10 July 2019

5 Essential Tips To Help Renovate Your Home



Home renovations are an exciting project to take on. However, while the end product brings us immense amounts of joy and satisfaction, the road towards achieving that final, finished job can be anything but joyful.

Without the right mindset and preparations, the excitement a homeowner feels towards their renovations can quickly deescalate to the point of a total nightmare.

The 5 tips included in this guide are aimed at better guaranteeing that your home renovation project goes smoothly and with fewer bumps in the road that detract from the experience and the end result.

Research, Research, Research, Research… Research



The best thing that you can do to ensure renovating your home is a successful endeavor is to commit ample time towards research. What exactly do you need to research? Almost everything!:

  • Prices: Renovations cost a lot, so make sure that you’re shopping around for the best prices on furniture, building materials, etc.
  • Contractors: You also need to shop around for different contractors and research what they offer, what projects they’ve worked on in the past that are similar to yours, what do past customers have to say, etc.
  • Permits & Paperwork: Do you need to acquire any permits or submit paperwork with the town for your renovations to be legal and up to code?
  • Value: How will your renovations add to the value of the property?
  • Styles & Trends: Consider the styles and trends that potential home buyers are looking for. You may not be ready to sell now, but who knows what will happen in the future!

Have A Budget In Mind



Now that you’ve done some research, you have a much clearer idea of the process and what your project may cost. With this information in hand, sit down and develop a realistic budget for your home renovation. Your budget will largely depend on how much money you have and how much you’re willing to spend on the project.

While you don't want to overspend on a renovation project, especially if your budget is tight, it is essential to remember that there may be unexpected obstacles that arise. That's why a lot of home renovation experts suggest that your budget should have some sort of plan in place to handle these potential surprise costs.

When creating a realistic budget, it is wise to put aside more than what you calculate out on paper as the cost of your home renovation. This will give you some reserve funds that can be used to handle any complications that may arise.

Interview Many Different Contractors



As you begin hiring help for your renovation project, it is crucial that you spend extra time interviewing and talking with many different professionals. You don't want to jump right at the first person you speak to.

Some key questions to ask are:

  • What are the costs of your services, and how does this match up with competitors? How is this price justified in the work you do?
  • What other projects have you worked on that are similar to mine, and what was the end result for those renovations?
  • Do you have any testimonials or customer references that I can see?
  • What sort of timeline do you propose for my project?
  • Who will be working on the project?
  • What are my rights when I hire you? For instance, what if I don’t like one of your workers or want to make changes to the project?

These questions will help you understand what to expect when working with each contractor. Ultimately, it is best to choose the contractors that give you the best feeling. While pricing is always a concern, a cheaper contractor rarely guarantees a better experience!

Prepare Yourself For The Stress And Fast-Paced Decisions

Think you are done making preparations? Not quite. We’ve focused a lot on what you can do to ensure you get the right help and at the right price, but you also need to prepare yourself. During the length of your renovation, your home will be in complete chaos. There will be a stream of contractors and workers in your house at all times, debris everywhere, noise, unexpected issues, and so much more.

If possible, ask friends, family members, or neighbors if you can stay with them for small stints throughout the process. Even taking a night or two away from the mess of your home renovation can be rejuvenating. Also, choose contractors that make cleaning up after themselves a priority. You shouldn't have debris, dust, dirt, and other harmful stuff knocking around at the end of each day. Finally, have backup ideas for all of the fixtures and furniture you're planning to add to the renovation, even down to things as simple as cabinet knobs. A supplier may fall through, or the stock may run out, and you don't want to be left making quick, uncertain choices that you'll have to live with after the renovation is completed.

Invest In A Home Warranty

Your home renovation may require you to buy new appliances and other equipment for your home. You don’t want to be blindsided by unexpected repairs to these machines in a few months or years. A home warranty can help. What is a home warranty? Home warranties cover the cost of replacing and repairing appliances and other home systems that may unexpectedly fail from everyday use. This is different from homeowners insurance, which protects you from severe, structural damage to the building itself.

Conclusions

These 5 steps will help give you better peace of mind throughout your home renovation process. After all, you don’t want to reach that end product so battered and bruised from the nightmarish weeks prior that you can’t enjoy your newly renovated home!

Fab Furniture Pieces: Strategies to Arrange Them Like A Pro in Any Room

Arranging furniture pieces, no matter how much space you have, can be really challenging. Here are some ideas on how you can arrange yours just like a pro.



So, you've browsed through interior design magazines and online furniture shops and have picked the pieces you want for your space. But, are you sure that cabinet will truly complement your bed? Will it even fit in your door?

There's something enjoyable about arranging furniture; after all, interior design will always be a fun home project. However, it can also be challenging, whether it's your first time creating a layout for your home or are simply rearranging a room. Thankfully, there are a few tricks you can incorporate to make your arrangement work without compromising a lot of things. Here are some ideas on how to arrange your furniture at home like a seasoned pro:

Work your Pieces Around a Focal Point

The easiest yet most effective way to create a solid layout for your room is by arranging all your furniture pieces around your chosen focal point. A “focal point” refers to a certain element that draws a person's eyes as soon as they walk into a room. It's better and easier if your chosen focal point is something that already exists in a room, but if you don't have one, say, a window that highlights a stunning view of your backyard, you can work with window companies to make the arrangements. If you have an old fireplace, a huge television, or a built-in shelving for books, it could also work. You can also hang some interesting photos or an artwork with bold patterns on your wall or choose one statement furniture. Once you've decided on a focal point, arrange all your furniture pieces in a way to put the focus on that feature. Create visual clues with your furniture oriented towards the focal point.

Move Away from the Walls



The most common design mistake homeowners commit is lining up all of their seating against the walls. This isn't exactly an illogical choice, as many people think doing so will open up the space and make it look brighter. However, this could actually backfire. When you choose to follow this trick when it comes to arranging furniture, what happens is you create some dead space in the middle of the room. This, in turn, makes the area look incomplete. So, move things away from the walls. Instead of spreading your furniture pieces in every corner of the room, make an intimate grouping to make the area look more professionally staged. This could also encourage more interactions with your guests and family members.

Keep the Traffic Flow in Mind

When arranging your furniture pieces, never forget about the “traffic flow” – the way people move throughout the living space. The ideal scenario is to have all your pieces arranged in such a way that people can move freely and go about their routine without bumping into them. To identify the traffic pattern in a room, make a quick floor plan and draw some arrows to show all the pathways available. Then, place the furniture around them.

When you've finally found the right combination, start rearranging the furniture properly.

09 July 2019

Choosing Concrete Driveways in Orlando vs Other Materials

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Choosing the right material for your driveway is a critical decision all homeowners must make. It has to be durable and have good longevity, but should also look attractive and blend in with the rest of the house. Stain resistance and resistance to tire marks are also a plus for choosing the driveway material that’s right for you. Here are the three most popular driveway materials and their respective pros and cons to help you decide which driveway material is best for you:

Concrete

Concrete is an extremely popular choice for driveways. Made up of cement and aggregate stones and other rough materials, concrete is extremely durable and cost-effective but it does have its drawbacks. It is a classic and popular choice for driveways and will suit almost any home. If you’re considering concrete driveways, here are its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Concrete is extremely durable. When well taken care of and regularly resealed, a concrete driveway can last for at least 50 years. 
  • Concrete driveways hold up well against most extreme weather such as rain and heat, though heat is a bigger problem in Orlando.
  • It is a cost-effective choice that offers a good price for the longevity it offers. And not only is it affordable, but it also has a quick installation time that further cuts down the costs of hired labor.
  • Though it starts its life as grey, it can be customized to look any way you want it to.

Cons

  • Bare concrete does not have the most attractive appearance and can be off-putting. However, this can be remedied by decorative concrete methods like staining and stamping.
  • It usually requires a contractor to install a concrete driveway as the mixture is vulnerable to mistakes and can be a delicate process.
  • If you want your concrete driveway to last well, you will need to have a regular reseal done to ensure its longevity.

Asphalt

People usually talk about asphalt driveways in relation to concrete driveways because they are similarly popular and comparable in cost and durability, but asphalt has its own distinct characteristics. It is a form of petroleum and can be either found in natural deposits or created as a product. Because of its characteristic as a kind of petroleum, it is more flexible than concrete. If you are considering getting an asphalt driveway, here are its pros and cons:

Pros

  • Asphalt driveways can last up to 20 years with regular maintenance.
  • Unlike concrete, asphalt driveways last well in the sun and are less likely to form cracks after exposure to sunlight.
  • Asphalt is generally cheaper than concrete.

Cons

  • Asphalt driveways need regular maintenance and resealing to ensure its longevity.
  • Though cheaper than concrete, asphalt is more expensive than gravel, another popular driveway material.

Gravel

Gravel is any loose quantity of small rock fragments and stones. It comes in a number of classes depending on the size of the particles. It’s a popular choice for a lot of rural homes and can last decades with proper maintenance. While many homes that use gravel driveways only use the one driveway, many homes with a larger area size will use a gravel driveway to lead up to their actual driveway which could be made of concrete or asphalt. If you’re considering gravel driveways, here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Gravel driveways are generally cheaper than most other driveway materials.
  • It can last for up 100 years with proper care and maintenance.
  • Gravel driveways can be repaired and renewed very easily unlike driveways made of other materials.
  • You don’t have to worry about cracks or freeze-thaw cycles as neither will affect gravel driveways.

Cons

  • Gravel driveways need near-constant maintenance and replenishment to keep it effective, which can add up in costs.
  • It is hard to clean and plow a gravel driveway as it does not have a flat surface that can be cleared and cleaned.


05 July 2019

Are You a Slave to Trends?

It's one thing to design a stylish house, but it's another to follow trends too religiously. Your wallet might be suffering unnecessarily.


In this day and age, everything is a commodity. You may think social media is just a fun way to interact with your friends and to share the highlights of your day, but even they turn your attention into a commodity. Brands compete for your attention, and most times, they are succeeding.

You may not be aware of it, but you have become a slave to trends.

Replacement Instead of Repair 

We live in a world that takes pride in “instant” products. Everything is available to you with a few clicks of a button. As long as you know the number to call or you have the app on your phone, you’re set to get whatever you fancy. And this has given rise to the trend of replacing everything that doesn’t work according to your specifications. Sure, it’s better to replace old appliances if they have not been updated in the last decade, but if you just bought them last year and already want to replace them, that’s a problem. It’s the same with smartphones; as companies launch new models, you feel like your functional phone is suddenly incompetent. It’s easy to justify why you want the latest model for these things, but when it comes to garage door repair or window replacement, there’s more to consider than just trends in Provo. Consider the cost of replacing a perfectly good garage door that just needs repairs. Insisting on following trends may be losing you more money in the long run.

Endless Renovations 




Going for renovations for no other reason than to get the latest items is just like replacing your older kitchen or bathroom with a newer one. These parts of the house are commonly used, so it’s understandable that they will show signs of wear and tear, but if your tiles and backsplash are perfectly functional and intact, is there really a need to replace them with the latest trendy color you see in magazines? Especially if you’re looking to sell that property in the future, these trendy parts of the house might look outdated once new trends have surfaced. This means you’ll either have to spend more money to replace them again or you’ll have to sell the house for a lower price. This isn’t a concern if you had gone with an evergreen but also stylish design and maintained it properly.

A Digital Life

It does sound cool if you can live in a smart home. You don’t have to worry about setting the thermostat because it’s done for you automatically. Forgot to lock the doors? Do so in an app that you have with you even if you’re out of the house. Convenient, right? However, these are not foolproof and are not exempt from human error. Your life may be automated, but each decision is still controlled by your actions, whether pre-programmed or triggered remotely. There’s also the added vulnerability that comes in the form of hacking. As technology gets smarter, so do hackers. The more reliant you are on online systems to keep the house secure, the more prone you are to hacking attempts.

How much of your life is defined by your personal preferences? How much is defined by trends? If you want to be happy with your life without spending money unnecessarily, don’t be a slave to trends.

01 July 2019

4 Decorating Tips for Home Improvement Projects

When you’re planning to decorate your home to give it a makeover, it helps to be prepared first. This allows you to take proper precautions to protect carpeting and floors during the decorating process. It’s also useful when on a tighter budget to use creativity and time rather than throwing more money at the problem.

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Here are four decorating tips for your next home improvement project.

1. Protect Your Floors During Painting and Plastering

Whether you have hardwood flooring or carpeting in place, don’t expect dust, wall debris or paint to not make its way to the floor. Even the most careful of decorators are going to get paint splashes, flecks of plaster embedded in the carpeting, and other debris flying about. It’s tough to get it out later and makes for extra work, which is completely unnecessary.

What you should invest in is flooring paper like Trimaco’s X-Paper, which is what the professionals use. It is thicker than builder’s paper, breathable to avoid heating the floor if it’s being cured, and prevents wetness from spills too. It’s a step above what you can usually find in a DIY store. Don’t start a new project without it.

2. Get Creative When on a Budget

When you have more time to consider your options and are on a tighter budget, let this spark your creativity. Instead of feeling restricted, allocate the budget where it’s most needed during a decoration or renovation project and find new ways to solve existing problems.

For instance, perhaps you’d like a piece of artwork on the living room wall or a custom paint finish but it’s pushing the boundaries of your finances. In which case, why not focus on emotions by putting up several affordable wall art frames filled with family photos or if you live alone, photo from your travels. This is better than having tiny photos on the mantlepiece that aren’t large enough to enjoy fully and the framed photos will act as a conversation starter too.

3, Use Textures to Create Different Tactile Sensations

Don’t just think about colors and fabrics when changing furnishings or linens.
Try to activate the senses. Choose interesting fabrics with textures that provide new sensations; not just arresting colors. Even small things like cushions on the sofa selected for their rugged textured feel contrast nicely with the sofa’s smooth surface.

Also, a rug on the floor can provide alternative sensations for your feet in the living room or family room too.

4. Look at Minimalism to Reduce Decorating Complexity

If you’re finding that a decorating project looks too time-consuming, consider focusing on reducing the number of pieces of furniture in each room. Using techniques from minimalism, it’s possible to simplify the task of decorating by doing more with less.

When freed up to focus on fewer items, this allows you to invest greater time in each room without getting frustrated by making slow progress. Similarly, keeping a simpler decorating color scheme avoids overcomplication that drags out a project too long.

The important thing with decorating is first, don’t damage anything you own. Protect floors using flooring paper and place cloth dust covers over the furniture too. Then, avoiding overdoing it is key to bring the decorating project to a successful conclusion.


03 June 2019

7 Cheap Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Moving to another house doesn’t only require hiring the best moving company or Brooklyn movers; you still have to unload and unpack all of your moving boxes to make your house feel like home. This is an essential step to ensure that your entire household will be comfortable staying indoors. And being one of the most important areas of your house, you should start by renovating your kitchen. This is especially true if you’re an aspiring chef who wants to impress your guests and family with your cooking skills.

Contrary to popular belief, renovating your kitchen doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg. Sure, you might need to allot a certain amount of money, but this will become a worthy investment in the long run. To help you start off, here are some cheap kitchen renovation ideas to try out:




1.    Bring in the pattern.

Soft hues and pastel colors are common choices for a kitchen wall. These colors can easily complement any color you might have in your home. If you want your kitchen to be unique, opt to bring in a pattern. This means using wallpapers or decals on your kitchen walls instead of painting them with soft hues and pastel colors. You can also use printed rugs, hand towels, and silverware in your kitchen. Bringing in patterns to your kitchen will surely bring this area back to life!

2.    Hang floating shelves.

Regardless of your cooking skill, you will always need storage in your kitchen. You need to properly store all of your silverware, spices, and cooking utensils, just to name a few. Aside from using cabinets (which are usually built-in in every kitchen), consider adding floating shelves in your kitchen. This renovation idea will not only improve the functionality of your kitchen, but it can also improve its aesthetic value. Just make sure that you’re using a material that’s suitable to the strength of your kitchen walls.

3.    Add color with stools. 

Your kitchen will never be complete without seats. You’ll need to have chairs on your dining tables and countertops. If you want your kitchen to be as colorful as possible, invest in colorful stools which have contrasting colors to your overall theme. For example, if your kitchen has gray walls, look for stools in bright colors of green, blue, red, and yellow. Using these types of stools is like hitting two birds at the same time – you’ll improve the seating options in your kitchen while adding pops of colors.

4.    Use plates as wall d├ęcor.

Do you have any broken plates? Are you having second thoughts in throwing these out because of their sentimental value? Worry no more because you can still use these plates even when they’re already shattered – but this time, as decorations. Glue broken pieces together and hang these plates on your kitchen walls. If possible, use plates which have different sizes and designs. You’ll be surprised how this simple tip can make your kitchen luxurious and attractive.



5.    Invest in an expensive dining table. 

A dining table is essential in every kitchen. Every family will have to have a dining table in order to eat comfortably. If you’re looking for a showstopper piece for your kitchen, invest in an expensive dining table. If you’re leaning towards this direction, make sure that you’re choosing a dining table which fits the overall theme of your kitchen and your budget, as well. You don’t want a single dining table to become the reason why you’ll face too many debts, right?

6.    Add in plants.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how beneficial plants are to your health and environment. Plants can improve air quality while being an excellent source of nutrients and minerals. For you to enjoy these benefits, add in different plants in your kitchen. You can add in small plants which fit in your countertops or bigger ones which can stand alone. When choosing which type of plant to have in your kitchen, always consider your lifestyle and schedule. Don’t have plants which will require daily watering when you’re available during the weekends.

7.    Improve lighting. 

You might not know it, but the amount and quality of lighting you get from your kitchen can affect the ambiance of the space. If your kitchen is too dark, don’t expect that you’ll be motivated to cook anything or your guests will stay here for long. If you don’t want any of these to happen, improve the lighting of your kitchen. Add in pendant lights or lights under the cabinet for added functionality and style.

Choose The Best

Cheap kitchen renovation ideas aren’t only limited to the information from this article. If you have the time and interest, you can do your own research online and get ready to be bombarded with several other options. To narrow down your search, determine what you really want in your kitchen and while you’re at it, don’t forget to let your creativity and personality shine, as well!


30 May 2019

Should You Finish Your Iowa Basement?

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Iowa is full of beautiful homes. They ornament our countryside, decorate our towns and cities and hold a piece of our heartland. To you, your home is special: It's where you and your family are building memories. You know what you love about it and you know what you would change about it. When you weigh decisions about home improvement or renovations, though, it’s a time to think carefully.

Maybe you're considering finishing your Iowa basement, or are considering it and haven’t even thought of it until now. Below, we'll lay out the case for how you can add life (and property) value by finishing your basement here in Greater Des Moines.

Property values and home improvement

You've probably heard the classic case for home improvement: You get to enjoy a better house, sure, but it's also a long-term thing that's going to improve the value of your home!

Sometimes that's true, and sometimes it's not. When you redo a kitchen, for instance, you make a high-impact change that can really alter the value of your home — but as the years pass, appliances improve, and design tastes change, you may find that you have to renovate it all over again if you want to keep your home current and preserve its value.

Finishing a basement is an improvement that makes your home more appealing and more valuable. It's also a decision that will age well. Sure, you'll need to refinish basement hardwood or clean basement carpets, but finished basements have been in style for a long time and are likely to remain in style for a long time to come.

Choose your own adventure

A finished basement will bring a new dynamic home for you and your family, but how it does so is totally up to you.

Right now, your unfinished basement is a blank canvas. Will you put down hardwood and turn it into a basement bar? Will you blanket it in carpet and turn it into a playroom for the kids? Will it house a spare bedroom, an exercise room, or a “man cave?” It's all up to you to pick and choose the right contractors to make it a reality.

Finishing your basement is a prerequisite for all of these dream scenarios, but there’s no law saying that you have to stick with just one. Maybe you will finish your basement this year and turn it into your man cave. Then, move your recliner out in a few years to convert the same space into a kids’ playroom for your growing family. Whatever your plans are for your basement in the future, it’s likely that you’ll need it finished. You could do that now and enjoy the present as well.

Making the right decisions

If finishing your basement sounds like the way to go, you may be onto something. However, you do need to be smart about the entire planning process. Basements and foundations are vital parts of your home, and finishing a basement is not a task you want to do yourself or trust to an amateur, explain the experts in basement finishing in Des Moines. Finishing a basement properly takes skill, and it never hurts to have experts in your basement. They are better equipped than you are to spot potential problems with your foundation, plan waterproofing measures, and lending a hand with the manual labor.

Getting the job done right will save you money in the long run; as always with home improvement, paying the right contractors first makes a lot more financial sense than paying them to fix the job the first guys did. So invest wisely in your Iowa basement, and get the job done right!

29 May 2019

Keeping Your Home Free of Water Damage: 4 Ways to Do it Right

Part of being a homeowner is doing regular maintenance to make sure your property stays in great condition. Here are some ways to make sure your house stays water damage-free.


Homeownership comes with several responsibilities — one of which is maintenance. One of the best ways to prevent costly repairs at home, especially those related to water damage, is by doing proper maintenance as often as needed. Otherwise, you won't only have to deal with costly repairs; there will also be significant water losses and insurance claims.

Water damage is the main culprit that causes your home’s foundation to weaken, making the very core that holds your house together extremely vulnerable. It is considered by experts as one of the most common and costliest disasters that affect many homeowners. Every year, it accounts for billions of dollars’ worth of water loss.

You know what core strength means for your overall health. In the same manner, water damage attacks the core strength of your property, which eventually causes significant damage to your structure. Damp wood becomes a breeding ground for carpenter ants and termites, on top of all the mold and mildew that would build up.

Here, top plumbers in Orem share ways to prevent water damage using easy strategies that will help you prepare for the next heavy storms:

Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts Regularly

To avoid blockage and ice dams, do a thorough gutter cleanse at least two times a year. Stagnant water can damage your roof and gutters. Without properly managing the overflow, expect puddles that would ruin your foundation. To make sure that water can properly flow through, clean the downspouts and secure them so they point away from your house.

Disconnect Your Hoses



Standing water left in a hose may seem innocent, but this may freeze in the pipe when the temperature drops, creating an ice block. This could either stop your water flow or worse, cause your pipes to burst. This would create significant damage to your floor, walls, and foundation.

Improve Your Washing Machine Hoses

If you've had your washing machine for quite some time, it's possible that your hoses have turned brittle and leaky. These are among the most common causes of water loss in many homes. So, to avoid costly repairs, replace your hoses regularly.

Install Effective Water Detection Devices

A water detector is a tiny electronic device that works similar to an alarm. It creates sounds to alert homeowners when the sensor gets in contact with moisture. When you have this system, it'll be easier to detect slow leaks or low moisture levels that homeowners often tend to not notice. Get a detector near your water heaters, dishwashers, washing machine, and toilets to avoid mold growth and extensive water-related damage.

Finally, sometimes the only way to determine if there's any water leak in your home is by monitoring your monthly water bill. If you notice any significant increase in your bills from one month to the next, even if your usage remains relatively the same, this could be a clear indication of water leaks. Don't leave any possible problems unaddressed. Do a thorough check and solve the issues as soon as you can.

23 May 2019

Five features your kitchen needs


Updating your kitchen may be one of the smartest investments you can make, especially if you’re planning on selling your home in the future. Up-to-date features that emphasize both function and design not only make your kitchen a room you love to spend time in but can also be a significant selling point when you’re ready to list your home. Read on for five features your kitchen needs.

1. Lighting
Your kitchen needs light, as most rooms in your home do, but kitchen lighting needs a little finesse because it’s a major hub in the house. You’d be amazed at how much a simple change in lighting fixtures can update the look of your kitchen.

If you’ve got an island in your kitchen, add a statement light fixture -- or two -- above, providing plenty of light for your workspace in addition to decoration. Be sure to consider other lighting sources in the kitchen before choosing your statement piece, not only for continuity but also for overall functionality. Consider adding task lighting or under-cabinet lighting to ensure that your most-used workspaces are well-lighted.

2. Appliance garage
Such a strange name for an ingenious concept many homeowners are adding to their custom kitchens: appliance garage. Kitchen appliance garages not only help you keep your kitchen counters free from clutter, but they also add a unique feature that’s sure to catch the modern homebuyer’s attention.

A kitchen appliance garage can be as simple as a recessed portion of space with a cabinet door that fits nicely over it, or a complex built-in unit, allowing you to keep your microwave and other small appliances out of sight when not in use. Appliance garages are a kitchen feature that helps keep your counters clear and frees up valuable workspace.

3. Deep sink
While a deep sink may not appeal to shorter people -- for obvious reasons -- there are more pros than cons by going deeper. Families can benefit from the additional space deeper bowls provide by allowing more space for dirty dishes, but avid cooks will also appreciate having a sink that works well when washing bulky and unwieldy pots and baking sheets. Whether you choose one bowl or two is up to you, but deep sinks will keep dishwater splashes contained regardless.

4. Storage options
Dividers, deep drawers, inset shelving, and custom cabinetry make kitchen organization a breeze (and maybe even a little fun). Again, you’ll benefit from having plenty of storage space in your kitchen, and that storage will pay off plenty when it comes time to sell your home -- kitchen storage options fetch major brownie points (baking pun intended).

5. Pantry
While you may not have the space to add a walk-in pantry to your kitchen, you may be able to add a pantry (if you don’t already have one). If you’ve never had a kitchen with a pantry, you definitely won’t want to go back once you have one. Helping keep counters and cabinets clutter-free, dedicated pantries make it easy to organize all of your non-perishable food items and often provide enough space to store both cookware and serveware.

If you want to make your kitchen a comfortable and functional hub in your home, consider updating your kitchen with lighting and storage. An update can breathe new life -- and convenience -- into your kitchen by modernizing the look, feel, and features, not to mention increasing your home’s value and appeal when you go to sell. Happy planning!


14 May 2019

The Most Common Pests During Spring Time


Winter is over, and springtime is already here. Flowers are blooming once again, and there is much pollen in the atmosphere. As the cold season wraps up, the heat from the sun starts to thaw ice, and many animals are also coming out of their nests after their hibernation ended. Springtime also means that the new pests will hatch, begin their activities and will be eating a lot. This means that pests will be more aggressive in destroying crops, properties, and food products. As a homeowner, you should be wary about the things that these pests can do, and try working with a professional on how to get rid of them. Mountain West Pest Control is a reliable business that can exterminate these pests. Try working with them and see what services they offer to make your home pest free. Here are some of the most common pests that we see during springtime.

  1. Carpenter ants are animals which developed a sensitivity with a cold environment. Once the winter ends, carpenter ants would go out of their nests and forage foods available on the ground. They can be seen anywhere – even inside your home – to take food and water. Carpenter ants that are found inside a property would mean that they were able to enter the building through a hole, or they have already established a colony inside the house. They are creating a vast network of tunnels in homes made of wood, so homes like wooden logs are prone to damage and collapse, especially if these ants managed to destroy most of the foundation. Call a reliable pest control company to exterminate these ants that pose a danger to your home.
  2. Pavement ants are another type of animal that can be found in the soil, and they will also enter homes to search for food. These ants build large colonies, and they will never stop eating until they are satisfied. These ants should be treated immediately because they will cause a lot of trouble for the homeowner. They will eat the food inside the house, as well as any other food scraps. What you can do is to search for their nest that might be located in the pavement outside the house and see if you can eliminate the nest. If you failed from trying to exterminate these ants, call a professional for help, and they can take a different approach on dealing with them.
  3. Bees, wasps, and hornets are also awakened during the spring, and they might have built a nest inside your home during the winter. These animals are dangerous because of their sting, and people who have been stung by these animals might develop a deadly allergic reaction. To make sure that there are no bees, wasps, or hornets that managed to transform your home into their nests, try to investigate and see if you will find traces or pieces of evidence of their presence. If they are inside your home, do not try to destroy their nest. Instead, call a professional for help. It would be dangerous to destroy their nest without any professional assistance because the insects might feel aggravated and attack.
  4. Houseflies are also multiplying the population when spring comes. They are some of the dirtiest insects on the planet. Houseflies are spreading diseases like wildfires, and when you see them land above your food, make sure to throw it away because the bacteria and viruses on their feet would immediately multiply and be transferred to the food, which is dangerous for the health. Make sure that the houseflies don't not make it inside your house, and call a reliable pest control that will be able to shoo them away. You can also use flytraps to minimize the number of flies inside your property.
  5. Rats and mice also multiple during the spring, and they will be a headache because of how they are attacking homes and eating away food that is left behind. They are also dangerous because they bite, and some rats and mice have rabies. Other are carriers of fatal diseases. Make sure to call a professional pest exterminator to get rid of these rodents inside your home and minimize the chances of diseases being spread.


08 May 2019

Damp proofing and eliminating water damage

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High water tables and a wet climate can add up slowly to structural damages in both older buildings and in new construction. Long before the appearance of mould and mildew, the gradual action of water could be damaging your home.

One of the essential characteristics of water is that it moves through porous materials through a process called capillary action. What this means for most people is that water from the saturated ground will enter stone or concrete foundations and rise up through the walls until it reaches a point high enough where it can evaporate into the atmosphere.

As it engages in this slow march upwards and sideways, it causes structural damage to the material it travels through and makes a perfect environment for mould and mildew to thrive. As a secondary assault, the mould and mildew cause more damage on top of the damage wrought by the original water. The familiar dank smell of a damp home isn’t just the smell of mould, it’s also the smell of a slow motion disaster unfolding in areas a homeowner can’t see.

What there is to do if you suspect you have a problem with rising damp is to call in a professional who can test your home’s foundations and walls to see if there’s a problem to begin with and if there is a problem, how much trouble that problem’s caused.

Fortunately, there are solutions available. Many of these solutions can be implemented relatively quickly and at a reasonable cost. Every structure, every home, every situation is different and each of them requires its own approach. Calling in a true expert is the only way to find the proper fix to your problem.

You don’t need to suffer through another season of damp and the right professional, like the techs employed by Damp2Dry, can set you other the correct path to ensure many years of health and happiness. Rising damp can jeopardise your health by fostering the growth of black mould but it can also jeopardise the health of your home. The solution is but a phone call away.

07 May 2019

Bringing a Touch of Luxury to Bathrooms

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A recent survey from Lightstream reports that 37 percent of homeowners indicated they are planning to remodel their bathrooms in 2019, edging out kitchen remodels, which 31 percent of respondents said was a priority. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed said personalization was their primary reason for investing in a renovation. In addition, according to the 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, more than half of Baby Boomer homeowners are planning to renovate their bathrooms to support aging in place. These homeowners are looking for bathrooms with accessible features such as lower sinks and toilets, curbless (zero-entry) showers and handheld showerheads.

Beyond making bathrooms more customized and accessible, a growing number of homeowners are also opting to add luxe spa touches to their bathrooms. Following are some easy ways to create a bathroom space that hits the mark in all of these areas.

Elevate the shower. There is a move away from traditional bathrooms toward larger, more luxurious shower areas. Some may even include a freestanding tub, depending on available space and preference. In addition to desiring well-appointed materials and design elements that offer high performance features, homeowners expect their bathrooms and showers to reflect their personal style, whether that be “all decked out” or on the minimalist side. From natural stone shower surrounds to multiple showerheads to stainless steel linear drains, the focus is on creating a more enjoyable – and memorable – shower experience. Available in a range of styles and patterns, linear drains are particularly well-suited for curbless and step-in showers. And, their streamlined footprint has a cleaner appearance than typical center drains, which complements the trend toward more contemporary bathroom designs.

Add luxe accents. Even in cases where it’s not feasible to upgrade to a frameless or spa-sized shower, there are a number of creative ways to infuse a touch of luxury into the bathroom. Incorporating accessories such as an eye-catching mirror, statement lighting and heated towel racks can go a long way in achieving a more luxurious feel. Using a layered lighting approach that utilizes a mix of several types of lighting – for example, vanity lighting, accent lighting such as vertical fixtures or sconces, and natural light – can create a relaxing space for resting and recharging. Heated towel racks not only provide the tactile appeal of freshly warmed towels, but can also dry towels in between baths and showers, and double as a convenient way to dry lingerie and delicates. Larger models can help heat smaller bathrooms, especially beneficial in cooler climates.

Go beyond the surface. When designing or remodeling a bathroom, it’s also important to pay attention to surfaces such as flooring, walls and backsplashes. Adding natural stone, porcelain or ceramic tile can bring a sense of sophistication to bathrooms while also being simple to maintain. Lightweight natural stone veneer can be installed on vertical surfaces to create an organic look that delivers texture and dimensionality. Luxury tiles, such as those from the namesake of iconic carmaker Lamborghini, come in a range of interesting designs for a high-end, luxury feel. Glass-tiled or mosaic backsplashes are another popular way to enhance the look of a bathroom space, especially when paired with colored or metallic grout, which is becoming a desirable alternative to white and beige grout.

For many people, the bathroom has become a sanctuary. Adding even a few luxe elements can transform an ordinary bathroom space into an inviting retreat. Many of these upgrades are surprisingly affordable, making it easy for homeowners to let their inner-diva shine.


29 April 2019


Stated by roofing companies in Dallas, your roof is critical to protecting your home from the elements, and if it’s damaged, water leaks are likely, which can lead to mold and other issues.

In this article, we look at the common roofing problems you’re likely to encounter, and how to keep your roof in tip-top shape.

Leaks
Leaks are the most common problem affecting roofs, age and improper sealing are the prime culprits. You can detect leaks by doing a visual inspection inside and looking for signs of water. Fixing a leak as quickly as possible is essential to keeping your family safe from mold that can lead to respiratory issues and allergies, and the integrity of your home’s inner structure.

Poorly Installed Flashing
When the roof is penetrated by a vent, chimney or cooling system, contractors use flashing to seal the gap to prohibit the ingress of water. If the flashing isn’t installed correctly or if it becomes damaged because of weather or age, it can lead to leaks or loose shingles.

In most cases, small holes in the flashing are easy to patch with roofing cement, and you can do that yourself. However, large holes often require the help from a contractor to ensure the job is done right and that the seal is tight.

Soffit Damage
The soffit is material connecting the roof’s overhang with the side of your house. The soffit is an aesthetic and a vital component to roof function. As with many roofing issues, soffit can become damaged because of water from poorly installed or damaged gutters. When gutters aren’t cleaned or installed correctly, water sits on the edge of the shingles and drips down rotting the soffit.

If you have a damaged soffit, the best course is to call in a professional roofing company who can replace the rotted area and match the style to the rest of the house, so the repair is seamless.

Animal Infestation
Yes, animals can damage your roof and can sometimes be worse than what Mother Nature throws at it. Animals that are nuisance include squirrels, bats, birds, mice, and raccoons. These animals usually are looking for warmth and shelter and once in, they can damage wiring or chew up your wood.

Keep animals out by making it tough for them to get in, and that means cutting any branches that overhang the roof. Also, keep your gutters clean to discourage birds from making their nests in them.

Damaged Shingles
Damaged shingles are another major cause of roof problems, and they become damaged because of age or weather. To ensure the health of your roof, make sure you perform routine inspections and repair damaged shingles.

Poor Maintenance
Not maintaining your roof and fixing small problems before they become big ones is another substantial reason roofs leak and fail. It’s vital to the health and longevity of your roof you get up at least once a year and inspect it from the outside and the inside.

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.




10 April 2019

Top 6 Indicators You Need an Expert Plumber ASAP


There is nothing as boring as drainage sluggish in your sink when washing your utensils. Every avid dishwasher will attest to that truth, especially when they are in a hurry of doing something else. Of course, this is a common phenomenon in many homes in Hamilton. But do you have to wait for the drains to be sluggish to call a plumber?

Well, that’s completely unnecessary if you are constantly using your kitchen as we all do. Just as you mow your lawn regularly so should you carry out drainage examination now and then. If you have stayed long enough without checking up the drainage system, there are some things that can signal that you need a plumber immediately.

Hamilton is not deficient of plumbers, but there is that specific one that you need to solve all your drainage systems. You definitely need an expert who is licensed and experienced. The following indicators should put you on toes of looking for the best plumber in Hamilton.

1. Unpleasant smell
Immediately you notice that you are having a bad odor that you cannot trace its source, especially in your washroom and sink, it's time to call a plumber. If the awful aroma is from the kitchen sink only, you need to check for the food particles blocking the pipe. However, at https://www.plumbwize.ca/plumber-hamilton/ you can have an experienced plumber that will diagnose your drainage and unblock them.

2. Water leaks
Well, this can easily damage your walls and give you some extra task to look at. You should be able to fix a simple leak by simply tightening the pipes. Nevertheless, you need to contact a plumber if the problem persist. By fixing those leaky pipes you significantly reduce your bills and damages.

3. Drop in the water pressure
A normal pipe should allow water to flow efficiently to the tap without any resistance. If you notice a sudden drop in the pressure of the flowing water, you need to visit https://www.plumbwize.ca/plumber-hamilton/ for a plumber because it is a sure sign there is a blockage or an underground leak which can be very frustrating for you to find.

4. Brown-colored water
This is a sure indication that there is some rusting on one of your pipes especially in the heater. To avoid rusting many plumbing contractors in Hamilton are using PVC pipes. But in case, your drainage system is made up of metallic pipes, rusty water is an indication for the need for repair.

5. Sluggish drains
As previously indicated, this is a sign that your drainage is blocked. Although you may try to unblock the pipes, only a qualified plumber has the knowledge of identifying where the problem is.

6. Screeching faucets
Ever heard of such noises when you open your faucet? Well, your pipes are not haunted as you may think, it’s a sign that some air is penetrating your pipe at a certain point and you need a repair immediately.

Conclusion
Identifying drainage blocks can be quite a task, especially when the damage is internal and not visible. If you notice your lawn getting greener at some area where the drainage has passed or some damaged or stained walls in your house, it's time to call a professional plumber.

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.


26 March 2019

How to be lean with your water usage at home


If you haven't read the news, water is getting expensive. Sure, this is impacting some cities more than others, but most people around the country are suffering and it's yet another monthly bill to grow concerned about.

Fortunately, a lot of us are missing far too many tricks when it comes to water consumption. There are plenty of things that you can do in the home to lower your water bills and through today's post we will take a look at some of the ways to help you do this.

Tackle that leaking faucet early

If you have a leaky faucet or two, you're not the only ones, trust us. At the same time, this doesn't mean to say that you shouldn't be looking to get the problem resolved.

Let's take a look at the numbers. If you had just one faucet, dripping once every minute, you would immediately lose 34 gallons of water per year. Let's not forget that most leaky faucets are much bigger offenders, so you will probably be losing much more!

As such, find a faucet repair service in Atlanta or your city of residence and get the problem fixed.

The same rule applies to toilets

Sure, if your toilet is leaking we're hopeful that many of you would take more immediately action! Just to put some more numbers out there though, in some cases a leaking toilet can cost you 200 gallons per day. Again, call the plumber in as a matter of urgency.

Be shrewd with your dishwasher

If you pre-wash your dishes before they hit the dishwasher you are making a principal mistake. This has come directly from the manufacturers of some dishwasher tablets, who say that their products work more efficiently if there is residue for the enzymes to attach to.

Ultimately, if you are pre-washing before each load, you are wasting a lot of water. Want hard and fast numbers? The experts believe that this could be as high as 10 gallons of water per load. Not only that, but umpteen studies have confirmed that dishwashers are more effective than washing the dishes by hand.

Your garden is a project in itself

In truth, we could have penned a whole dissertation on the wonders of saving water in your garden. There are a whole host of possibilities, but let's start with irrigation.

In short, if you are using one of the older systems here, you are wasting water and money. Nowadays, these systems are completely efficient and will even tie themselves into real weather conditions to ensure your garden is receiving the perfect amount of water. In other words, they are not left on all of the time.

Then, there is the topic of rainwater capture. This doesn't have to ruin your landscaping; even a 50-gallon drum can be hidden away and collect water from your gutters and downspouts. You can then tap into this supply to water your garden in future, and save gallons in the process.

13 March 2019

Creating a Comfortable Home Office


Working from home has its perks. You’ll never have to worry about office politics, a dress code, or someone heating fish in the office microwave. But you’ll have challenges, too. It can be tough to be productive when we work from home, and it can be difficult to cultivate the right kind of work-from-home environment. To really be effective at working from home, you’ll need a great home office that will encourage you to work hard and be productive.

That’s easier said than done, but we have some tips that could help you out. Here are a few things that could help you create the ultimate home office.

Carve out a separate space

Our minds are fickle things, and they can often work against us. One of the tough things about working from home is that it can confuse your body and mind, making it tough for you to designate work time from playtime. If you’re staring at your work desk as you fall asleep, you may find it hard to get restful sleep. If you’re seeing your PlayStation 4 out of the corner of your eye as you work on a project, you may get distracted.

One of the best things that you can do for yourself as a work-from-home professional is to carve out a designated space for your work. A separate room is ideal, but that’s not your only option — you could create a zone within a room for work. The important thing is to set your work area apart in your space so that you can set it apart in your mind, too.

Make sure friends and family know you’re “at the office”

When you’re home all day, it’s easy for others to forget that you’re at work. If you have family around, they may try to strike up a conversation. Friends may want to stop by. And others that you live with may ask you to run errands.

Be sure to let people know that you are “at work,” even if you’re right there in the next room. Set boundaries with friends and family, and don’t let them disrupt your busy work schedule.

Get your morning routine right

As a work-from-home professional, you’ll no longer have to commute. That’s great! But you will need some kind of morning routine that tells your body and your mind that it’s time to work.

Make sure that you get up and run through a full morning routine each morning. Take a shower and get dressed. You may even want to talk a walk around the block to get some air — a virtual “commute.” Wear clothes that make you feel like you’re “at work,” because you are!

Then grab a coffee and get down to work. You can save a lot of money on your “office” coffee, by the way, by joining a subscription coffee club that will send fresh coffee to your doorstep on a regular basis. You may also want to program your coffee maker to start brewing a fresh batch every morning as you get up.

Keep your property comfortable and functional

When commercial office spaces are run down and working poorly, they affect the productivity of the professionals who occupy them. The same is true of your working space, which is also your home.

Stay on top of things like plumbing, electrical repairs and maintenance. The right temperature can be key to productivity, say the experts at ac repair Cape Coral. And being proactive about maintenance and repairs to vital systems like your home’s HVAC or plumbing system will save you money in the long run, because preventative maintenance is virtually always cheaper than sudden emergency repairs to broken things. By keeping your home comfortable and functional, you’ll ensure that your home office is in tip-top shape for your workday.

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