Browsing Category: "Home Improvement"

Don’t Try This At Home! Top 3 Jobs to Leave to the Professionals

For as much as our generation loves to spend and impulse buy, we are also living in a very thrifty and frugal time. It’s the biggest juxtaposition of them all; even those who have the money to be able to get by easily in life are wanting to take the time to do things for themselves in order to save it.

This has led to an increase in DIY jobs and the learning of new trades in order for people to be able to get the job done quickly, efficiently and with little cost. But while some are taking the necessary steps towards getting qualified and knowledgeable, others are relying on online tutorials or information on forums to get the job done properly.

Here are the top three things that need to be left to the professionals to save incurring any further financial expenditure…

clean, cleaning, funny

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White Goods

If one of your white goods is on the blink, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Whether your fridge, freezer, washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer is having a bad day, you do not need to make it any worse – either for the gadget or for yourself. Most of these appliances are hooked up to both electricity and water; a literally lethal combination if you don’t know what you’re doing. Search online for a reliable tradesman to come out, such as on City Appliance Repair, and make sure that you leave it all to them. Even if it looks like you haven’t done anything wrong, you could have accidentally voided the warranty by removing or touching something that you shouldn’t have. It’s a minefield.

black, paint, painting

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Painting

Everybody loves to try and give redecorating a go at least once in their lives, but if you’re not the steadiest with a brush and are known for being a tad clumsy then step away from the paint! There are people out there who do this day in, day out, and will get the job done for you neatly and quickly. The last thing you want to be doing is paying out more for materials as you have to wipe up spilt paint, or spend longer on a project than you realistically have time for. Plus, if anything goes wrong, it’s not your fault – but if you hire a professional, the chances of this happening are very slim.

Brown Mouse Inside Mouse Trap during Daytime

[Photo courtesy of ardeshir etemad/pexels.com]

Pest Control

This could end up getting majorly out of hand if you don’t know the ins and outs and what you are doing extremely well. Most people leave it up to the experts, but the few who don’t either get it one of two things – right or wrong. There are a list of preventative steps that you can take in order to keep things under control, and if these are adhered to then it’s bad luck should you reach a situation where you need to bring out and pay for pest control. If you have children this is also a reason for leaving it to a professional; poison, guns and traps are all things that should not be near a child.

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Top Five Tap Tips: How to Make the Most of Bathroom Taps

A central room in any home, your bathroom can have a much bigger impact on your life than you realize. From giving you a peaceful oasis in which to relax in to acting as a practical room with plenty of functionality, how your bathroom is set up is highly important.

While baths and showers are commonly focused on, smaller features such as bathroom taps can have a profound influence. Bathroom taps highlight the exceptional variety found in these important accessories, offering a winning combination of style and quality in every single product.

Basin, Sink, Tap, Drain, Faucet, Bathroom

[Photo courtesy of Brett_Hondow/pixabay.com]

If you’re looking for new ways to use your taps to benefit your home then here are our top five tap tips.

  1. Position carefully

The position of taps may not seem like an area where you have much choice, but this is inaccurate. Whether you go for single mixer taps that bring hot and cold water together in one spout or stick with the more traditional option of dual taps is up to you so think carefully and choose your position wisely.

  1. Know your style

From the modern to the contemporary, bathroom taps fall into all style categories. To ensure that your taps work for you choose ones which match the style of your home and, most importantly, your bathroom. If you want something that looks at home in either case then go for a universal single lever tap with curved profile. 

  1. Adjust the flow

As well as looking good, taps can also save you money by reducing water wastage. To do this, the Energy Saving Trust recommends you choose taps with a low flow rate or aerators.

Bathroom, Interior, Design, Bathroom Interior, Home

[Photo courtesy of shadowfirearts/pixabay.com]
  1. Match bath with basin

The key to an attractive bathroom is uniformity of style so make sure your bathroom taps match! This means choosing the correct units for baths and basins from the same range and considering how they’ll look alongside shower controls.

  1. Keep it clean

Once you’ve chosen (and fitted) your preferred taps the next step is to keep them looking their best. This means knowing how to clean taps properly and ensuring that any relevant maintenance is carried out.

Wiping them with a dry cloth to remove moisture immediately after use should prevent limescale build-up and dulling on a day-to-day basis but you can also add extra shine to chrome taps with mild cleaners or even white toothpaste!

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How To Be The Greenest Parent Around

As a parent you want to instil all the best possible values into your kids. The importance of sharing, the importance of gentleness and kindness, the importance of respecting your elders, the importance of cherishing and looking after the world around you. A love of the natural world is something that a lot of us would like to see in our children – a respect for our beautiful green planet and an interest in learning to take care of it. Luckily there are things you can do to encourage this love.

adventure, clouds, colorful

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Go For Locally Sourced Food

Brown Fish Fillet on White Ceramic Plate

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

Locally sourced food is fresh and delicious and it’s also great for the environment because it hasn’t travelled over vast distances to reach you. Of course not all food can be sourced locally, like tropical fruits, but whenever possible, go for local options in the grocery store. You should also try to go for organic free range meat – this is a lot kinder to the animals and it’ll also be a lot more pure for your body as well. You should also remember that you need to stop buying bottled water. Sure it’s convenient but it’s bad for the environment in pretty much every way, from the huge transportation costs to the wasted plastic bottles, so you should purchase a water filter and use that instead.

Stop Wasting Water

beverage, drink, fresh

[Photo courtesy of Breakingpic/pexels.com]

We’ve all done it: we stand by the sink brushing our teeth and staring idly into space as the faucet runs. We spend too long in the shower, we use too much water when we’re washing up dishes. It’s extremely easy to waste water in general! Make sure that you cut down on this – leave post-its around to remind yourself to get out of the shower in good time and keep the water off wherever possible.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

The importance of using natural cleaning products can’t be underestimated. The truth is that in this day and age there is simply no need to keep a lot of dangerous chemicals in your home – and that applies even more when you have kids. You don’t want to have to worry about your babies ingesting anything harmful so why not go for non toxic cleaning products made from natural substances? Look online to find the best natural cleaners from companies that sell non toxic products like Jessica Alba’s Honest ranges, to cleaning solutions that you can use in your own home – did you know that you can use vinegar to unblock sinks and baking soda to clean up stains? There are a lot of natural cleaning solutions out there – put down the bleach and get researching. You know those chemicals give you a headache anyway! You’ll also find that using natural detergents will be the best possible thing for sensitive baby skin.

Lower Your Energy Bills

ball, bright, close-up

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The importance of lowering your energy bills is two fold. Firstly, we all know that it’s great for your wallet, meaning that you can treat yourself at the end of the month – but we also should remember that it’s also great for the environment. Fossil fuels are being used up at a pace that’s far more rapid than they’re being created and as such we need to start using sustainable sources of energy. If your house isn’t equipped with solar panels, watermills or wind turbines then your only real solution is to cut down on your energy use. Simply, you should make sure that you turn off lights when you leave the room and that you don’t leave your electronic equipment on standby. You should also make sure that you change your lightbulbs to LED ones, which last for much longer and use considerably less energy. Ensure that your house is properly insulated to keep the heat in, thus lowering your heating bills, and put rugs down on your wooden or tiled floors, to prevent still more heat from being lost. If you can feel a draught then why not make a draught excluder?

Turn Your Home Green

White Ceramic Flower Pot With Green Cactus Plant on Brown Wooden Surface

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

No, we don’t mean that you have to paint all your walls green – although admittedly it’s a very peaceful and natural colour that your whole family would enjoy, so you could probably consider it. Rather, you should try to be as green at home as you possibly can. When you’re redecorating, use non toxic paints and paste, and make sure that you use sustainable materials wherever possible – if you’re redecorating a baby’s room, for example, go for a felt mobile instead of a plastic one. It’ll be just as pretty and it’ll be a whole lot better for good old Planet Earth. Go for good quality furniture made from recyclable materials that will last you for a long time instead of the homeware equivalent of disposable fashion, and remember that there’s no better home decoration than plants. Not only do they look extremely pretty, but they also produce oxygen and improve your home’s atmosphere. They’ll provide your kids with an example of having something to learn to look after, and they’ll bring a little piece of nature inside. You could go for a small herb garden on your kitchen windowsill – it’ll look good, smell fragrant and gorgeous, and you’ll feel incredible when you can use homegrown herbs in your cooking.

Lead By Example

Man and Woman Sitting on Rock Mountain during Daytime

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Probably the most important parenting tip of them all is to lead by example. You probably already know this all too well – if you’ve ever let a single curse word slip past your lips in front of your kids after stubbing your toe then you’re probably aware that they pick up on everything way too quickly sometimes! If your kids see you recycling and walking instead of driving and respecting the natural world then they’ll learn to do the same thing and you’ll end up with an environmentally conscious family that you’re incredibly proud of. Take your kids hiking with your dog, send them on treasure hunts in your back yard and teach them to be gentle with insects like snails and spiders (even if you’re scared of them!). That way they’ll grow up with a real appreciation of this beautiful world that we’re lucky enough to live in.

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Downsize Your Home: Upgrade Your Life

Bigger doesn’t always equate to better. When we’re starting out, there’s a temptation to strive for a bigger house, a bigger car, and lots of stuff. But if the trend to downsize is anything to go by, all of this doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. People are finding that living simpler lives, and getting more out of less, is the way to go.

chair, desk, interior

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

What Do You Want?

You have a big house, a decent car, and all the latest technologies. But how do you feel when you go to bed at night and when you wake up first thing in the morning? Do you sleep well and get up raring to go, ready to greet the day? Or do you struggle to get to sleep, keep waking up, and feel sick when the alarm clock starts beeping? Many people identify with the latter. They work hard, striving for something they think they want but then when they achieve their goals, it doesn’t bring them happiness or fulfillment. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is likely to be that they strive for what they think they want, without addressing how they want to feel. This is one reason many people have so-called mid-life crises. They get to a point in their life and realize that this is not what they envisaged, and not how they expected to feel.

What Does Downsizing Mean?

We have all seen the articles where people have downsized their lives to such an extent that they are able to live in a tiny one-room house out in the wilderness. While this is fine, of course, it is an extreme example. For most people downsizing just means freeing their lives from unnecessary clutter, living a simpler existence, and feeling freer and happier. It doesn’t necessarily equate to a frugal life, though saving money is one of the benefits.

Downsizing means different things to different people. For some it might be selling their home through a listing agent and moving to a smaller place. For others, it may just mean filtering their belongings, creating more space, and updating their attitude to purchasing.

What Are The Benefits Of Downsizing?

There are many benefits of downsizing. For example:

  • Reducing unnecessary costs and having more disposable income
  • Reducing the time spent cleaning and maintaining your home
  • Refocusing your energy and attention on the things that count
  • Feeling less encumbered and therefore less stressed
  • Feeling freer to do things you enjoy doing

Concentrate On Experiences Rather Than Things

Many people find that spending their money on experiences, rather than things, is a happier and more purposeful way of living. So, rather than having the latest cell phone, tablet, TV, and Blu-Ray player, they invest in holidays, time out with family, hobbies, and interests.

The important point about downsizing is that it forces you to take stock of your life and readdress the things that are important. To downsize you go through a process of removing what is unnecessary and potentially harmful, and focus on what makes you happy.

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