Tips To Wind Up Your Bedroom Efficiently

While moving into a new house is a moment of joy for all owners, it is also very tiresome at the same time. The most important task at hand is to wind up your bedroom well because this is the one place in your house where you are likely to keep your most valuable possessions. Thus, be prepared to have a hectic schedule while packing because this would be the best time when you can actually discard the unwanted stuff to declutter your room. Be very clear that the more things you pack the more expensive your shift will be.

Here are some tips which will help you clear up your room efficiently without much hassle.

• Organize your room: Having an organized room to start off with would prove to be beneficial as you would be able to get ample amount of space. It would also help you pack only the important things which would be dust free.

• Have a checklist at hand: Although making a list of your belongings would seem to be a very immature idea at first, you can trust anyone on this that would seem to be a boom when you start packing up. This is because you would have all things clear as to which ones are important and your top priority. This list would also give you an idea about the amount of packing material you would require.

• Pack mattress and carpets efficiently: Most of the people invest a huge amount of money in buying a mattress as it is a matter of their comfort. Thus, make sure you pack them well so as to avoid them from getting dirty during the transit. Pack them securely in shrink wraps which are specifically meant to protect carpets and mattresses. Don’t worry if you do not have one. The packers and movers would surely be able to help you on this.

• Make use of garbage bags to pack linen covers and pillows: Since garbage bags are large and sturdy they would be the best packing material for your linen covers and pillows. Be sure to seal the bags before transporting them.

• Get the help of your kids: Let your kids take the responsibility of their own room. Involve them in the packing process which would also reduce your burden. Make sure they throw away the things which they no longer use.

9 Ways to Prepare Your Home For Winter

Now that fall is officially come and gone, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. Preparing your home for a long, cold winter is something every homeowner should consider before the season really takes hold. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down the heated air into the room from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises). This is especially useful in rooms with high ceilings, and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

Clear Your Eaves
This is not a complicated task, but it’s an important job nonetheless. Clogged eavestroughs can lead to the formation of ice dams, which can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and leave your roof vulnerable to leaks. Simply climb to the edge of your roof and carefully dig out the debris. It’s not necessary to remove every small stone. The main purpose is to make sure nothing restricts the flow of water, and that no stagnant water remains in the gutters.

Prevent Ice Dams
If your home had lots of icicles last winter, or worse, ice dams, which can cause meltwater to back up and flow into your house, take steps to prevent potential damage this year. Get the assistance of a home-energy auditor or weatherization contractor. Have them fix the air leaks or inadequate insulation in your attic.

Check Your Roof
If you can’t get access to your roof, or prefer not to go on the roof, use binoculars to inspect the shingles. Look for damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during winter’s storms or from melting snow.

Caulk Windows and Doors
If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements.

Shut Off Exterior Faucets
Cold winter temperatures can cause your pipes to freeze and burst inside your home, which can result in major water damage. Locate and close any shut-off valves that lead to outside faucets, and drain any excess water inside the lines. It’s also a good idea to also drain any interior pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as your attic.

Stow Your Mower
As the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring. wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine (outdoors) to use up the remaining fuel.

Call a Chimney Sweep
Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home. If you have a wood-burning heating appliance or fireplace, have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney inspector to reduce your risk of a fire.

Test Smoke and CO2 Detectors
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure the batteries are still functioning. Remember that these detectors lose their effectiveness over time, so replace old and outdated products after five years of use.

Safety Tips For Removing Snow And Ice

Removing snow and ice on your lawn and landscape is a very essential winter safety activity. While shovelling snow, people may suffer from injuries. These include blisters and heart attacks. Know though that with proper safety procedures, these injuries can be prevented.

Shovelling Your Driveway

Slips and falls can be prevented when you keep your driveway and walkway clear of snow and ice. It is very crucial that you keep some safety tips in mind each time you shovel.

Know if you must not shovel – There are certain people who are prone to injuries if they shovel snow. If you have a history of cardiac problems, avoid doing this activity.

Dress appropriately – It can be tempting to just run out and remove the snow and ice on your walkway regardless of what you are wearing. If you dress the right clothing for this activity, injuries can be prevented. It is highly advised that you dress in layers – wear a head covering, a scarf, warm socks, and gloves. Moreover, wear waterproof booth with slip-resistant soles.

Use the right shovel – Make sure to use the shovel that fits your body size and your level of strength. Choose one that has a handle that is the right length for your height. If you use one that has short handle, you may be leaning forward more. This will put you the risk of a back injury. Most importantly, choose one that is very comfortable to use.

Be cautious with deep snow – You must remove the snow when the ground is lightly covered. This will reduce the accumulation of packed, heavy snow. Instead of lifting the snow, just push it. But if lifting it is necessary, do not overload the shovel. And when the snow is deep already, remove it in layers.

Always stay hydrated – When you go out to shovel, drink a bottle of water. After that, drink regularly so you don’t become dehydrated. Avoid overexerting as well. This means that you have to take breaks often. You can go indoors to warm up. And if you feel any pressure or pain in your chest, immediately call your doctor.

Removing Ice

Aside from paying attention to your footing, here are other safety tips when doing this activity.

Purchase the right chemical products – An efficient way of melting the ice is putting a layer of rock salt on icy areas. Be reminded though that rock salt can damage concrete and metal surfaces. This is also harmful to plants. Prior to using any ice melting products, you must carefully read the labels.

Remove icicles – You need to get rid of any hanging icicles from gutters and roof edges. This will prevent injuries to children if they fall.

7 Home Improvement Tips For This Winter

The winter is approaching, and you need to be ready for it. You need to get your home ready for the cold season, which is important if you want to make your home energy efficient and comfortable. Check out the following home improvement tips that will make a difference this winter.

Go For an Energy Audit

You can hire a certified professional to get your home rated. The energy rater will conducted an “audit” and test your residence for possible energy losses and other safety issues. Based on the detailed report he will give you, you can make important repairs and make your home more energy efficient.

The professional will also give you some tips to address the common issues with your home. You can then take necessary steps to solve the issues.

Seal The Walls

The seals in the walls allow the air in, which causes fluctuations in the temperature inside your house. You can make a plan and use a tube of caulk to address the problem areas. Aside from this, you should seal the areas where you can find electric boxes on the drywall. Make sure all the tiny holes on the backside of the boxes are sealed.

Seal The Can Lights

Air leaks can occur in the ceiling as well, especially the area on the ceiling where the recessed lights are located. Some can lights are vented so that they don’t get overheated due to the light bulb. What you need to do is remove the can and then seal the perimeter of the can with quality caulk. In the same way, the internal area of the can should be sealed with aluminum tapeto or caulk.

Fill The Insulation Gaps

To find insulation gaps, you should check the outside faucets and air vents for big gaps. These gaps will allow the air to escape from the room in winter. You can use expanding foam to seal these holes.

Your Heating System

Before the arrival of winter, you can get your furnace tuned up. According to experts, the energy costs of an average house are affected by the heating. If your boiler system or furnace is inefficient, your heating bills may rise. Make sure you buy a quality filter.

You can replace the filter to make the boiler more efficient. While this may seem an unnecessary expenditure, it will pay back down the road.

Check Your Windows

Your windows should be suitable for the climate of your home. For instance, if you live in an area where it’s very cold in winter, you may want to invest in windows that feature double-paned insulated glass.

Buy a Smart Thermostat

You can consider installing a smart thermostat. Some advanced models can be operated with a smartphone as well. Programmable thermostats are available in different designs and price levels. These devices allow you to enhance the energy efficiency of your home.

Top 7 Home Improvement Tips You Should Know

Do you have a condo or an apartment? If you have one, you need some home improvement tips. These tips will help you maintain your home or apartment saving you some real cash in the long run. Aside from this, it will also increase the value of your home. Read on some of our tips for improving your home.

Tackle the Important Projects

Some home repair projects are urgent. If you do them in time, you can prevent a lot of damage. But if you ignore these projects, you may end up paying a huge sum to fix the damages later on. Therefore, don’t wait for the winter to approach and get these projects done as soon as possible.

Consider Professionals

Even if you love doing DIY projects, not all home repair projects should be done by you. Some repair jobs are better left to professionals. You have to be in your limits. If you are a beginner, you should start small. If a project needs the expertise of a professional, hire a professional.

Hone Your Skills

Whether you are going to work on a small or big project, you can learn some good home repair skills. You can make use of some good resources and start off from some projects. With the passage of time, you will be able to handle bigger tasks as well.

Find Inspiration

If you want inspiration for your home repair tasks, you can head to Pinterest. Over there you can find a lot of profiles showcasing project photos along with cost estimates. This will give you a pretty good idea of how you should go about handling these chores.

Get the Tools

You can’t do all your home improvement tasks with your hands. You need to have some essential tools at your disposal. They will help you with both minor and major tasks. For instance, for plumbing jobs, you need some essential plumbing tools in your tool box. So, you should invest in some common repair tools.

Choose the Right Contractor

Finding a good contractor is as important as finding a good doctor. In other words, you may want to hire only a reliable contractor or handyman. Hiring an inexperienced professional can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Save Money

If you save money on one project, you can spend it on another. What you need to know is to decide on the project that you can save some cash on. For instance, you can spend a bit more on items that can’t be replaced so easily, such as your bathtub. On the other hand, you can spend a bit less on the faucet. Another good idea is to head for a reuse center to save some cash on appliances and other stuff.

So, if you follow these simple home repair tips, you can get the projects done more easily while saving some cash. Remember: never try to do a project that you know will cost you thousands of dollars if done the wrong way. In this case, you had better look for a good professional.

How To Choose The Right Mailbox For Your Property

A mailbox can act more than just a receptacle for your parcels and letter. In other words, they can be a statement of your personal style and taste if you opt for the most suitable one for your home.

Things To Consider When Buying A Mailbox

The area where to install it – You can install the mailbox in front of your property if you do not mind walking several meters to get your mail or parcel. But if you are somewhat lazy to get your mail from afar, you can just install it on your porch or on your property’s wall.

Size – There are no fast and hard rules to follow in terms of choosing the right size. Oftentimes, most homeowners select the mailbox size based on the size of letters and parcels they receive on a regular basis. A smaller mailbox can be your best option if you are just receiving bills and letters. But if you often receive big packages or buy online, it is highly recommended that you opt for a bigger mailbox.

Colour – You need to use different principles when selecting the colour for mailboxes. It is very common for property owners to go for black because it can blend with different styles and designs. Also, this provides a classic and clean look. Apart from black, you can opt for a copper-coloured letterbox. This is suitable for homes with copper flashings or gutters. Moreover, copper will age well if it is exposed to different environmental elements.

Security – This is a very crucial factor if you are receiving sensitive mail, want to safeguard your privacy or if you will not be going home for quite some time. You need to choose a mailbox that has a very sturdy lock if security and privacy are important to you.

Different Types And Styles Of Mailbox

Mailbox Set – This comes with a mounting post. Also, this may require some assembly.

Novelty – This is preferred by property owners how want to add interest and drama to their yard instantly. Bear in mind that these mailboxes come in various shapes such as animals.

Wall-mounted– This is often installed on the front door of a property. This will also require some assembly. These mailboxes also come in various styles and are made using steel, durable plastics or galvanized metals.

Staircase Design – Five Top Trends

Home interiors, like clothes, shoes and even cars, tend to evolve with the times as particular styles fall in and out of favour according to the fashion of the day. The same can be said, up to a point, of staircase design. Obviously, you can’t change your stairs as easily as your decor, so it’s important to pick the right style first time.

So what’s hot and what’s not in stair design at the moment? Here are five trends to look out for:

1. Glass

More than any other, this feature has seen a huge surge in popularity lately. Glazed stair balustrades are becoming increasingly sought-after as people look to maximise the feeling of light and space that they can bring to their surroundings. Although glass stair panels used to be mainly the preserve of modern homes, nowadays they are often used in traditional interiors to give a contemporary twist and boost the flow of natural light around the property.

Of course, you don’t have to stop at the balustrade. If you really want to make your neighbours jealous, you can have the treads and risers made from glass for a stunning 21st century effect.

2. Clean lines

The general consensus in the field of interior design at the moment seems to be that less is more. In my line of work I have noticed a recent shift away from decorative stair balustrades to simpler, cleaner shapes. While ornate turned spindles, newels and caps are still selling well, there has been greater interest in sleek, minimalistic designs such as square and stop-chamfered styles.

3. Curves

As manufacturing techniques have improved over the years, the demand for curved stairs has been gradually rising. These staircases need quite a bit of space but can provide a wonderful focal point. With their classic flowing lines, they are suitable for modern and traditional homes alike. Spiral stairs, too, are proving popular – especially with owners of smaller properties, and those looking for a secondary staircase. They can still look stunning, but don’t take up as much floor area.

4. Mix of materials

Another rising trend is blending different types of material together for an individual look, known as fusion (also popular with foodies!). When choosing a handrail you are probably best off sticking with timber, as this is the most comfortable material to grip. However, when it comes to the balustrade infill there is much more choice. As well as glass panels, you can experiment with spindles made from metal, wood or a combination of the two – and mix and match with glass if you want.

Metal spindles have become particularly popular lately, thanks to the wide variety of designs now available. Most are made from mild steel shaped to resemble wrought iron, which helps to keep both production costs and spindle weight to a minimum. You don’t have to stick to just one style of metal spindle, either. Alternating two different designs can be a great way to give your stairs an individual touch.

5. Storage

As the square footage in new homes has generally shrunk over recent years, storage space has become an important issue. It’s no surprise, then, that more home owners are asking for integral storage to help keep clutter out of sight. This can be achieved by fitting shelves or cupboards underneath the staircase, or even by incorporating drawers into the actual steps.

Building the Best Home Office for Freelancers

Freelancing is the new definition of grind in today’s modern workplace. Gone are the days when all the person can do is work in an office to make a living – today they can offer their services right at the comfort of their own home. However, there is more to working at home than meets the eye. As a designer, there is a need to really create the area to ensure that they are able to meet their business objectives and deliverables on a timely basis.

Here are some pitch ideas to win freelancer clients:

1. Create the overall look from the get go

The thing about freelancers is that they are more into getting the job done as usually, they are paid by the hour by a client from a different time zone. To maximize their time, always be ready with your visual pegs and plans. Using 3D rendering software can quickly make this happen and make the edits easier as well. For example, if they choose to go for another shade for the walls, you can both edit it on the spot to speed up the decision process. Remember, these people do not have time on their side.

2. Be clear when it comes to the budget

No matter how great the overall look is, there will still be a problem if the client cannot afford it. Discuss the design and the amount of money to help in getting there. From there, you can set expectations and already focus properly on the items that will really add value to the freelancer as far as the project is concerned.

3. Make it really conducive to working

Once the design and budget are out of the way, it’s time to talk productivity. Ask the client as to the nature of his business. Is the person a virtual assistant? Then it is important to make sure the person has easy access to calling implements. The internet connection should also be kept strong so there should never be barriers that should get in the way.

Is the person a writer? If so, the table and chair combination is important as well as the source of light. More so is the case if the freelancer is an artist since he or she will be spending a lot of time seated and the level of comfort or discomfort will have a big impact on their productivity. The lighting can also help the freelancer save on energy costs. Is there a way for air to come in naturally too? All these will play a big role in the ability of the freelancer to do his or her duties.

4. Think of the little things

When it comes to working at home, the little things really count. For example, putting a fridge or water dispenser nearby lessens the need for the person to go up to the kitchen just to be able to eat a few bites. Placing a lock too on the doors can ensure privacy or having sound proofing can help in keeping the atmosphere professional during calls.

Quick Home Maintenance Tips

If you have been looking for some home improvement tips that won’t take more than a few minutes from your precious time, you are on the right page. This article is for you, especially if you are a busy homeowner. Read on.

Fixing a chair

Are you trying to fix an old chair? If so, we suggest drilling pilot holes and driving screws via the rungs bottom and into the chair legs.

Vinyl Door or Window

If your vinyl doors or windows don’t open properly, the channels may have accumulated gunk. At times, even clean doors and windows may bind. You may spray dry spray lubricant on the target areas and then use a rag to wipe it off. Using oil lubricants is not a good idea as they can catch dirt damaging the vinyl.

Repairing a Shutoff Valve

If the shutoff value is faulty, you can get it replaced. But if you can’t, you should go to the nearby hardware store to buy a good replacement washer. Remove the grit from the valve and fit the new washer. This will fix the problem.

Loose Showerhead

If you want to fix a problematic showerhead or a wobbly pipe, you can use some expanding foam. With the foam, you can encase the pipe and fix it. This will remove the wobble.

Use a Smoke Detector

If you don’t have enough time or money, you may want to cover the ceiling hole with a smoke detector. You don’t need to patch the hole.

Cabinet doors

If your cabinet doors don’t stay shut, all you have to do is use a magnetic door catch. You can also go for a roller-style one.

Squeaky Floors

If you want to repair a squeaky floor, use a stud finder to find the floor joists. Next, you can drive in a screw via a pad, carpet and the subfloor to reach the floor joist. Just make sure that the upper part of the screw has no threads. Ideally, you may want to use trim screws since they have bigger heads. If this is the case, you may want to pull up the screw and then tighten it again.

Remove Water Stains

Before repainting the ceiling, you may want to try out this trick. You can use a mixture of water and bleach and then wait for a few days. If the stain is old, you can try a mold and mildew product. The stain will be gone within 24 hours. This trick may work both on textured and flat ceilings.

Wallpaper Seams

To fix a wallpaper seam, you can soak a rag in lukewarm water and then apply the paste around the seam. You may want to hold the rag for a couple of minutes and then open the seam a bit for more space for the seam sealer. Put the liquid into the gap and then push the paper against the wall using a roller. Then you can use a sponge to remove the sealer.

Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don’t need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern décor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you’re done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What’s next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven’t already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits instead of carpeting. Tiled floors are also fairly acceptable. If you think this improvement would bring you higher profits, make the investment without delay.

HVAC Replacement: Today new energy-efficient HVAC systems are being introduced to the market that incur a one-time cost and help you save huge amounts of money on utility bills. You can add a unique selling feature to your house by making this replacement part of your home improvement strategy.

What’s really worth repairing?

Remember that not all things are worth repairing; some need to be thrown out and others need to be replaced. This is a good principle to follow when staging a home.

Inspect every aspect of your home and then come up with a plan within your budget to bring a fresh crisp look to your home. You may want to replace outdated appliances in the kitchen with new modern models. Repairing old appliances is not an option. If your budget doesn’t allow an appliance upgrade, simply give the ones you use a color-boost to improve their appearance.

If you already have wooden floors installed at home, look for scratches and be prepared for some refinishing. Wooden floors are highly desirable, even if they are old and worn. Give them a little lift-up to make them more attractive and appealing.

Nowadays energy-efficiency has found its way into many of our systems including the windows. Home buyers look for the latest windows and other systems that are designed as energy-efficient since they provide a number of economical, health and environmental benefits. Replace your old windows for new energy-efficient windows to improve the value of your home.