Monthly Archives: September 2018

Keep Your Pipes Safe and Secure with These Tips

Bursting frozen pipe

Bursting frozen pipeThere are many things to prepare for during the winter and one of those is keeping your pipes safe and secure. The cold weather can take a toll on your pipes and can even make them burst at one point. This will make your repair bills high, which is why you should always give enough attention to your pipes.

Home maintenance experts explain that other than using bespoke pipe cleaning brushes, you can try the following recommendations to secure your pipes during winter:

Keep Your House Warm

Always keep the heat on to make sure your pipes will stay dry and warm. The freezing weather can make all the dirt on your pipes solidify and get stuck, which could eventually make the pipes burst. You do not need to leave it as high as you normally do, but be sure to keep it above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to at least keep the inside of the pipes warm.

Leave the Doors Inside Open

Consider leaving the interior doors open even when you go away. This is to keep the heat spread all throughout the house, including the pipes. These pipes are usually located inside a cabinet, which means it will be good for you to open the door and keep them warm.

Get Some Heating Tape

Buy some electrical heating tape and apply it directly to your pipe. Wrap the whole pipe with it to prevent it (and what is inside) from freezing. Two types of heating tape can be bought: one turns on and off by itself when heat is much needed, while the other can be plugged when you need it and unplugged when it is not.

These products can be dangerous though, which is why you should always follow what is written in the fine print to prevent any accident.

You should always do your research and ask your plumber for some expert ideas and advice. This will keep your insulation in good shape and will prevent you from getting frozen pipes.

3 Simple Reasons to Live in a Lake Home

Suburban Lake Front HomesWhen you hear of lake homes, one of the first words that comes to mind is “lifestyle.” Lake living is indeed a lifestyle and one that you might want to consider, given these three good reasons:

Access to Water

Lake houses are beautiful; they are surrounded by a combination of the best of both worlds – land and water. You’ll find this true when you see the lakefront homes that are up for sale in Maine from firms such as Waterfront Properties of Maine.

These homes offer scenic views and instant access to a spacious yard and the lake. Lake living makes it easier for you to enjoy water activities without having to go far from your own home.

Access to a Private Dock

Owning a lakefront home also comes with a private docking area, which makes it more convenient for boat owners to access and store their water vehicles. Boats are huge investments. Keeping them can be costly, but when you have a dock by the shoreline of your property, you can cut down on storage fees and even get to maximize the use of your boat as it is readily accessible to you. Fancy a fishing trip? You can do this quick and easy when your boat’s just right outside your home, just a few steps away at the shoreline dock.

More Privacy

Lake homes are widely spaced apart. Usually, the houses have huge areas of land in between, allowing for more privacy in each of the homes. Aside from this, the natural landscape of the area is home to tall and sturdy trees that provide an additional level of privacy around your property.

Also, lake living is the best form of nature living that allows you to enjoy fresher air and serene atmospheres, and plenty of bonding activities with your family – from camping nights to fishing trips, lake living offers you a truly rewarding home experience.

Garden Glam: 3 Elements of Color That Make Garden Design Awesome

succulentsWhen you look at gardens, it seems as though color is just a natural aesthetic element. Flowers and plants, after all, inherently have hues. But when you’re designing a garden from scratch, with no greenery or outdoor furniture or water features yet, color is something that you intentionally bring out. You have to find the right mix and match of colors. At that, there’s a certain art to making it possible.

Here are the elements you should pay attention to when using colors in pulling off an awesome garden design:

Palette

A specific color scheme is the first thing that you need. This will guide your choices later when it comes to choosing plants, furniture, and other features in the space. In deciding a color palette, envision how you intend to use the yard.

For instance, if you’ll be spending your time in the garden in the mornings to help you get energized for the day, it’s best to have bright colors, such as red and orange. If you intend to use it as a relaxation space, cool colors such as green and blue are good choices. Your color palette will help tie every element together.

Repetition

Another way you can create cohesiveness and order in your garden design is repetition. This means using recurring colors in different features in the space. For example, you can have masses of blue Hydrangea and delphiniums and at the same time, install a fountain for added blue water features.

Authentic Provence reminds that you can also play with the colors of your plant boxes, like your Versailles planters and ceramic pots. The same rule applies to your garden pavements. The colors you use for them can add visual interest to your space.

Contrast

The space will look flat and boring if there’s no contrast in color. If you already have bright colored plants in the garden, try painting the walls with neutrals. This will be a perfect backdrop for the greenery. On the other hand, if you have light-toned plants, an accent wall can complement these. You can use wooden slats or brick stones for your accent wall, depending on your aesthetic preferences. Black solid fences are a good choice, as well.

Color is one of the striking elements you would need to carefully plan to nail a good garden design. Splash the right colors by keeping in mind the mentioned concepts.

Take a Scary Hayride and Ease Your Mind

Vampire and witch opening door of haunted houseIt is easy to write off a scary ride as just a plain old Halloween tradition, not knowing that it comes with additional benefits. Such an experience is linked with significant improvement in mental health and wellness.

If you don’t have a thing for the gory and macabre, you will have tons of fun checking out the haunted hayrides in Minnesota. A sensory overload of creepy monsters crawling out of the woods to get their pound of flesh will give your vocal cords quite the workout. Other than the thrill of having to jump out of your skin every time a zombie comes at you, screaming is good for you. Taking a scary ride is indeed a perfect way to unwind after a long day or week at the office.

Have Tons of Fun

A scary ride can be your chance to take part in a real-time horror movie and for once move away from the sidelines. There’s a thrill in running away from blood-streaked zombies out to get you or in outsmarting a ghost trying to sneak up on you. How about playing the hero and rescuing a bunch of babies from a witch who is about to add them to her portion?

In this carefully set and safe environment, you can scream your head out and have fun at the same time. Proper use of low-frequency sounds and strobe lights create a realistic and immersive experience that will blow your mind.

Lower Your Anxiety and Stress Levels

Other than helping you unwind, scary houses and rides have a hidden benefit in that they can help relieve your stress and anxiety. Controlled fear is good for your health. A simulated environment gives you a chance to face your fears without actually being in danger.

The feeling of terror that results when trying to outrun a troll generates a scare response that is useful in dealing with stress and anxiety. It also gives you a chance to lose yourself in the experience and get away from the everyday worries about work, money, or relationships.

Research says that taking a scary ride or visiting a haunted house has considerable benefits for your mental health and wellness. The scary factors trigger off a response in the brain that is instrumental in conquering fears and dealing with anxiety.

For Your Inspiration: Creating an Awesome Wedding Mood Board

a brideOne of the best ways to start the wedding planning is creating a mood board. It is also called the inspiration board, this tool is a visual representation of the style and vibe you want to create in your wedding. It should help you do two things:

  1. Direct your design decisions, making it easier to filter through different options for flower arrangements, table decor, stage design, etc.; and
  2. Communicate your vision to your vendors easily.

A trusted wedding florist in Denver, Colorado shares some steps to making an awesome wedding mood board:

Describe your wedding

Mood boards are all about pictures, but before you snip images at bridal magazines or copy from Pinterest, start with words first. Your keywords will guide you in choosing photos later. As mentioned earlier, your vision board brings out the style and vibe you want to create.

Start describing your wedding in two aspects: what you want to feel during the wedding and how you want it to look like. You may want it to feel intimate and warm, and look vintage at the same time. Maybe you want a cheerful vibe and a colorful look. With these descriptions, it’s easier now to filter through photos.

Consider color and texture

Look at the words again and see which colors and textures you can associate it with. Take the example above: intimate and warm. Given these descriptions, what colors pop into your mind? What materials, fabrics, or plants bring out that intimate, warm vibe.

Your answers to these questions will help you find photos that have that particular color and texture. This is useful when talking with your wedding florist. Experts will find it easier to choose flowers based on the colors and textures you want, matching these with the season at the time of your wedding and the venue.

Look for the key elements

After considering the abstract pieces of your wedding, you can now move to the more concrete aspects of the wedding. Start collecting picture-pegs of the huge ornaments in the event, such as the ceremony arch, table set-up, and vignettes. Include the elements that are present in the event design, such as flower arrangements and linens. Of course, your keywords, and color and texture should still be your guide for this.

Mood boards are the base of your wedding planning decisions. So, sit down with your partner and have fun building your own.

Tips for Having Youthful Skin

a pretty womanRegardless of how old you are, age is just a number. However, some people, especially those who suffer from sun damage and premature wrinkles, might not be quick to believe that. Fortunately, these three tips can help you look young:

Always Use SPF Sunscreen

The most proven way to keep years off your face is to avoid sun exposure. It is one of the reasons for skin aging, including hyperpigmentation and redness. Thus, whether it’s sunny, rainy, or cloudy outside, you need to protect your face with sunscreen. Aside from uneven pigmentation, sun damage causes premature wrinkles and makes you more susceptible to skin cancer. With this in mind, make sure to consult experts such as Clarity Skin and incorporate sunscreen with an SPF of 30 into your daily skincare routine.

Select the Right Skincare Ingredients

When it comes to anti-aging, you should be using basic yet clinically proven ingredients for a more youthful appearance. For example, vitamin C, one of the most potent antioxidants out there, works to brighten your skin and protect it from free radicals and sun damage. Also, retinoids can stimulate the production of collagen and combat wrinkles. Finally, AHA or alpha hydroxy acid can remove dead skin cells from the topmost layer of your skin. Use these in your daily skincare routine, and don’t forget to hydrate your skin because these ingredients can be harsh on sensitive, inflamed, or dry skin.

Don’t Forget Your Décolletage

As you grow old, your décolletage area, especially your neck, loses elasticity more quickly than the rest of your body and takes on that turkey-like skin. Bearing this in mind, you need to ensure that your skincare routine involves giving your décolletage some much-needed TLC. Moisturize daily, exfoliate at least once a week, and use sunscreen every day.

Remember that while prevention is always better than cure, you can also look into non-invasive cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, dermal fillers, and lasers for resolving significant issues. Consult a licensed dermatologist to determine what your skin needs.

Mortgage Options for People with Bad or Low Credit

Getting a mortgage with a poor credit score

Getting a mortgage with a poor credit scoreMost aspiring homeowners with low or bad credit think that they won’t ever have the chance to own their dream home because no lender would work with them right? Not necessarily. Yes, mortgage lenders want borrowers with good credit because it’s one of the main indicators of a borrower’s ability to pay their monthly mortgage payments, and having a low credit score could work against you. But how low is low exactly?

What’s Your Credit Score?

Generally speaking, if you have a credit score of 760 or higher, lenders consider you a low-risk borrower, which means that you’re chances of getting the best interest rate and loan terms are practically guaranteed. A credit score between 759 and 700 is good, a score between 699 and 650 is fair, while a credit score below 650 is low or bad. But don’t let your low credit score squash your dreams of homeownership because you do have some options when it comes to home loans.

The FHA Choice Loan

FHA loans were specifically developed for borrowers with low to moderate income and those with low credit scores; even a 580 score would make you eligible for an FHA choice loan. FHA loans even allow borrowers to put down significantly low down payments. However, since the government insures FHA loans, you have to pay for PMI or private mortgage insurance upfront as a safety net for lenders should you default on your mortgage.

The VA (Veterans Affairs Loan)

If you are a retired or active military member, you might qualify for the Veterans Affairs’ VA loan. VA loans come with relatively fair interest rates, no PMI, and no to low down payment. You could even qualify even if your credit score is 620 or lower.

The 15-Year Fixed-Term Mortgage

According to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae guidelines, a majority of conventional loans require borrowers to have a credit score of 620 or higher. But if your credit score is 620, which is the minimum requirement, you’d probably get a higher interest rate. However, if you take out a fixed-rate loan with a 15-year loan term, some lenders would disregard your credit, meaning that whether you have a credit score of 740 or 620, you would still be offered the same interest rate. This is of course provided that you satisfy all the other requirements such as the minimum down payment, stable income, low debt-to-income ratio, etc.

Regardless of your circumstances, there’s a suitable home loan option for you. Do your research to determine which option you could qualify for and then talk to different lenders to figure out your best option.

4 Types of Vehicles Mechanics Service

Man cleaning the car window

Man cleaning the car windowPeople have ridden on a lot of things, from horseback and steam carriages to today’s cars. Vehicles are important in society, especially since they serve an important purpose in households and businesses. Every day, auto repair shops serve many clients who need their vehicles fixed. Here’s an in-depth look at the types of vehicles that mechanics usually fix:

1. Delivery Trucks

A supplier of Baileigh tube and pipe notchers explains that large vehicles such as delivery trucks need regular maintenance. A closer inspection should be done to these vehicles because they have many parts that need to stay functional compared. Because delivery trucks carry a lot of loads every day, they might get worn down easily if not maintained properly.

2. RVs

Recreational vehicles or RVs would also need regular checks from mechanics since families use these for long-distance travel. The RV has pipes that carry water, as well as a kitchen area that generates heat. These should get fixed to prevent leaks or fire accidents.

3. Rental Cars

Rental cars are used by different people, making it difficult to track the ones liable in case of damages. Those who run a rental car business are expected to keep these vehicles functioning for the next customers. Clients, on the other hand, would need to pay for the repairs in case they accidentally damage the car.

4. Farm Tractors

Farm tractors would also need mechanics for repairs because of the heavy-duty work that they are used for. Farm owners should get their tractors tested to see if the lights are still powered or the wheels and other mechanical parts are still working.

Mechanics are offer assistance in taking care of vehicles owned by their clients. With the help of the right repair equipment, these experts can handle a variety of vehicles.

Less is the Best: 3 Steps to Perfecting the Minimalist Bathroom Design

Minimalist designed bathroomClean, crisp, and uncluttered — that’s what minimalist interior design is. No wonder many Utah homeowners are embracing this trend, most especially for their bathrooms. In an area where the most personal, a neat design is just what every homeowner needs. If you’re planning for a bathroom redesign to incorporate the less-is-more concept, remember these principles to pull it off:

Choose simple elements

A minimalist interior design is all about simplicity, meaning not too many details or not too grand on embellishments. This simplicity is what makes it look clean and organized, appealing to the eyes. When you choose bathroom cabinets or wallpapers, skip those that have bold patterns or pops of color. Keep it simple.

It’s also important to pick a simple element that will be your focal point. Minimalist interiors appear neat, precisely because it draws your attention to a piece that stands out rather than too many stuff cluttering your vision. A common focal point is bathroom countertops. Davis County design experts share that marble, granite, and laminate are popular choices.

Go white, white, white

A distinguishing mark of minimalist interior design is its use of hues. White and neutral color schemes are the most common. This contributes to the uncluttered look of the space. Give your walls a fresh, new white paint. You may also opt for a neutral-colored cabinet and countertop.

Do make sure, though, that you vary the textures and shades of white in your space. You don’t want it to look monotonous. Given that your bathtubs and toilets are already white, choose a slightly darker white shade for the walls or get whitewashed wood floors.

Maximize storage

As mentioned, neatness is the hallmark of interior design. You want to keep your place as uncluttered as possible. The trick here is to maximize storage, so you can keep all your stuff hidden. Add as many cabinets as you can in the space. Repurpose your old bookshelves to add extra storage. Or go for a multi-purpose furniture, like seating areas that serve as storage as well.

Bathrooms deserve the neatness and simplicity of minimalist interior design offers. Keep these principles in mind when you remodel your space.

Common Misconceptions About Home Loans

Mortgage Myths

Mortgage MythsRules regarding home loans are continually changing, which leaves borrowers with questions and misconceptions about mortgage loans. Many borrowers in Salt Lake City, Utah are confused when it comes to mortgage loans are concerned. Take a look at these misconceptions and how they are unmasked.

It is best to borrow home loans from a reputable company

That is not always the case for borrowers looking for a mortgage loan in Salt Lake City. With the thousands of lenders in the lending market, it can be overwhelming to compare and settle for the best lender out there. Most borrowers view banks as the most reputable and the best option for home loans, but other lenders offer competitive deals too. You need to compare interest rates as well as their lending criteria.

The home loan with the lowest interest rate

Interest rates are an essential consideration when applying for home loans. However, you should also consider fees that are charged on credit but not included in the interest rates. They can be legal, monthly or annual services, redraw, or establishment fees.

When applying for home loans, you need to consider comparison rates, which are alongside interest rates and they account for these charges. Therefore, don’t be deceived by lower interest rates when applying for your home loans. Make sure that the terms and conditions are favorable.

The 20 Percent Deposit

People have a misconception that they require to deposit 20 percent of the purchase price for their mortgage loans to be approved. But that is not always the case. You can still have someone or property to act as a guarantor for your home loans.

With these misconceptions unmasked, you can now apply for mortgage loans with the right information. You can be the borrower who finds the right home loan deal.