29Jun/160

Exterior Improvements That Will Help Increase the Value of Your Home

The value of your house is usually dependent on the buyer’s initial impression. If you want to increase your home’s value, then you’ll want to consider how you would feel upon your first glace of it. Buyers have a wealth of options for taking a look at a home well before they actually pull up in front of it. From virtual online tours to social media sites, you want to ensure that the improvements that you make to the exterior are going to entice the buyer into seeing it in person. The upgrades should also be enough to boost your home’s value.

Clean the Yard

There are many advantages to being a homeowner. It allows you to build equity and gives you the much needed space to call home. But it also means that you have to keep up with the repairs and maintenance of your dwelling. You can also boost your home’s value by making exterior home improvements that won’t break the bank. Just by spending a couple of hours each week maintaining your yard, you can raise the value of your home. Costing a little less than the expense of some yard waste bags, the refuse around your home is easy to remove. You can begin by raking leaves and disposing them in the appropriate bags. Other clutter that can collect and become an eyesore could include trash, toys, garden tools, old vehicles and piles of building rubbish. When you take pride in the appearance of your dwelling, you’ll realize how quickly you can raise its value. Other areas include getting rid of mildew on the exterior of your home and replacing worn patio cushions with inexpensive new pieces. If you don’t have time to clean your yard, hire a landscaper or house cleaner.

Repair Your Walks and Driveway

If you have walkways and drives leading up to your home, you’ll want to ensure that they are properly maintained. This means repairing cracks and walks that have significant wear and tear. It can improve the curb appeal of your home and prevents tripping and fall hazards.Asphalt driveways are long-lasting and durable no matter the weather, so you only need to seal coat and make yearly repairs to cracks.

Spruce Up Your Landscape

As a seller, you want the bank to appraise your home for as much as they possibly can. You can increase your home’s value by sprucing up your landscape. You can begin by mowing your lawn, making sure your bushes and trees have been trimmed and getting rid of weeds. If you’ve yet to landscape your yard, it’s worth it to spend a little time and effort to plant some trees, flowers and shrubbery. If you’re not sure what to plant and where, you can enlist the help of a landscaper. There are also great sites online that can help you map out a gardening plan. Instead of purchasing your vegetation at a high-end nursery, your local home improvement store may have some inexpensive options for the yard. If heat, drought and humidity are a concern, you’ll also want to see your grass, plants and flowers watered on a regular basis.

Re-assess Your Gutters and Downspouts

Updating your gutters can be a simple and cost-effective way to enhance your home’s look. If your gutters are hanging by a thread, cracked, rusted or haggard looking, this is a huge red flag to a prospective buyer. They may also wonder what other areas of the home that you’ve neglected. You have an assortment of options when it comes to your home’s aesthetics and functionality. From stainless steel to copper, your budget can determine which direction you would like to go. But if you’re going to move, you may want to purchase materials that are middle range in price.

Sprucing up your home’s exterior is less costly than you may think. Although some jobs may require the experience and knowledge of a contractor, there are many tasks that you can do on your own. Before you begin work on the above projects, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. They’ll be able to provide some insight into what tasks are most beneficial for your neighborhood.

13Jun/160

Easy Ways to Pest Proof Your Home

No matter the season or your home’s size, there is always the risk of pest invasions. Whether you are worried about ants, roaches, mice, or termites, the tips below can ensure that you don’t lose another night’s sleep.

Keep Things Wiped Down
A little bit of white vinegar can go a long way in preventing pest infestations. Wipe all surfaces in your kitchen down with it to eliminate chemical trail ants and other types of pests often leave behind. While you are at it, be sure to put all food away in tightly sealed containers and sweep your floors as well.

Keep Trash Cans Covered
Trash cans can be a great source of attraction for many pests. The odors that come from them can be intoxicating to mice, raccoons, and other critters who tend to go dumpster diving. Always make sure your trash cans are securely closed at all times, regardless of whether they are empty or full. Some pests like raccoons and possums can get inside of trash cans that have lids that lift up and down. One way to keep them out is to place a couple of bricks on the top of the lids.

Inspect Every Inch of Your Home for Access Points
Often times, pests don’t need to look very hard to find a way to enter your home. Cracks, holes, and windows all make great access points for pests to invite themselves right on in. Check your home for these deficiencies and seal them up to keep your home from becoming a pest hotel. Don’t forget to look around your windows and doors for loose molding and air leaks, which can also make it easy for critters to enter.

Vacuum Regularly
You need to remove the crumbs and dirt from your floors regularly to ensure that there is nothing around for pests to use for food and nesting material. Sweep and mop your wooden and tile floors at least once a week. Your Kitchen floors should swept daily and mopped at least twice a week.

Stop All Leaks
Every creature on the planet needs water to survive, pests are no exception. Check your home for leaking pipes and faucets. You can either fix them yourself or hire a professional plumbing service to replace the necessary parts that are needed to keep them from dripping water. Make sure you turn all faucets off completely when they are not in use. Don’t forget to have your toilet fixed if it runs, because this can lead to leaks, higher water bills, and pest invasions.

Feed Your Pet in a Designated Area
You may feel tempted to let your pet eat all over the house, but that is one habit you should avoid. It is much easier and more convenient for you to have your pet eat in the kitchen where the floors are easier to clean or in a designated area. The bits of food your pet may leave behind can attract pests. No matter where your pet dines at around the home, make sure you clean up immediately after he or she is finished.
Pest proofing your home requires consistency. You should work towards keeping your home clean and clutter-free to keep it from becoming a haven for pests.

13Jun/160

Four Reasons You Need Your Office Redesigned

For business owners, maintaining a productive office is one of the main priorities. In recent years, there have been several studies performed as to how optimal productivity can be created and maintained within the workplace.

Most of these studies have pointed to the importance of office design as a major factor in the efficiency and effectiveness of employees. With this in mind, having a modern design that caters to your employees is essential. To give you a better idea of why this is important, here is a look at four reasons you need your office redesigned.

Increased Productivity

As has been mentioned, there have been several studies that have proven that office design plays a significant role in employee productivity. With this in mind, the most significant reason that you should have your office redesigned is because of the productive benefits that it can provide.

There is little doubt that we are living in an age where the competitiveness of the economy has never been higher. For this reason, you must take every possible step to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff, in order to put yourself at a level where your business can excel.

Attracting the Best Employees

As competition has increased among businesses, so too has the difficulty of attracting the best employees. Businesses understand that attracting the best of the best is essential if they want to achieve their goals of growing revenue and sustaining success.

With an office redesign, you can show potential employees that you are doing everything in your power to modernise your business and cater to the needs of your staff. This can be a difference maker as you attempt to recruit highly qualified and skilled professionals to your business.

Impress Your Clients

While improving the productivity of your current employees and attracting future professionals are both great reasons to have an office redesign, another tremendous advantage is the ability to impress your clients. As with anything, first impressions are important to developing long-term relationships. When you make the decision to go with Saracen Interiors office designs, you are setting yourself up to modernise your office and provide that vital positive first impression that you are looking for. This can, in effect, pay for itself over time.

Improve Morale

There is little doubt that productivity and efficiency within the workplace are important. Another factor that is not talked about as often, however, is the morale of the staff. By modernising your workplace and creating a more positive office environment, you can put yourself in a position to significantly improve the morale of your staff.

With this increase in morale comes an abundance of benefits. Employees become more comfortable within the office and are more likely to become a part of the culture that is built by a modernised workplace. This, in turn, can help raise the likelihood of long-term business success.

 

13Jun/160

Common Home Maintenance Issues And How To Fix Them

Owning your own home has many advantages. It means you have a space to call your own, and it can be a great investment in your future. However, it also means you are responsible for maintenance, and you may not know what to do when common issues arise. Here are some home maintenance problems that every homeowner needs to deal with now and again, and the best ways to go about getting them fixed.

Damp

Damp is quite common in homes of all ages, but it can be especially bad in older homes. Aberdeen has a lot of beautiful, old-fashioned terraced houses that look lovely, but unfortunately can be victims of damp. The best way to deal with damp is by prevention. Look out for leaks, and don't dry laundry indoors. Making sure your home is well ventilated will prevent damp from growing in the first place.

If you still manage to get damp you can:

  • Run a de-humidifier to stop its spread
  • Carefully clean the area with anti-mould cleaners
  • Paint with anti-mould paint to stop it returning
  • Install vents in kitchens and bathrooms

Small damp patches can often be dealt with yourself, but if you have a recurring damp problem you'll need to get the experts in to determine the cause. Remember, if you are removing damp and using harsh chemicals, you'll need to wear a mask.

Leaking tap

We've all had to deal with this every once in a while. A tap that's dripping can be extremely annoying, and can run up your water bill. Luckily, it's usually simply a case of replacing the washer on a tap, and most people can do this themselves. Turn off water at the mains and empty the taps. You can then usually take the handle off, remove the headgear, and take off the worn out washer. Make sure you remember how to re-assemble the tap, and that everything is fitted securely before you turn the water back on.

Blocked drains

The older homes found in cities such as Aberdeen can be especially susceptible to blocked drains. This is because they're simply not designed for modern use. It's important to be careful with your drains, especially in older homes, and to fit a drain cover so that large chunks of food or hair don't find their way down the drain. If you have a blockage or damage, you can hire drain repair specialists in Aberdeen who will have the right tools to deal with it quickly and efficiently. It's important not to mess around with coat hangers or harsh chemicals when you're trying to do the job yourself, as you can make the issue worse.

Bug or pest infestations

While there are lots of precautions you can take to avoid getting ants, mice, and foxes on your property, now and again every homeowner will need to deal with them. Those who live in the centre of Aberdeen, for example, may find they have issues with mice and urban foxes. There are humane traps available for small pests, and there are products available to deal with most insects. However, if the problem is recurring, or you don't want to deal with an issue such as a wasps nest, it's better to get the professionals in to deal with it.

Roof and gutter issues

Your roof is an important part of your home, and keeps it warm, dry, and energy efficient. Some things that should be checked include:

  • Chimneys
  • Skylights
  • Roof beams and joists
  • Guttering
  • Drains

A leak is usually the first sign that something is wrong, but by doing regular checks you can ensure any small maintenance issues can be dealt with before they become worse. However, most people don't want to get on a ladder to their roof, so it's usually best to look for professional help. Regular cleaning of your guttering should also be carried out. The cold weather in Aberdeen can mean they get clogged with ice, and with a lot of rain in the area they'll need to be clear to protect your property.

Boiler issues

Boilers are one of the appliances in your home that you often forget about, but a breakdown means you are stuck without heat or hot water. You should regularly check your boiler and make sure that the flame is clear and blue. If you hear any knocks or whistles coming from the unit, then make sure you get someone out to check it as soon as possible. If your boiler is slow to produce hot water, or it takes a long time to heat your home, then you should also get it checked out, as this can mean it's becoming inefficient. An inefficient boiler doesn't necessarily mean a costly replacement, but it may need cleaning or replacement parts. Make sure you get a professional who is part of the Gas Safe Register to do the job.

Frozen pipes

A common issue during the cold Aberdeen winters can be frozen pipes. If water isn't coming out the pipes, and your neighbours aren't affected, then it's probably a frozen pipe on your property. Feel along the pipes to see if you can work out where the blockage is located. Once you've moved any possessions that could be damaged out of the way, and opened up the tap, you can usually thaw a frozen pipe with a hair dryer or heat packs. If there's any damage, then it's important to call a plumber to get them fixed as quickly as possible.

There are lots of annoying little issues that can happen around the home, and while they can take time to fix, they're usually not very serious. That's why it's worth learning a bit about home maintenance before you move into a new home, and know about some of the common issues that might come up. You should also keep the number of plumbers and other tradespeople at hand for any emergencies, so you can ensure you know who to call if things go wrong.