3Jan/170

Online Shopping for Skilled Tradesmen-A New Approach to Home Improvement

If you have ever had some home improvement work done on your home, you know how hard it can be to get the project off the ground in its initial stages. You may have a clear vision of what it is that you want or need to do at your home but there is a large gap between your vision and practicality. This is when you may need to start looking for a professional to help bridge the divide. If you want to find a tradesman there are several ways that you can do this. Getting recommendations and referrals from homeowners and business owners has always been one of the easiest ways to go. The issue with referrals is that they are super subjective. One person’s idea of a stellar experience may be sub-par to you and vice-versa. Even if you get a 5-star recommendation from a trusted friend or family member, there is still no guarantee that you are going to have the same experience. If asking for referrals isn’t getting you anywhere or has only gotten you into bad experiences there is another way that you can tackle your search and it, like everything else these days, is online.

A New Approach to Home Improvement

With the prevalence of so much DIY TV, and home experts cropping up everywhere many people truly believe that they can take on projects that may be out of their true knowledge base. While you can search for ideas for home improvement online, there are times when the actual work should be taken care of by the professionals. Once you have your ideas and vision squared away you can now continue your online shopping-this time for your local tradesman.

Online Marketplaces

The number of online marketplaces for virtually all industries is growing at a rapid pace. You can think of these marketplaces as the middlemen for skilled trade. They provide a matching service for two parties that need each other. You need a tradesman, and the tradesman needs your business. The good news is that as a consumer you don’t have to assume any costs to utilize the services. Simply access the site online, enter in what it is that you need and you will be matched with tradesmen that are potential fits for the job. How does this all work exactly? You can literally enter in exactly what you are looking for, project details and scope of work, what you are willing to pay for the job and more. The tradesmen and other firms that have registered to have their businesses listed on these marketplace sites assume the costs of the matching service. In addition, most, if not all of these online marketplaces have strict requirements for individuals and companies wanting to showcase their business on their sites. Basically, there Is an extra layer of vetting that they need to go through to be on the marketplace site in the first place. You can be rest assured that if you do go this route you will be getting someone who is trustworthy and reliable.

28Dec/160

Cheap Ways to Make Your Room Look Expensive

We all have to live on budget; after paying for all the necessities such as food clothing, rent, etc. we are left with little money to upgrade the decor of your home. But does that mean you have to compromise with a bland decor this holiday season? Not at all! There are several cheap ways in which you can upgrade the look of your room and make it look expensive. Here are some of them.

1. Simple Styling for an Elegant Look

A cluttered and over accessorised space looks messy; clean up the clutter and introduce some items that rev up the overall ambience. Cleaning the clutter also means getting rid of golden or shiny from the place. Instead try including some silver, brushed nickel or metallic grey since they look classy and sophisticated. For instance, a cluster of silver frames look great on the chest of drawers or central piece. Retain pieces that have strong emotional ties.

2. Let Go of the Traditional Rugs and Carpets

Carpets hold dirt, absorb odours and get stained very easily. So let go of the old; instead choose vinyl flooring that look chic, easy to clean and are cheaper. Moreover, vinyl floorings are available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures, so you can introduce any colour or pattern to your room. Make your room look classy and expensive, without burning a hole in your pocket.

3. You Can Never Go Wrong with Flowers

Flowers are the best way to turn a boring space into something interesting and classy. No other type of ornamentation can do the magic that flowers can do. They bring the warmth of the nature inside the room, make it smell good and boost the overall ambience of the room. Moreover, flowers are available at cheap rates, especially the local and seasonal ones. For instance, you can quickly order flower delivery online in Melbourne or any other part in the world and get fresh and beautiful flowers delivered at your home. So you need not go out of the home or burn fuel to find the perfect item to liven up your home. Choose flowers that suit your budget and transform the space within minutes.

4. Include Some Form of Art

Another easy way to make your room expensive is to include a form of art into it. Whether it is a painting, tapestry or anything else; art can spruce up a space immediately. You can find art at the garage sales, sale at various art shops, etc.

Try out these ideas and make your room look expensive without spending too much of your hard earned money.

28Dec/160

How to Check Your Air Conditioner Before Calling for Service

Continuous usage puts your air conditioner under stress, which means the internal parts undergo wear and tear continuously; so you can find something wrong with the air conditioner all of a sudden. It is important to call the HVAC technicians immediately but there are a few things that you can do before the technicians arrive. Having some information handy will help the technicians carry out a smooth repair process. Here are some things you need to check before the HVAC technicians arrive.

1. Check the Power Supply to Your Home

If the air conditioner has stopped working all of a sudden, the first thing you need to do is check the power supply. Technicians often complain that they arrived at the site only to find that the specific house or the entire locality had no power supply. Low voltage might also lead to problems, so be sure that there is no problem with the power supply.

2. Check the Air Filters

In order to make sure the air conditioners work with full efficiency, the air filters need to be kept clean and replaced whenever required. Clogged air filters restrict smooth air flow thus affecting the system’s performance. If you find the AC not cooling well, check the air filters first. This is not a difficult job and you can do it easily without harming the system.

3. Have a Look at the Breaker Box

Oftentimes, the load increases on the circuit which makes the circuit breaker to trip. This cuts off the power supply to the system so it stops working. So if you find the air conditioner has stopped working, check the breaker box. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it and switch on the AC. If it trips again then there is problem with the Ac or with the electrical circuit. In such a case call the electrician as well as the HVAC technicians immediately.

4. Check the Condensation Pump and/or A/C Drain Line

Many air conditioners are provided with a water safety switch for safety reasons. The water safety switch stops the air conditioner from working if there is water leakage that can ruin ceilings or dampen the floor. So before calling the technicians, have a look at the water in a pan under the unit. If it is filled with water, just empty it and flush out the drain; the air conditioner might start working again.

So if you have just installed air conditioning in Brisbane this summer and find some problem, perform the above tasks before calling the HVAC technicians.

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

bathroom

 

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.

house

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.