How Often Do I Need a Pest Inspection?

How Often Do I Need a Pest Inspection?

Regular pest inspections are a very good idea as a preventative measure against damage from insect intruders. But how often do you need to have them done? Having a regular schedule to your inspections so that you don’t forget or let it get overlooked. Depends on Location The specifics of your pest control needs are going to depend on where you live. Different regions of the country, and whether you live in an urban or rural setting will make a difference in how often you should check for pests. Areas where there are limited pest problems may be able to avoid the need for pest inspections but most areas have some insect populations that need to be kept in check. Southern states that don’t get temperatures below freezing consistently in the winters are the most likely to have insect problems. Excel is a Florida company that does Broward pest control, and they are very aware that regular inspections are necessary in places like Florida, for example. Standard recommendations are that inspections be annual. Termites Termites are unique because of the damage they can do to a home, and so they tend to have their own specific considerations. If you live in an area that has termite issues, you will most definitely need to get an inspection at least once a year. If you have had problems in the past, you might want to take additional precautions with an inspection every 6 months until you are sure there are no further risks. A pest control company that specializes in termites is also a good idea, though not strictly necessary. During an Inspection So what can you expect during your annual inspection? An average pest inspection will take around an hour, and your professional will need access to the hidden parts of your home, like basement crawlspaces and the attic if possible. There shouldn’t be any invasive exams or damage done, unless there are signs of problems that should be looked at closer. If that is the case, the inspector will discuss it with you before anything is done though. Small holes to check behind drywall or under floor boards might be necessary. You also need to know that an inspection isn’t the same thing as getting a pest control estimate and won’t be a service performed for free. Between Inspections While having a professional out each year can add to your peace of mind, it’s not a bad idea to keep your own eyes open between inspections. Look behind furniture, in the backs of cabinets and under sinks periodically to check for signs of insects. Obviously, seeing pests themselves is clear sign of a problem but also watch for sawdust or wood debris, droppings, or holes in wood, fabric or paper.   Taking care not to leave food unprotected around the kitchen, and maintaining window screens are also helpful to keep your home bug-free between inspections.   Of course, if you feel that there is a potential problem or if you’re hearing reports of increased insect activity in your area, you can always call and book an inspection even if it’s not your usual time. Better safe than sorry.    ...

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Renovating Your Property: Ways to Improve Your Home and Increase Its Value, Too

Renovating Your Property: Ways to Improve Your Home and Increase Its Value, Too

Having invested in buying your own home you will no doubt want to keep it in great shape and make some improvements too, so that you can enjoy living there and even boost the property value, with the right renovations. If you are looking for ways to enhance your home, you can view Cardinal Homes here for some potential inspiration. You may also want to take a look at some of the following tips and suggestions on how to improve your home and potentially increase its value at the same time. Spend wisely The first thing to say is that you have to spend your money wisely, as not all home improvements will give you a decent return, or any payback at all in some cases. Splashing the cash on loads of Italian marble in the bathroom and the hallway might appeal to your sense of taste, but it is just one example of where you can feel free to spend your money in this way of course, but don’t expect to be financially rewarded for the decision when you come to sell your home Rather than concentrating on the DIY disasters, and there are probably a few that might come to mind straight away, it is better to focus on how to spend your money as wisely as possible, by taking a look at the sort of remodeling projects that often have a positive impact on the aesthetic appeal of your home, as well as potentially boosting its value. Instant curb appeal If there is one part of your home that probably gets more use and even abuse than others, your front door would be a good candidate for a long-suffering award. Your front door can sometimes seem like it is in constant use, and it can often be neglected, as you walk straight through and then forget about it once the door is closed. Replacing your front door is a real no-brainer in terms of a sound investment. Not only do you instantly add a bit of extra curb appeal with a shiny new front door, but if you upgrade to a more energy-efficient model that doesn’t let the heat out so easily, as well as offering improved security, you are getting a great deal all round, for a relatively modest outlay. Tired and faded Advances in technology and production techniques mean that you can now update your tired and faded sidings with a newer version that can also comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about fading again. A 2015 Remodeling Impact Report concluded that for an average outlay of $12,000 on new sidings, you could expect to get as much as 80% of that cost back, with the value it adds to your home when you come to sell it. A renovation that virtually pays for itself with the likely return on investment, is not something you would have to think too long about, before deciding that replacing your old sidings is job worth doing. Giving your kitchen a makeover A kitchen remodel could cost tens of thousands if you go all out with top of the range fittings and equipment, but if you want to get a return on your investment, it would be wise to reign back your enthusiasm...

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Landscaping Tips to Cool Your Yard and Create an Outdoor Haven From the Heat

Landscaping Tips to Cool Your Yard and Create an Outdoor Haven From the Heat

There are plenty of good reasons why most of us like to stay nice and cool, but we also like chance to enjoy some time outdoors in our garden, so the answer would be to design your yard so that it allows you to appreciate being outside without feeling uncomfortable with the heat. If you go into a building that has been equipped with a commercial air conditioning system, you can instantly tell and it allows you to feel comfortable in an instant. While you might not be able to replicate that same level of efficiency in your garden space, for obvious reasons, there are some neat design tricks and ideas that will allow you to create an outdoor haven from the heat. A helping hand with the outdoor cooling The first thing to say about keeping your outdoor space as cool as possible, is that there will undoubtedly be times where you need a bit of a helping hand from technology as well as employing good landscaping design to make the most of what shade you have available. You might want to consider having a backup plan for those days where the soaring temperatures are hard to escape wherever you happen to be. One idea would be to acquire some high-velocity blower fans. They are relatively inexpensive, but if you buy a model that is specifically designed for outdoor use, it should offer a rugged housing that permits the blades to run at fast speeds without any issues, and it should also have a ground-circuit interrupter, which is essential if you are using electrical items that are exposed to the elements. A bit more expensive and perhaps a lot more intrusive and industrial than some blower-fans, would be an evaporative cooler system. This is a device that works by drawing in the hot air and subsequently chilling it by blowing it through a wet filter or pad that is placed inside the unit. You will need to leave a space of at least two feet of clearance all around, so that it is able to work efficiently and avoids recirculating air that you have already cooled through the system. Misty cool You may well consider this unit to be too much of a compromise of the space that you have available in your yard area, so if you have deeper pockets, you might want to invest in a high-pressure misting system. The way this works is to install the misting system around the perimeter of your designated seating area. The mounted perforated tubes are then connected to your water supply, which then allows the system to deliver a very fine mist that is designed to absorb the heat from the air. A natural shading solution You don’t always have to invest in technology and equipment to achieve a certain degree of shading in your garden, it just requires a bit of ingenuity and foresight when planning your landscaping. The point about using landscaping to achieve shading is that not only will you be able to create some nice cool areas in your outdoor space, but you will also be reducing your energy costs in your home, if the air-conditioning unit doesn’t have to work so hard to keep your home cool. If you want to be able to...

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Security Camera Placement: Where to Get the Best Protection Possible

Security Camera Placement: Where to Get the Best Protection Possible

It is only natural that you always want to feel safe as safe and secure as possible in your own home, which is why so many of us choose to install some security cameras around our property, so that we can monitor who is calling, especially if they are uninvited. If you want to get an idea regarding your security camera options, you might want to visit Security Camera King. However, you should also remember that fitting good cameras is just one part of the security equation, as you need to make sure that your placement is spot on, if you really want to achieve the best possible level of protection. Start with the basics Every property is unique to a certain extent and as someone who lives there, you are in the best position to know which areas are likely to prove vulnerable if someone is intent on breaking into your home. A good way of approaching your home security options is to start with the basics, which is to install surveillance cameras in all of the standard locations that should serve you well, almost regardless of the design layout of your property. Once you have done that, you can then use your unique knowledge of the property and try to adopt the mindset of a burglar for a few moments, and look for weak spots where a perpetrator might be able to gain entry undetected, unless you install a suitable deterrent. Protecting your front door is essential About a third of all burglaries are committed as a result of someone gaining entry to your home through the front door. Aim to place your security camera at a reasonable height above the door so that you can see who is outside but keep the camera out of easy reach for anyone intent on trying to disable the camera. You might want to also consider a peephole camera. This high-tech option allows you to get a clear sight of who is knocking at the door, which is also an important security consideration when trying to protect your family and your property as well. Go round the back You probably won’t be surprised to discover that close to 25% of all home burglaries involve an intruder gaining entry to the property via the back door entrance. Any external door is vulnerable to a certain extent, but especially one that is generally hidden out of public view or in an obscure location where someone could potentially break in without being spotted. Look to install cameras that cover all entry points and a good tip would be to choose a camera that is weatherproof and also equipped with night-vision capabilities, so that your security system is far less likely to let you down when you need it most. Image quality matters It can be extremely frustrating to review security footage after an incident, only to find that the picture quality is so grainy that it is is hard to achieve any sort of reliable recognition of the perpetrator that the police might be able to use. The quality of the security camera equipment that you are installing will definitely make a difference, but there are also other factors that can influence the quality of the images you are able to view from...

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The Tradesmen You Need When Building a Home

The Tradesmen You Need When Building a Home

Building your very own home can be really exciting, especially if you have been searching for a house for a long time and you have been unable to find the right property in your price range. But before you dive into building a home, you need to know about the many professional tradesmen, from a talented architect to a local electrician, that you will need to hire in order to get the job done right. Continue reading to learn more so that you can be completely prepared for what lies ahead after you have purchased the land that you want to build on. An Architect Before you even begin the construction of your brand new house, you will have to hire a qualified architect who will be able to collaborate with you on designing the property so that it will work for you. This professional will be able to create the guide that your builder and construction team will follow in order to bring your house to life. They can help you with everything from the exterior design of the property, to how to make traffic flow throughout the home smoothly, and how to set up the layout of the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. An Engineer In addition to an architect, you will also need to hire a civil engineer who will be responsible for dealing with other aspects of the design of your home, particularly its structure. These professionals will review all of the construction plans and ensure that they all meet building codes enforced by your local government. They will also ensure that the building is structurally sound, that the house will be set on the right foundation, and the materials used are appropriate for the house. A Plumber and an Electrician The right plumber will be ready to tackle all of the drain lines, gas lines, water lines, sinks, faucets, etc. that your home will contain. They will assist you in attaining the best sewage and water systems for your property, and they will ensure that your bathrooms and kitchen work flawlessly. Electricians, on the other hand, will be focused on powering your home. They will arrange and distribute wires, ensure there isn’t any faulty wiring that would be a safety hazard, and will prepare electrical boxes, install cover plates, test the electrical system, and more. Roofers and Masons Most of the houses that are built today are made of concrete, so you will need to hire a mason to work on the flooring, walls, and any other areas of the home where concrete or cement are utilised. You will also need to hire a team of roofers that will work on installing your roof, including the insulation and trusses, while using the roofing material of your choice. When building your home, be patient, work closely with the professionals that you hired, and make sure that you are prepared for unexpected delays or problems, as they are bound to happen. Once the project is complete, though, you should be amazed by the results and thrilled with your brand new...

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What To Do AFTER You’re Moved In To Your New Home

What To Do AFTER You’re Moved In To Your New Home

It was a long and arduous process but you’ve finally purchased your new home. And now all that’s left is unpacking your stuff, settling into your new home, right? Not so fast, you’ve still got some work to do before you can truly settle down and enjoy your new digs. Here are eight important things you need to do before your home is ready for you and your loved ones: 1.  Get rid of pests Even if you don’t see any, that doesn’t mean you should assume your new home is pest free—especially if you are moving into a pre-owned home. If you are able to get in before moving day, contact an exterminator or use a bug bomb to ensure that your home is free and clear of pests. This is much easier to do if before your stuff is moved in and if you do it before moving day, your family will not be exposed to extermination chemicals. 2.  Deep Clean your home Sure, maybe the previous owner left your new home nice and clean, or maybe this is a brand new home, but you should still consider giving your new place a deep cleaning before moving your gear in. This is particularly important if you used a bug bomb or had an exterminator remove your home of bugs. Clean out all major appliances and even run the dishwasher and washing machine while they are empty to ensure you’re getting a fresh start. This task may be a lot of work so enlist the help of your friends and family, or better still hire a cleaning service if funds will allow it. 3.  Inspect HVAC and other house-wide systems It is vital that you check your house-wide systems, such as your fire/carbon monoxide alarms, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems) when you move into your new home. Even if your home is new, you need to ensure these systems are running properly and at peak performance. If you’re not sure if the batteries in your fire alarm are fresh, replace them. Use an HVAC professional for your air conditioning service to ensure that your system is properly installed and your air quality is high. Enough can’t be said about air quality and how much it contributes to the comfort of your new home; read our article about ensuring your home is comfortable throughout the year. 4.  Change the locks Unless you’re home is a brand new build, chances are, you’re not the only person with keys to your new place. Ensure your family and belongings are secure by changing the locks immediately after moving in. Consider adding a secure keypad and home alarm system for additional security and peace of mind. 5.  Find the important stuff After the moving truck is gone, don’t unpack everything immediately. Find the important things, like clothes, bed sheets, towels, and other toiletries. Other essentials may include toys for the kids and some dinnerware. Take a few days and organize as you unpack. Unpacking everything at once may seem effective but it can cause you to rush and not organize as efficiently as you could. You’re going to be in your new place awhile so take your time and enjoy putting your home together. 6.  Take in your new neighborhood...

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How Building Materials Contribute to the Value of a House

How Building Materials Contribute to the Value of a House

Certain construction materials are more valuable than others, and not just because they cost more. The value of your custom home will depend (in part) on the durability, cost, and environmental impact of your building materials. There are plenty of materials to choose from (wood, stone, brick, etc.), but each material is not created equal. The following breaks down what you need to know about building a home that is more valued because it was constructed with the right materials. How Durability Effects Value Durability is a factor in property building because people want to know that what they’re buying will last. Moreover, tax assessors are going to consider durability when making their assessments on the home’s value. So, it’s definitely a good choice to choose a material that’s super durable because this is going to have a positive impact on the home’s overall value, but there are other considerations as is pointed out below. Steel: Steel is a very durable material, and can be treated to withstand a number of environmental factors. It’s also resistant to mold and vermin. These things will definitely increase the value of your home, but it may cost more to make steel aesthetically appealing. It may be more valuable to include a steel building, such as a garage or shed, on the property (if you’re looking to increase value fast). The cost of steel is variable, so when you buy is going to factor into what it costs. Armstrong Steel building costs factor in size, location, and additional features (windows, etc.). Stone: Stone won’t catch on fire, is resistant to water damage, and can handle a number of natural disasters. Our ancient ancestors used stone to build their dwellings, many of which still stand today. Although stone is moderately priced, it’s unfortunate that it’s difficult to shape. If you want the stone to look a certain way, you’ll need to hire additional laborers to undertake the difficult task of cutting and shaping it. Brick: Brick looks great and is fairly resistant to fire, water damage, and should hold up in a number of natural disasters. It’s not as durable as steel or stone, but it certainly has its advantages. Wood: Wood has been used for thousands of years to build structures, and some of those structures still stand. That certainly speaks to its durability. Unfortunately, it can rot, decay, and is flammable. It’s also a favorite meal of many pets, such as termites. Wood is a fine material, but consider getting it treated to improve its overall durability. What’s Really Valuable? Platinum is probably the most expensive building material, but is it truly valuable in terms of construction? You could build rooms with the silvery-white metal, but you’ll be spending upwards of $1300 per ounce. Of course, a decadent home does fetch more money in a sale, but location, size, and style factor into the home’s value too. If you’re not Donald Trump, it’s probably best to not base your home’s build on what’s most luxurious because it’s unlikely there will be a throng of buyers lining up to purchase a home built with decadent materials. Instead of building a platinum home, why not build a LEED Platinum Certified home? Eco-friendly building materials can increase the value of your home because they’re long-lasting,...

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Design Tips For Small Kitchens

Design Tips For Small Kitchens

Kitchens are often the center of your home. It is a place where the whole family can gather, cook, eat, chat and relax together. Smaller kitchens often require a little extra thought and planning when it comes to ensuring that the space is aesthetically appealing as well as multifunctional. Below are some useful tips for small kitchens. Make Sure Your Kitchen Is Completely Functional As mentioned above, kitchens have multiple purposes; however, the main purpose of a kitchen is meal preparation. A kitchen, therefore, needs to have all the appropriate appliances and areas needed for meal preparation. If possible, save space by using smaller, innovative appliances, such as custom-sized stoves, microwaves and fridges. Use Lighting to Create the Illusion of Space A kitchen requires two different types of lighting: atmospheric and practical. Practical lighting is essential for visibility purposes. Atmospheric lighting adds ambience to an area. Install incandescent lighting underneath countertops and low hanging pendant lights above the eating area to make the kitchen seem more spacious. Also install lighting at floor, table and eye level (if possible) to prevent shadows from making the area feel cramped. Combine Different Textures Embrace your small, cosy kitchen by adding various textures. Combining textures creates balance and harmony within your kitchen. Here are some examples of how you can incorporate mixing textures into your kitchen countertops and cabinets: Timber, deep oak or stone, which creates a warm atmosphere, together with sleek, smooth surfaces, which are ideal for cooking and easy to clean. Off-white countertops framed by light brown cabinets Luxurious matt countertops framed by contrasting, deep textured wood grain Hygienic, sleek MelaWood SupaGloss combined with classic matt cabinets – a lovely mix of modern and traditional styles Use Bold & Light Colours Without making your kitchen look like the inside of a circus tent, add bold colours to your kitchen, whether it be a feature wall, dishtowels, appliances or worktops. Your kitchen should consist predominantly of lighter colours as this will make your ceilings seem higher. Install Reflective Surfaces Reflective surfaces, such as a mirrored glass splashback, stainless steel appliances and high-gloss cabinetry, make a kitchen appear more spacious. See example below:    ...

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5 Important tips to consider before you hire Kitchen remodeling Service in Long Island

5 Important tips to consider before you hire Kitchen remodeling Service in Long Island

Are you planning for kitchen remodeling in Long Island? Creating a functional kitchen space from ground up is a daunting task. Having a thorough preparation is the perquisite before appointing renovation specialist. Kitchen remodeling is a big project and it needs careful understanding of what you exactly want in replace of what and so on. At the end of all you need to understand that the ultimate change you’re looking for should make your kitchen space functional and should also enhance the aesthetic. It has been seen that most homeowners spend more money on transforming the look of their cooking zone than other spaces in their home. For many good reasons, this is not only a place to cook but an art gallery of creating magic for taste buds. Spacious interior: Renovation specialists suggest of making kitchen space airy and spacious. Think how can you make the space enough efficient, this does not mean creating long distance between your sinks and countertops. The arrangements of your kitchen essentials should be equally organized that should not make mess while you’re working around. The lighting system: Lighting is one of the important parts in kitchen remodeling service in Long island. While many people prefer keeping the lights subdued, modern renovation specialist suggest making the space brighter with lights. You can install fixture mounted to your celling grid. The lights are fixed in the grid which is set below the ceiling height. This gives more light and also easy to replace when you need. Kitchen appliances: Color of kitchen essentials should also be changed in terms to give the entire space a distinctive appeal. Suave black matte finish with metallic outline is in the latest trend. No matter what style and design you opt for your kitchen always make sure to change the stove. According to expert designers, stove is the most used appliance and most visible thing in the kitchen. If you, somehow, are not in a mood to change all appliances, you can do a lot with just changing one. Kitchen Countertops: Make arrangements of the countertops in a justified way. Countertops hold an important part in your kitchen.  While improperly set countertop can give you trouble for not storing your food and ingredients right way, organized countertops make your cooking experience way better and easier. With continued exposure to oil ejection and spice around the surface of countertops tend to wear out.This is why remodeling consider renovate, repair or replace the existing countertops aligned to your style. Kitchen floor: Yes, the kitchen floor should withstand the regular exposure to food dropping and other activities. While you may think standing over wood gives maximum comfort, it’s simply not appropriate for kitchen space. Italian porcelain is on the other hand comes in budget and is near to indestructible. When you think of the comfort during winter times, you can consider using tile heater under the surface to enjoy the soothing feeling in your bare feet. So when you’re up to kitchen remodeling Long island, make sure you have considered these 5 important factors. Don’t settle for ordinary when you can make it an inspirational zone in your home. Author Bio: Mary Collins specializes in home décor. She owns a firm that offers excellent home décor ideas. She also loves to share...

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Decks, Porches and Patios: Entertaining Your Outdoor Living Ideas and Inspiration

Decks, Porches and Patios: Entertaining Your Outdoor Living Ideas and Inspiration

You feel cozy in your home yet you can’t stop itching for an addition.  A deck, porch, or patio would do nicely.  Suddenly, you’re faced with so many questions.  Which kind of outdoor space do you want?  What about the extras?  What about getting too much sun?  There are many things to consider but you need more information before making a move.  Allow us to provide a few ideas.  Define What You Want  Define what you want.  Understand the pros, cons, and differences of a deck, porch, and patio.  A deck is a raised platform usually in the front of a home.  A porch can be an extension of the home that leads outside. A porch features some sort of housing or roofing.  Think Return on Investment  Exterior features often are a good ROI because most homeowners like having access to the outdoors.  A new deck could garner a 75% return during a resell.  A patio could get between a 30-60% return.  Of course, other factors contribute, such as materials used and the appearance of the final product.  Get What You Want  Don’t get obsessed with making a monetary investment.  A good return also provides intrinsic value.  A stronger investment allows for more enjoyment.  If, you can afford it and the number is reasonable, get what you want.  You’ll get intrinsic value such as relaxation and happiness out of your deck, porch, or patio if you choose the one you really want.  Consider Extras  You need to know about the extras.  Buyers opt for fire pits, built-in grills, and plush cabana-style sitting arenas.  Don’t make assumptions about the possibilities.  Ask experts what can be achieved given your space, budget, and aspirations.  Information sourced from Advanced Exteriors addresses siding, doors, and decks for your outdoor area.  Find Shade  The problem with outdoor seating is that it gets too hot.  You want a portion of your deck, patio, or porch to be exposed to the sun’s rays, but arranging it so you can find shade at will achieves a good balance.  A fabric canopy installs over posts, chair backs, and other ornaments to give huge shade.  Alternatively, large umbrellas make finding shade a snap at a fraction of the price.  Gradually Upgrade  Get the project set in motion.  Talk to experts, get quotes, and do it.  You’ll get more ideas as you see your new porch, deck, or patio being built. Gradually upgrade.  Once the foundation is down, begin to think about furnishings and unique elements.  For example, a fountain would add tranquil vibes and a quaint focal point; a comfy lounge chair would make reading more enjoyable; and, wicker furniture of vibrant and bold colors would be inviting to friends and family members.  Light It Up  Lighting is a major element.  Choose a system that is unobtrusive yet allows for expression of the motif and style.  Pendants can bring light to a darker corner of the area; candles in mason jars are mobile and create mood; and, don’t dismiss the beauty that chandeliers bring to the outdoors.  Your ability to match function with flair determines whether the area can equally serve as a day area and nightspot.  Introduce Detail  Regardless of whether you’re getting a deck, patio, or porch, it won’t feel as if it’s yours until you introduce detail. ...

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Planning Your Renovation Project: Simple Stress Busting Preparation Tips for Homeowners

Planning Your Renovation Project: Simple Stress Busting Preparation Tips for Homeowners

Many different types of projects and ideas tend to produce a better end result when you take the time to make a plan beforehand. When it comes to a renovation project, there are few worse things than getting started without proper preparation and planning, unless you don’t mind getting stressed.  One way of ensuring that you keep stress levels to a minimum would be to arrange to use a facility like Pink Self Storage to keep your furniture and fragile items protected and allow you the space to get on with the work without worrying that you might accidentally damage some of your possessions.  Here are simple tips and ideas to consider, so that your renovation project can be planned and executed as efficiently and stress-free as possible.  Plan your living arrangements  If you are going to be doing some work on your kitchen or a bathroom, you will have to decide whether you can work around the mess and general disruption, or whether it might be better to plan a spell away while the work is being done.  If you are going the DIY route and not using an outside contractor, you will simply have to plan your living arrangements around the intended work and formulate a plan that allows you to function as normally as possible with eating and washing arrangements, while certain rooms or appliances are out of action.  If you plan to use a contractor  If you are going to get a contractor in to do the renovations, it is important to ensure that you draw up a detailed contract with your chosen firm, so that there are no misunderstandings or logistical issues to contend with.  If you agree to any work being started without a contract that outlines what work is being done and when it is being completed, you are leaving yourself exposed to a host of problems and could end up getting very stressed if work is delayed or not completed, but you have nothing in writing to fall back on.  Protect your belongings  Depending on what sort of work you are having done, it is likely that some of your possessions could be vulnerable to dust, dirt or damage, unless you arrange to protect them.  If you want to clear a room ready for renovation and seal it off, you might want to consider a short-term storage facility to keep your furniture and other items out of harm’s way. At the very least, it makes sense to get some good sealable storage boxes, so that you can pack items safely away and protect them from the almost inevitable dust that normally ensues.  Don’t forget security  There might be a temporary scenario created by your planned renovation work where your home becomes more vulnerable from a security perspective.  Having a number of people coming and going from your property does make it more vulnerable to theft as well, but you should also take the time to see whether any external entry points to your property could be exploited by opportunist thieves.  You might want to consider setting up a temporary access code for your contractors if you have an alarm system, and thanks to technology improvements, you can even acquire a lock system that is operated via your smartphone, which allows you...

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Log Cabin Living: Reasons the Benefits Go Far Beyond the Aesthetics

Log Cabin Living: Reasons the Benefits Go Far Beyond the Aesthetics

Some who used to play with Lincoln Logs as kids got mesmerized by the appearance and construction of wood.  So much that the very same people decided to live in a log cabin when they got older.  Sure, log cabins are quite appealing to look at yet there are reasons beyond the aesthetics for choosing to live in one.  Read the following and see how the reasons stack up in favor of electing to live the log cabin life. Financial Freedom Sure, a ‘Mc Mansion’ in Beverly Hills is probably cozy but you have to be a millionaire, or invest millions in your home, to live in one.  Traditionally, kids grew up believing that settling down and buying a home in the suburbs afforded a happy life.  That still may be true yet more people are deciding on alternative lifestyles and making unique decisions.  Assuming that you’re not thinking of building a mansion-sized ‘cabin,’ a log cabin is a modest investment, which allows for more financial freedom.  Some want to live in a nice home but they don’t want to be slaves to their living spaces, sacrificing vacations and limiting their lifestyles in order to afford a house.  Log cabins are beautiful, comfortable, and allow owners to keep more money in their pocket. Green Mind Today, more people are concerned for the planet.  In addition to recycling and carpooling, some people are taking concern a step further and seeking sustainable homes.  Wood is a responsible choice in selecting a building material.  Yes, trees are used to produce the lumber, but particular suppliers ensure that more trees are planted than used.  Logs are a renewable resource; once a home is condemned or is set for demolition, the wood can be used as chips or a source of fuel.  Moreover, the process of building a home from wood uses less energy and relies less on machinery exhaust and the shipping and production of materials, which otherwise add to a carbon footprint. Novel Appearance Unlike ‘cookie cutter’ homes that are found in suburbia or row homes found in the city, log cabins are unique in appearance.  You will enjoy the fact that your home hosts a novel appearance and no one else owns an abode like it.  People talk about being independent and not being a ‘follower,’ yet so many decide to purchase a home that looks very similar to those living immediately around them.  Those who have log cabins truly are thinking independently.  Visit Weatherall to learn about protecting the wood and providing it with a beautiful appearance. Exciting Options Building a log cabin means that you can provide a huge amount of input regarding the structure of the home.  Work with an architect and builder to provide information related to what you want and see your ideas come to life.  The process may take time but at least you’ll know that you’re truly building a dream home, one that is constructed based on your preferences.  It’s an exciting notion to have limitless options.  Team with an experienced builder who can supplement your ideas with others based on experience.  Of course, there may be some limits to what you can do yet most architects can achieve whatever is demanded of them. Reduced Allergies Some suffer from severe allergies or have trouble...

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Preventing Air Conditioner Breakdowns: Simple Ways to Keep Cool All Summer Long

Preventing Air Conditioner Breakdowns: Simple Ways to Keep Cool All Summer Long

It just never fails: a sweltering heat wave settles over your area, you’re keeping nice and cool indoors, and suddenly, THUNK. Your air conditioner shuts off. Now, the heat is really on. But you don’t have to suffer through this sweaty scenario. Like any piece of equipment, air conditioning units need to be maintained year round to prevent breakdowns. A new air conditioning can cost you a lot of money and even hiring a company to maintain it for you can put a dent in your wallet. Fortunately, there are cheap, easy things you can do yourself that will keep the repairman away and the cool air blowing all summer long. Keep the Screen Clean If you look on the back of your air conditioning unit outside, you will notice that it’s really just a large fan with some cooling lines inside a big metal box. Typically, there are screens that cover the sides of the box to prevent debris from getting sucked in. These screens need to be kept clean. You should clean them at least twice a year: once in the middle of summer and again once you’ve finished using the air conditioning for the year. This will keep the screens clear and the air flowing. If you ignore this, build up over the years can cause problems. If you clean the screens regularly, soapy water and a scrub brush should be enough. If you let the debris buildup, you may need to purchase a cleaning solution that will dissolve the matted grass and leaves that have become embedded. Help Your Air Conditioner Help You If you’re in the middle of a heat wave, your air conditioner will probably be running constantly, but there are things you can do to help keep your home cool and maybe give the unit a break. Make sure that all windows and outside doors are sealed properly. A home can lose as much as 30% of its air conditioning through badly sealed doors and windows, costing you money and — more importantly! — precious cool air. If your windows are very old, you may want to look into replacing them. If not, check around the edges for gaps: you can do this by holding a candle and looking for drafts that disturb the flame. Use fans to help keep your rooms cool. Fans will push the cold air down from the vents in your ceiling, circulating the air and keeping you cooler than without them. This may allow your air condition to shut off every once in awhile. Check Your Thermostats The thermostat is the piece of equipment that people are most aware of: you can set the heat/cooling functions and monitor the temperature. Sometimes, thermostats break. You can avoid this by getting it checked out every few years. Unfortunately, unless you are an electrician, you cannot do this yourself. You should contact a professional like Alert Air Conditioning to inspect the thermostat. You may need to replace the thermostat, especially if it’s older. While it still may be in working condition, there are so many options out there now that can help you save energy and money. Newer, programmable thermostats are great for maintaining a constant temperature. You can sync them with your phone, too, so you can monitor the...

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How to Choose a Property Management Company

How to Choose a Property Management Company

Even though you want to have a hand in managing your investment property, there comes a time when you may need to hand over all of the management tasks to a property management company. In fact, there are some distinct advantages to having a professional full-service management company deal with all aspects of your investment property portfolio. Here are services to look for when you are choosing a property management company. Evaluation One of the advantages of having one company handle everything about your property is the convenience. As real estate professionals, they can evaluate the property and determine an accurate rental rate taking into account its location and condition. The company may even suggest improvements or repairs for your property that will benefit the rental rate you can ask for. Preparation Any preparation of the property for rental is the management company’s responsibility, including the maintenance of the interior as well as the landscaping. Marketing is another responsibility of the company including website listings and advertisements. After showing the property to prospective tenants, the company should thoroughly screen applicants and make sure the leasing transaction complies with all laws and regulations. Management Management of the property begins with the collection of deposits and rent, but it includes so much more. At times, there are late fees to collect and legal issues such as evictions to handle. Expect the property management company that you pick to handle all of the accounting for your property. All payables and receivables should go through their office. They should also provide detailed monthly statements as well as a full yearly financial report with a form 1099 to the property owners. Maintenance Kenny Slaught from Investec in Santa Barbara is also a general contractor. This means that he can oversee the renovation of clients’ properties without having to go to an outside company. The Search Is On Now that you know what to expect from a professional property management company, how do you start the selection process? There are many companies that offer property management as part of their real estate firms, but how will you know which ones will truly deliver value and results? Here are some suggestions for your search. Search Multiple Sources Gathering together a starting list of property management companies is best done from multiple sources. One prime source is the word of mouth referrals from friends, family, and business associates. They will be candid in their criticism or praise for the companies that they have worked with. Real estate agents are another source for recommendations. Make sure that you also do an online search to see what companies are around your property’s area. Check out reviews of every company that is on your search list. Sometimes reviews are exaggerated or biased, but if you see a common theme in reviews, it is most likely true. Narrow Down Your List Once you have made your list from multiple sources, start to investigate how each company does business. Do they communicate a professional image online and in any advertising? Take a look at some of the real estate that they manage and note the upkeep. Try to talk to a few tenants and get their impression of how their maintenance complaints are handled. Taking these steps to check work quality will...

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How To Effectively Convey Home Design Projects To Clients

How To Effectively Convey Home Design Projects To Clients

Retaining clients is difficult with all the other competitors out there. Successful architects and interior designers usually focus on two important things: Client relationships Effectively communication ideas and designs to clients The stress of presenting plans to a client can be overwhelming for many architects and designers, especially because conveying the actual end result of your very thought out plan to a client may not always be successful. We have compiled a few tips to help you effectively communicate and convey your designs to your clients. When it comes to costs, be upfront Although “money” is not usually an easy topic of conversation, clients appreciate honestly. So, before you start designing your client’s future house, speak to them about all the costs involved in the design. This can include information such as why using specific, perhaps more expensive materials, will benefit the client. Remember, trust is one of the best ways to improve the relationship between your client and yourself. Provide your clients with real insight Architects and interior designers may be able to dazzle their clients with fancy frills and spills, but sometimes all clients really need is for the designer to present them with a design that sells them a true idea of the lifestyle you are selling them. Ensure that you present a design that caters to the client’s needs and wants. Use 3D Visualisations to make clients fall in love with your designs Technical representations of a design usually only speak to people who are designers. For the laymen, who has no experience in understanding technical drawings, 3D Visualisations can really bring your designs to life in a way that your clients can understand and love! Naturally, clients will trust your designs more if they can already see how the end result of the design will look instead of trying to imagine it for themselves. Put thought into every single design When it comes to designing, especially private homes, different clients have different needs. Made sure you understand every single client, as well as their needs and preferences, to ensure that your design for them is relevant to their lifestyle. For more information, read How To Make Your Clients Fall In Love With You And Your...

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How To Stay Warm In The Winter

How To Stay Warm In The Winter

For a lot of us, the winter season means cold weather. Temperatures drop, and we spend the days just trying to keep warm. If you are tired of always being cold in the winter, here are some tips that can help you to stay warm. Make Sure Your Home Is Sealed Your home heating system can keep your house warm, but if there are leaks in your house, it won’t do much good. If too much air can escape through your windows, doors, or even the walls, then any heat you generate is simply going to leave your house. Perform an inspection of all of your windows and doors, and be sure there are no places for air to come in and out. It may also be a good idea to contact a local heating and air conditioning company to have them inspect your unit and insulation to do a more thorough evaluation. Start A Fire If you have a fire place in your home, be sure you are putting it to good use. Not only will a fire send off some heat, but it will help you lower your heating bill, and make any room extra cozy. For those of you that do not have a fireplace in your home, you can consider having a wood burning stove installed. (This can be a rather expensive option though, so be sure it is worth it to you. Also check and see if you can get a tax deduction for installing one!) These heat up a room rather quickly, and give you a nice flame to sit by. Electric Heating If you can’t get a fire going in your home or apartment, then perhaps an electric heater is better for you. Just plug one of these into a nearby outlet, and let it warm up your room. Depending on how large the room is, it could take a while, but if you point the heater at yourself you should feel some of the effects. Just be careful, as these devices use a lot of electricity and could run up your bill. Dress In Layers When energy costs are a concern, you have to find ways to stay warm without turning up the heat. Simply dressing in layers can go a long way towards keeping your body warm. Throw on some long sleeve shirts, and some extra thick socks, and you should start to warm up a little bit. While you shouldn’t let it get to the point where you need to wear a hat and gloves indoors, if you are just a little chilly, some extra clothing could be the solution. Get Some Blankets Not going anywhere for a little while? Wrap yourself up in some cozy blankets. These will keep you nice and warm, while also allowing you to be more comfortable. If you are not sure what kind of blanket to get, here is a list of some of the best blankets out there. Hot Beverages Sometimes all you need to warm up is a hot beverage. Pour yourself some hot coco, some tea, or some coffee, and let the liquids warm you up from the inside out. Holding the mug while you drink will also keep your hands warm, which is one of the primary spots that...

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Experts Headed Home Dream

Experts Headed Home Dream

Home improvement projects often commence for a remodeled kitchen or a room addition for to accommodate every family member’s needs. A lot more often than not, reality and dreams do not coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available area. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. When dealing with a home repair job that needs electrical home improvement, you should consult professional experts looking for a electrcial contractor in Sydney. Before you consider on an electrical home improvement project, it is better to start with something you’ve a lot more confidence or experience with. Changing a light switch might be a good place to start you can make some decorative changes for the light switches while you are learning about wiring in your home. Taking care of electrical wiring and lighting is definitely not a simple issue to do should you need to have it accomplished in the correct way. However, it is possible to manage with these kinds of improvements by yourself if you have the time for learning helpful tips. If you aren’t confident on your abilities, you must request for professional tips for being certain that you’re electrical and lighting projects will be completed in the way you want. That is an important issue to accomplish because improving the electrical and lighting component of one’s home may also be very dangerous. Among the bigger electrical home improvement jobs that you simply might encounter is, changing out a previous circuit breaker box and installing a new one. In the event you live in a home that was developed several years in the past there is certainly a good chance that an electrical home improvement project is in buy for this area in the home. In case you are the least bit unsure of yourself you must definitely consider getting a licensed professional electrician do this job for you. It could mean the difference amongst lifestyle and death. If you determine to create key improvements to home electrical and lighting you should uncover a good solution to cover everything from communications to security. Your home deserves the top therapy so you must consider care of major aspects including installation and information connected to the components you employ. In the event you don’t consider care in the home improvement on electrical and lighting in a hurry you and your family will surely get to benefit in the proper conditions....

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Comfort and Luxury Home

Comfort and Luxury Home

Whether you happen to be planning to place your home make it far more comfortable to reside in, there is a whole lot to get gained from making home improvements. You can find several different reasons improvements are carried out and you will discover that they may be really time consuming. They are however generally well worth the energy and time which you put in to them and you are bound to appreciate the outcome. An improvement is basically altering and changing the home. Some of the types of improvements completed to make your home prettier are interior design type projects. These projects incorporate painting and wallpapering the walls or ceilings, adding new flooring, or upgrading and adding doors and windows. You’ll be able to include beauty and design to your home by performing these improvements. Improvements can usually be as little as changing a blown light bulb or perhaps as big as rebuilding the home after a disaster. Get the comfort of your home with install the conditioning ducts then you definitely need to give first preference for the layouts which might be used in installing the air conditioning ducts. There are several motives that the installation of air-conditioners can grow to be necessary other than individuals of comfort and luxury. For some commercial sectors and certain emergency areas, it’s almost indispensable. If you’d like that your central air conditioning ought to attain all of the rooms then you definitely need to search for the products that may blow the air in all the rooms of your home. After you install it then the duct you have utilized for installation will end in the form of vent. You will find companies that are engaged professionally arena of Deepchill Gold Coast Air Conditioning services. These are professionally managed companies with expertise and experience. These companies have setups with which they provide upkeep and service jobs for all kinds of commercial and residential air-conditioners. The first process undertaken from the companies is the fact that of installation. A careful and accurate installation is necessary for a good performance. It’s to be safely to electrical sources. This apart the companies will even ensure that the appliance is safe to handle even for...

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Don’t Keep up With the Johnsons, Pass Them: Hot New Trends in Home Decor

Don’t Keep up With the Johnsons, Pass Them: Hot New Trends in Home Decor

It often feels good to give your home decor a new look and give a room a different vibe to the one it had before, especially if you have updated the space to reflect a hot new trend. Paying a visit to a site like Plum Goose can provide some inspiration for the sort of items that turn a house into a home with some personal touches. If you want to know how to achieve a makeover that is on-trend, here are some of the latest ideas. The future is 3D It may not be widely available just yet, but there is definitely a growing trend towards seeing a number of fascinating and unique home pieces being made with 3D printers. Imagine being able to design an item that is exactly what you want and then being able to create it using 3D technology. This is definitely considered by a number of interior designers to be an integral part of the future of production methods, so get thinking about what you would like to print out that the Johnson’s definitely won’t have. Go Glam Every year we witness a whole new range of made up words that are attempting to enter our vocabulary and home decor has one, the Glamily room. If you are going to try and achieve the glamily room look, the idea is to create a space that refuses to compromise style for practicality, just because you have a young family and pets living in the house. To achieve this look and be right on-trend, your glamily room will feature hard-wearing materials and wipe-clean designer fabrics, so that you get the grown-up and chic look you want, without worrying about sticky fingers  or muddy paws ruining what you have put together. Productive space A growing number of us work from home some of the time or maybe on a full-time basis, but despite the practical challenges, plenty of people have been working on their laptop at the kitchen table or even when sitting in their bed. Apart from the bad ergonomics attached to a temporary workspace like that, the good news is that the current trend is for a bold and productive space in your home, otherwise known as a desk. Celebrate the return of the desk in design trends and look at creating something that ticks the high-powered and high-gloss boxes, which means bold colors and a place where you can enjoy your surroundings and get some serious work done. Blast from the past – dining table trends If your grandparents gave you a fine bone china gravy boat or a soup tureen that is tucked away safely in the attic, it is time to go searching for them. The latest trends in tableware will please the older generations, as footed bowls and gravy boats are leading the charge towards a traditional feel in the dining room, again. Eclectic interiors If you follow home decor design trends, you will have witnessed a shift between what could be termed as historically referenced interiors and unmistakably midcentury spaces. Rather than trying to get the timing of these shifts just right in order to be on-trend, you will probably be pleased to learn that there is now a current trend that is more slanted towards eclectic interiors. It...

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Bringing Your Kitchen to the Outdoors

Bringing Your Kitchen to the Outdoors

With summer finally here, you may be thinking about creating a small space outdoors where you can cook, whether it be a small BBQ area or a fully kitted out kitchen area. There are many ways you can do this, either by going all out and buying expensive kitchen equipment, or by going down the DIY route on a low budget. Whichever option you choose, here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about creating an outdoor kitchen where you can cook and entertain, Space and Arrangement First and foremost, the most important thing to do is to work out where your desired outdoor kitchen space is going to be located and then make the room for it. Ideally, you will want to choose a location close by to where your dining area is if you have one, or in an area that already has a lot of room available. Then, the key thing to do is measure up because it would be an utter nightmare to go out and buytons of items for your outdoor space only to find that they don’t fit or look funny. So, head over to some stores that sell outdoor kitchen equipment that you can look at and make sure to fully take your measurements before getting started so you have an idea of what you can buy. Design and Colour Obviously you want your outdoor kitchen to have the ‘wow’ factor and be the talking point at every party you have with friends and family, so it goes without saying that it needs to be aesthetically pleasing. After looking at a few ideas and the kind of equipment or BBQ you want in your space, you should be ready to start planning your outdoor kitchen designs. Use the internet for ideas, use the colours of your garden as inspiration, and look at the different accessories available that will complement the garden and the newly added kitchen area. Simple things like cooking utensils, or small cushions if you have garden furniture, really can tie the entire space together and really give it a personal touch. Deciding What It Will Be Used For Whether you’re having a full on fitted outdoor kitchen or a small BBQ area depends on what you want to use it for. Think about the main types of food that you will be cooking outside, and whether you are going to use it on a daily basis or purely for when you are hosting guests.  Once you have determined what your kitchen will be used for, you can purchase the ideal equipment. You should also consider whether you will need storage space for your outside kitchen.  It is pretty easy to install small cupboards and drawers to store things like utensils, serving equipment, plates and cups.  Ideally, you’ll want to have room to keep everything you could need outside to prevent you from having to carry things outside from your indoor kitchen. Whether you’ve done the whole outdoor kitchen thing before or are new to it, an outdoor cooking space is not only something practical but also something to enjoy. So remember to have fun designing it and of course using it, happy outdoor...

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Preventive maintenance tips for the garage owners – Tips to repair a garage door

Preventive maintenance tips for the garage owners – Tips to repair a garage door

The largest moving part in your entire home is your garage door and it is used numerous times in a day and at any time during all seasons. If you wish to keep your garage door operate smoothly for many more years to come, you can take various kinds of preventive measures so that you can maintain the quality of the door. Have a look at some preventive measures and repairing tips you should practice. Preventive tips to take care of your garage door Observe your garage door: The foremost step to take is to observe the garage door while it is in action and each time you use it. Is it jerky at some places or is it moving smoothly? Does it make grinding noises or does it move silently? Do both sides look symmetrical? Tighten the hardware: Any average garage door moves down and up more than 1000 times in a year and hence you should timely tighten the roller bolts and brackets in order to keep it going good. Test the balance of the door: If the door isn’t properly balanced, the door opener needs to work harder and it won’t last for a long time. The spring adjustment of the garage door is best left to experts. Replace the weather strip: If you see that the rubber weather seal strip at the bottom of the door is cracked and brittle, replace it then and there. Lubricate certain parts: It is best to keep certain parts of your garage door greased so that it can offer you seamless operation and you will just take 10 minutes to grease that door. You can use white lithium grease on the chain of the opener and a spray lubricant. Clear the tracks: Ensure that the tracks on each side of the door are free from any kind of debris and if you’re inclined enough to take care of your garage door, you should use a level to check the plumb. Call a garage door repair Omaha specialist if you don’t think you can repair things on your own. Test auto reverse safety devices: Mechanical and photocell are the 2 mechanisms which operate a garage door. You can test this mechanical feature by placing a brick on the ground which is straight in path of the garage door and when you see that the door touches the brick while coming down, it should reverse the direction and go back. Close the door and pass your leg in the path of the door. In case the opener is more than 2 decades old, it might now lack such features and hence you should buy a new opener. So, if you don’t want your garage door to become dilapidated and old and non-functioning, you should follow the above mentioned preventive measures to take care of your garage door and avert the instances of spoiling it due to lack of...

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Preparation guide for selling your house

Preparation guide for selling your house

Committing to a small-scale house remodelling venture is absolutely necessary if you want your property to be one of the top rated items on sale in the neighbourhood. There is a heap of little tasks that demand our attention, so it’s advisable to start the process on time, thus avoiding any potential slip-ups. Here’s a collection of the best tips we have received from the interior design experts and real estate agents you can make use of. Setting a price When pricing is in question, we advise you to be fair and realistic, and not get tempted to go into extremes. Setting a price too low would make your efforts pointless, while a too high of a price may seriously hinder the selling process. Get thoroughly informed about the supply and demand in your area and act accordingly. If you don’t feel confident about the price assessment, hire a reputable agent to help you. Wall-to-wall inspection The last thing you want to happen is to get a heart attack over a certain hidden flaw you have missed to repair, such as near ground-level dents at the moment a client is touring the house. Scan both the interior and the exterior through and through for traces of water-induced damage (walls and floors) and check the entire pipeline for leaks. Another thing you should test is whether the window seals are still holding up. Round it up by hiring pest control to ensure a secure and clean environment. Repairing and remodelling You may decide to sell on spur of the moment, before the completion of some house repairing projects. It’s recommendable you handle them first and let the prospective buyers only see the final results. Some other things that may need to be repaired or replaced include roof tiles, electrical installations (switchboards and outlets) and major bathroom fixtures. When it comes to flooring, you may get away with a good scrub if you’re lucky, and this mostly applies to tiles and carpets. If one of the rugs is stained beyond repair, simply get rid of it. Hardwood floors are very popular, so try and restore the pristine state by treating it with specialised care products. However, if a certain sections looks particularly dingy, you can either refinish it or replace it. Even if no one in your house is a smoker and there are no small children with artistic tendencies, the walls still have to be freshly repainted. When colours are concerned, steer clear of the stark white and opt for creamy neutrals. House staging While neutral palette is recommendable for large surfaces, the accent colours are the ones that wow or disappoint the buyer. Smart organisation, great pieces of indoor furniture and adequate illumination can be a turning point in the buyer’s deliberation process. Kitchen is a true hot spot of the house and people often buy because they love the kitchen setup. This makeover can be pricy but it’s worth every penny. Illumination wise, make sure to let enough sunlight in and tweak the atmosphere with some floor lamps. The less expensive additions are equally important, so think about upgrading your faucets, showerheads, handles and knobs. House staging doesn’t only include the interior decoration tricks. Don’t underestimate the power of the first impression, and dedicate some of your time...

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