12Sep/132

Termite infestation

Before considering a renovation, it is important to be vigilant for signs of structural or aesthetic damage that could be a sign of termite infestation.  Not only is termite infestation a potentially serious problem regarding the value of a home, it must be taken care of before a renovation is completed.  There's nothing more depressing and pointless as completing a spotless and beautiful home renovation and then seeing that hard work undone by insect damage.  Here are five warning signs that the home you're working on could be the target of a colony of opportunistic termites.

Termites travel by swarming.  During the spring, large groups of airborne fertile termites can set up shop near a home that seems like a likely spot to park a colony. Termites shed their wings upon discovering a likely location, and the discarded wings are a significant clue as to their presence.

Termites consume leaf litter and wood debris, leaving behind a sawdusty material called frass. Frass is another sign of nearby termites. Keeping the exterior of your home (particularly gutters and downspouts) free of wooden debris will make your home less attractive to a termite colony. Firewood, mulch, and similar wood materials should also be stored away from the home, preferably secured in termite resistant locations or containers.

Termites build mud tubes on the exterior of houses, to provide temporary shelter and hydration, while they attempt to get inside. Keep an eye out for these structures on your home's foundation.

Cracked, bubbled-up paint is another sign that should be apparent to all vigilant renovators. Termites can get beneath the paint, covering wooden structures, creating passages deeper into the structure of the wood.

This can result in another obvious warning sign, hollow-sounding wood structures. Tapping on a wood element of a home to be renovated should not yield a hollow, empty sound, and this might be a sign of termites within the wood.

If you discover any of these signs during (or ideally before) a renovation project, you can get in touch with a professional exterminator.  Terminix Pest Control offers a no obligation home termite inspection with free instant price quotes, which will do much to hopefully allay your fears, or at least give you the information needed so you know how to proceed. 

 

11Sep/130

Creating a cosy living room

The living room is the place where you enjoy quality time with your loved ones, welcome visitors and relax after a long, stressful day. It is the heart of your home but some living rooms are cold and uninviting. Follow these top tips to create a cosy living room you’ll be proud of…

Sofas

Sofas are the most important, and probably most used, piece of furniture in a living room, so it is imperative that you make the right choice.

As your sofa is an investment that will last you for years, go for a timeless design and shape to make sure that it will not become dated easily.

When shopping for your sofa, comfort is key, so select a sofa that is both comfortable and stylish. Sit on a range of styles to find the one that’s best for you.

What fabric you go for is another important choice you’ll have to make. Light coloured material sofas can be a nightmare to keep clean, especially if you have children. The best option for families is a leather sofa, as it will be incredibly hard wearing, and any spills will simply wipe away.

Rugs

If you have tiled or wooden floors, you’ll know how cold your floor can get in the winter months. A rug will give a warm and cosy base for your feet.

There are a number of eye-catching and jazzy rugs on the market at the minute. Go for an interesting design, or a bright colour, and really make a statement with your rug.

A rug is an investment if your carpet’s looking a bit tired too. Cover it with a rug and your room will instantly be looking fabulous again, at a fraction of the cost of a new carpet.

Coffee tables

A coffee table is an essential for every living room. Used for holding everything from knickknacks to drinks, a coffee table can be a really practical piece of furniture.

Go for a coffee table that has additional storage built into it if space is an issue in your room. Likewise, if light is limited in your living room, a glass coffee table will avoid making your room any darker, and will give a modern and contemporary feel.

The article has been brought to you in association with Roomes Furniture, who stock a great range of unique and quality furniture in Kent.

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10Sep/130

Making the most of your garden during the autumn/winter season

During the summer months there is often a lot of interiors chat about ‘bringing the outdoors in’: creating a light, airy and sunny space within the home. Fast forward a few months and what we’d all really like is to take a little of the warmth and cosiness of inside, out. It’s a terrible shame when the colder, darker evenings close in and we all retreat indoors after a summer of socialising in the open air. However, with a few garden updates and the odd essential purchase, you can prepare your garden for use all year round. The key to maximising its use is recreating the same cosy feeling that provides comfort in your living room and that means using heat and light and choosing the right furnishings. Here are your options:

  1. Heat

Patio heaters are incredibly popular in the UK and come in a range of sizes, often with adjustable height to help you stay warm. Halogen heaters tend to use less energy than gas heaters, making them cost effective and more eco friendly. Chimeneas are also excellent choices for a patio party, though if you crave more of a campfire feel a fire pit might be for you. Finally, if you really want to take that indoors look out, try the Weber Outdoor fireplace – a fire pit that gives you heat without spitting and looks a lot like your hearth fire.

  1. Lighting

Security lights are the usual garden light fodder, but there’s something quite magical about decorating trees and hedges with lights, and a creative display can certainly help to set the mood for an outdoor party. Experiment with different colours and sizes of string LED lighting, which now go beyond the simple twinkle, and use alongside some more functional solar garden lights like these at lights4fun. If you need a little display inspiration, take a look at their onsite gallery.

  1. Furniture

Sitting comfortably outdoors is far easier if you have a pergola or other shelter and, of course, have some appealing seating. Unfortunately, plastic chairs don’t always make for the best outside furniture, despite being waterproof. If you can afford to spend a little more look out for padded options made from weather-resistant fabrics, or even better, purchase furniture cover protectors like these to keep off leaves and other debris.

With a little mix and match, you should be able to set the scene for social gatherings of all kinds this coming autumn/winter season.

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