13 February 2018

Step By Step DIY Guide For Your Brand New Loft Room

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Converting a loft is one of the best decisions that you will ever make in your home improvement projects. When you think about the potential of turning your loft into an extremely useful and absolutely beautiful area of your home, it’s probably going to excite you. However, if you’re doing some portions of the loft conversion on your own, you need to read this article to guide you in a DIY loft conversion and design project.

Steps in pulling off a successful DIY loft conversion

Converting your loft involves a lot of factors to consider, but these things should not hinder you from pursuing your plans. That’s why we have this loft conversion guide, to help you navigate through the nitty gritty details.

Start with the basics

Before buying any furniture or tearing down walls, you need to answer the following basic questions in converting a loft:
  • Does your local building code allow you to convert your loft?
  • Is your roof space tall enough to make your loft conversion plans possible?
  • Will the floor below the loft remain unaffected by the changes?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you may want to ask a professional building contractor about your loft conversion plans.

Do the floor

If the floor in your loft is already fit for your needs – say, solid floorboards sitting on strong wooden beams – then you don’t have to worry too much about the loft flooring. Otherwise, you need to carefully plan what kind of flooring you will install in your loft conversion.

Make sure that your loft floor is sturdy enough for your needs. Failing to check the floor integrity may cause you to fall through the ceiling and destroy your loft conversion project in one fell swoop!

Add insulation

Insulating your loft is something that many homeowners fail to consider, and this may lead to extreme temperature changes when you’re inside the loft.

The good news is that putting insulation on your loft has become more convenient than before. You may purchase insulation boards that you can slide in between beams and walls. Make sure that the insulation covers the entire room with minimal gaps, so that you can protect the loft from sudden weather changes.

Before insulating your loft, you should also consider where you will have your windows in order to get enough light in the room. Installing soundproof windows in your brand new loft room would be the icing on the cake! More light and less noise!

Connect to utilities

Planning to convert the loft into a bathroom? You need to check if the plumbing system is accessible. Otherwise, you will have to spend a little more to install additional pipes and fittings.

In short, plan out your loft conversion to include access to necessary utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

Include safety precautions

Most lofts are not as accessible as the rest of the rooms in your home, and so you need to make sure that safety precautions are put in place. Some measures that you can put in your loft conversion include the following:
  • Install smoke detectors
  • Put a fire extinguisher
  • Install an alternative access door
  • Make the windows big enough for people to fit, in case of rescue operations
  • Check the electrical system for proper grounding and integrity of circuit breakers
At the end of the day, achieving the perfect loft for your home involves careful planning. By following the tips above, you should be able to enjoy your newly converted loft with less worries and loads of fun and relaxation.


12 February 2018

Ten Helpful Tips For Your Next Appliance Purchase

Image source: Pixabay.com
Are you in the market for a new household appliance?

If you are like most homeowners, you plan to upgrade and add new appliances every five years. However, if you are not careful, you will accidentally buy the wrong appliance or buy an appliance that will not fit in your house.

We are here to help!

We put together ten must know tips on buying household appliances.

Read Reviews Of Brands Before Committing To Any Purchase Decisions

Before you commit to purchasing any appliance, read trustworthy reviews on the brand and model. Learn how a particular appliance holds up over time, maintains functionality, and when to expect breakdowns.

Every product, including appliances, has strengths and weaknesses. Some appliances last decades. Others only survive a few years. Trustworthy reviews will help you weed out potential bad products. You can search for a website like Best10anything for the best appliances reviews.

Measure Out Space and Confirm You Can Fit Your Appliances In A Specific Room

When you are planning on upgrading large appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and washing machines, measure the spaces where new appliances will go. By getting the measurements ahead of time, you will reduce the likelihood that you will buy an appliance that does not fit in your home.

With appliances that need ventilation, make sure you factor in extra space for cords, cables, and hoses.

When Renovating Entire Rooms, Upgrade Your Appliances To Match The Theme

Many appliance upgrades occur when a room's design is being renovated. Modernizing a kitchen, for example, requires new a new stove, sink, refrigerator, and oven at the least. In order for the renovation to look professional, you will need to find appliances that match your new theme. Clean, stainless steel appliances would match a modern kitchen.

However, they would not match a rustic, wooden kitchen. Shop around to find a store or vendor that will sell you sets of appliances that match your theme.

Find Energy Efficient Appliances That Will Save You Money

When you are buying your appliances, compare brands to find what appliances will save you the most money. Many higher-end brands compete with each other to create the most efficient, low-energy devices. These appliances will use less energy. This helps the environment and keeps your wallet fatter each month.

The United States Government has a calculator that can help you determine if your new appliance will save you money on electricity. In 2018 when there is a high focus on energy conservation there is little need to waste money buying a high-energy device when so many quality alternatives exist.

Negotiate With The Salesman To Get A Better Price On Your Appliance

Most appliance salesmen have wiggle room when it comes to pricing appliances. According to ConsumerReports.org, only 30% of large appliance consumers attempt to negotiate with salesmen on price. The average savings of consumers who negotiated with a salesman was $98. Whenever possible, work with the salesman to find a price you can both agree on.

Bring cash with you to leverage your negotiations. Offering physical cash increases the likelihood that your offer will be accepted. Besides price, negotiate on delivery fees, installation fees, and financing rates. Many consumers can reduce the overall cost of their appliances by adding purchase resistance to their salesman. Do not let yourself pay full price!

Floor Models Look Just As Good But Come At A Discounted Price

Old floor models need to be moved in order for new models to take their place. Knowing this as a consumer gives you power. You can ask if the floor model is available for sale. More often than not, a salesman is looking to get one sold.

Look for floor models with imperfections in places that will be hidden once the appliance is in your house. You can negotiate the price down based on scratches, small damages in the exterior, and other imperfections in the appliance.

Make Your List Of Needed Features And Use It To Make Purchasing Decisions

Avoid buying appliances out of emotion! It is easy to see that perfect fridge with the ice dispenser and built-in water-filter - but do you need it?

Consumers go over budget because they emotionally invest in features and accessories that do not solve a tangible problem they have. They allow the salesmen to paint a picture of what an extra feature could do.

Avoid this by creating a list. Write down all of the features that you need. Stick to that list when a salesman tries to convince you to take an upgraded, and far more expensive, model. Remind yourself of what you need, and more importantly, what you do not need.

If You Are On A Budget, Work With A Lender To Acquire Financing

If you have good credit, you may be able to secure a loan to purchase appliances. Companies such as Best Buy and Lowes will sell you appliances and help you to secure financing. If your store does not offer you financing, you will need to seek it from a bank or lender.

Look In Magazines, Coupon Websites, And Forums For Deals And Freebies With Appliance Purchases

To attract customers, companies give away freebies and deals such as bonus utensils, free shipping, and extended warranties. These offers can make buying a new appliance a better deal. In the case of shipping and warranties, it can save money and potential heartaches.

Know Your Home's Hookups And Buy Appliances That Match Them

Before you set out to buy any appliances, make a list of all the hookups your home has. Note what appliances you need and map out where they would go. Either mentally or on paper, calculate if you have enough hookups to properly support your new appliance. You can avoid the stress of buying an appliance you cannot use by preparing and mapping out hookups ahead of time.

Buying A New Appliance Does Not Have To Be Stressful

Appliance shopping can be stressful! With so many options out there, it can be difficult finding the right equipment for you. Follow our tips listed above and you will be more prepared when you buy your next appliance.

12 January 2018

5 Questions You Need To Ask Before You Decide To Buy A Plot And Create Your Own Perfect Home


Are you sure about closing the deal on that plot?

A lot of couples who want to start a family are. And because of the costs of buying a house, many are opting to just buy a plot and start from there.

This actually puts pressure on you. Even the land you plan to build your home on can determine the long-term success of your project.

So, don’t write that check just yet! Here are five questions you have to ask BEFORE buying a plot for your perfect home

1. Is it located in a disaster-prone area?

Imagine the process of intricate planning to hiring a firm to build your dream house. Now, imagine it all washed away by a nasty flash flood.

What a waste, right?

No matter how beautiful and how sturdy you make your home, you might still need to cough up cash every once in a while if you put it in a disaster-prone area.

That money could have gone on upgrades or getting your kids to better schools.

But aside from storm windows and other preventive tools you can install in your house, there’s even a bigger concern: your family’s safety.

Disasters put people in the face of danger. And keeping the people you love as far away from danger as possible should be always your number one concern.

2. How much is the plot’s current market price?

Although there are a lot of fair dealers out there, it’s not going to hurt to be careful. There still are a lot of people who prey on ignorance and will squeeze as much money out of you as possible.

Instead of rushing into buying a piece of land that you think is cheaper to you, you should still make sure that you’re getting at least a fair deal for it. Who knows? It might even be a lot cheaper than what is being offered to you.

If you don’t know where to start, you can consult a real estate expert to do the works for you. That way, you won’t end up spending a lot more than you should.

3. Can I afford it?

The last thing you want to do is start building your beautiful home but stop the operation in the middle of it all due to the lack of budget.

You may want a big plot in the city, but you shouldn’t get bankrupt doing so. But at the same time, you shouldn’t pass on a great deal just because you don’t have the full amount right now.

And to make sure you get the right balance between quality and cost, consult commercial and private property experts. They’d be able to give you professional advice and make the entire process easier for you.

4. Does it fit the architectural design?

Many people make the mistake of buying first a land in a relatively good location and then worry about how incompatible it is to what they want their house to look like.

That could easily be avoided.

The thing is, the land SHOULD come first before any other aspect of the planning stage. The blueprints made and the materials used are all based on the land.

But if you really have a particular design in mind, make sure it’d work perfectly for your plot. Else, you’d have to cut corners and possibly end up having to deal with home renovations later on.

5 How close to work is it?

Aside from safety, location is also important when we’re talking about work. As of 2016, workers are spending an average of two hours commuting each day.

That’s just the average. So depending on your area, the daily commute can take an even larger chunk of your day.

Even then, experts saw that it was definitely going to be a bigger problem in the future. So, also consider that before buying a plot.

What good is a beautiful home if you’re hardly going to be there, right?

All families want the perfect house to go home to at the end of the day. But before you buy a plot and make your dream home a reality, ask those five questions first. Choosing among endless land prospects isn’t a walk in the park. And by going through those questions, it can be.

04 January 2018

Plants to Consider for Your Home

Plants make homes look pretty. They’re like natural home furniture. Not only that, but some are great air filters and humidifiers, which makes them especially good for cold winters when windows and doors are closed shut.

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If you’ve been thinking about getting some plants for your home in the New Year, or you want to get some new ones, consider the following beauties.

Spider Plant

The spider plant, also known as Chlorophytum Comosum, is pretty easy to maintain, doesn’t need much to take care of it, and can hold its own in various conditions. You can also place it anywhere in the kitchen - the windowsill, the kitchen worktop or wherever else. It requires very little pruning and watering so is a pretty independent little thing. The plant is also a dab hand at removing odors and pollutants.

African Spear

The African spear plant, also known as the cylindrical snake plant or Sansevieria Cylindrica, has long green cylinder-like leaves, and is called a snake plant because the patterns on the leaves are snake-like. It doesn’t take much to look after one as it’s a succulent plant (its thick parts/leaves store water like aloe plants). These plants are great for cleaning the air and removing toxins.

English Ivy

English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a fairly easy vine plant to look after and grow. Make sure the soil it’s planted in stays moist and that it’s kept where the sunlight isn’t too bright. It can also grow in the shade. It’s apparently also good for removing mold spores in the air of one’s home. If you have pets, it can also decrease fecal matter in the air. It’s said to be good at absorbing formaldehyde, which can be found in certain cleaning products, for instance.

If you have a fence, such as the ones sold by Northland Fence, English Ivy would serve as a good climbing plant to create extra privacy.

Be warned: if you do buy this plant, ensure it’s kept well away from children as their berries and leaves are poisonous when consumed (symptoms include stomachache, a fever, breathing problems and diarrhea). Also be careful if you have sensitive skin (because of the sap). Ivy plants are also toxic for our four-legged pets.

Peace Lily

The gorgeous Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is another plant that’s easy to maintain. Like the English Ivy, the Lily’s good for reducing mold spores in the home. It uses its leaves to absorb the spores, which its roots then use as a food source. The Peace Lily is also good for mildew prevention in the bathroom.

If you want it to bloom more of its beautiful white flowers over time, place it in the light more often.

These are just four house plants of the many to choose from. There are so many other plants you can grace your home with. And what’s great is some of them not only keep you and your home company, but they purify the air for you too, which can only be a good thing.

22 December 2017

How To Achieve Debt Relief After A Large Kitchen Renovation


Now that you’ve finished renovating your kitchen thanks to the kitchen remodel loan that you got, the problem you have to solve right now is, how to pay off that loan. A massive kitchen renovation will require a huge loan and paying it off, later on, could be very hard. Fortunately, though, there’s a way for you to be free from your large kitchen remodel loan if you are struggling to pay it off. And that is by achieving debt relief.

What is Debt Relief? 

Debt relief is a change in the terms of your debt or the amount that you owe that allows you to put the debt behind you more quickly.

Debt relief seems to be an excellent choice if you are drowning in debt, or if you are struggling to pay your debts (in this case your kitchen remodel loan). If that is the case, you should know how to achieve debt relief.

How to Achieve Debt Relief?

Here are the best ways to weather out your debt crisis:

1. Do-it-yourself or self-payment initiative. 

Know that you can get out of your debt crisis on your own.You have to make smart and tough decisions on how you can pay off your kitchen remodel loan by cutting down on your expenses. There are two ways for you to be able to repay your debts on your own and that includes:

  • Identify the expenses that are necessary
  • Get rid of anything that is really not needed, at least temporarily, or until all your debts are settled.

Managing your finances correctly will allow you to pay off your monthly payments while not having to compromise on the necessary expenses at home.

2. Consumer credit counselor

If you need help with managing your finances, perhaps talking to a consumer credit counselor will help ease your burden. The counselor will talk to you about all your finances. And then, come up with a debt management plan based on your current financial woes. A debt management plan is a debt solution that you can use to help pay off your debts at a more affordable rate.

  • Your counselor will first determine how much you are able to pay back and then try to negotiate with your creditors. Your counselor could try to extend the term or lower your monthly payments based on what payments you can afford to pay. 
  • There are also some cases where your consumer credit counselor can try to negotiate with your creditors to reduce the interest rate. This should ease up your monthly payments and be able to pay them consistently.

3. Debt consolidation programs

Another good way to achieve debt relief is by bringing together all your debts into one manageable account. There are main benefits of consolidating your debts into one account.

  • Get rid of the high interest rates.
  • Have lower monthly payments.
  • You can focus on making just one payment every month.

This method, however, does not affect or change your total debt. The total sum of your debt will still be the same, what you did was just bring together all your debts into one account so you can pay them off easily.

4. Debt settlement

Debt settlement was not really considered as a good way of achieving debt relief, at first. But it has lately gained prominence among people who are deep in debts. You can find more on debt settlement companies here.

  • In debt settlement, you will hire a debt relief company to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. The goal here is to pay your creditors a portion of your debt after mutually agreeing to a sum which is less than what you originally owe. 
  • By paying off a portion of your debt, your creditor will agree to forgive the rest of your debts. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re struggling to pay off your kitchen remodel loan because of your poor money management skills or because you’ve lost your source of income, you’ll surely love to get rid of them by achieving debt relief.





















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