Browsing Category: "Home and Living"

Ideas for Homeowners Looking to Make More Space in their Property

Everyone needs space. The addition of a new family member, or a new hobby, can leave homeowners scratching their heads thinking about how they can free up space in their home.

Here are some ideas for homeowners looking to make more space in their property:

  1. Have a clear out

The first thing to do, that doesn’t cost a penny, is to take a good look at all the rooms in the house. How long has that wicker basket sat in the corner holding magazines? Do the baby books that the kids used to read 10 years ago, still sit on the bookshelf? Often, we accumulate clutter that we just don’t need. The first step to gaining more space is to take a good look at the contents of the home.

Extension outline

  • Throw away items that are just rubbish. Homeowners with large amounts of rubbish may find it convenient to hire a skip! There are many skip hire companies that can provide skips for reasonable rates. Make sure you choose a company with green credentials.
  • Give books and old clothes to charity/friends/family.
  • Sell good quality items on ebay.
  1. Room use

Right – got rid of all the junk? In doing so, did you notice that there are rooms in your house that aren’t perhaps being overly used? For example, a family with a young child could find that a seldom used office could double as a playroom during the day, and an office at night. Or maybe a guest bedroom could double as a workout room if the spare bed was swapped for a sofa bed. For more tips on dual room use, check out this blog post from theinspiredroom.net.

  1. Furniture

Evaluate if existing furniture is being used effectively. It may be that some of the furniture in the home isn’t required, or could be reused in a different way. This page on Pinterest shows some great space saving furniture ideas!

  1. Make the most of outdoor space

Lesser used objects be stored in the shed or garage, freeing up cupboard space. Adding a patio heater and a cosy area close to the house, makes the patio feel more like an extension of the living room or dining room, giving the illusion of more space. Those with larger gardens could even add a garden studio or sun house to provide outdoor rooms. Getting an electrician in to run an exterior power supply is not that expensive and providing power to these outdoor rooms increases their usage potential enormously.

  1. Extend

This one’s a last resort, as it’s the most expensive option. Relaxed planning laws make it relatively straightforward to obtain planning permission for a house extension. There are also many types of house extension. Examples include loft extensions, conservatories and flat roof extensions – the only limitation is a homeowners property type, budget and preference.

Looking at the house with a fresh eye, and spending a bit of time on de-cluttering is a good start. However, the key when trying to make more space in a property, is to have a bit of imagination!

 

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New Build Checklist: Moving Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Moving into a brand-new home can be exciting. You and your family will be the first ones to live there, which means you’ll get to be part of the decision-making process. From the design and sizes of the rooms to the bathroom fixtures, having a new build home is a chance to really put your stamp on a house. But, just because the house is a new build, it doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for problems down the line. So, what do you need to do to make the transition as smooth as possible?

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[Photo courtesy of paulbr75/pixabay.com]

Final Walk Through

Before your builder packs up and leaves, it’s important to visit the property and make sure the job has actually been completed. Test all the lights and plumbing, look for any accidental damages that may have occurred while your builder was working and inspect the exterior of the property too. At this point, it may be wise to hire a professional building inspector that could spot things an untrained eye wouldn’t notice. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Flooring

Don’t try and move in without having your flooring fitted first. It’s a real pain to have to switch all your furniture from room to room while flooring is laid down if you’ve already moved in. Two of the main things to do before moving in is to replace your flooring and curtains for a nice look. It won’t just look nice when you do eventually move in, but it will also mean your furniture can stay where it is, and you’ll have the privacy you need after a long day’s work. The hardest decision will be choosing between carpet and wood flooring.

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[Photo courtesy of 4Me2Design/pixabay.com]

Choose What to Take

Many people find that their current furniture doesn’t fit in well in a new build house, or they want new things to go with their new property. If you know there’s furniture that you won’t need or use in your new house, it’s better to get rid of it beforehand, instead of taking it with you. If you’re trying to save money, an old dining room table could make all the difference to your moving costs. The less furniture your movers have to take, the cheaper the cost. Once you know what you’re taking with you, clearly label things for each room so unpacking is easier once you’ve arrived.

Moving Day

It’s easier to move the big house items first, like beds, sofas, tables and chairs. However, if there are rooms in the house with new carpet, you may want to stay out of them while moving things in and out, especially if the carpet is a light color. It’s inevitable that some dust and dirt will enter the house while you’re moving, so you may want to wipe furniture down before moving it into carpeted rooms.

Once you’ve settled into your home, you may start to notice minor things that need to be changed. Get in touch with your builder sooner rather than later if they were already in your agreement.

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Making Packing Into A Moving Experience

Moving to a new home is always an incredibly emotional experience. As you prepare to leave the place you’ve called home for a long time, you will realize just how much you’ve enjoyed your time there. Of course, though, it’s not only joy, nostalgia, and excitement taking the stage, and you’ll have another feeling standing in the way of your move; stress. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring a procedure which will remove the element of dread from your relocation, all while making the job a lot easier for you.

To begin, it’s important to come up with a solid plan of action before you start working on the job itself. This plan should be made with your removalists in mind, as they will be the ones doing most of the hard work for you. Your plan should include the order, labeling, and methods you’ll use to get this job done. Of course, though, it also helps to think about unpacking at the other end. The way that you pack your items up will have a huge impact on your experience at the other end of your journey.

[Photo courtesy of Jillien Minera/unsplash.com]

Once you have a good idea of how you’ll be taking on your move, you can start to think about the resources you’ll be using to help you. Boxes will be a big part of this, and you have the option to buy them new or to go on a hunt for some free ones. But, most importantly, you need to think about your labeling system. Permanent markers are great for most applications. But, for items which can’t be written on, you might need some proper tags or labels to seal the deal.

After a little bit of shopping, you should be well on your way to being able to start your packing, and it’s time to consider the items you’ll be packing first. This sort of information should be covered loosely by your plan. But, for the most part, logic and organization will be the best tools to help you here. Starting with the smallest and least-fragile items, you should work on packing room by room. Each container or piece of storage furniture should have a box or two to itself which is clearly marked to help you with unpacking.

Some of the items around your home will be unlikely to fit into a box or other container, and you’ll need to devise a way to move these items easily, as well. This is where your labels come in. By marking which rooms each large item will be going to, you will make the job of unpacking a lot easier. Along with this, though, you could also consider investing in some plastic wrapping material. Not only will this protect your furniture and other big possessions, but it will also make them easier to move around.

Hopefully, this post will give you everything you need to start taking action and working towards moving home. In a lot of cases, people struggle with this sort of work. Stress and worry become big factors, making the whole thing a lot harder, and it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to make it better. In most cases, though, a little bit of work will go a very long way.

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The Things I Wish I Knew When We Bought Our First Home

For most young people, buying a house is synonymous with freedom. Finally, you can do whatever you want in your home without worrying about what the landlord might say or about getting your deposit back. It is yours, and to put things clearly; you can put as many holes in the walls as you want to. Except, naturally, that buying a house brings a lot more than just a new sense of freedom. There are responsibilities — on the financial and on the practical sides for instance —, compromises and the discovery of new skills too. Buying a house together is truly the beginning of a new adventure. Unfortunately, for a lot of couples, it can also bring serious disagreements and difficulties to their relationship. In the end, the best way for yourself to prepare for this exciting journey into an unknown universe — the land of home ownership — is probably to hear about it first hand from those who made the journey and survived it!

Moving into your first home

#1. First things first: How much can you afford?

Does it need saying? Buying a home is naturally an important investment, and it’s likely to be the first of its kind for you. Most couples choose a combined mortgage option when they buy their first home, as it is one of the easiest options. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t look for other mortgage offers. To keep things basic, the more you borrow, the more you will have to repay. So it’s always a good idea to work with a housing loan calculator to determine first how much you can afford to pay back over a period of time. Sometimes, you might find that it’s easier to save or borrow from your friends or relatives to pay a large deposit on the house and be able to take a loan on a smaller amount.

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[Photo courtesy of AlexanderStein/pixabay.com]

 How much can you afford?

#2.It’s all about money and planning

Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that the cost of your home is the cost of your loan. It is far from it, especially if you hadn’t taken any renovation project into account when you agreed on a price. Affording home improvements can be especially stressful if you’re not used to it. But do you know that you don’t need to rely on an FHA loan to finance your home improvements? Indeed, first-time buyers can also focus on eco-friendly transformations that can be funded by governmental bodies, for example. For extensive renovation works, you can apply for a construction loan or borrow from your 401(k).

#3. Budget as a couple

In fact, the decision to buy a home together marks for couples the first struggle to keep a budget that cares for their individual and common financial needs. You may be used to keeping your own budget, but a couple budget is a whole new kettle of fish. For a start, you need to define your household needs in terms of mortgage repayment, bills, groceries, etc. These, while they are common, will be different to the kind of budget you had BEFORE you bought a house. Additionally, it’s essential that you and your partner agree on the long-term saving goals. There’s no point working towards separate goals.

#4. Combining furniture or buying new?

For some couples, buying a house is the first time they will be properly moving in together — it’s not uncommon for couples to spend time together but keep their separate apartments until they are ready to move in together properly. You might think that the hardest part about this is to share private details through the cohabitation. But believe it or not, most couples report that the hardest part of moving in together is combining their styles and furniture. Indeed, you need to be prepared to get rid of as much of your stuff as you expect your partner to. It’s only fair to keep the best of your common belongings, and it’ll avoid arguments in future. Besides you can also focus on buying new pieces of furniture together.

#5. You’re emotionally ready for the life together

Buying a house together might sound like a good idea. But you need to ask yourself first if you’re ready for this kind of commitment. Cohabitation becomes real when it’s in your own home. In a tenancy agreement, you can leave whenever you want. If it’s your home, you can’t leave. That’s why you need to be sure that you’re ready to move in together for real. Living with the person you love requires accepting levels of intimacy that you may not be prepared to deal with just now. For instance, as silly as it might sound, being able to talk openly about your choices, aspirations and desires for your relationship is a crystal-clear giveaway that you are ready for the move. The best test, though, is to observe how you interact with each other when you’re dealing with stress or financial issues, as these tend to be relationship killers.  

#6. You need to establish some basic rules

Buying your first home also means being ready to accept and share the responsibilities that come with it. You’ve guessed it right: Household chores are a big area of disagreement for couples. Indeed, as both partners often work in modern relationships, household chores need to be shared fairly between both of you. If you prefer doing the laundry while your partner enjoys washing up, then you can simply stick with your eras of expertise or preferences. Admittedly, nobody really enjoys doing chores, but you can work on the basis of things you don’t hate doing instead, as it’s a healthy way of sharing tasks.

#7. Create your decor together

Ah decorating. Who doesn’t love decorating? However, when you buy your first home together, you need to establish a fair approach to your interior decor. It’s not only a personal matter; it’s a matter of shared personal tastes. If you’ve got two different styles, it can be fun to blend both approaches to create an in-between style that will keep your decor eclectic and exciting. You will find the decorating exercise can get a lot easier if you can agree on a common palette of colors that can bring everything together. As a rule of the thumb, though, a good palette consists of five color schemes — by color scheme, we mean blues and grays, for instance, that offer many variations without one theme.

#8. Discover the joys of DIY

You can’t move happily in a house without knowing anything about the most basic home repairs. In fact, you will soon find yourself checking online tutorials to find out how to unblock the toilet or how to clean your grout. While nobody expects you to become a plumbing expert or a qualified electrician, your home maintenance requires some basic DIY skills. Tiling, painting, repairing wood or metal surfaces with filler compounds, or fixing the tap on the sink are essential requirements that every handy(wo)man needs to learn. And don’t leave it to the man in the house simply because he is a man! There’s no room for sexism in home maintenance!

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[Photo courtesy of Free-Photos/pixabay.com]

Get your DIY tools with your first home

#9. Give your home a  housewarming party

You might be considering throwing a big housewarming party for your friends and neighbors. If you can; don’t skip on the party as it’s a great way to introduce yourself to a new neighborhood. But remember that once the party is over, you’re the one left to clean. So keep it civilized, friendly and alcohol-light!

In the end, there is a lot to consider when you decide to buy a home together. Your finances; of course; are a priority. But your relationship, your personal preferences and your ability to work together will transform your house into a home. Don’t be fooled: It won’t be perfect every day. But that’s okay because with time and goodwill great things happen.

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