The Hidden Side Of Home Maintenance

When it comes to home maintenance, most homeowners think that it is about dragging a vacuum cleaner from a room to another. In truth, while keeping a clean house is essential – after all, nobody wants to live in a dusty and messy place – there is more to it to home maintenance than cleaning. Indeed, home maintenance relates to the ability to keep everything in your home and your community working at its best. From your pipes to your next door neighbor, home maintenance is an art that very few homeowners master. Here’s how to make your home safer and smarter for your family and your community.

The secrets of the perfect home maintenance

Maintain Regular Contact With Experts

There are a variety of structural systems and solutions to keep all modern facilities and appliances in your house: You have a water system, an electrical system, and an insulation solution to name only the most obvious. These are constantly used, every day all year long. While you would immediately notice if there were an issue, it’s best to organize regular checks with certified experts to spot problems before they occur. Consequently, you need to have the contact details of your local plumber, certified electrician, and insulation engineer. Additionally, you can also discuss preferred professionals with your home insurance and your local council to make sure that you haven’t missed any possibility.  

 

Maintain Your Household Budget

With every home, there is a household budget to manage. Let’s be honest from the start, the largest part of the budget tends to be dedicated to your energy bills – and your grocery, but this is the type of expenses that is easy to justify as it is visible. As much as you should keep a close eye on your overall consumption habits – and especially on bad habits that are expensive such as leaving phone chargers plugged in for example – you need to compare energy providers regularly. Indeed, when it comes to energy bills, loyalty to a provider is not synonymous with discounted price. Your provider can only offer the price that is has secured for itself.

 

Manage your budget

Maintain A Clear And Purposeful Structure

Another often forgotten dilemma of homeowners is the difficulty to keep a clear and purposeful decor inside. This is especially true for people who work from home as it can be difficult to create clear boundaries between the private and the professional space in the house. Additionally, by keeping the purpose of each room in mind, you will become able to declutter the house and remove anything that you don’t need. This helps to bring peacefulness into your home.

 

Maintain Your Neighborhood Relations

While you can choose our house, you can’t choose your neighbors. But it remains essential to maintain healthy relationships with your neighbors as much as possible. Often, all you need is to understand their background and react accordingly. Remember that communication is key, so do talk to your neighbors instead of judging them in silence. Additionally, there is also the matter of a healthy neighborhood to take into consideration. More and more communities are trying to develop a safe and environmentally friendly neighborhood by taking action to make it a better and more enjoyable space.

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House Move Disasters You Need to Avoid

Moving house is known to be one of the most difficult and more stressful things anyone can experience. If you want it to go well, you need to make sure that you avoid the disasters that often drag people in tears and have them regretting the whole thing. Read on to learn about some of the common disasters that you definitely need to avoid when you move house next.

 

Getting Burnt By All Those Minor Costs

 

There are so many small and hidden costs that have to be paid when you’re moving house. People often forget to think about these when they are going through the whole house move process. It’s something that you really can’t afford to ignore if you want to come out the other end of this whole process in a healthy financial shape. Many people get burnt by these costs, and they only realise it when they have the bill handed to them. So, do plenty of research and make yourself fully aware of what you’re getting into before you start the house move process.

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Telling Lies and Having Them Come Back to Haunt You

 

It’s so common for people to tell small lies when they are looking to sell their home. This might seem like a good idea because it gets the wheels on the process moving a little faster. But those little white lies can often come back to haunt you. That’s why honesty is always the best policy when you are trying to sell your home. It’s simply not worth considering the alternatives because things can go badly wrong when you lie. It’s an issue that’s discussed in this article. Your whole move could be sent crumbling to the ground if you’re not careful. I’m sure that’s not what you want to happen, so don’t let it.

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Not Getting Insurance for the Move

 

When you undertake the move, all of your possessions will have to be packed up in boxes and loaded into the back of a van. Then they will be driven to your new home and unloaded. There is always a chance that breakages might occur at some point along the way. When that happens, you want to have the right insurance to back you up. That way, any replacements or fixes that have to be carried out will be paid for by the insurance company. If this is something that you forget about, you will certainly regret it if and when something does get broken.

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Insisting on Going it Alone
Going it alone and not using an estate agent to help you with your home move might sound appealing. But in reality, it feels less like a liberation and more like a pretty terrible idea. If you insist on going it alone, you will have to take care of so many minor issues and problems that could arise. It can be a much better idea to get help from an estate agent who knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. Yes, it means spending money. But it could turn out to be money well-spent.

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How Anyone Can Protect Their Home Against Storms

When storm season is upon us, it’s natural to feel anxious for your family and your home. Protecting where you live from the inside out is important for peace of mind and also to minimize the risk of losing precious property. Whether it’s wind or water damage, there are steps anyone can take themselves to boost the integrity of their home.

What can I do about wind damage?

Image from Flickr

Wind damage can be a serious issue if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes or even the occasional gale.

There are two main concerns with wind damage, which are flying debris and the wind itself. You can attach extra locks to doors and windows, especially deadbolts, to make sure they don’t blow open during storms and also cause roof damage due to wind pressure entering the house.

For roofs, you can purchase hurricane straps or screw-in clips to make it hug the foundations more closely. Also be sure to bond any loose tiles which can easily fly off when the wind hits.

Surrounding trees should also be regularly checked for dead branches and kept trimmed to keep the overall structure more solid and wind-resistant.

Finally, when you know a storm is coming, have a thorough check around the exterior of your property and bring in any lawn furniture, trash cans and other loose items. You’ll be doing your entire neighborhood a favor, because the less there is to potentially blow around, the less risk there is of any single home being damaged.

 

What about water damage?

Flood

Image from Flickr

 

This is the other main concern when storms hit, as damaged water mains and overflowing lakes, rivers and sewers are common during severe weather.

Even when it’s not stormy outside, it’s important to waterproof basements to be sure of avoiding mold and long-term water damage. An unprotected basement is pretty much dependent on luck to stay dry.

Any heavy rainfall or a lot of melting snow, such as in winter or spring, can be enough to flood a basement. Even in milder weather, gradual groundwater seepage can create a damp environment where mold can easily grow.

That’s not to mention the potential damage to your property due to water damage when floods happen. As basements are often used for storage of delicate assets including family photos, books and furniture, the effects of flooding can be devastating.

Self-applied sealants allow anyone to do their own basement waterproofing, even in old homes with lots of cracks and holes along the walls and floor. These do-it-yourself products are great for cheaply and quickly boosting protection from water damage at any time.

It’s also vital to ensure the seals around anywhere water is drawn in the house are regularly checked. Bathtubs and showers, faucets and toilets can all gradually seep water and then become a source of flooding if storm damage occurs. Having a pressure release valve installed in your water system can help avoid this.

Storm damage is a common problem in the United States, but there are steps any homeowner can take to minimize the risks themselves. As a bonus, insurance premiums are likely to fall when the house becomes safer!

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Help Your Home Office Come To Life

A lot of us are now opting to work from home. After all, it can be so convenient to just move to another room in your house in the morning. And it can save you a lot of money when it comes to commuting! And with offices becoming a lot smaller, businesses often prefer you to work in your own space, especially in creative positions. But you need to make sure your home office is appropriate for your role. After all, you don’t want a room where you struggle to concentrate every single day. Therefore, here are some ways you can make your home office come to life.

 

Opt for a professional desk and chair

 

While that makeshift desk might be working for you at the moment, it’s not going to put you in a professional mode! In fact, it might delay you getting on with your work. Therefore, you need to make sure you opt for a professional desk and chair which will make you feel like you are at an office. And it will help to transform the spare room into an office. You can look for desks online which have been previously used at offices. Opt for one with drawers which will have space for all your belongings. That way, you can keep paperwork and stationery close to you. And make sure you get a good office chair which will keep you comfortable during the work day. After all, if you opt for a cheap chair, you are going to end up getting up and moving around during the day. Therefore, make sure you get an appropriate chair which will leave you comfortable for hours on end!

Pixabay

 

Add plenty of light to the room

 

A lot of people make the error of working in a room in their home with little light. But light can give you a boost you need to get on with your work. In fact, if you are starting to drift off task, some light can ensure you carry on with your day. And in the long run, it can help your vision working in a light room. But if you are limited to windows, it might be worth looking at getting some extra lighting for your work office. For example, a LED panel light would be great to ensure your room gets a ton of extra light. In fact, you can add several in the room to make sure it comes to life.

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Limit non-essential work items

 

It’s quite tempting to put extra items in the home office like a bookshelf and a TV. But these items could end up putting you off your work. And you know how easy it is to lose concentration and procrastinate anyway! Therefore, it’s important to just put items you need for your job in the room. And if you want something a little extra, opt for some inspiring artwork or quotes which you can hang on the wall. After all, these will spur you on when your day isn’t going well!
And it’s worth getting some form of a lock to ensure nothing can be misplaced in your home office. And it can stop important paperwork getting into the wrong hands if someone did break into your home. Check out my previous blog for some ways to secure the office.

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Making Money Out Of Junk In Your Home

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We all have junk in our home that we desperately need to get rid of. But hiring a skip shouldn’t be the only solution. Why not convert your clutter into cash instead? If you can free up some time, here are some of the best ways that you can make money out of your junk.

 

Sell online

 

The web is the best place to go for selling your old junk. Second hand sites such as Preloved are great for flogging old clothes, toys and items. Meanwhile, you can go elsewhere for more specialised items. There are many sites for selling old and broken gadgetry, where you can recycle your iphone. Antiques and old items meanwhile can be sold on auction sites.

 

Postage can cost a little bit of money when selling online, and some sites may take a percentage. If you want to get around this you may be best off joining a local buy and sell page on Facebook. These allow you to advertise items locally, which you can then give to the buyer in person. You may be limiting your target market, but you could make more money out of the item than going through a site.

 

Attend a flea market

 

Flea markets are an opportunity to sell anything in your home. You’ll see stalls containing all manner of junk, some of which you’d be surprised that you can flog. Flea markets may require the cost of renting a stall. An alternative is a car boot sale in which you sell out of your car boot (again you may have to pay for a lot). Have a look in your local area for any flea markets that may be on and ask about their pricing.

 

Have a yard sale

 

Yard sales allow you to set up a stall right outside your front door and sell to passers-by. You don’t have to travel anywhere or pay for a stall and you can set your own prices. This is best for those living in busy areas – if your house is at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac you may not get any passers-by. Before holding a yard sale, make sure to check local restrictions. Some local councils may forbid setting up a stall in a residential area without a license.

 

Repurpose

 

If you’re the creative type, you may be able to shift some of your junk by repurposing it. A glass wine bottle can be cut in half and turned into a candle holder. An old record can be transformed into a clock, or remoulded and turned into an ashtray. Some people have turned such ideas into businesses, although you should always have a lawyer handy when doing so, especially if you’re repurposing branded items and selling them. There may be trademark claims that can be made – although in most cases you would have to be running a business of a significant size for most big companies to actually care.

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Protecting Your Family At Home Is As Easy As 1-2-3

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A man’s home is his castle, and ensuring that your property is a fortress for your family is vital. Many elements contribute to the overall happiness inside those four walls. But safety should be the first priority for every household.

 

Nothing else matters if the family isn’t safe and secure at all times. Thankfully, even the most comprehensive approach requires just three stages, meaning you can master the task in next to no time.

 

Over the next few minutes, you’ll learn everything you need to know.

 

#1. Making Practical Decisions

Your home isn’t a showroom. It’s a place where your family enjoys several enjoys several daily activities. Therefore, it should be built for living. If it isn’t, you’ll find that accidents happen on a far more frequent basis.

 

Households with young children must learn to appreciate the importance of taking precautions. From covering sharp furniture with foam padding to blocking electrical units, those upgrades are key. Meanwhile, simple habitual changes such as keeping medicines locked away in high cabinets will go a long way to helping the cause.

Essentially, you cannot keep your eyes on the children at all times. Therefore, making design choices around your personal family situation is key. Aside from keeping the kids safe, it should help you maintain your sanity.

 

#2. Keeping The Building In Great Health

Photos taken on several residential construction sites which use fall arrest systems in Phoenix, AZ over a week in August 2012

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A property isn’t a home until you inject your personality and character. Having said that, it’s equally imperative that you keep the building work in great condition. Once standards slip, the comfort levels will fade rapidly. Moreover, it could put your family’s health at risk.

 

Protecting the external factors ensures that the internal features are kept safe too. If problems do occur, experts at Roofing the Rockies can get your home back to full health in no time. In addition to keeping an eye out for those issues, you should think about the threat of damp and other structural damage also.   

 

Moisture isn’t the only potentially damaging substance, though. Gas and electricity leaks could put your lives at risk. Investing in the necessary alarms, and educating yourself about signs of trouble could make all the difference.

 

#3. Defeating External Threats

Unfortunately, those internal issues aren’t the only potential problems that must be considered. We live in a world where burglaries are a common nightmare. Unfortunately, those horrible situations won’t only cause financial damage. The emotional scars left could mean that you’ll never feel safe at home ever again.

 

Modern burglars are using more advanced methods than ever. Taking the necessary precautions to keep them off of your property at all times is vital. If the worst situations do surface, at least you’ll have the evidence needed to fight for justice too.

 

Prevention is the best form of protection and is key to keeping your family safe. Even if you live in an area where you’re unlikely to become a victim, it’s vital that you take charge. If nothing else, it’ll provide the emotional security that your family needs to enjoy the home to its full potential.

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Tech Companies Are Looking For New Ways To Secure Your Home Office

With the rise of the gig economy, more and more people are moving into home offices for work. They’re doing all sorts of things, like designing websites, writing blogs and offering transcription services over the cloud. But with the rise of the home office also comes increased risks. At any moment, somebody could break into your house, steal all your assets and then hold them for ransom, demanding payment to get them back.

 

For this reason, many companies are moving into the home security market. It’s big business, and there are many gadgets on sale. Here are some of the highlights.

 

The Nest Cam

 

The Nest was originally supposed to be a smart thermostat solution. But ever since Google gobbled up the original company, Nest, they’ve been on a mission to pad out the internet of things with devices which are actually useful, not just connected kettles. As a result, they’ve come up with the Nest Cam, a little camera that looks a bit like a webcam that spends all day recording goings on in the office.

 

The Nest cam might look simple, but it comes packed with decades-worth of high-tech surveillance technology, developed for generations by state and private interests. The lens has a sensor on it which can detect suspicious activity and immediately start sending data, via the internet, to your personal device. According to Google, the high-tech algorithms that power the Nest Cam are able to tell the difference between a tree swaying in the wind and a burglar breaking into your home. The camera allows you to save chunks of video to watch later at your own leisure.

 

The August Smart Lock

 

Smart locks might seem a bit over the top. But top blogs are now recommending them to people who run their own businesses. One of the tips in this article is to install a smart lock as soon as you set up at home, allowing you to determine who is allowed access to your office and who isn’t. August have a system that allows you to control access from your smartphone, enabling you to let the kids into the office if they need something while keeping everybody else out.

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With smart locks, you’re essentially throwing away the key in exchange for greater security. But you’re also adding more convenience to your life. Not only can you do away with carrying around a set of keys all day long, but you are also able to let people into your office, even when you’re not there. Suppose you’re out at a meeting on Tuesday morning, the same day as the cleaner comes to tidy up your office. With a smart lock, you can simply let her in remotely.

 

The Netgear Smart Home

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The principle behind the Netgear Smart Home systems is to be able to scale your security needs, according to the size of your home. If you’ve got a small house, you may only need one or two cameras in the system, connected to the base station. If you live in a mansion, or your house comprises multiple outbuildings for offices and gyms, then you can add extra cameras you need. The Netgear Arlo smart home cameras are waterproof, meaning you can leave them outside.

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