Browsing Category: "Home Improvement"

Headboards, Canopy Beds & More

The bedroom is the inner sanctum of a home, the place where you go to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Because a bedroom is not a common area which will be seen by family and friends, many people scrimp on decorating the bedroom and go with a simple Hollywood bed fame, skipping headboards or any other sort of ornamentation. They have the basics – a nightstand or two, a dresser and perhaps a chair.

When you think about it you spend almost a third of your life in bed – don’t you deserve to treat yourself at least as well as you might treat company? It does not cost much to outfit a bedroom in a style that is warm and welcoming; creating a bedroom that is a reflection of your personal style can be a rewarding effort that pays dividends for years to come.

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If your mattress is a bit tired you can easily improve conditions by investing in a foam or feather mattress pad or mattress enhancer – these help to extend mattress life and provide a better sleeping surface. New bedding is a fast and easy way to change the look of a room and you don’t need to be a designer or interior decorator to create an amazing look. Most bedding ensembles include a bed skirt, quilt or comforter and one or two pillows shams, all of which have been selected to coordinate perfectly.

A net canopy enhances any bed – the simple mesh netting can be draped at the head or foot of the bed or gathered to one side as a swag; bed canopies add drama and romance to the look of a room and are easy to install in minutes. A bed throw is another way to add visual interest to a mundane bedroom.

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The Ups & Downs Of Home Ownership

For the majority of people, home ownership is the goal in life. There is something so very secure about the feeling of being a homeowner, of knowing that you have your own place in the world that is just yours. You don’t have to worry about what your landlord will think if you decide to put up artwork and you can make decisions regarding your own decor like never before. It’s no wonder ownership is the goal for so many people.

Of course… then there’s the downside.

The truth is that home ownership is not a cure-all, a guarantee that life from this point onwards will be simple. There are moments when a homeowner will desperately wish for the freedom of renting again; perhaps even to the point they wish they were back living with their parents.

So if you’re contemplating your first purchase – or have already bought, and just want to know others go through the same range of emotions as you do – then it’s worth taking the time to examine the ups and the downs.

UP: Your Status Is Improved

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There is something about the mere idea of being a homeowner that makes people take you a little bit more seriously. You have proven that you are able to convince a bank to lend you money, so you must be a serious, reliable person. You have undertaken a huge responsibility, and there’s no doubt about it: you will be treated differently – better – because of it.

You’ll find it easier to secure finance in the future, be it for a car or poor credit homeowner loans to spend on household renovations. You will also be offered preferable rates by insurance companies. So yes, there’s definitely a status boost to being a homeowner.

DOWN: You’re Responsible If Something Goes Wrong

If you have a problem with an aspect of a house while renting, it’s not really your problem. If the boiler breaks down or a window needs replacing, your entire involvement is based around calling the landlord and then waiting for them to do the work.

If you’re a homeowner, you have to rectify these – often expensive – problems yourself. It’s not an enjoyable experience. You have to learn to have an emergency fund on hand for those sudden, unavoidable household repairs, as well as the knowledge that you can’t just move out if the problems become intolerable.

UP: The Sense Of Permanence

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Even if you live in a rented home for a long period of time, it is rarely with a feeling of permanence. You are always subject to the whims of the landlord. They might decide to sell, to raise your rent, or just to evict you to use the house for their own purposes.

As a homeowner, providing you pay your mortgage, the only person whose whims you are subject to is you. You can truly put down roots, become a part of the community, become friendly with your neighbors. You know you’re going to be there for awhile, which can be reassuring and help to provide a sense of safety

DOWN: You Can’t Move Quickly

When you rent, the only thing holding you back is the notice period you have to give – other than that, you’re free to move as you please. If you get a job offer that requires a cross-country move, you can take it without a second thought.

As a homeowner, you don’t have that luxury. That same permanence that is such a benefit in some ways, suddenly becomes cloying and restrictive. While there’s always a chance you will be lucky and be able to rush through a quick sale of your home, the reality is that house sales take around six weeks if you’re lucky, as well as the possible delays with the legal side of things. If things don’t progress as quickly as you would hope, there’s a chance you will have to turn down a lucrative job offer solely because your house won’t sell – and that’s no fun at all.

Overall, home-ownership is the goal because of the safety and security it provides – but to pretend it’s all smooth sailing is to misrepresent the reality somewhat. So enjoy the ups and try to survive the downs as best as you can. Keep a small emergency fund for all of those repairs, and ensure you keep the house in good order and condition in case you one day need a quick sale. With these steps, you should be able to ensure you have far more ups than downs.

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Got A Garage? Here’s How To Stop It Being A Security Hazard

As a homeowner, the main concern is to keep the property and safe and secure as possible. Let’s face it, your home is your castle and no one should be able to bypass its defences easily. The thing is that some abodes do have features that are not safe, such as a garage. Yes, it is perfect for parking your car and keeping it off the street, or as a place to get away from the family, but that doesn’t make it safe. The shocking truth is that thieves often use a garage as the main point of entry into a property. As the owner, it is your responsibility to ensure it isn’t burglar-friendly, and here’s how.

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Make Repairs ASAP

Garages are often out houses that are open to the elements. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for bad weather or external factors to cause damage. Most people don’t care about it unless it is significant, so most leave the repairs until further notice. This is the biggest security error you can make because garage door repairs are essential. Not only do secure doors dispel thieves in the first place, but broken ones are easier to bypass. The key is to fix any flaw as soon as it appears to ensure that the garage is as tight as every other feature of the house.

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Don’t Go Electronic

Yep, pressing a button is easier than getting out of the car and opening the garage but hand. However, it is also less secure. For starters, all it takes is for you to misplace the control and anyone can have access to the entire house. It might fall into the hands of thieves, it might be found by the neighbours, yet you can’t take the chance. More worryingly, automatic doors are hackable. It sounds silly, but burglars can connect to the system and open the doors remotely. A traditional garage with a deadbolt doesn’t have these issues.

Cover The Windows

Some garage doors have windows. To most people, windows are a harmless feature that they can take or leave. But, underneath the surface, they are an aid for criminals. Although thieves can use the garage as an entrance into the house, they will also check it for cars. If there are valuables motors inside, they won’t think twice about kicking down the doors and driving off with your vehicle. A window allows them to see what is inside and what isn’t, which is why they need covering. Alternatively, you can replace the door for one that is solid.

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Don’t Forget To Close It

Sometimes, theft is not the garage’s fault – it is yours. It is amazing how many people leave the garage doors open while they are doing something else. Sure, you might be around the corner, but you will not be able to react in time. Anyone that walks past will be able to pop their head in, have a look around, and steal the valuables. The worst thing is they will be able to take their time!

Even if you are only going to be a minute, always close and lock the garage.

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Making Your Wardrobe Doors Functional and Strong

Wardrobe doors can be one of the most frustrating parts of home décor. In most cases if the doors are not installed correctly they stop working, or worse still fall off. The secret to having functioning and good looking wardrobe doors is in the hardware used to set them up. Many DIY enthusiasts and carpenters make the mistake of cutting corners by using low quality wardrobe hardware.

There are a number of different types of door that are commonly used, and all come in high and low quality varieties. Depending on the type of door different hardware needs to be used to make them function properly. If the unit is a stand alone wardrobe it will need to use cabinet hinges instead of traditional door or wardrobe door hinges for folding or sliding doors.

Folding Wardrobe Doors

One of the most popular and cost effective types of doors installed in houses these days is folding wardrobe doors. When high quality versions of these doors are closed they not only cover up the clothes and anything else in the wardrobe they look like real doors consistent with those found in the rest of the house. It is important to choose a heavy bi fold door and use high quality  hinges on both the folding portion of the door, and to link the doors into the track. These doors will take an afternoon and a few hundred dollars for a do it yourself carpenter to install.

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Standard Doors for a Wardrobe

Putting standard hinged doors on a wardrobe is one of the best ways to make that wardrobe look great. The doors look like the doors to the various rooms in the house; you can match up perfectly. Since they are hung with high quality hinges these doors open and close like a regular door as well. The only draw back to hanging a regular door in your wardrobe is the amount of space they take up when they are opened, so the rooms must be larger in order to allow the doors to swing.

Sliding Doors

A popular modern alternative is to install sliding doors. These sliding doors use track hardware to open and close. They have the disadvantage of being more difficult to install than a conventional door and the advantage of being much better looking than folding closet doors. Though they look good it is important to caution that if they fall off the track they can be quite dangerous, so it may be best to leave their installation to a professional.  

 The door style you choose and the hinges you use are important decisions. Don’t settle for a look that doesn’t fit your room, or poor quality fittings that are going to be falling off within a couple of years of use. Fit for the future by investing a bit more and getting high quality products; products into which you have put a little thought.

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