How to Service Your Lawn Sprinkler System in the Fall

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Using an automatic sprinkler system is a popular way to water a lawn. For the most part, all one has to do is set the timer, and the system will take care of the rest.

However, some maintenance is required to reduce water waste, prolong the life of the equipment, and keep your lawn healthy. One of the most important times to do this is the fall, right as the watering season winds down.

Hire a Professional Service

You’ll want to winterize your irrigation system to prevent damaging winter freezes and all the costly repairs that can come with the cold. Compressed air forces the remaining water out of the system once the water source is shut off. With all of the water blown out, there isn’t any left in your irrigation system to freeze and cause pipes to burst.

Blowing out a sprinkler system can be difficult. You might want to consider hiring a professional lawn sprinkler service to take care of this step. They can also look into all the maintenance-related tasks mentioned here and carry out necessary repairs, troubleshoot issues, and make programming adjustments. If you’re more of a do-it-yourself person, the family handyman has a handy guide.

Detect Leaks

Be on the lookout for signs of leaks in your sprinkler system. You’ll want to check connections and keep an eye out for areas with puddling water, especially if another area is completely dry. 

Common areas where sprinkler systems see leaks:

  • Water lines
  • Valves
  • Fittings
  • Spray heads
  • Rotors

In some situations, tightening a connection might be all that’s required to fix a leak. However, if it’s a more sizeable leak, you might need to replace hoses, lines and gaskets to fix it.

Check Backflow

Sprinkler systems contain a backflow preventer to protect your drinking water. Inspect the backflow preventer during the fall to ensure that it can maintain water flow. Remember to inspect the preventer annually to avoid costly repairs.

Rain Sensor

A rain sensor can be a great upgrade to your sprinkler system if you don’t already have one with rainy fall weather. Installing one can help you save money and water in your home. The sensor will shut off once an adequate amount of rain has accumulated, reducing unnecessary water waste, perfect for the fall season, when it rains more often.

Clear Debris

Make sure to inspect your property and clean up any debris from gutters and spouts before winter. Clogged debris can cause overflow and divert water from where it’s needed most. Keep your gutters clear to enable better irrigation for your lawn.

Inspecting your sprinkler at regular intervals is essential to ensure minor problems don’t become big disasters. Plus, an efficient and well-maintained lawn sprinkler will help your lawn thrive. Whether you tackle minor repairs on your own or leave everything to the professionals, it’s usually best to get some help to ensure that your lawn irrigation system runs smoothly year-round.

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How to Choose a Good Roofing Company

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When it comes to roof installations or repairs, it’s best to hit the nail on the head from the get-go. If you’re not an expert in roofing, it’s best to let a roofing company take over. But how can you find a good roofing contractor? 

In this article, we’ll talk about the ways you can find a good roofing company. Check them out! 

Check for Licenses and Insurance 

Find a contractor with the right licenses. Roofing is a serious job that entails danger, which is why homeowners are always advised not to take it on themselves. On top of that, you can’t hand over the project to just any roofing contractor you find — licenses ensure you’re talking to the right person with the right skills for the job, so always check licenses. You can also check if their name is on any government registry for contractors

Moreover, a high-quality roofing contractor should have proper insurance for their workers. Given the danger, insurance is a must; it covers the workers in case somebody gets hurt during the roofing process and installation. Never work with a contractor that doesn’t have the right kind of insurance. 

Verify Their Work History and Track Record 

Many ways exist to check the track record of a roofing contractor. You can ask them for references, read reviews online, or check the actual piece of work they’ve done if you can. 

When verifying their work history, take note of the following:

  • Years in business: pick a contractor with a years-long track record, especially if the roofing job involves more complicated tasks such as repairs. 
  • Reputation: these days, a simple Google search can give you access to an oasis of information about a vendor. For instance, if you search “roofing company Burlington,” you’ll see results of the best ones in Burlington. Click on any of them, and check their portfolio. Find customers, and read their reviews about the vendor. Check for reviews sites that provide testimonials from customers with firsthand experience with the contractor. 
  • Check for complaints: while you can do this when searching for reviews, you can also head straight to Better Business Bureau and search the company’s name in their director. On this website, you can find the contractor’s ratings — go for someone with an A+ rating! — and the complaints lodged against them as well as reviews. The complaints are especially important; they are invaluable for gauging how the vendor truly performs beyond their promises. 

Put Everything in Writing 

Document every aspect of the project. A written contract protects both parties in any deal, and if the contractor doesn’t agree, then move on to the next vendor. A formal contract outlines everything from payment schedules, roofing materials, and subcontractors involved if any. The contract should also include other less critical but important aspects such as cleanup, garden and landscaping protection, and any property damages. 

The roofing contractor should also help you understand the contract’s terms. They must walk you through it and answer any questions you have; no part should be glossed over and nothing should sound confusing, especially in terms of finances. Don’t forget to ask them what happens if you’re unsatisfied with their work, which should also be articulated in the contract. 

Vet Multiple Contractors 

Whenever you can, take your time. Don’t settle for the first, second, or third vendor if you can find a better fourth, fifth, or sixth one. Vetting multiple contractors gives you a better sense of the project’s worth and difficulty. It also sets your expectations realistically; what one vendor’s proposal may sound ludicrous to another, who can propose a better and more viable solution. 

In terms of pricing, don’t go for the cheapest or most expensive one; go for the one that hits the perfect balance of price and quality. Moreover, always ask for a detailed breakdown of their fees and processes. Finally, check their payment methods. If you can, avoid cash transactions that don’t leave any paper trail or documentation behind. 

Educate Yourself 

Lastly, invest in yourself, too. Spend time learning what’s being done to your roof. This doesn’t only help you gauge the roofing contractor’s proposal; it also tells you to monitor their work and ensure that they’re doing things correctly. Whether it’s a minor repair or structural damage, your roof’s problem is your problem, so arm yourself with knowledge of its solution.

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Three Smart Home Tech Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value

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Technology continues to facilitate activities, daily chores, and people’s lives, regardless of the challenges. Continuous innovations have advanced and refined technology to the point where it is nearly impossible to evade its influence. It is why its mark is apparent in almost every sphere of life.

Similarly, when boundary security fails to fulfill safety requirements, tech-based surveillance can enhance your home’s security. For instance, robotic cleaners save you from tiring household cleaning and dusting. 

Your robotic chef can also instantly satisfy your cravings by offering and preparing a personalized menu of countless dishes.

Even more so, technology offers you the flexibility to integrate your gadgets and enjoy complimentary advantages, such as improved connectivity and teamwork of digital devices.

Hence, ignoring the efficacy of technology and efficient systems can undermine ongoing progress in the world. 

It is why making your home tech-based is not only value-adding but a necessity to match rapidly evolving lifestyles and professional requirements. 

Thus digital gadgets and systems offer you the flexibility to structure your routine constructively. As a result, you can relish augmented comfort, convenience, and security.

The following sections explore some effective choices to upgrade your home according to modern living requirements.

Smart and green lighting system

Would it not be better to enter into a well-lit home right after a tiring day? Keeping lights on burdens your budget, which is why technology facilitates trade between the two.

Technology-based lighting systems fulfill your requirements without expanding the electricity cost and offers an environment-friendly solution. For instance, just by installing solar panels you have countered your carbon emissions with a green solution. 

It also provides an uninterrupted electricity supply without exceeding electricity charges. It is also possible to store excessive electricity for later usage and even contribute to the national grid. 

In addition, installing automatic lights in your home minimizes your workload and further improves control over the home’s lighting.

The digital system triggers sources of light based on the sensing and reacting approach. Specifically, the system uses several techniques to sense and observe. For instance, some sensors use heat signatures, ambient brightness, and darkness. Thus whenever sensors detect such changes, the system activates the home’s lights.

Similarly, some sensors detect motion, and whenever someone enters the home, the lights turn on. Hence, your home will light up when there is nighttime and darkens according to ambient brightness. It is also possible to schedule your home’s lighting on a timer.

Additionally, it is also possible to command and control your home’s lighting remotely. It means your home can glow and darken on your commands even when you are away. Nonetheless, such a system is not only automatic and convenient but also environmentally sustainable.

Automatic ventilation system

Have you ever wondered if you could alter the atmosphere of your home regardless of the surrounding environment? Well, technology enables you to expand your freedom in the form of an automatic ventilation system.

Usually, ventilation is a structural part of homes’ designs. For instance, exhaust, supply, and balanced systems are some of the existing mechanical ventilation alternatives. These ventilation systems regulate indoor air by pressurizing and depressurizing techniques.

Additionally, technology can further augment existing ventilation systems by incorporating digital smartness into them. For instance, a digital regulator controls the activation and deactivation of ventilating ducts and fans. It also displays ventilation features, such as the level of humidity and indoor pollutants.

You can further improve the system’s functions via temperature and humidity sensors. Thus it enables you to maintain your homes’ cooling, heating, humidity, and freshness altogether.

As such, exhaust fans activate to increase the exchange of air whenever the indoor humidity is higher. As a result, the system not only stabilizes air freshness but also filters out indoor pollutants.

In essence, the technology aspect enhances your control over your home’s environment and comfort. And you can also modify the sensitivity of the system according to your preferences. Thus it offers an energy-effective and personalized control regardless of the season and outdoor weather.

Digital surveillance and control system

Though security is the fundamental necessity of people’s lives, ensuring security is becoming challenging. As such, frequent incidents of robberies, intrusion, and breaking into homes are elevating peoples’ fear. Unstable law and order situation is further adding to their insecurities.

Since it is challenging to stabilize socioeconomic conditions, people explore other alternatives to secure their properties and families. Thus digital surveillance system is one of the best offerings of modern-day technology to resolve such issues. 

The system includes several gadgets and sensors to augment the security of your home from unauthorized, unwelcomed, or criminal access. 

Specifically, installing multiple security cameras can enhance your awareness and observation of the indoor and outdoor environment regardless of the situation. Cameras not only warn you of suspicious activities in your surroundings, but their presence can also deter away trespassers and burglars. 

Additionally, digital locks further enhance your home’s security by enabling you to regulate entry into your home via face, thumb, voice, and password locks. 

Smart locks also offer the integration of multiple authorization options, such as face and voice recognition. Thus you have extensive control to regulate and allow access to your home’s boundaries.

In addition, whenever an unwelcomed or suspicious person tries to intrude on your personal space, your surveillance system activates alerts, such as a siren or blinking light, or both. As a result, you can intimidate concerned authorities well on time. 

In essence, the system provides a secure, augmented, economic, and convenient alternative to a physical guard.

concluding remarks

Undeniably, technology contributes to simplifying and relishing lives. Rapid advancements not only resolve existing problems but continue to expand possibilities. Thus upgrading home is one of the countless facilitations of today’s technological innovations.

In essence, home technologies augment the functionality and control of your homes and offer an effective alternative for physical exertions.

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Ten Ways To Keep Your Home Warm In Winter

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Love it or not, winter is coming. These cold and flaky breezes of winter belong to the magnificent force of all – nature, so you can't expect yourself to make it through the entire season with a bowl of hot soup, woolly sweaters, and a thick duvet. 

For those residing in cold regions, the drop in temperature can mean a tremendous rise in heating expenses just for the sake of keeping yourself and your home warm. What can you do to prepare your home for a sharp drop in temperature? Don't worry; we have a few tricks that'll not only help you keep the house warm but also save a few bucks in the process. Whether you're looking for ways to make your home a bit toastier or refurbishing to make it as energy-efficient as possible, the following cold-reducing ways will help you stay snug.

  • Increase insulation

Did you know that a well-insulated home can save up to 45% on heating and air conditioning costs? Well, now you do. When it comes to heat, approximately 25% is lost through the roof. But you can take of this by adding 25 cm of insulation to your home.

 It's also worth inspecting your walls, as a third of the heat in an inadequately insulated home is lost through them. Although it is more expensive to install than home insulation, cavity wall insulation can save up to $160 per year on heating costs. It's also worth checking with your energy provider to see if they have any insulation options that can sometimes mean low-cost or no-cost installation.

  • Move your furniture away from any radiators, vents, or registers

This may seem obvious, but a chair, bed, or couch moved in the summer often remains on the same spot in the winter, blocking heat flow. This is a waste of money and results in cold rooms. Blocking a supply or return vent in a forced-air system can cause a house-wide pressure imbalance, disrupting heat flow throughout the system. Therefore, it's essential to change the setting of your furniture as per the season. 

  • Seal gaps and cracks

Unsealed crevasses can account for 15-25% of heat loss in your home during the winter. These allow cool air into your home, and any attempts to warm it up essentially slip through the cracks.

The fix? Sealing gaps in your window and door frames will keep the nasty draughts at bay while also filling in your rooms with warm heat, making your home nice and cozy!

  • Use your curtains correctly

Sunlight is free, so take advantage of it. During the day, open up your blinds and let the sun's rays in to make use of unlimited natural heat. Similarly, close your curtains to add another layer of insulation at night and keep the heat in your rooms. Again, ensure there are no leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air can stay out. It also helps reduce condensation.

  • Avoid leaving doors open

This is a simple but frequently overlooked tip. So yea shut the door! External doors always trap heat, which instantly dissipates when they are left open for an extended amount of time.

Heating rooms selectively can be a great way to save energy, but it only works if the heat stays in the room. So turn off heaters in rooms that don’t need to be warned and keep the air inside those that do. Also, we repeat, keep the doors shut.

  • Reverse your ceiling fans

In warm-weather climates, ceiling fans are ubiquitous. They move air around the room by spinning counterclockwise. However, not all energy experts agree that using them during the heating season is a good idea (some argue that they cool the air too much), but the fans help bring heated air down in rooms with high-sloped or cathedral ceilings. However, it will only happen if you turn the reversing switch on the side of the motor housing to the clockwise (winter) position. Then, set the fan to its lowest setting. Turn it off if you can't reverse the blade rotation or believe the fan is overcooling the room.

  • Minimize condensation

Condensation makes your home damp and encourages mold growth. A moist house also costs more to heat. So to reduce condensation, try the following tips:

  • Use lids on pots when cooking
  • Air dry clothes (or in a carport or garage)
  • Use an extractor fan in the bathroom and kitchen, or open up a window to minimize condensation.
  • If there's condensation on your face, wipe it with a towel every morning.
  • Lower the thermostat

Your fuel bill is reduced by 3% for every degree you lower the thermostat on your heating system. Although going from 73 degrees to 69 degrees doesn't make much of a difference in comfort, it can save you up to 12% on your heating bill. 

Moreover, if you're using a coil-type thermostat, you'll be receiving more accurate readings if you clean it regularly. The process of cleaning is straightforward. Just pop off the cover and gently wipe or blow away the dust.

  • Try some baking

Using the oven can help keep the heart of your home – the kitchen (and surrounding areas) - warm while also providing an excuse to make your favorite sweet or savory treats. So don't be afraid to crack open that recipe book and bake some brownies, cookies, or any other fluffy delight during the winter. Of course, ovens were not designed to heat entire homes, but they can provide a small amount of heat while you bake a batch of cookies.

Furthermore, it is essential to note that ovens should never be used as primary heating elements. They can produce carbon monoxide and fire damage if misused.

  • Keep an eye on the fireplace

Fireplaces can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether gas or traditional, fireplaces can be an excellent way to warm up a room (or even an entire house).

While most modern fireplaces have draft-reducing checks, many older models do not. So if you own a traditional – throw in the wood and fire – fireplace, be mindful of any cold air coming from a fireplace. When not in use, ensure the damper is closed, and consider installing glass doors on wood stoves. Fireplaces can also contribute to a stack effect if there are any openings in the upper levels, which can be dangerous. Also, keep the fireplace closed to prevent cold air from entering the house through the chimney when not in use.

Conclusion

So you see, there are many little ways with which you can save on energy costs and keep your home warm this winter. While you're at it, don’t forget about investing in simple things like a pair of warm socks, a heater, and extra bedding. Just be sure not to hate winter just because it is freezing you to the bone. After all, winter has its delights too. 

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Your Sanctuary: 5 Tips to Make your Bedroom Space Cozy 

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After a day’s hard work, one of the best things you should have is to sleep. Sleeping helps you reset and recharge. Without sleep, you can get sick. Not only that, but you’ll also feel tired, physically and mentally. Studies show that a healthy adult should at least get 7 hours of sleep every night.

Time or length alone isn’t the sole factor for quality sleep. For one, you need to improve the quality of your sleep. With that said, how do you improve the way you sleep? One significant change you can make is by making your bedroom cozy. If your bedroom is conducive for rest, then you’ll have no problem snoozing. Here are some tips to get you started on making your bedroom the best place to sleep:

Soundproof It!

A noisy environment is never a good thing to be in when you’re sleepy. Even if your bedroom is quiet, outside noise can quickly get inside your room. If someone were to blow their horn at night unexpectedly, have a noisy party, or you just have an inconsiderate neighbor, an ordinary bedroom is no safe haven for you.

By soundproofing your room, you make it more than ordinary. Sound Proof Curtains are some of the best things you can add to your room to prevent sound from breaking in. These curtains are usually thick but thin enough not to trap air around. You could also add acoustic panels and add carpets to your bedroom floor for another soundproofing layer.

Going Dark

Turning off the lights is best when you want to sleep. Keeping gadgets or anything that emits light away from you is good. However, you can also go “darker” with your room. Choose dark colors such as light black or grey with your walls. With a darker environment, our body’s circadian rhythm adjusts according to the light we see and perceive.

Air Conditioning

As mentioned above, the circadian rhythm in our bodies adjusts to the time and the environment we’re in. For example, in hotter environments, our body tends to heat up and increase blood flow. 

With an increased blood flow, we’re more active and feel less tired. In colder environments, however, the body saves up energy and slows everything down. This adjustment is why we tend to feel lethargic or sleepy when it’s gloomy, cold, or raining.

An air conditioner is what you’ll need to simulate that cold, gloomy feel. First, make sure your room is sealed correctly, or the air can’t circulate inside properly. If you don’t have an air conditioning unit, make sure you’re sleeping in a place that’s properly ventilated.

Away with Clutter

Having a messy room can affect the way you sleep. A messy room feels stuffy because of several scattered things just lying around. With stuff just littered all over, you provide more surfaces for the dust to cling to. 

When dust clumps together, more heat is brought into your room. Tidy up before you sleep and try to maintain a clean environment. With everything fixed up, you’ll have no problem falling asleep.

Ambiance

With everything said about going dark and temperature, you don’t have to shut them out totally. With lights, you can dial it down to a warmer feel. Dimmed lights can feel cozy and help you fall asleep better. With temperature, having a warm fireplace or heat source in a cold environment also helps you feel and sleep better.

There’s also sound. While some people can’t sleep with sound, music can also help some. Depending on the music played and the preference, people can either sleep to something calm like classical music or something heavy like alternative rock. The key with the ambiance is to not really remove something from your bedroom space. Instead, it’s mostly about adjusting the correct elements to suit your needs.

Takeaway

Sleeping is an important activity that people should always do. Without sleep, we can have severe mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, you can fall asleep easier in an environment that’s conducive for rest. The tips above will help transform your space into a personal sanctuary where you can sleep safe and sound.

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The Unique Benefits of Fixed Picture Windows

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The windows in your home are more than pieces of glass and frames — they bring in natural light into the home, which invites warmth and helps control the temperature indoors. Choosing the right windows for your home is a unique process for every homeowner.

Picture windows are an essential part of the equation and are gaining popularity among modern homeowners. They offer a unique aesthetic that fits with the popular open-concept and minimalist style in today’s homes.

If you’re thinking about replacing your windows, you’ve likely explored your options and taken in every style — from single hung to bay windows and everything in between. Picture windows are a unique solution to sprucing up your home and offer several practical features that keep your home secure.

Maximum Views

Perhaps the most apparent and essential benefit of picture windows is their ability to deliver unobstructed views. This is especially beneficial to homeowners with picturesque views or with children who love to play outside — either way, you have a clear view of your exterior surroundings.

Picture windows were given their name because they deliver those stunning views, whether you live on a lake, are surrounded by forestry, or just want to be able to watch your kids wait for the school bus in the morning.

Cost-Effective

Installing new windows can feel like an overwhelming and costly initiative, which is why it’s so important to select a window style that is safe on your budget. Picture windows offer a simple design with zero mechanical parts. Since there is no need to operate these windows, their low maintenance installation means a lighter effect on your wallet.

Energy Efficient

The experts at Centennial Windows & Doors suggest choosing the window style that will maximize your energy efficiency in the home. In many cases, picture windows can offer the insulation you need to control the temperatures in the home and keep allergens, dust, and pests from entering your interior spaces.

Allowing More Light

Unlike other styles of windows, picture windows maximize the amount of light that can flow through the home. This is especially important in areas like the living room or kitchen, where families spend the majority of their time. With zero frames cutting across the glass, you not only have an unobstructed view, but you’re allowing as much natural light into your home, which increases vitamin D, reduces mildew, and can help brighten your overall mood.

Aesthetically Pleasing

Whether you’re in your forever home or thinking of selling, you’ve likely thought about the overall aesthetic of your home on multiple occasions. The windows you select have a significant impact on the look and feel of your home.

Picture windows offer an architectural charm to any home since they can be designed in unique shapes and various sizes — not just the large and commonly thought of rectangular box. This adds a fun design element to your home, which always helps resale value, even if you’re not planning to move for years to come.

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Dangers Of Mold and How It Affects Your House Structure

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The incredible summer heat faded away, and now comes the time for the cold dampness of approaching winter. Naturally, as the weather gets chill and gloomy, we take out warm clothes to protect ourselves against cold drafts. But what about your home?

The cold weather, humidity, and dampness affect your humble abode just like they affect you. But when it comes to your home, the moisture can cause significant issues such as mold and mildew.

Mold primarily grows because of indoor moisture and spreads on your walls, furniture, floor, carpet, etc. It can cause significant damage to your house and your health. The reason is that wherever mold grows, it weakens that structure, and eventually, it rots. As a result, it can cause heavy structural damages to your home. So, below we will discuss some of the dangerous aspects of mold and how it damages your house structure.

1. Breaks down building material and structural components 

Wherever mold grows, it causes irreversible damages to your home’s structure. It’s because when mold grows, it feeds on organic matter by breaking it down. As it spreads, it creeps its way towards the pipes, insulation, carpets, etc. Therefore, whichever household item gets plagued by mold, you need to discard it immediately. 

However, the process is immensely inconvenient and expensive, especially for those dealing with it for the first time. But it is equally important to carry out this process for your safety and well-being.

Groundwater or standing water can be a significant cause of mold in crawl spaces or in the basement. As seasons change, you will have air coming in your vents into your crawl space. In the summer, hot, humid air will raise the humidity level in your crawl space, leading to issues like moisture in the wall. Crawl space encapsulation is one of the most effective ways of preventing mold damages caused by indoor humidity.

2. Damages personal property

A mold is like a parasite you can never really get rid of properly. Unfortunately, the cases of mold are worse in states that experience heavy rain. For example, Orlando experiences rainfall several times over an entire week between June and September. When there is no outlet for the moisture to spread out, it leads to severe mold growth. 

Damp and humid atmospheres are perfect conditions for mold to thrive. So, if you’re in Orlando and are faced with this issue, you will have to acquire the services of a professional. We suggest you approach only reliable and efficient mold inspection in Orlando to tackle this problem expertly. They can determine which personal belongings are redeemable and which ones you cannot save. 

Sometimes mold seeps into the object so deeply that it is impossible to remove its spores entirely. As a result, even if you clean it on the surface, the mold will grow and spread again in a matter of days.

3. Spreads in the heating and vent system 

Mold contamination is not limited to walls and carpets. It can grow and spread into your ventilation and heating systems as well. Consequently, it becomes tough to clean the mold in such small and cramped systems thoroughly. As a result, the air ventilation or heating system carries the mold towards other parts of the house structure, where it can spread. 

Therefore, it is necessary to clean the mold as soon as you spot it. Once it spreads into the heating and ventilation system, the costs will rise exponentially. In addition, you will have to replace the whole system if the moisture and cleaning problem isn’t fixed.

4. Cause rotting and decay 

There are various types of molds, some more dangerous to the health and structure than others. The worst part is that molds can grow on any surface. Whether beams, sill, windows, etc., they are all susceptible to develop mold due to excess moisture

If you do not take appropriate action promptly, it can cause your wood to decay and rot. It will eventually ruin your property structure, and its strength and integrity become questionable.

5. Causes health issues 

If you spend time in a place that harbors mold, you will experience various health issues. These include respiratory problems, severe headaches, nausea, stuffy nose, cough, etc. Also, mold breakdowns construction material that releases dust, mites, bacteria, chemicals, and multiple gasses in the air, causing alarming health concerns.

Apart from minor symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, mold can also cause significant health issues such as lung diseases, infections, and even cancer. Therefore, you must always take immediate notice and necessary actions if you notice the slightest signs of mold. Likewise, if there are no signs of mold/mildew yet, focus on drying excess moisture from the walls and personal belongings. Nonetheless, take proper health precautions while dealing with mold for the sake of your and your family members’ well-being.

6. Decline in resale value 

Once mold thrives in your house, it may get almost impossible to get rid of it yourself fully. You might miss one small spot, which can cause a spread once again in a matter of days. If you let it linger unchecked, it can spread into the piping, beams, etc., causing the structural strength to decline. 

In that case, you will have to make significant renovations to remove the mold and excess moisture from your house. And this can impact the resale value of your home, as anyone who learns about mold growth may not want to buy that property. As a result, it can cause irrecoverable financial losses for you.

Conclusion 

Mold can undeniably cause severe and irreversible issues to your house and belongings. Mostly, if personal belongings such as carpets and furniture get plagued by mold, it becomes almost impossible to save them. As a result, you may have to discard valuable possessions of significant monetary and sentimental value. The best course of action is to constantly check your home’s moisture levels during rain and snow. 

Taking preventive measures will help prevent the growth. In case you still find mold growing in a neglected corner, hire professionals immediately. A professional can adequately assess the situation and use bio-friendly chemicals to remove your property’s mold and excess moisture. 

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5 Top Comfy-Contemporary Living Room Design Ideas

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Creating a comfortable and contemporary living room is easier than you think. Whether you are looking for a new design or want to update an old, tired space, these 5 top comfy-contemporary living room design ideas will have something that suits your needs. You'll find some cozy seating areas with elegant yet simple designs, as well as fresh spaces with coastal influences and bright colors. So whether you like the idea of more traditional styles or prefer modern looks, there's something on this list for everyone!

One thing that distinguishes contemporary designs from modern ones is the former's flexibility. Contemporary styles undergo changes with time, so they’re never completely “modern” or stuck in one era of style. One example? Today, you can find a combination of all sorts —traditional and rustic as well as sleek and minimalist — in today’s world under this label “contemporary design”.

When it comes to the best contemporary living room design ideas, there are a few things you have to keep in mind: first and foremost, anything goes. You can combine different styles as long as they look good together. Second, try not to make your space too formal — contemporary designs tend toward casualness instead! Finally, add some unexpected accents if you want to achieve that perfect balance between what looks comfortable but stylish at the same time.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #1

Whether it’s dark wooden floors or plenty of white space with pops of color here and there (or both!), incorporating hardwood into your home is an excellent choice for contemporary living room designs. Just remember, you're making a space that you love! Less is often better than more — don't feel the need to follow a certain style guideline — mix and match colors, textures, patterns, and more.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #2

Incorporating a few modern elements into your home is an easy way to give it that contemporary vibe, even if you're living in the suburbs or on a smaller budget. Think of adding large-scale artwork and statement lighting fixtures for visual interest. If you’re feeling extra creative, go ahead and have fun with unusual color choices! Using monochrome tones can help make furniture stand out without looking too busy—and prevent overwhelming your space. 

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #3

Comfort is key when you're designing your living room! Softer upholstery fabrics are very popular right now for their versatility in any space as well as ease of upkeep (hello no vacuuming needed!). Try one solid color or patterned fabrics with different shapes like circles or stripes. If you want to go bolder still, try adding bright accent pillows on an otherwise neutral sofa instead of going all-in with a ton of wild prints everywhere! The trick here is not to let your furniture stand out without looking too busy — and prevent overwhelming your space.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #4

While you may have a space that's small, it doesn't mean it has to feel claustrophobic! In fact, with the right choices in items and colors (more neutral tones are fantastic for making rooms look larger), you can give any room or apartment an instant boost of lightness and openness. Everyone wants this feeling when they walk into their living spaces, so make sure yours delivers on these feelings by adding lots of windows and skylights as well as mirrors nearby. Even hanging lighter paintings above furniture will open up a darker area like a fireplace mantle quite easily!

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #5

Creating your own comfortable corner can make your contemporary living room truly feel like your space. By adding a corner sectional for you and your family to cuddle upon, or by creating a cozy reading nook with lots of pillows, bookshelves nearby, and perhaps an upright piano in the opposite corner (or even a TV if you prefer). Create your own cozy corner in the living room with the best couches.

Try a modular sofa in an outdoor-friendly fabric to accommodate all of your guests. The sleek design makes it easy to style, while the color hue is neutral enough that you can add pops of color or keep things simple for an understated look. It's also really comfortable! The soft cushions are perfect for curling up after work and watching movies together as a family.

We hope you found this article helpful in designing your living room. With all of these great design ideas for the comfy contemporary living room, it’s time to get started on your next project. 

If you're thinking about rearranging your living room or adding in more sources of light, then learn more about how to make your home more energy-efficient, and don't forget to look into your local regulations!

Check out our blog post on simple ways to make your home more energy-efficient here!

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3 Ideas for a Sunday Brunch That Your Guests Will Love

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Sunday Brunch Ideas

Sunday brunch is a festive occasion. It is a time to get together with friends and family in order to celebrate the week and to restore for the week ahead. Sunday brunch is one of the best party ideas that you can plan because it is decadent and social in nature. When you plan a Sunday brunch, you need to make sure that you have a great theme and all of your guests will have fun. Here are three ideas for a Sunday brunch that your guests will love.

#3 Seasonal Theme

Pick a theme that has to do with what season it is. If you are currently in the season of spring, make your Sunday brunch theme be about spring. You can have fresh flowers and even tulips at the event. You can have drapings for the table that are pastel in color, such as pinks, pale oranges, and lime greens.

If the season that you are in is winter, plan a winter theme Sunday brunch. You can have snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and you can have blues and grays as your color theme. You may find it matches your gray kitchen cabinets. You can have warm seasonal drinks, such as hot apple cider or hot chocolate. A winter theme may include holiday themes as well.

#2 Color-Themed Foods

For your Sunday brunch, you might choose to have foods that are all of the same color schemes. For example, you can have an orange themed Sunday brunch. You can provide macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, chicken and rice with paprika and orange bundt cake for dessert. It is okay to deviate a little bit from the exact color scheme when it comes to planning a color scheme themed Sunday brunch. Just make sure that the dishes all mostly resemble each other in color.

You can choose how far you want to take the color scheme theme. This means that if you want all of your dishes and your silverware to be orange too, you can definitely do that. However, if you choose just to have your foods themed in one color that will be completely sufficed and will provide a novelty to the experience that all of your guests will absolutely love.

Additionally, you can request that your guests come dressed in the color of the theme. If you have a pink themed Sunday brunch, request that everyone come dressed in pink. If you have a white themed Sunday brunch, request that everybody come dressed in white. Whichever color you choose as your theme, request that all of your guests come wearing at least one piece of clothing in that color for a wonderful experience that will make a great photo op for all of your guests.

#1 Organic

One of the best ideas that you can do for your Sunday brunch theme is to have an organic theme. This means that you will make all of your dishes with completely 100% organic foods. You will need to buy these foods from a special market or from the organic section of your grocery store.

This can be a costly endeavor, but your guests will certainly appreciate it. Many people have never eaten completely organic food and they will find it a wonderful experience to try organic food for the first time. You may even have a positive influence on your guests, encouraging them to buy organic food more often than they do.

You may also choose to extend the theme of organic foods into the aesthetic decor of your event. You may choose to have a nature theme and you may have table runners that have a nature-themed print on them. You may have fake grass or AstroTurf lining the flooring. You may choose to have live plants, such as live flowers or fresh flowers from bouquets.

Whichever theme you choose, you are likely to have a great experience with your Sunday brunch. You may choose to have a seasonal theme that compliments the theme of spring or winter. You may also choose to have a color theme, complete with a request from your guests that they dress in that color. You may choose to have an organic theme, making all organic foods for your guests' satisfaction. Whatever you choose, it is bound to be an event that your guests will love.

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Simple Design Tips to an Amazing Cozy Bedroom

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We spend approximately one-third of our lives in bed so having a cozy bedroom is essential. Follow these tips to ensure a great night's sleep and a welcoming environment to come home to after a long day.

Invest in a Supportive Mattress

Are you sick of waking up with aches and pains?

Invest in a high-quality double mattress designed to give you a great night’s rest so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for your day.

Saatva or Avocado? Many people buying a new mattress will consider the benefits of a Saatva versus Avocado mattress. This is because these brands offer top-of-the-range mattresses made from high-quality materials.

Unlike a traditional mattress, Saatva mattresses are made from organic cotton which makes them breathable, supportive and comfortable all at once. You won’t find another mattress like it on the market today because Saatva has spent years perfecting this design to make sure it works perfectly for everyone who sleeps on it.

What is your preferred sleeping position? Do you like a plush or firm mattress? Saatva has multiple firmness options so that you can find the right support for proper spinal alignment, particularly in the lumbar region.

When you are thinking about Saatva vs Avocado, remember that Saatva also offers a 180-night Saatva sleep trial where you can try out their mattresses risk-free! If after those 180 nights - that's six months - your mattress isn't right for whatever reason, simply contact Saatva to get started on returning your purchase.

Saatva is not a bed-in-a-box solution. Take advantage of their free white glove delivery service so that you can get your mattress installed without any hassles.

Recycle your mattress with Saatva’s free options for mattress recycling and mattress disposal.

Get the Right Rug

Rugs are a necessary part of any room's design. From the living room to the bedroom, rugs help define the space and make it feel more like home. Many factors come into play when choosing which rug will be perfect for your space.

The size of your bed is important because it determines how large or small you want the rug to be to it. If you have an oversized bed, look for larger rugs with bold colors and patterns so that they can fill up all available floor space without looking too big or overwhelming compared to the rest of your furniture. If you have a small single bed, look for small rugs that won't take up too much of the floor and will complement the rest of your decor.

Another thing to consider is whether the rug you choose will be suitable for your bedroom and lifestyle needs. For example, if you have white carpet, a black or dark brown rug would be perfect because it camouflages any little stains that are bound to happen over time. However, if you have wood flooring or tiles, consider getting a rug that works better with these finishes or painting your existing floors so that they match the color of your new rug.

Rethink Your Bedding

Traditional comforters and duvets can be difficult to wash and require lots of time spent making the bed just so. Replace them with duvet covers that are easy to wash and replace. If you prefer extra warmth, invest in a quality quilt instead of multiple layers of heavy comforters.

To control body heat, especially for hot sleepers, make sure to buy bedding made from organic materials.

Opt for sheets made from natural cotton or linen that will breathe and keep you cool while you sleep. Try out natural bamboo if you're after a hypoallergenic option that is also very soft and durable.

Change Up Your Decor

Changing your decor to match the season and current trends isn’t always easy, but it can be done. Here are some tips for creating a new look in your bedroom without breaking the bank.

Add Flair With Throws and Pillows

This is one of the easiest ways to change up your room's design without having to spend a lot of money. If you've been looking around at all of those modern geometric throw pillows or plush faux fur ones, now might be the time to try them because they're perfect for adding pops and color and individual style. Look for objects that perfectly match your style so that when guests come over, they'll know instantly what kind of person lives in your space.

Have Fun With the Walls

Consider painting one or two of the walls in your bedroom an accent color if you want to give off a cool vibe or even just jumping on the neutral winter color scheme by painting all of your walls a warm cream or white. Buy artwork that fits in with your current decor to tie everything together.

Add Some Plants

A great way to add life and personality to your bedroom is by adding a few potted plants. If you have the space, go for low-maintenance succulents to stick in little ceramic pots or purchase air plants if you want something even easier to take care of.

What to Do Now

We hope these design tips help you achieve the perfect bedroom sanctuary. For further inspiration, here are 20 cozy bedroom ideas. For more ideas about heightening aesthetic appeal, here are seven tips to refresh your home.

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Seven Home DIY projects You Should Leave to the Pros

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Do it yourself (DIY) is the process or a set of different activities. It encompasses activities like developing, repairing, decorating, mending, and modifying, performed without the assistance of designated professionals. People usually perform these activities to renovate or repair malfunctioning stuff in their homes. 

There are several reasons behind indulging in doing it yourself projects. For instance, mending a leakage of the sink pipe yourself can be quicker and economical than searching and hiring a professional plumber. 

At times, DIY is also exciting and self-fulfilling when you are adept at handling diverse household issues. 

Thus professional assistance is a harmless matter. However, countless other projects can be challenging and require a refined skill set. For instance, you are interested in remodeling your home’s bathroom. 

Failures in such repairs and renovations can be time-consuming, costlier, and even dangerous while doing them yourself. Thus seeking professional assistance is crucial and even cost-effective. 

The following sections disclose some of the challenging and complex DIY projects that require the involvement of experts.

1. Fixing structural cracks and fissures

Cracks in your house’s ceiling, flooring, plastering, and rooftops are not simple issues to fix yourself. It is way more complex, even for professionals. Such kinds of repairs require diverse remodeling and renovating skillsets. 

These problems can be indicating foundational faults due to outdated structures or natural accidents, such as earthquakes or heavy rain. Thus handling them requires a comprehensive understanding of the architectural and structural framework of your house. 

However, your mistakes can lead to extensive damage to plumbing systems, electricity connections, and even structural. 

Therefore, calling an expert is an unavoidable option. As such, getting in touch with Express Handyman can resolve your problem instantly and effectively. Their diversity of expertise can easily handle complex repairs, including carpentry, plumbing, maintenance, installations, remodeling, demolishing, assembling, and electrical.

2. Flooring and ceiling

Undeniably, interior decoration has a significant influence in elevating mood and reducing exhaustion. Remodeling and renovating flooring and ceiling is perhaps the quickest fix to minimize your anxiety and acquire a comforting outlook of your home. 

However, handling flooring and ceiling stuff can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. More specifically, interior décor is one of the leading causes of polluted air quality indoors. As such, vinyl flooring made of recycled materials can give off toxic chemicals, including lead, phthalates, cadmium, mercury, and other toxins. 

Similarly, improper handling of glue and adhesives can irritate your sensitive body organs, such as skin, eyes, and nose. While performing remodeling, you may not know specific materials, styling variations, and their environmental footprint. 

Hence, repairing these issues is way more dangerous than saving money and seeking professional guidance.

3. Repairing electricity appliances

Though connecting a red wire with red and green with green may seem a handy task, what if your appliance has different wiring colors? Generally, repairing electric devices is one of the riskiest jobs to do yourself. 

According to the International Labor Union, electric appliances repair has several biological, physical, chemical, mechanical, and accidental challenges. 

For instance, a wrong connection can cause a short circuit leading to fire. You can also expose yourself to electromagnetic and microwave radiations while fixing appliances like the microwave oven. 

Coming into contact with active wires can instantly give electric shock while fixing circuits and wiring. 

In addition, soldering, brazing and, welding activities can cause burns and expose you to toxins, such as lead. Similarly, hasty work with repairing tools, sharp and edgy equipment can cause skin damages and cuts. 

Thus hiring an electrician will resolve your problem effectively and prevent subsequent damages.

4. Painting and plastering indoors

Removing outdated coating requires several protective gears like gloves, eyeglasses, and mask. It is also necessary to procure or purchase plastering tools and coating material. In the end, you’ll end up buying a whole set of remodeling stuff. 

You will only be able to save service charges. In most cases, you will encounter even more grave consequences than saving service charges. 

Thus bearing these charges is way more beneficial than endangering yourself as a novice. For instance, specific paint and coating materials give off volatile organic compounds (VOC). Frequent and prolonged exposure to VOC can lead to several healthcare complications, such as damages to kidneys, nervous system, and lungs. 

Similarly, you do not know if your house’s plastering material contains hazardous materials, such as asbestos. Dealing with these chemicals has lifelong consequences for your health. If you are planning for extensive indoor renovation, it is better to hire a painter and plasterer.

5. Bathroom repairs

Bathroom repairs are more challenging. For instance, refinishing and restoring an eroded bathtub requires stripping and cleaning chemicals, such as acids, methylene chloride, and isocyanates. These chemicals have various health inflicting consequences. Using them in closed and unventilated spaces can impair your nervous system, congest your breathing, and high doses can even lead to instant death. 

Performing these activities needs awareness regarding what chemicals to use and how to handle them safely. 

Similarly, repairing and unclogging sewerage pipelines may require unstrapping flooring and plastering. If you are not proficient in plumbing work, this can be lead to even more damage to your bathroom and the entire house. 

For instance, improper fixing of fault lines can contribute to water leakages and erosion in the future. Hence, a seemingly simple fix can be exhausting and risky and may end up in more expenses. 

6. Demolishing interior structures

When indoors feel congested and stuffy, quickly sorting out unnecessary stuff does not seem to work either. Sometimes, your space requirements require removing structures, such as partitioning walls or spare rooms, to widen up and extend space. 

Though demolishing may seem easier in some cases, the whole structure of your house can collapse in carelessness. For instance, removing a load-bearing barrier or partition can cause instant collapse and damage to adjacent rooms. 

Similarly, you may not be skilled at handling electric wiring, ventilating ducts, water supply fixtures, and pipes inside partitioning structures. 

Damaging any of these frameworks can lead to widespread consequences. A simple activity may transform into a complex and costly overhaul. Therefore, seeking the assistance of professional architecture or structural engineer is recommended.

7. Yard and lawn restoration

Yard and lawn restoration is not only exhausting and expensive but can also be risky. Getting the desired outlook of your lawn does not merely involve mowing, seeding, and watering. It is an extensive process that can extend over several days and even months. 

The renovation process may also interfere with drainage tiles, compact soil, fertilizers, and dangerous equipment. Laborious work and handling sharp tools and devices can cause accidental cuts and skin punctures, exposing your skin to rust. 

You are also prone to insecticidal and bacterial attacks and infections, including tetanus and Lyme. 

In addition, improper handling of pesticides and fertilizers can contaminate your water supply. These chemicals can also cause you breathing problems and skin irritation. 

The restoration process requires knowledge of diverse expertise, including gardening, farming, planting, and plumbing. Thus asking for professional help can save you from extensive trouble and healthcare threats.

Conclusion

Do-it-yourself projects may seem doable and exciting, but it is not always the case. Often, mere excitement and financial consideration can lead to several complications and even more expensive problems. 

If you are not careful, these issues can also cause you self-harm. Thus seeking expert assistance and guidance is crucial.

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Fresh New Ideas for Your Bathroom

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Your bathroom is one of the most important parts of your home. It is where you clean yourself before you start your day or before you go to bed. But that doesn’t mean all your bathroom needs are its functionality. You can also design and style it to your liking, like adding an LED bathroom mirror or floating vanities to have a visually pleasing experience every time you enter. 

So if you are building or in the process of renovating your bathroom, then here are fresh new ideas that you will surely love to put in it.

Floating Vanities

Floating vanities always add a sense of elegance to your bathroom. Plus, it makes your bathroom look more spacious. But aside from the space-saving feature, wall vanities are also customizable with any design. Be it modern, traditional, contemporary or provincial. There is a wall vanity design just for you. 

They also have various configurations you can choose from. For example, you can go for a complete unit with a countertop, sink, and a medicine cabinet or storage space without legs or go for separate pieces entirely. Although ideally, the latter would be better since you will have more options on the width and length with the items you can fit on your wall.

Wall vanities also make cleaning your bathroom easier, which you know can be a hassle.

Large-format wall tiles

Tiny mosaic tiles are so last season for bathroom walls, and people are now moving forward with large format tiles. These types of tiles can give your bathroom that vibe of luxury, especially when you pair it with natural stone or even stone-looking materials.

The few gout lines are not only visually pleasing but also make cleaning easier. Plus, you can find more design, style, texture, and color, but if you want to go for a minimalistic approach, it would be best to use horizontal or vertical stacked lines.

LED Bathroom mirrors 

If you want to have a modern vibe in your bathroom, then what you need is an LED bathroom mirror. Bathrooms can sometimes have only one light source, which can give a shadowy effect on your reflection. An LED bathroom mirror removes this problem by giving a soft glow in your surroundings, enough for you to properly see yourself in the mirror.

They can act as a nightlight as well, and since LEDs are energy-efficient, you will not be spending a lot on your electrical bills.

Space-saving soaking tubs

Ever since the pandemic hit, people’s desire for relaxation increased, so the demand for soaking tubs increased too. It has even been predicted that freestanding and flat-bottom baths will be the next big trend since they can work well with any bathroom style.

If you think your bathroom is too small for a bathtub, do not worry because manufacturers have begun making smaller tubs. People even prefer them more since they can save space and take less time to fill with water.

Quartz countertops 

Quartz is considered one of the hardest materials, which is why they are perfect for making countertops. They are resistant to stains and scratches and are very easy to maintain. Even most designers favor them than other materials when it comes to countertops. You will surely see them more in the coming years as they gain more popularity.

Conclusion

Although your bathroom is mostly used for hygienic or grooming purposes, it does not mean that it must be dull. On the contrary, with the right décor and vanities, your bathroom can become the most stylish part of your house. Just follow the new trends above, and you will surely impress anyone who goes in.

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Get the Best Down Payment Possible

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It’s the dream of every first-time home buyer: getting that perfect house. However, it can be difficult to get your hands on that perfect down payment; but fear not! There are many ways you can achieve this goal of yours, and we're here to help you brainstorm some of them. Here are our top 3 tips for getting the down payment of your dreams.

1. Have a good credit score

If you really want to get the best down payment, you have got to work on improving your credit score. If you manage that, then financing will be much easier for you and your chances of getting a good loan with low interest rates are higher.

Your credit score is basically how reliable of a borrower you are seen as by lenders. It’s based on your past credit history, how much debt you have taken out in the past, and whether or not you are able to make payments on time. When applying for a loan with a down payment of 20% or more , this will play an important part in getting approved.

Now that we’ve told you about what your credit score can do for you, let’s talk about how you can improve your score.

The first thing that comes to mind is making sure that your credit history stays clean and doesn't get any black marks on it. This means no late payments; if you are 30 days late paying back a creditor for anything (including loans) then this will be seen as “serious delinquency” by the credit bureaus. If you have any late or missed payments, then be sure to settle your debts as soon as possible and keep an eye on it so that they don’t become a habit.

Another thing is to avoid having too many open lines of credit. An easy way to do this is by closing old credit cards that are no longer being used. If you have too many of these then it can throw off your credit score because the more accounts there are, the less responsible of a borrower you look like to lenders.

Having good spending habits is also important. Lenders want to see that you know how to manage money responsibly and make on-time payments. This means that you should avoid having too many large purchases and instead save up for the down payment of your home.

The last thing we’ll talk about is installing a security system on your credit. Putting trusted people as authorized users to make charges on certain accounts can be helpful; this way they can help if there are any errors with payments and lenders won't be as worried about your score.

If you manage to achieve all of these things, then congratulations! You’re on your way to getting the down payment that you deserve and having an easier time financing a new home for yourself.

2. Save money from your paycheck

This is a pretty obvious one, but it’s still worth talking about all the same.

If you’re going to put 20% down on your home purchase , then make sure that you can actually do this by saving money from each of your paychecks until you have reached said amount. This will give you a much easier time getting approved for a loan and won’t leave you scrambling to come up with the extra money at the last minute.

This means that you should be conscious of your spending habits. If this is something that’s impossible for you, then it might be time to reevaluate where your money is going because there are many ways that people can save more each month; cutting out unnecessary costs and paying bills on time are just a few of them.

The best way to manage this is by setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account into a savings account each month. This ensures that you won’t be tempted to spend the money as it’s coming in, but instead will let it accumulate until there’s enough for your down payment.

Also, making sure to pay off your credit card balances in full each month is important. If you only make the minimum payments then it will take a lot longer to save up for that 20% down because interest rates add up quickly if you aren’t careful with this!

If all else fails and saving money just isn’t an option for you, then consider getting another form of financing besides a loan. This could be through your parents, putting off purchasing completely until you have saved up more money, or looking into different forms of assistance to help pay for the down payment.

3. Get help from family and friends

Another form of financing that is becoming more and more popular these days is getting help from family and friends to pay for the down payment. This can be in the form of a gift or you could also charge them interest, but either way it’s helpful so long as they agree to this beforehand.

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a contract between you and your family or friend. This will ensure that there are no misunderstandings in the future about how much money is owed, when it needs to be paid back by, etc., so make sure this gets done before starting on any sort of transaction with them.

There’s also another type of agreement that can come in handy here and that’s a promissory note. This is basically an IOU, but it also includes the terms for repayment as well as interest rates if you choose to charge them some.

Finally, be sure that your contract or promissory note has been notarized so both parties are legally protected. If something were to happen to one of you, then this will make it easier to prove your case in court.

This form of financing is very helpful for many people who are trying to get the down payment they need but don’t have any other options available. It can be a great way to reduce stress when buying a home and avoid getting into debt that could otherwise hold you back, so keep this as a possible option for yourself.

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Chimney Sweeps And The History Of The Chimney Sweep

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Coal became the primary source of residential heating with the start of the Industrial Revolution. When chimney fires in overcrowded towns began to emit hazy haze. A chimney sweep job was necessary to prevent flames from erupting in the household.Chimney fires can develop when the interior of a chimney becomes congested or partially clogged by a build-up of soot. Coal produces a sticky soot that is difficult to remove, and soot buildup on chimney edges necessitates scraping.

Chimney Sweeps were required to keep people’s chimneys clean. They had long-handled brushes to which the sweep attached extension rods as the brush climbed the chimney. However, the brushes did get stuck on occasion.

The simplest approach to get rid of the soot was to send small children or “climbing lads” to do it. Because some chimneys were incredibly thin – as small as 8 inches square – the smaller the boy, the better. Master Sweeps would purchase orphaned youngsters and take in young homeless children from the streets.

These children ranged in age from 5 to 10, with the majority being under the age of seven, and some as young as four. These youngsters were tasked with cleaning soot deposits off chimneys. The chimney sweep master was in charge of feeding, clothing, and housing them while teaching them the job.

The climbing lads’ working conditions were severe and nasty. It was a dangerous and filthy job for the guys to take on, especially without the safety gear and respirators.

Many had bent spines and kneecaps, malformed ankles, eye inflammations, and respiratory problems as a result of their jobs. Many people also developed the first documented industrial disease, chimney sweeps’ cancer, which was caused by the continual irritation of coal tar soot on the skin.

Unfortunately, these climbing lads have been known to choke and suffocate to death from inhaling chimney dust or becoming caught in the tight and complicated chimney flues. Many youngsters were wounded or killed after falling or being badly burned, so casualties were common.

Sweeps were prohibited from employing children to go up chimneys by legislation in 1842, but this did not stop them from using their own children to undertake the dreadful labor. Some parents sent their own children (boys and girls) up chimneys as young as four or five years old.

After years of agitation, the House of Lords ultimately passed an Act of Parliament in 1864 prohibiting the employment of children for chimney climbing. The Act for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers by Lord Shaftsbury set a penalty of £10 for violators. The Act had widespread support from the police, the public, and the courts, signaling the end of the era of the “climbing lads.”

Professional chimney sweeps aren’t covered in soot anymore, but they are well-versed in the science of chimneys and fireplaces, as well as building codes. Chimney specialists now are trained to manage many types of venting systems, including chimneys and flues, as well as wood burners and pellet burners.

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Signs Of Foundation Issues

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The symptoms of foundation problems might be misleading since they can mimic the symptoms of benign diseases. For example, do brick cracks or that small crack in the basement wall mean nothing, or are they a sign that the house is sinking into the ground? Other indications, such as door frame/window frame separation from masonry or doors that are out of square, are not even near the foundation. Foundation repair Canyon Lake can tell whether there is a problem with the foundation that must be addressed quickly.

How To Recognize Foundation Problems Around The House

Examine each room of the home. Examine the walls carefully, paying specific attention to the junction of the wall and the ceiling

Foundation InspectorProblems with a house's or slab foundation can cause walls to split from the ceiling. Cracks splintering up the walls, any wall bending outward or molding, and baseboards breaking from their mitered corners are other red flags. 

Simply put, foundation problems are frequently caused by the movement and shifting of the earth beneath your property. These are some of the signs and symptoms of these issues:

  • Moisture in the basement/crawl area
  • Basement insects
  • Floors that are uneven and drooping
  • Walls that have cracked and bent
  • Crooked doors
  • Chimney crack
  • Standing water beneath the home

Repair Procedure

So, how much time should you estimate for the repair process? Not surprisingly, the response is highly dependent on the severity of the injury. To give you an idea of how long some of these processes will take:

  • Crack repairs: Several hours
  • Bowing walls: several days
  • Piers: up to a week

Influencing Factors On The Timeline:

The size of the house (an 800 sq. foot home foundation is a quicker fix than a 3,000 sq. foot home)

  • utilized materials (drilled piers, for example, use pouring concrete which requires drying time)
  • The scope of the issue (if your foundation needs to be stabilized, then the more piers required - the longer it takes)
  • The season (if the ground is frozen, projects can be delayed)

Is It Safe To Live In A House That Has Foundation Issues?

Many individuals believe that a foundation problem is dangerous. While a foundation problem can be dangerous, it is unlikely to cause the floors to cave in anytime soon. You may live in a house with foundation problems; in fact, many people do (sometimes without realizing it). Most problems take years to grow into a big enough condition to endanger people's lives.

Secondary difficulties arise as a result of foundation flaws. For example, if your foundation is weak, your house may settle, resulting in cracked walls, uneven flooring, doors that won't close, and a variety of other problems. You will save money on repairs if you solve your foundation problems before they develop secondary problems.

The longer you leave a house's foundation in deterioration, the more likely it is that you will have to deal with more damage to the rest of your home, which will either cost you more money or reduce the value of your property when it comes time to sell.

The Foundation Of A House Is Critical

Most homeowners understand the importance of a home's foundation, but how vital is it? The answer is “extremely.” Your foundation does more than simply support your home construction, while that is an important component of it: it also keeps out harmful groundwater, resists the impact of the soil surrounding it, and aids in the insulation of your home.

Essentially, if you value the home that is supported by the foundation, you should prioritize having a solid, strong foundation.

A house foundation is analogous to a spine. It keeps everything standing straight. You are uncomfortable if your spine is not in good health. The longer you wait to have it treated, the more pain and suffering you will endure. If a home's foundation fails at any moment, you're going to be in big trouble.

Note

The foundation of your home offers the sturdy foundation required to resist severe winds. Cracks in the concrete, uneven flooring, and doors and windows that don't close correctly due to sinking are all signs of foundation problems. Don’t put off making a call until you have a possible problem on your hands. Call a professional now for a free estimate of the soundness of your foundation and to discover how to avoid any structural damage or settlement.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by John Hurd


How to Buy A New Construction Home: What You Need To Know

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So you’ve decided on a new construction home. Buying a new construction home is an exciting time. You get to be part of the design process, and you can choose from many different floor plans. However, it is important to know what you are getting into before making such a major purchase. Here are some things that every buyer should know before buying a new construction home:

Construction homes start when one of two things happen:

You start your own home plan:

If you are starting your own home plan, then be prepared to make the major decisions. This includes choosing where the house will go on the lot or which builder is going to build it for you. The exact process of creating new construction homes varies greatly depending on what type of floor plan that buyer purchases.

Select one of the pre-designed floor plans:

If you are choosing a pre-designed floor plan, then the builder will work with your architectural firm to design and build the house. The buyer won’t need to worry about making all of those decisions. However, it is still important that buyers know what they are getting into when purchasing this type of home because there may be some surprises.

New construction homes can be more expensive than resale homes.

This is because they are often built with the latest technology and architectural trends, so you get what's new without having to wait for it to become a standard in older models.

New construction homes are usually sold as is.

It can be a hassle to have an inspection done on new construction and then negotiate with the builder, so you’ll need extra money for unforeseen repairs.

  • You don't always get a say in what finishes you want inside your home or landscape preference outside.This means that if you want something really specific, you may not have a lot of options.

  • The builder is often the seller, so this can result in an unfair negotiation process (like if they ask for more money than what the property actually cost).

  • New construction homes are usually sold as is and come with all fixtures included. This means that builders won't typically take back the appliances or other fixtures for a service refund.

You should have an idea of how long it will take and what you can expect from the process.

This way, you’ll be able to prepare for delays (which are unfortunately very common). For example, if your builder tells you that they don't anticipate any delays then this is a good sign that there might actually be some surprises.

New construction homes will have an inspection prior to delivery.

This is called “lien free” and means that you don't need to pay for anything other than your down payment until closing day. The home must be finished by this date in order to receive your new home warranty.

More things to keep in mind:

  • You can customize many aspects of the construction process, from deciding on finishes to selecting floor plans and layouts. The more time you take in this step, the better it will be for everyone involved.

  • Construction schedules are often published online or available at a nearby builder's office (usually by appointment only).

  • You are allowed to have a contractor or builder come with you during the construction process. This is for your peace of mind and helps avoid any miscommunications that might arise between builders, subcontractors, and potential buyers.

Summary

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a new construction home. By educating yourself on the process and what's involved in making this type of purchase, then you will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it is something that you want. The rewards for investing in your own dream house are worth the effort.

partnered post • cc-licensed photo by Gilbert Mercier


5 Top Comfy-Contemporary Living Room Design Ideas

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Creating a comfortable and contemporary living room is easier than you think. Whether you are looking for a new design or want to update an old, tired space, these 5 top comfy-contemporary living room design ideas will have something that suits your needs. You'll find some cozy seating areas with elegant yet simple designs, as well as fresh spaces with coastal influences and bright colors. So whether you like the idea of more traditional styles or prefer modern looks, there's something on this list for everyone!

One thing that distinguishes contemporary designs from modern ones is the former's flexibility. Contemporary styles undergo changes with time, so they're never completely “modern” or stuck in one era of style. One example? Today, you can find a combination of all sorts — traditional and rustic as well as sleek and minimalist — in today’s world under this label “contemporary design”.

When it comes to the best contemporary living room design ideas, there are a few things you have to keep in mind: first and foremost, anything goes. You can combine different styles as long as they look good together. Second, try not to make your space too formal—contemporary designs tend toward casualness instead! Finally, add some unexpected accents if you want to achieve that perfect balance between what looks comfortable but stylish at the same time.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #1

Whether it’s dark wooden floors or plenty of white space with pops of color here and there (or both!), incorporating hardwood into your home is an excellent choice for contemporary living room designs. Just remember, you're making a space that YOU love! Less is often better than more - don't feel the need to follow a certain style guideline—mix and match colors, textures, patterns, and more.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #2

Incorporating a few modern elements into your home is an easy way to give it that contemporary vibe, even if you're living in the suburbs or on a smaller budget. Think of adding large-scale artwork and statement lighting fixtures for visual interest. If you’re feeling extra creative, go ahead and have fun with unusual color choices! Using monochrome tones can help make furniture stand out without looking too busy—and prevent overwhelming your space. 

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #3

Comfort is key when you're designing your living room! Softer upholstery fabrics are very popular right now for their versatility in any space as well as ease of upkeep (hello no vacuuming needed!). Try one solid color or patterned fabrics with different shapes like circles or stripes. If you want to go bolder still, try adding bright accent pillows on an otherwise neutral sofa instead of going all-in with a ton of wild prints everywhere! The trick here is not to let your furniture stand out without looking too busy—and prevent overwhelming your space.

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #4

While you may have a space that's small, it doesn't mean it has to feel claustrophobic! In fact, with the right choices in items and colors (more neutral tones are fantastic for making rooms look larger), you can give any room or apartment an instant boost of lightness and openness. Everyone wants this feeling when they walk into their living spaces, so make sure yours delivers on these feelings by adding lots of windows and skylights as well as mirrors nearby. Even hanging lighter paintings above furniture will open up a darker area like a fireplace mantle quite easily!

Contemporary Living Room Design Idea #5

Creating your own comfortable corner can make your contemporary living room truly feel like YOUR space. By adding a corner sectional for you and your family to cuddle upon, or by creating a cozy reading nook with lots of pillows, bookshelves nearby, and perhaps an upright piano in the opposite corner (or even a TV if you prefer). Create your own cozy corner in the living room with the best couches.

Try a modular sofa in an outdoor-friendly fabric to accommodate all of your guests. The sleek design makes it easy to style, while the color hue is neutral enough that you can add pops of color or keep things simple for an understated look. It's also really comfortable! The soft cushions are perfect for curling up after work and watching movies together as a family.

We hope you found this article helpful in designing your living room. With all of these great design ideas for the comfy contemporary living room, it’s time to get started on your next project.

If you're thinking about rearranging your living room or adding in more sources of light, then learn more about how to make your home more energy-efficient, and don't forget to look into your local regulations!

Check out our blog post on simple ways to make your home more energy-efficient here!

partnered post • royalty-free image by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels


Understanding Energy-Efficient Doors

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In the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in interest in energy efficiency. People are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and are seeking to reduce this. Part of this includes an increased number of eco-friendly houses.

However, the good news is that you don’t need to move to make your home more energy-efficient. You simply need to make a few improvements, starting with your commercial doors.

If you select high-quality energy-efficient doors from the Parkwood doors range you’ll get better energy efficiency and you’ll still have a stylish-looking door that compliments your home.

What Makes A Door Energy Efficient

One of the biggest parts of energy efficiency is the ability to retain heat or cool air. In short, to prevent air from moving from one place to another and adversely affecting the temperature. 

Energy-efficient doors have an insulating layer incorporated into their design. That means the heat or cool air is trapped in your home, reducing your need to heat it and therefore saving you money.

Naturally, the reduced heating or cooling requirement means less impact on the environment, making it a double win.

Factors To Consider When Choosing An Energy-Efficient Door

Most exterior doors have a small amount of glazing in them, it allows light into the house and helps you to see who is at your door.  However, glass lets out much more heat than wood. If you have a glass pane in your door make sure it is double or even triple-glazed. This helps to lock the warmth in your home. 

You should also spend a moment looking at the U rating. This is a standard that applies to all doors. The better it is at preventing heat from escaping the better the U rating. This translates as a lower number. 

In short, the lower the U value number the better the door is at being energy efficient and the more desirable it should be.

Think About The Material

While steel doors offer the best possible security, they are not good for retaining heat. Metal is an excellent conductor and will transfer the heat of the property through the door. Obviously, if the door has an insulating layer in the middle this will help.

But the best option is to use a solid wood door that is naturally insulating and available in a huge array of colors. 

You should note that PVC doors are very popular as they look great. However, they are generally not as efficient at retaining heat. If you choose this type of door you’ll want to make sure there are no draughts around it In other words, have it fitted by a professional. 

Don’t forget, on, cold winter days you can improve the energy efficiency in your home by using heavy curtains and blinds over the doors and windows. This can even make your home feel cozier. 

There are energy-efficient versions of every type of door. All you have to do is look for the one that suits your needs and personality, then invest.

partnered post • cc-licensed photo by Spencer Means


8 Steps to Create Amazing Digitally Staged Pictures

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Digital staging is an advanced home staging process and digital marketing tool that realtors use as an alternative to traditional home staging. It allows for the transformation of an empty room or home into an intricately decorated and fully furnished interior and sometimes the exterior too. It has a competitive advantage over home staging as you don’t have to incur the costs of furnishing and decorations associated with the latter. The main goal of digital staging is to ensure that clients can effectively visualize the potential of an empty property while holding on to their Benjamins. And you can ask professionals if you need more understanding of digital home-staging.

To create art, you must have a meticulous working process to ensure you don’t falter as you strive to achieve your goal. It requires you to pay close attention to the last detail. Below are 8 steps that you can follow to ensure that you create digitally staged pictures fit to be classified as masterpieces:

Ensure Your Original Photos Are Of High Quality

Always strive to achieve photorealism when carrying out digital staging. While it may sound like a daunting task, you can easily achieve photorealism by using original photos that are of high quality. I cannot stress this enough, Invest in top-notch, quality digital cameras. You will have to dig deep into your financial pocket, yes, but the outcome will be worth every cent. If you cannot acquire such cameras or if you don’t have an eye for photography, then you can consider hiring professional photography services. At a market price of course.

You should also have an eye for detail. For spaces with tons of natural light flooding in, always ensure you avoid sun glares in your photos. On the flip side, if the space is artificially lit, you should first make sure that the lighting isn’t at all harsh.

Define the Task At Hand and the Interior Style You Want To Adopt

Always put the client’s needs first. You should have a clear understanding of the target market in order to come up with a fitting style tailored to fit their needs. Visual references, information on the potential clients and style is all you need before embarking on this glorious venture. If you are targeting a large family then comfort and child-friendliness should top your list.  A few factors might also influence your choice of interior style. For example, the income levels of your target clients. If they are high-end clients, then don’t be afraid to splurge a little. Digitally.

Recreate the Room in 3D Using Digital Staging

You can then come up with a 3D model that shares the same parameters as the house on the ground. You may include architectural details like walls, doors, and windows to give you an overall feel of the space. Keep in mind that a natural look is more desirable. Hence, light, and shadows should perfectly match that of the environment.

Decorate and Furnish the 3D Scene

Digital staging software usually comes with a library of high-quality, adjustable 3D models that are categorically sorted by room. All you need to do is drag and drop or click a button. Easy peasy. You can also take advantage of the database of the top-notch textures that come embedded with the software. This is to make items appear much more realistic. With most software, you can easily upload and add your own textures if the existing ones are not your cup of tea.

Set Up the Lighting

Good lighting is essential if you want to achieve a photoreal effect. You can regulate the levels of lighting and adjust it so that it perfectly matches the original image. Ensure that you efficiently capture the light and shadows in every nook and cranny of the original photo. If you want to go the extra mile and stand out from your peers, you can showcase both evening and daylight in your digital staging.

Make Use of Camera Views

Struggling to find the right camera angle when taking a selfie can be a pain. Well, the pain is also felt when it comes to digital staging. Professionals can easily tell the accurate positioning of a camera just by looking at a photo. Don’t falter just yet. They too started with a series of hits and misses. Getting the right camera angle and perspective will help you match the digitally staged room to the original picture of the actual room or house.

Render

Watch the magic happen. After setting up the scene and all the components like furniture and potted plants added, you can select the resolution settings that meet your goal. All you need to do now is push that red button. Click on the render button that is.

Fix it in Post

After finalizing the rendering process, you can now transfer the images to 2D graphic editors. You cut out the falling shadows and all the furniture arrangements which you eventually paste onto the original photo. Sounds like elementary arts and crafts class but it requires you to work meticulously to ensure seamless integration and fitting.

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional for digital staging services, ensure that you never compromise on overall quality. Whether it takes you a day or even months to post astounding results, always trust the process. Who knows you could easily be the next Jeff Bezos of the digital staging industry?

partnered post • image from unsplash


Selling Your Home As-Is Versus Spending On Costly Renovations

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It’s been no secret that housing in the United States has been at a premium for the past year and a half, and though there has been some recent news that prices may be stabilizing, it begs the question: Is it better to sell now or hold off and hope for the market to continue its hot streak? Some analysts are concerned that housing may be operating on a bubble and that the bubble may burst any day. 

However, the price imbalances, scarce inventory, and lack of sanity in sales prices show signs of slowing. Does that mean that the housing market will suffer a correction or housing price fall such as witnessed in 2008? Whether you believe that the market will suffer a correction or if the rate of appreciation will continue if you’re thinking of selling your home, are you looking to sell quickly, or are you willing to invest some money and make renovations with the hope of securing top dollar for your property? 

While it ultimately is your decision alone, there are a few pros and cons to selling your home without putting any renovations before putting it up for sale. Renovations can be complicated, they take time and money, they aren’t easy, and there’s no guarantee that they will fetch a top offer.

The pros to selling your home without renovations are that you can grab the advantage of a red-hot market and get your home sold well above what you probably paid for it. Cons to selling your home without putting any money into renovations are that you may miss out on top-dollar for your sale. When weighing the pros and cons of selling your home with and without any renovations, you need to factor in a few different things to help you determine the right course of action for you.

Knowing The Risks of Spending Money on Renovations

Before deciding on costly and timely renovations, there are three primary considerations to help guide you -- know the market, check like properties, and consider the return on investment.

  1. Know The Market Conditions
    When you’re listing your property during a buyer’s market, your home needs to be in tip-top condition to get the best offer. However, in a seller’s market, when interest rates are lower and there is less inventory available, home sellers have the advantage of not investing too much into their property and still get great offers.

  2. Check Other Similar Properties
    Using a CMA, or Competitive Market Analysis, of similar properties will give you an idea of what homes like yours are selling for and their condition before the sale.

  3. What Is The Potential ROI
    ROI stands for “return on investment” and should be one of the critical factors in your decision-making on renovations. Too often, sellers think that if they invest X amount of dollars in their home, they will get an offer of X+ listing price. Too often, this is misguided and wrong. 

In some cases, people are looking for “turn-key” properties, that is, a home that is ready to move in with a lot of top-notch upgrades and fixtures. However, there are even more buyers that are looking to put their touch on the house, so your renovations may not even be necessary.

You may have an advantage over other sellers by investing time and treasure into renovating your home, but those advantages aren’t as necessary in hot markets. In addition, by putting money into your home, you may not necessarily recoup what those costs were, meaning your profit on the sale of your home may be less than it could be if you just let it be.

In essence, sellers have the luxury of listing a property and testing the market most of the time. So, if you’re looking to sell your home, the best way to sell it is to get it on the market.

The best strategy then is to make minor renovations such as patching up any possible cracks, touch up the paint where needed, and replace any fixtures that are broken or damaged then test out the price and the condition of the home as-is. There are advantages to this strategy of selling a house as-is, from possibly getting it sold without any costly repairs to finding what is acceptable to the market.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Alan Gold


How to Buy A New Construction Home: What You Need To Know

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So you’ve decided on a new construction home. Buying a new construction home is an exciting time. You get to be part of the design process, and you can choose from many different floor plans. However, it is important to know what you are getting into before making such a major purchase. Here are some things that every buyer should know before buying a new construction home:

Construction homes start when one of two things happen:

You start your own home plan:

If you are starting your own home plan, then be prepared to make the major decisions. This includes choosing where the house will go on the lot or which builder is going to build it for you. The exact process of creating new construction homes varies greatly depending on what type of floor plan that buyer purchases.

Select one of the pre-designed floor plans:

If you are choosing a pre-designed floor plan, then the builder will work with your architectural firm to design and build the house. The buyer won’t need to worry about making all of those decisions. However, it is still important that buyers know what they are getting into when purchasing this type of home because there may be some surprises.

New construction homes can be more expensive than resale homes.

This is because they are often built with the latest technology and architectural trends, so you get what's new without having to wait for it to become a standard in older models.

New construction homes are usually sold as is.

It can be a hassle to have an inspection done on new construction and then negotiate with the builder, so you'll need extra money for unforeseen repairs.

  • You don't always get a say in what finishes you want inside your home or landscape preference outside.This means that if you want something really specific, you may not have a lot of options.
  • The builder is often the seller, so this can result in an unfair negotiation process (like if they ask for more money than what the property actually cost).
  • New construction homes are usually sold as is and come with all fixtures included. This means that builders won't typically take back the appliances or other fixtures for a service refund.

You should have an idea of how long it will take and what you can expect from the process.

This way, you'll be able to prepare for delays (which are unfortunately very common). For example, if your builder tells you that they don't anticipate any delays then this is a good sign that there might actually be some surprises.

New construction homes will have an inspection prior to delivery.

This is called "lien free" and means that you don't need to pay for anything other than your down payment until closing day. The home must be finished by this date in order to receive your new home warranty.

More things to keep in mind:

  • You can customize many aspects of the construction process, from deciding on finishes to selecting floor plans and layouts. The more time you take in this step, the better it will be for everyone involved.
  • Construction schedules are often published online or available at a nearby builder's office (usually by appointment only).
  • You are allowed to have a contractor or builder come with you during the construction process. This is for your peace of mind and helps avoid any miscommunications that might arise between builders, subcontractors, and potential buyers.

Summary:

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when buying a new construction home. By educating yourself on the process and what's involved in making this type of purchase, then you will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not it is something that you want. The rewards for investing in your own dream house are worth the effort.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Armchair Builder


Eco-Friendly Roof Ideas to Update Your Home

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Have you recently decided it’s time to give your roof an update?

With the rising cost of traditional electricity sources, many homeowners are looking for alternative options to save money, with the added benefit of being more eco-friendly. These green roofing alternatives are energy-efficient and reduce the need for standard heating and cooling systems within your home.

Before updating your roof, consider available eco-friendly options, to help the environment and keep things cost-effective for you.

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Roof Ideas

When it comes to the best eco-friendly roof ideas to update your home, there are five that stand out. Each option has its benefits, providing your home with an eco-friendly roofing system that can help you save by investing in a useful alternative.

Keep in mind, the best roof ideas for your home will vary based on your location. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to eco-friendly roofs, so you need to find what will work best for your home and the environment you live in.

Solar Panels

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One of the most popular ways to make your roof eco-friendly is by adding solar panels. They can easily be added to any roof, making this an ideal choice for homeowners, regardless of your home’s size.

To be effective, solar panels need sunlight. Solar roofs absorb the sun’s rays and convert their energy into usable electricity. Therefore, solar panels are not a worthwhile investment if you live in a place that doesn’t receive much sunlight. But, if your home receives an adequate amount of sunlight, then this may be the perfect option for you! Keep these things in mind before you make a commitment to this roofing option.

While solar panels aren’t nearly as expensive as they used to be, it can be several years before you see any financial kickback. However, if you are in your forever home, solar panels are a worthwhile investment. On average, solar panels cost roughly $15,000-$25,000 for total installation. This can vary, depending on your needs and the investment you’re willing to make.

For an eco-friendly roofing update, that will help you out financially in the future, solar panels might be a green alternative to look into.

Metal Roof

A metal roof is a highly durable, long-lasting option when it comes to eco-friendly roof ideas. They can stand up to severe weather and they don’t require much maintenance.

For an even more eco-friendly option, choose a metal roof in a light color, like white, to drastically cut down your current energy costs. The light shade you choose will reduce the amount of sun that hits your roof, keeping your home cool during the day.

Metal roofs can also complement a wide range of architectural designs, bringing a new style to your home.

If you live in a colder climate with this roofing option snow will slide right off your roof. While a slight snowfall won't cause any significant problems, several inches could easily cause a collection of snow surrounding your home. Keep this in mind before committing to this roofing option, especially if you are in a colder climate.

Green Roof

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By adding a green roof to your home, there are several eco-friendly benefits you will see.

Due to the green insulation, it will be easier to cool your home and keep it comfortable during warmer months. This option is also beautiful, bringing the essence of natural beauty to your home. Whether you choose flowers or other plants, this will add more life to your home instantly.

Green roofs help keep rain runoff under control, and as a result, improve stormwater management. This alternative can aid in keeping any dirt or contaminants out of the water running through the sewer.

In addition, green roofs also help reduce the urban heat island effect, a situation where urban environments trap and absorb heat.

Keep in mind, green roofs do require an extra amount of structural reinforcement. The added soil and plants can cause problems if your house cannot handle the excess weight, so you will need to prepare your roof with reinforcements if you want to utilize this option.

Clay Tiles

Another eco-friendly roofing alternative is clay tile roofing, with multiple benefits that will help the homeowner in the long run.

This is a durable and lost-lasting option, with the ability to hold up for hundreds of years. Clay tiles have a longer lifespan than your typical roofing materials, making this a good option to consider when updating your roof. They are low maintenance, compared to other options, making it easier for homeowners to keep up with and maintain over time.

Another added benefit of clay tiles is that they repel insects, resist fire, and they cannot rot. This means they will hold up, regardless of the elements, making this eco-friendly option a smart choice for any homeowner to choose.

Wood Shingles 

For a more eco-friendly option, consider swapping out your existing roof for wooden shingles. While wood shingles can come from various woods, they typically include recycled cedar shakes.

Cedarwood shingles are ideal for repelling insects and they resist water better than other types of wooden roofs you will come across. These options are reasonable, but they do require a fair amount of maintenance and upkeep, so be mindful of this before you decide which option you want to stick with.

Updating Your Home with Eco-Friendly Roof Ideas

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If you’ve been looking for ways to update your roof and be more eco-friendly while keeping things cost-effective, consider these green alternatives.

To save money on traditional energy costs, invest in a roofing option that will not only help our environment but help save you money in the grand scheme of things. Even if you don’t see a financial kickback right away, the investment will make it worthwhile when you start seeing bills lessen over time.

In this day and age, it is important to be environmentally sound and aware of things you can change to be more eco-friendly in your life. Simple switches, like updating your roof, can help the environment and make you more aware of the energy you’re using.

To better the planet while lowering your energy costs, start by updating your roof. Choose an eco-friendly option that will help save the Earth, while you save money to make more green choices in the future.

partnered post • images from Unsplash by Todd Kent, Vivint Solar, Chuttersnap, and Marcin Dziedzic


How to Find Better Replacement Windows in Greater Toronto

Whether you’re building a new home, renovating before you move in, or doing renovations to improve the value of your home before you sell, you want to know that you’re using the best materials available. Quality materials will do more to improve the value of the home, and if they’re used correctly, make the home more comfortable and durable.

Windows are one of the most important materials your home will need. These tips will help you find the best replacement windows in Toronto.

#1 Upgrade for Energy Efficiency

If you’re going to replace your windows, now is the time to invest in energy efficient building materials. Today’s windows use a variety of materials and technology to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, including:

  • Low-emissivity glass that blocks heat from coming in through the glass

  • Argon gas fills that prevent heat transfer through the air

  • Vinyl for reduced condensation and better noise reduction

  • Superior installation

Energy efficient windows can reduce heating and air conditioning costs year-round. Take advantage of new energy efficient technology for better results.

#2 Experience Counts

Look for experienced window manufacturers in Toronto with a history in the industry. You want to make sure that the supplier you’re working with is in a good financial position so that they don’t just disappear and leave you high and dry.

History in the industry also means they likely have a wealth of reviews online that you can check out for yourself, as well as a reputation with the builders and contractors you’re working with. You can look them up on Homestars or another review site dedicated to construction. 

#3 Installation from the Supplier

For the best results with your new windows, you want installation from the supplier. Ask if the installer is a contractor or an employee of the supplier. An employee is preferable in case anything goes wrong. Rather than dealing with a middle man, you can go straight to the supplier to sort out the issue.

It doesn’t hurt that the supplier will have better knowledge of the product, either.

#4 Find Out Where the Windows Are Made

Some suppliers purchase their windows from a third party, while others manufacture themselves. When you go with a manufacturer, you can get more information about the product you’re purchasing. Locally-made windows are also a superior choice because they build products for the local climate. It’s not just cold winters that homeowners have to deal with in the Greater Toronto Area, it’s also hot and humid summers that bring their own challenges.

#5 Get a Walk-Through on Installation

Last but not least, work with someone who can give you a walk-through on the installation process so that they understand the home and the project before showing up to do the installation. Get someone who will take the time to explain the materials and the installation process.

Better windows will make a huge difference on your new home. Make sure you find the right source when you renovate.

partnered post • image by myoceanstudio via Freepik

Smart Homes: What is the Best Device for Your Home?

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If you are looking to purchase a smart-home device, it can be difficult to decide what the best one is for your home. There are many devices that all claim to do something different and better than their competitors. To help you make a decision on what smart-home device is best for your home, we have compiled a list of all of the popular options and ranked them from 1st place down to 10th place, with our reasoning behind each ranking.

1) Nest Learning Thermostat

This thermostat learns about your personal preferences and adjusts itself accordingly so that you aren't wasting energy or money on heating/cooling an empty house! It's also easy to install yourself without hiring someone else and there are no monthly service fees!

2) Philips Hue Lights

These are a great option if you're looking for something that is easy to install and doesn't require any wiring! If you have the Philips Smart Hub, it will also work with other smart devices in your home so they can all communicate.

3) Amazon Echo

This device is great if you want to control your music, ask questions and get answers from the internet with just your voice! It also has a variety of "skills" that can be added on so it doesn't have any limitations.

4) Nest Cam

This camera has a great night vision system and is compatible with other Nest products in your home. It also comes with a two-year warranty which gives you peace of mind that it will last!

5) Philips Hue Bulbs

These bulbs are a great option if you're looking for the best color range to coordinate with your décor! They also have an app that lets you change colors on demand, set schedules and sync them with other lights in your home.

6) Amazon Echo Dot

If you already have an Amazon Alexa device but are looking for something a little more compact, the dot is great! It's basically like the full size version that can fit in your bedroom.

7) Nest Protect

This device is great if you want to keep an eye on your home while you are away! Not only will it alert you of any changes in temperature or smoke, but it also has a feature that alerts the fire department and turns off gas/electricity.

8) Philips Hue Motion Sensor

This device is great if you want to turn your lights on and off with just a wave of a hand and it also has a two year warranty!

9) Philips Hue Smart Bulbs

Amazing because they give you the most customization options, but every smart home device has its own strengths. If none of these appeal to you, make sure to do your research and find the one that best suits your needs!

10) Nest Cam Outdoor

This camera is great if you have an outdoor area or backyard and want to monitor it. It's a top seller for the Nest brand but does require wiring which can be pricey.

Final Notes

We ranked them with our reasoning behind each ranking and we hope it helps you decide on what will work best for your home! If you want more information about smart-home devices or need help picking one out, contact us at your convenience and we will be happy to help!

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Questions to Ask Before Calling a Local Plumber for Blocked Kitchen Drains

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Blocked drains are a common household occurrence and one that necessitates the intervention of a qualified plumber. You can depend on a reputed drain cleaning service provider like Roto-Rooter to effectively resolve your drainage woes. 

If you throw cooking oil and food scraps down your kitchen drain, a blockage is imminent. When food debris and cooking oil clump together, they block your drains and obstruct your drainage mechanism. 

Warning Signs

Not attending to badly blocked drains can cause extensive damage to your property. Moreover, your family and pets may develop health complications from exposure to overflowing drains. 

As tree roots spread their reach underground, they can disrupt the main sewage system by breaching drainage pipes. Even a calcium build-up within your pipes causes constriction making them vulnerable to blockages. 

In the absence of gutter guards, your outdoor drains invite debris like twigs, dirt, leaves, and grit which chokes your otherwise freely flowing drainage. 

Listed below are the early warning signs to help you identify the problem and take immediate action: 

Foul Odor

A foul smell emanating from your drains similar to what you associate with sewage is an indication that you have a blockage to contend with. This usually is the first noticeable and powerful indicator of the issue at hand.

Gurgling Sounds

Each time you open your kitchen tap, if the resultant water pools and pushes against the pipe, emitting a gurgling sound, it indicates a drain blockage.

Overflowing Drain

Instead of the water flowing down your drain, an overflowing sign is when the water alarmingly spills back up. The only reason for the reverse flow is due to your drain facing a blockage. 

Slow Draining

When water circulates your drain instead of exiting for longer than expected, this situation worsens with time, suggesting the blockage is growing. 

Identifying a Qualified Service Partner 

Plumbing mishaps can happen despite your best efforts to avoid them. Calling in the experts who excel at unclogging drains like those associated with Roto-Rooter enables you to continue with your daily chores. 

Whether the cause is natural or artificial, hiring a professional to resolve it preserves your drains, property, and health. A local plumber can capably tackle your clogged kitchen drain, provided they meet the recommended criteria. 

Suggest you ask the potential service provider the following pertinent questions to gauge their expertise: 

Do You Have A Valid License?

Having a licensed plumber attend to your blocked kitchen drain ultimately protects you should something untoward happen. Authorized licenses are only issued to those who clear rigorous testing, and there is no harm in seeking relevant proof. 

You can be confident that the work of a licensed entity or individual will conform to the highest industry standards. They rule out extensive property damage or a worsening clog. Moreover, all safety protocols are adhered to without fail.

Can You Expect Round-the-Clock Service?

A major plumbing problem can arise at any odd hour and demands urgent and prompt intervention. Thorough professionals understand this urgency and operate year-round. Irrespective of the time you call on their listed number, you will not be met with a voicemail. 

It is such a relief to know a local plumber who comprehends the extent of your drainage problem and promptly takes charge. Service providers who are not reachable when in dire need must be clubbed as highly unprofessional and should compel you to look elsewhere.

What Are Your Rates, Any Free Estimates?

After inspecting the blockage, a plumber who promises to give you a transparent and free estimate inclusive of labor and material charges is worth trusting. Also, confirm if they charge an hourly fee or flat rate. A long-drawn plumbing job becomes an expensive affair for you when the vendor levies a fee per hour. 

Irrespective of how long it takes to unclog your kitchen drain, a flat fee helps you budget accordingly. A fixed upfront quotation is likely to double and triple when the plumber's fee structure is designed hourly. With a flat rate, you are more at peace as unpleasant surprises are ruled out on completing the job.

Do You Provide Guarantees?

Your kitchen sink is extensively used to wash food items, utensils, and even your hands. A clogged drain hampers essential work. Plumbers who are confident in their abilities happily provide a guarantee for the work undertaken. 

It helps to make inquiries beforehand on the potential plumber's plan of action to unclog your kitchen drain. Also, check if they willingly clean up the mess after servicing. You could opt for Wren ex display kitchens and save money.

Delegate your clogged kitchen drain to trusted hands with significant plumbing experience backing them.

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Digital Tools and Resources for Homeowners

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One way or another, homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, feel overwhelmed by homeownership. If you’re feeling this way, you aren’t alone. A lot of folks are feeling like this. The good thing is that there are many digital resources and apps designed to make homeownership a little easier. The following are five of the best:

Mortgage Payoff Track

Homeowners have a lot to worry about, but one of their biggest concerns is the mortgage payment. It’s a big, recurring payment that you have to worry about every month, on top of other living expenses. Even if you’ve calculated everything, at some point, the mortgage payment starts to feel like too much. You aren’t the only one that feels this way. The good thing is there is a good app you can rely on, and it’s the Mortgage Payoff Track app. It helps you organize everything and lets you see if it’s a good idea to increase your payments if you want to get rid of that mortgage quicker.

Nextdoor

Sometimes, one of the most significant issues homeowners seem to face is loneliness. Sure, you’ve got loads of neighbors all over the place, but it’s hard to find a reason to get to know anyone. Even if you want to stand outside to say hello and get to know people, it’ll look a little strange. If you’re lucky, your neighborhood is a little friendly with each other. They may love to throw block parties to get to know each other and mingle, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time, you only notice or acknowledge your neighbors from your window or wave when you’re leaving for work. The good thing is there’s an app for this, which is Nextdoor. People have dealt with racism on apps like this, but Nextdoor is doing its part to eliminate racist content on its platform. While completely avoiding discrimination on Nextdoor is impossible, the company has taken several steps towards making it easier to report racism and hate speech.

Centriq

Renters don’t have to worry about repairs. If something happens to their fridge or plumbing, the landlord has to worry about fixing all of that. The renters can just sit back and complain that something isn't working right. That’s not the case for homeowners. These folks have to worry about everything in their homes. If everything is new, things will most likely be fine for a while, but at some point, something will break down, and without the owner's manual, you won't be able to fix the issue. The good thing is you could download Centriq. This is a great app that can pull up any owner’s manual so that it can guide you as you fix your dishwasher or AC.

Houzz

At some point, homeowners consider updating their homes. They may want to keep up so that their homes don't look dated, or maybe they want to make a change or two to make their homes feel more personalized. Whatever the reason, homeowners tend to think about making changes to their homes at some point. The problem is figuring out what to do. That part could be hard for homeowners. The good thing is there are apps like Houzz. This app allows you to learn what other homeowners are doing or give you a few new trends that seem to be taking off. When it’s time to update your home, you'll have an easier time doing so with this app, so it's a must-have.

Joulebug

Homeowners want to be green and eco-conscious, but that can be hard. Maybe you want to do this because you care about the environment, or maybe you figured out that green can save you money. Sometimes, you just don't know where to start to be more eco-conscious. The good thing is app developers thought homeowners might have a hard time figuring out what to do to be more eco-friendly. You can use the Joulebug app, which helps you figure out how to conserve more energy. It gives you all sorts of practical tips. You'll get tips on how to conserve more than just energy. You'll learn to conserve water, too. You'll learn how to save on transportation and reduce waste.

Hopefully, you can use all of these apps to make your new life as a homeowner a little easier. There are always more resources and apps to find, so just keep looking until you find everything you need to make your life as a homeowner easier.

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Are you looking for a good roofing contractor? Hire Guelph Roofing for quality work!

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If you live in the outskirts of the city, there is a chance that you don’t have any roofing contractors near you. Typically, when it’s monsoon, there are issues of moisture within the roof ceiling or damaged or rusted metal roof. And these things require the attention of a roofing contractor. 

If you have been the victim of these problems, then your roof is getting damaged, and you need to do something about it because it is not safe. Living under an expired roof is very risky so, if you are looking for a roofing contractor, contact a Guelph roofing contractor. They are the best roofing contractors in the vicinity. 

The roof is one of the main things for a house because it provides protection from so many things. This one thing should be enough to describe the importance of proper maintenance. If the roof gets damaged and start leaking water, then you need roof maintenance services. Finding the right roofing company that can accommodate all your roofing problems could be hard to find so if you have found one, stick with that. 

Cambridge roofing company is a small company, but we can accommodate all of your roofing needs whether it is maintenance, cleaning, renovating, or its replacement. We have got a bunch of people who are equipped to handle your roof problems. You just have to call our number mentioned on the website or contact us through our website and we will be able to help you with our long list of roofing services.

At first, our expert examines the roof and then lets you know their opinion regarding the service you require from us. We understand our clients and we want to give them the best service with proper quality standards that is why we use advanced research methods and quality material to fix or renovate the roof. It is our prime objective to satisfy our client’s needs because we believe in a business where quality services shape the course of business. The staff is trained well and helpful while answering the queries that many clients have regarding roof problems. Our staff will help you understand the situation and its solution. They will give you options and you can choose the one that is more suitable for your roof. We fix residential and commercial roofs as per requirement. Before the actual work is done on your roof, you can have our team at your house for a consult and a proposal too.

We provide roofing services for residential and commercial sites in our vicinity. Although we offer our services for new roofing, but people are not always building new homes, so we manage the repairing tasks as well. There is a strong chance that your roof can be repaired through our reliable and quality service. This way, you can save money by choosing maintenance over replacement. But sometimes, replacing your roof is the only solution especially when people buy second-hand houses. If your roof has mold or has been damaged by rust, then you must replace your expired roof on an emergency basis. 

Lastly, our prices are reasonable and affordable for everyone. So, give us the opportunity to work for you and you will be satisfied.

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Health Hazards to Consider When Moving into a New House

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Have you signed the deal to your dream house? Or are you perusing through real estate options to snag a stellar apartment deal? Whether you are in a rush to get away from nagging owners or making grueling adult decisions- the euphoria of owning a property or the thrill of a fresh start trumps all fatigue and hardships that moving entails.

However, before you sign up for the onset of chaos and turmoil brought on by shifting places for the next few months – you’ll want to play it safe, particularly with baby steps. Make sure you are not risking your safety and family's health during the move. It is not just the physical fatigue or mental stress that could potentially bog you down- but hidden toxins and hazards lurking around your new place is also a severe cause of concern. 

In the rush of making an offer, gabbing the pair of your new home keys, putting away the furniture, sprucing up your latest acquisition with a coat of fresh paint here and a wee bit there- that staying organized becomes especially challenging with work and other priorities.

Cosmetic repairs aren’t the only solution to make your place habitable. Tackle the unwanted health risks that come along—confused about where to begin? Keep on reading to find the potential health hazards and how to avoid them.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate arranged in microscopic fibrous patterns. If you possess any construction knowledge, you'd be aware that asbestos is vastly popular for building purposes since the 1950s. What makes asbestos a unique and sought-after construction product?

It offers strength, stability, fireproofing, resistance to chemical and heat abrasion. Today, asbestos is not only used in constructing buildings but everywhere in your surroundings- from flooring to tiling to insulation. 

So, how can asbestos cause health risks? The hazard arises when asbestos gets damaged and starts deteriorating. The broken fibers, during inhaling, can cause fatal lung diseases such as mesothelioma, malignant and deadly lung cancer that results in respiratory failure, congestive pneumonia, and bowel obstruction upon its spread. Therefore, if you are planning on renovation, it is better to call for professional help.

 Be Mindful of Molds and Insect Colonies

Put your adult pants on and do a mommy inspection of every nook and cranny for crusty molds and creepy crawlies. Always give the new place a thorough wash and let it air dry before you stack your furniture against the wall. 

Mold thrives in dark, damp, and humid places. If you can't see the mold, it doesn't mean it can't be hiding around. 

Molds – can penetrate through walls and emanate a pungent odor. You want to be regular and thorough with cleaning showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, kitchen, and floors. The mold variety that commonly resides in homes includes Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium. If given the opportunity to flourish, they may end up causing allergies, skin infections, fever, and breathing difficulties. Use strong chemicals like bleach for cleaning and dehumidifiers to prevent humidity.

Insect Colonies – many insect species love to reside in places that you always 'forget' to clean or the mess you plan to clean one day. Prevent your children from rummaging around in such areas to avoid being bitten by wasps, ants, and cockroaches. 

Clear out the mess, as you don't want the termites eating away at your furniture!

Faulty Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is imperative to install smoke detectors. The harmless smoke that sets the infuriating alarm blaring when you burn a bit of lasagna or take a casual smoke inside your house should not be taken carelessly. Though, it may be exasperating to shut the alarm for the most insignificant reasons. Fire casualties are incredibly destructive! You need to be a responsible adult for your family and avoid a little baking mishap from burning down the house. 

Aren't smoke detectors enough protection? Why would you want your house to be blaring like an ambulance all the time? While carbon monoxides may not be on your priority list during the move, it is always a good practice to check your exposure to air quality.

Loose Cables

One of the predominant causes of accidents at home is caused by sagging electric cables and power leads. It is risky to leave wires draped along walls, desks, and floors. Tie up the cable cords with cheap ties or a piece of rope while moving electrical appliances from trailing behind to avoid serious injuries caused by tripping incidents and electrocution. 

Cable protectors are also an excellent way to avoid unnecessary accidents. Additionally, incasing cables in plastic or vinyl sheaths and fixing them along the wall edges would prevent your children from accidentally touching live wires! 

Radon

Our exposure to radioactive substances has unknowingly increased over the past decade. What is even more surprising are the potential radiation sources right under your roof! Radon is a radioactive gas released from the natural decomposition of uranium under the soil. It moves from the ground and enters the houses through cracks and crevices.

We have listed down a few culminating sources for you to get tested out by professionals.

  1. The toxic and radioactive build-up of gases in basements
  2. Granite countertops may carry radioactive radon, resulting in low levels of radiation.
  3. Ceramic tiles and utensils
  4. Fertilizers used in your new garden
  5. Glow in the dark wall clocks

Final Words

Homeownership isn't just about acquiring a piece of beautiful property, rather a responsibility that you owe to yourself and the people who inhabit it to make your humble abode a safe and hazard-free zone.

Although it is practically impossible to eradicate every single health hazard from your place- we can always start by minimizing the most probable hazards and work our way up. Don't let these responsibilities deter you from buying your dream house. All that is required is a little diligence to make your home secure for all occupants.

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Most Overlooked Ways To Keep Pests Out Of Your Home

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You’ve tried everything you can think of to keep the insects, mice, and pests out of your home. When you noticed their presence, you cleaned the house from top to bottom, sprayed the perimeter of your home, and even set a few traps to catch those that might be lingering. Yet, every time you turn around, there’s evidence that these unwanted visitors are still in your living space.

You know it’s unhealthy and uncomfortable to have pests in your house, but getting them out is a pain in the neck. The question is, what are you doing wrong? Below are a few possible answers. 

Too Much Clutter

When you think of cleaning your house to get rid of pests, you think about getting rid of food, garbage, and debris. While these are great starting points, it’s often not enough to keep these tiny intruders at bay. Insects and mice take shelter in the junk. So, if you have a lot of boxes, paper, old clothing, and other items stored in your home, these serve as places for pests to hide.

Get rid of the clutter in your home. Go from room to room, eliminating things that you don’t need. Pay close attention to items in boxes or low-traffic areas of the house, as this is where pests are likely to take shelter. Discard anything useless and either donate or sell the rest of these belongings. If you live in a smaller residence, you may want to consider putting some things in storage.

Cracks and Holes

Mice and insects don’t need much space to gain access to a home or apartment. They can enter through the tiniest holes and cracks. So, when you try things like placing traps, spraying, and even using insect bombs, they will leave temporarily but quickly return. If you want them out of your living space for good, you must seal up their entry points.

Complete a whole-house assessment to discover any cracks and holes. Use caulk or other sealing agents to block these access points. If the problem persists, you may need to hire a professional like a pest control contractor. They’re trained to identify entry points that you may have overlooked.

Water leaks are not something that you can ignore, as they can lead to severe damage to your home. A wall crack or small water leak can cause several issues like foundation cracks, mold in the wall, and musty odor. And worst of all – water damage could cause pest problems.

Attics, Basements, and Crawl Spaces

Believe it or not, bugs and mice don’t want to come in contact with you just as much as you don’t want to see them. They prefer to operate when there’s minimal activity and reside in spaces where you are less likely to visit. That means your attic, basement, or crawl space are vulnerable places in the home.

If you check these areas, you’re likely to find significant evidence of pests like feces, damaged electrical wiring, and even nests in the insulation. As cleaning these areas is risky for your health, it’s best to hire a professional to complete basement, crawl space, or attic clean out services for you. They will not only get rid of debris, feces, and eggs but can assess the area to determine whether there’s a need for electrical, HVAC, plumbing, foundation, or roofing repairs.

Landscaping

An unkempt lawn can easily attract pests to your home. High grass, giant puddles of water, crops from gardens, and other lures cause bugs and mice to your property. Trees and shrubs that aren’t maintained can also make it easy for them to enter the home through second-story windows and entry points.

Maintaining a clean front and backyard is essential to keep the pests away. Ensure that you regularly cut the grass, trim the trees, clean up garbage, and harvest crops to minimize their attraction. If yard work isn’t your cup of tea, hire a landscaping company to take care of these tasks for you on a bi-weekly or monthly basis

No one wants to live with pests, but unfortunately, it happens all the time. If you’ve tried basic practices like cleaning your house, using defensive sprays, and laying traps with little to no results, it’s time to consider other approaches. Try removing clutter, filling cracks and holes, cleaning your attic, basement, crawl spaces, and maintaining your front and back lawn. If that doesn’t work, contact a pest control expert to assist you in resolving the matter more efficiently.

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7 Tips for Enhancing Your Home’s Aesthetic Appeal

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Are you looking for some decoration or renovation ideas that can aesthetically brighten up your home? We’re glad you came here. 

Indubitably, all homeowners want an inviting and cozy home. However, many homeowners neglect the aesthetics of their houses without knowing that it vastly influences the aura and worth of their homes. As a result of this negligence, all they're left with is a depressing and dreary appeal. 

Of course, no one wants their house to look dull and lifeless, so everybody should choose to add some touch-ups to their homes from time to time. The options you can go for to enhance your home’s appeal are endless. Wall décor, new rugs, curtains, furniture, and paint can completely transform how your residence looks and immensely affect its worth.

Noticeably, all of this can’t be possible overnight; you need to list out all the things you need to do to make your home shine. Lucky for you, we’ve come up with a list of ideas that can significantly enhance the appeal of your home; read below to check them out.

  • Shutters

While shutters date back to prehistoric times, they are still as trendy as ever. 

Plantation shutters are very flexible when it comes to colors, materials, and styles. They are also indispensable in terms of areas where the control of light is essential. The best thing about these shutters is that they come at reasonable prices. 

Furthermore, aluminum and PVC shutters are modern alternatives to timber shutters. You can rest assured knowing that they are stable, aesthetically pleasing, and durable. Moreover, Shutters are well-known for their elegance, which will undoubtedly boost the overall aesthetics of your home if you ever decide to sell it later.

  • Declutter

One of the many ways to enhance your home's appeal is to declutter. 

For this part, you will need to make room for new items by replacing old ones. Begin by thoroughly cleaning one room per day. You will eventually come to a point where everything will start to look prettier and better than before.

  • Use Mirrors to Add an Element of “Space”

If you want your rooms to look bigger, mirrors are perfect because they tend to create an illusion of an even bigger space. 

Do this by determining a focal point. In addition to that, placement is also an essential factor to consider when using mirrors to renovate your home.

Furthermore, take note of where you want to place your mirrors. Avoid placing them where you sit or sleep. Do not hang them too high, and ensure to secure them to prevent untoward incidents. 

Also, don't be afraid to go rogue and use a full-length floor mirror. The design of the mirror also creates a huge difference and can help you achieve that precious new look you want for your home.

  • Don’t Forget About Your Kitchen

Even minor kitchen elevations can immensely boost your home's aesthetics. 

You may not have the budget for buying new kitchen appliances. Still, there are a few other projects that you can easily tackle without emptying your wallet. Painting your kitchen walls is one cheap way to start renovating. So instead of replacing all of your kitchen drawers and cabinets, prefer to paint them with a new tone.

Changing your countertop is another excellent way for an instant kitchen revamp. Since you use this area more often than the other parts of your kitchen, it requires a little bit of TLC. Finally, throw away your old mats and rugs and purchase new ones for your kitchen. 

  • Good Lighting is Essential

Chandeliers and lighting are some of the many elements that offer an inspiring and fantastic appeal to your home. There is no need to install luxurious chandeliers, especially if you have a crowded living room. Although attractive, it will make your space congested and overwhelming. 

So prefer to install medium or small-sized ceiling lights or lanterns that come in graceful designs. Also, ensure to find the perfect spot for them because you don't want to blind your guests with lighting, especially when installed in the wrong places.

  • Paint the Walls

You will be stunned by the powerful effect of unique wall colors, especially when you pick neutral tones. There are many soft palettes that you can choose from; grey, pastels, beige, and off-white make beautiful wall colors that send cozy and warm vibes all-around your house. 

Try to avoid dead or dull shades and search for various hues to settle on a matching contrast for your house's even more gorgeous exterior. Even though neutral tones are classy and chic, you can still add a dash of color to your walls to make your residence look vibrant and trendy.

  • Upgrade Your Floors

Dull-looking floors affect the overall appeal of your home. Broken tiles or squeaking floors not only destroy your house's attractiveness but also account for injuries. Therefore, upgrading your floors is what you should do.

Vinyl, laminate flooring, hardwood, and tiles increase the visual appeal of a home and shine a light on other factors as well. Indeed, this is a considerable investment, but it is worth it considering the improved aesthetics. 

On the other hand, if your floors are in stable condition, then some minor touch-ups can also do the trick.

Conclusion

These tips can help transform your wretched-looking home into a brand new one. Remember that creating an aesthetically appealing home will largely depend on your personal preferences, so don't force yourself to abide by these tips. In fact, do whatever makes you happy. And while a complete remodel may produce significant and stunning results, you can make steady, slow progress by taking it one step at a time. As a result, you will quickly notice that even minor changes can make a huge difference.

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How to Tackle Complications During Home Renovation

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Home renovation is a tough job. It necessitates a significant amount of time and focus. Building your house and then renovating it is both fascinating and thrilling in the twenty-first century. The older the property, the more likely the building inspector may uncover a flaw during the inspection. Some of these issues can be burdensome for the pocket. The contractor can’t leave the situation unsolved because the project budget doesn’t allow for it. There might be problems with the floorboard or seepage issues in the walls. From major to minor, the issues may vary.

Home remodels, like any significant effort, comes with their own set of dangers and potential setbacks. Preparing for them ahead of time can mean the difference between a frustrating job and a gratifying working relationship with the contractor. Therefore, it is crucial to learn how to handle the problems during a remodel project. Fortunately, most of these issues may be avoided by dealing with the right contractor. 

Let us look into some of these problems and their solutions.

  • Epoxy Removal

Epoxy provides a gorgeous, lustrous sheen that protects surfaces. While this may seem like an exciting idea to include in your home makeover if shiny surfaces and class is what you’re looking for, it does come with a few possibilities of mishaps. For example, if there is epoxy dropped on the floor during the renovation process, it can be a tough task to clean up. The best way of removing epoxy is to call professionals in these field. They have the right tools and safety methods to get the epoxy off your floor and leave a smoother, cleaner surface.

  • Roof Damage

Roof problems need to be monitored regularly. Roof damage can occur due to a variety of reasons. There can be wind damage, hail damage, or poor installation of the materials. Different weather conditions can also result in damage to the roof. For example, heavy rain, ice, or even humidity can damage your roof over time. Rood damage develops over time. Homeowners can avoid costly repairs through regular maintenance and frequent inspections if the damage is addressed swiftly and effectively.

  • Water Damage

Water damage is another serious problem. It may begin with a roof leak that goes unnoticed until the water has seeped through the ceiling. Faulty plumbing, such as broken or leaky pipes, can also cause water damage. Whatever caused it, the consequences can be severe, ranging from rotted timber and plaster to mold, mildew, and termites. You can start with your insurance company by calling and explaining to them the problem. Keep the minimum cleanup, and leave as much in space as possible until the adjuster and restorations crew get on-site to examine the issue.

  • Lack Of Space

Your property may not always have enough space for your desired renovation. You might want an extra or a large bathroom instead of a smaller one. Or, it could be potentially due to the lack of available space in your kitchen. Properly defining your home’s space issues is the first step in resolving restricted space concerns. There are a variety of renovation alternatives available to help you handle your space problems. The room can gain more storage capacity by simply becoming taller if it can’t be made wider or longer. In open design layouts, fold-up counters can be used without neglecting the need for continuous space.

  • Drainage 

The structure and foundation must be solid and long-lasting if you want the drainage system to work well. The majority of drainage problems occur by a low pitch or slope in your yard. It prevents water run-off from being channeled away from your residence. A frequent drainage method involves directing the rainwater to a low point in your yard where it can naturally flow away from the house over rocks in a dry stream bed. The debris swept away by extra water during extremely severe storms will be gathered in a catch basin. The contract agreements should include precise definitions and standards for each drainage maintenance task.

  • Awkward Layouts

During the renovation, designing the layout of your home ahead of time will save you a lot of money and time. The pendulum appears to be swinging back in favor of comfy corners after years of demanding more open-plan layouts. A layout plan might appear flawless on paper, but faults may not become apparent until you move in. Layout laws can be expensive. In existing homes, adding or removing walls can be a burden on pockets. Poor space allocation, neglecting the storage, and improper furnishing can result in an awkward layout. But, the most appropriate solution to an uncomfortable space is redesigning the layout. Establish a new overall flow with the help of a competent designer, and then delegate the remodeling to a skilled builder.

  • Outdated Electrical Work And Plumbing

Building codes evolve over time. Your restoration project may uncover that your plumbing and electrical systems are no longer compliant. The galvanized pipes are prone to clogging, corrosion, and leaking, resulting in water damage. You can replace these pipes with PVC, copper, or CPVC. PEX pipe, which is more flexible and cheaper than copper, can also be utilized. Besides, the electrical cables and systems tend to wear out with time.  Old wiring may not support modern appliances and can be dangerous. You need to make sure all the sockets are grounded. The wiring must also incorporate a ground-fault circuit interrupter. In the event of a ground fault, it shuts down the power and helps prevent fire. 

It can be hard to find material if you plan a remodel and want to keep your home’s aesthetic. You can shop at reuse stores and speak with home remodeling experts to arrange the material for you. It’s challenging to stay on budget when renovating a property. But, your contractor knows what to expect in terms of fixtures, layouts, and expectations. Getting help from them will be able to keep your project on track. It is better to call the professionals ahead of time. Staying flexible and positive is the key to achieving positive outcomes.

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Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Garden Auger

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Garden augers come in a combination of sizes and styles. This is because the different augers are designed for different jobs. But, they are also much more efficient and effective at creating a hole, saving you time and stress. This is because they are designed like a drill, allowing them to be screwed into the ground while pushing the soil up and out. 

However, before you rush to purchase the next auger you see, there are a few things worth considering.

Manufacturer

Almost anyone can create and market a garden auger. If you want one that will do the job properly and will last you need to choose a high-quality auger. Regardless of whether it is the best rock augers or simply designed for soil, it is important to check out the manufacturer’s reputation. 

If you haven’t heard of them, then speak to family and friends to get an honest opinion. Failing this, check social media and online forums. It is the most effective way to get the facts about a manufacturer or supplier.

You will find there are plenty of people eager to share their experiences online. This can give you a good insight into the efficiency of the device and whether It is appropriate. It also helps you to see how the manufacturer deals with complaints. Knowing this can make a fundamental difference to whether you consider them a good manufacturer or not.

Powered or Not?

The size of the hole needed helps you to choose the right sized auger for your needs. But, the material you are going through and the depth of the hole are the deciding factors when choosing between powered augers or not. 

In short, you can get a manual auger which is designed to be turned with your hands. It is good for soft soil.  But, if you are going through rock you’ll need a powerhead. Some augers can be turned by your drill, others have a dedicated powerhead.

You may not have a choice regarding how the auger is powered but it is important to understand the options available and choose the appropriate one if you need to.

Don’t forget, if you opt for an auger that can be run from your cordless drill you should verify that the size of the auger is compatible with the drill. In most instances, it should be no more than 3/8 inches to fit on your drill.

Weight

The larger the auger the heavier it generally is. That means it will be harder to operate as, even if you have a powerhead, you will have to hold the auger in position. You should make sure that the auger is not too heavy to hold. In most cases, this means keeping the weight of the garden auger under six pounds.

Once you have evaluated your options you can purchase or rent your garden or rock auger, confident that it is the right tool for the job.

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Types of Exterior Drainage Systems for Your Home

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A recent study has shown that most of the structural damage that could happen in your home will be there because of poor drainage. This can be a costly home repair, so it is important to deploy preventive measures to help save you a lot of money to keep things safe.

Your home is an important investment and you should work hard to add in the right type of drainage to keep things safe at all times. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of stainless steel trench drains for your home.

Types of Drainage Systems

Understanding the risks of water damage is important when choosing the right type of drainage for your home. Without the right drainage system, you may deal with a lot of issues around the home including:

  • Damage landscape
  • Loss of home value because of the water damage
  • Health risks because mold may grow in the basement
  • Basement leaks could flood into the home and cause property damage
  • Foundation cracks that will then compromise the house’s integrity

With all of these issues in play, you need to do the right drainage to prevent the issue. Some of the best types of drainage systems that you may consider for the exterior of your home include:

1. French Drain

The first type of drain that you have is the French Drain. This is a simple perforated pipe that is first installed in a flat yard. The goal of this is to help drain away any water that is standing, which can keep the whole thing safe.

To use this pipe, you will need to excavate a trench that can then slope away from the property before installing the pipe. Gravel or another porous material will be used to help fill in the trench before the trench is finally covered.

When there is any standing water in place, it will need to follow the easiest escape route to move away. When this is in place, it will decide to seep down to the French tile and go in a direction away from the yard to keep your foundation safe.

2. Footing Drain

The second type of drain found outside your home would be a footing drain. This can be very effective when it comes to a water drainage system. A pipe will be installed around the perimeter of your foundation walls, usually level with the footing to make it easy to put together.

This pipe is going to collect any of the water that would normally leak through the footing and into the basement through the foundation walls. Since the pipe is in place though, the water will be directed away from the home to keep things safe.

Once the drain is in place, it needs to be covered up with some gravel, up to the surface of the soil, to help with the drainage.

3. Gutter Drainage System

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Another option that you can choose is the gutter drainage system. There is often water that comes from the roof of your home when it rains. Without the right gutter drainage system in place, it can cause a lot of damage and havoc that will happen because it will not drain out well.

This is when you will need to use a gutter and a downspout system. It is responsible for helping drain away all the water that is on the roof so it goes away from the walls of your house to make sure that the water does not collect there.

Without these in place, the rainwater will still fall off the home. Without a drain to help push it away though, the water falls right by the home. This may cause damage to the walls of the home and allows water to seep into the basement when it rains hard.

The downspout drain needs to be set up to drain away all the roof water from the walls of the home. Your goal is to direct the water to a storm sewer or catch basin. The further away that you can do this, the better it is for your home.

4. Grading Drainage

The fourth type of drainage that you will see is known as grading drainage. This is a simple type of drain that will involve reworking the grading to slope it away from your home. You always want to keep the water from your home. If there is a slope into the home, this may allow the water into your foundation and basement.

When you see this happening, you need to go through and do grading drainage to help make sure the water will be moved away from the home. You should have a contractor take a look at the landscaping you have in order to assess the gradient needed to move away the water.

You may need to do some work with the landscaping to make this one happen. The right gradient needs to be severe enough in order to help move the water away from the home and into the storm sewer while still fitting into the building code. It is best to work with a professional rather than try to do it yourself.

Deciding to Put New Drainage In Your Yard

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Exterior drainage systems can be a great option to help protect your home. Water is something that we can’t prevent around the home, but without the right drainage, it will cause a lot of problems to the foundation and the basement of your home. The type of drainage that you will need outside of your home will depend on the type of landscaping you have.

Most homes will need gutter drainage to help with the rain, but the rest could depend on the way your home is organized. If you have trouble with water getting into your home when it rains, consider some of the types of drainage that you may be able to use to keep your home safe. 

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Common Methods Used For Erosion Control

Soil erosion has a significant environmental impact on the surrounding area. Heavy equipment and constant movement on the construction site force the earth around. Which, in turn, makes the land more vulnerable to wind, water, and other movement. Sediment may also wash into nearby bodies of water that could become contaminated. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent soil erosion in a variety of conditions.

Construction companies are required by law to take steps to prevent soil erosion on the job site. Its critical contractors understand the right erosion prevention techniques for each particular construction site. A contractor may choose to use access mats, which are mats that are used on the wet ground which acts as a work platform. In another instance, the contractor may choose to install stabilized earth walls, which retain soil on steep slopes to provide reinforcement. A contractor may also use French drains for carrying water away from a construction site. This is done through underground piping transporting water away from soil that may get washed away.

If you are interested in learning more, the accompanying resource below provides more popular methods for preventing soil erosion on a construction site.


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4 Things to Know About Moving to Naperville

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Naperville is a vibrant city in Illinois known to be a great place to live. With its family-friendly communities and modern city features, there is so much to anticipate upon moving to this western suburb. Beyond the thriving city’s modern structures and amenities, Naperville is also rich in culture and history worth discovering. Here are the top four things to know before moving to Naperville.

  1. Naperville Has a Rich History

Naperville is the oldest city in DuPage county. It started as a Naper settlement back in 1831, founded by Joseph Naper, a pioneer and shipbuilder. Settlers who came shortly after would come to establish what we know today as Chicago.

Naperville became home to families like Napers, Scotts, Hobsons, and Paines. Soon, Pennsylvanians, Germans, English, and Scots came and settled in the town, contributing to the city’s diverse culture.

Until the early 1800s, Naperville was disconnected from most towns and cities, and people relied on railroad stations in neighboring towns. But in 1851, the Southwestern Plank Road was built, which connected Naperville to Chicago and Oswego. This highly contributed to Naperville’s growth and economy.

Naperville became a city in 1890, and residents gained access to water, sewers, electricity, and telephones. Today, it is known for its small-town charm, good school districts, and storied history. With its fascinating sense of community and its exhibition of growth, Naperville has continuously enticed businesses and residents to come to the city and stay.

The city’s history can be relieved through significant structures that you can still visit. Some of the more remarkable ones are the First Congregational Church, the Central Park, which was the former site of the county courthouse, and the Paw Paw station, which was a post office and the first public building in Naperville.

  1. You May Encounter Some Pests

With its beauty and history, Naperville is a considerably old city. Despite the modern city structures and buildings, you may still encounter traditional house problems, like pests. Before moving, you should prepare your furniture by cleaning it before packing up. Afterward, prepare your new home in Naperville by inspecting the property and cleaning it up if necessary.

The most common pests in Naperville are rodents, ants, and spiders. The best way to keep them out of your home is to clean regularly. Pests will likely live in stagnate and undisturbed places, especially the dark corners of your home, so pay close attention to these spaces.

Try not to leave food or crumbs around the house as this is an easy way to invite in ants and rats. Check all the items, like grocery bags and packages, before you bring them inside. Spiders and ants may be lurking inside them, and you might accidentally bring those pests inside your home without even knowing.

Additionally, patch up any holes in the foundation or around window and door frames. Hopefully, there won’t be pest issues in your Naperville home, but just in case, familiarize yourself with Naperville pest control services available.

  1. Naperville is a Tornado Risk Zone

Tornadoes are powerful storms characterized by strong rotating winds moving at a speed that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, which can be very destructive. Like other parts of Illinois, Naperville is a moderate tornado threat area.

Upon moving, it is best to prepare for such extreme weather conditions. There is a high probability of having tornadoes in Illinois between March and May, but they can occur any time of year.

It is important to have a survival kit at home. You can assemble one by putting essential items in a safe container in a dry space. Be sure to include flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, medicine, water, food, a portable FM/AM radio, can opener, safety shoes, important secured documents, and cash in small denominations.

Additionally, make a plan for you and your family on where to meet in case of an emergency. Make yourself aware of Naperville’s local emergency information services. Also, consider home insurance, natural disaster insurance, and other things you may not have had to consider in the past.

  1. Chicago is Right Next Door

About 28 miles east of Naperville is Chicago, which is not Illinois’s capital but is definitely its most famous city. It is home to a rich historic and diverse culture as well as vibrant nightlife happenings.

If you crave something new, there are plenty of things in Chicago that you can do. You can visit museums like the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium, check out historic locations like Navy Pier, or visit the Magnificent Mile or The Art Institute of Chicago.

There is also the Chicago Architecture River Cruise if you want to immerse yourself in an interactive educational tour and learn about Chicago’s towering skyscrapers. If you get motion sickness, the 360 Chicago observation deck or Skydeck Chicago might be a better choice.

Explore and Enjoy Naperville

Naperville is a beautiful, friendly city with a small-town charm that will make you feel warm and welcomed. It boasts commercial and economic growth and is enriched with valuable history and culture. It is definitely a great place to raise a family, so enjoy it and discover its richness once you move to Naperville. 

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Things to Know Before Buying a Home

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Buying a home is a huge decision, and possibly the largest purchase of your life. Before you get started become educated on the home-buying process and all it entails. Below are a few things you should know ahead of time.

What You Can Afford

You find a home and fall in love. Unfortunately, you find out that what you can afford is well below the asking price of your dream home. It happens every day to first-time home buyers. Instead, see a mortgage broker first to find out what a lender is willing to loan.

Clean Up Your Credit

The first thing a lender does is pull your credit report. If your credit is fair, you’ll pay a higher interest rate and have fewer options for borrowing money.

Acquire a copy of your report at least a year prior to your search. This way you have time to raise your credit score. Reducing your debt, especially credit cards, and making timely payments will help to raise your score.

The Wish List

New home-buyers have a long list of items they want to have. The key word is “want”. When you look at a home space, structure and flow are most important. Areas of the home such as the kitchen and living room are places where families congregate. Those rooms need space. The backyard doesn’t have to be worthy of a magazine cover, it just needs room to add the amenities you want in the future like a swing set, pool and an outdoor sink cabinet to create an outdoor living space for entertaining.

Expenses

There are many costs to buying a home, both at the time of purchase and after ownership. Make sure to factor in these costs. Otherwise, you’ll put yourself at risk of losing it down the road. At time of closing, you have property and school taxes, homeowner’s insurance, attorney fees, loan origination and interest fees.

Fees that you will incur thereafter annually include property and school taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and maintenance. A home, even if a new one, will continue to cost money.

Consider What’s in Your Future

Most people take out a 30-year mortgage when buying a home. That is a long time to remain in one place and in the same home. If you’re buying a home right after you marry, take into consideration if you plan on having children, whether you’ll change your employment or want to relocate to another state. Otherwise, you’ll have a home that doesn’t serve your needs within only a few years. If you buy during a seller’s market and it becomes a buyer’s market, then your home may lose value and selling may not be an available option.

Contracts are Negotiable

It’s a very intimidating process buying your first home. So many papers to sign. Many people are grateful to find a home they love and rush to sign without bothering to ask for anything from the seller. A purchase price is always negotiable and regarding a pre-existing home, you can ask for a credit on things like an older roof, plumbing and property damage. This is where having a reputable attorney pays off. Don’t hold back. Speak up now prior to adding your signature to the contract.

A Realtor

You may think you can find a home without a realtor, and you can. However, a good agent knows the area. They know if the price is fair. They also take information from you and conduct a search of the homes that fit your basic needs. This will save valuable time on your end. Look for one that’s reputable, with many years of experience and one that matches your personality.

Buying a home is possibly the largest purchase of your lifetime. From home designs, amenities and location, it can make your head spin. Make sure to educate yourself ahead of your search so that you know what to expect, as well as the costs involved.

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5 Ways to Protect the Value of Your Home

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Owning a home is a significant investment. Like other investments, you want to do everything possible to maintain or even raise the value of your property. As time elapses, various elements and events can subtract from the value of your home. The changes that affect the value of your home are often quite gradual and sometimes not easy to notice. For example, fading colors, chipping tiles, and outdated installations. Whether for home improvements or for selling your home, here are a few ways you can maintain, if not increase, the value of your home.

1. Replace or Upgrade Home Appliances

The kitchen and bathroom account for a significant share of your home’s value. Outdated appliances, old cabinets, and countertops can reduce the worth of your home. If a complete kitchen renovation is beyond your budget, consider making some upgrades. You can replace older appliances with energy-efficient appliances. New appliances will save on monthly energy bills and remain appealing into the future. For the best performance of kitchen appliances, you should regularly clean and maintain them. For example, clean the coils of your refrigerator and replace the vent filter. Also, keep your kitchen and toilet drain free from buildup. Consider replacing your home’s heating system and things like old toilets with modern ones.

2. Address Concerns with Civility

If a neighbor’s home and lawn are an eyesore to you, consider expressing your concerns in a polite manner. These and other issues can be addressed face-to-face and through Nextdoor, a community-based social network. Nextdoor is a social platform that lets neighbors engage with each other on all matters related to their local community. Thanks to recent Nextdoor racism & discrimination prevention efforts, neighbors can safely discuss and debate various topics and issues without worrying about alienating each other.

3. Work on the Curb Appeal

Another way to protect the value of your home is to maintain curb appeal. Although cosmetic, the way your home appears accounts for as much as seven percent of your home’s value. Faded colors, cracks, and peeling paint on the exterior will eat away the value of your home. To improve and protect the exterior of your home, you need to repaint it. Find the right color and tone that will blend well with your home’s style. Even if you have an aging home, fresh paint can make it look newer, capture more interest, and add more value to your property. The paintwork will prevent your walls from retaining water and thus, deter the formation of damaging mold on your walls.

4. Check Your Home’s Plumbing System

One of the most common problems (especially in older homes) is the plumbing system. Even high-end plumbing materials and high-quality plumbing work can fail. A faulty plumbing system can cause leaks and sometimes floods, mainly after years of service. To curb these risks, ensure your faucets, showers, toilets, and pipes do not have breaks or leaks. Call a plumber to inspect your plumbing system. A professional can identify potential issues and rectify them in good time. Timely interventions prevent water disasters that can otherwise impact the value of your home.

5. Routine Maintenance and Cleaning

Undertaking routine care is the best way to preserve the value of your home. Create a list of all home maintenance activities that you need for your home. Next, determine how regularly you should complete each task; it could be weekly, monthly, or biannually. Remember, regular maintenance will avoid expensive repairs in the future. Replace broken shingles or tiles to prevent paint and structural damage. You will also avoid major problems in the future when you carry out minor fixes in good time. When it comes to cleaning, clean your gutters, compound, and interior of your home. A clean house will attract a higher value and age better over time.

Proper maintenance will go a long way in keeping your property in good condition. These methods, unlike renovations, do not demand much budget. However, they will have a significant impact on the worth of your home.

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Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

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When thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, get clear on your intention. Clarity will give you a sense of direction. Knowing what to do will help you determine what to do.

Does your home just need to make a few changes to cut your utility bills, or do you need a full-blown energy upgrade because you plan on selling the house? Getting clear on your intentions will help you determine your priorities, your budget, and the scope of your project to optimize your energy usage.   

Here are a few ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Hire a Contractor to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

When you’re looking to upgrade certain aspects of your home’s energy efficiency, hiring a professional is essential. But it’s challenging to find a reliable home contractor.

How do you know which contractor will give you the best recommendations when it comes to improving home energy efficiency? For instance, when you go through the phone book for your city, how do you know the contractor you select will even keep their appointment for an interview. Then, once hired, how do you know if they will show up on time to do the work or finish when promised?  

While reaching out to multiple contractors and asking about their work experience and their time frame for getting things done is a good way to find someone, searching online for a home advisor service is an easier and more reliable way. A professional service network like HomeAdvisor, for example, serves consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Browse through its network of affiliated contractors to get quotes and hire the right person for the job.

How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

How you reduce your home’s natural energy is a key step to further reducing its impact on climate change and protecting our planet. Make your house more energy efficient to achieve this goal.

Research energy-efficient products. They play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home as well as improving the environment.

Buy quality energy-efficient products, including lighting, heating and cooling equipment, windows, and plumbing. New light bulbs, for instance, cost less than older models, last much longer, and emit brighter light.

Here are some examples of ways to save energy:

  • Install solar panels on the roof and get a smart meter to monitor usage.
  • Replace an inefficient indoor climate control system with one that works better while saving you more money on your heating and cooling bills.
  • Look at your main furnace. Is it running at optimum capacity? If not, check the filter. Is it clean? Also, try using a programmable thermostat.
  • Set up a kitchen smart thermostat which will cut down on the time to cook meals. It will also consume less electricity.

An Energy-Efficient Home Improves Its Resale Value

Making your home more energy efficient is one of the many ways you can improve the resale value of your home.

You have probably heard people say that they want their home to increase in value by the time they plan on selling it. Building an energy-efficient home is a great way to accomplish this goal because energy efficiency is usually on the top of many homebuyer’s checklists.

Most real estate professionals say that making your home energy-efficient adds significantly to your house’s sale value. An energy-efficient house is easier to sell because a new homebuyer will appreciate how much they can save on their utility bills and how much more comfortable they will feel in the home every season.

Conclusion

As energy prices continue to rise, it is important to consider ways to reduce your energy costs. Save by reducing the amount of energy you use at home?  

You can save hundreds of dollars a year by making your home more energy-efficient. Roofs and walls, doors, and windows can all be sealed better to help you stay comfortable during a freezing winter or a blistering hot summer. Anything you can do to upgrade energy consumption from attic insulation to basement finishing can help you maximize the energy efficiency of your home.

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Five Things to Keep in Mind When Restoring Your Old Office

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Everyone understands that your home needs to be a comfortable, welcoming space. Still, not many know that the same applies to your office, too. An office environment needs to be comfortable and well-designed to ensure that everyone can be productive. However, in the wake of a natural or artificial disaster, you may find this productive environment in utter disarray. 

If you want your office to return to normal as soon as possible, there are a few things to keep in mind. Floods and fires can cause immense damage to your office, and you may need to take on an intensive restoration project if you want to save your space. 

Only an intensive restoration can help you correct the structural damage to ensure that your area isn’t just aesthetically restored but safe. Below, we’ll talk more about how you can fix your office entirely and have operations running smoothly in no time.

Restoring Fire Damage

The aftermath of a fire can be devastating and can alter the landscape of your office. If the fire was on a larger scale, you might feel that it’s impossible to restore the place to usual. Fires often cause immense structural damage and wreak havoc upon electrical, plumbing, and other structural installations. Furthermore, fires spread incredibly fast and can make it hard to take any preventative measures. Restoring fire damage can thus be a particularly challenging task and requires a professional to survey the place.

Hiring a professional is the best way to restore your office following fire damage. They have access to sophisticated technology, which can detect moisture and structural damage within your walls. Then, the technicians can expertly handle pipe leaks, moisture infiltration, ceiling cavities, and plumbing faults. 

To make things easier for yourself, click here to find professional help if you want to clear hazardous materials from fires like grease, soot, and other potentially flammable chemicals. A high-quality restoration project won’t just ensure that your office goes back to normal, but it will prevent any such incidents from occurring in the future.

Handle Water Damage

Water damage is easily one of the leading causes of property damage. There are several ways your office can be impacted by water damage, such as floods, pipe leakages, and sewage. While we recommend getting a professional to clear away the water and restore your office, there are specific measures you can take on your own too. 

For starters, you can begin removing all the furniture from the location to ensure that you can save at least some of your belongings. However, it’s essential to wear protective equipment such as waterproof boots and gloves when entering a flooded facility.

It’s also essential to evacuate the location and ensure that no one enters, apart from anyone carrying out the restoration. When handling your equipment, you might need to throw away anything electrically operated or have it checked out by a professional before using it again. 

Furthermore, you may need to throw away anything infected with sewage water, as it can be infected with parasites, bacteria, and various viral diseases.

Mold Remediation

After any disaster, having a mold infestation is incredibly likely. Water damage is the most significant source of mold infestations, and you may see mold growing after a storm, flooding, or in the aftermath of a fire. 

Some locations may put you at a greater risk of developing mold, such as living in a warm, humid climate. If you start noticing an unpleasant smell around the office, coupled with increased humidity, your office may be developing mold.

It’s essential to handle this issue as promptly as possible because it can cause various health-related problems if left unchecked. You may suffer from flu-like symptoms, itchy eyes, or fever as the mold spores enter your lungs. If you have a larger-scale infestation getting a professional to handle it might be the only way. 

However, there are certain things you can handle on your own. Using a mixture of water and bleach, you can begin scrubbing the mold from your walls and furniture. It’s essential not to rinse the areas after using the bleach solution and let air circulate so the spores can’t spread further.

Give it Time

It’s understandable to want to have everything up and running as soon as possible. However, depending on the scale of damage, that may not be possible. If you rush the process, you can do a hasty job with the restoration, which can cause you various problems down the line. 

When you begin the restoration process, you may encounter additional issues you hadn’t anticipated before. These problems can extend your timeline and cause an issue if you aren’t ready. So, when planning an office restoration, it’s essential to overestimate the timeline.

Meanwhile, you can think of a contingency plan to keep operations running, such as switching to remote working or using co-working spaces until the office is operational. Asking your employees to return before everything has been adequately restored is ethically and lawfully incorrect, as the environment can cause health issues.

Do Your Research

If you haven’t experienced a similar situation before, taking on a restoration project can seem like a bleak undertaking. It can seem like there are too many issues, each too monumental to tackle. However, once you do your research, you’ll be better prepared to restore your office and ensure that such a situation is prevented in the future. 

You can find information on a wide range of restoration projects on the internet and in books. This information can help you analyze the pros and cons of various materials and approaches to help you find the method that’ll work best for your situation.

Furthermore, with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to handle contractors. You’ll know just what questions you need to ask, and you can be in a better position to understand and negotiate rates. With this information, you can ensure that you’re on the same page as your contractors and that you make an informed choice.

Conclusion

Keeping these five steps in mind can help you have an informed approach to an office restoration project. These tips can help you complete your project within your anticipated deadlines to ensure that everything is back to normal as soon as possible. 

The project may seem monumental at first, but as you keep at it, you’ll notice things starting to come back to normal. With time, you can restore your office to being better than it ever was and work towards preventing any damage in the future too.

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How To Manage When Your Home Is Under Renovation

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Do you feel that your house’s walls are wearing out and windows and doors falling apart? If yes, then think – when did you last renovate your abode? Many people would answer “never,” and others might have to think hard to recall as they did it more than seven to eight years ago. People do not indulge in significant home renovation now and then. Sometimes, even when they realize they need it, they choose to ignore the requirement. For some people, it is the thought of expenses that force them to think otherwise, and several people consider the house turning topsy turvy a considerable trouble. Hence, they continue to live in outdated spaces. 

People indeed have to turn the house upside down, and that disrupts their daily life. Still, the results of doing a massive remodeling are worth the hassles as witnessing the house transforming into their dream abode supersedes the troubles people had experienced. Several people want to learn and often search for ideas to manage their homes while their houses go through the transformation. Below are some points which will aid you to manage when your home is under renovation:

Plan the Renovation

Renovation involves different aspects, from plumbing to painting, fixing electric wires to installing cabinets and flooring; all are part of house remodeling. Planning it out helps people stay on track and gives them direction. People should list down all the things they need to do and prepare accordingly. A significant house renovation requires people to empty the house and leave it vacant for workers. Leaving furniture while workers carry on their plumbing, carpeting, or other works might harm it.

Moreover, planning renovation will give a timeline for every activity. People can purchase supplies in bulk and have other preparations done. Laborers spend a reasonable amount of time in the houses, and they need to use the bathroom often. While planning, people must not forget portable toilets for workers. Workers will not have to travel far away for their needs and can perform better. You can also go for portable toilet rental if you don’t want extra bucks to spend on it. Experts say that things may not exactly go as per people’s plans. However, they must still plan before indulging in an extensive renovation procedure. 

Establish a Budget

When people do not set a budget before going for a massive renovation project, they overspend. They do not realize until it is too late. The key is to have a wholesome budget set and have a subdivision for every activity. For instance, people must set money for plumbing, flooring, and other activities aside. Establishing a budget can limit choice, and they understand that they have to search for things in their window. Modern world markets have multiple options for a single product, and people can easily find something in their range. An ideal way is to research the market and set a realistic budget. Experts suggest people should keep some funds extra as additional expenses may arise. 

Get Professionals on Board

Several people find the renovation budget going out of their hands once they have started it. They consider different ways of saving money and often hire amateurs for various tasks. People need to understand that renovation is not something that they can indulge in every other year. Hiring unprofessional and inexperienced people may save some money during remodeling, but they will not give high-quality service. Getting professionals on board ensures that they will do the super quality work. People will not have to go for repairs in a few years. Thus, save money in the long run. 

Don’t Neglect HVAC 

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning HVAC is a vital aspect of a house. People must keep it in consideration while upgrading their homes. When ceilings and walls are open, it is perfect for installing ductwork for central heating and air conditioning. A smart move is to install the system before final polish and run the electricity to check if the system runs smoothly. Furthermore, installing systems when the renovation is in the process will enable people to hide all these wires that ruin the house’s look.  

Ask for Help

Several people find asking for help difficult and try to do all the work on their own. They assume that people have a lot on their plate, and asking to lend a helping hand will put an additional burden on them. People must realize that friends and family members do not mind stepping in to help; instead, sometimes, they feel valued. Moreover, asking for help does not demonstrate that you are weak as the renovation is tiring and can exhaust anyone. 

Take Nutritious Diet and Adequate Sleep

Many people neglect their health and focus only on their house renovation. They shift their concentration to household work and often stop taking proper meals. Consequently, their health deteriorates, and they start feeling weak. Besides, home renovation is physically exorbitant. People may need to enhance their food intake to carry on with their work.

Similarly, people often want to get done with the renovation quickly and speed up the work. They do not take proper sleep, exhaust their bodies, and eventually take a toll on their health. People must realize that a nutritious diet and adequate sleep are the body’s needs; neglecting them will harm their health. 

Conclusion

Home renovation is a mentally draining and physically taxing process. It requires people to move their furniture, take curtains out, empty cabinets and cupboards, and several other laborious things. Sometimes people have to shift to some other place for the time being. Numerous people ignore the need to remodel a house. They think that renovation requires them to do strenuous work and is heavy on pockets. Renovation is time-consuming, and people have to go back and forth taking care of several aspects. They have to be on their toes and look after multiple things. Planning helps in smoothing the complicated process out. Experts say that preparations are necessary for a significant renovation and can help people indulge in an extensive project. 

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Repair and Maintenance

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In the domain of management, repair and maintenance are the two most frequently used terms. They are actually two different concepts that are oftentimes used together. However the main goal of both is the efficient performance of our daily life tools or equipment. Repair and maintenance are how you can keep your assets running in optimal conditions for a long time.

The Difference Between Repair and Maintenance

Though both the terms have a similar end goal yet they do have different meaning and procedures.

What is Repair?

Repair is the action that is performed in order to deal with the failure of a certain asset. Equipment may malfunction for various reasons and depending upon the malfunction the asset may be repairable or non reparable. Many times contractors of the assets also offer repair services too. They may determine whether your asset is repairable or not after deducing if the failure is a partial failure or a complete failure. A complete failure may render the asset useless until it is repaired.

Equipment breakdown may not always be reparable and sometimes it may be better to let go and buy a new one rather than wasting a lot of money on repairs. While it may be expensive to buy new equipment, irreparable equipment can sometimes drain even more money than a new one. However it is very much possible for your equipment to stay for a longer run without any breakdowns and this can only be achieved through maintenance.

What is Maintenance?

Maintenance is the measures that are taken in order to ensure that your assets are running smoothly and can prevent the emergence of damages that may cause a breakdown later. Maintenance is often used for all sets of activities that are carried out in order to ensure that an asset is in its optimal conditions and sometimes in order to install new features. Maintenance of utilities like air conditioning systems of your houses tend to ensure that the equipment is still in its best condition and may not need any preventative work or re-instalments. Maintenance may involve visual or functional checkups. Installing new assets within a facility may also be referred to as maintenance. Moreover, approaching repair services may also be a form of maintenance. 

The easiest way to remember the difference between repair work and maintenance work is that repairs happen after failures while maintenance is done in order to prevent failures. 

For air-conditioning maintenance and repair services visit air conditioning Munroe Falls OH.

Long-Term Benefits of Maintenance 

In the longer term maintenance can prevent your equipment or assets from frequent malfunctions. This is not only effective in making your product last longer but also cost effective as it can save you from spending a lot of money that is required in buying new products. Maintenance also helps devices work more smoothly. This doesn’t apply to just your electronic equipment or your house equipment but also your automobiles. Your cars too require proper maintenance in order for them to avoid frequent shutdowns or care breakdowns. For vehicle maintenance and repairs you can go ahead and trust driveline repair services bellevue wa. Remember, maintenance is better than approaching repair services later.

Conclusion 

Maintenance and repairs are mandatory for most physical assets. Proper maintenance of equipment maximizes their useful life and avoids the need for repairs. Maintenance can lower the chances of malfunctions, though this doesn’t mean that damages can be completely maintained. Sooner or later everything you own may need repairs. However, that time may not necessarily come by in the very near future if your assets are maintained properly. 

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6 Living Room Design Ideas that Feature Beautiful Woodwork 

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Wood is often a designer’s first choice in material, thanks to its classic look that will never go out of style. You can mix and match textures and types of wood to add even more interest and appeal to your living room.

If you’ve been looking for a way to change up your living space without adding a new piece of furniture, adding wooden beams to a ceiling or doorway is a great option for adding detail to your space. Using beams as a focal point adds architectural interest to a room while also making the space feel warm and inviting. 

Design Idea #1: Reclaimed Wood Mantel

The mantle is the focal point of the living room and helps set the tone for the feel and decor of the room. Adding a reclaimed wood mantle takes the style of your living room to the next level. Whether you have a modern style or enjoy a more rustic look, you can design a reclaimed wood mantle out of a variety of colors and textures of wood that coordinate with any decor style.

Once the mantle is in place, decorate it with pieces that accent your style whether that’s a large mirror or a favorite piece of artwork. The beauty of using reclaimed wood as the material of choice for your new mantle is that the material is naturally durable and strong and can support any decor items you plan to display.

Design Idea #2: Accent Wall

Using wood paneling to create a wooden accent wall is a new and unique way to decorate your living room. Adding the accent wall is an art piece in itself and immediately adds texture and interest to a plain room.

Some designers suggest wooden paneling on a wall that already exists to add texture to that space. A popular trend is to mount the television on the wooden paneled wall or simply leave the wooden accent wall plain as a statement piece.

However, you can also have a wooden wall serve as a divider in an open concept space and custom design the wall yourself. This allows you to choose the design, pattern, color, and style that works best for your living room.

Design Idea #3: Wooden Floors and Ceilings

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Everyone loves hardwood floors in a living room for many reasons. Hardwood floors are not only beautiful, but they are also more practical and take less work to keep clean than carpet. Not to mention they are better for allergies and more. Hardwood floors work with any design style and come in a variety of textures, sizes, and colors.

One idea you may not have considered when installing hardwood floors is thinking about using either the same wood or a coordinating wood for your ceiling. There are a variety of ceiling design options out there, and using wood as part of the design is one of the more popular trends. Whether you add beams to the ceiling with coordinating wood with the floors or panel the entire ceiling, adding wood on both the ground and above adds an extra level of style and decor to your living room.

Design Idea #4: Ornate Wooden Furniture

Your living room is likely a room in the house that you spend the most time in and as you look around, you will want to be surrounded by beauty and items that are pleasing to look at. Investing in wooden furniture with ornate designs is a way to add both art and storage to your living room.

If you have a specific piece of furniture in mind or a certain style you have been looking for, think about working with a company or individual that can design your dream furniture piece. Many designers no longer suggest sticking with just one style of wood for a room, but instead, encourage homeowners to find pieces they love and use a coordinating accent color to bring the room together. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different types of wooden furniture pieces in your living room because it is your space to design the way you enjoy.

Design Idea #5: Built-in Wooden Shelves

Having built-in shelving in your living room is an ideal way to save space while increasing storage in the room. Shelving adds space for books, decor, family photos, and more. As you design the shelves, think about using coordinating wooden tones that mix well with the floors and any other wooden accents. Whether you only use wood for the shelves themselves or use it to accent the perimeter of the shelves, it will bring an extra element of design to the room.

Design Idea #6: Wooden Loft Space

If you have been wanting to add an office space to your home but didn’t have the extra room to do so, creative designers have designed a solution for you. If your living room has large ceilings, you can add a wooden staircase that leads to a loft space designed out of wood. This option is a great way to maximize the use of your space while adding a unique architectural twist to your home.

You can design the living room loft space to meet the exact needs that you and your family members need when it comes to space. Using wood for the staircase and the floor of the loft helps keep the living room feel warm and inviting even if it is divided into different spatial areas.

Adding Beautiful Woodwork to Your Home

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Designing and decorating your living room takes time to get it just the way you have envisioned it looking. Take time to find designs and styles that you like. You can mix and match colors and textures of wood to make the room just right for your home. The best part about using beautiful woodwork in your home is that it will never go out of style. 

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5 Things To Do Before Installing A New Ceiling Fan In Your Home 

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Summertime is a great time to knock out some DIY projects that have been on the backburner for a while. When it isn’t scorching hot outside, maybe it’s time to get to that roof repair or finally build that porch you’ve been putting off since last fall. But it’s also a good time to look into maximizing the air supply and circulation in your home. Air conditioners and swamp coolers might offer some reprieve from the sweltering summer heat, but a ceiling fan can be a great way to lower energy costs, save some money, and add some character to a room in the process. Here are a few things to take care of prior to installing a new ceiling fan.

Determine Ceiling Fan Location

Knowing the ideal location for your new ceiling fan ahead of time is always a good way to start a project of this nature. Begin by deciding where you’re going to put the fan. Is it an indoor fan for one of the rooms in your house or is it going to be an outdoor fan for your garage or porch? Indoor fans are straightforward. When looking for one, keep in mind the look you want to achieve, how you want it to circulate the air, and what its purpose will be (decor, cooling, additional lighting, etc). Outdoor ceiling fans serve multiple purposes: they can act as a way to increase the airflow in a small outerspace for create additional lighting for those They’re perfect for open outdoor spaces like a gazebo or your porch. Outdoor fans have wet and damp ratings. Damp rated fans are great for areas that are indirectly exposed to moisture such as rain or snow. Wet rated fans are ideal for areas that are directly exposed to moisture. outdoor ceiling fans, the same information we've mentioned here applies.

Measure The Room’s Size

Before installing a ceiling fan in your home, you’ll need to know the room size and get an appropriately sized fan. Ceiling fan sizes range between 29" and over 60", so room size definitely matters! To get an accurate picture of the room's measurements, grab a tape measure and start measuring the room from one wall to the other lengthwise. Repeat the procedure widthwise. After that, multiply the two numbers together to arrive at your room's square footage. This is how you are going to determine what size fan to purchase. Blade sweep is the diameter of the spin the blades make when they are in motion. When you see fan size measurements, this is what it's referring to when it says blade span, blade sweep, or diameter. For rooms 75 sq ft and under, a 29" - 36" fan is ideal. As the room size increases, so do the fan diameter requirements. It can go all the way up to a room larger than 400 as ft that may require a 72 inch ceiling. It ultimately depends on your needs, the size of the room, and how you're going to plan your installation. 

Choose A Fan Style

Now for the fun part: choosing the ceiling fan style. Ceiling fans come in a significant variety of designs, styles, and with different types of mounts. Here are just a few:

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Farmhouse
  • Craftsman
  • Industrial
  • Nautical
  • Transitional
  • Outdoor

They all have their own unique quirks and specific design aesthetics. Traditional fans, for instance, are what you’d expect to find in a typical home. Modern fans have a minimalist, neutral design to complement a similar decor style. Nautical ceiling fans evoke a sailing/boat aesthetic. Rustic fans are at home in a log cabin, lodge, or country homes. Farmhouse fans are a mix of modern and rustic. Other styles abound, but there’s undoubtedly a particular style that’ll suit your home. Mounts come in variable sizes as well. There are standard mounts that feature a downrod (the part of the mount that goes into the ceiling itself) ranging from three to five inches high. Longer/extended downrods are available for rooms with higher ceilings. There are also specialized mounts for sloped ceilings. Finally, there are flush mounts available to mount the fan directly to the ceiling. These are used for low profile/hugger ceiling fans, which work best in small rooms and spaces. If you're updating a small space, like a bedroom or kitchen, then a hugger fan is probably your best bet.

Select Additional Features 

Once you've chosen your ceiling fan design and style, it's time to look at additional features. In modern times, a ceiling fan doesn't have to be just a fan; it can benefit from an array of features and accessories.

  • Lighting (recessed, bowl, uplight, downlight, and for lights are all options)
  • LEDs
  • Wall Switch
  • Pull Chain
  • Remote Control
  • Wireless Smart Control
  • Type of motor

You can also go with a ceiling fan that doesn't have any lights. These would be ideal for rooms that don’t really require extra light, such as a home theater or a room with plenty of overhead and sconce lighting already installed.

Plan the Installation

Now it's time to install the ceiling fan in your home. Should you go the professional or DIY route? It really just depends on your skill level, preference, and how much time you want to spend on the installation itself.

Installing a ceiling fan on your own is a remarkably easy DIY project. All it takes are a few vital safety precautions, some personal protective equipment, the proper tools for the job, and a few hours of your time. It'll be easier if you put the fan together first, but you can do after without affecting the installation if you’re so inclined. It’s also a lot of fun and fairly straightforward:

  1. Remove existing fixture and cut a new hole.
  2. Attach new electrical box.
  3. Put the mount on the ceiling. Make sure your measurements are accurate!
  4. Connect the wiring.
  5. Attach the blades and any accessories such as lights.

If you’re ever uncertain about something during an installation, you can always look up a tutorial online or, better yet, ask a professional for advice. Sometimes it's easier and much more convenient just to have a professional handyman install the fan in your home. If DIY isn’t your thing and time is of the essence, you might want to just get your new fan professionally installed. 

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5 Most Common Reasons Your AC Needs Repairing

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Australia gets hot in the summer, that is why nearly 5 million Australian households have air conditioning units. To most people, they are an essential item and one that is often underappreciated until it breaks down. At this stage, you will want to get hold of an industrial air conditioning specialist fast.

Of course, it can help to understand the most common reasons for air conditioning failure, a little preparation can avoid them breaking down.

1. Lack of Maintenance

One of the most common issues is simply a lack of maintenance. Your AC unit is a mechanical appliance with moving parts and liquids. If the liquids are low or the moving parts are not properly maintained they will stop working properly. This is often what causes AC breakdowns at the start of the season as the unity has been sat, collecting dirt for months.  

2. Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant is an essential part of your air conditioning system. It circulates through the coils and extracts the heat from the air, allowing the unit to blow cool air into your home. If the refrigerant level is low it cannot extract the heat properly and you will get warm air when you want cold.

Refrigerant is dangerous, it is normally sealed into the system. Therefore, if the level is low you probably have a leak and you should get the professionals to deal with it. 

3. Frozen Coils

The coil is another essential part of the system. However, if it is frozen the air will not be drawn through it properly and won’t be cooled. There are several reasons for frozen coils, including low refrigerant, dirty filters, or another general fault. You will need an expert to evaluate it for you. 

4. Sensor Issues

Your air conditioner has an array of sensors. These control the amount of air allowed through the unit, the temperature of the air, and even the speed of the fan. When one of the sensors stops working properly the unit will not function correctly. Depending on the fault you may find it blows out warm air instead of cold or it may stop working altogether. 

It is also worth noting that the thermostat is a sensor. If the signal to the unit is broken it will not know when to turn on or off. A dodgy thermostat or one positioned incorrectly can also affect the temperature the air conditioning thinks it has created.

5. Bad Electrics

Finally, the fifth most common reason for air conditioning failure is simply bad electrics. It can be because your electrical system has been altered during the cooler months and you didn’t realize you affected the air conditioning circuits.

It can also be a problem with the electrical installation, interior wiring, or even the thermostat. You will need a qualified air conditioning technician to look at the issue, diagnose the problem, and then fix it.

Remember, most issues can be avoided by having annual maintenance completed. It is that simple.

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How to Choose A Professional Carpet Removal Service

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Let’s be honest: carpet removal DIY is not the greatest task in the world. It’s messy and sweat-breaking as well as time-consuming. Are there any free takers? Yes, there are, though not completely free. At least your time will be freed up if you let the pros take care of your removal. But how do you choose a professional carpet removal service like jiffyjunk.com? Wonder no longer and check out our advice!

Check Which Carpet Removal Services Are in Your Area

The first step in choosing a professional service is to check which are in your area. Even if you wanted to choose one from further away, you’ll likely pay more. Removal services like any other service charge a fee for longer distances to your place. If you want to avoid higher costs, stick to those in your area. This might also help you in finding reviews as well as receiving personalized recommendations.

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Listen To Reviews And Recommendations

None of us regularly would take advantage of professional removal. It’s a service we only need every decade or so. Within that timeframe, a lot of services pop up and disappear. If you were happy with a particular service years ago, it might not be there anymore. You can certainly contact any carpet removal service. However, you don’t know how well their services are until you had them in your home. Ask your friends if they could recommend a service to you. Maybe they’d even know one personally.

Should that not be the case, try to find customer reviews about each removal service. Those usually state if the carpet guy were punctual, cheap, or expensive and, above all, if they did a splendid job. Be very careful about customer reviews that are directly mentioned on the web page of service.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies publish fake reviews to attract more customers. Moreover, some companies pay people to write fake reviews on Google, for example. As such, those may not be very reliable. You might have better luck with actual customer reviews on independent review portals. Make a list of companies that have the most positive reviews.

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Don’t go for Carpet Removal Services on Craigslist

You can certainly find all sorts of affordable services on advertising pages like Craigslist or even on Facebook Marketplace. They might just be start-ups with a bunch of guys who try to start an honest business. But they can also be offered by people who have no idea what they’re doing. You can be lucky to find someone on such pages who actually does have the know-how.

There is no way to tell, though, and they’re usually aren’t reviews of their services either. Moreover, they usually have no license and no insurance. In the event of anything going south during the removal, no one could cover any damages. It’d be all on you. And that can turn out to be very expensive. Because then you’d have to get the professionals in after all to repair damages. Neither would the workers be covered if they were hurt during carpet removal. Usually, it can hardly result in injuries, however, stranger things have happened.

Make Inquiries

Inquiries do have two advantages. Firstly, you find out how responsive a carpet removal service is. Secondly, you need to collect estimates.

Depending on how soon a service gets back to you, you can already guess their work ethics. At best, you give them a call and don’t try to just drop an email. You may not want to use a live chat to make an inquiry either, since those can be run by AI. That means you’d not talk to an actual person. Of course, you can also turn up at their premises personally. The first thing to observe is how long they’re letting you wait - either on the phone or during a personal visit. If they don’t reply to you soon, it could mean they’re very busy. But it could also be a sign that they don’t really care.

Moreover, it could signal they might not turn up in time for the job. The second thing to note is their politeness. The friendlier a carpet removal service is, the better. You certainly don’t want a grumpy team of carpet guys in your place.

Once you have a bunch of estimates in your hand, you can choose the best service according to their fees. No one wants to pay more for a service when another can do the same job for less.

Pay attention to the small print and make sure the estimate includes all fees, such as disposal fees and labor. Carpet removal services may look cheap with a low quote but don’t state additional fees for the job. You could run into hidden fees and ultimately pay more than the estimate projected. 

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A Note About Fees

Fees for such services are based on several factors that you cannot influence.

For example, carpet removal will always be more expensive in an area with a higher living standard. Likewise, the fees will be lower in an area with a lower standard of living. Of course, there are variations from one service to another. That’s why it’s well worth your time to make inquiries and collect estimates.

Removal is always cheaper during the fall and winter seasons. Most people tend to renovate their homes as part of their spring clean. Consequently, such services are fully booked and tend to be more expensive during peak season. Since they have fewer customers in cold seasons, they are happy about each contract they can get. Thus, they offer more favorable prices.

At last, removal fees depend not only on the size of the room where your old carpet is located. They’re also based on the shape of the room. The trickier it is built with lots of corners, the more work will have to be done than with a typical rectangular room.

Parting Words On Choosing The Best Carpet Removal Services

There you have it, those are the main point to take into consideration before hiring a removal company. And now, it’s research time. Take as long as you need, and make sure to not fall into any scams. Renovating your home is a great thing, and don’t let the wrong company taint your experience. So, go on and make your living room as beautiful as it can be! 

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Things to Consider Before Hiring a Moving Company

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Hiring a moving company makes the process of moving extremely easy. These professionals know how to pack your material possessions and safely take them to your new house. However, while there are good movers, there are also scammers waiting to take advantage of you. Moving is already a daunting process, and the last thing anyone wants is to get scammed.

While you may use the internet to find resources, you never know which one is a fraud. So, how can you find a reliable moving company for you? Suppose you do match with a reliable mover online, but they seem to cross your budget. How can you avoid that? How can you ensure that only budget-friendly movers would work best for you? It is natural to feel anxious since it is not easy to pack your entire house into a handful of boxes.

It also adds to your anxiety when you learn about the various horror stories that come with picking the wrong movers. Through this article, we will guide you on how you can find the best company for you:

  1. Ask For Referrals

When it comes to hiring professionals, you need the guidance of your friends and family. However, experience plays a significant role when you want to find a moving company that is suitable for you. Your friends can share what they liked about the company with you and what they did not like. They can guide you on how the rating system works and how you can negotiate your price. Your friends may have worked with a new company that left a lasting impression. This information can help you shortlist companies, and you can take it from there.

  1. Look For Reviews

When you have a list of companies, you should also try to look them up online. You want to ensure that they have substantial experience, which will reflect in their reviews. Pay attention to what consumers wrote. If they are happy, find out why. If they are upset, find out why. No company is free from bad reviews, but if the ratio of good reviews outweighs bad ones, you got yourself a winner. Reviews also give you a clue on other variables that you may not have known previously. For example, suppose you learn that your kitchen items should always get packed last. Another detail you may want to look into is how far the movers are from your current location. You may need to consider how much fuel it would cost them to get to you and how hard it would be to reach you on time.

  1. Their Track Record

Track records tell you how good a company is when it comes to moving. A high success rate suggests that the company managed to pack appropriately and move with minimal to no damages. It is also essential when it comes to moving. You don't want your items to get cluttered or packed haphazardly. You also don't want broken items and lose crucial possessions in the process. If you see a company with a high track record, consider them as a potential option.

  1. License and Insurance 

Never make the mistake of working with a company that has no license and insurance. In fact, this should be visible on their website and if it's not, make it a point to ask. Companies that have a license and insurance can legally protect and move your possessions. For example, suppose you need to move from one state to another. In that case, companies have a unique USDOT number which you can verify from a transport directory.

  1. Learn About Their Rates

You need a budget when it comes to moving. Always start with finding how the hourly rates and charge per mover to make a decision. Companies always start by quoting base rates, and these are the starting pricing points. If your moving process requires additional labor and workforce, they will add on to this rate. Therefore, ensure your budget has a margin in case it potentially goes overboard. If you feel the base rate is already costly and add-on may be out of your reach, switch over. If a company is vague about giving you a ballpark figure, you may move on to someone else. Some companies are also open to negotiations. While there are fixed rates, they may give you leeway with some of the facilities they provide. It would help if you found those out.

  1. Check Their Facilities

You may want to know what a moving company has in store for you. First, you may be busy while moving, so they should be able to facilitate you. Suppose you need to go to work in the morning, and you only get selective evenings to wrap up your stuff. Second, you may have a general idea of what you own. If you have a small apartment, you have fewer material possessions compared to a large house. It would help if you inquired about the size of the moving trucks a company has. You should also find out how they intend to place your electronics, such as a TV, safely with your other boxes. It will help if you also ask if a company is flexible in providing you with packing supplies beforehand to get started. Finally, make sure they can accommodate your schedule and time and don't arrive too late with your belongings.

Wrap Up

It would help if you always stayed vigilant about who you hire to help move your things. There are numerous moving companies to choose from found over the internet. However, their track record, license, and satisfaction rate make them stand out. While you're doing your research, consult friends and family to get a general idea. You should also leverage your search by checking them online and confirming any questions you have. Finally, make sure the moving company is accommodating and flexible. It would be best if you didn't have to put your schedule on hold for them, and they should always make the moving process easy for you.

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The Definitive Guide To Building vs Buying A Home

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Deciding to purchase your own home is a huge decision. In most cases, you will need to use finance which means you are taking on the biggest commitment of your life. Alongside this, there are many different houses to choose from, making it hard to find the perfect solution. 

Regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer or have owned several houses, you should pause to consider building versus buying.

The Advantages Of Building Over Buying

When you engage the services of reputable specialists in custom-built homes you suddenly find you have a lot more control over the process than you may have realized. Best of all, you don’t need to do the build or spend all your time on site. 

What you do need to do is find the right site and work with the company to design your perfect home.

Layout

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of building a home is that you get to design every part of it. That means controlling the number of bedrooms, where they will be situated, and what other rooms are important to you. 

By choosing the location you also have control over privacy and how to landscape your yard. 

Cost Saving

In general, it costs a little more to build a custom home instead of purchasing one already built. But, when you custom build your home you can add in all the extra features, such as solar panels, rainwater recycling, and even ground source heating pumps. 

Yes, this will add to the cost. But, it will reduce your annual costs, potentially to almost zero. In the long term, your house will be cheaper and you may find it is worth more thanks to the latest technology.

Finance Options

When you buy a ready-built house you need secured finance in the form of a mortgage. But, when you custom build you will find an array of finance options are open to you, including stage release. This allows you to contribute more toward the cost and reduce your long-term commitment. 

It can make a significant difference to life quality.

Advantages Of An Existing Home

There are two main advantages associated with buying an existing home as opposed to building one:

1. Convenience

An existing home is convenient, especially if you are on a tight timetable. Once you have found out what you can afford, you simply locate your preferred property and make an offer. If accepted you know you will be in your new home within three months and it is in your preferred area. 

2. Cost

As mentioned, it is generally cheaper to purchase an existing property. All you need to do is find out how much you can borrow and then locate a house in the right price range. As the cost is set you will know exactly how much you are borrowing and what the monthly payments will be.

Final Thoughts

The reality is that, over the long term, there are significantly more advantages to building a custom home than there are to buying an existing one. However, everyone is unique. You need to decide what works best for you today, even if that means building your dream house in a few years.

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Understanding Termites & How To Repair Termite Damage

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Termites cause somewhere between $1 - $1.5 billion worth of damage every year. That is a significant sum for insurance companies and homeowners to pay out simply replacing the wood that the termites have destroyed. Of course, in some cases, the termite destruction is so severe that the property has to be pulled down and rebuilt

That is a scenario that you would probably prefer to avoid and a great reason to learn how to control termites.

Termite Habits

The first step to preventing termite damage is to understand how they operate. Termites live in large colonies and are surprisingly organized. They have a queen and soldier termites, as well as those that hunt for food. 

They eat wood, often heading under your house through the soft soil that surrounds it. This gives them access to dark and damp conditions, along with plenty of wood.

Unfortunately, a colony of termites can eat through six inches of 2x4 in just five months. You can imagine the effect this could have on the stability of your home. The only question is what wood are they eating?

Repairing the Damage

In order to repair the damage, you need to locate it first. This is surprisingly easy! You need to look around your home to see if there are any small tunnels in the soil surrounding your home. This indicates the presence of termites.

You will then need to locate the termites in your home, this can be easier with professional help.  Before you can repair the damage they have caused you will need to eradicate the termites, or they will simply continue causing damage.

Fortunately, the professionals can help with this. They have special chemical treatments that will kill the termites and they will treat the nest directly.

Alongside this, you can use bait boxes to attract termites to food. Once they consider it safe you swap the food for poison and the termites will eat it, effectively killing themselves. 

As soon as the termites have been dealt with you can assess the damage. The simplest option is to insert a screwdriver into the wood. If it goes in easily, the wood is rotten because there are an array of tunnels inside it. 

You will need to cut the rotten piece out and then replace it with a new piece Naturally before you add fresh wood ensure the termites are all dead. 

Protecting Your Home

To help ensure that new termites don’t arrive and start eating your wood you will need to remove the soil from around your home. Replace it with concrete at least six inches wide. This will prevent the termites from being able to get to your foundations. 

You can also be vigilant for signs of termites, such as bubbling paint and pinholes in your wood. If you suspect you have a termite problem again take immediate action. The faster you respond the quicker you can eliminate them and reduce the amount of wood that needs to be repaired. 

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Understanding Carpet Tiles & How To Use them Practically In Your Home

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Carpet tiles have been in existence for many years. It is believed the first carpet time was created in 1957. Of course, the original carpet tile was very different from the tiles you see today. It was a ten-inch square of felt with a bitumen backing and was designed for use in commercial properties. 

Fast-forward more than fifty years and you have a modern carpet tile which is essentially a small section of a piece of carpet. They are available in a wide variety of styles and colors, allowing you to create your perfect style in your home.

Modern carpet tiles are generally available in three different sizes, 50x50, 60x60, and 96x96. It is also possible to get hexagonal and other shaped carpet tiles. Of course, this does make it more complicated and potentially more expensive to install. 

Where To Use them

The best quality carpet tiles can be used anywhere in your home. If you would lay a carpet then you can lay carpet tiles. In fact, there are even specially formatted carpet tiles that can be used in your bathrooms and kitchens. 

The great thing about carpet tiles is that they are very easy to install. Because they are smaller than a piece of carpet you will find it much easier to transport them around and get them into the designated space. 

You can then cut individual ones to ensure you have the perfect fit for your room. But, perhaps the best feature of carpet tiles is the ability to remove and replace individual ones. While most carpet tiles have a stain-resistant coating, there are times when the stains and spills simply won’t come out. In this instance, you can lift the tie-up and replace it with one the same. 

Of course, that does mean buying a few spare when you purchase the carpet tiles. There is no guarantee that they will still be in production when you discover the stain.

Fitting Carpet Tiles

When you are installing carpet tiles you should always start from the center of the room.  This will ensure a nice symmetrical finish to the room and any cut ties are at the edge. It does mean measuring the room first to establish the center.

You can also add insulation under the tiles. However, this is not always necessary as some carpet tiles have insulation incorporated into them.

Don’t forget that you can also mix and match carpet tiles. If you like two different shades of tiles you can create your own pattern on the floor. In short, you can create a unique finish by choosing the carpet tiles and where you want to position them. It is even possible to remove some shades later and change the look without replacing all the tiles. You can embrace the seams or hide them completely, the choice is entirely yours.

This makes carpet tiles a cost-effective and attractive solution to your flooring needs. The fact that they are warm underneath is simply a bonus.

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Top Tips To Ensure You Choose the Ideal Balustrade For Your Home

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Balustrades are an essential safety device that should be used on all raised platforms, balconies, and in other areas of your home. If you are considering installing a balustrade then you should first check your local regulations to ensure you will comply with their guidelines.

This will help to ensure you take all necessary factors into account when choosing your balustrades.

The Style of Your Home

The first thing you should consider when looking at the different balustrades available is the style of your home. For example, if you have a Victorian-style home and need a balustrade for a balcony, a modern metal option may not be the right choice.

Whatever balustrade you choose must go with the look of your home. If you are not sure what looks right check out the other homes in the area or look at pictures online. It will help you to narrow down your choices.

Types Of Balustrade

There are many different types of balustrades on the market, ranging from smart glass balustrades Sydney to steel, wood, or even concrete. Almost any material can be used to create a balustrade, providing it is strong enough to prevent a person from falling over and potentially injuring or killing themselves.

You need to familiarize yourself with the different types, which means looking at them in-situ. It will help you to choose the perfect one for your home.

Your Preference

Of course, once you have looked at all the different styles your choice should be guided by the one you prefer, or desire the most.

It is important to note that this is a personal opinion and there is no wrong answer, providing it goes with the style of your home.

Visibility

When you are considering a balustrade you need to take a moment to look at your current view. In some cases, you have a great view and you don’t want to ruin it. In other cases, such as balustrades around a swimming pool, you need to be able to see the pool and what is happening there.

In these cases, you will want a balustrade that provides good visibility and still protects people from injury.

Alongside the view, you should consider the amount of wind you are exposed to. If you find that the raised area is prone to be windy but you want the view then the glass balustrade really is the best option.

Maintenance

Finally, you should also consider how much maintenance the balustrade requires and how much you like doing maintenance work. For example, wooden balustrades need to be checked and possibly treated every year to keep them in perfect condition. In contrast, glass balustrades need virtually no maintenance, other than cleaning dirty fingerprints off them.

Of course, you will also need to spare a few moments to consider the cost of the balustrade. But, this shouldn’t be a deciding factor, it merely gives you a timeline regarding how long it is before you can afford the balcony you desire.

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