Category Archives: Home and Garden

Make Your Home More Comfortable by Getting Rid of Rodents

A rat

A ratThe presence of rodents in your house can make you dread going back home. Looking at the damaged curtains and scattered breadcrumbs, it is evident that rodents can be destructive at the very least.

Eliminating Rodents

Before deciding to make your house rodent-proof, you need to get rid of those that are already in your home and compound. One way may be through trapping the rodents. Companies like IPM Pest Control offer rodent control services. Such companies employ more effective methods that will eliminate all the rodents in your home in a short time. Also, install some rodent traps around your house to trap new rodents that try to intrude your home.

Maintain Cleanliness

Rodents are often attracted to wrongly disposed of leftovers. That means that places like kitchens and backyards have a high potential for rodent infestation. Always ensure that all waste bins are well sealed to keep the rodents away. General storage units and rooms should also be kept clean because rodents may even eat fabric and other materials that are left lying around.

Seal Open Spaces

Open spaces encourage rodents to enter your home. That applies to both rats and mice. Areas around your fence must be sealed off to deny access to rodents that are trying to enter your compound. Houses should also be made rodent-proof by covering open places. Low-ventilation windows may be sealed using wire meshes to allow for the passage of air while still making the house rodent-proof.

Rodents cause much clutter. That is because they may bite your mattresses and clothes, leaving small pieces all over the house. Therefore, it is essential to get rid of rodents to make your home more comfortable.

High Demand for Houses Fuels High Demand for Home Inspectors

a modern homeInspections are part of every home buying process. These are mostly conducted by third-party individuals who are part of organizations instead of corporations. One reason for this is that no single company can claim to be the leader or the standard in home inspections. This begs the need for a home inspection franchise review, which would rate different franchises offering this service.

The Need for Home Inspections

The number of houses bought bottomed out in 2009. Since then, it has steadily increased with the improving economy. Except for newly built houses, older homes require home inspections. Typically, homeowners who want to put their house on the market would hire a home inspector to check on the property for possible problems. At the same time, buyers also want to have a property inspected to ensure that there are no problems before they buy.

Possible Home Problems

A home inspector needs to be technically oriented, be able to understand blueprints, and have an idea of the possible problems of a house. When inspecting a property, they would look at the safety of the house, possible fire hazards and infestations, adherence to building codes, a list of possible repairs, and any needed upgrades.

This is a thorough inspection from top to bottom, and includes the roof and eaves, ceilings, loft, HVAC, pipes, sewage lines, rooms, fireproofing, alarms, basement, electrical systems, flooring and walls. Carports, patio, swimming pools, spas, as well as foundations are also inspected. Reports have to be clean, detailed, clear, and concise. If the house was bought and problems not mentioned in the report were encountered, the home inspector can be sued.

The job of the home inspector requires a technical mind and excellent attention to detail. With a growing number of home sales, the demand for home inspectors is expected also to increase.

Independent Living: How to Fall-Proof Your Home

bathing chair with grab barsFalls are the leading cause of injuries among the elderly, and these usually lead to cuts, scrapes, fractures, and worse, severe injuries to the brain and head. Whether the cause is clutter, the dark, or slippery surfaces, you could fortify your home to be as fall-resistant as possible. To help you out, start with these basics:

  • Get Rid of All Clutter – This is by far the easiest thing you could do to prevent falling incidents. Remove clutter including unused décor or furniture, and stacks of old magazines or newspapers, particularly from staircases and hallways.
  • Install Handrails and Grab Bars – These are very important and useful on stairs and hallways, as well as near the toilet and bathtub. However, refrain from installing these yourself if you’re not 100% confident that you could do the job correctly since these safety devices would only work if installed properly, regardless if you’re installing it in the hallway of the bathroom, advises a grab bar installation professional in Dallas.
  • Eliminate or Repair Tripping Hazards – Inspect each hallway and room in your house thoroughly and look for items likes slippery or loose rugs or carpets and broken floorboards. You then need to replace, remove, or repair those items.
  • Install Ample Lighting – Opt for brighter lights, especially in hallways and stairways. Consider getting nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms to help you see more clearly at nighttime.
  • Don’t Wear Very Loose Clothing – Go for properly hemmed and slightly fitting clothes that won’t drag on the ground or bunch up while you move.
  • Consider Wearing Footwear – Go for footwear with slip-resistant soles, and if you want to wear socks without footwear around the house, go for socks with anti-slip features.
  • Make Slipper Surfaces Slip-Resistant – Install non-slip mats on kitchens, porches, and bathroom floors, particularly in bathtubs and showers, outside and inside.
  • Take Your Time When Moving – When standing up or sitting down, pause for several seconds upon changing positions especially if you’ve been in that exact position for a significant amount of time. This also applies when using the stairs.

Put simply, fall prevention beings with creating a safer and better living space. As you could see from the tips above, you don’t need to entirely makeover your house and spend a huge chunk of change. These basic changes would help ensure that you could live independently in your own home for as long as you could.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do if Your Furnace Breaks Down in the Middle of Winter

A professional working on a furnace repairStaying warm during the cold months is important not only for your family’s comfort but their safety as well. And if your furnace decides to break down in the middle of winter, you might find yourself in a very unpleasant home situation.

Plumbing expert All Hours Plumbing believes that it’s best to call a furnace service company in Salt Lake City immediately to make sure you’ll get the prompt assistance you need. A broken furnace is not a minor situation to be in so make sure you don’t do these five things if it happens to you.

1. Leave Your Pipes Alone

It’s important to insulate outdoor pipes before the weather gets cold. During extremely low temperatures, your pipes can freeze and burst if your heat goes out. If you weren’t able to insulate your outdoor pipes, you could let air circulate around them by opening your cabinet doors.

2. Leave Your Furnace On

Your furnace can break down because of an electrical problem, broken parts, or gas line issues. Turning your furnace off as soon as it breaks down will help keep you safe until you find out what the root of the problem is.

3. Stay in Separate Rooms

The best way to conserve the warm air in your home is to all gather in a single room and shut it out from the rest of the house. This will ensure that you’ll only need heat for that one room. If you have a fireplace, make sure everyone is in that room and that entrances to that room are closed.

4. Ignore Any Foul Smell

A broken furnace may also be caused by a natural gas leak. Suppliers of natural gas usually add a certain scent to it to make it easier to detect. If you smell rotten food together with a furnace break down, leave your home and call a professional.

5. Try to Fix It Yourself

Unless your an HVAC professional yourself, trying to fix a broken furnace when you don’t know how to may only make things worse. The best move would still be to call someone who knows how to fix a furnace—a professional.

Keep in mind that a broken furnace doesn’t only make everyone uncomfortable. It can also be dangerous for you and your family. So, make sure you have these things covered and next time have a professional conduct a full inspection and maintenance routine before the cold months begin.

3 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Water Softener

someone getting water from a faucetAlthough hard water is normal and not a health hazard, it can interfere with your everyday cleaning tasks and contains fewer minerals needed for your diet. That’s why a growing number of people are choosing to have a water softener here in Salt Lake City to treat their water source.

If you’re one of the many people who’s thinking of getting one for their homes, here are a few of the commonly-asked questions you might want to read before deciding on getting one.

What’s a water softener?

A water softener is a tool that helps eliminate any unwanted or even harmful minerals that may cause hardness in the water. Brine, or also known as a salt solution, helps soften the water by performing a scientific swap between the minerals and the salt in the water that goes inside your homes.

Do you automatically need a water softener device at your home?

Although hard water can be a nuisance at times, it’s your discretion to have a water softener at home. It’s best to test the levels of minerals and see if you really need a device to treat the water. If the results show a high level of minerals, then it may be the right time to get a device installed in your home.

How do you maintain a water softener?

The minerals eventually get trapped in your device and need to be flushed down from the system so you can replenish the sodium. It can be a tedious task, that’s why most people would require help from plumbers to help them with the maintenance.

But as soon as the minerals have been removed, then the water softener can go back to functioning normally.

These are just a few of the most common questions you may want to ask yourself to know if you really need a water softener in your home. Just like any other device, such a device requires proper maintenance every once in a while.

You may want to work with a professional plumber who knows a lot about it so you can expect a good quality of service.

3 Creative Ways to Repurpose an Old Mantel

Stylish workspaceHave you been eyeing a vintage mantelpiece but still thinking about ways to include it in your home’s current interior design? Read on to find three creative and practical ways to repurpose this beloved architectural element.

Use it as a frame

If you’re looking for a way to add pizzas to that area surrounding your mounted TV on the wall, you can frame that area with an old mantel. As new and more modern fireplace designs are incorporated into newly built and renovated homes. Authentic Provence notes antique fireplace mantels have become important decorative reclaimed materials that were once the focal point of living rooms designed with old world architecture. These mantels have intricate carvings and designs, lending a charming look to an otherwise dull wall space.

Use it as a headboard

If you want to take the off-beaten path to headboard designs, you can DIY using an antique mantel. The carvings and curvy lines create a soft, elegant look that can easily blend with the light and relaxing bedroom décor. Simply mount it on the wall and hang a padded or tufted board between the mantel opening, and voila! You’ve got your very own and uniquely designed headboard.

Use it as a furniture piece

Because of the sturdy material used to make these antique mantels, you can tap into its utilitarian purpose and incorporate it into custom-built furniture or with other furniture for repurposing. The mantel can be used as a bookshelf frame or incorporated into a cabinet design for a vintage look. It also makes for great low shelving units, which can be used in kids’ rooms. The height of the shelves allows toddlers to access their toys and books without having to use a stool, eliminating risks of them falling off a stool or any item falling on their heads as they’re reaching for it.

Finally, get that antique fireplace mantel you’ve been thinking of having and start that DIY project ASAP.

Why You Should Consider Having a Granny Flat

Cool wooden shed in allotmentsIf an elderly relative has been having falls and it’s no longer safe for them to live alone, they don’t have to go into a residential home. There is a better solution – a granny flat!

Granny flats are the perfect solution for people who don’t want to grow old too gracefully and hate the idea of a nursing home. They offer independence with family close by ‒ for the best of both worlds.

Many people dislike the idea of having to move to an old people’s home. The common perception is that when a senior goes into a home, they are getting ready to die. Understandably, many of them are resistant when the idea is proposed.  A granny flat is a great solution for seniors who want to remain independent but have a close support network nearby.

Self-Contained Flats

Accessory dwellings are either designed to the customer’s personal specifications or, for a more affordable price, they can be assembled from granny flat kits. They are self-contained and feature all modern conveniences such as kitchens, bathroom or shower rooms and a living area. They can be built with disability in mind and include wheelchair ramps, flat access entrances and spacious rooms, large enough for mobility aids. Seniors will have the reassurance that their family is nearby if needed.

Extension to the Home

A granny flat can be detached or built as an extension to the primary residence. If it is attached to the main property it can be used for other purposes too (for example, extra space for entertaining). If the homeowners want to sell the home, a granny flat will increase the value of their property.

Playroom Facilities

A granny flat makes a great playroom for the little ones, and granny is on hand to babysit, giving mum and dad a break.

Accessory dwellings, or granny flats, provide a way for seniors to stay in familiar surroundings, remain independent with the help of family, and extend the space and value of the property; for these reasons, they are a popular alternative to nursing homes.

Spring Landscaping: 5 Things to Consider

amazing landscapingSpring is a lovely season as flowers start to bloom, lawns start to thicken, and butterflies appear. For the green thumb, it’s the best time to do some landscaping. And it can be a lot of work as your space is unearthed and old plants are uprooted. You’ll definitely need the service of a dumpster rental in Denver, CO to pick up the mess and a contractor to bring your plans to life.

Here are some things you’ll need to consider for your landscaping project this spring.

1. Your Yard’s Climate

Some parts of your yard may be more shaded than others. Knowing which parts receive more or less sunlight will help you choose the kind of plants to put around your house.

2. Create a Strategy

Decide whether you’re going dig up everything and start from scratch or do the project one part of the house at a time. Think about how the project is going to affect your household’s daily activities.

3. Pests

Stray animals, insects, and other wildlife can destroy your landscaping even before the flowers start to bloom. It’s best to set up protection like a fence or a wire mesh, depending on what kind of pests you have.

4. Plant Growth and Maintenance

Once you’ve chosen your plants, you’ll need to know how much space they’ll need to grow and how much you’ll want them to grow. Maintaining them to stay in the shape you want also needs consideration.

5. Map It Out

Walk around your house with a pen a paper and write down which plant to put where. This’ll it make it easier for you to organize when and how to put in the plants.

You can always incorporate any of these tips into your landscaping plans. Know that a project planned always plays out the best. Let your gardening skills lose this spring and pour out your creativity on this year’s project.

Buying a Water Softener: Key Features to Consider

a drop of water creating a rippleWater is an essential commodity. Most of the water found in the world, however, is hard water. This contains minerals and at times traces of industrial runoff and sewage. Hard water leaves your skin feeling rough and dry after a shower, your dishes cloudy and clothes stiff and uncomfortable to wear. It also deposits minerals in your appliances, which hasten their wear and tear.

That said, a water softener is hence an essential appliance in every commercial and residential establishment. Here are the key features you should consider when buying a water softener in Ogden.

Water softening technology

In downflow water softener systems, water enters from the top and flows through the resin. These systems require backwashing after each regeneration and might lead to substantial water wastage. The newer and typically more expensive upflow technology directs water flow upwards and significantly cuts down on water and salt wastage.

Tubing size

The size of your water softener’s tubing will determine the percentage of contaminants it can clear. Large tubing removes over 95% of the contaminants and minerals in your water compared to less than 90% in small circumference tubing. This gives you softer, safer and cleaner water. Most water softeners come with a warning system that tells you when your filters are filled with contaminants. This helps you know when it is time to clean them.

Holding capacity

Your water softener’s holding capacity is influenced primarily by the amount of water you use. A unit that is too large will lead to significant energy wastage while a small unit will not satisfy your needs. It is imperative to correctly estimate your daily water use before purchasing to get your water softener size right.

An eco-friendly water softener uses less energy to generate substantial amounts of soft water. These systems also have minimal greenhouse gases emission. This, therefore, serves to protect the ozone layer.

Why Millennials Love Garden Fences

County style garden fenceMillennials have a stronger attachment to appearances and their branding. The idea of a personal brand for each individual didn’t even exist until social media, a highly millennial experience, became a cultural staple.

Personal branding has even extended to house design, which has become a huge passion for millennials who want their homes to reflect their personalities.

A home’s first impression is through its exterior design, specifically estate gates and fences. Garden fencing, in particular, is something millennials love to use for a variety of reasons.

A pretty frame for your home

The first thing you notice about a person, a place, a gift, or even an event is the packaging: the clothes, the ornamentation, the wrapping or the backdrop. Millennials understand the importance of garnishing your home with pretty icing like a delectable cake.

Guests will first behold the garden’s barrier before stepping into an abode, and millennials want a nice frame that exudes the inner personality of their house. These fences serve much like a magnificent velvet show curtain: they beautify the initial visual experience of a home and tease the potential lavishness that lies inside.

What else shouts “Come in! It is safe and warm inside,” like a quaint, white picket fence?

Safeguarding natural beauty

Gardens provide something more than just a place to relax. For millennials, an eye-catching garden is like a landscape photograph come to life, a background scene begging to be published: the earthy tones, the soft green of mowed grass, and the bright sprinkles of colors from flowers.

Like the outside of their homes, the inside must also have an enviable sparkle. Millennials invest in their gardens, and they do not want a rogue dog or naughty kids from the block to harm their favorite, carefully nurtured slice of nature. These fences act as protective barriers for their small but exclusive Eden.

Acting social… in private

Despite their penchant for sharing the details of their life, millennials still like their private moments. They will tell you where they are vacationing, who they are with, and what they are doing. However, they don’t want snoopy eyes lingering over every vulnerable moment they have.

Millennials want their privacy, and fences allow them to spend hours relaxing in their homes, cavorting around their garden with friends, family, and pets, and socializing with their closest relations without having to worry about nosy neighbors.

Fences form a judgment-free zone, where they can let their hair down, take goofy selfies, and forget that the outside world exists.

Garden fences were a Gen-X trend, but they have come to fit the millennial personality more than anyone could have expected. Hopefully, house exterior innovations can keep up with their changing preferences and demands.