The Garden Equipment Every Homeowner Needs

As a homeowner, you probably keep your house clean and tidy and looking great. But can you honestly say the same about your garden? So many people ignore what’s going on in their garden, and that’s often because they don’t know how to tackle those kinds of outdoors challenges. Well, it all starts with getting the right equipment and learning how to use it. Here’s more information on all the garden tools and equipment every homeowner should have.

Well-Designed Garden Pruners

Pruning is something that all gardeners must to do keep their plants as healthy as they can be. Make sure you have some well-designed pruners that you can use and rely on in your garden. It can be tiring for your hands, so it’s best to use pruners that have been designed with this in mind.

Small Weeding and Digging Tools That Are Easy to Grip

Weeding and digging is something you’ll probably be doing a lot of in the garden, and that’s why you should get yourself some tools that are easy for you to grip. It’s not always easy to use cheap tools because they are not designed in a very ergonomic way. That’s why you should try to use higher quality weeding and digging tools if you can. It’s one of those things that’s worth spending a little extra money on.

A Chainsaw for Tackling Unwanted Branches

When you have branches hanging down and getting in your way all the time, it can be very frustrating. Don’t just ignore them, though. It’s easy to get rid of them when you have the right tools. A chainsaw will help you with this and any other tree problems that might need to be remedied in your garden. It’s definitely worth considering. You can buy a chainsaw from this website. It’s an investment that will serve your garden well.

Compression Gloves

You’re going to need a good pair of gloves to rely on if you want your gardening to be comfortable and easy. You will cut your hands and experience all kinds of problems if you try to garden without using gloves. It’s not even worth considering. So, be sure to find yourself a pair of compression gloves that offer that little bit extra padding and keep you properly protected. It might not sound like much, but good gloves can make a world of difference.

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A Good Lawnmower

Of course, you’re going to need to mow the lawn on a regular basis if you want your garden to look great. The lawn is the focal point of pretty much every garden out there. And when you don’t cut it correctly, it either gets brown and barren or it gets overgrown. Neither of those outcomes are particularly desirable, so you should upgrade your lawnmower for better results. There are so many high-tech options out there today.

If you own a home with a garden, you want that garden to look great. But it will only look great when you have the right tools and equipment for the task of keeping that garden in check.

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Top Tips To Keep Burglars Away

Your home is your fortress. Make sure no one can break into your house while you’re at work or on vacation. Don’t take your home security for granted. When you buy a new house or an apartment don’t forget about security check. This information will help you in eliminating your weaknesses, thus increasing your home security level. Over time, many people forget to re-evaluate their homes for security flaws. Some people forget to fix their window locks and replace the broken bulb. These little things can compromise your safety when you least expect it.

Re-examine your home security with the following steps:

Secure your entrances

Replace your entrance door with a durable solid core metal or wooden door. Avoid having a front door with a large window, otherwise burglars would break it  in order to get inside. Prefer installing thick bolt locks on all your entrances. Many burglars kick front doors to enter houses. That’s why you need to have a reliable lock to defend your home against any burglar.

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[Photo courtesy of pixabay/pexels.com]

Don’t forget to change the locks when you move to a new apartment. You never know who has a set of spare keys to your new home. This minor investment would help you avoid any major loss.

Windows and glass doors

Deadbolt locks would secure all your windows and sliding glass doors. Sliding doors provide an easy access to burglars; don’t forget to lock them every night and before you leave the house. Burglars love broken window locks. Examine all your windows and change loose or broken locks.

Spare key

Hiding your front door key under the doormat is a cliché. Every burglar would search for the key under the doormat, flower pot or on top of your door frame. These most common hiding spots caused a lot of troubles in the past.

Give your spare key to a trustworthy neighbor or a close friend who would help you when you lock yourself out and water your flowers when you’re away. Even if you think your key is hidden in a secure place, a creative burglar would always find it.

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[Photo courtesy of Tookapic/pexels.com]

Take care of your garden

Trim the bushes in front of your windows. Burglars can hide behind overgrown trees and bushes; make sure that your garden plants are not blocking your windows. Avoid planting a tree in close proximity to your house. A burglar can climb the tree and enter your house through unlocked sliding door on the upper floor.

If you have a big garden, consider installing motion detectors around your house. Burglars don’t like well-lit places; they prefer hiding in the dark.

Home insurance plan

Home insurance policy would add an extra layer of security for you. Homeowners should get several homeowners insurance quotes before choosing the best option. Comparing the rates and quotes would help you evaluate your options and understand what’s best for you and your family. Keeping aware of security plans makes sense. If you have a home insurance plan you would feel more comfortable leaving your house for several weeks when you travel.

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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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The Best Water Features for Your Garden

Out of all the things you can do to ornament and add life and vigor to your garden, water features stand apart in their own special category. If done right, they can add mystique, romance, fun, and function to any garden at all.

Here’s a look at some of the best water features you can include in your garden and their unique benefits.

Pools

Swimming pools are the ideal addition to your garden if you, your family, or friends are interested in having some fun in the sun, and hiring a pool builder to install one might just change your life. Not only does a swimming pool by its very nature suggest a degree of wealth and luxury, but they’re also just incredibly versatile in terms of all the different ways you can enjoy them!

With a larger pool, you can get some serious exercise in by swimming laps back and forth. Kids can learn to swim in a pool. Family and friends can have their own water polo tournaments. Or, if you’d prefer, you can just lounge about on a deckchair getting a tan, and jump in when you want to cool off.

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Image by Nowis via Wikimedia Commons

Ponds

A pond is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and relaxing garden features out there, and there are many different styles to choose from. Do you want a pond straight out of a European fairy-tale, with lily pads on the surface, flowers on the bank, and maybe some ornamental features at the bottom? No problem!

Or how about you turn it into a traditional Japanese koi pond and sit next to it for some Zen meditation and quiet contemplation on those hectic days?

Fountains

Fountains are a brilliant way to delight and intrigue guests and to create a sense of magic and wonder in your garden. The sky is the limit with how fancy or elaborate you can go with these, but there are a wide variety of options available suited to different budgets.

With a fountain, you can turn your garden into a scene from Renaissance Italy, or a modern, hip environment from the most fashionable city you can think of.

Bird baths

Not only are birdbaths available in a wide array of affordable and classy designs, able to act as a stunning ornament in and of themselves, but they also serve a feel-good purpose.

After all, our little feathered friends need a cooling drink from time to time, don’t they?

With a bird bath, you not only decorate your garden, but you also invite the local wildlife in and make them comfortable during their stay. A fantastic way of engaging with your local habitat.

Wells

Wells are an immensely practical item – that is, of course, why they were invented. In the modern day, most of us have the luxury of getting our water from a tap. For anyone who feels like enhancing their own sense of self-reliance, however, it could be worthwhile having your property surveyed, and potentially building a well if conditions allow.

Not only will this be one of the most interesting garden features most of your friends have seen, but a well can also be designed in a variety of classic styles harking back to romantic Bavarian villages.

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