Browsing Category: "Home Improvement"

Reasons You Think You Can’t Change Your Home Decor and Design – And Why You’re Wrong

Coming around to the decision to give your home a makeover is an easy one.

Of course, the reasons in the pro column are long and substantial. Who doesn’t want their home to look better? Give everything a refresh; change things around so that it all feels like new again? Perhaps your eye has been caught by a new decorating trend, and you can’t wait to try it out for yourself. Or perhaps you’re just the kind of person who tends to need a project.

You find yourself imagining the changed decor; the fresh paint; the new levels of comfort that you can explore. Then, with a screech of brakes, your mind remembers all the reasons you shouldn’t do it.

Sometimes, though, you just have to seize the moment and go for it. If there’s something you want to change about your home, then it’s time to banish the concerns to one side. I’m going to go through all of the usual objections and show why they’re not anything that should stand in your way. Just call me your home decor and renovation enabler!

“I can’t afford it.”

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Of course, this one is pretty difficult to argue on the surface of it. If you don’t have the money, then what can you do? You can’t magic it up from thin air and progress on developing a money tree is still limited, so you’ll just have to wait until you can afford it.

The best option in this scenario is to look at a way to change something up without breaking the bank. Rather than a full-scale kitchen remodel, for example, why not go for a facelift? You could change the cupboard doors rather than fitting entirely new cupboards.

The same philosophy applies throughout the house. Craving a new bed to snuggle down into? Maybe that’s outside the budget, but memory foam mattress toppers can give a boost of comfort without the same price tag. Does the carpet really need replacing, or will a deep clean and brush be enough to bring it back up to standard?

“I don’t have the time.”

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Realistically, you probably don’t have the time for most things you do. We get it; life is busy, it’s stressful, and you’re struggling to do the basics. Why should you make your workload easier?

Because you don’t have the time! It’s that simple; the same thing arguing against the scenario is the thing that makes it a necessity. Unless you have a huge chunk of holiday time coming up that you know you can dedicate to DIY, where is it going to come from? You’re going to have to fit it in somewhere. There’s no time like the present, or so the old saying goes.

Putting something off to some fantastical period when you’re going to magically have “more time” isn’t going to work. You can break it down into chunks. Do a little as often as you possibly can to make it less draining.

“It’s a lot of disruption.”

Yes, of course, it is. You have to shop, make decisions, then implement them. Depending on the scale of your project, that might involve a builder being involved or transferring items into new furniture. It will be disruptive – but it’s always going to be. It’s the same as the point about time. Unless you can foresee sometime in the future when you will be able to do these things unencumbered, there’s no point holding back.

“It’s a lot of mess.”

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Even the most basic things do cause a mess, but so does life. I’m going to imagine your house tends to require cleaning anyway. So, given the potential end result, what’s the harm in a little extra?

“It’s not a good time.”

There’s a chance this is a legitimate concern and I don’t discount that. If you’re particularly busy, going through a stressful situation or have health concerns – you’re right. It’s probably not a good time and you should wait until it’s more something you can cope with. There’s also seasonal considerations; it’s little use deciding to renovate the garden in winter, for example.

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Only you can know if the problem is just where you’re at in your life – you know if this is a genuine reason or not. Often, this argument might be masking a concern about one of the above, so check your thinking to see if that’s the case. If it is, then see if there’s something you can do about progress. If not, and it really is a bad time, consider yourself un-enabled for now!

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Important Questions That Every New Homeowner Needs To Ask

Have you just bought your first house? Congratulations! Buying your very first home is a very exciting life milestone indeed! However, it isn’t all fun and games as it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Most new homeowners are completely new at owning their very own property. And they aren’t exactly sure about what goes into running a household. That’s why it is important that you try and fill some of the gaps in your knowledge as quickly as possible. And the best way to do that is to ask a lot of questions. Here are the best ones for you to ask.

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Where Is The Water Shutoff Valve?

It is incredibly important that you know where the water shutoff valve is in your home. Knowing where this valve is can help you prevent a huge disaster. For example, if a plumbing job goes wrong or a pipe bursts, you may end up with a lot of water damage in your home. And this can be very expensive to repair. However, if you know where the shutoff valve is, you will be able to greatly reduce the amount of damage. So once you have agreed on the house sale, make sure that you ask where this very useful valve is!

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Is The House Equipped With Security?

Sometimes, properties are sold with all their security system still in place. If the previous homeowner had installed a burglar alarm system, they will probably leave this in place for you. There could be other safety and security features in place. So be sure to ask the previous homeowners about everything that is in place. Don’t think your new home is going to come with adequate security systems and equipment? No problem; it will be easy for you to get some installed. You could get a security firm in to install everything for you. However, many homeowners are now turning to DIY installations. You can learn about diy home security systems online.

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Can You Cut Down Trees In The Garden

Trees can be a godsend in many gardens as they encourage a wide variety of wildlife and birds to visit. They are also good from an environmental point of view because they release a lot of oxygen into the atmosphere. However, there are a few downsides to having large trees in your garden. Firstly, if they grow too big, they could end up getting dangerously close to overhead power cables. Their roots can also grow quite far under the ground and could end up damaging piping and underground electrical cables. Not only that, though, but tall trees can block sunlight from getting into your home. And this could make your rooms feel fairly dark and dingy. So can you cut down the trees in your garden? You will first need to check with your locality to find out. Most localities require people to get a permit before they cut down any trees. Once they agree to it, it is often safer to hire a tree surgeon who can do the job safely for you.

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Is It Safe To Drill Into Walls?

When many people move into their home, they are incredibly excited to start decorating and put their personal stamp on the place. Most people want to hang pictures on their walls and mount wall hangings. To do this, you will normally need to drill into the walls so that you can put a nail or screw into the wall. However, do you know if you can drill into the walls? It all depends on what is in the walls. If there are lots of cables in there, it could be too dangerous to put anything on the wall. You could end up damaging the cabling, and you may even risk electrocuting yourself. Generally speaking, if you drill no more than an inch into the wall, you won’t have to worry about hitting these cables. You should make sure that you never drill above or below any wall sockets or light switches. There will be a lot of cables in these areas.

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Can I Deal With A Blocked Drain Or Toilet Myself?

Most of the time, yes! In fact, blocked drains are fairly easy to fix. One of the first things you should do is to pour some bleach down the drain followed by a kettle full of boiling water. This should dissolve and dislodged most substances that could be blocking the drain. If this doesn’t quite get rid of the clog, you could use a plunger to try and physically remove the block. You can also use this method to unclog your toilet. If things don’t seem to get any better, you may have to consider calling a plumber to come and fix things for you.

What’s 811 for?

Everyone knows about 911. But do you know about 811 as well? If you have bought a home with a large garden and plan on some big garden projects, you may need to know all about this three-digit phone number. It is important that you call 811 before you begin any outdoor projects that require a lot of digging. Each area has their very own 811 center staffed with people who know exactly what will be under the ground you plan to dig. If you let them know the exact area which you want to dig up, they will be able to tell you whether there are any possible dangers or obstructions. These could include water pipes or underwater springs.

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Do I Need To Keep All The Receipts Of Home Improvements?

This isn’t an absolute must, but it could come in very useful if you ever decide to sell your home. That’s because you can use the receipt of each piece of work you have had done to show just how much your home has increased in value. That’s not the only advantage. It could also help to decrease your taxable income if you are a freelancer or self-employed.

All the answers to these questions should help you run a household smoothly!

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Creating a Killer Kitchen: 5 Simple Changes That’ll Make a Difference

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home. This is where you and your family come together at the start of the day to eat breakfast. And it’s also where you can all catch up while you eat your evening meal at the end of the day too. So, if you want to create a better kitchen in your home, here are five changes that will make a difference.

  1. Change the Faucet

The main faucet in your kitchen is used every day. If it hasn’t been updated for a decade or more, it’s probably starting to look a little out of date. You can get advanced faucets that offer boiling water now too. So, you should think about replacing the faucet if you want to give your kitchen a modern twist. It could be one of the best things you do in your kitchen.

  1. Light Up Your Worktops

Your worktops need to have strong and precise lights pointing down on them if you are going to prepare food properly and safely. If you only have one ceiling light in the kitchen, this is something you should aim to change. It won’t be enough to shine light on what you’re doing on your worktops, especially if you have a large kitchen area. You can fix the problem by adding some lights to the underside of your kitchen cabinets above the worktops.

  1. Break Down Barriers

If you ask me, there should be no barriers between your kitchen and the dining room. Why not do what you can to cook the food in the same space as where you eat it? This could be a simple case of switching around the layout of the kitchen dining space. Or you might need to knock down a wall in order to make the most of both rooms and join them together. That might sound like a big job, but it will make the home feel more spacious, and your dining experience will be improved.

  1. Make More of Your Storage Options

The storage options in your kitchen are also important. You should make the most of them if you want to make the most of the kitchen as a whole. By doing this, you will be able to make sure that you can find everything easily. For example, you could hang up the saucepans above the oven. Displaying your items is often a good way of storing them in the kitchen. You should also add stainless steel drawer slides to the drawers to make them easier to use.

  1. Open it Up Into the Garden

The garden is usually right next to the kitchen. So, why not make the most of this fact? You could install new patio doors. This can make it easier to open up the kitchen into the garden. During the summer months, you can simply throw open the doors and bring the outdoors indoors. You can then spend time in the kitchen and the garden and make the most of both spaces. It can really improve your summer evenings too.

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Turn Down Your Energy Costs With These Simple Steps

With the seasons changing, our minds turn to the cost of our energy bills. It’s no wonder. Shorter days mean we have the lights on for longer. Cold weather means turning the heating on. Whatever way you look at it, winter can be expensive. What better time of year to turn our attention to long-term ways to cut down on our energy costs? With a little time and effort, it’s possible to cut down a significant chunk of the amount we spend on energy. Here’s how!

Turn Things Off

I know you hear this all the time, but it works! Turning lights off when you’re not in rooms makes a significant difference. Switching appliances off at the plugs is worth the effort too. It’s shocking how much of the energy in our homes gets used unnecessarily. It’s also worth practicing leniency when turning things on in the first place. Do you need the main light on, or can you settle for a lamp beside you? Do you need the heating, or can you put a jumper on? Taking the time to consider the energy you’re using will open your eyes to how much less you could get away with.

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Compare Energy Prices

It’s possible you won’t have to cut down on anything to save yourself a little money. Comparison sites show how much cheaper your energy could be elsewhere. Energy prices change all the time. It’s worth checking comparison sites often to see that you’re getting the best deal. You could always use this as a haggling tool with another energy company, too. Find out who they are and what deal they offer, then give them a ring with details of your current provider. Quite often, companies will match or beat your current bills. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there!

Look at Different Types of Energy

If you’ve had enough of dealing with the energy giants, why not take matters into your own hands? Producing your energy is excellent for the environment, and for your bank balance. The main choices you have here are solar or wind power. Both have their benefits. If your garden is south facing, solar energy may be the way to go. If not, why not consider a small wind turbine for your home? You could even go for a hybrid model that provides both solar and wind energy to fuel your home. There are installation costs involved with these. They will soon start paying for themselves. Solar panel experts can install the system into your home for you, so you don’t need to worry.

Following all these steps together would save you an enormous amount of money. If you can’t stretch to all of them, just following one or two will make a significant difference to your energy bill. If the saving itself isn’t enough incentive to change, think of the environment. Fossil fuels are bad for the environment in many ways. Cutting down, or finding alternate energy, will make such a difference!

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