Consider This Before Hiring A Contractor For Your Home

Are you thinking about completing some work on your home? Perhaps you are finally going to add that extension that you have been talking about for years. Or, maybe you are interested in converting the loft? Regardless, it’s possible and perhaps likely that the job in question extends beyond your skill set. If that’s the case, then DIY won’t be an option. Instead, you will need to think about hiring a contractor. It’s important that you consider this option carefully and make the right decision with the hire. 

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Check The Reviews

 

First, you should make sure that you are exploring the reviews for different contractors and builders. It’s important that there are reviews for the company. You should never select a contractor that doesn’t seem to have any clients. This could mean that they are hiring reviews or that they are fresh on the market. Regardless it could spell doom for your builder and can be a clear sign of a cowboy contractor. They will complete the work and disappear. If there are any issues, you won’t be able to get the money back. 

 

Insurance

 

It’s absolutely vital that the contractor that you choose has the right insurance coverage. This will protect you if they are injured while completing the contract and also guarantee that if you are injured during the service that they offer, you will receive a payout. A contractor should always be open and honest about the insurance coverage that they have in place. A personal injury lawyer will be able to help you in the event of an incident. But it will be far simpler if the company in question has the right coverage. 

 

Licenses

 

Finally, you also need to make sure that you are choosing a licensed contractor. There is often the temptation to choose an unlicensed contractor because they will be able to provide a cheaper service. However, we guarantee that this is going to be a mistake. A licensed contractor will provide the peace of mind that you need if there is an issue with the quality of the service. You won’t be left out of pocket and will be able to get the problem rectified without a delay. Unlicensed contractors will often be involved with shady practices too. So, if when you speak to a contractor anything seems risky or if the service is being provided ‘under the table’ it’s worth walking away and seeking a different company. The cheaper cost in the short term will never be worth the headaches caused over a longer time frame. 

We hope this helps you understand the best ways to choose a contractor and ensure that you do get the quality solution that you need. Don’t forget that completing work on your home can add a great deal of value. However, this will only be the case, if you make sure that you are getting the right level of quality. If there is an issue with the quality of the project, it can actually cause the value of your home to drop.

DIY Tips You Need to Know

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DIY is a great way to make your home look amazing when you’re on a limited budget, but it can also be a disaster waiting to happen. If you don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete a project successfully, so much can go wrong, but you should not let that put you off because it has never been easier, largely thanks to the internet, to find and develop the skills you need to do everything from re-tiling the bathroom to installing wooden floors in the bedroom.

I’m not going to get deep into DIY skills in this post, but I am going to lay out a few tips that you need to know if you want to make the most of your DIY efforts at home:

Paint walls before laying a floor

Planning to lay a new carpet or install a brand new wooden floor in your home? Before you do that, take the time to give your walls a fresh lick of paint, that way, every part of the room will look amazing and you won’t risk dripping paint all over your beautiful new flooring. It makes sense, right? 

Self leveling cement is a thing

Thinking about pouring your own cement flooring, but you don’t think you’ll be able to get it right. You might be interested to know that there is such a thing as a self leveling floor! That could save you a fortune because you won’t have to hire a contractor to do it all for you!

Talc is great for squeaks

Are squeaky door hinges getting on your nerves? Don’t worry if you don’t have any WD40 on hand, just head to the bathroom and use your talc to dampen the noise. A light sprinkling should be all you need.

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Vanilla gets rid of bad paint smells

If you love the look of a freshly painted home, but you hate the smell of paint fumes, you’ll be delighted to know that the simple act of adding a little vanilla extract to your paint can is usually enough to mask the smell and leave your home smelling really quite delicious.

Linseed oil removes paint

Spilled paint on your floor? Apply a liberal amount of linseed oil over the spill and leave for a few minutes. With a little elbow grease, it should then wipe off. This is one trick that even works on old paint, although you may need to leave it on for a bit longer.

Use masking tape to make a mural

Whether you want to paint a cartoon character on your kid’s bedroom wall or a neat geometric pattern on your feature wall, make things simple for yourself by using masking tape to create an outline of the image you’re after. 

Nail polish keeps screws in place

It’s really annoying when you spend ages drilling screws into place only for them to fall down, potentially causing damage to your walls and whatever they were holding up. Luckily, it’s really easy to keep screws in place by adding a drop or two of clear nail polish to the hole before tightening.

Enjoy your next DIY project!

How To Choose Where To Live!

We live in a big world, filled with cities, beach towns, countryside villages and hamlets hidden off the beaten track. When it comes to reaching adulthood, we get to choose where we want to live and how we want to live – and it’s most freeing to realize this!

 

We all know that home is where the heart is, but what if you don’t know where it should be and how to get there? You – like everyone else – have specific things that they want from the area that they are living in and you need to start with making a list. Do you want low crime rates? A beach that’s local enough to walk to? A great school system? The research that you do into your new home has to be thorough. Don’t forget, you can just throw a dart on a map and be done with it, but that doesn’t always happen to be the right way to go about it. So, with this in mind, we’ve got some guidance below on how you can choose where you and your family should live.

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  • Assess Affordability

Whatever it is that you earn, you need to make sure that you live within your means. You will be getting a job in a new area, and some areas pay more for certain career paths than others. Your affordability is more than just what your mortgage and other housing expenses are. You have to consider what you can afford on groceries, gas, utilities and the internet. If you’re currently living in a big city and move out to the suburbs, then you’ll notice your expenses drop down fairly low very quickly. It’s why so many people move out – more bang for their buck. Anywhere you move, consider your living costs and affordability.

  • Work Opportunities

If you are planning to move across the world, the one thing that you need the most is a job. Researching the job markets in any location is vital, as you need to know that you have a steady income when you get there. You need to look at both the quality of the opportunities available to you, and then you can determine whether there is a good career progression in the future, too. This will save you from having to move all over again!

  • House Value

Most of the time, people are interested in buying a house at some point. Whether it’s now or in the future, buying a home needs to be on your radar and you need to know that you can afford it. Some areas have higher house prices than others, and you need to ensure that you are going to be able to afford those prices. There is no point in living somewhere you can’t afford the housing – you’ll only have to move again!

  • Crime

Whether you are planning to have a family or not, you need to consider the crime statistics of the places in which you plan to live. The last thing that you need is to think about is looking over your shoulder when you walk at night. Research the crime statistics and get to know the areas in a little more detail.

  • Distance

You could be willing to move to the other side of the world, but if you plan to be able to visit friends and family, you need to think about how far you’re moving. Family is important to many people, and if they’re important to you, don’t go too far!

  • The Weather

Believe it or not, the climate is an important moving factor for a lot of people. If you love to be in the mountains where there’s some snow, it’s not a good idea to head to the hottest places in the world. Work out what would make you happy and find a climate that will balance all of those things. Base your choice on the seasons you need and love in your life, and find some balance in it.

  • Education

If you plan to have children one day, assessing the school districts and learning what would be positive in the life of your children is going to be a big part of the puzzle. Consider what you look for the most in schools for your children, and choose to look at both public and private education facilities. The quality of schools should factor into your affordability, too!

 

Choosing where to live is going to take time and research – where will you start?

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.

What Time Of Year Is Best For Letting Out Your Property?

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Letting agents are among the first people you will want to speak to if you are planning to rent out your property. One factor you might be considering is the best time of year for putting your house on the rentals market. Sometimes, you have no say in the matter – if a tenant moves out unexpectedly, for instance. But if you can choose the timing, what is the best season to consider?

 

A good letting agent can advise you based on their experience of the local market. This can be important if you are in the stage of making your property tenant-ready or if you are considering an investment such as land for sale at The Grove, which you will then use to build an investment property for yourself. So, let’s take a look at a few handy tips follow.

 

Many letting agents will tell you that spring is a great time to put a property on the rental market. With the expense and hassle of Christmas out of the way, people often feel more optimistic and keener to move on wards and upwards with their lives – that includes moving home! 

 

The weather will be milder and the days longer, meaning more people are willing to leave the central heating behind and start their property search. Better light and kinder weather conditions also help letting agents show properties in their best light. Experience shows they will certainly be showing more properties in the period before the long school holidays start too. 

 

Advice On The Rules Regarding Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

 

Letting agent companies should do more than simply market a property and draw up the relevant documents such as the rental agreement. Good letting agents will have the best interests of both the tenant and the property owner in mind; not just, as is true in some cases, the landlords. 

 

Carbon monoxide can be a serious issue for renters, and in the recent past, it has caused approximately 26 deaths a year, as well as many serious illnesses. However, in March 2015, the law regarding carbon monoxide detectors in leased properties changed, and fewer deaths have occurred as a result. 

 

The housing minister announced the new, safer rules in 2015 in an effort to crack down on entirely preventable deaths. Around 90 per cent of all households have a smoke alarm, and this is something that letting agents should ensure in their rental properties. However, many rental properties were found not to have a carbon monoxide detector at all. Since the new rules, though, this is no longer acceptable in rented accommodation. It will be one task of any letting agents to ensure that the landlord has fulfilled all their commitments under the law before allowing renters to live in their property. 

 

It is now the case that landlords must provide carbon monoxide detectors, although it will usually fall to the tenant to ensure they are serviced and checked regularly. 

 

So there you have it: some top rental tips. We hope this has helped!

Getting Your Damaged Home Back On Track

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Unfortunately, there are countless situations that can damage your home. The damage that is caused will be dependent on the kind of incident that occurs, but one thing remains the same in any situation – you’re going to want to get things fixed, repaired and replaced as soon as possible. This is understandable. You don’t want to head home after a long day of work to face a less than perfect space to spend time in. Plus, your home is the biggest investment you’re likely to make in your life, so you’re going to want to make sure that it maintains its value in the long run! Let’s take a moment to look at the different types of damage that your home may experience over the years, along with a few different ways to put wrongs to rights!

 

Invest in Insurance

 

Before we get started, it’s good to note that you should definitely invest in insurance for your home. Having an insurance policy will ensure that if damage does occur, you will be able to cover the costs regardless of what money you have in the bank. Your insurance company will pay for the repairs or replacements covered by your policy! Now, if you are a homeowner, you need to make sure you have full home insurance as well as contents insurance. The home insurance will protect the property itself. The contents insurance will protect your belongings that are stored inside the property.

 

Disaster Damage

 

Hopefully, your home doesn’t ever face disaster damage. This is essentially large scale and unprecedented damage that will take a large scale team to rectify. The damage could have any cause, but this is the kind of project that you will really have no choice but to tackle and invest in. Use a specialist Disaster Restoration Company for the best results.

 

Roof Damage

 

Most of the time, you won’t have to pay any attention to your roof. It will do its job and provide you with protection from the elements. But every so often, when a storm hits or when there’s particularly bad weather, you may notice that tiles are missing or holes form. You need to call out a roofer to deal with this problem right away. Otherwise, the damage to your roof could lead to further structural damage, water damage and electrical damage in your home.

 

Water Damage

 

If you experience flooding, you may experience water damage. Now, there are measures you can take to prevent water damage in flooding, such as using sandbags to block your entrances and exits. But if these fail, you will need to have water damage specialists come out. They’ll have specialist equipment like sump pumps to clear your home of water. They’ll then be able to tackle damage to your floors and walls.

 

As you can see, there are various professionals you can call to repair damage in your home. Those listed above are just a few you might need to work with over the years.

Bathtub vs Shower: Which Is Better For Your Home?

You’ve bagged your dream home in the best location possible. It’s close to the local schools, there are plenty of shops nearby, and it didn’t cost a fortune. There’s still room for improvement, particularly in the bathroom. You want to complete a full renovation, but you’re stumped by one conundrum. Should you install a bathtub or a shower in your home? Which one would be better? Let’s put them up against one another to see who comes out on top:

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Showers take up less space

A big advantage of a shower is that it doesn’t need to take up much space. You can have a small cubicle that leaves more room in your bathroom. The extra space could be used for storage, which will help keep your bathroom neat and tidy. Or, you can leave it as it is, making your bathroom feel much bigger. 

 

Baths are more relaxing

You can’t deny that lying in a bubble bath is far more relaxing than standing up in a shower. After a long day of work, who wants to stand up and scrub themselves? You want to lie down and relax! To be honest, you could get the best of both worlds and install a show in your bath. It doesn’t avoid the problem mentioned above – in fact, a bath/shower combo probably takes up even more space. 

 

Showers are more convenient

Sure, relaxing in a bath is great, but what happens in the morning? What about those times where you need to get ready ASAP? You can’t afford to wait for a bath to fill up, you need to wash right this second! In scenarios like this, a shower will always come out on top. You hop in, turn it on, wash, then get out. It’s that simple, and I bet you could complete your entire shower before a bath even fills up. 

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Baths create less mess

Unless you’re splashing around like a dolphin, a bath won’t create anywhere near as much mess as a shower. The problem is that water from the shower will always spray on the walls. From here, you genuinely end up with water damage over time. If you have tiles, you get mould in the grouting. But, if water gets on un-tiled surfaces, it can linger and cause damp. Then, you’re online looking for water damage restoration companies to try and fix your bathroom wall. With a bath, all of the water is contained in the tub. It doesn’t splash on the walls, so this isn’t an issue. 

 

Who wins?

How big is your bathroom? Are you willing to take up space with a bathtub? If you are, then the obvious choice is to install a bath with a shower attached to it. This way, you truly get the best of both worlds – but it all depends on if you have enough space. If you don’t, then a shower is the obvious answer. Realistically, there’s no reason to only have a bath in your home. Yes, it can be relaxing, but is that a good enough reason to spend money on one? You definitely need a shower, and whether or not this comes with a bath is up to you. 

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! 

Why Buy, When You Can Build? (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

Most people want to buy their dream home. However, those with real vision and creativity will consider building a property that is designed precisely to their wants, needs and specifications. The good news is that building your dream home may be a great deal more straightforward than you would first think. Keep reading to find out more. 

 

Your wants and needs 

 

Before you can begin the process of building your dream home, you will need to define what it is is that you want. That is, you will decide on what your wants and needs are. It is at this stage when you can really let your creativity fly and explore all types of options from homes. From properties that rotate to always face the sun, to ultra-modern styles that will wow your visitors. 

 

You can also think about the uses and designs of the interior of your home at this stage. Here, many people will be involved in custom building rooms and spaces in their homes, specially designed to their specifications. Whether these are a custom kitchen, home cinema or even a dirt room for the dogs. 

 

Your budget and funding 

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Before you can begin your home building project, you will also need to think carefully about the budget you have available and any funding you will need. In fact, you will need to compare your wants and needs with your budget. After all, you can design the ideal home, but if you haven’t got enough money to build it, you will not get very far. 

 

Designing your dream home 

 

Once you begin to balance your budget with the wants and needs you have, it’s time to begin the genuine home design process. The good news is that custom home builders will also deal with the custom home design process. Something that can help make sure the entire project is consistent, efficient, and runs as smoothly as possible. 

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Of course, it’s always best to get the professional involved when building your own property. This is because you will want a professional, safe home that will last for a lifetime. Something that the lifetimes of experience that experts in the field have will help you to achieve.  

 

Building your dream home

 

After designing your dream home, the construction can begin. This can be the most exciting and frustrating time for homeowners, as they can see the progress on their new property. Only to have it be just out of reach. 

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In fact, patience can indeed be a virtue here, because unexpected tasks and delays are likely. It’s also smart to keep a strict hold of the budget at this stage, as things can get out of hand pretty quickly. However, once again, by choosing a reliable and professional building company to work with, you can keep any issues to a minimum.  

 

Living and loving your dream home 

 

You have done it! You have built your dream home. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy all those custom parts you commissioned! 

The Upgrades That’ll Lend Your Home a New Lease of Life

If your home is not quite offering all the things you’d like it to right now, it could be time to make some upgrades. Today, we’re going to talk about the big upgrades and renovations that can add an entirely new dimension to your home, making it more functional, more enjoyable to use and live in, and more valuable as well. Each of the ideas we’re going to discuss will mean investing heavily in your property, but if that’s something you’re ready and prepared to do, you might want to consider some of these options.

 

Have an Extension Built

 

Perhaps the most common type of large upgrade and renovation you can carry out on your home is the building of an extension. Extending your home is all about offering up more space and usually adding another bedroom to the property. But every home extension has its own story and a particular set of intentions behind it. That’s something for you to figure out.

 

A New Sun room

 

A sun room is a great addition to your home and is a particular type of extension that’s usually only added to the ground floor of the property. If one of the frustrations you have with your home currently is that it doesn’t offer enough natural light, this upgrade can fix that for you. Sun rooms use a lot of glass and allow the natural light to come flooding in from every angle.

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A Rooftop Garden Area

 

A rooftop garden might sound like something of an extravagance, but if your property already has all the essentials in place and you want to go the extra mile, this could be exactly what you’re looking for. Companies like Amber Freda can help find custom solutions that work for you, so this is something that you should definitely be looking into. It’ll create an entirely new private outdoor space for you to enjoy.

 

Converting the Basement and Attic

 

If you have a basement or attic that’s not doing much for you at the moment other than acting as a storage space, you should think about maybe converting that space and doing something different with it. Many people use these spaces to add new bedrooms to a property. That’s a particularly popular reason for converting an attic. But you could also create a new workspace or even a games and entertainment room if you wish.

 

Modern Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations

 

Making positive changes to the rooms that already exist in your home is a good idea too. A modern kitchen and a renovated bathroom could be exactly what you’re looking for. The right bathroom should be modern and offer the latest fixtures, and the same goes for your kitchen too.

 

If you want to give your home a brand new lease of life and ensure it’s able to meet your needs going forward, these are the best renovations to consider. Each of them will offer something new and important to your home, while also increasing the value of the property at the same time.

Giving Your Home a New Lease of Life

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We all want our homes to be the best they can be. Your home is likely to be the investment you’ll spend the most money on in your lifetime. It’s also the space where you’re going to spend most of your free time. You’re going to want to make sure that it’s the best that it can be. When you first move into any property, you tend to be on top of things and everything will look pristine. But as time passes by and you’ve been in the house for a few years, people’s standards can drop and things can begin to look a bit worn and below par. With the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and more of us spending increasing amounts of time in our own properties, many of us are starting to look at our homes with a more critical eye and are looking for ways to spruce our properties up a bit. If this sounds familiar to you and you’re in this situation, you may be looking for different ways to give your property a new lease of life. Here are some ideas to get you started!

 

Decorating

 

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a living space. We tend to assume that our walls don’t get touched all too often, but you’d be surprised how much dirt can build up on them and how much light can fade certain exposed areas. So, give your walls a fresh lick of paint around once a year. You can opt for a brand new colour scheme to completely convert the look of the property, or you could go for a new coat of the same tone. Generally speaking, if you want the best results, you should use professionals. Check out Local Offers for good quality and affordable services in your local area. The pros will be able to complete every job to perfection. Alternatively, you can go DIY. Just make sure to cover any floors or furniture so that paint doesn’t splash onto them.

 

Conducting a Deep Clean

 

If you want a less intense option to give your home a new look, you should conduct a deep clean. The majority of us will conduct a regular, standard clean around the house. We’ll run the vacuum around. We’ll wipe down the kitchen counter tops. We’ll polish surfaces. We’ll sweep and mop the hard floors. We’ll clean the toilet and wipe down the bath. This is enough to keep things clean and hygienic. But there are other less routine tasks you might want to tackle when conducting a deep clean to give your home that brand new feel. These tasks tend to get overlooked as they’re time consuming and you really don’t have to carry them out as often or on a daily basis. Some deep cleaning activities you might want to consider include washing shower curtains, cleaning out gutters, wiping down skirting boards, cleaning under large pieces of furniture (like sofas and beds) and more.

 

These are just a couple of areas you can focus on when it comes to giving your home a new lease of life. Both are effective, so give them a try!

Coping With Moving House

Moving house is one of those experiences that always tend to carry with them some kind of stress or emotional baggage. If you are planning on moving house some time soon, then you are going to want to start thinking about how you can approach it so that it is as least stressful and worrying as possible. There are actually plenty of ways of doing that as long as you are happy to look into them, and in this article we are going to take a look at some of the most effective of these. As long as you are doing these things, moving house shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

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Forward Planning

 

The most important thing of all is that you plan it all out as closely as possible, including the smallest details you can think of, so that nothing is going to suddenly come out of the blue and surprise you. The more that you do this, the more you will be able to work with the situation as well as possible, so it’s something that you are going to want to think about. Good forward planning can often really save a lot of stress.

 

Asking For Help

 

As well as planning ahead, you should also get as much help as you can in line before the day. Having someone with a van come and help, someone to help with lifting and someone to just make the coffee and tea when you all need a break can often be all you need to make it all go much more smoothly and to plan.

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Finding Storage

 

Storage is one of the major things you need to think about when it comes to moving house successfully. If you don’t have enough storage options, it could mean that you are going to struggle to move everything that quickly, and you might find that it generates a lot more stress overall as well. There are many ways to approach this, however, such as looking to some of the more advanced solutions offered by SMARTBOX Solutions, Inc. With good storage on your side, moving home should be much simpler.

 

Making Priority Lists

 

Because the nature of moving house is that not everything will go perfectly to plan, you need to think about what you consider to be most important and what might not be. By making priority lists, you can really ingrain that in a strong way, and this can help you to know what to do and where to look if you should find yourself having to roll with the punches. Ask yourself: what is most important to you, and what could you let go of if it turns out not to work out? Having a good grasp of this is likely to be very important.

 

As long as you have considered these things, you should find that moving house is much easier and simpler, and that you enjoy it all the more as well.

Your Home Doesn’t Have To Be Gloomy. Here’s How To Brighten It Up

What’s the number one feature people look for when thinking about buying a home? Hint: it has nothing to do with the floor plan or the kitchen. It’s actually the amount of natural light available in the house. 

 

Owners don’t want to reside in a dark and dingy hovel. They want their accommodation to feel bright and airy every day. 

 

Unfortunately, not all homes offer their occupants sufficient light. Around a fifth of people believe that their properties lack natural light when surveyed. The problem is real. 

 

A lack of natural light is no laughing matter. People who don’t get sufficient brightness in their living spaces tend to experience higher levels of depression and have worse health overall. They report lower life satisfaction and feelings of wellness too.

 

Fortunately, getting more natural light into your home isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. There are a whole bunch of ways to do it. And when you get it right, you can make a massive difference to your home, even if right now, you think that there’s no way to improve the situation. Trust us – there is!

 

Brighten Up Your Furniture

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Dark furniture can be something of a “light sink.” It soaks up the available light in the room, making it feel more dismal than it actually is. 

 

This effect has to do with the way that light interacts with objects. The shade of black is defined by its lack of reflection. You only see it because it contrasts with everything else where light does bounce back. 

 

All colors reflect some light to your eye. So when you see something that is yellow, it absorbs all other wavelengths of light except the yellow one. The same goes for blue, pink, red, and the rest of the colors in the spectrum.

 

Choosing brighter furniture, therefore, can make a big difference to the light levels in your rooms. More dazzling items reflect any light into the surrounding area, increasing how bright it appears without the need for building work. 

 

Use Artificial “Natural” Light

 

While architects take time to consider a home’s orientation, some properties are naturally dark. They have small windows or face the wrong direction. In these cases, the best bet is to use artificial “natural” light. It might sound like a strange thing to say, but modern solutions are highly effective. Companies have developed lights that mimic the wavelengths in white light emitted by the sun. So when you switch them on, they replicate natural light that comes flooding through the windows. 

 

Ersatz natural light can come in handy all over your home. You can use it in dark walkways, alcoves, and corners of your room. Try arranging natural lights so that they fill the entire space from multiple angles. Some homeowners install special lights on the floor or recessed behind room features. 

 

Install Larger Windows And Doors

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If you’re a purist and want the real McCoy, installing larger windows and doors is probably the best way to get more natural light. The greater the area for light to flood in, the brighter your rooms will be. 

 

Installing large windows and doors is relatively easy, as long as you have the budget. Renewal by Andersen suggests homeowners use professional installers instead of going down the DIY route. You’ll need to select the type of window that you want, and then consult a structural engineer on the feasibility of expanding the size of the windows. 

 

If you have a patio area, you might also want to install bi-folding doors. These allow you to create what is essentially a wall of glass across the back of your home. If your house is south-facing, this will provide you with lots of extra light during the day. 

 

Clean Your Windows

 

Sometimes, you don’t have to engage in any radical building work to get more light into your home: it just needs a good clean. Windows tend to accumulate dirt over time. Tiny particles in the air stick to them, and eventually, a residue builds up over the surface. If the film is oily, more and more particles will stick to the windows, eventually causing them to glaze. 

 

Cleaning your windows is a bit light cleaning your spectacles. You don’t realize just how much gunk is on them until you actually look through them once they’re clean. Sometimes your windows can look clean, even if they’re not. Your eyes can play tricks on you. Give them a once-over, hire a professional to do it for you, and see if that makes a difference to your interior’s brightness levels. 

 

Choose A Light-Friendly Flooring Option

 

The principle here is very similar to that of furniture we discussed earlier. You want to choose a flooring option that reflects as much light as possible. 

 

Your best option here is bright tiled floors with flecks of reflected material embedded in them. As the light comes into your rooms, the tiles will reflect it, and you’ll immediately brighten up your rooms. 

 

If you don’t like tiles or want a cheaper option, you can also try light wood or laminate floors. Again, the wood will reflect the available incoming light into the room, helping to brighten the whole place up. 

 

Unless you have a lot of light in your home, you’ll want to steer clear of carpets. They have an annoying habit of soaking up all the light and making your interiors feel a little grim. 

 

If you have to use carpet, stick with light, neutral colors. White rugs will help you feel like your rooms are brighter, even if they’re not in reality. 

 

Paint In Light Colors

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Are you starting to notice a theme here? Painting in bright colors can also help you enhance the amount of light in your rooms tremendously. Again, going as light as possible is your best bet here. Paint the walls of dark rooms white, and immediately benefit from additional internal reflectivity. Unless you have a specific interior theme in mind, avoid brilliant white. It can make rooms feel cold and depressing. Choose a slightly off-white color, or cream, and get that bright, cozy feel you see in all the magazines. 

 

Don’t like paint? You can also cover your walls in highly reflective wallpaper. Again, you’ll want to choose bright colors here. But you can take wallpaper a step further by selecting varieties that include flecks of metallic, which will reflect more incoming light into the room. 

 

Where possible, make the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls. This practice helps to mimic natural lighting by making things brighter above your head than around to the side. 

 

Finally, look for paints with satin or even gloss finishes. These will reflect more light than matte-effect colors. 

 

Fill Your Rooms With Shiny Objects

 

Have you ever wondered why light fittings in showrooms are always so metallic and shiny? It is because these surfaces help to scatter light more widely. 

 

Polished metal surfaces are incredibly effective at increasing the light levels in your room. If you’re skeptical, take a torch and then point the light at a metallic object in your living space, like a vase. Then take note of how the light scatters. You’ll notice that it goes all over the place, instantly firing off light beams into all your nooks and crannies. 

 

Making metallic surfaces attractive can be a challenge – granted. But if you can figure out a way to include them in a way that suits your decor, they can make a big difference. Shards of hammered metal on the wall, for instance, look not only great, but also add internal reflectivity too. 

 

Place Mirrors Strategically Around Your Home

 

Mirrors are the ultimate reflective surface, bouncing back over 95 percent of the light that hits them. People who live in dark, dingy homes, therefore, can use them to their advantage. 

 

Place them opposite sources of light in your home, such as windows. As the light floods in, it will hit the mirror and then scatter back into the room. 

 

Mirrors are particularly effective in narrow spaces, like hallways. 

 

Trim Greenery Around Your Home

 

For some people, there are no problems with the design of the home itself or the interior features. Instead, the problem is greenery and shrubbery around the house, blocking incoming light.

 

Do a quick check of your house’s exterior walls and see whether any plants are casting a shadow over your windows. Audit your light levels at different times of the day, since the direction of shadows can change from hour to hour. If you spot anything blocking light, cut it back, or remove it entirely. 

 

Wrapping Up

 

Getting more light into your home is part and parcel of making your living arrangements more enjoyable. Sometimes you need to make radical changes to get more light into your accommodation. But often, small modifications, like hanging a new mirror, is all you need. And that’s good news for people who are on a budget. 

 

So, does your home have enough natural light? Or would you like more?

Save a Small Fortune when Moving House with This Top Guide

If you want to save money when moving house, then you need to take your time and consider every cost possible. If you try and work out everything in advance then you will be much more likely to factor in every expense and you may even find that you won’t end up having to spend money on things that you might have forgotten about at the last minute. If you want some more helpful tips then simply look below.

Declutter

Before you even attempt to pack up all of your items, you need to make sure that you declutter everything, If you try and pack up items that you are not even sure you still want anymore, then this will make your packing up way more stressful. Decluttering your stuff will make things way easier when it comes to packing and it will make the cost of your removal way cheaper too. At the end of the day, the price of your home removal will ultimately depend on how many items you are taking with you.

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Compare Moving Services

The next thing that you need to do is ensure that you are using comparison sites to find a good moving company. When you do, you will soon find that the move becomes way less stressful and that you can also save yourself a lot of time as well. At the end of the day, you should be really comparing quotes as this will help you to make sure that you are saving money all across the board. If you want some help moving then North American Van Lines can help you out.

Book an Off-Peak Move

It goes without saying that you have to book your removal company, long in advance. Companies may be able to offer you some special deals if you book enough in advance. Of course, the summer months tend to be the most popular time for you to move and this is because the days are brighter, and you also have longer days too. The problem with this is that moving companies will often put up their prices so that they can compete with the demand. If you are able to, then try and delay the move until after the summer holidays so that you can move in the autumn.

Book the Cheapest Day

Another thing that you need to do is try and book the cheapest day to move house. If you book your moving company in plenty of time then this will help you to get a better deal. It can also mean that you are not going to be blindsided by added costs that might not have been expected. If you are on a budget then the best time for you to book your move would be on Sunday. Friday tends to be the most popular day for people to move as it gives them the weekend to settle in, but moving companies will often put up their prices so that they can accommodate the higher demand if you do this, so keep that in mind.

3 Home Problems Worth Treating As Emergencies

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When maintaining our homes, oftentimes we can put off essential work until a date in which applying the remedy would be more convenient. For example, if the paint is starting to peel from your garage door, it’s understandable why you wouldn’t break out the stripping knife and paints ten minutes before you pick your children up from school.

 

However, there are some issues that if left untended, or not regularly inspected, can grow quite significantly. This can sometimes lead to work that takes much more time and requires much more expense to fully resolve.

 

Yet for those of us who aren’t experts in all matters of DIY or home construction, distinguishing one from the other can seem like a difficult task. For instance, a broken window can be boarded up initially, but how long should we leave it like this until we are truly harming the security or insulation of our home to a worrying point? Is it worth calling out that emergency number and not waiting until the weekend is over?

 

In this post, we hope to give you three examples that can aid your understanding with these matters:

 

Roof Leaks Or Faded Insulation

 

If you notice a roof leak, or feel that your insulation is damaged or ineffective, it’s important to have those two issues sorted out pronto. Of course, the first of these examples is quite obvious to see, but the second can also contribute to the first, or rather open you up to the problem after one minute of heavy rainfall. With the best attic insulation https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/ from Insulatek, you’re sure to have the materials necessary for resolving the problem.

 

Damp

 

Damp is not just a somewhat unattractive spread of mold on the ceiling. It can be a dangerous presence of moisture that grows both toxins and spores. This can harm the lungs of those who breathe this in, especially the elderly or newborn babies. Damp often has a particular scent, but it can sometimes be hard to detect before it becomes a real problem. This means inspecting your bathroom, your walls (behind the furniture) of every room in the house, and especially in your basement will help you find it more quickly. Furthermore, be sure to properly ventilate your home for good measure.

 

Wall Cracks

 

Wall cracks can emphasize or declare subsidence, and this can mean that the foundations are starting to lose their structural integrity, are moving, or perhaps the walls are losing their structural strength. This can be a real hazard, so it’s important to move away from that room if you can, and speak to professional construction services. Sometimes, this can denote intensive construction work as repair, and so it’s important to speak to your insurance providers to see what your options are. Yet it’s always better to incur expense than to avoid a very dangerous home situation.

 

With this advice, we hope you can take care of the 3 home problems worth treating as emergencies.

6 Tips for Remodeling your Kitchen

6 Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen

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Kitchens are just about the most important room in every home. It’s where family members and guests gather to eat, share stories and laughter after spending time apart all day. More so, it is a bonding center and the hub of many family activities. So, it is understandable if you are willing to throw your spine into remodeling a kitchen into a room that is both efficient and appealing.

 

That said, the journey to remodeling a kitchen can be nerve-wracking, but the possibilities are exciting. Using the below tips as a guide, you can remodel your new kitchen into something straight out of a magazine page.

 

  1. Have a Budget

With or without a budget, kitchen remodeling can cost a bit on the high side depending on what you hope to achieve, or the idea you have in mind. However, a budget will help keep you on track and it’ll equally keep you grounded so you don’t go purchasing things you don’t need. For instance, lots of people opt for new cabinets when there’s nothing wrong with their old ones. With a budget, you can keep these kinds of expenses at bay.

 

  1. Don’t Get Confused

All homes are built with a certain architectural style in mind, so trying to force a cottage kitchen to fit a contemporary styled kitchen will only stress you out, make you spend more money and waste your time. The end result will most likely leave you with a kitchen that looks out of place in your home. 

The best thing to do to avoid an identity crisis is to follow the architectural style of your home.

 

  1. Research on Trends

Stay up to date with what’s trending in kitchen terms of kitchen architecture by extensively researching all things ‘kitchen’. Naturally, kitchen equipment and setups have evolved over the years and people are constantly finding more ways to conserve energy in their homes. Staying informed on the latest technological trends will update and provide you with eco-friendly options and a stylish look.

 

  1. Reuse Old Cabinets

Cabinets are quite expensive, so there is no need to pull out the old ones if they were made using good quality wood. Even more, if they were constructed as independent boxes then they are definite keepers. A simple facelift is probably all your cabinets need and you can do this by having Titan Painters come in to lightly sand them and repaint. So, do not try to DIY this process unless you are a professional yourself. At the end of the day, a professional paint job can have your old ugly cabinets looking new again.

 

  1. Consider Floor Patterns

It’s important to know the floor pattern of your kitchen and try to stick to it when remodeling, especially if you will have to rearrange appliances. Check if the floor pattern follows the natural triangular pattern and ensures workstation arrangements are maintained. For instance, keep your dishwasher close to your sink to improve efficiency in your kitchen.

 

  1. Aim for Ways to Save on Space

A spacious kitchen is always appealing and you can find ways to make space in your kitchen by creating inbuilt storages or using pull-down racks. Another trick is to ditch the chairs and go for some stools that can easily be pushed under the table. What this does is to leave your kitchen with ample space for movement.

Can You Deal With These Common Household Issues?

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Your home should be the most comfortable and safe place in the world. But that doesn’t mean that things are always going to be perfect. After all, life is filled with it’s ups and downs, and you’ve got to be ready to deal with problems when they appear. To help you make sure that you’re never left in any sticky situations, here are a few of the most common household problems, and you can deal with them.

 

Damp

 

This is one of the things that you should always be on the lookout for, especially if you live in an older property. Damp doesn’t need to always be a cause for alarm, but it’s definitely not something that you should ignore. It might start out as not that much of a problem, but if allow to carry on then it could well end up turning into the cause of a serious disaster. Damp can end up doing serious structural damage to your home, so it’s incredibly important that you call in a professional at the very first signs. 

 

Infestation

 

There are few things that can make your skin crawl like the idea that your home is being invaded by an infestation of pests. Sadly, this kind of thing is far more common than you might think. The upside of that, however, is that getting rid of pests is actually a lot easier than you might think. There are plenty of methods out there for getting rid of pests, whether it’s through rat traps or something more serious like fumigation for bugs if you’ve got a really serious problem. Of course, if it’s not quite that bad there are plenty of things that you can do to get rid of bugs and keep them out permanently.

 

Drains

 

Now, before you panic and call a plumber, there are actually a lot of things that you might be able to do yourself that are very effective and are pretty likely to save you money. Unless the clog is really serious, getting rid of it is actually a pretty simple prospect. By disconnecting the drain line and fishing out the clog with a metal wire bent into a little hook, you should be able to sort the whole thing out yourself. Of course, if it does turn out that your clog is a little bit more complicated than that, then it might, in fact, be time to call in a professional to deal with it. After all, you don’t want to end up spending days trying to deal with something that a plumber can fix in a few minutes.

 

Now, in an ideal world, you won’t have to deal with all of these problems (and if you’re really lucky then you won’t have to deal with any of them!) but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, it’s definitely a more enviable position to have a bit of extra knowledge that you’ll never use than to be left in a bad situation with no idea what to do!

Top Tips and Ideas for Improving Your Home This Year

Owning a home is one of the most exciting things you can do in life, and the home is such an excellent asset to have these days. Now, there are a lot of things you are going to need to get right and focus on as best you can moving forward. You want to be sure you are making the best decisions to help the home improve and get better. This is something you need to make sure you make the most of right now. 

 

You are going to need to take steps right now to protect the property and improve it as much as you can because there are so many benefits to doing this. Try to think about the best ways of being able to factor this into your daily routine. Anything you can do to make the home better and more impressive is important, and there are a lot of things you can do to achieve this moving forward. Here are some of the key ideas and hints that will help you to make the best possible home improvements right now. 

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Extend the Property 

 

Extensions are one of the best ways of being able to improve the home and make the right sorts of changes that can help you with this. Now, there are a lot of people who have different ideas of how you can go about achieving this, and one of the key things is that you can choose to extend the property. Now, there are a lot of factors that you have to keep in mind when you are looking at some of the best ways of achieving this, and something like a conservatory or an orangery would be the ideal way of being able to get this sorted right now. 

 

Make Repairs

 

There are bound to be things all over the house that need to be repaired, and this is another excellent way of being able to improve the home. You are bound to be able to find plenty of things all over the home that could be repaired or fixed, and this is an essential way of being able to improve the home. Sometimes you’ll want to bring in professionals for this, but there are also plenty of home repairs you can do yourself, and there are a lot of YouTube tutorials you can check out to help you when it comes to improving this as much as possible. 

 

Increase Security

 

You also need to look at how safe and secure your home is and take steps to improve and increase this as much as possible. There are plenty of modern home security tips you need to keep in mind when it comes to improving and assessing the best ways of being able to take things to the next level. Installing security systems, upgrading locks, and lighting up the home are just a few of the great ways of being able to factor in what it takes to get this right as much as possible. 

 

Pest Control

 

Something else that is worth considering when it comes to making your home better is to look at dealing with pests and controlling their influence on your home. This is something you need to make sure you get right as much as you can, and it can make a massive difference moving forward. Stuff like termite damage repair is essential for the future of the property, and you need to make sure you do as much as possible to improve things moving forward, and to try to work on making the most of this right now. Pest control matters a great deal, and this is something to keep in mind for the home moving forward. 

 

Get a New Kitchen

 

The kitchen is the crown jewel of the home, and it is essential that you have the best kitchen you possibly can. Try to do as much as possible to focus on making the right decisions for the home, and revamping your kitchen is one of the best ways of being able to do this. Try to come up with ideas that will let you make the right changes for the home today, and something like an open plan kitchen can transform your home to completely new heights and will have massive advantages for you when it comes to selling the home in the future as well. 

 

Repaint the Home 

 

You might be surprised by what it takes to make a massive difference in your life, and you might also be shocked at the impact that repainting your home can have on the property. Make sure you do as much as possible to focus on making the right changes. A fresh coat of paint can transform the home and make it look brand new, not to mention bright, vibrant, and welcoming. So, you have to do as much as possible to look at how you can repaint the property right now, and the best paint color scheme to use moving forward. 

 

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Add Value

 

Anything you can do to add more value to the home is something that you need to look into right now, and this is really important. Try to make sure you take steps right now to help you achieve this, and you can use a number of the ideas we’ve already mentioned to help you. Another huge way of being able to add value to the home is to look at how you can be more energy-efficient in your life. 

 

Take the time to do as much as possible to help your home improve and grow. There are so many wonderful things you can do that are going to make a big difference here, and this is something that you need to keep in mind. The more you can do to make the most of this, the better it will be for you moving forward. You will be in a position to improve your home, and you will be able to add value to it at the same time. Try to do as much as you can to get this right, and work on improving things for the future right now. 

Five Appliances That Will Make Cooking So Much Easier

Perhaps you’re not the best cook in the kitchen but you want to start engaging with more flavors and tastes. Or perhaps you simply want to make cooking more convenient so you don’t spend all your time in a kitchen without having to resort to instant noodles. Here, we’re going to look at five appliances that many a chef swears by, and how it can help you up your dinner game.

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Process makes perfect

A good food processor is far much more than a blender. In fact, not all are suited to be used as a blender. Rather, their best use is that they can be used to chop up a lot of vegetables or ingredients into small pieces in a tiny amount of time. As such, if you need some diced, sliced, or otherwise cut ingredients, you can save yourself a lot of time, especially if you’re not very dexterous.

 

A good wok

There are few tools more versatile than a good wok. When it comes to a good stir fry or noodle meal, you can use pretty much any whole food ingredients you like, alongside noodles, some sauce or seasoning, and your choice of cooked meat. It’s one of the best tools for quickly whipping up something tasty and filling.

 

The pressure is on now

Have you had the experience of cooking chicken or lamb or another flavorful meat, only to find it tastes kind of bland when you’re done with it? Pressure cookers are best known for trapping in all that flavor. What’s more, a good meal of chicken and rice in a pressure cooker will actually take less time to make than otherwise. You might have a delicious, filling meal ready in no more than fifteen minutes.

 

Nice as rice

A good staple grain to go with your meal can help make it filling without too much effort. Rice is one of the top choices for a lot of people, and there are few ways to cook rice better than with a rice cooker. If you have trouble maintaining consistent results with your rice, then a good rice cooker can help you make perfect rice every single time, taking out a lot of the guesswork.

 

Your smartphone

Okay, so it might not be an appliance that you cook with, but the phone has become one of the most useful tools in the kitchen for a lot of chefs. That’s thanks to the wide range of recipe sharing and cooking apps that can take you through the step-by-steps, from meal planning all the way up to cooking individual recipes. If you’re looking to expand your repertoire and build some skills, then make sure you find the right apps to help.

 

Of course, a craftsman or woman is only as good as their tools, but they also know how to make good use of those tools. Make sure you’re trying out some of the more basic recipes using your chosen appliances first so you can get used to how they work before you get experimental with them.

Top Home Security Tips

How do you feel when you are at home? Safe? Secure? We all want to feel this way in our own homes and the thought of an intruder in your home is likely to make your blood run cold.

Making sure you are security conscious in all areas of your day to day life will help you to make sure your home and all your personal belongings are safe from would-be burglars and intruders whether or not you are home or away.

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Keep on Top of Repairs

If you have noticeable damage to external windows or doors, then this can prove appealing to those who make a living from stealing other people’s possessions. The easier you make it for others to gain entry to your home, the higher the risk of falling foul of those who wish to cause you harm.

Make sure to keep on top of damaged windows or window frames to eliminate unwanted invitations. Make sure you check all doors and windows fittings and locks to ensure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and helping to keep your home as secure as possible.

Fit Security Systems

From alarms on doors and windows to full smart home refits, there are many options these days when it comes to upping your at-home security to protect everything you have in the four walls of your home. Incorporate biometrics by utilizing fingerprint door locking systems and video doorbells so you can see who is knocking at our door and on your premises. Install alarm systems that are less intrusive and have noise alerts for movement and noise when you are away from home as well as a temperature monitor.

Light It Up

Burglars love the darkness. It makes sense that a lot of home intruders pounce under the cover of night. So, light up your outside space with sensor lights that detect movement and come on automatically. Solar lights that charge by sunlight and be left on during the night in gardens or on patios and fences. Aim the light at the more hidden areas of your home such as garages, side paths as well as lighting up areas closer to the house itself to deter anyone trying to sneak in.

Check Your Habits

Be aware of your surroundings when going about your day to day life. Take notice of others around you when you leave home or come back. Try not to leave keys in doors whilst you nip in and out again with shopping. Or indeed keys in cars or even engines running to warm the car up or if you have to get back out if you forget something as you leave home. Opportunist thieves thrive off this kind of chance and won’t hesitate to make you regret that split-second decision.

Make yourself aware of what you do and how you do it help you become more security conscious and change your habits to better protect yourself and your home.