07 February 2020

Neat Interior Life Hacks - How to Avoid Mess

Image by Photographee.eu
I’m pretty sure most of us wonder why everything looks so beautiful in the photo from the net. But when you look around - it seems that there’s just a mess. Therefore, I’m going to write about how interior little stuff could affect our evaluation of ‘neat - not neat’.

So let’s talk about the mess, its components and how to minimize it at home. And I’ve got some pictures from the net, magazines and movie screenshots to illustrate my thoughts. The main enemy of order is clutter. And here we’re faced with the first paradox: the larger space, the easier is to maintain it! Yes, a big house gets dirtier than an apartment. It’s more difficult to get rid of it. But in case of a mess, it’s much easier because mostly it’s not difficult to find a place for all the stuff in a large room. Here, of course, it would be great to add a piece of advice like this: ‘That’s why you have to sell out your one-room apartment and buy a three-story house in the country.’ OK, but now let's look around and evaluate our space, how big it is and what it’s filled with.

The smaller your living place, the stricter you should be with the number of items that are in sight. Let's start with the first eye-catching spot - the hall. What is usually in the hallway: hat and coat hooks and shoes. The smaller the hall, the fewer clothes should be on the hooks. The clothing - all these jackets and coats - hanging on top of the other seems like cluttering up space. So there must be a minimal amount of stuff. And everything else - put in a closed wardrobe. The exact same rule works with shoes. It’s better to put all the shoes in a cupboard. It gets you very disciplined: get changed, clean and put away. Well, if you don’t have time for all of that, do it at least till the evening then, put it in the cupboard so that it doesn’t pile up.

Another trouble of the anteroom is the small racks where all unnecessary stuff is stored -  notes with phone numbers, keys, cards, ads, and many others you don’t even remember and need. I’ve got a large entrance hall but there’s not a single horizontal surface in it, with the exception of the windowsill where I could put on some things. This immediately makes you not to leave a bag in the hallway (and women tend to use more than one bag), but take it to its place and unpack it right away.

I totally understand that in cases of lack of space this seems like "getting juice from a stone," But I think it might be helpful to take into account for those who just started renovating and furnishing the housing.

Here’s an example of a failed anteroom - a lot of open space but there’s nowhere to put things away. As a result, all stuff will be hanged on the hooks and small garbage - on the shelves, and the hallway will end up with an untidy look.

Image by Photographee.eu

A very important element of order in the house is visual cleanliness. I’m into minimalism in everyday life. The most efficient fighter of the mess is an empty horizontal surface :) For instance: there are always lots of bottles, tubes and other unnecessary stuff collecting on the washbasin and on the bathtub. I have only a piece of soap on the basin.

And all other cosmetics I keep in a basket putting it in the cabinet, taking it out only at the moment when I need it.

This rule works not only in the bathroom. Here’s a kitchen for example. Ideally, the working surface in the kitchen should be completely empty. When there is not enough space or it isn’t thought over, lots of household appliances, knives, jars, cups, pots, and others are getting to pile up on the working surface.

Look at this picture. It’s already over packed, and it seems to be in order and neat. And if you suddenly need to take a pan in sight, or get your fruits dried, or put a pile of magazines with recipes on, throwing a potholder or a towel in a hurry on the table ... in sort words - as soon as any other item appears above this order, the general view turns into a mess.

Well, I believe that household appliances should also be hidden, and have to be taken out of the box only when you need it. All these food makers and blenders that are in sight - it seems to an overall feeling of disorder.

In living rooms, empty horizontal surfaces are also important.

Parquet with no carpet, long podiums, a reclining chair, a table where nothing is set, a bedside table or a chest of drawers where things are only inside but not outside. All this makes a feeling of cleanliness and neatness, even in small rooms.

In general, the less free space you have, the less small details should be in the interior. All sorts of figurines, vases and more - all this looks good in large spaces. Here is a good example: a coffee table with a shelf, but the top is still an empty horizontal surface.

An interior with lots of details in a small room works only if you are as hung up on cleanliness, as Sheldon Cooper. And even in this case, there’s too much ‘visual noise’ that seems like a mess.

Image by Spotern.com
And here’s the interior that for most people may seem boring.

Image by Jamie Hooper
But don’t forget that we don’t live in the picture. Any home decor will be surrounded by details of our real life. Here’s a magazine or an unread book. There’s a fruit basket. The sweatshirt was left on a chair. And if you have kids, then the various lego details, baby crayons, kid's bedtime storybooks are everywhere, as well as other pleasant little stuff would become vibrant colorful memories in your life. And if your interior is full of small details, then all these little things will seem like a mess right away. But a laconic and "boring" interior would easily endure such an "overload."

31 January 2020

6 Home Improvements That Can’t Wait Until Spring

Waiting to do home improvements in the warmer weather makes it easier for you to take the family dog outside so they won’t be underfoot. There are also more options for family outings so that you won’t be in the way. Although these are good reasons to wait, several home improvements should be addressed as soon as possible.

1. Fix Your Roof

Your entire home may be compromised if you have a leaking roof. Leaks can damage your drywall and electrical systems. Wood that is exposed to water may rot. Left unchecked, water from a damaged roof can cause mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to structural damage. They also cause serious health issues for people who are exposed to them. Removing mold from a home can cost thousands of dollars. Turn to the roofing experts at RenoRoofRepair to have your roof repaired before leaks cause internal damage in your home.

2. Handle Plumbing Issues

via Unsplash

The type of plumbing pipe in your home may be an issue. Clay pipes were used in the 1800s and early 1900s. Clay breaks down over time. Roots can break through these pipes and cause blockages. Plumbers can use sewer cameras to visually inspect pipes to determine their condition and locate obstructions. Sometimes repairs can be limited to a section of pipe instead of replacing an entire line. A sewer backup can damage your home’s structure and lead to health problems for residents, so you should bring in the plumbers as soon as possible.

3. Foundation Repairs

Water can seep up through cracks in a bad foundation. This can cause damage to your flooring and any belongings that come in contact with the water. Mold may grow and damage your home’s structure and put your family’s health at risk. The foundation can shift, which may affect your floors, ceilings, windows, and doors. Windows and doors may not close properly, which can cause drafts and heat loss in the winter months. Foundation issues may also cause cracks in the walls. There are advantages to inspecting and fixing foundation problems in the winter. You’ll also prevent more damage to your home.

4. Upgrade Your Electrical Circuits

via Unsplash

In extreme situations, electrical problems can lead to an electrical fire. Serious electrical problems can also cause high electric bills. The cold winter months cause increased use because there are fewer daylight hours and people spend more time inside. The high demand for electrical systems can cause other issues, such as flickering lights or tripped circuits. If you have noticed these issues in previous years, it is a good idea to bring an electrician in and upgrade your electrical before the cold weather starts. This is why it is important to address electrical issues as soon as possible.

5. Doors and Windows

Replacing your doors and windows will help keep the bitter winter winds out and your heat in.Old doors and windows let in cold air. This can cost you hundreds of dollars in inflated heating costs each winter. Old doors and windows also cause increased strain on your electrical system, which can result in expensive electrical repairs. Water, frost, and snow can all get in through cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Over time, this can cause exposed wood to rot and prompt mold growth.

6. Home Heating

via Unsplash

Your furnace is one of the most important features in your home during the winter months. It needs to effectively produce and distribute heat throughout the entire house. Has your furnace serviced before winter starts? Replace filters to ensure that the air from your furnace is clean. If you notice that part of the house doesn’t seem to be warming up properly you will want to have the vents checked to make sure they aren’t blocked. If your furnace goes out, call for repairs immediately. Without heat, your pipes can freeze, which can lead to expensive plumbing repairs.

How to Shop for a Hard-Top Gazebo

Photo by Andreea Tache on Unsplash
Imagine stepping out of your spa to relax on your chaise in your backyard. All of the sudden, you realize that not only is it blisteringly hot, but it looks like there are rain clouds forming in the distance. What should you do? No worries, because you have a hard-top gazebo, which means you are protected from the heat and the rain. If you are looking for a hard-top gazebo, you will need to make sure that you get the best gazebo for your money. Unlike a temporary canopy, hard-top gazebos are meant to be a more permanent structure, so you need to make sure that the gazebo you choose is exactly what you want. How do you go about picking the best gazebo for your needs? Here are our tips for finding a good hard-top gazebo.


More than other types of structures meant for outdoor use, a hard-top gazebo needs to be durable. You want the frame to be rustproof, and you also want the roof of your gazebo to be rustproof as well. Many hard-top gazebos are made of galvanized steel that is powder coated to resist rusting. You also want to make sure that the materials used in your hard-top gazebo can withstand the elements. For example, if you live in an area that gets heavy snow, you need to make sure that the gazebo you are looking at is able to withstand snow cover. Some gazebos also come with poles in case of heavy snow.


Because your hard-top gazebo is a fairly permanent structure, you need to get a gazebo that suits your purpose. If you love to barbeque, you need to make sure that your gazebo has vents that will allow you to barbecue underneath it, because the smoke can vent out the top. If you are using the gazebo as a place to sit out and visit with friends on a summer evening, you may want to pick a gazebo with optional mosquito netting to guard against those pesky critters. You can also get an optional curtain for those backyard camping nights.

Take some time to think about what you want to use the gazebo for, so that when you go looking for your hard-top gazebo, you will know what to look for.


When you are looking for a hard-top gazebo, you want to get the best gazebo for your money. Take some time and look around at different hard-top gazebos and read the manufacturer’s warranties to make sure you get exactly the gazebo you want. Also, you may want to read the reviews of your top five gazebo picks, so that you can narrow your choices down. Once you have some idea what you want, go and look at each gazebo. It may be that you find one gazebo that you really like more than your other choices, you’re in luck--we wish all of life’s decisions were that simple. Good luck, and happy shopping!

Can you skip property valuation before buying a new home?

Photo by Brian Babb on Unsplash
Property valuation before buying a new home is necessary for various endeavors, including taxation, property insurance, investment analysis, sales listing, and financing. Lenders usually need an appraisal before finalizing a loan to the buyer after they have accepted an offer, so property valuation is not a typical approach before buying a home. However, getting a property valuation before making an offer can put you in a better position to negotiate since you understand the market value of the property.

Factors to Consider When Conducting Property Valuation

A valuer conducts a written estimate of the market value of the property by considering various factors about the property and the selling prices of other homes in the neighborhood. The property valuation is based partly on its condition, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, architectural features, and square footage. And then provides with the best house valuation reports in Perth.

Reasons for Property Valuation

Property valuation assists in protecting the lender by ensuring that the value of the loan given to the buyer is not more than the property value; an independent property valuation safeguards your financial interests. Getting a property valuation before you offer your bid enables you to know the value of the property before contracting a legally liaising offer. It can assist you in saving a lot of money if you reduce your offer concerning the property valuation.

Basic Property Valuation Concepts

An accurate property valuation depends on systematic data collection. Precise information, including details about the specific property, and general information about the neighborhood, city, region, and country where the home is located, are gathered and examined to determine a value. Property valuation utilizes three basic concepts to establish the value of a property.

Approach 1: Income Capitalization Concept

It is usually known as the income approach and is grounded on the net income that your home generates and the needed rate of return by the investor. It is utilized to evaluate the value of properties that generate income like shopping centers, office buildings, and apartment complexes. Vautilizing the income approach can be quite honest when the home at hand is anticipated to generate income in the future, and when its costs are steady and predictable.

I consulted property valuers when buying a new home, and they performed the following steps to estimate the value of a home for me:

  • Estimated the potential yearly income of the home
  • Considered the rent collection losses and vacancy to estimate the right gross income.
  • Deducted the annual expenses of operation to determine the yearly net income.
  • Estimated the cost that an investor would offer for the income generated by the specific class and type of home, that was achieved through estimating the rate of capitalization, or rate of return.
  • Used the rate of investment to the yearly net operating income of the property to get an estimate of the value of the property.

Approach 2: Cost Concept

This approach can be utilized to determine the value of a property that has been improved by another or other buildings. The method involves various estimates of value for the subject property, including the land, while considering depreciation. These estimates are summed up to determine the value of the whole improved property. The approach assumes that an ideal buyer will not pay more for an enhanced home than the cost of purchasing an equivalent property or build a comparable building. This concept is helpful when the home being valued is a type that does not commonly sell and does not produce income. Examples of such properties are government buildings, hospitals, and schools.

The cost of building can be estimated in various ways including the quantity survey approach that determines the price and quantity of raw materials required to improve the property and the cost of installation; the unit-in-place approach that estimates costs based on the cost of construction per unit measure of the specific components of building; and the square-foot approach which estimates the cost per square feet and then multiplied by the total square feet of the building.

Approach 3: Sales Comparison Concept

This method is mostly utilized to estimate the value of single-family land and property. The property valuation is based on comparing the subject property with other comparable properties that have been sold recently. To get a valid comparison, the sold property must:

  • Have been sold under comparable market conditions
  • Have been sold within a year in a competitive and open market
  • Be similar to the property at hand as much as possible

The valuer should use at least four comparable properties in the property valuation to get the right estimate.


Accurate property valuation is crucial to sellers, buyers, insurers, investors, and sellers of real estate property. While property valuation is mainly conducted by experienced professionals, anybody involved in property transactions can benefit from getting a general understanding of the various property valuation methods.

23 January 2020

5 Common Mistakes That First-Time Home Buyers Make

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
The complexities of buying and selling a property can sometimes lead to most people, making a lot of mistakes that could have been easily avoided. The situation is even more frequent when you are a first-time homebuyer and do not seek professional insight. With the current uncertainties in the property market, it is not uncommon to see a lot of the same mistakes being repeated over and over by the same first-time buyers.

1. Not using an agent

This is, by far, one of the worst and most common mistakes for first-time buyers on the market. There are more advantages to having a real estate agent brokering your property deal than doing it yourself, no matter how confident you may feel during the whole process.

The good thing about agents is that they will help you to at least be objective in your choice as their experience in the business gives them a unique insight on what is quality and what is just a waste of your money in the long run. Commercial property valuers in Adelaide are also bound to ethical standards that cater for both you as a buyer and the seller’s interests.

2. Rushing to put in an offer

This is another mistake that if you are a first-time buyer might find yourself falling into. Rushing your purchase could end up costing you more in the future in case the property you bought had hidden extra costs of repair and renovations that you are likely to miss at first glance easily.

If you want to have the best that your money can get, then you need to let the whole process go as planned; everything from inspection to opinion from experienced professionals that will allow you to make an informed decision.

3. Not applying for a mortgage

About the worst thing, you can do when buying a house for the first time is not looking at what you are able to borrow from the banks. It is always advisable that you talk to a mortgage professional since what you can afford and what your bank says you can afford are not usually the same. It is, therefore, imperative that you get a pre-approved loan before you even go for house hunting.

4. Not looking for more options

One of the absolute worst mistakes for a first-time homebuyer is not going shopping for houses and comparing the prices but instead, settle on the first house they meet. Not saying compromising is a bad thing, but it is always better to have more options at your disposal in order to score the best deal. This will not only cut on your spending costs but also ensure you get the best house on the market.

The opposite is also true in the case of a first-time buyer skipping on every house they find suited to their needs and instead wait for the perfect home. While perfection can be a good thing when it counts, it is not always a realistic goal.

This will inadvertently end up costing you more as it will not only take you much longer to get your perfect home, but you will also end up overpaying for what you may consider as the ideal home in case you find one. The best solution is always keeping an open mind and be realistic about the home you want.

5. Overlooking your budget and overspending

Lastly, but still serious mistake first-time buyers make spending more than they can afford. This is a very common mistake especially when you as a buyer find a particular home too good to pass up. This will end up with you taking a loan larger than you can afford just to close the deal because some lenders can sometimes approve for larger loans.

While a common mistake, this can easily be avoided by creating a budget and sticking with it until you get your home. Not only will you get home, but paying back the loan will not be a burden to your finances.

As a first-time buyer, you are usually the most vulnerable to common but easily avoidable mistakes when you buy your first home. Whether it's rushing to purchasing a house, skipping inspections, or just spending extra to get the perfect dream home, any of the mistakes will end up having far-reaching consequences later on. As such, it is vital to gain as much information about buying your first home before you go to look for one. With the right information, all the common mistakes can easily be avoided.