’t necessarily need a green thumb to have greenery in the home, and you don’t have to necessarily bring in fresh flowers every day because there are some very real-looking and gorgeous fake options available.

You can also swap out the plants from season to season which can really take it to the next level and have you posting away the great pictures of your home.

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Improving a Home’s Curb Appeal

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First impressions last – this quote has been shared through the ages, and it is proven real. One’s first impression of a person, place, or thing would be their primary basis for judgment. For homeowners, having a good curb appeal is important to provide a positive first impression, not only with the property, but also with the people living inside it. Curb appeal is a slang known to most Americans, and it pertains to the overall look of a property when viewed from the street. There are so many ways on how to improve a property’s curb appeal, and the homeowner should focus on methods on how they can make their property’s exterior presentable.

One of the first things to be considered would be the budget for improving the property’s curb appeal. Homeowners could apply for advance loans for financial help with improvements. Once they receive the money, they could start planning on how they wanted their homes to be presented. Home renovations would require the assistance from professionals, and all of the expenses made would be worth it once the results are shown. There are so many things to consider when trying to improve a property’s curb appeal, but the following features some of the most important locations or parts of the house that would give a greater impact with regards to the curb appeal.

  1. Paint – the first thing to consider would be a property’s paint color. Homeowners need to work with professional artists to determine the best color for a property that matches the personality of the people living inside. The color of the property can also be matched according to the location where it is built. There are so many color combinations that could create the best curb appeal for homes, especially if professional artists have given their expertise when it comes to this specific matter. Another thing to be considered would be the materials that will be used for the home’s exterior. Its color should match the surroundings, making it more natural looking and pleasing to the eyes.
  2. Doors and Windows – these two staples for a home affect its total curb appeal. One should seek help from a professional interior and home designer to determine where the best place to install the doors and the windows are. Old doors and windows could also affect the curb appeal of a property, and it is important to change them or buy a new set that will be installed in a property. If the home has an elegant looking door and the windows are placed perfectly, the property’s curb appeal would greatly increase. Homes with properly decorated doors and windows frequently look comforting for someone driving by, and it can also affect the mood around the neighborhood.
  3. Roof – a roof is as important as the home’s paints, doors, and windows, and it is used as a means of protection. Roof shingles can be used to enhance the exterior look of a property, but other materials can also be considered. Other homeowners consider having a rooftop that has a striking design, which can also act as an outdoor party area. Renovating the roof for the sake of curb appeal can be challenging, so try working it out with professionals to get the proper advice about the property.
  4. Outdoor gardens – a property that has a garden has a higher curb appeal compared to other properties. For homeowners who have a smaller home, they could consider planting flowering plants and shrubs that could act as a fence. It will greatly enhance the exterior look of a property, especially if the flowers used for the outdoor lawn exhibits a color that complements the paint on the home’s exterior. For those who have larger homes and lawns, they could consider building an elegant fountain, or a maze featuring topiaries. Either way, gardens would easily increase a curb appeal, and it would give other people a positive impression about the property.

Improving the curb appeal of a property can be done easily, especially with the assistance coming from the professionals who are expert in the field. Make sure to follow all of their advice, and you will see how the property’s curb appeal would improve.

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Best tricks for repairing your own roof

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Roofs have to be checked every once in a while. Whether we’re talking about minor or bigger damage, it is necessary to react quickly and make sure that your roof is in a solid condition. In the end, you don’t need any leaks, do you?

Although you should never undertake replacement by yourself, it is still possible to do smaller maintenance and repairs. Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

Detecting the issue

Ideally, you should check your roof every year at the end of the summer. Make sure there are no issues whatsoever prior to the rainy season.

Now, keep in mind that the extent of required repairs can vary. Sometimes, you will just have to replace several shingles. In other cases, you might have to deal with some serious problem. It all depends. The best thing you can do is try to check the roof and see if you can deal with the issue at hand. If you think that you can’t manage it, perhaps it’s better to call a professional roofing company to help you out. Here you can find 15 ways to choose the right roofing company without spending huge amounts of money.

While saving money can be a great thing, you also shouldn’t make the issue much bigger than it actually is.

Changing the shingles

Shingle replacement is perhaps one of the simplest, easiest things to deal with. Even if you don’t have any experience with the problem, you will likely be able to do it. However, you will have to be cautious: if we’re talking about a few localized shingles, this is something you can easily handle. But don’t try to patch the whole roof.

First and foremost, you will have to find shingles that match those you previously had. Make sure to find ones with the same color and design. If they’re not, it will be easily noticeable and your roof will start looking shabby.

Besides the shingles that are missing, you will also have to check the surrounding area. If nearby shingles are showing signs of deterioration, if they are loose, you will have to change them as well. Best way to do it is by combining strong adhesives and nails.

Partial replacement of roof

In some cases, you will have to remove the whole section of the roof and get new shingles to cover them. Sometimes, you will be forced to get a new type of shingles all together making the whole process that much tiresome.

Homeowners have to consider several things during this though. First thing is that you can have one layer of shingles. If there are two of them, you will have to remove both before you start working on the section. Once you do it, the new section will be combined with other areas of the roof. This could lead to new problems and it might start looking a bit odd.

Still, although all of this might take some time, it is much better than remove the whole roof. Keep in mind that removing a section of the roof might be a bit harder than removing just a few shingles but it will save you a lot of money.

Fixing your flashing

Besides shingles, flashing is often causing some issues. This section is very important because bad flashing can cause lots of issues. Luckily for you, it is relatively easy to replace flashing. They are placed around chimney and skylights as well as any other area that requires an additional layer of protection. They are used for tricky areas where traditional shingles cannot help.

Damage to flashing is usually very easy to detect. In fact, you don’t have to notice leaks in order to establish that flashing is faulty. Once you do, you can go to your local store and get some new materials for replacement. Unlike shingles, where you have to pay attention to color and design, flashing doesn’t affect esthetics as much so you will have some leeway there.

Author’s bio: Do It Right Roofing is a Vancouver based roofing company. It offers residential and commercial roofing projects in Greater Vancouver and have over a decade of experience in fixing roofs for their customers.

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4 areas you must look at when buying a new house

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It’s probably going to be the most expensive thing that you ever decide to purchase, so it stands to reason that a little due diligence is required when you buy a house.

This is one of the reasons why so much emphasis is placed on the likes of surveys and warranties. After all, if you have armed yourself with the best home warranty, you of course have a high degree of protection for the next few years.

To provide an overview of some of the things that should be looked at as you buy your home, we have compiled today’s guide. We will now take a look at four of the most important areas that should come under scrutiny during the house buying process.

The importance of a sound roof

To the Average Joe, a roof might just seem like something to keep the outside elements out. While this is of course true, let's not forget that this is a crucial structural element of your home and it can get expensive.

Loose tiles are just the tip of the iceberg, long before you buy your home you should be venturing up into the attic to inspect the condition of the wooden joists. In an ideal world, an expert will do this for you, and find if everything is structurally sound. It might also tell you about the feasibility of converting the roof space into a habitable room - which can of course provide you with plenty of opportunity in relation to your home's future value.

The damp-factor

Again, in an ideal world the experts would be brought in to assess this next point. Nevertheless, if you spot any damp patches on the walls of the property in question, it might be time to investigate. In a bathroom it can be common, due to condensation, and this might not be anything to worry about. However, in other areas of the home you shouldn’t be seeing any signs, and you should investigate further if you do notice any mold building on the walls as this can be a costly problem to rectify.

Are there any new developments nearby?

While there is the obvious nuisance-factor to take into account here, there are other things to think about when it comes to new developments.

One of these is how a nearby development is going to impact your property structurally. If it is built close to your foundations, there is a chance that they can be affected by ground movement when the new foundations are formed. As such, perform desktop research, and find out what is in the pipeline for the area.

The heating-factor

 

Depending on where in the world you live, this may or may not be a factor. However, new heating systems can cost a small fortune to install, so ensuring that the one already in place is in good working order should be a priority. In some systems, you might be able to test by seeing if any hot water runs out of the taps. In others, you might have to wait until it boots up and see if the radiators start to work.

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How to Maximize the Use of Your Space

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If you’ve looked around your home and wondered how on earth you’re going to survive another year with all your stuff packed inside of it, you’re not alone. As creatures that tend to settle in one spot for at least a short duration of time, we also tend to collect a lot of things.

They may be necessary like your cooking pots, memorable like your limited edition Taylor Swift jacket, or miscellaneous like the pile of magazines that you don’t need but just aren’t sure if you can get rid of yet. Whatever they are, if you’re not quite ready to purge your hoard of items, it’s definitely time to shape up your space so it’s still livable despite everything you’ve accumulated.

Get Organized

Are you serious about cleaning up the house? Then your first step to turning it around is getting organized. While this may seem like the most tedious step in maximizing the use of your storage space, it’s really the foundation that everything else depends on.

So make lists, sort objects, and map out your ultimate vision. Then enlist the help of your family and friends--especially those who have a knack for organization. They can help this step go more quickly, and they’ll be there to make sure the things you really don’t need go in the bin, get recycled, or get donated to a thrift store rather than bulking up your home.

Use Shelving

You may be excited to go out and buy woven baskets, plastic tubs, and metal bins to keep all your belongings out of sight, but these can end up adding to the restriction on your space rather than consolidating it.

Instead, look into building shelving and other storage directly into your existing home. This can allow you to use more of the vertical space in your home and cut down on the extra space needed for movable or freestanding structures like bins and armoires.

Build Compact Structures

In much the same way that Dome Technology uses dome structures to maximize storage space for soybean crops, you can build compact structures that are easy to access while still containing an impressive amount of items and folding away nicely into a cupboard or corner.

These can be especially useful in a kitchen space with extra appliances like a toaster, grill, or griddle that usually take up counter space.

Invest in Dual Functionality

Another fantastic way to maximize the space in your home is by creating or investing in items that take on one or more jobs. Maybe those window seats you wanted to build could serve as storage for the kids’ toys or the thick blankets you only use during the winter.

When making new purchases, do some research to see whether those items come in a compact form or one with a dual function. Keep in mind that paring down your belongings can take time, so you may find a dual functioning item that means you can retire several old items that handled the job jointly before.

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Home Repairs You Should Definitely Not Do Yourself

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When it comes to home renewal projects that you discover during the course of fall cleaning, there are many that you can do on your own. It’s fairly easy to replace shingles on a roof. It’s fairly easy to clean downspouts. It’s fairly easy to replace filters of various sorts. And it’s fairly simple to inspect your home’s heating system.

Your ability to do these tasks quickly and well might embolden you to think that equipped with a good monkey wrench, a reliable hammer, a few power tools, and enough screws and nails, you can do anything.  

However, there are many things that you should not do on your own, things that are either delicate and can get worse if you mess them up, things that require specialized tools that you can’t rent, things that require years of knowledge and experience, and things that are dangerous to do.

Two of the biggest things that you should not do on your own are plumbing and electrical problems.

Why You Should Not Do Your Own Plumbing  

When you see a leak in the ceiling and you suspect it’s a pipe that you can simply fix with your tools, don’t reach for a monkey wrench, call a professional service like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.  

While you do have to pay more for hiring an experienced professional than making plumbing modifications on your own, chances are that it will cost you a lot if you make mistakes because you don’t know what you’re doing.  

Sometimes, too, plumbing can be dangerous. For instance, if you are re-routing your sewer pipes, then you’ll need a blowtorch. If you’ve never used one before in your life, you could be at risk for serious injury.

A plumber will make sure that your plumbing systems work and that your pipes will stop leaking and that all the changes made are up to code.  

Natural Gas and Sewer Lines

You will definitely need a plumber if you have natural gas problems and other gas leaks. Messing up can result in an instant explosion that could cause you injury or death, or that could destroy your house. Call a plumber that’s certified in natural gas repairs.

Another thing that you should not do on your own is work on unclogging sewer lines. First of all, they are very difficult to access. But, even if you do find a way to access them, you will need to use highly-specialized, expensive machinery to get the job done properly.  

Why You Should Not Do Your Own Electrical Issues

If you have some electrical problems that baffle you, it might seem that all you have to do is look up the solution on Google and then implement it. Nut it’s better to call an electrician than expose yourself to a fatal electric shock.

While it’s easy enough to replace switches, repair light fittings, replace flexible cords connected to outlets, fit plugs to a flexible cord, and replace fuse wires, you should first turn off all power to the house and make sure that conductors are not live. Other than these types of minor repairs, you should call in a professional.  

The worst electrical mistakes homeowners make fall into two categories:

  1. An immediate injury. Since the electrical system is complicated, you could make a small error and electrocute yourself. 
  2. Setting up a future disaster. You could make the repairs without any shock, but make an electrical mistake that could later result in a house fire.  

In closing, then, while there is much that you can do on your own in your house by simply consulting a manual or looking it up on the internet, there are some things that you should avoid doing even if you think you know how. These two things are usually in the area of plumbing and electrical repairs. If you don’t know what you’re doing because you’ve never done it before, you could make a mistake that will cost you more in the long run. Sometimes, too, you could even endanger yourself or others around you, especially if you’re working with tools you’re unfamiliar with or with electrical systems or power tools.

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How to choose the best Oak Wood Flooring services

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Are you thinking of the best ways to floor your house? If so, you might want to think of the best ways to achieve your goal.

There are many ways one can finish the floors of their houses. As much as it seems basic, choosing the type of floor material to finish a house is one of the most important thinks for home owners.

Even so, it is still not very easy selecting wood type. There are several varieties and styles. This makes it quite a task if you are not sure of what to look for. It is not just about the color that brings light to your home. It is all about quality.

There is the traditional solid hardwood and engineered hardwood. It is important that you understand the best choice for the house you want to live in.

Services like GoHaus European Oak wood flooring offer the best way out for anyone who is not sure about the options they have. It is a service worth considering when looking for Oak wood flooring services.

Using the internet

Internet technology has simply made things easy today in all fields. Getting the best oak wood flooring services has never been easier. Options in color and species for engineered hardwood flooring are easy to find online, you can usually order samples to compare to room decorations and color matching.

This puts you at a better position to order samples from different sources. As you try them out, you will be able to find the best one that matches your needs. And that should be the perfect selection.

Modern world is fully dependant on the internet so it only makes sense that you should only search the internet for any information. The world is shifting from physical shops to online shopping.

What makes online experience most sorted is the ease of selection from wide varieties. You can be able to go through what is offered from the comfort of your house and let your choice be delivered.

Online channels provide quite easy and cheap access to Oak wood flooring services. There is no service provider that does not have a website today. It just makes it so easy to find them.

Recommendations from experts

If you are not very sure you will make the right choice, simply get advice from experts. Even the contractor that is working on your house should know the best finishes. That way you avoid going through the vetting process.

When it comes to marketing, nothing works better than a word of mouth from other customers. However best a company’s ads are made, reviews from customers can either make it worth or destroy everything. Customers trust more in what other customers say than what a company says about themselves.

It is all about getting first hand information from experience. After all consumer are at a better position to give review.

Getting a good service provider is important for a perfect home finish. The ideas shared here should give you a starting point.

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Putting in a Fence

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You’ve had it. You really love your home and how the open yard allows your kids to run back and forth with their friends, but the perks of letting the neighbors have free access to your yard have started to take a toll.

Maybe this is you. Your reasons for wanting a fence might not be the mainstream need for better privacy or keeping dogs from taking care of their business in your yard, but it’s still valid. With the decision to build a fence, it’s important to hit a few key points so all ends well for you and your relationship with the neighborhood.

Plan for your Property

Putting in a fence requires some steps that might feel like red tape, but once you’ve handled them, you can get down to the real work. One of the first things you’ll want to do if you haven’t already is check your property boundaries so your fence isn’t placed inaccurately.

It’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbors and let them know what you’re planning. You want to be sure your fence isn’t blocking their views or something similar. Neighbors can be tricky to work with but do your best to work with them and be transparent.

The next bit of planning is the part you’ll enjoy. Size up your yard and decide the mechanics of your fence. Will it enclose the whole property or just the backyard? Will you use a different material in the front for curb appeal? How high should your fence reach and what regulations are there regarding fences in your community?

Materials

Along with those mechanics, you now get to get into the particulars of building your fence. There are all sorts of paths to take here. You can purchase prefabricated sections or construct your own, and there are plenty of material types to choose from.

You can repurpose Challenger Pallet wood pallets; invest in a pretty pine, cedar, or redwood; or go simple and durable with vinyl panels. Take into account that wood might need to be stained to withstand the weather and a painted fence may need routine touch-ups.

Paneled sections are usually between six and eight feet in length, so consider where to plant posts, especially as you may need to use concrete to place them. You should also have at least two ways to enter the enclosed area, so making sure your fence will remain sturdy with a gate in place is important.

Extra Hands

If you’re planning to do all the manual labor yourself, reach out to your friends and family to help out, especially those with construction experience. The more hands you have to help, the quicker the work will go.

At this point in the process, putting up the fence yourself may seem like more work than you had thought it would be, and in this case, it’s completely okay to hire a professional to take care of it for you.

Upkeep

Hopefully, you thought about the maintenance your fence will need when you were choosing materials, but use this as a reminder that different materials will require different upkeep. You may need to restain seasonally or repaint yearly.

Be aware of the durability of your fence as well and plan for repairs due to weather damage or wear and tear over the years.

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Home Projects During the Fall

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Why do home owners come up with all these projects during the fall? Well, fall is the perfect time to clean summer's mess. Since it comes before winter, it's also the best time to prepare the house for the cold season ahead. Maximize this precious time for renovation and maintenance projects.

Roof Repairs or Replacements

Inspect your roof and see if there are replacements or repairs that need to be done. While this falls under the category of home maintenance, it still makes for an excellent project because it'll increase the resale value of your home. You can start by fixing loose shingles and replacing the missing ones so you're sure that you and your family will stay dry come snowfall. Ice will enter the house through gaps or leaks in the roof.

Keep the Downsprouts and Gutters Clean

It's a bit daunting to do but it has to be done. Inspect and clean the gutters and downsprouts during the fall. This simple task will keep ice dams from happening during the winter. Cleaning it is quite easy, all you have to do is get rid of debris, twigs, and leaves that block the drainage. Get some water to flush everything out, see if there are leakages, check the joints and adjust the tightness of the brackets if need be.

Replace Home Furnace Filters

Filters are rated to be replaced every 90 days and this is something that a lot of home owners are not aware of. Furnace filters get clogged because of the dust in our homes and fur from our pets. Now before you head out to the nearest big box department store, look at the size of the furnace filter so you purchase the right one. A reputable online supplier such as Your Filter Connection carries hundreds of different furnace filter sizes and different efficiencies. A word of caution is to make sure you buy a filter that is rated to work with your HVAC system. Installing a hospital grade air filter could actually cause your furnace and air conditioning unit damage if it does not have a strong enough motor to push through denser filters.

Clean the Fireplace

One way to ensure that the fireplace will operate safely is through proper inspection. If you're using the fireplace during the cold days you need to clean it at least once every 365 days to avoid chimney fires. If you intend to do the cleaning and maintenance by yourself, it's best to have a professional do the initial inspection.

Inspect the Heat System

Speaking of the fireplace, it is also crucial that you inspect your house's heat system in preparation for the winter season. Address issues immediately and ensure that it can perform at its best so you won't be spending thousands of dollars on repairs in the future. Older models of heat systems that use gas are less efficient than newer units.

Albeit known for being the season for applie-picking, fall is also the best time to roll up those sleeves and get your hands dirty with home improvement projects. It's the perfect blend of hot and cold, plus the colors outside make it hard to resist working outdoors.

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5 Reasons to Add a Shed to Your Property

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You’ve got a beautiful home with a beautiful yard, but it’s not always easy to take care of, which means its curb appeal isn’t exactly telling about its true state.

With stressful deadlines and work leaving home projects piling up, your yard is the one that takes the brunt of the neglect; and while that tradeoff can’t be remedied immediately, there may be a solution that your home is ready for: a shed. If you have a decent sized yard and no shed, here are five reasons it’s time for you to finally put one in.

You Can Avoid Clutter

Your yard becomes the catchall for anything that doesn’t belong in the house. You have probably tried to keep everything in one place, organizing it as best you can so you can find each thing when you’re looking for it later, but items in the garage becomes items along the side of your home spilling into both the front and back yards.

In this case, a shed is an ideal solution. It can become a catchall that hides away ongoing projects, leaving your yard looking sharp and welcoming to your family and visitors.

You’ll Have More Storage

Becoming a homeowner means investing in a lot of maintenance tools and equipment that you probably didn’t anticipate purchasing. A shed functions as a great place to organize and store these things so they are easy to find the next time you need them.

It doesn’t have to be restricted to your lawn mower and hedge shears either. Store skis during the summer and during the winter, you can store bikes and tubes for floating the river.

You’ll Have Easy Access to Equipment

If instead of employing yard services like yardmasterservices.com your children are taking care of the yard work or you’re paying the neighbor’s boy to do it, having a shed gives your workers easy access to the tools they need.

They won’t have to pick through projects in the garage, move things so you can’t find them, or be dissuaded from their chores because of any extra work just getting ready to start working.

You Can Make Tools Last Longer

A major selling point for investing in a shed is protecting your tools, equipment, and other belongings that are too big or too dirty to score a place inside the house.

You’ll not only keep them safe from being stolen or taken without your permission, but they’ll be sheltered from the elements, preventing rusting and weathering that could mean replacing them sooner rather than later. It’s also a good idea to keep them out of sight of your children during regular play time so your children don’t get hurt and your tools aren’t damaged either.

You’ll Have a Designated Work Area

With so many projects going on, it can be hard to find a place to work that’s safe and quiet. Kids are always playing in the yard or riding bikes down the driveway, and working in the garage means moving the cars elsewhere.

Building a shed gives you a space where you can work without disrupting normal life activities, and if it’s time to close up shop for the day and you’re not quite finished, you don’t have to clean up everything just to get it out again later.

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How to overcome the biggest lighting mistakes that blight houses

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It’s widely regarded as one of the easiest ways to make a room look larger, yet if one casts their eye around homes around the country it will soon start to become clear that far too many people make mistakes with their lighting.

A well-lit room can be transformational, yet one in the opposite group can be completely devalued. As such, to ensure that you don’t fall into the latter category, let’s now take a look at some of the most common lighting mistakes that are made and help to make sure that you don’t commit them.

Mistake #1 – The fixture isn’t the right size

Fortunately, this first mistake can be easily rectified. In other words, it doesn’t relate to any form of technical knowledge, and it’s simply about appreciating what size light fixture you should be purchasing to match the rest of your room. If you have invested in something like Pagazzi ceiling lights, only to realize later down the line that they just aren’t proportionate to everything else in the room, it’s a complete waste to your space.

For example, if you have a gigantic dining room table and hang a small ceiling light over the top, it stands to reason that it’s going to border on the ridiculous. At the same time, a huge ceiling light over a tiny table will have the same effect. If we were to hone in on chandeliers, a common rule is making sure that they are a foot smaller than the table’s width.

Mistake #2 - Forgetting about the shadow effect

Another common mistake is forgetting about the shadows that lighting creates. For example, in the case of a kitchen, if the lights sit above the edge of the counter, a shadow will be created over the counter when you start to work on there. It’s in cases like this where you need to test exactly how the light reacts, as well as considering alternative means of lighting (such as under cabinet ones).

Mistake #3 – You ignore dimmer switches

Dimmer switches seem to have a bad name in some sources, which is surprising when you consider their power. This is one tool that you really should be looking to tap into the advantages of. They allow you to set the tone for an occasion, or even your mood. For example, having a room full of light for a quiet dinner is hardly appropriate – and is something that a dimmer can rectify pretty quickly.

Mistake #4 – You don’t consider the energy-factor

Finally, you might have installed the perfect lighting system and be completely happy with the end result. However, at the same time, it costs a fortune to run.

Nowadays, there is no excuse for spending a fortune on lighting upkeep. LED bulbs are now readily available and don’t have the prohibitive price tags that they once did. The energy savings here can be fantastic, although it’s worth mentioning that not all types of lighting is going to be suitable for this.

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The Five Cs of Hygge Decor: Clutter-Free, Canvas, Cotton, Candles, and Comfort

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The trend of Hygge (pronounced "hue-geh") is becoming more and more popular these days. More than strictly a home decor trend, Hygge represents the Danish way of life: joyous, carefree, and serene. This cozy way of living life includes a few key decor aspects designed to help you feel truly at home in your home. Each one of the five Cs — clutter-free, canvas, cotton, candles, and comfort — all represent an important aspect of Hygge decor.

Clutter-Free Surroundings

While Hygge decor is far from blank and soulless, it should never feel cluttered. Clutter will add to your stress levels, and the objective of Hygge is to provide a feeling of serenity and comfort.

If your beginning decor feels cluttered, start by clearing it up before you do anything else. Adding Hygge decor on top of clutter will only create more chaos and make you feel overwhelmed. The further down to the “bare bones” of the room you can get, the more successful you will be. Remember, you can always add more items later if the room feels too empty to you.

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Canvas and Visual Textures

The usual color schemes used in Hygge are neutral palettes, with visual interest being provided by textures rather than loud colors. This allows even subtle textures to be noticed and appreciated.

An easy way to add visual texture is by selecting artwork with rich canvas rather than glossy prints. You can add a deeper level of meaning to your Hygge decor by using a custom canvas art service such as Canvas Vows to create your own personalized canvas art, using the words or photos that mean the most to you.

Another way you can incorporate visual textures into your decor is through three-dimensional decorations, such as a vase filled with fresh flowers or delicate tree branches, or a hand-carved wooden bowl of fresh fruit. Natural textures are best for Hygge as they provide a connection to the balance of the natural world.

Cotton and Textures You Can Feel

In order to embrace the carefree and cozy lifestyle of Hygge, you need to feel snug and secure. Surrounding yourself with natural textures not only adds to the aspect of visual interest, but provides you with the important key feeling of comfort.

Decorate your seating and nooks with fluffy pillows and soft blankets, and consider a thick area rug for hard flooring. Choose fabrics that are a solid color rather than printed, and don’t be afraid to mix and match smooth cotton with chunky knits. If it’s something you would love to curl up in on a rainy afternoon, it belongs in your Hygge decor.

Try to stay with textures and materials that you enjoy, and avoid any that are itchy or uncomfortable.

Candles and Warm Glows

One aspect of Danish culture and the Hygge lifestyle includes cuddling with loved ones by the fireplace. As lovely as fireplaces are, unfortunately not all homes have them.

Not to worry, though! You can still embrace the warm radiance by utilizing candles in your decor. The soft, warm glow of candlelight provides a feeling of relaxation and romance that simply cannot be replaced with artificial light. You can light your favorite jar candles, decorate with candle lanterns, or even place candles in a (fire-safe) faux fireplace.

You can embrace Hygge decor a step further by replacing harsh, bright lights with strands of fairy lights. Using these lights provides a twinkling glow and offers a feeling of warmth and joy.

Comfort – The Hygge Atmosphere

The final C represents the atmosphere and overall objective of the Hygge lifestyle: comfort.

The calming neutral color scheme, the taking the time to notice textures, the soothing lighting — it all contributes to the feeling of comfort and ease you experience in your home.

In order to fully appreciate the atmosphere of your Hygge decor, spend some time embracing the lifestyle it represents.

So, enjoy your new surroundings. Throw on a soft robe or some yoga pants and kick off your shoes. Invite a few friends or family members over to catch up and reminisce. Curl up with a good book and a warm cup of tea. Who knows, with any luck, your decor will just be the first part of your life to become carefree and comfortable.

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10 Ideas for Your Kitchen Makeover

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The two questions to ask when thinking about renovating your kitchen are 'why' and 'how.' These questions will prompt you to look for answers, which, in turn, will cause you to reflect on a wide number of things from your opinion about aesthetics to the type of functionality you’re seeking.

By researching remodeling ideas and designs and by looking at plenty of photos online, you’ll get a fairly good idea about how to add the type of style and function you want. Take your time, of course, as it's never a good idea to make quick decisions when planning a kitchen makeover. Give yourself time to get inspired and to change your mind.

Here are 10 ideas to consider:

  1. In your quest for answers, you should read blogs on home improvement and visit websites like Gilmans Kitchen and Bath to get a deeper appreciation for the many design options available.
  2. One theme you’ll come across quite often are suggestions for choosing eco-friendly ideas. Until recent times, there was not much awareness about health hazards like volatile organic compounds, or VOC. These are organic chemicals that create high vapor pressure even at ordinary room temperature and can cause lung irritation. The use of the wrong paints and coats designed to beautify your kitchen may introduce VOC into your cooking space.
  3. You can make your food preparation area more attractive and functional by adding some subway tile backsplash.
  4. Don’t be in a hurry to replace your kitchen cabinets because they look old. If your cabinets are spacious and made of beautiful wood, you may not need to replace them to get a new look. You can save an enormous amount of money by simply adding a coat of fresh paint. Usually, neutral tones work best, as they create a clean look. With the right choice of paint, no one will even know that your cabinets aren’t new unless you tell them.
  5. When you walk into a modern kitchen, one of the things that jump out at you is the kitchen island. It’s warm, welcoming, and attractive, and it also adds utilitarian value. Islands are useful for meal-prep, for storing things, and for seating. Even if you have a small kitchen, there's probably an island that will work for you.
  6. Space is always a good thing in any room and one way to increase kitchen space while also improving storage is by adding shelves. They won’t take up as much room as upper cabinets, will make it convenient to store things, and will create the illusion that your kitchen is larger.
  7. Gorgeous countertops can add flair to your kitchen. Granite countertops, for instance, will give your kitchen a focal point and create a sleek, modern look-and-feel.
  8. If you haven’t bought new appliances for some time, you’ll be surprised at how much kitchen technology has improved. Modern appliances are not only far more attractive than what was available only a few short years ago, but far more energy-efficient, too. Your dishwasher will save more water and your range and microwave will give you perfect heat without the extra cost. All you need are a few black stainless-steel kitchen appliances to give your kitchen a futuristic appearance.
  9. Convert unused areas of your kitchen into usable space. If your kitchen has an empty corner, you can convert it into a nook, a place for quick snacks or enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. Accessorizing nooks can be as simple as adding a bench and a few plump cushions.
  10. It’s worth spending the money to create an eco-friendly floor that does not have toxic materials like formaldehyde. Although organic bamboo is actually a grass, it looks like wood and comes in attractive tiles.

In conclusion, think of these ten ideas as idea starters. It’s easy enough to get carried away and just focus on what looks good, but you’ll find it helpful to also consider the value of research, eco-awareness, and energy-saving appliances, among other things, when it comes to designing your dream kitchen.

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Small Decorations that Can Make a Big Difference in Your Room

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When working on the layout of a room, an interior designer has to take multiple factors into consideration. Whether working on a bathroom or a television room, you need to figure out how you can strike a balance between form and function. While comfort is undoubtedly an important aspect of any room in which you spend time, the aesthetics of the room and how the individual elements work together can be thought of as equally important. Your bedroom is where you sleep and maybe even work, which is why the way you decorate this personal space is crucial.

There is no denying the importance of the furniture in your bedroom. Mattress store shopping to find a mattress that fits your bedroom and is comfortable to lay on is obviously part of the process, but there are a number of other pieces you can incorporate to help bring your bedroom to life.

Furniture plays a big role in how a room looks but, after careful inspection, you may realize that there are plenty of smaller details that help put a room together,too. This article will dive into some of the ways you can decorate your room to make it a more pleasant place to be.

A Soothing Scent

When decorating your bedroom, it can be easy to focus on the big pieces you need to fill the room. A mattress to sleep on, a desk to work at, and an armoire for your clothes are all critical pieces you will need, but there is a lot more you can add to improve the room.

Incorporating more senses can enhance a room, making it more interesting and unique. What your bedroom looks like is important but paying attention to how it smells is also vital. A soothing and light scent that is not too overwhelming can truly tie a room together and make it that much more inviting. While heavier scents work well in larger rooms, like the television room or kitchen, stick to lighter scents, such as pine, mint, or chamomile, for the close quarters of your bedroom. Candles, incense, or oil diffusers with lighter scents add better accents to the room without giving you or your guests a headache.

A Hint of Nature

Another way you can decorate your bedroom is to add nature to it. Simply being in the presence of nature can boost your mood. Studies have shown how effective moving to greener urban areas or taking nature walks are for improving people’s mental health. Studies have shown that green plants can reduce stress, increase vitality, and put people in happier moods, simply by being nearby.

If you wish to add some color to your room and experience these calming effects, look into purchasing some small green plants you can place on your desk, by your nightstand, or anywhere else where you can easily see them. If you are concerned about not having enough direct sunlight in your bedroom, plants like the dracaena and the bromeliad both look great and can survive in the shade. If you do not want to worry about any kind of maintenance, some stores even sell fake plants that look real.

While introducing plants to your room can have soothing mental effects, it is also a very easy and cost-effective way to add a pop of color to your room. Your room will look and feel fresher immediately.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, decorating your room can feel like an overwhelming and stressful task. Since you may spend a good amount of time in your room sleeping or working, you want to make sure the room is comfortable but also reflects your personal style. Thinking about the smaller design decisions, such as what color to paint the walls, which accessories to include, or how to arrange everything can be just as important as the actual furniture pieces you choose to put in the room.

Aiming for a layout that looks and feels nice is important, which is why you cannot ignore the small details that can complete a room. Ultimately, this may require some more creative thinking but finding the right elements to enhance your bedroom will be worth money and effort.

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3 Steps to a Landscape to Be Proud of

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Your house becomes a home when it's somewhere you can be proud of, somewhere that you delight in bringing visitors to, rather than just a four-walled shelter for you and your family. That's why embarking on a program of property renovation and refurbishment can be the best thing that you ever do, and it can even cover its own cost by adding value to your home. To make the most of a renovation project, however, you should concentrate on the outside of your home as well as what's inside, so with that in mind here are three simple steps that can help you obtain a landscape to be proud of.

Turning a Lame Lawn into a Laudable Lawn

The crowning glory of any exterior landscaping should be the garden, and at the heart of that is the lawn. A great looking lawn is a place where you'll enjoy relaxing with the ones you love, watching the clouds float by, but a sad and tired lawn can show your whole property in the wrong light. If the look of your lawn is getting you down, you should call in specialists in lawn grading and leveling. They'll be able to repair, reseed, or rejuvenate your lawn so that it's in the best condition ever, and that's a great starting point for a landscaping renovation.

Add a Soothing Water Feature

Whether you're busy raising a family, working, or even if you're now retired, the pace of modern life can be frenetic, so we all need a place we can call our own where we can simply let the day's worries drift away. A well-kept garden landscape is the perfect place to do this, especially if it includes a water feature. They come in all shapes and sizes, from garden ponds to waterfalls and fountains, and so there's one to suit every budget. It has long been known that the sound of running water is calming, so waterfalls in particular can be soothing, as the creators of Zen gardens have known for centuries.

Adopt a Greener Approach

A perfect landscape should be green in more ways than one. We all see the effects of man-made climate change around us, which is why it's essential to do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint. One way to do this is to make our property as eco-friendly and energy efficient as possible. Externally, this can be done by installing solar powered lighting, and using water butts to collect rainwater that can then be recycled and used to water your lawn and plants. In this way, you'll not only be transforming your landscape, but you could be helping to transform the environment for generations to come.

Your garden is the first thing that visitors to your property will see. When you have a well-kept or newly renovated lawn, beautiful water touches, and other elements such as high-quality paving stones or pathways, you'll be creating a perfect impression from the very first moment. It can cost less than you think, and of course you can use a landscape rejuvenation project to install greener garden solutions too.

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Sustainable Tips for Your Home

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With record temperatures all over the world in 2018, it is more important than ever to reduce your carbon footprint. Expert scientists have put their finger on global warming as the reason for sweltering heat throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States, and when you consider there are wildfires raging in the Arctic Circle in August 2018, you can no longer deny what environmentalists have claimed for years. Is your house sustainable? Does it reduce your carbon footprint? Here are some tips you can implement to ensure it does; otherwise, the entire planet is in danger.

Insulate Your Abode 

Keep your indoor air in and the outdoor air out by insulating your ceiling, floors, and walls. Your home should be wrapped in a protective bubble, if you will, to ensure that your air conditioning and heating units run minimally throughout the summer and winter. When properly insulated, outside air cannot make its way into your home to either cool or heat the indoor environment, and this keeps the inside temperature set. An added benefit is lower utility bills alongside a reduced carbon footprint. 

Don’t forget about your doors or windows, either. Make certain they are properly sealed and that you install new double-paned windows if you currently have single-paned units. If you cannot afford to replace your windows, and even if you do upgrade them, redo your interior with thermal-backed curtains that block the sun’s rays and outdoor heat or cold. In the winter, open the drapes during the day to let the sun’s warmth in, and then close them at night to trap the heat.

Renovate Your Kitchen

If you’re tired of your outdated kitchen, now is the perfect time to renovate it. Purchase all new energy-efficient appliances and don’t stop there. Get a new energy-efficient washer and drying, too. Upgrade your flooring and countertops to natural materials that are sustainably farmed. When you are ready for another upgrade, these materials can be recycled rather than tossed in a landfill, which is where parquet, Formica, and other manmade materials end up. 

Don’t stop with the indoors. Redo your backyard space to include an outdoor kitchen. If you live in an area with enough solar energy, you can cook outside in a solar oven. You can also grill outdoors, which keeps the kitchen heat outside and gives your AC a break during the summer. Invest in outdoor appliances that utilize solar energy or other alternative fueling methods. You’ll find you love cooking outdoors as much as indoors and you’ll notice a difference in your utility bills.

Redo Your Landscape 

Consider ripping out that expensive lawn and redoing your landscape with drought-resistant, indigenous plant life. You should always use native plants no matter where you live, because they thrive in their environment and are easier to keep alive with minimal water waste. Have your home’s indoor and outdoor plumbing redone to trap gray water and push it outdoors to water your plants. You can also set up a rainwater collection system and use solar energy to make the water safe for consumption.

Realize the Benefits

Alongside the money you will save on your utility bills if you implement the above, your Washington DC homeowners insurance, or your homeowners insurance wherever you live, might just reduce your premiums after your renovation. Some insurance companies encourage their policyholders to go green, and you could also save money at tax time depending on current state and federal credits. Yes, the renovation will cost you money, but you’ll get that cost back over time.

Record-breaking heat waves that are claiming lives. Wildfires all over the planet, including in Sweden of all places. Concrete melting in Europe. Think global warming doesn’t exist? Think again. It does and it’s hazards are becoming more and more prominent every day. Do your part and upgrade your home to make it more sustainable.

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Know Why a Pool's Design Should Complement the Architecture of the House

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This pool was designed to match the clean, simple lines of the house. Note how it appears to be an extension of the house with matching levels. The pool filtration system and pumps were located under the pool at the end furthest from the house to minimize noise around the patio areas.

A pool's design is an extension of the house's external features. Revisions on planning regulations and technological advancements allow pools to be constructed along the boundaries of buildings and properties. This means good news for home owners, especially those who plan on boosting the value of their property so they can sell it for a higher price in the future. Local real estate agents would agree that properties with pools can be sold at high prices compared to those without.

Another reason why installing a pool is highly recommended is because this gives you a beautiful centerpiece for the garden. It can be a focal point for fun and entertaining activities for friends and family. The best part is it's not just there for display, you can actually use it especially during those hot summer days.

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

Fact: the pool's design can make or break the deal. If you had any miscommunication with your landscape artist or architect, you will have to deal with an eyesore, instead of enjoying the pool that you can take a dip in when need be. It's crucial to plan ahead before installing a pool so you can identify what size you'll be getting, where to put it, what materials to use, and how it can complement the design of your home.

Not only that, some pool filtration equipment that's essential in keeping the pool clean can be unsightly. Since aesthetics is key, it's crucial to come up with creative ways to hide the filtration system when planning the pool's design. In the planning it's also important to identify where to get the materials from. For example, some pumps tend to be noisy and break easily that's why it's only fitting to purchase from reliable retailers like Mr. Pool Man.

Complementary Design

We can't stress this enough: the pool's design has to complement the exteriors of the house and there's a good reason why. If the house has a modern feel to it, the pool should be designed in such a way that it blends with architecture. This can include tiles, furniture, and clean lines that will suit the modern vibe of the house. If it were designed to look traditional or old school, it would feel that there's an imbalance or that there's something off. Your house guests will feel that, and so will the future buyers making it even more difficult to sell your house.

Let Creativity Flow

You may not be aware of it yet, but the pool will function as everyone's entertainment and relaxation area. The pool has to look like it can be a source of fun and peace of mind because if it only stresses you out, then it's pointless to have it installed.

This is where the pool landscape artist comes in. They have the artistic perspective that's needed when coming up with a design that will blend perfectly with the aesthetics of your house. They know how to design a pool that will serve as the hub for relaxation, entertainment, and socialization. All those filters and pumps won't be that much of an issue because these artists can come up with different creative ways to hide them. If you wish to add your own personal touch to the design, all you have to do is collaborate with them.

But do check out work that the artist has done for other people before engaging someone for such an important task as designing a new pool. As the famous swimming pool artist David Hockney once said, “It is very good advice to believe only what an artist does, rather than what he says about his work.”

The house and the pool needs to have a harmonious relationship especially when it comes to the design. Designs that complement each other will give you peace of mind.

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Space Optimisation Tips For This Summer

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With August coming up shortly, many are the ones who want to rebuild or optimise their garden or outdoor space. This is naturally a hard mission to accomplish, especially if you're not an experienced designer or simply because you don't have a big budget planned for such renovation. In order to reshape your outdoor space, analysing which pieces are still working in your current picture is the starting point, unless you're going after a complete renovation. Let's break down 4 tips in order for you to achieve great results when it comes to space optimisation and general outdoor planning.

Number One: Small Spaces Are Easy To Organise

If you have a small garden, this may sound weird to you: given the fact that you don't have a big space, placing all your pieces of furniture in order to create more space or simply because you want to give them a cleaner look could be hard. By simply following a process known as "the central progression" you can overcome this obstacle: place your table/your bulkiest piece of furniture in the centre and everything else around it, in order to have more space for you and your guest to move. This could be a great starting point for optimising your outdoor space, especially since it naturally creates more space.

Number Two: Accessories And Decorations

If there's a simple tip everyone can follow when it comes to decoration, it is "don't exaggerate." No one, in fact, is expecting you to build a glass fountain in the middle of your small garden, so don't over complicate your life and just place something that truly describes who you are (framed pictures, for example, are a great hint) in order to create an "outside living room."

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Number Three: Buying New Furniture

If your furniture is old or simply not so good looking, before changing it you should follow two simple steps:

  • Plan your budget. Regardless of the fact that you're going after this kind of outdoor living furniture, deciding the amount of money that you want to invest is possibly the most important thing.

  • Once again, don't exaggerate. If you are planning on inviting 2/3 friends once every two weeks, let's be real: you don't need any fancy looking piece of design. With that being said, the pieces don't have to be cheap looking, so try to get the best of both worlds.

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Number Four: Lights

Is there anything better than having a small soiree between you and your friends after the sunset? Maybe with some chilled drinks talking about the most random stuff that happened to you during the week? I don't think so. In order to do so, especially when it gets dark, you must have a proper lighting system. This doesn't have to be expensive, but practical and stylish. That's why my personal advice would be relying on LEDs, especially since you can get them for cheap on Amazon nowadays.

 

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About the Author

Vicky Layton is a fashion designer, running enthusiast and occasional model. Fashion is and will always be her passion and she also loves sports. She is currently doing an internship but would love to open her own showroom soon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Luxury, Real estate Market, Beats the Crisis

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The luxury marketplace is the part of the real estate market concerning properties approximately highly valued from one to 20 million AED. This very broad range consists of the highest quality properties which can be found in the marketplace. Research carried out on the average price tag of the houses that belong to this particular segment over a long-term period (10 to 20 years) explain that they're in a position to improve their worth more than the houses of the popular segment (i.e., the properties below a million AED). This feature makes them a fascinating property for people looking a safe and secure way to make investments.

Why Luxurious Properties Can Maintain Their Worth

The crucial reason why high-end properties maintain their worth better as compared to normal properties is that the particular offer of most of these properties is fixed with regards to the demand from customers and the demand is usually created by worldwide clients who make up quite a steady base. This helps to ensure that luxurious properties are not too difficult to promote. The buying price of most of these properties should, first of all, reflect their high quality and quality ought to be the first facet to be deemed by the buyer. The standard of a property can be established by many aspects, and they have to be carefully examined before choosing: the place is just about the first because the rest of the aspects are usually resultant to the particular location.

What is High Quality?

Allow me to provide you with a couple of good examples. A property of 10 rooms with a backyard, swimming pool area and so forth in an exceptional position overlooking the marine obviously hasn't exactly the same worth as the same property built in a remote hot place not even close to the ocean and from the city center. But no one (probably) would make a luxury property somewhere which seems like a desert. A condo of 3 bedrooms with frescoes in any palace way back to XVII millennium in hypothesis may have around the same price of a 10 bedrooms condo in the periphery, but exactly what can you prefer as a financial commitment? XVII millennium castles are uncommon, and they are usually located only in the famous cities. This allows that they'll still maintain their worth. What exactly I mean is that the finest properties have been in the best places: the historic centers of the cities, the hillsides, the ocean and the off-road resorts.

More About the Price Tag

A price covers anything from 1, and 20 million AED in Dubai may seem too broad. The truth is, the low end of this particular assortment is impacted by the popularity of the marketplace more than the top end. The typical price tag demanded by the buyers who flick through the specific global sites is about 3 million. On the other side, you can ask the reason why we put a top limit on the cost of this particular segment. This is because properties above a decided price (that is roughly fixed at 20 million) are exclusive pieces that get rid of the essential manifestation of a good investment asset: to be valuable.

What Stats Say

As one example of the way the prime property or home market is doing work well in this time period of ongoing crisis, we can consider the stats of the sites specialized in promoting luxurious properties in Dubai. Facts state that the pursuit of this sort of properties has raised by 2% within the last year and that one of the most active customers come from nations around the world such as Portugal, Spain, and the UK. Exactly what does it necessarily mean? Quite simple: the rich people from the nations around the world most impacted by the economic crisis are searching for safe and sound investment in another country.

Important Questions You Should Ask Before You Start Searching for Luxury Property or Home

Deciding Where you can Buy

When you start to check out the real estate market for higher properties, take into account that beachfront properties are likely to be the costliest that you run into. So many people are keen on traveling all over the world so they can make the most of estates, holiday villas, and properties with stunning sights of perfect beach locations. You can easily understand why such houses are extremely popular; having the ability to wake up every morning to a window looking over the course of water isn't a thing most people find to do. Because of this, while you start a search to keep the spending plan in your mind while selecting a location or contact www.luxuryproperty.com for free consultancy before taking any decision.

Deciding When you should Buy

Another significant idea to bear in mind while purchasing a luxury house is the growing season in which you buy it. A lot of luxurious houses are placed in perfect locations for example on seashores and along coastlines. While houses in these types of locations will tend to be higher priced as compared to properties in normal locations, the time of the season in which the houses are bought will considerably impact their selling prices. For instance, if you are planning to buy luxury property in Dubai, you'll likely spend a lot more cash in case you try to purchase the house during the summertime than if you try during the springtime or the autumn months.

Is Your Perfect Home Worth the Cost?

You shouldn't sign a contract to a property till you have had the house thoroughly checked by a property evaluator with considerable knowledge of that specific kind of high-end property. The thought of not purchasing a house without having it evaluated first is typical among people purchasing a regular house they want to live in, for example, properties and condominiums that retail for well within the million-dollar tag.

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Start Saving Money Today Around the Home

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If you're like many people you spend money without giving much thought to how you might do better. That is until you come to the end of the month and you have nothing left over for personal enjoyment. Luckily, there are literally hundreds of ways you can start saving money today without making any huge sacrifices.

Pest Control

You may not think that pest control can save you money. However, if you have a termite or carpenter ant problem chances are what you see is only the half of it. Generally, you won't see them until they have done considerable structural damage which can result in thousands of dollars in repairs. Thankfully, regardless of your location on the map, there are companies that specialize in the safe and effective removal of insects and rodents. If you live in Central Ohio, begin by checking the listings for pest control in Columbus Ohio to find a service which can rid your home of these pests and save you money in the long run.

Lose the Brand Names

Food shopping can consume a large portion of your leftover cash.  In most cases, the generic brands work just as well as the higher priced brand names. The only difference is that brand names spend a lot of money on their publicity campaign and have fancy, eye-catching labels. If you're a bit squeamish about switching over all at once, try a couple each shopping trip. Within a year, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Utility Bills

If you have extremely high utility bills, you're consuming too much energy. A few simple changes like turning off the lights, timing your showers, installing a programmable thermostat, lowering the heat and raising the air conditioning and washing your clothes in cold water will help you work those bills down to a reasonable monthly payment. Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling system including changing out the filters every few months will also help you to save more and keep your equipment performing at its best.

Cable Television 

Television is something that most people enjoy. However, do you really need access to 200 to 300 channels? Chances are you don't even know how many you have. Contact your service provider and switch to a lower plan that has the channels you like and eliminates the ones you don't watch. If your cable company also offers internet and phone services you can also check to see if bundling the services together will save you more money.

Check for Coupons

Take advantage of 24/7 access to the internet and check for coupons before you buy anything. This can include things like dining out at your favorite restaurant, shopping for electronics and clothing, lawn care, pest control, pet grooming, and haircuts. Almost anything you need is on sale somewhere.

Buy Second Hand

If you are in the market for a table and chair set or a lawn mower check the local paper or websites like Craigslist to see if someone has something in good condition that they no longer need.

Pay in Advance

Some companies such as insurance agencies offer a discount if you pay 6 months or the entire year in advance. Before paying your next bill contact the company to see if they have any incentive programs for early payments.

Take Care of Your Health

Make annual visits to the doctor and the dentist for everyone. This will help you avoid costly expenses for progressed illnesses and cavities turned root canal that would otherwise not get to that level.

Keeping more of your hard-earned money should be the goal of everyone. Afterall, you work all week so that when your time off arrives you can kick back and spend time on the things you really enjoy. The good news is that it doesn't take long to turn around from penniless to funds available.

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Designing and Building your own Eco Home

Have you ever considered designing or building your own eco home? It may be much more within your grasp than you may think. When looking to design and build an eco-home (or simply make your current home more environmentally friendly) there are a multitude of features which are not only easy to install but can help save the environment and save you money in the long run!

The four must-have features of an Eco-Home:

  • Solar Panels are widely recognised now as the perfect way to provide electrical energy to your home. They produce 0 emissions, can be fitted to almost any home and the best bit? They can save you upwards of £8,000 over the course 20 years!

  • As an alternative to traditional boilers wood burners are a great alternative. The wood used is renewable, carbon neutral as a fuel source and dependable.

  • Underfloor heating (not just for expensive hotels and spas!) when installed and used correctly it is one of the most efficient ways to heat your home and can increase energy efficiency by up to 40%.

  • The easiest introduction, smart technology. It’s possibly the easiest way to keep track of your spending and your energy usage and some people have recorded savings of around £200 from simply being more aware of their energy usage.

 

For more information on how to design and build your own eco-home, have a look at the infographic below…

Bespoke home

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Making The Most of Your Space

From the smallest of studio flats to family homes which need just that bit more room (perhaps to make way for a new member!) there are a whole host of tips and tricks you can implement to help maximise your living space. Why not try our top three tips?

  1. Low ceilings and limited storage space? Think vertical and try using floor to wall shelving or utilising the space above cabinets and room above doors for shelves and storage. Not only does this add places for you to store or your bits and bobs but helps to draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of height. Just make sure if you’re doing it yourself you use good quality materials and tools!
  2. Double-duty solutions are key, for everything! Your bed? There’s space under that mattress, Your dining room table? It’s also a perfect desk space and the area that’s collecting dust under your coffee table? A great bookshelf alternative…
  3. The most important tip is to have a really good de-clutter! Maximise space in any home by getting rid of those objects you don’t need. Every time you place your hands on an object ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this?’. (most of the time it will probably be a no!) If you do feel the need for a decorative piece go for some wall art or a mirror as this will add your own little touch of personality but also helps to create the illusion of a bigger room.

If you’re after more tips and tricks, have a little look at the infographic below…

Make The Most Of Your Space

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Keep It a Secret! Hidden Home Office Storage

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Many homeowners do not have the space for a home office or if they do, they fight through the clutter that has been created in the room. Whether you have a desk crammed full of office supplies or a room seeping out items from the closet, it is time to sit down and add some additional storage space to your home office.

There are ways that you can secretly add storage to your office to provide you with a place to stash some extra items you may have around the house and you never have to worry about your friends or guests seeing it. Below, we will go over some secret hidden home office storage options that will allow you to free up space, store items, and feel good about it at the same time.

Electrical Strip

If you need to use an electrical strip to plug in all of your home office’s equipment, then you probably know how unsightly it can be just plopped onto the floor. Not only that, the wires become a nuisance and you may trip over them as you try to get up from your desk or move around. To prevent this from happening, you can install a small basket to the underneath of your desk and place the electrical strip into it. This way, you can access it when needed and eliminate the potential danger of tripping.

In-the-Wall Cabinet

An in-the-wall cabinet is a great hidden storage location for some of your office supplies. Depending on your needs, you can have a single shelf for a printer or you can have multiple shelves that house and hide some of your office necessities such as files and books.

Velcro for Your Wires

If you have exposed wires, you may not want them in the view of other people and this is understandable. One hidden storage option for them is to Velcro them underneath your desk. This way, they are out of sight, but they are still accessible if you find yourself needing to unplug one of them.

File Drawer for Your Printer

Sometimes, the printer is the largest and bulkiest of the items within your office and you may want to keep it hidden and out of sight. You can quickly and easily place your printer inside of a file drawer and open the drawer as needed to use the printer.

If you are worried about wires when it comes to this option, you can either run them down into the file cabinet or you can get a wireless printer, which would not have any wires.

Keep Your Home Office Supplies and Equipment Out of Sight

Your home office should be a place that is free from clutter that allows you to work and accomplish the things you need to throughout the day. The above hidden storage ideas are perfect for any home office and will free up space. If you still need more space, you can rent a storage unit and keep your additional items stored away safely until you are ready to use them again.

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Suffering from Allergies? How a Heat Recovery System Can Help

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When it comes to chronic diseases, many people are often surprised to hear that allergies are the most common of chronic disease in all of Europe. For some of these people, their allergy may be so severe that it triggers an asthma attack or worse, so it's not something that can be taken lightly. Breaking the stats down even further, it seems as though the UK is among those with the highest number of allergies in the entire world, which means if you happen to suffer from allergies, you are far from alone.

For allergy sufferers, the key lies in learning what they are allergic to first, and then finding ways to avoid that trigger. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy or possible, but in many cases, concessions can be made in your lifestyle, your daily routine, and even the environment in which you live. Since you tend to spend a fair amount of time in your home, this is one area of your life that is wise to examine closely and look for ways to make positive changes that will help limit your allergies.

One such change that can prove incredibly beneficial for allergy sufferers is to look for a new home with a heat recovery system, which is a type of ventilation system. This is actually one of the best solutions out there in new build homes if you happen to have allergies. Let's take a closer look.

A New Home Isn’t a Sure Bet

If you have a large number of allergies and/or severe allergies, then being able to get through a day without allergy symptoms or an allergy attack is typically pretty high on the list of priorities. Perhaps you have been looking for a new build home thinking this is the best way to go since there won’t be any allergens present. Unfortunately, allergens are something that can build in any home, regardless of age, so purchasing a new home isn’t a sure bet.

What it comes down to is the air that is circulating in your home. For those homes that are a bit older, they are probably very airtight – in fact they may be so airtight that everything is trapped inside including air that isn’t exactly fresh and could be filled with allergy triggers. With that air circulating in the home, with no means of escaping, you certainly aren’t doing yourself any favours.

Remove the Stale Allergy Laden Air

The key tends to lie in being able to remove that stale allergy laden air and making sure that the air you are breathing in is fresh and trigger-free as possible. This is exactly what a heat recovery ventilation system is able to do. This system actually works to ventilate the stale air and moisture out of your home, so that the air that remains is healthier, fresher, and free of any moisture. At the end of the day, this tends to create a much more comfortable living environment for allergy sufferers.

As for installing this system, it’s a good idea to talk to your builder and discuss how it can be incorporated into your home.

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8 Ways to Increase Safety at the Workplace

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Maybe you're running a factory or warehouse. Maybe you just work in a really intense office. Whatever your reasons for considering workplace safety, here are a few ways to prevent accidents, injuries and tragedies.

1. Read the Manual

The good news about improving workplace safety is that there are already hundreds of resources at your disposal. You don't have to stumble around in the dark and figure things out on your own. OSHA has a searchable database where you can learn about everything from scaffold set-up to hazardous waste disposal, and there are plenty of guidelines available from places like the U.S. Department of Labor. The information is out there; you just have to track it down.

2. Train Your Employees

You can't stop crazy accidents from happening, but you can prepare your staff for when they occur. Make sure that everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation. Sit them down for written evaluations, and put them through physical drills where you asses things like reaction times and efficiency rates. Repeat this process every year or so. Don't let their skills get rusty, and don't let them slack off if they aren't taking it seriously.

3. Give Your Employees a Reason to Listen

Piggybacking off the above, it's important that your employees don't treat workplace safety like a game or a chore. You'll need to instill the right attitudes to keep them from behaving recklessly even when you aren't around to supervise. Think about both rewards and punishments. Can you give them a prize if they make it 100 days without an accident? Can you take disciplinary action if they accumulate more than three safety warnings in a 90-day period?

4. Buy the Right Tools and Supplies

There's no use in preaching about workplace safety if your heavy machinery is fundamentally unsafe. You'll need to practice what you preach when it comes to the equipment around your job site. Why should people care about following forklift protocols if your forklifts are 20 years old and throwing sparks everywhere? Find some room in the budget to give your workers safe and effective equipment so that they can get their jobs done without compromising their safety.

5.Invest in High-Quality Flooring

This is especially important if you work in an industrial setting. You'll want something like flame retardant surface protection or Aqua Shield to protect your floors from the damage of both environmental factors and everyday foot traffic. Don't be afraid to spend a little money on it, either. Cost-cutting measures should be saved for non-essential areas and not important things like floors.

6. Restrict Access to Dangerous Areas

People shouldn't be allowed to walk freely in places where they could get hurt. Start erecting barriers to keep untrained or unqualified personnel from compromising the safety of a potential hazard zone. If you can, try to do more than just hanging a vinyl sheet to block off the area; this can be easily ignored. You'll need things like doors, fences, swipe cards or access codes if you're truly dedicated to protecting the sanctity of a lab or construction site.

7. Start Emphasizing Safety

It's common for managers to pay lip service to the idea of workplace safely while also encouraging a "whatever it takes" mentality in regards to getting the work done. If you're rewarding employees who disregard rules and regulations in the name of productivity, you're undercutting your own message that safety comes first. Try to shift your perspective around this. Let your employees know that you'd rather have something done safely than quickly.

8. Be Open to Suggestions

If you're a supervisor, you probably aren't walking the floor like the everyday employees. You don't know about their habits, routines and struggles, and you don't know how these things affect daily productivity. The only way to educate yourself is to allow your employees to come and talk to you. Do they have suggestions for making the assembly line a little safer? Listen to what they have to say, especially if it involves an area in which you're ignorant.

These are just a few tips for making and encouraging a safer workplace. As you can see, it's not something that you can will into existence with the snap of your fingers. You'll need to invest some time and money into the idea. If you're serious about protecting the health and security of your workers, however, you'll find a way to get it done.

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The Best Space-Saving Ideas for Small Rooms

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Whether it’s a cramped kids room, or a claustrophobic kitchen, if you aren’t making full use of the space in your home it can start to take a toll on your life, as well as your house’s aesthetic.

Without the right organisation techniques you can soon find yourself having to pick your way through clutter in a small room, hindering your home life and giving guests a bad impression!

If you’re struggling with storage or the layout of one of your smaller rooms and need some tips on how to get your house back in order, then read on.

This article has all the space-saving ideas you need to turn a tiny room into a place you can be proud of.

Clever bed choices

If you’re struggling with a kids’ bedroom constantly being cluttered, leaving you tripping over toys whenever you enter it, then it may be time for a revamp.

Choosing a bed with a desk or storage underneath provides more floor space for the little ones to play with toys, and helps to create more space by having somewhere to stow them when playtime is over!

This benefits you by leaving everywhere much more clean and tidy at the end of the day, and gives your little one more space to grow.

Bathroom tips

A small bathroom can leave you struggling for storage solutions at first, but with a few clever tricks you can turn this space into your own personal paradise.

Corner sinks with vanity mirrors or cabinets mounted on top are great in small bathrooms, as they mean that there is more space leftover for storage and movement.

As well as this, shower enclosures can help in creating space for bathrooms of all shapes and sizes as they only take up a small portion of a room, without impacting their performance.

In addition, they help to keep the rest of your bathroom dry, reducing the risk of damp forming, whilst still creating privacy and comfort when showering.

Create storage in dead spaces

A great way to free up some space in your home is to ensure that no storage options are being overlooked or wasted.

Think about it, what’s under your stairs apart from a hoover and a recycling bin? Consider putting other items which aren’t a daily necessity in here, such as an ironing board, and you will soon find that you have more space than you originally thought!

Sliding shelves

One of the best storage solutions available for smaller rooms is adding sliding shelves.

Turning one side of these into a bookcase can help to free up heaps of room and also allows for more display potential, leaving your home feeling brand new!

As you can see, smaller rooms in your home don’t have to feel cramped. With a little bit of attention, they can cater to your practical needs or provide a cosy space that you enjoy relaxing in. Simply follow these steps, and see the difference straight away!

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Are Metal Buildings Eco-friendly? 5 Reasons They Are

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This is a question that people should perhaps ask themselves before embarking on a self-build project of their own. While the world at large appreciates that naturally-occurring materials provided by Mother Nature herself (think wood, mud and straw) are the most organic and environmentally sustainable as you’re ever likely to find elsewhere, that doesn’t necessarily mean all other man-made materials should be automatically ruled out.

As more and more people in the western world are struggling to get their foot on the first rung of the cost-spiralling property ladder, another type of ladder is being  sought by those individuals, couples and even families looking for alternative, cost-effective and above all else, environmentally sound ways to set up home.

Steel Every Bit as Sustainable as Straw

They’re turning back the clock to times when by and large the only raw materials available to housebuilders were cob (a mixture of clay earth, sand and straw), rammed earth (similar technique to cob, but forces wet material on to a wooden frame at high pressure as means of speeding up construction process), Adobe (adding water to a cob mix to enable brick-moulding held together using a clay mixture), cordwood (firewood stacked and filled with lime or clay-based material to tighten structure) and/or hemp (a blend of hemp, lime and water, also used as an insulating material in roofs).

Steel is 98% Recyclable

All this is very impressive and incredibly resourceful, of course, but also sounds like a great deal of labour intensive work to achieve an environmentally-savvy des res. But what about existing materials which might not have been around for centuries (and can be relatively brutalist in aesthetic and in stark contrast to the aforementioned eco-sensibilities), but do offer energy efficiency? After all, so-called ground-up builds don’t always have to have recruited materials which have physically grown to qualify as eco-friendly, do they?

Metal Buildings Can Compete with Traditional Methods

Steel is one of the materials which challenges this theory that modern is somehow bad and only old is gold, as people begin to learn that this very versatile commodity harbours many advantages of its own. And yes, one of them is offering an efficient means of contemporary living. And not just for domestic arrangements either, as pre-engineered metal building systems manufacturer, Armstrong Steel would concur. This firm creates a range of constructions covering all sectors, including agriculture, commercial, aviation, industrial, recreational and even religious!

1. Recycling and Waste Reduction – Steel is one of the planet’s most reusable materials within the construction sector, and is repurposed for a variety of alternative uses (new studs, joists and other components used in construction of new buildings), being acknowledged as 98% recyclable and therefore more sustainable than wood

2. Energy Efficient – Supports dense layers of insulation which means winter heating bills kept to minimum. On average insulated steel homes reduce energy bills by 30%

3. Can Support Solar Panels – Given rigidity of structure, steel homes can house solar panels with ease. And bear in mind that typical energy returns associated with solar panels stand at around 15-20%.

4. Environmental Resistance – Your home will never be susceptible to mould, decay or insect infestation if constructed from steel as it can’t absorb moisture. Ergo it can’t sustain bacterial growth. Plus its resolute construct protects against snowstorms, earthquakes and floods.

 

5. Adheres to Green Building Codes – Cold-formed steel meets highest sustainability standards, including the National Green Building Standard for residential buildings and the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design programme.

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How to Start a Greenhouse

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Our culture has seen a turn back toward organically grown, non-GMO foods that will better nourish our bodies. And while grocery stores have followed this trend, the majority of goods are not certified organic, which can make that weekly trip to the shop stressful when the vegetables you’re looking for aren’t available.

For someone so dedicated to putting healthy foods into their body, this is the time to start thinking seriously about starting your own greenhouse. You’ll spend less time and money at the grocery store, caring for your own food instead--food that you know is well cared for and unaffected by pesticides. So, how can you get started?

Plant Choice

Your motivation for starting a greenhouse may be the tomatoes and onions you go through super quickly, but don’t look over the other plant choices available. You’ll want to start out with plants you’re comfortable with caring for and can be sure will be used, but when you’re ready, branch out to more fruits and vegetables.

Consider things like leafy greens, herbs you love cooking with, mushrooms, lemon or peach trees, and even bamboo and wheat. With careful planning, you can have the perfect crop year-round to eat at the dinner table, and you can start selling some of that surplus to neighbors and friends who value good produce as much as yourself.

Don’t forget that a greenhouse is also a wonderful place for a year-round flower garden or exotic plants that you can’t typically grow in your home climate.

The Right Greenhouse for You

One of the biggest concerns you have will be the greenhouse itself. The three big questions you’ll need to answer before getting started are:

  1. How much space do you have for your greenhouse?
  2. What type of structure and production system will work best for you?
  3. Should you buy a pre-manufactured structure or build your own?

You might have the ideal yard to put in a greenhouse: tons of space with exposure to the perfect sunlight and proximity to water and gardening tools. But it’s more likely that you’re working with a unique space. Choose a structure size and type that will fit comfortably into your space. Depending on where you live, you may need to acquire a permit for your greenhouse.

There are many types of greenhouse structures to choose from, but a few basic types you can start researching are:

  • Cold frame – placed in your normal garden and accessible by an opening frame.
  • Attached – shares a wall with your home where water and electricity are easily accessible.
  • Hoop House – uses PVC pipes and is covered using plastic sheeting.
  • A-Frame – uses minimal construction materials and most commonly covered with glass.

Take a look at some different systems for regulating your greenhouse as well. Irrigation can be done with a drip system, ground and sprinkler systems, or hydroponics. You’ll want to pick a good soil and set up controls for ventilation, temperature, and pest control.

With so many options, you may choose to build some parts of the greenhouse on your own and purchase others.

Storage

With all this extra produce you expect to come in throughout the year, it’s a good idea to look into storage space at the same time as your building your greenhouse. You may want additional wheat storage or space to store canned fruits and vegetables. This is something to keep in mind from the beginning, making sure you don’t produce more food than you are able to eat, store, and sell cumulatively.

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