What You Need to Know About Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

What You Need to Know About Home Mortgage Interest Deductions

Owning your own home is part of the American dream – along with two kids, a dog, and a car.  For as long as we can remember, this has been a measure of success in the U.S. and I doubt it will change anytime soon.  With that in mind, I want to look at what you need to know about home mortgage interest deductions.  This was set up by the Federal Government to help promote home ownership and whether you already own a home, or are looking to buy one, you should know how this program works and what it means for you. Now I don’t want to go into the minutia of tax law in the U.S., but as a primer, there are five conditions which must be met for you to claim interest payments as tax deductible. Only the person who paid the mortgage can apply for the deduction. This can get a bit tricky if you are married and filing jointly, but the mortgage is not in the name of both spouses. This also applies if you are paying all or part of the mortgage, but your name is not on the note. So, if there was a change in your circumstances and you have taken over mortgage payments for your spouse, then you want to make sure your name is on the loan. As this is tax law, there is an exception. If your name is not on the mortgage, but it is on the legal title, then you may be eligible to apply for the interest deduction. However, the property in question must be your primary residence. Now, this get a bit tricky as it is defined as a ‘qualified residence’ so you want to talk to your accountant to confirm how much interest deduction is available on the properties you own. The personal mortgage interest deduction is only applicable to the first $1 million acquisition debt (that is the original loan you took out to buy your home) and $100,000 of home equity debt. Granted, most people don’t have to worry about a $1.5 million mortgage, but if you fall into this category you will want to talk to your accountant about how you will properly deduct your interest payments. As you can see, some of these requirements are subject to interpretation and therefore you will need to get the advice of a good accountant to help you determine how to calculate the interest deduction for your taxes.  The deduction is a useful tool and depending on size the of your mortgage, the deduction can help save you thousands in personal income tax. That being said, let’s take a deeper look at how the mortgage interest deduction works. Your Parents Apply for the Mortgage, but You are Servicing the Debt You worked hard, got good grades, went to a good college, and now have a great job.  Congratulations, you probably have $250,000 or more in debt.  It does not matter how much money you make at this point; no bank is going to want to touch you.  Remember debt finance is all about risk aversion.  As such, banks will only approve lenders who they believe have little to no risk. Given this scenario, you might consider asking your parents to apply for the...

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5 Ways an Attractive Privacy Fence Adds Value

5 Ways an Attractive Privacy Fence Adds Value

There are many types of home improvements that can add value to one’s property. These improvements can run the gamut, from updating a kitchen with new cabinets to renovating an unused space – such as a basement – and turning it into an entertainment room or home gym. While there are numerous additions that add value to the home that readily spring to mind, one important improvement frequently overlooked and underrated by homeowners is fencing. When a property owner installs a fence on their property, it often adds value to the home and can make it easier to sell. Fences built for privacy are particularly sought after by buyers, making them the leading choice for folks looking to increase home value through an upgrade in fencing. With that in mind, here are the top five ways fences built for privacy can improve a property: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors Property ownership laws can be quite complex and can vary widely from state to state and even locality to locality. Despite this, one common issue that often arises along one’s boundary lines is encroachment. While many neighbors do not intentionally set out to cross their own property line and trespass onto someone else’s property, it can and does happen. In some areas, if a property owner allows a neighbor to use a portion of their property, it can actually become the other person’s property over time. A privacy fence is an easy and attractive way to clearly define the boundaries of the owner’s property and protect against potential encroachment. Increases Security It is not only neighbors who might trespass or misuse one’s property. This is especially true of properties that are located close to roadways, and walking trails. A fence can help to ensure that passersby maintain a safe and less invasive distance from the home, reducing the level of noise that enters the home. Fences also discourage unwanted visitors when the fencing is combined with a gate that can be closed and secured. Privacy fencing may also be required in some localities when the landscaping and other fixtures outside of the home include a swimming pool or other potentially dangerous structure. Fencing in these cases deters uninvited visitors and can protect the property owner from potential lawsuits due to negligence that might arise from failure to secure the property. Protects Landscaping Fencing in at least a portion of the property is also a good way to protect smaller ponds and other natural water features, as well as delicate plants found in the landscaping or garden area that might attract stray dogs, deer, raccoons and other pests. Increases Safety for Children and Pets Families with small children and/or pets also tend to prefer to purchase property that has at least a portion of the backyard fenced in so that their young toddlers and furry friends can frolic and play freely, and be less likely to accidentally dash out into the roadway and be injured or killed by a vehicle. Increases Curb Side Appeal Privacy fencing comes in a wide range of materials that can be customized to best compliment the landscaping and appearance of the home. Common fencing materials include wood, brick, stone, block, vinyl, metal and chain link fencing. Regardless of the type of fencing that is used, it often serves to...

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Maintenance and Renovations To Consider in Harsh Climates

Maintenance and Renovations To Consider in Harsh Climates

New Windows The amount of money wasted per year on electricity on account of poorly insulated windows is staggering. In both hot and cold climates this is an issue as keeping the desired air inside the home can be quite difficult. Installation of windows can be expensive but the fact that it will save you money monthly on the electric bill allows the renovation to pay for itself. There are actually climate specific windows that can also be hurricane proof that are available. After the Hurricane Matthew this is something that people on the east coast should strongly consider. Pool Pumps Many people do not have the budget to heat their pool in very cold climates. In more moderate climates though the correct pool pump can make a huge difference when it comes to heating the pool as a smaller pool pump can save a lot of money. In warmer climates the smaller the pool pump the better as keeping the water circulating and clean is the main purpose of this. Clogged pumps can cost quite a bit to clean and repair so keeping up with the cleaning of the pool is important. There are plenty of options for pool cleaners that run themselves and the even cheaper option of having your disgruntled teenager clean the pool once fall comes. The Roof Roofs take a beating in harsh climates whether they freeze and melt or are pounded with rain constantly. Not keeping up on maintenance of the roof can cause you to have to replace the roof completely. This is one of the largest expenses that you can have as a homeowner. Not only this but leaks can cause a myriad of other problems in a matter of months. This can lead to structural issues because of rot where quite a bit will have to be replaced. Mold is another issue that can lead to huge costs and even health problems. There can be toxic mold that can impact air quality and make those living in the home have respiratory problems. Combine that with the fact that you will have to get professionals to remove this mold and this will be a cost you could have prevented with proper maintenance. Protecting Your Pavement Pavement takes a beating especially in hot climates whether it is your driveway or the pavement in the parking lot of your office. Even cold climates can have issues with moisture getting into the pavement. This can lead to cracks which just seem to multiple and look unseemly. In Hurricane Matthew a lot of St. Augustine has to have pavement put back down as the flood waters led to cracks and some was swept away. Seal coating your driveway can help prevent these cracks and keep a nice new pavement look. Air Conditioning Replacing an air conditioning unit can be one of the most unexpected costs a homeowner can incur. Getting your AC unit checked out before the hottest and coldest times of the year is important. This can save you money on electric as your unit might not be running at optimum level. Not changing air filters can also bring about large repairs. If you live in a climate like Florida, not having air conditioning isn’t an option so it forces people to get new...

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Make Your Home Design Pop with New Windows

Make Your Home Design Pop with New Windows

Looking to remodel or renovate your home? Most people plan out everything from their new patios to the bathroom sink, but they don’t realize that the process doesn’t just begin and end with aesthetics. Efficiency and functionality are two incredibly important reasons to invest in a home, since they are the foundation of potential value! Windows and doors are interesting intersections of all three of these priorities, because good unit will beautify, insulate, and protect your home from any and all weather conditions. When you invest in the right windows and get them professionally installed, you’re putting money in the long term comfort, style and design of your home, all at once. From Gothic and French Provincial, to cottage and rural, to Colonial and Victorian styles, windows can create or enhance the visual palette of a space. Add personality, light, and life to a house by experimenting with grille patterns and old-fashioned wood or modern minimalism. No matter what choice that you make in terms of style, it will influence the mood of the space in ways that you may not have even imagined. Be mindful also of the wide array of choices that today’s window galleries offer in terms of material. The most popular ones are often wood, but there are also more cost-effective and convenient choices today that repel moisture, such as the units at Golden Windows in London, and look just as great, such as aluminum, wood and vinyl. These materials may be better suited for a rangeof applications and weather climates, and the experts at the gallery will be more than happy to help you choose what is best for your needs and budget. These professionals can also arrange for high-quality installation, which saves time, money and headaches now and down the line. In almost all cases they’re to be counted on if anything ever goes wrong and a window needs to be repaired or replaced. Plus, professional installation is often the only way to get the best warranty, which, at a place like Golden Windows, can cover you for up to two decades. There is a popular adage that saving money is the most fashionable habit of all. In choosing the right windows, you impact your home’s carbon footprint, energy bill, and insulation properties. Today’s new innovations offer materials and construction techniques that have been available for only a handful of years, making them exponentially more efficient than the products in older homes. They work to eliminate drafts in the winter, maintain more consistent temperatures, and increase ventilation in the summer. With all of these things to keep in mind, it may seem overwhelming for you to choose the ideal windows for your project, but the good news is that experts at Golden Windows are ready and willing to help. That’s what they are there for, so make use of them! Most galleries also offer convenient online viewing options so that you can compare models and track...

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Ways to Finish Homework Quickly

Ways to Finish Homework Quickly

Photo source: http://www.magicalmaths.org/how-can-i-ensure-that-my-child-makes-progress-and-learns-effectively-at-school/ If you’re a student, you would definitely have some homework to do. The amount of homework you’ll have will vary, depending on the type of teachers you have. If you’re lucky, you can be under those who are nice enough not to dish much homework. A lot of students are not so lucky in that department. Overall, doing homework is not really people’s favorite task. However, it’s compulsory and must be done within a specified timeframe. How can you finish your homework quickly and be able to do the things you want? Well, here are a couple of ways to help you out: Understand what your homework is about. Before you can actually start doing your homework, you should first understand what your homework is about. How can you answer it? And why did your teacher give you that homework in the first place? There must be a reason behind it. By being able to do all of these, your mind can mentally prepare yourself in making that homework. So, you would not waste any time moaning whether you really need to do it or not. Plan and organize your homework. If you usually have tons of homework during the week, it’s best that you plan which homework needs immediate attention and do the rest after.  Next, organize your free time wisely. Don’t waste a minute of your time because you might try to reason out of doing it altogether. Find a quiet and comfortable place. When you are going to do your homework, it’s best that you find a place where you’re comfortable. However, make sure that you are not too comfortable, since you’ll procrastinate. Make sure that the place is quiet, too. That way nothing and no one can distract you. Distractions include your phone, computer, your friends, etc. If you need to use one of your gadgets to search something, do it quickly, then turn it off or put it away so won’t be tempted to do something else. Keep motivating yourself so you won’t procrastinate. Get help from websites with your homework. Now, there are times your hands may be too preoccupied with other things. You may not have enough time to do the homework because something serious comes up. Maybe, you’re stumped and you’ve tried to answer it, but you’re not making any progress at all and the deadline is coming soon. When that happens, you can ask help from trusted websites to help you make homework. Such websites as this  https://assignment.essayshark.com/trigonometry-help.html are very popular among those who need the help with geometry. Once you get to finish your homework though, make sure you understand it completely and you can actually explain it just in case your teacher might suddenly spring a surprise question. Reward yourself for a job well done. After doing all that hard work, you definitely deserve a reward like chowing down on your favorite snack or dancing to your favorite jam. Do whatever works for you! You need to give yourself a break from all that work. Your mind and body would be drained from all the thinking you’ve done. If you’re too stressed after doing a particular work, you can do some practices to calm down when you’re stressed from studying. Stress can affect your health,...

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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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TIPS TO REMEMBER IN WRITING A HOME REVIEW

TIPS TO REMEMBER IN WRITING A HOME REVIEW

Photo source: https://www.okayapower.com/safety-precautions-for-your-home-inverter-inverter-battery/ People normally share what they have in mind and what they have experienced. However, one should see to it that he is sharing in reliable information in a precise way. In this ever-changing modern world, each person has different ways of showing and sharing their experiences. Whether it’s through social medias or blogs, many things could transpire with just the use of small and handy gadgets. In fact, there’s no doubt that the smartphone and PC have made reviews more popular. There are a lot of products from which consumers give their feedback to. One of which is reviews on homes. Since buying a house is a luxury, no one wants to make the wrong decision. Many people rely on the feedbacks provided to real estate agents and companies, which can easily be found on the net. The internet has made the relay of information faster. According to BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey and 2013 Dimensional Research survey, 90% of the people buy products based on the reviews they have seen on the internet. It is, therefore, both a positive and negative impact on the real estate business. So, it is crucial for consumers to know the do’s and don’ts in writing a review. THINGS YOU SHOULD DO Focus on your topic. Focus is a crucial when writing a review. Refrain from going away from the topic and stick to what you want to say. Writing a review about home also takes time, so make sure to not rush things. Be consistent and avoid being too subjective. Your review could be much help to someone who needs a perfect place to stay. Be honest when writing. Writing a review could either make or break a certain business. So always be honest on what you are going to write. Sticking to your objective is important. When you want someone to buy the house, then you have to write an honest reason as to why they should. If not, state your reasons. Share both the good and bad side. When you are honest, that means you are willing to share both the good and bad experiences you have on a certain service. You might be thinking that it could break a business. However, sharing bad feedback does not literally mean pulling others down. Being honest can give other people a real view on what is inside the house. Be constructive in giving your feedback. If there are things to follow in making a good review, there are also things which should always be avoided by bloggers and consumers. THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO Do not copy and paste. Plagiarism is a crime. When writing a review, you need to be honest about own experiences and not just merely copy from the experiences of other people. If you have not visited a certain place or home, then you might as well pay it a visit and examine the place. This way, you can provide observations from your own point of view, thus avoiding copying from other sources. If you’re not confident with your writing skills yet, you can write any review with the help an online service  https://buyessay.org/review.html. Do not review for the sake of earning rewards. Other companies provide you free stuff when you write a good review....

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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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