20Dec/160

Five tips on how to improve the appearance of your home

There can be several reasons why you want to improve the appearance of your home; you may feel as though you have neglected it for a while, you may just fancy a change of décor or you may be thinking about putting your property on the market. Whatever the reason, there are many ways in which you can achieve the result you are looking for.

We are going to take a look at ways in which you can improve the appearance of your home. The solutions you choose will depend on the amount of time, effort and money you want to invest in the improvements.

Add decoration and a feeling of space with mirrors

You will be amazed at just how much difference you can make by simply installing mirrors in your home. Not only do mirrors add to the interior décor of your property, they also create the illusion of additional space. This is an especially useful decoration tool to use if you live in a small property.

Think about the furnishings

You do not necessarily have to spend a vast amount of money on replacing appliances and furniture in order to improve the appearance of your home. If you do not have a large budget then it’s worth taking some time to think about the furnishings.

You can change the look of a room simply by changing door knobs, cabinet handles and light switches. You may even want to adopt a theme, such as antique. This can be fun to do as you can spend time sourcing items from yard sales and house clearances.

Brighten up your yard

If you want to improve the appearance of your home it’s important to not just concentrate on the interior. You can give your property a whole new lease of life by sprucing up the yard. You can think about doing the following:

  • Repaint the fence

  • Create a decking area

  • Plant colourful shrubs and bushes to add a splash of colour

  • Create a fish pond or water feature

It does not matter if you do not have a huge budget; even just making a few small changes can make a big difference to the visual appeal of your outside space.

Invest in exterior cladding

Cladding the exterior walls of your home does not just improve the appearance of your property. Cladding also helps to insulate your home and protects it against harsh weather conditions such as hailstones and high winds. If you are interested in cladding your home you should check out vinyl cladding prices to establish the overall cost.

Add a splash of colour with a paint brush

You do not have to decorate everywhere to improve the appearance of your home. If you want to change the décor without exerting too much effort then why not create a feature wall? All you have to do is grab a paintbrush and get to work on one wall of the room you want to freshen up. Use a bold self-colour that contrasts the other décor and you can improve the appearance relatively quickly and easily.

Hopefully we have sparked your imagination and provided you with some useful ideas about how you can improve the appearance of your home.

19Oct/160

Knowing when a professional plumber is required

It may seem like a good idea to carry out plumbing work yourself; after all, how hard can it be? Over the years, many people have convinced themselves that DIY plumbing is a good idea with the intention of saving money. Many people have also regretted making this decision. Do not forget that it is possible to make a situation worse if you are unsure about what you are doing.

We are not saying that you should never attempt plumbing jobs; there are many small tasks that you may well be able to successfully complete. The trick is to know your limitations and to call a professional plumber in Sydney when you need to.

What type of plumbing jobs should you attempt?

As we said, there are some smaller plumbing jobs that can quite easily be done by an amateur, although you still need to plan the work if you attempt them. You should never just jump headlong into any plumbing job. Jobs that you may want to consider tackling yourself include fixing a dripping tap or unblocking a toilet.

It’s important to note that even this type of simple looking job can turn out to be more complicated than you think it’s going to be. If you encounter problems it’s worth calling in a professional rather than causing further issues by carrying on yourself.

When hiring a professional plumber is a good idea

The most obvious time when speaking to a professional plumber is the best plan is when you have a plumbing emergency. You can switch off the water supply yourself, in order to reduce damage caused, but you should speak to the experts about fixing the problem. It’s also a good idea to speak to a professional plumber about big plumbing jobs in your home. Jobs that could be considered big include plumbing in toilets or showers, or laying new pipework.

Many of us like to think that we can try our hand at plumbing in order to save the expense of calling a plumber. This does not mean that DIY plumbing is a good idea. Professional plumbers are called that for good reason. They are trained and insured and they have plenty of experience. They are able to complete plumbing jobs in your home effectively and efficiently.

If you are tempted to do some DIY plumbing in your home, you need to be honest with yourself about whether you feel you are capable of doing a good job. You may try and convince yourself that it’s worth doing the work yourself in order to save money.

The truth is that if you do not really know what you are doing you could end up costing yourself more money in the long run. If a dripping tap is really annoying you or the toilet in your home is blocked then it’s probably worth trying to resolve the problem yourself, but it’s a good idea to steer clear of more complicated plumbing jobs.

3Oct/160

Home Renovations Are a Sign of the Times

Having just come through a major recession, many homeowners are reluctant to sell and move on to a bigger home even if needed because the economy is still in a bit of flux. Some have concerns over the outcome of Brexit and others aren’t convinced yet that the UK is on solid ground after so many years of economic turmoil. Rather than seek larger homes, many homeowners are instead doing major renovations to the homes they have because they are comfortable in their current location and comfort is something that doesn’t come easily. Here are a few ways in which home renovations are, indeed, a sign of the times.

Less Clutter – More Space

One of the renovations that homeowners are undergoing is a trend towards creating a great room by combining two or more rooms. Yes, some interior walls need to come down but the effect is stunning. With the kitchen and dining room and maybe even the family room all put together into one Great Room it is then possible to seek out contemporary furniture created especially for wide open floor plans.

You can get an idea of exactly what’s trending by doing a bit of browsing online where you’ll find multiple pictures of open floor plans. Then move on to possible furnishings at sites like danetti.com to get an idea of what works in a great room. You’ll see that one room blends easily to the next with furniture that flows with the movement of the room. From the living area to the dining area to the kitchen is one fluid line that simply ‘moves’ with the function of the area.

Adding Space Is the Next Step in Today’s Renovations

Since the idea is to rid the home of clutter it is apparent that more space is needed. The next step is to find that space within the structure that is already there or to add on as needed. Loft conversions suit contemporary design quite well because the entire loft can be one wide open room with a multi-purpose design. Most lofts run the entire length of the home which lends itself well to the concept of a wide open room and with light colours and a few skylights, the room can take on a character of its own.

If you’ve omitted the family room to merge that space into the great room, the loft would be the ideal place to ‘move’ the family to recreational purposes. A games room and entertainment room can be combined in such a large space, none of which would take away from the living space below.

It’s Well Worth the Waiting!

Since homeowners are reluctant to sell their current home for larger accommodations, it is only logical that they renovate to add the much needed space. How this is accomplished is in keeping with current trends towards bigger, airier rooms and a total change in décor is also required. Once your renovation is complete you will actually feel like you’ve moved house and all with less uncertainty than finding a new home in a new location.

You may need to live in a bit of chaos for a time whilst renovations are underway but once your ‘new’ home is complete you’ll not regret a single moment of being inconvenienced. The convenience of your new roomier home will more than make up for those few weeks of discomfort. Wait and see!

26Sep/160

Kitchen remodeling and pest control

When it comes to renovation plans, many homeowners include kitchen remodeling as one of their priorities. This is quite logical because the kitchen is the area that is used by everyone who lives in one home. This means that it is exposed to wear and tear. On top of that, kitchens tend to change styles and trends more often than other rooms in the home. That’s why many homeowners are investing in kitchen remodeling. A simple update of the kitchen can make a huge difference and depend on the level of change, this task can be costly or inexpensive.

Since the kitchen is packed with food, this is the area that is most frequently infested with pests. Old kitchens are prone to pest infestation because there are many holes and cracks that these pests can use. This is the reason why you should think about pest control before the kitchen remodeling project begins. Experts agree that hiring a pest control company is one of the smartest decisions you can make during this process. If you don’t have experience with this type of service providers just use the popular search engines on the Internet to find reputable companies. In order to speed up the process, use the location of your home in your service. For example, if your home is located in Toronto search for pest control Toronto. Take some time to analyze the results and choose the best option. By eliminating pests from your home during the remodeling process you will get a clean and safe kitchen.

In addition, many homeowners are thinking about installation of special pest control systems in this area as part of remodeling. They know that even new equipment and new features in the kitchen won’t stop those annoying pests from entering their homes. As we said before, pests are attracted by the specific smells that come from the kitchen. No matter where they are nesting, they can always be found in this area looking for food. if you had problems with your old kitchen, you should be even more careful with your new one and use some pest control systems is a worthy investment.

Adding new cupboards in the kitchen is a smart choice for those who want to replace their old-fashioned kitchen with a more modern kitchen with a trendy look. In addition, you can make your kitchen look even more classic by choosing specific design plans or replacing the doors of the cabinets. No matter which option you choose, if you are worried about pests make sure that all the openings, cracks holes that appear during the process of installation are sealed well. This is the only way to prevent annoying pests from reaching food supplies stored in these cupboards and cabinets. Insulated cement, steel wool – these are just some of the materials that can be used for sealing these openings. Keep in mind that even the smallest holes should be plugged because pests can squeeze through very tiny openings despite their size.

Another thing that you should remember is that rodents and other pests usually use the area under the skin to enter the kitchen. So, if you are installing brand new cupboards right under the sink, put a saucer or cup filled with soda pop in this area because pests will die right away once they are exposed to this substance.

Use these efficient pest control techniques and ask for professional help whenever you are preparing for kitchen remodeling activities.

22Aug/160

Home improvements your tenants will love

Whether you’re a landlord or a renter, your housing concerns are probably more similar than you think. As the cost of living continues to rise, we all want to make sure we’re getting as much bang for our buck as possible.

If you own a rental property this is especially true. It should afford you a steady income and financial security, but any extended period without tenants will quickly turn your dream of being a property magnate into a nightmare.

Luckily there are a few small changes you can make that will increase the value of your property, and satisfy even the pickiest of future occupants. We’re talking about home improvements, of course.

Before you start with excuses about time and money, remember that a small investment now could be just the thing you need to seal the deal on that long-term tenancy agreement. We’ve highlighted a few key renovations that’ll do just that.

Increase the living space

If estate agents have taught us anything, it’s that selling the lifestyle is essential. Open spaces offer a modern and attractive way of living that’s sure to attract lodgers. If your rental property is on the small side, increasing the amount of room on offer should be at the top of your priority list.

Mezzanine floor construction is easier than you’d imagine if you hire in the experts to oversee the process. It’s a stylish way of adding value and space to a small studio flat, or of carving up one large living area. Just make sure to show off the most effective layout by dressing all rooms properly.

Freshen up the interior

Interior decorating can create the impression of more space and helps create the right atmosphere. Knowing your target market is key here. Students, young professionals, couples or families all have different requirements, but providing a clean canvas is always appealing.

A bright and fresh look is always attractive, and there are lots of clever and inexpensive ways of livening up your property. Boost natural light by installing glass doors, positioning mirrors opposite windows and choosing neutral curtains.

The final touches

Investing in a few flashy gadgets and splashes of luxury can quickly ramp up the attractiveness of an empty flat. Built-in coffee machines and smart TVs will appeal to trend seekers, for example.

A waterfall shower head can save you from having to install an entirely new bathroom suite, and could be just the thing to make a viewer fall instantly in love with your property. These sorts of small touches cause minimum hassle but make a big difference to the overall vibe of a place.

If you’ve got any other suggestions for adding property value or securing occupants, let us know!

20Jul/160

Top Tips from Bathroom Remodeling Contractors

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Take it from expert bathroom renovation contractors, there is no one-size-fits-all project. Each home is unique and each bathroom remodel is unique to the owner.

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel for your home, consider these top tips from renovation contractors to make sure your project starts and ends well.

Cheaper Is Not Always Better

Do you like to save money? While it’s possible to save money in some areas, a bathroom remodel is not the time for extreme penny pinching.

Set your budget and pick the features that are most important to you. Understand you may pay more later if you go cheap on certain features now.

Get a High-Efficiency Toilet

Tired of low pressure, double-flushing toilets? Go for the gusto with newer models ranking 500+ for Maximum Performance testing (MaP).

Less water use and more power make the new models a natural choice for a bathroom upgrade.

Don’t Forget Storage and Workspaces

When remodeling the bathroom, now is the time to include the storage you’ve always wanted! Toothbrushes, hairdryers, soap, and towels can all have their rightful home. If you are tight on space, remember that you can go vertical and low—space above the toilet and below the sink is often wasted space. Make great use of this wasted space by creating cabinets and storage in these areas.

Let There Be Light

Don’t underestimate the power of great vanity lights in bathrooms. Vanity mirrors may be complemented with wall sconces on either side or a long fixture overhead. Don’t rely on ceiling fixtures only for bathroom lighting.

Update the Electrical

Older outlets may beoperating on lower amps making it difficult to blow dry your hair while charging an electric razor. Upgrade the amps and wiring in your bathroom during a remodel to avoid power issues.

You may also want to upgrade the electrical if you have an older home—outlets near sinks should have at least one GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) installed for safety.

It May Be Time for a Bigger Water Heater

Adding a double shower or soaking tub? Don’t let yourself run out of hot water. A bigger water heater may be needed for baths or showers.

Have It All in a Master Bathroom

Splurge a little and consider fun features unique to master bathrooms:

  • Dual Sinks – gives two people workspace with plenty of elbow room. Each sink should have enough outlets, storage, mirror space, and lighting.
  • Toilet Room – a separate space in the master bathroom for privacy, often with a door.
  • Individual Shower Stall – separate from a bath area so two can clean up at the same time.
  • Double Showerheads – save time, shower together.
  • Wider Pathways – plan for bigger space to avoid squeezing by each other.

By the way, master bath upgrades are often one of the best return-on-investment upgrades you can make.

Fight Humidity with Wainscoting

Considering wallpaper in your bathroom? This is a big No-No. Wallpaper doesn’t stand a chance with bathroom humidity. Wainscoting looks classy and stands up well to moisture.

Not All Contractors Are Equal

Sure, there are a lot of great contractors out there. But don’t sign on the dotted line with just anyone.

Great contractors come with raving fans who speak highly of their work and skills. Ask for recommendations from friends and coworkers, but don’t forget to check online reviews. Go with a bathroom remodeling contractor who offers a fair price and has happy clients who can vouch for their professionalism and craftsmanship.

Even small bathroom renovations can be a big undertaking. Follow these tips and ensure you end up with a stress-free (as possible) bathroom remodel.

8Jul/160

Why First Impressions Count When Selling a Property

If you are planning to sell your home, it’s important to understand how vital first impressions are in order to generate interest in your property. In today’s property market, more and more buyers are looking to get the most from their money and want to find a home which completely blows them away before they commit to buying it. Because of this, it’s down to you as the seller to put ample work and effort into your home in order to ensure that it leaves a good impression on everyone who views it, whether it’s in passing or as part of a booked viewing.

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Royalty free photo

Creating Curb Appeal

If you’re trying to get ready for a quick sale, creating curb appeal should be one of your top priorities. Curb appeal refers to how your property looks from the outside, and the instant impression that it leaves on potential buyers or others who view it from the curb. Often, homeowners can get so caught up in ensuring that the inside of their home leaves a good impression, that they forget about how it looks from outdoors. Paying attention to your garden, giving wooden doors and windowpanes a new coat of paint, and even washing the home’s exterior can all add to better curb appeal and leave a good first impression on buyers.

Blank Canvas

These days, what most potential home buyers are looking for is a blank canvas which they can add their own touch to, as soon as they move in. Because of this, the way you decorate your home in order to show it to viewers should be as neutral as possible. Remember that those looking to buy your home may not share your tastes in home décor, therefore using colours such as creams and whites gives them the opportunity to add their own stamp to the place and do what they’d like with the décor. Along with that, having neutral décor also allows any viewers to clearly imagine how they would decorate the home given the chance.

Decluttering

If you’re viewing a home and it is full of clutter, it’s not going to leave you with the best of impressions. One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners these days are making is to allow potential buyers to view their home ‘as it is’, without removing personal belongings or decluttering rooms beforehand. Although this can show a realistic version of what the home is like to live in, it’s not always the best strategy for leaving good impressions and getting a quick sale. Decluttering your home is important as not only does it leave the property looking cleaner and tidier, it’ll also free up space and make it look bigger, too. Personal belongings should be tucked away out of sight – viewers don’t want to know how you live, they want to be able to imagine themselves living there.

If you are trying to sell your home, creating good first impressions should be your top priority. No matter how great second or third impressions are, it’s always the first one that sticks.

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.