What you Should Know About Kit Homes

What you Should Know About Kit Homes

Owning your home can be a daunting experience, to say the least. The costs, building process and time consumed can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. There are so many decisions to make, from the best contractor to the finishing products to be used, so doing it right may be more like wishful thinking. You are always wondering whether you have done it right. Don’t stress out! There are numerous options available to you that will make the process of building your home enjoyable and easy. One building option that has become popular in the recent years is having your home manufactured offsite. A more valid option is building in the form of a kit home. Kit home plans are designed and made off the site and then transported for assembling at the site. It may take a few days to assemble the outer shell and install the doors, windows and roof with the help of a contractor. Lately, more and more homeowners are adopting the idea of building their homes using this method. This technology has opened up to new and improved stylish designs, giving you a variety of designs to choose from. Just like regular homes, kit homes can also be spacious, well-designed, self-reliant and sustainable. They are built with quality components that are energy efficient. Furthermore, homeowners can take part in the construction of their home, which can be a rewarding experience. At the same time, it gives them an option of customising the designs to reflect their style at a minimal cost. Kit homes are more affordable than the conventional way of building. However, the cost of a kit home may vary depending on the size and type of materials whether it’s a DIY project or built by a professional. The bottom line is that a sense of peace is achieved by using this method because before you start building your home, you will have already known the total cost of building your home. When it comes to kit homes, there are no surprises related to cost along the way. What you budget for initially is what you use throughout the project but be sure to do your research well. When you are designing your kit home, it’s advisable to consider using steel framing. A steel home kit is strong, durable and sustainable. Steel frames can survive earthquakes, fire, and hurricanes. You are likely to get a good deal with your insurance company. A steel structure is not troubled by mould, rot or termite problems most common in wooden structures. When using steel, you will not be faced with issues of warping, cracking or knots. It gives no room for waste; you only order what you will use. Kit homes are similar to regular homes in that the building parts are made and transported to the site. However, a kit home offers an opportunity for design variations (you can see affordable kit home designs on this page) whereas in ordinary homes the necessary parts are manufactured in a factory with strict specifications giving no room for modification. Kit homeowners have the choice of choosing a design, changing it or creating something new altogether. There is also the option for an owner to chip in the construction which can help save money. If you have done your...

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It’s All About the Flow: Keeping Your Home Comfortable All Year Long

It’s All About the Flow: Keeping Your Home Comfortable All Year Long

There’s a lot more to keeping the interior of your home comfortable than turning the thermostat up or down. Air flow makes all the difference, where interior comfort is concerned. Not only does proper airflow keep your place nice and cool in summertime, airflow also cycles out dust, cigarette smoke, seasonal pollen and other airborne impurities. Here are nine easy and effective ways to facilitate airflow in your home or office: Clean air vents and keep them unblocked Remember, the only way HVAC-chilled air can move into and through your home is by way of vents. Take a good look in each room of your house and make sure no vents are impeded by heavy furniture or bookcases. Ensure that floor vents are not covered by rugs. Give vent grills a good vacuuming to rid them of pet hair, dust and general debris. If your vents are high on a wall, use your vacuum cleaner’s extension wand to reach them. Switch out air filters regularly There is no such thing as changing HVAC system air filters too often. Dirty filters impede air flow and make it more expensive to cool your home in summertime and heat your home on chilly winter nights. Turn off the A/C and open several windows at once In the cool of the early morning, throw open as many screened windows and doors as you can. Doing so will allow for cross-ventilation that refreshes stale air while cooling your interior space with pleasantly cool breezes. Install exhaust fans where they will do the most good Make sure every bathroom in your home features a strong exhaust fan. Bathrooms are notorious collection spots for hot, humid air. A decent exhaust fan will remove muggy air from the home. An exhaust fan in the kitchen takes hot cooking air and sends it outside, too. Employ ceiling, desktop and window fans Fans keep the air circulating and go a long way toward ensuring the summertime comfort of your residence. A ceiling fan doesn’t lower the temperature, but it makes anyone who is near the fan feel cooler because of evaporation. When the weather is cold outside, ceiling fans effectively move heated air throughout the home. Window fans are great on a warm day, as they move cooling air through open windows. Remember: Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise during summer and reverse their direction in winter. You will find a switch to select fan direction on the side of the fan fixture. Go for a whole-house fan A whole-house fan system can effectively remove overheated air and move it up and out of the house by way of the attic space. A whole-house fan is a lot cheaper to operate than an air conditioner, as well. According to the New York Times, a whole-house attic fan can move up to 4,000 cubic feet of air per minute. A good house fan costs mere pennies per day to run, as opposed to several dollars per day to use an air conditioning system. Add an attic vent A gable vent when used in conjunction with a whole house fan system can lower your home’s internal temperature by several important degrees. An attic vent is not a job for a typical DIY handyman, so your best bet is to call...

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Using log wood furniture – Why should you include them in your home?

Using log wood furniture – Why should you include them in your home?

Don’t we all want our homes to reflect our values and personalities? Bet we would! Although majority of us want our homes to look good but it can be tough to accomplish as most of the furniture that are manufactured today look similar to each other. The industry of rustic log furniture is rapidly growing. With the different variety of woods, finishes and styles to choose is something to please every taste and style. If you’re someone who is supposed to buy log wood furniture, you have to take into account the benefits of log wood furniture. Here are some reasons to choose log wood furniture. Log furniture is used in different portions of your home Log wood furniture can be used in different parts of your home. Check out some areas where you can decorate with log furniture. Outdoor log furniture: When you add log wood furniture to your outdoors, you can create visually warm and functional outdoor living places. Log dining room sets, log picnic tables and different selected lounge chairs will bring friends and family together outside. You may even choose a rustic log swing and opt for a better way to enjoy warm summer breeze or autumn sunset. Log bedroom furniture: Unique bedroom designs are easier to realize and you get a broad selection to find out what you want and what actually you need. What do you need? Do you need some mirrors, a brand new log bed and the perfect direction of your interior design? Log living room furniture: If you like living room furniture which has a rustic charm, you would definitely love to include log wood furniture into your room. Adding this kind of furniture will add accent to your existing interiors or also give a new look to your home. You can also add some furniture to your dining room. Log kitchen and dining furniture: The kitchen is usually considered as the center of the home and the country kitchen furniture will become a special attention-seeker of your home. The dining room furniture will look good with solid woods. The chairs, tables, stools, barns and cabinets are all designed to give a rustic feeling without compromising on utility. Oak wood furniture – What can be the disadvantages? Oak can also be extremely heavy not only physically but also the effect it has on your room. As this is traditional wood, you can also find that it conflicts with your home decoration, particularly if you’re opting for a contemporary look. Oak wood also has problems like blight which can have a detrimental effect on the way a log of wood appears. So, if you’re looking for a log furniture place, you just have to make sure you get it from a trusted source so that you can be sure about its durability. Ensure choosing the one with best quality so that you can keep them as an asset in your...

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The must-have kitchen gears – What are the essentials to include in your kitchen?

The must-have kitchen gears – What are the essentials to include in your kitchen?

Irrespective of whether you’re a mechanic who is assigned to fix a car or a plumber who is assigned to clean a drain or a contractor who has been hired to build up a new home, one thing is certain for sure: you need to have the right tools for the right job. It is the same rule that applies for setting up a kitchen. The secret to a healthy body is definitely regular workout but at the same time kitchen also plays an important role in making or breaking your body. The best way in which you can set yourself up is by setting up the right tools and appliances which can help you cut off fat and boost flavor of whatever you cook. If you’re still not aware of the list of things that you should include in your kitchen, here is a list of some vital kitchen gears. Vitamix Blender: If you’re wondering about the costs, then it will definitely cost you more than the old beater which you used during college. But you can be sure about obtaining the best quality as there are many professional chefs who will acknowledge its good quality. By far, Vitamix is perhaps the best blender which you would ever need to own. The result that you’ll get is blending which can’t be compared with any other mixer, macerating and an engine horsepower of 2.2, which is way more powerful than its nearest competitors. Global G 2 8-inch cook’s knife: The chefs who are professionals are the people who simply go nuts about their stainless steel knives which are made by the Yoshikin company during the 1990. The savvy consumers soon came to know about such knives and if you’re thinking of buying only one size, that would be indeed a versatile 8-inch one which is useful both for heavy duty chopping and precision dicing. You can get it from Amazon at $100. OXO Good Grips 9-inch tongs: The company named Oxo has ergonomically designed Good Grips which has almost revolutionized different kitchen tools from vegetable peelers to can openers. Tongs are usually less essential immediately but it helps you grip hot foods and this is the biggest benefit of this 9-inch tongs. This model locks for storage and also has heat-resistant nylon heads which won’t get scratched even when you hold metals with it. De Buyer Swing Mandoline: This is yet another professional tool which more and more professional cooks are discovering and this tool is imperative for thin slicing, crinkle cutting or waffle-cutting veggies like carrots, potatoes and cukes. It can also be used as a handy tool to produce matchsticks and julienne cuts. Therefore if you want your kitchen to be full of the must-have kitchen gear, you should definitely include the above mentioned tools. Make your kitchen smart enough to ease off the process of...

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A Comparison between Bath Screens and Shower Curtains – and What You Need to Know

A Comparison between Bath Screens and Shower Curtains – and What You Need to Know

Image attributed to radnatt/FreeDigitalPhotos.net If your bathroom has a shower head over your bath, you can enjoy the luxury of a soothing bath and the practicality of a quick shower – this combination is a great solution, especially for smaller bathrooms. However, you’ll need to have a way of deflecting the water and protecting your bathroom from unwanted splashes and leaks. Two items solve this problem: shower curtains and bath screens. There are, however, some major differences between the two, and one offers more advantages than the other. Here’s a comparison between bath screens and shower curtains – what you need to know. Deflection of water Both the shower curtain and bath screen serve one main purpose: to deflect water and ensure that water doesn’t run or splash where it’s not supposed to be and potentially cause harm or damage to the surroundings. Generally speaking, the fewer moving parts the greater the deflection and the smaller the chance of drips or leaks. Unfortunately, neither one is perfect; both the shower curtain and bath screen often fail in keeping 100% of the water within its designated area. T he shower curtain Shower curtains are cheaper options compared to the bath screen, although in the long term it can still be expensive, especially if you have to replace them often. Some more expensive shower curtains can give the bathroom some much needed warmth, and they tend to be much easier to install. They are also easily replaced, meaning it is a simple way to liven up the bathroom with different designs. However, some shower curtains can prove to be dangerous to your health, and you always have to make sure the curtain bottom hangs inside the shower area – otherwise, water will still drip onto areas where it shouldn’t. The bath screen Bath screens are an excellent way to add a touch of class to your bathroom – they’re modern, stylish, and can transform an old bathroom into a spa-style bathing place. Depending on the level of privacy the user of the shower requires, there’s a clear and a frosted pane. A bath screen tends to be more reliable than a shower curtain when it comes to deflecting water. Bath screens also come in different styles and designs, so it’s easy to choose the one that fits your bathroom best. Elegance and style Both the shower curtain and bath screen can add a touch of elegance and style to the bathroom – although the trend is more in favour of the bath screen rather than shower curtain. Shower curtains are more classic and can add a more ‘homey’ feel, whilst the bath screen tends to be sleeker and gives the room a cleaner and more hygienic look. But whether you need a bath screen, curtain, or other bathroom essential, you should always look for the best bathroom deal for your needs.  ...

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Preventing Property Crime: Priceless Pointers for Protecting What’s Yours

Preventing Property Crime: Priceless Pointers for Protecting What’s Yours

As a homeowner, your home is the most important place where you spend your time. When you leave, you expect to find everything in place upon your return. Unfortunately, burglaries do occur and they can happen to anyone. Your duty to your family is to keep them safe and do whatever it takes to protect your property.  Here are some pointers to help you avoid becoming a victim of property crime: Meet Your Neighbors  First of all, get to know your neighbors. Learn their names, find out what they do for a living, get their phone numbers and meet their kids. You’re all in this together and you’ll get better cooperation from each other when you’re not strangers. People who don’t belong in the area will stand out like sore thumbs and if a neighbor sees them near your home, they’re more likely to alert both you and the authorities.  Find out if there’s a neighborhood watch program in the area that you can join. If there is, there should be regular meetings and nightly patrols to discourage criminals. If there isn’t, it’s much easier to start one once you’ve met everyone on the block. The point of these organizations is to strengthen neighborhoods by getting everyone involved, so they’ll be more likely to report suspicious activity.  Get to Know Your Neighborhood  Once you’ve gotten to know your neighbors, you’re likely to learn some things about the area that you didn’t know before. Don’t forget to read your local papers and keep up with the news. Look for online crime statistics that can give you a better idea of any common risks to be aware of in your neighborhood. Keep Your Property Well-Lit It’s a well-known fact that burglars avoid well-lit homes, so it makes sense to ensure that all entrances to your home are lit up. Even a simple porch light is better than nothing, as an intruder would have to risk being seen to get in. Motion-activated security lights make intruders think twice before proceeding any further than the front yard.  Schedule your lights to come on in the evenings, whether anyone’s home or not. The consistency of an established routine makes it difficult for burglars to assess the risk of getting caught. Make sure any wiring that goes to your lights is out of sight or buried to reduce the chances of someone tampering with it.  Invest in a Quality Home Security System One of the smartest things you can do is invest in a quality alarm system. Although many people think these systems only help when someone’s already broken in, displaying the proper yard signs and decals can actually deter criminals from even making an attempt. In most cases, burglars will move on once they see that your house is protected by a security system. Visit Alarm-Reviews.net to learn more about the various types of home security systems. Reinforce Windows and Doors Another important security measure you can implement is to reinforce all your doors and windows. Doors should have deadbolts that are at least one inch thick. If they seem expensive, consider the fact that they provide much greater security than spring-type locks that can be easily kicked open by determined criminals.  Since it’s still possible to shatter the door jambs with such heavy...

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Benefits of Sustainable Building

Benefits of Sustainable Building

Many people have heard about some of the benefits of sustainable building: it can make your home or property more energy efficient and reduce the carbon footprint of the building both during and after construction. However, what is less well known is that sustainable building can also be used to beautify a property and make it more appealing to the people who live or work there. For example, roof gardens are one of the more recent trends in sustainable building. In addition to extending the life of the property’s roof and helping with temperature regulation inside the building, roof gardens also provide a nice place for building occupants to visit and can even be planted with fruit and vegetables. To learn more about this and other sustainable building practices, check out this infographic on green...

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Wall water fountains – Some important facts that you need to know on it

Wall water fountains – Some important facts that you need to know on it

If you’re that sort of person who enjoys all kinds of relaxation, adding a wall fountain could be the perfect thing to add to your home or office. Indoor water fountains are perhaps the best way of enjoying the soothing sounds of flowing water within your home and you can enjoy at any point of the day. They have gained enough popularity within the last few years has made it even simpler to match any style of a homeowner. But apart from adding value to your home, do you know about the other benefits that it has? If you don’t, you may read on the concerns of this article to know more on advantages that you may witness by adding a wall water fountain. Relaxation and relief of stress: Each one of us has little to more stress in our lives and we all look for relaxation and stress relief at the end of a tough day. The sounds of flowing water is extremely soothing and if you sit for sometime beside this flowing wall water fountain, you will immediately feel some relief from stress and relaxation due to the environment that is created. It can be a great piece of art for your office, favorite room, patio or garden. When you research for a water fountain, you should look for one with nice sounds of water and not something that is too overbearing. Serves as both outdoor and indoor decor: A fountain, whether put indoor or outdoor can instantly add beauty to the environmental surroundings. Irrespective of whether it is a tabletop fountain or a wall fountain or a one that is placed in your garden, it will definitely enhance the beauty of the place in which it is placed. A wall water fountain moreover is a piece of art which can soon become the focal point of your home. Hence, if you’re searching for one such focal point, you can choose a wall fountain. Naturally adds moisture to the room: Wall fountains act as a natural humidifier, thereby enhancing the moisture within your room. Humidifiers are usually loud and come with an irritating sound of the machine. Indoor fountains humidify the air and you can feel the intense and soothing sound of flowing water. The actual humidifiers can also attract mildew and mold very quickly whereas if you install a water fountain, moving water will never attract such mold. You can also help the indoor plants by adding to the humidity of the room. Negative ions: There are many gadgets nowadays which emit negative ions in our offices and homes. When you have indoor water fountains, it can improve the air within your home with the help of negative ions, thereby reducing air pollution. Dust can be attracted by negative ions and hence you can well understand that the water fountain can purify the air in your home. The flowing water will also rejuvenate your negative ions. Therefore, before installing wall water fountains in your room, make sure you take into account the above mentioned factors. Add to the value of your house and also to your room and welcome a soothing environment for yourself and for your...

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Introducing a large fountain in your garden – What are the valid reasons?

Introducing a large fountain in your garden – What are the valid reasons?

We all know that water can easily blend into the foliage which you’ve been growing in the backyard. You either transform it into a pond or an artificial river or you turn it into a fountain and it can easily stand out in the crowd, thereby gaining attention of the visitors of your house and can soon turn into a focal point. Water features are an ideal option for the patios in smaller spaces and in large gardens. If you have the right accompaniments along with the fountain and you can create the right ambience in a proper manner, they can change the entire look of the environment. If you’re still wondering about the reasons behind introducing a large fountain to your garden, here are some that you may take into account. Water bodies are easier to maintain: Cleaning a water body, whether it is in the form of a pond or fountain, it needs to be cleaned regularly so that algae don’t start forming within it. Cleaning is also required to avoid any kinds of blockages. If you can do this at least twice a week and allow someone professional to clean the fountain for you, you don’t have to spend a lot on maintenance charges. Such activities are refreshing and enjoyable at the same time. Enjoy the soothing sound of water: Long back, centuries ago, Buddhist monks used to incorporate different kinds of water features in their gardens as they thought that they enhance the meditative power of the saints. The sound of flowing water is extremely soothing and the water imagery is a part of modern meditation. The sound of running water has a natural psychological relaxing effect which helps people unwind and even helps them fall asleep. Birds simply love water fountains: For people who are crazy bird lovers, you should know that an outdoor fountain is their favorite extension that you can do with your garden. Birds require water not only to feed themselves but also to bathe. There are birds like robins, thrushes, warblers which don’t visit their bird feeders and they are the ones which are mostly attracted by the fountains. Birds usually love flowing water than still water as they find it easier to bathe by flattering their wings. Water cools down the garden: During hot summer days, when you have an outdoor fountain set up in your garden, you can be sure that it can cool down the garden and make it an indeed lovely place to stroll. You may also have some semi-aquatic and aquatic plants growing in the garden growing within it and this can be the most natural way of growing plants. Sitting there in the evening can indeed be soothing. Feng Shui: Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese Art of spatial arrangements and water plays a very important role in Feng Shui. In fact, the name itself translates to Wind and Water. If there’s an existence of a fountain in front of your house, it means that the water which flows towards your house will bring abundance and prosperity. Hence, if you’re still not sure about whether to install large outdoor fountains in your garden, do consider the above mentioned reasons to get one in your...

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The little-known benefits of ethanol fireplaces – Are they the right choice for you?

The little-known benefits of ethanol fireplaces – Are they the right choice for you?

The growing trend towards energy efficiency is gaining momentum and has forced different kinds of innovation on various fronts, the fireplace being one of them. The fireplace was always infamous for historically poor energy performance and extremely high emissions of carbon and was therefore one of the primary targets for innovation which could make it more environment friendly. A conventional fireplace flue bears a hole in the roof of a home and also leads to excessive heat loss. Moreover, burning of wood was not at all considered as a healthy option. Two of the most common alternatives to conventional fireplace that are getting popular these days are gel-fueled fireplaces and ethanol fireplaces. If you consider buying the latter one, here are some facts and pros that you need to know about them. Ethanol fireplace – What is it? If you’re someone who is not much familiar with ethanol fireplace, you should know that it is a stainless unit which is composed of a burner tray which is made of stainless steel, a cover and a protective screen. As the by-products of combustion of ethanol produce only carbon-dioxide, heat and steam, you don’t require installing them outdoors and they don’t even need a flue. Their adaptability and versatility to burn indoors attracts the consumers to include them into their living rooms. What are the benefits of ethanol fireplace over traditional fireplace? Well, now that you know what ethanol fireplaces are, check out some ethanol fireplace pros before installing them in your home. Lots of freedom as there’s no chimney: A fireplace made of ethanol is a simple construction and due to the fuel, you don’t require a chimney or any kind of huge installation within your room. As there’s no requirement of a chimney, it can also be called a mobile fireplace. If you move to another room and you need warmth there, you can take it with you, you can move the fireplace if you change the decoration of your room and hence it is extremely flexible. There are no fumes: Unlike burning wood, there are no dangerous fumes that burn in an ethanol fireplace and this is actually the reason due to which it doesn’t require a chimney. In fact, the fuel is so clean that the by-product is just little amount of carbon dioxide and water. There are no ashes: As the flame is extremely clean, there are other benefits too. You wouldn’t definitely get any ashes as the leftover liquid vaporizes but the other thing to think about is soot. But you will be rather happy to know that you won’t get any soot on your ceilings and walls. User friendly: The conventional fireplace demands you to chop wood, then drag it within your room, struggle with igniting it whereas the use of a fireplace is pretty much simpler. Here you just need a bottle of ethanol, pour it into the burner and then ignite it with a lighter. You will see the flames burning within a few minutes and they may even come in a few seconds. If you’re buying an ethanol fireplace with the intention of using it as a primary heating source, you shouldn’t do so as that won’t serve your purpose well. However, on the other hand, you wish to avoid wasting...

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Finding the right contractors to build your dream home

Finding the right contractors to build your dream home

The prospect of building a dream home can be equally exciting and daunting due to the near limitless possibilities and major decisions you will face during the planning and building phases. Selecting a suitable contractor is one of the most important choices as significant cost overruns, poor communication, disorganization, and personality clashes can sour the experience and turn a dream project into a nightmare. You also need to consider a range of other factors before embarking on a new build. Planning Begin by finding the ideal plot of land for your project. It needs to be available in your local area and adequately priced. There are a number of resources that can help you to search for land to buy, such as contacting local councils, browsing auctions and plot-finding websites, and making direct enquiries with landowners. You will also need to outline a budget covering expenses, such as contractors and surveying materials, and ensure that you have planning permission to carry out the work. The next step is to design your home. You could opt to source a professional architect to draw up blueprints based on your budget, style, and aims. Contractor references Selecting a contractor based on references and feedback from clients they have worked for is the simplest means to sourcing a high-quality professional. You must remember that the new build journey can often take many months or years to complete, and it will be the duty of the contractor to liaise with tradespeople, manufacturers, and architects effectively during that time. You may wish to ask for references about the contractor’s ability to work as part of a team, whether they were able to meet targets, stay within budget, and finish on time, and how the overall process panned out. To understand the scope of the project, look at completed builds and how the contractor’s past projects compare. Working with contractors that have a great reputation and are available locally is the ideal solution. There are various resources that you can use to find the right contractor in your local area, including newspapers, radio ads, and webpages. You can also contact an umbrella company, which will refer you to reputable contractors. Fixed-fee and time and materials Contractors are likely to work for you on either a fixed-fee or time and materials basis. A fixed-fee contract is a set price for the work you have requested, while a time and materials contract is more flexible and requires you to pay the contractor depending on the hours they work and the materials involved in the project, plus a contractor’s coordination fee. A fixed-fee may be beneficial as the contractor may work more effectively and efficiently towards their end goal, though the evolving nature of home builds can lead to renegotiations due to changes in design and materials. In contrast, time and material contracts factor in dynamic changes and include estimates of costs and hours. The latter may be best if you choose a trusted and reputable contractor. There is no “right” contract for a dream build, but it is important that you understand how each of the options available work for you and select a trustworthy and reliable contract to increase the chances of a successful project.    ...

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Keep Your New Garage Project Simple

Keep Your New Garage Project Simple

No matter what kind of home you own, there always seems to be a need for additional storage space. Yet our storage needs change over time as well, which means that the kind of stuff we store today may not be the same as what we will store in the future. For those people interested in gaining the most versatile storage space possible, they should look into building a garage. This offers the best available mixture of storage space that can accommodate items form the smallest to the largest. Of course having a place to park your car is also a nice feature of a garage that you are not going to obtain if you build a similar amount of square footage in storage sheds. Given their vastly superior utility, garages are not actually all that much more expensive than sheds can be. Better still, because they are classified as permanent rather than temporary structures, they add much move value to your home. Of course, the price of building a new garage onto your home depends on how exotic or simple you wish your new structure to be. Every garage will have a certain number of features (and costs) in common. For example, the price for pouring a foundation and a concrete slab floor depends mostly on the square footage involved rather than anything else. If one is thinking of an industry standard-sized garage of approximately 26’x26’ dimensions, this project will require a pour of about 20 yards of concrete, which should cost in the neighbourhood of about 1500 dollars. Surprisingly, the actual wood frame and siding of a garage does not cost that much, considering how big a part of the project they are. Wood is relatively cheap. The engineering necessary to design the trusses, for example, often costs more than the wood that is in them. Any way in which you can reduce your human factors such as design, engineering to make sure the design is viable, and the labour to construct it will reduce your costs far more than opting for a smaller building. Electing to use pre-designed and pre-fabricated garage like these can cut out a lot of these customized costs. Most of the well-established outbuilding contractors can really cut these expenses down to a minimum. Considering that most garages will require at least some electrical wiring on top of the bare necessities of concrete work, framing, trim, and roofing, one can reasonably expect to pay something in the neighbourhood of anywhere from 35-45 dollars per square foot for a new garage. That figure can be cut down towards the minimum number by scaling back on such things as elaborate garage doors, fancy walk doors and multiple windows. The more of these you employ on your project, and the quality of the items you select for installation, the faster your costs will rise. A designer-style garage door can add lots to the bottom line costs. Windows look nice, but they are not just expensive in their own right, they are also much less energy-efficient than solid walls and much more of a security risk. The same thing goes for glass panels in any of the doors. Of course many homeowners prefer that their new garage should be an exact match to the rest of the...

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Tips to make a small bathroom unique

Tips to make a small bathroom unique

Many people are often heard saying that bathroom is a place where they can work out strategies to plan out the entire day, this is the place where one can relax and offer some solace to their tired feet and soul. And if your bathroom has the right ambience with fragrances like lavender, it is sure to work out. In order to have the correct ambience in the bathroom, it is not always necessary to have a spacious one or install expensive fittings that will give you a feel-good factor. Bathroom set up tips In this article, we will find out how cheap bathroom suites can you give you the same feel-good factor. Design according to size – The most important aspect that you ought to keep in mind is the size of the bathroom. The accessories have to be selected in accordance to the same. The secret is to make the best use of the available space. Restrict shelves and cabinets to the corners. Cheap also means cheaper maintenance cost – When the concept of cheap bathrooms arise, cheap does not only mean that you have to shell out less when you revamp your bathroom but it also means that the maintenance is cheap. Experts are of the opinion that in newer bathrooms less water is used. Bathtub – Opt for curved tubs that have same shaped rods that can complement the accessories. Ideally, the bathtub ought to have curved basin. It is best to sit inside a bathtub prior to settling for it. In this way, you will be able to assess whether it is comfortable or not. Color scheme – The color scheme should be such that it gives a spacious appearance. Lighter shades and tones work well. Shower – If there is limited space, the shower door has to be sliding. In order to save space further, you can always have a mirror on the shower sliding door. Alternatively, the main door to the bathroom suite can also have an in-built mirror. Fixtures – A budget bathroom does not mean that you will not install expensive or luxurious fixtures. Thanks to virtual shopping, promo, and coupon codes that have made luxurious living affordable. While planning to revamp your bathroom suite, you can check out deals online and avail discount and freebies by browsing through different websites. But don’t compromise on quality even if that means shelling out few extra dollars. Lighting – The manner in which you set up lighting fixtures in the bathroom can enhance the look in a remarkable manner. Opt for subtle lighting. In other words, dimmers work best. You can also incorporate halogen pot lights for a dimmer effect. Type of flooring – The flooring you choose has to be essentially durable and water resistant. Most importantly, it should also be skid proof. This is especially required for your kids. The best options for flooring include marble, stone, and ceramic tiles. Also check whether these types of flooring are compatible with the subflooring heating systems. Regardless of how you are revamping the bathroom, always make sure that the concept of cheap bathroom suites does not mean that there will be no longevity of your bathroom fixtures and fittings. As mentioned above, quality is always a...

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Maintenance Tips for New Construction Homes

Maintenance Tips for New Construction Homes

New construction homes require less maintenance than older properties, but that doesn’t mean you can sit back and ignore the home. You are going to need to do a few maintenance tasks to ensure your home’s value is protected, as well as its attractiveness. Keep the Windows Clean Dust and dirt detract from the look of your windows, and windows that are not maintained can start to leak, even in newer homes. Spend some time each spring cleaning the windows, and check for signs of leaking around them. Don’t forget the window wells around your basement! Clean the Chimney If you use your fireplace, the chimney will need to be cleaned. Even if you don’t use the fireplace, your chimney needs to be protected from pests with a chimney cap. A bird who makes a nest in the chimney can cause costly and stinky damage. Clean the Gutters In the fall and spring, clean out your gutters to ensure water can drain properly from the roof. This will extend the life of your roof and prevent problems with water damming and ice buildup. If you don’t want to tackle this task, invest in a gutter screen of some sort. Still, you may have to move large accumulation off of the gutter screen to encourage proper water flow. Keep HVAC Systems Serviced Even if the HVAC system is brand new, it needs an annual tune up to run as efficiently as possible and to avoid potential problems. Schedule these, preferably one in the spring and one in the winter, every year to keep your air conditioning and heating system running efficiently all year long. Don’t forget to drain the water heater once per year to remove sediment and extend its life as well. Avoid Frozen Pipes, Hoses and Sprinklers In the winter, make sure your outdoor faucets and hoses are not going to freeze. Flush drain lines, turn off outdoor sprinklers and faucets and put away hoses to avoid a problem. Insulate any exposed pipes that you cannot turn off during the winter.   Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring that your newly built home retains its value well and does not create costly maintenance needs. Take these steps every year from the first year you move in, and you will ensure years of enjoyment out of your...

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Kitchen remodeling ideas – Decorate the heart and soul of your home

Kitchen remodeling ideas – Decorate the heart and soul of your home

There’s no doubt about the fact that kitchen is the heart and soul of your house and it’s not just the place to cook food but also a place to gather and socialise. Are you someone who has been planning for renovating your kitchen? Well, kitchen renovation is a long term investment and therefore whenever you plan to do it, there are a number of vital things that you need to keep in mind. Women are closely related to the kitchen as a major part of their daily life is spent there. Hence, if you think the design of your kitchen has become outdated and that you need to upgrade it, you need to watch out for some kitchen remodeling tips. If you’re not aware of them, here are some that you may consider. Countertops made of quartz: If you install quartz surfaced countertops, you can now skip the scrubbing and dealing as they need less maintenance than the granite countertops. Quartz countertops also provide you with a timeless appeal that won’t look old even after they actually get old. Moreover, the shining surface is less dominant than all the other materials and hence it is more likely that you won’t ever grow tired of looking at it. Layouts should be open and free: If you know anything about the recent trends, you will know that open layouts are here to stay for long. You can tear down your walls and eliminate kitchen isolation. As per the recent trend, an informal dining room and a very comfortable cooking drive the modern people. With open kitchens, there’s more attraction and interaction and if they can be blended well with living spaces, nothing can be better than that. Opt for induction cooking: Induction cooking is aesthetically pleasing, fast and safe and there are many other reasons for which you might love induction cooking. Induction burners need very little heat and even small kitchens stay cool when you cook on induction. Since these cooktops don’t require large range hood, it opens a door of possibilities for the person staying in the kitchen. Tech that works for you: Nowadays there are smart kitchen devices which can help you in various different ways. You can go to a store and check out some high-tech gadgets and smart home appliances which you think you might need according to the things that you usually do in kitchen. This will make cooking easier and more convenient. Treat your kitchen ceiling: How about taking care of the untapped potential of the ceiling of your kitchen? Most often it is seen that kitchen ceilings have a lot of potential and hence you can try building false ceilings that will complement the loo of the kitchen and make it look better than before. So, when it comes to kitchen warehouse and all the remodeling ideas associated with it, you can definitely consider the tips mentioned above. The more decorated your kitchen is, the better a woman feels while spending time there....

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How to Bring a Yard to Life

How to Bring a Yard to Life

For hundreds of years, we have been creating beautiful outdoor spaces around our homes. We have focused on beauty, food, or both, and they have given us enjoyment and entertainment. Taking a look at old stately homes, and you will be able to see some truly stunning landscape gardens, for instance. To this day, we continue to use whatever outdoor space we have available to create something beautiful. Some Style Examples Some of the world’s most beautiful examples of landscaped gardens are 18th century English gardens. These are still often the inspiration for gardens today, and those with limited spaces such as yards can incorporate many of its ideas. Often, these gardens revolved around a pond (or a water feature in a small garden) and there would then be pavilions and bridges to catch the eye. This can all be done in miniature in small gardens. Then, there are the stunning gardens of China and Japan, which are still popular today. These are really easy to create in small yards, because they focus mainly on stone features, rather than plants in the ground. Like with the 18th century English gardens, they should also incorporate a water feature. Landscape gardening is not about having a huge space to work with. Rather, it is about incorporating texture, scale, line and color as much as possible. If you only have a small space available, you can opt for bright colors such as greens, blues and yellows to create an illusion of space. If you want your space to look cozy, you should choose more earthy, darker tones, like reds and oranges. These are also great for relaxation. Line is very important, particularly in smaller gardens. The eye will automatically follow the line in your garden. That does not mean it has to be super straight, however. A smooth line that flows often creates an air of calmness. Straight lines, by contrast, are very modern and minimalistic. You do have to make sure that your line follows in your form and texture. Using straight lines and shapeless planters, or smooth lines and rectangular boxes, won’t make a small space look good. Shape is also important. If, for instance, you have a triangular conifer, then you should try to add other triangular shapes in your garden. This creates a uniform feel to the entire space. If your yard is very small, you can get away with having just two or three standout pieces, all in the same shape, to create a really stunning look. If your space is very small, you need to start with it as a blank canvas. Remove everything you can and look at it from a distance. Then place your focal point, which should not be right in the center. Rather, place it somewhat to the side and back, for instance, so that the eye looks at the entire space, and not just at the center. A few well-placed mirrors can also add to a sense of...

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Lush Lawns and Gardens: The Costs Vs. the Benefits of Irrigation Systems

Lush Lawns and Gardens: The Costs Vs. the Benefits of Irrigation Systems

For many homeowners, aesthetic and functional landscaping is essential; however, ensuring that the lawn and garden can be properly sustained begins with ensuring that the ability to keep both properly irrigated. There are a number of different options for installing a functional an effective irrigation system. Irrigation systems benefit lawn care efforts by providing an artificial source of water that will ensure that lawns can be maintained. Irrigation systems are immensely valuable during the warmer months and during a drought. Automated Irrigation Systems While a homeowner has the option to install a manual sprinkler system, meaning that they would have to manually turn the sprinkler on from a switch or at the hydrant, it is much more practical to install an automated system. Although the automated irrigation system is costlier than a manual system, the benefits of an automated system provide the value that justifies the additional costs. Automated systems can be preset to perform a number of different watering patterns at specified times, so even when the person is away from the home, their lawn will still be systematically irrigated at specified times to maximize the benefit of irrigation. Increases the Value of the Home Another way that installing an irrigation system provides a benefit is in the fact that an existing irrigation system can increase the value of the home. According to a number of real estate agents who were polled in a survey, a well-manicured lawn can positively impact the selling price for a home. Additionally, having an irrigation system will also serve to increase the functionality of the home. Installing an automated irrigation system is one of the most cost-effective methods for increasing the value of a home. A properly installed automated irrigation system has the potential to save money, time and conserve energy, freeing the homeowner up for other domestic endeavors. When compared to manual irrigation methods, automated sprinkler systems stand out in several ways. The most obvious difference is in time efficiency. Honestly, a manual irrigation system can be more energy efficient; however, the time and energy that is required to properly utilize a manual irrigation process will require far too much time. Automated systems can actually be programmed to perform irrigation tasks using a number of different program settings. Those looking to get a more detailed understanding of just how beneficial an automated sprinkler system is should browse ProIrrigation.com. How Proper Irrigation Benefits Landscaping When a homeowner invests in the professional installation of a quality automated irrigation system that has been designed to consider their specific preferences, as well as address the challenges that are associated with their specific climate, some of the benefits they will experience includes: Increased sequestration of carbon, which will result in a healthier lawn Dust control A reduction in heat in response to the benefit of water retention by design Noise reduction The term “carbon sequestration” refers to a process that can be natural or artificially created in which free-floating carbon is captured by the system — offering a number of environmental benefits. In addition to the carbon sequestration benefits associated with a quality automated irrigation system, the system can also be designed to intentionally retain a certain amount of water, which can assist the homeowner in their efforts to conserve energy. Additional Benefits When the aesthetic...

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7 Mistakes Hydroponic Growers Commonly Make

7 Mistakes Hydroponic Growers Commonly Make

Growing your plants hydroponically can be incredibly rewarding as well as efficient and convenient. Bearing in mind the lack of need for extensive land and labour, and no soil-related problems – hydroponics offers an ideal solution for many growers. However, there are still some common mistakes that growers can make which will affect the quality and yield of their crops. Here are some of them and some tips on how to avoid them. 1. Lack of knowledge It’s essential to develop a thorough understanding of the basic principles of hydroponic growing to be successful. While the overview of a hydroponic growing system may seem quite simple – it’s often the finer details which trip up novice growers and result in less than desired outcomes. Learn everything you can about the best hydroponic systems and HYDROPONIC SUPPLIES such as nutrient solution, growing medium and lighting for the particular crop you are considering growing, as it’s not simply a case of one system does all. 2. Harvesting too soon This is an extremely common problem, especially for beginner growers. While certain plants can fruit or bloom within weeks, others can take much longer – it’s essential to leave harvesting until the optimal time and resist temptation to harvest too early. 3. Inadequate lighting Providing sufficient and correct lighting for your plants is critical to enabling the full photosynthesis process to occur, and allowing the plants to develop to their full potential. Avoid using simple fluorescent lights based on cost, and invest in proper HPS lighting, or LED bulbs which operate at lower temperatures and consume less electricity. The correct lighting will make a big difference in the early developmental stages of growth. 4. Excessive watering Another common mistake is to water your plants too often. Although water is essential for growing, if plants receive too much water it can lead to problems such as wilting leaves, root rot, and slower growth. 5. Incorrect pH levels It is critical to maintain the pH level of the nutrient solution within the specific optimal range for the type of plants you are growing. Incorrect pH levels can actually cause plants to wither and die. Hydroponic systems are more susceptible to pH level changes than conventional growing techniques involving soil. Regular testing, normally weekly, of pH levels should be maintained, and levels adjusted as necessary. 6. Inadequate air circulation Optimal growing occurs when there is adequate ventilation. It is essential to maintain a healthy level of air circulation within the growing environment. You can use a simple fan to achieve this; choose one that will be appropriate for the size of the growing area. 7. Lack of attention It can be tempting to think that once your growing system is set up and running – you can basically leave it alone. However, while it may not need daily attention it is important to regularly check on all components to avoid any nasty (or disastrous) surprises. All equipment such as reservoirs, pumps, timers, grow trays (channels) lighting and any other equipment should be checked to make sure it is free from problems and operating as it should. Image: tiverylucky at...

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Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Tips for your Home

Air Conditioner Troubleshooting Tips for your Home

Calling a professional to repair your air conditioner can be very costly. Therefore, it’s never a bad thing to see if you can identify the problem on your own. There are times when you need to summon an ac repair specialist, but it is possible to perform a few simple checks to see if the problem is serious. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air or isn’t working, fixing one of these problems might do the trick. Here are some things you can do to determine if you can fix the problem yourself. Check the Circuit Breaker If the unit will not turn on, it’s possible that the breaker has been tripped. If you have other electrical loads and appliances on the same circuit, it might have become overloaded. This quick check will save you from the embarrassment and cost of an unnecessary service call. At some point, it might make sense to hire an electrician to put the air conditioning system on a separate breaker so you can avoid this problem in the future! Inspect the Thermostat The air conditioner might not be working because the thermostat needs fresh batteries. If this is not the case, set the temperature below the room temperature so the unit will start. Make sure the thermostat hasn’t been turned off or set to blow the fan. Sometimes another household member has inadvertently flipped a switch. Replace the Filter If your air filter is dirty and clogged, air flow becomes impeded, which could cause ice to form in the unit. To avoid this problem, inspect and change your filter on a regular basis. They are very inexpensive, and can be found at a local hardware or home improvement store. Melt Any Ice If ice has formed on your ac unit, it won’t cool properly. Melting the ice is a simple process. Turn the system off and let the fan run. This will cause the frozen water to melt in a short period of time. Alternately, you can turn the air conditioner off and let the ice melt naturally. Clean the Unit Over time, the system will become dirty, so this might be why your unit isn’t functioning properly. On the exterior of the unit, carefully clean the fan blades. Remove any leaves, sticks, and debris from the inside of the unit. If you clean the condenser fins, do so carefully, since they bend easily and can break. Inspect the Ducts If it isn’t too hot, go into the attic and check the ducts to see if air is flowing through them. They might be too dirty to allow anything to come through. In some cases, one of the registers might have been closed, so make sure everything is clear. Still Stumped? When it’s hot out, you need to get your air conditioner up and running. If you have run through these troubleshooting tips to no avail, it is time to call the professionals. At least you know that paying for a service call will be for a worthwhile reason.  ...

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Affordable Changes to Your Home That Will Keep You Cooler in Summer

Affordable Changes to Your Home That Will Keep You Cooler in Summer

Summer may feel like it is still a long way off, but like every year, it will be upon us before we know it. While you may still have the heating on and be leaving the house bundled up in coats and sweaters, the warmer months are just around the corner and soon worrying about heating will be a distant memory. This is a nice thing to think about at this chilly time in early spring, however we all know that summer brings with it a whole different temperature problem. Those days and nights when it is roasting hot and you just can’t get cool enough to sleep can be really uncomfortable, and it is a lot harder to cool a home down than warm it up. Obviously the dream solution is air conditioning, but that is a very expensive thing to install and quite a big project – one which most of us in the UK tend to deem isn’t worth it for our summers. How then, can you make your home more comfortable to live in in the high temperatures of July and August without air conditioning? Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans offer an easy way to cool your entire room and won’t give you that annoying ‘fan full in the face’ feeling standing or desk fans do. They can also look really nice and stylish, and while you are putting them up, you can also get new lights with energy saving LED bulbs that will help save money on your electric bills. Another great thing about ceiling fans is that many of them can be used in a reverse mode that pushes warm air down, and will help keep your home warm in winter while moving air and preventing stuffiness! Electric Skylight and Window Operators Being able to easily open skylights and other windows makes it easier to let in fresh air and ventilate your home when the weather is hot, which can make things feel a lot fresher. Installing electric, remote controlled window and skylight openers can be an affordable addition to your home and can allow you to control your windows, even when the handles are hard to reach or you are simply feeling too hot and bothered to want to go around the house opening everything up! Teal Products do a great selection of electric window openers which can be used on most normal types of windows and skylights, and this can be well worth looking into before the weather heats up! Swamp Coolers Swamp coolers, or evaporative coolers as they are also known, can be much cheaper than portable air conditioning units and can offer some effective cooling for the room they are placed in. They work by evaporating water using fans and can lower temperatures in a room significantly. You can actually build your own improvised swamp cooler if you really want to save, but units can also be purchased quite cheaply. Now is a great time to start preparing for summer with simple home changes like...

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4 Things to Control With Your Home Automation System

4 Things to Control With Your Home Automation System

From added safety to increased convenience, there is no doubt home automation has many benefits, which is probably why it is ever increasing in popularity. If you’ve been thinking about automation part of all of your home, it helps to know what it is you want to automate. Locks and Security Systems One of the most popular reasons people decide to automate their homes is due to increased security options. Maybe you were in a rush and forgot to lock the garage or perhaps you realized your teenager forgot his or her key and won’t have a way in. Many home automation systems allow you to change the status of your locks from wherever you are. If you have home security cameras, you can also monitor them from your smartphone, laptop or tablet for increased peace of mind. Home Appliances How many times have you been about to pull out of the driveway only to decide you need to double-check the stove, coffee pot, curling iron or some other small yet dangerous appliance? The right home automation system lets you do this right from your phone with the help of smart outlets and wireless technology. It’s not just about convenience, either. Maybe you need to preheat the oven for dinner, but you’re still folding laundry or giving the kids a bath. Instead of stopping what you’re doing, simply use your smartphone app to change the oven to the right temperature. Temperature and Lights Another popular reason for home automation is to adjust the temperatures or lights remotely. With the touch of a button, you’ll be able to turn on the kitchen light before you even start carrying in groceries or ensure the house is warm enough before you bring the kids in from the cold. In this case, home automation might save you money, too. When you can turn off lights from across town or turn the thermostat down when the afternoon is warmer than you expected, you’ll save on energy costs. Even if it’s just by a few cents, pennies add up! Entertainment Systems Of course, the best home automation system will focus on fun as much as safety and savings. With the right system, you can control your home’s TVs, DVRs, and music. Maybe you didn’t set your DVR to record your favorite show. Instead of trying to avoid spoilers all night, simply use your phone or tablet to set the DVR from wherever you are and watch when you get home. Many systems will let you use your phone to change television channels, control the volume of your music or movie, or change the radio station — the possibilities are practically endless. The best home automation system is subjective and based entirely on what you want to use it for. Some systems are purely for safety reasons, others only control the fun aspects of your home, and still others aim to offer the full package. Determine your budget and research a variety of systems before purchasing one to ensure you purchase the best system to meet your family’s...

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How to Update Your Rental Property

How to Update Your Rental Property

Landlords are required to keep their properties in good condition. It’s no longer acceptable to rent dilapidated homes out to vulnerable tenants and if you try to save money by doing this, you are likely to be prosecuted at some point. But aside from safety issues, it is advisable to keep rental properties updated regularly, as this helps to ensure you attract better quality tenants who are more likely to treat the place as their own. So if you are planning to give your rental property a makeover, here are a few improvements you should consider making. Replacement Windows and Doors Replacing old windows and doors is always a sensible improvement, as it will add value to your property and make it more energy efficient for your tenants. Home window replacement does not have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of companies like www.thompsoncreek.com who provide a good quality product for a reasonable price. Do make sure you choose a style in keeping with the property, however, especially if it is a period property. A New Kitchen Kitchens are the focal point of any home. They tend to get a lot of use, so are more likely to wear out fast, especially in a rental property. Kitchens in rental homes usually need to be replaced every ten years or less. Choose a kitchen that fits the house and don’t be tempted to go overboard on expensive cupboards and counter tops unless you are hoping to attract high-end tenants. A New Bathroom Nothing spoils a nice rental property than an old-fashioned bathroom. Nice, modern fixtures and fittings are easier to keep clean and more appealing to tenants. Ideally replace like with like, but if you have enough room, consider adding a separate shower to make the property more appealing to prospective tenants. Paint and Decorate A lick of paint will make a huge difference to a property. Scuffed walls and woodwork look like new with a fresh coat of paint, so it is worth spending some time painting every room from top to bottom. It is best to stick to neutral colors, but if you have tenants already living there, ask them if they have any particular preferences. The more it feels like home, the more likely they are to take care of the place. New Flooring Carpets soon wear out in rental properties, but they are relatively inexpensive to replace, so rip out the old ones and put down some new ones. Go for neutral brown colors, as these hide a multitude of sins. Or, if you want to spend a bit more money, go for wooden flooring instead. This is extremely popular right now and if you are good at DIY, you can even fit it yourself. Remember to keep track of all your expenditure, including receipts and supplier invoices, as you should be able to offset the cost of any upgrades and property improvements back against your tax bill at year...

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