A Guide To Making The Most Of Natural Light In Your Home

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Natural lighting is one of the constants when it comes to interior design. While colors, patterns, and techniques may change, a beautiful room will always require a little help from the sun to truly make it magical.

 

That’s all well and good if you live in a house with endless floor-to-ceiling windows and more natural light than you know what to do with, but let’s be realistic: most of us don’t live in houses like that. Some of us don’t even come close. If you have a dearth of natural light in your home, then what can you do to try and ensure you light up the interior — without spending a fortune on electricity bills every month?

 

#1 – Enlarge Windows

 

Some houses have huge windows that stretch from the floor to the ceiling… other houses do not. If you find yourself in the latter category, then one of the best ways of bringing in more natural light is to enlarge the windows themselves. Browse through ranges such as Renewal by Andersen to find something that can give you more natural light, and you’re halfway to getting this problem solved once and for all.

 

#2 – Use Mirrors

 

Mirrors are among the most useful tools for increasing the feel of natural light in a room. If you position mirrors strategically, you can help encourage light to spread through the room by reflecting the light that pours in through the windows naturally. There’s plenty of advice online that will teach you about the right ways to use mirrors effectively when decorating, so keep these in mind and you should be able to make the natural light you do receive go further.

 

#3 – Ceiling Spotlights

 

If you are struggling for light but don’t want the expense of having to turn indoor lighting on all the time, battery-powered ceiling spotlights are a great solution. The batteries tend to last for a long time and are inexpensive to replace, so using them allows you to light up a grey day without having to be concerned with expensive electricity bills. Sure, it’s not that convenient to have to switch them on individually, but just grab a broom handle to help and you’ll be done in 30 seconds. It’s a simple home improvement that can make a big difference.

#4 – Curtains Instead Of Blinds

 

Curtains are the standard for the majority of us. They look nice, they help provide some thermal protection, and a room just somehow looks more ‘complete’ when they’re in place. However, curtains do have a downside: even when they are pulled back, they affect the amount of natural light that shines into a room. It might not seem like much, but those few inches that curtains intrude over a window can make all the difference on a grey and gloomy day. Switching to blinds installed in the recess of a window will open the entire area up, while still offering the thermal and blackout properties that curtains do.

So while you may be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to allow natural lighting to pour into your home, by following the above, you should at least have some assistance along the way.

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.

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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 http://www.charlotteroofing.com/charlotte-roofing-contractor/ 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.

 

Gutters

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. https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/how-to-clean-rain-gutters/ 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, https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm 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?

How Can You Fund Your Home Improvements?

When you’re planning a large-scale home renovation, the biggest problem you need to overcome is funding it. It’s going to cost you a lot of money but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to afford to pay for it outright by saving up the cash. Unfortunately, most people aren’t in that position. The average price of a home extension is around $40,000 which is an amount that most people don’t have lying around. That means you’ll have to find some other way of funding your new home addition. These are your options.

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Borrow Against Your Life Insurance

 

Not many people realize that you can borrow money against your life insurance policy if you have one. It’s a great way to raise the extra cash that you need to build your home extension. Wholelifeinsurance.co has lots of great information on borrowing money against your life insurance. You can only borrow against a permanent life insurance policy so if you’ve got a term policy then you won’t be able to raise the cash this way. When you’re borrowing against your life insurance policy, you are essentially borrowing money from yourself. The major benefit to this is that you don’t need to go through any credit checks and it won’t have any effect on your credit score whatsoever.

 

Re-Mortgage

 

The most efficient way to raise the money that you need is to re-mortgage your home. The amount that you are eligible to borrow depends on a few things. The amount that you still owe on the mortgage is a big one. If you haven’t paid off that much of your existing mortgage, you won’t be able to get much so it might be best to go another direction. Your credit rating also factors in so anybody with a lower credit rating is better off borrowing against your life insurance. However, re-mortgaging does have a major benefit. The value that your new addition adds to the home increases the amount of money that you’re able to borrow so if you’re making a very ambitious alteration to your house, you’re most likely to get the money that you need by re-mortgaging your home. Visit bankofamerica.com for information on interest rates on remortgaging.

 

Home Improvement Loans

 

A home improvement loan is essentially the same as a second mortgage, but it is unrelated to the remaining balance on the mortgage so you might be able to get more. You’ll still have to go through all of the same credit checks before you get the loan. An unsecured loan is best for smaller projects like a new bathroom that won’t cost a huge amount but if you are adding a large extension, you’ll have to go for a secured loan.

 

Credit Cards

 

When you’ve exhausted all of the previous options, you could consider cancelling your plans but if you’ve got your heart set on it, there is still a way to get the money. Credit cards are the most expensive way to do it and the rate of interest that you’ll pay is going to be high. If you’re using a credit card to fund a home improvement, it’s only sensible to use it for smaller renovations rather than full-scale extensions.

 

Funding a large home renovation is going to be expensive however you choose to borrow the money. If you’re going to put yourself in a large amount of debt, you might want to hold off for a few years and save up some money.

Luxury Living Room Ideas You’ll Love

The living room is the place where the whole family can sit and relax together. It is also the room you welcome guests into. You want it to make the right impression. Most of us decorate our living rooms more often than any other room in the house. We want it to look good, so there may even be seasonal updates to the decor throughout the year. Perhaps you spend more waking hours in this room than any of the others? Why not go for a luxury upgrade?

 

Flooring

Start with the flooring. For a beautiful floor, it has to be hardwood. Oak has proven to be very popular because it lasts a lifetime and can be quite versatile. In fact, it is easier to match the rest of your wooden furniture to oak as there are so many choices. When it comes to flooring, there is no need for a high shine polish. Choose a light shade, and enjoy all the warmth of that amazing oak grain. Finally, add a plush rug in a strong, vibrant color. Why not pick an energetic pattern?

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Seating

Your sofa and armchairs should be high quality if you’re looking for a luxury finish. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be comfortable! Pick a good quality manufacturer for your leather seating. It will last longer, and the colors will stay true. Be bold and daring with a green chesterfield sofa for this room. They sit easily in the space, and you can add other armchairs and seating without it looking out of place. The button work is gorgeous!

 

Window Dressing

Curtains, drapes, and voiles are all essential parts of any living room. Remember, they need to be functional as well as adding a touch of luxury to your decor. If you live in an area that becomes cold in the winter, then thermal lined drapes are a must! If you want a bit more privacy, then voiles are ideal. They also disperse the natural light beautifully into the room to make it softer and more comfortable. Color is really important here. You can choose to match the seating or go for something softer and more decorative.

 

Furniture

Many people like the idea of a solid wood sideboard in the living room. It’s handy for storing all those games and magazines that can often clutter the room. Alternatively, why not place a large coffee table in the middle of the room? These often come with storage solutions that may be just enough for your. Finish the room with a storage footstool on casters so it can be moved into position whenever you fancy putting your feet up. Best of all, they too can hide away all those kids’ toys!

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Entertainment

The living room is also where we gather to watch TV and movies. Choose a high-end high-resolution TV. Curved screens give the best view from any angle. You can install a surround sound system with speakers strategically placed around the room. Why not add some LED lighting around the edges of the room to give it that luxury cinema feel? Love your luxury living room.

Is Your Home Secure? Find Out For Sure

Are you worried about the security of your home? Perhaps you should be. Research shows that break-ins have actually risen over the last few years. On the plus side, violent crimes have dropped right off, so chances are if someone does break into your home they want the TV. This means it’s unlikely they’ll try and enter while you are inside. Still, mistakes can be made, and you don’t want to end up in a position where you are worried about someone entering your home who shouldn’t be there. That’s why you need to think about security

 

Weak Spots

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There are various areas that can provide a weak spot in security for your home and a way for criminals to get in with less difficulty. For instance, you might have a hole in your roof. Depending on the size or location of that hole, this could be the perfect opening for a thief or burglar.

 

Or, perhaps you have a garage door that has seen better days. If it isn’t shutting properly, it can easily be an entry point for a criminal. You might think that if the door connecting your garage to the house is locked that you are safe, but don’t be so sure. It’s quite possible that once they are in the garage, they can work as long as they need to out of sight and undetected on that inner door. Eventually, they could break through.

 

This is one of the reasons why you need to make sure that repairs on your home are completed as quickly as possible.

 

Security Systems

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Do you have the right security system for your home? According to homesecuritysystem.co, there are a number of different systems to choose from, including LiveWatch and ADT. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but the fact is that most homes don’t have any form of real security system. They might have an alarm or a lock on the main door. But one feature is never going to be enough. To keep your home and your valuables safe, you should definitely be investing in the full package. This is the only way to ensure that you have everything in place to prevent a break-in.

 

Silly Mistakes

The Next Open Door Doorway Wooden Opening Chrome

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One report found that in certain areas, nearly forty percent of people leave their front doors unlocked. Now it is worth pointing that if you leave your door unlocked and there’s no sign of a break in, you will have difficulty making a claim through the insurance. But that’s not the main reason why your door shouldn’t be left unlocked, even if you are in. You might think you’d notice someone walking into your home. But what if you were in the kitchen cooking dinner with the TV on? The kids wouldn’t notice, they’re upstairs listening to music and playing a video game. Is it possible someone could walk in, steal some valuable items lying around and walk out again? You bet it is. You can find more weird mistakes people make with their home security on lfb.org/make-home-truly-invasion-proof.

 

We hope this helps you realize whether your home is truly secure or if you need to take more measures to protect your possessions.

Get The Most Back You Can From Renovations And Remodels

What should you consider when you are making renovations and changes to your home? Believe it or not, one of the key factors to consider is how much money you can make from it. Whenever you renovate your home or change your property, you should have that future sale in the back of your mind. Make the right changes and choices, and you can add a fortune to the value of your home, benefiting from the future sale. Of course, you do have to make sure that any changes you make are top quality and that you don’t make the mistake of cutting corners. But that’s not we’re looking at today. Today we’re looking at which are the right improvements to make to add massive value to your home.

 

Kitchen Renovations

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Kitchen renovations are definitely a fantastic place to start when adding value to your property. Your kitchen is one of the first places a new buyer will be interested in so you need to make sure that it looks attractive. Don’t forget, these days, the first glimpse they get of your home will be online. Naturally, you should be looking at beautiful aesthetic features. Let’s start by thinking about adding spotlights to the roof of your home. As well as this, you might want to consider marble flooring or even a similar looking material. The benefit of this is that the bright lights make the flooring and even the countertop glisten. It gives your home the appearance of being brand new.

 

You can also consider adding new tech to your home too. Interestingly, this doesn’t need to be tech that will be left once you move. You just need to make your property look like a dream come true when buyers come to visit. A smart fridge or a cool oven with a door that slides out of sight could certainly do this.

 

You should expect to pay at least a few thousand for this type of renovation work. The good news is that if you complete the job to a high level of quality it could boost your home value by up to twenty-five percent.

 

Bathroom Renovations

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Bathroom renovations are another area that could dramatically boost the value of your home. However, you need to make the right changes to this area of your property. For instance, you should work to ensure that the bathroom is open plan. You can even get rid of the bath if you like an option for a far larger shower space. People are becoming less interested in taking baths in a rushed rat race kind of world. Instead, they want to ensure that their showers are as luxurious as possible.

 

As well as this, you can explore the possibility of adding new flooring to the bathroom such as black marble or granite. This is going to look absolutely stunning, and while the cost will be considerable, you can add a lot to the value with this type of feature. If a change like this doesn’t fit into your budget unsecured loans for homeowners can help. As long as you own your home, you can make the change with the loan and then pay it off when you sell your property.

 

Extensions

 

Finally, you can consider adding an extension onto your home. A loft conversion could be a perfect choice here. You’ll get a new room in your property and give your home extra space without too much building work required.

 

We hope you find this advice helpful and love adding extra value to your home.

Down The Hatches, Winter Is Coming

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It’s official, fall has arrived. We know that for a fact because a) it is now Septemeber, b) the leaves have gone crisp and golden and c) our knees have gone stiff in the cold. We’re selling Autumn as a bad thing, but the truth is we absolutely love it. We love kicking through the leaves, putting on extra layers, lighting the log burner and sipping on hot chocolate as we watch the entire collection of Bridget Jones. It is just the absolute best.

 

However, before you get too comfortable in your slippers and dressing gown, there are some home preparations that you need to make. The good news is, you can do most of these yourself. Sure, you may need to go onto homeequitylineof.credit and speak to someone about getting a loan, but it will be worth it because these preparations will not only reduce your utility bills but also protect your home-sweet-home in the long run.

 

So, without further ado, here is your to-do list. Get on it now and you can be sipping on your hot cocoa as soon as this evening.

 

Fire Up The Furnace

You don’t have to spend more than $100 to have a technician come out, give your furnace the once over and make sure the system is in good knick for the winter. Not only will this quick test mean your furnace is running at maximum efficiency during the colder months, it will also allow you to check for any carbon monoxide leaks. You can’t put a price on safety, but $100 is pretty good.

 

Check Out Your Roof

Whether you get the ladder out or simply pull on a pair of binoculars, you need to give your roof the once over. What you are checking for is loose, cracked, broken or missing shingles – anything that will encourage a leak to start ruining your house. We always recommend you call in a professional, but even if you go it alone you’ll find that preventing damage now will be a whole lot cheaper than fixing any damage later on. Make sure you pay special attention to the areas around the chimney and any vents.

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Caulk Any Drafts

It doesn’t matter whether you walk around your house with a thermal camera added onto your smartphone or a candle, checking every time it flickers; the point is you need to shut off any drafts that are creeping through your windows and doors and that means caulking. The good news is, you can grab a tube of this stuff for about $6.50. If you really want to get it under control then try weatherstripping your frames too. It’s all about going with belt and braces in winter.

 

Insulation Beats Layers

As tempting as it can be to just drag an old oil drum into the living room and put on all your jumpers at once, it is far easier to just have your attic insulated. That is because 25% of all your home’s heat is lost through the attic. Yeah, this is a little bit costly up front but it will save you around $200 a year and you could even get a government grant for making the move. Oh, yeah, we have your attention now.

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Suffering With Mold In Your Home? Breath Easier With Our Practical Tips

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Mold is a common problem in households today, and it is an issue that needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Not only an eyesore in your property, the mold is also a problem that could have consequences for your health. In this article, we will help you identify mold in your home, and give you some advice on how to deal with this common occurrence before it spreads.



What is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in areas of high moisture. Tell-tale signs are black, blue and green patches growing on your walls and damp, earthy smell in the room. There are many types of mold, as seen here, http://www.mold-advisor.com/mold-types, and some are more harmful than others.

Health effects

Many persistent health problems could be directly attributed to mold exposure. These include coughing, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. Mold can also trigger allergies, and we gave you some helpful advice to help you alleviate the symptoms at https://reviewsbykathy.com/tricks-for-alleviating-home-allergies. Medical conditions such as asthma can also be worsened by the spores prevalent in the mold.

Dealing with the problem

We need to get to the root of the problem, and that is by discovering where there are areas of excess moisture. Usually, moisture issues are caused by poor ventilation, leaking pipes, badly sealed doors and windows, condensation, and cracks in the foundations of the roof and walls. Dealing with these issues early will reduce the chances of you having to deal with the problem of mold.

There are certain areas of the house that are more prone to mold than others. These include your basement, bathroom, kitchen, attic, and crawlspace. Ventilation will help, so make sure there are vents in high-risk areas, and always open your windows in the bathroom when you get a shower, and in the kitchen when you are cooking. Considering mold feeds on organic matter, you should also ensure you keep your walls, floors, and furnishings dry, to further reduce the risk of growth.

It is always worth bringing in the professionals to help you assess the situation if you suspect you have a mold problem. They will let you know how toxic the spores are, and will seal off problem areas, as seen here, https://www.crawlspacecharlotte.com/crawlspace-encapsulation/, before the mold spores have the opportunity to cross-contaminate other areas in your home.

You can remove small patches of the mold using a spray bottle filled with water and a quarter tablespoon of baking soda. This will also act as a preventative measure to mold growing back in that area. You can also buy eco-friendly products from the store that can help deal with the issue.

Finally

You will minimise the problem of the mold by fixing and dealing with the problems around your home before it has a chance to develop. However, call in the professionals should the problem become widespread, and always seek medical advice if your health has been affected.

Prevent Cold Weather Chaos With These Practical Tips

It may only be the start of Fall, but already the weather is changing; it’s already getting colder out there. The winter months may seem a long way off, but the fact is that they will come around awfully quick, which is why it pays to prepare in advance. The fact is that if you want to prevent cold weather chaos from ensuing, it is vital that you prepare in advance for the coming colder months.

 

Far too many homeowners leave their cold weather preparation until the last minute, which is a recipe for total disaster. Don’t wait until a storm has been forecast or snow is on the way to get your home winter-ready, get it done now so that you don’t need to stress and can just sit back and relax. Make the coming colder months easier for yourself by preparing in advance – here’s how to do that:

 

Get those gutters cleared

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Are you yet to give your gutters a clear out? The fact is that over time debris, like leaves, twigs, and dirt builds up in gutters, blocking them, which means that they won’t work properly. Instead of draining water away from your home, your gutters may end up filled with standing water that pours down your property and causes damage, which isn’t what you want. Don’t let your home get damage because you haven’t taken the time to have your gutters cleared out. Call out a contractor and tick another household chore off of your list.

 

Give your pipes a once over

 

What’s the most common household issue in the colder winter months? Water pipes bursting is the most commonly reported issue during the colder months. The good news is that there are ways that you can prevent this from happening, such as by having your home’s water pipes checked over for any problems and repaired by experts – you can find plenty of specialists online on sites like https://www.benfranklinclt.com/plumbing-repair-charlotte-nc/. You can also take the time to learn how to prevent pipes bursting in cold conditions, such as by turning all taps on so that as the ice melts, the water has somewhere to go, instead of the pressure causing tears in the pipe. Or, another way to prevent burst pipes is to have your heating on constant but at a low temperature.

 

Stock up on essentials

 

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There is nothing more chaotic than the pre-storm run to the store. The fact is that every year there are storms, storms that are so powerful they mean you are stuck at home for hours or even days at a time. Before a big storm hits, there’s always a mad rush to stock up on essentials, which means that it is worth stocking up beforehand. Find an area in your home where you can store bottled water and dried goods, so that should a storm hit, you have plenty to eat and drink, and don’t have to make a mad dash to the store to stock up. As well as stocking up on food and drinks, it also pays to stock up on storm supplies like sandbags and wood to cover windows in.

 

Want to ensure that when the upcoming colder weather hits you are prepared? Take note of the tips and advice above and implement them.

Decorate Your Way To a Bigger Looking Bathroom

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Cleanliness may be next to Godliness but bathrooms are, nonetheless, often a point of contention in otherwise perfect homes. While technically a bathroom doesn’t require a whole lot of space, there’s nothing worse than a cramped and cluttered looking bathroom. The good news is that you can inject a sense of space and light in a smaller bathroom without breaking the bank on structural remodeling or even replacing your bathroom suite. With the right colors, finishes, lighting, and materials (as well as a few strategically deployed devices) you can transform even the most modest of bathrooms into a luxurious palace of cleanliness and relaxation.  

 

Color is everything

 

Choosing the right color scheme is essential to ensuring that your bathroom has the decided look and feel. Whether you want a look that’s subtle and sophisticated or an aesthetic that sparkles like a jewelry box it’s important to choose a color scheme that creates the sense of relaxation and serenity that you need in the bathroom. Even if your personal tastes favor bold and dazzling colors, neutrality should be the order of the day (if you’re looking for dazzle, that’s where glossy finishes will come in). That said, you can do better than a bathroom entirely filled with white subway tiles (which will make your bathroom look like a giant tooth). Accompanying white tile with accent tiles and/or paints in soothing, neutral tones will not only enhance your space but imbue the room with a sense of serenity.  Conventional wisdom may dictate that smaller tiles will look better in smaller rooms but the truth is that the smaller the surface area of the tile, the more wall space will be devoted to grouting which can make your walls seem cluttered.

 

Cut back on accessories

In a small space, even small items of furniture can be distracting as well as taking up valuable space. Wall shelves, hanging racks and accessories can clutter up your room surprisingly easily so anything that isn’t absolutely necessary needs to go. Finding an alternative space to store your laundry basket or medicine cabinet can make a world of difference.

 

Mildew must go!

 

Mold and mildew not only emit spores that can aggravate asthma or other respiratory conditions, they look really unsightly in the bathroom. Mildew tends to accumulate in the grouting between tiles, causing it to blacken and making the room seem to instantly shrink. Unless you want to scrub the grout between tiles with a toothbrush once a week, good ventilation is extremely important. A great selection of bathroom fans can be found at http://homespaselect.com/bathroom-fans. Even if you have a window, a good bathroom fan will reduce the risk of unsightly mold and mildew.

 

Let there be light (and mirrors)

 

The glossy surface of tiles can really enhance the properties of the lighting used in your bathroom, but extra lighting can really open up a small bathroom. Recessed lighting in the walls and ceiling as well as in and around the bathroom mirror can dazzle while adding a sense of cleanliness and warmth. Most bathrooms incorporate at least one mirror (usually hovering over the sink). A larger bathroom can reflect back room’s light but the same effect can be achieved with several smaller mirrors strategically placed around the room.

Suffering With Mold In Your Home? Breath Easier With Our Practical Tip

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Mold is a common problem in households today, and it is an issue that needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively. Not only an eyesore in your property, the mold is also a problem that could have consequences for your health. In this article, we will help you identify mold in your home, and give you some advice on how to deal with this common occurrence before it spreads.



What is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in areas of high moisture. Tell-tale signs are black, blue and green patches growing on your walls and damp, earthy smell in the room. There are many types of mold, as seen here, http://www.mold-advisor.com/mold-types, and some are more harmful than others.

Health effects

Many persistent health problems could be directly attributed to mold exposure. These include coughing, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. Mold can also trigger allergies, and we gave you some helpful advice to help you alleviate the symptoms at https://reviewsbykathy.com/tricks-for-alleviating-home-allergies. Medical conditions such as asthma can also be worsened by the spores prevalent in the mold.

Dealing with the problem

We need to get to the root of the problem, and that is by discovering where there are areas of excess moisture. Usually, moisture issues are caused by poor ventilation, leaking pipes, badly sealed doors and windows, condensation, and cracks in the foundations of the roof and walls. Dealing with these issues early will reduce the chances of you having to deal with the problem of mold.

There are certain areas of the house that are more prone to mold than others. These include your basement, bathroom, kitchen, attic, and crawlspace. Ventilation will help, so make sure there are vents in high-risk areas, and always open your windows in the bathroom when you get a shower, and in the kitchen when you are cooking. Considering mold feeds on organic matter, you should also ensure you keep your walls, floors, and furnishings dry, to further reduce the risk of growth.

It is always worth bringing in the professionals to help you assess the situation if you suspect you have a mold problem. They will let you know how toxic the spores are, and will seal off problem areas, as seen here, https://www.crawlspacecharlotte.com/crawlspace-encapsulation/, before the mold spores have the opportunity to cross-contaminate other areas in your home.

You can remove small patches of the mold using a spray bottle filled with water and a quarter tablespoon of baking soda. This will also act as a preventative measure to mold growing back in that area. You can also buy eco-friendly products from the store that can help deal with the issue.

Finally

You will minimise the problem of the mold by fixing and dealing with the problems around your home before it has a chance to develop. However, call in the professionals should the problem become widespread, and always seek medical advice if your health has been affected.

Shore Up Home Security In 3 Simple Steps

Writing a blog is a funny old thing in that different ideas come to you as you’re writing certain articles. I posted a piece not long ago about making old people feel safe at home. As I wrote this, it got me thinking about home security in general. I think a lot of us are guilty of being a little bit relaxed when it comes to how secure our home is. So, it gave me the idea to write this blog to help you all shore up the security in your home.

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Install A Proper Security System

If I asked all of you to raise your hand if you actually use the security alarm in your home, how many hands would be in their air right now? I’m willing to bet it’s a fairly small percentage! The fact is, we often forget or neglect to set the alarm when we go out. Or, we haven’t used the system for so long, and it doesn’t even work.

 

Either way, this isn’t good as you need a proper security system to keep your house safe. Especially if you’re out for a long time, as anyone can break in without an alarm going off. My advice is to install a new security system, so you’ve got an updated and modern one in place. Set the alarm every time you go out, and the house is empty. This will really help beef up security and keep your home safe.

Tackle The Problem Areas

There are parts of your home that are fairly safe, and there are parts that present risks. These are the problem areas, and you need to get them as secure as can be, right away. I find that the garage is a real problem area, as it can easily be broken into. All it takes is a faulty garage door to provide an opening for a burglar to get inside. Companies like Tip Top Garage Doors will tell you there are lots of ways for a garage door to break. So, your first port of call is ensuring your garage door is as secure as can be and working properly.

 

Then, address other problem areas such as your back door or garden fences. A poorly fenced garden is asking to get broken into, and your back door often gets left unlocked by mistake. The bottom line is that you need to tackle the problem areas and really shore them up for a secure home.

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Get A Front Gate

A lot of us have houses with an open driveway and no gate. Personally, I think front gates are really handy for improving home security. Particularly if they make a lot of noise when they’re opened!

 

A gate poses an extra obstacle for an intruder to get passed. It makes things harder for them and can stop them from breaking in. Plus, the noise from a gate can alert people in the home which means you can stop the intruder and call the police right away.

 

If you’re keen to make your home safer for everyone, I suggest following these three simple steps to shore up security.

Flooding: 4 Health Dangers Homeowners Need To Be Aware Of

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Flooding has made its way into the national consciousness recently, thanks to the battering from two successive hurricanes. Irma and Harvey, impacting Florida and Texas respectively, and their aftermath is still wreaking havoc on the US. The cost of repairing the damage could be overwhelmingly high.

 

Even if you weren’t affected by these two storms, it seems a pertinent time to consider the possible aftermath of catastrophic flooding. Given how rare widespread flooding is, you might not be aware of the risks this phenomenon can pose to your home — so let’s dive on in, so if the worst happens, you know what you have to do to cope…

 

  1. Disease

 

Where there is standing water, there is the potential for the disease — it really is that simple. That’s why the aftermath of widespread flooding is often not truly tallied until months or years later; it might not be obvious in the initial moments after a flood, but eventually, the effects will be obvious. Standing water leads to an increase in the mosquito population, which puts residents at risks long after the flood waters have eventually receded — that increase in population doesn’t just drain away with the water.

 

In the aftermath of a flood, it’s essential that you take all steps necessary to protect your home from the potential population growth of unpleasant bugs and flying insects. Steps such as mosquito misting are vital, as soon as possible after the flood itself. It’s also important to make a mental note to wear insect repellent when you’re out and about in your local neighborhood.

 

  1. Black Mold

 

If any area of your house is left too wet for too long, then the risk of black mold because ever-more likely. Black mold can be incredibly toxic, so don’t underestimate how potent it can be in the moment and also as a trigger for allergies. Inspect all areas that have been affected frequently, even after the flood water has receded.

 

  1. Weak Floorboards

 

Water and wood don’t tend to mix well. You could find that the floorboards have been weakened by prolonged exposure to water. Even the ground floor of your home could be damaged, so peel back the flooring and check everything still looks as it should do. If in doubt, contact a flooring specialist to do a thorough assessment.

 

  1. Subsidence

 

If your house was sitting in water for any longer than a couple of days, there is always a chance it may damage the structure of your house. If this is a situation that you experience, it’s vital you seek the advice of a structural engineer to ensure your house is still safe.

 

There’s very little you can do to prevent catastrophic flooding, but as the above show, you do have some control over how you respond to it occurring.

Easy Ways To Help Older People Feel Safe In Their Home

If you have elderly relatives – it’s natural that you’d be concerned about their welfare, especially if they live far away. Even older people who live with others are at risk in their home if they have injuries or reduced mobility. There are several things you can do to help older people feel safer in their homes, helping to give peace of mind to you and your family too.

Image: Pexels

A smartphone or tablet

A smartphone or tablet is a great idea for a gift for older people. It can help them stay connected without the complexity of a computer and means they can take it with them around the house or when they leave. There are some great smartphone models for older adults that benefit from features such as larger displays and clearer sound quality. A phone or tablet with a video chat function is great for helping them stay in touch with family and friends and will help you feel more at ease if you can see them too.

A medical alert system

Medical alert systems could be a life-saving item to have around the house if an older person were to fall over and need some help. Medical alert systems can come in a range of shapes and sizes, and medicalert.systems has some great reviews of what’s available. Even if you think they’re not required, this is an expensive item that could be more useful than you realize.

User-friendly appliances

As you get older, it can be difficult to use some common household appliances, which can lead to accidents or injuries that can be frustrating for an older person. Take a look at the things they have around their home, such as kettles, coffee makers, grills and anything else which has the potential to cause harm to unsteady hands. You’ll find that there are many alternatives available that are specially designed for older people or those with reduced mobility which will mean that they have less chance of causing themselves an injury when they’re at home alone.

A video doorbell/intercom system

Older people are vulnerable to cold callers or people ready to take advantage. Having a video system installed that identifies callers at the door can help them deal with unwanted visitors without having to open it. Having a secure entry system is important for ensuring safety, and you can find models that are very affordable and easy to install. Make sure they have an effective locking system in place that doesn’t rely on them remembering to lock up at night too – this will help them, and you sleep better.

 

Caring for your relatives as they get older is a wonderful way to repay the love they’ve shown you over the years. Making sure that they’re safe in their own home will help them retain their independence and help you know that they’re ok when you’re not around. Some things may seem quite simple and easy to do, but they can make the world of difference to an older person.

Treat Yourself to a Cozier Bedroom this Fall

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Fall is here, and for many of us, that means a drop in the temperature accompanied by more wind and rain. What, then, could be better than spending more time snuggled up in bed?

Fall is the perfect time to concentrate your efforts on making the bedroom a whole lot cozier, and it’s actually pretty simple to do. Here are some quick ideas to increase your comfort in the bedroom during the fall/winter seasons:

Upgrade Your Mattress

It’s hard to feel all warm, comfy and cozy when there are lumps in your mattress, or even worse springs sticking out, threatening to pierce a hole through your pajamas at any given moment. So, if your mattress isn’t up to scratch, consider upgrading to one of these hotel quality mattresses. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, floating through the warm summer sky if you do.

Get Your Flannel On

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Once you’ve sorted out your mattress, you’re going to want to dress that bed, and in the fall, the best way to dress your bed is with lots of cozy flannel sheets and blankets. Top them off with a luxurious down comforter and certainly won’t be feeling a chill in the bedroom.

Add a Splash of Color

If you’re up for a spot of decorating, adding warm neutral colors like browns, beiges, and grays, along with the occasional red or orange will help to warm your bedroom up and keep the space soothing enough that dropping off to sleep is easy.

Install Blackout Blinds

You know what makes the bedroom really cozy? Darkness. Okay, you’ll want to light a few nice scented candles, so that you can actually see what you’re doing, but when the only light in your room is emanating from a flame, there is something very pleasing about it that you just don’t get in a light, bright room. Blackout blinds also aid sleep, too.

Buy a Rug

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If you have wooden floors in the bedroom and you don’t want to get a nasty shock when you wake up in the morning and step directly onto a freezing floor, buying a comfortable, fleecy rug is imminently sensible and will make your room look, as well as feel, cozier.

Hang Some Fairy Lights

As well as having a few candles in your bedroom this fall, you may also want to  hand a few fairy lights on the wall, wrap them around your bed frame or arrange them around your floral display because fairly lights at a soft, comforting ambience to any room, and they’re pretty cheap and easy to hang too.

Cover it in Cushions

I’m firm of the opinion that you can never have too many cushions in the bedroom, High-quality cushions and throw pillows can not only be used to support your neck and body as you sleep, read or relax, but they are perfect for snuggling into when the wind is howling, and you’re watching the rain fall from your bedroom window.

As you can see, with a few simple tweaks, you can increase your bedroom’s coziness quota, by oh, at least 60 percent, and you’ll be glad you did when you’re safely huddled up in bed on those bitterly cold nights.

Cujo Smart Firewall Stay Safe Online

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

I grew up, many years ago, in a small town. People made deals by handshakes and your word meant you would do it! My father was a roofer and I remember he would always say “let’s shake on it”. They knew his word was a good as gold.

We don’t live in that world anymore and although I have seen so much good in people these last few weeks, going through Hurricane Harvey, I know the bad people are still out there.  Our home had minor damage in Rockport, we were the fortunate few. I witnessed firsthand people helping strangers and doing everything possible to assist each other. I was so proud to witness this.

But within days the “bad people” started coming around. I heard of looting in Houston, scammers receiving money from Dolly Parton’s donation. People applying and receiving funds from FEMA for homes, they didn’t live in. We know these people are out there so we have to be prepared!

 

 

I use the CUJO Smart Firewall at home to keep me safe online. I use my computer for my home business, therefore I can not take any chances. My husband does a lot of his work on his laptop on the weekends and we like knowing we are being protected. But mostly, I love knowing I can control what my grandsons watch when they are over. We have an iPad for them to use but are very concerned about them going where they shouldn’t so we set up the parental controls to help us monitor their views.

Since it has business-level security and easily plugs into your wifi router, I am confident that at least we can be protected in our home. I downloaded the app to help monitor the boy’s use, I can also turn their connection off when they hit their time limit.

Builder’s Blueprints: Planning To Build A Home

In recent years, a lot of people have started leaning towards the idea of building their own home. This sort of approach gives you a lot of freedom, instead of having to rely on buildings which already exist. You have the chance to choose the shape, size, and style of your home, and even the land around it. But, of course, this process isn’t a simple on. On your journey, you will have a lot of challenges to overcome. So, to help you out, this post will be going through a guide to help you with this, along with some advice to support you along the way.

 

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  • The Land

 

The first stage of this adventure is finding a piece of land to build your new home upon. In rural areas, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a choice piece of land a reasonable price. But, of course, in cities, you might have to pay a little more. Depending on your needs, being out of the way will often get you a much better value piece of land than being in a city. Of course, though, land values vary everywhere, so it’s worth doing some research in this area. Once you find a piece of land which you like, it’s important to go and visit it. This gives you a chance to explore the surrounding area, while also seeing the land for itself.

 

It shouldn’t take too long to find a suitable plot for your new place, and, at this point, you’ll be ready to start making some offers. In most cases, it’s best to start lower than the asking price for a property, even if it’s just land. You will probably get the chance to make further offers, and may even receive a counter. So, it’s worth trying your luck. If you’re unsure of what to offer for a piece of land, you should think about its genuine value. At this stage, you might want to get some help with your work, as it can get quite complicated.

 

When you’re searching for land, the best people to help you will be estate agents. This sort of professional makes their living finding and selling properties for people. So, they know what to look for in good land. Along with this, though, you may also need some legal representation to help you through the process. Buying and selling land is very complex, and the legal documents which come with it take a lot of work to get through. So, having some support could be essential to those that don’t have any experience in this area. When looking for help like this, you can use online reviews to help you, as this will give you a good insight into people’s reliability.

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  • The Design

 

With a piece of land ready to be built upon, you can start to think about the design of your home. You won’t be able to escape getting some help here unless you’re a professional architect with the skills to do the work yourself. Finding someone like this will take some time. Using resources like Google, you can search for the companies in your area until you find the very best option for you. From there, the process of designing your home may take quite a few months. But, with the right professional behind you, no time will be wasted in getting your home ready.

 

Your architect should be able to help you through the process of getting your plans approved. But, even with their help, this sort of procedure is often very difficult. You may have to send several requests before you plans are allowed to be made into a real home. Each time, you will be asked to make different changes. Choosing the right architect will limit the issues you face here. Some will be able to make the changes you need very quickly, but others will take a long time. There are loads of areas for an architect to consider, and things will often slip through the net. This will happen with almost every build, though, and you don’t have to worry about it too much.

 

Most people want their home to be a good reflection of their personality, standing out from the other buildings surrounding it. To achieve this sort of goal, you will have to spend a lot of time looking for inspiration and talking to the person designing your home. As you find new ideas, you can run them past your support, and see if they would be viable. Websites like Instagram are the best for this sort of work, as they give you the chance to see work from people across the world.

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  • The Build

 

Once you have your plans approved and a unique home on the horizon, you can start to look for a building company to do the work for you. In most cases, you will be able to get quotes from companies like this by giving them the plans you have drawn up, making this process nice and easy. The cheapest company you find probably won’t be the best. So, for this reason, you might have to read some reviews of the people you choose. Along with builders, you’ll also need professional electricians to help you, as well as services from Maplewood plumbing and other companies. This sort of support can be found in a similar way to your builders. Remember, you can afford to be picky here, as there are loads of people offering services like these.

 

With the right people behind you, you can start to think about the job itself. In most cases, home builds will overrun the estimates given by the building company you choose. The quote you get should be seen as a best-case scenario. This will ensure that you plan for extra time, just in case little issues make the whole job take longer. Along with this, you should also consider what you’ll be doing during the build. Where will you live and will you go to work? Questions like this are very important, and you’ll have to think very hard about them before you start the job.

 

  • The Little Jobs

 

It will usually take at least a couple of months for a home to go through the whole building process. Once complete, though, you still have loads of work to do. You will have a great chance to prepare for this work while other jobs are still being done, and it’s worth considering them long in advance.

 

You probably have a good idea of how you’d like your home to be decorated and will have had your builders paint the inside for you. Along with this sort of decoration, though, you should have to think about things like curtains, door handles, and other little accessories which make a home whole. Choosing all of these little components will take a lot of time. So, it’s worth making sure that you give yourself a chance to do it before your build is finished. Along with this, you may also want to consider carpets and flooring, as your builders may not complete these parts for you.

 

Like your decoration, most people know how they’re going to furnish their home. Of course, though, this area can still be very hard. Most good furniture stores will be able to help you with this work. With a free consultation, you can have someone come to your new home and discuss your needs. From there, they can make suggestions for the furniture around your new house, helping you to choose exactly what you’d like. Of course, this might tie you down to buying furniture from one place. But, with the benefits it can bring, most people will like this sort of method a lot.

 

With all of the work you’ve done, by the time your home is finished, it might feel like you won’t have a chance to enjoy it. But, in reality, this will be something you cherish for a very long time. The moving in process is still to come, though, so you can’t rest easy yet. This work can be made a lot faster with the help of a professional packing and moving company. Services like this can handle the entire process for you, moving your items from one door to another. This will make your move a lot easier, while also giving you the chance to avoid having to do more jobs.

 

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to jump onto the trend of building your own home. Throughout this work, you will be given loads of choices and will be able to decide exactly how you home is built. Any features you wish your current home had can be added, and anything you don’t like can be removed. When buying a home from the market, you never get this chance. Along with freedom, this sort of effort will also make you feel a lot closer to your home. Choosing how it looks and working to get it built will have a huge impact on the way you feel about your house.

Turn Your Garage From a No-Go Zone to a Hub of Activity

Is your garage just sitting there doing nothing? It’s a space that you should really be doing more with. You could use it for storage, do more DIY out there or even turn into a home office or retreat from the family home. It’s up to you, but the point is it has lots of potential. This is true for all garages, but so much of that potential goes to waste. Don’t let that happen to yours any longer.

 

Power It Up

 

If you want to make your garage truly functional, you should have a plan for powering it up. Without electricity, your garage options will be limited, and you won’t even be able to fit a proper ceiling light in there. The wiring can be a little complex, so hire an electrician if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can do it yourself in some cases, though. You can find some guidance by watching the instructions at youtube.com/watch?v=8dYqhMEUkfE.

 

Have a New Secure Door Fitted

 

The door of your garage should be as secure as it possibly can be. This is one of the first things you should address if the existing door that you have in place is getting a bit old and rusty. It’s easy to get a new one fitted. You can make use of these services by visiting FSConstructionServices.com and getting in contact with the company. Modern garage doors can often be controlled with your phone too.

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Create Zones for Specific Activities

 

There should be specific zones that your garage is divided into. That way, you will be able to make sure that you always know where everything should go, and you will be able to carry out numerous tasks in there. It’s a good way of organizing the space and making it usable and functional once more. What each zone is used for will depend upon your own priorities.

 

Make it Secure and Monitor It

 

You also want to make sure that your garage is secure. If you’re storing lots of costly things in there, you don’t want to risk a burglary. Many people take their home’s security seriously without actually including their garage in that. If you have lots of expensive things in there, set up a motion-activated camera that can spring into action when something moves in there at night or in the day. You can then have an alert sent to your phone.

 

Fit New Storage Options

 

There are so many things you can do with the storage possibilities in your garage. By making changes like this, you can make the space more functional and a lot more organized than it would otherwise be. Fitting racks to the wall to hold tools and garden equipment is a good idea. You can even hang bicycles on the wall to create more floor space in the garage that can then be used for other things.

 

Your garage shouldn’t be just another waste of space. Make it usable, and make the changes discussed above. Your lifestyle will almost certainly improve as a result.

The Problem With Pigeons: Dealing With These Feathered Pests

Pests are every homeowner’s nightmare. They’re unpleasant, expensive to get rid of, and a lot of pests are able to spread disease and cause health issues in humans too. Insects and rodents such as rats, mice roaches, and flies all carry bacteria that can cause serious problems in people- in rare cases even death. Dysentery, Salmonella, and gastroenteritis are all illnesses that can be caused as a result of these critters. On top of this, pests can chew electrical cables or the structures of properties, resulting in expensive repairs.  But there’s one type of unexpected pest which can cause more damage than you might think, and that’s pigeons! If you’ve encountered these feathered pests, here’s some more information for dealing with the problem.

Photo via Pexels

 

Where They Nest

Pigeons usually nest in the eaves of buildings so you will need to check carefully both on your home and in any outbuildings. There might be visible pigeon activity such as feathers and droppings, but it’s worth checking every so often just in case. That way you can spot any problems early when there are fewer birds to deal with.

 

Health Risks

In some cases, pigeons can be hazardous to human health. The risk is considered small, however, they are known to carry viruses which can cause flu-like in humans. The dried droppings are a problem since spores from these can be carried by the wind and inhaled causing illness. Certain groups are especially vulnerable: children, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions need to be careful.

 

Getting Rid of Pigeons

There are lots of effective bird repellent products out there which can stop pigeons from nesting on and around your home and cause damage. Sprays, gels, even physical barriers like spikes can stop them from sitting in the eaves of your home. If you’re already dealing with a substantial problem, you may need to call an exterminator, but otherwise, non-kill methods are the humane and ethical choice. You can often solve the problem by deterring them without having to resort to killing living creatures.

 

Repairing Any Damage

The main issue with pigeons is that their droppings are corrosive. The main issue you will find is that they cause leaks in the roof of your home, which can eventually cause black mold and even structural damage. A specialist restoration company like www.Clayton-Restoration.com would be able to repair any damage once the pest problem was under control. Another area that can get damaged is the brickwork or rendering on the walls of your home, this can make your property look unattractive. If it’s only minor, you may be able to get away with jet washing the stains and repainting rendering. If it’s started to cause cracks, flaking or other damage, you could get some supplies from a DIY store or look online for a company who specializes in this kind of work.

 

No one wants to deal with pests, and as a homeowner, they can cause a lot of hassle and expense. But if you do come up against pigeons you now know what to do.

Turning Your Garden Shed Into Your Dream Office Space

If you work, blog, or like to get creative from the comfort of your own home; it can be difficult to find a calm, secluded space where the kids and pets (and your other half) aren’t busy making noise and a mess. Over-crowded and cramped offices do nothing for your train of thought and will slow the work process right down. Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re able to find a peaceful sanctuary to type, draw, and work productively, and where you can leave your busy job behind at the end of the day.

 

So many people have unused, dilapidated garden sheds outside, and with a little love and attention; the majority of them could provide the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of your family home and get to work. The following are some tips and ideas for those who feel their shed needs some TLC and would make a great office out in the garden for them.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/business-coffee-composition-computer-265667/

 

The Structure

 

After you’ve cleared out the old toys and the garden equipment that’s no longer used, or could be stored in the garage; you’ll need to check the wooden or metal structure to ensure that it’s sturdy and safe. A little renovation project might be in order; so be prepared to get to the DIY store and invest in new wooden to cover any holes or gaps in your shed. Depending on the condition of the wood; you might have to also consider treating for pests or damp, which can mean the building won’t last much longer without help. However, once you’ve sorted out the structural side of things; you can begin to think about moving forward with the project.

 

The Power

 

Once you’ve ensured the shed is structurally sound and weathertight; you’ll need to think about the power source. You can connect your power from your house, and it will be part of your household energy bill. However, you must use the services of a qualified electrician to help you do so; it’s not worth the risk in sorting out the wiring yourself. You’ll need a few power points or sockets, so you can charge and plug in your devices, computer, and things like a printer and tea kettle or coffee machine. You’ll also need adequate lighting, so make sure you have all the fixtures needed in your office before you move in and work there.

 

The Comfort

Now for the fun part; you can make your office as unique as you want as it won’t affect the rest of the house. So, when it comes to color choices and furniture; choose things that will make you feel comfortable and items that are likely to boost creativity and thinking for a productive week of work. A carpet or a large rug will help the space feel less like a shed, and you could even invest in curtains or blinds for the windows. Pop a cushion or two on our seat and take a couple of throws to soften the interior and warm yourself up on winter days. An electric heater will be an essential addition in the colder months, so see which ones are best and invest wisely. Put your artwork and favorite photos up for decorative touches, and make your office a place you enjoy spending your time.