Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home

Ripe for the Picking: Don’t Make it Easy on Thieves to Get Inside Your Home

Although some areas might have worse crime figures than others, the fact remains that many homeowners do constantly fear a break in and the consequences of what could happen to their home when a burglar is given a free but definitely uninvited reign over the contents. Thieves tend to break down into two distinct categories, the opportunist and the professional. Both are equally as dangerous and the effect of their visit is no less disturbing, whichever grade of criminal targets your home. Most of the time, they are looking for the same thing. An easy opportunity to gain entry to your property, so it is up to you to ensure that you don’t make your home ripe for the picking. The mindset of a burglar In order to make your home an unappealing target for a burglar you have to adopt their mindset and try to look at your property they way they will, as well as anticipate when they are most likely to come calling. A home is burgled somewhere almost every 20 seconds, so you really need to be vigilant if you don’t want to add to those worrying statistics. The holiday months of July and August are the most common months for burglaries, as there is a greater chance of a property being empty while the owners are away on vacation. Daytime burglaries are more frequent than the night, with the most offenses taking place between 10am and 3pm, again in the hope that you will be at work and the kids at school. Think about whether you have closed all of the windows and doors every time you leave the property, as you never know who might be watching over your home. A broken or inadequate garage door for example, is likely to be targeted by a burglar as an easy way into your home. Walk around your property as though you were looking to break in and see where the weak points are. Look up garage door repair Las Vegas, or the area where you live, so that you can get someone to make your garage more secure, if this is an issue, and don’t be tempted to leave the garage door up for convenience, even if you are only going out for a few minutes. Home security system You may decide to invest in a home security system to protect your family and home from intruders, or it could be that you already have a system in place. There is no question that many thieves will think twice about targeting your property if they see a home security system is fitted. Many of them won’t want to take the risk of triggering an automated call to the police or a security firm who will send a patrol, so it is often worth investing in a home security system as a deterrent and for peace of mind and protection. If you already have a system, you would not be alone if you have not changed the alarm code recently, or ever, since it was fitted. The problem is that a worn keypad will soon reveal its secrets to a burglar, as regular pressing of the numbers used in your code will produce visible wear, allowing an intruder to access the sort of information that...

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Exterior Siding Choices: How to Determine the Best Look for Your Home

Exterior Siding Choices: How to Determine the Best Look for Your Home

Siding allows you to add definition, color and character to your dwelling. But with a whole host of options to choose from, it can be difficult deciding which option is right for you. Although aesthetics can be an important factor for making your choice, you also want to decide on a product that will be durable, water resistant and easy for the contractor to install. Vinyl siding The cost of a home can vary and be dependent on the amount of money that you have to spend on the structure. Vinyl siding is inexpensive, easy to maintain and versatile. It’s also one of the most popular types of siding choices across the U.S. Although some homeowners may dislike the plastic appearance of some products, there are a large number of styles and colors available that can boost your home’s appearance. Finding the right siding contractor is important too, as you want to ensure quality workmanship. Companies like St. Louis Gutter & Siding who receive A+ ratings from the Better Business Bureau are reputable businesses who have proven they can be trusted. Wood siding If you’re looking for something for your Cape Cod style house or bungalow dwelling, wood siding can provide a rich look to your home. It can also be long-lasting if you maintain it as required. To prevent the siding from becoming damaged by the weather, you may need to stain or paint it as needed. Wood can also be susceptible to rodent or insect attacks when not properly maintained. When well-maintained, wood siding can last between 12 and 100 years. Stone Siding Homeowners love the appeal of natural stones such as limestone and granite. Both beautiful and durable, stone siding can be visually appealing to your home’s exterior and add the right amount of texture. But it can also be hard to work with and more costly than the other types of siding on the market today. Before you decide on stone, you’ll want to consider the costs associated with the product. As an alternative, stone veneer siding is a synthetic and natural material for the home with an assortment of styles. It’s also easy to maintain and inspect to ensure that it will last the full life of your home. Brick siding Brick siding is constructed from genuine brick and comes in various textures and sizes. Found on Tudors, Colonial or English cottage dwellings, these exteriors provide a magnificent look that has been used for centuries and have withstood the test of time. In recent years, brick siding is typically constructed with veneer on the outer parts and mortar used to bind the bricks together. Because water can penetrate the veneers, a membrane is placed between both the house and brick to protect your home’s structure. When installed professionally, the brick can last a lifetime. Be warned that brick siding can be very labor intensive, so you will pay on the high end compared to other options of siding. Stucco siding Traditional types of stucco are made from cement, water, building sand and lime. Before stucco can be added to your home, waterproof paper and metal screening needs to be adhered to the wooden walls. This gives it the necessary protection and a good base for the walls. Although stucco has been applied to stone...

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Guide to Home Mold Growth Inspection

Guide to Home Mold Growth Inspection

Home mold inspection is important if you are planning to buy a new house. It is very hard to detect the mold manually since mold can hide in many hard to access places. You can also get your home inspected if you suspect that there is a mold problem. Usually, mold growths happen when your house has a water problem, for example hole in the roof that allows the rain to enter or a recent flooding disaster. When your house has a serious mold problem, there will be a mold smell. You may find yourself feeling sick with allergy problems which could possibly be caused by the germs spread by the mold growth. For example, you find yourself sneezing repeatedly or your eyes constantly get watered for no reason. You can ask your home inspector to do you a favor in help you in spotting for molds on the house. Many home inspectors don’t do mold inspection but they would be willing to help you if you ask about it. Home inspectors will usually inspect a lot of different places in the house. Therefore, there is a high chance that they can help you to detect the presence of mold. You can ask your home inspector to include information on mold growth on the home inspection report. Alternatively, you can hire a mold inspector to inspect the house for mold growth from water damage.  Mold inspectors are equipped with the right tools to quickly detect the mold growth in hidden spots.  These hidden moles can be located in places outside your naked eyes such as behind the pipes, ceilings, behind the walls and air conditioning ducts. You can have the mold tested to verify whether it is toxic after the mold is found. It is important not to disturb the mold growth once it is found to prevent it from spreading to other places in your home. It is recommended that you contact at least 2 mold growth inspectors and ask them to provide price quoting for their services. Most mold inspectors will work based on an hourly pay. He may charge you a fee for collecting the mold sample on the air and surface. You can find out from the inspector the number of samples that he need to take. Some inspectors will analyze the mold themselves while others will send them to the mold remediators. If the inspector send the sample to the mold remediator, you can ask about how much referral fee will be charged. If you are interested in hiring a mold inspector, make sure you ask him about his qualifications and the number of mold inspections he has done in the most recent months. You can ask the mold inspector how many years he has work in the field. The mold inspection company must possess the necessary certifications to do the work. If possible, you should ask for some references to the mold inspections done within the past year so that you can call the clients and ask them about their feedback....

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Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value

Choosing the Right Exterior Projects to Improve Your Home’s Value

When it comes to home improvement, it is often difficult to know what areas of our home we should spend our hard earned dollars on when it comes to renovation and upkeep. I’m sure you are no different than me when it comes to prioritizing projects. After I had completed nearly all of my interior projects, I had come to realize that I had all but neglected the exterior of my house and property. Maybe it’s because I have many outdoor allergies or quite possibly it could be it’s easier to tackle interior renovation projects. So a few years ago I started my research on home improvement projects that cannot only improve the value of your home but may also help you save money in other ways. The following are my findings and experiences. Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal, Curb Appeal There is no escaping the fact that spending your renovation dollars on a well thought out landscape plan can really bring everything together on the exterior. If you are selling your house, real estate experts suggest you spend 10 percent of the value of your home on sprucing up the landscape. So if you are trying to sell your home for $700,000, that would mean you should spend almost $70,000 improving your landscape. But experts also suggest spending $400 to $500 annually on projects related to the landscape could put you in a better position by the time you sell your home in the future. A strong healthy lawn always raises the appeal. And for those who do not have a green thumb, there are some great options. There is a grass seed blend called Pearl’s Premium, that claims to save time, money, energy and water. Once established, the lawn doesn’t need watering and grows so slowly that it only needs cutting once a month. The grass develops 12-inch roots making it drought-tolerant and only requires organic fertilizer to thrive. Lately, homeowners with a love of golf have installed putting greens on their property. A college friend of mine who lives in the city limits of Pittsburgh had artificial turf installed on their small cul-de-sac lot. They hired an expert to install the putting green to give them the perfect pitch to make the putting a challenge from all angles. A great complement to the artificial turf setting would be artificial vertical gardens to surround the green and lend privacy to busy street below. Not only does the artificial greenery require low maintenance, it will lower that water bill. Deciding on Siding After years of witnessing carpenter ants, carpenter bees and woodpeckers destroy the pine siding on my New England Salt Box Colonial. I looked into the value of replacing the siding. My costs came in right around the national average of $14,000 according to remodeling.hw.net. Their 2016 Cost vs. Value report also suggested siding replacement was one of the highest ranked home improvement projects. On average, homeowners were recouping nearly 77% of their costs at resale. In my case I opted for a harder cedar wood that makes it difficult for the carpenter bees to bore holes in the wood and often wears the beaks of woodpeckers so they do not hang around too long. A siding choice gaining popularity is fibre cement. Fibre cement is a mixture...

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4 Expensive packing mistakes that can break your piggybank

4 Expensive packing mistakes that can break your piggybank

Have you bought a new apartment? Are you planning to shift to your new apartment soon? If so, then you must be ready to do lots of tedious tasks. You have to move your personal possessions to another house and this itself is a huge project. It is easy to make costly mistakes when you’re doing so many things simultaneously. After all, you have so many things to take care of. It’s normal. But, it surely helps if you know about some expensive mistakes that people often make while packing up an entire house and learn how to avoid them. Here are the most common and expensive packing mistakes that people often make when shifting to another apartment. Not having a proper plan:The worst mistake is to start the packing process without having a proper plan. Take your removal boxes and fill them with big household items first. This includes your kitchen appliances and furniture. Once you’re done, shift your focus to smaller items such as clothes, accessories, books, etc Create a proper plan and follow it so that you can complete the packing process on time. If possible, create a packing calendar or schedule. Having less packing supplies: It is not an easy task to pack all your precious possessions safely. You need lots of packing supplies for this. Imagine, you have hundreds of household items but you don’t have enough removal boxes. You’ll lose so much time and money. Plus, your mental peace will be completely destroyed. Acquire enough packing supplies so that you can pack everything even at the last hour. You can get all kinds of packing supplies from your local removal company. Ask for special discounts if you purchase all the packing supplies from your local removal company. Besides the usual removal boxes, make sure you have enough packing tape, packing paper and bubble wrap. Refusing to get right help: Look at your packing plan and decide if you need a few extra hands for help. Evaluate your budget and find out if you can afford professional packers since they know how to pack number of household goods quickly and safely. If you’re working on a tight budget, then there is only one option. Ask your loyal friends to help you pack all the goods. Don’t forget to ask them to label all the removal boxes properly. Packing without sorting goods:The costliest packing mistake is to pack all the household items without sorting them out. The final relocation cost will depend upon the total weight of the entire shipment. The more stuff you pack, the more money you’ll have to pay. Plus, you need to consider the available space in your new apartment. Surely, you wouldn’t want to clutter it with unnecessary items from day one. The best tip would be optimize all the items before you initiate the packing process. Last but not the least, Another mistake that people often do is they pack forbidden items with great enthusiasm and later come to know that these things can’t be transported. Make sure you don’t do this mistake. Ask your local removal company to give you a list of forbidden items for transportation. This would mainly include explosive goods and perishable goods. If you have furry friends, ask how to move them to another apartment safely....

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Choosing a Jacuzzi Bath – Water Jets vs. Air Jets?

Choosing a Jacuzzi Bath – Water Jets vs. Air Jets?

Installing a Jacuzzi in your home is not only a smart design choice – it’s also a great boost for your health and general well being. However, when it comes to selecting the best Jacuzzi, many people struggle to decide on whether to opt for water jets or air jets as part of their Jacuzzi bath installation. Here we take a look at both types and highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages. Most Jacuzzi baths offer hydro-thermal massage options, either through the use of jetted water systems or air systems. So what do you need to know about these? Jetted water systems This is the traditional option which has been in use for many years now. However, there is an inherent problem associated with such systems, and that is hygiene. The conventional 6-jet or 8-jet hydro systems which are usually fitted along the sides of the Jacuzzi Bath function by pulling in water from the bath and aerating it before re-circulating it back into the bath, which is the jet stream the bather experiences. These jet streams provide direct hydro-massage on various parts of the body depending on the position of the bather. The problem lies in the residual water which becomes trapped in the jet system following a bath. Indeed, this is water used by the previous bather, which can lead to the buildup of grime and bacteria within the jet system. This can in turn lead to two common problems: green slime can be blown out of the jets into clean bathwater when used by the next bather; and disinfection of the jet system is a somewhat tricky affair and often is not completely successful in eradicating all traces of bacteria which have been deposited. Jetted air systems In contrast, air systems are designed to draw in air, which is then heated, before being expelled into the bath through the air jets situated around the Jacuzzi. This creates a stream of micro-sized bubbles which flow through the water agitating it in a vigorous manner and thus providing the hydro-massage effect. The air jets positioned in the sides of the bath are generally less notable than water jet nozzles. After use, air systems automatically dry and therefore there are no water deposits left in the system to cause the growth of algae or bacteria. In some designs of Jacuzzi, the heated air supplied by the pump is also used to warm up the backrest of the bath prior to being expelled through the air jets into the water. An advantage of air jetted systems is the ability to incorporate essential oils, bath salts, and even bubble bath without any adverse effect on the turbine installation of the bath. Overall, air jetted systems offer more benefits than conventional water jet systems, but most importantly, they are superbly hygienic in contrast to conventional water...

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Outdoor wall art projects – When DIY is the best way to decorate your home

Outdoor wall art projects – When DIY is the best way to decorate your home

Are you someone who has been spending majority of your time outdoors this spring? Have you been engaging yourself in lounging and gardening in this beautiful weather? The more time you spend outdoors, the more you realize how much important it is for you to take care of your outdoors just as you do with your indoors. Have you ever thought of decorating your outdoor wall? Or do you already have one, of which you’ve got bored? Now that you’re about to spend more time in your patio outside, don’t you think it is better for you to decorate the place in a unique way so that you feel good sitting down there? Instead of hiring someone professional who can help you with outdoor decor, why not try something on your own? Brush up your creative skills and try something DIY! Here are some ideas that may help you. DIY outdoor wall art made up of wood Whenever you’re thinking of working with wood outside, you should keep in mind that the material that you choose will never wear away with time, as is natural with wood. And this is perhaps the best fact that people love about using wood. You should research how your selection will hold up the elements so that you don’t have too many surprises down the road and so that you can treat the wood in a way you desire. You can try out a wooden wall sculpture creating it with recycled lumbar beams which are pretty interesting to look at. Try and install the misting system so that it serves as a practical purpose in the outdoors. You can even think of some other ways of incorporating wood into your outdoor art pieces. How about a modern wooden art piece? The work may consist of salvaged wood which is mounted on plywood which has already been treated and sealed to safeguard it from weather elements. You may even consider illuminating your patio with Outdoor Wood Marquee Letters and it is possible to customize the features with monograms of your personal choice. Outdoor wall art groupings As long as purchasing outdoor wall art is concerned, people mostly suffer from the dilemma which involves the different style of the popular sections. This specific style is quintessentially ornate which includes heavy patterns designed in wrought iron. You may also try the grouping materials as this is a clever and artistic way of creating a specific shape. How about the honeycomb wall art where you arrange the groupings in the form of a honeycomb and then use them to keep things? The spray-painted sets of drawers are fastened together and can be indeed useful. Another idea is the spray paint wall art which can lead to really colorful canvases. You can use stencils, spray paint and some other handy materials with which you can create the modern patterns. Use pre-cut metal sheeting as substitutes for the canvas if you want to make it more innovative. So, when it comes to outdoor wall art and you’re looking for some creative ideas, you may take into account the above mentioned ones. You may even seek help of an outdoor designer who can give you some expert tips on outdoor wall...

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Indoor water fountains – Are there any benefits of installing them in your home?

Indoor water fountains – Are there any benefits of installing them in your home?

Are you planning to purchase a costly canvas or sculpture for your house so that it is not only good to look at but can also spark a conversation among the guests who visit your house? But what if the sculpture doesn’t provide you any kind of benefits? It is simply useless to install things in your house that don’t offer you any kind of usefulness. Nowadays, you will find many homeowners install indoor water fountains in their room as it has got multiple benefits. Most of the homeowners who have a special choice for their homes, they keep shopping for a focal point in every room. Indoor water fountains serve as a wonderful focal point but there’s more to it. Read on the concerns of this article to know more on the advantages of installing indoor fountains. Offers a soothing environment: Hectic and chaotic are the words that they use when they describe their regular schedule. Irrespective of whether you’re a business owner or you work in a day job and come back home to start your passive job or you’re nothing but a stay-at-home parent, all you look for when you return home is a calm and soothing environment. You will be surprised to know the beautiful sound of cascading water which plays a vital role in soothing the nerves and relieving your stress. This has a phenomenal impact on your health. You get a sound sleep: Even if you’re rich enough to buy one of those large waterfalls for your living room, don’t forget to add a tabletop water or a smaller wall fountain in your bedroom. It calms your mind in such a way that you fall asleep sooner and achieve a deeper state of sleep. You will also tend to wake up more refreshed. Enhances the value of your house: Adding wall fountain in your home needs special skill and expertise. If you can install at least one in your living room or bedroom, this will add value to your house which is sometimes needed. People will undoubtedly agree to the fact that the house will look much costlier and people will tend to love your house. If you plan to sell off your home in the near future, this can help you a lot in getting a good value. Purifies the air: Running water or flowing water attracts negative ions which automatically attracts particles of dirt in the air. This entire combination pulls dirt from the air and it straight moves into the fountain where the dirt gets purified. Hence, when you have a wall fountain, it will catch dirt from the air and purify it through the flowing water. You will therefore breathe fresh air. Becomes a focal point: Every room should have a focal point and when you have water fountains installed indoor, they naturally and instantly become the main focal point of that room. As long as you’re creating a place where your eyes can rest, you can create a soothing impact through such indoor fountains. So, now that you know about the indoor fountain pros, you can make a measured and informed decision while buying it. Double the value of your home with its easy...

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Three Steps to Dealing with Water Damage at Home

Three Steps to Dealing with Water Damage at Home

Although it is essential to human life, water can be fatal to a home or other property. Water damage can result in all kinds of problems for homeowners, not just directly after the damage has been done but also in the long term, as water can cause sometimes irreparable damage to the structure of a home. From floods to leaking pipes, water damage can be a serious pain to deal with, both in the short term and the long run. If you have noticed water damage in your home no matter how big or how small, quick action is necessary to get any potential future problems under control. Follow this guide to know exactly what to do if water causes damage to your home. Finding the Source If your home has been flooded, the first thing that you’ll need to do before you start to repair the damage is clean everything up. When and how you do this will depend largely on the type of flood that is causing damage to your home. Floods can be caused naturally by heavy rain or burst river banks close to a property, or they can happen internally as a result of leaking faucets or burst pipes which have released the flow of water into your home. Before cleaning up, you will need to discover where the source of water is in order to shut it off if possible. If you can’t find the source of the flood, you should always call a professional for help. Getting Rid of Standing Water Once you have determined the source of the water and made sure that no more water will come into your home, you will need to get rid of standing water. This is one of the most important things to do after a flood in order to preserve your home, as the longer water is left in a property, the more damage it can cause for the long term. If you are dealing with a natural flood, you should wait until the flood levels are receding below your property before pumping water back out from inside. In the case of internal flooding, you should start removing standing water as soon as possible. You should use a specially designed water pump for removing any standing water. In the case of small amounts of flooding, you may find it’s possible to use a regular wet-dry vacuum cleaner. Removing Debris and Restoration Once you have ridded your home of any standing water and ensured that the source of the flood has been stopped, it’s time to start restoring your property. This is the part of cleaning up after a flood that takes the most time, as it’s often essential to completely renovate any rooms that have been effected by the flood water. You should carefully look for any water damage and determine if any long term damage has been done in order to repair it as soon as possible. Hiring a professional water damage restoration company is often an ideal choice. Have you ever been victim to a flood? Tell us about it in the...

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Being the proud owner of oak furniture – What are the silent benefits that you can reap?

Being the proud owner of oak furniture – What are the silent benefits that you can reap?

When it comes to shopping for home furniture, it can get overwhelming due to the myriad of choices that you have. Not only will you get a wide array of beautiful styles but you will also see a number of different materials being used in the set of furniture. As you’re about to invest your dollars in buying yourself furniture, you must be looking for the best quality one that can prove to be a timeless collection. With regards to the best quality, oak is definitely worth considering. Oak furniture looks beautiful, lasts for a very long time indeed and has a wide variety of benefits which you can enjoy over the years. So, if you’re a proud owner of oak furniture, read on to know the silent benefits that are associated with oak furniture. Oak is aesthetically pleasing: Oak possesses a visible grain which is the main thing that brings out the beauty of the wood. When oak gets stained, there is a contrast between its dark grains and wood which becomes a lot more obvious and beautiful. Nevertheless, even if it is not stained, it still has an extremely pleasing and surreal appearance which makes it easier to be counted among both modern and conventional decor. You need not maintain a lot: Noone wishes to spend a lot of money or time on furniture after they make their initial purchase. If you’re someone who doesn’t look forward to investing loads of money, you will be rather happy to note that you can just polish your oak furniture twice a year and keep it clean and new. This will ensure eliminating any portion which has got scratched. It’s vital for you to treat your oak furniture with case as there’s no furniture which will stay fine if you don’t take care of it. Moreover, oak lasts a long time with very little maintenance. You get the chance to choose between stain options: Oak which is unfinished usually costs less and offers the buyers with a chance to select their own varnish, stain, paint, wax or shellac. The natural oak usually comes in either white or red shades and when you use a clear finish, that always becomes an attractive deal. Owners can even choose a colored stain in order to make the wood have a unique appearance. Highly durable: Since oak is an immensely dense and hard wood which lasts for a long time, shoppers can depend on its durability while buying oak furniture. With extreme durability, the buyers can also be at mental peace as they’ll know that their furniture will stay for a long time without requiring too much investment. Therefore, if you’re wondering about the benefits of investing your dollars in items of oak furniture, you can take into account the benefits mentioned above. Oak furniture is a lifetime investment if you continue with the maintenance. Oak also adds to the beauty of your room in a very special way....

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Modern Home Furnishing that Fits Modern Lifestyle

Modern Home Furnishing that Fits Modern Lifestyle

A home furnishing is one of the things that make a house fit for living. From rugs to curtains, choosing a home furnishing should be about the homeowner’s taste, character, and lifestyle. Homeowners should assess their lifestyle to find amenities that would fit them best. There is a vast array of options available in the home furnishing market today. In choosing an accessory that perfectly fits your home, there are points to consider. It should have the style. An iconic silver multi-purpose chair instead of a plain one suggests a modernistic idea. Anything that gives space, usefulness and attraction is a good addition to the collection of modern furnishings. It could offer your home an iconic touch and give it a look of uniqueness. Modern home furnishing should have a style that looks sleek and functional. It should have an overall structural design that is based on accessibility for easy everyday living. For example, a piece of exquisitely designed furniture is not just placed on a certain spot because it looks good in there, but because it is more accessible too. It should offer comfort and functionality. A décor that serves a dual purpose, like a cute folding table and an all-in-one sofa, is an example of easily recognizable modern home furnishings. It should be made out of comfort, function and style. It must keep a home practically organized. Since work already demands a lot of time and energy, home furnishings need to be able to help the residents move around their private space with ease and be as less hassling as possible. It should add elegance to your home. Dark colors like black, grey, and blue are usually the common colors present in this kind of furnishings.  The elegance of modern home furniture is a feature necessary to achieve a modern home design. It also requires presence of straightforward furniture and dramatic modern art to complement the overall design. A sofa in different textiles with colors that complement each design is a great example of furniture that showcases elegance. It should be on trend. Whether you are decorating or renovating a house, choosing modern home furnishings is usually based on the overall design of the home itself and the innovation present in the current time. Houses equipped with necessary tools, high-end furniture, and other home products are the latest trend. You can now see homes with CCTV cameras, flat screen TVs, water beds, electric stoves, humidifier, and more. These homes usually have high security, too. However, you do not need to spend on all these home products. You only need to buy those that’ll fit your lifestyle and budget. Modern home furnishing usually appeals to city-dwellers. It’s mostly because modernized home uses a cutting-edge technology that usually complements any place’s design. These furnishings also give homeowners easy control and secured access to the house. Picking them for your home may prove to be costly, however, they are worth every penny that you give....

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An Attractive and Functional Kitchen Is the Heart of the Home

An Attractive and Functional Kitchen Is the Heart of the Home

Whether it is the place you practice your gourmet cooking or where you entertain family and friends, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. This is why when you decide to upgrade your kitchen, preserving its warmth while making it a modern marvel is your top challenge. An attractive and convenient kitchen not only benefits your daily life, it is also an investment that adds value to your home. An expert will know how to balance form and function and avoid common design mistakes. An example of a company that offers experience for kitchen renovations is Copper Creek Developments. Aesthetic Appeal The design of a kitchen should allow the cook to function smoothly and economically while presenting an attractive and harmonious appearance. From the cabinets to the backsplash, each aspect of a well-designed kitchen works as a unit. Kitchen Design Tips Even though you may want your kitchen to be a design showcase, you should put function first. It is recommended to arrange the sink, refrigerator and stove to form a triangle with up to six feet between each. This includes planning for traffic. If you have an island or table where people may sit while you are cooking, you do not want to bump into them every time you go to the fridge or sink. Plan ahead for storage. Cabinets and shelves should cover every nook and cranny, even overhead. When cabinets go right up to the ceiling, there is no space on top to collect dust and debris. With deep drawers, you can store some appliances leaving most of the countertop uncluttered. Make sure you have enough light by which to work. If the light is behind you while you stand at the counter, it will cast a shadow on your workspace. Under-cabinet lighting is ideal. Make sure all the gas or electric power sources have enough space. This includes plugs above the counter. Choose the right counter top. Granite is very popular and easy to maintain, but there are other options. Consider safety when choosing flooring and counter tops. Rounded corners and non-slip tiles are good choices. Consider ventilation for cooking odors and smoke. The best is a range hood that has a quiet fan that ventilates outdoors. Recycling is part of daily life, and you can organize your trash receptacles for separating glass, plastic and paper right in your kitchen. You may have built-in bins that pull out or a garbage container hidden behind a door. Popular Trends in Kitchen Design For years white was the most popular kitchen color. It gives light and looks clean. Today, gray and pale blue are becoming more popular as the top kitchen cabinet color. Environmentally safe products are another trend that is here to stay. It includes formaldehyde-free table and island tops and energy efficient appliances among other things. Technology in the kitchen is another trend that may be here to stay. The latest innovations include Wi-Fi enabled appliances and features that can be controlled on your smartphone. When you are ready to upgrade and redesign your kitchen, it is wise to consult a renovation specialist who will give attention to the details that matter for your lifestyle. An experienced kitchen renovation specialist will be able to show you all your options to...

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Some Very Important Architectural Considerations to Make

Some Very Important Architectural Considerations to Make

If you are involved in a construction project, you will come to a point where you have to think about the esthetics as well. This is where you may start looking for form liners, because these often help you to blend things in with their natural surroundings. There are actually two different types of form liner materials available, each of which has their own pros and cons, not in the least in terms of how much it costs and how it affects the concrete finish overall. Let’s take a look. Plastic and Urethane Most of the time, form liner is made from either plastic or urethane (or a derivative therefore). There are some really big differences between these two, including but not limited to: Finish and texture (deflection, depth of relief and realism) Overall project cost Reuse capability Let’s take a look at the first point (finish and texture) in particular. Finish and Texture Both materials create a surface that is textured. However, they end result looks very difference: Urethane walls have tremendous detail, which makes it look like real stone. Plastic, by contrast, is a bit more diffused and their relief cannot be greater than 1.7”. This is caused by the production process during which the raw materials are used. During production, liquid urethane is actually applied to real stone. This means that every line and contour of the original stone is repeated in the urethane form line. With plastic, a hard sheet is heated to make it pliable and it is then formed in a mold. Plastic is only able to pick up the most basic and prominent textures. Clearly, urethane is far more realistic than plastic. However, if all you need is a basic texture, and not necessarily something that looks like a real thing, then you may want to opt for plastic, which is more affordable. But in projects where realism is key, urethane is the way to go. The second major visible difference between the two is the joint or seam that happens at the point of connection of two form liners. Plastic is almost always sold in rectangular sheets. This leaves very predictable patterns, which means designers have to come up with ways to disguise that to a degree. With urethane, however, the parts can be made in different sizes and shapes. This means that only the grout joints become visible as well. Third and finally, plastic deflects on concrete. Even if the job site has added some wood baking, urethane is simply stronger than plastic. Plastic will eventually bulge on the concrete, as well as being susceptible to thermos-expansion. The bigger the wall itself is, the more stress would be placed on form liner as well, which means there is a bigger chance of it buckling. Clearly, urethane is a better material when it comes to texture and finish. However, it is also significantly more expensive. This is, unfortunately, a major consideration for most...

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Comfortable Elegant and Stunning for Your Bathroom

Comfortable Elegant and Stunning for Your Bathroom

Bathrooms always currently being favorite place for people as this can be the place that will make you feel relax, fresh so you start your morning with this particular spot of your home. So it is very necessary that your starting up be happy adequate to make your day. It should not make you feel claustrophobic and stuffy. Bathrooms could be produced a luxurious place with stunning bathroom designs. Now day’s trend of frameless shower screens is increasing day by day as it provides an exclusive and different look to bathrooms. These screens are available in amazing styles and designs which might design your bathroom inside the way you’ve got imagined it in mind. Frameless shower screens would be the glass planks that are fitted in bathrooms to make your showering region aloof from the complete bathroom. This assists to keep your bathrooms clean and tidy. As your showering region gets confined, water could not spill out hence keeping complete bathroom dry and hygienic. As these screens usually do not have frames you will find no cervices to gather filth and dust, so they’re risk-free and very easy to preserve cleanliness in them. Glass provides a bigger spacious feel so that your little bathroom can even look massive and impressive. It allows light to enter in so doesn’t lead to any suffocation providing your bathroom an area to breathe. Numerous color choices make companies bathroom shower screens from Sydney for your bathrooms. Color can do wonders in making a factor good, poor or best. So choose matching colors for hinges and glass panes as well as in accordance to bathroom interiors. Getting a bit expensive, it is primarily popular in elite section of society. This really is very simple and comfortable way to give an elegant and stunning look to your bathrooms. With their aesthetic look and breath taking characteristics you cannot ignore its benefits. If you’re planning to adopt attractive shower screens for your bathrooms, initial make yourself positive on the safety of glass quality because safety of your loved ones is all above the design and look. Go for your customized and quality fittings. You’ll be able to also order any model online, they are going to deliver your product with installation suggestions which it is possible to do for yourself or phone any local person. Any product you order, include a guarantee or possibly a limited warranty....

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Cables, Springs and Rollers: Garage Door Fixes That Are Not DIY

Cables, Springs and Rollers: Garage Door Fixes That Are Not DIY

Some garage door problems can be easily fixed with a little bit of glue and sealer. Other problems need the help of a professional. Here’s how to tell when your DIY skills won’t cut it. When A Cable Breaks Cables in your garage door help guide it to open and close properly. When a cable breaks, you’ve got a bigger problem than you probably realize. These cables are under a lot of tension, and can be very risky to fix yourself. It usually takes experience and a lot of skill to repair them. So, call in an expert to do the job for you. Replacing a Panel Garage door panels make up the front facia of the door. Usually, you don’t have to mess with them. But, if you have kids, or maybe just live in a neighborhood where accidents seem to always happen to your home and garage, then you may end up with a dented or broken panel one day. Seems like a simple fix. You take out the old panel and install a new one. But, it’s not a simple fix. You see, most garage door panels aren’t a “pop out/pop in” affair. And, even if you can get the panel in and out without a lot of problem, you want to know why it was damaged. Garage panels provide more than eye-pleasing aesthetics. They also help form the structure of the door and the insulation as well. This is important when you rely on your garage to house valuables like Christmas boxes, tools, and your vehicles. Replacing The Rollers The rollers in your garage door can bend or break pretty easily. Eventually, it’s going to happen, and you’re going to be faced with a choice. You can do it yourself or you can hire a pro. Well, most people would be better off hiring a pro and here’s why: Without the help of a professional, you’ll risk hurting yourself trying to get the new rollers in. Most people can get rollers out. It’s getting them back in that’s a problem on most doors. Save yourself the time, headache, and injury. Hire a professional. Replacing The Spring Even if you’re super-handy around the house, you’re not going to want to mess with the garage door spring. Even professionals have a tricky time with them. That’s because the unassuming spring turns into a high velocity projectile under tension. And, if it’s not installed properly, it can seriously injure, maim, or kill someone. So, call in a pro and visit www.garagedoorservice.com/garage-door-repair/ for details. A Bent Track This is probably the most frustrating thing that can happen to your garage door. When your door moves up and down, it does so in a track that helps guide the movement. The door sits in this track, which can become bent if someone or something runs into it. When a track bends or breaks, your door isn’t going to move very smoothly. Sometimes, the door won’t open or close at all. So, you need to bring someone in to replace it. A lot of people try to do this themselves, and they fail miserably because it’s a lot harder than it looks. What You Can Do Yourself: Maintenance While there are many repairs you probably shouldn’t do yourself, there are a...

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Ways to Make the Exterior of Your Property More Attractive to Buyers

Ways to Make the Exterior of Your Property More Attractive to Buyers

If you are planning on putting your house up for sale soon, you may be thinking about the many ways that you can improve your property in order to make it as attractive as possible to the highest number of buyers possible. After all, doing so will help you sell your house at a higher price and in a shorter amount of time so you can move on to your next home. What are the best ways to make the exterior, in particular, of your home more attractive to buyers so that you can increase its curb appeal and entice people to look inside? Check out the tips below. Get Everything Clean One of the best ways to immediately upgrade the way your house looks is by cleaning throughout the exterior. Remove any clutter on your front lawn, and make it a point to wash away mildew, dust, and dirt from the exterior of the building using a soft-bristled, long-handled brush and eco-friendly soapy water. Then wash all of your windows both inside and out so that they shine, and don’t forget to also clean your garage door. Update the Front Door An attractive, new door could really change the entire façade of your home. So if your door is looking dated, have it replaced. Overall, your door should be modern, it should match the rest of the exterior appearance of your home rather than clash with it, and it should be well insulated. Make Repairs to Your Roof Cleaning out the gutters and your roof is another step you can take to make your home appear more attractive to buyers. But also inspect your roof thoroughly for any problems so that you can have them repaired. For example, if you have shingles that need to be replaced, invest in the repairs now so that buyers can’t hold it against you when they place an offer on your home. Upgrade Your Garage Door In addition to upgrading your front door, if necessary, you should also take an objective look at your garage door. Should it be replaced? Will it look modern and attractive if it is cleaned, or would a brand new garage door from a company like www.thegaragedoorcompany.ltd.uk add even more value to your home? After all, simply changing the door to your garage can make it look so much better than it did before, so definitely take this into consideration. Hire Professional Landscapers Don’t have a green thumb? Then hiring professional landscapers is key to transforming your front lawn and making it as attractive as it can be. Homebuyers love properties that have been landscaped with gorgeous plants and large trees, so investing in this aspect of your property will definitely be worthwhile, particularly since this is the first thing that homebuyers will see when they pull up to your home. With the tips above, you are sure to increase your home’s curb appeal and attract more buyers who will be excited to see what else your home has to...

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Waterlogged: Preventing and Handling a Homeowner’s Worst Nightmare

Waterlogged: Preventing and Handling a Homeowner’s Worst Nightmare

A burst pipe or broken appliance can leave your home a wet, moldy disaster. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent such a disaster from ever happening. In this article are tips for preventing expensive water damage. You’ll also learn how to minimize water damage that has already occurred. Preventing Water Damage Perform the following basic maintenance steps to prevent leaks and water damage. Fix leaks right away Moisture damage can lead to the growth of mildew, mold, or dry rot, which can cause structural damage to your home. Most homeowner’s insurance companies will refuse to cover damage caused by negligence or failure to properly maintain the home. Fix any leaks you find immediately. Invest in a water detector – a small electronic device that alerts you when it detects moisture. water detection devices can be placed near water heaters, toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines to monitor moisture levels and prevent mold growth Check your water bill If your water consumption has suddenly gone up without explanation, you probably have a leak in the home. Investigate the house thoroughly for leaks. Check your water pressure Setting water pressure too high can cause pipes and hoses to burst. Keep water pressure between 40 to 70 psi to prevent damage to pipes and hoses. Clean gutters and downspouts Cleaning your gutters prevents blockages and ice dams from forming. Downspouts should be cleared of blockages regularly, and pointed away from the home. Maintain trees and shrubs A beautifully landscaped property adds to your home’s curb appeal, but if trees and shrubs are planted too close to utility pipes, the roots can wrap around the pipes and damage them. Avoid landscaping around utility pipes, and remove any trees or shrubs that have grown too big. Disconnect garden hoses Still water in a hose can freeze and expand into the pipe, creating an ice block. If this happens, your water will stop flowing. If too much unreleased water pressure builds up, your pipes could burst and damage your home’s foundation, floors, and walls. According to the Insurance Information Institute, one in 55 homeowners makes a property damage claim due to water freezing each year. Maintain your appliances Check your appliances occasionally for leaks. Replace your washing machine hose regularly. An old washing machine hose can become brittle and start to leak. If a washer with a faulty hose causes a flood, your homeowner’s insurance policy is unlikely to cover the resulting damage to your property. I Already Have Water Damage. Now What? If your home has flooded, here are a few things you can do to minimize the damage. Turn off the water. This may seem obvious, but in your rush to clean up overflowed water, you might forget to perform this step. If a toilet, appliance, or water supply line is leaking, shut off the water to the appliance. If you can’t find a shutoff valve on the fixture or appliance, you’ll need to turn off the main water valve to the home. Protect the home. After shutting off the water, place buckets in places with active leaks. Move valuable items and light pieces of furniture to a dry place. You may also want to put a tarp over the floor of the affected area. Contact your insurance provider. Report...

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Guide to Buying Mid-Century Modern Homes in San Diego

Guide to Buying Mid-Century Modern Homes in San Diego

Unlike many areas of the country, the San Diego real estate market isn’t known for newly constructed homes. Instead buyers have a much larger selection of mid-century modern homes from the 1950s and 1960s across many of the city’s neighborhoods. The style really took off after World War II when San Diego was growing. Some of the greatest architects and developers of the time, including Lloyd Ruocco and Joseph Eichler, have made their mark in San Diego. But many more lesser known builders also created stunning mid century modern homes in San Diego with a much lower price tag. Now that these homes are 50+ years old buyers have to make special considerations before putting in an offer. The list below outlines what to look for to find a truly unique home that’s a part of San Diego history and worth the list price. Homes With Mid Century Modern Features Over the years some mid century modern homes were updated, which detracted from the characteristic features that the style is known for. Most of the time updates are a good thing, but when buying mid century modern homes the more original it is the better. Some of the features to look for include: ·  High ceilings with beams ·  Floor to ceiling windows that connect the indoor and outdoor living spaces ·  Birch wood panels and accents ·  Natural construction materials ·  Open living spaces ·  Skylights ·  Atriums There are also distinct landscaping features such as Phyllostachys aurea bamboo that were common when mid century modern homes were first built. Since the design focused on blending the outdoors with the indoors, the outside living space is just as important as what’s inside. Electrical System Considerations in Mid Century Modern Homes Fortunately, by the 1950s complete electrical systems were the norm in newly built homes. However, the electrical needs of a home 50 or 60 years ago was far less than what it is today. You’ll need to take a look at the electrical panel. It was common decades ago for the main service panel to only be rated for 60-100 AMPs. If that’s the case the home may need an electrical system upgrade, especially if there are more than a few people living in the home. A second issue to consider is the safety of the electrical system. Most systems weren’t grounded back in the 1950s and 1960s. A telltale sign of this is electrical outlets that only have two prong holes. If this is the case you’ll definitely want to consider upgrading the system, which is typically at least a few thousand dollars. Another thing to look out for is the number of outlets. The lack of outlets will probably be most notable in the kitchen where families used to only have a toaster sitting on the countertop. If you’re upgrading the system adding GFCI receptacles will improve the safety. Older Heating and Cooling Systems, Plus Insulation Buyers in San Diego are fortunate that the temperate climate makes aging heating and cooling components less of an issue compared to other regions. Many of the city’s mid century modern homes still have their original furnaces. If you don’t plan to use it then it can just stay where it is. But if you do want extra heat on...

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A Silent Storm: Things That Could Be Living in Your Home’s Air Ducts

A Silent Storm: Things That Could Be Living in Your Home’s Air Ducts

Most people don’t give the air ducts in their homes much thought. But, they can host some terrible, unhealthy, things like mold, dirt, dust, insects, bacteria and viruses, and animals. Here’s how to keep those ducts clean so you and your family stay healthy. What Cleaning And Inspecting Can Do For You Many people wonder whether they should get their ducts cleaned and why it’s necessary. Indoor air quality is something many businesses and homeowners have wondered about for years. Ducts that are really dirty need to be cleaned semi-regularly. The EPA recommends cleaning ducts if and when they are contaminated. Many HVAC companies recommend cleaning ducts regularly, perhaps once a year or once every other year. For example, an air conditioning unit could be cleaned in the spring, before summer hits. This would prep the system for cooling all summer long. Most HVAC companies will come out to your home to perform a basic inspection prior to cleaning. Then, they will pull apart some of the HVAC to inspect it, clean out any debris, inspect the condenser, coils, and fan unit. In the fall, before winter, your HVAC contractor would come out to clean the system again to prepare it for the cold. If there are any problems found, the company would recommend repairs or replacement of the broken parts. If a new system is needed, the company would also recommend and install a new model. When To Get Your System Professionally Cleaned If you believe the EPA, you don’t need your duct system cleaned and maintained outside of a normal cleaning when things get dirty. But, where the EPA and duct renovation, energy efficiency specialists in the industry agree is that HVAC systems should probably be cleaned when: You have animals. When you have an invasion of rats, mice, or other little critters, it’s a good idea to clean it out – the whole thing. Your HVAC system won’t work properly, and waste products from rodents could make your family sick. Flexible ducts should be sealed off and replaced as there may be damage or debris in the which cannot be cleaned or repaired. You renovate the place. Anytime you renovate your home, you should take precautions to prevent dust and other contaminants, from getting into the air. For example, if you are planning to have lead or asbestos removed, you need to seal off the ducting system so that lead particles, and fine asbestos fibers, are not pulled into the HVAC system and circulated throughout the house. There is mold. Mold spores are everywhere. You can’t stop them. But, you can minimize the risk they pose to your family by having your HVAC system checked when you suspect there may be mold growth. If you see signs of mold in the house, it’s time to have the system checked and cleaned. If you do suspect mold, have your whole house checked, and go to your doctor for testing to see if you’re experiencing any of the side effects of mold poisoning (toxins released by mold). There are contaminants. If you notice debris, pet hair, odors, or anything else being released into the room through the air ducts, you may need to hire a professional to come in and clean the entire system. Someone is ill. When...

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That 70’s Home: Using Retro Decor to Make Every Room Pop

That 70’s Home: Using Retro Decor to Make Every Room Pop

The 70s are back.  With so many new trends popping up all over the place, from fashion to automobiles and even the continuing phablet trend in smartphones, it’s surprising that the 1970s are making a comeback when it comes to home decor. If you’ve secretly waited your whole life for this era to return, here’s how to make your home groovy again. Use Colors In Small Doses In the 1970s, kitchens were a splash of chrome amidst a sea of color. Oranges, greens, yellows, and browns – you remember that, right? Well, if you’re shopping Ikea, you can get the Orange Vilmar chair and bring it all back to life. Of course, be prepared for funny looks from your friends. When redecorating, it’s probably a good idea to stick to “pops” of color, rather than an entire makeover. In other words, keep the walls of the house light or white, and use the bright chairs to accent the softness of the room. Break Out The Bean Bags Fombag bean bags make a statement, and they’re not that expensive. You remember bean bags, right? Well, now you can outfit your living room or game room with them. No, they’re not going to replace a couch (unless you’re single), but they are a lot of fun, and great seats for kids or for when you just want a place to curl up and read a book. Most bags range from between £50 and £250, but larger bags can cost £400 or more. Still, if you’re looking for something small, it’s going to cost you less than a comparable chair. Make A Statement In The Bedroom We’re talking big, bold, prints here (get your mind out of the gutter). For a retro chic look, you can’t go wrong outfitting your bed with Scribble Stem bedding. At just £28, it’s an affordable way to bring back vintage colors. You could also incorporate  matching duvet covers, pillowcases, and throw pillows. Bring Back The Rock Walls Another popular theme in the 1970s was glam rock. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is in a nutshell: Glam rock was a particular type of music that was popular back then. Inspired themes bled over into wallpaper, which was also popular. Designs varies, with most of them being quite busy. But, that was the style. “Do The Stretch Mustard” is one throwback that’s busy enough to keep you interested, but not so busy that you will regret your life decision. Inspired Country Cottage Kitchen Not everything from the ‘70s was colorful and glitzy. Some of the pieces from that time were about appreciating craftsmanship and rediscovering the past. Pine furniture took off during this time because it was inexpensive and could be handcrafted. By the end of the decade, the pine dresser was a staple in most households. This two-piece dresser is an example of styling that you would use to recreate this look. A Sunburst Clock This was actually pretty popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. But, because the styling was so fashion-forward, it remained a staple in many homes well into the ‘70s. No kitchen wall was complete without a sunburst clock. And, you can get your very own: the Newgate Pluto Wall Clock. A Decadent Chair The Statesman Chair was launched in 1960,...

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4 Types of Items that can be Keeping Your Home Unclean

4 Types of Items that can be Keeping Your Home Unclean

Most people would love to have a super clean home, and many probably assume that their home is actually extremely clean. However, what most people fail to realize is that a clean home goes beyond what the untrained eye can see. A number of items in your home may actually be keeping it unclean. If you want to truly experience a clean house, you need to be aware of the following. HVAC You can’t see the air in your home, but it’s possibly riddled with dirt, dust, and bacteria. Even if you vacuum or have an air purifier, dirt and dander can get into your HVAC system and your air ducts, which allows them to travel throughout your home freely. Luckily, there are measures you can take to eliminate this hidden dirt. The first thing you should do is ensure that you have a HEPA filter on your furnace. This will trap more dirt and dust particles and keep them from traveling throughout your home. You should also call a professional HVAC technician and allow them to inspect your central air system or clean your ductwork. This too will help remove the hidden dirt and keep your home clean.   Knobs There are more knobs and handles in your home than you realize, and chances areyou can’t remember the last time you cleaned them. However, items like the kitchen cabinet handle or the bathroom door knob are touched more often than you think, which means that germs and bacteria are constantly being placed on and transferred from these areas. The next time you clean your home, make it a point to wipe down knobs and handles to keep bacteria and germs from spreading. Pet Toys and Beds If you have pets, you know how much of a pain it can be to clean up after them. However, even if you vacuum your floors and brush and wash your pet, your furry friend could still be the culprit of an unclean home. The reason? You probably don’t clean their toys or their beds often (or at all), which means these items harbor dust, dander, and a variety of other unclean particulates. Make sure you start washing your pet’s bed at least once a week, and try to remember to wash pet toys in hot water every week or two to keep them—and your home—clean. Gadgets In a world run by technology, we all have a variety of gizmos and gadgets spread about our homes. But how often do you actually clean them? Think about how often you type on your computer, scroll on your tablet, or click the remote. Then, think about how many other people do the same? Germs and bacteria are resting on the gadgets in your home and sometimes being spread around. Make sure you wipe these items down regularly in order to keep your home clean. Keep Your Eyes Peeled Having a clean home is more than just vacuuming and dusting the obvious areas. There are plenty of places that you likely overlook that could be hosting bacteria and dirt. Try tostay aware of these dirty areas and make it a point to clean them for a spotless home.  ...

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No Regrets: A Step-by-Step Mini-Guide for Painless Downsizing

No Regrets: A Step-by-Step Mini-Guide for Painless Downsizing

Most people see having a large home in a positive light, but it doesn’t always make sense when financial, social or personal circumstances and goals change. Downsizing provides a more than adequate solution, often getting individuals on course for the life they truly want. A preparatory look at the advantages and process of downsizing can get you into your smaller home without painful regrets. What Downsizing Offers When you bite the bullet and downsize your property, you’ll reap a long list of benefits. For starters, you’ll keep more money in your wallet. Smaller properties typically are cheaper in terms of rent or mortgage payments, and they also can mean reduced heating or other utility costs. Additional savings can come from reduced maintenance requirements, as there’s not as much to keep in shape. Some homeowners find that they profit because they don’t fall prey to the “big plate” phenomenon–just as people feel compelled to fill large dinnerware with more food than they would with a smaller plate, individuals occasionally overspend in an effort to decorate or fill a larger property. Secondly, as you downsize, you make decisions about what really matters to you. You get rid of “junk” you don’t use through recycling, sale, donation or trash, and you keep only the items that have some significance or purpose. With fewer pieces around you dividing your attention, it’s much easier to appreciate what you have, connecting to a fuller sense of being and direction in your life. The lack of clutter also contributes to easier focus in everyday tasks, which can end up saving you time or improving results. Downsizing can reduce the amount of stress you feel, both in the short and long term. For example, the financial savings downsizing yields might let you put more money into your investments, boosting your confidence about your retirement years. Having less to clean, maintain and arrange for also frees up time, which means you can pursue activities that are fulfilling and relaxing to you. This includes spending time with the people you love. You might also find that downsizing opens up your creativity. A smaller space might require you to organize yourself in innovative ways, for example. You also might decorate in ways you otherwise wouldn’t to bring out the best of your new home, experimenting with a more urban or eclectic approach to your décor. Lastly, downsizing can be an excellent path to travel freedom. Smaller homes usually come with less to arrange for, and there often is less of a need to stick around for significant periods of time. If you’ve ever had the itch to see the world, saying goodbye to a large property might literally give you the ticket to see new horizons. Steps to Going Small You shouldn’t start downsizing unless you’re absolutely sure you’re committed to it. Thus, the first step in the process is to make a list of goals–that is, identify for yourself exactly what you want to accomplish, such as being able to concentrate on family. This tactic will keep you centered when uncertainties, delays or other difficulties arise. Then go through your house and make a list of all the belongings and documents you consider as being in line with those goals. These are the items and pieces of paperwork you...

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