Spent A Little On Your Home, You’ll Earn A Lot

Have you ever thought about completing some renovation work on your home? This is a possibility worth considering for one key reason. It will allow you to add a lot of value to your property. So, eventually, when you decide to sell, you’re going to be able to put it on the market for a lot more than it was originally worth. The best part is that the changes we are talking about here don’t have to be dramatically expensive. In fact, they can be fairly cheap and completely affordable even if you are working on a budget. Let’s look at some of the possibilities, and along the way, we’ll think about the type of value you could add to your home by making these changes.

New Flooring

apartment, architecture, ceiling

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

One of the most important points to remember when you are changing your home is that it’s not about how expensive it is or how much it’s worth. It’s about how much it appears to be worth. If your home looks like it’s worth half a million, that’s exactly how much buyers are going to be willing to pay. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that when you sell the home, the price is determined by the building and the land rather than the interior. This isn’t true, and buyers can be influenced by a modern home design.

That’s why you should consider replacing carpeted floors with laminate flooring. This looks stylish and contemporary, but it is surprisingly cheap. You can get laminate flooring for your entire home for just a few thousand. If you don’t have that type of money home loans from GoBear and similar companies could provide the solution. They can lend you the money you need to pay for the change, and you can pay them back in the period of a year.

Light Fixtures

abstract, balls, bubbles

[Photo courtesy of SplitShire/pexels.com]

Lighting is a brilliant way to make a property look different without actually changing all that much about it. If you want a key area of your home to focus on, you should look at the kitchen. By changing the kitchen, you can add as much as ten thousand on to the asking value of the property. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend ten thousand renovating this room. Instead, you can spend a couple of hundred replacing the light fixtures and adding spotlights that look stylish. The other benefit of spotlights is that they draw attention to key features in a room that you want buyers to focus on.

Aesthetic Materials

3 Pineapple Fruit on White and Grey Sand

[Photo courtesy of Pineapple Supply Co./pexels.com]

It would be wonderful if you could add marble or granite fixtures to your home. However, most people don’t have this type of money in their budget and are reluctant to borrow large amounts of cash. That’s understandable, so instead use aesthetically similar materials. You can buy materials that look like marble for a fraction of the price, and unless they ask directly, you don’t have to divulge that it’s not the real deal.

Good luck with your own home renovation. We’re sure you’ll be thrilled with the level of value it adds to your property.

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The Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

We’re often asked “how can I make sure my floor is environmentally-friendly?” And although there have been plenty of measures put in place to protect our forests etc many people are still reluctant when it comes to buying solid wood floor. With this in mind it often comes as a shock when we recommend Solid Bamboo Flooring, but in our mind it’s one of, if not the most eco-friendly options on the market! So lets go into a little more detail as to why we love it so much..

What is bamboo?

Bamboo is probably best known as being a pandas favourite food as oppose to a flooring material. What you may not know is that bamboo isn’t actually wood, instead it comes from the grass family. Although it isn’t your stereotypical grass that is found in gardens across the world, in fact it’s of a much superior grade! So how is it that a type of grass is strong enough to be made into flooring? Well, once the bamboo is fully mature it acquires characteristics that strongly resemble those of hardwoods. It becomes really durable and can even offer better stability than most real wood floors! The main type of bamboo that can be used for flooring grows in China, it is known as ‘Moso Bamboo’ and is the most suitable species of bamboo when it comes to flooring. Many people are concerned about the potential damage that the flooring industry could do the pandas’ habitat, but the truth is that due to the quick growth-rate of the bamboo there is no real threat and the pandas will remain well fed!

How is bamboo flooring made?

Okay, so it’s a pretty tricky process but the end result is impressive. First of all the bamboo needs harvesting, this step alone has it’s implications as everything must be kept at the right temperature etc. Once harvested the bamboo is then split into strips that are boiled, this helps to get rid of any remaining bugs and dirt that may have remained on the bamboo. After they’ve been boiled the strips are heated up which carbonises them. Next it’s time to weave the strips together before they are stacked and left to dry for as long as necessary. The strips are then pressed under an extremely heavy weight and dried using intense heat, what this does is fuses the raw materials together resulting in planks! This is when the bamboo starts to resemble hardwood flooring, in fact, you’d struggle to remember it merely started as grass. All that’s left to do now is mill the tongue and grooves on to the planks (these are what help you to install the floor), before applying the UV protection, along with the finish and a moisture seal treatment. Once all of the above are done the pieces of bamboo are boxed up and shipped out to some lucky folk!

What makes them so eco-friendly?

First of all, because bamboo is a grass and not a tree it’s automatically much more renewable than other flooring materials. For example, instead of having to wait for 25 years for a tree to reach full maturity, bamboo is fully mature and ready to be harvested in about 5 years. What’s more is that due to it’s regenerating properties, bamboo doesn’t need to be replanted once it has been harvested, instead it simply grows back on its own accord. Pretty impressive eh? As stated earlier, bamboo is mainly harvested in China and this is also where it is manufactured, by harvesting and manufacturing the product in the same area it is helping to reduce the carbon foot print. To ensure that the bamboo flooring you buy is really eco-friendly then it’s important to check that the company you’re purchasing it from have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate for the flooring itself. The FSC is a global organisation who are dedicated to the responsible management of various forests across the world, their aim being to ensure that the harvest of both bamboo and timber allows the population of the said material to be maintained. If you see that a company has this certificate then you can be assured that every company involved in the production of your floor has adhered to the standards as issued by the FSC.

bamboo, board, book

[Photo courtesy of Pixabay/pexels.com]

The pros and cons:

Pros Cons
Durability – Due to the way that they are manufactured Bamboo floors are often harder and denser than the likes of solid wood floors. What this means is that they are ideal for homes with children and pets as they shouldn’t look too worn or scratched after a few years use. No ‘Grades’ – Unlike solid wood flooring where there are a range of different grades for the wood, this isn’t the case for bamboo flooring. This means that because there is no independent grading system for bamboo flooring retailers may post their own ‘reviews’ of the product but these would not reflect an independent assessment.
Affordability – If you’re working towards a budget then bamboo flooring could be a great option for you. The great thing about bamboo flooring is it bears a strong resemblance to solid wood flooring but comes at a margin of the price! Refinishing – Although it’s doubtful that your bamboo flooring will need to be refinished it’s worth noting that they can’t be re-stained. So if you do intend on sanding the boards after a certain amount of time then it’s likely that you’ll have to make do with the colour of the exposed board and a clear coat for the top of it.
Eco-Friendly – Possibly the main reason that bamboo flooring is so popular, as explained above.
Maintenance – Bamboo floors are just as easy to maintain and clean as any wood floor. As they are already pre-finished it’s usually fine to give them a quick sweep on a daily basis and perhaps vacuum once a week? If you’d prefer a deeper clean then using a lightly damp mop will do the trick!
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Home Improvements People Forget To Make When They Move In

Moving into a new place is fantastic, and you can’t wait to decorate the home. A lot of people start to paint the rooms and refit the kitchen and bathroom in the home. But there are some home improvements people forget to do. Here are some of the top home improvements that you should not forget to make when you move into your new home.

Enhancing the security

A lot of people forget to improve the safety in their new home when they move in. It’s time to check the locks to ensure they are all working correctly. After all, you don’t want someone to break into your home at night as you have a broken lock on your back gate. You should consider changing the locks on your front and back door if you have just moved in. Otherwise, the previous owners could easily get into your home and take your stuff. You might consider improving your home by installing a burglar alarm and CCTV to ensure your new home is safe when you are away. By adding these security systems, you will be able to lower your home insurance too.

Padlock, Lock, Door, Closed

[Photo courtesy of Skullman/pixabay.com]

Updating the roof

When you move in, you need to ensure you don’t forget to check the state of the roof. Over time, the roof may deteriorate because of the hot weather and storms that may occur. Therefore, you may need to get it repaired or even replaced so it lasts a long time. You may even want to do it for cost purposes because reflective roofs can save your energy costs by nearly half. You should look for a local company such as roofing company TX Roofing Solutions who will be able to come out and talk to you about options for your roof.

Cottage, Roof, Roof Tile, Red, Top, Construction, Slate

[Photo courtesy of Tan2/pixabay.com]

Changing the energy supply

Another home improvement people often forget to make is checking whether they need to change their energy supply. There may be a cheaper option out there for your home. As we talked about here, you may want to consider instaling solar panels to improve the energy in your home. It might also be useful in the long run to switch from electricity to gas so that you can save a lot on your bill. You may not have the funds available later to make this home improvement. Even if you stick with the same energy source, you need to look around to find a cheap supplier.

Converting the loft

A lot of people forget to consider what home improvements they can make to the loft when they move in. It’s such a big room so you should make sure the utilize the space. Don’t just put your old stuff in there; make another bedroom to add value to your property. Before converting the loft, you need to ensure that it’s cost effective to do so, and there is plenty of space to do it. As this article reveals, you need also to check the building regulations when considering a loft conversion.

[Photo courtesy of Holland And Green Architectural Design/flickr.com]

You should also remember to replace the flooring if it’s in bad shape when you move in. You can also consider changing the bulbs to energy efficient ones which will end up saving some money.

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5 Questions to Ask Your Floor Sanding Contractor

Wooden floors, properly finished, retain their allure for many years. Types of wooden floor materials include timber, cork, parquet and bamboo. Eventually, all require rejuvenation at some point. Wood floor sanding and refinishing should only be tackled by experienced professionals to ensure the floor provides many more years of elegant service. When hiring a refinishing team, here are five critical questions that must be asked.

1. What Will Floor Sanding Repair?

To test if a wood floor needs a complete refinish or only cleaning and polishing splash a few beads of water on the floor to see how quickly they soak in. If the floor absorbs the water slowly, then the finish is intact. If they penetrate quickly, the finish is gone and a complete sanding and refinishing is required.

Likewise, if parts of the floor exhibit stains, warping or deep scratches, a complete refinish is needed. Some water stains and scratches deeper than 2 or 3 mm may not be removed by sanding alone. Fillers may be used or parts of the floor replaced if the damage is severe.

Sanding Contractor

[Image not Mine]

Not all wood floors can withstand a complete refinishing process. Flooring material with a thickness of less than ¾ inch may not survive a deep sanding. Some newer wood floor materials are as thin as ¼ inch thick. Tongue and groove floors should also be examined carefully to see if they could be deep sanded. A professional refinishing contractor can determine the proper approach for any wood floor.

2. Do You Use Dust-free Machines?

Older sanding machines generate a tremendous amount of dust from the finish the wood. A professional refinishing contractor employs only dustless technology. Dustless belt sanders, edge sanders and dust containment systems remove 99 percent of the dust before it enters the atmosphere of a home or shop. Plastic curtains are not required, and there are no worries about dust re-settling to spoil a new finish. Even better, there is no time-consuming cleanup of the home environment when the job is finished.

3. Who Is Responsible for the Cleaning up Afterward?

If a floor sanding contractor is using dustless technology, there is little to clean up afterward. Dustless technology is so good that home or shop owners need not remove items from shelving. The dust and other waste materials, such as sanding belts, brushes, disposable gloves, empty cans and so on, should be bagged by the contractor. Typically, they leave these bags behind for the home’s regular garbage pickup, but it is not unreasonable to ask them to dispose of the waste for an extra fee.

4. Do You Finish and Polish the Floor After Sanding?

No one should use a contractor who does not handle the entire process of refinishing a wood floor from start to finish. If a contractor only does the sanding, then there may be a gap between when the sanding is completed and the finishing contractor is available. Meanwhile, the home or business is essentially unusable by the occupants or customers.

Refinishing contractors should provide a choice of finishes. Typically, they offer a water-based finish and a solvent-based finish. Either type, if of good quality, should last many years if maintained properly. There are differences to consider however. Water-based polyurethanes are low odor, dry faster but require more coats. Solvent-based finishes have a stronger smell and require more time to dry but require fewer coats. Some people prefer the amber color that solvent-based finishes impart to the wood versus the completely clear finish of water-based polyurethanes.

5. How Long Does the Job Take and Is the Price Fixed?

Most refinishing contractors provide a fixed quote based on the type of floor material, the amount of floor sanding required and the type of finish. A rule of thumb for the length of the job is a day per 30 to 40 square meters of floor. If there are concerns about the accuracy of a fixed quote, then the owner should discuss all the steps of the job in detail with the contractor to see if adjustments can be made. If the owner anticipates making many changes as the job progresses, then it may be better for both parties to agree on an hourly rate in order to avoid delays.

Daniel Johns is an interior design professional. Her recommends Webb Floor Surfacing as the leading Timber Floor Sanding Contractor in Perth, WA.

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