Category Archives: Home and Garden

3 Ways to Increase the Comfort in Your Home This Summer

window and air conditioner of a home for ventilationExtreme heat during the summer can greatly affect your comfort. It is during times like this that you have to crank up your AC to try and keep your body temperature down. If you do not have an AC, then this would be a perfect time to get one that is not only energy efficient but also effective.

The cost of ducted air conditioning in Sydney and the bills accrued from using it can seem discouraging. Conduct Air Conditioning knows this. However, there are ways to improve the cost-effectiveness of your AC while keeping your home comfortable.

1. Use natural ventilation

Open all your windows and doors for natural cooling during the day instead of relying entirely on an AC. This will save you a lot of money that could have gone into high utility costs.

Besides, you get to aerate your house to reduce unhealthy pollutants in the air. Make sure to clean your window sills and screens to prevent dust-filled air from being blown to your home.

2. Find cheaper options

Consider installing a ceiling fan as it uses less energy compared with air conditioners. Additionally, a ceiling fan spreads out cool air all over the entire room. Also, invest in a dehumidifier to extract water from the air and make your house less humid. This will, in turn, regulate the temperatures in your home.

3. Use of heat-generating appliances less

Try not to use any heat-generating appliances. Summer is the perfect time to grill instead of bake, therefore give your oven a break. You should also reduce the use of lamps and clothes dryers as they tend to produce heat. Keep your drapes closed to avoid the sun from heating up your room, too.

An air conditioner plays a crucial role in temperature regulation in your home. If you have kids, an air conditioner is an indispensable addition. If you have no idea of the best type for your home, always feel free to contact an expert for help.

Avoid Financial Headwinds When Buying A Home

Piggy bank with house model and stacked coinsMost people nurse the dream of owning a house as it comes with a great many benefits. When you build a house, you can customise it to meet your specific needs and style and dictate every aspect of its construction. Then there’s the added benefit of escaping rent and using the monthly payments to build equity in the house.

As you hunt for the ideal piece of land for sale in Wyndham Vale, bear a few crucial factors in mind for the best results.

Don’t keep up the Joneses

There’s a great deal of pride that comes with living in the hottest neighbourhood in a given region. But you shouldn’t let the need to make an impression drive your decision to buy a home. Many people have made this mistake, and it didn’t end well for them.

In most cases, this would entail taking on a huge mortgage that you might have trouble servicing. High repayments on such a loan can leave you cash-strapped to the extent of failing to pay your bills. Mortgage delinquency also puts your house at the risk of repossession by the bank.

Don’t underestimate other costs

Owning a home comes with other costs such as stamp duty, maintenance, insurance that you need to consider. These fees are in addition to the closing fees on the mortgage and home buying process. If you’re fully maxed out by the mortgage, you will have a hard time meeting these costs, which could set you up for hefty fines and penalties.

It is of great importance that you account for all these costs when committing. There are numerous mortgage calculators on the internet to help you with the process. Only by taking such precautionary measures can you avoid making mistakes that could cost you the home.

There’s a great deal of pride that comes with owning the roof over your family’s head. You stand a better chance of successful owning a home if you can sidestep the pressure of having to keep up with your friends.

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.

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.

A Look at the Three Common Water Heaters for Your Home

Technician checking gas boilerA water heater is not something you buy every year. Most people may only need to buy it once or twice in their lifetime. If you want to purchase a heater for your home but unsure of what to look for, here are three common heaters that you could choose from.

1. Tankless Heaters

Tankless water heaters do not feature a storage tank. Instead, it uses intense heat flashes against coils where water passes through. Although you won’t maintain a pressurized tank, you would still need professional plumbing services like those offered by Alfa Plumbing Services to remove scale and minerals from the heaters at least once a year to prevent heater damage and breakdown.

Although the initial price is usually high, they are energy efficient, which makes the cost worthwhile. This heater could be tailored to ensure an uninterrupted flow of hot water.

2. Conventional storage tank

Storage tanks heaters are the earliest and most common type of water heater. Like the name suggests, the heater has an insulated container in which the water is heated and stored until it is needed. The system features pressure and temperature relief valves, which opens to free pressure when it reaches 150 psi. Natural gas heaters are less costly to operate than electric heaters. The tanks should be cleaned and drained a few times in a year to ensure their durability.

3. Solar Heaters

The system consists of a roof-mounted solar panel that absorbs the sun’s heat and transfers it to a fluid in a closed-loop system that holds and heats the water. Solar water heaters are efficient during the hot months and less productive during the cold seasons.

Every type of water heaters has its pros and cons; it is not a case of one size fits all. A water heater for your home needs to suit your needs and. You can consult a professional heating expert for advice on which heater would fit your lifestyle best.

Less Screen Time: 3 Ways to Encourage Outdoor Play

kids playing outsideWhen children aren’t studying, you’ll most likely find them glued to their iPads. This doesn’t sit well with scientists as many studies show that this behavior could affect children’s health. The challenge for parents is how to make their kids break away from tablets, cell phones, and other gadgets and go out and be more active.

While setting time limits for the use of technologies help, you need to have something more enticing to offer your kids. Here’s one good suggestion: outdoor play.

Here are some ways to reintroduce playing outdoors that will make kids excited for it.

Organize a treasure hunt.

Many kids are glued to their iPads because playing games gives them a sense of fulfillment. When they score high, they get rewarded with extra lives.

Translate this sense of accomplishment in your outdoor play via a treasure hunt. Prepare a narrative. Your kid and their friends could be pirates looking for a trove of food, with only a map to guide them. Now, there are some stops on the way to the treasure where they need to do missions like jumping on the trampoline five times or singing their pirate song.

Once they’re able to find the treasure, they can then have a mini picnic in the yard. A wide, fenced backyard is an ideal place for this type of treasure game. A picket or black, aluminum fencing ensures they stay in sight even as they run and play to their heart’s content. GreatFence.com, a specialist in home fencing, recommends a perimeter fence to keep children from running to the streets.

Let them explore nature.

Kids love apps because they’re interactive and can pique their curiosity. So, if you’re making them play outside, you want activities that are similarly interactive and interesting.

Try letting them interact with nature. Encourage them to try gardening. Let them feel in their very own hands the soil and the dirt in your backyard. Teach them how to plant seeds the right way. Ask them to water plants, so they can watch them grow.

Go back to the basics.

Remember your favorite games as a child? Did you play kick-the-can, tag, or red rover? Maybe you loved sports like basketball, table tennis, or swimming. Teach your kids the sports and games you used to play. It also a chance for you to bond and make them exercise at the same time.

Kids and screens go hand in hand now. However, you can offer a better alternative to their tablets with outdoor play. Encourage your kids to get moving in the yard!

Five Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Mattress

a man shopping for a mattress

a man shopping for a mattressPeople spend a great deal of time on their mattress. After a long day at work or school, all you want to do is to snuggle into your fresh sheets on your soft, cosy mattress. But, you can’t quite do that if your bed is uncomfortable.

If you would rather sleep on the couch than in your own bed, maybe it’s time you bought a new mattress. But, make certain that you dispose of your old mattress in an eco-friendly way, Benmores Beds notes. Now, when should you purchase a new mattress?

When Sleeping is Uncomfortable

When your bed is saggy and lumpy, you may experience back pain upon waking. An unsatisfactory and disrupted sleep results in tiredness, stress and an overall bad mood.

When the Springs Make Noise

Mattresses are wear-and-tear articles. Once you feel the springs starting to pop out of the mattress and hear them make creaking noises, it’s likely time for a change. Otherwise, you will suffer an uncomfortable slumber where springs poke into your back.

When the Bed Bugs Bite

Bed bugs are a nuisance that can cause allergies and excessive itching. Flipping your mattress or changing your sheets cannot completely solve this bug problem. It’s time to replace your mattress and do a general home cleaning.

When the Mattress Changes Colour

The discolouration of a mattress can result from age, stains and spills. If you think that a discoloured mattress is grubby and that it may be a shelter for allergy-triggering dust mites, you wouldn’t be wrong.

When it’s Past the 7-Year Itch

Your relationship with your mattress should end after seven years, according to The Sleep Council. It may not be a source of discomfort, but the seven-year-old mattress you still fancy and don’t want to let go of yet has accumulated loads of fluid and skin cells you shed while sleeping.

When you sleep in an uncomfortable bed, you may develop serious skeletal and sleep problems. For that reason, don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable mattress. If you are shopping for a new mattress, it does not have to be a lavish purchase. Just select the one you know will give you a good night’s rest and provide the support that your body needs.

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.