The Best Investments for Your Home

If you’re willing to invest in a few upgrades for your home, you may be curious about what the best investments are to make. To discover a few smart investments which you can make to increase the value of your home and to create a more comfortable home to live in.

The Best Investments for Your Home:

Solar panels:

Solar panels are a great investment as after a one off installation cost, you’ll save money each month as your power bill will be much lower. Depending on the area which you live in and your household’s monthly energy consumption, you may even be able to power your home entirely off the energy which is collected by your solar panels. It is wise to research good installation companies whether you’re looking for solar panels PEI or anywhere else in the world!

Updated plumbing:

If you live in an older property, it’s well worth investing in having your plumbing system upgraded or replaced.

Attic insulation:

In order to ensure that your home remains well insulated, dry and warm, it’s a great idea to invest in replacing your attic’s insulation.

Deck installation:

Adding a deck to your home can add tens of thousands of dollars of value to your home. As many home buyers are willing to pay a higher asking price for a house which has a great indoor, outdoor floor and which offers a deck which can be used for social events. If you have a sizable back yard, you may want to use a deck to connect your lounge with your back yard.

A home office:

You may want to consider turning an extra unused bedroom or attic space into a contemporary home office. As it’s becoming more common for individuals to work from home and having a home office, will increase the attractiveness of your house to potential home buyers.

A remodelled kitchen:

Another room in your home which is worth investing in updating is your kitchen. As potential home buyers will be far more interested in purchasing a home which offers a modern, stylish, functional kitchen than an outdated kitchen. As potential home buyers don’t want to think about how much money they would have to invest to update an outdated kitchen themselves. Especially after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new home. Which may come with other hidden costs.

Some changes which you can make when remodelling your kitchen include replacing your kitchen counters, installing new appliances and having a custom kitchen island created for your kitchen. You may even want to consider replacing the windows in your kitchen.

Add a skylight into your bathroom:

If you want to prevent your bathroom from becoming damp, it’s well worth finding out how much money it will cost to have a skylight installed into your bathroom. Skylights in general are a great investment as they can add light to dark areas of your house, in the darker months of the year.

So if you’re prepared to invest money into increasing your home’s value and marketability, it’s well worth selecting one of the investments listed above in order to start your home renovation.

 

5 Home Improvement Tips that Reduce Your Cost of Living

Whether you live alone or with a large family, the cost of living is still higher than ever. One of the highest costs is always going to your home. If you’re already bought your property, or you’re still renting, you still have bills to pay. Keeping those bills down is always going to be important, but far too many people overlook just how easy it can be to reduce living costs with some clever home changes. If your bills are spiralling out of control and you’d like a bit more space for more flexible money management, here are five changes that you can make to your home that will see your annual cost of living drop a lot more than you might think.

The Energy Audit

Start by working out exactly where you might be wasting money. It’s all about efficiency, so make sure that you check and address:

  • Drafts at doors and windows
  • Lighting
  • Insulation
  • Appliances

Your audit can be done yourself, or you can pay a professional to help. Either way, this will act as both a checklist and a reminder of where your money is being wasted.

Window Changes

One of the most common issues in any property is heat being wasted by draughty windows. Double-glazing can be very useful, but if that’s well out of range of your budget, there are alternative options. Window sealant can be very cheap and takes just a little work to make sure that your windows are not bringing the outside weather in.

Insulation Issues

There’s not much point having your heating on all day if that heat is simply going to head outside. Insulation is one of the best ways to cut your energy costs, and you can go as wild as you like. While loft insulation should be a priority, don’t forget to consider insulating your water pipes as well. This keeps your water hotter and is a very inexpensive DIY project that will save you far more than it costs.

Rethink the Bathroom

There are lots of changes that you can make to a bathroom to save money. Options like low-flow showerheads are cheap and easy to install yourself. If you want to save even more money, it’s always smart to discuss your money-saving options with experts in bathroom design and installation Hertfordshire. Never underestimate how much some basic changes to your bathroom setup can save you a fortune.

In the Garden

It’s easy to overlook the changes you can make to your garden that can have an incredible effect on your living costs. While some of these options might be more expensive than others, they can all help reduce your monthly expenses.

  • Plant a tree that creates shade so you don’t have to rely on your air-con
  • Put up a washing line that will reduce reliance on tumble dryers
  • Use large plant pots to collect rainwater that can be used to water your garden

Gardens can be more useful than you think when it comes to saving some cash.

Homes might be expensive, but they don’t have to strain your bank balance every month. Take the time to assess every room and space in your home and look for the solutions that will save you more money than you ever thought possible.

 

How Can You Create a Perfect Living Room for Your Home?

Your living room is likely to be one of the areas in your home in which you spend the most amount of time, where you can relax in front of the television after a long day at work and socialize with guests. The centrality of your living room means that most homeowners will focus their renovations on this area of their home. If you are lost for ways to breathe life into your living room, here are some top tips to make it a welcoming space for both you and your guests:

Install a Fireplace

Fireplaces have never faded out of fashion, with their inviting light managing to make even the unlikeliest of rooms ten times cozier. By installing a fireplace in your living room, you will be able to transform the appearance and atmosphere of your space in a natural manner, without the need for artificial mood-enhancers, such as candles. A fireplace can also provide a central feature for your living room that can perfect the symmetry and layout and ensure that the room’s design comes together. If you are interested in installing a fireplace for your home, the Kalfires from Marble Hill can provide an aesthetic and modern alternative to traditional fireplaces.

Create a Social Seating Area

Although the décor in your living room is vital to the quest for perfection, your living room’s perfection also relies on its usefulness and your family’s ability to socialize in the space. You can ensure that your living room is able to live up to its purpose by creating a social seating area that all of your guests and relatives can enjoy. For instance, installing a corner or L-shaped sofa will not only allow you to meet all of your design dreams, but it will also create a sense of togetherness for your guests.

Invest in Soft Furnishings

Soft furnishings can transform any living room from a dull and uninspired area to a creative and exciting space. As well as making your living room comfortable, soft furnishings can bring color and life to any room, especially if you are opting for minimalism or have decided to choose a plain color scheme. You should consider investing in patterned fabrics and interesting textures, such as velvet curtains, teddy bear rugs and throws, and satin cushions.

Consider an Open Plan Living Room

Although open plan living rooms are not as popular as they once were, open plan spaces can still be an excellent option for families and those who enjoy entertaining as they allow the layout of your house to flow better and ensure that you can move around your home easily. Additionally, if you love cooking or spend a lot of time in another space, open plan living rooms can allow you to feel included in family life even when you are using another area of the room.

Choose an Inviting Color Scheme

The color scheme of your living room can be the difference between a beautiful and well-thought-out space and a living room like any other. Paints in colors such as blues, greens, and pastels can create a calming mood for your space, while greys, rusts, and neutrals are currently a fashionable choice. By using a good color scheme, you will be able to create a cohesive and attractive living space both now and in the future.

 

6 Useful Tips to Keep Pests Away From Your Home

We all strive for our whole lives to build a home that can provide warmth and comfort to our family. Moreover, we try everything in our control to create the healthiest environment possible, and we strive to use green products for cleaning as they have many benefits.

But, almost all homeowners in the world are troubled by the presence of pests in their homes as they create an unhealthy environment for their families. If your home is infested with pests and the situation seems out of control, you must immediately hire professionals like Responsible Pest Control exterminators to take care of the situation. We have discussed here six useful tips that can be utilized so that pests do not enter your home in the first place.

1. Block all entryways:

First and foremost, you will have to make sure that every orifice and crack of your home is properly sealed so that no pest can sneak into your home. Therefore, examine every nook and cranny of your home to check if there are any cracks or holes in the walls, or if moving parts of your home like doors and windows fit into their respective frames perfectly. If you find gaps between windows or observe cracks in walls, apply a suitable sealant on the affected areas.

2. Keep your kitchen clean:

No place in your home is as susceptible to insects and other pests as your kitchen because it is loaded with plenty of edibles. Therefore, make sure that you keep your kitchen clean by wiping out all the crumbs from the shelves and getting rid of leftovers as soon as possible. Moreover, do not forget to take out the trash because edibles will start to decompose within the waste bin and are going to attract a lot of microorganisms and pests.

3. Eliminate stagnant water:

You must make sure that there are not any pools of stagnant water in your homes because they give an open invitation to mosquitoes to start breeding and develop their colonies. Therefore, actively examine every nook and cranny of your home to check for such pools and eliminate them immediately.

4. Trim the bushes and branches around your home:

If trees and shrubs surround your home, then it is quite susceptible to pest attacks because pests use these branches to climb onto the structure of your home. Therefore, make sure that you trim all the branches that touch the walls and roof of your home so that there is no easy passageway for the pests. Moreover, keep your yard clean by getting rid of all piles of woods or leaves so that pests do not feel invited.

5. Store firewood far from home:

If you store firewood in your home, make sure that you dump these logs away from your home because they can easily give free entry tickets to pests like termites, which can wreak havoc on your wooden belongings.

6. Do not bring the outside in:

If your children play with certain toys outdoors like footballs, baseballs, and sandbox toys, do not let them inside your house because they can easily be infected with various pests. Moreover, make sure that you check your children and pets for various pests when they come after playing outside, and send them to shower immediately.

 

In a nutshell, pests must not be taken lightly and must always be addressed by preventive measures and not by curative measures because the latter will invite a lot of trouble.

 

Here are three reasons why your wooden décor is damaged


Wood is a very dependable and durable material. Of course, a lot depends on the particular variety of wood, but for the most part, people can rely on wooden structures and items to last long and look good. With that being said, it is important to note that timber has a few very dangerous enemies that could damage it. Some protective measures can be taken to combat that. Here are three important reasons why wooden décor is damaged.

No. 1 – Rot

The No.1 and No.3 reasons on our list are quite related to one another, but they are very different nonetheless. Rot appears when the wood comes in contact with excess moisture for an extended period of time and a special sort of fungi appears.

Rotting isn’t an accident; it is a complex issue that takes time to develop. Sadly, it is mostly irreversible, meaning that if your wooden furniture or objects stay wet for too long and begin to rot, you’ll likely need to replace them.

No. 2 – Pests

Pests are not the most widespread cause of wood damage, but they are persistent and quite difficult to exterminate. Someone like a termite could chew wood and destroy an entire piece of furniture or an integral part of the building carcass.

Termites are more abundant in warmer environments, but if you notice them, quickly call the exterminators. Replacement of damaged goods could also be necessary.

No. 3 – Moisture

Moisture causes rot, but it can also damage wood in other ways. If water gets into gaps and under the surface, it can cause bumps and lumps which deform wood. A deformed piece of wood is not just non-aesthetic, it can also be a ticking timebomb which could cause the item to disintegrate and fall apart at any second.

If the moisture has caused lumps – it’s too late to fix and needs replacement. However, if you notice a leak and are able to prevent moisture damage, you can try and fix it before it gets out of hand. Otherwise, choose something waterproof, like charred wood from Degmeda which is breathable yet waterproof.

4 Key Things to Consider When Hiring a Concrete Contractor

Your house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, so caring for the property and keeping things in great shape helps protect your significant investment. Once you have purchased a home, you quickly learn that there are always repairs and home improvement projects that need your attention. Sometimes the upgrade or repair is small and can be done quickly at little cost. Other times, you may be embarking on a major improvement that can cost thousands and add tremendous value to your home.

Savvy homeowners are finding that decorative or stamped concrete can add a beautiful designer element to your property and home. Instead of the traditional gray concrete driveway, imagine coming home to a custom driveway that reflects elegance and class. You can also create amazing concrete patios and pool decks that can have custom looks like flagstone.

Once you decide to embark on a custom concrete project, you will want to make sure you take the proper steps to select a highly qualified contractor like Elite Concrete Henderson.

How Many Years Have They Been in Business?

When it comes to quality concrete work, experience matters. Contractors can come and go, so you want a contractor that has been in business for at least 10 years and has a proven track record. Successful concrete contractors have the knowledge and experience to know exactly what prep work is needed and how to do the best job possible for their clients.

Check on Contractor Licensing

Before you select a specific contractor, it’s very important to connect with the State Contractor’s Board to make sure that their license is valid and is current. An unlicensed contractor has not agreed to follow the state’s laws and may not do the job in accordance with local codes. When you check with the Contractor’s Board you may also be able to see it there are any complaints or adverse findings or actions against your contractor.

Find Out if They Have General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance

As part of your due diligence on your contractor you will want to get proof that they have both general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. In the event there were damages to your property the liability insurance would be there to cover the costs of repairs. Worker’s compensation insurance is critical because it covers injuries to employees who are working on your job. If that insurance is not carried by the contractor then you could be liable for costs associated with an injured employee.

Be Sure to Check References

Before you finalize selection of your concrete contractor you should carefully check their references. You will want to ask questions about the type of projects the contractor did for the client and how satisfied they were with the quality of the work and the supervisor and crew that did the job. It’s also important to check out online reviews.

If you want to be sure that your concrete contractor is right for your job it’s important to take the time to do your research and due diligence. By making sure everything checks out, you can be assured that your project is in good hands.

 

Why Location Matters When Choosing Off Campus Student Housing

Today’s university students have great options when it comes to selecting the right housing for their college years. While you can still choose to live in a dorm, many students are finding that the small, cramped rooms, community bathrooms and overly expensive meal plans no longer suit their needs.

Instead, college students are increasingly deciding to live in off campus student housing. These apartment complexes offer each person a private bedroom and private bathroom. In addition, there is a full kitchen with dining area and a living room for relaxing and spending time with your roommates or friends. A washer and dryer comes standard in each housing unit which makes laundry chores a breeze.

When you are researching and reviewing the best off campus apartments, remember the age-old real estate adage “location, location, location”.

Get to Your Classes on Time

If you want to make your daily life easier, choose an off campus apartment that is close to your college or university. It’s wonderful when you can easily walk to your classes in just a few minutes time. There’s no need for a car to get to the college so you’ll save big on automobile expenses and campus parking permits too.

Enjoy Campus Events and Gatherings

A lot of great events occur on campus, from football and basketball games to concerts to great speakers and more. Living in a student housing apartment just minutes from campus lets you take in all the activities and events the university has to offer. It’s great to be able to easily walk to events and not have to fight the traffic getting there.

Walk to Shopping

When you are looking for the right off campus complex for you, it’s important to see how close you are to groceries and other places you will need to shop. If you select a place to live that has great stores nearby, you’ll be able to walk and pick up the groceries easily. There’s no need for a car or paying for an expensive Uber ride just to get the food and supplies you need.

Walk to Restaurants, Bars and Coffee Shops

When you live in a dorm there are limited options for food, entertainment and fun places to meet friends. One of the nicest perks of off campus living is that you are much closer to affordable places to eat, great coffee shops and fun neighborhood bars. If you choose an off campus apartment that is centrally located near all the places you love to hang out, you’ll be able to walk everywhere you need to go.

As you consider your options for student housing be sure to check out the advantages of off campus apartments. You get a lot of amenities that really matter to college students, including private bedrooms and bathrooms, full kitchens and in unit washers and dryers. By choosing the right location you will also be a short walk away from campus, shopping, restaurants and bars.

The Benefits of Green Cleaning for the Home

Today’s consumers are increasingly joining the natural products bandwagon. From organic food and free range or grass-fed meat to cutting back on one use plastics and Styrofoam, concern for our health and the environment continues to grow. Businesses have noted this trend and are increasingly offering products and services that qualify as green.

One area where this trend has made its mark is with household cleaning products. Many people have grown wary of the harsh and dangerous chemicals that are often found in the typical items we have used for years to clean our home. Instead, they seek out cleaning solutions that are green certified or contain more natural ingredients. Some consumers have even started making their own solutions using basic items that your great grandmother would have used.

The rising demand for green house cleaning has also helped shape the home cleaning service industry. Savvy companies understand the consumer desire for safer, more natural cleaning options and are increasingly offering green alternatives that meet the customer’s needs.

Living in a Healthier Home

A traditional cleaning company using harsh solutions and chemicals can affect the overall health of your home. The cleaning process unleashes sprays and puts the chemical products into the air where it is circulated to all your rooms by the HVAC system. With green products you are only introducing natural elements into the home. Many people notice a decrease in respiratory conditions and asthma when they switch to a green cleaning service.

Protecting the Environment

When you use products with harsh chemicals and ingredients that are not good for the environment, you are often not aware of the environmental ripple effect. The cleaning product is made in a manufacturing plant that likely releases part of the chemicals into the air and soil. Within the home, caustic products for cleaning toilets and tubs are soon washed down the drain where they enter the water supply. With green products you help assure that the effect on the environment is minimal.

Safer Products for Safer Use

Some household cleaning products come with some pretty strong warning labels. Chemicals that are contained in window cleaners and drain and bowl cleaners can cause serious health problems. Sometimes even a product that seems harmless may contain ingredients that are not good for you. For example, scented air fresheners typically contain phthalates, which disrupt our health and bypass our skin to go directly to our internal organs.

Vacuuming Matters Too

Vacuums without good filters often kick up an incredible amount of dirt and dust around the home. When selecting a green cleaning service, it’s best to look for one that uses vacuums that are listed on the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Program. These vacuums are great at removing asthma triggers in addition to cleaning up all the dust and dirt.

By hiring a green cleaning service, you are protecting your family’s health and helping assure that your live in a safe home environment. Green cleaning products do a great job and protect the environment and your health and safety at the same time.

5 ways lighting can transform a bedroom

It can be difficult to decide what to do with your bedroom, so it’s often worth looking into different techniques to make it look like it’s just had a brand new design.

Once you’ve nailed the decor, picked out a statement storage bed to reduce clutter from the likes of Divan Beds Centre and accessorised with throws and cushions it’s time to look upwards. The right light fitting can transform your room into a beautiful haven, whether you’ve opted for a minimalist theme or if you’ve filled the room with highly decorative items. Here are just a few ways in which lighting can transform a room.

  • It can create a statement

Low-hanging, oversized lighting can make all the difference to a minimalistic room, particularly if it’s hanging directly over a bed with neutral covers. Statement lighting is an incredible centrepiece for any room. Elle Decor describes it as a way to trick the eye into thinking the space is larger than it is.

  • It can highlight different areas of the room

One of the best ways to transform your home is to use layered lighting. Not only will you have a statement fixture overhead, but you’ll have a number of different displays surrounding it. A brightly-lit room will always make it look better and more modern, so adding lights to make the corners of your room brighter is going to turn your room into a glamorous haven.

  • It can fill your room with colour

If you’ve opted for a monochrome room or if minimalism is your style, you may still be wondering what’s missing from your room. What you need could be a pop of colour with your lighting. Perhaps look into some unusual lighting and transform it into your centrepiece, you’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes to your living room. Ylighting encourages people to look into a copper pendant light for a modern look – it can completely transform the room, with little effort.

  • It can be adjusted to suit your mood

An adjustable lamp is one of the easiest ways to transform your room easily, whether you’re shining light through the entire space or just in a single seating area, it can make all the difference. A large adjustable lamp can be beneficial for both day and night, with additional room lighting throughout the day, while transforming your room into a cosy haven in the evening.

  • It can be used to complement a theme

Whether you’re turning your room into a classy interior with a glass chandelier or if you’re bringing lanterns inside to make it a coastal retreat, lights can make all the difference. There are many options for indoor lighting, whether you’re opting for rustic or something a little more classic, you’ll get the ideal look.

There are countless ways to transform your home, but lighting can definitely make all the difference. Browse through your favourite style and see what works best for you – you’ll soon find yourself filling your home with new light fixtures.

 

Remodel Over Rebuild: Why It is the Better Option to Fix Your House

Your house is the place where you can cherish countless memories with your family. It’s a testament to your happy years and the challenges you faced. However, no matter how much you want to keep everything the way they are, any house comes to the point of deterioration.

With the changing times, you may want to incorporate upgrades such as smart gadgets inside your house. Alternatively, you may want to improve energy efficiency by upgrading the house’s wiring and lighting. You may also think of increasing the functionality by changing the house’s layout and maximizing the available space. Or you may want to improve the overall aesthetics.

Remodeling or rebuilding may not be a bad idea. However, you’re left with the decision to choose which is best for your beloved property. You have weighed down your options and decided to go for a remodel.

To make you even more confident with your decision, the following are the reasons why remodeling is better than rebuilding the house.

Cheaper Costs

Home remodeling costs are way cheaper compared to the costs of rebuilding your house from scratch. On average, the cost of building a new house is roughly $200,000 to $300,000 while the cost of an overall remodeling project is just at $40,000 – $60,000 — a glaring difference.

The home remodeling costs can further go down when you don’t need to remodel your whole house. To give an idea, these are some rough estimates for partial remodeling costs (In 2019):

  • Attic Remodel: $9,500 to $15,000
  • Kitchen Remodel: $6,500 to $18,000
  • Bathroom Remodel: $5,000 to $14,000
  • Siding: $6,500 to $13,000
  • Roofing: $4,500 to $8,500
  • Central Airconditioning: $4,000 to 5,000
  • Interior Painting: $2,000 to $4,500

If you want specific values, you can visit the link for your customized home remodeling costs quote.

Faster Turnover of Your House

Building a house from scratch will take time. Custom-built homes take around 10-16 months according to this 2016 Survey of Construction by the United States Census Bureau.

With remodeling, the turnover of your new home will be relatively faster. For one, they will work on the current foundation and layout of the whole house. Additionally, if you will do partial remodeling, the work that needs to be done will be significantly lesser than starting from scratch.

No Unforeseen Rental Costs

Speaking of turnover, where will you stay while your house is under construction?

If you don’t have another house to stay in, you will incur additional rental costs on top of your construction costs for around that 10-16-month period.

With remodeling, you will save this rental cost.

Livable During Construction

When you need to remodel some areas of your house, you still have access to other parts. Unlike when rebuilding, you can’t stay there while everything is being constructed.

With remodeling, your house is still livable under construction.

Remodeling is not always the answer to everything. There is still the other option, which is to rebuild. The question is: when should you restore or rebuild your house?

You rebuild when your house has severe problems such as foundation problems or when you want additional installations that can’t be incorporated with the current design of your home. Ultimately, the choice is yours!