22 April 2019

Moving to your New Home: Making the Process Easier and Smoother

Having trouble saying goodbye to your family home? That’s normal. Grieve, if you want. And do these things too to cope and make it a little less painful.

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Writer: Kit Banares

No matter how many times you move, the entire process can still catch you off guard. Sometimes, you’d wished you’ve done it differently. Following the guidelines below will help you keep track of the tasks you need to accomplish on time.

Preparing and Planning your Move

Before doing anything or packing your things, you should start to create a plan. List down everything you need to do—from packing your valuables, setting your budget, looking for reputable moving companies in cross countries, clean up schedules, and other important tasks you need to accomplish.

To hire Movers or Not? 

There are no right or wrong answers here, but there are things to consider before making a decision. For example, if you’re just moving a few blocks away and you think you have all the time to spare, there’s no need to hire professional movers. On the other hand, hiring a professional mover can simplify the entire process for you. This is necessary especially if you have a lot of stuff you need to move, or the destination is too far.

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Some moving companies also offer services that can make it more convenient for their clients. They can help pack and unload your belongings properly, clean up the areas, and make sure everything goes smoothly and on time. Most companies also have insurance bond included on their service package.

When hiring a mover, make sure to check their credentials. Ask for recommendations from your neighbors. If you’re searching online, do a profile check before making transactions. Read reviews about their services. Get feedback from their previous clients. As much as possible, choose agencies nearby your location or your new destination.

During your initial consultation, they should present legal documents such as business permits and license. Read the contract, as well to avoid disappearances in the future. Compare the prices they offer. Inquire about promos and other service packages.

Usually, the moving company may send some of their staff to evaluate and inspect your items. This is to help them recommend the ideal vehicle type you should get. Once you have agreed to their recommendation, you can now discuss the schedule. Before packing the items, it is advisable to take photographs or videos of your valuables. This will help to claim the insurance in case there are damaged items.

Save Money and Make Money for the Move 

After sorting out all your valuables, it’s time to get rid of the items you don’t need. The best thing about it is you can make money from it. Instead of throwing or leaving them behind, put them on a yard sale or sell the items online. For sure, some people may need them, especially those pieces of furniture in good condition. Doing this can also save up some space on the moving vehicle you’re renting.

Finally, make sure to coordinate with your real estate agent or talk to the previous owner of your new home. Inform them about the final moving date. This is to make sure everything is ready upon your arrival. Consider hiring a professional to inspect the property and ensure safety.

Get Exceptional Results When Installing a Fence

With a little effort, you can install a fence on your property and get great results. You only need to avoid some common pitfalls.

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When you’re looking to keep your property safe from burglars, trespassers, and even animals, you can’t go wrong with black metal fencing. On top of enhancing security and keeping you safe, the right kind of a fence will complement your property and increase its aesthetic appeal.
Installing a durable fence is the simplest way to increase the value of your property without incurring a small fortune in bills. Some barriers call for the services of an expert, while others are easy to install. If you choose to go down the DIY route, be sure to avoid some common pitfalls.

Observe the boundary lines

The last thing you want when fencing your property is to incur the wrath of your neighbors. That can happen if you mistakenly infringe on their property and could lead to a bitter and expensive legal battle. If you happen to be found guilty of such an offense, you can face a steep fine and penalty.
You’ll also have to pull down your magnificent fence, which will further compound your losses. Instead of taking chances with your hard-earned money, be sure to get it right from the get-go. A quick trip to the local land office can set you on the right path.

If the boundary lines are unclear, retain the services of a reputable surveyor and deal with the problems conclusively. With proper installation, a metallic fence can last you for many years. Getting the boundaries right lets you reap the benefits for many years.

Get the necessary permits

In as much as you are fencing your property to bolster privacy and security, you need to keep within the law, particularly within a residential area. Building codes dictate the necessary permits you need to install a fence around your property. Such laws exist to ensure safety and safeguard the rights of other people in the neighborhood.

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The failure to procure the necessary permits could cause you to run afoul of the law. That could have you facing steep fines and penalties after being found guilty of breaking the rules. Such unnecessary costs can inflate the prices, burying you under a pile of debt.
For good measure, it’s crucial that you check with your Homeowners Association. Some HOAs have guidelines on the fences that are allowed in the neighborhood. Such a move keeps you from incurring hefty fines or penalties.

Adhere to the manufacturer’s specifications

You need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter if you’re to install a fence successfully. Failing to do so can lead to dismal results in addition to ruining the aesthetic appeal of your property. It will also mean having to hire an expert to re-do the work and correct your mistakes. For instance, you need to get the spacing between the posts right to ensure that you have structurally sound fences. Otherwise, you might end up with a weak and unstable wall that is likely to fall apart rather quickly.

With the right approach, you can achieve exceptional results when installing a metallic fence on your property. You get to improve the value and look of your home while keeping it safe or secure. You only need to avoid some common costly mistakes.

Best-Kept Appliance Secrets to Help You Save Money on Electricity

Here are a few tips to help you save money on electric bills without giving up your simple luxuries.

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With the rising cost of energy bills these days, keeping them under control is starting to become everyone's goals. However, reducing your energy bills shouldn't require you to sacrifice any of life's simple pleasures. You only need to make a few minor adjustments with the way you use your devices to drive the costs down. So, it's time to bid those substantial electric bills goodbye. The following tips will surely help increase your home's efficiency all year round.

Clean your air conditioner regularly

The best way to make sure your air conditioner is always running at its best is through regular maintenance. Experts suggest cleaning the fins and changing the filter so you can remove all the dust and dirt stuck in it. Also, see if the AC filter needs replacement and lubricate the motor to make sure it'll function properly no matter how many hours you use it.

Buy appliances with the Energy Star logo

Having an Energy Star seal tells you that the item meets strenuous standards for energy efficiency. So, when you're looking for appliances, look for products that have the Energy Star label on it. Experts say that a dishwasher that has an Energy Star label on it requires less water per cycle compared to the gallons that a few older models use. Using an appliance that has an Energy Star logo can be beneficial, especially if you're still paying up for your solar financing for your Utah home.

Use smarter switches

Using motion sensor switches is a great way to manage any left-on lights. These efficient devices turn off automatically to help you save money. Motion sensor devices automatically switch your lights on whenever someone passes by. That's why it's perfect for hallways and bedrooms because you don't have to switch it on whenever you're moving in and out of your room. You can also use it to control your bath fans, so it'll run for a specific period and then automatically turn it off.

Use a power strip

At least 75 percent of general electrical use happens when you're not using your appliances. So, if you want to save money, then it's best to unplug all the electronics that you're not using. Another way to manage your electric bills is by plugging your devices into a power strip. Doing so will make it much easier for you to turn the circuits off entirely once you turn off the strip.

Change furnace filter

Keeping your furnace well-maintained ensures you that it'll run efficiently, helping you save money in the long run. Changing it every month, especially during the summer, will keep it protected from getting clogged. Bear in mind that a clogged filter makes the motor work harder, which requires more energy to use.

Clean your refrigerator

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Another appliance that consumes a lot of electricity is your refrigerator. You can efficiently save money by keeping the coils clean. Doing so improves its efficiency by more than 30 percent, which also helps you save money every month.

These are just a few of the things you should consider to conserve energy. Following these steps will certainly help you save money in the long run.


16 April 2019

Things You Should Know Before Building a Log Home


Owning a log home is something many people dream about. Some want them for retirement, while others just want a vacation home they can escape to with their families. Whatever the reason, there are some important things to consider before you ever get started.

Maintenance

One of the biggest reasons many people steer clear of log homes is because of the maintenance they require. But the fact is that they probably require less than you realize. In fact, if they’re built well and taken care of, they don’t require a lot more maintenance than any other type of home. For one thing, logs do tend to expand and shift some over time. This can cause leaking and cracks. But if you buy the proper materials and construct them correctly, this won’t be a major issue.

When you do find minor cracks, you can usually fill them in with caulking to prevent further damage. If you’re buying one that’s already constructed, it’s important you hire log home inspection Florida experts or experts from the state you purchased your log home. A professional can let you know if poor construction or prior damage will become an issue for you.

Cost

Building a log home can cost a little more than, say, a stucco house. It takes a special type of skill that not every construction company has. Therefore, your builders may be a bit more in demand. However, when it’s done correctly, it will be a home your family can enjoy for many generations. But aside from the construction costs, you’ll need to consider the mortgage and taxes.

If your log cabin will be a vacation home, the mortgage and tax situation will be a bit different than for a primary dwelling. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all bad. Admittedly, second mortgages can be more difficult to get approved for, but your rate shouldn’t be any higher. And your tax breaks can actually make up for the extra effort. Starting in 2017, homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest on up to $750,000 of their loans. You get the most tax breaks on primary dwellings, but even second homes are eligible for some perks.

Insects

Because the homes are completely constructed of wood, insects can pose a big problem. However, you can prevent most of this problem by choosing the right wood during construction. Cedar, hemlock, and cypress are all examples of wood that repels insects. The problem is that these trees are slower-growing than others, so they’re a lot more expensive to purchase.

This is why most log homes are constructed out of faster-growing trees, like pines or firs. Since they grow faster, they are easier to find. But they are also easier and faster to grow for future use. In other words, keeping them in stock is a lot easier. This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t use them, though. Builders have been using them for centuries and have found solutions that make them a good alternative. Most of this wood is pressure-treated with non-toxic chemicals, such as borate.

Be careful with log home kits

Log home kits can be a less expensive and faster alternative to hiring a crew to fully construct your home. But they can also come with their own sets of problems. For example, many of them don’t contain everything you need. They may come with only the logs. Or they might be so simply designed, that there is no room for creativity or expansion. It’s important that if you decide to go this route, that you research the company well and know exactly what you’ll be getting.




29 March 2019

Smart Home Technology That Can Save You Money


When it comes to cost saving tips for the home, it’s safe to say that smart home technology is definitely at the top of the list. Smart home technology can not only help you save money, but it can help you streamline your daily household tasks, keep your home and family safe, serve as a reminder for things you have to get done.

“Today’s homes are highly connected,” says Peter Goldberg, the CEO of home retailer Bouclair. “Homeowners aren’t just searching for the best furniture and decor to keep up interior appearances; they’re also looking for functional ways to curate a home to their lifestyles and needs.”

Smart home technology is also designed to be sleek, minimal, and modern, allowing it to blend in seamlessly with your home’s design aesthetic. Even if you don’t have a modern home design, you’ll find that many smart systems are small and inconspicuous: no matter how your home is decorated, they never take up too much space or detract eyes from where you want people to focus. With that in mind, here’s smart home technology that could save you a few bucks and make your home life easier and safer:

Smart Smoke & Fire Detectors
You don’t think of smoke and fire detectors as an issue that could pose a risk. As a passive device, these systems don’t get the maintenance and care that they deserve. According to a National Fire Protection Association report, 21% of deaths that have occurred as a result of a fire could have been prevented with an updated smoke and fire alarm system.

With such grim statistics, it’s a great time to ensure your family is properly protected with a smart fire detector. Antiquated fire prevention technology simply doesn’t provide the level of security that many homes could benefit from. Smart detectors have long battery lives, a much higher level of effective detection (which can catch the scent of a fire long before it happens), automatic alerts, and much more.

Smart Plugs
Smart plugs are small, simple devices that pack a powerful punch. When smart plugs are installed, they become an intermediary between the outlet and the devices that you plug into that outlet. If you’ve ever left the house thinking you forgot to turn something off, you’ll have a much better peace of mind knowing that you can power any item on and off remotely through your mobile application.

It also allows you to run a much more efficient household. For example, if you prepped a slow cooker before you headed out to work, you could power it on from your work desk and have it ready by the time you got home. Smart plugs also provide valuable data usage statistics that show you which appliances take up the most energy, and this could allow you to identify ways you can save on your bill.

Smart Thermostat 
A smart thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature from anywhere remotely, any day of the year. This is ideal for people who find themselves adjusting the temperature often, especially throughout the day in areas with hot days and cool nights. A user would simply pull out their phone and adjust the thermometer with a few clicks.

There are several other reasons a smart thermostat is a worthwhile investment. For starters, with a much greater sense of temperature regulation, you could save plenty of money. One smart thermostat, called the Nest Learning Thermostat, claims to save their users around $145 annually on their bill.

Customers are able to save costs because the application provides important usage information that allows you to identify when your household temperatures and costing the most, allowing you to make data-driven decisions about how you’re maintaining your home. You’d also be able to turn your heating or cooling system off while you’re away—especially when you’re gone for a long period of time, such as a vacation. Then, before you arrive, turn it back on so it’s ready for you.

Smart Mold Sensors
If left untreated, mold can quickly become a serious and costly household issue. Traditional mold kits that you can buy from the store aren’t always effective, and sometimes by the time you purchase a mold kit, it’s far too late and the mold issue has grown. The cost of removing mold from a home can be upwards in the several-thousands range if you aren’t careful. Smart sensors and vents like Ecovent can effectively gauge the air to determine when mold presents a threat.


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