Browsing Category: "House and Home"

Pimp Your Mega-Mansion

If there’s one thing that the super rich love doing, it’s pimping their mega-mansions. It’s almost a rite of passage for them – something they feel they have to do in order to feel a part of their exclusive club. The good news is that a lot of what they end up doing can be replicated in our own homes, sometimes at a tiny fraction of the cost. Here are some of the ways that the rich and famous have pimped out their homes.

Install A Waterfall

Water features are an essential part of pimping up any home. But now a home in Tiburon, California has taken the concept a step further by including a 10-foot waterfall on the inside of the house. The home itself looks more like a temple and has been dubbed “The Nirvana House” which is in keeping with the state’s new age vibes. The future owner of the house will be able to turn the waterfall up or down, from peaceful stream to raging torrent, depending on his or her mood.

[Photo courtesy of Alistair McMillan/wikipedia.org]

The house itself is listed for sale at more than $11 million on a San Francisco brokerage site. That’s pretty steep for most folks, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t include your own waterfall feature in your front garden.

Bullet-Proof Windows

When you’ve got an expensive home, there’s a lot of stuff you need to protect, including the occupants. Bulletproof windows not only stop bullets, but they also prevent the windows being smashed in and thieves entering your home. Bullet-proof glass comes in different grades. The weakest grades will stop a bullet, but repeated assault with a blunt instrument can still smash them. Companies, however, have developed glass hybrids which reflect impact energy and transfer it back into the person hitting the window, preventing breakage.

Living Room, Windows, Interior, Home, Modern, Furniture

[Photo courtesy of GregoryButler/pixabay.com]

Heavy-duty glass is, understandably, expensive. However, it’s not necessarily out of the range of many well-to-do homeowners looking for an extra little bit of protection. A house near Central Park in New York recently sold for more than $25 million, complete with a triple layer of bullet-proof glass.

Indoor-Outdoor Pools

[Photo courtesy of Dylan Tweney/flickr.com]

Those who live in temperate climes have a dilemma on their hands when it comes to swimming pools. Should they be built indoors or outdoors? Well, why not both. The owners of a mansion in Snowmass, Colorado have decided to build a swimming pool with half of it inside their home and the other half outside, surrounded by a patio area overlooking the mountains. The exterior painting is designed to complement the outdoor part of the pool, while the indoor section is plain masonry. Will your new pool be as uncompromising?

Home Theatre

Home theaters are all the rage among the rich and famous, especially among actors who can enjoy spending hours watching themselves on the big screen. It’s not unusual for the super-rich to spend upwards of $2.5 million on a home theater, just to watch a DVD that cost $8. The most famous example of a home theater inside a mega-mansion is the theater in the Ziegfeld mansion.

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Shocking Secret Costs Of Home Buying

You might have quite a romantic notion of buying your first home. To be honest, it is a beautiful concept. You’re buying a little plot of land and a home that is yours and that you own. But you shouldn’t let that idea hide the very real costs that you’re going to face when you start to think about buying a property. There are a lot of hidden costs that you need to be prepared for otherwise, they can come back to bite you in a few years. Here’s an example of one of those nasty costs, the removal team. We know what you’re thinking. A removal team can’t be that expensive, can they? Be careful with this assumption though because different companies charge different prices. As well as this, prices will fluctuate depending on when you’re moving and where you’re moving too. If you’re traveling to a new home halfway across the country, removal costs are going to be a large chunk of the bill.

Home, At Home, Luck, Feel At Ease

[Photo courtesy of Alexas_Fotos/pixabay.com]

The best way to handle this is by looking at different companies online and finding the cheapest possibility. But you also want to check out reviews to make sure that the company you choose isn’t going to deliver a shoddy service. Here are a few other hidden costs that you need to think about.

Legal Fees

Lawyers are notorious for charging heavy costs for their services, and we often forget that buying a home is a legal transaction. It’s such a massive purchase that you need legal representation to make sure that everything is above board. That’s not even the only professional you’ll need to hire either. You will also need to think about getting an inspector as well as a surveyor, and the list just keeps growing. When you buy a home, you may need to hire as many as three different professionals to ensure that your purchase happens without a hitch.

Interest

Don’t forget that when you buy a home, you will almost always be taking out a loan to pay for it or a mortgage. A mortgage that, unfortunately, is like any other loan. What this means is that you can start paying back the cost of your home at a reasonable amount. But eventually, after a few years, you could end up paying a lot more than what your home was originally worth. That’s why you need to calculate mortgage payment before you actually buy a home. This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into and can avoid the nasty situation of repayments becoming unmanageable.

Home

[Photo courtesy of George Hodan/publicdomainpictures.net]

Bills, Bills, Bills,

Last but not least, it’s worth thinking about home bills. They are probably going to be considerably larger than you’re used to and could be a shock to your finances. Luckily, there are ways to reduce this cost. You just need to think about going greener, conserving energy as much as you possibly can.

Good luck with these costs when buying a home. If you take this advice, you’ll be able to avoid the surprise and plan your finances accordingly.

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Throwing Shade: Go Low-Tech But Stay Cool

If you know all too well how unbearable it can be once summer hits you’ll already be looking at ways to keep your bills down and your air supply up! Depending on where you live, temperatures can quickly reach 90 Degrees Fahrenheit and it’s much harder to concentrate, sleep and eat when the sun’s at its zenith. One of the best ways to keep cool during the summer months is to stay hydrated. You should also always make sure you carry sunglasses, as even on cloudy days the sun can be powerful, and our eyes are incredibly sensitive.

It may also be worth keeping your curtains open at night, that way the cold air will alleviate the stuffiness in your house once the sun’s gone down. Try to get as much fresh air blowing through your home as possible by opening windows, doors, using fans to circulate and blasting the AC for a few hours so the filters to trap any dirt and debris that may be floating around. You may also have noticed a greater abundance of insects appearing, summer is often where you see the most wasps, bees, flies and beetles. Take precautions by putting up fly screens even if you don’t live in a rural area and check food is never allowed to sit out in the heat, not only will this spoil the flavor and texture but it could make you quite ill. While bees and wasps may look pretty buzzing around your flowerbeds, they have a nasty sting so always know where your tweezers, antiseptic insect bite cream and plasters are!

Brown Woven Umbrella

[Photo courtesy of nastya/pexels.com]

Take Cover

Parasols are great but if you want to make a real difference to the temperature in your home why not buy yourself an awning? The Department of Energy has stated awnings, or shaded covers can reduce heat by 30% simply because the sun rises and the linen cover takes the brunt of the heat while rays bounce off. While awnings aren’t as fashionable as they used to be; they do add a certain charm to your property as well as allowing you to sit outside comfortably. Before buying an awning always check to see if your property is suitable, maintain both the mechanism and fabric to stop cracks or holes appearing and never let children pull or raise awnings themselves as they could get their fingers trapped. Avoid any accidents by using an awning pole, a device similar to a loft pole which attaches to the hook on the underside and lets you pull down the striped sail from a safe distance.

Vacant Swing Near Grey and Green Tree

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Get Planting!

If you’re very lucky, you’ll live somewhere with lots of trees which isn’t just good for your health because trees take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, but they also act as a natural barrier and so quite often the temperature in the shade is at least ten degrees cooler than out in the open! However, lots of us believe that as long as there are trees somewhere nearby, we’ll automatically stay much cooler! Sadly, that’s not always the case as depending on where those trees are placed, that’ll decide how much shade you get. If you have no trees close to the house, it may be worth thinking about planting some young saplings now. Choose trees that grow quite quickly like poplars, maples, birches, and willows as well as those that are famed for their leafy, green appearance, so they’ll give you plenty of shade.

To save a significant amount of energy, or at least figure that’ll be noticeable on your next bill plant trees on the south and west-facing sides of your property. Everyone knows that south facing gardens tend to get the most sun, so by creating a tree line there you’ll reduce the heat dramatically. Remember, trees are a natural way to cool down your entire home as well as encouraging wildlife into the neighborhood. When planting always check the property boundaries before you start digging and as long as you don’t cross over onto your neighbor’s land you’re fine.

However, we do suggest being courteous as not only do you not want to start a turf war but it means if you block their beautiful view now they could do the same thing to you later on.

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[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

Have A Ceiling Fan

It may seem a bit old-fashioned, almost colonial, but high ceiling fans do a fantastic job of keeping the air moving while cooling down rooms you spend the most time in. In fact, the more people you put somewhere small the hotter the overall room temperature gets. This is because we each have our own perfect temperature! Some people feel much colder than others but in a big group heat becomes the dominant force and as it rises things then get fairly uncomfortable quite quickly as people begin to sweat.

Ceiling fans aren’t as ugly as they used to be and now come in a variety of shapes and sizes they’re also quieter than you’d expect. Remember, these fans are designed to keep you from melting so if you’re going out turn the fan off! If you really need your AC on, and let’s face it in mid-summer plenty of us see it as a lifesaver try to look for one that’s as silent as possible. There are also some great quiet ac units out there that won’t make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of an airfield instead of your living room every time you turn on the remote control!

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[Photo courtesy of Tookapic/pexels.com]

White Out!

Do you recall your eighth-grade science lessons and how your teacher told you how snow reflects the heat instead of absorbing it due to it’s lighter color? The same principal applies to our roofs so if you want to lower the temperature below you should mix it up above! It’s often why you’ll find buildings and roofs painted white or yellow in hotter countries so that the encroaching heat doesn’t seep inside. Believe it or not, a report by Climate Change Research suggested that if all buildings and roads in the US were painted white the energy saved could run into millIons of dollars.

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The Three Things To Do When Your Heating Fails You

There are a lot of things in our homes that we simply take for granted. This could be the access to clean, fresh water, or even the fact that we have a stable roof over our heads. But one thing that nearly every household doesn’t ever appreciate until it’s gone is the heating system. Most homes have some kind of central heating system, and usually it is gas-powered by a furnace or boiler. This type of system only became widespread across the world in the 1960s, as prior to that many residential properties had to find other ways of heating their homes. But now, we are all used to having a reliable heating system available to us at the flick of a switch. So, what do we do when it fails us?

Cold, Hanging, Home, House, Icicles, Roof, Winter

[Photo courtesy of byrev/pixabay.com]

Don’t panic

If your heating fails you at a particularly desperate time – such as in the middle of winter or when you are expecting guests to come round – it can be pretty annoying. When it happens, many of us tend to go into panic mode and take any measure we can to get it sorted as soon as possible. But before you do anything drastic, stop and think for a second. You may want to try your hand at fixing the issue yourself, but remember it is always better to wait for a professional to deal with it if there is any aspect of the system you are not sure of. Some things – such as re-pressurizing your boiler – are fairly straightforward, but for anything else, always call an expert.

Find a replacement

Just like any other household appliance, boilers have a shelf life. When you move into a new property (whether you are a renter or whether you have bought it) always ask to see a copy of the home’s gas certificates, as this will include all information about the current heating system. Typically, any boiler that is more than 20 years old probably isn’t going to be all that energy-efficient any longer. Therefore, you should consider replacing it with a newer model, and getting an engineer to fit it for you. You can find a whole range of different heaters to suit your needs online at Harsterheating.com/services/residential/heating-systems/, or on similar professional sites.

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[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pixabay.com]

Keep warm in the meantime

It may take a few days for your heating system to get fixed, or for a new one to be installed. During this time you may just have to put up with being cold – but there are things you can do to make this time a little bit easier for both you and your family. Bring down lots of blankets from bedrooms and any that are hiding in draws and all snuggle up on the couch together. Body heat is severely underrated when it comes to keeping yourself warm! If you can, get hold of an electric heater too to spread some warm air around until your system is back on. Not having any heating in your home can be a pain, but it doesn’t mean you need to suffer without it.

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