03 July 2017

Four Ways to Spruce Up Curb Appeal

via

Curb appeal is usually something that homeowners do not consider unless they are planning to put their houses on the market. The notion of your property making the best first impression, however, is something that you should pursue even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon. Here are four ways for you to spruce up your home’s curb appeal.

1. Paint the front door and window seals

Many people think of dollar signs when they consider exterior painting. You, however, do not need to give the entirety of your home a complete color change to have a new look. Painting your front door with a bold color provides the same shock factor at a fraction of the cost. Consider matching your door’s color scheme with the outer window seals and overall trim of the home for added effects. While painting the home's trim, consider checking the exterior of your residence for necessary repairs. It is usually during minor renovations outside that homeowners discover problems that only skilled roofing contractors in San Antonio TX or Harrisburg PA for example, or indeed anywhere across the country can address. Just think: your simple paint job can spruce up your curb appeal all while helping you catch acute issues that could cost you thousands if left untreated.

2. Swap out your mailbox

Installing a new mailbox takes just over an hour, depending on the size and mounting of the box, yet it revives your property in ways you may have never thought possible. Many view the mailbox as the first welcoming aspect of the home. If such is the case, then you need to make sure that your box reflects your personality. Consider splurging with a bit of creativity for large mailboxes. You can remain innovative and practical with built-in mailboxes as well by decorating the area surrounding the flap. In all of your creativity, make sure that you check with your city’s ordinances to ensure that your mailbox complies with regulations. The last thing that you want is to have to remove your mail holder because of a hidden rule.

3. Install flower boxes

Plants work wonders for curb appeal. Installing a few flower boxes or plant bowls is a great way to add color to the outside of your home. It is important to remember, however, that failing to care for flowers associated with the front of your home is counterproductive to your mission of a beautiful curb appeal. 

4. Install LED Lights and replace address numbers outside

LED lights make the environment safer at night, and larger address numbers allow visitors to find your house with ease. New LED lights and placards come with an abundance of benefits aside from contributing to curbside appeal. You should consider upgrading your light fixtures alongside new LED lamps for an even more improved exterior look.

Many people think that upgrading curbside appeal will cost thousands. The truth is that you can make small improvements that will have lasting effects on the exterior of your home. Remember that the outside of your residence is the first thing that guests see. You, therefore, want it to reflect your vision just as much as the interior portion of your home.

30 June 2017

Home Ownership: Two Areas to Watch out for

Home ownership is an integral part of the American dream. However, despite the rewards of home ownership, there are undoubtedly costs — physical, monetary and time — of being a home owner. Anyone who has spent a brisk fall afternoon cleaning out gutters stuffed with soggy leafs can tell you that it is not a fun task, and neither is nailing down loose shingles or patching cracks in an old foundation.

Given how daunting home ownership can be — particularly for first time owners or those who have an older house — many people do not have the slightest idea about where to start. What are the projects that people should focus on first? There is no one clear cut answer to this challenging question. For some homes, the answer is easy — if your roof leaks every time it sprinkles, clearly a new roof should be your first priority. On the other hand, if sparks shoot out of your outlets every time you plug in a lamp, then getting a qualified electrician out to assess your electrical system should be priority number one.

Not all necessary home repairs, however, are big ticket items, such as a new roof, upgraded electrical, or all new plumbing. Some projects are much less costly and less time intensive. But, this does not mean that these smaller projects can be overlooked. In fact, overlooking these everyday chores can lead to long-term problems and even bigger costs.

Source: Pixabay

Two important everyday chores that a homeowner should definitely place on their to do lists are cleaning their carpets and pumping out their septic tank (even the mere mention of a septic tank is enough to get a nose wrinkle or a loud EWWWWW out of even the least squeamish homeowners).

Even though vacuuming is on most people’s weekly list of things they have to do, vacuuming alone is often not enough to get dirt, germs, and grime out of a person’s house — particularly if people regularly wear shoes into the home. A recent newspaper article explained that carpeting is often the single dirtiest item in a home — far surpassing the toilet seat as a petri dish of bacteria, dust, and millions of other creepy crawly things. If vacuuming alone is not enough to get your carpets clean, then what should you do. The answer is relatively straightforward. You should arrange for professional carpet cleaning, ideally steam cleaning, at least once per year. The cost of this cleaning will vary, depending on the location where you live and the size of your house. The bigger the house, the higher the bill. But, even for a large home, the costs are relatively reasonable.

Once you have tackled your carpeting, the next step on your to do list should be pumping out your septic tank. Many homeowners forget that their properties have septic tanks, and even more overlook the necessity of regularly pumping one’s tank. In general, a septic tank will need to be pumped once every one to three years — but the frequency will depend on factors, such as the size of the tank and the size of your family.

Forgetting to pump your tank can cause expensive and smelly failures. But, regularly pumping your tank need not break the bank. Most septic tank pumping can be done for less than $300. And with some basic skills and YouTube tutorials to help you, many homeowners can figure out how to pump their own tank.

Being a homeowner can be one of the greatest joys in your life—but these joys also come with costs and responsibilities. Don’t forget to regularly repair and maintain your home, from major tasks (such as replacing your roof) to the more mundane (like having your carpet professionally cleaned and your septic tank regularly pumped).




27 June 2017

5 Reasons To Live the Urban Life

In the beginning of the 18 and 1900s most people lived pretty harmoniously within the countryside. Then throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the cities began to take shape with industry and more development which brought a surplus of jobs.


With development across the globe, people continue to flock to the city to enjoy the benefits of an easier and more accessible lifestyle that with globalization has brought many multicultural attributes and opportunities. Within the central city in particular you may have less spare square footage, but the trend now is quality over quantity. There are many great reasons to live in the city.

Ditching the Car and Living Consciously

All of us have a responsibility to know and understand our carbon footprint on this earth and how we can individually take responsibility and action. When you live in the city, you may be able to exist just fine without a car. Most urban areas  are seeing the impact of our carbon footprint, which is in part traceable to our love for macho SUVs and our preference to drive  into the city. Some cities like D.C or San Francisco that offer extensive public transportation systems. If you live in the city, you should consider taking public transportation when you can; better yet, you can seek an apartment that is a walkable distance from your job, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. In you may be able to exist without a car at all.

Fun In The City

Living in the city just obviously has a ton more things to do than living in the countryside.  The opportunities of having fun are endless depending on what makes you happy. Almost everything you need or want to do is easily accessible, and there are opportunities to interact with others.

Many places to live allow you to walk, take, the bus, bike, or take a taxi to many things within minutes. A good example is, If you live at The Cole New York City NY or Denver Tech Center Apartments then you are minutes from fine restaurants, cafes, chic shops, grocers and speciality stores, convenient services and a variety of parks and outdoor recreation destinations.

Networking Is Easy In An Urban Center

In today’s world, we all want convenience  Using our smartphones, we are able to use an app to get anything and everything within seconds from food, to a cab or Uber, to even a date. Being in a city in multiplies the opportunities for all this because of the sheer population density.

When you allow yourself to have the opportunity to meet other people from different countries, different lifestyles, and different socio-economic backgrounds, it really opens up opportunities for networking towards career and maybe other things such as dating or friends.

Educational Opportunities Abound

Many of the better universities and other educational institutions often have a campus in the bigger cities. This may be because they partner with a hospital or other institution who provides part of their funding. For you, as an urban resident, this means that you have opportunities to take  an evening class when you work, while enjoying other educational related activities like museums, libraries, and other science or research Institutions which tend to be nearby.


An urban university often attracts teachers with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds and a host of experience gained from traveling. These attributes can lead to stimulating discussions and the opportunity to open your mind to new ideas. Many find teachers work in small college sounds, but you will  get your money’s worth if  you take advantage of an urban university.

Experience Great Healthcare 

As with universities, most hospitals have a significant presence in the city. You will have access to excellent health care at facilities that  are staffed with well-paid competent medical staff.

Is living in the city for you? If so, an interesting, convenient life awaits you.



26 June 2017

Upgrade Property Value And Outdoor Utility

The Pergola Factor
Modern technology is merging with stylistic outdoor solutions in more and more appealing ways. Consider the pergola. Basically, this is a slatted roof that can be opened or closed depending on the weather. Sun or rain, your outdoor plans remain the same. Just flip a switch and the slats close, keeping out the rain.

There are quite a few surprisingly effective outdoor pergola designs, and they can be very useful in allowing a get-together to remain outdoors and sustain any weather; according to DeckRemodelers.com: “…you can plan ahead without worry…guaranteeing that your event will go on as planned.”

Adding a pergola to your rear deck area can additionally increase property value. It may not be an increase requisite to your cost of installation, but then again, depending on the options you choose and your inhering property value, it could very well be. If you’re careful about how you buy, what you choose could end up paying for itself.


Maximizing Value
If you really want to maximize your value increase pertaining to such exterior additions, you might double down on your remodel. Deck remodeling options can also be performed on a DIY basis that saves time and money. You might reconfigure your deck for the most cost-effective applications of a pergola.

A new deck with a new environmental shielding device that is built by the homeowner could be affordable enough to source and implement that there’s a very real chance of the combined effect increasing property value. And there are other less transformative solutions you can bring to the table as well, like landscaping.

You don’t have to completely reconfigure the yard for effective landscaping. Cut the grass and get rid of the weeds, then plant grass, flowers, fruit bushes—the works. Spend a year or two on it, and you’ll have a thriving garden. But you’ll want to be careful to institute pest control, as floral ecosystems do attract certain organisms.

Ponds And Mosquitoes
Some like to have a pond in their backyard, which is another thing that can be done with or without professional help, and at varying levels of effectiveness. Ponds attract mosquitoes. One of the best Summer backyard tips is to safeguard the premises against infestation.

When it comes to the Asian tiger mosquito, NJ is a place very likely to be affected; though it’s not only the Garden State  who deals with the pest—according to DelseaPestControl.net, “Nearly everyone is affected by mosquitoes during the warmer months of the year.” Now, there are ways to combat such iinfestation through professional pest control services.

So take a step back and consider the bigger picture. You’ve got a pergola on top of a new deck facing a backyard that may or may not have a little pond with some koi, but likely has exceptional flowers in aesthetic arrangements, no pests, a few rose bushes, perhaps some blackberries, and a ubiquity of pruning to produce the finest effect.


A Winning Situation Either Way You Slice It
You could spend $5,000 and upgrade your property’s value $15,000. Or you could spend $1,000 and multiply value by $5,000. Either way you slice it, you still get to enjoy the fruits of your labor, and it gives you a worthwhile project for the summer. Plus, with a pergola you’ve got additional utility on your premises.

If you haven’t looked at your backyard recently and considered what may be done, it could be worth your while to give it some consideration. There could be thousands of dollars just waiting for you to groom them into profit.



23 June 2017

10 Ideas For Your New Kitchen


The kitchen is “the heart of the home” and is (along with the bathroom) the most frequently remodeled room of the average house. So, you are not alone in your kitchen remodeling endeavors, and there is much to learn from others in how to create that perfect kitchen you’ve been envisioning for so long.


Modern American kitchens are a combination of enduring legacies from the past and a never-ceasing stream of new innovations. Every era has left its mark, and there would seem to be no end of the possibilities that continually arise.

10 Great Ideas For A Modern Kitchen

While a full list of trending kitchen elements could fill volumes, we offer here a brief introduction to ten of the most popular components of the modern kitchen:


  1. Spacious, high-performance sinks. No more being forced to crowd your dirty pans on the counter and squeeze them into that under-sized sink one at a time! Many modern sinks combine generous space with built-in splashes, stainless steel builds whirlpool water action, sunk-in side soap holders, and high-efficiency garbage disposal units.
  2. Contemporary kitchen fixtures. Swan-like necks, long, flexible spray hoses, and simple, squarish lever-action faucets are all in vogue. But one of the most important facets of your faucet is its material. Polished silver, chrome, nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze adds a new level of elegance to any kitchen; and these are materials with a shine and inherent value that endures.
  3. Wide open spaces. It’s not just hallways and entry areas that benefit from high ceilings or only living rooms and dining rooms that can be enhanced by breaking down needless walls and barriers. Kitchens too are moving toward open layouts and an “uncluttered” look. Double D Home Improvement of New Jersey recommends you first get a professional analysis of the costs of this kind of re-construction, but they also note it’s stunning design effects are very much worthwhile.
  4. Quartz countertops, not granite. Granite is a beautiful, durable natural stone that is quite befitting to a kitchen countertop. But, alas, it is also a high-maintenance product that can too easily get damaged. Quartz is up and coming as an alternative engineered stone countertop material that requires far less upkeep.
  5. New or upgraded plumbing. According to Plumbing Fix, the new, high-performance appliances of modern kitchens require a good deal of specialized plumbing fixtures, along with detailed knowledge of proper installation techniques. And if your kitchen has older pipes, you might even be better off repiping it in copper or PEX and, at the same time, adjusting the plumbing setup to perfectly accommodate your newly remodeled kitchen.
  6. LED overhead lighting. With stylish lamps positioned strategically over your counters and islands, your kitchen will be well lit and cozy. Add LED bulbs, and it will be energy efficient as well, far more so than incandescent or even halogen/fluorescent.
  7. Induction burner cooking surfaces. To save energy and keep your kitchen cooler during cooking, an induction burner is a smart solution. The surface stays safe to the touch and yet (magical as it might seem) manages to cook quite efficiently. Plus, induction burners don’t need a very big hood, saving you valuable space.
  8. Less high-reach cabinets with deep drawers. Extra deep pull-out drawers at arm level can hold most of your everyday plates and bowls. Built in pegs or other devices keep things organized, and the easy-reach height keeps things convenient.
  9. “Integrated” appliances. While modern kitchen appliances are indispensable for their performance, they can create a hodgepodge look you may not want. Panel in or build cabinetry around each appliance, and a seamless, unified design comes forth.
  10. Decorative ceilings. The kitchen ceiling is often ignored, but design it with patterned cavities or clever moldings, and it can bring your new kitchen to life or make it seem more spacious (particularly with the aid of well placed lighting).


With a little creativity and the services of great contractors, you can make your new kitchen more functional as well as more beautiful.

Related Posts with Thumbnails