Maintaining Your Home in the New Year

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

 

Resolving Issues with Your Property Early On

 

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

 

Carrying Out a Deep Clean

 

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

 

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

The Professionals That You Need to Make Your Dream Home a Reality

Designing and building a home of your dreams is one of the top things on the life to-do list for many people. When you have a vision for your home, and can turn it into a reality, you will not only create a home ideal for you and it will be just how you want it, but you can ensure that there is optimal efficiency of the space in the home, as well as the money that you spend, and the energy usage in the home. You can also create an outside that you love too, whether it is a patio and decking area, land to grow food, or land to raise animals. Designing and building your own home can be a big task to undertake, though. There is a lot of plan and design, to very fine detail, as well as some legal restrictions to think about. So here are some of the things that you can do, and who you can seek advice from, as you plan out a dream home build.

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Land Purveyors

One of the first things to look at is finding the land to build your home on. You could have some land already, with plans to knock down the existing property and build from scratch. This can be a big job, though, especially if surrounded by other homes, so looking for land could be the better option. Look for an experienced land purveyor and they will be able to scout out the best possible areas to meet your specific requirements, considering your budget at the same time too. With local expertise and knowledge of things like soil types and best places for building, they can be a real help.

 

Architects

Architects or custom home builders are going to be your next port of call, when you know where you plan to build. You are likely to have a good idea about what you want your home to look like and function like, but working with an architect can help you to get the home looking just as you want it. They have the experience and expertise to bring the dreams to a reality, in a completely professional and practical way. Getting the design right is crucial at this point, so make sure that you are working with experts. Recommendations are a great thing to go on at this point, as well as looking for honest reviews.

 

Builders

The architects are the ones that will get all of the plans in place, but they aren’t the ones that will make it a reality; that is down to the builders. Often, home builders will work with architects, so they will have a team to call on when it comes to it. Not all do, though, so finding a building company to do the work is a vital step in the process. You might plan to be on-site a lot, but still choosing a company with expertise in this area is a must. Look for ones that can also install things like flooring, bathrooms, and kitchens, unless you plan to do this yourself. 

Does Your Home Need a Water Treatment System?

Hard water calcium deposit on chrome tap

 

Water is filled with all sorts of contaminants, from chemicals to minerals to bacteria and more. Though most of these contaminants are relatively harmless (at least in terms of human health), they can have adverse effects. For this reason, it’s often wise to eliminate them.

Fortunately, you can do so easily with the help of water treatment systems. The question is: do you need a water treatment system in your home? You just might. Here are some signs that you do.

Are There Stains on Your Shower Walls?

One sign that you might need a water treatment system is that there are stains on your shower walls. These stains would likely be brown or orange, though they could also be blue, black, or pink. They’re most commonly caused by an excess of iron and manganese.

There are several systems that can remove these minerals, including chemical injection systems and iron filtration systems.

Does Your Soap Lack Suds?

Generally speaking, when soap and water meat, soap suds are created. That is unless the water has a high calcium and magnesium content. In that case, the water would be hard and would hinder the creation of soap suds.

Fortunately, you can remedy this problem with a water softener. Interested in installing a water softener? Read this review on the Ecowater water treatment system.

Would You Like a Steady Stream of High-quality Drinking Water?

Maybe you’d like a steady stream of bottled-water-quality drinking water on tap? If so, should install a reverse osmosis system.

These systems remove the vast majority of contaminants from water, making it as clean and as drinkable as possible. Though your water won’t be 100% pure, it will be pretty darn close.

Does Your Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Ah, the dreaded rotten egg smell. It’s plagued well water from the beginning of time. Fortunately, it can be removed.

All you need to do is install a chemical injection system. This system will remove the source of the smell (hydrogen sulfide), furnishing your water with a clean and sterile aroma.

Does Your Water Taste Like Metal?

If there’s an excess of iron in your water, it could cause it to taste like metal. There’s nothing wrong with that if you like the taste. But if you don’t, you should know that it can be eliminated.

It’s as simple as installing either a chemical injection system or an iron filtration system.

A Water Treatment System Can Transform Your Water

Whether your water tastes funny, smells bad, is causing parts of your home to stain, or otherwise, utilizing a water treatment system can make the difference you need. There are all sorts of water treatment systems out there, from water softeners to reverse osmosis systems to chemical injection systems and more. Choose wisely!

In need of similar information? Our website has you covered. Take a look at some of our other articles now!

Getting Yourself Onto the Property Ladder: What You Need to Do

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Nowadays, more and more people are renting, as it’s feeling more difficult than ever to get on the property ladder. Saving while paying high rent rates may be difficult, but it is possible. If you really set your mind to it, you may be able to get there! Now, buying is definitely preferable to renting if you’ve decided where you want to settle down. After all, why spend your whole life paying someone else’s mortgage when you could be paying your own instead? Here are a few steps you can take to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder!

 

Budgeting

 

First, you need to budget. People on different incomes can afford different properties. So, it’s a good idea to determine what kind of property you’ll be able to afford. This will give you a view to see what you’re saving for and how much of a deposit you will need relative to the overall price of the property. Use your salary and determine exactly how much you can commit to mortgage payments once you’ve saved your deposit. If you’re struggling, a financial advisor can help you with this.

 

Saving

 

Next, it’s time to start saving. Once you know the property prices you’re looking at, you can start saving roughly 10-15% towards the deposit. To achieve this as quickly as possible, you should contribute as much of your disposable income as possible into a savings pot. Sure, you’ll still want to do nice things or treat yourself once in a while, but the more money you put away, the sooner you’ll find yourself in the house you want. Find a savings account with a high interest rate. This will make the process easier.

 

Finding the Right Estate Agent

 

Once you have saved your deposit and are ready to start house hunting, it’s time to start browsing properties. An estate agent will be able to help you to do this. They will essentially serve as a middle person who can let you know about properties that are available and suitable for you. They can arrange viewings of properties or display homes and also negotiate on price on your behalf. Once you’ve found the right property and your offer has been accepted, they can also take care of legal paperwork associated with the sale for you.

 

Finding the Right Mortgage Lender

 

Once you’ve found the house, it’s time to apply for your mortgage. There are countless lenders out there, so browse the market and find the option with the lowest and most competitive interest rate attached. This could save you a whole lot of money in the long run, so make sure to dedicate time and effort to this.

 

As you can see, a lot goes into buying a house. But all in all, it’s entirely worth it! You’ll live in the place of your dreams and you’ll actually own it at the end of the process!

What’s The Worst Thing About Finding A New Home?

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What’s the worst thing about finding a new home? You’d think this would be an exciting time full of thrills and cool house viewings. Sadly, there far more stress involved than you’d like to admit! In truth, it’s hard to pinpoint the single worst thing about finding a new home as there are lots of different things that bug you. So, let’s go through some of the worst things and see which of them you hate the most!

It’s so time-consuming

This is definitely a big problem for me and loads of other people I know. How do you find the time to actually look for your new home? It takes ages to shortlist all of the various properties you want to view. Also, you have to think about the location, then get your shortlist down to maybe five or so houses as you don’t have time to visit them all. Granted, you do have companies like Del-co Realty that will do all of the searchings for you. I think most modern families can’t find a house with an estate agent doing half the work – there’s simply not enough time anymore. 

You can’t find your dream home

It’s so frustrating when you spend ages looking for new homes and none of them ticks all your boxes. In the end, you’re left with the sad reality of making a compromise. You won’t be able to find your dream home in the area you’re looking at. So, you have to be content with a home that almost ticks all the right boxes. It’s annoying because you get so aggravated by little things in homes that stop them from being perfect. Also, you have to resign yourself to the fact that the house probably needs some work to get it up to your desires. So, that’s more money for you to spend!

Awkward house viewings

Some people love house viewings, but they can be so awkward and irritating. If the current owner is still in the house, it’s hard to critique anything while you’re there. Also, you sometimes feel like the estate agent is trying to hide the faults in the house. I don’t know what it is, but viewings create a sense of being force-fed the house. It’s almost as though they’re trying to force you to fall in love and agree to the sale. 

Negotiations

This will definitely be the worst thing for a lot of you. Negotiating the price for a house is a pain in the backside. Usually, it comes from stubborn owners that don’t want to lower the asking price. Even though their estate agent is begging them to concede a little bit, they drag it out for ages. If you’re lucky, negotiations can be as simple as submitting a bid and having it accepted. Most of the time, the process goes back and forth for weeks. In some instances, I’ve had friends that got stuck in negotiations for two months before the seller decided to pull out and take the home off the market. 

 

These are the four worst things about finding a home – from my perspective! Feel free to comment with any of your ‘worst things’, or let me know which of the points resonates with you the most!

Top Ways You Can Transform Your Home

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Entrance

First impressions are everything, this is why you should start your focus with your front garden. Tidy up the shrubbery and cut the grass, if you really want the wow factor install some lights that lead up to your garage and front door. When you get to the entrance, make it grand by adding some potted plants or statues, as the festive season is upon us, craft up a wreath to liven up your door. Once you enter, ensure that it is clear of clutter and inviting, add a mirror to make the space appear bigger and brighter.

Go smart

If you haven’t already, think about investing in some smart home devices. There is so much you can now control from your smart devices. Not only can you use your phone as a universal remote to switch on your lights and TV, but you can also use it to create locational force fields. For example, you can program that when you leave work, your heating turns on, so it can be nice and warm when you arrive home. Then when you get to the bottom of your street, it triggers the outside lights to turn on so you can see your path when driving in. There are so many possibilities to try out, do some research on what the best home kits would work for you and have a little play around. In no time, everything will be automated for you.

 

Redecorate

Every now and then, we notice our interior can get a little tired. Whether it is a touch up of the same color or a whole new look, repainting your walls can give your home a new lease of life. If you are on a low budget, why not try changing up some of your furnishings, swapping your cushions, throws and curtains for new ones can really liven up your home.

Get Solar panels

Solar panels are a great addition to any household. They are economical and in the long run, better financially. Having them installed on your roof can cost a hefty amount, so find a supplier with a good return rate. You can also get some smaller solar lights for your front and rear garden, this will charge the battery during the day and then they automatically stay lit at night.

Upgrade your Garage

The garage is usually the forgotten room in the house. If you find the space being unused, then why not install some shelving units to remove all the clutter and create space for a workstation. If the garage is where you keep your car, then think about installing an electric door, so you don’t have to spend time manually opening and closing the door.

Now we have given you some top ways to transform your home, try putting some of them into effect. If you are trying to be more eco-friendly, check out Helping The Earth Starts At Home: Here’s What You Can Do.

Helping The Earth Starts At Home: Here’s What You Can Do

If you are interested in helping the Earth, then the first place we suggest you start is in the home! You might not realize just how much you can actually do in your own space to be able to help the Earth and make it a nicer place. A lot of the things that you can do are super simple and don’t take a lot for you to do, so that’s a huge bonus if you live a busy life. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at what you can do at your home to get this started, so keep reading if you’d like to find out more.

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Reduce Your Electricity Usage

 

The first thing that we recommend is that you reduce your electricity usage. There isn’t an infinite amount of power in the world when it comes to electricity, and eventually, we are going to run out. The thing is that this uses fossil fuels, which, when burned, release toxic chemicals into the air. There are so many other forms of energy that you can use that don’t do this, making them a much cleaner alternative. Of course, we live in a society that has a heavy focus on electricity, so we don’t expect you to give it up completely. However, if you can lower the amount you use and try to use another source of power for some things, this is an excellent start.

 

If you live in an area that gets a lot of sun, solar power might be the way to go for you. After the initial cost of buying and setting up your solar panels, this is going to be completely free! As such, it’s not just good for the Earth, but it’s good for your purse as well.

 

Look At Your Garden

 

Have you ever looked to your garden and wondered if there was something that you could do there? One of the most simple things that you can try is adding a rain tank from a company like tanks direct to your garden. This way, you can catch the rainwater and store it for things like watering your plants and a number of other different things. It’s an excellent way to get water and use natural resources to do things in your home.

 

Grow Your Own Food

 

Finally, have you considered growing your own food in your garden? We’re only talking about simple things like having a vegetable patch in your garden, so don’t panic about completely providing for yourself! The thing with growing your own food is that you won’t be using pesticides, which are toxic for the Earth. The less chemicals that are released into the air, the better, and if you are going to be growing your own food, then there will be slightly less demand for this from those larger producers who do use these.

 

We hope that you have found this article helpful and now see that helping the Earth starts right at your front door. Even if you only manage to do one of the things on this list, you’ve still taken a big step in the right direction! Have fun!

Creating A Renewed Home In Lockdown

This year has been the strangest year most of us have ever experienced. Since March many of us have been stuck living an isolated life, and being at home for all this time can be hard for our mental health. 

 

If you are sick of seeing the same four walls every single day, it might be a good idea to start planning and changing things around your home. Take this time to spruce up and revamp your living space and make it feel much more like a home than a house.

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Get festive 

 

The first thing you can do to make a big change to your home is get it feeling more festive. We know that it isn’t Christmas yet, however Halloween is coming up and after that we have a whole month where the house can be decorated for autumn and winter. Hang some fairy lights around the house, get some candles burning, use pumpkins around the house and weave a leaf Garland around the stairs. There are plenty of ways to make your home feel more festive without fully decorating it for Christmas, and it will make everyone in the house feel like they are leading up to celebrating something. 

 

Rearrange 

 

If you don’t want to fully commit to redecorating your home, one thing you can do to make your home feel refreshed is to rearrange the furniture. Think about how you can move the furniture around to make your house look and feel more exciting. Even just changing the wall that your TV faces can make a whole lot of difference to the atmosphere of your home. 

 

Plan a project 

 

Being stuck at home for so long likely will get the cogs ticking in your mind, and now is a great time to plan a project with a home builder to really make your house a home. Whether it’s as big as building an extension or simply opening up the rooms of your house; any changes like this will make a huge difference to your house and they will make your home feel new and exciting. 

 

Be smart with storage 

 

One of the things that you can do during this time stuck at home is clean and reorganize your home as a whole. There are many ways that you can reorganize your living space including being savvy with storage. If you don’t have much storage space in your house you will know how crucial every space can be, and there are ways to utilize these spaces better. Instead of keeping everything in your wardrobe; vacuum pack clothes you won’t wear until next year and store them elsewhere. Get rid of chunky DVD cases in favor of a DVD case that will fit all of your discs in one place. 

 

Have a clear out 

 

Now that you have gotten more savvy with storage it’s time to clear out items you no longer need in your life. We know it can be hard to get rid of things, but in the long term your home will feel more spacious and the experience will be cathartic for all.

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.