Search Results for: home maintenance

4 Easy Ways To Cut The Cost of Home Maintenance

A gorgeous, cozy, comfy and spotlessly clean household doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes dedication and regular maintenance. Everyone in the household needs to chip in and do their part to keep the home in perfect condition at all times. Yet, while household maintenance is much easier when everyone is doing their part, it can become expensive. While most households account for basic maintenance costs as part of their home budgeting, it’s still a good idea to look for ways in which you can drive down the cost of keeping a gorgeous home. Here are just a few ways in which you can do just that…

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Make your own cleaning products


Look under the average kitchen sink and you’ll doubtlessly see a plethora of different cleaning products. You’ll see surface wipes. Kitchen surface cleaners, bathroom surface cleaners, floor cleaner and all kinds of polishes and treatments for wooden surfaces. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we need all manner of cleaning products to keep our homes clean, safe and sanitary but the truth is that many of these cleaning products are superfluous (not to mention lousy for the environment). The truth is that most products can be cleaned by making your own basic surface cleaner. A solution of equal parts water and spirit vinegar combined with a slice of lemon or some essential oils for a clean, fresh scent will be enough to clean most surfaces. A combination of olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar can make an effective polish for wooden furniture. Drive down costs while making your home greener. It’s a win-win!


Service your equipment


When essential equipment like your home’s boiler or HVAC unit develop faults, repairing them can be costly and disruptive. While servicing them may result in a little upfront cost, it will pale in comparison to the cost of a repair. As such, it’s vital to ensure that your equipment is serviced on an annual basis by a registered professional. The costs you bear for servicing will ensure that you get the most out of your equipment for years to come.


Double up on your hired help


Developing a great relationship with your hired help gives you peace of mind and value. It lets you know that when something goes wrong in the home you have access to a skilled professional who can fix it. What’s more, doubling up on your hired help can usually save you money. For example, Mesa Plumbing are also registered HVAC technicians so that you get a plumber and an AC servicing specialist in one. What’s more, striking up a good relationship with a general handyman or woman in your area can ensure that you get the best rates on a wide range of home maintenance services.


Swap out costly room deodorizers for essential oils


Finally, in making our homes appear clean and fresh let comfortable and cozy, scent is as important as sight. However, you can save money by getting rid of costly plug-in room deodorizers (also terrible for the environment and not great for your health). Instead, use a simple room diffuse and some essential oils in every room to make your home smell gorgeous without spending a  fortune or harming the environment.

Keeping on Top of Your Home Maintenance Duties

Maintaining your property is absolutely essential for any homeowner. Not only for the sake of the building’s appearance but for the sake of its longevity and value too. You’d be surprised how many people allow their houses to become rundown and dilapidated. But when you see a rough around the edges property, you often assume that it’s seen centuries of neglect. The truth is that it doesn’t take all too long for a brand new property to begin looking haggard and worse for wear. In the space of less than a decade, you can see significant changes not only in a home’s aesthetic but also its functionality. The final problem? As well as being an uncomfortable home that you are unlikely to be able to relax in, your home will become profoundly less attractive to potential buyers, so you will also have trouble selling it on and moving on to new pastures. Here are a few things you can do to keep on top of your home and make it the best space possible.


Keeping an Eye on Sewerage


You may think that once something is flushed down the toilet or goes down the drain, it is out of sight and out of mind. But this isn’t necessarily true. Blockages can wreak all sorts of havoc, resulting in overflowing toilets, shower basins overspilling and sinks filling up while you are attempting to clean your teeth. Needless to say, this is inconvenient and will pose problems in your daily routines. The first step around this issue: prevention. Remember that prevention is better than cure and it is often much easier to prevent blockages rather than attempting to clear them once they’ve established themselves. Avoid flushing cotton buds and wet wipes down the toilet and only use the necessary amount of toilet tissue; try not to let hair escape down the shower drain by using tangle teasing brushes that will hold lost hair and removing hair caught in the drain’s guard and placing it in the bin rather than pushing it down. Not only are these steps likely to prevent blockages, but they have the bonus of being environmentally friendly. If you do experience problems, immediately contact a professional who will be able to carry out Sewer Line Locating, cleaning and spot repairs.


Resolving Electrical Problems


Accidents happen and sometimes light fixtures are knocked out of place, plugs become jammed in their sockets or a hole in the wall exposes the wiring. Regardless of the type of electrical issue in your home, it’s essential that you repair it as quickly as possible to prevent potentially life-threatening incidents. Never attempt to fix any electrical faults yourself and call in a trained and professionally qualified electrician. These individuals will be able to rectify the situation in the fastest and safest manner possible.


Giving the Walls a Lick of Paint


Many people mistakenly assume that they should only paint the walls of their home if they are opting for a new color or shade in the room. But walls become dirty over time and paint can fade. So if you think things need freshening up, don’t hesitate to add another coat of the same shade to freshen things up a bit. This can go for your home’s exterior too.


Follow these steps and your home will be well on its way to looking fresh, clean and well kept at all times!

Maintaining Your Home in the New Year

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It’s 2021 and most of us are spending more time in our homes than ever before. Governments around the world are advising that people stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of coronavirus and Covid-19, which have been wreaking havoc around the world for almost a year now. Of course, if you’re going to spend more time at home, you’re going to want to make sure that your home is in the best condition that it can possibly be in. This will involve some serious home maintenance, but it is doable. Here are some steps to take to help make sure your home is in the best condition possible at all times!


Resolving Issues with Your Property Early On


Everyone experiences some sort of issue with their property at some point. At the end of the day, we use our homes a lot and there are going to be cases where things wear down, break, or when your home lets elements or animals from the outside in. Whenever you identify a problem with your home, it’s absolutely essential that you tackle it as quickly and effectively as possible. All too many people will attempt to sweep problems under the carpet until they’re causing serious damage or disruption. This is illogical. Tackling issues early on means you have a small and cheaper problem to deal with. When you tackle issues later on, they are often more difficult to resolve and will take more time and cost more money to resolve. If you have a leaky tap or a blocked drain, call a plumber. If you have a cracked window, call a glazier. If you have a small crack or hole in the roof, call a roofer. If you have animals in your home (such as mice, squirrels or other animals) bear in mind that they are only trying to survive. You could call an exterminator, but it’s generally best to take as humane an approach as possible, identify where the animals are getting in and block it, identify why animals are coming in (often open food sources) and remove it and they will eventually leave of their own accord. You also need to check whether the animal is protected or endangered, as you may not legally be able to move them if they are.


Carrying Out a Deep Clean


Once problems are resolved, it’s time to look into deep cleaning your home. Of course, there are chores we all carry out on a day to day basis. These are simple and don’t take too long .Washing the dishes. Wiping down kitchen surfaces. Dusting. Sweeping. Mopping. Vacuuming. But every so often you should be doing a deep clean too. Cleaning the carpets with a carpet cleaner. Wiping down the skirting boards. Dusting less used areas. This will really help your home to shine!


These are just a few suggestions that can get the ball rolling when it comes to maintaining a wonderful home. Hopefully, the advice will come in useful!

Strange Noises In Your Home That You Shouldn’t Ignore

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Is your home making strange noises? Odd sounds could be signs of problems that require an urgent fix. Below are just a few strange noises to be wary of.

Drip! Drip! Drip!

A dripping sound indoors is never good. It’s possible that it could be a leaky tap or a broken pipe – by calling the help of plumbers you can get this easily fixed. Alternatively, it could be the sound of rainwater leaking in somewhere. You could have a crack in your roof or in a wall that needs sealing. If you hear the dripping but don’t see it, you could even find that it’s happening within the walls. A leak detection specialist may be able to find it.

Whistling windows

Is your window creating a whistling sound? It’s likely the sound of the wind coming through. Windows that are closed shouldn’t be letting in wind and you could find that the window isn’t fitted properly. A window installation company may be able to help solve the problem.

Buzzing outlets

Buzzing sounds coming from electrical outlets are definitely not a good sign. Wiring may be loose and it could pose a fire risk. If you notice this sound, it’s worth hiring an electrician immediately to take a look.

Scratching in the walls

Scratching in the walls is an alarming sound. It’s almost always caused by rodents – there could be rats or mice living within the walls. Rodents are most common in older properties. A pest control service may be able to take a look and help get rid of the infestation. Occasionally, scratching sounds may be caused by birds or bats that have got into a cavity wall or attic – something that a pest control service may also be able to solve.

Bubbling in pipes

Gurgling plumbing could be the result of a blockage in your pipes. Boilers and radiators can also produce gurgling sounds, which could be the result of trapped air or sediment. You can bleed radiators yourself to stop the bubbling sounds – however most other bubbling sounds will usually require the help of a plumber.

Banging in pipes

Banging sounds in pipes are usually caused by water hammer. Pipes usually have air chambers in them to help prevent water slamming against the valves after turning off a faucet. It’s possible that these air chambers could be filled with water. You can fix this by shutting off the water supply and draining all the taps in your home to help allow air to refill these chambers.

Strange furnace noises

If your home furnace is making banging, squealing or hissing sounds, it could be a sign of a problem. Loud booms and rattles are the most serious sounds – if you hear these noises, you should call a professional immediately, as it could be a delayed ignition or a carbon monoxide problem. Unusual clicking, buzzing or whistling sounds are usually not as serious, but should still be checked out. Annual furnace maintenance could prevent such problems from occurring in the future.

4 Mental Blocks That Stop You From Buying Your Dream Home

4 Mental Blocks That Stop You From Buying Your Dream Home

What stands between you and your dream home?


Most people would answer: Money. However, as surprising as it might sound, it isn’t the right answer. A lot of people continue to rent out properties because they let mental blocks stand in between them and home ownership. Becoming a homeowner is a commitment in time and finances. Yet, it is far from being an impossible dream. Your perception of difficulties, obstacles, and your abilities to defeat those plays a significant role in making your dream come true. Nevertheless, mental blocks are nothing but bad excuses that we use to convince ourselves we can’t buy a home. It’s time for your wake up call! 

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Building a new home is easier than you think

Prospective homeowners are always on the look for affordable properties that meet their criteria. Many believe that the purchase of an old house could be a cost-effective solution in an effort to save money. However, if you consider the maintenance, improvement, and repair costs, the price tag could be a lot different from what’s advertised. On the other hand, house and land packages in Hunter or other locations offer a sustainable approach into designing the home you want from scratch. Additionally, building it right from the start will always be cheaper than trying to fix the old and make it fit your needs. 


Debt happens, but it’s not a fatality

Managing your finances in a tricky situation, such as during a pandemic, is challenging. Millions of individuals face high credit card debts, as they’ve been furloughed or laid off for months. Clearing debt takes time, but with specialist advisors, you can create a sustainable strategy to manage and eliminate your debt. Money lenders check your credit score when you apply for a mortgage. While eliminating debt is a long-term process, an effective debt management plan can work in your favor. 


We belong to a rooted generation

People don’t relocate as often as they used to. In the US, one of the countries in the world that used to have the highest relocation rate, the new generation of homeowners stay rooted in their communities. It’s a global trend. Why don’t we move? Because we don’t need to anymore. With more and more digital technologies around, professionals can work from anywhere. As a result, many believe they should stay close to their roots. In truth, digital technology can also be a part of your relocation plan, as it bridges the gap with your community. Yes, you can move to the seaside or embrace your dreams of a countryside home without losing touch with your roots! 


It needs the parental seal of approval

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t. It’s your home and the place where you are free to express your style. In no way does it need to be an extension of your parents’ or friends’ interior decors. Creating a home that you are proud of means you shouldn’t have to worry about what other people say or think about it. The secret to a home sweet home that everybody will love begins when you feel it is a true representation of who you are. 


As a prospective homeowner, you need to start your journey with a clear mind. There will be obstacles and challenges to overcome, such as saving the money for your deposit. However, you can’t afford to let your mental blocks stand in your way! 

5 Benefits Of Buying A Smaller Home

When you are buying a new home, space is probably one of your biggest priorities. Most people are aiming to get the most space that they can for their money, which makes sense. But have you ever considered downsizing and moving into a smaller home? Living in a smaller home is becoming quite popular among single people as well as families because there are actually a lot of benefits. There are some space issues, of course, but if you can learn to adapt to a smaller home and use space more efficiently, there are a lot of positive aspects. These are some of the benefits of buying a smaller home. 

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It’s Cheaper To Buy 

This is the most obvious benefit of buying a smaller home. If you can make do with less space, you can find a much cheaper property. That means that you can afford to put down a bigger down payment and you will be able to pay your mortgage off a lot quicker. In many cases, buying a smaller property also means that you can afford to look for quality. If you are looking for a 4 bedroom house, for example, you are limited by your budget and you may have to buy a house that needs a lot of work. But for the same price, you can get a smaller property that is ready to move in right away and doesn’t need any renovation. 

Your Bills Are Lower 

Energy bills are the biggest monthly expense for most people, but if you live in a smaller home, they will be a lot more manageable. The energy costs in an apartment or a condo, for example, are far lower than they are in a big house because you simply have less space to heat. Not only does this save you money, but it’s also a lot better for the environment because you are not wasting as much energy. This is one of the main reasons that a lot of people are choosing to downsize their homes. 

Maintenance Is Cheaper 

A big house is great and you have plenty of space, but as a homeowner, you are responsible for the upkeep. It’s important that you look after your home, and that is far more expensive in a bigger property. Buying a small property that is already in good condition means that you have less maintenance to pay for when you first move in. You will not experience as many issues in the future either, so the cost of keeping your home in good shape is far lower. It is also a lot quicker to clean a small home, so you have more free time to spend doing things that you enjoy, instead of spending an entire day of your weekend keeping the place clean. 

It Forces You To Declutter 

In a big home, it can still feel like you are short on space because people have a tendency to fill the space that they are in. When you live in a big house with lots of rooms, the chances are that at least one of those rooms will be a storage space for junk that you don’t really need. When your home is filled with clutter, it can make the space frustrating to be in, and it may even have an impact on your mental health. But when you live in a small home, you are far less likely to fill it with clutter. You know that you have limited space, so every time you come to buy something, you will stop to think about whether you really need it or not. This means that you will stop buying things you don’t really need and save a lot of money. 

It Encourages Family Bonding 

It’s important that everybody has their own space at home, but it’s also important that you spend quality time together. In a smaller home, everybody is more inclined to spend time together in the same room, so it encourages family bonding. You can still make sure that everybody has their own space if they want to spend time on their own, but you will find that your family is closer when you live in a smaller home. 


Moving into a smaller home is a bit of an adjustment and it may take you a while to get used to it. But if you find creative ways to maximize the space, you will soon start to notice all of the benefits, like saving money and reduced cleaning time.

How a Calm Home Can Reduce Your Daily Stress

You’re very familiar with the feeling of stepping through your front door and being confronted with chaos. Your stress levels soar through the roof as soon as you see dirty dishes, broken appliances and clutter all over the house. The truth is, you know you need to work on creating a calmer home otherwise your worries are going to get out of control. Whether you want to feel safer, calmer or more relaxed, there are so many ways that a calmer home can reduce your daily stress.


A Tidy Home Equals a Tidy Mind


A tidy home doesn’t necessarily consist of clear floors and spotless counter tops. You need to delve deeper into your home and make sure everything is in working order. If you have a specific appliance in your home that always causes you trouble, it is time to get it fixed once and for all. Whether you need to get in touch with a heating system repair company or you need your air conditioning system checked over, this will definitely help to ease your stresses. There is nothing more irritating than a fundamental part of your home being broken for a prolonged period of time. Get these issues seen as soon as possible and make sure you keep up with their maintenance.


A Stress Free Environment


A stress free environment can mean something different to everybody. For some people it can be a calming color scheme and for others it can mean a soothing scent. You need to figure out what element has the power to eliminate your stresses. Then you can incorporate it into your home to induce a sense of calm.


Happy Home Comforts


Home comforts can definitely make you happier, so why not use this to your advantage? If you absolutely love reading, you could create a cozy reading corner with all of your favorite books. If cooking is your thing, make sure your cupboards are always stocked up and your appliances are in working order. Pinpoint what makes you happy when you’re at home and use this to reduce your stresses.


Wonderful Workspace


Working from home can turn your house into a very stressful environment without you even realizing. Instead of spreading your work all over the dining table, you need to keep it contained within your chosen work space. If you want to succeed at working from home and maintain a stress free environment, this is definitely something you need to consider.


Hopefully some of the ideas mentioned above will really resonate with you. Everybody’s home environment is completely different so you need to find the calming strategies that work for you. Whether you’re tidying up on a regular basis or revamping your work space, you will soon be able to create a soothing and calm space where you live. Remember that in order to soothe your stresses, you need to create a happier home environment. Soon enough you will be able to achieve this and you will be much calmer as a result.

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Your Flooring Choices for Home Renovations

If you are feeling that your house needs a bit of a revamp in the coming months, then one change that can make a difference to it all, is the flooring that you use. It can go a long way to change the look of a room, and also create a certain ambiance around a room. For example, a room covered in carpet can feel a lot softer and cozier than a room with tile flooring or with hardwood floors. Though those other kinds of flooring do have many other benefits. So with that in mind, knowing what kind of flooring will work best in each room can make a difference. Here are some things to think about.



Entrance hall


The hallway is a room in the home that will experience a lot of traffic and a lot of hustle and bustle with people walking in and out. Not to mention muddy boots and wet raincoats coming in. So as such, you will need to have flooring that is durable and very hard wearing. You can still have some choices that look good, though. Easy to clean choices like tiles, can be durable and low maintenance, as well look good. Read more here:


Living room


The living area is a room like the bedrooms, where creating a cozy environment is best. It is the place where you go to rest and relax, so it does make a difference when you have the right kind of flooring. Carpet from somewhere like is a good idea, as carpet can be comfortable and soft underfoot, as well as for sitting on. Wooden floors can work well too in a living area; they look great! Just make sure that you have a rug or some beanbags as an alternative to sitting on the floor.




A natural choice for the kitchen is laminate flooring, as it is water resistant and cleans up really well. But these days there are other choices. You could go for hardwood flooring in the kitchen; yes, you heard that correctly! Hardwood flooring gives a kitchen a classic and traditional look, but there are options that are more durable than others. Tiles are another great option, but choose ones that are porous, as that can be hard for spills in the kitchen, and could make the floor slippery. 




Wooden flooring can look really good in the home, but for a bedroom, it isn’t going to be the most comfortable on a cold morning. So unless you have plenty of rugs or runners around the place, choosing a plush carpet is often the best choice for a bedroom. They are high traffic areas, so are generally going to avoid too many stains. For a child’s room, it could be a good idea to choose a color that is a little darker, to hide any potential marks or stains.


Have you got any other suggestions for the flooring that you use in your home? It would be great to hear what you think.

Climbing The Property Ladder: How To Add Value To Your Current Home

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If you are a homeowner looking to further climb the property ladder, then you will want to increase the value of your current property. While there is always a good chance that the market will act in your favor and help you along on your way, you might find that this is not always the case. And without your intervention, your home may end up in negative equity. This may be because of the way that the market was when you bought it, or when you come to sell it. 


There are things that you can do to increase the potential selling price of your home, and if you want to maximize your potential for moving to somewhere bigger and better, you will need to do some work. 


Set Your Budget


First things first, you will need to know how much you can spend. You may have some savings, or you might want to take out a home improvement loan. If you are doing the latter, make sure that you can afford to repay it alongside your current mortgage, and your new one if you move in the near future. 


Once you know how much you can spend, you can think about the work that you may want to carry out. You will need to only spend money on areas that you will see the maximum return on your investment. With this in mind, you need to do some research into the state of the housing market. Compare property prices in your neighborhood and try to find examples of homes that have had the improvements that you are considering. 


Do It Yourself Or Hiring In Contractors?


One of the biggest dilemmas is whether you should do the work yourself. If you are someone who has plenty of skills and experience in maintenance and DIY, then you may well save quite a bit of money. If you haven’t got much experience, do yourself a favor and find a contractor who can do the job for you. Often, when jobs go wrong, you will need a contractor to fix your mistakes and it can cost you more in the long run. 


Look For Easy Solutions


Think about ways that you can create big changes to your home for the minimum effort. You may want to fit Nichiha panels to your exterior walls in order to give the property some real strong curb appeal. 


Giving the whole property a coat of paint inside and out will make everything aesthetically pleasing, and if you use white, then it will create a sense of space. 


Go For The Big Wins


One of the best ways of adding value to your home is by creating additional living space. You can do this by converting your attic, basement, or adjoining garage into a room that can be used as a bedroom, or dining room.


Make sure you check with your local authorities before you make any major changes to the structure of your property, as you may need planning permission beforehand.

Keeping Your Home As Clean And As Hygienic As Possible? Pretty Simple Actually


Nobody wants to live in a pigsty. Some struggle with their living situation due to their busy schedule; some are merely incompetent when it comes to domestic behavior; a select few out there don’t really care and are able to live in whatever condition they’re presented with. Nobody would actually choose it, however, because a home needs to have that wonderful, fresh, and healthy feel at all times! It’s not just a place to stay; it’s a part of your being and your life. 


There are loads of ways you can create a more sanitary and clean home, so if you’re not too sure about what to do in this regard, then you can rest assured as there is an abundance of methods. If you want to remain as healthy as possible inside a super healthy home, then have a little look at these ideas: 


Work On Your Home, Little And Often 


Yes, we’re starting with a pretty boring point: doing the domestic chores that you’re supposed to do! Going through all of the home and doing a big clean can be a massively off-putting task for most – it’s not the best part of anyone’s day, if we’re honest. If you do little tasks every day, however, then you’re going to be in a better position personally, and your home is going to be constantly looked after. Tidying up, hoovering, dusting different areas – they’re all harmless little practices. 


Have You Pipes Seen To Regularly 


Your pipes and plumbing are pretty important in terms of your overall housing situation. If you lose the ability to have fully-functioning water and facilities, then you’re in for quite a torrid time! If things are looking a little awry, then you could also ring up your plumber and let them see if anything’s up. You could also get in touch with companies like foothill sanitary and let them go to work on your septic tank and other necessary facets. 


Lay Down Repellents On Your Lawn 


This isn’t strictly regarding the inside, but the surrounding area also matters. Animals, namely cats, enjoy marking their territory in certain places. If they start doing so on, say, your lawn, then they’ll start doing it more and more frequently, and it can be a very annoying situation. To combat this kind of thing, you should probably buy an ultrasonic repellent that emits a high-frequency noise. There are also lots of different sprays you can use to deter other little pests that want to desecrate your lovely home.  


Empty Your Bin Regularly!


You’re expected to do this already, but so many people act like slobs and wait until the trash can is completely and utterly unusable before they send it outside and replace the liner. Lots of different problems can come from not emptying your trash: insects and other bacteria might make their way into it. The overall smell is pretty awful, too, so it’s pretty nasty when that horrendous aroma sails around the entire home. 

Find The Perfect Bifold Doors For Your Home

There is no denying the fact that new doors can have a massive impact on the overall look and feel of your home. Not to mention that they can improve the practicality and bring more light into your home as well. When you take this into account, it is not hard to see why you need to choose your door of choice with a great amount of care. There are many options you have at your disposal, from swing doors to sliding doors. Nonetheless, this post reveals the reasons why bifold doors are the best solution. Thus, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know… 


Better utilization of space – There is only one place to begin and this is with the fact that you will make better use of space in the room in question. This is, in fact, one of the main motives for selecting this type of door. The door will essentially fold back; hence the name, and thus you do not have to worry about a significant amount of floor space being taken up, as you would if you went for a traditional door that opens forwards.


Lots of choice – Bifold doors are extremely popular and therefore you will not be short of choice when it comes to selecting the right doors for your home. You will be able to find doors that match in with your taste, the style of your house and indeed your budget. Once you start looking online you will be overwhelmed by the sheer diversity that is available. From modern doors to conventional door styles, you won’t be short of choice, that’s for sure.


Bring the outdoors in – This is a benefit that is extremely advantageous for homes during the current months. During the summer months, we do tend to get a good degree of sunshine. You can take full advantage of this if you opt to have bifold doors in your home.


Low maintenance – Aside from the points that have been mentioned, bifold doors are popular from the likes of Reece Builders because they tend to require very little maintenance. This is because they are usually made from UPVC or aluminium and therefore the maintenance that is needed to keep them looking good for many years is minimal. All you will need to do is wash down your doors and it is advisable to oil the hinges and such like on occasion.

The only thing you need to do now is to find the right company to buy your doors from. Look for a business with a wealth of experience. It is advisable to read reviews that have been left by previous customers to ensure you are going to benefit from a high level of service. And don’t forget to make sure that there is a wide scope of doors for you to pick from!

Old School Homes With Old School Problems

It’s so common for people to prefer to go for an older home when trying to buy one. But the trend at the minute is new build homes, simply because everywhere you look, there seems to be a new property development in the making. So when looking for a new home, you’re inundated with new homes that have just been built. And we do get that they look more appealing than an older home that needs more work, but with an older home you get all of the character that comes with it. So if you are reading this from the perspective of someone who is looking to buy an older home, we hope this doesn’t put you off. For those of you who have an older home at the minute, and are looking for a few tips on problems you might face, then this will definitely help you out. Don’t be fooled, new build homes have equal amounts of problems, they’re just of a different nature. So let’s focus on giving your home some TLC, and show you how to deal with some of the old school problems that an older home is having to deal with.

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Older Features On Their Last Legs


So one of the best things about getting your hands on an older home, is all of the features that can come with it that you just don’t tend to find in a new home. From the antique fireplaces with the old school chimneys, to wooden beams lining the ceiling. For most of you, that’s exactly what you’ve been looking for in a home, or what you’ve got right now. But there are cons that come with that, so let’s look at chimneys for example. A Chimney Sweep is definitely going to be essential after a certain period of time, especially during the winter. The chimney is where all of the harmful fumes and substances escape your home from, but a lot of that builds up over time, and it can actually be dangerous if left. So it’s services such as a chimney sweet that you’d need to look into. Anything old on your home, is always best being serviced!


The Secret Problems


Every home has hidden problems, and they just love to show their face once they’ve built up over time, and are now far more expensive than they should have been. With older homes, it’s really common for the electrical wiring to have started to erode away, and cause problems all around the home. So even though it will cost you a fee, if you’re noticing slight problems with your electrics, it might be worth bringing in a company to get it checked out for you, just so you can get any issues solved.


The Potential They Show

So we wanted to finish on a high, just because we know older homes deserve more justice than they get. So if you do have an older home, think about doing some renovation work on it to build on it. The value of older homes is already higher, let alone if they’re made bigger and better.

Achieve an energy efficient home

Effective Ways to Save Energy in Your Home This Summer Season


While you might love the warmer months of the year and the many opportunities they provide you to get outside and bask in the sunshine, the summer season can also take a toll on your finances in the form of high energy bills because of your constantly-running air conditioner. Know that all it takes is a few good tips to achieve an energy efficient home and save money on your energy bills all while still staying cool.


Reconsider How You Use Your Thermostat


You might be most comfortable when your thermostat is set at 72 degrees inside your home, but that comfort comes at a price. See if you can adjust your thermostat to 75 degrees, or even 78, to cool down your energy use. When you’re away from home, you’ll definitely want to adjust your thermostat to a higher setting, but investing in a programmable thermostat is even more efficient.


Get Help From the Pros


If it’s been a while since a professional technician has come out to your home to inspect your air conditioner, ducts, and vents, now is the perfect time to change that. A simple cleaning or maintenance check can do wonders for the operation of your unit as well as your energy use. You don’t always have to wait until there’s a problem before you call an expert.


Use Fans


Homeowners who don’t already have ceiling fans in their home will do well to invest in them for the most commonly used areas and rooms of the home. Portable fans are a viable alternative if you don’t currently have ceiling fans or don’t currently have the budget for them and their installation. Ceiling fans can help keep you cool before you have to turn on your air conditioner, but make sure you bear in mind that fans cool people, not rooms. This means that you only want to have fans on when someone is in the room.


Keep Windows and Blinds Open and Closed at the Right Time


There’s nothing better than having a nice cool breeze blowing through an open window, but you’ll want to keep your windows, as well as your blinds, closed during those warm summer days. All that sunlight and heat allowed inside your home can stir up more heat inside, which can lead to you cooling your home longer and more than necessary. You’ll definitely want to keep south-facing windows and blinds drawn during the hottest part of the day, but feel free to fling them open at night when it’s cooler.


Be Aware of When You Use Your Appliances


Before turning on the stove or oven, be aware of the time of day. The heat that ovens, stoves and even dishwashers churn out warms up your home, causing your air conditioner to work harder to keep you nice and comfortable. You’re better off cooking early in the morning or after the sun has set and it’s cooled off. Any appliance that gives off heat or moisture should be used sparingly during the day.


If you have to cook during the day, it’s more energy efficient to fire up the barbeque grill outside. That way, you can enjoy a meal without heating up your home and your energy use.


Now you have a better idea of how to save money and energy this summer. Be sure to remember these tips for the next heat wave.


How to Prepare Your Home for the Worst

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Your home is your most precious, and most valuable, asset. It’s not just where you happen to sleep at night, it is also where you relax, where your kids grow up, where memories are made, where recipes are tried, where relationships blossom… in short, it is where your life happens. And it is this that makes the thought of losing it so awful to consider.


However, you must always prepare for the worst (while always hoping for the best) in order to keep yourself and your family safe. Since your house is so precious, doing everything you can to protect it and ensure it against damage is a rational thing to do. Home security is a priority.

Contents and Buildings Insurance

If you don’t have it already, you must get contents and building insurance. If you live in a flat, the buildings insurance is likely to be a part of your monthly maintenance fee, but you should still make inquiries to be sure you are covered. Though buildings insurance can’t stop a flood or prevent a fire, it can help you to pay for water damage restoration or find somewhere else to live.


Ensuring your contents is just as important as it is likely that these are the things most at risk either through damage in an accident as above, or burglary. You might think it a waste of money, but consider this: if your entire house burns down with everything in it, can you pay for everything again out of your savings? And would you really want to? No. So get insurance.

Take Precautionary Measures

So now that you are insured, you should also take a few precautionary measures like installing and regularly testing fire alarms. You might also want to install a burglar alarm, for example, or replace a faulty lock to ensure that your home is secure while you are out or asleep. If you are worried about the quality of your locks, or you have lost a key recently, it isn’t being paranoid to change the locks with a reputable locksmith, it makes perfect sense.


You should also make sure that your furniture comes with fire labels, ensuring that they have been fire tested and won’t catch easily. Similarly, you should make sure to have an electrician check any item you feel isn’t working from your wiring to your appliances. Fire departments attend around 11,000 fires caused by electrical fault each year. Get an electrician out if you don’t want to risk being one of them.

Talk as a Family About Emergency Plans

You don’t want to scare your kids, but preparing them with a plan, especially if you live in an area that floods quite often, is a good idea. It might be a simple chat about staying put until you come and get them, or showing them various routes in and out of the house for emergency use, for example, going out of a window in the event of a fire.


Being prepared as a family is always a good idea so that should the worst happen, you have a plan and can deal with things without panicking.

Innovative Ways to Raise the Value of Your Home

Raising the value of your home can seem like a huge task, but it really doesn’t have to be. Maybe you are planning to sell your house on, downsize, or perhaps you just want to enjoy where you live just that bit more. There are so many reasons why people want to want to upgrade their home. There’s also a lot of information out there on how to do it, and a lot of misinformation as well. Knowing who trust, and getting your information from the right place is essential. Whether you are planning on totally changing your home, or you just want to make a few tweaks here and there, there are some tips and ideas here for everyone.



Make Your Garden an Eden


Many people say the front door is the first thing you see when you enter someone’s home, but really it’s the garden. Having an untidy or unkept garden can really affect someone’s first impression of your home. Gardens don’t have to be complicated, or even need a lot of upkeep to look nice, something simple can do the trick just as well.


If you want something low maintenance, try having a patio, or putting stones down instead of grass. If you don’t like to garden, and want to keep it looking pristine, then this is a great option for you. On the other hand, a few flowers here and there can bring life and brightness to any home, which will give off a fantastic first impression.


Make a Plan


So many people dive into redoing their home, and just go crazy. While letting your artistic side run wild is really liberating, it might not be the best plan in the long run. Having a plan helps you to stay organized, and means less of them inconvenient hiccups will happen along the way. If you know what you are doing, and are not just randomly doing jobs throughout the house, it will get done so much quicker. Taking one room on at a time is the best way to keep the mess and chaos at bay, so you can continue living in your home without too much inconvenience.


Work with People You Trust


Getting trusted professionals to work in your home can really make or brake upgrading your home. Getting people who are efficient at work, and who is going to give you a good deal, can sometimes be really hard to find. Often, word of mouth recommendations are the best for finding local people in your area, whether you need an emergency plumber or a builder, this is usually a safe bet. There are plenty of websites online as well, that can give you a good idea of who to hire. Do your research, and don’t hire the first company that comes along.


Raising the value of your home can be a great experience, and at the end of it, you will have some amazing results. It doesn’t have to be expensive though, and some of these affordable ideas are a great way to get started.

Home Office Inspiration For Maximum Productivity

Working from home brings with it a whole range of bonuses, but you can’t have the good without the bad. Often, working from home means feeling unmotivated at times, perhaps even a little lazy. It can be tough to get these done when you’re in this state emotionally. What many people don’t realize, is that it’s their environment that truly makes for great productivity. Take a look at your own environment, and figure out whether it’s helping you or hindering you.


If you believe that it could be improved, read on for some inspiration that should allow for maximum productivity:


Let In Natural Light

First thing’s first: you need natural light. It’s hard enough working in a room on your own all day, let alone doing it in artificial light that makes us feel lethargic. Don’t forget, natural light is actually essential to our health and well being. It makes us more productive and gives us healthy doses of sunlight that make us happier. Let in as much as you can. If it’s darker where you live or you still struggle to get enough sunlight, it could be worth investing in a SAD lamp to sit near for the first part of your day.

Add Plants

Plants purify the air around us and can add much-needed life to our home offices. They are beautiful to look at too, which is always a bonus. Choosing a low maintenance plant is fine, just make sure you add some greenery. We don’t spend enough time in nature as a species these days.


Find Pictures And Quotes That Motivate You

What sort of pictures and quotes really make you want to work hard? Is there a specific motivational speaker or person that makes you want to crush the day? Include their quotes and images in your office. Make a feature wall of things you can look at when you’re feeling unmotivated so you can find the strength to get to work.



Have A Door That You Can Shut

Now, this is an important one. If you have your computer in the family room with people coming in and out all day, it’s no wonder you don’t get any work done. One distraction can mean we have to spend another 20 or so minutes getting fired up to ‘get in the zone’ again. Even if your family aren’t directly disturbing or talking to you, it isn’t good for your walking day. Even if you have to set up an office in the garage and invest in an insulated coiling door to keep things warm and safe, it’s better than working in an open room in your home. A door you can shut is imperative.


Keep Things Organized

Organization is the key to getting things done faster and avoiding distractions. Invest in storage units and things that can help you in this respect.


Make Sure It Reflects You

Finally, don’t think that your office must be some boring, uninspiring space that must look a certain way. It can look anyway you like, as long as it inspires you and makes you feel like getting stuff done!

The Ultimate List Of Home Help Contacts You Can’t Live Without


Running a home can be hard. As much as you may feel as if it’s just about keeping things tidy and enjoy evenings in, the actual process of having your home is never as simple as you think it’s going to be. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and often hard to manage. So, more often than not, it’s going to be extremely useful for you to be able to have a set list of contacts to help you keep things in order. But it’s not always easy to know who to call on when you need them. And it’s for this exact reason that you should be thinking about creating a list of contacts now ready for when you need them.




First up, you should definitely think about having a list of cleaners to call. Whether you realize that you’re really short on time, and you need to hire a cleaner to help keep your house in order, or whether you need to work with specialist cleaners such as oven deep cleaning specialists, carpet cleaners, or even chimney sweeps, having a list of who to call on will be useful for when you need them. So think about finding a good cleaner now, should you need them in the future.




You could also think about finding the right movers in your town too. Of course, hiring a furniture removalist is a specialist kind of help that you’re only going to need when you move house. But, if for any reason you decide to move last minute, or you have to find a new place in a hurry, it’s handy to know who to call on. And have a good relationship with them should you need them to make time for your business.




From here, you might also like to think about finding a reliable handyman too. This is something that you’re likely to need more often than the two we’ve already covered off. Because you may find that you have a lot of jobs that need to be carried out around the house. But when you need a service doing often, you can often feel as if you have to be confident that the person you’ve hired is going to be trustworthy and reliable, so finding the right person for the job can be quite important.




Another kind of help that you could require on a regular basis is a gardener. So you might want to search for people that can provide regular maintenance for you. At the same time, you may also want to look at specialists that can provide one of the pieces of work, as well as complete landscaping solutions should you need that.



And of course, as a parent, you may also need a list of reliable babysitters. You may not be comfortable with leaving your children with just anyone when you want to go out, so it will be essential that you can find a family friend or a reputable professional that people you know have worked with before, and have vetted them yourself!

Winter is Coming…Here’s How to Get Your Home Ready

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Winter is coming – and not just for Jon Snow and the rest of the Game of Thrones gang. While you may not have to worry about invading White Walkers, you do want to keep Jack Frost at bay by making sure that your home is a warm, comfortable and welcoming environment. From home upgrades to simple maintenance tasks, let’s take a closer look at how you can get ready for the approaching chill of winter.


Clear Out the Gutters and Drains


Though this may be a frustrating job that no one really wants to do, clearing out your gutters and drains is an essential task that should be done before the real cold sets in. All kinds of debris like leaves and mud can cause drains to become blocked and this can then have the knock-on effect of causing leaks in the roof and walls. You don’t want this to be happening in the middle of winter, so you are better off taking proper preventative measures now.


Get Your Boiler Checked and Serviced


One of the nightmare scenarios of the winter months is your boiler going wrong and suddenly you don’t have any heating. So, it is worth calling in the professionals to do this now, especially if it hasn’t been done for a while. You could also consider taking out insurance so you are covered in case anything does go wrong. This way, you can have peace of mind over the winter.


Look at Installing New Technology/Appliances


One of the most popular additions to households over the last few years has been smart thermostats, which give you much more control when it comes to heating your home and controlling your bills. Another option that people are looking at in more detail is making the switch to a tankless water heater so take a look here for more information on which one to chooseIt is always worth looking at potential upgrades which can enhance your living situation.


Check Your Fireplace and Chimney

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During the warmer months, your fireplace is likely to have been completely neglected. When you come to needing it again, you want to ensure that everything is working properly. Start off by checking that the chimney is clear of any debris or hire a professional to do this for you if it has been some time since it has been checked. Make sure that everything is clear and stock up on some fresh wood so you are all ready to go.


Protect Your Pipes from Freezing


Frozen pipes are another common winter issue that you will want to avoid if possible. One of the most effective ways that you can do this is by using a foam layer called lagging. As well as this, you should also remove any vegetation that is surrounding the pipes which may cause damage.


Following this simple advice can really help to protect your home during the winter months, and now is the perfect time to get started!

Wet Weather Woes: Protecting Your Home Against Rain and Storms

There’s a chill in the air, and the summer weather is almost done for the year. What that means is cozy autumn nights, hot chocolate and movie nights in front of the fire- there’s definitely a certain magic in the changing season. However there are some downsides too, and cold, wet weather can cause issues around the home that can be a hassle to fix. Before the rainy, stormy weather comes back, here are a few areas to address to make sure your home is ready for the changing season.



The Roof

Strong winds can cause tiles to fall off roofs, and when this happens, you can end up with leaks that cause severe damage in the home. It’s worth getting up on a ladder and seeing if you can spot any missing or loose tiles and make sure they’re put right, according to you should make sure the company you pick is a true roofing contractor to ensure the quality of the work. Make sure any issues are put right as soon as possible and keep an eye out for missing tiles later in the year when the stormy weather picks up.



The gutters on your home are another area that you need to keep a close eye on over the colder months. Before the rainy weather fully arrives, it’s worth getting up on a ladder with a pair of gardening gloves on and scrape out all of the accumulated gunk. Things like litter and leaf litter can accumulate, if the gutters become blocked they can begin to leak and cause leaks and moisture issues inside the home. If you have a nice rendering or your house is painted it can also stain this and spoil the curb appeal. has information on how you can clean your gutters if you’re unsure, or you could call in a professional.


Black Mold

When it’s cold outside and warm inside, you get the issue of condensation. Unfortunately, these damp areas where moisture condenses provides the perfect environment for black mold to grow, which is why it’s usually worse at this time of year. Not only does this look unpleasant but it can also cause health issues too, mold releases spores which can cause respiratory problems. It’s even more of a problem in people who are vulnerable due to their age or have existing health issues, has more information about this. Use extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove moisture in the air, or at the very least make sure you’re opening windows. This will prevent moisture from settling on walls, ceilings and around windows. If you do start getting mold, clean it off with an antifungal cleaner and paint the area with a mold resistant paint.


Have you spent much time considering how you will protect your home when the rainy weather rolls back around? Have you tackled any of these jobs yet this year?

6 Hacks All The Best Home Cooks Swear By

When it comes to creating delicious meals for you and your family to enjoy, it’s not always easy to get it right. That being said, it can become easier, if you take note of what the pros say, that is. Have you ever eaten in a restaurant where the kitchen is in full view of the diners? Well, if you have, you will have seen how efficiently a team of skilled chefs can operate amongst the chaos of a busy kitchen. This is known in the industry as choreographed chaos, because although it looks like total madness from the outside, it is in fact well organized with the entire team moving as one well-oiled machine, and that is what every kitchen should be like.


Want to ensure that your home cooking is the best that it could possibly be? Then take note of the six hacks below that all of the very best chefs swear by, and implement them in your own kitchen.

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  1. Learn to season your own food


Don’t rely on sachet mixes for meals. Instead, learn how to season your own food. Invest in a spice rack for your kitchen and fill it with all of the herbs and spices that are most commonly used in cooking. These should include salt, pepper, oregano, basil, mixed herbs, allspice, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, garam masala, and turmeric. These are just a few of the herbs and spices that every home cook needs to make healthy and delicious meals from scratch.


  1. Invest in quality tools


They say that a poor workman blames his tools, but when it comes to cooking, the tools that you have are vital. If you are cooking with old pots and pans, your food may burn onto them as you cook. If your knives aren’t sharp enough, it may take longer than necessary to prepare meals. That’s why it’s worth browsing websites like Stone Frying Pans to look for new cooking tools, such as new knives, for instance, to ensure that you are able to make preparing your food as quick and easy as possible. To be able to prepare your meals easily, good quality cooking tools are vital.


  1. Freeze bases for busy days


To make cooking on busy days easier, it is worth making up some sauce bases in advance and freezing them. Sauce bases are easy to make and also great to freeze. Make up a batch of basic tomato sauce bases that can be used for all manner of dishes, from curries and stews to soups and pasta dishes, then when you go to prepare a meal, you already have a base made up. For adding extra flavor to bases, freeze olive oil in ice cube trays and add flavors to them, such as garlic, and herbs like basil and rosemary, so that you can add an ice cube of frozen flavor to the pan as your sauce bases defrosted.


  1. Experiment


Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. When it comes to your cooking, be brave and experiment with your meals. Take a recipe that you have made many times before and find little ways to change it up. The fact is that all the best cooks experiment with their food, to find ways to improve it, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your own cooking.


  1. Taste as you go


The biggest mistake that you can make in the kitchen is failing to taste your food as you go. As you cook each dish, make sure to use a clean spoon to taste it. This will allow you to ensure that it is well seasoned and has all of the flavors that it needs.


  1. Your slow cooker is your best friend


Just because you have a busy day planned, that doesn’t mean that you can’t serve your family a healthy and delicious homemade meal. Utilize your slow cooker and make it your very best friend. On days when you know, it’s going to be too busy to prepare a meal when you get home, pop a few ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning so that by the evening the bulk of your meal is cooked. Just don’t forget to season the dish accordingly.  


There you have it, your guide to the six hacks that all of the very best cooks swear by. Take note of these and implement them in your own cooking, and you can vastly improve the quality of the meals that you are able to make.